Balanced Diet, Check!
August 9, 2011 § 8 Comments
Remember the bad [health] habits post? Well, this week I have decided to make a sincere effort at eating healthy, balanced meals, which isn’t an easy thing in a village with no grocery store. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, yogurt, eggs, nuts, and soy products. But if I am being honest, fruits and veggies make up the majority of my meals– and that is not a good thing when I am running 25 miles a week. Eating well-balanced meals is made all the more difficult because I don’t have a Western-style kitchen* or a refrigerator; the only cooking appliances I have are a rice cooker and an electric water heater. Regardless of my appliance limitations, I have decided to make my own dinners from here on out in my handy rice cooker.
I hitched a ride to the mall in Nakhon Ratchasima this weekend and bought some imported groceries at the fancy (i.e. expensive) Western supermarket: oatmeal, wheat germ, and sweet potatoes. At the market in my village, I bought 1 kilo of brown jasmine rice, cubed pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli, snap peas, a carrot, and fresh honey (for the oatmeal!). If only I could get my hands on some quinoa, buckwheat, and spinach!
Last night was my first attempt at cooking in Thailand and it was a fairly successful venture. I threw a handful of brown rice, some roasted (unsalted) peanuts, 1/2 of a chopped sweet potato, an egg, and water into my rice cooker, pressed “cook,” and then headed out for my 11-miler. When I returned home from my run, hungry and exhausted, my dinner was ready! Huzzah! All I had to do was put it on a plate…
I will admit that the food was a bit bland (okay, okay, it was really bland– bordering on Spartanesque), but at least it was healthy and chock full of much-needed complex carbohydrates and protein. This week I will try to find some spices at the market so I can really get creative with my rice cooker.
*In Thailand, traditional homes do not have an oven or a cooking range. People usually cook rice in a rice cooker and all the rest gets stir-fried in a portable range/wok combination.