Lives Abroad, Needs Help


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Hi all!

I'm currently doing (my best at) my third round of Whole30. Problem is, I live in France and even with the abundance of fruits and veggies thanks to the most delightful farmers markets, I'm having trouble finding ingredients, or just stuff in general, especially in prepared food and on-th-go products, that are compliant (in the US there is so much that is Whole30 compliant and labeled as such, but I'm just not seeing that here).

Has anyone lived abroad before and has some hot tips they could share? It would mean the world. I bought some meat from the farmer one time and one small chicken cost me over $25...I don't have that kind of dough. Literally anything that you know is available in big supermarkets in France.

Thank you so much!

(Disclaimer: I am a college student living on a pretty tight budget)

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Convenience foods are absolutely not a requirement on Whole30. In Canada we don't get much of the convenience foods either and the ones we can get are super expensive! You also don't have to buy pastured, organic, grass fed meats. Just do the best you can with protein, vegetables and fats. Get a bit of fruit, make yourself some homemade mayo or guacamole or ghee and you'll be all set.

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I lived abroad in three different countries for five years. One of the biggest adjustments I had to make as an American was learning to live without prepared or pre-packaged foods. I had to learn how to cook from scratch, and fast, or I was going to spend way too much money on food. And this was before I found the Whole30! Since you're on a budget, try to see where non-wealthy French people shop in your area. A whole chicken from a chain grocery store in a middle class neighborhood is probably going to be cheaper than a whole chicken at a farmer's market in a wealthy or touristy neighborhood, for example (not sure if your market is or not). 

Another adjustment is that some of your favorite compliant ingredients may be a lot more expensive than they are at home. I love avocados, but they were expensive in Argentina, so I learned to live mostly without them. It's all part of the living abroad experience! Your diet will change in one way or another, no matter what.

I didn't live in France, but when I lived in Madrid I'd go to the Carrefour (French chain grocery store) in my neighborhood since they tended to have lower prices than some other stores. So check out the different supermarkets and compare. I'm sure you'll learn a ton of food vocabulary in the process with all the label reading. It's all part of the adventure! Enjoy. :)

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