Avocado Grill in West Palm Beach Was Just What the Marathoners Ordered!

by Andrea Medalie

A serendipitous occurrence! After my marathon yesterday, we literally stumbled upon the Avocado Grill in downtown West Palm Beach on famous Clematis Street! The AG is a vegan-friendly farm to table restaurant with a bustling Sunday Brunch that coincided with the nearby race event just a few feet away.

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Avocado Grill (to the left) in downtown West Palm Beach on famous Clematis Street!

My absolute favorite post-race reward, as you know, is French fries, guacamole/chips and beer! The fries were homemade with truffle oil, Parmesan requested on the side and the guac made with ginger, cilantro and jalapeño was to die for!! Mark had a beer on draft but I opted for a vegan spicy Bloody Mary… Low cal/carbs!

IMG 1305 650x487 Avocado Grill in West Palm Beach Was Just What the Marathoners Ordered!

Right next door was a vegan cafe/market, that we didn’t get to check out with all the commotion but wow! What a gem to discover these two side by side in a very trendy, desirable location right along the water where Clematis meets Flagler! I didn’t get a menu nor did I notice prices but I think the guac, enough for two famished runners, was $12 but very ample, and the chips were replenished!

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The Super-Charged Athlete: Finding My Vegan Feet

 
 

by Kate Strong

 

Let Your Food Be Your Medicine And Your Medicine Be Your Food — Hippocrates

 

Vegan eating The Super Charged Athlete: Finding My Vegan Feet

Vegan Fuel For Athletic Excellence


 

My journey to becoming a vegan was not through conscious decision-making. Throughout my life, I was led to believe that all ‘serious’ endurance athletes needed animal protein to develop muscle mass and milk to keep bones strong. Not once did I think to question these theories.I am a triathlete and enjoy participating in longer-distance events, such as Ironman. It was never questioned that I needed to eat meat and eggs and drink milk to sustain a healthy athletic body, it was a given.

That was until one day, whilst working at my guesthouse, two groups of people overheard my woes of an aborted morning run due to an asthma attack. I’ve had asthma since early childhood and even though I stopped using the medically prescribed pump for my asthma in my adult years, I have always suffered from it and sound like a steam train during any physical exercise!

Both clients suggested that if I eliminate dairy and reduced animal products from my diet, I would breath easier. Normally, I would have brushed aside these ‘absurd’ opinions, yet they were being shared by sane, intelligent people who’s opinions I valued.

 

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Sunset Near My Home

 

One person had been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and given only two years to live. Twelve years later, he was sharing this knowledge whilst on a mini-break with his seven year-old daughter. The second person is a dear friend who had recently flown back from Colorado after having completed a naturopathy course. Maybe these people knew what they were talking about!

However much giving up cheese, milk and all the creamy dairy goodies that populated my diet broke my heart, I decided to trial 30 days of no dairy and monitor if there was any change to my breathing. For the test, I chose a stretch of road I regularly run and time myself to verify if my speed altered throughout the 30 days.

 

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Road For Test Run


 

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Within just four days of eliminating all dairy products, I had improved my speed by 5%: a huge improvement in such a short time! In addition, I wasn’t wheezing and my lungs were clear of mucus. I was breathing deeper with less pain and generally feeling much better. My friends also commented that they couldn’t hear me approaching, as before my wheezing was quite audible to them.

I was sold.

 

Vegan coffee The Super Charged Athlete: Finding My Vegan Feet

Vegan Coffee – I can have my coffee and drink it too!


 

It was at this point I became aware of the fact that the fuel (food and drink) we ingest and digest directly impacts the quality of our mental and physical output (our energy levels). Seeing that I am a qualified mechanical engineer, I should have realized this earlier, as when working with machines we have different grade fuels for more optimal outputs. Why not our body too?

Living alone and also being geographically separate from my family (they live in the UK and I in Australia) meant I could experiment with nutrition without too many restraints and already programmed dogmas. I started questioning my other long-held beliefs surrounding diet and endurance athletes and I became my very own dietary guinea pig!

 

Breakfast Muesli The Super Charged Athlete: Finding My Vegan Feet

Breakfast Muesli

 

Over a period of months, I slowly cut out all meat and animal products focusing predominantly on wholefoods with the minimal amount of processing (e.g. quinoa over pasta). Thanks to trial and error: what made me feel better, I ate more of — and what made me feel worse, I stopped eating.

 

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Home-Cooked Vegan Dinner

 

Once I proved that I felt better in myself thanks to the food, I did some light reading to verify that this wasn’t partly due to other variables in my life, such as having a ‘good day’.

I found a report linking the consumption of eggs to an increased risk of respiratory ailments and asthma. The same report showed a reduction of the same ailments through consuming fruit and soy products as an alternative.

Another report stated that eating red meat and drinking cow’s milk played a role in the onset of asthma and allergic diseases among schoolchildren in Ankara over a 10-year period. The more I read, the more I realized that my old-school diet of high animal protein and dairy sources was not only holding me back in my sporting goals, but negatively impacting my overall health and wellbeing.

 

I have a few mantras I live by, of which one is to live a conscious life.

 

Kate Strong Not Just An Athlete The Super Charged Athlete: Finding My Vegan Feet

Kate Strong, Not Just An Athlete


 

Fueled with all the data about the health-risks of eating animal products, I could no longer consciously eat these things. Every time I went to a restaurant and ordered my ‘usual’ of chicken or fish, the quiet voice in the back of my mind reminded me about the health-risks. What little joy I had left for the meal was diminishing with every mouthful. I still had deep-rooted beliefs that I needed meat as a protein-source and by becoming vegan my sport, which was flourishing, would suffer.

 

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Again, some more research put my mind at ease, stating: “The available evidence supports neither a beneficial nor a detrimental effect of a vegetarian diet on physical performance capacity.”  Also, my overall wellbeing would improve as vegetable proteins provide all the essential amino acids and this diet choice would likely result in reducing the intake of saturated fat and cholesterol.

One bold day, I decided to ‘come out’ as a vegan. I felt nervous, scared of being judged and criticized by my family, friends and society. Yet, it was something that I had to do. Two years’ ago, I made a decision to walk away from an ordinary life; to stop living in the shadow of what other people thought I should be doing, living, thinking and eating.

 

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Vegan Food With Friends

 

I chose to stop existing and start living.

I choose today to live a conscious life and I choose to be a vegan.

Two months after a 100% vegan lifestyle, I had the biggest sporting event in my life to date: ITU World Championships long-distance triathlon. The 2.5 mile swim, 74 mile cycle and 13 mile run was held in China. I was both nervous and excited. Was my decision to become vegan correct, or were the skeptics about my newfound love of whole foods correct?

 

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I saw the event as a celebration of all the challenges and obstacles which could have prevented me from getting to the start line, and the whole event was an uplifting experience. As icing on the cake, I finished first in my age-group a full 15 minutes ahead of silver place! Any concerns regarding being a vegan and excelling in endurance sports were laid to rest. Vegan diets produce World Champions!

 

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ITU World Champion


 

On top of Mt Blackheath near my current home2 The Super Charged Athlete: Finding My Vegan Feet

 

The titles of vegan and world-champion triathlete are both new to me and I’m discovering new areas for improvement and food for thought on an almost daily basis.

I look forward to sharing with you each month my stories and insights. Until then…

Kate Strong

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Kate Strong Joins The Staff Of Veggin’ Out And About!

 
 
 
 

KATE STRONG – WORLD CHAMPION IN WOMEN’S TRIATHLON

TO JOIN VEGGIN’ OUT AND ABOUT!

 

We at Veggin’ Out And About! are thrilled to announce that Kate Strong (aka Strong Kate) will be joining our team of staff writers.  Beginning December 1, Kate will be contributing a column about various aspects of being a world-class endurance athlete, including how a plant-based diet is a stellar and  appropriate fuel for optimum athletic performance. Join us in welcoming Kate and stay tuned to her articles beginning tomorrow!

 

DSC00318 copy Kate Strong Joins The Staff Of Veggin Out And About!

 

ABOUT KATE

 

Welsh-born international traveller, Kate Strong has spread her wings far and wide not only geographically but in every aspect of her life. Having graduated with a double Masters in Mechanical Engineering from French and English universities, Kate has had a diverse career path from working with fashion companies such as Gucci, Diesel and Benetton in Italy, at an environmental protection agency in Russia, to working as a Dive-Master in Mexico!

 

Welsh-born international traveller, Kate Strong has spread her wings far and wide not only geographically but in every aspect of her life. Having graduated with a double Masters in Mechanical Engineering from French and English universities, Kate has had a diverse career path from working with fashion companies such as Gucci, Diesel and Benetton in Italy, at an environmental protection agency in Russia, to working as a Dive-Master in Mexico!

 

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Until recently, Kate owned and operated a guest house and restaurant in the Blue Mountains of Australia. Only last year did Kate decide to balance her life by taking care of her physical self and committed to the sport of triathlon. Within eleven months of this decision, Kate found herself on Australia’s age-group squad competing in the long-distance triathlon World Championship. She won her age-group convincingly and is current World Champion for ITU long-distance triathlon in age-group 35-39.

 

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It wasn’t until Kate started competing in the endurance sport of triathlon that she started linking her sporting performance to her diet. Through trial and error, Kate isolated food sources that helped and also hindered her sporting ability, eventually becoming aware that a plant-based wholefood lifestyle is the optimal way to compliment her life ethics whilst also optimizing energy output for her triathlons.

 

Vegan eating Kate Strong Joins The Staff Of Veggin Out And About!

 

I’m really excited to see that sportspeople are starting to question not only their training but also the quality of the food they are choosing to produce the highest results in sport. It’s a natural progression towards plant-based diet to receive the best and cleanest fuel for our bodies. My journey is all about awakening the consciousness in everything I do: be it how I train, work and also what I eat, drink and think, and I happily share my insights and findings.

 

Home cooked vegan food Kate Strong Joins The Staff Of Veggin Out And About!

Home-cooked Vegan Food


 

Kate is currently based in Sydney, Australia with the intention to move to the shores of Lake Geneva mid 2015 to develop a conscious-living business promoting health and fitness products and services.

 

Look for Kate’s new column, The Super-Charged Athlete!, which will be posted the first of each month, beginning December 1!

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Kate Strong — Super-charged World Champion Triathlete, Powered By Plants!

 

 

MOVE OVER WONDER WOMAN! THERE’S A NEW SUPER HERO IN TOWN, AND SHE’S VEGAN!

 

By Danielle Bussone

 

A Wales-born transplant to Australia, Kate Strong took home the 2014 World Championship in Womens’ Long-Distance Triathlon on September 21st in Weihai China in the Shandong Province.

 

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National Title For Kate Strong in just 4th Race!

 

Last November, in her 4th triathlon, she won the Australian National Championship for her age category. There is no stopping this super-charged athlete; she went on to win the World Championship title in her 9th-ever competition!

Kate sailed by her competitors with 15 minutes to spare! This was Kate’s first competition powered solely by plants.

 

DSC00424 Kate Strong    Super charged World Champion Triathlete, Powered By Plants!

Kate Strong –  Ecstatic After Winning The World Championship In Women’s Long-Distance Triathlon In China

 

A year ago, troubled by chronic asthma, Kate took the advice of some friends and removed dairy from her diet. Within three days her breathing was so improved she vowed she would never consume dairy again. Over the past year, as her training sessions intensified, she realized she had already been unconsciously reducing her consumption of meat. That’s when she made the decision to give up animal protein altogether.

Kate Strong, more aptly referred to by friends as “Strong Kate,” continues her passion for racing and a vegan lifestyle. The path she has chosen is not for the faint-hearted. Last week, while nursing a knee injury and a gash on her foot, Kate still managed to come in third to qualify for the World Champion Ironman Competition. Her cut developed into a serious infection, migrating to her ankle. She was prescribed antibiotics and has been sidelined for an unspecified amount of time to allow her injuries to heal. Kate is nevertheless psyched about the Ironman competition only weeks away!

 

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“Strong Kate” On Learning She Qualified For The Ironman Competition

 

She’s not just a pretty face either, though she is that indeed. Kate holds a double masters in mechanical engineering and engineering management and is fluent in three languages. Until recently she owned and operated a bed and breakfast in Australia, which she decided to sell in order to pursue her passion full time. “I’ve chosen not to take a job because I feel my energy would be diluted from my passion and I’d just be treading water again in a job to pay for the rent, in a house that I don’t really like, in a suburb where I’m not really happy, or a weekend I might or might not get if I get the time off from my boss… So, I’m working on developing strong cases of brands. Part of it is a goal that my sport is completely self-funded through sponsorship, though I don’t want to turn professional. I feel that again is too much energy dilution.”

 

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She has teamed up with a woman in Oregon to create courses for MOOC (Massive Open On-line Courses). One of the courses she just released was about how to transition from being a marathon runner to becoming a triathlete. Her next course will be on goal setting. She plans to create a new course every month. She is also working with a company based in Sydney, Australia to create an application that will help individuals create goals in their lives to make positive changes, and give them practical guidance as to how to accomplish these goals.

 

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At the end of April, Kate plans to move back to Europe, to the Lake Geneva area in Evian, France. World championships for triathlon will be held in Sweden and Austria so she felt the Alps would be a great place to train in preparation for those events. She will be launching products for an Australian company called IKOU, specializing in 100% vegan whole foods, cosmetics, teas, etc.

 

50km trail run in 2013 copy Kate Strong    Super charged World Champion Triathlete, Powered By Plants!

 

There are lots of balls still in the air as Kate juggles the demanding world of intense athletic training and the practical world of financing her passion and recruiting private sponsorship. Now that she’s sold her home, she finds herself “couch surfing;” that is staying at the homes of friends and acquaintances who have an extra bedroom or a couch she can sleep on when she is training or competing in one area or another. Often she pays her way by preparing vegan meals for her hosts, thereby exposing non-vegans to the deliciousness of plant-based cuisine. She has even had a few converts along the way!

On her jobless decision, she says, “It’s like being a vegan. As soon as you say you’re not taking a job [or you’re becoming vegan], the next question is ‘Where are you going to get your money/protein?’ It is nice to have a little fear in there. I hope you can look at me and realize that life is abundance and I won’t go without. So trust me, please. I know what I’m doing. It’s quite an exciting, brave step forwards. But you’ve got to try these things.”

 

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It doesn’t hurt that she’s a genuinely lovely person. With the guileless face of a child and the drive of a woman on a mission, one can easily see the impact she could have on young people, showing them they can achieve anything if they just trust in themselves. By example, she teaches us to fuel our bodies with nutritious foods that will sustain us as we discover our passions, and then to pursue those passions relentlessly with everything we have and everything we are.  I know I stood a little taller after my conversation with Kate Strong.

 

Kate Strong Portrait Kate Strong    Super charged World Champion Triathlete, Powered By Plants!

 

As for how she feels about going vegan, Kate says, “I couldn’t be happier with the result, and also that I know one hundred percent that this ‘diet’ is sustainable and a great building block for my health, happiness and future.”

Follow Kate’s blog and learn about the ups and downs of training for a triathlon. Your support is most welcome if you would like to help sponsor her so she can compete on the world stage in triathlon.

 

 

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Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. Her book, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” will be available on VOAA and on www.amazon.com by the second week in November, 2014.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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Vegan Food Quest – Veggin’ Out and About In Southeast Asia!

 

VIETNAM

A VEGAN CULINARY ADVENTURE!

by Caryl Eyers

 

 

And so another month on our Vegan Food Quest to find, eat, and write about the best vegan food in the world has ticked by. This installment of our regular column comes from Vietnam where we spent a month exploring Hoi An, in Central Vietnam as well as Nha Trang towards the South.

Last month we were wondering what Vietnam would have to offer traveling vegans (us), and looking back on our time in this amazing country we think it’s fair to say it offers us A LOT!

In Hoi An, vegan food was everywhere from local speciality dishes that can’t be found anywhere else in the country to vegan versions of some of the tastiest dishes to be found in Vietnamese cuisine. We discovered new ingredients and flavors like ‘fish mint’ (not really to our liking) and ‘fermented tofu’ (divided opinions, with one of us loving it and the other not being so keen). Our month was a vegan culinary adventure!

 

VFQ 1 Cao Lau Vegan Food Quest   Veggin Out and About In Southeast Asia!

Cao Lau is a delicious noodle dish only made in Hoi An and we were really happy to have a vegan version.

 

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Venice California’s Café Gratitude – 100% Organic, 100% Plant-Based, 100% Delicious!

by Roberta Walker

My first time at a Cafe Gratitude restaurant was in 2009 at their premier location, in an area that was a little “off the beaten path” in San Francisco. The restaurant had a very colorful, earthy, laid back and eclectic vibe. The wall’s were covered with inspiration quotes, detailed murals, and their pledge to “Nourish a Thankful Community.” The servers and the people were warm and inviting and the restaurant was filled with a mix of hippies, young adults, nature lovers and foodie types. Their Venice Beach location doesn’t quite have that same vibe.

 

 Venice Californias Café Gratitude   100% Organic, 100% Plant Based, 100% Delicious!

AWESOME herb-cornmeal crusted eggplant parmesan on grilled panini bread with marinara sauce, cashew ricottta, tomatoes, Brazil nut parmesan, arugula and basil. Served with a side salad.

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Green Bar & KITCHEN – An Organic, Vegan, Kosher Eatery In Ft. Lauderdale!

 

by Andrea Medalie

After an intense workout, who doesn’t crave a thick and juicy burger? A veggie burger, that is! That’s exactly what happened to us the other night when my running partner and I had finished a 7-mile “hill training” run in the pouring down rain along the very steep and long causeway bridge. I could think of no other place than the Green Bar & Kitchen, an organic plant-based, non-GMO, mostly gluten-free eatery to satisfy our hunger in a healthy yet hearty way! gb&K is located at 1075 SE 17th St., in very popular and touristy east Ft. Lauderdale.

 

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Vegan Food Quest – Veggin’ Out and About In Southeast Asia!

 

SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA & VIETNAM

THREE COUNTRIES AND COUNTLESS VEGAN ADVENTURES!

by Caryl Eyers

 

Here it is, our latest Vegan Food Quest update where we can share some of our vegan food adventures from South East Asia. This month we were in 3 separate countries and yet again we didn’t go hungry as we searched out plant-based treats from around the globe.

One of our favourite places we visited was in Singapore, where we were lucky enough to visit VeganBurg, a healthy fast food burger restaurant. French fries seasoned with seaweed, cold broccoli sides and crunchy little ‘spinach pops’ were a healthier alternative to what you’d usually find in a fast food place.

 

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We loved it at VeganBurg; healthy vegan food at it’s best.

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Boston’s True Bistro — Protecting Animals And Our Planet, One Bite At A Time!

by Pegge Bochynski

The Boston area hosts several fine vegan restaurants, but True Bistro located in Teele Square in Somerville, Massachusetts, stands above the others. Opened in 2009, it has become a destination eatery that is distinguished by a calming ambiance and an eclectic menu that offers something for everyone, whether vegan or not.

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True Bistro: Awarded Boston’s Best 2014 by CBS Boston!

True Bistro is situated on a busy downtown street but as you step through the door, you leave all the hustle and bustle behind. Although the dining room is small—it holds around 40 people comfortably—the high ceilings and large, light-filled windows give the impression of a spaciousness that belies its actual size. Original paintings dot the wall near the entrance, small vases of fresh cut flowers adorn the tables, and soft, soothing music sets the tone for a peaceful, unhurried meal. It is apparent that owners Michael and Linda Harrison have taken great care to create a tranquil environment where patrons can relax and feel welcome.

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Vegan Food Quest – Veggin’ Out and About In Southeast Asia!

 

JAVA, INDONESIA

FROM LUXURY HOTEL MEALS TO FANTASTIC STREET FOOD ON THE CHEAP!

by Caryl Eyers

 

This month’s Vegan Food Quest has seen us discovering fabulous vegan food in Java, Indonesia. We’ve eaten everything from amazing fine dining vegan food in restaurants in 5 star hotels to cheap and tasty street food prepared on a cart at the side of the street.

 

Picture 1 Beetroot gnocci in pumpkin cream Vegan Food Quest   Veggin Out and About In Southeast Asia!

Amazing vegan beetroot gnocchi from ‘Rosso’ in the Shangri-La Jakarta

 

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This spicy tofu salad with a sweet peanut sauce was so cheap but so delicious

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