Hello Friends and Family,
When I’m overseas Pinterest recipes become one of my greatest allies. They’re always there for me, popping new ideas in to my head and giving me healthy options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They show me simple dinner ideas I hadn’t even thought of before, and they also provide step by step directions on how to make imitation Cracker Barrel pancakes for those lazy Sunday mornings when you need a taste of home. I take great pride in cooking for myself and eating well because it gives me an accomplished feeling. I love eating healthy and always having fresh fruits and vegetables on hand. I find great recipes that allow me to eat well but not sacrifice delicious flavor. Fueling my body with the right nutrients plays a big role in keeping my body healthy and allowing me to perform well at my job. It should be noted that on some days, particularly the tough ones, Magnum Ice Cream bars also fall under the category of proper nutrients. It’s all about balance, right ladies?!
One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed about living overseas is eating habits. It really is night and day different to me. In America food is so easily accessible to us with fast food restaurants at every corner tempting us to stop in and take the easy way out for dinner. Here in Germany (and same for when I was in France) I can drive on the main road from my apartment to the city which takes about 15 minutes and not pass even ONE fast food restaurant. At home in Raleigh if I drive from my house to downtown Raleigh, which is again about 15 minutes, I pass at least SEVEN fast food restaurants. This is another big reason why I cook at home pretty much every day of the week when I live overseas.
Even our habits at the grocery store are drastically different. First of all, you are responsible for bringing your own bags, bagging all of your own food and carrying it out of the store in Europe. I know this definitely keeps me from buying too much extra food because I don’t want to have to carry it home. In France, no one got a grocery shopping cart. They were available, but I can easily count on my hands the amount of times I saw a cart inside the Carrefour over nine months. People would get enough food for the next few days or that week, and it would fill up their hand baskets. I got so used to seeing smaller quantities at the checkout register, and I conformed to this cultural norm. This habit got me eating a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables and kept me from buying anything of excess.
I can distinctly remember the first time I went in to the grocery store after getting back to America. I was in complete shock. There were endless options everywhere. I was walking up and down the aisles with my eyes bulging and saying, “Ohhhhh my gosh. Ohhhh my gosh.” Seriously, I realized I was speaking out loud when someone walked by and looked at me funny. I was totally overwhelmed by all the options available. Then I remember my jaw almost hitting the floor when I made it to checkout and saw a woman in front of me with TWO overflowing grocery carts. I was disgusted by all the frozen and really just fake foods she had in her cart. I kept thinking ‘what is she going to do with all of that food?!’ I was in culture shock in my own culture! For two weeks after I was home my stomach would hurt after eating fast food and even healthy foods. I think the food overseas is just a lot more fresh and real (if that makes sense).
Now that I’ve covered all that, here are a few of my favorite things! (You can click on some of the meals and be directly linked to the recipe’s website.)
A classic go-to…cereal!
I like to improvise for lunch. I love breakfast for lunch which means either a yummy omelette, a delicious oven-toasted breakfast sandwich, or a breakfast burrito. I also like soup and grilled cheese on my lazy days. I also want to start trying my hand at homemade soups. It’s always different which makes it fun.
PSA: To see more of what it’s like to live and eat overseas, head over to my friend and teammate, Michelle Hackley’s, website MAKE.EAT.BAKE. to see what she cooks up, bakes up, and eats up around the world. I can personally attest that the recipes she shares are delicious and something you will want to try at home. I highly recommend the sushi bowl as I’ve been living off that for the past couple of weeks.