Bel­lis­sima, Lisa!

Telly’s golden girl says stay­ing ac­tive and eat­ing well fuel her pas­sion for life.

Shape (Malaysia) - - UP CLOSE - By Adelina Tan Pho­to­graphs by Leon Styling by Karen Hoo

MMulti-hy­phen­ate tal­ent Lisa Wong jug­gles nu­mer­ous projects, from host­ing NTV7’s daily morn­ing show Bella and two foot­ball pro­grams on Astro and Sin­ga­pore’s StarHub, to writ­ing a weekly well­ness col­umn for The Star, tak­ing on cor­po­rate em­cee­ing gigs and cham­pi­oning to­tal well­be­ing. It is a laun­dry list of com­mit­ments bound to ex­haust even the most am­bi­tious high achiever, never mind hav­ing to al­ways keep calm and com­posed un­der the cam­era’s harsh, un­for­giv­ing glare. Now cel­e­brat­ing her 15th year (and count­ing) in broad­cast­ing, here’s how Lisa does it all – while look­ing and feel­ing fab­u­lous.

#1 On WORK

“In ad­di­tion to Bella, I’m host­ing the Malaysia Su­per League on Astro and the Sin­ga­pore Foot­ball Show on StarHub. For­tu­nately, I don’t have to travel of­ten across the Cause­way as record­ing for the Sin­ga­pore Foot­ball Show takes place right here in Pe­tal­ing Jaya. Bella is recorded live ev­ery week from Mon­day to Fri­day, 11 a.m. to 12 noon. As the talk show airs in real time, the at­mos­phere on-set can be very adrenalin-driven, mak­ing it easy to fall into the trap of be­ing swept up in the mo­ment. Jit­ters are very com­mon, even for sea­soned pro­fes­sion­als, and I be­lieve it’s good to have a bit of adren­a­line but some­times I do med­i­tate be­fore a show, es­pe­cially if I have had a busy morn­ing or a hec­tic week.”

#2 On FIT­NESS

“I’m pe­tite and my diet is low in fat, so I ex­er­cise not to burn fat but to tone up, work up a good sweat and detox. I used to run a lot, chalk­ing up six to eight kilo­me­tres a week. Lately though, I’ve been get­ting bored with run­ning as I’ve done it for close to seven years now, so I have added more va­ri­ety into my ex­er­cise rou­tine. There is a very good gym in my neigh­bour­hood, where I use the crosstrainer. I also have a weight ma­chine at home, a bench and a sus­pen­sion trainer, which I’ve in­stalled at the back of my door. There are so many sus­pen­sion train­ing work­outs you can do with it. Like­wise, I’ve found it pos­si­ble to stick to a strength train­ing pro­gram us­ing only my body weight and sim­ple home ex­er­cise equip­ment, such as dumb­bells. If you can’t find time to look for park­ing and go to the gym, in­vest in four to five home gym ap­pa­ra­tus that don’t take up a lot of space. When I have the time, I still prac­tise yoga at home as I feel it calms me down and elon­gates my mus­cles, which help with re­cov­ery af­ter a stren­u­ous workout ses­sion.”

#3 On NUTRI­TION

“I had a nat­u­ral in­ter­est in nutri­tion even as a young girl. In high school, I would stack up con­tain­ers of veg­eta­bles, such as raw car­rots, in my room; those were my snacks. When you’re a teenager, your looks mat­ter to you, and I had very dry, scaly skin so I pored through books from nat­u­ral food ad­vo­cates such as Ann Wig­more. My diet evolved ev­ery one to two years un­til I even­tu­ally gave up meat and be­came a pesc­etar­ian for six years. In Jan­uary 2010, I made the con­scious de­ci­sion as an an­i­mal lover to give up seafood and be­come a veg­e­tar­ian. My next step in nutri­tion and whole foods ad­vo­cacy is to ven­ture into video blog­ging, where I will also be shar­ing my recipes. I be­lieve that when you take care of your diet, your body is bal­anced and able to take care of it­self. My phi­los­o­phy to­wards food can seem rad­i­cal to a lot of peo­ple and it is ex­tremely hard to fol­low if you’re a meat-eater, which is why I en­cour­age mak­ing grad­ual changes to one’s diet. It’s not go­ing to hap­pen overnight.”

#4 On CLEAN EAT­ING

“My diet is my sav­ing grace. It’s the rea­son I’m able to sus­tain a hec­tic life­style without feel­ing lethar­gic. I’m on a semi­raw diet, I don’t take sugar and I try as much as pos­si­ble to go gluten-free. It’s hard to eat my meals at fixed times ev­ery day, so I al­ways carry a bag of food with me (Lisa brought along home­made tem­peh, a veg­e­tar­ian curry puff and a ba­nana to SHAPE’s photo shoot). I have a green juice in the morn­ing and salad for lunch, in ad­di­tion to cooked veg­eta­bles or beans with grains such as brown rice, quinoa or buck­wheat. Din­ner’s more or less the same as lunch. I’m for­tu­nate to have a very good su­per­mar­ket out­side my home, which gives me the lux­ury of shop­ping for gro­ceries as and when I need to. I also make my own sauer­kraut – it’s a nat­u­ral pro­bi­otic.”

“If you can’t find time to look for park­ing and go to the gym, in­vest in four to five home gym ap­pa­ra­tus that don’t take up a lot of space.”

#5 On GO­ING GLUTEN-FREE

“I still saw blotches on my skin af­ter be­com­ing a veg­e­tar­ian. It wasn’t un­til I gave up gluten that the blotches van­ished, my skin glowed, my hair be­came softer, and the whites of my eyes were whiter. I dis­cov­ered dur­ing my re­search that eat­ing gluten-free food also helps min­i­mize re­cur­rences of can­dida. I haven’t been able to go gluten-free com­pletely when I travel, but it is eas­ier these days to main­tain a diet that is free of gluten. Some com­mer­cial su­per­mar­kets have started car­ry­ing more gluten-free food such as pas­tas.”

#6 On JUIC­ING

“I wake up be­tween 6 to 7 a.m. ev­ery morn­ing to pre­pare my green juice. It’s ba­si­cally six to eight cups of green veg­eta­bles, two to three stalks of cel­ery, one cu­cum­ber, the juice of half a lemon, and some­times a green ap­ple or pear to sweeten the mix­ture. I of­ten use spinach, kale or kailan, choi sam leaves and oc­ca­sion­ally, water­cress. I’ve learnt that us­ing a high-pow­ered blender gives my green juices a thick, smoothie con­sis­tency that’s tasty to boot. I’ll sip it through­out the morn­ing and eat half to one whole, small av­o­cado if I’m still hun­gry.”

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