Back in 2005, I was a lowly sous chef at an Italian vegetarian restaurant in the Umbrian countryside, throwing together staff lunch meals while simultaneously prepping for that evening’s dinner service. In contrast to the complex and artistic four-course meals … Continue reading
The weekends are typically meant for relaxing, right? Not on a holiday, it isn’t! You’ve been working late every day. Your boss has been in a permanent bad mood and is in dire need of a yoga class, pop a … Continue reading
It is now Mid-March and some of us might have lost a little bit of our “New Year New Me” mojo. Don’t worry it’s not too late to get it back. As if watching the models frolic around the beach in the Victoria’s Secret Swim Special airing at the end of the month isn’t motivation enough to tone up, Spring and Summer weather is just around the corner.
Here are some easy steps that you can add to your routine that will keep you looking and feeling your best all year long.
It is extremely important to make sure that your goal is realistic. You shouldn’t cut out everything that you love from your diet. You should enjoy what you are putting into your body, and if you are ultimately feeling deprived you are just setting yourself up to fail.
- Drink Water!
- Portion Control is key.
- Allow for 1 Cheat Day a week so that you won’t feel the need to gorge, and ruin all of your progress.
- When you grocery shop try to stay on the outside of the store where most of the fresh food is located. When you start going down the isles, that’s where you’re going to find all of the unhealthy and highly processed foods.
You can do it!
It’s almost Turkey Day, the one day of the year where we’re encouraged to feast on the classic Thanksgiving dishes, which aren’t exactly diet friendly. If you’re like me you’ve had many … Continue reading
The chillier months are upon us, and it’s easy to lose the motivation to eat healthy. Now that you are free to wear pants with an elastic waistband and hide under … Continue reading
I went to Singapore for a week this summer not for vacation but with my church to help with a musical called His Life, which made its way around the world from Korea to Africa.
When we got off our 21 hour flight, the first thing everyone said was, “it’s hot.” Just know that you’ll be stepping into an outdoor sauna whenever you dare to go outside. Although, the heat is apparently good for your skin as the older women were happy with their skin condition by the end of the trip.
Living in Singapore is rather expensive and even owning a crappy car costs at least $100,000 but I found that the only thing cheap was their food. Singapore’s hawker centers, street food, received global attention. The food is just so good and cheap. Here’s a list of top hawker centers.
Singapore is also relatively small. If you ask any taxi driver how long it takes to reach a destination, no matter where you go, its always about 15-20 minutes. We used our free days to venture out and did all the touristy thing.
Here are a few things you should do in Singapore.
1. Universal Studios Singapore
Of course, the park doesn’t compare to the Universal Studios in America but this is, in my opinion, one of the things you do because you’re there.
Facing the heat, we waited at least 40 minutes for all the big rides, which weren’t that great but the others had a great time.
If I had to choose, the best ride was the Revenge of the Mummy because of the interior air conditioning. Our initial wait was rather long but toward the end of the day, the lines were empty.
One girl wanted to get a perfect group photo on the ride so we ended up riding at least six times before she was satisfied.
2. Bugis Street
Bugis street is probably the best cheap place to shop for souvenirs. Yes, it is crowded and can get sticky, but at least you can buy 3 typical “I love SG” shirts for $10 right? The market generally sells everything for cheap.
There are plenty of big, fancy shopping malls in Singapore but because everything is imported, you’re not missing much.
3. Ya Kun Kaya Toast
I asked our new Singaporean friends to take us to some local place and we stumbled upon a small snack franchise that offers crack buttered toast. I don’t know what they did with simple buttered toast but with one bite, I was addicted; they definitely added some crack. The toast was a little sweet and I don’t do too well when eating sweet things but I gobbled down two plates and finished the left overs. I ended up with a mild headache but it was that worth it. Ya Kun Kaya Toast, must try.
I feel like there’s a China Town everywhere in the world. We happened to be near China Town so we strolled through. It contains different Chinese restaurants, food stands, and street vendors.
5. Gardens by the Bay
Initially, I was reluctant to see the Garden by the Bay because who wants to see plants when they’re in Singapore, but I was left in awe by its beauty.
Gardens by the Bay consists of two domes, Flower Dome and Cloud Forrest, and the Supertree Grove.
In the Flower Dome, the plants were great but what caught my attention were the tree sculptures. It’s something different and a dragon sculpture is always cool.
Prepared to get a little wet going through the Cloud Forrest’s waterfall. You hike to the top and back, passing through stations such as the crystal rocks and global warming sections.
When the sun sets, you must head over to the Supertree Grove to watch the light show. The trees come alive with radiant lights in sync with the music, which played various classics.
As I sat under the trees listening and watching, I couldn’t help but feel touched. I’ve seen many other light shows but they can’t compare. It’s almost magical. If you had one place to go in Singapore, this is it.
6. Marina Bay Sands
Take an elevator all the way up to the roof to see the skyline and bays of Singapore. Unless you’re staying at the Marina, you’re confined to about only 1/6 of the rooftop but the view is still great. My friend and I had to walk around the hotel trying to find the elevator. Although we were tired and hangry, when we got up there, we could only smile.
Cool breezes hit our faces as we silently took as many pictures as we can.
7. Take the subway
Singapore has one of the cleanest subway system, after all, with Singapore’s strong government, if you litter, you can get arrested. If you spit out gum, you can get arrested. You can bring gum into Singapore but selling is illegal.
Anyways, taking a cab is convenient but you should ride the subway at least once. It’s cheaper and can be faster with Singapore’s traffic.
8. Try McDonald’s
McDonald’s? Yes. I like to try fast foods in different countries and 100% of the time, its better than America’s.
One late night, a few of us wanted to grab some food and thank goodness there was a McDonald’s few blocks away. Though it was late, we knew we were safe because Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates. While we were walking, we literally saw a police sign that inquired about a stolen bike, which was probably the worst crime that month.
I ordered a double cheese burger meal and of course, it matched my theory.
9. Muthu’s Fishhead Curry
I don’t know what to say other than to just eat it. The curry is very spicy but so good that my friend who can’t take spicy food sucked it up, ate multiple servings and suffered the consequences later that night till the next day. Yet, he was down for some more. That’s how good it is.
I was offered the eyeball so I ate it just to try it and it was weird. It was as if I was chewing on clay until I reached the hard middle part which actually tasted like something. I don’t think I’ll ever eat one for pleasure.
10. Try a Durian, The King of Fruits
Durian is the world’s smelliest food. You’re not allowed to bring durian inside anywhere because it will stink up the whole place. It also has a very unique taste, not in a good way.
You first open the fruit and you’ll start smelling its stench. Inside, there are yellow, creamy things you eat. The ones I tried were garlicy and not good. I didn’t like it but some people love it and sometimes even crave it.
Durians are considered luxury fruit because they only come in season and it costs about $20 for the cheapest durian. If you are brave, you have to try one.
There’s even a Durian Challenge, where people film themselves eating a durian, most often then not, vomit is involved. Eg: durian challenge
It’s National Donut Day! Let’s get glazed! I donut about you, but I’ll take any excuse to eat something sweet. If you don’t want to go all out and splurge on one of these delicious ringed desserts today, donut worry … Continue reading
When mother nature is at her worst this summer, why add fuel to her fire? It’s hot outside, so why sweat over the stove when you could be cool as a cucumber. You already have your refreshing skinny cocktails and now all you need is few guilt free snacks. For most of these recepies you’ll only need a food processor, cutlery, and a bowl.
It’s time to chow down:
Black Bean Hummus
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
¾ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Fit food processor with steel blade attachment, close lid and turn on. Drop garlic through feed tube of food processor and allow to process until finely chopped. Open food processor, and add beans, oil, lime juice, tahini, ground coriander and salt. Process until smooth. Scrape sides, add cilantro and process to combine. Serve drizzled with additional oil if desired.
(2) 7 oz containers fresh mozzarella balls
(2) 4 oz. packages prosciutto
1/2 lb. genoa salami, sliced thin
(1) 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers
(1) 6 oz can of black olives
1 bag of your favorite leaf lettuce
Alternate the ingredients onto the skewers in any pattern that you’d like.
Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette or serve with dressing for dipping on the side.
Shrimp with Avocado & Mango Salad *Paleo Friendly
1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 large mango, peeled and diced
1 medium avocado, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
¼ cup chopped green onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ jalapeño , seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice;
Lemon or lime wedges (to serve)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Butter Lettuce & Cilantro Salad
1 6-ounce bag butter or bib lettuce, about 6 cups
1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
½ medium red bell pepper, diced fairly small
¼ medium red onion, diced fairly small
2 medium avocado
3 medium plum tomatoes
1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing for cilantro salad:
½ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon whole grain prepared mustard
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
1¼ cups extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon lime juice
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon herbs, such as cilantro
if desired ham or turkey (Boar’s head is my favorite)
Whipped cream or Coconut Whipped cream (Paleo Version)
1 Large Watermelon cut in a circle
Add the fruit of your choice:
Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Kiwi, Strawberries
I’ll be on Fox and Friends chatting about tailgating recipes this Sunday!
I mean football plus bacon plus beer? COUNT ME IN.
Here is the recipe for Bacon & Chive hummus that I’ll be whipping up!
Bacon & Chive Hummus
Yield: 2 cups Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 10 min
4 slices bacon
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Set oven to 400 degrees and bake bacon for 15-18 minutes or until crispy.
In food processor, pulse together chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and chopped garlic until smooth.
Add the water, 3 slices of chopped bacon and 2 tablespoons chives. Pulse it a few more times until combined, and then season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the hummus to a serving dish and garnish with remaining chopped bacon and additional chives.