Since we're still in the first quarter of the year, I'm pretty sure most of you are on some sort of a New Year's resolution diet. While anyone's determination to shed off excess holiday fats is always laudable, the means most people choose to get to their ideal weight are often questionable. Are you supposed to follow the no carb, rice-is-evil diet? Or is eat-like-a-caveman a.k.a Paleo diet the best way to get leaner? How about the GM Diet? Does it really make you lose 15 pounds in a week?
With the host of diet programs, information, and articles available online, it's almost impossible to unearth the research-backed facts regarding healthy eating.
This is why Yellow Halo Guilt-Free Kitchen recently opened at the top of Strata 100 tower in Ortigas Center. The health-conscious team behind the fairly new restaurant wants to dispel the following top five misconceptions about dieting and healthy eating:
- Dieting is starving yourself.
- Healthy food is expensive.
- It is time-consuming to prepare healthy food.
- Healthy food is not easily available.
- Healthy food is bland and lacking of flavor.
Unlike other “healthy” restaurants that offer dishes that are bland enough to be served in a hospital, this bright and cheery nook serve affordable, colorful, and balanced meals that are at 500 calories or less. It also helps that they've designed an easy to understand menu that classifies the food (Low-fat, Healthy Protein, High Fiber, Low-Glycemic, and Low-Calorie) according to the dietary needs of their customers.
Part-owner Maxene Magalona, eating Yellow Halo Whole Wheat Tuna Pasta
One look at Yellow Halo's dishes and you would know that meals here are prepared under the supervision of a nutritionist. This Mongolian Beef (P230; 450 calories)-- a plate full of lean beef that's stir-fried in low-sodium hoisin sauce, brown rice, steamed vegetables, and sliced fruits, is in accordance to choosemyplate.gov's (United States Department of Agriculture's campaign after debunking the food pyramid) and Harvard Medical School's scientific recommendation.
United States Department of Agriculture's Recommendation
Harvard Medical School's Recommendation
Yellow Halo's Spicy Tofu (P180; 400 calories) and Mixed Seafoods (P210; 420 calories) are also in accordance to the balanced plate suggestion. To provide their diners more alternatives, Yellow Halo came up with pasta and noodle dishes, like these excellent Tuna Whole Wheat Pasta (P150; 290 calories) and Chicken Vermicelli (P180) that incorporates the four elements of a healthy plate in one.
Finding a healthy snack during break time is no longer a chore with Yellow Halo's below P100 sandwiches. The Tomato Basil with Cottage Cheese Sandwich (P90; 260 calories) is light yet so tasty; you'll be craving it day after day. Their Baked Kamote (P60) is heavy, grease-less, and sweet, it can knock out your craving for trans fat and sodium-laden fast food French fries.
Tomato Basil with Cottage Cheese Sandwich
According to Yellow Halo's Chef Raydel Mascarinas, cooking healthy is not really expensive nor is time consuming. With little tweaks in your cooking practices like buying healthy grocery in bulk; using non-stick pans and cooking spray; steaming, baking, and grilling instead of frying; and maximizing the flavors of natural herbs instead of relying on seasonings and artificial mixes, you can also come up with healthier plates in your own home. But of course, if you do not have time to prepare them, you can always approach her in Yellow Halo's kitchen and have your diet plans cooked to order. A lot of SureSlim (a diet plan based on your blood works) subscribers have commissioned her to provide their calorie-strict meals.
Yellow Halo's bright and light interiors
Patronized by circuit trainers and yoga practitioners in the same building, Yellow Halo is now looking into forging partnerships with more gyms, spas, and health centers. They are also developing customized meal plans for customers with stricter diet needs, as well as a delivery service for farther areas. As of now, they offer free delivery within Ortigas for a minimum order of P300.