I should be working on my paper, but instead, I’m gonna write this post on food. First off, I don’t follow a strict diet. What I eat is a combination of healthy and unhealthy food. During the week, I do my best to eat clean. I usually start off everyday with a cup of black coffee. Sometimes almond milk. A typical breakfast for me is raisin toast with avocado spread and an egg on the side. Sometimes I’ll eat it at home or pack it to eat at my desk.
As much as I can, I try to eat a light lunch. I usually like to eat some sort of meat (chicken, fish, or beef), with rice and vegetables (broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, asparagus, or brussel sprouts). I also love to eat pasta for lunch. If I go out, I like soup and sandwich combos.
In the afternoon, I usually snack on yogurt parfait, an apple, or cheese and crackers. Every once in awhile, I like to change up my snacks. Instead of an apple, I’ll eat a peach. Instead of yogurt, I’ll eat grape tomatoes. Instead of cheese and crackers, I’ll eat chips. Almost everyday, I’ll make a salad. Sometimes I’ll eat it before lunch or right before dinner, depending on how busy my day is. My favourite is Greek salad (without the lettuce) or an avocado tomato salad.
I love preparing dinner the same day, but it’s not always possible because of my work schedule. Sometimes, it’s a simple chicken and rice meal, or steak and mushrooms. Other times, it’s Vietnamese food like bún gà or bún bò Huế. Dinner is flexible depending on who’s cooking.
On the weekends, anything goes. Korean fried chicken. Cheesedog from Five Guys. Donairs and garlic fingers from Big John’s Pizza. Eggs benedict for brunch. Late night Chinese food. Ham and cheese croissants. McDonald’s. Chicken wings and udon noodles at Bubblemania. Inglewood pizza. Dim sum. Hot pot. Plus, Sunday night dinner at my parents’ house which is usually tons of awesome Vietnamese food.
My weakness is late night snacking. I love eating slices of salami with black olives while watching TV. Or sometimes chips, ice cream, or instant noodles. Depends on the night. Depends on my mood.
That’s basically my eating routine in a nutshell. I haven’t always had a good relationship with food, and even to this day, I still struggle with stress/binge eating. By age 16, I quickly learned that I can’t just eat whatever and however much I want without consequences. As a result, my late teens and early twenties have been a battle with food and weight. It’s easy for me to eat healthy, however the struggle is staying away from bad food.
When you tell yourself you should eat this and you need to stop eating that, it becomes an exhausting mental battle of resisting temptation. Eventually, you give in, it feels great, and then the guilt settles in. You set new goals to avoid eating this and to eat more of that, and the vicious cycle continues.
I used to tell myself I shouldn’t eat fried chicken and pizza because it’s “unhealthy.” Instead, I should be eating lettuce and stick carrots, which I hate. If you eat stuff you don’t like, for the sake of eating healthy, you’re going to resent it long term. Plus, it doesn’t make for a healthy relationship because you’re eating what you “should” as oppose to what you WANT. Instead of eating something you don’t like because it’s healthy, find an alternative that you do like.
When it comes to bad food, the secret is truly moderation. For example, if you love instant noodles, like me, only eat it once in awhile. If you love cake, eat a small slice. Controlling portion size and how often we eat something is much easier than cutting it completely out of your diet. The reality is if you struggle with controlling your eating, you’ll always go back to what you love to eat, especially the unhealthy stuff. Instead of binge eating once you finally give in to the temptation, foster a healthy relationship with whatever you love to eat.
Sometimes what we love to eat and drink is really unhealthy for us, like pop and candy, and sometimes, we consume a lot of it. If that’s the case, it’s important to get that under control, especially for health reasons. I’m not prompting eating whatever unhealthy foods you want in moderation. What I’m saying is find a way to incorporate what you love (instead of what you hate) into healthy eating while allowing yourself to also eat some bad food, only occasionally and in small portions.
For the first time in my life, I actually feel like I have control over my eating. Here’s the kicker: it takes a lot of hard work. I spent half an hour to an hour every morning preparing my snacks, and cooking healthy meals is no easy task. Eating healthy requires time, money, and effort. Some health nuts might totally discourage unhealthy eating, but that’s not realistic for me. I love fried chicken way too much. If I want to get super ripped, I should probably cut out carbs and sugar, but I’m not there yet.
This relationship with food is lifelong. Food is essential to our survival, and it can be responsible for extending life or ending it early. I’m not a nutritionist, dietitian, or doctor. I’m only speaking from my own experience. There’s more I could say about food, diet, and exercise, but I don’t want to turn this into a fitness blog. For me, I’m focusing on maintaing a habit of clean eating during the week and moderately indulging in bad food on the weekend. Plus going to yoga. It’s not easy, but if you stick with it without being too hard on yourself, you’ll eventually see results.
Sorry for writing so much, but thanks for reading anyways.