A few days ago we had a huge dental convention in town, and I had volunteered to host a speaker for the day. I have to admit, I wasn’t going to volunteer, but I sort of got cornered by the event organizers and felt guilty saying no. I chose to host a doc whom I had seen speak a few years earlier, and she WOWED me. She spoke on nutrition and was so dynamic that I thought, “well, at least I can spend the day listening to her!”
It was a very interesting experience because I had to introduce her in front of over 2000 people. Wow, I’m not used to public speaking, and even though I was like the bridesmaid at the bride’s wedding, (you know, no one was looking at me,) I wanted to do a great job. One thing I learned from my recent contest entry to Paradise Hunter, was that my best chance for keeping my cool was to practice, practice, practice. I did just that, and luckily, it went well– I even had a stranger introduce himself to me to remark on what a great job I did. The next day I even offered to help introduce another speaker, and I wasn’t nervous at all! It’s funny because my whole life I have teetered between wanting to be seen and wanting to be invisible. Suddenly, this battle has become a recurring theme in my life. This forced me to confront those fears, and I realized none of it matters. It felt empowering to push past my comfort zone and do something new. I think that’s why I like visiting new places so much. Anyway, I’m proud to say I conquered what is, shockingly, the #1 fear, even topping death: public speaking!
So you’re probably wondering what public speaking has to do with travel and food? Pretty much nothing! But, I’m going to find a way to connect it anyway. So here goes… the reason I mention this speaker is because it confirmed to me that I do a lot right when it comes to how I eat. I know, I can’t pass up another opportunity to brag. Last blog I focused on the fact that I like to eat chicken for breakfast, and committed to describe how I get green into my diet in Mexico. I’m going to share that with you while I tie in a few things I learned from Dr. Low Dog (any woman with that name must be a bad-ass, right?) If you’re interested in health and nutrition, check her out. She is really amazing!
I think most of us know that one key to eating healthy is to cook your own food– that way you know exactly what goes in it. After Tulum we headed up the coast to Playa del Carmen and rented a condo there. Having a full kitchen allowed us to make our own breakfast. A quick visit to the grocery store for a rotisserie chicken, black beans, veggies, corn tortillas, and avocados, and we were ready to go. That was the easiest way for us to add some color to our food! Some steamed broccoli, and a little cabbage were the perfect addition to our version of Tulum Chicken tacos.
Attempts to make hash browns for breakfast ended in burnt potatoes sticking to the skillet, so we had to resort to cooking potatoes in the oven. This is how we accidentally discovered that we could have french fries for breakfast too. These french fries are as healthy as a french fry can be. Cooked in the oven at 375 deg Fahrenheit with some olive oil and salt, these were better than any fried french fry we had in the UK a few months ago (that doesn’t mean I have given up my search.) The perfect combo of crispy and soft, this has now become a staple in our house.
So here’s what I learned about this meal: broccoli, cabbage– awesome. French fries– not so much! Potatoes have a high glycemic load/index which, let’s just say, isn’t great for blood sugar. But here’s the good news: when you pair that with protein, it neutralizes the glycemic load/index a bit. What Dr. Low Dog taught me is that any time you eat carbs, you should always have protein with it. So now I feel validated… it’s okay for me to have chicken AND french fries for breakfast!
There’s one more question I keep asking myself. Why are corn tortillas so good in Mexico, but it’s next to impossible to get a good version here in the US? Is it the water, like bagels from New York? I just don’t get it! If you know the answer to that one, I’d love to hear from you!