Monday, July 9, 2012

The Traveler's Diet

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. One of the mightiest tests of bravery I had to face on this trip was what my stomach was going to swallow down.

Some places weren't too much of a challenge, others were the most delicious thing I've ever experienced, and others were, well, pull the medication out.

I didn't think it would be super hard to try things you hear people eat in other countries, dog? Just chewier chicken! Right?

But when you go to WalMart in another country and they present you with these guys:

Ehhh, I realized not so easy.

I wasn't brave enough to eat any turtle soup, but I can say that I am glad that I opened my mind up, let my stomach churn a couple of times, and have the adventure of a lifetime with what I consumed. I guess I didn't really have a choice half the time, but food is really an experience, and I can say that getting a world sampler plate was eye-opening.

This is what my diet consisted of while circling the globe:
  • LOTS of croissants!
  • British Croissants with cheese and tomato (for breakfast)
  • Fish, lots of fish
  • Shellfish (Um, woops!)

  • Chips
  • Brazilian spicy buffalo wrap
  • Baguette
  • Somebody else's baguette
  • "Fruit Salad" candy
  • British Fruit Smoothie
  • Sparkling Water
  • Some really dry grainy energy bar from Britain
  • French Chocolate
  • MacDoe Chicken Sandwich
  • French Hot Chocolate (one of the two things they served at breakfast)
  • French chocolate croissants  (the second thing they served at breakfast)
  • French Pizza by the Louvre 
  • French chocolate-flavored gelato in a waffle cone
  • Macaroons - From both McDonald's and Laduree, chocolate flavored, vanilla, caramel, and rose flavored? (tastes like perfume in your mouth)

  • French Crepes

  • French fries and salad
  • Oranges
  • The most amazing soft-serve topped Danish waffle ever
  • And then another most amazing Danish waffle
  • Organic apples (they were free at Copenhagen hotel, so we ate them)
  • Danish Parfaes of every sort'
  • Danish Green Drink
  • Danish Smoothie
  • Danish Salad
  • Shawarma
  • Danish "fitness" chicken
  • Greek Burrito
  • Kangaroo Burger
  • Swedish Fish from Sweden
  • Swedish Meatballs
  • McDonald's chicken wrap (in Sweden)
  • Fruit drink from Sweden
  • Swedish protein bar
  • Cereal
  • Some pastry things in Russia with beans, potatoes, apples, or meat in it.  
  • Buckwheat

  • Protein bars, lots of protein bars
  • Kvas (AKA Russian rotten prune juice drink)
  • Salami sandwiches 
  • Many packed lunches

  • Toast
  • Orange Juice (on flights)
  • Weird chicken (on flights)
  • Airborne
  • Chicken curry
  • Green Curry
  • Indian Curry
  • Some other curry that I'm not sure what kind it was
  • Egg Rolls
  • Dragon Fruit
  • Star Fruit
  • Thai Chocolate frozen drink
  • Guava Juice
  • Some Thai fruit Lucy handed to us
  • Spicy Thai KFC chicken

  • Papaya
  • Cream of Spinach Soup
  • Rice pudding
  • Some indescribable Thai fruit:

  • LOTS of Yogurt!
  • Peking Duck

  • Peking Duck had Chinese cabbage, sugar, soy sauce, and crepes with it...Delicious!

  • Egg Drop Soup
  • WonTon Soup (which I discovered had little prawns floating in it - sorry allergies!)
  • A type of chicken or beef dish
  • A Chinese veggie that Lucy couldn't describe in English to us
  • Another dish Lucy couldn't describe besides "it's an Asian plant"
  • A sticky rice ball wrapped in a huge leaf thing with some sweet treat stuff that Lucy didn't have an English word for in it
  • Asian candies
  • Cake-flavored oreos
  • SoyJoys
  • Boiled water
  • More Dragonfruit
  • Chinese IceCream
  • McDonald's Chicken sandwich with carrots
 And just so you know, there was so many other things I could have eaten, but by this point my stomach was twisting and craving a nice bowl of salad full of familiar fruits and veggies in it. But I felt like I went out of my comfort zone and took risks on many things and I'm proud of myself.

And honestly, I probably gained several pounds on this trip, which usually makes me really upset, but looking back I don't regret feeling sick and having to take airborne or tums.

I  don't regret feeling bloated and sick from all the unfamiliar stuff I ate because it was a risk, an adventure, an education.

I don't regret tasting the best things this world has to offer. America's food can be really boring sometimes, but I learned to appreciate what I had in my fridge back home a lot too. To be grateful for the nutritious and accessible food we have. I learned I was grateful for the large glasses of water they serve at restaurants, and faucet water we can drink. I learned how grateful I was to have peanut butter and good french fries back home.

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