El Cubano Made Its Way to San Francisco 😋🇨🇺

El Cubano Made Its Way to San Francisco 😋🇨🇺

I probably should have had a full meal before attempting to write my review on Media Noche. Because, although I just had a little snack, my mouth waters as I think back and remember the El Cubano I had…not once, but twice now. 

To be honest, the reason I ended up at Media Noche wasn’t because I was on the hunt for delicious cuban food, nope, it also wasn’t for its hip interior or even its music selection (un poco de salsa). What has given this gem an extra bit of fame on Insta and with the social SF locals has been a wall of art outside its Mission restaurant (by Fnnch)…I’m talking about the pink flamingos! I know you’ve seen them. 

So, after deciding that I’d gather my gals to go and take a totally Instagram worthy pic at Media, I checked out their site & quickly realized the whole place was dope. Tile flooring, vibrant colors, banana wallpaper…it’s all so pretty, the flamingos just draw you in!

But, back to the food! I had El Cubano which is made up of roasted mojo pork shoulder, smoked ham, swiss, pickles & mustard. I’m kinda hooked now, the second time I had it was actually after looking back at a picture of it on my computer; I couldn’t resist (delivery, no shame). However, I have yet to have their special–the Media Noche sandwich, a hot, pressed Cubano with ham, pork, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. Yup! And, they also serve alcohol, I had the sangria, refreshing and oh so tasty!

Now, while everything I’ve probably written up until now sounds great & appetizing I’m sure, the reason I wanted to share and support this specific restaurant, is for its uniqueness. It’s easy to find a burrito place in the Mission, because this city was once a magnet for Mexican immigrants who created the now famous burrito not too far from this location. But, what Media Noche brings to the city is some Caribbean flavors that were once rare on the west coast and I can’t wait to work my way through their menu and try some more!

So until then, ¡provecho!

Any other local recs? Always open to checking ’em out. Feel free to shoot me an email or a tweet @Joanna_Renteria. 

Photography by: Sindoora Satyavada

Eating Meat Again…Pros & Cons

Eating Meat Again…<b>Pros & Cons</b>

April of 2017, I would have reached my six years as a pescatarian (yikes)…and based on the title of this blog, we all know that didn’t happen. Boo! I blame it on the carnivore bf. 👎🏼

Just kidding…

Real talk now. I’m still not sure if my decision was the right or wrong one or if giving up meat was ever really necessary. What I can say however, is how the past few years and now months have been, how changing a diet so drastically affected me in a good and not so good way. What not eating meat and now eating meat again has done for my body, mind & lifestyle. ‘Cause, let’s be honest…it wasn’t easy! Not when you grew up eating meaty meals and delicious Mexican food (tacooooos 🙌🏼)! It’s still not easy.

So, if you’re thinking about it…if you’re curious to know, I share some of the pros and cons of switching up the diet & trying something new below. Let’s go!

PROS

Restrict Yoself, Girl

Portion control, it’s so so very important. Giving up meat meant I had to explore new ways of eating…new places to eat & that meant no fast food. #winning

Luckily, I was living in Los Angeles at the time…looking for vegetarian places to shop and/or eat also meant shopping at healthier spots, this was all for the good. While it may be a little bit pricier, you do learn to pick and choose what you eat and therefore skip out on unhealthy snacks and unnecessary foods.

Learn About Your Bodyyyy

What fills you up, what makes you and your body happy…these are all important. Every year I completed as a pescatarian, I felt more educated on the topic of food and diet, even fitness. I needed to know what gave me the right energy to perform and tone up. For example, the first year I ate a lot of soy and tofu, I learned how to substitute it for meat and complete meals as if I was eating the same…this wasn’t the healthiest idea and I quickly learned it wasn’t what I wanted to continue doing; I then learned what I wanted to substitute as protein and that sometimes food wasn’t enough, I needed supplements.

Get Down in The Kitchen

My first month as a pescatarian, I dropped ten pounds. I wasn’t planning on losing weight and I hadn’t given up meat to lose any either. What happened was that I was cooking, two or three meals a day instead of eating out and not knowing what was going into my body. I am no chef (ask around), but I can get by and thanks to a change of diet…I know how to prep some stuff without a recipe or without having to go completely out of my way.

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CONS

Blah…Low in Energy!

The second or third month of my new diet, I had moved to a new city and I was riding my bike a lot. I clearly remember having to take one or two naps a day…whaaaaa?! I had never been the type of person to nap, I actually kinda hate it. I did some research, spoke to a few people & I learned that by simply taking some B12, I was giving my body the fuel it needed…but, I went three or four months without knowing that. It was tough!

Give Me Carbs

Biggest problema any vegetarian or pescatarian will face in the first month or so of giving up meat…substituting protein with carbs! Nooooo, SMH! Luckily, I’m not big on eating bread at all times of the day, but even after the first or second month of my diet change, I would find myself craving pastas to fill my tummy…so not the thing to do. Still something I’m working on.

No Meat? Mo Problems

It’s as if giving up meat means you will forever be the topic of conversation at any dinner party… “What? Why? How? Are you sick? No…” aaahhhh…it’s a bit of a challenge doing the no meat thing and then going over to any dinner party or any party for that matter. Then, there’s traveling.  When you’re used to finding vegetarian spots to eat at, you’ll find yourself a little lost when you’re somewhere where there aren’t any. No meat can be mo problems. 

So, there you have it…the pros & cons. While I didn’t make it to my six years as a pescatarian, can’t say for sure I never will. I am grateful for having tried something different, regardless of the challenges and for making it soooo damn far. As for now, I have learned that cooking is always a better option, and everything is best when balanced. My goals to be healthy are the same…I try to only eat good meat (grass fed) & I’ve been staying away from carbs and any processed foods. As for advice, I always say “give it a try” and you’ll eventually learn what works for you and what doesn’t.

Until next time.

XO, Jo

New City, New Me?

New City, New <b>Me</b>?

New city, new me…how cliché of me (hence the question mark). But yes, new city, that one’s true. For those of you who know me or those friends who share my IG Stories and Snap adventures with me, you’ve probably witnessed some of my transition, if not all. For everyone else, last year I made a choice of moving back to the good ol’ bay, the city I once lived in back in my “heeeey” day (like how I did that?). So, shortly after celebrating my four years in Los Angeles, I was on my way to San Francisco.

Now, back to the new me part…there’s no newness to me really but it feels that way sometimes. Returning to a city I had done a lot of growing in, coming back around this time, things felt new and better. This could also have to do with the fact that I am returning as a grown woman (sorta)…29, almost and this time around I’m no college sorority girl living wild & free…(for the most part). You know when you get to a point in your life and you start reflecting… like, “what was I thinking back then?” and then you begin loving and accepting yourself for who you truly are and are actually thankful for the bumps you’ve encountered? Yah, that’s sorta where I am now. I feel new…

Now, a resident of San Francisco and a sorta grown woman…I sit at a café, the one down the street from my apartment. Laptop open, coffee by my side and I sit and think…what am I really getting to? What has really made me change? Where am I at now (mentally and emotionally)? After a few minutes of pacing back and forth and a lot of latte sipping, I listed some of the answers below. What have I learned so far, in my 20s and what will I take with me to my 30s? Here we go…

1. No one will love you enough…

“Geeze, way to set the tone!” Right?…but no, really. No one will ever love you enough, only you can do that for you. Additional love is always welcome and will only bring more love and joy to you, but it all starts from within. I learned this one a few years back, I was single. It took a lot of soul searching and heart break to get this one, to fully understand. Now, happy in love…I can only say it’s 100% true.

2. Nope, you’re not where you want to be…that is OK.

After a career change a few years back, I felt that I needed to start up again and it felt quite frustrating. “If I had stuck it out, I’d probably be a whole lot more successful than I am today”…I would tell myself. While that could be true, I know 100% that I would not be happier. Things change, passions change, you always have to follow your heart and listen to your gut… things will eventually play out the way you never thought they would, just trust. 😉

3. Traveling really is everything!

I think it has to do with the fact that I am the daughter of two very hardworking immigrants, but for a very long time, I thought work was all I needed to do and invest my time in. Travel was always something I wanted to do but never saw it as a priority…after taking a few trips here and there and big ones across seas; I’ve begun to see life very differently. I’ve felt the happiest (no pair of gucci’s can give you that). It’s motivated me and given life a different meaning…more living, more to share.

4. It all comes from within…

This one is a lot like number 1…but there’s gotta be a lot of emphasis on this one, it’s important. I’ve been investing a lot of my time and efforts to eating clean, balancing things out, and working out consistently. The moment I stop or I make a bad choice, it all comes tumbling down…it’s simple. Start taking care of yourself, for real… you’ll see everything start working out.

5. You never ever stop learning and growing!

I come across this one every so often… I do a lot of self-growth and entrepreneurial reading. After reading it so many times, I  began to actually pay attention to what it meant and how it affected me. I took notes, I opened up my mind a little, at work and with relationships…a little reminder never hurt anyone. Take a moment to stop and listen.

As I take the last sip of my latte and a last glance at my blog…I feel some sort of relief. I missed blogging, I missed sharing, reflecting, and writing it all down. As I settle in my new city and make it home again, I want to share even more. Stay tuned, I promise…there will be so much more.

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Questions, comments? Show me some love in the comments or shoot me a tweet, @Joanna_Renteria. XOXO

Photography by: Sindoora Satyavada