For lunch, we’d stop at a market and buy something like this every day:
1. 6 nectarines
2. 6 large carrots (I never saw baby carrots in Europe)
3. A loaf of whole grain bread (a comedy of communication errors in a bread shop in Paris taught me that “complet” is the word in France to describe whole grains!)
4. Some local cheeses and mustard and tomatoes for the bread (read John Robbins’ Food Revolution on how European meat/cheese is highly government regulated and not full of antibiotics, steroids, infected pus and other lovelies, like the U.S. products contain)
We’d wash the fruit and carrots, toss all the stuff in a backpack, and stop in a park somewhere to eat each day, like on the steps of the chateau at Versailles in the photo below. Part of the fun was going in the little local grocery markets to see what they have. In Barcelona we bought loaves of the most amazing fresh-baked 6-grain bread just across from our hotel, every morning. Finds like this make you feel at home in a strange city and add to the sense of discovery and accomplishment in your travels.
And dinner we would eat in a restaurant. I’m certainly not going to take my kids to Italy without letting them try gelato, and pizza! (Of course, the pizza bears no resemblance to what is offered here in the U.S., is much better for you, and you can get many lovely vegetarian pizzas, one of the most popular being topped with mounds of raw greens.) Ditto Barcelona, where we enjoyed the paella (vegetarian, of course) and gazpacho. And France? I did not, myself, try the white bread (I’ll tell you why tomorrow) but let the kids do it once because my husband thought it was somehow important in their “experiencing” France. And of course they did fall madly in love with crepes (I’ve never tried that hazelnut/chocolate spread, Nutella, in my life before–I’m going to have to make a mental to note to stay away from it, because it was yummy on crepes). So, we did indulge, but always with a big green salad (never forget Step 2 of 12 Steps!). The Europeans have lots of watercress and other lovely greens that we consider exotic here.
Amazingly, even without my green smoothies, and despite a few servings of gelato and crepes, I came home the same weight and had lots of energy each day for our adventures.