Miami Foodie Guide

Last weekend I was in Miami for Integrative Nutrition’s Live conference and I had such a blast. I have been to Miami countless times and hadn’t experienced such a healthy facet. Only the conference was extremely healing, entertaining and educational, but I ate at some delicious and nourishing spots that I want to share with you:


PLANTA

Stylish decor at this delicious vegan restaurant located in South Point. We had a very friendly waitor, Alex, who brought us virgin versions of the delicious cocktails they serve up at the bar. They have a nice variety of dishes, from GF/Vegan pizzas to salads and asian inspired dishes. We ordered steamed dumplings, heart of palm “crab” cakes, shiso lettuce wraps and maki rolls. I think anything you order will be fantastic. I booked online through their website, super easy and efficient.

https://www.plantarestaurants.com/location/planta-miami/

  • 850 Commerce Street, Miami Beach


Green Life

This organic spot serves delicious juices, smoothies, açai bowls and salads. Super fresh and great portions, friendly service. I was hungry so I ordered a customized açai bowl (best I’ve ever tried) as well as a chicken, hummus, pine nut salad with a delicious dressing. I’m usually very picky with salad dressings and this one was on point. My tummy was very delighted. Totally recommend this for a quick and healthy seated or take out lunch.

  • 1522 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach


Dr. Smood

Smart food for a good mood. I came here out of curiosity and found myself in front of a clinical marble bar where the barista explained me their concept. Each food and drink item is tagged with their “moods”, for example, immunity, energy, beauty, and so on. I tried a “detox” cold pressed beverage made from coconut water, grapefruit, ginger, activated charcoal, milk thistle and zeolite. It was very nice and fresh. I then went for the coconut probiotic yoghurt because I felt like I needed a little support for my gut. It was very nice, refreshing and sour, and it came with paleo “granola” on the side. If I would have stayed longer I would have liked to try other things, including their detox program (which is not something I wanted to do on my vacay!). Cash is not accepted as so to reduce waste.

  • 1800 Bay Road, Miami Beach
     

Dirt

After Dr. Smood I swinged by Dirt, which is around the corner to have a warming latte. I made the nline to a cashier who greeted me very warmly. I only saw a matcha latte and a coffee chai latte, and since I was not up for caffeine I asked if she could modify the coffee chai and remove the coffee. She said she had never done it but we were willing to try it out, so I had a spicy and sweet macadamia mylk latte, delicious. The food on the tables next to me looked SO good so I suggest you go try it out. Very warm, cosy and friendly spot. Looking forward to returning next time!

  • 1834 Bay Road, Miami Beach
     

The Broken Shaker & 27 Restaurant

I stayed at the Freehand Hotel which is home of the famous Broken Shaker bar. They have really good cocktails (virgin for myself) and delicious tacos. I had the three kinds on the menu: octopus catch of the day and pork. All were super flavorful and one of them spicy. This bar gets pretty packed on the weekends so come with patience. Friendly service and vibe. My last Miami dinner was at the 27 restaurant in the same location. It was so hard to choose my last meal because so many things on the menu looked great. I finally ordered the Arepa Platter (venezuelan style) with avocado, tomato salsa, fresh cheese and shredded beef. Pretty big portion for one person but I was hungry, so I made it. It was delicious. Arepas have a special place in my heart and I definitely recommend these.

  • 2727 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach
     

Whole Foods

Ahh… whole foods. Living in the Dominican Republic I really miss health food stores and visited whole foods many times during my stay in Miami. I love their buffet style food and so many things to choose from in the store… definitely give them some love. Remember that just because it’s a health food store, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is organic… and sugar can also be organic. Tailor your needs!

  • 1020 Alton Road, Miami Beach
  • 299 SE 3rd Ave, Downtown
     

KYU

So I had been following KYU for a while on Instagram and was the first restaurant I went to in Miami. The place is awesome and they have green practices, like planting 5 trees every time they use 1 for their wood fire. I was by myself so I sat at the bar and got a virgin drink made out of kaffir lime, lemongrass & elderflower. So good!! Then as I was checking out the menu and indesicive about every delicious dish, I asked one of the waitors what he recommended. I told him this would be my first and only time in a while, so it needed to be good. He recommended I go for the chef’s experience, which is a prix fix menu of 10 dishes. I went for it and to summarize what happened: wow. Aside from everything being extremely tasty and unique, basically two people can share this meal and be completely satisfied. Make sure to book in advance and don’t miss out!

  • 251 NW 25th Street, Wynwood

The Power of You

What would it take to live the life that you want?

It’s time to understand you are the only person who has control over your life-it’s yours and no one else’s. Surely we depend on our parents when we are little. We are told what to do and how to behave. Regardless, since we’re born, all the decisions we make are our own. As babies we decide to cry for attention if we need something, or to smile. As we grow up we decide to take action in a certain direction, or to remain still. Even when we feel like we don’t have a choice… the truth is that we actually do, so we need to take responsibility.

Are you living the life that you want? If not, what do you love? What would it take to incorporate some of this into your life every day?

I invite you to look within and ask yourself these questions. You’re the one who truly knows what’s best for you, because no one else feels what you feel. Choose the positive, choose to be happy, choose to live the life of your dreams. Sounds hard? Easy? You choose what you want it to sound like too. And if you need support, help, or guidance, go for it. Our species thrives in community and thrives with love, so don’t be afraid to reach out in whichever way may work for you. Just don’t look so far, because everything you need is inside you.


Mindfulness in Arizona

After coasting and cruising through much of California, I decided to switch it up and explore Arizona.

I started my way east from Oceanside and drove for about 5 hours, which is usually a healthy daily max for my camper. I spent the night outside the South end of Joshua Tree at a very pleasant spot where other fellow campers were spending the night, at our own risk. The next day I continued driving more or less the same amount of time until I arrived at my first destination.

Skull Valley Lavender Farm

This was my first wwoofing experience (http://www.skullvalleylavender.com). Aside from the lavender, I chose this farm because I really resonated with the farm’s post which mentioned meditation and silence after 8:00pm, so I got in touch right away. My free spirit and uncertainty of dates wasn’t a problem for them so it ended up working out.

As soon as I arrived to the farm, Will, the owner, greeted me with a big smile and a hug, which felt like home. His meditation and buddhism wisdom shows in the entire farm: remote, contained and peaceful.

We started our days with a 7:00am walk followed by an 8:00am meditation for 20+ minutes. After sitting came stretching and light yoga. A mindful breakfast experience and a few hours of work around the farm before and after lunch. Dinner was around 6:30pm and evening meditation and rituals at 8:00pm. After the evening meditation silence and no technology until the next day. I loved this. I got to rest and sleep a lot, which I also love.

Once a month, Will and his partner Annie host a morning meditation retreat, which coincided with my stay. This consists of alternating sitting and walking meditation from 9:00am until noon, followed by a lovely lunch. I also got to attend two workshops that Will delivered in the nearby town of Prescott, one on Buddhism and the other on the basic principles of Meditation.

No one else was volunteering at the farm while I was there, meaning when Will wasn’t around I was the only human on the farm, cherishing the time and space. The experience felt more like a retreat than a volunteer program, although they are both very enriching for the soul. I enjoyed spending time with Will because like me, he values his time and prioritises his own self, which I enjoy practicing and believe is essential for human sanity. Unfortunately this concept does usually not conform with society. I feel peace in my soul when I can just be myself and do what makes sense without feeling pressure from the external. I am grateful for Will and happy to be reminded that I am not the only one and that it’s ok for me to be the way I am.

On my way to Sedona from Skull Valley, Will recommended I take a scenic route via Jerome, a small town perched on the hills with beautiful views. This alternative was spectacular and I totally recommend for anyone roadtripping around Arizona.

Sedona

Was pretty much magical. Already by the end of my week at Skull Valley I was missing the coast and feeling somewhat antsy from being landlocked. Regardless, I continued further inland to visit this special place. The entire time driving from Skull Valley to Sedona, in and around it was breathtaking. I couldn’t really believe how beautiful the scenery was and that’s when I thought for the first time during my entire trip: I’d love to share this with somebody. At that time I had already been traveling, mainly by myself, for over two months. 

Upon arriving through West Sedona I drove by Red Rock Loop and climbed up a little hill to get even more stunning views… The environment felt so inviting, like Nature was happy to have me there.

I did my sunset hike at Devil’s Bridge, which was beautiful, like I imagine every hike is in Sedona. As the sun was setting and the environment changed, I got a little lost finding my way out of the trail and into the parking lot. I eventually saw the road just before it got dark so realised I wasn’t that far away from my car and was able to make my way back. Just using this experience as a little reminder for everyone to hike safely! Take a flashlight, enough water, some food, extra battery on your cell phone and if you’re hiking quite remotely a safety blanket in case you need to spend the night in the wilderness.

Since it was pretty cold in the evenings and I was feeling like I could have a warm night’s sleep I got a really nice and comfy hotel room for the night where I really enjoying the heating and a lovely, long warm bath. I love my camper but I also love water and comfort so I enjoyed that a lot.

I became Local Juicery’s best customer for the 3 days that I spent in Sedona and nourished myself with many delicious quality juices and super healthy food. This is a must if you ever visit Sedona.

The next day I hiked Boynton Canyon Trail with a detour to climb up Vista Trail, which is one of Sedona’s vortices. I got there early in the morning and found no one else, which was really nice to experience by myself. Continuing off to Boynton Canyon I also did not encounter anyone on the way there, which felt pretty good. Towards the end the trail runs through a little forest which was a nice little change in environment.

The last day I hiked up Cathedral Rock which felt pretty magical. It was more like an easy rock climb since it’s quite steep. Once I got to the “trail ends” sign, I heard a singing voice echoing between the rocks. This, and the fact that a fellow hiker that had started the trail before me was nowhere to be seen, invited me to continue the trail past the sign. I kept climbing until I encountered my fellow hiker sitting between two rocks, serenely admiring the scenery. I sat down near her and meditated, gratefully absorbing that present moment.

That afternoon I hiked Little Horse Trail, a pleasant hike, perfect for wrapping up the day.

The energy in Arizona felt very peaceful and very paced. No vibrations of rush, of stress or of anything negative. Just a healthy, mellow environment.

I slowly made my way back to California after my Arizona experience where I spent my last days enjoying the surf in Encinitas and getting some things done in LA before returning to my family in Chile for the holidays and more traveling.

I am continuing to live the nomad life, one day at a time, understanding that my real home is not a physical place but inside me and travels with me everywhere I go. I reached my goal of further exploring the sensations of solitude, of loneliness and of belonging. It’s been an interesting journey where I have learned a lot, getting to know myself a little bit better each day. 



Tropic of Sagittarius

One of my best friends Laura Uslar has a photography blog where she posts all things sensual. I invite you to subscribe on Facebook so you can get a regular dose of eroticism in your feed. She recently interviewed me, asking about my take on sensuality. Here’s a preview:


Check out the full article here: http://tropicofsagittarius.net/2015/11/23/interview-bianca-garimani/

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