Posts Tagged With: vegetables

Fitness Friday week 5 – Get up, stand up!

It’s been 4 weeks! You knew it was coming, another transformation photo! Even if you don’t think there’s a difference, I still encourage you to snap the pic. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see a change but over time it’s apparent. Pregnancy is the perfect example. I never wanted to take the growing belly selfies, but with a gentle push from friends I did and I’m so thankful! Looking back at those weekly shots in the post The Most Selfies I’ve Ever Taken, I now see the progressive changes that I wasn’t recognizing on my own.

If the reason you don’t want to take another photo is that you haven’t been putting forth much effort, then great, let this be a fire under you hiney to get back to it!

This week we’re going to talk about posture.

When your ankles, hips, shoulders, and head are lined up comfortably one above the other, your posture is correct. Your knees should not be locked, but slightly bent and your feet should be shoulder width apart.

I found this clever image that helps identify where you might be falling, or standing rather.

Why is posture so important? If you ask any chiropractor or physical therapist, they’d say “good posture means good health”. It allows your joints to work properly without unnecessary pressure where it doesn’t belong. It maintains muscular strength in the areas that decrease pressure on nerves. The list goes on including simply looking better… healthy and alive!

I’ve been amazed at the difference I’ve felt when focusing on my stance. I did it this past week and I’m actually sore from it! A good ache of course, soreness from contracting muscles to keep my spine straight, especially between my shoulder blades. After being pregnant and now a new mom, I found myself slouching as if I was still carrying pounds of baby in front of me.

It’s harder than it sounds to keep conscious of your posture. Most of you have probably corrected your posture while reading this and a good majority of you will forget about it before the end of this post.

This week I challenge you to be fully aware of your body, head to toe. When you’re cooking, working at a desk, holding your baby, standing in line at the store and even sleeping!

So how we’d do with last weeks challenge? No processed sugar was to be consumed and hopefully forgotten about… ha… ha… ha. I give myself a B+ considering effort, environment and temptations declined. The Sunday after I posted the challenge, we went to a “Candyland” birthday party. What’s funny, is nothing there was my favorite kind of sugar. It wasn’t like there was a Rice Krispie treat cake or chocolate covered nuts, however I still found myself being tempted by the flavors that were offered. I admit I nibbled here and there and regretted every bite that wasn’t worth it, which was all of them! Lesson learned.

Moving on.

This week is all about the food prep. No matter what diet you’re on or nutritional plan you follow, being prepared is always helpful. The number one thing I hear when this topic is brought up is time. It’s time consuming to get out the tubberware, chopping block and utensils to dice up your fruit and veggies. And who has spare minutes to cook up your protein and separate it all for the week? You do.

When you want something bad enough, you make it happen!

I personally enjoy it, I guess you could call it my kitchen therapy. I pour a glass of wine, pull my hair back and turn on my favorite music (or if I really want to nerd out, I’ll turn on a health documentary or cooking show). Then I lay out all of my ingredients and all of the storage containers and prep away! I intended on doing this and snapping all the pics from my own kitchen, but then I woke up and it was today, Friday. For the sake of all you that love visuals, me included, here are some beautiful examples I found.

If you’re not up for organizing full meals, start with just preparing a few containers of cleaned cut fruit and veggies. Something you can reach for in a hurry or in a “must snack now!” moment. If you open my fridge you’ll usually find celery sticks, sliced cucumber, other veggies and cleaned fruit ready to be eaten. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone into the fridge with major mind hungry (meaning in my head and not in my gut) ready to devour the first thing I saw. Due to convenience, I’d just grab a veggie bag with maybe some hummus, mashed avocado or bean dip.

What if you don’t eat all of your prepped veggies before they start to turn bad? Throw them in a skillet and you’ve got dinner with rice, roll them up in butterleaf and now you have lettuce wraps, toss them in a little oil and roast them at 400 until they’re crispy.. oh so good! My recent favorite trick is to throw them in a blender after being cooked (in anyway) with some seasoning and nut milk. Heat and eat like soup or dip with crackers. Yum!

This weeks homework:

1. Every moment you consciously think of your posture, fix it! Did you already forget?

2. Make time for one session of treating yourself to stocking the fridge with prepared fresh food. You’re worth it!

3. Take the next transition photo. Deep breath, you can do it!

4. Remember that fun little workout we recorded on week one? Do it again and see if there’s any improvement in your numbers.

Set a timer for 1 minute and count how many pushups you can do. Then again for squats and burpees. Even if you do 4 and the rest for 30 seconds and do 4 more, just keep attempting for the entire 2 minutes. Write it down and store away with that glorious photo you just took.

Wrapping up our lifestyle changes so far:

1. Use the stairs every chance you get!

2. Stick to the single serving amount or less.

3. Play with pop-cycle sticks and actually use them!

4. Consume products that are closest to their original state!

5. Avoid artificial sweeteners found in most sugar free products.

6. Walk as much as you can at every opportunity!

7. Clean out your system of sugar, stick with fruit!

8. Pick 3 workouts a week and give it all you got!

9. Food Prep! Make it easier to make better choices.

10. Keep you posture in mind. Good posture, good health!

Categories: Edibles!, Fitness, Fitness Friday’s!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fitness Friday – week 1!

I walked into the gym feeling the way maybe a 30 year old would feel on the first day back to school – collage, teacher, desk, notebook… got it. Gym, treadmill, weights, machines… got it, now what? I’ll have to admit I was ready to post this first workout like a champ from the fitness center, but something changed the moment I walked into the gym. For what it’s worth I laughed when I did an about face. I didn’t even fake like I left something in my car or got a sudden stomach bug, I just laughed like I had lost my mind and walked out.

Needless to say this lead me to the perfect beginning place, a quiet empty space in which I had nowhere to go but up, literally. The stairwell! We’re currently living in a 19 story high-rise building that has a small gym and also an inviting set of steps that has become my new best friend.

Reasons I love stairs

1. You’re going somewhere (no thanks to you treadmills).

2. It’s super for the legs without destroying your knees or lower back.

3. You can vary the workout! I’ll sprint up one flight for cardio, skip a step with slow movements for a butt burn or stay on my toes for a calf tightening.

4. Nobody is standing there waiting for you to finish so they can do it.

So this week my physical challenge to you is to find stairs. The local school stadium, a nearby hotel, the mall, the park, etc. they’re out there, just look! If you live in a cow town and the only steps you have are the 6 leading up to the library, use them! I’ve also taken every chance to use stairs even when there’s an escalator or elevator available. If you want an extra challenge, incorporate some movements at the bottom or top of the climb. I did this in an airport back in Da Nang, Vietnam (while waiting for my flight to Ho Chi Minh) .

Food, we gotta eat! This subject is tricky since it seems these day there are uncountable amounts of diets, ideas and theories. None of that, too much of this, avoid those, eat that but only if it’s prepared this way…. it’s endless! I’m going to keep it general this week and invite you into the world of portion control. No matter what your diet might be, let’s pay attention to the quantity.

Just because they’re organic, whole grain, sugar free and tasteless (not a typo) doesn’t mean you should eat them by the buckets. If it’s 100 calories per serving and 10 pieces is a serving and there’s 6 servings per container, guess what… if you sit and watch Netflix while finishing the box of your “healthy” snack, you’ve consumed a solid amount of your daily caloric intake. A trainer once told me, “just because it’s a gluten free donut doesn’t mean it’s not a donut”. (This was after I was trying to justify my dairy free frozen treat).

Here’s a prime example – I found an “all natural vanilla” because it appears innocent and sounds like a decent choice (I know ice cream shouldn’t really be in a “diet” but for those of you who like your desserts, this is for you). Let’s look at the label:

Without even analyzing the actual “nutrition facts”, start by looking at the serving size. It’s an itty bitty 1/2 cup. Not a bowl, not even a coffee cup size but a half of a measured cup. If you’re not a baker, go get a real measuring device and see what your serving of ice cream really looks like. Then look at the label again, 12 servings!! So if you finish this dandy container over the weekend, you’ve consumed 1,560 calories – 720 of those are from fat and 168 grams of sugar! Thats 6x the amount of sugar you’re generally supposed to max out at per day… total! (You should gasp in disbelief here).

Point is, be aware of what you’re eating. Put a proper portion (or less) on your plate, then enjoy. Don’t invite the temptation for just a few more. This especially includes eating out. Try ordering your meal with a to-go box. If you feel like a nerd doing this, just remind yourself that whoever is judging you is either A- jealous that they don’t have the willpower or B- impressed that you do. When the dish comes, keep a healthy portion on your plate and put the rest in the box for later. DO NOT go for the doggy bag while in the restaurant, you’re not starving nor will your leftovers dissolve before getting to finish them. You can do it!

This weeks HOMEWORK:

1. Snap a photo of your beautiful self. This will be the “starting” photo of our journey. In a swimsuit, your undies, a mini dress, a speedo, birthday suit, whatever… this is for you!

2. Take 3 minutes of your day (today) and record the following. We will use this as a simple guide to gage improvement. Every 2 weeks, we’ll do it again to see how amazing our endurance can increase with a little effort.

Set a timer for 1 minute and count how many pushups you can do. Then again for squats and burpees. Even if you do 4 and the rest for 30 seconds and do 4 more, just keep attempting for the entire 2 minutes. Write it down and store away with that glorious photo you just took.

3. Embrace full awareness of everything that goes into your mouth… No handfuls, quick bites or food straight from the container. Please measure, save leftovers and consume only what’s needed.

This week I’ll be repeating these two phrases when I feel tempted to either skip a workout or eat just a little more:

-everyone works out when they want to, determined people do it even when they don’t want to!

-a moment on the lips is a month on the hips 😬

Have a super week!

Please note, I am not a doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, life coach or any other label that would give the idea that I’ve been properly trained in the world of food and fitness. I’m just a girl who loves both subjects that’s willing to share my ideas along the journey.

Categories: Edibles!, Fitness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Folsom Farmers Market

If you’ve been following long enough, you’ll know it’s very likely to find me in a local market sampling any and every thing that’s offered. I love food.

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This round of staying in California placed me living a short distance from the local farmers market. For the first time I was a tourist in my home town as I chatted small talk with the venders every Saturday morning. Walk with me (or kidnap some friends and jog with me)!

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I apologize to the non vegetarians out there as I didn’t get close ups of any animal products. Take my word, there were definitely quality hunks of meat out there and I’m not talking about the guys who came to the market still dressed in their gym clothes.

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This stand sells goodies from under the sea. Fresh fish, smoked items and unique treats such as salmon bacon and fish jerky were a just a few of the options.

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All the way from The Netherlands (one of my favorite European countries) is Marga. With vegan treats and energy boosting snacks, she greeted me with a familiar accent. I replied with the only sentence I know in her language, “Klink ik nederlands?”, which translates “Do I sound Dutch?”. She responded with a giggle and said, “Not really. WellI I guess a little bit since I understood you!”.
Her website offers nutrient packed snacks and details of how it all started. Check her out at www.commonkettle.com

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A special thanks to Teresa. As if her tasty jam wasn’t enjoyable enough, the supportive conversation was something I looked forward to each week. Ps, apricot is amazing if you ever get the chance to order from her!

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Nita, side by side with her daughter, was always eager to divi out the samples (I’m sure because they were confident that you couldn’t resist another bite). From gooey caramel enhanced rice Krispy treats to peanut butter brownies, self discipline was a must when passing by this stand!

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Peel’d has a brilliant idea that is beng loved around the Sacramento area. Each day they juice a fresh new batch of smoothies and bring the amazing flavors out to the market. I know most of you savvy little health nuts out there have a juicer or Vitamix, but this little backpacker doesn’t have room to lug those appliances around. Instead, I choose over worn clothes, trail mix, and a half empty first aid kit.
With that said, this trip I’ve been spoiled with a fresh juice every Weekend. Glorious! If you’re jealous and would love these juicy deliveries to your doorstep, check out their website at www.getpeeld.com.
To Tim and my peel’d friends, your greetings every week spoke in volumes and have still left an imprint on my Saturday morning experiences, much gratitude to the dozens of samples (that you knew I had already tried) and the gifted bottles that I enjoyed to the last drop!

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I didn’t get to know this lovely lady as well as the others, but Nicole’s creativity and passion towards organic dog food stood out to me. Add animals to the list of things that I don’t backpack with, but if you have a healthy pup at home, feel free to look her up at www.inthedoghousetreats.com

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If I could remember the exact words these folks spoke to me I’d share them with the world to brighten the day. Their supportive compliments fueled my traveling fire and the mini bag of granola traveled with me well! Thanks again!

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Usually my market posts are crammed with fruit and veggies, but this round the vibrant people and homemade goodies took over. I don’t want to leave out the vendors that kept my counter piled high with rainbow colored edibles from the earth. Thank you for the abundance of plants grown in your backyard!

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wait… Did you say bees and ant eggs?

I’m still gratefully accepting donations for this season of “With our powers combined”!

Over the time spent in Chiang Mai, Bree and I hit several different markets trying what seemed like any and every item that was either new and curious or familiar and tasty. Lets start off with some sugary delights, why? Because every human should have dessert first once in awhile… It does the inner-child some good!

This sign stopped me right my tracks as I love frozen yogurt (well, pretty much anything that’s sweet and frozen) and I had never seen this before. They take a flavored ice block and attach it to a machine that shaves it so thin that it resembles the texture of snow. Amazing, I know! With flavors ranging from the typical options to green tea, chai, banana and even a “yogurt” that we can’t tell if it was actual frozen yogurt or just flavored that way. Doesn’t matter because it was delicious!

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I’m not a soda drinker, but kudos to this simple idea. They would pour your favorite drink into the cylinder, drop a stick in it and gently rotate it until they froze. Homemade pop cycles!

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For those who like baked goods, your options seemed unlimited. Yes, that waffle was made with shredded pork and it sat amongst the other flavors of coconut, raisin, chocolate and corn!

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Donuts anyone?

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This was a soft but crispy shell with a marshmallow type cream and your choice of topping melted into it. The yellow shavings? Definitely not cheese, it’s actually egg yolk! (Also to be seen in large qualities below).

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Here are some other sweets that caught the attention of my camera.

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The glorious group of fruit is in a different category for me. It’s not dessert or a topping to a salad nor do I love it dried or fried. My favorite way to consume it is by itself, freshly cut and first thing in the morning. They do it a bit differently in Asia, as it seems to be served up primarily in the evenings and usually blended.

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Moving on to the meat, fish and questionable items that they claim are edible.

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Vegetables… I think. If it’s green, it has to be healthy, right?

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What do you like in your omelet? Cheese, onions, ham and peppers? We went for bee and ant eggs… Turns out there’s a first and last time for everything!

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A few more fun items that may or may not be tempting while wandering the streets of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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I’ll close this scrumptious post with a beautiful plate of traditional Pad Thai that came from 29 Cafe. I highly suggests scouting out this hidden table if you’re in the area – thank you Zsuzsi and Vilmos!

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hanoi – A day in the streets & the market by night!

I found that when I was walking the streets of Hanoi, the energy from the locals was constantly sending me mixed signals. Food venders on the street might greet you when you smile into their bowl of mystery items and others pretend as if you don’t exist. Many tuk tuk drivers will offer you a kind ride, while others won’t hesitate to nip your heels along a cross walk. Maybe it’s because I was spoiled in Cambodia or that I’m usually staying with locals, but I was taken back by the overall “you’re just a tourist” vibe that dampened this city. I suppose thats what I get for visiting the second largest city in Vietnam. With that said, lets see what it has to offer!

Welcome to the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam!

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Of course there’s a Pub… Haven’t found a country yet that doesn’t support an Irish drinking place!

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These sweet girls welcomed me into their creative shop in which mostly everything was handmade by them right here in the store. What a beautiful group of ambitious ladies!

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A breath of fresh air in this busy city can be found with a walk around the lake (the one seen from the balcony of the egg coffee cafe.

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Like in most cities, as the sun goes down… the energy goes up!

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The famous night market draws in a crowd looking for clothes, trinkets, food, drinks and pretty much anything else you can imagine that’s sellable to a willing customer.

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This friendly couple from Sweden made dinner a treat by splitting a massive feast with me. Each table gets their own grill and a plate of raw food. You add the oil and seasonings, then stir-fry it up! I included the first photo just to show off my favorite mini table settings that the locals dine on.

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If you’re not strolling the night market, just hitting the main streets will keep your eyes on the move!

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Safety tips of the day:
1. Assuming pedestrians have the right away will get you hit by a speeding motorbike.

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2. Once you commit to walking… Keep going! They’ll maneuver around you (That’s my noggin to the left of the photo).

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3. If you can’t beat them, join em!

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Time for a double connection! Egg coffee friends… meet barbecue night-market friends! On this evening, we chose to stay low key with the locals and take a tea on some mini stools.

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Well thank you Hanoi for your introduction to Vietnam. Travelers, if you’re reading this for personal advice, here’s my quick thought:
If you’re coming for a personal “local” experience… get out of the city. If you’re coming for souvenirs and egg coffee… You’ve come to the right place.

For me, it’s time to get out of town! A spicy and extremely sweet local girl offered me a ride to the station so I wouldn’t have to deal with a cab or cranky tuk tuk driver. Thank you dear!

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Not only did she drive me all the way there, she parked her bike, checked me in and then proceeded to walk me all the way to the bed I would be sleeping on during this 13 hour train

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Dear mystery motorbike angel, your kind smile and sassy energy was not only appreciated, but adored!

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Next stop, Hoi An!

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

On your MARKET, get set… Go!

Lets talk about a worldwide shared interest, a magnet for gatherings and one of my favorite subjects, food! Sweet, salty, fresh, raw, baked, grilled, fried, roasted, frozen, blended, puréed and homemade… We love it!

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have experienced the cuisine of several different countries and oh how they differ!

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Since I have thousands (no exaggeration) of photos in my travel history, I figured that I’d break it up into a few categories. This post is showing off the wonderful world of markets!

The outdoor options bring you locally operated venues in which residents gather to provide fruit, veggies, homemade goodies and more. Walk with me street side as we start in Europe! Below is a bundle of photos that I took during the past few years including but not limited to The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic and England.

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On to the country of Malaysia within the cities of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang!

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Hungry yet? Next we have my Central American market experience that includes Costa Rica, Belize, El Salvador and Panama.

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Here are the sights while exploring a small part of South America. Welcome to Peru, Ecuador and a Argentina!

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I think the best part of these entertaining events is the “snack as you go” option, as you can always just grab a small portion for the road. I learned very quickly to go to the market for lunch, not after!

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I realize this post has a bit more photos (of tempting, scrumptious, mouth watering delights) and not so many words (that just get in the way of the delicious visuals). With that said, if you’re interested in more descriptive information on each specific country, please feel welcome to search my blog for more details!

Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Last 12 hours at the Tropical Farm

Although these pictures will give you a decent idea of the eventful night in the jungle, I highly suggest making time to read the descriptions as the adventure continues…

I’m pleased as they show us our room for it has all of the necessities with four walls, a ceiling, a window, a bed and a door. I toss our bag to the floor and turn to see my mom intensely staring at the ceiling.

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I see absolutely nothing so I make the mistake of asking, “What is it?”. Now when you’re dealing with someone who is, let’s say imaginative, you have to constantly evaluate the true seriousness. She explains her thoughts of what might be living in there and what could possibly crawl down during the night. Oh dear… It has begun.

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Trying to explain to her that the bugs mean no harm is like trying to convince… well, you get it. After pointing out a few critters that she didn’t want to sleep with, we do a quick brush through. “Killing” things really isn’t my forte, so here’s a few “attempts” just for her peace of mind.

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After reassuring her that we’ve gotten most of the crawling, flying and jumping creatures out of the room, I get a smile from her as we leave to go help with dinner.

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Tonight’s menu is homemade tortilla bread, grilled veggies, sprouted beans and scrumptious hot oil made by sweet Gloria. The drink to complement this flavorful meal was fresh chestnut juice!

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Check out the herbs we added straight from the garden, scrumptious! After we rolled it out fairly thin they through it over the grill. Are you jealous?

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As we turn in for the night, I ask for a mosquito net. Mostly for moms sake (last year she survived dengue fever after being bitten) and partially for my sanity, as I wouldn’t get any sleep with her swatting flying objects all night.

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Turns out I’m a solid 2 feet shy of hanging it, so we call in the other volunteers to help us secure our protective gear.

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Does she look convinced?

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Sweet dreams (ha…ha…ha).

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Our morning coffee was accompanied by the fella in the first photo and I almost grabbed the second one that was headed towards my backpack. Not to mention the jumping spider that we lost track of last night.

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After the exhausting night and eight legged company with coffee, the decision is made to leave the farm. The bags are packed and you can see sadness in our eyes as we head out. Must keep faith there’s a greater reason and positive purpose in the new path ahead!
Thank you Gloria, Mauricio, Chilly Willy and the other volunteers that made the last 24 hours a memorable event!

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Categories: Accommodations, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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