5 Simple Ways to a Eat Healthier

We are at a time in pop-social culture where everyone wants to be healthy. Joining the gym, organised outdoor fitness programs, participating in marathons and runs are all the rage. Weight loss and muscle gain supplements are selling at an all time high! Everybody wants to look lean and toned nowadays. There is also a whole new range of health food and particularly lunch delivery businesses popping up like mushrooms. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is great, especially when I don’t have time to make my own lunch, I relish the opportunity to order something wholesome.

Fads aside, I believe that there are a couple of basic practices which, if continuously implemented and made into a routine ( it takes 21 days only) will help you be a more healthier person. So here it is, my top 5 steps to implement in the pursuit of a healthier life.

Step 1: Drink Water

water fruit

Fruit infused water are a great alternative if you get bored with drinking plain water.

I know this is quite a cliché. I don’t need to explain the benefits of drinking water here. I am sure you all know how beneficial water is for recharging your cells, improve your mood and concentration, heal illnesses and detox (another fad!). If you really need convincing on why water is better than that isotonic drink, check out this link to NutritionFacts.org about the health benefits of water.

Water is also great at stopping you from indulging in bad habits. I’ve noticed that when I feel the urge to munch, I drink some water and I don’t feel the urge anymore. So the next time someone in the office opens up a pack of chips, politely decline and drink some water!

Step 2: Veg over carb

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We are lucky that in asia there is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables easily available.

I am a huge advocate of incorporating vegetables into every meal and whenever I can substitute veg for carb, I do so. Let’s take lunch for example, most people would opt for whatever is available is nearby restaurants/ food court, and this most of the time means mixed rice or noodles.

Despite trying my best to always make my own lunch, sometimes the mixed rice from food court is the only option. But there are ways to eat better even when dining at the food court. At the mixed rice stall for example, opt for vegetables, at least 50% of your plate should be vegetables. Melay food stalls usually have raw vegetables like ulam and kerabu, opt for this over oil fried vegetables. Next protein, yes that fried chicken looks good, but stay away. Choose instead tofu, tempe or fish which is either steamed or grilled. Now for the carb. If you have 50% veg and 30% protein, your rice intake should only be 20%of your meal.  Try this out and slowly go up on veg and protein ration and soon you won’t need to consume carbs for lunch.

Step 3: No processed food

In this day and age we are plagued with unlimited processed food options all under the ruse of convenience. Bottled pasta sauce, 3 in 1 coffees, instant noodles, chicken nuggets, and what I really don’t get is, bottled pesto!! What ridiculousness is that? Pesto takes 5 minutes to make, why would you need a bottled version?

Try to eliminate processed food from your daily diet. I know this may sound hard, but your body will thank you for it.

Step 4: Fruits as a substitute for Sugar

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Fresh fruit is great to satiate sweet cravings.

Yes this is harder than it seems, especially if you have a sweet tooth like me. But what I’ve found that the best alternative to satiate my cravings are red dragon fruit, grapes, melons and yellow water melons which are high in fiber a nutrients.

Step 5: No Alcohol!

Wine, beer, cider, spirits are the biggest sabotage to your fitness and health regime. Did you know that every gram of alcohol has 7 calories, in comparison, protein and carbohydrate  had 4 calories per gram and 9 calories per gram for fat.

I hope these 5 steps which has helped me tremendously, will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

A tool to translate your dreams

I love coming into the office in the morning and watching one or two motivational videos to boost my day. Today, for the first time ever, i would like to share with you a video by Vishen Lakhiani the founder of a super amazing company Mindvalley. Click on the link to their website and see for yourself why i think this is one of the best companies in Malaysia to be in. 

So, i received an email from Mindvalley this morning titled A tool to translate your dreams, let me just say, YES! This could not have come at a better time. So i browse through the email and find a link to a video on Creative Visualization. I do believe in the power of visualizing what is it you want before it happens. This video by Vishen is an introduction to the free course he is offering. i love watching Vishen in his videos, to me he is one of the most charismatic speakers out there and I would love to learn how to be confident and speak like him. So please if you do anything for yourself today, watch this video! 

Vietnamese Roasted Chicken

We were watching an episode of Master chef Australia and the challenge was Vietnamese food. Oh my, the food the contestants created looked so good and inspired me to create this Vietnamese Roasted Chicken  and serve it with a side of Glass Noodle Salad.

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Vietnamese Roasted Chicken
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Ingredients
  1. 3 x chicken thighs
For the marinade
  1. 2 stalks lemon grass
  2. ½ tsp shrimp paste ( belacan)
  3. 2 x limes, juiced
  4. 2 x big red chilis
  5. 2 tb fish sauce
  6. 1 tb brown sugar
  7. 1 tb coconut oil
  8. 2 x small birds eye chili ( cili padi), chopped
  9. A bunch of coriander
  10. For salad
  11. 1 x carrot shredded
  12. 1 x capsicum
  13. 1 pack of glass noodles (tong hun or soo hoon)
  14. Salad dressing
  15. Juice of 1x lime
  16. 1 x birds eye chili chopped,
  17. 1 tb fish sauce
  18. Pinch of salt, pepper and brown sugar.
  19. Little bit of olive oil
Instructions
  1. Blend the lemon grass, lime juice, fish paste, big red chilies, brown sugar, coconut oil and shrimp paste and pour it into a big zip lock bowl. Then throw in birds eye chills and chicken thighs and massage the marinade into the chicken. Let sit for min 30 mins in fridge.
  2. For the salad.
  3. Soak Noodle in room temperature water for 10 mins or until soft.
  4. Shred carrot and capsicum and set aside.
  5. When noodle is done, drain and toss with shredded vegetables.
  6. Mix the dressing ingredients together and taste and check seasoning.
  7. Drizzle over noodles, toss and set aside.
  8. When ready to cook, preheat over to 220C. Put chicken into oven for 40 mins.
Karen Dcruz http://www.karendcruz.com/
This entry was posted in General.

Salmon En Papillote with Zucchini Ribbons

This Salmon En Papillote with  Zucchini Ribbons recipe is a bit old, I am sorry but I don’t know why I have been sitting on it. So we watched a series of Masterchef Australia during lunch at the office and the challenge was on fish. Which inspired me to make this dish for dinner that very night.

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This Salmon En Papillote or in plain woman terms, Salmon wrapped in parchment paper and cooked in the oven recipe is refreshing and light. As we are trying to cut down our carb intake and eat more vegetables, I decided to lay the salmon on a bed of Zucchini ribbons. This dish is also quite healthy
and ticks all the nutrition boxes. I flavored my salmon with a thin spread of mustard and a dollop of spinach pesto I had made a couple of weeks ago. Please give this recipe a try, it is very quick to prepare and I am sure you will love the flavours.

 

Salmon En Papillote with Zucchini ribbons
Serves 2
A healthy light mid week meal which you can put together in 20 minutes.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 slice of Salmon, cleaned and cut into portion size
  2. 4 Tablespoons of Pesto
  3. 1 teaspoon of Mustard ( Dijon or yellow)
  4. Salt and Pepper
  5. 1 x tub of tomatoes
  6. 1 x big zucchini Olive oil
  7. 1x Lemon
Instructions
  1. Turn on oven and heat to 200C
  2. Clean fish and set aside to dry. Wash tomatoes and zucchini.
  3. With a potato peeler slice it into ribbons and soak in salted ice water for 5 mins, drain then set aside.
  4. Get a parchment sheet, drizzle a bit of olive oil, and place Salmon on it. Spread the teaspoon of mustard on to the skin of the fish and top with pesto. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
  5. Wrap the fish up in the parchment. There are many video tutorials on this. and then put in in to the oven for 20 mins.
  6. Meanwhile in a separate baking tin place your tomatoes a drizzle of olive oil and salt and stick it in the oven next to the fish so they can cook together.
  7. When you think its done, place the zucchini on a plate, and lay the fish on it. Arrange the blistered tomatoes around the plate and drizzle with that delicious umami packed sauce.
Karen Dcruz http://www.karendcruz.com/
 

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This Salmon En Papillote  recipe also works great for dinner parties and can easily be doubled or tripled. Salmon is regarded as a nutrition dense superfood and i recommend  you should have at least 1 serving a week. A 100g serving of Salmon  contains 25g protein besides omega 3 and essential amino asids.

 

Ginger Garlic Heart Tonic

Ginger has long been revered in Eastern cultures for its medicinal properties and health benefits. Chinese traditional medicine practitioners believe that ginger has a warming property which helps with blood circulation. This delicious root is also known to treat upset tummies, many people in Asia would tell you to drink ginger tea if you were feeling bloated or have nausea.

Today I’d like to share a tonic made from Ginger, Garlic, Honey, Lemon Juice and Apple cider vinegar which are all know for their unique properties but when combined to make this tonic, it is said to help unclog veins in the heart and prevent heart problems. When my partner had heart issues last year some friend or relative suggested we try this. One year later, her medication has been reduced and she is feeling better. But she was on medication, so I will not say that this tonic was 100% effective. But it is good to take as a supplement.

Ginger Garlic Heart Tonic
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Lemon juice
  2. 1 cup Ginger juice
  3. 1 cup Garlic juice
  4. 1 cup Apple cider vinegar
  5. 3 cups Honey
Instructions
  1. Squeeze Juice from lemon, measure and keep aside.
  2. Blend ginger and garlic with a little water and strain with cheese cloth so that you only get the juice. You will need 1 cup each.
  3. Mix this ginger garlic juice with lemon and apple cider and boil till solution reduces to 3 cups
  4. Remove solution to cool, then mix 3 cups of natural honey and store it in a jar.
  5. Drink one tablespoon daily before breakfast. Your vein’s blockage will open in most cases. Enjoy your drink. Taste good too.
Karen Dcruz http://www.karendcruz.com/

 

p.s: I’ve used this mixture as a marinade, added it to salad dressings and into sauces for asian recipes too!

Raw Date Truffles

The first time I had these delicious date truffle treats I was in Canberra and we went to Thr1ve for lunch. Firstly let me say that the food at Thr1ve is amazing and I was so inspired by the freshness and flavours. Naturally being a dessert fiend I had to try their raw truffles. Let’s just say it was love at first bite. I never eat dates as the few I’ve tried in the past I really didn’t like. But the delicate taste of these raw truffles won me over.
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So this weekend I decided to try making some. It was so easy to whip up I urge you to give it a try. It us especially great for those times of the month when the chocolate cravings kick in.

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Raw Date Truffles Recipe

Ingredients
1 cup Medjool Dates, pitted and soaked in hot water.
1/2 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Pecans
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 heaped tablespoon Cocoa Powder

Method:
First blend nuts in the food processor then drain dates and add in with Coconut Oil, Cocoa Powder and Chia Seeds. Blend until forms a sticky paste.

Roll out into balls. About 1.5 teaspoons size is perfect  and roll in either nut meal or cocoa powder.

Store in fridge for up to a week.

 

This raw date truffle recipe is a delicious healthy treat packed with Omega 3 and good fats your family will love. Give it a try and tell me how you like it.