How to get back to healthy eating in 2015


Hydrate properly.

Drink regularly. “You are supposed to drink every hour. Do not wait until you are thirsty before drinking,” cautions Professor Luchie.

Start your day with a glass of room temperature water. Doing so jump-starts the body and hydrates it properly after a whole night of non-drinking. Make sure, though, that the water you drink is not cold.

Work your way back to eating a balanced diet.

Follow the Five-a-Day Rule. Make sure you take five servings of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.

Professor Luchie’s top five fruits are berries (the darker the skin, the healthier), papaya, pineapple, vitamin C-rich fruits such as guava (the best is the small local variety used in cooking sinigang, but best eaten raw) and orange, and guyabano.

Take fruits as the first course of your meal. “Fruits,” she explains, “are easier for the body to break down. So when you take it first, it breaks down in 30 minutes. But when you combine it with lechon or eat it after, the lechon will take a couple of hours to be digested, so it stays in the stomach and can cause gastric distress.”

Exercise regularly.

Observe the 60-minute rule. The World Health Organization (WHO) has a 60-minute rule that it wants everyone to follow. According to the WHO, a person should be seated continuously for only 60 minutes or one hour. After every hour, one must stand and take a two- to three-minute break and walk around or do something else before sitting down again.

Spinach and two-cheese baguette

1 piece baguette
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 kg ground chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
500 grams spinach, approximately 2-1/2 cups raw
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup kesong puti

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Slice baguette lengthwise into two. Lay on a tray and prepare to assemble.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan and then sauté ground chicken until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Bring three cups water to a boil. When boiling, drop all of the spinach leaves. Blanch for one minute only. Drain and allow to cool.
  5. When cooled, squeeze out the moisture from the spinach to remove the bitter taste. Set aside.
  6. Spread olive oil on the two faces of the baguette. Spread a layer of spinach on the baguette.
  7. Arrange the mozzarella cheese and kesong puti on top.
  8. Top off with the sautéed ground chicken.
  9. Sprinkle with olive oil.
  10. Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes or until cheese starts to melt.
  11. Slice and serve.

Variations: You may add another cheese to make this a Three-Cheese Baguette. You may also substitute the chicken with shiitake mushrooms for an even healthier version, or longganisa for a more sinful version! Of course, if you will just have this once in a while, it is all right. Just make sure you practice moderation and get some exercise into your daily routine.

*Nutritionist’s note: Spinach is another superstar in the antioxidant department! The use of olive oil also increases your heart-friendly unsaturated fatty acids. The cheeses are rich in protein and calcium.

Read the full article on healthy-living tips and recipes from Prof. Luchie Callanta inside Asian Dragon Magazine’s January-February 2015 issue.

[Photographs: Rafael R. Zulueta]


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