Bringing It Down to the Earth

Below is an excerpt from a post written by my daughter, Heather, on elephantjournal.com. I was lucky enough to be her Soul-Full foodie tour guide on her recent visit to South Florida, and below are some of our most delicious discoveries. Plus, a few fun places to get your body moving and work up an appetite for the next meal:

The Last Carrot Coconut Grove Miami Florida
The Last Carrot (Coconut Grove, Miami)
Food so local that they don’t serve avocado when it’s out of season. Neighborhood residents supply the café with vegan cakes and cookies that disappear from the counter before they have a chance to cool. The Carrot’s menu lists a wide range of pita sandwiches bursting with veggies and delicious smoothies, though my favorite items on the menu are the spinach pies: a whole wheat crust and melted cheese with cooked spinach and your choice of filling.

Sublime Ft. Lauderdale Coconut Cake
Sublime (Ft. Lauderdale)
Sublime is 100% vegetarian, and mostly vegan, with 100% of profits going to support animal welfare (it’s owned by a wealthy heiress, who I suppose is more in the business to make a point—that you don’t need to use animal products for a delicious, elegant meal—than to make money.) Pictured above is one of the best desserts I have ever eaten—Sublime’s vegan coconut cake.

Juice and Java Aventura Florida
Juice and Java (South Beach, Miami)
Offering more than juice and java, this joint’s six-page menu also offers smoothies, salads, wraps, juices, pizzas, paninis and rice/quinoia dishes. Not all organic, but all healthy and delicious. Great for a quick stop and not too pricey.

Julio's Natural Foods North Miami
Julio’s
(North Miami)
A casual atmosphere similar to Juice and Java, but with better smoothies (the best smoothie I had in South Florida actually, and that’s saying something, given the plethora of fresh tropical fruit)—though Juice and Java has better sandwiches.

Coconut Grove Farmer's Market Miami Coconut Grove Farmer's Market Raw Desserts
Coconut Grove Farmer’s Market (Coconut Grove)
The Coconut Grove Farmer’s Market runs each Saturday from 8am to 4pm. It’s mostly dominated by the certified organic Glaser Farms, but with a few other independent food, clothing and arts (think hemp) vendors included in the mix. The main attraction, though, isn’t the market (despite the locally grown, organic mangoes—heaven!), but their raw-food cafe, especially the raw pies—huge servings of cashew cream, coconut, strawberries and other decadent, yet decidedly healthy treats.

Josh's Organic Market Hollywood Florida Josh's Organic Market Hollywood
Josh’s Organic Market (Hollywood)
Josh’s Organic Market is dominated by Josh. He’s a middle man, which means that there’s no competition and you’re not buying directly from farms, but his produce is the plumpest and freshest in the area. Most is local and picked the night before, while some things are shipped in from South and Central America (which is closer to Miami than California). The market is open on Sundays from 9am to 5:30pm, along with a killer and very friendly organic juice bar—which is also open on weeknights from 6pm to 9pm. The best part? Josh’s Market is located right on the beach, so you can swim post produce-shopping and then fuel up with a local, organic smoothie.

Yoga
Synergy Yoga Miami Beach
Synergy Yoga on the Beach (South Beach)
Synergy Yoga offers yoga on the beach, literally, as in, sand between your fingers and waves crashing a few feet away. To me, there is nothing on earth more relaxing than the sound of the ocean. Add yoga, and I’m like one of those blue jellyfish that sometimes wash up on shore. Beach classes are scheduled daily at 7am and 5pm, early/late enough that you won’t have to risk a sunburn and there won’t be any weird tourists gawking at your plow pose. Classes meet at 3rd Street in South Beach, for a $5 suggested donation.

Dance
Hoy Como Ayer Miami
Hoy Como Ayer (Little Havana, Miami)
Dark and sweaty, with some of the best music and dancing in the city of Miami. Thursday nights, the club is home to the Spam All-Stars, local Afro-Cuban funk hip-hop fusion. Doors open at 10pm, with a cover charge of $8. On Thursdays, drinks are also 2 for 1 and ladies get in free before 11pm.

Click here to read the full post, which includes more info about the best parks and beaches for relaxing, and a few great independent, local businesses to support.

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