2017 has hit Koh Lanta, the island I’m living on, and I’m feeling a little bloated, in need of a health kick.
I’ve decided to reignite my healthy eating, because I’ve indulged in too many steaks, burgers and pizza. I’m ashamed to stay that although I’m on a Thai island, I’ve not eaten much of the local cuisine lately. From here on in, I’ll be cutting back on the fatty Western foods and replace a Leo for a San Miguel Light or fruit shake (without sugar), in a bid to get slim.
Most mornings I eat muesli, yoghurt and banana along with a strong black coffee. Most of the local beach side restaurants serve this for under a pound, so as well as having a wholesome start to the day, I also save money!
For lunch I like to have Som Tum, which is a green papaya salad. The ingredients are tablespoons fresh lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, Chinese long beans, green beans, tomatoes, roasted peanuts/cashew nuts and green papaya. Most restaurants will ask if you want it spicy us of scale of one to three chillies. I like mine with a kick so usually go for two chillies. All the ingredients are raw meaning it must be extremely good for me!
Coconut trees line the white sandy beaches of Koh Lanta, so there is an abundance of coconuts on offer. I’ve heard there’s great health benefits in coconuts, like;
- Improves health of heart – this is always good to hear.
- High in dietary fibre – this pleases my digestive system!
- Low Glycemic Index (GI) – this sounds great and scientific!
- Reduces sweet cravings – don’t have a sweet tooth, but coconut water is always a good alternative.
- Improves digestion – this is something I struggle with. I try to eat diuretic foods and drink special teas to assist my digestive system.
- Quick energy boost – always good, especially in this hot climate that can leave me lethargic.
Healthy places to eat in Koh Lanta
Because I don’t have a fully functioning kitchen, I will be investigating the healthy options on offer at some of the various restaurants on the island. Here on Koh Lanta, there are several good health/vegetarian/vegan cafés and eateries. Below are some of my favourites:
This health café, although it serves meat is also; vegan-friendly, lacto, ovo, organic, Western, Juice bar, Take-out, bakery, European foods. The Western-style health food served here is very colourful and aesthetically pleasing, however it is a little overpriced for Thailand. PURE uses whole and fresh ingredients and has cold-pressed juice, raw and vegan sweets.
The interior is beautifully decorated with cool turquoise tones that makes the whole place feel very chilled. The walls feature tasteful images and the furniture is made out of white-painted drift wood.
Find it at: 52/2 Moo 6 Klong Nin Beach, Koh Lanta, Thailand
This bohème vegetarian restaurant is also home to a garden lounge and a clothing and jewellery boutique. There is a daily specials ‘karma menu’, as well as soups, salads, crepes, pasta, kambucha, hummus and burgers, all home-made and vegan with no tofu. To ensure you focus on the food and atmosphere, Kunda have banned all WiFi and mobile phones.
Find it at: Moo 91/16 Klong Khong, Koh Lanya Yai, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Catfish Book Cafe
This pier fronted, feline themed restaurant is not only a healthy café, but home to an international book shop. Catfish primarily serves Thai dishes, along with meat meals and also has vegan options. Their breakfasts are fantastic and feature, cereals, fresh fruit plates and salads. The best dish on the menu is the falafel with hummus wrap.
Find it at: Sala Dan Pier, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Irie Bar and Restaurant
This roadside reggae bar offers reasonably priced meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes with a fusion of Thai and Western flavours. Conveniently located opposite to where I live, I really like the hippy atmosphere in the garden. At night this restaurant transforms into a bouncing bar, filled with live music.
Find it at : 439 Moo 3, Long Beach, Koh Lanta, Thailand