Opting for a greener lifestyle, too? Here’s what her coach has to say
With the rise of the pandemic, many Filipinos have paid more attention to what they put on their plates. No longer is food just for indulgence, it is also among the main elements that protects us from acquiring the virus.
So, to start 2021 right, many have taken a more plant-based diet, including Filipina actress Nadine Lustre. In an Instagram post, she shared her experience after a month of consuming a meatless diet relaying, “I never thought I’d love vegan food this much.”
If you’re planning to take the same dining route as Nadine, we’ve got you covered. Manila Bulletin Lifestyle chats with Lahaina Mae Mondonedo—Nadine’s health coach providing the actress diet and workouts programs—as she shares the actress’ meal plan, and why we too should consider a more greener diet.
What is the story behind Athletes Bite? Who are the people leading it?
The magician and leader behind all the amazing Athlete’s Bite (AB) meals (Nadine’s vegan food supplier) is Malou Ocampo. With her dietetic technician background, Malou was always passionate about cooking, but her AB journey started with her dog, Ykay. Yes, her dog!
In 2010, Ykay got sick and Malou focused on using her knowledge in nutrition to nurse her back to health. That’s when Malou started making healthy meals that specifically addressed health concerns.
It was in 2013 that Malou started serving clients, and all of them had serious health conditions. Diabetes, stage 1 or 2 cancer, GERD, and hypertension are just a few of the issues her clients deal with, and Malou used her nutritional talents to prepare meals that greatly improved their health and quality of life.
AB went on to serve competitive athletes and is now into the go-to meal service for anyone who wants to feel and perform their best.
To this day, Malou still caters to clients looking for help with their serious health issues, and Ykay is still alive and well at 14 years old.
Tell us something about the food the brand serves? Are they made in-house and where do you source your supplies from?
All the ingredients used in AB meals and products are sourced fresh and locally from farmers from Bulacan, Cavite, Bukidnon, and Antipolo. Then everything is carefully, thoughtfully, and creatively prepared in an in-house industrial kitchen.
Other than the honest sourcing and clean preparation, AB meals can be skillfully customized to each client’s needs and preferences. AB caters to a number of various diets from a pescatarian, vegan, vegetarian, and keto diets to anti-inflammatory or allergy-safe diets. Whatever your health issues and goals are, AB can support you.
What goes into Nadine’s vegan menu?
Nadine’s vegan diet is quite an exciting one. With about 20 different dishes on her weekly menu, it ensures that Nadine never gets bored, which is extremely important when keeping her on diet and eating healthy.
The entire menu has been carefully formulated to match the needs of her busy, active lifestyle, as well as her health goals. Each meal has a calculated balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Her protein sources vary from quinoa, tofu, seeds, beans, and nuts. Her carbohydrate sources include pasta, basmati rice, fruits, and lots of vegetables! Lastly, her fat sources come from healthy oils, nuts, nut butters, and avocados.
Nadine has been eating AB meals since 2019, and the AB team is so excited to support her on her move to veganism. She is a passionate advocate of the environment and animal rights, and I know that this shift has been a priority of hers for a while now, so I’m very happy that AB can provide her the meals she needs to stay healthy, while contributing to these causes she cares deeply about.
Why is it important for people to mind what they are eating and how does AB help them in adopting a better diet?
I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying, “You are what you eat.” This is very true. If our bodies were a machine, what we eat would be the fuel that keeps our bodies working. Without nutrients from our diet, our bodies wouldn’t be able to function. This shows how extremely important it is to be mindful of the food we consume.
With that said, everyone’s body and lifestyle are different. What makes AB so unique is that it can cater to you and your needs, all the while it being incredibly healthy and delicious. In my opinion as a trainer and health and wellness columnist, the best diet is the sustainable one. It’s the diet that keeps you in good health, fits your needs and goals, and especially, it’s a diet that you can maintain. It’s all about consistency when it comes to staying healthy and AB can do that for anyone.
Images from @nadine.