Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blog Action Day 2011 Food

I am proud to be taking part in Blog Action Day OCT 16 2011 www.blogactionday.org

When I saw the topic for Blog Action Day this year, at first I wondered what can a sports blog add to the UN World Food Day?

Maybe it seems right because I did most of my sport in Thailand, a country where MuayThai fighters come from the poorest section of society. A country where many of the fighters choose between working 14-hour days in the rice-fields or getting in the ring.

They fight to put food on the table. Boxers talk of training as young kids having only eaten a boiled egg and a handful of sicky rice for breakfast before school. That’s a three-hour training session on ice-water and an empty stomach.

After training, people sit – on the floor or benches – and eat together. Rice, fish, chicken, green veg and plates of hot chilli. It’s not the rich coconut-flavoured food you see in western Thai restaurants. This is cheap but healthy if you get enough of it.

There is no ‘my plate’. Everyone eats together, picking food from the main dishes onto their plate, sharing the green shoots.

The chilli isn’t there to just test your staying power either, chilli raises the metabolism, makes you feel full even when you haven’t eaten nearly enough.

Some of the bigger gyms attract lots of western boxers now, they come with expensive shoes to protect their feet and they bring tins of tuna or protein supplements to dinner.

They say it’s incredible the Thais can fight on so little food. Mate, it’s not a lifestyle choice, it’s not a variant of the Atkins Diet, it’s not some secret MuayThai technique.

It’s poverty.

Sawasdee mag 2000

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