Gone are the Hotel Nights That Include Breakfast
“Actually it’s 35,000. But that’s with breakfast included.”
I thought: Breakfast is nice. I read somewhere online that it was 25,000 but . . . Prices go up. Bills need to be paid. It’s not super easy to make a solid living off of running a little place of accommodation.
25,000 Colombian Pesos = $14. 35,000 is $19.50. I shouldn’t have been spending that much each night in Manizales. At the time I justified it being a good value because I had my own room and a home cooked breakfast was included.
On each of the five mornings while eating I thought: This is far from the healthiest food I could be consuming. I need to try to get on a fruit only morning diet.
The breakfast experience was nice at the Hostal Palogrande, where the owner/cook patiently allows tourists to practice their Spanish. She loves to teach you about her culture and is patient with the foreigner’s non native Spanish. Even if you don’t know any español, she’ll surely get you started. For cultural interaction purposes, there can be perks to opting for an included breakfast.
A typical morning meal might be eggs or meat, white bread, and hot cocoa. In Colombia, home made hot chocolate is a staple part of most breakfasts. I love the heavy sweet taste of the homemade cocoa but it ruins my appetite for hours. During my second of five breakfasts at the Hostal Palogrande, I negotiated an extra cup of smooth Colombian coffee in lieu of the rich hot cocoa. She suggested it after I told her that I preferred to skip the generous mug of rich liquid that melts in your mouth.
After two months in Colombia, I decided that the traditional breakfasts of a meat item and empty carbs aren’t for me. This type of food intake doesn’t allow me to maximize the start of a day, or the hours thereafter. NOTE: The round, white, breadlke item on this plate is an arepa or all corn tortilla. Because it’s all corn, it’s nourishing. But I prefer corn and veggies later in the day.
After researching a bit about the concept, my goal has been to eat fruit during the entire morning. I’ve been doing it for a few months now and it’s getting easier. I often don’t get hungry for something other than fruit until late in the day. Then I engage in carbohydrate intake for satiation, and ideally a gigantic salad of mostly dark greens.
In tropical countries there’s often fresh fruit for sale in the streets. In most of the world it’s relatively easy to get. Many hostels have a guest kitchen with at least a dull knife and cutting board. I often buy fruit from a market in the late afternoon or evening, and then have it the next morning. I try to eat fresh fruit throughout the day, when I feel hungry. If I don’t have fruit on hand I try to find a market and street stands in the morning.
There’s plenty of fruit you can consume that doesn’t require a cutting board and knife. This includes almonds, cashews, raisins, walnuts and other dried fruit. In Perú I saw a lady eating a granada or pomegranate in the street. I still can’t do that without making a mess.
Starting in Ecuador and up until now, if I arrive at a hotel inquiring about a room and someone tells me that breakfast is included in the price, I ask for a price without breakfast. More often than not I get the lower price. NOTE: Often big and more expensive hotels won’t lower the price if you opt out of your breakfast. On rare occurrences, this has been the case for me. Then I usually eat whatever fruit’s available before indulging in eggs, carbs and coffee.
At the Hostal Erupción in Baños, Ecuador, I was quoted $10, including breakfast. I asked how much it cost sin desayuno or without breakfast and I got a price of $8. I had my own room with good, very reliable wifi, a private bathroom with hot water shower, cable TV, a table and a great people watching view from the window. Drinking water from the cooler in the restaurant was also included. The staff there are super pleasant. I stayed for a week.
Now, on most days, about an average of six days a week, I’m in the habit of eating only fruit until around mid afternoon. It allows me to exercise easier and always feel just right. Eating fruits and nuts allows my stomach to feel a perfect happy medium. It’s never too empty or too full.
For the sake of healthy living, if a hotel quotes me a price that includes breakfast, I’ll always try to negotiate a lower price by opting out of that breakfast. If they won’t or can’t do it, and I feel I can find a better value elsewhere, where breakfast isn’t mandatory, I do.
Fruit from the local market or the street usually costs about the same as what you’re paying for an included breakfast. You benefit from the enjoyment of interacting with market vendors, and your body is happier, so you feel better.
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How much fruit do you take in daily? Have you considered trying to become a morning fruitarian. Feel free to leave a comment.