Native Eating

Hola friends!

I’m back from Costa Rica and had an amazing time! It was not conducive for me to write while I was there because usage of the internet was not free and I was def on a budget tour! Costa Rica was certainly a nice little escape from the harsh reality of our given economy and the stressful energy that surrounds us now as we face the future with a gigantic question mark. At least the country is now in good hands with Mr. Obama running the show!

So, I wanted to rant about my eating adventures in Central America. I think it is really important to embrace the culture you are living in and dine on what the locals eat, so that is why pratically every night, when I wasn’t cooking for myself, I would have comida tipica, which is the tradional Costa Rican meal, from a local soda (small restaurant), which consisted of black beans, rice, fried plantains, salad (usually shredded cabbage, tomato and cucumber) and your choice of chicken, fish, beef, or other meats. I chose to eat fish on the trip because I considered the soure. In the states, you have to really watch the quality and most commercial fish has been farm rasied and fed an unnatural diet making it unsafe and toxic to eat. In Costa Rica, fish is fresh, and has not typically been farm raised.

This is eaten for lunch and/or dinner and it is extremely well balanced. It is not a huge portion, unlike what we see here in the states and it is very satisfying.

Breakfast for me was typically gallo pinto, which is rice, beans and eggs. Again, a very well-rounded, balanced meal. The hostel I stayed at in Manuel Antonio provided ‘breakfast’ but it was white bread slices, jam and coffee…hardly enough to keep anyone full and lacking necessary protein. So, if I didn’t’ eat breakfast out, I would make gallo pinto myself at the hostel. This would keep me full and provide enough energy until lunch time!

Not that I have traveled all that much, but I do think it is common sense to eat what the locals eat when you do travel. I think a lot of American travelers vacation and expect their meals to be like their foods back home (ie. hamburgers and french fries) and most of the time, this is completely unnatural. Traveling should give you the opportunity to be adventurous and try new things! There are always modifications, even if you are vegan or vegetarian. I typically do not eat fish, and chose to on this trip, but they definitely had veggie options. 🙂 It’s always a personal choice.

Embracing different cultures and staying true to what the locals eat is all part of the experience when you travel. Also, you learn new things about food and maybe get introduced to exciting things you have never even considered.

I felt so good the entire time I was in Costa Rica (except for when I drank too much Imperial or Pilsen beer), because I ate as a local. Eating as a native makes you feel good and is better for you because you are eating what is naturally available to that region. It’s all about eating local, fresh, diversified and organic, and what better way to do that in a foreign country than to mirror the locals!

I encourage everyone to travel if you can! You honestly do not need a ton of money to do so…just an adventurous spirit and an easy going attitude. It’s important for one’s health to feed the soul and you can definitely fulfill this with checking out once in a while. Traveling recharges and revives you so you can take on life’s challenges. Why work so hard if you do not give yourself permission to LIVE?

Eat. Breathe. Travel. Love. Hug. Dance. Sing.

Love to you all and PURA VIDA!

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