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Old 04-23-2007, 10:59 PM   #1
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Default Quit’cher whining

I’ve noticed that I’ve only had bad things to say about trying to lose weight here. This isn’t me. I usually am not a whiner. So, I will finally say something great about losing weight in a third world country. Here, in lovely Tumbes Peru, you CAN accidentally eat healthy.

I’ve been somewhat off plan for the last 10 days because my Mom is here and we’ve been traveling. I haven’t been able to really exercise, other than a lot of walking, and my diet has been way off. I’ve had lots of cheese, butter, bread, and just about everything I usually don’t eat. Today I am in Guayaquil and I was looking to buy a scale. I stepped on and it said 86.8 kg (191 pounds). Now, I’m not changing my ticker since it is not an “official” weigh-in, with the “official” scale, and there was no “official” crowd giving the “official” commentary on how amazing this disastrously obese person is for losing weight. Whew!

I may have lost weight. I zeroed the scale and stepped on again, and it said the same thing. I have somehow lost weight on the third world plan! Here’s how:

There are fruit stands everywhere. I live downtown and in just about every corner you can find a vendor with slices of fresh watermelon or pineapple. Next to them there is usually a vendor with at least 20 other fruits. You can get orange or pineapple juice easily as well; just ask for them not to add sugar. They literally just dump some orange or pineapple slices into a blender, add water, and tada! Juice.

If I’m too lazy to cook, I can go to the corner and get some ceviche. Ceviche here is fish “cooked” in lemon juice, with some tomatoes, onions, and a piece of sweet potato on the side. That’s healthy. Even if I go to a restaurant, the vegetables aren’t doused in butter. As long as you don’t get anything fried, the food here isn’t really all that bad for you. Just don’t add mayo.

The only major problem comes with the soda. There is no diet soda here. If you are a pop fiend, STAY AWAY! But you can get water for just a little more. And the heat alone forces you to drink at least 3 liters of water a day. There is no air conditioning.

I use more calories cooking here than I did in the US. First, I don’t have a fridge so my day starts with a healthy walk to the market (in 90 degree heat). If I want lean, skinless chicken breasts, I have to do it. Try it. It takes forever and a bunch of hacking to get all that bone and fat off. Don’t even get me started on de fatting other meats or filleting fish. I am always sweating while I cook (I guess this means you won’t come for dinner?).

Egg whites. I don’t know if it’s a function that the eggs are not refrigerated or Peruvian eggs are just stubborn, but separating egg whites takes incredible skill, lots of patience, and lots of time. I still always end up with a bit of yolk in my omelet.

There are no McDonald’s here. The hamburgers are a public health hazard (there was a report that they used rat meat). There’s no pizza, and if you do find some, it has very little cheese on it. I am not inundated daily with propaganda about eating the fattiest thing I can find. That’s not to say that cookies and chocolate don’t exist here, it’s just that they are hidden behind a counter instead of staring at you at the checkout line. And, of course, you have to walk back home with your treat.

I have to wash and pick through rice, beans, and green beans before I can cook them. I have to wash the cheese before I can eat it, same with the olives. I have to wash my clothes by hand or else try to find someone who will do it for me. Something that takes a significant amount of walking and begging. I have to sweep my living room every day. If there is no water, in order to flush the toilet I have to run downstairs with a bucket and get some water. I walk everywhere, in the heat! I start my day running around my apartment trying to kill off all of the flies.

Of course I’m losing a bunch of weight here. Even without intentional exercise, I am more active and eating healthier than I ever did in the US! No wonder I’m seen as a circus side show here! You have to work hard to be fat here, whereas in the US it takes the work to stay thin.

I don’t know how I’m going to keep this up once I’m back to the good old US of A, but I’ll worry about that in November. I hope all of you have a great week!
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:16 AM   #2
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I for one and I think most would agree, never think of your posts as whiny. They are always spiked with lots of humor and oh so enjoyable to read. You've definitely got some obstacles to deal with and overcome over there in good ole' Peruvia and your attitude about them is what is making you a winner, or should I say loser as in weight loser.

Keep up the good work and the good attitude!!!!
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:48 AM   #3
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Archy, I have been thirsting for your report! It really helps to have things put into another perspective.

Congratulations on your maybe sort of weight loss! May it be true when you are weighing in front of that audience.

I think you should write up a book and call it The Third World Diet. Of course, that would not be politically correct... but you could make it very humorous!

I love ceviche! As long as it's not scallops or that type of shellfish... (allergy)

I really like the part about if there is no water, having to haul it to flush the toilet. We take so much for granted in the developed countries!

You keep on going, girl! If you can lose weight there, surely we can keep going here in the lap of luxury.


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Old 04-24-2007, 11:35 AM   #4
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Oh, cheviche! We have a restaurant here that must offer 20 different kinds (mixtures). Wow, so good AND healthy!

Archy, robin and jay are correct. You are not a whiner!!! I always look forward to your posts. They enlighten and inspire and make us all laugh (not at you--with you!)
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:37 AM   #5
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Just my two cents worth - I enjoy your posts VERY much, and have never thought of you as whiny... of course, I do NOW! No, of course I am kidding!

Keep 'em coming!

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Old 04-24-2007, 12:09 PM   #6
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Archy... I don't recall you being whiney in your posts! Silly girl!

It's little wonder that you're losing weight being there! - fruit stands everywhere, etc. Seems "natural" doesn't it?

Which says something pretty strong about AMERICA, IMHO. What do we have everywhere? Fast food restaurants.... bars.... duh!

Yup, makes sense!
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:07 PM   #7
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your posts
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:44 PM   #8
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I saw there was a thread started by Archy and went....oh goody!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think you should keep em all and write a book.

And congrats on the weight loss!
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:30 PM   #9
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heh. I had the same thought as ennay!!!

What a different lifestyle. Washing cheese???

I hope you're enjoying the work you're doing too!
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:39 AM   #10
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Ack, as soon as I figure this thing out I will add pictures.

Thanks for the support. Kinda funny, but the person who told me to stop whinning was my grandmother, who grew up in rural Venezuela in the 40´s. She said to just be glad I don´t have to butcher any animals. I told her I´m a half assed vegetarian anyway because I can´t stand to go buy meat!

Anyway, pictures are coming soon! Have a great weekend!
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:00 AM   #11
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I love your posts! Please explain the washing of the cheese ritual
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:14 AM   #12
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The problem with the cheese is that it is kept outside, so all the flies get on it. I put it on a strainer and run the water over it for 3 minutes, and then I, um, squeeze it a bit. Hence the reason I very rarely eat cheese.
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archy View Post
The problem with the cheese is that it is kept outside, so all the flies get on it. I put it on a strainer and run the water over it for 3 minutes, and then I, um, squeeze it a bit. Hence the reason I very rarely eat cheese.
Holy moly!!! FLIES!!!!! Well that would certainly get rid of my tendency towards eating too much cheese - and quickly.
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Old 04-27-2007, 01:59 PM   #14
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:43 PM   #15
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Mmmmmmmm....fly cheese!

Years and years ago I read about protein and other nutrient deficiencies showing up in recent immigrants to the US from SE Asia who were all vegetarians. Turns out the culprit was hygiene! Back in Viet Namn, the grains and other vegies had enough insects and rodent parts that they were getting a complete nutritional profile. Eating the same diet here resulted in deficiencies due to cleaned, packaged grains.

And you aren't whiney! I love your posts. Congrats on losing

Mel
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