Wellness and healthy eating are the core precepts of Sing Health, the all-new health food brand masterminded by lawyer and entrepreneur Lianne Lam…
Tell us a little about your early years in Singapore and the UK…
Well I was raised in a very conservative, typically ‘old Chinese’ family in Singapore as one of three sisters. I went to an all-girls school there, before enrolling as a boarder at Cheltenham Ladies College at the age of 16. After I graduated, I was accepted into King’s College and the College of Law in London, which is where I obtained my law qualifications.
Did you always know you wanted to become a solicitor?
Honestly? I always wanted to become a lawyer. Coming from a traditional Chinese family, I was encouraged from an early age to pursue a career in law or medicine. It was lucky, then, that I loved reading legal cases and had a strong desire to uphold justice even as a youngster.
Having said that, after I spent a few years as a lawyer at an international firm in London and then moved to Hong Kong, I did branch out. I was very into education at that time, so I decided to run an Australian childhood neuro-physiological development centre called Kindyroo. It was basically for toddlers aged two to three years, and I continued to be involved with them until my two sons came along.
In another departure, you’ve just launched your own health food brand, Sing Health…
Well, Sing Health is a new venture with a focus on nutrition and diet-friendly foods, which are basically guilt-free alternatives and a means of promoting healthy eating. We are the exclusive distributor for a well-established Singaporean brand, XNDO Products, and I’ll be opening our first flagship store in Mongkok. Our mission is actually very simple and based on four key concepts – Replace, Block, Boost and Detox.
We plan to offer a range of quick meals that are calorie-controlled and high on taste, with a choice of 30 Asian flavours. We’ll also be offering functional beverages in order to help with weight loss programmes. Our teas and coffees, for instance, contain the hero ingredient MCT, which helps to step up the metabolism, while the white kidney beans in our milk tea act to block carbohydrates. Our shop will also be stocked with vitamins and supplements, including ones for children that taste like jelly – something I assure you that kids will love.
What was it that persuaded you to enter this new sector?
Back in March 2020, I was with my family in London during the time of its first Covid-19 lockdown. There was a lot of endless rumours about what would happen and how bad things were going to get. The only places we could go were parks for exercise, while we could also still shop at essential stores, including pharmacists and food outlets. Every day, I’d queue up at these shops on the high street in order to purchase healthy foods, juices and supplements, such as vitamin C, D and antioxidants – anything that could boost my family’s immune system. That’s when my eureka moment occurred, and I suddenly thought that starting a business related to healthy eating would be a good forward direction for a healthy life. That was the seed of what would eventually become Sing Health.
What are the particular benefits you are aiming to offer?
Well, firstly, our nutritious meals are low in calories and high in fibre and protein, while also having a low transfat content. Basically, we are offering quick-to-prepare dishes that are satisfying, yet guilt-free on account of their healthy content. We’re trying to promote a way of losing weight while eating healthily.
For my part, I believe everyone should mentally train themselves out of any detrimental eating habits, while introducing nutritious meals and supplements to their family. It’s very important that we educate the next generation with regard to the importance of fitness and dietary wellbeing.
Any more projects in the pipeline?
Well, as I mentioned, Sing Health’s flagship store opens later this month in Mongkok, so I’m super excited about that. I’m then looking forward to introducing even more premium healthy food brands, while working with business partners who share the same vision as me.
You mentioned the pandemic earlier – what has been your personal takeaway from that?
I think the biggest thing for me has been the realisation that we can’t simply take life for granted and that you have to prioritise your health and that of your family. I’ve spent a lot of time educating my kids about the importance of healthy living, warding them off fast food and getting them to focus on maintaining a positive lifestyle.
Having said that, the past year has been something of a blessing in disguise because it’s given me so much quality time with my husband and my boys – particularly with my eldest, who would have otherwise been away in boarding school completing his A-Levels. This has seen us explore a range of new family activities, such as watching YouTube and TV, while also learning how to cook and bake together. Without the pandemic, we may never have had this special time together.
The pandemic aside, how do you normally juggle your work responsibilities with looking after your kids?
I have to say it’s no easy feat. At one time, when the boys were younger, I used to do all the school runs and support all their after-hours activities. There came a time, though, when they were old enough to no longer constantly require my attention. That’s when I took a step back and let them develop naturally. As they’re older and more independent now, it means I can focus on myself and my new baby, Sing Health.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items and one person would you most want to have with you?
Firstly, a satellite phone so that I can call for help and reach out to someone to rescue me. I’d also have to have my passport for official identification purposes, allowing me to catch the first flight post-rescue to wherever I need to be. Finally, I’d pack a gun for protection, because you never know what might be lurking on the island… As for who I’d like to bring along, that would definitely be my husband, Matthew… he’s my soul mate and pillar of strength, and I would want to share everything, whether good or bad, with him.
Finally, tell us something most people don’t know about you…
It may surprise some people to know that I’m actually very old-school, very traditionally minded. I still read printouts of emails and contracts, for instance, rather than going through them on-screen… I also love to relax by watching hair-raising horror movies – that’s something no one really knows about me. My go-tos are all of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies and The Sixth Sense. A good horror movie can make my day or even my week sometimes, because it scares the hell out of you, which is kind of therapeutic in its own way.
Interview by: Tenzing Thondup
Photos: Jack Law
Videographer: Kingsley Lau
Art Direction & Styling: Jhoshwa Ledesma
Hair & Make-up: Heti Tsang