Dear Members and Guests!

Here is the latest news from Tash… as she continues to improve her Phuket health, life and fitness at RPM Health Club…

I usually pride myself on taking a no nonsense approach to food, but recently I have got myself into a little bit of a pickle trying to decipher what to what not to eat.

I have always believed that a balance of carbs, protein and veggies in a daily diet is the way forward. I am a child of the ‘70s after all, back then square meals were very important for growing youngsters. Looking back, I realise that shopping for fresh produce wasn’t an issue. In fact, we had the glory days; we only cooked and ate what we bought. There were no weekly shops, no frozen food. Everything was procured from the butchers, green grocers and the fish stall on the Friday market. Treats were strictly once a week and if we were lucky we would be given 10 pence to spend on sweets. As children we were never overweight and we were very active, always playing in the park, the fields, and cycling around the neighbourhood.

So what has happened to us? Why is it now as adults we struggle to strike a balance with our food and alcohol intake and making sure we get enough exercise? Of course, we now have the stress of working, for most of us sitting behind a desk for 8 to 10 hours a day staring at a computer screen. It just isn’t what we were designed for was it? Indeed, striking a balance in Phuket is also a challenge, we are all social butterflies and getting ourselves to a Phuket gym can be an effort!

So the sedentary aspect of life is something we can all do something about. Even on days when we can’t get to the gym to enjoy a Les Mills Class, we can still move, walk the dog, take a beach walk or a quick jog around the block, it’s probably not enough, but it is better than doing nothing at all.

So back onto food and how we manage our nutrition in Phuket. I try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible and I believe that I thrive better on a vegetarian diet. I make juice every day, and my breakfast, especially if I am working out usually consists of a smoothie with yoghurt, banana, nuts, coconut water and the occasional dollop of raw cacao powder. I eat very well, and mostly healthy. Yet, I am not skinny (damn) and sometimes my body cries out for the strangest things. Sometimes I want to eat a bloody steak, as rare as possible, I seldom eat red meat, I am not a huge fan. Often I get chocolate cravings (what woman doesn’t?), so what does all this mean? Should we relent to our body telling us what we should be eating? Isn’t this what fat people say? “I just crave three burgers and four portions of fries, I can’t help it”. Is it the same principal?

 If you speak to Hayden at the gym, who is the guru of nutrition, he will tell you things that I am sure will surprise you (or be music to your ears). He firmly believes that a balanced approach is the right one. We need protein especially after we have done strength and muscle training to replenish. We also need a certain amount of fat, this can be found in several foods including avocados, oily fish, cheese and butter. Yep, he believes that in moderation butter is good for you. So what is the truth about our diets then? Can we eat fast food? Consume animal fat? Drink coffee? Enjoy a beer? Eat bread? According to Hayden and my mum, of course we can – in moderation. We are not stupid we know how much is ok for us, we also know that if we aim to eat more of the healthy stuff and a little less of the naughty variety we will lose or maintain our weight. So after picking his brains, his verdict is balance, balance, and balance.

So the next time you are at the gym and you are feeling peckish after your work out, go ahead and order one of those yummy smoothies, Love Potion is my favourite, and don’t feel too guilty washing it down with an espresso or God forbid a slice of chocolate cake. You only live once.

RPM Health Club Member