Sunday, 30 March 2014

Quick Cooking : Homemade Basil Pesto (ala my own version)

The finished product. Spinach Fettuccine tossed in basil pesto with poached egg and chicken. 

Wow. I can't remember the last time I blog about my cooking.

Well, I've been having "mental cooking blocks" for the last few months. Just couldn't get inspired.

So just the other day I was at Ben's Supermarket and I saw a pack of Thai Sweet Basil Leaves that I decided to make homemade basil pesto for my pasta dressing. And just like that, I grabbed a few key ingredients, went home and started whacking the pesto out; even though it was very late at night.

Basil pesto is usually used as a sauce/dressing for pastas and a great vegetarian dish for vegans and for the health conscious. I've made this pesto before but I've changed a few ingredients to make it my own. One of the ingredients is Tahini but it's incredibly pricey here; so I used a bit of sesame oil instead and added walnuts for more chunky, creamy texture.

So basically, here are ingredients I used for my own version of Basil Pesto.

Do take note, that I don't exactly measure my ingredients as I go by feel most of the time.

1. 100mg Fresh Thai Sweet Basil Leaves (Any variant of basil will do. Thai has a bit more of an aroma kick)
2. Few cloves of garlic (About a good 5-7)
3. A handful of toasted pine nuts
4. A handful of walnuts (or more if you prefer a more creamy texture)
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (accordingly)
6. Sesame Oil (alternative to tahini. About 1-2 table spoons)
7. Dash of grated cheese (optional)
8. Salt & Pepper to taste

Making this dish is practically easy and you just need a food processor. I use a manual hand-wind food processor as I have a bit more control over the texture consistency of the pesto.

Make sure your basil leaves are washed, cleaned and spin-dried with minimal water residue.

Next up, blend up the garlic, walnuts and toasted pine nuts first until you get .......

to a somewhat chunky mix like so.

Then add on the basil leaves into the mix with the sesame oil and olive oil and blend. Gradually add the leaves and olive oil periodically after every spin.

The result would be something like this. You can go "creamier" by adding in the cheese, more walnuts and oilve oil to get a semi smooth texture of the pesto which I did. I always prefer to have a bit more bite to my pasta dressing.

The result would be something more golden in colour compared to the very green pesto you see in the supermarkets. Once done, keep the pesto refrigerated and it would last no more than a week. 

As you can see, I used my pesto to go with my favourite Spinach Fettuccine and topped it over with a poached egg and chicken. An excellent healthy choice for those "lazy" to cook like me or just couldn't find time to whip out something too grandeur. 

And now, this blogger is now attempting to venture into some baking. That is if he still has the "balls" to take out the oven that is still sitting inside the box!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Polar Loop : Unboxing Review

It's here folks!

After it's announcement last year, the new Polar Loop is finally coming to Malaysia soon.

I had the privilege to test a unit out for a few months and it has been awesome so far.

PS: The author was so super excited that he unshamefully squealed when he got hold of one.

Here is what the new Polar Loop is all about. The Polar Loop is a 24/7 daily activity tracker that tracks your daily activities and feedback the benefits via your connected Apple devices (eg. Iphone or Ipad) or from the bracelet's LED screen. You wear it like a watch and this hip, fashion forward gadget will definitely be the talk among your peers. I could definitely vouch for this as I got A LOT of attention and people inquiring me about the gadget.

For Android users, fret not. You still will be able to have a summary of your daily activities when you transfer your data to your computer via the provided USB cable.

This is the first Activity Tracker in the market that is waterproof (up to 20M) & also the first to be able to connect with a Heart Rate Transmitter (via Polar H7). You could just bring this baby anywhere and fret not about getting wet!

A more detail review of the Polar Loop in my next blog post. Let's have a closer look from the unboxing first.

The Polar Loop comes in a sleek, minimalist packaging that includes the following :
- A Polar Loop Activity Tracker Bracelet
- A Polar Loop USB cable 
- Wrist measuring chart + Buckle detachment tools
- Instruction guides

The Polar Loop comes in one standard universal size and users need to cut and adjust the strap accordingly. This is great as you could custom fit it accordingly to your wrist.

First of all, you need to determine your wrist size with the provided wrist measuring chart. For in my case, it shows "5 & 4". That means I needed to cut off 5 & 4 indicated sections on each side of bracelet strap.

Then you need to unhooked the buckle with the provided special buckle detachment tool. Once the buckle is removed, proceed to cut the silicon strap according to your measurements. The sections are indicated as holes at the side of the bracelet.

Here are a few tips before cutting so that you wouldn't make any mistakes.
- I recommend that you cut the strap slightly "bigger" first before going any more shorter. This is just a safety precaution and you have better custom fit of the bracelet.
- Instead of scissors, use a sharp blade, steel ruler & cutting board to cut the silicon strap. You will have a much cleaner cut that way. But if you only have scissors, make sure they are larger ones and sharp.

Do make sure that you often check the length of the bracelet strap by wearing it often as you cut. Just make sure it isn't too tight or too loose. It should be a perfect fit like your favorite watch. After all, you want to wear the bracelet with style and comfort and NOT the other way round.

Once you have your custom fit done, don't forget to charge it! Your first charge would be around 2-3 hours.

The Polar Loop charges with the supplied propitiatory USB cable charger. Just plug it on your laptop. It also doubles as a data transfer. Just make sure you have Polar Flow installed in your laptop before proceeding any further.

Attaching the USB cable to your Polar Loop for charging and data transfer is easy. You won't go wrong on which side to attach. It fits like a jigsaw puzzle and it's secured with it's magnetic hook. 

The bracelet would start charging as per indicated on the LED screen of the bracelet. 

As of to date (accordingly to the unit I'm testing), every new Polar Loop should have a new update upon first connection to Polar Flow; the mobile and web service app for Polar Loop. So far I've already had 3 updates on the Polar Loop during the last couple of months of testing. It provided me with more information of my daily activities and goals in my Polar Flow account. Pretty awesome, right? ;)

I'll be following up with an in-detail review of the Polar Loop in the near future.

In the mean time, here are technical specs of the Polar Loop:
Activity guidance
24/7 activity tracking
Activity Guide
Activity Benefit
Activity zones
Smart Calories
Sleep duration and quality
Distance measured in activity
Inactivity alert with Polar Flow mobile app
Advanced activity analysis at Polar Flow mobile app and web service
Training diary at Polar Flow web service

Heart rate guidance (with optional heart rate sensor)
Heart rate in beats per minute

Waterproof for swimming
Custom-fit bracelet
Time of day
Display texts in English
Data transfer via custom USB cable or Bluetooth Smart via Polar Flow mobile app
Memory capacity 12 days activity data
Rechargeable battery with 5 days continuous use
Web service compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6, OS X 10.7, OS X 10.8, or later, and PC Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, or later
Mobile app compatibility with iOS 7 (iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPod touch 5th generation) or later

For more info of Polar Loop, click on this link at Polar Loop's official website.

Fore more images, click on this link to my personal FB fanpage.

Polar Loop is going to be launched soon in Malaysia and pre-orders can be made at Athlete's Circle Malaysia (Jaya One). Do call 03-7960 2313 for more information.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Malaysia Women Marathon 2014 : Race Report & Photos

The day was great.

Everyone was pumped and ready to go.

The weather was incredibly great the day before.

And then the haze decided to come and pay a visit early that morning.

Nonetheless, the 2nd Malaysia Women Marathon 2014 is still a go but with a few changes. With a heavy heart and the most sensible decision made by the race director, Karen Loh and the organizers; the race is to proceed but will be changed into a non-competitive race. All cash prizes are converted and donated to charities and prizes from sponsors are converted to lucky draw items.

Runners are advised on the weather conditions and still will be able to get their finisher items if they wish or not to race. All the beautiful women & kind gentlemen in the midst responded well to the situation and the weather did not dampened the spirits of everyone. The start time for each category started as per scheduled and without a hitch.

The day went well as everyone returned with smiling faces. Good job and well done friends!

I didn't race but I felt the emotion and excitement with my fellow runners and friends.

Worry not as we shall conquer again next year fro MWM 2015!

For more photos, please do browse through the following links :

Album 1

Album 2

Feel free to tag photos but do remember to photo credit if you wish to use the images for personal use.

Monday, 10 March 2014

We've reached 1,000+!

It's incredible!

As of yesterday, Moving on AC has reached more than 1,000+ athletes in FB.

What started out as just a personal journey to record all my adventures and whatever gibberish; has lead into so many followings.

Thank you for all your kind support and let's keeping moving on to great things and keep the positivity alive.

See you guys on the road! ;)

Kevin Lin - "Expedition in the World" Talk + Trail Workshop at Bukit Kiara.

Just recently Kevin Lin, a famous Taiwanese Ultramarathoner came to Malaysia recently to talk & share about his experiences. A trail workshop was also conducted by Ray Lee at Bukit Kiara after the talk. This was one of his many sharing sessions during his 3 days visit here. Sharing and workshop is conducted at Bangunan Bakti Siti Hasmah.

Here is a brief history of his achievements so far.

2006. RacingThePlanet 4desert Champion Grand Slam.
2007. 7500KM/111days run across the Sahara desert, Senegal to Egypt Red Sea.
2011. 10000KM/150days run silk road, Istanbul to Xina China.
2013. 2400KM/40days run across the Gobi Desert (SOLO)
2013. Lyrics, “Dream”. Jay Chou 2013new Album Opus 12
2007. Movie, Running the Sahara. Producer by Matt Damon
2008. Move, beyond the Arctic. 
2013. Special Actor, The Rooftop. Director by Jay Chou.

For those who missed his talk, here is a video recorded during his visit here. Please do excuse all the sudden shakes as I was holding the camera and I didn't use a tripod.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Brooks Half Marathon 2014 : Run for Life - Photos and Winners

Winners - 5K Women

Winners - 5K Men

Winners - 10K Women Open
Winners - 10K Men Open

Winners - 10K Jr Veteran Men
Winners - 10K Women Jr. Veteran

Winners - 21K Senior Veteran Women 

Winners - 21K Golden Age Men

Winners - 21K Senior Veteran 

Winners - 21K Jr Veteran Women

Winners - 21K Junior Veteran Men

Winners - 21K Women Open

Winners - 21K Men Open

For more photos, please do click on the following :

Album 1

Album 2

Album 3

Album 4

Album 5

Feel free to tag your pictures and do credit the photos or ask for permision if you intend to publish them for personal use.
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