Hello, friends! I’ve been out of pocket lately… in Jakarta, to be exact! Sara and I spent 5 days there last week for her Honors Choir Festival with the Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS). It was a glorious festival of singing, with 172 kids qualifiying from 14 schools throughout Asia. I have to say I’m a pretty proud Mama!
While Sara was housed with a family from the hosting school (I didn’t see her from Wednesday until the concert on Saturday!), I stayed in a hotel near the school. Right next door to my hotel was a grocery store, a Starbucks, and (lucky me!) an almond milk/smoothie bar. They must have known I was coming!
I always travel with food… like, lots of food. I just feel more comfortable knowing I won’t have to eat restaurant food the whole time I’m away. Eating close to my usual pattern helps maintain my energy levels, keeps my digestion on track, and given my training regimen, ensures I’m meeting my nutritional goals.
What I brought:
Protein powder & bars, cinnamon quick oats, walnuts, pistachios, cacao nibs, peanut butter, and my homemade pumpkin oat cookies & sweet potato brownies for snacks. And yes, you do detect a bar of dark chocolate, front & centre. I have my priorities, people!
After checking into my hotel, I walked around the corner to Starbucks for their little instant coffee sticks, then the grocery store, where I found the most beautiful fresh fruit… white dragonfruit, papaya, kiwi, and more. I also bought a small block of Gruyere cheese & some artisan walnut raisin bread.
I was beyond delighted to find the little almond milk bar next to the grocery store… what a dream! Their almond milk was fresh and homemade, and either sweetened with dates, or plain. I chose the plain, and it was creamy and delicious… perfect in my coffee, oatmeal, and mixed with protein powder after my workouts.
They also had an extensive menu of smoothies made with fresh coconut water or almond milk, and smoothie bowls. I tried some of each.
With these provisions (and the blessing of a decent-sized fridge in my hotel room!), I was well-supplied for breakfasts and snacks. Every day for breakfast I had oatmeal with walnuts & cacao nibs, fresh fruit, & coffee with almond milk.
Post-workout snacks included the artisan bread with peanut butter, pumpkin oat cookies, sweet potato brownies, fresh fruit, & usually a protein bar.
Not that I didn’t ever eat out… I did! I went out with one of the other moms one day to do some sightseeing… we saw the National Monument and the National Museum. We shopped at a nearby bazaar, and bought some T-shirts which seemed expensive at the time, but when we calculated the exchange rate later, we found each shirt was only $1.50. Ha ha. Then we wished we’d bought more!
Our lunch that day was at a little restaurant that was probably “Indonesian fast food”… it was super fast and we ordered and paid at the counter. And it was cheap too! (Another thing that seemed expensive and wasn’t… my meal was $2.50.) But look at this! White meat chicken and plenty of it, freshly cut chili peppers, and good quality rice… it was fresh, delicious, and satisfying.
I worked out in the hotel gym every day… their set-up was amazing! This gym had everything and more. Not only did I NOT have to modify my workouts, but all their equipment was a step up from what I’m used to. I found myself wanting my workouts to last longer… even though my body could not have done one more rep.
Indonesia is well-known for its spicy food, and for its delicious fish. I landed on a fabulous grilled fish at the hotel that I ate repeatedly, it was so good! Simple grilled white fish, served with a sweet molasses sauce and a super hot chili sauce, along with steamed rice and fresh salad. I told myself I should branch out and try something new… but when you hit on something this good, why??
I have to say, I haven’t been on my own while traveling in maybe EVER, and it was strange to just do whatever I wanted. But it was sooo restful and I had time to just THINK and reflect… so peaceful and good.
The highlight of the weekend was of course the concert on Saturday night. The boys’ choir and girls’ choir each had their own pieces, as well as some combined pieces. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful their music was, only to say that at the end, Sara commented, “Mama, how come you cried so much?” Ah, my sweet Sara… they are tears of pure joy and a Mama’s pride! And Jakarta will forever hold a place in my heart because of it.