Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Living Well in Turks & Caicos

Last week, I was on the beautiful island of Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands.  When I'm on vacation I like to relax and recharge as much as possible, however I still manage to stay active and eat well for the most part.  Old habits die hard, I guess.

In addition to daily walks on the beach, a bike ride on some crappy hotel bikes, and some snorkeling I managed to do a couple more intense training sessions.  The resort's fitness center wasn't anything to write home about and there wasn't anywhere great to configure the TRX.  Therefore you have to make use of what you've got - the beautiful Grace Bay beach.

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no this is not photoshopped and it is even more magnificent in person

To get started, my husband and I did a light jog on the beach and some mobility exercises to loosen up before the tough stuff.  The high intensity portion consisted of sprints combined with body weight exercises.  A beach chair and umbrella at the next resort over became a convenient marker for distance, approximately 100 yards away.

We sprinted down to the marker, stopped and performed a designated body weight exercise before sprinting back to the start.  Each working period lasted no longer than a minute.  We took turns so one recovered while the other worked.  The recovery periods were about 2 minutes by the time we waited for the other to finish and for the occasional tourist strolling along the beach to get out of our way.  We did four rounds total, which looked like this:

Round 1
Sprint to marker, 15 squat jumps, sprint back to start

Round 2
Sprint, 20 mountain climbers per side, sprint

Round 3
Sprint, 10 split jumps per side, sprint

Round 4
Sprint, 12 alternating straight arm side planks, sprint

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Alternating side planks

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Sprinting back to the start

After the hard part was over, we did a quick stroll on the beach to cool down (if that's possible in tropical weather).  All in all, the entire session was under 30 minutes.  Fine with me.  I'm on vacation.

TCI also had some awesome island specialties.  One of which is conch (pronounced "konk").  The other is rum punch, but that's not really appropriate for a health blog so I'm going to focus on the sea mollusks.  Conch is prepared in a number of dishes: fritters, cracked, chowder, salad, burgers, tacos, etc.  You name it, they can make it.  The consistency is similar to clams or calamari - a little dense and slightly chewy, but delicious nonetheless.

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Conch creole from Da Conch Shack - AMAZING!

We even went on a snorkel tour where the first mate dove for our lunch, which was freshly prepared conch salad.

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Spike from Island Vibes tours

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Live conch before he met his unfortunate fate

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Conch salad

So why am I telling you all this?  Well, conch is really good for you!  It's very high in protein with very little fat.  In a 4 ounce serving there's about 18 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat.  It's also a very good source of folate, vitamin B12, and magnesium to name a few.  Unfortunately, supply in U.S. waters is very low.  But next time you're in a tropical locale where it thrives, give it a try!


Brenda said...

we were there to last week! We saw you guys on Grace Bay doing your work outs! We were the four always walking every morning. You will remember my BFF with short spikey hair, amazing figure (she's 58!!!), and all the tattoos! The rope tattoo with the anchor around her waist, the Antique Caribbean Map on her back, as well as peacock feathers! My husband, me, her husband with the white hair and mustache, and Peggy, the tattoo lady! LOL! Great pics!

Amanda Kopeski said...

Brenda - what a small world! Your group sounds familiar. I'll have to go back and see if you made it in any of my other workout photos. :) Hope you enjoyed your vacation as much as we did!