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February 24, 2017

Lunch at Nobu KL

If you're into Hollywood celebrity gossip, you would've known that Nobu is a restaurant that they frequently dine at. Nobu opened in KL, specifically at Tower 3 KLCC, sometime in late 2014. With 33 restaurants all over the world, KL's foodies were excited for the opening and so many blogs reviewed on their food.  

Naturally, being a celebrity foodie kepochi that i am, i've been wanting to go and try their signature dishes since day one. But of course, as a mere rakyat marhaen i always wondered "Mampu ke nak makan kat Nobu?" i ain't no Marion Caunter, you know.

At last, bertemankan Amal (seorang kawan yang juga Hollywood kepochi), i got to dine at Nobu today at lunch. Amal made a reservation yesterday (Nobu is so cool that you have to book ONLINE), and at 12pm sharp, we're in the (dedicated) lift, making our way up to the restaurant which is located on level 56, Tower 3, KLCC.

For appetizer, we ordered two of Chef  Matsuhisa's signature dishes, which were claimed as the dishes that changed his career as a chef; New-Style Salmon Sashimi and Rock Shrimp Tempura. And they didn't disappoint. The salmon sashimi is made of fresh salmon sashimi that is poured on with a sizzling hot sauce of what taste like sesame oil mixed with soy sauce, some ginger and garlic.The Rock Shrimp Tempura is basically shrimp tempura coated with a creamy sauce that taste like mayo-chili sauce.

New Style Salmon Sashimi, RM65

Rock Shrimp Tempura with Creamy Sauce, RM60

For main course, we decided to order Bento 56, to share. This bento consists of Salmon Sashimi Salad, Spicy Tuna Cut Roll, Assorted Tempura with Ponzu Sauce, and Beef Kushiyaki with Teriyaki Sauce. After our delicious appetizers, we're a bit disappointed with this bento. No doubt, ingredients taste fresher than your average casual Japanese restaurants but taste-wise, there's nothing to shout about. The bento is served with miso soup which came after we've finished all our food and ready for bill and it taste no better than the miso soup i always make at home with miso paste bought at Isetan.

Bento 56, RM125

We also ordered a tuna dished called Toro something. We asked the waitress because we're unsure of the exact name but we did mention a Toro in small bowl. We were served with this instead:

Chu Toro, RM70
Basically a tuna belly cut. Not what we expected because the picture we saw online is different. Again, the fish tasted fresher than the ones i always have at Sushi Zanmai but at the end of the day, it's still just freshly cut tuna.

Overall, we had a good time at Nobu. If you know what to order, you'll end up with explosion of taste in your mouth, like we had with the sashimi and shrimp tempura. Our two other dishes were rather plain. Still, no regret whatsoever. The prices are a bit steep but it is expected at a fine-dining restaurant. i'd go again, tho not too soon (probably in a year time).

i look fat here but i swear i'm not actually that fat.
*memang ayat in denial*

February 22, 2017

Lazy Girl's Guide to Lose Weight

Ladies, let’s admit it: You are obsessed with your weight. Well, if you are not, you belong in the 5% of women who don’t really think much about their weight and i can't relate with you. 

Everyday we are bombarded with images of perfect, thin-but-with-lush-bossoms-and-bottom women in TV, Instagram and YouTube that makes us think “Why can’t I look that hot?”

The truth is, you can!

You can if you work for that dream body. Looking good doesn’t come easily (except for those lucky few who are blessed with good DNA). Those beautiful models, celebrities and Insta-famous people you see work really hard to look good.

However, let’s admit it. Not all of us have the time and willpower to religiously work out for 2 hours a day and be on a diet. i know i am not that determined. 

Through most of my adult life, i make sure i weigh no more than 55kg. But once i stopped pumping breastmilk at work last October, i weight has gradually increased. Now i'm 57kg! It feels like the end of the world.

Tapi masih malas nak workout dan diet. For me, dieting doesn't do the body good because i know i won't be able to switch to Atkins/go vegan/carb-free for good.

So what can a lazy girl like me do? A subtle change of lifestyle. Here are 10 everyday realistic things you can do to help you lose those kgs: 

1. Load Up on Protein
As Malaysians, we tend to have a bigger portion of carbohydrate (rice and noodles) on our plate. Change this! Instead of rice, load up your plate with protein. Instead of having one piece of chicken with a bowl of rice, try to have two pieces of chicken with half a bowl of rice. This simple switch will keep you full longer that you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day according to a few studies including this one. Meanwhile, according to one study from University of Missouri, high protein diet reduces obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, while cutting the desire for late night snacking in half.

Eating a high protein diet has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day, thus helps you feel full longer.

2. Drink More Water
Drinking loads of water immediately before meals tricks your body into thinking that you are full faster because water fills the space in your tummy.
Not only before meals, drinking lots of water throughout the day helps reduce water retention (that adds extra inches on your arms and waistline).

3. Less White Carbohydrate Intake

We all know this: white carbs means calories, and lots of them.
Studies show that refined carbs like sugar which exists in cakes, cookies, chocolate bars and fruit juices, and also rice and pastas can spike blood sugar rapidly, which leads to hunger, cravings and increased food intake a few hours later.

For healthier choice, replace sugar with honey and brown sugar (in limited quantity, of course) and take brown rice instead of your usual white rice.

 4. Tea, Tea, Tea
It’s no secret that green tea helps weight loss and fat burning, thanks to the powerful antioxidants called catechins that is found in green tea.

Aside from green tea, black Chinese tea called Pu-Erh Tea also helps to aid weight loss. i learnt this during my trip to Beijing last December. Our tour guide told us that they (especially young girls) drink Pu-erh tea to lose weight and maintain the ideal weight. The best time to drink a cup of Pu-erh tea for weight loss goals is one hour after a meal so that the Pu-erh tea can remove excess grease and help your body eliminate unwanted and leftover, hard-to-digest fats.

i've never been a fan of tea (i'm more of a coffee person) but i guess i have to start now.

5. Smaller Plates for Smaller Portion
This might seems like a no-brainer but using smaller plates at meal times will lead you to eat less. This, researches has found, is caused by a simple trick of the eyes (you can read about it here). At meal time, we tend to fill our plate and do not stop eating until the plate is clean. The bigger the plate, the more fill it with food hence the more we eat. By using smaller tableware, people will put less food on their plate in the first place. A research by Cambridge academics found that simply by switching to smaller bowl or plate, we reduce food intake by 9%.

6. Spice Up Your Life

News flash: spicy foods help in weight loss! There are many ways spicy food can help you to shed those extra pounds. Firstly, spicy stuff like chilli and cayenne contain a substance called Capsaicin which boost metabolism. High metabolism enable the body to burn more calories. Secondly, Capsaicin also reduces your appetite.

This is good news for us Malaysians because we love our spicy sambals and asam pedas!

7. Stairs Instead of Lifts
This is the ultimate shortcut to working out if you are a lazy girl. Take the stairs! Your apartment is on the 6th floor? No problem. Take the stairs instead of lift and you got your 5 minutes of exercise without even trying.

8. Avoid Stocking Up Your Kitchen With Unhealthy Snacks
This includes those so-called healthy biscuits and energy bars, ice creams, cookies and white bread. Instead, stock up on fruits like banana, apples and raisins, nuts, wholemeal breads and yogurt. These are healthier options especially when you’re on the go.

9. Break Up With Your Yoga Pants
For real, ditch the yoga pants and any pants or any clothing made from jersey or stretchable materials. Yes they are so, so comfortable when you’re pregnant, when you’re bloated during your period or bloated with the all-you-can-eat buffet. But it’s easy to lose yourself in those.

Firstly, they don’t really look good (unless you have a lean, cellulite-free backside). Secondly, its stretchy material means it will still fit you comfortably even when you put on extra inches without realizing it. Your slim fit jeans, on the other hands, will never lie. When you have accidentally gained an inch, it will let you know “Nope, you can’t fit in here. Try again when you’ve lost the extra inch.”

10. Try the 7-Minutes Exercise
As lazy as we may be, in order to slim down and stay slim, you have to incorporate some exercise in your routine (that’s why this point is the last on the list). If you’re not a fitness junkie at all, try to go for a 10-minute walk around the block or the mall, at least twice a week. Over time, increase the duration and pace. Many have sworn by this 7-Minutes Exercise. Come on, 7 minutes out of 1440 minutes a day is not that much, isn’t it?

There you go. 10 simple things you can do daily to slim down. Remember, getting slim and fit won’t happen overnight or even a week. It takes a change in lifestyle.

Pray that i can adhere by these too so that i can lose these evil extra kgs.

*this article originally was written for ZCOOP My. i republish it here with some changes.