I thought that I would get the ball rolling on my fitness regimen straight out of the gate for 2016.
I have always been pretty health conscious, at least, I would say for the last two years or so when I started exercising regularly and also learned in doing so, that exercising was but one part of the battle to staying healthy.
Of course, diet counts too. In fact some would say that those flat toned abs are really a product of what you eat and not how much exercise you do.
So, coming from the Caribbean, you would think that flat toned abs are in abundance, right?
Don't ask me, I don't look.
What I do know for sure is that even with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables many Caribbean people don't eat clean and healthy.
Well, over the last four decades or so most Caribbean islands, Barbados included, have moved away from agricultural based economies to services industries economies. As a result, farms and the trade are certainly becoming less in numbers and profit.
As a result, most of Barbados' fruits and vegetables are imported.
Of course imported goods always come with an added cost to the consumer. Such to the case, that eating clean and healthy has become a very expensive endeavour.
Furthermore, as more people, particularly women have joined the workforce, most families don't have the privilege anymore of home cooked meals; most content to settle for the convenience of a drive-thru.
How different is Turkey?
It is as different as it could possible be.
First of all, Turkey is perhaps one of the most self-sufficient and sustaining countries in the world. Everything and I do mean everything is grown in Turkey.
So much so is agriculture a part of their culture and day to day life, that after speaking to anyone for 20 minutes you will often learn that their father, uncle, brother or son is a farmer. It is just an integral part of Turkish (Eastern) life.
Furthermore, as most Turkish women become and remain housewives after marriage, most households have the privilege of home cooked meals daily to the point where most Turkish homes don't have or want for a microwave.
And you can bet that with such a strong focus on home cooked meals, that Turkish cuisine is very distinguishable and dense. But clean though- always clean.
Even their most hedonistic meal, monti, a pasta, ravioli dish served smothered in yogurt is 'pretty healthy' considering the ingredients.
This distinguishable characteristic can be seen even further in their fast food.
A Whopper in Turkey is not a Whopper in NYC.
After eating one in Turkey you feel like you just had a light snack.
So, given the strong agricultural base and lifestyle in Turkey, is it possible to eat healthy in Turkey?
Remember, I cited that cost and lifestyle were impediments to most Caribbean people eating healthy.
While I did suggest that Turkish food is relatively cheap because of its high production of fruits and vegetables, you must understand that that is just a generalisation based on an assumption often construed as fact.
How possible (and cheap) is it to really eat clean in Turkey... every day for 30 days?
Kamp Kamila Fitness Challenge
Well, I am about to find out.
I started my fitness regimen two years ago in Barbados after I was introduced to Kamila McDonald-Alcock's 10 Pound Pledge workout series.
Now for 2016 she is back at it again with a new fitness program.
And you guessed it, I signed up.
This program is not only for exercise but also for diet. As a result, for the next 30 days I will be challenged to eat clean and healthy for every meal using Kamila's approved list of food items.
As a result, I will give you a weekly update and breakdown of my diet. That includes the breakdown of costs and the types of dishes that I have been able to prepare with the foods that I bought.
Supermarket vs. market
In Turkey, well the entire Middle East for that matter, all prices are negotiable when buying from the seller face to face. As a result, markets always fetch the best bargains.
But sometimes it is just not practical for me to get to a market.
However, I will try to do so about twice during this four week program so that I can compare supermarket prices with market prices, because again it is just an assumption to believe that market prices will be cheaper. They just may not be.
So starting next Monday, I will bring to you the first part of this series breaking down how I eat healthy in Turkey.
At this point I want to take the opportunity to encourage you to make a good start to 2016 by incorporating healthy foods into your diet.
Trust me. It works!