Society Secrets: Elaine Ho on curbing cravings this festive season
Elaine Ho, the savvy businesswoman of clean eating delivery service, Chopstick Diner, does not stop herself from indulging -- she simply eats in smaller portions.
One of the best things about Chinese New Year is the food, most of them delicious local delicacies that one can hardly find outside of this once-in-a-year special occasion. Yee sang, poon choy, lap mei fan -- they are crowd favourites for being high in flavour and even higher in satisfaction at a single serving.
It's no wonder pants inevitably feel tighter and shirts oddly do not fit as well come every CNY.
"I'm a big foodie, my family is big into food," says Elaine Ho, the chef and driving force behind Chopstick Diner, a clean eating delivery service that comes up with, prepares and sends clean, healthy meals right to you. "But tasty food doesn't have to be fatty or unhealthy."
We speak to her more on how to manage indulgences and curb overeating this festive season.
This Chinese New Year, what are some of your favourite foods that you cannot miss?
Chap chai (a vegetarian dish featuring 10 different vegetables cooked together in a pot). It's my favourite dish!
Are there any foods in particular that you try to stay away from?
Chinese sausage because it's full of bad stuff. Duck feet. Lap mei fan is also a big no-no.
For all the rich foods that are inevitable for Chinese New Year, are you planning on going on any detox programmes?
No, I don't believe in detox. We should just balance what we eat from the beginning.
Throughout the festive season, how are you going to keep from overeating?
I eat in smaller portions throughout the day.
How do you manage you love for food versus putting on weight?
Tasty food doesn't have to be fatty or unhealthy. I try to find a healthy version of my favourite foods so I can still indulge minus the guilt.
It isn't easy to turn away from junk food and snacks. How do you encourage beginners to start?
By cooking more at home -- it is important to know what goes into your food.
What are some of your favourite clean snacks to keep hunger at bay?
I snack on nuts. If I'm really hungry, I make toast and eat with avocado with a drizzling of olive oil.
The weather can be unbearable these days. How are you surviving the season?
With glasses of cold water!
What is the one thing that will be by your side thoughout this Chinese New Year season?
A bottle of water and a mandarin orange.
Do you eat to live or live to eat?
I eat to live, definitely.