When you’re in the mood to celebrate

With so many restaurants to pick from in Newport, it can be overwhelming to decide where to treat myself.  There is one restaurant, however, that always makes the list: Pasta Beach.

Located on Memorial Boulevard, this authentic Italian eatery is one of my all time Newport favorites. Open for lunch, dinner and take out, Pasta Beach has amazing pasta, pizza and sandwiches.  Last week, I decided to meet a friend to celebrate the end of midterm exams with big portions of Italian. As always, I was more than impressed.

Due to the special occasion, we decided to go all-out (remember, this is “all-out” on a college budget)! We started with the mouth-watering prosciutto de parma appetizer special.  The prosciutto was paired with fresh mozzarella, arugula and sliced roma tomatoes. I have always been a fan of prosciutto, but there is no comparison to the kind they serve at Pasta Beach. It is always freshly sliced and melts in your mouth. app

For Dinner, we decided to split a pasta dish and pizza.  I ordered the tagliatelle ragu and my friend ordered the vegetarian pizza . Ragu is basically a fancy name for meat sauce, but there is nothing basic about this dish.  The pasta comes out al dente and piping hot. I especially love the vegetarian pizza for its upscale toppings of eggplant, roasted red peppers and zuchinni.

attachment.ashx                                          pizza

Although I wouldn’t necessarily call Pasta Beach cheap, it is definitely affordable. Entrees and pizzas usually range from $11-$25 dollars.

Oh, and my one suggestion: Get there early, or make a reservation.  There is nothing worse than walking into Pasta Beach, smelling the aromas of fresh Italian, and then being told you have to wait for an hour. Talk about a tease!

How to solve a hunger meltdown

meltdownA hunger meltdown equals a bad mood. It happens to the best of us. You’re sitting in class, at work or on your way to the gym when you realize you have been SO busy that you accidently skipped your last meal.  Suddenly, hunger overwhelms you and food is all you can think about.  At this point, it is important to stop and realize what is actually taking over your body: a hunger meltdown.

There are several key steps that you need to follow before you waste your money and empty calories trying to figure out what it is that you actually want to eat.

1. EAT A SNACK! Even if it’s string cheese or a handful of almonds, this is key to clearing your head and solving your food meltdown. Otherwise, you are going to make a large purchase that your wallet and waistline will probably regret.

2. Avoid the grocery store. Stepping into a giant supermarket is going to be too overwhelming at this stage of your hunger. If you need to go grocery shopping, wait until you have eaten lunch, dinner or whatever meal you skipped. You will avoid spending a lot of extra money on groceries that you probably won’t end up eating.

3. Purchase one food item. Whether you go to a sit down restaurant, take-out eatery or sandwich shop, be realistic about what you are ordering.  Even though you may think you can eat an appetizer, salad and entrée, chances are you probably won’t finish them. Order one item, and if you are still hungry you can always get something else.

4. The quickest option may not be the best option. Fast food and take-out windows are tempting, but you’re probably going to regret your decision after the fact. There are obviously times when this is the only way to go, but try and take a moment to decide if its going to be worth it in the long run of your day.

The best way to avoid a hunger meltdown is to not let it happen in the first place. That, however, is just not always realistic. This semester, I have starting keeping granola bars, trail mix and bags of almonds in my backpack, purse and car. That way, if I do find myself having a hunger meltdown, I can eat a snack and clear my head before I decide what it is that I really want to spend my money on.

Where the healthy breakfast foods are hiding in Newport

As a full time student, finding the time to fit a healthy breakfast into my busy schedule is not always easy.  Regardless, I have made more of an effort to make sure I am eating a morning meal everyday (well, almost everyday). MSN’s 20 best foods to eat for breakfast provides a wide variety of the “best foods” to include in your daily breakfast to start the day off right.

Although most of the foods were pretty self explanatory, I was surprised to see some of the items. The entire list includes:

breakfast

1. Oatmeal
2. Greek yogurt
3. Wheat germ
4. Grapefruit
5. Bananas
6. Eggs
7. Almond butter
8. Watermelon
9. Flaxseed
10. Blueberries
11. Strawberries
12. Coffee
13. Tea
14. Cantaloupe
15. Kiwi
16. Orange juice
17. Cranberry juice
18. Cereal (no Fruit Loops!)
19. Raspberries
20. Whole wheat bread

I don’t know about you, but flaxseed, wheat germ and almond butter are not in my cupboards or at average to-go breakfast spots.  Thankfully, the Keenwah super food eatery on Broadway in Newport provides customers with almost all of the foods on MSN’s healthy living post.
keenwah
Keenwah is my go-to spot if I am feeling particularly unhealthy and in need of someone else to make my nutritious breakfast. The staff is always knowledgeable and willing to make suggestions if I am not quite sure what something is.  Trying Keenwah at least once is must, especially if you are trying to stick to MSN’s healthy living suggestions.