Coastal Taco

Coastal Taco in the Cleveland Flats

We love to travel and do so quite often, so we were a little nervous about how to make the diet work on a trip. Our recent trip to Cleveland was a perfect test case to see how things would work out.

First, the breakfasts: Most hotels now offer complimentary breakfast, usually a breakfast bar with lots of choices, but sadly most are not on our low fat plant-based diet program. However, we found that it was possible everywhere we stayed on our recent trip to find fresh oatmeal or at least a good cereal that could be enjoyed with a little almond milk. Fruit varies, but most chains have at least some fresh fruit, and of course tea and juice (just be careful with the sugar!), so it is usually possible to get enough to eat that will get you off to a healthy start.

Lunch/Dinner: This is a hit and miss process. What we recommend is that you speak with the cook – or at least someone who can get your message across. We had enjoyed a good Mother’s Day lunch a few weeks before at Eclipse di Luna in Atlanta, where the chef prepared a special meal to our specifications. So the trick was to find similar places with an easy to deal with kitchen staff.

Dr. Esselstyn had provided us with some tips around the clinic, and we found a great meal at the California Pizza Kitchen in Lyndhurst to get started. Over the weekend, we had another good meal in Medina and found an extremely helpful chef at Coastal Taco in the Cleveland Flats. We ended the trip with a brunch at The Root Cafe in Lakewood, a trendy vegan restaurant where they are happy to comply with an oil-free diet.

Bottom line: even a chain will sometimes work with you. We recently explained our situation to the manager at the local P.F. Chang’s, and they created an amazing dish for us!