If you follow me on social media you know I have been in Thailand. I just returned and wish I was able to share with you the intense relax state I’m in right now. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. But if you are interested in my experiences on the island Koh Samui and Bangkok, keep on reading.
Despite visiting during the “monsoon season,” also known as the rainy season, I only encountered a minimal amount of rain, and it typically occurred in the evenings. The abundance of stunning beaches and lush green scenery was so breathtaking that I found myself pinching myself multiple times. It was truly amazing!
Coconuts are truly amazing. You might be thinking, “Bianca, we already know that.” But if you think about it, how often do you actually cook with coconuts? Not that often? Coconuts are not only incredibly delicious, but they also offer numerous health benefits.
That’s why I’ve made a promise to myself to incorporate more coconut into my daily life. I’m not just talking about using coconut oil on my face, or when I’m cooking, or drinking coconut water. I’m talking about taking it up a notch by adding coconut cream to soups, and using coconut flesh and milk to create delicious recipes.
Being friendly doesn’t cost a thing
As soon as you step off the plane in Bangkok, you’ll be greeted by the warmest and most welcoming Thai smiles. This friendly gesture, often accompanied by a slight bow, will instantly make you feel welcome. The Thai people are renowned for their affable nature, which is why Thailand is often referred to as the Land of Smiles. While it’s true that Thai people may not always be in a good mood, they do their best to greet you with a smile. To me, this is a powerful metaphor for maintaining a positive outlook and brightening someone else’s day. A simple smile can instantly shift a conversation to a more positive tone, even if you’re about to voice a complaint or receive criticism. Responding with a friendly face can improve your day and the day of those around you, making it a win-win situation.
I’m eager to develop a taste for spicier food. When I was younger, even a tiny flake of pepper or a small piece of onion was enough to ruin my meal because it was too overpowering. But over the years, I’ve gradually trained my palate to handle spicier food. Despite my progress, I’m still not quite there yet. There have been times when I’ve requested a dish to be made less spicy, only to find my mouth on fire after just one bite. I thought that I was cool since I could eat raw onions, but I still have a long way to go.
Spicy food is not only versatile, but it’s also healthy. My ultimate goal is to be able to eat chili peppers without bursting into tears.
What’s great about Thai cooking is that their methods are relatively quick and simple, with a lot of boiling, sauteing, steaming, and high heat stir-frying. I took a vegan Thai cooking class and it was such a blast. I was introduced to new ingredients that I wasn’t familiar with, like taro, black sticky rice, galangal root, lotus root, and Thai chilies. I even got to make a beautiful green curry with coconut milk, onions, and fruits that turned out to be my favorite. For dessert, we made black sticky rice with coconut cream and salt, as well as a mango pudding that was simply amazing.
Being GRATEFUL is all
Although I love what I do, my work never seems to end and I’ve come to realize that it’s not always healthy. I’ve been dedicating all my time and energy to The Green Creator and hardly taking any time offline. It’s easy to forget the importance of taking a break. Recently, however, I’ve been feeling more relaxed and happy. As a result, I’ve decided to take at least one day off per week with limited emailing and social media. Instead, I plan to spend my time reading books, cooking, enjoying a cup of tea and going for a walk. I want to recapture the immense gratitude I felt while waking up every morning to the sound of singing birds and the view of the sea.
To me, intense gratitude is synonymous with happiness. I vividly remember one evening before sunset when I went for a swim at the beach. The beach was almost empty, palm trees were adorned with Christmas lights, and candlelit tables were set up for dinner. As I swam, the sunset behind me was breathtaking. The sea was warm and inviting, and it felt like I was floating on a giant, cozy bed. Around me, small groups of tiny fish were jumping in and out of the water. In that moment, I felt like I was living in a dream. I remember thinking that I didn’t know what I had done to deserve being there, and that it felt like heaven.
Koh Samui has had an incredible impact on me, surpassing anything I could have done at home. The experiences, fresh air, beach, food, and especially the delicious fruits like mangoes have left me feeling rejuvenated and full of creativity, positivity, and energy.
No oil, no problem
I’ve noticed that Thai cuisine doesn’t incorporate much fat, which has been a revelation for me. They seem to use fat from healthy sources like coconut milk, nuts, and certain seeds or oils in moderation. Although, like any cuisine, there are some junk food or fried options, Thai cuisine tends to rely on fresh ingredients and employs ingenious quick-cooking methods.
Soup is comfort, but fruit is life
As a soup enthusiast, I was delighted to discover that I could enjoy delicious vegetable soup every morning, just like the locals do! The soups were truly remarkable, and I plan to attempt making them at home. However, after a few days, I switched back to having fruits for breakfast as it felt like the better option. The tropical fruits in Thailand were fantastic, and I savored them, particularly mangoes, as much as I could!
I ate every morning heaps of fruit and fresh vegetable juices, which are also quite popular for breakfast time. It was a beautiful, light, and energetic way to start my morning.
Naturally, I had to satisfy my curiosity and try durian, which was on my food bucket list. This fruit is native to Asia, has an unmistakably pungent odor, and is a source of fascination for both durian lovers and durian haters.
When passing by markets, the distinct aroma of fresh durian, a spiky green fruit the size of a large football, is impossible to miss. The smell is a combination of onion, garlic, vomit, cheese, and sweat. The creamy, mushy, and soft flesh of the fruit is intense in flavor.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like either the fresh or dried version of durian. Perhaps I’ll enjoy the frozen version?
Mai bpen rai
Mai bpen rai is a Thai phrase that translates to “never mind,” “don’t sweat the small stuff,” or “no worries.” It’s a philosophy of letting things go and not getting too caught up in the details. As someone who tends to be a bit of a control freak, I had to learn to embrace this mindset when I visited Thailand. Thai culture is more relaxed and laid-back than what I’m used to, and things don’t always run on a strict schedule. I remember one time I was in a taxi, running late for my flight and getting more and more stressed out by the minute. But the driver didn’t seem to be in a rush at all. It wasn’t until later that I realized that in Thailand they don’t easily stress about things as much as I do. They understand that you can’t control everything, so why worry about it? It’s a valuable lesson that I continue to try to apply in my own life.
Have you ever been to Thailand? I‘d love to hear your stories!