Our Sunday – 26 February 2017

Our Sunday was mostly spent at home as Drama Queen had to revise for an exam this week. It’s her UPSR trial exam #1. She will have to sit for several trial exams before the actual UPSR exam in September. This fella hardly does her revision and even at the eleventh hour on the eve of her exam, she is still super calm. Even when the storm lashes out, she would still be as cool as a cucumber! I always wonder what’s going on in her mind. Why doesn’t she feel panicky and worried? She doesn’t seem to give a rat’s patootie even if she doesn’t score well. Hmmm, I wasn’t like that at all when I was a student and still am not like that. Who does she take after, I wonder? 😟

Do you have a child like this?

BM revision to her means that the laptop must be switched on and revision on Tatabahasa and sample Karangan done mostly from the internet.  She seems to get  more motivated when she studies from the laptop or on the bed (bed is a big NO NO for me. I’ll snooze off for sure!). Her mind tends to wander off too when she starts to get bored.

She perked up when her daddy announced yesterday that he was going to bring us out to eat lunch. And darted into the kitchen before dinner to help to fry eggs and slice cucumbers. That’s her way of de-stressing and getting away from her books.

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Meal-Replacement Shakes

Designed to have fewer calories than an average meal, meal-replacement shakes include all the vitamins and nutrients needed for the rest of the day. While taking such shakes, one needs to make sure it is followed by healthy dietary and lifestyle habits in order to drop some weight.

Generally, it is a good idea to drink the shake for breakfast in the morning. It goes without saying that your dinner, lunch and snacks ought to be low in calories and sugar-free. Such changes make you lose weight faster and easier to sustain.

Here are a number of tips on what properties to look for:

Avoid sugar
When your liver is unable to absorb the excessive amount of sugar, it is turned into fat.

You should avoid the following foods, among others:
~ Spirits (and alcohol)
~ Sweets, pastries, cakes, biscuits
~ Jarred fruits

Fruits can be consumed in larger quantities quite safely as fructose doesn’t make you gain weight like sugar. However, it is best to eat everything in moderation. Fruit is an excellent choice as a healthy source of carbohydrates.

Low-caloric diet makes our body use fat as fuel
Consuming excessive calories, your liver transforms them into fat. If you alter your dietary habits and avoid sugar, your body will use fat for energy. Seek shakes that are lower than 200 calories. Also, avoid eating foods low on nutrient properties such as donuts, French fries, corn dogs, popcorn, etc. Such foods are rich in calories and low in nutrients.

Know that there are different carbohydrates
After consumption, they can either be transformed into sugar or as protein. Simple carbohydrates are easier to digest providing us with energy in a short term. Dairy products and juices are the sources of such carbs. Complex carbohydrates work vice versa – they take more time to digest, yet provide more energy in a longer term (grain products, greengrocery). Thus, aim for shakes with food fibers and low on carbs so that they fill you up and you shed weight faster.

20g of protein or less
In addition to enhancing your metabolic process, shakes also help to get rid of fat and keep you full longer. For you to choose the right shake, choose one with 20g of protein per serving.

meal replacement shakes with fruit

Add greengrocery in your menu
They are rich in fiber, which is paramount for you to lose weight. It goes without saying that fruits and vegetables are the key to good health due to the abundance of vitamins and minerals. What’s more is that they reduce your craving for unhealthy snacks, give you energy and are low in sugar.

Cut Down On Salt
We should aim for less than 1500 mg of sodium per day, and definitely not more than 2300 mg. 1500 mg of sodium amounts to 0.75 teaspoons or 3.75 grams of salt per day, while 2300 mg amounts to one teaspoon or 6 grams of salt per day. Try to avoid eating foods high in salt.

Meal Replacement Shakes: A load of crap or loads of help?

 

GMOs and gluten-free
Your diet should be free from GMO and gluten containing products. This includes paying close attention to the greengrocery you buy.

There are plenty of shakes available in the market to meet the preferences of vegans, lactose intolerant patients, those on a weight loss diet, sports enthusiasts, etc.

With the above tips, I am sure you now have a better idea on how to choose a proper nutrition shake.

 

Treating High Fever Naturally

On Thursday morning, Cass woke up at 3:45 a.m. to look for me.  She complained that it was very hot. Her cheeks were flushed and lips were redder than usual. It is not a norm for her to wake up at this ungoldly  hour to look for me and when she does, she is normally unwell. I gave her some water and got her to pee.  She had complained of leg pain and slight headache the night before. Now, that got me very worried. Could she be having a UTI attack? One of Cass’ initial symptoms of a UTI attack are headache and leg / body pain.

At 5:30 a.m. when I woke Cass up to get her ready for school, her body felt like a piece of burning charcoal. I was even more worried. I kept asking her if she felt OK and if she felt any pain at the bladder and kidney region. She said she felt fine but have developed a slight cough. Worries quelled. If she has cough / runny nose, I can safely rule out a UTI.  And I asked her many questions on what she did the day before. It was after questioning her that I found out that when she stayed back for extra co-curricular activities the day before, they were made to run in the 2pm hot sun for about half an hour!  With a sizzling temperature of almost 38C, kids can easily get sick from being grilled by the unforgiving sun or get a heat stroke. Even we adults may not be able to tolerate running round the track in the burning 2pm sun. I will surely have a headache if I am exposed to the hot sun for half an hour.  Crazy teacher!

I gave Cass her usual packet of Izumio the first thing when she woke up on Thursday morning. Then gave her another packet of Izumio to bring to school. I told her to down the packet of hydrogen infused water when she reached school. And to call me from school should she feel unwell and want to go home to rest. When she got home that afternoon, her insatiable appetite seemed to have gone. She could not even finish her bowl of porridge. Her body was warm. After a shower, she asked for an ‘ice cap’ for her head and took a nap.  An ‘ice cap’ which we both aptly named, is a frozen wet towel that I put on her head whenever she has fever.

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The next morning, Cass’ body got hotter. I took her temperature and got a shock with the 41 degrees Celsius  reading on the thermometer. Thoughts of brain damage, febrile fits and hallucination raced through my mind coz a fever of 41C is really high.  I continued to give her Izumio and Super Lutein.  But the hubs wasn’t happy that with such shockingly high temperature, I wasn’t giving his princess any fever medicine and pressed me to bring Cass to the doctor. I gave in under pressure, though I knew that I could bring the fever down the natural way.

As I had already predicted, the medical officer on duty was super quick to prescribe Cass with antibiotics without even doing any test on her.  I told him straight that I wanted no antibiotics and even wanted to tell him that I didn’t want any other oral medicine too. But I just paid for the prescribed flu meds to please everyone at home that I had brought Cass to the doctor and had brought medicine home. But I didn’t give Cass the flu meds.  Except for the Volren suppository that the MO insisted to give Cass to bring down the high fever, I gave Cass Izumio (every 4 hourly), Super Lutein (3 capsules a day), raw honey with bee propolis (3 times a day) and showered her body many times throughout the day and night.

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Cass was really disappointed that she could not participate in her school jogathon today. But at least she has something to look forward to now – the school’s jogathon next year 🙂

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Today (Saturday) Cass woke up with no more fever.  Though she has thick goo and a slight cough, her ravenous appetite has returned, yay!  When a sick child still has a good appetite, you can be rest assured that she is recovering and nothing major is brewing inside. No doubt, I was worried sick when Cass’ temperature kept hovering at 40 – 41 degrees Celsius the entire Friday.  I always believe in healing the feverish body naturally and with lots of rest and not overload it with medicine.

 

Shopping Passion

I am a self declared shopping queen. Shopping can do wonders to my body. Besides melting away my stress, worries and anger, it is a great way to burn calories too 💪😆.  I can shop for hours and hours on end like there is no tomorrow. I can walk around the shopping mall for over 10 hours and yet do not seem to feel tired at all!  I am indefatigable when I indulge in something that I have passion in.

Before the kids came along, I had all the time in the world to shop till I drop – from the moment the mall shutters were opened till they were shut. I truly relish those worry-free days where I had so much time on hand including those extra cash for me to splurge on every single month!

These days, if I get to shop for more than 3 hours in the mall, it is a luxury. A WFHM or a SAHM would know how precious and limited time is for her. There is always something at home that needs to be done by a specific time, which means that my shopping trips always have to be truncated with me rushing home like Cinderella.  This is part of the reason why I love online shopping. Some of my friends are ambivalent about online shopping but I have always had pleasant experiences buying stuff online from local and international sellers.

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Online shopping comes in  handy when I need something urgently and do not have the time to get it physically from the mall.  I could make an online purchase on  just about anything at any time convenient to me. I could check out on some nifty summer wholesale clothing  or vintage wholesale sunglasses at affordable wholesale prices. There are so many shopping websites that I love to hang out virtually. One of them is Apparel Candy. You can check it out too to find out what it has to offer you.

 

i love shopping online mouse pad

Mamak For Lunch

The hubs and I had a quick lunch at the Mamak restaurant today to catch up on updates from each other sans the girls.

As usual, he ordered nasi briyani with side dishes of chicken curry, fish curry, salted egg, cabbage and mutton curry.

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I ordered my all-time favorite tosai rawa which is the ‘healthiest’ of all the Indian rotis. Tosai rawa is very light and thin unlike roti canai which is thicker and starchier.

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I tapau-ed a packet of potato and bean dhal for Cass’ lunch. She had the dhal with with toasted multi-grain bread, which is a healthier alternative to roti canai. She slathered a thick layer of dhal on her toast and topped it with some cool kyuri. Whenever there is something spicy for her, she’ll swoon. The spices in the curry seem to do wonders to stimulate the papillae in her mouth.  She can whack down rice / noodles / bread / crackers with just dhal or curry. Low maintenance girl 😀

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To add to her lunch enjoyment is a good book in hand…

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Jinx Tuesday

Four years ago, I fell flat on the hard tarred road while running outside, resulting in a very nasty injury to both my palms with open wounds so bad that I could see raw flesh that stung to the core of my bones each time I wet my hands.  The wounds only healed after about 3-4 weeks. Healing was very slow as I had to wet my hands all the time — washing butt, cleaning and cooking.  Ask a SAHM or WFHM what could be one of the worst things to happen to her and she’ll tell you injury to her hands coz even if she has injured her hands, by hell or high water, she still has to find a way to get the house chores done and have 3 meals placed on the dining table.  Thus, I am always very careful not to injure my hands. If I can’t use my hands, everything will come to a standstill at home.

This morning the same jinx happened to me.  I was brisk walking downhill and accidentally tripped and fell flat, landing on my chin and both my palms *OUCH* 😖😭

During the landing of the fall, my left fingers, in particular the second and third fingers were badly bent over. For a moment, I thought I had fractured my fingers as the pain was really bad.  The skin on some parts of my palms and fingers was also partially grazed off. But the injury this time ain’t as serious as the one that happened four years ago.  Driving is difficult as my left fingers hurt at every movement. I can barely bend or straighten my fingers now.  Even simple tasks like pressing the flush button on the water cistern and opening the door are quite impossible for my left hand now 😓

Good thing is though my chin landed on the hard textured bricks, there was only a superficial bruise.

Just For Laughs

For the second time, the big girl had the itch in her butt to sit on those kiddie rides again, ha! 😆  She must have missed being a toddler again. Guess she wanted to feel nostalgic being a little child again and at the same time,  amuse us with her antics.

We were at Gardens Mall the other day. After lunch at Ying Ker Lou, we passed by Paddington The Bear and the big girl tried to hop into the car.  With her barely fitting into Paddington’s little car, I gave her a 50 sen coin but I think the mechanical car seemed to have felt her weight and it ate up the coin, bummer!  I was a tad disappointed as I was really looking forward to see her bump up and down the car, just for the sake of laughing out loud.
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She didn’t get to ride Paddington’s car but we all had a hearty guffaw seeing how she tried to clamber onto the car and got stuck 😆😁

Laughter is the best medicine. It decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Try to make yourself and your loved ones laugh everyday. Do and say something silly, just for laughs.  It’s one of the best vitamins for your body 😀😀

 

Help Your Friend With Cancer

Recently, I visited two close friends at the hospital. One had a nasty bout of kidney infection and another went for a kidney stone blasting keyhole surgery. I brought along a bag of Izumio for each one of my friend.  They were so happy and grateful for the Izumio, which helped them in their recovery.

If you have a family member or friend who is undergoing cancer treatment, bring along some Izumio for him/her to help turn things around quicker.  According to   the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, hydrogen which has antioxidant properties can be administered to cancer patients to reduce inflammation in tissues and reduce  the effect of oxidation stress.

 

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You can read more about IZUMIO and Super Lutein here.

Whatsapp / call me at 019 266 4290 or email me at shireenyong@gmail.com to find out more.

 

 

Sweet Poison

I was in school this morning to bring lunch for Cass and Drama Queen. They both need to stay back after school for extra curricular activities. At the canteen while waiting for Cass to have her recess, I had a shock when a Year 3 pint size girl put her plate of food on the table. On the plate was a piece of roti canai covered by a pile of WHITE SUGAR. At the first glance, I thought she only had white sugar on her plate but on taking a closer look, I saw the piece of roti underneath the sugar.  Oh. my. Gawd  🙀 I whispered to Cass to have a look and she too gave me a “WHAT?” unbelievable look.

By the time I whipped out my phone to discreetly take a picture of the sugar laden roti canai, the girl had already whacked down half the piece of roti canai and white sugar. There was even MORE sugar on her plate when she first bought it. *shudders* 😨😨

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The girl probably wasn’t informed by her parents that white sugar is bad for her. Or it could be she is so deprived of sugary food at home that she often takes sweet indulgences in school sans the chagrin of her parents.  I found out that my girls bought junk food from the school canteen when they  first started primary school, to taste the sweet  freedom of buying food on their own 😐

Why is sugar bad for you?

1. It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides and high blood pressure. It increases your uric acid levels.

Sugar is Bad Written on a Blackboard

2. Added Sugar Contains No Essential Nutrients and is Bad For Your Teeth
You’ve probably heard this a million times before… but it’s worth repeating. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. For this reason, they are called “empty” calories.

3. Added Sugar is High in Fructose, Which Can Overload Your Liver
In order to understand what is so bad about sugar, then you need to understand what it is made of. Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars… glucose and fructose.

Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from the diet, our bodies produce it. Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it. The thing with fructose is that it can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amounts.

This is not a problem if we eat a little bit (such as from fruit) or we just finished an exercise session. In this case, the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it.

However, if the liver is full of glycogen (much more common), eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the fructose into fat. When repeatedly eating large amounts of sugar, this process can lead to fatty liver and all sorts of serious problems. Keep in mind that all of this does NOT apply to fruit. It is almost impossible to overeat fructose by eating fruit.

4. Overloading The Liver With Fructose Can Cause Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
When fructose get turned into fat in the liver, it is shipped out as VLDL cholesterol particles. However, not all of the fat gets out, some of it can lodge in the liver. This can lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Studies show that individuals with fatty liver consume up to 2-3 times as much fructose as the average person.

5. Sugar Can Cause Insulin Resistance, a Stepping Stone Towards Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
Insulin is a very important hormone in the body. It allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and tells the cells to start burning glucose instead of fat. Having too much glucose in the blood is highly toxic and one of the reasons for complications of diabetes, like blindness and kidney damage.

6. Sugar Can Cause Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells. Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth. For this reason, many scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels (a consequence of sugar consumption) can contribute to cancer. In addition, the metabolic problems associated with sugar consumption are a known driver of inflammation, another potential cause of cancer. Multiple studies show that people who eat a lot of sugar are at a much higher risk of getting cancer.

7. Sugar Causes Massive Dopamine Release in The Brain, Thus Is Highly Addictive
Sugar can be addictive for a lot of people. Like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain.

8. Sugar is a Leading Contributor to Obesity in Both Children and Adults
The way sugar affects hormones and the brain is a recipe for fat gain disaster.

9. It Ain’t The Fat… It’s SUGAR That Raises Your Cholesterol and Gives You Heart Disease
For many decades, people have blamed saturated fat for heart disease… which is the #1 killer in the world. However, new studies are showing that saturated fat is harmless.
The evidence is mounting that sugar, NOT fat, may be one of the leading drivers of heart disease via the harmful effects of fructose on metabolism.

Studies show that large amounts of fructose can raise triglycerides, small, dense LDL and oxidized LDL, raise blood glucose and insulin levels and increase abdominal obesity… in as little as 10 weeks. These are all major risk factors for heart disease.

Bottom line: Since sugar is capable of causing so many health issues, go easy on sugar. There are many ways that you can cut down on the consumption of sugar. You can drink your coffee or tea sans the sugar. Bake your cakes and cookies with reduced sugar or use sugar alternative like black strap molasses or stevia. Forgo the sugar-coated doughnut for breakfast and replace it with a piece of fruit or a bowl of oats with nuts and seeds. I have not eaten sweets and candies for a long time and my girls rarely ask me to buy these sweet treats as they know that mummy’s answer is an outright NO.

Having said this, the focus should be on a healthful approach and not people rushing to one side or the other. Moderation is key, experts say. For example, the American Heart Association recommends that women limit themselves to about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, or about 100 calories. Men should aim for about 9 teaspoons a day, or 150 calories.

For me, when I am hankering for something sweet, I always grab some nuts or a fruit 😊

Our Chap Goh Meh aka Chinese Valentine’s Day

On the 15th day of Chinese New Year or Chap Goh Mei, the Yaps had their customary dinner at a Chinese restaurant. This year was at Super Tanker. By the time we got home, it was already 11ish pm. The moment we entered our house, we heard explosive bangsnaps of fireworks. We ran excitedly to the window to catch a better view of it.  It was a spectacular one and  was released from the Thean Hou temple.  We could watch it very clearly from the 5th floor of our unit.  Drama Queen and I rushed to our handbags to whip out our phone and start snapping the pix of the fireworks display…

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Our 15 days Chinese New Year celebration ended on a high crow this rooster year. What is so special about Chinese New Year to me?  Apart from all the reunion dinners and special food, it is the time I reminisce about the birth of my no. 2 on ‘chor 8‘ (8th day of CNY) in 2005.  This year her Chinese birthday does not fall during CNY nor on Valentine’s Day. In two days, my very loud and brazen middle child will turn 12 and will officially get her own My Kad 🙂