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Determined to head to warmer weather and still stick to this month’s healthy-living rules, then the perfect travel resolution is available from Aruba!
With this month designated as Veganuary, the diet conundrum just gets all the more difficult but, again, Aruba can serve up a solution.
This Dutch Caribbean island has long been recognised for its cuisine, drawing on its cosmopolitan culture, and with more than 300 restaurants within its shores it is able to cater for every palate and budget.
It is also embracing the burgeoning trend for vegan and vegetarian diets and despite a deeply-rooted food culture that favours meat, fish and barbecues, there are more and more options to eat healthier.
Meanwhile, the island also has an ambitious commitment to healthy living for the local population and has been working hard to transfer the drive to its tourism industry.
Initiatives for Aruba residents includes a health bus which visits all parts of the island promoting fitness and offering health screenings. Other projects target schools to reduce levels of obesity in the next decade and encouraging the business sector to stage fitness activities, including walkathons and cycling events.
For visitors following a vegan diet, the thriving website www.veganaruba.com makes it easier than ever to stay up to date with where to eat, shop and meet up with the vegan community.
On the wider health front, across Aruba’s thriving tourism sector, the island’s government is promoting a healthy lifestyle to help visitors keep in trim.
While many resorts have fitness centres and offer group activities, many properties also have their own spas. Invigorating mud wraps, hot stone massages, soothing scrubs, aromatherapy baths and refreshing facials and masks await holidaymakers. Treatments feature local aloe and cactus preparations, desert mud, essential oils, plant extracts, sea salts, fruits and other natural products.
Food remains the biggest potential downfall for those watching the ounces. The Slow Food International body is active in Aruba, promoting locally produced food, helping to support local farmers and also ensuring consumers have access to ‘good, clean and fair’ food.
Historically, around 90 per cent of Aruba’s food has been imported, so promoting locally-produced food can also minimise the environmental impact of long-distance transportation of food products.
Local representatives of Slow Food International have approached Aruba hotels to encourage them to buy locally-produced food. Local restaurants, too, are targets and they have the scope to buy even more local food and give tourists an authentic taste of Aruban cuisine. Fish is, naturally, an abundant and healthy option, while locally-produced fruit and vegetables include papaya, rich in minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients.
Another ingredient to try is goat, locally-known as cabrito – found in soups, stews and also grilled. Goat is said to be the healthiest of red meats, low in fat and high in nutrients and is easy to digest.
We’re just getting started with the amazing effects Aruba has to offer. Dig into your trip details below to unlock a Caribbean experience that will leave you sunnier, happier, and (of course) a little more tanned.