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First cold of the season

Those of you NOB, are thinking “what cold season?”. I am wearing sweat pants and a tank top, which sums up how I feel. Lousy, I didn’t even brush my hair just gathered it up in hair tie. Eventually, I have to comb it, but not right now. It makes my head hurt  to think about.  I am not well. I have been having a tickle in my throat for the last few days.Today, I woke up with a full blown head cold.I made te gripal, which is a tea mix that I buy that has eucalyptus leaves and some other fuzzy plant parts in it. I’m feeling too tired to walk over to the counter and fetch out  the package, so that is as complete an ingredient list as I am serving up today. In fact this is as long a post as I am serving also. Hasta luego

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What do you eat?

On the forum that I frequent, Yolisto, someone asked about what people ate. Whether we (the expats) had found that our cooking and eating had changed by living here. I started this big long post in response but as I wrote it I realized that I was probably NOT the sort of person who he was targeting.However I  do have some thoughts on the subject.People who move to a foreign country generally keep to their native style of cooking. Which is why when I go NOB I can go out and easily eat Vietnamese, Indian, Italian,Chinese, Japanese, Texas Barbeque, and French food. For Cuban food, I can go eat at my mother’s house. That is the point. You might start introducing foreign foods into your diet, if you are adventurous, but generally you stick with what you know. I’m very fortunate in that my mother is a very curious and intelligent woman, when she would encounter a new vegetable in ...

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Cracking up

The lightening flashes and splits the world in pieces. Light hurts my eyes making it difficult to see. The zigzags are disconcerting, reading is impossible. The first time I was really concerned, I even consulted a doctor. Am I hallucinating? Going blind? It’s none of those things, I am having what is called a silent migraine or migraine with aura. Normally, it just last a short time and I go on with my life, no one wiser.  However, yesterday, I had one followed by a regular migraine. Yuck. I searched the web and found some images that portray more or less what I see when I have these photo courtesy of Lens 101 flashes.The flashing one really depicts it well almost enough to enduce a headache by looking at it. Just thinking about it is enough to make me want to find a cool wet cloth and a dark room. photo courtesy of The straight dope

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Fungus among us

Itching ears drove me to uncharacteristic behavior. I willingly went to the doctor. It was that or drive a knitting needle into my eardrum, which even in my distracted state, I knew wouldn’t really solve the problem. I thought that I had a sinus infection and the pressure was bothering my ears.Generally, we go directly to specialists, but yesterday I wanted just a general practitioner. Having had good luck with the BEST clinic next to Farmacias Similares in San Cristóbal de las Casas, I decided to use them instead of urgencias  (emergency room ) at Clínica Yucatán. Since we were already heading downtown to catch the bus to Costco, we chose the clinic on La Plaza de la Independencia.It worked out perfectly, we had breakfast, took the bus to Costco and back returning  at 10:00 am just half an hour after the clinic opened.The doctor was immediately available. He took my information and glanced into my ears. “Tienes hongos” he ...

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now what?

Doing my habitual morning surfing, I often run across articles with titles like 5 easy ways to lose 5 pounds. However we already seem to be doing those things.  Here is a list of the most common tips and what we’re doing. There do seem to be more than five. They always advise cutting out extra sugar, which we’ve done. Stevia or rather sweeteners with stevia have pretty much replaced sugar in our household. Substituting whole grains for refined grains is often touted. Speaking of grains, quinoa (which you can find at Pacsadeli for three times what it costs in Ecuador), amaranth, chia seed,and other ancient grains are being rediscovered. While I haven’t found amaranth flour or raw grains here, the puffed version is readily available. Bulgar wheat, whole wheat flour, brown rice and even corn meal can be found here. Using smaller plates can reduce your calorie consumption by 10%. That was one of the first things I did. ...

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Our version of medical tourism

 Husband first experienced  Ecuadorean health care while we were in Olón. An infected toe, brought on by an over enthusiastic pedicure in Mérida, lead us to a pharmacy. Like many small stores in Ecuador, we didn’t actually enter. The pharmacist came out into the street and peered at Husband’s toe. Antibiotics, soaking in warm water and cleaning with hydrogen peroxide was her recommendation. Husband asked if she was an MD, since she wasn’t and we don’t like to use antibiotics unnecessarily, we requested a bottle of  hydrogen peroxide. The bottle turned out to contain alcohol instead, ouch. When his toe didn’t improve, we made our way to the doctor’s office we had seen by the main square. The doctor recommended surgery to remove a portion of the toenail. Hobbling around Ecuador with a bandaged toe for the remainder of our trip was not appealing so we asked for a plan B. He then  prescribed a treatment of antibiotics, soaking in ...

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Eating our way across Ecuador

Having read my blog posts, you all know that food is a big interest of mine. My idea of a great souvenir is a cookbook of regional cuisine. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring one back from Ecuador, I spied a slim volume in a store window in Quito but didn’t feel the book was worth almost $40.Unfortunately, it was the only regional cookbook I ever saw. Books are expensive in Mexico because Mexicans don’t buy many books due to their costs, I wonder if the situation is the same in Ecuador? Someone asked me how I rate the food I ate there. It’s better than Yucatecan food in general but not as good as the Mexican food available in the rest of the republic. If cost is your main criteria, the food is better in Ecuador. For $2.00 you get a 6 ounce glass of juice, soup, a small chop (either pork or beef) or a piece of chicken, an overly ...

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Caught cheating

Husband caught me cheating. Watching me put together a salad of kohlrabi and carrots, he asked “Is that Thai?”. I squirmed, hemmed and hawed until I finally answered “No, it’s Vietnamese.” Not only was that salad Vietnamese, but the chicken we had the other day was Vietnamese too. He forgave me, he likes South East Asian Cuisine.   This salad is especially good with beer. I put more chilies on mine after Husband went across the street and bought us a “caguama” of Sol to share. I think I am becoming addicted to the combination of chile serrano, chopped mint and cilantro. The more chiles you put in the salad the better the beer tastes. Trust me.

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Nom Su Hao- Vietnamese Kohlrabi Salad

Once again I checked out Madhur Jaffrey’s Step by Step Cooking from the library. Kohlrabi is available in the mercado and the supermarkets, the Spanish name is colinabo (kohl een na boh). The clerk asked me what it was when he rang me up at Mega. It took me a moment to remember. I tried “Kohlrabi?” which gained me time to have the word filter up from my subconscious. That and the unripe tomatoes that I bought probably guarantee the lad will remember me next time. After I made this I realized that I could have used my Bron professional mandoline to make the julienne strips! Next time that is what I will do. serves 4. 14 oz kohlrabi with leaves (mine didn’t have any leaves, I bought them anyway) yield is 8 oz peeled.  1 medium-small carrot ( I used two small) salt 4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar (I used lime juice, the vinegar here is strong!) 1 teaspoon ...

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A kilo a week that’s all I ask….

Not everyone reads the comments, I try to answer each and every one. I know some bloggers don’t answer in the comments, instead they send emails.  Sometimes the answers are long enough to serve as posts of their own. This one for example: krisla has left a new comment on your post “No maybe about it, May rocks!“: So..am curious…are the good results due to the lo carb diet, & can you recommend? still wavering on that…great if you are having success.& LOVE the Thai/Indian painting.(I have an adopted Indian daughter) cute!-kris Posted by krisla to ¿What do I do all day? at May 13, 2011 8:58 PM I think cutting out carbs has helped us quite a bit. Mostly, it has made me mindful of what we’re eating. Neither of us are emotional eaters, in fact, I tend to lose my appetite during times of stress. We just had gotten into some bad habits. Carbohydrates are easy to eat, ...

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