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Iron Supplements: Do You Need Them?

 

A poll result published on 26 Nov 2015 indicates that nearly 50% of females in Singapore may not be aware that they have iron deficiency. Doctors said that symptoms such as physical and mental fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails, may point to iron deficiency – but most people may put them down to stress and/or lack of sleep.

Iron deficiency is more often found in women who have heavy menstruations or are pregnant. While iron supplements may be readily available, doctors recommend a balanced diet as the best way to maintain healthy iron levels.

iron supplements

How about the reverse – iron overload?

In the article published by PhysiciansCommittee, iron is called a double-edged sword.

The body requires iron for healthy blood cells but beyond a certain level, iron becomes a dangerous substance as it acts as a catalyst for the formation of free radicals. Once the excess iron is absorbed by the digestive tract, the body stores it. Because of this, research studies have shown that higher amounts of iron in the blood mean higher risk of cancer.

In spite of advertising from health supplement manufacturers, iron overload exists and the tendency is higher for men and for women after menopause.

anaemia

Major contributors to iron excess are taking vitamin and mineral supplements that contain iron. Some people may be taking certain multi-vitamins without knowing that there is iron in it. Other factors include eating excessive red meat and to some extent, processed foods that have iron added.

It was mentioned earlier that women with heavy menstruations may have iron deficiency. The reverse may be true for women after menopause or women who don’t menstruate regularly. Which explains why men have a higher tendency of iron overload – because they don’t menstruate!

Hence, it is prudent to have your doctor check your iron level before taking any supplements containing iron.

What are the symptoms of iron overload?

  • stomach pain
  • heart palpitations or chest pains
  • unexplained weakness
  • joint pain
  • unexplained fatigue

joint pain

The test used to check one’s iron level is known as ferritin. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron, releasing it when the body needs it. Ferritin is stored in the body’s cells until it’s time to make more red blood cells. Thus, if a person has an iron overload, it may take months before the normal level can be reached.

It’s an inexpensive test, likely costing less than a bottle of iron supplements, and it can help ensure that you do not over or under-consume iron.

For more information on integrated health management, visit www.vitalay.earth

Contributed by LayYong, Wellness Entrepreneur.


References:

The Straits Times “Women not aware of iron deficiency”, Nov 26 2015

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Iron: The Double Edged Sword, www.pcrm.org

Photo credits: Pixabay and JustSaying.Asia

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Thinking About a Soup Cleanse?

The Chinese have always been promoting the nutritiousness of soups, as seen from the variety and how each type of soup is able to help soothe the lungs and other internal organs. However, with the recent trend in detox plans and juice cleanse, there is a new trend called – soup cleanse.

All of us here at The Wellness Insider are healthily sceptical about soup cleanses considering how little evidence there is about them, so we decided to ask the experts. Integrative Dentist and Health Coach, Dr Surinder Arora, said that the point of soup cleanses was to get “people to eat whole real foods if the soups are prepared themselves” and that “this is another way to get these good foods into the body.” However, she did mention that soup cleanses are “not needed if people have eliminated artificial and processed junk foods from their diet.”

So, in other words, it is not a total ‘don’t try it!’ diet regime and it might be a good way for you to try and cut back from sugar and other additives. Nonetheless, it’s not meant to be a long term diet but like most of us, it’s great to have a bowl of soup once in a while.

If you’re interested in doing a soup cleanse, then you may want to try out the following recipes by our friends at Gergich & Co. in this simple infographic.
Click to Enlarge Image

Soup up Your Lifestyle with a Soup Cleanse

 

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Superfood Your Dessert with a DIY Acai Bowl

Superfoods is a recent term used on a whole group of foods that are high in nutritions but low in calories, perfect for getting your vitamins and proteins in without the popping of multiple pills. Not sure about you, but I much prefer to eat my vitamins and minerals.

The super berry Acai

The acai (pronounced as ah-sigh-ee) berry, is one such superfood and it comes from the Amazon forest. Prized as an important staple in the Amazonian diet for generations, did you know that the deep purple berry contains high natural antioxidants (the anthocyanin responsible for giving it the characteristic purple colour), essential amino acids, omega fatty acids, calcium, iron and even fibre. This means that the humble acai berry is capable of boosting one’s immunity and keep your body in balance.

acai bowl

Since we can’t get the fresh berries in Asia, the next best thing would be the freeze-dried powder as freeze drying still retains most of its nutritions. You can add the powder as a flavouring into your yoghurts, ice cream, smoothies or juices and the latest dessert trend is the delicious Acai Bowl. Making one is really not that tough and here’s the recipe which is vegan and vegetarian friendly:

Ingredients:

1 medium sized frozen banana
1-2 heaped tablespoons Nature’s Superfoods Acai Berry Powder
1 tablespoon nut butter (cashew, almond etc)
1/3 cup iced water

For garnish:
Fresh cut fruit of your choice, sweet cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds or chia seeds

Method:

Blend the frozen banana with the berry powder, nut butter and iced water until you get a smooth consistency. Top it off with your choice of fresh cut fruit and seeds as well as the cacao nibs to give it a chocolatey flavour!

 

For our bowl, we added kombucha instead of iced water to give it some probiotics and topped it off with pine nuts, chlorophyll powder, chia seeds, passionfruit and cacao nibs. You can also add in protein powder (use the flavourless or vanilla flavoured ones) or maca powder to make it a complete meal. Enjoy!


Recipe from Nature’s Superfoods.

Photography by Melissa Fann.

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Top 10 Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Singapore

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, it can get a bit tough to find places outside with delicious and healthy options. We’re also talking about a balanced meal without copious amounts of starch but also protein and fibre. Thanks to our friends at EatPrayFlying.com, they tried and tasted several vegetarian restaurants in Singapore which we further refined to give you a top 10 list.

All of these places offer vegan options, most offer organic foods and all of them do not compromise on taste. Thus, even non-vegetarians will still enjoy a meal there without missing their usual meaty fare.

1. Herbivore

With the names of dishes such as Katsudon, sashimi and other meat-based foods, we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that Herbivore doesn’t live up to their name. However, even though the taste and texture are just like those meaty dishes, Herbivore’s Japanese food is 100% vegetarian and excellent to boot. They do add MSG and colouring into their food, so that may be something that you may want to keep in mind.

Herbivore
190 Middle Road
#01-13/14 Fortune Centre
Tel. no.: +65 6333 1612
Opening Hours:

Mon-Fr11:30 – 15:00
17:00 – 22:00
Sat & Sun11:30 – 22:00

2. Foy Yin Vegetarian Food

The first item on our list is an old school vegetarian food stall found within a hawker centre. It has great vegetarian dishes that taste just like their meat variants such as their “fish” soup and “duck” rice. Make sure to get there early though as the queues can get pretty long.

Foy Yin Vegetarian Food
Blk 628 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4
#01-70 Block 628 Market & Food Centre

3. Original Sin

This restaurant is one of Singapore’s most established vegetarian places, with a great variety of western styled foods and salads that offer something for everyone, and the food is sure to rock your taste buds. You shouldn’t miss the chance to try out their Turkish Flat Bread, Falafel Salad and their highly recommended risotto. They are one of the pricier choices but it’s a great treat with family and friends.

Original Sin
Blk 43 Jalan Merah Saga
#01-62 Holland Village Chip Bee Gardens
Singapore 278115
Tel. no.: +65 6475 5605
Email: [email protected]

4. Café Salivation

Café Salivation was one of the first Western vegetarian cafes to open in Little India back in 2008. Salivation offers a variety of dishes such as salads, sandwiches and their unique pasta that are to die for. They don’t use any MSG, so that’s a double win right there.

Café Salivation
176 Race Course Road
Singapore 218607
Tel. no.: +65 6298 1412
Website: www.cafesalivation.com

5. Living Café and Deli

Vegans and vegetarians have a sweet tooth too! And Living Café and Deli is just the right place to have your cake and eat it. The recipes here aren’t entirely vegan (some of their mains have white meat) but it does have a large selection of vegan options and a variety of raw desserts that any sweets lover will approve.

Living Café and Deli
779 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 269758
Tel no.: +65 6468 4482
Website: www.balancedlivingasia.com/living-cafe-and-deli
Opening Hours:

Mon11:00 – 19:00
Tue – Fri11:00 – 22:00
Sat09:00 – 22:00
Sun09:00 – 19:00

6. Kampung Senang

Kampung Senang isn’t just a restaurant; it’s also an eco-conscious charity that aims to help cancer patients recover. They’ve used this as a basis for installing an organic kitchen to their Holistic Lifestyle Centre and in turn, aim to promote a healthy lifestyle to members of the charity as well as schools and corporations. Aside from offering great sushi rolls and a selection of organic food, they also hold seminars, workshops and educational talks.

Kampung Senang
Blk 106 Aljunied Crescent
#01-205
Singapore 380106
Tel. no.: +65 6749 8509

7. Create Healthy Lifestyle Café

You wouldn’t believe how crowded this little café gets and if you’re lucky enough to brave through the crowd or queue, then you’ll definitely appreciate it’s organic meals that are at affordable prices. There are several other vegetarian eateries within Fortune Centre but we like how Create just lets the ingredients speak for themselves and the dishes are quite well balanced.

Create Healthy Lifestyle Café
190 Middle Road
#02-17 Fortune Centre
Singapore 188979
Tel. no.: +65 6336 4355

8. Afterglow

Afterglow is one of the few organic restaurants that serves entirely raw food. The restaurant offers a ton of vegan and raw dishes ranging from soups, vegetable-based chips and even lasagna (don’t ask us how they do it). All of their recipes have been worked on so as to bring out the best of each dish. However, the prices for the food can be a little steep if you’re just looking for a place to eat and the portion sizes are a bit on the small side, mostly because of how much work it takes to make entirely raw dishes. Nonetheless, it is an experience eating here.

Afterglow
24 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089131
Tel. no.:+65 6224 8921

9. Sunny Choice

Sunny Choice mainly sells organic products, not just foods but also everyday home-care. Which is why it comes as no surprise their their cafe serves up organic vegetarian versions of local delights (bak kut teh, anyone?). They serve fresh organic juices and after your meal, you can stock up on your groceries too.

Bukit Merah
Blk 125 Bukit Merah Lane 1
#01-158
Singapore 150125
Tel. no.: +65 6272 3138
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00 – 15:00 (closed on Sundays and Public Holidays)

Bukit Timah
434 Upper Bukit Timah Road
The Rail Mall
Singapore 678060
Tel. no.: +65 6892 2383
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30 – 21:00 (last order at 20:30)

Bukit Batok
Blk 630 Bukit Batok Central
#01-154
Singapore 650630
Tel. no.: +65 6899 0918
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30 – 21:00 (last order at 20:30)

10. Real Food

Real Food has become the leading restaurant when it comes to organic vegetarian food in Singapore. It originally started out as a small restaurant in Central, Clark Quay but has since grown and expanded over the years. They’ve become famous due to their support of ethical farming and food preparation, but their food is no joke. With fresh, organic and completely raw ingredients, they can make such amazing dishes as their Fried Vermicelli and Dumpling Soup along with a selection of pasta and sandwiches. It’s an experience you just won’t want to miss although we do advise you to skip their water (S$0.50 for a tiny glass).

The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#B1-52/53 The Central
Singapore 059817
Tel. no.: +65 6224 4492

Square 2
10 Sinaran Drive
#B1-105/106/129 Square 2
Singapore 307506
Tel. no.: +65 6397 2289

Killiney
110 Killiney Road
Tai Wah Building
Singapore 239549
Tel. no: +65 6737 9516

Website: www.realfoodgrocer.com

We hope that this list was as helpful to you in choosing some non-meat alternative places to eat. There are still many more vegetarian and vegan restaurants around Singapore so make sure to do some exploring of your own as well. With that said, it’s time to go out and eat!

If you’re a café or restaurant and would like us to contact us to do a review, do email us at [email protected].


Photo Credits: TripAdvisor, Eat Pray Flying, Chope, Kampung Senang, Sunny Choice

Original post by EatPrayFlying

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Best Healthy Lunch Deliveries in Singapore

Quite a lot of us have the excuse that we don’t eat healthy because we’re either too busy to prepare our meals or it is hard to do so when you’re working as there are no healthy food options around your office. Well, we hear you and we’re here to squelch those excuses as we introduce to you some options of healthy food that can be delivered to your doorstep. Healthy lunch 1 Excuses 0.

Over 2 weeks, we reviewed food from 4 healthy lunch deliveries and we judged them on Taste, Appearance and Experience (ease of ordering etc). Read on as we give our reviews (and casual awards) to Grain, Dosirak, FitThree and YOLO Food.

Best online luxe food delivery – Grain

Pan-seared Norwegian Salmon

Their website is very user-friendly and the food definitely takes centrestage. They have weekly specials chosen by their chef, and for the week that we did our tasting, it was Roasted Lamb. What makes eating healthy for the whole week easier is that their website allows you to plan your meal ahead, which really works for people with a very busy schedule. What else was more impressive is that the whole start to finish user experience was really thoughtful – you get an alert as to when your food was about to arrive; after your meal, you get an email asking you for feedback which only goes to show how much they value your opinion and their willingness to improve. Something noteworthy is that the containers used are all environmentally friendly, with exception to the plastic covers.

Melissa’s ReviewMatthew’s Review
Day 1Chose:

  • Weekly Special of Roasted Lamb Leg
  • Earl Grey Pear Tart

The lamb was really tender and the sauce had a mild curry flavour to it, all on a bed of super creamy mash and some roasted carrots. It was so lush that it’ll fool you into think that it is not healthy. The quality is restaurant standard, so it is quite a bargain at S$14.95. At 600 calories (yes, it’s all labeled), it was not a light meal per se and I probably should’ve held off on the dessert. Nonetheless, it only contains 27g of fat, 56g of protein and 69g of carbs! My main complaints were that the lamb still had a bit of sinew to it and was difficult to eat with only a fork and spoon. Knife please. Secondly, I wished there were more greens as the fibre from carrots was not enough in my opinion.

The Earl Grey Pear Tart was ok. Maybe they should take away the ‘Earl Grey’ part because I couldn’t taste the distinct bergamot flavour which makes up earl grey.

Meal satisfaction = 8.5/10

Chose:

  • Grilled Tiger Prawns with
    dry curried Fusilli

The prawns were really flavourful and fresh, which is always a plus point for seafood. The cherry tomatoes were caramelised (smart choice) and added a light sweetness to the whole dish. There was also mushy black beans in the foray which added a nice contrast of texture that made it a pleasant experience eating the dish, with crunchy tiger prawns and fusilli cooked al dente. The best part was how they got the portion made just right for the Asian stomach. I didn’t feel bloated or left hungry after consuming the entire serving.

Meal satisfaction = 7/10

Day 2Chose:

  • Honey Soy Tempeh
  • Grilled Farm Fresh Chicken
  • Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

I love tempeh and Grain’s version is amazingly good with the honey soy sauce. It’s super low in calories, high in fibre and great to share, which I did. The honey soy sauce had this incredible smokey flavour which added more depth to the grilled tempeh. Highly recommended!

Ok…the chef who is in charge of the grill is a master! The grill on the chicken was on point! Excellent char with slight smokey flavour and when you pair that with steamed vegetables, it was simple but delicious. Love the Asian twist by using black rice as the staple and it added a slight creaminess to the whole dish. Wished there was more pesto sauce though.

You will not want to share the chocolate tart. ‘Nuff said.

Meal satisfaction = 9.5/10 (0.5 more points if there was more pesto sauce)

Chose:

  • Pan-seared Norwegian Salmon

This is great for days when you have late lunches. Mind you, this dish is served cold and ready to eat whenever.

The salmon was not overcooked, which meant that it was not tough and the pan-seared Western style left the inner meat soft like sashimi, which felt like it was a fusion dish. Personally I prefer having my salmon done this way, with a nice milky aesthetic and bite with a melted texture like sashimi at its core.

The vinaigrette enhanced the overall flavour since most of the dish was vegetables. This is my favourite dish out of all the meals tried throughout the 2 weeks.

I did initially order a tempeh to match my salmon but it was finished before my order. Nonetheless, I’m glad the salmon more than compensated for my satisfaction.

Meal satisfaction = 9.5/10

Day 3Chose:

  • Char-grilled Zucchini and Couscous bowl
  • Grilled Piri-piri Chicken (side)
  • Coconut milkshake (there’s no milk)

Once again, kudos to the grill master. The grilled chicken was so good, I was tempted to toss it into the couscous.

I am a bit ambivalent with regards to the Char-grilled Zucchini and Couscous. It tasted great on the whole as I love mozzarella balls, the amount of zucchini made me happy (what…I like my veg!) and I liked the bits of olive and cherry tomatoes. However, the whole dish was really dry and that’s where the coconut drink came in handy. Also, they decided not to compromise on presentation, resulting in very large halves of the zucchini which you couldn’t eat in one bite and had less grilled flavour compared to the smaller slices.

Not particularly fond of the coconut milkshake which was essentially blitzed coconut flesh in coconut water. Cool shade of pink though.

Meal satisfaction = 8/10 (saved by the Piri-piri chicken)

Chose:

  • Roasted Lamb Leg
  • Honey Soy Tempeh
  • Earl Grey Pear Tart

The Roasted Lamb leg had a strong flavour and they were pretty generous with the portion. The ingredients’ natural flavours were highlighted and accompanied well with their chunky mashed potatoes. I liked that their mash wasn’t totally smooth as it added texture while eating.

It was a happy experience eating the tempeh. The dish was literally sweet and savoury at the same time.

The tart was not as fantastic as I had hoped it to be. Tasted a little more like a breakfast pastry than a dessert.

Meal satisfaction = 8/10

Overall Score8.5/10

Restaurant quality at café prices with convenience. Vegan option only on demand. I’m still not too convinced that it’s the healthiest choice as I reckon that there should be more green vegetables in most of the dishes.

9/10

+1 for the sustainable boxes sans plastic labels. They have a very diverse but yet familiar menu selection. I find them to be the most well rounded healthy food delivery with exceptional quality and great customer service.

Head on over to www.grain.com.sg to view their full menu and do use the promo code RF36812 to get S$5 off your first order!

Most fun meal experience – Do.Si.Rak

Beef Bulgogi

Dosirak literally means ‘lunch box’ in Korean so you know that they know that you want your lunch quick but healthy. The packaging is entertaining with Korean motifs and it’s handy and reusable if you choose to keep it for future use. Needless to say, their menu is Korean-inspired and you get to choose from their menu that ranges from beef, fish and vegetarian options. Each meal is under 500 kcal unless you decide to top up more protein or carbohydrates. They even have the HPB’s “Healthier Choice” stamp of approval! Starts from S$7.90.

Melissa’s ReviewMatthew’s Review
Day 1

Beef Bulgogi with White Rice

The beef was really tender and I had fun pouring the sauce in and shaking the whole tub up! I loved the fact that there was A LOT of vegetables, including my favourite ‘big head’ bean sprouts.

 

There was a familiar sesame aroma and the beef was moist. The layering of meat, salad and rice makes you eat complex carbohydrates last if you choose not to mix it up.

 

Spicy Chicken with Brown RiceDidn’t add a lot of sauce to this because the chicken was already spicy. The brown rice was very fragrant!

Meal satisfaction = 8/10

The Spicy Chicken was mostly, well, spicy. I felt that it was less flavourful than the beef.

Meal satisfaction = 7/10

Day 2

Salmon Soba Noodles

 

I liked the raw salmon with the soba but because soba doesn’t absorb that much sauce compared to rice, the flavour of the sauce was overpowering. It got a little too spicy after a couple of mouthfuls. I would’ve actually changed the sauce from the typical Korean one to perhaps a Japanese sesame ponzu version.The Salmon with Soba Noodles reminded me of sushi in a takeaway box. I was a tad disappointed with this because of its resemblance to a tamago sushi but had contrasting flavour, although the salmon did go well with the natural sweetness from the vegetables.
 Avocado Cauliflower ‘rice’This is the vegetarian option and I must say that I love the ‘rice’! Also, there was Japanese sweet potato in the dish, which I was feeling slightly dubious about because I didn’t think it would go with the avocado and the sauce. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it did go very well! In fact, it lessened the saltiness of the sauce and gave the dish small bursts of flavour that wasn’t just sauce.

Meal satisfaction = 7.5/10 (let down mainly because of the Salmon Soba)

Much preferred the Avocado Sweet Potato with Cauliflower Rice compared to the salmon. The natural sweetness of the ingredients were a good start, with the avocado matching well with the sweet potatoes and mushrooms. All went really well with the spicy sauce while the cauliflower ‘rice’ gave the whole dish a fresh flavour.

Meal satisfaction = 9/10 (I really liked the cauliflower rice and sweet potato combination)

Day 3

Soy Chicken with White Rice

Tasted the chicken first and the soy taste wasn’t very strong. Needless to say, there was no more soy taste after adding the Korean chilli sauce. This is the safest option if you don’t like raw fish or beef.

Meal satisfaction = 6/10

There was a very strong garlic flavour. In my opinion, this was rather generic and average compared to other dishes. The chicken cubes were quite lean and I liked the moist lotus root bits which added texture to the meal. I was spoiled by the soy chicken recipes from other franchises (albeit not the healthy kind) For a healthy option, I surely wasn’t expecting the overwhelming garlic.

Meal satisfaction = 5/10

Overall Score7/10 

Fun to eat once in a while but would be great if they had more sauce options.

6/10

Besides their handy food packaging and well layered delivery, they’re pretty much alright. It is good as a traditional healthy option.

Flavour is decent and it’s good as a quick “to-go” healthy meal.

If you’re in the Raffles Place/ Chinatown area then you can order from their store at China Square Central (18 Cross Street) and enjoy their promotion of “Buy 4 for the price of 3” . Otherwise, get them to deliver through foodpanda.sg. Do note that Foodpanda’s delivery charges and minimum order applies, which is why it would be a good idea to get your gym buddy or lunch kaki to join you to Shake It Up.

Most no-brainer meals for the gym rat or health conscious – FitThree

Yakitori Chicken Meat Balls with Asian Vegetables Medley (low carb menu)

If you have specific fitness or health goals in mind and you don’t really want to think about your meals, FitThree definitely helps you plan out your meals while you just concentrate on your exercise. They made it even easier by allowing you to pick your meals up from several gyms located all over the island. This means that you can hit the gym and then have your lunch after that. They deliver the meals cold and you simply warm them up in the microwave. That truly is guilt-free fast food at only S$12.90 per dietician-approved meal. They run it subscription-style and the menu changes every week.

However, their communication was not so great as we had asked for a 3-day meal plan to review but only received 1. Moreover, both of us received different amounts of food. Thus, we were not able to effectively sample their menu.

Melissa’s ReviewMatthew’s Review
Lunch: Yakitori Chicken Meat Balls with Asian Vegetables Medley (low carb menu)

The amount of stir-fried vegetables sang to me and made me happy even before I ate a bite. When I did bite into it, it was a tad peppery but mellowed out after chomping into the meatballs. Oh…the meatballs. They were so good that two of them were ‘stolen’ by my mother whom I was sitting next to.

Dinner: Thai Basil Meatballs with Asian Style Zucchini and Coconut Brown Rice (omnitarian menu)

These beef balls were really really good. Even after being microwaved. There was no sauce but the whole dish was surprisingly moist. The coconut brown rice was really fragrant but not cloyingly rich, unlike nasi lemak. I wasn’t too impressed with the zucchini which were sliced and soaked in vinegar and ginger.

Meal satisfaction = 8.5/10 (best meatballs EVER!)

Lunch: Sesame Chicken Brown Rice and Mixed Vegetables (omnitarian menu)

This is a no frills meal. Simple seasoning that tasted familiar and great, brown rice and toss in frozen peas, carrots and corn. It works well as a fundamental post-workout meal for the busy fitness junkie.

Dinner: Thai Basil Meatballs with Asian Style Zucchini and Coconut Brown Rice (omnitarian menu)

The meatballs did taste addictive and I was popping them into my mouth enjoyably. The aesthetics were a little plain but the flavour more than make up for it. The coconut flavour was rather strong and I hold mixed feelings about it.

Meal satisfaction = 7.5/10

If you’re on a controlled diet with strict caloric count, then FitThree might be the choice meal for you. They don’t do home or office deliveries unless you’re nearby (do check), so they clearly know their target audience. To peruse their menu, do visit www.fitthree.com. Readers get 30% off their first orders when using the code TWIMAY.

Almost like home cooked food…with a zing – YOLO Food

Miso Salmon with Kailan and Broccoli on Quinoa

Our good friend, Luke Tan, has worked with YOLO Foods to come up with some vegan options that are still nutritionally holistic. That is why we knew that YOLO would definitely deliver on taste and health benefits too. They’ve got a good selection of Asian dishes with the most healthy ingredients in our opinion.

Melissa’s ReviewMatthew’s Review
Day 1

Miso Salmon Quinoa

There’s a certain unfair expectation when I saw all my favourite ingredients in a box. Not to mention that I have cooked cod and salmon in miso before. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised that the salmon was not too salty (what miso did they use?) and the sesame coating added a nice sorta bite to it all. Brought out the nutty flavour of the quinoa too. Loved the generous portion of vegetables although they were not that flavourful. Wished there was more salmon though. I was left with quite a lot of quinoa after devouring the salmon and veggies.

Meal satisfaction = 8.5/10

It is savoury and the sesame coating didn’t give it an overwhelming flavour, which made me very impressed as most food franchises use sesame as a disguising seasoning. The kailan and broccoli were a good addition to make it a balanced meal. On a side note, they were using my favourite ingredients too and definitely not adapting Melissa’s review content.

Meal satisfaction = 9.5/10

Day 2

Coconut Chicken with Brown Rice and Vegetables

With studies showing that coconut is really not bad for you plus the medium-chained triglycerides found in coconut oil being good for you, it comes to no surprise that coconut is now the ‘in’ ingredient for a lot of health foods.

Similar to the coconut rice from FitThree, YOLO’s Coconut Chicken wasn’t creamy nor did it taste like nasi lemak. It was lightly fragrant, which means that there’s probably a mixture of both coconut milk and coconut water to cook the chicken in. As a result, the dish was subtle in terms of flavour and after a few mouthfuls, became a bit boring despite the zesty lime juice. The lightly stir-fried vegetables with sweet potatoes did not help in adding more dimensions to the dish either. Thank goodness for the cashew nuts to bring this Thai-inspired meal together but alas, not enough cashew nuts.

Was filling though and lasted for more than 4 hours till dinner without any snacking involved.

Meal satisfaction = 6/10

I have to apologise that I was unable to review this dish as I was busy and did not put the dish in the fridge in time before it turned bad.

 

Meal satisfaction = NA

Day 3

I had a nice surprise with Meatball pasta with eggplant and cherry tomatoes!

I spy my little eye on enoki mushrooms and some other vegetables hidden within the meatballs. Clever! The pasta was al dente, which earned YOLO Food solid brownie points because it is not easy to deliver pasta without it becoming soggy. The meatballs were pretty decent and were a very close fight with FitThree’s but I preferred the latter’s. Very satisfying and the portion was perfect. Add in some grilled courgette and I’ll be extra happy with this dish!

Meal satisfaction = 8.5/10

Received the gluten-free and vegan option of Peranakan Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice. I remembered to keep it refrigerated this time round and microwaved it later to eat.

The portion was adequate and it was fragrant when I opened the package. The curry is the signature of my experience of reviewing YOLO Food. It felt so much like home and the tangy taste of the vegetables inside made it so much more. They definitely stayed true to the Peranakan flavour. Needless to say, there are plenty of personal attachments to this dish.

The brown rice gave great contrast to the soft vegetables as it had a bit of husk. I have to say it made my day after missing out on the coconut chicken and a hectic day. They definitely spent time considering other factors of the eating experience besides taste.

Meal satisfaction = 10/10

Overall Score8/10

I felt that YOLO Food treated every ingredient with thought on how to not compromise on flavour but yet not over or undercook them so that they’re nutritionally good. Also loved their seemingly nonchalance in packaging and presentation but if you’ve ever done food prep or events, you’ll know that Yolo does care about its food.

9.5/10

Quite like their functional packaging while it would be a plus if they have a sustainable initiative included. They definitely deliver on flavour using the natural taste of the ingredients which is quite impressive.  Their presentation seems a little plain.

YOLO Food offers bespoke weekly meal plans that suits your needs and goals, starting from S$99. Otherwise, you can also opt just for their normal menu items which begin from S$10.90 or even build your own meal at S$12.90. Our readers will also get a free coffee or tea when you mention “Wellness Insider” during your purchase in-store!

If you’re in the Tanjong Pagar area then you can order from their store at ICON Village (12 Gopeng Street). Otherwise, get them delivered through Uber Eats. Do note that Uber Eats’ delivery charges and minimum order applies so you might want to buddy-up or perhaps order both lunch and dinner at the same time. Just remember to refrigerate if the items are served warm. Use the code eats-ubermelfann to get S$10 off your first order on Uber Eats.

 

If you would like your company’s products to be reviewed and featured on The Wellness Insider, please drop us an email at [email protected].


Photo credits: Melissa Fann, Matthew Yeo, Dosirak and YOLO Food.

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High Protein Breakfasts to Start Your Day On The Right Note

We’ve talked about breakfast before, and how it’s contested as the most important meal of the day (even if a lot of people choose to skip it) after all, it charges up our bodies and allows us to have enough energy to start off our day. But it’s not just about eating breakfast, you also should eat breakfast that is high in protein, as they also help in revitalising our bodies.

As mentioned in a previous article, eating protein will cause a lot of amino acids to enter the brain which causes alertness. Thus, why not start the day off right with a higher protein breakfast?

Soy Milk Vanilla Shake

Smoothies and shakes can be a great source of protein to start off the day, and this one is no different, offering 17g of protein. Don’t worry if you’re a vegan or lactose intolerant as this shake uses tofu and soy milk as its base; the soy milk gives it a nice creamy taste that, when combined with the blended tofu, makes it taste like Greek Yogurt if anything. Soft tofu is also higher in protein than most other types of tofu, so it’s one you should go with if you need a quick fix. Nonetheless, this is not recommended for those who are elderly as well as those with hormonal issues as soy is high in phytoestrogen.

Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes

If it comes to breakfast, you can’t go wrong with pancakes! And nothing is quite as tasty as buttermilk pancakes. You’ll love these pancakes if you’re looking for a vegan breakfast though, aside from using vegan eggs, they are also low in calories when compared to their standard brethren plus they also offer 4g of protein to boot. These pancakes are sweet on their own too, so you can afford to leave out more fattening stuff like maple syrup and just put some berries on them for good measure.

Egg in an Avocado

Of course, if you don’t mind eating eggs then there’s always the perfect egg in an avocado. This meal is low in fat and offers a lot of fibre and while also giving you a nice omega-3 intake that is also necessary for your health. This combination also provides quite an extensive protein intake at 15.2g. It’s also fast and easy to make, and sure to give you that energy boost in the morning without a sugar low.

Banana-Oat Protein Balls

These round balls of goodness work not just as a quick breakfast, they also make for great post-workout snacks that anyone would love to eat. They’re kind of easy to make too and are only 41 calories per ball, meaning you can eat a few without worrying too much about overeating. Not just that, you can also customise them as you want, whether it’d be using gluten-free oats or making them with whatever types of nuts you want, these healthy banana-based treats are sure to wake you up.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Protein Bars

We’re not done with oats just yet! And how could we when they’re such a great source of protein, making them perfect for this article. For this entry, we’re going to be focusing on a gluten-free method of preparing the classical protein bars which can save your skin when you’re tired after a taxing run or are in a rush to work.

These bars offer a great mix of chewy nuts and sweet fruits to provide a total of 17g of protein and low in added sugar. Much healthier than store bought muesli bars for sure.

Blueberry Barley Bake

Milkshakes, pancakes and oats are great but what if you want to have some good old whole grains without having to resort to eating cereal? Well, that’s what this bake is for. This whole-grain bake is not only high in fibre thanks to the blueberries but is also naturally sweet, it also offers 10.5g of protein, and low on calories.

Chocolate Milkshake Smoothie

Yeah, you’re probably wondering what a chocolate milkshake is even doing here, after all, they’re not exactly what you think of when you think of healthy eating. Make no mistake however, much like our first milkshake, this one uses tofu as its base, thus it is high in protein (a whopping 22g) and low on calories while still filling you up as it also contains 10g of fibre. So don’t feel bad and give it a go.


Photo Credits: Babble, Carrots and Flowers, Once Upon a Cutting Board, One Sweet Mess, Pop Sugar, Avocado a Day Nutrition

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The Perfect Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

Mother’s day is coming up (14 May 2017 for those who are clueless), so it’s time to start running around for presents and arrange for a nice meal as a family. However, there’s no better way to show your appreciation for the woman who gave birth to you than a meal specially prepared by yourself. After all, food that is lovingly prepared makes everyone happy, especially to your mother who has clothed and fed you over the years. That’s why, we bring you a list of tasty and healthy(ish) recipes that are perfect for a mother’s day brunch.

Four Flowers Mimosa

Servings: 12 | Prep Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice, divided
  • 4 ripe medium bananas
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons grenadine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups sparkling white wine

No brunch is complete without a good round of mimosas, and this mimosa recipe is bound to make things more fun. Cut up the pineapple’s skin appropriately and then remove the core first. Cut some slices for garnish, keeping them in a plastic bag and save them for later. After that, chop the remaining pineapple into chunks and put them in a food processor together with the bananas and all the other liquids except the wine. After blending, pour the mixture into a pitcher and leave it in the fridge to chill. Once you’re ready to serve, pour equal parts of the juice mixture with sparkling wine. Garnish each glass with a pineapple slice and serve. For a mocktail version, substitute the wine with sparkling water.

Spinach Pear and Goat Cheese Salad with Pecans

Of course, brunch isn’t just about drinking mimosas (though they are pretty fun), you also need some good food to go with it and what better way to start than with a nice salad. This salad, in particular, stands out over your traditional salads as it mixes cheese with fruits and vegetable, creating a great combination of flavours and textures. It can be served warm too, which is great for mothers who may not like to eat chilled dishes.

Servings: 4 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 12 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey mustard
  • 1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • 2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Start by toasting the pecans in a skillet for three minutes and then set them aside; we’ll be using those later. Then add 2 teaspoons of canola oil to the skillet, increase the heat to medium and add the pears along with some sprinkled brown sugar. Make sure to keep them there until the brown sugar melts and fuses with the pears and they become brown. Put the pears on a plate after that.

All right, now let’s add one more teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add shallot, salt, and pepper. Stir 30 seconds or until fragrant. Then mix in the apple juice, cider vinegar, and mustard and whisk them properly. Make sure to simmer them 3–4 minutes before adding the pears.

Now for the fun part. Put the spinach in a serving bowl and pour the pears and dressing on top before tossing them. Now all you’ll need is to serve it and arrange the cheese and pecans on each plate.

Whole Wheat Blue Berry Pancakes

Salads are good, but we do need some more food don’t you think? Well, one of the good things about brunch is that you can eat both lunch and breakfast foods! So let’s have some fun with the latter!

Prep Time: 3 Minutes | Cook Time: 6 Minutes | Servings: 3

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup multigrain pancake mix
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Powdered sugar or sugar substitute (optional)

Let’s start this off by combining the pancake mix, canola oil, soy milk and blueberries. Pour about 1/4 cup batter (or use a 2-ounce ice-cream scoop) per pancake onto a hot nonstick griddle or skillet. Cook it over medium heat for about 2–3 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Flip pancakes over, and cook an additional 2–3 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Pile on a plate in 1 stack. Cover with a hand towel to keep warm.

That wasn’t too bad now was? Now all you have to do is serve and drizzle the maple syrup or honey, and you’ll have some tasty pancakes.

Braised Kale Frittata

Now let’s go for something with a bit more bite to it. But instead of some boring omelette or quiche (which has quite a bit of cream), why don’t we mix this up by making a lighter dish, such as a frittata.

Prep Time: 12 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 ounce (3 tablespoons) Gruyère or Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups
  • 3/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

Make sure to preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and let it heat up while you whisk the eggs, salt and black pepper. Once you’re done whisking, spray some cooking spray on the pan before heating it up to medium. Sauté the kale and tomatoes for about 3 minutes before adding in the egg mixture and cheese. Give the whole mixture a good stir before transferring the pan from the stove to the oven and leave it in there for 20 minutes and once it’s done…enjoy!

Desserts

Now, there are so many desserts out there for the sweet tooth. In fact, you can refer to our previous article with a whole list of healthy-ish desserts to choose from. After all, it’s great to end the meal on a sweet note and most of these desserts can be prepared the night before. Thus, saving you a lot of hassle!

We hope that you will try some of these recipes and perhaps wow your mother (and perhaps other family members too) on this day that we celebrate the unconditional love our mothers show us through this special Mother’s Day Brunch.

 


Photo Credits: Imgrum, Two Healthy Kitchens, Casey Jade, Recipe Pair, Food Network, Pixabay

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4 Healthy Eating Resolutions That Aren’t Focused on Weight Loss

When you are on the path of healthy eating, it should not just be about losing weight but rather, to be healthier and just be good to your body. After all, you only have one.

4 Healthy Eating Resolutions That Aren

Photo credits: Positive Health Wellness

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