This summer I was lucky enough to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana for a business conference. I was really excited to go since I had never been there and I love to see new places! But… this would be the first time I would travel since I began eating only raw foods and to tell you the truth I was really nervous. How would people react to my special requests? Would I feel like I was missing out on all the regional specialty foods? What would I do if there was no raw food around to choose from? I was very committed to doing my best to remain raw during my trip and I was convinced that if I planned ahead I could do it. I borrowed a little phrase from the scriptures that became my mantra for the month prior to the trip, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear!” So I checked with all the ladies I would be rooming with who made the hotel reservations to find out if we would have a fridge or kitchen area – Hurray, we would! Our first day there we went grocery shopping and I was able to stock up on plenty of fresh foods I love for our week’s stay. Our hotel also had a big complimentary breakfast buffet that had mounds of fresh fruit every day! I let the ladies know that I didn’t want to make the trip difficult for them, but I would be eating only raw foods. They were absolutely supportive and sweet the entire trip! We had some good discussions about what a raw food diet was and why I was doing it. I think they just thought I was crazy – but that’s O.K., I don’t mind being unique! I prepared a huge gallon sized zip-loc bag of raw trail mix with almonds, cashews, macademias, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins and coconut. I kept this in my suitcase in the hotel and used it to refill a small sandwich-sized zip-loc bag I carried with me everywhere that became my LIFESAVER!
I also took on the trip some delicious dehydrated chocolate coconut macaroons I ate when everyone else was having treats and some dehydrated Sunflower Bread to make veggie sandwiches with. I stocked up on Lara Bars from the health food store that are raw pre-packaged bars made from just nuts, dates and maybe fruits or raw chocolate. Great to keep in your purse for emergency hunger pains! But, lest you think all I did was hide in the hotel room huddled around our little mini-fridge missing all the fun of New Orleans – think again!! We all had a ball and I didn’t miss a minute of it! The gorgeous salad pictured at the top of this post was custom made for me by the chef at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen. A huge group of us went there for dinner. It’s a really nice restaurant, but there wasn’t anything raw on the menu, just a tiny side salad 🙁 After I talked to our waiter about what they might have that I could eat, he consulted with the chef and brought out this masterpiece. What a treat to have a personal chef! (I’m sure it will never happen again, so I fully enjoyed it!) Many of the restaurants we ate at had wonderful salads with regional cajun flair. What fun to explore these new tastes and I always left feeling energized and full of excitement to go explore some more. We had Mardi Gras parties, cajun dancing, sightseeing, shopping, trolley riding, workshops, banquets, meetings, late-night movies and talking, concerts and tons of fun and I felt fantastic!