For years, my job at work is about whipping up creative campaigns for brands that aim to make a presence in the world of social media. On 19th March 2016, a sudden thought came to mind. While sipping juice at a bar, I thought I’d like to create a campaign for myself this year called, ‘Loving Me’.
Living Healthy with A Happening Lifestyle
‘Loving Me’ is about making wiser decisions in daily life when it comes to food, beauty regime, or activity. The overall goal is to benefit from a healthier lifestyle without discounting the entertainment bit.
I’m starting with food because my relationship with it goes beyond the word love. Should I have a weak self-control towards it, I would get lost in gluttony since I was 12. Up till today, my family would tell you that I am still always the last to leave the dining table.
Very often I hear people telling me, “Owh it’s so good to be you. You can eat so much and not get fat!” It doesn’t take rocket science to decode the secret - It’s all about the choices you make. I happen to follow a few Hollywood celebrities on Snapchat and noticed what’s on their plates: heaps of smart decisions.
So you scroll your Instagram feed to see bloggers dining out at fancy restaurants or having drinks day and night yet, they are wearing a cropped top looking fit. How the hell do they pull that off?!
No one has internal superpowers to fight fat. We are all human beings and as humans we put on weight. But there is one thing everyone has and that is self-control.
Whenever I dine out, I tend to get drawn to main courses that has a ‘Chef Recommendation’ sign next to it. While they usually start off heavenly, 25 minutes later I feel stuffed like shit. All I wanna do is get home, get out of my pants and walk around naked like no one’s watching.
Feeling tired of tiring my tummy, I realize that’s not the whole point about dining out. Aside from enjoying the food, it is also about having a good time with your company, and still feeling as great in what you wear when you entered the restaurant.
A lot of people think that having to control what we eat is not living life. I think we need to correct that thought. This is not about totally cutting out desserts from our life. It is about making space for desserts and more room to feel good after food.
Our world today spoils us with choices and more choices. While that can be a headache sometimes, I think it’s time to take advantage of that luxury. Here are 5 rules I’ve been practicing when dining out:
Rule #1: Choose real food
Swap fries as a side for actual boiled potatoes if you need some carbs. Whenever I have IKEA meatballs, I replace mash for french beans. If you don’t know what’s in your gravy, always ask for it to be on the side.
Rule #2: Swapping a main course with 1 salad + 1 appetizer
A salad (always with dressing on the side) and a tapas might sound meagre, but adding these two up makes for a meal. Try filling your stomach with 50% of greens so the good stuff goes into your body first. If the restaurant doesn’t offer good salads or decent-sized appetizers, opt for fish. My favorite meat is beef, but I’m cutting down on red meat and reserving it for the first week after ‘Aunty Rose’s’ visit to replenish the lost of iron instead.
Rule #3: Sharing
If you happen to be attracted to pasta or pizza, consider sharing half of the heavy serving with someone else, and mix it up with a soup or salad if possible. Same goes with a slice of cake, though just a scoop of ice cream needs no sharing.
Rule #4: Be an inquisitive customer
Don’t feel bad about asking your waiters how your food is prepared. If they are clueless, ask for the manager’s assistance. Always try asking for your food to be prepared according to your healthy preference.
Rule #5: Alternate drinking
100% of the time, the first thing I ask for is a glass of warm water with a slice of lemon. What follows would either be a glass of wine or non-sweet cocktail i.e. Bloody Mary or Dirty Martini. (Hate is a big word but I really hate having syrup in my body.)
After every glass of alcohol or cup of coffee, I make sure to replenish with a glass of water or fresh fruit juice before getting the next glass of badass. This not only saves me a lot of money, it saves my body too!
At home I believe we can make better choices of what we consume. First, you need to know your real food – which category do the ingredients fall in? – Carb? Protein? More vitamins?
Secondly, get to know the ingredients IN your usual packaged food go-to’s – breakfast cereals, 3-in-1 drink mixes, pasta sauces, the list goes on. Most products are marketed as ‘healthy’ or ‘fat-free’ but that don’t necessarily means they are not harmful in other ways.
Last but not least, I find the most effective way is to simply NOT purchase snacks like potato chips, chocolate bars or even raisins when grocery shopping. (Raisins contain LOT of sugar.)
With this, I hope you too, will start activating the “Loving Me” campaign by making wiser decisions when it comes to what you consume; cultivating a healthier lifestyle in the midst of fun, joy and laughter in the kitchen, at the dining table, or when out drinking with friends.
Next up in this series – Loving Me: On People, Time, and Relationships.