Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What and When I Eat in a Day (Working Abroad in Korea)

It has definitely been a challenge to stick to a clean-eating diet after moving to work in Seoul, Korea - the food culture here is rather different from that in Hong Kong and together with the language barrier, it makes it much more difficult to look for healthy and clean restaurants and groceries.

After a week, I have finally settled down and to be able to locate some healthy eating/ grocery shopping places around my apartment and office - so I thought I would share my simple eating habit here with you which might also be helpful to those of you who are living alone/ abroad! Please note that I am not a dietitian - I also do not count any macros. I am just trying to eat healthy 70% of the time, so I can #StayFitandTravel !!!

Mon - Fri

8:00 - 8:30 Breakfast
Option 1: 5 Egg Whites + 1 Egg Yolk, 2 pcs of Turkey Breast/ Ham/ Tuna, 1 Kiwi/ Apple/ Peach
Option 2: 1 bowl of Greek Yogurt + Muesli + Pure Honey, 1 Banana
Option 3: Porridge (no sugar added) cooked in Low Fat Milk, 1 Banana + a handful of nuts (i.e. Almond, Walnuts)

10:30 - 10:45 Morning Snack
Option 1: 20 pcs of Cherry Tomatoes
Option 2: 1 Peach + a handful of nuts
Option 3: Chicken Breast Salad

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
Eat out with Colleagues: Korean/ Japanese/ Western Dishes (I always try to choose the ones that have more protein and veggie, and less carbs i.e. Shabu Shabu with Beef and Veggies or Seafood Salad or Bulgogi with half portion of the rice)

15:30 - 15:45 Afternoon Snack
Option 1: Cold pressed/ Freshly squeezed Fruit & Veggie Juice

Option 2: 5 raw mini bell peppers
Option 3: 1 pack of Cocovill Chicken Breast - no cooking required (

18:30 - 19:00 Dinner
Option 1: Grilled Half Chicken + Hot Veggies
Option 2: Grilled Fish/ Sashimi + Salad/ Hot Bean Sprouts
Option 3: Beef + Tofu & Veggie Soup

20:00 - 22:00 Workout
Weight Training + Abs (3 Days a week) + Cardio (3 LISS and 2 HIIT a week)

22:30 - 22:45 Protein Shake
Whey Protein Powder + Low Fat Milk

Monday, June 29, 2015

Healthy Cranberry Cookies with Orange Zest

All purpose flour x 1.5 cup
Salt x 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda x 1/2 tsp
Whole Egg x 1
Vanilla extract x 1 tsp
Coconut oil x 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar x 1/3 cup
Dried Cranberries x 1 cup
Orange Zest of 1/2 orange

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Stir flour. salt and baking soda together in a mixing bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine egg, orange zest and vanilla extract together until they turn into a creamy mix. Pour in the flour mix, combine the two mix together and fold in the dried cranberries. 

Line baking tray with parchment paper and scoop the cookie dough onto the parchment paper. Remember to space them apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool down for 10 minutes and ta-dah, these yummy and healthy cookies are not ready to be served!

Emi xx

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pause and Reflect - 10 months into my Fitness Journey

I started my fitness journey 10 months ago and I have gone through ups and downs with many different phases i.e. 100% clean eating, bulimia, dirty bulking and etc. I would like to take this chance to pause and reflect on these 10 months to see where this journey has taken me not just fitness-wise, but also how I have grown as a person. I believe that many of you here - whether you are just beginning your fitness journey or if you are also already further down the road like me - you might have also gone through these phases and I thought it might be helpful if I share more of my journey with you. 

Week 0 - Week 12 (2014 Aug - Oct)
I just got back to Hong Kong from my 3 months trip around Europe and Africa and I was feeling rather unfit - I was pigging out so much and never really exercised - and more importantly, I needed some goals in my life. I came across Kayla Itsines' instagram account in July and so I decided to give it a try in August. 

I was so determined and so desperate to see results when I first started that I was obsessed with 100% clean eating, I quit drinking alcohol even though I just started working at a Wines and Spirits company, I woke up at 5am every morning to prepare my clean food and to head to the gym before work. I even added extra cardio (4-6 LISS + 1-2 HIIT a week) on top of my BBG workouts during my lunch hour in order to speed up the progress so I would always say no to my colleagues who wanted to eat lunch together. During compulsory lunch/ dinner gatherings I would normally just sit there refusing to eat anything unhealthy and I would not drink a sip. 
This was probably the most difficult of my fitness journey because I was literally driving myself insane. I was frustrated all the time that I could not see as much progress on my body as I would like, and I compared with other BBG girls on instagram all the time. I was also starting to hate the BBG workouts because they are just so so tough. As someone who never really exercised before, I found it difficult to even do simple exercises i.e. sit ups, jumping up and down for so many reps, push ups, commandos, burpees and etc. I felt like I wanted to pass out every time during the workouts. 
In terms of eating, I did 100% clean eating ( and it was defs not an easy thing to do in Hong Kong. There are not that many clean eating restaurants around Hong Kong and it could be difficult to get ingredients around the supermarket to prepare food at home. It changed not only my lifestyle but also that of my family. My parents tried to prepare healthy food for me everyday and my mum came up with all kinds of healthy snacks/ meals recipes that turned out to be very popular with you all on social media! It could be fun at times but most of the time it was actually very stressful and time consuming to keep up with the diet and also the sharing on social media - we woke up really early in the morning everyday to prepare the food, and we still needed use a lot of time to get a good photo of the food and type up the recipe. My boyfriend also had to look for all the healthy places around Hong Kong to bring me on date nights because I would not eat otherwise. I was also so obsessed with clean eating and so afraid that even a bite of cheat meal would affect my progress - that was when I started to have bulimia and would go into the toilet to make myself throw up even a bite of food that I felt like I should not be eating. 
I was also starting to get obsesssed with social media because that was the time when my following base on instagram was growing the fastest. I was anxious all the time to see how many likes I was getting and believe it or not, I was actually losing much sleep over this.

Gymming, blogging and clean-eating started to consume my life and became the only things I did apart from my job. I neglected my social life, my friends and looking back, I would actually say this was the unhealthiest and most stressful time of my fitness journey and honestly I do not ever want to go back to that. However, I am still glad that  I started my fitness journey, I might have do certain things wrong but at least it was a beginning!

Week 13 - Week 24 ( 2014 Nov - 2015 Jan)
By the end of my BBG1.0 journey (Week 12), I had a sudden realization that I could not continue my lifestyle as it was because it was not sustainable. I might be able to see more defined abs but I was not happy. I still remember I went for a Halloween buffet dinner with my boyfriend to celebrate finishing BBG1.0 and I could not stop stuffing french fries and deep fried food into my mouth. Afterwards, I was also not able to stop myself from throwing up in the toilet, even knowing that it was not good for my body. It was a very scary feeling to not be able to control your own body and it was the moment that I finally snapped out of this 100% clean eating phase and started allowing myself some more cheat meals ( 
I also decreased the number of cardio exercises I did to only 1 LISS + 1 HIIT a week - allowing me chances to have lunch with my colleagues and friends and hence a better social and work life. I started to try out different yummy restaurants with my boyfriend and family again and it was a lot of fun! I was reminded how important food was to me and I would always, always be a huge foodie! I also started trying out pole dancing and it was a very exciting addition to my gym workout routines. All in all, my fitness journey was starting to be more balanced in terms of workouts and food. However, I started to spend even more time on social media with different sponsorship and collaborations coming in. Please do not get me wrong, it was very very exciting at first to get all the amazing products and I was very grateful and felt lucky to be doing it. However, as the products started to pile up more and more at home and I did not have enough time to always make good photos for them, I started to get really stressed. Weekends with boyfriends became = photoshoot and photoshoot and photoshoot. It was the worst during our trip to Vietnam in January because it was not like any of the trips we took before. Every morning when we woke up we would count the products we needed to take on that day and we would spend the whole day trying to get good pictures for them. Looking back on the photos, there were not many of us together or photos that captured memorable moments. It was another wake up call for me that I need to start focusing more on my real life instead of the one online.

Week 25 - Now (2015 Feb - Jun)
I would say this Feb was the turning point of my fitness journey - I started to get really relaxed about everything haha and I changed to a gym that is right next to my office so I could gym during lunch instead of morning before work. I no longer spent much time making food/ recipe for instagram as you could probably already tell. I still eat 70% healthy during the week but only 30% healthy during the weekends. For those of you who followed my personal a/c would see I have been having manyyy cheat meals. I do not really count how many I have and I mostly just eat whatever I feel like. I have also started social drinking again. My workouts are also much more chill ( 
I have also got comments that I have been slacking with my instagram account. My abs were less defined and my arms were less strong. But I guess it was during this period that I realize there are other things that are more important in life and that deserve more of my attention i.e. relationships, work, family and etc. I am not encouraging everyone to not clean eat and just eat whatever junk food, but this is what works for better for me right now. Although I do plan to start eating cleaner from next week on and step up my workout routine a bit and to add yoga as part of my fitness journey! Ready to get my fitness and flexibility level back on track!
As you can see, just like everyone else, my fitness journey is far far from perfect. It should not be a sprint - I treated it like one when I first started and it could not last. I am still figuring out a way to find a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable in the long term but one thing I know is that, never give up! It is a journey that might be tough at times but will be worth while in the end.
Hope you enjoy my post! Subscribe for more fitness related posts to come!

Emi xx

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Apple & Cranberry Bread with hint of Orange Zest

Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside...this is too yummy to be true! As promised - here is the recipe (:

Apples x 2 (Peeled and shredded)
Dried Cranberries x 1/2 cup
Orange Zest x 1 tsp
Whole Egg x 2
Ground Cinnamon x 1/2 tsp
Homemade Almond Milk/ Whole Milk x 1/4 cup
Coconut Oil x 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar x 1 cup
Baking Powder x 2 tsp
Vanilla Extract x 1 tsp
All purpose flour x 2 cup
Pink Salt x 1/2 tsp

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon together. Pour 1/4 cup of this mixture into a small bowl together with the dried cranberries, combine them together and set aside.

In another bowl, stir eggs, orange zest, apple sugar, oil, milk and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour this wet mix into dry mix (the flour mixture without the cranberries) and combine them together. Fold in the cranberry mix.

Grease a loaf pan and place parchment paper onto the bottom. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for around 50-60 minutes, allow it to cool and TA-DAH this super delicious apple bread is now ready!

Emi xx

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Oatmeal Raisins Cookies

I am so so sorry that I have not been updating my blog for quite a while! Not been cooking much but finally here's a new recipe of these super yummy oatmeal raisins cookies that my mum recently experimented! If you like our previous Chewy Spelt Oatmeal Cranberries Cookies (recipe can be found here and also Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies (recipe can be found here, I promise you will love these too - and maybe even more!


Raisins x 1 cup
Hot Water x 1 cup
All-purpose flour x 3/4 cup
Rolled Oats x 3 cups
Vanilla Extract x 1/2 tsp
Coconut Oil x 2/5 cup
Whole Egg x 1 
Baking Soda x 1/2 tsp
Salt x 1/2 tsp
Ground Cinnamon x 1/2 tsp
Ground Nutmeg x 1/8 tsp
Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature) x 2/5 cup
Brown Sugar x 1 cup


Preheat oven to 350F.  Soak raisins in a bowl of hot water and set them aside for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, blend butter (room temperature) and sugar together until the mix is creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract into the mix and stir until well combined.

In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and oats together. Pour the oats mix into the butter mix, beat them together until combined. 

Drain the raisins (press them to squeeze out any excess water) and stir the raisins into the batter. Line baking sheets on a baking plate, scoop two tbsps of the batter onto the baking sheet as each cookie dough. Gently press the cookies down into a circle shape. The thinner they are, the crispier they are. Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes until the edges turn golden brown and have them cool down for 10 minutes before you start eating them :D believe me, once you start, you probably cannot stop because they are SOOO YUMMY. I don't know about yours by mines taste like popcorn heh :D sooo addictive!

Hope you like my recipes. Subscribe to my blog for many more to come!

Emi xx

Monday, March 16, 2015

KEA- Surf Wear x Active Wear x Pole Fitness Wear

Having mad love for the beach and the sun, I am always looking out for good swimwear. You see, it is not easy for me to find suitable bikinis that are fancy looking but fit me at the same time because unfortunately I am not blessed with big (or even medium-sized) chest and a lot of bikinis either make me look boob-less like man or they just do not fit well - and can easily come off especially when I do any water sports/ activities that require a bit more movement. I am therefore so grateful that I came across KEA ( before my beach holiday at Vietnam - I finally found beachwear that fit me perfectly and no matter how much I moved, they STAYED on my body - I have never felt so safe on a beach haha. It is mainly because KEA is designed especially for surfing - and therefore are very safe for any water activities. They use high quality italian fabrics that offer excellent UV protection and also compression technology. The best thing is - not only are they safe, they LOOK GOOD. It is not very often that a super safe and comfortable swim/surf wear is also fancy and fashion looking.

I am not a surfer chic, I never surfed before but I did try once in Vietnam - even though it was a big fail, my KEA was good on me - it was just my skills that were bad.

My favorite favorite thing about KEA is that because the surf wear is so comfortable and safe that I can also use them as active wear for my workouts as well as pole fitness wear for my pole dancing!

Hope you enjoy reading about my reviews on KEA surf wear xx


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Updated Workout Routine V2

I know that I only wrote my updated workout routine not too long ago ( but it was written when I was about to finish the BBG2.0 and things changed after I was really done with the guide. :D I found new goals and also discovered new guides that I was very happy to incorporate into my new workout routines - so I thought I would share with you my most updated workout routines here!

Basically, the main new workouts in my routine would be the Joe Manganiello Werewolf Workout Guide that my boyfriend is also currently doing. I do not follow his guide strictly i.e. the amounts of workouts in one week, the days of the workouts and etc  - instead, I incorporated his workouts into my own to better fit my schedule and also my body and goals.

His workout guide consists of 6 weeks of exercises, each week with 6 days of workouts. The format is as follow (each of them takes 45-60 minutes)
Monday: Legs and Triceps
Tuesday: Chest and Back
Wednesday: Deltoids and Biceps
Thursday: Legs and Triceps
Friday: Chest and Back
Saturday: Deltoids and Biceps

In addition, he also has an Abs program on top of these workouts that consists of 2 routines for you to choose from, plus cardio which is essential for those who want to have defined abs. 

As you can see, his workouts are quite a lot and it is not possible for me to follow everything because I still want to do some of Kayla's BBG workouts and I also need to pole. I am also trying to workout only 4-5 times a week in order to allow myself more free time to focus on other priorities in life. 

So below is my custom-made workout routine for myself :D it's been a couple of weeks already that I have been on this routine and I am loving it! I love weights, I love trying all these gym machines, I got a lot stronger within a short period of time (for the first time throughout my fitness journey I can now do a full pushup!) I do not get overexhausted, I still get to keep my abs workout and also to pole! I am not sure when I will have a new workout routine again but I can say that I am happy with this one right now (:

Week A

Legs & Butts workout (from one of my favorite BBG babes:
Leg Press 15 reps x 3 sets
Leg Extention 15 reps x 3 sets 
Hamstring Curl 15 reps x 3 sets
Squats 15 reps x 3 sets
Dead Lifts 15 reps x 3 sets
Walking/ Stationery Lunges 26 reps (13 reps on each side) x 3 sets
Optional: 10 minutes Abs workout (my fav 10 mins Abs workout can be found here in my previous post:
Optional: 45 minutes Deep Stretching 

10 minutes Abs workout
1 hour Pole Dancing Class
1 hour Flexibility Class

45 minutes LISS - Stepmaster
Joe's Abs workout Routine 1
Optional: 45 minutes Deep Stretching 

Kayla's Abs workout (I just choose from one from whichever week)
Optional: 45 minutes Deep Stretching 

Joe's Chest & Back workout
Optional: 10 minutes Abs workout
Optional: 45 minutes Deep Stretching 

Saturday & Sunday
15 minutes HIIT - Treadmill
Joe's Abs workout Routine 2
Optional: Pole Practice
Optional: 1 Hour Dance Stretch class
Optional 10 minutes Abs workout
Optional: 45 minutes Deep Stretching 

Week B
Joe's Legs and Triceps workout
Optional: 10 mins Abs workout

10 minutes Abs workout
1 hour Pole Dancing Class
Optional: 1 hour Flexibility Class

45 minutes LISS - Stepmaster
Joe's Abs workout Routine 1
Optional: 45 minutes Deep Stretching 

Kayla's Abs workout (I just choose from one from whichever week)
Optional: 45 minutes Deep Stretching 

Joe's Chest and Back workout
Optional: 10 minutes Abs workout
Optional: 45 minutes Deep Stretching 

Saturday & Sunday
15 minutes HIIT - Treadmill
Joe's Abs workout Routine 2
1 Hour Dance Stretch class
Optional: Pole Practice
Optional 10 minutes Abs workout
Optional: 45 minutes Deep Stretching 

I alternate between week A and week B workouts - and as you can see, it takes me two weeks to do only half a week of Joe's workouts. Please note that all of the weights I used in the above workouts are of moderate weights (as recommended by Joe) in order to ensure a good form. 

I know that this is quite a unique workout so far and it is also quite different from the Kayla Itsines BBG workouts that I have been doing in the past few months but I am excited to see what this will bring x

Hope you enjoyed reading about my workout routine - subscribe to my blog for more posts on my fitness journey!

Emi xx

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Updated Grocery List

Greek Yogurt (Ideally would be unsweetened but as it is not always available, I would just go for the one with the lowest sugar content)

Cream Cheese (Garden Vegetable/ Onions and Chives flavor)
6 Italian Cheese
Cheddar Cheese Block
Ricotta Cheese
Feta Cheese
Cottage Cheese
Full Milk


Rollet Oats
Whole Wheat Pasta
Brown Rice
Sweet Potato
Dark Rye Bread
Rye Flakes
Veggies, Fruits & Beans
Sweet Corn
Bell Peppers
Mixed Greens
Cherry Tomatoes
Baby Cucumbers
Red Kidney Beans
Black Beans
Red Peppers
Sun-dried Tomatoes
Herbs (Basil, Mint, Cilantro and etc)

Meat & Eggs
Protein Powder

Whole Chicken
Chicken Breast
Oven-baked Turkey Breast (Cold Cut)
Lamb Tenderloin
Beef Short Ribs
Pork Chops
Spanish Ham
Chicken Wings
Fish (for chinese-style steamed fish)

Snacks, Seeds & Baking ingredients
Kale Crisps
Corn Crisps
Dark Chocolate (Very occasionally)
Quest Bars

Chia Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Flax Seeds
PB2 Peanut Butter
Spelt Flour
Buckwheat Flour
All-purpose Flour
Coconut Sugar
Raw Cacao Nibs
Raw Cacao Powder
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Apple Sauce (Unsweetened)
Raw Coconut Flakes
Black Sesame
Protein Powder
Pure Honey
Coconut Oil

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lemon Pound Cake

All-purpose flour x 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Baking Powder x 1 tsp
Whole Eggs x 2
Melted Butter x 1.5 tbsp
Coconut Oil x 1.5 tbsp
Lemon Zest x 1 tbsp
Brown Sugar x 2 tbsp/ Stevia x 1 tbsp
Low Fat Sour Cream (room temperature) x 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract x 1 tbsp

Preheat oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl, stir flour and baking powder together. In another mixing bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest, sugar and sour cream together until well combined. Pour dry mix into the wet egg mix and stir the two together. Grease a loaf pan with olive oil, pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 -60 minutes. Ta-dahhhhh, your yummy lemon pound cake is now ready!

Hope you enjoy this recipe and subscribe to my blog for more yummy snack ideas to come!

Emi xx

Monday, February 16, 2015

Banana Chocolate Muffins

Mashed Banana x 3
Whole Eggs x 2 
Ground Cinnamon x 1/4 tsp
Raw Chocolate Chips x 1 cup
Vanilla Extract x 1/4 tsp
All-purpose Flour x 1 2/3 cup
Baking Powder x 1 tsp
Baking Soda x 1/2 tsp
Pink Salt x 1/4 tsp
Brown Sugar x 1/3 cup
Vegetable Oil x 1/3 cup


Preheat oven to 400F. In a mixing bowl, stir chocolate chips with 3 tbsp of flour until all the chocolate chips are coated in flour. Set aside, and in another mixing bowl, combine vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, mashed bananas and vanilla extract. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until well combined. Then add the dry mix into the wet mix and combine the two. Fold in the chocolate chips (coated with flour) into the mix. Grease a 12-pieces muffin tins with coconut oil, scoop out the batter into the muffin tins and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. TA-DAH your banana chocolate muffins are now ready!! Hope you love them as much as I do (:
Subscribe to my blog for more healthy and delicious snacks recipes!

Emi xx

Monday, February 9, 2015

Crunchy Cranberry Lemon Cookies

COOOOOOKIES I cannot live without homemade cookies because
1. they are the perfect snacks when I have a cravings
2. they are so easy to bring around with me during a day outside of home, perfect pre/ post-work out fuel!
3. they are soooo yummy

I normally like chewy cookies but sometimes I also feel like crunchy ones and today is the day :D Hope you will like these cookies too!

Whole Egg x 1
Dried Cranberries x 1 cup
Lemon Zest (1/2 lemon)
All-purpose flour x 1.5 cup
Pink Salt x 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda x 1/2 tsp
Brown Sugar x 1/3 cup
Coconut Oil x 1/3 cup
Vanilla Extract x 1 tsp

Preheat oven to 375F. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Then add in egg, lemon zest and vanilla extract and stir together until well combined to form a creamy mix. Add the dry mix into the wet mix and stir until combined. Fold in dried cranberries until well distributed throughout the mix. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, scoop out the batter with an ice cream scoop to form a cookie shape onto the parchment batter (one scoop per cookie). Bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges of the cookies turn lightly golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes and TA-DAH, your cranberry lemon cookies are now ready!!

Hope you enjoy the recipe - subscribe to my blog for more to come!

Emi xx