Tag Archives: vacation

Real Food in NYC

Eating gluten-free, dairy-free and mostly paleo (always real food) in New York City is easy! Check out our favourite spots from our birthday trip/babymoon.Last June, the hubby and I spent an extra long weekend in New York City! It was my 30th Birthday (and his 36th) and I was 6 months pregnant, so not exactly up for a raging party – haha!

So as a combo birthday trip and baby-moon, we hopped on down to New York City for what was to be a wonderful vacation!

Some people are able to make modifications to their way of eating while on vacation, and while we can do that slightly, we more or less stick to what we know works best for us. That way we can feel our best and enjoy our trip to the fullest!

Usually we rent an AirBnB, VRBO or make sure to get a hotel with a kitchenette, and find a grocery store (ideally a Whole Foods) as soon as we get to town. And while we still did this, we modified it slightly because it’s NYC! A HUGE city with enough people to have restaurants to cater to every diet! So I did some research on restaurants that we could enjoy and picked an apartment located smack in the middle of all my amazing finds. 

I’ve had many questions about where to eat in NYC so I thought I would (finally) make an actual blog post out of it! Here are all of the places where we enjoyed delicious food:


Hu Kitchen

Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Options, Quality Meat, No Vegetable Oils, Paleo, Vegetarian/Vegan Options

Hu Kitchen was my favourite place ever. It was pricey, but that’s what you get for high quality ingredients. As someone who is VERY sensitive to vegetable oils, being able to go out for a few different meals, and not worry about the subsequent inflammation (joint pain, ugh) was amazing. 


Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!



We enjoyed roast chicken, paleo meatloaf, lots of veggie sides (with cashew cheese!), Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips (purple heirloom potatoes cooked in coconut oil), fair-trade organic coffee with coconut milk and maple syrup (there were so many milk/sweetener options) and some yummy paleo desserts. The hubs had a carrot cake whoopee pie for breakfast on his birthday, and I enjoyed a paleo blueberry muffin!



Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!Springbone

Paleo/Vegan Soft Serve Ice Cream

Another real-food restaurant that serves Bone Broth and lots of gluten-free options. But we went for the 3-ingredient ice-cream.

Chocolate Avocado & Raspberry Banana.

All dairy free and no junk.

Enough said.



Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!Pokeworks

Wild, sustainable fish burritos

Poke works was a little takeout burrito joint, that basically resulted in giant, customizable hand rolls. Wild sustainable sushi-grade salmon, avocado, veggies, sea greens and rice wrapped in a large sheet of nori. We each grabbed a burrito and enjoyed them in Bryant Park before walking over to Times Square to see The Book of Mormon, which was hilarious (and incredibly offside). 


Keste Pizza

Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!

The best pizza I have had in my life.

Over 50 pizza options on the menu, 10 of which were gluten-free! Although a very strict no changes/substitutions rule, you are able to omit an ingredient. We had gluten-free pizzas that had mozzarella and sheep cheese, and omitted the mozzarella, because we don’t tolerate cow-dairy. They also had several gluten-free beer options! 

This tiny, authentically Italian (direct from Napoli!) pizzeria in Greenwich Village is one of the top 5 restaurants I’ve ever been to in my life. And I’m lucky enough to have been to some really nice ones, because my parents, specifically my Dad, plan all their trips around the top restaurants in that city. Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree eh?

We went here for my birthday dinner and we literally didn’t speak the entire time except to say “oh my goodness” and “holy $h!t” over and over. We’ve since sent many people there, both gluten-free foodies like us, and eat-everything-foodies, and everyone has had an amazing experience. 


Whole Foods/Trader Joes

Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!
Whole Foods Haul: bacon, eggs, greens, coffee, coconut milk, goat yogurt, clean snacks (potato chips, fruit, applegate meat), cider and kombucha.


We rented an apartment right by NYU/Union Square, so we were a 10-15 minute walk from Hu Kitchen, Whole Foods, Springbone and Keste (priorities, amiright??). The first thing we did was stock up on groceries from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s on 14th. Making breakfast is always how we do things, because it’s hard to find quality breakfast restaurants. Not to mention, when you just get bacon & eggs, it seems expensive for something you cane easily make at home! And to be honest, I love waking up and having coffee and breakfast in my pjs! Especially at 6 months pregnant when I was moving a little slower in the mornings.

We stocked up on bacon, eggs, mango kombucha (a major pregnancy craving, one of my only ones), mixed greens, bananas, sheep-milk yogurt, cold brew coffee which we warmed up in a small pot (so we didn’t have to fuss with grinding coffee, or not having a coffee maker), coconut milk, maple syrup, Jackson’s Honest chips and some clean cold cuts for snacks. 

Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!
Breakfast at “Home”: bacon, fried eggs cooked in the same pan, on greens, fruit and mango kombucha. Side of prenatal vitamins!

Needless to say, we ate well. Very well. It cost us a pretty penny, but not any more than eating out at every meal. In fact, it was probably less than most people spend on food in NYC! Regardless, quality food is always a priority for us. In lieu of buying me a fancy 30th birthday gift like shoes, jewellery or a purse, we enjoyed every bite of every piece of food, without thinking twice about the cost! 

Now, NYC is a unique place, because it is so big, with so many different types of people. So you can find restaurants to fit all diets from vegan to paleo, and all budgets from $2 street vendor meals to swanky high end joints. 

Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!
Dinner at “Home”: paleo/vegan caesar salad from Hu Kitchen, Jackson’s Honest Potato chips in Coconut Oil, Applegate Ham




But the approach we have travelled to places quite the opposite, and always find success. For example, we spent a week in Rocky Harbour Newfoundland for our honeymoon. Other than seafood, Rocky Harbour was practically a food desert, but we figured it out! Root veggies and broccoli rounded out our fresh seafood dinners every night, which we cooked on our BBQ at the little cottage we rented. It’s definitely possible to eat well, or eat in a way that will nourish your body within your limits, where ever you travel. It just takes a bit of planning. The longer you live this way, the easier it gets!


What tricks do you use for eating well on vacation? 


7 Tips for Eating Healthy on Vacation

7 Tips for Eating Healthy on Vacation | AmandaNaturally.comOkay, so you’ve survived travel day, and now you’re at your destination! Time to have fun! Definitely not time for curling up in a ball of pain on the couch of your hotel room for 24 hours. So how do you make sure to stick with food that you know works for you? Well it’s a combination of planning ahead (see previous post on this topic), being creative and staying open-minded! In part 2 of my vacation series I sum up 7 Tips for Eating Healthy on Vacation!

Tip #1: Find a Kitchen!

Book an apartment, condo or use AirBnB to make sure you have access to a kitchen. At the very least, get a hotel room with a mini fridge and a microwave. Making your own breakfasts is the best way to guarantee you start your day off with a nutrient-dense, filling breakfast. I find breakfast restaurants are the easiest to get “bombed” at because of how pervasive bread and milk are…toast, pancakes, home fries, yogurt, butter….it’s almost impossible to avoid! I try to eat an epic breakfast, that way if I don’t have a lot of options for lunch, a simple salad and meat will tide me over until dinner.   




 Tip #2: Locate Grocery Stores

Do some research ahead of time and locate a grocery store near by. If you don’t do this, then hit up the first store you see. Two summers ago we went to Newfoundland (for our honeymoon!) and thank goodness we stalked up at the first grocery store we saw. We almost skipped it, thinking there would be one closer to where we were staying, but there wasn’t. 

Tip #3: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

If you’re in a location that has a Whole Foods or organic grocery, or is known for organic/farm-to-table cooking, that’s awesome! If not, don’t stress. When I’m at home I purchase only pastured/grass-fed meat, organic eggs, organic Dirty Dozen veggies etc. But when I’m away, I seek out real food to the best of my capabilities. I have a few non-negotiables: gluten, dairy and legumes, but I don’t worry excessively about crappy seed oils, non-organic meat and gluten-free grains. I try not to overdo it on seed oils, because I notice it in my joints when I do, but having a few fries on the side of a bun-less burger and salad, isn’t going to kill me!  




Tip #4: Don’t be Picky and Eat a Lot When It’s Safe!

I will eat a bun-less burger once or twice a day when I’m on vacation. Why? It’s easy to find, you can top it with lots of veggies and it’s hard to accidentally sneak in gluten or dairy. You can’t be picky about eating the same things a few times over when you’re on vacation. Take advantage of the food that is safe for you and eat it all! On that note, don’t be afraid to play around with the volume of food you normally have. A typical breakfast for me at home is 2 eggs on veggies, maybe with some avocado or a few slices of bacon. On vacation I try to eat a huge breakfast hash with sweet potatoes and veggies, cooked in lots of fat, with eggs, bacon and a latte. I could go 6 or 7 hours before eating again.

Tip #5: Research Restaurants

Hop on the Google and locate restaurants that say they can accommodate gluten-free diets. Not sure where to start? Try Yelp, Tripadvisor, Chowhound, Message Boards and Facebook Groups. Restaurants that focus on farm-to-table and seasonal menus usually have no problem accommodating. Especially in Canada, where local and seasonal almost always eschews grains and legumes. Real food is made on the spot, so it shouldn’t be hard to swap out butter for olive oil. Most restaurants have their menus posted online, so check it out before booking a reso. Still not sure if it’s a safe option? Give them a call and see how they respond to your requests! If you don’t feel confident in their handling  your food sensitivities, don’t go.  

Tip #6: Anticipate Language Barriers

I was just in Quebec City, and while it is still in Canada, Quebec City is much more French speaking than Montreal (in my experience!). And although I have an okay level of basic french, I did not want to test drive my translation skills with all of my food sensitivities! Instead, I found an awesome website called Broker Fish which translates some common food allergies into 6 different languages. I’m sure there are others with more foods and more languages – do some digging! I printed off the French translation for gluten and dairy allergies and kept it in my wallet at all times. I also saved a copy to my phone, so I would always have it! Luckily, every restaurant we went to totally understood my gluten and dairy allergies, and was more than happy to accommodate!

Allergy Dairy French Allergy Gluten French

Tip #7: Be Smart About Splurges 

Enjoying a pure maple syrup lollipop at the Ice Hotel in Quebec City. The temperature that day was -25C with the windchill!
Enjoying a pure maple syrup lollipop at the Ice Hotel in Quebec City. The temperature that day was -25C with the windchill!

I know how tempting it is when you’re on vacation to dabble in less than ideal foods. Heck, I do it as well! But I strongly recommend limiting how much and how often you dabble. The last thing you want is to get sick, have a digestive nightmare or a disease flare up. Try to stick with the most ideal foods possible for you 90-95% of the time, and be purposeful about the splurges you do enjoy. For example, we were in Quebec for almost 4 days and this is where I splurged: 

  • A small cider every afternoon at the end of a long day
  • A pure maple syrup lollipop at the Ice Hotel
  • A few fries off my families plates at lunches
  • A piece of gluten-free bread at a restaurant (they knew about our dairy allergy, so I trusted that it was dairy free)
  • A small serving of my own fries, beside my bun-less burger on our last day (because I knew if the large influx of omega-6 fats resulted in achey joints the next day, at least it was just a travel day home!)
  • A glass of wine or 2 with dinner
  • A few gluten-free crackers and 100% corn tortilla chips during Superbowl

Note: while I made these splurges purposefully, it was not without side effects. Upon my return home I embarked on an epic anti-inflammatory and gut-healing protocol, focused around eating as much broth and gelatin as possible!

Summary of how I ate on a Recent Trip to Quebec City:

I had a lot of questions about what exactly I did when I was on vacation, so here is a break down of exactly how a professional nutritionist, with a ton of food sensitivities, eats when away!


5:30am – epic breakfast of bacon, eggs and plantain biscuits

11:00am – snack on the plane of cashew/pecan butter and jerky

2:30pm – lunch at Le Chic Shack in Old Quebec. Enjoyed a bun-less burger topped with bacon, and snagged a few fries from my husband. (These guys were awesome. They state on their menu that they can accommodate gluten-free and vegetarian. They went over and above for us!)

6:00pm – dinner at Lapin Saute in Old Quebec. While I desperately wanted to enjoy some rabbit (since that was the name of the restaurant!) all of the rabbit and rabbit liver recipes used milk or gluten. Again, the staff was incredibly helpful and made sure we were more than accommodated – they even brought us out gluten-free bread! I ended up getting a green salad to start, followed by an incredible pork belly and seared scallops dish.  





9:00am – home cooked breakfast in our apartment. I par-boiled sweet potatoes and prepped veggies for all 3 days to save time the rest of the weekend. Created a breakfast hash with cooked sweet potatoes, onion, mushroom and broccoli. Topped with 2 fried eggs and served with bacon. Also enjoyed home brewed coffee with coconut milk that I brought.

1:00pm – maple syrup on a stick! At the Ice Hotel they had a maple sugar shack where they pour thick maple syrup on fresh snow to cool, and you roll it up on a popsicle stick. It’s incredible!

2:00pm – baked salmon, white rice and veggies. Decided to take care of my belly after all the sugar! 




8:00pm – my mom’s 60th Birthday Dinner at Legends in Old Quebec. This was an incredible restaurant, and again, they were beyond accommodating for us! We ordered a charcuterie platter to share, which was replete with organic sausages, locally cured meats and pate. We could eat everything but the butter-laden pate (darn!). I followed this up with a beautifully cooked beef dish, sliced and served on top of lightly sauteed spinach, white pea puree and topped with bone marrow. The original dish called for an aged cheddar mashed potato, but the server suggested mashed rutabaga instead. I told him any alternative was fine! The chef determined that rutabaga did not compliment the meal properly, so created the white pea puree instead. Like I said – they were incredibly accommodating! 





8:30am – same brekky as yesterday

2:00pm – hit up Le Project, a bar my brother was interested in visiting, because they are known for having a variety of interesting, local craft brews available. Not a ton of options for us there, so I went with an old standby – bun-less burger with bacon! This time it was served with a salad and a small portion of fries. The staff had never had such a ridiculous request for a burger, sans pain (no bread!), but they were awesome about accommodating us. 

6:00pm – pre-superbowl snacks. My brother made a homemade salsa, which my family enjoyed with some tortilla chips, and I had with some gluten-free crackers (chestnut and rice flour based). I ended up having a few small handfuls of corn chips as well – probably not ideal, but alas, I did it anyway! Also had a new cider I found at the SAQ.




 7:00pm – homemade dinner. My mom and I hit up a local farmers market that morning and bought some organic pork sausages and fresh veggies. The market was a little scant – I got the sense that it would be awesome in the summer, because it looked like a lot of vendors weren’t there. Also, there were very few fresh veggies – the only ones available were ones that keep well in a cold cellar! So we boiled up some potatoes, sautéed up some leeks and sliced some hot house tomatoes. It worked great!


9:00am – due to a massive snowstorm in Toronto, we were anticipating some delays on our flight home. So to fuel up, we made the rest of the hash and threw in leftovers from last night! Sauteed leeks and the remaining sausage jacked it up a notch for sure! Topped with 3 eggs and enjoyed with a coffee.

Snacks – I brought the remaining jerky, 2 packs of nut butter, a bag of dried mango, 2 cans of sardines and 2 cans of tuna on the plane. But I was so full from breakfast, I didn’t eat any. I also think I was paying a little bit for the corn chips last night, because my digestion seemed to have slowed down…regardless. I was good til we got home!


Well there you have it folks. How I tackle vacations to make sure I feel my best and can therefore enjoy it to the fullest!

So tell me, what do you do on vacation? Do you have any tricks? Or are you a little more laid back? Share in the comments below!

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