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Top Chef torture village in the blazing saddles of sun is WAY more extreme conditions than you or I would ever want to experience but it brings up a great discussion opportunity for us here at “Get Fresh or Die Trying!"
What do I do and what should you do when you are traveling and you still want to maintain a healthy approach to eating and drinking? I was going to say "Diet," but the word has been overused and associated with so much negativity in the form of struggles, pains, and failures. I have decided we should eliminate that word from our vocabulary and focus on the healthy approach to an enhanced lifestyle, one in which it is not wrong to enjoy full flavors and enjoy the occasional glass or three of the nectar of the gods. We shall call this the “Get Fresh” lifestyle of living full of Malarkey!
My approach to life on the road:
No fast food! And this is not as easy as you think; it's important to get some carbs in your belly early in the morning when you wake up. You have all day to burn the carbs and you need the fuel to get you through the day and this will save you from crashing and needing a quick fix. I love Cliff bars and I always have a few stashed in case of an emergency.
Lots of water: When you are traveling you are going in and out of different weather conditions and your body knows it from Heat to Cold, Dry to Moist, 35 thousand feet to sea level and you will become dehydrated quickly. So “Get Fresh” and stay moist. If you are like me when you travel, it's nice to have some local beers, wine, and designer cocktails on the road and this is all part of living a full of Malarkey lifestyle. Just be sure to keep yourself amply hydrated to keep you on top of the world.
Eat small portions: I learned a long time ago how to eat the most and see the most in any new city or town I roll into. As a chef and you as a foodie, the best way to get to know and experience what is hot in the local culinary scene is to try and stop by all of the best restaurants, the places the locals go. This doesn’t mean they are the biggest and brightest spots; these can be holes-in-the-wall, run-down, and less-than-inviting places, but the line out the door will tell the truth. If you find one good spot, ask the servers and bartenders where the other great places are. Industry people know all of the secrets for the budget-friendly consumer. Now back to eat small portions: if you can gather a couple of friends and sit at the bar, everyone orders a different appetizer or small portion, enjoy and share as you read the menu, check out the surroundings, and now off to the next spot on your list. Repeat these steps and by the end of the night you should be very knowledgeable on the “haps” of the area. This is the way I enjoy every city I go to, and I know a lot of my fellow chefs do the same thing. You get a lot of exercise and so many great flavors. If you are in town for another night, go back to your favorite and give the chef the opportunity to share a tasting menu with you or grab your friends and hit the road again for another evening of adventure.
See the sites: Walk, run, or crawl around town, museums, convention centers, golf courses in order to help your body digest and work up your appetite for the joys of food and drink.
Moderation: A lot of people laugh when they hear me say moderation but my extremism goes into the gym and the pavement in order for this Libra to find some balance. You do what you need to try and find your balance and proper seasoning!
I hope these tips help you out next time you are traveling. If you find yourself in the middle of the desert with a grill in the ground and Tim Love testing your dishes, try and wake yourself up from the nightmare it has got to be.
Until next week! Stay Fresh and Get Fresh!