Easter on the horizon…A frenzy in town…Food in our old days…More new photos…

The rocky cliffs and sprawling shoreline in New Plymouth.

Heading to town on Thursdays to grocery shop has worked well for us. We leave within minutes after the house cleaner’s arrival allowing them to do their work with us out of the way.

In all previous instances, arriving in town around 11:00 am has been ideal with little traffic and low numbers of shoppers in the markets. Tom reads a book on his phone while waiting in the car while I do the shopping.

We stopped at Paritutu Centennial Park for a walk and to check out the scenery. 

When visiting the Costco/Sam’s Club-like PAK n Save every few weeks he joins me to push the cart. Yesterday, we a trip to New World was all that was necessary. This particular week we had enough meat on hand and didn’t make a stop at Kiwi Meats. 

Much to my surprise upon entering New World market almost every cart was taken while the aisles were jammed with busy shoppers. I’d forgotten Easter was fast approaching until I noticed all the Easter baskets, candy, and people. I hadn’t seen crowds such as this since a holiday weekend in the US a long time ago.

With no big plans for Easter dinner, which among other holidays, over which we no longer make a big fuss or a special meal, it was grocery shopping as usual. With our way of eating, it makes no sense to spend days cooking in an attempt to adapt old recipes to work for our diet. 

Paritutu Rock is located along the shore. Some ambitious hikers climb to the top. That didn’t include us.

Sure, we occasionally discuss old Easter and other holiday favorites; green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes, honey-baked ham, fluffy white buns, fruit whippy, and of course,  our usual coconut and seven-minute frosting covered chocolate bunny rabbit cake. 

It’s easy to recall eating a big chunk of that delicious homemade cake, which we usually saved for well after dinner to savor on a less full tummy. Tom may have included a big glass of 2% milk. Those days are long gone.  We make no exceptions, other than Tom’s occasional indulgences on cruises and dining out.

These steps leading down to the beach are used by surfers who frequent this area.

People often ask us if willpower keeps us from savoring these former treats and once considered hearty and healthy meals. It is not about willpower. It’s about choice. As Tom always says, “If you put your hand on a hot stove and get burned, it doesn’t take willpower to avoid putting your hand on the stove again.”

In essence, it’s a conscious decision to maintain and continue to improve our health. Since we began this way of eating almost five years ago, Tom was able to stop all medications, including seven pills a day for conditions that have long ago disappeared. Now, he takes no prescription medication

Signs such as this are often posted to remind visitors to be respectful of marine life.

As for me, I am down from four medications daily to two tiny pills taken in the morning both for moderate hormonal issues neither of which I’ve been able to control with lifestyle changes. Most likely, I’ll take these two pills a day for the remainder of my life.

We reduced our intake of vitamins due to the problems of hauling long-term supplies. Tom takes three 50 mg Vitamin B6 to keep kidney stones at bay which are apparently working for him. 

This area led to a picnic spot as shown in the below photo.

Prior to him taking this supplement, he had three kidney stone surgeries in three years (in Minnesota). Since taking the B6 and eventually changing his diet, he’s had no recurrence. We both take a daily probiotic supplement. After many blood tests while in Trinity Beach last August neither of us had any deficiencies.

Of course, our wellness regime doesn’t guarantee long-term good health. Nothing can guaranty that. One never knows what lies on the horizon. And on occasion, we fall prey to viruses, colds, coughs, and flu, especially when exposed to the germs on cruises. 

From this website: “The Sugar Loaf Islands, off the coast of New Plymouth, are the eroded stumps of an ancient volcanic crater. Above the water, you can see seven islands and several reefs. Below the surface, there are spectacular cliffs, canyons, boulder reefs, and sand expanses. Captain Cook named the islands, taking inspiration from the lumps of sugarloaf he put in his tea. The “sugar” is actually bird guano.”

We don’t suggest you try any or all of this without first checking with your physician as to what lifestyle changes may work for you. We have no intention or desire to suggest what we may do, which may be suitable for you.

Thus, this way of life, like touching the hot stove, is a no-brainer for us. Instead of exercising willpower, we tap into the innate motivation that results from the lifestyle changes that have proved to be successful for us.

Hard to see in this photo, there were a few surfers in the water.

As I made my way through the overly crowded grocery store, I loaded my cart with our usual foods; fresh organic veggies and avocados, coconut oil, full-fat dairy products including no-sugar-added locally made yogurt, kefir, and delicious New Zealand “grass-fed” butter. 

With plenty of grass-fed meat products remaining in the freezer, all we needed in the way of protein sources was the two organic, no chemicals added, roasted chickens we purchase each week. Most weeks, we’ve purchased these at New World but yesterday, there wasn’t a single such chicken to be found.

It was sunny when we started out, clouding over shortly after we were on the road.

After wading through the crowded aisles, finally, I made my way to the car with a relatively small haul at NZ $154, US $103. Without chickens, we decided to stop at Countdown, another market along the highway on the way home hoping to find the right chickens.

They too didn’t have a single cooked organic free-range chicken and their other non-organic roasted chickens had a list of 30 ingredients used in their preparation including sugar, wheat, and a variety of starches and chemicals. Not an option.

Mount Taranaki covered in fast-moving clouds.

Perusing the refrigerated meat case I located fresh uncooked organic free-range chickens, no chemicals added…plain whole chickens. I was shocked over the great prices for the good-sized chickens, NZ $12.95, US $8.68 each, and quickly grabbed two as the supply was dwindling rapidly.

Yesterday afternoon, I roasted both chickens, delighted with the end results. Lately, as a further attempt at enhancing health, we’ve been eating our main meal midday with a small healthy snack in the evening. We’ve both noticed a difference in feeling better going to bed without feeling full.

In seconds the peak of Mount Taranaki was no longer visible due to cloud cover.

Eating the main meal midday won’t work on cruises when one of the biggest highlights of each day is the fun “shared” dining experience each evening in the main dining room but for now, it’s suiting us both well.

In two days, it will be Easter here. We won’t miss a thing other than our family whom we look forward to seeing again in months to come. The significance of this day remains in our hearts and minds and we wish the same for you, should you celebrate this particular religious holiday along with us.

Photo from one year ago today, March 25, 2015:

The “wet” tunnel at Tunnels Beach in Kauai is not open for swimming due to the stagnant water causing illness. For more photos of Kauai, please click here.

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