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 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

Eating healthy day 12: Eating fast is ok

When I’m starving or short on time, I tend to speed up my eating pace, for obvious reasons. I talk about eating slow so your brain can catch up to your stomach “feeling full”. But if you’re crunched on time because you need to get somewhere, eating slow isn’t an option. In that case, just portion out your food and don’t allow yourself to eat anything else afterwards. I mean, you shouldn’t have time to allocate to additional eating if you’re running somewhere right. The important thing is to still pay attention to the act of eating, don’t multi-task. If you do, it’s very likely you would feel like you didn’t even eat, which is bad.

Grocery List — more of the same as previous days…

Eating healthy day 11: Leftover Basil Chicken Salad

I love Thai food. I can almost always taste sour, sweet, salty, and spicy in Thai dishes. They also tends to be healthier and richer in flavor. Basil Chicken is a Thai dish stable and it’s seasoned with garlic and chili, my favorites. Since I make it at home, I can control how much spice and sugar go into it. If you’re like me and could only shop at an American supermarket, you probably can’t find the bird eye chili peppers and holy basil the original dish calls for. My substitutes were Thai basil that I grew at home and a habanero pepper. I mistakenly used the whole pepper, big mistake. Hence I had a lot of chicken leftover. So I just tossed a few pieces in with my spinach leafs, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes and yellow bell pepper. Luckily I had my berry fruit salad at the end to cool my mouth down from the heat. I still love spicy though!

Grocery List:

  • pre-washed baby spinach leafs (best from Costco)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • thai basil (holy basil if you can get your hands on it)
  • this basil chicken recipe
  • chicken breast
  • bird eye chilis (habanero if you dare or can’t find the Thai chilis)
  • garlic
  • yellow bell pepper

Eating healthy day 10: Whole fish with bones

Americans hate eating anything with tiny bones or seeds in it. Having grown up in China, they were just an unavoidable part of eating. I find myself having the patience for certain foods and none of others. I thank the scientists that genetically engineered seedless watermelons. How can GMO be bad when it enabled seedless watermelon a reality???? Animal bones on the other hand, I don’t mind as long as the dish is packed with flavor. Slow cooked whole fish, good. Dim sum chicken feet, good. Slow braised pork feet, good. I also view it as a sort of a game and practice for my tongue so it’s all good.

Grocery List:

  • fish
  • watermelon chunks
  • cabbage
  • seaweed salad