Gary Pang’s Foodie Philosophy
Hello, I’m Gary Pang, and I would like to share my love of cooking through this website with you. Here’s my food philosophy:
For years, I ate anything I wanted without thinking about the consequences. Some nights, I ate an appetizer, entree and dessert by myself at a restaurant, drank beers at a bar, then made instant ramen noodles at home at 2 a.m.
I gorged myself on chocolate bars and potato chips at work when I felt tired or stressed. When co-workers brought in cakes, I downed two big slices — even though I didn’t really like cakes.
Some called me a “Bottomless Pit.” I took pride in that nickname.
In contrast, I barely ate vegetables. I thought they tasted bland.
Fat belly, thin wallet
My mindless eating was taking a toll on my body and my budget. My belly was getting fatter. My wallet was getting thinner.
Then, my sister introduced me to a book about Whole30, a guide to healthy eating. I was suspicious of anything promoting a healthy body and lifestyle. I dismissed them as scams.
It took me more than a year before I read the book.
The book opened my eyes. I groaned at my mindless eating and what it would do to my body.
I ate too much processed food, products loaded with unnatural amounts of salt and sugar. Amounts the human body couldn’t handle.
To my surprise, rice, bread and pasta provided few nutrients. If I wanted fiber, I was better off eating vegetables.
But that was all book knowledge. Whole30 is about gaining wisdom through practice. To learn what helped or harmed my body.
No boozing for a month?!
During that month, I was to cook and eat healthy, natural and delicious food.
Afterwards, I was to try food from the no-eat list, then observe my body’s reactions
I was also not to drink alcohol. That scared me. My social life evolved around bars. I couldn’t imagine Gary Pang spending a month alone in his apartment.
‘Beating cancer is hard’
When I finished the book, I decided to do it the next day. But I had doubts whether I could commit myself for a month.
My sister spoke to me on Skype. She did the Whole30 before, and she assured me that I can do it.
She shared recipe ideas. And she told me to invite people to hang out somewhere besides a bar.
This line from the book boosted my determination:
“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”
I disappeared from the bar scene for a month. And I did not miss it.
Losing 25 pounds
Instead of pasta and rice, I baked sweet potatoes and squash. For curry dishes, I replaced rice with diced sweet potatoes and pineapples.
I baked fresh fish and ate it with kale. I ate Cento canned sardine with avocado. When I wanted variety, I mixed sardine and avocado with kimchi.
Each day of living up to my commitment was a victory. Each day, I recorded what I ate as a reminder of my progress.
Over 30 days, I lost about 25 pounds that my body didn’t need. My bank account began recovering from all those hefty bar tabs and restaurant bills.
‘Enjoy your food’
It’s been a year since my Whole30 experiment. Now I’m more mindful of what I eat. I cook more at home, and eat more vegetables because I like them.
Occasionally, I indulge in pasta, beers and wine. It’s unhealthy, but now I’m mindful of my decisions.
The recipes on my website are not necessarily compatible with a Whole30 diet. (One recipe involves bacon grease and noodles!) I’ll add healthier recipes to this site, too. Finally,
Be mindful of what you eat, enjoy your food, and try to eat healthy!