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How I got the nickname “Flaca”

AgentImage  | December 11, 2017

Yes, many people have the nickname flaca here but I was extremely surprised when people started calling me flaca. What does flaca mean you ask? Skinny. Flaca means skinny and that is something I had never really been called before. So how did I come about obtaining this nickname? I’ll share with you now.

In the United States, I worked at a restaurant called Buffalo Wild Wings. Home of wings, beer, and sports. I had worked there for six years starting in high school and then in college as well. I spent a lot of time there with some great coworkers, fun clients, and the most delicious chicken wings that to this day I still drool over. With the fast paced life of the US and between work, school, and trying to have a social life, the last thing I wanted to do was cook a meal at the end of the day, so many times I just ate at work for convenience.  I probably devoured 8 or 12 wings covered in ranch and blue cheese probably about 4 or 5 times a week. Those calories add up quick. I was never really overweight as I lived a pretty active lifestyle and I have always felt good about my body however, I was a little thicker all around. I weighed about 190lbs by my senior year of college and had terrible acid reflex disease (probably from all of the spicy sauce, fried food and eating at random hours of the day).

Flash forward to today after having lived in Ecuador for 2 years and I weigh about 140lbs and haven’t had to take a single pill for my acid reflex. So what happened? Did I go on a hardcore exercise regimen?  Did I do an extreme diet? Nope! None of that. The only thing different in my life was the type and quality of food that I was consuming.

A typical Ecuadorian lunch consists of rice, a salad or two, and a meat. Dinner about the same. But each food item is fresh, many times organic, and about 400 times more flavorful. Markets are lined with crates of crops that had been picked by the farmer that day. Snacks such as fruits and yogurts are much more preferred rather than chips and cookies. Lemonade or fruit juice is served at restaurants, not soda. My diet changed to this, a more natural wholesome diet, foods that we should be eating, that provide our bodies with the necessary nutrients, not foods pumped full of preservatives and chemicals. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a delicious, greasy hamburger or even chicken wings about once a week but all of the other food that I eat is so much healthier for my body, and it is clearly visible.

So I guess you could say that I did go on a diet, the Ecuadorian diet. Eating the foods that everyone else in the country eats. And now today I find myself flaca. But I still ask if I really needed to go all the way to Ecuador to do this or if this type of lifestyle change could be done in the states resulting in the same outcome?


So many of the foods that characterize a Western diet come from global supply chains and this has produced devastating effects on our bodies, economy, and environment. I remember returning to the states in March and visiting my local grocery story. I had a lot of thoughts and realizations in that store as I browsed the aisles. I remember thinking that all of the fruits and vegetables were unnaturally shiny, healthy organic food was extremely expensive, and there was a large presence of insta-meals or “just add water” type of box dinners.  No wonder it is so difficult to be healthy in the states! I feel grateful each time I go to the market and can buy my weeks’ worth of fruits and vegetables for about $3. I could only buy 6 limes or maybe a bundle of apples for $3 in the states. Look at the ingredients of those mashed potato flakes or sugary cereals; do you recognize all of them? So I believe that eating the same foods as here in the US wouldn’t result in the same outcome. The quality of food is so different in the northern hemisphere and it’s not good for us. Our health is detreating each day because of our food and we see evidence of this as more and more people struggle with heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. In my opinion, I think it is way more difficult to eat healthy in the U.S than it should be and this needs to change. Healthy food wasn’t a reason as to why I came to Ecuador but it is certainly a reason as to why I am staying.

I am aware of the food problem and the fact that there isn’t really enough food to feed every mouth in the world but then I am also looking at this 15 hectare property located here in Yunguilla that can produce crops all year round because of the great climate and nutrient rich soil and I ask myself why more people aren’t taking advantage? Ecuador seems to be this little country that hasn’t been overtaken by multi-billion dollar companies looking to mass produce food and this is one of the reasons I love Ecuador. I can be healthy, I can eat deliciously, and I can live life fully.I invite everyone to come down for a visit and just see how different you will feel and look. The effects are almost instant. Here, I feel better, I look better, and I am happy to be called flaca.