Be Healthy in the Land of Noodles

Be Healthy in the Land of Noodles

Singapore is known for a few things, and one of them is its food.  There is no question about it; any foodie would love to visit Singapore.  When I first moved out here I embraced the food culture eating out as often as I could, visiting the local hawker centers and food courts.  After not too long however, my body was telling me to stop.  I didn’t want to listen to it, as going out is so easy and requires little thought, but as a professional in the fitness industry, I knew better.  I don’t know how local Singaporeans do it; eating fried meat and noodles for almost every meal of the day.  Every mall I go in to, every subway station I go in to, I see endless food stalls with more noodles, rice and curry dishes than I could ever eat in a lifetime.  Yes its delicious, and if you are visiting Singapore you cannot leave without eating local dishes, but you simply cannot eat it every day if you want to live a healthy lifestyle.  Every expat I meet explains to me their recent “just moved to Singapore bloat” so I figured I just had to address this issue.

noodles

noodles

noodles

To avoid the belly bloat, muscles aches and dehydration stay as far away from MSG as you can.  It’s very hard to know whether or not certain foods contain it.  The best way to avoid it is to cook the food yourself!  Once a week visit a wet market or your local grocery store to stock up for the week on fruits, veggies and meat.  The easiest go to dinner for me is grilled chicken lightly seasoned with a leafy green salad and roasted veggies such as broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes.  Limit yourself to going out to dinner to just once a week.  The hardest part is breaking the habit of going out for dinner and starting the new habit of prepping your meal at home.

cook at home

cook at home

cook at home

Another killer is lunch, especially if you work and typically go out for a quick bite.  That “quick bite” can be the dead end for you in your fitness goals.  While you are at the market stocking up on your veggies and meats for your at home dinners, be sure to pick up lunch makings as well!  Deli meat for sandwiches or wraps, salads, and healthy snacks can be some of the healthiest choices you make.  If you love sandwiches like me, opt for an open-faced sandwich and load it with greens and protein.

If your office is far from healthy, ask the office manager to be in charge of stocking the snack room.  My husband’s company recently switched to a healthy kitchen, filling the snack room with fruits, veggies and nuts.  I’ve seen it in its previous state, and it had always looked like Halloween had come early.  It was stocked with Oreos, Kit Kat bars, Cokes, and chocolate.  When there are only healthy food options, you take it, it’s right there!  It doesn’t get easier than that.

food corner

You may be doubtful within the first few months of living in Singapore, but your choices don’t have to be unhealthy!  Yes, you will always see people eating endless noodles and you will always have the option to eat them.  But it is simply that; an option. It takes a bit of effort, but there are ways to stay healthy on this tiny island of noodles.

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My Favorite Smoothies!

My Favorite Smoothies!

I’ll admit it; I love cereal.  I used to have cereal every single day for breakfast.  “Healthy cereal” of course, like Special K, Fiber One, etc.  But one day in February of this year my husband and I bought a blender, a single kitchen appliance that has changed our lives.   After living in Singapore and telling ourselves we can no longer buy juices and smoothies from cafes which set us back $10 a smoothie, we decided to make our own with this new blender.  I will note, when out and about, my favorite smoothie comes from Baker & Cook on Robertston Quay.  You have to be VERY careful when ordering smoothies from cafes. I have often caught them putting ice cream in them.  Yes, ice cream.  So much for your healthy choices!

Smoothie

Since then, I have not had a single bowl of cereal.  Instead, we have fresh strawberries, bananas, blueberries, kiwis, pears, celery, spinach and mango.  Not all at once, but after experimenting I think I have created some of my all time favorite smoothies.  It’s insane how much better you feel for the entire day when you start it off right.

Green Smoothie

My favorite breakfast smoothies always consist of berries and bananas.  Whether just your typical strawberry banana or blueberry banana, they always leave me filling full and satisfied for hours until lunch.  The key to a good smoothie is the banana.  It gives the smoothie its creamy texture, as opposed to an icy texture.  I typically freeze my fruit, except for the bananas, unless of course they are turning brown and I am not able to eat them all before going bad!

smoothie

Strawberry Banana

2 cups of frozen strawberries (buy fresh strawberries and simply freeze them)

1 large banana (yellow, with a few tiny brown spots are best)

1/4 cup of Greek no fat yogurt

Blueberry Banana

1 cup of frozen blueberries

2 bananas

1/4 cup of Greek no fat yogurt

Strawberry Kiwi Banana

1 cup of frozen strawberries

1 cup of frozen kiwis

1 banana

1/4 cup of Greek no fat yogurt

Pear Banana

2 cups of frozen pears

1 banana

1/4 cup of Greek no fat yogurt

I often substitute a salad or sandwich for lunch for a green smoothie.  You get a significant amount of leafy greens along with some fruit, veggie and protein.  One of my favorite protein supplements is from Herbalife.  If I have a workout, I make sure to get my protein smoothie within 30 minutes of finishing my workout, which is essential for muscle recovery!

green protein smoothie

Power Green Protein

1 cup of frozen pears

1 banana

2 cups of spinach

1/2 cups of celery, chopped

1/4 cup of Greek yogurt

1 Spoonful of Herbalife Personalized Protein Powder

Don’t get frustrated when you first begin making smoothies.  It took me several tries to master the art of blending.  I often, especially when dealing with a lot of frozen ingredients or leafy greens, have to stop the blender and stick a spoon in to mix it and try to blend again.  It may take a while to get the smoothie nice and creamy, but I promise it will get there!

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? I would love to hear and try it!  Happy Blending!