I ate a lot of food while I was on my trip. A LOT. Three meals out every day for a week adds up. And dessert at dinner! I love love love ordering dessert at restaurants (it’s my favorite part-duh) so I had to order it every night. But that’s a lot of dessert. And lots of chips and guac. And waffles. And pancakes. And a few fries one day. I tried to be mindful of what I was eating but sometimes I just forget and enjoy whatever I want. And on a vacation like this, I think it’s a good time to go a little crazy with food. My favorite meal by far were these amazing blue corn-pinyon nut pancakes that I got at a little breakfast place in Taos after the hot air balloon ride (I’m sure my Dad is very pleased to hear that of all the ridiculously expensive meals he paid for at very nice restaurants, my favorite meal was pancakes at a diner that he didn’t pay for. Sorry Dad.) and I ate every single one of those pancakes. C’mon…it’s vacation! You gotta live a little.
Although I do have to rant a little about the vegetarian options in Santa Fe (not Taos. Just Santa Fe.) Every nice restaurant we ate at for dinner had a vegetarian option which I was very very pleased to see. However, every single one incorporated mushrooms heavily, many using them as their prime ingredient. You might remember that I HATE mushrooms-detest their taste, smell, texture, look. Every single thing about them. All my life I haven’t been able to stomach them. I would eat a piece of meat before I ate a mushroom. No. joke. Well, only 1 restaurant was willing to replace the mushrooms with something else (lots and lots and lots of asparagus) which wasn’t even that great and 1 night I even resorted to eating 2 appetizer salads for dinner. Oh yeah-both with asparagus. I think I ate my body weight in asparagus on the trip. It got really frusturating though opening up menu after menu and seeing “mushroom wrapped in phyllo” and “chile relleno stuffed with mushrooms” (pre-stuffed, I asked) and mushroom this and mushroom that. Thankfully, we ate at our fair share of Mexican restaurants for lunches, which is always an easy and delish venue for a veggie meal sans mushrooms. Taos, on the other hand, was quite the success, culminating in a mango and tempeh enchilada our last night. That was really really really good. And mushroom free. Score! RANT OVER
As much as I did indulge, I tried to work out everyday to create a bit of a balance, even if it was quite lopsided towards the food side. The hotel in Santa Fe had a gym and I was there bright and early every morning. Although a little skimpy (umm-1 treadmill, 1 elliptical and 2 bikes do not make a gym), it did the job. And when we were in Taos, I kept myself active with the double hike and an impromptu pilates session on a towel on our B&B floor which caused me to be surprisingly sore for the next several days. However, as much as I was able to get my body moving every day, I still came back to New York feeling bloated and pretty disgusting. I needed a detox. But not the nasty cayenne pepper-lemon juice-maple syrup detox. Ew. I just needed some good hard exercise and clean, healthy food. All I wanted was a salad. But not just a salad. The best, freshest salad I could throw together. So, although I couldn’t go to the farmers market to get the really fresh stuff, I made to to Whole Foods Monday night, sweaty from an intense workout and exhausted from my flight the day before and a strenuous day at work. I bought whatever I thought looked fresh and reasonabley priced. And here’s what I came up with:
I swear just looking at it loads up your body with vitamins and makes you feel better.
Lots of spinach as a base, carrots (a natural for me), probably 1/3rd of a HUGE fennel bulb (again, a duh), cherry tomatoes on sale, my fav summer veg: sugar snap peas, some grapefruit-also on sale, topped with some toasted pine nuts. I always have a bag of pine nuts in my freezer (so they don’t go rancid), so they’re every easy to toast up and toss on anything I want. I dressed it with whatever I could find in the cabinet: barely a tablespoon of balsalmic vinager that I had left in a bottle, a very small splash of olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, salt & pepper. Shaken in an old jam bottle and drizzled on top of it all. All together: yummmmm. The highlight was the grapefruit, especially when paired with the crunch of the pine nuts. Just so refreshing and tart, I have to remember to put it in my salad more often. But all in all, the entire salad worked together so well and was exactly what my body was crying out for. I ate this salad for 4 nights in a row. 4 nights. I finally broke the routine with dinner out with Kate and Arielle (yummy and a blast by the way!) I could feel the chips and pancakes and corresponding fat just leaving my body with every bite. And now my body feels right back into tip top shape. Oh, except for the one too many Ginger-Os I ate last night. Shoot. Crazy salad detox again? Maybe…