Travel Tips On Avoiding Illness.

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I sometimes enjoy watching Anthony Bourdain and his culinary adventures on TV. But more than once, I have wondered how his stomach health was after eating in some foreign rustic place.  I myself have devised a successful plan to avoid illness when traveling, that I will share here.

We often become ill when eating food in foreign countries because of a difference in bacterial fauna from one place to another, especially in countries that do not experience freezing temperatures.  Our immune systems become overwhelmed and thus illness.
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How do I avoid losing precious vacation time to illness? First, before we travel I raise my family’s defenses a month ahead of time by giving them probiotics to improve their intestinal fauna, a multivitamin complex of vitamin A, C, E, selenium and zinc, and Astragulus to raise their defenses.

When we travel, first and foremost, wash or sanitize your hands any time you put something into your mouth. I try to avoid eating foods that are raw, with the exception of fruit that can be peeled and is soaked in a gallon of water with a tablespoon of salt for 15 minutes. If someone does become ill, I give them probiotics and psyllium fiber.  Giving someone who is sick to their stomach fiber will encourage the intestinal wall to produce mucus to help expel any bacteria or parasites. If you never have taken fiber before, I would not encourage taking it here for the first time.DSC_0021

Being sick can spoil your vacation. I have had a child vomiting the day before we were to return home and have been able to travel the next day, by following these steps.  I hope it will be of some use.DSC_0307

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Gallo Pinto: The Costa Rican Breakfast of Champions

Gallo Pinto is the Costa Rican equivalent to Chinese fried rice. It is made with left over rice and beans, a Costa Rican cuisine staple. Traditionally, it was made in a comal. A comal is similar to a wok only shallower, made out of cast iron, and instead of one handle it has two smaller handles. The tradition of cooking with comales has been lost in many homes. It has been replaced by teflon coated frying pans.

Gallo Pinto

If I would have been feed Gallo Pinto growing up, I wouldn’t have passed many a sad and hungry mid-morning at school, my empty stomach growling, eyes riveted to the classroom clock, waiting for lunch to roll around. Gallo Pinto is a staple for breakfast in my home now. It is a filling and energizing way to start my morning. It is easy to make, just follow the following recipe.

2 cups DAY OLD rice

1 cup black beans  drained reserve 1/4 cup of liquid

1/2 medium onion,chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 red bell pepper, chopped

In a wok or frying pan, saute pepper in 2 tbsps olive oil for about a minute. Add onion and cook till it just turns translucent. Add garlic, briefly saute, DO NOT BROWN.  Add beans and liquid from beans. Let saute for 3 minutes. Add rice. Toss until warm and liquid is uniformly absorbed into rice. Serve. Top with a dollop of sour cream.

Gallo Pinto is usually served with eggs, fried plantains, tortillas and farmers cheese, but bacon and sausage can also be an accompaniment. Disfrute!