Boston and I had the privilege to join the non-profit Family-to-Family on an expedition to Queretaro, Mexico where we filmed and photographed children who live in a government subsidized boarding house during the week called an Albergue.
1. Be prepared and take snacks!
It's never fun to be stuck on an airplane or a bus in the middle of a foreign country and have no food to curb your hunger (or just no food). It also helps when you're hungry and your options are french fries or icecream. We were house sitting the week before we left for Mexico, so I was unable to get my travel snack shopping in -- we actually had so much to do the night before we almost pulled an all-nighter (definitely a don't). And to top it off, my soaked, raw almonds grew mold halfway through the week, so that back fired . . .
2. Be Flexible.
I'm following a low carb diet for the most part, but when your only options for lunch are literally rice and beans in a boarding house for Mexican children - eat the rice and beans! I was so active on this trip - usually up at 5 or 6 am, running around in either intense desert heat and then crashing pretty late at night, so having some extra carbs in my diet was probably a good thing.
3. Enjoy Local Dishes!
We were in very rural parts of Mexico - almost everyone had their own chickens that were free range (like, seriously sometimes walking right through their little houses) - and their egg yolks were deliciously dark orange -- a sign of a more nutrient dense egg. For the first time ever, I enjoyed Mexican dishes that weren't your typical taco - such as cactus and lentil soup or fried plantains (oh my, yum). You know how in the US you order a side of fruit instead of hash browns or something and you just get hard, unripe cantaloupe or something? Not so with the avocado, papaya, mango, mamey fruit and sweet cactus chili thingies that were super tine. All the fruit is rich in both color and flavor and often right off the tree in the back yard. Seriously, we have some catching up to do.
4. Trust in your Training.
If you've been working your butt off (literally), taking a week off/shaking it up a bit is not going to ruin everything you've worked for. I'm definitely a bit of a perfectionist and had a little freak out when I ate a BUNCH of corn tortillas - but, supposedly I was eating 'the best tacos in Mexico', I mean, so what was I going to do - eat them without tortilla's? Um no. Life must be lived.