Thursday, May 2, 2013

Traveling Healthy Strategy 3: Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day...

Most of the people around me have gotten used to my strict diet, but part of having a sustainable lifestyle change is making your lifestyle reasonable. That means, there has to be times that you allow yourself to let loose, enjoy life, and in doing so, you improve your own mental satisfaction with your lifestyle choice and improve chances for long term sustainability. That's exactly what I did in Taiwan, I allowed myself to enjoy myself and let loose, not for every meal, but moreso than I usually would for my own mental health. Here are my recommendations for things worth trying, even if it isn't Paleo, if you ever find yourself in Taiwan, and also a post to show I'm not a paleo robot

Front Counter and menu at 阜杭豆漿

Stairs leading up to 阜杭豆漿, and line coming out door on weekends
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and Taiwanese breakfast is particularly special. My favorite spot for Taiwanese breakfast in Taipei is 阜杭豆漿, (2樓之28No. 108號, Section 1, Zhōngxiào East Rd, go to Shandao Temple Station, take Exit 5, turn right on Shaoxing St, and you'll see stairs like the one in the picture, and if you go on a weekend a line out the door. Go up to 2nd floor. Hours are 5:30am - 12:30pm.) A picture of a typical Taiwanese breakfast is below. The sweet variety (豆漿, tian doe jiang) comes in cold (reng), warm (woon) or hot (ru), and the salty variety (咸豆漿) is always hot, and includes fried dough, pickled vegetables, and other goodies (the top bowl on the right). Next to that is a egg biscuit (餅, dan bing), which is kinda like a rolled egg pancake. To the left is a rice ball (飯糰, fan tuan) filled with fried dough, pickled vegetables, and shredded meat. To the left of that is the fried dough that's being used in everything else, called literally "oil stick" (油條, yo tiao). Finally in the middle is a thick biscuit with egg in the middle (you can also get it with...surprised, fried dough... see I made some healthy decisions by using egg instead of fried dough? yeah?) (加蛋, ho bing jia dan (egg) or 油條, ho bing jia yo tiao). Anyways, I added the chinese and my version of phonetics to help people order, but in the end, I would highly recommend playing dumb, pointing, and using English, someone will help you, Taiwanese people are quite friendly.

Typical Taiwanese Breakfast
Ok, I'm going to keep these "Traveling Healthy Strategies" going, but after a short break. I might want to call them "Traveling (un)Healthy Strategies" as I keep going because as time went on, I found that my rules just got laxer and laxer... and though I didn't gain much weight during the trip because the portions in Taiwan were smaller, when I came back to the U.S., I had lost a lot of my self-discipline. I just went crazy. I had a hard time saying no to anything, and would have tons of desserts all the time and unhealthy foods. It wasn't so much not being Paleo while traveling, it was coming back after losing my ability to self-regulate, and then being surrounded by tons of unhealthy American food waiting to be gorged on in huge portions. And for that reason, I am embarking on a Whole 30 again in May with Crossfit Palo Alto and will blog about that first in as much realtime as I can... and THEN, I think we should go back to fun foods in my month of earned indulgence.

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