What I Learned from Traveling Abroad [Bringing Balance Back Series]

Bringing Balance Back is a monthly series on Diehard Foodie, by Kat Beck. Kat is my sister, best friend, role model and go-to expert for all healthy living outside of nutrition. We work together to support and better each other. I give her advice on healthy eating, and she gives me so much advice on other aspects of healthy living (that I sometimes neglect!) My hope is she will become your guru on these aspects, and bring more balance in your life as well.


Hey hey foodies! I traveled abroad for the first time recently and I had the time of my life. I knew my sister would be anxious to hear all about the food in Greece so I snapped these pics for her seconds before devouring each dish. Before this trip, I wouldn't consider myself adventurous with food (or to be a true “foodie” at that). I tend to eat my favorite foods over and over again and I rarely ate fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, or fish before this trip. Don't you worry, the Greek salad totally changed my feelings towards tomatoes and cucumbers. When in doubt, do as the Greeks do and just put a block of feta on it. I ate anchovies, sardines, mussels, and octopus for the first time annnnd I liked it. I’m ALMOST at “foodie” status now (Victoria got all the cooking genes though).

What I Learned from Traveling Abroad

Moussaka is a dish layered similar to lasagna: eggplant and potato-based dish, sometimes including ground beef and a side of tzatziki sauce. I got a vegetarian version at Bluesky Cafe in Oia, Santorini. It was my last meal in Greece, and quite possibly my favorite. The second picture is a beef version that was my husband’s favorite. Also- check out that omelet in the background; I've been trying to get mine to cook this way at home but I haven't got it down yet.

What I Learned from Traveling Abroad

My favorite Greek salad was found in Athens on top of Mount Lycabettus at Attiko Alsos Café. The classic Greek salad contains tomato, cucumber, green pepper, red onion, Kalamata olives, capers and a ton of feta cheese (no lettuce y’all). Seasoned with dried oregano, salt and dressed with EVOO & red wine vinaigrette.

Before arriving in Santorini, we heard that you can find the best gyro at Lucky’s in downtown Fira, Santorini. Word on the street was spot on; we ate here twice. A classic gyro: rotisserie pork, chicken, beef or lamb (usually a combo of 2 meats) wrapped in a flatbread or with pita on the side. Topped with onions, tzatziki, feta and fries.  Gyros pair well with a  large glass of Mythos (brewed in Sindos, Greece). The second pic is from a café in downtown Athens. I just had to share due to the massive amount of meat on the platter (sorry vegetarian friends). It was fantastic. 

My favorite dining experience was at Red Bicycle in Oia, Santorini. You cannot beat this view of the caldera. Our appetizer was sardines served on a bed of celery root & zucchini couscous, some delicious sauce, and Ouzo foam on the side. Ouzo is the drink of choice in Greece. If you don’t like licorice, don’t drink the Ouzo! I stuck with Santorini's white wine, which was my favorite white wine I've ever tasted.

What I Learned from Traveling Abroad

What I Learned from Traveling Abroad

Most people assume weight gain is inevitable while vacationing. What I found is that you use these things called legs and you literally walk everywhere. We walked miles up and down hills every day. All the vegetables and fruits were locally grown and we didn't touch any processed food so we felt nourished and energized every day.  Also, I highly recommend traveling with a probiotic and  rehydration powder. I didn’t watch what I ate, I drank all the beer, wine and tropical drinks I wanted, I wore bikinis nearly everywhere, and I didn’t worry about gaining weight or how I looked. Boom- balance found while vacationing. I am trying to implement this carefreeness into my real life now. I tend to over-do the scheduling, check-lists and weekly goals. Greece taught me to just go with the flow.

What I Learned from Traveling Abroad

Your turn: Tell me about your favorite dishes from other countries. Namaste y’all, Kat Beck