Considering healthy food does not mean you have to starve for food.
Ahh… vacation. Just saying the word ‘Vacation’ will instantly evoke visions of relaxing by the beach with cocktails, a plethora of succulent foods, building sandcastles and a beach-ready body. Vacation is typically about indulgence, and it can be very hard to pass up tempting local cuisines or junk food. And just before you realise it, your vacation will also be a time to gain weight due to over-eating.
Well don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the occasional treat. But sometimes, if you’re not taking caution, a vacation can also turn into treat after treat after treat.
It is easy to leave our rational, nutritionally savvy selves at home and replace them with wide-eyed tourists without any regard for healthy eating. Most of the time when you’re on a holiday, fast food always wins. It is the easier, quicker and cheaper option available while you’re on a run to visit one place to another. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have them once in a while. But consuming fast food frequently will stimulate a fast effect on your health.
Considering healthy food does not mean you have to starve for food. Here, in this article, without leaving the spirit of the holiday, we have some recommended healthy meals when you’re taking a vacation break in Bali.
If you’re a vegetarian or want to cut back on meat, make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need during your vacation. Vegetarians often get nervous about travelling because of the what-ifs. What if there’s no food to eat? What if I can’t be healthy while travelling? What if I miss out on all the local delicacies?
Well, there are so many selections for those with dietary restrictions in Bali. In Ungasan, Karma Kandara highlights Heirloom Tomatoes & Silken Tofu at their High-End Restaurant, di Mare. This dish is a vegan version of tomato-mozzarella salad, highlighting the bounty of Tabanan. A mixture of Lemongrass macerated cherry tomatoes with Sauvignon Blanc tomato gelee, Japanese Tofu, Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Premium Quality, Kemangi Leaves, Coarse Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper will create its own tasty ways to turn around a bad day in a few bites. Amazingly, this dish can actually boost your mood by helping reduce stress, ease anxiety and fight depression. karmagroup.com
Heading down to the Nusa Dua area, how about some healthy Dim Sum treats? Bai Yun at The Apurva Kempinski Bali invites you to have a Saturday family day to experience all you can eat dim sum with 28 dim sum selections, including vegan and gluten-free options. Enjoy Ginseng herbal chicken soup to trigger your palate, and continue with some light bites of Cabbage vermicelli sesame dressing, Bitter melon black bean sauce, Pickle cucumber Szechuan style and Braised cashew nuts. For the main course, Vegetable spring roll, Mushroom shumai and Mushroom shumai will take care of the rest. kempinski.com/en/bali
Still around Nusa Dua, if you are into local delicacies, Ikan Restaurant at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua highlights Gado Gado. Similar to a typical western salad, Gado Gado is so much more than a salad. It is what all salads should aspire to be. Loaded with veggie goodness (mix balanced Asian vegetables, fried soybean cake, tempeh and hard-boiled egg), this salad is served with melinjo crackers. As the perfect complement to this salad, all of this is tied together with a creamy, rich, hint of spicy peanut sauce. Sounds yum? Indeed! westinnusaduabali.com
In Ubud, as the only fine dining that serves vegetarian and pescatarian cuisine on the island, Padi Fine Dining comes up with an array of healthy-pretty treats that will win your heart right away. Highlighting Sugar Crusted Organic Beet that is locally sourced from their organic garden, this dish is combing Organic Beet with Beet Tartar, Beet Oil and Dill to be served with Cultured Cream. visesaubudresort.com-bali.com
Still around the neighbourhood, if you’re into the salad, a bowl of Petani Salad at Alaya Resort Ubud’s Petani Restaurant will definitely treat your tummy well. Mixing lettuces, asparagus, roast pumpkin, Pomelo, capsicum, avocado and mustard honey-lime dressings are all you need to start the day. alayahotels.com
Since we are living on an island, most of our food comes from the sea and the coastal landscape. We are lucky to have the all-year-around fishing season, which means we can get full access to the freshest catch every day at the most reasonable price.
Without a doubt, any delightful treats from the sea are key to a healthy diet. Low in calories, sodium, and cholesterol, protein-packed, seafood provides vitamins and minerals and may reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure.
In Kuta, The Stones Legian’s Big Fish Bar & Grill has just introduced their new menu, which will be simplified local seafood with some international favourites. This new menu emphasises sourcing ingredients locally and ensuring the seafood they use is sustainable, as part of Marriott’s sustainability programme. With additional nightly live entertainment and an extension of the dining space on the pool deck, these dishes will create a perfect dining experience under the stars. stoneshotelbali.com
Moving a bit to the west, in Seminyak, well known for their high-quality steaks, The Butchers Club Steakhouse also offers a wide variety of seafood. The seafood fanatics can opt for Seafood Pasta, a light refreshing mix of king prawns, calamari, and an ocean-farmed Barramundi, all tossed in a white wine lemon sauce and herbs.
Further up to the Pecatu area, as part of their wellness programme, Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort highlights Baby Barramundi with an organic green salad and steamed potatoes. Low in fat and excellent protein choice, Barramundi is the ‘It’ fish! It gains popularity around the world because it is delicious, nutritious and sustainable. Combining organic produce and local ingredients, this newest wellness dish at Anantara Uluwatu will feed both your body and spirit. anantara.com/en/uluwatu-Bali
Still in the neighbourhood, Tonno grigliato at Bvlgari’s Sangkar Restaurant is the kind of meal that will make your salivary glands go into a super active mode. A few chops of grilled tuna steak are marinated in fennel and orange salad and then drizzled with olive tapenade. bulgarihotels.com
Tips for Healthy Eating on Holidays
- Firstly have a realistic approach. During the holidays maintain your current weight and do not try losing pounds. This will make your holiday time bore, so just ensure the weight does not add.
- Exercise is a must to relieve weight gain and holiday stress. A daily moderate exercise helps offset any holiday eating increased levels. Even brisk walks for 10-15 minutes twice a day will show you the result.
- Concentrating on weight is good, but do not skip meals. Eat light snacks such as raw vegetables, and a fruit piece or also follow a paleo diet that includes more fresh fruits and vegetables. This will keep you from being over temptation.
- Survey the party buffets, choose your preferred foods and fill your plate. Include fruits and vegetables and keep your plate balanced.
- Avoid beverages. This is because alcohol reduces inhibitions and results in inducing overeating. Instead, go for non-alcoholic beverages.
- Eat until you are satisfied and remember not stuffed. Savour your holiday treats by eating small portions, even if it is your loved choice of food.
- Desserts can be had but ensure that it has fresh fruits and avoid fattening items.
Enjoy the holidays, incorporate healthy recipes, plan your activity and do not restrict yourself from the food and activities that are your favourite as this is your holiday time.