Elevated Avocado Toast, Gut Health & Why Everyone Should Be a Solo Traveler

Word on the Street: 8 Questions with Kara, The Travelling Dietitian

In each edition of “Word on the Street,” we interview a Guide to learn about their Sidewalk and some of their best travel stories.

Kara Landau_Travelling Dietitian_Sidewalk Blog

Meet Kara, the Guide behind “Healthy Food Tour of Greenwich Village: Vegan Tex Mex, Coconut Froyo & Artisanal Coffee.” She dishes on corporate morning calisthenics, inspiration for new recipes and the rise of clean eating in New York City.

1. What will I encounter on the “Healthy Food Tour of Greenwich Village”?

It’s about discovering the best of the best in the Village for gut-strengthening nutrients, vitamin packed meals, prebiotics and probiotics, and an abundance of antioxidants. My walk takes you to many of my favorite places for smoothies, coconut milk froyos, and plant based meals. Everything is absolutely delicious, and I promise, the nutrients are actually going to make you happy!

Kara Landau_Top 5_Sidewalk Blog

2. It seems like just a few years ago there weren’t as many options for healthy food in the city. What changed?

The idea and promotion around weight loss have died down, along with the absolute focus on calories. The push for nutrition and nourishment have certainly gotten louder and louder, and it’s great! We are in the era of nutrient-dense foods, “clean eating” and gut health.

New York is definitely propelling this trend - go to a smoothie bar and you will find chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sacha inchi seeds. All with prebiotic fibers and plant-based proteins from around the world.

3. What do you want people to internalize from going on your Sidewalk?

Whether someone lives in New York or is just visiting, I want them to go home inspired. A lot of healthy food can be easily recreated at home. It’s about inspiration and exposure.

Mediterranean-Inspired Avocado Toast with Pistachio Dukkah. Photo: Tieghen Gerard / Half Baked Harvest

Mediterranean-Inspired Avocado Toast with Pistachio Dukkah. Photo: Tieghen Gerard / Half Baked Harvest

A simple example: Avocado Toast - when people make it at home, they may get a grainy bread, smash up an avocado and drizzle some olive oil on top. But if you go out and order avocado toast, it will probably be served in a different way. You might see hemp seeds or chili flakes sprinkled on it. Maybe some lime juice or mint or exotic spices.

These new ideas only come when you explore and open your mind to new things. That’s what I hope my Sidewalk can do for people.

4. What kind of traveler are you?

I’ve done a lot of travel by myself. I love it - don’t tell my fiance that!

With time on your own, you get to think about what you are all about, and who you really are. You get to explore what interests you. Solo travelling also pushes you to be social if you were someone more introverted, and more solitary if you are extraverted.

5. What was your first solo travel experience?

My first trip by myself was when I was 17. I had just graduated from secondary school (high school) and went on a 3-month trip backpacking through Australia. I started the trip in Cairns (in the northeast) with a friend, but we parted ways so I continued the rest of the way on my own, down to Byron Bay (towards Sydney).

I got held hostage a few times in a few towns due to flooding, but it was great to set my own schedule. I moved down the coast and went to real rural country towns, beach destinations, and national parks. It was fantastic.

6. It sounds like you probably have a few travel nightmare stories you could tell.

Hahahah. The worst one is probably when I was visiting London and staying at an Airbnb. I rented a room in an apartment. The host didn’t exactly explain that there would be 5 people in a 1.5 bedroom apartment. The host gave me the bed and he ended up sleeping on a blow up mattress in the same room.

I went to bed wondering what had I done. It was such a dodgy event. I laughed at myself thinking “only you Kara.” But I’m still here, so it turned out just fine. I still enjoy home stays.

7. What is a foreign custom that you find fascinating?

Photo: Peter Van Buren 

Photo: Peter Van Buren 

A few years ago, I was in Japan on a media tour with Yakult, a Japanese probiotic beverage company. They have ladies who distribute Yakult all over the city on a daily basis. Every morning, before they head out for their deliveries, the ladies come together for a 15 minute song and dance routine.

It’s the same one every morning, with the same choreography. To see all these people doing it - it’s amazing.

8. Obviously you joined them, right?

Hahahaha. I watched. I did not join. Maybe next time.

Kara Landau_Travelling Dietitian_Sidewalk Blog

You can follow Kara and her inspiring pictures of superfoods, gut-healthy probiotics and antioxidants on her blog.

Follow Kara on Instagram!

Interview has been condensed and edited.

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