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