Tuesday, March 30, 2010

San Diego, Baby!!

Teriyaki stirfry anyone? Ohhhh myyyyy this dish was a dreeeeeaaaaaam!! Mom & Jack ordered it also (though their's had chicken), and we all felt the same love for it. You could taste the fresh-picked, crunchy flavour of every veggie in every bite. We stayed at the Holiday Inn (well, one of them) for our first night in San Diego, and this was served in their restaurant. It was my first experience with oyster mushrooms and I lovelovelove them!! Def my favourite mushies right meow.
While munching, I stopped and went, "OH! Ohhhhh I just ate something yummy and I don't know what it was!!" We were all trying to figure it out for a good minute or two before we realized what it was; CELERY!! Picked at the peak of ripeness, I've obviously never had celery taste that good if I didn't even recognize it! Then we thought about it; where we live, everything is picked in California/Florida/Mexico before it ripens, and then brought to us in trucks where it ripens on the way. Ummm, hate to say it, but our produce doesn't compare. After our trip to LA in September for Disneyland, I wanted to move to California. I want to more than ever now. Sunshine, fresh food, ocean, and not too far from "home" (Canada), so why not?
After disembarking the cruise ship (*sniff*), we walked a couple blocks to the Hampton Inn. Walking past the third Holiday Inn we'd seen, we discovered.....several bunches of purple kale growing in their garden!!! I don't think you can possibly comprehend how much I wanted to just...take some. It was just sitting there! And it was time for lunch :P Buuuuuuuut I was good, I resisted.
Instead, Mom & Adam ate at Jack in the Box (Jack had food poisoning and stayed in the hotel), and I ate at a Mexican take-out place. We got our food and went back to the hotel to eat.
In case you're not aware, California has quite a large, Hispanic population. All of the employees where I bought my burrito spoke mostly Spanish, and it was pretty obvious something got lost in translation...I asked for a burrito with rice, beans, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and salsa. Halfway through that 5lb monster, I noticed they'd made it with rice, beans, mozza, cheddar, and sour cream!!! I haven't eaten dairy or meat in 2 and a half years...had it been meat, I probably would have barfed and thrown the rest of the burrito out, but I was starving and thought "well, the damage is done, it can't kill me." Ummmm, it might as well have. As it is, I have a horrible sensitivity to gluten, and the tortilla wrap on its own was enough to do me in. Add in 3 types of dairy, I was literally laying on my stomach for hours, breathing heavily and rapidly. It was sooooooo painful to digest. I couldn't move. It took 4 hours for my stomach to stop popping, cramping and bubbling, and by then I was barfing stomach acid. I am never, ever, ever going to just "let it go" again. Most of my day in San Diego was spent with me feeling like sh*t (pardon my French).
After eating the burrito, I had decided I was pretty much going to find some type of salad for dinner, or eat nothing at all. By accident, though, Mom & I found Little Italy...
It's a local market only open on Saturdays. They offer local & organic produce, meats, nuts, and prepared foods like chocolates, gluten-free/vegan/raw treats everywhere!! Whyyyyyyyy don't we have anything this cool back home???
This man was selling local artisan chocolates, and he gave us each a sample of a truffle. Yummmmmmmmaaaaayyyy, probs the best truffle I've ever had! It was a melt-in-your-mouth experience. I kinda wanted to buy some, but I was still feeling sick from Evil Burrito, and I didn't want the chocolate to melt in my suitcase, so I gave it a pass. Definitely check it out if you're in the area.

My favourite, favourite booth came when we saw the banner that claimed, "Raw, Vegan, Organic, Gluten-Free." Ummmm, thank you, GOD!! My stomach was just about destroyed by now, and knowing that my dinner would be raw brought a ton of relief. The booth was set up by Peace Pies, a raw restaurant I'd heard about before that is located in San Diego.

I've had raw cinammon buns before (Rawthentic Eatery in Qualicum makes some delicious ones!), and the guy selling everything at the stand had some amazingly yummy looking desserts (apple pie, banana blueberry coconut pie, cookies...). My poor tummy, though, just wanted some veggies.

I had the kale salad, collard wrap with mock "tuna," and raw-violi. Ohhhhh yummy yum yum yummy!!! These dishes tasted just like the "real" thing, and were a real treat to have just when I needed them. While my tummy didn't feel 100% better after, at least it didn't feel worse, as any other food could have made it so. I was so, so happy to have my raw veggies :) lovelovelove!
As for the pain in my stomach, it didn't start to dull until the following morning. We had to wake up at 5:30am to go the airport. I still felt bloated, like there was a lead brick in my stomach, even though I was hungry. Choosing to stay hungry to make the pain go away, I was a miserable b*tch. My poor, poor family. (Mom & Adam understand, though. Low blood sugar runs in the family, and we all get moody before we notice we're hungry because our metabolisms are too friggin' fast.) I chose to keep my hood up, sleep whenever I got the chance, and not talk.
Around 10:30am, after landing in San Francisco airport, I was feeling a bit better. We went to the food court, and WOW!! If you are vegan, celiac, lactose-intolerant, etc, this airport knows you exist!! They had sooooo many yummy food options, it was hard to pick!
Yeeeaaaahhh, stir fried veggies & vegetable dumplings! I have never seen veggie dumplings, but oh wow!! I had to have them, and I'm so glad I did. Two days later, and I can still taste 'em :) They are very soft, but have a slightly firm texture. The bottoms were crisp & browned. The dipping sauce was delish. I also had an avocado sushi roll. So so sooooo happy to be eating all my veggies! My tummy thanked me.

After landing in Victoria, I begged Mom to take us to a grocery store. I needed produce, right meow! While at the grocery store, I found this chocolate bar. Okay, still nursing a pained tummy, but....see a Matcha & Goji Berry chocolate bar and leave it behind? Yeah right!! I've never seen this chocolate bar before. It is a Godsend :) loooove it!! It's delicate & rich, not too sweet. Perfect, perfect chocolate. Aaaaand I got a serotonin boost :) Maybe I eat too much chocolate, but so what? Life is short & I'm going to live and love every second of it!


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