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The Performance Life

Adapting to Food Abroad

tsc_traveler / flickr

A little more than a week into our trip to South America, I have almost run out of the nutrition bars mentioned in my previous blog. The team is on a three-meal-a-day diet, and trying to get in snacks in between to keep my body fueled has been hard.

The lack of fruit available here has caught me by surprise. For some reason, I was expecting stands on the streets offering all sorts of exotic fruit, but apparently forgot that it was late fall in the southern hemisphere. Fruit at outside grocery stores is hard to find.

Even though those bars help me to some extent, the 80/20 rule has become more of a 50/50 rule for me down here. One night, we went to an all-you-can-eat pizza restaurant, where the healthiest option available was a pizza with some veggies on it.

Usually the unhealthiest foods are also the national specialties, and to me, trying them is part of experiencing the culture. After helping out at a day care center for troubled children in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, we were fed black sausages for lunch—made out of fatty cow meats and blood.

There are also some positive surprises along the way. In Santos, Brazil, where Pele’s great career began, we ate lunch at a buffet restaurant that not only offered a salad bar and steamed fish, but also a pasta bar that featured whole-wheat options, an ideal way to fuel yourself for that next game or training session.

Tags: Eating Out, Snacks, Soccer, Travel, College