Where to Go for the Best Food Outside the U.S.

Food is one of the best things about traveling. Different cultures offer a rich variety of various cuisines, tastes, and textures to explore. Here are some of the absolute best locations for trying some of the best local food in the entire world outside of the United States.

Italy

When it comes to European cuisine, it’s hard to beat Italy. While some places on the continent can offer choices that lean a bit bland (hello there, England), Italian food is world-renowned for a reason. It also happens to be quite far removed from cheaper American equivalents. 

What makes Italian food shine is the freshness and quality of its ingredients. You’ll find pasta that’s been hand-stretched by a chef who’s been making it his whole life. You’ll find tomatoes, garlic, wine, and olive oil that’s produced locally and also happens to be some of the best in the world. 

Mexico

Mexican food is similar to Italian cuisine in the sense that the American version doesn’t hold a candle to the authentic, homegrown reality. Mexico offers an incredible variety of delicious foods. Even options that might sound familiar—burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and chimichangas–will often be radically different from what you’re used to seeing. 

Other foods that aren’t as well known in the states merit a shoutout; chilaquiles, elotes, and mole definitely deserve your attention. Visit major cultural centers to get the very best options. Mexico City is a fantastic choice. Punta de Mita in Mexico has many great restaurants that serve great local cuisine. Make sure to try some local drinks as well!

Japan

From the American perspective, Japanese food might not always seem the most accessible. Common food like sushi or seaweed can sometimes be off putting to some of the pickier eaters in the west. But you will never regret trying to widen your culinary horizons in Japan. Why? Every region has unique, seasonal delights. Everywhere you go, the food is unusually high quality. The street vendors at festivals may have options that you find unfamiliar but you will never regret trying them at least once. Both the savory and the sweet are exemplary–and Japan has mastered the use of the elusive umami flavor.

 

The U.S. has great cuisine–there’s no doubt about it. We contain a wide variety of foods from a huge range of international countries. New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia–we could go on and on! But it simply is not the same as getting the authentic option on the shores of the country itself. 

 

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How to Get a Better Grasp of a Country’s Culture

Traveling abroad is one of the greatest experiences you can have. The opportunity to explore a new country and culture is a great learning experience and it can help you expand your view of the world. When you travel, there are a few things you should do to make sure you get a full experience of the culture.

Experience Local Arts and Entertainment

Local art and entertainment are great ways to experience a country’s culture. Art is shaped and influenced by the cultural happenings around it and learning about the local art can give you a great insight into the history of a country and what they value. Different cultures value and produce different forms of art, so make sure you take in a variety of experiences. 

Entertainment is also a great way to see what is important to the people who live in different countries. You can often find performances that are meant to introduce tourists to different forms of dance, singing, and other performing arts. These are great opportunities because they include explanations of what you are experiencing.

Understand the Local Food Culture

Food is a unique experience while traveling and one that many people love. Having the opportunity to try locally prepared cultural dishes is a great way to expand your taste buds. While traveling, try to avoid fast food. Look for local places that are popular and well-established restaurants that focus on authentic food. 

You should also expand into the less touristy areas to find food that is truly local and less of a tourist trap. If you enjoy cooking, you can also attempt to make some of the popular local dishes. Taking a cooking class can help you learn how to use fresh local ingredients. It can also help you figure out how to replicate your favorite recipes once you return home.

Talk to the People You Meet

One of the best things you can do to learn about the places you are visiting is to talk to the people around you. Many people are willing to talk about the things unique to their home. They want to have a conversation with you! If you try to experience a country’s culture without talking to anyone, you will likely miss out on some of the wonderful things that aren’t as obvious, or you may form an incorrect impression. If you are a little worried about talking to strangers, look up local tour guides. Not only will they be great at helping you understand the area you are visiting, but they can also give you tips for the best places to visit on your trip.

 

Make sure to take the opportunity to learn about the cultures around you while you travel. The world is a wide and fascinating place, and you never know what you may encounter. You may find your new favorite food, or you may find somewhere you want to retire to when you are older.

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How to Avoid Letting Meat Go to Waste

Approximately 22% of all meat purchased in the United States goes to waste and is thrown away. This is not only a waste of good food but also a waste of money, especially since meat is one of the more expensive food items to buy. By being more conscious about the meat you buy and how you store or use it, you can cut down drastically on meat waste. 

Find Creative Uses

One of the reasons why you might be letting meat go to waste is because it can be overwhelming sometimes to cook a full-on meat dish. Instead of thinking that you have to prepare a fancy steak dinner every time you have meat in your fridge, think of the meat as just another ingredient to add to any meal. 

You can be very creative in using your meat like making rice bowls with meat, putting meat in sandwiches, adding strips of meat to salad, or having a taco bar with various types of meat. By using your meat creatively in smaller portions, you won’t be stressed or uninspired when using your meat. 

Freeze It

If you can’t eat all the meat you buy before it goes bad, you should save it in the freezer instead of throwing it away. Make sure that you mark how old the meat is and vacuum seal it. Vacuum-sealing meat in the freezer can preserve it for longer and prevent freezer burn. 

Whenever you choose to thaw the meat, take care to thaw it properly for optimal texture and taste when you cook it. Avoid refreezing meat since this can degrade its quality. 

Buy Smaller Portions

If you notice that you are constantly throwing away bad meat, that means you aren’t finishing the meat you buy before it spoils. A simple solution to this problem is to buy less meat. When you are at the grocery store, don’t be pressured to buy the largest package of meat just because it may be the best value. Only buy what you know you will be able to finish. 

 

Once your meat has spoiled, you need to throw it away. Spoiled meat has many bacteria and fungi that can make you or others who eat it very sick. By properly freezing or eating meat before these bacteria and fungi can grow, you prevent these pathogens from entering your fridge and food. 

 

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Who is the Paleo Diet Best For?

The paleo diet is based on evolution. When you are on this diet, you only eat what ancient generations of humans must have eaten. This means avoiding processed foods, which can lead to many benefits for various groups of people. However, since the paleo diet includes drastically cutting out large groups of food, it may not work well for all people.

People Who Want to Lose Weight

Many people who go on a diet are often looking to lose weight. The paleo diet is especially helpful for this because it includes foods that are extremely satiating in fewer calories. Processed foods are typically full of calories but aren’t very filling, leaving you hungrier faster. 

On a paleo diet, however, you eat unprocessed foods which are denser and more nutrient-rich, keeping you fuller for longer. You are able to feel satiated in fewer calories when eating unprocessed foods, so you can go into a calorie deficit and lose weight faster.

People With a Gluten Intolerance

Gluten is present in nearly all processed foods. Even things that you wouldn’t think to have gluten, such as sauces, contain it. Unfortunately, many people today also have minor to major gluten intolerances. 

These intolerances can lead to uncomfortable bloating, gassiness, and cramping. Unprocessed foods tend to be free of gluten. Thus, the paleo diet is great for people who experience minor to major gluten intolerance.

People Who Struggle With High Blood Pressure

The paleo diet can also help lower blood pressure, which makes it a great option for those who struggle with high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to long-term serious health problems such as heart disease or stroke. Because the possible side effects of high blood pressure are so severe, it is important to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. This can be done by making adjustments to your diet or even switching over completely to a paleo diet.

The benefits of the paleo diet are very extensive. Switching to unprocessed foods can be very good for your body since it wasn’t originally designed to take in processed foods in the first place. As with starting any other diet or making significant changes to your diet, you should assess your overall health, needs, and lifestyle to see if paleo would be good for you. 

If you choose to start the paleo diet, monitor your body’s reactions carefully for the first few months and make adjustments as needed.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Here’s more to read. Signs You Need to Make Changes to Your Diet

Diet Changes You Can Make to Feel Better

Do you constantly feel sluggish, overweight, unenergetic, and unmotivated to exercise? If so, you might need to make some changes to your diet and eating habits to help you to feel better, physically and emotionally. Here are a few diet changes you can make to feel better. 

Eat More Vegetables 

First, make sure that you’re eating more vegetables. Vegetables are high in vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients, and low in sodium, sugar, and fat. Certain vegetables can even be very hydrating since they have high water content. Eating enough vegetables can help you to become healthier, and even prevent the development of health issues and conditions. 

Most adults should eat around 2 to 3 cups of vegetables every day. Many adults don’t eat enough vegetables, and therefore don’t get an adequate intake of the vitamins and nutrients that vegetables provide. 

Eat Less Fast Food

Next, try to eat less fast food throughout the week, even if it seems like a super easy option. The term, “fast food” doesn’t only refer to restaurant food like hamburgers and fries. Fast food could also refer to packaged, processed, “ready-made” foods you could buy at the grocery store. For example, you could buy a freezer meal of chicken nuggets or pasta alfredo. These meals likely don’t have a high nutritional value and won’t help your diet very much. 

Unfortunately, western diets contain lots of processed and high-fat foods. To avoid eating foods that are low in nutrients and high in fat, you’ll need to pay special attention to nutritional labels and avoid fast and easy solutions.

Drink More Water

You should also be adjusting your diet by making sure that you’re drinking plenty of water each day. Most adults should be drinking between 11.5-15.5 cups of water daily, depending on their gender. Your recommended water intake might also increase depending on your lifestyle and level of physical activity. Meeting the recommended daily minimum water intake will help your body to function correctly. 

It will help your digestive system to work properly and flush toxins from your system. Water will also help hydrate your joints, muscles, and skin, helping you to look young and stay healthy and active. If you have a difficult time drinking enough water, try flavoring your water with fresh fruit or healthy flavors with low added sugars. This can provide some flavor variation, making drinking sufficient water easier. 

So, if you feel that you need to make some adjustments to your diet to live a healthier life, remember these tips. Make sure that you eat more vegetables, eat less fast food, and drink more water. These tips, along with other healthy lifestyle habits, can help you to look and feel better long-term.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Here’s more to read: Kitchen Tools Essential for Anyone on a Paleo Diet

How to Have a Great Food Experience on Your Next Trip

Going on a trip is a great way to immerse yourself in a different culture, sights, and new experiences. For many, food is integral to this experience. To have a great food experience on your next trip, you need to know what to look for, learn to make the food, and take a tour.

Know What to Look For

For a great food experience on your trip, you need to know what to look for because not every local place is of the same quality. To help you in planning your food experience, it may help to read blogs and reviews for suggestions. These will help you know which local food will be the best. 

Vlogs are another great option because it offers a visual of the food as well as the overall experience. Another way to know what to look for is to ask for recommendations from people once you reach your destination. You can ask people like hotel attendants or taxi drivers.

Learn to Make the Food

Learning to make the food can help to immerse yourself in the food and the culture of your destination. Some local chefs offer cooking classes you can take to learn how to make the food. During cooking classes, you can learn about the local cuisines, the ingredients, and the important dishes of the culture. 

You can even learn new cooking skills. Taking a cooking class can also help you interact with other food travelers or locals.

Take a Tour

Before you take your trip, look into local food tours at your destinations. These tours include eating at local restaurants, cooking classes, and visiting places like wineries. A food tour will take you around the city to places like this which will allow you to learn about the culture while enjoying good food. You will get to try foods you haven’t before and some you may have never found on your own. A food tour can also serve as inspiration for other activities on your trip. As you do your food tour destinations, there will be other attractions that may pique your interest.

Food is such a wonderful way to immerse yourself in your trip. You can learn so much from the area and culture through the food. This will help you make wonderful memories. Some planning and research can help ensure you will have the best food experience.

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Kitchen Tools Essential for Anyone on a Paleo Diet

No matter what type of diet you choose to have, having the right kitchen tools can help you make healthy meals. Doing some research into essential kitchen tools can help you be better prepared for cooking for yourself. Invest in these kitchen tools to help you cook healthy, paleo meals for yourself.

A Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets are one of the best and most versatile kitchen tools for any type of diet. These skillets are excellent at conducting heat and are more durable than most other pans. Cast iron skillets are also much less expensive than the high-end pans that do the same job. However, there are some steps that you need to take to keep your pan in good condition. Cast iron skillets cannot be washed like regular pans. Traditional dish soap removes some of the oil from your cast iron skillet, and can eventually cause it to rust. To preserve your skillet, rub the pan down with a layer of salt, and season it with oil.

Good Meat Knives

Another important kitchen tool for any paleo diet is a quality set of meat knives. When preparing any type of food, having the right kind of knives can make the process significantly easier. A chef’s knife is an important tool used for a variety of purposes. Chef’s knives can be used to chop herbs, vegetables, meat, and nearly every other type of food. However, to be truly prepared in the kitchen, there are several knives that you should invest in. Many home goods stores have knife sets that contain the knives you need for a complete kitchen. A paring knife, chef’s knife, and carving knife can all help you better cook the food you love.

Vegetable Spiralizer

As the trend toward paleo diets becomes ever more popular, there are more ways than ever to replace carbs in your diet. One way to replace pasta in your diet is by investing in a vegetable spiralizer. This kitchen tool allows you to transform vegetables into the shape of spaghetti noodles, and enjoy them instead of the carb-loaded traditional noodles. The traditional choice for vegetable noodles is zucchini, but you can spiralize a variety of vegetables to incorporate into your meals. 

When you begin eating a paleo diet, you must have the necessary tools to cook for yourself. Having the right kitchen tools can help you make more healthy dishes that fit your lifestyle. Invest in these kitchen tools to help yourself make the best paleo dishes you can.

Check out this article on how to practice principles of food safety in the kitchen!

Essential Tools Everyone Cooking Meat Needs

If you’re a meat-lover, then you know that cooking meat can be a real challenge. It’s not as simple as throwing some chicken breasts in a pan and calling it dinner. There are a lot of different techniques and tools that you need to know about in order to cook meat perfectly. Here are the three essential kitchen tools that every meat cook needs. With these tools, you’ll be able to cook any cut of meat like a pro. 

A Meat Thermometer 

A good meat thermometer is an essential kitchen tool for meat lovers. With it, you can cook your steak to perfection, ensuring that it is evenly cooked throughout. The thermometer will also help you to avoid overcooking your meat, which can make it tough and dry. Additionally, the thermometer can be used to check the temperature of other foods, such as casseroles and pies. This way, you can be sure that they are cooked all the way through and are safe to eat. So if you are a fan of perfectly cooked meat, then a meat thermometer is a must-have kitchen gadget. 

A Good Knife 

For the meat lover, a good knife is an essential kitchen tool. Chef’s knives can serve many purposes in the kitchen. These purposes range from chopping vegetables to slicing meat. But for the meat lover, a good knife is especially important for one key reason: carving. A sharp, durable knife is essential for carving roasts and other large cuts of meat. With a good carving knife, you can easily slice through tough meat without tearing it or losing flavor. And when it comes to carving, precision is key. A good carving knife will help you to create beautiful, evenly-sliced pieces of meat that will impress your guests and make your meal even more enjoyable. So if you’re a meat lover, make sure you have a good carving knife in your kitchen – it’s an essential tool for any meat lover who loves to cook.

A Good Cutting Board 

If you love meat, then you know that a good cutting board is essential for preparing delicious dishes. After all, no one wants to eat meat that has been chopped on a dirty, bacteria-ridden surface. A cutting board provides a clean, safe place to cut the meat without worrying about contamination. In addition, a good cutting board will have a smooth surface that is easy to clean. Cutting boards come in a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, and glass. However, if you’re serious about your meat, then you’ll want to choose a cutting board made of wood. Wood is more durable than other materials and won’t dull your knives as quickly. Plus, it has a more traditional look that will make your kitchen feel like a professional steakhouse. Whether you’re slicing up a filet mignon or carving a Thanksgiving turkey, a wooden cutting board is a perfect way to make sure your meat is properly prepared. 

So there you have it – the three essential kitchen tools that every meat cook needs. With these tools, you’ll be able to cook any cut of meat like a pro. So don’t wait any longer, get out there and start cooking! 

Check out this article on how to practice principles of food safety in the kitchen!

Signs You Need to Make Changes to Your Diet

Making sure that you are healthy and feeling good is important to living a full life. But it can be difficult to manage all the elements it takes to keep your health in check. Starting with one thing, like your diet, can help you to improve your health in a more manageable way. But first you have to know whether your diet needs help. Here are a few signs that you need to make some changes to the way you eat.

You’re Always Tired

There are many reasons why you might be tired, but regular fatigue often points to a problem with getting enough important nutrients in your diet. If you are noticing a trend of being tired no matter how much rest you get, it is a good sign that you need to change your diet in some way. Getting enough iron, B12, and vitamin D canl all impact your energy levels, in addition to many other important nutrients. Before taking supplements or adjusting your diet, talk to your doctor so you can find out what you are lacking and how you can add them to your meals.

Difficulty Digesting

If you are having difficulties with digestion, it can also point to a problem with your diet. Some bodies have a difficult time processing particular kinds of foods. For other people, their diet is unbalanced which means their digestive system doesn’t have what it needs to keep them feeling great. Problems with diet can lead to all kinds of digestive issues. For example, hemorrhoids can cause unpleasant symptoms that eating more fiber prevents.

You’re Hungry

If you are eating regularly but you are always hungry, it likely indicates a problem with your diet. Either you aren’t eating enough, or you aren’t getting enough of the nutrients you need. Changing the kinds of food you eat can help you to feel more full and to improve your overall health. Protein is especially important to having energy and feeling full after finishing a meal. Make sure you are getting enough protein to keep your energy levels up.

Your diet will have a profound impact on the way you feel and how you experience your day to day life. It’s important that you make alterations as necessary so you can feel better and do more. Talk to your doctor or a dietician if you have questions so they can help you to improve your diet in a positive way.

Check out this article on vegetables that make sides in a paleo diet!

Vegetables That Make Great Sides in a Paleo Diet

Paleo diets can be great for people searching to live a healthier lifestyle. However, sometimes it can be difficult to maintain if you don’t know how to keep a balanced diet of different types of food. One of the great food groups that you should regularly be eating in your paleo diet is vegetables. The good news is that there are many ways to cook vegetables to add to a delicious meal. Here are a few different kinds of vegetables that make great sides in your paleo diet.

Root Vegetables

First off, root vegetables make great sides in paleo meals. There are various kinds of root vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, carrots, and more. One easy way to prepare root vegetables is by making a mashed side, such as mashed sweet potatoes or yams, that can be topped with salt, pepper, and mix-ins. All of these vegetables can also be easily air fried to make crispy fries, bites, or hash browns. Oven-roasted root vegetables are also delicious and easy.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Another great group of vegetables that works well for different paleo sides are leafy green vegetables. Vegetables like kale and spinach help your teeth stay strong. Leafy greens are very easy to throw together in different kinds of salads. Kale and spinach are also great when cooked with different kinds of proteins and vegetables and served warm. They can even be used as a breakfast side in a small omelet. Leafy greens are very healthy for you and can be used in practically every meal.

Other Veggies

There are a number of other paleo vegetables that can be steamed, roasted, or air fried to make delicious side dishes. Veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts can be prepared in countless ways that will add nutrition and delicious flavors to your paleo meals. Some people even like to use cauliflower to make rice or pizza crust to include even more servings of delicious vegetables in their main courses.

Working more vegetables into your paleo diet can take some work at first, but it’s not too hard once you get the hang of it. Remember, there are tons of veggies that you can use and multiple ways to prepare them to make delicious side dishes. As you take the time and effort to include a variety of veggies in your daily meals, you’ll find that you feel better, and it will be easier to maintain your diet.

What you eat is just the beginning of your start to a healthier you. Check out my Wellness Picks for tools, products, and tips that will help you achieve greater wellness.