Paleo muffins

Paleo muffins

Fit and fab Ms See Toh Jia Xin, a personal trainer at fitness company Ufit Singapore, is also a freelance pastry chef.

She says: "People will look at me and ask, 'Are you a baker?'

"Then they will wonder if my cakes taste good. But healthy baked goods don't have to taste bad."

She shares her recipe for Paleo muffins with blueberries and almond slices.

The Paleo or Paleolithic diet is also known as the caveman diet. The diet cuts out dairy products, whole grains, refined sugar and processed food. Those who follow the Paleo diet will eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables and nuts.

Other health-related recipes include protein powder cakes and sugar-free brownies.

Ms See Toh, 31, does not restrict her diet and marries her love of pastries with her gym regimen. "I'm not particular about my diet. If I eat a lot, I'll just train more."

She adds candidly: "Look at pandas - they eat bamboo shoots every day and are still so fat."

The fitness junkie has been lifting weights since the age of 16. A back injury three years ago did not stop her from returning to the gym.

"I didn't want to spend my whole life wallowing in misery. The doctors said that if I lifted weights, my back would break. But now, I'm stronger than before," says Ms See Toh, whose sales coordinator boyfriend Raymond Yoe, 28, is also a fitness buff.

The banking and finance graduate from Ngee Ann Polytechnic honed her baking skills at the Baking Industry Training Centre.

She then worked at the Singapore Marriott Hotel for about two years baking bread, cakes and pastry.

"I remember baking 30kg of bread for the buffet line," she recalls in mock horror.

She uses less sugar for her cakes and gives tips on not wasting leftover egg whites or cookies.

"Make meringues with the egg whites and crumble them over ice cream. Do the same for cookies. It'll add so much more to your dessert," she says.

She also notes that there is a market for novelty cakes - many of those she bakes are specially customised for bridal hen nights.

"Let's just say those cakes feature the human anatomy," she says, grinning.

This article was first published on Jan 25, 2015.
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