The Bravery

Yes, the eggs were as dry as they look
Yes, the eggs were dry as they look

What: A very hipster, very derelict (I’m using this the Zoolander way) industrial cafe that serves reasonably priced brunch options.

Pros: The wait-staff were quite polite and they let you sit forever. Like FOREVER.

Cons: Ok… well the food is very whatever. It’s really just like eggs and toast and you can probably make it better at home. And the coffee is also whatever. And their chairs have no backs. I must be getting old because stools are no longer acceptable forms of seating.

Verdict: No, NO. Go find another hipster cafe, there are so many more that do it so much better.

Details:
The Bravery
66 Horne Road
Singapore 209073

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Got my mind on my mind

2015-04-26 19.01.16

“We are all, as Byron put it, differently organized. We each move within the restraints of our temperament and live up only partially to its possibilities.” – Kay Redfield Jamison

I suffer from what I like to call an unquiet mind. Which is also, coincidentally, the title of the book from which the quote above is taken.

It is an affliction that renders me unable to:

  • interact with people without assessing their (and my) ulterior motives
  • make a decision without obsessing about the effect about my future (this includes whether or not I eat a chocolate-almond croissant for breakfast)
  • watch any movie without analyzing why and who it was made for (as as result I can never actually tell you if a movie was “good or not” because IT’S ALL RELATIVE)
  • exist in this moment – here and now

So everyday, I go round and round and round. Interaction after interaction, moment after moment, is felt, processed, and imprinted.

There are times when this feeling of living inside my head is all-consuming and there are times when it’s closer to the surface, manageable, even.

This past month I spent a lot of time living in my head. My loved ones, tolerated this, because see: Love.

When I surfaced from this period of self-absorption and indulgence and sent the, “I’ve sorry I’ve been a douchebag,” message to my closest friends, I realized that everyone around me was also dealing with their own restlessness and disquiet. Their own demons.

And it hit me that sometimes the key to finding peace might not come from within. I think it might lie in realizing that you are not alone and also that someone else might need you.

That simple act of empathy and then if you can find it within yourself, grace and kindness, might free you.

And if that doesn’t work there’s always chocolate.

Fatboys: The Burger Bar

Bolly Wooly
Bolly Wooly

What: A burger joint decorated with black and white drawings of a Despicable Me-esque fat boy.

Pros: Their beef-based burgers are solid, the price (with fries and coleslaw) is under SGD20, which is pretty good for Singapore, and the service staff are friendly.

Cons: Their non-beef burgers are um… and there are MANYYOUNGPEOPLE. This might be distressing to me simply because I am no longer AYOUNGPERSON.

Verdict: I say go because – who doesn’t like a burger fronted by a fat boy?

Details:
Fatboys: The Burger Bar – I’ve only been to the one near Plaza Sing
38 Orchard Road

Sesame Basil Noodles and Mondays

Coming together now
Coming together now

Mondays, Mondays, Mondays – whether you like it or not, they’re a bit of a work-fail even if you’ve got that to do list in front of you.

It’s difficult to light your ass on fire when all you want to do with said ass is crawl back into bed.

And apart from being generally demotivated, I feel like I’m moving through Jello. Tasks that take me 5 minutes on a Tuesday are taking me 10, today.

Like, for example, it’s just REALLY hard to write an email sometimes, ok?

But what can you do? Mondays are slow starters and we have the rest of the week to kick-ass, including our own.

So when you get home today, instead of crapping out why don’t you make these super tasty pasta noodles masquerading as some quasi-Thai dish?

Individual component
Individual components

I know, nothing can beat real Thai food.

But real Thai food involves skill and more oil than I’m willing to ingest.

SO. This is why, I recommend making healthy western food with an Asian inspired dressing. It keeps the Asian in you happy AND it keeps your body happy.

Like look at this baby – it’s fettuccine, sauteed bean sprouts + carrots + mushrooms, grilled chicken, basil + spring onions tossed with a tahini-ginger dressing that was crazy good. Oh – and topped with peanuts and sesame seeds.

At the end of the eating it, I felt light and energized and satiated.

I think when your body feels good, even directly after a meal, that’s a pretty good sign.

*Recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

Cheers to the freaking weekEND

See our happy faces?
See our happy faces?
It’s that time of the week again – when you shrug your tight shoulders (courtesy of being hunched over the computer) loose, swap your OL (office lady / lad) polyester garb for club / weekend chic and let down your heavily styled hair. It’s the weekend my friends and it’s what I (and a lot of other people) call real life.

Let me explain, I know that 8:30am to 6:00pm (I know, my work hours are a little too long), Monday to Friday, 52 weeks of the year is a lot of time to not be calling your real life.

But it feels like it isn’t.

When the weekend comes – I go into weekend mode. I don’t think about work, I just think nourishment, friends, sun, laughter – and that’s when I’m in Singapore.

It’s almost as though a black cloud lifts at the end of the week and the weekend becomes this weird alternate universe of frenzied activity, pool parties, long catch ups over brunch and horrifyingly decadent eating.

When Monday rolls around I almost feel as though I’m being slapped in the face by reality.

The funny thing is I actually REALLY like my job.

So why the shift?

Sometimes I think these weekend shenanigans are a result of being in Singapore without my family. Kind of like a symptom of being an expat. How can I make it so, SO fun this weekend that I completely forget about the fact that I’m slightly lonely.

Or maybe that’s unfair.

Maybe it’s a symptom of being young and knowing that in this moment I am free to do all these things with little regard for time and responsibilities.

Or maybe it’s because Singapore is a small place and if you aren’t traveling somewhere, you should be doing something REALLYCOOLRIGHTNOW.

All I know is that it all smells a bit like a YOLO a lot like escapism.

I didn’t write this because I’m preaching or because I think there’s a better way to use or experience a weekend. I wrote it because I’m trying to figure out what I feel about the whole thing.

Now excuse me, because I need to get ready for dinner and drinks. OMGITSGONNABEAWESOMEYALL.

Real Food

Reading whlle brunching
Reading whlle brunching

What: A super healthy cafe, with NO MEAT and NO FAT and NO BAD THINGS.

Pros: The food is simple, the staff are sincere and there’s plenty of space to stretch out and get your Sunday on.

Cons: The food is really simple – like the only thing I could say after I ate it was – “Man, this does taste like real food.”

Verdict: I like it, but just keep in mind that you could probably make whatever they serve you at home. And try not to feel resentful about it.

Details:
Real Food – I went to the outlet in Central:
6 Eu Tong Sen St
The Central #B1-52/53
Singapore 059817
62244492

Weekend Meal Prep YOUCANDO

Prepping for prep
Prepping for prep

Every weekend I set aside about two to three hours, to plan how I’m going to take over the world.

No seriously, because the only way that I can take over the world is if I eat well-balanced, nutritious food that will then give me enough energy to take over the world. Right?

But more seriously this is my post about meal prepping on weekends. I got into meal prepping for two simple reasons 1) Shutterbean and 2) IHAVENOTIME.

Let me explain.

1) Shutterbean is this fantastic blog written by Tracy who cooks these wonderfully healthy and varied meals not just for her blog, but also for her family (her husband and son). And she achieves this by being organized and prepping the ingredients and pre-cooking certain items on the weekend. Check out her awe/jealousy-inspiring meal prep grams here, here and here.

2) IHAVENOTIME. I know, I have a choice in life, I can stop saying I’m so busy and sit down and smell the roses… but guess what? I don’t want to do that. I want to run and go to yoga and hang out with my friends and go to work and read and do my laundry and read a book and get 8 hours of sleep AND eat somewhat healthily. SO. That means being a little organized and getting some stuff prepped over the weekend.

I don’t prep like Tracy, since I don’t have a family, but what I do is that I have a simple rule. I try not to eat more than one meal out a day, so if I’m eating dinner out I’ll pack a lunch for work, if not I’ll eat the dinner for the week.

I hard-boil 5 eggs for breakfast and make either a muesli or granola every two weeks which I enjoy with greek yogurt. That is my breakfast all week – minus the one day I get my chocolate almond croissant from Tiong Bahru Bakery.

I prep a salad for the week by buying spinach leaves or romaine (they keep fresh for about three days), grill vegetables (usually a combo of carrots, beets, peppers, etc), grill chicken, make a salad dressing (loving this one right now) and cook 1/2 cup of dried quinoa (about 5 meals worth for me). That lasts me for about five meals and mid-week I usually re-do the whole process.

This takes me about 2 to 3 hours, with plenty of time in between to dance around my apartment or do more laundry.

Totally doable right? And I’m not advocating an oat and salad filled existence.

Make whatever the hell you want.

Mel, my apartment mate, preps awesome tofu-veggie pasta salads every weekend.

Another good friend puts together protein and fish and fruit every night for her BYOL.

Just think about eating and living intentionally. Because – it’s kind of awesome.