• Paleo Travel Lessons from Abroad — Part 1

    Paleo Travel Lessons from Abroad - Part One | StupidEasyPaleo.com[This is the first in a three-part series about my experiences living, eating, cooking and blogging about Paleo in my past four months abroad.]

    I’ve started this post about the Paleo travel lessons I’ve learned from my time abroad about 37 times in my head, and each time I press the mental delete key back to the start. How to sum up the past four months of life in a different country, travel to new places and the approach of my return back home? It’s been quite the ride, and my emotions are as mixed, as one could imagine. How to make this a teachable moment? Present you with my view of how easy (er, or not) it is to eat Paleo when you don’t live in the US.

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    This map blows. my. mind. It’s the countries which have sent traffic to the blog here in the past six months. Okay, so there’s a bit of a blank spot in central Africa, but other than that, we’re not doing too shabby! It’s absolutely humbling. (Hi to my one fan in French Guiana!) Needless to say, Paleo is huge in the US and slowly trickling out around the globe. It’s easier to do in some places than others, and my experiences living in Scotland for the past four months have given me great perspective on the matter. Simply put, being in the US makes Paleo really easy.

    Why the heck am I in Scotland in the first place? Love of haggis or golf or kilts or whisky? No, just actual love. My better half is Scottish, and we’ve spent the past year and a half traveling between the two countries. (In case you’re wondering, yes, he has a kilt. Only wears it for special occasions, though.)

    When I became a full-time blogger / author, I realized I had the chance to fulfill some travel dreams at the same time. I landed in Scotland at the end of August, have had some great adventures, spent time with him, worked my arse off and picked up some snazzy Scottish lingo all at the same time. (“Go on yersel’, Hen!” being just one of them.) New things are on the horizon—my upcoming book and the Whole Athlete seminar series with Whole9 just to name a few—and I’m preparing to fly back to America on January 1. (Quite the poetic date, but I did it for the cheap airfare.)

    In the past four months, I’ve seen London, Paris, Munich and Salzburg, and my food experiences were diverse. Here in Scotland, it’s been relatively easy to maintain Paleo and find enough inspiration to give you a steady stream of new and interesting recipes. (The lack of daylight, however, has been a challenge. Northern Europe…great for vampires, not so much for food photographers.) Suffice it to say, there have been lessons learned in all this travel.

    While I can’t claim to know everything there is to know about eating clean in every country on the map, I’m going to share some universal tips and advice that will get you through many scenarios; even though the UK isn’t Cambodia and the US isn’t Russia (if you catch my drift) there’s still a lot to pass on. In Parts 2 and 3, I’ll be sharing some of my best practices for short- and long-term travel as a Paleo-eater. Stay tuned!

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    Paleo Travel Lessons from Abroad - Part One | StupidEasyPaleo.com

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    Do you live outside the US? What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a Paleo-eater?

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    29 thoughts on “Paleo Travel Lessons from Abroad — Part 1

    1. Hi!
      First off, just want to say that you are a real inspiration! Your blog, recipes and FB posts really keep me motivated 😉
      I’m an American, who has lived in Germany for over 30 years. I guess the most challenging thing for me is that bread, rolls, potatoes, Spätzle, Knödel and other starches are such an important part of meals here. Not to mention the wonderful cakes. Try explaining to a German why you don’t eat bread!! I just say I feel better without it! So if I’m not at home, what I eat looks a little odd.

      1. Thank you SO much Karen! When I visited Munich, it was definitely interesting explaining to our hosts that we don’t eat bread!

    2. I do NOT live outside the US, but my blog stats map looks just like yours, lol! US & Alaska, woot! I’m excited to read the other parts since I have to travel vicariously through others. 😀

    3. Hi Steph, definitely very interesting to me as an American who has spent the last 9 years in Doha, Qatar. I only began my paleo journey 6 months ago and have certainly had to make some adjustments as it isn’t always easy to find things that you want to cook with after seeing a recipe on Instagram or the like, but you really can make it work anywhere, even in the Middle East. I travel often and am always able to to find things that suit my needs, regardless of the place. Happy New Year, and I hope you have safe travels!

      1. Hi Allison! Wow! Glad to have you here. Totally agree…sometimes there are pre-conceived notions about exactly what to cook, but as you so eloquently put it, it’s possible to adapt it to any situation. Happy New Year to you, too!

    4. hi Steph, I love that you’re starting up this discussion! As an American living abroad (currently in Dar es Salaam, and was in Guangzhou China two years ago), there are always challenges that I face in trying to maintain healthy eating habits!

      My husband and did the Whole30 a few months ago, and though it was doable, there were certainly challenges, and it certainly would have been easier at “home”. For one, we can’t get things like coconut aminos, or coconut flour easily here. I also think it requires more planning than usual when living abroad since there really isn’t an option to just go out and grab a quick lunch or last-minute dinner–no luxury of running over to the Whole Foods to raid their guaranteed-safe salad bar! When we do go out to eat on the Whole30, it takes quite a bit of explaining, over and over, since restaurants and wait staff just aren’t used to crazy diet requests, and even then, you never really know if the kitchen has granted all your requests. Luckily, grilled fish and meats are a staple around here, so we do have options.

      Anyway, very curious to hear the next posts on this topics. Thanks for opening up the discussion!

      1. Sounds like you’ve got quite the experiences to share as well, Jessie. I think the biggest thing for me living in Scotland was to not try to get too fancy with ingredients…as long as I made it flavorful (which was pretty easy to do), I was fine. I found I had to be more accepting of what was on the restaurant menu if I went out to eat as well.

    5. So excited for this series. I have been on a 8 month trip, one month in Germany, six in Uganda and then South Africa and Turkey for the remainder. The thing I have learned is the connivence factor isn’t so easy outside the US. I wanted chicken salad and had to buy four whole chickens cause I couldn’t find canned chicken or even chicken breasts in any of the supermarkets. Used the leftover chicken parts to make a chicken pho.

    6. Hi Steph,

      Hope you’re doing well? Have to say that your blog is amazing – love it from head to toe!
      I’m Lucia, Argentinian born Chinese girl living now in Beijing. Being paleo is extremely difficult in China, mainly because most of the paleo ingredients aren’t available or are very scarce/difficult to find and super expensive. Another big problem is food security in China – many things are disguised as “real” so as to lower costs – creepy and scary! Thinking of starting a blog series as well on how to eat well – a nation that lives on noodles and rice…

      Thanks for all the inspiration! 🙂

      1. Hi Lucia…many thanks!!

        I can totally understand your challenges…it’s so tough when the typical food of an entire nation or culture is something that would be avoided in Paleo. That said, with rice being one of the less problematic grains, defaulting to that over gluten-containing noodles could be an option. I’d love to see you do a blog series for that. If you do, let me know and I’ll link to it 🙂

    7. Hi,
      I’m American, but now live in rural sw France (4 years now). My nearest village is 15 minutes away and has 900 people. We have a fantastic butcher and all the meats are local and from farmers in the area. We are pretty much 100% paleo. I don’t find it hard at all to eat paleo and healthy here….it’s just a choice. The hardest part is when we go out to dinner as the French don’t do many vegetables with their meals. I usually choose a salad and then pass on the potatoes with the meat or fish. We mostly cook at home. All my vegetables are local as well and we only get what is in season. I have made your butternut squash soup many times and it’s a huge hit with my husband. Love your recipes!

      1. I love your point of view on things, Alisa! I found that when I was in Paris, there wasn’t much for fresh veggies when we went out to eat either. Thanks so much for your kind words!

    8. Hi,
      I am french and as Alisa said above, it is not hard to be paleo here when you cook yourself. But for me cutting off bread and croissants and every other yummy things you find in a bakery (that you find every 250meters) is the hardest. I love them and I am not good against temptations, even if I know that my body dont really like them. ^^
      Your blog is great, thank you for sharing with us.

      1. Hi Fanny!! Thank you so much for such kind words. I visited France last year and I can say…being Paleo was a challenge there as a tourist 😉

    9. So interesting your significant other is Scottish, my husband is Scottish too! I’ve been living in Scotland for 5 years now, and for the last 7 months, I’ve been a primal eater. I’ll save my comments for your following post in this small series, but I’ll agree that the US has it so easy for paleo-people. The rest of us just have to do some modern-day foraging instead!

    10. i love when these discussions pop up! i am american and currently live in spain, and have spent most of the past year either traveling or living abroad- I spent 3 months in South America last year, and was able to maintain my gluten-freedom (I’ve been sans gluten for about 3 years) fairly easily- definitely helps speaking the language!

      i also spent some time in england- london is a mecca for paleo/gluten free folks! spain on the other hand.. people think I’m a little weird, but I’m not bothered by it, and there is such an abundance of CHEAP fresh produce and the meat/fish is well priced as well, so at home i eat like a queen, and I’ve managed to figure out how to navigate restaurants for the most part!

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