An international adventure does not feel complete to me without a trip to the grocery store. I love seeing how individuals of my host culture shop for their daily necessities and what they value, nutritionally. Plus, if the trip is a longer one, buying a few meals from the grocery store (if it's the right stuff) usually gives the digestive system, and wallet, a little break from all the indulgent restaurant foods. In this photo, we're enjoying a homemade breakfast on our honeymoon after a trip to the local market.
Here's what I look for when grocery shopping abroad:
I like finding nuts, high fiber bars, and fresh fruit to carry with me when I'm traveling. Nuts are pretty straight forward since they don't often have added ingredients (unless they're candied). As for reading nutrition labels on bars, in latin-alphabet languages, calories will usually look like a derivative of the actual word "calorie", or a derivative of the word "energy". Sugars tend to take the same place in a nutrition label worldwide, near the bottom of the list, above percentages of nutrients. When shopping for fruit, try to ask around (or research ahead) to know what's seasonal and remember to wash your fruit with bottled water if you're traveling somewhere with unsafe tap water.
As with meal planning in the states, I like to look for whole grains, clean proteins, and easy ways to sneak in vegetables. Most recently, on our trip to Spain, I made a veggie-based pasta with onions, zucchini, tomatoes, and garlic. I added in some local sausage and it was a tasty, easy meal. Not only did it give us a little nutritional boost, the flavors were familiar, which can be a nice change of pace on a long trip.
I hope you'll enjoy incorporating this new tradition of a grocery run and home cooked meal on your next international adventure!
It feels good to be productive again after a good, long break for the wedding and honeymoon. Spending time with my new husband has been wonderful! Our wedding day went so smoothly, traveling to Morocco and Spain was very blissful, and setting up our new home has been exciting. We especially LOVED the food we ate (and ate and ate) on our honeymoon! While the countries we visited have some very fresh offerings, from Morocco's fresh mint and sweet dates to Spain's incomparable seafood and good quality olive oil...we certainly indulged in the not-so-beneficial fair as well. That's part of life! We work to build up resilient systems so we can afford to enjoy when the season calls for it, right?
And this new season of being home and getting back into the swing of things calls for a RESET! My body was craving more consistent healthy food by the time we touched down on American soil, so I'm grateful that the summer lends itself marvelously to cleaning up one's diet. We immediately found a local farmer's market (woo!) and stocked the kitchen. I'm going back to the basics: no refined flours or sugars. This automatically helps me to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into my diet and gets me into my own kitchen (because let's face it--spending so much of my time in client's kitchens sometimes hinders my own meal prep energy). And while I usually allow for "free" weekends, in which I eat whatever I want because my appetite is controlled, I'm giving myself time to retrain that appetite and sticking to "whole grains and naturally occurring sugars only" for all 31 days of July (yes, I managed to eat well on the 4th!).
Interested in trying out this simple, whole foods reset too? For some inspiration, here's what was on my menu this week:
-Plain greek yogurt with homemade peach crisp
-A sprouted wheat bloop bloop sandwich
-Coffee with maple syrup and organic half and half (always)
-Organic, grass fed hot dog on a whole wheat bun (yes!) with homemade potato salad and watermelon
-Grilled steak and zucchini
-Peanut chicken and brown rice bowls
-Organic corn tortilla chips w/ organic shredded cheddar (aka nachos!)
-Peanut butter, banana, and cocoa "smoothie" (tastes more like a milkshake)
-Fruit juice and fizzy water
-Peaches! Peppers! Berries! I love summer produce.