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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Vegan in Miami

     So on the suggestion from a friend and blog follower I have decided to add an occasional, more personal blog post. Many of my followers know that I am a vegan, well mostly... I am not a vegan-azi as my daughter would say. I will eat eggs on occasion as well as some fish and once in a while, honey. It is challenging to stay healthy on the road. The hardest part of being veganesque is travel. It is also hard to get in exercise. I always try to pack my "freak" food, as one friend puts it. I make sure to pack fruit, especially bananas. I have to have a banana every morning right when I wake up or I just can't see straight. Fruit is such a rip-off when you travel so I make sure to pack plenty. I also pack Kind bars, they are my fav and some kind of nuts or nut blend. When all else fails I can always add them to salads and wraps for protein. Leaving out of Cleveland airport is always nice I get to stop at my favorite burrito place, Currito, that has the freshest food.
     I get the Mediterranean whole wheat with brown rice, black bean hummus and tofu--hold the feta cheese.  They also have delish guac and chips. I have to get my fill of avocado, I eat probably 5 per week :) Kind of a like crack for me. The Miami airport is huge so i literally got in a half hour walk from my gate to baggage, thanks for no people movers Miami. When I arrived at my room in Miami the editor of Les Nouvelles Esthetics had left a beautiful fruit and cheese tray for me.
     The cheese had been out for a while and was at that creamy, wilty scrumptious stage...which I immediately flushed down the toilet so I wouldn't even be tempted.. ( those of you that think that may be extreme, I get physically sick now after I eat cheese, it's not pretty, seriously, like IBS on steroids) The crackers were delish, pretty sure one kind had cheese shavings baked on top but with no label it was hard to tell. No adverse effects I am happy to say. NO coffee in the room, not even a pot for hot water, which I also carry several of my own bags of "freak" tea. Mostly detox teas, peppermint and chamomile, I usually end up with some kind of stomach upset when I travel. So it was a caffeine free trip too. Good thing I don't drink a lot of caffeine, could have gotten that lovely migraine withdrawal headache. Sunday I was rushing to get to mass so I grabbed a banana in the room and took a Kind bar for the taxi ride. On a side note, having put on Capri's for the first time this season I realized, at the taxi line, that I totally forgot to shave my legs..yipes. I'm NOT going to be that old Italian lady with the hairy legs at church... not today! I made the driver stop at Walgreens so I could buy a razor and yes I dry shaved in the back seat... thankfully I carry really good hand cream in my purse, no razor burn. I decided to walk back from church (40 minutes) and stopped at an Asian restaurant for lunch. I ordered the Buddha's delight, that unfortunately was less than delightful. The fried tofu was soggy from them putting the sauce over everything. The vegetables had no flavor so I asked for salt and pepper and it was barely tolerable. I ate half and then saw the pot of soy sauce so added a bit of that to the rest to pack up for lunch the next day. Which never made it, it was an afternoon snack, much better with the soy sauce. Dinner was a VIP event sponsored by the magazine at Barceloneta. They passed mostly carnivorous food appetizers. The only thing I could have was the Spanish omelets bites and tomato gazpacho. Oh and the roasted red pepper and crab. Oh and I did try a bite of baby eel veggie pizza ...not a fan, wayyyy to fishy. One of the girls I was sitting with was a vegetarian and she asked if one of the appetizers was brussel sprouts. Nope.. ham balls. The waiter then brought the most delicious roasted brussel sprouts with a honey, olive oil and balsamic glaze with crushed peanuts on top.. So fantastic, must try this combo at home. Seeing as there was barely enough food to call it dinner I stopped at the restaurant across the street and had a delightful salmon salad, saving half for lunch.
      Monday morning was beautiful so I took my banana and Kind bar down to the pool for breakfast. Did my Yoga CD that I happened to leave in my laptop :)  Finished writing my presentation for that afternoon...cuz that's how I roll.. And had the rest of my salad for lunch before I left for the show. Needing a little something later in the afternoon before my class I ventured to the food court, past the pizza, chicken, finally wraps, of course pre made and no vegan options. They did have a soy berry nut trail mix that did the trick. Got to hand it to the spa shows, just saying they DO have better food choices. Heading back to the hotel I was at ease because I saw someone eating a veggie burger at the pool so I knew I could at least stay in and grab an early dinner. Nope those are just for lunch, only appetizers for the dinner hour. So I went to my handy dandy Yelp app and searched for a vegetarian restaurant I could walk to. First one seemed fine, Maoz vegeteranian,  only a few blocks away. It was more like a Subway set up, but I guess that's what one $ means.
     I ordered a Falafel pita to go and it was kind of a cool set up. They serve about 5 falafel balls in a pita, mine with avocado of course and then they smash them flat and reopen them so you can put toppings in.  I added olives, beet salad, taboulle, roasted cauliflower tomato and onions and vegan tahini.  I also ordered fries, they had a sweet potato and regular fry mix... I am a fry junkie I must admit. I opted to take it to go and ate it by the pool. It was really filling so I couldn't finish the whole thing, still a successful vegan meal.  A took nice long walk on the boardwalk later that evening.
      One more meal to go. Monday morning early am flight grab my banana for the taxi ride.  I have never tried them, so I decided to stop at the Subway at the airport for a breakfast sandwich. They do have an egg white option, awesome, so I got an egg white  sandwich on whole wheat with avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and olives. Just love when I can get veggies in for breakfast!
Another half hour walk to my gate, even with a tram ride... really Miami? Stopping at a friend's birthday party before heading back to my work week. She knows a few of us are vegan so fingers crossed :)

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