Thursday, 29 November 2012

Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion, 2006, Pessac-Leognan, Graves, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion, 2006, Pessac-Leognan, Graves, Bordeaux

This wine is ruby in colour and although is has a medium body, its texture is good and elegant. The nose is dense and fruity. This wine is rather dry and has firm/edgy tannins. It tastes of black and red berries, smokey oak, toasted cigar, with a hint of mineral. Length is decent and the finishing bites. Drink this red between 2008 and 2035.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Feel the heat, baby!

Those who know me well enough know that I absolutely love spicy food and spicing up my food. Personally, the spicier the better as I find the pain from the heat calming and satisfying (yeah weird, I know but it's a matter of preference I guess). Think of it this way, would you prefer a hot and sexy lady or a lukewarm plain Jane? Thank you and I appreciate your kind honesty! :-P (love my analogies! *chuckle*)

I'm now hooked on "cili padi" (bird's eye chilli) from Bangladesh, which I can easily get from a nearby store.

I'm lucky as the heat from chillies and spicy food has many health benefits. It's like having your cake and eat it...only better cos it promotes health and doesn't get you fat! :-)

Health benefits of eating chillies and/or spicy food are summarised below:-

1. Increases metabolic rate and has thermogenic effect
2. Lowers incidence of heart attack and stroke
3. Prevents cancer
4. Lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular system
5. Eases depression and stress
6. Lowers body temperature and has cooling effect
7. Improves digestion
8. Eases the discomfort of cold and flu
9. Improves breathing
10. Reduces joint inflammation and bone destruction

I enjoy a dose of "cili padi" at meal time as it improves the taste of my meal by giving me the extra "kick" (no offense to the cook ya, it's afterall a matter of habit and preference and nothing personal). The benefits provided above are pluses IMHO.

What are you waiting for? Quickly go get yourself a stash of "cili padi"! Time to feel the heat, baby!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, 2007, Pessac-Leognan, Graves, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, 2007, Pessac-Leognan, Graves, Bordeaux

This white is of semillon-sauvignon blanc blend. It has a captivating pale golden colour and tastes of banana, lemon tart, pear, passion fruit and a hint of sweet nectarine, which gives this wine a very slight sweet finish. I enjoy the relatively rich, full-bodied and fleshy texture. Good nose, with medium strong length. Acidity is medium and finish is generally crisp.

Although I had this with some cheese sticks, it would be perfect with chilled seafood.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Home-made ice cream

I recently bought an ice cream maker and decided to make something yummy for Sonny. Instead of cream based (usually double cream!) ice cream, I decided to make yoghurt based ice cream. To indulge is a privilege, but let's try keeping it healthy whenever possible.

As for flavour, I knew I wanted a fruit flavour, but what could it be? Sonny's taste changes all the time and what he enjoys today may not be what he enjoys tomorrow.

After checking out the fruits at my neighbourhood grocer, I decided to get some mangoes. "Mangoes should be a good bet", I thought to myself. Even if Sonny didn't like mango yoghurt ice cream, both Wifey and I wouldn't mind having it.


1. 1 ripe mango
2. 50g caster sugar
3. 250ml natural yoghurt

1. Cut mango into cubes
2. Purée mango cubes and sieve mango purée
3. Add sugar and yoghurt, mix well
4. Pour mixture into freezer bowl and turn on paddle
5. Allow to freeze until desired consistency is achieved (about 45-60 mins)

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Ready mixture of mango purée, yoghurt and sugar

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Pour mixture into freezer bowl

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Turn on paddle and allow to freeze for 45-60 mins

It was delicious! :-) Sonny enjoyed it very much and we used it to sneak in some fresh fruits into his diet :-P

We didn't finish the mango yoghurt ice cream and kept the balance in the freezer. BIG MISTAKE! It's now rock hard. I guess I have to thaw it for about 30 mins before serving. Let's hope it'll still taste yummy...

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

7 top bodybuilding myths

I remember vividly when I first started weight training in 2001, everyone tried talking me out of it.

These are some classic/common statements from people around me..."Are you sure you want to do this? Lifting heavy weights isn't good for your joints. Eh, it looks ugly if you get too bulky. If you stop working out, your muscles will turn into fat!"

What a load of BS! It's funny how bodybuilding has been sorely misconceived.

I would like to share some bodybuilding myths for your reading pleasure...

1. You Get Fat When You Stop
People think that muscles will turn into fat when you stop working out. WTF?! Fat and muscles are different things and it's physically impossible for muscles to turn into fat. Yes, muscles lose definition when you stop working out but it doesn't disappear or turn into fat. After you stop working out, you’ll continue to have your muscles until they deteriorate through damage or your body burns them for energy when in nutrition deprived mode. If you continue to ingest high calories and not workout, you'll surely gain fat. So blame getting fat on your lifestyle and eating habit, not on muscles turning into fat when you stop working out.

2. Bad For You
Most people think that lifting weights put profound stress on your body, especially your joints and bones. However, if you use proper technique/form, bodybuilding will actually improve your overall fitness and strengthen your body structure. Some people also claim that bodybuilding does not help in strengthening your heart. Well, try doing high reps/dropsets/giant sets and you'll have a 2-in-1 (anaerobic and aerobic) workout.

3. No Skills Required
Bodybuilding requires proper technique/form, failing which you'll end up injuring yourself. Proper technique/form is also important to ensure your muscles are thoroughly worked out and worn so that they can thicken adequately in order to increase density. You'll never see results if you don’t use the right technique/form, resulting in frustration. Consequently, you might just end up throwing in the towel.  

4. It's Easy & Anyone Can Succeed
People think bodybuilding doesn't require skills and as such they feel it's easy and anyone can do it and succeed. Bullocks! In order to be a top bodybuilder you need the right mix of genetics and skills. Have 1 and not the other and you won't make it in the big league.

5. It's All About Good Genetics
Bodybuilding is not 100% genetics. It's probably 50% genetics and 50% skills/knowledge/determination. Again, have 1 and not the other and you won't make it in the big league.

6. Himbos
Although bodybuilders concentrate on building up their physique to look good, that doesn’t mean they are dumb asses or "himbos". I find that most bodybuilders are very strong mentally (strong-willed too) as they use their mental strength to focus on training and building up their physique (mind over matter) and to strive for overall well being. They use their mental strength, discipline and determination to commit and improve themselves by regularly hitting the gym and watching their food/nutrition intake. Bodybuilders are generally quite intelligent as bodybuilding requires a complex understanding of human biology, chemistry, nutrition and dietary to succeed.

7. Small Herman
Muahahahaha! This is such a silly myth! Yes, in order to build muscles, your body uses testosterone and people think it'll be at the expense of your mojo. No freaking way! Your body is an efficient machine and will certainly replenish the testosterone level so don't worry. Most bodybuilders feel good about themselves and how they look and it's this confidence that will give them the X-factor to last longer and go the extra mile when having sex.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Joseph Perrier, Cuvee Royale, Brut Vintage, 2003

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Joseph Perrier, Cuvee Royale, Brut Vintage, 2003

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Joseph Perrier, Cuvee Royale, Brut Vintage, 2003

 Property of Mr Flabby Less
Joseph Perrier, Cuvee Royale, Brut Vintage, 2003

I've always had non-vintage champagne. Truth be told, this is my very first (yes, virgin!) bottle of vintage champagne. According to connoisseurs, this champagne is best consumed between 2008 and 2012, so this means the timing cannot be more apt.

This champagne exudes fine bubbles but unfortunately the effervescence is short-lived once served. Overall zesty and lemony, but with a tinge of creamy nuts, cinnamon, apple and pear. I enjoy the medium lemon taste and crisp acidity. It's quite dry and has medium length. I find this champagne pleasantly refreshing.

Monday, 5 November 2012

StrongLifts 5x5

During the period when I was nursing my shoulder injury, I used my spare time to surf for information on many subject matters and I came across a training programme called the StrongLifts 5x5 by "The New Muscles From Brussels", a chap called Mehdi Hadim.

Squat, bench press and deadlift

Barbell row

Overhead press

StrongLifts 5x5 is a programme that focuses on 5 types of compound movements (squat, bench press, barbell row, overhead press and deadlift) with incremental increase in weight at every workout session (increments of 2.5kg for squat, bench press, barbell row and overhead press, and increments of 5kg for deadlift) over a period of time. The concept is very simple, i.e. focus on large muscle groups to increase strength, build muscles and burn fat. This means the heavier you lift (as you make progress in the training programme), the stronger you become and that will lead to bigger muscles, which will then result in your body burning more fat.

This training programme involves only 3 days of training per week (shocking eh but yeah only 3 days and each training session lasts approximately 45 mins max) and you'll always alternate between the same 2 workouts:-

StrongLifts 5x5 Workout A- Squat, Bench Press & Barbell Row
StrongLifts 5x5 Workout B- Squat, Overhead Press & Deadlift

Note: All movements are 5x5, save for deadlift which is 1x5

For more details, please visit the StrongLifts 5x5 website. Sign-up is free. Once you've signed up, they'll email the StrongLifts 5x5 Report and training programme (in both kg and lbs) to you for free.

Personally, StrongLifts 5x5 is timely and ideal for me. As I couldn't jump right into my usual training programme after staying away from the gym for about a month or so, StrongLifts 5x5 is perfect as I'm able to ease myself back into lifting heavy weights over time and help my weakened left shoulder gain strength in the process. I like the fact that the programme starts out really light (Olympic barbell light!) and resistance is increased over time.

I've just completed 12 weeks of StrongLifts 5x5 and it feels great! I'm stronger both physically and mentally and my muscles are now more dense, visibly thicker and more rounded. Over the course of 12 weeks, my body weight increased from 90kg to 97kg. Excellent! :-)

That's me! :-P

I find that StrongLifts 5x5 is a great training programme to bulk up. I would use it again (most likely in modified form and NOT starting with an empty Olympic barbell) in my next bulk up stage in a few months' time. But for now, I'm taking a much needed 1-2 weeks break (your body can't be under constant stress forever and R&R does help the body recover better and you'll return to the gym even stronger) before I proceed with cutting. Can't wait for to show off the definition! :-P

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Wynns, Coonawarra Estate, Cabernet Shiraz Merlot, 2010

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Wynns, Coonawarra Estate, Cabernet Shiraz Merlot, 2010

This wine has an attractive ruby colour and tastes of fresh red berries and dark plums. The slightly earthy scent  marries the cassis flavour well. It also has a slight hint spice and medium notes. Acidity is rather high and tannins are quite strong.

This is a good bottle to enjoy together with duck liver pate...which I did :-P It was a delicious combination! YUM!