EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE EAST COAST: ADVENTURES IN “HEALTHY” EATING

The last week I’ve been on vacation on the East Coast and it’s been wonderful! Seeing friends, seeing family, spending time with The Boy and… what everyone really cares about on vacation, a whole lot of great food.

For most of the vacationing population out there and especially those who choose to spend their time off in New York City & Down the Shore in Jersey, vacation food means soft pretzels, ice cream cones and salt water taffy. But for those of us who are of the Gluten Free, Try-to-be-Dairy-Free,  Almond Milk Latte loving variety, vacation food takes on a whole new meaning. We are constantly searching for the hidden little gem that offers up indulgences that still say “Enjoy! Relax! Calories Shmalories! You’re on vacation!” But that also says “You won’t get a crazy break out that will make you look like you’re in 9th grade all over again.”  Otherwise known as foods that taste great but don’t make you feel like crap.

 

I can’t quite explain the excitement that I get when I find a new place while traveling that serves up food that fits with my lifestyle. Is that just me?! Based on the lines in a lot of these places, I really don’t think so.

So before I get to the wheres and the whats of what I ate, I should put a disclaimer here:  Just like most team gluten/dairy/sugar vacationers, I too used this week to indulge. I know that a paleo muffin for breakfast followed by some (okay, more than “some”) dark chocolate for a “snack” AND some dairy free ice cream after (with a splash of not-so-dairy-free hot fudge) dinner isn’t what anyone would call healthy, but it’s vacation after all and thats why you pack leggings when travelling. Sure,  we all use the excuse that they take up less room in the suitcase… but who are we kidding? No one. and I’m totally okay with that.  #expandablepantsforever. No but seriously I was thinking of snagging a pair of my future sister-in-laws maternity jeans. Can we just take a minute to discuss how comfortable those look? I mean why can’t ALL pants have that comfy padding around the stomach? Why do we torture ourselves with a button that digs in to our stomachs when there is clearly a better way even if you the only bundle you have in your belly is a bundle of cookies?

Alright moving right along to what and where I ate this vacation!

We started the trip in NYC where I met up with a former Oprah show co-worker at The Butcher’s Daughter in NYC. I got this amazing egg sandich on Gluten Free bread with avocado, a vegan cashew cheese (that I was skeptical about but it was really delicious!) & tomato jam and this sammie quickly became my jam. And it will be yours too. I highly recommend it. I did also buy a gluten free scone here for a snack later but I’d say not worth the price or the calories.

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On Sunday before the wedding we went to, The Boy & I had some errands to run and I  planned our day around my favorite place in NYC- Hu Kitchen. It’s a paleo fast casual spot with a whole lot of good going on in there. I have loved just about everything I’ve tried and even The Boy who wouldn’t frequent a place like this on his own was impressed.

His & Hers: He got the Dairy Free Ceasar salad (complete with paleo bread croutons) & the tuna  I got the almond crusted chicken fingers, the panzanella salad & the cauliflower “rice” salad.

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And after lunch must come an after lunch snack: So I got the paleo espresso muffin and an iced coffee  (I saved the muffin for the next day but did take a bite after snapping this photo):

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After observing Yom Kippur with Family in North Jersey, we ventured down the shore for the past few days. After being in NYC for a bit I was experiencing a major case of pizza cravings and luckily Bocca in Margate didn’t disappoint. While their GF pizza was a bit overpriced, it is definitely one of the better GF pizza crusts I’ve had. I kept mine cheese-less with chicken, broccoli, spinach, artichokes and carmelized onions.

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The Boy opted for the Non- Gluten Free BBQ Chicken Monster Slice and that didn’t disappoint either:

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After a week with no green smoothies and after a two hour walk on the Boardwalk (down by the seaaaaa), I was excited to discover Greens & Grains in Ventnor (the next town over). They had so many great smoothie/juice/healthy lunch options. We opted for the Viva La Vegan smoothie but we added some spinach, kale & almond butter to get our greens and protein in:

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(Happy Me!)

Last night, we had a family Friday night dinner and my future Mother-in-Law brought down some apples from their apple tree to make a cake with. She also kept it gluten free for me and tried her famous recipe with King Arthur’s Gluten Free Flour. It was a success! Even the rest of the family said you couldn’t tell the difference!! So good!

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And while this area of town is small, I had given up home on an almond milk latte. There is a Starbucks in town but I’m really not a fan of their sugar laden coconut milk. So when we stumbled upon Ventnor No. 7311, and they had both Paleo muffins AND unsweetened almond milk? Happy Jilly indeed.

The boy & I shared a blueberry muffin one day and a cinnamon bun muffin the next (both Gluten free & Dairy free) and I got a pumpkin spice latte with unsweetened almond milk. I love that this places makes all of their flavorings in house using only real ingredients (their pumpkin spice flavor is made up of pumpkin puree, brown sugar, water, pumpkin spice & pure vanilla extract).

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I still have one more day left here – so here’s to hoping that my pants will button come Monday!!

xoJ

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