Training and eating for that 42

As mentioned (or freaked out) in my earlier post, I am running the Standard Chartered Marathon on 7th December. With less than 15 weeks to go, I have to get round AND aggressive about my training and eating plans. My first step was to find a suitable Training Schedule. Found one on Fitsugar which could not be easier to follow. Plus also included are a lot of various exercises to further strengthen the body. I just have to start from Week 3.

Next I signed up for a running club! My partner-in-crime i.e. my girl friend who signed up with me, sent me a link on three exciting running clubs that launched in Singapore last year. My girl friend is the best! Way to go to stay trendy despite our impending troubles. We decided on the Running Department because they do runnings on Wednesdays in Raffles Place (where I work). And a Weekend Feel Good Run on Saturday mornings. This Saturday we are going for our first training, and it is for 10km. Hur hur ha ha! Honestly, it is the pigging out thereafter at Creatory Singapore that is spurring me on. 

The next step is the Eating plan. I expect my appetite to increase during the training so I need to research at the same time on how not to get fat. There are so many articles out there on the rules of eating. But I found this short, helpful article on the six rules for healthy, whole-foods eating plan designed just for runners. Let me summarise it for you on the six types of food to eat:

  1. Seeds or foods from seeds;
  2. Five different colored fruits and vegetables daily;
  3. Plant foods with their skins intact;
  4. Drink milk and eat milk products that come from animals;
  5. Eat foods that come from cold water i.e. seafood; and
  6. Meat, poultry, or eggs from free-range or grass-fed animals.

Basically, eat NATURALLY and a lot of protein. Carbohydrate-loading only begins four days before (I am dreaming of carbonara already.) As long as I abide by the two simple rules of natural, protein foods, I am fine. Although I am so cheating this evening. I have ordered in Pizzas for the fornightly Assocates’ Drinks Gathering, and there will be a ice cream core-off. Will need to post about tonight, for sure!

This morning I began my training. I woke up famished so I had a slice of bread before heading out the door for a 6.3km run. It felt good. I have not perspired so much for a long time. But I was also sooo hungry and upper body slightly aching after! I thought I could hold off food till my lunch appointment but I was faltering and in a bad mood. So after alighting from the train, I ran to Huggs for a Vanilla Peanut Butter Protein Shake. I first saw this sign when I accompanied my friend to grab coffee. Peanut Butter!! I have been craving to try this since. 

IMG_3765I may be lactose intolerant but the thought of a thick cold nutty shake was not going to deter me. It was essentially a scoop of Whey Protein Powder and a great big heaping teaspoon of Skippy Peanut Butter blended with ice. I really wanted this to be good but it was o.k. only.  Not the most delicious as I could taste hints of a synthetic-ness from the Whey powder. Nasty.

IMG_3770IMG_3768Still it held me on even to lunch time and I watched my girl friend eat her lunch. Hope she did not mind me yakking the entire time. >_<

A remarkable Double-baked Almond Croissant from Da Paolo Gastronomia

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When Da Paolo Gastronomia first launched their Double-baked Almond Croissant, I was both excited and torn. New products are always a cause for excitement but I am absolutely convinced almond croissants are just leftover plain croissants with frangipane poured over it. And the extra sliced almonds and icing sugar on top are usually just for more distraction purposes. Essentially, almond croissants are a baker’s way to minimize wastage. A clever creative way, I must admit. I don’t have a problem with this method of waste minimization but it is always the tough stale croissant underneath that never fails to irritate me.

But the allure of Da Paolo Gastronomia’s bakes are always too much for me to handle. As you may recall, I have an extremely soft spot for their sweet treats.  Often substituting a savoury main meal with one of their sweet bakes. Although I never go for their Cronuts. It is never good enough to justify the price hence the reason I have never blogged about them here.

When I woke up this morning, I just could not stop thinking about this particular croissant. Deep down I knew today was the day I had to get my hands on it. After scoffing down the whole big thing in no time at all, I must say, the Double-baked Almond Croissant was pretty remarkable. It was an almond dream come true.

First things first, it was ugly, alright. There is no beating around the bush here. But the obese-slug-look was due to the generous frangipane poured over it. Hurray for almond lovers like me! The frangipane was definitely tasty with it’s rich almond-y flavour. Its softness contrasted perfectly with the generous sliced almonds. The extra almond frill that engulfed the croissant functioned as a bonus – MORE almonds to enjoy.

I got mine heated up in the microwave before bringing up to my desk to enjoy. I LOVE warm sweet desserts! And the steam on the plastic was most tempting on the way up the lift. 

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But what really impressed me most was the tender moist-till-almost-oozy middle of the croissant. The result of more frangipane smeared in the middle. And the textures around the middle was just so damn flaky and crisp. With every bite I took, there was an etheral crunch. Beautiful contrasting textures beneath the frangipane. I was definitely having a good morning.

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And those last bit of crumbs and almonds, I gobbled them up, of course!

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I got my croissant for $3.80 after a 10% off the usual $4.20 thanks to the American Express credit card. Well worth it!

 

Kaya French Baguette Toast for Breakfast

kaya french toast This morning was not the day to start with a Protein Smoothie or Green Vegetable Juice because it is Cheat Day!! And I was craving for my favourite jam: Kaya. A sweet coconut-milk-based jam that has been painstakingly boiled down with pandan leaves, sugar and egg yolks.

Kaya Toast is one breakfast I can never seem to grow tired of and always gets me so very excited. Kaya toast is a common Asian breakfast: two slices of toasted white bread slathered with kaya and a thick cube of salted cold butter. The cold fat will melt slowly from the hot toast and liquid fat will ooze all over the plate, if you are an expert. If not, your hands. But who cares if one looks like a hot mess in the morning when you are indulging!

Low nutritious white bread is unabashedly used as it provides the perfect blank canvas for the coconut jam. Plus the bread gets all crusty and crisp when toasted. No whole grain healthy bread allowed. No, no. Nothing must distract you from enjoying the sweet deep-flavored coconut jam.

In the past few years, for me this delightful morning treat has turned from a norm to an occasional treat due to its high calorie constitution. But today is my special day of the week and I was feeling brave and adventurous. At the Coffee Shop, instead of the traditional white bread, I broke tradition and went for a French Baguette Toast. Unfortunately, french baguettes can not beat white bread. The toast was slightly doughier and denser than I would have liked but the edges were still satisfyingly crusty. However the highlight was still the brown kaya; subtle in sweetness and contrasted so perfectly with the salted butter. As I indulged in this toast slowly, the hot bread slowly melted the kaya and cold fat, causing them all to ooze all over the plate – I am an expert y’all! With an ice cold black coffee, cheat day got off to a good start.

And this is the Coffeeshop in Sin Ming where I got my kaya fix.

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Around the Internet: reads for the weekend

I am getting all inspired and laughing from sites I read recently:

16 Surprising Things About Parenting In China. Expats experience on parenting in China. Their observations and sense of humour is on point and hilarious!

Best friend-less. I am not the only one. *phew*

Real time updates on Borough Market. I am still in a London state of mind. Oh October, could you come any quicker?!

Let’s Go To A British Supermarket! Get ready to laugh. I am a supermarket addict, still so after leaving my Deli job four years ago. My obssession for seeing all types of food and packaging never died. Amateur Gourmet’s adventure in a British supermarket is hilarious! It made me crave for Marks and Spencers in London. Can’t wait to attack Waitrose and Whole Foods Market in London this October!

There is a new food market in London: Bishopsgate Market. Gosh! When did the obsession w street food start? In any case, hurray to more good food! Although will any be open in October???

I just discovered a new London-based food blog.

Just started on the US TV political drama, House of Cards. Have you watched the Netflix show before? I like Kevin Spacey but the effortless coolness of Robin Wright awed me!

An introduction to Filipino food. In Singapore, find them all over Lucky Plaza in Orchard Road. I am a personal fan of Sinigang, a sour and savory soup.

If you love peanut butter. Here is one more surprising excuse to attack the jar. :p

A nifty trick to relieve tension headache. I am so going to need this on my next juice cleanse.

New cold pressed juice bars in Singapore and London, so exciting! And London’s Mojo Juice Bar’s hashtag #findmemymojo is hilarious!

While we are on the topic on Cold Pressed Juices in London, 4 Juicy Favourites to try if you are in London!

Five of the most beautiful lakes around the world. Weekends are made for wanderlusting.

Step-by-step pictures of S’more Cakes prepared from a food processer!

Another feature on The Serious Eats, all you need to know about biscuits.

Need some baking inspiration for the weekend? How about this Passion Fruit, Persimmon and Pepper Pavlova?

Eat Barcelona. Need I say more?

Acai Bowls. The newest Breakfast trend. Are you on board? I would be if Acai wasn’t so hard to find in Singapore.

*Phew* What a list for just two days! May yours be filled with love and lots of kindness.