I am beyond fascinated by Lee Kuan Yew’s diet, exercise and daily routine as I am keen to learn from someone who had a long life and paid keen attention to his health, with much diligence.
I had no clue that he liked what we ordinary folk like, such as:
1. Fried Chicken
2. Grilled or Fried Fish over steam or poached (unless the fish was very fresh)
3. Unsweetend soya bean milk and bean curd with no syrup for breakfast, followed by room temperature water as opposed to coffee or tea. According to this report in his later years after he lost his wife his day began at 9.45am with breakfast – a piece of cake, a mug of Milo and a glass of whey protein drink.
4. Lunch was healthy – chicken soup, tofu, meat, fruit, steamed vegetables. Here it was reported that he took lunch at 2pm.
And 42 minutes (spaced out) of daily treadmill walking in his 80’s. 12 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes after lunch and 15 minutes after dinner. I can’t help but admire and be inspired by his discipline. In his younger days he switched from golf to running as it was a more efficient use of time and we all know how little time he had to spare. Exercise also included walking. swimming and rowing, in his 70’s, which is truly impressive to me. (Kinda puts my glued to the chair much younger self to shame).
He swam for an hour every evening till 2012 (age 88), when doctors warned of a risk of lung infection.
He went to bed as late as 3.30am when he was PM and 2am when he was SM or MM. (In this regard I’m a night owl as well, but I hardly think I would awake as early as he does or exist on as little sleep and on full steam, work mode like he did well into old age.) He seems to have existed with only 6 hours of sleep.
His sister revealed his fondness for:
5. Nonya Cooking – satay, gado gado, mee siam, rojak (I love satay, and mee siam plus rojak are my mum’s faves)
6. Dutch Style Chicken (I’m curious about this now)
7. Desserts: tiramisu, caramel pudding and souffle (who would have thought?)
According to former Finance Minister Richard Hu:
8. Pomelo was his favourite fruit
9. Lunch – vegetable soup and lean steak
It’s so Singaporean that food is touched on by so many in their remembrances – we do love talking about food so perhaps it’s not as trivial a topic as I imagined and very close to our hearts.