Eu Yan Sang – Weight Management Program Post 6

I have a secret to admit.

I’m not the fastest runner. I think that’s got to do with the fact that I almost never run, at all. Even if I’m exercising, I would choose swimming and badminton over actual jogging. It just seems less tiring (yeah I do understand the point of exercise is to work your muscles) so when I was told that I’m supposed to run 5km one day for SHAPE RUN 2013 in conjunction with my Eu Yan Sang blog posts..

I freaked.

I would cringe so badly at the mention of even 1km. 5km?! I can’t remember the last time I ran half a km!  For your information, I’ve never done any 2.4kms during NAPFA tests. I’d skipped all NAPFA tests in school because 1) I was lazy and skipping stuff in school was my best subject and 2) I had a long term medical certificate for anemia. Having low blood pressure and anemia means I’m prone to spontaneous fainting spells & black outs, usually triggered by fatigue, lack of oxygen and vigorous exercise. I’m totally not kidding. I used to have scary black outs even while not exercising, all the time….. so I wasn’t going to risk it. Since I was in primary school, I’ve had to take medication to boost iron that produces healthy red blood cells. Perhaps it’s because I grew up very used to vbeing physically inactive, that this lifestyle habit carried on into my adult life, regrettably! It all makes sense now, lol.

Ok. grandmother story aside… one fine morning, like it or not, I woke up at 5am and hauled my ass down to Nicoll Highway where SHAPE RUN 2013 was held!!!

When I got there, I was surprised to find throngs of enthusiastic women who seemed very excited to gather and mass move our bodies together in a forward direction.

Can’t say I didn’t feel confused by their enthusiasm at first, but after the run, I now understand the sense of satisfaction that comes with these runs.

I met up with 3 of the winners (Pamela, MaryAnn, Christy) featured in my previous blog post, who were a lot brighter faced and cheerier than I was at 6:50am!

They’re all undergoing Eu Yan Sang’s Weight Management Program (the same one I did before) and this run is part of the whole arrangement. We were missing Adeline, our 4th winner however she was sick that day, and could not attend.

We packed our things into the lockers provided, got into the line and at 7am sharp, we started running!
By running I mean, er, alternating brisk walking and jogging. Ok fine a lot of walking!!!!!

Game faces on, and we’re gonna do this together!!!

The weather was very merciful, giving us slight breezes every now and then, and it was actually rather pleasant despite me huffing and puffing away. I felt refreshed and energetic after a few minutes of jogging. It’s quite motivating to jog with thousands of other runners because you feel like you’re all in this together!

 No one’s here to judge each other, there were women of all ages, races, shapes and sizes gathered to achieve one common goal : Complete the 5 kilometers, and to feel good about themselves for making a healthy lifestyle choice!

The first 1km was quite easy, which went by in the blink of an eye. I overtook the other 3 EYS winners at one point, and was happily jogging away, feeling extremely good. However….. soon, somewhere along the 1.5km to 2km mark, I started to lao hong and slow down a lot. HAHA and everyone ran past me. See la, hao lian at the start.

I took every photo opportunity I could get, but actually I just wanted a valid reason to stop running even for just a few seconds and not look like a loser, lol wtf.

 I chugged along slowly and kept telling myself, “You can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!” while Dory from Finding Nemo kept singing in an Ellen Degeneres voice, swimming around inside my head. I am 99% not found to be awake at 7am through 365 days a year, so the very fact that I was doing this seriously impressed me already. As you can tell, I’m easily impressed. :P



SOOOOOOOO HAPPY when I saw the water station!!!! When I took my first sip….

Ahhh, the gift of life! Look at that tortured face.

Remember what I said about every photo opportunity?

Anyway, this is Pamela, whom I didn’t recognize from her picture because she looks so much younger now and slimmer after losing some weight!!! She maintained the happy vibe throughout the whole run and in my opinion, did the best out of all of us. Job well done, Pam!

Well, after about an hour (to be exact 1 hour 8 mins) I REACHED THE FINISH LINE!!!!!! WOOHOOO. I played “We Are The Champions” from my phone, intending to sprint the last 200m but I was really too tired and walked all the way instead. -_- I know fit people only take 30 mins for 5km… but whatever… People are good at different things. Some at running, others at making nice looking cakes. :’D

WHAT DOES ACTUAL TIMING MATTER!! All I know is, I MADE IT! When I wasn’t even sure if I could wake up and get out of bed at 5am that morning. I’m proud of myself, and the other 3 girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done Pamela, Christy and MaryAnn!

Big big thanks go out to Jayne, my lovely Nuffnang manager who encouraged me from the start and even participated in the run herself to accompany me!!!! Every time I told her, “Jayne. I cannot. I DIE” she will say

“JESS!!!!!!!!! YOU CAN ONE!!!!!!!” Awww she’s such a sweetheart!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

Donning my SHAPE RUN 2013 medal and new Skechers running shoes, yay!!!

With a little heart, some hope and a lot of hard work…. you can make decisions that will change your life. If there ever is a 5km run again, I don’t mind doing it with friends, because it’s actually pretty fun! The post-run sense of achievement and feeling is great, and unlike any normal work out I’ve been through. It was more like a journey, than just exercise. It was the first time doing something like this for all of us, but with moderate eating & help from Eu Yan Sang’s Weight Management Program, we came through!

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Now, we asked Adeline and Christy how they felt after 3 months of undergoing the Weight Management Program, and here’s what they said! I have inserted my own comments in blue.

Interview with Adeline:

• The weight management program jump started my slimming process
• Did not engage in much exercise on my own during the program. However, due to the nature of my job as • a locations manager with the media, I am often outdoors, and I do a lot of walking (it always helps to have a more active lifestyle!)
• Ate my prescribed herbal medicine daily
• Did not visit my physician on a frequent basis (the treatment would be more effective with frequent and disciplined visits to your physician, of course)

How do you feel now?

Appearance wise, it is good. My colleagues & my children’s teachers asked if I had lost weight and stated that they could see a difference!
Health wise, I’ve observed more frequent bowel movement and urination, meaning an increased effectiveness in toxic expulsion. (I had very regular toilet trips while on my treatment, btw. #noshameinadmitting)energy level is also higher than before, along with a more controlled diet. In the past I used to crave for certain foods when feeling stressed. Now, my cravings have decreased and I eat in moderation.


Overall experience of the treatment:

My friendly physician prevents me from feeling pressurized during the procedures (This is really important as it motivates you instead of making you feel worse!)
First time doing acupuncture in my entire life! More than twenty needles were used for every session. Initially I was nervous, but the pain was bearable. There was no psychological barrier and with time, the experience gets better. However, I felt that it was rather boring to have to lie down for two hours every session because I am an active person. (Adeline did 1 hour of acupuncture each on her front and back for every session, not every one has the same treatment duration)
I also did cupping once in a while and found cupping effective, not minding the temporary marks.

On the whole, Adeline feels that this program is a healthy and gradual method of losing weight. The results are visible and the weight does not rebound, unlike with the use of slimming pills. She has even recommended the program to her colleagues and friends.

Adeline consults Physician Zhang Rui Fen at Eu Yan Sang TCM Wellness Clinic @ Jurong East.



How do you feel about the Eu Yan Sang Weight Management program?

Intially, I was a bit skeptical as the program needs to consume TCM. Working in the hospital, I’ve seen how some patients came in with TCM induced liver problems. I have not consumed any TCM before the start of the program.

What was the treatment like?
I didn’t have an issues with the needles and was not afraid of pain. (Most common feedback I’ve heard from people who’ve tried this treatment is that the needles pain is quite bearable) Physician Lin was always thoughtful to ask me if I felt any pain. At first, the herbal medication was a bit hard to swallow, but after a while, I got used to the taste. Physician Lin also did cupping on me based on my symptoms. (I never did cupping during my treatment, so every treatment is actually customized to each individual)


Is it what you expected?
Yes, I knew that this program has to adhere to TCM and acupunture.


Was it tough keeping to the program? Did the physician help/ encourage you so that you can keep to the program?
As I am doing shift work, it was hard to go for my treatments twice a week. I tried my best to turn up for appointments every week. Physician Lin was very encouraging, always keeping track of what I eat and what activites have I done to improve my weight loss. (I find it helpful that my physician keeps track of these things for me – it’s so easy to lose track of your lifestyle habits when you’re not paying attention!!!)


How has your overall health improved?
My intital weight when I went for my first consultation was 104kg. My current weight now is 99 kg.
I have since changed my lifestyle and eating habits, as Physician Lin will always ask me not to take carbs for dinner. I have since included more greens and healthy food. I am also not so lethargic as I used to be.


Christy consults Physician Lin Xiao Yan at Eu Yan Sang TCM Wellness Clinic @ Tiong Bahru.
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xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess

Recipe: Matcha Pistachio Tofu Cheesecake

Today’s recipe is as healthy as a dessert or a cake is going to get.

You won’t need an oven or any baking skills for this no-bake cheesecake, because it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy! It’s so light & easy on the palette, you can enjoy it with little guilt, even if you’re trying to watch your diet.
This Matcha Pistachio Tofu Cheesecake has a texture that’s a cross between a pudding and a real cheesecake.

It’s not rich like a New York Cheesecake, in fact it’s the very opposite… it just glides over your tongue and slides down your throat instead of getting stuck in your teeth and the roof of your mouth, making you feel thirsty and greedy. If you’re looking for something really rich and indulgent, this is not it. A tofu cheesecake is intentionally light on the taste buds. My mom would approve of this, I think!

Ingredients (7-8 slices):

Tofu Cheesecake Filling

  • 300g silken tofu
  • 250g SCS cream cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 200g natural plain yoghurt / sour cream
  • 50g full cream milk
  • 15g gelatin powder
  • 50ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Biscuit Base

  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 80g melted SCS butter

Matcha Pistachio Topping

  • 20g matcha powder
  • 100g crushed salted pistachios

SCS is my preferred brand of butter for its premium quality & top notch smooth, creamy texture. It’s an extremely popular brand used by a lot of bakers in Singapore since it became a household name many years ago. I used SCS cream cheese for my tofu cheesecake filling & SCS butter for the biscuit base.

Other recipes I’ve used SCS butter for include buttercream, butter cookies, cupcakes & cakes, spreading on toast for breakfast.. I always insist on using real butter for my cooking & baking. Shortening, margarine or other forms of alternative have just never cut it for me. You can definitely taste the difference when you don’t use the good stuff. And when I bake or cook, I HAVE to use the best stuff. I will settle for nothing less, it would be a dishonor to my own cooking and dignity. I’m that particular about it.

In other words… To me, butter is gold!

Directions:

  1. Line a removable base baking pan (8″ round size) with baking paper and spray with non-stick cooking oil.
  2. Crush the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs and combine with melted butter.
  3. Press tightly into cake pan with the back of a spoon. Leave baking pan in the freezer until required later.
  4. Dissolve and stir gelatin powder in warm water. Set aside for use later.
  5. Empty the rest of tofu cheesecake filling ingredients into an electrix mixer, and mix until well combined, around 1 minute. Add the dissolved gelatin at the end, stirring thoroughly.
  6. Remove baking pan from the freezer. Pour your tofu cheesecake mixture into the pan.
  7. Sprinkle the top generously with matcha powder and pistachios. 
  8. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until firm to the touch, when it doesn’t wobble too much when you shake the pan.
Make sure you use a cake pan with a removable base, because that’s the only way you’re going to get your tofu cheesecake out without wrecking it!

When it’s ready to be served, I run along the edges of the cake with a warm butter knife, scraping against the pan to make sure the edges come out as smooth as possible.

This recipe is so effortless and elegant – just mix away, then after 4 hours in the fridge.. you’ve got your dessert! No fuss, just pure pleasure. The hints of matcha and traces of pistachio complement the cheesecake wonderfully. Subtlety is everything in this recipe
Most people like to mix the matcha powder into the filling, which makes it end up looking like some sort of weird green cheese block at the end. I’ve done things differently by layering it generously over the top because the presentation is so much prettier and as long as you sprinkle enough of it, the green tea notes will still be there. Just on the top, so it doesn’t alter the taste of the rest of the cheesecake.
On this note, though, I have to mention that pistachios and matcha are not a necessity in this recipe. If you don’t like green tea or you’re allergic to nuts, try replacing the topping with a tangy & sweet fruit like passionfruit puree or raspberry compote. Equally delish!

Enjoy your perfect little slice of homemade Matcha Pistachio Tofu Cheesecake!

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SCS knows how much I love baking and sharing about my kitchen adventures on my blog, so they have generously offered to gift 5 of my lucky followers / aspiring bakers with their very own SCS Bakers’ Kit, worth $128!


Filled with baking goodies & essentials such as measuring spoons & cups, heatproof oven mittens, baking trays and silicone moulds.. now if only I had one of those when I started out baking… would’ve made my life a lot easier! Never under estimate the power of the right tools in the kitchen.

To win yourself a set of SCS Bakers’ Kit, all you have to do is:

  1. “Like” SCS Facebook page.
  2. Leave a comment on this blog post describing why you prefer SCS dairy or how you personally enjoy using SCS products, be it in your baking / kitchen / simply spreading over toast!
  3. Don’t forget to include your name & email address.
  4. Winners will be chosen by 28 February 2014 and contacted via email shortly after.

For more information & news about SCS Dairy and access to yummy free recipes to use their products in, visit their website!

xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess

Our 5th Valentine’s Day together

This year, the boyfriend and I spent 90% of our Valentine’s Day slaving away making macarons & cakes for other people until we forgot to even eat and have our regular meals.. so we ended up not really having any plans at all, except for a pretty rushed dinner together. We don’t make a big deal out of V’day anymore, considering since it’s our 5th one together by now – we’re getting more practical over the years. Flowers and fancy dinners are just too expensive and unnecessary. (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Still, I wanted to have something to remember this Valentine’s Day by… so I arranged for a couple photoshoot (without him knowing anything) and surprised him a few days before the 14th of February!

In all our time being together, Sam and I have taken thousands of photos together. I’m extremely trigger happy and I make him pose for photos for keepsake & blogging purposes all the time. But we’ve never actually taken proper photos with a professional photographer together – something fancy, something planned, something we can frame and put on the wall. Who says you have to be engaged or married to take a couple’s photoshoot?!

I made him dress up, sneakily pretending we were going on a date, when really we were going to Chijmes to snap away for an hour (that was really all we could spare out of our crazy hectic February schedule) and I’m so happy we did this because I wholeheartedly adore the photos. I can’t wait to get them printed!!!! 
These are my top picks from the whole shoot, but the first one’s my absolute favorite. I could stare at it all day and smile to myself. The corners of my lips can’t help but turn upwards every single time I see this.
Photography by the wonderful Ace Chia. 

Thank you so much for capturing these moments for us, Ace!!! :) You were a joy to work with. This is Ace’s first couple photoshoot and we’re honored to be her first lovey dovey subjects. She normally does fashion photography, but we decided to switch things up a little because V’day was just around the corner. I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with this talented young lady on more than one project, and we had a lot of fun even though it was the first time we’d met! Sam is still kinda stiff when it comes to posing in front of the camera (understandably), but we have more shoots in the planning so hopefully he loosens up in time to come. 

Happy 5th Valentine’s Day together, Sam.
We’ve been through so much together, it’s mind boggling. We’ve went from gaming friends on opposite sides of the globe to having a house together, from riches to poorness to building a business, confusion to bliss to misery to stability & comfort, and even though we scream and fight all the time….

You’re still my Valentine. To have and to hold, always.
xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess
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