Somehow, I’d convinced myself this trip was going to make me trim down and get fit. I’m talking “lean thighs, bubble butt, perky boobs” fit with perfectly chiselled abs on top. The exact opposite seems to be happening.
I don’t understand how the Singaporeans and Malaysians stay so perfectly petite when they eat so darn much. I’m struggling to keep up with them. They are feeders with the best intentions and won’t take no for an answer.
While I’m knocking off a lot more steps in a week than I use to with a desk job, I’m also downing a lot more delicious energy. My journey has turned into a food tour of epic proportions. Then again, my plan was always to do what locals do. Unfortunately, Asians seem to eat. Big portion sizes. All the time. And, I get it. The food is moreishly good.
So, to help me survive the next 30 or so countries, I’ve come up with some food rules so I know when to let go and enjoy the naughty stuff (without the post-feast guilt). There are things worth getting a little chunky-monkey for. Here they are:
1. When I get a chance to try a county’s national dish
I don’t want to get to the end of my trip only to regret not eating laksa in Penang, green curry in Thailand, Pho in Vietnam, vindaloo-soaked naan in India etc. Bring on the carbs, fats and mind-blowing flavours I say!
2. When my accommodation comes with a spectacular breakfast buffet
But it has to be spectacular, like the one we experienced at the Grand Hyatt in KL. There were over a hundred international dishes on offer over two separate floors, including: pistachio flavoured pancakes, fresh dim sum in every colour of the rainbow and the most beautiful cheeses I’ve seen in my life. Of course I tried them! But, only because it was special. If a brekky buffet isn’t spectacular, I’ll stick with the eggs and tomato.
3. When it’s on the house or a gesture of hospitality
During this trip, I’ve been incredibly lucky. A number of five-star hotels, locals and tour guides have shouted me countless meals. They’ve all been very special. Not just because of the taste and knowledgable commentary on the side, but because my hosts took such special care of me. I felt like a Queen yet I looked like vagabond hobo.
4. When I come across my dream dessert
This one I have to be careful of. For some reason, I thought the desserts in Asia wouldn’t be my thing. However, I quickly discovered they’re the masters of sweets – in every possible shape, colour and form. So, I need to remember my eyes are bigger than my stomach and desserts should be a weekly treat not a daily habit.
5. There’s simply no other option
Sometimes, there’s simply nothing healthy on offer – seriously. My hubby and I were chilling out by a secluded beach north of Malacca the other day. A few kilometres down the road, a lone “café” stood proud. While their photo menu suggested an array of mouth-watering options could be whipped up in a jiffy, we soon learnt we had two options: steamed beef buns and coconut thick shakes. Well, if we have to!
So, as you can see, I’ve given myself many excuses to be decadent. However, I’m also seriously committed to upping my exercise from here on in. I’ve already downloaded two Apps, which will undoubtedly make me work up a sweat: Simply Yoga and the 7-Minute Workout. Yep, I’ll be doing it tough. If all else fails, I can always go to one of those detox retreats or encourage a bout of dysentery in India. So, bring on the next feast!