December has come and gone, bringing with it late night Christmas cake binges and free-flowing drinks. Yet your New Year’s resolution reads “get into shape”.
However, there’s no need to check yourself into a detox programme or a spa retreat, says Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat, the executive chef at Chiva Som, Thailand. Here’s what you can do to make nutritious spa cuisine a part of your daily lives. And no, we don’t mean bland, boring and ascetic rabbit food.
“At Chiva-Som, food plays an important part, [trying] to change people’s stereotype of spa cuisine. For us it is a balance of nutrition, taste and appearance as we believe healthy eating can be fun, flavourful and taste good.”
There is an assumption that eating healthy must result in the compromising of taste. However, Cheewinsiriwat tries to dispel notions that enrolling in a detox programme is like signing up for boot camp. “It is important to use your imagination and have fun while preparing healthy food. For example, put your detox green juices in an ice cream machine. When you walk into a supermarket regard it as a buffet, albeit a healthy one. Make sure you stock up your shopping cart with a wide variety of ingredients, including fresh vegetables and fruits, seafood and lean meats.
“Let creativity be your driving force when it comes to menu selection. Think outside the box and be inspired by fresh produce”.
Eating healthy is not about munching on celery sticks all day but rather by practising portion control, the chef continues, advising not to overcook fruits and vegetables and avoid fried foods.
“Instead adopt smarter cooking methods to feel lighter and happier”.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO MAKE
Apart from the food, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat advises to have a lifestyle change.
1. Move more
Staying active doesn’t always mean dedicating hours at the gym, high level aerobics or kickboxing classes. There are many simple ways to move our bodies. Climb stairs if given a choice, walk the dog, play with children, enjoy sports with friends, mow the lawn — even clearing clutter is an exercise. Through movement we overcome stagnation of energy, clear mental blockages and relieve stress.
2. Keep a positive mental outlook
Smile and be happy. Compliment someone, make others smile and never leave home without finding something to feel good and confident about. If you’re feeling low, meditate and clear any negative energy about people or things you’ve encountered recently.
3. Eat with your conscience
Eat what your body tells you to eat and make sure to avoid eating. Put the food down when you feel almost full.
4. Eat regular meals
Five small meals are better than three large ones. Reduce portions to become leaner.
5. Make sure there is a rainbow of colours on your plate
Choose foods of different colours — natural colours of course. This is so because each colour indicates a different nutrient. Yellow is an indication of Vitamin A and green of chlorophyll. Learn more about them.
6. Drink water
It sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how easily we dehydrate, particularly in heated or air-conditioned environments. With insufficient water, our bodies are unable to distribute vitamins and minerals, causing stress and toxins to build up. Boiled water will help clear your complexion and caffeine-free natural herbal teas improve digestion and soothe the mind.
7. Go organic
Try to opt for organic produce whenever you can — or you might be eating a tonne of pesticides, hormones and herbicides.
8. Select a good protein
You can have your steak — but make sure to trim fat and skin. Better still,ead to the fish market every weekend for some fresh seafood options.