New Orleans. Food. Food. Food.

Yes’m.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed my trip to the deep south.  Without a doubt, it’s the best trip for destination food I’ve ever had.  Seriously.  So let’s start there.

THE FOOD:

Mothers Restaurant’:  Just a few blocks from Bourbon Street.  Here was southern chicken and Turnip Greens at it’s finest.  I couldn’t decide which side to order, so, of course, I ordered all of them.  I had Cabbage, Red Beans and Rice, Green Beans.  The history of the place is cool too.  It’s written on the menu.  The owners sit by the door and greet everyone as you come in and thank you for coming as you leave.  High five me for that recommendation.

GW Fin’s:  Found on Beinville Street.  If you want a swanky place near Bourbon Street, go here.  I will say that I’ve had oysters 5 times while in NOLA.  And these were the best.  Dreamy food all around.

In the French Market District there’s a little seafood place called J’s Seafood Dock.  I got lucky; crawdad’s were in season.  We got a lesson on how to eat them, twist off the tail, suck out the juice from the body, peel off one side at a time from the tail, enjoy.  I DID!!!

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While wondering around the state of Lousyanna, as one google map declared, we found a little chicken shop.  Jenny’s Overstuffed Po-Boy’s & Chicken Shop.  I’ve been heavily avoiding meat since the beginning of the year.  But I walked in and immedietly knew I’d be eating Jennies Fried Chicken.  It’s what y’all have heard about.  Fried chicken at it’s absolute finest.  Her slaw was unbelievable too.  I don’t even like cole slaw.

The Original Brown Derby.  This crazy place was hidden in a gas station.  And not the clean kind.  I was slightly hesitant but it was the last day of my trip and the smell made it impossible to resist.  I went for the Radish Greens and Debi got BBQ ribs.  Once again, I enjoyed southern comfort food that only the south knows how to perfect.

Beignets.  You can find good ones everywhere.  I enjoyed mine at Cafe Du Monde and Morning Call in the city park.

As a second generation southerner,  we grew up on grits and cream of wheat.  It’s one of my favorite foods, I make some tasty grits, and so I wasn’t interested in trying any while there.  But, of course, we did and now I have new things to experiment with at home.  I found a shaved ice stand and a popsicle stand that were so yummy too.  I only had one meal that was not delicious.  It wasn’t bad just not delicious.  We went out of our way to find hole-in-the-wall, old school, real southern food and we came out as champs.

Vegan for 66 days

An atheist, a vegan, and a crossfitter walk into a bar…I only know because they told everyone within two minutes.

It’s funny because it’s true.

It only took me 9 seconds, the time for you to read that joke, to announce my current life as a vegan.

Every year I choose a random diet plan to educate myself about what I use as fuel for my body. It is not about weight loss. It’s about awareness. And this diet was significant. I started with information from the Netflix documentary Forks Over Knives.  I read tons of articles and doctors point of views on eating vegan.  I looked at recipes for a month before I decided it was something reasonable that I could do.  Protein was not going to be an issue and being hungry never happened.  I actually felt full most of the time.  It was a challenge only to cut out dairy but I loved the experience.

Here are a few things happened while not eating animals:

1-ENERGY. I’m still exhausted the majority of the day, however, I noticed I’m not obsessing about wanting to take a nap every afternoon. In fact, since January 1st, I’ve only taken 4. Compared to usually trying to sneak in at least 3 a week!

2-CLEARER THINKING. I set aside time to meditate everyday and I’ve actually done it. A few reasons why I think I can concentrate more is because I think food allergies give me ADD.

3-SKIN. I believe it’s true what they say about dairy affecting your skin.

The hardest part was no butter. And cheese is a staple around here. I missed them both terribly.  Surprisingly after only 2 weeks I didn’t crave any meat or dairy products at all.  I’m a self-declared cheese addict who no longer feels the need to add cheese to every meal and snack.  I learned that I was addicted to the casein, which is the protein in milk products.  I won’t go into any more educational detail but I learned so much about food on this diet that I will not go back to my regular eating habits.  I won’t be 100% because what fun is Thanksgiving without turkey and who wants toast without butter.  But I can give veganism a hearty 98%.

66 days later and I ordered a vegan roll at Island Sushi.  Our waiter informed us that all the speciality rolls were half off.  Of course I ordered the baked scallops with eel sauce.  It tasted like heaven but I didn’t need to eat it and I’m happy to eat meat on special occasions.  (When bff’s come to town, it’s a special occasion, right?)

*Next diet starting in 2 weeks.  14 days of Vegan/Keto.  I’m interested in learning about carb and protein balance.  If you’ve ever done a Ketosis diet let me know how you liked it, what you did to stay motivated, and any tips you may have.