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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I thought I'd reintroduce myself since I've been gone from Veggie Boards for the last 6 months or so.

I'm Maureen. I'm a college English teacher that moved from Maine to the Caribbean (St. Kitts) last summer. I was a long time veggie who went vegan last year, and I was at about 80% raw when I moved down here. I was really big on juicing.

What a change in my diet has occurred! The move has come with loads of adjustment.

I'm still adjusting. I cannot figure out how to live vegan down here as there just isn't enough green protein available, so I thought I'd return to the Boards for help and support. I don't want to eat dairy, but I'm on an island where spinach doesn't grow well and leafy greens are not readily available at the grocery stores or fresh market. I've tried growing my own spinach unsuccessfully, causing quite a bug infestation that made it's way inside. It seems pesticides are necessary for plant survival here, but I don't know enough about natural pesticides, so I'm here, asking for help.

It's good to be back.

Because it's an island, fish is the main food source, so people often say stuff like, "Oh, you're a vegetarian - no problem. I know a restaurant that serves the freshest fish ...." They're just trying to be helpful. The idea of not eating fish is sort of nutty to them. Last night I was at a restaurant that had a dish with scallops wrapped in bacon. Underneath, it said, "For our vegetarian friends, we happily will remove the bacon!" Pretty funny. The special for the night, the waitress announced, was foie gras. I won't be returning there again! It's a meat-eater's paradise.

It's been an exciting challenge, and the fruit here is spectacular - always available, always delicious, always cheap - but I'm struggling with the absence of spinach/bok choy/collards/etc in my diet. I have never even seen broccoli sold outside of a restaurant.

Help!

Maureen
 

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Welcome back to VB!


It's too bad about not being able to get enough fresh greens. Is it possible to get canned or frozen? I know it's certainly not the same, but at least you'd still be getting greens in some form in your diet. I don't know what else to suggest. I'm thrilled to see you back!
 

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Oh my - what challenges you face! I don't know that I can help much, but wanted to say "hi!".

I guess I wonder where the restaurants get their veggies? Do you know any owners who could set you up with an occassional bunch of broccoli or a few handfuls of spinach? Do you have accress to frozen veggies? Can you have some shipped to you from the states? That might require investing in a good-sized freezer, but it might also solve your problems.

How available are things like soy milk and tofu? Do you eat a lot of beans (good protein)? Those, too, you could have shipped in if you couldn't find good regular sources.

I envy your abundance of fruit. I'll bet you could make some wonderful smoothies with all kinds of interesting fruits.

Anyway - just some thoughts. It's nice to have you back!
 

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hey, maureen! welcome back
i'll have to check around online about the leafy green problem you're having. i had read about it somewhere. other than the greens, it sounds fantastic down there. -jealous-
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the links, Jenna. I need to do some serious research on natural pest control for tropical gardeners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the warm welcome back, guys.

Yes, I can get canned most times and frozen sometimes, but nothing is guaranteed. As far as getting to know a restauranteur, good idea, Poppy. I'll have to work on that. Restaurants have everything imported - they don't go through the stores.

I can get tofu and soy and beans galore - canned and dried. There is a huge Indian population here, so I'm so glad I brought my Indian cookbooks down here. I made channa masala earlier this week and biriyani last week -- yum. We can get all the Indian spices, too! Just not the spinach for spinach dishes.

We have cashew trees, too, so I'm thinking that eventually raw cashews will show up in the market. I don't have one in my yard, but I do have orange, banana, lime, and plantain trees!

I do have a huge freezer, but importing food is not a good option. It's very difficult and expensive to import anything from the US unless you're rich, which I'm sadly not. (Well, I guess I'm not really sad about it, but you know what I mean). All the books and DVDs and CDs we shipped from the US came ruined or damaged or stolen, and the shipment took several months. I'd hate to try shipping food on a small scale. My best bet is to visit one of the European islands that gets daily shipments and bring back a cooler of stuff for the freezer, but I hate to think what would happen to it when I go through customs. The custom officials aren't exactly on the up and up, and they tend to change the rules as they see fit. I'm sure they'd like some spinach, too - it's like gold here! I can't say I blame them. We Northerners have treated the islanders despicably throughout the years; however, it's no fun to be on the receiving side of an oppressed person's wrath!

Anyway, yes, Poppy, I make some amazing smoothies every morning for breakfast. My current fave is banana, pineapple, passionfruit and mango with soy milk and wheat germ. As my grandmother would say if she were alive, "it's delicious and nutritious, and it makes you feel ambitious!"
 

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yeah. who knows how much the restaurants (or grocery stores) throw out because it may be bruised, etc. that's a good idea.
 

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Chia is naturally pest-resistant.

Chia sprouts are used in a similar manner as alfalfa sprouts in salads, sandwiches and other dishes

More info:

http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=66928

Marigolds are a natural pest repelling plant above and below the soil. Surrounding your garden is a good defense and they will do well in poor soil so you can save the fertilizer for the veggies.
 
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