Costa Rica Eats, Workouts + Healthy Travel Recommendations

I am feeling 100% rejuvenated after a much needed vacation to the beautiful country of Costa Rica this past week. Anyone that works in college athletics can attest that the fall is by far the busiest time of year for all of us. Planning a week long trip in the winter has been my treat to myself the past few years to rejuvenate before the Holidays.

Today I am sharing all of my eats and recommendations on how to make your trip to Costa Rica (or anywhere for that matter) a healthy one that leaves you feeling rejuvenated upon your return.

I am all about eating remotely healthy while traveling, because it's what I love and preach. However, I also did not limit myself from trying any foods, indulging in lots of chocolates, coffee, and alcohol. This fuels my fire to make these next few days before the Holidays some really healthy ones filled with real food, balanced portions, and great workouts!

Typical Meals (2-3 times/day, 95% plate always finished)

Top Left: Rincon de la Veja

Chicken Thighs, Yucca, Sweet Potato Chips and Salad

Top Right: Liberia

Chicken Fajitas, Fried Plantains, Mashed Potatoes, Slaw

Bottom Left: Tamarindo

Scrambled Eggs, Pickled Jalapeños/Carrots, Mango, Fried Potatoes, Plantains, Rice/Black Bean Dish

Bottom Right: Home-made

3 Eggs, Sautéed Papaya, Red Cabbage, Fried Plantains w/ Butter

Top Left: Rincon de la Veja

Chicken Thighs, Avocado Salad, Beet Salad, Fried Plantains, Black Beans, Pickled Mango/Pineapple Dish, White Rice

Top Right: Nosar

Chicken Thighs, Steamed Veggies, White Rice, Black Beans, Salad

Bottom Left: Arenal

BBQ Pork Ribs/BBQ Chicken/Beef, Plantain Chips, Homemade Tortillas, Salad, Fried Yucca

Bottom Right

Nikkos Fit Coconut Greek Yogurt (22 g protein/serving!)- so delicious!

Treats :)

Top Left: Rincon de la Veja

Mint Lemonade + Dragonfruit Juice

Top Right: Tio Leo

Passionfruit Juice

Bottom Left: Nosara

Chocolate Coconut Cashew Ice Cream bar

Bottom Right: Home-made

3 Eggs, Sauteed Papaya, Red Cabbage, Fried Plantains w/ Butter

This isn't all inclusive. Of course there were some additional treats, drinks and meals. But as you can see, most meals were pretty similar. I tried to eat as close to the Costa Rican way as possible to really embrace the culture and go to the local spots where food was the tastiest and the cheapest! Food quality in Costa Rica is so much better the States. There are hardly any preservatives, insecticides or growth hormones used in their food supply. I also visited the Blue Zone located in the Nicoya peninsula of Costa Rica. I will do another post soon all about this- it was amazing! Outside of these meals, I ate a lot of ceviche, fish, and plantains. It was so tasty!


We only worked out 3 times on the trip, but did do many outdoor activities.

Day 1: none, recoop!

Day 2: workout @ Aloha Functional Fitness gym. Just did some deadlifts, KB work, pull-ups, double-unders, and resistance band things!

Day 3: Rincon Volcano hike (~2 miles, easy)

Day 4: workout @ Blue Zones CrossFit & Wellness. Here I got in a great workout with some heavy squats, pull-ups, and a spicy metcon!

Day 5: none

Day 6: Arenal Volcano hike (~3.5 miles, medium-hard)

Day 7: workout again @ Blue Zones CrossFit & Wellness. Heavy Deadlifts, Power Cleans, Step-Ups and Rows!

Day 8: coffee tour :)

Healthy Travel Tips:

1. Stay moving! We tried to do something active almost every day. Not because we felt we had to, but because these were all activities we enjoyed. However, when we did choose to do a structured workout, we always kept it under an hour to make sure it wasn't taking away from our planned activities. 2. Focus on whole foods. Don't purchase packaged cereals, bars, or candies. Just focus on real, whole food. Even if that means it is more calorically dense. It will be much higher quality and leave you feeling much more satiated than these artificial foods. To be honest, I don't even bring them with me. I only brought 2 protein bars and 2 protein powder bags for the entire trip. I believe vacation is a time to eat the indigenous cuisine and to do this you must eat whole foods!

3. Decrease caffeine, stimulant intake. I limited myself to only 2 cups of coffee in the morning. The coffee in Costa Rica is so tasty, it was impossible to fully detox off it during the trip. However, I made sure to never drink it past the morning hours and not include any other supplements/vitamins other than my adaptogens :)

4. Hydrate well. I brought my Hydroflask and made sure to consume water frequently. It was very hot and tropical. This helped with regulating hunger and decreasing lethargy from travel.

5. Fast. If you follow the blog or my Instagram (@functionalfuelingRD), you know that I love time restricted feeding (fasting) for autophagy (death of old cells), digestion, blood sugar and improving blood lipids. Fasting is the easiest thing to implement when traveling to help you stay within your caloric needs and reap even more rewards from this period of rejuvenation. On non-workout days I fasted until about 11 am and always had my last meal at 7 pm. I always consistently implement at least a 12 hour fasting window every evening, no matter the circumstances!

I hope you enjoyed some of my eats, workouts and travel tips! I would love to hear your favorite Costa Rican dishes if you have ever been.

Happy Holidays!


#healthytravel #costarica #bluezone #traveltips #rdeats


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