Friday, May 10, 2013

Food Festival... Vegan Possible??

I recently attended the Las Olas Wine & Food Festival.  I had an awesome time!  Can you tell by the pics?  Who wouldn't have a blast when the only thing on the agenda for the entire evening is to drink delectable wine & eat fantastic food while walking up & down Las Olas on a gorgeous night?  Well... a Virgin Vegan may be a little nervous that she might go hungry because of the lack of food choices!  I haven't mentioned this before but I need to come clean:  I need to eat every few hours or else I get.... let's just say... VERY cranky! Ask ANYONE who knows me!  My friends, family and loved ones can see the monster coming and they have very specific directions to keep me happy & smiling... just feed me!  Normally I keep a piece of fruit or a bar in my purse at all times but when you are headed to a festival, you are excited to try the featured food, right?!  So imagine my surprise when there were more than enough choices that were sans-meat and dairy free!  By the way, I didn't have to go carb-heavy to make it happen either!  There were great soups, quinoa salad, bean/lentil side dishes and veggie kabobs.  It made the night even more fun & once again, it showed my friends that my diet isn't as restricting as many of us may think it is.

So, my visits to restaurants don't feel limited & it's great!  Minerva & I went out to Sugarcane in Midtown last night.  Now, our tradition has always been to go there for happy hour for the discounted drinks and the $5 sushi rolls... last night was no different except that I stuck to the veggies & she enjoyed the seafood.  I was willing to allow myself a little tiny cheat if I was in the mood for a tuna or salmon roll... but I found myself telling her that I just don't have the desire to cheat!  Even as I talk to other vegans, who have been committed for years, I'm shocked at how quickly I acclimated to the lifestyle!  I mean, look at what is in my fridge these days:

Fresh organic veggies, fruits and grains galore!  I LOVE eating clean & I love sharing the "gospel" with anyone I meet!  In fact, yesterday I went to my first Orange Theory class with my girlfriend Tory... we kicked some serious butt!  She inspired me to go & I really loved the fast-paced mix of cardio & weights!

But after the class, we went next door to Gilbert's, which was recommended by a friend, but can only be described a a burger joint!  But get this, both of us were able to eat fully vegan without even stressing about it!  I'm a soup fool... so I was blown away that not only do they make homemade soups every single day... but out of the 4 offered... 3 were non-dairy vegan!  How cool is that?  So Tory & I both got the mushroom barley and we both ordered the portabello mushroom burger covered with fresh grilled veggies.  Watch out Tory... you may like the lifestyle... working out & eating clean... come on! Does it get any better than that?!?

Ok, just in case you get the idea that little Miss Virgin Vegan quit meat & dairy cold-turkey & that life is just a bed of roses with the new diet... don't be fooled!  While I am on fire with my lifestyle that I love, I certainly have not quit refined sugar completely!  It is on my list of things to do & I am working towards that but... sometimes a girl just has to have some frosted flakes!  Better than cake & cookies & ice cream, right?  So here is proof that I do have a few vices & I am such a bad influence that little Jagger discovered that he likes sugar-covered corn flakes too!  Ok, ok I promise, I'm working on it.  Check back later to see how I do with giving up the most addicting ingredient in the WORLD!

However, I am not giving up chocolate!  That's Tory & my friend Victor checking out my vegan chocolate that a friend sent to me at work!  It's made locally here in South Florida by this cool vegan chick.  Her company is call Cioccolada - check it out if you are craving something sweet that is still good for you!  All dark chocolate... yummy for my tummy!
But as long as we are being honest & airing all MY dirty laundry... here are a few other VICES of mine that I am NOT giving up!!!

I'm not proud... but these things do make me mighty happy!  Don't judge!  You know you have your Vices too!  :)

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