Still a little under the weather over here. But I’m better than I was yesterday, and my appetite is creeping back, so that’s a good sign: hopefully I’ll feel like a million bucks by the time I fly out tomorrow morning.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on my way to celebrate my best friend (otherwise known as Chloe)’s graduation from Tulane! I’m very proud of her, and I thought this would be a good time to gush a bit about how totally incredible she is. Chloe is not only smart, sweet, insightful, fun, and open-minded, but she’s also my number one supporter in terms of lifestyle.
It’s not always easy to share a newly found raw or vegan lifestyle with friends. I’ve already gotten emails from many of you saying that you’re having a hard time finding support amongst your friends or family, and this isn’t at all unusual. It’s not unkindness: most of the time, your friends will simply feel bewildered by your new choices, or they’ll be uninterested. And that’s fine: just because they love you, it doesn’t mean they need to love (or even care about) raw foods. But since going raw or vegan tends to prompt a near obsessive desire to talk about health and nutrition all the time, at least at the beginning, it can feel very isolating not to have an audience of people you care about to include in your enthusiasm.
This is a topic that demands more time than I have tonight, so I’ll be coming back to it soon. But for now, I’ll say only that Chloe has been uniquely supportive of my lifestyle—not only positive and enthusiastic, but actively engaged, too. Chloe’s had her own journey in the last year: she went pescatarian after reading Skinny Bitch last summer and has been thriving—even in a city famous for its rich cuisine. Not only that, but she’s also been cooking up yummy vegetarian dinners for her omnivorous friends, and getting five star reviews.
Week after week, Chloe has proven to be my number one cheerleader in my health endeavors. When I was seesawing about whether or not to begin counseling in addition to my publishing job, she encouraged me. The day my blog went up, she pasted it on her facebook page. She’s tested my recipes. She’s tried raw and vegan restaurants with me. She recently emailed me a jpeg of giant Swiss chard leaves from the farmer’s market. And she’s always full of questions and eager to learn more.
Weeks ago, Chloe told me that she’d be sure that she would be sure to do a Whole Foods run before I came to stay with her. She assured me that I’d have vegan and raw options to munch on at or before the weekend’s events. And she’s currently stocking her fridge with veggies for juicing 🙂 When it comes to my diet—and all areas of my life—I could not possibly ask for a more compassionate, loving or encouraging friend. (Love you munchkin! <3)
How am I getting ready for the trip there and back? Well, here are my standard raw girl travel tips:
1) Pressed Juice. You’ve probably heard that most juice loses its enzymes (hence many of its benefits) after twenty minutes. This is true of juice made in centrifugal juicers, which is most of them: Brevilles, Omegas, the big silver ones you’ll find in delis and juice bars. It’s not true of juice made with a hydraulic press, which presses juices (rather than pulverizing them with a blade). These juices last up to three or four days. You can find them at Liquiteria here in NYC, and now, much to my delight, you can also find them in my Neighborhood! Juice Generation, on 72nd between Columbus and Amsterdam, now carries hydraulic pressed juices packaged in plastic bottles. They’re ideal to travel with: no mess, and lots of shelf life. I always drink one on my way to the airport, and pack one in my luggage (wrapped in plastic) to drink and rehydrate with as soon as I land.
2) Larabars and Pure bars. Duh.
3) Fruit. As you all know, I don’t eat fruit all that frequently. But it’s available almost anywhere in the world, in any setting, whereas fresh produce can be tough to find in certain countries or locations. If fruit is abundant, I eat plenty of it.
4) Hydrogen peroxide. If you’re going to a place where you’re not certain about the water supply, bring some hydrogen peroxide: you can use a capful in water to wash greens and produce.
5) A good attitude. There are two kinds of raw/vegan travelers: those who won’t want to shift their diets for travel, and those who will. I’m the former: as much as I realize that eating food in different cities and cultures is, for many, an integral part of the travel experience, I personally feel better eating food that makes me feel my best. Animal products or bad food combinations do not. So I stick to my diet as much as I can without annoying companions or driving myself crazy. This does mean I miss out on certain experiences, such as fresh burrata cheese in Italy, or buttered baguettes in France, but it’s a tradeoff that works for me. If I really have no options, I’m OK with modifying my diet temporarily.
If you’re the latter—the kind of person who values experiencing a place through its food more than sticking to your routines—then I say, go for it. Enjoy the family trip, enjoy the new city or island, enjoy the food. Embrace each bite, and don’t feel remorse. You’re going to be back on track as soon as you get home, so live it up while you’re away.
The key in both cases is to know yourself. You know what your priorities are. And neither a sense of routine nor a desire for experience are a bad thing. Be true to your personality, and have a good trip 🙂
So, guys, I’m off. I’ll probably be posting at least once or twice from New Orleans, but if I don’t, have a great weekend! See you next Tuesday. And keep commenting on my last post to enter the Raw Wednesday challenge: I’ll announce a winner next Wednesday!