It's tough to summarise the eating habits of an entire nation without resorting to stereotypes but I'll give it a shot..
Breakfast is generally bad - cereal or porridge with (often low fat) milk with sugar sprinkled on top - either that or grains in the form of bread + butter, toast + butter or scones + butter + sugar saturated jam or marmalade -
Breakfast can improve dramatically at weekends when it's very common to have it in the form of a fry-up - This would normally consist of any or all of eggs (fried and/or scrambled), bacon, sausages*, black & white pudding, baked beans, tomato, mushrooms & potato bread - If you're charming enough it shouldn't be a push to request the more primal friendly of these every morning - It's quick, cheap & damn tasty - This would probably be the staple breakfast if it wasn't considered an unhealthy treat**
Lunch isn't really treated as a serious meal - It's more a gap-filler between breakfast & dinner & usually takes the form of a sandwich or whatever is being served at the deli counter in the supermarket that day - It shouldn't pose much of a problem - most places that provide sandwiches will offer a salad bowl equivalent (i.e. sans the bread) & any self respecting deli will have plenty meat + veg - Homecookingwise lunch would normally be whatever's left over from the previous days dinner -
Despite the surge in popularity of rice, pasta et al, dinner rarely strays from the traditional meat + 2 veg - The pro here is that this is extremely primal, the con is that 99.6% of the time the domineering of the 2 veg will be potato in one of innumerable guises - It's not uncommon that the 2nd of the 2 veg will also be potato but in a different form - The question 'would you like some mash with your boiled/roasted/baked/fried/steamed/broiled/grilled spuds?' isn't as unusual as it might sound -
In general you can find anything you want without going too far - You can barely move without tripping over a butcher with locally sourced, grass fed beef, chicken lamb and pork - Fish is fresh and plentiful - Specialist health food shops tend to charge an arm and a leg for items you can easily get in a regular shop - Try Superquinn for coconut oil (cocowel brand is delicious, the stuff they sell in Spar now is septic) - Tesco & Marks&Spencers seem to have extracted oil from every known animal, vegetable & mineral - Although I haven’t come across avocado oil in a while - Rarer items might require some exploration - e.g. I'm off to the African shops on Moore street in a minute to track down some red palm oil - It's a rare house that wouldn't have a larder or pantry filled with fresh fruit and vegetables - farmers markets are spreading like Chlamydia but again tend to over charge for the same produce you can get in a lot of shops and greengrocers -
Also note that you will be force-fed Lyons or Barrys tea (don't ever imply an affiliation with the former if the latter is served in a particular household - This amounts to treason and is still punishable by hanging) roughly every 6 minutes - Although, normally served with a dash of milk & a liberal dose of sugar it's perfectly acceptable, and in some cases considered pretty hardcore, to request it 'black' (without milk or sugar) - Green, white & herbal teas are also gaining traction though in certain circles you may still be ostracised for requesting such -
'Traditional' Irish dishes such as Coddle & Colcannon are a scam to fob off poorer quality potatoes on gullible tourists so don't bother - Irish stew, however, is delicious and perfectly primal, normally comprising of lamb or beef slow cooked in a plethora of vegetables in a tasty broth - It's also funny that, although considered the gold standard for Primal cooking, it's pretty much a given that there's a pound of Kerrygold butter in every fridge in the country..
*most sausages, although ridiculously tasty, are very high in carbs - Some shops, like Superquinn, make sausages in store which can be 85%+ pork & <5% carbs
**The drinking culture in Ireland is not a myth - It's rampant! For this reason you may hear a fry-up referred to as 'lining' (if served in the morning) or 'soakage' (if served in the evening)
Thanks guys. I guess I'm going to have a huge protein deficit if I can't buy my own food which I don't count on. I 'll take protein powder with me, I know it's not healthy anyway, but is there anything specific i should be looking for/avoiding when buying protein powder?
I dunno for sure, but we make Cornbeef, cabbage, and potatoes for our Irish holiday meals......
Ok, not sure where you picked up the notion that you won't be getting enough protein - Apart from weekday breakfasts you'll rarely see an Irish meal that doesn't include a big chunk of meat, fish or cheese - And there's no need to bring protein powder, you can easily source it in Dubin..
Here's a thought.
Is this some kind of cultural exchange program? If so, how about experiencing the culture, including its food. It may be heresy on these forums, but one month will not kill you, you ate most of this stuff for the first however many years of your life?
I would think it incredibly rude to be invited into someone's home, and then tell them that their cooking wasn't up to your standards, and you'd like to cook your own meals.
Just a thought.
I'm actually forced into that family. School (together with my parents) make me do it. So honestly I have no sympathy for people who force me to go to a place and eat unhealthy.
Originally Posted by CE402
I don't know how much free time I'll be having to shop for food. It's a school excursion thing. I'm afraid of losing muscle because I'm an extreme hardgainer so I don't know how detrimental a low protein diet is for a week. Who knows I'll be placed in a vegetarian family who eat nothing but grains.
Originally Posted by Go_Hard
I worked hard for 4 months to just gain very little muscle, I don't want to lose it.
Re sourcing meat, you will probable be able to find plenty of butcher shops, even a lot of the smaller towns have at least 1 here & I from what I know, Ireland is pretty much the same. Also look for local fishmongers which there should be plenty of.
I personally dont buy any meat at Tescos/Asda etc (Large supermarkets) as the quality isent anywhere near what I can get from my local butchers but whats avalible in the large supermarkets is going to be just as good (& sometimes a lot better) than whats avalible in most American supermarkets.
The resentment you feel towards your parents and school for making you do this has what exactly to do with the family graciously taking you into their home?
Originally Posted by Gadsie
A week? A WEEK!
Originally Posted by Gadsie
Reality check time- you will not waste away to nothing in a week. It is a known fact that while it is difficult to gain strength/muscle, your body also hangs onto it as well. A week of bad eating will do just about zero to your long-term goals. Now if you worry, stress and do your best to make a big deal out of nothing, the psycological stress will do more damage than a week of beef and potatoes. Just relax and try to enjoy the week. If you are really concerned about not getting enough protein (doubt that will be an issue; 1-1.5g/lb is for muscle GAINS. Maintinance is far less.) just have some protein powder once or twice a day.
Or not, make a big deal over the smallest thing, insult your hosts and be miserable for a week.
I agree with CE402. It's not even for that long, and you are a growing boy who needs food in general. I would not worry too much about everything that is cooked for you; be grateful that your host family is kind enough to house you and include you in its typical Irish daily life. Of course, you could probably avoid wheat if at all possible, but if you're in a bind, don't sweat it. Enjoy the food!
Although on a side note, if you are forced to eat some sort of cereal or porridge for breakfast, I'd just IF because that shit tastes nasty anyway. Or just drink the milk.