Like many other OLs, Mandy loves to explore delicious food. She is also a huge snacker who always stock up on healthy snacks in her office drawer. Although she never went on a diet, her lean and fit figure becomes a sought-after goal for many OLs. Apart from the fact that she practices yoga regularly, Mandy reveals three tricks below:
Many girls immediately turn to look at the calories when they check on nutrition labels. Mandy, too, has been there. “In the past, I basically only looked at calories and fat, but now I know that there are many more aspects that deserve attention, like sugar, sodium, fibre etc. Even for fat, there is still a distinction between good and bad fats – is it a beneficial unsaturated fat, or a saturated fat or a trans fat which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases? If it’s the former, there is no need to feel guilty eating it as long as you do exercise to balance it out.” Sounds cliché enough, but the key to a healthy diet is to consume in moderation.
Calorie is only a number. It does not reflect whether the food is healthy or not. Do not fall into the trap! You need to pay close attention to the actual ingredients.
Apart from nutrition labels, Mandy pays close attention to the ingredient list. “From the ingredient list, you can easily distinguish between processed and authentic natural food. You want to avoid as much as possible those artificial pigments and flavours.” Her tip to her fellow OL snackers is to choose healthy snacks from the ingredient list. “A lot of the ‘potato chips’ out there are not really made from ‘potatoes’. They are made from processed potato starch and fried in palm oil, making them high in saturated fat. They also add in tons of unnecessary emulsifier, anti-caking agent and acidity regulator. Therefore, I will opt for those that are made from real potato slices and fried or baked with healthy oil. One good example is Good Health Avocado Oil Potato Chips, which is made 100% from avocado oil. Some other alternatives would be those made from soy, as they are usually higher in protein and dietary fibre, like Cruncha ma-me edamame snack. Even chocolate can be an acceptable choice, as long as you look into the ingredient list to make sure it is made from real cocoa powder and cocoa butter but not chemical coagulators. When you know how to choose healthy snacks smartly, you no longer have to feel guilty about snacking.”
Of course, it’s not easy for busy white collars to plan and cook their meals ahead. Mandy admits that she rarely cooks for herself, at most once a week. “It’s unavoidable sometimes to eat instant meals, but again, you need to choose smartly. Take instant noodles as an example, choose those non-fried, with no cholesterol and no trans-fat. I personally recommend Chering Chang Foods Organic Quinoa Noodles. It contains organic whole wheat flour and organic quinoa. Simply cook in boiled water for a while and serve with sauces. Who says convenient food cannot be healthy and taste good? The best thing about it is you get 8g of protein and 2g of fibre in one packet, equivalent to the protein of one egg and the fibre of a small bowl of vegetables.” If you are a newbie to cooking, Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles got you covered – in a few minutes time, voilà a protein-rich delicious dish!