Thursday, September 24, 2015

Healthy Baon Ideas

At work, we often get served food if our work hours would extend to mealtimes. The food served are very delicious and filling but not exactly the healthiest. These include fast food meals, burgers, pizza, chips, popcorn, cupcakes, and bottles of soda and packets of instant coffee to keep the energy up and running. The classic crew meal is usually fried chicken and rice meal from fast food stalls. Imagine eating this everyday during December wedding season. We may be full but our bodies may not be getting the nutrients they need. Plus, we are exposed to refined sugars, preservatives, cholesterol, and a lot of salt, which are not very good to the body. I noticed that during those times, I would get sick towards the end of the "peak" season because I was not eating good and healthy food then yet I was working extra hard.

I started bringing my own food to shoots and work when I changed my diet after my reset diet. I discovered I felt less bloated and I was able to work properly and still have enough energy after work with no sugar crashes. I also got sick less. Cooking does take time, I admit but I think of cooking as my own "decompression" and therapy. If I know I'll be having work for several days straight, I prepare meals that can be prepared ahead of time and packed ahead and go. You notice that most of my food are recipes from my two The Sexy Chef cookbooks, but I will include also recipes I learned from my friends and online as well.

Here are some healthy baon ideas for work so you get the nutrition you need even if you're not at home. Whether you're a makeup artist like me, an athlete, or work long hours in field or office work, you may find ways on how to eat healthy as well.

Pasta and Noodles

My go-to meals are always pasta because they are easy to make and I could just throw almost anything in. For shoots or wedding gigs, I would prefer oil-based sauces instead of cream or tomato, which can spoil easily.  I use whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta to make it healthier. I do a basic aglio olio base with red pepper flakes and then add veggies. If my food won't stay in my lunch bag for a long period of time before eating, I can use a light tomato-based pasta sauce. Oh, and if I would use cheese, I include my cheese in a separate container.

Cold soba noodles are very easy to prepare and they require no heat. They contain the goodness of raw vegetables as well. Prepare this the night before and pack this in containers and store in the ref. Before you head off to work, grab a container and go.


A salad on a hot day is a refreshing. Salads can be tricky since they tend to get soggy, so here's what I do: I prepare the greens ahead of time by washing them, draining them, then cut into bite-sized pieces and storing them in airtight containers in the ref. I make crabstick mango salad, which is the perfect baon for shoots. I just keep the dressing in a separate container and just pour it over my salad when I'm ready to eat. Another salad that's great is massaged kale salad. There are a lot of recipes that can be found online for this and this is a salad that can keep long without getting too soggy. Kale also loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, which can prevent you from certain diseases.

Overnight Oats

I'm one person who never misses a proper breakfast. If my shoot is early and I have no time to actually sit down and eat breakfast and wash the dishes, I make overnight oats and store this in a mason jar. I can also make a yogurt parfait from Greek yogurt, bananas, honey, and homemade granola.


Another grab-and-go breakfast idea is a green smoothie, which can be a meal in itself. I can even have this in the car in sips while driving to work. A perfect breakfast smoothie is one I found from The Sexy Chef, which makes use of banana, apple, plain yogurt, coconut water, coconut sugar, rolled oats, spinach, and romaine lettuce. I top this with chia seeds and I'm good to go.

Rice and Quinoa meals

Nothing is as comforting as a rice and ulam meal. I prepeare this when I have a bit more time (and if I wake early enough). I usually combine quinoa with a good lean protein with some veggies on the side. If I have no quinoa as of the moment, I susbtitute with black rice or brown rice, which are nutritious. Here are some ideas I made:

teriyaki salmon with steamed broccoli and spinach served with black rice

quinoa with mushroom gyoza (store-bought) and teriyaki salmon

healthified Arroz A La Cubana from the Sexy Chef. Prepare the meat and brown rice pilaf ahead of time and just boil the egg (remove the egg white) and fry the saba in VCO the day itself.


We all want something sweet. yet we want to keep our waistlines in check. Make small cups of chia pudding to go with your food or bake some whole meal banana cupcakes. A small cup of yogurt parfait can also be made into a dessert, like this mango matcha yogurt I made from Greek Yogurt, Matcha Powder, Mangoes, chia seeds, and organic honey.

If you have no time to cook...

If you have that day when you're pressed for time to prepare a meal for that day, here are some places where you can buy food for yourself if you want to eat healthy still. If you're used to eating healthy, you can apply the same principles as well when you eat out in choosing the food that you eat in a restaurant.

Salad Bars like Juju Eats and Salad Stop can give you access to yummy and filling salads and wraps you can have to go. Check out also their desserts and cold pressed juices.

Weekend markets like the Salcedo Saturday Market and Legazspi Sunday Market also have stalls which have healthy and delicious food. If you might be working on a Sunday in Makati, you may stop over as well at the Legazpi Sunday Market to check out the healthy raw vegan desserts by Dahon Kusina. They also have healthy vegan meals and snacks that are just as flavorful. I had a chance to have a shoot one Sunday at the Legazpi Village area so I stopped by Dahon Kusina to grab a dessert to go with my baon.

Dessert to go with my food: Homemade Vegetarian JapChae with Choco Hazelnut Pie from Dahon Kusina
Food delivery services are in nowadays, especially for busy people on-the-go. They cater to your specific dietary needs (vegan, vegetarian, ovo-lacto, pescetarian, paleo, etc) and design a food plan that you would love and deliver your meals  right at your doorstep. One of our sponsors at our BDJBox Makeup Parties, V Kitchen, provides yummy and healthy vegetarian and vegan selections that do not scrimp on flavor and nutrition value without breaking the bank.

Healthy food provided by V Kitchen in our BDJBox Makeup Party Last August. Check them out in Facebook and Instagram

I'm glad that there are so many ways to get the right nutrition nowadays, from cooking your own meals to food delivery services, to alternative healthy takeout places. With today's busy schedule, there's so much more reason to eat healthy so our body gets the proper nutrition to be able to work properly. Try switching your diet for a few days and see the energy difference. You may notice that you would get sick less and you save yourself the trip to the doctor or expensive medicines and the hassle of getting sick. I admit that cooking and eating healthily takes a lot more effort than just grabbing a burger meal from the fast food joint a few cartwheels away from your office door. However, your health is the best gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones, and just as you work hard, give yourself the proper tools to be able to do so. :) Have fun eating healthy!

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