The best part about coming home is preparing my own food again! So excited for exams to be over so I can start cooking and baking again. For now, breakfast prep will have to suffice.
What the hygge? is an initiative by a friend of mine, Pam and her friends Wex and Rachel. Pam and Wex prepare the food, while Rachel makes the most beautiful designs.
Hygge is a danish word, and essentially refers to creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with equally wonderful people. Perhaps Kinfolk can sum it up better:
What the Hygge?
“Hygge is a coziness we feel and crave – the atmosphere that comes as we spend time with our loved ones, in candlelight, with good food and other soul warmers like a crackling fire… It comes from taking genuine pleasure in making simple everyday things and enjoying them.” — The Kinfolk Table
Needless to say, when they first launched this concept of Hygge last year, I was extremely excited since it embodied everything I hoped to see in Singapore- Forming a community by having conversations about meaningful topics over great food (well-cooked and in it’s most natural form, as far from the preservative/chemical laden food we get daily).
I finally had a chance to attend this year, and I absolutely loved the experience. The theme for the Hygge I attended was Sustainability, which is an issue I feel strongly about, especially after my WWOOFing trip in June this year.
The details of why they chose this team, and some very interesting reads and videos about this topic can be found on their website here. I could go on and on, but I feel that they summarised it perfectly in their post. I’ll just focus on my experience at Hygge instead!
I barely have any photos, since the picnic started at 7pm, and it was starting to get dark, especially with the gloom from the haze.
Singapore does have it’s beauty too! This was taken on our way to the kayaking platform at Macritchie Reservoir. I love how it’s mysterious, yet beckoning.
When we arrived, there were already quite a few people there. I was eager to meet new people and to learn about their lives and why they were here!
With the wind gently blowing our hair, and the heaviness of the hazy air on us, we huddled around the picnic mat, listening to introductions as the candle flames flickered with the wind. The food was laid out in the centre, and I couldn’t help but think about how food is central to our lives, yet we often look at it merely as a necessity for survival, rather than truly savouring the food and the conversations that often accompany these meals with people who matter.
As we went through each course together, Pam and Wex explained the reasons for choosing to include the dish in the menu and the ingredients that they included in the dishes which related back to the issue of Sustainability. For example, barley which is a low value crop was included in the tabouleh since it helps to replenish nitrogen in the soils (which are being fast depleted to meet our demands for food). Wex also included home-grown basil leaves in the tabouleh to encourage the Farm-to-Table concept and to inspire us to try our hand at growing our own food. Beef cheeks were used to make the beef bourguignon since it is a cheaper cut of meat, and supports the idea of nose-to-tail dining, since no part would go to waste. Although the more popular cuts of beef are preferred for their tenderness, if cooked well, beef cheeks can be mouthwateringly tender as well (as executed by Pam and Wex — It was delicious)
I really appreciated the effort they made in linking each dish back to the theme, and teaching us about such a wide range of topics from farming to the meat industry and recycling efforts.
Our conversations ranged from WWOOFing to chef adventures and simply getting to know each other better and one another’s opinions on food sustainability. Two hours flew by, and I felt that I had learnt so much about Sustainability, and about the people we were dining with. Even though we were strangers to begin with, by the end of the meal, I felt that we were connected by our common goal to eating and live more sustainably. We may not meet again, but it’s a nice feeling to know that there is such a community in Singapore. (I even met someone who reads my blog, which was really cool! I’m so glad to have met a reader in person. It warmed my heart to hear that she enjoyed reading my posts, even from 2 years back!)
As we ended, we were given a parting gift of a Grow-Your-Own Basil pot. I loved how much thought and effort went into planning this door gift. We were also asked what we would pledge to do to live sustainably, and to write it on this paper that they prepared for us.
This hygge was not just one of those events where you feel inspired, and then go back to your lives as per normal once you leave. We were called to action, in very manageable ways. Be it through eating less meat or bringing our own lunch boxes to takeaway food… we could all make our own impact in our little ways. It may seem small but every bit counts.
After reflecting on what we talked about, perhaps my biggest takeaway was that it starts with us. We may think that we can’t make much of a difference as an individual. But each choice we make is a vote against the current commercial food industry. As pam said, “Every dollar is a vote”. A vote against the horrible conditions the animals are kept in, a vote for the small scale local farmers, a vote for our health. A collective voice to protect our Earth.
Are you not worried about yourselves, or even your (future) children ingesting all these chemicals? Are you not concerned about what goes into your food or where your food comes from? Are you not saddened by the suffering of the animals and the factory workers and farmers?
Alone we may seem small, but if you think about it, each of our daily choices are what led to the current food industry becoming what it is. Producers are here to meet demand, and we the consumers drive the demand. We were responsible for shaping the current food industry, and we have the power to change it for the better. By demanding less meat so the farmers won’t have to inject growth hormones into the animals to meet our demand, by growing some of our own food to reduce the strain on farmers, by cooking sustainably and doing nose-to-tail/root-to-stalk cooking to minimise food wastage… the possibilities are endless.
The change starts with us.
How will you make an effort to live sustainably today?
I saw this useful infographic online, and thought I would summarise some of the useful tips for surviving the haze these few days (or weeks?!). That said, this list only includes nutrition related tips, since I felt they were overlooked compared to the obvious precautions like staying indoors, minimising outdoor exercise, wearing a mask, using an air purifier and the like.
1) Drink Water
You probably already know this, but seriously, do keep drinking up! It’ll help you get rid of all the toxic fumes that you inhaled, and absorbed through your skin.
2) Load up on Vitamin C
You probably can’t see very well in the haze, so you should make up for it with your (Vit) C. Okay I was trying a bit too hard there haha. Gosh, that was seriously cringeworthy. Anyway, do make it a point to drink some Vitamin C or eat some fruits that are high in Vitamin C like oranges, kiwis and pineapples.
3) Go easy on the coffee and alcohol
My fellow university students will probably laugh at this, since these are probably the two favourite drinks of college students. But look after yourself this period, these drinks are dehydrating and take away nutrients from your body, which isn’t something you want in this kind of situation.
4) Don’t forget your Vitamin E
You can find this in eggs, almonds, tofu, broccoli, spinach and avocados. (Excuse to drink avocado milkshakes!!) The antioxidants will help you minimise cell damage.
5) Salmon and your Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon, tuna, walnuts, mackerel, olive oil… the omega-3 fatty acids will help you to reduce inflammation and keep your immunity in check!
6) Follow the TCM way
Green bean/Mung bean soup, Barley and Chrysanthemum are all good to have since they have cooling properties and help to ease sore throats and reduce heatiness in the body.
I hope this helped and stay healthy everyone! 🙂
Healthy eating had become so much easier, especially with the growing number of healthy food subscription boxes in Singapore!
I was recently given the opportunity to try out BoxGreen‘s healthy snack box delivery service, and I thought I would share my opinions with you all.
P.S I have a little surprise for you guys, so do read on to the very end! 😛 Good things come to those who wait (or those who are impatient and just scroll to the end of the post without reading anything haha)
Disclaimer: The snack box was kindly sponsored by BoxGreen, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
At first glance, I was rather unimpressed by the size of the box. BoxGreen’s box is much smaller than the other healthy snack boxes that I have tried, probably about half the size of the other snack boxes.
But of course, you can’t judge a book by its cover. A big box doesn’t equate to quality snacks, and likewise a small box doesn’t mean it’s any worse. Tiny is mighty!
I found it so funny how they named every single item with some cute name.
Four items may not seem like a lot, but I think it’s about right for one month of snacking.
This was amazing. The best flavoured nuts I’ve had. Fresh and crunchy, with a slight bitter taste from the coffee coating paired with the sweetness from the brown sugar. So good.
Berry Dark in Here
These are dark chocolate coated dried strawberries and raisins. But they look absolutely unappetising here. The dark chocolate buttons all melted, and became smooshed up with everything.
I was pretty grossed out. But I took one for the team and tried it anyway!
Apart from the fact that it looked disgusting, taste wise, it was actually nice! The clumps of dried fruit and chocolate tasted good together. But if BoxGreen wants to deliver chocolate (or other easily melted goods), I think they need to devise some kind of system to prevent it from melting so fast, especially in Singapore’s hot weather. Cause no one likes receiving melted chocolate.
I haven’t tried this yet, but the dried figs look really yummy!
This was another win for me. The air-fried apple chips were crispy and had the natural sweetness of the apple. I finished it in one sitting! I wish I had more 😀
BoxGreen’s Promotion – SURPRISE!
If you’re keen to try BoxGreen’s healthy snack boxes… I have a surprise for you!
If you key in my code: Foogo20 before checking out, you can enjoy 20% off their first box!
Despite my initial reservations about BoxGreen, I’m actually pleasantly surprised by the quality of the goods. (Strongly recommend Mocha Almonds and Apple Crisps!!) I also like their wide variety of dried fruits, nuts and chips which have such unique flavours. I would love to try their Shitake Mushroom Chips (I know right, I didn’t even know that was a thing.)
What’s even better is that they’ve upped their game in terms of customisation to consumer preferences, and they’ve recently added a feature where they recommend snacks based on one’s taste preferences (e.g. salty, sweet, filling, etc)!
They also win brownie points for customer service, since customers are asked to fill up all 8 options in your pantry. This is to ensure that if any of your top 4 options are unavailable, we can replace it with another snack in your pantry! So you get what you want.
Perhaps what makes them stand out the most is their conscientious in meeting customer’s needs, rather than just providing a generic box to everyone. The folks behind BoxGreen sure do know how to match demand with supply.
With BoxGreen, you get what you ask for.
It’s been a while since I have done a post on Made Real, so here’s my most recent post as seen on Made Real:
I was talking to my friend the other night, and we were discussing ideas for a potential post, and she suggested foods that help you to sleep better! So inspired by her suggestion, we’ve got an entire post dedicated to eating well to catch your ZZZs.
I found this to be a really good idea especially since most of us students probably have a major sleep deficit after exams.
So I’ve compiled a list of 7 simple foods and drinks that will help you to sleep better and heal your terribly sleep-deprived body over the summer break.
Bananas are known to be a quick energy booster and competitive swimmers love to eat it before a race since they are easily converted to energy. I remember a friend of mine who used to eat an entire bunch of bananas while waiting for his race.
Surprisingly, bananas are great sleep-inducers too! Being rich in potassium, bananas act as a muscle relaxant to relax you before you sleep. Vitamin B6, found in bananas, also help melatonin synthesis which is the production of the sleep hormone.
Not only are walnuts good for your brain, they are good for your sleep cycle too! Walnuts have a high amount of tryptophan which is a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps produce serotonin and melatonin to set your sleep-wake cycles.
I wasn’t expecting this, but I guess there’s a reason why more traditional Asians sleep so early, especially the Japanese, instead of staying out all night partying.
White rice has a high glycemic index, so it makes you fall asleep faster. (Seems more like a food coma to me haha)
In particular, jasmine rice is said to make you sleep faster according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which found that people who ate a meal that included jasmine rice fell asleep faster than when they ate other rice types.
4) Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea helps you to sleep better as drinking it would lead to an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative.
And I must admit, it does sound pretty soothing to sip on a hot cuppa tea as you snuggle up with a good book before going to bed.
5) Whole-grain toast with Nut Butter
In particular, almond butter would make a good choice as one tablespoon of almond butter offers up a good dose of magnesium which helps you sleep better! Apparently, magnesium deficiency leads to insomnia and muscle cramps which would lead to less enjoyable sleep. Whole grain toast makes a good choice since it also contains magnesium, and a good balance of carbs.
6) Cheese and crackers
This savoury snack is a great pre-bed snack since the tryptophan found in dairy can help you sleep better! Again, paired with sleep-inducing carbs, and you’ve got a nice long night of shut-eye ahead of you.
7) Tart Cherry Juice
Now I can’t vouch for this one, cause I have yet to try it, but after doing much research, tart cherry juice came up several times so I thought it would be apt to include it in the list.
In a small study conducted, it was found that melatonin-rich tart cherry juice was shown to aid sleep. When adults with chronic insomnia drank a cup of tart cherry juice twice a day they experienced some relief in the severity of their insomnia.
So there you have it!
Dr Jennifer L. Weinberg, the author of The Whole Cure, was kind enough to send me a copy of her book to review and share with you all. It took me quite a while to read this book cause I was busy with school and all, but now that all that is over… I can finally share with you my thoughts on her book!
Perhaps we should get to know the author a bit better first. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Jennifer L. Weinberg, and here’s what she had to say:
1) How did you discover The Whole Cure? Was it from a personal experience that you discovered a way to cure yourself?
The Whole Cure arose out of my own life experiences and lessons from my work with patients and clients over time. So often in our busy world, we are focused on “doing” rather than “being.” I have seen firsthand over and over the significant toll this chronic stress takes on our health. Stress is a major contributor to so many illnesses and living a life of constant stimulation and striving for something outside of our true selves can really take a toll on us. For most of my life, I chased fulfillment and what I thought success looked like. I strove for approval, happiness and a sense of completeness, that what I was doing actually mattered. And I see the same struggle with many of my patients and clients. Despite many degrees, a great education and a prestigious title, I still felt unfulfilled, bored, lost, empty, alone. The shift came when I began to realize that these outward efforts would never really work. I shifted my focus and looked inward. This journey lead to the insights, exercises and toolkit I provide in The Whole Cure to help others uncover their true passions, authentic purpose, joyful presence and calm confidence as well!
2) Of the 52 prescriptions in your book, which is your favourite?
This is a tough choice, but one prescription that I find really powerful is “Stop, Drop Negativity and Count Your Blessings!” Gratitude encompasses an appreciation for the circumstances, material things, experiences and people in your life. It also involves faith, hope and trust. You have a choice to create positivity, love, generosity and respect with the energy you project into the world. You do not have to buy into or believe everything you think or become attached to all of the stories you tell yourself. This prescription really helps you step back and stop your emotions and thought patterns from taking over. Instead, you can cultivate a deeper awareness of your thoughts and emotions and the impact they have on your life!
3) What inspired you to write The Whole Cure?
I was using these techniques myself and with my patients and clients and seeing authentic, deep and lasting transformation in so many areas of health, wellness and life! I wanted to be able to share this toolkit with many more people so that they could experience powerful personal transformation and the freedom that comes with releasing the past and allowing yourself to embrace your authentic self!
4) How would you describe a balanced lifestyle? Would you say that you have achieved balance in your life?
A balanced lifestyle for me is an ongoing journey. For me, finding balance includes having meaningful work, connections with like-minded communities, time for play, plenty of quality rest and relaxation, moving our bodies in enjoyable and balanced ways and cultivating an inner peace and calm that we can tap into at any time. This way of living enhances my awareness and acceptance of myself and my authentic path and brings me fulfillment and peace in each moment, even when outwardly things get chaotic or stressful. I think being in connection with yourself like that is the true definition of balance.
5) What do you think of Veganism/Paleo/Gluten-free/Dairy-free/Low-carb diets?
I have seen the concept of bioindividuality at play over and over when it comes to nourishment and lifestyle. Each of us has individual health and nourishment needs that can change throughout our lives. It is very clear that each of us has a unique physiology, lifestyle, genetics, body, preferences, needs and desires. So one of the benefits of cultivating this connection with yourself and enhancing your mindfulness in life is that you can start to notice the impact of your eating and lifestyle on your health and experiment with what way of eating really works for your unique body. This is so much more effective, healthy and balanced than chasing down a fad diet, following the latest celebrity trend or forcing your body to accept a prescribed way of eating. This concept is so powerful that I designed a whole ecourse (https://www.udemy.com/what-to-eat/) about mindful eating and recognizing the wisdom in our body’s cravings to help us reconnect with a truly balanced and intuitive way of eating!
6) To end off with something fun, what would be your last meal, and who would you have it with?
I would choose to dine with my friends and family including my sweet Shih Tzu! I think the community and energy of joining together really enhances the enjoyment and nourishment we can receive from any food choices. I would choose to base the meal around locally-grown, organic, colorful produce and balance it out with a sweet homemade treat! For example, something like my Harvest Quinoa Pilaf (www.jenniferweinbergmd.com/blog/2014/11/autumn-harvest-quinoa-pilaf-a-gluten-free-vegan-thanksgiving-dish) with a medley of local baby greens sauteed in coconut oil and a homemade coconut milk ice cream for dessert! And it would be an added bonus for me to enjoy this meal outdoors in a beautiful natural setting!
Now that we’ve gotten to know the lady behind the book, let’s move on to the review!
The Whole Cure Book Review
What I liked
One of the things I liked the most about her book was her writing style which allowed her to masterfully convey her ideas. She has this ability to make the words sound poetic, and the overall flow of the book is just beautiful.
It’s almost as if I’m on a boat using her book as my guide to ride on the river of life.
I also liked how she structured her book, leading us one step at a time with the sequential flow of chapters. It reflected that her approach of the whole cure was a sequential process… a journey rather than a one-off solution. It was almost like a timeline…
Let go of the past, live in the present, and prepare for the future.
My favourite bits were her “prescriptions” where she would suggest practical ways in which we could apply her tips in our lives.
However, that said, the poetic flow of the book overall may come across as overly zen for some, so do read it with an open mind to embrace the flow of the book. I would describe it as yoga for the mind!
Some of my key takeaways came from the earlier bits of the book, in particular, the following lessons/points stood out.
1) The first step to find peace is accepting yourself for who you truly are.
2) Live a life parallel to your true desires (Which is why it is important to sit down and think about areas that you are truly passionate about, and spend your time on those areas, and say no to other things that distract you from your goals in life)
3) Meditate each day to be in tune with yourself and align your day with your passion and goals.
Perhaps some of the lessons may come across as common sense, things that we already know in our hearts. But I think the Whole Cure emphasises the importance of not just knowing what we should do, but actually putting it into practice.
Perhaps everyone will find that different parts of the book will stand out to you, depending on which phase of life you are in, but I found that it was a nice reminder for me to take a moment and pause… just to reflect on life and to embrace mindfulness. To live in the moment, and to have a clear vision of what is to come.
And I think that’s what many of us are losing hold of these days. We’re too busy capturing and documenting the moment that we don’t actually stop to enjoy it and be mindful of how we feel. It’s becoming too much about a chase of worldly ideals than about what we truly feel passionate about. And I think The Whole Cure did a good job in drawing my focus back to within and helping me find my place in the outside world by starting from the inside.
Dr. Jennifer Weinberg, MD, MPH, MBE is a preventive and lifestyle medicine physician, yoga instructor and the Founder of the Simple|Pure|Whole Wellness Method (http://www.JenniferWeinbergMD.com).
She offers a Lifestyle Transformation Program (http://www.JenniferWeinbergMD.com/wholecure/lifestyle) to help clients recover from the overwhelm of life based on wisdom from her recently released book, The Whole Cure: 52 Essential Prescriptions to Overcome Overwhelm, Reclaim Balance and Reconnect with a Life You Love! (http://amzn.to/1wqppEV) which guides the reader in reconnecting with her authentic and passionate purpose and overcoming the challenges of everyday life!
You can access a free preview of the book here (http://ow.ly/HLECe). She offers innovative online wellness and education programs for individuals looking for sustainable optimal health and non-toxic living as well as health care providers seeking to embrace a transformative approach to health care and corporations wanting to integrate a holistic approach to corporate wellness.
I was just standing by the traffic light junction, jogging on the spot when this unassuming old lady, almost half my size, posed me this question.
I think I was more surprised by the fact that a cute old lady was the one asking me this, in perfect english, than the fact that anyone was talking to me during a jog.
Well, she didn’t really pose me just this one question. She kind of began this monologue, and she spoke with such conviction, it almost made me feel sad.
Sad because of what she was saying, not so much how she was saying it.
Apart from my short replies (which I included in brackets) interspersed between her excited banter, her monologue went something along the lines of:
“Why are you running?
(I like to jog to stay healthy and it helps me destress)
Do you run everyday?
(No, just a few times a week)
Does it help you?
(Help me keep fit? It makes me feel happier!)
Do you think you are fit? You don’t look fat, why are you running?
I only see thin people running, but they are not the ones who need to be running (Aunty, maybe the more you run, the thinner you get, so after a while, you only see thinner runners as they get fitter and leaner?) *she ignores my comment haha*
Fat people should run more. Fat people only sit down and eat eat eat but they should be the ones running. It is very bad. They only eat a lot.
(I think its a personal choice whether they want to exercise, but it would be better for their health if they did incorporate some exercise in!) *She ignores me again and continues*
Thin people don’t need to run. Fat people should be running more.
(*Polite laughter* Ok aunty, see you!)
*The traffic light turns green and lets me run away from her hurtful comments about fat people and their lack of exercise and their eating habits*
Initially I was rather bemused by her tone, she seemed so sure of herself, and so condescending of fat people at the same time. But as she went on and on, I started to feel rather ashamed that people in society think this way. Have we become so judgemental that we judge people based on their size, before we even know anything about them?
I think the issue lies in the fact that we associate body size with health. Thin = healthy and fit. Fat = unhealthy and unfit. Just because some people may be of a larger size than others doesn’t mean that they don’t exercise at all or that they just eat eat eat. Yes indeed for some, they consciously choose to eat unhealthy food and not exercise. But there are others who are born with a larger bone structure or genetics that make it hard to lose weight. That doesn’t mean that they are unhealthy. I know people who are larger than me, but eat healthier than me! A person’s size alone does not reflect their health.
Thin people are not necessarily healthy either! Just because someone is thin, doesn’t mean they don’t need to exercise.
We all have the responsibility to care for our own bodies and our health. Fat-shaming or skinny-shaming (yes that exists too) doesn’t do anything but build up insecurities in people, and make them feel like they should change their bodies because they aren’t good enough for society to approve of.
Not thin enough.
Not curvy enough.
By societal standards we’ll never be good enough.
Well, I say: “Ditch those standards. Be your own standard.”
I have been told several times that I “don’t need to exercise cause (I’m) thin”. Honestly, that doesn’t make any sense to me. I exercise because I enjoy it. I enjoy being outdoors and being in touch with nature. I don’t exercise to lose weight or burn calories. I exercise to stay fit and to feel happy and to have fun. Granted, I did have a phase, like most people, where I exercised to lose weight. Cause isn’t that what exercise is for? It’s not something to love, it’s something to “burn calories”.
It makes me rather annoyed that exercise has been equated with weight loss and with looking good. What happened to exercising because you enjoy it? What happened to playing catching with friends and laughing your heads off instead of going for a run where you can clock in your distance on Nike+ to show off your fitness to the world?
Her little fat-phobic rant really got me thinking. And throughout my run, I was just thinking about why I exercise, and why people have come to judge people solely by their size and appearance.
Sure, we always say inner beauty counts. But it’s almost human nature to judge a person based on your first impression of them, which is usually what you see. Ultimately long term friendships come from getting to know the person better, and that’s when the inner beauty bit comes in. But be honest, aren’t you guilty of judging someone based on what he/she looks like?
We look like real men and women. And that’s something to be proud of.
We are all unique and beautiful in our own ways, and I think that’s awesome.
Confidence comes from loving who you are, not from your grades or achievements or what people think of you.
Well, not all women are the “perfect woman” that guys imagine their wives to be either. We don’t have curves in all the right places, we may not have luscious hair or whatever else you’d like us to have on the surface.
But inside, we have a heart… we have feelings too. We are perfectly and imperfectly human. We all need love and to be loved. Not just love from others and for others, but love from within and for ourselves.
I felt so ashamed to think that this small old lady would feel so much resentment towards larger-sized people. We were all born in different shapes and sizes and I think we should embrace that.
Not by going all out and eating fast food everyday, but by embracing what you’ve been blessed with by eating well and nourishing your physical and mental wellness. Eat healthily, engage in exercise that you enjoy and treat yourself to dessert if it makes you happy!
I love ice cream and I’ll gladly eat it everyday. But I love fruits and yogurt too, and that’s fine. I like to swim and run, but some days I’ll gladly just do some stretching or yoga, or just lie on my bed for the whole day watching a movie.
It’s about finding balance, and I think, after 20 years, I’ve found it.
It’s not about eating clean and training mean all the time, but doing what you enjoy. You don’t need abs… it’s far better for your soul to have that slice of cake than if you wish you did, but decided not to cause “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips”.
Gosh, who comes up with those quotes. They just make people associate food with guilt. We should have happier quotes like:
“Eating makes me happy. So there.”
“Balance is an apple in one hand and a cookie in the other”
“Beauty doesn’t have a weight limit”
As I ran along my route, I felt so rejuvenated. I haven’t felt so liberated in ages. It was as if I was running away from all my past insecurities and self-doubt, and just embracing who I was.
God was looking down on me, and He blessed me (and everyone of course) with the stunning view of the sunset as I was running my last lap. The sky was absolutely breathtaking, with pink and purple hues and the tall trees silhouetted against the skies. You really do find beauty when you least expect it.
Even better? It started raining.
There is nothing more calming than running in the rain.
As I ran in the rain, soaking in the beauty of the sunset, I couldn’t help but feel as if I knew the answer to her question.
So…Why am I running?
For moments like this. For moments where I feel so connected to nature, and so at peace with myself. For moments where I can escape from the world and just be. For moments where I’m truly living.
I exercise to be happy, to connect with my inner self, and just to have fun.
I don’t need validation to exercise or to eat, and you don’t either. It’s about doing what makes you happy and nourishes your mind, body and soul.
I never would have expected such a long post to be inspired by that old lady. But I’m glad for our short conversation which really got me thinking.
And in my opinion, given our busy schedules…
It wouldn’t hurt to think a little more, and do a little less.
I have some egg-citing news for you all. Today’s myth buster will be on EGGS!
I’m sure you’ve heard one too many times that you shouldn’t eat too many eggs, especially since egg yolks are high in cholesterol. There was even a nutritionist who told me not to eat more than three eggs a week. (I beg to differ)
Indeed, egg whites are favoured because they are high in protein, and low in calories… often the reason why you see people loading up on egg whites and tossing the yolks. But, I’d like to say that you don’t have to avoid egg yolks like the plague (if you used to).
In fact, egg yolks contain more nutrients than the egg whites!
Two studies (here and here) have shown that the effect of egg yolks on cholesterol is very minimal, and that when cholesterol levels are raised, it is “good cholesterol” not the artery-clogging kind. So basically egg yolks don’t raise the risk of heart disease.
One of the studies concludes with this:
For these reasons, dietary recommendations aimed at restricting egg consumption should not be generalized to include all individuals. We need to acknowledge that diverse healthy populations experience no risk in developing coronary heart disease by increasing their intake of cholesterol but, in contrast, they may have multiple beneficial effects by the inclusion of eggs in their regular diet.
And I couldn’t agree more! People who have high cholesterol may have to limit their intakes, but these restrictions should not apply to the entire population.
Here are some benefits of egg yolks that you’ve been missing out:
2) Egg yolks are high in Vitamins
Each egg yolk contains seven vitamins: B6, folate, a B vitamin, B-12, A, D, E and K. Of those, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are found only in egg yolks and not in egg whites.
Egg yolks are one of only a handful of foods in which vitamin D is naturally found.
Furthermore, egg yolks contain all the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin found in an egg. They also contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
3) Egg yolks contain heart-healthy Omega-3 fats
If you only eat the egg whites, you’re missing out on a lot of heart-healthy omega 3s! When you eat the yolk, you get a good balance of healthy fats, which helps in the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins. Without fats, ingesting these vitamins wouldn’t even be of much use.
I hope that’s enough to encourage you to go ahead and eat the whole egg! Eating only the egg white would mean you cut calories, but you’ll be missing out on a whole lot of nutrients as well.
Maybe the saying should go.. “An egg yolk a day, keeps the doctor away” instead. Haha. 😀 So, don’t worry, go enjoy eggs done your favourite way!
Balance is key
Another thing is, don’t spam egg yolks (or egg whites) alone. I think God created them together for a reason. So just enjoy the whole egg as it is. 1-2 eggs a day is good for you! I think eggs are one of the healthiest and tastiest foods out there. I love how they can be prepared in so many ways from good old fried eggs, to hard/-soft-boiled to poached and even ramen-style (my favourite!). They make a handy snack too 🙂
I hope you found this to be an egg-celent post. 😛
WordPress has failed me 😦 I typed out a nice lengthy post on this on Friday, and it disappeared T.T
Anyway, here’s a redone post, so hope you enjoy!
Have you heard of the Acai Berry? It’s pronounced ah-sigh-ee not ah-kai-ee, like most of us would pronounce.
I love the colour of the shop front, I mean, what’s not to love about turquoise and lilac right? The font is pretty funky as well.
When you first enter, the shop has a very clean, minimalist feel to it. Much like the menu!
Currently, they are only selling Acai Bowls (Small, Medium and Large) and Smoothies. I think this is good for now, as they are a new business, so shouldn’t try to have a menu with a repertoire that is too wide. But in the long run, I think it would be good to have a wider menu with unique dishes that incorporate the Acai Berry into it! I’m thinking Acai Berry French Toast 😛 Wonder if that actually exists!
I got an Acai Bowl (Medium) which costs $9.30 to try 🙂
Let’s start with presentation. I loved how the staff painstakingly took the effort to arrange the meticulously sliced fruits in a pretty design. I was the only customer though, and it took them quite a while to serve my order. I wonder what would happen if the cafe was filled.
Nonetheless, I appreciate the nice presentation, and I wouldn’t mind waiting for it!
It came adorned with sliced bananas, desiccated coconut, blueberries, a lone grape (yes, just one), sliced strawberries (or perhaps it was just one), sprinklings of chia seeds and cacao nibs and goji berries, and topped with diced mango, dragon fruit and pineapple as well! Hidden beneath all that is a layer of crunchy granola atop the acai smoothie.
The counter top is like Subway or those yogurt shops where you can choose your toppings, just that in this case you can’t choose your toppings. I loved how they used fresh fruits as their display ornaments all over the counter (See the whole row of unripe banana bunches!)
Acai doesn’t have a very strong taste to it. It tastes like a cross between grapes and berries. But since the flavour is far more muted, it leaves me with a feeling as if I still can’t quite put my finger on the exact taste.
What won me over was the texture combinations. I loved the icyness of the smoothie, the softness from the sweet fruits, the crunch from the desiccated coconut, cacao nibs chia seeds and the sweet crunchy granola… the bursts of flavour from the blueberries. It all worked very well.
Even in terms of flavours, there was so much going on! The bitterness from the cacao nibs, the coconutty taste, the sweetness of the mango, and the sour tang from the pineapple. I liked it. I think there’s even Bee Pollen on it, but I couldn’t really taste it.
But I must say though, it definitely tasted healthy. If you’re looking for decadence, this isn’t it. This leaves you feeling very virtuous about yourself, especially with its very clean aftertaste. It’s a good option for a healthy dessert.
They even sell Acai Berries for you to blend at home, if you’re the kind who likes to “eat clean, train mean”. They come in a pack of 4 popsicles, which you can eat as it is or blend up in a smoothie with some water (I wonder if coconut water would work well) and fruits and pretty much any topping you like.
A pack goes for $12, and two packs go for $20. They even sell Acai Powder as well.
This place will definitely be a favourite for gym-junkies and the health-concious… not to mention the instagram community, since their acai bowls are so very instagram worthy (And that’s all that matters nowadays right? Haha)
That being said, the acai bowls are definitely pricey. I couldn’t afford to eat this on a regular basis. I’ll probably come here for an occasional treat, but spending more that what I would spend on a meal on dessert alone wouldn’t really make sense. I’ll probably stick to good ol’ fruits in the meantime.
Perhaps they could offer some loyalty cards (I’m sure the gym-junkies would love that) and even student discounts (YES). All in all, I think this is a nice place that has potential to succeed, especially with the growing health&fitness community. Costwise, maybe I’m a student, so it hits me harder than most, but I’m pretty sure >$9 for a dessert is not something you would have on a regular basis.
If you have a friend (hahahaha, this is pretty redundant, everyone has friends… I hope) that is willing to share with you, it’s more economical to buy a large which comes at almost twice the size of the medium, but is about 1.5 times the price 🙂
(+1 for the super-healthy factor, -1 for the price — You calculate based on what matters more to you!)