So I am on the move, taking a break from my beloved Brazil. My nutrition odyssey sees me having a few weeks back in Britain then onto Bangkok and Bali to detox retreat heaven.  So what am I taking away from me apart from a suitcase full of Brazilian bikinis and açaí? Here are my main nutrition observations.

Body image

In Europe I always felt I might need to loose a few kilos, but in Brazil I felt I needed to put weight on! Body confidence on the beach comes in all shapes and sizes which is amazing.  And in Brazil it’s all about the butt! The bigger the better. If women do carry extra weight it is more healthy when distributed on the hips, rather than around the stomach. Weight around the stomach can be due to stress. See my stress to serenity post for more.

Locally grown

It’s such a treat having so much fresh fruit readily available to me when in Rio. Farmers markets are everywhere and the fruit here tastes amazing as its allowed to ripen naturally. Mangoes in Brazil are unbelievably good! In contrast the ones you can buy in the UK have been picked green to import and the flavour just isn’t there. This is a reminder that you are always best to eat the produce that is grown locally to you. Fresh coconuts and mangoes have been a treat in Brazil, but now I’m back in the UK I’m indulging in summer British berries.

The sweet life

Brazilians sure do have a sweet life, but in more ways than one. They love adding sugar to absolutely everything, and are mad for artificial sweeteners.  Even if they are calorie free sweeteners can still impact hormones like insulin leading to weight gain. Be careful to note that the artificial sweetener Aspartame, which has been linked to cancer, is now sometimes called Aminosweet. I’d rather have a little bit of honey in my tea than sweetener any day.

Portion control

A lot of the restaurants in Brazil are ‘por kilo’ – you choose from a buffet then pay by weight. The idea of paying per kilo I like – if you eat less, you spend less – makes good nutrition maths to me. Great in a city where the portion sizes are often huge!

Açai

You can see my previous post on this rockin superfood here Nutrition Rocks in Rio

 

So Brazil hasn’t seen the back of me just yet!! I have a return ticket and eagerly await to go back with lots of nutritional ideas for retreats at The Island Experience after my adventures in Europe and South East Asia.
Beijos!