Getting the right food when you’re across the border isn’t always the easiest. Of course, it depends on what kind of traveling you’re doing. If you’re spending time in another country for a vacation, the chances are that you’ve got the coin to get you some quality food. (Although, you’re also more likely to binge out on unhealthy stuff.) However, staying for an extended period is a little bit of a different animal. So, what does it take to eat healthy abroad? Let’s take a look at the reasons people default to unhealthy food and how to avoid the pitfalls of living overseas.
Eat Healthy Abroad With Home-Cooked Meals
It’s so easy to look for convenience foods when you’re living abroad. After all, you are likely staying either in a hostel or alone – probably different than what you’re used to at home. So, buying a candy bar at the local vending machine might be your lunch in your eyes. But, it’s important to keep your strength up and spend your money on quality produce. One way to do this is to actually utilize the kitchen that you have. Some hostels have small kitchen areas, and most apartments have a stove at least. Of course, the key is not using up too much space or making it such a difficult endeavor that you’re unlikely to take it up. So, keep the dish simple: one pan. Make some vegetable pasta, or look up other one-pot meals you can do on the stove without hogging the hostel kitchen while everyone’s waiting.
Eat Healthy Abroad With A Vegetarian Diet
Even if you’re not vegetarian, you have to admit: meat costs money. And, that’s true especially in other countries, where meat and dairy aren’t subsidized by the government. So, it’s actually more economically friendly to eat veggies over meat. And, that’s true whether you’re eating out or buying groceries. Opting for vegetable options means that you’ll pay as much as several dollars less per dish. And, as long as you’re still getting protein (cheese is a good way to do that, if you have no qualms about cheese), you could also stay healthier in general by eating a vegetable-based diet.
Eat Healthy Abroad With Assertiveness
One of the things that you learn how to do while abroad is say “yes” more often. But, one of the things that you should always be aware of, especially if you’re living somewhere for an extended period of time, is how to say “no” too. And, if your friends are constantly wanting to eat out at unhealthy places, it’s okay to say no. Of course, you want to be assertive when the culture deems it okay to do so. Because, some cultures regard food as a gift, and in your efforts to eat healthy abroad, you may end up offending someone. So, keep your assertiveness to restaurants and other places where it’s okay to say no to food.
If you’re traveling abroad, it doesn’t have to be a sticky situation when it comes to your diet. Do some research into the foods of the region. You may be surprised at how healthy many cultures already are.