Peanut Butter and Cherry Coke Zero
Miami Beach, United States
The first two things on my shopping list when I arrived back in the United States: Peanut butter and cherry-flavored Coca-Cola Zero. For Tatiana, it was just a bag of shelled, honey roasted sunflower seeds.
I'm of the impression that one of the most expensive items you can purchase in a market outside of the U.S. is peanut butter—that is, if you can even find it. When you do come across the occasional dusty jar, the stuff is usually made so poorly that it's barely palatable, in addition to being sold for its weight in gold. Argentina is one of the only countries I've come across that offers a supply of inexpensive, raw peanuts—though seriously lacks in somethings as commonplace as soy sauce.
When I touched down in SE Asia about a year ago, Coke Zero had just become available, and found it heavily stocked in Thailand's excessively numerous 7-Eleven mini-markets. Although the global Coke Zero footprint is expanding, the flavored varieties are only sold in the United States.
Tired of Eating
I'm tired of eating. Food was such an important part of the culture in Tatiana's family home that I'm left feeling burnt out and 20 pounds overweight. I'm so happy to now be in an environment where I can regulate my food intake without concern.
I'm sick of eating bread, meat, and cheese sandwiches (the staple of breakfast and dinner in her home), and won't be biting into another one of those anytime soon. I'm also pledging to abstain from deep-fried foods of any type—something rather interesting to try and do in this Latin-infused part of the United States.
Miami is my time to diet, tan, and run (outdoors, alongside pretty people, in unpolluted air).
Besides, food is expensive in this country, and contributing a quarter of the rent already puts me in at about $10 a day. I plan on spending another $2-3 a day on simple foods (and cherry Coke Zero), as well as taking a daily vitamin to augment nutritional deficiencies. Frankly, I'd be happy just eating a few small bowls of rice with hot sauce every day—though Tatiana tells me she's "gonna kick my ass" if I do.
I'm a believer that there's no better motivator to get in shape than wearing a swimsuit, and regularly walking on a beach full of bikinis and toned abs.