Sun | Sep 20, 2020

Cherine Forbes’ bite on healthy food

Published:Thursday | October 10, 2019 | 12:13 AMKrysta Anderson/Gleaner Writer

What’s a healthy lifestyle without nutrition? The answer: nothing. It has been said that a person’s diet outweighs exercise when it comes to shedding and keeping off that excess fat. Entrepreneur Cherine Forbes has managed to balance the two, losing a whopping 110 pounds (and counting).

We’ve shared her fitness journey in Flair. Today, Forbes takes a bite of the meal aspect of health, giving us an inside scoop on her food formula.

Forbes’ dietary guide is as follows: “I go for what I feel for. My diet has evolved over time, but I get the best results from a low-carb, low-sugar, high-protein and high-vegetable diet. I consume carbs but in moderation, and it’s usually good carbs that are high in fiber.” But the transition wasn’t always easy.

Meal Prep

The biggest payoff, Fornes pointed out, is meal prep. While it takes time and requires effort, it is definitely worth it. Forbes takes stock of what she is running low on, market supplies specifically, and shops accordingly. “Don’t make the mistake of overbuying perishables. Avoid waste and stale food. The fresher the better is always key. I avoid processed and preserved foods as best as possible so market provisions are approximately 60 per cent of my food, meat and fish 25 per cent, and 15 per cent goes to groceries via supermarket.”

She eats at least one garden vegetable every other day, keeping a bowl of already cut-up lettuce in the fridge and adding tomatoes and cucumbers or grating a beetroot with it, along with my choice of craisins, nuts, pine, or croutons when she is ready. “I often sprinkle a little olive oil, lime, and fresh herb on my salad to make it lively and exciting. It’s raw veg but I still have to enjoy it.” Healthy fibrous starch for her includes corn, sweet potato, yam, green bananas, beans of all variates, bammy, plantains and pumpkin, which is actually a vegetable. “No rice, flour, pasta, bread for me.” Her favourite protein are fish, chicken; (baked roasted, or barbecued) eggs; peas; pork; kidney; minced meat; canned fish (sardines, tuna, mackerel, pink salmon); and seafood – shrimp, lobster and crab when she can afford it.

Forbes indulges in three snacks a day: yogurt with a few nuts in it, a handful of nuts, popcorn, low carb biscuits, a slice of cheese, a small salad, a boiled egg, a slice of melon, papaya or cantaloupe, avoiding ripe bananas and sweeter fruits for their high sugar content, “If I want a little more, I do, cup of soup from the street – no food or meat; three to five light whole wheat crackers with cheese or peanut butter, healthy fats, or a packaged porridge. And, of course, my, Big Foot and cheese crunches are snuck in for balance.” A mug of unsweetened teas (ginger, mint, cinnamon, lemon, sorrel) - is sipped both morning and night. And she eats two to four prunes when going to bed to keep her filled and cleansed.

Weekly routine

On Sundays, Forbes usually prepares at least two meats or fish, along with one or two cooked vegetables (one could be callaloo, the other string beans and carrots). She then part-packages and preps for at least the following two days. Her very sizeable lunch bag contains breakfast (eaten on the way to work), lunch, dinner, and snacks daily.” In the mornings, I boil a piece of corn or yam (whatever I feel for) while in the shower. That’s if I want to add starch.” Glass containers that can go straight from fridge to toaster oven or microwave, and a car food plug-in heater ,used when she’s on the road and can’t get back to the office, have both proven to be great investments, “The containers are convenient and the small sizes limit you to keeping portions conservative. Of course, plastic in the microwave is just a no-no. Also, I just add water to my car food plug-in heater and my lunch is ready in five to 10 minutes while I’m still driving.”

She says that when you allow yourself to get really hungry then try to figure out food, that’s a guaranteed disaster. “One of my secrets is that I no longer leave dinnertime home because by the time I leave work, fight traffic, and head home, it’s too late to be preparing and eating. So by 6 p.m., before leaving work or on the way home, dinner has started.” Consistency is the key to success.