Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Traveling While Vegan

Destinations: Colorado & California

@ the airport

Airport food is not very vegan friendly, so you should definitely pack something to eat if you're going to be on a long flight. Food can be brought into security, but drinks cannot. Almost all airport restaurants are fast food restaurants, and no vegan fast food place has gone mainstream (yet). Reagan had a couple of vegan-friendly restaurants (&pizza, Cava), but I was so afraid of missing my flight that I didn't go explore. I eventually conceded to my hunger on my way to California and got a veggie sub without cheese at Denver International's Quizno's, but I'm not quite sure if the sandwich was vegan. I didn't feel like dealing with another uninformed cashier (more on that later), so I didn't bother asking whether the rest of the sub e.g. the dressing contained any animal byproducts. On the way home, I grabbed some oatmeal from McDonald's because the McDonald's was literally in front of my gate at Santa Ana. You'll have to ask for the oatmeal to be cooked in water not cream. Aside from oatmeal, the only other vegan thing at McDonald's is the apple pie. Their fries are not vegan because the oil they're cooked in contains beef. I stopped liking McDonald's fries a while ago without even knowing they were cooked in meat. It's like I subconsciously knew the fries weren't vegan.

in the city

Traveling while vegan in a major metropolitan city is easy. The only problem-I wasn't actually staying in a metropolitan city. My friend lives in between Denver and Boulder, two very vegan friendly cities. The town in between? Not so much. I usually have a lot of restaurants bookmarked on Yelp, but I figured since I was going to be a big city, I would simply type in "vegan" on the app, and quickly find a restaurant. In the words of Donald J. Trump, "WRONG!" My first meal in Colorado was a slice of pita bread with hummus-the variety pack-from Trader Joe's. I arrived pretty late so every restaurant was closed. We drove around trying to find a restaurant that was still open, but I said "Forget it. I'll just sleep my hunger off." The only vegan thing at my friend's was the pita. In the morning, we went to Boulder-where I thought my friend lived. I actually had a restaurant in mind that my uncle told me about when he recently visited Boulder. Unfortunately, the food there wasn't so good. You can read my full review of Leaf Vegetarian whenever I write it on Yelp. I got the french toast because I figured we would be getting savory later. For dinner, we did indeed get something savory, but I don't think my meal was completely vegan. We went back to the town in between to meet up with my friend's boyfriend and cousin, so there wasn't any purely vegan options. They tried to find somewhere with vegan options, but I was so hungry, I was fine with eating at the place we had planned to eat at the night before, Larkburger. I ordered the Amy burger with portobello mushroom and asked the cashier if it was dairy-free. He said "of course it is-it's vegetarian." *Face palm* because vegetarians can still eat cheese. He clearly did not know the difference between veganism and vegetarianism. I was not in the mood to correct him, and I was too hungry to not eat the burger, which definitely had mayo or some type of dairy product in the dressing. I looked up the nutritional guide after my trip, and the bread wasn't even vegan.

My first day in California was fine because I was in L.A. (more in my vlog below), but my second day was more of a struggle because I didn't do any research on Orange County (where I was staying) restaurants beforehand. Again, I trusted Yelp too much. I did eat a vegan lunch at Garbanzo's, where all the ingredients were clearly outlined in the glass panel, but I could've had that lunch back home. I wanted to go somewhere unique to the place where I was traveling, and this is where my lack of preparation failed me. I was too tired to research in the moment, so I just went with the first place my friend suggested. This also happened at dinner, where my hot pot was all cabbage with two tiny pieces of tofu. After my trip, I figured out where I should have gone: Sea Birds Kitchen. This restaurant shows up when you search "vegan" in Newport, but I missed it while in Cali because well who names a vegan restaurant after something you could kill and eat?


Both of my friends were really considerate of my diet, but they didn't really understand it. I've been spoiled at home by my family and roommate, who always finds new foods and restaurants for me to try. My Colorado friend didn't fully understand what veganism was, and my California friend thought I only ate salads. I actually hate salads and think they're the worst food group ever invented, but that's a different story. Put simply, they didn't know what I ate, and I didn't really have an answer for them because I don't really eat anything different or special. I eat everything you do but without any products exploiting animals.


This seems like a no-brainer, but when traveling (especially while vegan), prepare and plan in advance. Pack your food if you're going to be on a long flight because airport restaurants will not cater to you, and save all the vegan restaurants you can before you arrive at your destination-not after like me. If you're eating at a non-vegan restaurant, don't be afraid to ask for the ingredient list or to educate those who are unaware because how else will they learn?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

Peyton Manning's Last Rodeo

Not a lot of people know this, but before I was a hardcore Patriots fan, I was also a Colts fan. The first football game I vividly remember is the 2005-2006 Divisional Playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts (Disclaimer: I didn't write the following from memory). Peyton Manning still hadn't made it to a Super Bowl, and this was his best shot to do so: the Colts were the #1 AFC seed for the first time in the Manning era. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the #6 seed, and before this game no #6 seed had beaten a #1 seed, so I think everyone was pretty shocked when the Steelers took a 21-3 lead into the fourth quarter. I for sure was upset. The Colts scored two touchdowns in the fourth to close the gap 21-18 but it was too little too late until Jerome Bettis fumbled the ball at the goal line with less than a minute to go (Now this, I remember). The Colts recovered the ball and were on their way to scoring the go-ahead touchdown when Big Ben Roethlisberger miraculously came from behind and tackled Nick Harper at the Colts' 42-yard line. Nevertheless, the Colts were still alive. After driving 20 more yards, the Colts were in position to send the game into overtime, but the infamous Mike Vanderjagt, who hadn't missed in the playoffs yet, shanked the 47-yard field goal attempt. The Steelers as we all know went on to win the Super Bowl.

The Colts would go on to win the Super Bowl the next year, but my loyalty to the Patriots was solidified in the AFC Championship game when the two teams faced off against each other. It was either Manning or Brady, and sometime on my football journey, I chose Brady and the Patriots. I wouldn't root for Peyton Manning again until today.

I wasn't sure of who to root for at first, the Panthers or the Broncos, in Super Bowl 50. A part of me wanted to root for the Panthers because a Denver loss would continue to make Brady look better than Manning in terms of Super Bowl Rings (I was still bitter from the previous week's loss), but the emotions surrounding Peyton's supposedly last game got to me (I also thought the team with the better defense should win, but that's another story). He was stuck on 199 wins, one away from setting the record for most wins ever for a quarterback, and I wanted him to get to 200, a nice even number. I wanted him to solidify his legacy. I wanted a fairytale ending because who doesn't? (besides Carolina fans, of course) I wanted him to win because I remembered how funny of a host he was on Saturday Night Live. I remembered how I used to root for him, and if he was going to retire, I wanted him to leave on top, not at the bottom like the Pittsburgh game. 10 years later, I finally got that win from Peyton.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Asian American Experience: Parents

Last week, I walked to work because my car was stuck knee deep in snow. It wasn't bad-only 20 minutes away, 15 minutes if you're walking fast. But my mom didn't share this sentiment: when I told her I was walking to work, she was sad and felt bad for me. My mom had to endure a whole worse in Vietnam, or so I imagine, but here she was feeling sad for me because I had to walk on paved sidewalks no less to get to work. She didn't want me to have her life-now or never. As a result, I've always felt guilty for having such a spoiled life. This was one of the few times I could actually experience something my parents had to endure. I wanted to walk in my parents' shoes to gain a better understanding of them, but they never wanted me to have those shoes in the first place. And that my friend is the Asian American experience: immigrant parents spending their whole lives doing whatever it takes to give their children new pairs of shoes to walk in and when you try to borrow theirs, they won't let you. Their only wish is for you return the favor one day with a lot less walking.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2015 Holiday Looks

Christmas 2015
  • 76° 
  • (New) Express Tank $10 
  • Forever 21 Necklace 
  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyebrows 
  • Maybelline Red Revolution Lipstick
  • Covergirl Rose Silk Blush

New Year's Eve 2015
  • 57°
  • ASOS Dress
  • Stooshy Blazer 
  • My Michelle Coat
  • Deb Earrings & Necklace
  • Liz Claiborne Heels (not pictured)
  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyebrows 
  • Maybelline Red Revolution Lipstick
  • Covergirl Rose Silk Blush
  • Maybelline Blackest Black Gel Eyeliner