Day 1 – Learning to say no

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I said no to my first dessert today. It was a tricky situation, because I had to do it in Spanish, and in return I received a disappointed look from Edouardo, who seemed a bit offended that I didn’t want the dessert that came included with my 3-course dinner here in Cotacachi, Ecuador.

“No quiero un postre esta noche, gracias.”

I was proud of my ability to say no, and my ability to say no in Spanish—thanks to the Super Learning Spanish classes I’ve been taking all week.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m spending this week in Ecuador (for work technically) for a Travel Writing and Spanish Immersion Expedition. Although I must say it hardly feels like work here. The lifestyle and pace is very laid back compared to the United States. You’re greeted with a smile wherever you go, and no one will ever brush you off or be too busy to help out or answer a question—and they are oh so patient with my broken Spanish.

I couldn’t ask for a better location to kick off my 40 days of non-processed foods. Everything here is fresh, fresh, fresh. From the juices, to the fish, vegetables, grains, and sauces you know that nothing is from a package.


At roughly 7 am each morning, I wake up to a whirring sound, and I know there are dozens of fresh picked berries going straight into the blender. This is probably the only sound that could wake me up, and not make me upset or want to throw something.  I think it’s because I know that before long, a frothy, bright red glass of jugo de mora (blackberry juice, and my favorite) will be on the breakfast table waiting for me.

Just three more days here, to take advantage of the readily available and delicious non-processed foods. I’m hoping it will give me ideas that I can take home with me and carry into my diet for the coming weeks. I’m looking forward to incorporating quinoa into a lot of recipes, since it is such a great source of protein. They even have cake here that is made from quinoa! Who knew you could do that? Although I guess even quinoa cake counts as a dessert…


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One thought on “Day 1 – Learning to say no

    maria said:
    March 5, 2012 at 9:38 am

    omg christina, my mouth is watering! i am so jealous of all the time you get to spend in ecuador and especially jugo de mora. my mom bought some mora pulp at a latino food store in virginia beach and it was not nearly as good as the fresh squeezed stuff, but much better than the “boysenberry/blackberry” nonsense that sometimes tries to get passed off as mora in the states. have fun!

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