This is my friend Erica and she is leaving soon for a mission trip to Nicaragua. The foods will be different depending on the country, but you can count on carbs being a staple and many foods containing a lot of fat.
She's been doing an amazing job with her nutrition. She joined me in the 1st Phorm App and has been planning her food with a focus on protein and a cap on calories, eating very healthy whole foods and good protein supplements.
She's lost a couple pounds, and she knows it works now! And she is kicking butt with her workouts at the gym and we often meet there.
Last night she asked, "What should I do on my mission trip?" I have some tips for that.
It's a medical focused mission trip. Erica is a nurse, and she will be going with some doctors, nurses, and a dentist who will help give a little basic care to people in Nicaragua.
One of Erica's favorite things to do on these trips is to bring bubbles. Many of the kids there have never seen bubbles and to them, it's like magic, and it puts smiles on everyone.
Alright, back to the food though, that's always the hard part. Funny how it's so easy to consume a lot of carbs and fats, even here in the USA! That simply means smaller portions and don't go back for seconds!
A staple might typically be corn, rice, and beans:
Except for the one corn tortilla, all of these are one full cup.
Fruits are common:
Here are the values for fruits, which are also carbs!
Notice that most carbs are going to be 200 calories per cup, give or take a little.
Keep that in mind. Look at one measuring cup and measure some of these things out on a plate so you can see what it looks like.
Then add 120 calories for each tablespoon of fat. Assume you'll have 1-3 tablespoons per meal.
You can also look up the names of some meals to get an idea:
Wow, that is just ONE tamale!
You can do a little search on foods for any country. Here's what I found for Nicaragua:
Spices and flavors
plantain leaves (don't eat these, they are for flavoring)
chilote (baby corn)
quequisque (a starchy root)
ears of corn
red beans, called Gallo Pinto
pitaya (dragon fruit)
oxtail (tail of any local cattle)
Other (mostly fats)
But, what to do?
The idea isn't to log your food or ruin the mission. You won't likely get the proper amount of protein, but it's okay. It's temporary.
Mainly, you want to control your caloires by controlling portions.
Often three big meals is too much food. It's okay to skip a meal, or fast (many do for spiritual purposes even in other countries). Only do this if it's appropriate and you are familar with fasting which you can experiment with at home well before attempting this on a mission trip. If you are confident with fasting and know what you can do, this is a great tool.
If possible, gather your own portions or only eat half the amount. At the same time be respectful of the culture. Do what you can and be aware of what you are consuming.
Drink water! Often this might need to be bottled water only to avoid getting sick.
Look for protein and make sure you get some!
Ever since I've embarked on this weight loss journey losing 85 pounds over 10 years ago, Randy and I have both enjoyed changing the rules regarding eating. We both know that too much food is not good for any of us.
On vacations, we've learned to have less meals as ALL the meals are simply too much food for either of us. We also don't have to have a dessert at every meal or even every day! Sometimes we can split a meal.
Living in truth, knowledge, and freedom is very empowering!
I'm wishing you all the blessings on your Mission Trip my sweet friend Erica. I'm looking forward to what you learned and to hear amazing stories.