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Friday, 31 October 2014

The Camino Made Me Eat That...

Written by Michelle Smith
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Hi, my name is Michelle and I am a recovering food snob.  I discovered this while walking 800 km across Spain, on the Camino de Santiago.  I live in Vancouver, BC and I participate in the Dietary Restricting Movement of the 21st century.   Many of the the following words or phrases have passed through my mind or left my mouth at some point in the last few years:

•I don't understand how people can eat (enter food item here)!

•I don't drink pop.

•Excuse me, do you have almond milk?

•Peanuts are terrible for you, you should eat almonds instead.

•Is that organic?

•Does it have wheat in it?

•Is there sugar in that?

•Gross. You couldn't pay me to put that in my body.

•I judge people standing in line at McDonalds.

•I don't eat (enter food here) or (food) or (food)...

•Plus many more...

It has come to my attention that part of my Camino is about my relationship to food.

As an athlete, the food that I put into my body is in direct relationship to how well my machine performs. It's fuel. If you put in junk, you get junk. If you put in Premium, you a high performance, well oiled machine. It is really very simple, one would think.  It has occurred to me on several occasions, not just this one on the Camino, that some thing in the Vancouver air, makes it’s residents high maintenance, presumptuous, food snobs.  We take for granted our access to local, organic, farm fresh and sustainable food. Being food conscious is practically mandatory, especially within my community of professional performers.

Finding sugar-free desserts made from organic ingredients is a must. Dairy is simply out of the question. And eww, do you know where that meat comes from?! Gross.  Seriously, we are snobs! Gluten free, sugar free, meat free, dairy free...we are nuts! All of us! You know who you are! Of course, for some it is a requirement but for most of us, it's a lifestyle choice.

I hang my head in shame.

I bring this up because I had a very long walk today that consisted of an opening stretch of 13km with no village or stop. This should take around 3 hours so the question becomes: what do I eat to sustain me walking that long with no break? Let me tell you how it works on the Camino...

You eat what ever you can find!

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Last modified on Friday, 31 October 2014

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