What up, friends!? I am back from a week of sand and sun. Sad that it's over, but happy that it happened. On the 12 hour trip home I was thinking about what I was going to share with you guys once I arrived back home. I have really been slacking on recipes lately! I have ideas but haven't had the time, or made the time, to create them. They'll come though! I just feel guilty being inside when it's so nice outside. But they'll be here soon. I was also thinking about incorporating more than just recipe posts here too. Maybe post some workouts that I'm doing, some "What I ate" posts, or other healthy happy food and fitness things. What do you guys think about that? More frequent posts of a variety of things or a sparing amount of recipe posts? You tell me what you want to see in a comment below!
Anyways, back to this past week. I went to the beach! Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Ever been there? What'd you think? I enjoyed it. It was my first time there and I didn't know what to expect when it came to food. I knew that it wouldn't be my normal routine but I tried to make it work the best that I could and I think I succeeded with it quite well.
What does one do on a long car ride? Eat. I had a long ride ahead of me and I knew that I needed to go into it prepared. If I didn't then I would have been frantically searching gas stations for non organic overpriced fruits. No thanks. In emergencies there's nothing wrong with that. But I knew that I'd be going, so preparation was key. The photo above gives you an idea of what I took with me for the trip down. The dates and the mango went way before everything else. Mmm.
Another thing that I did to make sure that I ate decently while I was away was taking the Vitamix. Always, always, always take your blender if you're like me. That was such a good decision. I bought watermelons and some bananas to blend for breakfast and lunch a few days. Every morning I had a blended watermelon by the pool or beach and that really made things easier to have a drink to go. I didn't have anything to put it in so I carried around the blender and got some strange looks until I bought a sand bucket to put my smoothies in. I still got some weird looks. That's okay though! I was happy.
I came across Bay Naturals on Yelp and knew that I had to stop by. I drug my family there and they weren't too impressed but I wanted to kiss the ground because I had to order salads everywhere that we ate and they weren't satisfying salads. So when I walked into Bay Naturals my stomach was already thanking me. I ordered the grilled tofu on lettuce with a cucumber quinoa salad on the side. Delicious! Filling! Awesome! Then I went for a gluten free and vegan, of course, carrot cake. I couldn't handle it. It was SO GOOD. My parents even liked it. Woo! Big win. Plus the employees there were super great. If you're in the area, go there!
Laying on the beach is an exhausting job. You get hungry just chilin' there! I initially planned to take grapes with me but then I realized that I'd get sandy grapes and no one wants that. So I bought a few Odwalla and Suja drinks. I don't usually buy things like this because I can do the same thing at home for a lot less cost. But I went for it on my trip to keep myself fueled up. Odwalla is good but Suja is my favorite. I love all of their juices and recommend them 100%.
I wanted to go to Mellow Mushroom so so bad. I was there last August just a month after going gluten free and it was the best. I was so excited to find that there was one in Myrtle Beach. We went in and ordered. Then we sat and waited for the longest time and the waiter told us that they ran out of gluten free crusts. What?!? I was so mad/sad/angry/etc. and they offered me a salad since it was the only other gluten free thing on the menu. No thank you. I wasn't in the mood for a salad, but I sure was in a mood. Haha. I sat there and watched everyone else eat while I thought about the pizza that I wasn't going to be eating. We talked to the manager and they gave us a gift card for the whole ordeal. So I did get my pizza eventually! You'll see that a little later. But in the meantime, I was starving and Chipotle saved my life. I was never so happy to see a Chipotle. I ate this in no time and wished that I would have gotten a second bowl.
Would you guys be surprised if I told you that I went back to Bay Naturals? You shouldn't be! I had to go back and check out their veggie burger. I don't eat a lot of veggie burgers. Occasionally I'll get one at a restaurant but that's about it. For some reason I wanted this one though. It wasn't just good, it was super good. I ate it in about 5 minutes and as soon as it was gone I was mad at myself for eating it so fast. I'm telling you, Bay Naturals is where it's at!
I debated a lot when I bought this ice cream. I always see it at Whole Foods in Pittsburgh but I never buy it. I don't know why I bought it on vacation, but I did. I ate the whole thing at once. Honestly this is amazing. Ice cream is one thing that I really miss. I could never eat dairy again, but wow I miss ice cream. Well, I missed ice cream. I don't really need to miss it anymore because things like this are in my life. Cookies 'N Cream that is gluten free and vegan. What, what?! My goal is to work my way through all of the flavors. Wish me luck!
I also bought a lot of rice to cook because rice is my go-to cooked meal. Love it. I eat rice almost every single night. Rice, pasta, potatoes. That's really about it and it makes me happy. I made a big batch and I was trying to cool it down so I set it out onside and caught it soaking up the beautiful view.
Mellow Mushroom!! I got my pizza. My idea was to grab it to go and eat it at the beach. It was so windy that day though and I got my pizza all sandy just taking these photos. I had to move away from the sand but I still got to enjoy it with some great scenery! I got the veggie pizza with the gluten free crust and vegan cheese. Vegan cheeses aren't really something that I eat a lot of but every once in a while they're fun to have! Just like all other foods. The pizza was really really great. I couldn't stop saying how good it was. Even though I had a slight issue a few nights before, I still recommend grabbing a pizza from Mellow Mushroom if you're ever near one!
Overall, traveling while being vegan is fairly easy. It's something that you have to want to do and be passionate about. I put a lot of time into my foods and planning. But I love it and truly enjoy every part of it! (Except doing dishes, ew) Taking some snacks such as dates, grapes, dried fruits, etc. makes it so much easier because you're less likely to get too hungry. I ate at pretty much every restaurant that my family ate at. I usually got salads or a side of rice to eat with them and then I grabbed more food to eat later on. No big deal! And honestly, the more that you experience eating out with non-vegans and traveling the easier it becomes. Myrtle Beach isn't an ideal place for vegans but there are options! Plus there's a wonderful beach, so that's good enough for me!