Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Diet & Weight Loss on a Tropical Island

Chicago-style pizza at Due's
Where I live is something that has always majorly affected my diet.  When I lived in Chicago, I would eat out all the time (Chicago has great restaurants with even greater portions), but I also bought organic items at Whole Foods and would attempt to offset my eating out with low fat or sugar free "snack" foods - AKA "food" filled with tons of chemicals.

Spain: where beer is cheaper than water
Living in Barcelona for two years, I didn't eat more per say, but my diet became richer with denser, high calorie foods.  Tapas of jamon & manchego cheese, yummy patatas bravas with a spicy mayo sauce, gelato in the street, sangria pitchers, and sharing delicious bottles of 4 euro wine with myself was probably not the best for my waistline, but who could resist!?  I did walk A LOT though, which I feel prevented me from gaining even more extra pounds.

Afternoon cava with friends
One thing I love about being in the Dominican Republic now is my diet.  My fianc√© and I do not eat Dominican food very often, but we incorporate a lot of the staple ingredients into our meals.  For example, instead of having rice & beans as a heavy side dish each day, we buy brown rice and eat beans as protein in salads.  Here, stocking up on fruits and vegetables is much cheaper than stocking up on packaged and canned goods, so healthy, clean eating actually costs less than eating junk!  This is one of the ways I wish that the US was more like the DR!

See my "country" eating post here
When I first moved here I avoided drinking fruit juice and eating more than one piece of fruit a day, because I was afraid of the sugar.  Now I think, was I crazy?!  Had I been so brainwashed in the US to believe that too much fruit would make me fat?!  I have slowly let go of this misconception, and as a result of eating less "healthy" packaged goods and replacing them with LOTS of fruits and vegetables (sugar and all), I have lost 13 pounds!  Coming from someone who has PCOS, and had been unable to change her body's "set weight" for 10 whole years, this is huge for me!  Yes, its been very gradual (over the course of an entire year), but I'm a believer in slow and steady wins the race.

Last Sunday's ice-cream
I am a total foodie and I love sweets; anyone who follows me on Instagram knows how much I love to eat!  I never count my calories, I still indulge, I sometimes order pasta when eating out, and I eat ice cream, but I eat more fruits and veggies than ever before.

Its true what they say - eating more plant based foods works best when trying to maintain a healthy weight.  Of course, exercising also helps, but thats for another post. ;)

Sipping on a fresh coconut in the car


  1. honestly the food in spain makes me feel totally fine for eating burger king or mcdonalds instead of a normal spanish meal because it's probably better for you haha. i get fed at school which is standard spanish food filled with oil, lots of ham and potatoes btu luckily i walk A LOT! also since fruit and veggies are so cheap here dinner and weekends are filled with them. I also think it's a lot better for me that I've learned to eat my main big meal at lunch because in the states i was always eating a big meal for dinner...

  2. That's great that you're eating healthier! I love the DR!!!

  3. I started eating healthier for a year now and see the results and I'm really happy about my decision.

  4. My eating habits change depending on where I am too and I avoid fighting it. Instead I embrace it and all the carbs and protein too! In Australia I'm eating a lot of fruit and vegetables that are ten times more expensive in Fiji. I think the best thing is just eating locally, that's the only thing I ever really consider. All your photos are making me hungry!

  5. It's funny because I can totally relate and see how living in a certain country can have a huge impact on your diet. Whenever I go away on holiday I find that it changes, with sometimes adverse affects, and it can be a real mission to keep yourself eating on a healthy path!