Traveling Healthy – South Florida

This weekend in South Florida was a welcome getaway full of healthy food, exercise, sun, and fun. I’ve posted previously how I eat healthy when traveling as several people have inquired how I do it so I will continue to share from time to time what I do to eat healthy and exercise when on the road. If you wish to see previous similar posts simply type ‘traveling healthy’ in the search box and you will see a number of previous blogs. For today I will share a trip to South Florida this weekend I made with Lauren Nolan.

Having been to South Florida several times over the last four years I knew what it had to offer in terms of restaurants, grocery stores and places to exercise. This made preparation a bit easier but I do like to have options so I packed a few more things to be safe. The photo of all the bags going into the car will illustrate this…ha. When I am driving for a getaway vs. taking a plane I always bring my big rolling cooler, a bag of dry foods, and another bag for my fuels to workout. The cooler hosted water, kombuchas, and bottles with fuel for running and riding the bike. The dry food bag contained Lara Bars, bananas, almonds, chickpeas, oranges, and apples. The bag with fuels had concoctions for before, during and after workouts. I believe the ratio of bags for the trip was 4:1 me over Lauren and she had a good time noting the disparity…

We set off around 2:45 PM Friday for our first target, The New Vegan, my favorite restaurant in South Florida. It’s located in Delray Beach which was just north of where we would stay for the trip, in Boca Raton. We shared two meals, the Falafel Pasta Salad and Chickn and No Cheese Mac & Cheese. The Falafel Pasta Salad is out of this world and I cannot go there without ordering it. We then settled in at the hotel preparing for an early Saturday start.

Saturday morning came around quickly as we set out to start our 15 mile run at 6:15 AM via Boca Raton Beach. Temperatures were in the mid-70s with high humidity so we knew we would be battling the heat late in the run. These conditions are a change to what we had been running in over the last couple months so we prepared with extra hydrating Friday night and then again prior to the run Saturday morning. Our run started with a seven mile down and back from Boca Raton Beach and Deerfield Beach. After we hit the turnaround point in Deerfield Beach we took in an amazing sunrise and captured a beautiful photo of us on top of a series of rocks on the shore. At mile six we both took a gel and stopped for about a minute at our car at mile seven to get a quick drink, salt for me, and off we went north on trail before getting to our turnaround point and headed back along with consuming another gel. It was a hard run in the conditions and we had a two mile pick up (pace) at the end that made it even more difficult…our overall fitness certainly got better on this day.

We stretched, dried off, had a recovery drink and headed to another of my South Florida favorites, Raw Juce. There we had acai bowls and they were outstanding! We felt rejuvenated with all the healthy carbohydrates in us and they also helped us recover for the Sunday long workout. We stopped at Whole Foods to grab a few things and then headed back to hotel to refresh and prepare for our day at Boca Raton Beach but before we set up at the beach we grabbed lunch and it was a repeat visit to Raw Juce where we ordered two OMG Protein smoothies to go. They were filling and would keep us content for the afternoon.

It was really windy on the beach which made for great waves. Lauren taught me how to boogie board and we also body surfed for a good bit before relaxing on the sand enjoying the sun and surroundings. I nibbled on chickpeas throughout the stay at the beach while we also continued to drink electrolytes after depleting our bodies throughout our activities. We went back to the hotel mid-afternoon to get ready for a trip to Miami for dinner. While at the hotel I had a banana and Lara Bar that was just enough to bridge my appetite to dinner.

We headed to South Beach, Miami in a quest to eat at Planta via a tip from my daughter, Morgan, who said she had read it was the number one rated Vegan restaurant in Florida. Planta did not disappoint. We shared Bang Bang Broccoli, Stuffed Mushrooms, Cauliflower Tots, Frenchie Pizza, and Cheesecake. Everything was outstanding and I think the broccoli stood out for me. It had a crispy texture and it was covered in a sweet chili and peanut sauce. After dinner we took a leisurely stroll on the southern most tip of South Beach. It was so tranquil and just what we needed after a very active day.

Sunday morning brought us to Lauren’s first run-bike-run workout ever. We loaded our bikes and supplies and headed to Florida Atlantic University (FAU) where we would begin our adventure. We ran a loop around campus and by the time we got back to the car we were soaked from the humidity. It actually felt great. We then biked to Ft. Lauderdale into a significant head wind and as we approached the Las Olas area we were greeted with runners who were competing in a run race. As we snaked through the beach front we shouted words of encouragement. We stopped along the way taking pictures, fueling ourselves with Lara Bars, gels, and electrolytes and then enjoyed a tailwind on the way back to FAU. We hopped off our bikes and ran on the track to complete our workout which was also Lauren’s longest, four hours.

We then headed to Raw Juce for our third visit and ordered acai bowls once again. We made a quick stop at Parlour Vegan Bakery to pick up a chocolate chip cookie cake. We earned the extra calorie goodness dessert… Then back to the beach one more time as we soaked up the sunshine and relaxed. When leaving we ran into my niece, Grace, who just happened to be going to the beach while we were heading out…small world and great to see her. We showered and then began our drive back home but on the way we had one more stop for dinner. Lauren found via a Google search, Vegan Junkie Burgers, a restaurant in Hallandale Beach just off the interstate. We picked up our food and ate at a local park Lauren also located.

We arrived home late and unpacked a fully loaded car. It was a great weekend getaway full of health. We explored life, ate fantastic plant-based food, and trained our butts off. With a little pre-planning and exploring what other places offer it’s easy to eat healthy and be active. I love the opportunity to do all this. Life is short…make it a priority to live life now. I am fortunate to have been able to live life this weekend with Lauren. I leave with a couple tips to use in preparation and during the trips:

  • Pack healthy food and snacks that can bridge you from meal to meal
  • Find and drop into a local grocery store for supplies
  • Use Yelp and Google to find healthy options to eat; I type “vegan restaurants near me” in the search box
  • Bring an additional bag(s) to house extra gear and fuels
  • Use storage bags to fill powder mixes that may be in large tubs
  • Ask for extra towels every time you pass the front desk…lots of sweat and showers on this trip

– Add Health to Your Life.

What an incredible sunrise on Deerfield Beach for our Saturday morning run…
Lauren so strong during her 15 mile run Saturday morning via Deerfield Beach.
Refueling at Raw Juce several times this weekend.
Rocks this time via Boca Raton Beach…
We cleaned up for a fantastic night on South Beach Miami – Planta for dinner and then a beautiful walk…
Having fun during our Sunday morning ride…
Stopped on the beach at Fort Lauderdale where they hosted a big run race…
My favorite photo of the weekend…an impromptu kiss near the end of our ride next to Boca Raton Beach.

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