I know, I know, I know . . . it’s been a looongggg time since I’ve posted to this travel series. And, so many have been asking about it, so I felt it my duty to start updating it again. I’ve been busy with my ebook writing, so forgive the long stretch of no posting. I’m going to start updating this series again regularly — at least every couple of weeks.
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So, what’s life been like; what have I been up to. Well — a ton!
Moving on Up!
First off, I moved in May. I moved from a studio apartment here in Negril, to a 2-bedroom, 2-bath house. It has access to a pool, as well as beach chair facilities at a nice hotel on the beach. I moved because friends kept wanting to come visit, and my studio apt was too small. It was fine for just me, but when friends came, I wanted to be able to put them up.
Editor Note: Access links to every post in this series at the end of this page.
I dont’ visit the pool nearly as much as I’d like — even though it’s literally right across the street.
But, I’ll catch you up on all that’s been going on since my last post here in successive posts — divulging bits and pieces at a time. Today, I want to talk about eating in Jamaica, as in . . .
I’m Losing Weight — and It’s All Because I Stopped Eating Meat (Well, Almost)
As I’ve talked about in previous posts in this series, it is very easy to eat well here in Negril because there’s no fast food restaurant on every corner. Instead, what you encounter is the veggie truck — which sells everything fom pears (avacadoes (what Americans call avacadoes, Jamaicans refer to as pears) to potatoes).
For about $5 (really!) I buy all the fresh veggies I need for a week — usually that consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, pears, beans, onions, lettuce, garlic, carrots and some kind of fruit (eg, watermelon, papaya, honey bananas)).
I WAS a chicken and salad kind of girl. Now, I’ve discovered veggie chunks, aka textured vegetable protein (TVP). And you know what? It takes like meat. My sister says stew beef. It doesn’t taste like that to me. To me, it tends to take on the flavor of whatever you cook with it.
As the video below shows, I usually add callaloo (a collard green/kale-like vegetable, cabbage, carrots, onion, garlic and seasonings). It only takes about 12-15 minutes to cook, depending on how much you cook at once. I usualy cook about half of a 12 oz bag. I can eat off that 3-4 times.
And veggie chunks are cheap – less than $2 for about a 12 oz bag (I’m guessing on the size here; they use the metric system here in Jamaica and my math conversion skills suck!).
Let’s suffice it to say though that it’s a lot of food for very little money. If you add rice and/or beans to it as a side dish, you’ll be really full, but without the “stuffed sausage” feeling, if you know what I mean.
Why I’m Trying to become a Vegetarian
I carry most of my weight in my middle. It’s genetic. No matter how many situps I do or how many miles I run, I tend to be a little poochy in the middle. I do just enough situps to maintain that area, but my stomach hasn’t been flat flat since I was in my mid- to late 30s.
Once I hit 40, forget it, it’s like my body started betraying me! Most of you 40-something-year-olds know what I’m talking about.
I HAVE to work out now; it’s no longer an option.
I HAVE to eat right; it’s not just something I do.
So when a friend of mine gave me this video entitled, Eating, I watched it and was amazed by how the American diet has changed so drastically in just the last century (which is a nanosecond in world age); and by what meat does to your body (it clogs up your colon like nobody’s business). And that’s disastrous for the body on soooo many levels.
And did you know . . . there’s not THAT much of a difference between eating white meat like chicken and eating red meat? In the video I watched, the medical professionals advised against eating ANY kind of meat — even fish! I’d never heard that before. They say our bodies just weren’t meant to break down animal food, or the by-products of animals (eg, dairy).
But, there’s no way I’m ever giving up cream in my coffee — E-V-E-R!
But the video did get me to thinking about eating better (and I already thought I was a pretty healthy eater). When I thought about the fact that America is the fattest country in the industrialized world and that plenty of medical professionals agree that what’s killing most of us is what we put on our plates, the “becoming a vegetarian” seed was definitely planted and starting to grow (pun fully intended!).
I never eat red meat in Jamaica, and I was eating just chicken or fish about 3 times a week anyway. In the last month, I’ve had chicken twice and the last time I had it, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would (I had a meat craving so went out and got some fried chicken — which I happen to love).
But, after not eating it for over 2 weeks, I didn’t enjoy it as much, which surprised me.
Also, not for nothing, but I have diabetes in my family on my mom’s side, so I’m always hypervigilant about that, especially as I get older. So with all of this running through my head, I said to myself:
Let me give this vegetarian thing a try.
And you know . . . it’s not half as hard as I thought it was gonna be, but there are some things I do and don’t like about it.
What I Don’t Like about Being a Vegeterian
I’m always hungry — I literally feel like I could “eat a cow” all the time;
I”m craving sweets more — and I’m not really a “sweetie eating” kind of girl;
My legs feel weaker running (need to add more protein to my diet to compensate for not eating meat);
I’m more gaseous — not great for romance, for sure! and finally . . .
I poop a lot more — I find myself scoping bathrooms just in case (sorry to be so graphic): One thing the doctor in the video said was that most of us are walking around constipated and don’t even know it.
Boy, do I believe him!
But, there are some definite positives, ie:
What I Do Like about Being a Vegeterian
I feel light as a feather overall — am losing weight seamlessly;
My middle is shrinking — without doing any extra situps; and
I feel good mentally just knowing that I’m taking better care of myself.
I’m hoping the positives start to outweigh the negatives and that I can keep it up. I don’t foresee ever giving up meat FOREVER (especially with the holidays just around the corner), but I can see eating it only a few times a year.
I have a couple of friends who are vegetarian and they say that after a while, the meat cravings go away. I hope so because it’s like now that I’m trying NOT to eat meat, it’s all I crave.
But, c’est la vie, no?
And that’s it for this Girl a Go Go this update.
I promise not to go away again for that long.
See you next time, and have a great weekend!
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