My Clean-Eating Mexican Vacation

I’m back after a beautiful, sun-filled week in Manzanillo, Mexico! I’m lucky enough to have family with a beautiful home down there and am able to visit whenever I want! I prepared well by packing some of my own food. You never can be sure what items  will be available in another country and I didn’t want to be stuck without my favorites;  oatmeal, almonds, herbal tea, dried cranberries, peanut butter, and rice cakes. I packed all these in my suitcase along with my bathing suit and shorts.

I was greeted by the sight of this pineapple top that I had planted the last time I was there. It had grown tremendously and now had it’s own baby pineapple!

grow your own pineapple

The first morning there we went to the weekly open air market and I was overwhelmed by the displays of fresh, local produce! It was a shopping frenzy for me as I stocked up for the week on vegetables and tropical fruit that I would never get at home.

These fresh fruit cups were less than a dollar each

These fresh fruit cups were less than a dollar each

I kept saying “At Whole Foods, this would be $7.99!” “At Whole foods that would be $9.99” It made me sadly realize how long and far produce has to travel -only to be marked up to an exorbitant price- before it ever hits our mouths.

The busiest stand was the freshly picked blueberries and strawberries, and for good reason- they were incredibly sweet and juicy!

Pick and bag as much as you want

Pick and bag as much as you want

I wanted to a huge hefty bag full of these beauties!!

I wanted to a huge hefty bag full of these beauties!!

There was more tropical fruit around the corner- mangoes, pineapples, papaya, watermelon…..

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The local mexican pineapples are a bit smaller and MUCH sweeter than the ones shipped in unripened from hawaii to the grocery.

mexican pineapple

I got some tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, onion and plenty of avocados to prepare guacamole later. I also found white sweet potatoes which are difficult to find where I live. They are sweeter than yams and used a lot in island cooking. No fresh corn tortillas at this market but we scored some the next day and more a few days later. I could LIVE off of the freshly made tortillas from Lulu’s……

mexican peppers

The last time I was in mexico I picked up some type of bacteria that my system couldn’t tolerate so I was really careful what I ate this time. I didn’t eat any animal products except a little bit of yogurt once or twice. I stayed away from meat and eggs entirely which wasn’t hard since I’m not eating meat lately. I also took digestive enzymes the first few meals to give my system some help with breaking down all the different foods. I felt amazing the whole time and enjoyed the produce and much more healthy eating all week long!

Salmon with Mango Salsa

Even though it’s not seasonal or local, mango is one of my all-time favorite fruits! It brings to mind sunny sandy beaches and steel drum music. When I found this recipe online here–  I had to try if for myself with a few slight modifications. It looked like a little more kitchen prep than I’m used to doing but with good music and a cold beverage, the chopping became a meditation. Peeling and slicing juicy mangoes made me want to go to an island right away!!

salsa ingredients

For the salsa-  Chop one half red onion and 2 garlic cloves. I’m going to tell you upfront the red onion was TOO overpowering for me. If you LOVE onion then use half, if you want it milder use about 1/4 of the onion.

red onion and garlic

Peel and dice 2 fresh ripe mangoes……yummmmmm

juicy mango

I substituted a half red pepper instead of using jalapeno. 1. Because I thought it would look pretty 2. I forgot to buy a jalapeno at the store which may have been subconsciously deliberate. Not a big fan, I’m a red pepper girl if anything at all.

red pepper

Add chopped fresh cilantro. As much as you’d like. Dash of white wine vinegar, olive oil and the juice of 1 lime.

cilantro

Stir well and let chill.

pretty salsa

Prepare fish by placing in a foil “envelope” and top with a drizzle of olive oil and seasonings of your choice. I sprinkled with cumin and set some fresh cilantro on top. Place in 350 oven for 25-30 minutes. The steam will keep it moist and soak up the flavors of the spices.

salmon with cilantro

Serve salsa over fish. I had a side of greens cooked in coconut oil for even more tropical flavor.

Mango Salsa