Getting Healthy

One of my main goals right now, along with creating a successful blog, is to improve my health, both mentally and physically. Over the past year and a half I have been struggling with my mental health, which in turn affects my physical health, and after falling very sick with the flu for two weeks at the beginning of April, on top of feeling very down for over a year, I decided that I needed to make a change. I began by reading articles on ways to improve your mental well being and ways to improve your immune system, and one thing that came up almost every time was exercise. I took out a book from the library; “The Ripple Effect” by Dr. Greg Wells, which was filled with greatly researched information on the relationship between your sleep, what you eat, exercise, and how you think, and how you need each aspect in order to be healthy. I was always active growing up, playing rep hockey and soccer, but I have never enjoyed working out to work out. Despite my disdain for working out, I knew I couldn’t afford to keep getting sick, and I need to improve my mental health, and frankly, I was tired of having a hard time carrying a case of water, so I knew I needed to try. I have been doing small workouts on average 2-3 times a week, and I feel immediate benefits after my workout through the endorphins that are released. I have noticed that I am developing small arm muscles, and my bum seems to be growing (in a good way). One thing I enjoy doing is high intensity interval training (HIIT). It takes a very short amount of time, but you are exhausted, so you know you got a good workout. Along with these small workouts, I have been doing daily stretches to increase my flexibility with the intention of being able to do the splits (I have a long way to go). As for the long term benefits, I will have to keep you posted! If anyone has any tips, I would love to hear them!

Exploring Playa Flamingo

On our first full day at Casa Frisons last week, we decided to explore Playa Flamingo. We dipped our feet in the water and found it was a bit cooler than the water in Tamarindo. Not cold by any means, just not quite as warm and because it was one of the only days that didn’t feel scorching hot, we weren’t as desperate to be in the water. We took a nice walk on the beach and stopped at Coco Loco so that A could grab a drink and continued down the beach. We saw a huge pelican (we think) with a wing span that appeared to be longer than a person. It must not have liked A very much, because when he went to walk past the pelican, it charged at him fairly aggressively. Luckily for me, since I got a great photo of it (and A was okay, it didn’t get too close to him…). After we were done at the beach, we stopped so that another couple in our group could rent a golf cart for the week (so much fun).

The group consensus was that a snack/late lunch was needed asap. A and I got on the back of the golf cart, and the rest of the group followed us in the car. We felt like we were going so fast and had so much fun, but the people in the car felt like we were going painfully slowly. We saw a little local-looking restaurant on the corner with outdoor seating right next to the beach, which we decided to give a try. The waitress was wonderful. Some of our group spoke Spanish, but a lot of us didn’t, and she worked with us, teaching us how to order in Spanish. There were a ton of options on the menu; fish, pork, chicken, salads, rice and beans, fries, etc… in so many different combinations. I ordered fish sticks with fries and a side of rice and A ordered pork with rice, black beans and salad. One of the women in our group ordered a pina colada with rum and lime juice that she promptly passed along the table for everyone to try. It was the BEST pina colada (maybe even drink) any of us had ever had in our lives. It was made with fresh pineapples, and tasted a bit closer to pineapple juice than a pina colada, in a combination that was heavenly. The majority of the table immediately ordered pina coladas. When our food came it looked incredible. Once we started eating, everyone started raving about their meals. We all shared bites of our food, so that everyone could try a bit of everything. Not one person was disappointed in their meal. The breading on the fish sticks and chicken fingers was incredible. I have never tasted breading like that. Everything down to the black beans was amazing, and I have never tasted black beans I’ve been excited about, but I was excited about these black beans. The way I am describing this meal does not even do it justice. If you are ever in the Playa Flamingo area, you need to visit this restaurant (Restaurante Pleamar). I promise, you won’t regret it.
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Lucky Find in Tamarindo

My boyfriend and I were walking around Tamarindo on a very hot Costa Rica morning last week, looking for a coffee (I’m addicted) and something small for breakfast. We began sweating something fierce very shortly into our walk. In Canada, we’re not used to that type of heat, especially before 9am! We saw a little café called Rumors with the doors closed, which we took as an indicator of air conditioning, and with heat quickly becoming the main thing on our minds, we thought we would give it a try. We were delighted by the air conditioning as soon as we opened the doors. Rumors had a really cool feel (pun intended), with exposed brick walls, live plants throughout the café and varying seating arrangements. The two ladies working were very kind and, luckily for us, spoke English quite well. Not eating a lot of meat, and having a lot of food restrictions due to acid reflux, I was pleasantly surprised by the options on the menu. I ordered a coffee, greek yogurt with honey and oats, and A ordered eggs, bacon and toast with orange juice and vodka (he also ordered Kahlua for my coffee). My first sip of coffee was heavenly. The coffee alone was worth going in for. My yogurt and oats was delicious as well, and A thoroughly enjoyed his eggs and bacon. The pricing was reasonable; comparable to Canada. I would highly recommend visiting Rumors if you are in Tamarindo looking for some good food, good drinks or just for a break from the heat!