Coming to Portugal has been one experience to narrate about, and I really cannot express the much fun it is to be here so far, despite the loads of adjustment to do! So this article shall be the first of many about nutrition when abroad.
I remember packing for Portugal and one thing that I never forgot was to carry tea and coffee sachets, which I thought would be the most important at the time. However, settling in, I began missing a home cooked meal, far from the Portuguese dishes that included extra spices and lots of meats and less of vegetables. So I took a walk to the grocery shop to find an easy to cook meal, Ugali and vegetables (read kales).
With the language barrier, I knew it would not be an easy task, so with my best friend Google, I looked around for maize flour(Farinha Milho) and kales(vegetais verdes) to quench my thirst for Ugali and plain skuma*. My search however, was not fully successful and had to settle for yellow maize flour also known as Katumani* in my mother tongue and found absolutely no kales in the groceries that I visited. (I hope to find some soon enough).
So I went back to my apartment and made yellow ugali, made some eggs and some tomatoes! (I promise to do better ASAP). This was my lesson of adjustment! I am now in the process of finding greens and other vegetables to complement my carbohydrates and proteins that are in plenty
1. Always carry small portions of desired raw food items that are familiar in your luggage. These in my case would have included maize flour for example.
2. Take lots of water before flights to avoid dehydration. A detox session when you arrive to your destination would be best especially if you only had plane food during your flight. Airline food is not remarkable and can be really upsetting. Carrying snacks in your handbag can be a great way to maintain your healthy eating habits.
3. Eat only what you are familiar with, omitting what you cannot recognize from restaurants and airlines. Some foods may not be fresh and may cause serious stomach upsets.
4. After arriving, ensure you stick to your usual nutrition habits since your digestion system may not work well with foreign food. Start the day as usual with some lemon water or high fiber cereal or yoghurt depending on your preference and adjust as you go by.
I am thankful for this new chapter and let’s keep the hashtag #AskTheNutritionist going!