This summer my husband and I had an amazing opportunity to travel the world for forty days. We went to Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, the Netherlands, and England. Before this, I had only left the country on two other occasions; both were planned trips with my church, so being totally on our own was quite the adventure!
Food is (obviously) one of my very favorite things and I LOVED experiencing other cultures through their food! For me, it’s the easiest way to immerse myself in another culture because food is so personal, plus it shows me a bigger picture of the country as a whole because my plate shows the resources available to the people who live there. One thing I noticed, especially in Japan, the Philippines, and Singapore, was the amount of carbs at every meal. They can put away some rice!
And even still, they’re generally small people from what I observed. Exhibit A, I’m 5’5” and had to duck my head to get through this 1400s Palace.
The current recommended AMDRs (acceptable macronutrient distribution range) say that 55-70% of your total calories should come from carbohydrates and the Japanese diet is definitely well over 50% carbs. Check out this PILE of incredible breads and pastries we bought at an adorable bakery right down the road from where we were staying.
Not only were carbs the majority of each meal, but they also didn’t really have any whole grain options, so the rice, breads, and pastas are white. I’m not saying this is the ideal way to live, whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, I just thought it was just an interesting observation.
On this trip, as I do generally in life, I ate anything I wanted! Our bodies communicate very clearly about what is best for us if we know how to listen. For example, if I consistently eat less nutrient-dense foods, I start to feel bad (fatigued, bloated, heavy, etc.) and I know it’s time to clean up my diet.
This trip was an incredible adventure and I’m so lucky to have the opportunity for my next adventure to be New Leaf Nutrition®! It’s going to be amazing.
-Jen Lyman, RDN, LD, CLT