Saturday, January 1, 2011

Raw Food Travel: Austin, TX to Jackson, MS

My last post from Austin, TX concluded with a real cliffhanger moment as we were abruptly woken up at three o'clock in the morning by someone pounding on the side of the van. Fearing another run-in with the police, we quickly gathered our clothes and awaited the booming, authoritative demands that were bound to, any second now, penetrate the walls of our makeshift "mobile home" directing us to step out of the vehicle.

We waited...

...and waited. And then we peeked out from behind the curtain in both the front and back of the van looking for signs of movement. 


When our heart rates normalized, we decided to relocate the van around the corner in the parking lot of this 24-hour coffee shop.

221 West North Loop Blvd.
Austin, TX 78751-1919
(512) 454-3762
Open daily 24 hours
Both of us had bladders to relieve, so we figured we'd use the facilities available in our immediate vicinity. 
Inside, we looked around impressed with Austin's coffee shop patronage at such an ungodly hour. Then we learned that it was finals week and everything made sense. On a whim, I asked Evan how he felt about getting a head start on our travels by skipping town right then and there. He was ready to leave so we bought some coffee and tea to-go and off we drove. It was 3:30 A.M. 
Before I move on by discussing our next destination, it should be noted that Evan was momentarily thrust into the spotlight of Austin's local news while getting his hair cut. The reason for this was because a) he needed a hair cut and b) Bird's Barbershop had begun collecting hair trimmings to send to Louisiana in an effort to soak up the mess left by the Gulf oil spill. At one point, I would have been able to link you to the particular news clip where Evan was interviewed, but I really have no idea if it's even available anymore. Nine months later, a simple photo of the news report will have to suffice.
Scratch that: Here's the link to the exact article and video pictured above:

After a good two hours of driving, we stopped at a picnic area to get some shuteye and marvel at the gorgeous sunrise brewing along the Texas skyline.
We woke up after a few hours and got ready to head back out on the road. Because this was a travel day, I tried to get short spurts of exercise during each pit stop. I started by doing some step-ups on this ledge.
Position 1:
Position 2:
I did jumping jacks, squats, and lunges as well.

This day also happened to be the commencement of what turned into a 4-day raw food cleanse for Evan. We referenced Doug Graham's book 80-10-10 for recipes, often adding our own twist by adding spices, garlic, and tomatoes (considered "avoid" foods to the staunch 811-ers). To start, I made both of us an organic banana shake consisting of 5 ripe bananas, 3 organic dates... 
...and 1/4 cup of organic raw carob powder...
...all from the amazing Wheatsville Co-op in Austin, Texas.
It was simple, delicious, and energizing! Often people don't think fruit contains any protein, but this shake contained 10 grams of easily broken down and assimilable amino acid protein. We drank this throughout the morning and into the afternoon. 
Along the way, we saw signs for a rose garden outside the town of Tyler, Texas. We stopped for a free walkthrough and I managed to get in 10 more minutes of exercise by jogging around the garden instead of walking. If you ever have the opportunity to jog through a rose garden, it is one of the most aromatically exhilarating experiences ever.
There were ponds...
...fountains... ops...
...and, of course, the sweet, sweet smell of roses.
Everything you'd expect in a rose garden.

From there, we continued on to the town of Tyler, Texas...
...where we snagged some free wifi in the central square. Evan sent some emails while I fit in another round of jogging.
Later on I made us lunch and dinner. A fruit smoothie comprised of strawberries including the green tops and pineapple cubes...
...followed by a salad (judging from the photos) made up of one head of romaine lettuce and a hot pepper & sundried tomato sauce. 

I soaked 5 sundried tomatoes and 3 dried black peppers in some water and lemon juice.
Then I chopped them up to make it easier for the Magic Bullet to pulverize.
I washed one head of organic romaine with produce wash...
....diced up 3 cloves of garlic...
...chopped 1 red bell pepper...
...and added some of this middle eastern spice combo of thyme and other ingredients (will get back to you on specifics).
I blended the soaked peppers & sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, red bell pepper, romaine lettuce, and thyme mixture together to make a sauce. 
Then I sliced up some onion and made a couple of lettuce wraps.
I proceeded to make a salad with the remaining lettuce along with some spinach, onion, and sliced strawberries dressed in the pepper & sun-dried tomato sauce. An odd combination and far from my favorite recipe, but still relatively palatable. 
By the time I emerged from the back of the van (i.e. the van kitchen), we were crossing the Mississippi River.
Soon after, we found a parking spot in the town of Jackson, Mississippi and called it a night. In fact, we most likely found a Wal-Mart with a red box movie rental machine, watched a movie in the van, and fell asleep in the Wal-Mart parking lot. 

Stay tuned for my next post where I will be discussing Mississippi farmer's markets, van trouble involving an empty gas tank, and our welcome gifts from Nashville, Tennessee. As always, thank you for your readership and I welcome your questions and comments below or click here to email me directly.


  1. Beautiful photos! I must say all the smoothies look wonderful!! My green smoothies keep me going for hours! Best of luck on your travels.

  2. My first time here, love the blog. Do you guys have a plan or just traveling around? I want to live vicariously through you! I also am very impressed with the short bursts of exercise, so inspiring! Good luck!

  3. Hey Mandy - Glad you're enjoying the blog. We have a general sketch of our voyage, but mostly just skipping around haphazardly. Do check back every couple of weeks for updates. :)

  4. I'll be trying the smoothie out. That's something I could drink forever.