When the year began, I was determined to start eating healthier. For years, I have been able to incorporate working out into my lifestyle, but somehow, I had never been able to eat healthy.
One, I don’t enjoy cooking, so I naturally will go for what is convenient if there’s no food at home–fast food more often than not. I also never really watched out for the amount of sweets I ate even if I knew sugar is the culprit for many diseases that show up later on in life. It has been a few months since I started making some effort to correct this, and through small, gradual adjustments and being mindful of my body’s needs, I have been able to sustain small changes that have led to positive impacts on my overall eating habits. Allow me to share them with you.
(1) Becoming a Cold Brew Coffee Convert
Before: My regular order used to be an iced caramel macchiato.
Now: I drink cold brew coffee.
I liked my coffee milky and sweet. I liked caramel. But, I realized how much sugar intake this equated to. Initially, didn’t like black coffee, so I first switched to iced lattes with less sugar. Eventually, I was able to transition to drinking iced lattes without sugar. Then I discovered cold brew. My first introduction to cold brew came when I tried the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks–I loved it! But since I needed to be more realistic with my expenses, I decided to try buying cold brew concentrate from Type A, and Slurp. I would order in bulk and and just prepare my own coffee at home. It turned out to be the best thing ever! I now drink coffee sans the milk and sugar.
(2) Transitioning to Healthier Weekday Meals
Before: We used to cook, order from fast food chains or restaurants, or eat out.
Now: We subscribe to meal delivery plans.
During our first few months of marriage, we cooked diligently. But since my husband and I both work, it took too much of our time–time that we wanted to spend to rest or just catch up on each other’s day. More often than not, we would order food–from fast food chains or from restaurants–or eat out. It was either unhealthy or expensive. We decided to try out some meal delivery plans in November of 2018 and we enjoyed the convenience it brought into our lives! No more cooking preparations, no more washing of dishes, and no need to think of a week-long menu.
We particularly enjoyed the meals from Pickle, because of the healthy and delicious selection they carry, and the transparency with what each meal contains–they include how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat each meal contains, as well as the total calorie count. I’ve tried both, their Signature Plan, which is a balanced mix of food, and their Performance Plan, which is a high protein plan. I thoroughly enjoyed both and switch between the two depending on my needs at certain periods of time.
Meal delivery plans fall in the middle, I would say, in terms of expense. Of course, it’s cheaper to do the grocery and cook, but that takes a lot of time and effort. It’s also cheaper to eat fast food, but think of all the oil, sodium, and MSG. And, without a doubt, it’s more expensive to eat out or order from restaurants. Meal delivery sits at the middle of the two. You invest a little more, but you get healthy meals and convenience in return.
On weekends, I am less strict but I try to stick to proper portion sizes–something I learned from the meal delivery plans. This helps me prevent myself from over indulging. It’s been good so far and I’ve been to enjoy occasional rewards on weekends without overdoing it.
(3) Selecting My Sweets
Before: Anything goes.
Now: I choose my battles.
I used to just eat anything. Cookies, cake, you name it, I will eat it. I still do because I don’t believe in depriving myself. But, the major difference is, I choose what to eat instead of eating it all. For example, in a family lunch party there are usually several kinds of dessert. Instead of getting a share from all of them, I choose one, the one I like the most. That satisfies my sweet craving for the meal! Another example is choosing fruits when there are fruits available. They’re more natural sources of sugar versus processed sugar in pastries. But if I really want to have a chunky slice of cake all to myself, I will probably lay off sugar for the rest of my meals in that day. So it’s really more of strategic selection, not deprivation.
It’s been almost three months since I started making these small changes. So far, I find these 3 changes sustainable–which is what really matters to me because I want to do this long term. Hopefully, I can continue with this trend and include things like changing the proportion of my meals to include more vegetables–I’m not a fan of vegetables. Or, choosing fish more often. Let’s see!