Archive for the ‘Eating Out’ Category

Before we left I did some research on eating gluten-free in Rarotonga… the results were not encouraging.

That is why we decided on the self-catering villa – so that, if it was too hard to find gluten-free food, that we would be able to buy food at the local supermarket and cook for ourselves.

A view of our Villa - taken from the hammock

It wasn’t difficult at all.  All the restaurants we ate at had at least some knowledge of what it meant to need to eat gluten-free. We cooked breakfast at our villa – bacon, eggs and most days fried potato – all cooked in butter.

Then we would go out for lunch. We always ordered a fish dish – tuna, waho, mahi mahi. My favourite was a dish called Ika Mata – fish marinated in lemon juice until ‘cooked’, then served in coconut cream with chopped up salad ingredients – delicious, fresh and zingy. We really enjoyed going out for lunch – the restaurants and cafes are almost always in a beach setting, so the views are so gorgeous – white sand, sea so blue you would just not believe it. It seemed a shame not to enjoy the views, which you can’t really do at night because it is too dark to see anything! 🙂 It doesn’t hurt that lunch meals are usually a little cheaper than dinner. The servings were huge – Rarotongans are large people 🙂 , and I was usually not able to finish my meal. I don’t usually eat breakfast – let alone a cooked breakfast, but Rick just loves a cooked breakfast.

We found we were unable to buy fish at the supermarkets which was disappointing – apparently fish is pretty scarce around the Cook Islands – most of what is caught goes to the restaurants first. So for dinners we bought mostly steak. The steak comes from NZ and is export quality. It is FABULOUS – it really sucks that we can’t get this quality of beef at supermarkets here. Food is expensive in Rarotonga, because most of it is imported from NZ – most of the usual crappy processed food is available and there are a few gluten-free products available.

For dinner we would fry the steak and have it with salad leaves and potatoes. We didn’t have any salad dressings – I didn’t think to bring any with me and we couldn’t bring ourselves to buy a huge jar of mayonnaise which we would then have to leave behind. We didn’t really miss the dressings at the time.

I didn’t make any attempt to follow my Primal diet. I was happy to just eat gluten-free. However, because we were eating simple food, I found that I was pretty much following the diet anyway. I ate some chocolate (Whittaker’s 72% Ghana Peppermint) and drank a couple of glasses of wine each night. I did not expect to lose weight – I ate an awful lot of food.

HOWEVER – when we got home and I changed out of my drawstring summer trousers into my winter-weight trousers that have a proper waistband, I found they were a bit looser… I measured my waist and I have lost another INCH!!!!!

I have decided I am never going to weigh myself again. I’m going to track my progress through the measurements. I am simply astonished that I have had this result. I’ve bought Mark Sisson’s book The Primal Blueprint and have just started reading it. This diet works. That is all I can tell you.

It is not a diet where you feel deprived. All the blogs about it say that if you feel like eating a piece of cake – eat a piece of cake. It won’t hurt you. Then for the next meal, just eat meat (or chicken or fish) and vegetables again. I love the idea that if I want it I can have it, and I don’t need to feel guilty. Mark Sisson has an 80/20 guideline – if you eat 80% Primal and 20% not Primal, the diet will work just fine for you – I can live with that 🙂

Salvador - having a drink

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>Beer Barrel

>We met Michael and his son Tim for lunch yesterday.
We went to the Beer Barrel on Fitzherbert Avenue.
It is a sports bar.
They do food…
…sort of.
Not for food.
Pleasant staff… BIG tv screens…
Trust me…

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>or should that be DISGUSTED!  An item on a New Zealand current affairs programme last night was about the practice of some butchers ‘to the trade’ (ie restaurants) of ‘glueing’ meat to make even portions. For example: the ‘tail’ end of a fillet of beef is glued to base of the tail to make an even width fillet (I’m not explaining this too well am I?)


Check this out!

The glue (actually a powder) contains transglutaminase (among other chemicals!), which I understand contains gluten!

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>this is what we do.

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>How lucky am I?

>Just around the corner from our house is Hotel Coachman, one of Palmerston North’s finest hotels. Their in-house cafe is called La Patio. The Chef has Coeliac disease. …

How lucky am I?

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>We do it every now and then. Spend the day together, deciding what we would buy if money was no object… we have lunch and maybe a gelato later in the afternoon, and we spend our imaginary dollars (on boots and Merino sweaters).
Eating out can be quite an exercise with celiac disease – where to go to eat safely. The answer yesterday was Moxie’s Cafe. Moxie’s is on the corner of Main and George St, Palmerston North. The place was buzzing, a cabinet of lucious looking food clearly marked – green stickers for ordinary people, red for those of us who have special needs. They even have an entire menu (red of course) with gluten-free options – an.entire.menu. ! The staff are young, beautiful, friendly and aware. Moxie’s deserves a medal – and the Cajun Chicken Salad was delicious.
I didn’t need dinner last night – I made this pork the day before…


4 tbsp clear honey
4 tbsp gf soy sauce
juice of 1 large orange
zest of 1 orange
4 star anise
4 garlic cloves – chopped

Combine all the ingredients in a small pot, heat until melted together and pour over pork (chops or slices).

I forgot the garlic, but added it later

Cover and cook at 150c for about 1 1/2 hours.

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