I am so far behind on finishing this post, and for that I apologize! I am happy to say that I have officially submitted my dietetic internship applications and I can get back to regularly cooking and sharing on here.
As you may know, I spent a couple of weeks over the holidays on the road moving my BF from Brooklyn to Arizona, and it was a pretty awesome trip, albeit a little rushed at times. We kicked it off before the sun came up on December 28, stopped in Dallas for some family time and New Years festivities, then continued westward to the Phoenix area. Day 1 was the most notable because we made a few stops along the way. First, we did a quick driving tour of the Gettysburg battlegrounds. That was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Admittedly, I didn’t pay much attention in high school history classes, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the events that shaped our world. Due to the government shutdown, some of the monuments in Gettysburg were closed, but we at least got to peek into the cemetery where Lincoln gave his famous address, and we spent quite a bit of time at Little Round Top, the site of a famous battle involving troops mostly from New York and Texas (the original NY vs TX standoff).
After several more hours of driving, we stopped for dinner at The Tavern in Abingdon, VA then checked out The Martha Washington Inn just down the street, both of which served as hospitals for Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Unfortunately, I was way more interested in eating my dinner than photographing it, so I have nothing to show you. Trust me when I say, though, that The Tavern is worth checking out if you’re in the area and I can definitely recommend the baked salmon with tomatoes, feta, and spinach. It was delicious. The Martha Washington Inn was interesting as well. It’s a gorgeous mansion that is supposedly haunted. We thought about staying there, but I was a wimp and didn’t think I would be able to sleep a wink. Maybe another time.
After we filled our bellies, we went a little further down the road into Tennessee to check out the Christmas lights all around the Bristol Motor Speedway then take a lap of the track. Although I wasn’t driving and we were only going about 30 mph, it was pretty cool to be on a real NASCAR track. The angle on that thing is no joke. My BF said it felt like we were going to tip. I couldn’t feel it from the passenger seat, but it looked steep so I’ll take his word for it.
Days 2 and 3 were just a lot of driving – across Tennessee, down into Arkansas, then into Texas for a bit of a break from the driving.
After spending a few fun days ringing in the new year with my family, we got back on the road. It took what seemed like an eternity to get out of the state of Texas. Seriously, I lived there for the first 31 years of my life and still had no comprehension of exactly how huge that state is until now. There wasn’t really much to see on our drive through west Texas except oil derricks and refineries. On the plus side, I saw my first tumbleweed when it rolled into the middle of the freeway and I had to swerve to avoid it. Luckily, there weren’t any cars around us at the time. The route we took through New Mexico into Arizona wasn’t really all that scenic either, but 2 days after we left Dallas, we ended our trip in Phoenix. We spent a few days exploring, then sadly I had to hop on a plane back to NY for a dietetic internship open house.
How did we survive 5 days trapped in a car together? My coworkers had given me a book of “Would You Rather?” questions, and that kept us occupied for long stretches. It’s a really fun book – the questions stimulated a lot of conversation, so definitely check it out if you have any trips coming up. We did a lot of belting out the tunes whenever we could get a clear radio station. Ok, maybe it was mostly me doing the singing. Alright, alright, it was really only me, but I did it to entertain us both! We also talked a bit of trash about the cars flying past us. Seriously, there are some insane drivers out there, and we ranked Tennessee number 1 for the worst drivers encountered on this trip. They drive crazy fast and cut people off…and a lot of them are in very large trucks. Scary.
What did we eat? Eating on a road trip can be tricky because roadside eateries and gas stations don’t generally have many nutritious options. Sometimes we needed to just get out of the car and sit down for a meal, so we went with it and did the best we could, but we definitely would not have felt good by the end of the trip if that’s all we had to eat. We planned ahead and brought nutritious snacks so that we knew we were at least getting in some good nutrients along the way. The snacks really were clutch. We had trail mix, chocolate & peanut butter snack balls, cheese, oranges, and smoothies. One of the smoothies we took is one of my long-time favorites – Dark Cherry Oat Smoothie. I packed them in reusable squeezy pouches like the ones they sell kids’ applesauce in. Those pouches are awesome…I got them on Amazon for the trip and now I use them to take smoothies to work with me.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a tasty smoothie recipe to add to your breakfast (or snack) game, look no further!
Dark Cherry Oat Smoothie
Serving Nutrition: 253 calories, 7.3 g protein, 12.4 g fat, 31.6 g carbohydrates
1/2 medium banana
1/4 c rolled oats
1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
1 c frozen dark cherries
1/2 c vanilla unsweetened almond milk (or whatever type of milk you prefer)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/4 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1 handful of spinach or kale
1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth and serve.