Things to Do in Jacksonville Beach, FL

I’m on my last semester of college and I feel like a major milestone in that is spring break. I didn’t have the funds to dish out over a thousand dollars to go do the typical college spring break in Mexico but I am so so so happy I didn’t. I ended up a month before break booking a flight to Jacksonville Beach, my housemate Megan’s new hometown, with her and my friend Nikita. It was an absolute gem of a place and I will definitely be back. There were 3 major things there that stood out to me: the food, the bars and the people. We landed on probably the only warm day of our trip but spent the majority of it going from beach bar to beach bar and trying to lay out anyways. Most of our time was spent at this bar right on the ocean called The Pier where we ate our weight in free(!!) chips and salsa, and drank whatever drink special they had. By the end of the trip we were pretty close with the manager and many complimentary tequila shots were taken.

If you go to Jax Beach I also really recommend going to Safe Harbor Seafood. We had the best shrimp nachos in existence there and it’s right on the harbor so the views are great. Another highlight was spending only $8 for bottomless mimosas at Zeta Brewing Co. All of the places we went were full of really genuinely nice people too. Maybe that’s just because I’m a New Yorker and everyone is a little more rough up here but the whole place just radiated happiness. Another honorable mention of a bar, is Surfer The Bar, it’s generally new to the area and highlights a dope indoor food truck and large screen that plays surfing films on repeat. Every bar had unique character and many opportunities to eat while you drink or vice versa.

Another highlight was I met some incredible people down there, and am still in consistent communication with one cool surfer in particular. Everyone I met was so easy going and made you feel right at home.

All in all, I will definitely be back, if not to eventually stay for good someday. It was a vacation that I am so glad I took, definitely a place that you can go to and be like wow I found my people. So if you decide to visit Jax Beach, bank on eating lots of fresh seafood, drinking tequila and maybe meeting a cool surfer.

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What I Eat In a Day: Vegan and Gluten-Free

Hello! So unfortunately, I am the queen of dietary restrictions but luckily this has forced me to be extremely innovative with what I eat. I have celiacs disease so I am restricted to a gluten-free diet (I’ll post more on that later), and right now I have realized I feel my best on a plant-based diet. I can’t consider myself a vegan because I do consume dairy and seafood occasionally but I am constantly challenging myself to create the best meals I can that are cruelty-free. Eating this way recently helped me drop 25 pounds in a few short months. Here’s a basic walk-through of a normal day of eating for me, and some dank recipes that you can recreate if you like yourself.

Breakfast:

Screenshot 2017-04-11 at 12.54.21 PMI have to admit that I am not much of a traditional breakfast food eater, as you can see from the photo above. I’ve seriously been known to eat anything from nachos to salads for breakfast, ask my housemates. I like to start my day off with something carb and vegetable heavy so I have the energy and right nutrients to get me through my day. Today I started off with some potatoes o’brien (you can literally get them frozen at any grocery store, I suggest this) and some brussel sprouts and asparagus. After I cook this all up, I throw it in a bowl and cover it in ketchup and hot sauce (I’m a savage) and sprinkle it with nutritional yeast (vegan cheese substitute from the gods). I usually follow this with a huge mason jar of lemon water and some tea or coffee with almond milk. This keeps me full for a few hours, gets me ready to start my day and satisfies whatever morning craving I have.

Lunch:

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I’m not a huge snacker and I eat pretty big breakfasts so my next meal is always lunch. This recipe isn’t super involved but tastes like it took a huge amount of time to prepare. The most time consuming part of this meal is the “meat,” for this I dice up white onions, bell peppers and baby bella mushrooms. I saute this on medium heat in avocado oil until the onions starts to brown then add in either some TVP (vegan meat substitute) with taco seasoning or Beyond Meat’s Beyond Beef Fiesty crumbles. I continue to saute this all in a couple tablespoons of salsa until the TVP or beyond beef crumbles look cooked through. I then add this to a bowl with some fresh romaine, corn, avocado, blue corn tortilla chips and usually some frozen tropical fruit like mango (the mixture of sweet and spicy is great, trust me). As usual, I tend to douse this with hot sauce (tapatio is a favorite) and sprinkle on the nutritional yeast for some B12 goodness.

Dinner:

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Dinner is always interesting for me, I try to get the most creative here because I am usually done with class work and interning decently early. This meal is something I completely winged once but ended up becoming a favorite. I try to have a little more carbs with dinner than lunch because if I don’t I end up late night snacking until I fall asleep and ruin whatever progress I’ve had all day. The base of this meal is essentially just rice noodles and assorted cold veggies. I slice up some mushrooms, avocado, red cabbage, radishes and zucchini and layer them up with the noodles in a bowl. The dressing is what really brings them together. It’s hard to find a good Asian dressing that is gluten-free because many include wheat-based soy sauce but Annie’s makes a really good sesame ginger one! I like to finish this off with some hemp or sesame seeds and call it a day. Definitely one of my favorite bowls and really fills me up.

That’s pretty much it for what I eat in a day, when I decide to snack it’s usually on some almonds or popcorn but when I eat large meals like this I usually never have to. I drink a lot of green tea in between meals and I’ve found it keeps my appetite in control. Hope these recipes inspired you and you enjoyed my weird eating habits!

An Introduction: And so the adventure begins!

and so the adventure begins!

Hello! Welcome to my blog where I will ramble about food, whatever adventure I go on, life as a 20-something and the inner working of my mind. It feels right to have a place to finally organize my thoughts into something palpable. If you’re reading this, I hope you stick with me on this crazy journey I’m about to embark on. Please stay tuned and expect to see lots of healthy eats, pretty travel pics and a whole lot of personality.

Best,

MK