Want to eat healthier but unsure how to start? Culinary nutritionist Caroline Chow shares her favourite tips to try. By CAROLINE CHOW; edited by SAMANTHA FRANCIS.
Culinary nutritionist, Les Mills RPM instructor, finance professional, and founder of health and wellness site Happy Health, Caroline understands the challenges that come with being a busy multi-hyphenate. As an advocate for better health through mindful eating, she shares her top tips for eating well on a daily basis.
Grocery shop for seasonal fruits and vegetables
Our bodies are naturally designed to eat based on the environment that we live in and local produce often means it’s fresher and cheaper. Some great fruits that are in-season between April to July in Singapore include jackfruit, longan, rambutan, and mangosteen. These are all high in anti-aging properties and vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system. Try these along with vegetables like bok choy, napa cabbage or kai lan (Chinese broccoli), to cleanse the body and support liver functions.
Plan ahead with healthy snacks
This is especially true at home and even more so when you are out of the house. Packing snacks ahead can stop you from reaching for quick fixes like fast food or takeout. Some of my favourite healthy snacks to keep hunger at bay include rice crackers with dip, roasted nuts, seaweed, or fruit.
Opt for light and flavourful dishes that don’t rely on heavy sauces or frying
When dining out, some favourites of mine include satay or Hainanese chicken and rice with a side of vegetables like choy sum. Dishes like these contain flavourful and beneficial ingredients like ginger and garlic to aid digestion or try bone broth—known to aid digestive health.
Try plant-based protein options
The next time you order in, try one plant-based protein such as tofu with braised mushrooms and broccoli or black bean burrito bowl with all the toppings. By doing so, you can be sure that you are adding to your daily fruit and vegetable intake and getting nutrients like fibre and vitamin A for cardiovascular health. It’s a win-win as you still get all the flavour and convenience of takeout.
Batch cook by doubling the serving size of a recipe
Batch cooking is a great way to save time from having to cook lunch or dinner the next day. Alternatively, freeze the food in advance for a quick pre-made meal that can easily be thawed, reheated, and enjoyed. This method is faster than takeout and much more nutritious. Try having the leftovers for lunch or dinner the following day, then freeze the leftovers for long workdays when the last thing you want to do is slaving it out in the kitchen.