We love steak. Preferably cooked medium, still pink in the middle. A little blood never hurt anyone – except maybe the cow it came from. So how we ended up at a holistic hostel on the shores of Lago Atitlan where meat is prohibited is still beyond our reasoning. We just knew the place had a good vibe so we accepted the challenge of facing 7 days without meat.
Sunday 31st August 2014
Dear Diary, We checked into Rise and Shine Hostel this morning where I was reminded by Mario the hostel “jefe” that chicken stock / seasoning is still classed as chicken and I can’t use it in the kitchen – so no meat and no meat flavoured food. Keen to make this week work, we visited the market for supplies and have decided to be really adventurous – vegetable soup and vegetarian fried rice. Can hardly screw that up right?? All I know is that as soon as Justin wakes up from his nap (poor bugger has the flu), we’re heading to Smokin’ Joes BBQ to get me a big fat bratwurst. Yes, I know it hasn’t even been 2 hours yet and I’m already buckling under pressure. Give me strength!
PS. I am so devastated! Smokin’ Joe closed the BBQ early today due to the rain. I didn’t get the sausage I wanted but we did find somewhere for a sneaky schnitzel so I am prepared now for the week ahead…I think…
Monday 1st September 2014
Dear Diary, There is a free yoga class at the hostel every morning at 8am. It’s 8.05am and I can’t hear anything happening downstairs so I’ve decided to go back to sleep. I think my iron levels are dropping at disproportionate rates. My energy levels are failing!
For breakfast (at lunchtime) we ate toasted vegemite and cheese sandwiches with avocado. They were pretty tasty. I also ate cornflakes with extra milk (ignoring my dairy intolerance) just so I could taste some cow.
We found an empanada / tostada stand on class break and got slightly excited – maybe she has chicken? Maybe those tasty parcels are stuffed with meat? No. But there was potatoes and egg so I couldn’t complain. For dinner I made vegetarian fried rice. It was ok, it was just missing beef pieces, pork, bacon, ham and a little chicken. First full day as vegos a success!
Tuesday 2nd September 2014
Dear Diary, Let me confess – today when the empanada lady was missing from her usual spot, I went looking for tacos. Chicken tacos to be exact, though I would have settled for meat of any variety. Luckily she appeared before the end of break and I got my potato fix. It really is the best 5 Quetzals ever.
We also visited the market today for more vegies as tonight we plan to make roasted vegetable soup. Wish us luck not even sure if the oven works!!
PS. The oven works! The soup was super tasty and packed full of vitamins and garlic. The only improvement I would make in a non-vegetarian kitchen would be to add large chunks of ham, maybe a whole hock…
Wednesday 3rd September 2014
Dear Diary, I woke up this morning rather blurry. The first thing I saw was a slender and exposed arm staring at me from across the bed, so I licked it. A very surprised Justin then woke up to see what I was doing and was less than impressed when I told him I was hungry. Seems arm would be as good steak right now.
School was slightly intense today so after Justin finished his homework we went to The Buddha for a beer. When we arrived home Mario had made a vegan fried rice dish and had plenty of leftovers saving us an evening in the kitchen. It was super tasty even though it was packed with a ridiculous amount of chilli! Don’t tell anyone but this vego challenge is wearing on me. I am not feeling “packed” after each meal which is a nice feeling. Maybe a meat detox is just what I needed to re-energise.
Thursday 4th September 2014
Dear Diary, We started the day with yet another trip to the local market for more vegetables. The selection today was slightly lacking but we managed to pick up some capsicums, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, pasta, salsa, carrots for Q28 (AUD $4.00). Justin gets slightly embarrassed when I haggle over prices but why should I pay Q5 for a pumpkin when I can get it for Q3??
After the market we got creative with vegetarian pizzas on fresh corn tortilla bases from the tortilleria. We experimented with sweet potato, zucchini, capsicum, onion, some weird looking green herb they grow locally (not marijuana) and cheese. They weren’t the best pizzas I’ve made but they were edible so we couldn’t complain. We kept dinner simple - beer and lolly water.
Friday 5th September 2014
Dear Diary, BIG mistake not eating my vegetables before heading out to Punta de Oro last night for the fiesta. My head feels like a canon is going off and I have no bile left in my liver. The older I get the harder it is to recover after a hard night on the piss. I got to show off my dance moves though so I am happy. I am pretty sure every Guatemalan has always wondered what the sprinkler or lawn mower is…
Today is also the day I ate CHICKEN. I am not going to repent for this sin. It was perfectly juicy and tender, the meat falling off the bone and straight into my mouth!! Hi my name is Krystelle and I ate chicken!!
PS. So we didn’t quite make it to seven days on the meat free challenge (oops!!) however we have made some great friends and had a good laugh here at the Rise & Shine Hostel so we are extending our stay for the next week while we complete our Spanish studies at The Language Hub.
Have any vegetarian recipes you would like to share with us? Get in touch! We’d love to experiment!!
Videos by Global Runaways