Why I am eating less meat than before

Paleo diets tend to be synonymous with meat eating. Mark’s Daily Apple, for example, recommends that meat, fish, fowl and eggs make up the bulk of one’s caloric intake. Eating meat every day, or even at every meal, would not be out of place in a paleo diet.

When I first started my paleo journey, I feasted on all sorts of meat, from Korean BBQ pork to juicy slabs of steak. I even started eating meat for breakfast, which was very unusual for me. Then my body got really sick of all the meat and I practically went vegetarian for two weeks after that because I couldn’t stand the thought of another chicken wing.

Today, I eat far less meat than before. And after watching several documentaries recently, I am even more convinced that I should minimise my meat intake. There are several reasons:

  • The livestock industry does more harm to the environment¬†than transport

Livestock is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is a higher share than transport, according to a 2006 UN report. Raising animals for consumption also contributes greatly to deforestation, with 70% of previous forested land in the Amazon occupied by pastures. I almost cannot believe it but apparently livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land area. The documentary Cowspiracy, which was an eye opener for me, talks about these environmental¬†effects.

Source: Foodwatch
Source: Foodwatch

This problem is only going to get worse as countries become wealthier and demand for more meat. In particular, I foresee China contributing massively to the demand for meat. Already, they are the world’s largest pork consumer. Continue reading Why I am eating less meat than before

Nut butters made in Singapore

Nuts are great for your health. I love my nut butters and I usually buy them from Melrose or Meridian. They sell everything from almond to macadamia butter. Now, instead of buying them from foreign brands, we can reduce our carbon footprint and at the same time, support local butter churners.

One such company is Nuts About Butter, which creates their butters using baked nuts, raw honey and sea salt. They have three different flavours: almond, almond macadamia and almond sesame. You can buy them in full sized jars or small little cute ones like these below.

Nuts About Butter

I have never had nut butters with sweeteners before. The honey was a nice addition because it balanced out the creaminess of the nuts.

Blender in action
Nuts are blended into a creamy paste

Nuts about Butter can be purchased at:

On my recent trip to the Kranji Countryside Farmers’ market, I also came across nut butters made by The Hunters’ Kitchenette. Continue reading Nut butters made in Singapore

How to pan fry pumpkin seeds

Guest post by Paleozilla

Pumpkins are great for roasting, making soup and carving for Halloween. But the often overlooked seeds tend to get thrown away in the process. Here is how you can pan fry pumpkin seeds and eat them for a tasty and healthy snack.

1. First, remove the seeds from other pumpkin. Try to remove all the pumpkin flesh. Although I fry the seeds together with the pumpkin flesh on occasion, the moisture means that the seeds can go soggy rather than crispy.

pumpkin

2. Place the seeds in a separate dish or kitchen paper. These little kernels are packed with vitamins and minerals and are a great source of fibre.

pumpkin seeds

3. Scoop about a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Wait until the oil becomes hot and starts to evaporate. Add the pumpkin seeds and shallow fry until they are brown and crispy on the outside. Continue reading How to pan fry pumpkin seeds

Review: Mae Ploy Thai green curry paste

Fancy a quick Thai green curry without the hassle of buying all the herbs and slaving over the dish for hours? I certainly do because I love Thai curries and I know how to make one from scratch but always balk at the idea of the number of ingredients needed for just one dish.

To make my “instant” green curry, I employed the help of Mae Ploy Thai green curry paste, which contains no sugar so it’s very paleo friendly and great for low-carb diets.

The ingredients are: green chillies, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, salt, galangal, shrimp paste, kaffir lime peel, coriander seed, pepper, cumin and turmeric.

Mae Ploy green curry paste and coconut milk
Mae Ploy green curry paste and coconut milk

When you open the 400 gram tub, you will see the curry paste in a thick plastic bag. I cut it open and squeezed out a quarter of the bag (100 gram of paste) into a pan, along with a small 200 gram packet of coconut cream. Fry the cream and paste together. You will be greeted with the most amazing aroma of Thai spices.

After frying for one minute, add the second packet of coconut milk. So now you have 100 gram of paste, and 400 gram of coconut milk. Bring to a boil.

Now you can add your meat, tofu and vegetables. As you stir them in, add 1 cup of water.

I added ingredients into the mix
I added ingredients into the mix

This step is completely unnecessary but to add extra flavour, I fried tomatoes and garlic in a separate pan before adding them to the curry. Continue reading Review: Mae Ploy Thai green curry paste

Review: PetCubes – home delivery of fresh, all natural food for your pets

Not only do humans require fresh, all natural food to enhance our health, animals do as well. Imagine eating canned food or biscuits every meal of your life. Not only is it so unhealthy for you with all the preservatives and chemicals, it’s also so boring for your taste buds. Yet the conventional wisdom is that dogs¬†can only get a “complete and balanced diet” by¬†eating kibbles (processed commercial food).

I always believe in taking good care of my pets, who entrust their lives to me and depend on me for their well being. I do this by feeding my dog a paleo diet because dogs are largely carnivores.

I believe that the best way is to cook fresh food for dogs, although a raw diet should be as beneficial, if not more. One way is to buy fresh meat and vegetables from the market for our dogs but sometimes it’s difficult to do so when we are busy at work. So I was very happy to come across Fresh Pets, an online pet company that delivers fresh food and supplements to homes.

Guan Guo, who runs the business with another partner, dropped by to meet Pudding, my maltese-poodle cross, and to pass me some samples of the dog food. Here is Pudding receiving him with a handshake.

Freshpets1

The food is called PetCubes and contains meat and vegetables. It is cooked, vacuum sealed then frozen to -25 degrees celcius. To prepare the food for eating, just thaw it or pour boiling water over the packet to warm it up. The food contain no preservatives, colourings or additives.

Pudding got to try four different flavours – lamb, salmon, pork and beef. They came in the smallest size because she’s only 4kg.

Freshpets2

For example, the beef packet consists of:

  • Beef (32%)
  • Liver, spleen and lung (18%)
  • Pumpkin (15%)
  • Sweet potato (12%)
  • Various other vegetables like green bean

All good stuff as you can see! It’s also very important that dogs eat not only the meat of the animal, but also the organs so that they get the full spectrum of nutrients.

Here’s a closer look at the salmon meal. The black stuff is cranberry and blueberry powder, which provides an additional boost of antioxidants for your pet. This powder is only included in the PetCubes Shield range, which is one level from the basic Essential range.

Freshpets3

The price of the food is very reasonable. I plan to order 4 weeks of the beef cubes in 2015. This entitles me to 56 packets of food, with each weighing 320 grams. Since Pudding is a small dog, it is recommended that she eats only 1/4 of the cube. So this means that she only needs to consume 1/2 a cube each day (two meals a day). This works out to 112 meals or 56 days of food. Each meal costs $173.60/112 = $1.55. Of course, if your dog is bigger, he would eat more and the price of each meal would rise.

Continue reading Review: PetCubes – home delivery of fresh, all natural food for your pets

Review: Spinacas – salads delivered right to your doorstep

Some days I’m so busy at work that I don’t even have time to step out from my office to buy food. When I’m ready to buy lunch at 1230pm, I can’t go to my favourite salad places because of the long queues. Queuing up for 20 minutes to get a bowl of spinach is not what I want to do at lunch!

You can beat the queue and have a nutritious meal delivered right to your doorstep with Spinacas. Not only do they have a physical stall at Chinatown, they also deliver your food for free for orders above $30.

Phyllis, who is the owner of Spinacas, kindly dropped by my office with two bowls of fresh salad on her cute red Vespa. I love her ride. I was expecting her to show up in a van but the bike was way cooler.

Spinacas_1
Yes, I can get used to a daily lunch delivery service

I ordered two different salads. One was the vegetarian ratatouille salad and the other was the BBQ pulled pork salad. The salad came in a plastic container, with the salad base separate from the “wet” ingredients i.e. the roasted vegetables and the pulled pork. The dressing was also placed in a separate round container.

I started with the lighter vegetarian salad. The wet ingredients, consisting of aubergine, zucchini and mushrooms cooked ratatouille-style and layered with a savory tomato sauce, came wrapped in a aluminum foil. I unwrapped the packet, which was quite a messy process, and placed the vegetables in the salad base.

Spinacas_3
Vegetarian Ratatouille

I followed up with some good tossing. Here, you can see the base ingredients of spinach, pickled red babbage, broccoli, hard boiled egg, cheddar cheese and nuts. The dressing was a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Continue reading Review: Spinacas – salads delivered right to your doorstep

Now online at The Naturalyst: paleo condiments and cooking essentials

I’ve lamented before that it’s never easy to eat paleo in Singapore. Every time I go to the supermarket, I have to read the ingredients label of everything I buy. Recently I was looking for miso soup paste and I had to study the back of every packet to find one that didn’t use MSG.

There is now a new online shop in town called The Naturalyst catering to us fussy paleo eaters. Run by a lady named Regina Soh who shares the same frustrations as me about the difficulties of healthy eating, she has stocked her online shop with essential paleo ingredients such as Red Boat fish sauce, which contains just two ingredients: fresh caught wild black anchovies and sea salt. Popular paleo blogger Nom Nom Paleo loves it in her dishes. It’s really freaking difficult to find sugar-free sauce so Red Boat fish sauce is a must.

I’m also excited by her supply of coconut aminos, which is used in the paleo world as a replacement for soy products. Coconut aminos are great when you need salty flavouring. I’ve used it to fry Shirataki no-calorie noodles. Before knowing of the existence of the Naturalyst, I bought my bottle of coconut aminos from iHerb.

So without further ado, let’s meet Regina and see what the paleo diet has done for her health.

Interview with Regina from The Naturalyst

Regina

Continue reading Now online at The Naturalyst: paleo condiments and cooking essentials

Stop this fat talk

We (women) have all indulged in talk like this from time to time.

“My thighs are huge. I can’t wear these white jeans.”

“I look like I’m three months pregnant. I need to go on a diet.”

“I’ve been so bad. I ate both lunch and dinner today. I need to run twice the distance this evening to burn off the calories.”

I’m no stranger to complaining about my body. My favourite target is my tummy and it drives me nuts as to how I can never wear cropped tops or a bandage dress because I store all my fats there. From a biological standpoint, being predisposed to storing fats around my waist has no detrimental effect on my health and I should be happy that I am healthy and relatively fit. But from an asthetics standpoint, I’m pissed that I can’t wear bandage dresses like Blake Lively.

bandage dress celebrity

So my “fat talk” typically revolves around how I need to lose weight on my tummy and feeling frustrated because it’s not really possible to spot reduce. Even at my thinnest in university, I still sported a small¬†paunch (You see, this is how my fat talk starts). Continue reading Stop this fat talk

Coconut water – the real deal vs the packaged drinks

Coconut water has become the latest health craze in the US over the last few years, spurred by celebrity endorsement from Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. The latter did a three-week cleanse in which she survived on coconut water, pumpkin seeds, miso soup and fruit smoothies, among other food. In 2010, Madonna invested US$1.5 m in Vita Coco, which as you can see from this graph below, is the market leader in the US for coconut water.

coconut water trend

I regard this with some amusement. I grew up drinking coconut water (and eat coconut flesh) straight from the husk. If you live in South-east Asia, coconuts are plentiful and cheap. You can go to any hawker centre and buy a fresh coconut for S$2. You can choose between young and small coconuts to the larger, less sweet varieties. Heck, I’ve even went camping in Pulau Hantu, which is a small island off Singapore, and my friends climbed a coconut tree to pluck the fruit fresh off the branch.

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Continue reading Coconut water – the real deal vs the packaged drinks

Review: Chocoelf sugar free chocolates

The last time I tried sugar-free chocolate did not turn out so well.¬†The brand was¬†Sugarless Gourmet Fresh Mint and I wrote about how the chocolate, which used maltitol to replace sugar, didn’t taste genuine enough. It wasn’t dark enough, it was too sweet and the mint taste was too strong.

I told myself that I would just stick to my favourite Lindt Excellence Extra Dark Chocolate 85%, which was a “real” chocolate that didn’t use fake sugar. But I was craving for other flavours so when I came across Chocoelf’s sugar-free chocolates at NTUC¬†Unity, I caved and bought two flavours – mint and green tea. Each sold for $6.80.

Chocoelf singapore

Cocoelf beat the Sugarfree brand by miles. The chocolate was creamy and had the right balance of chocolate, cream and sweetness. I find that fake sugar tends to be quite cloying, and I have written about how I hate Stevia with a vengeance. Chocoelf, on the other hand, was pleasant and well balanced. Continue reading Review: Chocoelf sugar free chocolates