Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Change in Diet -- My New Challenge

These lamb chops from a restaurant were amazing! But I'm trying to eat less red meat.
 On the way to improving my health, I have been thinking a ton more about the types of food that I'm eating. Often times I'm in a rush, and I just feel too lazy to shop and cook! But I want to make a change to that.

What am I doing now?

I'm skipping breakfast. I feel like I'm always out of ingredients, and I just don't feel like picking up more. I also don't feel like getting up to cook every day.

I'm eating out a lot. As a young professional, I find myself eating out at restaurants. I'm ordering take out instead of cooking my own meals. This isn't so bad, but the best Korean foods, such as soups, are either impossible to take out or are too expensive. So I find myself gravitating toward stuff I shouldn't be eating so often.

I know it could be worse -- I could be eating at places like McDonald's, Pizza Hut or KFC! They're tempting, but I try to avoid them like the plague! The thing is, I know I could be doing better.

Mmm... Homemade cheese ramen! Perfect for lazy folks.

I'm eating greasy foods. I'm noticing that I've been ordering a lot of fatty pastas and eating cakes from the bakeries. I'm going to the convenience store to curb my hunger pains with cookies and other sweets. I'm extra hungry due to skipping breakfast. Then, there's ramen, which has little to no nutritional value.

I'm eating junk food for dinner. Yup, after a long day at work, I often stop at the convenience store to either buy sweets, ramen or similar garbage. I cook sometimes, but not often enough.

At least I'm eating, so why should I even bother?

Well, while I'm still in my 20s, I know that there are consequences for my behavior now. I think it's important for me to develop good eating habits. I know my heart will thank me later, and it can help with my weight once I get older and my metabolism slows down.

Now, I have a good idea for what I want to do.

I want to just eat better, without resorting to counting calories. The basic things are that I want to reduce my meat intake and and cook more often. When I do eat out, I want to eat better foods.

Middle Eastern-style Salad I made, with pork added

  1. I want to avoid red meat by eating it rarely. You're not supposed to eat red meat that often, so I figure once per month or less is good enough. I'll stick with chicken or pork.
  2. When I do eat meat, I want it to be mostly seafood. Seafood is best, so I'll try to eat that as much as possible. It will be rather easy when I eat out here. I've started cooking fish more often at home. 
  3. I want to eat out less. 
  4. I also want to reduce my meat intake to only once a day. The other two meals should be vegetarian or vegan.
  5. I want to learn more recipes, get familiar with more vegetables and cook more at home. 

I've taken on some new strategies! Now, on Sundays I'm cooking meals for the rest of the week. For example, one week I cooked french toast with my bread, then froze it to use it for breakfast.  Then, I modified a vegan recipe, a Middle Eastern Style Salad, by replacing a couple of ingredients and adding pork. I used that for lunch. For dinners that week, I ate pasta with scallion and buttery breadcrumbs.

Cooking for people is always fun!
My new strategies aren't without their own issues! For example, my refrigerator has a mold problem and I have no clue how to fix it. Next is an ingredient problem. When I look up recipes on the internet, they often contain "exotic" Whole Foods-style ingredients, that are either super expensive or tough to find here. Another problem is my rice cooker, which is full of stinky mold, and it's all my fault for forgetting to clean it out! I gag at the sight or smell of the mysterious fungal creatures, so once it develops, it's really hard for me to clean it. I promise to get it though!
On the other hand, it's really fun to find new recipes on the net and learn to make them! And I'm becoming a better cook in the process. Who can argue with that?

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