Eating healthy day 18: Chopped Salad

A friend recently asked me, “Did you lose weight?” Yes, in fact, I really did! I can confidently attribute these results to 3 things: eating healthy, cutting calories and building muscles. Yes, it does get boring if I eat the same food day after day, but I never do. There are countless ways to cook a healthy dish and a ton of different flavor combinations. Highly effective are these flavor bombs: scallions, sweet onions, cilantro, wasabi, spicy mustard, daikon, basil, and mint.

Grocery List:

  • blueberries
  • cherries
  • sweet onion
  • cilantro
  • scallion
  • soba noodles
  • spinach & mixed greens
Advertisements

Eating healthy day 17: Canned sardines for that Omega-3

Omega-3 is such a buzz word these days, it’s easy to glaze over the details. An important fact to note is Omega-3 is a type of polyunsaturated fat, of which 3 are found in our food. ALA is the first kind, found in leafy plants and plant seeds, think flaxseed, chia, or avocado, (not coconut oil because that’s actually considered a saturated fat) and so forth. Our bodies actually convert these into longer chained EPA and DHA at a pretty inefficient rate. So, it’s more efficient to directly consume EPA and DHA in oily fish like salmon, sardines (bigger bang for the buck), or algae and krill oil. Glossy hair is very attractive, why? Because it’s a sign of health and we’re attracted to our counterparts who look healthy. Omega-3s can help you get that glossy hair from the inside!

Eating healthy day 16: Blueberries are in season!

Fruits and vegetables that are in season are the most nutritious and flavorful ingredients you can use in your cooking. In addition, they’re also less expensive and more readily available. I live in New York, so blueberries are in season starting in July. They are packed with antioxidants without a lot of sugar, which means I can eat as much as I want without feeling guilty.

Eating healthy day 15: Checkpoint

So I’ve been posting these videos of me eating my dinner, which means for 15 days, I followed a diet plan and worked out. Let me reiterate what diet plan and workout regiment is.

Wake up at 7:30AM

Breakfast: 2 cups of green tea

Workout: High intensity training class at the gym during lunch break right before eating

Lunch: 1 meal replacement shake

Dinner: 1 full meal (basically the food in those videos)

Sleep before 11PM

I do this on weekdays only since weekends are spent out and about with friends. Trust me, I wouldn’t keep following this regiment if it didn’t work…

I’ve only recently started to weigh myself. I have this aversion to scales when I “feel” fat, yes, I’m so vain… I can tell you though joining a gym definitely helped with my routine. But even with going to the gym everyday, I was still hovering around 114-118. You could feel my muscles, but not see them since they were covered under a thick layer of fat. It was only after I started following this eating regiment did the pounds start to shed in addition to muscle growth. I weighed in at 109.5 lbs for a second day in a row, but the % fat dropped from 21.6% to 20.9%.

I took a look back at my previous post. At my fittest, I was 105.5 lbs and 18.8% body fat. I really don’t care much about weight, but I really want more muscles! I should figure out a way to really step up my strength training… I should probably just do more yoga.

So at a pace of 1-2% fat loss per month, I should be down to 16% by August… Haha, people usually try to lose the weight before summer, while I do it during summer, only to gain it back again in the winter months… such intense procrastination!! My reward will be those few precious months in September and maybe more trips to the tropics this winter.

 

Eating healthy day 14: Quinoa, corn and broccoli

I went to Trader Joe’s the other day and unexpectedly saw a bag of organic tricolored quinoa and instantly bought it. Following the very simple cooking instructions on the back, boil in water for 10-15 minutes, I succeeded in cooking my very first batch of quinoa. I took out from the freezer, a bag of frozen corn, broccoli and red bell pepper, and tossed half of its content in the pot with the cooked quinoa. I went a bit heavy on the seasoning with crushed black pepper, red chili flakes and olive juice from a jar, but salt would also do. The whole thing took me 20 minutes to make, most of time was actually spent cutting up fruits for my fruit salad. So it just comes to show cooking healthy food can be really fast and easy.

Grocery List:

  • Trader Joe’s organic tricolored quinoa (or any brand you prefer)
  • frozen bag of corn and broccoli
  • assortment of fruits
  • any vegetable dish

Eating healthy day 13: Wontons

Once again, I’m indulging in some homemade goodies thanks to my mama. They are pork and cilantro wontons! Normally you would boil them in a soupy base with ingredients like napa cabbage, seaweed, tomato slices and so forth. I chose the rebel route and ate them like dumplings; with the rest of my dumplings of course. Do I get enough protein, oh hell yes I do!

If you live in NYC, or not, you might have heard of or eaten at White Bear in Flushing. It’s this hole in the wall Chinese restaurant that specializes in wontons and dumplings. I’ve tried their #6 wonton special and it was underwhelming. But seriously who can blame me when you grew up with the best wonton & dumpling chef? I’m so spoiled…

Grocery List:

  • dumplings & wontons (only if you have the patience to make them at home, otherwise, do skip on the frozen store-bought ones since they’re full of healthy fat.)
  • cabbage
  • pickled garlic

Baked cheesy fakeness

Since I started attempting to maintain a vegan diet, I’ve stopped eating cheese. It’s been about 6 months now and I have successfully avoided it thus far. That is all but on a few special occasions. Considering I have so much of it at work and I see it everyday, I feel really proud of my self-control.

My favorite kind of cheese is actually the creamy, gooey kind, like¬†gruyere. But I’d eat any kind. Oh, I do miss pairing cheese with wine, and wine with steak, all of which I choose not to eat for health reasons. But I digress…

Back to the topic on hand, I wanted to share the fact that I’ve made a life-changing discovery. I managed to make a fake version of baked cheese using only vegan ingredients. Wait for it, and it actually tastes like the real deal by my standards. Granted I made a bad version of the original recipe, but I find that I like it nonetheless.

The original recipe calls for:

  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 2 TBSP (tablespoon) tapioca starch
  • 2 TSP (teaspoons) apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 TBSP nutritional yeast flakes (I got mine from Amazon)
  • 2 TSP salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup water

Step 1: Blend the above ingredients until smooth

Step 2: Stir in pan and let it thicken (due to the tapioca starch)

Step 3: Place in a baking container lined with parchment paper (to prevent sticking)

Step 4: Stick several cut slices of garlic and fresh rosemary twigs into the “cheese”, dusk on some black pepper, and drizzle some olive oil on top

Step 5: Bake for 20 minutes in a 365*F oven

If you follow the instructions exactly, you should get a more gooey consistency, like the image up top, than what I made, seen in image below. Over time, I’ll figure out what the right thing to do is and make mine more like the real thing. The good part is, even if you mess up, it still tastes amazingly like real cheese. Those garlic sticks in there are the bomb, I will definitely be adding more of them in there next time.

img_20180627_212014.jpg

Taste is king, but I always emphasize nutrition as well. The fact that it’s made from cashews automatically gives this dish a gold star for healthy fats and more (which you can read about here). Nutritional yeast is packed with protein and fiber. You can get a immune system boost from the garlic and much more benefits (read about them here)! But remember to portion out the right amount so you don’t over-indulge, fat is still going to add calories to your daily intake.

For obvious reasons, try to pair it with a vegetable, like carrots and celery, but if you want to indulge, toast some thinly slice baguette and pop open a bottle of wine. At least you have 1 thing that’s good for you.

Enjoy!