Staying Healthy in Vegas
I’m recently back from a vacation in the U.S. (a week in Vegas followed by a road trip through Death Valley and Yosemite to Monterey, Big Sur, Santa Barbara and LA and finally back to Vegas).
While I’m following a combination of different diets for my Crohn’s disease (Autoimmune Paleo / Specific Carbohydrate Diet / Low FODMAP) which I’ll go into a little more in an upcoming post, I felt that being so restrictive on my vacation probably wouldn’t work. I’d either end up not eating or I’d be so stressed that it would be counter-productive. So while I said I’d relax my regime a little, I would try to stick to my diet as best I could knowing what I could probably get away with and what I couldn’t (e.g. gluten and dairy). I was a little concerned about how I’d manage a week in Sin City but I was pleasantly surprised.
As we were staying in Vegas for a week before heading on the road trip we made sure to book accommodation that had a kitchen. We stayed in the Signature at the MGM which was perfect. There was a fridge/freezer, cooker, microwave, dishwasher etc. It was a little strange that the kitchen wasn’t stocked with anything and we had to request cutlery, utensils, cookware, crockery etc. I’ve also stayed in other places where they supply cleaning products and some kitchen basics which we didn’t get here but these were minor things. On the whole it was fantastic.
I like having a kitchen as it means that I can at minimum make my own breakfast every morning. And if we weren’t out and about I could also make my own lunches too.
The options for buying groceries on The Strip aren’t great. There’s a big Walgreens that does stock food but that’s more food-to-go like sandwiches and sushi but they do have salads and fruit which was handy. I found a great Wholefoods Market just south of The Strip in the Town Square shopping centre near the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. I used to get the SDX bus http://www.rtcsnv.com/ridethestrip/routes.html from outside The Exalibur which took less than 10 minutes.
Wholefoods was a great place to pick up fresh produce (mainly salads and fruit), green juices and smoothies, bacon and deli meat (I really liked the Applegate Farms meats), kombucha for some fermented goodness and I also found some yummy coconut milk ice-cream that I loved (not AIP but had the least amount of crappy ingredients of the ice-cream options and I gotta have ice-cream on holidays!). They also had a great variety of sushi and sashimi which we got one evening (3).
I was really impressed with the variety and quality of food options in Vegas. Here are some of the highlights and places that I thought really catered to my intolerances:
The Buffet at the MGM (2)
Vegas hotels are known for their buffets. The one at the MGM was pretty impressive. There was a huge amount of variety. Lots of salad options (plenty without dressing), cooked veggies and meat and fish. I opted for leafy greens and cucumber with olive oil, steamed green beans and broccoli and oven roasted carrots with roast beef and chicken. The buffets are all-you-can-eat so can be pretty good value for money. Go hungry!!!
Maggiano’s Little Italy (5)
I knew this chain from Orlando last year and remembered that they were really accommodating to my requests. They made up a delicious grilled salmon salad for me which was really tasty.
RA Sushi (6)
RA Sushi was perfect after doing a little shopping in the Fashion Show Mall. The sashimi platter was so good. Great variety of fish and value for money. It was part of a bento box which included rice and miso soup but I got them to hold both of those. They gave me plenty of ginger which I loved! Can never have too much ginger.
I came across Chipotle in the Miracle Mile Mall in Planet Hollywood. While it’s definitely not AIP, it’s a good SCD or Paleo option. I just had chicken, greens and guac which was so tasty. Not something I’d be able for every day but it was worth trying.
Gordon Ramsay’s Burgr (4)
Gordon Ramsay has a few restaurants in Vegas but we love burgers and were hankering after one so had to try this out. It’s in the Planet Hollywood casino and I was surprised at how relaxed and casual the place was. I was able to mix and match items from the menu so had a burger with avocado, salad, grilled pineapple, olives etc. There was also an option for sweet potato fries which I passed on (good for a paleo / AIP option but not good for SCD / Low FODMAP). The burger was tasty for sure and it was well worth trying but I’ve had nicer burgers elsewhere.
Top of the World at the Stratosphere
The views of The Strip from this restaurant were amazing! The restaurant revolves but it does so very slowly so you hardly notice you’re moving. I didn’t have very high expectations for the food (thought it was all about the view) so I was thrilled that my wagu steak and roasted rainbow carrots were absolutely delicious. One of those ‘when in Vegas…’ experiences!
Pressed Juicery (1)
I found a Pressed Juicery in the Aria hotel which I was delighted to find as I was able to pick up a few green juices and some healthy snacks. I particularly liked their packets of baked banana’s which is one of my favourite sweet treats at home.
While our hotel had a gym I didn’t use it. For the most part I walked everywhere on The Strip and easily racked up 27,000 steps a day. I got to realise that although places seemed close on a map they were in fact pretty far apart. Even walking from our hotel into the main MGM complex took about 20 minutes. The hotels are huge!!! So my advice is to wear flats and leave the heels for when you are cabbing it (from car to bar!).
Had I been staying in the MGM on a Sunday I would have availed of their free yoga class they do every Sunday morning. Next time!!!