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My husband and I just returned from a vacation with family in Florida (thus no posts for the last week).  It was my first time traveling as a plant-based eater.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but having tackled a 60-day juice fast that included a family vacation, figured I was up for the challenge.

Now there’s a reason I call myself a plant-based eater and not a vegan.  For instance, I don’t have a problem with eating honey.  My father-in-law kept bees and told me how he would hand feed them during the winter months.  Sure – some bees may unintentionally die during the honey harvesting process – but plenty of insects and animals die when vegetables and fruits are harvested.  Not to mention that, if you can’t always eat organic or from a small local farm, there’s a darn good chance your vegetables and fruit were harvested by underpaid migrant workers in pretty awful conditions.  You can probably tell from my blog that I’m not obsessive about plant-based eating.  I considered naming my blog “best intentions” for just that reason.  Plant-based eating is certainly my choice and, while I try to always adhere to it,  I stop at a certain level. I didn’t skip eating a veggie burger in a restaurant because they may have cooked it on the same grill as the non-veggie burgers. I didn’t ask if there was honey in the wheat bread when I ordered toast.  I try hard, I do my best, and I have the best intentions – that’s what matters.  (There are many out there who would disagree with that – and I respect and admire those people with, what I consider, an amazing level of discipline and commitment).

With that in mind, I ate lunch out three days: once each at Ruby Tuesday’s, Wendy’s and Denny’s.  To my surprise, I was able to accommodate my diet – at least to my standards – in each restaurant.  Salad with loads of edamame, tomatoes,cucumbers and oil & vinegar dressing at Ruby Tuesdays.  A huge, plain baked potato with side garden salad at Wendy’s.  A veggie burger with mushrooms and side of steamed green beans at Denny’s.  I dined out with family, ate well and returned home almost 2 pounds lighter than when I left.

Things I did not eat during my Florida vacation:

A Florida Cooter

A Purple Gallinule

Sand Cranes

So how about eating at home with family? Luckily, I was blessed with in-laws who were game for me cooking dinner during our stay. My mother-in-law graciously gave up her kitchen each night to let me work my magic. My in-laws are exceptional – willing to try anything I put in front of them.  I made them chickpea patties, eggplant burgers and veggie Panini.  I roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus and baked them muffins.  They tried it all, supported me along the way, and told me how good everything was. Am I a lucky girl or what?

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