Hey ya’ll! Spent the last few days in New Orleans (first timer) and WOW- what a blast! A whole mixture of leisure, work, unhealthy and healthy foods, party scenes, art and classical scenes and trying to navigate it all to stay healthy but also enjoy myself. Here’s how it went..
Touched down in NOLA Friday night, checked in and headed straight to Bourbon Street for our first po’ boy, alligator bites, oysters and a hurricane. They definitely like their fried food down here and top of my list was to try a tried and true fried po’ boy Nor’leans style! (am I saying the right?) I spent the first half of the trip saying New-OR-leans- stuck out like a sore thumb but I’ve gotten better saying ‘Nor’lans.” To balance out the fried po’ boy we started with fresh oysters and blackened alligator bites- both lean protein sources, and split the po’boy. We saw signs for “hurricanes” EVERYWHERE- which is a famous New Orleans drink with lots of rum and lots of juices so I had to give it a try, because ‘when in Rome,’ right?! Wrong, took 2 sips and had to order something else, way too artificially sweet (which my taste buds were not ready for) and gave me a brain freeze- yikes! Walked around a bit more and headed to bed early the first night because in the morning we were in for a big adventure!
Day two was adventure time! Had a nice healthy breakfast and a coffee on our way out of the hotel and off we went. Early morning fan boat swamp tour finding alligators and seeing the AMAZING natural landscape Louisiana has to offer- probably our favorite part of the trip.
Later that day we hit the streets again, more oysters, po’ boys, oyster shooters- more on this later- and beignets! Personally, I couldn’t get enough of the oysters down here- literally the size of a chicken breast (a bit of an exaggeration), SO fresh and a healthy lean protein too, win! As for the beignets, they didn’t do much for me so I had a bite and tried it but being that it’s fried dough and sugar it was something I could pass on. The oyster shooters- ha ha- for those of you who don’t know is a shot of vodka, an oyster and cocktail sauce. Seemed like a fun local tradition to try… overestimated the “fun” on this one. Just about lost my lunch and my desire to do anything else that day. Happy to say that is the first and LAST time trying an oyster shooter! This moment was also captured on video so for those of you interested in seeing it, let me know :) The next couple of days was more food, touring and walking on the other side of town with more jazz, shops, boutiques, art and the water front.
Monday and Tuesday was time to switch gears into work mode at a conference that I was in town for "Today's Dietitian Spring Symposium." After 3 days of not evening thinking about a workout other than walking around town it was good to leave the drinks and po boys behind me and jump back into a healthy routine. Workouts Monday and Tuesday, healthy meals and lots of water- feeling more like myself already.
I always get asked about vacation and travel- what do you do? Do you always work out? Do you always avoid the unhealthy stuff? Don’t you ever just relax and not stress about it? How can you ALWAYS be thinking about what’s healthy?
Stress? I never stress about the fact that I HAVE to workout or eat healthy- I do it because it makes me feel good physically and mentally. Yes, I allow myself to have fun but I don’t get a free pass to go crazy. I eat until I’m full without over eating, I take advantage of any lean healthy protein and vegetables when I can, pick and choose my days to have some drinks and try to always get a good night sleep and drink lots of water regardless. Feeling good allows me to enjoy myself better- this I’ve learned over time. Keeping to a healthy routine makes me feel good. I’m sure we’ve all been there on trips where we’ve either overeaten or drank a bit too much and then feel gross, unhealthy, out of it and even uncomfortable- which can really effect how much we can truly enjoy ourselves. I made a choice to not feel that way, keep things in check and make decisions that are going to make me ultimately feel good. When you simplify it, it makes sense- do what makes you feel good. And yes, this weekend there were times where a hurricane and fried po’ boy felt like the right thing to do and I loved every second of it. But after a few days I naturally fall back into my normal routine of being active and eating healthy – because that’s my “normal”. When you make a lifestyle change to eat healthy and be active it makes these “off” days so much more enjoyable and easier to get back on track when it’s over
While I’ve been at this Nutrition conference I’ve met some incredibly smart dietitians and listened to a few fascinating talks. I’ll have another blog post on my biggest take away lessons but the general direction of healthy is about choosing healthy whole foods, not over complicating it and finding a balanced lifestyle that makes you feel healthy and happy.
Cheers to that!!
As always if you have any questions, comments or want to chat about working towards your healthy lifestyle never hesitate to reach out!