26.2 miles run in recovery makes me hungry.

I AM in recovery.

Because I was 218 sober, Elizabeth and I got to travel 3,000+ miles from Boston to Los Angeles for the LA Marathon to support the Herren Project the weekend of March 23-25, 2019.

We arrived on Saturday morning, which meant we had to get up at 2:30 am to get to the airport in order to be on time for our 6:30 flight on Delta. We got in around 10 am and were picked up by our friend Min Park whom we know through that #freefitness movement called the November Project.

We headed to the Marathon Expo to get my bib and to meet up with my teammates from The Herren Project. The Herren Project helps those who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and their families, through support, and advocacy, to find a better more healthy path forward together.

When we finally got to our hotel that afternoon we settled in, hoping to get a good night’s rest for the Marathon the next morning.

After braving the very sunny and warm weather along the course I finished the marathon walking the last 5.2 miles because I overheated and got very dehydrated to the point of painful muscle cramps. Having come this far I enjoyed every slow, tired step it took to finish while soaking in all the positive support from the supporters along the course including LA chapter of Back On My Feet, the Herren Project, and the hydration station run by the November Project LA at mile 22. Seeing the beach at Santa Monica really added joy and gratefulness to my already awesome journey that started at  Dodger Stadium early that morning before the Sunrise.

After running/ walking 26.2 miles and spending almost 5 hours moving I needed some food. We looked through food options near Santa Monica Beach where our hotel Air Venice was located, we found a nice cafe just up the road called Cafe’ Gratitude. See we are Vegan and it’s sometimes hard to find places to eat but we found out pretty quickly that California is Vegan Heaven… It took us about 20 minutes to get there and the weather being so nice, since we are from Boston and in March it’s still freezing, we really didn’t care how long it took us to get there.

Once we arrived, we could just tell it was our kinda place, the heading on the menu states, “I AM…” The idea here is that you order your food as an affirmation.

There were inside and outside seating options and chill tunes coming through the speakers. We sat inside as Elizabeth gets chilled easily and it was getting cool outside. Our waitress, America, let us know that the way we order is to state “I AM” and then the drink or meal we wanted like so, “I AM Connected” which is the house guac and chip appetizer or “I AM Giving” which is the chef’s seasonal pizza choice.

We ordered drinks and a fun appetizer to start then we ordered our late Lunch/Dinner. Elizabeth ordered, “I AM Grateful”; which consisted of shredded kale, black beans, garlic tahini, brown rice or quinoa. I ordered the Chef’s seasonal pizza option but there were 2 options actually, a Vegan Hawaiian Pizza and a Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza too. I liked both so much i had them make it with both sets of toppings, it was just this side of ridiculous. For dessert we had some good coffee and a piece of this amazing death by Chocolate Cake,  called I AM Honoring which was made with Chocolate, Olive Oil, Honey Glaze and Bee Pollen -- WOW! It was just what the Doctor ordered to make an amazing day even better.

To say we recommend you trying this place if you are in any of the areas of California where they have spots and they have quite a few would be putting it lightly. The atmosphere, the service and the food are 5 Star in our book and next time we hit Cali we will be making sure to land here to fill our bellies and our Hearts gratefully.


The photos I took while in LA album

alan scherer