Healthy Start into 2018

Healthy Start into 2018

Hello my Dears,

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and spending time with your families and loved ones. Most importantly, this is a time to enjoy life. Sometimes we enjoy a little bit too much around this time of the year with sweets, eggnog and other deliciousnesses everywhere and that’s completely o.k. But usually once the holidays are over, guilt kicks in. Hence, all gyms are jam-packed in January. But eating yummy foods doesn’t mean they all have to make your scale go crazy. If you want to start into 2018 healthy and sexy, here are my top picks for healthy yet yummy food in Miami.

  1. Upland (South Beach)

I heard so much about Upland from my health conscious friends so I woke up one morning feeling healthy and decided to go for brunch on a Saturday (yes, they have brunch Saturday and Sunday). Upland is a farm-to-table concept in the South Pointe (most Southern part of South Beach). The inside is huge but they have patio seating as well. We chose AC over people watching and went inside.  The hostess and our waiter were very friendly and inviting. I’d highly recommend the Bloody Mary which is very spicy and flavorful. They also have natural juices. I had the avocado omelette which came with cotija cheese and pico de gallo. My S.O. had the eggs Benedict. Both were awesome. I definitely want to come back for dinner. I feel like this is a place for all kind of audiences not only health nuts as I saw people eating burgers and fries, too.

Avocado Om
Avocado Omelette
EggsBen
Eggs Benedict
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Bloody Mary

MeBM Me sipping my Bloody -actually it’s a Virgin Mary[/caption

2. Delirio (Doral)

This must be my favorite bunch spots for my girls and I. When you drive by this hidden gem at a shopping plaza in Doral, you wouldn’t believe what awesomeness awaits you! Outside seating and the view is amazing as it is right next to a lake. Yes, a waterfront in Doral! I love eating healthy food. And by healthy, I don’t mean the kind of vegan, gluten-free, spirulina-drenched food with an aftertaste of horse poop. I mean food with fresh and natural ingredients that tastes great. They have these skinny pancakes that are out of this world. You can top them with all types of fruits, nuts and nut butters. They also have Arepas made out of quinoa. My favorite one is the Reina Pepiada (Chicken Salad and Avocado). They also have humongous salads, yummy toasts and breakfast bowls such as Acai, Pitaya, Money Bowl.

Special Tip: if you are on Yelp, check in to get a free glass of wine!

delrio

3. Evos (Pinecrest)

It will probably surprise you that a fast food spot is in this post but as I mentioned before, I’m not into depriving myself, I’m more about the quality of the food. I discovered Evos about four years ago when I had an errand to run in Pinecrest. Being a foodie and health nut at the same time, I was more than excited to try out “Healthy Fast Food.” And it did not disappoint. First of all, I have to say customer service was outstanding. The young people working there were friendly, knowledgeable and happy. And the taste of the food was great: from my wrap, to the air fries and the karma ketchup. And the organic milkshake – yum! I was craving it so much, I had to return shortly after. And I returned several times. Each time I had a great experience: friendly stuff and great quality of food!

4. Super Smoothie (Doral)

Last but not least. Another hidden gem in Doral! Living close-by, I used to drive by this shopping plaza so many times and always assumed Super Smoothie would be your average smoothie store like Smoothie King etc. But on the contrary! I am regular now and each time I come, they treat me very nicely. I love their fresh wraps. My personal favorites are the chipotle wrap and the veggie burger wrap. The hubby really likes wrap#5 as he loves mustard. My favorite smoothie is smoothie #30 made of berries and skim milk. They have all types of nomitudes (nom nom nom)- to name a few: quesadillas, soup, protein pancakes and Acai Bowls. I even bought my workout gloves and prepackaged healthy lunches there (ground turkey with sweet potato). The owner is super nice as well and a good advertisement for his healthy place since he is super fit and buff.

Super Smoothie

I hope you’ll get to try these places out and if you do, don’t forget to let me know how you liked them!

Labor Day in Captiva

Labor Day in Captiva

Even though I LOVE Miami, it is nice to get out of there from time to time especially during a long weekend. During holiday locura (craziness) my beloved Miami turns into a bit of a touristy, too-crazy even for Miami standards spot. So I usually like to explore around SoFla (South Florida).

Last Labor Day, we decided to explore Captiva one of the typical hippie small-town places about three hours away from Miami on the Western side of Florida North of Sanibel island.

Things to do

I’d highly recommend staying at the South Seas Island Resort. The resort is HUGE and you have the option to either stay at a hotel room or one of the apartments. Our room category was called “Beach Villa.” It was a very spacious apartment with a bedroom, bathroom, large living room with kitchen that includes a microwave, refrigerator, garbage disposal, oven, coffee maker, dishes and utensils. So if you want to save a few bucks, you could bring and prepare your own food. There is also a balcony with mosquito screens which brings me to another topic: bring plenty of mosquito repellent and skin-so-soft. There are plenty of no-seeums (tiny mosquitos) on Captiva Island. Don’t let these suckers ruin your vacation! We were on the South Beach site (see more under “Beaches”). One free option to get around is, you hop on the South Seas Island Trolley. They hit every stop and with your resort wristband you ride for free. Of course, you could also take your car. But here is a so much cooler and much more fun version that I highly recommend: you rent a golf cart. You can either rent them at the place right next to the hotel or at Yolo – which is a bit of a ride/walk. Yolo tends to be cheaper. But the South Seas rental place gave us the off-season rate and a $60 voucher towards watersports so it came out to about the same and to be honest, we were too lazy to walk to Yolo (You only live once so you don’t want to spend it walking on your vacay).

 

SHOPPING

If you forgot your bathing suit, convenience item or want to grab some snacks, go to Chadwick’s Square.

They have a Starbucks but they don’t have the full sandwich selection. For that, you should go to Captiva Provisions Company which is the only grocery/convenience store nearby and they have some pretty yummy sandwiches. I was also thrilled to find one of my favorite beach wear stores “Everything But Water.” They had a sale so I ended up buying two cover-ups, a fabulous pineapple beach bag and some sea shell sandals.

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My awesome pineapple bag
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My new cover-up

 

Beaches

South Beach

South Beach is located at the main entrance of the South Seas Island Resort. It is definitely quieter than Sunset Beach and doesn’t offer activities. If you’re a hotel guest, you’ll get beach chairs. This is for those that like to do their own program.

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Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is the more happening place with a bar and telescope from which you can watch the stars. They have a sundown ceremony every night. During Labor Day, they offered a bunch of activities and a concert on the adjacent lawn.

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Restaurants

The Green Flash Waterfront Restaurant

The Green Flash is right at the beginning when you drive into the island so we decided to go there on our first night. It is located at the water but it was already pretty late and very dark when we arrived. Like most restaurants on the island, it is highly seafood based. I had my all-time fav – coconut shrimp and the hubster loved his steak. Their key-lime pie had a very distinct taste – it was slightly frozen which I loved. Another funny feature are the bathrooms (don’t tell me I didn’t warn) you – there is a dummy leaning against the wall which makes it look like a man is standing inside there. The male bathroom has an equally funny setup but I don’t want to give away everything.

The Bubble Room

We didn’t have any food here because we weren’t too thrilled about the menu but we were told this place is a must-see because it’s so coo-coo. A lot of people also spoke highly of the bubble bread which we sadly never got to try but maybe you get lucky. We only went there to check the place out and it was pretty crazy. It reminded me of Christmas meets Alice in Wonderland meets magic show. But I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

 

Keylime Bistro

We originally wanted to have breakfast/brunch at RC Otters across the street but they literally cut it off because we were 1 Minute late. They said the kitchen already started preparing lunch. However, they redirected us to Keylime Bistro which is across the street and owned by the same people. We had a tomato bisque, eggs Benedict, croissantwich with egg and waffles. Service was really nice and food was delish. They had some enjoyable live music. All in all, the atmosphere was great and we enjoyed our experience.

 

The Mucky Duck

We heard so many good things about this restaurant so we made sure we stop by during our trip to Captiva. Most people recommended this place because of the sunset. Unfortunately, it was raining the day we went there. There was a bit of a wait. Note that they don’t have a liquor license so you can only order wine, beer or wine-based vodka. Once seated, I ordered the crusted Mahi and my husband the pasta with chicken. I loved my dish. For desert, we had a scrumptious tuxedo cheesecake. The restaurant has a very casual atmosphere with a lot of funny decorations and signs. Definitely worth checking out when in the area.

 

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille

I like that this place is conveniently located at the South Seas Island Resort. We went here for lunch and decided to make dinner reservations the same day. We both ordered flatbreads – my hubby the Caprese one and I ordered the gluten-free shrimp flatbread. His was definitely better. Service was very attentive. I would recommend sitting outside since it smells a little funny inside (Note added 10/16/2019: I didn’t know I was pregnant already so everything smelled funny to me). Lunch was more enjoyable than dinner, one of the reason being was the large amount of mosquitoes. Remember what I told you earlier – come equipped with Skin-So-Soft. Also I didn’t love my Mahi especially compared to the one I had the night before at the Mucky Duck.

 

The Island Cow

We were on our way back to Miami from our Labor Day weekend getaway in Captiva and were kind of in the mood of having lunch in Sanibel. We yelped and found The Island Cow. So happy we didn’t just pass this gem. It was a really funky place with colorful benches, seats where you sit in a shell and a colorful waiting area slash backyard. It has the typical Florida hippie small town vibe. After a short wait, we took a seat on a shell bench. They serve you these delicious muffins upfront. Fun fact: in the ladies’ room, there’s a German newspaper article about a German Bonnie and Clyde couple that stole the infamous muffin recipe that’s worth millions on the stock market. And I have to say: those muffins were so delish we ordered seconds (Disclaimer: since I was in vacation mode, I didn’t really check the bill so I’m not sure if they charged us for the seconds. So don’t just go there and assume you will get unlimited free muffins). The menu is humongous. We weren’t super hungry (for once) so the hubby ordered the Hawaiian roll pulled pork sliders with jalapeños and a side of fries and I had a salad with a coconut crusted Mahi on top. There’s literally an option for everyone and service is friendly. If you happen to be in the area, pass by. You won’t regret it.

 

Watersports

Close to Sunset Beach, you’ll find all of the watersport activities the resort offers. We used our above-mentioned $60 discount to do a couple’s parasailing. It was definitely worth it and a great end to an awesome trip. You go out on a small boat and spend a good amount of time in the air overlooking the island. The staff was super-friendly, helping us with pictures and using funny props.

 

Time to Say Good-Bye (..for now)

This was a perfect little weekend getaway and a very wholesome and family-friendly place. Shortly after, the island experienced some damage from Hurricane Irma but I heard that rebuild and can strongly recommend for people to visit an help the island’s tourism.