Straits Times Run in the Park

You would think that with the number of running events in Singapore, it should be quite easy to copy each other and plan properly. But no. The Straits Times Run in the Park, which took place last Sunday on 25th August 2013, was the most poorly organised run I’ve participated in.

The route itself was beautiful. The run took place at Punggol Waterway Park. The paths were winding and took us past trees, man-made ponds and bridges. I think that the National Parks Board did a good job developing this area.

20130825_091448

Our 5 km race started at 8am but we were late because  we spent a lot of time circling around for parking. We were told to park at the closest HDB blocks but the carparks were completely full and people had started parking wherever they could find space, illegally or not. In the end, we just parked haphazardly by the side of the road.

Continue reading Straits Times Run in the Park

Shades of paleo

I’ve learnt that there isn’t just one way to “do” paleo. After canvassing forums and reading blogs, I’ve realised that everyone varies in their approach to this lifestyle. As Robb Wolf says, paleo is not a religion. He recommends that each person start with the basics and experiment until he finds something that is comfortable. I found a great blog post from Robb Wolf regarding the different types of paleo (don’t you think there’s something very American about his writing style?):

*****

The Official 7 Shades of Paleo Classification System

First Shade of Paleo –The Militant Paleo (Also known as “That Guy”)

We all know at least one of these dudes or dudettes – these are the people on the forums that can find fault in every paleo diet – except their own.  They hunt their own meat, gather berries, climb trees to harvest nuts, and make dinner outside over the fire pit (or at least that’s what they tell you).  This is all well and good, but for most of us – their reality is not one that we can live in.  I liken this to the raw vegans or better yet, the fruititarians – a little over the top, and slightly insane.  **Disclaimer** If this you I apologize – please refer to the “That Guy” post linked above and know that we love you, but we just can’t live like you.  Have mercy on us.  And PS – the internet is SO NOT PALEO!!

Continue reading Shades of paleo

Acroyoga – or how we went topsy turvy

I first heard of acroyoga from surfing on Instagram. There, I saw photos of people contorted on each other. It looked more like gymnastics rather than yoga. I wondered how they got on top of each other. It looked really difficult.

acroyoga 1Source: alexxac

acroyoga 2Source: alissayoga

acroyoga 3Source: mallzballs

It turns out that acroyoga is quite a new trend in the yoga world. It is a blend of yoga and acrobatics and was conceived by yoga practitioners in North America (Montreal and California) in 2001. This practice, as you can see from the pictures, require two people at least, and usually consists of a base, who has the most contact with the ground, as well as the flyer, who is elevated off the ground.

Continue reading Acroyoga – or how we went topsy turvy

Mindful eating – how not to gorge on food

When I first started my paleo lifestyle, I felt liberated. I could eat whatever I want (within the paleo limits) and know that it’s nutritious for my body. So I started gorging on pork belly, which I love, and it wasn’t enough to have just one portion. I needed to eat two or three portions in one seating because they were too delicious. I also ate all the cheese and nuts I wanted and polished off a few ounces of cheese every day.

Sure, it was liberating. But at the same time, I realised I was becoming obsessed with food and thinking constantly about my next meal. I’ve never been like that. Since I was a child, I was always “eating to live” rather than “living to eat.” Food to me was just a way of getting energy into my body. I was never interested in travelling all over Singapore for the best roti prata or trying out a different restaurant each week. I once told my friends, “All food tastes the same to me!”

As well, it was physically uncomfortable to have my belly stuffed all the time. My stomach also looked bloated from too much food. In addition, I was adding unnecessary calories to my diet by eating things that I didn’t like (but was told it was good for me), such as heavy cream and butter in my coffee (a la bulletproof coffee). What happens is that I ended up eating things that do not satiate me because they were things I didn’t like.

Continue reading Mindful eating – how not to gorge on food

Books to inspire running

I have a love-hate relationship with running. It can be dreadfully boring when you’re pounding away on the treadmill but can also be euphoric when you cross the finishing line of a race. I like that it helps me keep fit but I hate the feeling of my lungs bursting when I sprint.

One good way to motivate myself to run is to read books about running. They can be novels or autobiographies but I found that autobiographies are more inspiring for me because they are about what people can do in the real world. When  you read about people doing ultra marathons (Scott Jurek), my 5 km run seems pathetic in contrast.

The first running novel I read was Once a Runner by John L. Parker.

Once a Runner Continue reading Books to inspire running

Casa Bom Vento Restaurant – Peranakan and Eurasian food

casa bom vento

Happy Hari Raya everyone! To celebrate this Muslim festival, I decided to have some Peranakan/Eurasian food at Casa Bom Vento, which is located at Joo Chiat. Peranakan food is an amalgation of Malay and Chinese food, and is unique to Singapore and Malaysia. This is only about the fourth time I’ve had Peranakan food. The first time was in Malacca, and the next two times were at True Blue Cuisine.

Casa Bom Vento was cosy and warm. It was a perfect place to have a relaxing weekend meal.

peranakan food singapore

I didn’t know much about Peranakan or Eurasian food so we decided to go with the recommended dishes. The signature dishes were the curry debal (or devil’s curry) and the grilled baby stingray with black peppercorns and curry leaves. We were warned that the curry debal would be very spicy and not for the faint-hearted. Continue reading Casa Bom Vento Restaurant – Peranakan and Eurasian food

Yoga – crow pose

crow-tara stilesSource: Tara Stiles

Arm balances have always been the bane of my yoga life. I couldn’t get into crow pose (pictured above) or do chaturanga, which is like a yoga push-up. I thought I didn’t have the arm strength. It was only until recently did I realise that I did indeed have the strength to do these things. It was a matter of technique – I was taught by Alicia how to shift my weight forward to get the balancing sweet spot.

On the other hand, my friend Barbara has always been very good at arm balances. Here is her crow pose. The difference between hers and Tara Stiles above is that her calves are not lifted as high.

crow pose yoga Continue reading Yoga – crow pose

Yanant Thit Myanmar Restaurant – smelly and yummy

Myanmar food has a particular smell. It’s obvious once you step into Peninsula Plaza. To most of my friends, it evokes an “Eww my hair is going to stink” reaction but to me, it causes me to salivate. I think it’s the smell of fermented fish and fermented beans.

I have noticed as well that Singaporeans tend not to like Myanmar food. Every time I eat at one of these restaurants or cafes, I’m the only Singaporean in a sea of Burmese people. Sometimes the stall keepers don’t even speak English. They don’t need to because their clientèle are all their people.

myanmar food singapore Continue reading Yanant Thit Myanmar Restaurant – smelly and yummy

Today I can call myself a baker

I started baking quite recently. The urge to bake paleo bread and muffins was what made me buy an oven, buy measuring cups and an oven thermometer, among other nifty baking gadgets. It made me attend expensive bread baking classes at Shermay’s cooking school. It drove me to spend hours poring over recipe books.

I’ve never counted myself as a “baker” until today. Today, I sold my first loaf of paleo bread.

paleo bread

This simple paleo herb bread contains the most nutritious ingredients: almonds, fresh coconut, kampong eggs, yoghurt, butter, flaxseed meal and thyme.

It’s grain-free, gluten-free and sugar-free. This bread has been very difficult for me to master because of the lack of sugar. I found that baking banana paleo bread or any sweetened bread was easier because the sugar would mask any strange tastes. But I was determined to make one that was sugar-free yet tasted good. Honey was not acceptable. Artificial sweeteners had no place in my bread. Continue reading Today I can call myself a baker