In Life

Doing the best you can for yourself includes eating well

This is a food and health post, which is not something I normally write about, but it has been on my mind lately.

Now, healthy to me is NOT skinny. This about sums it up for me:

Update: I should amend that statement to: “healthy to me is NOT necessarily always skinny”. I am considered very skinny and I am healthy, but I know this isn’t true for every body type.

VS and Dove

Healthy people come in all shapes and sizes, although I do find it a bit sad that no one considers a skinny, slender girl to have a “real woman’s body” or healthy (reverse stereotype *sigh*).

It’s not my fault I was born with this body type either. 😛

MY CURRENT HEALTH GOAL: AVOID DIABETES & LIVE LONG

As you know, I’ve been trying to do good things for my body lately like going to yoga 3 times a week.

I really, REALLY hate working out in a gym like some rat on a treadmill, but I enjoy walking in the city and yoga is a serious workout.

I figure that’s good enough for my health.


I am also trying to wean myself off my dependence on sugar (even ‘good’ sugars like maple syrup or honey), mostly because diabetes runs in my family and I don’t want to get that disease at any age.

My father has diabetes and it scares me how often he has to check his blood sugar, and how careful he has to be about what he eats which is a painful endeavour for him because he is addicted to sugar.

I am also trying to eat less meat, or at least to think of a meal as a meal, even if it doesn’t have meat in it.

Lastly, it’s nice to think that if I ate more vegetables and vegetarian meals, it would help out in a small way because I am not eating meat and putting a strain on the planet’s resources.

IT HELPS WITH THE COST OF MY HEALTH

One of the major benefits of doing all of the above is that my dental bills are much lower.

I saw a dentist the other day, and he was just so excited that I had such good teeth (I floss and brush daily, as well as avoid junk food and sugar), and told me he couldn’t imagine anyone like me having any dental problems if I just kept up on the basics.

I saw a doctor as well, and other than my eczema which I cannot control (hereditary), he said I was in perfect health.

I avoid the sun as much as possible, I wear sunscreen (sometimes a hat too), and I eat well in addition to walking a lot and going to yoga.

All of this adds up to very low health bills.

I complain because in Canada it’s all free (not the dentist however), but I am well aware it is because of my life choices.

I also don’t expect to get diabetes in the future or any other diseases, so that’ll cut down on any ER visits or other nasties.

COULD WE ALL JUST LIVE ON POTATOES AND FAT?

Chris had tweeted a very interesting article on how the Danish survived the War just on potatoes and a bit of fat. No meat at all, and not a huge variety in vegetables and fruits either.

The Germans on the other hand, couldn’t bear to give up meat, and their citizens suffered.

The most interesting paragraph?

Converting plant energy into animal energy is wasteful: It takes about 7 pounds of edible, healthy grains to produce just 1 pound of beef, 4 pounds for a pound of pork, and 2 pounds for a pound of chicken.

Reallocating land from animal to crop production would increase our food resources at least seventeen-fold: Crops like potatoes can produce 17 times the calories as animals on the same piece of land.

There would be additional positive consequences of replacing animal foods in our diet with plants.

Read the article: The Starch Solution

I could do that. I LOVE potatoes. 🙂 With a little coriander, a pinch of salt, pepper… Noms.

Like with this recipe for warm potatoes with chives!


Warm-Potato-Meal-With-Chives-Recipe-Delicious

Via Taste Food Blog

AVOIDING JUNK FOOD SEEMS TO BE THE #1 BEST THING YOU CAN DO

On the flip side, here are a few videos on how junk food affects your body (Video).

This ER doctor in the video went on an experiment for a week just eating junk food (a lot like Supersize Me), and he shows how it affected him versus what he was doing before.

Video still from how junk food affects your body

It is scary what junk food does to your body, with all that salt, sugar and fat.

JUNK FOOD & I

Quite honestly, I haven’t had junk food in years.

The closest I’ve ever gotten to “fast food” is Chipotle, which I’ve also given up because I think they’re now putting lard in their beans which gave me acne, so now I’ve stopped going there too.

My ‘fast food’ is sushi. Period.

Once in a while, I allow myself treats, but I don’t do it daily.

As a result:

  • my weight has really stabilized down to what it was when I was in high school
  • whatever fat I had has melted off my body at a surprising rate
  • I feel more energetic and awake
  • I feel happier
  • my brain is working better than ever before — I can feel the difference mentally

I can see with people like my parents who eat junk food regularly (or go to restaurants all the time which amounts to the same thing), they are tired all the time and sluggish.

You just can’t control what restaurants put in your meals, so it’s always a better choice to make your own meals.

SO WHY DO WE ALWAYS CUT OUR GROCERY BUDGETS FIRST?

So it never made any sense to me why people see their budgets, and the first thing they cut is groceries, but they refuse to dial down on their eating out in restaurants.

I totally get that eating out is a great experience, relaxing with no dishes to do, but after thinking about what I eat and how it affects me, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather have a $0 restaurant budget, and a higher grocery one.

I’d rather have a huge $600/person grocery budget each month (which I do, by the way), where I buy organic, fresh foods, and those expensive vegetables and fruits, than to spend half that money on junk food or canned/packaged items just because it’s cheaper.

Good and fresh food is expensive.

I am aware that it is a financial luxury to be able to spend that kind of money on food; to purchase organic foods is not cheap, but if push came to shove, I’d put food as one of the most important expenses because it affects your body and your brain, and more importantly your mood and how you feel.

So why cheap out, and then spend $300 on some spa day to relax and feel better?

Incidentally, it has also really helped my skin to avoid junk food and to eat cleaner. I can see it in my skin tone, my skin texture, the LACK of acne I get these days, and how much brighter my eyes are.

Why not just spend that $300 on eating better food to look and feel better?

What are your thoughts on food, spending, and health?


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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28 Comments

  1. SP

    I think it is possible to stay healthy on a relatively low budget. You do need more time. However, it is much much easier to be healthy if you have a little money to spare!

    I love running, and also I have been mixing in yoga. Running is pretty cheap unless you get into racing.

    Good healthy food can be reasonably priced, but again, you have to have time to cook. I found an easy way to keep the food bill down is to never buy meat. I do eat meat when we go out or if it is served to me, but I generally ONLY like the taste of red meat, which is something you shouldn’t eat every day anyway. Plus I have no idea how to cook most meats.

    I don’t have a lot of variation in how I look (weight or skin or anything) based on whether I eat poorly or well, I’m genetically lucky in that regard, I guess. However, I FEEL so much better when I eat well. I am good about avoiding processed foods, fast food (except the very occasional in-n-out, esp. after a big hiking trip!). Sugar is still a bit of a weakness. I don’t drink soda or sugary drinks, but some high quality chocolate or brown sugar in my oatmeal… or cookies! It is just hard to give up! My biggest health fail is the occasional sugar high.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Your eating habits are the same as mine except for the avoiding meat part. I like meat… But I try not to eat red meat more than once or twice a month.

      Reply
  2. Miemo Khamvongsa

    I totally agree with this post. I am eating more vegetarian and cooking at home than going out (except this week because its restaurant week, but i am still making smarter choices) I don’t have any results yet since I didnt keep up with my diet while i was in france but i am really looking foward to getting back on track!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      It makes a big difference in my energy and mood.

      Reply
  3. Money After Graduation

    It’s sad because a lot of people are addicted to junk food.. I used to love it, now I am addicted to healthy food, and junk food makes me feel like death. Great post, very informative!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Well that stuff IS addictive. The doctor in the videos likened it to getting a heroin hit.

      Reply
  4. B. (Below Her Means)

    I’ve been thinking a lot about sugar lately too. Recently started reading Potatoes Not Prozac, all about how if sugar were released on the market for the first time today, it wouldn’t get past the FDA. It’s seriously poison.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      *deep sigh* I am trying my best but it is hard.

      So far I have weaned off white to raw sugar cane and maple syrup.

      Now I’m cutting down the dosages.

      Reply
  5. SWR

    I’m over the Dove campaign too.  In addition to forgetting skinny women, notice how their models are all the same type of curvy- no one has small shoulders and bigger thighs or a trim body with a big stomach…etc.

    I have cut a ton of processed food out of my diet by changing the way that I snack.  If I only eat fruit or nuts in between meals, I cut out a lot of the bad foods that I used to eat.  

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      You’re right. I didn’t notice that.

      There are more shapes of curvy than that!!

      Nuts are a good idea. My new thing is apple slices with 10% yoghurt. VERY filling and it gives me the creamy feeling I crave.

      Reply
  6. Aloysa

    Talking about potatoes… I love them but unfortunately I need to stay away from them because they have a lot of sugar. I am glucose intolerant wich is not that far from diabetes. It scares the hell out of me though. And yes, I am addicted to sugar too.
    Loved the picture!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Ohhhhh 🙁

      Potatoes are one of my favorite things to eat. That sucks!!!!

      Reply
      1. The Asian Pear @ Blogspot

         Yeah, as a diagnosed diabetic, potatoes are considered bad. They’re carbs full of sugar. If you gotta eat potatoes though, go for anything but baked. Baked potatoes break down the carbs in such a way the sugar goes faster into your bloodstream.

        Also, rice is only 3/4 cup at most. Congee should be strictly avoided.

        I hate to tell this to you… Pickled anything is probably too sweet too.

        Yeah, it sucks to be a diabetic. That being said, you’re not there yet… Just uh… Don’t do box after box of macarons. Eat moderately and you should be fine.

        Reply
        1. Mochi & Macarons

          So fried potatoes are OK?

          So far the sugar cutting has been going well and I’m still getting checked yearly.

          Reply
  7. jeweliette23

    Oh and I think it’s fine for society to embrace curvier women and not subscribe to a skinny campaign.  BUT unhealthy is unhealthy regardless of your size.  It’s not ok for people to say that being size X or being weight X is “healthy” if there is a medically proven basis for that size or weight causing health problems.  Whether you’re skinny, average, or overweight, you should go to the doctor and make sure that you’re healthy for your weight. 🙂

    Reply
  8. jeweliette23

    I’m trying to eat healthier and cut down on carbs/sugars, but it’s very hard for me since I’m used to eating whatever I want.  I’ve been skinny my whole life and just reached 100 lbs this year (I’m 5’1, 5’2) b/c my tummy has been growing!  It’s weird b/c my whole body is still skinny except for my tummy where all the weight gathered.   Otherwise, I have no health problems. 

    BF doesn’t cook and so he balks at the price of groceries, especially b/c if he does make something it’s super duper plain.  He likes to eat fast food to save money but I think it’s better to cook at home for the same cost (albeit more effort) b/c it’s healthier.  Funny, we were at Target and I picked up a set of plastic measuring spoons and cups b/c we were using shot glasses for measuring.  He was complaining about the $3.99 price!  Anyway we’re working on compromising in the kitchen!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      My weight gathers in my tummy too. When I lose weight, I lose it everywhere, evenly. In my fingers, my toes, my rings no longer fit (too big)….

      I’m going to sound horribly preachy but you should tell him that over time, that junk food will kill him earlier. If you watch those videos with that ER doctor, it is SCARY what just a week of junk food will do to your body.
      He may not feel it now, but he will when he’s older, and by that time trying to change your habits will be a lot harder.

      I can see it in my parents — they’re addicted to sugar, eating out and junk.

      They’re not obese by any means but my dad is popping 10 pills a day just to keep things like his cholesterol down and diabetes under control. As they get older, they’re taking more and more medication. My mom has problems walking!!

      Reply
  9. Amy

    Does this mean that you don’t consider macarons to be junk food?  ;-P

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Nope. Not junk at all 😉

      Actually if you think about what goes into one, the amount of sugar is insane but I’d rather eat that than a Twinkie or Mars Bar.
      Those, I consider junky…..

      Reply
  10. Jennifer M

    What the?? The ‘real beauty’ from Dove is not showing all the “real” women body types!! I agree with you on that one. They also need to show thinner girls too. I’ve always been thin, but I still need to watch what I eat because of heart issues in my family. I gave up all pop a few years ago because of the crazy amounts of sodium in them, and don’t miss it. Once in a blue moon I’ll have a sip, but that’s all I need for the taste. 

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      That is the reason why I get frustrated when people say: But Christina Hendricks has a REAL woman’s body!!
      I think: What about me? She is gorgeous no doubt about that and very healthy, but skinny girls who are healthy can’t help their shape either.
      Seems like we are either on one team or the other. No solidarity.

      Reply
  11. eemusings

    I could absolutely live on potatoes – love em. I do think that only subsisting on starch would not feel good for long, though.

    I think people overestimate how easy it is to cut down on food. It seems like an obvious discretionary area to trim, but there’s only so much you can cut out, especially if you[re not wildly overspending in the first place.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      That, and I am noticing I need at least 2 major meals in a day with 3 snacks.
      BF is like a food camel. He has a big lunch and he is fine. Me, I need at least 2 big meals or I get cranky.
      He doesn’t even eat in the morning and I am NOT good with no food in me at the start of the day.

      Reply
  12. financialuproar

    As a potato chip salesman, I have one thing to say about all this. 

    IT’S ALL LIES! LINE UP AND EAT YOUR POTATO CHIPS LIKE GOOD LITTLE SHEEP!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      STFU. 🙂 🙂

      Reply
  13. Allison @Insomniac Lab Rat

    I notice that my skin is nicer when I’m eating better and not drinking as much pop, too, in addition to having more energy. After not drinking it for quite a while, I had pop every day for about two weeks after orientation (it was leftover…), and I felt more tired and had more acne flare-ups, so now I’m convinced that I shouldn’t drink it. Maybe occasionally, because I still like it, but definitely not every day.

    It gets old to see the word “real” associated so often with curves. I’m over it, now, though it used to bother me a lot when I was younger. It’s taken a long time, but I am happy with my body these days. By just about any standard I am “skinny”, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m pretty healthy. If people don’t think I’m healthy just by looking at me, that’s their own problem! (I don’t mean that you implied this, of course, just that I’m sick of “real” women and “real” bodies and “real” blah blah blah, and being told to “eat something”)

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I have sworn off soda for a while now. It gives me a headache and I can’t remember the last time I drank Coca-Cola.
      I did mean that — about the curves. I was accused of being anorexic once and it bothered me greatly because I take eating disorders seriously, I ate like crazy and I was nowhere near being THAT skinny where you saw bones for arms and legs.
      I know what anorexia looks like and I did not have it.

      The comment really bothered me as a teen.

      I too, am over society making me feel bad for being naturally slender and saying I’m don’t have a “woman’s body” because i am skinny. Not my doing. 🙂

      Reply

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