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! ♡

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.”

 

Kayla Itsines BBG: Week 5

Waves! A quick update on what I have been doing now. If you have been following me on my Instagram (@iammabeltan), you will realize that I have embarked on Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Workout. And I am on Week 5 now! (7 more weeks to go!) I am really inspired by Kayla’s dedication and love for fitness. She is such an amazing lady of inspiration and is definitely one of the best fitness trainers around.

Here is some of my updates from Instagram during these 5 weeks;

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1796425_10152472392712746_2001952215291454452_n
10301516_10152473481407746_8398060122855211548_n“I exercise because somehow completely exhausting myself is the most relaxing part of my day.”

After trying out her BBG workout, you will realized that nothing is free in this world and everything is earned. To attain an ideal toned and fit body, you need to put in time and effort to stay consistent in BBG programme. Not just that, the dedication on how much you want to achieve it. Also, putting your body to a series of endurance and strength test as these resistance training isn’t easy-peasy anyway. Talking about it, I am already kind of fearful (in a good way though) for the upcoming weeks of workout, especially Week 9 – 12 with HIIT interval training sprints.10622934_10152485052697746_6762636187261311099_n

Being inspired by Kayla Itsines, I understand that fitness is not just a one-time thing. How could I ever be saying that I am passionate about fitness when I don’t even commit my time for it? Taking 30 to 45 minutes of your time daily for exercising is essential for weight maintenance, detoxing, strength and improving overall health. Power walk in a park or intensive resistance circuit training, it doesn’t matter as long as you are active.

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Don’t lose weight for an event, and stop fitness altogether. Fitness and health is life-long journey and your body is the one that will accompany you through life. I know it is not easy to fork out time in the midst of everyone’s busy schedule. But it is not about having time, but making time for fitness. The pain of getting up at wee hours working out, the pain of changing out to your exercise gears after a long tiring day at work. I know the soreness and aches across the whole body after 1 day of resistance training and continuing that, 3 times a week. I know the challenge to work out 7 days a week is tiring. But, pain is temporary. And I’m not giving up.

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“No pain, no gain.”

Shape Run 2014

Hurray! This is the second year joining Shape Run with Bell and Windie. Shape Run had been an annual affair for us to bond together. Joining marathons together brings out the running spirit from runner to runner and the motivation for race completion. I love working out with the girls as there is a drive for us to push each other further than our usual self. Anyways, I had a swollen shin last 2 weeks before the race day due to a bad fall down the stairs. Therefore, no training was done in between the last 2 weeks from race day and I could not do my best for this race 😦 Boo

1924378_10152374743042746_3242441004994086946_n10527737_10152374740752746_7066149471411087205_n10346600_10152374740892746_2076703949966311154_n10404167_10152374741407746_7667133021168308968_n10559715_10152374741837746_7599535280704079830_n10481168_10152374740777746_4014657589491825708_nHowever this year, we felt that the organizing team for Shape Run 2014 did not match up with their usual standards. Though we still enjoy the items in the goodie bags and extremely love the striking pink race tee! It was much better than last year’s orange.  But to a certain extent, on race day itself many to-dos was fallen short and many runners like me felt disappointed with the whole event.

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First and foremost, the main essential necessity for a marathon will be the water points. Inadequate hydration is one of the main reasons that Shape Run 2014 fell short for. I do not want to elaborate on the consequences of dehydration, but to emphasize on the need for water in between a race. Honestly, we just want water. Why was it so difficult to set up a larger table for the water point station and hire more people to pour drinks instead of runners snatching paper cups and bottles just for that few sip?! There were even online feedbacks mentioning about some runners experiencing cramps due to the insufficient hydration during the 10km race!

Even whilst crossing the finishing mark, we were like lost souls. There were absolutely no proper instructions on how we could just get our water, finisher tee and runner’s medal. We started forming 4 queues as long as a 1 hour wait each. The queue for the finisher tee was chaotic, as there were neither pull up signage nor dividers to separate runners of different sizes. It was a total waste of time. Can you imagine the long wait with the thirst for water? How pathetic.

This overall experience marks one of the worst marathons I have joined in, so far. I felt that the organizing team for Shape Run 2014 was not as fantastic as last year. Still, I enjoyed the companionship of my girls and the striking pink race tee from Sketchers was awesome! Thankfully, those celebrities hunks were around for photo-taking. Feeling slightly compensated though. Heh.

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Just RUN ♡

“They will call you crazy. They will tell you not to do it. They will tell you that the human body was not made to withstand running long distances. But they will never understand.”

NTUC Run 350

350

Went for RUN 350 yesterday despite the crazy weather in the morning. It was the first time I joined RUN 350 organised by Young NTUC. I thought RUN 350 was very purposeful, as we run for tomorrow. RUN 350 is Southeast Asia’s premier eco-run in support of the global 350 movement. This movement aims to raise awareness to the need to lower atmospheric CO2 levels to 350 parts per million, which scientists believe is the level required for Earth’s sustainability. 

We picked up a 10 kilometers route as the girls wasn’t ready to challenge the long distance 21 kilometers marathon. Thankfully, we were lucky this way! The huge morning rain & thunderstorm made it almost impossible to run, that bad till organizers had to call off the 21 kilometers marathon at the very last minute. Due to safety concerns, all of us choose to stay at home for the latest update via RUN 350 Facebook before leaving the house aimlessly. With my mind conflicting between the cancellation of the run (90%) or miraculously stopped rain, so we can continue our run (10%). 

AT 6:53am, RUN 350 posted and announced that “The 10 kilometers marathon is a GO! And flag off will be at 7:15am!” Frantically, the girls and I rushed on to prepare and took a cab down immediately. So much of thoughts about it canceling. Hahaha, what a drama day. #diediemustrun

Three of us before the race starts!

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10153141_10152141455632746_5788871295951017378_nOne of the attention seeker runner around, wearing his Superman outfit with a tied tyre behind his back. He was making lots of noise and attracted many stares from vehicles along the road. Practically, he isn’t running due to the tied heavy weight but he was having fun throughout the race.

10171003_10152141456537746_2018841194409693105_nWith the wet and slippery floor, we started our race slowly. Having a slow jog pace was definite after the heavy downpour, roads were damp and slippery. Having in mind was to complete the race, but never about the timing. Safety first. Along our way, we witnessed a few runners falling and injuring themselves. =(

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10325313_10152141456382746_5715673548248642434_nRun, and keep going. The cooling weather turned out to be perfect for the run. It was really cool, breezy and not too hot. We did it once again in 2014! Hurrrrraayy girls, well done!

10169194_10152141455207746_7140384754173529499_n 10308160_10152141456122746_1855243606368841811_n 1926698_10152141456167746_93556588885366390_nYAY! Results were released today and time checked was 1 hour 6 minutes, taking into consideration of my slower pace due to the wet floor. I achieved almost similar timing as compared to last year’s SHAPE Run 2013. I am sure my stamina was improving with those skipping and running training, 3-4 times per week. Satisfied! =)

Race result10171285_10152141079067746_225542035342434776_n

Proud finishers of NTUC 350 10 kilometers marathon! Despite the bad weather today & the last minute “to-go”, nonetheless the whole event turned out well. Endurance and determination brought us all together in completing the race. Cause the basic motto of a runner is never about giving up.

Just Run. Don’t ask me why I run, ask yourself why you don’t.

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

2013 Marathons

Started November with WE RUN SG 2013, it have been our yearly affair with BFF & it’s our 3rd time doing it together! Glad to kick start a healthy lifestyle after all the eating the past few months. Need to get back in shape & resume my diet!

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I do enjoy marathons with the all my girlfriends and I felt that I have been a great motivation for them to kick start a healthy lifestyle. This brings to me, satisfaction and the drive to work even harder for my own health and fitness! Thankful for the bunch of girlfriends around me who are willing to join me in this fitness journey, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support and encouragement from them.

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Completed SHAPE RUN 2013 this year too. This is my first time joining Shape Run and I love it so much. First, it is an all ladies run and secondly, I love their goodies from the goodie bag! 😉 They have one of the best sponsors around and I will definitely join them in 2014 and the coming years. Running with the girls and pushing them to sign up for a marathon was an achievement for myself too. Encouragement is only possible with inspiration, and I will continue to work harder for myself. Cheers to fitness!