Health & Fitness
Tuesday September 6, 2011
Healthy cooking begins with a healthy cart
The typical Malaysian consumer hits the grocery store at least twice a week. Why, then, does it feel like we never have anything to eat at home?
Grocery shopping could be a pretty daunting task and it could even be a chore for some.
There are others whom might be aimlessly strolling down the aisles not knowing what to get, our mammoth supermarkets could make a person pretty overwhelmed, and chances are you might even end up purchasing items that might not even be used or needed and a week or two later it will find its way into the garbage bin.
Grocery shopping will be an easier experience and you will likely bring home healthier foods if you start with a healthy grocery shopping list. With a grocery list in hand, you won't be as likely to wander the junk food aisles and make impulse purchases. Here are some quick tips to get you started...
Organic vs Non: It's pretty safe to say that if it were a financially viable possibility, almost everyone would choose to eat organic food. For some of us, stocking our fridge and pantries with organics is already a top priority; while others may find it difficult to justify the extra spend. If you cannot afford organics, just eat healthy by eating more fruits and vegetables.
Shop at your favourite store/market: Have one or two places that you like to go to shop where the ingredients are fresh. Familiarize yourself with the place so that you can find what you're looking for, hence you're in and out fast. Less time spent lingering means less opportunities to succumb to temptations.
Know your grocer: This is very useful when you shop for ingredients in the wet market. Have a friendly chat. Chances are if you drop by often enough you would get regular discounts, the best cuts, the best ingredients and sometimes you could get them to pack the things you need before you even get there. Now that's personalized service.
Eat less processed food: Minimize your intake of salt, sugar and partially hydrogenated fat for a healthy you. You could also save the environment by reducing garbage thrown into your local landfill. You'll know you're eating greener when your garbage can is no longer overflowing with excess packaging.
Choose fish wisely: Fish are a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for a healthy heart. The confusion surrounds the abundance of choices and determining which are the best, in terms of freshness and how to choose.
Checklist for choosing and buying fish
~ Clear bright eyes, not sunken
~ Bright red gills
~ Scales should not be missing and they should be firmly attached to the skin
~ Moist skin( fresh fish feels slightly slippery)
~ Shiny skin with bright natural colouring
~ Tail should be stiff and flesh should be firm
~ Should have a fresh sea smell and no traces of ammonia
~ Neat, firm fillets with firm flesh
~ Should be firm and closely packed together, no ragged or gaping
~ White fish should have a white translucent colour with no discolouration
~ Glossy appearance
~ Flesh should be firm and not sticky
~ Pleasant , smoky smell
~ Frozen hard with no signs of thawing
~ The packaging should not be damaged
~ No evidence of freeze burn (i.e. dull, white, dry patches)
Eat less meat: Changing food habits is difficult even when good arguments support a change. Eat less beef, veal, pork and lamb. Eating poultry is three times as efficient as eating beef. However, processed and packaged chicken products, such as chicken nuggets, sausages, frozen burger patties, instant noodles, are not a healthy choice.
Spend more time at the fresh produce sections: Always start from the vegetable section and move your way to fruits, then meat/poultry/fish/seafood and dairy.... Spend some time roaming around here. Immerse yourself with the plethora of colours and this is where you purchase the wide variety of nutritional food produce needed to stay healthy....its fun..
Make grocery shopping an event: Grocery shopping can be something to look forward to, just like going to the cinema or on a date. Feel the excitement when you go grocery shopping. Make an appointment on your calendar and make it a fun experience for you and your loved ones.
Treat yourself: Reward yourself by getting something that would excite you. But don't over indulge.
Don't be tempted: Temptations are all around, so be very mindful not to be seduced.
The 60 second rule: When you grab something, pause, stop and think. Ask yourself, "Do I actually need this, is it good for me and is it a healthier choice or not so".
Read the labels: All packaged foods must be clearly labeled with nutrition information. Reading all food labels can help you make smart food choices. The labels will tell you how many grams of fat and how many calories are in each serving. A food label lists the serving size of the product and how many servings are in the package. This will help you decide how much of the product you should have for one serving. A label will also show how much of the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) of each nutrient the serving supplies. Your daily goal is to reach 100% of each nutrient. One way of making healthy food choices is to compare food labels of similar products.
Colourful Appetite offers tailor-made fitness programmes, educational workshops as well as a personalised meal planner cum chef. For enquiries you can email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call +6016 6872034.