Fort Worth, Texas…A Travel Destination?

Recently, I made a new cyber friend as kindred spirits in travel and media. Kendra asked me to fill her in on things to do in Fort Worth, the city in which I live. Kendra Thornton who lives in Chicago, a city I love to visit, appears as a travel expert on television stations across the country to offer travel tips and deals.

Fort Worth Stockyards
Fort Worth Stockyards

As I started thinking about why someone would want to visit Fort Worth, I considered the newly revamped downtown area which offers many restaurants as well as a variety of things to do from Pete’s Piano Bar to Four Day Weekend comedy club to the Bass Performance Hall, hotels and shopping. My recent post on Taverna highlighted just one of the restaurants and who could forget Reata, the cornerstone of Fort Worth’s downtown cuisine?

Another fun area is the up and coming West 7th development. Including not only restaurants such as Terra and Tillman’s but also the club Studio Eighty for some eighties music dancing, a variety of other clubs and bars, the West 7th Movie Tavern, Sweet Sammies Ice Cream and of course, more shopping! West 7th is located not too far from the Museum district including the Children’s Museum, Cowgirl Museum, Museum of Modern Art and the Kimbell Art Museum.

The University Park Shopping Village features more great restaurants and an offering of nice retail shops including Banana Republic, Talbots and the like. A great place to grab a sandwich or pastry in that area is McKinley’s Bakery. Hoffbrau is another beloved restaurant in that area and who could forget Silver Fox? Located just north of TCU on University, the area has the feel of a college town set in the middle of the city. Depending on the time of year, a Horned Frog football game is a great option for family fun or just tour the newly remodeled campus and stadium.

Half Marathon Teresa River
Trinity Trails

Both the West 7th and University Park areas are just adjacent to the expanding plethora of bike trails in and around Fort Worth. These trails are home to a number of Marathons, Bike Rides and Triathlons as well as winding next to the Fort Worth Zoo and the Botanic Gardens. The new bike rental system allows for a choice of biking or walking through or around these areas and venues. As a registered dietitian, I think it is important when vacationing to find ways to get out with the family, spouse or friends and be active.

Last but not least, I have to mention the Stockyards. This area gave rise to the slogan, “Where the West Begins” or another Fort Worth nickname, “Cowtown”. Visiting the stockyards gives privy to many specialty western shops, the world renowned Billy Bob’s Texas and Cattleman’s Steakhouse. There are additionally a smattering of smaller venues for dancing and the ever popular, Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican restaurant.

Throw in a couple of outliers, Salsa Fuego, Ellerbe Fine Foods and The Keg and some seasonal events such as Mayfest, the Stockshow and Rodeo and the Cowtown Marathon and I realized Fort Worth has become a travel destination. You will want to experience all that Fort Worth has to offer for your next vacation or business convention. Give me a shout if you need a tour guide!

Conjugates and Carbohydrates

Everyone remembers the line in Eat, Pray, Love where Julia Roberts in her role states that every word in Italian is like a truffle. She goes on to say that she is going to Italy to write a book and call it Conjugates and Carbohydrates.

The definition of conjugate means the bringing along of basics into the more complex. This fall’s important lesson is that embracing the basics in constructing one’s life can help us get back to those things that are important in leading a healthy lifestyle.

While my semester challenged me with the basics of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, I did manage to attend the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics media representative training. During our training, we made a new friend who taught us the basics of fashion for not only our media appearances and but also everyday.

Me with Victoria Snee
Me with Victoria Snee

Victoria Snee, author of The Beauty Buzz showed us the key to avoiding cosmetic and fashion catastrophes by sticking with tried-and-true products. By abiding by this rule, one can feel good about their appearance and project a positive image.

October went on to include attending the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference in Houston where I caught up with many friends from all over the country while refreshing my basic knowledge of nutrition in 2013. Another adventure took me to Lubbock, Texas where I spoke at Texas Tech and Lubbock Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on the “New Basics,” emerging trends in public health nutrition.

When it comes to nutrition, the basics to fueling for life is choosing nutrient-rich foods. Nutrient-rich foods contain health-building nutrients while limiting calorie dense simple sugars and excess fats. Similarly to fat as one of my students pointed out in a recent blog post, people tend to have a bad connotation when hearing the word Carbohydrate.

The most recent dietary guidelines encourage us to make half our grains whole and at the same time increase our intake of fruits and vegetables. These are all complex carbohydrates that provide fiber, vitamins and minerals currently lacking in the American diet. Getting back to the basics means choosing those whole, unprocessed foods that provide healthy amounts of fat, carbohydrate and protein, the energy-yielding nutrients.

Armed with all of our new appreciation for the basics, my colleagues and I headed out for our end-of-semester dinner gladly embracing the complex carbohydrates at Taverna. Despite all of the parodies that have been played on the book title, I think we must venture inside the book to learn from Julia…embracing each nuance of life can bring us to a place of health and contentment. So, I say Conjugate away!