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If there are countless healthy food options in Singapore, we are always on the lookout for new concepts – This week, we test out the latest meal delivery service in town, Faba Food, and their plant-based recipes. Did they manage to combine flavours, vegan products and sustainability? It’s time to find out. 

What is Faba? How does it work, and how is it different from its competitors? 

Sean and Alex, two entrepreneurs with a strong background in food manufacturing and retail, had the goal to make food delivery more sustainable through better delivery practices and lower carbon footprint food.
They created Faba in 2021, and aimed to combine sustainability with (in their own words): taste, nutrition, affordability, convenience and an ever-growing appetite for plant-based food. And based on our experience, they have done pretty well:  

Taste – The team has experience with food, and it shows – the recipes are well crafted and much closer to comfort food than diet meals. It’s hearty; it’s filling; it’s flavourful. 

Nutrition – Whilst most brands on the market focus on a specific diet or trend (keto, low calorie, low GI.. ), Faba food focuses more on offering balanced meals.
Each meal contains around 500kcal and 20g of protein – but some recipes are richer in carbs and fats.
They might not be the best option for weight loss strictly speaking, but they are balanced enough to fit a healthy and active lifestyle. 

Affordability – with 6meal bundles priced at $88 ( slightly less than $15 a meal + a 10% discount if you sign up for more than a week), using Faba is cheaper than getting individual meals delivered from Grab or Food Panda. It is, however, slightly more expensive than some other meal subscription services, as most work with bigger bundles. 

Convenience – Ordering from the website is a hassle-free process – one can either get the pre-made bundle made of all six recipes currently available or customise their order and choose the recipes they like the most. 
The food is prepared and frozen in their kitchen on the East of the island and delivered twice a week by dedicated Faba drivers.
The meals arrive at your doorstep in a well-designed box – layered with insulation sheets, it can stay up to 8 hours outside without compromising the quality of its content. 

faba food delivery packaging

Plant-based – Faba meals are 100% vegan (they contain no animal or animal-derived ingredients) – which is a first in Singapore. Interestingly, the brand doesn’t use processed meat substitutes or “fake meats” and instead chooses to emphasise naturally high-protein ingredients. faba food delivery services singapore

Lastly, sustainability is a big part of Faba’s promise and what we enjoyed the most about the service.
Whilst many brands only use sustainability as a marketing point, Faba embedded this value into their concept.
They focus on keeping a low carbon footprint, sourcing ingredients locally and eliminating meat & dairy.
The delivery system only runs a couple of days a week, and each box contains six meals (vs one for the usual food delivery services)
Lastly, it is worth noting that not only customers can recycle the boxes, but the insulation sheets inside are made with recycled clothes and can also be kept and reused.

 

But most importantly, is the food good?

We got a chance to try out all of the six options currently available – the team is working on adding more by the end of the summer, and we’d be curious to test these too. 

Note: All meals are individual portions, 400g and around 500kcal each

Our favourite meal was probably the  Smoky Chili Bowl. With great texture and flavours, It is also the lowest in calories and the highest in protein (24g/portion).  The Chickpea and Eggplant tagine was also a winner – creative flavours and the perfect amount of spice. 

smoky chili bowl
smoky Chili bowl

The Maca Greens and Rigatoni Bolognese are on the more traditional side – but we particularly enjoyed the almond parm on the latest, and the new dimension it brings to a classic. 

Rigatoni Bolognese
Rigatoni Bolognese

The Tofu Tikka Masala was incredibly flavourful, but we would have loved more vegetables to make the most of the delicious sauce. 

Finally, although very tasty, the Chipotle Burrito Bowl was too heavy on the carbs to our liking, but it is easy to imagine brunch lovers loving it.

Mac & Greens
Maca Greens


The ingredients’ freshness is remarkable, and all recipes were perfectly seasoned, which is rare for frozen meals. More than anything, we enjoyed the convenience of it – for a whole week, there was no need to cook after work – only take out one of the boxes from the freezer, pierce the film and put it straight into the microwave for 8 minutes. 

Last thoughts

Far from the old stereotypes around vegetarian food, Faba food is ideal for vegans & vegetarians and meat eaters who want to make small changes toward a more sustainable lifestyle.
It might not be the best option if you are actively trying to lose weight, but if you are trying to make healthier choices (and save time) while still eating delicious food daily, Faba is resolutely worth a try.

Check out their website & order here 

After two years of being incredibly quiet, Singapore’s CBD is finally coming back to life – And if you are looking for a clean meal on your way to the office, it is time to visit The Whole Kitchen‘s newest outlet, as they now serve breakfast and lunch to gym-goers and businesspeople alike.
Let’s have a look and find out about the restaurant and their gluten-free menu.

The location, the place & the vibe

The Whole Kitchen Bakery Cafe is located in the CBD at the corner of Mccallum and Robinson Road – it is the brand’s second outlet, opened in late 2021, after a successful launch in Katong.
As expected, the place gets busy (yet not crowded) during lunchtime – but it is also open for breakfast and afternoon tea. The decor is bright and natural, and the staff is very welcoming—a breath of fresh air in the ever-busy CBD.
The indoor seating area is surprisingly spacious and doesn’t get as noisy as some other places – I can picture myself having coffee meetings and sharing lunch with colleagues there.

The food & drinks

The lunch menu offers a wide variety of 100% gluten-free sandwiches (fresh & toasted), salads, soups and other bakery goods. I had the Saigon sandwich with chicken, a side of the Clean Green Goddess, and tried the daily soup (pumpkin) and keto quiche. All of it was beautifully plated and incredibly flavourful.

whole kitchen singapore saigon sandwich
The Tumeric bread brings the Saigon Chicken Sandwich to the next level
the whole kitchen singapore pumkin soup
The Pumkin Soup was perfect on a chilly and rainy day
the whole kitchen singapore keto quiche
Keto Quiche

The only downside: the portions are quite small – perfect for a quick lunch that won’t let you groggy in the afternoon, but you might want to consider adding one of their bakery items if you are starving.

I would also love for the menu to show the nutritional values of each item to make life easier for people tracking their macros.

(menu available here)

What are the healthiest options on The Whole Kitchen’s menu?

If we are looking at the most balanced dishes, the winners are:

  • The Saigon Chicken/tofu Sandwich
  • The salmon & avocado charcoal roll
  • All salads with (with one of the protein add-ons)

What is not so healthy on the menu?

Because of the ingredients used to create compelling textures and flavours without gluten, some recipes can be pretty calorie-dense. This includes the keto bread, coconut cookies and most keto items, which need to be eaten in moderation if you are watching your intake.

From the breakfast menu, the only “guilty pleasure” is probably banana toastie – again, all-natural ingredients, but it combines fresh banana, the Whole Kitchen’s peanut butter and hazelnut cacao butter on gluten-free bread. Fantastic to recover from a strenuous workout, or share with your kids (they apparently love it) but not necessarily the lightest, calorie-wise.

the whole kitchen singapore spread butter chocolate
The Whole Kitchen’s peanut butter and Hazelnut cacao butter spreads

Last thoughts

You don’t need to be a fitness buff or a nutrition junkie to enjoy the Whole Kitchen’s delicacies. There is something for everyone, and The Whole Kitchen CBD Bakery Cafe is a fantastic place to get an energizing breakfast or lunch. It feels so good to eat clean.

The Whole Kitchen – 2 locations 
CBD Bakery Cafe – 120 Robinson Road, 01-01, 068913
Katong Bakery Cafe – 11 East Coast Road, Odeon Building,  #01-16 428722

 

After more than 2 years of attending online events and watching Zoom recordings, we almost forgot how fantastic physical events were. The Fit Summit was back in Singapore this June with the 2022 World Health, Fitness and Wellness Festival. 3 days to discover new products and technologies, try out the latest food trends, learn from industry experts and discuss and share ideas with peers.
If we thoroughly enjoyed the event, seeing new faces and meeting up with old friends, we were also amazed by the new ideas emerging this year – the fitness industry is changing, and for the better.
Let’s take a look at 8 trends that will shape the fitness & wellness world in 2022-2023.

What are the new Fitness trends?

1. Data everywhere

For a few years already, wearable tracking devices have been a must-have when it comes to personal fitness, both for regular gym-goers and athletes. Fitbit, Garmin, Polar are all in the game to provide the user with as much data as possible in an easy-to-understand way, to help them optimize their training and share their results online.
Technology also takes it further in gyms and offers more precise ways to track your progress.
InBody, one of the most famous body composition analyzer brands, keep perfecting their impedance meters, to provide evermore comprehensive analysis in reports that are easy to understand by anyone looking to know more about their own body.
Other companies, like Visbody are going a step further, offering full 3D body scans – the perfect way to find out about imbalances and correct them at the gym. Users can then track their progress very closely – it is not always easy to spot the difference in the mirror, and precise reports come in handy.

Visbody body scan

2. Hyper-personalisation is key

For too long, Fitness and Nutrition were considered with a one-size-fits-all model. However, we now have the data needed to understand that not every individual needs to train or fuel the same way.
The optimum regime depends on a dozen factors, including body composition, age, gender, lifestyle and personal choices. The trainers can no longer apply methods that worked “for them”; they must focus on what works for each of their clients.
Some new technologies, including Shae.ai’s, are aiming to help their users better understand their specific needs, based on a series of questions & simple body analysis, to provide them with tailored recommendations, based on trusted medical studies. It’s all about what works for you, not for others.

3. Enjoyment should be at the centre of anyone’s training

“No pain, no gain” is a concept of the past – it is time to focus again on having fun and (actually) enjoying the workouts. Most of us don’t enjoy very intense workouts – and that’s ok!
A specific type of workout can be the best physiologically to get results, but if we are not enjoying it, we are much less likely to stick to it and get the promised results. Everyone should be looking for a physical activity they enjoy to work towards their goals without it being a chore.
We see a comeback of smaller group classes, Pilates and other “softer” disciplines, helped by new equipment ranges.

4. Post-pandemic changes are here to stay

Gyms had to adapt drastically during and after the covid epidemic to survive. To be successful, both big groups and boutique gyms have to focus on what the client wants – but also who the new client is.
Younger or much older, and generally less experienced, a new audience is now stepping into the gym and needs to be guided and educated.

The Gym Pod understood it perfectly – besides affordable and private spaces to workout, attracting youngsters and beginners, they also provide virtual guidance during the session. Customers can access pre-defined workouts directly on the connected mirror placed in each pod, and check out the correct form for weightlifting exercises if and as needed.

gym pod singapore

5. Technology is making home workouts actually efficient

During the successive lockdowns, we all tried to work out at home – and for some of us, it has been quite challenging, because of the lack of guidance.
Elitefit.ai provides a technology that tracks home workout enthusiasts’ form and makes sure they train with the perfect form. They are partnering with content creators and corporations to provide employees with home workouts, while tracking their posture using their laptop, tablet or phone’s camera to ensure each move is done correctly—a game-changer.

What about nutrition Trends?

6.  Healthy food can’t be boring anymore – it’s all about natural ingredients and flavours

Say goodbye to bland “diet” foods – eating healthy should be a synonym for delicious and nutritious food instead.

The creations from the Clean Addicts achieve precisely that – a mix of intriguing new textures, great flavours and natural ingredients. In our opinion, their most incredible recipe is, to us at least, the Chocolate mochi muffins – available in 3 flavours (peanut butter, black sesame and double chocolate), and low in sugar and calories, they make a fantastic snack or dessert.
Another of their best sellers? A healthy version of the traditional mooncake – the green tea flavoured one is to die for.

mochi muffin the clean addicts
Mini mochi muffin – Chocolate from The Clean Addicts

Scoopz also presented a range of healthier ice cream – no added sugar, no dairy, only natural ingredients. You can expect a creamy texture and tons of flavours, without the usual sweet taste. There are a dozen of flavours to choose from, but our favourite would be Durian, green tea and banana walnut.

scoopz healthy icecream
Green Tea and Chocolate icecream from Scoopz

 

7. Towards a more sustainable diet: plant-based food deserves its spot under the spotlight

5 years ago, vegans and vegetarians were arguably part of a minority. Things have radically changed, and a lot of people are willing now to take a step toward a plant-based diet – even if it only means switching to meat alternatives a few times a week.
It is possible though to go further, as we see more and more plant-based products emerging. More affordable (and less fancy) than meat alternatives or lab-grown meat – yet absolutely delicious when done right.
And as the founder of Faba Food rightly said, a lot more people would be vegan if vegan food tasted better. That’s how they developed a range of frozen meals,  packed and delivered in a more sustainable way than most other actors in the market. The company has created a series of tasty recipes, and lets customers order packs of 6 meals, that are delivered frozen and are perfect to simply reheat and enjoy after a long day at work. faba food

The Whole Kitchen also presented a few samples from their Vegan collection: an abundance of bread, biscuits, brownies and granola that are every bit as good as their non-vegan counterparts.

8. Healthy food, the convenient way

Like Faba Food, many food companies have listened to their customers – most people are keen on eating healthy, or healthier at least, as long as it doesn’t take hours in the kitchen and tastes good.
Ketomei, for example, specialises in weight loss and offers meals inspired by traditional Singaporean recipes and following the principle of the keto diet (high fat, moderate protein, no carb). It is an easy way to stay on track and shred a few kgs, without thinking twice about what you eat.
The same group is also behind FitFresh, which focuses more on healthy eating and muscle gain – and all you have to do is to choose, based on your goals, taste and macros.

ketomei keto meals
Keto meals from Ketomei

Once more, Singapore proved that it is the best place to discover new trends, and a market with a growing appetite for all things fitness and health. We can’t wait to see what will come next!

 

 

 

Now that Singapore residents can travel (almost) freely again, we are all tempted to book trips around Asia or further.
If the primary objective remains to have fun and make the most of the trip, people currently on a weight loss or muscle gain journey can find it quite challenging to maintain their lifestyle while travelling.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to stay on track during your trip – and come back even stronger.

1. Stay on the lookout for a way to train – and be ready to embrace the unexpected

Depending on where you go, it is not always easy to find exactly the type of gym or facilities you are used to. The bad news is, it is very likely that you will have to go with the flow and go to a traditional gym if you are into Crossfit, or rent a less-than-adequate bike if you are a cyclist.
The good news is that it is an excellent way to discover new disciplines, try out new equipment, and maybe find a new hobby on the way.
If your sport isn’t available where you are spending your time off, you will probably find other ways to exercise – pick up Muay Thai or diving, go hiking in the mountains, or visit the open-air gyms that are available in most warm countries. It is not about sticking 100% to your usual program – it is about enjoying your time away and still burning some calories or working out these muscles.

muay thai gloves

2. Stay active on a daily basis

For many of us, being on holiday pretty much means doing nothing. There’s nothing bad about it, but you might want to consider implementing at least 1 hour of physical activity (walking, hiking, cycling) every day. You have plenty of time on your hands, and dedicating 4% of your day to your health is a great thing to take care of your own body.
Staying active is all about small choices – take the stairs instead of the elevators, walk instead of hailing a cab (even if it is very cheap), rent a bike rather than a motorbike… It all adds up.

hiking training

3. Keep your nutrition in mind – but don’t forget to enjoy local delicacies

Again, it’s not about making new changes to your diet or counting macros rigorously – that’s what daily life is for. But if you are trying to lose weight, try to avoid substantial excess calories when possible, by going for smaller portions and avoiding bread or sweets when you already feel full. Avoid as well to drink your calories – like in fancy coffee drinks, milkshakes, cocktails… Focus on what you really want to eat and drink, and avoid what’s unnecessary.
And of course, if you are trying to gain muscle or maintain your muscle mass, ensure you are getting enough protein, by having at least one source of protein (animal or plant-based) on your plate at each meal.

It is fairly easy to learn how to spot the healthier options in restaurants:

Make sure your choice contains one source of protein – Meat, fish, eggs, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, mix of cereal & legumes, etc
Go for steamed or boiled, instead of deep-fried. Stir-fried is better than deep-fried, but still more oily than the 2 first options.
– Avoid heavy sauces (tomato-based sauces are the lightest) when possible, or ask for the sauce on the side, so you can control the portions.

Finally, keep in mind that you can ask for less sugar, no MSG, or extra meat or tofu in most restaurants.

 

Enjoy your trip away and stay healthy! 

When most people think of water aerobics, what comes to their mind isn’t really appealing – in Europe, it’s mostly seen as an old people’s thing, and over here, it’s barely “a thing” at all. Well, it wasn’t a thing, but in 2012, Ripple Club (called Aquaspin) was born – and they intend to make aqua-biking cool again, one pool at the time.
Curious about water aerobics & aqua biking? Here is everything you need to know about The Ripple Club’s classes and some answers to the questions you might have in mind.

 

First, what is The Ripple Club’s concept?

 

The Ripple Club is all about low-impact, quality fitness training – always in a pool and with a bike. The idea is quite simple: using the resistance brought by the water to get a good workout, with low impact on the joints.
They have created 4 different types of classes, to cater to every need.

  • RIpple Signature: HIIT class, activating every muscle of your body – ideal for busy people looking for a complete workout
  • Ripple Endure: focused on Endurance, Endure is mostly about cardio & leg endurance – you spin non stop for 40min, and work in alternating sprint & slower paces.
  • Ripple Power: a circuit-style workout, during which you spend half of your time on the bike and the other half at different stations, using accessories and free weights (everything being waterproof, of course.)
  • Ripple Balance: inspired by yoga, this is the most gentle class – expect stretches and breathing techniques, followed by core & balance work. All sessions end with a 5min guided meditation.

They now operate in 6 different locations in Singapore, in hotels & country clubs.
Note: they also have studios in Dubai, Australia & will open a new one in Kuala Lumpur in April.

Class review: Ripple Endure

For this review, I took part in an Ripple Endure class, led by Edwin, at Swissotel Merchant court.

What happens during an Ripple Endure session?

First, you need to set up your bike – the instructor helps first-timers find the right height and teach the basic moves before the class starts.
The first 5 minutes are dedicated to warming up with gentle moves and turning your focus to the class.
The following 30min is a continuous effort, with a 2min water break. Arms & shoulders get involved occasionally, but Endure is focusing on leg work and endurance. The instructor guides you through the session and details each movement, makes sure you follow the music rhythm and push yourself when you should.
The last 5 minutes are about cooling down & stretching a bit.


What did I think of it?

Overall, really enjoyed it – I was tired after a long day and the instructor managed to share some of his energy with the group, which was much appreciated.
It’s quite different from my usual training routine (mostly weights & calisthenics, with some long trail runs here and there) – and it was nice and weird to feel my quads burning because of the effort’s length. I injured one of my knees last year during a race, and I had to stick to indoor cycling for a while to ease the recovery process – I feel like aqua biking & especially this kind of session would have helped me a lot to maintain some muscle mass in my legs, as well as bringing something fresh & different to my program.
I’d like to try the other classes, and see if I can get maybe a bit more challenge.

Having fun after the class

Can anyone join an Ripple Club class? Who is it for?

Anyone can attend Ripple Club classes – you don’t need to be fit to get started. For now, most attendees are ladies, but some male triathletes start to get into it too.

You don’t need to know how to swim to take part in the classes – as they take place in the shallow areas of the pool. The coaching team is actually used to working with people suffering from aquaphobia on overcoming their fear. So even if water isn’t your thing for now, it might be a good occasion to give it a try.

Now, to answer the question “is it for me?” :

You’ll probably enjoy it a lot if:

  • you are getting back to exercise after a break and are looking for something fun and new to try
  • you want to train in a familial, welcoming environment, within a small group
  • you want to get toned – the pressure applied by the water on your body has a “massage” effect and helps decrease the cellulitis effect & increase the blood flow
  • You are recovering from an injury and need a low-impact activity that will still get your heart pumping
  • you are expecting a baby or have just given birth and are looking for an adequate activity to stay fit

It might not be your thing if:

  • You are looking for a really calm & relaxing activity (although Ripple Balance could be a good option for you)

*On aqua-biking & rehab:

As mentioned earlier, aqua-biking is a low-impact discipline, and it is a very nice way to get back to exercise after an injury. Alicia Antonuccio, one of the founders, holds also personal training sessions, where she helps individuals (often coming through a referral from their physio) get back on track.
Interestingly, she knows exactly what she is talking about: she was diagnosed with a patellofemoral syndrome in her late teenage years, which kept her away from sports for a while. She then discovered aqua-biking and fell in love with it, as it allowed her to get back to training. She’s now willing to expand her discipline, and is a wonderful personal trainer.

 

Curious?
Get more information, book discovery sessions & or take a look at schedule on their website: https://www.aquaspin.sg/

Review: AquaSpin Classes (Aquabiking)
Price range: $$
Who is it for? Anyone looking for a low impact workout, athletes in rehab
Intensity: moderate

 

Looking for a cute date night idea? With all restaurants being closed for now, it might be hard to get creative. But don’t fret! There’s always a way to turn any evening into a romantic night out (or in)!
All you need is a date night bundle from one of our favourite restaurants and a nice spot; so stay at home and light some candles, if you feel more adventurous, set up a tent in your living room, or why not go to the beach or your nearest park and get a step closer to nature.

Not only is it usually cheaper than dining in, but the best part is that you don’t even have to decide on the menu (and potentially get into a fight about starters or mains).

All these places have conceived and deliver awesome bundles for 2pax, perfect for sharing with your better half – but you can also decide to surprise your best friend (or someone from your family). Most of them also have bundles for bigger groups (4-5pax) that you can share with your entire household as well.

 

1. The Masses

If you are not familiar with The Masses’ food just yet, think Franco-Asian cuisine with a (very) creative twist. Every dish is carefully crafted & well-thought through. They’ve just released their new menu, and it’s the perfect time to try it out.
Their 2pax bundle ($64,90) allows you to choose from some of their classics and a few new additions – Make sure you get the C&C&C&C Pasta and/or the duck confit, they are incredible.

Order your bundle from the Masses here.

the masses

2.  Restaurant Beurre

Located on Keong Saik Road, Restaurant Beurre is known for their modern European & Asian fusion cuisine. Most of their famous small plates are available online,  but they have also put together the Beurre Signature Bundle with a delicious selection of starters, main & dessert.
Looking for something more casual? They have burgers sets (sorry, beurre-ger sets) and pasta bowl sets for 2pax as well.

Order your bundle from Beurre here.

restaurant beurre bundle

3. Canchita

Looking for new flavours? Get the Canchita bundle for 2 ($68) and take a trip to Peru.
The ceviche is refreshing, while the arroz (fried rice) is hearty and filling. You can expect both your heart & your stomach to be full by the end of the meal – but make sure you save some room for dessert!

Order your bundle from Canchita here 

starter canchita bundle date night

4. Miss Vanda (by Labyrinth)

You might not have heard of Miss Vanda yet, but you probably know LG Han’s Labyrinth already. The Michelin-star restaurant is now serving reimagined Singaporean classics under a new brand, exclusively available for delivery. Expect casual Singaporean food, paired with high-quality ingredients and creative combinations of flavours. Their Set Menu ($108) changes every week, and it’s the perfect occasion to try some of the fascinating (and delicious) dishes on their menu.

Order the 2pax Weekly Set Menu from Miss Vanda here. 

miss vanda labyrinth delivery

 

5. Siri House

Located on Dempsey Hill, Siri House serves modern Asian food – and their delivery options aim to bring the warmth and welcoming atmosphere from their physical space to the comfort of your home.
Weeknight in? Get the “Dining for 2″ bundle ($58), which includes 2 starters, 1 main & 1 dessert.  Something more special? The “Netflix & Fill” ($128) bundle is waiting for you, with 6 dishes and a bottled cocktail.

Order your date night bundle from Siri House here. 

siri house

In this new series of articles, we intend to unpack (in a very detailed manner) some of the most loved dishes here, in Singapore. How many calories do they contain, can they be part of a healthy diet, how to make them healthier? And we kickstart it today with one of the most iconic breakfast set: kaya toast & soft boiled eggs.

1. What’s in it?

Nothing new under the sun: a kaya toast set is usually composed of 2 slices of white bread with 2 spoons of kaya and a couple of thin slices of margarine/butter in between, along with 2 soft boiled eggs.

Let’s break it down:

  • 2 x slice of white toast: 175kcal, 36g of carbs including 4g of sugar, 6g of protein
  • 2 spoons of Kaya spread (20g): 62kcal, 5g of carbs including 3g of sugar
  • 10g of butter/margarine: 70kcal, 8g of fat
  • 2 x boiled egg: 140kcal, 10g of fat, 12g of protein

Total = 447kcal, 41g carbs (inc. 7g sugar),18g fat, 18g protein

If you add a Kopi (coffee with condensed milk), that’s an extra ~120kcal and 8g more of fat. 

2. Is Kaya Toast a healthy option?

Short answer: sort of. It is not the lightest in calories but contains a decent amount of protein – don’t skip the eggs, they are the most nutritious part!
It is a hearty & somewhat balanced meal that should keep you full until lunch.

3. How to make it healthier?

Skip the Kopi, which adds unnecessary calories and fat content, and go for a Kopi O kosong instead (5kcal). 
If you can – or if you are making it at home – swap the white bread for wholemeal sliced bread to get some fibres, take the butter off, and add a side of fruit (whole, not juiced!) to get more vitamins.

As a frequent runner and gym-goer, I have been looking for a headset that would suit my needs for a while. 
It being Bluetooth was, of course, the key point: getting all tangled up in a wire during a run is one of the worst feelings an athlete can experience (although this might be a slight exaggeration)

I also needed it to be somewhat waterproof – Singapore is a great playground for runners, as long as they are not afraid of getting sweaty.. or drenched.
Finally, I needed to stay in place – most of the wireless headsets’ earplugs are not adapted to small ears like mine and won’t stay in for an extended period of time.

After testing some products from Jabra and other brands and listening to my ultra-running friends’ recommendations, I decided to go ahead with the Aeropex from Aftershokz. Here is my honest review, after more than a year of using it daily.

aftershockz aeropex
picture: @dirganfasapixels

What are bone conduction earphones?

What convinced me to buy them, apart from the design itself, was the use of interesting technology – Bone conduction, which allows the earphones to sit ON your ears, rather than going in, like more traditional models. 
The 2 most noticeable advantages of this are:
1. Safety – as it doesn’t isolate you from the outside sounds, you can run/walk/cycle with them without putting yourself at risk of an accident due to something you hadn’t heard coming. 
2. Great for people with hearing difficulties – as it doesn’t rely solely on the eardrums, people with impaired hearing can get a better experience than with normal earphones. 

More information about bone conduction headphones and how they work here. 

This model from Aftershockz is, of course, not the only one available on the market based on this technology – but it is the main brand commercializing it in Singapore, meaning you can go to a shop and give it a try to see if you like it or not. 


Pros of the Aftershokz Aeropex:

  • perfect for outdoor sports – the bone conduction system allows the user to stay aware of their surroundings while getting a great audio experience
  • sweat & rainproof
  • Very light yet not fragile at all
  • fits every head
  • The battery can last & recharging it takes less than 2hrs
  • The in-built microphone is very decent and allows to take phone calls – but the lack of noise-cancellation makes it difficult to have a call outdoor, especially near busy roads. 

 

Cons of the Aftershockz Aeropex:

  • No noise-cancellation functionality (simply because they don’t get into your ears). However, they come with internal earplugs you can use along with the headset – which can come in handy in a crowded & noisy environment such as the gym.
  • Within 14 months of usage, I had to fill a warranty claim twice – the charger had stopped working properly, and the battery life was down to a few hours.
    However, Singapore’s warranty service is very responsive, efficient and offered an immediate solution both times. Aftershokz products are covered by a 2year warranty, which makes them a safe bet.


So, should you buy the Aeropex earset from Aftershockz?

YES

If you are looking for very light yet sturdy running/cycling earphones that won’t move during your sessions. 

NO

If you need noise-cancellation, or if you intend to swim with your new earphones.

 

 Last thoughts:

Overall, one of my best sports-related purchases of 2019 – I can’t spend a single day without using it, and I would happily recommend it to anyone looking for a reliable headset to run, cycle or go to the gym. 
If you are looking for a more technical review, TechRadar has published an extensive article about those – check it out! 

 

Where to buy Aftershokz Aeropex in Singapore: 
Stereo 68, #04-06 Orchard Rd, Plaza Singapura, 238839
MobyShop 14 #02-52 Scotts Road, Far East Plaza, 228213

 

You would like to eat healthier but don’t have the time to shop, prep and cook every day? Here is a quick guide to some of the healthiest options available in your local hawker centre – and some tips on what you should try to avoid. 

 

First things first: the “healthiest” doesn’t mean the “lowest in calories”. This is a misconception many articles on the same topic are pushing – but you do need to pay the same attention to the nutrients your body will get from the meal.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a “healthy” dish:

  • It needs to include some protein (plant or animal-based). Think meat, fish, eggs, tofu. Your body needs protein at every meal, and skipping it to save on calories isn’t healthy at all. A good portion of protein is approx the size of a deck of cards (or a mobile phone).
  • If any ingredient is deep-fried or served with a dense, heavy sauce (often packed with oil & sugar), you know it won’t be healthy. Even if it’s soup.
  • Pay attention to the portion of carbs – ask for 1/2 rice or noodles, and go for the wholemeal option if available. White carbs don’t keep you full for long, and they are quite calorie-dense. Ask for more vegetables to get some good fibres & vitamins that will last longer in your stomach.
  • Even if it has the “healthier option” logo doesn’t mean it is “healthy”. Most of these dishes have been labelled that way because they contain fewer calories – but again, calories are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to adopting healthier food habits.

 

1. Sliced fish soup

Sliced fish soup is a great option, as it contains quite a lot of protein (from the fish), along with fibres. Make it healthier by asking for 1/2 rice or noodles – but don’t forget that the soup contains quite a lot of salt, so make sure you balance it with a lot of drinking water after your meal.

Side note: this doesn’t apply to fish ball soup, as fishballs are mostly flour and don’t contain enough protein to make your bowl a healthy meal.

Picture: Danielfooddiary

 

2. Thunder tea rice

It includes several types of vegetables & greens, and in most places, you can swap white rice for wild/brown rice. Make sure you get some protein as a topping – tofu or egg – to build a healthy yet filling bowl that will keep you full until dinner.

thunder tea rice healthy hawker
Picture: The meatmen Channel

3. Kaya Toast set with Soft Boiled Eggs

You’ve got your portion of protein with the eggs & some carbs to keep you full all morning. If possible, ask to skip the margarine/butter slice as that doesn’t bring anything interesting nutrition-wise, or maybe have only 1 of the toasts.

As it often comes with a kopi, make sure to go for a simple black coffee and avoid adding 200kcal+ of concentrated milk to a healthy meal.

 

4. Chicken porridge with extra egg

Most porridges are a decently healthy option, as they contain a lot of water. You can choose the flavour you want, but keep in mind that there’s rarely enough chicken in the porridge to give you enough protein, and you can always ask for a double portion of meat. 

chicken congee
Picture: NY Times

5. Oyster Omelette

All oyster omelettes are not equal, as some stalls use a lot more cooking oil than others. However, the initial recipe is quite healthy: protein & good fats brought by the eggs, and even more protein from the oysters. If you can, get a side of veggies to complete your plate.

 

6. Poke Bowls 

Some hawker centres, including Amoy Street, have stalls offering poke bowls – a clean, often palm oil-free option, packed with protein & good fat (with the tuna or salmon), veggies & a layer of rice.

If you can, ask for wild/brown rice to make it even healthier, and swap the rice for some salad if you’re not very hungry, to save up to 300kcal.

Ju Ju Pokebowl
Picture: Ju Ju Pokebowls

7. Salads from Salad Bars 

If you get the option to build your own salad, make sure you get enough protein (portions of protein, as ingredients, are more expensive, so tend to be a bit small) and get a small amount of carbs (brown rice or quinoa) to keep you full throughout the day.

8. Japanese Bento Boxes

Some stalls serve well-balanced Bentos – make sure you get one with fish, meat or tofu, and avoid going for the deep-fried options, like tempura. The portions of rice are usually small, making it a great choice if you are watching your calorie intake.

 

 

Bottom line:

Eating healthy when you’re not able to cook your own food can be a bit tricky. But if you keep the following simple rules in mind, you are sure to avoid calorie bombs:

  • Always get some protein on your plate (meat, fish, eggs or plant-based protein)
  • Avoid deep-fried food (chicken, noodles, fish)
  • Avoid heavy sauces & curries that can add up to 300kcal per plate
  • Whenever possible, fill half of your plate with veggies & greens – they’ll keep you full longer
  • Swap white rice & noodles for the wholemeal/wholegrain version, if available.

 

The circuit-breaker made me realise I didn’t need a gym to exercise: if I needed some endorphins, I could simply put my running shoes on, and go for a jog in my neighbourhood. From there, I started to run more, faster, longer. Ultimately, I had to step up and improve my gear – running 25km with an armband wasn’t an option, and I got a cheap camel bag to hold my hydration pack, energy bar & phone. It did the job, of course, but you lose the impression of freedom that usually comes with running. I was back on the hunt for the perfect running bag, that could hold my stuff without being a burden. That’s how I came across Naked Innovations’ Running Band. As I know some of you might still be trying to figure out what works best for them, I thought I’d share my views on what became my go-to running belt. 

naked innovations sport belt running

Wait, what is the Naked Running band about? 

The Running Band from Naked is a belt, that sits nicely on the bony part of your hips. No shoulder strap, no zip, nothing – you have to get it on like a skirt or a pair of pants, and pull it up to your waist.
Then what? Then it stays there, are allow you to pack everything you need for your run. Literally EVERYTHING. Phone, keys, wallet, but also energy gels or bars, CrampFix, a flask (up to 500ml) – You can even use the straps to hold your running/trekking poles.

Why do I like it so much?

It’s SO light you don’t even realise you are wearing a belt. And it makes me think of Mary Poppins’ bag – the pockets are so extensible that it feels like you could store every possible item and still have room for more. The design is nice too – I can’t help it, I’m not a fan of very bright colours on running apparel, and this black & yellow combo is perfect for me.

naked innovations sport belt running

What do I like a bit less about it?

Due to the fabric, you are supposed to hand wash it with cold water – I used to just toss my cheap running bag in the washing machine, and now I spend a bit more time taking care of this belt.
Also, my shape is a bit odd, so I would have loved a size between 1 and 2 – but that’s a personal thing. I went for size 2, as I want to avoid having my belly tightly held during the longer runs.

 

Where to buy Naked Innovations Running Band in Singapore:

Naked Innovations products are available at the Red Dot Running Company, located in Joo Chiat. I’d highly suggest going there and trying the belt (or vest) out to make sure you get the right size for you. The team there will be happy to assist with any questions too.

Red Dot Running Company, 152 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427430

photography: Dirgan