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Ochsner Eat Fit Food Guide to New Orleans Festival Season 2024

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It is festival season in New Orleans! Many people love Mardi Gras time, but growing up in New Orleans, festival season is when I come alive, y'all! It's the music, the weather, the people, the culture, and the FOOD! Growing up here, festival season always felt special; It is the one time of year we have access to some of the most coveted foods this unique city offers. And as much as I love Fried Soft-shell Crab Po-boys, Crawfish Enchiladas, and the ever-favorite Crawfish Monica, I also know that stirring in some nutritious eats is what will truly keep me grooving and thriving through this glorious time.

It may not seem like the reason for the season to seek out healthy and nutritious options during this time of the year, but I beg to differ. Many New Orleans staples are surprisingly nutritious, which is where Ochsner Eat Fit enters the picture. From Shrimp Remoulade and Crab and Artichoke Citrus Salad at FQF to Jama Jama and Shrimp Macque Choux at Jazz Fest (plus that oh-so-crave-able rosemint tea!), Eat Fit loves highlighting festival food that tastes great and nourishes, too.

Let Eat Fit guide you though festival foods

Whether you're heading to French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest, or Creole Tomato Festival, allow Eat Fit to guide you through all the best eats these fests offer. Find full details and nutrition facts on the free Eat Fit mobile app, available for Apple and Android devices.

We are thrilled to partner with vendors at French Quarter Fest for another year of fun, and we are back at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, too! Look for the Eat Fit seal on menu boards this season. Indulge, and fuel yourself!

Eat Fit French Quarter Fest favorites

French Quarter Festival, presented by Chevron, has made it easy for us to determine which options are nutritious, working with the Eat Fit team to add the Eat Fit seal to vendor menu boards.

Some of my favorite Eat Fit dishes at French Quarter Fest include Jacques-Imo's Café Crab & Artichoke Citrus Salad, Tujague's Restaurant Original Shrimp Remoulade, TJ Gourmet's Alligator Sausage Kabob with Zydeco Sauce, and 14 Parishes Jamaican Jerk Chicken. Can you say yum?

The full list of vendors, including notations of the Eat Fit options available, are online at www.frenchquarterfest.org.

Ochsner Eat Fit is at Jazz Fest!

We are keeping the good times rolling and are thrilled to announce that we have again partnered with The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell! All the Eat Fit-approved options will be labeled on menu signs with the Eat Fit seal for ease of access, and you can also download the free Eat Fit app available for Apple and Android devices) for a complete list of options, including which food zones they are in, and nutrition facts.

I don't know about you, but when people ask me who I'm most excited to see at Jazz Fest, I reply with, "What am I going to eat?!" This year, there is a full lineup of Eat Fit-approved dishes that I can't wait to get my hands on. Smoke Street Catering is doing a crowd favorite, Fried Brussels Sprouts, Carmo has Handmade Tacos, Ba Mien Vietnamese Cuisine is offering both a Beef and Shrimp Skewer, and of course, Sunshine Catering's unsweetened Rosemint Herbal Iced Tea (y'all know it is going to be hot out there – hydrate!) Plus, a staple is back this year and it is making us happy dance. Bennachin will have the Eat Fit approved Jama Jama and Poulet Fricasse back in Congo Square!

I encourage you to live it up this festival season. How lucky are we to live in a place where all of this is possible? Fulfilling your fest cravings can absolutely include looking after your health goals. With a game plan in place, we can savor the festival season in a way that suits our complete wellness best.

Emma's tips for fest food planning

My festival food plan starts with breakfast, always. This can be as simple as unsweetened yogurt and fresh berries or a protein shake that I've blended up (I like to blend protein powder, oat milk, and frozen fruit like strawberries and half of a banana. This is my ideal breakfast on the run.)

Before heading out for the day, I'll check out what's available (tip: check out food vendors and menus online ahead of time; the Eat Fit app also helps with this) and narrow down the options of what's crave-worthy and nutritious, while also leaving space for a couple of indulgent favorites. What works best for me is to enjoy those seasonal favorites while also game-planning for my nutrition and wellness goals.

Speaking of goals, I treat festivals as I would any other social event regarding food. Keeping a healthy balance in eating is what it's all about for me. I look for dishes centered on lean proteins and veggies whenever possible, being mindful of refined carb sources, fried foods, and creamy, rich dishes. I know how these foods taste (trust me), but I also know how these foods leave me feeling when I haven't counter-balanced for my health, and I love feeling my best at the fest.

For up-to-the-minute festival finds and wellness + nutrition in general, follow Eat Fit on social: @EatFitOchsner.

You've got nutrition questions. We've got answers. Schedule an appointment with a dietitian.

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