Keep calm and bake during MCO, says Allison Yee

Malaysia’s SEA Games triathlete Allison Yee was lucky enough to head back to her kampung in Kuantan, Pahang during this MCO period. Being back in her kampung meant that she is in good hands of her family, but being away from her usual residence required her to adjust her daily routine.

Although confined indoors, Allison never lets the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Taupo, New Zealand later in the year get out of her sight. ToughASIA got whiff of her delicious cakes and checked in with Allison to see if she would drop us some crumbs (please say yes).

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ToughASIA: What does your typical day look like?

Allison: I would start off the morning by working from home before preparing breakfast for my parents.  Zwift cycling and other home workouts are usually reserved in the afternoon. Then, there would be the 4pm call by my coach Rupert Chen of RC Coaching. He has a programme written up for me, to execute using the Zwift app.

Although I’m not sure what the status for the Taupo World Championship race would be, but training for #projectTaupo must go on!

ToughASIA: What are your favourite songs on your playlist to workout to during MCO?

Allison: Oh, plenty! It depends on the programme though. I like electronic dance music like Tomorrowland when I am executing a hard workout. The beats just helped me push through the pain! On the other hand, I like listening to soft, slow piano classics when I have a recovery ride or yoga by Sue.

ToughASIA: Besides training, what else have you been up to?

Allison: I bake! And I have been improvising my recipe and keeping my customers entertained at my best regardless of this MCO.

As I do not have my oven with me here in Kuantan, I’ve switch to new products that do not require an oven to make.

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For example, Mango Mille crepe cake with lemon cream cheese filling, granola bars, mango sticky rice and etc. I also deliver them across the town to the customers. Never stop hustling and always be proactive when the circumstances has changed. I still got to keep my #projectTaupo funding active, right?

This is also the best time for me to read more about topics that I am personally interested in. I understand that not everyone has such a great opportunity to be able to do whatever they like to occupy the time during MCO; some are struggling with money to put on the table for the family, and then there are starving stray cats and dogs. Hence, I lend my helping hand to donate some money to NGOs for providing them food and shelter. #payitforward

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Allison Yee also lends a hand to strays via NGOs and shelters

ToughASIA: Can you share with us a healthy recipe for snacks during this MCO or something that people can eat at buka puasa during Ramadan?

Allison: Sure!  I’ll share my Granola Bar with dates recipe.

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5-INGREDIENT GRANOLA BARS WITH DATES

Simple flavours, wholesome ingredients, salty-sweet and lots of crunch.

PREP TIME:    10 minutes
COOK TIME:   5 minutes
TOTAL TIME:   15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 heap cup of packed dates (pitted)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey for non-vegan)
  • 1/4 cup salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds (loosely chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free for GF eaters)
  • Chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc. (optional additions)

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DIRECTIONS:
  • Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency.
  • Optional step: Toast your oats (and almonds if raw) in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I prefer the toasted flavour.
  • Place oats, almonds, and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside.
  • Warm maple syrup (or agave or honey) and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
  • Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars // adjust size of pan if altering batch size).
  • Press down firmly until uniformly flattened – I use something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better.
  • Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh, but it isn’t necessary.

THINGS TO NOTE:

  • Although not ideal, if your dates don’t feel sticky and moist, you can soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will help them blend better and hold the bars together better. But ideally, you can find fresh, sticky moist dates.
  • Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with maple syrup and unsalted peanut butter.