Everybody loves challenges right?
I mean, it’s always nice to have little goals to strive towards and then meet!
So anyway, I decided that FHB should have a challenge too! It’s really just to help kick start people on their journey towards healthier living and provide some sort of balance to their lives. This challenge is for people who are BRAND NEW to healthy living and want some sort of easy to follow/ remember guideline! Ultimately at the end, I would like you to modify the eating to suit yourself and your nutritional needs depending on your activity levels!
In order to take part in this challenge, all you have to do is follow the FHB12345 principle for just ONE meal a day for 3 days of the week. Simple right? (Of course, every day is best but we’re here to celebrate baby steps not kill ourselves trying to be healthy) After awhile, this will be so ingrained in you that you would just automatically do it anyway!
And what’s the FHB12345 principle?
It’s super easy!
The first 123 concerns the nutrition on your plate and 4,5 concerns your body and mind!
Step 1: Pick one meal of the day that you would like to apply the FHB12345 principle.
For example, you might choose lunch.
So for lunch, you would eyeball your plate and mentally divide it into 3 sections
This approach is based on MyHealthyPlate. If you are new to healthy eating or just want a more sustainable, balanced approach to eating, then MyHealthyPlate is certainly the best principle to follow. It’s what MOE/ HPB teaches young children in school and to be honest, when I was in ‘extreme health mode’ previously, I used to scoff at HPB’s previous ‘Healthy Diet Pyramid’. I felt that it was so full of inflammatory and insulin wreaking grains and couldn’t possibly be good for you. And only 2 servings of fruit and veggies?! HELLO?! WHERE BE THE NUTRIENTS? But now, after HPB switched to using MyHealthyPlate instead and with a lot of trial and error and experimentation on self, this is, in my opinion, the most sustainable way of eating especially for a typical Asian. (Trust me, I’ve tried the whole gamut of ‘healthy’ diets). I don’t know about you but I cannot deal with a cold salad every single day. Cold food to me is just honestly the bleakest thing. I can do yoghurt parfaits and occasional salads but my heart is always with rice, meat, veg and piping hot soup for my main meals. So for me, salads every day is not sustainable and therefore not healthy. Do take some time as well to understand yourself and see what kind of meals truly are the most sustainable and healthy for you
Step 1: Fill section 1 with whole grains/ starch sources. White rice/ bread is okay too but since this is a challenge, I challenge you to find the most nutrient dense, fibre rich grain you can find. Alternatively, you can also fill this section with sweet fruit like bananas, mangoes etc or get your carbohydrate source from starchy tubers like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam etc. People are often sensitive to the word ‘carbs’ when trying to eat healthy. Some think grains are inflammatory and should be avoided while others, especially those on the ‘healthy ED recovery’ Instagram community positively bully their counterparts to eat rice as if it’s the holy grail to recovery. Well, it’s not. All fruits and vegetables, grains and whatnot all digest into glucose into the body. We need glucose for brain functions but overconsumption of sugar especially those found in processed foods actually pull glucose away from the brain. So if you are insulin sensitive or have a history of binge eating, I recommend managing your glucose intake. If you are okay with simple white rice, eat it. If it causes you to be hungry after a short while, switch to or mix with other starchy carbohydrates sources/ low sugar fruits.
Step 2: Fill section 2 with your choice of protein. The protein portion is where I usually slather the sauce on or fry the meats/ tofu because it adds flavour to the whole meal. I feel it helps to have plain rice/ non- seasoned veg balanced with yummy meats. At the end of the meal, you must feel satisfied and filled with nutrients, not be craving a burger because your meal consisted of a small sweet potato, cold chicken breast and some romaine lettuce These kinds of diets will get you to lose fat and drop weight. Perhaps it’ll help you attain your goal of being a bodybuilder or a champion weightlifter but here at Fithealthybunny, we are office workers, students, parents, children and just simple folk who want to have a reasonable level of fitness and health to go about our lives. We want enough structure such that we don’t have to worry about disease or a severe belly bulge but we don’t want to be too fanatical and count protein/ carb/ fat consumption all the time.
Step 3: Fill section 3 with an abundance of greens!! Dark leafy greens are my favourite but a wilted spinach omelette with cheese is amazing too! My least favourite is Romain lettuce or worse, iceberg lettuce because they are honestly made up of just water and very little else. Why not just drink a cup of water then? (sian face). I also like cooking vegetables because (1) I like hot food and (2) cooking them in a bit of butter/ coconut oil helps make the nutrients in the vegetable more bioavailable.
So at the end, your plate will look something like this:
If you don’t know how much 1/4 of the plate should be (you might be using a VERY BIG PLATE) then 1/4 should be about 1 fist size. Have more if you are bigger or more active.
As for 4…
4 stands for 40 minutes of activity a day. It can be mall walking, getting down a bus stop earlier and walking or doing some sort of stretches. Anything that gets your heart rate up for 40 minutes is good to go. You can also do HIIT and whatnot but you must be sure to refuel and eat more after that kind of exercise. Here at Fithealthybunny, I advocate lighter exercise, lighter eating and lighter living but of course, there are days where I enjoy going all out and having a couple of HIIT sessions. It’s always a thrill to see how much your body can achieve
And lastly, 5 stands for 5 minutes of reflection, gratitude and rest.
For 5 minutes a day, whether when you just woke up or are going to sleep, find a quiet spot and do something for your mind. Settle down, calm yourself and think of everything that you are grateful for. Pray if you are so inclined and think of the people or the environment around you that you could possibly make a change in. It could be as simple as thinking that you need some order and calmness and that perhaps packing your room would be a good first step. You might reflect on binge eating episodes during the day and discover your triggers. Perhaps in that moment of stillness you would feel a rising concern for a friend who is struggling or a cause that you are passionate about. Let it stir within you and help you to know yourself a little better. What makes you angry? What would you like to change? What inspires you? Think about the kind of person you would like to be. Think about all the crazy that is happening in the world and think of what kind of influence you would like to be in that kind of storm. Take the time to reflect and if you need to, write your thoughts down or read inspirational stories of the many who have gone before you. So many people rush through life each day just battling themselves and the world when all they need is a moment of stillness and rest.
And that’s it! The FHB 12345 principle for easy living If you are on social media, share your FHB 12345 meals and/ or inspirational quotes etc so everyone else can be inspired too . I’m choosing Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of EVERY WEEK to do this challenge! Join me if you can! 😀
Here’s to happy, healthy, more wholesome living,
p.s It is much easier and cheaper to follow the myhealthyplate guidelines if you cook at home/ lunchbox to work but if you are out, I recommend going out with a friend and sharing a huge bowl of yong tau foo (Buy lots of veggies!) and getting your brown rice/ protein from the cai fan store/ vegetarian store. Hope this helps! 😀