Wednesday, June 29, 2016

EPN's Women's Special: Truth About Workout for Women

"You will get as bulky as Arnold Schwarzenegger." is a fallacy.

I do not know where it came from. The funny thing is, I am already petite and when I workout, I do look like I shed some fats and my girl friends all asked, what did I do? I told them I workout and they said, are you not suppose to be gaining? Which is true, that's because I personally have failed to carry heavy weights - which I really need to start doing so! Really.

Funny story, my neighbours commented about my gains and tan but I am quite doubtful about the former and worried about the latter. Haha!

For you ladies, let's put 'me' aside. Let's talk about you. This post is solely dedicated to you!

You will be glad to know, first hand from the women who works out, that gymming does not necessarily get you bulky. I took the liberty to touch base with EPN's female bodybuilding athlete, Nadia AJ to share with you girls how you can achieve you goals healthily! Our girl here was a former judo competitor since 13 till she was 21 and started lifting weights at 23 and competed in her first physique competition at 25.


We know that you girls have concerns like being scrutinized about how you might not measure or feeling incompetent among others who are considerably 'there'. As Nadia puts it, you are not alone and this is not just the ladies problem. Coming from me, I am supposing we have it too only that our approach is different.

Worry not! There are many fitness advocates out there that can help you break this psychological discomfort with encouragement, motivation and addressing fitness and nutrition misconceptions.

Women should not be afraid to do strength training. Strength training helps to build muscles and burns fat simultaneously. So here goes your most common problems and Nadia has taken the liberty to share with us how this could be addressed!

Despite the many health benefits of weight lifting that has been backed by Sport Science research, many women are still less likely than men to lift weights. Why?

The most common reason that is becoming passe is this: Using weights will make them "bulky".

It is time to upgrade yourselves with new information!

More women need to understand it takes months and even years of weight lifting and proper nutrition to put on significant muscle mass. Ironically, I am struggling to make gains but thanks to EPN products, it is progressing! If it is toning up instead of hypertrophy (increasing the size of you skeletal muscle) you are looking for, your exercises can include lighter weights but at higher repetitions ranging from 12 - 20 per set.


When it comes to food, eating less does not necessarily help in losing weight! On the contrary, crash diets results in decreased metabolic rate as well as weight gain in a following diet program. It also results in nutritional deficiency and might encourage eating disorders. Eat healthier food instead! Less oil, more fruits and vegetables, and the list goes on.

While it is great to have a body goal in mind however the main driving factor to staying fit is that we keep our body healthy as well as to help deter diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Food is good!

You should try to have natural foods as often as you can. Sometimes tight work schedules limits us to obtain healthy food options. Hence, supplements such as whey protein like EPN's NutriForce's NutriWhey are great alternatives to help meet our daily protein intake and also to promote better recovery. For Nadia, she uses Omega-3 and Joint Support tablets from NutriForce Sports to help keep her joints healthy as an addition to her diet.

There is also a misconception about injuries which puts off some of you from exercising. Muscle aches being the most common "injury". Muscle aches are caused by micro-tears in the muscle after exercise. Having muscle aches only mean that you had a great workout session! Personally, I feel like I have not done anything if I do not feel those aches on the muscles I work on.

Unless it is a sharp pain or an isolated pain that has been lingering for a long time, there should not be a cause for concern. If you are unsure, a doctor's opinion will be best!

Schedule wise, try to exercise three times per week. For busy working individuals, quick workout routines at the desk is better than getting no workout done. Squats, desk supported push-ups, crunches while seated on the chair and stretches are some ideas you can do on your desk. Your imagination is your only boundary! Go ahead, do your weighted squats with your laptop. ;)

Hope this does not only benefits but enlighten most of you women out there who are worried about working out!

To find out more about EPN, log on to www.epn.com.sg. Use discount code ZY 10 for 10% discount on all regular price items!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

In Recovery and Detox for my Body and Soul

I am grateful for this blissful month and I am thankful for so many reasons!

This month is all about giving love and reminder of how fortunate we are to be living a life where food is abundant, your loved ones are most of them alive, and a shelter on your head and a bed that is not made out of rubble. This month allows for a deeper introspection and reflection on how comfortable life have been.


This numinous month is simply about being spiritual and getting close to higher power. Be it fasting, giving alms, donation, cutting out clutters and other activities just to devote time kneeling and incessantly supplicate. I am loving the process because it makes me feel emotionally calm, stronger, and clears my mind of worldly worries, and physiologically heals through detox and maybe fat loss for some.

In this divine month too that our repairs and renovation works are 95% completed. I am feeling satisfied to see my cabinet in the kitchen and toilet fixed with quartz top which I am utterly happy about because it saves the worry of being worn out or warped like our previous wooden counter.


See, this renovation and repair works all began last year and while I hated it, it was actually a blessing in disguise. Last year, I had my bedroom painted for and a few weeks later, the air-conditioner was beyond repair. As a result, we had to replace the entire system and to do so, it involves breaking the ceiling as the piping goes through it. The next thing we know, we had to replace the false ceiling too.

We had the wiring fixed after the air-conditioner replacement. While we were at it, we decided to fix new lightings in our rooms. As the property matures, the old lightings looked stale and we wanted something fresh and brighter. So there you go, another phase, which we have to slowly move our things here and there in our house as we do not wish to face the hassle of moving out to a temporary home and then moving in again and cause major logistic trouble. Time effective, but not so much on the cost.

The project closely associates with the project management triangle. So we decided to take it very, very slow. Hence, taking approximately more than six months for all these to complete.


As the kitchen and wardrobe has faded and worn out, we have them replaced too. Kitchen is not really my place but I am liking the fact the oven has a rotisserie which gives me some sort of motivation to cook. Then again, it is always good when it is new!


Now, we are left with the paint job which is really unavoidable because with all the hacking going on, there's bound to be markings that need to be removed. Consequently, I am busy this week to have it completed before next week.

So while we spiritually recover, so does our home!


While it is not me who paid for these, I am thankful this is coming to an end so that we could focus on something else. All I want is for everything to be functional for this home and that is all. While the upside of this lies at the end of this process, I am actually happier to clear my old items along the way. It includes my used books, clothes, accessories and bags.

Relating back to this month, it makes me feel extremely blessed to be surrounded with so many things. So much so, it makes me wonder how much I would have accumulated if I had not spent my money on them! I mean, I have old clothes that does not suit my lifestyle anymore, but I could really imagine how it could be fashioned by someone suitable really. What I am giving away are classics and some are branded and I really, really hope, my donation items - although non-monetary, benefits those who aspire to dress in style. In times of joyous occasion, celebration and festivity, every single one of us deserve to look good and colourful. All I ask from you is to take care of them as much as I did!

Training wise, it was hampered by externalities but as the relationship between my team and I matures, I am feeling a little bit more driven now. It has only been my first season and some things are just unavoidable this year. Honestly, I would give myself a round of applause for at least staying really. I thought I would probably put my paddle down after six months or so. Back then, I did not even have the drive nor guts to commit especially with my inferiority among alpha males. Something must have went right when I went through conscription! It is the semester break and if it had not been for fasting, I would have been updating this space from the gym.

If any of you ever cared to read my personal segment here, thank you so much! This space thrived from being a personal avenue to channel my deepest thoughts, feelings and my high and lows. In any way this space has helped you, I can only be happy that it did!

Have a wonderful week everyone, wherever you are!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Beijing 2016 - The Forbidden City

I arrived at Beijing early in the morning, greeted by smog but cold weather. It was hard to ignore the smog when it dried and irritated my eyes and nose. Thankfully I was prepared with eye drops and nasal spray because I was just afraid the smog would last throughout the trip and affect my mood.


The first place I visited after breakfast was Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City.


The Forbidden City to some may seem to be just another historical palace but this UNESCO Heritage Site plays an important role in the evolution of ancient Chinese history.

It was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty between 1420 to 1912 and now houses the Palace Museum. It served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government for almost 500 years.

Located adjacent to modern political centre of China - Tiananmen Square, The Palace Museum is the most visited museum in the world!

Be prepared for a long walk, make sure that your shoes are well tied, comfortable and that you have a bottle of water with you.


Photo contributors: Lim Amira & Farhan Junid

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sydney 2016 - Sydney Fish Market

Scenic, vibrant and full of character, Sydney Fish Market (SFM) is the largest seafood market in the southern hemisphere and one of Australia’s most iconic tourism sites!

SFM is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the third largest seafood market in terms of variety in the world. A working fish market, SFM sources product both nationally and internationally and trades over 13,500 tonnes of seafood annually - with up to one hundred sustainable seafood species traded every day and approximately 500 species traded annually.


Head to Sydney Fish Market to see oysters freshly shucked on-site, then take to the waterside to enjoy a platter of fish and chips cooked to order!


Sydney Fish Market incorporates a working fishing port, wholesale fish market, fresh seafood retail market, a delicatessen, a sushi bar, a bakery, a gift shop, a fruit and vegetable market, a florist, a meat deli, a beverage outlet, a seafood cooking school, indoor seating and an outdoor promenade for visitors. There are daily wholesale auctions for Sydney's seafood retailers.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Having My Pet for Glamping with Glamping Hub



Glamping is more than just being out in the nature. It is a journey. It is about growing up, taking chances, discovering the hidden corners of the world, and most significantly, it is about recognizing the power and pure beauty of the simplest things in life. Especially doing it with people you love, animals you care and of course, with Glamping Hub!

It is amazing to find out that Glamping Hub has launched its new curation - Glamping Hub for Pets, which is perfect for pet owners who seek splendid outdoor time with their beloved animals! I can bring my cat and your dog along to stay with us, enjoy our time in the wild with our little pet! All without scouring through for a pet friendly outdoor accommodation.

Glamping Hub for Pets is a curated collection of pet friendly glamping accommodations that makes pet travel easy. Glamping Hub luxury outdoor accommodation portal allows pet owners to plan a luxury camping trip with our pets anywhere around the world. A variety of handpicked, pet friendly rentals are featured, including tree houses, cabins, tipis, and yurts, that all cater to nature lovers like us traveling with our pets.


Glamping Hub features over 500 listings, and it will double its inventory by the end of this year internationally! While majority of its listings are based in the United States, over 80 countries will be added in times to come, just as you had seen in my recent glamping trip in Melbourne!

Each unique glamping site featured has a beautifully curated profile that gives you all the information you need to confidently book a getaway with your pet. Glamping Hub has definitely made traveling with your beloved pet simple and enjoyable! I look forward to my next stay with Glamping Hub!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Loving My Beoplay A1 by Bang and Olufsen

You see, I have fond interest in traveling. Not because it is a way to flaunt - although you see me posing in every corner of the city. Rather, it is an opportune time to see different sides of the world in flesh.

When it comes to experience, it is important to ensure that all your senses are engaged with the best things in life. Be it your sense of sight, touch or taste, it has to be tastefully engrossed with the finest. Likewise for your hearing!


I am loving the Bang and Olufsen's new Beoplay A1! The new Beoplay A1 is the smallest Bluetooth speaker to date from B&O PLAY. Designed for life on the go by award-winning designer Cecilie Manz, it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and packs a punch well beyond its size.

Beoplay A1 combines its elegant yet simple design with signature sound by Bang & Olufsen, a speakerphone for taking calls out loud, and up to 24 hours of battery life that keeps the music playing long after most competitors have gone silent.

Designed for everyday adventures, Beoplay A1 comes with a beautifully contoured aluminium dome, which gives it a light and elegant appearance and forms a strong protective housing for the technologies within. The dome conforms seamlessly to the double moulded polymer base presenting a completely smooth and continuous surface.


As part of the design, there are no protruding buttons or legs to snag, and the surface of Beoplay A1 is completely smooth and robust enough to handle the bumps and scrapes of everyday use. It comes with a soft leather strap inviting you to carry it everywhere, attach it to a rucksack on the go, or to hang it anywhere in your home.

It feels good on the hands, the weight resembles a lot on how much is invested in this product and its solidity gives you no fear in bringing it everywhere, from serene time in the tub to hardcore rock climbing adventure. I would definitely bring it in my subsequent travel!

This rechargeable Beoplay A1 delivers rich and wonderful soundscape that I for one cannot lose hold from this luxurious portable speaker, even to sleep! Thanks to a new aluminium Cone Mid-Woofer using a powerful neodymium magnetic system and high peak power amps, the Beoplay A1 delivers a full range deep bass to as low as 40hz and enough stamina to keep the music playing for hours on end. Especially for high powered individuals who enjoys music as much, this is ideal for conference calls too!

Beoplay A1 has a built-in speakerphone for taking calls out loud, and the patent-pending rimmed design on the speaker’s bottom edge enables the microphone to provide uniform 360-speech sensitivity. This enables the person listening to recognize voices perfectly, no matter where people are speaking in proximity to the microphone.


Beoplay A1 launches in Moss Green and Natural and are available at Airport Duty Free, Apple Premium Resellers, Bang & Olufsen store in Hyatt (Singapore), Challenger, Newstead and leading
independent retailers.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

For Programmers and Developers: How to Win Mentorship from Founder Gareth Williams at Skyscanner HQ in Edinburgh

Hey everyone!

It is the semester break and we are excited because Skyscanner is giving all of you a chance to win mentorship from the founder of Skyscanner, Gareth Williams at its headquarters in Edinburgh!

The capital city of Scotland is so beautiful and to win a chance to meet and learn from the person who changed the way how you check out flight deals is an opportunity not to be missed!

Skyscanner, the leading travel search engine, is calling on developers in Singapore to build a game-changing new travel tech product using Skyscanner APIs. The Build with Skyscanner competition offers the best new travel product the chance to be coached by Skyscanner’s founder Gareth Williams at the company headquarters in Edinburgh, and £1000 cash prize to kick-start their new business!

Skyscanner is looking for product ideas that have the potential to truly disrupt the travel industry, giving entrants four months to come up with and build their new site or app.

The Build with Skyscanner competition, running from 1 June to 1 October 2016, offers the winning team the chance to receive invaluable one-on-one coaching time with CEO Gareth Williams, at the company headquarters in Edinburgh. After starting Skyscanner from a simple spreadsheet back in 2003, the visionary has taken the business to become a world leading travel search engine, attracting over 50 million monthly visitors, with 10 global offices and over 770 staff.

The entrepreneurial winning product will spend the week in Skyscanner’s office HQ in Edinburgh, where they will also receive invaluable coaching from a world-class team of Engineers, Product Managers and Growth Strategists to help their new business take flight.

The competition aims to inspire young programmers and businesses to build something truly cutting-edge and bring something fresh to the travel industry.

Entrants will power their pioneering new website or app using Skyscanner’s world-class Travel APIs, which connect developers to all the data they need to create innovative and unique travel solutions. Skyscanner for Business, the company’s independent B2B unit offers three stand-alone APIs to choose from - flights, hotels, and car hire - offering the most flexible integrations and inspirational search features in the market.

Skyscanner has already partnered with a number of promising start-ups who have gone on to do great things by using the APIs. Travel Door, a fast growing Asian app that provides travellers with city guides and content across 55 cities around the world, has been using Skyscanner’s API to power flights, hotels and car hire for the app.

Interested Singaporeans can sign up and get started through the Build with Skyscanner page.

After signing up through the Build with Skyscanner page, entrants will be able to power their pioneering new website or app using Skyscanner’s world-class Travel APIs, which connect developers to all the data they need to create innovative and unique travel solutions.

With Skyscanner, no last minute flights is inconvenient to find! Worried you’re too late to book your flights and your family will be stuck at home this June holidays? Fret not, Skyscanner, the leading travel search engine, could recommend the cheapest times to travel even if you’re planning a last minute getaway!



Find Skyscanner’s complete guide to the best places to visit this June here!

Keep up to date with the competition on Twitter by following @Skyscannertools and using #BuildwithSkyscanner

Skyscanner is a leading global travel search company providing free search of flights, hotels and car rental. Founded in 2003, Skyscanner helps to meet the travel planning needs of over 50 million people each month. Skyscanner is available in over 30 languages. Skyscanner’s highly rated free mobile apps have been downloaded over 35 million times. The privately owned company employs over 700 staff and has ten global offices in Edinburgh, London, Singapore, Beijing, Shenzhen, Miami, Barcelona, Glasgow, Sofia and Budapest.



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Beijing 2016 - Temple of Heaven

Apparently, my entries on my vacation in China begs the question "Why China?"

Why not?

China has history dating back more than 2,000 years ago and I am sure most of who had been there would be in awe with both their past and present. You could laugh all you want but hey, it was us who had a great time in China. The haze is considerably minute compared to what we learnt and experience, which is why I am actually working on getting all the photos and videos to get it all together so that all of you could see although it may never be the same as first hand experience. I am looking forward to put the video together so that I could share it with my friends and family.

However, this is probably the toughest thing to do because I just do not know what music suits best!

I do not get why Asians are so sour on having their vacation in China. They be like 'Eee, why China? There's already so many here...' or 'Why China? Haze and all... So dirty...' when there are so many UNESCO Heritage sites to explore. Also, apparently, there were many angmohs to explore our east side story. Sure people were impressed when they hear me visit major cities like Dubai and Sydney but I am more than proud to tell people that I have been to Beijing and Xi'an. Which is why I rallied my family to go! They too were apprehensive initially but I sold them the Great Wall and the Bird Nest Stadium and they bought it. Besides, we have not been on a trip for quite some time. So here goes the continuation of my trip in Beijing.

The Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. It has been regarded as a Taoist temple, although Chinese heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, predates Taoism.

The Temple of Heaven Park was where emperors of the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty initially held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. It is the largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China's ancient sacrificial buildings. First built on the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty, it was enlarged and rebuilt during the reigns of the Ming emperor Jiajing and the Qing emperor Qianlong. In 1988, it was opened to the public as a park, showing ancient philosophy, history and religion. Its grand architectural style and profound cultural connotation give an insight into the practices of the ancient Eastern civilization.

The perimeters of the area is huge and before you even see a temple you will pass througha stretch of walkway to lead to you there. Along these paths you get to see retirees who spend their remaining lives socialising amongst themselves. My tour guide joked that they were there because there were on the waiting list to heaven. They may look old and frail. Despite hazy weathers in most parts of the year, they seem happy playing poker cards, dancing and singing and it has got nothing to do with getting engrossed on technology devices. I do not think they have one, or let alone need one!