How to eat well while over­seas

Kapiti Observer - - WHAT’S ON -

Q: I’m go­ing on hol­i­day to the US for a few months later this year and I’m re­ally wor­ried about the food. I’ve heard it’s very dif­fi­cult to eat well, what are your sug­ges­tions for eat­ing well when over­seas? Thanks, Chrissie.

A:

I think this is a con­cern shared by many peo­ple when they travel. The hol­i­day mind­set for many of­ten means con­sum­ing more al­co­hol and eat­ing out more of­ten. But, there are a cer­tainly a num­ber of strate­gies you can use to make sure you are still able to find and choose nour­ish­ing op­tions.

With the US specif­i­cally and the use of high fruc­tose corn syrup, I would cer­tainly en­cour­age you to avoid or at least limit your con­sump­tion of packet foods. Opt for nuts, fruit, veg­etable snacks and hum­mus (check­ing the la­bel of course), should you need food on the go.

Eat­ing well is ob­vi­ously a pri­or­ity for me, so much so that I will of­ten choose my ac­com­mo­da­tion (when over­seas) based on how close I will be to nour­ish­ing food op­tions. If it’s an op­tion you may like to choose ac­com­mo­da­tion that has cook­ing fa­cil­i­ties to give your­self the op­tion of pre­par­ing your own food. Even hav­ing break­fast in can en­sure you start the day with a nour­ish­ing meal (not to men­tion the cost sav­ing ben­e­fits.)

Cer­tainly en­sur­ing you get enough veg­eta­bles when din­ing out can be an is­sue, so hav­ing a cou­ple of nights in may be wel­comed. The other point I think is rel­e­vant is to eat when you’re hun­gry, not just be­cause it’s ‘‘some­thing to do’’ – eat­ing can be­come in part a cul­tural ex­plo­ration which is part of trav­el­ling but not when you’re eat­ing purely as an ac­tiv­ity.

When you’re eat­ing out you can also do sim­ple things like or­der an en­tre´e sized meal (the US tend to have larger serv­ing sizes), or­der ad­di­tional veg­eta­bles on the side and ask for any dress­ing or sauces on the side. It can also be help­ful to or­der a green juice/or smoothie when avail­able and look for the lo­cal whole­foods store to pick up sup­plies, or con­sider pack­ing a good qual­ity greens pow­der for those days where you just aren’t able to get the veg­eta­bles in.

Q: Should we be soak­ing our grains, sprout­ing our seeds and ac­ti­vat­ing our nuts? Thanks, Ju­dith.

A:

To en­hance their di­gestibil­ity and max­imise nour­ish­ment then yes! If it means you won’t eat nuts be­cause you feel like it is too much ad­min to soak them, then of course it is fine to have a hand­ful for af­ter­noon tea as they are.

As Dr Libby

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fairfaxmedia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

All grains con­tain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran. Un­treated phytic acid can in­ter­fere with the ab­sorp­tion of cal­cium, cop­per, mag­ne­sium, zinc and iron and al­ter their ab­sorp­tion. Nuts con­tain en­zyme in­hibitors, which pro­tect them while they are try­ing to grow.

They are ef­fec­tively kept in a ‘‘hi­ber­na­tion’’ state un­til they are in the op­ti­mal con­di­tions to grow. The en­zyme in­hibitors are there to pro­tect but in some in­stances they can cause dis­com­fort and di­ges­tive is­sues upon con­sump­tion.

By soak­ing and/or sprout­ing nuts and seeds, you elim­i­nate the en­zyme in­hibitors and in­crease your ab­sorp­tion of the nu­tri­ents con­tained within them.

Dr Libby is a nutritional bio­chemist, best-sell­ing au­thor and speaker. The ad­vice con­tained in this col­umn is not in­tended to be a sub­sti­tute for di­rect, per­son­alised ad­vice from a health pro­fes­sional. Visit dr­libby.com.

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