Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 23) — The pandemic has made more Filipinos health-conscious especially with their diets, a renowned chef has observed.
“It’s actually a wonderful thing. I think that because of the pandemic, people have kind of become so much more introspective and thought about health and wellness a lot more,” Asia’s 2016 Best Female Chef Margarita Forés told CNN Philippines’ The Exchange.
This has led to people in the culinary sector like her to “pivot a little bit” and offer their customers more nutritious food options, said the restaurateur known for launching the likes of Italian restaurant Cibo.
For instance, her catering kitchen has now specialized in preparing food for deliveries. Customers may order meals based on preferred diets, which can be calorie-controlled, low-carb, South Beach, or everything plant-based, she added.
“[O]f course there’s also not passing up the yummy stuff,” the culinary expert also noted as she advised one can always seek healthier versions of food favorites.
For nutritious meals, Forés recommended salad greens along with cancer-fighting produce like tomatoes, citing her own experiences overcoming cancer twice.
She shared that eating healthy need not be expensive, especially now that urban farming has grown more commonplace amid the health crisis.
“Everybody has a little bit of talong or papaya growing in the backyard. And there are other things that are also, like, super healthy that grow like alugbati and kangkong and malunggay. There are always backyard dishes. You don’t even have to go to the market to harvest them,” she said.