Friday, June 17, 2011

Being a "Vitortarian" in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

My body has been back from vacation now for 4 days, but my mind is just now catching up, hence the delayed post! We were only gone 4 nights but man, we fit in a lot of craziness in a short time. It's hard to come back from that, and to rainy Vancouver no less...

Cabo was an absolute blast. It's not exactly my first rodeo in CSL, but it's definitely the first time I've been there since I've been on my current diet. I was a little worried, because the first thing I found when I searched "vegan" and "Cabo San Lucas" on Google was a thread of people posting about how hard it is to eat vegan in Cabo. Greeeat...

Let's be real, it is hard. From the language barrier to the fact that meat, corn and dairy are staples in the Mexican culture, it's hard to get a good Vitortarian meal in those parts. And seeing as I already have one parasite, I had to be super careful with anything fresh in order to avoid picking up another one.

So, if you are travelling to Cabo (and many of these rules apply to anywhere in Mexico), here's some advice:

1. Guacamole and Fajita Vegetables are a girl's best friends
I ate fajita vegetables and guac like it was my job. I dabbled in the rice and bean arena, but let's be real, Mexican beans arent always vegan and sometimes arent even gluten free, so I definitely wouldn't rely on them. All the rice i had was white rice, which I'll eat if there isn't any other option, but I don't like to OD on. So anytime we ate Mexican food, I ordered fajitas with no meat, no tortillas, no sour cream and no cheese (people thought I was bonkers) and a side of guac. However, I did get pretty dang sick of sauteed peppers and onions, which brings me to my next piece of advice:

2. Bring your own food
I kid you not, in preparation for this trip I packed a whole carryon just for food from home. Unfortunately you can't bring produce into the country (I still did by hiding it in my suitcase but I'd definitely advise against that), so I ate a lot of packaged food which isnt the norm for me but it sure beats being hungry! Rice tortillas and Beanitos Bean Chips were musts, I could bring them along to restaurants to dip in guacamole or pair with fajita veggies. I also packed a butt load of sea snax, those little roasted seaweed things I love so dearly. Also, a few packets of Vega Whole Food Optimizer powder in Chai Vanilla for breakfast (they pack a ton of nutrition into a little packet, and they taste great!), and some Larabars. Again, not exactly ideal food for day to day life, but a whole heck of a lot better than eating flesh and mucus (meat and dairy).

3. Visit the Monkey Business bar
I can't begin to tell you how many sugary effing drinks I had in Cabo. If its not beer or watered down tequila, you can bet there's probably more sugar than alcohol in your drink. I had more sugar in those 5 days than I have in the last 3 years. And my body hated me for it, no doubt about that. Luckily, I had one saving grace when it came to boozing. Joe and I were wandering the town one morning and stumbled across a tequila specialty shop. The man in the shop told us we could sample any tequila at the bar next door. Enter Monkey Business. It's a little outdoor bar, with a few barstools and wood pillars that have been tagged with names, etc. in sharpie all the way around (Joe and I definitely left our mark). The bartende informed us that they'd been voted the best margaritas in Cabo, so naturally we had to try one! Who says 11 am is to early to start drinking? So he gets to work on our drinks and I can already tell that the voters were right...instead of your typical pre-prepared margarita mix and Jose Cuervo, these margs were made with fresh squeezed (we literally watched him do it) oranges and limes, top shelf tequila, and a little soda water.

Everything fresh, no added sugar, definitely up my alley. And WOW they were good, not only was it was the best marg in Cabo, it was the best dang drink I've ever had! We also had mojitos...same deal. In fact, a guy showed up while we were there to deliver fresh mint, which the bartender then muddled to perfection and mixed with soda water, fresh lime juice, and sugar (a mojito staple, I can't be perfect all the time!)

Yummmmmm....We were happy campers

Superstar clientele (besides yours truly...hahaha) include Lil Wayne and Lil John (who were there last year), which basically just made the place that much cooler! YEEAHH (Lil John voice).

4. Pack Your Supplements!
Digestive enzymes and probiotics are an absolute must! I seriously think my enzymes saved my butt a few times when I got accidentally contaminated. For some of the stuff I ate I should have felt a lot worse than I actually did! I took enzymes with lunch and dinner and probiotics twice a day, just like I do at home. Seriously, don't leave home without those babies.

5. Visit our buddy Tim at Salvatore's
One of Joe's distant relatives owns a little out-of-the-way Italian joint in the city. Took us forever to find it, it's pretty hidden and not well advertised but one of the most popular word-of-mouth places in Cabo. They've seen all sorts of celebrities, and been written up as a top ten attraction on Trip Advisor, yet you wouldn't know about it if you didn't hear from a loyal customer. The guy's name is Tim (he owns it and his sons Matt and Sam work there as well), and he took great care of us. Great wine, amazing food, and while the menu wasn't exactly Sarah-friendly, they were more than willing to accomadate. The cook made me a giant plate of artichoke hearts, olives, mushrooms, peppers and a bunch of other veggies, all seasoned to perfection and complimented with a delicious Chianti. I was in absolute heaven. Just watch out for the Sangria, its really dang sweet and it'll get ya...
(Joe, post-sangria/wine)

6. RELAX!!
I really can't stress this enough. So they put a little lard in your beans, or a little tomato in your guac. Unless you are severly allergic, don't freak out about it. Being relaxed will help you feel better anyways, take it from me, anxiety over food only makes all your symptoms worse. Just enjoy yourself you're in freaking MEXICO! Deal with it when you get home if you have to. It's not life or death people.

And don't be afraid to party like a rockstar!

Woo! Viva La Mexico! Enjoy your travels :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi!
    My name is Amy and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for posts about Cabo to share on our travel site and I came across your blog...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at amy(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!