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Thread: Post Europe-holiday depression page

  1. #1
    Isis's Avatar
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    Angry Post Europe-holiday depression

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    Warning: Rant/whingeing ahead:

    I've been away from MDA for a while.. Last 6 weeks I was lucky enough to travel around Europe and the UK. Before I left I kinda thought to myself, if some really yummy food presented itself on my holidays, coated in grains/sugar/processed/legumes - would I eat it? And I made the conscious decision that yes I would, I'm on holiday, I WANT to taste some macaroons and pastries and eat spanish rice. I want to eat traditional foods! So I admit, I was bad during my holiday - VERY BAD from a primal perspective. I indulged in homemade bread and pretzels, gelato icecream, and cakes. I'm sorry Primal Lord for I have sinned :P

    So this little trip was the first time I have not eaten primal since joining MDA (or fell of the primal wagon?). I thought I'd come back home, and start giving up grains/sugars again, back to how I was. not so easy. You see, while overseas, I couldn't help but notice how people in Europe are all bloody slim!!! No one is fat! (London is a different story, being a westernised country with conventional wisdom and all). I noticed Europeans are active, they walk and bike everywhere, their food produce is from local farms and fresh, and I think their wine is organic... how can all these Europeans be so fit and active and happy and despite eating bread with lunch and dinner, rich cakes and pastries for breakfast and dessert, pancake slices in their soups, and pasta?

    So my problem, (besides post-holiday-depression), is trying to rationalise that yes primal is the best way to live by, even after witnessing people in foreign countries getting by fine with eating grains. I'm having a hard time going back to primal I've been regularly eating white rice, chocolate bars since being back home. One night I even ate lollies, pancakes for breakfast at friends, and some crackers and turkish bread with cheese at a party (I already do dairy). Its not like I'm eating bread daily, I think I'm more pissed off that my weakness for convenient chocolate bars has resurfaced, and in social gatherings I'll have a nibble of crackers loaded with gluten/wheat. And if rice presents itself, I end up having some rather than saying no like I used to! dammit! I've also been eating lots of potatoes- I never used to!

    I just had a flip through the before and after photos thread to try to re-vamp my love of primal and to remind myself what I love about primal.
    My primal journal
    25yo female, height 5'7"
    goal weight: 60kg / 155lb
    goal fat%: 20%

    current weight: 70kg / 154lb

    “The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.”
    ― W. Somerset Maugham

  2. #2
    Farfalla's Avatar
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    The Europe you described is not the Europe I know. Granted, we walk more because our towns are not as generously spaced as yours, so many things are within walking distance. Also, public transport networks in Europe tend to be good, reliable and affordable. And fuels are ridiculously expensive because of taxation.

    Many people buy processed food at supermarkets. Those who buy fresh food from local sources are a minority. A steadily growing minority, it seems, but still. Cooking is a lost art in many European households. And it's not like everyone is slim: Battling the Couch Potatoes: Hungary Introduces 'Fat Tax' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

    To sum up, you may be far ahead in obesity and horrible eating, but we've been catching up.

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    What Farfalla said. I lived in the Netherlands for 10 years and believe me, the term "fresh local food" just isn't happening. The Dutch invented factory farming and the country is too small to grow enough veg to feed everyone there. At the markets you see in all over, most veg comes from the same places as what you get in the supermarkets. I tried in vain to find a good health food store when I was living there and just couldn't. And interestingly, in the time I lived there people started getting fatter. When I first moved over it was rare to see anyone, especially young people, that were even a little pudgy. Right before I left I was seeing muffin-tops galore. And very few people there cook from scratch. I think it's gotten a bit better, but "home made" meant buying a boxed meal and assembling it yourself. Granted, finding full fat dairy products was no problem, there was a great selection of sausages, pates, cheeses and raw hams that I really miss. I liked the old school butcher shops, cheese shops and bakeries, but most people don't procure all their food from these shops.

    In the traveling I've done some countries seem to have fewer overweight people than others, but a lot of it is based on how wealthy those countries are and how much they bike or walk. When you're on holiday you tend to see the place through rose colored glasses. I used to drive with my ex-husband so we were seeing life outside of the bigger cities, and we knew people in many of the countries so would get an insiders view, often staying in their homes. It's not always as it seems or how they often present themselves to outsiders.

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    Just remember the heart disease and cancer rates in Europe.

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    I live in the UK and when I've been here or in Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Austria etc) I've seen a load of fat people. OK< so some are slim. They could well be the ones who don't "do" grains, processed food etc.

    Also, it is still easy to get natural, minimally processed food and cook from scratch. Organic, free range meat, farmers markets, vegetable markets - all sell good food.

    But just today I went to a Tesco and when I see the aisles packed full of massively processed food (it hardly even RESEMBLES food) and see the stuff in people's baskets -I can see why they are the shape they are.

    I'd love to know which bits of Europe you've been to, to go back home with such rosy - tinted spectacled views of our skinny locals!

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    Well, the Europeans tend to visit NY, LA, and San Francisco when they come here, so they don't get the full picture of Americans either. Go to Texas or most anywhere in the midwest and you'll see a huge # of really very, very unhealthy people, and the statistics show that the US is far fatter than Europe. Also, our processed food tends to contain much more sugar than yours, major products are reformulated such that the US version always contains lots more sugar.

    To the OP: There is a message there, which is that portion sizes do matter, daily slow movement matters (Euros walk a LOT more), and that it's not all about evil carbs but a combination of things which includes the amount we eat and when we eat it.
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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    Oh yeah, I'd forgotten to mention portion size, but that's also a big one. Eating in a restaurant in the states is always funny with Europeans. The first time my ex's daughter was over we went to dinner and she ordered a club sandwich. She freaked out when they brought it out. "This is all for me??? What?" And the appetizers the size of a meal as well.

    Heh, and my parents took us to one of those all you can eat glutton-fests. Playing shock the European is fun, but to be honest, after not living in the states for years it freaks me out as well.
    Last edited by Blackcatbone; 10-18-2011 at 07:51 AM. Reason: addition

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    Farfalla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbone View Post
    Oh yeah, I'd forgotten to mention portion size, but that's also a big one.
    And not only for food. I think I have never seen free soft drink refills anywhere in Europe. I believe that many of the additional calories that Americans consume compared to us are liquid calories.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farfalla View Post
    And not only for food. I think I have never seen free soft drink refills anywhere in Europe. I believe that many of the additional calories that Americans consume compared to us are liquid calories.
    Oh, yeah - a 32 oz soda (large) contains 310 calories of pure HFCS according to fitday. That's quite the punch to the liver, and many, many americans do that more than once per day. I would guess / estimate that lots of Amerians are eating 1,000 calories / day just from processed sugar and Europeans just simply don't do that in my experience.
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farfalla View Post
    And not only for food. I think I have never seen free soft drink refills anywhere in Europe. I believe that many of the additional calories that Americans consume compared to us are liquid calories.
    True, true. I believe that soft drinks are mostly made with HFCS there as well, but most will have a normal sized glass once, maybe twice a day, if that. Young people drink a lot of energy drinks, which is pretty bad, but the giganta-drinks don't exist.

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