6May/141

Behind-The-Scenes: Stuff Magazine Cover Shoot

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6May/146

Sneaky, Sneaky Sugar

Sigh. Why do "health and fitness food corporations" produce such misleading products for consumers?

questbar

As a huge peanut butter and jelly addict, I fell in love with Questbar after the first bite. A friend introduced it to me a while ago, and I decided to buy a box of a dozen while shopping for other health supplements on iHerb.com. I was impressed when I read the label - 'No Sugar or Sugar Alcohols Used'.

Lets not kid ourselves. Sugar-free peanut butter and jelly protein bar? That's about as far fetched as a healthy cheese dog.  I read the ingredients on the back of the label (should've done that before...) and noticed that there was indeed SUGAR in the protein bar, except it's named Sucralose. it’s really just another word for sugar. In other words, despite the deceptive labeling, the primary ingredient for my snack bar was none other than sugar.

Surely, I wasn’t the only one fooled by the packaging. And so I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of other food ingredients that are really just sugar in disguise.

  1. Barley malt.
  2. Beet sugar.
  3. Brown sugar.
  4. High fructose corn syrup.
  5. Corn sugar.
  6. Cane sugar.
  7. Corn syrup.
  8. Brown rice syrup.
  9. Cane-juice crystals.
  10. Carob syrup.
  11. Yellow sugar.
  12. Date sugar.
  13. Dextran.
  14. Dextrose.
  15. Diatase.
  16. Diastatic malt.
  17. Levulose.
  18. Ethyl maltol.
  19. Fructose.
  20. Glucose.
  21. Grape sugar.
  22. Fruit juice.
  23. Maltose.
  24. Maltodextrin.
  25. Honey.
  26. Fruit juice concentrate.
  27. Raw sugar.
  28. Sucrose.
  29. Sorbitol.
  30. Molasses.
  31. Mannitol.
  32. Demerara sugar.
  33. Galactose.
  34. Maple syrup.
  35. Panocha.
  36. Powdered sugar.
  37. Confectioner’s sugar.
  38. Treacle.
  39. Turbinado sugar.
  40. Caramel.
  41. Ethyl maltol.
  42. Treacle.
  43. Sorghum syrup.
  44. Muscovado sugar.
  45. Agave.

Consumers beware! Labels tend to be very tricky and manufactures go to great lengths to make their products seem healthier. If you see any of the above ingredients, know that that it’s just another name for sugar.

The search for the best healthiest protein bar continues. Do you have a favourite protein bar? Please share!

Filed under: Blog, Food, Health 6 Comments
25Apr/140

Skincare Solutions @ The DRx Clinic

It's been over a month since my initial visit to The DRx Clinic and I'm more than pleased to share my experience with their services and products. I've been using the Derma-Rx skin care range and noticed positive changes on my skin within weeks. My excitement to share this review stems from the fact that their products have worked for me, and I'd definitely recommend a consultation if you have any issues related to skin care.

The DRx Clinic is located at Tong Building on Orchard Road (between Paragon and Lucky Plaza; spot the Rolex store and you're in the right building).  Take the lift up to the 16th floor and you'll find the entrance to the clinic.

Entrance to The DRx Clinic

Entrance to The DRx Clinic

If you're booking an appointment, make sure to do so at least three days in advanced, or a week ahead if you have a preferred doctor.  It is best to show up at least ten minutes before your scheduled appointment to allow enough time for registration. I had to wait thirty minutes because I arrived late!

I consulted with Dr. Angela Hwee regarding some personal skin woes. I got fillers to fix my dark under-eye circles and laugh lines about two years ago at Sloane Clinic in KL, and I'd been thinking about getting it done again since the treatment has worn off. However, I wasn't keen on the idea of using injections or the high-maintenance of having to do it every few months.

After assessing my skin condition, Dr. Angela gave me her honest opinion - and that was to skip the fillers. She prescribed a range of skin care products from Derma-Rx instead to help diminish some fine lines and improve my overall complexion.

Consultation with Dr. Angela

Consultation with Dr. Angela;0

Although I was kind of hoping for a quick miracle treatment, I was happy that at least I was being kind to my skin. Au natural is the best :)

Photo analysis

A quick mugshot at the photo analysis room.

After the consultation, I was led to the photo analysis room where my profile shots were taken. This allows the clinic to keep a record of my skin condition for the doctor to refer to on the next visit. That should be interesting comparison!

I was given careful instructions by one of the nurses at DRx on how to use each product from the Derma-Rx range. She wrote down the steps for me on the user guide below:

derma-rx instructions

Derma-Ex skin care treatment, tailor-made to suit my skin.

Derma-Ex skin care treatment prescribed by Dr. Angela specifically to suit my skin type.

To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed by the number of products I needed to use for my face! It took awhile for me to get used to remembering the steps, so I wrote it down on a little piece of paper and stuck it on my bathroom wall.

A little reminder that beauty come from within :)

A little reminder that beauty come from within :)

Although I wished that my daily skin care regime didn't take this many steps, I actually enjoyed using the products as they are gentle on the skin and easy to apply. The only inconvenience I find is packing everything into little containers when I need to travel.

Here's a brief review of each item:

Milk Cleanser is a refreshing and gentle exfoliating cleanser for all skin types with natural botanical extracts, like Papaya and Mulberry. Ideal for make-up removal, it soothe and lightens the skin, leaving it soft and velvety smooth.

Milk Cleanser is a refreshing and gentle exfoliating cleanser for all skin types with natural botanical extracts, like Papaya and Mulberry.

 Milk Cleanser: I was using Biore oil make-up remover prior to this and although it was pretty effective, I didn't like how my skin felt a little greasy after rinsing with water. The Milk Cleanser is fragrance-free and feels like yogurt on the skin! It's very soothing and leaves my skin soft and velvety smooth.

Foaming Cleanser is a hydrating cleanser for all skin types that contains optional concentrations of Marine Algae extracts that gently exfoliates for a soothing and refreshing wash. This cleanser promotes natural cleansing and toning, while balancing the pH level of the skin.

Foaming Cleanser is a hydrating cleanser for all skin types that contains optional concentrations of Marine Algae extracts that gently exfoliates for a soothing and refreshing wash.

 Foaming Cleanser: With this Foaming Cleanser, I don't mind washing my face a few times a day because it doesn't feel like it's stripping moisture from my skin. This cleanser promotes natural cleansing and toning, while balancing the pH level of the skin.

Toner is an alcohol-free fluid with Glycolic and Salicylic acid to enhance the cleansing process. It contains Allantoin, which helps restore moisture to the skin, leaving the skin revitalised and supple.

Toner is an alcohol-free fluid with Glycolic and Salicylic acid to enhance the cleansing process.

Toner: The final step to cleansing process. Using the Toner helps to restore moisture to the skin, leaving it revitalised and supple.

*Tip: Anytime you are putting on multiple products on your skin, it is best to let each one dry before applying the next!

Comedone Formula is natural formulation containing botanical extracts, which work to reduce the appearance of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). It assists in dissolving and softening comedones and prevents new come done formation by loosening the follicular plug and also by reducing sebaceous activity.

Comedone Formula is natural formulation containing botanical extracts, which work to reduce the appearance of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). It assists in dissolving and softening comedones and prevents new comedone formation by loosening the follicular plug and also by reducing sebaceous activity.

 Comedone Formula:  This amazing formula zaps whiteheads and blackheads (also known as comedones) like magic! OK... maybe it'll take at least a week or two to see the difference but when you do, you'll know it's done its job. And I love it for that. It's highly concentrated so use just a small amount (one tiny pump) and apply only in problematic areas such as the chin, nose and forehead.

drx max-c

Max-C is a potent anti-oxidant formula based on the highest possible stable concentration of Vitamin C. It counteracts free radicals, encourages collagen and elastin production to control the adverse effects of photo damage, including wrinkling, sagging and other symptoms of premature skin ageing.

Max-C: This may smell a little weird at first but thankfully, it goes away after a while (just give it a few seconds to dry and let your skin absorb the Vitamin C goodness).

drx rejuvenator

Rejuvenator is a non-oily formulation with a combination of Glycosaminoglycans Complex, which aids in the prevention of collagen breakdown and a blend of vitamins and minerals.

Rejuvenator: I was advised to apply this slightly creamy formula on the under eyes and neck only. It moisturises, protects and stimulates cell renewal and turnover, resulting in firmer skin and diminishing the appearance of fine lines. You don't need to depress the pump all the way - you'll get plenty of product for your face and neck with just half a pump.

Vit-A Gel is a unique formulation containing synergistic blend of green tea extract, Sodium Hyaluronate and Salicylic Acid (BHA) to stimulate and increase cell-turnover, with additional comedolytic action. It also reduces the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin texture.

Vit-A Gel is a unique formulation containing synergistic blend of green tea extract, Sodium Hyaluronate and Salicylic Acid (BHA) to stimulate and increase cell-turnover, with additional comedolytic action. It also reduces the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin texture.

Vit-A Gel: Like the Max-C, the texture of this formula is a little runny but I like that it is absorbed by the skin within seconds of application without leaving the skin feeling greasy.

Liposomal Sunscreen SPF30+ is an advanced water-and sweat-resistant formulation made from essential ingredients based on liposomal nanotechnology, delivery prolonged broad-spectrum protection against harmful UVA I, UVA II/UVB exposure.

Liposomal Sunscreen SPF30+ is an advanced water-and sweat-resistant formulation made from essential ingredients based on liposomal nanotechnology, delivery prolonged broad-spectrum protection against harmful UVA I, UVA II/UVB exposure.

Liposomal Sunscreen SPF30: Ahh, don't underestimate the importance of sunscreen. You will regret not having worn sunscreen when you look at your skin compared to those who have worn daily sunscreen 20 years from now! Dr. Angela initially recommended the tinted sunscreen but I liked this one better because it felt less greasy on my skin. The tinted sunscreen didn't quite go with my dark skin tone. I get tanned quite easily so I never leave home without SPF protection. This one's a daily necessity! It's water- and sweat-resistant too.

*     *     *     *     *

Derma-Rx skin care products are specially formulated using high-grade ingredients and manufactured in GMP-certified facilities; they are used by Derma-Rx affiliated clinics around the world and only prescribed by medical doctors. Since the active ingredients are at doctor-prescribed levels you receive the genuine benefits of things like vitamin C and tretinoin without having to wait months to see results.

I'd recommend the Derma-Rx skin care range to anyone who's looking to improve their skin condition without turning to botox/fillers or cosmetic treatments. It's a little pricey, and you'll need a doctor's prescription, but at least the products are tailored to your skin condition and you can always track the improvement during every consultation. It's good to get expert advise than taking your chances with over-the-counter products!

Fay hokulani derma-rx

Love, Fay

3Apr/140

Sleep Soundly And Wake Up Refreshed

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Some nights I’d toss and turn in bed for hours on no end. I’d be tired as hell but no matter how long I’d try to keep my eyes closed, I just either can’t fall asleep or can’t stay asleep. Waking up every hour or so to check the time doesn’t help either, but I can’t help myself. Hours go by like minutes and next thing you know, I’d wake up in the morning feeling drained before my feet even hit the floor. Other mornings, I could swear I got at least eight hours of sleep yet my body tells a different story. The trouble was, at times I'd spend too much time thinking about work the next morning that I worry about not being able to sleep, which makes it even harder to 'switch off'.

My doctor prescribed Xanax to help with my anxiety. It helped to calm the nerves and I was able to fall asleep easily but I’d wake up feeling really groggy. I didn’t want to grow dependent on the drug so I stopped taking it after a while. I learned to manage my anxiety and sleeping patterns eventually through yoga, meditation and maintaining an active lifestyle.

 However, recently I discovered a new way to cope with the occasional bedtime troubles. Blackmores Sleep Sound Formula is a safe and natural remedy that helps support the body’s natural ability for a good quality sleep. Unlike prescription drugs or sleeping pills, it actually leaves you refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning!

blackmores sleep

Blackmores Sleep Sound Formula contains naturally derived extracts of valerian and lemon balm plus magnesium to help those who are experiencing sleep difficulties or particularly disturbed sleeping patterns to achieve a restful, restorative and quality sleep.

 Since I’ve already been taking Blackmores supplements (Women’s vitality multi and Fish Oil 1000), I decided to give this one a try. The fact that it’s made with natural ingredients adds bonus points in my books.

blackmores sleep sound

The recommended dosage as stated on the label is 2 tablets, 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. If you wake up in the middle of the night, you may take an additional half a tablet.

ingredients sleep sound

The natural, active ingredients include Valerian extract, lemon balm and magnesium.

 Valerian extract helps to reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep and improves sleep quality so you wake up feeling well-rested. Lemon balm provides a calming effect and relieves restlessness. Magnesium is important for the healthy function of the nervous system and muscle function. I learned that those who suffer from magnesium deficiency tend to have less time in deep sleep phases, hence, are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.

blackmores sleep sound tablets

Blackmores Sleep Sound Formula comes in a glass bottle with 30 tablets inside. The tablets come in an  average size of  2cm width, I had no problem taking both tablets at a time with some water or non-caffeinated warm tea.

 natural sleep supplement blackmores

I took two tablets nightly for five days and woke up each morning feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. It definitely helped me to feel more relaxed so I’m able to ‘switch off’ and sleep soundly all night.

 Sleep Sound Formula can be taken as long as required. However, if you continue to have sleeping problems, it is recommended that you see a healthcare professional to address any underlying issues.

 Small changes to your routine can also help you to sleep better. Here are my top 3 bedtime rituals that help me to relax, sleep better and ultimately, live better.

1. Drink herbal tea

herbal tea before bed

I’ll have a cup of green tea in the morning but usually skip caffeine past noon. At night, I’ll have a ‘sleepy time’ tea which is made of ingredients that promote sleep such as lemon balm and lavender flowers.

sweet dreams tea

There’s just something inherently calming about a warm sip before bed, even it’s just the ritual of taking the time to do so.

2. Twenty-minute yoga

back bend2

Practicising yoga for at least 20 minutes helps me to wind down as it relaxes both the mind and body. Stretching in general has a calming effect as it releases tension in the body. Make sure to breathe in deeply and exhale slowly when doing each pose to reap the benefits.

3. Relieve stress through meditation

Fay meditate

When you're stressed out, your adrenal glands release hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which keep you amped up and struggling to snooze. I spend at least 10 minutes on meditation to calm the mind and ease the soul. It encourages me to be present and slow down all the worries that collect throughout the day. It’s a simple but powerful way to relieve stress. You just have to take the time to try it yourself! :)

Are you still up past midnight struggling to fall asleep? Check out Blackmores Singapore Facebook page and take part in the IQ quiz that is scheduled every midnight from 31 March to 7 April 2014. Why not put this time to good use and challenge yourself with fun brain teasers as you’ll stand a chance to win a bottle of Sleep Sound Formula (worth $39).

There are 5 sets of Sleep Sound Formula to be won every night for 8 consecutive nights. Send in your correct answer to promotion@blackmores.com.sg. First 5 people who gets it right wins. For more information on Sleep Sound Formula, you may visit http://www.blackmores.com.sg/products/Sleepsound

Good luck and good night!

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31Mar/140

RECAP: Your Guide To A Beautiful Life on LxEdit

DAY 1

The first product that I feel good about sharing with you is the balance Me Radiance Face Oil.

lxedit-day-1

Radiance Face Oil has become a daily luxury for my skin. I’m a firm believer in 100% natural products and this one works extremely well for me. The nourishing blend of pure essential oils absorbs deeply into the skin without feeling greasy. Since I have combination skin that is more oily in the T-zone, using the Radiance Face Oil has helped to balance it out so my skin feels evenly hydrated. I use two golden drops every morning with an SPF moisturizer and about three drops at night on its own. The natural ingredients smell so divine and the non-greasy texture makes it ideal for massaging in after a long day.

DAY 2

Here’s to a brighter morning. Before bed, I like to use the Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Eye Creamunder my eyes. The light-weight texture absorbs well and leaves the delicate area under the eyes silky soft. As a little icing on the cake, I relax the eyes with a cooling eye mask for ten minutes before turning the lights out.

dr.hauschka regenerating eye cream

640x640xb197a79ab43011e3ac1e12ceb70df48c_8.jpg.pagespeed.ic.2QG7kWmTcT

DAY 3

I was pleasantly surprised to discover the unique texture of the Rejuvenating Mask by Dr. Hauschka. I’ve always used a clay mask that dries up and sort of hardens on your skin. This one, however, has a very creamy consistency, more like a lotion, which makes it easy to spread all over the skin without creating a mess.

rejuvenating mask

The lovely scent of lemon and tea tree oil is refreshing and somehow reminds me of a fancy spa. The mask feels very soothing on the skin and dries up after a few minutes, leaving no residue. Finally, a mask I can use while my boyfriend’s around! I happen to not like the idea of him seeing me looking like Green Goblin.

After twenty minutes, I used a warm, damp towel to wipe the face and neck. My skin feels noticeably softer and more radiant right away. I love the healthy glow!

Watch the Instagram video here.

DAY 4

After applying a moisturizing sunblock, I prefer to keep make-up as minimal as possible using only a concealer to hide dark under eye circles and minor blemishes. It’s all about enhancing your natural beauty. My go-to is the versatile Zoeva concealer and corrector palette.

640x640x5a1e6d48b6ef11e3994a127f2820e406_8.jpg.pagespeed.ic.TIM1FG_eSQI used to always have a problem getting the right concealer shade especially when I’m occasionally more tanned. This palette comes in twelve high pigmented concealer colors which you can mix-and-match to custom-blend a shade that suits your skin tone. The eight color correctors help to camouflage any skin problems on your body such as scars or bruises. I find it easiest to blend using only the fingertip. The texture is slightly creamy with a smooth, velvety finish. I recommend using a moisturizer or primer prior to the concealer for stay-on power.

DAY 5

This Sigma brush works very well for contouring. It’s just the right size and the angled shape makes it perfect for shading the sides of the nose, cheekbones and jawline. The brush is super soft and doesn’t shed any hair. It blends beautifully! I also use it with an illuminating powder to highlight the top of my cheekbones and nose bridge as a finishing touch.

sigma precision angled brush

DAY 6

After working hard all week, it’s important to have some ‘me time’. For me, it’s indulging in a relaxing bubble bath after a morning workout. It’s the perfect way for me to destress and unwind.

wild vanilla bean rahua omega mask konjac sponge

To set up a spa-like experience, I use a scented candle and some tealights. My favorite scent is the Wild vanilla bean soy candle. It smells heavenly and since it’s made with soy wax, it’s non-toxic and clean burning. I also use the Konjac body sponge with a little bit of soap to exfoliate the whole body. It’s gentle enough to even use on the face. To bring lustre and shine back to dry or frizzy hair, Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask is my lifesaver. Leave on for fifteen minutes and rinse off. Hair feels oh-so amazingly soft and silky smooth. I feel good about using these products because they are all 100% natural.

Love yourself and love the environment!

DAY 7

From hair mask to hair treatment, I can always count on using Rahua’s 100% natural products to keep my hair healthy and beautiful. Just a tiny dab of the Finishing Treatment is all I need and my hair is ready to go with or without a blow-dry. A little goes a long way… avoid using too much or hair may end up greasy. I find that it really helps to tame my frizzy hair, especially in this humid weather!

rahua finishing treatment

This post wraps up my Wellness Week special on LxEdit. I hope you’ve found my beauty tips helpful as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you! Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and don’t forget to bookmark my blog, WithLoveFay.com !

Filed under: Beauty, Blog, Reviews No Comments
24Mar/140

A Week Of Wellness: Your Guide To A Beautiful Life

To feel your best you have to take care of yourself. March is Wellness Month and I'll be sharing some beauty tips this week on the Luxola blog

LXedit Wellness Week With Fay

Wellness is a balance of the mind, body and spirit. Consciously taking care of your own wellness is crucial for your longevity and happiness. Since I'm always talking about fitness and exercise, I'd like to show some love on beauty.

 I personally chose these products from Luxola to try out this week in honor of Wellness Month. It's time to give the skin a treat in order to look good and put your best face forward! I'll be posting daily for the whole week on LX Edit to share on how I use these products as part of my beauty regimen. Follow me on Instagram for the photo updates :)

Fay luxola feature

A sneak peek of my favorite things this week. Bookmark LXedit.com and look out for my posts!

Be good to yourself and you'll be able to give a lot more to your family, friends and at work. Give yourself a healthy treat this wellness month. I'd love to hear what do to pamper yourself, leave it the comment please. Mahalo!

19Mar/141

Freshen Up With Darlie Expert Fresh

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It’s the first thing I get up to do in the morning and last thing I do before bed – brush my teeth. I’m paranoid about bad breath. Morning breath in particular can be quite embarrassing. There’s something a bit awkward in waking up and feeling like you need to go brush your teethbefore saying good morning to your boyfriend.

He says he doesn’t mind, but does he really?

Maintaining your oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. A healthy mouth and healthy body go hand-in-hand. Doesn’t it make sense to take control of keeping your teeth clean and breath fresh with the same focus you put on other aspects of your body?

Good thing there’s this new and effective product that I could feel satisfied about recommending to you – Darlie Expert Fresh. The key ingredient in this toothpaste includes an advance, active Zinc Citrate formula which provides all-rounded care for oral health.

darlie expert fresh toothpastet new

Bad breath is caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth. When you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, bacteria accumulate on the bits of food left in your mouth and between your teeth. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria make your breath smell.

When I was a kid, my mom used to tell me that if I don’t brush my teeth before bed, bugs will enter my mouth to feed on the bits of food stuck on my teeth. I’m pretty sure I’ve had nightmares from that…

if you don't brush your teeth before bed

Of course that doesn't ever happen. Better to be safe than sorry though. Protect your teeth!

The Active Zinc Citrate formula in Darlie Expect Fresh toothpaste effectively does two things – 1) Attack the source of bad breath by minimizing the formation of dental plague and tartar and 2) forms a protective shield to Defend against plaque build-up.

darlie expert fresh ingredients

The Attack-Defend system provides 12 hours of protection against bad breath. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day promotes healthier teeth and gum as well as fresher breath you can wake up to every morning.

 Darlie Expert Fresh toothpaste comes in a 120g tube at $5.90 and 40g tube (great for traveling!) at a promotional price of $2. It is available in most grocery and pharmacy stores such as NTUC FairPrice, Giant, Cold Storage, Sheng Siong, Prime, Watsons, Guardian and Unity.

darlie expert fresh toothpaste

I like that the toothpaste comes in a convenient pop top lid that can also stand on its own. No more losing a screw-on cap in the sink hole or trying to fit a toothpaste in your rinsing glass.

darlie toothpaste expert fresh

The minty flavor of this toothpaste gives your mouth a refreshing kick, one that I look forward to every morning!I can’t help but sweep my tongue over my teeth everytime after I brush them because it feels so squeaky clean.

darlie toothpaste expert fresh singapore

After brushing my teeth with Darlie Expert Fresh toothpaste, I’d rinse the toothbrush and use it to gently brush my tongue as well. A quick breath check (cup your hand over your mouth and breathe out…) tells me that I have a fresh breath that’s ready for a kiss! :-D

Join Darlie Expert Fresh at Chevron House Entrance for 'The Fresh Quest' on 20th & 21st March 2014  between 11:30am to 7:30pm for two fun-filled days of exciting games, freebies and promotions. Don't miss this, there's a chance you may even win an iPad Mini!

Watsons Chevron House

Head over to Darlie Singapore Facebook Page for more info!

Filed under: Advertorial, Blog 1 Comment
18Mar/141

Tech On Me: My Cover On Stuff Magazine Singapore

I'm sure you've probably seen this latest issue of Stuff magazine by now. It's everywhere. My face on the March 2014 issue of Stuff. Big news. For me, and for Stuff Magazine Singapore who's celebrating their 50th issue this month. Congrats!

stuff mag mar 2014

Fay hokulani stuff covers

Stuff magazine Singapore has done a great job of polishing the look and style of their magazine in the recent years. Content-rich, useful and up-to-date reviews and news on the latest tech stuff - I love it. Stuff is also featuring more software and apps rather than just hardware like they used to. (Tip: Look out for the "Projects" section as they focus on Apps that can make you do just about everything on your phone.)

It's my 3rd cover on Stuff (the best one if I had to say so myself, hehe)  and I love that I got to be more involved this time by modeling for their cover and also writing a review on the adidas miCoach Smart Run. In this issue, there's all the hype on wearable tech. Grab yourself a copy if you're looking for an honest review on the Google Glass, Pebble, Misfit Shine and adidas miCoach Smart Run.

Here's my review on the adidas miCoach Smart Run.

stuff adidas micoach

Another major news for Stuff is the launch of Stuff.tv in Asia. After its launch a few months ago, they gave me the opportunity to share my thoughts as a gadget geek by writing a review on some of my favorite fitness gadgets. Some useful info for you fitness enthusiasts out there, read: '6 Perfect Gadgets For Working Out' and '6 Must-Have Gadgets For Marathon Runners'.

The website will soon be available in multi language versions such as Thai, Vietnamese and Bahasa. There's always an update in the technology world so stay informed with Stuff.tv - set it as your homepage or add to bookmarks. Do this, you must.

Oh, and if you haven't heard (because you haven't gotten a copy of Stuff, obviously), Stuff is looking for tech-savvy cover girl in this year's Cover Girl Search. The winner will pose on the cover of Stuff August issue, blog and review for Stuff.tv and become a Stuff ambassador at their offline events. Loads of amazing prizes on top of that too - a one-year modelling contract with Singapore's Phantom Models (optional), a  Canon DSLR camera, a Nokia 1020 smartphone and Funan Digital Mall, Clarke Quay and Zalora vouchers and more. (I'd join the contest just to win prizes. Shh. Spoken like a true gadget geek...)

Here's your chance. It's now or never! Send in your entries here . If you refer the winner, you'll bag S$250 cash. Spread the word. Contest ends 20 March 2014 (Thursday)!

Check out the photos from our Cover Girl Search in Clarke Quay last Wednesday on the Stuff Facebook page. Feel free to overuse the Like button on their page :)

stuff cgs 2014

In other news, The planet's 10 most desirable geek girls. Thank you, Stuff.

Filed under: Blog, Feature, Reviews 1 Comment
26Feb/1411

Why I’m Not Going Back To Dairy Milk

Not too long ago, I embarked on this personal journey to be healthier. One of the first changes that I made to my diet was switching from cow's milk to non-dairy milk.  There's been a lot of research that suggest we aren't meant to drink animal's milk as our bodies cannot digest it and that dairy may actually be more harmful than beneficial to our health. I must say that before you make any radical changes to your own diet, do your own research and decide for yourself.

I chose to make the switch because I'm working on eating less animal products, eating healthier and in a way that is gentler on the planet. It was one of the easiest changes I made thanks to a huge selection of non-dairy milks on the market. That, plus the fact that my uncle whom I lived with in Florida at the time only drinks Silk. He was right when he said "once you start drinking Silk, there's no going back to dairy milk".

The time when I liked to wear sweatshirts because it fits so comfortably even after a big dinner. That's my uncle AB on the right, sitting next to Martini.

The time when I only wore sweatshirts because other clothes made me feel fat. That's my uncle AB on the right, sitting next to Martini. <3

The first couple of changes I noticed in my body after I stopped drinking dairy milk regularly is 1) my acne problem improved and 2) I felt less bloated in the morning.

So I did some research and  learned that:

1) Milk contains components related to the hormone testosterone that may stimulate oil glands in the skin, setting the stage for acne or aggravating its condition. My unhealthy eating habits of fast food and junk food obviously didn't help either.

2) Dairy doesn't cause bloating for everyone, but about 70% adults have some kind of lactose intolerance, which is when the body doesn't have the necessary enzyme to break down the lactose sugar. This causes increased gassiness because that sugar is not broken down. I concluded that having cereal with dairy milk in the morning was the likely cause of my morning bloat.

Lactose intolerance can develop over time and is often a normal part of aging since our bodies produce fewer lactase enzymes as we age. It is apparently more common in people with Asian, African, Native American, or Mediterranean ancestry than it is among northern and western Europeans. Approximately 30 million American adults have some amount of lactose intolerance by age 20. So don't feel bad if you suddenly realize you can't drink like you used to! There's always a better and healthier substitute.

Silk soy milk was the first non-dairy milk I tried back in 2007 and while I didn’t fall head over heels initially, it eventually grew on my taste buds with time. To be honest, the flavor of it unsweetened isn’t my favorite, but when I mix it into other foods I don’t notice it as much. They also have sweetened varieties of course. No matter the brand you buy, look for organic, GMO-free soy milk whenever possible.

When I initially moved to Kuala Lumpur in 2010, I struggled to find any Silk or organic non-dairy milk. The only options I had were pasteurized milk, skimmed milk, sweetened soy milk or sugary 'soya bean drink'. I checked out the dry (not cold) dairy aisle and found almond milk and rice milk on the shelves but to my dismay, either  the drinks went bad or just doesn't taste good... at all.  Good thing I was able to get it at Cold Storage in Singapore so I used to bring a carton back to KL every time I visited. Now, you can get Silk Soymilk in Malaysia at Village Grocer, Presto, Isetan or Cold Storage.

I've since tried other non-dairy milk, and from other brands as well, such as almond milk, rice milk and oat milk. With the increasingly high demand of healthy foods, it's finally taking over big supermarkets in Singapore and Malaysia.

Silk-Almond-Unsweetened-Vanilla

My favorite is Silk's Almondmilk (Unsweetened/Vanilla). However, I wished it came un a smaller size so I don't waste any! Almondmilk has a shorter shelf life than Silk organic soymilk (below) and sometimes certain stores only carry one or the other.

silk organic soy milk

 

Silk almondmilk and Silk organic soymilk have less sugar, cholesterol and calories than skimmed milk or 2% dairy milk.

Check out the comparison taken from their website below:

silk milk vs milk

Another reason to spend a few more bucks on organic: while both organic and conventional whole milk have the same amount of fat, organic has a better balance of essential fatty acids, including 62% more Omega-3s and 25% fewer omega-6s. Limiting intake of the latter can help reduce the risk of a variety of chronic conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders. To learn more about the difference between Omega-3s and Omega-6s, spend some time reading this article.

*     *     *     *     *

Here's a good reason to start drinking Silk: You can now order Silk soymilk online in Singapore and Malaysia! They don't carry almond milk (for now) as the shelf life is quite short, but you can get other varieties of soymilk including chocolate and vanilla.

Use the discount code below upon checkout to get 10% off  Silk products and all other products listed except those already on promotion. Valid for both online stores until 30th April 2014.

Discount code: FAY

essentiallivingsg

 Happy shopping!

Filed under: Blog, Food 11 Comments
19Feb/145

Get Fit At Home!

Here are some exercise tips you can try at home to shape up that body! The videos were made a while back, hence the long hair :D

You may choose to do either 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps for each exercise (rest between 30 to 60 seconds in between sets) OR if you looking to do a bit of cardio, try the HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) method. I use the Gymboss app on my phone to set up the interval timer.

To do the HIIT method, follow the sequence below:

Bulgarian split squats (20 or 30 secs)
Tricep dips (20 or 30 secs)
Squat sidekick (20 or 30 secs)
Plank squat (20 or 30 secs)
Plank twist (20 or 30 secs)
Single arm toe touch (20 or 30 secs)

REST (40 or 60 secs)

REPEAT 3x

Do as many reps as you can for each exercise in either 20 or 30 seconds (depending on your fitness level) and move on to the next. Rest period is either 40 or 60 seconds (if you worked for 20 secs, rest for 40 secs / if you worked for 30 secs, rest for 60).  Repeat the sequence for a total of 3 times.

*     *     *     *     *

1) Start off with the legs and work on your balance and glutes with the Bulgarian split squat.

bulgarian split squat

The two bottles you see next to chair are my homemade dumbbells! Look for a plastic bottle that comes in an hourglass shape so it's easy to hold on to. Fill it up with sand, beans or even just water and voila! You got yourself a recyclable 2-pound dumbbell.

homemade dumbbell

2) For the arms and triceps, use a stable dining chair to do tricep dips:

hmtv tricep dips

Tricep Dips - Watch the video

NEXT >

3) For hips and legs, bring out the ninja in you with this squat + sidekick combo:

hmtv squat sidekick

Squat + Sidekick Combo - Watch the video

NEXT >

4) Work up a sweat and engage those abs with this plank to squat move.

plank to squat

(have a sip of water while this gif loads up)

(have a sip of water while this gif loads up)

*Make sure your hands are directly in line with your shoulder in a plank/push-up position. Brace your core and make sure that your back is flat and your head, neck and spine are in a straight line. Avoid letting your stomach drop or allow your hips to rise up. 

NEXT >

5) Move on to the obliques while keeping the heart rate up with this plank twist.

plank twist

(have a sip of water while this gif loads up)

(have a sip of water while this gif loads up)

NEXT >

6) Lay down on a mat or towel and fire up those abs with single arm toe touches.

single arm toe touch

(have a sip of water while this gif loads up)

(have a sip of water while this gif loads up)

DONE!

Enjoy your home workout!

Filed under: Blog, Fitness, Workouts 5 Comments