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  • Ashley Isabel Tay

Tips to Eat Well During Chinese New Year

As the lunar new year approaches, it is the time to look forward to abundance of AngBaos (red packets)! It is also a time where massive feasting starts when we get to enjoy abundance of food shared among family and friends, symbolising a sign of prosperity that will flourish throughout the year.

As we take this time to spend these precious moments with our family, savouring reunion dinners that are thoughtfully and meticulously prepared from the heart, one should not forget to also keep our health in check! ✔

Thus, I've put together 5 healthy tips that can be easily incorporated into our daily house visits.

Tip #1 Know the Damage - Watch the Calories!

What's the first thing that you'll always see when you walk into your relatives' house?

That's right! That table that is filled full of CNY goodies waiting for you!

Well it is totally fine to enjoy the snacks once a year, it is also important to not over indulge. Rather than inflicting a total snack ban that stresses you out during this festive, leaving you feeling uneasy and deemed "rude" for not eating the goodies that are offered to you, why not try limiting your snacks to 1-2 pieces per snack or keep a cap on the amount of pineapple tarts(or your favourite snack) that you are popping in per day.

Ultimately, one harmless looking pineapple tart packs in already 93 calories! Not to highlight that Bak Kwa packs in a whopping 301 calories per slice too. Thus, share the love and savour them in smaller bite-size pieces!

Tip #2 Mindful Snacking - Practice Rationing

Many of times we often snack unconsciously right from the bottomless jar of cookies 🍪 while having a good time catching up with our family that we haven seen for awhile. A good way to make sure that while we enjoy our conversations, we can still watch our portion size by rationing our CNY snacks. Instead of eating right from the bucket, place only the amount that you would like to eat on your palm or a small plate or a piece of tissue paper.

Secondly, mindfully prioritise the snacks that you would like eat per day and eat only those.

For eg:

Monday - 3 Love Letters

Tuesday - 2 Pineapple Tarts

Wednesday - 5 Dried Shrimp Roll

This may look very little but think about the dinners that you've already eaten on top of this snacks. Everything adds up! & that's how your weight creeps up!

Tip #3 Stay Hydrated - Plain Water are for Champions

Plain water contains ZERO calories. Enough said.

Instead of your usual packet drinks like chrysanthemum tea or your canned soda like coke/sprite, save yourself some calories by just having plain water. If you want something cold and flavoured, put in some ice and a slice of lemon. HOLAA!

Tip #4 Schedule in your workouts - Before/After Visits

Stay active even on festive seasons! Sticking to your usual workout schedule might not be feasible with the amount of house visits but hey, throwing in a 15-20mins workout is always better than none! ;D

Try doing some bodyweight exercises at home before you get ready for your house visits or after your visits. Here are some simple and quick exercises that you can start with to move your body!

3 sets of :

10 squats (Simplified version: Sit on a chair and stand up)

10 pushups (Simplified version: Wall push up)

10 sit ups (Simplified version: Crunches)

20 jumping jacks (Simplified version: Marching High Knees)

Alternatively, if you have the luxury to get in a longer workout, pop by a nearby fitness centre for a fitness class or just simply put on your shoes and go for a run downstairs!

Tip #5 Skip the Rice, Save your Tummy!

Whenever it comes to festive seasons, it always voice down to saving unnecessary calories in compensate to the savoury foods that we get to indulge. Living in Asia, rice is constantly a staple in our everyday lives. However, during this CNY, try skipping the rice this time round to make more room for your stomach for the food that your grandparents took time and effort to prepare specially for you!

Consider the additional portion of braised meat, prawns, fish, Yu Sheng on top of the

snacks like Nian Gao and almond cookies that you've popped in casually, do you really need that bowl of rice? 🤔

With this tips in hand to approach this Lunar New Year,

I would like to wish all of you a prosperous new year filled with Abundance of blessings, laughters and love flourish among your beloved family and friends.

Now go forth and have a great year ahead but don't forget to also Stay Healthy, Stay Active!

All the love,

Ashley Isabel Tay


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