Local Food Trucks of the Sacramento Area

Sacramento is known as the City of Trees, but it should also be noted as one of the top culinary hot-spots in the United States. From dine-in establishments to vendors, Sacramento has it all. COVID-19 changed the way we eat out and took a toll on dine-in establishments due to social distancing along with forced shutdowns

This knowledge brings one question to mind: What about food trucks? They have the ability to keep customers outside, safely distanced from each other, along with being on the move constantly so they reach an even broader community. According to the United States Census Bureau, food trucks have been on the rise for quite some time now and even more so because of social distancing (Hait).

Sacramento offers food trucks with various international cuisines. From Mexico to the Philippines, these food truck owners give you a taste of home. As you read this article, you’ll see the various options our local areas have available!

Written and photographed by Jessica Shona-Stewart 

Jessica Shona-Stewart is a Journalism major at Sierra College currently working from Folsom. She is preparing to transfer to Sacramento State University for the upcoming spring semester to complete her Bachelor’s degree.

Finding the Balance: College, Health, and the Gym

Many college students struggle to find a healthy balance in their academic lives. Between staying in shape by going to the gym and pursuing higher education, students will often compromise their living for schoolwork. It can feel like an impossible endeavor considering the amount of coursework being piled on students during the average college semester. But students can learn some simple truths of healthy living from professionals.

Exiting the center stage of the octagon, a professional Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter and full-time fitness coach training out of Rocklin CA, Orion “Galaxy” Cosce shares his knowledge of how to take care of your mind and body as a busy college student.

“It doesn’t matter how busy I am, I need to try to get at least one gallon of water a day, I need to be able to eat the proper nutrition.”

There is no doubt that finishing college coursework is important, but when it starts negatively affecting a student’s mental health to finish an assignment, it raises the question of how students can incorporate a healthier lifestyle into their schooling. The answer to this question is complicated and imperative on the individual, but if it was easy everyone would be doing it by motivating themselves to go to the gym.

Schoolwork and Health, Evaluating Priorities

Motivation is the keyword when students apply every ounce of energy into completing classwork. Many students are highly motivated in pursuing and attending college but at a cost. Common examples highlighted by the award-winning publication LiveScience found frequent health defects like sleep deprivation, depression and stress are present in dangerously high quantities among college students. And it’s no wonder students are having these health defects when everything, sometimes even eating, has to be put aside in order to finish an assignment.

A lot of kids, they, you know, survive off of like noodles and stuff like that, they start to eat only once a day…They’re not really getting the water intake that they need… they kind of lack on the sleep because they’re, you know, most kids are taking Ritalin to try to help them stay awake and do all their academic studies. But the problem is they’re actually taking a negative health turn,” Cosce said.

There needs to be a new evaluation of priorities. While turning in school work on time is important, sleep and nutrition are vital parts of a student’s success. The benefits of a healthier lifestyle aren’t just in a student’s physical well-being, but also a mental one. For example, the most common effect of sleep deprivation is a disruption in the brain’s ability to perform and carry out tasks such as studying for that upcoming exam. A healthier outlook to a student’s living would help their academics in the situation, not just get in the way.

These health defects are common enough that students have surely noticed them on their own, and some students reading this are probably experiencing them at this moment. So where are the solutions? Here is our professional fighter’s advice. 

Multiple Paths to A Healthy Lifestyle

How do you go to the gym when you are constantly busy? What exactly should I be doing at the gym or at home? Do I have to be there for hours? Students who may not be initiated in the land of exercise have all of these questions and more when they think of going to the gym. Cosce has answers to many of these questions: 

If your college has a gym, take one hour of your time, or 30 minutes of your time. If you’re doing a high-intensity workout, no more than 30 to 40 minutes. If you’re doing a strength program, no more than an hour to an hour and a half and literally, that’s all you need once a day, and you’ll feel a lot better and a lot healthier.”

So the expert fighter tells the average college student to start with thirty minutes a day, that’s the time needed to begin. What should a student be doing in those thirty minutes? Well, that’s the more personal part as every individual’s needs and health goals will be different. The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to the Gym goes down the list of times to go, what to wear, explanations of the machines in a typical gym, and even personal health conditions to consider when deciding to exercise.

Although the article presents material for beginners, it includes valuable information on specific machines and when to use them, as well as tips for any aspiring health nut. Almost everything is handed to you when analyzing this information, the next step is to apply these forms of guidance into action, and Cosce has lots of guidance on action.

You just want to get a good workout in and just find yourself a good area where you’re going to either A) have friends to go with you to help push you if you need that or, you know, maybe a potential personal trainer, or B) if you have that self-motivation already, you just got to remember, take 30 minutes to an hour every day to get that training session in.”

Orion Cosce training at the Urijah Faber UFC Gym in Rocklin CA, Nov. 12, 2020. Photo provided by Liana Cosce.

As a professional fighter, Cosce goes through the motions of training and exercising in preparation for a fight knowing that his health is imperative to his success. In the form of a role model, he wants students to be aware of the benefits of going to the gym as a whole, not just for the octagon.

He knows what it takes to achieve goals that at first seem out of reach, with each and every fight preparing him to move on to the next step when a new opponent appears. He applies the same principle to a college student’s time management and constant planning to prepare them for an upcoming assignment.

It takes more than the average work of consistently going to the gym to be a fighter like Cosce, but not everyone has to train or religiously go to the gym. It’s important to take care of both your mind and body by practicing good habits now, such as having a proper sleep schedule and eating three meals a day.

Cosce lives by a schedule that is best suited for him to eventually knock out any opponent that comes his way. From proper sleeping habits to meal prepping, he takes calculated steps in preparation for upcoming fights. As a personal trainer, he helps others achieve individual goals by guiding them to success.

As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

Only students themselves can make the change to a healthier lifestyle. Remembering to eat and sleep are necessities to continue living a happy and hopefully, less stressful life through college. Cosce hopes that his example can help others looking for success in health and college achieve their goals.


Editor’s Note

If you’re looking to improve your own health while enrolled at Sierra, the College has athletic facilities to support its many student teams and they typically have open hours for general student use. There are also classes to support holistic learning such as yoga and meditation that are offered every term. Find them offered online and on-ground in the class schedule. Turn to the Kinesiology department and the course listings under “KIN” for courses like these along with weight-lifting, dance, and others. Students have access to health services through the Health Services department that offers support for mental, emotional, and physical health. Sierra College provides assistance with immunizations, injury evaluation, mental health resources including counseling, as well as food aid to support a healthy life-style through the on-campus food pantry. Most students also qualify for CalFresh and a Wolverine Meal Deal.


Angel Chavez is a Journalism Major at Sierra College from Rocklin. He plans to transfer in 2022 and continue in the Major.

Written by Angel Chavez | Featured Photo by Katelyn Vengersammy

SilverLinings with Johnathan Rutz

Everyone has rough days, everyone has hard times, and everyone is more than happy to share them. But these seem to be all we talk about now! So, in an attempt to bring about more good feelings in everyone, we here at SilverLinings have devoted our show to seeking out peoples’ internal optimists.

We asked people for their real-life silver linings on a range of topics all in the hopes of brightening up the day. So whether you’re listening for a good feeling morning wake-up, or a late-night boost of optimism, you’re sure to find something here in peoples’ SilverLinings.

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Enjoy Life: A Teaspoon Story

Teaspoon business owners, Roseville

In this 5:32 minute video, Enjoy Life: A Teaspoon Story, married couple and owners of Teaspoon Roseville, Asa Yuan and Leo Ji, discuss the successes and challenges they have faced this past year while opening. The couple talks about their inspiration for opening Teaspoon Roseville, how they separate and share responsibilities, the effects of Covid-19 on their timeline, and the biggest struggle they have faced as Asian business owners in America.


Author photo, Aviana Loveall, smiling young woman with long wavy hair.
Aviana Loveall is a Communication Studies major at Sierra College from Roseville. Her interest areas include fashion and pop culture news.
  Produced and Reported by Aviana Loveall

The Avi Loveall Show: Style on the Street

Concert-goers talk outside to Aviana Loveall

In this 6:30 minute video, Aviana Loveall discusses Harry Styles fans’ fashion and interviews local fans at the Harry Styles, Love On Tour concert at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Nov. 10, 2021. The video includes Instagram features of fans who attended the concert at other west coast locales as well as interviews conducted by Loveall with fans waiting in line for the concert in Sacramento. Fans discuss how Harry has inspired their style and how he has encouraged them to have confidence in creating unique outfits.

Editor’s Note: This video is the first show in a series on popular culture and fashion. Aviana Loveall wrote and scripted the show, conducted interviews on-ground and online, and recorded, edited, and produced the video. Loveall makes use of a green screen and applies video-journalism and webcasting techniques. Background music, “Know Myself,” by Patrick Patrikios, drawn from the 2021 YouTube Library. Camera assistance on site provided by Ethan Phipps.

Author photo, Aviana Loveall, smiling young woman with long wavy hair.
Aviana Loveall is a Communication Studies major at Sierra College from Roseville. Her interest areas include fashion and pop culture news.

Produced and Anchored by Aviana Loveall 

Sacramento Dance Company Takes the Stage

Dancers posed together

As COVID-19 persisted throughout the past two years, artists have struggled to share their work with others face-to-face. Having to resort to the Internet as a mechanism to share their work in a time where people could not gather, artists have had to drastically adapt to create their artistry live. Perhaps one of the groups that have had to adapt the most is the performing arts.

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An Alternative For Everyone

Cheesecake with pomegranate seeds on top

There’s a saying on how people don’t tend to appreciate what they have until it’s taken away from them. I didn’t really start to appreciate dairy products until I first got the news that I would have to cut them all out of my diet. Having been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome/Disease (IBS/IBD), I should have been happy to finally have something that would make my life on the regular, easier. Instead, I thought of cheesecake- a dessert I had only recently found a love for, and one I would no longer get to have. It was cheesecake that led me to search the Rocklin area for anyone who might sell a decent dairy-free alternative. I found better than that.

Restrictive Options

People worldwide are affected by what they eat and the sensitivities of their digestive system.  In 2014, estimates suggested around 11% of the global population was affected by IBS. This common issue affects people of all ages. Students of Sierra College most likely know someone who suspects they have IBS or are, in fact, that someone.  

The cheapest and least invasive way to treat IBS is dietary– excluding certain food that may cause inflammation. The most common culprits are dairy, sugars, and gluten. Outside of IBS, these foods cause problems for many more. Lactose intolerance is a relatively common condition which makes it hard to digest dairy products. Around 30 million adults in the U.S. will have developed a level of lactose intolerance by 20 years old.  

Gluten?  Also a non-option for many. Celiac’s disease is a chronic digestive disorder and those with Celiacs cannot eat gluten. An estimated 2 million people in the US have the disease from 2020 data. However, it’s not just those with Celiac that avoid gluten.  In 2017, an estimated 3.1 million in the US reported having a gluten-free diet; of those following the diet, there was a marked increase in non-Celiac individuals.  

Sometimes food is avoided to meet a certain diet for more personal, such as religious, reasons. In 2018, 5% of Americans reported being vegetarian, and a smaller 3% of that population reported being vegan. Though this sounds small, it still means there are multiple incoming vegetarian and vegan students at Sierra College every year.

For many, living with a dietary restriction means facing complications. It may be harder to find affordable everyday food. You may have to turn down invitations to eat out with friends and fellow students because the restaurant doesn’t carry dietary options. Specialty meals like desserts may be out of the question because of their dairy or gluten ingredients.  These are the reasons that having a restaurant with options for everyone is important.

Enter: Zest Kitchen

Located off Sunset Boulevard, Zest Kitchen is a vegan restaurant with food for just about anyone, no matter the food restriction, or lack thereof. The inside walls are lined with shelves, containing a variety of items for sale, such as vegan chips, hot chocolates, coffees, teas, and even coconut-shell bowls with spoons. Along the counter are more items for sale like boxed cakes, avocado chocolate pudding, and a refrigerator with cheeses and sauce alternatives. While Zest is primarily a restaurant, the items sold in this little shop area can be used when cooking at home.  

Unobtrusive music plays in the background while the far left wall is covered in paintings, mostly Michael Angelo’s, “Visual Therapy” art. The chairs throughout the room are just as colorful. Free internet and magazines are available to browse. The environment was created to be welcoming. There’s no worry over whether what you ate will upset your IBS or food allergy, as there could be at other cafes. While there are many dietary options, the food served at Zest Kitchen is intended for all, even if you don’t have any dietary restrictions.

Who Is Zest Kitchen Intended For?

After learning about Zest Kitchen, I wanted to bring others there. However, many of my friends and family members dragged their feet. They didn’t think food without meat or dairy products would be any good. At the end of the meal, it would be those words they’d be eating.  

Gina Turner, a former Sierra College student, had no reason to seek out Zest Kitchen.  The restaurant sits less than five minutes away from her home by driving, but drew no attention from her until I asked her to come try it out with me.  She came thinking it would be a fun experience, not expecting much based on her prior experience with alternative cheeses and meats. Since then, Gina laughs when we are waiting for our latest meal at Zest to arrive. She reports having come back five or six times.  

Her favorite meal offered is the Tiger Mountain Burger and favorite dessert is the brownie. She reports that they meet the taste and texture standards of their more standardized versions. “I think [Zest Kitchen] is very flavorful. This place does a good job of adding different spices and flavors to their meals to make up for the non-animal products,” Turner said.

Sometimes taken for granted is the idea that offering vegan/plant-based food doesn’t detract from a restaurant’s quality. Assuming it does hasn’t been a rare issue in marketing. In 2016, the advertising angle some successful vegan restaurants started taking was keeping the word ‘vegan’ out of their advertising altogether. By doing so, the restaurants advertising themselves hoped to appeal to a wider consumer base. Why? Because they believed some consumers avoided vegan restaurants for the same hesitation my friends and family had at first.  

After successfully endearing the restaurant to those around me, I grew curious about Zest Kitchen’s own approach.  Who is the cafe intended for?  How was it marketed?

Angelique Miller is the current President and CEO of Zest Kitchen.  Miller co-owned Zest’s predecessor restaurant, Baagan, for 10 years before opening Zest Kitchen in 2017.  Her interest in starting vegan cuisine came from how healthy living can integrate family traditions and culture while tasting, “really good.” The vision was to “…bring something to the world that invited everyone” instead of being “exclusive or intimidating.”  

When asked who the restaurant was meant to reach out to, Miller made it clear that she is hoping to provide something for everyone. Zest Kitchen is meant to bridge the ultra healthy world and the more standard American diet. Miller said: “We’re trying to provide a little bit of something for everyone so that everyone can come here with their friends and family and it doesn’t matter if everyone eats a little differently, there’s something for everyone.”

Options For Any Student, Anywhere

Ultimately, Zest Kitchen does have great food for anyone and that includes any major dietary need. As a vegan cuisine, all of their meals are automatically free of any dairy. All the sugars used are natural alternatives. The majority of the meals are, by nature, gluten free and those that aren’t, such as the burgers or sandwiches, have available gluten-free alternatives.  

Miller eats gluten and soy free foods outside of being vegan.  Her understanding of how important quality alternatives are for different commonly restricted foods was a part of why she wanted to make the restaurant. With the intention to provide available food to anyone, whatever their dietary restrictions, Miller says they provide alternatives for “just about everything.”  

“We’ve heard every possible allergy you can think of over the ten years,” Miller said.  

The only items on the menu with soy are the scrambled egg plate and egg burrito, which have a small amount of soy lecithin as an emulsifier. The products inside the shop portion of the restaurant are all gluten free. Miller calls this goal of meeting and providing for any food intolerance or allergy, “one of our flagship principles.”

It’s reassuring to have a restaurant that can be entered and ordered from without worry of whether the food ordered will have a major ingredient you’ll be hurting from afterwards.  

As we finish our conversation and our burgers arrive, Gina mentions that vegan, vegetarians, or dietary-restricted students would probably be excited to know about Zest Kitchen being in their local area. With its location and external appearance, it’s easy to miss, but for those that do learn it’s there, the cafe is a chance to get tasty food at a reasonable price.  Plant based alternatives are not cheap which is why Zest does their best to mark their products at affordable prices in accordance with the items. 

Ultimately, the restaurant’s website description is correct. It said, “With a variety of flavors and fresh delicious ingredients, we have something for everyone!”


Olivia Walters is a Psychology major at Sierra College with a curiosity for Journalism. She hails from Georgetown. In Fall of 2022, she plans to pursue forensic psychology studies at Sacramento State University. Her interest areas include creative writing, fandom culture, and exploring new cuisines.
Katelyn Vengersammy is a photography and video major at Sierra College. She is currently working from Rocklin and is planning to transfer to Sacramento State University for the fall 2022 semester in order to pursue photojournalism.

Written and Photographed by Olivia Walters | Photo captions by Katelyn Vengersammy

Motherhood and Me

Becoming a mother at 17 was scary to me. I thought that I would ruin my children’s lives before they ever had a chance. Following in the footsteps of my mother and determined to break a cycle. Just a teenager not knowing myself or even who I would be. I did not understand the responsibility that I was taking on, not for just one child, but six.

I had to strive to be better than I’d ever been and understand that mistakes would potentially put me and my children in a bad position. It was up to me, and only me, to ensure that my children had everything under the sun, no matter the curve balls thrown in my path.

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Journalism and Communications: Reaching your Dream Career

In this 8:22 minute video, Journalism and Communications: Reaching your Dream Career, viewers hear from KFBK reporter with iHeart Media, Nikka Magahis, and Sierra College Communication Studies professor and consultant, Tara Franks, PhD, on their paths into journalism and communications careers. Each describes their unique journey into an evolving field that touches on radio, writing, multimedia, performance, teaching, and higher-education.


Hayley Repetti is a Journalism major at Sierra College. She served on the Editorial Team of Roundhouse News & Review in fall 2020. She plans to transfer to CSU Sacramento in fall 2021 and continue in the major.

Video by Hayley Repetti 


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