• Oct
  • 24
  • 2015

my weight loss journey | 29.8kg loss

I shared my story a few months ago on my personal Facebook and I’ve had a few friends PM me asking for advice and support. If you’ve never gone through a weight loss struggle, you will not understand how hard it really is. It makes it even harder for those who have never adapted to a healthy and active lifestyle, I was one of those people!

It was November 2014 when I finally made a change.  Not a yoyo diet, an ongoing lifestyle change, Alhamdulillah- Allah praise to Allah.

Let me first state that I’m not a PT or a nutritionist, but this is what I did and it worked for me; it may or may not work for you but hopefully you can take a thing or two.

Today marks the date I turn 30. Today, I am lighter than I have ever been in my 20s. The last time I weighed 50kgs, I was 18!

11 months ago, in November ’14, weighing 80kgs (size 16), I told myself that I wanted to lose 30 before 30! In the first 5 months, I lost 22 kilos quite easily & healthily (no stupid diets) and after that, I plateud for 2 months at 56kgs, then again plateud at 52kg for another 2 months. Now let me share a bit of my history before I share some weight loss tips.

Since 2010, I wanted to lose weight so I bought a lot of things…from expensive gym memberships, wii fit, treadmill and elliptical machine, to buying all sorts of shakes- herbalife, LBW etc! I knew I had to lose weight but I didn’t want it bad enough that as soon as an excuse arose (fell pregnant and diagnosed with under active thyroid), I gave up instantly. I used pregnancy as a way to let myself go. I can’t entirely blame my weight gain on pregnancies alone because it was more of my poor eating habits that made me stack on the kilos. I would snack on chocolate, chips and all sorts of junk, every-single-day. I was a total couch potato and the thought of exercise even before I started made me ill. The thought of giving up on carb loaded food and yummy desserts, how could I miss out on these things? I am a huge food lover! So I kept saying I’ll start on Monday but when Monday came, I pretended like I had forgotten. This kept repeating for months and years. Soon again, I picked up my so called “wanting to lose weight mojo” and probably managed 2 weeks into it when I couldn’t help myself and started binge eating again. Of course as some of you can relate to this thought –> “what’s the point of exercising now that I’ve eaten so much junk?! Forget weight loss man its so bloody hard!!”.

How bad do you want it? Saying ‘I need to lose weight’ isn’t good enough. Trust me, it took me 5 years to realise how to put it together and stay motivated. Yes it is hard and you need a lot of patience, self motivation & support!

Here are my most important tips to get started.

Weight loss is a mental challenge more than a physical one. Pain is a temporary thing, but what keeps it going is whats IN YOU!. Even if you own a gym, but if you don’t have the willpower/determination, you still wont be able to shed off any weight! So tell yourself you can do it, and you really can! Mind is a very powerful thing subhanallah.

2. GOAL!
Have a big goal, but also have mini goals first to reach to that big one. And have rewards for those little goals. Mine was buying new workout gear, going to the hairdresser, getting laser hair removal (best thing ever!). Rewards can be as little or as big as you want. But always remember your GOAL when the going gets tough.

3. Find something that you enjoy doing. For me, it took a while to figure out what I enjoy doing and now that I’ve found it, I really look forward to it. Its my “me time” at the gym classes (my hubby calls me a gym freak, never in my life I would dream of being a gym freak lol) So, find something that you like :)

4. Start slow. For a newbie, 15mins a day is all you need. Then you can build up gradually. I couldn’t do so many things at the start and never ever thought I could do, but consistency is the key and you will slowly notice that you are getting fitter and could run for more than a minute without huffing and puffing like someone who is about to die (yes that was me lol!)

Never leave exercise for more than 3 days in a row. Once you stop, it is very hard to pick yourself up again. So that’s why slow and consistent is the winner.

5. When exercising gets hard, go back to #1 and #2.

6. Find support. It can be your husband, sister, friend, PT…anything! My support person is my husband, and also my friends in our private Muslimah weight loss support group on Facebook. I am also in the Lose Baby Weight group, and found that it was such a huge motivation to get me started. Seeing before & after photos really makes you realise that everything is possible!

Note: If you want to lose weight, make sure you take progress photos and measurements every month. Don’t rely solely on scales! I can’t stress how important photos and measurements are. The first 3 months I was a bit dissapointed because I didn’t feel any difference and thought I hadn’t made much progress until I put my photos side by side. I was gobsmacked at what I saw! I’ve lost hundreds of centimetres, Mashallah! Once you see results, you subconsciously want to eat healthy and look after yourself.


From a food perspective

Water is so important. I plateaued for a few weeks and started to increase my water intake and from the next day onwards, my weight was dropping and I was losing about a kilo a week,tabarakallah! So drink at least 2-3L a day. It helps so much with weight loss!

2. Do not DIET!
I dont understand when people say I want to go on a fruit diet, or water diet and all these rubbish diets. Why do you deprive your body? Please just eat healthy and have an active lifestyle. Eat small portions every 2-3 hours. Once your body goes into starvation mode, you are storing fat! Dieting is a temporary thing, because once you’re off the diet and back your normal eating lifestyle, you’re going to pile on the weight again. It is not sustainable and you want to do something healthy and life long inshallah.

3. Cut off processed sugar. It will be sooooooo hard at the start, I used to crave something sweet after every meal, it was an addiction. But now, I don’t even crave it. It takes time. You can make healthy dessert substitutes.

3. Having said that, do enjoy treats once in a while. Don’t deprive yourself. We are all humans and of course we enjoy a yummy fatty treat once in a while. When I see a piece of cake, I’ll eat it. I usually do treats once a week (portion control and I choose what I eat, if I want to waste my calories, I want to make sure that I’m eating a delicious quality dessert that I really enjoy, not just for the sake of social eating), and never ever feel guilty and that you’ve jeopardise your weight loss. Your only guilt should be wanting to burn it off! I always tell myself, one piece of cake will not make me gain weight, the same as 1 day of exercise will not make me lose weight.

4. 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Always prepare in advance. I find that soups are my quick thing to go to. When I’m hungry, I have lentil soup, chickpea or chicken soup. If I’m out, I make sure I carry some nuts or fruits in my bag to snack on. I try to limit my carb intake, I find that I bloat a lot from rice, bread and pasta. It also slows down my weight loss. I don’t cut it off completely, but I substitute to brown or gluten free. If I’m out and there are no healthy options, I control my portion and try to mainly eat the proteins-chicken, fish etc

I will not lie and tell you that there will be days when you feel like its so hard and you want to give up, but quickly refocus and think of your goal. Get a pair of old jeans and keep trying it on every month. I had my honeymoon clothes stacked away in the shed. I never thought I would get back into it, but it fits now and it makes me feel so good! When I shop for clothes, it was only for my kids back then (I used only buy mine at Kmart) but now I enjoy walking around the mall looking at clothes (for myself)! And when your hubby wants to eat healthy and start exercising because he is inspired by you, wow mashallah! Waking up feeling lighter, and running around chasing your kids because you have the energy to, is the best feeling in the world!

Alhamdulillah, I have to say that yes I am proud of my achievements, especially given my stuggles with weight loss in the past. This is now my new lifestyle, incorporating fitness for life. I want you to see that you too can do it! Be proud of your achievements no matter how big or small. After the first month, I lost 5 kgs, I was super happy with myself! So can you imagine a 29.8kg loss? So stay positive and have patience :)

Even at my goal weight now, my body is NOT the same as when I was 20yrs old. I’ve had 3 kids back to back so thats going to change the way my body looks, but what is important to me is that I am fit and healthy. Even when I was a 50 back in the days, I wasn’t even fit.

For busy mums who can’t get access to a gym, don’t stress! 15mins a day in your own living room and all you need is your body weight. Put on some YouTube videos. If your kids are there to annoy you, carry them and use them as weights, they’ll start giggling and thats your bonding time. I do a lot of incidental exercises like squats while mopping and lunges in between stirring my food on the stove, and so much more!

How has weight loss affected me? CONFIDENCE! I feel like a brand new person! My self confidence is back! I do not need to hide behind pajamas all day long. I can happily chase after my 2 year old son who apparently loves running away from me. I feel energetic and happy doing things now because I no longer feel depressed and sluggish. Weight loss is a great boost to your mental and physical health. Of course there are days when I feel like eating cake and not workout, but that feeling will pass and the guilt will start to creep back, especially if you’ve been maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle :)

Start small, build gradually. Be fit for yourself, for your kids, your hubby and most importantly for Allah who has given your body and health as an amanah to you! Fit and healthy Muslimahs, inshallah.


  • Sep
  • 14
  • 2015

savoury brunch pastry

I love pastries! Sweet or savoury, I’ll happily scoffed them all! I made these pastries for a brunch a few weeks ago. I’m very fussy with it comes to breakfast so I decided not to follow a recipe, and just simply whip up something that I would enjoy. I love caramelised onions and haloomi cheese. These 2 are the main ingredients I love and I could just eat them on their own!


Makes: 12 pastries
Prep time: 15mins
Cook time: 20-30mins


300g mix mince (beef & lamb)
1 brown onion, sliced thinly
1 cup cut haloomi cheese (diced)
1 red capsicum, sliced thinly
1/2 cup sliced black olives
beef rashes (optional, for variety)
3 sheets puff pastry, thawed
10 mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp italian herbs
2 eggs, beaten
salt & pepper, to taste



1. Preheat oven to 160degrees fan forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper
2. In a saucepan with some oil, brown the mince. If adding rashes, you may cook it with the mince. Do not overcook. Remove
3. Add a bit more oil and saute the onions, mushrooms and capsicum. Cook until onions caramelised and capsicum is nice and soft. Then add salt, pepper and italian herbs
4.  Cut 1 sheet of pastry into 4 square. Gently roll the edges to form a shallow pit for the ingredients to sit in. Then add the sauteed onions/capsicum/mushrooms around the edges. In the middle, put about 1-2 tablespoons of mince. Top it off with some olives and cheese and finally drizzle the egg over.
5. Bake for 20-30mins until pastry is golden and puffed.





  • Aug
  • 04
  • 2015

barley and chicken soup

I am a HUGE soup lover! I could eat soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner! I just found this amazing soup recipe through a friend from a Facebook cooking group, so happy to come across new soup recipes. Please hit me with some of your favourites too. They are so nice especially in this cold wintery weather.


Adapted from Coles Magazine, with slight modifications
Serves: 6
Prep time: 15mins
Cook time: 2 hours


1kg chicken (I use chicken maryland pieces with bones)
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 flat leaf parsley stems
2 thyme sprigs
1 dried bay leaf
1 tsp peppercorns (or pepper)
1/2 cup pearl barley
some chopped coriander
2L water (or more)
Salt to taste



1. In a large stockpot, saute with some oil; onions, leek, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley and coriander.
2. Then add the chicken pieces and water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
3. Use tong and transfer chicken pieces into a bowl. Remove and discard skin and bones. Coarsely shred the chicken.
4. Add barley and chicken pieces into soup and cook for another 30 minutes or until barley is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.



  • Aug
  • 02
  • 2015

brownie cheesecake with chocolate mousse

If you like chocolate and cheesecake then you should try out this triple later cheesecake which is made of a brownie base, cheesecake centre and a chocolate mousse topping! Or if you’re more of the traditional type cheesecake lover with a fruit toping, like blueberry or raspberry, then go for this New York cheesecake, absolutely to die for (which happens to be the middle layer in this cake!)


Click here for brownie recipe

Click here for cheesecake recipe

Adapted from Nigella, I halved the recipe


75 grams marshmallows
25 grams soft butter
125 grams good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped
30ml hot water
142ml thickened cream, whipped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
  4. Pour on top of cooled cheesecake then chill for a minimum of 4 hours.



  • Jul
  • 16
  • 2015

Pineapple Tarts | Tart Nenas

Pineapple tarts are such a Malay tradition for Raya(Eid). One of the best biskut raya (Eid cookies)!

You can make them in a few different shapes so I went with  the flower and the ‘pineapple’ shape tarts. The flower was made using a tart cutter and the pineapple was done by hand, and the pattern was made using scissors (yes really!)

So proud of my little pineapple tarts! LOL

Adapted from Siti Emel


265g butter, room temperature**
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted**
1 tbsp vanilla essence**
a pinch of salt**
1 drop of yellow food colour**

2 egg yolks ##
1 egg white##

2 tbsp corn flour ~
500grams plain flour, sifted ~


1. Beat/mix all ingredients ** in a mixer for 5 mins. I use a food processor

2. Add ingredients ## then mix again for another 5 mins

3. Add ingredients ~ then knead dough (in my food processor)

4. Set aside for 30mins. Then start making your tarts with the filling (recipe below)

5. Preheat oven at 160C for 20mins first

6. Then bake for 20mins!




500grams  grated pineapple (juice drained)
250grams sugar
1 screwpine leaf (daun pandan)
2 drops orange food colouring

1. Cut pineapple and using a food processor, process till it becomes fine. Then drain the juice.

2. In a pot, combine all the ingredients and cook on a low to medium heat until it reduces and becomes like a jam consistency.

3. Let it cool before assembling the tarts

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