Detox, juice cleanse, intermittent fasting, keto… after all the holiday season indulgences come the inevitable New Year diet plans. And while the methods may differ, all of these diets tap into our own impulse to turn over a new leaf - and lose weight quickly! - as we enter January.
We take a slightly different approach to this body transformation obsession, preferring to focus more on how our food and lifestyle choices have the potential to improve our health, support our well-being, and even help the environment. This year, we’re saying no to crash diets and faddy food, and instead examine how small, achievable changes can keep us motivated and healthy, long after the initial rush of New Year’s resolutions have faded…
Let Food Be Thy Medicine
They say, “you are what you eat”, but for so many of us who are time-pressed and stressed-out, convenience ends up taking priority over health. At the end of a busy day, it’s all too easy to reach for highly processed foods that are quick to prepare, instead of cooking from scratch. The problem is, a lack of fresh, nutritious and satisfying food makes us feel even more tired and sluggish.
Occasionally, our bodies’ intolerance of a particular common foodstuff can even manifest in allergies and illness. According to Hong Kong-based health testing specialist Biotek, up to 45% of the global population suffer from some sort of food sensitivity or allergy. This startling figure can manifest in a number of different ways, including digestive issues, migraine, and – common to city-dwellers – skin complaints such as dermatitis and eczema.
This is a familiar story to Hong Kong food blogger Yuki Poon, who suffered with eczema and consistently battled with problematic skin, right up until she discovered that she was actually unable to tolerate dairy or eggs. Since eliminating these trigger foods in 2016, Yuki’s eczema has disappeared entirely. She now shares delicious vegan food tips and recipes via her Instagram feed, @clearskindiary, and will be joining us to co-host a Detox Happy Hour on 9 Jan.
Little Steps To Success
Of course, adopting a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to mean going entirely vegan – the new catchphrase is “flexitarianism”! - but it is also important to understand the impact that our food choices have on the planet.
With global meat production responsible for up to 18% of the greenhouse gasses produced each year (more than all cars, trains and planes combined!), cutting down on our meat consumption even a little can have dramatic effects for the environment. Hong Kong-based social start-up Green Monday encourages people to choose plant-based meals once a week, reasoning that a moderate change adopted en-masse can be both impactful and sustainable.
A Holistic Approach
And what of Tove & Libra? Are we practicing what we preach?
Founder Christine shares her thoughts on achieving a better balance in the New Year, “For me, healthy eating is about moderation, not perfection. I try to have one carb-free meal a day; if I know I’m having a steak dinner then I aim to eat vegetarian the next day."
"Plenty" cookbook by Ottolenghi
She adds, “I find a great cookbook can help to alleviate any concerns about incorporating healthy meals into our diet – if it tastes good it doesn't matter if it's gluten-free or dairy-free! I personally love the Plenty series by Yotam Ottolenghi, which focuses on plant-based dishes prepared in beautiful and delicious ways.”
The Tove & Libra philosophy has always been focused on looking and feeling good, both inside and out. We are committed to supporting our community in making ethical, sustainable lifestyle choices - whether it’s when we dress in the morning, or when we sit down for a family dinner - one green step at a time.