Mornings set the tone and mood of your day and establish the foundations of your hustle–Nat (my life partner) and I are helping you do the same: build a solid foundation through your wellness journey (and yeah, okay, fitness too) through raw, early morning, right-out-of-bed, casual chitchat from our humble little home. Join us every Wednesday, 7:30 AM PHT on Instagram (@nkitorres and @thenatcruz) as we go LIVE on both our accounts to talk all things fitness and wellness and answer your Q’s.
We all know food plays such a big role in our keeping healthy, losing fat and fuelling our workouts. Shifting to a healthy diet, though, isn’t easy and can be a daunting task if you don’t know where and how to start.
Last week, Nat (@thenatcruz) and I gave you a peek at our eating and food shopping habits. If you missed our live stream, don’t fret, below is a quick recap.
WEEKLY SHOPPING BUDGET
We allocate P2,000 for the usual food items we consume all the time. These are mostly fresh produce which means we really have to shop weekly. A typical list looks like this:
- Fresh vegetables (greens, starchy vegetables and roots, mushrooms, peppers, string beans, and whatever’s in season)
- Fresh fruits (apples, bananas, pineapples, lemons are our usual purchases)
- Blocks of Tofu
- Freshly Ground Coffee
- Oats (bi-weekly)
- Soy Milk
- Coconut Milk
Every three to four weeks we stock up on a few other things that can stay in our cupboards longer. When we shop for these our budget bloats anywhere from P5,000 to P8,000. These are:
- Oils (Soy, Olive)
- Soy Sauce, Apple Cider Vinegar
- Salt, pepper, sugar, spices and herbs
- Chia Seeds
- Black Rice and other grains
- Beans and Lentils
- Peanut Butter
We often get asked how we avoid snacking on sweets. I have a pretty big sweet tooth–and so does Nat. Our trick is to store very few snacks in our cupboard. Often, we don’t have access to anything we don’t want to be part of our diet so we’d have to buy food we crave for. To go out of our way just to satisfy a craving must mean we really, really want it. When we purchase snacks that we can keep at home, we choose ones that are still healthy such as banana chips that are low in sugar, dark chocolate or raw energy balls. We also snack on fruits and nuts when we’re hungry.
WHAT A TYPICAL MEAL LOOKS LIKE
Breakfast is usually a protein shake and a banana or two. On days when we need the extra fuel, we have overnight oats with coconut milk, cashews, topped with fruit.
Lunch is our biggest meal. I usually put together colorful bowls that are both protein and fiber-rich, making them more filling than a regular salad (I include 1-1/2 cup of grains such as Quinoa).
Nothing beats making a mess in the kitchen for some wholesome fuel. Black rice with Broccoli and Mushrooms + Spicy Turmeric Crusted Tofu + Kimchi AND a bottle of Cold Brew from @cbtlph. 💯 . Fitness Hack: Drink black coffee (and I mean black, no sugar no milk/cream) before a sweat sesh. It's a great pre-workout! . Wellness Hack: Choose Cold Brew over other methods if you have a sensitive stomach. Cold Brew is lower in acid and should be kinder to your tummy. Also, try adding a pinch of baking powder to your coffee (any coffee not just cold brew) if you're looking to cut its acidity. You're welcome. 😉 . #cbtlph #coffeebeanandtealeafph #coldbrew #vegan #plantstrong #preworkout #coffee #coffeeobsessed #prettymuchwhatrunsthroughmyveins
Let's talk GREEN and why you shouldn't resort to takeouts just because eating healthy seems expensive. I literally blogged today while making lunch. . Nutrition is NOT ALL OR NOTHING, there will always be better choices that fit your lifestyle, your budget, your preferences and it does not have to cost an arm, a leg and your head. The greens I used in today's bowl are nutrient-dense and only cost about 11php a bundle. That's even cheaper than the cheapest thing off of McDonald's menu. . This mentality of going #vegan, #plantbased (or simply healthy) being expensive has got to end. SCREW Kale. No, just kidding. I love Kale. But yeah, head on to Pretty Darn Fit and read. Link on bio.
Yay! We’re getting questions from you guys! Here are a few we answered during the live stream. Of course, I couldn’t include those asked on the spot anymore so it’s still best to tune in LIVE next time.
- Is a Keto diet okay for vegans?
I am vegan but I haven’t tried a Ketogenic diet. Nat’s not vegan but she has tried the diet in the past. According to her, the high amounts of fat she had to consume made her feel “yucky”, and unhealthy. Sure, she probably lost weight but she didn’t feel light, energetic and healthy.
I, personally, don’t see the need to go on this diet for whatever reason unless you are suffering from Epilepsy (it was originally designed to help those who are Epileptic). For fat loss, I would still recommend sticking to high quality, whole foods while making sure you burn more than the amount that you eat.
2. What condiments are okay to use?
Although we still add a bit of soy sauce, sriracha, Tabasco and catsup to our food every now and then, we make sure to use them sparingly. Sugar hides in most catsup brands and soy sauce is high in sodium. We only use these to make flavors in our food come out, not to mask them. Fact is, when you use less and less condiments, your palate adjusts. You start to appreciate and actually taste your food. If you want to add more flavor, use herbs and spices instead. 🙂
3. What are good/healthy dessert options?
I either have fruit (with cinnamon or peanut butter) with coffee or dark chocolate when I want serious dessert. Nat prefers real desserts but doesn’t have them as often. We would normally have black coffee but on days when Nat feels like it, we add steamed unsweetened soy milk and a bit of coconut sugar. <3
There is no perfectly healthy dessert option. Desserts taste better when you don’t have them all the time. But when you do, go ahead and indulge!
4. Lastly, my fave question from last week: How is it living together as vegan and non-vegan?
We had to ask each other for our answers. I find it easy because Nat eats whatever I prepare. She loves a highly plant-based diet and she doesn’t look for meat or any animal product in our meals. I’m proud to say that our home is 95% vegan, save for the occasional honey that sneaks in Nat’s granola.
Nat, on the other hand, says she doesn’t have a hard time either. She loves my cooking (yay!) and only ends up eating meat outside home when she has no other option. She eats whatever I feed her and she seems happy and well-fed so far. She’s very lean yet strong on a highly plant-based diet. I’m still working on influencing her to go fully vegan. LOL.
Watch out for the next live stream, Wednesday 7:30 AM PHT on Instagram! Follow me @nkitorres and Nat Cruz @thenatcruz to make sure you don’t miss. Email me your questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want any of them answered on-air. We’ll do our best to help out. See ‘ya! <3