April 25, 2013

Project Kale Does The Bahamas

Holy hiatus!

Hi my fabulous followers - long time, no blog!  My silence these past couple of weeks has been due to a ton of traveling and just general life craziness.  But I'm back and ready to share with you one of my traveling experiences these past few weeks - Project Kale went to the Bahamas baby!!

February and March are my least favorite months of the year.  I literally think they are evil and should be banished from the calendar.  Come March, I need to be somewhere warm, if only for a few days, or I go crazy.  So this year, my cousin and I decided to do a last minute girls vacation to the Bahamas. 

I've never been to the Bahamas, so I was really looking forward to the white sand, bright blue water, and plentiful pina coladas. 


I was not disappointed. 

After our quick 2 1/2 hour flight from JFK, we decided our first order of business was to dip our toes in the sand.  Check. 

Second order of business?


Pina Coladas should technically be vegan friendly - coconut cream, pineapple juice, and rum.  Sometimes, there is a chance that the pre-made mixes could have a little dairy in them - but on vacation, I have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy when it comes to pina coladas.  It's my vacation splurge.

We wanted to try to not spend a fortune on this impromptu vacation, so we knew we would have to find deals on food.  So instead of the expensive breakfast buffet at the hotel, we headed right across the street to Dunkin Donuts.



That's right.  There was a freaking Dunkin Donuts directly in front of our hotel.  In fact, our room had a view of the DD (personally, I think they should consider re-naming the room from "city view" to "Dunkin Donuts view").  Quick, cheap, and vegan, DD was a life saver this vacation.  Black coffee and oatmeal or bagel.  Breakfast?  Check.

Breakfast on a budget
 

For lunch, the hotel bar actually had a veggie burger and veggie wrap (as well as salads).  So I had a few great options.  Also cocktails are always a great lunch choice when on vacation.

Veggie burger - didn't eat the bun or fries (okay fine, I had some fries, but not all. Okay, okay, I ate most of the fries.....all of them.  I ate all of them.)



We went out to lunch one day, to Senor Frogs.  As I've mentioned before, Mexican restaurants are always a great option for plant-based rock stars when traveling.  We had guacamole and I had a taco salad loaded with veggies (but don't eat that shell!  Holy fat and calories!).





We spent most of our days on the beach or by the pool, discussing all of the activities we could do the next day.  Parasailing, snorkeling, jet skiing, etc.  We did absolutely none of those things, but it was fun to daydream about them before passing out in the cabana.....



On one of our last days, we decided to venture out and walk around Nassau a bit.  Since our hotel was right in the city, we really had no excuse.  Plus we needed to sweat out some of the alcohol.


The Straw Market in Nassau

Dinner and night time were a different story - we couldn't wait to go out and try some restaurants and explore the area.  I did a bit of research before we left, and found some great restaurants that actually had gluten free and vegan options.  Hooray!! 

First one up was Café Matisse.  It came highly recommended online and by the hotel staff - and they offered a gluten free/vegan gnocchi.  Plus, it's named Café Matisse and I was an art history minor. 

Sold! 

 
Appetizer - I ate the tomato, my cousin ate the cheese.
My yummy salad full of lettuce, kale, spinach, and veggies!
Gluten free vegan gnocchi with veggies - To.Die.For.
 
We loved it so much, we ate there twice!  We also went to another Italian restaurant that was equally as amazing - we couldn't decide which one we liked better.  I also had gnocchi at this place - in fact, now that I think of it, I had gnocchi almost every night.  I guess because I never really eat it because it's so heavy.  Plus, it's yummy and just so much fun to say.  Gnocchi.


View at the restaurant - you can see the Atlantis in the distance!


My chopped salad - SO YUMMY


Gnocchi #2 - with a marinara sauce and mushrooms.  So good


After dinner drink - coffee and Frangelico.


Cheers

After dinner, we ventured to Paradise Island to see what all the fuss was about with Atlantis.  It was actually quite breathtaking and imposing - if I had kids, it would be a must.  But this particular vacation, all we needed was a beach and a drink. 

We hit up the casino at Atlantis.....and then remembered that neither one of us gambles.  Or knows how to.  At all.  So we played a couple of slots just to check it off the list.


And won BIG TIME!



The next morning, we soaked up the last few hours of sun, and cried all the way to the airport.  It was really a perfect little trip.  Here are just a few more photos of the fun:


Dancing!


The Chihuly glass sculptures at the Atlantis - amazing




Two hands = Two drinks


My beautiful cousin at Café Matisse
So even without a ton of planning, and on short notice, you can still maintain a healthy plant-based diet on vacation (a few French fries aside)!  Again, after a while, you don't even really think twice about it!  Plus, eating healthy makes you feel less guilty about all the pina coladas you consume....

**SO - have any of my fabulous followers ever been to the Bahamas?  Planning a summer trip?  How do you plan on staying on track in terms of your diet when traveling??**

Love & Kale,
Ali



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