An age old saying by Greek physician, Hippocrates says, “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”
With new places to eat, hole-in-the wall concept eateries, farm to table restaurants and new chefs and restaurateurs popping up in the metro, it’s no doubt that Filipinos love to eat and we love to eat with gusto. It’s our main source of happiness. As long as our bellies our satisfied, we are happy. But there also has been a movement towards cleaner living and cleaner eating, with many yoga studios and fitness centers promoting a healthier lifestyle. How can we marry the two: our love for eating good food while still being healthy and happy?
We caught up with Chef Gregory Leung Guy (of Cheescakes by Guy, read more here http://www.cheesecakesbyguy.com) who created a small cafe/ health snack bar called Nourish by Guy that addresses exactly that by providing his customers with the right amount of protein and carbs enough to nourish the body and uses fresh ingredients that leave you feeling good about what you had just eaten.
A happy Chef Greg behind the counter
Urban Yogi: What’s your philosophy of eating and being healthy?
Chef Greg: I believe that for as long as you eat anything in moderation, you can eat anything and be healthy. It seems like every day a new list of foods that we should not eat comes out of nowhere, and if we were to listen to every list that has every been published we would have to resort to simply water, not even cold or hot water because even then there is something to say.
In the 12 years that I have been in fitness, the only time I felt healthy is now, and it only started when I started a type of diet which allows you to eat anything for as long as If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), where the macros are short for macronutrients which cover protein, carbohydrate and fats computed by the gram which is then converted into daily caloric intake. It’s a lot to do, having to weigh out your food and know exactly what goes into your food but it also helps me to be aware of what goes into the food I eat.
Healthy Selection at Nourish
UY: Tell us more about your diet.
Chef Greg: As I have mentioned, the only diet I follow is IIFYM, and that does not limit me to certain food groups. I can have my cake and eat it too even while at an aggressive fat loss plan. You only need to remember that everything you eat has a corresponding caloric count and you are only allowed certain number of calories a day to either lose, maintain or gain weight. It’s a science that anyone can learn to do.
I do however stay away as much as possible from packaged food filled with chemicals and MSG laden junk food. I try to limit my canned food intake to a can of tuna daily.
Greek Quinoa Salad & Pasta Sald (both sold at P200)
UY: As a chef, i’m sure a lot of people ask you about what they need to eat to lose weight, what would be your top recos for this?
Chef Greg: First of all, if you cut out all junk food, sugary drinks and frequent snacking you are sure to lose weight. Have you tried eating healthy for a week? You can eat a lot more than you think while still losing weight because whole foods fill you up with fewer calories. 5 sky flakes equal 1 cup of rice and we all know we can get more full with rice than crackers. It’s when you start adding oil and sugar that the calories begin adding up and lead to weight gain.
To lose weight there is only 1 solution. Burn more calories than you burn, nothing more nothing less and with the food I’ll be offering it will all be made from whole foods, no can openers, preservatives or artificial flavors.
Chef Greg’s signature cheesecakes — but this time, sugar free!
UY: You’ve created such yummy cheesecakes and pastries, what inspired you to get into creating a “healthy” cafe/ snack bar? (Read more about his yummy cheesecakes here.)
Chef Greg: I have always been a fan of healthy eating, and I used to serve salads in the shop but it seems not everyone shares the same view as me, and I don’t think there is really any food that is unhealthy except for processed, packaged food with chemicals and preservatives.
And also, there is something different from eating healthy food, it naturally feels good even if you do not know that it is healthy which says a lot. Eating should not only be a means to satisfy our hunger but it should also feed the body with the proper nutrients, to nourish ourselves. No one else can help us here except for ourselves since we decide what we eat, when we eat.
Triple Decker Sandwiches, made with fresh ingredients
UY: What’s the concept for Nourish? what can people expect from this new endeavour of yours?
Chef Greg: Nourish wil be a lifestyle food store that offers healthy, whole foods made from real ingredients from the market. Food that tastes good and feels good, and not laden with oil, fats or sugar.
Nourish By Guy is located in the 3/f Active Fun Building (inside the Urban Ashram Yoga Studio), BGC, Taguig