Xin Nian Lai Le!
The Chinese New Year celebrations are a beautiful time of reunion with the family and of course, when you see “reunion” and “family” in the same sentence, you can expect food to be involved. As the CNY snacks and dinners pop up around us, it can be easy to decide to forgo our healthy diet.
Photo Credit: shopandbox.com
BUT, wait a minute.
You’ve worked so hard these few weeks! You've made the effort to prepare nourishing meals and you've pushed yourself further and smashed your workouts.
(Take this moment to look back on how far you've come and give yourself a pat on the back ☺️)
To help you keep that progress going, without missing out on the CNY celebrations, we’ve round up some top tips on how you can survive the calorie-loaded snacks and dinners that are coming your way.
1. Eat Mindfully
As we are surrounded by packs of bakwa and boxes of pineapple tarts, we understand it is near impossible to resist them. We’re not here to say run away from them, but a little mindless snacking over a conversation with your cousins can pump in hundreds of calories without you even knowing!
To give you an idea of how many calories you could be putting into your body and how long it’ll take to burn them off:
With all these snacks around, how do you stop yourself from going overboard?!
Choose a few of your favourites, place them on a small plate and slowly savour each bite. This way, you won't end up finishing the whole box, and you can truly enjoy their taste!
2. Eat Slowly
Slow down. You are not in a rush to finish all the food before your family! It can take up to 20 minutes before your body realises you are full so eat slower. Take small bites, enjoy the conversations and you'll be closer to avoid overeating!
3. Choose Healthier Alternatives
For the most part, CNY snacks are calorie-packed with little nutritional value.Instead of avoiding them completely and putting yourself through the torture of watching your family take bite after bite of deliciousness, here are some healthier alternatives to try!
Pineapple Tarts v Organic Dried Pineapple
Or spend some time in the kitchen with your family and make some healthi-fied pineapple tarts here .
Store-Bought v Homemade Bakkwa
Ready for some yummy bakkwa without the calories? Find the recipe here.
YeeSang v Salmon Salad
You can also choose to enjoy the traditional Yee Sang, but fill up on the vegetables and raw fish with minimal plum sauce, deep-fried crackers and oil.
Fried v Steamed Nian Gao
This is a useful tip to remember. When possible, always opt for steamed or boiled, instead of fried cooking methods.
Sweet Drinks v Mandarin Orange
Craving for something sweet or looking to quench your thirst? Forget the packaged sugary drinks and go all-natural with mandarin oranges. Eat one on its own or add some slices to a salad for its sweet goodness and vitamins A and C!
4. Fill Up Before Going Out
You can’t control the menu when you visit relatives or eat out. But, you can always make healthier decisions at home. Eat a healthy breakfast or snack before going out to meet with your friends or family. This way, you will feel fuller and be less likely to overindulge on snacks.
Like these #angang smoothie bowls by @frederikkewaerens
5. MOVE With The Family
Remember to keep MOVE-ing this Chinese New Year! It is the perfect time to gather your friends and family for some active outdoor fun! Go hiking as a family or just for a walk and picnic around the park!
As the CNY heat kicks in, remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated! You can also enjoy a cup or two of that special tea your Auntie brought back from China. Tea and water are great choices with very little to zero calories.
These BPA-Free Infuser Bottles will do the trick!
With a timeline to remind you to keep sipping!
In this annual occasion where cousins, aunties and uncles from all over reunite under the same roof, it is a tradition for us to be reconnecting and catching up over our favourite foods. So while we work towards our health and fitness goals, let’s not forget what's truly important: Family.
Have a Happy Chinese New Year, ladies!
Disclaimer: We do not encourage anyone to be on a calorie deficit diet. This article is written for sharing purposes only and does not serve as a guide. We strongly recommend you consult a physician before beginning a new diet or exercise program.
Many of you have messaged me asking about weight loss and most of them come down to these two concerns:
“How do I lose my love handles, muffin tops and jiggly thighs?”
“I just want to lose weight. I don't want to get bulkier.”
Now, I want to tell you that if you try to lose weight by doing light exercises, such as cardio, dance, and resistance training, and couple that with a low-carb, low-sugar, low-calories, low-protein and low-everything diet, you will be able to see results fast.
But it is not going to sustain.
I no longer want to force myself to stick to a strict diet and end up binging, again and again. In my current training and diet plan, I don't binge. I make sure I eat enough every single day, even though I'm on a calorie deficit diet.
My body fat percentage: Flexible Diet vs Calorie Deficit Diet
So what is a calorie deficit diet?
Calorie deficit is when you burn more calories than you put into your body.
For example, if you burn 2,500 calories per day but only eat 2,000, you have a deficit of 500 calories. When you eat more than you burn, your body stores the extra energy as fat but when you eat less than you burn, you create a calorie deficit.
That’s when your body is forced to burn that stored fat to give you the energy you need. This leads to weight loss.
What is your calorie maintenance level?
Before you go on a calorie deficit diet, you need to know your calorie maintenance level. This is the level at which your weight maintains, because you are consuming and burning the same number of calories.
Everyone’s calorie maintenance levels are different because we are all different! Not everyone with a certain goal or body type has the same maintenance level. That means, not everyone should eat or burn the same amount of calories. So don’t compare yourself to that person who is eating or exercising more or less than you.
Your calorie maintenance level is dependent on many factors including gender, height, weight, age, activity level, metabolic rate, and thermic effect of food.
You can calculate it here.
Keep in mind that while these calculations can be quite accurate, they are still just an estimate.
Why is it important?
Once you've found your calorie maintenance level, you can then determine how much you should eat or burn to reach your goal. This is important.
If your goal is to lose weight, ideally, you should be consuming about 20% below your maintenance level each day. For example:
If you wanted to lose weight and had a daily calorie maintenance level of 2500 calories, you would need to create a caloric deficit of 500 calories each day. This is because 20% of 2500 is 500 (2500 x 0.20 = 500). This means eating 2000 calories per day.
Never overdo it.
Yes, to lose fat, you need to be below your calorie maintenance level, but I want to stress that you should never go too low and expect fast results. This is a journey, and if you want it to be long-term, take it step by step.
Once I know how many calories I should consume and burn to reach my goals, I need to track it each day. I use the MyFitnessPal app to help me with this. It’s free and quite easy to use but any calorie calculator or app can do this. Remember, these calculators give just an estimate so use them as a rough guide only.
As a standard, for a one-pound-per-week rate of weight loss, we need to create a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day by eating 250 calories less than we usually need to maintain our weight, and burning off the other 250 calories through exercise.
Eat more. Eat right. Not less.
When it comes to eating, I don’t just limit my portion sizes and eat less. I actually eat more often, to prevent myself from getting hungry. I also make sure I eat right. This means, I choose healthy. For example, whole grains like oats, vegetables and lean protein. Like my favourite, chicken breast.
When I really feel like a treat, I look for healthier alternatives. There are a whole bunch in the market like QuestBars and granola. Just make sure you read the nutrition labels to see what you're putting into your body and don't go overboard. This is where the sacrifice and discipline comes in.
Try to stay away from foods with empty calories. That means, those that are high in calories but low in nutrients. You know, the ones that are so hard to resist, like sweets, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips and most processed foods. When you fill yourself up with a lot of carbs from these foods, you might create a calorie deficit and lose weight, but you'll lose up to 50% of that weight in muscle.
What I eat in a day
MOVE when you can.
If you don’t want to sacrifice your food intake too much, exercise. Try moving, whenever you can. Start with what you are comfortable with, be it walking 30 minutes a day, yoga, dance or swimming. If you can fit in more, do so. This will also boost your energy! For me, I do weight lifting. When I’m able to lift heavily, I can really feel the excitement inside me. It makes me feel good.
This also depends on your goal. My goal is to be strong and lean. When in calorie deficit, cardio will help with fat loss, yes, but weightlifting will make you leaner.
Remember, there are a lot of ways for fat loss. This is just my plan at the moment because it helps me reach my goal. Calorie deficit is a choice and it might not be right for you.
For motivation to get you breaking your limits...
MAKE YOUR MOVE
This week’s #WonderWomanWednesday takes us to the calm, wooden interiors of La Juiceria Superfoods, where we were greeted with a fridge full of cold-pressed juices and the warm smile of the woman behind it all, Anabelle Co-Martinent.
Anabelle in the Madolen Bridal Gown in Burgundy
Having moved to Kuala Lumpur as a Chinese-Filipino expat in 2006 with her then newlywed husband, Anabelle has since become not only the founder of one of the most successful cold-pressed juice and health food stores in Malaysia, but also, a mother of 2 beautiful children.
Today, as we tell of La Juiceria’s founding story, we share Anabelle’s many words of wisdom and advice for mothers, and aspiring entrepreneurs alike.
A Newborn Baby, And A Newborn Business
It started in September 2013, when Anabelle was heavily pregnant with her second child. Months into her health journey, Anabelle discovered the simple act of eating better gave her more energy. With this, a vision to bring healthy eating in a convenient way to Malaysians was formed.
As her pregnancy came to an end, Anabelle created the first La Juiceria logo and juice formulas, with plans to start a business after her son’s delivery.
“I didn’t know how I was going to do it,” she recalled.
“I was alone, a foreigner and I had always been in corporate.”
These thoughts could have very well stopped Anabelle from pursuing her business, but with a nagging feeling inside her, she knew she had to do it.
Anabelle in the 3-Way Remy Shift Dress in Black
In the week of her son’s birth, Anaballe ordered organic vegetables online and from a conversation with the delivery guy, she had found her first business partner. He brought on his best friend and together, the three became the first of the La Juiceria team, which has since grown to close to a 100 members, operating an online store, 12 juice bars and two health food cafes.
On Entrepreneurship: Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way
This is a statement Anabelle stands strong by.
With a newborn baby in her arms and a determination to make this business a reality, Anabelle set on to build the La Juiceria website. From photoshoots using her own camera to writing product descriptions while breastfeeding, to replying customers in the middle of the night, Anabelle, together with her team, made it happen.
Having worked as a producer for BFM before founding La Juiceria, Anabelle had interviewed over 100 entrepreneurs, all of whom shared a common story:
“It is a hard climb at the beginning but it so fulfilling when you get there.”
Despite the innevitable hard work, loneliness and setbacks of the entrepreneurial journey, Anabelle encourages us to go for it.
“You live once. People fear of many things but if you have the heart, find the right time and do it. Of course, don’t just jump in. There’s a reality behind it and you have to be able to sustain and survive. So if you are able to sustain for a year, take a year to try it out. If you fail, you fail. You learn. It’s a life experience.”
On Motherhood: Nothing Compares To Being A Mother
Despite her many achievements in her career and entrepreneurial journey, Anabelle shared that no number of awards and no number of new outlets can compare to being a mother.
“Being a mother is the most rewarding, miraculous thing a woman can ever have and that’s a blessing. It’s something money can’t buy. It’s something that can never be replaced,” she expressed.
Anabelle with her family at her daughter's 7th birthday party
Having met so many mothers, from mothers with young children to mothers with children all grown up and who have left home, the most important thing that Anabelle’s learned is, “Don’t lose yourself in the process.”
We know of many women, including our own mothers, perhaps, who have taken a step back for their children, moving from “power meetings to power laundry” and in so doing, losing direction.
“You have to plan something for yourself,” Anabelle emphasised.
“Keep yourself abreast with what’s happening and what you want to do in life because there will come a time when your children will grow up and leave home.”
Whether it is part-time, charity work, baking, sewing or starting an online business, Anabelle urges mothers to keep busy, doing something not just for the family, but for themselves.
On Balancing It All: You Have To Be The Best Of Yourself
“Wake up early, fill up calendars, have discipline. If you want to achieve many things, it is not impossible. Just keep going every day and when you look back, you’ll go ‘WOW! I’ve done that’ and now, you can reach even more people and make an even bigger difference.”
Working in the health food industry, Anabelle too has to find time to maintain physical health and fitness. She exercises and chooses healthy as often as she can and despite her love of chocolates and desserts (as every other woman out there), she said, “If you eat right, it is easy to stay in shape.”
Anabelle's favourite item on the La Juiceria Superfoods menu is the
Soft Boiled Kampung Egg (with Avocado)!
In balancing all of being a wife, a mother, handling her business and staying fit, Anabelle shared, “You just do it. You just make it happen.”
We Need More Women Entrepreneurs
"Men are everywhere, at the top of the ladder, dominating entrepreneurship awards, because women always take a step back when they have children," she said.
More than telling us, Anabelle has shown that just as she can, you can do it. You can be a mother. You can be an entrepreneur.
“Deciding to do it is already a first move. Whether you are successful or you fail, you take it as a life experience.”
To mothers, women and all dreamers, do something today.
Words as seen on New Straits Times.
Two Twenty3 sub-brands, Sher and Lin, showcased contrasting collections at the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week Ready-To-Wear 2016, writes Sushma Veera.
REFLECTING the philosophy of fashion company Twenty3, the Strength In Femininity, two of its sub-brands showcased their highly contrasting ready-to-wear collections at the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week Ready-To-Wear 2016.
The collections by Sher and Lin reflected the diversity in strengths and passions of the designers, with Sher By Twenty3 painting the image of a fighter. Designed by So Bu Yeow and Soh Hoi Cheng, the label draws on the designers’ combined experience at Khoon Hooi and Rick Owens, offering a sleek, dark, minimalist look with strong, sharp edges.
Embellished with modern beading, the garments give the illusion of a flash of lightning against a dark storm cloud.
For the event, its collection, Under One Small Star, showcased 12 looks to capture the persona of the evolved, empowered modern woman.
The element of destruction is represented in the way the fabric is draped on the wearer. The colour palette is more subtle and faded, as the collection begins with linen white and slowly decays into the darker hues of ash grey, powdery black and gauzy navy.
Accordion pleats sweep the mood of evolution into the collection, which is mainly fabricated in cotton shirting, evoking the essence of the purity within.
L-R: So Bu, Hoi Cheng, Vivien and Yen Yon after a successful show at KLFW 2016
Lin By Twenty3, led by Vivien Chong Pei Xuan and Ooi Yen Yon, is inspired by the designers’ time at fashion houses Mary Katrantzou and Leonardo Salinas, with emphasis on digital prints, bright colours, feminine lace and layered ruffles.
It is a visual representation of an ethereal world ruled by women, where demureness and ultra-femininity are virtues to be flaunted and celebrated as symbols of strength.
Lin By Twenty3 also presented 12 looks, with its runway debut collection, Where The Wild Things Are. The range was inspired by the curved lines and organic movements of the Art Nouveau period in the 1900s, particularly from the Rozenburg Porcelain.
Each garment acts as a canvas, depicting ethereal, stylised scenes of hand-drawn aviary birds and flora, as well as silhouettes of teapots, vases and teacups flowing with organic fluidity.
Each motif is a result of vast research and showcases a delicate, state-of-the-art embroidery technique.
Silhouettes embrace romanticism by portraying femininity through a dreamy chromatic palette, dramatically shifting from pastel blues and pinks to rich, inked blue. //
SHOP The SHER Défilé 2016 Collection
The first of of our runway collection is now available on the Twenty3 online store, and in our retail stores in Atria Shopping Gallery, Publika and Bangsar Village II.
Caia Two Way Midi Shirt Dress in White
Evdoxus Organza Panel Skater Dress in White
Harlyn Front Overlap Shift Dress in White (sold out)
LAUNCHING ON 2 DECEMBER
Charion Pleated Organza Hemline Midi Skirt in Black
Grecia Cutout Long Sleeves Top in Grey and Bexley Mesh Panel Drawstring Shorts in Black
Skyler Organza Panel Midi Skirt in White
Elodie Drawstring Organza Panel Shirt Dress in White
Stay tuned for the launch of these pieces, this Friday 1 PM.
Hey, ladies! We understand it’s not easy when it comes to dressing up during pregnancy.
We asked 3 expecting mommies about their fashion challenges and here’s what they had to say:Aki (7 months): “It’s not easy to find maternity clothes that are my style”.Natalie (9 months): “There are not many options for maternity clothes that are stylish and my size.”Angeline (7 months): “I find it difficult to find stylish clothing for maternity while maintaining comfort, plus, the price is also another concern.”
Fret not! Here are some useful styles you can go for without sacrificing comfort and paying a whole lot of $$$! (So you can save for when the baby arrives ;) ) Scroll down to look your best no matter how many months you’re in.
1. Lace It Up!
For days when you want to show off that baby bump of yours, go for lace lines or stripes. This dress is just right, and comes in black and white.
SHOP HERE: Vera Lace Overlay Shift Dress in Black
2. Show A Little Shoulder
Feeling a little playful? Cold shoulder details help to put a little fun personality into your outfit.
SHOP HERE: Leanne Cold Shoulder Dress in White
3. Pretty pleats!
Looking for a dress with more details? These magical pleats will do the trick!
SHOP HERE: Rhonda Pleated Hem Shift Dress in White
4. Twinning With Your Mama Bestie? Yesss!
Glam up! Twin with your mama bestie in playful, fun colours to embrace your beautiful baby bumps! Vibrant shades will help to brighten your day or night out.
SHOP HERE: Lena Off-Shoulder Bridal Gown in Pink
5. Dark Knight
Our own knight in shining armour! Choose a darker shade for an easily stylish look, with a bonus slimming effect!
SHOP HERE: Addie Oversized T-Shirt Dress in Black
6. White Out
To pull off an effortless yet sweet look, choose dresses with light mellow colours and minimal details.
SHOP HERE: Oluf Shift Dress in Off-white
Structured shirt dresses give off a sophisticated look to your style. Plus, buttons come in handy for breastfeeding in the future too!
8. Bring out the youthful side
This football jersey dress is sure to make you look like a soccer momma, while its colour combination brings out a fun, cheerful vibe.
9. Lounge In Days
For days that you just want to snuggle up and snooze in at home with your comfiest outfit.
SHOP HERE: Kandice Long-sleeved Top in Burgundy
After trying on the Maternity collection, these were their favorites!
We hope these tips were helpful to you mommies! Remember, you can rock anything you wear when worn with confidence!
The Maternity Collection is available online and in all stores now. Try them out! If you aren’t in love with it, you can always return it ;)