So we have been asked quite often, what started you on the path to "clean eating". In short, "clean eating" often involves little to no meat, and no alternatives and processed foods. In our case, it involve eating mostly organic fruits and vegetables, wild-caught salmon, and drinking green smoothies. Our eating style is varied based on destinations; yet it all started with our 2009 trip to Italy. In both Florence and Rome, Italy we were introduced to the Mediterranean diet. It was later in 2013 after Rhonda's brief illness that we were introduced to two other types of "clean eating", vegetarian and vegan. The differences are highlighted briefly below:
The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation originally inspired by the dietary patterns of Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain. The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables; moderate to high consumption of fish; moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt); moderate wine consumption; and low consumption of non-fish meat.
The Vegetarian diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet but differs in that it abstains from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal).
The Vegan diet is similar to the Vegetarian diet but it differs in that it abstains not only meat but also eggs, dairy products, and other animal-derived substances.
So how does this effect our travel? We essentially take time to read menus and ask about specific ingredients. We start with basics of a vegan diet, but if dairy is unavoidable, then we move up to vegetarian diet. This usually involves salads with little to no cheese. If we crave protein, then we'll move up to Mediterranean diet with salmon as fish of choice followed by seafood. It's a rarity that we eat meat in our household, so often eating out in restaurants is a treat. We are planning a Mediterranean cruise in a few weeks, and look forward to learning more about the Mediterranean diet which is known as "the healthiest" in the world". We are looking forward to eating authentic pasta, Greek salad, hummus and pita, and lemon inspired dishes.
Do you adjust your eating habits when you travel?
My sister and I started the Take A Leap Webseries after we were introduced to several Black-American expats living abroad. And when we decided to visit those countries, we would meet them, and simply video their responses to our questions. The concept was relatively untapped at the start in 2012, and our innovative style even got us an invite to the Oscars Red Carpet in 2013. But now you'll find a vast number of Black-Americans living abroad posting blogs, videos, snapchats, instagrams, and writing books. There are even travel groups that are full-fledged for-profit businesses.
I'm known to get my best ideas when I'm away from home. Sometimes its simply in my car en-route to work, and other times when I'm in the friendly skies. I took notice recently that I belong to a number of travel networks. Many are on social media, and others through subscribed blogs. However, the topics can be varied, easily veer off travel, and I would get "lost" in finding relevant connections. I've also taken notice that in addition to dishing out advice on travel, people continuously question my healthy eating habits. This realization hit me and my sister, and after a short discussion of opportunities that will incorporate our love to talk travel and healthy foods, we decided to start our own travel&food-related network or community. The initial thought was to build a for-profit travel network in our current city, but when I sent out a survey and the results were a little lackluster than anticipated, another idea surfaced.
We would go back to our humble beginning and blog weekly. We would ask family and friends to "freely join" the community by simply responding to posts and sharing with friends. We would then expand its reach by introducing people that we meet during our travels to the website and blog community. In due time, we'll expand to a Travel Chops Webseries. And then get picked-up by some major network like The Travel Channel. Seem simple enough.... :-)
Rhonda & Sharee Washington