Singapore Eats Healthy

June, 2019

My top spots for healthy wholesome food in Singapore.

Having been lucky enough to spend a considerable amount of time in Singapore over the last few years, and in response to the many requests for recommendations, I have compiled a list of my favourite places to eat in the city.

Singapore is well known for it’s amazing food scene. Traditional Singaporean food is easy to find, however I am here to show you where you can find the healthiest places to eat in Singapore – once you’ve had your fill of chilli crab and dim sums of course.

So, here they are; my tried and tested cafes and restaurants where you can find something different at each, from cooling açai bowls to big hearty breakfasts.

 

After Glow, by Anglow

24 Keong Saik Road.

Plant based meets modern and sexy. If I could have “date night” in Singapore this is where I would go. This is not your average vegan restaurant; After Glow has an intimate and cosy atmosphere, with an open kitchen and dishes so delicate and thoughtful you won’t believe it’s all plants. Make sure you book a table for evening dining, this place is always busy and you’ll understand why.

 

Kitchen by Food Rebel

28 Stanley St.

 

At the top of the healthy list, Kitchen by Food Rebel’s dishes are created with care and passion for clean eating and organic living. Free from artificial colours, flavourings, MSGs and additives, Kitchen really takes care with every ingredient used, and sources everything locally. Great if you have dietary requirements or you need fuel to supplement your training. They can provide you with what you need, including customised meals for weight loss, recovery or muscle gain.

 

Real Food

181 Orachrd Road.

Green grocers turned restaurant this all vegetarian dining experience is one of my favourite places for lunch or dinner. With a huge menu of healthy options including, fresh juices, smoothies, pastas, salads, grain bowls and raw desserts. Even though all vegetarian, the dishes are filling enough to satisfying the hunger of most carnivores too.

 

 

Common Man Coffee Roasters

22 Martin Road.

At the top of the healthy list, Kitchen by Food Rebel’s dishes are created with care and passion for clean eating and organic living. Free from artificial colours, flavourings, MSGs and additives, Kitchen really takes care with every ingredient used, and sources everything locally. Great if you have dietary requirements or you need fuel to supplement your training. They can provide you with what you need, including customised meals for weight loss, recovery or muscle gain.

 

Grounded by CMCR

Level 2 (above CMCR) 22 Martin Road.

Attached to one of my favourite studios Yoga Movement it’s the ideal space to hang out before of after class, with a cooler or coffee. The menu here is much small than CMCR downstairs, but each dish is beautifully put together, healthy and refreshing. Also open until 9.30pm so great if you want breakfast for dinner #jetlaglifestyle

 

 

 

 

 

CooCaCa

  

Orchard Road

Take a break from shopping and swap your ice cream for an açai bowl. CooCaCa is right on Orchard road so it’s an ideal place to stop for a cooling bowl of frozen blended açai berries, topped with a choice of fresh fruit, granola or nut butter. Açai berries are rich in antioxidants and are packed full of fibre and healthy fats, they also taste amazing! Making them a smart and healthy substitute from traditional ice cream.

 

Privé Wheelock

 

Orchard Road.

If you’re looking for a nice alfresco dining experience, Privé is the perfect spot for lunch or dinner. They have dishes including fish, chilli crab, burgers, soups and salads, so there is something for everyone, great if you’re in a group. My go-to dish is the Med Salad, which is packed full of roasted veg, nuts and humus, it’s also a great place to people watch as it’s right on the bustling Orchard Road.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Limaa

51 Haji Lane.

Haji Lane is full of quirky places to eat and drink, it’s hard to pick just one. But for me, I was won over by Limaa’s fresh juice bar – their date and banana smoothie did not disappoint. They also do gluten free nachos, açai parfait bowls and raw treats too.

 

 

 

My Top Tips For Staying Healthy Whilst Flying

March, 2017

Making your health a priority when you are travelling can be hard, so I thought I would share with you a few rules I try to stick to, either when I am working as crew or flying as a passenger.

Most importantly – H20.

Normal humidity levels are around 40-70% but cabin levels drop to 20% – sometimes lower on long haul flights. So the air around us is incredibly dry, causing a dry throat, itchy eyes and generally feeling lousy from dehydration. I try to drink as much water as possible before the flight and constantly sip on water throughout. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will both contribute to loss of hydration. As a passenger it’s easy to fall asleep for a few hours and wake up feeling dehydrated so keep a bottle with you. I try to drink more than the recommended daily allowance, depending on the flight time. Always make sure you pick up your own large bottle or two once you pass security, don’t rely on crew to keep you supplied. Book an isle seat!

Don’t fly hungry.

When I go to work, I never know when my next meal is coming. Weather the flight’s delayed or the service takes forever, you end up making bad decisions when you are stupidly hungry. This is the hardest part for me personally, it’s easy to just eat what’s in front you, rather than wait and find yourself something healthy that you won’t regret eating in the heat of hunger. I usually have something high in protein like a protein shake, some eggs from home or a banana for an energy boost just before I fly to help stop me from getting hungry prematurely.

 

Choose your drinks wisely.

In general I don’t drink carbonated drinks. Especially when I fly. At altitude gases expand, including the gas inside of you, ever wondered why you’re super bloated after a flight? That’s why – the bubbles in fizzy drinks expand in your stomach with the changing pressure. So I try to help my body out a little bit by avoiding these altogether. I mostly stick to water or fruit juice if I need a little sugar hit, but I try to keep this to a minimum. Avoid drinking any hot drinks, as there can be large amounts of bacteria found in the aircraft’s pipes and storage tanks, which can potentially make you sick.

 

Always pack your gym gear.

Even if you aren’t scheduled to stay in your destination, you never know where you can get stuck or how long for. I never fly without at least a pair of trainers and some basic kit in my suitcase, at least this way if you do make an unplanned stopover you won’t miss a workout.

Take your own supplies.

It amazes me the amount of people who travel without any food with them whatsoever, especially when flying long haul, putting complete control into an airline and its crew as to what and when you are going to eat. Even more so when travelling with children, special dietary requirements or a medical condition, like diabetes. I never go anywhere without a couple of snacks with me. If I am super prepared then I will have my own meal with me. But generally I will always have some fruit and a couple of energy bars with me. Most countries it is safe to bring in energy bars or breakfast type bars, but be careful when bringing in fruit into some countries and always check first to avoid hefty fines.

Avoid the hot meals.

You lose between 15-30% of your taste sensitivity when at 40,000 feet so hot meals especially tend to be over salted and full of sodium to make up for it. If you don’t bring your own food, go for other options like salads or fruit if it is available. I noticed a huge difference in myself when I first started the job, eating the hot meals affected my skin and made me feel sluggish. I avoid eating the hot meals at all cost.

Recognise hunger as boredom or thirst.

This applies more to crew than passengers, we can find ourselves with up to 4 hours with nothing to do and not really anyone to talk to on an aircraft full of 400 sleeping people. Like many people I am the kind of person who looks in the fridge if I am bored at home, it’s the same for me at work if there are no tasks to do.

So it’s at this time you have to find ways to keep yourself busy; read a book, or magazine – my go to is Women’s Health to keep me focused, play a game, talk to anyone who is awake and will listen to you. If you’re travelling as a passenger it’s not so bad if you have a TV screen in front of you, but if you find yourself to be the only one awake in your cabin, why not go and talk to your crew member and keep them company? Chances are they have done the trip before and could have some good recommendations or if it’s somewhere you already know; share your own knowledge with them too.

Drinking enough water is also a good way of limiting your mindless snacking as it keeps you full, and chances are if you do think you are hungry it might be that you are actually thirsty, so try drinking 500ml of water first, and wait 10 minutes before reaching for those crisps

Boost your Immune System.

The first week I worked as crew my immune system had the biggest shock and I became sick with the worst flu I can remember having. It took me a while to recover, being constantly exposed to recycled cabin air and potentially thousands of harmful germs, it was important for my immune system to build up or else flying wouldn’t have been a career option for me.

Don’t get my wrong; I much prefer to eat well and gather nutrients that way, but sometimes you can find little to no nutritious food on board an aircraft. So I like to take an effervescent vitamin C capsule, dissolvable in water, on the days that I fly. It might all be in my head, but I really feel like these help prevent me from getting sick.

The Benefits Of Yoga After A Flight

May, 2018

I love my job, but sometimes it can be hard to combat the physical and mental stresses flying can cause. I’ve practiced yoga for a few years now and during this time I have learnt to take key elements of my classes away with me to help alleviate some of the stresses cause by flying for long periods of time. Here are some of the best ways to use yoga after a flight, or just in general if you’re stressed, want to relieve aches and pains or improve your circulation and mental wellbeing.

 

  

 

Sleep aid for insomnia Travelling through time zones, working long days with little sleep or early starts can leave your body confused and often I find, overtired. Even after being awake travelling for 24 hours I can sometimes find myself collapsing into bed exhausted yet struggling to fall asleep. Yoga helps focus your attention to your breathing, allowing you to clear your mind, thinking about nothing else other than inhaling and exhaling. The more you bring your focus to your breathing, the more you feel all of your muscles start to relax, starting from your toes all the way up to your forehead. If I find myself tossing and turning unable to sleep, I will lie in Savasana or ‘Corpse Pose’, a restorative pose where you lie flat on your back, feet relaxed and turned outwards with your palms facing up. This pose helps take uneven pressure off the spine and neck and also helps relax the diaphragm so you can breathe more freely.

 

 

 

Easing lower back pain Another benefit to lying in Savasana is, when done properly, it helps to relax the muscles in your back, which often become tense and tired after sitting for long periods of time. I find it is the best way to ease lower back pain, brought on either from sitting still on a flight or from working as crew, where during a long shift it is easy to forget your manual handling techniques and not lift things correctly. This is especially common I find when closing some awkward overhead lockers which are over-full. It takes a lot of strength if you can’t get someone else to assist you! Also lifting heavy objects, such as canisters and trolley tops, in awkward spaces such as small galleys can leave you with a tight lower back too. Obviously it’s better to first try to lift correctly, but if you do find yourself with some tightness, I find that lying on my back and hugging my knees into my chest – a common stretch used in yoga to massage out the sacroiliac – can really help and almost eradicate the problem immediately. Try rolling from side to side and in small circles to relieve pain and pressure points, then lie back into Savasana to relax and allow any tension to leave the body. 

 

 

 

Reboost your blood flow A common problem I encounter with long flights are complaints about swollen feet and ankles. When you’re working on a flight this isn’t such a problem as you tend to be on your feet moving, but sitting for hours on end can lead to this. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes it can be painful, you are also highly at risk if you suffer from DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), which if left untreated can lead to blot clots. Yoga is especially good at moving the blood around your hands and feet, which will help ease the swelling to these areas. Spending just a few minutes in an inversion (where your heart is higher than your head) like a headstand or shoulder stand will increase the rate of blood flow to your heart, which in turn gets pumped back to your lungs to be re-oxygenated.

 

 

 

Decease Bloat I hate that bloated feeling you get after a flight, so I find doing some gentle movements can really help get your body and your digestive system back on track. Manipulating your internal organs by using twisting motions will help move blood and fluid around your body, try a twisted seating pose or a bind. I personally also find that simply sitting in Child’s Pose can really help, as your knees put gentle pressure on your internal organs to help release any trapped gas and toxins.

 

 

 

Mental Wellbeing Frequent flyer or not, operating as crew or travelling as a passenger, sipping Moet in first or slumming it in economy – travelling is stressful. I could list the number of influencing factors that bring so much stress to travelling but I would be here forever. Taking 5 minutes to yourself after a long journey or flight can really help clear your mind and refocus, remind yourself of why you are where you are, why you are doing the job and what benefits you can now gain from this trip. Forget Mr. Andrews sat in 11A and his screaming brat of a child who kept kicking your seat, and forget about how frustrating it is (again) trying to get two grown adults to talk reasonably to each other about weather a seat is to be reclined and not reclined *smacks palm to face*.

 

 

 

Find somewhere comfortable and quiet, in any seated position you can happily stay still in for longer than 5 minutes. Close your eyes, breath deeply, inhale and exhale those negative thoughts. Think about nothing other than your breathing, go to your “happy place” if you know where that is… I am yet to find mine so don’t worry if that’s not there for you. I’m not saying you have to chant three “Ohms” or anything; it’s just good to center yourself for a moment or two. This generally helps me make better decisions when I am down route, as I am normally short on time due to our layovers becoming increasingly shorter and shorter. I worry that I spend a lot of time deciding what to do with my precious time, which in turn wastes that time! I find these fives minutes spent in a medative state help me focus on the priorities and what I really want to get out of a trip. The overall goal here for me is to calm my thoughts and make better choices about what I do with my time, what I say and what I consume. Of all of the benefits I have touched on, this to me is by far the most useful tool I have when recovering from a long day of travel.

 

 

 

If you’re looking to start yoga or attend a practice somewhere else other than your normal class or comfort zone, here are a few of my personal recommendations from the places I have visited.

 

 

 

United Sates:

 

 

 

San Diego – Yoga One

 

 

 

Washington – Tysons Bikram Yoga

 

 

 

Seattle – Sweat Box (Bikram)

 

 

 

Bali:

 

 

 

Canguu – The Practice

 

 

 

Canguu – Serenity Eco House Yoga

 

 

Ubud – Yoga Barn

 

 

 

South Africa:

 

 

 

Capetown – Hotdog Yoga

 

 

 

Johannesburg – Planet Fitness Yoga/Hot Yoga

 

 

 

Bangkok:

 

 

 

The Pilates Station

 

 

Singapore:

 

 

Yoga Movement 

 

 

The 'F' Word

January, 2018

Have you ever burst into tears because you couldn’t decide what to have for supper? Truth is, I have.

 

People often see the life of a flight attendant as glamorous and exciting. Who can blame them, when you can go from breakfast in Paris to cocktails and tapas in Barcelona in the same day?

It is very common for cabin crew to suffer from the “f word” as it is so often referred to, because it is not ever used lightly and it isn’t easy to talk about. Airlines have strict guidelines they must adhere to with crew’s schedules, including honoring minimum rest periods, controlling limitations of movement between time zones and maximum duty hours. However, they are not always realistic for the human body tolerate, a slow gradual build up of sleep deprivation, with long working hours, early and late starts can really creep up on you.

Fatigue can affect anyone and everyone’s symptoms can range from physical symptoms like headaches, feeling weak, having slow responses and poor decision making skills. To emotional symptoms such as; suffering from depression, anxiety, being easily irritated, and even experiencing insomnia.

I myself, turn into the most volatile and irritated person on earth when I am fatigued. My decision-making skills are thrown out of the window; if you ask me how I am doing, I will either bite your head off or struggle to string a sentence together that actually makes any sense. Or better yet, cry if you ask me if I want my eggs scrambled or poached. So much so I actually make my family and loved ones nervous upon my arrival home from a long trip away, as they never know quite what condition I will be in. 

I’m not talking about falling asleep on your jump seat kind of tired, although that is not ideal either. I’m talking about going to sleep for 12 hours and waking up feeling worse than you did the night before. In the same day, I will not be able to fall asleep and will suffer at the mercy of my good friend – insomnia.

Admittedly, talking about being tired is a fairly dull topic. However the truth is when the ‘f word’ hits; we make bad choices, selfish decisions and give into temptations. Not to mention as crew we put ourselves, colleagues, aircraft and passengers all in danger, but also jeopardies our personal relationships, health and wellbeing.

So although I do not have all the answers and still struggle a great deal with fatigue, I would not wish it upon anyone else. So I’ve done a little of my own research to avoid it in the first place, to help combat any symptoms and hopefully keep this pesky soul sucker away.

 

 

Get ahead of the problem Study your roster, look for periods that might pose fatigue risk and prepare for them. If you can, swap off certain duties. Give yourself as much rest as possible during tight turn around periods. Plan your rest before a night flight.

 

Try to get good at sleeping Sounds obvious, but the more you get used to napping the less time it will take to fall asleep when you need to rest before a duty, or have rest within a duty.

 

Make your bedroom a sleepy zone Create a relaxed environment in your own room, with no TV or bright screens, read books not twitter. Including in the your hotel room, I never turn my TV on and always put my phone on the other side of the room.

 

Check your overall health If you are genuinely worried about long term or chronic fatigue; speak to your doctor and get an assessment.

 

Spend more time in corpse pose As if I needed to preach the benefits of yoga anymore. British studies show that after just 1 class a week for 6 weeks; clients reported improved energy and clearer thinking.

 

Up your water intake Dehydration alone can decrease alertness and cause lack of concentration, so drink plenty of water especially before and after a flight.

 

Cut the caffeine Only use it as stimulant to keep you awake when you need it. Caffeine can stay in your system for 3-5 hours, so ditch it as your go-to to avoid over doing it.

 

Take some time out If you just cannot catch up with yourself, so take leave or report your fatigue to your airline or workplace. Most companies have allowances for fatigue related time off.

 

Coconut Oil - A Flight Attendant's Best Kept Secret

September, 2019

A few months ago I stumbled across a mini 50ml pot of Vita Coco’s Organic Coconut Oil and it got me thinking – how much space I could save in my liquids bag with coconut oil and how many other products could this replace? 

I get just as frustrated as the next person when it comes to limiting my liquids in my carry on (the same rules apply to us crew). I often don’t need to check in a case for a short trip or tour around Europe, so I am always looking for ways to condense my luggage and replace items with more sustainable and multi-tasking products.

From skin care to sweetening my morning coffee, this oil is a flight attendants best kept secret. Packing light has never been so easy.

 

  1. Makeup Remover– ditch the make up wipes, not only are they not very environmentally friendly but the author of The Skin Bible Dr.Anjali Mahtosays that using make up wipes spreads bacteria around your face, meaning that your skin is more likely to breakout. I like to use a small amount of coconut oil, applied to my top eyelid, which I then wipe away with a soft tissue or cotton pad taking the make up with it. It’s great if you have sensitive skin too and it also acts as an anti aging moisturiser! Win, win.

 

  1. Pre + Post flight moisturiser– We all know how flying can cause your skin can dry out, so I like to prevent this by moisturising with coconut oil before and then after showering, post flight. The oil is solid at room temp, but when rubbed into warm skin soon becomes easy to spread evenly, it also smells great!

 

  1. Shaving cream– because shaving foam is such a waste of space in our liquids bag, and the cheap hotel shower gel just wont cut it. I have used coconut oil for years to shave my legs and underarms! Not only is it great for sensitive skin like mine, it helps lock in moisture too. Smooth a thin layer over clean and slightly damp skin – I use plenty when shaving to get that extra smooth finish. Rinse away the left overs or simply pat dry.

 

  1. Coffee creamer– If you’re like me – can’t drink black coffee and cannot stand the mini UHT milks that hotels provide then just ½ a teaspoon of coconut oil will add a sweet and silky texture to your coffee in just a few stirs. Remember though coconut oil is high in saturated fat and adds calories too, so be mindful how much you are using if you are watching your energy intake.

 

  1. Teeth whitener/ Breath freshener– As a natural antibacterial, coconut oil is great for getting rid of smells, including in your mouth! I like to use it as a mouthwash between brushes, and it also helps remove stains naturally.

 

  1. Homemade Exfoliator– No need to pack all of your cleansers, or exfoliates.Simply combine coconut oil with one of your complimentary hotel sugar sachets or coffee grounds to create a chemical free homemade face and body scrub.

 

  1. Shoe polish– sounds strange but when “looking the part” is vital in your job, this one is a great little trick! Simply rub some coconut oil onto some cloth or tissue to give your dull leather shoes some shine again.

 

Coconut oil recently got a bit of a bad reputation, however when consumed in moderation can be healthy oil for cooking and baking. Whether you are team coconut oil or not, you cannot deny how versatile it is!