Competition Is Good For Health

I’m glad the little “Healthy Rivalry” campaign that mrbrown and myself are doing for HPB is making people interested in what we’re eating (and cheating) for our daily meals.

More importantly, people have also gotten interested in what the Healthy Lifestyle Index is about.

The HLI is a very simple survey about health and wellness, and the HPB is encouraging as many people as possible to take it. I’m glad that there’s the rivalry element to it. Misery may love company, but wellness loves a crowd – so pair up with a friend to take the HLI and see how you match up.

Apparently, people tend to rate themselves healthier than they actually are – so this could also serve as a reality barometer of sorts.

Meantime, mrbrown and myself are having quite a bit of fun egging each other on with what we’re having for our meals. In the coming days we’ll be comparing our daily activities – he bikes a lot, so I’m about to get my bike out from the storeroom and get the tyres inflated.

Take the HLI here:

That’s Not Work, Papa!

During chat time a couple of days ago, Kai asked about my day, so I told him about rehearsals and how Uncle Kumar had to learn the dance steps Uncle George made up to the songs we were going to play for the show.

He furrowed his brow and declared very seriously, “that’s not work Papa! Singing and dancing is not work”.

So I said, “Yes, I know, Kai. Isn’t Papa lucky to do that for work?”

“No. That’s not right. That’s not work at all, Papa. That’s play time, like indoor play”.

“Then what’s work?”

“Work is when you go to the office and punch holes in paper and put them in a file. That’s work”.

Rivals In Health

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So mrbrown and myself took HPB’s Healthy Lifestyle Index, and he’s beat me 7 to 6. But that’s cos he’s got like 20 bicycles and I’ve got one that I seldom ride.

OK, of course there are many other factors involved. Put a bit of fun into it, pick a rival and do the HLI together. If you need further motivation, there are 30 Fitbit Zips (worth $105) to be won by the first 30 people who take the Index via this link:

It’s quick, it’s easy, and you’ll be done in no time – leaving you with ample opportunities to trump your rival. Follow us on our blogs ( and as we duke it out.

(Note: The HLI works only on all platforms, but it’s best experienced on a desktop. The rivalry thingie works only on desktops)

Violet Oon Remembers A Drag Party I Hosted

NYT: "Violet Oon, sometimes referred to as the Julia Child of Singapore"
NYT: “Violet Oon, sometimes referred to as the Julia Child of Singapore”

We had a great lunch yesterday at Violet Oon’s Kitchen, and were sorry only for not having enough people with us so we could order and try more dishes.

After lunch service wound down, Violet emerged from the kitchen and spoke with customers who were taking their time with dessert. She came by our table and asked if everything was alright.

Straightaway I said I had had her cooking before.

“That must have been a long time ago – twenty years?”, she said.

It was 1991, and it was at a rowdy party at my house, and my JC mate Colin Goh had organised some of the food which included some of Violet’s well known Peranakan staples and ice-kacang made with Violet’s own hand-cranked ice-shaving machine.

“Oh! That party! It was a drag party and Colin was in a sarong kebaya and he was so worried about being stopped by the police”, she remembered excitedly.

I was stunned. I had completely forgotten about the drag part of the party. I have no photos to prove it happened, but if Violet Oon says it did, it must have.

I was surprised to learn from last week’s New York Times restaurant report that Violet Oon’s Kitchen is the first time she’s “found success as a restaurateur”, being the culinary institution that she is.

We ordered a pulled beef rigatoni, a chicken curry that came with roti jala, a shepherd’s pie (technically a cottage pie, since it was made with beef, but which I had to order because, as I whispered to Naomi – “I’ve eaten Violet’s Shepherd’s Pie before when I was in school! We have to order it now!”), Bingka Ubi and Bubor Chacha Panna Cotta for dessert.

We have to go back, not least because they ran out of sticky date pudding and ayam goreng yesterday.