Carne, Verduras, and Everything In Between

I realize I have talked some big talk about loving food on here, but there is little content dedicated to food. How that’s possible, I have no idea. It’s not fair – to me, to you – to the food!

I think everyone’s first reaction to the food here (aside from how amazing the beef is – because everyone knows that) is – “it’s so hard to eat healthy here.” Yup, those very words came out of not only mine, but every other extranjero’s mouth. At a glance this attitude is easy to understand, you have heladerias every 10 feet, and restaurant menus seem to mainly consist of – carne, queso, empanadas, pizza, and or pasta.

Eating here can also be an adjustment as the food isn’t that diverse, it’s delicious, yeah, but diverse? No. Argentine cuisine is infamous for not using spices and don’t even think about getting anything picante (spicy), I am serious. For a Mexican girl like me, this has been difficult. And due to the ridiculous restrictions on imported goods, it can be hard to find your favorite chili sauces, herbs, spices etc. And when you do find them, they are insanely overpriced.

Now, the majority of my money goes to food, in my opinion, it’s money well spent, and while I tend to eat out often (shh) I have to say that since moving here I have seriously stepped up my cooking game! I have always loved to bake, but cooking is a different breed. I am a slight control freak, and with cooking you to have to learn to let go. But, the teacher of desire has pushed me to take a step back, relax, and let go en la cocina. I I have noticed that in cooking here, I have really cut back on carbs, processed foods and sugar. OK, not sugar. I’m sorry the helado is too good.

The key to cooking, and eating, here is knowing where to go. Once you know what is going on when it comes to where to shop and what to ask for etc. you will find that there is a lot of room to be creative, and yes, healthy here. Thanks to the verdulerias on every block you can count on fresh seasonal produce -WINN! Some neighborhoods offer a better selection than others and if you can find one owned by Bolivians, you are in luck, as they always have cilantro and jalapenos.

I always avoid “the chino”, Asain owned supermercados (fyi all Asians are referred to as “Chino” here – just the way it is, ask my Vietnamese friend). Why? Their selections are limited and often overpriced. On that note, if you want to splurge on imported goods, Barrio Chino, albeit far, is your one stop shop for imported goods. But, it’s not your only option. There is a great little health food store off of Anchorena and Santa Fe that carries Sriracha, Nutella, and yes peanut butter! They also carry quinoa and other health items. There is another place near Carranza and Caballido (think Palermo Hollywood) that sells quinoa, coconut milk, popcorn kernels and other random delights. Also, there is a huge Coto (think Alberston’s) in Abasto that pretty much has everything you might need – and they deliver – just saying.

All this said, I still avoid buying and cooking fish. Back home, I cooked fish all the time, but here – I just can’t trust it. I know there are good places to buy fish here but . .. I can’t do it. But, ughhh how I miss it. Also, keep in mind – if you are only here for a short time – 6 months and under – AVOID sushi. You will just be disappointed. Everything is stuffed with cream cheese and the tuna, the tuna,  is canned tuna. There are places that sell “red tuna” but the price isn’t worth it. Yes, you might cry. But, who needs sushi when you can order asado de tira, or bife de chorizo?! “Healthy eating”, vegetarianism etc are starting to catch on here and as a result there are some great restaurants to feed your healthy appetite. They may be a little more expensive, but then again, everything is expensive here – so if you can, go for it!

Long story short, it’s possible to eat well and healthy here, it just takes time to figure it out, and that is half the fun right?! So, get out there and get cooking! Buen provecho!

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**I am unable to load images for a minute, until I purchase a new cord or laptop. Somehow I imagine the cord will come first ;). Until then, allow the random ones I will be uploading :D.

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Hello October, When Did you Get Here?

Chicos! How is this possible? How is it already October?! Gah – time is flying by soo quickly. So, there is much to catch up on

  • didn’t get the Jauntaroo gig – noooooo! But, it’s ok! I had an insane amount of support and that blew me away!
  • it is finally getting warmer – spring is here and I didn’t have to wear a jacket today, HALLELUJAH

OK – that is the big stuff jaja. But, there are all of these little things, and personal things, that I am not sure how much detail I want to go into – but the times they are a changin’ alright! Gah, and as I think about all that has happened – I think about how much backtracking there is to do on here and then I feel so guilty, aka annoyed with myself, for not keeping this up to date. I still haven’t even finished the trip to the north!

Facepalm.

So what I am going to do is just post. They may not be in order but the goodies will all be there!

Thank you so much for continuing to follow and for helping me with the contest of course! More to come soon! And this time I mean it! Chau chau for now 😉

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Life takes over

I know I have said this before, and I haven’t meant to stay away for so long, but life has the ability to take over and can eat you whole. I have been putting off writing for the “right time” but I know better, and have realized that we simply must MAKE time.
This past month has been very transformative. I have hit the point in this journey when everything sort of falls apart and reality makes her great entrance back into my life. As a result, this has been a very introspective time.
It hasn’t all been bad. I have had some rather interesting opportunities arise and as we all know (yup I’m going there) when one door closes. . . without going into too much detail please allow me to catch you up:
Majority of my friends here have said their goodbyes and are on to their next adventure or respective countries. I have said farewell to the house I have lived in for the past 8 months as, well, it was time. I have been so blessed to have been taken in by a few friends until I can move into my next home in Sept. Happy to say the new place is an “upgrade” of sorts in regards to amenities – so long twin size bed – hello queen bed! So long shared bath – hello private! The neighborhood I am moving into is pretty much the bees knees. It’s safer, cleaner, close to everything (great bars, restaurants, cafes etc), including my office, so all in all things are looking up!
I have said goodbye to 2 spanish teachers and am in the process of finding another. My spanish is slowly improving. My vocab is building but my grammar is still mierda. Boh. That said things are starting to click now – really click. I feel like I went through a period in which my spanish was getting worse jaja! But, the new house is a “spanish only” environment so I am ready for what I am sure is to be a Spanish boot camp ;).
I say this often but I can’t stress enough how grateful I am for having this opportunity, for so many reasons. I think the most valuable one is the reminder that no matter how many times I get knocked around – there are always people around to help me up. We live in this world where we are told, and believe, that we can’t trust anyone and while you shouldn’t trust EVERYONE, sometimes you have no choice but to put your faith in others. I am so humbled and floored by the amount of goodness in my life. All I can say is I have a lot of paying it forward to do.
I have missed this blog and writing. It is such a useful outlet and I hope you will continue to join me on this journey!
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And So It Is

Real talk? I think one of the biggest lessons I am learning in my time here is – how to say goodbye. I’ve mentioned more than a few times about how it’s the people you meet when traveling that make the experience amazing. So what do you do when it’s time to go your separate ways? My social life is about to be drastically rocked in a few weeks and having to come to terms with that is hard.

This is the second group of people here who have come into my life, twirled me around, and are about to make their grand exit. Now, when I say that I am learning to say goodbye, I don’t mean it get’s easier, I mean that I am learning how to accept it.

I still cry every time I say goodbye. I cried before I came out here – standing with my friends in the Steuben’s parking lot on a frozen night in Jan – and again in the airport. I’ve cried in this house, in a cab, and as I write this, I know that I am in for more. But, I am OK with that. I do wonder, if I kept this lifestyle up, if I would grow weary of new people. I can see myself becoming distant and cautious to protect myself. Someone once told me that my best quality was my openness, and asked me to not allow the world to make me hard. So with that said, I honestly think it would be a shame if I allowed that to happen.

I think this goes back to an earlier post of mine about living in the NOW. We gotta love the ones we’re with because most of the time you don’t know when you’ll have to say goodbye. I guess that makes me lucky, in this situation, I know when the end date is. As a result, I am less judgmental and more forgiving. I find myself weaving a tapestry of mental notes/snap shots of special moments so I can curl up with them later.

Thanks for the good times chicos, and you know what they say – This isn’t goodbye, just a see you later.

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With that said, Universe – Yes, Thank you, More please. Yes, thank you more please.

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Don’t Just Talk About It – Be About IT – A Guest Post!

Hello June! Weird to think that there was a very real chance that I was going to be getting on a plane and heading home today. I would be leaving for the airport in a few hours – chau chau Buenos, besitos y todo. Buuuuuuuut thankfully that is not the case and I can’t think of a better lead into this weeks “Real Talk Sunday”. Not only is this another Real Talk but it’s also . . .  a Guest Post!!!! Yay! 

This weeks Real Talk is brought to you by one of my absolute favorite people that I have met on this journey. Debbie has been traveling on and off for the past couple of years and has recently returned to Switzerland – sadly ;). I wanted her to write this in Swiss German, but she was kind enough to write it in English because “nobody uses Swiss German” lol. Extrano muchisimo!!! xoxoxo

So, I grew up in this small village in the Swiss countryside, where you’ll find more cows than people and where nothing ever seems to change. As a kid I learned how the ideal life was supposed to be: You go to school, get a useful education, a safe job with a nice paycheck, a husband, a house, kids, a Golden Retriever . . . you know what I am talking about. While this might be great for some, for me, it just never was what I dreamed about.

Now a few years later, I am writing this guest blog for Sonja. After university I chose the unconventional path. I’ve spent the majority of my time abroad, lived in different countries, worked here and there, and travelled when I had the chance and a few pennies leftover. I wasn’t always sure about what I was doing and why I was doing it, but one way or another it always turned out to be great and I have never regretted a single choice.

So, why am I writing this? I want to inspire you to get out there. Reach beyond your scope! Are you thinking about taking that job you were offered on another continent? Considering study abroad? What about that big trip you always wanted to go on and for some reason just never did it: maybe because you worried about your career, your friends or about missing out on something while you’re away . . .  I say:

Stick your neck out and GO!

Because when you go abroad, you learn and grow in so many ways, you’ll discover beautiful places, collect unforgettable memories and get the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. You’ll laugh with them, maybe cry with them. They will inspire you and make you look at things from different perspectives.

Throwing yourself into the unknown is not always easy; it comes with sacrifices and challenges. It takes the courage to fail; it takes faith in yourself, optimism and often a bit of good luck. Though, and this is what Sonja kept on telling me while I was living with her in Buenos Aires: if you really want to do something, you’ll always find a way! You need to manifest that it will happen and go for it.

JUST.GO.FOR.IT!

Life’s short, so why make excuses and wait? Stop worrying, take risks, but don’t be thoughtless. Live in and for THE MOMENT and do the things you want to do. If not, you might miss out on incredible experiences and great memories.

And you know you’re doing the right thing when you look around and think

‘I love this moment’!

For me, it’s the little moments, like sitting in a park in Buenos Aires surrounded by people chatting in Spanish and drinking mate – standing in a hectic street in Moscow surrounded by ancient cars, a language I couldn’t understand and letters I could not read – watching the stars in the middle of a desert – biking to work in the morning sun in Amsterdam. . .

I believe in taking chances in life, be it when it comes to travelling, a career, love, anything . . .  you might be surprised and perhaps taking that chance could turn into one of the best things you’ve ever done. You will never find out if you don’t give it a shot.

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Thoughts to Ponder

So I am sitting here bundled up in bed thinking of what my next “Real Talk” post was going to be about when I stumbled upon this little gem:

“Date a Boy who Serves. Date a boy who wants to do some good, to put others before himself, to help others who haven’t perhaps been given the same opportunities. That’s f*cking hot.”

That snippet is from Date a Boy who Serves. Click it and read it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is exemplary of thoughts that have been going through my head in regards to what I am doing, and what I am not doing, with my life.

Also – more posts to come soon I promise!!!!

 

A Little Reminder

Real Talk:

“When you leave behind your possessions, your family, your friends, your home, even your culture and your language — what remains, however improbable, must be your self.” – Wendy Nather

 

Thanks for the quote Kat.