Tribute to Chloe (and Some Travel Tips)
May 14, 2009

Hi everyone!

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.

green-juice

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!

xo

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    33 Comments
  1. Hey Gena,
    I was wondering if the Breville Compact juicer pictured in this post would work to juice greens. I’ve been thinking about getting this model. I’ve done some research online but can’t seem to find this info!
    Thanks,
    Sylvia

  2. Chloe sounds like an awesome friend! It is nice to have people support your diet and not put you down for it – and I have people in my life on both ends. Anyway, thank you for sharing such a fresh perspective on travel! I haven’t gone out of the country since becoming vegan and every once in a while I wonder how I would handle it. But I love what you said about trying to stick with your preferred dietary “routine” as much as possible with driving yourself crazy or annoying your fellow travelers! (and having Larabars and Pure bars on hand – yum yum!) I think that is what I would do also, if traveling outside the U.S. Yay, good post!

    • Thanks!

      It’s really important to do what works for you when you travel. On this trip I’ve stuck to my usual diet 100% and feel absolutely great. For some, not partaking in beignets and crab etouffe would be a bummer: for me, eating stuff I don’t love or that doesn’t make me feel optimal is more of a bummer. So I’m not ashamed to do my best to stick to the game plan. But if I weren’t staying in an apartment with a kitchen this weekend, or if it meant making her life difficult, I would be happy to adapt a bit.

      Gena

  3. hi gena.

    first of all i just have to say how intelligent, beautiful and inspiring you are.

    you have such a passion not only for raw food, but for helping everyone that comes across your site, so thank you.

    But i was just wondering if you could address something in a post : weight loss and raw foodism.
    -is it something that naturally happens?
    -did you lose a lot of weight when you made the change? (as you are very tiny!, and i DO NOT mean that in a bad way!!!!)
    -if you incorporate more raw food, will that help me lose weight?
    -how many calories do you eat in a day, and how many are in the juices you juice?
    -do you ever feel hungry or deprived?

    sorry if these are too personal
    i am just trying to become more educated on raw food and taking better care of myself!

    i am by no means overweight, but would love to lose some “bad fat”!! 😉

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time to read this.
    hope you had a beautiful weekend!!!

    lulu
    xo

    • Hi Lulu,

      Thank you for such kind words!

      I think it’s inevitable that I’ll address raw food and weight loss soon, since so many readers ask about it. I haven’t yet because weight loss was not my motivation for going or staying raw: I’m very small, and I always have been.

      When I do, I’m afraid that I won’t discuss my caloric intake(which I absolutely never count), or calories in juice, because I have no idea how many there are. But I will discuss why I don’t personally count calories and don’t advocate it, though it can be a useful trick for dieters.

      Gena

  4. Cool info on the juice, I had heard conflicting things, Thanks!

    PS

    Your hood is MY hood too! 😀 Juice Generation is 2 blocks from me

  5. Have a safe and fun trip and hoping you feel 100% very soon!! I have tried to explain this info about juice to my friends before but they don’t believe me. Will send them to your blog!

  6. interesting info about the juice! good to know! i just wish they would let us carry on liquid… bah!
    you’re friend chloe sounds like a total gem. congratulations to her on such a great accomplishment!
    you’re totally right– while traveling, when it’s worth it, there’s no worries about being less stringent about eating. especially when you get to try something new!
    have so much fun this weekend!!!

  7. Have a great time! Chloe sounds a lot like my best friend Sheridan. Though I’ve been veg since we were both in junior high (we grew up together), she went veg a couple years ago after reading Skinny Bitch. Now, even though she lives a few hours away in Little Rock, when we get together, we cook fab vegan meals and talk food and nutrition all the time!

    Have a safe trip. New Orleans is one of my favorite places. Luckily, it’s a quick 5-hour drive from Memphis. 🙂

  8. Ah my hood too, Juice Generation! I will pick some of those packaged bottles up on Saturday, since I got my eyebrows threaded right across the street from there. I’m excited — thanks for the tip!

  9. Gena, I hope you’re feeling better from that nasty stomach bug! And you’re going to Louisiana, my state!! haha I wish I could recommend some raw restaurants but unfortunately I haven’t seen any spring up =( Chloe sounds amazing, I wish I had more friends like that. Take care and have a safe trip to NoLa!

  10. GREAT post! It’s amazing what a difference it makes to have cold-pressed or norway pressed juice. I think it tastes so much better. I just had a delicious blueprint green juice.

    Have an amazing trip. Maybe through some cayenne in your juice for a Creole kick. haha

  11. Have a wonderful trip, and have fun meeting up with Kath!

    Thanks for your awesome viewpoint on food – I think if we all listened to our bodies more and found out what worked for US, we wouldn’t be so diet-crazed all the time!

    Can I add you to my blogroll? Thanks 🙂

  12. Have a wonderful time!

    You always have such a refreshing and non-judgmental view of diets, choices, and lifestyles. I admire that.

  13. Chloe sounds like such a great friend!

    Thanks for the part on sharing the lifestyle with friends and family. I became pescatarian about 6 months ago while in college and now that I’m home I’ve just started noticing how hard it is to gain my family’s support. I’m glad other people feel that way!

  14. I was just reading your post when your comment popped up 🙂

    Have a wonderful time in New Orleans and with Chloe. She sounds like an amazing friend. I have no doubt you are just as supportive to her as she is to you!!!

    Thanks for the great traveling tips, and the info about the juices. I only recently heard that about the juices losing their enzymes after such a short period of time, which kind of bums me out since I have been thinking of getting a juicer. I have heard the juicers like GreenStar are a little better than the centrifugal ones because they masticate the juice rather than centrifuge it, but they take a lot of more time and cost a lot more. So many decisions…..

  15. have fun!!

    this post came at such a perfect time. just yesterday i was actually wondering (and meaning to ask you) how you eat when traveling and going out to restaurants. i often have a very hard time finding vegan meals that will actually give me enough calories and substance when dining out several days in a row…

    • It’s definitely a topic that demands more space. One tactic that works for me is snacking on something filling before I go out–I know I’ll have enough fuel in me, and I also end up spending less on big portions that are nevertheless nutritionally useless to me. But my go to meal is a big salad with as many nourishing toppings as the restaurant can throw together and a plate of steamed veggies, sometimes with marinara sauce 🙂

  16. Have a fun and safe trip! I Tivo (and watch on the treadmill) The Ellen Show and she’s been talking about speaking at that graduation everyday! 🙂 Enjoy! Have a great time, Congrats Chloe!