On the Road to a Healthy Lifestyle

Opening yourself to new foods on the road can enhance a healthy lifestyle.

Trying new foods is one of the great pleasures of travel. Sometimes it’s easy to make healthy choices. The street food in northern Thailand was amazing – cooked fresh right in front of you at incredibly cheap prices. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating well on the road can also be a challenge. It’s easy to make excuses for “little indulgences”. Case in point – an extra 5-10 pounds of great baked goods in Ireland. Walking and staying active definitely helps, but what we put into our bodies makes a huge difference in how we look and feel, and more importantly our energy levels. Traveling has opened our eyes to many new possibilities and ideas for eating well and living a healthy lifestyle.Travel Photographer Cathy Fitzgerald

Our recent road trip in Oregon and California opened up even more chances to enjoy new foods. There was one in particular that has had a profound change on our eating habits. The Ravens Restaurant in Mendocino serves some of the most beautifully presented, delicious foods of any restaurant with an added bonus – It’s all vegan. The meals are not only delicious & nutritious, but at the end of the meal you feel really good and completely satisfied. I love this quote from their website: “We are committed to help make understanding a sustainable plant based diet easy for our guests.”

Lifestyle Photographer Cathy Fitzgerald

Roasted Beet Salad – just one of the many delicious choices on the menu at Ravens Restaurant.

We enjoyed the meals so much that when we learned they offered vegan cooking classes we immediately signed up. Chef Sadhana was an excellent teacher. The private hands on class was fun and informative. She helped us create a delicious meal from start to finish, and then we all sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Fresh ingredients ready to prepare.

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Roasted butternut squash – a main ingredient for “Creamy Butternut Squash and Greens Pasta”

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Creamy Butternut Squash and Greens Pasta topped with Shiitake mushroom bacon. Who knew you could make bacon crumbles from mushrooms?

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Served with Roasted Seasonal Vegetables

It was an amazing experience complete with fresh fruit, coconut macaroons, and sorbet. In case you are wondering – we didn’t make this.Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Fitzgerald

Cooking has never been one of my strong points, but these days I’m actually enjoying it. Maybe it’s because I have more time, or maybe because there’s more interest in eating healthy instead of just filling everybody up. Or, maybe it’s just because I never really knew what I was doing. Taking this cooking class helped me with a few basics like how to properly cut an onion (yep, I’m fifty something and never really knew how to do this). So when you start learning the proper way to do something, it becomes a little less intimidating, a little easier, and a lot more fun. Any suggestions for more cooking classes? Wouldn’t it be fun to get a chef to come in and give a cooking class for a group of friends? Any takers?

Most of my recipes the past couple of years have come from Pinterest, and while it’s a great source of ideas there is something to be said for having an actual cookbook. Two personal favorites on vegan cooking are Dining at the Ravens and Living the Farm Sanctuary Life.

Then next step was to order a new knife and sharpen the ones we have – a task we’ve been putting off for the past two years. Turns out having the proper tools also makes it a lot more fun! Now, if I can just remember the chopping rules for avoiding fingers. So while we are a long ways from being totally vegan, we are enjoying the benefits of including these recipes in our repertoire and choosing locally grown, organic, plant based foods as much as possible. Sometimes just a few changes can make a huge difference.

Lifestyle Photography/Cathy Hartman

Ravens Inn has the advantage of pulling fresh ingredients right from the garden. Other than a few pots of fresh herbs on our balcony, we don’t have space for a garden at our condo for an actual garden. The perfect alternative for us is the local farmer’s market and health stores.

Please share any tips for a healthy lifestyle or your favorite recipe in the comments below.

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    Michigan

    Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer