Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Weight is Over

(Or, Let's talk about healthy diet, for a change)
by E. Wong

My good friends who know me so well would be so surprised to learn that my current (weekday) diet consists almost exclusively of these two:

Garden salad

Ingredients: Cucumber, carrots, curly lettuce, tomato (sometimes), croutons (I love croutons!!! One of these days I will write an ode to croutons), parmesan cheese, and Clara Olé salad dressing (Asian and Thousand Island are my fave variants; Caesar is so-so; and I hate Ranch!).

Tuna Sandwich

Ingredients: Wheat Bread (I usually buy Uncle George bread; Gardenia is too costly!), curly lettuce, slices of cucumber and tomatoes. For a whole week’s worth of tuna dressing: 2 packs of Best Foods Mayo Magic (not mayonnaise!), 1 can of Corned Tuna (drained), a teaspoonful of super-minced onions, and generous sprinkles of McCormick spices: fine black pepper, basil leaves, and Italian seasoning (thyme, rosemary, savory sage).

Note: The parmesan cheese and McCormick spices are not required ingredients—I’m just really lucky that our apartment doesn’t run out of these.

Photos taken using my age-old Nokia phone.

So why did I say ‘surprised’? Well, I probably (used to) have the hugest appetite ever, and I would lose the little finesse I had left when it was food-tripping time. Before, I would eat just about anything offered me, be it home cooked meal, fast food, or street food. But now, I barely eat rice during weekdays. One of the little personal victories I had since New Year is this simple discipline on food I've imposed on myself: no unnecessary carbs and cholesterol (of course) during weekdays, and I would only ‘indulge’ in ‘sinful food’ during weekends when I get to be home in Laguna and by then would usually go with my little sister to the mall and, predictably, dine out in Jollibee.

And this is not even about vanity (or not primarily a matter of it). During my pre-employment medical exam last year, I was found to be a little overweight and “pre-hypertensive.” Also, my family has some medical history of diabetes (mother’s side) and heart problems (father’s side). I had planned to get back to a healthy lifestyle right then, but it was only at the beginning of this year when I got serious into living clean (and probably try to bring back my Machete body from my college days :-). So aside from this healthy diet, I’ve been doing a lot of walking, I've (semi-)quit smoking, and if time permits (or I’m not too lazy), I workout in the gym at the office.

(Plus, another upside of this diet is it actually saves me more money. Doing the math with the whole week's "healthy" groceries, I spend less than a hundred bucks for what would be worth all my meals per day!)

Of course, I miss those eat-all-you-can’s sessions after work. I miss cooking spaghetti in the apartment almost everyday. I long for those guiltless episodes of taking gluttonous snacks either alone or with friends. I sorely miss my eating-without-thinking of siopao, siomai, pastries from Julie’s bakeshop, Country Style’s Triple Choco Boom, Mini-Stop's cheesy tuna kariman, KFC’s Double Down, isaw, chicken skin, proben, Angel’s cheeseburger, Angel’s cheesy footlong, and all those (mostly greasy) foods that define my simple happiness.

It’s not to say that my happiness now has become not simple, but time has come for me to uhmmm, well, ahhh, I don’t really know exactly what or why. What I know is that there’s no need to justify wanting to be healthy, right?—



(especially when your heart is so sick… And I actually promised myself not to write about love or heartbreak! Tsk tsk…)

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