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Food & Travel (in that order…)

May 7, 2014

It’s no secret that I love to eat. I grew up in a household where food was fun. We sat down to dinner together regularly, my mom made dinner six nights a week, and when we went out to dinner, there was a LOT of food. However, eating real food, real healthy food, was a priority. This was relatively unique in the early 90s, certainly more unique than the world we live in now where words like “organic”, “sustainable”, “locavore” & others are part of the general lexicon. I was less cool at school because my lunches didn’t include snack packs, lunchables, those packets of cheese and white breadstick things wrapped in individual plastic, dunkaroos (more plastic…they even tasted like plastic), or simply $5. At home, we had a two cookie rule, a no cereal with more than 6 grams of sugar rule, and absolutely no soda in the house (except a few cans of Pepsi from years ago in case Dad wanted a rum & coke some night).

I grew up eating lots of vegetables, almost no red meat, and SO MUCH PASTA. I mean, if we were having pesto for dinner and we were hungry before it was ready, “have some bread and butter” was the solution. Low-carb wasn’t something I was even remotely capable of until relatively recently. At some point along the journey, my dad became gluten-free (before it was cool. He’s the original hipster), and then my brother became lactose intolerant, and then my mother stopped eating anything with the word “toes” in it (potaTOES, tomaTOES, EggplanTOES…hmmm ok). Then I read “Eating Animals” and stopped eating poultry. Needless to say, going out to dinner with my family is a royal pain in the ass. However, there is a point and I promise I’m getting there.

I stopped taking vitamins sometime around 2010. I stopped drinking milk in 2009. The only vitamins I take now are the occasional Vitamin C, and Biotin. If I didn’t live in Southern California I’d probably take Vitamin D, as well. I stopped taking them because I decided to LISTEN to my body. If you’re eating healthy your body tells you what it needs. Instead of reaching for the first, closest, or easiest thing to eat, I try to figure out what I want. For example, when I think about a steak does my mouth water? What about fish? What about rice? We are conditioned to think that things like Pizza! always sound good, and of course they do…but when I think about cheese right now I don’t get excited. I know that’s crazy, because I LOVE cheese, but when I stop to think about it, I had half an avocado, walnuts, and some feta cheese on my salad at lunch today, so I’ve had quite a bit of good fat already today. My body isn’t craving it. I don’t need more. I try to eat lots of greens every day because I know that they’re full of vitamins. I don’t have a calcium deficiency despite the fact that I haven’t had more than a splash of milk in a cup of coffee a few times a year in FIVE years. I’m not trying to gloat, I’m genuinely fascinated that more people don’t live their lives this way. I spend $50/week or so on mostly organic, local groceries because I’m mostly buying eggs, fruit and vegetables (I usually eat meat and fish when I go out). I recognize that these options are limited in other parts of the country and that by living in Los Angeles I have a produce advantage, and for that I will gloat.

I’ve been traveling for most of the past month. I spent three weeks in New York and then five days in New Orleans. To say that these were food-centric trips would be an understatement. New York was all pasta, pizza, bagels, dumplings, and wine. New Orleans was Po’ Boys, fried oysters, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, fried PASTA, fried alligator, alligator pie, crawfish bread, crawfish etouffee, crawfish monica, crawfish sacks, boiled crawfish, shrimp bread, shrimp & grits, grits & eggs, biscuits, bloody marys, beer, bourbon, bread pudding, and beignets!

It’s time to eat some vegetables again, folks, but beforehand…just a little food & travel porn:

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Crawfish Bread

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Crawfish Boil

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Saratoga Springs, NY

Jazzfest 2014

Jazzfest 2014

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 8, 2014 4:47 AM

    Food and travel or “travel for food” 🙂
    Really nice post 🙂

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