Oh hey- It’s me again! I know it’s been awhile but I did tell you I’d be taking a few weeks for some very important biznass – like getting married to the now MLH (meat-lovin’ husband) and going on our honeymoon to Bali!
So, let’s talk about Bali for a hot minute (or the rest of this post essentially). Bali’s getting a lot of buzz right now and IMO it’s well deserved. Not only does it have beautiful beaches, consistently sunny weather (excluding rainy season), the most friendly people, a peaceful and deeply spiritual culture, scenic jungles and mountains, yoga, surfing and tons to do…but it has the most AMAZING food.
Now I know when people typically think of traveling for the food scene one conjures images of pasta in Italy or platters of cheese and baguettes in France, but fellow foodies if you haven’t considered Southeast Asia, you need to reconsider. Especially when it comes to Bali because their food is ON.POINT.
One thing the MLH and I noticed about Bali right off the bat is there is very little processed food (I don’t even think we came across any to be honest). Everything was made from real, fresh, local ingredients- from the coconut water (in actual young coconuts), to the chocolate (raw, locally grown and incredibly decadent) to the fish (caught fresh daily off the coast) to the sauces (made with chili paste, garlic and local spices)…well, you get the picture.
The food also had so.much.FLAVOR. again only using natural and local ingredients like herbs, banana leaves, spices, thai chilis, garlic, ginger, honey, rice vinegar, coconut oil and milk, and fermented foods like miso. They use very little dairy and gluten in their cooking (soy sauce seemed to be the exception) and focused mainly on fresh fruits and veggies, seafood, meat, tempeh and tofu, coconut and other nuts and some rice. It was so easy to eat healthily AND deliciously.
Every morning we’d get coffee or lattes with locally grown and harvested beans and fresh coconut milk. Then a typical breakfast would include an egg dish of some sort (I’d usually get mine poached or scrambled with grilled tomatoes and/or avocado) an exotic fruit platter and fresh squeezed juice (papaya, spinach, honey and coconut water was a favorite). The MLH would usually have toast or some sort of pastry along with his eggs.
Lunch was usually a salad of some sort (papaya, thai salad and tomato/cucumber/avocado were common) with large grilled prawns or ahi tuna as well as lots of tuna tartar or fresh ceviche (the scallop ceviche was TDF). MLH would usually do the same but with meat and fried rice. We’d typically have a cocktail (or two) like a caipirinha with fresh muddled lime, cachaca (a type of liquor) and a bit of coconut sugar.
For dinner we loved going to the Seafood BBQ joints where you’d pick out your fresh catch of the day (lobster was a favorite of mine) and they’d grill it for you and serve it with veggies, corn on the cob, salad and rice (as well as their special spicy Lombok sauce). The MLH would always get grilled meat (lots of pork and chicken, there wasn’t as much red meat). Of course more fresh cocktails would ensue and lots of local raw dark chocolate desserts. It was honestly heaven. (Disclaimer- if you haven’t noticed by now I have myself been gravitating towards a plant-based diet rather than a strict vegan one with some seafood and eggs. I find it best to listen to your body and what it needs and this is what my body seems to need and respond to most at the moment- but more on that later).
We also drank tons of young coconuts, did plenty of yoga and meditation, did morning runs along the beach (and did plenty of relaxing on the beach too), biked around town, hiked an active volcano to watch the sun rise, paddle-boarded, surfed and had the most amazing spa days and massages. Between all that and the awesome food, we’ve NEVER felt better (we each unintentionally lost a few pounds too).
When visiting a new destination and experiencing the way the culture prepares their food it only magnifies to me why America is so overweight (i.e. PROCESSED, NOT REAL FOOD). If there’s one thing I’d want you to takeaway from this post is to try and incorporate more real foods in your diet, as well as enjoy every.single.bite. I notice when I’m on vacation not only do I try to keep an open mind and experience the local cuisine but I’m also more relaxed and focused on enjoying the company, scenery and savoring the food (i.e. not hastily shoving forkfuls of food in my mouth as I stare at the computer writing emails). Food was meant to be real, shared with the people you love and a pleasurable experience. Cheers to THAT!
P.S. Did you enjoy this food diary post? Please let me know in the comments below if you’d like to see more of this type of post?