When I started on my journey to live in better health, I learned that eating whatever I wanted while on vacation followed me home and (1) made me feel gross and (2) broke my positive home eating habits - sometimes taking weeks or longer to recover. I decided one trip to make a conscious effort to eat mostly healthy, enjoying a few bites of indulgence or a cocktail here and there without making every meal a gluttonous feast. It paid off. When I returned home from these trips, I was able to get right back into my healthy eating habits I had worked hard to develop.
Three years ago, when I first visited New Orleans, my stomach struggled in the beautiful, historic city to find trace amounts of healthy foods. The eating out component of the trip forced creativity with a menu loaded with po’boys, fried chicken, and sad looking salads topped with a generous amount of ranch. Knowing I was going to be spending four days in this city for my friends’ wedding, I mentally prepared to buckle down by carrying emergency bananas and almond butter packets at all times.
Low and behold, the New Orleans food landscape has changed a lot since my last visit. In fact, I think most of the world has changed in the past three years. What I saw in NOLA, I had seen traveling in Europe over the summer – many menus of the traditional cuisine included vegan, plant-based, and gluten-free options! Not only did I survive in Nawlins… I flourished. I was healthier in NOLA than I sometimes feel dining out in my home city of San Francisco.
While many of the wedding party grumbled about their full tummies and hangovers, I felt lighter and better about my skin and body, with an equally fabulous a time.
My Healthy NOLA Meals:
Seed Restaurant in the Lower Garden District - Kale + Okra Gumbo
The Green Goddess in the French Quarter - Vegetable Musubi
Meals From the Heart in the French Quarter - Vegan Power Smoothie
The Praline Connection in Marigny- Veggie Plate, subbed the mac + cheese for more collard greens.
Bennachin Restaurant in the French Quarter - Spinach + Plantain plate with coconut rice
The Green Fork in the Lower Garden District - Big Fall Salad (and so much other healthy airport to-go food)
Church Alley Coffee in the Lower Garden District - Almond Milk Horchata Latte
Spitfire Coffeee in the French Quarter - Almond Milk Coffees
Kale + Okra Gumbo @ Seed Restaurant (as pictured)
This list was so yummy and there is so much more to be explored, I look forward to going back. Just to be upfront with y’all, yes I did have a beignet… it was delicious!
The point is to eat healthy 80-90% of the time.
So if you’re interested in avoiding problem skin and that frumpy feeling after a trip, consider giving this a try. If you choose to feast on your vacation, when you return, you may have to deal with those side affects, but I know you, you’ll work a little harder and get back on track!
BONUS TRIP TIPS:
Bicycle Michael’s – many places will only give you single speed cruisers. These guys will give you a 21 speed legit bike.
French Quarter Ghost Tours – Aubrey was our guide and she was a blast. Real deal! Skin tip: Get sparkling waters on the bar breaks
The Green Fork – there aren’t many to-go options for healthy food that can take to the airport, this is the exception! Great pit stop before you head out!
Zeitgeist – adorable DIY neighbor theater with a charming little atmosphere.
AirBnB – Affordable French Quarter stay
The Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street – fantastic live music
Elise May, CN + LE, is the owner and practitioner behind SKINutritious. She has helped over 1,000 clients clear acne with detoxing treatments, clear skin coaching, and holistic skincare.
Work with Elise. Book online here.