The Joy of NOT Cooking…

As mentioned in a previous post, we continue to share photos of our route from Denpasar to the villa. This picture and a couple of others were taken by our driver who stopped to receive a blessing from a local priest at a shrine along the way. Find out more in the photos below).

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

While lounging at the cabana, we noticed this guy take off his shirt and lie down in the sand.

In my old life, I loved cooking, baking and entertaining guests often making elaborate gourmet meals and desserts. Before commencing with this way of eating over five years ago; low carb, sugar, grain and starch free, our meals often included homemade bread, rolls and time consuming to prepare dishes.

From chopping, dicing and food prep to the final presentation, I was in my element in every aspect of cooking. Conscientious about cleaning and washing dishes while preparing meals, I was thrilled when Tom took over doing the dishes after the meals. 

A little later, he rose to begin throwing sand all over his body.    We never saw that before.

When we frequently entertained guests, we both shared in the cleanup after the guests had left, even going as far as washing the kitchen floor and starting a load of laundry containing linen napkins and cloth place mats. On some occasions, the cleanup kept us up to as late as 2:00 or 3:00.

In the morning after dinner, we wake up in a clean house, leaving us to relax for the day after finishing the laundry and emptying the dishwasher. We’d usually made enough food to keep enough aside as leftovers for the next night’s meal when at that point, we had no interest in cooking again for a few days.

This amount of cooking transpired over the years while I worked full time, often as many as 10 to 12 hours a day. Looking back, based on my painful spinal issues, I have no idea how I did it. By the time we decided to travel the world beginning an almost year of preparations, my interest in cooking had begun to wane.

He kept throwing sand all over himself. An unusual practice that can be used by many people who do not have access to a shower or running water.

Now, after all these years, I literally don’t feel like cooking. Of course, we love sharing a meal with others as long as someone else does the cooking.

How do we survive now with my apparent adversity to cooking? Luckily, this restrictive way of eating only requires a short period to prep veggies to be grilled, roasted or steamed, make a salad of one sort or another, depending on availability of appropriate produce (lettuce is not available in some countries) and prepare some form of protein; beef, chicken, fish or pork.  Often, we prep sufficiently to last over two or three days.

Finally, he entered the ocean to clean off the sand.

We haven’t cooked for ourselves since we left Phuket five weeks ago. We won’t be cooking again until we arrive in Tasmania on December 3rd, 56 days from today.

Calculating how many days we’ll have cooked for ourselves from January 2016 to December 31, 2016, it proved to be a week shy of 6 months. Thus, this year we’ve reduced our cooking down by 50%. Included in our calculations for the year in the total four months we’ll have spent in Bali with the two Ketuts cooking and the remainder spent on cruises.

Food, flowers and miscellaneous items were for sale at the site.

Fortunately, as advocates of intermittent fasting, we both eat only one meal a day when cooking for ourselves, although Tom may have a plate of egg salad during the day. While on cruises, we eat breakfast and dinner. Duh? Free food, no cooking required, hard to resist. 

Am I dreading cooking again in Tasmania beginning on or about December 3 when we arrive?  No, not dreading. I’m already making a list of possible new recipe ideas I’ve saved from the “low carb, high fat, moderate protein” community online. 

Parking space were readily available for those stopping for the ceremonies and blessings.

I joined a few low carb, high fat, moderate protein groups on Facebook that post amazing recipes almost daily, many of which I’ve already saved in the recipe file on my desktop. Using an online calendar, I’ve already posted recipes and ingredients to purchase for specific dates. 

With Tom’s birthday on December 23rd, when Christmas Eve and Christmas Day follows, I already have some interesting new recipes planned for our celebrations. Trying new recipes usually enhances my interest for a short period.

In our travels, we’ve often dined in restaurants on Christmas Day. We’ll see how that rolls out once we arrive in Tasmania after we’ve checked out local menus.

We were greeted warmly by those selling their wares.

As for the upcoming US Thanksgiving celebratory dinner on November 24th, we’ll be aboard the ship.  Most like, they’ll serve the traditional turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, other side dishes and pumpkin pie.

Of these options, I can only eat the turkey, leaving me little choice but to order off the regular menu. 

This doesn’t bother me at all. I’m long past longing for and thinking about foods I cannot have, instead focusing on those I can. I’m never tempted to even take a taste, after these five plus years of eating this way. It’s just not worth the potential repercussions.

As we look toward the future we’ll have periods when we won’t be cooking and others where we’ll have few other options than to do so. Carry out (takeaway) meals don’t usually work for my diet and dining out is sketchy at best. In any case, we have no angst about cooking. We simply prefer to keep the time spent in a kitchen to a minimum when possible.

As we continued on the drive, Butu had bits of flowers and rice in his hair after receiving the blessings.

Today is cloudy, although we expect it will be another glorious day in paradise. We’ll walk, we’ll swim, we’ll chat endlessly and we’ll continue the never ending research for future travels. This early evening at 5:00 pm, (we dine early here so the two Ketuts can get home to their families) we’ll dine on yet another divine meal lovingly prepared for us.

It’s highly unlikely that 6 months of each year we won’t be preparing our own meals. When we do cook for ourselves, we shift our thinking to a level of high enjoyment in shopping at local farmers, meat markets and often sparse and unusual grocery stores. In a funny way, it’s highly entertaining.

Happy day to all!

Photo from one year ago today, October 8, 2015:

These goats in Fiji were on the shoulder of the road, free to roam. For more photos, please click here.