Traveling out of the Middle!

October 26th, 2010

Since this is a blog about food, fitness and all the other great things in life, I wanted to share a story about my favorite food moments while abroad. For anyone who knows me, I am not the most adventurous eater. I am obsessed with keeping kitchen counters clean and following safe handling practices, which is one reason why I do not eat red meat or chicken that comes from the urbanized food system. Even eggs are questionable. Growing up on a farm, I was spoiled with fresh, antibiotic free meat, eggs and produce. The same rules apply to when I travel. Sure, I love to watch my classmates try that odd dish that I cannot either pronounce or understand what it in it, but I love the simple things. Simple pasta with good olive oil and garlic. Rice with fresh vegetables, etc. Boring, but simply and wonderfully delicious. I also love eating meals that have meaning. While in Russia last May, our group gave presentations for the students at the People's Friendship University of Russia in Moscow. We gave lectures on American culture, entertainment, and education. In appreciation for our work, our sponsors threw us a Russian tea party complete with fresh breads and local candies.

Delicious tea party treats in Moscow

Some other moments include hot chocolate in Hungary, enjoying a sunny day by the Danube River. Or authentic sauerkraut and sausage in Munich. Each experience with food allows me to enjoy a familiar dish with a few flavor in a new setting. This is one of the reasons why travel and food exist so beautifully together.

October 23rd, 2010

I LOVE to travel. I have had the travel bug for a few years now, and have managed (on a student salary no less!) to explore nine countries and many different cities. Traveling gives me a sense of balance as an individual. When I explore other countries it gives me a chance to push myself out of my routine and my comfort zone and to experience a culture unlike my own. When I meet new people on my travels, I have the amazing opportunity to learn something new about the world. To have the opportunity of traveling is to be truly lucky.

One of my favorite places was Norway (2009) not only because of its overwhelming natural beauty and cleanliness, but because of their views on fitness and activity.

Sheep in Kristianstad, Norway
If there was ever a place where I felt plain, it was this place. Everybody is BEAUTIFUL. Healthy, happy, blond and shiny, people seemed to breath a sense of confidence and strength that made my droopy butt want to hide in shame. After visiting with students and teachers through the University of Agder, we discovered that biking, walking and activity are ingrained in children when they are quite young, and a fierce dedication to a healthy lifestyles sticks with them for life! ( I know, because an 84 year old woman beat me running!)

One reason why Norwegians are so healthy: lots of shrimp sandwiches!

A few of my other favorite places include (all photos courtesy of myself and my husband!):

Moscow, Russia (2010)

Ontario, Canada (2008)

San Francisco, California (2010)

Budapest, Hungary (2006)

Washington, D.C. (2006)

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2009)

Tel Aviv, Israel (2009)

Denver, Colorado (2010)

Jerusalem, Israel (2009)

Salzburg, Austria (2006)

Munich, Germany (2006)

London, England (2005)