A Week in Costa Rica

A little R&R is good for the body, mind and soul. Unfortunately, it’s often the body that gets carried away on vacation with too much of a good thing and comes home carrying an extra five pounds of unwanted baggage!

This, however, is definitely not the case if your vacation destination is Costa Rica, where endless activity, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and lean protein are always on the menu.

sloth

Unless you chose to be like the indigenous sloth of this mountainous Central American country, a person would be hard pressed to gain unwanted weight on a Costa Rican vacation. With so much to do and see — hiking, white water rafting, kayaking, waterfall repelling, kite surfing and more — you wouldn’t want to start your day with a plate of biscuits and gravy.

costa rican food breakfast

Gallo pinto, or a mixture of black beans and rice with scrambled eggs is the Costa Rican breakfast of champions, but I also broke the fast with an assortment of fresh tropical fruit followed by either scrambled eggs or a tasty frittata and an assortment of sides prepared with local avocado, bananas or plantains.

After a morning of exploring this tropical paradise, the comida tipica, or typical food as the locals call it, tasted anything but ordinary.

typical costa rican food

A veritable feast consisting of beans and rice mixed with peppers and onions, fried plantains, a cabbage salad and your choice of chicken, fish, pork or steak all for the low, low price of 2500 colón! That’s not even five bucks in U.S. currency. Top that off with a two dollar cerveza and you’ve got one heck of an after-workout meal.

costa rica sangria

Costa Rica is not all work and no play. Sunset comes early, as does cocktail hour.

costa rica kebab

This night I chose a fruit filled sangria to watch the sun drop below the horizon and followed that with a chicken kabob smothered with pineapple/papaya chutney, sautéed vegetables and rice.

The friendly Costa Rican people, or ticos, do love their rice, but luckily so do I.

Do you typically gain weight on vacation? I usually return feeling lighter than when I went. The exception was a cruise; too much five star dining! —Karen

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