Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

March 31, 2011 1:04 AM

Eating For Your Health

Ah-choo! The midterm season is quickly approaching, which also means that there will be a lot of cramming and bad sleep/eating habits. Despite our busy schedules, it's very important that you try to evenly space out your studying and maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. In that aspect, we are very lucky to be living in Berkeley, where there are many health-conscious, vegan/vegetarian residents and restaurateurs. In fact, Alice Waters-owner of the world-renowned Chez Panisse, is a premiere pioneer in pushing for the availability and use of locally-grown, sustainable produce in cooking. This may be one of the reasons why Berkeley has three local farmer's markets every week for its resident perusal.

Since the past three months of being vegetarian, I have learned so much about eating consciously for our own health and the global health of our environment. As most of you probably have heard, the average efficiency of energy transfer through food is about 10%. So that means in actuality, you are not getting adequate energy from meats as you might acquire directly by eating plants. Vegetarianism may not seem appealing because there is the notion that we only eat salads; but in fact there are many wonderful options. I recommend trying a sandwich with firm tofu and tofurkey to replace cheese and deli meat. It is equally delicious and more fulfilling. Black bean and corn quinoa is also a wonderful option because it provides a large portion of our daily fiber and protein.

There are also many vegetarian/vegan restaurants that one should check out before leaving Berkeley. I hope one of these days, you will become inspired to undertake an enriching culinary adventure in Berkeley. Below are some I enjoy and recommend to y'all!

1) Cha-Ya Vegetarian Japanese Restaurant (North Berkeley)
Style: Japanese
Recommendations: Curry noodle soup, dengaku, soba sushi, soba salad, hangestu (tempura stuffed portobello mushroom with kiwi sauce), tempura stuffed eggplant. Their vegan sundae is delicious!

2) Herbivores (Shattuck and Haste)
Style: American
Recommendations: Potato soy pie, lentil loaf, creamy polenta with portobello mushroom

3) Long Life Vegi House (University and Shattuck)
Style: Chinese
Recommendations: sweet and sour "chicken", mushu "pork", mongolian "beef", orange "chicken."

4) Cancun Taqueria
Style: Mexican
Recommendations: Cancun is not a strictly vegetarian restaurant but I appreciate the fact that they grow all of their ingredients (vegetables) and their wide selection of salsas. Their vegetarian super burrito is extremely flavorful and filling. Try their spinach tortilla!

5) Flacos (Saturday Farmer's Market between Center and Shattuck)
Style: Mexican
Recommendations: corn husk tamale, tacos and taquitos are great with their famous green sauce, pozole soup

6) Cafe Gratitude (North Berkeley)
Style: raw vegan
Recommendations: sampler plate, quinoa curry bowl, enchilada

7) Razan's Organic Kitchen (Kittredge and Fulton)
Style: Mediterranean
Recommendations: Egyptian wrap, Mediterranean chicken wrap, Tofu shawarma, vegetable lentil soup

8) La Mediterranee (College and Ashby)
Style: Greek, Mediterranean
Recommendations: middle east plate, mushroom and cheese quiche, lemon chicken soup

9) Cinnaholic (Oxford and Center)
Style: vegan bakery
Recommendations: build your own vegan cinnamon roll with student discount. They also give out free cinnamon rolls on your birthday!

10) Gather (Allston and Fulton)
Style: New American
Recommendations: menu rotates daily. Be sure to order their pizza and try their unique creations.

11) Nature's Express (North Berkeley)
Style: Burgers, Burritos
Recommendations: Soyrizo burrito, mushroom and cheese burger, french fries

12) Cafe Intermezzo (Telegraph and Haste)
Style: Deli
Recommendations: everything!

I hope you guys get the chance to try these restaurants before leaving Berkeley. It truly will become a fun and exciting experience! Bon appetite

Jenny Zhang | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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