Monday, February 10, 2014

Food, Glorious Food

A casado plate - typical Costa Rican lunch.
During my recent trip to Costa Rica I followed an almost-totally-vegan diet. My girlfriend Jane is a vegan. Vegans do not eat any animal products beef, pork, fish, poultry, dairy products, road kill, chocolate covered ants, other insects, etc.

I am not a vegan. I am a foodie. I like most foods, but not all foods. I only like green beans (do not eat black, white, red beans - especially mushy ones). I do not like little round green peas frozen or in a can, mussels (one of hubs favorites), cotton candy (not real food anyway), raw fish, shoo fly pie, pigs stomach (I think I lived in Pennsylvania Dutch country too long), and a few other foodstuffs I cannot remember at the moment.
Fresh sliced fruit, a snack provided on our  kayak
and horseback riding tours.

We ate the same breakfast every day - a hearty blend of grains cereal.

Dinner consisted of a salad with the most wonderfully tasting veggies bought fresh at market, and a fresh fruit salad made with fruits purchased at the local farmers market for dessert. Delicious, nutritious, healthy, very diet-conscious.

No bread. Not a vegan thing, a diet thing.

We ate lunch out because we were doing tourist stuff all day.

We enjoyed leisurely lunches at local cafes. This is where I teetered off the vegan wagon. A casado typical Costa Rican lunch - includes a plate with rice, a green salad, plantains (something like bananas, sliced and fried or baked), beans, and a choice of beef, chicken, or fish.

I presented my beans to Jane.

I dont think I could be a true tico native Costa Rican. They love their beans. Rice and beans is a staple. Eaten everyday, sometimes with every meal.

I ordered fish with my casado. The fish was outstanding local, sliced thin, not too fishy-tasting, and not fried.

A couple of times we ordered veggie sandwiches the only bread consumed all week.

So why did I not continue eating the same healthy way when returning home?

Because I am weak. No will-power. Physically weak too, but that has nothing to do with this discussion

My trained-from-birth body cells craved favorite foods. Faves like chicken wings, a juicy hamburger, and eggs, foods I can prepare at home. And of course ice cream and chocolate.

My girlfriend claims it is all a matter of mind over matter. Anyone can totally change their diet if they want. She and her hub became vegan two years ago and have not looked back.

I am not looking back, but upon returning home eagerly looked forward to tasting beloved foods again.

I could prepare vegan meals at home. But do you realize the number of fixings in vegan recipes? Over the years anytime ingredients in a recipe totaled in the double digits, I moved on. Vegan recipes have lots of ingredients. I enjoy cooking, but am not a gourmet cook. I am a KISS cook Keep it simple, stupid.

I think climate also has something to do with my inability to toe the almost-vegan, diet-conscious, nutritious line now. I left a warm, temperate almost equatorial climate and came home to the polar vortex. Cold veggie and fruit salads, wonderful as they are in warm weather, pale when the body yearns for a comforting bowl of hot soup or a plate of anything heated enough to warm the hands and bathe the face in warm vapors.

And I like variety.

Although not with everything in life.

Next week hub and I celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary.

Do you think we will go out to dinner? 


  1. If you lived in a temperate climate like that, it would make more sense to eat fresh fruit and veggies all the time. I love my beans, I don't deny it. Hubby fixes them from dried and adds garlic, mushrooms and onions. They are wonderful. :-)

  2. We do try to eat more veggies and fish here in Hawaii, but it's hard to forgo hamburgers and chicken wings completely. Still... we try. As for beans... ummm.... it leaves me a little bloated. :-)

  3. I like veggies and grains, but variety is important as well. Enjoy your anniversary celebration!

  4. Since when is cotton candy not real food. I enjoyed it once. These days, I'm all weight watchers points. The fruit looks good. No points for fruits. Dianne