Our beautiful template for infinite variety of greens and superfoods in your smoothies— print this and eliminate the need for recipes!

get it now for free!

What did we pack/eat in Europe . . . part 1 of 2

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Aug 23, 2008

I saw a request by a blogger while I was gone for even more detail in the question I’m always asked: what do you eat?   This blogger asked, what EXACTLY did you eat, where were you when you ate it, how much time did it take in the kitchen?   I think she wants to know–do you live the crazy, on-the-run life I do?   (And therefore, GreenSmoothieGirl, can I really believe what you say?)   I had to laugh because I had just logged all the soccer games and practices for this week, at 4 a.m. having woken up early due to my weird jetlagging.   Every single day this week, Monday through Saturday, we’ll be running around to games and practices!   (And that’s just soccer–obviously our life consists of more than that.)


I’ll work on that blog in the near future, thanks for the request.


Europe was a tricky trip and I want share how we went and ate well (5-10 raw vegs/fruits daily) without hassle or excessive expense.   We had NO green smoothies because you don’t go to little European hotels with an appliance, nor will an appliance company cover your warranty if you blow it out with the weird plugs in various countries.   Plus, we had flights from Venice to Barcelona, and Barcelona to Paris, with strict weight requirements.   A turbo blender is just too much weight.


We packed these things in our suitcases to take with us:


  1. Powdered greens.   This saved us, nutritionally, in the absence of GS!   I’d stir a spoonful into a glass of water for everyone, morning and night.   Learn from my mistake and double-bag just the powder in freezer bags so it doesn’t break on the return trip.   (This will save space, versus taking the whole bottle, anyway).  
  2. Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, Costco Granola, and Rice Dream.   Double bag the rice milk in gallon Ziploc bags–two fit perfectly in one bag.   Remove the Grape Nuts from their boxes (we bought the big Costco ones) and add another layer of protection with a gallon freezer bag.   You don’t want these things exploding in your suitcases.   Taking these whole-grain packaged cereals lets you avoid being at the mercy of “continental breakfast,” which is never, in any country, an option that will give you sustained energy for the day.   Even restaurant breakfasts (which take time from your touring and are expensive) are pretty much never nutritious.   We bought bananas in the market, upon arrival, to add to our cereal.
  3. Paper bowls and plastic spoons (for breakfasts).
  4. Snacks from Whole Food Farmacy.   All of their many snack foods are delicious, and they just changed their business model (away from multi-level marketing, thank goodness, to simple direct sales) and were therefore able to lower prices across the board!   That’s rare nowadays with food prices just going UP, so jump on it.  

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about lunch and dinner.

Posted in: Nutrition, Parenting, Robyn Recommends

11 thoughts on “What did we pack/eat in Europe . . . part 1 of 2”

Leave a Comment
  1. How do you get your husband and kids to eat like this? I have gotten my husband and 16 year old son to change a lot of their diet to be healthier (a lot less sugar, only whole wheat flour, etc.), but they would never give up meat and some other unhealthy things. I could never convince them to eat a carrot, fruit and bread for lunch.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Did you pour the rice milk in the bags or did you put the whole carton in instead?


  3. http:// says:

    Cartons in the bags. (Pouring it in bags . . . that would never make it . . .)

  4. Anonymous says:

    We travel a lot. When we arrive at our destination, we head to the grocery store and buy cans of beans, any kind, and a loaf of whole wheat bread. Then, for lunch or dinner we pick up a McDonalds side salad (only $1.00) for each of us, open the can of beans and put it on our salad, and eat it with the wheat bread. I know the salad is mostly iceberg lettuce, but it’s all we can do not being able to wash greens. It works for us, it’s cheap, and we feel we’re doing our best to eat right.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robin,

    I just happened to read your blog about your trip to Europe. I’m European and I personally think that in Europe it is not hard at all to eat healthy. (depending where you go) You must have noticed that there are a lot of markets where fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available. (France and Italy) Yes, some countries are big on meat but in Italy many restaurants serve crudites as a first course for lunch or dinner with olive oil. One of the things I do whenever I travel in Italy or France is to have lunch as my mail meal and just “nibble” if I still want to eat afterwards. In the more northern European countries (NL, Germany but also Austria and Switzerland) there are very good health food stores where you can get everything you want with regards to healthy food. Like you and many of your readers, I also enjoy green smoothies but whenever I go “home” I do what I used to do when I was living there and I don’t think I have ever poisoned myself. (When in Rome…) I also take a green powder with me and also a good fiber supplement. Both my husband(Canadian) and I (Dutch-Canadian)find North America and UK more difficult in that regard. How much we do like to eat healthy, (we and our daughter tend to eat mostly vegetarian and vegan with a lot of raw food), we find that in North America the aspect of “enjoying” your food is often overseen and neglected. In restaurants food portions are way to big (even the good onces) In case I do order a desert I have to share it with three people. I do agree with you that once you start eating very “clean” eating somewhere else can be tricky(also in Europe) but as a European I do want to point out that we do not have the obesity and eating problems that I have seen in North America and I stand up for a way of enjoying life that may be is not always perfect but definitely FUN!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    what do you call the vita mineral green in your store–and is it gluten free?

  7. Anonymous says:

    is it gluten free?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Is the Costco granola you refer to in this post the Quaker Natural Granola (two-pack bags) or something else? I just want to make sure I get the one you recommend 🙂 Thanks for all the helpful information!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the response! We just made your granola from 12 Steps for the first time last week (and sprouted some sunflower seeds to add), and it is so delicious! We’ll just make sure to always have enough on hand so that if we travel we can put some in baggies to bring along 🙂 We tried it with Rice Dream and with almond milk. Thanks again for the tips. I have yet to try freezing the smoothies to thaw on a trip – I’ll try that next time too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.