As regular readers already know, I’m on a natural building tour of SE Asia and nearby countries to oversee projects, help others and learn as much as possible about this exciting field. Back home I eat very healthily, but traveling to foreign countries makes it more difficult to always eat right. Restaurants have been very hit and miss for me. By far the best restaurant on this trip was Milas Restaurant in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Check out the rave reviews on TripAdvisor.com and similar sites.
Unfortunately, most restaurants often don’t have what I like and/or they screw up my order. Even health oriented vegetarian restaurants have left me feeling blah with a stomachache from so much oil. Some restaurant food will give you a rumbling stomach, the trots or worse. Also, eating in restaurants all the time gets expensive. So what’s the lowest cost, healthiest way to eat while traveling in Asia?
I’ve tried a lot of different things to find what works best for me. A diet of primarily fresh fruit and vegetables is my choice when traveling. It’s highly unlikely you will get food poisoning from eating bananas, mangoes and oranges. Fresh produce is very inexpensive in this part of the world and arguably the healthiest food available. For the most part things are locally grown and available in farmer’s markets direct from farmers. Many times the produce is picked the same day.
Here’s what I’m eating for dinner now. See what you think. I buy 1-2 servings of rice from street vendors. It’s very cheap. Then I buy an assortment of raw vegetables such as tomatoes, green onions, hot chili, sprouts, bok choy and maybe a small cabbage. I wash and eat everything back in my room. That’s it. Everything is fresh, ripe, wholesome, minimally processed. It’s very tasty and cheap, plus I’m supporting local farmers.
Obviously not everyone agrees with this. Most travel sites recommend eating Asian street food. They say it’s cheap and tasty. Decide for yourself. Look up the recipes online to see what goes into Asian street food. It’s full of fat, salt, MSG and all sorts of disgusting animal parts such as skin, stomachs, intestines, tongues, etc. So even though you usually won’t get food poisoning from Asian street food, it’s not nearly as healthy as what I recommend above.