Journey into Healthier Eating

I’ve been meaning to eat healthier, ever since I came to know that my beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had enjoined the following:

On the authority of Al-Miqdaam ibn Maadiy-Karib who said: I heard the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying: “No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.” [Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa’I, Ibn Majah – Hadith sahih]

However, as a foodie, I found it hard to follow this advice… until my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Is there a connection to eating healthy with lung cancer? Who knows. My dad used to smoke in his younger days and only managed to quit fully when he was maybe in his late  30’s or early 40’s. I read that lung cancer can take 10 to 20 years to develop so who knows, his might be due to that horrible stuff, although doctors have said there are other factors and everyone has cancerous cells in their bodies anyway.

But anyhow, the realization just hits me. I may not be smoking, but there are other ways to get cancers and food is one of it. Also, even if food intake may not lead to cancer, it’d lead to other health problems like heart attack or stroke.

So it’s with this wake-up call that I took a conscious effort to eat healthier. I’m a meat-eater; I love beef. I hate veggies, except for potatoes. I’d eat tomatoes only in sauce form, and that too in puree form; no chunks please. My most hated veggie: bean sprouts!

So I know I’d probably never go vegetarian or vegan. Still, I know I have to learn to eat at least one or two veggies, and I have to cut down on the beef intake. Therefore, my diet right now consists of chicken and fish, with beef once a week. Regarding beef, after having read about factory farming and whatnot (which is one of the more popular reasons people go vegan), I now consciously look at the labels and only buy beef that indicates the cow was raised in an outdoor environment and fed naturally on grass (if you’re in Singapore, it appears only Cold Storage carries such meat, amongst the supermarkets, I mean).

I’ve been experimenting with veggies. I had oyster mushrooms and kangkong (water spinach) but I had them smothered in a batter (flour, garlic salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning) and fried, lol. It’s the only way right now for me to have veggies: by frying them. Oh, and I finally had coleslaw. Not too bad; the mayo helps, lol.

I’m now looking into roasting broccoli and also frying some french beans. I hope I can eat them. They look so nice on the food blogs I went to.

I don’t drink milk anymore; now I’m either buying soy milk, almond milk or rice milk (but they are quite freaking expensive!). Other changes include trying to be more regular in eating fruits, using healthier oil like canola and if I’m baking, I try to look for vegan recipes or replace the butter with canola oil. I try to eat less carbo, so cutting back on rice and noodles, but I do love potatoes so I have those (especially the cute mini ones). I’m also now checking labels of snacks and drinks I buy for the calorie count.

So well, that’s healthier eating for me. Moderating my intake, taking baby steps. As Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an:

O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful garments at every time and place of prayer/worship (masjid); Eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance). – Surah Al-‘Araf, Ayah 31)

I also need to start looking into foods mentioned in the Qur’an and those eaten by the Prophet, amongst which are:

Olives, figs, dates, barley, honey, grapes (this I have no problem with), cucumber and gourd…

Of course, there’s that thing called exercise to complement healthier diet. Unfortunately right now, I have no plans for that…

Um, ok… that’s enough for now, yeah?

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