Monday, July 22, 2013

Eating Out Primal

or at least moderately healthy....

The kids and I took a little roadtrip at the beginning of July. We left our beautiful Arkansas, headed West through Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, then North into Colorado. Our final destination was Durango.

The underlying theme on this trip was education. Learning about the places we were and about the culture and history of the people we met. We tried to fit in as many amazing things as we could. We visited places, such as Cadillac Ranch (the one touristy place you must stop), Echo Amphitheater in New Mexico, Georgia O'Keefe's house in Abique, Mese Verde in Colorado. Once we made it to Durango, we spent time at the local river and on more than one occasion I made them walk the 14 block roundtrip downtown to see the locals and do some shopping. I also included them in all my visits to the local natural grocers. It still cracks me up to see how excited my kids get when they go in a grocery store and know they can have almost anything in there. They are so used to not being able to eat over half of the products carried in a traditional store. So visiting natural grocers on vacation is a true treat for them.

I was in for a surprise myself when we stopped in a tiny little gas station/feed store/café/grocer in Abique, New Mexico. We were in the middle of nowhere, had just stopped at some ruins to do some exploring and were hot and thirsty. I went in hoping to find something cold to drink besides water. As much as we love water, we were just really in the mood for something else. I wasn't expecting much from the looks of this place but inside I was pleasantly surprised. They had an amazing amount of fresh produce. Lots and lots of all natural snacks and then I came upon the holy grail. Or what my kids would consider the holy grail. Virgil's Root Beer. I grabbed them each one and then grabbed a bottle of this for myself. Holy heck it was yummy!

I certainly didn't fail to notice that feeding my family in line with our lifestyle was much easier the farther West we drove. Colorado was especially accommodating. There were more options to choose from, healthy fare was the norm.

Here are some of our eats from the trip.

4 hours on the road at this point. Jason's Deli did not disappoint.
El Salvadoran Pupusas. I basically just told the waitress to give me anything without
wheat in it. I wasn't being picky about corn on this trip. This dish was amazing.
The beet, carrot, and cabbage slaw was served cold and complemented
it so well. The kids had the most amazing gluten free buttermilk waffles.
We even went back on our last day in Santa Fe and ate breakfast here again. The Tune Up Café
is now on our permanent list of best restaurants.

I couldn't help but squeal with delight when saw this in our hotel. They had a very nice
restaurant called Red Sage that we ate dinner at one evening. It of course had an amazing wine selection.

Dinner at Red Sage in our hotel. This was an amazing glass of a Rhone that I can't remember
the vineyard name. This is also a perfect picture of how traveling alone with three kids can get
sometimes. She wasn't screaming, just making sure I understood she was serious about our conversation.

Duck fat fries. I nearly died.

I ordered the filet, rare. It came with no veggies. So of course I ate the duck fat fries.

Both the boys had buffalo sliders. They were topped with a spicy chile sauce and I was surprised
the little dudes still liked them. My kids are primal about 80% of the time. But this was
vacation, and I let them live it up.

We were in desperate need of a bathroom stop and on a whim I stopped
in here. It was one of the coolest natural grocers I have ever been in. If you
are ever in Pagosa Springs, CO give it a try. They had a exceptional deli area with a ton
of prepared foods ready to go. We stocked the cooler and the smoked salmon I got was
out of this world!

I picked this up at the little market above. I won't even try and stock these in our
store for fear I will eat the entire case myself.

On the day we visited Mesa Verde, we packed our lunch and after our hike
to see the ruins we stopped at an overlook for a picnic.

This was part of our spread. Turkey, cheese, gluten free pretzels. Simple.

There is a fabulous restaurant in Durango, CO called Ken & Sue's. They have a nice gluten
free selection, farm to table food, and your to go bag is an actual reusable shopping bag. This was an
appetizer of mussels in a coconut lime sauce. I wanted to lick the plate when it was gone.

Stuffed chicken over greens and mashed potatoes. Also at Ken & Sue's.

We also ate at our standard places like Panera and I couldn't turn down a Starbucks iced coffee on the road. Overall I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to stay as primal as possible. Renting a house with a kitchen helped a lot. We got very sick of eating out after the first 3 days. That first dinner we cooked in the rental house was comfort food for all of us.

Eating clean on the road is totally possible and can even be easy if you know what to look for.

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