El Centro Mercado
Part of AFC’s off-training schedule during their time in Valencia included going to the “Centro Mercado” (Central Market) to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. The Couple rented a beautiful one-bedroom apartment in the center of La Ciudad Vieja (the Old City), and so they had a small kitchen to prepare meals.
AFC maintained a healthy 2:1 ratio of meals prepared themselves, and meals consumed in restaurants. They were well aware that sticking to this ratio would guarantee peak lean-ness, while at the same time allowing them to experience Valencia’s vast culinary offerings. Yet the Central Market soon became a main component of AFC's experience in Valencia. Not only did the Couple feel like locals on their daily rounds to the different specialty vendors, but they became friends with stand-owners and shoppers alike.
The Central Market was comprised of individual stalls – probably as many as 200! – where specialized vendors sold their products. Of course, there was fresh fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, and dried fruit and nuts vendors – but there were also some unique stands that offered one-of-a-kind goods. Lyuda spotted a vendor that sold dried fishes – cod, sardines, and tuna – and she bought several different variations for use in fresh salads. The Couple passed by a gourmet cheese stand too, and splurged by purchasing a .01 kg piece of Manchego, which they shared as an appetizer before a hearty meal of vegetables.
The Central Market was located only a quarter mile from AFC's apartment, which allowed for an easy walk over. (The Couple ran an extra mile during their afternoon workout to make up for the short commute.) There was also a specialty "tapas" stand located in the middle of the Market. Owned by a famous local chef, the tapas restaurant catered to famished market-goers in desperate need of a quick bite. The Couple stopped in one day for a couple plates of freshly-sourced muscles and "jamon" (ham). The unexpected snack required an additional 45-minutes of cardiovascular conditioning that evening.