The Raw Glow Blog

Category — Raw Food Travel

Eating Healthy While Traveling – 5 Tips!

On the Road

This week I am visiting beautiful Sunny Southern California and I thought I’d share my favorite travel tips for eating healthy while traveling. Even if you are taking a short day trip, it always pays to be prepared!

Tip#1 Bring Your Kitchen With You!

  • Travel with a small cutting board, utensils, napkins and paper plates. A package of compostable forks, knives, and spoons can be really helpful to cut into fruits and vegetables on the go. You can also travel with a sprout bag to soak nuts and seeds and small personal blender called the Tribest Personal Blender (available in 220V also) to make smoothies. (I once soaked some sunflower seeds overnight in a sprout bag and made them into a pate in a Tribest Personal Blender on a cruise!) If you are driving, traveling with a plug-in cooler is also great.

Tip#2 Bring a Few Essentials!

  • Pack some unopened non perishable food items into your bag. (These days, it is best to pack them into your checked bag and make sure to declare them because each county is different in what they will or will not allow into their country.)

Here is a list of food items I like to pack:

  • Raw Tahini and Almond Butter (unopened jars) because you can dip vegetables into them and use them as dressings just by adding some orange juice.
  • Dulse Flakes and Nori Sheets (unopened packages) are beneficial as Dulse can be used as a salt substitute. For example, you can make a lettuce wrap with avocado, torn Dulse, and chopped tomatoes. Nori sheets can also be used as a wrapper, just cut up some vegetables such as cucumber and carrot, spread on some tahini, and you have an easy wrap.
  • All Prepared Raw Food Snacks such as raw food energy bars, cookies, and crackers for that little extra boost of energy on the go.
  • Green Powder because you can mix it with juice or water and if you are traveling in the United States there are juice bars/smoothie bars everywhere where you can ask them to make you an all fruit smoothie. You can then add your green powder to make an instant green smoothie!
  • Liquid Stevia because you can use it to sweeten some mineral water (as a substitute for soda) or use it to sweeten some tea.
  • Italian Herbs and Sea Salt because when dining out all you have to do is ask for a lemon wedge and you have an instant salad dressing!

Tip#3 Research, Research, Research!

  • Before going anywhere, research whether they have a natural foods grocery store or a farmer’s market and then make sure this is your first stop off the plane to stock up on healthy food. You can also research to see if the area has any juice bars and vegetarian or vegetarian friendly restaurants where you can dine out.
  • Sometimes the local food culture will have a vegetarian specialty for example, in Spain you can order gazpacho (a raw tomato soup), in Fiji you have the young coconut meat and water widely available, in Italy fresh squeezed orange juice is widely available . . .(etc.) (If you are traveling to a third world country, it is also a good idea to research what foods are safe to eat!)

Tip#4 Stock Up!

  • When you locate that health food store or farmer’s market stock up on healthy food that you can store in your hotel room. Hopefully, your hotel room will have a refrigerator, but if not, it might be worth it to travel with a small cooler because most hotel rooms have an ice machine.
  • Some of my favorite healthy foods to stock up on when traveling are: fruits that will last a few days such as melons, oranges, bananas, apples, and avocados; dried snacks such as dried fruits and nuts; and plenty of liquids to stay hydrated in dry hotel rooms such as water and coconut water.
  • Also, at most U.S. grocery stores you can always find raw guacamole and salsa. All you have to do is add a scoop of salsa and guacamole into a romaine lettuce leaf or you can enjoy it with some baby carrots or other cut up vegetables such as celery or zucchini.

Tip#5 Learn Some Lingo!

  • If you are going to a country where they don’t speak English, and you are going to eat out, make sure to learn a few phrases so you know what to ask for. And this goes for any restaurant, they will usually make something special for you, especially if you tell them you have dietary restrictions and food allergies. For example, when I’m out to a Mexican restaurant with friends or my husband I ask the waitress to bring me a plate of lettuce, chopped raw vegetables, salsa, and guacamole. I mix it all together to make a delicious salad. Sometimes you just have to get creative!

I hope you enjoyed these tips! Although I am definitely more flexible while traveling than I am at home, I still manage to eat pretty healthy so that I can feel great and enjoy my travels!

Make sure to add any of your tips to eating healthy while traveling below in the comments section.

Bon Voyage!

♥,
C

P.S. These are some bonus tips not related to healthy eating but they have really helped me a lot this trip: You might consider investing in a portable humidifier (it will make those dry hotel rooms bearable), a portable white noise maker or ear plugs and an eye mask so you can sleep under any circumstances. Really helped out last night when our hotel room was situated right next to a busy stairwell and crowded pool with kids playing! We slept like babies.

August 26, 2011   14 Comments

My Organic Vegan Wedding

Ceci, Darrell, and Dancer Getting Married

I must admit I feel a little vain writing a blog post about my vegan wedding but I remember that before I was married I would love to peruse wedding blogs and websites and look at what offbeatbride.com affectionately calls wedding porn.

Since this is a mostly raw food related blog, my disclaimer is that my wedding was not a raw wedding, but a vegan wedding. Why? One, since I was having a small wedding I knew that I was going to be the only raw foodist attending, and the venue I picked already had amazing organic cooked vegan food available, so I decided not to complicate things. Also, I eat cooked vegan food occasionally and since it was a special occasion, I considered it a special treat.

Believe me, my friends and family have been plenty exposed to raw food over the years. Countless birthdays and special occasions at Café Gratitude , all raw Thanksgivings and Christmas’s and in April we had a good sized engagement party that was mostly raw.

ceci and darrell in gardenWe were married in Standford Inn by the Sea, in beautiful Mendocino, California. I did a lot of research on our vegan wedding venue and it really represented what we’re about: vegetarian, organic, sustainable, and pet friendly, not to mention the sheer natural beauty of the place.

The coolest thing about the venue I choose was that all the food served there was mostly vegan (which the one exception of being able to order eggs for breakfast, if desired) and mostly organic and they grow a lot of their own food in their organic vegetable garden which was the location of our marriage ceremony. How very appropriate :)

Even the flowers used for the bouquets were locally grown and organic. I know some people thought I was crazy, but I gave the florist my color scheme and told her to surprise me with flowers in season. What I ended up getting was in season locally grown organic Dahlias which have now become my favorite flower. I loved the surprise factor and my bouquets were delightful.

Dahlia Bouquets

I know that weddings can often be wasteful and I tried to keep that in mind by buying a dress that I’m going to shorten and then be able to wear again to a nice party. I also wore black shoes that I’ve already worn again on a few occasions. No veil either, just a flower in my hair. I also asked my bridesmaid’s to buy a nice black dress, in their budget, that looked good on them, and that they will be able to wear again as well. I asked the florist for small vases and reused the bouquets as centerpieces, and then gave the vases to my bridesmaids to reuse at home. I skipped the wedding favors; I’ve never been a fan. I also sent out e-mail invitations instead of paper ones. This worked because our wedding was small, but hey if it saved a little paper that’s a good thing. I also asked my florist for loose flower petals that were used to throw on us, decorate the aisle, and the reception table. They looked beautiful and it just happened to be a bonus that they are also biodegradable:)

Receiving Line

I did my own make-up with natural make-up that I use on a regular basis. I try to use make-up that avoids or at least minimizes the use of toxic chemicals in their formulations. My favorite makeup choices were a subtle peach lip gloss by PeaceKeeper called Eternal Equity and a light shimmery lavender rose eye shadow by Larenim called Bewitched Sand.

Since I had a small wedding, I asked for cupcakes instead of a cake, and for a little extra the baker made the cupcakes organic and vegan, using coconut milk for the creamy factor. They were decorated with organic edible Cecil Brunner roses. I passed out the leftovers to guests staying at the Inn.

reception tableSome other things I did that were not necessarily vegan or environmentally friendly, but they did save me some money. I bought my dress at a dress store off the rack; it was probably 1/10 the price of a normal wedding dress, and so far I can’t believe how many compliments I’ve received about it. I also made all my own jewelry and my bridesmaid’s jewelry. For the price of buying wedding jewelry already made, I was able to make 4 pairs of earrings, 4 necklaces, 1 bracelet, and one brooch!

And I guess the number one thing I did to keep it simple was to keep the wedding intimate. Even though it was tough to not have everyone with us, it was really neat how connected everyone who attended was. We all were able to sit at one long table and this created a special atmosphere. Instead of dancing like at most weddings, the younger crowd went to the indoor heated pool and hot tub and talked and swam late into the evening. That will always be a special memory for me.

We were married by the owner of  the Stanford Inn who will preach Veganism to anyone who is willing to listen! The ceremony itself was unique; an Apache poem was recited, Maria Reiner Rilke was quoted, although I don’t remember much as I was too busy starring adoringly into the eyes of my soon to be husband.

quinoa and califlowerIt was really our little white rescue Chihuahua, Dancer (A.K.A. Sheepie) that stole the show. She was running around the organic vegetable garden like crazy enjoying all the yummy sights and sounds, sneaking into our pictures here and there.

During the reception I toasted to some heart warming speeches with some sparkling water that I flavored with some vanilla stevia and was so pleased that everyone enjoyed their vegan fare. My dinner consisted of a coconut carrot bell pepper soup and a quinoa pilaf with a yummy cauliflower puree. Because our wedding party was so small, we were able to order whatever we wanted off the menu. One of my bridesmaids ordered the sea palm strudel and I got to try it, it was unique and delicious and I will definitely order it next time I visit. Not once did anyone complain that their dinner was vegan. They did a good job.

Mr.and Mrs. My wedding was a reflection of Darrell and I: simple, unpretentious, and natural. I knew that I wanted to marry Darrell from the first moment we met and our wedding really was just a formality. I am so glad that the anticipation, stress, and planning is over and that we can relax into married life. But I can say that I am glad that we didn’t elope. I felt pretty and special on that day and I felt my mom’s presence with me. I’m glad we had a formal ritual to symbolize such an important life passage. I’m so happy to have found Darrell, my best friend, lover and life partner and I’m really glad that I got to share some of the details of our wedding with you. I hope you enjoyed it, and here is a link to view more pictures:

Click Here for More Pictures of Cecilia’s Wedding

and below are a list of some of the vendors I used for my vegan wedding:

Venue
Stanford Inn by The Sea
A Vegetarian Bed and Breakfast on the Mendocino Coast
http://www.stanfordinn.com/

Food
Ravens Restaurant
Stanford Inn By The Sea Vegetarian Dining
http://www.ravensrestaurant.com/

Flowers
Mendocino Floral Design
http://www.mendocinofloraldesign.com/

Vegan Cupcakes
http://www.mendocakes.com/

List of my Favorite Natural Body Care Products:
http://www.rawglow.com/Naturalbodycare.htm,

♥,
C

October 16, 2009   21 Comments

Raw and Vegan Getaway to San Francisco

Coit Tower in San Francisco

What do my husband (yes, we got married two weeks ago!) and I do when we are short on cash but need a weekend getaway? We go San Francisco; it’s only an hour away from where we live, but it’s definitely a world away as far as sights, sounds, and flavors. Our San Francisco escapes have become a ritual for us and they usually follow a basic pattern. First, we force ourselves to get up early on a Saturday and we catch the ferry from Larkspur to S.F. If you’ve never taken the ferry before it’s a real treat. Not only do you get to enjoy the fresh sea breeze, a view of the ocean, but it’s the only time I know of where you can get a great view of the Bay Bridge, Richmond Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge all at the same time! 

View From The Ferry

The ferry conveniently drops us off at the Ferry Building, which has an amazing farmer’s market on Saturdays from 8-2p.m The farmer’s market it the perfect place to eat breakfast with a great view of the water. A cool tidbit about the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market: all the packaging used is biodegradable and compostable. Darrell goes straight for the tamale booth and enjoys a vegetarian tamale plate with beans. I prefer raw fare for breakfast and head to the Alive Restaurant booth where I enjoy one of their agua frescas. (means fresh water in Spanish and is usually a watered down sweet fruit juice) So far I’ve tried the watermelon, kiwi, and berry, all very light and refreshing. The Alive booth also has raw salads, wraps, and desserts if you want something heartier. Then I pick out the most ripe seasonal fruit I can, to snack on while we walk. This last weekend it was red grapes and fresh purple figs. Mmmmmmmm! The neat thing about the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market is that it has just about any type of food to please any palette, so it makes it a great place to take family and friends.

Raw Aqua Frescas

After we’ve enjoyed the market we usually walk to China Town, but this last Saturday we explored an Organic Café called The Plant Cafe  that just opened up a 2nd location on Pier 3. I wasn’t sure what the menu would be like, but I was pleasantly surprised that it had a few raw options and many vegan options, even though it is not an exclusively vegetarian restaurant. The coolest thing was that it had a raw organic juice bar; we ordered two brightly colored veggie juices and off we walked to China Town.

The Plant Cafe Smoothie and Juice Sign

In China Town Darrell stocks up on the best green tea he can find. It is a ceremonial experience as we sit down at the tea bar and he tastes tea after tea until he chooses the best one. I order an herbal tea to not feel left out:) I always travel with stevia liquid in my purse so that I can sweeten tea or sparkling mineral water when I travel. When my husband and I were first going out, he was avid coffee drinker a he let me know very clearly that he was never going to give it up. Oneday I gifted him some green tea leaves and honestly I haven’t seen him drink coffee much since.

China Town Dragon Parade

After China Town we discuss dinner options. For an all raw meal Alive and Café Gratitude  are our only choices. Don’t get me wrong, they are great restaurants and I’ve been to both, but honestly sometimes Darrell and I get tired of going to the same raw restaurants over and over. Sound familiar? So lately we’ve been going to vegan friendly restaurants where I can eat at least some raw with cooked vegan and he gets to enjoy a change of menu and scenery. Last time we were in the City we dined at Millennium Restaurant and were pleasantly surprised. It’s a high end all vegan restaurant, and you definitely need reservations. They always have one raw salad on the menu and one raw drink (kombucha), and if you ask them a week ahead of time they will specially prepare you a raw meal. I’ve had them prepare a three course raw dinner for two and it was excellent. It’s a little pricey, but definitely worth it. This last weekend we decided to go back to The Plant Café on Pier 3 for dinner. The prices are reasonable, the view can’t be beat, the restaurant is solar powered, and almost everything is organic. As far as raw, they have one raw salad, a raw cheesecake, and as I mentioned earlier the raw fresh juices. I had the raw salad and a cooked quinoa vegetable miso plate. Both were lovely.

Outdoor Seating at The Plant Cafe

After dinner we try to do something fun like dancing, a comedy club, walking down pier 14, or just head back to our hotel and relax for the night. The next morning we feel refreshed like we’ve really gotten away, even though we didn’t travel far. Then it’s off to the Plant Cafe for more juice and to catch our Ferry. I hope you are inspired to take a little weekend getaway and if possible come down and explore San Francisco.

♥,
C

Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market
http://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/farmers_market.php
HOURS
Tuesday: 10am–2pm
Thursday: 10 am – 2pm
Saturday: 8am-2pm
Phone: 415-291-3276

The Plant Cafe
http://www.theplantcafe.com/
3352 Steiner @ Chestnut
and
Suite 108, Pier 3, The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA

Alive Restaurant
http://www.aliveveggie.com/
1972 Lombard St.
San Francisco, CA
Phone: 415-923-1052
email: aliveveggie@sbcglobal.net

Cafe Gratitude
http://www.cafegratitude.com/
2400 Harrison Street (@20th Street)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: 415-830-3014
Fax: 415-695-1989
Hours: 10 am to 10 pm

Millennium Restaurant
http://www.millenniumrestaurant.com/
580 Geary Street 
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: 415-345-3900
Fax: 415-345-3941

September 25, 2009   7 Comments

Getting Water From the Source

mtshasta

Lately in the raw food webisphere (that should be a word!) I been have noticing that people are seeking out natural springs to get their water. So when on our way back from The Raw Union Festival when the chance came to get some water at Mt. Shasta Headwaters, I jumped at the offer!

springwaterUnlike a spring, where the water comes from deep within the earth and usually is accessible through some sort of pipe, I was able to bottle water coming right out of the rocks. The Mt. Shasta headwaters is from the melted snow on Mt. Shasta that is filtered down through the rocks and comes right out of the mountain. We asked at the information center and a park ranger for the location of the water and if the water was safe to drink. They said that as long as we bottled it right as it came out of the mountain (NOT IN THE STREAM) that is was cleaner than most bottled water and that it’s tested regularly. It was also reassuring to see others filling up their bottles as well.

It tasted amazing! It tasted like melted snow. It was also the first time ever that I have drank water right from the source, how our ancestors did! It blew me away to think that in 32 years that this is the first time I drank water from a natural source. It really was a connected to nature moment and I definitely understand why people are so excited about finding natural springs.

For more information about spring water check out these two links:

♥,
C

Question of the Day:
Have you ever experienced getting water from a natural source? What was is like? Please answer your question in the comments section.

June 28, 2009   9 Comments