So, you're planning a trip to the Big Easy? Amazing choice! This city has something special for everyone and is truly one of a kind. There is so much fun to be had, culture to soak in and delicious cuisine to try. Caution: if you don't want to go back home as a larger version of yourself, check out the tips to avoid gaining 5 pounds on your trip. I call this phenomenon the dreaded "Nola 5."
5 Tips to Avoid the "NOLA 5"
1. Limit yourself and indulge in one special meal per day. This is hard, there is so much sinfully delightful food here. Plan where you are going to eat before you arrive and you will be more disciplined and look forward to those few restaurants you've been dying to try. I suggest Commander's Palace or Muriel's for a special meal. And walk there and back...Actually, walk everywhere.
2. Go for a few lighter meals and perhaps even opt for vegetarian or vegan. Healthy food may not be on the forefront of the NOLA scene, but it's just beneath the surface. Great local chefs are crafting some amazing, healthy eats where Southern roots remain strongly present. Check out Carmo in the Central Business District (CBD) for some distinctively delicious, lighter fare with plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans. If this is too much to ask, get a green smoothy without any added sugar. The fiber helps.
3. Get in a workout! Don't think of it as a chore, think of it as part of a fun travel experience. Just because you are on vacation doesn't mean your fitness routine has to be. Don't worry about doing a long, extreme workout that will distract you from your day. Whether you do a 30 minute fun HIIT workout at The Sweat Social or go for a run on the riverwalk, just get moving. Your body will thank you and your energy levels will be great.
4. Limit your intake of sugary drinks so you can save yourself for beignets at Cafe du Monde and banana's foster at Brennan's brunch. Just limit yourself to one dessert per day. Cut down on hurricanes, heavy beer, daiquiris, juices, and sugary soda mixers. Stick to water, soda water, light beer and high quality booze. The one exception to make is the Ramos Gin Fizz at the Sazerac Bar. It's made with egg whites so you can justify the protein benefit.
5. Drink as much water as you possibly can. It will allow your body to flush everything out including the sodium, alcohol and greasy goodness. It will also keep you going to the bathroom regularly and prevent you from bloating up to meatball-like proportions. If you had a big night of drinking, the water will save your next morning.
Follow these tips and you are all set for a wonderful time.
To Leaving the "NOLA 5" behind,
The Sweat Social Team