What is an alternative latte and why would any latte be labelled as a superfood? In a nutshell: an alternative latte is caffeine free, dairy free, and filled with much needed nutrients. The fact that superfood lattes are served in various shades of the colour wheel is a definite bonus for consumers demanding functional ingredients that can boost energy and the immune system – and according to Grand View Research, it’s a growing demand.

If you’re obsessed with caffeine and frowning at the idea of anything other than an actual latte then here’s:

Why You Should Consider Reducing Your Caffeine Intake and / or Ditching Caffeine Altogether
  1.    If You Want More Sustained Energy Throughout the Day

For those unaware: caffeine is a stimulant and like any other stimulant, the effect is temporary. The reason you feel that distinctive caffeine buzz is due to adrenaline and cortisol being released – hormones that kickstart your fight-or-flight response.

  1. If You Want to Feel Less Anxious

Unfortunately, that fight or flight response can cause anxiety, heart palpitations, nervousness, and even panic attacks. For adolescents, a high intake of caffeine has shockingly been linked to increased chances of depression.

  1. If You Want to Efficiently Absorb Nutrients

Without getting too complicated, caffeine contains tannins and tannins can potentially inhibit the absorption of calcium, iron, and vitamin B. By lowering your caffeine intake or refraining from caffeine, this side effect is then reversed.

  1. If You Want to Balance Your Hormones

Research has found that caffeine can change the way estrogen is metabolised – especially in younger women. Ironically, for women experiencing menopause, caffeine may increase estrogen which can result in increased symptoms (such as hot flashes).

  1. If You Want Better & Deeper Sleep

Unsurprisingly, caffeine has been proven to alter sleep cycles which results in restless sleep. If you switch to superfood lattes over traditional lattes, you may find that falling asleep becomes easier, too.

The Various Benefits of Superfood Lattes
  1. Hojicha Latte

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Oh Cha Matcha (OCMC) (@ohchamatcha.kl)

As Hojicha comprises of L-Theanine, it’s the perfect superfood latte to start with if you want better sleep. L-Theanine has a calming effect and can actually help to lower your heart rate. Considering how the Covid-19 is still rampant, boosting your immune system remains more important than ever. Guess what? L-Theanine does exactly that as it helps your immune system function better (but of course, stay safe)!

Purchase a Hojicha Latte from Oh Cha Matcha

  1. Turmeric Latte

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Damai Studio and Café (@damaimy)

You probably drool over curry, but have you tried consuming only it’s main ingredient (turmeric)? Most likely, your answer is ‘no’ although if you were to ask any health freak, they’d reverently nod ‘yes’. Reason being that turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin which is anti-viral, contains anti-inflammatory properties, and has anti-parasitic qualities.

Traditionally, it was yogis who combined turmeric with black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and dairy-free milk. Nowadays, this concoction, known as Golden Milk, can be tried by anybody in the world who has access to superfood lattes!

Purchase Golden Milk from Damai Café

  1. Beetroot Latte

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by URBEAN Café (@urbean_avenue_k)

Totally surprising: recent studies have shown that beetroot can improve athletic performance. As beetroot is rich in nitrate, it can improve blood flow, too, which leads to notable health benefits. A major reason why city-dwellers especially should try a Beetroot Latte is because beetroots are a source of betalains which supports liver detoxification.

Purchase a Beetroot Latte from Urbean Café

  1. Charcoal Latte

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Fittie Sense (@my_fittiesense)

Almost every Asian is aware of how important it is to have charcoal pills on standby, so it makes sense to include activated charcoal into a superfood latte. If you’re unaware of why charcoal pills should be an essential item in your household, then know that activated charcoal helps gastrointestinal issues – such as bloating, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome. It helps by reducing tension and discomfort by binding to toxins which in turn, eliminates said toxins.

Purchase a Charcoal Latte from Fittie Sense 

  1. Rooibos Latte

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Rgb & The Bean Hive (@rgbcoffee)

Yes, Rooibos is a tea but it can also double as a superfood latte when non-dairy milk is added! Due to its antioxidant properties, it’s known for boosting overall heart health and lowering cholesterol levels. Like most antioxidants, Rooibos has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer – a definite win/ win situation (yummy and healthy).

Purchase a Rooibos Latte from RGB Café

Start Your Superfood Latte Journey

Note that every café and / or restaurant chosen was specifically picked due to being able to provide alternative milk options. If you’re ready to taste the rainbow, then place your superfood latte order ASAP and tag @wildgingermy to let us know your thoughts!

So another MCO is upon us, meaning the option to ‘balik kampung’ is unfortunately unavailable to us. Similarly, visiting family and friends to ‘makan’ together in celebration of Hari Raya may not be possible for everyone due to inter-district travel being banned!

But guess what?

Even if you can’t ‘balik kampung’ or attend any open houses, you can still enjoy traditional Malay dishes through food delivery services such as GrabFood, Foodpanda and Beepit. Although many perceive Malay food to be unfriendly for vegetarians and / or vegans, mouth-watering options do exist so here’s a comprehensive list of traditional and typical Malay food you can enjoy:

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by BMS Organics Official (@bmsorganics)

BMS Organics Cafe was founded in 2007 and, since the start, has focused on providing customers with food free from artificial colouring, chemical preservatives, GMOs and MSG. If you avoid microwaves, then know that BMS Organics Cafe does not cook its food in microwaves at all!

If you’re craving: Curry Laksa

Location: Find a BMS Organics Cafe outlet near you (and double check that it’s the cafe)

Opening Hours: Varies depending on outlet

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by HALAVEG 清真纯素 (@halaveg)

HalaVeg was founded by a local woman who decided to leave her high-paying job to start a vegan restaurant. Why? After 10 years of being vegan, she realised that more options for vegans were needed, which is why the slogan for HalaVeg is: everything you love made vegan.

If you’re craving: Nasi Tomato with Ayam Masak Merah (Ramadhan Special)

Location: LG07, Empire Damansara, 47820 Petaling Jaya

Opening Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Hungry Tapir (@thehungrytapir)

The Hungry Tapir (THT) opened during the first MCO in Malaysia and, despite the challenges, has only gained in popularity due to its diverse menu that offers a fusion of flavours. If you want to know more about THT, then read our interview with the foundHer here!

If you’re craving: Satay

Location: Lot 135, Jalan Petaling, 50000 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (closed on Mondays)

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lauk Pauk : Urban Warung (@laukpaukrexkl)

Lauk Pauk is basically a warung that’s been urbanised. Literally nestled in the heart of the city, Lauk Pauk caters to meat eaters and non-eaters, so note that choices for vegetarians and / or vegans is limited compared to other options in this list. 

If you’re craving: Pajeri Nenas

Location: RexKL, Jalan Sultan, 50000 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: Varies depending on the day 

Order via Grabfood during the MCO

 

MediFood is run by a team of dietitians, nutritionists, and pharmacists with more than a decade of experience combined. While you can’t physically visit a branch right now, know that you can get professional advice on your dietary needs for free once the restaurant / store reopens.

If you’re craving: Mee Rebus

Location: Bangsar South, Damansara Kim, or Subang Jaya 

Opening Hours: Varies depending on outlet

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by SALA Kuala Lumpur (@sala.kl)

Sala is known for its Tex-Mex cuisine but as the owner is local, he included Malaysian favourites in the menu. On Fridays, Bakso is available but normally sells out fast so if that’s something you’ve been craving, know that Sala is currently the only vegan restaurant providing Bakso. 

If you’re craving: Nasi Lemak with Rendang 

Location: Find a Sala outlet near you 

Opening Hours: Varies depending on outlet

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Simple Life (@simplelifemy)

Simple Life was founded in Malacca, 1992. Originally, it was a shop selling organic products and organic food. Following its success, Simple Life slowly started expanding and there are now 12 outlets across the Klang Valley, so check which outlet is closest to you by clicking the link below!

If you’re craving: Assam Pedas (labelled as Assam Seaweed Beancurd)

Location: Find a Simple Life outlet near you

Opening Hours: Varies depending on outlet

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 🍁Jean ジーン🍁| 日本びいき🎌📍Ipoh↔️PJ 🇲🇾 (@lijhuin)

Tze Erne was founded in 2015 based on the chap fan concept – essentially, a Chinese version of a warung. The menu is incredibly affordable and consists of mainly Chinese food but classic Malay items make an appearance, too. If you love salted egg yolk chicken, then the vegetarian version by Tze Ern is another recommendation! 

If you’re craving: Butter Chicken

Location: D3-G4-09, Publika, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: Varies depending on the day 

Order via GrabFood during the MCO

 

Bonus: Even though Hijau is currently not available for dine-ins, keep it in mind for when the MCO is lifted as the pop-up buffet serves delectable vegan food. For now, a few dishes from the weekly buffet can be ordered via Thursdvys

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hijau 緑 (@hijaukualalumpur)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by RIUH (@riuhinthecity)

That’s right – everyone’s favourite bazaar and food court experiences are back on-ground this year, teaming up for Tiffin Ber-RIUH Raya on the 1st and 2nd May at Sentul Depot! As one of the very first ‘new normal’ events to take place, there will be tightened and strict COVID-19 SOPs, including event admission by registration only. Registration starts 23rd April onwards, so make sure you register here to get Raya ready with RIUH!

As always, in the spirit of ‘support lokal’, Tiffin Ber-RIUH Raya will feature 52 homegrown retail brands with a fabulous array of apparel, accessories, cookies, home decor and beauty offerings to shop from. Popular picks include Whimsigirl, AnaAbu and Tangsi, while Machino, Bloom Batik and Jamuglo will bring some new names to the lineup. Also get ready to delight your culinary senses through Tiffin’s curation of 12 food and drink purveyors that will serve Raya flavours with a twist!

Not forgetting the giving spirit of Raya, you’ll be able to give back to society when you purchase from twelve Buy For Impact retail vendors – discover food, fashion, lifestyle and gifts that benefit different communities, such as single mothers, refugee youth, the hearing impaired community, and the environment.

The RIUH stage will also be returning this year with live performances, headlined by Ushera, Colour of Voices, Mafidz, Merakki, MAI and ASK Dance Company with a special Raya showcase.

Find out more about this festive event on RIUH’s website or follow them on Instagram for more updates!

You’re probably reading this because you haven’t watched Seaspiracy, so full disclaimer: this article contains spoilers. If you’re not planning to watch the documentary, then keep reading!

 

The reason Seaspiracy is all the rage right now is because of the shocking facts it unveiled to the public. Released by Netflix and produced by Kip Anderson, Seaspiracy revolves around raising awareness on environmental pollution – specifically, as you may have guessed, ocean pollution. 

Over the course of 89 minutes, numerous factors contributing to ocean pollution are discussed and dissected, so let’s dive into the details:

 

Eliminating Plastic Straws Is Not The Answer

 

Eliminating Fishing Gear Is The Answer

 

Sustainable Fishing Is Not Actually Sustainable 

 

The Major and Main Issue: Bycatch 

 

Oh And Human Slavery Still Exists

 

How You Can Help

Feeling shook? That’s more than understandable, but here’s some good news: you can help. Seriously. By boycotting the commercial fishing industry, you basically vote with your dollar as the saying goes!

Of course, don’t stop, drop, and immediately roll into vegetarianism or veganism – take baby steps. You can start by incorporating ‘Fishless Fridays’ into your week then gradually add more ‘fishless’ days into your calendar. Alternatively, you can choose to purchase only from local fishermen that you know are not adding to the problem. Simply raising awareness on the data provided by Seaspiracy will help as well – even more so if you sign petitions or create your own. 

Start where you can and take it from there. 

You got this!

Ramadan is here, a month of fasting and reflection for Muslims. Millions of people around the world observe this holy month, and use it as an opportunity to cleanse their minds, bodies and souls from harmful impurities. It’s a time to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and empathy for those who are less fortunate, including abstaining from eating and drinking from sunset to sunrise.

As peaceful and spiritual Ramadan is, these drastic changes to your eating routine can be hard and cause discomfort. This makes it even more crucial to have a proper diet, even though you are consuming less food. Focus on nourishing your body with healthy foods that will give you an energy boost throughout the day.

Don’t know what to eat? HealthifyMe, a digital health and fitness platform, has come up with a nutritious and delicious Ramadan meal plan to keep you feeling energised while fasting. These simple suggestions will take your mind off what to cook or prepare, and afford you more time to indulge in spirituality.

View Fullscreen

If you need more motivation to remain fit during Ramadan, HealthifyMe will be organising a free virtual Ramadan festival on their mobile app. New and existing users can participate in daily fitness challenges and stand a chance to win exciting prizes.

Download HealthifyMe now for more meal plans and other personalised solutions, such as localised health content, fitness workouts and health advice to help achieve your fitness and nutrition goals!

It’s been a devastating year for the restaurant industry, more than 2,000 eateries in Malaysia were forced to shut down permanently since the pandemic started. The entire service industry was thrown into a tailspin, but chefs soon came to realise that they were still able to work from home. Social media connected home cooks, and hobbyists, with the hungry and bored. The rapidly growing business opportunity was so attractive that every time you opened Instagram, a new home-based food venture would pop up. It was, after all, a fast and easy way to earn money during a time of job losses and pay cuts.

 

Our stay-at-home scrolling habits created an even bigger demand for delicious, and eye-catching, desserts. Even those with little or no experience in baking were able to cash in on their new MCO hobby. One of these successful passion projects is Nis.Bakes – an online dessert shop that offers simple yet unique flavours such as rose pistachio, earl grey, and maple cinnamon cupcakes and cakes. The founder, Enisa Farith, is a PR and Marketing specialist who simply wanted to recreate the rose pistachio tres leche cake from L’eto in London for herself, but it turned out to be such a scroll-stopping treat (now their signature cake) that others wanted a taste. She then went on to make an Instagram page for her decadent desserts, and the rest is history. Read on to see how you can also start your own home-based food business with advice from this new baker.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @nis.bakes

 

How long did you start planning and researching before launching your business?

It was a very spontaneous decision. I reckon I probably spent about one week researching prices, sourcing ingredients, coming up with the brand identity I wanted to convey, etc. before launching it. I first sold the cakes to people I knew before advertising it on social media – after my fourth attempt at baking the cake, I didn’t have much time on my hands and couldn’t wait to bake all the basics before learning how to bake a cake, so I relied heavily on YouTube. Baking is really about understanding the science, so perfecting the cake came after many attempts. 

 

How did you know what to price your products?

I visited and analysed my competitors’ Instagram pages to gauge a preliminary sense of pricing. I really had no clue in the beginning, so I also asked friends and family how much they were willing to pay. The ingredients I use as well are of premium quality and most are imported, so that resonated with the prices I introduced. And of course, I took into account the costs to produce the baked goods.

 

What challenges did you face starting a business during the pandemic?

It didn’t take very long for me to realise how competitive the F&B industry is; especially during the pandemic – when more home-food businesses are popping up. One of the main challenges is probably having to come up with a new flavour / dessert frequently and especially with my busy schedule, I knew I was going to struggle. Fortunately, Nis.Bakes is not your typical dessert shop, I knew I didn’t want to sell regular flavoured desserts such as cheesecake, Lotus Biscoff, chocolate – ones that other dessert shops have already excelled at making. Being a newcomer in both baking and in the online dessert industry, I knew I had to be unique to be distinctive, so I experimented with baking unconventional flavoured desserts and focused on perfecting them.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @nis.bakes

 

How do you juggle running your own business and working a full-time job?

It is not easy; Nis.Bakes is a one woman show. Weekdays are the most hectic days, I come into work at 9AM, come home at 7PM, head for a quick shower and within 30 minutes, I’m in the kitchen baking for 3 or 4 hours. I take a limited amount of orders every week as a result of this, 15 orders max. Weekends are my off days, I’ve realised that those two days are important to recuperate and recharge. It’s definitely improved my time management skills, but what keeps me going is my customers’ satisfaction, it’s very rewarding and I don’t regret the decision of setting up Nis.Bakes. They are also very understanding of my situation and I’m extremely grateful for them.

 

What advice do you have for others looking to start their own home-food business?

Just go for it! There’s never a right time to embark on a new venture in your life. You will make mistakes along the way, but you’ll learn from it and continue to improve!

 

Nis.Bakes is currently on pause for a month or so, but they are looking for part-time helpers: drop them a DM on Instagram and let them know why you’d like to join their home kitchen!

We made it through another month. Woo hoo! From the arrival of the vaccine to the ending of the MCO (movement control order), things are slowly starting to look up. Even our houses are beginning to feel more like home again, with work moving back to the office and workouts moved back to the gym. 

 

Since you loved the self-love gifts we shared last month, we’re going to make it a monthly feature – just in time for payday! Take it as a much-needed reminder to do something nice for yourself because you deserve it. You’ll also be supporting some stellar local brands, so it’s a gift that’ll keep on giving. Spoil yourself with these self-care picks:

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Barn & Jones Candles (@barnandjones)


You can never have too many candles, especially when they’re from Barn & Jones! The natural soy wax candle brand offers an array of soothing scents that allow you to experience the tranquil outdoors in the comfort of your own living room, such as hiking through alpine trails and dancing among wildflowers. What we love about their bestseller, Northern Lights, is that its scent evolves with each burn – the lemon, bergamot, winter berry, flowering succulent, violet and white musk take turns to shine.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Oh Sebenar (@ohsebenar)

A tote bag created to be carried through heartbreak, joy, celebrations, speed bumps and high roads, this item from Oh Sebenar is a classic. A wardrobe staple, it goes with everything and can fit more than just your essentials! It can also help reduce decision fatigue – just grab your trusty tote bag and go, instead of wasting time and energy trying to decide which bag to carry.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Vase Creation (@vase_creation)

As calming as they are, you can’t fall asleep with candles lit, but you can enjoy the same aromatherapy with Vase Creation’s pillow mist. Spritz it on your pillows and linen, get comfy, and slowly start to breathe in and out. The hand-blend of organic pure essential oils (lavender patchouli, sweet orange, roman chamomile, vetiver and cedarwood), will help you journey into a deep, quality sleep. Enjoy the smooth, relaxing ride!

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sugar And I (@sugarandi)

Known for their ‘boxes of happiness’, Sugar And I are on a mission to make people smile with their delicious desserts. Their combo box includes fan-favorites, Bombolonis and Japanese Cream Puffs, which are comfortingly soft, bursting rich and fabulous flavours in your mouth – a celebration (of happiness) indeed!

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Millefleur™ (@millefleurskin)

If your self-care rituals include following a therapeutic skincare routine before bed, add this hydration booster from Millefleur to your nightly roster. The organic serum is rich in vitamins and antioxidants that aid in the repairing of cells for healthier, radiant skin. Its gel-based vegan formula is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin to also be able to achieve a fresh feeling and glowing complexion!

It’s hard not to spot The Hungry Tapir, although tucked away in the heart of Chinatown, with its vibrant colours and radiant vibes. This ‘home of herbivores’ offers a refreshing dining experience among its local surroundings, producing plant-based versions of Malaysian and Western dishes, classic desserts, and even tropical cocktails. It’s an oasis for vegetarians and vegans, as well as a watering hole for those looking for a good time under the sun or city lights. After a year of plant-based prowess, The Hungry Tapir has secured itself as a must-visit in KL’s thriving restaurant scene.

 

What makes The Hungry Tapir so homely is the plant-based family behind it – Makissa Smeeton, her mother Cynthia, and her brother Tristan. Makissa first made her mark on the local F&B industry as the Chief Community Officer and Designer for RAGE Coffee – an uber cool cafe with a cult following thanks to its trendy Instagram page. We asked how she combined her graphic design and branding background with her passion for sustainability to create a successful brand.

 

 

How did you get into the F&B industry?
My family and I have always teased the idea and had that dream in the back of our minds: to have a friendly family restaurant and bar one day. None of us just ever had the time to bring this to life, and with all our lifestyle and eating choices, it would no doubt be vegan…with alcohol! We found that there was a gap in that market here and wanted to finally bring that culture to KL: all-day brekkie with pancakes, smoothie bowls, burgers, local favourites and cocktails, but ALL vegan! So with this in mind, and being avid lovers of heritage buildings around KL (and hoping they wouldn’t get torn down to build another), we often spent our weekends cafe-hopping around Chinatown and appreciating each unique personality that came with each space. We suddenly came across a lot that was to rent and for fun, we checked it out with some other mates in the industry – it was derelict and painted terribly on the inside, with low polystyrene ceilings, and was a badly maintained backpackers hostel. Others that viewed this one lot hated it, but we saw potential with the original window arches that can be seen from the main road. When we poked through one polystyrene square in the ceiling and saw the high ceilings and beams exposed – we fell in love! It was then a very fast process of securing the space, creating the brand and building an F&B business with absolutely NO experience! It’s been challenging and fun and wild all at the same time, and we’re still learning everyday! 

 

Your brand has a very strong voice, how important is it to have an active brand personality?
I think it’s the most important as it’s your USP and what makes a brand your brand. My personal style is to always have fun with it and its personality will naturally evolve out of it. We wanted to be playful with our voice and designs as much as possible to introduce more of a plant-based lifestyle and cuisine into KL, and we’re still growing the brand and adapting to what customers like as well!

 

What would you say was the biggest challenge with opening a plant-based restaurant in Malaysia?
The doubt we had from many people around us at the beginning, especially shifting people’s ideas towards vegan food and the common misconception that it’s tasteless and bland. We wanted to prove to those that didn’t believe in us that people ARE ready and can enjoy a more sustainable meal without even realising they’re not eating meat! It is now safe to say that 70% of our customers are in fact meat-eaters, and we couldn’t be more happy to integrate! 

 

What does the future of vegan food look like in Malaysia?
It is definitely more mainstream now, which is incredible! You can now find a larger variety of plant-based products and brands in groceries, so everything is now definitely more accessible and known! People are also getting more creative with plant-based cuisine and finding new and exciting ways to create dishes! At The Hungry Tapir, we are veganising local favourites and have built a menu bridging East meets West classics, but with highlighting local and homegrown ingredients as much as possible to pay ode to our Malaysian culture and heritage. This is just the beginning and we can’t wait to see what others here in our community can create!

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Hungry Tapir (@thehungrytapir)

 

What does a typical day look like for you – how do you manage to fit wellness into your busy schedule?
A typical day for me begins with working out, walking my lil doggo and heading into the Hungry Tapir restaurant to either work from there alongside freelance designing (if I have another project on), whilst helping out on the floor and daily operations. I am still working and designing for RAGE Coffee, where I will go once a week. With my line of work, I am lucky enough to be able to work remotely and from anywhere as long as I have my laptop! I feel most inspired being at The Hungry Tapir, so I find this gives me more motivation and drive to keep things alive!

 

What are your self-care picks?
One thing I really learnt and valued in the lockdowns was really appreciating and taking time out for myself. I do this by working out regularly (Big up F45!), yoga, runs in parks and around jungle roads where I live, and Wim Hof’s breathing meditations! Adopting my dog has also been the best thing for me, so I highly suggest this to those who have the time and capabilities to do so! My doggo is just endless fun and is super playful and keeps me more grounded. All of this combined with surrounding yourself with your loved ones and people that really add value to your life – and of course nourishing your body with (plant-based) delicious food!

 

Any last words?
I think now is most important to support one another and maintain the valuable relationships you have, as without realising this is the true backbone to yourself and the things you can do and create too. Fact check the fact checkers, and be more conscious of adopting more sustainable practices into your life!

 

Check out The Hungry Tapir here, whether you’re new to a vegan diet or still discovering what it is, dine in with them – they would love to have a chat and say hello!

Don’t worry, a healthy relationship with food isn’t another diet. It’s actually going against diet culture by developing a positive attitude towards eating. As Malaysians, how can we not love food? We have a variety of mouth-watering cuisines to indulge in, but does it still count as enjoyment if we feel bad afterwards?

Unfortunately, we all have beaten ourselves up for eating in a way that society says is ‘too much’ or unhealthy. As drool-worthy as our dishes may be, most of us look at our food with fear (even when we’re snapping a pic of it). It’s this fear of judgement, and the guilt that follows after, that’s unhealthy. 

A healthy relationship with food allows you to listen to your own feelings, cravings and needs, instead of external (and totally unfair) ‘rules’. Developing this relationship does take conscious effort. We’ve asked Nutrivin, a platform run by soon-to-be dietitian, Jane Chong, for some advice on how to feel at peace with food:

 

What does it mean to have a healthy relationship with food?

“It’s not about the types of food you eat or the quality of your diet, but rather why you choose the foods you eat. Besides getting nourishment from food, you’re also connecting to different cultures and people, exploring new food and finding joy in them.”

 

Why is it important?

“It’s so common for us to comment on the food we or others eat, that it’s considered ‘normal’ or socially acceptable. This is actually a vicious cycle that can be damaging to a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. When we have a healthy relationship with food, it relieves this stress and anxiety around eating.”

 

What is considered a bad relationship with food?

“Not giving yourself permission to eat. For example, you follow strict diets or feel the need to ‘make up’ for eating unhealthy food. When you restrict yourself from eating, you end up ignoring your body’s hunger cues. You may do this because you’re afraid of being judged.”

 

How can we improve our eating habits?

“By improving your eating experience. Find out what would satisfy your body and mind. Practice mindful eating to truly enjoy your food – you can do this by engaging all your senses and eating without any distractions. This will help you appreciate food better and develop a more positive attitude towards eating.”

 

Please do not blame yourself for your eating behaviors – diet culture has dictated how we should eat for far too long. Start by being kinder to yourself and paying attention to your body’s wants and needs. You’ll soon begin to feel what it really means to enjoy food and eating!

Follow Nutrivin on Instagram for more advice on nutrition, health, body image and wellbeing.

Galentine’s Day may look different this year, but it doesn’t have to feel any less special! Even with dinner off the table, you can still dress your best for a fabulous Zoom call to celebrate your fave friends. Show your pals some love with handmade and heartfelt gifts – think of it as a socially-distanced hug and the perfect reminder that you’re still there for them!

We’ve found 8 TikTok tutorials to provide you with some Galentine’s Day #giftspo:

@samishomeTried making candles for the first time! Let’s make 2021 bright 🕯#homemade #candle #candletok #diy♬ midnight sun – Ramzoid


Beach holidays may be on hold right now, but you can still bring the vibes to your best travel buddies with these adorable shell candles! Mix together a tropical scent (fruity like the pina coladas you would sip), and have them light it up during sunset.

 

@ellena.10She do be bending candles doe #bendingcandles #candle♬ pretty girl – ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

These candles are too cool to light! You’ve probably seen them all over Instagram, adding a pop of colour to dressing tables and bookshelves. Pick their favorite colours and twist them into fun shapes!

 

@interhiorsDIY modern art decor 💓 pt 2 coming soon! #tiktokmalaysia #diy #paint #interhiors♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

You don’t have to be artistically inclined for this one – pull out your paints and just doodle for some fabulous wall pieces. Since they’re abstract, they’re simple enough for anyone to try! You can find more ideas on Pinterest.

 

@interhiorsDIY Pampas using a broom!? Idea from @manaff_maspur ✨ #diypampas #pampas #tiktokmalaysia♬ YRN (tik tok) – Tyler April

These will perfectly complement your modern wall art decor, as well as add a soft, natural touch to any space. Instagram has been digging the classic vintage vibe it exudes – making it the perfect prop for photos!

 

@theloveoftiedye2 for 1 on masks and reveals for some customers in the US. Comment and Like to see more dual videos!! #theloveoftiedye #brightcolours #tiedyetutorial♬ 1,2,3,4 (One, Two, Three, Four) – Fun Elektro Mix – Funbeat

Face masks have become essential, but they don’t have to be boring! Jazz up a plain white face mask with tie dye – a trend that’ll never go away. It allows you to unleash your creativity with bold colors or pastel feels.

 

@theloveoftiedyeNew idea from a customer, some hair scrunchies #theloveoftiedye #learningontiktok #colourselector #scrunchies♬ Suit & Tie (feat. JAY Z) – [Radio Edit] – Justin Timberlake

Scrunchies, on the other hand, are a trend that’s come back as wristwear. Create a cute matching set for your bestie, with a tie dye scrunchie and face mask, to help accessorize their fave loungewear looks!

 

@samishomePrada keychain flip. Turning a vintage find into 3 necklaces 🌟 #diy♬ Drake GREECE Slowed L.Dre Remix – L.Dre

You don’t need pricy designer pendants to make a statement piece, just grab anything cute and shiny, and put it on a chunky necklace. What about making matching friendship necklaces with pendants that best represent each other?

 

@tiffoodsReply to @caleb_sungaa Matcha cookies 🍵 #fyp #matcha #matchacookies #foodtiktok #foodie♬ drivers license x ocean eyes – carneyval

Sometimes, the way to our heart is simply through our stomachs. Fill up your friends’ hearts, and stomachs, with these yummy matcha cookies! Cut them into fun shapes to accentuate the cute color. 

We now have more time than ever to make heartfelt gifts for our loved ones. If you’ve been stressed and anxious, handmade gifts can also help with your mental health. They go easy on your budget as well. Happy creating!

 

With the many restaurants at our fingertips, it can be tempting to cave in to our cravings. Greasy pizzas and burgers, sugary cakes and cookies – yes, they make us happy, but it’s only temporary. In reality, these foods make us feel sluggish and invite other physical problems.

To look and feel our best, we need to begin from within. It can be as simple as eating well! With the right nutrients, we’ll be able to have a stronger body and clearer mind, as well as thicker hair, healthier nails, and glowing skin.

What’s even better news is that every single nutrient we need as humans can be found in non-animal sources. From protein and healthy fats to essential vitamins and minerals, we’ve curated the ultimate plant-based grocery list to help you thrive this Veganuary and in the months after!

Grocery Shopping List

Vegetables

Fruits

Protein

Whole Grains

Healthy Fats

Others

Building Your Plate

After crossing grocery shopping off your list, it’s time to pick, mix and put together your nourishing meals.

The Harvard School of Public Health recommends filling the plate with:

If you’re planning to go vegan long-term, you are usually advised to take vitamin B12 supplements and get your daily dose of vitamin D from the sun. Please consult your doctor first for personalized medical advice.

Now that you have your diet down, remember to also hydrate with plenty of water, sleep 7-9 hours a night, and stay active for all-round health and happiness!

During the last lockdown, did you experience cooking burnout? Even those who once enjoyed creating in the kitchen found themselves stressed and burned out from having to solely rely on their own efforts. We used to be able to grab coffee and lunch, which conveniently fit into our busy schedules. Now we have to squeeze in the time for grocery shopping, preparation, cooking, and cleaning up.

Having said that, eating healthy at home does not have to be difficult and time-consuming when there are prepared meal deliveries you can simply store in your freezer. All you have to do is heat them up! Not only will it save you time and money, but you’ll also get to plan and control your portions – developing a healthier relationship with food. Here are 8 local meal prep delivery services to help you eat with ease:

  1. DietMonsta

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by #1 💯 Healthy Food Delivery 🇲🇾 (@dietmonsta)

DietMonsta offers a wide range of protein options, as well as no carb, muscle gain and performance meal plans. Their ‘Blackbox’ meals also come with a variety of delicious sides and flavours for their proteins. Reheating these meals only take about 6 minutes, and they can be stored in the freezer for a month.

  1. Meals In Minutes

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Meals in Minutes (@mealsinminutes.co)

Meals In Minutes provides halal ready-to-cook meals that can be customised. They use all-natural ingredients, are precisely portioned, and can be cooked Sous Vide style – perfect for those who don’t own a microwave! There are several mouth-watering proteins to choose from, including butter parsley prawns, burgers, and Thai lime fish.

  1. CauliHeathyFood

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Healthy Meal Prep by Amalina (@caulihealthyfood)

CauliHealthyFood offers halal frozen meal preps that are catered for different diets. Their menus change every week, and their packages come in both weekly and monthly options. Reheating takes less than 2 minutes, and their meals can be kept in the freezer for about 2 months.

  1. Medofu

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MEDOFU Meal Prep & Delivery (@medofu.com_)

Value-for-money fitness meals can be found at Medofu! Talapia, Dory fish, and salmon – these are just some of the tasty protein packs available. They also offer a wide array of carbohydrates and sauces to be paired with the proteins.

  1. Fitbox Meals

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by fitboxmeals (@fitboxmeal)

FitBox Meals offers healthy meal plans that help you reach your fitness goals! Customise your meal packages according to your preferences, and enjoy dishes such as pasta with salmon fillet, Dory curry with brown rice, oats with berries, and more.

  1. Chunky Monkeys

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chunky Monkeys (@chunkymonkeys.my)

Keto-friendly, low-carb, and halal meal preps can be found at Chunky Monkeys. Be spoiled for choice with their wide variety of healthy meals, like shrimp and caulimash, nasi lemak sambal udang made with caulirice, and loaded caulimash with cheese and bacon bits.

  1. HeavenEat

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by HeavenEat (@heaveneat_my)

Healthy meals can be heavenly too with HeavenEat! The chickens used contain no antibiotics or hormones, and no MSG or preservatives are used in any of their meals either. Their chicken breast comes in four different flavours – classic, pesto, spicy mala, and hot paprika. You also have the option to pan-fry or grill the chicken.

  1. Tear N Eat

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Tear N Eat ©️ (@tearneat.my)

This is for those who need a truly on-the-go meal! Tear N Eat offers chicken breast protein packs that can be conveniently eaten anywhere. Like their name suggests, just tear and eat your chicken from the packet after reheating it. It comes in so many fun flavours like Sichuan Ma La, Chinese herbs, BBQ, and more.

With these healthy deliveries, you don’t have to sweat about meal prep when you’re stuck at home anymore!