FORGET ME NOT + CHRYSANTHEMUM FLOWER TEA

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Hello rainy Monday! Let’s start this brand new week with a home brew flower tea shall we?

Within this aromatic flower tea mix, I’d combined Chrysanthemum and Myosotis Sylvantica (aka Forget-Me-Not) mainly for the functionality they serve in helping me to combat a bad flu last week.

Chrysanthemum is long known and used for treating respiratory problems in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Forget-Me-Not is high in Vitamin C and boosts immunity.

Apart from their health properties, the delicate purple bloom is a beauty secret weapon. They support in skin nourishment and said to be an effective skin-whitening agent in lightening dark spots and wrinkles.

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Having a cup of home brewed tea from the flower buds infuses a round-bodied, and appealingly clean flavour as compared to tea bags in my opinion. It is absolutely soul-soothing to drink tea at 3-4pm, when it is time to walk around even if I am sedentary, when I completed my chores, when I return home from a big grocery trip.

For a refreshingly sweet and lively taste preference, pour hot flower tea brew over dried longans and a teaspoon of Chinese wolf berries. They are both great to boost “Qi”, our energy levels in another words. Allow them to steep for a couple of minutes, and you’ll get busy drinking and chewing on these natural sweeteners to perk you up!

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Before I introduce the Myosotis Slyvatica + Chrysanthemum Beauty Tea recipe, I want to share with you about how I learned to have a true, loving relationship with myself by being acutely aware of what I eat currently.

It all started from my journey of self-employment; solely manning this blog and working on food styling jobs at the start of this year. Being my own system, I was preoccupied to getting things done and neglected myself. Even though my working hours are flexible, having irregular meals and poor quality of sleep were the stumbling blocks I have encountered for myself.

When food and sleep were poorly managed, my health paid a price. I was ill for a full week in February. Everything was put on hold and I had to turn down jobs. It was a massive bummer😔

I panicked, and I felt horrible and guilty for not taking responsibility over my health. Essentially, it’s a self-love and time-management problem to fix.

Ever since that mini lesson, I realised I couldn’t sabotage myself again. I started a routine to ensure I eat better at regular timings, and even forced myself to hit slumberland by 11pm.

We are what we eat, and our faces reflect how well we sleep.

If we want to look sharp, radiant, and beautiful from inside out, we ought to eat and drink fresh, natural, diverse foods, and have at least 7-8 hours of good quality sleep a day. They definitely have an impact on our entire lives, our attitudes, our energy and emotions. Crazy huh? But very true.

With that said, I am going through a self-examination process, learning what foods allow me to perform better, think clearer and what foods to avoid another episode of sickness. Eating more leafy greens, removing red meats to unleash the vital goddess certainly takes a little practice. The more we practice to bring awareness of the foods we eat, the more we will eat intuitively!

After all, it is still a work in progress and I finally know what it means to feel a connection with my body- how to heal myself when it shuts down on me and how to nourish myself. I hope to share with all of you my journey in the upcoming recipes! Leave your comments or any recipe suggestions you’re hoping to learn for your overall well-being!

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Have a lovely week!Xx

-Ally

FORGET ME NOT + CHRYSANTHEMUM FLOWER TEA  (1 litre pot of tea)


Brewing time: 8 mins 

INGREDIENTS

  • 5g dried white chrysanthemums (Tai Ju 胎菊)

  • 5g Myosotis Sylvantica (Forget-Me-Not 勿忘我)

  • 2 tsp Chinese wolf berry (goji berries 枸杞子)

  • 4 Thai dried longan flesh(龙眼肉)

  • 1 litre filtered water


DIRECTIONS

  • Boil water and allow it to cool for a minute to around 90-95℃.

  • Pour dried flower buds into the teapot and fill with hot water. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes till the buds bloom.

  • Add 2 longan and 1 tsp Chinese wolf berry into each mug. Pour flower tea mix, and let them steep for another 3 minutes. Enjoy! 

TIPS

  • For iced tea lovers, follow the same brewing directions and add in ice cubes. Always drink tea that is freshly brewed, best within half an hour. Do not leave it sitting around overnight as tea darkens and becomes sour and undrinkable.

  • All the above ingredients are available at Hock Hua Tonic #notsponsored

LAVENDER GRAPE & TONIC | A CALMING MOCKTAIL

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Hey’all, I hope everyone had a restful and splendid weekend. Last Friday I was out with my bride tribe for a TGIF night at the Empire club. It’s been almost two years since I’ve visited a club and stayed awake at 3am.

We danced as if no one’s watching and I conquered a handful of spirits, thanks to how mild every gin & tonic dry the bartender mixed🙄. 7 drinks were all it took to reach my boundaries. I rejected every unwelcoming free drinks and stopped myself from getting hammered because that was never a cool and sensible thing to do.

My pinkish Asian flush, hives and dizziness are the dead giveaways that I am alcohol intolerant. It makes me feel vulnerable, yet embarrassed in a social setting. Hence, I never feel safe drinking more than one glass without people I trust around me. I begin drinking with Ryan at home instead. Home-made mulled wine, sparkling mock-tails, or the Old-Fashioned sum up our drink’s list. If anything happens, the bed or Ryan’s shoulder will be my safety nets, hahaha.

Today, I’ll be sharing with you this Lavender Grape & Tonic, high in fibre, which aids in digestion.

This inventive mock-tail comprises of dried lavender buds, seasonal Campbell Early Grapes from Korea, lime juice and skinny tonic water. Imagine a sparkling red wine. It’s refreshing to drink, and wake up sans hangover!

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After I removed the seeds and blended the flesh, the grape juice is slightly vinous. If you like, crush some dried or fresh lavender buds and stir in with lime juice. Strain the flowers and mix with the dense and sweet-acidic grape juice to counteract the bitterness of qunine in tonic water.

What are Campbell Early Grapes?

The harvesting season for Campbell Early Grapes aka Hwaseong Grapes is typically between September and October. These grapes are nearly round and grow in compact, handsome clusters. Korean grapes contain seeds, but their skin slip off neatly and easily once I pinched them with both my thumbs and index fingers.

Whiffs of sweetness emanated from the early grapes resemble those Japanese grape-flavoured gummies. They tasted uniquely palatable compared to other grapes I ate before and never left my lips tingling after popping in a few.

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What are the benefits of grapes?

  • Grapes contain phytonutrients, they are chemical produced by plants. Phytonutrients provide significant health benefits for individuals on plant-based diets.

  • Grapes are good source of fiber. Fiber also helps to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease, according to a 2013 review in the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal). Our digestive process requires bile acids, which are made partly with cholesterol. As your digestion improves, the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acid, thereby reducing the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol. With a sufficient daily fibre intake, it can make a difference to the overall colorectal health. Source: Livescience.com

  • Grapes contain copper and research suggests that copper also helps maintain strong bones. A study in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society explained that copper is essential for enzymes involved in the synthesis of bone components, and could possibly help prevent bone loss.

Should I eat grape skins?

  • Grape skins has the majority of the nutrients and antioxidants, particularly its high reservatrol content. Reservatrol is known for its effects of reducing the risk of heart diseases and anti-inflammatory activities. However, most of grapes are covered with pesticides in the United States, according to Environmental Working Group’s Dirty List, or if they are not organically-grown.

  • For myself, I do wash the grapes thoroughly most of the times before consumption, or purchase organic grapes for my safety. Enjoy grape skin in moderation!

LAVENDER GRAPE & TONIC (serves 2)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 150g Campbell Early Grape (Korea)

  • Juice of 1 large seedless lime

  • 2 sprigs dried lavender buds, available in FairPrice Finest

  • 600ml/3 bottles Skinny Tonic Water (Double Dutch), available in FairPrice Finest

Directions

  • Pull out the lavender buds into a bowl. Use a rolling pin or pestle to crush them roughly.

  • Mix crushed lavender buds into lime juice and let it sit for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, wash grapes thoroughly and deseed. Add the grapes into a blender and blend until a smooth, deep red juice is formed. The grape skins should also be finely chopped. Strain the juice with a strainer, use the back of a spoon to press on residue to squeeze out excess juice. Set aside.

  • Strain lavender buds. Divide lavender infused lime juice and grape juice between two glass jars. 

  • Pour 300ml/ 1½ bottle of chilled skinny tonic water to each jars. Stir quickly with extra lavender sprigs and serve with ice cubes. 

Notes

  • Choose lavender buds that are fully purple for the best aromatic, calming qualities

  • Put some pressure and roll a large seedless lime on the chopping board to get the most juice out of it.

  • It is optional to keep the skin on if you don’t favour its astringent flavour

  • Chill skinny tonic water an hour before preparation

Enjoy!Xx

-Ally

ENERGISING TURMERIC SHOT

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A golden turmeric shot a day, brings your bounce back to slay!

During my last wellness retreat at Amatara Wellness Resort situated in Phuket, it was an enlightening, and restorative one to remember. Having their crafted turmeric shot every morning before a morning yoga class not only awakes my palate, but also keeps me sharp and focus throughout the day.

I am inspired by Amatara’s strong concept of wellness cuisine, and how they embrace authentic healing foods for optimal nutrition. So once I returned home, I got into the habit of recreating this turmeric shot every morning for that burst of energy.

Curcumin is the main active compound in turmeric. It results to a golden-hue, which will instantly stained on anything it comes in contact. Be sure that you are not wearing your favourite nightgown or PJs, while preparing this extremely potent and sweet-earthy concoction. Scrubbing this stubborn stain away may not be the most positive task to kickstart your day.

Despite curcumin’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects, and its properties to improve digestion and memory, the content in turmeric is not high, around 3% by weight. To boost the absorption of curcumin, I sprinkled a pinch of black pepper to the turmeric shot composition before it is ready to blend.

This nourishing shot is an inexpensive, healing potion that I am hooked on. I hope you’ll give it a shot (pun intended) and let me know your thoughts!

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Tips

  • Designate a glass just for the turmeric shot. You’ll be reusing the stained glass every day anyway.

  • Use a small piece of kitchen paper to hold raw turmeric root while handling it at all times. This is to prevent having yellow fingertips and nails.

  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash, brush your teeth, and scrap your tongue shortly after you take a shot.

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ENERGISING TURMERIC SHOT

Preparation time: 3 minutes

Juicing time: 2 minutes

Ingredients

- 1 thumb fresh turmeric root

- ½ thumb young ginger

- 200ml coconut water

- 1 tsp acacia honey

- 1 tsp lemon juice

- 1 tsp lime juice

- Pinch of cracked black pepper

- Pinch of cayenne pepper

- Pinch of ground turmeric powder (optional)


Directions

- Peel turmeric and ginger skin. Cut them into small chunks.

- Add all ingredients into a juice blender. For a more peppery, pungent kick, sprinkle an extra pinch of cayenne pepper. 

- Blend the mixture for 2 minutes. Serve between two glasses, and take the shot right away. 


Enjoy!Xx

-Ally