All Posts By

Chevonne Cheng

Reflections, Travel

Lessons By A Tibetan Refugee Who Crossed The Himalayas Illegally

“Right now, can you make an unconditional relationship with yourself? Just at the height you are, the weight you are, the intelligence that you have, and your current burden of pain? Can you enter into an unconditional relationship with that?” –

Pema Chodron, Comfortable With Uncertainty

Last December, I experienced Tibet’s heaviest snow in the past decade while en route to Lhasa from Shigatse. Locals expected the temperature to be “-5 degrees” at most, only to be hit by the reality of a bitter -22 drop during one night near Everest’s 5000m altitude base camp. It was so cold that the hotel’s pipes froze and turned our toilet bowl water into a solid cube. “You can do it! Others in Oymyakon, Russia, live with -55!” I screamed internally.

Yet, it was hard to voice my discomfort within four walls when I saw superhuman sherpas and pilgrims walk with bare hands while I had three gloves on. “Mind be strong. Just take off jacket and socks, lie down under blanket. For one minute, don’t move, relax. You will be warm,” advised Namgyal, our guide. But, of course, we still slept with four blankets, gloves and three layers of clothes that night.

In the high mountains, ‘mind over matter’ isn’t a quote in a cursive font to stick on your wallpaper—it’s a matter of survival. Not only do you have to battle the cold, but also the lack of oxygen. At 5000m altitude, oxygen supply is cut by almost half.

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Fitness/Health, Lifestyle

How I Turned Vegan In Singapore With $1.80 Meals Included

As a former PR girl of a Michelin-starred restaurant group, I was paid to eat for four years. Now, God forbid I’m vegan (just kidding, I always aspired to be one).

Naturally, I relate to questions I often receive on veganism.

How did you turn vegan? Why did you do it? *Insert scientific debate about nutrition intake* Do you do it for religion or health reasons? How do you survive without meat? Do you miss meat?

In Singapore, food is king. However, we don’t get the freshest vegetable produce or the most affordable, plant-based protein options. Nutritious food always seems more expensive.

Placing aside nutritional debates, I’m mainly vegan because I love vegetables, the discipline of preparing my own meals and being in sync with my conscience. My dog might need meat, but I know I don’t. Also, going vegan helps the environment.

I remember stroking a farm cow in France and watching a calf skip around the barn with joy, thinking how sorry I felt. Perhaps, that’s why we bring a child to a fruit farm but not the slaughterhouse.

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Reflections

Me Answering Self Discovery Questions (April 2019)

Journal Prompts For Self Discovery

2.58am, 4 April 2019

How do I feel at the moment?
My calf is a bit cold, I’m a bit hungry and unsure if my dog Bibi just farted. I also feel like I’m talking to a therapist who reveals I’m actually me talking to myself à la Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter Island.

What do you care about most in life?
The safety and welfare of people I love, the beauty in everyday moments and a job that allows me to help others in a way I believe in.

What are 3 words that describe you?
Curious. Empathetic. Skeptical.

What’s the biggest problem with the human race?
We are at a war with our own species. We are schizophrenic.

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Fitness/Health, Youtube

Easy Home Fitness Circuit Workout

A workout I posted few months ago during a training session with my partner (Steph) who’s also a personal trainer.

Note: Complete all six exercises (one set each) with no rest and that will be counted as one full set.

Take two to three minutes of rest between each full set, depending on how fast your body adapts and recover from each set. Do a minimum of three full sets.

Depending on your fitness level, you can increase the dumbbell weights/rep ranges/amount of sets to suit your preference.

  • Squats & Push Press x 10 reps
  • Burpees x 10 reps
  • Ski Jumps x 10 reps each leg (total 20 reps)
  • Jumping Jacks x 10 reps
  • Swiss Ball V – ups x 10 reps
  • Lunges x 10 reps each leg (total 20 reps)
Beauty

Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands: My Top List After Trying >300 Products

Last update: 10 June 2019

I tried to go plant-based for six years, but worked in PR for a non-vegan restaurant group. I also wanted to reject clients who did animal testing, but worked for marketing companies that catered to beauty conglomerates. A large portion of my daily life involved product reviews.

In short, I’ve been pretty conflicted for almost 10 years. I had to consider the accountability, loss of clients, media relations, staff payroll and cost of living/eating fresh produce in ‘the most expensive city in the world’.

But after quitting my job to pursue a career switch, I decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle and only choose brands I’m passionate about. I went cruelty-free for personal reasons, which I believe is irrelevant to anyone who does not wish to be force-fed with a PETA logo. I am still learning to stick to new habits and hope others can make the best informed choice for themselves, too.

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