Eating Clean in Thailand

Eating clean in Thailand doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s how we did it.

Breakfast :
2 x egg omelette. Thai omelette’s are the best, really tasty and made fresh.
Hot spinach
Small serving of rice
Black coffee
Maybe some yoghurt and fruit (mango/watermelon if I wanted something sweet)
This was typical of what I ate at the hotels we stayed at (Novotel/Grand 5/La Playa and Pimalai).  If your not staying at hotels/resorts most of this food is available from the street vendors just make sure you chose one that’s not too dodgy.  For two breakfasts we ate at Starbucks Siam square Bangkok and had Granola yoghurt low fat Greek style yoghurt and a low fat mocha.  Both Alyse and I were drinking at least 8-10 bottles of mineral water, bought from 711 convenience stores.  I had a few cheat meals, Burger King, ice creams and chocolate bars plus a few nights we had 2-3 alcoholic beverages.  Remember it’s all about balance try and clean for six days and on the 7th go crazy! I sometimes write down a list of food and drinks I crave during the week and then eat them all on my cheat day! Don’t beat yourself up if you have the odd bad food or drink get back on the bandwagon and start again!

Destination wedding… sounds romantic. It was truly beautiful, and a lot of fun. Eating clean whilst in another country, knowing you need to wear a white dress in a weeks time? Daunting. But my love and I worked together and made good choices. Thailand is the land of excess for Westerners… Every hotel breakfast menu had doughnuts, pastries, French toast, bacon. Swim up bars are loaded with creamy cocktails and greasy bar snacks. And on every corner there is someone selling food, Thai tea (loaded with sugar) and other American sweet treats. So how do you make good choices? Eat like the Thai’s do, and think about what you’re eating.

Your first port of call is water. You can’t be active or think straight without it. So find a place that sells bottles in packs of 12-15. There is a 7/11 on every corner, and they sell the packs. Pop the bottles in your hotel fridge and you’re set.

Get a routine happening. Most hotels have a gym, but if you need to be outdoors find a running route. Lumpini park is the best in Bangkok, 2.5km per lap and really safe. It’s a beautiful space in the heart of the busy, and smog filled Bangkok.
Chatuchak park in Bangkok is also a winner, though you’ll need a few extra laps.
Aim for a 30-40min workout each day. That on top of the number of steps you’ll do each day will keep the holiday weight off.

Find good snacks, and keep them handy. 7/11’s sell yoghurt, nuts and fruit in single serve packs. Street stalls sell fruit and smoothies, choose one that looks relatively clean and in a good area. Soups and broths are also a winner in the snack department. One cup of soup or broth will set you up for around 100-150cals.

Main meals are easier… as John said, stick with the basics. Eggs, vegetables, meat. Limit your rice and noodles, and remember that coconut cream can be hefty on calories. Peanut oil is a fave In Thai cooking, so remember to add that in if you’re calorie counting. Breakfast is a winner at hotels, stick to yoghurt, fruit, vegetables and eggs. It’s harder when you’re out and about. Most places don’t open until 10.30am, but Starbucks and the other coffee houses have a few healthier options. Supermarkets in the big malls like central world and Siam have great breakky options like fruit, granola, yoghurt, cheese, vegetables, beans.. you could opt to store these in your room.

All in all, we’ve managed to eat relatively clean for two weeks and avoid the mass junk food on offer. Avoid the booze, it’s so readily available.. but it’s also a great way to stack on calories and ruin your holiday with a hangover.

Happy travels.

John & Alyse




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