Traveling? 5 Tips for Appreciating the Food Better by Eric Moxam

Food is an integral part of every culture. If you’re traveling and want to immerse yourself in the local culture as much as possible, that means eating everything you can!

However, are you concerned that you won’t appreciate the food enough? Sure, you know it tastes good, but do you understand where it’s ingredients come from, its history, and cultural significance? If you want to be an excellent food tourist, you need to be able to say more than, “Mm, this is yummy.” Like how Eric Cody Moxam is interested in cultural cuisines, here are a few tips for going beyond what your taste buds immediately detect:

Research ahead of time

Of course, you want to know what you’re getting yourself into before you arrive. Research local staple dishes and ingredients and double-check for anything you are allergic to or otherwise cannot or will not eat. For instance, people with celiac disease should research how many gluten-free meals there are in the country they are about to visit.

You may also need to psych yourself up to try things you have never tasted before. Is squid new to you, but popular where you are going? You’re going to want to give it a try, so prepare yourself. Embrace new experiences instead of turning your head too quickly. Should you expect lots of savory dishes? Sweet treats? How does the local culture define “spicy”? (what you consider spicy, for instance, might be mild to someone else!). Researching ahead of time will also give you an idea of dishes you are excited about, so you know what foods to pursue first.

Let the locals tell you what to do

Do you want an authentic experience? Then ask the locals what to do. Not just any local, though—do you ask random people at home what their favorite dish is and expect them to show you where to find it? Likewise, are you a food expert who would appreciate a tourist asking you a bunch of questions about cultural foods they need to try? Probably not.

Instead, ask the locals who are knowledgeable and are willing to share that knowledge. One of the best experiences you can participate in is a food tour: sign up to be part of a guided group with an expert who will take you to some of the best establishments around. Whether it’s a street food tour or bouncing between restaurants, you can trust your guide’s knowledge and let them share dishes that you might never have thought to order.

If you have local friends, though, feel free to ask them what their favorite places are. Even if your friends aren’t foodie experts and the establishment has lots of menu items you are familiar with, you’ll get a glimpse into the day in the life of someone who lives there.

Don’t listen to snobby reviews

While researching places to eat online, you will undoubtedly browse a few testimonials. You will likely gravitate toward establishments with lots of high ratings, but try to look past the reviews. Some people give negative reviews for extremely insignificant things, and you don’t want to miss out on an incredible meal because someone’s snobbiness skewed your perception. Plus, some countries have different norms when it comes to service that people from other cultures don’t understand. Keep an open mind when reading what other people think of places to eat.

Engage your senses

If you’ve ever been wine tasting, then you know that it entails much more than taking a sip and deciding if you like it or not. Sometimes, you’re instructed to visually enjoy the wine in the glass, swirl it around, and smell it before tasting—and then you swirl it around again inside your mouth, and you can take a slurp of air to oxidize it even further.

You will appreciate food more if you engage all of your senses. Soak your meal in visually, inhale its aromas, feel its weight in your hand or on your fork, and relish its texture. To invoke positive emotions and release feel-good chemicals in your brain, pay more attention to your food than your first taste instincts (and some tastes are acquired!).

Keep track of what you eat

You don’t want to try something delicious and forget what it was called the next day. Keep track of the dishes you taste and record your thoughts in a notebook or an app. Bigoven and Zomato are examples of apps you can use to share your favorite recipes and learn about others’, and when you keep track of your favorite foods, you can try making them for yourself at home.

Food is a complex and critical subject, so you don’t want to miss out. How do you appreciate food on a deeper level when traveling?

4 Ways to Get Your Diet Started

Dieting can be a tricky word as most people will feel restricted when they are on a diet, and often the deprivation and hunger pangs can cause binge eating. Here are four easy ways to get your diet started.

Know your weight loss goals – Look at how much weight you want to lose. If you are obese getting on a strict diet plan will be the best way to reduce your weight quickly. However, if you have a few kilos to lose, look at reducing your portion size. It is a good idea to invest in measuring cups to understand how much you can eat for every meal.

Understand your weight loss personality – Your personality will play a big part on how to conquer your cravings. If you are impulsive, it is best to remove all temptations from your home. On the other hand, if you are highly anxious, you may eat when you are stressed or depressed. Therefore, look at reducing your stress levels to maintain better eating habits. Tenacious personalities will often find it easier to stick to a diet because they are self-driven and cooperative.

Diet and Exercise – Diet and exercise is a good combination and will increase the chances of you losing weight and keeping it off. Look at adding twenty minutes a day and increase the time you work out every week until you can complete a one-hour workout at least five days a week.

Make a firm weight loss commitment – Make a firm commitment to yourself that you will lose the weight slowly and understand that weight loss journey’s take time.

4 Tips for Avoiding the Cold and Flu

There are many people who are constantly exposed to cold and flu germs like doctors, flight attendants, teachers, but they don’t always get sick. Here are some tips from the professionals who say that reducing your chances of getting the cold and flu, can be as easy as following the steps below.

Get a flu shot – Getting your annual flu shot is a good way to prevent or reduce the severity of the flu. Most often you can get your flu shots for free if you go to school or university if not visit your GP.

Wash your hands – If you come in contact with a lot of people, the trick to catching fewer infections is to wash your hands often. Washing your hands is especially true after you use the toilet or before you eat. Although hand sanitizer is a good option, the best way to clean your hands is to use soap and water. You should scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds to get rid of most germs.

Avoid getting close to people who are sick – Stay away from people who are sick as they can be very contagious. When visiting or take care of a sick person, ensure that you wash your hands often and keep a safe distance from the patient.

Keep your surroundings clean – To be on the safe side, sanitize often used areas in your home like for example, your phone, mobile, door knobs and switches.