My first step in Cabo took place circa 2001. I was about 6 years old, chasing around my brothers on the beach and pretending to do a mermaid while doing flips in the pool. Aside from Ireland, Cabo San Lucas was my family's go-to holiday destination. The only difference between now and then is that I didn't have to worry about finding enough food to eat, or sunscreening myself, or making sure I brought enough pesos instead of dollars. Ok, so maybe there are a few more thing to worry about now that I #adult, but I guess that's the nature of growing up!
When I first became plant-based in 2011, I can honestly say that I did worry about traveling places because I genuinely thought I might starve. Superfood cafes and raw juice bars were nonexistent back then. Luckily, in todays day and age, it's fairly easy to find a healthy spot in every city. However, that's not my motto whatsoever anymore, and quite frankly, my view on traveling as a plant-based food connoisseur has totally changed.
I no longer choose travel destinations based on the plant-based eats available. I choose travel destinations based on the culture, the sights, the adventures...
And what I've learned from this— from letting go of the anxiety around finding food while traveling— is that it's possible to eat well no matter where you are. You might not be eating in gluttony or how you would normally eat at home, but that's the fun part! You get to eat with the culture; with what's available to the native region and how you would eat if you were a plant-based eater born & raised in this region.
I distinctly remember my first time back to Cabo as a plant-based eater. I thought it was going to be difficult, but the culture offers such a variety of fruits and veggies (heavy emphasis on fruits, to be exact) that it is surprisingly easy. That being said, I never leave home without a hefty handful of protein bars :)
Two weeks ago, my soul sister Laura Herde and I went to Cabo and stayed at this lovely family-owned hotel called Mar de Cortez. The colors were absolutely stunning— each room was filled with the local color palette of mustard yellows, ocean blue, forest green and maroon, you could see the culture seeping through each corridor and hallway.
The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful as well. They were able to help us call a taxi whenever we needed, they helped us to exchange and break cash, and directed us around town as needed. Not to mention, the chef is a total homie and was extremely accommodating with our healthy eating criteria.
Laura and I ordered a beautiful salad filled with crisp, fresh local leafy greens along side a plate of steamed root veggies & a baked potato. I also ordered a veggie omelet and we both shared coffee, all of which was amazing. I can almost taste the crispy potato now.
In town, there are also plenty of options for eating well and getting active. We spent our entire first day walking around the city, roaming through flea markets and chatting with locals. It was such a fun experience for Laura, who had never been to Mexico and was totally unfamiliar with the culture. To me, Mexico feels like a second home. Growing up in San Diego, I often grew up with friends from different parts of Mexico and of course, grew up visiting each spring. There's truly nothing like the culture there. Everyone is so friendly and I've yet to meet a local without a good sense of humor.
Here are a few other tips for eating plant-based in Cabo San Lucas:
Fruit stands! They are on almost every block :)
Guacamole. You must love avocados or guacamole if you're plant-based and traveling to Mexico. It's a staple.
Veggie tacos. Laura & I ordered veggie tacos for almost every dinner. You can get corn tacos to make it gluten free, then ask for roasted/steamed/grilled veggies + beans and guacamole. If you're vegan, make sure you avoid refried beans as these typically have animal lard.
Salad! You can order leafy greens almost anywhere.
Nuts, nuts, nuts. Almost every convenient store has bagged nuts you can buy. These make a great snack or even addition to any meal. Keep 'em in your bag and pop 'em out on top of your salad or taco at the restaurant.
Juice, or shall I say... ¡jugo! Most markets, fruit stands and restaurants offer a variety of fruit and/or veggie juice.
Beans are a great way to get protein. You can buy them cheap at the store, or ask for them as a side when eating out.
If you need any tips on where to go or how to get around, feel free to email or direct message me on Instagram. As always, I'm here for you guys!