Day #213 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Gentle musings on the simple things…

Tom’s gluten-free, low carb, starch, and sugar-free pizza with fresh mushrooms, green olives, onions, and Italian sausage, topped with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. This will last for three delicious nights. We never mind repeated dinners for three nights in a row. The crust is made with grated cheese and one egg. He’ll be drooling over this photo today.

Today’s food photos are from the post on this date in 2014 after grocery shopping in Maui, Hawaii. For more from this date, please click here.

When I checked out Kenya photos from this date in 2013, there were few photos worthy of posting today. Instead, I jumped forward to 2014 on this date, once again, while we were spending six weeks on the blissful island of Maui. We’d been out grocery shopping and were pleasantly surprised over our purchases in the nearby town of Kihei.

My pizza is made with free-range chicken sausage, anchovies, onions, olives, mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers, organic zucchini, eggplant with mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. This crust is also made with cheese and egg and is low carb and gluten, sugar, and starch-free. Love it!

Ironically, for the first time in almost two years since the onset of our travels, I drove the rental car, finding my way to the Safeway supermarket, a 20 minute drive from our condo, and the largest market we’d seen in so long. It felt great to be driving again after so long.

Yesterday, Tom and I were chuckling over this time in Mumbai as the longest period he’s gone as an adult without driving a car. Continuing in our world travels, there were plenty of times I didn’t drive for extended periods when I don’t feel comfortable driving a manual transmission with the stick on the left side. My left hand is useless.

As I entered the store, my eyes darted everywhere in awe of all of the “stuff” for sale.

On top of that, I don’t possess the ability to retrain myself to drive while managing the stick shift, while on the opposite side of the road from which I learned in the US at 16 years old. I suppose it’s a lack of coordination. Under familiar circumstances, I know how to drive a stick shift. At one point, as an adult, I purchased a vehicle with manual transmission.

Upon returning to the condo, I used the Ziploc bags to individually wrap each of the three steaks which Tom will eat while I’ll have the rack of lamb.

Well, anyway, that day in Maui, I was thrilled to once again be driving and totally loved the time I could spend meandering around the huge supermarket with nary a thought of how slow I was going, inspecting countless products along the way. Most often, Tom had been with me while grocery shopping, and although I enjoyed his participation, I loved it when he waited in the car reading a book on his phone.

Having not purchased meat at this store on our visit the prior week, I was pleased to see the prices on meats were no more than we paid in our old lives.

If and when we return to Africa, I’ll be in this same spot with most rental cars having manual transmissions and all driving in the left lane as opposed to the familiar right lane. Tom will drive me everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, he gets tired of being my chauffeur, but he freely acknowledges that I am a terrible driver even with an automatic transmission and driving in the right lane, as in the US. Hey, we all have our flaws and I certainly have my fair share.

I’d purchased this 3.32-pound package of three New York Steaks for $26.93 at $8.98 a serving. That was an excellent price!

So, shopping in Maui during those six blissful weeks was a treat for me. If I wanted to peruse the other shops in the strip mall, before grocery shopping I could easily do so. If I wanted to read the labels on every product I could do so at my leisure. If I wanted to stop and chat with another customer or staff member, nothing held me back. It was indescribable fun.

Ziploc freezer bags in the half gallon size surprised me at only $4.49.

Wow! At this point, this sounds to me like a trip to Disneyland for a kid. It’s not surprising that the simplest tasks I may have taken for granted in the past now rise to the forefront as absolutely desirable and delightful. Then again, I think of how fun it will be to be sitting with good friends in Africa, sipping on a glass of red wine, enjoying the sounds of nature, the consistent flow of “visitors” and I literally swoon.

I cut this free-range Rack of Lamb into three portions which I’ll have when Tom has the above steaks. At $20.15 for the entire package, it is $6.72 per serving. We’ll cook the lamb and the steaks on the outdoor grill that overlooks the ocean, which we’re anxious to use.

I’ve kept asking myself what we’ll learn from being in this hotel, possibly for one year, (now at seven months), and perhaps it will be as simple as the heart-pounding enthusiasm I’m feeling putting these thoughts to “paper.” During these peculiar circumstances, it’s imperative to glom onto hope, knowing full-well at some point in the future, these memories won’t be so far removed from current-day reality.

The gorgeous Maui scenery on the return drive to Maalaea Beach.

Hum, I think I’ll feel equally enthused to machine wash our clothes, eat some of the above-shown pizza, smell the fresh air, set the table, see a sunset, and of course, spend time with humans and animals. No doubt, we’re grateful we’re safe and, we’re equally grateful knowing at some point, this will all change.

This receipt is not easy to read resulting in my listing the items above for details and clarification.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 22, 2019:

Friends Linda and Ken with us in front of the Raglan Castle in Wales. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

Day #212 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Losing weight after lockdown???…

No, this was not a creature that we found in our bathroom during the night. It was my delectable entrée, delicate grill calamari with an octopus topper at dinner a week ago Saturday at the divine The Sands at Nomad.

Note: Due to WiFi issues in Kenya at the time, some of the captions for the photos, couldn’t be added when I carried over the photos. Subsequently, I’ve left out a few captions in today’s photos. 

Today’s food photos are from the post on this date in 2013 while living in Diana Beach, Kenya. For more from this date, please click here.

My dinner plate in its entirety, seven skewered grilled garlic buttered calamari atop a plentiful portion of grilled non-starchy vegetables. I didn’t try the sauce, fearing it may contain sugar. 

How exciting it is today to see these dining-out photos from seven years ago today at The Sands at Nomad restaurant and resort. However, after acquiring a long-lasting stomach bug from eating too many baby octopus on Christmas Day in Fiji in 2015, I’ve yet to eat a meal such as this again.

Tom’s pork chop dinner that same evening with fried potato wedges and sautéed vegetables.

As good as this looks to me in its concept, minus the octopus topper, right now we’re both craving a huge juicy steak, such as a rib-eye or T-bone. I can’t imagine how tasty that would be. It’s been nine months since we’ve had any beef, which isn’t served in India due to the sacred nature of cows.

Tom was looking forward to dining with the cool ocean breezes washing over us.

We appreciate and respect their religious beliefs, but never imagined we wouldn’t be able to eat any beef or pork (other than bacon) for such an extended period. Uncertain, as to the source of fish here in India, and considering the polluted oceans, I tend to avoid fish as much as possible.

One of the many lounge areas in The Sands at Nomad, not only a resort and restaurant, but a welcoming stopping point for thirsty visitors seeking a spot to relax and unwind either inside the bar or at the tables on the beach where food is also served.

The only fish options in this hotel are salmon and prawns, both of which are tiny portions. Sure, I could place a double order for an average-sized portion of either of these. But I’m not willing to pay US $36, INR 2643, for a fish or seafood when I don’t know the source. When I asked the chef these questions regarding fish and seafood, the answers were vague and unclear. So, chicken is it, night after night.

This morning I ordered a cheese plate with a few hard-boiled eggs. The cheese plate was so huge, (again, inconsistency) that tonight I may take a break and not order dinner at all, finishing the remaining egg and cheese.

That Saturday night, the 19th, after the complimentary taxi ride, we walked the short distance to the restaurant. We were enthused to see the property in daylight. Although shortly after 6:00 pm, we’d still have an opportunity to see a few of the suites and peruse the remainder of the property while still light.

Tom has stopped ordering dinner altogether. It was either swimming in butter or too dry. We’ve both reviewed the menu over and over and there is literally nothing else to order that I can eat or that Tom’s is willing to eat.

There are some takeaway menus online that could be ordered and delivered to the hotel, but mostly, it consists of deep-fried, starchy, sugary options, none of which appeal to either of us. In any case, both of us are losing weight, which we both needed to do after all this time in lockdown.

I am only 7 pounds, 3.19 kg away from my goal, my lowest weight in the past eight years, where all of my remaining clothing in my luggage will fit me. While in the US last winter, I’d bought a number of items my sister Susan and I always referred to as “Heidi” clothes which we called clothing that attempted to “hide” excess weight.

Felix, the host for our tour of the suites, took us along a path parallel to the ocean to see the interesting and appealing grounds, a part of which included these private cottages. It was only two weeks later that we booked a three-night stay here to celebrate our travel anniversary on October 31, 2014.

Getting rid of all of those four-sizes-larger clothing (which we’ll donate before leaving India) will help reduce our luggage weight, that within the next month will result in a total loss of 25 pounds, 11.3 kg, for me. After I had open-heart surgery in February 2019 in South Africa and was relatively immobile for so long while also taking those awful medications, I gained weight and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t lose it. 

It was only in the past few months, that I bit the bullet and resumed eating a very low carb/keto diet to reduce the pain in my legs, that I found I started losing weight, about 3 pounds, 1.4 kg a week. The pain in my legs has improved about 75% coupled with the weight loss. So, I guess there’s a benefit to the food situation here after all.

The executive cottages were exquisite.

Now that Tom’s stopped ordering dinner and eats a big breakfast instead, he’s also losing what he’d gained during lockdown from eating that dish of chicken pasta every night with a side of roasted potatoes. He continues to walk and do the stairs daily.

The cooks at the grill were friendly and helpful in assisting us to make our decisions.

That’s it for today, folks. It’s time for me to head back out into the corridor after having completed half of my daily 5 miles, 8 km, walk in the corridors. 

Have a healthy day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 21, 2019:

Tom’s Italian chicken pasta lunch in Wales. Little did Tom know that he’d been eating chicken pasta in Mumbai, India for over 200 nights! For more, please click here.

 

 

 

Day #208 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…A review of an exquisite first safari experience…Firsts!…

It was hard to say goodbye to the staff at Camp Olonana Sanctuary Retreat after the extraordinary stay and safari.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013 while on safari, staying at Camp Olonana in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

The lodge was an invited place for us to sit, sip beverages and post our photos and stories. With no Internet access in the tents but available at no charge in the lodge, we spent most of our limited spare time in here.

Seven years ago today, we wrote a comprehensive review of Camp Olonana Sanctuary Retreat in the Maasai Mara in Kenya where we had the privilege to experience our first safari in Africa, forever emblazoned in our hearts and minds.

The dining room’s ambiance was easy going and welcoming.

There’s a lot to be said for “firsts” and without a doubt in our minds, that particular first left us reeling with sheer wonder and delight. Throughout our world travels, over and over again, we’ve had the opportunity to experience a wide array of firsts, that above all, stand out in our minds years later.

One evening, as we were busy posting after dinner, the staff and guests began dancing around the lodge to celebrate a couple’s anniversary. It was an intimate group with no more than 16 guests on-site while we were there. (The camp holds a maximum of 28 guests). With a little prodding from the staff, we joined in the line.

Whether it was our first transiting of the Panama Canal, the first in-person view of the Eiffel Tower, the first sighting of The Treasury in the hidden city of Petra, the first visit from a warthog in our garden in Marloth Park or our first cruise, they all hold special meaning with us.

 Windblown, with hat hair, at dinner each evening we wore our daytime safari clothes, feeling too tired to change. Also, arriving from safari between 6:30 and 7:00 pm, food was more important than fresh clothing.

Frequently coming up in conversations between us and others, firsts litter our itinerary, year after year, combined with the easy memories of the events surrounding such events. Isn’t it ironic how we all remember such times as our first date, our first kiss, our first airplane ride, our first bicycle, our first car, our first pet, and our first job?

The gift shop had a wide array of souvenirs and gifts, none of which we purchased with no room in our bags as we continue on our world travels.

Traveling the world the past has provided us, old-timers, with a wealth of firsts we never imagined in our dreams, and yet, here we are, universally, worldwide, all experiencing our first pandemic, our first months in lockdown and our first times wearing face masks, as non-medical professionals.

On the second night at camp as we were finishing up yet another safari, Anderson took what appeared to be a new route back over unpaved bush areas.  Bouncing about, we all giggled over the new route wondering why we were taking this route. With the gates to the reserve locking at 6:30 pm, we were late getting out. We’d assumed this new route was a way around going through the gates. Instead, suddenly we saw this campfire, to be surprised by everyone at camp, all guests and most staff were awaiting our arrival that tonight was the ritual “dinner in the bush” was a total surprise for the six of us.

Firsts are not always pleasant, as in the case of COVID-19, and many of us may prefer to have this event excised from our minds, which does nothing more than elicit painful thoughts and memories we wish had never happened. In our attempts at positivity, many of us strive to find meaning in even the most sorrowful of experiences to guide us through our lives, adding to our purpose and depth of character. 

The Maasai villagers were in attendance to sing and dance before or dinner as we all sat in a half-moon of comfortable chairs, enjoying appetizers and beverages, sharing our various safari stories. 

This period of COVID-19 still leaves me wondering what we’re supposed to learn from this. Each day, during the past seven months, as I walk the corridors, earbuds in my ears, listening to some informational podcasts, my mind wanders away from the voices I’m listening to that same question. “What am I supposed to learn from this “first?”

Look at my plate at the “bush dinner!” It was exciting to know that most of the meat and vegetables were within my dietary constraints, all prepared to perfection, seasoned with local spices. Once again, great job Chef Ambrose!

Was it resilience? Patience? Tolerance? We both already feel we’ve had these bases covered after living without a home for the past almost eight years, amid many stressful and challenging situations. We’ve often mentioned the need and commitment we’ve made to adaptability as, scenario after scenario, we were tested as to our ability to adapt. We not only managed but most often, somehow, we thrived.

After the bush dinner, we posed for a photo, although after a day on safari, I hardly felt photo-ready. Tom’s face was sunburned from the almost 8 hours we spent on safari that day, exposed to the elements, loving every minute. We couldn’t wait to put our clothing in the dirty laundry hamper to be washed, dried, and folded to perfection that was returned to our tent that same evening. This service was included in the all-inclusive pricing.

I suppose time will tell. Perhaps this query to ourselves on this topic will present itself somewhere in the times to come, once we’re blissfully removed from this confinement-type existence, purely predicated by an invisible toxin wafting through the world at a ravaging pace.

Ah, the naysayers who espouse this virus is a hoax! Those who have lost loved ones, young or old, don’t call this a hoax. 

On the first night, we both had the same entrée, a grilled sirloin steak atop a medley of sautéed vegetables. Tender, cooked exactly as requested, this steak required only a butter knife to cut it. Neither of us had appetizers or dessert that evening after having had lunch earlier in the day upon arrival.

As for today’s photos, they are a pleasant reminder of a “first” that we can easily determine its purpose, in its impact on our lives, the changes we’ve made, the adaptation we’ve embraced and the awe and appreciation we gleaned from such a glorious and memorable experience.

My nightly dessert of fine cheese and Kenya is grown cashews and macadamia nuts. The night of the “bush dinner” Chef Ambrose had remembered to bring these items for my dessert, as the only guest in camp unable to eat the traditional desserts. Wow!

Enjoy these photos with us, knowing our comments from the past event, seven years ago today, were heartfelt and passionate.

Enjoy your day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 17, 2019:

Coat of arms on shields at the entrance gate to Chepstow Castle in Wales. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

Why did we choose low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world?…Food photos and recipes!…

low carb keto way of eating while traveling the world
Here’s a favorite meal: bacon-wrapped, hard-boiled egg stuffed meatloaf made with grass-fed ground beef; salads with red romaine (cos), celery, carrot, and homemade salad dressing; sliced cucumber sprinkled with Himalayan salt; steamed green beans and broccolini; oven-roasted zucchini; good-for-gut-bacteria probiotic sauerkraut; and, my favorite occasional treat, low carb flaxseed and almond flour muffins topped with grass-fed organic butter. Who says “low carb” dining isn’t healthy? (The red bottle in the center of the table contains homemade ketchup we put in a  used and washed bottle). Please see this link for instructions and the recipe.

For many readers, today’s third of five SEO posts may be found to be controversial, again with repetition from past posts, required due to this process as Post #3 of 5 for this purpose.

If you still believe and follow a vegan diet, or the low fat, low or moderate protein, mostly plant-based, high carbohydrate way of eating, this post won’t appeal to your personal beliefs about food. That’s OK. The intent here is not to dismiss or express disdain for any way of eating that may serve you well. Nor do we intend to “convert” any of our readers to our chosen lifestyle of low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world.

Please understand, that today’s post on the low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world has worked for me, for Tom, and for many throughout the world. Over the years we’ve received tremendous positive feedback from readers following a similar path, often requesting tips and recipes which we happily provided and posted. In no manner are we dispensing any medical or health advice. Please seek your own resources for additional information.

How one chooses to eat and to ultimately care for their health is a personal topic, one which we’re sharing here again today based on countless emails we’ve received from readers asking us to reiterate how we are in fact living a low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world when so much of the world’s diet consists of high carbohydrates foods including grains, sugars, and starches.

Homemade grain-free pizza crust
Homemade grain-free pizza crust. Please see this link for instructions and the recipe.

Why did we choose low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world?…

It all started in 2011 when I sought treatment from an integrative medicine doctor, a licensed, accredited physician, one who treats the entire body, rather than a part of the body causing an issue. I had been suffering from hereditary auto-immune conditions, including pre-diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperinsulinemia, and metabolic syndrome. All of these hereditary inflammatory conditions ultimately led to cardiovascular disease.

Also, these conditions, coupled with a hereditary propensity to advanced spinal stenosis (and subsequent diabetes and heart disease) resulted in constant full-body pain commensurate with my three MRIs illustrating that my skeletal frame was rapidly disintegrating.

Based on these three MRIs, the doctor expected I’d be in a wheelchair in a matter of months. At that time, I was 61 years old, living my life as a disabled person, struggling to stay active with excessive painful exercise, requiring me to retire early. Mainly, I didn’t discuss the degree of pain I was suffering, preferring to avoid eliciting sympathy from family and friends.

With pressure on my nerves throughout my body, the “crumbling vertebrae and other joints,” and other above-mentioned conditions, left me with chronic full-body pain.

baked, low carb, almond flour chicken stuffed loaves
One of our favorite recipes: baked, low carb, almond flour chicken stuffed loaves. We tripled the recipe in order to result in four meals, freezing part of it. Please see this link for instructions and the recipe.

This amazing doctor handed me 20-pages of literature from the renowned Cleveland Clinic as to how a low carb, ketogenic way of eating may reduce my level of pain and symptoms from the above conditions.

As it turned out, a lifetime of eating low-fat, high carbohydrate, low protein, high sugar-grain-starch diet, eventually impacted my cardiovascular system which was firmly in place long before I changed my diet in 2011. Inflammation, ultimately, was the cause. As the surgeon explained, after my triple cardiac bypass surgery in 2019, I’d had heart disease for the prior 20, 30, or 40 years and didn’t know it. By the time I changed to a low carb, keto way of eating in 2011, the damage had been done.

In 2019, the cardiologist explained that those changes I made in 2011 may well have saved my life from a fatal heart attack, as well as years of exercising, which I used as a means to avoid further deterioration of my joints and muscles.

Layering the cooked bacon, meat slices, cheese, tomato, and onion slices for our bread-free subway
Layering the cooked bacon, meat slices, cheese, tomato, and onion slices for our bread-free subway, ready to be wrapped in parchment paper. Please see this link for instructions and the recipe.

What does a low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world look like?

As I read through the 20-page report from the Cleveland Clinic, I wondered how I could possibly follow such a strict way of eating. In my usual way, I sought information online from reliable sources on the controversial low carb/keto diet, which was often used for a number of chronic conditions. Much to my surprise, I found a tremendous number of reputable resources to assist me in my journey. For the sake of expediency, I won’t be listing “how to do a keto diet” here today, other than to list the following foods in general which are allowed, as opposed to those “not allowed.”

1. Animal protein (including eggs): Any form without sauces and spices containing starch, grains, and sugars
2. Vegetables: Any non-starchy vegetables primarily that grow above ground, excluding corn, beans, peas, prepared simply with butter, Himalayan salt, and some spices. No fruit of any type, which is high in sugar, other than a few berries from time to time
3. Dairy (if tolerated): In moderation: Hard cheeses, full-fat cream, butter, sour cream, cream cheese. (Yogurt is generally high in sugars and whey protein containing milk sugars).
4. Spices: Mustard, fresh or dried spices without additives; homemade mayonnaise (most mayo includes toxic oils). No store-bought ketchup which is high in sugar
5. Oils: Pure, high-quality olive oil, butter, lard, tallow, bacon fat. (Vegetable oils must be avoided due to high inflammatory effects).

Goal: No more than 20 actual (not “net carbs” often calculated after deducting fiber) grams of carbohydrates per day, easily available for calculation on numerous free online apps.

Low Carb Chicken Pot Pie

One of three pans of Low Carb Chicken Pot Pie. (We couldn’t find the correct sized tin foil pans to use. Instead, we used three baking pans. But the recipe is best baked in individual serving pans since it tends to fall apart when scooping it out from larger pans). Please see this link for instructions and the recipe.

How and when did we decide we could maintain a low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world?

After three months of eating this way, following the above with relative ease, one morning I awoke and the pain was gone! And I mean GONE! It was only five months later that we decided to forgo life as we knew it to travel the world. Shortly thereafter, Tom embraced this way of eating, losing 40 pounds, 18 kg, while totally recovering from irritable bowel syndrome and restless leg syndrome. In six months he was totally off seven pills a day! But, we wondered, was it conceivable to maintain a low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world?

Highly motivated, with the pain still gone for me and weight and illnesses gone for Tom, we were on our way on October 31, 2012, soon to be our eight-year anniversary since we began our journey. Hovering in our minds was the upcoming three months in Italy only 11 months later, the endless restaurant visits, the foods popular in various countries in Europe, the tempting desserts, bread, and flour-laden dishes on cruise ships. How would we do it?

It required a huge commitment from me, more than Tom, who seemed to be able to occasionally vary from our low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world without any major consequences. For me, I was terrified that if I so much as took a bite of a dessert, a flour-thickened sauce, pasta, or bread, I’d immediately revert to my former pain-ridden condition. I avoided anything that didn’t fall within the above parameters.

mozzarella balls, stuffed meatballs with a sugar-free Italian seasoned tomato sauce with mushrooms, topped with grated mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese
For three night’s we had mozzarella balls, stuffed meatballs with a sugar-free Italian seasoned tomato sauce with mushrooms, topped with grated mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. There’s also one ball inside each meatball along with one on each top. On the side, steamed veggies and salad. Please see this link for instructions and the recipe.

Was it easy to shop for and maintain a low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world?

In time, we developed a sensible routine for shopping for our home-cooked meals. Comparable to most home cooks, we created a list in our minds of favorite dishes, shopping for ingredients accordingly. Every country, without exception, sells some form of animal protein such as fish, shellfish, chicken, beef, and pork. (Although, here in India no beef or pork is served, other than bacon).

Every country sells eggs, most often free-range, butter, and non-starchy vegetables. We were always able to purchase quality imported hard cheeses, and other low carb cheeses, although at times, they were expensive. We budgeted accordingly, I suppose the most difficult situation has been in India, where we’re longing for a bun-less burger, a juicy steak, or pork chops, none of which are available due to Hindu religious beliefs. As a result, we continue to eat chicken and on occasion salmon (for me), which is expensive for a tiny portion.

Shopping for groceries was most difficult in Belize where the grocery store offered only frozen, often freezer-burned meats, and again in Fiji, where a wonderful meat market provided many wonderful cuts of meat of all types, but the grocery store with only two aisles had few items we used for preparing our meals including vegetables and spices. Somehow, we always figured it out, never having to sacrifice our chosen low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world.

Low Carb (2 grams) Gluten Free Cheese Taco Bowl
Low Carb (2 grams) Gluten Free Cheese Taco Bowl. Please see this link for instructions and the recipe.

Recipes for maintaining a low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world…

Like many of our readers, we all have a “favorite” recipes list, often a top 10. Years ago, I wrote a post about our favorite top ten LOW CARB recipes which include:

1. Bread-less submarine sandwiches – See the link here for the details and photos.
2. Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf – See the link here for details and photos.
3. Chicken Stuffed Almond Flour Loaves – See the link here for details and photos.
4. Chicken Pot Pies – See the here for details and photos.
5. Meatballs stuffed with Mozzarella with Mushrooms & Sugar-free Marinara – See this link here for details and photos.
6. Pizza – See this link here for the crust to which you add your favorite low carb, sugar-free topping.
7. Taco salad with low carb bowl – See this link here for the bowl to which you add your favorite low carb ingredients
8. Gluten-free hamburgers with low carb buns – See here for our low carb bun recipe to which you add your favorite burgers and vegetables
9. Sunday Roast – See here for our low carb Sunday roast, so popular in the UK, here.
10. Coconut or Almond Flour Battered Fish or Chicken – See here for either option.

8-ounce patty with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion
These homemade hamburger buns are huge enough to hold a 6 to the 8-ounce patty with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion or other items added. They’re delicious! Please see this link for instructions and the recipe.

How to maintain a low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world, especially while in lockdown in India during the past six months…

It’s been difficult these past many months in lockdown in India with room service providing all of our meals. We’ve always preferred to eat only two meals per day. On occasion, for health reasons, we’ve chosen intermittent fasting, which is easier for us when we’re living in a holiday home and may need the break the fast with the food we have on-hand. Here, we have nothing available if we felt a “need” to eat something appropriate for breaking the fast.

Indian food, although delicious to me, is not a favorite of Tom’s. And, Indian food is packed with starch, sugar, fruit, and grains, none of which are suitable for my way of eating. At one point, early on, I considered throwing caution to the wind and just dine on the delicious Indian foods.

However, after seeing how I had difficulty walking after eating only their rich red sauces (all without gluten), for several months, I now realize I wouldn’t have been able to do all the walking I’ve done so far, never missing a day, solely with the intent in benefitting my heart health. If the pain made it impossible to walk, I’d only have been damaging my health further. I’ve literally forced myself to walk the past few months.

organic grass-fed pork roast, Kransky (cheese-filled) gluten-free sausages, Portabello mushrooms, onions, and organic carrots
Our Sunday roast: organic grass-fed pork roast, Kransky (cheese-filled) gluten-free sausages, Portabello mushrooms, onions, and organic carrots. I cut the roast open during the last 30 minutes to ensure it was cooked properly. Please see this link for instructions and the recipe.

Now, back to my strict keto diet, forgoing all those carb-laden sauces, eating less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, I’m finding the walking easier each day. The philosophy of deducting the fiber grams from the total number of grams of carbohydrates has been proven to be a fallacy. I count only the full carb content of carbohydrates and now, I’m gradually improving, more each day.

Hopefully, by the time we leave India, I will be back to fitness and health, in every way.

How you can achieve a low carb, keto way of eating while traveling the world or when living life anywhere in the world…

At first, when I decided to write on this topic, I considered adding links to the doctors, researchers, and scientists who’ve done extensive research on this way of eating. After thinking about it, I decided with the vast information available online, each of us needs to do our own research to bring us to a point of realization that the low fat, high carb, low protein, highly-processed grains, sugars, and starches may not be for us. One need only looks at the poor health of the citizens of the world and in the US, from following this modality for the past four decades.

dinner of lightly battered and seasoned fish with egg and almond flour, sautéed in coconut and olive oil Barramundi, fresh organic green beans, homemade LC muffin, and salad
A favorite dinner of lightly battered and seasoned fish with egg and almond flour, sautéed in coconut and olive oil Barramundi, fresh organic green beans, homemade LC muffin, and salad on the side was a perfect meal we both enjoyed. Please see this link for instructions and the recipe.

There are countless highly reputable resources online you may choose to investigate. It took me years of research to find my way in this life-changing way of eating. If you have difficulty researching, feel free to contact me at the end of any post, in the comments section and I will add some links for all of our readers to see.

Thank you for letting me share this story, once again as we each decide which path works best in extending our lives, the quality of our lives, and the ultimate guilt-free enjoyment of many outstanding foods and meals at home and throughout the world.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 29, 2019:

tomatoes
Renata, our host,  suggested we pick all the tomatoes and other vegetables we wanted, remaining in the greenhouse For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day #189 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Food photos from a Celebrity cruise, Vancouver to Honolulu in 2014…

There was no charge for a piece (or two) of this lovely strawberry cake offered on the cruise. But, none for me with my way of eating. Even Tom passed on this cake.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2014, while we were on a cruise from Vancouver to Honolulu. For more on this date, please click here.

My mouth was watering when I reviewed today’s photos from a cruise to Hawaii, where we ended up staying for a total of eight months on four of the most popular islands: Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai.

All of these desserts in the Al Bacio Bar are included in the fare., no purchase necessary.  However, there is a charge for specialty coffees also available in this area. Oddly, Tom wasn’t interested in anything in this case.

In many ways, it seems like yesterday, especially when we spent the Christmas holidays with the kids and grandkids on the Big Island and, the last four months in Kauai, making many new friends and exploring the life cycle of the Laysan Albatross, which during those months, became a daily source of tremendous joy and wonder.

By the time we boarded this cruise in 2014, we’d been on eight prior cruises since beginning our journey and had considerable experience when ordering meals befitting Tom’s picky taste buds and my low carb/keto way of eating. It was hard for me to resist all the beautiful desserts, one of which is shown in today’s main photo. But, never once did I order or select any forbidden desserts, ice cream (or meals) when meandering the various food stations throughout the ship.

Oh, delicious! I ended up ordering a second serving of this fabulous Pistachio Duck Terrine.

With a former sweet tooth, such desserts were difficult to resist, but by this ninth cruise, I had my attraction to such items strictly under control and rarely ever gave it a thought. When others, at a shared table, ordered gooey desserts, either I ordered a fresh cup of tea or if still hungry after a meal of tiny portions, I could order the cheese plate.

In every case when ordering the cheese plate, asking for it to arrive without fruit or crackers, almost invariably it would be placed in front of me with fruit and crackers. After a while, we laughed. I’d remove the items and proceed to enjoy the various imported cheeses.

Tom’s escargot was green due to the use of spinach in the buttery sauce. If I told him the green was spinach, he probably wouldn’t eat it. He did!

Eventually, I stopped ordering it, since the cheese serving was way more than I should eat and it was hard to resist when it was in front of me. I’ve always been a member of the “clean plate club.” Many can surely relate to that, perhaps a by-product of our upbringing when we were required to clean the plate due to the starving children all over the world. Gosh, if leaving untouched food on my plate would feed starving children I would have never cleaned my plate.

For many travelers, cruising is all about the food. Honestly, right now if we boarded a cruise ship, I’d run, not walk, to the buffet to partake in the many items I can eat; eggs Benedict (minus the English muffin), smoked salmon with capers, platters of chilled prawns, burgers (minus the bun), grilled fish, unlimited steamed veggies and one of the items I miss the most…a big green salad.

My dinner consisted of salmon and steamed vegetables, which with the addition of a side dish of Hollandaise sauce was fine. I prefer not to eat carrots since they are grown underground and high in sugar content.

We don’t order salads or raw vegetables here in India for fear the produce is washed in tap water which is unsafe to drink in India. Sure, the hotel probably washes it in purified water but it most likely had been sprayed with tap water in processing for distribution to hotels and restaurants. It would only take a few spores of bacteria to throw us into a bacterial infection which is all we’d need now.

We don’t worry about COVID-19 infecting our food that is served to our room twice a day. The cooks live in the hotel as do the servers who deliver it to our room. Also, there’s no definitive research indicating the virus is contracted from food, although under certain circumstances, I’d imagine this is a possibility.

Tom’s dinner of beef cheeks over parsnip puree, carrots, broccoli with demi-glace sauce which he found to be excellent.

That’s why we don’t order takeaway meals from the many restaurants in the area that will deliver to the hotel which is left at the guard gate for patrons to collect. It’s not worth the risk or the bother. Also, for my purposes, we’d have no idea as to ingredients used to prepare our meals, including toxic vegetable oils that we resist. All of our meals are prepared with “real” butter as opposed to margarine and trans-fats used by many dining establishments throughout the world, not just in India.

Even looking at today’s photos of food I can eat, makes my mouth water. Oh, well. Hopefully, this is just temporary. Every day, I think about a plate of home-made food in front of me, sitting at a table with a linen placemat and napkin, and a glass of red wine in a fine wine glass, instead of on a chair in a hotel room with the same meal night after night meal on my lap,

One of our dear readers wrote that lockdown feels like “house arrest” and I agree, but in our case, it feels more like being a teenager and confined to our room for bad behavior. Except, that teenager could go to the kitchen, open the refrigerator filled with tasty options, and select what they found most appealing. Not the case now!

May your day be filled with taste-tempting, hearty, healthy, and delicious meals.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 28, 2019:

This lamb, covered in dirt after it rained, on the farm in Devon, England, is half the size of the others. Renate and John, our property owners, explained she never grew to full size due to a genetic anomaly. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

Day #183 lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…It’s a whining day!…

Prior to sunset these flowers in their yard caught my eye. The combination of the pink and peach coloration is truly a gift from Mother Nature, whom we dearly appreciate.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living in Diani Beach, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

I am struggling to make myself sit down and write those 2000 word posts using keyword phrases as required by our web developers. Not a procrastinator, generally I attend to tasks in a timely fashion. But, I’m not sure what’s keeping me immobilized in regard to these three remaining posts.

Only moments before we left for Hans’ and Jeri’s home, we were finally able to snap a photo of the female to the little yellow birds that are so shy and quick that we’ve had trouble getting a shot. Apparently, their reticence is due to the frequent attacks by viscous blackbirds. Only a few days ago, Hans showed us where a blackbird had snatched baby birds out of a nest.

Could it be that doing so requires me to break away from our usual afternoon respite where we escape by binge-watching some favorite shows? When preparing these long posts, on top of the usual daily posts, my motivation is literally non-existent. Also, I’m still trying to work on the corrections on the past 3000 posts. I started in 2012, working my way forward beginning on page #148, and today, I’ll start with page #124. I have a long way to go when the most I can do in a day is one full page of 20 posts.

Gosh, I tell my usually-motivated self, I did get our tax stuff done and sent to the accountant in plenty of time. Gosh, I worked with the developers on resolving seemingly endless changes over the past 60 days. Gosh, I’ve spent endless hours researching possibilities for us to get out of here, all to no avail, as did Tom. Gosh, I don’t feel like spending an entire afternoon writing a contrived post of 2000 words infiltrating the necessary keyword sequence as frequently as possible.

We arrived at our landlord’s home before sunset to find Hans preparing the fire on which to cook our dinner.

Sorry if I sound like I am whining, whinging, or complaining (whatever such words are used in your locale). But, I am. Each day, after working on and uploading the daily post, which, by the way, I enjoy doing, I am done, done, done. This wasn’t the case in our lives of world travel, in the days before lockdown.

If this project was presented to me then, I would have made my way through it in five days…five 2000 word posts. But, now everything is different. I can’t take a break and escape by jumping up and get the laundry out of the washer to hang outside on the clothesline. I can’t head to the kitchen to chop and dice vegetables for dinner (or for wildlife).

Hans built a roaring fire to which he later added a grate in order to cook a full beef tenderloin without the use of charcoal or lighter fluid. Check out that moon smiling down on us!

In our travels, we never binge-watched shows during the day. That was an after-dinner or bedtime pastime, winding us down after another pleasant and often exciting day. In Marloth Park and most other holiday homes, we rarely turned on the TV or streamed a show during our entire stay, while now, it’s on all day (with the sound off and captioning turned on) to allay the boredom, except for those times Tom is listening to his favorite podcast from Minnesota, Garage Logic. (The sound of the podcast in the background doesn’t bother me at all while I’m busy writing).

Their yard was aglow not only from candles scattered about the lawn, but also by landscape lighting focusing on the exquisite vegetation.

Perhaps, I need these diversions and distractions to help keep me centered when tackling challenging projects. We all have our own way of handling difficult tasks and I’m certainly no exception. Possibly I require more detours than most. Now, as I’m sitting here writing these words for this daily post, the podcast is on, I’ve already walked in the past 30 minutes  (the timer is set for the next 30 minutes) and I’m contemplating making a cup of tea.

Now, with a cup of herbal tea at my side, I’m ready to begin again. (Gee, I’d love some real cream, to add to a cup of coffee-not available here, or a big salad, or a juicy steak on the grill or knowing a glass of red wine is awaiting me at 5:00 pm or, or, or…). It’s a whining day! Please humor me!

The table was set on the well-manicured lawn. With the balmy breeze and the fire roaring, the mosquitoes stayed away, although we were well-armed wearing our BugsAway clothing.

Whew! It’s good to have that off my chest. Many of our readers praise us for being so tough and strong under these dire circumstances. But, we’re no tougher or stronger than any of you who have had to live with the constraints established by your state, your county, or your country during times of COVID-19. It’s been a challenge for all of us in one way or another.

The dinner table for 4 was set on the grass, well lit with candles, beyond their inviting veranda.

The 30-minute timer is about to go off any minute when I’ll head out the door once again to walk the corridors while listening to educational podcasts of my own, mostly centered around health and fitness instead of past episodes of Dr. Phil, 20/20, or Entertainment Tonight which, at one time could entertain me while walking.

That’s all I have to say today. I have to start thinking of what I’ll write for the next keyword phrase with 2000 words for post #3, starting in an hour or so.

Be well.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 22, 2019:

The acreage on the farm in Devon, England is diverse and beautiful. We were grateful to be able to spend time enjoying the many facets of the farm without doing any work. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Day #182 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Making decisions…

Yes, I know. Photos of us in 2013 often show us wearing the same clothes over and over. After ditching most of our clothing to lighten our load, we have no choice but to do so. We try to wear the same items frequently in order to wear them out for disposal, saving the newer items for the future. So far, nothing has worn out. With no clothes dryers available, the thinnest tee shirts seem to “live” forever.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living in Diani Beach, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

We laughed over the night depicted in today’s historic photos of the night on this date seven years ago that we went out to dinner in Kenya and were the only diners in the entire restaurant.

Ah, moonlight!

It was a beautiful moonlit night and we recall it as if it was only yesterday. We made a reservation at the Blue Marlin Restaurant located on the beach on the Indian Ocean. It was a long walk from the security entrance to the actual restaurant on uneven pavers and we were grateful for our LED flashlights to guide us along the way.

This spot was ideal for relaxing after a guest drank too many Margaritas!

We arrived at 7:30 pm at TripAdvisor’s highly rated restaurant, surprised to find we were the only guests on the premises. The staff was plentiful and the service and food was excellent. At the time we couldn’t recall ever being the only guests in a restaurant during dinner hours, but we shrugged it off, assuming sooner or later, other guests would appear. It never happened, much to our surprise after experiencing the delicious meals, drinks and service.

The chalkboard at the Blue Marlin listed the daily specials.

As a result, we had an opportunity to take some photos with the staff who were thrilled to oblige. We handed out several of our business cards knowing full-well they’d be searching for their photos on the next day’s post, perhaps making them feel a little like celebrities. It was endearing.

We had a chance to interact with their two “house dogs” who couldn’t have been more friendly. Of course, when we returned back to our holiday home, Han’s two dogs, Gucci and Jessie, were waiting for our return. It’s always been a treat to be able to adopt a dog or two that resided near our vacation homes at the time.

The Blue Marlin offered a relaxed, comfortable outdoor environment for diners.Notice an actual blue marlin on the wall.

It was hot, humid and windy, when we returned to the house. By the time we reached our outdoor living room, the veranda, we both decided to change into as minimal clothes as possible, covering ourselves with repellent and staying outdoors until bedtime. It was another good night.

Zaa Zaa, our friendly companion for the evening, lying at our feet as we dined.

On another note, yesterday’s post was the first of the five 2000 word posts I wrote, to which our web developers will be editing in the background for purposes of website optimization. Yesterday, I wrote the second of five posts and that should be ready to post tomorrow. I apologize for any redundancy in these long posts since its imperative they contain the content represented in the keywords.

Tom drank two bottles of this local Tusker beer.

There’s only five such posts and we should be done with them within a few weeks. Otherwise, on all other days, our regular less-wordy posts will appear as usual. No worries. No impact on your regular reading. Thanks for your patience.

Over the past few days, there’s been a lot of skuttlebutt online about the possibility of South Africa’s borders opening soon. At this point, it appears US citizens and anyone entering from India will not be allowed to enter. Another reality is that the Kruger Mpumalanga Nelspruit Airport we usually fly to, won’t be open for some time.

The chef insisted we take a photo together!

When we can travel to South Africa, we’ll fly into Johannesburg, rent a car and drive for five hours to make our way to Marloth Park. None of this concerns us. What concerns us is when the borders of both South Africa and India open enabling us to leave.

Tom’s appetizer of bacon wrapped jumbo prawns. I pointed out the bulging eyes. He asked, “Why’d you tell me that?”

Yesterday, we had a much needed discussion, considering these facts and both have agreed we are willing to “wait it out’ here at this hotel in Mumbai, India. There’s no point in adding more COVID-19 exposure in flying to the US to wait it out, nor is hovering around various airports, as they are just beginning to open, many soon.

My appetizer was a delicious creamy crab salad.

By the time we’re allowed to leave, protocols for COVID-19 will be firmly in place, after more experience, and we’ll have a better chance of avoiding infection. Of course, if India opens to other countries we’d be willing to travel to, and South Africa isn’t open for us, we may opt to head somewhere else to wait, as long as its to a location we’d find worthwhile and interesting. Otherwise, we’ll stay put.

Tom’s dinner consisted of a sizable portion of Swahili Fish, most likely a type of snapper. Bone free and lightly seasoned with a rich buttery coconut sauce, he had no trouble devouring every morsel.

Nothing much has changed around here. The corridors are a little less crowded now. The staff is working on reducing the noise at night from our next door neighbors (ugh!). And, we’re fine. As I write here now, Tom is watching the Minnesota Vikings football game on the TV using the HDMI and his laptop. As usual, they aren’t doing well. So it goes.

Look at the size of these calamari rings! I, too, savored every morsel on my plate.

Be well.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 21, 2019:

An otter lounging in the sun in Tiverton, Cornwall, UK. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Day #179 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Hope on the horizon???…

 

Last night as we greeted Jeri and Hans in the yard, Tom took this shot.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living on the island of Diani Beach, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

Yesterday, after preparing and uploading the daily post, I spent the entire afternoon, writing, and editing the first of five special 2000 word posts required for our web developers to set up with keywords to increase our web traffic. Doing so will increase our position in Google and other search engines for us to be found more readily by the user searching using specific keywords.

Only moments later he took this shot, but oddly, the sky appeared brighter.

Since our site’s main focus hasn’t been to generate income in the past, we never went through this procedure in the past. Generally, this is a very expensive process since the site must be observed by the developers on a regular basis.  Based on the wonderful relationship we’ve built with Kate, we have been able to secure a reasonable cost of this ongoing process. She can be reached at the following:

Name: Kate Miller
Phone No: +91 8431344070
A baboon shot on our return cab ride from the grocery store. They approach the car when we stop, curious to see what food we may have for them. We had none but a lot of tourists buy bananas to give to them.
Several weeks ago we wrote a detailed post, at this link, about this fine company who has diligently and professionally handled my frequent questions and changes with the utmost patience and ease. I couldn’t recommend them more. The fact they are also in India was merely a fluke, but somehow it provided us with an added level of comfort knowing they were working with us from India.
However, they will work with clients from all over the world. No longer is a face to face meeting needed for web development for small to mid-size sites and businesses. Writing a post with 2000 words was challenging. Our usual posts are 1000 words or less. By the way, recently, we watched a fantastic Australian TV series, entitled “800 Words” about a blog writer, his daily 800 word posts, and his interesting life after his beloved wife passed away.
Our glass table was set and ready for our dinner guests, the landlord, and his wife. With no Windex or glass cleaner in the grocery stores, I’ve had a heck of a time cleaning the glass table top. I asked Hesborn how he is able to clean it so well with no streaks. He said he uses soap and water on a rag, drying it with a dry towel. I tried this method, only to end up with streaks.
If you’re into “binge-watching,” “800 Words” is an easy and entertaining series to keep you engaged for days, if not weeks, with its many episodes. We found it on Amazon Acorn for US $5.99, INR 439, a month. Acorn has many fantastic British, Irish, and Australian series. Please feel free to ask us for suggestions if you decide to give it a try.
On another note, there’s a lot of commotion in the corridors lately, making it difficult for me to walk every 30 minutes. I recently changed my walking schedule from every hour to every half hour still reaching my 10,000 step goal each day. Breaking it up this way has made it less boring, I’ll do anything within reason to break up the boredom.
This is Jessie, who disappeared for 24 hours to later be returned by a kind local man after he’d heard that a small long-haired dog was on the loose. She and I became very close during the three months. She wasn’t allowed indoors but she waited outside our front door all night, excited to see me in the morning.
Lately, busy with the new site and all the changes requiring most of my day, along with the walking, I’ve had little time to watch shows in the late afternoon, instead, saving dinner time and the evenings when we can finally relax. I have never been one to enjoy “working” in the evenings.
But, most recently, the web developers who work well into the night, have asked me questions which couldn’t wait until the next day.
In an attempt to avoid stress and cut into our relaxation times, today, I asked them to save their questions for me for the following day, if possible. It’s a true balancing act for us to maintain a positive attitude in this peculiar situation.
We’ve found that maintaining our comfortable routine helps us avoid “over-thinking” and worrying. Escaping into our shows each evening is an excellent opportunity to escape.
Jeri and Hans, our landlords, neighbors, and new friends joined us for dinner.

Subsequently, we are both holding our own, staying upbeat, and hopeful for the future. News coming out of South Africa states (true or not) they are opening their borders soon, but are restricting travelers from certain countries from entering.

This could easily exclude India and the US. Both have to be allowable for us to be allowed to enter. The wait continues.

Right now, we can’t plan a thing until our FedEx package arrives. It’s still stuck in Delhi, after two full months. We shall see how this goes.
Stay safe.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 18, 2019:

An adorable pygora goat on the farm in St. Teath, Cornwall, England, posing for a photo atop the picnic table.  “The pygora goat is a cross between the pygmy goat and the angora goat that produces three distinct kinds of fleece and has the smaller size of the pygmy.” For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day #176 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…The adventures in Kenya continue…Dining in a cave…

 

Dinner in a cave at Diani Beach, Kenya, seven years ago today. I thought Tom looked great in this photo, but I reminded myself of Morticia wearing all black or, on the day in Abu Dhabi, UAE, when we entered the famed White Mosque, requiring that I wore the black abaya in the 100+ degree weather.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living in Diani Beach, Kenya for three months. For more details from that post, please click here.

Standing at the top of the stairway leading down to the natural cave, we were able to look down at the bar below. Every effort was made to maintain the original integrity of this environment when it became a restaurant over 100 years ago, renovated in the 1980s.

As we recall the photos and story from seven years ago today, we are reminded of how we may have taken our “freedom” for granted. To be able to dine out, be outdoors, see wildlife, flowers, plants, and trees and people were always a delight, but, perhaps, will be all the more meaningful going forward.

The lounge in the bar where we had our drinks while waiting for our table. The restaurant didn’t open until 7:30 pm with most diners not appearing until 8:30 or later. I guess us old folks from the US are early diners. We’ve found that dinner is typically served at 8:00, often 9:00 pm or later as we’ve traveled the world.

As mentioned in a prior post, we’re attempting to determine a lesson or purpose that will serve us in years to come from these many months in lockdown. Will a greater sense of freedom be the answer to this question? For our regular readers, it’s been evident all these years that we’ve been grateful and appreciative of our surroundings, never taking anything for granted. Should a sense of freedom become the focal point for our past and future appreciation and gratitude?

Another view of the seating areas in the bar, depicting somewhat of a Moroccan theme, which was ahead for us at this point when we’d booked a holiday home in Marrakesh, Morocco, a mere six months later.

Today, as we see how much enjoyment we derived from yet another evening’s foray in sampling Kenya’s dining various establishments in Diani Beach, my heart did a flutter thinking how much fun that would be now. The variety of food options, the ambiance, and the possibility of a cocktail or glass of wine, sends my taste buds and brain into a frenzy of hopefulness and excitement.

View of the walls in the bar. All lighting in the walls and at the table as a result of candles, creating a warm atmosphere, romantic to say the least.

This special experience in Kenya on this date seven years ago, dining in a cave was memorable, so much so we returned a second time. The ambiance was over-the-top as shown in today’s photos, the food was fresh and delicious and the service was exemplary.

Diners began to filter in around 8:00 pm, filling all tables by the time we were ready to leave around 9:45 pm. We’d been warned not to rush the servers in Africa. Many countries’ servers are accustomed to taking their time in delivering the bill. Most often, as is the case in Kenya and many other countries, tips are only allowed to be paid in cash, not added to the credit card slip.  That required us to keep adequate cash on hand.

The ambiance of any venue is definitely a  factor in enjoying a meal. Whether it be in a pleasant holiday home, comfortably situated at a dining room or kitchen table, dining out in a lively atmosphere of a popular everyday dining establishment or a cozy, romantic spot such as illustrated in today’s photos, it all adds to the enjoyment of the meal and of course, the companionship.

Compliments of the chef, we were both served this tangy GF marinated salad. Tom took one bite turning his serving over to me, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

In this case, in Diani Beach, we couldn’t have enjoyed it more. The unique decor, lighting, and service added another element to our meals. We’d expected it to be more expensive and were pleasantly surprised by the reasonable bill, which, with the cost of the driver (who waited for us in the parking lot), the food, tax, tips, and beverages, the total was only US $68, INR 4999, for the entire evening. I didn’t order alcohol, only a Perrier, my drink of choice at that time.

This was the view to my right as we sat at a cozy, not too small table against one of the walls. We always prefer a wall, table as opposed to one positioned in the center of the room.

As mentioned in the past, I didn’t drink any alcohol for about 20 years. I didn’t have a “drinking” problem, but just decided to stop for health reasons, thinking it was “better for me.” Ultimately, it seemed to make no difference at all in my health whether I drank wine or not.

My dinner, Cheesy Chicken atop a pesto sauce was well seasoned and pleasing to the palate, although the serving size was small. Rather than a chicken breast, this serving was a small single thigh which with the vegetables proved to be sufficient.

After open-heart surgery, the cardiologist and surgeon suggested that drinking red wine in moderation was good for the heart. I’m still not certain if that’s been proven inconclusive, but for now, I’ll go with that theory. Good grief, one has to enjoy life, too! Then again, there’s certainly no wine in my life at this point in time, and won’t be until we leave here someday.

Tom’s dinner of two small Filet Mignon, each with a different sauce.

When looking online, it appears that Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant is still open, even during this time of COVID-19. If we ever return to Diani Beach, Kenya, which we may, we’ll visit this fine restaurant once again, to renew the experiences we had in 2013.

The stairway going up and out of Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant. Gee, we’ve gone up and down a number of stone stairs in those past months!

For now, we have what we have; safety, relative comfort, air-con, a comfortable bed, housekeeping, shows to stream in the evenings, good WiFi, and… All of you beside us, encouraging us with your positive feedback each and every day.

May your day bring you comfort and peace of mind amid all this madness.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ____________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, September 15, 2019:

The driveway from our house in St. Teath, Cornwall, England, to the narrow road. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

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

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.

Note; We are seeing more and more readers signing up to receive our new daily posts in their inbox by clicking the link at the top right of our homepage, “SIGN UP TO NEWSLETTER.” As mentioned earlier, we will never use your email address for any purpose other than replying to any inquiry you may make of us directly to our email. This way, you don’t have to search for the link each day and can simply see it in the inbox. Thank you for staying with us during this challenging time, including the transition to the new site and the COVID-19 lockdown.

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.