Where in the World is Darin Olien? Hunting Superfoods in Peru
So after a hiatus from traveling to write my book, SuperLife, and to get married to the indescribably amazing Eliza Coupe, I am getting back on the road! I’m off hunting superfoods in Peru, a land that includes microclimates, diverse topography, world-renowned cuisine, and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Maccu Picchu. Don’t ask me how it is though, because once I land in a country like this, I’m all about the superfoods!
This trip is focused on quality assurance, meeting farmers and ensuring fair trade, and supply chain expansion. I want everyone to experience the benefits of this nation’s precious superfoods, but I also want to create superfood sources that respect the food (which shows in how meticulously it is processed and results in a more effective product), the farmer and the soil, and the source.
“From the start, this was the way I decided it had to be structured. Instead of finding a commercial supplier who would sell me the ingredients in bulk, I went directly to the source. I wanted to know everything about the plants first – how they grew and where, who grew them and harvested them. It was my version of fair trade before I knew what fair trade was,” (SuperLife, 99)
The only way to offer superfoods, no matter if it costs more or takes more time, is as a clean, healthy, effective, ethically-sourced product. It will never be the same as a regular item on a store shelf. It requires so much more care and commitment.
Which is why I am hunting Peru superfoods! I’ll be looking at:
and more, depending on where my travels take me. You never quite know out in the field!
“Every time I travel to find new foods, I learn unexpected things – about new herbs, or new uses for them that I’d never imagined before,” (SuperLife, 99).
It is always exciting to think about the possibilities of new nutrients and vitamins just waiting out there to be discovered! You can follow me hunting superfoods on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Miss an update from the trip? Find all the posts here on this blog. Let’s call it my “social travel log.”
At the airport!
For the next two weeks I’ll be exploring and getting hands on with some of the world’s most awesome superfoods in….. (drum roll please)…..PERU! LAX to Atlanta to Lima.
In Lima, Peru!
Before the in-the-field superfood hunting begins, I have some key meetings in the city. They are both important parts of superfood quality assurance and research, but guess which one I like better?!
This is the good stuff!
Local superfood smoothie in Lima. Have you ever tried any of these? Lucuma (one of my favorite flavors IN THE WORLD), aguaymanto (golden berries!), and some fresh papaya! I love fresh ingredients!
Check it out!
Today I’m off to hunt for…Sacha Inchi! Don’t be fooled by its nickname of “Incan Nut,” this seed (yes, seed!) is an excellent source of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), proteins, antioxidants, and vitamins. On the agenda in this region: meeting farmers, doing quality assessments, and researching sustainable supply expansion so more people can experience this superfood’s benefits! Have you tried it?
I’ll travel any “road” necessary to bring you the most awesome superfoods.
Even if that road is made out of WATER! Peru waterways and rivers (including the Amazon!) act as “freeways” to help farmers, locals, and superfood hunters like me get to some of the most remote locations imaginable. Celebrating Water Wednesday and the fact that Water is Life.
This shot of me was taken at more than 12,000 feet in the Andes mountain range visiting the Maca drying fields! Want to know why I was so high up AND learn more about Maca and its benefits?
Starting off a busy day of superfood hunting with refreshing fruits to keep my body fueled! Fresh picked bananas and papaya, I could get used to this!
Hanging out in some Sacha Inchi plants! Can’t get much closer to the source than this! Sacha Inchi is an awesome nut-like seed that is packed with omega fatty acids AND it’s one of the SUPER superfood ingredients in Shakeology!
Awesome way to end the week: meeting local farmers who could become potential suppliers! It is my personal commitment to make sure that the production process of superfoods benefits EVERYONE. From the land, to the farmer, all the way to YOU!
…He’s right behind me isn’t he?
Getting a little antsy around dinner time!
A member of my team (NOT me!) tried a unique Peruvian dish tonight…and yes, it’s ants!
When in Rome…or Peru!
Hitting the Andes!
I’ll be upwards of 12,000 feet the next few days getting my hands on maca! Want to get in on my maca adventure? Start here with my awesome Cacao Maca Energy Smoothie!
How AWESOME is it up here!?
Today I’m exploring high up in the Andes Mountain range. See that land behind me? Its filled with MACA! Get the low down on one of my favorite superfoods.
Look what I just picked!
Red, yellow, and black maca!
Different colors, but just as powerful a kick in every bulb!
Peru is famous for its ceviche’….so I found a vegan mushroom ceviche’ to try!
And of course I had to get my fill of Papas!
Papa Tarmena variety made into a vegan sushi!
Headed down the mountain this morning! I’m now in the Yacon root region, which sits at about 6,000 feet.
Yacon root is an AWESOME prebiotic vegetable that is packed with dense nutrients and minerals!
Traditional Peruvian Andes highlander “Grandma-cita!”
Making friends and picking up some wisdom! What’s your favorite healthy or nutrition tip that someone has told you recently?
Heading home with new friends, new possibilities, and new ideas for some of the greatest superfoods in the world!
Now it’s time for me to get them to YOU!