Being Vegan In Bali

Eating is quite possibly one of the best parts about travelling. Can I hear an Amen? But heading on an overseas trip with specific eating requirements can really mix things up. As a vegan, the life choice that probably has the most dietary limitations of them all, excitement can turn to anxiety. Will there be anything to eat or will it be a diet of water and air the entire holiday?

Well if you are heading to Bali and you don’t venture far from beautiful Canggu, you won’t find it a challenge at all! After spending a month in Bali in January and having just returned from another 10-day holiday in Canggu, I learnt that 1) being vegan in Bali is easy, 2) being vegan in bali is delicious and 3) being vegan in Bali is cheap. All three of which cannot be said for Perth. I had some of the tastiest and most flavoursome vegan eating experiences of my life over there.

So with all the time spent over there, along with my love of food, I’ve managed to suss out some of the best vegan-friendly cafes and restaurants in Bali. Here are my top picks.

PELOTON SUPERSHOP

Highlight: The crispiest, crunchiest, most delicious sweet potato fries ever!

Peloton would have to be the best vegan restaurant in Canggu. Scrap that, the best restaurant in Canggu! Seriously, the food here is amazing! And you can totally trust me on this because I have pretty much tried everything on the menu. Like, I’m pretty sure we were basically on nickname basis with the staff by the end of our trip. Serving 100% vegan meals including salad bowls, tacos, lasagne, smoothies, brownies and more, Peloton can easily woo even the biggest carnivore and probably even convert them to #veganlife too. Everything we tried here (yes we visited that many times) from the ‘tricken’ parmy and Veggie burger to the pancakes and bruschetta toast, burst with flavour! The meals are hearty, filling and served to you with a smile. If you’re feeling like something sweet the iced choc whip, nuts n bolts smoothie and the raw snickers bar come highly recommended. Honestly, this place should be number 1 on your ‘to eat’ list. Just thank me later.

GREEN GINGER NOODLE HOUSE

Highlight: The Thai Green Curry.

If it’s authentic Asian food you feel like; the kind made with the freshest produce, aromatic herbs and fragrant spices, then this is the place for you. This gorgeous all vegetarian and vegan restaurant, which can be easily missed from the road so keep your eyes peeled for the sign, has that cute, cozy, homely feel. Once you’ve placed your order and the waiter has trotted away to the semi-open kitchen, your senses will be immediately filled with the divine smells of fresh herbs and spices being chopped and ground in to curry pastes and sauces. Ain’t nothing but made from scratch here!  The food tastes as good as it smells and I can honestly say the Thai green curry is the best I’ve ever tasted. Better than anything I have eaten in Thailand, bursting which rich Asian flavours and yep my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

CRATE CAFE

Highlight: Top notch iced Latte’s that arrive overflowing like an erupting volcano

Life is crate at Crate café. Before you even notice the menu of mouth-watering healthy delights written on the concrete walls (no paper menus here), you’ll be welcomed with funky tunes, chilled surfy vibes and friendly greetings from the always-smiling staff. With names like ‘hipster’ and ‘bowlarama’, Crate serves up (in my opinion) the best smoothie bowls in Canggu. It’s not all about smoothie bowls though, there are plenty of savoury breakfast and lunch options on offer and the coffee here is top knotch. It can be a little loud and sometimes crowded in this uber-popular hipster café, but the chattering of happy travellers and surfy locals just adds to the buzzing atmosphere. Plus, any Aussies having Vegemite withdrawals need not fear – Crate offers a dish called Veto, which is a homely combination of Vegemite and avo on toast.

THE SHADY SHACK

Highlight: The smoothies are 👌

Located on a quiet street overlooking lush green rice paddies, this recently opened cafe has the most relaxing vibes. With daybeds to lounge on, peacock chairs to perch your peachy, green tropical gardens and tables shaded by bamboo umbrellas, dining here almost feels like you’re on a holiday from your holiday. There are heaps of vegan options on the menu for breakfast and lunch, delicious smoothies and a cabinet full of raw cakes. Like anywhere you go in Canggu, you can order anything to takeaway, which could come in handy because The Shady Shack can get super busy.

LA BARRACA

Highlight: Owned by Italians, it’s the real deal for authentic Italian food!

So you feel like a good carb-load? A big bowl of al dente pasta or a soft doughy pizza? Just a good old Italian feast. But your vegan… well, s**t! That was my first thought when we rocked up here for dinner one night when I was already feeling very hangry. Just as I thought I was going to have to settle for a few pieces of bread or a boring salad, my eyes lit up and the heavens opened after reading two magic words – ‘Vegan Margaretta’ on the menu! And my golly, it was the best damn pizza I have ever eaten. Ever! (And I’ve been to Italy). Most of the vegetarian pizzas can be made vegan just by asking for vegan mozzarella. I recommend coming here for dinner, when the lights are dim, candles are burning and it feels oh so romantic.

AVOCADO CAFE

Highlight: Healthy, fresh, nutritious meals for veggos, vegans and paleoistas (I just made that up).

Any place that features an all day breakfast menu gets a solid tick of approval. Plus, it’s name can only mean good things, because seriously, who doesn’t love avocado? It’s the little touches that give this humble health-hub its charm. Recycled vodka bottles created into drinking glasses and candleholders, comfy cushions on the boho-chic chairs, glass straws and fresh flowers on every table. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, avocado’s extensive menu features vegetarian and vegan-friendly options plus plenty of choices for the paleo dieters. From protein shakes, smoothie bowls and fresh juices to lentil burgers, salads, curries and sugarless desserts, there is something for everyone, especially the health-conscious!

NALU BOWLS

Highlight: Healthy smoothies galore with gram-worthy presentation for the ultimate #foodporn #smoothiebowl snap.

Serving up an abundance of fruity smoothie creations completed with your choice of toppings in cute coconut bowls, these smoothie bowls are almost too pretty to eat. Now with two locations in Canggu, Nalu bowls is the perfect place to visit for a refreshing treat to cool you down in the Balinese heat. Design your own bowl from a choice of 6 different smoothie options, including the popular Acai bowl, and select as many or as few of the 15 topping options you desire. You can also find Nalu Bowls smoothie bowl shacks in Seminyak and Uluwatu.

Not staying in canggu? Here are some other restaurants in surrounding areas that also impressed me with their delicious vegan options.

  • The Spicy Coconut (Canggu)
  • Eden Cafe (Canggu)
  • Cafe Organic (Seminyak)
  • Zuchinni (Seminyak)
  • Earth Cafe & Market (Seminyak and Ubud)
  • Clear Cafe (Ubud)
  • Kafe (Seminyak)

In all honesty, being vegan in Bali was not a problem at all. Most places offer a huge range of vegetarian dishes as it is and it seems Bali is one step ahead when it comes to catering for Vegan travellers. It’s actually probably harder to be a vegan in Perth than it is in Canggu. Just another reason why I belong there.

Love Elo xx

Would You Juice?

Juice cleanses are like, so hot right now! You just have to jump on Instagram to see thousands of photos tagged with #juicecleanse to know that.

Some people love the idea of juicing, others hate it. Some people think it is a great way to reset and detox the body, others believe only consuming liquid for 2, 3 or 5 days must be unhealthy. Valid points. I mean, each to their own. Prior to the weekend, my opinion was pretty neutral on it. I’d never done one before so how was I to make an educated judgement? However, after completing my 2-day cleanse experience, I am now totally an advocate!

There are a bunch of different reasons why people decide to do a juice cleanse – for just a bit of a kickstart, a light detox or a more intense cleanse. Me, I did it for a bit of a reset. To get my body feeling fresh and most importantly, get my head in the right gear. I had been struggling with my food choices lately. Eating too much and not always making the healthiest decisions. I needed a bit of a kickstart – a reboot of my body but mostly my mind. I wanted to get back into a healthy mindset when it came to diet and making good food choices. A mental cleanse if you may.

Before I got stuck into my 2-day cleanse I did a bit of research. With so many brands and cold-pressed juice companies around now, I wanted to make sure I choose the right one. Made Juice was recommended to me by a friend and also happened to be the best value for money. Winning! Not to mention, the options they had available to suit all types of cleansers, was a huge draw card. It meant I could choose the cleanse that best suited me. I opted for the ‘made for health’ 2-day cleanse, but next time (yes, I said next time) I think I’ll try the next step up and get the ‘made for recharging’ pack.

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So what were my thoughts on the cleanse? I loved it. More than I expected to actually. The juices were filling and super delicious. Admittedly, I did have a bit of a headache on day 2 but otherwise I felt surprisingly energised. Post cleanse I feel incredible. Refreshed, reset and energised. Since finishing I have been less hungry and I all I want to put in my body is health and nourishment. Goal achieved!

Were the juices tasty? Were they ever! My favourite was the ‘fruit’ and the ‘root’ juice. And as far as cold-pressed green juices go, the Made Juice one is the nicest I have ever tasted.

Did I feel hungry? Truthfully, no. Any time I felt any kind of hunger pangs I knew it was time to have my next juice, which would keep me full for a good 2 or 3 hours. At the sight or smell of food, sometimes I thought I was hungry, but in reality I was just envious of something I couldn’t have. Take a toy away from a child, the child will only want it more.

Would I do it again? Absolutely! Next time bigger and better! I don’t think I could ever commit to a 5-dayer though.

Thinking of doing a juice cleanse? Here are my tips to get you through:

1. Think ahead and plan your cleansing days wisely. Perhaps do it on your days off or on a day you know you won’t be surrounded by temptations… Preferably not on a day that coincides with a social event or anything involving food. Seriously, don’t torture yourself.

2. Give your partner/friends/colleagues/housemates a bit of a heads up about your cleanse. You might get moody and you might get HANGRY so it’s in everyone’s best interest to be forewarned.

3. Don’t be around food. Seriously, if you can avoid being around food, avoid it. Seeing food, seeing other people eating food, smelling food isn’t fun when you know you can’t have it. It’s the old ‘we always want what we can’t have’ thing.

4. Distract yourself. Keep yourself busy. Read a book or watch some movies in bed (or in my case, multiple episodes of the OC). You’ll find being preoccupied will stop you from counting down the hours until you can eat again.

5. Get a buddy on board. Anything difficult is always made easier when you have someone by your side. Even just for accountability. I have to admit, at times I wished my boyfriend was juice cleansing as well so we could at least suffer (I mean, enjoy it) together.

6. Stock up on toilet paper. When you are literally only consuming liquid for 48 hours you need to pee A L O T! Part of the juice cleanse process is the elimination of toxins from your body – that means your kidneys will be working in overdrive and yep, you will need to wee pretty much every half an hour.

7. Master your mind. It really is a mind over matter thing, the ole’ juice cleanse. Half the time when you think your hungry for food, it’s not the case. The juices are quite filling and to be honest there weren’t that many times I felt famished. But when a certain time of day comes round in which you are usually eating lunch or dinner your mind can start to trick you into thinking you are hungry when you are not. So keep a strong mental focus and you’ll be fine.

8. Drink plenty of water. Drinking lots of H2o between your juices is necessary to stay hydrated and help the detox process.

9. Light exercise only. This one goes without saying. With less energy (food) going into your body, the less energy you should exert. Keep exercise to a minimum. Probably opt for some light walking over a heavy weight session or intense HIIT workout.

10. Enjoy it, Don’t resent it. Just enjoy the process.  Be proud of your willpower and the fact you are doing something amazing to nourish your body. Notice how light and refreshed you feel and focus on that feeling accomplishment once it’s all over!

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No matter your reason for cleansing – whether to completely detox your body or just get your head back into a healthy mindset, I highly recommend giving it a go.

What are your thoughts on juice cleanses? Love them or hate them? Have you tried one before? Leave me a comment below.

Love Elo xx

Guilt-Free Easter Gift Ideas

If you haven’t already realised, purely from the abundance of chocolate eggs and bunnies overloading supermarket shelves right now, Easter is just one week away. It’s that time of year when for some strange reason we give each other chocolate to “celebrate” a “holiday” that has biblical homage. Because makes sense. Because why not? Because chocolate. *insert confused face here*

Instead of chocolate, why not give a guilt-free gift this year… something a little bit healthier and less likely to result in a sugar coma. I mean, you wouldn’t hear me complaining about receiving a Cadbury creme egg or Malteaser Bunny (let’s pretend I’m not vegan for a mo), but I certainly would whinge about spending 2 hours on a treadmill working it off the next day.

So here are some of my favourite guilt-free Easter gift ideas for the fit chick or sporty sister in your life:

Activewear Activewear

Yes I may be speaking on behalf of the every female gym goer here, but trust me when I say, you can never go wrong with giving a fitness chick new activewear. Not a single workout bunny, would complain about receiving some fresh Nike threads or a Lorna Jane gift card. Nothing is more motivating than new gym clothes!

Sweat In Style  Sogz sweat towels are my new favourite gym accessory. Colourful and vibrant, these stylish micro fibre sweat towels are quick drying and did I mention super cute? Compact enough to roll up into a neat little bundle, they are the perfect size for the benches at the gym. I love that they aren’t bulky, but mostly I love the fact that they sure beat the dull bath towels I used to take with me to pump class. (IG: @sogzstore)

Healthy Sweet Treats Still want to satisfy that sweet tooth without the naughty calories? You can still give the gift of sweetness this Easter, but rather than nomming on some poor bunny’s ears, opt for something more nutritious yet equally delicious like raw vegan treats. Raw Out Loud and Blissfully Raw are two of my personal favourites, for amazing raw treats that taste so good its hard to believe they are healthy. Both Perth based small businesses, you can find these treats in cafes and coffee spots around Perth. (IG: rawout_loud / @blissfullyraw) 

A Box of Happiness
Make someone smile a little brighter with a Little Box of Happiness. Designed to inspire, motivate and bring happiness to whoever opens it up, these little boxes of pure joy are filled with cute little gifts to encourage a positive and healthy mindset. With treats such as a scented candle, inspirational quotes, a crystal, notepad and more, a Little Box of Happiness is the perfect gift for someone who just needs a little extra sparkle in their day. (IG: @little_box_of_happiness)

Pamper Time   There arent many things more relaxing than filling up a hot bath, lighting some candles and settling in for quality ‘me-time’. Every deserves a little pampering sometimes and Page Thirty Three Bath Brew Tea Bags make the perfect gift for someone who needs some chill time. Made with all organic and natural ingredients, these giant tea bags for the bath are used for a relaxing and remedial bath soak. Not to mention, they smell absolutely divine! (IG: @pagethirtythree) 

What are some of your favourite chocolate free gifts to give or receive on Easter? Leave me a comment below.

And on that note, I hope you all have a happy, healthy and safe Easter.

Love Eloise xx