Love Freely, Laugh Genuinely, Eat Colorfully

LA



My first time to LA was amazing!  I went during the month of December a few years ago and although I wish it was slightly warmer during that time, it was still pretty warm compared to home.  There was so much to see and so many places I wanted to check out.  I had the opportunity to explore Hollywood, Malibu, Venice, and my favorite...Santa Monica.  I should also mention one of my favorite parts of the trip was that I got engaged too!  Best trip ever.

When I travel, the first few things I do to plan ahead is to first check the weather (I never like being cold haha), I check out some fun hangout spots and activities to participate in, and last but definitely not least...I check out what food places are available.  I had some of the most amazing food in LA.  Every morning my fiancé and I would grab breakfast at this vegan spot that I cannot remember the name of!  They made me the best la-la-la-lattes!  Everywhere I go, I get the same latte, Chamomile Tea Latte (sometimes with lavender), steamed Almond, Cashew, or Coconut Milk, sweetened with Vanilla or Hazlenut.  I call this the Lia Latte.  The lady who worked at this Café made me the perfect latte.  When she would see me come in, she would say, "would you like your latte again this morning?"   Is that a sign I need to live in LA?  It's also time to add "Lia's Latte" to all Coffee shops around the world!  Sometimes it can be difficult finding a variety of healthy places to eat when traveling, but in LA the options are endless.  Below I listed some of my favorite places to eat at while in LA:

  • Beaming
So this place was amazing, we became OBSESSED with their Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I think they put crack in the cookie batter (haha just kidding, kind of).  Beaming offers a variety of cold pressed juices, raw food options, and more!

  • Kye's

As we were walking around in Santa Monica, we were looking for a cool spot for lunch and stumbled upon Kye's.  We briefly checked out the menu and noticed something called a Kyerito.  What on earth is a Kyertio? So we decided to go in and check it out.  So we found out that a Kyerito is Kye's version of a burrito.  I enjoyed The Macro Kyerito that included a mix of fresh veggies and rice blend, with a delicious wasabi dressing, while my Fiancé enjoyed the Nahm Jim Kyerito and one of their vegan desserts.  To end my meal, I enjoyed an organic hot tea of course.


  • Gjelina
We had the opportunity to speak to the owner of Kye's briefly, who suggested that we check out one of the hottest streets in LA, Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice.  This is where my obsession with LA grew stronger.  She suggested that we check out Gjelinas because the food and atmosphere was amazing.  We sat outside that night by a small fire pit.  Did I mention I love people watching when I am out eating?!  I L-O-V-E to people watch on vacation.  I enjoyed the House Marinated Olives Appetizers (I could eat a pound of olives a day.  Hey they are healthy fats so...).  I also enjoyed the Wood Roasted Cauliflower, and the Pomodoro Pizza.  It was so easy and difficult to choose what I wanted to eat.  Easy because there were so many options and difficult because I couldn't order the whole menu so I had to choose a few options!  Everything was flavored so well and cooked just right.  They have a number of options for meat eaters, seafood lovers, and vegetarians like myself.

  • Nobu
After an adventurous day in Malibu, we stumbled upon Nobu, and although I did not get a chance to eat at Nobu on this trip, we had time to grab a drink outside and enjoy the unbelievable view.  What a beautiful place to sit outside and chill.


I look forward to my next trip to LA and trying out some new food places.

xoxo

WEST PALM BEACH



I have had the opportunity to travel to West Palm Beach a few times now and each time it gets better.  It's warm, beautiful, and peaceful.  With Miami only an hour or so away, West Palm Beach has a stillness about it which is very relaxing, compared to South Beach.  I love warm sunny weather and each time I have been to West Palm it has been in the 80's, which I love!  I even take Hot Yoga when I'm there (haha crazy, right?)!

So there are some awesome places to check out to eat and I have listed my three favorites below:


  • Avocado Grill
You can choose to eat inside or outside to people watch of course.  If you love avocado then you need to check out this place (obviously).  They use avocado in a variety of creative ways.  Be sure to check out the Grilled Avocado Wedges.
  • Lynora's
Located on Clematis Street one of the hottest streets in West Palm Beach, this Italian Ristorante is a must try.  I always enjoy a few things when I go.  I get the Spinaci Aglio E Olio, Escarole Alla Toscana, Asparagus, and of course the Melanzane Alla Parmigiana (my favorite meal.)  They also offer great fire brick oven pizza.  The Margherita and Vegetariana are delizioso!
  • Meraki
So this place was another one of my many obsessions.  I went here everyday with my brother for breakfast, when I wanted a snack, and just because.  I tried so many juices, shots, meals, and sweets, but some of my favorites were...Superfood Smoothie, Banana Almond Smoothie, Cacao Crunch Acai Bowl, Avocado Toast, Almond Butter Toast, Avocado Rolls (which I ate everyday), Coconut Cury Quinoa Bowl, Coco Whip (so cray), Vegan Donut Holes (I ate like 5 a day, oops).

What fun is vacation if you cannot enjoy amazing food the entire time?  Food fuels us and provides vitamins and minerals needed to function properly.

xoxo

CHICAGO



I have only been to Chicago, the windy city, one time but it was an amazing trip.  Chicago reminds me of a calmer version of NYC.  Lots of hustle and bustle, beautiful sights to see, great shopping, and lots of great food.   When I travel to different cities one of my other favorite things to do besides eating all day, is to check out beautiful Cathedral Churches.  Holy Name Cathedral Church on N Wabash Avenue was absolutely beautiful inside, as was the mass.  The woodwork in this Church and architectural structure was unbelievable, and I couldn't even guess how high the ceilings were.  I enjoy going into Church alone to say some prayers and then, off to find some food!

After Church, I stopped at a local health food store to bring back some food to my hotel and stick it in the fridge, for when I get hungry at night (which is like every night of course).  So I tried a few great places, but two of my favorite places to eat in Chicago are below:

  • Eataly Chicago
I have heard mixed reviews about this place so I wanted to try it out for myself.  It was a pretty cool setup.  As soon as I walked in, it was packed with people at the Espresso Bar, Nutella Pizza Station, and every other station in there.  I didn't know where to go first so I decided to walk around the whole place so I could decide what exactly I wanted.  This location was two stories.  There were a number of restaurants inside this location as well, and you could shop for kitchen gadgets (another obsession), and cookbooks.  I ended up buying a t-shirt that says "Vuoi venire a cena con me?" (translation: "Do you want to have dinner with me?"...I of course would ask where are we having dinner, before I say yes, haha).  I also bought a Eataly corkscrew, as well as a beautiful traveling wine bag.  By this time I was hungry.  I ended up stopping at one of their stations that offered a variety of roasted veggies that you could order by weight.  I ended up selecting the roasted red skin potatoes cooked in extra virgin olive oil, rosemary and garlic, and a pound of roasted brussel sprouts (I was hungry, ok).  Overall it was a good experience.

  • Chicago Raw
I had been looking for a Vegan hotspot while in Chicago when I stumbled upon this place.  A small spot to grab some great vegan RAW bites including sweet treats, with seating along the front window to people watch of course.  I had the Chicago Raw Roll (Nori Wrap), Raw Brownie, and Raw Mint Square.  They are very generous with the portions of each dessert, they are very rich so I could only eat a little at a time, which left some for later!

I hope to get the opportunity to check out Chicago again.
xoxo

D.C


Where do I begin?  D.C. is one of my favorite places to travel to.  I have been there now a few times and have enjoyed each moment I am there.  What a great place to explore beautiful monuments, museums, bike trails, and more.  There is always something going on in D.C.  Every time I am in D.C. I wake up early and jog outside.  The treadmill is great, but its much more fun to run outside where everyone is and admire the day. 

I have a few places I really enjoy going to when I am in D.C. 
If you are ever in D.C., you have to check out the Union Market.  It's a food hub that offers a variety of cuisines.  You can grab juices, smoothies, empanadas, wraps, coconut water, sweets, local produce, and more.  They have drive-in movie nights too!  Have fun is that?!  There are so many different local food vendors and artisans.
  • Union Market 
    • Takorean

Every time I stop at the Union Market I stop at Takorean and get a vegan rice bowl filled with brown rice, kale slaw, Sesamee seeds, cauliflower, and tons of fresh cilantro.
    • South Block
I really liked South Block, a place where I could get raw juice, smoothies, smoothie bowls, and vegan treats.  We were going to be out and about at a few museums so I decided to buy a bag full of snacks and a few raw juices to keep us fueled on our journey.  I also really like their raw coconut water.
  • Fruitive
I found Fruitive when I was looking for a lunch spot in City Center, a hot spot in the city.  I saw a few people in their work out clothes walking into this place after their Yoga class.  The music was poppin' so I was convinced at that moment I needed to try it out.  This was another place packed with smoothies, acai bowls, juices, cleanses, and meal options to keep you fueled.  I had the Cacao Smoothie and of course added a few additional protein add-ons.  I also had the kale salad, and coconut bites.
  • Fig and Olive
One of my favorite Mediterranean restaurants in D.C.  The menu offers a variety of delicious options to choose from.  One of my favorite things to do at Fig and Olive was to order a variety of side options as my meal.  Some of my favorites were the roasted potatoes, asparagus, spinach with almonds and dried Turkish figs, and the roasted carrots with the Tuscan eggplant tapenade.  Everything was fresh and delicious.  You also can purchase bottles of olive oils and balsamic vinegars from Italy, Greece, and Spain.
  • Centrolina Italian Market and Restaurant

This place is a Groceria and Restaurant.  At the restaurant I enjoyed the Pomodoro, fresh tomatoes with basil, oregano, extra virgin olive oil, and red wine.  I also enjoyed the Giardiniera, a platter of raw and roasted vegetables with hummus.  The Groceria sells eggplant parmigiana that is so delicious, I wish they would add it to the restaurants menu.

Until next time.
xoxo

MIAMI



I do not have the words to express my love for Miami.  One of my first times I went to Miami was during freshman year in college, and I knew then that I would go back as many times as possible.  The vibe, the heat, the people, the food, the culture, the beach, I could go on forever.  I feel like a totally different person in Miami.  Waking up each morning early to run on the beach and see the sunset, while listening to Elvis Crespo.  The breeze from the ocean cools you off while running in the morning heat.

Some of my very favorite food places are in Miami:

  • Osteria del Teatro
Probably the best place to people watch ever.  Located at the Marlin Hotel in the heart of South Beach, this ristorante offers authentic Italian cuisine.  Every time I head to Miami, I book a table for a few nights ahead of time.  The eggplant parmigiana melts in your mouth.  The spaghetti is so good too, I also ask for extra sauce because the sauce is so good and I love tons of sauce on pasta.  I also enjoy the Arugula salad, it has a very light and nutty flavor.  I finish my meal with a cup of herbal tea of course.
  • Mandolin Aegean Bistro
My fiancé and I discovered this gem after a conversation with one of the locals over a smoothie and coffee at a breakfast spot.  Located in Wynwood, this eatery is now one of my absolute favorites for lunch or dinner.  You get to sit outside in this enclosed garden with lights strung all over above you.  Anything on the menu is delicious.  The Turkish sampler appetizer is so good that I could have ordered it again as my entrée.  I did order one of the appetizers as my meal, the Stuffed Zucchini and Eggplant, it's out of this world!  I also enjoyed the Arugula Salad along with the Greek Village Salad packed with tomatoes, peppers, and olives.  For sides, try the Olives and Feta, with Sautéed Spinach. 
  • Plant Food and Wine
Some of the most flavorful and colorful foods I have ever had, although they were very small bites, it was worth trying a variety of menu items.  You certainly eat the rainbow here, it is slightly pricey but worth checking out.  Try the raw vegan cheesecake, trust me. 
  • Plant Theory
A raw vegan café on Collins Ave in South Beach.  This was a great place to grab some small bites after a morning work out before heading to the beach.  Menu items sourced include raw, Non-GMO, Organic, and Local produce.  I really enjoyed the Raw Mamma Mia Neatball Hero Wrap(yes it's called neatbal, how neat).
  • Gelateria 4D
Delicious Gelato worth trying.  I had a mix of the amaretto, pistachio, and hazelnut, so delicious!  I hear it tastes like Gelato from Italy, hopefully I will know the truth behind that one day.
  • Raw Juce
Just try any and everything here.  Anything I had was amazing.  After running on the beach every morning, we always went to Raw Juce to grab a few ginger shots, juices, and acai bowls.
  • DIRT
The name is what caught my attention.  I had the chance to enjoy the chia pudding and collard veggie wrap with a tamari dressing. When you eat clean, you feel so good the rest of the day.
  • Antico's
Probably the best pizza I have ever had.  I have not been to Naples yet, but until then, Antico's will do. 
  • Pura Vida
The hottest lunch spot in Miami.  I love the look, the vibe, the music, the people, and the food of course.  Every lunch I ordered a salad, juice, smoothie, and the craziest vegan chocolate chunk cookie that was so good.


Miami you are always good to me and I thank you for that, I hope to spend much more time with you in my future.
xoxo

NYC



NYC, the city that never sleeps.  I love the hustle and bustle of this city.  There are endless places to go in NYC, and endless places to eat, places that cater to any and everyone.  I have tried a number of very cool restaurants in NYC.  I have tried places in the different boroughs of this amazing city and it's not just about the food in this city, it's about the experience.  Being in a city that makes you feel like you're living in a movie, makes the food that much better. 

There's not one or two places that I can settle on that are may favorites, when you're in NYC you have to try it all.  I look forward to my next trip, I have a list of some great places I look forward to trying out. So stay tuned.

xoxo

ATLANTA



I had the opportunity to check out Atlanta once and I am glad that I did.  I love walking around in cities and exploring what it has to offer.  Sometimes its fun to just plant yourself in a popular section of the city and stumble upon places.  During this trip my two favorite places were:

  • True Food Kitchen
I had the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, Ancient Grain Bowl, and Pomegranate Chia Juice.  It was so busy, I was lucky to find an open seat at the bar.  I love when places are busy and the atmosphere is fun and welcoming.
  • dtox Organic Juice
I always look for raw juice bars when I travel and I like to walk if possible.  I found dtox when I was looking up places to get a juice and I did not realize how far it was from where I was, but it was well worth it.  I had a smoothie, a dtox E3 shot, and grabbed a few juices to take back to my place for later and the next morning.

It was a short trip but a good one, and I look forward to getting to explore what else the ATL has to offer.

xoxo