|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 hub’s favorites), cotton candy (not real food anyway), raw fish, shoo fly pie, pig’s 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 farmer’s 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 don’t 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?