Monday, June 21, 2010

What I learned in London....

Last week I went on vacation with my nephew and husband to London and Paris. It was an amazing trip, and we had a really great time. We spent the week walking, touring, seeing the sites, and of course eating. I've been to Europe several times, so the true highlight of this trip for me was seeing it again for the first time through my nephew's eyes on his first trip overseas.

I learned several things about him on this trip, but one of the best is that we are both avid people watchers. This was so fun for me, because my husband simply is not. We were all eyes catching the crazy fashions, the crazy hair, and the outfits and styles that were "just wrong". But it didn't take long for us to be able to pick out the Americans in the crowds. Sadly, this was not because of the amazing outfits they had on, but more because most of them were fat.

This simple fact made me sad, and also made me wonder. But as we spent the week travelling around, and in and out of markets, stores, and restaurants I could see a huge difference in the USA vs. London. Portion sizes. There is no super sized in London. Sandwiches are mostly made of bread and are normal thickness - not huge hoagie rolls with 4 servings of meat and cheese. Cheese there is sold by the slice or in small packages, not huge blocks. Soda does not have free refills. Bags of candy are what we consider our "fun" size. Even the cakes were small. Birthday cakes were half the size of any sold here in the local super markets. It was shocking to me the differences. Sure they had fast food, but there didn't seem to be super sizing, or huge monster hamburgers with bacon.

Along the same lines they walk everywhere. They don't have escalators or elevators like we do in the states. (I'm not sure how handicapped people get around!) Everywhere was stairs. Lots of stairs and lots and lots of walkers. From what I understand there are very high tolls to drive into the city, which makes most Londoner's take public transportation. There isn't parking in front of the store or restaurant like we have here, so people walk everywhere.

Now, I wasn't in the suburbs in the UK so I am basing this on what I saw, and where I live here in the states and the remarkable differences. And I'm not saying everyone in London was fit, or healthly, there was a lot of smoking and a lot of drinking. But I did come back with a new realization of what a normal portion size looks like, and how much more in general I typical get served (and eat).

Think about it at your next meal, maybe even take the time to look at the box and see how many servings are included in what you are getting ready to eat. Try eating just one portion and see if you are full. If you aren't then sure have another. But if you are and if you do this just a few times a day think of all the calories you are saving....portion sizes!

Now if we could just fix some of those crazy weird London outfits! LOL.

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