Food Instagram Reels and Tiktok videos have been on the rise. I have never consumed food content so much more at this point compared to before, and it has been interesting to watch what is out there.

The country is known for goto where it uses many of the cow's innards, making this dish, if taken frequently in the long term, a contributory factor in later health issues.
The country is known for goto where it uses many of the cow's innards, making this dish, if taken frequently in the long term, a contributory factor in later health issues.

Not only do Filipinos trek and go all over the country to discover the newest eats, but even in the city there remains to be a lot of discoveries that international food vloggers have featured in their own channels as well.

While Filipino food is getting more known these days especially overseas, mainstream Filipino food remains the same — meats that are mostly fried, grilled, while some are boiled using every part of the animal as much as possible (especially for beef).

As an example, many of the food vloggers have made their own trips deep in Batangas just to taste the now famous gotohan that serves literally every part of the cow. It's accessible, filling and best of all, cheap.

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However, what remains to be bothersome and worrying is the long-term health impact and effect this prolonged habit will have on people. We may not see it now but give it a few years and one would feel the ramifications of such eating behavior. One food vlogger I have been watching eats the same fried food day in day out and even includes in his reels the fiber maintenance he takes – commendable in some way because the answer must be in the attempt.

This is where the concept of 'eating for pondo' comes to play. Essentially, it is developing the habit of nourishing your body (ideally, first) before compromising it with food that may not necessarily be good in the long run. Like they say, too much of everything is bad and everything should be taken in moderation.

Some sustainable examples that can be considered include:

1. Loading up on fiber whenever possible. Digestive issues have been on the rise and fiber truly helps in addressing this. Sources of fiber include fruits and vegetables and incorporating this in your daily diet will be beneficial for your body. Try to bring fruits with you when you leave the house or have some easy stir-fried vegetables as part of your baon. These will supplement what you plan to eat for the day. Examples of accessible and economical vegetables include mustard leaves (mustasa) and native pechay. Load up on these before you embark on another food trip with friends – at least you have eaten for pondo already.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Whenever possible, choose water over bottled drinks or softdrinks as you do want to avoid sugar. Food out there is already loaded with sugar and taking in more in the form of sugary drinks do not really provide any nutritional value at all.

3. Incorporate exercise in your daily routine. Choosing walking or biking as alternative options to run errands would help in maintaining normal cholesterol levels which your body will thank you for.

Think about the nutritional value that your body gets whenever planning for the next food trip or restaurant to check with friends. If the value is low, best to load up on food for pondo. This way, your body would've thanked you already before it gets compromised later on.

The author may be reached at [email protected] or follow her at Instagram @kaycalpolugtu and @aplateofbahaykubo.