“I need to go to the ocean!” This is a common phrase that I utter after every hockey season it seems. Maybe it’s the long hours spent on a frozen rink, or maybe it’s ingrained in me from visiting relatives on the east coast every summer growing up? Whatever the reason, this past July my girlfriend and I listened to that inner voice and traveled to Charleston, South Carolina. Since both of our lives are very health driven to begin with, we like to stay active and eat healthy as much as possible on vacation too. In this first installment of “Temple Travel,” I’d like to share some musts when traveling to Charleston…Feed the Temple style!
Photo Credit: Ron Cogswell
The Grocery: Charleston, SC is known for having a great restaurant scene so we knew that there would be plenty of options for good quality food. The Grocery was our first stop. Yes, this is a restaurant not a grocery store. After glancing at the menu we quickly understood why they chose the name. Chef and owner Kevin Johnson uses seasonal ingredients from local farmers and fisherman to evoke memories of a small town grocery store. They also can vegetables in-house to preserve them for future use! Any restaurant that ferments their own vegetables is my kind of place!! The food here was outstanding! Fresh, healthy, tasty and well prepared! For appetizers we had the heirloom tomatoes(upper right photo) with pine nuts and pesto filled buratta and the bone marrow brulee (lower right photo) with pickled cauliflower and parsley salad. For dinner we had the scallop special and the roasted duck with sweet corn farrotto and pickled peaches. Give this spot a try and I’m sure your temple will thank you! thegrocerycharleston.com Alluettes Café: Holistic soul food is exactly what owner Alluette Jones-Smalls cooks up at her eclectic café! If you’re looking for a place to have a homemade meal, read some health books, admire paintings on the wall and feel nourished after doing it all, then I suggest going here. The food is similar to something you would cook in your own kitchen, using fresh local seafood and chicken, seasonal organic produce and a simple yet meticulous preparation. This is the way African Americans ate up to 200 years ago and what Alluette is reviving today. According to my taste buds she’s doing an amazing job! Our meal consisted of Watermelon salad with fresh mint, fish stew with wild caught salmon, homemade fried chicken over greens and veggies and chicken salad also over greens and veggies. The watermelon salad was fresh cut and bursting with flavor, I could have eaten the fish stew all day and the fried chicken and chicken salad were actually healthier because of their light and unique preparation. Overall, we were very happy with our experience and to cap it off we got a chance to chat briefly with Alluette and her husband before leaving. A truly friendly, funny and dynamic couple! When in Charleston, this is one place that every conscious eater should visit!! http://www.alluettescafe.com/ Folly Beach: The great thing about Charleston is that it’s only a 20-30 minute drive to popular Oceanside areas like Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Kiawah Island and Folly Beach, which is where we stayed for two nights of our trip. An old-school beach town is how I describe Folly. Surf shops, fun restaurants, music, people strolling the streets in their swimsuits and plenty of opportunity to stay active! A few of my suggestions: Get in the water as much as possible!! Swimming is very therapeutic for the body, especially the joints, and you’ll be soaking up the healing salt while doing so! It can also be fun to do a little beach workout. This can be in the form of running, walking by the shore, or finding a clear area to go through a bodyweight strength and movement circuit. You’ll enjoy breathing in the fresh air as your heart rate increases as well as how the sand challenges all your little stabilizer muscles. And if you really want to step out of your comfort zone try surfing! This is something I had always wanted to try and my girlfriend surprised me with a lesson! Kyle and Maxie at Carolina Salt Surf are great teachers and will gladly help you navigate the area as well as the waves! Afterwards be sure to walk over to the Juice Joint and replenish with a whole food, nutrient dense smoothie. http://carolinasaltsurflessons.com http://thejuicejoint.com/ It’s easy to go on vacation and lose track of that healthy lifestyle you’re supposed to be committed to. The end result of this is returning home feeling worse than when you left. Not Good! Traveling “feed the temple” style is about experiencing everything a new place has to offer, while staying consistent with treating your body how it was meant to be treated. That way you return home happier, healthier and full of energy. Glückliche Reise meine Freunde!!