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Healthy Restaurants in San Diego County

When you’re trying to stick to a healthy diet eating out can be a challenge since restaurants often add too much sugar, salt, and fat to all their offerings. While “cooking in” is the best option since you can control exactly what is going in to your dishes, eating out every once in a while can be part of a healthy lifestyle. We compiled a list of our favorite healthier restaurants in San Diego that provide more healthy choices when eating out.


Tender Greens – Multiple Locations

Tender Greens is a quick and healthy cafeteria style, counter service restaurant chain. Their menu features seasonal, whole foods and responsibly sourced proteins. They have an array of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options so it makes a great place to meet up with friends that have many different diet restrictions. The kitchen staff is very helpful in accommodating to any food allergies or sensitives and are well educated in the ingredients they serve. Tender Greens makes a great, healthier alternative to those other quick meal spots when you’re on the go! Tip: Also check out Urban Plates in La Jolla, Carlsbad, or Del Mar for a similar menu and experience. It’s also a must try for healthy, quick dining.

Hot daze. 🌡🌞 Only a Tuna Nicoise will do. #tendergreens

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Check out their menu here.


True Food Kitchen – Mission Valley

A fresh, seasonal inspired menu that offers fare from protein bowls to salads, and flatbreads, True Food Kitchen also accommodates many different restricted diets. With mostly organic ingredients, their menu rotates seasonally, featuring beautiful and fresh vegetables. With an Asian and Mediterranean flare, they offer many familiar dishes with a healthy tweak. They also offer unique and fresh, from scratch cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Definitely a must go for a fun group lunch or dinner party.

Check out their menu here.


GOODONYA – Encinitas

GOODONYA boasts an organic and 100% non-GMO menu. The dishes are Mexican, Italian, and So Cal inspired with some vegan and vegetarian options. They offer online ordering so it makes for a great, quick meal or get it delivered if you’re even more strapped for time.

We're heading to San Diego this weekend, and our 1st stop is @goodonyaorganic in Encinitas which is 100% non-GMO & organic‼️ This #GlutenFree spread of cinnamon bun, French toast, avocado toast, acai bowl, and salads was 💯 Follow along on my Insta Story & Snapchat for more☀️😘 #glutenfreefollowme . . . . . . #glutenfreelife #glutenfreeliving #wheatfree #celiac #celiacdisease #gfree #glutenfreefood #glutenfreediet #EEEEEATS #foods4thought #99daysofsummer #iamwellandgood #dairyfree #soyfree #goodonya #sandiego #encinitas #glutenfreebread #glutenfreebrunch #glutenfreebreakfast #glutenfreefrenchtoast #avocadotoast #acaibowl #organicfood #nongmo #nongmofood #organic #chickensalad

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Check out their menu here.


Harvest by the Patio – Downtown

Described as, “food with a purpose,” Harvest by the Patio in the East Village neighborhood of Downtown San Diego offers health-conscious, comfort food inspired dishes. They offer prepared food to go if you’re in a rush as well as a lounge area and full bar and a healthy weekend brunch!

Beauty starts on the inside! (📸@julie_hosler) #harvestloves

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Check out their menu here.


Café Gratitude – Little Italy

Café gratitude is the first fully “plant-based” restaurant on our list offering gourmet vegan cuisine. Their mission is to have a menu that supports health in the community and the planet. The ordering process offers a unique experience as each menu item has a special word as a name and you place your order by stating that, “You are,” and insert the positive word.  With a welcoming atmosphere and fresh, flavorful ingredients Café Gratitude is a unique and healthy spot you must try! – And it’s not just enjoyable for vegans!

Oh, summer sweets. We'll miss you 🍑😔

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Check out their menu here.


2Good2B – Encinitas & Rancho Bernardo

2Good2B Bakery & Cafe is a great stop for those with gluten sensitivities as every menu item is gluten, corn, and soy-protein free. They offer a full breakfast and lunch menu (and dinner on the weekends) and also have a bakery with everything from cakes to bread. Everything is made from scratch without preservatives. They are also known to be accommodating to other food sensitivities like dairy and soy.

Check out their menu here.


Naked Cafe – Encinitas, Solana Beach, & Point Loma

The food at Naked Cafe is simple, clean, and natural or “naked” as they put it! A great spot for a quick breakfast or lunch or try one of their coffees, teas, juices, or smoothies. They also have a healthy kids menu, so it’s great for families.

Check out their menu here.


Tin Leaf Fresh Kitchen – Carlsbad

Tin Leaf Fresh Kitchen is all about fresh, affordable food that’s made from scratch. Their menu features delicious salads, sandwiches and desserts. They offer a gluten free menu and take home and heat family meal service. Just pay a $40 deposit and get a healthy meal in a cast iron pot that’s ready to heat and serve. Tip: When you go, ask about their customer rewards program!

Check out their menu here.


Garden Kitchen – Rolando

Garden Kitchen’s weekly menu is sourced mostly from local farms. They even list the farms they partner with on their website. The diverse menu is inspired by many cuisines from around the world and offers a mix of dishes that can be enjoyed by meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. Tucked away in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando, the gem offers a “home cooked” approach to cooking that is fresh and healthy. The entire restaurant is outside on their patio with a cozy and casual atmosphere.

Check out their menu here.


Evolution Fast Food – Bankers Hill

Located just east of Balboa Park, Evolution Fast Food is a fast, casual vegan restaurant complete with a drive-through window. The menu offers vegan sandwiches and salads and even a few totally raw choices. Every menu item is made from scratch and their mission states that no refined sugars, animal products, hydrogenated oils, or artificial ingredients are added. They also use biodegradable packaging and offer house made drinks and organic sodas. Great to grab a quick, healthy lunch or stay a relax on their shady patio.

Check out their menu here.


Seasons 52 – Seaport Village & University City

Seasons 52 is national chain grill and wine bar that opened its first San Diego location in 2010. The menu offers fresh, low-calorie options and changes each season. Described as a casually sophisticated setting, it is a great lunch and dinner spot where you can eat knowing you won’t over indulge in portion sizes.

Check out their menu here.


New Year, New Health Goals

Yes it’s the New Year, yes we want to feel better, get healthy, lose weight, detox, set and achieve goals, and so much more.
The problems are: where do we start, how do we make time and how do we afford it???
Well, we need a plan, we need credible and realistic information, and we need to budget – time and money. Sounds so simple, yet when these tools are utilized, we are more likely to get the job done, in a reasonable and timely manner.

When it comes to nutrition, all principles above are applicable. I remind you that every thing you consume, be it liquid, solid, or gas (as in breathed in) effects your overall health, and how you feel, hour to hour. The trend at this time of year, after an excessive holiday is to detox our bodies, restrict intake, and do all sorts of “diets”.
The trending Ketogenic, Paleo, vegan, organic, raw, fermented type diets just DON”T fix our chronic problems. In order to really get “well”, really burn off unwanted fat, get rid of fatigue, headaches, or permanently solve gastrointestinal issues, we need to identify the root CAUSE of the problem, fix it, and maintain permanent positive behavior change, so the problem does not creep back up again by December 2018.

This is the essence of what is know as Functional Nutrition, and Functional Medicine. It is identifying the root cause of how you got to where you are today, fixing the imbalances, and teaching you how to maintain optimal health, through positive behavior change. Losing 13 lbs. in 30 days, by eating diet foods and shakes, will not create optimal health, or fix a chronically developing disease. It is ludicrous to believe that you can repair health imbalances by eating processed foods or supplements, and do so in a month’s time. That is what the advertising industry is hoping you will believe, especially when they entice you with easy buttons, short time frames, magic pills, potions or ingredients.

Let’s get REAL here. How long did it take for you to gain that weight? How long have you been suffering with that fatigue, those headaches or all that gastric chaos??? It probably has been months or even years. I see this every day in my practice.

So what’s the plan then???

Start with a true evaluation of your health, and some legitimate testing. Take an inventory of all your symptoms. I do this in practice with a symptom survey. One is attached to this email below. Read the instructions so you evaluate numerically, not just Yes, or No. Next figure out when was the last time you had any lab work done, got hormones checked, did a stool test, took your blood pressure, calculated your BMI (body mass index) and REE (resting energy expenditure), or did a food sensitivity test ?? If it has been longer than a year, or you have never done any of these, you need to do them now. These things are biometrics of health status. Until you know where you are at, you cannot effectively move forward with a health plan of action. This is the beginning of identifying the TRUE “problem(s).

We will quit here to give you an opportunity to collect this data. In my next blog, we’ll continue our plan for renewed vigor, optimal health and elimination of symptoms.
If this is enough info for you to decide you are ready to get on board the train to optimal health, I suggest you make an appointment with a Functional Health Practitioner. A functional health practitioner can evaluate your current health picture, recommend the most accurate testing and get you started on a TRUE, Permanent, effective plan for health. This plan should include consumption of REAL wholesome foods, mind/body techniques for adequate sleep and stress reduction, regular daily exercise, education for healthy long term behaviors, and targeted supplements to correct deficiencies, and imbalances.


Take a look at the fabulous Programs HEALTHY DIRECTIONS FOR YOU is offering to help you achieve your goals. Call for a free 15 min consultation, or to schedule an appointment for an initial consult. This initial consult is offered at a discount for a limited time only. This is a 1½ hour in depth health assessment.
Initial Consultation appointment normally $155. Through Feb. 12th it is offered at $99.

Programs for the New Year:

*Get right for the New Year, Nutrition and Health package – Reset for Health
*Detox, Weight Management and Lifestyle program
*Immune Foundations Program – to support Immune Function or heal from Immune Disorders
*Heal Your Gut and Fix Food & Chemical Sensitivities/Intolerances

January 2018 – Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!!! Many of you are now planning your goals for this year, if you have not already done so. For some, January is the time to reflect, catch up, decide what you want to accomplish in the next 12 months and then research the process to get there. When it comes to health goals, the first thoughts should include nutrition (your daily diet), movement or “exercise”, and mindset.

The holidays can take their toll on our health. I know it does on mine. Things were so busy and hectic in December, that I caught a cold 5 days before Christmas (from stress, lack of sleep and too much sugar), but with some good sleep, exercise, getting back to basics of my routine diet, along with some herbal concoctions, I was able to beat it in 48 hours and not allow it to turn into a full-fledged illness for 2 weeks, or longer. After all, I had family and a brand new granddaughter: Adelyn Shay Wolf- born (super healthy) on Dec 8th, 2017 to celebrate with, and not infect!!!!!

It is now common knowledge in the functional nutrition community that a healthy gut is of utmost importance in maintaining health, or in restoring health when one is out of balance. Improving “gut” health is the essence of healing and reversing body-wide inflammation, so common in what is bothering most of us. For more detailed information you may want to read my blog on LEAKY GUT: WHAT IS IT & WHY IS THAT SIGNIFICANT.

When it comes to disease, which is the lack of “optimal health”, we want to catch imbalances in the early stages, before they progress to chronic disease. By the time you start experiencing symptoms, your body is telling you that you are OUT of BALANCE, and need to make serious changes quickly, before you do permanent damage to the system that may not be reversible.  Think about any machine—like your car for instance. If your check engine light goes on, or you hear a loud unfamiliar noise, and ignore the warning, chances are you will find yourself with a broken down vehicle when you can least afford the timing or cost of repair, or worse having to buy a new car. Similarly, if you continually ignore body-wide symptoms, you may find yourself broken down, unable to function, or at an emergency room, or physician’s office with a costly and, at best, inconvenient diagnosis or at worst, a diagnosed chronic disease requiring extensive drug therapy, repeated medical visits and huge expenses.

Remember the quote: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is the essence of functional nutrition.  The first place to begin a healing journey is to understand all the dynamics or contributing factors that led up to where you find your current health status. You want to know “the root causes” of your issues. From there, you can begin the “fixing” of those issues, leading yourself back to “optimal health” and resolution of those warning signals: symptoms.

This past year information has exploded on gut microbiome, or the community of bacteria, virus’, fungals and parasites that live symbiotically within our gut. That microbiome is delicate and can easily be disrupted with current lifestyle and dietary habits. An out of balance or unhealthy microbiome has now been linked with almost every disease process, including mental health AND immune function. Part of a healthy gut is a healthy microbiome; so stay tuned for more on gut health & microbiome in my future blogs.

By the time my friend recommended I see Donna Wolf for a LEAP consult I was open to trying anything. I had been suffering from itchy skin and rashes for years along with sinus issues, fatigue, bloating, etc. I had also recently been dealing with some acute GI issues that were causing me to miss work. I had an appointment set up with a gastroenterologist in the coming weeks and had been tested for all obvious things already. A few years prior I was diagnosed with Hashimotos and started to understand the link between food and my immune system. I hadn’t eaten gluten for two years but couldn’t figure out what else could be causing issues.

Enter Donna Wolf. At my very first consult she listened to my medical history at length and I could tell she was almost as concerned as I was. My symptom score was recorded at a high of 125! It was off the charts. I was miserable. She recommended a probiotic that I started that day. Within two days the nausea that I had experienced for weeks had subsided! I was totally on board with trying to get to the bottom of things and decided to do the LEAP protocol with Donna over the next few months.

Within a few weeks we received my blood test results. Donna walked me through the results and helped me understand what my eating plan would look like over the weeks and months to come. At each consult I saw my improvement and Donna read though all of my food diary and helped me to see where I could be reacting to specific foods. With her guidance and my patience I was able to bring my symptom score down to 29 by the fifth consult! I have finally solved the itchy skin problem that I have had for years. I am NEVER bloated anymore. I know immediately when I eat something that is causing a reaction. I can’t believe the improvements in just a few short months.

I would definitely recommend Donna Wolf and the LEAP protocol to anyone that is suffering from allergies, GI issues, skin problems etc. It wasn’t easy but it was by far the best long term solution I have found to treat underlying health issues instead of just chasing symptom relief.

Tonya B. – Oceanside, CA | July 16, 2017

Healthy Holiday Guide

Healthy Holiday Guide

The holidays can be a stressful time and staying healthy can be a challenge. Read my 3 part holiday guide for tips for healthy eating and on navigating holiday parties & social events. Also check out my Holiday Survival Strategy with High Protein. It’s a end of year high protein and cost effective diet. Are you up for the challenge?

Holiday Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Tips

The smell of sweet holiday aromas may begin to trigger temptation. Why is it that weight gain and stress seem to be unavoidable every holiday season? Whether you’re attending business gatherings, a holiday party with friends, or simply enjoying festive moments with family, eating large portions of delicious foods is often the way of celebration. This is an obvious problem for those who are concerned about their   health and weight status. Here are a few healthy tips to help tackle these holiday temptations and stressors. These tips will help you to manage eating so you won’t face the New Year with an extra 5-15 lbs.

1. Don’t skip meals! – Before leaving for a party, eat a small meal/snack prior to leaving. Going to a holiday party on an empty stomach may cause over eating and hinder your ability to make healthy choices. Don’t starve yourself all day saving the calories for 1 huge binge – this strategy works against your metabolic rate.

2. Beware of the beverages – Holidays are often filled with alcoholic and sugar loaded drinks. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your savory glass of yearly eggnog. After you have treated yourself to one half of a glass, move on to low calorie drinks such as coffee or unsweetened tea, or my favorite: a glass of sparkling mineral water with a shot of cranberry or pomegranate juice.

3. Skip chips and cut back on the dips! – When compared to common snacks such as cookies, chips/dip, and crackers/cheese, fruits & veggies provide more nutrients, contain fewer calories, and help fill up your stomach. Make veggies and fruits the focus of your holiday table setting by getting creative and making them into easy to grab skewers or cutting them into fun shapes. Select hummus, salsas, yogurt and guacamole over traditional dips.

4. Pay attention to portion sizes – Take a “taste “ size portion rather than a full portion, especially when there are many items to sample. Use a smaller plate. Eat slowly, and enjoy the conversation & company rather than focusing on the food. This allows your brain to signal you are full before you overeat.

5. Release the stress – Holiday season is often a stressful season. Be sure to remember to take time to yourself throughout the day to sit back and relax. Whether its enjoying your favorite holiday symphony while sipping your morning coffee, going for a walk, or simply taking a few moments to be in prayer, time taken to yourself will be beneficial for your health throughout the rest of the day.

6. Incorporate Exercise – Exercise not only aids in stress reduction but also helps maintain weight. Thirty (30) minutes of moderate aerobic activity DAILY, is recommended for adults, by health professionals. When you exercise, you’re not only benefiting your body physically, but also mentally. According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercising releases endorphins, which act to decrease tension, elevate mood, and improve self-esteem and sleep! Daily exercise can be achieved easily and includes activities as simple as dancing, playing ball in the backyard, taking a brisk walk, or even gardening! Any activity is better than none. STAY ACTIVE!


Navigating Holiday Parties & Social Events

Whether you have food sensitivities or are trying to watch calorie intake, this time of year can be quite difficult. If you are hosting a holiday party, you obviously have more control over the selection and you can alter the menu to work with your gluten, dairy or other food allergies and can alter recipes to be more calorie conscious

Here are a few fun menu ideas:

– Fresh fruit and veggie platters are always appreciated. Use a dairy free ranch or hummus

– If you can do seafood, fresh seafood and sushi is wonderful gluten free, dairy free option and many grocery stores have pre-made platters.

– Sweet potato bar – set out mashed sweet potatoes with an ice cream scoop and fun margarita or martini glasses for serving. Include a variety of toppings like green onion, chopped bacon, dairy free or light cheese, grilled vegetables and shredded coconut and pecans.

– Soup bar – Choose soups with a variety of colors as well as tastes and ingredients to please meat eaters, vegans, gluten free and dairy free all at once!

– Beverages are always a big part of holiday gatherings. Make sure you have gluten free beer, wine without sulfites as well as a variety of juices and sodas for those designated drivers.

If you are attending holiday parties and not hosting, here are a few ideas to help you stick to your diet whether it’s gluten free, dairy free or if you are just watching your weight:

– Offer to bring something! This is especially great if it is an appetizer type party so you can just snack on your dish or offer to bring an alternate dish for a sit down dinner to ensure you have a full meal.

– Call the host a few days ahead to ask about the menu. Calling ahead is helpful so you are not bothering the host day of with questions and he or she can even modify a few recipes if needed.

– If you are more concerned with calories, having a fiber and protein filled snack before the party can help decrease the temptation to splurge. Black bean soup or a half turkey sandwich on gluten free bread would be great choices.

While dietary concerns like food sensitivities and trying to watch your weight can make the holiday season a challenge, with some advanced planning, you can truly enjoy the dinner and cocktail parties and the time with friends and family


Holiday Survival Strategy w High Protein

Here is the ONLY weight loss strategy to stick during the holiday season. Everything you do toward maintaining a healthy diet is great but if you can’t commit to anything else during this time, please commit to this:

Have 20 – 30 grams of protein at breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY.

 It’s simple, easy and cost effective.

From Oct. 20th until the New Year (or any 2.5 month period over a major holiday or life event) your goal is to just get through, with your focus being to add 20-30 grams of protein at your breakfast.

Here are some examples of protein sources with 6-30 gram protein per serving:

– 2 scoops of protein powder (24 gm.): pea, whey, soy, hemp (average 2 Tlbs. per 1scoop=12gm. protein) -put in a green vegetable / fruit smoothie

– 2 large eggs (14 gm.) or 1/2 cup of egg whites (13 gm.)

– 3 Tbs. of Hemp or Chia Seeds (10-11 gm.)

– 1 ounce of nuts or seeds – average: (6 gm.)

– 1 cup of cottage cheese (28 gm.)

– 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt (23 gm.)

– 6 oz. tofu (8 gm.) = one half of 12 oz. package

– 1 cup mature fresh soybeans (29 gm.)

– 1 cup other beans cooked (15 gm.)

– 3 ounces of fatty fish (22 gm.)

– 3 ounces turkey breast meat (30 gm.)

– 3 ounces lean beef (30 gm.)

That’s it. You have your mission. Think of how proud you will feel in just over 2 month’s time from now when you look in the mirror and realize that you achieved your goal.

Top 7 Tips to Stay Healthy at Work

Top 7 Tips to Stay Healthy at Work

With constant lunch meetings, endless candy bowls, office potlucks, birthday celebrations, and long hours it’s easy to fall off track of your healthy lifestyle at work. With our top tips to stay healthy in the corporate world you’ll be able to get back on the wagon (and stay on) in no time!


Bring your own food

Go grocery shopping just for healthy work foods and bring food you can store at the office to whip up quick and healthy lunches. An easy solution to office lunch is to be sure to cook a little extra dinner the night before and pack the leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Always have healthy snacks ready for those hunger emergencies during late nights at the office or afternoon snack attack.

Bring a large reusable water bottle to refill

If you have water at your desk then you are more likely to drink it. Bring a large reusable water bottle that you can keep refilling with the filtered water provided at your work.

Take the stairs

If you usually take the elevator opt for the stairs for an easy and quick way to fit more exercise in to your day. If possible, make it a habit to use the restroom on a different floor and take the stairs to get there. Making this small change can be a great way to stay active throughout the day.

Keep moving

Along with your new habit of taking the stairs, keeping moving throughout the day can make working at a computer so much healthier. One way to ensure you’re not sitting too long is to set a timer per hour to remind you to get up and walk around for at least five minutes. It can be a great physical break from sitting and a mental refresher to keep you productive throughout your day.

Go on walks

Bring some comfortable shoes to change in to and use your lunch break to move by taking a walk. A great way to make this a productive activity is to plan a “walking meeting” with your team where you can encourage your colleges to get some exercise and out of the office.

Set goals to stay on track

How long can you go without falling victim to the office candy bowl? How many glasses of water do you need to drink in a day? Making rules for yourself to follow throughout your day can help you stay on track of your healthy goals at work. Give yourself a daily water intake goal. See if you can go one day, one week, or longer without taking candy out of the office candy jar. Start small and work your way up to larger, harder goals.

It’s okay to say no

If you work in an office you know food can present an opportunity for office bonding. Master politely rejecting unhealthy food offered to you. After a while it will become very natural to you and your colleges will get used to bonding with you in other ways.

“I’m 27 years old and I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight. I regularly work out and didn’t think my diet was THAT bad but no matter what I did I always carried extra weight. I’ve been on pretty much every diet you can think of where I’ll lose the weight but the second after I stop “dieting” mode the weight comes back on. After years and years of this see saw affect with my weight I decided to get some professional help to not only tackle the weight once and for all but to also adopt a healthy lifestyle. I reached out to Donna for this.

During our first couple meetings she had me write down what I ate for every meal and how I felt.  we would review these food diaries at our monthly meetings. After I believe the second meeting she put together a diet plan for me. It was basically a list that laid out how many servings of what I should be eating in a day (veggies, starches, dairy, etc) and she provided a list of all of the different types of food and the calories count in a serving. She also provided a ton of recipes.  I then tracked my daily meals but on a different sheet where you count the number of servings you have of a particular item type and your sum for the day has to equal the ideal number of servings Donna lays out for you. For example, my servings are: 3 – grain, 2 – dairy, 3 – fruit, 8 – veggies, 7 – meat. Everything I eat in a day should sum up to these servings.

I met with Donna once a month for an hour. We’d review my food diaries for the month and go over a lesson plan. The lesson plans will consist of how your body processes different types of food or how to shop at the grocery store. How to deal with the mental thoughts associated with food, etc.

I went into this process not intending to view it as a new “diet” I was on but a lifestyle change. It took me quite a while to reach that goal but with Donna’s guidance I’m finally getting there. I’ve learned a great deal about how to have a healthy lifestyle without completely depriving myself. I also found that a lot of my issues were mental. Donna helped me to recognize these feels and helped me deal with them.

After work with Donna this last year I finally feel healthy both physically and mentally. I’ve lost about 20 pounds and don’t feel any desire to deviate from my healthy lifestyle. It’s amazing how much better your body feels when you put the correct ingredients into it.

I cannot recommend Donna enough. She’s great!”

Laura W. – San Diego, CA | October 2, 2017

Top 5 Running Spots in San Diego

With great year-round weather, San Diego is a runner’s paradise. We put together some of the best places for an outdoor run (or walk or bike) that has great scenery so you can enjoy a workout while taking in our city’s beautiful sights. We hope list this will inspire you to get out there and explore this runner’s playground!


Balboa Park

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Balboa Park is first on our list for a reason; it has so many running paths to offer with varying levels of difficulty and great views and scenery. With such a versatile layout, you can make your run at Balboa Park as short or as long as you would like. There are signs around the park with maps to a plethora of trails and paths and they even offer digital maps online. Once you experience a great Balboa Park run, there’s no question why it’s a favorite among San Diego locals.

More info.


Mission Bay

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Mission Bay is another beautiful spot on our list all about the scenery. It’s also another great “create-your-own run” location. There are many parking lots to start from around the bay that offer paths at varying lengths. Marathon trainers love this running spot because, at its longest, Mission Bay provides a loop that’s just over 12 miles. Insider tip: plan your run around sundown for a stunning sunset view during your run.

More info.


Torrey Pines

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Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve provides miles of coastal trails ideal for trail running. Enjoy a nice workout with a cool ocean breeze. You can plan your run on their website that provides an up to date map, current trail closures, and even current weather conditions.

More info.


Lake Murray

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Lake Murray reservoir is one of the most popular outdoor recreation areas in San Diego. Located within Mission Trails Regional Park, Lake Murray Path is about a 7 mile round trip route that can be accessed from multiple points. The entire path is paved with enough room for two-way traffic.

More info.


Silver Strand

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The Silver Strand State Beach falls along San Diego’s 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway recommended route from Downtown San Diego. Run down 5 miles of car-free, paved paths along the beautiful Silver Strand shoreline. This relatively flat route makes for a great weekend long run in the sun!

More info.


Tip: Be sure to stay hydrated throughout your day and especially before exercise. And if running during the day in the sun be sure to apply low-toxin sunscreen to exposed skin. Visit for great sunscreen reviews.

“I’ve been working with Donna for several months now.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to 10 sessions and pay upfront but it was for the best.  Because I prepaid, I’ve kept every appointment and each time, I learn more about how to handle my health issues.  Donna knows her stuff and I appreciate that she adds value to our every session not just through coaching but by providing  written materials from other sources.”

Michele L. – Escondido, CA | October 16, 2017

Top 10 Tips For Making Healthier Choices When Eating Out

Top 10 Tips For Making Healthier Choices When Eating Out


Look for lower-calorie offerings.

Some restaurants offer a “lighter” section of their menu. This can be helpful to choose smaller portion entrées. Just be careful and read nutritional facts when possible. Just because the meal is in that section doesn’t mean it’s balanced.


Have a plan. 

Look online at menus before you go to the restaurant. Make a plan for what you will order by looking at all the options and nutritional information. Get ready for what you will ask for from your waiter. If you know what you are going to order ahead of time, especially if you have menu substitutions, it will take a lot of stress out of the ordering process.


Don’t be afraid of asking for substitutions. 

If you see an item you want to order but it has a side or sauce you know you don’t want then ask for a substitution. Ask for steamed vegetables as a side instead of the starch option, ask for avocado instead of mayonnaise, or ask for oil and vinegar instead of dressing. Substituting can turn a plate you want to avoid into a nutritious and balanced meal.


When going out with friends ask if you can pick the restaurant. 

Some restaurants have more healthy options. If you can pick the restaurant then you can have more control over what choices you have.


Eat a light snack and drink plenty of water before you go. 

Eat a snack of nuts or cheese and drink extra water before you go. This will ensure you are not starving when you arrive at the restaurant and help to prevent overeating.


Always ask for dressing and sauces on the side. 

Sauces and dressings at restaurants can be sugar laden and calorie rich. Choosing to opt for a side can help you control how much you use.


Ask for a to-go box when you get your food–or share an entree. 

Portions at restaurants can be large enough for two or more meals. If you know you will not be able to stop halfway through, ask your serve for a to-go box when you receive your meal. Transfer half of your food and save it for lunch the next day. This is also a great way to stretch your budget and get 2 meals for the price of one.


Don’t drink your calories. 

Ask about herbal teas or mineral water even if they’re not on the menu. They can be a great substitution for other drinks on the menu that can be high in sugar and calories. When in doubt stick to what is natural in our bodies; water.


Get more information from your server

Don’t be afraid to ask your server about how a particular meal is prepared or what ingredients they contain. Often times there’s more that goes into a meal than what is written on the menu.


Although very tempting, try to eat out only occasionally. 

Even though eating out is very tempting, it is best if it is seen as a treat, not a routine. It can be a part of a healthy lifestyle if it is seldom and it isn’t seen as an opportunity to abandon all your healthy eating rules.




  4. Eating on the Go PDF, ©PLNW Inc. 2013 & Beyond