Vietnamese proverb: Ăn cơm không rau như nhà giàu chết không nhạc
Translation: Eating without vegetables is like a rich man’s funeral without music. (In Vietnamese culture, when a rich man dies, his funeral is a noisy event where there’s a live band playing music during the entirety of the ceremony, which could last several days. So it would be very unnatural and boring to eat without veggies, just like a rich man’s funeral without music)
Lesson: Your diet should be mainly plant-based.
While being 100% vegetarian is difficult and arguably unhealthy if you are not adequately equipped with the nutritional know-how to plan your every meal, having a mostly meat diet is certainly a recipe for poor health. In fact, the world is now getting more globalized and the foods people eat seem to be similar every country we travel to. Unhealthy foods are undeniably more popular due to the key ingredients of plentiful meat, sugar, salt, fat and quick high-heat cooking. It comes as no surprise that an increasingly large number of people are plagued by more and more medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancers, depression, all of which lead to low self-esteem and low happiness levels.
To be healthier, happier and more energetic all day and all year long, we only need to plan our daily meals with more vegetables in mind. Vegetables should not be strictly limited to the dictionary meaning of the word. We should eat a lot of dark green leafy vegetables for every meal. When it comes to our staple food, whole grains should be the keyword. Brown rice can taste even better than white rice if it is cooked with triple the amount of water used to cook white rice. Nuts and legumes are healthy plant-based sources of protein that are easy for the body to digest, not to mention the fun of chewing them. Next come the fruits. Fruits do contain sugar, but in a better form that takes longer to enter our bloodstream and thus keeping our energy level high longer, helping us avoid the notorious sugar crash that makes us feel miserable and crave for another bout.