If indulgent celebrations over Christmas and New Year have left you feeling sluggish, now is the perfect time to get back on top form. Starting a healthy eating regime on holiday in tropical destinations like Thailand and Bali is easier than you think, and can help you kick start a wholesome and happy new year.
Whether you have just finished celebrating New Year or are gearing up for Chinese New Year at the end of January, there’s no better time than the present to focus on a few health resolutions. For travellers lucky enough to be kicking off 2014 in the tranquil surroundings of a private villa in Thailand or Bali, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up a few healthy habits which can be continued back home. Cutting back on excess and alcohol while at the same time loading up on fresh fruit and vegetables is an excellent way to begin the year. Many guests also enjoy supplementing their healthy eating regimes with a little more exercise whilst staying in a private villa, whether it is by swimming a few lengths in the pool every day or exploring the local area on foot.
Here are some tips for healthy holiday living…
Time to Detox
Thailand and Bali have both become wellness destinations in the last decade and also offer luxury spas in abundance. Many centres now also offer detox programmes for travellers seeking a system cleanse. Designed by health and fitness experts, most programmes combine elements of diet and exercise, in addition to meditation and even alternative medical treatments. Professional programmes unite scientific research-based findings with holistic therapies to offer a range of detox and rejuvenation programmes. Their philosophy is built on the healthy foundations such as eating wholesome super foods, and practising cardio workouts, yoga and meditation. A detox is often a good way to kick off a healthy eating regime for people that may have trouble sticking to a programme of their own. Once a routine is established, it’s much easier to continue on a healthy path.
While some people might argue that no drink is quite as refreshing and revitalising as a crisp, ice cold beer, we all know this is not really the case. To make 2014 your healthiest year yet, why not trade your sunset beer on the beach for a refreshing fruit smoothie? Tropical havens in Thailand and Bali grow an abundance of delectable fruit, most of which taste heavenly when blended together and served over crushed ice. It is easy to experiment with fruit smoothie recipes in the kitchen of your private villa, but if you order a smoothie when you are out it is worth double checking that no sugar will be added to the drink before you order it.
Fabulous Fresh Fruit
Sightseeing and shopping can be hot work, and the physical challenge only intensifies as the sun heats up throughout the day. Rather than refuelling with a chocolate bar or starchy snack, why not refresh yourself by purchasing a bag of chopped fruit from a local fruit vendor instead? Fresh fruit vendors can be found in most of the towns and villages in Thailand and Bali, and often offer a colourful, succulent range of fruity delicacies such as mango, pineapple, watermelon and papaya. As well as tasting wonderful, a sweet, juicy mango contains high levels of fibre, pectin and Vitamin C which can help lower cholesterol levels. It is also a great remedy for heat stroke. Papaya is also known as “Fruit of Angels”, a rich source of anti-oxidants.
If you gorged on one too many seafood barbecues over the festive period, try cutting down on your king prawns for a while and indulge in something a little more nutritious. Vegetable curries are a delicious way to pack in all your greens, and it is easy to get your protein fix by throwing in some tofu. The zesty, aromatic flavours of a spicy Thai or Balinese curry are best complimented with a serving of brown rice, which is rich in selenium and has greater fibre content than white rice, helping to promote weight loss.
One of the best things about holidaying in Southeast Asia is surely the availability of refreshing young coconut water. Low in calories and high in potassium, this super hydration cocktail is one of the latest health crazes to sweep the West. Unlike in Western countries where you can end up paying high prices to get your hands on nature’s best sports drink, a fresh young coconut with a hole cut in the top and a straw stuck inside is one of the cheapest and easiest health fixes you’ll find in Thailand or Bali.
by MAX VEE