Cafe Bernardo: Fresh, Friendly And Incredibly Fit

Guest Post by Paula Hendricks, Certified Nutritionist at Hendricks for Health

Cafe Bernardo is your quintessential California neighborhood restaurant but with a twist: they use high quality local, seasonal ingredients. If you are lucky enough to have one by your home or office, then you have probably enjoyed their fresh dishes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Fortunately, we have an office in Midtown, a block away from Café Bernardo and frequent it often. Whether I am stopping in for a quick morning meal, or want to meet with a colleague for a leisurely lunch, the well-organized menu allows me to choose for either occasion.

The breakfast menu is refreshingly not like your typical coffee and pastry shop where mostly sugary carbs are sold. Café Bernardo offers a rather delightful array of wholesome foods including cage-free eggs, free-range meats, herbs, vegetables and fruits in addition to the delicious trans-fat free pastries. I typically order the Vine-Ripened Tomato Omelette, skip the potatoes and toast, and have a fresh cup of coffee. It’s the perfect way to start my morning: strong, alert, and full of energy.

You may have read that some health experts believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it should not be skipped, right? I couldn’t agree more. And no, breakfast consisting of coffee and a muffin or juice and cereal doesn’t cut it! I recently attended a nutrition symposium where a well-revered scientist discussed his findings over the last 10 years, and he showed that if you start your day with an optimum protein intake of about 30 grams, keep your carb intake low, and enjoy some healthy fat, it will give your body a “metabolic advantage” called thermogenesis. What does that mean for your body? A 30 gram protein meal will give your body cells energy- energy to burn stored fat instead of burning the calories from a high carb breakfast, or burn muscle from skipping breakfast. The Vine-Ripened Tomato Omelette was the perfect choice for a metabolic advantage. How about that? Burning stored fat and having a delicious breakfast!
Thermogenesis lasts about 4 hours after your meal – which brings me to lunch!

To continue fat burning during the day, I choose wisely. My go-to lunch meals at Café Bernardo are typically: the chopped chicken salad (with added nuts), a lettuce-wrapped burger with avocado and tomato, or their seasonal Salmon Salad with romaine, arugula, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and grilled corn. Whether I have a craving for chicken, beef, or fish, Café Bernardo serves it up the way I ask; fresh, with a smile, and on time. Don’t be afraid to ask for additions or substitutions to your order if needed – they are very accommodating.

Tomorrow when you are thinking about breakfast as you head out the door, instead of the usual high calorie coffee and pastry where you can spend $$$, head to my go-to restaurant where you can nourish your body and save $$$. By eating a nutritious and delicious breakfast and lunch, you will likely feel better, look better, and be more productive in life.

You’ll just have to wait for my next post on what’s for dinner!