One of my favorite things about being a registered dietitian at Zesty, a leading office catering company in the SF Bay Area, is the opportunity to be part of such an amazing team of dietitians. We are all lovers of food and we aren’t shy when it comes to challenging each other’s views about nutrition-related issues. I recently surveyed the team on a few fun questions ranging from office snacking to travel. Check out what we had to say to get to know us a little better!
1. What is your go-to healthy snack?
Alex: “I may get some warranted eye-rolls for this answer – roasted vegetables! I tend to make a big dinner on Sunday evenings and roast a few different veggies to eat throughout the week. (My secret is to buy the pre-cut vegetables from Whole Foods, cutting my effort to a minimum.)”
Heather: “Currently I’m digging siggi’s yogurt. I love all of their flavors I’ve tried so far (which are most!), but my favorites are orange ginger and strawberry rhubarb. Greek yogurt is a great protein-packed snack. Siggi’s yogurts are higher in protein than sugar, but when I’m not eating Siggi’s I always opt for a plain greek yogurt. I love mixing sliced almonds or sunflower seeds into my yogurt for crunch.”
Kelsey: “I LOVE peanut butter! My favorite pairing is apple slices + peanut butter but I’ll also eat it with bananas, celery or chia seed pudding (the sweet/salty combo is the best afternoon pick me up). Also, the fiber-rich fruits and veggies paired with the healthy fats in the peanut butter help keep me feeling full and energized longer throughout the rest of the day!”
Sonja: “I always go for a handful of roasted, mixed nuts. It’s very simple, but that’s why it’s my go-to! Mixed nuts taste great, are filling and include all the important macronutrients – protein, fiber and healthy fats. One handful is a perfect portion (about 1 oz, or 1/4 cup).”
2. Where is the most beautiful place you’ve visited?
Alex: “Orcas Island, Washington. My parents rented a cottage on this island every summer when I was growing up, so there is an acute nostalgia associated with this place. The San Juan Islands are the quintessential PNW summer experience – oysters, orcas, crab pots, and biking on windy coastal roads… simply the best.”
Heather: “It’s a toss up between Alaska and Burma. Alaska might be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. I’m going back in March to watch the Iditarod, eat lots of king crab, and I’m hoping to see some Northern Lights this time! Burma is so authentically rugged and untouched by tourism – it was definitely the most unique trip I’ve taken. Nothing like going a week without plumbing to open up your eyes to the world!”
Kelsey: “Maui! I’ve always been a beach girl, so for me, there’s nothing better than the warm sun, my toes in the sand and the sound of the ocean. Having grown up in the Bay Area, the beaches near Santa Cruz were never far away and my friends and I would go every chance we got. When I was lucky enough to make the trip out to Maui, I learned that nowhere else can compare to the beauty, weather and laid back lifestyle!”
Sonja: “I love traveling and am always up for an adventure! One of my local favorite places is Yosemite. Before going, everyone told me how beautiful it was and I didn’t entirely believe it until I saw it. The hiking trails, waterfalls, and overall scenery is breathtaking! It’s a great place for a long weekend away to recharge and disconnect from the busy day-to-day.”
3. What is your favorite restaurant in SF?
Alex: “My lovely RD colleagues and I may all have the same answer to this question – SOUVLA. I have a standing Thursday evening girls date at the Hayes Valley location and love to eat this food in any season. While experimenting with the Whole30 diet, I ate at Souvla at least twice a week!”
Heather: “If every other RD didn’t say Souvla, you know that’d be my answer! The best dining experience I’ve had in SF was at In Situ, the restaurant inside of the SFMOMA. The restaurant’s unique concept recreates the dishes of high-profile chefs at restaurants all over the world. My favorite dish was “The Forest” by chef Mauro Colagreco of France in 2011. The dish is crafted, both in taste and look, to reflect the woods outside of his restaurant on the French Riviera. It features quinoa risotto, seasonal mushrooms, and a parsley “moss” (think parsley juice spongecake) – my tastebuds were dancing!”
Kelsey: “Tacolicious (although the other RDs will probably say Souvla!) Mexican cuisine is my absolute fave and I fell in love with Tacolicious about five years ago when I first moved to SF. From their deliciously fresh margaritas to street tacos and guacamole, it’s one restaurant that I’m always in the mood for.”
Sonja: You’ve probably already heard this, but Souvla is one of my absolute favorites! Anotherfavorite is ICHI Sushi. I could eat sushi almost any day, and I love that they focus on offering sustainable seafood. You can’t go wrong with the chef’s selection you get with the omakase spread!”
4. How do you like to stay active?
Alex: “I am an endorphin-addicted runner. My favorite run of the week is Tuesday morning, when I run along the Embarcadero and watch the farmers set up their stands at the Ferry Building.”
Heather: “I just got back into swimming and have fallen completely in love with the sport all over again. I took a bit of hiatus after swimming competitively in high school and for exercise in college, but I’ve come back with guns blazing! I joined the masters swim team at USF and have been going about twice a week. It’s the perfect cross training for the marathon training I started last month. I have my first swim meet in a few weeks – wish me luck!”
Kelsey: “Mt Burdell hiking trails in Novato – I love exercising outdoors! I moved to Marin a few months ago and have been exploring the many hiking trails that Main has to offer. Mt Burdell in Novato is my new favorite because there are many different trails available and range from easy 1-3 mile trails to more difficult, longer trails with varying inclines.”
Sonja: “My go-to exercise is running, and my favorite place to run is Golden Gate park. The scenery in the park is stunning – on a typical run I pass waterfalls, the rose garden and several beautiful museums. On the weekends I extend the run and often go all the way to the beach before looping back around. I feel incredibly spoiled to be able to run there year-round!”
We love the work we do, including partnering with local restaurants, to bring our clients the best quality office catering for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As Zesty RDs, we are involved in the food we serve from start to finish. We meet directly with our chef partners to go over recipes to ensure that the best quality ingredients are used. We use these recipes to conduct nutrition analysis with our own in-house software to determine the macronutrient content of each dish. This information is displayed on our nutrition cards, alongside all ingredients, at each catered meal we serve. We’re also responsible for planning menus for our clients, making sure to include a wide array of healthy and delicious dishes that meet a variety of dietary restrictions and preferences.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know the Zesty RDs! We loved sharing some of our favorites with you and look forward to bringing you fun and engaging content in the future. Happy, healthy Monday!