Friday, November 19, 2010

Travel Tips

Long time, no see, my loves!

I'm back on the west coast after a much appreciated glimpse at how the other side (aka east coasters) lives.

Though I'm from the east coast myself, being in Los Angeles for as little as 2 years has really shifted my perspective.

A couple of things I noticed upon my return to the land of real seasons:
  • the east coast color palette is far more muted than SoCal's
  • there are noticeably fewer instances of face lifts in DC
  • the architecture is wildly different in both places
To give you a little taste of my travel week, I'll start from the beginning:


I knew I'd be out of town for three days and since I'm a person who buys and consumes a lot of fresh produce, I had a situation on my hands.

How to use all this up

in one day. Without buying anything else to supplement the hodgepodge.

That's when creativity and a willingness to try almost any type of food come into play.

First there was the standard breakfast:

(I managed to use a good number of raspberries, some yogurt and other nonperishable items that would be okay in the pantry for more than 3 days)

and a smoothie:

used up some spinach... HURRAH!

Then there was lunch. Checking out my shmorgus board of random mixin's and listening to my body's craving for carbs, I decided to make something I usually stray away from (out of sheer boredom): a sandwich!

It ended up being DELICIOUS

  • homemade hummus
  • roasted red bell pepper
  • spinach
  • homegrown basil
  • goat cheese
  • whole wheat bread
Not only was I enjoying my food, I was successfully chipping away at this stockpile of soon to be expired refrigerator inhabitants.

Several hours later, I thought of a great way to make a HUGE dent in what was left:


  • the rest of the spinach
  • the rest of the beets
  • the rest of the hummus
  • the last of my leftover black bean burger
  • the leftover salad from work the night before
  • goat cheese
  • the last bell pepper
  • crumbled Mary's crackers
Who knew something so seemingly incohesive could be this good?!

It goes to show that as long as you've got a few basic staples around the kitchen, you can almost never cry, "BUT THERE'S NOTHING TO EAT IN THIS HOUSE!"

I cooked up some brown rice + butternut squash and packed the rest of the grapes to take as a snack for the otherwise foodless flight...

And set off to the airport at 4:30am Tuesday morning.

Which brings me to...

Madeleine's Health Tips for a Flawless Flight

1. Pack your own food.

If you've travelled by plane in the not-so-distant past, you're probably aware that airlines aren't as quick to divy out meals as they used to be. If you don't wish to end up a cranky traveller, make sure to plan ahead in the eating department.

"Why bring your own?" you might wisely ask.

Well, that brings me to...

2. Avoid highly processed airport terminal food whenever possible.

We've all been there. We're gearing up for a great vacation or battling the impending doom of a return to the daily grind and all we want to do is celebrate (or eat our sorrows away) by grabbing a Nathan's hotdog value meal or that no-brand philly cheesesteak.

A couple reasons to think before you indulge?

- save the extravagant foods for your actual vacation... Like I did:

No way would I trade this chocolate layered nutella cake for a caramel frappacino at an airport Starbucks. PUH-lease.

- airplane rides are not friends to your digestive system

Have you ever noticed that your skin drys out and your tummy starts to rumble funny after a long plane ride? It's no coincidence. While in flight, the cabin is being pumped full of oxygen. This blast of unnatural air lacks even a hint of moisture, making you more prone to dehydration- affecting both your skin and digestion.

So if you ever choose to give your GI tract a break, do it on a plane... You'll have plenty of time to enjoy the good stuff while on vacation!!

**Have no fear! There are plenty of ways to make healthy choices in the airport... you might just have to think and look a little harder.

Here are a few of mine:

whole wheat bagel with peanut butter for breakfast

a KIND bar- completely made of whole foods and delicious (a great answer to your sweet tooth's question)

build your own salad- I noticed in every terminal I passed through, there was at least one healthy restaurant option. Say "yes" to veggies while enroute and save the burger and fries for that specialty burger joint you'll surely encounter upon reaching your final destination.

3. Drink water, then some more. Repeat.

Echoing the points I raised in #2, try to drink ONLY water while flying. Your body will thank you later when it's not constipated. (Sorry, I had to go there)

I usually make sure I purchase a big bottle

before I board and whenever they come around with the drink cart, I order more.

...And then there are those special occasions when you've had 3 hours of sleep the night before and have no choice but to get a little dose of caffeine.

(just be sure to drink an additional cup of water on the side)

4. Take the stairs whenever possible.

Not only are the escalators usually overcrowded and slow-moving, but you'll be squeezing in a little extra leg work and exercise in an otherwise immobile day of traveling.


Yes, mine was a quick trip so I allowed myself to eat [almost] whatever and whenever I wanted.

(...when I go away for a more extended period of time, I'll be sure to write a post about eating through a long vacation without throwing ALL caution to the wind...)

I enjoyed many a glass of wine, as well as pasta, real milk, cheese and dessert.

'Twas AMAZING! (and these are only the tip of the iceberg)

We also did plenty of walking around the DC area....

East coast brownstone- LOVE IT!

Real changing leaves and autumn light...

Now I'm back home, ready to get back to normal eating and exercising, with lovely memories of time spent away with loved ones and fresh perspectives gained.

"The world is a book and those who do not travel have read only a page."

Why wait?! Check out a cheap airfare site and stimulate the economy (and your mind).

You only live once!

Alright, I'm off to eat this snack

almond butter, banana, chia seeds and cinnamon on whole wheat

and have Jillian Michaels kick my butt in the living room.

Upcoming this weekend:
***I finally reorganize the pantry
***Deep thoughts ;) on the future of the blog.

Stay tuned!


1 comment:

  1. Nice quote! I believe I have stationary that says that :).... I like learning new things from you Miss Madeleine!