I am not here to preach, but I am sharing in this post the reason why in the past few years I am trying my best to shift from a typical city girl way of eating (fast food, processed, lots of junk) to one that is more focused on natural fresh food.
It doesn’t have to happen overnight, but I encourage you to start (or continue) the journey away from industrially produced food (canned/packet/frozen), highly refined sugars, and nutritionally barren flours. Before these products made their way into your house, many are treated with chemicals and stripped of most of their vitamins, minerals, fiber, and flavour. And worst of all, there is no life force in these products which has 3 years of shelf life – it is DEAD food that we put into our ‘LIVING’ body.
The good news is that the “processed food” can be replaced by delicious, nutritious alternatives and it can be totally fun preparing food from scratch! I need to add that I’m not super strict, but over time I did make a conscious effort to shift my everyday habits. I certainly indulge in the occasional sweet treats – double chocolate cake or strawberry ice cream!
I, for one, know how difficult it is to change my habits. My high enthusiasm usually made to give myself total change, but after a few days (max 2 weeks), then I slowly revert back to my old habits. Sounds familiar?? I found a useful method – slow transition. Like myself, I had known brown rice is healthier but I don’t like the taste. BLAH. At the beginning, I mix my white rice with 20% brown rice. After 2 weeks, I increase brown rice to 40%. Then 60% and 80%. Then it was “Eh it’s not that bad after all”. Now i am having fun with my colourful rice – brown, red and black.
Here are some of my Tips on Start Healthy Eating Habits
- Use olive oil for sauteing and salad dressing. Vegetable and Canola oil for stir frying and deep-frying
- Look out for bins at your local grocery store – beans, legumes, chickpeas.
- Visit morning / night market (pasar malam) for your fresh and locally grown produce. The export produce needs to use chemicals to stay fresh in the long journey to reach here. Besides supporting local farmers, the prices at the markets are cheaper.
- Mix part brown and part white rice
- Quality vs Price – you pay for what you get. Eg. Good quality soy sauce vs cheap unbranded one. Trust me, the taste is really different.
- Use unsalted butter for baking, you can add in salt later.
- To sweeten food & drinks, use brown sugar or raw honey instead of white refined sugar. Best is to use pure cane sugar or jaggery (ask for brown sugar at Indian grocery shops, they sell in loose weight)
- Keep nuts and dried fruits in your car and office as your snack. (Dried fruits have high sugar content, so diabetics have to be extra careful with dried fruits intake)
- Have a Meatless Day once a week, let your digestive system rest
Do you have other tips to share?
That being said, it’s every individual’s personal journey to figure out a way of eating that works for them. To me, the journey is more important than the destination.
GOOD LUCK & HAVE FUN!