I made a new important discovery today.  And I know I am still savoring every moment of this find. Tucked away in a rather nondescript part of Orchard Road is a mixed vegetable rice that sells organic brown rice.

No more plain boring nutrition-less white rice for me after gym now. To most people, it's just the colour of the rice - white versus brown. But the difference lies beyond the colour itself! A whole grain of rice has different layers. Only the othermost layer, the hull, is removed to produce what we call brown rice. This process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice and avoids the unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing. Mill the brown rice further to remove the bran and most of the germ layer, and this is when we get our white rice.

In all respects, white rice has lost most of its nutrients. Add further polishing to the white rice to achieve its gleaming flawless beautiful texture, and all the health-supportive, essential fats are stripped away, reducing white rice to a refined starch devoid of its original nutrients.

But brown rice is different. I know for one that brown rice is an excellent source of manganese, selenium (according to some, selenium helps prevents cancer) and magnesium.

Looking at me order brown rice, the mixed vegetable rice auntie could not help but ask me why I knew how to eat it. I just smiled and said because it's healthy. She returned my smile.

Ordering only spinach, well two servings of spinach actually (spinach is my favourite vegetable), I hopped over to the chicken rice stall to get my $3 worth of chicken breast meat bereft of the skin and with no sauce.

A beautiful lunch. This is going to be my staple lunch meal for some months to come :)

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There's an article in today’s newspaper that got me excited and it certainly proved to be an excellent read. Titled ‘The Secret to Michelle Obama’s Much-Talked-About Arms’, the title itself immediately arrested my attention. 
 
Briefly describing the US First Lady’s workout routine (with more details in next month’s Women’s Health magazine), the details came as part of a series of interviews by President Barack Obama and his wife on health care and their personal fitness cum nutrition habits.
 
It is little secret that Michelle Obama exudes confidence and looks great especially in her sleeveless dresses. What we now know is that all this is the result of pure discipline and hard work. In the gym, Michelle Obama goes through an intense routine of cardio workouts and weight training. If this is not punishing enough, she finishes with the “arm shaping superset” of tricep pushdowns and hammer curls. The results speak for themselves as often showcased in the media are one of the most commented-upon pair of toned arms in the world.

michelle obama toned arms img
 
Outside the gym, Michelle Obama has also made small but important changes to the family diet. She has eliminated processed foods, cut back on sugary drinks and advocated eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.
 
At the end of the day, it is not so much about just looking good. It’s also about feeling good. Even if you have had the most punishing workout routine, not keeping a close eye on what goes through your lips will still not give you the optimum figure you are looking for. The initial step is most difficult as it means adopting a different lifestyle but personal trainer. In fact, she has trained with her personal trainer for the last 22 years since she started in 1997.
 
Truly a fitness and health role model for us, I’ll leave you with this thought. If Michelle Obama can do it, so can all of us. 
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