Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Secret To Healthy Living - Healthy Eating!

A slight diversion from my usual subject matter...

Most of my readers are probably very weary of reading about my weight loss, and the last thing you want to hear from me, would be how much of a hard effort I put in each and every week at the gym.

So, I'm going to change gears a little and talk about the huge changes that we've made in not just my eating habits, but those of my entire family.

You see, although I was quoted in Men's Health magazine talking about the basic mathematics behind weight loss - calories burned minus calories taken in - what I didn't touch on, is the other benefits of eating healthy... it's all about moderation, balance and variety.

A couple of key things to remember - LESS SALT and LESS FAT in your foods!

When it comes to our 4-year old Jaime, for example, we are very lucky in that he is extremely adventurous when it comes to trying new foods... and even luckier that he does not have much of a sweet tooth, nor does he like very salty foods - in fact, give him a bowl of steamed green vegetables and mushrooms, and he will be as 'happy as Larry'!

When it comes to me personally, before I met my wife and developed any depth of knowledge through diverse cultural experiences, I had spent the greater part of my life never understanding or even knowing the benefits of natural Chinese herbs.

After spending many years in Asia (the first few in China), I quickly became exposed to many foods which I had never even heard of let alone consumed. At the same time, I was amazed at how well I felt as a result of many of the various natural herbal soups that my father-in-law made for me - and each time he served, he took the time out to show me the herbs in their pre-cooked state and explained the benefits of each one - whether you're looking for herbs to increase overall wellness, improve your eye-sight, reduce blood pressure or ward off the next season's common cold or flu... there will always be something just for you!

Now here's the slam-dunk - while most western 'preventative' medicines or healthy food may not always taste that great, through centuries of handing-down and sharing of key learnings, most Chinese herbal soups taste absolutely fabulous - and within a very short time after eating, you are guaranteed to feel absolutely on top of the world... a true natural high that's also legal :)

The downfall of all of this, is that neither my wife or I have the knowledge or experience to prepare the ingredients to produce our own herbal soups at home.

Last night, we found a way to overcome this lack of knowledge, and I'm about to share it with you now, dear readers...

Check out this picture below - believe it or not - our very own home cooked Chicken Herbal Soup with American Ginseng, Huai Shan, Gou Qi, Yu Zhu and Long Yan!

Upon boiling the chicken (with no salt or additives), the soup took just minutes to prepare. This is thanks to a new collaboration between two companies, both experts in their respective fields and very trusted brand names - Eu Yan Sang and Maggi!

I recommend that you check it out for yourself - YANG SHENG LE - it's a concentrated Herbal Soup. Thers is a range available of these herbal chicken soups, and according to the website which I had to check out after dinner, they are all made from premium quality Chinese herbs and natural ingredients. You can pick them up at selected supermarkets and all Eu Yan Sang shops.

Some of the other attractive features of these 'ready to boil' natural soups for dummies (don't tell my wife I called her that), include: No Preservatives, No Added MSG, No Added Artificial Colouring or Flavouring and they are easily prepared in minutes.

It's very important to point out that the 'oiliness' you see in the picture of our soup, is due to the chicken - I've since found out that to reduce this, simply remove the skin from the chicken before you begin :p

After we ate this soup tonight (the American Ginseng one), I asked our number one critic in the house to rate the flavour - Jaime gave it a full thumbs up. I then checked with our in-house nutrition expert and critic, Sammi, who likewise gave it a more than positive decision.

For me - I'm just stoked that something that tastes so good and fills me up after taking it in moderation, is full of the balance and variety I spoke of above, has little salt and fat content, and keeps my calories "intake and burn" balance well and truly in check.

So there you go - a healthy choice for all of the family - simple to prepare with all of the knowledge of centuries of Chinese herbal benefits, that will leave you feeling good inside and out! Perfect also for those of you living a busy lifestyle!

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