Anyone following me on Instagram will have noticed that I haven’t been keeping up with my account lately – posting rarely, and with none of the usual pretty pictures of my meals. I’ve already written a post about how living here in Santiago is slightly more difficult than back home (which can be found HERE ) but I thought I’d give you all a bit of an update on my diet.
Firstly, I’m probably about 70% Paleo at the moment – all of my meals are Paleo, but often my snacks aren’t and if I’m eating out there is pretty much zero chance of me finding anything. But that’s okay, because I’m here to live and experience Chile, not just live like I would at home. I also have re-incorporated some dairy into my diet, although at the moment only yoghurt, because it is very expensive (i.e. 3x normal price) to buy almond milk or coconut milk here.
Breakfast is normally banana, naturally fermented yoghurt (with no added sugar or chemicals), and protein powder, topped with berries, nuts or dried fruit. The protein powder that I have found is soya protein (I know, not Paleo, but as meat is so expensive here and I am training for a marathon, I had to settle for something) and is chocolate flavoured, so my breakfast looks the same every day. On Sundays, my long run days, I eat oatmeal and nut butter as I normally do back home. As I have mentioned before, I find that oats are the best fuel for 12+ mile runs, and I don’t want to be messing with a system that I know works for me.
My mealtimes have still not totally settled into a regular pattern. Here in Chile, they tend to eat a large lunch at around 2 or 3pm, and then snack on littler things later on. I have started to get into this rhythm, and so will normally have lunch later than normal and then only something smaller later on. These meals will consist of some form of sautéed veggies (onions, tomatoes, courgette, basically whatever seems nice and cheap at the market) along with pieces of ham, and normally either boiled or scrambled eggs. I’ve been eating a lot of eggs recently, as meat is expensive and so are tins of tuna and other fish.
Other meals at the moment consist of some form of sweet potato, either with sweet topping (protein powder mixed with yoghurt, and peanut butter) or savoury (eggs and veggies). I also recently picked up some frozen bags of mixed sea food, which are a bit of an eclectic mix but nice for variety and lots of protein! For snacking, I buy nuts and dried fruit mixes, or chocolate (of course). Unfortunately, girl cravings at my time of the month also have me snacking on cookies…
In the next week, I will be aiming to get back to a predominantly paleo way of life. I finally found somewhere that does large tubs of almond butter for around the same price as at home (WIN) so will be stocking up my cupboards with a plain almond butter and an almond-chocolate variety. Recently, I have dropped back to using peanut butter, which is just not the same and obviously not paleo either. However, it is good as a source of natural fats, and with hiking and running, I have been adding it to my oats to boost my energy.
I will also be buying a big pack of chia seeds, so that I can make chia puddings for breakfasts. This will help me add more variety into my meals, as I feel like I have become slightly stuck in a rut with my nutrition. I don’t want to eat the same things every single day, as I love finding new recipes and new ways of preparing meals. However, finding the time and the ingredients for these things can also be difficult here!
The other thing which I want to note here is that, unlike at home, I am not tracking macros, calories or weighing my foods. It’s something that I do a lot of at home, because I like to make sure I am eating everything in the right proportions. However, here I don’t have a scale, I’m often just cooking on-the-fly and I honestly don’t care too much. I have been having some problems with skipping meals though, especially when I fit in a gym session in the middle of the day and don’t have time to go home and cook something. I need to make sure that I fuel myself properly, especially for my marathon training which will have me running 35-48 miles per week.
I have been toying with the idea of batch cooking meals again, something that I tried for a month or so earlier this year. I found it was a good way of buying and using meat, as often it isn’t possible to only buy small quantities of meat and it needs to be used up quickly. However, I also got a sick a couple of times after I ate food that I had been keeping in my fridge during the week. Has anyone got any ideas to combat that?
Basically, this post is more of a randomised list of everything I’ve been up to (in terms of diet) than anything structured. However, I thought it might be helpful for people wondering just how I’m coping with living abroad, where I don’t think they’ve ever heard of the term “paleo”, and trying to stick with my normal eating habits.
If you’ve liked this post, or want to ask me about anything in more detail, drop me a message below and I’ll get back to you!