I've always been interested in keeping fit and healthy and in South Africa it was relatively easy. There were gyms and frequent races and you were able to eat anything you wanted because it was all available. Many people in Cape Town also have similar interests - they are trying to get into shape or are training for one the many races available. In Bhutan, most of the people are just trying to survive. No one is looking to loose weight or to get a six pack and thats totally understandable. I, however, realised I had started to loose motivation in keeping fit or running for enjoyment. After noticing I was really slacking I've slowly gotten my exercise routine back in check and am trying to figure out what to eat. In South Africa I followed the Paleo lifestyle for some time and it really worked for me! I felt great and kept the weight off like never before - but obviously I haven't been able to eat this way in Bhutan.
These are the following ways I am keeping fit and healthy in Bhutan:
1. Run Baby, Run!
I walk to school everyday and sometimes home again but this isn't enough. Dylan and I used to run a lot back home and we decided to start here as well. Dylan had been running while I was slacking off and so he was a lot fitter than me in the beginning. I have always struggled with hills in running, I love downhill! Everywhere you run in our village is uphill and its so hard. I can't say its getting easier because it still sucks, but I'm definitely getting used to it and it sucks a little less than before. The kids saw us running and started running with us everyday which is really keeping me motivated! I can't say no to them when they come knocking everyday at 5pm with excitement.
2. Stretch it Out
I love yoga and it really is something that makes me so happy. I prefer to practice in the morning because it sets such a good mood for the rest of the day and the morning is nice and quiet. But, I've been struggling so much to wake up early! I already get up at 6am to cook lunch and breakfast and honestly the bed has just been too comfy. So I definitely want to put more effort into making this an everyday practice. I think it will help the tightness in my legs as well from all the walking and running lately.
3. Lift those weights
I've been following the Kayla Itsine's Bikini Body Guide and it really is so awesome! Its only 30 minutes three days a week and it works you HARD. You can't buy weights in Bhutan so Dylan bought in some rocks from outside that I lift and luckily I bought a skipping rope from home. My body is so sore after every workout and I really think it is the reason I've been feeling so great lately. I've got so much energy (except when I'm trying to get out of bed in the morning!) and haven't been sick once since coming to Bhutan.
4. Drink your water
Duh! But this is easy to forget when no one carries a water bottle around. In South Africa nearly everyone is conscious about drinking enough water but here I only see water at lunch time. It was really daunting in the beginning, being the only one drinking water in the staffroom but now I've inspired many of the other teachers to take on this healthy habit. Everyone is drinking more water. Its also important to have your own supply with you - especially here where you need to make sure the water has been boiled and filtered properly. So I need to make sure I'm always prepared.
5. Healthy Snacks
I was eating three big meals everyday like the locals and was struggling with fatigue and headaches. I am a vegetarian in Bhutan as the meat is imported and dried from India and just doesn't look appetising at all. I was eating big portions of rice and it wasn't sustaining me through the day so I've made my main meals smaller and I've included snacks through the day. I eat lots of fruit in the morning and have a boiled egg before my workouts in the afternoon. I also have bananas and peanut butter when I'm feeling drained - my favourite snack! I love peanut butter!
6. Fruits and Veggies Everyday
This is easy in Bhutan because everyone makes curries packed with veggies - and its all organic and fresh! We've been cooking a potato/veggie/cheese curry everyday and its so good but it does contain processed cheese. We've tried making it without and adding Indian spices but it hasn't agreed with our stomachs. I made Dal the other day and the lentils made me feel so bloated! The cheese curry seems to be keeping my body happy for now so I'll stick with it.
I would love to here your suggestions on how I can improve my healthy lifestyle even more! Any healthy recipes would also be appreciated - remember that I have no oven and its better to eat cooked vegetables or anything that can be peeled because of Typhoid Fever. Comment below if you have any ideas :)