6AM wake-up call, busy day awaits! Since work & business just go on throughout my stay here high up in the Andes, I need to get up early in order to communicate with LNKnits back home. My sister Anneleen & supporter Lien are doing such a great job. Props to you, my ladies!
After what you may call a multitasking breakfast and checking my e-mails, the team was ready for the busiest day on the program this week in Ayacucho. A day of driving, visiting, tasting (of course!) and taking in a whole bunch of interesting tips and information.
First stop: Huanta, a little village close to Ayacucho, but located lower in the valley (read: even warmer, even though it’s a lot greener) where we had the opportunity to meet the most passionate man I have met so far, Mr. Medina. He told us all about his amazing arsenal of products related to bees.
Mr. Medina, as the founder of the local bee-keeping in the lower valley, is very much convinced about the health benefits of honey & bee-polls. You probably also know that honey no longer has that good reputation in Belgium, or in surrounding regions, because well-known big brands add tons of sugar to the product in order to cut costs. And yes, you guessed right… sugar is the devil.
This is a very sad fact, though. Because the genuine, untouched honey actually is really healthy & good for us. In smaller organic stores, you can still find this (good) honey. And I sure just got myself a great big ‘stash’ that will last for a couple of years. According to Mr. Medina the secret to the power of honey & bee-polls, as with many other things, is not to over-do it. One teaspoon of the ‘real’ stuff is more than enough to keep you going for the day. Since honey mostly stimulates estrogen, it should be countered on a daily basis with a spoon of bee-polls, which stimulates the male hormone. Use both daily, and you should be able to master anything. It goes without saying this only will work in combination with a healthy and balanced diet. And remember: do not eat more than advised! I used to eat spoonsful of bee-polls instead of only one teaspoon… Learned my lesson now thanks to Mr. Medina!
After we received all the info & tried all of his yummy stuff, we headed down to his bees to see how they work & to taste the honey straight from the honey-comb. Oh my… Delish! The bees also didn’t scare me as I expected them to, so that was a nice surprise as well. And I very much liked my little hat, which especially highlighted my breasts. But also those of Mr. Devina. Hihi.
After the honey-treat, we focused on another favourite vegetable/fruit of mine: avocados! (I cannot follow the debate any longer of figuring out if this actually is a fruit or a veggie. It does not really matter, does it?) Back home, I eat one of these babies every single day: for breakfast, to complement my egg white-kale-feta omelets, as a snack with just a pinch of Salverk salt or in a creamy ‘guac’ with linseed crackers or – yes, this is a little addiction of mine – quinoa-rice crackers. I just can’t seem to get enough of it!
Avocados are full of healthy fats, are filling and make your skin glow. What I did not know, though, and learned from the avocado farmer yesterday, is that the avocados with the harder more rough skin contain less of fat than the avocados with the soft and plain skin, which is easier to digest. Good to know, right? `
Since it was so extremely hot & I didn’t want to get sunburned like I did in Costa Rica last week, we headed off to our 3rd and last discovery of the day: Kiwicha! Kiwicha is the Peruvian name for ‘Amaranth’. Another ancient Peruvian grain you will find in our #LNFairfood package. Kiwicha is packed with vitamin – A, B6, C, K & riboflavin –, contains lots of fibers and is rich in phosphor, calcium, magnesium, zinc and also manganese. Plus, it’s a gluten free grain, and it’s excellent for vegans and vegetarians since it contains 10 essential amino acids. And apparently… it prevents you from getting grey hair. Worth the try, don’t you think?
After a bumpy ride of more than 9 hours, we were more than knackered and, once more, had an early night. We absolutely had (and wanted) to be fresh and bubbly to cuddle those cute little alpacas on the next day… But also in order to beat that darned altitude sickness!
More about mini baby-alpacas & local friend tructha tomorrow!
Bye for now,
(© Joshua D’hondt Photography)