vegan providence

Indulge, then re-group

well clearly i've been too busy indulging in all the glory of the fall, by eating and exploring and not writing! i'm loving being back in charming new england during my most favorite season! i've been 'peeping' my way through all the foliage and breathing in that crisp, clean, woodsy scent of autumn. the bright colors on the leaves, mixed with the low hanging sun in the light blue sky is absolutely dazzling! it gives me an extra spring in my step!

i've taken full advantage of road tripping through the state of massachusetts and you better believe, all my vegan restaurants were scouted out before hand, and ALL of them surpassed my expectations!

the little town of northampton, MA is super funky and had two delightful restaurants!

paul and elizabeth's, as recommended to me from a friend, had the best vegan burger and sweet potato fries! we started with a yummy bean soup too and were completely warmed right up from a cold, damp day!

we asked the waitress what she recommended as far as hiking/walking trails, and she led us to the most beautiful little trail through smith college campus. all the leaves were changing, and filling up the path for us to kick around, all while winding around the quaint little river...so perfect!

we then made our way out to the berkshires, and i would have driven the 3 hours alone, just to eat this absolutely, out of control with yumminess, pizza at baba louie's in great barrington.

O.M.G...seriously  never had a pizza this good - including my days of real cheese...we hiked up mountains, got lost through country towns, and eventually made our way back through northampton to try the second recommendation at bela's vegan spot.

their apple, caramel, walnut cake, was the epitome of comfort food!

fast forward to NYC.

oh, NYC, how i love you...the weather could not have been more perfect for strolling through central park, or for my bike ride along the hudson river! i was in heaven!

even though i had a lot of time to myself, i wasn't going to let that get in the way of checking out lots of vegan restaurants on my list, on my own!

candle 79 in the upper east side had the best black bean and pumpkin seed burger with a side of polenta fries! surprisingly, it was an upscale, bistro setting, with a super cool wine bar and bartender to boot!

i left with my helmet in hand, and made my way down to the east village to indulge in the BEST vegan ice cream parlour, stogo!! i looked like a little kid with chocolate ice cream all over my face and hands and was smiling ear to ear...it's the little things that excite me! i had 3 different scoops of ice cream - yes that's right, i go all out! aaaannndd i got a cookie to go with it....literally a kid in a candy shop....

i was also completely blown away by the cool, 'foodie' type vegan spot in the east village called dirt candy. my new friend who i met on the train from providence to penn station, used to live in the city and had recommended it to me. i feel so cool that i ducked into this gem of a spot like a true new yorker, without the help of any bloggers reporting on where to go that's trendy...

but, i will say that probably the highest reviews/recommendations that i came across were on cafe blossom....and it is all that it's cracked up to be, and more!! we had a yummy three course meal there and i was literally stuffed for days...

needless to say, all this food, albeit healthy, vegan food, still has sugar and flour in it, not to mention the fact that i had some wine and bourbon along the way...i needed to come back and detox...

i wanted to share with you my little go-to mini cleanse as recommended to me from my macro cooking instructor...it's only two days long, but brings you back to center in no time.

i start my day with the carrot-daikon drink for breakfast (refer to previous post on the recipe), then i have mild fish soup with steamed greens for lunch, and for dinner, i have a grain and bean/lentil soup with more steamed greens.

i repeat for day two, and it's amazing that by just eating two soups per day and drinking a detox tea on an empty stomach, to start the morning really gives your digestion a much needed rest.

the fish in the soup helps pull you back to the yang side of your yin (sugar/flour/alcohol) rush...basically just boil some water with dried shittake mushrooms and add some veggies to simmer til tender, add greens and fresh white, wild caught fish, cut into 1 inch cubes and let it simmer til the fish is cooked. season with some tamari, and enjoy!!! it's soooo satisfying! note, that you're not eating a grain with this meal...

final note on entering into this holiday season, or anytime for that matter, please keep in mind to "check yourself, before you wreck yourself"! don't think, 'oh who cares, i've already eaten bad today, i may as well continue into the next'...recipe for disaster my friend...

always come back to center, sit down to a wholesome meal, and you will be back on track...just stay mindful, and know that you have to hone it in sometimes...

New England Road Trip

i was able to maintain a vegan lifestyle with ease, as i stumbled across many vegan restaurants while living in L.A. the more restaurants i found, the more fun it was to become inspired by their dishes to create at home. in turn, creating a domino effect of mastering the knowledge and practice with my approach to eating whole, natural foods. with that being said, having a variety of vegan restaurants to choose from when you need a break from your kitchen was a luxury!

the best of the best surrounded me in my L.A. neighborhood, where i could relax in knowing i was being served an animal free, fun, alternative spin on my favorite comforts from my past.

i mean, come on, who doesn't love a good cheeseburger? or pizza? or ice cream sundae? or nachos? we vegans gotta get our fix somehow! i will mention here for the record though, that in all honesty, i prefer my cooking on a daily basis to going out because i take pride in what i feed myself.

but, it is imperative to get a break and have someone else cook for you and serve you, to experience foods that you don't regularly cook for yourself. i am utterly (no pun) grateful and appreciative for the revolution in vegan friendly menu's and restaurants! it is amazing how a vegan version of our favorites can be re-created to satisfy our nostalgia.

now that i'm back on cape cod, i'm left with some slim pickin's...granted, i can find a vegan option on any menu with a little tweaking and re-designing (always being articulate and sensitive to my server). but the 'fun' foods are hard to come by - luckily, there's an app for that!

the 'vegan' app. or go online and check out to www.vegguide.org, or yelp and type in 'vegan' and you can find places in your surrounding areas. or blogs - one of my favorites in L.A. was www.quarrygirl.com, but the best is word of mouth.

this is how i came to find 3 AMAZING vegan spots this weekend while over the bridge.

if you are ever in the providence/newport area, you must try Keen-wah Super Food Eatery in newport, where you can satisfy your lunchtime burger craving - YUM!

then head over to the amazing vegan food truck, serving up all things soft serve in providence- from ice cream floats to shakes, and beyond into the candy world, at LIKE NO UDDER (great name).

for dinner in providence, you must try garden grille cafe - their tacos are scrumptious and their carrot cake, divine!!

i was like a kid in a candy shop all day! it was heavenly. i intend to eat my vegan way through new england to report on all my findings!

two other delights that put me into a blissful state recently, that need mention in the boston area are, true foods bistro in sommerville.

an awesome place to get your fancy, eclectic spin on!

and life alive in cambridge - it is sheer grounded-ness comfortingly warming and inviting on all levels - i could literally live there!

stay tuned for my next recommendations! til then, please comment on your favorites that are must try's!