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Travel tips:

(by Gosia)

Food on the plane:
When booking a plane, you can request fruit meals with some companies, which I think is a great step in the right direction. This is the option that I choose when I travel. Qantas Fruit Meal is a selection of cut up fruit offered by Qantas at its flights. This is what I ordered as my meal for my June 2010 flight to Europe. This is what I got:



Unfortunately, some of the fruit including bananas was unripe (and I had to discard it), most of it was acceptable but perhaps a little below the perfect ripeness level. Also, I really prefer mono eating and I found the combination of fruit a little less than comfortable for me. Sometimes dried fruit is part of the meal too, and this is not my favorite choice either. Further, some of the juice topping the fruit seemed (to my tongue) like it contained sugar, and so I avoided it altogether. I estimate the caloric value of this meal (the ripe part of it that is) to be around the value of 2 bananas, based on my level of satiation after it. I certainly would not rely on this meal alone as a source of my food during the flights, even with the additional fruit snacks (apples and bananas) that Qantas serves during the flight, and so I took my own fruit with me as well (mandarines or grapes as my juicy favorites and dates as my hunger fillers). Note also that you can ask for more bananas if you like. This is what I did last year and had no problems with getting a bunch more (luckily ripe) bananas on top of the usual deal. So, if hungry, smile and ask!

In fact I think that if you do order a fruit meal and ask for more fruit during the flight, you might send a useful message to the company. I am thinking of writing a congratulatory letter to Qantas, thanking them for having a fruit meal option and serving fruit snacks during the flight, as well as asking for some improvements. If more people do that, perhaps something WILL happen?

Note that although most fruit (except durian and other smelly fruit that is prohibited) on the plane is fine, you need to be careful with bringing fruit into the country you go to. For example, Australia has strict rules, which vary from town to town, and the fines can be quite high (thousands of dollars), so do not risk it. Put those fruit in the provided quarantine bins you see when entering Australia. Check the rules for the country you are traveling to.

New York, USA:
NY is a great place for raw foodists. I travelled to NY in 2011. I stayed in a hotel at Manhattan. I was amazed to be able to find actually ripe bananas at a local shop. There is plenty of fruit stalls at the streets and so being hungry is never a problem. Some of the fruit and veg shops have impressive and long displays of various fruit, and one can salivate at the sight of them. Also, I was really pleased that at the NY airport, it is possible to buy ripe fruit. I enjoyed some rockmelons at the airport and was amazed how ripe and sweet they were. I noticed some cooked vegan food being sold there too, which I thought was a sign of progress. I have to complaint at Qantas. The fruit they served me during the flight was unripe again. On the other hand, the flight from LA to NY was a pleasant one, I got some ripe fruit for a change. The local chef obviously understands that only ripe fruit is edible. Enough said.

What was my favorite place in NY? Central Park!!! The most special place? Strawberry Fields! Imagine...

Wroclaw, Poland:
I travelled to Poland in June 2009 and 2010 and each time I absolutely adored my fruity experience there, a large range of good quality food was fantastic. The most wonderful of all, of course the strawberries. If you never tasted Polish strawberries, you have no idea what a real strawberry tastes like. Soft, heavenly sweet, gournet-rich taste, juicy, simply adorable.

Beijing, China:
Finding tasty fruit in Beijing even in summer is slightly tricky. I stayed in a hotel. As the breakfast was included in the (rather costly) deal, I could select as many fruit as I wished from the buffet in the morning. The rest of the day was very much like hunting! During the breaks between the talks (at a conference I attended), I went for the walks to search for edibles. In goverment department stores (which look like big supermarkets), you can buy the fruit or greens. The prices are set in those stores. As far as the smaller, non-government stores, the story may be quite different. Can you believe, I had to haggle for a bunch of grapes in one of them?! My advice is that if you think that the price is too high, haggle. Walking away works too, they often, in the last attempt, drop the price. The quality of fruit there is not very good, unfortunately. The grapes I bought, turned out to be sour. I would not buy grapes in China
again. Bananas were OK. In general, any fruit with thick protective skin is better, because of the high use of spraying in China. I had no problems with ordering fruit in restaurants.

Useful links for travellers:                                     

Pisa, Italy:
I absolutely gorged on delicious fruit while being at a maths conference in Pisa in June. I found a local fruit market (at Borgo Stretto), near the hotel I stayed, and visited it every morning. I recommend that you do the same. You can find plenty of information on-line (this is how I found the adress of the market), if you like being prepared (I do). You will not starve while in Italy. Fruit is delicious, you can also easily buy greens and make yor own salads, if you wish.  I asked the friendly stuff at my hotel for a plate, knife and a fork to keep in my room. I did not care for the salads while there, because there was so much wonderful fruit to choose from. As an emergency food, I brought some nuts with me, but I had to take them back to Australia, because I ate the fruit instead. In restaurants, you can request for a large (you need to emphasize this bit) salad with no meat/cheese in it, and the waiters are usually very obliging. Enjoy!

Rome, Italy:
I have not been there, but I read some good tips about organic markets in there, so here they are (two quotes from a thread on Alissa's board):

"Personally found the Market on Via Principe Amadeo the best. It is located near Termini or Vitorio stop of the A line. It is the former milk plant and is only open in the mornings Monday-Saturday. Many of the vendors are from outside of Italy. They offer great aromatic spices, fresh herbs, fruits, lemongrass, plantains, coconut oil and vegetables. Though the fruits et al. are not labeled organic they look "real" (you know evidence of bugs, smaller ... not the 'perfect Frankenfood' we see in North America). Prices were good (cherries for 1.5 Euros/lb., herbs about same price). There are also shops in that neighborhood that sell tahini, coconut etc. Also note: You may notice maps show it on Vitorio but it has moved to Amadeo and they do sell meat from this market.

There is also a fabulous Natural Food Store on the same street as the well-known Il Gelato di San Crispino [directions: face Trevi fountain, go right and it is the about the third street on your left (many people know San Crisipino so if lost say the name and Romans will direct you). The store is called Alimenti Amici and is located at 8, Via Panetteria Tel. 06.6796259. It is 100% organic. Personally bought nuts and seeds -- the almonds were so fresh they gave a real Ka-Pow almond flavour!!!"

"You can go to a couple of organic street markets, every second sunday of the month in Trastevere - Via Cardinale Merry del Val, Roma (RM) and every last sunday of the month in Vicolo della Moretta, Roma (RM)"

Useful Italian phrases for raw vegans:

grocery store: un alimentary
knife: coltello
fork: forchetta
spoon: cucchiaio
plate: piatto

salad:  l'insalata
cucumber: il cetriolo
spinach: gli spinaci
lime: la limetta
lemon: il limone

fruit: la frutta
aprico: l'albicocca
pineapple: l'ananas
watermelon: l'anguria (il cocomero)
orange: l'arancia
oranges: arance
banana: la banana
bananas: banane
cherry: la ciliegia
strawberry: la fragola
strawberries: fragole
raspberry: il lampone
apple: la mela
apples: mele
pear: la pera
pears: pere
peach: la pesca
peaches: pesche
plum: la prugna (la susina)
grape: l'uva

I am a vegetarian: Sono vegetariano/vegetariana
I do not eat meat, chicken or fish: Non mangio carne, nč pollo o pesce
I am a vegan: Sono vegano/vegana
I am a strict vegetarian: Sono strettamente vegetariano/vegetariana
I do not drink milk: Non bevo il latte
I do not eat butter, cheese, eggs, or honey: Non mangio il burro, il formaggio, le uova, o il miele
Do you have a vegetarian dish?: Avete un piatto vegetariano?
Is there meat in this dish?: C'era carne nell questo piatto?
Is there meat broth in this dish? : C'era brodo di carne nell questo piatto?
Can one prepare this without meat products?: Si puo` preperare senza i prodotti di carne?
I love animals, so I don't eat them: Amo gli animali, percio' non li mangio

Hello: Buongiornio
Goodbye: Arrivederci. Ciao.
Yes: Si
No: No
Please: Per favour
Thank you: Grazie
That's fine: Prego
Excuse me: Mi scusi
Sorry (forgive me): Mi perdoni

Useful links for travellers:

We can trust our bodies. We can especially trust the bodies of children. Your kids still have their innate ability to reject foods that are inappropriate, and accept foods that are healthful. You can trust your kids to select their own foods, as long as you're only offering foods within the range of healthy foods (very important!). Included in that range are ALL fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Some foods within this range are better than others but you can trust the bodies of your children to choose the ones that are best! If your child rejects a salad but wants fruit for dinner, trust him. His body is a far more reliable indicator of what it needs than any so-called nutrition expert who tells you to force-feed greens to your child.

Diet alone is not enough to heal a sick person. All the conditions of good health need to be present: a hygienic diet, sufficient rest, clean water, air, sun, exercise, mental and emotional balance.

Becoming raw is a process not an event.

I have said, there is no way I would stick to a diet by eating only one thing, I like variety.

Eat a variety and abundance of raw foods!

It seems to me if someone is worried about his/her hair falling out then one thing to try is a raw food diet! It doesn't get much better than that! And the food...oh my goddess!

I was just stressing about what to make (actually cook) for supper for my children (as they are not totally raw). I gave them a couple of choices - neither of which sparked them at all. Then my 5 year old daughter said "I know, why don't you cut up a bunch of different fruit and a bunch of different vegetables and put them on a plate and then we can choose what we want to eat"!!!! WOW!! what a great idea I said - she said "I know have great ideas mommy". There you go - problem solved. Just a little inspirational message for all of us who are trying to sometimes make things more complicated than they have to be!!

Every person on the planet is a raw vegan but they are just breaking the rules!
(Road Runner)
Copyright © Dr Gosia O'Reilly. All Rights Reserved.
Acknowledgements: Maura (logo).
Quotes on raw foods by fellow raw foodists.
Other quotes from The Quote Garden.
Photos: Free Stock Photos