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Some words about SUMMER'S BLOG

I love peanut butter, avocado and oatmeal. Not together of course, but nearly any recipe that calls for these ingredients I'll probably enjoy. I have the misfortune of living with some food sensitivities but the extreme fortune of knowing what those sensitivities are - gluten (only mild, thank goodness), nightshades, lactose, and refined sugar. I'm not a formally trained chef, but I love cooking (and eating!) delicious, guilt-free food. I'm a fitness model, certified nutrition coach, trainer and an IFBB pro bikini athlete... and I eat 6 times a day. When I'm not in the kitchen preparing something extraordinary, I'm - in the gym, rushing off to an audition, at a photo shoot, studying nutrition, or planning a vacation. Hope you enjoy my site! For nutrition consultations or more information on training, contact me at summerwhitefitness@gmail.com

New Orleans

IFBB GREATER GULF CHAMPIONSHIPS

My recent trip to New Orleans started out with my bringing freshly grilled fare, neatly packaged for convenient dining in the plane and at my hotel room. I needed the peace of mind that my food was cooked clean without any creepy fillers, salts, or sauces.The Landmark in Metairie was a great host hotel for the show, as each room came stocked with a microwave and mini fridge! I did run out of salmon and bottled water, but the hotel is situated right by Whole Foods, and their $2 grilling station was a lifesaver. My coach was by my side to guide me on my diet, and overall stage package the entire weekend, which really took the stress out of my life. I showed up on stage looking lean and fierce! I was a bit too lean, though, and didn’t place as well as I would have liked.  My conditioning was on point, but the reality of my India issues caught up to me. I need to gain back the muscle and weight I lost (due to the 3 cases of food poisoning) to be considered competitive on the pro stage. This news does not come as a surprise to me (see photo below of all the medicine I had to bring with me) and I’m taking it for what it’s worth. On one hand, my competition season ended before it started, but on the other hand… I get to eat!!! Yippee!!

DINING
Let me get one thing straight.  I’m human.  I may resist daily urges to drink coffee, eat sugary treats, and scarf down loaves of warm, crispy baguettes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like these naughty cheats anymore. I know what these things do to my body, and the associated issues they bring just aren’t worth it (generally).  Now, I had already scouted out restaurants in New Orleans about a month before I got there, trying to find menus free of gluten, spices, and tomatoes but I quickly realized… who was I kidding?! Oceana Grill on the corner of Conti and Bourbon Street, serving till 1am, was where we’d find ourselves after my show.  I was a bit worried about the authenticity of this place, because it had a TGIF feel to it. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the hush puppies, and I dared not try the alligator tail bites, but the blackened chicken dinner was a winner! I opted to pair the chicken with red beans, rice and grilled squash, rather than the jambalaya, and was more than thrilled.  I was told the seafood etouffee, the chicken gumbo, the shrimp fettuccine, and pecan pie (this I definitely didn’t sample… hehe) were wonderful as well!

The weather in the south is quite nice this time of year so for Sunday brunch I chose Cafe Amelie, with its beautiful 150 year old Princess of Monaco courtyard, for a bit of alfresco dining.  This little gem is tucked away on Royal street in the French Quarter, far enough from the hustle and bustle to feel relaxing.  I hadn’t drank the night before, and after seeing The Amelie on the cocktail list I decided I would give it a shot. Perfect thirst quencher, no added sugar (other than on the rim), and amazingly light.

My appetite was bearish, so I ordered the banana waffles (sans syrup – it was sweet enough without) and the spinach quiche.

Friends and family ordered the roasted beet salad (which I heard was divine), the shrimp and grits (who knew a creamy corn sauce over grits would bring someone to tears!), and the chicken gumbo. I’m still dreaming about the food.

Another stand out star, for me, was Emeril’s near the central business district.  My friends and I got a chance to dress up a bit at this New Orleans mainstay that is still talk of the town. The dining room was so beautiful with its exposed brick, local art, and big open kitchen. I got the urge to order a bottle of wine. Their wine list was extensive, like over 60 pages, but I chose Poizin from the Russian River Valley. For dinner, I had the arugula salad with walnut vinaigrette (familiar but tasty nonetheless), and the bbq glazed salmon with crispy onion rings (to die for…).  Dessert was a must (after glancing at the menu) and between the peanut butter pie, peach upside down cake (it was a special), and signature banana creme pie I’m surprised I didn’t roll out the front door.

 

Sights
The flavor and entertainment in New Orleans just can’t be beat. It is so rich in culture and its architecture, music, and art are brilliantly showcased on every block. Bourbon street, with its eclectic mix of people, should be added to everyone’s bucket list (I just wish I had discovered it when I was in my youth!).  French Market is a great little stroll and reminds me of our local farmer’s markets, just add fresh oyster bars, gator jerky, and more pralines and sweets you can handle. Definitely check out Meals From the Heart Cafe as it is one of the few healthy spots around, offering vegan, gluten-free, and traditional cajun fare. Take a trolley ride to the Garden District for a gander at the lush bougainvillea and columned mansions. Don’t forget to check out the home from Benjamin Button, Sandra Bullock’s house, and the historical Lafayette Cemetery (which was featured in Interview with the Vampire!).  If you’re up for a little dancing and some phenomenal live music, Frenchmen Street is where it’s at when the sun sets. We had a blast at The Blue Nile and The Maison.

 

 

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