New Orleans

“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.”
Tennessee Williams

New Orleans

Full Stomach and Full Heart

04/25/2016

The more I learn about nutrition and the psychology behind helping people be successful with living a healthy life, the more I think that having a balanced approach is the best way to do it. Yes, I believe in real food and eating lots of vegetables, and I know that gluten and sugar are not the best choices to perform your best, but sometimes having an experience through food (even unhealthy food) is just healthy for your soul. This weekend was one of those times where I celebrated the culture of my city through the music, the art, and yes… FOOD!   I had Friday off, and we went to Jazz Fest as a family. Brennan has gone to Jazz Fest every year of his life, and I’m not sure if it has been his exposure to music from such a young age, or if it’s because he’s the child of two musicians, but my boy LOVES good music! We have a tradition of taking a picture of Brennan on Bradley’s shoulders every year, and they’re some of my favorite pictures!

I love Jazz Fest, and I have gone every year since I was in college. For me, it’s less about the music and more about the experience. I love people watching, looking at the art, and eating the food that I only get once a year. I think the most quintessential Jazz Fest food is probably the crawfish bread- think crawfish and cheese baked into doughy bread. That used to be my favorite too… that was until I was introduced to the crawfish strudel. It’s basically the same idea, but instead of the bread it’s layers and layers of flaky filo dough. Skip the long line for the crawfish bread and try the strudel instead.  Thank me later! DSC05389 My other must eat item is the fish tacos from the Taqueria Corona booth. Perfectly fried fish, spicy salsa, crunchy cabbage… perfection! We love buying one item and splitting it so we can try lots of things, but I always regret only buying one taco! DSC05366 This year we branched out and tried something new.  The grilled chicken livers with pepper jelly and zucchini… omg!  Without the sauce, I bet these are compliant, and oh so delicious!   IMG_3016 We cooled off with some spumoni from Angelo Brocato’s, and it was the perfect sweet treat! DSC05397 My dad goes to Jazz Fest every year with his friends from college, and we caught up with them long enough for Brennan to take a snooze on his papa in the Blues Tent. IMG_2930 This toddler is lucky he has a strong momma to carry him from stage to stage while he sleeps 🙂 IMG_2939 We found some shade underneath what seems like the only tree in the whole venue, and we took in all the sights and sounds.  IMG_2931 IMG_2986 One of my favorite parts of Jazz Fest is leaving the fest!  If you leave out of the Mystery Street exit, there are parties in the street. We had just as much fun watching the bands on people’s driveways and porches than at the actual fest.    IMG_2994 On Saturday, we had an adult fest day!  We decided to ride our bikes to make parking easier. The wild flowers in City Park were gorgeous!   IMG_3020 IMG_3008 We caught up with some friends, and rocked out to Pearl Jam and Van Morrison! IMG_3023 IMG_3018 On Sunday morning, I was on the news talking about a campaign with the American Heart Association to challenge the city of New Orleans to get up and move!  Next Saturday, April 30th, track your steps and enter via social media with #walkdat and help the American Heart Association reach their goal of 5 million steps! IMG_3044 After filming the segment, Bradley and I headed to a friend’s 30th birthday party brunch.  The theme was fancy, floral, festive, and the party was fabulous!  It was in a courtyard and catered by a food truck.  The food was delicious, and the company was even better! IMG_3071 IMG_3072 IMG_5987 We ate shrimp and grits, pulled pork, fried green tomatoes, french toast, soft-shell crab, and cupcakes! IMG_3077 IMG_3057 IMG_3084We are so grateful to have such incredible friends!  Happy birthday, Chris!   IMG_3075  My heart and my stomach are both so full after such an amazing weekend!    I think I have a week full of lots of veggies ahead!