Last week I had the opportunity to spend a few days in New Orleans at the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University for an event with the Tri-Lamb group, We learned all about how lambs are raised and consumption patterns in different parts of the world. We also discussed its nutrition and flavor profile as well as about all the different cuts and how to prepare them. Sponsored trips are definitely a fun part of my job—I always come away with new insight and information, having met people I may not have connected with otherwise. I grew up eating lamb, but I realize it’s not familiar to everyone, and I definitely came away from this trip with some ideas for how to help my clients prepare it in flavorful, healthy ways when they choose it as their in-moderation red meat.
I’m going to be sharing in two posts so I don’t bore you to tears with a book-length post. but wow—I can’t wait to go back to NOLA to explore more! #goals
For today’s What I Ate Wednesday post, I’m sharing a look at what I ate last Monday, which was a early travel day.
We all have our different travel preferences, but I like to get in some physical activity before I head out. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but for me, it’s worth getting up stupid-early to burn off some of that nervous energy I get before a flight. The quick 30 minutes of easy cardio I snuck in (let’s call it soothing hamster-wheeling) did wonders to calm my travel anxiety. To avoid showing up hangry at the Security line, I had a plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and I shook up some green powder with water.
On travel days when I’m up crazy-early, I find that small, frequent mini-meals that are mostly protein and veggies helps me stay awake. I actually had time for breakfast part 2 after clearing security, so that was a simple omelette with tomato, spinach, and onions. I got a little hungry on the plane near the end of the flight, so I ate a stick of turkey jerky and a cherry tomatoes I’d brought from home.
As we were boarding the plane, Regina Ragone another RD going on the trip, tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Are you Jess?” It was so nice to see a friendly face at that hour! When we got to the hotel our rooms weren’t ready, so we walked around the French Quarter for a few hours. My dad had told me I had to go to Cafe du Monde (he loves beignets) so of course I stopped for a picture outside—one of the best things about being in your thirties is giving, like, zero shits about whether you’re wearing makeup or have your contacts in after an early flight.
We eventually wandered into Muriel’s for lunch. The history and the design are so cool—you feel like you’re in someone’s house. I had the daily fish special, which was seared tuna over spinach & leeks. We wanted to go to the Pharmacy Museum, but it turns out it’s closed on Mondays! Oh well, just another reason to go back to NOLA.
After a much needed shower and a nap (I always fall asleep while trying to meditate!), I met the group for happy hour in the hotel lobby and after introducing ourselves, we walked to dinner at Angeline nearby. The tasting menu the chef created for us was absolutely gorgeous! I was also touched at how accommodating they were to my allergies by making modifications. That Northern-Mediterranean-inspired, “light, honest cooking style” that also highlights “classic Southern ingredients” is so up my alley!
I do want to be real, though—often you’ll see bloggers post these shots where it looks like huge amounts of food, but that doesn’t always mean we eat every bite. Just don’t want to make it seem like RDs are these magical creatures with insane metabolism. Everyone is different, but what I’ve found works for me is tasting everything but then making room for the stuff I actually want to eat by skipping the stuff that’s not quite as interesting.
Also, being in touch with when I’ve hit my sweet spot with alcohol helps. On this evening, after some sparkling wine at the hotel, I only had one bourbon at dinner, though my tastebuds could have handled a second. For dessert, a little goes along way with me, so I had a few bites but left the rest, since I wanted to feel satisfied but not so full I couldn’t sleep.
Just a little reality check!
Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow to chat about the event at the Goldring Center and adventures in cooking lamb.
What was the last trip you took?
Disclosure: This post was inspired by a trip sponsored by the Tri-Lamb group. Opinions are my own.