Today was booty day! Oops, it’s not booty call okay, it was all about working my glutes at the gym! Yes, the right terminology for ass is ‘glutes’ when you’re in the gym. Here’s an ‘ass-pire’ board I put together to motivate!!
Hello Day 2 morning of #12weekchallenge! I came and conquered! I believe I manage to stick to my diet and workout plan the entire day yesterday and so far this morning! YAY CELEBRATE. lol
Here is my Day 1 Work Out Plan, and some mini-meatloafs I made!
Recently inspired by Hai Ling from Hang Zhou, China. I feel that she looks really good although she does not fit into the typical muscular and tan profile of the bodybuilding.com or simplyshredded girls. And I love that she is Chinese as well. Fit comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes!
It has been a really long time since I last blogged! And unfortunately, this also meant that I am not on track with my fitness goals. My health took a dip, and my life has been quite stressful for the past few weeks and I became either too physically drained or emotionally-charged to work out or blog.
Anyway, I decided I should put my foot down and begin exercising proper again. I have began easing myself into working out intensely again (hopefully 4-5 times a week at some point) by hitting the gym at least twice a week for the past two weeks. Meanwhile, I have been doing a bit of meal-planning and workout-planning so that going to the gym and eating right would be more of a habit and routine and less of a hassle! I am determined to reach my goal figure by the end of this 12 weeks (it’s now or neverrr!!!). I plan to document my journey here so do leave comments if you are on your fitness journey as well and it would be awesome if we can give each other support!
Celebrities getting more than just in shape, they are also getting fit by working out. I thought it’s nice to kinda learn about what they do, and it’s not surprising that they put in a lot a lot of work into their diet and exercises in order to look good.
Zellwegger was recently in the limelight for doing something to her face, as well as for looking painfully skinny. I thought it was unfair that the only showed photos of her face and not the rest of her figure.
I just saw this amazing article about how drinking the recommended amount of water has helped Sarah Smith look and feel younger. Her diary-like article details the little adjustments she made to her lifestyle in order to increase her water intake for 4 weeks, and the difference it made to her appearance and mood. I quickly found two things particularly fascinating: (1) the importance of drinking adequate amounts of water, and (2) how easily we overlook this and unknowingly abuse our own bodies!
As you can see from the before and after pictures, drinking more water led to an improvement in the texture of Sarah’s skin as the wrinkles became less obvious. Also, her overall complexion improved as her skin tone became less blotchy. These changes made her look drastically younger. Dehydration had caused her skin to lose its elasticity and appear more shrivelled and wrinkled. With adequate hydration, Sarah’s complexion became more dewy, plump and clear.
Chia seeds are a pretty awesome supplement to any diet as the tiny black seeds are super nutrient dense and convenient to consume. Just a tiny amount packs healthy omega-3 fats, dietary fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also great for dieters because of its ability to suppress appetite, and regulate blood sugar. It’s usefulness does not stop there, chia seeds form a gel when mixed with liquid and can be used to replace eggs in recipes, or as a thickening agent in soups and sauces. Furthermore, it is convenient to consume since its flaxseed superfood equivalent needs to be grounded up before it becomes readily available for the body.
Chia seeds are tasteless on its own, making it versatile to add to other foods. It absorbs the flavour of the liquid you put it in. You could easily add them to smoothies, salads, and yoghurts. It also can serve as an egg-replacement when made into a gelatine-like substance. Since it’s high in fats, some people may use it to replace butter. I usually add two tablespoons into my breakfast protein shakes to get my fats, dietary fibre, and to thicken up my shake. BTW, it does not expand right away so I would either have to wait about 10 minutes or what I like to do is to prepare my shakes the night in advance just so that it gives time for the chia seeds to to become nice and fluffy when I drink it in the morning. My mom likes to eat her chia seeds in hot milo while my dad uses it to top his yoghurt. Awesome!
If you want to learn more, here are 10 awesome uses for chia seeds.
Chia seeds from the supermarket
I thought I would share some of the different brands of chia seeds I found on my trip to Jasons Market (Ion) recently. They have three brands of chia seeds: Bob’s Red Mill, Simply Natural, and Nutiva. If you are curious, I purchased Nutiva because it was cheaper for its net weight. And I liked how it came in different forms: original (black), white, and milled. The different forms have the same benefits, so the deciding factor is really personal preference.
Chia Seeds online
I recently too bought Chia seeds from an online local shop, BGO Ecoshop. At its original price, it is slightly more expensive than Nutiva brand found at Jasons market. However, if you check out their bundle offer, you can get two 500g bags cheaper with more convenience. I also appreciated their quick and efficient service. I made my purchase on a Sunday night, and my payment was immediately processed the very next morning, and delivered within 3 working days (Thursday morning)! The package I received was wrapped in bubble wrap (awesome!) and included a personal note written on the invoice, thanking me for my purchase. I thought that was really sweet, and I would definitely purchase from them again.
Here are some other places that you can get hold of Chia Seeds in Singapore
- Fair Price NTUC ( I haven’t seen it for myself, but I read in an online forum that it is possible. Perhaps check out the bigger fair price outlets)
- Online shops
- Iherb – note that Iherb is shipped from the US and you would have to account shipping fees.
- Organic Food Shops
- Four Seasons Organic Market – may be the cheapest way to get chia seeds so far, since I read in a forum that a customer bought chia seeds 1kg for $47.80.
- Supplement Stores
- GNC – unconfirmed because I could only find chia seeds from its US website, not Singapore.
Do you add chia seeds to your daily diet? Did I miss any places that you can get chia seeds?
21/3/2014 - I found chia seeds going at SGD14.80 (340g) on qoo10.sg, who knew?! Qoo10.sg is really such a treasure, I should do a post soon about the randomest stuff I buy from them because it’s always so affordable!! That place is so bad for shopaholics!
11/7/2015 – Live and breathe super foods? You may want to check out www.superlife.co because they ensure bundles of premium grade chia seeds and quinoa land at the convenience of your doorstep every month! Otherwise, you can also purchase the chia seeds in 150g or 500g packages.
Yoghurt is a highly nutritious food that is rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12. It also contains a lot of healthy live bacteria culture (just like Yakult) that is good for the stomach. Protein helps promotes satiation, which means that you are less likely to reach out for another snack since you feel already feel full. Yoghurt is also said to have many health benefits, including the promotion of fat loss, and strengthening of the immune system. Best thing is, there are so many easy ways to eat this healthy food: as a snack, as a dip, or added in smoothies.
Before you head out for the nearest Frozen Yoghurt (or Froyo) joint for your snack fix, note that the health benefit of yoghurts are maximum when taken natural. Sugar-laden yoghurts may be delicious, but they counteract many of the positive effects of taking yoghurt.
Regular vs Greek Yoghurt
Regular yoghurt and greek yoghurt are both healthy additions to any diet given the amount of nutrition and vitamins it packs. Greek yoghurt is processed differently from regular yoghurts – it is strained many times to reach its thick and creamy consistency. I imagine it as a more concentrated version of the regular yoghurt. Due to this process, greek yoghurt contains twice the amount of protein as compared to regular yoghurt. It also less likely to upset the lactose intolerant since its straining process removes some of the lactose. Greek yoghurt is also ideal for low-carb dieters since it contains half the amount of carbohydrates as its regular yoghurt counterpart.
When I got to the supermarket counters, I was immediately greeted by so many yoghurts touting the words ‘greek’ which got me really excited! Which do I choose?!
Faced with so many brand to choose from, I decided to narrow down my search using the cost perspective. I noticed that most of the yoghurts costed around the same, with the exception of one – Fage 0. This wordy, plain and small tub seem to cost four times more than the other yoghurts. It contains half the amount of yoghurt (each container weighs 500g) as compared to its greek counterparts, yet it costs twice as much (Fage 0 costs around $12 while other greek yoghurts cost around $6)! Out of curiosity, I decided to consult its nutritional profile. Fage yoghurt contains 10g of protein per serving (57 kCal), while other greek yoghurts contained around 4-6g protein of protein per serving. Fage yoghurt fits the nutrient profile of greek yoghurt while the other greek-style yoghurts had profiles looking more like regular yoghurts.
Greek Yoghurt and Greek-style Yoghurt are not the same!
With only Fage as a comparison, I had to go online to find out whether greek and greek-style yoghurt were really different. Apparently, the difference in greek yoghurt and greek-style yoghurt also lies in the difference in the way it was processed. As explained earlier, greek yoghurt is strained until it reaches that rich and thick consistency. On the other hand, greek-style yoghurt tries to mimic this consistency by adding thickening agents such as cream, gelatine, gum blends. In summary, greek yoghurt is the real deal -packing more nutrient in less weight, while greek-style yoghurt is just artificially bulked up.
Also, check the nutrition label before purchasing!
I recently spotted Greek Yoghurt by Jalna at Jones the Grocer. I was really excited to try a different type of ‘Greek Yoghurt’, but a quick check of the nutritional profile indicated that it was not what I was looking for: it contains more carbohydrates than protein. It is really interesting to note that even though it is 97% fat free, it contains much more calories and carbohydrates than Fage 0. It is likely that in order to reduce the fat, starches, gums and even gelatine were added to improve the texture. This resulted in the increase of sugar content in the yoghurt.
Where to find Greek Yoghurt in Singapore?
Fage yoghurt is stocked in Cold Storage and Jones the Grocer, and it comes in 0 or 2% fat. I have yet to come across any other Greek Yoghurts or yoghurts with similar nutrition profile.
I like to eat my yoghurt as a snack. Being fuss-free, I like to mix 1.5 serving of Fage yoghurt mixed with one-third scoop of chocolate protein powder. I find that this proportion tastes really refreshing, yet not too overly sweet. It’s a fantastic dessert since it satisfies my sweet tooth, and is packed full with nutrients.
Is Yoghurt already part of your diet? Which is your favourite brand of yoghurt?
Chicken rice is undisputedly the national dish of Singapore given its popularity with locals and tourists alike. It is a common and inexpensive dish found in many hawker centres and food courts, although it’s occasionally served in restaurants boasting local cuisines as well.
And yessss, I look forward to a yummy plate of chicken rice at least once a week. Chicken rice?! How does it fit in my diet? Well, chicken is a great source of protein, although this dish in its typical form contains a lot of fat. According to the nutrient profile I grabbed off the Health Promotion Board, a plate of chicken rice with roasted chicken contains 607 Cal, 25g of Protein, 75g Carbs, and 23g of Fat. That’s a lot of carbs and fats in one serving. Oops, not so clean after all!
This dish typically consist of a portion chicken (roasted or poached) liberally doused with sesame oil, and sitting atop savory and fragrant ‘oily’ rice. It is usually served with tangy chilli sauce, ginger sauce, and a dark soy sauce that is a tad sweet. Customers can also order extra items such as hard-boiled eggs and chicken gizzards.
So how on earth do I fit it in my diet? I make some simple modifications to the meal.
First, I would choose breast meat over other cuts of meat. Although undifferentiated in the HPB nutrient profile, ordering different parts of the chicken actually yield different calorie content. A chicken contains both dark and white meats. Dark meats are generally found in the leg and back regions, while the white meat is found in the chest area. Dark meats contain 2.64 times more saturated fat than white meat. So choosing cuts like the breast meat would be less calorie-laden than thigh meat.
Second, I remove the skin off the chicken before eating in order to lessen the calorie and fat content of the meal. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, the caloric difference between a skinless chicken and a chicken with skin on is about 30-50 cal! That may not seem like a lot, but it adds up rather quickly so I try to not to.
Third, I would ask for a smaller serving of rice. I would typically eat about a fist-size of rice per carb-meal, which roughly translates to about 22-27g of carbs, depending on the type of rice I eat. As you can see from the HPB nutrient profile, Chicken Rice hawkers would serve more than twice the amount of carbs I would like to have per meal. If I want to further reduce the overall fat content of my meal, I would replace the fragrant ‘oily’ rice with white rice. It is a great option when I need a quick and cheap meal, yet reduce the fat.
Using these simple modifications, I can usually order twice the amount of chicken, getting in more protein while staying within my calorie budget. I would normally order two portions of chicken breast meat with lesser white rice (or fragrant rice, depending on the hawker and my mood). I estimate this meal to come to about 450 Cal, 50g Protein, 26g Carb, 16g Fat.
Too Long; Didn’t Read?
From 607 Cal, I turned it into a 450 Cal meal with more protein by:
(1) Choosing breast meat
(2) Eating the meat without the skin (or at least sparingly if I cannot resist)
(3) Asking for less rice (or even better, switching it up to white rice)
In case you were wondering, the photo of the chicken rice was taken at the Sin Kee Chicken Rice Stall located at Mei Ling Street Market & Food Centre (Address: Blk 159, Mei Ling Street, S140159). This corner stall is pretty big, occupying the space of two stalls, and they have a constant queue during lunch hour. Other than chicken rice, I noticed that they serve several ‘xiao cai’ (side dishes) as well. Most customers ordered ‘San Yu’ (raw fish with a dash of lime) and some stir-fried vegetables. I only eaten the chicken rice there so far because I love the substantial amount of meat I can get in for a $8.50 meal (refer to the first photo above!).
Also, get your boost of vitamin c from the lime juice sold at the drinks store just beside chicken rice store. I was pretty amazed by how generous they are with the limes!