Day #169 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Part 1…A necessary change in diet…

Although most of the items on the menu at Sails Restaurant at the Almanara Resort in Diani Beach, Kenya, were seafood related, most of which Tom doesn’t enjoy.  He was thrilled to find some options that would be pleasing to his limited palate.

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Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while living for three months in Diani Beach, Kenya. Please click here for the full post from that date.

For me, the menu was purely delightful. It was difficult to decide when every option was suitable for me.

On to today’s story..

For those of you who’ve been following us from the beginning of our world travels, you may be aware that a factor contributing to our decision to travel the world came about when after years of suffering with full-body severe inflammation, due to heredity, I began an extremely low carb, grain-free, starch-free, sugar-free diet, now often referred to as the Keto diet.

The Keto diet consists of very low carbohydrate intake, no more than 20 grams per day, excludes all wheat, grains, starches, fruits and sugar with a moderate amount of protein and high amount of healthy fats only (as per the Mediterranean diet). What does this leave to eat: grass-fed meats, free-range chicken and eggs, quality hard cheeses, and many non-starchy vegetables.

This photo, from the Almanara Resort’s website is the lounge area adjoining the dining area. Our photo didn’t turn out so well in the dark. This area was empty when we arrived but full by the time we left a few hours later.

My typical meals would include:

  • Protein source: chicken, fish, beef or pork – moderate portions
  • Carbohydrates: a salad with a side of vegetables to include such vegetables as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach (no potatoes, rice, beans, peas winter squash, carrots (too much sugar), small amounts of dairy including cheese and whole cream. Yogurt is to be avoided due to its high sugar content.
  • Fats: Coconut oil, grass-fed butter, high quality olive oil, and fresh avocados. (Vegetable and seed oils are known to be toxic and must be completely avoided.
    These complimentary appetizers presented by the chef were out of the question for me. It was fried seaweed and stuffed puff pastries, all made with flour. However, much to my surprise, Tom ate all of it, finding it very tasty.  I think his limited taste buds “song and dance” is purely psychological when I see him enjoy new items.

Once I began eating this way, beginning in August, 2011, I saw no impact on the level of pain I was experiencing, until three months later when one morning I awoke to being 100% pain free. For the first time in 15 years I had no pain and my life changed exponentially.

Within a few months, with our enthusiasm and hopefulness over my improved ability to move about without pain. I’d worked out for years in hopes of allaying the hereditary factors prevalent in my family, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity and auto-immune diseases. (Working out provided me with endorphins, which relieved the pain for a few hours each day).

This amazing array of seafood was all grilled and seasoned to perfection. It contained lobster, prawns, octopus, squid, snapper and a few  chewy wormy looking items I didn’t recognize but ate anyway. Need I say that I cleaned this plate as well?

At this point, I should mention for those naysayers, I was told when I had open heart surgery, my diet and exercise may have saved my life. The hereditary cardiovascular disease I am plagued with, had been brewing for 20 or 30 years long before I changed my diet. (I could have had a heart attack at 40 years old instead of cardiac bypass surgery at 71). Prior to that change of diet, I’d stayed on a low-fat, high carb, near vegan, way of eating for most of my adult life in an attempt to avoid diabetes and heart disease. Little did I know…

Both the surgeon and cardiologist that performed the surgery, approved of my low carb way of eating to reduce inflammation and advised me to continue. Not all doctors agree with this way of eating, but  imagine in 10 years, that will all change.

Anyway, I continued my way of eating diligently all of these years of world travel, never experiencing the awful pain from the past. That’s not to say that pain from an injury, a shoulder or knee might not hurt from time to time. They did. But, once the injury resolved, once again, I’d be back to my pain-free way of living, continuing to follow my diet diligently. A few years ago I was able to include a moderate amount of red wine in my diet without incident.

 Tom’s dinner consisted of Fillet Mignon, fries, grilled vegetables. He kept insisting that I try a taste of his steak, finally taking a bite of tender well seasoned meat. He also ate every morsel.

And then, COVID-19 hit and we were struck in this hotel room with a menu and food options that included too many carbs for my way of eating. I decided to see how I’d do eating lots more vegetables and the red sauces associated with curry and Makhani, which included tons of tomato sauce, which is loaded with sugar and extra carbs, although free of any grains.

Night after night, I ate the same meals; either chicken curry, paneer Makhani or chicken Makhani (most recently) all of which are swimming in the tasty, spicy, red sauce along with an over-sized portion of vegetables sauteed in butter. The chicken was fine. The vegetable portion was too large and the amount of carbs I’ve been eating  via the sauces far exceeded the 20 grams a day I was meant to follow.

Over the past few months, keeping in mind, we’ve been eating here for almost 6 months with no avail meat other than chicken and tiny portions of expensive salmon, which I’ve ordered once a week, there was nothing I could do. The pain returned. Walking has become almost unbearable with horrible pain in my arms, legs, shoulders and back.

We borrowed this daylight photo from the resort’s website. It was dark as we were seated at this table. Our photo didn’t do it justice.

I finally accepted the fact that the pain has returned as it had been in 2011 and was due to the food I’ve been eating. This knowledge hit me over the head two days ago. I had to figure out something else to eat or give up dinners entirely. Sitting in this room, between walking each hour, is way too boring to only subsist on an omelet and two thin slices of bacon each morning. And, I couldn’t see how this meager amount of food would be healthful with all this walking I’m struggling to do.

Today, finally, I figured out what to eat for dinner. Tomorrow, I’ll share my newly revised menu. It’s not easy to change anything with the chefs with a distinct language barrier, and their lack of knowledge of micro-nutrients, more commonly understood by chefs in the US and other countries.

Also, last time I started eating this way in 2011, it took a full three months to see any improvement. Hopefully, now, it won’t take so long.

No, I don’t particularly enjoy spewing my health problems over and over again. But, let face it, many of us seniors, (and others) have chronic health conditions that impact our everyday life. Finding solutions is always utmost in our minds. Some of us are fortunate enough to make lifestyle changes that can improve our health.

We’ll be back with “the rest of the story” tomorrow.

Be well.

P.S. A month after we left Kenya on December 1, 2013, this restaurant, Sails, was bombed by terrorists on a Saturday night. We always dined there on Saturday nights.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 8, 2019:

Many towns, villages, and countries throughout the world have these colorful buildings lining the streets in St. Ives, Cornwall, England. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

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