Food in Costa Rica

In early November, two weeks after my second marathon, we went to Costa Rica- and it was AWESOME!  But as anyone with a “picky stomach” will tell you, traveling can be a little nerve racking.  I tend to go in to it with the attitude that I will do my best to not eat foods that might bother me, but that I won’t let it keep me from enjoying new foods.  I went armed with a bottle of apple cider vinegar (you think I’m kidding.. I’m not.. sadly) and several healthy snacks, including my favorite walnut cappuccino Truebars.

I ate a whole slew of things, including cheese and ice cream, and only had one day where I had stomach issues.  Funny enough, this was the day where we ate at, some had said, “the best restaurant in Costa Rica”!  I think what upset my stomach was that it was a breaded option, so sort of fried, and probably the closest to a normal American meal!  The rest of the time, my stomach felt better than it has in a long time, which is really quite amazing for being in a foreign country.  I ate copious amounts of papaya because it was SO amazing there!

When we had a layover on the way back in Houston, we ate dinner and I almost immediately felt terrible.  It has gotten me thinking that a lot of my issues may be AMERICAN food, in that our food has tons of crap and chemicals added to it, instead of just real, from the land food like in Costa Rica.  Since then, I have been thinking a lot more about all of the processed food we eat here and even the stuff that seems healthy has a lot of hidden stuff in it (like what is “natural flavors”?? apparently some pretty hideous stuff…).  It shouldn’t be so hard to eat REAL food here!  It’s quite frustrating and makes me think that maybe I should just move to Costa Rica.. 😉

Fresh fish and veggies- yummy!

Fresh fish and veggies- yummy!

Fresh made ice cream- wonderful and issue free!

Fresh made ice cream- wonderful and issue free!

 

 

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Apple Cider Vinegar

After my disappointing try at an elimination diet, I was on the lookout for something else that might help with my digestive issues.  I came across the infographic below and decided adding apple cider vinegar to my diet was worth a shot!  I’ve been drinking it for probably a year and a half now at breakfast and at lunch.  I started by putting a few tsps in a big glass of water with some agave nectar.  Eventually, I got used to the taste and I just drink it with water, though at lunch I like to add a little bit of tart cherry juice just for some extra flavor.  I do really believe that it has helped me tremendously and is probably why I haven’t seriously looked at revising my diet until now.  I don’t know if it just stopped working for me, if I’ve become “immune” to it, or if I just really screwed up my gut flora at some point, but it doesn’t seem to be doing the trick anymore.  I still recommend people give it a shot, but I think my stomach issues are beyond just this as a simple fix.

10 ways to use apple cider vinegar

Long Run Pre-Fueling

During my marathon training, I played around with a few simple foods to eat the day before a long run/the big day.  I stuck pretty closely to the following:

pre-marathon meal!

pre-marathon meal!

Barley Protein Bowl

Cooked barley
Half a can of water-packed tuna
Chopped fresh spinach
Half an avocado
Lime juice
Salt & Pepper
Smoked paprika

All of this mixed up and warmed!  Served with boiled sweet potatoes sprinkled with ginger powder and raw honey, with a glass of water mixed with some tart cherry juice and apple cider vinegar.