Recipe: Kale Smoothie Oat Bowl

Adding greens to my meals have never been so simple! Currently, I am increasing my greens intake by adding them in for breakfast – one of the easiest ways to kick-start a healthy day. Green juice, green smoothie and green oat bowl makes a perfect breakfast choice for me. I picked kale as my choice of green! Why?!

Kale is also known as “the queen of greens” and has a long list of benefits under its name. This nutritional powerhouse is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat, at the same time delicious! Kale plays an awesome role by aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. Nutrient-dense, kale contains fiber and sulfur – both great for detoxifying and keeping our liver healthy. Moreover, you can mix and match kale with any kind of frozen fruits and transform distinctly different flavor profiles possible with it. How yummy!

For more kale benefits: Read here.

1. Kale Smoothie Oat Bowl

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of Kale (4-5 leaves)
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1/2 cup of Frozen Coconut flesh
  • 1/2 cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 cup of Soy Milk (Unsweetened) / Any milk of your choice
  • A handful of chia seeds
  • Honey (Optional)

TOPPINGS

  • Strawberries Slices
  • Banana Slices
  • Blueberries

DIRECTIONS:

Place all the ingredients into the blender and blend it high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth. Pour kale oat smoothie mix into a bowl and top it with your choice of toppings. My perfect breakfast choice anytime!

2. Kale Smoothie Drink

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of Kale (4-5 leaves)
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1/2 cup of Frozen Coconut flesh
  • 1 cup of Soy Milk (Unsweetened) / Can replace water for a lighter taste

DIRECTIONS:

Place all the ingredients into the blender and blend it high for 30 seconds until smooth and serve.


For breakfast, I prefer eating from a bowl as it feels more satisfying than drinking it in a glass. After 7-8 hours of sleep (hibernation), the body requires more energy to kick-start the day. Therefore, by adding in oats into our usual smoothie combination – makes it a perfect breakfast choice. As for the smoothie drink, I consume it during “snack-time” for an energy boost or as my dinner replacement if I am not feeling too hungry at night.

While smoothie bowls are trending, it is also important to take note of the calories consumed. By adding too much nut butters, sweetened yoghurt, raw nuts or granola – you can easily end up with several hundred more calories than you might suspect. Therefore, do keep portions in check and smoothie bowl definitely makes a nutritious and healthy meal.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do! ♡

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My favourite breakfast recipes

Who else agree that breakfast is the best meal of the day?! Well, I do! I love breakfast most and look forward to them every time I finish my morning workout session. I vary my breakfast choices from oatmeal, fruit/tofu/oat smoothies, eggs toast, and nut butter spread on whole-grains and fruits salad. Also, I get much inspiration from my Ig feeds from people like @stayfitandtravel@funkyfitnessfoods and many other health foodie gurus! It is always interesting to try out a new breakfast recipe and totally get hooked on it. By doing so, I expand my knowledge on healthy eating and learn to prepare healthy food for my subsequent meals as well.

            Do you know the benefits of eating breakfast?

1. Energy Boost to Start the Day

Everyone should start their day off right by eating as many vitamins and other nutrients as possible. The great thing about breakfast is there are so many common breakfast foods that can be considered super-foods because of their nutrition value:

  • Eggs: Including an egg or two for breakfast may require a few extra minutes of preparation time, but the potential health benefits make them worth cooking and eating. Not only are eggs packed with protein and amino acids, they are also one of the few, significant sources of vitamin D, which is important for absorbing calcium for stronger bones.
  • Whole grains: Whether you are taking them in the form of bread, cereal or oatmeal, breakfast is one of the best times to enjoy whole grains in your meal. This super-food is a great source of fiber, which is essential for a healthy heart and digestive tract, and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
  • Vitamin C: You can hit your daily intake of vitamin C in your very first meal of the day, whether it’s in the form of a juice or solid fruit. Oranges, grapefruits and apples are common fruits on the breakfast table.

2. Breakfast Helps Reduce Morning Crankiness

Imagine going without food for 8 to 12 hours during the day; you probably won’t be the most approachable person in the office or classroom. Do yourself, your classmates and your co-workers a favor by eating breakfast to help you deal with any morning moodiness and stress.

3. Metabolism Boost

When you sleep, your metabolism tends to slow down. The only way to jump start your metabolism for the day is to start off right with a healthy breakfast. This will allow your body to start burning through calories from the very beginning of the day, rather than in the middle of it after you’ve eaten lunch.

Read more on : Benefits of eating breakfast

My recent breakfast try-outs;

1. Pumpkin and Banana Smoothie Oat Bowl (Inspired from @stayfitandtravel)

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Slice of Pumpkin (Steamed and puree)
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 3/4 cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup of Almond Milk

TOPPINGS

  • Chia Seeds
  • Banana Slices
  • Dried fruits

DIRECTIONS:

Place all the ingredients into the blender and blend it high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth. Pour pumpkin smoothie mix into a bowl and top it with your choice of toppings. This must be one of my favourite recipes – it is really simple and easy to make!


2. Overnight oats topped with Organic Almond Butter, Rock Melon and Cocoa Nibs

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup of Rolled Oats
  • 4 tablespoon of Greek Yoghurt
  • 1 cup of Oat Milk or any milk of your desired choice
  • Honey (Optional)

TOPPINGS

  • Homemade Almond Butter
  • Rock Melon, diced
  • Chia Seeds
  • Raw Unsweetened Cocoa Nibs

DIRECTIONS:

Place all the ingredients into a jar/bowl and mixed them thoroughly. Add in homemade almond butter (otherwise, any other nut butter), chia seeds and cocoa nibs together. Close lid and leave it in fridge overnight. Rolled oats should be soft after soaking in milk and yoghurt (at least for 4 hours). Topped the overnight oats with fresh fruits of your choices and enjoy!


I usually prepare oiaj – oats in a jar, the night before consuming them. As leaving them in the fridge overnight will soften oats further. This breakfast choice save me much time before the mad morning rush everyday. Do also play around with the portions, it took me a lot on varying the amount of oats, milk, yoghurt and fruits to finally getting my favourite combination. I also use Greek yoghurt for it’s high protein and low fat content as compared to sweetened flavoured yoghurts which is full of sugars. A cold yet hearty healthy breakfast packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients in a jar which does not require cooking at all. How amazing!

*Do also note that overnight oats should be consumed within 3 days of making as to maintain freshness of oats and milk.*

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do! ♡

Working out and eating well

I think I found my life passion and that is fitness. As I progressively work on my body, I have seen many positive changes and how I love being soaked in sweat after a tough workout. Pushing further though it seems impossible to do so, and achieving what I previously thought I wouldn’t at all. Lifting that dumbbell or dropping for another push up doesn’t seems as easy as it possibly would after some kick-ass resistance circuits. Seriously, the start was never easy.

I don’t know how to explain this feeling of mine but I thought the sense of achievement and empowerment from working out is not what money can bring about, but something stronger mentally. The mind is the trigger point of an empowered person, vice versa, a lazy person. People often say they have no time because they are busy with work/family/friends/self, but who’s not? We all need to prioritize what is most important to us. If health is, then why not work harder and eat better?

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Another point to note is that fitness is not just about working out but also eating well. Proper nourishment for the body is essential and in fact, more important than exercising.

                                     Do you know the 70/30 rule?

70% – Food and 30% – Exercise. This also means that no amount of exercise can ever make up for a poor diet. The truth is that no matter how many times in a week you have exercised, it will all count for absolutely nothing if you are not paying attention to your diet. The only way to lose flab is to reduce intake for fat, oil, salt and sugar. In return, to fuel our body with fresh vegetables, fruits and lean protein source. This is because you cannot convert fat into muscle or vice-versa. Therefore doing stomach exercises without changing your diet may well make your stomach look bigger as you could be building some muscles underneath the fat. (Read more)

Personally, I am reducing my frequency eating out and preparing my own meals as much as possible. Meal preparation is definitely not an easy task as it is time consuming and troublesome. But it will be worth it as I know what kind of food is going into my body – No MSG, Less or No Sodium, Less or No Oil lastly, Clean Produce (Washed Vegetables, Fresh Meat). Having control of the taste, cooking method and enjoying the process of nourishment. I love cooking too! Heh.

Step-by-Step for Meal Preparation (My kind of menu)

  1. Stock up on food source
  • Protein – Eggs, Tofu, Chicken Breast Meat, Lean Beef, Lean Pork, Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Cod, Threadfin), Seafood (Prawn)
  • Dairy/Non-Dairy – Oat/Soy/Rice Milk, Skim Milk, Chocolate Milk, Low Fat Yoghurt
  • Green Vegetables – Broccoli, Cauliflower, Lady Fingers, Spinach, any kind will do
  • Fruits – Tomato, Apples, Avocado, Berries, Banana, Grapes, Kiwi, Melons, Pineapple, Pears
  • Spices – Black Pepper, Sea Salt, Garlic, Onions (my favourite!)
  • Fats – Nuts (Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Macadamia), Nut Butter, Olive Oil, Canola Oil
  • Carbohydrates – Rolled Oats, Museli, Brown Rice, Red Rice, White Rice, Whole Grain Bread, Wholemeal Pasta, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Corn, Vermicelli, Mee Sua.

(Some of my breakfast photos)1924731_10152527708712746_3173290777297229456_n10464296_10152544185272746_4763243704541580535_n10624829_10152436106167746_5224175178760239460_n

Have a mixture of food source and study your portion size. I usually have a mix of everything in my meals. A typical day of breakfast – Overnight Oats with fruits or nuts topping/ Blended juice or smoothie, lunch will be vegetables fish noodle soup or tuna sandwiches, Dinner will be steamed salmon, stir fry vegetables and egg.

Snack-in-between: Handful of Nuts/ Fruit/ Cup of Milk

  1. Cooking Method:
  • Boiling
  • Steaming (My favourite method, hassle free and easy to clean!)
  • Stir-frying
  • Roasting

Decide on your favourite recipe and try them! Do reduce the usage of oil, salt, seasonings and sugar. Throw in some healthy spices instead of heavily sodium loaded seasonings, which better enhance the taste with added nutrition!

  1. Serve them! Otherwise, place them into a container and fridge them for tomorrow’s consumption.

Healthy food can taste great too! Banish that wrongful mindset about healthy food being bland and tasteless. By changing your mindset, you are allowing yourself to accept good food – leading to a better nourished body. Do you really need SO MUCH junk food? Really?

Great things never came from comfort zones, it will only come if you get up from that snooze alarm to work out, choose the right food, give it a 101% and be consistent. It will be a painstakingly journey but it is all going to be worth it! Do it for yourself, cause no one can ever do it for you. 

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                      “Without struggle there is no progress.”

My life with fitness

Starting Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide had brought me a lot of insights on fitness and health. I used to run more frequently in the past and neglected weights/resistance training in my fitness regime. Often thinking that cardio is the ‘one way’ to keep fit and lose weight in the quickest time, but I was wrong.

Cardiovascular workout indeed has a long list of benefits; it burn tons of calories (fats and muscles), increases stamina, build up a stronger body immune system, controls blood sugars and strengthens the heart. However, it is not suppose to be the only workout to be done if you want to achieve a toned, sculpted and fit-looking body. By doing only cardio, fat-burn process only happens during the workout session and nothing after that. You would not gain lean muscles just by doing cardio, whereas muscles are essential and crucial for fat burning process or torch out more calories while at rest.

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Incorporating weights/resistance (HIIT) training will allow you to gain essential muscles to achieving the lean physique. Moreover; it allows the body to burn fats during and up to 4 hours after workout! Wow. HIIT also know as High Intensity Interval Training are enhanced form of interval training exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods, which allows you to lose weight without losing muscles and boost metabolism. Benefits of HIIT workout: Read here

Our bodies are built just like a machine, if workout routine remains stagnant without any changes – the body will learn and develop muscle memory for those repeated movements. Therefore, it is important for us to keep adding resistance to our daily workout. Constantly switching and challenging our muscles to achieving more and bringing it up to another level! Other than just working out, we definitely need rest. All machine requires a “OFF” button as well. By resting, we give our muscles sufficient time to recuperate and recover, thereafter growing well with good food nourishment! We need to combine both cardio (to lose fats) with resistance training (to gain muscles) + ample rest (ideally 7 – 8 hours of sleep per day) for a complete routine.

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Aside from what I have experienced from BBG, I am still exploring and incorporating different series of exercise in my routine and learning at the same time. There is no right or wrong exercise routine, but definitely zooming down to your personal goals and how your body reacts to it. Personally, I felt that Kayla’s BBG is an awesome guide to achieving a toned physique not just that, it allows me to habitual exercise into my daily lifestyle. Now, I workout 6 – 7 days a week without finding it much a chore but enjoying the process very much. I believe in consistency and prioritizing fitness as a life-long goal. Let’s do it!

“I don’t find the time to exercise, I make the time to exercise.”

 

The way to lose weight effectively

Many of us are always looking for the easiest way to drop pounds, look good and feel good. Some control their diet, some workout. The main motive may be an upcoming occasion like Chinese New Year, Birthdays or even your own wedding. We just all want to look good, don’t we?

The basic principle about losing weight are just simple equations;

Balanced Food Intake + Sufficient Workout (Output) = Weight Maintenance

Excess Food Intake + No Workout (Output) = Weight Gain

Reduced Food Intake + Sufficient Workout (Output) = Weight Loss

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People around me often told me that having a balanced food intake means I need to cut off my fried food, chips and chocolates. For me, I would say there is no such thing as diet. Eating what you love is one of the best enjoyment in life and being selective on what you eat is another commitment for your body and health. It doesn’t mean we stop eating what we love, but it is about the how often and how much. Being disciplined and committed to keep health & fitness as a lifestyle habit, we can all achieve the body we dream of.

Another important aspect of health will be exercise! Exercise is the best way to detox and get rid of any unwanted toxins in the body, also adding in muscles to your body with weights training and boosting up the metabolism (burning more calories even when you are not doing any workout).

295445_10150954018837746_1109398203_nCardio workout is one of the most important things you can do for your body, whether you want to lose weight, burn fat or improve your health. Anything that gets your heart rate into your target heart rate zone will work from running, kick-boxing, cycling, swimming and walking.

Let me then introduce to you this; Fitness Walking Plan.

The Fitness Walking Plan is designed to help you lose unwanted fat and increase the overall health of your body. Walking is one of the easiest and most profitable forms of exercise. All you need is a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing, and desire. Suitable for almost everybody at any age.

What can you expect from a healthy walking and exercise program?

  • Get fit
  • Lose fat
  • Decrease risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke
  • Live longer and with more vitality

Lacing-Shoes

How to start: First of all, start out slow and easy. Just walk out the door. For most people this means head out the door, walk for 10 minutes, and walk back. That’s it? Yes, that’s it.

Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after walking. Incorporate a warm up, cool down and stretches into your routine. Start your walk at a slow warm up pace, stop and do a few warm up. Then walk for the desired length of time. End your walk with the slower cool down pace and stretch well after your walk. Stretching will make you feel great and assist in injury prevention.

The toughest thing about starting a fitness program is developing a habit.

How many steps do you walk each day?

Maybe you have heard the recent guidelines about walking 10,000 steps per day. How far is 10,000 steps anyway? 10,000 steps is close to 8 kilometers.

A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day.

To set a reasonable goal for most people is to increase average daily steps each week by 1000 per day until you can easily average 10,000 per day. You may start off with 4000 steps, and by 1 week you will easily achieve it.

There are many ways to increase your daily steps.

  • Take a walk with your spouse, child, or friend
  • Walk to the next bus stop or train station
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Window shopping
  • Plan a walking workout
  • Get outside to walk around the garden

Continue to track your daily steps and/or mileage; and keep notes on how you feel, how your body is improving, or other changes you are making to improve your health.

“Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost. What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me. “

— Helen Keller