How to Have a Healthy and Balanced Diet

My Diet

There’s really no excuse for my lack of blogging. I still love playing with makeup but haven’t been too inspired to share. Sorry! I’m sure it’s just one of those phases. Thanks to everyone who are still checking out my blog and leaving me messages. 🙂

Anyway, this post will be about my diet and by diet I don’t mean the “I’m going to lose weight” one but I’m referring to the food I eat.

Why yes, Fifi is more health conscious now. lol. I got teased about it a lot. For me the hardest part of starting a healthy diet (and committing to it) is not falling into “temptations” but actually dealing with people around me who eat pretty mucheverything. Even when I told my mom that I don’t eat processed food anymore she gave me the WTF-are-you-talking-about look.

My mom is visiting me this week, by the way. She’s only been here for two days yet she managed to ruin my diet already. XD

To tell you the truth, I’ve never really been one who pays attention to health and diet stuff until recently. I don’t have issues with my body image; it’s just that I want to start implementing a healthier way of eating to my lifestyle. I know that might sound cheesy and all but that’s really how I feel.

Ever since uni, I’ve neglected my nutrition. I never really cooked because; 1) I *thought* I was too busy, and 2) there’s an abundance of cheap restaurant food in where I live (sounds amazing but it’s actually a curse!). I also stopped exercising, which I regretted and made me feel so out of shape as I used to play sports back in high school.

I felt like a change is needed. I wanted to be fit again and maybe to trim down a few waist inches.

So what did I do?
I just went cold turkey and decided that it’s time to lose the kitchen phobia. I can’t eat healthily AND be dependent on restaurant food at the same time. That’s just not gonna work.

I started to educate myself about food and nutrition. I read Michael Pollan’s books as well as many different diet books. This subject can be confusing sometimes because there’s so much information out there and you’re kind of have to pick what diet you think makes the most sense and will most likely work for you. You have to figure out what you want out of your diet yourself and not just get into the diet because someone else preached it to you. It’s not until you have found your own motivation that you will be able to stick with your diet and make it your lifestyle, at least that’s what I believe in.

And so I learned to cook!
I plan my meals for the whole week, I grocery shop at the traditional/farmer’s market, and I surf the internet for recipes (mostly Indonesian food). Sometimes I still go to the supermarket, but only when I can’t find the goods I’m looking for at the traditional market. What I like about shopping at the traditional market is that I hardly ever see processed food over there so I’m not tempted to buy them. Plus, things are generally cheaper than in the supermarkets.

If you ask me what kind of diet I’m currently doing, I would not have an exact answer. I’m not a vegan, a raw foodist, nor an Atkins’ fangirl. What I do is basically these:

1. I focus on eating wholesome plant-based foods.
This goes first on the list because before I started “dieting”, I hadn’t been eating much vegetables or fruit. That’s changed, though, fortunately. Now I eat at least 3-4 servings of vegetables and 1-2 servings of fruit a day. Sometimes I eat them raw but I like my veggies lightly steamed, actually. I felt the effect on my body almost instantly, just like a natural detox. Basically I started to do the number 2 more regularly, lol, and my skin is now less troublesome.

2. I eat complex carbohydrates to keep my tummy satisfied but not too full.
It’s been two months since I last ate white rice now and honestly, I don’t miss it. It’s funny because when I first started to give up white rice I thought I’d just die. It’s been my staple food since forever. It turned out fine in the end; I like brown rice better than white rice because it keeps me full longer. Other than brown rice, I also eat whole-wheat bread and sweet potatoes. These foods keep me from cravings throughout the day.

3. I avoid processed foods and mass produced goods in general.
No one except my boyfriend understands this part of my diet. Every time someone offers me deep fried tofu or Oreo, I’d have to explain why I don’t eat them. LOL. Even my mom! When we went for groceries yesterday, this conversation happened:
Me: “Mom, you don’t have to buy the chocolate sprinkles and margarine, I don’t eat them.”
My mom: “Oh yeah?” *stuff cart with more tubes of margarine*
I love my mom for not taking shit from anybody. XD

In all seriousness though, I think I can never go 100% without mass produced goods. For instance, I still use soy sauce for cooking. And sometimes I still use mayo, too. Despite so, I’m pretty content now that 80-90% of my diet consist of whole food. I don’t eat snacks that come in packaging anymore. No more chips, cookies, nor candy bars for me. High quality dark chocolate for a treat is okay once in a while, though.

4. I avoid anything fried.
Well, fried = highly processed. So this is a no brainer. I also minimize the amount of heated oils I consume (which is pretty hard because Indonesians like to saute their garlic and onions for almost every food!), but so far I’m doing fine as long as I don’t have to eat at a restaurant.

5. No sugary drinks and soda.
Since I don’t eat processed food, this also includes not drinking my favorite Teh Botol anymore (a brand of bottled tea here in Indonesia). It really sucks because I love my Teh Botol so much. I don’t mind giving up coke at all, but teh botol?! Ugh. Basically I try not to consume refined sugar whenever possible. If I’m fixing myself a cup of tea, I’d go with a spoonful of honey to sweeten it.

6. I try to eat 5-6 of small portion meals a day instead of 3 big ones.

7. No food 3 hours before going to bed at night.
From my experience, when you eat 5-6 small portions of food a day, you won’t feel much hunger at night so you won’t be craving for a huge supper. I used to eat before bed all the time because I didn’t eat much during the day. Not eating 3 hours before going to bed not only makes my digestion work better, but also makes me wake up early in the morning and actually WANT to have a good breakfast.

8. I make sure I get enough healthy fat each day with my lean protein.
Fat doesn’t actually make you gain fat. Sugar does. So there’s no need to go on a “low fat” diet, because your body needs fat to create muscle tissues from the protein you eat (especially if you workout a lot). What’s need to be done is learning which fat is good and which is worse. I try to eat half an avocado a day, emphasizing at the word “try” because sometimes I run out of avocado and didn’t get the chance to buy them until the next day. Fun tips: don’t buy your avocados at the supermarket! Too pricey. Try to befriend the lady who’s selling it at the farmer’s market and be a loyal customer instead. Heheh. 😛

Now, these are just some examples of the food I eat.

The first one is my infamous chicken avocado sandwich. 😀
It consists of:
– two slices of whole wheat bread
– half an avocado
– half a tomato
– chopped red cayenne pepper (I loveeee spicy food)
– steamed chicken breast (cut in small pieces)
– cheese
– lettuce
– a tablespoon of mayo (I can do fine without mayo, but most people love the taste I guess)
How to Have a Healthy and Balanced Diet

(Pictured here was the sandwich I made for my boyfriend. He doesn’t like lettuce so I always leave it off his sandwich)

This one is my current favorite dish to make! It’s Gurame fish cooked with sesame oil sauce (and cayenne pepper, as usual), brown rice and lightly steamed veggies. 😀
Healthy and Balanced Diet

It’s been two months since I first started eating “clean” but I can already tell the difference in my body. I don’t even cut my portion that much (I still eat around 1200-1400 calories a day) but I have lost about 3 pounds off my weight. I feel like my body’s starting to get leaner and stronger already. I also experience less hunger than when I used to eat a lot of empty calories.

Bottom point is… I’m happy! I’m feeling great and motivated. I think by writing it down I will acquire more motivation to stay in shape.

I’m going to share more about my diet and workout plan in the future. Hope you enjoy the post and have a great week ahead! 🙂