While holidays are often associated with overindulgence – especially when it comes to meals – TIA Wellness Resort in Vietnam is rewriting the narrative on what it means to eat healthy while on vacation. TIA’s food concept, Eat Light, Feel Bright, along with a host of wellness initiatives, from a creative F&B offering that emphasizes plant-based cuisine to the launch of healthy cooking classes, are helping guests make nourishing decisions.
The overall concept, Eat Light, Feel Bright, is rooted in eating natural, real food and the science behind its benefits. Healthy alternatives for certain ingredients and cooking methods are an essential component. The culinary team avoids white flour and white sugar and focuses on fresh produce and nutrient-rich whole grains and brown rice. The resort uses a scaling system for each dish, so guests can gauge how a meal choice may make them feel. Each menu item is scored and meals with a score of five or fewer points are considered light.
“This visual reminder helps guests to make better food choices and as a result still feel satisfied but also feel more vibrant and not heavy or sluggish,” explained Ramon Imper, general manager of the oceanfront resort.
Retreat-inclusive guests follow a plant-based meal plan, where the multi-course meals vary in size over the course of the day. The biggest meal of the day is the first and guests can choose from such a la carte options as the Green Breakfast, a balanced serving of tofu scramble, avocado, sautéed spinach, pickled cucumber, roasted chickpeas and crispy shallots or a Protein Smoothie Bowl, a tasty blend of banana, papaya, dragon fruit, and nut and seed butters; or take in the unique buffet at the main restaurant, The Dining Room. Approximately half of what is on offer is suitable for vegetarians. TIA also offers customized, detox and regenerative meal plans.
“We never want our menus to feel restrictive,” added Ramon. “We want to create inventive, flavorful, and delicious cuisine that shows how fun healthy eating can be and how much your mind and body will thank you for it.”
Guests of the wellness-focused property who are not following a particular retreat program are encouraged to consider choices through the Eat Light, Feel Bright ranking system. For example, a Banana Blossom Salad, packed with grilled shiitake mushrooms, carrots, onion, peanuts and seasoned with chilli and basil ranks as a two on the scale, while a tender pork belly dish cooked in a clay pot with shallots, salted caramel sauce, and served with steamed rice, comes in at a ranking of six. Desserts are also ranked, and the resort has rolled out a fully plant-based and sugar-free dessert menu at the Ocean Bistro, one of the property’s dining outlets near the waterfront.
“We want healthy food choices to be something that is sustainable for our guests,” said Ramon. “That’s why we have a completely organic and biodynamic wine list and why we’re not a fully vegan resort. We want to inspire our guests to eat healthy, not dictate it, and we want that inspiration to continue long after they leave our property.”
To help do this TIA also recently launched healthy cooking classes, arming guests with the know-how to continue on their healthy eating path after the vacation ends. TIA offers two cooking class options: Signature Wellness Breakfast and Vietnamese Favorites. The fully plant-based breakfast cooking class covers a selection of popular dishes from the property’s abundant morning buffet, such as a tropical smoothie bowl, lemon and poppy bliss balls, coconut granola, cashew cheese and vegan pate. Guests can choose three to create during the one-hour-long class. Vietnamese Favorites introduces popular dishes with TIA’s wellness spin, such as spring rolls and Vietnamese pancakes, and participants have the choice to go plant-based or include meat and seafood in their creations. Classes start at VND 950,000++ per person.
For more information on visit: https://tiawellnessresort.com/nourish/