The art of Liv­ing WELL

No mat­ter how busy life gets, these women not only pay at­ten­tion to their well-be­ing, but also en­cour­age oth­ers to do the same, dis­cov­ers suhana ab

Prestige (Singapore) - - BEAUTY -


Lo­cated at the back of her house, over­look­ing a field of green is Dr Elly Sab­rina’s fit­ness cor­ner. Out­fit­ted with a punch­ing bag, ket­tle­bells and weights, it at­tests to her com­mit­ment to liv­ing a health­ier life­style — a de­ci­sion she made about five years ago. More re­cently, the gen­eral prac­ti­tioner has also stepped up to a vol­un­tary lead­er­ship po­si­tion within Geng Si­hat (The Healthy Gang), a com­mu­nity move­ment founded to mo­ti­vate Sin­ga­pore­ans to adopt a mantra of healthy liv­ing. What started you on this fit­ness jour­ney?

I was slim all my life till af­ter my kids — Anas­ta­sia Sab­rina and Edel Ha­keem, now 17 and 15 — were born. Back then, I was pre­oc­cu­pied with my train­ing at the hos­pi­tal and later, run­ning my own clinic. I ne­glected my diet and didn’t ex­er­cise. One day, I got on the scale and was hor­ri­fied to see it read 80kg — 20 more than I was pre-kids! What kind of ex­er­cises did you start With?

I started with 90-minute walks, which pro­gressed to run­ning. When I had knee and back pains, I switched to core strength­en­ing. Now I work with a trainer at the gym and typ­i­cally clock an hour of weights and half an hour of car­dio. As a fam­ily, we play ten­nis and kick­box. tell us more about Geng si­hat.

The ini­tia­tive was started by car­di­ol­o­gist Dr Ab­dul Razak, who in­vited my hus­band (and Pres­i­dent of the MHPA, Dr Zu­raimi Mo­hamed Dahlan) and I to join him in driv­ing the cause. A col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort by the Na­tional Kid­ney Foun­da­tion, the Mus­lim Health­care Pro­fes­sion­als As­so­ci­a­tion (MHPA) and news­pa­per Berita Harian, it pro­vides a plat­form for health­care pro­fes­sion­als, fit­ness train­ers, and nu­tri­tion­ists to come to­gether to spread the mes­sage of healthy liv­ing. We or­gan­ise reg­u­lar ex­er­cise classes, health screen­ings and fo­rums for the mem­bers. There is a sense of ful­fill­ment in be­ing able to ini­ti­ate that change to­wards a health­ier life­style. star ex­am­ples to share?

We had a 70-year-old lady who walked with a stoop when she joined us. Now she can kick­box and walk up­right! We also know of a housewife who lost 7kg with us. She used to lead a seden­tary life­style, but is now an ad­vo­cate for healthy liv­ing, and in­tro­duces it to all her fam­ily and friends. To me, that is the goal.


As the founder of Mt Sap­ola, a pur­veyor of aro­mather­apy oils, Ch­eryl Gan jug­gles a very hec­tic sched­ule. Twelve-hour work days are a norm, as is business travel. But de­spite the long hours (she had just re­turned from Kuala Lumpur when we meet), she al­ways looks ra­di­ant and fresh. Ask for her beauty se­cret and she says with a chuckle: “Re­ally, it’s my es­sen­tial oils that help!”

WHEN I TRAVEL... I bring jas­mine oil with me as it helps to soothe the mi­graines that I of­ten get. What I do is to put some on a tis­sue pa­per and in­hale the scent. This helps to calm me down and even helps to get me to sleep.

LONG HOURS... do af­fect my skin, so I have a spe­cial mois­turiser that is blended just for me, which in­cludes jas­mine. It mois­turises deeply and helps me look re­freshed the next morn­ing.

MY BEAUTY SHORT­CUTS... in­cludes ba­sic sheet masks. When I wasn’t as busy, I used to in­dulge in sa­lon pow­der masks, as I found them to be more mois­tur­is­ing. An­other must is sun­block.

I START MY MORN­INGS... with a glass of wa­ter as soon as I wake up, fol­lowed by a glass of cold­pressed juice. My flavour of the mo­ment al­ways in­volves some­thing sour.

PROD­UCTS AND DIET ASIDE... I try to keep well by ex­er­cis­ing, but only when I am on work trips. I love to run out­doors as that is also a way for me to sight­see.

Dato Icemichelle chen

Dato Icemichelle Chen be­lieves that hav­ing good skin is im­por­tant to help­ing a woman feel good about them­selves. The founder of Supreme Q.X Beauty Spa speaks from ex­pe­ri­ence. Faced with skin prob­lems as a young woman, it was while try­ing out treat­ments and re­search­ing ways to im­prove her skin that she in­ad­ver­tently found a pas­sion for the business. “One thing led to an­other and I opened my spa to help other women like me,” shares Chen.

Fast-for­ward 17 years and she still pays as much at­ten­tion to her skin, mak­ing sure to put on a mask ev­ery night be­fore go­ing to bed. She also goes for spa treat­ments twice a week, of­ten opt­ing for her spa’s sig­na­ture Hor­monal Bal­ance mas­sage and Anti-wa­ter Re­ten­tion ther­apy to tackle the root causes of weight is­sues.

Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise has also be­come a part of her life. Apart from play­ing golf twice a week (she was re­cently named Best Lady Golfer at a tour­na­ment or­gan­ised by Credit Suisse), she hits the gym each morn­ing for a 45-minute ses­sion. “Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise en­ables me to eat what­ever I want, but of course in mod­er­a­tion,” says Chen, who is open­ing a new branch at Pa­cific Plaza this month.

“To­day we don’t sim­ply want our­selves to look good, we want to feel good and do what’s good for our body. Be­ing healthy also means not feel­ing tired or stressed out. Only when you are calm and en­er­gised can you give your­self, your work and the peo­ple around you the best of you,” says Chen.

Tanny Kea

It all started three and a half years ago, when a test on Tanny Kea’s hor­mones re­vealed that her body age was five years ahead of her ac­tual age. An­other test also re­vealed that her oe­stro­gen lev­els were a fifth of what it was sup­posed to be. Con­cerned, Kea de­cided to take things into her own hands. Lit­tle did she know that em­bark­ing on a jour­ney to change her life­style would also lead her down a path of en­trepreneur­ship. Not only has she since founded Java­glow, a beauty brand that of­fers a range of body care prod­ucts made from nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents, she is also open­ing a new health man­age­ment cen­tre, Life In­fin­ity Sin­ga­pore What did you do to im­prove your health af­ter re­ceiv­ing your test re­sults?

I started ex­er­cis­ing six times a week. But I later dis­cov­ered I was do­ing too much car­dio and my body be­came flat. I in­cor­po­rated re­sis­tance train­ing and car­ried weights to help sculpt my body to the shape that I wanted. Now that I’ve laid a good foun­da­tion, I do func­tional train­ing two to three times a week, fo­cus­ing on core strength and body bal­anc­ing.

An­other thing I did was to in­crease my in­take of wa­ter to three litres a day. It sounds tough but it re­ally isn’t. In the first two weeks, you will go to the bath­room a lot, af­ter which your body gets used to it. When I did this, my bowel move­ment im­proved and my skin be­came more ra­di­ant. What about food and diet?

I per­ceive food as fuel rather than some­thing needed to sat­isfy my hunger. On a typ­i­cal day, I have two egg whites, one egg yolk, an av­o­cado and one ta­ble­spoon of co­conut oil (in­cor­po­rated into my food). I pack my own lunch box and it com­prises ¼ pro­tein, ¼ com­plex car­bo­hy­drate and ½ veg­etable. I snack on fruits and al­monds in the af­ter­noon. What foods do you not touch?

Fast food and food that is deep-fried in re­cy­cled cook­ing oil. Ev­ery­thing we eat be­comes our cells. It is im­por­tant to feed our­selves with good and nu­tri­tious food. It is the best in­vest­ment one can ever make. isn’t it hard to re­sist temp­ta­tion?

It’s im­por­tant not to de­prive your­self from food that you like, as long as you know when to stop. A good tip is to try to de­lay the crav­ings for a few min­utes. Very of­ten, it will pass. What else did you pay at­ten­tion to?

In the course of my re­search to live health­ier, I chanced upon a find­ing by the En­vi­ron­men­tal Work­ing Group in 2004 that re­vealed women use at least 168 types of chem­i­cals on their skin through their per­sonal care prod­ucts.

It goes through your skin, into your blood stream and has an ef­fect on your hor­mones. But how does one stop us­ing sham­poo or lip­stick? I can’t, so in­stead I found a way to counter it by in­ter­nal detox­i­fi­ca­tion via a range of sup­ple­ments I de­vel­oped. These will be avail­able at my new health man­age­ment cen­tre Life In­fin­ity Sin­ga­pore. For ex­ter­nal detox­i­fi­ca­tion, I started Java­glow, which of­fers a range of body care prod­ucts made from nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents such as cof­fee pow­der, co­conut oil, Hi­malayan pink salt and jo­joba oil. This is my se­cret to anti-ag­ing. Who do you con­sider to be healthy and fit to be looked up to?

Soong Mei-ling, the late First Lady of China. She lived till 106 and looked good, healthy and el­e­gant till her fi­nal days. Her par­ents and most of her sib­lings died from can­cer. She her­self had breast and ovar­ian can­cer, and yet sur­vived. She found the se­cret to health and longevity by liv­ing a well-bal­anced and healthy life­style.

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