Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reasonably Raw in Vietnam

I'm back in Vietnam for the rest of the winter. My main activity here is teaching English to Vietnamese university kids. I absolutely love it.

I would say it's nearly impossible to be as raw here as in the states. Not nearly as many standard ingredients here, like nuts, cacao, herbs, etc. But, the fresh fruits do make up for it and the variety of restaurants here in Nha Trang keep things from becoming boring.

Probably the best thing here is the low cost of fresh young coconuts. 50 cents each. I have the water and meat of one every morning after my 5 mile run. There is something about the water in a coconut that totally hydrates my body because I have very little thirst after drinking one. I make a smoothie after going to the market in the morning. Usually it consists of mango, pineapple, and oranges. Not a green smoothie because my travel blender will not break up greens very well. After that I really don't drink any water the rest of the day. To break things up once in a while I have watermelon for breakfast.

Lunch consists of a big salad with homemade raw dressing. I bring a few jars of raw tahini with me and make a tahini, lemon, garlic dressing. When I run out I'll buy olive oil and make a dressing of oil, lemon, and nutritional yeast (brought that along with me).

For dinner I usually go out to eat and try to be reasonable. I do eat some meat and occasionally have a burger and fries or Pad Thai Gai.

Life is good here. I usually lose nearly ten pounds not even trying. I do miss my afternoon banana cacao smoothies and homemade guacmole. Anyway, I can't be perfect, but I can be reasonable. And that's life here in Vietnam. Probably not much more to write about till I return home in April. Except that I've ordered a book for my Kindle which I will be reading shortly. It's called Catching Fire. Something about the history of cooking. It is supposed to be about how humans have always cooked their food. I'm thinking I should read something that will challenge my beliefs and see if they stand up. I will report back on that. In the meantime, I'm loving my coconuts!


garvinmark said...

Hi Frank - it's refreshing to find someone that admits to straying occasionally from the ideal - unlike many of the gurus around who punt their brand of the raw food diet only to flog buckets of "essential" products in the process - what good is a diet that needs all this supplementation? I too live in Vietnam (Vung Tau)and teach English at a local school. I have found the fresh produce here inspiring - bananas, papaya, mango, watermelon, coconuts, oranges and greens form the backbone of my diet. I too have an ongoing complex relationship with food that seems to oscillate between self destruction and attaining immortality. I recently completed a course in natural hygiene (University of Natural Health)mainly for my own benefit as I had developed some health problems that the doctors seemed clueless about. I am happy to report that I am now in excellent health. I found the course to be adequate but not exceptional - one good thing that came out of it was an introduction to Dr Douglas Graham - his book "The 80/10/10 Diet" solved a lot of the difficulties I had previously encountered attempting to go raw. Just thought I would thank you for your sincerity and tell you that I found a lot of common ground in your blog - regards Mark.

Raya Belna said...

Hi, I just came across your blog. I am teaching English and Yoga in South Korea and trying to maintain a raw vegan diet. There are definitely challenges out here! At 5$ each, I really miss my daily avocados here. Thanks for the great info. Check out my raw food blog at: