minced pork

What I learnt after losing 20kg in 3 months

1. It always starts on a high note but the key thing is to keep it going.

You see someone losing a lot of weight and suddenly you are so inspired and pumped to reach your ideal weight, or you realise that you have put on a significant amount of weight and decide to crash diet. It could even be for an upcoming important event. Usually this inspiration will last for a week or two, after which you start to give yourself a little more allowance, this is where most people fall back to where they were. It happened to me countless times.

You have to want it bad enough.

2. You have to be consistent.

Losing weight is hard af, but the important thing is to be consistent. This is what I did:

- take weekly progress photos (whenever I see how my body changes week by week I’m motivated to push on)

- weigh in weekly (I know how easy it is to be obsessed with the scale)

- follow inspiring people (this helps you more than you think)

- whenever I feel lazy to work out, which happens almost every single day, I tell myself this: ‘if you get out there and do what you have to for 30mins, you are one step closer to your goal. If not, the time will pass anyway even if you’re scrolling through Facebook.’

3. Workout

I started with swimming because it was the easiest. You don’t sweat as much, it’s easy on your knees, and it burns a shit load of calories.

After some time, I switched over from swimming to cycling HIIT on my stationary bike. After which I started doing blogilates’s PIIT28, and started hitting the gym after that.

What I’m trying to say is, change up your activities once in a while! Add some variation to your workout by keeping things interesting and you will look forward to it.

My best friend got me out of my comfort zone. I have been so unfit all my life that I wasn’t able to complete even a 2.4km jog. She dragged me along for a run and I fell in love with jogging. To be fair it happened about 6 weeks after I started working out.

It doesn’t get easier, you just get better!

You only need 30mins a day to complete your daily workout. Choose one workout, be it jogging or HIIT, and just do it!

No matter how tired I am, I make sure to get my 30mins in. Sometimes I impress myself with my determination.

4. Moral support

You’re committed to your goals and are working hard towards it. We all know it gets lonely sometimes. Motivate a friend to do the same! Motivate each other when things get tough or the scale is not budging. I’m lucky to have my BFF on this journey together with me.

Even for those who discourage you or those who once called you fat, you got to have the fire in you to make a change and prove them wrong!

Do it for yourself, your love ones. I know you can. I have fallen off the wagon many times too. But the lower you fall, the higher you will fly. Believe in yourself. I promise you, once you start believing, everything will fall in place. There will not be success without failure. You will get there sunshine. One day you will shine. You just got to start believing in yourself and start working damn hard towards your goal.

Old saying but pushes me a lot: 
it’s never going to be easy but it’s going to be SO worth it.

5. You didn’t gain it overnight, don’t expect to lose it in a month.

Don’t be demoralised just because people ain’t noticing the changes. Don’t beat yourself up.

I gave myself 6 months to reach my goal weight. 7kg more to go! Yay!

6: Your boobs/butt will shrink, there might be loose skins/ stretchmarks if you lose weight too fast.

What I did for boobs and butt:

Do planks and squats every day. Yes every day. It helps firms your boobs and squats give your flat booty a lift. 

I learnt this the hard way. Losing 50kg in a year 2 years ago definitely tested my skin’s elasticity. I researched ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks since the only way you eliminate them is through a laser surgery.

Loose skins and stretchmarks are tricky. I tried everything so I can’t pinpoint what worked and what didn’t.  But it reduced the appearance of stretchmarks and my skin doesn’t look too loose either.

What I did:

- Drink lots of water (it really works!)

- Dry brushing

- Body scrubs (if you ask me I would say coffee scrub, I didn’t start selling it for no reason)

- Bio oil

- Clarins body tonic oil

- Weight training/resistance training                        

7. Relationship with food

Many asked me what meal plans do I follow or do I have certain calorie restrictions.

I have to clarify that I’m not going for a hot lean body hence this method might not work for you if you are going for that.

I do not follow any specific meal plans. I did many times in the past and tried countless meal plans including Herbal life, natroslim or even master cleanse diet. I’m not saying that all these doesn’t work, they do. You will see yourself losing weight, but it isn’t sustainable.

I eat whatever I want now but I control the portions strictly. I cut out sugar drinks too. Don’t underestimate the calories you are taking in as well, it could be the reason why you are not seeing results.

Learn to say no when being offered food (who does that?!). It’s not easy to say no to the piece of chocolate your best friend got for you, but it’s even harder burning it off later during your workout. If you didn’t plan to eat it, don’t. Save it for another day.

There are days when I have peanut butter toast in the morning, fish soup for lunch and economic rice without any rice (just the meat and vege side dishes) for dinner.

But there will also be days where I crave fried chicken. I order them without sides and go without sugar drinks.

Sometimes I live on ban mian (Singapore-style noodles with mince pork soup) without finishing the noodles. Or some days I have fruits before going to bed.

I try to keep my calorie intake within 1500. I don’t feel starved at all and I eat whatever I want in moderation. It keeps me content to keep going.

You are what you eat. If you know the food you are craving for is unhealthy, have it in small amounts. We all know what happens when we over indulge. A healthy journey consists of 80% diet and 20% exercise.

Food that will help you in your journey:

- Water, just drink enough water.

- Unsweetened green tea, yes you’ve heard this 2 million times. But it works.

- Fruits: Papayas, Watermelons, Apples, Bananas, Lemons and Kiwis.

- Needless to say lots of vegetables

Try new recipes like cauliflower rice. Or replace potato chips with kale chips.

There won’t be any food to avoid in my list because I genuinely believe in moderation.

8. Curbing cravings

You just had dinner but you are craving for dessert. We all know it’s not acceptable to do it every day.

I’d go for a jog if I were you. The cravings for unhealthy food usually subside after a run. You’ll burn 150 calories with 30 minutes of jogging, but it takes 1 serving of potato chips to gain it back. Is it worth it? You be the judge.

If not I’ll find an alternative like yogurt or fruits to curb the cravings.

The last method is to take off your clothes in front of the mirror and stare at your body. Tell me if you still want that tiramisu after that.

Many times we eat not because we need it but because we want it. A treat is only a treat if you have it once in a while. 

9. Shitty days

Just recently I broke down and cried just because I felt fat. I felt like the ugliest/biggest girl in the world and I just wanted to hide away from the world. There will be days where you feel like shit and nothing you do makes sense to you.

I allowed myself to cry and tell myself that I’m not good enough.

Sometimes we have to embrace our emotions instead of hiding them. Only when we acknowledge what we are feeling, will we be able to fix what’s really broken inside.

After my emotional battle, I pick myself up and continue whatever I was doing. I fixed what was going on inside and stayed focused. People around me saw results. I saw my results. I deserved every single bit of it because I worked hard for it.

Happiness is a choice. You are how you feel about yourself.

Don’t give up on something just because of the time or the difficulty to achieve it. The time will pass anyway. If you don’t work on yourself, who’s going to do it.

I learnt to love myself for every stretchmark, cellulite and scar that’s on me. At the same time, I do my best to be a better version of myself.

10. Take a break If you are tired, not quit.

Lastly, regardless how many times you fail, as long as you get up and try again, you will succeed in the end.

Getting healthy is not a quick fix, it’s a lifestyle. There will be days you feel like eating fast food and not working out. But as long as you get back on your feet the next day, I promise that everything will work out.

Never ever give up on yourself and your body, because you are the only one living in it.

Hope this helps!! Happy 2017! Keep on rocking! :) Let’s embrace 2017 together and achieve whatever you need to acheive!

@motiveweight - submission 

Beginners guide to k-food!

김치 (gim-chi) Kimchi or kimchee. Traditional fermented vegetable dish often served as a side dish or cooked into the meal e.g. 김치볶음밥 (gim-chi-bokk-eum-bap) kimchi fried rice or 김치찌개 (gim-chi-jji-gae) kimchi stew.

라면 (ra-myun) Ramyun is instant noodles. You’ll see a lot of people eating these in dramas and are sold cheaply at korean markets. There are many variations of these but one you can find easily is 신라면 (shin-ra-myun), one of the most popular brands.

떡볶이 (ddeok-bokk-i) Spicy stir fried rice cakes. There isn’t really a proper translation but think of these as delicious spicy but sweet rice cakes. They’re a street food and often contain fish cakes.

불고기 (bul-go-gi) Bulgogi. Literally: fire meat. Bulgogi can be beef, pork, chicken….. It will specify on the menu. Meat is marinated then grilled. Delicious.

짜장면 (jja-jang-myun) Jjajangmyun. A Korean-Chinese black bean noodle dish. Available at Korean Chinese takeaways. This is noodles, 면 (myun) means noodles, in a thick black bean sauce with minced pork and vegetables. This is a variation of the Chinese dish zhajiangmian.

잡채 (jap-chae) Japchae. Glass noodles with mixed vegetables, sometimes with meat.

삼겹살 (sam-gyeop-sal) Samgyeopsal. Grilled pork belly.

비빔밥 (bi-bim-bap) Bibimbap. A dish consisting of rice topped with mixed vegetables and then can also contain fish, meat, a fried egg or spicy sauce. It is mixed and eaten.

김밥 (gim-bap) Kimbap. A snack food consisting of vegetables and/or meat rolled in rice and then wrapped in seaweed.

happy eating everyone  ♡

Cantonese- style Eggplant Stew

My boyfriend loves this dish, so … I decided to give it a try and make it for him! This is one of the traditional Cantonese dishes or stews that are meant to be eaten with rice or even rice noodles. The flavor is quite strong, so definitely not a dish to be eaten as an appetizer.

Nevertheless, it’s a very cheap and easy dish to make. If you are someone who likes Chinese food, this might be a good dish to try making. (If you’re too lazy to make it, try looking for it in a Chinese restaurant.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 lb minced pork
  • 3 tbsp cooking alcohol (any non-sweetened spirits work as well)
  • 1 chilli
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce (or 2 tbsp soy sauce + 2 tbsp sugar)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp white pepper powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. First, prepare the eggplants by washing them thoroughly. Then coarsely chop the eggplants into 1 inch slides.

2. Marinade the minced pork. Mix it with soy sauce, sugar, cooking alcohol and white pepper powder.

3. In a pan, saute the garlic until it turns slightly brown. Then add in the minced pork and cook until it’s almost fully cooked.

4. Then add in the eggplants into the pan and saute. Now, also add in the rest of the ingredients.

5. Next, add in about ¼ cup of water and corn starch. Lightly simmer it for about 5 minutes.

6. Saute for another 5 minutes for the flavors to distribute.

Lumpia is a spring roll of Chinese origin, commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines. It’s a savory snack of thin crepe pastry skin with a mix of fillings, such as carrots, cabbage, green beans, bamboo shoots, leeks, sometimes also minced meat (chicken, shrimp, pork, beef). It’s often served as an appetizer or snack, and may be served deep fried or unfried.

Bolognese sauce, in Italian as “ragù alla bolognese”, is a meat-based sauce from Bologna, customarily used to dress “tagliatelle al ragù” and to prepare “lasagne alla bolognese”. In the absence of tagliatelle, it can be used with other broad, flat pasta, such as pappardelle or fettuccine. Genuine ragù alla bolognese is a slowly cooked sauce. Ingredients include a soffritto of onion, celery and carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped beef, often alongside small amounts of fatty pork. Red wine and a small amount of tomato concentrate or tomatoes are added, the dish is then gently simmered at length to produce a thick sauce.

Outside Italy, the phrase “Bolognese sauce” often refers to a tomato-based sauce as pictured above to which mince beef or pork is added; such sauces typically bear little resemblance to ragù alla bolognese. Whereas in Italy ragù is not used with spaghetti, so-called “spaghetti bolognese” has become a popular dish in many other countries in spite of complaints against it as one of the “crimes against ragù.” 😀

Banh Khot, Ho Chi Minh City

Banh khot is a Vietnamese dish I’d never seen or heard of before arriving in Ho Chi Minh City. Not on any menu I’ve come across in my travels before. Turns out it’s a quite popular snack in the country where it was created though. We stumbled upon banh khot by chance as we were leaving Ben Thanh Market, just outside of this shop…

The store was closed, but its entrance was where these women had set up shop…

Banh khot are Vietnamese mini pancakes… savory, not sweet… made from rice flour, corn starch, tumeric powder, coconut milk and scallion, cooked in what looks like a takoyaki pan, or “aebleskiver” as it’s known in Europe…

The woman in pink ladeled in the batter and grilled the “pancakes”…

The woman in black made the toppings, either fried shrimp or minced pork with vegetables…

For about $2.75 US, you’re delivered a tray of 12 banh knot with lettuce, fresh herbs and dipping sauce…

You then use the lettuce as your base and make your own pancake wraps, like so…

I enjoyed a few as wraps but actually preferred eating the small, savory pancakes as is, with just a touch of the vinegar and chilli sauce along with some mint, to be honest.

Yet another common Vietnamese cuisine I wish we had back home.

Oh, and if you do go to Ben Thanh Market to look for these banh khot, go early in the day. These ladies set up here around noon and sell out by around 4pm every day!

2

Mett is a preparation of minced raw pork popular in Germany. The name is derived from Low German/Old Saxon (meti = “food”). It’s also known as Hackepeter (20th century jargon from Northern/Eastern Germany/Berlin). It consists of freshly minced pork sold by butchers, served seasoned with salt and black pepper, regionally also with garlic or caraway, and eaten raw. Sometimes chopped onion is added, in which case it is known as Zwiebelmett. Often, sliced onions and more spices go on top for a sandwich. Legally, German Mett cannot contain more than 35% fat. The German Hackfleischverordnung (“minced meat directive”) permits Mett to be sold only on the day of production, so it’s very fresh and consumed raw on the same day. Leftovers may be cooked as Frikadellen (meatballs) or used in other dishes. Schinkenmett (“ham Mett”) from the upper thigh, is considered especially fine. The law does not permit temperatures over 2°C and ice may not be used for cooling in order to keep it safe. Raw Mett is usually eaten on bread rolls (Mettbrötchen) or on sliced dark bread. At buffets, it’s sometimes served as a Mettigel (hedgehog, as above), this was especially popular in past decades. Mett can be made more durable in the form of Mettwurst, a delicious spicy and frequently smoked raw sausage. 

8

Dry Curry from Amaama to Inazuma. Credits to @itadakimasu-letmeeat for the gifs! I have finally cleared the bulk of my thesis writing, overseas conferences, and manuscript revision (please please please let it be published in a top tiered journal!), so it’s time to get cooking. This curry is very very sweet. My mum and bro said it’s pretty good, but that it’s pretty much bolognese with an added curry flavour. It’s also stickier and more pleasant on the palate, I think, because of the curry roux. You can put in more salt to mitigate the sweetness of the vegetables. Like Tsumugi said, I couldn’t really tell that there were bell peppers in there, so it’d be good for people who don’t eat their vegetables. 

Dry Curry (makes ~2-3)

  • 400 g minced meat (I used pork, the anime used beef)
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • Half a large onion (chopped)
  • Half an eggplant (chopped)
  • Half a bell pepper (chopped)
  • Half a carrot (chopped)
  • 1 celery stick (chopped)
  • 30 g raisins 
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cubes of Japanese curry roux (or curry powder like in the anime)
  • Chicken stock (or 1 bouillon cube dissolved in water like in the anime)
  • Teaspoon of salt

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan and saute garlic and ginger till fragrant. Add the onion and saute till translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables (I know they added the vegetables in an order in the anime, but to me it didn’t really seem to matter). Saute until the vegetables start to sweat juices and look wilted.
  2. Add the minced meat and quickly make chopping motions to separate and incorporate them into the vegetables. Saute until meat turns white.
  3. Add the tomato paste and curry roux. It will be difficult to incorporate them into the vegetables, so thin them out by pouring some chicken stock into the pan. Try to break them up and mix them into the meat and vegetables until well combined.
  4. Add salt to taste. (They also grated an apple into the sauce but my curry roux already contains apple). Add in the raisins and simmer till sauce is thick and the raisins are plump.
  5. Serve with white rice!

Cypriot cuisine is the cuisine of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. It’s closely related to Greek and Turkish cuisine and has been influenced by Byzantine, French, Italian, Catalan, Ottoman, and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Mezedes is a large selection of dishes with small helpings of varied foods, brought to the table as a progression of tastes and textures. The meal begins with black & green olives, tahini, skordalia (potato & garlic dip), hummus, taramosalata (fish roe dip), and tzatziki/çaçık, all served with chunks of fresh bread and mixed salad. Some of the more unusual meze dishes include octopus in red wine, snails in tomato sauce, brains with pickled capers, samarella (salted dried meat), quails, pickled quail eggs, kappari pickles (capers), and moungra (pickled cauliflower). Bunches of greens, some raw, some dressed with lemon juice and salt, are a basic features. The meal continues with fish, grilled halloumi cheese, lountza (smoked pork tenderloin), keftedes (minced meatballs), sheftalia (pork rissoles), and loukaniko (pork sausages). Hot grilled meats – kebabs, lamb chops, chicken – may be served toward the end. The dessert is usually fresh fruit or glyka – traditional sugar-preserved fruits and nuts. Other than people on the Greek side, people on Turkish side of the island will not consume pork as they are Muslims.