After a year of daily home workouts, I’ve transformed into that person who logs in their meals on MyFitnessPal. I know that a serving of instant noodles clocks in at around 270 calories.
In turn, I know that to burn that off, I need at least 30 minutes of intense cardio. Two packets of instant noodles mean a full hour of brisk walking at least.
At times, I will compute how many minutes of cardio-boxing is needed if I indulged in a large milk tea that can go for 300 calories. We get into the big business when I start reading the nutrition labels of new products I’m trying or when we’re opting for some food via a delivery app.
I haven’t totally lost it. Call it the effect of having extra time because of my WFH life. It means I don’t spend three hours commuting. It’s also not all about taking the joy out of food. In fact, my extra curiosity has led to different food finds.
Meat-free proteins go to the top of this list. Two brands have entered the consumer market. There’s unMeat by Century Pacific Food Inc. and Veega from San Miguel Foods.
Both of them offer plant-based meat in serving packs of around 200 grams each. This helps a lot if you’re observing portion control. unMeat’s variants include meat-free nuggets, Hungarian sausages, burger patties, and giniling. Veega offers the same options with an addition of meatballs.
You may cook them as you would any of its animal-sourced counterparts. They work for your traditional recipes, as well as some newer creations.
My favorite from unMeat is the nuggets, as when you cook them to a crisp, you get a delightful texture that makes nuggets always a treat. For half the pack, that is about 100 grams; you get 230 calories. Nine chicken nuggets from your favorite fast-food chain can go up to 395 calories. So that’s something to think about. UnMeat is available online via Lazada.
From Veega, the stand-out selection is the Meat-Free Sausage. It has the right bite and texture if you need something to kill those hotdog cravings. It goes well with rice but also does well on the bun with your condiments. Two Veega sausages go for 248 calories, while regular hotdogs carry an estimated 580 calories for the same amount. Veega is also available via Lazada.
If you can’t quite kick rice just yet, give adlai a try. Adlai is nutrient-dense and a complex carb, making it a richer energy source than the simple sugars white rice gives. Called the powerhouse grain, adlai is not just catching on to exercise and diet buffs. Proof of adlai’s growing popularity is how new brands are hitting shelves. There’s Oh Crop!, which is co-owned by celebrity restaurateur Marvin Agustin.
Oh Crop! offers adlai in one-kilo and five-kilo packs. Oh Crop! can be used in any other rice dish you crave for. It also offers a bigger menu when you look up how it’s used in other cuisines. Adlai is also known as Job’s Tears and Chinese pearl barley.
A cup of adlai is around 160 calories, while a cup of white rice can go up to 206 calories. But the kicker of adlai comes with how much more protein, calcium, and iron it has than white rice. Adlai gives 13.1 grams of protein, 63 milligrams of calcium, and 6.8 milligrams of iron per 100-gram serving. On the other hand, rice gives you 7.4 grams of protein, 27 milligrams of calcium, and 1 milligram of iron per 100 g serving.
I always crave chips. It’s one of the few things I’m willing to go the extra mile for during my afternoon run. Alternatives to the crunch are hard to find especially when I’m a Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion kind of girl. And it’s not like I have tried to reverse the habit.
I find that healthier chip options can be too expensive, lack the bite of the original stuff, and can be limited in variety. I try it as a novelty, but hardly does a healthy chip become the snacking-while-watching Netflix choice. Up until I tried Cravewell Crisps.
Cravewell Crisps are a selection of vegetable and fruit snacks that are flavorful and affordable. My top picks are the Purple Roots that comes in three flavors: Nori Wasabi, Sweet & Salty, Sour Cream & Onion. They are thin, crunchy, and will satisfy your want for the usual potato chip option.
A whole pack of these chips can be around 210 calories, which is something to consider when my Lay’s chips can easily surpass 240 calories for the same serving size. It goes even higher depending on the flavor. Also, consider how Cravewell snacks are vacuum fried; hence there is virtually no oil. You’ll notice it when you realize your fingers aren’t slick after you’re done eating.
What I also love about Cravewell is how it goes beyond the usual. Their Banana Chips come in flavors Hickory BBQ, Sriracha, and Tom Yum. For their Mixed Veggies, they offer Wasabi, Kimchi, and Crab & Curry.
When you want that sweet and salty interplay, I usually go for their Tropic Fruit Crisps–a medley of pineapple, banana, jackfruit, coconut, and mango–after I finish a bag of Purple Roots.