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Category: Health and Fitness

The Best Vegan And Vegetarian Restaurants In Antigua, Guatemala

caoba farms antigua guatemala

Antigua is the gateway to Guatemala for most tourists to the country and serves as a culinary introduction to one of the world’s most underrated cuisines. A mix of Mayan dishes with Spanish influences, Guatemalan plates are colorful blends of unexpected flavors. Meat is plentiful but so are vegan and vegetarian options.

These are the best restaurants in Antigua to find vegan and vegetarian food.

1. Coaba Farms

There are few restaurants where you can see and eat just meters away from where your food is grown. Coaba Farms is open a few days a week and serves breakfast through dinner. Plates of food with ingredients grown and produced on Coaba’s land, there’s something for everyone. Meat or vegan options, from the cheese to the milks, it’s your choice. No matter what meal you go with, make sure to walk around the farms, visit the shop, or stay for a yoga session.

2. Wachuma

A specifically vegan restaurant that doesn’t stray far from Guatemalan tipicas (typical) dishes. Cheeses are substituted for vegan alternatives, there’s a wide selection of deserts and everything is cooked to order at Wachuma.

3. Samsara

Although Samsara leans into Asian fusion it’s a good vegetarian restaurant that as an extensive menu. From shakes to soups, salads and Thai to Indian dishes, Samsara can add variety to your meals during your stay in Antigua.

4. Y Tu Pina Tabien

y tu pina tambien guatemala antigua

Not a specifically vegetarian restaurant, Y Tu Pina Tambien features a variety of veg and vegan dishes. Breakfast is their specialty to be sure to visit during the morning hours for their specialty omelettes, cheese avocados, and excellent coffee.

5. Fat Cat Coffee House

fat cat coffee antigua guatemala

In addition to their exceptional coffee (in a town where the competition is fierce) Fat Cat Coffee House has a variety of vegan snacks and health food options. Go for their massive fruit oatmeal with oat milk and enjoy a strong cup of their best java.

6. Cafe Cafe

cafe cafe antigua guatemala

Food fresh to order and a kitchen that serves up dishes that are a fusion of Guatemalan and international cuisines. There’s options for meat eaters and vegans but both offerings at Cafe Cafe are sourced from local ingredients.

Kitchens For Everyone

Antigua has a unique culinary landscape not only because if its location in the heart of Guatemala but like many of its indigenous ingredients, they’re blended, mixed, and made into an endless variety of deliciousness. Particularly for non-meat eaters who might be thinking a good, local meal will be hard to find in a region that indeed loves meats, Antigua will be pleasantly surprising for anyone who likes to eat.

How To Plan A Day Trip To Seward, Alaska

You may not have heard of Seward, Alaska until you’ve been or are planning to visit Anchorage. Located about a 2 and a half hour drive south from Alaska’s most populous city, Seward is a town of about 2,100 residents living on the Gulf of Alaska fjord. It’s an excellent hopping off spot to see wildlife, eat at local restaurants, and start an entire Alaska adventure.

Here’s how to plan your day trip to Seward.

Getting To Seward

There are several ways to get to Seward from Anchorage.

  • Car: This is the most flexible way to get to Seward although not the least expensive if you’re renting a vehicle. The road to Seward is mostly flat and relatively straight, just beware of wildlife and keep your eyes on the road. (Moose are common.) The benefit of driving is you can stop at one of several scenic pull-offs like Beluga Point.

  • Train: The Coastal Classic Train moves across some of the most beautiful scenery in southern Alaska. The train runs from early May to mid-September and takes about 4 hours. Most of the boat tour operators are in sync with the train schedule and depart and arrive with train travelers in mind. A dining car is available and prices for a one-way trip run a little over $200.
  • Bus: Following roughly the same seasonal schedule as the trains, a 3 hour bus ride is about $70 one way on Seward Bus Lines. Times vary and some routes are specifically designed for sightseeing. The bus good alternative to the train if you’re traveling in a larger group.

Planning A Day In Seward

One of the most popular things to do in Seward is to take a boat tour of Resurrection Bay and out further to see nearby glaciers. I’d recommend Major Marine Tours (you can see why in the video above) which offer a variety of half and full day wildlife excursions. If time isn’t an issue, the full day tour gives you a much better chance of seeing larger marine life like orcas and other whales, plus takes you out to several local glaciers. All of these glaciers are receding so you may be taking a look at an endangered piece of history.

major marine tours

  • Full Day Tours: Range from 6 to 8.5 hours and cost $180-$250 and go into Kenai Fjords National Park. Meals are included as are assigned seats but you’re free (and encouraged) to roam around the boat, especially when wildlife is pointed out.
  • Half Day Tours: Roughly 4 hours, these tours are usually specifically designed to catch certain types of wildlife sightings, particularly killer whales. Very seasonal (May and June are the best times) half day tours are ideal for those looking to maximize a day around Seward. Cost is roughly $100.

Keep in mind to coordinate your transportation times with any boat tours. There’s plenty of parking available for cars; otherwise check with the bus or train company to see if the ride you’re booking aligns with a particular boat tour.

Where To Eat In Seward

Seasonal, as many things are in Seward, the warmer the months, the more options you’ll have for food. One staple is caffeine with breakfast at 13 Ravens Coffee, appropriately located in a converted train car right by the water. (To be fair, most every place you’ll probably be visiting in Seward is.) A larger meal in a place with limited seating (so get there early) is Mermaid Grotto. After about 9am the service slows down and the seats fill up but another alternative nearby is The Cookery for local foods by Chef Kevin Lane.

Further up the road for those of you driving is the Exit Glacier Salmon Bake, which is as much of an experience as it is a place to eat.

Spending The Day In Seward

In case you’re still hungry after your day in Seward check out the best breakfast in Anchorage or the best pizza places in Anchorage. Seward is an inviting town you won’t regret visiting, especially if you make the most of what it has to offer.

Travel Bans Don’t Work And Won’t Stop Omicron

anchorage airport

Just when we thought the Covid-19 pandemic might be waning a new variant with an intimidating name has closed borders, invited panic, and amplified our collective frustrations regarding this virus. Omicron is a new pandemic, like the old one but condensed in time and reaction. We have over two years of experience with Covid but the world is making the same old mistakes with Omicron.

Let’s start with travel bans. They don’t work because they are too little too late at best and lowkey racist at worst.

South Africa Punished

Omicron was first identified in South Africa. Last than a week later, the United States, Europe, and 70 other nations had banned travel from South Africa and 7 neighboring countries. Historically, the countries that visit South Africa the most are the U.S., UK, Germany, Netherlands, and France. Using this faulty travel ban logic, shouldn’t travelers from those countries be barred as well? How about their neighbors? What about Europe?

You see the problem. Travel bans chase the virus well after it’s spread far and wide. Omicron was, it turns out, in the Netherlands at least a week before South Africa identified it.

Travel Bans Effect

Travel bans, when implemented early into a pandemic, can slow the spread of a virus and give countries a chance to prepare. What the preparation looks like varies in pandemic stages but we have a vaccine. We’ve had a vaccines. Travel bans can slow the virus to give people a chance to vaccinate ahead of it. Travel bans don’t stop the virus. And they don’t fix the underlying problem that unless people vaccinate, mask, and continue to social distance then the virus keeps spreading and staying ahead of us.

“We need a balanced and proportional response. That means no travel bans, but testing and quarantine for people coming from countries where omicron is circulating,” says Raghib Ali, an epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge.

Every time a virus, any virus, infects a host it has a chance to mutate. Think of it like a giant game of telephone. (Remember that from grade school?) Imagine the virus is a recipe and our bodies are all cooks. Each time a cook gets a recipe, they might make the dish a little different. A hamburger becomes a panini. A panini becomes a pizza. A pizza becomes lasagna. Eventually, the vaccine designed for hamburgers doesn’t recognize what a lasagna is. We’re playing catch up against nature and that’s always a losing proposal for humanity.

Hurting On Many Levels

Countries like South Africa who’ve identified variants might be much more reluctant to do so if there’s the threat of a travel ban. The effect on the local tourism industry – reeling already globally – has serious implications, especially for poorer nations. Tourism is the crusty glue barely keeping the world together. Crime and poverty increase without it in places that rely on travel.

Blocking travel also means aide workers and scientific supplies to the places that need it most. The UK has banned travel from 11 countries – all African – being called by travel apartheid by Nigeria.

Olufemi Awokoya told the BBC he was trying to raise money for his wife’s quarantine, as she is due to return from a trip to attend her mother’s memorial service. “She is being punished and our household is put in financial hardship. She is an NHS worker and tripled-jabbed, and we can’t afford the £2,280 ($3,024) hotel bill,” he said.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a global problem with a global solution. But the more we keep dividing ourselves into nations of isolation, vaccinated and un-vaccinated, the virus will keep conquering us, a divided species.

NxTSTOP Makes Travel Pants You Actually Want To Wear

This post is sponsored by NxTSTOP. [What is this?]

nxtstop airway travel pant

Design and function don’t always meet elegantly in travel apparel, often leading to compromises on one end of the spectrum or the other. You don’t want to look like a dork when traveling, or if you choose to, end up hiding your travel clothes in a closet when you get home. NxTSTOP has developed a travel apparel line with fashion in mind, without giving up on making a durable, useful, travel product.

The Look

Right out of the box, NxTSTOP ships its clothes in compostable packaging, part of their broader sustainability efforts to use recycled, organic, and biodegradable materials. When you put them on, NxTSTOP’s Airway Travel Pant is sleek down the leg, thanks to a wrinkle resistant blend of 90% recycled nylon and 10% spandex with a bio-based finish that is also antimicrobial and sustainable. That combination of fabrics gives you durability with flexibility, not to mention moisture resistant quick drying pants. The right amount of stretch makes them especially comfortable when walking, with enough structure that they stay straight and always look perfectly ironed. Having the balanced amount of elasticity accentuates their slim look for a variety of body types.

NxTStop

NxTSTOP applied a finish to the fabric called HyProtecht a Swiss antimicrobial technology that protects the fabric against contamination by germs. The finish was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it works across a variety of microbes, including odor causing bacteria. (Microbes just love making a stink out of your sweat.)

Integrating Function

As part of NxTSTOP’s TravleisureⓇ design the exterior four pockets (one on each side, and two on the back) all have discrete zippers for pick-pocketing protection but can also be left open when you just need to warm your hands or look coy. Using black on black coloring with thin zipper lines means they don’t distract or takeaway from the overall aesthetic. The same goes for the NxTSTOP airplane logo on the thigh and branding by the ankle.

nxtstop Transit Bamboo Silver Ion Long-Sleeve Tee

Subtle design choices continue to work their way into the inseam, where NxTSTOP has put a drawstring on the interior for quick adjustments, in addition to the more traditionally positioned belt loops.

Caring for the Airway Travel Pant is also straightforward – good when you’re on the road and need ubiquitous laundry options. Cold water wash with a tumble or air dry and the Airway Travel Pant is back to new, satisfyingly without wrinkles.

How They Feel

The Airway Travel Pant has a light feel when worn, helping to maintain a good temperature balance in both cold and warm weather. Comfortable and smooth, the Airway Travel Pant can be worn on a hike, day of sightseeing, or when you need a more formal look. Versatility in your clothing comes in handy when traveling since you can carry less clothes, if the clothes you have can be used for a variety of occasions.

Fortunately, NxTSTOP has an entire apparel line that can help with your travel planning. Their tops, like the Transit Bamboo Silver Ion Long-Sleeve Tee are also moisture wicking, odor resistant, light, and breathe well for planes, plains, or plain old home. You’ll find throughout the ethos of NxTSTOP is comfortable, functional minimalistic apparel made sustainably.

Take their Ultrasoft Compression Travel Socks, which are also temperature regulating, help promote circulation on long flights, and can be found in black, grey, or blue depending on your tastes. The use of nylon, mixed with polyester and spandex give a comfortable stretch while remaining light is a feel NxTSTOP have integrated across their apparel line.

A lot of travel clothing tends to focus on standing out in functionality without considering who’s going to actually wear the clothes they’re making. NxTSTOP has designed clothes that can travel but aren’t limited to far away places.

How Henry Masks Took Over The NBA

You’ve probably seen a Henry mask, especially if you watch NBA basketball. The recognizable, origami-inspired face covering can be seen on celebrities and athletes. And they look good, standing out among the crowd of Covid reducing coverings you might be so inclined to purchase yourself.

So how did Henry masks get such an endorsement deal? A big, moderately evil corporate entity with money to throw around? Actually it turns out, no. Word of mouth. Developed by Fresh, a designer who was homeless in 2017. These are the kind of stories that will inspire you to do good things and I had the pleasure of speaking with Fresh on a recent episode of the foXnoMad Podcast. It’s well worth listening to, profound, and thought provoking.

You can watch a clip in the video above and listen to the full episode here.

Tropicfeel Makes Travel Shoes You Can Wear Anywhere

This post is sponsored by Tropicfeel. [What is this?]

tropicfeel

When you’re packing for a trip, trying to figure out the right shoes to bring can be confounding. There’s your walking shoes, hiking shoes, and causal sneakers but what Tropicfeel have designed are one shoe to fit them all. Based out of Spain, Tropicfeel claim to be the most funded shoe on Kickstarter and that’s only the beginning of what make them unique.

All-Terrain Sneakers

Tropicfeel make three varieties of their shoe. Monsoon are made to be ultra-light and quick drying, since these shoes are designed to be work in water. The Sunset line are more casual but also made for long walks and handle water without any problems. Tropicfeel sent me the Canyon, which are a combination of the Monsoon and Sunset but with thicker soles made for hiking.

tropicfeel shoes

Having worn the Canyon for several weeks, they stand out in several ways.

What Makes Tropicfeel Different

Right out of the box the vibrant colors of the Night Blue I received stand out but there are four other color options you can choose from. The Canyon are light, weighing just 198 grams, with thick soles made from 80% recycled polyester. The top part of the shoes are a thinner, breathable mesh that can be worn underwater and will dry within minutes on a hot day.

tropicfeel canyon

The insoles are firm but soft and can be removed for hand washing and the rest of the Canyon can be machine washed, then air dried, as needed.

Streamlined Functionality And Comfort

There’s an efficiency to the way Tropicfeel have designed their shoes. First, the Canyon are comfortable to wear on hikes, long walks, or quick jaunts to the grocery store. There are no laces to be tied. Instead, the elastic bands make slipping the Canyon on and off fast; leaving you to wonder why so many other shoes mess with string laces at all.

To get the right fit though, you’ll need to account for socks. See, Tropicfeel’s shoes are meant to be worn barefoot but they can definitely be comfortably worn with socks. You’ll need to order a size up in European (e.g. 40 to 41) or half a U.S. size if you plan to generally have socks on. Once you’ve found the right fit, both barefoot or with socks, the Tropicfeel Canyon are comfortable, especially after they’ve been broken in over a few days.

tropicfeel canyon

For those of you wondering, to further prevent odors (whether you’re wearing these barefoot or not) the Canyon are lined with Agion, a silver antimicrobial to prevent odor. Tropicfeel says this Agion treatment should last the entire lifetime of any of their shoes.

Minimalist Footwear

In many areas of the design Tropicfeel have made the Canyon an impressively efficient shoe for daily use. Yes, these are shoes made for travel but versatile and stylish enough to be worn even when you’re not on the road. All of the clever features Tropicfeel have built into their shoes – like being machine washable – are useful no matter where you are.

Sure there are elements of the Canyon that show off its portable side, from the thin mesh than can be collapsed down for packing – but Tropicfeel haven’t made a shoe that’s a collection of travel gimmicks. Rather, the Canyon are a hybrid of several types of shoes you probably already own but this time with some clever enhancements.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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