Let’s Talk About Food!

Common theory is that college students will gain the most weight during their freshman year. The dreaded freshman 15 has turned into the stuff of legend. What most people don’t realize is that studying abroad is an even more prime time to gain weight. Due to the delicious food, lack of exercise and often increased alcohol consumption (we are of legal drinking age after all), it should not be surprising to gain extra pounds.

The typical Argentine diet has not done me any favors. It is rich in meat, cheese, and french fries, which are all delicious, but high in fat. Dessert is huge as well. Argentines love Alfajores (sugar cookies with dulce de leche and coconut flakes) and Chocotorta (layered cookies and dulce de leche). Predictably, my sugar and fat consumption has increased. I justified this by walking a lot. However, I got to a point where I had less energy and just felt gross. I started eating fruit for breakfast and some form of vegetable for lunch and dinner. My host family has been great about including vegetables in our meals.

Ironically, the times I ate the healthiest was when I traveled. My friends and I all craved vegetables, so we sought out places where this was possible. We had the best food when we cooked ourselves. One night, we ate spinach gnocchi with homemade tomato sauce, spinach and asparagus. Another night, we made falafel with Israeli salad. The final night, we made veggie burgers with charred cauliflower. This was probably the most delicious. I have included the recipe below.

Diet is difficult to navigate abroad. You want to try everything, but at the same time, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet. I personally think it’s important and okay to cut yourself some slack and allow yourself to occasionally indulge.

Veggie Burgers

  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans
  • 1 can of lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  •  Parsley
  • Cumin/curry powder
  •  Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup of oats
  1. Boil garbanzo bean and lentils until soft. Drain and mash immediately. Burgers will stick better.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic and then sauté them. Add to the bean and lentil mixture.
  3. Add the lemon juice, parsley, cumin or curry powder, salt, and pepper. Quantity is based on preference, so taste the mixture as you go.
  4. Add the oats. It helps the mixture stay together. Add more oats if necessary.
  5. Make the patties (makes 4 large patties or 6-8 smaller ones).
  6. Freeze for 30 mins or until desired cooking time.

Zoe Kaldor

 ARGENTINA – IFSA: MENDOZA UNIVERSITIES PROGRAM, 2018 FALL

Zoe Kaldor is an International Studies and Strategic Communication double major. She is studying abroad with IFSA-Butler in Mendoza, Argentina. Originally from New York, DU’s study abroad program was one of the reasons Zoe chose to attend DU. She specifically chose to study abroad in Argentina because she wants to improve her Spanish skills and experience a new culture, for she believes it is so important in an increasingly global society to be able to communicate in languages besides English as well as experience different ways of life. Zoe is an avid traveler and loves to explore new places; she is excited she gets to do both.

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FOMO

You can’t do everything. I hate that phrase because it’s true. As I spend more time abroad, there is so much I want to do and try, but I don’t physically have the time, and it is infuriating. I decided to take a Friday class (something I tend to avoid at DU), which I go back and forth regretting. On the one hand, I enjoy the class, but on the other, I don’t have a long weekend. Who knew Tuesday/Friday classes could be so problematic. Almost every other student on my program does not have class on Friday, so they explore and travel, but there is only so much class I can miss, something I don’t like doing.

Last weekend, many of my friends traveled to Santiago, Chile, and I really wanted to go. Every day, I changed my mind about whether I would skip class. I ultimately decided not to go to Chile because I knew I was going to visit the country later in the semester. I was also sick and had been for the past two weeks, so I figured it was better for me to rest. It was a good decision.

I had the same problem, not even a week later. My friends were going hiking. There were other plans for the rest of the weekend, so Friday was the only available day for most people. This time, I knew I wouldn’t be able to skip class, for I had a group project. A slightly selfish part of me wished they didn’t go, which I quickly realized was a ridiculous thought.

 

It’s hard watching your peers enjoy activities without you, but it is part of the experience. I think everyone has a fear of missing out (FOMO), something social media aggravates. There is always going to be a seemingly better option. Right now, it’s which trip sounds the coolest? I also have to ask myself: how much class can I realistically miss? What am I trying to get out of my abroad experience? This last question had helped me a lot. I chose to study in Argentina because I want to improve my Spanish. I remind myself of this when I see my abroad friends taking advantage of their free Friday, or my friends from school all together getting ready for classes or meeting up in Europe. Despite my feelings of loneliness, I know why I chose Argentina, and I am so glad that I did.


Zoe Kaldor

 ARGENTINA – IFSA: MENDOZA UNIVERSITIES PROGRAM, 2018 FALL

Zoe Kaldor is an International Studies and Strategic Communication double major. She is studying abroad with IFSA-Butler in Mendoza, Argentina. Originally from New York, DU’s study abroad program was one of the reasons Zoe chose to attend DU. She specifically chose to study abroad in Argentina because she wants to improve her Spanish skills and experience a new culture, for she believes it is so important in an increasingly global society to be able to communicate in languages besides English as well as experience different ways of life. Zoe is an avid traveler and loves to explore new places; she is excited she gets to do both.

Link to Posts

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