StealthHealth In Bali
Sorry for the slight pause in blog proceedings but we had a mini-break in Bali over the weekend and I left the computer at home, sometimes the fingers need a rest!!
What struck me driving from the airport to our hotel were all the little changes that have happened since we moved to Singapore last August; Bali is a place of pace, an island on the move, if you blink you’ll miss something. But what makes it really special is that at the same time as embracing the new the Balinese people also cherish and preserve the old, there is no sense that the traditional ways should be sacrificed for modernity. Extended families still live together, whole villages stop work for important ceremonies and the streets are littered with beautiful offerings (and sleeping dogs!)
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Sanur, one of the very first hotels to be built in Bali back in the 1970s. I can remember holidaying there as a child in 1982 when Bali was a tropical backwater, with few tourists, miles of unspoilt coastline and smiling locals selling conch shells on the beach (when it was still considered ok to collect sealife!)
When my family and I moved to Bali in 2013 the Hyatt was shuttered for a major renovation which was completed in January this year, so I wanted to pay a visit to see if they’ve managed to retain the old-style Bali vibe that made it so special. And the answer is a resounding yes! We paid around £125.00 per night for a standard (but still very nice) room including a sumptuous breakfast buffet every morning. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know I am a breakfast nut (Breakfast is Best!) and Bali is a breakfast lover's heaven, bircher or bacon, oats or omelettes, smoothie bowls or sausages you will find what you love and more in Bali. Here’s a little gallery of my breakfast choices styled by my daughter:
In the context of StealthHealth, breakfast buffets are the bomb because you are totally in control of what you put on your plate. On holiday I tend to go quite large on breakfast and keep lunch light (we always seem to finish breakfast late anyway!). The usual form is then sundowners around 6pm followed by dinner in one of our favourite local restaurants (message me if you want any recommendations!). I particularly love fish and seafood so often opt for the local speciality Ikan Bakar – bbq’d marinated fish, usually served with rice and plecing or cah kang kung which is a kind of bitter spinach, also known as morning glory but the less said about that the better!
The other thing that’s ubiquitous in Bali is fresh young coconut or kelapa muda – they are literally hanging off the trees, in fact you have to be a bit careful that they don’t drop on your head – remember to look up before you get comfy on that lounger! Also known as ‘nature’s sports drink’, coconut water is naturally hydrating and if you get a spoon and scrape out the flesh on the inside of the husk it’s almost a meal in itself.
I’m not very good at exercising on holiday because I do quite a bit 'in real life’ so the trainers don’t tend to travel with me, but this time they did mainly because I’m on a bit of a mish to stay in shape before the summer holiday onslaught. I only went to the hotel gym once (which was lovely and empty) over the 3 days which is not exactly impressive but it kept me on track to do my 4 exercise sessions this week which is what I generally aim for. It’s a bit depressing when you spend 30 mins on the cross trainer and realise you’ve only bought yourself two margaritas but hey, it’s better than nowt and I really did enjoy those margs!
Of course we were on holiday and seeing old friends so there was a fair bit of eating and drinking, but I do find that StealthHealth can be applied loosely even when I’m on holiday and in that sense it’s a great damage limitation tool. Just keeping the Key Concepts humming away in the background helps me not go too overboard, I can still enjoy myself without the guilt that used to board the plane with me on the way home (along with ill-fated resolutions to buckle down and diet!). Well, I won’t be doing that this time, I’ll just be picking up where I left off before the weekend - Eating with Awareness, trying to keep a lid on the booze and getting my 4 exercise sessions in. It works.
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