I Think I’m Turning N’Awlins

New Orleans has been filled with typical fried New Orleans cuisine (think fried oysters, fried gator, fried crawfish, fried shrimp, fried catfish, on and on) as well as decadent nouvelle cuisine.  Healthy options are almost non-existent, and paleo has been out of question.  So, I’ve just been going with the flow, enjoying regional specialties.  Below is a dump of all the foodie pics from the past couple days.  Yesterday we were able to get out for a 3 mile run along the River Walk which was nice.  The food has been amazing, but I’ll be happy to get back to my normal eats.  I feel like I’m starting to turn into a beignet!

image

My name in N’Awlins.

image

Beignet #1 at Cafe Beignet

image

Gator Sausage Po’Boy at Bourbon House

image

Deconstructed Rootbeer Float at MiLa

image

The best Muffaletta sandwich at Central Grocery Co.

image

Beignet #2 at Cafe Du Monde.

photo

New job 😉

Not According To Plan

photo

Last night was like a lesser degree of Mardi Gras.  Little did we know, our stay would align with the French Quarter Festival.  We walked down Bourbon street (shown above), as we searched for this quaint wine bar I had identified.  Once we turned away from the main street, it was like we stepped into another world.  We accidentally passed the bar, and as we did, an older man told us to be careful.  As we turned around to enter the bar, his response was along the lines of “oh, you’re where you need to be, everything will be ok.”

With a room right on Bourbon Street, and single-pane windows, it was like trying to sleep during a house party.  It’s like a dirtier version of Vegas without the comfort of a sound-proof hotel.  Once the partying stopped, thunder that sounded like banging dumpsters began.  The only prospect of this was that it would clear the people out below.  To say we were slightly unprepared for any rain would be an understatement.  I was planning for 75-80 degree weather, trying to figure out how to comply with 78%+ humidity.

photo

With a storm cast over the city, and a sleepless night, I had no prospect of running.  There was no way we could even walk to our conference a half mile away without becoming completely drenched and miserable.

photo

So we waited it out, experiencing unusual forms of hospitality.  I think all of the workers are pretty much tired of people since they haven’t had a rest.  From Mardi Gras to Spring Break to the Final Four game to the French Quarter Festival, the city has been impacted with constant guests.  We were rejected from the hotel restaurant, but we also rejected the $15 buffet, from what I could see, consisted of crusted up eggs.  We found a nearby eatery, The Old Coffee Pot Restaurant, that happened to be featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (although I’m not really a big fan of the show anymore, I always figure it’s a good sign it’s a hidden gem).  Our breakfast was interrupted with soulful belts of song from one of the waitresses.  The whole thing (place, scenery, people) just felt like the quintessential New Orleans breakfast.

photo

To say the least, it has been an interesting trip so far!  Luckily tonight we’ve been moved to an interior queen-sized room that is so peaceful and aesthetically more pleasing (more blue and less burnt orange).  PLUS it’s quiet!

Always Bring Your Running Shoes

This morning I depart for a work trip to New Orleans for 5 days (Saturday to Wednesday).  My dad, worried about my safety, first asked me to not run and then asked me not to go running somewhere just because I thought it was pretty.  Come on dad!  My obsession with criminal investigation shows has taught me better than that!  My aunt also warned me not to travel off the beaten path because I might, in fact, just end up beaten.  So much enthusiasm for my travels!

The most important thing I know about traveling and working out, besides being safe, is to always be prepared.  I remember when I studied abroad in Paris a couple years ago, I debated whether or not to bring my running shoes.  After learning that most people do not run or go to the gym in Paris, I still decided to bring them along.  This was the best decision I ever made.

After a couple of months of adjusting to the life and the culture, I regained my sense of productivity when I put on my running shoes.  The first day I ran, I went out and covered 7 miles, all because there were so many new things to see, and places to traverse.  For this one month straight I ran.  And ran everyday.  Each time was a new adventure.

I would set my sights on a faraway landmark I wanted to explore (like the Ile des Cygnes– Isle of Swans- side note: there were no swans, just homeless people) and make up my own half-marathon course.  Or I would ride the metro out to one of the largest parks (Bois de Vincennes or Parc des Buttes Chaumont) where runners were welcome and there were waterfalls.

DSC09756

DSC07789

DSC07797

DSC07799

Running on vacation is a great way to explore a new city, and is much faster than walking!  It’s a great way to get a long run in because it is so easy to lose yourself.  So of course now, for my trip to NOLA, I’ve packed my running outfits, one for each day, and I’ll be wearing my running shoes on the plane.  There will be no excuses here!

On The Road, On-The-Go

Ok, so I went a little gung-ho crazy at Trader Joe’s yesterday, stocking up on some healthy/paleo snacks for my trip to New Orleans this upcoming weekend to week.  Of course I won’t be able to go and not have a beignet or two, but I just wanted to make sure  that I had some healthy alternatives to reach for either on the plane or during the conference.  And you know what they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!  Below are some whole ingredient products that don’t need refrigeration and should withstand some heat and movement.snacks_0

1. Apples and nut butter – I love a big, crisp and juicy apple.  Pairing this with a variety of different nut butters prevents this snack from getting dull.
snack_1

2. LARABAR – With minimal ingredients (primarily composed of a date and nut mixture), these have been my go-to energy bars since starting the Whole30.  This is a good alternative for something sweet with options like Apple Pie and Chocolate Coconut Chew!
snacks_2

3. Nuts – Just good ol’ dry roasted, unsalted macadamia and hazelnuts.  These have quickly become a new addiction.

snacks_3

4. Unsulfured and unsweetened dried fruit – Apple rings, pineapple rings, and dried cherries with no sulfur dioxide and no added sugar.  I love throwing these with some nuts for a homemade trail-mix of sorts.snacks_4

5. Roasted Plantain Chips – I haven’t had these before, but the only ingredients were plantains, sunflower oil, salt – they sound pretty safe.snack_5

How do you eat healthy on the road and on-the-go?