Musings of a bon vivant in Hong Kong


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A Nood Awakening

This post is for my friend VP because I promised her I would immortalise a couple of her terms in a post, and one term in particular has taken off in our circle of friends-explanation to come! (I think it is one of her steps to world domination).  First of all muchos (one of VP’s fav words) sorry for the absence of blog write-ups recently. Let’s just say my time has not been my own for the last month and as always, things like hobbies become sidelined for more important things like sleep and zoning out in front of the TV. Secondly, if I’m not writing, I am posting photos of my food grazing on Instagram (a girl still has to eat), so you can always have a look on there instead. But either way, thanks for being patient my friends

If you are a bit health conscious, you may have guessed what this write up is about from my title. Now, I was going to put something slightly less delicate like  ‘The Sh*tscapades’ but I thought that might alarm some people. So let me explain. Pure Yoga have launched their own food concept called Nood Food which offers raw, healthy and organic superfood-rich foods and cold-pressed juice cleanses.noodfood

Nood Food is one in a muchos long line of companies that have been appearing faster than a crop of radishes (apparently one of the faster growing vegetables, useless bit of information). I have, until now, been avoiding the likes of Be-juiced, Punch Detox, Genie Concept and Pure Swell, as a) our bodies already have a highly efficient system of filtering out harmful substances and cleansing itself- thank you liver, kidneys and intestines, b) being sensible and eating fairly cleanly throughout the week is already part of my routine, c) these cleanses are not exactly cheap and d) I’m not sure I can go very long without solid food. That isn’t to say that I think detoxing is not a good idea now and then and these juice cleanses do offer a way of detoxing fast and resetting your bodies after a thorough washing out, especially if you are too lazy to make your own juices. And it would be silly to assume that even with the healthiest of regimes, one is able to be completely toxin free, as we do live in a world far more polluted and rife with chemicals than our forebears.

So when my lovely friend F, F&B marketing manager babe at Pure invited me to try a 3-day Nood juice cleanse, I thought, why not. My background is rooted in Science, science geeks love experiments, I shall see what this is going to be like, won’t be that bad surely. HAH. Fool. Who knew that drinking juice could be so hazardous?!

Nood Food have three different programmes which I was told are ‘categorised by lifestyle rather than levels of difficulty’. These cleanses are: C01 Green Cleanse, CO2 Active Cleanse and CO3 Classic Cleanse. The juices in the cleanse programmes are created for varying levels of activity and general diet and the difficulty is dictated by how many days of starvation and torture you can manage. As a complete beginner, I was recommended to do either the Classic or Active cleanse depending on my level of activity. The Green Cleanse is for the more experienced cleanser or those who cannot tolerate much sugar in their diet. Programme prices are: 1 day $600/ 3 days $1700 / 6 days $3200. However, they will provide prices for a longer or shorter times upon request.

All the cleanses come with supplements to aid your detox and formulated with a combination of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and superfoods. Vegetables are the main ingredients more than fruit in order to promote healing and all organic ingredients are marked with an (*) on the packaging. There is 100% juice, no added water or substitutes, so you are really getting a raw deal (pun fully intended). You get 6 organic cold-pressed juices and supplements (which you mix in) daily and you are meant to drink one every 2-3 hours.

Logistics- orders need two days to process, juices can be picked up from any Pure location or Nood Food SoHo and to to guarantee freshness, juices need to be collected each day and then stashed in the fridge ASAP as the juices are unpasteurized and expire the day after the intended consumption.

I chose to start my CO3 Classic Cleanse on a Sunday, shortly after returning from a week’s break in the Philippines, and the day after a full-on dinner at The Chairman (lots of seafood, meat, crab in wine) followed by drinks at The Envoy. Nood recommends preparing ahead of a detox by cutting down on sugar/salt/caffeine/meat. Obviously I failed spectacularly on this front, but after my experience, I highly recommend doing what they say!Nood Cool Bag

Nood Cool Bag

Nood Cool Bag

I had arranged to pick up juices that were for next day consumption due to work schedule logistics, so I had already collected Day 1’s juices on Saturday afternoon. Nood Food lady supplied me with a nice cooler bag and an ice-pack- both of which need to be brought back each day when picking up the next day’s set. I wouldn’t say the juices looked that yummy. The 6 juices are an intimidating, intense array of green, orange and red and the supplements look mostly like coloured powdered chalk. But full marks for names that are meant to lull you into a false sense of security- Recharge/Spring Clean/Whole Food/Turn Me On/Miracle Milk/Royal Flush.

Cold-pressed juices

Cold-pressed juices

The supplements are straight to the point and do the following:

Zeolite- a deeply detoxifying and alkalising earth clay supplement which bonds with toxins like heavy metals and environmental chemicals to aid in their removal; Camu Camu- sounds like a fluffy animal but actually contains a high concentration of Vitamin C; Broccoli and Kale Sprout Mix- Suforaphane from broccoli aids liver detox and the carotenoids and flavonoids in kale are powerful antioxidants; Chia Seeds- these babies are good for for your gut as they are high in fibre as well as omega-3 and protein; Barley Grass Powder- a highly concentrated concoction of vitamins, insoluble fibre and chlorophyll and Vitamineral Earth- a herbal superfood complex for the promotion of healing.

Supplements!

Supplements!

Cue Sunday morning and I referred to my Classic Cleanse guide book which recommended that I start with the Zeolite supplement with warm water at 7am. It was 9am. Fail. Looking at their schedule, this meant that my whole juicing day wouldn’t end till 9pm if I was truly going to be regimental about things. Zeolite mixed in with water is supposedly meant to taste of ‘nothing’, but it tasted of something- a  strange, bland metallic substance with a sort of ash-like aftertaste. Mmmm.Classic Cleanse Schedule

2 hours later it was time for Recharge with Camu Camu. Recharge is by far the yummiest and least dangerous of the juices; a lovely citrusy mixture of carrot, orange, apple, lemon, ginger and lemon grass. Even at this early stage, my tummy was starting to gurgle a little, but I wasn’t sure if it was due to the previous night’s festivities, so at this point I popped out to fetch my next day’s batch of juices. On my return, it was Spring Clean with Broccoli and Kale Sprout Mix. I didn’t enjoy on two levels: 1) Carrot, celery, spinach and parsley juice did not want to absorb the sprout mix so it became quite clumpy even with me shaking it like a polaroid picture 2) This juice kick-started what was to become the Sh*tscapades.Nood Food

Juice no. 2 was palatable but may be quite ‘green’ tasting for those new to veggie shakes  so you should brace yourselves for juice no. 3 Whole Food. This bugger pretty much destroyed me that Sunday afternoon. 2 hours after my intestines got a light Spring Clean, Whole Food (no supplement with this one), came, conquered and annihilated the contents of my gut. Since this particular experience my friends and I have come up with some puns- Stoolicide/ crapisode/crapventure. It was quite literally a sh*tstorm. Whole Food is GREEN. An alarmingly dark algae green which just shouts I’M CLEANSING. The book does warn you of some of the dramatic effects a juice cleanse may have on you, as some are affected more than others, like yours truly. Coupled with the extreme crapisode, I also got bloating, serious sweats and some joint aches which are all apparently indicative of toxins leaving every pore of your body. At this point I was confined to either my bed with aircon on full blast or the bathroom, which was fast becoming my best friend. Whole Food was so potent that I was not even 10% of the way through before my body decided it needed to see its best friend. Undeterred, I pressed on 2 hours later with juice 4- Turn Me On. This was actually quite pleasant tasting except I was beyond caring at this point and slowly whimpering, “I have nothing left to give”. Carrot, apple, sweet potato, flaxseed oil and maca powder maketh quite a yummy combination, but the chia seeds would not go down no matter how much I mixed. Exorcism of the gut was still continuing and I was fast losing my resolve to stick with the juicing.

pocari-sweat

Stock one of these in your fridge for emergencies!

By 7pm, Skyping my parents, my mum told me I looked ‘thinner’ (this juice is FAST WORK my friends) and then asked me, “why are you still doing this? Just stop if you are feeling this uncomfortable!” Wise words. Miracle Milk, juice 5, was no miracle. First, celery, cucumber, hemp seeds and sesame with barley powder juice is not my cup of tea and second, this miracle did not stem the tide. After getting a quarter of the way through, I finally gave up and thought BAGMI. B*tch Ain’t Gonna Make It. (VP’s favourite term in the whole world). Lying defeated on my bed, I had to stop with juice 5 and admit to myself, that I was completely and utterly cleansed, inside and out and right to the depths of my soul. The sixth juice- Royal Flush would have ended me so I decided to swap that for a Pocari Sweat.

Day 2 rolled round. Did I continue the cleanse? OF COURSE NOT!! I’m not crazy. My intestines were delicate, so delicate. I had work. It was going to be a long day. My gut still had unfinished business (I have no idea how this is possible given the previous day), so I sipped a bit of the Recharge as that’s tasty and tried some Royal Flush (a bright red and very beetrooty), which I instantly regretted as that set me off for a couple of hours. So I passed the baton to my friend R who collected Day 3’s juices and tried them the next day. She got no such dramatic effect, lucky thing. All she got were aches and pains.

So there you have it! My first and most probably last experience of juice cleansing. There is no denying its cleansing effects. I lost 1.5kg in water weight alone but I must caution that you need to be aware of your limits and your body because other friends who have done it have told me that the first 2-3 days are a hard slog. I’m certainly not the only one who gets such a dramatic effect but with work, you may find yourself having to think about when it is logistically a good time to do a cleanse. Would I recommend it? I think it is fine to do one, once in a blue moon if you need to reset your body or you have been maltreating it. But I think exercise and eating in moderation is key and maybe introducing a Whole Food or one of the other juices in your diet on a regular basis will be better for you instead of doing a cleanse. Have a go, but be safe and position yourself near a loo. And remember- there is no shame in admitting BAGMI.

All information including nutritional content can be found at www.allnood.com


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Table For Two: A Meal For A Meal #biteforchange 15/07-16/08

If you haven’t heard of Table For Two yet, then you should cruise by their website and take a look. A clever and worthy cause, TFT is an international organisation that focuses on ‘Global Food Imbalance’ by encouraging healthy dining and partnering with restaurants that have prepared nutritionally balanced TFT-branded meals. What does this do, I hear you say? TFT adds HK$2 to the price of these meals and it is this that is donated to provide school lunches for children in China and other countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Thus, you are simultaneously eating healthily yourself and giving a child somewhere in the world a nutritious meal aka Table for Two! The ‘food imbalance’ on which this whole idea is based upon, originates from the realisation that our world is currently in the midst of two extremes: starvation and malnutrition and overnutrition leading to conditions such as diabetes and obesity.tablefor2

In the last month (July 15- August 16), TFT has been working on a digital campaign called ‘A Meal For A Meal’ #biteforchange. To participate, all one needs to do is send TFT HK a photo of a healthy meal on Facebook and a nutritious meal will be donated to via TFT programs to school-children suffering from malnutrition  

Partnering with TFT meant that after I sent a picture of a healthy meal (in my case, it was a modified tuna nicoise salad with cabbage, new potatoes, olives, carrots, baby tomatoes and a balsamic vinegar dressing), I unlocked the 7th Meal For A Meal donation and I was sent a care package by the team at TFT.

My Meal For A Meal healthy dish
My Meal For A Meal healthy dish

This care package contained a lovely message from the team as well as white rice grains, a packet of pickled vegetables and chili sauce which many Chinese children survive on, on a daily basis. While these may sustain them, this sorely lacks nutritious and fresh food.

TFT Meal For A Meal care package
TFT Meal For A Meal care package

IMG_6765 IMG_6762 IMG_6766

The question posed by the team was what I would add to these ingredients to make it a healthy meal? I confess I am actually a big fan of pickled vegetables and I do cook with them from time to time, and I almost always stir-fry some minced pork (protein) and add a variety of greens such as sugar snap peas and broccoli together with sliced carrots and bamboo shoots and serve with brown rice. Or I will add glass noodles to my stir-fry instead. It is a delicious and I think, quite a nutritious meal once all the vegetables are in. Unfortunately, since I received my care package I haven’t had a chance as yet to use my pickled vegetables and rice, but once I do, I will show post a picture of my stir-fry!

In the meantime, I hope that you take a moment to think about TFT’s message and not only look after your own body but also have a think about those in need and maybe visit one of their participating restaurants in the scheme. There are a fair few to choose from including Kyoto Joe, Herbivores, Xi Yan Private Dining and Lux Bar and Tapas. There are also some food-related businesses involved including my friend’s company Health Addiction which is a vending machine operator that stocks healthy snacks and bars in offices and schools.

There are only 2 days left of the ‘Meal For A Meal’ #biteforchange campaign, so send a photo of your healthy meal and make a difference to someone’s life.


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Food Revolution Day HK- 17th May 2013

Food Revolution Day

Food Revolution Day

Since Jamie Oliver started raising public awareness of the poor standards of school canteen food and the lack of healthy alternatives back in 2005 (can’t believe Jamie’s School Dinners was that long ago!), he has been on a veritable mission to shift people’s perceptions of healthy foods and to wage a war against the bulge. Improving one’s diet and eating habits can be a struggle at the best of times, so I really applaud Jamie for tackling such a difficult issue head-on.

Jamie’s TV series, Jamie’s Food Revolution (2010) was launched to improve school food and to teach people how to cook from scratch. This idea continued when he set up the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation to inspire and encourage people across America at that time, to discover good and healthy food. With everyone leading fairly hectic lives and fast-food being such a convenient way of lining one’s stomach quickly, coming round to the idea that one can whip up a decent, nutritious meal in under 30 minutes can be difficult. Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially recognised obesity as a global epidemic in 1997, it has been little wonder that the challenges of over-feeding have been met with panic. But, with movements like the Food Revolution, slowly but surely, with baby-steps, households are going down the path of cooking fresh, healthy food and even corporations such as McDonald’s are attempting to offer food that does not instantly clog one’s arteries. The Green Monday Organisation in HK is one such example of an enterprise that is campaigning for healthier lifestyles and meatless Mondays.

The Food Revolution has since become a world-wide movement and has now landed in Hong Kong. The 1st Food Revolution Day was held on 19 May 2012 and this year, Food Revolution Day will be held on Friday 17 May 2013.

So what do you need to do? Not much! Food Revolution Day is a lovely excuse to get some mates together or your family and have a good ol’ cook-out. Obviously waiting specifically to cook at home on 17 May is a bit daft, but the idea is that if you haven’t done so thus far and are looking for a lifestyle and diet change, perhaps this is the time to start doing it. So embrace your rice cooker or your hob and whip up something with your bare hands, be it a simple tomato soup or scrambled eggs on toast, at least have a go. To the kitchen-phobes out there, it’ll be fun, I promise! I will be finding some friends to throw together a hotch-potch meal, and will post a few photos of our attempt.

If you want to share your Food Revolution day of cooking with me, drop me an email and I will post your efforts too 🙂

Below is a list of local activities that are happening in the next couple of weeks to promote the Food Revolution. More information can be found on the website. 

日期 DATE 地區 REGION 活動 ACTIVITY
2013.05.05 (SUN) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 港島東農墟(上)
FRD @ Island East Market (Part I)
2013.05.11 (SAT) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 香港理工大學理工大學食物與餐飲學院烹飪班
FRD @ The Food & Wine Academy(Poly U) Cooking Class
* 敬請預約 RSVP is NEEDED
2013.05.12 (SUN 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 港島東農墟(下)
FRD @ Island East Market (Part II)
* 部分活動敬請預約 RSVP is NEEDED for certain activity
2013.05.17 (FRI) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 長洲太平清醮飄色巡遊 
FRD @ Cheung Chau’s Piu Sik Float Parade
2013.05.17 (FRI) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ Mum Veggie + Coffee + Sweet
FRD @ Mum Veggie + Coffee + Sweet
* 敬請預約 RSVP is NEEDED
2013.05.17 (FRI) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ Mana!Fast Slow Food
FRD @ Mana!Fast Slow Food
2013.05.18 (FRI) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 豆苗居烹飪班
FRD @ Grassroots Pantry Cooking Class
 * 敬請預約 RSVP is NEEDED
2013.05.11-06.02 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 執嘢 x 銅鑼灣地帶 夏季 Mini Swap Walk
FRD @ JUPYEAH X Causeway Place Mini Swap Walk

Here’s the detail on what the Food Revolution goal is:

The Food Revolution is a global movement that allows people who love food to come together to share information, talents and resources and also to pass on their knowledge and highlight the world’s food issues. All around the globe, people work together to make a difference.  The Food Revolution is about connecting with your community in schools, restaurants and local businesses.  We want to inspire change in people’s food habits and to promote the mission for better food and education for everyone. 

 

GoFRD_logo-final

HAPPY COOKING EVERYONE!