Lunchbox Diet

“When you eat mindfully, by paying attention to what you eat, you get more pleasure with fewer calories.” ~ Dean Ornish

With the smorgasbord of restaurants offering all the cuisines you can think of, today’s adults are tempted to try all that’s new and visually instagrammable. With the rise of tasty options, there has also been a clamor for delicious yet healthy meal solutions. But because of busy schedules, the healthy options often take the back seat in lieu of fastfood, ready-to-go meals. Enter meal preparations. 
Meal preparation plans have been the fad for the past couple of years, and several suppliers have ridden on this bandwagon. The meals are already portioned to the desired calorie per day, and even delivered to your doorstep — easy, hassle-free, and healthy! These have appealed to yuppies and millennials who want to stay healthy but are too busy to shop, cook and prepare their own baons. This includes us, working parents.

So we decided to try LunchBox Diet. We got the 1500 cal plan for two weeks, consisting of breakfast, lunch, dinner and 1-2 snacks or tea and coffee. The meals are delivered to our house the night before. On the day, we just reheat the food in the microwave and we’re good to go! The food is actually delicious. Most days we have brown rice, fish, chicken breast, wheat bread, and a featured item from sponsors every Wednesday. Our favorites are pasta nights, and fruit-based  M desserts. 


After two weeks of Lunchbox meals, I was able to lose 6lbs! Not bad. More importantly, my appetite was not as strong as before. I can easily curb my cravings for junk food (my favorite cheat day snack!) and even desserts. Most of the time, I eat less during dinner as well.

The relapse is usually the hardest after finishing the meal replacement plans. So my husband and I have to rely on each other, so we can stay away from temptation and still maintain healthy food choices later on.

Advertisements

Kindermusik

“At Kindermusik, our passions are children and music. So we put the two together to create a music and movement program for young children. Our mission is to reach every child through music.”


I first learned about Kindermusik from my boss, who enrolled her then two-year old daughter to the program and sang praises about it. Her once timid girl blossomed into a confident young toddler. I knew then that I wanted to also bring Sofie to Kindermusik. As an only child, these play schools are supposed to teach basic socialization, but I knew that Kindermusik can develop so much more for Sofie. She was already turning two, and I wanted to expose her to more learning and creative environments suited for her age.

We searched their website and found Saturday morning schedules to be ideal, so we can also join her during classes. After going to potential venues, we finally found a fit at Kindermusik at CTEC Greenhills with Teacher Dang. Her class would be Wiggle and Grow, for toddlers her age.

The first day was surprising for all of us. Sofie was overwhelmed by the new environment and kept her eyes closed the whole time! There were tears and tantrums, but Teacher Dang assured us that this is normal behavior, and we should acknowledge Sofie’s feelings and let her adjust to her new surroundings. We kept our faith and crossed our fingers that the next days would be better.

True enough, Sofie did do so much better in the next classes. Little by little, she began to recite familiar animals and animal sounds during story book time, played with rhythm sticks, and even did cooperative play with classmates. She especially loves parachute play, lining up blocks and sticks, story time, and “massage” time with mommy. She has learned to pack away toys and wait for her turn. At home, Sofie and I would read books from Kindermusik and look at videos from the website, and she would remember her modules from her classes. Her development was amazing, and we are thankful to Teacher Dang and Kindemusik for helping Sofie to develop all these, and enjoy bonding time as a family too. 


As we enroll Sofie in a new school, we would forever be grateful for the foundation given to her by Kindermusik. She now sings nursery rhymes all the time, dances to familiar songs during car rides, and has better appreciation of music. No more eyes closed! We have appreciated the opportunity given to us to learn together with Sofie, and she has learned to trust the support she can get from her parents. More importantly, she has gained the confidence to face new schools and new challenges in the world ahead. 

Review: The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer

“You stayed around your children as long as you could, inhaling the ambient gold shavings of their childhood, and at the last minute you tried to see them off into life and hoped that the little piece of time you’d given them was enough to prevent them from one day feeling lonely and afraid and hopeless. You wouldn’t know the outcome for a long time.”

Meg Wolitzer, The Ten-Year Nap


While looking for a vacation reading list, I came across this novel from Meg Wolitzer. The synopsis was quite intriguing: it tells of an interwoven story of the lives of four American women, once high-powered career professionals, who took a decade long hiatus to be full-time wives and stay at home moms. Very relatable, so I grabbed myself a copy.

At first I thought that the book was too long. A lot of words were spent trying to describe every minute, every apparently boring thought of a has-been working mom. So I put it down after ten pages and thought I’d read it again someday, when I could muster enough patience to find it interesting again.

Someday came this month, when I remembered having bought the book and not being able to finish it. This time though, I found new perspective– what was once too observant was now an accurate depiction into the harsh realities of mothers-who-used-to-work. The storytailing flew by quickly… Of anecdotes and adventures that sometimes became too relatable for comfort.

In America, most career women who get married and have children rarely climb up the corporate ladder. Most are resigned to make the sacrifice of choosing to be with the kids instead of being in the office. No day care or extended relatives can see to the children, so the burden lies heavily on these women. But they only realize this up to that crossroad of their lives, and I wonder if knowing this beforehand  might affect their choice. 

In Asia, family ties are kept even after the children are married, so child rearing can be shared among grandparents, aunts and uncles. I myself am lucky to have these family members, on both sides, to willingly share their time with us. Both my husband and I can keep our day jobs while the Lolas take care of our daughter. In return we help to support the whole household financially. 

The novel chronicled different facets of the women’s lives. Some were changed after the “ten-year” nap while some lives  stayed on the same course. Some went back to their desk jobs, while others found full-time volunteer work that, albeit different from what their careers were initially like, the fact is… something was different. And isn’t that what we’re all battling against? The stagnation of the human spirit from a decade long routine? The absence of passion and lost meaning?

So whether it be ten-, twenty-, or fifty-year naps… whether we decide to go back to the corporate hub or back to the kitchen… Lest we become bored or bitter with our choices, we must never forget that in the end, we are all mothers. And though motherhood sacrifices change us for good, we must remember that we are individuals too, filled with passions and dreams that shouldn’t be forgotten just because we were called into this vocation. Sometimes, that makes all the difference. 

Love in Spoonfuls

“I was a really picky eater as a child. Because I was obsessed by Popeye, my mum and aunts would put my food in a can to represent spinach and we’d hum the Popeye tune and then I’d happily eat it. ” ~ Paul O’Grady



As my toddler grows up, it becomes increasingly challenging to feed her. They say, the stage of picky eating may be overcome by giving your child a variety of healthy options. This way, she can be introduced to different tastes and textures. Nutrition is priority, but aesthetics and presentation can also play a vital role. Mealtimes are not only feeding times, but opportunities to stimulate the child’s senses as well.

Sounds like a big challenge! Good thing I’ve found some resource materials to help me plan a weekly menu. 

Enter Parenting’s Love in Spoonfuls 👏🏻


This cookbook features easy-to-follow recipes for your little tots. They also recommend other healthy alternatives for some ingredients that may be hard to find in stores. But what I particularly like about this book are the tidbits of nutritional trivia per recipe. Very helpful for newbie moms like me. 

Can’t wait to cook pasta stars in tomato sauce this weekend!