Sam Mednick is a professional life and executive coach based in Barcelona (www.blueprintcoaching.ca). A Canadian native, she’s been living in the city for eight years working with companies as well as individuals focusing on transitions, communication, leadership training, time management and productivity, as well as emotional intelligence development. For more coaching tips, tune into her Podcast.
THIS MONTH: WHERE TO SOURCE HEALTH FOODS
I’ve managed to mostly maintain my new year’s health kick, yet I’m finding that the most challenging part of staying on target is finding the foods and ingredients I need. In Australia, everything is at your fingertips, or at least most of the products are in the same store. In Barcelona, I end up running around town, trying to source specialty foods and vitamins from various shops, half the time not even knowing where to look. To be more specific, I’ve compiled a list of questions. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Struggling To Keep It Healthy
Hi Struggling To Keep It Healthy,
I sometimes think of Barcelona as a city of paradoxes. It’s a place where ‘0km’, ‘slow food’, ‘organic’ and ‘seasonal’ have become popular buzzwords of late yet, when it comes to executing these good intentions, it’s not always easy.
Your predicament is one I’ve heard countless times from people trying to eat healthily in this city. I’m no expert in food-related topics (if you recall from a previous column, I use my oven for storage), so I’ve teamed up with a professional nutritionist and plant-based chef, Mariah Quesada from Pabulum, who specialises in healthy eating with a focus on raw foods.
As part of my health kick I’ve implemented superfoods into my diet. However, I can’t consistently find them. What are the best superfoods and where can I track them down?
Mariah: By far, my two favourite shops to find good quality superfoods are Espai Verd (Princesa 31) and Mapu Organic (Magdalenes 7). You can find anything from raw cacao to maqui and lucuma, all of which are excellent superfoods that are often hard to find. Among some of the more ‘trending’ superfoods, you can try physalis (aka Inca Berry), spirulina and acai berry. If you’re looking to incorporate more ‘everyday’ food into your diet, keep in mind that blueberries, pomegranates, walnuts and kale can be just as powerful, not to mention cheaper and easier to locate.
Where can I find maple syrup and good vanilla?
Mariah: These two are hard to come by. Check out the gourmet section in El Corte Inglés. They’ve got grade B maple syrup and my favourite vanilla brand, Nielsen-Massey, which you can also find at Taste of America (Aragó 231 and Balmes 322). If you want Canadian maple syrup, check out the Asian supermarket, Dong Fang (Balmes 6).
Where is the best place to buy vitamins, such as Probiotics and Omega-3?
Sam: Manantial de Salud has various locations around the city, as well as a wide range of supplements. If you want to save a few euros, then order online from here, as vitamins are usually priced lower than in the shops.
What other ingredients can I add to my food for increased health benefits?
Mariah: Nutritional yeast is a personal favourite. This super supplement is a complete protein, meaning that it contains 18 amino acids, nine of them being the essential ones that our bodies can’t produce. It is known to help in reducing cholesterol levels, enhancing immunity and preventing cancer. Because of its cheesy flavour, you can use it as a substitute for parmesan and add it to salads, sprinkle it over popcorn, stir into soups or toss into pasta. If you want to maintain proper cell function and metabolism, two great additions are hemp and chia seeds as well as wheat germ. These can all be found at Espai Verd.
Do you recommend cold pressed juices and, if so, where can I try them?
Mariah: Ideally, if you’re jumping on the juice bandwagon, you want to choose cold pressed. This method uses hydraulic pressure to extract juice, which also produces a larger yield. It’s a much easier way to juice leafy greens and herbs and it doesn’t use heat, so there is less oxidisation and the enzymes and nutrients remain live for three to five days.
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