Oh the fantastic warmth of the sand and crashing sounds of the mighty Pacific! We have spent a week in pure bliss at a yoga wellness retreat center, Prana del Mar, just outside of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Neither Matt nor I have ever done an extended wellness vacation like this, so going into it we were probably “apprehensive” at best. Wow. Serious eye opener and an absolute week of bliss.
I have never felt so spoiled! Redefines luxury not to the ideals of material luxury, but soul luxury. Every detail was considered to make our lives easier. Chef Efrain prepared special vegan meals just for me! I am so grateful to have had time to care and recover in such a beautiful environment. (Rooftop view out to the Pacific).
Our daily routine was:
- Pre-breakfast smoothie/fruit/nuts/coffee
- Real breakfast
- Laps in the pool or activities (whale watching on the Sea of Cortez, surfing, cooking class)
Eating vegan is already healthy, but I also learned how dependent on carbs/pasta I am. We ate very little rice and no pasta or bread. Both of us noticed a significant difference in our digestive health including more “even” energy levels.
I will post some recipes, but the most significant learnings were:
- Avocado cartels. I didn’t realize that the global demand for avocados has become as serious as the drug trade in Mexico. I understand now why the cost is significantly different at the coop, which uses responsible sourcing. Avocado toast and guacamole mean something different now.
- Nut soups. Walnut and pistachio soup?! Yum. And easy. The base for all soups is the same, with finishing touches creating flavor differences.
- Oils. EVOO should not be heated. What?! Avocado oil is better, and regular olive oil should be used when richer flavor is needed. Adding olive oil to both guacamole and cold soups (watermelon, apple, cucumber) adds richness and depth.
- Chia pudding for breakfast. I am a HUGE fan now, plus understand the additional nutrients from the seeds. Super easy to make ahead+granola+fruit.
- Watermelon and beet sashimi. ‘Nuff said.
- …More to come with recipes!
Isla Mujeres is a small island just off the coast of Cancun in Mexico. While it’s a sunspot destination for folks like us from the northern US, it’s generally not built up in large resorts like most of Mexican beach towns. In fact, most people get around via golf carts and cash only is the norm. There’s only one grocery store.
We were fortunate to find a wonderful condo on VRBO on the southernmost point of the island that had views of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea for sunrise/sunset. I spent most of my days lounging with water views of some sort!
For a small island, the food scene is decent too. There are 150+ restaurants of all kinds but mostly tacos, seafood and bars. I did not stay vegan (fish, eggs and some dairy. It was almost impossible with limited veg options 😔). Some highlights:
- Nachos at The Joint, just across the street from us. We could hear the live music from our place. Along with giant mojitos with fresh mint!
- Breakfast at Green Verde with chilaquiles and huevos rancheros with scratch red chili sauce, yum!
- Dinner with the fancy boating types at Marbella. Stone crab, hamachi sashimi, red snapper, hog fish fillets and lime pie. I couldn’t believe how inexpensive it was. An insight to how wealth runs the world and the relativity of that wealth in the world. We’ll never take clean drinking water for granted again.
- Ceviche at Maria’s Kan Kin at a little hotel on the beach. I loved the octopus in it!
- Fish tacos with fiery salsa at Jax. Really fresh fish, perfect avocados and too many margaritas (2). Yup, still a lightweight. Alec discovered he likes a Miami Vice, a mix of piña colada and strawberry daiquiri. Basically a booze smoothie. (The drinking age is 18 here).
- 6 different Beers at Isla Brewing, the only brewery on the Island. The IPAs were solid and the hibiscus was unique.
- Finally a shout out to Rosa Sirena’s, a new spot with a fun rooftop palapa bar. Somehow the Ambrosia cake got eaten before I got a pic, baked by owner Debbie-who’s super friendly and finding her way in a second career after retiring from trial law (“much less stress”). The boys were happy with large portions of chicken and pork chops. We’re on vacation after all!
Speaking of which…I think this might possibly be our last family winter vacation together. 12 days of sunshine and beach and pool and eating and fun with friends…it went by fast. All 18 years of it.