A long time ago, my husband and I were watching TV and having a conversation at the same time. In one of those breaks, I told him that I wanted to lose weight as per doctor’s advise. He was very encouraging (in fact we both did it together) and told me that if I got down to that weight, he’d get me a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

Guess what, he just did!

Celebrating an achievement with a bottle of champagne.

Celebrating an achievement with a bottle of champagne.

Thanks, yobo! Congratulations to both of us — and thank you for keeping your word.
It wasn’t easy dieting my way down to 55kgs for the past year (and to continue to do so/to maintain) but I, no, we, made it. We’ve achieved our goal… and so, let’s enjoy this milestone and start thinking about the next goal.

Where was I?

Gone for a very long time.

A lot of things happened between my last post and this – a job, a house, quit job, crappy Internet service, back to old apartment, a part-time job, among many others. Now that things are settled, I can only hope I can blog from time to time, if not regularly.

Been reading up on healthy living lately.
It’s high time I switch to a healthier lifestyle after trying different things which aren’t healthy when I was younger. I’m feeling poorly most of the time even though I’ve done nothing heavy and laborious so I started looking into other food or other ways of eating. My husband joined in and we did some light research.

These veggies are basically what's in my food these days.

These veggies are basically what’s in my food these days. Image via Google.

As a result, we’ve embarked on a diet that still allows us to eat meat (my husband is a meat-lover). That means we are staying away from sugary, high-carbs, and fatty foods. Incorporating animal protein and good, healthy fats (ghee is our new bestfriend) and vegetables (no grains and other carbo-sources) into our daily meals is a challenge but we are doing good. Nearly a month now since we started our new diet, the general feeling of tiredness has gone away! I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long! In fact, I have more energy than before and my weight has dropped.

The challenge is also about being resourceful. Not all the veggies recommended in the diet regimen are available in the markets and shops here in Phnom Penh. The trick, I learned, is to just work with whatever is available at home and, with a little help from the Internet (yes, Manong Google, I’m talking about you), I can come up with a better, balanced meal for me and my husband.

We have a long way to go, for sure. It will take time, yes, but I think we’re on the right track.

Not a new year’s resolution

We are now a few weeks away from 2013 and I can’t believe how this year have turned out to be. I feel that the days and months have passed by so quickly right before my eyes. Where have the days gone by? What have I done this year? Nothing much really, but I have some important realisations. With the new year waving around the corner, I feel the need for a change in lifestyle. I’ve had so many excesses this year that I need to kick out things that don’t matter out of my life to make room for the things that really do. Anyways, these thoughts lead me to this dream of mine borne out of a chance encounter with a person who’s living happily a life of less.

I have a confession to make…

ampalaya in augustI have this dream of living sustainably by growing my own food in my own backyard and committing to a sustainable lifestyle. While it is a simple principle, it requires a complete overhaul of the way we live our life now. That means giving up, if not downsizing, on a lot of “nice” things that we are used to, doing stuff ourselves (hey, I like DIYs!) and re-thinking some of our personal values. Yes, one part of that shift in lifestyle is to save money but a large part is really being able to live simply and to be content with less.

So now I’ve began growing my own food on a small scale. A lot of people I know found this laughable because we live in an apartment. Not a problem, I told them. I planted vegetables on pots. While they scoff at the idea, I am happy to say that it was a good move and we are already enjoying the vegetables– err, the fruits of our labour.

ampalaya veggies apad wordless wednesday bitter gourd

Since my husband and I are saving money for that small-to-medium piece of property somewhere where we’ll retire as farmers, we’ve started making small changes in our shopping and eating out habits. Last year, we started going local, buying our food from the local markets and pledged to eat real and home-cooked meals and minimize, if not, totally avoid, more processed stuff. This year we are looking at dining out less frequently (unless invited). As for our possessions, we’ll we do not have much as per western standards but we have lots of old clothes that we (I, particularly, accumulated over the past decade of stay here in Cambodia) that we could do away with. I’ve already contacted a friend working for a local NGO to donate our clothings.

How’s that for a start? I might sound like rambling here but I’d like to think that I am on the right track. More vegetables will be added to my garden this year. I’m considering purchasing heirloom tomatoes seeds and assorted herbs via etsy.