I’ve always had body image issues and I still somewhat do. It does not help if you grew up in a traditional Chinese family where reverse psychology was the guide to child rearing. The offhand comments of ‘even if she drinks water, she gains weight’ or ‘she’s like a garbage can..she’ll eat anything’ still ring in my ear at times. In my adult life, I’ve become a bit more comfortable in my own skin and not afraid to flaunt it with a dress or a pair of shorts. I’ve learned to maintain a balance of eating well and eating for pleasure. If you regularly visit my blog or follow me on twitter, you know I like to eat, I like to eat a lot, and I like to eat a lot of different things. I give credit to my parents and grandparents who brought up this ‘garbage can’ to tolerate and enjoy the variety. I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten most parts of a cow and pig now.
As I age, I know my metabolism is no longer the same as I was in University when I could inhale anything and the food would magically dissipate. Because of the food blogging and my not-so-youthful age, I’ve drastically changed my eating habits to accommodate my lifestyle and still enjoy the delectable pleasures of fine cuisine.
Warning: My at-home eating ritual is incredibly boring
Drink lots of it of course! But it doesn’t have to get boring. I have a pitcher of some sort of water concoction that I prepare every week for cleansing and detoxing. It’s usually just lemon and water, and sometimes I’d add mint, cucumber slices, and/or green tea
Options: Tea, flavored water, coconut water, watered down juice with soda water/lemon water (store bought juice is too sweet for me)
When I work out, I try to guzzle down a good 2 bottles worth of water. Just by doing that you already intake about half your 8/glasses a day quota.
When I go out for dinner, I drink as much ice water as possible in between meals.
I usually make a big portion of smoothie that would last me a few days. Just another shot of health and nutrients that I may be missing. My smoothie mix is pretty random but I always ensure there’s flax, berries, and spinach or kale in it. To make up for the lack of dairy in my diet, I use almond and soy milk too.
You would think I have a supply of booze at my place but there’s usually none. I may on occasion buy a bottle of wine but that’s rare. I tend to only drink when I’m out
Knowing that when I go out and I splurge on dinners, I try to be frugal when it comes to lunches and at-home eating.
I completely avoid the breakfast sandwiches, muffins, etc because of the sugar and carbs. At my desk, I usually have a supply of oatmeal or I grab a piece of fruit or yogurt.
My ritual has been in the morning I drink my detox concoction with my vitamins before I head out (and maybe a big sip of my smoothie). At work, while waiting for the coffee to dispense I guzzle another large cup of water & make my oatmeal.
My pills rotation: B Complex, Biotin, Folic Acid, Calcium, Green Tea, Apple Vinegar, Chromium, Selenium, Omega, CLA (not all at once ;) it’s usually whatever I grab first in the mornings)
If I’m still hungry after breakfast, I try to eat something a bit heartier a like an apple, banana or pear
I have another large cup of water before I actually start eating. Sometimes the body confuses thirst with hunger and also having water prevents the body from craving salt too much. Lunch usually consists of leftovers, crudités, salad, egg white wrap, sushi or veggie wrap or sandwich (I know incredibly boring). After eating the meal, I have another cup of water.
Like clockwork, by 3pm or so I’m hungry again. My snacking is random…I’d be noshing on a piece of cheese, fruit, beef jerky, trail mix, or cheat with a chocolate bar.
There is barely any ‘white’ (sorry to be racist) or processed food in my cupboards and fridge. The only ‘bad’ foods I have are instant noodles which I haven’t touched for a year now, some dumplings and my endless supply of condiments and hot sauces. If I want to make a side it’s usually brown rice (sometimes white rice), quinoa, and/or udon noodles. I usually steam, stir fry, or roast my veggies. And a surprise to most, there’s barely any meat in my fridge…I’m like a part-time vegetarian.
As per my ‘Lazy Cook’ rule, I try to cook anything in under 15 minutes. I don’t pressure myself that since I like and know food I should be cooking like a Michelin star chef. Thus, I don’t cook up a storm of sous vide this, marinade that, etc. The times I do cook and put on a show are for potlucks and gatherings.
If I’m feeling really lazy then I would go grab take-out but even with takeout I’m very conscientious about ordering something healthy.
I try to avoid eating past 8-9pm but if I do eat anything it’s usually cutting up a small piece of cheese, munching on some ‘healthy’ chips like Pop chips or making gluten free toast with peanut butter.
What I ‘try’ avoid in general but still indulge in on occasion: dairy (except occasional cheese and plain yogurt), white food, potatoes, processed food, beef (I usually have fish or chicken), pastas, junk food, pastries, sugar (there’s no sugar in my home at all), soda/pop, juices, anything deep fried.
WEEKENDS or WHEN I’M OUT:
No holds bar and I would convince myself that I can exercise it off the next day.
You may have seen my check-ins… ;-) I usually try to fit in 4-6 times a week of intense exercises like spinning, step, conditioning and/or bootcamp classes. If I can’t make it to a class, I try to go to the gym at my office during lunch. To mix things up, I would take the occasional Bar class and/or yoga (which I should be doing more)
This sounds all strict but for me it’s become a lifestyle. It was hard to transition at first but it’s all about discipline, portion control, and balance. Happy eating everyone! J