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Eat Like the Locals Do

Have you had snails in France? What about chicken feet in Asia? Hot dogs from a stand in New York City? What about that local Thai place that's new on Deliveroo?

A vegetable and bread appetizer board

Eat like the locals do, but stop being scared of it.

One of the sure fire ways to experience a country's culture is through their food. Local cuisine is always done well, don't you think? You'd hardly trust that the pizza you'd get in your local town would be as tasty as the pizza in Italy itself.

Would you be scared of trying new foods? Sure, as the saying goes, "when in Rome." What if you didn't have your morning constitution, does that mean you need to have familiar foods in case something worse is brewing? How can you enjoy local food if you are genuinely conditioned to want the foods that you're so used to having? Why wouldn't you eat like the locals do?

In Empowered To Go LIVE, a hot point of contention has been food fear and how that impacts nutrition choices. Clients have expressed:

The need to have all meals planned for the week, because otherwise you'd be left to your own devices and might not make "the best choice."

Wanting to try new foods while in a new country, but scared that you'll enjoy them and be that much more annoyed that you allowed yourself to enjoy new foods that turned out to upset your stomach later.

The desire to shift the mindset of "good foods" and "bad foods," when you're outside of your own kitchen and self- sabotaging a culinary experience because "fast food is bad" or you've "reached your target carbohydrate intake" for the day/ week.

Hearing this, from individuals who are supposed to be worrying about bigger things like wedding planning, project management, and performing, highlights a bigger concept that needs to be brought to light.

Food fear has a less ideal correlation with digestive distress.

In spending so much time being in your head and worrying about whether your meal will make you sick or not, whether the temporary enjoyment is worth the future discomfort, or when to let yourself go off plan, you create a mountain out of an ant hill.

You create an anxious state, which in turn decreases the open contraction/ release of digestive sphincters, decreases the blood flow around the gastrointestinal tract, and decreases food- associated enjoyment.

Can you change this? Where do you start? Will it even make a difference?

These questions went through my head too, when I had finally recovered from post- infectious gastritis and was questioning my own ability to enjoy food outside of my own kitchen again. These same questions are addressed in Empowered To Go LIVE because digestive distress starts by being in an anxious state. The more you think about it, the more you get worked up about it.

And if you've been contending with a dodgy tummy for weeks/ months/ years, you have every right to be second guessing your next bite.

Here's a thought I will leave you with today; local is always done well.

In working with dozens of 1:1 clients, and now in ETG LIVE, a pleasantly surprising discovery for high performers has been that local delicacies (such as waffles in Belgium, or morning fry's in England) aren't doing as devastating damage as was anticipated!

It happens, every time. How?

Approaching food with an adaptable mindset.

Allowing your choices to dictate your food, not the other way around. Increasing food freedom and decreasing food fear.

It doesn't solve digestion issues- that's down to your initial protocol, potential diagnostic testing, and necessary lifestyle changes.

It does create the compromise that allows you to enjoy a variety of foods and cuisines, inside and outside of your own kitchen, that empowers you to go.

What do you think about food? I'd love to discuss in the comments below.

P.s.- I have two spots open for 1:1 elite nutritional therapy and fitness coaching open for the month of October. If you want to decrease IBS- related digestive distress and increase food freedom, let's chat more about it in a Wellness Q&A.

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