Ubud, Bali - Indonesia
Okay. I will be the first to admit, I used to be one of those people who teased vegetarians and vegans, addressing their choice of cuisine lovingly as: "mmmh cow food." But a lot has changed since then. Our environment, our economy, what's in our food, what's allowed to be in food and our overall health in the United States. And so, I too, am a changed woman now- at least, I'd like to think so.
A few weeks ago, I found myself on a spontaneous, month long trip to South East Asia. Let’s fast forward to my last weeks in Bali and the overall level of happiness my stomach had achieved in years. The secret? My vacation “plant based diet.” Gasp! Who had I become? And on vacation? Aren’t you supposed to eat, drink, get fatter and be merry on holiday? Perhaps. But let me tell you about the one place that changed it all- The Seeds of Life. SoL is a raw food cafe, restaurant and tonic bar located in the beautiful, healing and rolling hilled oasis of Ubud, Bali. If that’s not reason enough for you to get on the next flight to Denpasar, let me give you 5 reasons why the food at this healthy haven will make you want to.
1. Hellooo! Location! Nestled up in the rolling hills of Bali’s now famous city of Ubud (thanks to a little book called Eat Pray Love), yogies, surfers, dreamers, photographers, wanderers and foodies alike flock to this little town to share in its healing goodness. Elizabeth Gilbert wasn’t lying when she wrote about how special this place is. Even though it’s a bit more tourist run now, you can’t help but feel the magic. Legend says that Ubud, and Bali itself, lay at the crosshairs of one of the earth’s healing chakras. (I know! I didn’t know the earth had chakras either ‘till I heard this). And so, walking on the sacred land can lend effects of healing, gratitude and growth. Whether it was a placebo effect or something else, I felt the most grounded I had in the last two years, walking along the temple and boutique lined streets.
2. Open up your mind to plants. Fish are friends, not food. Pancakes made from walnuts and bananas, lasagna made from zucchini? This place does it so well, you’ll forget about all those refined sugar, high processed, low nutrient grains and yes- even meat. Take this breakfast dish of “pancakes”: dehydrated, raw, banana, walnut pancakes nestling sliced bananas and served with a scoop of fatty coconut cream, raspberry compote and a sweet date syrup. I think that dish transferred me to another hemisphere. Who knew plant based food could taste that good. I could eat those pancakes every morning for breakfast… and lunch. Okay, I could make an exception for dinner too.
3. Sipping on incredibly refreshing tonics and fresh pressed juices will make you feel reborn. Yes, these do come with an "ah ha" moment where you feel like a better person and a million times healthier after consuming just one 8 ounce beverage. Watch out world, all those shots of tequila, margaritas and late night fried snacks from two nights ago have nothing on me. This juice just made me and my digestive system invincible. I already feel a million times healthier. No big deal. I should probably go do some yoga now. When in Bali, right?
4. Skipping that tempting, juicy burger just saved Mother Nature gallons of water. Like I said, I used to be one of those people that made fun of those who decided not to consume animal products. But, like I’ve said, a lot has changed since then. According to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, one hamburger costs $3 and over 1,300 gallons of water to make. One thousand. Three hundred. GALLONS. Do your arteries and the earth a favor and grab a dish like this vegan, zucchini lasagna instead.
5. Feelin' naughty like you're breaking the rules, but you ain't. I admit, if I saw this smoothie or these pancakes without any context, I would think they were full of all the naughty, tempting, teasing and taunting goodies that are terrible for you. They’re not. These dishes are entirely raw and contain zero processed ingredients, chemicals, GMO’s or all that great tasting but health destroying garbage they put in almost all of our food nowadays. All raw. Delicious. Goodness. Can I have another? Take me back now. Oops, did I just buy another ticket back to Bali just to eat here? Come on! Look at that creamy, fruity goodness. How can you say no to all this loving?
6. Okay, I wrote six instead of five- so I’m passionate about this place and hey, you get a bonus reason! I don’t know any normal or yummy, unhealthy foods that look that good. And it’s all natural baby. Take that Big Mac. Are you kidding me here. Look at those gorgeous colors! And they're all natural. No Red Dye 33 in sight, just the color palette of mother nature herself.
So, I have to not only condone, but applaud those who follow this lifestyle and proudly admit that I do eat vegan and plant based a lot of the time now. It may seem like a difficult choice or a hard lifestyle to follow, but with places like The Seeds of Life, you don’t even have to think twice.
Jalan Gootama No. 2, Ubud, Kec. Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Saturday - Thursday: 9 am - 10 pm