Blog Entries With Tag: Nassau

Posted: Feb 20, 2015

I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in that period <lol>) - we had a great time.

I managed to meet up with some great diabetics along the way, that knew I was coming into their ports ... and here is one little story I'd like to pass along to you (more to flow from my finger tips over the weeks).  This will hopefully warm your heart as much as it did for me - especially now that I'm the land of snow and cold winter temperatures in Canada (with wind chill it is currently a balmy -30C as I'm composing this - not the 20C we were having in Miami yesterday - brrrhhh).

Straw Market Nassau

When I got off in Nassau, I headed off for abit of a jaunt to get my sea legs back into shape (and burn off some of the foods I'd been eating on the cruise ship - oink, oink).  I sauntered through the Straw Market on that chilly day.  I had on a wool sweater - and looked like a local compared to the tourists in little flimsy gear.  I was warm and cozy that was the main thing.

I happened to come across a stall that had some cute hand embroidered straw bags with of course ... Hello Kitty on them.  Because I love to spoil my grand niece Mallory, I stopped by and picked up one, and had her name put on it.  I started chatting to the owner of the booth as she was embroidering my neices names on to the basket, to discover that her Grandmother's name was Anna and things progressed from there to a few of us sitting around on chairs just chatting away like we'd known each other for years.  This is the best part of when I travel, meeting up with people.

She was tellling me that in the Bahamas diabetes is a very big problem due to what she feels is the introduction of foods brought from other countries. Before canned, processed food came to their islands from other countries, she said that diabetes was something that you rarely heard of.  As she was talking to me, I noticed how beautiful her skin was, how vibrant she looked, despite the hard work that she has to do every day (the Bahamian government rents out the stalls to them - hers had belonged to Anna and passed on down to her).  It's not an easy life, but she is happy and manages.  

When I told her I'd had Type 1 diabetes for 50 years, and how old I was, she told me how old she was. What shocked me is that she is 70 years old and to me, she looked much younger.  I told her this, and that got her and her friends laughing away.  They all told me that they feel that eating from the ground, foods that are not over processed (no foods that have been canned) are what they think is the secret to good health (and I told them maybe not having frigid cold temperatures like Canada probably helps). Food that is prepared fresh, not fast was the big point that I came out of our conversation about their healthy way of eating.   

Cassava or yuca

She gave me verbally the recipe for making her favourite cassava dish (or yuca as it is also known).  Full of vegetables and slow cooked to perfection. When I find time to do some research and make up the dish myself, I'll post the recipe.  It's not a dish for the low carb eaters out there, but even if sampled abit, am sure it won't spike your blood sugars as drastically as what a potato based stew would do for you.

Peruvian Yucu fries

I can add further to this proof, of the yuca wedge fries I had in a Peruvian restaurant in Miami about a week later, that were to die for.  I guesstimated the amount of carbs, and no crazy spiking.  It helped that I had a bowl of fish soup that was to die for to slow down the process of the carbs!!!  Psst, if you're in the SOBE area ... check out Chalan on the Beach - good prices (dishes are large portion - so shareable) - fresh ingredients - drool worthy!!!  Even Sock Monkey liked it there!

In the meantime, I've come across a yuca oven fry recipe that I'll be giving a try once I've got restablished back here at home.  Maybe you'll want to check it out for youself and give it a go.

How many of you have incorporated this root vegetable into your meal plan and had great success with blood sugar control?  I'd love to hear from you!!

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Posted: Feb 17, 2013


I just came back from a holiday in the Bahamas, in a way, when looking back at it, much of the problems that occurred were due to my inability to speak out and tell the person who made myself and a few others – feel like we were at boot camp instead of it being on a 2 week holiday on the open seas on a 36 foot sailboat we’d all chartered together in the Exumas (the Bahamas’s outer islands which have yet to be over developed in tourism – thank goodness).

Boot camp you are saying to yourselves?  Well, let’s put it this way.  I was given the task of preparing evening meals for the crew – 6 of us in total.  The day we arrived in Nassau, we quickly sped off to one of the local grocery stores nearby the marina.  It should have been an easy task – but sadly – I started to discover that one of the members of our crew was a stickler for prices.  Sadly, you cannot compare Bahamian prices to what we pay here in North America – sometimes the prices are triple of what we pay here!  You just have to take a deep breath - maybe get something on sale – and pay what you have to for the foods you enjoy, but that wasn’t the case with us (tho’ we were allowed to purchase a few bags of precious chips).  The $300 USD in groceries that we all chipped in for (and we continued to split the costs 3 ways over the next few weeks)– was IMHO – a steal!  Even if we’d bought that tin of chicken or Spam (good for bacon) – or extra can of beans – it still would have been a pretty reasonable grocery bill! I mean, we’re on holidays, let’s enjoy ourselves – we only get to do this once a year - right?   On top of the grocery bill of course, you cannot forget the Bahamian rum and Kalik beer that totaled $90  - split amongst 3 couples - awesome - how penny pinching can that be for a 3 hour tour? . 

So, preparing meals with limited stock became a pretty stressful situation (I should have been popping happy pills thru’ the whole holidays if I'd been smart), when it came to figuring out how to spread a small can of beans/can of corn with 5 cups of cooked rice (I am so put off of rice now ) for 6 hungry people.  I would be the last to serve myself, so in away that was good as I got the smaller portion that suited me fine most of the time.  It was the lack of protein I usually have in my meal so my blood sugars don’t go wonky that really affected me the most.  They did in the beginning – e.g. HIGH – when I was eating the same portions as everyone – but after a week of eating this way – I ate frugally – in order to stretch out the supplies. Though on a few occassions when I was left alone on the boat due to my health circumstances - I felt like a guilty child again (sorry Mum) and would sneak a digestive biscuit (thanks Pete) and even broke open the forbidden tortilla chips (considered too costly at time of purchase sad to say).  It was heaven to have some sinful nibbles in my tummy (and yes - on this trip I lost weight).

Water consumption was another “issue” we were constantly reminded of.  Our 36' Beneteau sailboat holds quite a lot (70 gallons).  The result of this ended up with me getting a bladder infection (haven’t had one in over 20 years) due to not drinking enough since I was run down with a cold I devloped after a few days onboard – I was one sick puppy during the most of the holidays.  When I got back to Montreal and went to my GP – I have pneumonia - oh joy).  In the 2nd week when we decided to get some diesel fuel, we filled up with about 11 gallons of “extra” water – at the huge cost of $5 – we really broke the bank!  Like ….  SCREAM – why not just fill up the tank completely – even if it cost abit more?  Along with water consumption being restricted (no showers permitted), constipation was creating problems for a few of us (did you know white rice can cause this?).  Of course, stress/tension and change of life style can cause constipation as well, which some of us were all experiencing. 

In the end, when we did go to a few ports of call (very limited in the area of the Exumas we were sailing in) – we purchased extra foods – e.g. bread and more bread (Lorraine’s Mum’s coconut bread from Black Point, hot dogs (remember – we were splitting the costs of the food bill thru’ the whole trip).  On the outer islands, they only get food delivery once a week – sometimes less from the mainland, e.g. Nassau.  So, what you could find in the small stores was VERY limited, often no fresh meat could be found, and of course, the darn price that bugged one of the crew members so much, would mean, no purchasing.  Sigh.

On top of this, I was cooking  over the stove at night, with a head lamp on, so as not to drain the battery with the cabin lights being on.  Ehgads!!!  It only takes a few hours a day, since we had winds that were light, to charge up the batteries as we were “power sailing” (e.g. sail are up – with engine running – to give you abit more speed). 

So, our lesson on this trip?  Before sharing a holiday with your friends – before even booking  - plan to make sure that all members are on board with what they like to eat (one person had limited foods they liked to eat, and they suffered in a way with not having their usual foods which was sad).  Plan for the worst case scenario and provision from the home base (in our case, we never made it down to Georgetown due to weather conditions to get meat, etc.).   And if there is a control freak onboard with you – try to deal with it better then I did – speak up - be honest – and hopefully all will work out for the best of all partcipants.  

Lastly, I will always have fond memories of the pumping of the head.  A crew member was anal about flushing the head with LOTS of water (sea water) so that no floating bits/yellow mellow water remained in the bowl afterwards.  We’d flush aka pump our stuff down into the temporary holding tank (which eventually was dumped into the sea – sorry Nemo).  With the way I was feeling with fever, etc. it was exhausting work to PUMP IT UP!!!  Yes sir, we had mini-me issues with the head just like on the Carnival Victory (the whole cabin stunk like you know what).  Luckily in the 2nd week, the technical handyman crew fixed it (to none boaters – NEVER EVER put anything down in the head except for pee/poo (no toilet paper, no hair).  The previous folks on the boat had obviously not known how to use the head properly, it got clogged, what a stinky mess.  It didn’t help that Navtours who we chartered the boat from did a shoddy repair of the head prior to us leaving port – but they heard all about the probs not just with the head, but ripped main sail, etc.  when we got back from the Captain and the Admiral.  Luckily, Navtours they had a few days to fix things up for the next set of customers, as the next set of sailors weren't making their flight to Nassau due to the weather condtiions on the east coast further north (snow, snow and more snow).    

Stay tuned for more adventures on the high seas – except these will be happier ones – since the awesome sailing we all experienced was what we all came to do with this holiday – along with visiting beaches that for some reason seem to have no one else on them except us – and the occasional washed up debris from as far away as Africa!

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