20 July 2012

The Health Journey

Get ready for the biggest rant of the century. People always comment on my photos of food complaining about how I can eat ‘sinful’ food all the time and remain thin. First of all, food shouldn’t be ‘sinful’, you only live once and you should enjoy life and eat how you like. HAVING SAID THAT, there is a balance and if you want to live long and healthy you’ve got to make sure what you’re putting in your body is nutritious most of the time. Lets say, 80% of the time. And you’ve gotta move and learn to love exercise.

MY STORY (get set, it's a long one)

I’ve always been obsessed with food – probably even more now that I’ve stopped eating junk food and actually think about what I eat. Looking back 2 years ago I was the McDonald’s queen. Me and my sister's regular day consisted of chocolate pancakes at home for breakfast, curry puff for a snack, chicken rice/nan and curry for lunch, a fruit snack at home and a dinner of pizza or McDonald’s (unless we ate with the family). Our regular McDonald’s order was (between us) 2 Big Mac MEALS, 2 McFlurries, 20 chicken nuggets and Mcwings A la carte to share (no joke). We ate fast and ate a lot. A big meal to us would be an all-you-can-eat buffet. I didn’t think about what I ate I just ate it cause it was there. I ate when I was bored. I ate all the time, whatever tasted yummy – even if it didn’t sometimes. I remember I was so obsessed when I went to England I almost cried the first weekend I got out of school and got my hands on a Big Mac, haha. I was very lucky that it never really used to show but I was very unhealthy. After England I started gaining weight I guess from growing up and my metabolism having enough of my crap diet. The worst I’ve ever been was at Christmas when I purposely went out to eat 3 ice creams a day, pancakes, cakes, you name it (Our holiday schedule always revolves around food – we are a big food family).

Recipe from The Londoner

How things have changed. My sister and I in the last year started exercising and learning about healthy and nutritious foods and our skin got better, we lost weight and overall had so much more energy to actually do things!

SELF magazine

I just cut the CRAP (Caffeine, Refined sugars, Alcohol, Processed food) most of the time. In fact, probably 80% of the time when I eat and its not that hard to do with the world becoming more and more health conscious. I know foods that are good for me, my mind, my body and from never having set foot in a gym or on the field I now love kick boxing, am a regular yogie, take spinning classes and (although I still HATE running, I can’t run anywhere) do interval running when I travel and bring a skipping rope with me. I do weight training because I know muscles increase my metabolic rate and I want to age gracefully actually having some muscle instead of starting out with none and finding out its too late. BEING HEALTHY IS IMPORTANT.

Recipe on SkinnyTaste

The only times I’d eat out when I was younger would be with my parents so I’d follow them around. Now that I’m more independent it’s a blessing and a curse as I have more time to try different things instead of going to hawker centers all the time but I have to make food choices myself. It’s so nice now that I can go out and appreciate things more. Really, when you’re healthy and you really want something and have it – you really savour it more than having a Big Mac everyday. I’m now back to what I was when I was 15 JUST by being healthy 80% of the time. Now that my sister and I understand so much more about nutrition instead of getting wanton noodles for dinner we will get vegetables too – I’ve grown to love vegetables. I try and get 5 portions a day and lots of lean meats in as I want to build muscle. Its easy and cheap to go to the wet market and pick out lean meats and fresh veggies so theres really no excuse.

The girls behind Tone It Up!

Tone It Up! girls on the move

DON’T DIET. I’ve probably read every diet book and it doesn’t work cause it's just not sustainable. I’ve lost so much weight in the last 6 months purely from my 80/20 rule and it's just amazing. Everything in moderation. Of course there’s stuff I still struggle with such as eating slowly (I’m the fastest eater alive and therefore can, if needed, consume ridiculous amounts) and everyone has cravings.

Fish Taco's recipe on The Londoner

This post is not about losing weight but I can guarantee you if you follow this you will slim down. We aren’t meant to be fat. Your body will adjust. There is SO SO MUCH healthy nutritional information online and available for you and in magazines. Whenever I want to go back to my old ways I pick up a copy of SHAPE or a Women’s Health magazine and remember how much I love feeling this amazing. I love eating healthy foods.

Recipe on SkinnyTaste

I have LOTS of tips. I will give you a few but after this story I won’t write too much more, let me know if this is helpful and you want more stuff on this! I love the share my advice as it’s my personal journey and I know it works! This is to maintain a lean, healthy body while having curves and not being too skinny. It’s being HEALTHY!

Victoria's Secret

1.     DRINK WATER AND LOTS OF IT. I don’t drink fizzy drinks, there is so much unneeded sugar. I also drink decaf green tea and Yerba Mate tea as they’re full of antioxidants and I love it!

2.     Try not to drink much water 20 minutes before and after you eat as its bad for digestion

3.     You need calcium everyday – I have a tub of organic fat free greek yogurt for breakfast with blueberries

4.     Don’t skip meals. It just makes you more hungry and you should be burning fat throughout the whole day.

5.     Have wholemeal most of the time if you’re having simple carbs. Carbs aren’t bad but don’t go crazy on pasta/rice/bread as people also forget they’re high in calories and do not watch their portion sizes!

6.     Drink a large glass of water as soon as you wake up

7.     GET ACTIVE (but also remember to get enough rest too, you need those 8 hours of sleep to recover!)

8.     5 portions of fruit/veg a day

9.     Eat good fats (helps fight tummy fat) such as omega 3 sources, fish, nuts, avocado, olives, olive oil

10. Cut back on coffee and alcohol

11. Don’t stress about small stuff and always look on the bright side of things. Life is about living and being happy! Stress only adds on weight and makes you feel miserable.

12.  Adding a little lemon juice to your water or meal can help lower the GI index by about 20- 40%

13.  Eat slowly (my biggest weakness). It takes 20 minutes on average for you to realise you are full and I always end up leaving the table feeling horrible when I’ve rushed my meal and eaten way too much.

14. Are you actually hungry? Drink a glass of water when you start getting hungry only an hour after you’ve eaten or suddenly get a craving.

15. Do you really want to eat that or are you just desperate to have ANYTHING? I make a list on my phone when I crave things, and once I’ve eaten I find that I actually don’t really want it at all – I was just hungry.

16. Know your super foods! I’ve placed a list of some below but they are available all over the net!

Remember THIS IS NOT A DIET! Its supposed to be a sustainable way of life to try and be healthy while giving yourself room to be naughty because lets face it, you only live once. If food makes you happy (as it does for me) then why restrict yourself? Just be healthy too! Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring – I have nutritious, yummy, gorgeous meals that make me feel full, refreshed and more energized than how horrible I used to feel after stuffing myself with McDonald’s. If I’m going to indulge in some KFC or my favourite desserts later during the day I’ll make sure I have a really healthy breakfast and lunch. All in moderation. You need to let your body cleanse itself and to be honest, the more clean your body is, the easier it is for it to flush out all the bad stuff when you do have it! And do not starve yourself because your body will immediately want you to gain weight. This is about thinking about if what you’re putting In your mouth is good for your body more than trying to not eat much. You should not stress over this as its supposed to make you feel happier and more energized. Little swaps like a pack of crisps to berries and a piece of dark chocolate or peanut butter and an apple do make a difference. It’s all good for you. Its really not as hard as you think, I managed it and I was the MCDONALDS QUEEN! Having said that I do indulge now and again but the chemicals in food like this always leave you wanting more so that ‘just this once’ attitude doesn’t work too well. The longer you stay away the longer you find you just don’t want it. And trust me there are SO MANY nutritious alternatives to your favourite foods that taste even better and are so much healthier, why waste your money polluting your body?

Recipe on SkinnyTaste

This wasn’t very orderly. I apologise. But do let me know if you want anymore tips because I am happy to share! There are ways to motivate you to lose weight but I REALLY wanted this post to focus on just being happy and healthy at the same time. Here’s some links:

Elle Macpherson at 49

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2065733/Nigella-Lawson-weight-loss-secret-revealed-James-Duigan-Bodyism-Clean-Lean-plan.html (nice little block on food friends and enemies at the bottom – bodyism is amazing – think Elle Macpherson)




- healthy food blogs (there are SO MANY)



-       Both love to eat, love to exercise, amazing bodies and bake loads of crap too (my inspiration). They have amazing naughty and healthy recipe’s on their blogs too.
http://www.bringmemypassport.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/how-to-not-diet-when-youre-dieting.html - my sisters awesome blog post on how to diet when you’re not dieting

http://www.self.com/ - I love following them on twitter and all their healthy articles they give me!

Hope this helps! Stay happy and healthy!



  1. Hi Ming, thanks for this post I love it! :) was just wondering, do you drink hot lemon water or just lemon water at room temperature? And where and what honey do you use to make the drink? :) and also, how many teaspoon of honey would you add in? Thanks in advice and hope you answer my doubts!

  2. hello, do you happen to know how to get rid of cellulite? how long do you exercise per day and how did you find the motivation to exercise daily?i love this post! i've learnt a lot from you (: thank you so much, ming! <3

  3. Hi Ming! How often do you exercise and how long each time you exercise? Is there anything you do to maintain lean muscles instead of bulky muscles, cause you really have beautiful legs! Envy! And any recommandations for arm exercises?

  4. I LOVE THIS POST! Please have more health posts, they are great!


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