Traveling Healthy – Ithaca

Traveling to Ithaca, NY to visit Cornell Law School was a great adventure in many ways. I was making this trip as Cornell has made the short list of law schools my daughter, Morgan, will choose from and begin attending this fall. I love figuring out how I will incorporate my training and eat healthy on road trips. Here I will share how I integrated both into this trip and include considerations for you when preparing your next travel.

This trip started Thursday morning with a 9:00 AM flight from Tampa connecting in Washington, DC where I met Morgan who was flying from Fort Lauderdale. From there we flew together to Ithaca. Knowing travel would knock out most of Thursday I completed my run before leaving Tampa. When we connected in DC, Morgan asked for Chipotle and that’s a place we both love so we ordered a veggie bowl and ate it prior to heading out.

When we arrived in Ithaca we landed in the early afternoon so we had time to kill before Morgan’s mom, Karen, and husband Scott arrived. We planned on meeting them for a late dinner so Morgan and I went for a walk of Ithaca Commons, a two-block pedestrian mall in the business improvement district that serves as the city’s cultural and economic center. We were in search of something light to eat to hold us over and that we found in Ten Forward Cafe, a vegan cafe. I had a peanut butter smoothie that hit the spot!

From there we ventured to The Outdoor Store where I was in search for cold weather gloves that were streamlined to cycle and run. I was educated on several glove types and bought two pair. A wool liner glove followed by a gortex model that would repel water. Could these keep me warm?!?! That update comes shortly…

We continued to walk the downtown area coming to the GreenStar Food Co+Op. This is key for me early in any road trip. Find a market or grocery store to get core supplies. I brought some with me but here I was able to pick up bananas, an apple, a few Lara Bars, and kombucha. This would help me bridge between meals. I did bring my nutrition drink mix powders for pre, during and post exercise along with a couple gels for during exercise if needed. Now I was set for the rest of the trip.

Morgan and I met Karen and Scott for dinner Thursday night at a mexican restaurant, Viva Taqueria Cantina, diagonal from our hotel and it was fantastic. We shared an appetizer of chips, salsa and guacamole and I ordered a black bean burrito. Great fueling day for what would also help start an early Friday morning.

I located a gym, Island Health & Fitness, when planning the trip that offered a spin class at 6:00 AM so Morgan and I made the short one mile trip to the gym. It was an intense one hour of cycling with several local triathletes in the group. I chatted with a few after the class and they noted how this was one way they keep up their cycling miles in the long winter months. Morgan and I headed back to the hotel and I still had a run to complete. It wasn’t snowing and the sun was up so I took a chance, bundled up as much as I could, and ventured out for a run through Cornell University.

The first quarter mile was straight up a steep hill before arriving on campus. That got my blood pumping. When I crossed over the Ithaca Gorge I was on campus. What a beautiful view of the gorge and my first look of the university. By chance the Law School was the first building on the path I took. I ventured east coming upon the athletic complex including the baseball and football fields before crossing over to see the hockey complex, wrestling center and track. I was able to stop a few times to take pictures. This did not help my fingers by taking off my glove to take pictures as the feels like temperature was six degrees but I had to capture what I was experiencing.

My left fingers lost feeling as did my right and I never took my gloves off the left hand. I have a condition called, Raynaud’s disease, that runs in my family and triggers my fingers and toes to go numb in cold temperatures. So on this cold day I was prime for this to reaction regardless of gloves or no gloves. I was hoping the new gloves would help a bit more in these conditions and maybe they delayed the start of the numbness a tad so I’ll take any help I can get there. I continued on and besides the fingers I felt great just experiencing the campus on a beautiful run.

I returned to the hotel and it was time to get ready for our official campus visit. On the way into the university we stopped at the go to bagel shop in Ithaca, Collegetown Bagels. Once we walked in there was a vibe that permeated the entire shop and it was packed. The location was adjacent to the entrance of the university so this seemed to be a prime spot for students to grab something quick. I ordered a Veganic Wrap that was stuffed with a tofu scramble, avocado, mushrooms & onions in a garlic herb wrap…tasty!

We then headed to the law school, walked the building, and eventually left Morgan to attend a class as an observer. Between her observation of the class and our official tour we had a small window to eat lunch so Karen, Scott, and I went back to Collegetown Bagels and placed a takeout order to then eat with Morgan in the common area. I ordered a grain bowl with quinoa, falafel and loaded with other veggies. We all took part in the tour and it blew us away. We learned a lot about the dynamics of Cornell Law School, the facilities, and life as a student.

After the tour we walked the campus and then headed back to the hotel for a bit of rest before a fun night out. I searched to see if Cornell hockey was playing during our trip and they were hosting a game on this night so we got tickets. When searching I learned they have the number one hockey team in the country so this would be a treat to see quality hockey in a college atmosphere. Prior to the game Morgan found our dinner option and for me it was the best of the trip.

The recently opened vegan restaurant, Angelhearts Diner, served typical diner menu items including breakfast all day and desserts. I had a special menu item, a buffalo chick’n sandwich, fries and a chocolate pie. Thank goodness I was burning the calories during the visit as I was eating! The dinner was fantastic and from there we took in the hockey game where we had great time.

Saturday morning I took to the treadmill for interval work before we headed to breakfast at the downtown location of Collegetown Bagels. On this visit I had a peanut butter bagel and a blueberry scone. Morgan and I then headed to the Ithaca airport where we took a flight to Philadelphia before connecting to our flights home. In Philadelphia we found, La Colombe, where we both enjoyed acai bowls.

I accomplished all my goals on this trip and planning was a big part of it. I knew why I wanted and needed to train on this trip. I identified what the conditions would be like, places where I could work out and brought clothing options to flex. I completed all my workouts. I spent quality time with Morgan and we got a good feel for what Cornell Law School could offer her. I ate extremely well and fueled myself for my workouts.

These are considerations when you plan your next trip to keep your exercise routine in place and eat healthy as possible.

Preparation – Training/Working Out

  • Identify why you need or want to train/work out on the trip
  • Determine the workouts you need to complete
  • Search to see if you will have what you need in the location to do the type of workouts (gym, etc.)
  • Bring equipment you may need; I brought a foam roller and a lacrosse ball to use in the hotel room…injury prevention
  • If doing something outside, check the weather and pack appropriate clothing; consider bringing options if weather conditions or something else changes in your plans; don’t use weather as an excuse…the Florida boy here ran in feels like six degrees…or workout inside
  • Pack nutrition you consume prior, during and post workout; consider using ziplock bags if brining powder mixes and you can also pack them inside the bottle you will consume to protect them from being punctured during travel

Preparation – Eating Healthy

  • Check to see what grocery stores are near your destination to make a quick stop as soon as you arrive to grab necessities that may not travel well or if you are tight on space; ex. fruits, energy bars, etc.
  • Use Yelp to locate restaurant options; you can filter to help you narrow; ex. I use “vegan”
  • If flying pack snacks in your bag and if connecting check to see what is in the connecting airport for restaurant options
  • If driving pack snacks, drinks and identify options where you can stop for a meal on the route; if there are no healthy options on the route, pack more

I hope this helps you the next time you travel.

– Add Health to Your Life

Morgan and I on the shuttle bus from Ithaca Airport to the hotel.


This is what I ran in Friday morning…
Gorge adjacent to campus…
Overlooking a bridge at Cornell University
Cornell Law School
Do we look cold?
Love my Cornell beanie…this is where I acquired my Plant-Based Certification so I’m wearing the colors proud…
Law School Library…wow!
Pre-game at Cornell Hockey.
Go Big Red…Morgan, Karen, Scott and I at Cornell Hockey
Decided to run inside on this day…
What is all this white stuff?!?!?
Leaving the school…what a visit…
Goodbye Ithaca…maybe we will see you again…
Burrito at Viva Taqueria Cantina
Veganic Wrap at Collegetown Bagels
Buffalo Chick’n Sandwich with Cheese (cashew based) Fries at Angelhearts Diner
Peanut butter bagel with scone at Collegetown Bagels
Acai Bowl at La Colombe (Philadelphia Airport)


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