Healthy Living Day 6: Follow Your Ideal Meal Plan!

This is Day 6 of the 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge held in Jan 2015 where we work on improving our diet and fitness for 14 days. The challenge is now over but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all the challenge tasks.

Healthy Living Challenge

Hi everyone!! :D It’s now Day 6 of our 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge. Let’s get started!

Challenge Tasks to Date

My Day 5 in Pictures

Here’s a recap of my Day 5 in pictures:

Veggie patty and Grapes

Brunch: Veggie patty consisting of honey oat bread, lots of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and black olives). Plus grapes and a glass of water. :D

Mushroom soup and Strawberries

Dinner part 1: Mushroom soup, bread, and strawberries. Loved the soup; will get more of it next time!

Mushroom and chickpeas salad

Dinner part two: Salad with mushroom, chickpeas, pineapple, grapes. sunflower seeds, cucumber, and sesame seeds! :D I got the mushroom and pineapples salad from Cedele then added the chickpeas and grapes myself!

Chickpeas and tofu salad

Supper: Another salad; thanks Ken for making it for me. :) TWO salads in a day! — that’s more than what I targeted! Ingredients: Vegetables, home-made crotons, chickpeas, tofu, cheese, bacon bits, and homemade sauce

The past few days of sticking to my healthy eating plan have inadvertently helped me to bust barriers previously preventing me from doing so. Previously, I would not have anything healthy to eat at night as the only eateries open late at night in my neighborhood are unhealthy ones. I would also be hard pressed into eating an average meal like pasta or hawker food whenever I’m busy as the nearest eatery with healthy food (Cedele) is one-hour away (two-way).

However, I have since realized that I can simply batch my meal purchases. Buy two days’ worth of lunches/dinners from Cedele (or some healthy eatery) at one go, after which I can reach out for a salad, soup, or sandwich from my fridge whenever I need to! Problem solved! :D

The other problem I was facing was that I would be hungry at night as my daytime meals are often voluminous but calorie light (that’s usually the case for soups and salads). My solution is then to stock my house with healthy food (as per above) and include calorie-dense foods like nuts, avocado, and mango in my daytime meals. Problem solved! :D

Then there’s my exercise regime. Previously I would often skip exercise due to my busy work schedule. The truth is that I didn’t schedule my runs, and when you don’t schedule something, well, it ain’t gonna happen! I also (subconsciously) felt like exercising was a waste of time since that was 40 to 50 minutes of downtime from work. By scheduling my runs (three times a week, evening time) and listening to business podcasts while jogging (i.e. making jogging a more productive session for myself), I had effectively combated these barriers and made jogging a natural part of my routine! Mission accomplished! :D

Reviewing my 14HLC goals, they are

  1. Exercise at least three times a week – My third exercise of the week is scheduled for tomorrow!
  2. Cut out deep fried / oily food from my diet – Check!
  3. Eat salads more regularly, ideally once a day if I can – Check! Two salads in fact today! :D W00t!

Check out other participants’ amazing food logs and progress updates in Day 5’s comments section!

With that, let’s move to Day 6’s task, which is…

Day 6: Follow Your Ideal Meal Plan!

Ubud: Alchemy Restaurant, Philadelphia Maka Nori Rolls

Raw sushi rolls filled with cauliflower rice and papaya, served with sesame shoyu dip and warm miso soup at Ubud

You created your ideal meal plan yesterday. Today, let’s take it for a test run! :D

Now, some of you may not be able to follow your ideal plan for various reasons, such as because you’re living with others (making it difficult for you to plan your meals), because certain ingredients you want aren’t available in your nearby supermarket, or because the eateries near your workplace/home serve unhealthy food.

Well, that’s fine. Simply try your best. Remember, this challenge isn’t about perfection but progression. The participants’ and my daily comments are evidence of that. None of us is shouting about how our diets are the epitome of perfection. Rather, we’re simply sharing our daily meals, exercises (if any), and progress. We’re all in our personal journeys towards better health and fitness, and it’s the same for you too!

Speaking of which, for those of you who’ve signed up in the challenge, join in and post your progress as well, even if it’s just a simple two liner!

  • Are you refraining from posting because you “fell off the wagon” and you feel like you’re now “off” the challenge? Well, don’t be — the daily discussion threads are meant to be a forum to post our progress, not to report some sky-high results. Whether you’ve “cheated” every day since the challenge started or not, it doesn’t matter as much as you put that behind you and focus on getting back on track with your goals. Like I said to participant blessedart, “There’s no rule that participants can only comment when they’re “on track” and have met their plan; that’d be ridiculous and bad perfectionism thinking!”
  • Or say, are you not posting because you prefer to watch others share without being involved? If so, remember that the success of the challenge and the value of the PE community is a function of the members who participate and engage. (Imagine a challenge where NOBODY, including myself, shares anything or posts any comment. That’ll be quite an empty challenge unfortunately!) The more people who share and participate, the more valuable this challenge will be to everyone, including yourself!

Now, let’s get started!

Step 1: Follow your ideal meal plan today! (All day long)

What is your ideal meal plan that you’ve created from Day 5’s task? Follow it!

Some of the items in your ideal meal plan may require planning. For example, perhaps you need to visit a different restaurant that has healthier food options today. Perhaps you need to do some grocery shopping to whip up your desired meals. Perhaps you need to prepare your meals the night before or on the morning itself. Perhaps you need to cook dishes that are different than normal.

If you can’t find the exact meal/food item in your ideal meal plan, improvise. Again, it’s not about perfection but progression. Your ideal meal can be steamed fish with baked potato and vegetables but if you normally eat KFC for lunch and you ate steamed fish with chips today, I say that’s a big improvement!

Step 2: Review your ideal meal plan (20 min)

Having taken your ideal meal plan for a test run, review your day.

  1. On a scale of 1/10, how would you rate your meals today vs. your ideal meal plan?
  2. How do you feel about the meals you had today? Do you feel healthier? More energetic? Why or why not?
  3. Are there any adjustments you’d like to make to your ideal meal plan?
  4. Moving forward, what actions do you need to take to make your ideal meal plan part of your daily routine?

After you set your actions, act on them! Work on making your ideal meal plan a natural part of your everyday life!

Next, Follow Your Plan for Day 6 (Take Pictures Too!)

What tasks have you set for Day 6 of your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan? Do them today!

Take pictures of your healthy meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and mid-day snacks if any — and share them in the comments section. :D After all, a picture tells a thousand words, and when you share photos of your healthy meals, it inspires others to eat healthily and gives them ideas on what healthy food they can have too!

Post your initial comment sharing your results for today’s challenge task, then add on throughout the day as you have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or if you’re doing any workouts. Attach photos of your meals by clicking the image icon on the bottom left of every comment box. As you add on to your comment thread, be sure to click on the reply button directly below your original comment so that you reply to your own thread (as opposed to starting a new thread).

Share Your Results (and Photos!)

Share in the comments section!

  1. Your progress with your ideal meal plan today
  2. Your progress with your healthy living plan today
  3. Pictures of your meals
  4. Pictures of your workout (if any)

Do check out the other participants’ comments too and share a word of encouragement or two. We’re all in this together, so let’s support each other as a group! :)

After you’re done, proceed to Day 7: Review & Set Your Plan for Week 2!

(Image: Women running)