In my quest for clean, healthy, and nutritious foods during my time in Thailand, I encountered various challenges, especially in terms of language barriers. One particular story stands out, highlighting the struggle to find food and drinks that align with my health requirements. It all unfolded at the airport in Chiang Mai, where a seemingly innocent order for green tea turned into an unexpected sweet surprise.

The Unexpectedly Sweet Green Tea:

Thirsty and in need of something refreshing, I decided to order a cup of green tea. Aware of the common use of added sugar, oil, and milk in beverages and foods, I made sure to specify “no sugar,” and “no milk” in my request. However, to my dismay, when I took the first sip, the tea was surprisingly sweet. Perplexed, I approached the person who prepared it to express my confusion. She insisted that she hadn’t added any sugar, pointing to the green tea powder as the source of the sweetness. It was then that I realized the sugar was already added to the powdered mix, unbeknownst to me.

The Hidden Additives:

This eye-opening experience shed light on a recurring pattern I discovered during my time in Thailand. Whether it was green tea or coconut smoothies, I often encountered the same situation – despite my request for no sugar, the drinks were already pre-sweetened. It became clear that many establishments incorporated sugar or other “bad” ingredients without informing customers, assuming that the standard recipe was acceptable for everyone. It was a valuable lesson in the importance of being vigilant and specific in my dietary requests, even in seemingly simple choices like ordering a beverage.

Lessons Learned:

This experience reinforced the need to communicate clearly and assertively when ordering food and drinks (not just abroad, but everywhere!). It also highlighted the prevalence of hidden additives, such as sugar and oils, in many popular offerings. By taking charge of my dietary choices and actively seeking out establishments that prioritize clean and healthy ingredients, I gained a better understanding of the importance of reading labels, asking questions, and advocating for my nutritional needs.


My journey to eating clean and nutritious foods in Thailand was not without its challenges. The incident with the unexpectedly sweet green tea served as a reminder that assumptions about ingredients can lead to unintended consequences. It underscored the need to be proactive and assertive in my dietary choices, ensuring that the foods and beverages I consume align with my health requirements. Through this experience, I became more determined to navigate the local food scene with knowledge and awareness, embracing the adventure of finding clean and nourishing options wherever I go.

When traveling or dining out, it’s crucial to communicate your dietary preferences and restrictions clearly to ensure the food and drinks you consume align with your health goals.

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About the Author Jason Ryer

Helping people cut through the B.S. to finally lose weight, keep it off and beyond for: fat loss, energy, strength and immunity... to reach their (super) human potential!

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