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Grow-zomi

Ask me anything   Live Dirty, Eat Clean

Although most US travelers to Costa Rica are automatically given a 90 day pass to explore the country, for some reason, immigration only wanted to give me 35 when I initially entered the country (8/20).  Annoyed by the fact that I would have to leave the country within that time to do a ‘visa run,’ it in fact was a blessing in disguise: I got the chance to travel to Panama and explore the area called Bocas del Toro! This is an archipelago in the northern area of Panama, very close to Costa Rica. 

From Punta Mona, the Permaculture education center in Costa Rica, at which I have been living, I walked along the beach for nearly an hour, and then took a 15 minute taxi ride to the immigration border.  Once into Panama it is required of anyone wanting to reenter CR to wait 72 hours.  I was accompanied by a few other volunteers, and we rode to the island of Bastimentos, part of Bocas del Toro. Bastimentos is known for its hidden beautiful beaches and slightly less ‘touristy’ atmosphere.

I felt a bit as if I had traveled back in time.  The Panamanians here speak Patua—a language that blends Spanish, English, and something in between. This tiny town is composed of a few restaurants, small delis, a school, a church, a few hotels for tourists, and the rest seemed to be simple, family homes.  It was quaint, quiet, and beautiful, although littering seems to be a major problem. Life here is slower, simpler and seemingly more carefree.  As movement and opportunity are unfortunately lacking, I do not wish to trade positions, however it was nice to take a peek into the lives of this island’s residents. 

— 1 day ago
#bastimentos  #bocasdeltoro  #visarun 

After traveling around for a few weeks now, I have finally arrived at Punta Mona, a Permaculture center located on the Caribbean coast within hiking distance to the Panama border! I had contacted the organization before leaving the states as a potential place to reside and work for a while. I was greeted by the Co-Director and medicinal herbalist expert, Sarah Wu in Puerto Viejo, before taking a beautiful private boat ride around the cove and over to the otherwise remotely inaccessible center. 

What I have walked into is some sort of tropical paradise, and I have not yet even seen it all.  Punta Mona is a space for permaculture education and living with the land.  There are plants, animals and insects of every kind, cohabiting and thriving in this lush tropical land where as a human, I no longer feel as if I am at the top of the food chain.  In less than 24 hours now I have seen growing: plumeria, cacao, papaya, starfruit, cardamom, biriba, passionfruit, coconuts, at least a dozen salad greens, and have not yet even stepped foot in the edible forest garden.

 For those of you who are not familiar with the principles of permaculture, in a nutshell, it is a system of functional agriculture which mimics natural habitats, while also creating calculated zones of work for human oriented efficiency.  It employs many techniques to live comfortably with minimal compromising of Earth health.  Although it can look messy by conventional farming method’s point of view, in its essence it is a practice of care and nurture.  I have much to learn here.

— 6 days ago with 3 notes
#puntamona  #permaculture  #costa rican gardens  #nozomitravels  #sustainable agriculture  #food forest 
Apparently home made Kimchi is like, the easiest thing to make—ever! And as a naturally fermented food, it has great health benefits and works great as a digestive aid.
If for some reason, you have an abundance of raw cabbage, or just want to make a delicious side dish that is also great for digestive health—try this recipe. I made it last week and after just 3 days you have pickles to last for weeks!

RAW VEGAN KIMCHI 
1 head of Cabbage (any color!)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or grated
1 teaspoon of red chili flakes (or more for more spice!)
1 tablespoon of salt


Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mash with a wooden spoon. 
Literally that’s it.
Mash until the cabbage begins to break down. It will settle under about a one inch layer of liquid produced from the cabbage mixture itself. 
Transfer to a mason jar or another container that can be sealed.
Leave in a cool, dry, dark place for 3 days.
ENJOYYYYYY!

Apparently home made Kimchi is like, the easiest thing to make—ever! And as a naturally fermented food, it has great health benefits and works great as a digestive aid.

If for some reason, you have an abundance of raw cabbage, or just want to make a delicious side dish that is also great for digestive health—try this recipe. I made it last week and after just 3 days you have pickles to last for weeks!

RAW VEGAN KIMCHI 

1 head of Cabbage (any color!)

1 clove of garlic, chopped

carrot, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or grated

1 teaspoon of red chili flakes (or more for more spice!)

1 tablespoon of salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mash with a wooden spoon. 
Literally that’s it.
Mash until the cabbage begins to break down. It will settle under about a one inch layer of liquid produced from the cabbage mixture itself. 
Transfer to a mason jar or another container that can be sealed.
Leave in a cool, dry, dark place for 3 days.
ENJOYYYYYY!
— 6 days ago
#vegan kimchi  #raw foods  #living foods  #fermented food  #probiotic 

Tonight, the universe gifted me with the perfect dining experience at Veronica’s in Puerto Viejo. I had found reviews both in my guidebook and online about a wonderful restaurant specializing in vegetarian, vegan and even raw foods, but when I followed the map, I ended up walking in circles with no Veronica’s in sight. Just as I was about to give up, I stumbled upon a sign pointing the way down a quiet street off the main drag.  Here was Veronica’s Homestay, and it is where Veronica and her husband have lived, raised a family and shared their love and knowledge of sustainable food for decades. 

I was warmly greeted and it was explained that although the restaurant I had found listed online had recently closed after 6 years of operation, their home kitchen operates as a family style dining experience offered any night of the week.  They also offer rooms for rent for individuals and for parties of up to 5! 

When I initially arrived, Veronica and one of the volunteers in her Permaculture garden program were in the kitchen preparing tonight’s dinner of vegetable coconut curry (of course with hand pressed coconut milk) over a delicious and local root vegetable that resembled the Taro potato, Caribbean style gallo pinto (rice and beans),  served with salad and fresh Cass juice (local citrus fruit). I was told to return a little after 6pm when dinner would be served.

After taking another dip in the Caribbean sea, I strolled back over and was given the divine opportunity to converse over dinner about Veronica’s philosophies around food, love and providing nourishment for those searching for something pure!  The food was perfect and the shared wisdom, so valuable. 

I even returned the next morning for family style breakfast of fresh fruits salad, banana porridge and home made tofu!  If you find yourself in the Puerto Viejo area, Veronica’s is a must!

http://veronicasplacepv.com/ 

— 1 week ago
#puertoviejo  #veronicasplace  #organic costa rica  #vegan  #caribbean cuisine 

Nothing beats some rich Carribean style cooking when in the tropics! My cousin Viviana, shared with me her recipe for a delicious dinner—we made it with Red Snapper, but try it with other white fish as well :)

Costa Rica Caribbe Style Rice and Beans with Red Snapper

Marinate the Snapper filets with roasted garlic, bomba (a Caribbean spice mix), curry powder, banana vinegar, olive oil, ground black pepper, salt

{For the Rice and Beans}

Mince: 1 onion

2 stalks of celery

A couple of cloves of garlic

And sautee in a fryingpan with 1 cup of cooked kidney beans

Add a dash of All Spice and ½ cup of water

Hot peppers can be added at this point to taste!

Add ½ cup of coconut milk* to the pan and a few sprigs of fresh Thyme

At this point, measure out 2 cups of rice and and add it to the pan

Followed by 4 cups of coconut milk

Cover and simmer until the rice is cooked through

{For the Fish}

Chop and Sautee: 1 onion, 3 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, 1 bell pepper, 1 cup of cauliflower

Add 1 medium sized tomato, chopped, along with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and hot peppers to taste!

Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally

Sautee the marinated Snapper filets in olive oil and ¼ cup of coconut milk until mostly cooked

Add the sauteed vegetable mix on top of the fish filets and cook over low heat 3 min.


*coconut milk is best when freshly made, however, you can buy it in most groceriy stores in a can—go for organic when possible! There are lower fat versions of coconut milk too

— 1 week ago
#costaricancuisine  #caribbean cuisine 
— 2 weeks ago
#raw foods  #living foods  #slow food costa rica 

Now this is what I call farm to table, SLOWW food.  I visited Gaia Aguas Termales, an area developed by Silvio Bonomelli as a biointensive garden and thermal hotspring campsite.  It is located about an hour outside of San Jose, in the mountains between San Isidro General and Cartago.  Silvio has created a haven for himself and has worked with the land to grow coffee, and on a smaller scale, vegetables for a line of incredible dehydrated ‘raw’ products.  

I spent a few days camping here, helping out in the building sized dehydrator, which sources heat from the natural hot springs, and collecting my own vegetables from the garden. The only cooking stove is wood burning, the process of preparing the days meals in this way has made me think about the luxury of a gas range stove!

— 2 weeks ago
#gaia aguas termales  #raw food  #slowfood  #farm to table  #organic costa rica 
Wild mushrooms, fairy princesses, enchanted forests and seemingly serendipitous traveling companions are a few of my favorite things. Thank you travel gods—there are many lessons I have yet to learn! (at Gaia Agua Termales)

Wild mushrooms, fairy princesses, enchanted forests and seemingly serendipitous traveling companions are a few of my favorite things. Thank you travel gods—there are many lessons I have yet to learn! (at Gaia Agua Termales)

— 2 weeks ago

Passion Flower and Papaya Flower

Beautifully domesticated floral formations that produce such exotic and heavenly rich fruit experiences!

— 3 weeks ago with 1 note
#passionflower  #papayaflower  #biointensive garden  #exotic fruit 

The colors of the fruit and vegetables that I have found thus far have been inspirational. Orange and green was the theme of the day. For breakfast, I opened this small papaya anticipating the usual cluster of gelatinous, fish egg-like seeds one usually finds in this miracle fruit.  Instead I found nothing! Astonishing, an infertile papaya—somehow it seemed that this poor fruit had been deprived of something in its fruit entity; luckily it ended up in the hands of the right person.  I had purchased a bag of ripe passion fruit (maracuya) at the market the previous day, cut open a particularly perfect one and poured its goopy contents into the hollow cave of the papayas belly; and voila! the papaya seemed whole once again. Adding a kiwi for garnish, this combination was absolutely heavenly and I devoured my breakfast with gusto and delight.  You know, what the papaya lacked in its inability to reproduce, it made up for in the sweetness of its buttery flesh, that carried the implanted ‘roe’ uncannily well. 

I spent the rainy afternoon at a new favorite vegetarian spot in San Jose called Mantras and ordered the Yogi Bowl with a side salad and raw tahini dressing. The look of the dish was oddly reminiscent of my breakfast—A lovely meal and enough to take home with me for dinner!

— 3 weeks ago with 1 note
#papaya  #rawfoodbliss  #mantrascafecostarica  #nozomitravels 

Flower power (at Playa Dominical, Costa Rica)

— 3 weeks ago

The sublime exists in many forms here—treading lightly and taking it all in

— 4 weeks ago
#montezuma  #costarica  #nozomitravels 

Forever taking leaps of faith and expecting…what? Perhaps some sensational inspiration—or just sensation for the sake of experience.  Whatever the motive, today I was lured into the muddy but warm and inviting waters at Montezuma waterfalls, located at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula! 

— 1 month ago with 1 note
#montezuma  #nozomitravels  #costarica  #puravida 

I am on a quest for raw/living foods culture in Costa Rica and have thus far found some great inspiration! Feria Verde, a green and organic outdoor market takes place in San Jose here in Costa Rica on Saturday mornings and features local vendors, all of whom seem to share common ground in their quest and celebration of sustainable practices.  My favorite vendor thus far is one called Gaia Super Foods and specializes in dehydrated fruits and kale chips! I loved them so much that I have arranged to volunteer at their production site for a few days starting on Monday—I am looking forward to expanding my raw foods knowledge and will be sure to update!

— 1 month ago with 1 note
#feriaverde  #organicmarket  #san jose costa rica  #rawfood  #buylocal