Wednesday, 20 February 2013

BFF Fat Loss Challenge - Lose Weight with GLOW™ IGNITE 2.0

This is going to be repetitive for those of you who have not read my earlier posts this year about wanting to be fit, healthy (and of course, eh hem, sexy) for 2013 and beyond. 

I was a nice 53kg for the past few years, though it's not exactly what my ideal weight is. I dream about the day when I finally get a slim, svelte body I can confidently show off on the beach without the jiggly bits. Then sometime late last year, I got into a pretty blissful stage of my life where I was happy, well-fed, and only cared about doing my own thing and snuggling with either the bf, or the dog. And when I weighed myself in on the January 5th of this year, I was upset to find that I have gained a total of close to 6 kg to become a hefty 58.7kg. 

That was almost as fat as me when I burst into the entertainment scene in Project Superstar in 2005, totally unprepared for widescreen tv, and kinda chubby. 

True, they say muscle is heavier than fats, but I seriously think that apart from the baby fat I have lost on my face over the years (and then put some back on), everywhere else is just fat. I haven't exercised in almost 6 months before my wake-up call which was the discovery of my new weight, for goodness sake.

Explains for the January resolution starting with health and fitness? Alright yes, I want to be sexy too alright? I've never been a sex bomb, never seen myself as one anyway. But for something in my mid-late twenties, I think I don't wanna be the "cute" girl anymore. Chubby is cute too. Bleah.

So I have been exercising with a personal trainer since mid January. And coincidentally, Cheryl sent me a text out of the blue.

Whoahoh~~~ All the help I need! I'm already exercising, but if it's a healthy no-harm's-going-to-be-done pill that will help me shed those extra kilos I gained eating too many xiaolongbaos, I'M IN!!!!!!

So she hooked me up with GLOW™, the people behind this programme which they call the BFF Challenge. How apt! 2 best pals wanting to lose weight together! It's actually called Berry Fruity Fatloss Challenge, and I think it ties up with the BFF theme very well. Weight loss is better motivated when you have the support of friends right?

I fixed an appointment with Rachel, the nutritionist in charge of the programme, and after understanding the requirements and the product, GLOW™ IGNITE 2.0, I took little time in confirming my participation in the challenge. As long as the product is good and it's useful for me, I'll do it. Plus, I'll get to share my experience with you guys. ;)

So what is GLOW™ IGNITE 2.0
I have to try really hard not to chuckle each time I read 2.0 cos it somehow reminds me of Justin Bieber 2.0. Lol~

If you are someone who, like me, enjoys scourging the supermarket and regular drugstore shelves just to look-see, you would have seen GLOW™ around since last year. The people at GLOW™ claims this:

"(We) advocate deep scientific research, heavy product testing, reliable sourcing and quality assurance done on each and every ingredient that makes up a GLOW™ capsule. Our belief in targeting safe weight management with a synergistic, whole body approach translates to everything we do, the brand ambassadors we choose, even to the staff we employ."

My key thing in fitness this year is to do it the healthy way, thus my exercise regime. And if the makers of this pill advocates doing it the right, healthy way too, I think we're on the same track.

GLOW™ IGNITE 2.0 is basically a more potent formula than the very first version of GLOW™, which already sold thousands of bottles here and is the NUMBER ONE BEST SELLER IN AMERICA. GLOW™ was sold out in Singapore last year!!!!

I think that's quite a feat to achieve, and if something doesn't work, I doubt it will do well. GLOW™ did a Blogger challenge sometime last year and a few bloggers, Daphne and William, actually did lose a healthy amount of weight while on the programme.

What's in it?

It's key ingredient is raspberry ketones, the thing in red raspberries that gives it its smell, and increases the body's metabolism by increasing the level of 2 hormones - norepinephrine and adiponectin. Microbiology students should be familiar with these. Those of you not, you can read about it here.

Dr Oz speaks about Raspberry Ketones in his talkshow:

90 pounds of raspberry ketones is about 41kg. What GLOW™ does is compact 41kg of raspberries into 100g of raspberry ketone extract that is in each capsule.

What is also in the same capsule is this thing called Svetol®. You know when people say they need coffee in the mornings to wake them up and that you should drink coffee (no sugar) if you want to lose weight? I just learnt that it's not the caffeine in coffee that does the magic.

*thunder and lightning strikes*

Yeah, nope it's not caffeine. It's this thing called chlorogenic acid which is also present in coffee. Svetol® uses a method of extraction of cholorogenic acid in a well-balanced composition to give you the fat-burning and waking up effect, minus the stimulants and side effects (I tend to get the runs after coffee, good only if I've been constipated for a few days.)

If you're unfamiliar with Dr. Oz, it is an American talk show with a whole medical unit of full-time in-house researchers, medical producers and physicians. This unit works every day with Dr. Oz and the producers of the show in making the show. Basically they evaluate and then approve all the products that appear on the show. Pretty impressive! And I would say they should be legit. =)

I think they have aired on Channel 5 too. Not too sure when though.

I think watching these videos are easier for your understanding than if you were to read my writings about all the scientific terms. So here goes...

(If you want to watch everything in between - parts 2,3,4, you can find them here)

Amongst the ingredients in GLOW™ are Svetol® with 45% chlorogenic acids, and GCA®! Woots! Though the dosage is 300mg instead of 400mg, I think the rest of the ingredients boost up its efficacy further than if it's just pure 400mg of Svetol®. And if you can lose weight without doing anything different other than taking the capsule 30 minutes before your meal, wouldn't it be nice?

Apple cider is known to help in weight loss, so is green tea, acai and grapefruit. (You can read about all of them here.) Combined, I think this makes a pretty potent formula. 

Also, this is a full vegetable capsule, which is an improved version of the first GLOW™ capsule made of gelatin. If I understand correctly, Muslims can't really take gelatin. This means the 2.0 version can be taken by Muslims, vegetarians, and the lactose-intolerant (cos there's no dairy).

So after having exercised with my own personal trainer for 2 weeks, this was me at the beginning of my GLOW™ BFF Challenge:

Weighing in at 56.1kg, with a BMI of 21.6 (I'm working towards 19), body fat % of 30% (O.O) and a muscle mass of 24.5%. I once heard someone say losing weight is a woman's lifetime career. I don't have a terrible lot to lose I guess, cos skinny is not sexy, but I think I don't mind 4-5kg. That's going to be a little challenging though, with CNY AND Valentine's Day in February. (I think I fared well other than the fact that I forgot to bring it out sometimes.)

Picture credit: Cheryl Tay
Me & Cheryl at the beginning of the challenge. I look super auntie OMG~~~ 
How to tell if I've put on weight - my face isn't quite as oval/sharp, and I start looking aunty-ish. Lol~ Yes you'll argue and say my face is sharp already, but if you compare my other pictures (pre-weight-gain) you will get what I mean. 

My very own box of GLOW™ for me to take in February. Very useful as I think this is a very dangerous month with too much food. Lol.

How did I feel while on GLOW™ IGNITE 2.0?
I thought I felt fuller faster, and I didn't have any urge to snack AT ALL in between meals. Food just didn't seem to be able to tempt me as much, which was good. I had a couple of bak kwas and pineapple tarts for CNY, but I think overall there wasn't any compulsive urge to snack. I would walk to the snack table, look, and not get interested in anything. Felt weird at first, but gradually I stopped walking to the table. Lol. 

I do feel more energetic, apart from this week when I'm having my period plus I've caught a little cold. Double whammy, but I think I generally feel good though. I feel kinda guilty that I haven't been able to join the group exercise sessions with the other bloggers due to CNY busy week and me and my bf's sudden decision to fly me over to Shanghai for Vday. But trust me, I have been exercising. Not in the way you're thinking (okay not just....), but like hiking and going to the gym...stuff like that.

Less than 2 weeks to end of challenge. I'm actually kinda nervous and excited. I didn't do too much changes to my diet because I generally don't eat a lot of fried/oily stuff. But I haven't really been curbing myself whenever I crave anything, though that doesn't happen much. If I still lose weight, I'd really have to credit this little pill.

And me and Cheryl agreed that should we manage to achieve our target weight (not necessarily in February though, as our target is set kinda high), we will do a girly trip to Darwin! Let's make that happen baby~

Till my next update!

For a list of common questions and answers, please refer to the FAQ page on the GLOW™website. I have to declare once again that I am not paid to do this write-up and suggest that you consult your doctor should you be unsure if you can start on a weight-loss campaign.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

CNY Refresher (Lou Hei and Symbolism)

I've been away in Moganshan (somewhere in Zhejiang) the last few days and so much has happened I need to update all of you. Am editing pictures and trying not to get distracted by Youtube videos and Whatsapp beeps so that my blog can be regular again. Lol.

Yesterday was Ren Ri (in CNY terms it means mankind's birthday) and today is the birthday of grains. Lol. I remembered writing in 2010, as well as 2011, about how to lou hei and say whatever when each item was added. I decided not to repeat myself this time and link you up to my previous post here.

I hope you will find the post useful, because even if I myself remembered what to say when last year, I forget each time a year has passed. Lol. I'm sure many of you still have many more Lou Heis to go. I'm in Shanghai where they don't do Lou Hei, and I'm completely missing out, but it's okay. Part of my heart is at home. =D 

I did, however, try to go out there and find mee sua as it's also a tradition to eat mee sua during your birthday and yesterday was everyone's birthday. The only mee sua I found was at this Taiwanese restaurant called Charmant. 

I ordered this first, but it looked nothing like mee sua. I think in China they call thin Ramen mee sua (cos it's written mee sua on the menu) So I decided to just go with Oyster Mee sua which would at least taste better...

Nothing like mee sua homecooked by mummy, nor the Oyster Mee Sua in Taiwan, but hey, I got my mee sua for ren ri! =D

I hope Valentine's Day has been sweet for many of you singles as well as couples. Who says love can only be celebrated by lovers? ;)

With friends like these, love is pretty abundant for me. ^.^

Lou Hei Refresher - Here

Lots of Love,

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!!! - Of Ang Pows & Spring Cleaning, Especially the Latter.


For the sake of my non-Chinese-literate, or those who can't really read Chinese well, that was me wishing everyone a very happy lunar new year, and that life this year (and beyond, of course) will be smooth-sailing and safe. 

Chinese New Year is THE biggest event for most Chinese families, especially here in Singapore. I haven't really lived anywhere else so I can't speak for my counterparts in other countries, but I can definitely say CNY supercedes any other event for the Chinese here. Yes, even Christmas, though we feel it the Christmas spirit here too, just not as strong. 

Christmas is something the younger generation celebrates. Ask my Ah Gong and Ah Ma to sit down and sing carols and eat turkey and prepare gifts...stuff like that? Nah~ Usually for Xmas we are the ones preparing, and we invite them and they just come and eat. 

For CNY? Whoa~ They go all out with the food preparation, the kuehs, the steamboat (or what, as I learnt earlier this morning from my very angmor-pai bf, the westerners know better as "hotpot), buying loads of abalone, new year fish which I never knew the name to, the "guay ji" (melon seeds), love letters (spring rolls), pineapple tarts, and how can we forget this...bak kwa~ 

Ang Pow Giving 101
Oh and days (sometimes even weeks) before the main event, the folks would make a trip to the bank to get notes for ang-pow-packing. So they can do the proper categorizing of which ang pows to pack for who - the $4-ones for the not-so-close-whoever's-children, the $10 for the slightly more familiar kids, the $20 for the close relatives and close friends' children, the $60/80/$100/more for the grandchild/daughter/son/someone who means so much more. Basically the amount increases with the importance of said recipient. And of course it depends on financial ability of the ang pow giver. 

Being Chinese though, we care about this thing known as "face", or what is better known as pride. Even if a family is not doing too well, most people wouldn't want other people to know about their plight and give a minimum $4 or more. (Or $6 if they find 4 an unlucky number because it sounds like "die" in Chinese.) So far I've never received a $2 ang pow. Those are really rare. At least to me. 

Spring Cleaning
The last few days have been really crazy. Mum has been decorating the house and the corridor with flowers and those Chinese New Year things. She's probably made at least 20 trips to the florist (do we still call them florist if they span across acres?) to pick the flowers, and she ordered the bak kwa weeks ago for collection last week. Talk about being prepared. Lol. Just look at her effort -

She made these from just flower stalks, 4 green sponge balls (for sticking the flowers in), and red cloth. I love how she, amidst running a business, can find the time to balance her social life, parents, children, housework, and make extra time to liven up the CNY atmosphere with decorations. 贊!
(It looked so grand that some people actually thought there was a wedding happening. Lol!)

Spring cleaning is a tradition for chinese new year. It's our way of getting rid of the old to welcome the new. It's the time we throw away junk that prevents us from moving forward. It starts from the house, though I recommend a good spring cleaning from the inside. It doesn't just include your health, if you have any emotional excess baggage, throw them out too. Delete your ex's phone number. Throw away or delete all old photos, letters, anything that prevents you from moving forward. Trust me, it will be hard (just like throwing things out from your room), but it bloody works. *winks*

I'll touch on that another time, and start on something everything can relate to - your room. In this case, my room. 

My room. Oh yes my room. Let's have a tour how it looked like prior to spring cleaning. There was a reason why I decided for February's Resolutions to revolve around organizing. Scroll on...

 A huge mess upon entering. I got very stressed each time I enter my room, and that was when I knew I needed to do something. I have been taking care of my health, but if I didn't do something about my environment my health won't be too good either. The bedroom is for replenishing the soul. 

That...was pure junk for my soul.

And behind the door....

I need to find a way to organize bags. I swap bags almost on a daily basis, and it's quite troublesome to keep them away after I use one. 

I built this shelf thinking that I would love to display stuff on it. Bleah...turned out to be a dumping ground for boxes. In no particular order.

The thing about huge horizontal space is everything tends to land there. 
I didn't even want to look at the shelf on the side...

Even Alton feels sian. Lol. Cos he always has to find a way to maneuver my room. You'll see what I mean later...

 The bedside table, and the book I'm currently on - The Happiness Project. I owe my monthly resolutions to the author of this book. Thank you Gretchen!!!

This aisle is basically unpassable. Which means Alton can't rest here, but he tried so very often to squeeze under the bed from here. Lol~!

After Spring-Cleaning
The shelves on top have been rearranged, though I'm not completely satisfied with it yet. 
For now, that will do. 

Before                                                    After

I haven't quite found a way to deal with the bags yet, but that will come, and I promise a room tour when that happens. =)

I've rearranged my bookshelf such that the books are arranged by category.

 The left side where I'm at the most needs some more work though I have yet to figure out what. But all in all, this is a huge improvement from before, no?



I am so proud can???!!!! And I feel goooood~~~~

All my perfumes, cow banks, and a photo frame of my and my sister. Within the left drawer are my candles, and the right one my facial mask sheets. The boxes on the left which look like books hold various items which I will talk about another time. 

 Beside the drawer is this. It's sort of like a nice place for the yummy-smelling candles and assorted pretty stuff.

 The work desk which still needs a little bit of work. I have yet to find a home for every single thing/document. The best part about organizing is allocating a very specific place for specific items so you know exactly how to tell your Mum over the phone that the spare camera battery is "on the second shelf by the desk in the black box marked Gadgets".

Even my wardrobe door is clean. The only thing hanging out is what I'm going to wear later for visiting. 

My floor beside the bed. *so so so so proud*

Inner calm. Ah~~~ *breathes* ^.^

I hope you have spring-cleaned your home, or at least your room, for Chinese New Year. If you haven't for 2013 yet, just try it. I GUARANTEE that nothing will give you more satisfaction and immediate gratification than clearing out 2 huge bags of rubbish. Just try it with your medicine cabinet or makeup dresser/pouch/area. It's super shiok lor! 

I'm setting aside 15 - 30 minutes every night before I sleep to put things away back to their homes. That will help to keep everything organized. Being really neat is not my forte, nor did I grow up that way. I grew up being used to what I call "organized chaos", but cleaning up and seeing empty spaces pop up really makes me feel so good every time, I kind of enjoy cleaning up and organizing now. 

Keyword: Be ruthless. If it hasn't served you in the last 1-2 years, dump it. Hello? If you don't see yourself going anywhere with the person you're dating, will you continue the relationship? 长痛不如短痛, let it go. So that something, or someone, more suitable (notice I didn't say "better") has a chance to enter your life. ;)

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Review: Little Nonya Cookies

Chinese New Year is upon us in 8 days!!!! Have you done your CNY shopping? I don't just mean your  clothes, but CNY goodies to welcome the lovely guests who will be visiting you. No????!?!?!

Don't panic don't panic~~~ I'm here to save the day!!! *macam* Lol! 

If you are afraid of the crowd that will be at Chinatown these few days leading up to CNY, you probably wouldn't want to head there for your CNY goodies...

Especially if you drive... (trust me, I was just there LAST WEEK on a weekday to help my mum collect Bak Kwa, and the carpark queue was almost 45 minutes along the carpark swirly thing to get to a carpark floor. No joke.)

Don't fret. You can still get your CNY goodies. Of course, you can tom pang your friend who's going there to help you get your stuff, but that's not what I'm suggesting. Really, you 好意思 ask people to help you buy and shove and push their way through the Chinatown crowd while trying to get their own things too meh?

You can get them at malls! Duh~ Lol! Okay that wasn't a very smart suggestion, but hey, there are SO MANY stalls and brands selling CNY goodies, which one do you choose?

I was sent a bag of goodies from Little Nonya Cookies as I have a friend who works there. Thanks Serene and boss!

 Pretty little boxes! These are cookies! Packed nicely in a box, I think they're very apt as gifts. (Hint: to the gf/bf's parents, mother-in-laws, business partners...etc)

I have never really been a fan of almond until recent years, but this Lucky Almond was so fragrant that I had to stop myself from taking more than 1 each time. I loved the fact that it was so crumbly and I could taste the almond bits when the whole thing disintegrates in my mouth. Yum! 

As for the other bottle of cookies, I have to say, this is going to be my worst enemy during the month of February when I'm on my diet.

Happy Kueh Bangkit.

My favorite-st. If there's ever such a word. Oh. My. Goodness. I don't really eat this thing during CNY, but this particular one melts in your mouth the moment you put it in. It's so fresh, so creamy, so delicious, yet so light, that I could never stop at one. #IknowIknow
I wonder why it's called Happy Kueh will be so happily eating this that you won't know how many you've had till it's too late. Lol~

It's not even CNY yet, and already 1/3 the bottle is gone. *control*

I would give their cookies 2 thumbs up, considering I only tried 2 and liked them both. They have 16 different types of cookies to choose from so take your pick! The full range can be viewed at

Love letters. Ever since I knew they were called love letters, I've always wondered why. Did people really use egg and flour to write love notes to their special someone and then bake them? Doesn't make sense to me because after that there was no way to open it up to read without the whole thing crumbling. I couldn't really find the actual history behind it, so please enlighten me if you know!

Whatever the reason behind the name, this is a must-have snack during CNY.

 The original one for those who like it safe. I love the light texture of this classic. Not too hard nor too crumbly that it crumbles before you actually reach your mouth, this one was just right. And you can faintly taste the egg as you chew. Fully handmade and charcoal toasted, if you want your ah ma to have the taste of "those days", this should be it! =D

 The Durian King Roll. 
For the durian lovers, you are in for a treat. Once you open the tin, you will be able to smell the aroma~ 
Thicker than the original, this love letter is made with real durian flesh blended into the dough so you're getting the real deal.

My favourite egg roll/love letter - The Charcoal Gold Roll.

 Activated charcoal is known for its ability to filter toxins out of the human body. When toxins and impurities interact with charcoal, they form a very tight molecular bond and thus would be unable to escape. Charcoal is also known for its ability to bind to chlorine, bacteria and viruses! Based on certain studies that you would be able to get off the internet, the daily use of charcoal reduces the toxicity in the human body by 60%. Now you know why, when you have an upset stomach and a bad case of diarrhoea, doctors prescribe this to you. 

Now you know why it's my favorite? Yup, because it detoxes, is a lighter and healthier choice, and still tastes pretty good. ;)

Of course, this one still beats everything else as my favorite-st. Lol.

Want them? They are having a bundle sale! Get any 4 bottles at $60, 5 bottles at $72, and 6 bottles at $84! 
P.S. Due to over demand, you are only entitled to 1 bottle of Happy Kueh Bangkit per bundle deal. You can still get them at ala carte prices though! For more info, check out Little Nonya Cookies here.

You can get these cookies (and try them!) at the following places:

1)   Takashimaya Event Hall – Takashimaya Square
     391A, Orchard Road, Basement 2, Ngee Ann City Tower A, Singapore 238 873
     17th January 2013 – 08th February 2013

2) Raffles X’change – Event Space
    Raffles Place MRT Station, Basement 1
    21st January 2013 – 08th February 2013

3)  Bugis Junction
     200, Victoria Street, Level 1, Bugis Junction, Singapore 188 021
     21st January 2013 – 08th February 2013

4)  Parkway Parade – Event Space
     80, Marine Parade Road, Basement 1, Parkway Parade, Singapore 449 269
     21st January 2013 – 08th February 2013

5)  Century Square - Event Space
     2, Tampines Central 5, Level 1, Century Square, Singapore 529 509
     25th January 2013 – 07th February 2013

I'm gonna be away for the next 2 days on Sister's Island so expect lots of pictures when I return! Muah!