5 Sure Ways to Overcome the Morning Zombie Syndrome


Manfred Tham

Let’s be real, you either wake up every day drowsy and groggy or you’re lying. For mothers they’ve got it especially hard, having to juggle between waking early for the kids, prepping them for school and making sure you are all ready for the pitch at 9am. Here are some tips and tricks for the busy mums and regular Joes, so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.

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Stop Hitting Snooze

This is going to be a hard one for anyone who uses their phone as an alarm clock. Snoozing after your alarm jolts you awake is actually going to have you get up more tired. Plus you’ll be extra pissed off because your alarm went off multiple times in your ear.

According to Dr Jodi Mindell, your brain won’t fully go back to restful sleep in the 5 minutes between the alarm, so you might as well set your alarm for exactly when you have to be up.

Throw open the blinds

Bright light might some like anathema to your sleepy brain but sunlight upon your skin will wake you up far better than any amount of coffee. Seeing and exposing yourself to sunlight will let your body’s internal clock know that it’s time to energise the body (that’s you) and to kill all the sleepiness.

So don’t squint and shut the blinds, crack open the window and eat your breakfast with morning’s glow.

Shocking Shower

Probably the most unpleasant but undeniably effective, you could start your morning by jumping right into a cold shower instead of waiting for the water to come up to temperature. It’s cheap, fast and simple: perfect if you’re in a rush because you woke up late.

Morning Sweating

That’s sweating, not swearing, though they might both be equally invigorating. Chase away the drowsiness with some light exercise in the morning to get blood pumping around your body. For the more extreme, you can opt to jump right into a morning workout instead.

Sweet Tunes

No one on Earth can say they hate all music: everyone has some music they absolutely adore. The next time you shuffle out of bed as a zombie, play some of your favourite songs and your brain will send a rush of dopamine (the feel-good chemical), easing you awake.

Bonus points if your songs of choice are upbeat as high tempo songs will energise you. The best bit is that you can combine music with any of the above 4!

Try it all

We can’t guarantee that all of these will be painless but it’s better to try some instead of starting every day groaning and walking into things.

Of course, the best way to wake up energised is to get sufficient sleep (around 7 to 8 hours for adults) but if your work (or social life) is in the way of sweet sweet rest, you know what to do.

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Chef Emmanuel Stroobant shares his easy Mac & Cheese Recipe, catch him as he serves up tantalizing dishes at Savour @ Christmas Wonderland this December



Impress your guests this Christmas with Emmanuel Stroobant's Turkey Mac & Cheese, the perfect dish for home parties.

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Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • 60g             Flour
  • 50g             Butter
  • 500ml        Milk
  • 500ml        Cream
  • 150g            Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 tsp        Nutmeg, grounded
  • 500g           Macaroni or penne, cooked
  • 400g           Turkey meat, boneless and diced into small cubes
  • 50g              Fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • To taste      Salt
  • To taste      Pepper


  1. Melt butter in a pot on low heat.
  2. Add flour and toss to obtain a paste.
  3. Slowly add the milk and keep stirring until it starts boiling again.
  4. Add cream, nutmeg and season to taste.
  5. Strain over cooked pasta, toss in turkey, parsley and half the gruyere cheese.
  6. You may add in any mushrooms or other vegetables such as green peas, carrots or pumpkin.
  7. Place the pasta in a baking dish.
  8. Cover with remaining cheese and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes.


Recipe by Emmanuel Stroobant, Chef Owner of Saint Pierre which was awarded 1 Michelin star by the second edition of Michelin Guide Singapore in 2017.

Join Emmanuel Stroobant and other celebrity chefs on a gastronomic journey at Savour @Christmas Wonderland, Gardens by the Bay from 1st to 26th December 2017, where you can sample specially created gourmet dishes starting from just $6.

Get your pass from only $25 now here.

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Extreme Coffee Art


Coffee – a booster for focus and inspiration. Some of the most creative minds in the history of humanity dabbled with this liquid amphetamine to push their imagination to the edge of insanity. When coffee and artistry come into play, expect more than just creating art on a white milk foam canvas. Here, we unearth the most unorthodox art using coffee, its essence and its entity.
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I Can’t Believe It’s Not – Gelatine!


Clarissa Kong

One does not simply go to a campfire without marshmallows. And just in case you don't sit well with gelatine, here a great D-I-Y for the gelatine-averse.

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Gelatine sheets or Gelatine powder is mainly made up of collagen found in animal’s skin and bones such as pigs, beef and fish. It acts as a gelling agent and is often used in desserts such as panna cotta, custards and jellies.

Because of the components in gelatine, they are not suitable for vegetarians and vegans. But fear not, here’s one alternative that can produce the same tasty desserts with similar effects!

Agar is the most common vegan alternative for gelatine and it is used frequently in Asian desserts such as ‘kuehs’ (traditional Southeast Asian cakes) and fruit jellies.  They are extracted from a particular seaweed and comes in either flakes, powder or dried sheets like gelatine.

Besides the same use as gelatine, agar agar aids in digestion and are commonly used in fitness diets as it contains high content of fibre.

Talk about eating without having to feel guilty! Here is our fluffy strawberry marshmallow recipe using agar powder:


12.5g agar powder

90ml strawberry puree

150g sugar

90g water

150g glucose


Powder Mix

500g corn starch, 500g icing sugar



  1. Bring strawberry puree to a boil and dissolve agar powder. Once agar powder has been incorporated properly into the mixture, place the liquid in a mixing bowl. Use a whisk attachment for this recipe.
  2. Boil glucose, water and sugar together until it reaches 116 degree Celsius. 
  3. Pour sugar syrup in a steady stream into the strawberry puree, with mixer running on low speed. Once all the sugar syrup has been fully incorporated, whisk on high until mixture has cooled down to room temperature or turn very sticky. This process usually takes about 10 -15 minutes.
  4. Prepare the the powder mix. In a flat tray, oil spray the surface and line with parchment paper. Sieve icing sugar and corn flour together onto the tray and make sure they are evenly mixed together.
  5. Transfer marshmallow mix into a piping bag with desired piping tip. We use a basic round tip for our testing. Pipe marshmallow into long ‘logs’ onto the powder mix tray. Make sure that the marshmallow logs are covered evenly with powder mix, including the top. Leave marshmallow to set overnight.
  6. Brush off the excess powder on the marshmallow and cut them into small pieces. Using a sieve, sift out any excess mix from the marshmallows before storing in an airtight container.


We hope you’re all ready to test out this chewy goodness!

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