It was just over two months ago that we accepted the Primal Challenge and committed to living a healthier lifestyle. At the end of the month, we both felt so much better, were in better shape, and weighed less than we had in years. But we both saw something on the horizon that we knew would be a challenge: Prague.
A couple of weeks ago, we packed our bags and headed over to the Czech Republic to attend the wedding of January’s best friend of nearly twenty years. We were also long overdue for a vacation, so we decided to make it a two week long trip so we could really get to know the city of Prague as well as we were able. If you don’t know much about central Europe, you should know that there are a couple of things they’re well known for: pastries and beer. Neither of things are very primal friendly, but you don’t get the chance to visit Europe very often, so we decided to go a little lax on the diet during our trip.
Things started off well enough; I even avoided the dessert on my in-flight meal, and skipped the bread at our first breakfast at Tasci and Honza’s place. But that was pretty much where the restraint ended. Our first day in the city, we made the mistake of skipping breakfast and quickly caved in at an obviously tourist-targetted restaurant. After a ham and cheese sandwich, a pile of french fries, and $8 (!!) Coke, we were on our way to completely ignoring what we had learned the month prior.
Note the large, picture menus all in English: The sure sign of a tourist-trap restaurant.
The subsequent two weeks involved routine French toast breakfasts, fried cheese sandwiches from street vendors, and delicious Czech beer. Lots and lots of delicious Czech beer. It all tasted amazing, but we did quickly notice how it was affecting us. Our energy level dropped a good bit in the afternoon, and we weren’t waking up as well rested as we remembered from the month prior.
That’s not to say that we couldn’t have done Prague and maintain a good primal diet; As a matter of fact, the local cuisine was largely meat and vegetable based and most of the to-be-avoided foods were really fell into the categories of desserts, snacks, street food, and, well, beer. One of the best meals I had in Prague was actually very primal-friendly: Witness the smoked pig knee!
What you are looking at here is a traditional meal in the Czech Republic. It’s exactly what it sounds like: the knee of a pig, smoked to delicious fatty perfection. There’s nothing fancy about it, and it’s eaten right off the bone with a knife, fork, and a whole lot of mustard and horseradish. It was amazing, and very primal friendly. Really, most of the typical Czech meals were pretty primal friendly, including the goulash (sans the bread dumplings) and the various pork and venison meals. The areas where we got off track were truly our own fault, and we paid the price.
Now that we’re back stateside, we’re getting ourselves back on track. The first couple of days — before we were able to get to the grocery store — included a bit more pizza that I care to admit, but after being back for nearly a week we’re slowly working the grains, processed sugars, and beans back out of our diet.
Rest assured that this is not the last you will hear about our trip to Prague. We have tons of pictures that we need to go through, but expect a more travel-focused post on our trip in the next week.