Interrupting the Radio Silence with a Brazil Update!

Hello friends!  I hope you’ve had a great couple weeks since the Thanksgiving holiday.  Today, I blog to you from the lovely Sao Paulo, Brazil where I’m here studying for a week before heading to Rio tomorrow for another week!

FOOD

Well, I was warned, and warned hard.  Brazil loves their meat, beware, expect to basically starve (not like I’d ACTUALLY starve or anything, but still).

So, I packed a case of granola bars and a huge bag of single-serving sized smoothie packets.  If I was going to be in a vegan food desert, I’d at least have something to sustain me!

Truth is – the hotel we’re staying in doesn’t have much in the way of options, but once I got out and about in Brazil (which took a few days), it’s actually been pretty good!  And to be fair, when the Associate Dean of my program asks me how I’m finding the food and my answer is “I’m not”, I needn’t worry.  He’s a total foodie and before I knew it, the banana fairies were visiting my table, as did the steamed rice and tofu fairies for lunch today.  I know LM won’t let me starve 🙂

banana fairy!
banana fairy!
today's lunch.  Simple, but yummy.  Steamed rice and tofu with some eggplant and tomatoes.
today’s lunch. Simple, but yummy. Steamed rice and tofu with some eggplant and tomatoes.

The first two days, I didn’t make it to the restaurant for breakfast.  We’re given tons of food during class, but none of it was vegan (other than the cucumber sticks and tomatoes…which I got tired of quickly!).  I’d eat my granola bars and drink the juices.

my breakfasts the first few days in Brazil.
my breakfasts the first few days in Brazil.

I finally grabbed  breakfast one morning and was pleasantly surprised.  As it happens, Sao Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan and my restaurant had rice, tofu, and miso at breakfast time!  It’s been my daily go-to since.

Water, java, acai/banana smoothie, steamed rice & tofu, and miso...
Water, java, acai/banana smoothie, steamed rice & tofu, and miso…

And…some more pics of eats I’ve had since getting out of the hotel!

a few blocks away is the Fifties Restaurant.  They had a handmade vegan burger!
a few blocks away is the Fifties Restaurant. They had a handmade vegan burger!
the group had reservations at a traditional Brazilian steakhouse.  Initially, was afraid there would be nothing, but it honestly had the most gorgeous salad bar.  I was very happy with this meal!
the group had reservations at a traditional Brazilian steakhouse. Initially, was afraid there would be nothing, but it honestly had the most gorgeous salad bar. I was very happy with this meal!
the second night here, JG was worried I hadn't eaten much and dragged me to a sushi place.  I told them I'm a "vegana" and they made me a gorgeous tempura veggie hand roll with edamame.  Best meal!
the second night here, JG was worried I hadn’t eaten much and dragged me to a sushi place. I told them I’m a “vegana” and they made me a gorgeous tempura veggie hand roll with edamame. Best meal!
so not everything can be a happy story.  Went to a place called Occa across the street for a quick lunch.  Literally some grilled and shaved cucumbers in a wrap that fell apart because it stuck to the grill.  Totally boring, but at least it was filling.
so not everything can be a happy story. Went to a place called Occa across the street for a quick lunch. Literally some grilled and shaved cucumbers in a wrap that fell apart because it stuck to the grill. Totally boring, but at least it was filling.
we went to Sao Jose dos Campos yesterday for a few company visits and stopped at a place called Golden (something).  Another great buffet with plenty of vegan eats for me
we went to Sao Jose dos Campos yesterday for a few company visits and stopped at a place called Golden (something). Another great buffet with plenty of vegan eats for me

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no tap water here!
no tap water here!

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FITNESS

RunCrissieRun!  I’ve gone for a couple treadmill runs since getting to Sao Paulo.  Looking forward to a beach run in Rio on Sunday morning though!

I really should bust out some yoga while in my room though….

LIFE

So, big update.  I’m in Brazil.  It’s for school and while my brain is typically deep fried and covered in mushroom gravy, it’s still pretty awesome.  There are times I completely forget I’m not back in the US, and others where I realize no one there drives a Renault (anymore…though my mother and sister had two when I was younger!), a Fiat pick-up, nor are there 6 ft termite hills (no, didn’t get close enough to take a pic of THAT!).

Allow me to back up a bit.  I left last Friday and was supposed to land in Sao Paulo Sunday morning.  Alas – flight from Miami was canceled and I ended up spending the night there and taking a Saturday afternoon flight out to Brazil – which landed me around midnight.  Thankfully I was stranded in FL with a friend from school (KS) and we definitely took advantage of the bar and a great night’s sleep.

After landing, breezing through customs, and enduring a ride to the hotel with a cabbie who had a death wish, got to bed around 1 am.  Classes started bright and early!

Days go from about 530am – midnight with a lot of studying and classes, but some fun thrown in there too.  We’ve had a city tour, company visits, and amazing speakers discussing the Brazilian economy, government, and the overall state of business.  It’s impossible to articulate it all.

We had an alumni event one night where I got to play “guess that food” without actually eating it.  I think I won 🙂

On the home front, D is kicking butt and taking names as the world’s best Dad and husband!  He took our youngest overnight to a robotics competition, helped my oldest by a new-to-her car (she got rear-ended a few weeks ago and the insurance company totaled it rather than fix it), is getting our son from university today for the holiday break, is feeding them (ish, though A has done a lot of that!), keeping the house clean (I hope), and still working his butt off.  Dude – best guy ever!

The Christmas tree is up and the destructo-cats are having a blast with it.  I think there’s only one major ornament death so far.

Sadly, it’s not all been fun and explorations.  A member of my family passed away on Monday and it’s been more than a little difficult to focus here while thinking of him.  His funeral is tomorrow, and while I know he understands that I’m half a world away for my education, it’s still difficult not being with my family.  So if you’re so inclined, send some positive vibes to Wisconsin for me (especially my mom).

So…pics for you to enjoy while I go back to studying all about the Chilean central bank dilemma of the late 1990’s….

Some sky line pics…Sao Paulo is the 11th largest city in the world!  Known as Brazil’s concrete jungle and financial heart, there are definitely some parallels to our NYC.

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my hotel at night!
my hotel at night!

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Some other random shots of things….

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so - a massive room-sized cat that purrs at the contemporary art museum here.  Not at all creepy....
so – a massive room-sized cat that purrs at the contemporary art museum here. Not at all creepy….
R at her robotics competition!
R at her robotics competition!

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and Kenny G at the Miami airport!
and Kenny G at the Miami airport!

Later gators….

 

Published by

RunCrissieRun

I am a 44 yo busy career single mom, attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

2 thoughts on “Interrupting the Radio Silence with a Brazil Update!

    1. thanks! The eats were much better in Sao Paulo than they’ve been in Rio (though the city is amazing!). Vegan just isn’t a concept that’s widely understood here. Alas – been an amazing (but chaotic) trip so far! And I really wanted to get a pic with Kenny G, but totally wimped out.

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