Monday, July 23

More Words from the Nutritionist - Part Two

(This is the second and concluding part to 'A Word From a Nutritionist')

A Guide to Eating Healthy on a Typical Day


Some of u may haf heard abt the goodness of wholegrains. And contrary to wat u may think, whole grains are absolutely not that difficult to get nor yucky! There are a lot of brands out there now and u can experiment and find one to yer liking. Do know if the bead or food product i.e. cereal has lots of grainy goodness, you only need to read the first couple of ingredients on the label (not the front panel, the actual ingredients label). Grainy breads are one of the best u can get and they are plenty of varieties @NTUC Fairprice, GIANT or Carrefour. You DUN haf to eat them ALL the time but alternating each week with white bread is fine (just look for higher fibre ones, hint: >3 to 5g per 100g)

You might be surprised at how full and satisfied you feel (we call this satiety) , for longer into the day! Eat breakfast like this for just a week, without missing a day, and you'll notice a change in how much you eat at the end of the day!
LESS! Yes, research has shown that late-in-the-day-eaters tend to eat less at the end of the day if they start it out with breakfasts of whole grains!

Note: Most studies on weight loss has cited one common factor - The participants all had breakfast!

Candy and Nuts? Can!

Want some chocs? Handful of nuts? Go ahead! Sure, have what you want! Of course, do indulge once in a while lah

Get your favorite choc (the personal size, not one of those giant things - let's be real!) and make your decision: Eat it all at once, or make it last throughout the day, but you get one a day!

If you want a regular slice of cake (make it no wider than the length of your thumb, no matter how big/small your thumb is), then save the candy bar for the next day.

You get the idea. Be reasonable. MODERATION is the KEY NOT TOTAL ABSTINENCE. Letz be real here.

Oh and the nuts? TWO handfuls a week of walnuts, cashews, almonds (those are ideal) or even peanuts. Don't try to sneak in candy coated or highly salted, oiled kinds....stick to them in their natural (although roasted) state. They got the good fats

Snack Time
- Three Times!

Do include a fruit (vitamins, fibre, antioxidants) each meal, like an orange (Vit C), banana (personal fave)(potassium, fibre) , guava (Vit C), papaya (papain, fibre), apple, a cup of melon and you've hit easily hit Singapore's recommendation of two 'servings' of fruit for the day! How easy is that? BUT I say, why stop there? Go for 5 servings lah! Since we are all so kiasu, go kiasu on fruits lor! Go for a variety of colours...more colours the better. Remember this: EAT A RAINBOW (this includes veggies too)In between lunch and dinner, have a slice of bread or an english muffin spread with a teaspoon of peanut butter, regular spread or jam.
Honestly, a teaspoon will be enough! You'll be surprised at how little it really takes to provide the flavors you like. It's just another step in re-training yourself for life, for health and without giving up those things you like!

Between breakfast and lunch - have an apple or banana with up to a tablespoon of natural peanut butter or butter spread on it. It counts as one more servings for your daily recommended intake of 2 servings of fruit! You are going to surpass this and absolutely glow!!!

Grab an apple - or orange, banana, melon....EAT YOUR FRUIT!

After dinner, if u r feeling peckish, a cup of melon, berries, an orange, apple, banana, a couple of kiwis, cup of grapes, and if you like, 1/2 cup of ice cream (please choose a low fat or no sugar added version), or serving of cheese (a serving of hard cheese like cheddar is about two cubes). . . but don't skip the fruit!

By now - you've past the recommended MINIMUM servings of fruit for the day ! Your skin will be glowing, your hair will grow and shine, you'll be hydrated, you shouldn't crave sweets too much and you'll be pumped up with anti-oxidants!

What to drink?

Having your coffee is just fine, but don't try to get away with those 'frapp' a whipped cream a-things in many coffee joints! These are little more than ice cream sundaes and if you want one once a week for a treat - that's ok lah! But every day? pianz NO!

Also dun think that those diet soft drinks are totally safe! They are wat most nutritionists call empty calories (ok they may be low in energy if itz a diet drink but they displace more nutritious food). Itz simply a waste of space and taste! All soft drinks (whether diet or not) can corrode your teeth (enamel) due to its acidic content (phosphoric acid). Just ask any dentist. Otherwise, opt for water, no sugar or low sugar tea, iced coffee with no or low sugar, fruit juices or ice...even nonfat soy milks of any flavor (1 cup in a blender with 5 ice cubes and a dash of vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg - well blended - and it's like a milkshake!)

Personally, I drink mainly water and green tea (lots of goodness, will post an entry abt it later)

Lunch & Dinner are going to be similar. A protein serving is about the size of a deck of playing cards, or the size of your fist. Ideally this should be chicken or fish, like salmon; however, a very lean meat is fine too.

Vegetables like a big, giant salad of spinach, or other dark, leafy greens with carrots, tomatoes, hey, if it's green - it's probably good for you.
Don't drench a healthy salad with dressings (some dressings are so fat that they just negate the benefits of the salad). Learn to like it for what it is! A tablespoon of olive or soy oil with splash of wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, etc. - goes a long way! The secret? Mix it well! The more you toss it, the more it evenly spreads. Put it in a bag or container and gently, frequently shake it! Be sure to enjoy your salad within 30 minutes of putting the dressing on it or it could be all soggy.

Have a slice of whole grain bread - stay away from the diet stuff ok? And itz ok to enjoy the real thing once a while! Or, instead, have a serving of rice (or noodles/pasta) - that's about the size of your palm (and no, you don't include the fingers!). If you're going to put a sauce on anything, learn-learn-learn to like just the flavour, not the amount!
Put aside a little bowl of whatever sauce (except for tomato-based sauces) and try just dipping each forkful in that first and keep trying to make it last for the whole meal. Pretty soon you'll be doing this and having some left over!

So, what fruit are you having with this? Hey! How about a fruit salad of apples, bananas, oranges, grapes and even some melons or pineapples?
You don't need a dressing for this stuff! Or maybe a bunch of strawberries in some nonfat frozen whipped topping?

Learn to like foods the way are - not necessarily the way you've learned to make them taste.

This post is not comprehensive and is just a guide, do consult a nutritionist or dietitian if you got other enquiries and have health conditions (e.g. phosphoric acid not so good fer pple wif renal failure, nor are bananas).

I'm sure u might haf sum questions on your mind, so feel free to ask away. Hope you enjoyed reading this post! I welcome feedbacks and comments. =)

PS: chk out HPB's diet tracker, a free java-based software for your mobile phone where u can key in wat u ate and whether u achieved your daily nutritional requirements or worse, exceeded them!