Apr 25

Contemplating Carnivore + WIAW

Don’t cry for me, Argentina…



I recently decided on my 2012 international trip and there’s no crying here!  Two of my best friends from grad school and I are going to Argentina AND Uruguay!  Leaving just 6 weeks from today!!!


Here’s my dilemma: Argentina is known for meat.  I love to travel and try new foods, and I always said that whatever veggie-food thing I have going is out the window when I travel.  No restrictions.  But now I am scared I’ll get sick… and meat just doesn’t appeal to me like it used it.

I did eat 3 bites of meat at dinner tonight… so far so good.



Meat dilemmas aside, Jenn (who called me a genius last night) @ Peas and Crayons is hosting  What I Ate Wednesday this month in the theme of veggies:



Check out my veggie eats (plus a couple of meats) below; then click here to see what everyone else enjoyed for WIAW.



This morning I woke up feeling jumpy… in a plyo way.  I bounced out of bed and down to the gym for 60 mins of Plyo with Tony Horton (from P90X).  In case you haven’t tried it yet, this plyo DVD with kick your butt.  It left me hot, sweaty, and STARVING.

I ran up to my condo for a tasty Banana-Maple-Ginger Smoothie accompanied by a (vegan) Raw Cookie Dough Ball, compliments of this recipe by Lisa @ Healthful Sense (I always keep a batch in the freezer for a quick snack or smoothie topping).


Banana-Maple-Ginger Smoothie

  • 1 small banana
  • 1 C spinach
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp maca (optional)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 5-6 drops vanilla liquid Stevia
  • 1/2 in piece of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp maple extract



Working from home makes me happy because I get to MOVE so much more.  Bring chained to a desk is really hard for me.  In the interest of movement, I walked to one of my favorite spots – MetroFresh – to meet a friend for lunch.

MetroFresh’s menu changes daily, but they always offer 5-6 soups, 7-8 salads/sides, and a couple of sandwiches.  They also designate which items are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free.  Love that.


Today I had a Swiss Chard and White Bean Stew and a Maple-Citrus Wild Rice Salad with Mushrooms, Feta, Cucumber, Black Wheatberries, and Dried Cranberries.  Finger-lickin’ good.

Side note: Did anyone watch Doogie Howser or Party of 5 growing up?  The owner of MetroFresh, Mitchell Anderson, played roles in both hit shows!



My lunch was pretty filling, and I knew I was going out for dinner so I was a little light on the snacks today.  I did enjoy a Kombucha, a banana (topped with a failed attempt at chocolate-peanut butter – the texture was nasty), and a piece of chocolate (to help me feel better after the PB fail).


Apparently is was a day for dining out.  I had dinner with my mom and cousin at a local Indian spot called Cardamom Hill.  This place is amazingI blogged about it here when they first opened, and they have only gotten better since.

For appetizers we ordered Pork Vindaloo (pork shoulder slow-cooked in a flavorful vinegar sauce with turmeric and cardamom served with a side of appam), Coconut Curry Vegetable Stew, and a Squid special that was cooked in a red chili sauce and served with a side of fried plantains.


I did take a bite of everything… it was the first time I’ve had pork in months.  It was delicious, but I still couldn’t imagine eating a whole order.  The vegetable curry soup was my favorite!


Remembering how delicious it was the first time there, I ordered the Vegetable Platter.  It wasn’t quiiiite as good, but that is a preference thing.  They do change-up pieces of the dish, and on my first trip there was more heat incorporated.  I love spicy food. 


From L to R: Avail (lightly steamed vegetables in a shaved coconut sauce), Sambhar (a stew with okra, carrots, and potatoes), stack of sliced warm Beets layered with housemade yogurt and mustard seeds, and seasoned rice.

My favorite was the Avail.  That shaved coconut sauce was perfect – not too sweet or heavy, complimenting the root veggies it was served over.

The winner was my mom’s dish (unpictured).  She ordered the Kerala-Style Fried Chicken, served over vegetable pileau (rice with veggies).  Yup, I took another bite of meat… I don’t regret it.  This chicken was among the best I’ve ever tasted.  Don’t skip it if you are in the neighborhood (and you eat meat).



Someone once said there is a whole separate part of your stomach for dessert.  They weren’t kidding.  I should have been stuffed after all of that… yet I came home and enjoyed a So Delicious coconut ice cream bar.  The bar is dairy-free and contains only 1g of sugar… and you would never be able to tell.


So Delicious, indeed.



Another reminder to enter my NuNaturals giveaway – there are 4 chances to win the new NuNaturals Orange and Lemon Liquid Stevias!  Contest ends Thursday at 11:59pm EST.  Click here to enter.

Have you ever been to Argentina, or South America?  Any suggestions?

Have you ever gone back to eating meat?  How did you ease back in to it?



Skip to comment form

  1. Courtney @ Fitness With A Fork

    I need to try ginger in my smoothies…I also need that Coconut Milk Ice Cream ASAP! Yum!!!

    1. Laura

      They are both fantastic. If you have a Vitamix, you don’t even have to peel the ginger!

  2. Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons

    oooooh I have those so delish bars in my freezer!!!!! my house is empty b/c of the trip but hot damn I have faux cream bars!!!! whoohooo! <3

    and yes — people I did call Laura a genius! =) I'll say it again too!


    1. Laura

      i <3 you.

  3. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal

    Awesome pics & I haven’t seen the coconut minis icecreams before, they look good though

  4. Hannah

    I’m a big supporter of being flexible and embracing cultural experiences when travelling, so fingers crossed your stomach will comply with your adventurous spirit! SQUEE TRAVEL SQUEEEEEE!

  5. Khushboo

    I love that you’re open-minded about trying new cuisines when you’re abroad, even though it might not fit with your regular lifestyle! It’s definitely part of the experience, at least for me! I’ve never been to South America but it’s on my list of places to visit- ideally I would love to go backpacking around the country! One day, I say, one day!

    1. Laura

      Backpacking through SA would be amazing. I need 4 months of vacation from work! And more money. :)

  6. KaraHadley

    I was a vegan for a year and then transitioned back to omnivore. Honestly, I thought I would have a problem with it, but it went so smoothly. I started by adding in eggs and then dairy and then meat. Since you’re not completely vegan then I really don’t think your body will have a problem with it. Our bodies have evolved eating meat for a long time, so it’s not going to reject it after only a few meat-free months.
    Oh, and that lunch (especially the rice side) looks fan-freaking-tastic.

    1. Laura

      Good to know! I have heard that if you eat dairy/eggs it’s easier. Thanks!

  7. Tessa @ Amazing Asset

    I think it’s great that you are willing to be flexible for an adventure like this! I know that restrictions and rules around food has caused me so much angst and anxiety for so much of my life and therefore I have not been able to enjoy too much. Letting these go every so often is just necessary and I am glad you are considering it Laura :)
    I went back to eating meat after I claimed to be a vegetarian, but it was just because I was wrapped in the eating disorder and not eating meat just allowed me to restrict that food. I LOVE meat though lol and it’s now back in my life :)
    And oh heck YES to those coconut dessert bars, I will be getting those and soon!

    1. Laura

      For me I think I’d feel like I was missing out on part of the experience without trying everything… especially since I’ve always traveled with a “balls to the wall” mentality about food in the past. :)

  8. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    I have the same fears about one day traveling and needing to “go back.” To be honest, when I ate the bone marrow and beef at The Outstanding in the Field dinner, whay upset my stomach the most wasn’t meat, but dairy. It’s been a lot longer since I’ve stopped eating it though. I’m sure there is probably something to how fatty it is, etc.

    1. Laura

      You, my friend, are seriously lactose intolerant (as if that’s news to you). ;)

  9. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin

    That is so exciting about your trip to South America! And I think it’s great that you’re willing to be so flexible with your diet while there. If I didn’t eat meat, I would do the same thing because I would hate to miss out on any cultural food experience while there!

    Also that MetroFresh place looks amazing. I wish we had more fresh, healthy restaurants like that here!

    1. Laura

      Thanks! I was so certain people would be railroading me today over eating meat. :)

  10. janet @ the taste space

    Good for you!!! I am travelling to Colombia at the end of May and have the same fears!! However, I just found out that the trek I want to do will have beans, lentils and brown rice for me. Youpee! The cooking class I will take will teach me how to cook vegan. In the larger cities, I don’t think it will be a problem to stay vegan but I will be bringing some snacks with me just in case.

    1. Laura

      That is really cool about the cooking class! My stylist/friend spent a lot of time in Columbia and LOVED it. Can’t wait to read about your trip!

  11. Cait @ Beyond Bananas

    Never been to South America.. but would love to go! Am jealous of your trip!!

  12. Laura

    How exciting that you’re going to Argentina! I was there for a few weeks one summer in high school as part of a Spanish-learning trip and there was definitely a lot of meat, but we were in small towns. I’m sure the cities would have more options… can’t wait to hear all about it! Delicious eating day for you. Both restaurants look fantastic!

    1. Laura

      You did?! That must have been a great experience to have in high school! Any “must sees” you remember?

  13. Parita @ myinnershakti

    Argentina!? Lucky! I can’t wait to read about the trip. 6 weeks will be here before you know it!

    And I used to love it when an MBA club with lots of extra $$$ would host lunch from MetroFresh! Yum.

    1. Laura

      Whaaaaat? Who got Metro?!

  14. Ashley @ Freckles & Spice

    6 weeks until Argentina! I’m so excited for you. S. America is a trip I am dying to take one day. I was suppose to join the peace corps a few years ago and I wanted to go to Ecuador.
    As you know, I’ve recently started adding meat back – I just keep my portions small, still surrounded by the veggies I love, and make sure it something I want to eat. Like I do not like pork and steak – so I haven’t been experimenting with them. I’m here to enjoy food not to just eat for the sake of eating. And I’m assuming that is what you want on your trip – to enjoy the local cuisine – if something sounds good/fun order it and if it isn’t your thing now you know. And until you get used it again just eat a little bit, whatever you are comfortable with – you still got to try it! Its the experiences that matter.
    Keep it simple that’s my moto now a days. And you are going to have a blast!!

    1. Laura

      That’s exactly it. Luckily I’m going with friends who don’t mind sharing dishes. That should make it easier/more comfortable.

  15. Tamara

    I love Argentina and Uruguay!!! You will be surprised about the restaurants there. Of course, there is a lot of meat served but they have amazing veggie selections as well. I was really surprised about the variety of foods and I stuffed myself at every corner. You should try to hit La Boca, Recoletta Cemetery and Puerto Iguazu. Amazing!

    1. Laura

      I cannot wait! Thank you for the suggestions – I’m writing them down!

  16. Lee

    That’s what I ordered when I went to Cardamom Hill a couple weeks ago. The veggie plate, I mean. I’ve gone through periods of eating chicken and not eating it and I’ve never gotten sick when I re-introduced it.

  17. Aparna B. @ Not A Leaf

    I LOOOVE sambhar! Being south Indian, I could eat that and dosa every single day of my life and be totally content (and probably 837493 pounds heavier LOL). All of it looks great! Do you really think there won’t be as much vegetarian stuff there? I bet you could find some vegetarian goods in Argentina and Uruguay! It’s exciting you are going there either way :)

    1. Laura

      I am sure I can find them… but I do want to try the “local” fare too. They are known for their beef! :)

  18. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    what a fun trip! i’m scared about the whole getting sick if i start eating meat again too but i think if you ease into it a little before you go, you’ll be ok.

    1. Laura

      That’s my thought too – and it’s more red meat/beef that I worry about.

  19. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

    Mmmm, the pork vindaloo sounds amazing. I’m glad your dabble with meat went well – you’ve gotta’ get some beef in Argentina, even if it’s only one steak. I’m so jealous of your trip; you’re going to have a blast. I was invited to go with friends to Argentina in January, but I had other trip plans at the time (Aruba) and the flights were crazy expensive. Maybe one day I’ll get down there… :)

    1. Laura

      Aruba isn’t bad alternative!! :)

  20. Allie

    I went from vegan to vegetarian for a trip to Costa Rica, and did the same as you. Ate a little bit of eggs and dairy before I left to make sure my system could handle it. And it went great! Minus the fact that I wasn’t blown away by Costa Rican food as a whole. That ice cream bar sounds amazing, I want to track one down now! Bet I could nom on one at Whole Foods. And I’ve never been to South America, but my parents are planning a trip through Argentina in the fall…and I get to house-sit while they’re there. That’s ALMOST like going to South America. But not at all. ;)

    1. Laura

      Good to know – thank you!

      I did find that bar at Whole Foods. So Delicious even has coupons on their website!

      You should stow-away in your parents suitcase. ;)

      1. Allie

        A coupon? Even better! I have a WF shopping trip planned for this weekend, so I’ll add that to the list. And I totally want to stow away! They’re going on a motorcycle tour, and I’m working on talking them into getting a sidecar :)

        1. Laura

          I want to go with your parents too! :)

  21. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    Ooo, fun! I haven’t been to South America yet, but yeah, definitely couldn’t pass up the barbacoa. Margaritas are vegetarian though, right? ;)

    1. Laura

      Yeah… I will be sampling that. And the margaritas (though I’m most excited for the red wine).

  22. Ashley @ Freckles & Spice

    Ohh PS – You need to come visit NYC! I live a couple blocks away from what is known as Curry Hill.

    1. Laura

      Don’t tempt me…

  23. Catalina @ Cake with Love

    I love the ginger addition to the smoothie!! I love those coconut minies, they are so good!

  24. Cait's Plate

    GAH! Argentina and Uruguay?!?! I’m so jealous!! I say become a carnivore – at least for the trip! ;)

  25. sportsglutton

    YES YES YES! A trip to the country where meat in king Welcome back to the land of the living. ;-) Seriously though that will be a great trip and I’m very jealous. If you need any winery recommendations, etc e-mail me. My friends in the wine business recently made a trip down there and are in the “know.”

    1. Laura

      LOL! I would love recommendations, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like we have time to get over to Mendoza. We’re hitting up wineries in Uruguay instead (3rd largest exporter in SA!).

  26. Healthiful Balance

    Hoe exciting! I hope you have a great trip! :)
    That dessert sounds fantastic!

  27. Stacy @ Stacy Eats

    Whoa, awesome trip coming up!!! That will be so much fun!
    I ate at Cardamom Hill a couple weeks ago for a work lunch and it was fabulous!

    1. Laura

      I want to try their lunch! Heard its also amazing.

  28. Kiri W.

    Interesting – I’m sure one could survive plant-based in Argentina, but it would be sad to miss out on the specialties. I’d recommend eating whatever appeals to you most, be it meat or not. No good reason to force down meat if you don’t want it, likewise, don’t feel guilty eating it if you want – it’s Argentina, after all!

    1. Laura

      That’s my thought – when in Rome, you know. :)

  29. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    Ohhh my goodness I am so jealous of your travels! You’re going to have such a great time. I’ve sadly never been to South America so I have no advice for you … As far as getting back into eating meat again goes… I had to take it really slowly after I was vegan for about 6 months. I started with things like eggs and pieces of meat that grossed me out less than others (fish, etc) and then after a while a little bit here and there slowly turned into more and more. Next thing you know you’re eating Double Bacon Cheeseburgers with the rest of us fatties again. :)

    1. Laura

      LOL! We’ll have to go get a H&F burger. :)

  30. Tiffany

    Ooooo lala! This sounds like such a fun trip! Well, I have been to Brazil 4 times (also known for their meat) and I didn’t touch the stuff. But that’s just me. I just subbed dessert for meat! LOL! Can’t wait to hear more! HUGS!

    1. Laura

      Subbing dessert for meat – I like the way you think!

  31. Carrie

    Argentina – so cool! If you need a break from meat, check out HappyCow.net, they have listings around the world for veg-friendly restaurants and groceries.

    1. Laura

      I have that app on my phone… didn’t realize it was global though. Thanks for the tip!

  32. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning

    I like the way you think (duh.). I think it’s great that you don’t “put yourself in a box” and just stick to a “label” like vegan or whatever. I think that as long as you ease back into it, your tummy will be fine.
    And while you’re out in Colorado, you should get some game meat. I always get elk or bison when I’m out there. :)

    1. Laura

      Ummm… can I go ahead and ask for a bite of you elk when we’re in CO? :)

  33. Gail for So Delicious Dairy Free

    We’re delighted that you are loving our No Sugar Added ice cream! And we made your Banana-Maple-Ginger Smoothie this morning with our new Almond Plus almond milk, and it was SO delicious, everyone around here is asking for more! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    1. Laura

      Thank you so much for commenting and letting me know! I want to try out that new Almond Plus. Will there be more no sugar flavors to come? Love the ice cream too!

      1. Gail for So Delicious Dairy Free

        Thank you for the love! We can’t wait for you to taste our new Almond Plus. And we’re all about no-sugar options. We’ll let our R&D team know you’d like to see more of them, too!

  34. holly

    YES, YOU MUST MUST MUST EAT SOME ARGENTINEAN BEEF! It’s one of the beauties of traveling – tasting things you can’t have in your own country. Actually, eat extra for me too :)

    1. Laura

      LOL! Consider it DONE. :)

  35. Laura @ LauraLivesLife

    I was surprised to find that once I decided to start eating meat that it didn’t have a huge negative affect on me. Granted, I still rarely eat meat (except for post-marathon, when I was craving it and knew I could use the protein) – but overall, I haven’t noticed anything different. It could be because I wasn’t ever vegan though, I eat cheese pretty much every day and ate a diet that included a lot of dairy (i.e. cottage cheese)! Ease into it and I think you’ll be fine!

    Sounds like an excellent trip – I’m a little jealous but more super excited for you!

    1. Laura

      I’m surprised that diary didn’t bug me when I added that back. I think I have a pretty tough tummy. :)

  36. Dudette

    Beautiful breakfast! Exciting about your trip! My boyfriend is the same way, whenever he travels (and also at his parents) throws out the veggie thing out the window…he still prefers to eat veggie and tries the best, but if meat is offered during travel, he will eat it. But he always operated under the same principles, and we both travel frequently/live nomadically, so it is not really an issue with his stomach. Other friends of mine who ‘threw out the veg’ for a traveling had to train their stomach for MONTHS before the trip…those who didn’t ‘train’ got sick… though of course those that did ‘train’ got sick during the first few or several or many occasions while ‘training’. I wish I operated under these principles but I just can’t bring myself to eat meat…at all…I did manage to live in Kenya for 6 months without eating any meat, and I am pretty sure I could do it in just about any country, even if that would result in a restricted diet.

    1. Laura

      Kenya must have been really tough! No doubt you can get it done with effort though – I totally admire that!

  37. Hayley @ Oat Couture

    Ok firstly aghhhh what an amazing trip that will be!!! JEALOUS!!! Also, erm yeah I have that problem too, I really struggle introducing meat back into my diet… :/ *cough NOT cough* Ha! Honestly I would go balls to the wall in Argentina, fill up on steak and malbec and worry about feeling iffy AFTER the holiday, but thats just me! Lol! You could just make a pact to split meat dishes between the 3 of you and then each order veggie based dishes as your main… The main thing is to enjoy your trip though, if that means sticking to a veggie diet then so be it, don’t worry what you should or shouldn’t be doing just follow your gut! :)

    1. Laura

      Thanks, Lady! You know I’ll sample everything No training needed for the red wine. ;)

      So right about splitting things – I’m sure my friends will be game for it. We are all big fans of food.

  38. Maren

    All your eats look veggie-tastic!! I was a vegetarian and when I went back to eating meat I just too it really slow and started with chicken/fish.i didn’t eat any red meat for a few weeks after starting and I didn’t have any problems at all. I’d say if you have 6 weeks and you start now, you’ll definitely be ready for meat on your trip.

    1. Laura

      Thanks for the advice! Red meat is really what I’m nervous about.

  39. Choc Chip Uru

    My dad went to south America and although he claims meat is the specialty he did not say it was the only available meal – no doubt traveling is much easier if you have a range in palate – good on you for easing yourself back in, I think it might make your trip a little easier – I have never touched meat since birth so it is hard for me to help in this respect – sorry!
    Great meals (that 1g sugar ice cream is insane) and let the countdown begin for your awesome trip :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Laura

      That’s what I hear – their beef is supposed to be divine.

      I think they have gelato too… so really my ice cream bar was just part of “training.” ;)

  40. Sarah

    carpe that diem in south america! proud of your flexibility, i mean you want to experience it all, right?!

    1. Laura

      Thanks, Sarah! That tends to be my travel mentality. :)

  41. Sarah Facey

    Don’t know of they have punta jalapeña in Argentina but it’s my favorite dish from a trip to El Salvador. Flank steak with creamy jalapeno sauce… Delicious. Try it if it’s offered… Or get your meat eating travel buddies to order it and try a bite.

    1. Laura

      I have made a note to check into that. Thanks! I may have to ask for a bowl of the sauce – sounds awesome!

  42. Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness

    Sounds like a wonderful trip. Enjoy it to the fullest!

    [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

  43. Kristina

    Ooo yum! I just had one of those So Delicious cream bars for dessert tonight :) Argentina sounds like so much fun! One of my good friends studied abroad there for a year while i was in college and LOVED it, he had absolutely amazing pictures when he got back, enjoy your trip!!

    1. Laura

      Great minds! :)

      i heard it is beautiful. I’m going to have to buy a better camera!

  44. Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense

    Thanks for the mention my friend =)
    U just totally reminded me that I need to buy more coconut flour!!
    Wow.. how exciting… Argentina AND Uruguay!!

    1. Laura

      Anytime! Your balls are a staple in my kitchen. :)

  45. Ellie@Fit for the Soul

    omgsh omgsh omgshhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhhh I cannnnnnot believe you’re going to mah mothaland!!! haha. I am soooo happy to hear that, and I so would love to go to Argentina….*sigh* I love that country and everything about it. It’s deeply rooted in my heart, and the food is way off the hook. Can you tell I’m stoked for you? :)

    1. Laura

      LOL! Thank you. :)

      So what are the must-see sights? Any restaurant recs?

  46. Ellie@Fit for the Soul

    they have the best ice cream!! Especially their flavor called “Crema del Cielo” (cream of the sky)

    1. Laura

      Anything with a name like that must be good!

  47. Meg

    wow sweetheart! that trip sounds amazing!!!!!!

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