Being an aspiring raw foodist, a question I heard a lot before leaving for Spain was: “So how do you keep up any diet while living abroad??” Well, the answer is right in between pastries filled with chocolate and visiting the fruit store everyday.
Of course, it wasn’t very practical to pack up my juicer or blender and bring them with me, so I had to cut back on the raw food part. To make up for that, I found a little restaurant in Madrid that made delicious vitadrinks with goji berries and oranges and lots of other fresh foods.
I lived with a host family, so they provided all 3 meals everyday. I didn’t have to deal with the grocery shopping thing, although that is what I would recommend to anyone traveling abroad. Eating out for every meal gets extremely expensive. So even if you’re only buying junk food from the store, at least it will fill you up for a lot less than what you would be spending at any restaurant.
It took a couple of weeks to get a routine down. For breakfast, I would always eat fruit. Almost every morning there was a plate of watermelon waiting in the fridge for me. For lunch and dinner, my Señora always cooked but would also set out a hearty salad. So to keep up a somewhat raw lifestyle, I made sure to stick to 50 % salad, 50% whatever she cooked.
Now, I wasn’t perfect everyday. Yes, I did give in to the olive oil potato chips, the pastries with chocolate, and indulged in gelato once or twice or… multiple times. But, this is a lifestyle. It is okay to enjoy the sweet things now and then. Especially, while living abroad!!!
Since leaving Madrid and my established little eating routine behind, things have become a lot harder. I’m staying in Germany with my fiancé and the salads are scarce and the fruit non-existent. First, any traveling – in trains, planes, etc. dehydrates you. You have to really supplement and drink lots of water anytime you travel to make sure everything still works at greatest potential. I flew to Germany, and took several MegaHydrates to supplement my H20. I can tell my body has gone into a ‘shock’ since being here.
I feel like my body is having a negative reaction to everything. The first few days, I didn’t have any fruit in the mornings, and I was only eating a fraction of the salad I was eating in Spain. Needless to say, my face is broke out, things are clogged, stopped up, and…stinky. Yes, I went there. How to fix/avoid this problem? Now that I’ve been in Germany almost a week, I have finally collected some fruit and salad supplies; but, if I could go back in time, I would have prepared a little differently.
So, basically my conclusions are:
1) When traveling to a new place, your body will go through and ‘adjustment’ phase and you may experience some adverse reactions to not only the food, but the climate, etc. Supplements, and vitamins will help with these.
2) a clean diet is the best diet, avoid all processed food abroad. It is tempting, but you must resist.
3) strive to always eat your best while knowing not everyday will be a perfect day, and
4) always. plan. ahead.
Food is something that connects people across cultures and is one of the pleasures of life.
My advice: If you want to keep up your healthy lifestyle abroad, it is possible. It all comes down to decisions, and making the right choices. I do recommend indulging when you feel necessary. You may end up hating yourself if you don’t, and eventually give up the lifestyle all together. The most important thing while being abroad is your health! The worst thins is being sick, or feeling tired and groggy while traveling. You can even make a game out of finding the most exotic fruits and vegetables that you can’t find in your home country!!!
As my favorite and most admired raw food expert David Wolfe would say, “Have the best trip ever!”