What to eat in order to feel like your best self can be a complicated matter. There’s a lot of nutritional information out there and it’s hard to know what foods are right for you. This is where a good nutritionist can help. Nutritionists offer reliable information about healthy eating to help you better understand what to eat. They can help you answer questions like ‘how much protein do you really need?’ and ‘what are the best foods to eat?’ Nutritionists can provide insightful strategies so that you can make improve your eating habits. They can help you see how your diet choices affect your body and mood, for example, is your afternoon slump caused by too little sleep or a sugar crash? As food educators, they consider your goals against your needs and lifestyle, and teach you how to eat better. But what do they eat for optimal health? We asked six Hong Kong-based nutritionists what’s always in their fridge. From chia seeds to sauerkraut, here are the fridge foods Hong Kong’s leading nutritionists can’t live – or poop – without.
Cristina Tahoces – Thrive Nutrition Practice
The former banker turned holistic nutritionist specializes in helping women recover their strength and vitality after giving birth. A firm believer in not giving up every delicious culinary pleasure life has to offer, Cristina’s science-based approach to nutrition is geared toward helping clients reach their health goals the smart way.
- Sauerkraut or kimchi: my current obsession is Foodcraft’s Kale Sauerkraut. So delicious!
- A mix of seeds (chia, hemp or flax): to add to smoothies, oatmeal or make superfood puddings.
- Fresh parsley and coriander: to boost detoxification and make any dish taste like sunshine.
- Eggs: because they are delish and versatile.
Michelle Lau – Nutrilicious
Specializing in sports nutrition and weight management, the certified nutritionist and nutrition educator emphasizes practical, flexible solutions for optimal goal-achieving every day. With her ‘Eat Whole, Train Smart, Live Full,’ motto, Michelle empowers Hong Kongers to enjoy every bite in the journey towards leading a healthier and happier life.
- Fresh fruits like strawberries and blueberries- my anytime snacks. I add them to smoothies and breakfast bowls. I also like apples and oranges because an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
- A big tub of Greek yogurt for dessert, which I top with raw cacao nibs- a great post-workout snack!
- Microgreens like baby carrots, baby cucumbers and cherry tomatoes to get in my vitamins and phytonutrients. I also love to dip them in hummus!
- Organic eggs: one of my go-to protein sources. They can be cooked in so many different ways!
- Peanut butter- rich in the good fats, protein and fiber, I spread it on my toast and add it into my smoothies.
- Avocados! I am obsessed with avocado toast (made even better with eggs) and use them for making guacamole.
- Chia seeds and pumpkin seeds- so great in salads, soups, stews and even baked good. They are such a good combination of protein, good fats, fiber, and minerals.
- 90% raw chocolate bars, which are rich in antioxidants and make me instantly happy! They are delicious in quinoa breakfast bowls and I especially love to combine them with coconut flakes – yum!
Sheena Smith – Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI)
With a focus in women’s health, digestive issues, pregnancy and fertility support, Sheena’s food philosophy revolves around the 90/10 rule: consuming 90% whole foods like veggies, fish, fruit, nuts and seeds (great for snacks) and chicken or beef maybe once or twice a week. She advises aiming for foods that do not require a long ingredient list. For the remaining 10% of the time (for most people, this will generally be when they participate in social events) she believes in eating what is around you and not stressing about it.
- Eggs: I always have eggs for breakfast!
- Cold, roasted sweet potato: the perfect back up snack/meal for my three-year-old when she is being fussy.
- Mixed green salad: I try to have leaves with every meal.
- Rude Health nut milks: by far the next best thing to actually making your own nut milks- they have no nasty additives added. Their Ultimate Almond milk is my favorite!
- A mix of frozen berries: I always have these in the freezer as it’s a great way to keep my three-year-old happy AND it’s good for her – win win!
Lisa Tarquini – Hong Kong Sports Institute
A UK-registered nutritionist and cancer survivor, Lisa recommends cooking at home as much as possible. A firm believer in enjoying all foods in moderation, this wellness enthusiast’s food philosophy is to eat all the colors of the rainbow.
- Greek yogurt: a great natural probiotic for gut health.
- Fresh fruits like mixed berries, pineapple and mango: great to boost my immunity.
- Feta cheese: a delicious protein and calcium-rich addition to my salads.
- Tasmanian Salmon from Farmers Market– the nicest salmon I’ve tasted since moving to Hong Kong. It’s just oozing with natural omega-3 rich oils and is a great source of protein!
- Coconut milk: I love the tropical taste in my mango smoothies.
- Aloe Vera juice: great to help soothe my gut.
- Maca powder: gives me an energy boost and it also tastes like caramel, which is lush in my smoothies!
- Cucumbers: a great tasty and hydrating veggie.
- Spinach: a great plant source of iron. I pair it with tomatoes because they contain vitamin C to help my body absorb the iron from the spinach.
- Natural honey: I enjoy a tea spoon in my morning lemon and ginger tea. It’s a great natural sweetener.
- Whole Earth peanut butter: a delicious and natural source of fat and protein.
- I think everybody deserves a treat and my idea of heaven is Raiz the Bar‘s Renew Me chocolate bar with a glass of Italian red 🙂
Tej BG – Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI)
A Clinical Nutritionist at IMI in Central, Tej relies on a combination of current science, traditional wisdom and circumstance to find the optimal way to meet the nutritional needs of his clients. The Australian-trained Naturopath and Medical Herbalist recommends eating more plants and keeping a variety to cook with at home.
- Kefir: it provides many strains of probiotics (a good bacteria!) for the digestive system with many health benefits. It comes in both dairy and non-dairy forms, the latter which I love drinking in the summer months.
- Lemons: I like adding a few slices of lemons and some pink salt or ginger to make a refreshing summer or winter drink.
- Miso: a good source of probiotics and antioxidants that you can add to other foods too for saltiness. Miso soup has lots of benefits and is quite filling thanks to the fiber and protein in it.
- Fresh fruits: apples, pears, oranges and berries are my favorite healthy snack options.
- Fresh veggies: I like stocking up my fridge with carrots, celery, beets, broccoli, cauliflower and dark leafy greens. Herbs like cilantro and parsley are usually in there as well as they give great flavor when I cook.
Jessica Simkin Williams – Body Awakening
With a Masters of Science Degree in Holistic Nutrition, the former vegan had to expand her restrictive diet to regain her health and vitality and explains that balance and quality are both essential factors in obtaining optimum health. A believer in periodic cleansing, Jessica is also a yoga and pilates instructor, as well as the co-founder of Body Awakening, a detox, supplements and cleanse company.
- Ground flaxseeds: great source of omega 3 fats and great at supporting intestinal motility and healthy elimination.
- Nuts like walnuts, Brazil nuts and pecans: one of my favorite snacks! They are a good source of protein, vitamin E and healthy fats and a great way to curb my appetite to get me through to the next meal!
- Hemp oil: I am super big on boosting intake of omega 3 fats. They serve so many important functions like helping with healthy hormone balance, heart and brain health, and are anti-inflammatory. Also, I am nine-months pregnant so it’s a crucial time for me to make sure I am getting the optimum amounts of omega 3 oils.
- Root veggies like sweet potato, squash, or pumpkin: great source of complex carbs containing a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
- Garlic, onions and ginger are always, always stocked! Ginger is great for supporting digestion and garlic and onions act as natural antibiotics, so in addition to adding wonderful flavor to dishes, they also support our immune system.
- Free-range eggs: a good way to start the day with a good amount of protein, fats and even cholesterol, which we need to produce hormones!.
- Body Awakening TrueGreens and Probiotic+.
Photos courtesy of Pexels (lead), Cristina Tahoces, Nutrilicious, Lisa Tarquini, IMI, and Jessica Simkin Williams.