What’s Cooking at Chiva-Som?

Executive chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat demonstrates one of Chiva-Som's healthy dishes.

Executive chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat demonstrates one of Chiva-Som's healthy dishes.

Two years ago I was fortunate enough to visit Chiva-Som, a renowned destination spa in Hua Hin, Thailand. To say my experience there was life changing is somewhat of an understatement, but then again, that’s really the purpose behind a destination spa. Although I’ve never been overweight (probably on account of the fact that I’ve been blessed with a decent metabolism and am something of a fitness fanatic), I do have a major sweet tooth. Just ask anyone who knows me about my passionate love of ice cream. Before Chiva-Som, I had developed an unhealthy addiction to Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt. In fact, I was consuming up to five pints a week. Because a girl can only work out so many hours in a day and metabolisms do eventually slow down, I knew I had to kick the habit. It was at Chiva-Som that I totally changed the way I eat, cutting out sugary snacks (which in my case meant chocolate) and replacing them with fresh fruits, reducing my carb intake, and becoming a stickler for portion control. Imagine my surprise when, upon my return, the scale began registering numbers I’d never before imagined possible. When people ask how I did it, I credit Chiva-Som with kick starting my transformation. And now, guests who sign up for the spa’s culinary packages can learn to master their diet as well with a new hands-on cooking class in which they’re taught proper cooking techniques and the fundamentals of gardening. This year also introduced a Private Lunch and Learn, a one-on-one session that gives guests dining at the Chef’s Table a chance to create a personalized three-course menu that is prepared before them by the chef, and a Private Beach Barbeque, which treats guests to a selection of their favorite ingredients prepared to their liking. Thanks to my Chiva-Som visit, I’m a size or two smaller despite working out less than ever, and I have yet to indulge in my pint-a-night addiction.

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