Rainbow’s End

Traveling is always a challenge for anyone who is on a special dietary program or just wants to eat well. I have been on the road and in fact, I’m still on the road and after almost three weeks of scrounging for something I’m willing to eat and hopefully something I actually want to eat, I’m doing pretty well.

Usually on the road I rely heavily on my Super Blue Green Algae products to see me through. They are mineral rich, whole, organic and they are the greenest of green foods. But you know how it is, at least a few times you’d like to find a nicely prepared meal that you can sit down to and enjoy.

You might even say you’re looking for that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  And I happened to find that in Las Vegas, Nevada where I’m working. A friend told me about Rainbow’s End Health Food Store and its Veggin’ Out Café at 1100 East Sahara Avenue and it turned out to be my little pot of gold for dining.

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but around where I live there are no independent “health food stores.”  There are the big chains such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and something called Sprouts that is really only semi-health food oriented. When I walked into Rainbow’s End I thought of stores I used to go to in the 70’s and 80’s.  And being a hippie at heart, I really liked this store.

For one thing, I found a lot of lesser known brands and local products that looked very interesting—especially in the health and beauty section. Maybe some of the things I saw are readily available on the west coast but they were new to me.

Indie Tea.  Interesting blends with psychedelic labels.
Indie Tea. Interesting blends.
RAW HONEY

The Veggin’ Out Café promised vegetarian, vegan and raw selections of dishes made from organically grown food. See what I mean? It was quite a find! And even more so because the menu was varied and interesting.  (And if you have a meat eater in your party, they offer something for them too.)

Very nice little place!
The Veggin’ Out Cafe is a very nice little place!

My first meal there was Quinoa and Vegetable Soup and a Green Machine Smoothie made with bananas and pineapple & coconut juice. That was such a satisfying lunch after weeks of making do with almonds, whole wheat pita and packaged hummus and veggie wraps featuring mostly lettuce and tomatoes plus some regular restaurant food. I ate with great relish and without stopping to take a picture. (Sorry)

I enjoyed that lunch very much and went back for more meals there. The food is flavorful, not overly salty, very reasonably priced and attractively served.  No bland, intolerable tofu dishes. The chef knows what she’s doing here!

I also met the owner of the store, Sam Friedman, who was working the counter quite incognito and very personable.

If you find yourself in Las Vegas and looking for a meal, I highly recommend the Veggin’ Out Café at Rainbow’s End!  Check out their menu here.

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Got Sugar?

Macro photograph of a pile of sugar (saccharose)

Macro photograph of a pile of sugar (saccharose) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My oh my!  This sugar topic is certainly a hot one!  I have gotten more responses, “likes,” and comments about my sugar posts than anything else I’ve done. Thanks to all for stopping by to read these and taking the time to comment.

And I plan to stir the pot further about sugar right now.

Since I’ve been writing about the evils of sugar, I was curious to see how many items in my natural food store had sugar in them that I would not have suspected.  I don’t know the exact number as there are so many, but here are some that are pretty obvious and some that are not so obvious. [When I say “obvious,” I mean that you probably already know or heard that it’s got sugar in it.]

Obvious:  Most fruit-flavored yogurts and vanilla yogurt have sugar in them.

Not-so-obvious:  “Made from real almonds non-dairy frozen dessert [I almost bought this today until I decided to check the ingredients.  Probably it was wishful thinking!]

Obvious:  Chocolate or vanilla soy milk.

Not-so-obvious:  Original, organic, plain soy milk found in cartons in the refrigerated section of the store.  This one truly surprised me.

Obvious:  Ketchup and cocktail sauce.

Not-so-obvious:  Organic low-fat mayonnaise.

Obvious:  Canned soups.

Not-so-obvious:  Most brands of organic and/or kosher chicken broth, beef broth and vegetable broth in the aseptic boxes list cane juice.

Not-so-obvious-and-just-plain sinful:  Organic miso soup in an aseptic box.  I was offended!

Kudos to IMAGINE FOODS brand of soup broths.  They do NOT have sugar!

Obvious:  Most barbecue sauces.

Not-so-obvious:  Organic lemon herb rub (for fish) with thyme. And sugar.

Obvious:  Many breads and flour products.

Not-so-obvious:  Organic, whole wheat panko bread crumbs.

Not obvious but for a different reason:  Salad dressings.  Some of the natural and/or organic brands have sugar in them and some don’t.  It’s about 50/50 so just check the labels because it’s a TOSS UP!  (Okay, okay. Bad pun.)

All I can really say is read every label no matter what store you are in.  I asked an employee at my natural food store what items had sugar in them that surprised her and she said, “Nothing surprises me here.  This isn’t a health food store.  Have you seen the bakery department?”

We can gripe about the natural food stores and what they decide to sell or not sell all we want.  They are there to make a profit and they have so much shelf space to designate for a product line.  What makes the most difference is what we decide to purchase.  They provide what we will purchase.  It’s as simple as that.

You can find some alternative suggestions below and I’m going to add one more treat to this list–it’s something I just discovered.  Suzanne’s Specialties Brown Rice Syrup products “Just Like Honey” and  “Ricemellow Creme” for a special treat.