Monday, February 17, 2014

Healthy Traveling: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Traveling is always tough for me, especially if I'm going to a big celebration.  I don't always make the best food and sleep choices, and I usually come back feeling sluggish and tired.  After a weekend partying, it might take me weeks go get back on a healthy track, if at all.  Not this weekend, though.

Continuing on my path to health, I made it a point of spending the whole weekend enjoying friends' company, laughing, moving my body and sharing healthy food.  My girlfriends seemed so excited to see me to happy and healthy, and I made sure to make them tons of smoothies and share healthy treats.  They told me that I seemed so happy, they were sure if they poked me I might shoot rainbows out of my body.  They know how much I've been struggling with myself the past several years, and it felt good to let them know I'm doing ok.  I also showed them that I could giggle, stay up late, dance and have a great time without booze.  I didn't miss it once on the trip;  in fact, I was thankful many times that I had abstained.  I drank some nice tea, tons of water, and many smoothies.  At the end of the trip, I had a lovely brunch with my girlfriend, Reva, on a beautiful and sunny day, and I bent the rules only slightly in terms of my "must not eat" list.  And you know what, it was fine.  More on that in a bit.

I had to share this picture I took Thursday night.  I got my bag all packed, set it by the bed, then Bodhi climbed in and gave me a, "Mama, can I come too?!" look.  She's such a cutie pie!

I made sure that I had plenty of healthy snacks and drinks packed for the weekend, so here's a quick list of items I brought with me.  We bought my girlfriend, Devon, a nutribullet for her birthday, so I knew I could make smoothies.  I recommend if you're going some place where you have a kitchen, a small blender is worth bringing.


  • Vegan protein powder (I use Arbonne)
  • Nut Milks in Cartons (I brought unsweetened coconut milk)
  • Organic Berries (I brought blueberry and strawberry)
  • Bag of spinach
  • Raw Nuts (almonds are my favorite)
  • Fizzy Sticks (or tea, or whatever you need to start your day)
  • Tea (I kept several bags in my purse to curb alcohol temptation)
  • Salad toppings (store in your bag, seeds work great!  hemp, pumpkin, etc)
  • Energy snacks (lara bars, home made balls, etc)
  • blender bottles (easy to get protein powder in your system)
  • re-usable water bottles (I have a "mama" and "baby" nalgene)
  • nut butter (I brought raw almond nut butter)
  • vitamins (I take a vegan multi, cal/magnesium, b12 sublingual and a vegan DHA)

Now, if you're planning on cooking a bunch, you can bring a rice cooker, some quinoa or rice, canned beans, etc.  I knew I wasn't going to be doing a ton of cooking, but I wanted to make sure I started my days off right.  So, I was definitely prepared.

Highlights From The Trip

Val, Devon, Me and Amanda
We packed a TON of stuff into three days, and in hopes that this doesn't become an incredibly long post, I'm going to give you the highlights.  I went to college in Fayetteville, so I definitely have a few favorite things I like to do when I'm there.  We didn't make it to Greenhouse Grille, but we had some really good meals out.

Cooking In

When we arrived at the birthday girl's house, she had yummy food waiting for us.  Devon had tons of veggies and hummus to snack on, which was good, because she and I ran 5 miles before dinner.  Then, we tore into some amazing soup she made!  It's kale, turnips, onions and veggie broth.  It was light and delicious!

I made smoothies all weekend!  It was great!  We had strawberry vanilla ones;  we had blueberry chocolate spinach ones;  we had chocolate strawberry almond butter ones!  Yum and yum.  Everyone really liked them, and I had fun doing mini-smoothie demonstrations on the nutribullet.

Eating Out

Ozark Natural Foods was one of my favorite places to be when I lived in Fayetteville.  I used to eat there constantly when I went vegan.  They have an amazing southern fried tofu on their hot food bar occasionally.  We picked up lunch there before heading to a brewery, and since I wasn't drinking, I got myself some fresh made juice.  Ozark has a juice bar where they bottle their juices daily.  I snagged a salad, too.  It was great!

Dinner Saturday was at Tiny Tim's Pizza on the Square.  It's not incredibly vegan friendly, but we had a lot of hungry people that wanted pizza, so I wasn't going to complain.  I ordered the veggie salad, without cheese, and an olive oil dressing.  I also packed some almonds, which went right on the salad.  It was a ton of veggies, and I was satisfied.  I also brought along some tea, since everyone was drinking beer.

Saturday, I had brunch at The Depot, which didn't exist when I lived there.  I'm going to do a full restaurant review tomorrow, but let's just say, when I saw the tofu scramble on the menu, I had to try it.

Working Out

Before I left for Fayetteville, I jumped on the scale and was another 2 lbs down!  That brings me to 14 pounds overall!  I'm feeling great, and my body was ready to keep up with all the fun stuff we did this weekend.  It's not often when I go out of town and feel like I have lost weight.  

When I arrived, Devon and I laced up and ran a 5 miler around her neighborhood.  She's running the Little Rock Half Marthon with me, so it was nice to actually get to run together.  We had an amazing time.  Saturday morning, she popped her head in the spare room at 7 am and said, "Let's go for a run!"  So, I jumped out of bed and joined!  We did almost 2 miles, but realized if we were going to make it to hot yoga, we needed to get a move on.

We made it on time to Yoga Gypsy in Springdale to grab spots in their hot yoga class.  I wore my new #badassyogi shirt and felt amazing.  I'm a bit of a yoga snob, but this place did not disappoint.  The hot class was fun, difficult and invigorating.  I was bursting with happiness and endorphins when we were finished.

After yoga, we showered, downed some smoothies and got ready for LASER TAG!  We then proceeded to run around in the mud like happy children at Modern Mission Outdoor in Fayetteville.  If you are in the area and have about 20 friends you want to play with, this is the most fun I've had in years.  We played for a solid 2 hours, running around, screaming, ducking, hiding, climbing and laughing.  It was wonderful, and we were all sore after.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling like someone took a baseball bat to my body.  That was a lot of exercise for a couple of days!  I almost felt hung over, which sucked because I didn't drink.  I took 2 lovely walks that day, one in Devon's neighborhood where we struck some yoga poses, and one down around Dickson Street in Fayetteville.  The walks did my muscles good, and I was fine for the drive home.

Seeing Friends

The best part of the whole weekend was the amount of time I spent belly laughing with my friends.  It felt so good to be around them, and I left missing them already.  Happy Birthday, Devon!  I hope it was a great one!

Me and Val
Amanda and her sammy!
Devon says "Don't take my Sammy!"
Erik is the BEST
Pretty Birthday Girl
Val and Devon



  1. Oooh, I need to go back to Fayetteville. I haven't been there in years! And good for you for sticking to your food/no drinking goals on a trip!!

    1. it's growing every day! there are more and more vegan friendly place, too!

  2. Its a pleasure to visit your blog and to enjoy your great posts here.
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