It was meant to be!

Been ages since I’ve posted, thought I’d do so today.

Had a rough day today. Broke down and cried. The last week or so I’ve been working so hard exercising, being so careful measuring all my food, not eating over my set calorie limits, and it just seemed like I was either staying the same or gaining more weight! I know that scales aren’t accurate sometimes and whilst I haven’t gone up a whole kilo, I would have thought that at least the numbers would go lower.

I tried to do 30 Day Shred yesterday and seriously, I’m just not in the shape to do it. My legs hurt so much from the squatting, and I only did a few. I got so frustrated that I changed back to the Walk Slim 4 fast miles and did it even more aggressively, doing the whole workout with 1lb hand weights in each hand for more resistance. I was so sore by the end of the day, and this morning, I could hardly walk.

I then went to check on e-bay to see if I was still winning an auction that I had up for a heart rate monitor. I had been outbid and didn’t fancy spending more because I wasn’t sure how much I would use it in the end, so I started looking around for a cheaper version. I found one that did everything that I wanted, for a fraction of the price. I looked it up on the net to find reviews and found that it was a brand that could be found on occassion at Lidl (a low cost grocery store, think No Frills). I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if this week they sold it at Lidl? (Stock changes every week there). So, went to get the post and find Lidl’s weekly flyer, and you’ll never believe it… this week they specialized in exercise gear, and they were selling the exact one. They were also selling sports bras (which I had been looking for but couldn’t find one in my size, and they had it!) And some running sport socks (I have been developing a blister on one of my foot from exercising). It was a sign that I shouldn’t give up!

So, went to Lidl and bought it. I wanted a HRM to find out exactly what my caloric burn was after exercising rather than using the generic values on myfitnesspal. Still sore from yesterday, I decided to do the 2 mile DVD. After the workout, I realized that I have been severely understating my caloric burn, which means I’ve been seriously starving myself the last week. That may explain a number of things, why my muscles are so sore, because they’re not getting enough ot losing anything, because my body needs the fuel and is holding on to it.

So, today I’ve gone 400 calories over what I normally would eat in hopes to reverse this trend. I am going to try to eat more (you’d be surprised how hard that can be when you’ve been so careful!). Hopefully I’ll see results! Will be interesting to see how I fare in London next week!

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Nomnomgal goes healthy!

So, it’s been a while!  I haven’t eaten anywhere interesting the last month or so, but I have taken on a new food adventure.   Recently, I’ve made a promise to myself, and my husband, that I was going to lose weight.  Not only do I wanna be a “yummy mummy” but frankly, I’m tired of not being able to fit into what I want and also feel bad about myself.  The past month has been weeks of strict dieting and with some success.  From the beginning of April to now, I have lost over 15 lbs.  I have about 45 lbs till my goal weight (pregnancy can be tough on a girl’s waistline you know!).

A few of my girlfriends and I support each other on Facebook, trying to give tips and motivate each other through our weight loss struggles.  I find it helpful when I need to talk about my ups and downs, successes and failures.

Another change is the itinerary for London’s trip.  I have changed out a number of restaurants, adding two vegetarian restaurants and taking away a few dim sum ones.  Whilst this is a bit disappointing with regards to our “Perfect Char Siu Bao” search, I am looking forward to reviewing a more varied selection of restaurants.  I also had a look at some of the menus for the list of restaurants and have tried to single out healthy (or at least healthier) options.  This is a bit tough, in that I had been looking forward to having some old favourites, however just because I’m on holiday, doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice good health.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re still planning to have a few treats along the way, like afternoon tea at the Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury and a coffee break at Ladurée in Harrods.  However, rather than Chicken Katsu Curry from Wagamama, we’re opting for the Yasai Chilli Men.  My husband and I will also share the gyoza and cheesecake (with him obviously having the majority!) rather than having our own servings.

The past month I’ve also tried a number of diets.  I did the Egg/Chemical Diet and fatloss4idiots diet.  These two diets did gave me the jump-start I needed towards getting to my first mini-goal (beginning of July).  The problem is, these aren’t sustainable diets, or at least, not for what I want to achieve.  The egg diet is great for a quick fix however I wanted to find a diet plan that encouraged healthy eating.  After reading up on various plans, I decided on the South Beach Diet (SBD).  I ordered a few books from Amazon and I am really excited about it.  I’m hoping it’ll be just what I’m looking for!

The mini fritattas featured in the photo are what I made today with the SBD in mind.  The SBD focuses on good carbs and good fats.  It eliminates many processed foods and the need to carb or calorie count.  By making the right food choices, you automatically take care of the rest.  Or at least that’s the idea!  Rather than 3 meals a day, it requires you to eat 5-6 times (3 meals, 2 snacks and the option for dessert).  Your food isn’t limited, but they advise you on portion control and eating the right vegetables and proteins that will fill you up.  These egg muffins are packed with vegetables.  There’s garlic, onions, peppers, zucchini, and spinach in it.  I even made it healthier by skipping out the cheese (cheese is allowed, and considered a protein, however only the low/lower fat-variaties).  There’s also no limit on eggs (however they do suggest not going over 7 a week), which is great, because I absolutely LOVE eggs.  The SBD books has lots of recipes to help you get started.  I made the ricotta cheese one last night and I can’t believe it’s allowed!  It was so yummy!

So, the blog is taking a new direction.  My food adventures will also have a weight loss element to it.  More for me than anything, so I can document what I’m doing.  Anyway, wish me luck!

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Filed under My Cooking, Personal, South Beach Diet

Three months left!

So…I’m counting down the days (months) till our London dim sum adventure. Cannot wait!

In addition to dim sum, I’ve found a place to have breakfast on my and hubby’s wedding anniversary. The Wolseley! I don’t eat piggy (so no bacon butties or full english for this chick), so I asked them to send through their vegetarian menu. To my delight, they serve eggs florentine.

Now, the best eggs florentine that I’ve had to date (and I think I’ve only had it twice), was at a café in Earls Court. Now, the name escapes me, so this visit, I will definitely take note of it. This mysterious café was on Earls Court Road and if I recall correctly, the eggs were served with a herbed scone. Now if anyone knows the name of the place, please tell me!

Also will be having our fika (Swedish version of a coffee break/afternoon tea) at Ladurée, Harrods. Husband and I visited Ladurée in Paris a couple of years ago and missed out on having the famed Ispahan Macaron (they were sold out). Hopefully this time around I’ll be able to order it. That reminds me, I must do flashback blogs regarding my Paris culinary adventures.

But that can wait. It’s bed time for this sleepy head. The princess (my currently 4 month old daughter) will awake in a few hours, so must get as much shut-eye as possible!

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Getting over my fear of beef

Crispy Shredded Beef

My first attempt at a takeaway fave of mine, crispy shredded beef

Yep, I was afraid of beef.  No, not of eating it, but cooking it.  I never could get it juicy nor tender enough for my liking.  I always compare it to the tender beef that I’ve had at chinese restaurants.  I’ve always wondered what it is that they do to get their meats so tender.  Was it the cut of meat?  Was it lots of oil?  Well, after searching on the net, I’ve come to a number of conclusions, and it’s all of the above, and more.

Now whilst the cut of meat is important to a certain extent, more so is the prep work done prior to actually cooking the meat.  Cutting the meat against the grain will help ensure a softer meat.  Also, one could either velvet the meat (marinating it in a egg white/cornstarch mixture) or sprinkle baking soda on the meat and let it sit for a bit (washing off the soda prior to using) and then cooking it.

So, on the weekend, I did the baking soda trick.  And it worked!  For the first time ever, I made a dish with tender beef…  I had done a beef stirfry with mung bean vermicelli.  It was pretty good.  This encouraged me to try more cooking with beef.  The next day, I attempted for the first time one of my favorite Chinese takeaway dishes: Crispy Shredded Beef.  I found a recipe for it here .  I must say, for my first attempt, I thought it was really good!  Again, I did the baking soda tenderizing trick on some beef strips.  I did however not cook it as long as it said to, as I didn’t want to burn out the chicken.  I suppose it really depends on how crispy you want the beef to be.  If you make it too crispy, the leftovers don’t reheat as well, so take note of that if you’re hoping to make this recipe and take the leftovers for lunch the next day.

I’m hoping to actually try it using Quorn, a vegetarian meat supplement.  It may be a dish that I could when one needs to cater to vegetarians.  Won’t do the baking soda thing obviously, but the egg coating and sauce I reckon would make it very yummy indeed.

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Flashback: Bao Dim Sin Seng – The Art of Steamed Buns

Steamed Bun Takeaway in Hong Kong

A variety of steamed buns to choose from

So, we’re in Hong Kong and it’s time to search out some late breakfast.  My cousins and I go to a local steamed bun takeaway place in the shopping plaza just outside of their massive apartment complex.


How much is that doggy in the window?

I was intrigued by the variety of buns available, and just how artistically made they were.  They gave new meaning to steamed buns, and whilst on one hand it makes me wonder why they put so much effort into how it looks, the other bit of me thinks it’s amazing that such creativity exists, even for the humble steamed bun.

Such vibrant colours!

Dim Sum that looks like peaches

Little hedgehogs

I wish we had something like this here…I’ve not seen it outside of Hong Kong, even in London.  Dim Sum on the go…would be perfect if you were late for work or needed a quick lunch bite.

They weren’t overly expensive either.  I’m just getting hungry looking at these pictures again…

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Filed under Chinese Food, Dim Sum, Macau and Hong Kong, Travel

Flashback: “Moon” Cakes

"Moon Cakes"

A new take on the traditional moon cake.

The Moon Cakes in a row

Whilst visiting The Peak in Hong Kong, there’s a little shopping centre there that you can have a nose around in.  They have a store that sells antique looking items and other paraphernalia that serve as great souvenirs to give away.  Anyway, I digress.

In this shopping centre, they had a store that sold trendy items, and in their shop window, they were advertising “Moon” cakes.  Now, whilst this may at first glance, not seem unusual, at closer inspection, one sees what the novelty is.

They were moon cakes that were “mooning”!  I couldn’t help but take a picture of this.  I found it quite amusing!  It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m sure there are others that would find it at least somewhat entertaining to receive!

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Filed under Chinese Food, Macau and Hong Kong, Travel, Uncategorized

Flashback: A stinky night in Hong Kong

Nom nom gal eating stinky tofu

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a post dissing food in Hong Kong, on the contrary.  We very much enjoyed our culinary escapades in the vibrant ex-British Colony.  However this particular evening is memorable for a number of reasons.

First was stinky tofu.  Yes, it smells.  Bad.  You can tell from a mile away (okay, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration) that there’s a stinky tofu stand somewhere in the vicinity.  My cousin’s husband urged me to try it, and so I did.  My verdict?  *shrugs shoulders* It doesn’t taste as bad as it smells, but it wasn’t that bad.  I won’t have it again though.  Do try it though if you have the chance, just to say that you’ve had it.

Now, the other reason why this particularly warm night in September is so stinkily memorable was because we had the worst meal of our whole vacation that night.

After having landed a few bargains in the Ladies’ Market, we decided to go and find some chow.  We found what seemed to be a reasonably priced noodle/fast food joint (I now know why it’s priced so!).  Okay, I can’t tell you the name, nor the location, but I did take pictures of the menu, so IF YOU SEE THIS MENU IN HONG KONG RUN AWAY!

Avoid This Place

The Front Page of the Menu, or is it the back...

Menu from BAD noodle place

So, what is it that we had that causes us to cry and run for the hills?  Their beef brisket soup.  IT WAS HORRIBLE!  The beef (what little there was) was connected to HUGE pieces of fat.  The soup itself tasted like soap water and the noodles were hard.  And it


Check out the amount of fat attached to that meat!

came out so fast.  I mean, one usually doesn’t complain about fast service, but this was so fast that it made it incredibly questionable.  My hypothesis is that the noodles are sitting pre dished out on bowls, and then the soup, made from what is left over from the dish washer, is heated up with scraps that the dogs didn’t bother wanting, and then poured on top of the noodles…it sounds pretty bad doesn’t it?  Tis a shame really, because other than that mishap of a meal, the rest of our meals in Hong Kong were great!  I guess you can’t win all the time!

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Filed under Chinese Food, Macau and Hong Kong, Travel