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Vushi and Dope smoothie at MANA! Raw

I am a big fan of MANA! for their flats and salads (not so much of the crazy queues — 30 minutes to get a box of salad?!) but they recently opened a new spot a few doors down Wellington Street that serves raw food, smoothies and juices.

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The menu isn’t huge — there is vushi (vegan sushi), chia pudding (more of a breakfast/dessert), raw soup, wrap, juices, smoothies and custom-made smoothies.

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During my visit today they had already ran out of wraps by 1pm-ish, so I tried their vushi (HK$85) with a Dope smoothie (HK$70) for filler.

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I must say, the smoothie was really ‘dope’ with bits of banana/date chunks mixed in and the vushi was also more filling than expected. Instead of rice, I think they used chopped up nuts (sorry I forgot to read the menu) with green bean and other veggies, so it had plenty of staying power throughout the afternoon.

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While it wasn’t cheap, it was quite tasty and worth a trip back, especially on days when you don’t want to be weighed down by your lunch.

MANA! Raw is located at 97 Wellington Street.

 

21 Day Challenge: Day 3

What is the 21 Day Challenge? Read my first post here.

Lunch: Set lunch with bell pepper soup, roasted fish and choice of two salads at The Kinnet, paired with a fresh cold-pressed green juice

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Red Carpet and Veggie Delight (each HK$58)

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Fish, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms

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Set lunch soup

Dinner: Scallops and smoothie at Shelter Lounge

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Seared scallops with peas and mint foam (HK$148)

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The Moroccan (yogurt, mango, mint, milk, honey) for HK$48

 

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21 Day Challenge: Day 2

What is the 21 Day Challenge? Read my first post here.

Breakfast: A shake made with 1/2 scoop Vega One Vanilla Chai mix, 1 cup coconut water and 1 small frozen banana

Lunch: Homemade tri-colour quinoa salad with baked salmon and 1/2 avocado

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Dinner: Veggie soup from Hong Kong Station’s Original Taste Workshop

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Dessert: Boiled papaya and white fungus soup from Ching Ching Dessert (not too sweet; nourishing and healthy-ish)

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Snacks: 7-8 strawberries, 10-12 blackberries, handful of trail mix with almonds, cashews and yogurt chips

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Drinks: Pu-erh tea x 2 cups, green goji berry tea x 2 cups

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Mixed salad with tofu and avocado hummus at Kale

Kale is an awesome new-ish healthy-eating cafe in Sheung Wan that’s tucked away on the 13th floor of a small side street building. They serve salads (similar to Mana, where some of the staff are from), sliders (some with meat), fries (potato/taro) and a small selection of juices and wheatgrass shots. Plus, they have some interesting desserts.

I love their salads which are very filling, especially when you take it to go — the small size comes in a giant white paper box that’s the size of a normal ‘large’ to-go box for all other salad places. They usually have 3-5 different salad mixes for you to choose from, but I always just ask for a mix:

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Tofu is HK$9 extra.

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Avocado hummus (HK$25 more) and calamansi juice

Personally I didn’t think the juices were that great (in terms of flavour and value) but worth a try if you’re not too picky. I’ve tried the green one and calamansi — both were a bit on the watery side.

It gets quite crowded during lunch but if you are there early, be sure to grab a seat by the window to enjoy (partial) sea views!

Kale, 1301, Cheung’s Building, 1-3 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, +852 2320 5808, www.facebook.com/kaleinternational

21 Day Challenge: Day 1

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit (or according to HuffPost, closer to 66), but I’m going to give it a try by eating healthy for the next three weeks. It also happens to be approx. 21 days until my next holiday, so I’m guessing I’ll be breaking my new habit right away!

Over the next 21 days I will be avoiding carbs, sugar, fried and processed foods, etc. and documenting my meals daily. I hope to be able to eat out now and then too, with a couple of (maybe) cheat days thrown in and as much exercise as my bad back can handle (sidenote: I was diagnosed with a degenerative disk and slight disc bulge at L5/S1 over Xmas so can only do short jogs, walking and pilates :().

So here goes, Day 1:

Breakfast: ABC+G juice (apple, beetroot, carrot, ginger) from the juice man on Hillier Street, Sheung Wan

Lunch: Mixed salad at Kale with tofu and avocado, chick peas, beetroot, pumpkin and grilled veggies

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Snack: ~8 peeled Thai pomelo pieces, 5-6 large strawberries

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Dinner: Leftover salad from Kale

Drinks: Pu-erh tea x 4 cups, Koh coconut water x 1 cup

Exercise: 3.2 km jogging

Spinach noodles and bean curd rolls at Original Taste

Sandwiched between other HK tea restaurants (cha chaan teng) on the busy Hillier Street in Sheung Wan is a humble cafe called Original Taste. The place specialises in simple home cooked meals that lean on the healthy side. I say that because they still serve meat, rice and pastas, but they tend to be lighter than your usual junk food fare.

They also have a menu dedicated to Green Monday (vegetarian options), which includes things like spinach noodle with homemade bean curd veggie rolls, veggie burgers and other spaghettis and pastas.

I tried the beetroot soup with spinach noodles and bean curd rolls, which was off the Green menu. It’s not too bad — the soup is sour enough to give it some taste, and there are about 5 bean curd rolls to fill you up.

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Panfried bean curd roll

At about HK$50-60, it’s not bad for a filling lunch in Sheung Wan. If you don’t want the spinach noodles, you can order the soup and rolls separately for a total of about HK$45ish.

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Tons of veggie chunks in the soup

Other things on the menu include pork chop rice, crispy noodle wrapped prawns, chicken steak pasta, sushi and salad.

Original Taste, 原味煮意, 14 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan, +852 2468 2866

Healthy Singapore: Project Paleo

After my morning yoga class at HOM Yoga, I stumbled across a relatively new stall in one of the local markets around the corner from Market Street!

With a fruit juice stand and local Singaporean food stalls as its neighbours, Project Paleo is a newish stall that serves paleo meals (aka. caveman diet food). The place was opened in July 2014 by a young Singaporean lady whom I met today. She said she had been paleo since about a year and prior to that, she only ate salads…

So what exactly is paleo? Basically: eating unprocessed foods that are mostly protein (meat) and greens. It also bans dairy, legumes, grains, oils, sugars, salt, alcohol and coffee. Crossfitters often stick to a paleo diet, which certainly helps them get ripped.

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Project Paleo’s counterfront

Breakfast is just S$4 and includes salad, nuts, two eggs and a protein of your choice: avocado, shrimp or pork. Lunch is S$8 and includes a main and two sides, and you can always add on more eggs, macadamia nuts, almonds or avocado if you need more substance. Check out the menu here.

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A paleo brekkie

I ordered the breakfast with shrimp and it took about 10 minutes to prepare. The shrimp was very tasty (full of cajun bbq flavour), the eggs perfectly cooked with a gooey yolk, and the lettuce was dressed in a tangy vinaigrette. I paired this with an A B C (apple, beetroot, carrot) juice in the stall across from them and was pretty full. Highly recommended!

Project Paleo, 15 Phillip Street, 01-03, +65 8692 8662, www.projectpaleo.sg 

Cleansing with Mr. Green Juice

Have been traveling quite a bit this year and fell off the wagon unfortunately. Not to mention, I hurt my back during an intense circuit training workout that resulted in a herniated disc! Anyway, I’m trying to get back on track by doing tons of yoga (mostly hot) and kickstarting it with a 5-day juice cleanse with Mr. Green Juice. Review coming soon!

Two more days. Let’s do this. 💪 @mrgreenjuice #coldpressed #juicecleanse #juices #greenjuice #detox #cleanse #hkig

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Healthy Singapore: Beetroot burger at Real Food

Real Food is, as the owners put it, that “little organic cafe” underneath Clarke Quay mall that serves good, ethical and healthy food, so I went over to have dinner during my business trip in Singapore.

The menu has all-day breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, pastas, pizzas, rice, noodles, soups and snacks — plenty to choose from — but I was craving for a burger that day. I ended up ordering the beetroot burger (S$12.80) with a glass of carrot, ginger and pineapple juice (S$6).

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“Bleh.”

The beetroot burger was underwhelming, with a bland bun and sloppy patty made with beetroot, onion, zucchini, carrot and millet. There was also tomato sauce but the final result was quite bland. I think I was craving for a beetroot burger like VeggieSF‘s but this didn’t even come close.

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Got foam?

As for the juice, I was surprised at how small the glass was. Yes it was pressed out of a slow juicer, but still quite expensive for what it is.

All in all, I was not too impressed with Real Food, but might return another time to try their all-day brekkie — apparently the apple wedges with eggy toast is supposed to be good.

Real Food, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, The Central #B1-52/53, Singapore 059817, +65 62244492, www.realfoodgrocer.com

 

Yong Tau Foo

Healthy Singapore: Yong Tau Foo

Eating healthy on business is pretty difficult, but I’ve been trying my best during my current epic three-week non-stop business trip through Bangkok, Singapore and (up next), KL.

Here in Singapore, I’ve found a few healthy options, including something called Yong Tau Foo. Meaning ‘stuffed tofu’ in Chinese, it’s basically a pick-your-own toppings set up with lots of tofu products, including fried/fresh tofu stuffed with fish paste, fish balls, bean curd skin, cabbage, vegetables, crab sticks, eggplant, seaweed and the like.

When you are done choosing your toppings, they cut everything up into bite size pieces for you, scald it in some broth and then pour it all back into another bowl with your choice of soup (plain/laksa/gravy) and noodle (rice/egg noodles of various widths).

For the healthy option, simply choose lots of vegetables with the unfried tofu choices and skip the noodles (and gravy/laksa). I was surprised by how smooth the fish balls and fish pastes were, so definitely give those a go.

A bowl of yong tau foo costs around S$6 (~HK$40) and it’s pretty easy to find one of these stalls in most Singaporean food centres around town.

Yong Tau Foo Singapore

Eat your veggies

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Avoid the fried stuff

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Most things are stuffed

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Tofu galore

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Clear broth, no noodles

 

These yong tau foo pics were taken at 109 Teo Chew Yong Tau Foo at 90 Circular Road near Clarke Quay. Enjoy!