Thoughts from Orlando

I don’t like it here very much.  I mean, I am really enjoying the conference and am very happy that I was given the opportunity to attend, but Orlando itself is as depressing as the food I’ve been eating.  First of all, it’s an all out tourist trap.  I’ve been running up and down International Drive every morning because it’s so well lit, but, at the same time, at 6 AM I feel like a road shouldn’t be that well lit, you know?  I have only seen chain restaurants, gift shops, and odd tourist traps.  Everything here seems to be famous for something..but it’s never anything that I think is interesting.  Even their organic food is a consumer whore conglomerate (Whole Foods – only slightly better than WalMart which I found on my run the other day).

Speaking of organic food — I’m surprised how much of a difference I have noticed in my body by eating out/eating food I wouldn’t normally every day.  Even though I eat my own breakfast and lunch, and the foods I choose are considered healthy, it lacks the quality, taste, and unadded preservatives that I’ve grown used to.  I NEEDED a nap today, which is something I haven’t taken in a while.  My routine has been pretty similar to normal, maybe even less taxing since I’m just sitting in seminars all day.  I haven’t felt this ..blah.. in a while and I have to wonder if it’s from the travel (which I did pretty frequently in undergrad) or the food difference.

For instance – if you recall, the other day I bought a rotisserie chicken from WalMart.  I ate half and saved half in our room fridge for later.  Today I decided to eat the rest for lunch.  Little did I know (okay, I totally knew and stupidly tested my luck), the refrigerator didn’t seem to be working.  Nothing was cold..and the Coors ligiht cold activated cans hadn’t even changed their telltale color.  I really didn’t want to waste the money I had spent and the chicken didn’t smell funny, so I went for it.  I have a pretty strong stomach.  (Remember, it’s been left out for 36+ hours).  I’m fine.  I feel like if I were going to get sick, I would have by now (6 hours later).  Do you realize how disgusting that is???  That means there were so. many. preservatives.  My carrots, strawberries, and yogurt don’t seem to have been affected, either.

The dinner options here are all pretty awful.  Even when I’m trying to eat healthy options they all seem to be covered in butter cream sauce (like my salmon last night — including the broccoli!  who wants broccoli covered in butter cream sauce??) or loaded with bacon (every salad I’ve seen).

I was disappointed to see that there was a Whole Foods pretty close to the hotel that I could have gotten produce at.  Honestly, I’m not a big Whole Foods fan but it would have been better than nothing.  In general, I feel like Whole Foods is overpriced and is the type of place that people go to buy organic food for the sake of organic being hipster and hot right now.  I really appreciate Bloomingfoods and how they have real sales and seem to care about health, sustainability, and society.


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