Travel Tips- Eating Healthy During Airplane Travel

During the last decade of my life, I have had more than my fair share of airplane travel. First, a trans-Atlantic long distance relationship and then living abroad in two countries meant frequent trips back home to visit family and friends. After the first few years, it became apparent that we had to change the way we viewed eating while traveling because it seemed that a trip always threw us off our healthy eating game. What that means has evolved throughout the years, but now I would define it as plant based, high raw and nutrient dense food eaten with the goal if feeling great physically, emotional and spiritually. So, depending on your personal health goals, feel free to take what works for you and leave the rest!

Greens and Superfood Powders
Can you find a fresh squeezed orange juice, even bottled? Or water? Add a few spoons of a green super food powder and you are good to go! You can rest easy knowing that you are well nourished and getting your greens in. For green powder blends, we like our own Sacred Strawberry Pura Vida, as well as Healthforce Nutritionals’ Vitamineral Green and Greener Grasses. For single powders, we like to have something deep green, like Spirulina, chlorella, barleygrass or wheatgrass juice powder as well as something super high in Vitamin C, antioxidant and high vibrational! Good options are Camu-Camu, rosehips (rosa mosqueta), acai berries or acerola cherries. Choose ones that you like the flavor of, that feel good in your body and that you resonate with.

Bonus points for adding a few tablespoons chia seeds to your liquid and powders mix. This makes it filling and gives you sustainable energy, as well as necessary essential fatty acids and fiber. This can act as a meal in a pinch.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
This really can’t be stated enough. Planes literally suck the moisture from your body and the high stress environment of airports can make it easy to neglect this, especially if you are afraid of needing to pee. Drink more than you think is necessary, and then drink some more. Your body will thank you once you get to your destination. I can’t claim that if will prevent jet lag, but you will be in much better spirits and have a fighting chance of avoiding it.

Drink a BIG green smoothie before you go through security.
This will set you up so that you don’t need to worry about food this side and depending on the length of your flight, on the plane as well. They won’t let you take it through security, so drink up! Make it delicious and fill it with some good fats so that it keeps you fuller for longer. Excellent choices would be things like coconut butter, soaked nuts or nut butters, hemp seeds, avocado etc.

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Bring snacks!
Don’t skimp on this. It is way better to bring too much than not enough. We like to bring a trail mix of some sort (sprouted nuts and seeds, goji berries, dried pineapple , cacao nibs etc.), single serve packs of nut butters, raw chocolate for sweet cravings, raw dehydrated crackers and even cut up fresh vegetables. Cucumber is wonderful for airplane travel because it is so hydrating! Whole fruits like apples, oranges and bananas are easy to travel with. Find a plastic knife at one of the airport cafés, cut up your apple or banana, drizzle it with nut butter and sprinkle on a bit of your superfood powder that you brought. This makes it easy to use what you bring!
Also, most Sacred Strawberry snacks make excellent travel food! Sprouted crackers, kale chips and Love Balls all make excellent options for nutritious and delicious healthy snacks!

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Don’t be afraid to go without.
I understand that this one might bring up all sorts of emotions, and it may not be right for you at this time. The truth is though that being in a plane brings our digestive system to a halt. Add to that the stress of traveling, and it can add up to digestive distress. It can mean the perfect opportunity to do a little mini cleanse/fast. Make sure you stay well hydrated and that you have loads of positive entertainment- inspirational books, music you love to hear, podcasts of speakers you love to hear ( especially about health and wellness), a journal to jot down anything you want, or the feelings that come up for you. Relax and allow the freedom that comes from not stressing about what to eat wash over you.

Choose airport food wisely.
I get excited when I see a Jamba Juice, but I know now that their smoothies are NOT fresh fruit and are full of sugary things that don’t make me feel good. Instead, I go for a huge fresh squeezed orange juice and a double shot of wheatgrass juice.
Also, sometimes you can find a sushi restaurant that has avocado rolls with brown rice or seaweed salad. That really is about the only thing that we as a family feel comfortable consuming, due to a variety of factors. We have gotten sick from eating salads in airports before, and have also spent ridiculous sums of money on food that we would never ever considered eating outside that environment. It’s just not worth it!

Plan your next meal well.
If you have a connecting flight and are going to have to eat in an airport that night, pack a light meal with you and make sure that you eat it! Research what restaurants are in your terminal so that you can then look online and find out what they offer before you arrive tired, hungry and DONE! This is a recipe for heading straight to whatever your trigger foods are. In other words, fail to plan and plan to fail! If you have a short flight, find out what healthy restaurants are near where you are headed to. I never, ever go anywhere without first checking out happycow.net. That way, I can look and see what health food stores, vegetarian restaurants and markets are in our area and where I would like to plan to go visit. Tourism for me has always included vegan and raw food restaurants, health food stores and organic markets. It is one of my favorite ways to get to know a new city! Sometimes, just knowing what incredible healthful food awaits you can prevent spur of the moment less than optimal food choices in an airport.

Stay positive and do the best with what you have!
It’s not about perfection, it’s about having fun and feeling great. If you find yourself marooned and starving and walk past a veggie pizza and the idea of walking across two more terminals to find somewhere that may or may not offer salad is too much for you, then STOP! The stress and negativity that beating yourself up brings is far worse than any food choice! Whatever you eat, eat with enjoyment, gratitude and love.

I sincerely hope that something in here helps you on your health journey. Bon voyage!

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More UK adventures!

We are still here in England and have been lucky enough to have quite a few gorgeously sunny and warmish days. It is starting to get cold now, but soon we will be flying back to Louisiana where I have been informed that it is still hot!
One day we went for a walk down historic Winkle Street in Calbourne and we were met with this:

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Loads and loads of watercress! We made a watercress and potato soup with our haul because eating it raw isn’t very safe due to possible liver flukes. Best not to dwell on that though because cooked it is perfectly safe and lovely!
Here is the hubby with our score:

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We also found fresh ripe hazelnuts

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Damsons

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and of course loads of nettles, from which we made (and keep making) a nourishing, mineral rich brew!

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Little poppet got to run and play in the setting sun

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It was a beautiful day, and we got to share it with my husband’s parents, his brother Gavin and his fiancé, Emma. It really us hard being so far from his family. No matter where we live, someone misses out and unfortunately that includes Amethyst who grows up not really knowing half of her family. We just appreciate the time we do get to spend together, make the most of it and plan ahead!

UK adventures

Our little family has been in England for the past two weeks visiting my family-in-law. We must have timed it perfectly because there has been such an abundance of wild food for us!
One of the first nights here, I made a raw crumble with blackberries we foraged and apples from a tree in the garden.

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It was so good! Especially considering I am not in my kitchen and just used bits and pieces my mother in law had on hand. With a little creativity, preparing raw food is easy anywhere!!
We then found some lovely mugwort, which we used for a pre-bedtime relaxing cup of tea!

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As beautiful as the Isle of Wight is, we took a day trip up to London one day to visit Camden, do a bit of shopping at Braintree Hemp and eat at inSpiral Lounge! It did not dissappoint!

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Sunburger, raw pizza, raw Caesar salad, butternut squash and apple with goji berry sauce, olives, Banoffee Pie, tiramisu and more!

As usual, we stopped back by on our way out to pick up snacks. We got some superfood truffles, Raspberry Maca Kale Chips

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and this!

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I’m still not a fan though! Freeze dry it, coat it in chocolate, whatever you want to do to it- I do not like it! But I love that my hubby loves it, haha!
We have been blessed the past few days with some beautiful sunny weather. We even took a plunge in the COLD ocean yesterday!! I’m off to enjoy more of it and have lots more foraging adventures to share!

Hot Springs Summer Solstice Edition

Magical time this weekend, truly! We stayed on Lake Hamilton and being able to jump into the cool lake water first thing in the morning was really awesome! Miss Amethyst even enjoyed being in her little floatie boat. We also bought some beautiful crystals that resonated with us, found a mountain stream that needed to be waded in, discovered a wonderful place with lots of local, vegan and gluten-free food but also locally brewed hibiscus kombucha- Park Island Eatery. So much good stuff!! I love this blessed life, my daughter, and sharing it with my parents right now.

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Weekend plans

Lake Hamilton

This weekend, my family and I are headed to the lake for some down time.  The last few weeks have been kind of crazy and different for me, so I am looking forward to stepping back for a minute and taking the time to regroup, refocus and take care of myself.  I think in the last week I have been to the gym 1 time!  That is crazy and clearly my priorities have got to get more in alignment with the life I want to lead.  Hence, Hot Springs.

As much as I have been enjoying reconnecting with my hom etown, it will be so nice to get out of town for a few days and chillax.  Swimming in Lake Hamilton, getting my Vitamin D on in the sun, hitting up Star Gallery Hot Springs for some handmade and vintage gear action, scoping out health food stores and maybe even a trip to Nom-Noms is in order.  We’ll see.  There is NO agenda 🙂

And then- back to work!  Those kale chips don’t make themselves!  And also, back to the blog…There are recipes I want to share, news to report and updates to give.  So, be patient, please and have a wonderful weekend.

If you are in Shreveport this weekend, check out Biz Markie at the Let the Good Times Roll Festival and Homegrown- The Farmer’s Market at Provenance.  Also, open volunteer day at Community Harvest.  So much good stuff on this weekend! And of course I am going out of town 😉

Home feels so nice!

We had a great time at Festival International de Louisiane. Amethyst’s first festival experience was a success! We listened to Iranian trance music complete with Sufi dancers, saw old friends we needed to reconnect with, laughed and ate (none of which was raw or even vegan-shock horror!! Oh wait- really late one night I stopped at the grocery store and got a kombucha and some frozen raw lemon pie hehe)

Anyway, after the excesses of this weekend, it became so glaringly obvious just how physically unfit I have become since giving birth. Well, and scales don’t lie either. So instead of falling into a black hole of despair and apathy as per usual, tomorrow I am going to start a smoothie cleanse again to lighten things up and hopefully gain some energy and clarity. So I will be posting about that this week. Also, tomorrow I need to get my butt in the kitchen to create some alchemical delights that I look forward to sharing here as well.

Here’s to an amazing week ahead y’all!

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Thankful Thursday

I really just cannot get it together for Wednesday posts, can I?  The saving grace is that there is always another opportunity to do it over and that there is no time like the present to do so.  So here we go, Thankful Thursday today.  And I am grateful for so many things!  This week has been especially hard due to some family health issues that are really quite serious and sad but I am really trying to focus on the wonderful aspects of my life and not dwell on the negatives.

1. Time with my family and daughter.  I have been so, so blessed to be in a situation where I have been able to care for Amethyst at home with her daddy.  We have made some sacrifices for sure and have no income to speak of at the moment but Amethyst gets to be with not only us but her grandparents for the first part of her life.  Our life and financial situation won’t look like this forever, but we are really trying to enjoy every moment we spend with her and together.
happy family, happy tummies
2. I got accepted to vend at the Shreveport Farmers Market this year!  That means that this summer I will be able to share my food with people other than my immediate family and friends and I am happy to no end!  Regardless of it makes money, I am really looking forward to the experience of learning and meeting some new people.  So stoked!!!

3. My Vita-mix.  Man, after years of using crap blenders (and some not so crap ones) and burning out motors, breaking jugs and whatever else can possibly go wrong, I have to say that my vita-mix has never, ever let me down.  Even when I use it for non-optimal uses.  Like making raw brownies for which I really need a new food processor.  I use the vita-mix probably 5 times per day on average.  Love it hard ❤  and am thankful that I was able to make that purchase.

4. Kombucha.  Especially locally brewed kombucha.  In Spain, I was a fermented beverage queen.  Kombucha, water kefir, ginger bug- I did it all and was pretty good at it  😉  Since moving to Shreveport, I haven’t had the time to take on yet another project like that yet.  I still love getting my gut loving probiotics in sparkly beverage form though, so when I have a chance to lay my paws on some local booch, I always do.  Like this one I got in Austin that I loved so much and is truly my favorite kombucha EVAR!!
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Or these that I got in Fort Worth
Mmmmm, prickly pear. This one was so awesome I had it again!
prickly pear kombucha
and green apple ginger
green apple ginger kombucha
Louisiana needs a kombucha maker.  Maybe a new career is in store for me, LOL!

5. Old friends!  We are leaving tomorrow for Lafayette to spend time with friends of ours and to hit up Festtival International de Louisiane.  It is our first time going in such a long time (since I was in college which was, um over 10 years ago *gulp*)   The thing about old friends that I love is that even though both of you have changed so much since you met, you just accept each other and keep on loving through it all.  At least that is how it should be.  With my best friend Rene, although we don’t have much surface stuff in common, we do share a mutual love and respect for each other that keeps us wanting to spend time together.  Oh, and we laugh!  I can’t wait to see her and wish we lived closer!

Review: Be Raw Food and Juice

In a previous post, I mentioned that my hubby had to be in Dallas.  After his appointment, we went to the raw food restaurant in Dallas, Be Raw Food and Juice.  As far as I know, there are other places to get raw vegan food, juice bars, Whole Foods, etc. but this is the only dedicated raw food restaurant at the moment.  When I heard that Bliss Café shut down without my ever getting a chance to try it out, I was pretty upset having just moved back to Shreveport.  So of course I was just so happy to hear of another raw foods place.  I called to make sure they were going to be open and the woman who answered the phone was very friendly and professional.  I really don’t know much at all about the layout of Dallas, but I do know that driving is notoriously stressful there.  However, finding the restaurant was not really a problem at all.  I can’t really tell you where it is, but google maps works 😉
Be Raw in Dallas
Dan and I kind of went crazy when we got there.  We each ordered a soup.  I got the corn chowder.
corn chowder
This was phenomenal.  Creamy, chunky, peppery corn goodness.  The menu said it contained coconut water and hemp seeds so if the base is made from that, then it is much more nutrient dense than a traditional raw corn chowder made with cashews.

And he got the pho.
raw vegan pho
Really, really good.  Slightly spicy, gingery and with a flavor that neither Dan nor I could put our finger on.  I love it when that happens!  I am normally really good at dissecting raw recipes and it is awesome when someone can keep you guessing!

Then he ordered the trio of pizzas
trio of pizzas
The pizzas were alright.  I liked the variety- Greek, Margherita and another one with pineapple on it.  Also the portion size was amazing for the price.  The base was really soggy though, and some of the flavors were a little bland.  I hate that I didn’t like this dish much, but maybe it was just an off day?  Or that I just reeeally like my own raw pizzas?? LOL

And I ordered the coconut kale enchiladas
coconut kale enchiladas
These babies were the BOMB!  I liked them way better than the enchiladas at Daily Juice in Austin and I thought those were great.  The enchilada wrapper just melted in your mouth, the kale was massaged with avocado and spiced to perfection and the sauces were just perfect.  Green and red salsa on the side as well!  Just about the best thing ever!!

We also ordered a brownie, the amigo wrap and a pad thai to go, not knowing what our eating situation was going to be like in Fort Worth.

The brownie was super delicious but did not want to be photographed after a long car ride.  It was expensive, but big and I liked the fact that they covered it in a fresh berry sauce.

amigo wrap
The amigo wrap was like a raw mexican burrito inside of a lettuce leaf.  We ate this as a late night snack after a dip in the pool and a soak in the hot tub at the Omni where we were staying.  This was incredibly delicious as well.  The staff at Be Raw really know how to bring in the Tex Mex flavors that the area is known for into raw food.

Last was the pad thai, which to be fair we had the next day.  I thought this was alright, but paled in comparison to the other dishes we had.  The variety of spiralized veggies was colorful and tasty, but the sauces were lacking something and there wasn’t enough of them to really coat the veggie noodles.  For my tastes, this could have done with some fresh herbs like cilantro or thai basil and the addition of more textures like crushed nuts or something.
raw pad thai

All in all, the food was stellar.  I know now what kinds of things that are more suited to my tastes and I cannot wait to try more!!

ATX in the Raw Part 2

Our next stop on a raw foods tour of Austin took us to Beets, an all raw cafe on West 5th St. It took us a little effort to find the place but once we did it was on!

My hubby and I with our baby daughter and my parents in tow all went.  My parents are not seasoned raw foodies.  At all.  They love their meat, but even more frustrating to me is their love for all things processed and chemical laden.  I try to buy them alternatives to their favorite packaged foods, but it sometimes doesn’t work.  For example, my father just does not like maple syrup as much as he likes his maple flavored diet syrup (eeeww!)

To start, I ordered a Goji Lemonade
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Lemons, gojis and agave. Not too sweet and the gojiness was really intense.
And Dan ordered a green juice.  I can’t remember what it had in it, but it was green and had lots of ginger.

Then we ordered our mains.

I had the chalupas- a corn tortilla with sunflower beans, veggies, guac and a sour cream drizzle.  Really yummy! I got the kale salad for my side.
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Dan had the raw reuben, it had a mild sauerkraut, homemade raw vegan thousand island dressing, marinate portabello mushrooms, caramelized onions and some kind of cheese on a really nice raw bread.  He really liked this dish, and I did too.  I would absolutely order this next time.
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It came with chips and a beet salad.
My Dad had the ELT, which was an eggplant bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.  He *said* he liked it, haha but when I offered to trade him half of his sandwich for one of my chalupas he did not protest (but this is probably a testament to how much the man loves him some Mexican food than anything else!)  I liked the sandwich and once again, I was impressed with the bread.  The texture was not at all cracker-like, not overwhelmingly flaxy either, soft and yielding to the tooth but not mushy or soggy.
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And my mother ordered the nori roll appetizer and a side of sprouted lentil salad.  These were fairly basic nori rolls but good for my mother because that is what she wanted- something familiar.  The lentil salad was okay, but I soaked red lentils are just too starchy for my taste.  Not a fault of the restaurant, just my personal tastes!
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After, we had a selection of raw chocolates from the cool case up front.  I thought the chocolate was good.  It was clearly made with coconut oil in addition to cacao as it got melty really quickly. It was also the kind of chocolate where you taste mainly the dark chocolate flavor and not the flavorings much at all.  My dad broke his tooth on a super hard goji berry though! 😦

The service was great, our waitress was very personable and commented on how well-behaved Amethyst was being (although to me she was fussy!).  There is tons of seating and I can’t imagine the place ever being full.

All in all, I would give Beets a 7.5/10

The menu had all the classics that you would expect to find- hamburgers, tacos, sandwiches, pizza, nori rolls, juices, smoothies, cheezecakes, etc.  Everything was done well, tasty, reasonably priced and well presented.  The only complaint I have is that there wasn’t anything that was really interesting or a new take on the classics.

Next in the series- locally made raw chocolate and The Daily Juice Café

ATX in the Raw Part 1

I’d love to do this post in one looong entry, but alas i’ve got a baby who is WIDE awake although it is about 1 in the morning here.  That sounds awful, but she is laughing and squealing with joy so I can’t complain too much, hehe.

So when we first got into Austin it was about lunch time and we were super hungry so we decided to hit up Whole Foods for some provisions, being as it is the flagship store and all.  And I had also heard that they had a raw foods bar.  Um, yes please.

We found this-
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and this-
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and this-
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We ended up getting a broccoli salad with a creamy dressing, some pesto stuffed mushrooms (raw except daiya vegan cheese), and pumpkin pie
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big ole kale salad
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heaps of kimchi
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some raw brownies
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a fermented carrot drink
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and I got this tasty thing here
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and we also got some raw meetball things that for some reason i don’t have a picture of

Let me just say- Not impressed.  I really hate to say that as I wanted to be blown away.  There was such a variety of foods there, and maybe we just chose badly but I really don’t think so.  The brownies were not good, tasteless and way too heavy.  They were sort of indicative of the whole deal- everything looked amazing but tasted just really meh.  Maybe my expectations were too high?  But there was some good to come out of it.

1. The kimchi was good and I loved having loads to use as a condiment.

2. The local products we found were fucking amazing.  The Pineapple Greens Buddha’s Brew Kombucha is the best booch I have ever had and I looooooved the raw brownies by New Earth (although they call them Chocolate Goddess Clusters, a name with which I am in complete approval) I showed you the other day.  In fact, you get another peek as they deserve it.
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Things did improve that night when we tried Beets, the raw food restaurant.  That coming up tomorrow….

All in all, Whole Foods gets a 4/10 for even offering a raw food bar.  I love that it is accessible, albeit pricy (as Whole Foods inevitably is).  They tried really hard to offer a wide range of products freshly made but they could do with better recipes and trying a little harder with ingredients.  I’m glad we went, but I probably wouldn’t eat there again.  Especially not with all the other wonderful eats in Austin.  I can however see myself popping in for a quick kale salad and kombucha (and probably some more Goddess Clusters!) next time I am in town.