Category Archives: Health/Nutrition

Bright Bar — A Different Kind of Energy Bar

Not your typical energy bar. Bright Bars taste like real food.
Not your typical energy bar. Bright Bars taste like real food.

I’ve had my share of energy bars, but I’ve never had one quite like Bright Bar.

Unlike so many others, it’s not rubbery, nor cookie- or candy-like. Instead, it’s like shredded fruits and veggies packed and held together in bar form. The bars are a whole lot less sweet tasting than others, and actually taste like real food.

The Los Angeles company was founded by Brenden Schaefer, an avid cyclist and yogi, who was looking for a good-tasting, good-for-you snack bar. When he couldn’t find one to his liking, he decided to create his own, made with organic produce.

He likens the products, which are also vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, to cold-pressed juice, but in bar form.

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A New Snack From Leftover Beer-Making

ReGrained Smoked Sea Salt and Pepper Puffs.
ReGrained Smoked Sea Salt and Pepper Puffs.

Berkeley’s ReGrained is all about re-purposing.

Particularly when it comes to spent mash left over from beer making, that is.

UCLA fraternity brothers Dan Kurzrock and Jordan Schwartz were avid home-brewers who got the idea a few years ago to take that oatmeal-like mash with a nutty, malty flavor and turn it into nutritious energy bars.

After their ReGrained bars became a hit, they tinkered with more products that would highlight the mash, high in fiber and protein, that normally would be discarded or composted by breweries.

The result is their new ReGrained Puffs, a crunchy puffed chip snack that has the airy crispiness of shrimp chips.

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Coconut Collaborative: A Dairy-Free Deep Indulgence

Small yet mighty in satisfaction.
Small yet mighty in satisfaction.

It’s tiny. But it’s oh-so-big on decadence.

The Coconut Collaborative’s Chocolate Dessert Pot is thick and fudgy, and tastes like velvety dark chocolate ganache. Close your eyes, and you can easily imagine enjoying it out of a crystal goblet at a fine restaurant, not out of a plastic cup in your own kitchen.

What’s more, it’s dairy-free.

That’s because it’s made with coconut cream.

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Udon Noodles Go Green

These springy udon noodles get their color from a freshwater algae.
These springy udon noodles get their color from a freshwater algae.

These udon noodles may look much like ones tinged with matcha, but their deep moss hue actually comes from green algae.

Chlorella Udon Noodles by Sun Chlorella contain the freshwater algae known as chlorella that’s billed as one of the newest superfoods that’s rich in minerals and vitamins like D and B12.

I had a chance to try samples of the dried noodles, which cook up in all of 5 minutes. Drain, then rinse in cold water, and they’re ready to use in soups, stir-fries or salads.

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Check In For A Dose of Wellness At the Stanford Court Hotel

Presenting the "Maude,'' made with rooftop honey at the Stanford Court Hotel.
Presenting the “Maude,” made with rooftop honey at the Stanford Court Hotel.

San Francisco’s Stanford Court Hotel is buzzing — in more ways than one.

Last year, the Nob Hill hotel added an apiary to its rooftop terrace just outside its Seven Stills restaurant. Now, it’s reaping the sweet rewards of those bee hives — from honey that’s accenting fun offerings on the menu.

I had a chance to try a few recently, when I was invited as an overnight guest of the hotel.

The restored, 3-ton penguin statue by Beni Bufano graces the entrance.
The restored, 3-ton penguin statue by Beni Bufano graces the entrance.
Depictions of horses owned by industrialist Leland Stanford decorate the lobby.
Depictions of horses owned by industrialist Leland Stanford decorate the lobby.
The night-time skyline view from one of the rooms.
The night-time skyline view from one of the rooms.

Take a seat at the bar or one of the tables in the restaurant that’s open to the lobby to order one of the specialty cocktails ($15 each) that are all named for movies that were filmed in San Francisco.

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