Saturday, 11 July 2020

Persona Nutrition: My 2 Weeks' Update

Earlier this month, I've mentioned about starting my #PersonaPack from Persona Nutrition; and now here's my quick update after being on the customised supplements for about 2 weeks now. 

If you haven't read my 1st post on Persona Nutrition, do check it out HERE to know what is it all about. But in a nutshell, Persona Nutrition is a supplement subscription that does 28-days personalised vitamin packs, helping us to take the guesswork out of supplements.

And here's the list of supplements and vitamins I've chosen for my PersonaPack, based on their recommendation, after completing their online assessment. 

Really appreciate these small tips that came along in the supplement booklet. I never knew that Omega-3 doesn't go well with warm beverages!

Love how handy and convenient the packs are packaged too! Starting off with a daytime pack, you just keep on pulling and tearing off the packs (they alternate between day-time and night-time) from the "dispenser" and just eating all the pills and tablets that's pre-packed in each of those handy little packets. It's also so convenient to just tear off the packets and pop them into your bag to take them on the go if you happen to need to leave the house before having breakfast; or if you're also intermittent fasting like me. 

Anyway, other than tackling my B-vitamins deficiency (which is taken care of by that trusty Foundational Multi in my daytime pack), my top priority when choosing my supplements out of the recommended list is the sound slumber supplements. 
For my entire life, I've been having trouble falling asleep. I don't really suffer from actual insomnia (eg. disrupted sleep throughout the night) but it can take very very long for me to fall asleep while lying in bed. 

Sometimes, it can take me 2 to 3 hours just to fall asleep; so I've technically been surviving on an average of 5+ hours of sleep daily all these years. YIKES!

And here's a screenshot of my sleep tracker on Fitbit App. 
LOOK AT THAT, PEEPS! 
And yeah, on that one day, which I dropped back to 5+ hours of sleep; it was because I forgot to take the bedtime supplement pack 1 hour before my bedtime. Instead, I took them AT bedtime. 

And another important aspect for me is my runner's knees. I've been relying on glucosamine+msm for months now, but somehow Persona Nutrition doesn't carry glucosamine at all. 
Can't tell if it's a placebo effect for glucosamine or what, but somehow just taking the msm alone isn't doing wonders for my sore, cracking knees. But then again it's just been barely two weeks, so I'm still remaining hopeful. 

And of course, you can't leave the PersonaPack out when indulging in an unbalanced diet on cheatday, yes? 

For more information on what Persona Nutrition has to offer, check out their website HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo


Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Mia Bakes: Strained Yogurt Chocolate Cake

I didn't plan to post this recipe up, since it's pretty wholesale copied from Cook Kafemaru (on youtube) but the cake ended up tasting SO GOOD, legit like a baked chocolate cheesecake when there's no cream cheese (or cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese) in it; I had to share this recipe!

So, I also apologise for the lack of decent quality photographs of the cake. 

To get a small 10-12cm round cake, you'll need:

For the crust:
6 pieces Tiger Original Biscuit
(or you can use Digestive biscuits or any other biscuits you fancy but the amount of melted butter will vary)
10g salted butter, melted

For the cake:
~190-200g plain natural yogurt
(I used a mixture of Farm Fresh and Meiji)
100g dark, semi-sweet chocolate
(if you prefer a sweeter cake, you can use milk chocolate)
a pinch of salt
2 eggs
10g plain flour (or cake flour)
1/4 tsp baking powder

adapted from Cook Kafemaru

First, you need to strain the yogurt the night before. You can use a cheesecloth (I reckon) if you have one. Otherwise, lay some coffee filter paper or heavy duty kitchen paper towel over a sieve. Pour the yogurt into the sieve and set it over a bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the yogurt and leave it overnight in the fridge. I strained mine for about 12 hours and got a consistency that's just very slightly thicker than greek yogurt. So perhaps you can replace with just greek yogurt, if yours is the super thick kind, or just strain your greek yogurt for a shorter time.
Ultimately, you'll need just 100g of strained yogurt and 190 - 200g of natural yogurt should get you 100g of strained yogurt.

Once we get the strained yogurt out of the way, crush up your biscuits in a food processor or just by hitting them in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin. Add in the melted butter and mix until the crumbs resemble the consistency of wet sand. Then, pour the crumbs into your cake tin that's lined with baking paper and press down the crumbs into the base of the cake tin to form the crust. If you're baking the cake in a proper oven (with top and bottom heat), you can first set the compacted crust aside. However, if you're making this in an airfryer, pre-bake the crust at 180 degrees Celsius for 5 to 10 minutes.

Then melt your chocolate either over a bain marie (a heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water) or in the microwave. Stir up the chocolate to let it cool down for a bit, before mixing in the 100g of strained yogurt. Whisk until everything is well combined before adding in the eggs, 1 at a time, and whisking until well combined after each addition.
Then, sift in the flour and baking powder (do sift it in for easier mixing, otherwise the flour might just disappear into a corner of the batter as a huge pocket of flour) and whisk until you get a homogenous batter. Pour the batter over the crust and bake at 160 - 170 degrees Celsius for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven and also how you will prefer the texture of your cake to be.
If you prefer the cake to be slightly underbaked in the centre like Japanese rare cheesecake, bake it at 160 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes and check for doneness by touching the surface of the cake. The top should be fully set and the centre (just the centre portion, not the sides!) should be softer to the touch and slightly jiggly.
If you prefer the cake to be fully baked through with the consistency of a fudgey brownie, bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out relatively clean.



The cake tasted super rich and decadent, and seriously I didn't think I need the biscuit base at all. Will definitely bake this another time without the biscuit base to save up some calories. HEH!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Mia Makes: 2-Ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes

It's been months since I'm stuck in a work-from-home situation, and I'm also seriously running out of #eatclean lunch ideas. These days I've been just chopping up anything I can find in the fridge (chicken breast or white fish, chickpeas, tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage, mushroom, broccoli etc) and just stir-frying them together with a pinch of salt, some pepper and a few (generous) squirts of sriracha sauce before piling them onto a plate alongside some steamed brown rice or sweet potato.
And then I though, if I can get a stack of pancakes by simply adding egg into mashed banana (recipe HERE), can I get some pancakes by adding egg to mashed sweet potatoes too?

So, let's find out!

To get a serving of 2 (thicc) pancakes, you'll need: 
1 small/medium sweet potato (about 130g)
1 large egg (~55g out of shell)
a pinch of salt
adapted from thekitchn.com

First up, wash and clean your sweet potato thoroughly if you wish to keep the skin on for the added nutrient. Otherwise, peel the potato and cut into smaller chunks such that they'll cook quicker. Steam the sweet potato until it's fork tender and then mash it up (with a fork or in a food processor) into puree. Leave the mashed sweet potato to cool down for a little before cracking in the egg and mixing until you get a thick paste. Add in a pinch of salt to taste.

Then, drop (and spread) the batter onto a heated and well greased frying pan and cook on low to medium heat until the bottom is set (took me about 3 to 4 minutes). Check by lifting the edges to see that it'll hold up and whether the cooked surface is browned to your liking, then carefully flip the pancake over (they're rather fragile and break apart quite easily) and cook on the other side until evenly browned.

And tadaa~ your healthy, flourless pancakes are done!

I ate mine alongside some black pepper baked fish and roasted vegetables with nutritional yeast. 

You cannot go wrong with roasting broccoli and tomatoes for your choice of vegetables for any meal of the day. 

Frankly speaking, texture wise I won't even call these a pancake... at all. In fact, if you don't mind being a little bit more generous with the oil during "frying", you'll end up with something more like a begedil or hashbrown. These "pancakes" are slightly crisp on the surface, but soft and mushy on the inside and taste exactly like sweet potato, so much so that I totally questioned myself on why I wasted so much time and effort (pre-steaming, mashing, mixing, and cooking again) to come up with the exact same taste I could have gotten with just steaming the sweet potato whole and just biting into it. 
But well, I guess it's all for the #eatingfortheinsta trend too, huh?

Till then,
Mia Foo

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Persona Nutrition: Taking The Guesswork out of Supplements [Sponsored]


Let's be honest, how many of you here have ever googled: "What kind of supplements do I need to take" and got so confused over all the conflicting information given in all the different articles that you just gave up? 
Or, are you the kind who will not think twice to rush to the drugstore to pick up that particular supplement listed in "The 6 supplements everyone should be taking" that is currently not in your supplements cupboard? 
Or, are you forcing yourself to swallow 10 over pills every single morning with your breakfast, so much so that you kind of dread waking up and getting out of bed?

-credits to bulletproof.com-

All in all, do you really need to be taking every single vitamin and supplement that various health and wellness articles floating all over the internet say you should?

-credits to personanutrition.com-

So, here comes Persona Nutrition, the game-changing supplement subscription that takes the guesswork out of finding the right supplements to suit our needs, providing us with a 28-day supply of vitamins and supplements that are specially recommended for our unique needs. 

-credits to personanutrition.com-

Persona Nutrition currently offers 78 different kinds of high-quality vitamins and supplements that adheres to FDA certified Good Manufacturing Practices. Not only that, members also get access to one-on-one support from their team of qualified, licensed nutritionists, backed by an impressive database of over 2000 drug-nutrient interactions (medications that interact with nutritional supplements). 

To get started on your own PersonaPack, just take their short Persona Assessment based on an algorithm that's developed by their team of experienced medical professionals, and get a set of personalised, doctor-approved vitamins & supplements recommendation. Even though it's a 28-day subscription, Persona Nutrition also provides the flexibility of allowing us to add or remove any vitamins/supplements from our Persona Pack each month. 

I also love it that they also focus on sustainability and plays their part in protecting our environment. 

 And not just being eco-friendly, Persona Nutrition strives to not just do good business, but do good in business. Through their partnership with vitamin angels, each of our order will help to provide two malnourished children an entire year of Vitamin A to help prevent blindness. 

With all these being said, I can't wait to start on my 28-day journey with Persona Nutrition! Update on my PersonaPack experience will be up soon enough, so do stick around! 

Persona Nutrition now ships internationally to over 60 countries and for more information, visit their website HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Friday, 26 June 2020

BestInSingapore's SushiDelivery [Sponsored]

Couple of months ago, I've received a table full of yummy treats from sushidelivery.sg (review HERE). This time round, I'm super elated to have Best In Singapore sending over more delicious treats from sushidelivery.sg again! 

Drool-worthy, yeah?
This time round, bestinsingapore.com has sent over a great selection of bento, maki rolls, salad and sides/appetizers from sushidelivery.sg. 

Chicken Karaage Set Bento - $10.90 (usual RTP $14)

Currently only selling at $10.90, this bento set is a steal! Comes with a generous serving of chicken karaage that has managed to retain most of its deep fried crispiness upon delivery, along with a generous portion of fresh salad (that's so colourful and appetising!), chuka wakame and umeboshi! There's something addictive about eating plain Japanese pearl rice with umeboshi, don't you agree? 

Kani Salad - $6.90 (usual RTP $8.30)

Judging at how well sushidelivery.sg does their side salads for the bento sets, I've high expectations for their actual salads and I must say I'm not disappointed. Although the portion size is not impressive enough to fill me up (but I have to say, it takes alot to get me full), the selection of vegetables (lettuce, purple cabbage, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes) are super fresh and goes well with the roasted sesame dressing. The amount of shredded kani (crabstick) and tobikko (flying fish roe) added on top of the salad was also super generous, more than enough for me to have a substantial amount of "meat" in every bite.

And now for the maki rolls and sides. 


California maki was one of the few sushi that I started eating when I first got introduced to Japanese food, and they're still one of my favourite go to sushi now. Some comes with avocado, but sushidelivery.sg roll theirs with cucumber, which added a nice crunch to the overall mouthfeel. The generous coating of tobikko on the outside also added a nice savoury touch to the overall taste; you just cannot mess up a california maki.
The Kappa (cucumber) maki was pretty basic, but definitely a great choice to have if you're watching your diet. HAHA!

Chuka Kurage - $4 (Usual RTP $4.67)

I remembered having these (seasoned jellyfish) in my bento set in the previous menu, and they were really good when paired with the steamed rice. But eating them straight up on its own got a little too salty. You definitely need rice to go with this.


So glad to have these yam net sponge roll in the menu again, as I really LOVE them! 
(my review of them HERE)


Look at that crazy amount of katsuobushi (bonito flakes)! And I love that they only added the minimal amount of mayo over the top, and packed more separately instead of just drenching everything. 


There's basically two types of Takoyaki, the more "deep-fried" kind that comes with a slightly crispy exterior and an overall firmer bite and the more authentic Japanese kind, which are softer and more mushy in the centre. Well, I believe the latter is more authentic because that's how the takoyaki tasted like when I had them in Japan. These are definitely the authentic kind, with the centre just barely cooked to retain the slightly gooey, mushy interior. 



My Huawei P30 failed to pick up the bits of shrimp inside here, but they're there. HAHA! I'm not a fan of "balls" (meatball, sotong ball etc) in general and this kind of tasted like a sotong ball with bits of shrimp added to it. But the crouton coating was a huge plus point though, making these super crunchy and addictive. 

For more information on what Sushi Deliver has to offer, visit their website HERE.
And for more reviews to find out the best things Singapore has to offer, visit bestinsingapore.com

Till then,
Mia Foo

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Mia Bakes: Mochi Brownies

I've been toying with the idea of mixing mochi and brownies (my two favourite desserts!) together, but never really put my thoughts into actions. And then I realised that there's really something called Mochi Brownie, and I decided that I definitely have to try it out!

But due to my not-working-very-optimally oven replacement appliance (that's something similar to an airfryer, but weaker), I had to bake mine at very high temperature (nothing gets fully baked through at temperature lower than 225 degrees Celsius) and so I ended up with pretty ugly looking, deformed mochi brownie cupcakes. But the taste was definitely not affected. So let's get over with the ingredients so we can get started.

For 6 mochi brownie cupcakes, you'll need:

80g glutinous rice flour
15g baking stevia 
30g muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)
if not using stevia, just use a total of 60g brown sugar instead
10g unsweeten cocoa powder
15g melted butter 
100ml milk 
1/4 tsp instant coffee
1/2 large egg (about 26g, beaten)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)
60g semi-sweet chocolate chips

recipe adapted from Spoonful Passion

First up, add 10 to 15ml of milk (from the total of 100ml required) to the instant coffee and warm it up in the microwave such that the granules will dissolve. If you do not have a microwave, you can replace with as little hot water as you can manage to get the granules fully dissolved. Then, set it aside. 
In a large bowl, add the melted butter to the sugars and mix until incorporated. Then, mix in the half-egg and mix until well combined before stirring in the milk and coffee mixture. Then, add in all the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and whisk until everything is well combined. 
Spoon the batter into your muffin tin, either sprayed with some non-stick cooking spray or greased with butter. Then, drop the chocolate chips into each well (about 10g worth into each well). 

Bake in the oven that's pre-heated to 180 degree Celsius for about 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

As I said, because I need to bake mine at ridiculously high temperature in order to have them fully baked through, all my brownie cupcakes kind of "exploded". 

But they're still super yummy! Rich chocolate flavour with a texture that's both soft and fluffy, yet chewy. 

See how bouncy it is! <3

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 15 June 2020

Does home workout (youtube videos) work?

Holding a LIFETIME gym membership, I would never expect myself to be following some fitness youtubers' videos, doing home workouts right in front of my computer desk.
But I did; for the past month. Circuit-breaker, look what you've made me do. Pre-CB, I hit the gym (for group x classes) at least 5 days a week, doing mainly spinning and hot yoga classes, along with some weight resistance (bodypump, sculpt/cxworx) and other form of cardio (bodystep, bodyattack). During 1st month of CB, I ended up jogging for 6 days a week and that really put a strain on my poor knees. Eventually, I decided that 4 days a week is the maximum I'll jog, and for the other 3 days, I will just stay at home and do some home workouts instead.

The first fitness youtuber's channel I've hopped onto when I decided to start working out at home was Natacha Oceane, as I've always been watching her fitness related videos from time to time. But then I realised that she doesn't have that much workout videos on youtube (she mainly post them on her IG instead), and being more intermediate/advanced, her routines tend to include a lot more movements and jumping, hence requiring a lot more space than I can squeeze out in my humble bedroom.

And so I've went on to search for a whole load of other fitness youtubers and tried out their routines, and the two channels I've been always going back to for my super quick, daily 20 minutes 'lunchtime workout' are Holly Dolke & MrandMrsMuscle.

First up, I absolutely love how short & area specific Holly Dolke's routines are. From super short 6 minutes cardio workouts, to 7 minutes abs workouts to 15 minutes HIIT/Tabata workouts; I can easily stack a couple of her videos together, back to back, to complete my 20-25 minutes lunchtime workout. For example, I typically get my heart rate up with her cardio or HIIT/Tabata workouts before doing 1 or 2 more of her area specific workouts (usually abs, legs or booty).

Then, I stumbled upon MrandMrsMuscle's channel when I wanted to add in some dumbbell arm routines into my lunchtime workouts. Love how easy to follow their routines are, with a huge selection of routines to choose from. From short 10 minutes beginner's (no jumping) cardio, to higher intensity cardio, to slightly longer (16 to 20 minutes) body toning exercises. It doesn't matter what your fitness level is, or if you own any dumbbells or not; you can always find a suitable routine to follow on their channel.

And for my alternate days 1 hour (or more) evening workouts, I will usually stack two 30 to 45 minutes full body toning & cardio routines from Kit Rich or Emi Wong. I also love following nourishmovelove's Cardio Barre routines, which are really fun to follow but can get pretty tough on my thighs.
Out of these 3 youtubers, Emi Wong's videos are actually the easiest to follow, as her presentation is more like Holly Dolke and MrandMrsMuscle (timed circuits with breaks in between each exercise), with a beeping timer added such that you know when to stop the exercise even if you're not looking at her on your computer screen. However, I tend to prefer to not follow her videos that much (even though she also has shorter ones) as her form isn't really that great. But if you're the kind who would feel better (less demoralised) when you see others struggling along during the workout (feels more realistic?), then perhaps you can check her out. But also do note that she also have some really questionable workout routines like one for the collarbones (like, WHUTT?), which really got me dumbfounded.

And just a side note, I've also followed Chloe Ting's Get Abs in 2 Weeks Abs Workout for (DUH!) two weeks. This has to be one of the most popular abs workout video on youtube, with over 151 MILLIONS views till date and a whopping 3.3 MILLIONS thumbs up. There's also tons of review videos, boasting of unbelievable results in just two weeks of following her programme, which consist of a couple other workout videos as well and not just this 10 mins abs workout. 

And well, here's my results (from only doing her 10 mins abs workout video in the programme).
My 11 lines definitely became a lot more obvious after just 1 week of doing the 10 minutes abs workout during my lunchtime workout (usually paired with other short cardio and dumbbell routines).

Unfortunately, I was having my period bloat during week 2, so the final results weren't that obvious. 
In addition, do note that I did see (some faint) results only because I was also doing other cardio exercises along with this 10 mins abs workout, and watching what I eat. 

Actually, if anybody (fitness influencers) tells you that you can spot reduce (eg. follow their 10 minutes abs workout video for 2 weeks and get shredded abs etc), it's the biggest telltale sign that you should not take any of their advice because they obviously do not know their stuff. YOU CANNOT SPOT REDUCE, LADIES. I've also stumbled across one of Chloe Ting's videos on intermittent fasting, whereby she claimed that on IF (to lose weight) you need not count calories and can eat anything you want.

But the main reason on why I do not follow her workout videos is because like Emi Wong, many times her form isn't that great. And while she has tons of different videos on her channel, she tend to just shuffle through that same few exercises in all of them. 

Anyway, Phase 2 of our Circuit Breaker is confirmed to start this Friday, 19th June, and gyms will be allowed to reopen! Yayy! But since working from home is still a default, I will probably still be sticking to Holly Dolke and MrandMrsMuscle for my lunchtime workout for the time being. :)

Till then,
Mia Foo
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