Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Vegan Travel Adventures: California Edition

Last weekend was my first time, post-reboot and as a new Vegan, to travel out of town for the weekend.  I went to Santa Ana, California for a work trip and want to share the experience along with how I managed to have a blast while keeping my eating habits on point.  

The view right outside the hotel I stayed in.

Before I even left town, I had googled to find a few vegan restaurants that looked yummy and even made plans with a friend who lived in the area to take me out to dinner to a vegan place she knew.  By making plans ahead of time, I saved myself from being unprepared and making last second decisions that would be less than healthy.

On Friday, I worked 1/2 a day in the office and headed to the airport around 1pm.  Work was so busy that morning that I didn't have time to grab lunch so I grabbed some fruit, juice and water in the terminal to tide me over.  When at the airport, fresh fruit is always a good choice! ;-)  Starbucks always seems to have lots of fruit and even yummy fruit cups's my go-to option when traveling in a pinch.

By the time I got to Cali, was picked up and got to my hotel, I was super hungry.  Luckily I just had about an hour till my Beachbody friend, Stacy, & I planned to meet up for dinner.  

Here's what I wore out to a casual dinner:

Stacy's not vegan, but she had a vegan friend who recommended we try out Native Foods in Santa Ana, CA and it was adorable and had TONS of yummy sounding options.

We found so many yummy options that we couldn't pick just one so we ended up ordering the Twister Wrap and the Bacon Cheeseburger and 1/2 each of them along with each having an order of sweet potatoe fries.  The burger was my fav, but the wrap was really good too.  

This was an awesome first experience in a vegan really locked in my belief that going Vegan did NOT mean missing out, but actually trying tons of new things and adding healthy, cruelty-free options to my meal plans. 

After dinner, I wanted to get a snack to take back to the hotel and enjoy over the weekend. Native Foods had lots of dessert options, but I settled on an oatmeal cookie.  There was a period of time in college where I basically got super addicted to these and ate them for like every meal for a week or two.  Yeah, it was out of control...hahaha Luckily, this version was delicious, but also healthy and not stuffed with processed.

Once I got back to the hotel I was so stuffed for the food, I didn't even try my dessert...I just decided to save it for later.  

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5am to get in a quick 30 minute Slim In 6 workout before heading to my work event.

I'm a big fan of hotel gyms....this one wasn't anything fancy, but they did have free headphones for you to take along with mini-flat screen tvs on the treadmills.  

It was a busy day at the event...We didn't really get an breaks for food so after it ended around 3pm, I was super hungry.  I headed back to the hotel, changed clothes, charged my phone a bit and then took an Uber to Laguna Beach.  If you haven't tried Uber're missing out.  It's inexpensive and they drivers I've had have always been super friendly.  Waaaay less of a creepy experience than taxis, for sure!!

Before leaving I google Vegan resturants in Laguna Beach and found this one:

I had the Uber driver drop me off there and there was The Stand Natural Foods...a cute little walk-up resturant, check it out:

They had tons of options on the menu and I finally settled on a veggie burger, because I actually knew what it was and it sounded yummy since I was sooooo hungry.  Here's how it looked:

It was huge so I just ate a little over 1/2 of the burger and all the chips....then I headed out to explore Laguna.  When leaving the restaurant, I passed their adorable van

Then I walked along the street peering into art galleries and checking out local boutiques.  I even snagged a Laguna Beach tank for just $9.99- SCORE!!  After that I was ready to head to the beach..

It was fabulous, I spent over an hour just walking along the ocean, taking pictures and taking in all the beauty....

When my phone was almost out of battery and the sun was beginning to set, I caught an Uber and headed back to my hotel.  By this time it was past dinner time, but I wasn't too crazy hungry since I had a late lunch.  I went to the hotel breakfast and grabbed a meatless stirfry and only ate about 1/2.  It was good, but def not my fav meal of the trip.

After that I headed back to my room and watched TV until I fell asleep. 

Sunday morning is my rest day so I didn't get a workout I had to be at the airport by 7am to catch my flight back home.  I woke up, got all packed and headed to the hotel restaurant to grab some fruit and juice.

Once I got to the airport, got through security and found my gate, I headed to a gift shop to get a snack and water for the long flight.  I found some cookies I'd heard about on Instagram so I grabbed 2 for the plane and one for later.

Let me just have GOT to try these....they were both so yummy and tasted like the Grandma's Cookies I always ate growing up.  MMMM!!!

All in all, I had a fabulous time...especially at the beach and this makes me even more excited to start planning a beach vacation with my hubby.  Hopefully next year we'll be celebrating out 3yr anniversary on a beach somewhere. haha

So how do you make traveling fun & simple as a vegan?  I'd love to hear your tips & ideas in the comments.

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