It’s Taper Time! The Week of Training and other good stuff

It’s Taper Time!

We’re almost there! With less than two weeks to go until the SLO Marathon I can honestly say that I’ve done the best training that I could for this race. I know I’ve complained a bit, and I’ve had challenges to my training schedule, but all in all, I’m happy and feel ready for this race.

Want to learn more about the Art (and some Science) of the Marathon Taper?

I say that in spite of having a really bad run on Saturday, what should have been my last longish run before the marathon. How bad? Well, I’ll tell you.

My plan for Saturday was to run 16 miles. I changed that to 15 after heading out with Christina, my new runner/neighbor, who wanted to run 14. I’d put in my first mile while waiting for her to finish getting ready, so I figured with 15 we could run the whole thing together. That sounded great after last week, when I had to run half of my 22 miler on my own.


From another week, but this is Christina.


We got started about 6:45, a little late, but with a shorter distance I wasn’t too worried about it getting hot before we finished. The first half of the run was fine. An easy pace, lots of chatting, my favorite horse paths to run on. At about mile nine, I had a little hint of what I consider the precursor to my exercise induced asthma: just a little lightheaded feeling that I shrugged off. I put my focus on breathing and it seemed to pass without having to stop.


The best rest stop ever! Clean bathrooms and they provide cold filtered water for ME!


At about mile 10.5, we walked for just a moment because it felt good we reached a turnaround point. As soon as I stopped, I could feel it coming back. Tunnel vision, lightheaded, dizziness, a combination of all three. I took a couple puffs on my inhaler, we walked a little more, then it seemed to pass and we started to run again.

For about a half mile. Then it came back. It continued like that for the next mile and a half. Run a little, walk a little, completely stop and hold onto something because otherwise I might just fall. I was struggling, and Christina, bless her heart, stayed with me even though I told her that I’d been through this before and I didn’t want to spoil her run. Finally, at about 12.5 miles my guardian angel Alan came riding up on his bike, returning from his 30 mile ride.

As we spoke to him I got so dizzy I had to sit down. He asked if I wanted him to come back with the car. I hesitated, but said yes, please. I’m tough, but not so tough (or dumb) to think I can overcome something like this.

When he rode on, Christina and I tried to run a little more but I just couldn’t. We ended up walking about a mile until Alan finally got back with the car. Christina continued on to run home, I thankfully got in the car.

It took me several hours to recover. I still felt lightheaded even after we got home. I ate a little, drank a little, then slept a lot. I felt better after my nap, but not normal yet.

I’m not sure why my exercise induced asthma, if that’s what it was, was so bad for this run. I’ve had a couple issues during my training, especially during my 22 mile run last week, but nothing this dramatic. Lately I have not used my inhaler before my run because I haven’t needed to. I did sleep badly the night before, but that alone doesn’t seem enough to cause such a bad reaction. I took Sunday off, but I’ll see how I feel on my next run before I get overly concerned. Remember, I’ve been dealing with this for a long, long time. Thirty six marathons worth.

So anyway. I did have a much better hill workout earlier in the week. I dragged took Christina with me for her first ever hill repeats. We managed 10 altogether, and I was proud of her for pushing through. Like the week before, we used the mile home for some downhill training. No breathing troubles at all during this workout even though it was pretty intense.

Hill WorkOther Good Stuff

First of all, Grandsons!

Our twin grandsons, along with their parents, were in town for spring break this week. I had to work much of the time, but Alan had a great time swimming, hiking, playing baseball, and skating (he was a spectator for that endeavor) with them all week.

Cash Collage

Dane CollageThey are both good athletes. We usually get to take a run with them when the visit, but we didn’t get a chance this visit. Alan took them on an eight mile hike on Thursday! Quite an accomplishment for two 10 year olds.

Dane CashVegan Food

For the basketball finals last Monday, I made my “famous” basketball food. At various times it is also called football or baseball food too. It is basically vegan junk food, but sometimes it’s fun to eat a little junk while you’re watching a game.

basketball food

From another game, but you get the idea.

I also made vegan Caprese. I use tofu instead of the buffalo mozzarella and it absorbs the flavors nicely. Caprese was always one of my favorite salads, so I am happy that I have a plant based version to enjoy. (The recipe is here, though I made it without the baguette.)


Sunday morning I felt I needed a little protein boost after a day full of carbs, so I cooked up some Eggy tofu and seitan bacon. (The recipe for the tofu is here, on Cadry’s Kitchen). So good!

Eggy Tofu

From Last Week

In case you missed it, I guest posted on Run to the Finish last week.

Run until 90

Don’t forget about ASICS Gear for a Year Sweepstakes. They’re giving away $3,000 in ASICS gear ($300 per month for 10 months). You can enter once a day through April. Enter here.

Asics gearAnd Finally

Okay, I post a lot of pictures of Johnny. And he is usually on this chair, in this pose. But what was cute this time is that he made himself a little nest by pulling down the sweatshirts that I had piled on the back of the chair. Of course, now that he’s done it a few more times it’s not as cute (um, maybe I should just put those things away?).


How was your weekend? Any races, events, great training moments? Any bad ones? I’d love to hear about both!

Weekly Recap: SLO Marathon Training & Yoga

This whole work thing is taking its toll on my marathon training.

SLO Marathon Training, Week 7

While I’m happy overall with how my training is going, I still keep having to cut some of my weekday morning runs short because, well, money. If I have a client that wants to see me at 7:00 in the morning (or even 6:00, but that hasn’t happened yet), I really need to take them. Because in about three months they’ll be gone for the summer. It’s called making hay while the sun shines.

So, while I’m getting in the runs, they are shorter than I have on my schedule. In the coming week I’m going to work on getting out a little earlier, but I don’t like to go too early because I’m running by myself and, well, I’m scared of the dark. Here’s why…

This was a cutback week though, with my long run scheduled for 10 miles with five at marathon pace. That went well, though I did four at MP pace instead of five. I was running with my neighbor Christina, who is a new runner, but tough as nails. She did the whole run with me and kept me going during the faster parts. She even challenged me as we approached the end to pick it up to the corner. Bitch! I keep reminding myself she’s young enough to be my daughter. That helps.

run 3The picture above is from a couple weeks ago. Same crew though. Alan was with us but he had a steady pace 10 mile run on his schedule.

Here’s my post-run selfie. Mostly because I like taking pictures of our wind-kitties.


So I ran four times, 19 miles total. I’m still not happy with my total weekly mileage, but I’ll be working on that this week. I started off this week with a three mile run, and I managed eight 1/4 mile intervals, so I’m pretty happy with that.

The countdown to the SLO Marathon is on! Two months from today! Yikes, better get going. I have a 16 miles run on the schedule for the weekend, which is good, but I think the key is to get in my mid-week mileage.

By the way, the price will be going up on February 28, so if you’re planning to join me in San Luis Obispo on April 23 now is the time to register! You can save an extra $10 with my code WOODAMB. Do it!


Take the Leap Challenge

At least my yoga is going well. I have managed to practice a little yoga every day since February 2. I haven’t made it to as many classes as I’d like, but I’ll do a few sun salutations to warm up, some hip opening and hamstring stretching poses to cool down, and take the time daily for a pose-of-the-day.

We working on a warrior series this week. Here are my first three days:

Week 3Warrior I

Humble WarriorHumble Warrior

Warrior 2

Warrior II

I’m so happy with this Take the Leap Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink. The support of the other participants is amazing, and I love working with prAna. Not only do they make amazing clothing, but they care about creating a lifestyle of sustainability, kindness, and focus. My goal, once the challenge is over, is to continue on with my practice, maybe not daily, but several times a week. Yoga is good for my soul.

Random Stuff: Movies & #Vegan Food

Alan and I went to see McFarland, USA on Saturday. In a nutshell, we loved it! As a cross country coach I appreciated everything about the story of how running (and a good coach) helped to change the lives of the children of migrant workers in Central California in 1987. It was based on a true story, so even though it seemed a little formulaic, I didn’t care. I believe in the power of running and high school sports to help develop successful and confident adults.

We headed to lunch at Whole Foods on Sunday. We had their vegan Artisanal Cheese platter again. It was so good! And we shared the Taro Burger. Sadly, they no longer have the Jackfruit Crab Cakes on the menu {sad face}, but we did enjoy our meal.

lunchI also cooked up a great Tofu Scramble this week. In fact I’m still enjoying the leftovers!

Tofu ScrambleHave you seen McFarland, USA? What did you think? How was your training week? Any events, races, or great meals? Share!

It’s Not Hard to Eat Vegan: 5 Tips to Help You Switch to a Plant Based Diet. VeganMoFo Day 18

Mofo Graphic_2I have so many people, even vegetarians, tell me, “It must be so hard to eat like you do.” I can see that, at first glance, following a vegan diet can look complicated and intimidating. Others think that the hard part is giving up the foods that they like, not generally talking about meat, but much more often they mean giving up sweet treats and,  especially, giving up cheese.

It’s Not Hard to Eat Vegan: 5 tips to help you make the switch to a plant based diet.

Let’s take this step by step. Here are a few tips that will make eating a plant based diet seem less scary (and more delicious). It’s really not hard to eat vegan.

    1. Reading Labels. This is probably the most time consuming and complicated part for new vegans. Yes, you need to read labels. Thoroughly. But, considering all the junk that is found in most processed food, shouldn’t you be doing that anyway? When I scan a label, I first look at the allergen listing. Since most manufacturers list any food that is known to cause allergies, it is a quick and easy way to see if a food contains any dairy products or eggs. If it does, put it down. If if doesn’t, you’re not quite done. Take a look at the rest of the ingredient list. Other ingredients sometimes have lesser known names, but still contain non-vegan properties. These include casein, gelatin, honey, whey, and carmine. Here is a complete list from Happy Cow that can help guide a new vegan through the ins and outs of label reading. The good news is, it gets easier. While ingredients change, and you need to keep an eye even on products that you use regularly, it will soon become second nature to read a label and pick out which ingredients contain animal products.
    2. Eating Out. While it would be wonderful to be able to eat at a vegan restaurant every time you go out to dinner, it is probably unlikely to ever happen. In my case, we have one vegan restaurant anywhere close to La Quinta, and it is about a 45 minute drive from home. It is possible to order a vegan meal at most restaurants, though. Fortunately, there are resources to help you find restaurants that are vegan friendly. The first and foremost is Happy Cow. Enter the city that you are searching or use the app, and you will find a list of restaurants that can accommodate your dietary needs as well as directions, suggestions, and ratings. Another app that I use frequently is VeganXpress (for iOS only, so I have to check my iPad). It not only lists the available vegan dishes at most chain restaurants, it has a vegan food list so you can check out your favorite candy, snacks, and other foods (Fritos, Oreos, Red Vines, and some Girl Scout cookies make the list!). Again, it gets easier, but you do have to read menus, ask questions, and sometimes make special requests.
    3. Cooking at Home. There are hundreds of vegan cookbooks available, many recipe websites and blogs that have vegan recipes (including this one!), and many other resources to help you prepare delicious and easy plant based meals. That being said, one of the easiest ways to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle is to use some the of delicious meat alternatives available. My two favorites are Beyond Meat and Gardein, and there are several others that are very good too. Do be aware that some faux meats are not vegan, including products from Quorn and some from Morningstar Farms. Simply prepare some of your old favorites, substituting the vegan alternatives where appropriate.
    4. “Giving Up” Stuff. If you have a sweet tooth that you need to satisfy, it is certainly possible to find or make plant based alternatives. I’ve been in “baking mode” in the past (which doesn’t happen very often) and made such treats as carrot cake, pineapple upside down cake, and a variety of cookies. There are certain specialty brands of vegan baked treats, and even Trader Joes has their own chocolate chip cookies which contain no animal products. There is ice cream made of soy, almond, or coconut milk, and dark chocolate is not only delicious, it is better for you than milk chocolate. I found that I eat a lot less junky food simply because it is not vegan. For me that turned out to be a better reason than the old “too much fat, sugar, and calories” excuse.
    5. Cheese. Cheese gets its own paragraph because it is probably the number one excuse reason that I hear from current vegetarians as to why it would be so hard to be vegan. “I can’t give up cheese!” they say. Yeah, yeah, I used to be there too. But you know what? Yes, you can. Eating less cheese really is a matter of “just doing it.” Like sugar, the less you eat, the less you want. Plus, these days brands like Daiya make substitutes that not only taste great, they melt just like the real thing. Daiya is also soy and gluten free. Their products go beyond the plain old cheddar and mozzarella shreds, and include Swiss and provolone slices, cream cheese, and Havarti and jack wedges. If you’d like to start making your own gourmet vegan cheese, this cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese, (affiliate link) has recipes using plant based ingredients like almonds, cashews, and non-dairy yogurt,  to make anything from ricotta to soft Gruyère, to whipped coconut cream.


TJs Chickenless Salad

Easy Breezy: A half avocado topped with Trader Joes Chicken-less Salad, served on quinoa with a side salad with a mustard vinaigrette. Healthy, balanced, and delicious!

Another thing that will make it easier to make the switch to a plant based diet is that it is getting easier to find many of the substitute meat and cheese products. Many chain supermarkets, including Vons (Safeway), Ralphs (Kroger), and even Target, carry brands like Daiya, Beyond Meat, Gardein, and others. And if your local store doesn’t, why not ask? Store managers are usually quite responsive to special requests like this.

I hope this has answered a few questions and made the idea of “eating vegan” less scary. If you have questions about following a plant based diet, please feel free to ask in the comments.

Do you live in the Washington DC area? Would you like to enter to win special VIP tickets to one of the Native Foods grand opening parties that start next week? If so, let me know in the comments and I will enter you to win! I can enter two people, so let me know as soon as possible.

Cross Country, Vegan Eats and Samuel Time!

The highlight of my week:

Samuel2Of course, seeing Samuel is always the highlight of the week, but there were a few other things going on.

Cross Country Begins

Cross country practice started on Tuesday. I’m coaching the girls team only this year, so it is a different experience than in previous years. We’re losing a couple of our best runners (they’re transferring to another school, long story), but we’re also expecting a new student, moving from Washington state, a sophomore with a cross country PR of around 18:30. Last year we had a strong, young team, so I’m excited about the coming season.

Live from La Quinta - Girls Cross Country Team - Running

Our 2012 girls team.

Cross country is very time consuming though. We meet five days a week, and that includes my usual running days (except Sunday, which I keep for my own). I do get to run with the girls a lot at this time of the season, when we’re building endurance. Because of my work schedule we have two afternoon practices a week, so they’re getting their heat training early. Those practices are at 6 pm but, using this evening as an example, it is still 110 degrees at 6:30 pm, so it’s pretty tough. They need it, but we keep it short and pretty easy, especially at first. Last week we did a circuit strength workout that included a lap on the track between each set. Challenging but doable (and we stayed in the shade for the strength portion).

Samuel Time

As I mentioned, this was the highlight of my weekend. My son and daughter in law are building a house in Murrieta, and they invited us to see the progress. Well, not exactly progress because the actual home building hasn’t really begun, but they wanted us to see the location and the model. And we wanted to see Samuel them.

We met them at a little airport near their soon-to-be new home because Samuel loves to watch the planes taking off. One of his first words, “Wow!” gets used a lot while he’s there.

Samuel3We hadn’t seen him for a couple months and at that age, what a difference a couple months makes! He seems so grown up (at 19 months), he walks (and runs) so well, he’s starting to say a few words (still can’t get him to say Grandma yet though), and is generally fun and playful. Alan had a great time playing with him.


GrandpaWe all piled in their car and went to lunch. Our go-to restaurant in that area is the Earth Bistro, which serves meat but has plenty of vegan options.


After lunch we piled back in the car and drove out to their new home site. Sitting in the back seat, squeezed in between Samuel in his car seat and Alan, I really felt I needed to take some grandma selfies. Samuel helped.


Samuel5The house is being built in a new development, so there are only a few homes built so far. They are just opening up the sports complex/playground in a few days. So far, the lot has been leveled, the wall is being built, and I believe they’ll being laying the foundation in the next week or so. So right now, we got to see a pile of dirt. But, it’s Nathan and Sarah’s pile of dirt.

HomeI think their house is going to be beautiful! We got to see the model and I loved the layout. It has a huge open concept kitchen/living/dining area, several bedrooms, an office for my son, and an office/work room for my daughter in law. And it will be solar powered! It should be ready to move in by mid-October. I’m so excited for them. It’s their first home, and I love that they are moving closer to us. It’s only about an hour and a half drive. Close enough to babysit!

Vegan Eats

After lunch at Native Foods in Costa Mesa last week,  I was in the mood for more, so I picked up lunch to bring back to work on Wednesday. So good. (Not pictured, the fries that are included with the daily special. They didn’t survive the 15 minute ride back to work.)

Native FoodsAfter our first evening cross country practice, I’d planned to stop at Z Pizza and pick up a vegan pizza. I didn’t know, until I parked in front of the restaurant, that they are closed temporarily. It was a little late to start from scratch (and I was in the mood for pizza), so instead I picked up a cheese-less veggie pizza from Pizza Hut, added a little Daiya to it and popped it under the broiler when I got home. For some reason I didn’t take a picture, but I’m sure you can visualize it.

I did take a picture of our food at the Earth Bistro. Alan had a veggie burger and I had a grilled veggie sandwich. I also took a picture of the stuffed grape leaves, which were Samuel’s, but they were vegan so I had to try one. They were good!

LunchThe other day I received the cookbook “Paleo By Season: A Chef’s Approach to Paleo Cooking” in the mail. I’m not sure exactly why. I didn’t order it or offer to review it. I don’t do Paleo, so that wouldn’t be something I would be interested in. Sarah and Nathan, however, do follow a Paleo diet, so I gave them the book. If you’re interested, you can look for a review soon on their blog, Rock like Grok.


On Saturday evening, a day that started with 6 am cross country practice, traveled to Murrieta to see the family, we ended the day with a party at our friend Liz’s house. It’s totally family oriented, they even showed a movie in the back yard on a big screen when it got dark. But there are grown ups there (and wine!). And she’s an amazing cook and always creates something deliciously vegan for us. This time is was enchiladas. One of the things I love the most is seeing how the vegan food she cooks (in addition to regular food for her other guests), gets gobbled up by everyone, who for the most part don’t even realize they’re eating plant based food.


Johnny Be Goode

For those of you have been wondering. Johnny has settled in nicely. He is still a puppy and he has a lot of bad habits after growing up on the streets, but he’s a sweet, loving dog and he gets along with the pack just fine for the most part (except when he jumps on them in his exuberance). And we do have to watch out for our noses.


And finally, because nothing makes me smile more than watching my grandson play, I’m sharing this video so that you can smile too.

How was your weekend? Any events, great restaurants, or family time?

This post contains affiliate links.

Family Fun, Vegan Eats, Johnny, and the Bondi Band Winners

Bondi Band Winners

First off, since I know you’ve been waiting anxiously for the announcement, the Bondi Band winners!

Bondi Band

Congratulations to Tessie B., Birdiebee, and Deborah N. Your Bondi Bands are already on their way! Thanks for entering.

Family Fun

Last weekend we drove to San Clemente to see our twin grandsons play in a soccer tournament. They’re playing club soccer now, which is apparently much more serious business that it was when my boys were playing AYSO (of course that was about 25 years ago).

It was a two and a half hour drive to Orange County, made more fun as always by heavy traffic. There was also an accident that stopped traffic completely for a while. When we passed the scene, it looked like everyone was okay. I hope that was the case.


We thought their game (match?) was at 11:30, but when we arrived at 11, they were already playing. We found out though, that they actually had two games that day. We enjoyed the second half of their first match (they won!), then we went to a long lunch because their second game wasn’t until 3:20.


Cash had to tough out a bad sunburn. He even had a blister break toward the end of the second game. That’s not his soda by the way. Or telephone :-)


My stepson. His soda. And phone.

The second game was more evenly matched and exciting than the first. Both the boys (and the whole team) played very well. At nine years old, their ball handling skills are quite good, so it’s fun to watch them play. Unfortunately, they lost by one goal, but they did well enough to go back the next day.

Alan and I did not go back the next day. We took our long drive home, thinking that, yes, five hours of driving is fine to watch your grandsons play in a soccer tournament, but doing that two days in a row, um, not so much. We usually would stay overnight with the family in Huntington Beach, but our dog sitter wasn’t available, so we had to make adjustments.

Speaking of dogs…


Johnny 5Johnny is settling in quite nicely. He is a puppy, so he tends to drive the older dogs a little crazy with his enthusiasm sometimes, but he obviously is a sweet dog. He is a “mouther” though, which not only has left Alan and me with a few “love bites,” it also causes the other dogs to yelp every now and then when they’re playing with him.

He obviously spent some time on the street and is mildly aggressive about food. He gobbles his own down, then we have to watch that he doesn’t steal from the others. He has already put on a little weight, which is good. He was so skinny when we got him.


He wears himself out. And he wears out the older dogs too.

There are still many reminders of Sassy in his look and his behavior. He is a high energy dog, always on the go, until he runs out of gas and falls deeply asleep in seconds. On the walk he travels back and forth just like Sassy used to do, anxious to see everything there is to see. If he ever stands on his front legs to pee (something that Sassy always did that I unfortunately never photographed), I will truly believe she has been reincarnated.

Vegan Eats

I had hoped while we were in Orange County to stop at the Veggie Grill, a fun vegan fast food chain that has several locations nearby. Not only do I enjoy the food, I had a Father’s Day weekend coupon that was good for a free entree when you purchased one entree. We didn’t make it though. With the second soccer game lasting until after 4:00, we just wanted to get home, so we shared a hummus wrap and quinoa salad from Trader Joes.

That being said, we did eat well during our lunch break between games. We ate at Pizza Port, which didn’t have a whole lot of vegan choices, so we ordered the veggie pizza without cheese. It was pretty tasty!


Last week one of my Facebook friends shared that she’d tried the new Fishless Filets that Gardein was making now. I had mixed feelings, because I’m really not into a fishy taste in food (definitely something I don’t miss as a vegan), but I still thought it would be fun to try. She said they had it at Clark’s Nutrition Center, so I stopped by and picked some up (along with some vegan tartar sauce).

fishThe Fishless Filets are baked, not fried, but they were still very crispy on the outside. Now it’s been a long time since I had a real fish filet, but I thought these were very tasty. The inside somehow managed to be flaky, and taste like fish, but it wasn’t fishy. It had a light, fresh taste. They also provide Omega 3s from a plant based source! Alan liked them too. I think they are great for an occasional change of pace. I will buy them again, probably soon because I now have a jar of vegan tartar sauce to use up!

You can usually tell how busy I am by how many of my home cooked meals include a faux meat. I’ve been really busy lately, so in addition to the Fishless Filets above, I also bought a package of Gardein Chick’n Scallopini. I made two easy and delicious cruelty-free versions of Chicken Piccata and Chicken Marsala.  I kept the recipes simple and served them with rice (leftover rice on the second day), so both meals were done in a flash.


By the way, for my gluten free friends, Gardein has added a few gluten free options to their line up!

Other Stuff (like Running)

So, all is pretty quiet on the running front. I definitely took my recovery to heart, probably more than I needed to. What with one thing and another (like traveling to the OC), I only ran about three miles on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday I did take all the dogs out running (in separate groups). Even Johnny got to run a little, his first time running with the pack. No pictures though, I would have needed a couple extra hands for that!

I’m planning to up the intensity a little bit this week, as well as the mileage, three weeks out from the marathon. Now I just need to pick another event and start training!


Alan and I also spent way too much time fixing our kitchen faucet. It’s pretty old and we had a heck of a time finding parts. We thought we were going to have to replace the whole thing. But finally one Sunday and five hardware store trips later, we got it done and we have running water in the kitchen again!

Have you ever tried to repair your own plumbing before? Do you play (or understand) soccer? If so, will you explain “Off Sides” to me? I just don’t get it.

Away for the Weekend: The Vegan Food

You’d think after following a plant based diet for several years I wouldn’t panic when traveling to a town I’ve never been before. A small(ish) town, famous only, as far as I know, for being the home of Raging Waters, one of the oldest and largest water parks in Southern California. A town that Happy Cow, that favorite website of vegans everywhere, draws a blank on (a little artistic license here, there are a few choices in the surrounding area). After all, it’s not that hard to find vegan food.

Yet I still do. Not panic exactly, but worry, studying my options before we go, checking addresses and maps. Eating vegan in a non-vegan restaurant means I have to ask a million questions, quiz the servers, who in turn quiz the chefs. All this for one little overnighter in San Dimas. So you can imagine how happy I was to find a restaurant with a vegetarian menu, that was not only within walking distance of our hotel, it also served Mexican food, a win/win as far as I was concerned.

Casa del Rey assures customers on their menu that no lard is used in their food prep. They also assured me in person that their rice was made with water not chicken broth. So I was able to easily take the vegetarian menu and, simply by removing the cheese, make it vegan. I had the vegetarian tacos, which were pretty good. We took our food back to the room (after our Dog Rescuer experience). I also ordered a burrito, but it was so huge I saved it for the next day. It was good too, but I forgot to take a picture.

Vegan Food

On Saturday, we left San Dimas to visit our family in Orange County. Vegan eating in Huntington Beach is much easier. We picked a standby, The Bohdi Tree, which is completely vegan, even though you can’t tell by the menu.  All items on the menu are called after their real meat names, like chicken, pork, fish, or even lobster. Kind of a weird feeling but the food is good.

Of course, that made it easier to convince our grandsons, who came with us to dinner, that they were eating “real” food. Before you call us out for lying to them, it worked, so there. They had the Sloppy Joe Sliders.

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

Alan and I started with the Thai Coconut Soup, and I had a coconut water to drink. That is, coconut water out of a real coconut (it tastes so much better that way!).

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

I had the Jackfruit Salad (my new obsession..I need to find it and try cooking with it myself!), and Alan had the Lemon Chicken with Rice.

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

They were both good. The salad was served on some crispy air puffed things (I have no idea what they were) that tasted too much like pork rinds for me to enjoy.

The next day, after my 10 mile run, I thought I’d earned a treat. There are several Native Foods in Orange County, so we decided that was where we’d have lunch. I also wanted to go to Whole Foods (our desert location won’t be finished for a year or so), because it would be my opportunity to pick up some Beyond Meat.

If you’re not vegan you may not know this, but Beyond Meat has been praised as the first meat substitute that has actually fooled meat eaters into thinking they were eating the real thing. I had heard about Beyond Meat, but didn’t realize that it was on the market until I read a review over at Vegan Miam. That sent me on a hunt for the product, which is basically only available at Whole Foods and a few other places, none of which are anywhere near my home.

Thus the desire to stop at Whole Foods on the way home. I felt very fortunate to find out that Native Foods in Tustin is right across the street from Whole Foods! So that’s where we went to lunch.

The Chicken Run Ranch Burger was on special, so that is what I ordered. Alan had his favorite, the Scorpion Burger. What can I say? Lunch at our favorite restaurant. Everything was delicious.

Vegan Food - Native Foods Tustin

Vegan Food - Native Foods Tustin

We sat out on the patio, which is much appreciated coming from the desert where we won’t be sitting outside for a few months. It was a bit of a dangerous experience, though. About 100 feet away a swarm of bees were, well, swarming above a restaurant across the way. Neither of us have allergies, so we didn’t panic, but there were a few people hiding inside the restaurant.

NF Bees 2

If you click on the picture you get a little better view of the swarm.

After lunch we made our stop at Whole Foods, where I picked up two packages of Beyond Meat. How did it taste? Well, you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow for that review along with a recipe for Peachy Quinoa Salad with Beyond Meat.

Vegan food - Whole Foods

Did you have any interesting “food” experiences last weekend? A new restaurant, an old favorite, a new recipe? I’d love to hear about it.