VOO Changed My Life

February 7, 2011 at 12:00 AM | Posted in Breakfast, Culture, Fitness, Food, Food for Thought, God, Health, Nutrition | 20 Comments

Hello y’all!

So….I have a confession to make of what I had this morning…If you care to know! 😛

Can you guess it?

Yep!  Ding ding ding! I had over night oats in A JAR!!!  *Cue the bell sound and applause*

Mr. Smiles in the back says HI to all of you!  He’s a gift from my very good (soon to be going to Korea) friend AJ!  Isn’t he so cute?  He even has a little crown to keep Joe warm for me!

Into the mix went in many ingredients!  Some healthy, some just OK.  But my philosophy of food is most things in moderation. When it comes down to me, I don’t deprive myself of anything in order to stay healthy, but I just listen to my body and go along with it because most of the time, it’s telling me to eat something nutritious and healthy.

*ahem* Of course sometimes it tells me to eat a whole slice of pie…or maybe two…

Trusting our bodies is a great discipline and progression that we learn as we live each day!

This is what I put in the jar this morning:

  • 1/4 C rolled oats
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 2 TBSP Fage yogurt
  • handful of frozen blueberries
  • pecans
  • coconut flakes
  • cinnamon
  • drizzle of maple
  • some yogurt chips!
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

This was definitely a welcomed and satisfying breakfast!  Let me tell you–the trick of putting in Greek yogurt in a VOO makes it extra creamy and thick.

Today I would like to share a bit about my eating and fitness background,  why I choose to eat the way I do, and how it has helped me in positive ways.

Ever since I was a child, I grew up eating mostly Korean food and Argentine food.  However, Korean cooking was the staple in our household due to my family’s strong traditions and customs.

Korean food is known to be one of the healthiest foods out there because it consists  of vegetables and roots!

Almost everything is pickled or slathered in some kind of spice.

There is also a wide variety of meats and carbs.  The meat is usually grilled or marinated in a delicious and sweet sauce.  The carbs usually entail bowls packed with rice! And let me tell you, I ate that stuff at least once or twice a day!

Not to mention, during my high school years I really DID eat every junk food that was available at the cafeteria.  Welcome Chili Cheese Fries….

I don’t think it’s bad to eat it every ONCE in a WHILE!  But what you have to know is that I ate this bad boy EVERY SINGLE DAY DURING NUTRITION TIME FOR A WHOLE YEAR. I still don’t know how I did that.

Now going back to Korean food, you can see that it has its pros and cons in many aspects.

Pros:  Veggies, fruits, healthy oils.

Cons:  Too much meat, carbs, ulcer-inducing spices.

I never really  had a difficult time eating this way, until high school hit. Then, my stomach began to act up in strange ways such as constipation, constant stomach pains, indigestion, and much more.  You name it.  I believe the only thing it hasn’t experienced is an Ulcer, and I’m so grateful for not having those!  😀

Due to this experience, I began to search for better ways of eating. I guess I could say that I was successful on and off.  There were many failures as well.  After years of trial and error in an attempt to find out the reason to my stomach issues, I finally went to the doctor to get an endoscopy.  (That was the most physically unpleasant experience in my whole life…I think)  Surprisingly enough, even the doctor told me that I was fine and that I should just try to lay off of spicy food.

Obviously, this assessment hadn’t really helped me in any way because I was still having way too many intestinal problems.  You can imagine that when I went anywhere far away like mission TRIPS, my stomach would do just that.  TRIP out.

Fortunately, everything was rather okay when I went to the India mission trip this past summer!  After much prayer and supplication for a break, my body responded in a kind way.

[Sorry for the blurriness :P]

However, when I came back from India+Korea, I realized that my stomach started to react once again!  But lo and behold!  I somehow came across Angela’s and Caitlin’s blogs!!  Since then on, I saw more and more that vegan/vegetarian  ways of eating don’t have to be weird and deprived.

I also believe that being in the poor villages of India, it did something to my spirit…I’m not sure what it is exactly, but my mind and heart compelled me to eat better and treat myself better as a result.

The excitement of feeding my body healthful and wholesome foods was increasing the more I read about all these crazy bloggers!  At this point, it hit me that I DON’T have to eat my mother’s cooking all the time. (No offense to you mom I love you!)

It was like a crazy revelation at the time!  And though I was scared to venture out to eat like this…

from traditionally eating this…

I was pleasantly surprised by the results!  I didn’t think that I would survive with the “little amount of nutrients” that I thought I would get if I didn’t eat Korean food everyday!

And more than anything, I felt sort of bad towards my family because maybe I was betraying them and our culture altogether.  You see, in their minds, if I don’t eat the way they do–I am starving myself and I have some kind of eating disorder.

But this isn’t true obviously, because I still eat all sorts of food here and there.

I’m so glad to have made these alterations in my lifestyle because it has truly helped me to work at optimum level (as opposed to before) and have way less digestive problems as a result!

I REALLY have to admit that I was scared of trying Vegan Overnight Oats at first,  but it won my heart the second I took a bite! Love at first bite… Since then, I knew that healthy food could be fun and delicious.

And you know what the funny thing is?

Just because of reassuring my family that I am making these changes to actually BE healthier, I have come to grow stronger in my character.  I have never been one to oppose much of what my parents desire, but life has taken its different route the past few years.  This lifestyle of nutrition and health has become one of those “less traveled roads”.  🙂

Because of MY decision to do this, I believe that I’ve become less dependent on having to please my own culture, and just do what is right for me.

Not only that, but I’ve always loved to exercise and work out.  These past few years exercising has become an addiction a habit. 😛  To be quite frank, I don’t just do it to stay in shape–although that IS one of the reasons.  But the main reason why do it is that I feel more physically and mentally awake!  I love it when I have that adrenaline rushing down my veins!  I feel less lethargic and become more productive as a result.

In my opinion, working out for the sake of well-being and optimum performance is the best motivation to stay in shape.  (But that’s just me)

Who knew that I would also become more emotionally strong through these changes?

This is just a brief (maybe long?) explanation of where I am with all this, but I hope it encourages you in some way!

I want to live as healthily as possible within every aspect of my life! Physically, spiritually, and emotionally–so that I can also be of great service and encouragement to others.    ^_~  Because this life ain’t about me…It’s about loving God with all of my heart and soul, as I love others the way He loves them.

My Question: Have cultural and familial customs kept you from a healthy lifestyle?  When did you start this journey, and what advice would you give to those who feel like they’re stuck in a rut?  Or, what kind of changes would you like to make? 😀

Grace & Peace,

Ellie <333


P.S:  Elaine was phenomenal during the concert!! She did a beautiful rendition of Tango legendary Astor Piazzolla’s piece Bordel.  Here’s a clip!

Enjoy! 🙂


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  1. Yum that looks delicious I am a huge fan of fage yogurt!

    • Yea I could tell! You have FAGE everywhere! 😛

  2. really liked hearing about your story, and i’m glad you found what works for you and you are not deprived, either!

    • Hey Jess thank you for the kind comment! It’s great knowing what works for us as individuals b/c we’re all different.

  3. I feel very related to your story Ellie” although our family is not strong in tradition in term of food, but we do eat more Chinese food. I find that years later than my first change of rating style now I m more into Chinese food again, by own choice, but I do adapt it to make it healthier.

    AND I Also find working out extremely iimportant for my mental health.

    • Yea definitely wakes you up mentally 🙂 You know what? You’ve helped me to see that now and even in the future, esp. when I’m off more on my own and married, I’ll be able to tweak everything even Korean food! So you reminded me to not be scared of it haha. I like Korean food but get scared when it comes to meat and stuff b/c I won’t be able to go….you know….

      • hahaha…. yes i know what you mean. but you know what i’ve learnt the most? when I less stress/think about what goes into my mouth, the easier everything goes through! 😉

        • Hmmm I guess my mother DOES have a pt. then! She always says that if I just eat anything and everyting, then the rest will go through easily haha.

  4. It’s so wonderfully that your lifestyle changes led you to feel better about yourself as person – physically and mentally 🙂 It was great to read a bit more about you, too.

    For my part, my mum wouldn’t be happy if I went vegan so I’m avoiding labels at the moment. But my family are pretty open-minded about tryin new things, so at least they’re willing to accept my raw vegan desserts are tasty! 😉

    • Haha isn’t it awesome when your loved ones go along with it and try out your “funky” food?! 😛 Thanks for sharing and just a note! I’m not actually VEGAN as I do eat meat maybe once a day or not at all, but usually not more than that. 🙂 Some ppl think I am Vegan b/c I eat so much of that kind of food. I just TRY to eat most things in moderation and with healthier ingredients than I used to. Also, if I’m at church or in a setting with a crowd, then I’ll just eat whatever is there so as to not make anyone uncomfortable.

  5. Gotta love some overnight oats in a jar! Seriously the best breakfast!

    • WORD. And for some reason VOOs keep me fuller for longer periods of time.

  6. Love those VOO!! And yes Fage is the secret!! I’ve made them with regular light an fit yogurt from Dannon and it’s not the same, the oats don’t plump up as much. Btw how were the chia seeds? do they make a difference?

    • oh yeaaa Jenny~Chia seeds perhaps make ALL the difference! I love using chia and flax, but I believe chia gives an even more jelly-ish and thick consistency. Jellyish in a good way though. With a subtle crunch. 😀

  7. Yum! That looks so good!

    Thanks for explaining where you are right now – it helps to learn more about other people and their thinking process. And you’re right – this life isn’t about us!

    • Yeahh it’s definitely new for me to write things for others to read. Were you always striving to lead a “as much as possible” healthy lifestyle? 🙂

  8. I definitely agree is listening to your body! Sometimes it does tell me to eat that pastry a bit too often though 😛

    • yeaahh totally haha

  9. Great story-and I looooove oats in a jar:)

    • 😀 Thank you Kristina

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