Life in a remote island

Living between sunrise and sunset

Cristiana Ammendola senior healthy lady

Utopia in Rote island, Indonesia

My son has an eco resort called Utopia in Rote Island, the Indonesian island closest to Australia, a few miles off Indonesian Timor.

Life in Rote revolves around the sun, when I come to visit I wake up early, if it is not too hot I do my exercise/ practice. I also love to walk to the lake close by, to go there and back takes me less than an hour, by the time I get back my body and my joints are awake, “oiled” and ready to flow with the day!

Beautiful sea view from Utopia rote resort

Beach combing

Yesterday I went to a beach that is not good for swimming but rich with “specimens!” I was looking for blue trash and, unfortunately, I found too much!

In my walk I also found a lot of “nautilus” shells. I have the impression that the fishermen eat them, the creature is like a calamari and must be tasty, but very sad to see many shells on the shore.

Snorkeling, my favorite pastime

Almost everyday, depending on the tides and wind, I go to a different beach and explore the reefs which are super rich in small fishes, star fishes, sea urchin of incredible variety, seahorse, box fishes and so many more! Other days, when my son goes spearfishing, I follow him as a shadow, taking pictures and helping or calling the captain in case of danger.

Yellow box fish

The excitement of market day

In the village there is only one chance a week to buy fresh fruit and vegetables and local grocery, Tuesday at 6am we all go to the weekly market to refill our fridges and stock up for the week.

It is also an opportunity to socialize, meet the community members, exchange news and information.

Traditional market view in rote island
Traditional market view in rote island

What I buy at the market

There are few ingredients that I love to get here to keep my plates healthy and nutritious that I don’t eat as much in Bali:

Mung beans and “ kacang turis” (tourist beans, translated literally).
I sprout the mung beans to use in salads, I cook them with tempeh for curries, or I make soups like the Ayurvedic mung beans dal.

“Asam” is a paste of tamarind seeds, very rich in vitamin C. I make tamarind jam and a very refreshing drink.
Fresh and mature coconut, I use the water, the flesh to make coconut milk and the shell for the fire!

Salt here is made in the traditional way, there are areas along the coast where they dry salt water in the giant Tridacna clams under the sun.

Sweet potatoes are also a staple food of the island, they are relatively low in protein but still important in many developing countries. They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and B5.

There is a different kind of rice here that is kind of rose pink, very delicious and has a delicate flavor.

I find it stimulating and challenging to cook with what is available and to use local ingredients in a creative way.
In the garden we have plenty of Moringa trees. Last night I made pasta sauce using Moringa leaves. It was really nice!

In one of our day excursions we went to a beach by the ancient mangroves trees where we collect tiny clams and we made spaghetti alle “vongole” for dinner. It is such a great feeling to eat what you gather with your own hand! My son and I only eat fish if we catch it!

We also have a lots of papaya fruits on the trees that I use for a green papaya salad
We often cook on the fire, a habit that we have since we lived in Africa. We love making earthy stews and grilled fishes for dinner. We are lucky to have a vegetable garden and papaya trees, coconut trees and bananas readily available.

I love the smell of the fire, the feeling of peace and fulfillment that a bonfire creates!

night sky in utopia rote island

A Sanctuary for authentic gathering and true Eco-living.

Utopia is a fully off-the-grid lodge focusing on Yoga and Surf with sustainability at our core…

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Cristiana Ammendola yoga pose

Notes from our Author

My intention with this blog is to create a platform to share my knowledge about healthy nutrition habits, my love for yoga, breathwork, movement of any kind, creative practices, painting, dancing and playing, expressing yourself with the aim of maintaining your body functional and your mind sharp to be able to live longer with good health to enjoy it.

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