I decided I wanted to go to Barcelona last year when I started learning Spanish. I had booked the trip and was super excited to indulge in all their seafood and Mediterranean culinary glory when a friend if mine broke my bubble.
“You aren’t going anywhere else in Spain except Barcelona?” She asked me. No, no I am not – I replied.
“Oh well they speak mainly Catalan there,” she tells me. Crushed – what the heck??
Okay, no problema. It’ll still be amazing. The food will be fresh and spectacular I’m sure. As you know or may not, I eat gluten or soy and I’m sick for a week. In the past eating on vacation was a stressful endeavour for me as I would always inevitably get sick. I assumed it was the cheap alcohol (or just alcohol in general) but now that I know how gluten affects me, those past trip issues were resolved. As long as I avoid gluten in Spain, all should be good.
The city itself is beautiful but it is SOOOOOO saturated with tourists it’s unbearable. There are restaurants that line the streets but that made it very hard to pick one. They all seemed to offer the same stuff. I ate paella twice, and fish and grilled vegetables twice. They all seemed to understand that I couldn’t eat gluten but most waiters were incredibly unknowledgeable about the ingredients in their food.
Now time for wine tips on travelling healthily:
- If you’re going to drink beer and alcohol all day every day then that’s your prerogative but remember that alcohol is high in carbs so avoid eating extra carbs and reach for the protein and fat. There are many good ways to do that, cheese and prosciutto is a plenty here. Jamon, grilled fish and veg – you got this.
- Buy and make your own breakfast. I made eggs, avocado and prosciutto daily or Greek yogurt and fruit.
- Try to eat high protein and fat and avoid refined carbs. If you’re here for the deserts, then you’re already committed to not eating healthy so skip along 😉
- You’re going to walk….and walk, and walk. We walked 78301 steps in total while we were here. So if you’re careful, you might LOSE weight on vacation. Now the extra salt and alcohol will dehydrate you and bloat you so be careful.
- The produce is a plenty. Maybe fruit is your lunch, that’s totally fine! It’ll be cheaper to Order salads than full meals so keep that in mind.
- Pack nuts and protein bars such as RXbar in your luggage to keep on you while you’re out and about. (I ate every single bar I brought – they come in handy at airports and planes because finding gluten-free food in Europe airports is a shot in the dark)
- Drink lots and lots of water! water keeps you fuller and a lot of people confuse dehydration with hunger so keep those water bottles full
Let’s revisit my meals in Barcelona:
Breakfasts: I wanted to save money as much as possible and when I wake up I’m usually hungry fairly quickly so I wanted to avoid having to wait for Jason to go and eat breakfast. He usually doesn’t even eat breakfast so to save stress and to make the best of our AirBNB’s, I bought eggs, avocado, prosciutto, greek yogurt, bananas and nuts.
Lunches are super cheap in Europe (well, cheaper than dinner) so meals such as fish, paellas and salads were easiest to find. We somehow got off schedule with Europe and were eating late lunches such as 2pm and 3pm when everything was usually closed. We had to find places that specified that they served all day. Jason and I were also off schedule, he’d get most of his calories from beer so he didn’t eat much 😉 haha
Dinners were usually leftovers for me. Jay would eat a burger or something easy. The first night we were there we shared paella. In europe they serve a massive amount of it so I had leftovers for pretty much the whole time we were there. The other times I would eat an appetizer as a meal and splurge on wine.