Remember the days when you swilled a few glasses of wine and another 1500 calories in one hit at a hotel lunch? Stuffing yourself and getting off ya face was an integral part of travel. Gotta take advantage of that all-you-can-eat buffet or just throw those millions of kilojoules on the expense account, right? But the “new age of discipline” is kicking travel gluttony off to boot camp. You could blame Gwyneth Paltrow and her punishing regime of exercise and banning carbs from the kitchen. The Guardian pondered this lifestyle shift at length. I think it’s more to do with lingering recession in many countries, and excess doesn’t cut the mustard any more. My daughter Francesca is in the Gwyneth demographic. She’s on a clean eating/manic exercise thing which is so rigorous I get palpitations just thinking about it. But she looks frantastic.
Hotels are catching on to the demand for lean and keen. Gyms have long been a staple facility and Accor Hotels has stepped it up (perhaps in line with the Gwyneth/Fran paradigm). Last year I had an under 1,000 calorie five-course lunch at the Pullman Jakarta Central Park. Fran more recently went off to the Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney to experience their version of the “new age of discipline”, and did a yoga class followed by a zero calorie lunch. Not exactly. The yoga class was at the hotel’s Elixr Health Club followed by a three-course lunch under 800 calories for $A55. The De-Light menu was developed for Accor Hotels by the French health company Thalassa Sea & Spa. This is what she ate (no bread rolls and butter to start with and no alcohol):
Chicken and proscuitto salad – chicken breast, proscuitto, rocket, tomato, Grana Padano, lemon and olive oil dressing (214 calories):
Other lunch/dinner menu options: Roast capsicum soup (69 calories); grilled lamb chops (405 calories); raspberry, banana, coco shake (160 calories). Lean and keen breakfasts: 333 calories or 325 calories, which include a hot beverage, fruit, yogurt, chicken breast, wholewheat toast and sugar-free jam. Gluten-free bread available. www.sofitel.com
The Elixr Health Club offers fitness-minded travellers the works: Pilates, three yoga disciplines, kickboxing, cardio, dance fusion, pump, a heated pool, remedial massage, nutrition and natural therapies. Two other locations – Sydney Town Hall at 27 Park Street and Bondi Junction at 9 Bronte Road. www.elixr.com.au
I’m off to bed now. Got a boxing class at my local gym tomorrow morning. I wonder if I can be restrained from calling in to Ramsgate Organic Foodies Market for Belgian waffles on the way back home. Don’t tell Gwyneth/Fran.