Last week I was in Paris to give a presentation, so I made it a mini break and thought it would be a good test of how I would cope without the luxury of my juicer, local farmer’s markets and my other healthy home comforts. The trip made me realise that my taste buds have changed, as the last time I was there I couldn’t resist bread, Parisian pastries, crepes and wine. Well this time I can say that even though there seemed to be a bakery or patisserie on every corner, I didn’t want or crave bread, sweets or anything processed. I also noticed there are more salad bars, organic places, juice bars and loads of fruit stalls. It seems the world is starting to wake up and it made it easy for me to pick up a nutritious snack. Here are my Paleo in Paris travel hacks, which might help you next time you’re away.

Meeting people

I went to a full moon picnic on Pont des Arts bridge with strangers and we were asked to bring something. On the way there I found the cutest delicatessen and got beetroot chips and cured meat. While most showed up with wine, cakes and pastries, they were open and excited to try my beetroot chips. Hopefully I got a few people thinking about what they consume and many of them were very aware about their health. I had some interesting conversations and engaging with people is another part of travelling that I love as it opens your mind up to different ways of living.

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Pre holiday preparation

I haven’t been working full time for a few months, so I didn’t want to spend a fortune on food and going out. I already had it planned in my head that I wanted to spend time in cafés soaking up the French atmosphere. So one money saving travel tip is to take homemade healthy snacks with you and you’ll know what’s in it (unless you can read French labels). My good friend Laina, who I was staying with studied during the day, so we only ate out for dinner, which was perfect for me.

Here’s my list of money saving travel hacks

  1.  Nuts are a great snack, especially if you’re walking a lot. I took Pistachio nuts – helps keep any sugar cravings at bay and unsalted Macadamia nuts which are high in monounsaturated fat (the good fat), because I like the taste.
  2. I made a batch if Ground Pumpkin seed biscuits– these taste like chocolate chip cookies and were packed with energy (they last a week in an airtight bag).
  3. Carrot sticks and grapes – natural sugar, which I needed for all the walking I did and easy to carry round.
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar –  I added this to my water, as it helps alkalise body (personally I just like the taste of it in my water).
  5. Homemade raw chocolate – incase I needed a treat and let’s face it who doesn’t every now and then? I also know from previous trips the chocolate in Paris is great, but the good stuff comes at a high price.
  6. As my Eurostar departure time was 5.40am I made a super green smoothie the night before, so breakfast was sorted and I took some homemade kale chips to snack on for later.

Eating out hacks

There are loads of beautiful cafés in Paris, most have free wifi, pronounced wee-fee in French and have a sign on the door. Instead of coffee I drank lots of yummy mint and green teas, perfect when it’s cold and rainy outside. My favourite cafe was down the road from where I was staying in Luxembourg called Elitissime. It specialises in exotic teas from around the world, serves homemade healthy food, gluten free cakes and everything was delicately presented.

French food is delicious and there is a great selection of seafood restaurants. Fresh fish there is definitely cheaper than in London and my favourite restaurant on this trip was La Medidemanee, which has a cute fresh fish market on display out front. While there for dinner I had John Dory (St Pierre in French) on a bed of steamed vegetables with a lovely garlic aioli, I even had a non-Paleo dessert. I think it’s ok sometimes to go a little crazy with food and wow it was pretty amazing, I had a ginger creme brûlée on a base of puréed pears.

The last restaurant that really stood out for me was Robert et Louise, where we got to choose what part of the animal we wanted and it came with a small salad. I also had a small glass of the recommended red wine that really enhanced and changed the flavour of the meat. It was another satisfying treat, as the meat was so tender and the wine went so perfectly with it.

I don’t eat out very often these days, but when I do I find it easy to adapt and make it a challenge to find the healthiest options to suit me. It also helps to have a positive mindset that things will work out and not to be negative about food, but appreciating it for what it is. Also try and go to places that have a higher standard of food welfare rather than being drawn in by cheap prices, the smell from the street and what everyone says you should try. There is so much more to Paris, if you are willing to peel back the layers and explore and just because you’re somewhere that is known for cheese, wine and pastries, it doesn’t mean you need to overindulge.

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It’s sale time. Time for a massive shopping spree…

Last time I came to Paris I bought so much stuff and who doesn’t love a good bargain in the sales? Well since decluttering my life, I feel like I have everything I need and just don’t need to accumulate more. Despite the giant red sale sign on almost every shop window, I didn’t feel the need to go shopping (sorry for the misleading title above), shopping just isn’t as important to me these days. I did however get a kick from living in the moment, taking in my surroundings, walking wherever my feet took me and sitting in various cafés writing and letting the world unfold before me. Everyone I met was so inviting, friendly and very French. I had an amazing time working from my French offices away from home. J’espère vous voir bientôt.

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