How to eat healthy in Cabarete
By Emily Reilly
By Emily Reilly
Many of our guests wonder if it is easy to eat healthy in Cabarete? I am here to say yes…absolutely. In my opinion, it is actually hard to eat unhealthily in Cabarete, especially at our breakfast nook and at La Mesa Taina restaurant.
When I taught in Alaska I often heard many students comment that after returning from a vacation they need a week to “vacation from their vacation” in order to get back to a healthy routine. This is an excuse you don’t need to make, because there are so many wonderful options in Cabarete.
While Cabarete has a fun night life, it also has a thriving and active population that participates in kite surfing, surfing, circus, yoga and fitness. Local restaurants that cater to their health conscious Cabarete regulars are common and easy to find just walking down the main drag.
How to make those healthy choices? Some general things to think about:
Tropical Seasonal Fruit
Take some time to enjoy the fresh seasonal fruit. When you spend a fitness camp with us you will stay on site at eXtreme hotel where a mini fridge is available. Cabarete has wonderful street vendors who will sell you (and even cut up for you) fresh pineapple, mango, avocado and coconut. Cut the fruits into chunks, add a little lime juice (for some zip add chili pepper too) and you have a wonderful morning fruit salad, or mid day snack.
La Bandera Dominicana
The Dominican flag is the traditional lunch meal. It is an outstanding combination of all the necessary nutrients: rice, beans, meat of choice and green salad. Rice provides carbohydrates (try brown rice for an even healthier choice), you get proteins from the beans and meat (or seafood) and a delicious salad prepared with fresh vegetables completes this healthy meal. This meal is available at most Dominican comedors.
Use salt sparingly
Don’t add too much salt to your dishes. If you want to add some extra flavor use herbs and spices instead. You will eventually acquire a taste for lower-salt food.
Cut down on sugar
Many juices and cocktails have a lot of added sugar. Ask for honey instead as most restaurants will add less honey to your beverages than sugar or even “sin azucar,” and enjoy the tartness and natural flavors of your fruits.
Fat in moderation
A common mistake some Dominicans make is to add use too much oil when cooking, which takes away the benefits of the Dominican diet. Order fried food sparingly, read your menu and ask your server how your food is prepared to make sure you are not getting something heavy with oil. “Grilled” and “sautéed” are healthier preparations.
Choose fresh salad
The traditional Dominican fresh salad contains a wealth of nutritious vegetables: tomatoes, lettuce, beet, cabbage, etc. Always chose fresh salad over other more fattening mayonnaise based potato or noodle salads and prepare your vinaigrette with a minimum of oil.
For more specific recommendations:
At our onsite restaurant La Mesa Taina they have wonderful salads, sushi, tacos, and even burgers if you choose to have chicken fillet instead of beef patty. Moderate your intake of the fried tempura and sauced sushi styles.
The Breakfast Spot at the eXtreme Hotel serves food directly from the Taino Organic Farm. Their smoothie bowls and coconut pancakes are a must. It does not get fresher than this! They also accommodate dietary restrictions.
Cafe Vitamin D, and Cafe Fresh Fresh both have amazing smoothie bowls, snacks, and savory choices that are well balanced and filled with fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
Gorditos is a local Mexican style restaurant; they have a whole section of their menu focused on healthy choices. My favorite is the Fred Goes Vegan burrito.
Vagamundo Coffee & Waffles is another Cabarete cafe and popular hang out with smoothie and grain bowls. They also have great belgian waffles (a treat) with many fresh healthy topping options. You can have your waffle toppings put on whole grain toast or french bread for a less decadent breakfast or lunch choice.
Lastly, just down the road walking distance we have two amazing local comedores. The first you see is Miguel’s. Fill your plate with this hearty food, and when you have eaten you can also stock up on fresh fruit from their produce stand. A little further down the road we have Samuela’s with Italian/Dominican fusion with fresh delicious ingredients.
These are just a few of our amazing local food options. Have fun exploring!