Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Traveling to Northern Vermont in July is fabulous,bringing me back to  childhood memories of adventurous road  trips with my mom & sisters to visit with cousins , aunts and uncles all over the state. This summer , my nutrition class of choice which is usually in Boulder ,Co was moved to Burlington , Vt .

Burlingfest is the brainchild of Robert Crayhon , a well known nutrtionist, author , speaker and radio show host who years ago made nutrition fun for me .  He is an incredible man, with high integrity,a sense of humor  and just happens to be a classic pianist . We students were enlightened by the nutrition experts and friends of Robert’s;   world renowned  Mark Houston, MD , Jonny BowdenRD( pictured below with me )  , Ellen Wright, MD, MarSummer 2010 026_cropk Schauss,Jade Teta ND ,CSCS and Keoni Teta , ND , CSCS,Lac, Arthur Bartunek, MA, Robert bard, MD ,Nicholas Gonzalas , MD and more. I will talk about highlights of their talks in another blog.

Burlington this year was experiencing a ” heat wave” . I love the  summer  weather but 95+ degrees was too much for the locals and plant life. Nearby Lake George , the huge mass of water was starting to exibit several alage blooms ,an environmental hazard to its local marine life. Some of the beaches were already shut down in peak swimming season. The resident Vermonters however are tough . This out-doorsy bunch of locals love to get outside . They are environmentally inclined in so many ways .  Everyone looked healthier than in most places I visit.

Vermont may be known as the “Green State ” but their tag line really should read: ”Buy Local” .  The food is top-notch . Vermont residents  are fiercely proud of their homegrown products from meats to milk ,produce , housewares and furniture  . And of course everyone’s favorites, maple syrup, ice cream and cheese. Remember , this is the state that birthed Ben & Jerry’s , Cabot Cheese ,StoneyfielSummer 2010 039d Yogurt and the hundreds of organic dairies that  supply Horizon and Organic Valley  with the best that New England has to offer. They pride themselves in heirloom fruits and vegetables: where else can you get 12 different types of lettuce in one store ? And in a rainbow of natural fresh picked colors ? It’s as though the varieties in popular seed catalogues come alive : leaf, oak leaf ,bibb, real dark green romaine ,purple lettuce,  red lettuce , etc.   Not just  infactory- sealed plastic bags,  but fresh. Large bunches fresh organic herbs arranged like flower displays and many other plants are everywhere the eye can see.

Instead of lamenting over the  fact that I was in a hotel without a kitchen and the stores were overflowing with local mouthwatering produce …. ,  I took advantage of the plethera of  local restaurants available to me . Two popular landmarks are Boves , a  local landmark since 1941, nationally recognized for it sauces and meatballs ! and American Flatbread Pizza ,wood fired -made from scratch thin crust pizza , both of them offering their products  nationwide through natural food outlets.Summer 2010 065

Other favorites including Stone Soup , a simple organic  “hippie’ type cafe where everythingSummer 2010 018 is made from scratch using organic and local ingredients satisfying everbody from Vegan to Carnivore . .  Their  iced mate tea and gluten-free carrot cake were awesome  ! Their front window stays open in the summer and the ambience includes a flower garden,allowing a sense of belonging even when you are just passing through . A must experience ! 802-862-7616 , on  College street  …..

Even in the hot weather,  hot peppers and herbs will balance your internal body temperature …so I sought out a noodle shop .   I love the Vietnamese sytle big bowls of PHO soup. Fo a full  palette of Asia’s best,  try the Asian Noodle Shop-802- 862-8828 , a small, crowded basement restaurant off Church street that was perfect foe lunch  . Iced ginger& green  tea and thin rice noodles, fresh lime, jalepeno’s, basil & cilantro w/ thin beef strips satifised my appetite and fueled my body well.  For exotic and herbal teas lovers  should check out the Dobra Tea house ,,

Local Natural food stores are where I fueled up daily . Downtown’s City MarketSummer 2010 050, a co-op and Burlington’s only downtown food market  is an eclectic mix of natural foods and commercial mainstay foods with a large selection of take away dishes.It stays open until 11:00 pm so the convenience of late night snack attacks is better satisfied here than most other places-  802-861-9700.

Healthy Living, a few minutes away near the mall in South Burlington , is a gorgeous full service natural foods supermarket with a take out hot and cold buffet , and a wide variety of local travel treats . I was buying food from them daily . On Sundays their local farmers market is a big draw.The Samosa man is hoot and he sells his good in all the local markets …we don’t offer bins of samosa du jour her ein florida! ….Now if he would only make one flavor wheat free….. Vitamin Shoppe, the only one of its it kind in the enitre state located  across the street keeps everyone nutritionally well stocked

Less than an hour away is Mount Pelier , the smallest capital city in the US , only about 8,000 residents and a joy to spend the afternoon. I was surrounded by bountiful flowers,produce, people and joy everywhere I went . For lunch in Mt Pelier, we  ventured out to the local co-op Hunger Mountain , I continued to be impressed with the quality of the food and the friendly people . They will even honor other US Co-op membership cards to save you a few bucks.  What a bonus !  As an employee said – Just how many co-ops can you join ? For us travelers, this helps. I am a member of a Tallahessee, FL  co-op : New Leaf, another fabulous store with both eclectic and essential nutrtional offerings.

My nutrition class turned into a bountiful organic food adventure with the location and the people who made the trip more enjoyable than most .

AIRPORT DELAYS:  Travelers note: the local airport is torn up and travel delays abound with the runway expansion .  If you have the time to drive ;  fly into Bradley (  Hartford , CT ) ,make the 4 hour drive North . Stop at a few markets along the way and enjoy the foods that makes this state special !

Remember to go local and  shop at your  nearby farmer’s market this week and support your local community .

Your body , mind, spirit and pocketbook will thank you !

In Continued health ,

Sally Byrd

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