"Garden Bar Blog | Nutrition, health and our community "


Location Nine Now Open


Lake Oswego is ahead of schedule!
Just a few more tweaks and starting tomorrow, Monday June 11th, we'll be serving up big bowls of greens in the LO. 
Come grab your favorite salad at 345 1st Street #109, in the Lake View Village Mon-Sun 11:30-7:30pm.



Live Well Learn Well: The Science Edition




To Michael Hosking, the foremost goal of exercising is how it makes a person feel. This month GARDEN BAR is proud to host Michael from Revocycle as he presents The Science of Mindfulness and Aerobic Exercise for Mental and Physical Health.

Michael will discuss his background as a lifelong athlete, and struggle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. With a degree in biology and a PhD in evolutionary biology, he will explain how aerobic excercise can change the brain, reduce depression, and reduce the response to stress

Event Schedule: 
6:00 pm:
 Happy Hour Begins - Salad + Wrap Samples Galore! 
6:30-7:30 pm: Michael from RevoCycle will be speaking about: The Science of Mindfulness and Aerobic Exercise for Mental and Physical Health

Thursday, May 31st from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
GARDEN BAR Postal Building

 RSVP ONLY limited spaces!


Live Well Learn Well is a free educational series sponsored by GARDEN BAR. The series focuses on mental and physical well-being featuring local Portland health experts.



Give Back Friday: Girls on the Run

 Photo: IG @pdxcaralen

Photo: IG @pdxcaralen

We love programs that empower kids and get them moving - and Girls on the Run does both!
If you've never experienced one of their 5k events, you're missing out on a very specical experience. 🦄

The 10 week program inspires girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Trained coaches lead small teams through our research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Girls in 3rd-8th grade develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. It culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event. 

Finish the week by coming to any of our 7 locations to support GotR for #GiveBackFriday where $1 from each Our Classic salads will go to this amazing local non-profit.



Live Well Learn Well with HellaBella


April's Live Well Learn Well event covers 10 Easy Ways to Implement Whole30 with Kelsey and Amy of HellaBella Athletics.  As part of our Live Well Feature series, we talked to the dynamic duo about their personal routines: 

What does your weekly fitness routine look like? 

We have a very well rounded fitness routine and love exploring new avenues to stay active. We typically hit the gym for strength and cardio workouts, 2-3x per week. These can change depending on our program. We love HITT and functional movement training that gets our heart pumping and sweat dripping. We balance out our workouts with a lot of yoga to keep our core strong, body aligned and mental sanity. 

If you could only do one exercise/ movement which would it be and why?

Hands down, we would do squats all day! No this is not just for the booty gains. When performing squats your entire body is working as one unit to complete the movement.  This is a very natural movement as a human; we do this with perfect form without even thinking about it as a toddler. However as we age because of our busy lives, work environment and lack of activity this movement becomes labored with improper form.  Our bodies over time become misaligned which leads to dysfunctional movement and injuries. Long story short for the health of your entire body, practice safe squats. 

What foods are absolute in your diets? 

We are a little different in our staple foods items. Amy is all about the veggies and sweet potatoes! Which is exactly why she loves Garden Bar so much! Unlimited salad and toppings, sign her up for that! Kelsey loves a good salad, but also needs variety so she doesn’t get bored. Give her all the toppings including chicken, eggs, shrimp, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocado and top it with a sweet dressing and she is a happy girl. 

What foods do you most try to avoid?

We try steering clear of dairy and soy products. We have learned over time that our bodies to perform optimally when including these items. Although we deeply miss cheese and fro-yo! 

What quote of philosophy most resonates with you right now?

Love who you are. Seek balance in your journey and know where you are going. 

Any advice on hitting health goals?

Find one new healthy focus a week that you can implement. For example water, activity, cutting down sugar intake, etc. We often find in our clients, if they bite off more than they can chew, it leads to burnout and frustration. Master each new change and then move on to the next. 

Anything else you want to include?

Our deep rooted passion is pairing fitness and nutrition to help individuals create the happiest and healthiest versions of themselves.  We know this can be so overwhelming for people to take on alone, which is why we love coaching people through every step of the way. We love seeing the A-HA moments that ultimately change lives! 



Start the week off your way!

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Create your own salad with over 50 fresh ingredients offered daily.

🌿 ALSO did you know that our regular to-go containers are biodegradable? They are made from corn based compostable plastic and decay into natural materials. All the goodness to go with less waste. 🌱

📷 @e.c.holland ❤️



Spring Has Sprung at Garden Bar

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3 tasty new bowls + 8 fresh seasonal ingredients have arrived! 

POWER UP:  organic baby spinach, organic wheat berries, charred asparagus, roasted cauliflower, organic rainbow carrots, red onions, cilantro, curried yogurt dressing
Suggested add: roasted herb chicken.

PEAS + HAPPINESS:  butter lettuce, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, radishes, charred spring onions, shaved parmesan, almond nettle pesto vinaigrette. 
Suggested add: roasted pacific salmon fillet

RISING SUN:  organic baby spinach, napa cabbage, soba noodles, organic rainbow carrots, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, pickled golden beets, crispy onions, fresh herbs, miso sesame soy vinaigrette. 
Suggested add: organic baked tempeh

SPRING SEASONAL INGREDIENTS: sugar snap peas, pickled golden beets, charred spring onions, soba noodles, organic wheat berries, cilantro, almond nettle pesto dressing, charred asparagus. 

Enjoy the best of the spring harvest with us!

Order Online Now



Living Well with POINT Gym

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We continue to connect with inspirational Portlanders making a difference in the health and wellness segment. This month we got to speak with Kimberly, Melissa and Madeline of POINT Gym and Kitchen. 

1| Name, studio, role

We are Kimberly Alexander, Melissa Sher, and Madeline Schaefer of POINT Gym and Kitchen. We work as a team to address health from multiple angles. Kimberly and Melissa are the owners, founders, head coaches, and outdoor guides at POINT Gym and Kitchen. Madeline offers Holistic Yoga Therapeutics and Primal Vinyasa. All three of us are Nutritional Therapy Practitioners and offer individual nutrition services and workplace wellness presentations. 

2| What does your weekly fitness routine look like? 

Diversity in training is the key to long-term health and wellness. With strength, agility, MovNat, and Primal Vinyasa classes, POINT Gym provide the variety needed in an indoor training environment. We also recommend movement in the outdoors as a necessary part of your week. For us our week looks like POINT classes complemented by trail running, hiking, biking, or just playing around at a park like a kid might do! 

3| If you could only do one exercise/movement which would it be and why? 

This is an impossible question to answer because isolating movement to any one exercise would result in inefficiencies elsewhere. But if we HAD to pick one we would say weighted barefoot trail walking. Why? Because walking is really the "one" movement humans evolved to do every single day, and we are meant to walk for the purpose of collecting things to carry from one place to another. We would recommend starting with simple walking (in your shoes) - get outside and enjoy the day! Then graduate to barefoot walking, preferably on uneven terrain for even more neurological stimulation. Then walk with a variety of objects... a backpack, a kid, some kettlebells... Change it up and challenge your body to stabilize in different ways. 

4| What foods are absolutes in your diet? 

The only food that is an absolute for everyone is water. There are so many "superfoods" that come and go depending on market trends, but the truth is, kale isn't necessarily good for everyone. We each have our own bio-individual nutrient needs based on a variety of factors. The goal of Nutritional Therapy is to determine these needs to support optimal health for each unique person. Our personal diets consist of a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods... and let's be honest... some good coffee and super dark chocolate. ;)

5| What foods do you most try to avoid? 

Again, we try not to live in absolutes, but generally speaking, vegetable oils are inflammatory in the body and should be avoided by everyone. These would include canola, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil. If you are looking for a ready-to-consume "food" to avoid we would say that beverages such as soda, energy drinks, and commercial sports drinks disrupt your gut lining, spike your blood sugar, and actually dehydrate you.  

6| What quote or philosophy most resonates with you right now? 

Kimberly: Whenever you say no to something you are also saying yes to something else. 

Melissa: There is nothing more badass than being who you are. 

Madeline: There are no wrongs. There are no rights. There are only consequences. 

7| Any advice for hitting those 2018 health goals? 

Our main advice for your 2018 health goals is to steer away from making health a big resolution that you visit once or twice a year and instead make small, manageable changes over a longer period of time that will ultimately lead to health just being part of your lifestyle.  

8| Anything else you want to include! 

We believe health is an act of service. When we are strong and healthy it allows us to be present for those around us; we are better able to help when it is needed. Taking care of yourself is and always has been a part of life. Find what works for you; it looks different for everyone, but you should like what you do and it should make you feel good all day long!

Kimberly Alexander & Melissa Sher, NTPs
Owners/Head Coaches
POINT Gym and Kitchen



Keep the Good Going the Last Friday of Every Month


Over the last 3 months, you've helped us raise over $2300 for local non-profits just by eating healthy on Fridays. This Friday February 23rd, we partnered with New Avenues for Youth.

New Avenues for Youth is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and intervention of Portland's youth homelessness. Since 1997, our programs and services have impacted more than 20,000 young people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness as they work to overcome barriers, pursue their goals, and realize their potential. From supporting basic needs like meals and counseling to providing opportunities for education, job training, employment, and housing, we meet youth where they are—and help them get where they want to go.

Come in to any Garden Bar location the last Friday of every month and help keep the good going.
#givebackfridays #incommunitywetrust



Harness the Power of Your Mind...And Live Healthier

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They say diets don’t work, that you must make a lifestyle change, yet no one tells you HOW. 

Our Live Well Learn Well series continues with Fitlandia founder, Christa King, as she reveals how to harness the power of your mind to create lasting, lifestyle changes. In this powerful, workshop, you’ll learn the 4 cornerstones of fitness needed to release yourself from a reliance on sugar, alcohol and refined carbs and take control of your health and vitality. She’ll wrap her presentation with a live Mind Zoning® meditation so you can begin to unlock the mind-power you have waiting for you. #livewelllearnwell

Thursday Feb 8th at 6pm
GARDEN BAR Old Town, Portland Oregon

Full details and RSVP:




A Salad That's Sure to Peas


The Veggie Resolution features black eyed peas...but did you know that black-eyed peas aren't peas at all? They're protein rich beans that can help improve your digestion, lower blood pressure, support folate intake, and promote better skin and eye health.

Get the Veggie Resolution through the end of January at all GARDEN BAR locations.

Veggie Resolution: kale, purple cabbage, black eyed peas, winter squash medley, roasted mushrooms, Oregon hazelnuts, red onions, and topped with roasted bacon emulsion dressing.




Mental Strength and The Power of Momentum with Michael McCastle


Today, as part of our celebration of the PHENOMENAL PEOPLE of Portland who share Garden Bar’s commitment to health and wellness, real food and community we feature Michael McCastle of Evolution Healthcare & Fitness.

*Michael was our first Live Well, Learn Well speaker at the sold out Jan 12th event and will be talking again at the January 26th event: Mental Strength and The Power of Momentum

What does your weekly fitness routine look like?

When I am not training for a specific event, I try to keep it simple and work to achieve and maintain an optimal combination of strength, endurance and mobility. A Week of training typically includes:

  • 2 Long Slow Distance (LSD) workouts for both running and swimming

  • 1 Long Interval workout for both running and swimming

  • 2 High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions

  • 2 Strength Training Sessions for upper body and lower body consisting of calisthenics and compound movements.

  • Multiple stretching/mobility sessions

  • Focus on injury resistance

  • Occasional cross-training (i.e. long hike with 40-60lb ruck sack)

If you could only do one exercise/movement which would it be and why?

If I could do only one movement, it would indubitably be the conventional deadlift. You’d be hard pressed to find another compound movement that more effectively conditions the mind and body, as a system, to adapt to physical stress placed upon it. There are few other exercises that produce the amount of central nervous activation, improved bone density, balance, strength and psychological demand than a correctly executed deadlift.

What foods are absolutes in your diet?

Spinach/kale, lean meats, bananas, beets, eggs and gummy bears

What quote or philosophy most resonates with you right now?

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” –Marcus Aurelius

Any advice for hitting those New Year’s health goals?

Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. Don’t get so wrapped up in the outcome that it becomes a distraction. Just focus on laying the next brick. Don’t overestimate the importance of reaching your goal and underestimate the importance of the process it takes to get there. The bricks are your daily habits and actions that make up the process. The process is greater than the goal. Just lay the next brick. That is how empires are built.

Anything else?

I would like to personally offer 15% off Individual Training (normally $75/hour) sessions and Warrior Goal Setting Consultations (normally $59) to all Garden Bar customers that mention this feature at sign-up.

Thanks Michael!

Mike McCastle, CPT, PES, MSPC
Evolution Healthcare & Fitness
Sport Performance Specialist and Mental Strength Professional Coach



In two months you have helped us raise over $1700 for Portland non-profits!

ne portland emergency food

Let's keep it going.
This month, our January Give Back Friday proceeds go to support the Northeast Emergency Food Program.

The Northeast Emergency Food Program meets the urgent food and clothing needs of our Portland area neighbors, many of whom are homeless or undocumented. In addition to meeting the pressing needs of these neighbors, NEFP also works to develop community solutions to secure access to adequate, affordable, and healthy food. NEFP grounds their work in the belief that nutritious food is a basic human need and a building block for a healthy life of possibility.

Come in this Friday January 19th, enjoy a healthy meal and help support local Portland organizations doing good in our community.

#eatwelldogood #incommunitywetrust




Live Well, Learn Well: Mental Strength and Goal Setting Event


We are excited to launch a new series of free educational and motivational health talks. Kicking off our first Live Well, Learn Well talk in January, Michael McCastle of Evolutionary Healthcare & Fitness will speak about Mental Strength and Goal Setting.

The event will be held at our Division location and will include complimentary salad and wrap bites, hot apple cider and Fire Brew samplings.

Don't miss this amazing talk that will leave you feeling excited and confident about your goals.  *There will be limited space so please RSVP below.

RSVP: Friday Jan 12th @ 5:30

Michael is a Certified Sport Performance Specialist, Mental Strength Professional Coach, Certified NLP Practitioner and Published Author with over a decade of experience working with recreational to top-level athletes competing at national and international levels.  

2045 SE Division Street, Portland OR 97202






Get creative with your favorite salads and bowls!



We tried the Farmhouse winter bowl with spinach in place of romaine and cranberries for chives. So good! 
What is your favorite ingredient swap?

The Farmhouse is one of three seasonal grain bowls available at all seven Portland locations.




Release Your Inner Beast (and feel great!) with Shay Emmons.


We continue to celebrate the PHENOMENAL PEOPLE of Portland who share Garden Bar’s commitment to health and wellness, real food and community. Each month, we interview some of Portland’s amazing individuals who, in their own special way, inspires us to lead healthier lives and strengthens our community.
This month we wanted to showcase a dynamo that will help you build your inner AND outer strength - Shay Emmons, Owner/Head Trainer of the NE Portland based Inner Beast Strength and Conditioning

*Bonus for Garden Bar Customers: Mention Garden Bar and get free assessment and/or a 20% discount on any 6 month training package with Shay. Thanks Shay!

GB: What does your weekly fitness routine look like, Shay?
SE: I typically do 4 days of very heavy lifting, and maybe 10 minutes of HIIT or bike sprints once a week. (Very little cardio, you might notice!) I also walk everywhere!

If you could only do one exercise/movement which would it be and why?
Deadlifts, because they keep my glutes and abs strong, which in turn keeps my spine healthy and pain-free. Also, there are so many variations on this movement that you could easily build an entire workout from it.

What foods are absolutes in your diet and why?
Lots of veggies, and veggie alternatives to meat. Having a high protein intake is important when you’re doing strength training, and a wide variety of veggies ensures that you’re also getting a wide variety of nutrients.

What foods do you try to avoid and why?
I’ve managed to kill my sweet tooth, and that’s been the single most impactful habit in maintaining my weight, but more importantly my health. Sweet treats also just tend to open the flood gates for other bad habits, so it’s helped a lot with various other cravings as well.

What quote or philosophy most resonates with you right now?
“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it.”

Any advice for hitting those New Year’s health goals?
The reason most people fail at New Year’s resolutions is this: Big ambition, little follow-through. Instead of making a big, huge, unrealistic and unsustainable goal, choose one small, realistic habit at a time. Work on it for a month, and ONLY when you’ve succeeded in making it second nature, build another habit. Do this for a whole year, and you’ll have 12 months of success instead of 2 months of failure.

Anything else you want to include?
I think strength training is one of the best ways to get out of your comfort zone and see what you are really capable of. The mental toughness that develops with it has changed my life drastically, and has done the same for so many people I’ve worked with. I know I’m able to handle anything life throws at me, I have unshakeable confidence, and I feel like I’m really living my best life. Every day I do something that my body thanks me for, and I’m adding quality years to my life, and helping others do the same. It’s been amazing helping people fully realize the potential—not just in fitness, but in life—that they never knew they had!

Thanks Shay!
Check out Shay on her Instagram feed.



Let's Start a Veggie Resolution!


The January salad special will make keeping those healthier eating resolutions even easier. This one is full of hearty and nutritious goodness: kale, purple cabbage, black eyed peas, winter squash medley, roasted mushrooms, Oregon hazelnuts, red onions, and topped with roasted bacon emulsion dressing. Yowza!
The Veggie Resolution is available all January at all 7 Portland locations.



Soup is On!


Have you tried the French Onion soup yet? Caramelized onions, beef broth, house made parmesan crouton and served with a fresh Grand Central Bakery roll. Try our trio of rotating daily flavors all winter long.

Make it a sweet savory deal: cup of soup + your favorite Garden Bar salad creation.