Awesome Street Eats, Ageless Women and Watch Out White People! : The 7 Things I Learned This Week

Monday May 30 | BY |
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Just a sampling of some of the traditional foods here in Peru.

It’s been another interesting week here in Renegade Health land…

This Memorial Day (happy holiday to those in the U.S.) Edition of the 7 Things I Learned This Week focuses again on our travels in Peru.

I think you’ll find it interesting and entertaining because we’ve found some amazing things here that may just convince you to book a flight right away. LOL!

I hope you enjoy it…

1. Street food is where it’s at.

The first two times we were in Peru, we were a little afraid to try the street food.

One, because of that time in Mexico that I keep talking about where I had a 104 fever (and the only doctor in the town was out sportfishing… you remember.)

Anyway, now that we have some Peruvian friends this time around, we’ve asked them to show us the ropes.

What we’ve found is that there are some awesome options for vegan, raw, vegetarian or even organic, farm fresh eaters.

First off, you can get a carrot juice or beet juice (or combined) in the market for under $1.00 U.S.

You can also get fruit smoothies for under $1.00 as well.

Not a bad deal considering how much it would cost us back home.

In the mornings, you can get hot, steamed corn tamales – made with fresh, non-GMO Peruvian corn.

There are two types – saltado or dulce. The saltado have aji (a mix of sauteed onion, garlic, pepper and oil) and an olive inside and the dulce (sweet) have a raisins.

These range from $.20-.35 U.S. a pop. It’s pretty easy to burn through 4-6 of them on a park bench just after buying them. LOL!

If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, please make sure you ask for them without cheese. (Sin queso.) Most of them are, but I just finished picking around a hunk of cheese in the ones we got this morning.

(Side Note: In Peru, nothing is exactly the same, so it’s best to ask. LOL!)

For plant based eaters, there are also – usually in the countryside (campo) – women who sell earth-oven roasted potatoes. These are called “watia,” and they are amazing.

For a bag it should cost about $.60 U.S.

Once you get them, you peel the skin and eat them like candy.

Every time I peel one, it’s like opening a gift at Christmas, because each one seems to be a different variety, with a different color and a different flavor.

Some of our friends here also suggest the anticucho and the caldo. These both are street meals that have meat in them.

If you’re into eating fresh, farm raised meat, this is the place to do it.

The caldo is a soup with lamb, potatoes, carrots and yucca. It’s about $1.00-1.50 U.S. for a big old bowl.

The anticucho is grilled meat on a skewer. Here the most popular is corazon (beef heart.) There’s also chicken, beef and alpaca. I don’t know how much this costs because I haven’t asked.

Other options that we’ve seen are prickly pear – peeled in front of you, popcorn (though it has sugar on it), choclo – roasted corn, chicha – a drink made from fermented yucca, corn or quinoa, and fresh mate – which is street tea made with various herbs.

We’ve tried most of these with exception of the mate. All of them are, of course, under $.30 U.S.

Buen provecho!

2. Would you risk dying to go to hot springs?

I think we did.

Over the weekend, we made a trip to Lares. Here we were told there are some of the best hot springs in Peru.

We didn’t need much to be sold on going.

Luckily, our plans changed and we were able to get a driver last minute (I don’t think this is too hard here, it seems like there are more cabs than people in Cusco, LOL!)

Anyway, we left early on Saturday, only to find that the road to Lares, is under construction and wouldn’t be open until 6:00 PM.

No big deal, we decided to wait.

Just a few minutes after 6:00 PM – very punctual for Peruvian time – we started our trip up and over the Andes to get to the valley and eventually Lares.

As we climbed up the mountains, it became darker and we started to realize why the road was under construction.

It seems like a series of landslides over the two years had made the road impassable. Now the Peruvian highway organization, is working to make the road wider and, of course, less susceptible to falling earth.

These slides turned the normal 2 hour drive into about 3.

At points the road was smooth and modern. At others, it was rocky, jagged, and extremely close to hundreds of feet of freefall.

We made it to Lares – a little dusty and hopped up on adrenaline – but we were able to soak all night and morning in the iron rich springs which made up for much of the stress induced on the trip in.

Luckily, on the way back we left during the day, and the road didn’t seem as bad.

Maybe it was because of the soaking, or maybe the dark magnified our fears.

Ann and I both decided this was something to think about as a grander metaphor.

What are we scared of that when we actually encounter it, isn’t really that bad?

3. Learning is humbling.

I’ve mentioned this a few times in the past week, but I want to emphasize it again.

Learning is very humbling – particularly when you’re learning a language.

Annmarie and I have 3 days of Spanish classes left and it’s bittersweet that they’re ending.

We both know we have many months of Spanish classes left before we master it, but at the same time, I think our minds needs a break.

It’s very frustrating to know how to communicate something very eloquently and directly in English and then when you try to say the same in Spanish, you’re reduced to words that resemble caveman talk.

“Me… want… go… hot… springs.”

“I… no… eat… cheese.”

“You… charging… me… to… much… because… I’m… gringo.”

I think you get it.

This learning gap does help re-emphasize that you can’t be good at very much the first time you try it.

I think this is a good lesson to keep you humble and always willing to learn.

I look back at my health education and I can point out 3-5 times when I thought I knew everything, only to find out there are different solutions that work just as well.

This learning process is necessary for true understanding and now I’m always open to possibility when it comes to health.

Anyway, the fun is in the process, so we’re having as much fun as we can screwing it up! LOL.

4. I don’t think this is the idea for organics…

I asked Howard Lyman a few months ago this question:

“When the small farmers who are starting to grow locally, start to see the profit potential of their business, what’s stopping them from growing and expanding to be the large agribusinesses that we have now?”

He really didn’t have an answer to this one. (Nor did he have to have one.)

But it’s something to think about…

An article in the New York Times (thanks Jonathan!) recently highlighted farms in Europe being bought by larger industrial farms. (here)

This trend may change the “local” movement in a way that may not be the most ideal.

The local movement isn’t meant to be part of a conglomerate.

I’d hope that the smaller more conscious farmers would grow in a more conscious way, instead of being bought out like in this article, wouldn’t you?

On the bright side, I think many of them will proceed, or even be bought with consciousness, but it makes you wonder if the local farm movement is a cycle or a readjustment period, not a full on take-the-power-back movement.

5. Ageless women.

While we were waiting for the road to Lares to open, we stopped at the market in Calca to get a smoothie.

To order a smoothie, you pick the woman who you think will make the best and sit down at a counter in front of here.

Once there you place and order and watch her do all the magic.

While we were drinking ours that day, a woman walked up to the counter and ordered a beet and carrot juice.

In a previous conversation, Ann and I were talking about how the women and men here in Peru rarely turn gray.

Their hair is dark long into their winter years.

There were a lot of reasons that we hypothesized about, but at the same time, we both thought we may be witnessing one of them.

Mineral and vitamin rich vegetable juice.

The woman looked ageless. Her skin was smooth with an even olive tint. She had enough wrinkles for you to know she was a parent of at least 2 or 3 and her hair was as shiny black as an oil slick. She could have been 40 or she could have been 70, but my guess was closer to the latter.

I’m sure there are genetics and other factors involved, but this woman made me want to drink carrot and beet juice, that’s for sure.

(NOTE: Not all Peruvians are healthy. Please don’t get caught up in the romanticism of this story…)

6. White people need to watch out in Cusco.

Don’t worry, this isn’t going where you think it might.

Isn’t it funny that where your mind went is exactly where our minds go when we read a statement like this?

Anyway, what I really mean, is that if you have light skin, you better be careful here in Cusco.

The sun is very hot and can burn you in just 15 minutes.

The other day, at about 9:00 in the morning, we sat down to eat some tamales before we headed off to Lares.

In 15 minutes, my face was as red as a Peruvian chili pepper.

For some reason or another, I figured I was safe that early in the morning.

So please take note… if you’re as white as I am and you’re in a high altitude area that’s close to the equator, be sure to protect yourself with sleeves, pants and a hat.

Or else, you’ll really end up looking like a silly, unprepared American tourist. (Like me.)

(Everyone from every other country in the world, knows what I’m talking about.)

7. A big thank you this month.

I want to take #7 this week and thank you.

We ran specials this entire May on our information products. Our blood test program, digestion program, adrenals, thyroid, etc.

Many of you took advantage of purchasing these to help improve your own health.

This means a lot to me on many levels. So I want to personally thank you.

I’ll be transparent about all the reasons I’m thankful here.

First off, since we’re in Peru now, it is important to tell you that a portion of the profit from all the programs we do with Dr. Williams goes to support AyniGlobal – a non-profit organization that is assisting the native Q’ero to assimilate into modern culture.

Second, the profits allow us to continue to do what we do – which is help you get results. As you can probably tell, we’re in this to help. Anyone who’s ever met us personally can you tell you that.

There’s an interesting separation between Internet connection and real connection, but I can assure you that we really want to make a difference. Your purchases help us create new solutions, find new healthy products and continue to do research that will help you in the long run.

Third, I thank you for taking an effort to help yourself. Most people DO NOT EVER help themselves or put themselves in a better position to get the results that will actually help them. Your purchase is the first step to getting better. Congrats!

Fourth, the profits allow our team members to pay their bills, live, and eat in an economy that isn’t the greatest.

It makes me happy to be able to provide jobs where the unemployment rate is up to 13% or so (reported). You’re a part of this entire cycle, and for that we all thank you.

Finally, I want to thank you for choosing to “vote” for consciousness. When you purchase from a conscious company, you – in essence – are placing a vote for the way you want commerce to be. Sometimes the price is more or sometimes it’s less. But regardless, your dollar is a vote for good business practice and the more we vote like this, the more possible it is for smart, conscious businesses to grow.

How’s that for changing the world by just buying a $49.95 program? LOL!

Thanks again!

I want to know your thoughts: Do you agree that your dollar is a vote for conscious business?

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

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