Sun, healthy food, exercise and relaxation all packed into one wonderful week of wellness on the islands of Indonesia! I can’t think of a better place or topic to write about for my inaugural post.
My husband and I set off for Indonesia with the intention to wind down, reset and rejuvenate our souls. We were not let down. I can’t speak for the whole of Indonesia here, but our chosen destinations were sanctuaries for wellness and we nestled right in. We started off on Bali island at a beach called Uluwatu.
I always start my vacations by locating nearby restaurants that have healthy options so that my mind is put at ease knowing I’ll be well nourished 😉 And to my delight, it turns out Bali is all about healthy eating with plenty of organic, raw, vegan and gluten-free options available at many of the restaurants. In search of our first lunch, we stumbled across a cafe right outside our resort called The Cashew Tree. Raw, vegan and gluten-free dishes filled the menu (and our stomachs) and we promptly decided on returning for breakfast the next morning.
That evening we took a walk to the beach for sun downer’s and dinner. A seafood barbecue was all we needed to end off the perfect first day in paradise!
The next morning I woke up fantasizing about the breakfast that would soon be entertaining my taste buds. I already knew what I would order after memorizing the entire menu the day before (can you tell I love food?!). If there are PANCAKES on the menu, and those PANCAKES are grain-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free, then PANCAKES is what I’ll be having!! And damn son they were delicious. I accompanied them with an almond milk cappuccino. My stomach thanked me.
Now officially ready to take on the world we set off to get to our next Indonesian destination, Gili Air. Paradise level: incredible. After a 2 hour car ride to the harbor followed by an average lunch, and a 2 hour fast boat to the island, we were greeted by a multitude of local horse-drawn carriage drivers who charged far too much than we were willing to spend. So we opted for a walk while dragging our wheelie bags on dirt roads for 20 minutes until we reached our accommodation. Salili Bungalows was well worth the hot and sweaty walk. With a room a few steps from the pool, a stone throw away from our private beach, and a gorgeous outdoor shower, we were like two flies in poo.
What did I do next? You may have guessed it…I typed ‘healthy restaurants’ into google maps. Plenty popped up that required a substantial amount of walking to get to so we settled for a simple Indonesian restaurant for dinner. Here we watched the sun go down on the beautiful blue ocean and then ordered a surprisingly delicious coconut chicken curry. The local restaurants all seem to have options for the healthy eater, from curries to stir-fries to salads. Between this and my list of healthy restaurants, we were definitely not going to go hungry.
Since my body clock is annoyingly consistent, I woke up around 6 every morning which was actually a perfect opportunity to get in some quiet time. I washed my face, downed a glass of water then tiptoed out of our bungalow so as to not wake the sleeping beauty in my bed. Barefoot with my book and sarong in hand I made for the beach. This turned into a morning ritual for the time on this beautiful island.
Maintaining my workout regime was pretty easy. I fit this in straight after my morning quiet time, just before breakfast. My husband even joined me for one of my high-intensity beach workouts. The island was 5km in perimeter – a perfect loop for a cardio session! I did a walk or a run everyday and got pretty good at walking in soft sand (as frustrating as it was at first!).
By 9am the workout was done, I was showered and ready for breakfast ! This was provided by our accommodation and we could choose between pancakes or eggs on toast with fruit and a choice of fresh juice. We opted for the healthiest option – scrambled eggs with NO toast, a variety of fruit and we always specified NO ADDED SUGAR in the juice. I generally had a handful of nuts that I brought with me to get in some good fats to sustain me until lunch!
It was then time to do some exploring as well as a good amount of chilling. Since it was our goal to rejuvenate, we were intentional about doing as little as possible.
We decided to go to the healthy restaurants I found for lunch and do local restaurants or seafood barbecues for dinner. Pachamama, an organic cafe, was my favorite find that was full of amazing healthy meal options. I dove right into their awesome vegan salads that were A LOT heartier than one would expect. My husband went for their bunless 100% beef burger and spicy potatoes. Captain Coconuts was another delightful cafe with mainly healthy dishes on the menu, they served up the best raw cashew cheesecake and golden latte.
Sunsets on the beach were exactly what was needed to end off each day. I’m not a big drinker (I don’t like the taste of alcohol or how it makes me feel), but even I had one or two cocktails during this week. I opted for the healthiest cocktail and always requested no added sugar which generally resulted in a confused waiter. My healthy version of a Mojito – Rum+lime+mint+soda – was the best choice.
Our most eventful day was one that involved a snorkelling trip to the 3 Gili islands. The level of excitement dwindled slightly when we realized that 40 other people would be joining us on the boat that should have only fit 20. Buuuut we got over it and decided to make the most of it, even if there were sticky arms squishing up against us. Seeing turtles made up for it and left us feeling in awe of the mighty ocean.
This was without a doubt one of the most rejuvenating, relaxing and fulfilling vacations I have had to date. I left with salt in my ears, a tan (borderline burn) and a peaceful soul.
Oh wow!!! Sounds like paradise for sure……my next holiday destination for sure. Also got my mouth watering and my tummy grumbling! !
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