Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Food

We have had to adjust to some majors changes between the food that we were used to eating in Houston to the food that we are eating here in Melbourne. It isn't that the food is bad, it's just different.
And as many of you who have children know...
Different = Inedible
I can tell that they are thinking this. They then look up at me like, "Obviously."

Regardless of those obvious adjustments that Samantha and Easton are making, it has been an adjustment for Blake and I too. The main difference isn't that the food is foreign, strange. The difference is that it is all healthier

Cheese is actual cheese...
Like from a cow... 
Without some weird processing to make it orange...

Boxed cereal offers healthy benefits, not just a crazy sugar-high and dilated pupils.
Actually... I haven't seen any other sugary options than Frosted Flakes and Fruit Loops.
Don't like cereal? How about a warm croissant with homemade butter and raspberry jam?

So far I haven't seen any deluxe-sized boxes of Oreos or flavored Goldfish. 
No party-sized bags of Doritos or Cheetos. Actually, I haven't seen Cheetos at all.
Mmmm... Cheetos sound good.

Fried chicken nuggets aren't offered on children's menus. Salmon filets are, though. 
Milkshakes can't be found on many dessert menus, but green smoothies are on every corner. 
No Chick-Fil-A, but plenty of juice bars and quaint coffee shops. 
Unhealthy options are just harder to find.

Additionally, things that aren't necessarily "good for you" are much higher quality. 
There are sweet shops everywhere with beautiful creations...
Rich dark and milk chocolates, brightly colored macarons, silky gelato. All carefully created from fresh, fine ingredients, and gorgeously displayed to catch your eye. 
Three words - Hot. Cross. Buns.
Come on, y'all. You just don't know.

Feel like dessert? Freshly baked mixed berry pie with vanilla ice cream.
Notice the serving size... 

Granted, we are living in the middle of the city, and things where we are might not be exactly the same as in the 'burbs. Out there beyond the noise and throngs of people, there might be Taco Bells and Starbucks galore, but here in the CBD (Central Business District) there are only small cafes, fine locally-owned restaurants, and non-crap groceries for purchase.

Last night I had to practically force broccoli, carrots, and teriyaki beef down the kids' throats. I had bought all of the ingredients from the Queen Victoria Market, selecting each from a colorful display that is presented by local growers, butchers and fishermen five days a week, rain or shine.
 You would have thought that I was killing them.

Who knew there were so many different kinds of leafy greens?

This is just different from how we would to do it in Texas. 
I'd go to the grocery while the kids were in school, and I'd buy their favorite things to make their favorite dinners, which they ate (mostly) after promises of dessert. (Oreos...)
Here I'm buying different things and making different meals based on what is available and in season. 

They aren't used to that and neither am I.
They are used to eating the same ten meals over and over with pizza and Chick-Fil-A thrown in on the nights I don't feel like cooking. 
I don't feel like cooking tonight, and you know what we're ordering?
The pizza here is not the same. It's healthy.

The downside of the quality of the food is that groceries and meals out are more expensive.
Like a lot more expensive.

We choose to go to the Market because it's the cheapest option. We'd break the bank if we didn't. After the Market, we have to make another trip to the grocery to buy the things that aren't fresh, like cereal and canned goods. 

My bi-weekly grocery trips have turned into an every Saturday, all morning event just to get our groceries in for the week. And we only buy what we need. Nothing extra because then we'd have to haul it back on the tram, not just throw it into the trunk of my Jeep. (Oh, and there aren't any carts in the grocery stores, either.)

Yes. It's more work and more money to feed our family, but it's easier to provide healthy, fresh meals. That's great, but at the same time...
... I can't wait to get back to the States. 
I'm totally going to order a large cheese, pepperoni, and jalapeno pizza for myself.
I'm going to eat my weight in queso.
I'm going to drink an unlimited supply of root beer.
Margaritas, anyone?

I guess this means that all the good I've been doing for my body and health will fly out the window.
Oh, well.
We're here for a few more years.

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