Some Love for Costa Rica

Pura vida, the slogan for Costa Rica. You can see it EVERYWHERE. It’s on shirts, bags, magnets, and the locals say it. It means ‘pure life’ and you get that there, or at least I did.

Everywhere you look it’s green and fresh and bright (although it rains a lot). From a twenty-something American’s perspective, life seems a little more laid back. Not as fast or rushed. Granted we were only there a day, but one hell of a day it was.

We got of the cruise ship and there were these guys on some kind of xylophone thing playing and singing and it was perfect. We walked over to the bus car thing (it was more like a van but with about 25 seats). Our guide and bus driver were laid back and excited. It felt genuine. They’d stop to show us animals and plants and were more than happy to let us take pictures. They even spent 10 minutes to try and catch one of these cute little guys.


Then we got the the Veragua Rainforest Park and OMG it was amazing. First off, I went to use their restroom and I’ve never washed my hands in such a beautiful place. I don’t have a picture, but imagine washing your hands in the forest with lush greenery everywhere. We then took a little tour of their exhibits of frogs and snakes and their butterfly garden. And then we ate this delicious lunch.


Those rice and beans though. I ate all mine then some of a friend’s. I still dream about them. So simple, but so delish.

After lunch before the next big event we saw a frog and our guide picked him up and he ended up jumping on me. We named him Bob after Bob Marley and it was a great frog birthday hug.

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And then we went zip-lining and that was the absolute best. This was on my bucket list. Not necessarily to do it in Costa Rica, but when I saw that this could be an excursion and I told Mom we had to do it. Gliding through the canopy in warm weather under blue skies with the chance of seeing stunning, incredible wildlife? Hell yeah count me in! I don’t really have any other words for it other than it incredible.

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So incredible. All of it. I left my heart in Costa Rica and I’d love to go and get it back. I’ve always dreamed of the tropics- warm, humid weather, blue skies and even bluer oceans, white sand beaches, and laid back locals. I’ll go back some day. 😉


Why I Use the Term “Plant-based”

Wikipedia defines “plant-based” as: A plant-based diet is a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products.

This is me. I’m not a vegetarian because I don’t eat eggs (unless they’re in something Mom made), I occasionally eat cheese, I don’t drink cows milk, and don’t eat meat. I personally feel like vegetarians eat eggs regularly or still use cow’s milk in their cereal. I’m also not yet vegan because I choose to still consume some animal products.

I was listening to this Earth to Us podcast the other day and they were talking about the term plant-based. They were talking about how they liked the term and I was thinking “yeah I feel the same exact way!”

I’ve watched a ton of videos on YouTube about veganism and I’ve heard of people restricting calories and foods because they feel like that’s what they need to do on the diet. I think that’s what a lot of people think when they think of not consuming animal foods. I used to think that vegetarians can’t get enough protein or there isn’t an abundance of food for those people. Well it’s just the opposite. My entire view of food has changed. I see plant foods as an abundance now. It’s goes something like “oh I can try that coconut milk base ice cream” instead of “oh I can’t enjoy any ice cream anymore.” There are plant-based substitutes for literally everything. The number of veggie burgers I’ve had in the last couple months have been amazing. I love veggie burgers now. Especially when they have an amazing bite and flavor to them! Way more than beef, I think. You can add so many things to a veggie burger – chilis, black beans, corn, etc. You can make it as spicy as you want it, you make make them as big as you want. (I still have yet to make my own). You can also top these bad boys with a ton of yummy things. I.e. AVOCADOS <3. I'm not restricting myself from having animal foods, I just don't desire to eat bacon, a chicken sandwich, or cow's milk in my cereal. But I've found that this also limits the guilt I feel of wanting to eat all the foods when traveling the world. I want to be able to try French cheese or hardcore authentic German bratwurst. I want to really travel and for me, travel is experiencing things I never dreamt of and this includes a hell of a lot of food.

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A Quick Journey Into Plants

I haven’t always been “anti-animal” products. I used to love a good burger (hey-o Shake Shak), a bratwurst, the usual evening ice cream, etc. Ice cream was my one true love. I didn’t discriminate, I loved it all. I’d devour turkey on Thanksgiving and I loved eggs over easy. I’d always tell my lactose intolerant friends that “I could never go away from cow’s milk. I can’t do the taste of almond milk. I’ve tried.” Well that didn’t last long…

I’ve always been fascinated by the vegan movement. I’d watch YouTubers and think “wow I wonder how my body would feel if I ate just plants?” I’d go through stints of eating clean, but would soon give into temptation. See, my mom’s a food blogger and I still live at home, so you do the math. My mom’s friends joke that she was the reason I chose to stop eating meat because, in fact, it was something she made that sent me over. Mom went to Austin for a work trip in February and cooked up a turkey for us to eat while she was away. I brought it to work to eat as my dinner one day and as I was pulling it apart with my fork I was thinking to myself “this is muscle. I work on muscle” (I’m a massage therapist). And then I went home that night and got into those documentaries on Netflix. I had watched them before and they resinated with me but never pushed me over the edge. I then decided I wasn’t eating milk anymore and wasn’t going to use cows milk in my cereal. These were the first steps I was taking.

I eat vegan about 95% of the time. I only buy vegan products. On the cruise we went on I was Pescatarian. The only time I eat animal products at home is if Mom makes something (her famous cheese filled crepes with strawberry sauce *insert drooling emoji*) that has milk, eggs, or butter in it. Look for a future post about why I don’t think I’ll go full vegan until a couple years from now and I think that’s ok.

So this is just a short explanation of my story into becoming an avid consumer of plants. If this is something you’re thinking about doing or you were like me and always had the thought of “oh I could never…”. Just do it. Do it for yourself and your health. Or do it for the planet and your community. Or do it for both. Or just try it. See how you feel.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @atravelingveggiefor updates and daily pictures! 🙂

First Time

So, this is not my first attempt at blogging. I’ve had a first attempt, a second attempt, and yes even a fourth attempt too. Is it that the fifth time is the charm? Probably not for everyone else, but maybe me?

I’m writing this on a rocky ship. Yes, a ship. My first cruise. And tomorrow I turn 25. 25! Ok, wow to both sentences. This is also my first time out of the US. Well if you’re not counting that one time I accidentally went to Canada and when my family went to Rocky Point, Mexico when I was 10. Anyways, I’m on this ship for my first real trip outside the US, because my mom’s a blogger and she was asked to do some PR work for a cruise line and could take one guest with her. We had about a month notice and I requested the 10 days off asap. We’ve crossed off some bucket list items I never knew I had and we still have four full days left. It’s safe to say I love cruising and I also love taking a hot shower, putting a robe on, and ordering a vegetarian dish from the room service menu while Mom is at dinner with friends.

I had been inspired to start up again (maybe this time for real, for real?) mostly because of the pictures I was taking on my personal Instagram. I was having so much fun and thought “yeah I could get used to this.”. There are also some pro travel bloggers on this trip and talking to them was another big part. I started to look at travel blogs and here I am in the stateroom listening to Kokomo by The Beach Boys because we went snorkeling in Aruba the day before last. And also, I became a vegetarian 2 months ago. I’ve been SUPER passionate about the lifestyle and can’t get enough. So, hence the name ‘A Traveling Veggie’. Mom thought it was cute so here we go!