Breaking My Food Rules in VIeques

Sometimes I think we can be so principle driven that we miss out on some of the finer experiences in life.  Take… I don’t know… me, for example.  I try to follow a certain set of self-imposed food rules.  I don’t do it out of a specific belief, but it’s mostly because I have the knowledge that my body doesn’t tolerate certain foods very well.

I’ve also realized along the way that my mood is greatly affected by whether I enjoy my food or not.  I noticed this quirk while on a beach trip to Samara, Costa Rica a few years ago.  I found myself having less fun than I normally have on vacation.  I was frustrated by this, wondering how I wasn’t loving my 3rd trip to Costa Rica.  My other trips there were always much more joyful.

Then I put it all together: we had eaten a string of  horrible meals, and it made me grumpy.

I realize this was all my fault.  Since I put such tight restrictions on myself to try to eat “healthy” food, I eliminate most Italian (gluten and dairy,) all sandwiches, and even eggs.  It works great in Mexico, but elsewhere that doesn’t leave much.  And all 3 of those foods are staples anywhere you go.  So after a less-than-ideal trip, I decided maybe it wasn’t worth ruining a vacation just to follow some silly rules.  After all, the outcome isn’t that bad when I eat “poorly” every once in a while.

At that moment I chose to allow a little flexibility into my life.

In Vieques, it was like being in Samara all over again.  Nick and I encountered some pretty significant challenges to find food that fit our requirements.  Having learned a lesson in Samara, we just said, “f*@% it!”   And we settled on what would be a most satisfying splurge: pizza!

Tired and hungry with very little patience left after searching for the right food, we had a moment of weakness (or some may say strength,) and we stopped in to Lazy Jack’s Pub We ordered a plain cheese pizza and a few beers and discovered that there’s no better way to welcome yourself to an island… …even if it does cause a mild skin rash.

Mmm... look at all that grease!

The pizza was delicious.  A thin crust with herbs and spices baked into the crust, the sauce had the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity to balance the savory cheese.  I was a happy girl, but I should add a disclaimer: I haven’t had pizza in a year.  So I may have just been excited to have pizza, or it really was that good.  I didn’t even want any toppings.  Heck, I can eat those anytime, and toppings are just a distraction to me now.  Just a plain cheese pizza in which all I taste is cheese, tomato, and crust makes for the perfect treat.

And guess what?

We went back for more pizza the next day; because if I’m going to follow my principles, a good vacation beats out an unhealthy meal anytime.  Besides, vacation should be a time without rules, right?


5 thoughts on “Breaking My Food Rules in VIeques

  1. Love this post — I have food rules too and guess what, they were made to be broken! I was in Vieques years ago with my parents and it is truly one of the best undiscovered places left. I hope it is still so!

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