I have yet to check out how to ‘move like Dee Dee’. Instead, last Monday evening I spent at least 30 minutes lifting weights and walking; I went grocery shopping while carrying a heavy bag and my laptop. I spent more time actually, but since a lot of that was spent just standing while looking at product ingredients, checking and double checking whether the pretty-scratched up-with-patchy-white-parts (are those residual pesticides?) capsicums were worth buying and searching for the elusive (and still is) Swedish whole grain cracker, so I won’t count that and shall just round it down as 30 minutes of physical activity. (Can you tell I’m trying to make myself feel better for not replacing that cancelled kickboxing class with my own actual exercise at home?)
So here’s my food loot:
And since there was a little of the morning’s bee hoon goreng left, I had that for dinner sans the meat and prawn:
Yeah, that was how little it was (after proportioning it for the sister and the father). I keep having butterhead lettuce as sides because the crazy fridge at home aspires to be a freezer and if I don’t eat the lettuce everday (no one else at home does), it would get semi-frozen and the leaves would lose colour and it would end up as food for the rubbish bin. If I gardened and had a compost heap, at least it wouldn’t go to waste but I don’t.
Anyway, after that I was excited to try the guacamole (halal mexican food is hard to find in Singapore and the last time I had some was in Malaysia and even then I was not sure which of the dips was guacamole – I did enjoy all though – so I wanted to know for sure how it tastes). So I opened a pack of the hi-fibre crackers to eat with the guacamole. There were 3 in a pack, so I ate like 1 and a half cracker while the rest went to my mom and sister. The guacamole was nice and creamy, but was nowhere near spicy (it was labelled ‘spicy’ and off-hand I remember the ingredients being avocado, onions, garlic, coriander, jalapeno pepper, salt). It would make a satisfying, relatively guiltless snack (avocado is in that list of foods that could aid in fighting belly fat).
The good thing about the guacamole was that it had no chemical ingredients like preservatives and additives. The bad thing was we were advised to consume within 6 hours of opening to avoid browning. The good thing was it came in 2-pack serve trays so we could open one and keep the other for at least a month. The bad thing was that of course, eating it with only 3 crackers meant that there was about 3 quarters left of a pack so I just quickly found a container to pack the remainder and with a silent prayer kept it in the fridge.
The next day, Tuesday, I decided to salvage the remaining silky mess of tofu from Monday’s packed lunch by scrambling it, like eggs:
Recipe modified from Spark Recipes:
And here’s the end result:
Looks just like eggs right? Eggs are my favourite breakfast. And lunch and dinner when there’s no food at home and I’m too lazy to cook. Eggs are my weakness, I think I’ve mentioned that before right? *Ok Zakiah stop mentally salivating over eggs!*
So anyway I used the guacamole as a spread for my wrap. It had turned just a teeny weeny brown on the surface but it still smelled ok so no hesitations about that.
That was one success of a breakfast, though it could do with a bit more salt. But less salt, less sodium, better right?
For lunch I packed 2 Delifrance wholemeal rolls and the remaining guacamole which I mixed with the tomato pulp and seeds. I packed some mixed nuts too. I ate those as a late lunch during an informal work discussion and it drew responses of disbelief from those around me. Disbelief #1: They couldn’t believe that that was sufficient for lunch. I told them it’s wholemeal, wholemeal makes you feel full for a longer time. Disbelief #2: They couldn’t believe I was on a diet; they thought I didn’t need to because I was already ‘so thin’. I told them they haven’t seen my babats. Which is true, I am very good at concealing them from too-obvious sight by wearing a size bigger and letting my flowy scarves fall long at the front, covering the bulging tummy. I might look thin or slim from the back because all the fats are in front.
That night I went for the latin sculpt class and had a good one-hour workout, with a pair of 1kg dumbbells for a part of it and lots of leg lifting, jumping and moving for the rest. It was the toughest out of the classes I’ve gone for so far (kickboxing, pilates and Zumba) and I’m glad it was because it sort of made up for the previous day’s lack of proper exercise. Post workout snack was an apple on the bus ride home, no dinner as it was already close to 11 when I got home.
Yesterday, Wednesday, I drank a glass of soya bean milk in the morning and deliberately broke my no-meat-or-meat-derived-products ‘rule’ by making a cheese lettuce tomato wrap to pack for breakfast. I had to be at work at the usual time (the past and current week I could report later than usual, which explains the time I had to prepare breakfast and pack lunch).
On the way home I ran some errands, namely pick up a package from the post office and another from a seller who happens to live in my town. It was a good brisk walk for at least 20, maybe 30, minutes under the hot sun while carrying my ‘weights’ (see Monday’s ‘exercise’), and I found myself repeating *burn baby burn* in my mind as I felt my legs, already worked out from the previous night, begin to tire and ache slightly and that last 100 m or so and the 2 flights of stairs seem so far away.
Tired and hungry, I took some time to cool down under the fan in the living room before I start to cook lunch. Then I went to the toilet and lo and behold! Found that I got my period. It’s something to note because it was not accompanied by the usual discomfort and arrived without my suspecting it. I was hoping the increase in exercise would eliminate the menstrual cramps that typically come after. (I had experienced that way back in my teens, when my CCA made me come in the morning every alternate day and run a few rounds along the school perimeter for a few weeks, which of course I hated because I had no stamina for running, but was later pleasantly surprised to get a totally painless period.) Perhaps that was way too much to hope for only a week of exercising, so the cramps still came, albeit not as painful as usual and easier to bear. (I stubbornly choose not to take painkillers and bear with the pain every month, since perhaps university?) Hopefully next month the effect of regular exercise would mean a totally painless period.
After that I got to work cooking spaghetti aglio olio with carrots and mushroom, and by the time I could eat it was close to 5 pm so that was a really late lunch cum early dinner. I’m guilty of finishing the whole filled-up plate (equivalent to having a second helping) in one seating instead of proportioning it and leaving some to eat a few hours later. I was really hungry (I had breakfast at about 9 and snacked on some nuts at noon) plus I just got my period (which generally puts me in a not-so-good mood) so I was seeking comfort in food. And comfort I got; I felt satiated and glad after. 🙂
Later that night, at close to 10 I could not resist the smell of ikan sambal that my mom was eating. She did offer me some because it was the last piece of fish, but I rejected it at first. 5 minutes or so later, armed with a spoon, I took a bit of the fish and ate it with a spoonful of rice. Just one spoonful. 🙂
Right after the spaghetti overload, I turned to my iPhone to read up on something interesting that turned up as I was searching ‘Swedish whole grain cracker’ because I wanted to know how it looked like to aid me the next time I’m hunting for it. It was an image of a bento box with crackers in it that led me to this American lady’s blog. Apparently she prepares bento box meals following the guidelines of the Paleo diet. She also had a page in which she mentions that she eats according to the Paleo / Primal diet, with links to other writers who, according to her, could explain Paleo / Primal better than she ever could. I wanted to know what this diet was because this lady eats 3 hardboiled eggs with a variety of vegetables for breakfast! Three eggs! We’ve all been told how eggs are high in cholesterol and we shouldn’t eat so much in a week, what more in a day, in one meal!
So I clicked on the links. In a nutshell, the Paleo (short for Paleolithic) diet is one that tries to mimic what mankind ate before agriculture came about. This site explains pretty well what the Paleo diet is and why it is good for you. There are many links in there, so just read once through to get the basic argument, and click on the links for more information!
It’s actually more like a guideline than a diet because a diet sounds like something you do for a short time to achieve short-term weight goals. According to the Paleo guideline, one should eat just lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. No grains, legumes or dairy. No processed foods.
No processed food? That means whatever comes in a packaging. That’s tough, but I could try, provided I eat food I cook every day to ensure no soya sauce or stock cubes go in there. No dairy? No problem. I stop eating cheese (as soon as I finish the cheese at home – I can’t stand wasting food) and switch to soya milk. But wait. What are legumes? Oh no soy is a legume! And it’s apparently bad unless it’s fermented, so my favourite tempeh is ok, but not soya milk? Oh no what would I do with the soya milk powder I just bought? And the 2nd tube of silky tofu? I can’t just throw them away like that! And to think I was so proud of myself for giving up eggs and making tofu scramble instead!
Next. No grains? Not even whole grains? This is like precisely why I rejected the Dukan diet! But yet, the reason given for avoiding grains seems convincing.
And guess what I ate today! For late morning breakfast, the last of my wholemeal wrap (thank god and I’m never buying that again because it’s grain, whether or not it’s made more with regular wheat flour than wholemeal flour) with a bit of my mom’s sambal godok (that’s tempeh, tahu – which is soy but I’m not sure if it’s fermented, long beans, prawn and small beef pieces cooked in coconut milk gravy) but I didn’t take the gravy, skipped the prawn and ate a thumb-sized slice of beef that escaped my filtering. Then since I
didn’t have time was lazy to prepare lunch, I snacked on an apple during the trio meeting and then on the mixed nuts in the bus ride home. When I got home close to 6pm of course I took rice (which is grain!) to eat with the sambal godok (since there are so many ingredients which take some time to prepare, my mom always cooks enough to last us 2 days. Sometimes 3, since now we’re down to 4 people instead of the maximum 7.) This time round I allowed myself 2 pieces of meat (I was a bit sold on the Paleo diet already) but still no prawn due to the questionable way it could have been farmed (search Youtube for ‘Grinding Nemo’), and the other consolation is I took less rice than what I otherwise would eat when I’m that hungry.
If I throw out grains and soy, yet eating meat is somewhat ethically questionable (see the sobering statistics I mentioned in Update 1), what would I be left with? Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds? I can’t possibly survive on those alone!
How do I eat then?