3-Bean Salad

November 12, 2012  |  Food  |  No Comments

I had this huge craving for beans a couple of days ago. It was so odd, I just felt that I needed to have a bean salad. My entire mind was just thinking about it. Craving for KFC, craving for carbonara, craving for Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream… sure. Craving for beans?! I eventually succumbed to my cravings and found a really tasty but yet healthy 3-bean salad recipe that I would like to share with everyone here.

3-Bean Salad Recipe

By Dionis Published: November 12, 2012

  • Yield: 1 Cup (4 Servings)
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Ready In: 15 mins

Simple 15 minute 3-bean recipe that is low calorie, healthy and really tasty.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Finely dice up the celery and Red Onion.
  2. Find a large bowl and combine all the beans, celery and red onion. Stir and mix them up.
  3. To prepare the vinaigrette, mince up the garlic. Whisk the oregano, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, sugar and some salt and pepper together.
  4. Pour the vinaigrette into the large bowl containing the bean mixture and stir them together. Add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
  5. Let the salad sit for an hour before serving. Voila!

This recipe is sooo simple and tastes so good. It yields 4 servings, approximately 350 calories each serving and a good dose of protein – 15grams. This is good for a healthy lunch. I have split them up into 4 portions and deep froze them for my mom’s and my lunch this week.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe!

Till the next entry,
Dionis


Why was (am) I fat?

October 29, 2012  |  Getting Fit, Life  |  No Comments

Just a little bit of background, I have spent 20 odd years in my life trying to lose weight. I grew up as a fat kid and good lord, growing up as a fat kid in Asia in the 80s/90s can be one of the most traumatizing experiences in one’s lifetime. I’ll definitely talk about these experiences some day. But not in today’s entry. Today, I want to share with you what made me fat.

While doing my workouts and preparing my healthy meals, I started to do some reflection on why I’ve put on so much weight in the past and was unable to lose any until in recent years. It is a complex combination of seeking solace from food, having a huge disbelief that I can ever lose weight and worst of it all, feeling that I deserved to be fat.

Food makes me happy, it doesn’t judge, and I often pride myself for finishing my servings and my family’s. My cousins remember me as the one who always finishes up all the left over food in the kitchen. Awesome personal branding eh? ;) And I seem to conveniently forget how lousy I feel when I binge.

I also had this weird disempowering belief that I was different from others and that normal diets and workouts will never work on me. I would often try something for 2 weeks and then give up because I didn’t have results like the rest. But the problem is, the rest worked on their diets/workouts for months before they got ANY results. Of course I didn’t know and I liked to think I was special.

Deserving to be fat was possibly the major culprit of it all. At the base of this, it reflects a lack of self-love on my part. It is like thinking I deserved to be fat because I deserved to be lousy or I don’t think I can get a better lot in life. It subconsciously makes me hang on very tightly to my weight. It is largely psychological and I suspect that many overweight people have similar thoughts as I did.

All these worked together and affected the way I looked at my weight. I was so attached to the weight that I subconsciously self sabotaged – like eating more, not persisting in my diets/workouts, losing weight and eating back to the same weight. The yo-yo reality further fed into the cycle and my weight just kept creeping up.

I was fortunate that at the age of 24 (never too late!) that I met a couple of good people in my life who helped me realize the lack of self-love I had. I then woke up and decided to treat my body right. I felt that I deserved better and wanted to do something for myself. That was when the weight really started coming down. I engaged a dietician, tried a couple of supplements, detox programs, counted my calories. Bit by bit, it dropped. With every drop, I realized that my assumptions were all unfounded. Science prevails:

When output is more than input, your weight drops!

I am finally at the stage where I am at my dream weight of 52kgs but I want to push it a little further. Which is to get the cut of my body right. I am lighter than ever but they are mostly made up of fats. I want to replace quite some of these fats with muscles before I hit the big 30.

If you’re wondering why you can’t seem to find the motivation to lose weight, or that you never have progress, perhaps you can take a step back and start looking inwards and examining if there are any disempowering thoughts that are affecting your progress. You never know, you might discover some realizations that takes you a long way ;)

Till the next entry,
Dionis


Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

October 20, 2012  |  Food  |  No Comments

I was craving for some good ol’ carbs and decided to make a baked sweet potato fries dish for myself. Sweet potatoes are healthy with loads of nutrients and is very yummy. However baking potatoes tend to raise their GI as compared to boiling them. So we should keep this to a once in a while treat.

I googled around for some simple recipes (I like ‘em simple) and found this particular one which incorporates curry powder and sounds really simple. I kinda overcooked them the first round and realized that I cut the potatoes too thinly but they still taste really good, albeit a tad dry. I’ve updated the bake timings in the recipe below, they should work.

My working out and dieting side have been going on quite well. My weight initially increased after I started the workouts, but have since gone back down to the pre-workout weight so I am very happy about it. This means that I am starting to lose more fat while gaining muscle. Visually my body is also cutting in and I am physically stronger. Let’s see what happens in next few weeks.

Alright’s I should stop blabbering on, please enjoy the recipe! :)

Yours truly,
Dionis

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

By Dionis Published: October 20, 2012

  • Yield: Servings (3-4 Servings)
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Ready In: 30 mins

Easy and yummy Sweet Potato Fries to satisfy the carb cravings. It is so simple but yet

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 Degree Celcius or 425 Degree Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with aluminium.
  2. Slice the sweet potato into 1 inch slices or 1/2 inch if you like it thinner (the latter cooks faster)
    IMG_9081
  3. Stir together the dry ingredients - Salt, herbs, pepper, curry
  4. Mix olive oil into the sliced sweet potato and mix in the dry ingredients.
    Sweet potato mix
  5. Place the sweet potato on the lined baking tray and bake for around 10 mins on one side for 1/2 inch slices. (15 mins for 1 inch slices). Actual timing might differ, please check.
    IMG_9085
  6. Turn wedges over with tongs and bake for another 10 mins.
    IMG_9086
  7. Remove from oven and serve :)
    IMG_9092

Nutrition 101: Carbohydrates vs Protein vs Fats

October 14, 2012  |  Getting Fit  |  No Comments

While doing some research on nutrition, I learned a couple of stuff which is quite enlightening.

I have collated them and wrote a summary here:

Why carbohydrates are evil …

Carbohydrates, proteins and fats provide energy for the functioning of our body. Our cells use glucose as a primary source of energy. Carbs are the most straightforward energy sources because they break down directly into glucose for absorption. For protein and fats, they do provide energy but have to go through a process called “gluconeogenesis” to convert them into glucose for energy provision. (This process takes up energy too)

Due to carbs breaking down directly into glucose, they cause blood sugar level to increase immediately that will in turn induce insulin to be released to regulate the blood sugar levels. Insulin effectively stops fat breakdown for energy as our cells are tapping into the sugar (insulin places sugar into our cells) for energy instead of our fat reserves. Whatever sugar that is not used up, would be STORED as fats (gasp). Hence this pretty much explains why carbs are *evil* compared to protein or fats. Protein and fats will be broken down to other compounds first hence it will not immediately affect our blood sugar levels.

Recommended carb intake

A recommended effortless weightloss carb range is – 50-100grams a day while a maintenance carb range is 100-150grams a day while eating about 0.7-1 gram per pound of our lean body mass in terms of protein. If we eat less than 100grams of carbs a day, our body goes into Ketosis – burning fat for energy. Need more reading up on Ketosis.

Fats

Fats on the other hand, are broken down and stored in various parts of the body waiting to provide energy only when the circulating glucose in the body is used up. Knowing this, in order to get into the fat burning zone, we need to either need to use up existing glucose in our bloodstream or restrict the amount of glucose in it.

For a healthy diet, we are recommended to eat < 40gms of fats a day. We should always be going for good fats like avocado, nuts, oils as opposed to saturated ones like animal fat and cream.

Very interesting information as I can now powerfully make my food and exercise decisions because I know what they are doing to my body. I did learn them from Biology class but they never really made sense till now. Will definitely be studying more about these and sharing my findings here.

Some of my healthy meals that I created this week …

 

Some readings:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/273899…
www.marksdailyapple.com/the-primal-carbo…

Yours truly,
Dionis


Why I love Saturdays..

October 6, 2012  |  Life, Ramblings  |  No Comments

I was just going about and catching up on my work when I suddenly had an epiphany on why I simply love Saturdays. Yes, I am still doing my work, but it is really therapeutic when I am doing it alone while everyone else is busying shopping, going out, catching up with friends.

Let me share with why:

  1. It is QUIET. There aren’t any phone calls you have to pick up. On normal work days, my train of thoughts always get interrupted by random phone calls from clients, suppliers and even telemarketers.
  2. I can work from home. Which means, I can wear my PJs, miniskirts, grandma panties whatever that is inappropriate for normal work days. I am wearing my favourite batik dress while writing this blog entry.
  3. No guilt when I get on my social media accounts while at work. Afterall, this is a non-work day. I should feel guilty inserting work into my rest day. But nah, really like this arrangement.
  4. Tomorrow’s Sunday. Which means that I can stay up late and sleep in!

I love Saturdays because this is the day where I can actually do me-stuff. Like hitting the gym, cooking my favorite foods, trying out new recipes, cleaning my make up brushes, throwing out my wardrobe, packing my shoe cabinet, online shopping, supermarket shopping. Mundane yet kinda therapeutic in its own way.

I suppose life is stressful enough and Saturday is possibly the only day that I get to de-stress. Alrights, enough of rambling, I should really get back to work. I pray for good weather today and enough time for me to hit the gym and supermarket to make a good whole food dinner for my diet. :)

Yours truly
Dionis