Tag Archives: Diet

A Balancing Act, Part 2

26 Apr

Lately, I have been eating a variety of things that I’m not supposed to. And because of the lack of willpower to stay disciplined, I suffer the consequences because of my Endometriosis.

Chocolate is one food I cannot resist. I find that regular milk chocolate does not bode well with my tummy. But dark chocolate is okay, and I find myself indulging almost every night! My waistline has expanded as a result of this weakness.

Dessert is another food I cannot resist when it comes to sweet tooth indulgence. When hubby made some coconut pandan jelly recently, it was hard to resist despite knowing I am courting trouble. Like milk chocolate, my tummy cannot agree with the coconut milk ingredient. I’m just wondering whether it is my Endometriosis that’s giving me problems with this natural ingredient?

Jelly is something that one does not eat a piece only. You have to have several. So when the intake is more due to indiscipline, the tolerance level is compromised, and pain will kick in soon after. Sigh. It’s a balancing act to maintain without suffering any painful consequences.

A Balancing Act

23 Apr

I have not talked about my Endometriosis problems lately because there haven’t been any, thank goodness. You could say it is under control. But any pain experienced is purely diet-related and self-induced. Meaning, if I eat things that I am not supposed to, I will feel the pain.

Recently, I went back to drinking coffee with sugar added. If there’s milk, it’s just courting trouble. So far, I must say it’s manageable because I don’t gulp the whole mug in one go. I take my time sipping, and it works out okay. I’m glad because I do have an urge for a nice cuppa once in a while. But with the added sugar, it’s a setback as far as weight is concerned. Perhaps I should drink my coffee black. Hmm.

Coffee aside, cheese is still one food I cannot handle, although I love cheese. It’s too heavy and creamy for me, and I will be all bloated and upset in the tummy. You can guess by now pizza is off my menu. Eggs, especially hard-boiled eggs, are off my menu too. Besides these, onions and beef are also food that I try to avoid.

The current coffee grounds for the French press

It’s a balancing act to manage the intake and not push my luck. Sometimes it’s hard, so discipline is essential to a happy lifestyle and healthy tummy.

300 Jacks

21 Apr

Towards the end of last week, I started doing jumping jacks. With all this baking and cooking at home, and having stopped the 16/8 diet, I have to do something to counter the intake. Hence, the jumping jack exercise.

Dalgona coffee

We didn’t have a mixer and ten thousand whisks later to yield a sinful glass of Dalgona coffee

Butter cookie

Hubby baked butter cookies. So sweet and buttery, how to resist?

I think it’s an ideal form of exercise without having to go out of the way to exercise. Honestly to even exercise, I feel lethargic just thinking about it! So I find other means to exercise like going up and down the stairs more often, walking more around the house and keeping busy with chores.

Fish & Chips

Team effort for a golden beer batter dinner! So good.

Dhal curry

I even made dhal curry from scratch!

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Fresh from the oven, hubby’s new hobby, baking.

Besides I find setting up to properly exercise not conducive when there are days I actually have some design work to do in between the daily cooking and cleaning. So doing jumping jacks has worked out well.

Each time I’d do a set of 50 and they don’t actually take up a lot of time. Spread out the routine and I find myself doing 300 jumping jacks each day!

I do feel good and less guilty. Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

Sorry No Housekeeping

27 Mar

It is Day 5 of our quarantine period but if I include the MCO period, it’s actually ten days being at home. I think both hubby and I are still doing okay but I suspect M2 may be a bit restless, cooped up in her room. All the way home but not quite home, no different from before because we are using the phone to communicate despite being in the same house.

We’ve been sending her food in a Bento box, leaving it outside her room. Almost like a hotel’s room service but this is where the service stops. No housekeeping provided so she has to take care of this chore until the quarantine period ends.

The various Bento box meals
Besides meals, there’s Snack Boxes too

Sometimes I even forget she’s back because she’s been so quiet in her room. Of course being out of sight, she’s out of the mind! But as she has online classes everyday, we leave her alone.

I guess I’m still not used to having her back, sooner than the original plans. Oh well, I’m not complaining. Better to have her here than afar with the ever changing situation of the pandemic.

However once the quarantine period is over, the situation remains except that M2 can leave her room. The government of Malaysia had announced on Wednesday, a further two weeks extension of the MCO! So we still have to stay at home until 14th April. It is with fervent hope that this drastic measure will flatten the curve to fight the Covid-19 spread.

Every other day, a new Whale is carved
and completed

And until then, my cooking skills have been improving, my carving has yielded more Whales than ever and my waistline has been expanding much to my dismay. How can it not when I am constantly thinking of all these delicious food that I am now able to cook—because I have the time—instead of design work? In truth, the 16/8 diet has long since been thrown out the window at the start of this.

Gotta hang in there is all I can say.

Maybe I Can Bake, Part 2

2 Mar

The baking bug seems to have gotten me. After the success of the carrot cake, I itched to bake again! And so I did. This time I picked up two boxes! A the Zesty Orange Cake Mix and a Banana Honey Muffin for various reasons.

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Green’s baking mixes make you look good in the kitchen!

The main reason being I had leftover milk and butter from the last baking episode. They are food that I don’t usually consume, so baking was the only option to use them up.

Reason number two: the brand’s website showed an orange cake with poppyseeds choice but our regular grocer did not have this, only the one sans poppyseeds. And because I love poppyseeds—I used to eat poppyseed bagels whenever I could when I was living in New York City dinosaur years ago—I went out of the way to buy a pack of poppyseeds to add to the orange mix. Clever, ain’t I?

Reason number three: I actually have a muffin tray. Yeah… I know, for someone who doesn’t bake, my baking gadgets seems to be quite comprehensive. Previously, the tray was used to make mini quiches for M2 to bring to school. But now with her being away in college, the tray has not been used.

Back to my baking novelty, this time I was super efficient and needless to say, the Orange Cake was simply delicious as it now comes with poppyseeds. Next week, muffins! With poppyseeds as well.

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I skipped the icing topping and the cake is just right with a slight crunch of the poppyseeds

I must attribute the baking success to the brand, Green’s Baking of Australia and not so much of my skills in the kitchen. It’s the mix that makes me look good and feel good. Forget the 16/8 diet for the time being until this baking novelty wears off.

Maybe I Can Bake

24 Feb

I gave up the idea of baking with my Kenwood Rapid Bake but not baking itself. So another box of cake mix I bought and another attempt.

This time, I opted for a carrot cake that comes with icing! An improvement because there’s another step involved instead of just adding eggs, milk and butter to the cake.

The cake itself was easy – this time, an egg with water and oil instead of milk and butter to add to the mix. And for someone who doesn’t bake a lot, if not at all, I have a fair bit of baking essentials, like the loaf pan that I found. So I didn’t have to use the round pan.

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Top: straight out from the oven; Bottom: drowned with icing

After 40 minutes in the conventional oven, my cake was done! Excited I literally drowned the cake with the icing that was mixed earlier, a separate fun task I must say. Maybe I’m not supposed to drown the cake like this? Hmm… but the overall taste was good, not too sweet and just right.

Maybe I can bake after all if I put my mind to it by using the correct equipment, that is the conventional oven and not a bread maker. Having said that, true baking skills come from doing it from scratch and not from a ready-mix box. What I have attempted the last three times was simply novelty and I’m far from being a pro at baking.

If I truly want to pursue baking to hone my kitchen skills, I should keep trying. But do I really want to? Hubby says we will gain weight from having to eat all the cakes, muffins and what nots. Given that we are still at the 16/8 diet, I think this baking novelty will be short-lived.

May Our Fortunes Rise and Expand

31 Jan

Yesterday our office reopened and we’re back to work. Year in, year out, we always reopen the office on the 6th day of Chinese New Year except there was one year, a friend told us the 5th day was even better to start work. That was the only time we did that.

Usually during the Lunar New Year period, work is very disrupted because the flow of things are not smooth. Our supporting vendors (for print jobs) would not be taking anymore orders when the date draws closer to the Reunion Dinner night. They would be clearing the existing ongoing projects before closing a day or two earlier for the all important dinner.

Sometimes we do this too, closing earlier, when we have to return to hubby’s hometown for the dinner with his family. An earlier departure would mean a shorter drive thus avoiding the exodus for the long drive ahead. Then during the 15 days of the celebration, we would close for the first five days while some vendors are taking longer breaks than most, things cannot progress further.

Thankfully, workload upon return is typically not too heavy because either everyone’s still on leave or clients who are back to work early do understand that during the Lunar New Year, not much can be done; so there’s no urgency to get things completed within a tight deadline.

Also during this time, there’s a lot more lunches and dinners to attend. So there goes the 16/8 diet. Typically these sumptuous meals will include the ‘Yee Sang’ dish to toss, a must have during the festivities for good luck and prosperity. Either with clients, friends or family, the ‘Yee Sang’ tossing ritual is a very noisy affair.

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Getting the chopsticks ready over the abalone Yee Sang before we tossed ’em high!

We had our first ‘Yee Sang’ during the Reunion Dinner with the family and today, with our design team later. So toss ‘em high we shall to symbolise our wishes for our fortunes to rise and expand for the Year of the Rat. Huat ah! Ong ah! Heng ah!

Progress After the Food Trail

10 Jan

We have dived straight into our 16/8 diet this week and pleased to say we are holding up okay. There’s no withdrawal symptoms from the change in pattern nor from the diet that now consists of minimal meat/protein, some carbo and lots of fiber.

I have gone back to my usual tea only in the morning before the salad lunches and healthy home-cooked dinners at home, all within the eight hours window to eat and no further intake during the 16 hours except for one night where we had fruit cake and tea at a friend’s.

I am also mindful to move to burn some calories but exercising has been a challenge when every evening I’d sit at my little corner to work on my carvings. I’m not too worried though because this would be resolved once we go back to playing golf.

But of late, the endometriosis attacks have been rather frequent and the pain level ranges, it’s unbearable and hard to do much. The night when we were at the airport, I had to take my painkillers twice in a span of three hours apart because the pain was simply horrible. There’s no words to describe this. Sigh…

Other than this problem of mine, I’m glad to say the both of us have adjusted after the food trail, with our weight almost back to pre-M1’s arrival.

The End of the Food Trail

7 Jan

M1 has arrived safely this morning after a long but on time flight. So the adventures of her food trail officially ended on Sunday with an early dinner before leaving for the airport that night. With the end of the food trail, this means no more constant heavy meals for us except for several upcoming Chinese New Year-related dinners with friends that have been pre-arranged earlier. We have gone back to the 16/8 diet routine immediately, kicking it off with a salad lunch yesterday.

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Bak Kut Teh with two sides was a good farewell dinner choice

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Contrasting the meat-based dinner, lunch the next day was just fiber and more fiber

The big question I’m sure that must be on everyone’s mind, did I gain weight? Of course I did! How could I not when the eating window was switched to 16 hours and the non-eating window reduced to eight hours or less, three quarters of which was being asleep. So essentially there was very little time in between for a meal to be fully digested before the next meal.

There were nights when I fretted to step on the bathroom scale knowing the numbers I’d see would not be pleasant. But I took it in stride because I knew the situation was temporary and it won’t last long.

There were several times when the weight climbed steadily upwards, it was rather horrifying. However the numbers fluctuated when we ate less; I even managed to squeeze in a couple of salad lunches to lessen the guilt. Thankfully, yesterday morning when I stepped on the bathroom scale, the final result was somewhat comforting for I had expected it to be more. I gained only a kilo (2.2lbs) which wasn’t too bad considering it did spiked up more than that!

I’m sure within a week, this gain would be erased and the 16/8 continues until when Chinese New Year comes around, a new round of festive eating to indulge in!

Looking Back at 2019

31 Dec

Well well… it looks like another year has gone by again. Time to file the memories away to recall later fondly and another set of annual resolutions to make. Or break. But the end of 2019 is much more than another year gone by, it’s the end of a decade!

Looking back, I’ve had my fair share of good memories and heartaches with many things happening in the year. After all, there’s 365 days. What stood out most for me can be summed up to these.

Both girls are all grown up, with one having graduated and continuing on with grad school in the US and the other just starting college in Ireland. Proud parent moments. Then there’s me reaching the milestone big five birthday. Happy me occasion.

My carving hobby resulted in a mixed growth in Gigglesville’s population this year. There were only 13 new Citizens to reach 194 (I couldn’t push myself to reach 200), the Whales grew to 48, with 30 new ones while the Gnomes had only two new giant ones to make three dozen as of 2019. It could be better.

But with this carving activity, there was a price to pay: my aggravated injuries. My golf game suffered as a consequence and for the first time, I find myself not giving the sport any priority anymore. I lost the will to excel when injuries persisted. Hopefully this mindset can change to a more positive one come 2020.

Besides the sports injury, my endometriosis pain was well, a pain to deal with this year. More acute than ever, I was at the mercy of a monthly recurrence, it was dreadful. So I started the 16/8 intermittent fasting diet to manage the painful backache and cramp attacks. With a controlled diet and a list of food to avoid, losing a fair bit of weight along the way was a booster and motivation too besides minimizing the agony. It helped.

Not everything was rosy and good though. My iPad Mini has been wonky and unreliable with each passing day, my MacBook Air had to be resuscitated but nothing compared to losing our beloved English bulldog, Rooney aka official pet number one to old age and sickness. It was the saddest day of our lives and suddenly, the house was emptier than ever and our lives changed.

Looking back, if I were to put 2019 into perspective of a phrase, ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ aptly summarizes the year for me. Now as I ponder what to expect for the new year and new decade, I hope it will be one that focuses on ‘the good, the better and the best’. No resolutions needed though.

To everyone, here’s wishing you an awesome 2020 ahead, Happy New Year and Goodbye 2019!