So the title of this blog post may be a bit dramatic, but it got your attention, didn’t it?
No, I did not move out of my parent’s house and am not now living life on the road. I did, however, move out of my old Blacksburg apartment and partially into my new apartment, after traveling to Blacksburg with my fam and my brother’s friend, which presented a few challenges to my diet/exercise regimen, as I assumed it would.
Friday’s lunch at work:
Baked sweet potato w/ almond butter & walnuts, watermelon, bell peppers & hummus
I got off early from work, as I do every other Friday, and hurried home to get my last minute things together for the trip. When I arrived home, my dad, mom, brother and his friend were ready and waiting for me to get on the road. I zipped up my suitcase, packed my to-go bag, filled up my Camelbak and grabbed an apple and Belvita wafers. Good thing too because this trip took way longer than usual.
We finally arrived to Blacksburg late Friday night, after loads of traffic, pit stops, and dropping little Hudson pup off at a family friend’s.
The next morning, after convincing my carnivorous dad, brother and his friend for what seemed like hours the night before, we went to Gillie’s for breakfast, the amazing little vegetarian restaurant in downtown Blacksburg.
I knew they would have food I could eat and enjoy with the rest of the group.
So Saturday’s breakfast consisted of steel cut oats w/ cinnamon, brown sugar and walnuts with one buckwheat pancake (prepared vegan). I also got coffee w/ soy milk! <–you think an ordinary breakfast joint would accommodate with soy milk? I think not.
After lots of packing up, boxing, and moving around, we decided to call it quits for the day and go river tubing, as the day was too beautiful to waste.
BUT before we headed to the New River, we filled up our bellies with lunch from Chipotle, a favorite. Did you know that if you don’t get meat in your burrito/bowl, then you get guac for free? (Veg perk!)
After a relaxing float down the river, we grabbed some dinner. Although we had just had Mexican for lunch, everyone seemed to want to go to Mariachi’s, another Blacksburg Mexican restaurant, for Saturday’s dinner.
I ordered the Veggie Fajitas! It came with steaming sauteed peppers, onions, and zucchini with black beans, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce and corn tortillas (flour tortilla alternative). Unfortunately for me, they poured sour cream on top, so I gave it to my brother and tried not to eat that part (not-so vegan).
When we arrived back to my apartment after dinner, the sun was starting to set and I couldn’t help but take in the beautiful view from the third floor of my apartment building. I’m definitely going to miss this.
Sunday morning arrived and the crew actually split up for breakfast. The boys apparently “needed” their meat and my mom and I were completely happy with going to Gillie’s for the second time. I ordered the steel cut oats once again with my soy coffee and was one happy camper. My mom got the french toast on a baguette with strawberries. I just love how fresh everything is from Gillie’s! It’s most definitely a new favorite.
We headed back to my apartment and began moving all of the boxes down to the trailer my dad had attached to the back of his truck for us to move my stuff from one side of the apartment complex to the other. What an odd move LOL.
Here was my room almost completely packed. So bittersweet.
Here was the super helpful trailer we used.
And my lovely moving committee. Plus my amazing unpictured parents.
Once we finished moving my stuff from my old apartment to my new apartment, we were off! But not until after we made a routine stop to the campus bookstore. The boys needed the experience and my parent’s were on the look out for gifts. While I was there, I snagged the orange, maroon and white effect t-shirts for all the football games this season. So excited!
When we finally got on the road, it was noon and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I had a feeling this road trip would involve fast food that would leave me a little bitter. I also didn’t have the resources to pack snacks beforehand to avoid the situation.
I was right. We stopped at a small family restaurant in Lexington, VA to grab a bite to eat. Being in such a rural area at such a quiet, blast from the past restaurant, I was almost certain there wouldn’t be something I could/would be willing to eat.
I could have gotten a side of cooked mushy veggies or a stale salad that I had seen on other’s plates, but it didn’t seem worth it to me. Some may see it as being stubborn, but I just really wasn’t digging the whole environment. I didn’t want anything from that kitchen. First off, everyone there was geriatric and nearly silent. All the wait staff smelled like smoke and the facility looked as though it hadn’t been updated in 50 years. Second off, most everything on their menu was fried or had some type of thick cream sauce, so naturally, everyone ordered something of that nature. No thank you.
When the food was served, it looked like they had just zapped it in the microwave. I was so content not having ordered at that point.
Experiences like this make me realize even more that I need to live in an in-the-know, urbanized environment. A place where people are educated on the latest and greatest and value their health and the foods they put into their body.
I luckily had picked up some snacks earlier at a Sheetz gas stop. The PB pretzels held me over for a little while until we got home.
After that rather unpleasant experience in Lexington, I was ready to get back to my wholesome, fresh eating.
For dinner, my mom made black bean burgers and my dad and I went out to Whole Foods to get some quick things. It was so, so refreshing to be surrounded with so many wholesome, super foods in such a health-friendly environment. I LOVE that place.
We picked up some whole grain seed filled rolls to eat the black bean burgers with.
And some Asian ginger salad from the plentiful Whole Foods veg bar. I was so inspired checking out all of the different combinations of different grains, seeds, legumes and veggies. I have so many ideas just from that alone.
Black Bean Burgers:
- 16 oz can of black beans (drained & rinsed)
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1/2 onion
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1 egg (we used 1/2 avocado)
- 1 tb chili powder
- 1 tb cumin
- 1 tsp Thai chili sauce
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (we used flax bran flakes)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil baking sheet. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans. In a small bowl, stir together egg (avocado), chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce. Spread the egg (avocado) mixture over the mashed beans. Pour in breadcrumbs (flax bran flakes) until the mixture is sticky and holds together. divide mixture in 4 patties. Place on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes on each side.
We also picked up some fresh produce, a loaf of vegan-friendly bread, and some more Larabars! Score. My dad seemed to be getting pretty interested in stocking up on some specialty health foods. I was a fan.
Expect to be seeing some of those in future posts!
All in all, traveling will always present challenges in your diet. The best solution is to be prepared, but when preparation falls short, make do with what you can. Sometimes, yes, it sucks, but keep in mind, the way you’re eating will pay off for you in the end.
This was my first road trip as a vegan and I will definitely say I had a few hard times, but it wasn’t all too bad. My best tip would be to always look up the menu online of a restaurant you go to beforehand to plan out what you can get or if you can even get anything. Encourage the group of people you’re with to decide on a place, rather than going somewhere spur of the moment. This way, you can make your own arrangements.
Chow! Hope to see ya soon!