Eating Healthy at Work

Eating Healthy at Work

Do you find it a challenge to eat healthy at work?

Are you more likely to snack when you are in the office?

We spend most of our time in the office during weekdays so it is pretty important to make eating healthy a habit that’s doable for your 9 to 5.. I’ve got a few suggestions here for you, they are catered for different ones of you with different needs; the snackers, the diet coke drinkers, the busy bees, the foodies…


Idea #1: Pack them blenders!

Give your blender a permanent home in your office pantry. Yes, I’m talking smoothies.. Instead of skipping your lunch or grabbing that snickers bar from 7-11, try this out.. It is the perfect lunch for those who are always on the go and just do not have the time to sit down for a meal. It takes 5 minutes or less to make one. If you have time for a toilet run, you’ve time for this! 😆

All you need is:

👉 a blender! Magic bullet is what I use. Plus points?☝️Portable✌️Easy to clean.

👉 a pack of frozen fruits, seeds, and vegetables

And, here’s a recipe to help you get started 👇


Berry Banana Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Handful of Baby Spinach
  • 1.5 Frozen Banana
  • 1 Handful of Frozen Berries
  • 300ml Nutmilk
  • 1 Tsp Chia Seeds

Direction: Add all ingredients into blender and blitz away!

Smoothie tip: Make sure to include fat (eg: nut butters, chia seeds, flaxseeds), protein (yoghurt, chia seeds, almonds, oats), carbs (frozen fruit) and greens!


Idea #2: Portion Control (snacks)

Snackers, hear me out. I know you. Because I’m just like you. No matter how healthy you know your snacks are, try to portion control them. If you buy your snacks in bulk, then bag them up individually (ziplock bags are good for this). Either that or bring what’s needed for the day with you to the office. It differs for every individual, but if you’re like me (a stress-eater and a snacker), then keeping your drawer fully stocked is a no-no.

“I recognize and identify my weakness so I don’t set a trap for myself”

Even in my pantry at home, you won’t find any processed food. I know I can’t trust myself with it. On days when I feel like indulging a little, then I would just go to the shops to get them. Everything at home, I keep pretty wholesomely.

I’m a big believer in “not ruining the main meals” because that’s when you nourish yourself with greens, protein and whole carbs. I find when I skip lunch or dinner, I will end up craving for all sorts later on throughout the day/night. Portioning your snacks will help you avoid ruining your main meals.


Idea #3: The Magic Soda

Not everyone struggles with this, but I do know quite a number of us who are victims of the “diet coke/coke zero” addiction. With the chemicals they load up in that drink, it comes as no surprise. They are meant to hook us in. But, no worries! There’s an alternative to everything. And here’s my magic soda👇

Plus point? It’s fizzy, it quenches thirst and lemon eases your appetite too. Check check and check! 👍


Idea #4: Lunchbox!

Nothing beats home cooked food, right? And it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or a hassle. You can make your lunchboxes in under 15 minutes with just a few tips and tricks. No excuses to not eat healthy eh? 😊 Check out how I make my nourishing lunchboxes in under 15 minutes.


Idea #5: Healthy Deliveries

If the options around your office area are limited and not-that-healthy, don’t fret. If you are not that keen on making smoothies or your own lunchboxes, don’t fret too! I’ve sussed out a few good food companies that deliver. They serve wholesome nourishing food and believes in eating real food.

The Naked Lunchbox

The Good Co.

Salad Atelier

Some things are really easier said than done, but not when it comes to eating healthy at work. It really is doable. Let me know how you go with these ideas. I would love to know 😊

As always, remember to love, share, encourage, listen and give. Let’s be mindful of the words we use and of how we treat others 😘

Lots of love, Erina

Sri Nyonya – a restaurant in a class of its own

Sri Nyonya – a restaurant in a class of its own

Fake news this is not, but the owner and chef of Sri Nyonya Restaurant in Section 22, Petaling Jaya, James Kuok, is certainly 84 years old.

Even a Japanese businessperson would call him from Japan to pre-book his nasi briyani before touching down at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. This too is no fake news!

I was personally very impressed meeting this octogenarian, who is not just passionate about good food, but at an age when most people would rather call it a day. Nevertheless, he still puts on his apron and can easily whip up a sumptuous meal for his special guests.

Besides his signature dishes, which among others include the roti canai and his homemade rum raisin ice cream (both have my thumbs-up!), I find listening to James to be very entertaining indeed, that a whole three hours had passed by us without me realising it, until my 7-year-old daughter started nudging me to go home.

Preferring to be known only as James, Kuok and his wife Lorna have been running the restaurant for the past 31 years. Lorna was a former corporate lawyer who decided her passion was in the kitchen. They are very hands-on, which explains why every dish here has their signature on it.

Although the façade and the inner decoration is simple, the restaurant is a class of its own. The man, too, is a legend himself.

For a start, I agree there are many places with good briyani, but James’ version of the Hyderabadi cuisine gives me the unforgettable o-o-o-u-m-p-h!

Never mind about his nasi briyani being voted one of the top five in the whole of Klang Valley and among the top ten in the country, I initially found it hard to believe when a schoolmate of mine recommended James’ briyani as “the best in town”. Having tasted it now, this is indeed a “must” for all to try.

In fact, his well-known omelette, Nyonya assam fish and fried assam prawn were kind of overshadowed by the nasi briyani as far as I am concerned. The fish is fresh, and the gravy is not that spicy which means young children also get to enjoy it. You can be sure that James would not serve you something that is stale. He has been in the business for three decades, and is very particular about his quality control.

If you have never tasted what a good roti canai is, try James’ roti canai which is fried in pure ghee. His roti canai is a class of its own. It is best eaten with his beef rendang. Trust me, and you will find that his rendang is for real and unbeatable in the way he cooks it.

The rendang can be eaten with white rice, but it goes well with the roti canai because it gives a good balance of spiciness and the buttery taste of the roti canai. One has to taste it to understand what I mean.

What I particularly like about James’ food here is that he does not use MSG. He knows just the right balance between the spices and herbs that gives his cuisine the perfect taste. For each cuisine, it is a different sauce concoction that he prepares; there is no one sauce that works for his entire menu.

A semi-qualified cook myself, I learnt this little tip from James: “Spices for our curries are washed clean and roasted individually to bring out the flavour before grinding it into powder.”

And, for his homemade ice cream, he does not use artificial flavourings. Taste his durian ice cream and you know understand why my 7-year-old daughter said: “Wow! This tastes like great durian!”

So, if the waiters here ask you, “What would you like for dessert?” let them know I strongly recommend James’ one scoop of rum raisin for adults and a scoop of durian ice cream for the children. You may find yourself competing with them for the durian ice-cream, and you may end up eating one scoop of each.

Once you have eaten here at Sri Nyonya, you will feel like you have tasted some of the best Northern Peranakan cuisine in town. The secret I like to share with you is that the recipes are 160 years old. They were passed on from Lorna’s grandmother.

To avoid disappointment, make sure that you pre-book your table as James does not believe in running a big restaurant to serve the masses.

Sri Nyonya Restaurant is located at 14, Jalan 22/49, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Tel: (603) – 7875 – 1031

Business Hours:
Tues – Sun (Closed on Mondays)
12:00PM—02:00PM
06:30PM—09:30PM

Waze: Click here if you want to use Waze

Getting back to basics at Paleolicious

Getting back to basics at Paleolicious


Some call it the caveman diet, others call it the Stone Age diet. But whatever name it goes by, the paleo diet is all about going back to the basics.

It is based on the diet of our ancestors, when they ate only foods that could be obtained by hunting and gathering – during the Paleolithic period, before the invention of proper agriculture.

The diet – which is supposed to be healthy as it includes only the greens, nuts, seeds, fish and lean meats our stomachs are actually made for – shot to popularity after the publication of Loren Cordain’s “The Paleo Diet” in 2002.

In Malaysia, the concept is still very new, but thanks to pioneers like Loke Weng Thai and Sharon Cheong, they took the risk to set up Paleolicious in March 2015, proving that the paleo diet is not only healthier but can be just as delicious.

“A healthy eating lifestyle comprises eating environment, food ingredients, cooking method, food serving, and eating experience. This is the Paleo Lifestyle.

 

“We aim to change the world one delicious and nutritious meal at a time. We believe in eating as Mother Nature intended. This means plenty of plant-based food, high quality meat, seafood, eggs, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds.

 

“Our food never compromises on flavour. So our food is always fast-paced, flavour-packed and brimming with nutrition.

According to Thai, the paleo concept has been catching on since they opened their outlet in Taman Sri Bintang. “We have more of the expatriates visiting our outlet in Desa Sri Hartamas, whereas our Taman Sri Bintang outlet caters more to delivery orders,” he said.

Hidden in a corner of Kepong, Paelolicious is a nice, cosy place where you can enjoy a back-to-basics meal with your family.

For their signature dishes, I strongly recommend you to try their paleo chicken, which is served with sweet potatoes. instead of using common poultry, they use grass fed-free range chicken.

Forget about the expensive quinoa, here you should ask for a few spoonful of “rice” to go along with it. It does look like rice but, interestingly, it is made from cauliflower.

It is surely an experience for most people to try the paleo rice, and if you like it, this will surely be your best discovery for the week, that you can easily replace rice with Paleolicious rice.

Cheong tells me that she used to be 85kg, but after cutting down on carbohydrates including rice, her weight dropped to 58kg.

The cauliflower is also used to make the base of their paleo salmon pizza. My kids especially loved this, as it is topped with broccoli, capsicum, zucchini and wild-caught salmon.

Children will also love the paleo sausage egg burger, with a handmade patty using chicken, shrimp and lemon zest, which really brings out the freshness of the meat.

They use kampung eggs for the burger, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as guacamole. My kids loved it more than regular burgers, and it contains none of the nasty nitrates and other chemicals that usually go into processed meat.  

Best of all, they only use coconut oil for their cooking!


For other restaurants in the Healthy Food Trail, click
here, here and here.

Paleolicious Restaurant is located at 12, Jalan 7/36, Taman Sri Bintang, 52100 Kuala Lumpur. They also operate from 58, Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: +6012 6889990
Business hours: 0800 – 2000
Facebook: Paleolicious
Waze location: Search for Paleolicious
Website: http://paleolicious.com.my/

Literal home-cooked South Indian cuisine at UMAC House

Literal home-cooked South Indian cuisine at UMAC House

One of my favourite banana leaf rice restaurants is at located at a very odd place; hardly anyone knows its exact location.

Unless you’re familiar with the Universiti Malaya Academic Club, you too may not be able to locate the old bungalow which houses Umac House Banana Leaf Rice – hidden so well that it’s one of the few spots in Petaling Jaya with ample parking!

As its name would suggest, Umac has been a favourite haunt for the university’s students, but I suspect that a lot of the fans of this Indian food shop are either retirees who worked in UM umpteen years ago – because Saturday nights are relatively quiet there!

The old bungalow has been in use since the early 1970s, when Ungku Aziz Abdul Hamid served as the vice-chancellor of the university.

It was exactly a year ago when I was invited here by my friend Charles Raj. He had been telling me about this place for a long time, but because our schedules couldn’t meet, we only managed to make it there after a few months.

So, when we finally met up, I was surprised at the number of people having their lunch there. Although hardly known to the public, guests like me only discovered it through word of mouth, especially with the delicious food going for (relatively) cheap.

My personal favourite is Umac House’s sweet and sour mango chutney, which goes perfect with the banana leaf rice. You can also choose from a variety of vegetables, and a small cup of payasam is offered free every Friday.

A standard vegetarian set with four different types of vegetables, papadum and rice costs just RM6.50. Along with the vegetables, they also have deep-fried fish, chicken, squid and mutton. The piece of tenggiri fish that cost an additional RM7.

But prices aside, what is important here is that the food is authentic south Indian. The chef, Balakrishnan Subramaniam Govindasamy, grew up in Tamil Nadu, before working for over 20 years in a restaurant in Singapore.

Even better, proprietor Siva Ananthan told me that Umac House forbids monosodium glutamate being used in their food.

As with most Indian restaurants, only banana leaf rice is served during lunch hours, but in the evenings, they allow guest to pick from their à la carte menu.

Because it is a bungalow house with its proper kitchen, Umac House has its host of regulars due to its (literally) home-cooked food.

Siva’s sister, Ambiga, has been managing this place since last year. Siva is also managing two other canteens – one at the Colgate Palmolive factory in Petaling Jaya, and at the HSBC office in Cyberjaya.

Umac House can also provide the bungalow for special functions such as birthday parties. Siva told me that two couples recently used the rustic bungalow for their wedding receptions.

Umac House is located at No 1, Jalan 12/5, PJS 12, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Tel: +6012 952 1822
Business hours: Sundays 11am- 3.30pm; Mondays- Saturdays 11am – 11pm
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/j76woVrML2J2
Waze location: https://waze.com/ul/hw2839p6q3

Quick Yet Healthy Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Quick Yet Healthy Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Many of us struggle with eating healthy. “Why”, you ask? These are the common answers I would get:

“I got no time la….”

or

“I don’t know how to eat healthy la…”

I thought what better way to address this than to share with you a meal plan that includes easy recipes. Eating healthy can’t get any easier than this… It takes 15 minutes or less to prepare these simple yet flavourful dishes. I’ve touched on how important it is to eat whole food in my previous articles; My Tips to Guilt-Free Eating and 2 Simple Habits to Rid Cellulites. Today, I’ll be showing you simple ways you can use whole food to create beautiful meals.  

Here are 15-minute recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with desserts and snacks. I promise you, you’ll not say eating healthy is boring, inconvenient or time-consuming ever again… 😉


 

Breakfast

Sesame-Chilli Poached Eggs on Toast

⏰ 5 minutes

This is a simple way to get your protein, carbs, fiber and greens in the morning. All you need is 5 minutes and a simple cooking technique…

Recipe  👇

Ingredients:

  • 1 Slice of Toasted Sprouted Bread
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ tsp of Sesame Oil
  • 1 Pinch of Chilli Flakes
  • 1 Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt / Sea Salt
  • Sprinkle of Chopped Coriander (chopped)

Directions:

  1. Break egg into a bowl of salted water.
  2. Heat it up in the microwave for 90 seconds.
  3. Lift up poached egg with a slotted spoon/spatula and onto toasted bread
  4. Enjoy with sprinkles of coriander, chilli flakes, sesame oil and salt.

P.s My favourite sprouted bread is the 7-Grains Sprouted Bread from Adventist Bakery. They are available at Village Grocer and Jaya Grocer.


 

Lunch

SouthWest Nourish Plate

⏰ 15 minutes

One of the common causes of afternoon crashes is a carb-loaded meal. I personally dislike feeling lethargic and sleepy in the afternoon at work, so this is my perfect lunch to avoid those noon crashes. 

Recipe 👇

Ingredients:

  • 200g Chicken Breast (finely sliced)
  • 1 tsp Southwest Spice Powder
  • 1 Head Broccoli
  • 2 handful of Frozen Edamame
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil (for marination)
  • Sprinkle of Pink Himalayan Salt/Sea Salt
  • 1 Fist Size Sweet Potato (thinly sliced)

Directions:

  1. Marinade sliced chicken in 1 tsp of Southwest, salt and olive oil overnight/few hours.
  2. Grill sliced chicken on a pan (1 minute on each side)
  3. Steam broccoli and sliced sweet potato for 10 minutes and boil edamame for 1 minute.
  4. Assemble broccoli, sweet potato, edamame, and grilled chicken into a bowl.
  5. Pour chilli-lime dressing (recipe below) over the dish and enjoy!

P.s. You can get southwest spice (and many other amazing spice mixes and dried herbs) from Shaury’s Spices & Herbs from Damansara Uptown

Recipe for Chilli-Lime Dressing (⏰ 1 minute)

Serving Size: 1.5 Tbsp

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 2 Pinches of Chilli Flakes
  • ¼ Tbsp Raw Honey (more if desired)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together.


 

Dinner

Chilli-Lime Tuna Wrap w Fresh Cucumber

⏰ 15 minutes

After a long day at work, who’s got the energy left to be cooking up a storm in the kitchen… not me for sure! Get your dinner ready in 15 minutes with this zesty meal…

Recipe 👇

Serving Size: 1 Wrap

Ingredients:

  • Canned Tuna in Olive Oil (½ Can)
  • 1 Tbsp Chilli-Lime Dressing (from recipe above)
  • 4 Lettuce Leaves
  • ½ Handful Carrot (grated)
  • ½ Handful Cucumber (grated)
  • ½ Cucumber (sliced)
  • 1 Piece Wholemeal Wrap (or seaweed)

Directions:

  1. Mix 1-2 tbsp of chilli-lime dressing into tuna.
  2. Place lettuce leaves on a wrap, add carrots, grated cucumber and tuna mixture. Fold it into a wrap and enjoy.
  3. Add chilli-lime dressing onto sliced cucumber as a side salad and enjoy with the wrap.

P.s. I’ve used Roti Arab from Jaya Grocer. Prefer this over other wraps available in the market because it is made without preservatives and additives.


 

Snack

Hummus

⏰ 10 minutes

Who doesn’t like snacking between meals every now and then (or every day? 😉 ) You can kill 2 birds with one stone; satisfy your cravings + nourish your body! This snack is that one stone…😄

Recipe 👇

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Chickpea
  • ½ Tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ Tsp Pink Himalayan Salt/ Sea Salt
  • 5 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into food processor.
  2. Blitz till it’s smooth.
  3. Enjoy with veggie sticks (celery, cucumber), fruits (apple), or rice cakes.

P.s You can use a blender for this if you do not have a food processor, you just got to add more olive oil to get the blender moving.


 

Dessert

Frozen Grapes

This is the easiest, simplest dessert. It is sweet, refreshing and it takes no effort at all. One easy way to get some antioxidants into your body.

#RecipeNotRecipe 👇

Ingredient:

Grapes

Directions:

  1. Wash, clean and pop them in the freezer for 6-8 hours.
  2. Enjoy them anytime you like!

 

There you go, my 5 simple dishes. I used to think cooking is time-consuming. Boy, am i wrong…

It still wows me every time I see how a beautiful, delicious plate of nourishing food can be created in just under 15 minutes.”

I hope these recipes will inspire you to experiment in the kitchen a bit more and enjoy eating real food. 

Remember to love someone with your time this week, share something good and positive, encourage a friend who needs a little boost, listen when it’s needed and give with a willing heart.

Lots of love, Erina

2 Simple Habits To Rid “Cellulites”!

2 Simple Habits To Rid “Cellulites”!

Let’s talk about those little bumps on our skin that we could all wish away.. Some people are more prone to cellulites than others (🙋 who is with me on this one?), we can only blame genetics for that…

I’ve learnt to not obsess over it and I’ve learnt to accept that it’s alright to have them. It’s funny how when you’re not intentional about something, everything just falls into place. And that’s my story with them cellulites.

I noticed the change and the reduction when I started adopting these habits. The sole purpose of incorporating them into my lifestyle was to take better care of my body and my health; cellulites reducing was just the cherry on top. I enjoy many other benefits from these habits that are far more important than that.

Habit #1: Eat Real Food

No joke, but as I started eating whole food and less processed food many years back, I’ve seen a tremendous change in my skin and those dimples.  One thing I’ve learnt over the years when it comes to anything is, there’s never a shortcut worth taking. I’ve gone down that path of shortcuts one too many times and this is what I’ve learnt 👇

“Shortcuts may work, but the results are never here to stay”

And don’t we all already know this: the beauty is always in its journey, not the outcome.

I’ve touched a little about eating “real food” or whole food in my previous write up here. I thought today I’ll get into it a little more. Many get confused with the word “whole food”. It just means food that is not processed and in its original form. They are mostly not in a packet. Anything you see in the “FRESH” section of the supermarket is the whole food.

“Whole food = The food itself is the ingredient, and the ingredient itself is the food.”

Eg: sweet potato, orange, pink Himalayan salt, salmon, etc. No adulteration of any kind on them!

You can enjoy delicious meals just by using whole food or food that has only whole food in its ingredient list (yes, check those ingredient lists people!). For those of you who aren’t used to cooking, it is definitely not a daunting task, don’t sweat it. Here are some of my favourite recipes that you can try if you have no idea where to begin…

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Nom Nom Nom. No time to cook during the week? Easy! Just meal prep this delicious Broccoli Quinoa on the weekend, and keep it stocked in your fridge, ready to be eaten anytime during the week. Stay tuned for next recipe coming up – it's def my fave meal to have at the moment. • Recipe for 15-minute Broccoli Quinoa Ingredients: 🌿1 Cup Red Quinoa 🌿2 Cups Water 🌿4 Heap Tbsp Roasted Garlic Dressing @thepantrybyerina 🌿2 Handfuls of Steamed Broccolis (chopped) 🌿Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt Optional: cherry tomatoes and coriander for garnishing. Directions: 1. Add quinoa and water in a saucepan. Heat up till it reaches boiling point, then let it simmer till all water is fully absorbed (takes about 10 minutes) 2. Add steamed broccoli, roasted garlic dressing and salt into cooked quinoa. Mix well. 3. Garnish with your favourite herb or greens. #eatwiththepantry

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When I first made this, it became my obsession for days. Yes, I had this same thing for breakfast and lunch for few days in a row, no kidding! 😅 This is a perfect “meal prep” meal. As long as you've got your quinoa cooked and kept in fridge, you can make this easily in minutes! • Recipe for 15-minute Seaweed Quinoa Roll Ingredients: 🍣 Sheet of Seaweed 🍣 Broccoli Quinoa (recipe in previous post) 🍣 Sliced carrots and cucumber 🍣 Black Sesame Seeds Directions: 1. Place seaweed on flat surface. 2. Add broccoli quinoa on seaweed, even out quinoa to make rolling easier later on. 3. Place carrots and cucumber slices, and sprinkle black sesame seeds. 4. Roll it up and enjoy it just like that or cut it up into sushi rolls. #eatwiththepantry

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Habit #2: Dry Brushing

This habit is a little more current to me, but oh boy do I see the difference! You know when they say dry brushing is for detoxification? Whoever they are, they got it right… When I explored wellness a little more last year (yep, I did all that homemade scrub, homemade mask, and even DIY facial steam!), that’s when I got onto the whole “Dry Brushing” wagon. These are some of the health benefits I found when I looked it up:

👉 Clean pores and minimize pores

👉 Get rid of dead skin cells (exfoliation)

👉 Lymphatic support (detoxifies!)

👉 Energy Boost

I mean, how can anyone resist that? 😅

I started doing it daily before a shower and the reduction of cellulite happen pretty quickly with this one. Check out how to dry brush effectively and go try it out y’all, you can thank me later 😆

Tip: Always lather up with moisturizer after a shower if you’re dry brushing to keep skin moist and smooth.

There you go, the 2 habits I’ve adopted that has helped in reducing my cellulite over time. I hope they will help you with yours too. But remember, don’t obsess over it. Take care of your health first, and everything else will fall into place. Cellulite or not, you’re just the way you should be, nothing more and nothing less. #perfectimperfections #loveyourdimples 😉

Have a good week ahead! As always, remember to love, share, encourage, listen and give 😘

Lots of love, Erina