Friday, 27 February 2015

What's Wheat Gotta Do With It? (Part 1)

Wheat.

The bane of most gastrointestinal systems.

And yet wheat has been in existence for approximately 10,000 years.

But somehow more and more people are 'becoming sick' from ingesting wheat.

Thus, the revolution of 'gluten-free' came forth.

But yet, there are many people who are on the 'gluten-free' diet who can eat kamut and spelt. Both of which contain gluten! How is this possible?


Do spend some time to watch this video. Quite an interesting video regarding wheat.

(to be continued...)






Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Tank & Its Inhabitants

Perfect!
We added 3 ottos to the tank. 

If you can see a zebra coloured shrimp, that's our new baby who was recently birthed forth. 



Monday, 23 February 2015

Did You Know....

... That a fresh egg will sink in water and that a stale egg will float?

Egg shells are porous. Thus, over a length of time, more air will be absorbed into the eggs. Older eggs will have more air in them. Fresh eggs will have less air in them.

Click on LINK to read more about freshness of eggs.


Saturday, 21 February 2015

2015 Reunion Dinner


Here are some of the recipes to the food in the pictures above:

1. EMPRESS CHICKEN

2. FRENCH BEANS FRIED EGGS (omit the sugar)

3. BAKED PRAWNS (I did not cook them with butter this round)

(*Everything was cooked WITHOUT the use of sugar.) And it was delicious and yummy to the tummy!


Thursday, 19 February 2015

GOAT XI FA CHAI!

A very happy Chinese New Year to all of you who celebrate it.

May the Year of the Goat 'bleat' blessings in all that you do,
May the Year of the Goat bring you nothing 'butt' joy, love, wealth and health,
May you be blasted with the 'baaaas' of harmony and peace.

Goat Xi Fa Chai!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Did You Know....

... That the fastest muscle in our body is in the eye?

Yes!

It allows us to blink 5 times a second!

And on an average, we blink 15,000 times a day.


Sunday, 15 February 2015

The ABCs - K is For K2

What is K2?

Vitamin K is basically essential for coagulation. It also plays an essential role in the conversion of certain enzymes.

It is believed that K2 plays quite an important role in maintaining healthy levels of bone mineral density (BMD). A deficiency in K2 increases the risk for fragile bones.

*K2 with a combination of calcium and vitamin D can decrease bone turnover. (*taken from HERE)

K2 is essential for maintaining bone strength for menopausal women.

Activator X

Dr. Weston A. Price (a dentist and researcher) discovered that his dental patients had excellent 'teeth health' when given a high-vitamin-cod-liver-oil with a nutritious diet which consisted of milk, organ meats, unprocessed grains, vegetables and fruits. Some even had their dental problems disappear!

The key-element was in the vitamin-rich-butter and butter-oil concentrate which was extracted from it.

He named the key-element as activator X.

As a researcher, Price experimented with various brands of butter. He realised that butter which was made from milk of cows which grazed on grass grown on rich soil (fast growing wheat grass and alfalfa) had very high concentration of activator X (which is what we now know as vitamin K2).

Cows that were kept in pens and fed on commercial diets did not produce milk which had high levels of this activator X!

(click on LINK to read more)

It is interesting to note that K2 is indeed an activator for certain proteins for vitamin A and D!

Source of K2

Did you know that a certain type of bacteria in our gut (the good guys) produce vitamin K2 from K1? Amazing!

Natural K2 is also found in bacterial fermented foods, such as mature cheese and curd. The Japanese have a naturally-rich-in-K2-dish which is called natto. It is made of fermented soybeans and Bacillus subtilis. The downside of this dish is that it has a very intense smell and strong taste.

To read more about K2, click on K2, The Missing Nutrient.


Friday, 13 February 2015

H20 - Part 1 (An Introduction)

Our body is made up of approximately 60% water.

Our brain tissue is approximately 75% water!

Our body needs water to produce saliva.

Our body looses approximately about 4 cups of water per hour when we exercise. The more intense the exercise or the higher the temperature, the more water our body looses.

Dehydration causes constipation as our body will absorb whatever water it can get.

Kidney stones cannot form if our body has enough water.

(... to be continued)







Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Stir-Fried Eggs With Celery

Ingredients:

1. 10 medium sized eggs (beaten)
2. 2 celery sticks (peeled and sliced into thin pieces)
3. Sea-salt
4. Sunflower oil

-------------------------------------

1. Heat a wok on medium heat.

2. In a large mixing bowl, pour the beaten eggs, celery sticks, sea-salt and sunflower oil. Mix thoroughly.

3. Once the wok is heated up, pour the egg mixture into it.

4. Stir fry until one side is slightly browned before turning it over.

5. One the other side is slightly browned too, scoop it up onto serving plate.

6. Serve hot.

Bon appétit!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Vitamin Sleep - Part 2 (The Circadian Rhythm)



Circadian Rhythm

According to *'The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary, the circadian rhythm is defined as a daily rhythmic activity cycle which is based on 24-hour intervals. (*taken from HERE)

This cycle is influenced by regular variations in the environment such as the alternation of night and day. 

The circadian rhythms affect the sleeping and waking in animals, the opening and closing of flowers in angiosperms and the tissue growth in fungi. 

So in layman's term, this circadian rhythm which is present in humans and most animals is generated by an internal clock that is synchronized to light-dark cycles and other cues in an organism's environment. It causes one to wake up at the same time every day without the use of an alarm clock! The circadian rhythm also causes the nocturnal to function in the night and the diurnal in the day. 

The Interruption of the Circadian Rhythm

If one's daily schedule changes, it can interrupt the circadian rhythm. An example would be jet lag. The shift in time and light forces the body to change its usual cycle of regular pattern. Another would be working at night-shift. Or constantly being indoors with artificial lights with no exposure to sunlight. 


The SCN

*The Circadian Rhythm is controlled by a part of the brain called the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN). This is a group of cells which are in the hypothalamus that respond to light and dark signals. 


Light travels from the optic nerve of the eye to the SCN which then triggers the internal clock that it is time to be awake. This SCN also plays a part in hormones, body temperature and functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or awake. 

The exposure to daylight triggers the SCN to send signals to raise the body temperature and produces the cortisol hormones. 

The SCN also responds to light by delaying the release of the melatonin. Melatonin plays a part in promoting sleep as it is produced when the eyes signal to the SCN that it is dark. Hence, when there is less light, the SCN tells the brain to produce more melatonin to make you sleepy. (Thus it is a bad idea to watch TV or be in front of computers/tablets/smart phones as they can screw up your signals!)

People who work at the night shift produce less melatonin. Also people who are constantly in offices (with artificial lights) and with no windows, tend not to have a stable circadian rhythm. 

It is good to be exposed to morning sunlight as it helps the circadian rhythm to regulate. 

It is also very important to keep a regular sleep schedule to allow deep and quality sleep. 

(*taken from NATIONAL SLEEP FOUNDATION)

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

*The circadian rhythm disorders can be triggered by pregnancy, shift-work, time zone changes, medications, changes in routine where sleeping is concerned, health problems and mental health problems. 

(*taken from HERE)

Common Circadian Rhythm Problems


  1. Jet-Lag - Excessive sleepiness or a decline in daytime awareness due to the change in time zone.
  2. Shift-Work Sleep Disorder - Unable to sleep or have quality sleep due to rotating of shifts or works at night.
  3. Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) - Only able to fall asleep very late at night and unable to wake up in time for work, school or appointed schedules. 
  4. Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome (ASPD) - Excessive sleepiness much too soon before bedtime (6pm to 9pm) and waking up earlier than desired (1am to 5am).
  5. Non 24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder - This affects blind people as the gateway to the CNS is not functioning. As a result, sleep time, quality and problems staying awake persist. 

How To Treat Circadian Rhythm Disorders


  1. Sleep Hygiene Techniques - Practices, habits and environment factors that are important in getting quality sleep. 
  2. Sleep Restriction Therapy - The bed is only for sleeping and nothing else. Thus, time in bed is limited. 
  3. Chronotherapy - A behavioral technique where bedtime is gradually and systematically adjusted until a desired bedtime is achieved. 
  4. Bright Light Therapy - Used to reset a patient's circadian rhythm to a desired pattern.



Circadian Rhythm Trivia

1. The SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus) contains about 20,000 nerve cells!

2. Even fruit flies, cyanobacteria, algae and fungi (YES! Fungi!) have genes that direct the circadian rhythm.

3. The 'after-lunch-sleepiness-syndrome' is not caused by lunch. It is the body's natural circadian rhythm where our energy levels naturally dip between 1 to 3pm, where 3pm being its lowest.

4. Morning sunlight is the most powerful regulator for our biological clock (circadian rhythm).

5. In order for a biological rhythm to be called circadian, it must fulfill three criteria: The rhythm must persist in constant conditions for a 24-hour period (entrainment), the rhythm can be reset by external stimuli (light and heat) and the rhythm must maintain the circadian rhythm even though temperature changes. 

6. A French scientist by the name of Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan discovered circadian rhythms in 1729. Click on LINK to read more.

Interesting Articles to Read

Disruption of Circadian Rhythm May Contribute to Inflammatory Disease When Coupled with High Fat & Sugar Diet

Why Circadian Rhythm Affects Your Health

Ideal Work Schedule As Determined By Circadian Rhythms

Key Element in Circadian Clock Speed Discovered

Circadian Clock An Orchestra With Many Conductors

Sleepless in America



Thursday, 5 February 2015

Bitter Gourd & Mushroom Egg

Ingredients:

1. 8 large free-range chicken eggs (beaten)
2. 1/4 of a bitter gourd (washed and sliced thinly)
3. 6 fresh shitake mushrooms (sliced thinly)
4. Sea-salt
5. Sunflower oil

------------------------------------

1. Mix all ingredients above in a large mixing bowl.

2. Heat up a wok on high heat.

3. Turn to medium heat and pour the wet mixture into the wok.

4. Stir fry until eggs are browned and fragrant.

5. Scoop up onto serving dish.

6. Serve with hot rice.

Bon appétit!


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Did You Know....

... That some of the household dust is made of humans' dead skin cells?

YES! We shed like dogs and cats do!

Click on LINK to read more about it.


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Vitamin Sleep - Part 1 (An Introduction)

As the human society progresses, sleep is becoming more and more of a luxury. Some people even say that 'they'll sleep all they want when they are dead', not knowing that having a lack of sleep will accelerate their 'sleeping-forever-at-six-feet-under'!

A study done by the University of California, San Diego has found that people who live the longest sleep for six to seven hours each night. (Click on LINK)

Those who lack sleep have been shown to be high at risk where weight gain, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes are concerned.

I wrote about the four stages of sleep and what sleep deprivation does to you back in 2013. Here's the LINK.


Friday, 30 January 2015

Stir-Fried Garlic Chicken with Celery & Carrots

Ingredients:

1. 1 chicken breast (cut into small pieces - seasoned with sea-salt and garlic)
2. 3 celery sticks (peeled and cut into french fry size)
3. 2 carrots (outer layer peeled and cut into thin strips around the same size as the celery)
4. 5 garlic bulbs
5. Sunflower oil
6. Sea-salt

------------------------------------------

1. Heat up a wok.

2. Drizzle some sunflower oil into the wok.

3. Add the garlic bulbs and stir fry until fragrant.

4. Add the chicken, celery and carrots and a dash of sea-salt and stir fry until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables have softened.

5. Scoop up onto serving dish and serve hot with rice.

Bon appétit!


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

An Egg-lectrifying Meal

Ingredients:

1. 8 medium sized chicken eggs
2. 100gm french beans (finely chopped)
3. Sea-salt
4. Sunflower oil

-----------------------------------------

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs together with the french beans and salt.

1. Heat a wok on medium-high heat.

2. Drizzle the wok with sunflower oil.

3. Pour the egg mixture into the wok.

4. Stir fry until eggs are cooked and slightly browned.

5. Scoop up onto serving dish and serve with piping hot rice.

Bon appétit!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Did You Know....

... That bananas, tomatoes, watermelon, pumpkin and avocado are all berries???

And the strawberry, raspberry and blackberry are not berries??

Technically, a berry is a fleshy fruit which is produced from a single seed. (Click on LINK to read more about berries.)

The strawberry has its seeds outside of each separate fruit. The true berries would be the blueberries and cranberries.

According to stories from way back then, the children of the 19th century would pick the fruits and string them on grass straws. They then sold them as 'Straws of Berries'.

Interesting eh?

Who would have thought...

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Gluten-Free Pie


Ingredients:

1. 2 cups of cooked salted, garlic rice
2. 3 sticks of celery (peeled and sliced into thin pieces)
3. 1 small sized lettuce iceberg (shredded into small pieces)
4. 500gm of minced chicken (seasoned with sea-salt)
5. *Spinach (Omit this if you cannot tolerate this. I had plenty in my garden and I had to harvest and use them before they became old.)
6. Sunflower oil
7. Sea-salt
8. Home-made mashed potato seasoned with sunflower and sea-salt (about 3 to 4 cups)

---------------------------------------------------------

1. In a large mixing bowl, pour the minced chicken, celery, lettuce iceberg, and (*spinach-optional). Drizzle some sunflower oil and sprinkle some sea-salt onto the ingredients. Mix all ingredients throughly.

2. Line a bread pan with a baking paper.

3. Fill the bottom part of the bread pan with the mixture.

4. Then layer the rice as the second layer.

5. And finally, layer the mashed potato as the last and highest layer.

6. Preheat oven at 220C.

7. Bake for about 50 minutes or until potatoes turn golden brown.

8. Serve it hot.

Bon appétit!



Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Gut - The Root of All Health (Part 4): PHYTIC ACID

Your grains, seeds and nuts have to be soaked in order for our bodies to get the best of it! To find out why, continue reading.

What Is Phytic Acid

Phytic acid (inositol hexakisphosphate - IP6) was first discovered by Palladin in 1895. (To read more on the history on phytin and physic acid, click on LINK.) It is a saturated cyclic acid which is the principal storage from of phosphorus in many plant tissues especially in bran, seeds, nuts and grains. This functions as the energy store for the plant.

How Is Phytic Acid Stored?

Phytic acid is mainly stored in the seeds of the plants. It can also be found in roots and tubers but in lower amounts. It is most concentrated in whole grains and beans. It is usually concentrated in the aleurone layer in majority of the grains which makes it concentrated in the bran. For legumes, it is found in the cotyledon layer of the seed.

When Is Phytic Acid A Problem?

Actually phytic acid has some good. But it poses problems for some people. Phytic acid tend to bind minerals in the gut before they are absorbed and also influence the digestive enzymes. It also reduces the digestibility of starches, proteins and fats. In long term, consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran can trigger the IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

People with sensitive digestion too will have problems when they consume food with large amounts of phytic acid.

People with problems of building up iron stores in their body and also have an iron-defiecency anemia will have problems when consuming phytic acid.

Who Benefits From Phytic Acid?

When physic acid binds minerals in the gut, apparently it prevents the formation of free radicals, this making it an antioxidant (taken from HERE). It also binds heavy metals, thus preventing them from accumulating in our body.

Phytic acid also reduces the chances of our arteries from hardening.

Phytic acid's iron-binding properties can protect against an iron overload (hemochromatosis) in our body.

*What Are The Methods of Reducing Phytic Acid?

1. Heat

Heating foods with phytic acid can reduce some amount.

2. Processing

Milling grains and removing the bran reduces the amount of physic acid. The bad part of milling is, it also removes much of the minerals.

3. Soaking

Soaking beans and grains can reduce phytic acid.

It is recommended to soak in either warm water or in an acidulated water (such as plain yoghurt, whey, kefir, buttermilk, vinegar or lemon juice).

It is best to soak overnight or more than 7 hours. The water that has been used to soak the beans and grains MUST be thrown away!

To read more about soaking your grains, click on LINK.

4. Fermentation

Fermentation breaks down phytic acid by activating the phytase enzymes which reduces the number of phosphate.

5. Sprouting

Sprouting enhances the phytase activity and thus decreases the phytic acid (this is used up as it sprouts).

*taken from HERE. There are some extra points on how to balance up and reduce phytic acid which are stated in the link. Do click it and read.

Also click on PHYTIC ACID to read more about it.


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Gut - The Root of All Health (Part 3): The Destroyed Gut (Part 4)

9. Additives & Preservatives

An example of a preservative is benzoic acid. This is used in the food industry as it prevents molds, yeast and some bacteria. It is usually used in acidic food and beverages like fruit juice, sparkling drinks, soft drinks, and pickles.

An experiment was conducted on piglets who were fed with diet that contained benzoic acid. The end result was that the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract were reduced. Click HERE to read about it.

Colouring which is a food additive can cause digestive disorders. Click on LINK to read more about this.

10. Pesticides, Herbicides & Fertilizers

Glyphosphate a herbicide wrecks the digestive system by killing the beneficial bacterias. Glyphosphate is used in GMOs. Click on LINK to read.

11. Stress

The dreaded 'S' word! STRESS! It is known as the number one killer today.

*The American Medical Association has stated that stress is the basic cause of more than 60% of all human illness and disease. (*taken from HERE)

Stress can also cause digestive disorders, upset stomach, abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome. *Exposure to stress leads to changes in the composition, diversity and number of gut microorganisms. (*taken from HERE). Stress changes the balance of our beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Do click on LINK and read on how stress wreaks havoc on the microflora in our gut.

That was what my gastroenterologist told me. Stress triggers IBS.