Costa Rica Walking Tour Wrapup

I need to take a moment and catch up with my final posting about the Costa Rica Walking Tour, which started with my post about Traveling to Costa Rica. Life kind of up drew me back in when we returned, and I have had trouble finishing up my blog entries.

On the final full day at Rio Chirripo (Thursday, February 21st), Phillip and I visited the hot springs again (read about our first visit). People kind of went off and did their own thing a bit that day, separating into a number of different groups depending on what they’d like to do. Phillip and I wanted a rest day. Although the walk up hill to the hot springs isn’t exactly restful (it’ll get your heart rate up), it helps make the springs more enjoyable when you get there, like you’ve earned your soak.

Walking Tour Group PictureIn the afternoon, at the final afternoon meeting/lecture, Dr. Graham got everyone together, walkers, fasters, and interns. He asked us each to describe a goal we’d like to reach within the next few months. After after each person spoke, he encouraged people who thought they could support that person in that goal to speak up and offer to help them/remind them of the goal they’d made over the next few months. Robbie kept a list of these goals and sent them out later over email (very helpful Robbie, thanks!)

I thought that it was a nice touch. It’ll keep everyone in contact with the new friends made at this event. Even now, weeks after the event, I think of these folks often. Some were staying to fast, I hope it went well for them.

Spiralized Cucumber "Pasta" DinnerThat evening at dinner it was a buffet style “Pasta” night. There were mangoes and tomato/mango soup. The “Pasta” was really spiralized cucumber, along with your choice of tomatoes, marinara sauce, sun-dried tomato and mango dressing, and heart of palm (grated it looks like like Parmesan cheese).

Victoire and Phillip and the Farmer's MarketFriday was devoted to the bus ride back to San Jose. In the afternoon we visited the farmers market (Victoire and Phillip are pictured on the right). It was an interesting experience, so many people, so much fruit, 20 bananas for a dollar. We bought way too much fruit to take on the plane, and ended up leaving some of it behind on Saturday with folks staying behind. The plane ride home seemed long, but getting back home to Santa Cruz was nice.

Overall the experience was wonderful, and key to our continuing on the diet since then. Back home, our friend David had bought us a case of bananas, a few days before our arrival. We transitioned directly into having banana smoothies for lunch the next day. They weren’t quite ripe enough though, and the first couple of days were a little rough because we just didn’t enjoy them as much as those we’d had in Costa Rica. Then, as they ripened, we realized, ‘aha!’ they just hadn’t been ripe enough yet. You’ve got to wait until there are numerous little brown spots on them. In addition, it helps if you don’t add too much water, the smoothie stays sweeter.

Breakfast was easy, we returned to juicing oranges every morning. We had missed our oranges while in Costa Rica. Our favorite organic farmer brings fantastic oranges to the farmer’s market at nearby Cabrillo college on Saturday mornings. Mmmm.

Dinner was more of a challenge. But thanks to seeing it done so many times in Costa Rica, we had some new ideas to try, and even some old ideas to try that no longer seemed so radical now that we’d seen it done. Still, we were hard-pressed to make dinner as easy to eat without those great mangoes to rely on. Later we learned that mangos also require some time to soften before you eat them.

I’ve been able to stay on 100% raw food since we returned (for a total stretch of 3 months now, my longest ever). I credit the 2 weeks of immersion in the techniques and lifestyle that I received in Costa Rica. It’s never felt so easy before. True there are some cravings still there that I feel occasionally (pumpkin pie anyone? fried potatoes?), but the longer I go without eating these things, the easier it gets and the less often the cravings come.

Because I ate 100% raw food during the week between Costa Rica and the Napa Valley marathon on March 2nd, I accomplished my goal of being all raw by the event, and experiencing what it’s like to run a marathon powered by fruit. I will write more about the marathon in my next post, until then, let me just say that I made it all the way to the end, and the fruit really helped.

Van, from the beginning of the Walking Tour to 3 weeks later during the marathonThese are before and after pictures, from the beginning of the Walking Tour to the marathon. Three weeks of focused eating, 100% raw food (the The 80/10/10 Diet way), lots of walking, lots of rest, and my body decided to take off another 5 to 7 pounds.

This weight loss occurred despite the fact that I was eating a pretty healthy diet already, and getting in a lot of running leading up to the trip to Costa Rica. My diet was about 85% raw food for 4-5 months, while I trained for the marathon. I couldn’t stay 100% on track with the diet for more than a week at a time until the Walking Tour.

Overall it has taken me two years of trying with raw food to get where I am at now. I’m three months completely on track, and I plan to continue. I haven’t weighed this little since I was 19 years old. I feel fantastic living this way, and can’t wait to see what’s next. Until we speak again, best wishes to you on life’s fantastic journey!

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