Thursday, 17 April 2014

What kind of exercise should I do?

I don't think anyone can argue that any movement is good movement. It is so easy to fall into the trap of not incorporating any kinds of exercise in our life. After all, life is ALWAYS busy.

When I was working full time, my hours were horrible. Start at 7am? ticked. End work at 9pm and arrive home at 10pm? ticked. There are some days when I hardly say a word to my husband, not to mention going to a gym! Then you have the mundane everyday life jobs that has to be done. Cleaning, washing, ironing, doing groceries. Factor that in and no wonder most people feel that they do not have time to exercise.

I think that  is the reason why I am a big fan of Metabolic Conditioning or MetCon. I do not need to put in hours and hours to become fitter and stronger. The concept of Metcon is to deliver high intensity exercises in short amount of time. This means the body has to adapt to using up delivery of energy rather quickly. Your body then adapt itself, creating more oxygen and blood to where it is needed. That is why it is call metabolic-it increases the efficiency in converting food to fuel and making muscles work harder.

MetCon also carries concepts of Tabata and interval training.

I truly believe that is what helped me become stronger and lost weight faster post baby.

So what kind of workouts do we do?

Warm up of 5-10 minutes: Consisting of running, push ups, squats, swings, movements that loosen up the body.

10- 15 minutes of high intensity workout. Some examples are: 100 burpees but Each Minute on the Minute running 50M, Sprinting 150M before 20 goblet squats, 20 burpees, 20 push ups, 20 TRX rows, 20 sit ups..etc. Doing Thursters and burpees and many more.

Cool Down.

It means I am generally out of the gym and back home within 1 hour. Even in time to bath, feed and put baby to bed!

What other exercises do I do?

I pick and choose really. Cardio dance fitness are a great fun. They burn calories and is a great workout. However, looking back at my journey, I think it was a different kind of fit from doing cardio dance fitness. I certainly didn't feel that I was stronger (physically), but I do feel that I burned some calories and danced my silly ways to feeling good about myself. I love Konga and have dabbled into Zumba as well.

Boxing Fitness- Oh boy! I LOVE boxing fitness. It is a all total full body workout that engages the core, conditioning, strength, endurance and most of all FUN! I love different combinations and how different each drill is. Time goes quickly in every class. It looks intimidating but really, it isn't when you are doing it.

Weights- Having weights increased the intensity of any exercise. Yes, it is harder but boy your body will thank you for it. We love our heavy weights.

Kettlebells- Need I say more? Kettle bells swings is a full body total workout. It's cardio and weights in a package.

Pilates- I love a good stretch. And whoever says pilates is not a workout have not been doing it right. I have walked out from a class and feeling sore in my glutes and abs. I recommend looking for a clinical pilates instructor or at least a reputable teacher.

You will see that we do not do hours of cardio such as running on the treadmill. I have learned the hard way and find that the above combination worked best for me.

Hopefully, you will find what works for you too.


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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Carrot & Coconut Cupcakes

 We had lots of carrots in the house, and one morning I decided I would bake. This was the result:

So yummy!! At a cupcake size, these make a perfect snack or an on-the-go breakfast! They were really simple to make and won't take much time for those of you who are super busy. 

Makes: 9-10

  • 40g       coconut flour
  • 1tsp      ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp   nutmeg
  • 1tsp      baking powder
  • Pinch    salt
  • 1 cup    grated carrot

  • 3 large   eggs
  • 30mL    coconut oil
  • 1tsp       vanilla
  • 2            medjool dates
  • 1tbsp    honey

  • 50g         nuts of choice (I used Walnuts)


1.    Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan forced oven).
2.    Soak the medjool dates in some warm or hot water
3.    Mix the dry ingredients EXCEPT the carrots in a bowl and set aside
4.    Pit the dates
5.    Blend wet ingredients with half the grated carrot. Pour into mixing bowl.
6.    Add the dry ingredients to the wet
7.    Mix in remaining carrots (& nuts if you opted)
8.    Let the batter sit for 5-10 mins to let the coconut flour expand
9.    Scoop into cupcake moulds and bake for 20 minutes - this will vary slightly depending on your oven and cupcake size. 

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Case Study: Living with Hypothyroidism

In this post, I’m gonna share with you what limited information I know about Hypothyroidism, and also putting myself out there as a case study to anyone interested. I would love to hear any opinions, suggestions or stories from you guys out there who are way more knowledgeable than me in this area.

Email us at or drop a comment at the bottom

What is your Thyroid?

As far as my physiology knowledge goes, your Thyroid is a gland located in your neck. It produces the hormones T3 and T4. As an endocrine gland, it sends hormones straight to your bloodstream.

Why is your thyroid important?

Your thyroid hormones are essential for regulating your metabolism. So really, if your thyroid is not functioning properly, you will experience various symptoms and your metabolism will be either too fast or too slow. Having a fast metabolism is not a bad thing, but there are other side effects to having too much thyroid hormone.


Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is when your body isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone. This causes various symptoms and slows down your metabolism.

Some symptoms of Hypothyroidism:
  • Tiredness
  • Sensitivity to the cold
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Weight gain/difficulty losing weight
  • Constipation
  • Slow heart rate
Check out Stop the Thyroid Madness for a full run down on your Thyroid.

My diagnosis

I initially had Graves’ Disease (Hyperthyroidism). This was uncontrollably high and medication was not working, I was treated with radioiodine to kill off my thyroid gland completely and now I have Hypothyroidism. Since I don’t have a functioning thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones, I am taking hormone replacements. I will be on medication for life. In my case, it doesn’t produce any hormone, so I’ve got to feed it into my body.


I’m not a doctor, so I won’t advise on different medications because I am not confident about it. I will share with you all that I am on T4 replacement only (I have been for the last decade). My dosage dropped from 150 to 75 in January 2014 as my test results showed an over replacement of T4. I saw an Endo in March 2014, who says my body is currently still in shock from such a big discrepancy in my dosage change. The Endo says if my body can regulate on T4, it would be preferable because T4 is stable and holding off a T3/T4 mix at this point in time – so I’m continuing on 75/day. I’m due to have another blood test in the second last week of May. If you have other opinions, please share!

I have been reading into alternative medications, such as a mix T3/T4 replacement, this is popping up a lot more recently. I’m not too sure how much I should push for this. At this point in time though, I’m getting desperate and willing to try different things.

Blood Test Results

I got tested for all my hormones, they all came back within normal ranges, except for the Thyroid Functions.

20.03.2014 25.02.2014 02.01.2014
FT4 14.8 15.7 35.1
TSH 0.12 0.07 0.02
FT3 2 2 4.8

In the meantime, how does this affect my everyday life?

It’s extremely frustrating! Daphne could attest to this. I gained 5kg out of nowhere and now I’m struggling to lose fat. From a fitness/wellness perspective, I eat well, within reason and I’m highly active – according to generic calculations and logic, good changes should be happening and fat should be dropping. This affects me big time, I’m constantly stressed and get mega mood swings (also a symptom I think). The hardest thing about this trial and error-ing is that it requires patience, which is not a forte of mine – but I’m learning :)

I will keep you all updated after I have my next check up.

Again, drop a comment below or email us at if you have any opinions/info to share with me :)

xx Melissa

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Monday, 14 April 2014

Can an Asian eat clean? Part 2

When I first started eating clean, I was actually doing okay. The people around me (including family) just thought I was on a diet that was going to end at some point so they left me alone. They didn't realise it was an entire lifestyle change. I started doing my own groceries and making my own foods - bear in mind this is usually a no no for Asian homes, but for my mum it was more a nuisance because I started taking up space in her kitchen.

Here's some of the things I hear quite often:

"You don't need a diet!" 

"You're making me feel bad for eating this"

"You're so healthy its disgusting" (that half sarcastic/not really comment) 

"If you keep this up, you're gonna live to 100!" (not a bad comment, but its indirectly suggesting I shouldn't be "so healthy")

"I can count the number of grains on your plate. ZERO!"

"You're Asian, you MUST eat rice!"

"You have a disorder." 

Just like Daphne says here in Part 1, the list goes on. I suggest you take a read of this if you have found this post first. I'm building on what Daphne has already written, hence Pt 2.

I was born in Australia and have lived here my whole life. My whole extended family is in Australia and love a reason to have a family get together. They will do this as often as time allows us (public holidays, someone's birthday, just because we haven't done one in a while...), and every dinner is a feast. This is just how it's been since forever. Who am I kidding? I love food, I love to eat!

Can you eat clean through all of this? How?

Yes you most definitely can! Life is made up of the decisions that you make, specifically in relation to food - what you eat, how much of it you eat and when you eat.

Daphne's self questionnaire in making decisions:
  • Do I really want this? Does this fuel my body?
  • Have I been training hard recently? My body might need some rice/other complex carbs to recover and fuel.
  • Ok, I have not been working hard but that fried rice is made by my beloved grandmother and I really want it.
  • Are there other kinds of sugar (such as a dessert) I prefer to have instead? 
For myself, I currently exercise 5-6 times a week. I'm very active, so I struggle more with portion sizing than being clean. In saying that, I do allow myself treats a few times in a week - I love "bad" food. One lolly/cookie (we have a bottomless candy jar at work) every few days is not going to harm me. One scoop of ice cream after a long week's work is a well deserved treat. Going out for dinner with friends? Your meal is in your hands, there many options on a menu.

With clean eating, comes portion sizing - how much is too much? It's really easy to overeat with eating clean.

We've heard all the "recommended" intakes of food, ratios of carbs:protein:fats, energy per day, 5 veg 2  fruit, that list goes on forever. In the end, all of these are just averages that came from studies. Take these as guidelines and you won't be too far out. You need to consider:

1) How much are you currently eating?
2) What types of foods are you eating?
3) How active are you?

I won't make specific suggestions, because this is all just about learning what your body is trying to tell you. If you are eating a significant amount of unhealthy, try substituting for healthier options. When your body has adapted to the changes, then start looking at decreasing over intake and adjusting different foods for balanced nutrition. I will mention these things:
  • Eat when you are hungry, not bored or used to eating at that time (I'm a huge offender of this, I'm working on it though!)
  • If you work a 9-5 job, I suggest you eat breakfast (fuel your body and brain with nutrition, not coffee)
  • Don't try to make a huge change to your diet suddenly. Have you noticed that people who try fad diets often gain back what they had lost, usually more, once they stop the diet?
When you are eating foods that are unprocessed or not very processed, they are denser in nutrition. This means that lesser should keep you full. Sometimes this takes a while to kick in - I eat really fast, so I ALWAYS have to remind myself to just sit still for about 10-15 minutes, and I will feel full from the meal I just ate.

You will learn to have a lot of patience - taking it one step at a time is not easy, but it will increase the chances of all your hard work in making changes stay that way.

I am aware I have not mentioned anything about weight loss here, I am encouraging a healthy lifestyle, which will naturally come with fat loss and aid muscle gain. Think healthy, not skinny :)

xx Melissa

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Can an Asian eat clean?

As we started the transition of eating clean, we have heaps of people giving comments such as:

"Oh, you are on a diet? Why?"

"When will you start eating real food again?"

"You are not Asian unless you eat chicken rice, char kway teow, laksa, pho, broken rice, sushi, katsu-don, udon (Insert carb food choice)" 

"You don't need to lose any more weight!"

"How can you resist kuehs, pancakes, waffles, ice-cream, lemon meringue pie, macarons, (insert sweets, dessert and cake of choice)?" 

"Are you sure you don't have an eating disorder?" 

The list goes on. 

Both of us grew up in Asian families. Myself (Daphne) is from Singapore and delicious hawker food is in every corner. Being Asian, food is everything. It's what bring families together. Just like the Italians with their pasta, rice and noodles is just part of our culture. It's every day life. 

We define eating clean as eating less processed food as possible. That means limiting if not eliminating gluten, wheat based products, sugar added products and packaged food. 

Rice is an interesting one. Some people will class that as processed whereas others wont. It is also a resistant starch, which some later studies have shown that it is beneficial in protecting our gut. Noodles on the other hand, is probably more processed than rice. Anything that has to go through a machine with added ingredients to it is probably harder for our body to process it. Another factor to consider, is that while having some starch is beneficial, having too much starch means it is converted to sugar and later on fat in our bodies. This limits the body's capabilities to function the best it could. Not exactly what we want. 

Does that sound like every single food item in the supermarket or in a restaurant? After all, if we do meet friends at a Chinese/Asian restaurant, chances are there will be noodles and rice feature in every page. At any family gathering, there will be stir fry noodles and rice as part of the deal. Not eating rice can be seen as disrespectful. In the olden days, rice provides energy to our ancestors who worked hard in paddy rice fields and as labourers and farmers. Rice is precious. And now Melissa and I are saying no to a big bowl of rice? 

Insert horror faces of all our relatives and friends. 

It all comes down to portion sizes and personal goals. When choosing when to have rice and other Asian carb laden dishes, we ask the following questions:

1) Do I really want this? Does this fuel my body?"

2) Have I been training hard recently? My body might need some rice/other complex carbs to recover and fuel.

3) Ok, I have not been working hard but that fried rice is made by my beloved grandmother and I really want it."

4) Are there other kinds of sugar (such as a dessert) I prefer to have instead? 

And when family and friends asked and I'm choosing not to have any, I say:

"Thanks! But I'm saving my tummy for mum's famous red bean pancakes" 

"Thanks! I'm going to pass with the rice as I'm don't feel like having any today."

Sometimes people will make comments and to that I say:

"I do eat rice, just not everyday. Rice is not very nutritious and I much rather have food that nourishes me" 

or if it is an elder in the family dishing it out....

"thank you." Accept it, walk away but don't eat it. However in cases like this, I would usually have some anyway- rice isn't evil! 

The truth is, there are always choices when eating with families and even dinning outside. While I do not take a lot of starch, I do love my curries, steam fish, steam eggs and vegetable stir fries and a good nourishing bowl of soup or broth. 

When I eat in Singapore or dinning with in Asian eateries in Perth, I usually choose the following options:

-  Roast pork served with vegetables
- Steam chicken (think chicken rice without the rice or little rice) with vegetables
- Ordering dishes and sharing it with friends rather than noodles.
- Yong Tou Fu. However, choosing vegetables stuffed with fish paste and vegetables itself rather than deep fried items. I would have mine dry or with soup without noodles. 
- Korean dishes like Saba fish and beef bulgogi. I love the side dishes of bean sprouts and kimchi as well. 
- Steamboat. Stick with the thin slices of meat, seafood, small amounts of tofu and heaps of vegetables like cabbage, water spinach and mushrooms. 
- Popiahs 
- Japanese is usually good. I love a good beef tataki, sashimi salad, chawamushi, or even the squid salad. I do stay away from teriyaki or deep fried items. Sushi Tei is one of my favourite places to dine in Singapore. 
- I do like having small portions of steamed Yam or Radish cakes. 
- At dimsum, I stick to ordering steamed items filled with seafood and meat. I avoid deep fried items. I might even share a bowl of congee with my hubby. 

However, there will be times when I would prefer to have prawn hokkien mee or rojak. In that case, I just indulge and enjoy. 

There could be someone with a goal to increase their diet of resistant starch due to the nature of the workout they do. Personally, I do not digest too much starch well- I start feeling bloated and uncomfortable but there are people who can take heaps of starch and operate well. I'm  working out 4x a week and not daily hence I would naturally need less starch than Melissa who works out nearly every day. When I do want my sugars, I choose carefully. 

It's tricky but it can be done. Do I feel like I'm depriving myself? No. I don't even miss it now. After a few years of eating this year, it has come naturally to me. Not only that, I know that my body is moving faster and operating better. Is it hard socially? At times. However, I find that there is usually something that I want to eat on the menu. Otherwise, I choose my favourite item and just eat. It's also about portion sizes. It's not about finishing everything on the plate. It's about being mindful about the food, enjoying the flavours and remembering how well it will nourish your body. 

Life is not perfect and I do not strive to be 100% in my meals. There is a lot to life than to be paranoid and worried if I have eaten some sushi or noodles. That is why I aim to cook and eat cleanly at home 90% of the time. 

Happy Eating! 
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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Workout: 14.5

For Time:
Thrusters x Front Burpees
Barbell Thruster = medium challenging weight (I used 20kg)
Front Burpee = burpee facing the barbell, jump over the barbell - 2 feet to 2 feet
My Time: 13 minutes

This was the workout for the 2014 CrossFit Open in California. My instructor thought this would be a good challenge to give us a rough idea of where we are in our fitness levels in comparison to the best of the best in CrossFit.
Boy was this a challenge! By the time I was through with this, sweat was raining from my head for at least 10 minutes. 
See this link for the world championship video, tips and best times:

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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

2 Fit Asians


Welcome to 2 Fit Asians. We are two girls in Western Australia with a passion for food and fitness. We met at the gym when we were partnered up for boxing, and like they say, the rest is history.

It's uncommon in our culture to eat and move the way we do, hence, we have decided to call this blog 2 fit asians. We are not naturally fit or athletic in physique, hence we recognise that fitness is a journey, not a destination. You can find our individual stories just to the left.

What will you find on this blog?

Our stories. On some days, you may find that we are posting about our challenges in food and exercises. Other days, we may have conquered a difficult drill and want to share our joy in it.

We love food so there will be posts about the kind of meals we eat and treats we have. We identify the way we eat as "Clean Eating". We eat real food - think seafood, meat and heaps of vegetables as much as possible. We still love our sushi, rice and desserts and do not deprive ourselves from lifes little pleasures.
Life is about balance and in moderation - and while it will never be perfect, we strive to work hard and play hard at the same time. So we hope you enjoy your reads here. 

Drop us a note from time to time. We would love to hear from you.

xx Melissa and Daphne
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