bright and early
Oh good ole time changes, jet lag and of course let’s not forget about the confused roosters of Bali that start at 3 am 😭 That’s right these roosters are relentless. They’ll do anything it takes to make sure you’re up and ready to go before the sun’s even thinking about rising.
With everyone alert and ready to go by 5 am we start up the coffee and have a slow morning until our first yoga session at 7:30 am. Our yoga instructor Bronte is an expat from Perth, Australia and is really the sweetest thing with her little Aussie accent. She’s been all over the world teaching retreats and practicing yoga. She also rescues puppies in Bali and helps get them in tip-top shape for adoption, which means puppies come to yoga sometimes too!
We call our first yoga session the post-flight stretch out. Everything is light and flows to help get our body open again and out of the cramped seated position we’ve been in for hours. After an hour of yoga and some meditation amongst the Bali jungle noises we retreat inside for our beautiful vegan breakfast and nutrition talk by Matt Kathol. On the first daily nutrition talk, we cover Micronutrients. We review the difference between essential and non-essential micronutrients, where to find these micronutrients in a plant-based diet and ways to slow down cellular turnover.
Our chef Nurdi makes the most beautiful vegan creations for us. She always starts our morning off with a green smoothie, fresh fruit and some sort of decadent vegan treat such as purple sweet potato with coconut shreds and coconut syrup, coconut pancakes, or coconut rolled bananas. Notice the coconut theme? It’s one of the many things about Bali that makes me happy...
After our bellies are full of vegan breakfast we head off to our excursions of the day which starts with getting acquainted with Ubud. First stop is the ever famous Monkey Forest. It’s amazing because we can get up close and personal with the hundreds of monkeys that run around freely in the heart of Ubud. When I say hundreds I’m not exaggerating. In fact, there are more than 700 of them that call this forest home, in addition to nearly 200 species of trees for you nature lovers out there. The coolest thing about Monkey Forest is there are no cages. The monkeys come and go freely within the forest. The village's residents view the Monkey Forest as an important spiritual, economic, educational, and conservation center for the village. Additionally, it’s home to three Hindu temples. The temples play an important role in the spiritual life of the local community, and the monkeys and their mythology are important in the Balinese art tradition. The Monkey Forest area is sanctified by the local community, and some parts of it are not open for viewing by the public. Sacred areas of the temples are closed to everyone except those who come to pray while wearing proper Balinese prayer attire.
Once everyone has gotten their monkey fix we head over to Clear Café Ubud. Their front door is a wooden Balinese half-circle. Marigolds are elegantly placed all over the restaurant. Their concept is that eating clean food leads to a clear mind. And with that in mind, their menu ranges from vegan, raw vegan, and vegetarian to some clean and organic, sustainable meat options. They have fun tonics such as Jamu, an ancient Balinese ayurvedic medicinal that uses tamarind, fresh ginger, yellow and white turmeric to heal. And then they have fun raw foods like raw pizza or lasagna - perfect for littles and kids at heart alike.
After lunch, we toured the rice terraces and went on the famous rice terrace walk. If you’ve ever seen stunning photos of rice terraces in Bali I guarantee they were taken at this place. Tegallalang Rice Terraces are amongst the most popular rice terraces primarily for their panoramic views. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that visitors have the ability to hike all the way down to the bottom terrace and around each terrace either... If you want to make this a workout you definitely can as the steps can be quite treacherous. Beware if you have bad knees as the hiking may not be the best activity for you – but there are plenty of lookout points and photo opportunities available from the highest terrace. Matt and I even ended up taking some of our wedding photos here because the lighting in the morning is so stunning over the green terraces.
After the hike, some came back to the villa to relax by the pool and enjoy another life-changing meal by Nurdi. A few Spartans continued on with the day to find another hike in Bali with a waterfall view. Tegenungan waterfall is a heavily trafficked tourist spot as it has a stunning waterfall that you can swim in. The village is only 3 miles from Ubud but remember that is 3 miles Bali time so during heavy traffic time it could take you nearly 30 mins to get there. Let's just say getting around Bali is not a fast process unless you are on a scooter. But, the wait is worth it because hiking through the jungle to a hidden waterfall and taking a cooling swim is the image of paradise.
High of the day: Playing with monkeys and walking all throughout the terraces
Low of the day: Humidity! Wow, the hair went into an instant lion’s mane
Just another girl who is trying to inspire others. Passionate about health and fitness. And a love of coffee and peanut butter.