VIETNAMESE-STYLE BAKED FISH
I am obsessed with all things Vietnamese! (Okay maybe just the food for now)
They are always so simple and so healthy.
This fish dish is a personal favourite, not to mention a hit when we made it for a girls’ night in dinner the other day. And it's so tasty, I definitely make it even when I'm not on a detox. They key is to make sure that everything is fresh – it really does make a difference to the whole dish!
This serves 1 if you’re eating just fish with vegetables.
What You Need:
1 fresh, medium-sized seabass, cleaned and scaled
1 handful fresh coriander
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 cherry tomatoes
2 small bird’s eye chili, crushed
2 slices fresh ginger
For the dressing:
2 tbsp. lime juice
1tsp raw brown sugar
3 tbsp. fish sauce
A few drops of sesame oil
What You Do:
JACK O'S HEALTHY MEATBALLS
There’s a local all-natural healthy meat patty in town, did you know?
It’s called Jack O, and you can either get the full vegan version or the patties which are made of only 30% meat (no bones, skin, or organs) and 70% plant-based. They also don’t include any colouring or preservatives (lets face it, this is loads better than the conventional patties you're used too!)
If you want to check them out (and they do delieveries!), visit their page at
Sure, I do make my own minced meat now and then, but for other days when I'm in no mood to be the Stanford Wife, I love these kinds of alternatives. So here’s my version of Jack O’s baked meatballs, which are really delicious with homemade marinara sauce, a side of grilled vegetables or even on their own as a snack.
What You Need:
1 pack Jack O Veggie Patties (full vegan or chicken)
1 cup of wholegrain breadcrumbs
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 clove garlic
Salt and Pepper
What You Do:
Before they go into the oven!
THE ANNUAL GWYNETH CONVENTION
In an ideal world Gwyneth Paltrow and I are best friends, we would have workout dates together, go for vaginal steaming, share recipes on clean eats and do our nails while listening to her ex-husband’s latest album. I would also get free samples from her toxic-free skincare line and we would have homemade falafel from her recipe book.
But the world is not ideal and that’s just the way it is. However, I did try out her detox plan last year (which you can read about here) and it was a phenomenal success at least from my experience. It is now an official annual thing, so here it is again, folks.
The best part about living in a multi-racial community? You’re somehow right smack in the middle of all sorts of festivities, with access to amazing, seasonal festive foods and holidays. Come December, after going all YOLO for a while, I came out of it a few pounds heavier, with forgotten workouts, spottier-than-usual skin and a constant feeling resembling a potato. It’s time to whip out the old ‘What Would Gwyneth Do’ plan, and here is this round’s 4-day detox plan, with some selected recipes and daily journals attached. Enjoy!
I kicked off this morning by making a smoothie. One of the things I have noticed about doing detoxes is the amount of time I’d have to spend prepping food. For instance, today I was scheduled to have cold soba noodles for lunch, so I had to wake up much earlier to prepare them. It’s so hazardous to be chopping raw vegetables so early in the morning. I felt great throughout the day, and for dinner I made salmon burgers and sweet potato ‘fries’, which were awesome! It was almost like I was eating a juicy hamburger with crunchy fries, except somebody forgot the burger buns…
Another morning of smoothie. By 11 am I was starving, so I started making some kefta chicken kebabs, recipe courtesy of Gwyneth. They were so lean and tasty! I would make this recipe again on non-detox days. I did some yoga and managed a headstand for quite a while – not sure if this was due to the lightness of meals I have been having or just pure psychology. Dinner was a crowd affair. Some friends and I made a Vietnamese buffet together, with fresh raw veg, baked fish stuffed with herbs, lean garlicky chicken, and an amazing lime infused dipping sauce. The last time I had a detox I had a lot of cravings, but this time around it seems breezy. Not complaining.
Finally, solid food for breakfast. Oatmeal is nothing new, but oatmeal with almond milk will never be as good as oatmeal with full cream fresh cow milk. I miss my dairy. I miss cheese. Today I had a bit of a withdrawal. For some reason I can’t stop thinking about my fudgy, chocolate-y, cold brownies. I will make them next week. And eat all of them while watching TV. Ok calm down. The point of detoxing is to not relapse. To clear my head I went for a run around the neighbourhood and lasted only 20 minutes before starting to feel extremely exhausted. Goddamn quinoa salad lunch. For dinner I made tom-yum soup with lots of herbs and fish, to eat with brown rice. I loveeee rice. Is and always will be a Malaysian girl at heart.
Final day! Not sure why, but the last day is always the most unbearable one.
I feel kind of radiant. Kind of. But at lunch I saw someone eat white rice with curry and all the fixings, and as I stared at my own salad with carrot ginger dressing, I began to hate the world.
To make up for the curry incident, I made Deliciously Ella’s quinoa and chickpea curry. It was amazing and so easy to prepare, but the truth was I was already daydreaming for the next day when I could finally again eat a cookie. The large toasted one. With a glass of cold milk. Mmmm.
As usual, Gwyneth's detox plans are fail-proof. I lost what I wanted to lose, and in general felt much better and brighter physically. Detoxes, I’ve realised, is made much easier when you’re allowed solid food. I didn’t have a lot of cravings, but it’s possibly because I don’t drink coffee or alcohol anyway, I don’t take red meat too much on regular days and I don’t enjoy processed food in real life. My biggest challenge was the white carbs withdrawal, because this girl love her potatoes, rice and pasta (I almost strangled the girl who ate rice and curry on day 4). I had also come to a conclusion that dairy elimination does the skin good. Like really good. Everything cleared up and I’m pretty sure I’ll be taking less dairy from now onwards.
Thanks Gwyneth! Haha.
so I TRIED TO EAT LIKE GWYNETH PALTROW
I’ve always been a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow’s body. I mean, if I’m 40 and gave birth to kids and still look like that, man I really wouldn't be complaining. I also like the fact that she works hard for her figure and it isn't just all ‘good genes’.
Although I don’t celebrate Christmas and it isn't exactly winter in Malaysia, I always end up packing on a few pounds anyway. Maybe because it’s always raining, the school holidays are kicking in hence more frequent trips to my parents equals more eating. In any case, since I am a consistent stalker of her blog Goop, I have decided to give her ‘detox’ week-long plan a spin. Maybe I’ll end up looking a million bucks like she does and get a rockstar husband?
So here are her basic rules for a week-long detox.
Woke up this morning with complete enthusiasm to embark on this ‘experiment’. The morning smoothie wasn’t too bad. In fact, I quite like it. By lunch time it was crudités and hummus dip. I even roasted some cauliflower for good measure. Then I went to yoga class. By the time I returned I was starving. I had some almonds. Be patient, I told myself. Soon I will be radiating with the iridescence Gwyneth promises. I had grilled salmon with a small serving of olio pasta and spinach for dinner. The salmon turned out to be pretty tasty. Oh thank God. Real food!
I had oatmeal with almond milk today. I’m okay with almond milk. But if you tell me it is just as good as my usual full cream, I will punch your face. Lunch was grilled chicken salad, and to make sure it’s ‘clean’ grilled chicken I had to make it myself this morning. I’m not loving the part where I have to cook and prep a lot for this diet. I mean, who wants to wake up at 6.30 am and grill chicken? Goodness. I went for a run and got hungry very quickly. Dinner was brown rice (rice!! Yayyyyy) with pumpkin curry and lightly stir-fried spinach. I put some chilies in it. Apparently chilies are not allowed because it’s a type of nightshade, which can cause inflammation on rashes. But I don’t have rashes and Asian girl needs her dose of chili so here we go.
Is it just me or is everyone especially annoying today? I almost screamed at my plant by the front door. Breakfast was a smoothie of almond milk with a peach and a banana. Which sounded better than it tasted. I had to wake up early again to make my quinoa salad lunch, and I’ve got to hand it to myself because it tasted really good. It’s also strange how much I don’t miss refined sugar at all. I do miss my tea though. I went for a run and some sauna, and when I got back home I was craving for some carbs so I decided to switch and have my pasta for dinner instead. I love love love Ella’s version of spinach pesto pasta from her Deliciously Ella website. I went to bed happy.
I don’t feel radiant. I just want to eat my own arm. It looks really meaty…
I had a bowl of porridge today which was quite nice, also from the Deliciously Ella website. By lunch it was time to try Gwyneth’s cucumber and avocado soup. And by soup, she means a cold soup of blended cucumber and avocado, with some salt and lemon juice. It looked gross but tasted quite refreshing, and would have been great AS A STARTER. But that ended up being my lunch with a grilled teriyaki chicken. I hate you Gwyneth (I‘m sorry Gwyneth, I really don’t. It’s just the hunger talking). I went for a massage and had a happy moment when the masseuse said I looked great (come to think of it, I think she’s just playing out her PR skills). For dinner it was baked sweet potato stuffed with roasted cauliflower, mushrooms, edamame beans and avocado. My favourite! But I still find myself dreaming about Saturday night when I can finally pig out on chicken enchiladas with a fat serving of sour cream. I miss my dairy.
Last day of my detox plan!! I am strangely in an upbeat mood today. Also strange is the fact that I think my skin seems ‘cleared up’ for some reason. Or maybe it’s just psychology. My breakfast of apple, carrot and ginger smoothie went down easy, and for lunch I had some salad with a whole avocado, and made Gwyneth’s recipe for a carrot ginger dressing. Surprisingly, this dressing is absolutely delicious. In fact, it is one of the best dressings I have ever made. I will probably make this salad again even when I am not on a detox plan. Later in the evening I decided to ditch swimming and went for futsal practice, and instead of feeling like I was going to pass out during half time, I actually felt pretty great. For dinner I had grilled chicken and leftover quinoa, and because I’m a horrible person I actually had a small piece of chocolate.
But who cares?? Dobby is free!!!
In this sneak peak of what it feels like to eat like Gwyneth (she claims she does this a lot in preparation to filming), I must say I have full respect for this woman. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to pull this off for more than five days I’m sure. On a happy note, I lost what I wanted to lose, my skin cleared up and I honestly do feel lighter. Don’t get me wrong, some days I felt really cranky for missing my tea and spicy food, and there was even a point where I almost gave up (this happened on Day 3). But tomorrow’s promise of an awesome enchilada dinner topped with a dollop of sour cream and 3 types of cheeses with spicy chicken filling sure is making me feel pretty joyous right now. And after that I'm going to have rice with gulai and sambal udang. And after that...