Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Eating out with high protein ketogenic diet | The Dancing Meat Co food review

There are many dietary styles that can help a patient to achieve weight loss and health. The key is calorie balance and restriction which results in a deficit of around 500-700kcal/day.  To sustain long term changes, we must individualized our meal plans.  A high protein ketogenic diet consisting of 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs is my favorite! I find menus at The Dancing Meat Co allow me to stick to my meal plans. Read on to find out how do I do this while dining out.

The Dancing Meat Co. Gourmet Deli & Grill
3, A-19, Jalan Gambut, 25000 Kuantan, Pahang
09-531 5328
Opens 11.30am to 10pm (Wednesdays to Mondays)

1.Choose grilled or broiled meat instead of fried:

Grilled bullet pork ribs is a new menu for Dancing Meat.  Pork ribs marinated with their signature herbs and spices, then grilled to perfection. Drizzled with black pepper sauce with a scoop of smooth mashed potato and fresh salad consisting of leaf lettuce,  coleslaw (julienned purple and white cabbage,  carrots with mayonnaise ), raisins and cherry tomatoes. If you prefer a really carnivorous treat, this would be a great try.

2. Choose lean white meat:

Grilled chicken chop with blackpepper sauce is a classic and loved by many. Chicken Maryland marinated with special herbs then grilled until all the fat under the skin melted to produce a crispy and zesty skin. The blackpepper sauce gives a strong kick to the dish. Sides are mashed potatoes and salad.

3. Ask for less sauce or sauce served separately:

Vietnamese baguette with grilled lamb shoulder is flooded with tempting sauce (black pepper and mayonnaise based). For a healthier option,  ask for less sauce or sauce served separately. Crispy bread crust with fragrantly buttered soft bread sandwiching a slice of well marinated grilled Australian lamb shoulder that does not have any gamy smell or taste.

4. Split high calorie options:

It's not wrong to want to enjoy some calorie densed options sometimes but it's a better idea to share it with someone else. So both can indulge but not overdoing it.

Cheese baked rice with salmon is a popular choice for children. The sight of the mozzarella cheese pull just makes me drool. The rice is baked with a cream based sauce which makes it soft,  moist and rich in flavour but not too overwhelming. The goodness of baked salmon makes this a nutritious and wholesome meal.

Golden spaghetti with chicken chop is gaining its popularity as the salted egg together with curry leaves,  capsicum strips, butter and birds eye chilli complement each other so much.  The chicken chop was juicy and wrapped in the goodness of the golden sauce.

5. Choose low calorie or unsweetened beverage:

Peppermint herbal tea is also new on the menu. The combination of peppermint, baby chrysanthemum , orange peel and liquorice root releases a calming aroma and helps to relieve sore throat in this hazy weather.  All without sugar or extra calories.

Cappuccino here is made using robusta coffee beans which boosts energy. Fresh milk was frothed to create a satisfying layer of foam on top of the cuppa and a calcium boost. Omiting sugar gives a healthier option but not losing on flavour.

6. Boost vegetable or fruit intake using juice:

Instead of ordering a sweet dessert,  opt for vegetable or fruit juice instead such as carrot milk (request for fresh milk instead of evaporated or condensed milk) . These natural ingredients provide a great variety of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Don't overdo it though as the sugar content gets absorbed much faster in the form of juice.

A healthy variety of food choices is therefore available at The Dancing Meat Co in a cosy dining environment at mid-range prices that are value for money since the ingredients are of premium quality. We rate it 8.5/10!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Ladies travelling light with simplified beauty regime | Maskingdom Organic Cleansing Flakes

I find it difficult to travel light while maintaining my beauty regime. On average,  I need to bring at least a set of makeup remover,  cotton pads,  cleanser,  toner and moisturizer with or without paper masks.  That's excluding my eye cream and body lotion,  body wash,  shampoo and conditioner.  Other essential items include contact lens,  contact lens case and solution,  mascara, eyebrow pencil,  foundation, eyeliner,  blush,  lip balm and lipstick.

So I got really excited to try Maskingdom Organic Cleansing Flakes. Being a full-time working mother of 2, I need all the help to maintain youthfulness in a single step. The cleansing flake allows makeup removal, deep cleansing and moisturising. Each piece is only 0.01mm, the same thickness as a strand of hair. The flake's pH is between 5.5-6.5, hence it's perfect for all skin types even sensitive skin. Each casing contains 100 flakes- surprisingly compact!

8 main active ingredients are derived from organic plants using low temperature under high pressure. Eco certification ensures only organic ingredients are used without harmful ingredients like alcohol,  SLS,  paraben, artificial fragrance. My vegan friends and animal lovers can rest assure that no animal testing was used.

I have grouped the active ingredients together according to their functions.

Shea butter,  apricot kernel oil,  argan oil, honey and hyaluronic acid- hydrates the skin,  lock moisture and nutrition in, as well as repairs sun damaged skin. Boost skin hydration up to 67% after a single usage.

Scuterallia alpina and chameleon plant extract- penetrates deep underneath the skin to cleanse impurities and unblock pores

Aloe Vera and glycyrrhizate/liquorice root extract- powerhouse of vitamins, minerals,  antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to calm irritated skin and prevent breakouts.

How to use?

1. Place a piece of cleansing flake onto dry palm
2. Drizzle some water to lather.
3. Cleanse and massage the cleanser onto the face in circular motions.
4. Rinse off with water.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

Instead of having separate products for makeup removal,  cleansing and moisturising,   Maskingdom has all these 3 functions in 1. Not only does this simplify my beauty regime,  but it also allows me to save time (from 10mins to only 2mins), use less water, pack my travel bags easier and travel light. Most importantly,  my skin felt supple and clean after the first use with visibly less blackheads. Since it's also suitable for men's use,  Mr hubby can share the same product with me!

Besides that,  the casing is intricately sculpted and carved by experienced wood craftsman. It's light yet durable enough to be kept in the suitcase in order to protect the cleansing flakes. I absolutely love the bohemian feel of the casing!

Try Maskingdom Organic Cleansing Flakes and feel the difference yourself. Quote TWEXCEL02 at a promotional price of RM99 (original price RM146) this month! Don't say I Bojio!

ERH Skincare website

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Malaysian Chinese High Tea Kuih | 59th St Heritage Popiah Kuantan Food Review

The Malaysian food culture is so diverse.  We have our own range of kuih or dessert that can be either sweet or savoury, great for breakfast or teatime. But it's not easy to get a healthy and nutritious version because they are often loaded with simple carbohydrate, sugar, oil and excessive calories. Today I'm going to show you all where and how to get proper and tasty Malaysian Chinese High Tea Kuih without feeling guilty.

59th St Heritage Popiah Kuantan
888 Food Court,
Jalan Teluk Sisek, Taman Plaza Kuantan
Phone 0102257660
Opens Wednesdays to Mondays 1pm until stock lasts

Even though it's not served in a 5 star hotel,  but the most serious and delicious treats are often hidden in local food courts as such. All the Kuih is hand made by experienced local pastry chefs including a popo in her 80s with natural coloring, less sugar and the freshest ingredients. The pastry was thin and the inside bursting with fresh fillings. They can only operate for 5 afternoons in a week because of the sheer amount of time used to produce about 15 types of high tea options.

Among the Kuih on sale when we visited was fairly representative of the popular Malaysian Kuih. So if you are on the looking for this,  head here.  They also accept custom made orders 2 days in advance.


Assorted Kuih Koci

Fried Sesame balls

Curry puffs

Pumpkin 'Fa' (prosperity) cake

Kuih ketayap

Yam cake


Vegetable dumplings

Tapioca cake

We sampled most of the Kuih and were really amazed at how juicy, soft and fresh the fillings were. The portion was generous and value for money. The pastry was thin and soft which literally melted in the mouth. This is why we say tasty treats like this can be healthy and not loaded with sugar or calories!

We started off with savoury options-sticky rice dumpling (zongzi). Pork belly braised till tender with the collagen rich skin still slightly chewy. Huge and fresh chestnuts. These with other ingredients like salted egg yolk and shitake mushrooms made up 3 quarter of the dumplings wrapped with warm and fragrant glutinous rice and Thysanolaena latifolia leaves.

The signature popiah has a paper thin homemade pastry with every inch filled with vegetables such as carrots,  jicama,  lettuce and sambal which has chilli, tamarind, onions and dried shrimps as main ingredients. One could be filled easily by a whole popiah. The fritter is a crispy indulgence that's made less guilty  because of the amount of vegetables.

Two types of curry puffs were available. Both made with puff pastry with dry curry potato filling the Malaysian style.  The rectangle puff was baked whereas the half circle puff was fried.

A selection of savoury and sweet kuih that looks so vibrant and colorful. The pastry is thin with a generous amount of filling. The vegetable dumpling has translucent skin called crystal skin in Chinese with stir fry julienned carrot and jicama filling that is soft and juicy. A similar version also comes in en elongated shape with orange sweet potato and white opaque skin.

The red kuih (Ang Ku Kuih aka red tortoise cake) contains slightly sweetened mung bean paste which is carefully blended to a consistency that simply melts in the mouth. The yellow kuih is made of soft pumpkin pastry with sweet ground peanut flakes. On the other hand,  the green kuih has screwpine skin and sweet coconut filling that is fluffy. The coconut shred filling is worth special mentioning as it's made of premium coconut without impurities.

These kuih trio completed our high tea. Yam cake with generous amount of yam and little flour. Topped with minced dried shrimps,  it was a heavenly combination with their homemade chili sauce. The small pumpkin prosperity cake is a great snack that has a dense texture,  a great cake for ancestor and prayer offerings made healthier using pumpkin instead of artificial food coloring. Mochi is a soft Japanese dessert made from  short grain japonica rice flour dusted with raw flour to prevent them from sticking together. There were 2 flavors on sale-the classical peanut filling and the more Japanese green tea pastry with red bean paste filling.

This is a stunning Malaysian Chinese high tea selection, affordable at the highest quality with friendly staff. Come on and try yourself. Our verdict is 9/10!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Meal replacement for healthy weight maintanence

The obesity crisis has hit the Asian region pretty hard. Malaysia has also quickly become the fattest country in South East Asia. I blame this on the delicious and indulging food choices in which many Malaysians simply cannot resist. The haze and hot weather also discourages outdoor activities and exercise. We know that lifestyle diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure is on the rise as a result. And a healthy diet is imperative in battling this.

A healthy diet does not have to be bland or boring. It's well tested that taking properly balanced meals is the key. It should be abundant in fruits and vegetables which fill half the plate,  a quarter with protein or lean meat and the last quarter with complex carbohydrates. However,  hectic lifestyle often precludes the possibility to prepare such a meal all the time. That's where the role of meal replacement comes in. It allows people to stick to a nutritious meal plan on the go.

Meal replacement was originally designed for athletes for a nutritional boost. It has now expanded its use for people who needs a quick fix high in nutritions. Meal replacement bars and drinks can be kept in bags and taken while traveling. However there are so many options available in the market. Many of which maybe sugar loaded with high calories-not that much different from junk food!

These are rough guides of what should be in a good meal replacement product (Adapted from WebMD):

-220-230 calories per serving
-Less than 5 grams of fat per serving
-3-5 grams of fiber per serving
-10-15 grams of protein per serving
-Fortified with a third of daily vitamins and minerals

I have started to consume YogurtSlim by Everfood Malaysia This special yogurt
drink is made for:

1) Filling up stomach and controlling hunger
2) Weight loss and boosts metabolism
3) Improves digestive system

Each sachet contains protein equivalent to 1/2 an egg, 10ml coconut oil, 5 billion lactobacillus live culture and fibres of 3 Apples. Using the rough guide provided by WebMD,  it fulfills most of the requirements but would be better if there is more protein. The total carbohydrate content is about 1 carbohydrate exchange (in a single main meal- we aim for 3 exchanges  and snack- 1 exchange).

Other active ingredients include

Natural fruit extracts- Avocado, Mixed berries and Mango. These contain the natural goodness of the fruits which are packed with vitamins and minerals.

Medium chain triglyceride oil-is a type of fat used for people who have problems with fat absorption, to increase lean muscle mass and strength,  as well as to help with weight loss.

Konjac powder, aka glucomannan- is rich in fiber. Therefore, it helps to improve satiety,  relieves constipation, promotes weight loss and improves sugar control.

Probiotics- relieves indigestion, constipation, colic, reflux, antibiotic associated diarrhoea and functional abdominal pain.

Chlorophyll may help with constipation.

Yoghurt Slim is also free of preservatives, transfat, cholesterol and colouring.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

Yoghurt Slim is a great energy and nutritional boost. It tastes great and creamy- just like a sinful milk shake without the sky high calories and sugar. The natural fruit flavour makes the drink palatable and the sweetness comes naturally from the fruit only. Besides having it straight,  I have also tried adding quick cook oats and refrigerating it overnight. Adding some fresh fruits or Chia seeds, it becomes an awesome overnight oat breakfast. When I'm traveling,  it's a quick and healthy fix on the go.

Get your own Yoghurt Slim using my promocode :

Official website
FB/IG @everfoodmy

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Mooncake festival celebration in Kuantan

Mooncake festival is celebrated by Chinese worldwide. But the Kuantan folks do it in a unique way.  We still savour wedges of Mooncake and take a stroll with our lanterns. But all along the popular Teluk Cempedak beach,  just 10 to 15 minutes drive away from the town centre. Families often set up their own sand sculpture lit with candles or lanterns hung on tree branches buried in the sand. Often,  many would have dined out before hitting the beach with nearby Satay Zul one of the favorite spots.

Of course the must eat during Mooncake festival is Mooncake. The traditional Mooncake is baked. The crust is made of shortening (healthier alternative is vegetable oil) whereas the rich and densed filling is classically made from red bean paste or lotus paste with or without salted egg yolks. The more premium version may come with 2 or more yolks in a single pastry that is either round or square using intricately carved moulds.

The newer versions of Mooncake includes the snowskin Mooncake of which its crust does not require baking.  Instead,  it's refrigerated for a few hours to create a slightly powdery and chewy distinct texture. Alternatively, the crust can be made with gelatine with fruits.  Many innovative choices of filling such as longan, gojiberries, multigrains, as well as the King of fruits durian have made Mooncake such an interesting and healthier food choice.

As people become more health conscious,  there is also a move to support less sweet and home made Mooncake without preservatives. Kravve is an online platform which sells homemade Mooncake. Their products are freshly made upon order and couriered immediately to your door step. The ingredients used are vegans friendly. The flavors available are black charcoal with lotus filling (with or without salted egg yolk), red bean, green tea and emerald (pandan flavoured lotus paste). Kraave recently concluded 10000 free boxes of Mooncake giveaway and I was one of the lucky receiver!

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

I love the elegant packaging which makes Kravve's Mooncake great as gifts. It comes in sets starting from 2 Mooncakes which can be an affordable gift options with a beautifully designed festive card. The size of the mooncake is about half a palm's sized each. Cutting and served in small wedges,  this makes sure that I can still enjoy having Mooncake without worrying about sugar consumption and excessive calories. The Mooncake tasted rustic with just the right amount of sweetness. The pastry is thin with a generous amount of filling.

Remember a healthy lifestyle involves having a healthy diet and doing enough exercise, especially with regards to consuming sweet treats like Mooncake in moderation. Spend the Mooncake festival with your loved ones like Kuantanese to burn some calories as well.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Hearty and Cheap Chinese Meal | Shin Ong Lai Restaurant food review

Dining out in a decent restaurant in KL area does not have to be pricey. We recently tried Shin Ong Lai restaurant in Chow Kit for a sumptuous family dinner.

Shin Ong Lai Restaurant
6, Lorong Tiong Nam 3, Chow Kit.
Opens Tuesdays to Saturdays 7am to 3pm, 5.30pm to 12am
Sundays 5.30pm to 12am
Mondays 7am to 3pm

The restaurant has 2 levels of cosy indoor and air conditioned seatings. We prefer upstairs because there is less crowd and noise as the kitchen is downstairs. The staff were friendly, attentive and entertained baby Yi while we enjoyed our dinner. We really have to apologize though because baby Yi was not feeling so well and threw up at the end of our trip.

These are the 3 tops dishes that we would recommend.

Stir fry rice cake.

Rice Cake sliced into small oval pieces and stir fried the Hokkien noodle way using pork lard, thick caramel sauce with spring onions and thin slices of pork. It was done the right way with the right wok heat called 'wok hei' to give rise a a slightly barbecued style of flavour. Instead of having rice, this is a good option for comfort food.

Steam fish

We ordered a steam tilapia. We loved how fresh the fish was and it was steamed to perfection as the flesh was still soft. The sauce doubled as ginger soup with pork slices and a generous amount of Chinese cabbage on top of the fish. The dish was kept warm by candles and it took us about half an hour to savour it. A standard portion can easily feed 4 adults.

Stir fry roast pork.

Crispy roast pork cut into slices and stir fried in caramel sauce to create a slightly sticky texture. Those who love skin and pork lard will enjoy the dish and it goes well with a can of chilled beer. If you prefer lean meat just like me, there was also part of the roast pork that was less fatty.

We also had braised tofu pot, stir fry vegetables and oyster fried egg which was fresh and did not have any fishy taste. But we were so busy eating by then we did not take any photos. The bill only added up to less than RM30 per head which is very reasonable by KL standards.

Our verdict was 8/10 for the great taste and affordable price tags (which is even cheap for Kuantan standard). Running out of ideas for dinner? Try Shin Ong Lai and let me know what you think.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Kuantan Public Library and Petroscience Centre Family Day Out

It's unbelievable that we have not been to the Kuantan Public Library after 7 years residing in this idyllic town! So there we were, on one fine saturday morning, we decided to bring the two children for a fun visit. As usual, we also have to prompt Bing boy a day beforehand because he does not take surprises very well and likes to know where he is going. 

Pahang Public Library and PetroScience Centre
Jalan Kemunting, Tanah Putih, 25100 Kuantan, Pahang
Opens daily from 9am to 5pm except Sundays, Mondays and Public holidays
09-515 5050

This was a long weekend in September and there was already a singing competition happening earlier during this Merdeka month. We arrived nice and early to have a great spot to park under the shade. The library has a wheelchair and stroller accessible ramp, as well as 4 lifts. The whole building was sparkling new with exciting colour combinations that looked really welcoming. 

We visited PetroScience first. I still could not believe that entrance is free of charge. There was various small stations with challenging science related experiments that was not only appealing to children but to adults as well. There were various levels of difficulties and many involved mathematics which I think we can definitely bring Bing Boy from time to time. So as he grows, he will be able to solve more difficult quizzes. Nevertheless, we had fun maneuvering the robot on "Mars', experiencing 120km/h fast of storm brewing up and punching lit up boards on the wall.

We only managed to visit half of PetroScience before we ran out of steam and decided to head upstairs for some quiet reading time. The Library mainly had 3 levels with the children's library and adult fiction located on level 1. Level 2 was the general knowledge section.

The children library had vibrant murals that really made the place so welcoming. It was clean and bright with many chairs and tables, as well as comfortable couches for people to lounge on. The selection of books were not exhaustive but the books were new and well kept. We were extremely excited to discover many flippable story books that were interactive ways of learning. 

With an annual membership at RM10 each year, one can borrow up to 5 books in one go. We ran out of the quota too fast to be honest. And there was still so much to explore. So it looks like we have gotten our own treasure chest! We would definitely welcome a wider book selection in other languages as most of the books for younger children were in English. The check out system is very convenient. Just scan the books and key in the member's IC number. 

Time flies when we had so much fun in the state library. We were feeling a bit peckish by the end of the trip. The book cafe had a decent selection of halal food choices from Nasi Lemak to cookies, brownies and doriyaki. They do not cook hot food on the spot so it mainly serves packed food from caterers. It is good enough to fill the tummy before one goes for a proper meal. 

So if you run out of ideas to spend your children's energy, why not head to the Pahang Public Library and have hours of fun!

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt