Recently, I returned from a snowboarding trip with my hubby to the Swiss and French Alps. In between all the snowboarding, we also made time for six days in Nice. Nice is situated on the South of France, framed by the stunning Mediterranean Sea, and is part of a region known as the French Riviera. We were there in the middle of winter, so the temperatures ranged from about 11°C to 2°C. I found it hard to eat healthy sometimes because of the language barrier. Even though I studied French in school, I was often unsure of what I was actually ordering! A lot of lot of French food, however, is naturally healthy, based around good, quality, fresh local ingredients. Here are my top seven favourite active and healthy things to do in this lovely seaside town:
1) Climb up the many stairs of Castle Hill to be rewarded with the amazing, picture perfect view of the bright blue Mediterranean Sea.
2) Shop for fresh fruit and vegetables at the famous flower markets found in the old part of Nice, known as ‘Vieux Nice’. All the bright flowers lined up are absolutely gorgeous! These markets specialise in flowers more than fruit and vegetables, but you can find a few stalls selling fresh produce.
3) Have a nutrient-packed green smoothie. Smoothies definitely don’t seem to be as ‘in’ in France as they are in Australia or America; however, I did find one place that sold them called ‘So Green’. It was a casual cafe selling simple healthy food like salads, wraps, juices and smoothies.
4) Walk, jog or ride along the Promenade des Anglais. This famous and very popular path stretches along the Mediterranean waterfront. I was amazed by how many people were exercising along it at every hour of the day, even though it was the middle of winter! I went for a walk or ran some intervals every day we were here, which was one of my favourite memories of my time in Nice.
5) Walk and marvel at the beautiful fountains in the centre of Nice at Place Massena. The fountains would be a perfect setting for a romantic scene in a movie, I thought. :)
6) Have a real Nicoise salad! The classic Nicoise salad which is popular at cafes and restaurants all over the world originated from Nice! If you don’t already know, a Nicoise salad is composed of tomatoes, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, anchovies, olives and a vinaigrette. It may also have lettuce leaves, red capsicum and artichoke hearts. I had quite a few salads in Nice and they were all delicious – very large and full of lots of ‘yummy’ bits like olives, eggs, feta and tuna.
7) Try some different protein sources – snails and frogs legs! Come on: be brave! Paleo peeps are eating crickets now so how are snails and frogs any different? Snails or escargot are an excellent source of lean protein. They also tasted super yum, (like mushrooms) cooked with olive oil, garlic and pesto. The frog legs were just as good. They were cooked into a typical dish known as Cuisses de Grenouille which involves cooking the frog legs with butter, garlic and parsley sauce. In 100g of frog legs or snails, you get 16g protein and less than 2g fat and carbohydrates. That’s just a few less grams than you would find in a chicken breast!
I hope this post helps to give you a heads-up on some of the foods and activities you shouldn’t miss if you spend time in Nice. Please comment below if you have been and let me know what you loved about this beautiful sunny place!