Trail Marathon in the jungle, who’s in?

How it all started

Marathon is a gradual challenge I could easily compare with starting my OiB blog. Daring to start, scaring to experience and amazing to see grow.

My hobby or no fun without pain. Simple
My hobby or no fun without pain. Simple

For most people, running marathon is synonymous with physical torture. It is a no brainer, a big no-no. Actually, when I say to people about my hobby, they politely say “whao, that’s fabulous!” and secretly think “OMG, this girl is fuc*** crazy”.

So, I started with no real plans, I guess I was in a feel-good mindset when I typed my debit card numbers to pay for my participation ticket. Smooth and short process that opened the door to experiment new opportunity in getting to know myself better.

I became my own boundary pusher.

I was not in need to loose weigh, or reshape my body tone. It was neither a way to cope with a specific work related stress, pragmatic lady as I am, I do OK in maintaining a sharp line between work and leisure.


Getting mentally & physically ready

Suprisingly, I found a large range of training program starting from 4 up to 18 weeks online. The goal I fixed myself: run, muscle up and repeat, ideally slowing down on Wednesday and Thursday ladies night drinks in Kuala Lumpur heart of night life, Changkat Raja Chulan,

Different apples type you can find in my fridge.
Different apples type you can find in my fridge.

At the beginning, I completely underestimated the value in becoming a runner while living in Malaysia, my new entertainment has aroused a set of healthy habits in my day-to-day life, I had to go back on my nutrition books and reread about proteins, glucides and…water!

When you’re not running, you’ll be thinking about running. Marathon training is totally addictive – you’ll finish a run, feel incredible, and almost immediately begin kicking yourself for not running faster or for longer.

Certainly, this hobby comes with a bunch of risks in terms of troublesome running injuries, nagging aches and pains that crop up and threaten to limit your ability to run altogether.

My physical pain level usually remains under 4. I keep the smile on! (Image Smadesimple)
My physical pain level usually remains under 4. I keep the smile on! (Image Smadesimple)

My trail marathon: 31/08/2014

The first marathon I joined was set in August 31st, 2014.

The TMBT trail marathon, the sport event gathered around 1000 participates, mostly locals men. It offered a fabulous trail discovery, a mixture of jungle hike, village crossing and deep sky-high landscape over Kota Kinabalu Mountain, the roof top of Malaysia, heading at 4, 096m altitude.

THAT finish line

TMBT | OrganicIsBeautiful
TMBT | OrganicIsBeautiful

Well, the kick you get when you cross THAT finish line is worthless.

You do not feel the pain in your legs and feets anymore, I did it! 

I feel happy, I feel proud, and mostly I feel invincible, like if I was wearing underneath my running gear WonderWomanCap with my name on it 😉

What I learnt?

The truth is that running is often a solitary endeavor. It is a me-myself and I solo trip to mastership. Because YOU set your own performance goal, YOU and only YOU can ultimately define the shapes and the colors of your journey to success. Endurance is one of the most important building block for marathon preparation and there is not short way. I am a solo runner, I usually hit the pavement with Spotify playlist in my ears, the bits keeps me going and takes away any short moment of weirdness. Spotify, as a running mate or/and inspirational voice that whisper: mooove faster!

And there is was, the Mount Kota Kinabalu.

Treadmill or outdoor track?

I am lucky enough to live in a pleasant condo with a –yet warmed off- workable treadmill. Hence, treadmill = morning, pre-work workout, a 30min express run and hop! I am ready to have a wonderful day. But, to be honest with you, to really to spice up my running routine, outdoor run is a must, like at the lake garden, a few minutes walk from KL Sentral station.

And ideally away from traffic jam and heavy nuisance.

Amanda 😉

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[Citrus Serie] 8 reasons you want to drink lemon water in the morning

Did you know that lemons have more potassium than apples or grapes? This interesting fact is just one of the many reasons why drinking lemon juice every morning can impact your health.
Starting your day with lemon juice is an excellent way to boost vitality, increase energy and cleanse out your system.

Supports the immune system:

The juice of half a lemon in a glass of water is rich in vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system and assists the body in fighting colds and flu.  ability to absorb iron,

Aids digestion:

Good digestion is truly the root of good health.

Lemon and water strengthens the digestive system, especially stomach acid. It encourages the liver to produce bile and stimulates bowel movements. It helps cleanse the bowel by flushing out waste more efficiently and stimulates the release of gastric juices, which aid digestion. The digestive qualities of lemon juice can also help relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn and bloating.

Limes & lemons organicisbeautiful
Limes & lemons (Image credit: Gourmet Sleuth)

Detoxifies the liver:

As mentione above, Lemon water acts as a liver cleanser by assisting in detoxification. Lemon water can also help control excess bile flow; decrease the amount of phlegm produced by the body.

Repairs skin:

Lemons are great for combating skin ageing, It is a fact: lemons are rich in vitamin C. As we know, vitamin C is among a few that selected exception that can treat multiple skincare concerns.

Warning:. When part of a beauty treatment, make sure to stay away from using too much of it as it may cause serious sunburn in your skin. People with a light or fair complexion mostly experience this issue.

Natural Preservatives
Lemon Water | OrganicIsBeautiful

Reduces appetite:

Lemons contain pectin, a soluble fiber commonly found in citrus fruits. No lemons, you can go ahead and have grapefruits for instance. They all contains Pectin that helps stave off hunger as the fiber creates a feeling of fullness, which results in the suppression of hunger cravings.

Balances pH levels:

Lemons are one of the most alkalising foods for the body and a good pH level is essential as too much acidity in the body can be inflammatory. “Lemon water is very alkalising and most of us have acidic bodies,” Chevalley Hedge says. “Educated foodies still think of lemons as being acidic when

Cleanses the urinary tract:

Lemon juice is a diuretic, meaning it encourages the production of urine. As a result, toxins are released at a faster rate, helping to purify the system and keep it healthy. Lemon juice can also change the pH level of the urinary tract which discourages the proliferation of bad bacteria.

Freshens breath:

The antiseptic qualities in lemon juice help kill off bad bacteria in the mouth by acting as a disinfectant.

It has stronger result when combined with Peppermint essential oil already talked about the benefit of a glass of lemon water integrated in a healthier morning, a wake-you-up better than coffee!

TIPS: To protect your teeth drink through a straw- as lemon is acidic until it is digested by the body.


Did you say “Organic”?

If you ask if organic products are better than industrial one, I would say it’s a personal choice. These days I am much more aware of the list of ingredients of the products that I purchase. I am the one standing in the aisle of the corner supermarket reading the fine print on the bottle of limoncello or the jar of pack of biscuits.

Someday soon, I like to thing we will all be standing in the aisles reading labels. (Picture credit: The9billion)
Someday soon, I like to thing we will all be standing in the aisles reading labels. (Picture credit: The9billion)

Organic = Vegan !

Most of my friends associate it to the vegan food:

Watermelon is also my favorite fruit! (Photo credit: thrivingvegetarian) [url=][img][/img][/url] [url=][img][/img][/url]
Watermelon is also my favorite fruit! (Photo credit: thrivingvegetarian)

There are strong cliché inherent to the word “Organic”. In people mind, “Organic” refers to what you eat, rather than what you put on your skin.

Most of my friends associate it to the vegan food & the silly jokes we have all heard at least once. My favorite one (apologising in advance for my twerk sense of humor) is:

“I’m going to eat some meat and dedicate it to PETA”

Definition of “organic“.

It is the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. The final goal is to soil and water conservation and reduces pollution.

You could go out for lunch and have roasted vegetable wraps and mushroom burgers and fancy grilled cheeses with truffle butter or artisan fig preserves, it would not automatically means you eat organic.

Or, you could have the local Banana leaf vegetarian curry.
Or, you could have the local Banana leaf vegetarian curry.

Organic = happy hippy !

Apart from the above association to vegan cuisine, “organic” is also often associated to the hippy lifestyle or of full adhesion to nature.

Not that we should all defy the odds, live in the backwoods of an abandonned farm!

Hippies in the 1960’s
Hippies in the 1960’s

Organic = Personal choice !

Broadly speaking, the word “organic” is synonymous with a bunch of others common terms. The non-exhaustive list below regroups the one that come straight from my mind, though there must be much more:

  • Labels
  • Ethically clothing brands sourcing
  • Handmade/Homemade Craft
  • Green cosmetics aka 100% natural
  • Free of preservatives, adulteration and artificial flavors.

I personally relate it more to the last two.

I see organic as a generic term, it encompasses much more than a label or an industrial sector. It may sound overrated, for me it is more of a philosophy of life, the idea of balance in harmony with nature.

Organic Green washing.

Much to my surprise, anyone can use the term “natural” or “organic” when it comes to cosmetics.

Buying organic herbs from the produce section of a grocery store guarantees that they were produced under certain circumstances. However, if I step into the cosmetics aisle of the same store and see a product claiming to be organic and containing organic herbal extracts, there is no guarantee at all that it is true.

From parabens (chemicals linked to cancer) to petroleum waxes, an ordinary lotion can contain quite a toxic mixture.

Unfortunately, there is no global definition for green as it pertains to cosmetics and skin care product regulation, although it is often assumed that a green product adheres a variety of eco-friendly philosophies.

I believe in what I see

(Photo credit:
(Photo credit:

I just believe that whatever you put in your system, you are going to see it on your body and your face.

Well, I like to know what I eat, what I apply on my skin. This innocent curiosity turned into a hobby. Traveling has helped too in many ways. I get to meet local producers and discover new (or what I consider new for me) chemical-free ways to grow plants, herbs or veggie. In Malaysia and the neighboring countries. I can ask direct questions and understand any fundamental healing, calming properties about a specific plants and integrate them in my daily skin and health care routine.

There is no magical trick: it is a learning curve to educate ourselves and stay away from any dictatorial green washing.

Yet, it is important to be aware that for instance, many plants, whether or not they are organically grown, contain substances that may be toxic or allergenic.


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Salt & Pepper + Sambal

Salt and Pepper please

I lived in Paris from birth to my 20ies. That’s two decades of:

  • 5min walk to the bakery every morning. No exception to the rule. Rule that I could yet twist to my advantage since I could easily squize an additional pain au chocolat or croissant beurre to the baguette.
  • Hours of mesmerizing lunches with friends, from the student daddy’s pocket money sandwich to the “I got my first salary” restaurant dishes. Hachis parmentier, salade nicoise, confis de canards, pate carbonara are a few examples that pop up in my mind.
  • Unquantifiable homemade family dinner. The best memories.

For the last two, it has always been a usual equation that would look like that: dinning table = set of salt and pepper. And that’s a full stop. Its funny the little think you take for granted, that you assume are right by essence, indisputably part of a universal common sense. You drink water, you put salt and table on the table!

Salt, Pepper and… Sambal please!

Well, I was wrong! My culinary heritage or should I say western-style food lover was about to get shake over!

Have you ever heard of this special (almost magical) taste call the Sambal?  In Malaysia, I discovered new tastes, some were conflictual flavor, a kind of love/hate kick start.

Sambal | OrganicIsBeautiful
Sambal | OrganicIsBeautiful

Each time I order food at a local restaurant, I can smell it from miles away. It has this rich and very distinguished odor. I hear often, Malaysian can’t live without! I do believe its true fact.

What is a sambal belacan?

Sambal belacan is a dip sauce to eat usually with grilled fish, plain rice and raw vegetables (as in salads). Lunch break? Dinner rdv? Yes, you will always find some sambal among the table set! It is served in each local restaurant I often go!

The best are homemade, but you can easily get yours if you visit the ordinary malays stalls or restaurant selling rice with different dishes displays on a table. It is comprised mainly of chillies and belacan (shrimp paste block) and of course there are other additional ingredients to vary it over. Always being prepared fresh, it’s a very popular must have dip sauce in Malaysia and comes in various forms. It instantly enhances the vibrant flavors throughout each bite when spread with moderation.

 ∴ Watch out!

A word of warning: If like me, you are heavy-handed, watch out! It can become actually very hot. I mean burning hot! You may ask your self, like I did when I first arrived, how do you get rid of this discomfort with elegance – without crying/shouting/jumping? Drinking water is not the best cooling effect. In reverse, going for milk or even cheese, will anilate the spiciness. That is why Indian cuisine often includes as an accompaniment Dip Raita, made of yogurt and whole milk.

As my mum say, Prevention is better than cure.

The uninitiated are warmed!


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