Healthy is the new SEXY!
As a six day a week vegetarian I’m always thinking ahead, hoping I’ll find an abundance of healthy choices at my travel destination. Sometimes I luck out and find a feast of fruits and vegetables and sometimes if I’m just barely lucky it’s a convenience store banana. I can’t say it stresses me out, but it tends to be the last thing I consider as I zip my luggage shut and dash to the airport. After impatiently counting off the days, all I want to do is just relax and stop thinking about what to bring, what to wear, which places to go to, what the currency is and so on..I think you get the idea!
The beauty of Aruba is that there are restaurants to cater every dietary need, be it vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and even the “steak connoisseur.” It’s great to be adventurous and try the local cuisine or experiment with foods you’ve never heard of before, but some of us need to find a little bit of home when we travel. Here in Aruba we’ve got you covered and not just blah! versions of meat-free dishes—we’re talking truly gourmet selections. The atmosphere is also your choice, whether you want casual in flip-flops or trendy upscale, it’s truly up to you.
In the past, the options for vegetarianism and beyond seemed pretty limited. We’re becoming enlightened as a species and realizing many truths in these Aquarian times–our footprint and legacy does matter. We’ve learned that the way we treat ourselves, the animals and our planet has repercussions. In a recent Anthony Bourdain episode on another island paradise, Hawaii, residents of Molokai spoke of ‘AINA—the love and respect for Mother Earth as a source of all beauty and health. I see a similar spirit in Aruba—love of the sea and the land that is their wellspring of abundance. Protection of animals and choices to minimize harm—to self, to other creatures, to home….it’s always a joy to find liked-minded souls in my travels.
I traveled recently to Aruba with a family member who is a “carnivore” with dietary needs. Our first night on the island, I was exhausted after the flight and was content to have a granola bar in my hotel room and pass out. He would have nothing of it and dragged me to local steak establishment—enter the lion’s den…lol! Politely I suppressed the voice inside me yelling “there’s nothing here for me to eat!” The restaurant was cool, welcoming and beautifully lit—but I was still skeptical. As I entered, to my surprise, I was met but the biggest bounty of healthful, vegetarian dishes in a vast salad bar ringing the center of the room!—I’d hit the “mother lode” !
I was surrounded by a beautiful array of spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, tofu, hearts of palm, rice dishes, yucca and all the blessings of the earth in a cool, inviting celebration!
The chill air, the beautiful colors of the heavenly food …I was refreshed, I was in Aruba!
And I can say wholeheartedly that Aruba gets it! Healthy is the new SEXY here!
My advice to everyone who reads this article and views the list of restaurants below is to contact the restaurants directly ahead of your trip to see what they have to offer, their price range and proximity in which they are located from your hotel.
Until then, Bon Appétit and happy travels!
(This article was intended to assist those who are Vegan, Vegetarian or who are Gluten Intolerant. We have friends and family who are either vegan, vegetarian or who have very real issues with gluten- related products known as Celiac disease. We are very respectful of the choices these individuals have made, philosophically and dietary and understanding of those–therefore, after much research we have compiled a list of restaurants we found based on the many comments of those who have similar needs and requests for healthy alternatives. The hope is ultimately for those of you considering Aruba, so that you can now be informed of the many alternatives that are available to you. Our founder is a carnivore and we have not dined at some of these restaurants—therefore we cannot personally say how appealing some of these meals are. However, we have heard many positive opinions and are certainly open to receiving more feedback. If you’d like to submit your own review or if you know of a restaurant we might have missed, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!)
For a Complete List of the above mentioned restaurants please go to: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Aruba Restaurant List
Concept/Writing/Research: Bill M.
Writing/Editing/GraphicDesign: Christina C.