Anyone know where we can relax for the holidays. (Hint: Boquete, Panama)?

Blog by Terry Richmeier

No matter where you are in the world, the holidays can be stressful. From driving to shopping to family dinners. However, we here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast believe we can help take the stress out of yours.

Even here in Boquete, Panama, for those living here, stress is just around the corner. Here is our friend Joyce Kinnear’s ordeal that caused just a little bit of Holiday stress for her and her daughter Amy:

It’s been a crazy week, and I’ve definitely been stretching myself, my cultural understandings and my knowledge of the community. It’s all good, but it’s been sometimes stressful and a lot tiring.

First of all, this week is the start of a month of holidays in Panama. We had the remembrance days around Halloween and the first couple of days of November. Today, Amy and I saw many, many people taking cut flowers up to the cemetery in remembrance of their passed loved ones.

Tomorrow is the independence from Colombia. It will be celebrated with parades, drum lines that go on all day (it seems), the entire town decked out in the red, white and blue Panamanian Flag, and, of course, a 4-1/2 day weekend that starts this afternoon.

After this holiday, there is Flag Day and the Independence Day celebration from Spain near the end of the month. I’ve been told that the parade for the second Independence Day can last all day, with every school in the area marching and drumming.

In the middle of all of these weeks with multi-day holidays, we are trying to get Amy her Friendly Nation’s Visa. We’ve had lots of appointments to get her to at the lawyer, bank and a doctor/lab (for health status check-ups). Even more stressful was that we had to have a document notarized in an old part of David that we’ve never been to before. The notary had no address (typical) and isn’t near any landmark we know. Maps aren’t really helpful in David, especially if Waze has no addresses to go off of, so it was a nightmare for me, the navigator, to direct our driver, Scott, as we attempted to find the location without dying in a car accident. We survived, but the stress was something.

Scott has since come down with a chest cold, so he’s out of commission for most things. Yesterday, Amy and I went on what was supposed to be a minor errand to pay for an overnight. I left the car at the car wash, where it was supposed to be done 15 minutes (before I got back). We ended up spending 30 minutes at the restaurant, because the brand new manager of this restaurant didn’t quite know how to do the reservations for the second restaurant/hotel. We got back to the car wash, and, of course, our wash had been abandoned mid-job, so that the cleaner could wash other cars. He left the doors all open, and the radio going the whole time. By the time we did get the car back—45 minutes after this, you guessed it, the battery was completely dead.

Fortunately, the young man was helpful in flagging down a woman and her car to charge our battery (as well as a truck driver to do the actual charging). The woman told me (this is all in Spanish, which was making my head hurt), that the battery was two years past its expected life—etched on the top of the battery. She suggested one store to get a new battery and strongly recommended that I get a new one before everything closed down for days. I drove up to that store. They said they had batteries, but none for Toyotas and suggested that I drive to David (45 minutes each way) to find another one. We drove into town, to a store I remembered. They were very nice, but also didn’t have any Toyota batteries.

Someone we know from our hiking group was driving past and needed to give me something. He suggested two other places. Thank goodness the second one had a battery we needed, was willing to replace the battery (for free), and was unbelievably nice. Honestly, I was so wired by this time that his kindness and that of the woman at the register nearly made me cry. She and I had a lovely conversation (all in Spanish again) while the battery was replaced.

I got home so worn out and stressed that I went to sleep on the couch and slept for about the next 12 hours. Today we took Scott to the doctor, and hopefully he’ll be participating in society again soon.

You definitely don’t need to spend your holidays in stress. It’s always good to get away from your regular surroundings. Come down to Boquete, Panama. Stay with us here at Casa de Montaña, set up a massage. Have a manicure. Let us place a free glass of wine or a can of beer in your hand, and relax, read a book, and do the holiday’s the right way – do them your way.

Story of one person looking for healthy living in Boquete, Panama!

Story of one person looking for healthy living in Boquete, Panama!
Blog by Terry Richmeier

I was feeling pretty lousy!



Coming back from a 10-day vacation in October, I arrived home and developed a pinched nerve within a few days. My energy was low, so I had a Pepsi, and then I had coffee with Nestle Quick in it. That didn’t work, I was still tired so I just increased the sugar. I had some candy bars and hot cocoa. I was back doing my usual routine and more. My cycle of sugar consumption reached a new high!

Soon, I developed restless legs at night. Waking me up every time I started to head into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. I wondered how I will EVER be able to get a good night’s sleep.


I started to take muscle relaxers at night in order to try to relieve the pressure on my pinch nerve. I knew that these muscle relaxers would knock me out so I could only take them at night. This induced more tiredness and more desire for sugar.

Waking up in the morning, I felt groggy and not ready to get up. My body was weak and even walking to the bathroom took great effort and energy. “What happened to me?” I thought, “Have I developed some kind of a permanent condition?”sick-soldier.

Next, I went to a doctor. I was loaded up on an anti-inflammatory medicine. By then, I was frustrated and feeling no relief from the pinched nerve or the tiredness. It basically sucked!

So a dear friend of ours who is a doctor, that worked for many years in the emergency room in the U.S., sat me down and said it’s time to try a DIET!!!! Now, in my head, I’m like, “Oh here we go again! All about the weight! Why can’t we address the real issue of my pinched nerve!?”

We began to talk about a special diet that is designed to reset the metabolism, let the vital organs do their job the way it’s supposed to be done, clear out the allergies, give me more energy and the outcome from the food that I’m supposed to eat would be weight loss as a bonus. What an added benefit?!?!


So our friend had me order the book called “THE FAST METABOLISM DIET written by Haylie Pomroy”. I did exactly that. I began to read about how this woman is a celebrity nutritionist for horses! HORSES? What? I’m not a horse! As I read on, I learned that this woman spent many years studying and learning about nutrition and practicing what she learned. I was not quite convinced, however, Manzar decided to participate in this diet as well to help me along with this program and also reap the benefits of the diet himself. I reluctantly agreed.

The diet is divided into three phases per week. The first two days are designed for “Unlocking” fat and creating incredible energy through targeted foods and cardiovascular exercise. The next two days are designed around “Unleashing” your metabolism and creating a benefit of watching the weight fall off! During these two days, you are also required to do weight lifting. And the third phase is for the remaining three days of the week. “Unwind” as your stress level decreases by the day! During these three days, some kind of meditation or yoga or time of rest is required. Here is a link to Haylie’s web-page for additional information and short video:

Fast Metabolism Diet

After reading Haylie’s book cover-to-cover and reading over the recipes not only in her main book, as well as the accompanying recipe book that we purchased, we were struck with a nagging thought – are we going to be able to find all the ingredients here in Boquete or in David?! We wished there was a Whole Foods store nearby. Alas, we may need to search for ingredients at the local grocery stores and hope for the best! Our first stop was “Organica” in Los Establos Plaza in downtown Boquete. Wow, we hit the jackpot! Many of the healthy ingredients are now available in our own town and we never knew it. For other ingredients we needed to take a trip to David. We went to PriceSmart, Super Baru and Super 99. We were able to find most of the remaining ingredients in those stores. What we couldn’t find, we could either do without in the recipes or pick other simpler recipes that didn’t require those ingredients. The good thing about living in Boquete is that we have an abundance of organic fresh fruits and vegetables for a decent price. This diet relies heavily on these fresh ingredients and we have no shortage when it comes to that!

We set up the four-week plan by first coming up with a weekly schedule of breakfast dishes, snacks, lunches and dinners, staying true to each phase of the diet. It was fun to look over the recipe book and pick out our favorite recipes. Early on in the process we both decided that it was going to be easiest if we just replicated the first week for the remainder of three weeks – we can certainly eat the same dish once a week. To make it even easier, we cooked enough for 4 meals for two people for each of the weeks. We kept one meal in the fridge and the other three in the freezer. The first week was the most difficult since we cooked a TON of food. You should have seen our freezer by the middle of the first week, it was full of Tupperware containers! All that upfront work paid off though – we didn’t have much to do during the remaining three weeks. We only had to worry about the breakfasts and snacks and the rest of the meals we pulled right out of the freezer each day.

Couple of things about this diet … one has to drink half of their body weight in water in ounces to flush out all of the toxins and fat cells. Also, one has to have breakfast within a half hour of waking up. One also has to eat each meal at the scheduled time. Typically, we had to eat something every three hours. I must say, we followed the plan pretty closely for the entire four weeks.


So, what are the final results of this crazy 28 day horse diet?! We just finished up our four weeks. When I started, I was at 300 pounds. Now, after week four (the end of the diet), I’m at 281 pounds. A total loss of 19 pounds in four weeks! Not bad. I feel amazing with energy to not only get through the entire day but my memory has improved and during my conversations with guests and friends I am much more attentive and present. I’m enjoying my food and do not feel hungry since there are so many different recipes to choose from and I can eat as many delicious vegetables as I want at any given time. I look and feel better. Manzar also lost weight. He was at 220 pounds and is now at 203 pounds. The best part is that anytime I need a metabolism reset, I can go back on the diet. In fact, we are planning to do exactly that starting in April of 2016. Haylie suggests that one should do the 28 days program once a year or more. After doing the 28 day program, one can also do it just for a week whenever one chooses.

I feel that this is the last diet book I will ever need! I AM NOW A RACEHORSE! LOL!images

Here at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, we not only want you to have a great laid back and relaxing time while you are visiting Boquete, Panama, we also want to share with you our successes and offer you a healthy and happy visit. We know that when we are on vacation, we cannot always eat the way we do at home. And that’s ok! Come and enjoy our vegetarian breakfasts, let us know about your dietary needs, and allow yourself to enjoy your food and your vacation! We would love to share with you our experience on this diet and let you know how different we feel and how living in Boquete has been instrumental in achieving our goals!fmd-rev


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