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Lean and Green: a clean, natural and organic choice

Go green.

Until now, it’s been universally recognized as the war cry for the environmental movement.

Now it’s the modus operandi of a new organic restaurant, Lean and Green, opening in La Jolla on Monday, Aug. 13.

Lean and Green is a 100-percent organic produce health bar serving up a wedge of youth, vitality and vitamins. Patrons can expect organic food including vibrant fruits, lush greens, healthy wraps, nourishing smoothies and natural antioxidant shots, all prepared fresh.

Lean and Green, designed by La Jolla-based David Robinson Design, Inc., will offer only USDA-certified organic produce free of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, genetic engineering, growth hormones or irradiation.

Special menu items at the new organic restaurant include protein shakes, smoothies and gourmet salads with a choice of up to 12 dressings, all made with organic ingredients free of sugar, wheat or gluten.

Company founder Miguel R. Patterson, a successful real estate expert and licensed Feng Shui practitioner who’s lived in La Jolla for eight years, said his goal in creating Lean and Green was to provide a quick-service, health-conscious, organic eatery. In so doing, he’s playing his part to help save the environment.

Knowing La Jollans as well as he does, Patterson knew there was an important niche in the food market that they needed and weren’t getting. “La Jollans need a fast, healthy and personalized food option just to keep up with their busy lives,” he said. “I wanted to create a mini version of Whole Foods in the Village, saving people the trouble of having to travel to UTC and back.”

Patterson said the two biggest reasons Americans give for not eating more healthy cuisine is convenience and time. “My goal is to make this convenient product in a timely fashion, made fresh in front of you with premium, organic products, going back to the good old days when you didn’t need extra preservatives or chemicals, going back to the naturalistic way of health. What we put in our bodies affects the way we look on the outside, and the way we ultimately feel.”

Food is not the only thing organic at Lean and Green. Even the packaging in which the food is served is all-natural. The restaurant uses only eco-friendly packaging which is renewable, sustainable, compostable and biodegradable.

Products include bowls made from fibrous waste after extracting sugar from the cane, cutlery made from 80 percent potato and 20 percent soy, cups derived from corn syrup and food boxes made from the Bulrush plant. Also, straws are made of cornstarch, unbleached napkins are made from recycled material and trash can liners are biodegradable. Even the firm’s business cards, when planted, will yield life in the form of wild flowers, as the cards are printed on seed-embedded recycled paper with soy-based ink.

Patterson pointed out most organic restaurants are only about 70 percent organic because of the availability of such products. “Right now when we open our doors, we will be 95 percent organic,” he said. “Our goal is to always move toward 100 percent.”

Making everything, even utensils, in the restaurant organic was quite an undertaking. Patterson said it took six months to put their paper products together. “Most products are only made in one factory in China,” he said.

At Lean and Green, customers will be presented with a full nutrition label offering valuable health facts and figures. Patterson said state-of-the-art software in his organic eatery will allow customers to be made aware of exactly what they’re consuming in their meal. He said: “Whether you build your own bowl, wrap, salad or house special, we will provide for you nutritional information, so you can hold yourself accountable to what dietary needs you might need on that meal. We are going to be showing you your fat, proteins and carbs, with extra organic food tips.”

If you order carrot juice, for example, Patterson said the receipt the customer receives will inform them of exactly why carrot juice is beneficial nutritionally. He added Lean and Green has a full-time staff nutritionist on-site to advise customers on their dietary needs.

Lean and Green’s motto is: “To serve the most natural form of nutrients that mother nature provides while educating the public to respect Mother Earth in return.”

The restaurant’s patio area seats 40. The organic health bar, however, anticipates most of its business will be take-out. Lean and Green will also deliver throughout La Jolla Village and the Bird Rock area.

Lean and Green is located at 7825 Fay Ave., Suite 180 across from the Sporting Club.

For more information call 858-459-LEAN.