The Repatriate Binge

There is something special about food from your own country, the food you grew up with. I love Indian food but being an expat, there are those times when you daydream about food, salivate about food, and when you happen to get your little mits on some imported food, you feel like you’re holding diamonds in your hands.

Those who have travelled or lived abroad will understand the cravings you get. When I arrived in England, after a year of living in India, the first thing I ate was a vegetarian version of a full English breakfast- it was divine!

vegetarian english breakfast

Vegetarian full English breakfast! (photo credit: sentrymedicalgroup.org)

After that gorgeous meal, I continued on a six week binge eating session, which involved the following items:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Halloumi cheese
  • Emmental cheese
  • Wensleydale and cranberry cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Cheese scones
  • Cheese and Victorian chutney sandwiches
  • Cheesecake
  • Beans on toast
  • Peanut butter
  • Vegetarian sausages
  • Chip shop chips (really thick and greasy ones)
  • Guacamole
  • Burritos
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pickled onion monster munch (crisps)
  • Poppy seed rolls
  • Tiger bread
  • Fruit yoghurt
  • Rolo yoghurt
  • Chocolate cake
  • Lemon drizzle cake
  • Almond slice
  • Cranberry sauce on roast potatoes
  • Mince pies (a Christmas treat!)
  • Chocolate limes (hard boiled sweets with chocolate in the middle)
  • Fudge of every flavour
  • Sunday dinner with cheese and nut roast!

The first two weeks I was back in England, I was having two cheese, tomato and crisp sandwiches for breakfast! I couldn’t get enough of them! You may pick up on a theme here, I love cheese.

The result of my food reunion?

I gained 18 pounds (that’s over 8 kilograms) during my six weeks in England, which I thought wasn’t too bad considering everything I had been eating. The weight gain is noticeable, I’m very lucky Indian clothes are loose and I can still fit in them! So, I’ve come back to India heavier than I was, after being told I should to lose weight before I left (not by my husband, someone else), but I seriously don’t care… I do not regret a single delicious mouthful! Yum

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37 thoughts on “The Repatriate Binge

  1. Hi Lauren , it good to fell about English food and India, I like Shepard pie and Pallas panner, which. Is your faveorate Indian food, do you cook Indian food?. I want to tell you one thing there is kochi muziris Binneale going in Cochin in Kerala it is own till march I think, If you and your husband visit the show and write about it it would be greate. On 31 January Kerala is hosting the national games the openning cermony is in thiruvanathapuram , please do watch it, have nice day.

    Gopal

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    • Hey Gopal,

      My favourite Indian foods are pani puri and paneer butter masala!! We are currently moving house, so very busy but hopefully one day we will visit Kerala! 😀

      I hope you are well,

      Take care!

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  2. Hello, I saw this website yesterday. Read your whole story till the end (A-Z lol). Really liked it, simply awesome!
    You’re doing a very nice job!
    And I salute your bravery!

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  3. Hey, you only live once! 🙂 Your husband, family and friends won’t care if you gained weight or not. The most important thing is to feel comfortable in your own skin. There are always good & bad days but you have to enjoy life and make the most of it! Food is more than something to eat and we should not regret it. Glad you’ve had such a great time back home in England. When I was in England I enjoyed eating a lot, too. England has delicious food to offer!! ❤ yummyy

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  4. Looks like you’re a big fan of cheeses 😉 Not sure if I should tell you about this, but perhaps you’d like to know and be able to avoid it in the future – Rolo yogurt contains beef gelatine
    😦

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  5. As soon as I started reading the first sentence I was like “omg yes!” I find the food harder than anything else to adjust to everytime I go to England. I realize how much I’ve taken for granted over the years in Canada:

    Dill Pickles
    Dill pickle chips
    Deep fried dill pickles
    Ketchup chips
    Oh Henry bars
    Iced Tea at restaurants
    Miss Vickies chips
    Butter tarts
    Regular bacon
    Regular mustard on burgers
    Poutine
    Strawberry wine
    Lemon pepper spice
    Onion soup mix
    It’s also super hard to find frozen fruit that isn’t all mixed together
    And then there’s all my favourite restaurants. *mouth waters*

    Although I have to admit they know how to do cheese in England. I’ve become obsessed with Wensleydale with cranberries. I can get it here at home but I had just never tried very many cheeses and in England they are big on cheese. I will probably gain 18 pounds too when I move! Now that I’ve gone to England a few times I’m realizing they also have some things that we don’t. I’ve developed a liking to Tyrell’s Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar chips and I really love the Quorn fake meat products; they are more authentic than anything I’ve tasted in Canada.

    It’s gonna take some getting used to but love makes it all worth it. I might be bringing a suitcase packed with food again next time though!

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      • Yes! They are my favourite!!! I actually sent an email to the Miss Vickies company saying I had an emergency: I was moving to England and I couldn’t survive without their chips so they would need to start selling them there :p Thank goodness I’ve discovered Tyrell’s which are a pretty delicious substitute :).

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    • So many things from your list I have never heard of 😀
      Yummmmm!! Wensleydale with cranberries is so awesome, especially on toast with lots of butter!! Wow, I really miss Quorn products too in India!
      Being an expat really makes you realise how important food is doesn’t it!!

      Lots of love xx

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  6. I feel the same way about cheese. I’ve been in France for a while now and every time someone goes back to the UK they have to bring back loads of British cheese!

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  7. I hear you, I think I gained almost as much when I went back to Switzerland for two months in 2008. I was on a diet of Swiss cheese, pretzel stick ( gees when will they stop wanting your new born child for them in India!), meat pate, real tasy pizzas, chocolate and liverwurst spread. Basically all the things that are near impossible or outrageously costly in India went into my system by the truck load. A good thing it was Summer and I love walking or Swimming,otherwise it would have been more than 5-6 kg gained.

    The good new is I lost these kilos when back in India…relief!

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  8. It’s funny… I don’t tend to gain weight when in Canada or Europe but I do when traveling around Asia… guess that sez something about my palate!

    And… um… you do know you CAN get nearly everything on your list in Mumbai. 🙂

    Though I haven’t come across chocolate limes, tiger bread, pickled onion monster munch (crisps) or blackberries!

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  9. One thing I love about my home country food is a proper Canadian breakfast. Our maple syrup from Quebec is the most delicious and fresh tasting in the world! It’s like ambrosia!

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