Hola! I’ve been off the record for a while because I have been on a wonderful holiday in Spain! Now that I’m back I have decided to write a few posts about traveling and my trip. I believe that holidays, however grand or small, are a great way to enhance personal well-being. Because food is my absolute favorite part of travel, I’ve decided to kick off with some advice about eating healthy AND indulging while away from home.
First things first, I believe in breaking food rules on special occasions. Today is my first day without chocolate, ham, or pastries since May 16. Yes, that’s right, May 16. This could possibly explain the headache I have right about now. While I try to eat healthy when I’m exploring new cultures, I also make sure to eat like the locals (hence the abundance of ham) as much as possible.
Before leaving I stocked up on some snacks to bring along for the plane ride. I always try to start my vacations eating healthy snacks such as dried fruit and nuts so that I can have local treats once I arrive at my destination!
In Spain I ate some kind of ham every day and sometimes I had ham at every meal. In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t know much about how it was raised and so that goes against how I would normally eat at home. Because I’m not 100% committed to my various food rules, I make exceptions when I travel, especially out of the country. Here’s some jamón ibérico, or ham from black Iberian pigs that eat only acorns or olives towards the end of their lives. In Spain it is very common to have chocolate con churros for breakfast. While I had this on more than a few occasions, the best I had was across from the Museu de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum) in Barcelona. When traveling I always make sure to bring a water bottle so that I can stay well hydrated. Last year I left one of my favorite Kleen Kanteens at Plitvice Lakes in Croatia but this year I didn’t lose my water bottle! In addition to drinking lots of water, Spain has wonderful Sangria which I enjoyed with dinner after many long days of walking. Occasionally in the afternoon we’d sit down for a drink and I would get Fanta Limon. At home I rarely drink soda, however I do have a place in my heart for Schweppes Bitter Lemon and Fanta Limon, which went well with the brat and sauerkraut!In Spain it’s common to be served complimentary tapas with drinks in the afternoon. Many of the tapas were quite fishy, as seen below! My dad and I love olives so we really enjoyed getting these as a pre-dinner snack! And hey, olives are considered a fruit so that’s a bonus, right? Speaking of fruit, it can be difficult to find fresh fruit in most restaurants here and abroad. One thing I love about traveling is going to the various markets. I like to get fruit from the markets and then take it back to my hotel to snack on or have early in the morning before heading out for breakfast, or rather chocolate con churros. I had to get creative with how to wash the berries and cherries! Wouldn’t you just love to have a Farmer’s Market every day in Des Moines! In Zaragoza, we went to the market where they sold fresh fruit, vegetables, and of course, ham and seafood. In Pamplona we went out for pizza that was both delicious and interesting. Have you ever seen segregated toppings like this? One of my favorite discoveries in Spain was how truly great freshly squeezed orange juice is. After drinking the stuff from concentrate my whole life, I’ve decided to make a change. Just today I went out to Kitchen Collage to get a little citrus juicer. Isn’t she pretty? Here are some other pieces of advice for eating healthy and enjoying food when traveling:
- Always have breakfast, even if it’s chocolate con churros! On days when I had that for breakfast I usually had an apple or some nuts to snack on as sweet treats usually leave me feeling hungry after about an hour.
- Bring a water bottle and drink water often. It’s easy to get dehydrated and many times when you think you’re hungry you’re actually thirsty. If you plan on having alcoholic beverages, drink water in between and make sure to properly hydrate that evening and the next morning.
- While you probably won’t hit your 5-9 recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day, try to get some as you’ll need those vitamins and minerals, and fiber to keep you healthy!
Lastly, be adventurous and try the local fare. Food unites people and one of the easiest ways to immerse yourself in another culture is to enjoy the food!
Hasta la proxima vez!