Thursday, October 22, 2009

Food, Comida, Tembi’u

As I sit here on my bed, stomach full of pasta and empanada, I feel the need to touch upon everyone’s favorite subject to complain about here: food. Here’s the rundown…

Lets say you make a list of everything we know we should eat and a list of everything we know we should limit. The “good” list would probably have fruits and veggies and whole grains, legums and lean proteins and the like. The “bad” list would have include lots of sugar salt, oil, animal fat, empty carbs like white bread, rice and pasta and fried things. Good. Now take the bad list and that is what your Paraguayan daily menu will look like…. HOLY CRAP I JUST SAW THE BIGGEST SPIDER ON MY WINDOW. UUUUGH.

Ok, disposed of. by the h mom, who was not grossed out at all. Real mom would have been in the other room. Don’t worry I took a picture.

Anyway, I shouldn’t say everything is unhealthy. We do have salad for lunch. Of course it’s lettuce with tomato with oil and lots of salt on top. And I do get an orange and some bananas every day (the bananas here are much smaller than back home so I get a couple). Here’s a sample of my daily food intake:

Breakfast: cocido. I forget exactly how it’s made but it’s boiled water made on a brasero (charcoal grill) and you put sugar in the water along with some of the charcoal so it burns. Take the charcoal out add milk and that’s my breakfast. Burn sugar milk tea with white hard bread sticks.

Snack: my banana and orange (yay fiber!)

Lunch: some form of oily soup with white pasta and tough beef fat (which I usually cut up and pick at so it looks like I eat it, but I sneak some to the dog) and oily salty salad. To drink a glass of juice made from a powder you mix with water which is all sugar. And of course mandioca, a tuberous starch kinda like a potato that they eat plain with every meal. It’s a staple here.

Afternoon snack: we’re in training for this Ricardo usually brings us cookies and bananas. We also found this amazing ice cream place we sometimes frequent after class.

Dinner: usually something fried like empanadas filled with hard boiled eggs or tortillas which are not what we think of tortillas. It’s pretty much fried dough greasy oilyness. The first couple I had were pretty good but, I’m over it now.

So when I weighed myself today and realized I’ve lost 8 lbs since I’ve gotten here I thought ‘there’s no way…’ then I realized, it’s my muscles! Atrophying away from inactivity! Weeeeeoooooo! But I bought an exercise mat and will try to do more pilates in my room, maybe some running although 1. it’s hot and 2. I will get laughed at. Apparently someone running just to be healthy and active is extremely funny although the humor goes right over my head.

Unfortunately we have no control over what we eat until we get out to site and live on our own. Some people have it a little better in their house, some the same. Ways we’ve coped: buy fruits! They have fruit in the market, I just never see my fam eating it. We don’t eat everything they serve us, if you try to please them by eating everything you’re just hurting yourself. and if ever we’re served raw veggies we devour them in seconds. They can grow many things here, but unfortunately a lot of Paraguayans when they see a garden they say ooh how pretty, look at all the cebollita (green onions) they’ll be great for our tortillas. Yep, put em in dough and fry em up, then we’ll eat em.

I just have to keep thinking, things will get better in 5 months when I can start to reverse the effects the Paraguayan diet has had on my poor body!

mandioca, salty salad and rice. the rice wasn´t to bad actually it was pretty good. sure beats oily soup! and i had fresh made carrot and orange juice, really good as well. still to be determined if she puts sugar in it or not though...


  1. I like your blog! What you had for lunch has been aptly named by a member of my G, "Meat Grease Soup" ... The credit for that one goes to Shola :) I am happy to say that I don't think I've had that since training! -Julie

  2. Did you find the spider a good source of protein? Las comidas son buenas verdad

  3. fyi...palanchi01 = dad