Supermarkets and cherimoya fruit….

One of the more difficult things about adjusting to living in a foreign country is getting used to buying foods and the ranges available to you. Add to the mix two people with quite complex diets and it gets all the more complicated.

Since we have been here we have been shopping mainly in two supermarkets; Eroski and Carrefour. Carrefour we know from our time living in France as they are a French chain. They are probably the equivalent to T*sco back in the UK. A little on the pricey side but useful for things like raw cheese and they sell 8 litre containers of water for less than a euro. Eroski is cheaper so we shop there the most but they don’t have the same range.

Organic produce seems to be non existant here with both fruit and veggies and also organic meat near impossible to find.

Hubby went back to eating meat after his adrenal and thyroid glands started to fatigue and it was suggested that eating animal products again would help. It has and so it is something that he doesn’t want to drop just yet. Back in the UK we sourced a supplier of organic, free range and grass-fed meats and poultry and were happy in the knowledge that the meat was the best that we could get. It was very important to us both (me more so) that the animals had experience a ‘good’ life and weren’t factory farmed and full of steroids, antibiotics and the like. Our butcher, Paul, was only to happy to share his knowledge with us and knew exactly where all the meat he sold had come from and what they had been fed on etc etc…..Fast forward to here and we were stumped as to where to go to get what we needed. As a result hubby hadn’t eaten any meat since we left the UK.

Thankfully after a lot of searching we found a little organic supermarket and managed to get some organic free range chicken. I’m not sure if it has come from such a good source as back home but for now it is the best that we can do.

Some of the things in my diet are a little difficult to cater for as well and I was beginning to run low on the supplies that we had brought with us. The organic supermarket stocked some of the things that I needed. I was really pleased to find some coconut butter although I later discovered that the top inch is fine but under that it is all rancid – not happy and it has to go back. It was all on the expensive side though and so we still needed to find another source.

It was then that we discovered another supermarket on the outskirts of Malaga called Hypercol. Another french chain we think and a little Aladdin’s cave as they had a large organic section which sold a lot of the produce that I was looking for. No coconut butter but a lot of the other things that I needed. I was a happy bunny and spent a good half hour mooching around and filling the trolley with lots of goodies. Still no organic fruit and veggies but we are half way there at least.

They did have some Cherimoya fruit though which I had been wanting to try for a long time. They grow well in this region and are also known as ‘Custard Apples’. They are larger than an apple but there skins quite similar in thickness. Inside they do have the texture of cold custard and they were just yummy. They reminded me of strawberry yoghurt and I soon munched my way through it. My only complaint would be that they have too many pips which are really quite big so you spend a lot of time picking them out, but, that said I will definitely be having some more.

So, it would seem that perseverance is the name of the game when getting used to shopping in a new country but we got there in the end and now at least can get most of what we need. We are also trying farmers markets as I’m sure they will work out more cost-effective than the supermarkets but haven’t had too much luck with them yet. I’ll let you know as we have another to try this weekend……..fingers crossed.

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Food for thought…..

As you all know I am a big fan of raw food – I mean that is what I set this blog up for, to document my journey with raw foods. Several people have emailed me this week asking me for advice on going raw and where to find information about it.

When I first went raw I didn’t know anyone personally that ate in this way and so I looked to the internet for information and advice, and then got very confused. Everyone seemed to be saying something different and they all seemed to disagree with each other. Some ate just fruits and swore off nuts and fats, some disagreed with eating lots of fruit and said nuts and fats were where it was at. Some took supplements, some didn’t, some ate raw gourmet, some balked at the mere thought of it. There were and still are some very ‘militant’ raw foodies out there who aggressively defend their way of eating and flat-out crucify anyone who doesn’t agree with them. That I didn’t and still don’t like.

Over the course of time I began to work out that if I was going to have raw foods in my life on a permanent basis then I had to do it my way and stop listening to anyone else. I had to start listening to what my body was telling me about the foods I was putting into it.

And so, over the last 4 years I have learnt so much about the way I like to eat. In no particular order this is what I have discovered so far:-

  • Eating my food raw gives me an energy and buzz that I get from nothing else.
  • I love fruits.
  • I love salt!!
  • Cacao makes my heart race in a not good way.
  • Carob doesn’t make my heart race and tastes just as good as cacao.
  • I LOVE coconut butter – so does one of my cats.
  • Too many nuts give me wind and cramps – sorry if that’s too much information!!
  • Avocados – yum, yum, yum
  • I like gourmet raw food but as much of it is nut based I can’t eat too much without feeling – well see above
  • I enjoy eating very simply.
  • I still enjoy eating light cooked food on occasion anything too heavy is still nice but leaves me feeling bloated, overfull and just plain uncomfortable.

I don’t know what is around the corner with this way of eating. My main priority is having A1 health and so far so good. I will continue to eat this way for as long as I feel the best that I know I can. As soon as that changes I will change the way I eat.

Today I was catching up with a fellow raw foodies blog. She has been a vegetarian for 13 years and a raw foodie for about 4 years and yet health problems have meant she is now eating meat and dairy again. Apparently a lot of long-term raw foodies are now including some animal products back into their diet because of similar health problems. These problems include low thyroid function and adrenal fatigue. My ears pricked up at this as, of course, these are health problems that hubby suffers from too and the reason why he went from being a vegetarian of 15 years to eating meat again. Emmmm…..there is something there for sure and confirms what I have long thought and that is what is right for one person is not necessarily what is right for everyone. I have been a vegetarian for 24 years and don’t suffer any of these problems – we are all different and have different needs so how can one diet fit all????

That is why I would and never will advocate that the raw food diet is something that everyone should be doing. Sure I think everyone will benefit by including more raw food into their diet but perhaps 100% is not for everyone.

So, if I had to give one piece of advice to any raw food newbie out there it would be to take it slowly and to listen to you and your body and not what everyone else tells you should be doing.

More recipes and why I love my man!!

Winter warmer soup is one of my favourite recipes for warming cold hands and toes, which going by all the comments of Facebook I would say that everyone in the UK and Ireland could do with at the moment, and its a cold soup – go figure. I’m going to post the recipe up on our new Options Online Health Club, so if you haven’t already joined follow the link and sign up.

It’s quite a spicy soup as it has red onion in it and tonnes of garlic so yesterday I toned it down a little and made what came out to be a rather tasty Cream of Tomato soup.

The ingredients (to serve 2)were as follows:-

  • 4 Large tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • Half a red pepper – as it was sitting looking lonesome in the fridge
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Small squirt of shoyu sauce
  • Pinch of Himalayan rock salt
  • About 1/2 pint water – warmed if you want

Simply peel the tomatoes and then whizz everything together in a blender, taste, season accordingly and allĂ­ va (there you go!!) two bowls of delicious tomato soup.

The second half of today’s post concerns my man!! He is an engineer by trade and very much a left brained, technical kinda of guy as opposed to a right brain hippy chick like me. Anyway being left brained doesn’t hold much appeal for me – I’d much rather be out looking for fairies than working some complicated problem out so it’s just as well that I found myself a man who thrives on a challenge and solving little problems.

Spain is short of water and so the showers on site are the annoying type that you sometimes find in Leisure clubs. The sort where you have to press the shower knob in continuously to get a constant water flow. It’s not easy to shower one-handed and a little annoying but hey ho I was just getting on with it. Little did I know that hubby was coming up with a solution. He asked the other day if I had one of those large paper clips (the thick metal ones) which I found and off he went with it. Yesterday he proudly presented me with his solution to our water flow problem. He has fashioned the paper clip into something that fits around the shower knob and behind the tiles which then holds the knob in for you. Brilliant. So now I am enjoying my showers again and marvelling at the wonder that is my left brained man. I never would have thought of that solution in a million years.

Oh and it’s finally stopped raining and the sun has made a reappearance. Just in time for the weekend which is a bank holiday here in Spain so the campsite is likely to be busy as the Spanish come to enjoy a few days off.