I'm currently planning a 1+week trip through Europe for Easter break (I'm on exchange in Norway, might as well). Problem is, I like the way I look and feel right now. Food is also my sole reason for traveling to other countries, so not eating is right out.
So how can I see Europe while staying primal? I'm bringing snacks and emergency food, but I'm going with a small backpack, two sets of clothes, and a camera idea; 1+week of making beef jerky and pemmican won't cut it. I may also intermittent fast more often on the trip (and it saves on precious money).
Or just bite the bullet, carpe diem, then clean up the mess later? That suits my style, but I'm asking you guys.
I guess the underlying question that makes this question apply more universally is "Going paleo: is being a stress-bag ever a good idea?"
asked byNickW (578)
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on March 11, 2010
at 12:33 AM
You are lucky that you are going to Europe, have fun, we have the most amazing paleo food here. In France you will find for instance 'steak tartare' in restaurants - raw beef, and it won't be expensive if you choose your dining places carefully, just pick the most homely looking people with the friendliest faces and you're onto a winner.
Even going to the supermarket you will find great cuts of meat: everything from grass fed beef to liver to pig's trotters, if you are cooking/camping yourself it will be easy to fix a high meat/high fat meal with a few fresh veggies on the side or go into any restaurant at lunch time and have the 'plat du jour' - usually a paleo's seventh heaven, simple and delicious meat and two veg, just ask for another legume instead of the potatoes and don't eat the bread which is always on the table. And because everyone stops for lunch, you will find it is not expensive at all.
Further on into Europe you go, you will see much of the same, as long as you avoid the UK (lol). Eastern Europe has some wonderful peasant dishes, which OK, are more agrarian, perhaps sauerkraut and sausages or stews, but they are nothing to be sniffed at and will be even cheaper - go to the tourist offices in these places and get a list of the small privately run farm lodgings and they will almost always give you hearty traditional food, just skip the bread, which by the time you get to Germany and beyond, will be heavy rye.
In Spain there is 'tapas', cheap and readily available everywhere, with a huge variety of gorgeous fish, meat and veggies to pick and choose from. Holland will be big on hams and cheeses as in France, but if you choose raw cheese and pastured ham, you maybe compromising a little, but to no great detriment to your health.
Italy means avoiding pasta, but they only traditionally eat it as a starter anyway, so just go for the 'piatto secondo' or the part of the menu that says 'carne' - meat. If in doubt stay near the coast and you really can't go wrong, even in the UK.
I am not sure on your budget, but if you are coming from Norway, the prices in mainland Europe are very reasonable in comparison; I would make simple restaurant eating a habit, esp. if it is only for a week or more, and you will be absolutely spoiled for choice. Tell the waiter you want meat, they will adore you for it - the French, Spanish, Germans and Eastern Europeans are hugely proud of their amazing variety of meat dishes, from peasant fare right through to the best filet mignon. (The people who should be worried about travelling around Europe are actually vegetarians, vegetarian dishes are few and far between esp. in the countryside)
It actually will be better than relying on emergency food, even if you live off the local market ham and sausages for a couple of weeks, the quality is outstanding and prices very good.
there will be absolutely no need to fast - that would be a crime!
p.s. there are even raw milk vending machines stationed through many towns in France and Italy now, even one Ljubliana, the capital city of Slovenia. Go to MilkMaps.com for Italian machines.
on March 10, 2010
at 11:44 PM
I don't know where you are going, but I didn't have a problem finding reasonably paleo food in other countries...it was the desire to try everything that was the problem.
I traveled through Eastern and Central Europe mostly. Choose your battles. I enjoyed macarons in Switzerland...at least they are gluten free and tiny, but I wish I had skipped the strudel in Austria. I was traveling with friends and the social pressure was what led to things like pastries, though later on in the journey I learned to say no and to not be afraid to go get sausages while your friends nosh on some stupid cake.
In terms of totally delicious paleo food, I really enjoyed the mangalitsa sausages and foie gras in Hungary, the pork knuckles in Poland, the duck in Estonia, the speck in Austria...Europeans LOVE meat that's for sure.
on March 10, 2010
at 11:33 PM
On a special occasion like a trip in such an interesting place I would just go with the flow- try to eat as clean as possible, but not stress over treats or foods that aren't perfect.
There is no point being on a trip where you are paranoid over every little thing. It would take the joy away. (There have been people in Mexico this year who paid good money to get here and then stayed in their rentals all the time to stay away from mosquitoes!)
If you happen to fast occasionally that won't hurt a bit- in fact it will help. Have fun!
on March 11, 2010
at 02:22 PM
I travel all the time on business in the UK and in the rest of Europe. The thing that brought me to paleo originally was the search for a healthy weight reducing diet that I could follow while travelling. Because I travel so much I try to compromise as little as possible.
Breakfast - In the UK you can get a reasonably cheap fry up with bacon, eggs, sausages and tomatoes almost anywhere. Beware of the sausages in cheaper places. They will be full of bread. In most other European countries it's hard to get a not too bready breakfast without paying a fortune. I usually go to a supermarket and buy hard boiled eggs, packs of ham, local cheeses, full fat yoghurt or 'quark' and nuts.
Lunch and Dinner - Avoid fast food. Go for cheap local eateries and experience the real regional cuisine. Most restaurants are very willing to offer a substitute for starchy foods (called a "satiety supplement" in the old DDR - lol) when you choose a meat dish. Continental Europe has lots of traditional foods that can be amazing value, all kinds of offal in particular. There will be some slip ups like sauces thickened with flour, mayonnaise made with seed oils and sugar in salad dressings but they tend to make up a smaller proportion of your food and one week of that won't do you much harm.
on March 11, 2010
at 12:27 AM
You might try staying with foods such as:
- Whole milk
- Various meats
There are enough different varieties of those from one country to another to make for a very interesting and satisfying food-oriented adventure.
Also, particularly when eating out, don't be afraid to leave some of what they serve you behind; there's no shame in not eating some piece of bread or cookie or fruit or whatever; just stick with the good stuff.