Ceviche on the Beach

Our beautiful lunchtime view of the beach from Johnny's Place.

Our beautiful lunchtime view of the beach from Johnny’s Place.

Being part of two Thanksgivings and general work obligations kept me busy (not complaining!), but I’m hoping to put a good dent into my blogging backlog this week. And it begins by wrapping up the food-centric weekend at Monterrico.

When we first saw the beach on Saturday afternoon, Mindy had told Ricardo that I liked to run and she told him I’d probably go for a run on the beach. I originally said that that wasn’t part of my plan. The relaxation plan included no formal workouts. However, I woke up early Sunday morning, it was not hot out yet, and decided I couldn’t miss the opportunity. In my eagerness to do a little beach run, I didn’t bring a camera to photograph the beautiful morning, nor did I tack on my Fitbit to track my exercise. (Want to guess which one I was more upset about? It wasn’t the camera.)

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Cayo Coco

The view of Monterrico beach from the "mirador," or lookout, at the turtle sanctuary.

The view of Monterrico beach from the “mirador,” or lookout, at the turtle sanctuary.

A few weeks ago, Mindy looked up from her desk in the De la Gente office and asked, “Would you be interested in going to the beach and releasing sea turtles?” Without hesitation, I replied, “Sure! Why not?” In my ten weeks in Guatemala, I hadn’t planned any excursions outside of Antigua and while I have always been content to stay put – and eager to avoid that carsickness would accompany nearly any journey to a place of interest – I decided to join Mindy on this excursion.

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Big Fat Surprise

bigfatsurprise

As you can see on the right, the title of the post comes from the recently released book I’m reading. However, it also describes my reaction at having lost nearly fifteen pounds in six-and-a-half weeks here – without trying! When this book first came out in the spring, it received a great deal of attention for its vilification of the low-fat, high-carb diet and the blame (erroneously, it very convincingly claims) on saturated animal fats on heart disease.

And when it came to my attention last week via an article on Greatist.com about the top 20 food and nutrition books to read in 2014, I downloaded a sample chapter to my Kindle and began to feel there might be something there. I’m not hungry after breakfast like I used to be with oatmeal or toast. I have more energy, I work out better and harder, and I feel great. So I wondered if this could be (part of) the explanation. Within an hour, I’d paid $6.99 and owned the 450+-page book. (You can do the same: click here.)

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Milestones

The view of Fuego and Acatenango volcanos from last Monday's morning run.

The view of Fuego and Acatenango volcanos from last Monday’s morning run.

This past week was a momentous one, not in anything that I did at work, made in the kitchen or ate out (although that doesn’t hold true for this weekend – but that’s in a future post). But as someone who is very in tune to dates and landmarks, this past Thursday was a big one. November 13 marked two milestones on the calendar: a full six weeks that I’ve been living in Guatemala; and exactly one month until I leave.

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Food and Friends Frenzy

The mix of partially consumed doughnuts as the six of us enjoyed our Doughnut Brunch.

The mix of partially consumed doughnuts as the six of us enjoyed our Doughnut Brunch.

This past weekend was a busy one, full of great meals with friends both old and new. That’s one of the amazing things about both Antigua, Guatemala itself and also working at De la Gente: lots of interesting people come through, whether for a week or for a few months. Paths cross, connections are made and, in my case, meals are consumed.

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Two Bread Sunday…and More

The "pescado al pastor" fish burrito at Cactus was amazing. Topping it with avocado certainly didn't hurt.

The “pescado al pastor” fish burrito at Cactus was amazing. Topping it with avocado certainly didn’t hurt.

Well, it’s been a busy week and I have neglected my duties to share some of the amazing food I’ve been consuming lately. However, I’ve been spending a lot of time cooking. Lots of variations of scrambled eggs with veggies (usually some combo tomatoes, onions, swiss chard, and broccoli) for breakfast, and plenty of avocado, refried beans and tortillas for lunches.

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Flying Kites on Día de Los Muertos

One of the many towering, but immobile, barriletes on display in Sumpango.

One of the many towering, but immobile, barriletes on display in Sumpango.

Yesterday on Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, I had my first truly unique Guatemalan experience of the trip. I had no idea, until a few weeks ago, that Dia de los Muertos is not only widely celebrated here but often features kites. When people at the office were discussing who wanted to go to the town of Sumpango – about thirty minutes away – to check out the kite festival, I eagerly said yes. And what a day it was!

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