Baseball season is here, and players must be in top form to make it in the big league.
While fans are chomping on nachos and beer, many athletes have adopted a plant-based diet to maintain form and function.
Monica Auslander, dietitian to the Miami Marlins and Soho Beach House, thinks everyone should seek plant-strong options that are light on sugar and heavy on nutrients.
Just because something is vegan doesn't mean it's healthy (Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, anyone?). And though such things might be OK in moderation, most of the time you should probably give your body the care it deserves by feeding it fresh, healthy, whole foods.
"I'm looking for dishes that aren't too starchy, that contain vegetables, fiber, and protein," Auslander explains. "I also look for meals that contain anti-inflammatory spices. I like fermented foods to promote a healthy gut microbiome and are lower in sugar. Of course they have to pass the palate test." Here are her favorite options at some of the city's hottest veg-friendly spots.
1. Dirt. The umami spinach bowl ($11) is pure veggie power. It includes cancer-fighting mushrooms and protein-packed hummus for fewer carbohydrates than a banana. 1834 Bay Rd., Miami Beach; 786-453-2488; dirteatclean.com.
2. Holi Vegan Kitchen. In the JKO salad ($11.49), that white bean "tuna" really does taste like tuna, and those beans are packed with protein. It's paired perfectly with mixed greens, and I'd probably pair it with the soup of the day to round out my meal with even more veggies and healthy fats. 3099 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach; 786-520-3120; holivegankitchen.com.
3. Green G Juice Bar. The sunflower beet burger ($13.95) is extremely filling and fibrous. You may want to skip the bun if you’re watching your waistline, because it does have beans and plátanos as well. 222 NE 25th St., #106, Miami; 305-509-6335; greenglifestyle.com.
4. Plant Miami. The "cheese" platter is really good, and it comes with fermented pickles! I'd order the cacio di fungi for dinner — mushrooms are great at fighting cancer, have a lot of vitamin D (which vegans are often deficient in), and have some protein. Kelp noodles have iodine, which most people get from seafood but would be lacking in a plant-based diet. I'd probably split a cauliflower with someone as well — they do it really well here. 105 NE 24th St., Miami; 305-814-5365; plantfoodandwinemiami.com.
5. GLAM Vegan. The lean and green zucchini noodles and avocado bowl ($15) is starch-free and high in satiating fat, vitamin E, and fiber. Pair it with Tuscan bean soup for even more protein and fiber. 3301 NE First Ave., Suite 103-1, Miami; 786-864-0590; glam-vegan.com.
6. Dr. Smood. The organic kale works salad ($10.95) is a decent steal. Sunflower seeds lend some protein, and the dressing has anti-inflammatory spice and fat in it to round out your meal. Pair it with some dried spicy eggplant, available in the to-go fridge. 2230 NW Second Ave.; Miami; 786-334-4420; drsmood.com.
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7. Raw Republic. With the coconut twister ($9), you’re getting medium-chain triglycerides — a special type of fatty acid linked to fighting inflammation — as well as a full meal’s worth of protein and fiber from the peanut butter. Spirulina, which is algae, adds protein as well as a host of vitamins; it’s a superfood. 14871 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami Beach; 305-705-4226; drinkrawrepublic.com.
8. Choices Cafe. Choose a base of greens, add tempeh for protein, sprinkle on carrots and onions (onions are potently antioxidant), and opt for their cashew or tahini sauce for healthy fats. 2895 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove; 305-569-4300; choicescafe.com.