Yes it is possible to eat healthier in Singapore, just think R.A.C.E. Not as in Singapore’s multi-racial society, or the races at Singapore Turf Club, but as in the 4 important criteria of healthy eating: Routine (make it a habit), Appealing (attractive and delicious), Convenient (easy to buy), Economical (easy on the wallet).
Singapore is truly a food haven with some of the most delicious foods in the world, and it is understandably difficult to resist that feisty bowl of mee siam or savoury plate of char kway teow. However, if you follow the simple formula of R.A.C.E., you can still enjoy Singapore’s delicacies while also eating healthier at the same time.
The first thing you should do is to make healthier eating a habit. Once you create a routine of healthy eating, it will be easier to sustain the momentum. This can be done by creating an eating routine that is easy to adhere to. For example, if you are an office worker, you can plan to eat some healthy snacks (fruits, nuts, etc) at 3.30pm everyday. In this way, you will not start snacking on junk foods when you feel hungry at mid-day. Junk foods are high in sugar and salt content and will lead to adverse health effects if over consumed. For lunch, instead of downing that delicious plate of savoury char kway teow or glistering chicken rice every day, aim to eat salads at least twice a week on specific days. For example, Tuesdays and Thursdays can be “salad days” where you will eat salads for lunch.
To be fair, many Singaporeans are actually very keen to eat healthy (“my New Year resolution is to eat healthier this year!”). However, the motivation and discipline soon fizzle out because they did not make healthy eating a habit. If you create a routine of healthy eating, very soon you will find it is actually pretty easy to eat healthy in Singapore.
Your healthy foods should be delicious AND attractive. Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating boring or tasteless food. For most people, a diet of bland “healthy” food probably isn’t sustainable in the long run anyways. On the other hand, if you are actually able to enjoy eating healthy food, then it would obviously be a lot easier to eat healthier! Imagine freshly sliced strawberries stored in a transparent container in your fridge.When you return home after work and open your fridge, you will probably be more inclined to munch on the pretty strawberries instead of opening that packet of potato chips.
Make an effort to find out places that sell delicious and healthy food near your workplace and home. It may be a shop selling fresh fruits, a popular salad stall selling delicious salads, or a stall selling savoury but healthy paleo diet food. Remember, eating healthier doesn’t mean eating boring!
It should be convenient to eat healthier so that you can sustain the routine. Make sure that you create a system where you can eat healthy conveniently. Contrary to what most people think, eating healthier in Singapore isn’t inconvenient or complicated. Healthy foods are basically simple foods like fruits, low-sugar yogurt and nuts which can be easily purchased from supermarkets or mini-marts. Make it a habit to drop some healthy foods into your shopping cart the next time you are shopping at NTUC or Cold Storage.
There are also online shops in Singapore which deliver healthy foods right to your door step. An example of this is BoxGreen, a Singapore startup that offers convenient and reliable delivery service of healthy snacks right to your doorstep. All you have to do is create an account, select your snacks, and BoxGreen will deliver the snacks to you on a monthly basis (so convenient hor). Personally, I find this to be a wonderful service as it even saves me the effort of going to the grocery store!
Last but not least, eating healthy should be affordable so that it is sustainable in the long run. If every healthy meal burned a hole in your pocket, you would probably not be able to sustain your healthy diet for very long (unless you are on this list). Most healthy foods are actually quite affordable, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. For foods like salads and Paleo foods, it is understandably more expensive due to the high quality ingredients. However, there are several specialty salad joints in Singapore which offer quality and delicious salads at reasonable prices below $8 (see bottom of this article).
And it is better to spend slightly more on healthy foods while cutting back spending on junk foods. In this way, you may even save more money in the long run! So the next time you go for lunch, stick to that bowl of salad alone and resist the temptation to buy Koi or Gong Cha afterwards. Drink plain water instead; it’s better for your health and will help you save money too.
Ok I know what is R.A.C.E now.. So how to start ah?
The exact routine or types of healthy foods are entirely dependent on your lifestyle and food preferences. If you are like me and simply can’t resist all our local delicacies (chicken rice, satay, stingray, hokkien mee, *starts salivating*… sorry I digress), it is probably best to start with a less ambitious plan. The idea is to build momentum and go on from there. For example, start with a routine that involves eating salad just once a week for lunch. And if you are the type that likes to snack during mid-day, aim to eat healthy snacks at least twice a week. Put a post-it on your desk that goes something like: “Wednesday = Salad Day. Tuesday and Thursday = Healthy Snacks Day – NO tidbits!”.
Ok I get it.. Got any recommendations for healthy foods?
Below are some of our recommendations for healthy foods in Singapore. Please feel free to share your recommendations as well in the comments section below!
As mentioned earlier, BoxGreen is a local startup in Singapore that delivers healthy snacks right to your doorstep. All you have to do is create an account, select your healthy snacks, and BoxGreen will deliver the snacks to you on a monthly basis! In fact, BoxGreen fulfills all 4 criteria of R.A.C.E.:
Routine – The monthly subscription ensures you get into a habit of eating healthy snacks every month.
Appealing – The snacks from BoxGreen are delicious and enticing. We especially enjoyed the Milo Dino Granola. The chocolate chips were firm and crunchy to the bite, and the sweet fragrance of Milo powder was punctuated by the crunch of lightly musky oats. Other personal favourites include Cheng Tng, Peanut Pretzel Muddy Bites, and Green Protein Monster.
All the BoxGreen snacks are really colorful and pretty too; just take a look at the screenshot of their online menu below and you will see what I mean.
screenshot from www.boxgreen.co/browse/all-snacks
Convenient – Personally, I find BoxGreen’s monthly delivery service a wonderful convenience; perfect for lazy people like me.
Economical – The monthly subscription fee is just $15.90*, which covers both the delivery fee and four packets of delicious healthy snacks. *price applicable for 12 months subscription
Use the promo code eatandtravel20 to get 20% off your first box of 4 snacks from www.boxgreen.co. Enjoy this fantastic promotion while stocks last!
#2 Project Paleo
With the bubbly pretty lady boss of Project Paleo. I’m standing on her left, not sure why I closed one eye
CBD folks are probably familiar with Project Paleo located along Philip Street. This petite joint offers Paleo set meals at just $8. All sets come with one main and two sides. The mains include tantalizing selections such as Oregano Chicken, Baked Dory, Sage Dory, and Rosemary Beef. Project Paleo uses top-of-the-lime premium ingredients, and all foods contain no additives, no gluten, no refined sugar and no diary. Olive oil is used for cooking. Can’t get any healthier than this!
Address: Marina Food House, 15 Phillip Street, Stall #3, Singapore 048694
Phone Number: +65 8692 8662
Opening Hours: | Mon to Fri: Lunch 11am to 3pm | Closed on public holidays |
#3 Specialty Salad Shops
Delicious salad from #03-33 Golden Shoe Hawker Centre
Look for specialty salad shops in Singapore that offer salads at reasonable prices. Examples include Sumo Salad which have branches at 313@Somerset, Vivocity and Raffles City Shopping Centre. For the CBD folks, both Golden Shoe Hawker Centre and Amoy Street Food Centre offer delicious salads at affordable prices. Cold Storage also offers super affordable salads from just $4.90! Just do a search online and you will discover that there are actually many affordable salad shops in Singapore.
Thanks for reading!
Do you have any other tips for eating healthy? Please do share in the comments section below! Hopefully, this article will give you the mindset that it is indeed possible to eat healthier in Singapore. Just remember the simple formula of R.A.C.E. and you will start to realize that eating healthier in Singapore is not that difficult!