We asked some health and fitness experts in Shanghai to test out the new Baopals Supermarket and share some of their tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Here's what they had to say – and no – it doesn't involve any crazy diets!
"I’m the founder of FitFresh, a fitness meal prep restaurant in Shanghai. My hobbies of course are all fitness related – I’m a Precision Nutrition certified nutrition coach, although because I’m too busy with the business these days, I enjoy helping coach some of my close friends and particularly motivated athletes in my spare time. I also love to try my hand at all forms of training, and my latest obsession is boxing as I have signed up for White Collar Boxing International’s Brawl on the Bund.
My personal philosophy for food and fitness nutrition is BALANCE, focused around whole un-processed foods. With all the latest diet fads focusing on extremes or exclusions of entire food groups (ketogenic, bulletproof, veganism, paleo…the list goes on), people are eliminating entire groups of nutrient-dense and healthy foods from their diet, not realizing that their bodies are already micro-nutrient deficient in many areas. I believe that fruits are a must daily (nature’s vitamins!) and that to truly have a healthy and optimally performing body you must get your nutrients from whole unprocessed foods of as large a variety as possible.
My overall experience with Baopals Supermarket was positive – food was fresh and packaged well. Overall, the quality of all the products I received were satisfactory or better than expected.
The foundation of a healthy diet are whole, un-processed foods. I like to include a wide variety of different colored fruits and vegetables every day to not only ensure my fiber needs are met, but also that my vitamin and phytonutrient needs are met. Phytonutrients are an often ignored aspect of nutrition that doesn’t get enough attention but has remarkable properties on overall health – here’s a little infographic for everyone to learn more.
Because I work from 7:30am-9pm most days, convenience and speed is everything. For days when I really don’t have time to put anything together, the fastest for me just throwing some fruits and yogurt together, paired with a protein shake. Obviously I prefer whole foods but when time doesn’t allow, nutrition is still important!
For ladies, one serving of the fruit and half the yogurt portion is a great portion size!
Alternatively if I have slightly more time (not by much), I get it on with the microwave – eggs and cheese were made to be together!
I start by microwaving the chicken in a microwave safe bowl for 1 min, then crack 3 eggs on top and throw it in for another minute and half, and then throw in the chopped veggies and top with cheese, microwave for another 30 seconds and top with a touch of parsley. Veggies can be chopped while the microwave is rolling. You can add some salt and pepper too if you like a little extra flavor. Pineapple on the side for a sweet finish!
Ladies can do 2 eggs with half portion of everything else.
Not the craziest or most delicious, but it does the trick at top speed – when you work over 12 hours a day (F&B isn’t the most forgiving business, especially when you’re trying to do fitness with it!) there’s no time for scrubbing pans or waiting for oil to heat up."
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VICTOR'S TOP PICKS:
"I am a huge advocate of both food and fitness. I typically am found in 'Kelly's Kitchen' cooking most of my meals – a fit foodie – but also love dining out and trying the latest restaurant around town. I am very active, and always have been – this for me is what gets me through my days, and having goals like running a half marathon (next one is in Chengdu at the end of September) or doing a duathlon, keeps me focused and the variety this provides to me also keeps me interested. I believe that people were born to move and enjoy food - it's just about the best type of movement and food for you that becomes important. This is what makes me happy.
I purchased fresh fruit, vegetables and coconut oil on Baopals Supermarket. Whole unprocessed foods are the best for nutrients and also allow you to control what is added to them, how they are prepared and to avoid nasties like sugars, oils and the like. Packaged and processed foods reduce their nutritional value and can usually result in 'empty calories'. I like to know I am fueled by food and thus rely on good fresh wholesome produce. Mostly I prepared the veggies by steaming, roasting or stir frying to accompany some meat or fish proteins for dinners and lunches. The Envy apples from NZ are my FAVORITE and these make great easy way to carry snacks on the go paired with a few raw nuts."
KELLY'S TOP PICKS:
"I am from Singapore, though born in Malaysia and raised in Shanghai. I moved to America for college and recently graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Public Health Studies and a minor in psychology. I believe that with a balanced diet and consistent exercise are invaluable to fostering a healthy immune system.
I love food and fitness. I have expanded my interest and expertise in both by becoming a certified Personal Trainer with the American Council of Exercise (ACE) and a F45 Group Fitness Trainer and engaging in nutrition and food systems courses at Johns Hopkins University. Starting this September, I will be pursuing my Master’s of Public Health and Registered Dietitian (RD) training and license at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle, WA through an accelerated and coordinated program. In graduate school, I will be a paid research assistant in the Nutritional Sciences department.
My overall experience with Baopals Supermarket was positive. My orders took 2 days to arrive. Overall, all the food was fresh, clean and well packaged – actually too well in some aspects, as I felt that the packaging was slightly excessive at times and a waste of plastic. I was honestly surprised by the high quality of the produce.
I ordered a lot of fresh produce, including broccoli, leafy greens (bok choy, jiu cai), avocados, large and cherry tomatoes, summer gourd (si gua), eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, cauliflower, bell peppers, mushrooms, and lemons. From the frozen section, I also tried the salmon fillet, edamame, blueberries, chicken breast and grass-fed Angus beef slices. These products are all important parts of a healthy diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins, minerals and fiber to one’s diet. Salmon and chicken breast are good sources of lean protein, and edamame is also a healthy source of plant-based protein. Avocados and salmon also provide healthy fats to one’s diet. These ingredients showcase the variety of macronutrients (fat, carbohydrate and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that a healthy diet requires.
I prepared the foods rather simply, as I like to taste the natural flavors of the ingredients. Also, it is often easier to mix and match different ingredients when they are simply cooked if you are meal prepping for the week. For example, the broccoli was simply steamed, zucchini, mushrooms and bell peppers roasted, chicken breast grilled, and salmon pan-fried. I would typically pair the vegetables with a protein source in a meal. For example, grilled vegetables and mushrooms with stir-fried tofu “noodles” or cauliflower with grilled salmon. Lemon juice was drizzled over the meals when served. I really enjoyed the avocados, as they ripened perfectly and tasted very creamy. I ate those with eggs for breakfast, as well as with fresh cucumber sticks or grilled tofu slices as a mid-day snack.
I also enjoyed the food I ordered with Chinese-style cooking. For example, I cooked the traditional stir-fry dishes: tomato and egg and jiu cai with egg. One of my favorite meals was a clay pot soy sauce based stew with the eggplant I ordered and tofu, which paired very well with brown rice."
IVORY'S TOP PICKS:
"I am a mom, wife, health coach and homemade chef. A few years ago I started my health coaching program PowerMeHealthy with the idea of helping my family, friends, and eventually people around Shanghai to reach their health goals through coaching, cooking classes and providing them with healthy delicious granola and snacks! I have been living in Shanghai for 14 years now with my family and can honestly say I feel at home here. My hobbies are cooking, yoga, and hanging out with my family on the weekends.
I don't separate food and fitness from daily life. I don't believe that you need to suffer to lose weight. I believe that food and sports should somehow be a part of our daily life. If you eat clean, cook for yourself and make deliciously healthy food, you don't need a cheat day. And if you find an exercise you love, you don't need to drag yourself to do it and it becomes a pleasant part of your day.
The best tips I have for preparing food is keep it clean and simple... we complicate things too much due to the fact that we have such high expectations for what we eat. I spent most of my life on diets that did not work, because diets DON’T work! My all time favorite smoothie recipe includes a few mint leaves, 1 pineapple, and water or coconut water.... blend in a Nutribullet or blender, pour and enjoy!"