A work in progress

3 min

6 shares, 22 points

A work in progress 1

FORMER radio presenter, TV show host and now full-time emcee Serena Choong aka Serena C is one of those bubbly personalities you never forget.

“I am a fossil,” she said, referring to her first job on radio station Hitz.fm, where she went on air at the stroke of midnight as 1999 entered 2000.

“Emcee-ing was a natural progression because when you are on radio, people know you. TV also came naturally as well. [Hitz TV] wanted VJs, and so the Hitz announcers became part of it.”

She got noticed by Singaporean television producers, and was even a judge on now-defunct satellite channel Diva Universal’s show Hot Guys Who Cook, which also featured a young up-and-coming Henry Golding as a contestant.

She is also part of a group of celebrities known as Celepets, who help organisations with their fund-raising efforts.

One of those organisations is Kindness Malaysia, which has an annual event to raise funds for single mothers from Program Perumahan Rakyat Termiskin.

“Every year we help the single mums association. This year we are trying to do a campaign to help train these single mums so that they can go back to the workforce. We have been doing this for 10 years.”

Serena has also always taken issues pertaining to women close to her heart. So whenever any NGO calls her for help, she jumps in.

“I used to help raise funds for the Women’s Aid Organsation,” said Serena, who is willing to do her bit whenever needed.

Serena also has a ‘work in progress’ cause, which is to promote healthy eating and zero waste, something she is teaching her five-year-old child Chloe. She shares her experiences on Instagram and YouTube.

It all began when she got pregnant in 2015. “I was influenced by the superfood fad. Then Instagram came along. So I thought that since I liked cooking, I might as well cook healthy.”

She admits she sometimes indulges in a bowl of instant noodles, but where her daughter is concerned, it is healthy food only.

She does watch what she eats – especially sugar – but does not count calories as she finds it too cumbersome. “I used to be fascinated by diets like keto, but now I follow the age-old rule of being rational with what you eat.”

Serena believes there must be vegetables and fruits with every meal. By preparing healthy foods for her child, Serena ended up eating healthy as well.

“Since she was a baby, I have made her soup. Chinese people are all about soups. So I taught her to eat Goji berries. [Eating] meusli and yoghurt is something she picked up from her dad’s side.”

Serena’s husband is French, and while the French do like their butter, they generally eat healthy. “He was actually my teacher. He taught me to cook from scratch.”

She notes that the French are careful about food portions, and that they exercise a lot. So even if they indulge in butter and cream, they are able to work it off.

Back to being a work in progress, Serena said: “We all influence each other. All my friends, we work out a lot. It is like, I like what you are doing, so we follow up.”

She explained that her friends (and fellow Celepets) Yasmin Hani, Aishah Sinclair, Sazzy Falak, Daphne Iking, Dynas Mokthar and Atilia Haron all became mothers around the same time, and lean on each other for support.

Serena may not be big on blogging but is active on Instagram. “When I am really inspired I do cooking videos. I do have a YouTube channel.”

Serena is also trying to cut down on plastic usage and buys groceries from places like The Hive, where shoppers are encouraged to bring their own containers.

“I carry my own (drinking) straw, I carry my own water bottle in the airport.” She also carries her own containers when buying food items.

As any good mum, Serena tries hard to keep herself honest, all for the sake of her daughter.

She explained: “It all started when I got pregnant and was thinking about her future. You can’t control the future but you can control how she thinks and how she eats. What mummy does, she follows.”

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