Traveling to the Caribbean
Full disclosure, I did not entirely paleo or Whole 30 on this trip - I was on vacation and wanted my mojito on the beach. Sometimes you need to allow yourself to indulge, but make it worth it and only so often. When indulging becomes a regular everyday occurrence, that is when really bad eating habits form. That being said, I tried some amazing dishes from local restaurants on the breathtakingly beautiful island of Grenada. Traveling to the island was an eye opening experience (except for when I got a scratch on my eye an hour after I landed and literally could not open my eye for a day, more on that later) in terms of how the islanders live, the weather and the local food. The people were incredibly friendly and generous - a humbling experience that has made me appreciate what I have here. Grenada is not a wealthy country, but it is rich in hospitality and diversity.
Grenada is one of the most southern islands in the Caribbean and has an international medical school located on the southern most point of the island. My sister finished her two years on the island, so I decided to help move her back and made it into a vacation. I stayed in the dorm with her and used the local buses to get around over some of the bumpiest roads I have ever been on, but I was not about to let that stop me from having wonderful adventures. Despite the eye scratch mishap, I was able to see some of the lushest rain forests on the island and stunning beaches where leather back turtles come to breed. I did not always have my phone on me and the pictures do not really do it justice, but I highly recommend traveling to this island if you get a chance.
The local food on the island inspired some recipes that will be coming up during the next couple of months on Megs Paleo Living. Life is an adventure, which the philosophy I have in my cooking. Inspiration can come from any where and this island left me feeling refreshed and full of ideas. There is a delicious leafy green on the island called calalou that is sauteed and turned into a soup with coconut milk. I did not get a picture of it, but it is basically the color of a spinach soup, which is what I will use when I make it since calalou is not found in the United States. We went to a local restaurant called Patricks, which serves a 19 course tapas style dinner that showcases local cuisine. From rice and beans, white fish, pork, banana salad and the calalou soup, it was an amazing experience trying all that food with amazing company. They also have a lot of seafood (it is an island, after all) as well as a wonderful cocoa plantation that I had a wonderful lunch at with my sister and her fellow classmate. Look forward to a lot of cocoa inspired dry rubbed meats.
My favorite part about the island? I spent several days with my sister, away from the stressed of work and a fast paced life, and just got to enjoy a long walk on a beach, drinking fresh coconut milk out a coconut a very nice gentleman climbed into a tree to get for us. As we were driving through the windy mountain roads, I just took it all in, appreciating that I had an amazing opportunity to visit a country like Grenada. Take the time to just sit there and listen to the water as it hits the beach, let a 5 minute rain storm pass and cool you down, and cherish all the people you meet in your life.