I need Help

And please hurry while you’re at it!

Recently I developed a penchant for deep fried foods. Any sort of deep fried golden crispy greatness.  I dip everything I can lay my paws on in a batter and dump them in a cauldron of bubbling canola oil. The sticky glutinous sweet cakes (Nian Gao) and bananas above were the victims of my food forage yesterday.

Coincidently fried Nian Gao is also a childhood comfort food for me. Mum used to sandwich the Nian Gao with sweet potatoes before frying the sweet gooey stuff. She would put the just fried sweet cakes on a kitchen towel to drain off the excess oil before transferring them onto a platter. But somehow only a small percentage of the fried cakes made it to the platter. Most of them had gotten straight into my mouth and then into my quickly expanding mid-section. And I always wonder why I was such a chubby kid!

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The Placebo & Nocebo

During World War 2, nurses who run out of painkillers often inject injured soldiers with salt water. The “treatment” usually works and soldiers reportedly felt a lot less pain, if not for a while. Before you exclaim in blasphemy, the nurses were merely injecting a placebo effect on the soldiers. The psychological effect triggers neural response to your body, tricking it to block stress hormones which causes pain to the body. In other words, you can feel better simply by thinking that you are feeling better. Very often people who have the common flu symptoms “feel better” after a trip to the physician and a bout of antibiotics. Antibiotics do not kill viruses. But your confidence and mental strength can.

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Shin-a-ling-ding

My right leg has been torturing me all of 2 weeks. First there was a bump, then a mysterious blue-black patch the size of North America below the ankles. Getting off the bed is a battle every morning and I sometimes wonder if my legs are going to fall off at the knees. Finally summoned up the courage to see a doctor yesterday, and got ticked off badly for going to see him only after so long. I am doctor-phobic. But that’s another story for another time. After the consult, I was sent limping to the nearest hospital for an X-ray.

At the registration counter of the Radiology department, I presented my doctor’s letter and sat opposite a Patient Service Associate:

PSA: So madam you are here for X-ray?
me: Err..yes…. (looks up at the sign above the reception to double confirm I am at Radiology dept)
PSA: So it says here you need to X-ray your right shin?
me: yeeess..I believe that’s what it says…..
PSA: Can you tell me where is your right shin now?
me: hahaha…that’s a good one! I thought it’s completely smashed too!
PSA: *confused look* (I am totally serious. Apparently so is she)
me: oh you mean..oh ok……the last I checked, my right shin is still below my right knee….like everyone else I believe….But I may be wrong?!?!

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Troubly Tubby

Being Asian it’s inevitable to hear people exclaim “so cute!” when one chances upon a chubby baby. Somehow this strange concept (at least to me) is applicable also to loved pets. Therefore the constant overfeeding and excessive treating, in turn, formulating the perfect equation to diseases, poor quality of life and shortened lifespan of these once adorable, healthy furry creatures.

By now, the general masses probably know that being overweight is a big contributor to many fatal ailments and diseases like heart problems. Likewise for pets, being obese creates a host of health problems for them. I’ve heard of dog owners who claim their dogs do not like walking. Walking to dogs is like swimming to fish, no dog will ever reject walking unless it’s too unfit, lethargic or ill (or in some cases, all three of the above).

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Namaste

There was a Yoga by the Sea event yesterday at East Coast Park and more than a thousand people turned up for the mass workout. Pity about the rain, or D-man and I could have stretched for a while longer. I kid you not, the skies were really dark.

I feel in love with this tree. It has the looks of a I’ll-look-out-for-you-and-will-protect-you-from-anything kind of tree.

As luck would have it, a friend brought us to this little hangout named “Going Om” in the evening for a cuppa. We sipped Chakra Lassi’s on the carpeted floor and were well-served by a native Indian (and may I add good looking) chap.

The menus and place do not have much to do with enhancing inner peace but I have to say it was a pretty holistic experience.

Coming back to yoga, I have experienced tremendous health and beauty benefits from practicing this ancient tantric science and I know many others whom lives have been changed by it. Yoga made me healthier, happier and even cleared my skin through the expulsion of toxins and improvement in blood flow. It is an exercise that everyone in every stage of life can enjoy with no ill-effects or strain on the body. Plus you need very little, just comfy cloths and a mat.

Please try it if you have not. I promise it will bring you nothing but good.

Greek-style pasta salad

Once upon a time I had a wonderful Swede for a boss. He is very cool. I will never forget the time when he wore a tee-shirt that says “My sausage is deadly” to the office. Bet your boss didn’t! Ha! Anyway, he married a gorgeous and kind exotica whom fed us many a great meals. She taught me this wonderful (and healthy) recipe and D-man and I have never gotten sick of it till now. I made it recently for some friends and realize that it’s a really easy and fool-proof dish to bring to a potluck.

Ingredients (serves 5-6 really big portions)
500gm Fusilli pasta
120gm Arrugula/rocket leaves
200gm cherry tomatoes*, halved
150gm Feta cheese, cubed
150gm sweet peas, cut each pea into 3 or 4
100gm pitted black olives, sliced
2 tbsp sundried tomato* paste (or more if you like)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook pasta, let cool. Then mix everything together. Adjust condiments to suit taste.

Now was that easy peasy or was that easy peasy?

Let me think that over and get back to you later.

*psst:  Tomatoes are one of those “happy foods”. They also contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant, and we all know antioxidants make you pretty and fights cancer cells.

Princess Jennifer

JenZhang

She came to Jeff and Annie yesterday at 13:02. Weighing 3.4kg and measuring 51cm, Jennifer had all of us googoo-gaga-ing over her headful of fluffy baby hair, tomato face and long fingers. Both mama and baby are healthy, and according to them, the labour was smooth and quick all thanks to yoga and exercise during pregnancy.

While visiting, Jennifer’s grandparents came and saw her for the first time. The yearn and happiness in their faces is indescribable. No wonder they are called bundles of joy.

Forget Me Not

My granny died in December 2007. She had dementia during her last years and nothing can describe our pain when she looked at us without knowing who we were anymore. She was still living in Malacca then and I did not get a chance to see her for the last time before she passed on.

This video reminded me very much about her. It felt like a stab to my heart.

I miss her.

Science have yet to prove anything that can prevent dementia, but some studies have indicated a lower incidence of dementia cases when an elderly group were participating in various leisure activities that involves exercising their bodies and minds. Also, a healthy diet and especially one that consists of essential Omega fatty acids seemingly improves cognitive functions in later life.

If you are guilty of not eating well and hiding from the nutrition police, it is never too late to start. All it takes is a little discipline and a lot of common sense. A general rule of thumb, anything that comes from a plant is not a plant. No, that large order of french fries does not substitute your 2 portions of vegetables. If you must eat meat, choose something that looks like its origins. That means no patties, nuggets, and all other “meat” products that has been processed to death.

No one can make you live healthily but yourself. However whatever little steps you take can benefit not just yourself but everyone who loves you.

BJJ

Insiders will know that the D-man is a martial arts junkie. He digs all sorts of martial arts and recently, he is a tad mad about BJJ. You probably already know this but for those who don’t, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is a combat sport that involves lots of grappling and ground fighting. This form of martial art enforces the principle of using leverage and techniques to force your opponent into submission, as opposed to using brute strength. Not only is it a great form of self-defense, the sport forces you to use your brain with your body, instead of letting them fight for the telly remote on the couch with a large bag of chips.

I was at the gym early to catch glimpse of the BJJ training session.

Even being a spectator was sheer fun. I was totally sucked into the action and watched my mates with wide eyes and gaping mouth.
Then again what can go wrong with grown, muscly men seizing, clinching and wrestling each other on the ground.
Right girlfriends? *wink*