Kicking travel gluttony off to boot camp

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):

Chicken and proscuitto salad
Tasmanian Salmon – 150g cooked in papillote, leeks, carrot, lemon olive oil emulsion (213 calories):
Tasmanian salmon, 213 calories, Sofitel Wentworth
Apple tart – puff pastry, apples, cinnamon, honey (133 calories):
Apple tart, 133 calories, Sofitel Wentworth
Total calories: 560

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.

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.

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.

4 thoughts on “Kicking travel gluttony off to boot camp

  1. Yep, I remember those days of long, indulgent meals followed by siestas. Now I LOVE the description of Fran’s adventure. I get up early, early for yoga and start my day with a green smoothie. I must say I have never felt better. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my indulgences but since changing to a “clean” diet, I prefer healthy choices. Actually my joints and energy levels dictate these days.
    Great article!


    1. Hi Joann, what’s in your green smoothie? Fran regularly does early gym sessions too. I read somewhere that our blood pressure is highest in the early morning and at our age we should wait til later for exercise and drink a fair amount of fluid beforehand. I will find any excuse not to get out of bed early! X


  2. Gwynnie’s Goop week-long detox diet which means it’s mainly vege soup stuff made in a blender is a good idea, but wouldn’t you be craving something to munch on by then? Ingredients are pretentious. Cheaper substitutes will do fine. Applause for Joann on having the willpower and getting a natural high from her routine. 🙂


  3. the trendy infatuation with coconut oil is a bit daft. stick to healthy olive oil – it was used in these recipes i notice. coconut oil is saturated to hell. the latest research says the coconut oil fad is rubbish


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