Heart-Stopping Moment

I had a heart-stopping moment today.

At around the time when I was supposed to go down to the lobby to wait for Cass to arrive home, I received a call from her class teacher.  OH. NO!! Calls from the schools and teachers are NEVER good. Never once good.

My heart literally stopped for a few seconds… until I heard Cass’ voice.

Cass – hi mum. I am still in school. Aunty Jane left without me.

Me – HUH??? What happened? Were you punished by the teacher and asked to stay back?

Cass – No. When I went  there (the same place where Aunty Jane parks her van), she wasn’t there anymore.

And then the line went dead.

I panicked with heart in my mouth.

I quickly called back Cass’ teacher’s number.  And then called the van driver to find out what happened.

I knew that the van driver was in a haste to send off this batch of students so that she could rush off to pick up another batch of students. She’s a single mum with college-going kids struggling to make ends meet and has been ferrying students from dawn till dusk.  This is the same van driver who had left Alycia behind in school when Alycia was Cass’ age now 5 years ago.  The situation was much worse with Alycia. When Aunty Jane reached my condo, she called me to inform me that she could not see Alycia in the van. Can you imagine my shock on hearing the news?

Back to Cass. When I called Aunty Jane to find out what happened, she was too embarrassed to admit that she left my daughter behind again but later admitted. It was her second time for Pete’s sake.  She told me that half way through the journey, she realized that Cass wasn’t in the van and she made a U-turn to pick her up.  I chided her and again asked her how she could have left out my child again. Doesn’t she do roll-calling anymore? Check-list of names?  I suggested all these safety measures to her 5 years ago after she left Alycia behind in school. And she did it again now! Sigh!!

Long story short, I was so so glad and relieved to see Cass when she alighted from the van today. I gave her hugs and kisses. And I pray that this will never happen to any of my daughters ever again.

Picture taken last Saturday. My baby girl did the tough job of hammering crab shells to de-shell crab meat to feed me!  She knows I hate getting my hands dirty and stinky from deshelling crabs and has since years ago volunteered to go at it hammer and tongs deshelling crab shells for her beloved mummy 🙂

And the chunkiest claw meat, the best part of the crab goes to me! 😀

Final Exams Are Over!

FINALLY the day that all the exams for year 2016 are over and done with is here today. For all 3 girls. Can you feel my relief? Can you? 😀 😀

If you are a parent with school-going kids, I am sure you’ll feel me deeply.

I have not planned out what to do with the girls yet as they still have 1 more month of school to attend before the 1-month school holiday starts. But tomorrow we will be attending a food and fun fair at our church. The girls have been looking forward to attend this fun fair for months.

For me, I have nothing much to look forward to except to catch up on my sleep this weekend.  And it is just about the right time for me to do my yearly medical screening again.  Much as I hate going to the hospital to have blood works (hate the fasting!) and scans done, these can be life-saving.  Don’t scrimp on medical screenings and investing in some good supplements. These are the little things which may seem insignificant to you now and  you may not see the immediate benefits yet. Or you may say that you do not have the budget for them. Not  until  you are dealt with a  shocking diagnosis by which time regretting is the one thing that will corrode you. I wish this will never happen to anyone. I have a customer whose mother skipped just 1 year of not having a medical screening done.  The following year when she went for her medical screening, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had less than a year to live.  She was only in her early sixties.

Have a good and relaxing weekend world! 🙂

Yesterday’s dinner…

Sauteed okra with organic ‘milk white’ vegetable (lai park), big onions, tomatoes, shredded kafir lime leaves and Baba’s rendang curry powder.  The ‘milk white’ veggie is added into this dish coz some fussy pot hates okra.  This kid literally pukes each time I force okra down her throat, I kid you not!

Baked garoupa fish breaded with wholewheat bread crumbs.  If you have kids who dislike eating fish, try baking breaded fish. The bread crumbs lend a very crispy texture and aroma to the fish. My kids who are not great fans of the fish love fish cooked in this style.

Stroke and Heart Attack

I get heart flutters or heart palpitations whenever I get very angry. My heart flutters also increase in frequency if I do not get enough sleep and have been stressed out. I always tell my kids not to irate me too much, lest they see me collapse right in front of their eyes due to a heart attack. I kid you not. My friend lost her husband 8 years ago to heart attack. Her husband was in his early forties and had the heart attack right in front of his three young daughters.

Early this week, I was really saddened when I read that my favorite fashion designer died of a heart attack. I used to shop a lot at his boutiques when I was still in the corporate world.  He was only 54 and looked really fit and active.  His death is a great loss to the Malaysian fashion scene.

Heart attack can attack anyone – young or old, fat or thin, fit or unfit.

Exercising with unusual vigor while you are enraged or emotionally distraught could also be dangerous for your heart, according to a cautionary new study of the types of events that may trigger heart attacks.

Research found huge differences in the treatment of men and women who suffer heart attacks

Cardiologists have long known that a wide variety of circumstances can initiate heart attacks in people with cardiac disease. Among the events that are tied to an increased risk of having a heart attack: sunrise (you’re more likely to have one on awakening), spectator sports, earthquakes, air pollution, job stress, holidays and, in rare instances, sex. Extreme physical exertion and extreme emotional distress also often have been linked to sudden heart attacks.

Many prevent stroke and heart attacks with Izumio. If you value your life, take Izumio for stroke and heart attack prevention. There are real case studies and clinical trials done on molecular hydrogen on stroke and heart attack prevention.

If you would like to give Izumio a try, I can be reached at shireenyong@gmail.com or 019 266 4290 for more information.

To read all my posts on Izumio and Super Lutein, click here.


Award-Winning Dawdler

Someone just spoilt my afternoon and I am still burning with anger!

Just a moment ago, I received a call from a sales staff from a bank trying to sell a product to me. I wasn’t interested and I told him straight. Then he said that he won’t take long and just wanted to give me some quick info on the product.  But I am freaking busy alright.  I had and still have 1001 things to do and I just told a white lie to the caller: “I am in a meeting right now”.  And before I could swipe the end button on my phone to end the call, some smart alec hollered loudly across and said “NO, YOU ARE NOT IN A MEETING!”  


I am certain that the caller heard that!! Though I didn’t give a hoot.

I quickly swiped the end button on my phone… then shot killer dagger stares and spewed lava on this eat-full-nothing-to-do kid! She’s got a Math exam tomorrow and she had already wasted an hour in the bathroom faffing around and when she came out, she hadn’t even taken her shower!!   I was so enraged I wanted to swallow her up. I would if I were a ruthless giant.  As I am typing this post, this dawdler is at the balcony tending to her plants. Aaaarrrgh… I so want to swallow her up right NOW!!


Random Matters (Exam Week)

Yours truly has been as busy as a worker bee the past one week.  I’ve been busy with work, busy with revising with Cass the dawdler and busy with whipping up wholesome dishes for the girls in their exam week to tank up their bodies with nutrients to help them fight well in the battlefield. Thank goodness I am not down and out yet, amidst my busyness with only 5 hours of sleep each night. Plus the stress of having to deal with two loafers in the house who don’t give a hoot that it is their final exam. Even Alycia couldn’t stand how her two sisters can still chillax with story books on the eve of their exam.

The hubs was down with  food poisoning on Sunday after we attended dinner at a restaurant on Saturday night.  And Drama Queen is recuperating from a mild running nose.

Below – our lunch on Sunday – eve of exam.  Poor hubs who puked and literally emptied his guts out, was too sick and cold to sit with us and left the Japanese restaurant to sleep in the car while we had our lunch and then shopped for groceries.

Below – with the peaceful and quiet morning time that I have while the girls are in school, I quickly get my work done before the girls are back. I had a few applications to submit to the Naturally Plus office this week and some story books to sell to clear shelf space for new books.

Today, I nearly ate a dead cockroach on my packet of dishes!! I was enjoying the chicken rendang with vegetables while reading the newspapers during lunch when I saw a black roach with legs and all, right smack in the plastic takeout box, just next to the chicken, freaking SH*T!!!! Of all insects, it had to be my  most feared enemy. And it scared the living daylights out of me! I quickly spat out the veggies that I was still munching and gagged everything else out. Then binned the box of food and rinsed my mouth and gagged more stuff out. OMG,  I don’t know what else went inside my stomach.  This is why I am never keen to buy takeout economy dishes. I have not done it for a long time and I guess it will take me a long time to get over  today’s incident.

We have TWO more days to go before we can all reclaim our long FREEEEEEEDOM until January 2017, YIPEEEEEEEE!!!!!


Exam Fever

Today is finally the end of Alycia’s final exam. It has been a tough one week for her with lots of last minute revising and only getting 4 hours of sleep each night. My constant nagging to the girls to revise daily has fallen on deaf ears and she prefers to do an eleventh hour revision, in which case, hers is a seventh hour revision just before sitting for her papers! Let me see how she has fared in her exam this time. Since it is such a tall order for me to get her to follow my method of revising, the next best would be for her to do a trial and error on her own studying methods. Her first method of revising during her first semester exam was with her iPod next to her books with music blasting into her ears via ear plugs. The method failed.  Her grades were middling. This time, she surrendered her iPod to me a week before her exam, albeit with reluctance. She studied in total silence in her room with the door locked to prevent her sisters from annoying her. If her seventh hour revision method fails too, I believe she will try another technique in her next exam. One thing for sure is that she needs tuition for Math and I have already found a tuition center for her to begin tuition next month.

Alycia and her classmates have planned to have a little celebration in school with a basketball game after the end of their exam today. I’ll bet when she comes home later today, she’ll plonk herself on the bed and sleep like a baby the entire afternoon. Today marks the end of all the exams for Alycia for this year. Drama Queen and Cass will be sitting for their exam next week and I can foresee tomorrow being a nerve-racking day for me revising with the two dawdlers in the house! I can’t wait for next Friday to come to mark the end of all exams for the girls for this year…

Exercise And Eating Clean

Before I share what I cooked again, I’d like to share with you some of my many accounts in my Journey To Fitness.  Just in case my posts on food and nothing-to-shout-about dishes bore you to brink of death 😀

All food and no exercise spells trouble for your body and I kid you not. Exercise is good for your heart, mind, body and soul.  You may not feel the difference now if you are still in your 20s or 30s. But once you have hit forty and lead a sedentary lifestyle, you’d most likely begin to notice the differences in your body.

People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress,depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Given the overwhelming evidence, it seems obvious that we should all be physically active. It’s essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.  I want to be able to still run around and travel the world even when I am 84 years old or 90 years old.  There’s this 84-year old grandmother at my condo who is fitter than I!  She wakes up at 5am everyday and works out for several hours at the pool area, practising her sword and fan tai chi movements, brisk walking  and does body stretching. She then sits at the gazebo  by the pool and chats with her peers until 10ish am each day. She gives me so much inspiration whenever I chat up with her or simply just by looking at how spirited and sprightly she works out each day, with so much energy bursting in her.

At the same pool area too each morning is a 78 year old grandma who moved in 2 months ago.  She walks with the support of a walking stick and an Indon helper.  She looks like she is into her 90s.  When I chatted up with her, I found out that both her kidneys were removed. She can only eat plain vegetables and nothing else as she is not undergoing dialysis. She is currently consuming Chinese medication.

So the conclusion is eat well, eat clean and exercise regularly and you could be like the 84-year old healthy grandma.  Put crap into your body and you will suffer in your later years. No joke. Love your body for you only have one.

 It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:
  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented!

This weather this morning was one of gloomy, breezy, chilly and a dark sky with a looming thunderstorm.  I wasn’t in the mood to swim in such compromising weather but with a determination as strong as steel, I went ahead.  The moment I went into the water, my body froze. The key to combat the chilly water and strong wind is to quickly dip your body inside the water and start swimming immediately, as fast as you possibly can, to generate heat in your body.  My body would normally be warmed up within 5 laps of swim on a cool morning but today, it took me over 13 laps to finally feel warmth. It didn’t help that it was extra windy today. *shiver!!*

I was the only person swimming this morning, which makes the pool looks oddly gigantic and creepy. Have you ever tried swimming alone at 6:30 in the morning under the threatening dark skies with no one else in the pool except you? Add the strong howling winds and chilly water and you’ll feel like you are in one of the scenes from Nightmare On Elm Street.  This morning, I felt and saw the currents of the pool water each time the strong wind blew and howled.   I soldiered on and after 30 minutes, I managed to complete 28 laps continuously, complete with body stretches and aqua cycling. It poured just after I completed my 28 laps.

It is hard to explain to you the awesome feelings one gets after exercising. If you haven’t started on an exercise regimen yet, why not try it today?  Yes today! It can be as simple as climbing up and down the stairs in your house or walk up the stairs to your unit if you live in a condo.  I used to jog outside the house at 5am with a baton in my hand and another round of running at 7pm when I returned from work.  Rain or shine, I would exercise, even if it meant running whilst holding an umbrella. I was and still am that determined and no one can break my will power.

Getting regular exercise aside, eating clean is just as important. Whether you are a carb-cutter, carb-loader, paleo warrior, or intermittent faster, your golden rule of clean eating should be to include as much fresh produce in your daily diet as possible.

Ok, enough said and I am stepping down from the soap box 😀

Here’s one of my home-cooked dinners last week  – baked Halibut steak from Greenland.  It was the first time hubs bought this fish and the meat was very smooth and creamy.

I baked the fish in two different styles – two pieces were lightly seasoned with sea salt and black pepper and another piece coated with wholemeal bread crumbs.

Verdict – the breaded one won.  And my conclusion is to bread the fish each time I bake fish in future.

Baked Portobello mushrooms with garlic.

Stir-fried organic cabbage with shredded carrot, garlic, onions and eggs.


I got a thumbs up from my most persnickety and critical daughter over dinner that night 😀


Health And Fitness Ideas For The Busiest Moms

Lots of men and women everywhere complain that their physique and healthy lifestyle ended when they had children. No parent would ever prioritize themselves over the needs of their children. But surely there must be a way to take care of them and you in those few hours we have each day? It’s not easy, and there will always be sacrifices to make when you’re a mom. Thankfully, there are plenty of ideas out there that can work for you when you find you’re too busy for a workout.

Parenting is tiring. This is the reason so few of us feel like getting off the sofa when we put the kids to bed. But if you can peel yourself from the comfort of the cushions, your workout could actually boost your energy levels. We all feel like the kids run us ragged. We all wish we had the stamina to keep up with them. That workout that feels like the hardest thing to start could actually make you feel just as energized by the end.

Exercise improves your overall fitness. It increases your stamina and builds your strength. And most importantly, it makes you feel more positive about life. It can help you have that can-do attitude that those supermoms on the PTA seem to have. But we all know it’s hard just to get that time and that motivation to fit in a workout. So how do we do it?

Moms are incredible at making schedules and getting organized. Sure, some things move right from time to time. And there will always be that little something that crops up to get in the way. But if your workout time isn’t on your daily planner, it’s time to make it happen. Here’s how. Get up thirty minutes earlier. Or go to bed thirty minutes later. Batch cook and microwave the family meal one night a week to reclaim that thirty minutes cooking time. Run with the dog. Walk the kids to school instead of driving. The list goes on. Sure, it takes a little creativity in some cases. But you’ve made the move toward prioritizing your health just by looking for a window of time for you.

Most of us have a slot or two of time for catching up with friends each week. But if you and your friend sign up for a fun exercise class together, you’ve managed to socialize and workout in that same slot of time. Best of all, working out together motivates both of you to stick with it. You’re having fun, so you get more than just a great workout. You get good mental health and emotional well-being.

Most of us have heard of home workouts like the max workouts program. The trouble is, when you’re at home, you always have household chores to do instead. But if you get your kids to join in, or invite that willing friend around, you can all have fun working through the exercises together. You also get extra quality time with your kids or that fun social date with your friends. And if you workout with your husband or partner, you know you’ve had a fun activity that benefits your relationship.

Of course, good health is about more than exercise. Healthy eating is another problem area for busy parents. Kids can be fussy eaters. Before you know it you’re cooking two or three different dishes every evening, or eating something that only satisfies them. To be sure you’re getting all the nutrition you need, it’s important to include the fresh stuff in every meal. It can be hidden in sauces or soups to avoid mealtime arguments.

It’s often tricky to make sure you’re eating enough fresh fruit and veg. It’s so much easier to opt for the takeout or convenience food. Batch cooking can get you a healthy meal in a jiffy. Whip up extra portions of healthy dishes packed with veg. Then freeze them individually to microwave when you’re too busy to cook. This can work for lunches in the office too. And it will be hot on your plate quicker than a delivery driver can get to you!

Fruit is easy to take with you for healthy treats on the go. Veggies like salad often require a bit more preparation. You could prepare your healthy snack or lunch the night before. It won’t spoil in the fridge overnight. And there are plenty of fun treats that are pretty healthy too. Homemade oaty bakes can be packed full of all your favorite dried fruits, nuts and seeds. They’re really filling, entirely natural, and easy to take with you whenever you’re out and about. Pop a couple in your purse to make sure you’re never caught short. If you’ve got something with you, then you’re less tempted to pay the vending machine!

Lots of health gurus recommend integrating more activity within your regular lifestyle. This makes sense, but it can be tricky to figure out how to do that. One of the easiest ways is to leave the car at home if your journey is shorter than two miles. You might think this will take longer. But when you consider the traffic and the hassle of parking, it might not take any longer at all. Pop your heels in your purse and use comfortable shoes for the walk. This will avoid aching ankles and blisters.

If you like to unwind on the sofa in front of your favorite TV show, you might be able to get your workout done at the same time. If you know your exercise routine, you can work your way through the exercises in front of the TV.  Treadmill or exercise bike in the garage? Make soap time your new exercise time.  Pop a TV in front of your workout equipment and enjoy your favorite show on the go.  Exercising this way is hugely beneficial because you are distracted by what’s on the TV. You’ll get through your thirty minutes without even noticing!

Extra workouts and healthy eating can be accessible for busy parents. Take some time this weekend to see if you can fit them in. Be well. 🙂


Monday Dinner – 10 Oct 2016

Dishes on Mondays are normally kept simple and sweat-free. I keep them simple as I know I will most likely be bogged down with work after the weekend and Monday Blues.

Today’s dinner consists of grilled chicken and grilled salmon head.

I cranked up the oven and in went the 2 trays of meat. While I let the oven do its job, I sauteed the veggie.  Once the chicken and fish head were ready, I popped in another tray consisting of strip almonds. Almonds and seeds are my go-to snacks to quell hunger pangs.

Salmon head was seasoned with a few pinches of sea salt and ground black pepper…


Grilled chicken thighs were seasoned with 5-spice powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, black pepper, shoyu and at the last 15 minutes in the oven, drizzled with organic honey.

Note : honey / soy sauce or any sauces containing sugar should only be basted on the meat towards the last 15-20 minutes in the oven, otherwise the meat tends to get burnt easily. Burnt meat is carcinogenic.


Sauteed organic pea sprouts with garlic.


Our Sunday – 9 Oct 2016

Today is the eve of the big princess’ final exam whereas next Sunday will be Drama Queen and Cass’ turn. The heat of the exam fever is burning in the house!

Hubs was still in Ipoh for a gathering with his former classmates, leaving just us girls at home on a Sunday. Just before we left the house, Alycia told me that she’d prefer to stay home to do revision… last minute one that is, which is just so typical of my cool as cucumber eldest, who is on the brink of teenage-hood.  In less than 2 months, she’ll be officially a teenager. I can’t believe I am a mother to a soon-to-be teenager!! Boy, I feel old!

After I sent my car for a wash, we had brekkie at the Indian restaurant.

Nasi lemak is for Drama Queen, who can really stomach sizzling hot food.

My favorite tosai rawa was not available today so I settle for tosai telur. Check out someone with an impatient hand pinching on my tosai coz she said she was so hungry she was going to die!

Roti telur for Cass.

And murtabak ayam (which was seriously delish!) takeout for the big princess.

For dinner, the big princess said she wanted to stay home to revise. So I cleared the fridge and freezer and cooked these:

Meat-less fried rice with lots and lots of garlic, big onions, grated sweet potato, kafir lime leaves, coriander leaves, sweet corn kernel, baby peas, shoyu and pepper.

Pork bolognese penne pasta (cooked last week) reheated. And sauteed organic lettuce with garlic.

The coming week will be a stressful week for the big princess.  I feel stressed out looking at what she has to study.  Her Cambridge Math in English is stressing me out big time. I know it is stressing her out too as she has been asking me very frequently for help. Sometimes I am unable to help her coz I never studied what she is studying now during my time and we studied our Matematik in BM.  Good thing is, the big girl seems to be taking it with a pinch of salt.  The 3 girls have inherited their daddy’s happy go lucky attitude.  Next year, the hubs will feel the stress as Alycia’s high school will be increasing the fees.

If you know of anyone who can come to our place to provide private tutelage to Alycia in Cambridge Math in English, please do send me an email at shireenyong@gmail.com.