This beautiful plate you see before you contained the heartiest carrots, juiciest peppers, and most comforting sweet potatoes to ever hit my stomach. This is the Roasted Veggie Salad from the Weary Traveler Freehouse. A place that I, fittingly, traveled very far to dine.
My boyfriend and I had just spent our weekend in Merrimac, Wisconsin at Devil’s Head Resort. It was two days full of fresh air, first attempts and hard falls. I was a snowboarding virgin so I had my fair share of wipeouts and bruises, along with a slight concussion (seriously). BUT I had a blast along the way.
The food, on the other hand, was another story. An outdated, no thrills getaway, Devil’s Head was not the healthy, fresh, farm-to-table resort I may have dreamed up in my head.
Breakfast was a buffet of iced pale-colored fruit, processed sausages and lukewarm eggs. Lunch was more processed sausages on white buns and microwave-ready soft pretzels. And dinner was our choice of overpriced, undercooked entrees, or pizza, with processed meat on top.
I say this with slight sarcasm and a willingness to call a major FIRST WORLD PROBLEM ALERT. But I felt like every cheesy, bread-y, meaty, salty, sugary bite was destroying my insides. My stomach felt unsettled, my energy, low. I couldn’t wait to get back home to steel cut oatmeal, kale salads and veggie burgers. I found new appreciation for the way I eat, to say the least.
Part of me hated myself for not being able to go with the flow and let loose for the weekend. Have I really become THAT GIRL who turns her nose up to food that doesn’t meet her standards? Yes, maybe a little. If I ever decide to go on a mission trip to Africa, I’ll most definitely be screwed. But another part of me just felt reinforced in my nutritional values. I love that I am so in tune with my health and my body that I can mentally and physically sense the difference it feels when I eat what’s right for it.
When it was time to go home, we jumped on the chance to grab our lunch outside of unhealthy hell. Fortunately, Madison, Wisconsin was on the way. And I couldn’t have asked for a better pit stop.
With its hipster vibe, co-op grocery store and long list of vegetarian-friendly restaurants, this college town reminded me a lot of my beloved Iowa City.
After a determined Yelp search for a healthy restaurant, we landed on The Weary Traveler. As soon as I saw that they kept Kombucha on tap, I knew we made the right choice.
Here’s a little preview of their menu.
I think normally I would have been a bit more explorative than the Grilled Veggie salad, but at that point, I was craving fresh produce so badly that a full plate of vegetables sounded like heaven.
My vibrant meal and freshly poured Kombucha came and went way too fast. But by the end, my body and mind was already on its way back to normal. It may sound crazy, but I literally felt my blood flow faster and skin plump up as I walked out that door.
Is it in my head or is it for real? Maybe a little of both. Either way, healthy food is my favorite.