Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cooking Adventure

I want to see if I can keep writing even without travel. So I welcome any comments you have...the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here goes.........

Coming home from a fabulous island vacation, trying to get back in the swing of eating the healthy way. It is a challenge. Vacations are an orgy of eating and drinking all kinds of things that you wouldn't have at home. We ate healthy lots of the time, but some days....oh my!!!

Tonight I made something delicious for dinner.  I bought a boneless chicken breast and pounded it into oblivion. Well not quite oblivion, but pretty flat. I made it cry "Uncle!"   I seasoned it with my favorite seasoning...the Mediterranean seasoning from Just Simply Good stuff. They are a local company here in North Idaho and their spices are awesome. I buy the ones I like in the giant size and use it on everything.

I spread a mixture of sundried tomatoes and Mediterranean Feta cheese and rolled it up and secured with toothpicks. Baked about a half hour at 350 degrees.

I've made this before and also added minced garlic to the feta mixture and fresh spinach. That tastes even better, but I used what I had. That would be fresh zuchinni that I roasted with the chicken.  It looks good and tastes even better. A great mixture of flavors that explode in your mouth.It's an easy dish to do, and will impress your friends if you have company. Looks like a food network dish.'s fun to try something give this dish a try. You will love it.

And in the words of Julia Childs...  "Bon Appetite"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Home Again!

Home again to regular life. Vacation almost seems like a dream now. I'm glad I have so many good pictures to remind me of the great time we had.

Happy to report that I made it back from vacation with no significant weight gain. I only packed on about 2.5 pounds. I love HCG. I eat healthy now most of the time and like doing it. My last night in Miami I totally blew the diet. I ate a seafood medley with noodles and a white wine cream sauce, drank a mojito, a glass of wine, and had creme brulee for dessert. I felt like a stuffed sausage all night. Flying the next day with airplane food, salted pretzels and I was still only 2.5 up. Enjoyed having tropical drinks and wine and even some beer on vacation and it didn't affect me.  I know hcg is a difficult diet. It takes discipline and tons of it. I learned that I can be disciplined for 35 to 40 days at a time. And imagine coming back from vacation without 10-15 pounds of unwanted weight to make me depressed.  I don't cheat on hcg. I set my face like flint to the prize ahead. And the prize is worth the effort.  I have gotten off sugar and eat way less salt now, which is very healthy. I prefer foods without those things heaped on, and when I go out to eat, it's amazing how I can taste the extra addition of them. It takes 21 days to create a new habit. I have done 2- 40 day rounds of hcg and the new habits are now part of me. I am very very happy with my new life.

I got home to new landscaping, and am trying to get veggies in the ground, even though I think the season will be too short. I think I will cover the tomatoes with clear plastic to help them along.

Since I am not traveling now, I will just be writing about whatever takes my fancy,  and hoping it's not boring.

Glad to be home,  but still dreaming of paradise.  Life is good!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Spanish Wells Reflections

Tomorrow we leave paradise. Sigh and sigh again! It is beautiful here and the attitude that is prevalent is totally laid back. One man told me that they say if God decided to destroy the earth, they would have to give the Bahamian government 6 months extra to get the paperwork in order. This has been the most wonderful time, and even though we have traveled the world and seen many countries, I think this is one of my favorites.

The weather has been perfect with trade winds blowing, clouds coming and going and sun shining. We rarely had rain, which I guess is bad because they do need it here. Everyone said they wished they could get some of what was coming down in the US and causing all the flooding. When the sun comes out, it is really hot, but the clouds and the breeze made it perfect. Tanning ahead of time was a good idea for me, and I never burned, and never used sunscreen. Oh I did use it on scuba day and my eyes burned for several hours. The water was the perfect temperature, the sand like pink sugar, the beach in front of our house was deserted most of the time.

Spanish Wells is the perfect place to come if you want to relax and rest. Don't come if you want nightlife and night clubs. That kind of thing is not for us, but the 2 nights in Harbor Island were fun and we did go and have some drinks and a nice dinner. Shopping was also better there with more choices and cheaper things. Internet was spotty for the whole 2 weeks with the whole island being without for the first 2 days. Food choices are limited and food is expensive. A container ship comes in on Weds night with groceries.  Hordes of Spanish Wellians descend on the food store Thursday morning and by afternoon the shelves and the produce is pretty well picked over. Actually hordes is misleading. The island only has 1700 residents total. The hordes are mostly a parking lot full of golf carts. That has been a kick for us, putting around in our golf cart. In the US we are very spoiled. We can go to the store and find fruits and veggies and every little thing we want. Not so in much of the world. We thought the trade off was worth it. We can do without the extras for 2 weeks in a paradise with a deserted beach, palm trees, and the bluest water I have ever seen. I can see why people come back time after time and then some stay permanently.

The people here in Spanish Wells have been very friendly, and strike up a conversation at the drop of a hat. Everyone gives a wave when driving by in the opposite direction in their golf carts. Our rental agent brought us fresh mangos and bananas that they picked off their trees. It really seems that there are not any race issues here. Blacks and whites are friendly and the laid back attitude seems to prevail in that too. It is refreshing to see people getting along without that silly stuff getting in the way. As a tourist I may not be seeing what is underneath, but it was so nice to have so many open, friendly people of every color. The people here are Christian, attend church faithfully in their Sunday best in their golf carts, and God comes up in conversation often. That is refreshing to say the least!  Spanish Wellians have a funny accent that I can't place. It is not like anywhere else. Even the people in Harbor Island made a little fun of it. It's English, but what did it descend from? What would you give to stay in a place where no one locks their door when they leave, leaves keys in cars and there is only 1 policeman with nothing to do? That is Spanish Wells!

In conclusion...I discovered this place by accident when looking for a rental house. I knew nothing about the Bahamas, and it was the house that hooked me. I don't believe in coincidences...I think there are only God-cidences. I know that God helped me find this place which is about a perfect as it can get. I think we will be back....sooner or later! For right now, I am sad to leave and imagine living in a place like this. Tomorrow it is back to the land of watches, deadlines, stress, and hurry. I need to keep a slice of island time in my heart and mind permanently!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

No More Disappointment

I had blogged about how disappointed I was that we couldn't go scuba diving or snorkeling. Well, I was wrong. We took the ferry over to Harbor Island and went to Valentine's Dive Center. They have a big dive boat with a big ladder, not the little wussy ones that are here on Spanish Wells. We were able to take the Explore Scuba class that starts you out in the pool and then you are certified to dive in a shallow dive with a master instructor. Sean was our instructor and he was absolutely amazing.
He sat us by the side of the resort pool and taught us all the hand signals until we had them down pat. Then it was on with the vest, the flippers, masks, and tank and into the pool. Oh and don't forget the weight belt. It's so wierd. The tank is heavy, but you still need a weight belt. The vest is inflatable so air can be added or taken out so you are perfectly bouyant. Or you should be. I tend to float...the Unsinkable Molly Brown...that's me. Getting everything regulated so I could swim along the bottom was challenging. We got into the pool and he taught us to clear our regulator if it got water in it, and how to clear our masks of water. I made the mistake of putting sunscreen around my eyes before getting wet. Word of advice...don't do that. My eyes were burning for a long time. I tried to clear my mask and started coughing. I'm so glad I was in the pool because I started to panic and wanted to go to the surface. Sean very calmly signalled me to cough in the mouthpiece. After a bit of panic in 3 feet of water, I managed to cough properly and all was A-OK. Glad it happened in the pool! When Sean thought we were ready, it was off to the boat for our trip to the reef.

It was a 20 minute boat ride out to the Devil's Backbone reef. It is a reef that is not continuous, and has many little coral islands. At low tide much of the reef is exposed. It's very treacherous and runs 300 miles along these islands. There have been many wrecks on it, including the original settlers of Spanish Wells who came fleeing persecution in the 1600s and wrecked their vessel on the reef.  Our crew helped us on with our equipment, the snorkelers got into the water and off they went. Then Sean got into the water first and we went face first from a sitting position on the platform into the water. It was really wierd and a bit of a rush. Down we went. We dived on a ferry wreck from the 1800s. A passenger ferry hit the reef, but no loss of life. It is totally broken up and all that is left is a big smokestack and some big metal pieces. All being used by industrious sea creatures who have made it a home. We got down about 25 feet I think. Sean was great. He kept checking with us, and a few times he saw I was having trouble making headway and took my hand and swam with me. I found it very hard work swimming against the current, and staying down. By the end of the dive we were exhausted. The snorkelers were fine and they did a brief trip to another island and went in the water while we waited on the boat. When we got back to the resort, we decided to stay one more night and go again. I'm so glad we did because the 2nd time was easier, and more fun.

The 2nd time it was just Bill, me and Sean. Our own personal dive. What a blessing.  He took us to another place on the reef where there were several little coral areas. None of them were very big, and there were a few caves. Bill was very brave to swim into the caves, but I was too scared. I was afraid I would float up and get stuck. He saw a bunch of really big fish in those caves. One was a tunnel that went through the coral to the other side. I was able to swim around and enjoy the beautiful fish and the coral. It was beautiful and we stayed down about 35 minutes. Imagine...a couple of middle aged people, trying something like this for the first time. I have had a fear of the ocean since I saw Jaws, and got stung by a jelly fish in Thailand.  So this for me was a huge thing, and I overcame my fear of the ocean and totally had a great time. YAY me!