Sunday, July 6, 2008

Return to Puerto Rico


I have bought my return ticket today and in less than a week I'll be back in Puerto Rico.
I am glad I'll see my cats again.
I am glad I'll be able to sit on a bench in the shallow water of the Caribbean sea and watch manatees swimming in the nearby deep water channel.
I am glad I'll have a month to explore more of the east coast and the Spanish Virgin Islands: Culebra and Vieques,before my new assignment on the West Coast starts.
But I am fully aware that this last week in Atlanta is my last chance for:
  • enjoying as much organic - especially heirloom - produce as possible, since in Puerto Rico it is - sadly - practically impossible to get: nearly all green produce is close to wilted and devoid of most of its nutritional value due to long transportation -- if I want fresh organic green I need to grow my own (whether i do have time and space for it or not) ... or find an organic farm and beg, as they are usually short on produce...

  • enjoying live cultured milk products, like kefir and yogurts. There is plain yogurt (without addition of sugars disguised as fruit) on Puerto Rico's south coast,but it is dead yogurt, devoid of any live cultures, of probiotics. And on the west coast I haven't found even dead plain yogurt: all is sugary, brrr. So I'll have to purchase kefir corns and yogurts starters, take them with me and make my own.

Doesn't eating healthy in Puerto Rico sound like a lot of work for you?

It does to me.

I regret having committed myself to another assignment there, which forces me to return for at least another half a year... I would rather live someplace where I would NOT have to devote that much time to growing and preparing my own food, somewhere where healthy food is abundant. Like in Europe... but with dollar at almost 1.60 to euro that is an expensive option for anybody, whose (fixed) income is mostly in dollars...

Well, I know I will have fun in Puerto Rico again. That's not a problem. There are nice people, nice beaches and plenty of other attractions.

But lack of certain products and services that I consider indispensable - and which should be available there - irritates me right now.

My favorite orange cauliflowers, light green broccoflowers, broccolini, rapini and the other delicious fresh veggies unheard of in Puerto Rico - I'll miss you dearly! :-(((

P.S. For the record: upon my return I found broccoflower in both Selectos and Amigos and LIVE yogurt, even goat yogurt (very pricy, but available) at FreshMart.

5 comments:

Summer said...

Oh yes! I feel your pain :). Trying to get a healthy meal in PR is difficult, to say the least. I fear that I may starve to death if my heirloom vegetables don't grow faster!!

Minerva said...

Lol, maybe I should help you to cover them up for the rain season? I have seen in Monteverde (Costa Rica) that all gardeners I knew put simple wooden poles at the ends of their raised veggie beds (they help to keep the soil less wet in rainy season) and put translucent plasic over them. Doesn't look pretty, but works. :-)

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

The food thing is an adjustment. I've stuggled with it here and decided now that it comes down to not knowing the versitility of the local viandas and not having colorful foods. Both of those are things I can fix. Finding sushi is something I can't. I have decided not to eat all the stuff I ate in cold Washington- brocoli, cauliflower, apples, etc as a way to purge that life out of my system. So I don't miss those. I do need to plant swiss chard (bright lights variety), and other colorful things. Tomatoes grow well, peppers grow well (all kinds), calabaza (just have to know what to do with it), integrating fruit into food (mango curry chicken), orange onion chard salad, pomegranite juice (I have a shrub I planted) etc. will help and most of all Jeff spear fishing and getting fresh fish that we can BBQ. All the viandas can really be used numerous ways. It is fascinating to see how the taste can morph. I am going to make little mini shade beds that are portable for covering veggie rows. Make a frame with shade cloth. Ahhh another project! katrina

Minerva said...

Thanks Katrina for the input. I love tomatoes, peppers, swiss chard, all kinds of mesclune, etc. Problem is, I don't have a house and most likely won't have a garden. I am thinking of renting a condo at a beach = a balcony for some sprouts and baby greens, the rest I'll have to beg to get. As a diabetic, reversed on living food diet, I should not (and don't want to) eat less than 50% of sallad and raw veggies per day, and no less than 75% of veggies total. Fruit only for breakfast due too much sugar. It was easy to keep that diet at Ann Wigmore, because all ( 100% living food) meals were included. I am nominally (early)retired, but somehow managed to commit to no less than 60 hrs a week of work for the next half year - perhaps longer = not much time for either gardening or food preparation and I worry I get sick if I will be forced to eat too much cooked, non-veggie food. It is easier to adjust when you are young and healthy, not so when you are not. I hope I'll survive as long as I need to with only a minor damage to my health, but this lack of fresh veggies in PR made me decide to stay in Puerto Rico only as long as I promised and seek GREENER pastures after that. I want to live and be well! :-)

Minerva said...

Oh, forgot to mention, I had quite decent sushi at the third floor of Plaza de las Americas mall in San Juan. Liked their miso soup, too. Their sushi might be hit and miss, though, if the restaurant cant't hold to their chef.