What a difference
three days make
4 minute read
Contrary to popular belief, sustainable living isn’t about giving up all the things you love for a minimal lifestyle. It is about being environmentally conscious and a pursuit in taking the small steps needed to help the planet. In fact, there are simple everyday hacks which can actually help you save money, while you save our planet. At Hyundai, we call these Save&Save Hacks – and to put them to the test, we challenged four people, all from different walks of life, to try them out over three days.
Finding time to eat
your way back to health
Vanessa Lee, 27
A Skeptical Start
As a self-confessed workaholic, Vannesa Lee admits that she finds it hard to maintain a healthy diet. Also, she is no stranger to eating a nighttime snack or a late dinner. Vanessa feels that there needs to be a structure when it comes to food but she has struggled with finding time to focus on what she is feeding herself. So, when we approached her for the Save&Save Challenge(3-day vegetarian challenge), she was skeptical at first. Vanessa worried: Would she be able to change her eating habits and go vegetarian? What if she can't successfully complete the challenge? But, if it means saving more money as well as feeling healthy and positive, why wouldn't she?
Old habits die hard
“Wish me luck!” tweeted Vanessa. It was the first day of her challenge, and she was off to the shops. Feeling anxious, Vanessa was concerned whether she could achieve an appetising meal with only vegetables. Meal prepping was also new to her and for this Save&Save Hack, she needed ingredients that would last for the whole week.
This time, she did the meal planning for the whole week and had recipes in mind. Vanessa bought fresh produce that could be used in multiple dishes and spread across the week. Best of all, it only costs $25 for the week’s worth of ingredients. Maybe this might work out after all.
Vegan Tip 1: Buy Colorful VeggiesColorful vegetables such as spinach, sweet pumpkin, and kale are packed with Vitamin A. Vitamin A keeps your immune system strong and helps protect the mucous membrane that cover your internal organs. Recommended vegan food: Stuffed pumpkin, spinach salad.
Protein powering the day
Another concern for Vanessa was that a plant based diet would make her hungry in between meals. An afternoon snack was a bit of a guilty pleasure but now with only vegetables to munch on how would she keep her hunger at bay? We challenged Vanessa to find a green alternative to her afternoon pantry visit and show us how tasty and convenient a simple veggie snack can be.
Well, a great tip from her co-worker was to try edamame. A small bowl heated up can provide 20g of protein and it tastes great. “I’m starting to really get into this new way of life, and my commute to work is now filled with adding more new food ideas to my Pinterest board!” Vanessa revealed.
Vegan Tip 2: Add Seeds To Your DietIn addition to being delicious, seeds are good source of healthy fats and fiber. Omega-3 Fatty Acid is commonly missing in a vegetarian diet and seeds are principle source of Omega 3 for vegans. Recommended vegan food: flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds.
A lifestyle to be shared with others
On her final day of the challenge, we introduced Vanessa to a smart tip for vegetarians: Don’t give up your favourite foods, just find a meat replacement. One of the biggest barriers to going vegetarian is the fear of giving up that much loved meat dish, but often its not the meat we crave its the taste of the dish itself. So we tasked Vanessa to invite a few friends over that evening and share her favourite dish, lasagne - but meat free.
Vegan Tip 3: Vegetarian LasagneWarm lasagne is a comfort food for many people. If you use eggplants and fresh mushrooms instead of meat, you can add some rich, meaty flavor to the dish without sacrificing the nutritional balance. Invite friends or co-workers over a healthy vegan lasagne.
“It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I thought I would be giving up the things I love but I’ve gained more things to love whilst feeling healthier too!”
I never thought about the idea of replacing one ingredient, I would have looked for vegetable only recipes.” she admitted. Filling the lasagne with eggplant instead of meat, Vanessa proudly cooked for her friends and was amazed by the positive reaction.
“They all said it tasted great and I think a few friends are now considering changing their habits to go plant based too!” Vanessa beamed. Her final verdict? “I’m so glad I tried the challenge! It was actually easier than I feared. I’m glad for changes to my diet and working towards a healthier lifestyle”.
It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I thought I would be giving up the things I love but I’ve gained more things to love whilst feeling healthier too! VANESSA LEE
Hyundai is committed to making life more sustainable, taking positive steps to do the right thing for our global community. That might be encouraging smarter ways to live a sustainable life, or the advent of fuel cell technology. Big or small it doesn’t matter, it’s the direction we are moving in that counts. We believe in progress for everyone and that future innovation needs to be developed with sustainability at its core. That is how we will help to make sustainable living easy for one and all.