Active vacations in inactive places

As you all know, James is here (!).  In New Orleans.  A city whose two favorite pastimes – eating rich food and drinking to excess – are tied for first place.  To stay fit on a visit here and still do everything that you have to do while in town (chargrilled oysters, hurricanes, beignets and cafe au lait…) you NEED to stay active.  It’s not a questions.  But that is complicated by the fact that it’s about a million degrees here and monsoons at least once every other day.  So here are some tips for staying fit in a fat city:

1. WALK!  Even when it’s really hot, walking is normally bearable.  If it gets to be too much, jump in a store.  This is especially good in a new place, because you notice more on foot than you would in a car.  Case in point: after having walked for 3 hours yesterday, James and I were ready for lunch.  We happened across Surrey’s a breakfast and lunch place on Magazine where we had the most amazing lunch:

Crab omelet with avocado; 1/2 grilled chicken sandwich with avocado, greens, tomato, and mango chutney accompanied by a cup of roasted tomato poblano soup…MMMM!

2. Check out local gyms.  This was easy for me since I’ve been trying to find one to join anyway, but there are a few that give free 7-day trials.

3. Don’t overlook local resources.  While walking around, you pass many free periodicals that discuss all sorts of local happenings.  We found Louisiana Health and Fitness, which turned us on to #4.

4. Look for state parks.  Fontainebleau State Park is just on the other side of the lake, and we learned about it from the little magazine we found.  We plan to go and explore some day when it stops pouring.

5. Cook your own meals.  Obviously, while you’re in a place renowned for its food, you’re going to eat out sometimes.  But you don’t have to go out all the time to get a taste of the local flavor.  Cooking at home saves money and unnecessary calories, and a little digging for recipes characteristic of the area can give you ideas.  Yesterday, I happened to have some of chef Paul Prudhomme’s blacken steak seasoning, which comes from New Orleans.  We broiled steaks with the seasoning, sauteed some onions and mushrooms, and tossed a green salad with avocado, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.  All of it together made a delicious dinner, and we were sure to make extra for leftovers.

6. Check out the local farmer’s market.  While cooking those meals, you’ll want some local foods to throw in the pot.  A short google search should show you when and where the local markets are.  While there, you’ll be able to pick up all sorts of local food and knowledge about how to cook it.  It’s just a bonus that it will be the freshest and highest quality stuff in town!

6. Dance!  You can find a place to dance basically anywhere there is a night life.  For us, we didn’t even have to leave home.  In last night’s gloomy weather, we decided to forgo a trip to the French Quarter and instead, Alysse brought over her Wii, a bottle of wine, and Just Dance 2.  It was AWESOME.  There may have been a video taken of the boys dancing to Brittany Spears, but that is not fit for the internet.

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2 Responses to Active vacations in inactive places

  1. That salad looks awesome. Must make! Have you ever run the RNR race there? Just trying to decide between it and the LA marathon. Decisions, decisions!

    • Lauren @ Powered by Oatmeal says:

      Well I just moved here, and I’ve been injured the whole time (spent a good portion of yesterday sulking about it – my stress fractures just seem to be getting worse). However, I’ve heard really good things about the RNR marathon. And honestly, this is an excellent city to visit. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been here but it’s so unlike any place I’ve ever been that i highly recommend it!

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