To eat or not to, travel and controversy.

If you asked me what my favourite food is, I probably would get a little tongue-tied and not know where to start. I love me a range of wholesome good food.

Take it down to countries, and I go gaga over Indian cuisine, can’t get enough of Ethiopian injera, Greek food is delish and I can have Chinese food all day everyday.

For all other food, especially Kenyan, I let my heart out loose for my cravings to latch on, and lead me onto what I desire for the day; so some days it will be ugali, kales and meat, and other times, I can do with chapati and beef stew; then there are days that spaghetti, meatballs and grated cheese would do just fine.

For the times I feel like I have so much junk in my system, making me all clogged up and somewhat lethargic; my body begs for a detox, and I dive into fruits and salads, in search of a healthy high.

This is where Fully Raw Kristina comes in.

I’ve been following her on Instagram, and religiously watch her youtube channel.ย I’m always fascinated by her creative ability to whip up a plethora of fully raw veggies, fruits, desserts, smoothies and juices and present them so colourfully and in a mouthwatering way amidst her audible gasps and yums!
Kristina describes herself as a healthy lifestyle advocate and badass unicorn. I love the charisma that oozes through her videos; coupled with her gorgeousness and flowing locks that she dubs mufasa, makes it easy to see why she’s wildly popular. She has done so well for herself since going on a fully raw diet 11 years ago not only solving her own health problems, but those of myriads of people; churning it into four businesses, and a book just this past year.

Once in a while, I will go the part-plant diet route, which means, for a period, I will leap out of bed and get my smoothies down, eat fruits for breakfast, and have a vegetable salad for dinner. I can’t imagine a meat-free diet, plus it’s darn expensive to purchase organic fruit and veggies in Europe. Dumpster diving, or asking supermarkets for throw away fruit is not my style, that would be too much of an extreme measure just to maintain a raw diet.

Still on Kristina…with success, comes controversy. It’s like when you’re making a bump and creating ripples everywhere with positivity and infectious lifestyle changes, people begin to notice and nitpick at your every move, claiming you owe it to them to be ‘perfect’..more so, because your brand is what it is because of all the adoring fans and their support.

You may as well be walking a tight rope across Niagara falls.

For Kristina, lately it was ‘wearing calf-skin baby-goat shoes’ which attracted the ire of many. Their response on her instagram page was quite crude and barbaric to say the least. They judged her not only for wearing these gifted items, but for driving a porsche that had leather seats.

I first brushed it off as first world problems. I found the insults much for a group that touts itself as lovers of the earth, empathic to the oppression of others, ethical and compassionate to all living beings in the animal kingdom.

Kristina not only apologized, but made a video which showed her going through pieces of her closet, to assure her followers that those items were gifts, and she was going to get rid of them, but most of her closet were indeed cruelty free clothes and dresses, and her jewelry wasn’t made of any forbidden items like leather or silk..

It made me really think about food, about what we put into our mouths, or the clothes we put on our backs. A huge part of travel will include food…just as much as it will include culture, or love, relationships, or hate (think terrorism) or government…crossing borders takes into it much more than we imagine it does.

In this age of lifestyle diseases, not to sound cliche, but “One man’s meat can actually be another’s poison.”

Where do we draw the line though as travelers? With the knowledge that as we cross borders, we may be guests in a home that may serve up slices of dog yet we’ve considered dogs as our fur babies, part of our home, beloved pets?

Would we turn up our noses in disgust, be offended or respectfully decline?

Maybe I’m not a hardcore foodie, because though I’ve sampled fried camel meat in Mogadishu, Somalia; roasted termites in Kisumu, Kenya; escargot (snails) in Brussels, Belgium; I wouldn’t go so far as shoving dog meat down my throat.

Escargot (snails) in Brussels.

Escargot (snails) in Brussels.

I would love to take on cultural relativism when I visit foreign lands. It simply means that though I may not embrace everything about a new culture; whether it is eating bush meat in Cameroon or sampling dog meat in Vietnam; I would not necessarily judge anyone else for doing so, rather I would have an open mind and access the food culture by it’s own standards and not through the lens of my culture.

I refuse to practice ethnocentrism as I travel. I refuse to evaluate and judge anyone’s food culture based on how it compares to my own local fare or what is considered proper food in my culture.

I know that for many people all over the world, there may be food shortages in their region, and it’s likely that through centuries, especially in times of hardship and drought, their ancestors developed recipes around what they could forage for.

Which begs the question by Steve Maraboli, “How would your life be different if you stopped makingย negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the dayโ€ฆ You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.โ€

What are some of the strangest foreign food you’ve sampled? Share in the comment section below.


2 replies »

  1. I had the strangest spring roll look alike things from Romania earlier today. The roll was made of leaf though so the twxtuew was super foreign to my mouth. But I made it through he first bite. And while it we too slimy for my liking, I’m glad inmade it past the first bite.


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