So this chica is back in Ecuador for a month!! I studied abroad here 4 years ago and during that time, I found an orphanage that I completely fell in love with. I came again to care for the little babies that left a bigger impact on my heart than words can describe. I plan to volunteer at the orphanage as much as I can and do catch-up work for my photography business, which I’m so blessed to be able to do remotely. This year has been a whirlwind, and I felt like I needed a little time to get away to take care of myself, do something I love more than anything in me, and refocus to determine my goals for the upcoming year.
Well, part of taking care of myself involves food, of course! I pre-contemplated this before leaving and brought some ingredients I could use to make sure I was still consuming a nutrient-rich diet while here. Because I’ve lived here before, I was a bit familiar with what I could get my hands on and what produce I’d have access to. All in all, I’m banking on smoothies as being my daily go-to, and here is how I prepared for this:
From home, I brought:
- chia seeds
- hemp seeds
- e3live Renew Me powder (this stuff is the absolute best and definitely worth the money!)
- goji berries
- stick blender and a mason jar *more detail below
Buying local foods:
If you know the region a bit, you may know what to expect, but even if you don’t after doing some research, you can still improvise! Being that I’m in the Andean mountains, I was hoping I’d find some local maca and cacao. Yesterday I wandered around and found some at one of the Artisan markets! I was stoked! The cacao powder also has ginger 🙂
I also found these exotic chocoalate bars, which was some extra icing on the cake!
But back to smoothies.
I knew there’d be bananas and other exotic fruits, like passionfruit, granadilla, tomate de árbol, that I could add to the smoothies so I picked up some produce today as well. If you bring some of the more expensive ingredients from home (seeds, powders, superfoods), you won’t need to spend as much while traveling. And as far as space goes, I just put them in smaller bags, and the food I brought really didn’t take up that much room. Now Ecuador is very cheap, but produce is in many other places as well. Keep this in mind when you’re trying to eat healthy. I bought everything below for LESS THAN $7.
As far as equipment, it definitely depends on what kind of trip you are taking. You may have a blender where you are going, and if you can, inquire at the place(s) you’re staying. When I was in Cabo San Lucas earlier this year, there was a kitchenette in the room with a blender. I took full advantage of that by making smoothies with chia and hemp seeds I brought with me. I am here in Ecuador for a month and did have a checked bag so I was able to bring this kind of thing along. Initially, I knew I wanted to bring a blender to make banana milk (because the only non-dairy milk they have here is soy milk), and I was going to bring a Shake N Take my mom gave me years back. Last minute, I decided to go with a Cuisinart stick blender and a wide mouth Mason jar instead because it’s much more powerful and better at blending and is not much bigger. It’s very, very portable and easy to clean. I’m staying in an Airbnb and have access to a kitchen, but it’s the family’s and is in a separate unit so I most likely will not be using it often.
I’ll conclude with the smoothie I made this morning!
It had water, two bananas, passion fruit, mango, tamarind, chia and hemp seeds, maca, cacao, and e3live powder! Since I don’t readily have access to a kitchen, I just rinsed the attachment from the stick blender with some water over the smoothie and then rinsed the jar with water and drank it when I was done. Then I was able to clean out the little bit of smoothie remnants that were left in the bathroom sink! It was super easy and worked really well. Unless you have a good place to do dishes, my advice is to rinse it right away so it doesn’t dry and get caked on 🙂
So there you have it! Do you have any thoughts or ideas for smoothies while traveling?! If so, leave a comment below!