Portland is everything I expected it to be. Rainy and overcast. A mix of green forests and steel bridges. And vegan eats everywhere. The one thing I did not expect was how delicious and exactly how prevalent the choices were! Vegan dining in Portland far and away exceeds Austin. And LA. And Philly.
I am pretty sure I ate kale three times a day. And overdosed on sugar. If a restaurant has a vegan dessert menu, I just can’t turn it down. I also cannot turn down vegan mac and cheese. Or donuts. It was all so, so good. Even the airport had a handful of vegan options to choose from. When you are used to one, maybe two options on a menu or in a city, having multitudes of choices is a little daunting. I just wanted to eat ALL THE FOOD. I flew home very full and happy. Hey, if you’ve got a race the next morning, it’s all carb-loading, right?
My favorite recommendations, if you ever (please do!) venture to PDX:
- Kure Juice Bar – lemon cayenne apple shots and Vega protein. Felt like home.
- Veggie Grill – perfect if you want to overdose on kale and quinoa.
- Departure Restaurant and Lounge – one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Order the Brussels sprouts. And the curry.
- Andina – the atmosphere plus the food make this a hidden gem in the Pearl District.
- VooDoo Doughnuts – famously delicious. And by far the best vegan doughnuts I have found.
I will always and forever love Chicago, but Portland, you have my heart when it comes to food!
In January, I focused on making my race schedule. This month, in trying to follow the Runner’s World guide, I committed to cooking. Outside of travel, we ate at home almost every night. This is usually normal for us, but with all the traveling, sometimes it gets easier to eat out or grab takeout, especially if we get home late or are only home for a few days. I think we did pretty well this month!
We were actually both home most of this month, which is crazy for us. In getting on track with my spring race training, I was able to focus on what I ate and fuel my body properly for each run and each day. I planned ahead, prepped everything, and even rethought the idea of a normal meal (protein smoothies totally work for dinner some nights!)
While committing to cooking isn’t really a challenge for me, it was nice to be home and have time to focus on making healthy, delicious meals. And once the first few nights of cooking are over, it’s really just leftovers the rest of the week. Since my husband and I eat completely separate meals, instead of shrinking the recipes, I stick to the regular 2-4 servings on the recipe. Then when I get home late from midweek yoga, I don’t have to worry about spending an hour making something. Heat it up in the oven and I am ready to eat!
What tips do you focus on to commit to cooking instead of eating out?
Off to warmer temperatures this week, assuming my flight gets out as scheduled with round 2 of Chiberia on its way! Instead of making a menu, I get to enjoy some of my favorite eats in sunny Orlando. Not only is this my third trip to the Sunshine state in the past three months, it is probably the 10th time I’ve been to the Orlando area in the past five years. Thankfully the convention center area has some decent restaurants, so I am not relying on protein bars, coffee, and iceberg lettuce salads all day.
One of my favorite websites for looking up veg-friendly restaurants is Happy Cow. And while there are thankfully quite a few options in the Orlando area, not that many are within walking distance of where I will be working and staying. Here are some of my favorite standbys:
- Funky Monkey Wine Bar – not a lot of veg options but a great wine list and usually salad and decent veggie sushi. I love the atmosphere, so it’s always worth a visit.
- Cuba Libre – sometimes a perfect meal can be as simple as plantains and black beans.
- Bob Marley’s – Caribbean classics including spinach and sweet potato patties and yucca fries.
- Cafe Tu Tu Tango – I’ve actually not been here before, but falafel on any menu makes me excited. Especially with pineapple tahini.
- Uno Chicago Grill – yes, a pizza chain, but they have a nine-grain gluten-free crust and lots of veggie toppings to make a hearty pizza that makes you not even miss the cheese.
Between decent restaurants and the army of protein bars I’ve packed (just in case!), I should be set for a fun food week in hot and humid Florida. And then jet-setting off to another warm and sunny city. I’ve never been more thankful for a break from these absurdly freezing temperatures! As much as I love snow, its time for a little summer.