A few days ago I was scrolling through the list of uploads on my blog, the most dominate aspect that has been playing on my mind is how little I published any form of writing last year; aside from this I came to realise that I failed to share any food diary themed posts past last March. Food diaries are light-hearted posts, so I’m disappointed in myself for the lack of consistency in regards to publishing posts of this nature; especially when they are simple to write and are actually something I enjoy writing when I’m having a stressful or bothersome day.
Regardless of the lack of posts last year, I will again aim to achieve some form for stability with updating my blog in the near future: hence the return of ‘food diaries’. This time round, at least once, I want to dedicate an entire post that specifically focuses on the comparision of the diet I typically followed back in the UK, versus my current diet here in South Korea. Food diaries can give a rather vague impression of what a person consumes or the eating habits they strive to maintain, mainly because what we indulge in differs day-to-day, although I still think it could be interesting to compare food cultures in addition to prying.
Habitually my meals during weekdays in the UK, predominantly consisted of vegetables, chicken and fruits. I was far from upholding a super-healthy lifestyle but I found that sticking to fewer portions of carbohydrates helped me to maintain a healthy weight that didn’t fluctuate too much. In quite a few cultures it seems like the majority of people will have 2 hot meals per day in wintertime; usually breakfast being the meal that doesn’t require cooking. Almost everyday I had 1 hot meal within a day: this would usually be dinner because in taking a hot lunch in a work environment was time costly. Here is an example of what I would often eat on a weekday in the London:
- Breakfast – Breakfast biscuits/bake or a protein yoghurt with a banana or granola.
- Lunch – Egg, baby potato and crumbed ham salad with a light dressing followed by mixed fruits and some type of mini crackers.
- Dinner – Tomato & Mascarpone pasta or Chicken/spicy bean burger with sweet potato bites.
- Snacks – Rice crackers, mandarins, tortilla chips.
- Drinks – alot of green tea and lemonade, with at least one bottle of water.
Nowadays my portion sizes haven’t changed drastically, because I feel like my portion sizes have been acceptable over the past 5 or so years. However, I regularly have been having 2 rather than 3 meals each day: usually skipping breakfast. The reason for these changes are pretty straight forward, the prices of fruit and vegetables can be 3 to 4 times more expensive in comparison to expected costs in the UK and from what I also experienced in France. On the most part, green leafy vegetables and some root vegetables are grown in South Korea and garlic is widely used in countless Korean dishes so they can be obtained cheaply; whereas citrus fruits, berries and white potatoes can be pricey. Considering I used to eat alot of fresh produce, including chicken breast, I now find myself bulking meals with rice/rice cake as a decently priced alternative; to refrain from doing this too often it’s sometimes easier and better on the stomach to just eat less overall. In some ways I am still able to have little meat in my diet, not because of being able to make some vegetarian western dishes whilst here, but also because there are several meatless korean dishes due to the high prices of meat (tofu is a common replacement, processed meats are of course preferable to many beef and pork lovers in Korea). My day may include the following meals:
- Breakfast – Usually just coffee…
- Lunch – Kimchi fried rice or cream cheese on toast
- Dinner – Japanese vegetable curry rice (if I haven’t had a rice dish at lunchtime) or
- Snacks – Occasionally mandarins, but usually none.
- Drinks – various tea’s and two to three iced americanos.