Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hola from Madrid!

Hi Happy Life, Healthy Life-ers! If you 'like' me on facebook, you know I've been in Madrid, Spain, for the past week! My best friend Lauren is studying abroad here and I came to visit her. It has been a crazy, amazing experience and I am so sad to leave. Before I left, I naturally had MAD anxiety about the food situation here. One, because I've never been and fear the unknown and two, because Lauren told me it is carb central and there is practically nothing healthy. I had three goals this trip. To have fun and really experience life here in Spain without feeling guilty about food, two--stay on top of my work out schedule, and three, try and dress nicely the majority of days I'm here. Because if you know me, you know how much I would LOVE to go out in my sweats, running shoes, and dirty old headband every day. So, without further ado, here's how it went :)

First off, I had a 13 hour flight. 6 hours from Los Angeles to New York, and 7 from New York to Madrid. I ate a delicious, huge breakfast before my flight (oatmeal with peanut butter, greek yogurt, and an apple), and right before my flight I had a protein bar. Passed out, woke up, and wandered through JFK Airport for some food. And be still my beating heart here's what I found-
Real ingredients...I recognized them all. So happy.

Once I got to Madrid, checked into the hotel, I was starving. I am convinced that room service is God's gift to mankind...I wish I had it everywhere. And by everywhere I mean at my house.
Lobster salad? Yes please. 
Passed out early. Woke up the next morning at 6:30 AM. Horrible. With nothing else to do...I decided to make good on goal number two and go to the gym.
Whole gym to myself...happy camper!
Room service had this amazing breakfast called the "Fitness Breakfast" which was amazing and perfect. It was an egg white omelet, a box of all bran cereal, and half a grapefruit not pictured because I devoured it every morning before I could photograph it.
After breakfast every morning, we got showered, dressed and took the metro to Starbucks (I know, we're so so so American).
Skinny Vanilla Latte...mmm
We walked around Madrid everyday and worked up quite an appetite. My absolute favorite lunch place was a place called Maoz Vegetarian. Apparently it's a chain, but I had never been there before, so I have been three times so far. I just can't get enough I mean look at this-
Ugh amazing. Lettuce, carrots, cous cous, garbanzo beans, roasted cauliflower and falafel.
Added some tzatziki sauce and mixed it up :)

The days I couldn't make it to the gym were not lazy days at all. We walked EVERYWHERE. Including Europe's largest flea market, El Rastro :)
At El Rastro is where I finally got my first real Spanish dining experience. And by that I mean we went to a hole in the wall restaurant, where no one spoke english, and I had no idea what I was ordering. I recognized the word "pollo" as chicken (thanks annoying El Pollo Loco commercials), and "ensalada verde" and green salad. I couldn't have gotten luckier. My food was AMAZINGLY delicious and fresh.
Apparently, all green salads come with tuna here. That's what Lauren said. Same with vegetable sandwiches. Tuna isn't considered 'meat' to the Spanish!
Pollo Asado. Clearly I forgot to take a picture before I devoured most of it.
Another amazing form of out of the gym exercise were these stairs in the metro stations. Literally kicked my booty!
There's Lauren on the escalator ;)
Later than night we went to Plaza Mayor...another famous spot!
Pretty walk over 

Plaza Mayor

One of the days we went to this crazy place called Mercado San Miguel.

 Hands down my favorite place here. It will become very clear when you see the pictures. This mercado was just a huge, indoor, market with TONS of stands selling tapas (appetizers), wine, beer, juice, fruit, vegetables, sweets, pastries, just anything you could possibly want. The best part was that it was cheap, and each tapas was about two bites. So I bought one, Lauren bought one, we took a bite, and switched. It was the perfect late lunch. Here was our haul...enjoy the food porn.

French bread with caramelized onions, garlic, and brie cheese. 

Merengue Cupcakes

Raspberry and caramel macaroons

Tomato, mozzarella and pesto kebob, and some sort of chicken tomato onion kebob 

French bread with FRESH mozzarella, arugala, and balsamic vinegar

French bread with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, blueberry jam, and walnuts

And literally the most amazing frozen yogurt I've ever had. Lauren's had apple pie on it, mine had Nutella crunch. MMM

After that we walked down to a bar called "100 Montaditos" and got sangria in a beer mug for 2 Euros! Obviously this was my cheat day :)
Came back to room, siesta timed, and then ordered more room service. I'm legit nervous to see my bill but I just love it.
More wine
Greek salad with grilled chicken
 We also went to Retiro Park, which is apparently famous and I could see why. It was absolutely beautiful and SO much to see we couldn't even walk to entire thing. It was so peaceful and relaxing.

Last night, we went bar hopping and it was CRAZY because Madrid won the world cup! I unfortunately didn't take pictures. But I can tell you there were 1 Euro tequila shots and a 24 hour pizza place...and I can also tell you I woke up at 4 PM and am going to the gym now :)

It has been a very happy, relatively healthy, and very balanced trip. Exactly what I needed. I am proud of myself for not having even ONE food freak out, and striking a good balance with my exercise habits. Hopefully all future trips are as great as this one :) Ciao! x

1 comment:

  1. Glad you had a good holiday and were able to relax with your food :)It all looked awesome!!

    - Adele @ Mammy Made