In my last post, I got some very interesting feedback on how its impossible to eat healthily outside and why the ratio 90/10 philosophy won’t work. I believe the term “crappy cafeteria food” was one of the comments I received for the previous posting. In addition to that, I have received many comments from people who say “when you eat out, it’s impossible to stay fit” or “only way to eat healthily and stay fit is to eat food that tastes like cardboard”. I also hear other comments like “healthy food is too expensive” and “I have no time to make food and take from home”.
Well I hear you guys loud and clear and I understand that it is indeed difficult stay fit and healthy when we have to eat out most of the times. But the fact is, you can eat healthily virtually anywhere and I take this as a personal challenge to show you how to eat healthily anywhere. So if you think of a place that is impossible to eat healthily, please let me know and I will show you how to eat healthily there. So please send in your requests and I will publish them here.
Before I start, just a quick disclaimer so I don’t get slammed for sucking the fun out of everything tasty in life. If you only eat in this place once in awhile, then I say go ahead and enjoy. But if your visit this place regularly, then you might want to follow these tips carefully to ensure your gym workouts don’t go to complete waste.
So to kick of these series of “how to eat healthily anywhere”, my first choice is every Malaysian’s favourite joint – The Mamak.
I know most of you probably visit a Mamak at least 3 to 4 times a week, and if you do, follow these tips and you will be eating healthier than most other people. So here’s how to eat healthily at the mamak.
Tandoori Chicken – Lean Protein which is baked so the fat drips off in clay oven.
Chapati – Each chapati is roughly 150 calories depending on size. The good thing is, its made out of whole wheat flour which is absorbed slower into your blood compared to polished white flour.
Thosai – Each Thosai has about 100 to 120 calories. It’s light and filling. Some Mamak’s have Thosai Telur – add in an egg to the thosai to increase it’s protein content. I normally get full on 2 rava thosai’s
Telur Separuh Masak – If you lift heavy and need extra amounts of protein, this is good meal to add to your normal meal. 2 eggs are pretty filling and each egg only has about 70 to 80 calories. Not to mention, swallowing 2 of these will make you half full, hence you only need a smaller portion of other foods to fill you up.
Nasi Campur – If you have to take mixed rice, make sure you load up more vege on your plate. Instead of fried chicken or fish, try curried chicken or Fish. It’s slightly healthier than the fried kind. I would recommend to try the items above more often than rice. But when you eat rice, be careful with what goes on your plate. Remember, more vege & Tauhu, less rice, less starchy dishes like potatoes etc.
Foods that you must Avoid
Roti Canai – This goes without saying. It is nothing but solidified oil
Goreng Goreng – Where possible, please avoid your Maggi Goreng, Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng and all the other goreng goreng stuff. It’s just bad stuff
Nasi Lemak – The names says it all (Fat Rice)
Cutting out sweet drinks from your meals will automatically shave off 200 to 300 calaories. Quite a big saving. Besides “Ais Kosong”, you can go for Diet Cola’s as an alternative. But I make it a point to drink plain ice water whenever I can. It costs less and is better on my waist line too. If you must have a sweeter drink, avoid those with milk like Milo, Bandung etc…. milk increases the calories in drinks significantly.
Pop quiz: If you had to choose between Sirap Bandung and Limau Ais, which one would you choose?
So, as you can see, even if you visit the Mamak 3 to 4 times a day, you can eat a different healthy meal everyday. So you don’t have get bored of eating the same thing. So go ahead, make some small changes and you will be surprised with the results. As I mentioned, if you do have a place which you feel is impossible to eat healthily, let me know and you will be surprised at how you can turn it around with a few simple changes in the choices you make.
Look forward to hearing your comments on this as well as your suggestion for “crappy cafeteria food”.