The Food Upgrade


Since I've been hiding away behind my screen working, a few incidents have happened in Tripoli. Firstly there's been lots of scary attacks in the city centre, and secondly my go-to super market burnt down (Electrical fire). These events are not too far from where I live, however many of us are just getting on with our daily lives. I'm writing this post while we have no electricity which gives you an idea of how I get things done. There's so many factors of uncertainty with living here, but this post is actually going to be about the small things I can control! With this new year there's been many changes in our household, for one I've started my own mini revolution, a food one! I've called for a food upgrade! Many of us don't realise that the most common causes of death are health related (not terrorist attacks). This means my highest concern is if I'm funding my own funeral. I know , I know it sounds a bit dramatic, but think about it. We pay corporations to sell us harmful processed food that make us sick, and eventually kill us. All I'm asking myself is why should I support companies that aren't supporting me?


Enough of my ranting, and let me show you my food haul, this is most helpful to those living in Libya that are looking to upgrade their pantry. I've tried to include pricing, but to be honest we rarely know how much anything costs. We shop according to value, not price. 


Meltro's Best Juices: (1.50 LYD) I love these as it not only tastes great, there's no  sugar, preservatives, colourings and flavourings added. I like to have these drinks as my healthy option on special days. I rarely trust these types of juices, however I'm certainly sold on these as it tastes as real as it sounds. It's something I believe should be limited though as it's still a canned product.


Alianca Grape Juice: (2.75 LYD) I found this at a close store called Al-masa and I'm happy to tell you it's not only sugar free, but it's organic and fair trade! It's so real I actually spat some out as I found a vine piece in my drink ( haha you might want to give it a quick sieve before drinking). It tastes delicious and I'm excited to reuse the cute glass bottles too!


Libyan Dates: (3.75 LYD for 900g) Libya's got some of the sweetest dates I've tasted, these are from Tajoora in Tripoli called Aldahabiya. I love putting peanut butter inside and eating them with a cold glass of fresh unpasteurised milk (I'll do a post on where you can find unpasteurised dairy products). 


Whole Wheat Pasta: We're no longer using bleached flour products which means whole wheat is our close friend. I'll be honest we don't eat this very often, and no it doesn't taste the same as regular pasta, but it definitely does the job when flavoured correctly!


Whole Wheat Bread: (2.50 LYD) I'm glad we found this loaf from Regga Bakery, as it's sprinkled with delicious seeds which reminds me of Warburtons seeded batch in England. It's great toasted with grilled aubergine, red peppers and cheese. It's perfect for when we're looking for a warm snack. 


Herbal Tea: (aprox. 3.75 LYD) I know what your thinking, and your probably right, the packaging sold it to me haha! I love these mixes in flavours they're rare to find in Libya, so I jumped at the opportunity to buy! I found these in M&S which are fair trade, however I'll definitely be buying from another brand next time. I try not to buy products from M&S for ethical reasons.


Dark Chocolate: When I'm on a cheat day, I look for products that are healthier options. For me dark chocolate is the perfect treat, I pick the ones with the highest cocoa content which are so intense, that you only need a bite to satisfy any cravings. Lindt seems to be the only one I can find here that has up to 99% cocoa content, I'm quite impressed.


Hintz Cocoa Powder: Speaking of chocolate  I've been looking for the best dark cocoa in Libya to use in my date treats. This is by far my favourite as it has no added sugar and has such a rich flavour. You can click here to see my post on how to make those.


Smoked Salmon: (7 LYD) When trying to avoid canned Tuna this can be the best option. It's fishy, salty and fresh tasting. Perfect for a quick sandwich and substituting your canned Tuna fish dishes. If you're still  persistent on eating canned tuna then make sure to buy the ones in Olive oil. The idea is slowly upgrading your food choices until you reach your goal.


Here's what I had for lunch using my 'diet German bread' (that's what it's called). I'm so pleased with the reusable glass bottles too and happy all these can be easily found in Tripoli. I understand many large families may be on financial budgets, however many healthy alternatives are affordable once cutting out all the processed foods. If you're looking to start your own food revolution at home, please remember that it's a long process. My husband is constantly challenging me on why we're eating this way, so I know how it feels. The key is educating yourself and persistence. No one else needs to be forced, but don't allow it to discourage you. Once you start noticing the changes in your overall health and appearance it's hard to go back! 


Amira Made Photography

11 comments

  1. Amira,
    I have to say I love your blog. The photography is phenomenal. I just wanted to make a suggestion about tea and juices. You can make your own using tea leaves and herbs/ spices and you can even come up with your own blends. Now, juice! Libya is blessed with some of the best fruits I have ever tasted and the organges come in a wide variety, tastes and color. I would definitely recommend squeezing your own or making different types of smoothies with them.
    I really appreciate this post and wish it would reach a wider audience in Libya. Healthy eating is much needed and not sought after...and when it is it's not done right. That's thanks to white french baguette-filled diet. Yes, enjoy Libya's fresh produce--that is the one thing I miss most. ;)

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    1. Thanks you so much, I love taking pictures for the blog so it's great to hear! As for the tea, i'm going to look online on how I can make my own, it sounds exciting. I know what you mean about the fruits, I have a big basket full of seasonal blood oranges, but nothing to squeeze them with. I might be buying a juicer soon so i'll definitely be trying that out :) Hopefully Libya will calm down so families can return x

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  2. Another inspiring post Amira with dreamy photography to boot. Viva the food revolution x

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    1. The rebelling is getting out of hand, I'm throwing fruits around everywhere! haha

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  3. I started my "food revolution" long time ago and yet being Libyan makes you struggling, somehow, to keep going along that sort of "healthy path". Culture, family, friends and almost every thing around you drag you back to eating "unwisely". Funny thing is when you look at market in corner, eating clean is not probably as hard as many people would think.

    Thank you so much Amira for this amazing blog ...very inspiring ...masha Allah

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    1. It's great to hear about someone else trying to overcome the norm! Yes I agree Ali, it's a lot easier than we think if we actually try.

      Thanks for the positive feedback, it helps keep me on track! :)

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  4. Lovely to see you blogging again. The blog looks great. I am super interested in hearing about the food you manage to find in Tripoli as finding certain foods seemed to be a full-time obsession for me when I lived there! I miss those Libyan dates!

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    1. Oh how I wish you were still around! I'll be honest it's a lot harder to find goodies with souq iltlaat gone :/ but we're managing. It's surprising what you find when you start making a conscious decision to look for healthy alternatives. This list was just the more 'fun' products, there's actually many many more hidden in our kitchen :) (I'll eat a couple more dates on your behalf) x

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    2. I wish I was too! We had to leave in Feb 2011. Really looking forward to going back to the city which was home for us for a number of years. Until now I will live vicariously through your blog! :)

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  5. I'm a big fan of your blog , it's very refreshing . Where did you get the Hintz Cocoa Powder , i've been on the lookout for some good cocoa to add to my oatmeal .

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    1. You can find it in Almasa supermarket in Baab Tajoora (Noliyeen area). It's right beside a butcher, sindibaad bakery, and Remax. Hope you find it, it's where most of these items are from x

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