Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Which do you eat more?

We, as thriving human beings need to eat. 
But have you ever given the line up of foods, you love to take, a thought?
Have you ever wondered whether you're getting the right nutrients or not?
Did you know that food is a basic need?

With the fast paced modern life we are currently in, we opt for fast food, whether at home or when eating out. Habits like eating while driving, eating for just 15 minutes or eating as you multi-task had been socially acceptable in order to keep our priorities at bay (deadline at work, attending to your kids) which clearly doesn't include taking your time when eating.

Today, on my Wine-and-Dine Wednesday, I would be talking about eating habits that you may actually own that hinder you from attaining a healthy lifestyle as you nurture your body. You may have adapted them unconsciously that they keep you from digesting your food properly and efficiently benefiting from it.


Food is one of the basic needs we have to consume at least
three times a day in order to survive. But the world we live in now sets an environment where being skinny is the ultimate goal. In the entertainment world (as a very good example), you get more likely to be noticed or even get more projects if you're thin. Hence, 90% of these performers dedicate their lives (or are even obliged) into losing weight. There's nothing wrong about that most especially if you're overweight. In the name ofvsafety, being fit is the name of the game. But as I did my research, I got bothered on the "HOW" some of them take measures to attain such goal.

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder.
A. Bulimic Episodes:

What most people don't know is that, our body has the capacity to adapt most especially when a predetermined mind set is involved. The will is the strongest power a human being beholds. Primaballerinas and supermodels for example are prone to engaging to bulimic episodes. How?

Most of these performers are young. They have a group of friends that eat "normally". But performers find themselves guilty when they try to eat like their friends as they hang out together, thinking about the criticsm they'd get at work with every bite they take. So, they make themselves vomit it out. At first, after a night out of karaoke and pizza. If repeatedly done, the body gets used to the vomiting it then it depends on the deed for psychological satisfaction. The body, "adapting" to it, perceives it as normal. Their "normal" friends don't know this so they think their friend is perfectly fine. Hence, bulimic episodes happen. Now that's when harmful effects start to arise. This is just but one example. It is somewhat behavioral in nature, usually due to a stimulus like peer pressure or a demanding job.

It's hard to deal with this one because it involves the environment, peers and lifestyle. The intervention should come from realizing the problem as an eating disorder and then coming up with a support group that would encourage you in adapting to a new lifestyle that is less stressful to avoid becoming a bulimic again. If you know some friends who have this eating disorder, extend help.

b. Anorexia Nervosa:

A more psychological in nature is Anorexia Nervosa where you think of yourself as fat when you're actually not. Now, this is a severe form of an eating disorder which could be fatal because people with this mentality is very hard to get convinced of the reality or to get treated.

Again, it starts with peer pressure, frustration from not being able to belong and despair for wanting to appear perfect. Bulimics may end up becoming anorexics if they don't get treated well.

Without proper nutrients, our body would easily deteriorate and our vital organs (e.g. brain, heart, lungs) won't function properly. The energy that our body needs come from the food and water we take. It is sad that the famous Karen Carpenter lost her life because of complications of Anorexia Nervosa.

These cases are severe forms of having an unstable mindset. It is important to surround yourself with positive reinforcement once you admit to yourself that you have been doing these. Have an active lifestyle where you could channel frustrations and find what you love doing best. Most of all, be "you". Do things for your own self and not for anybody's satisfaction or pleasing.


I would like you to look closely at this image.

I am pretty sure most of you eat 85% of the foods on the left than the ones on the right and you find those on the right, weird looking, tasteless and less interesting.

Seriously, I think I've skipped on soft drinks since.....uhmmmm... FOREVER! (Except if my friends would encourage me to taste something very spicy at one point or if I have to try a local delicacy like stinky tofu in Taiwan. But that usually just makes me take a sip or two just to get the previous taste out.). I easily get tonsillitis that's why I never liked soft drinks (it feels like burning my own throat with what they call the "spirit" since they're highly carbonated; together with chocolates and sweets. Basically, everything that is in food porn. Hahaha! I never loved eating pizza, pasta, anything with too much cheese and chips, but with rice? We don't have to talk about how to get me convinced. If blood is to a vampire, rice is to Kyte. That's always how I explain it to a lot of people.

And then I get to live in Hong Kong for 6 years. My eating habits changed in a way that I tried to eat a little bit of everything. I started to eat sweets (cakes, popcorn, fruits) but still not chocolates. Just the white kind. I loved pasta because of herbs and tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are one of my favorites. I learned to love Kale, Chinese cabbage, celery and kiwi. I eat Nachos now but I still cannot even finish a medium sized bag.

So, my point, give your consumption of junk foods a thought because it will only give you zero calories, most of them have a lot of salt (the "silent killer") - maybe more than what you need, and most of all, it will go straight up your ass because of that bad habit of binging.


For people who want to engage themselves into developing a healthy eating habit (a.k.a. healthy diet), it is important that a gradual transition is imposed. Meaning, you cannot just expect your body to adapt in a snap of a finger. It usually takes time and you replace the food that it was used to with a healthier kind so that every cell of your body would be nurtured still and cell deprivation would be prevented. For example, instead of plain white rice, eat the mixed one (brown, red and white rice) if you really need to get charged up before a dragon boat competition or perform in a parade. On days off, substitute consuming oatmeal instead of rice or pasta.

"If a client goes to you and asks for a good diet regimen, what would you recommend?

a. skip a meal everyday
b. eat 6 small meals in a day
c. eat 1 huge hearty meal that will last you a day and skip the rest
d. eat 6 big meals a day"

This was a board question that I encountered when I was taking my Nursing Licensure Exam. The answer is "b". Why?

Like what I said earlier, our body has the capacity to adapt. Now, increased metabolism is the healthiest way of utilizing your food. If you skip a meal, your cells will perceive this as a form of deprivation initially. So it will hold onto as much food next time as it adapts to your new diet regimen. The next time you'd exercise, your body won't fully utilize food because it is anticipating the deprivation sought before hand. So you'll be surprised that you are dying because of skipping meals but the weight you're loosing is not that remarkable. Same effect applies to choice c and choice d is quite self explanatory.

Skipping meals are a no-no. Breakfast, being the first meal of the day, should not be skipped because it is where that significant boost will come from. This prevents you from being sluggish midday, feeling stressed out and becoming moody due to low blood sugar. From a good 6-hour sleep during the night, your body expects you to feed it accordingly. When it gets deprived at this point, it will respond right away into binge eating making a pack or junk food and/or any food available so irresistable. This may lead you to missing out on the important nutrients and long term health problems such as high blood pressure (because of too much sodium intake) and obesity.


My husband and I find it liberating when we get to cook our own food at home. We see to it that our meals contain greens, are fresh and it should include a big portion of protein rich foods. But we are also guilty of depending on fastfood during busy days. And admittingly, we hate ending our day with a microwavable.

It is a continuous struggle and effort to prepare our own food most especially when we go home, tired from work. But we always keep our eyes on the price - we get to eat what we need to eat. We get rejuvenated and well nourished. We realized that it is cheaper as well. Realizing that KFC chicken costs hk$8/piece, more or less, while the fresh half chicken in the wet market costs just hk$25. It's more tasty, available to be cooked anyhow you want, you are not in the loosing end at all.

Also, the use of microwave ovens as a form of indulging on fastfood may induce harmful effects to the food that we eat and to our body. Nowadays, men and women alike, compose the workforce. Every now and then, microwave ovens are convenient both at home and at work. But the payment for the convenience we get is our own health. There are a lot of things that we should be kept reminded in using the microwave ovens but I want to emphasize on 4 things:

1. It is advisable to use ceramics and glass wares when heating up your food. Plastic wares are sometimes labeled as "Microwaveable"  but there is no legal basis for this on how safe it is.

2. Oil cannot be heated in the microwave because the radiating heat that bounces around the oven into your food acts greatly on the water content it has. Needless to say, it's useless to heat butter in the microwave as it is composed greatly of oil. You think it melts but it's just the icy water molecules that made it compact that reacts to the heat.

3. Don't settle in eating televesion dinners since heat that warms up your food comes from an electromagnetic radiation when using microwave ovens. These microwaves are much lower in the energy spectrum (secondary only to radio waves) hence, not killing any living thing that would ingest its gamma rays and x-rays.

4. Do not put eggs in the microwave, it'll be HUGE mess and it's not safe.

Well, that's a lot to share today. In the nearer future, I'll be sharing more facts about how to handle and cook food  for you to learn how to preserve as much nutrients and how efficiently it could nurture your body. If there are stuff that you want to add or you disagree on something about this post, please feel free to share your thoughts with me. Remember, "YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!"

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