Not Easy Being Green!
New Year, New You! Did you make a resolution to be healthier in 2019 and are you having trouble putting that into practice? Have you considered a plant-based diet, or are you just trying to eat more veggies like your mom always told you? Fortunately, for those living and working near downtown St. Pete, the options for eating plant-based foods are readily available, no matter what your motivation is.
For those interested in a plant-based diet, there are many benefits to consider. A recent article published in the medical journal The Lancet, written by 37 scientists from 16 countries, reported that for the good of both human and planetary health, we shouldn’t be eating more than an average of half an ounce of red meat per day. This means most Americans are eating far too much red meat than is healthy for our bodies AND our planet. A plant-based diet (whether it’s one day a week or every day) is not only good for your health, it’s good for the environment and the animals you are not consuming also appreciate it!
Some of my favorite local vegetarian-friendly options in downtown St. Pete are:
Love Food Central
Specializing in vegan and gluten free comfort food, if you haven’t stopped in this little gem, you’re missing out. The pulled BBQ sandwich made with jackfruit and the buffalo tempeh sandwich are hearty and tasty enough to satisfy your most hard-core carnivorous friends. Make sure you check the specials of the day- the soups and desserts are delicious!
Rawk Star Café
At Rawk Star Cafe, all the ingredients to their smoothies, coffees, food and desserts are 100% organic/wild-crafted and guaranteed GMO-free, as well as corn free, dairy free, soy free and gluten free. Try the Raw-getti or Raw Burger platter if you’re looking for something familiar.
You don’t have to go to an all-vegetarian restaurant to find good vegetarian food. La V has a number of plant-based menu items to choose from, and they’re not just salads! The tofu noodle soup, “pho”, has a delicious vegetable broth and is served with tons of fresh vegetables and herbs. La V is always my first stop, in pursuit of this pho, whenever I think I’m coming down with whatever virus my toddlers currently have. The fresh tofu rolls also make a great appetizer or light entree.
Looking for something sweet? No problem. Some wonderful plant-based dessert options can be found at:
Plant + Love Ice Cream
Newly opened on Central Avenue, Plant + Love Ice Cream crafts all vegan, 100% plant-based ice cream, shakes, floats, and ice cream sandwiches. From classic vanilla and chocolate to Salted Caramel Pecan Praline and Chocolate P.B. Banana, they carry flavors to cure almost any craving!
Bakery Also on Central, and currently still soft-opened, Valhalla Bakery makes desserts that are egg-free, dairy-free, and vegan friendly. Does this make cake health food? Probably not, but you can feel a little less guilty scarfing down a cupcake, cookie, or cinnamon bun if it’s vegan, right?
Beans & Barlour
Next door to St. Pete Brewing Company, another great stop in downtown St. Pete that isn’t all-vegan, but offers some great vegan options is Beans & Barlour. This cozy cafe serves up house-made ice cream and cocktails. The most popular vegan item on the menu is the avocado margarita made with real avocados, sweetened with organic agave, boozed up with tequila, and flavored with lime and melon, served in a hibiscus salt rim glass. They also serve coffee and are located across the street from the courthouse.
Shannon L. Zetrouer is the managing partner of Zetrouer Pulsifer. After obtaining her law degree from Stetson University in 2005, Ms. Zetrouer has primarily focused on legal issues relating to real estate and timeshares. Her passion for law is only superseded by her love for her children Ariana and Austen and her husband, Trevor. As a Florida native, she takes full advantage of 360 days of sunshine by boating and spending time outdoors. She also enjoys traveling the world with her small family.