Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Journey in Healing the Gut (3)

It's been a an uphill battle to heal the digestive system. Reflux is a stubborn goat who does not let up and is like a spoilt-child who insists on having her way.

I am still in the ring with reflux and I have currently lost round 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and very soon will head to being knocked out.

I did try to add on a new probiotics (in order to strengthen the gut) on top of the existing one which I have been consuming for 6 1/2 years now (LACTO GG). I did not react to it (such good news).

But I woke up the next morning, with such excruciating, crippling and debilitating pain in my shoulders and neck. I know that whenever I consume sugar, I will pay HELL for it. I kept going through my food list to check whether I had sugar. I did not eat sugar at all. Not even a grain of it. I was afraid that I could have accidentally ingested it but no, I did not.

Day two came and it got worse.

Day three came and I was literally in the bowels of Hades.

And then it struck me. The NEW PROBIOTICS!

I checked the ingredients and there wasn't any sugar.

And then I saw it.

Fructooligosaccharide. It had this as a pre-biotic.

I stopped this new probiotics immediately and the pain went away in two days. I got my shoulders and neck back. The relieve was heaven-sent.

So back to square one. How shall we tackle this reflux monster?

(...to be continued...)




Thursday, 2 July 2015

Recovery Process...

I was hungry 24/7 at every second. It came to a point where I was having cold sweat, severe shaking, tremors, plunging BP to the point of blacking out, blurring of vision and terrible nausea. Something was wrong with me. My calves became so swollen that they were rock hard and I had difficulty walking.

It got so bad one night that I went to the ER. 

The doctor who saw me the previous week when I was down with the bacterial infection became worried as cases like mine could lead to inflammation of the thyroid.

So I had blood tests for the thyroid and kidneys.

All blood tests came back negative.

The doctor said that I could be having post-illness syndrome. He told me to rest. But he told me to see my gastroenterologist if this continued.

I couldn't take it as the severe hunger pangs would just strike at anytime of the day. Having chicken porridge caused my BP to plunged to the point I could only lie down as the dizziness and fainting spells were horrible. I was feeling so down and desperate.

I saw Dr. Rockstar last Friday. 

Dr. Rockstar said the antibiotics had screw up my digestion. Everything became haywire and it could take up to one month for my system to return to normal. I am currently on pancreas enzymes. It's called Pancreatin. It's digestive enzymes. 

There have been 'pockets of relief' here and there. I have to eat even smaller meals and have more protein. 

The good news is I am able to take yoghurt (which my stomach couldn't digest) and also sprouted wheat bread (which was an experiment). This means that all this while I lacked the enzymes to digest certain foods.

It is certainly interesting to see how things are unfolding. I have a follow-up meeting with Dr. Rockstar next week. Let's see what he shall say then. 


Monday, 29 June 2015

Did You Know....

... That drying your fruits (dehydrating) causes massive loss of nutrients? 30 to 80% of its vitamins and antioxidant contents are GONE!

High heat during the drying process destroys the vitamins.

To read more, click on LINK.
Click HERE.

Friday, 26 June 2015

13 Months!

It was a stellar record. To me at least it was.

For 13 months I managed to fight every virus and bacteria germ that I came across.

I finally succumbed to a very nasty bacterial infection last week which saw my tonsils swell up twice their size. The pain was so excruciating. Not only that, I had ulcers in my throat. And the hacking cough that would not let up made the pain worse.

The infection was so bad that the doctors thought I had dengue as my platelet count dropped drastically.

Thank god it was only bacteria and not viral.

One week of antibiotics cleared the infection.

So it's now back to building the immune system and gut system up and maybe hopefully I can stay strong for TWO years now?? Hopefully.


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Baked Stuffed Potato Skins with Fried Rice



Ingredients:

1. 10 medium sized old potatoes (wash outer layer with vegetable brush thoroughly and then dried thoroughly)
2. 200gm of minced chicken (seasoned with sea-salt)
3. 2 cups of cooked sushi rice
4. 1 medium sized carrot (outer layer peeled and sliced into thin sticks)
5. *1 medium sized broccoli (washed and florets cut into small parts) [If you are on low-salicylate diet, replace this with another vegetable of your choice which you are able to tolerate.]
6. Sea-salt
7. Sunflower oil
8. 2 cloves of garlic (sliced thinly)

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1. Preheat oven to 220C.

2. Prick all the potatoes with a fork. (If not they'll be atomic bombs in the oven!)

3. Place all the potatoes on a baking tray and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the potatoes become tender and soft.

4. Cut off about a quarter of the potatoes and scoop out the insides while leaving the skin intact.

5. Set the potatoes aside.

6. Heat a wok on high heat.

7. Drizzle some sunflower oil onto the wok.

8. Throw in the thinly sliced garlic.

9. Stir fry until golden brown.

10. Add the minced chicken, carrot, broccoli,

11. Stir fry until all are cooked.

12. Add the rice and potatoes that were scooped up.

13. Mix everything thoroughly.

14. Scoop the rice mixture and fill up the potato skins.

15. Pre-heat oven at 200C.

16. Arrange them on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes.

17. Allow to slightly cool before serving.

Bon appétit!





Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Siew Yuk (Roasted Pork Belly)


Ingredients:

1. 1kg of pork belly
2. Sea-salt
3. *White pepper (optional)

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1. Wash the pork belly thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Usually, a skin-pricking-tool is used. Unfortunately, I do not own one. So I had to use a very sharp fork. Prick the whole pork skin until it looks like some fork-stabbing-session. (At the end of the pricking session, my hands were numb and carpal tunnel was in full manifestation. Conclusion: Get the damn tool!) The tool looks like this:

*picture taken from HERE

3. Season with salt and grounded white pepper. (*White pepper is optional. For those who are on salicylate diet, do omit if you are unable to tolerate.)

4. Rub the seasoning(s) thoroughly until the whole pork belly is coated.

5. You can either place it in a freezer bag to allow it to be seasoned in the freezer for an extended period of time (to allow the seasoning to permeate the meat more thoroughly), OR you can blow dry it with a fan (if you are going to eat it on the same day). Some people dry their meat in the fridge.
Blowing the meat so that the skin dries up. This will ensure the skin to crackle and pop into a very crispy and crunchy texture.
6. Preheat the oven to 230C.

7. Bake for approximately 45 minutes.

8. Then set the oven on GRILL mode.

9. Grill for another 1/2 hour.

10. Remove from oven to cool.

11. Slice the slab of meat and ENJOY!!!!!!
To die for!!!!!!!!!!! YUMMY!!!
Bon appétit!


Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Braces Diet - Soft Rice With Fish & Spinach

Dish One:

Ingredients:

1. 1/2 cup of rice
2. 1 1/2 cups of filtered water
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1. Wash rice thoroughly.

2. Cook for about 20 minutes.

Dish Two:

1. 1 slice of red fish
2. Sea salt
3. Sunflower oil
4. Filtered water
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1. Season fish with sea-salt and sunflower oil.

2. Place in steaming dish.

3. Add about 3 tablespoons of water to the fish.

4. Steam for about 1/2 hour.

Dish Three:

1. 200gm of spinach (washed thoroughly).
2. Sea-salt
3. Sunflower oil
4. Filtered water

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1. Heat up a wok.

2. Drizzle some sunflower oil.

3. Add the spinach and some sea-salt. (Be careful when you add the spinach to the hot oil. The oil will sizzle and splash!)

4. Add 3 tablespoons of water.

5. Stir-fry until the spinach has softened.

***********
Before serving these three dishes to the person with braces, mash and break everything to minute pieces. It's like making food for a one-year-old child!

Bon appétit!




Monday, 8 June 2015

Yellow Eel ABC Soup


Ingredients:

1. 4 thick slices of yellow eel

This is how the eel looks like.
2. Carcass of one chicken
3. 3 large potatoes (skin peeled and cut into 4 parts)
4. 2 large carrots (skin peeled and cut into half)
5. Filtered water
6. Sea-salt

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1. Put all ingredients above in a large pot and fill it with the filtered water until everything is submerged.

2. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer for two hours.

3. Serve it hot.

*Note: The fish monger told me that this eel is good for people with skin problems. It has a lot of bones and is used for boiling soup. It was so sweet and delicious.


Friday, 5 June 2015

Bracing for Life with Braces

Joel went to the dentist and got his braces done on Sunday. He's been in a lot of discomfort and pain. Thus, he can only have a soft diet at the moment until he adjusts to the braces.

At first it was just chicken porridge.

And then he had yoghurt.

Now it's soft rice with steamed fish and soft vegetables. And a bowl of soup.

I realised that this diet is also suitable for us people when we have our attacks which end up with constant and never ending trips to the toilet. Soft food is heaven-sent!

So I'll be starting a new series called 'The Braces Diet'.

If you have any helpful suggestions or recipes, do not hesitate to post your comments!



Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Did You Know...

.... That most of the food you eat is digested in the small intestine?

Digestion actually begins in the mouth. A special enzyme in the saliva breaks down some of the food. And then it goes down to the stomach. In the stomach, the food is grounded even more with acid being added to it. Once the food leaves the stomach, that's were most of the digestion happens.

Click on LINK to read more.



Saturday, 30 May 2015

Lentils & Potato Chicken Burger



Ingredients:

1. Potato/lentils cutlet (click HERE for recipe)
2. 500gm of minced chicken (seasoned and mixed thoroughly with sunflower oil, sea-salt, 2 eggs and potato flour)

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1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Preheat oven at 220C.

3. Take about 2 tablespoons sizes of minced chicken and shape them into burger patties. Place them on the baking tray and flatten with the back of the spoon.

4. Repeat until all minced chicken mixture is used up.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Allow to slightly cool.

7. Place the chicken patties in between the lentil/potato cutlet and voila, you have a gluten-free version burger!

Bon appétit!



Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Gut (Part 5) - SIBO

Our gut is filled with bacteria. It needs bacteria to function its normal duties. Without them, we would be in deep trouble! But yet if you have an OVER abundance of them, it will lead to trouble too.

SIBO

SIBO stands for Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth. This happens when the bacteria in the small intestines over populate.

It is a known fact that our colon is rich with bacteria. *The large bowel or colon has at least 1,000,000,000 organisms per milliliter. However the small intestines only have fewer than  ten to the power of four organisms per milliliter. Once the bacteria grows to ten to the power of five per milliliter, it would be an overgrowth.

*taken from HERE

Signs & Symptoms

It is very challenging to properly diagnose SIBO as the symptoms are also found in other conditions. Some of the symptoms of SIBO are nausea, excessive gas, bloating, abdominal pain or discomfort, constipation OR diarrhoea (constipation less common), food intolerances, vitamins and mineral deficiency, fatigue and weakness.

*Causes of SIBO

1. Damage to nerves/muscles in the gut can cause a leftover of bacteria in the small intestines. This is seen in people with diabetes and scleroderma.

2. Scarring from surgeries or Crohn's disease.

3. Disorders of the immune system such as chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

4. Medication such as antibiotics, steroids, oral contraceptive pills and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs).

5. A diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol.

*taken from HERE and HERE.

** SIBO can cause the leaky gut syndrome as the damaged cell linings of the small bowel allow large protein molecules to escape into the bloodstream. This can cause immune reactions which lead to food allergies or sensitivities, generalized inflammation and autoimmune diseases. (**taken from HERE)

How to Diagnose SIBO

1. Breath Test

Individuals need to fast for 12 hours. They will then breathe into a small balloon and then consume an exact amount of sugar and repeat the breath test every 15 minutes for 3 or more hours.

2. Organix Dysbiosis Test

This tests the urine for the by-products of yeast or bacteria which are in the small intestine.

3. Comprehensive Stool Test

This tests your stool of the flora that inhibits your intestines. If the levels are elevated, SIBO is suspected.

Treatment for SIBO

Usually rifaximin (Xifaxan) an antibiotic is used as a standard treatment to treat SIBO. Xifafan is a perfect treatment for SIBO because it stays in the gut and is not absorbed throughout the whole body. Thus, it would not work for a throat infection.

Another treatment would be probiotics. The lactobacillus casei strain has been found to be effective in dealing with SIBO. Other strains such as lactobacillus plantarum and lactobacillus acidophilus have also been found to treat SIBO.

A restrictive diet (low or complete void of trigger foods) would also be a good way in alleviating the symptoms of SIBO.

Click on SIBO - what causes it and why its so hard to treat to understand more on SIBO.




Sunday, 24 May 2015

Did You Know....

... That you burn more calories sleeping than watching the TV???

When the body is in deep sleep, you will burn more calories. REM is the important part of sleep. The sleeping-time-calorie-burning is highly dependent on the REM sleep.

During the REM sleep, the brain is highly active. Food is fuel for the brain. And the fuel that is used by the brain is body fuel or more famously known as glucose.

Having the right body temperature (not too hot), following the natural circadian rhythm and practicing healthy eating habits will help promote a healthy and deep sleep!

Click on LINK to read on how to lose weight while sleeping.
Click on LINK to read on eight hours of sleep.
Insufficient Sleep Study
Fuel for the Human Brain




Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Baked Potato & Lentils Cutlet


Ingredients:

1. 6 large old potatoes (washed, skin removed and boiled until very soft)
2. 1 cup of yellow lentils (washed, soaked for 24 hours and rinsed)
3. 1 cup of rice flour
4. Sunflower oil
5. Sea-salt
6. 2 stalks of chives (washed and chopped)
7. 2 large eggs

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1. In a large mixing bowl, mash the potatoes.

2. Add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.

3. Preheat oven at 210C.

4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

5. Scoop about 2 tablespoons size of potato mixture onto the tray and flatten with the back of spoon. Repeat until tray is filled up.

6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Allow to cool.

8. Serve as snack.

Bon appétit!


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Braised Chicken Wings with Tamari

Ingredients:

1. 6 chicken wings (seasoned overnight in the refrigerator with tamari sauce and sea-salt)
2. Sunflower oil
3. 1/4 cup of filtered water

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1. Heat a wok on high heat.

2. Drizzle some sunflower oil.

3. Add the chicken wings and water and turn the heat to low.

4. Cover the wok with a lid.

5. Allow to simmer until the wings are thoroughly cooked.

6. Scoop up onto serving dish.

7. Serve with hot rice.

Bon appétit!


Friday, 8 May 2015

Cashew Milk


Ingredients:

1. 1+ cup of soaked cashews (soak them overnight to get rid of the phytic acid)
I soaked 1kg of cashew nuts. I baked the rest of the nuts.

2. 800ml of filtered water

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1. My soya maker was used to blend this milk. It grounded the cashew nuts and boiled it for about 1/2 hour.

2. You can either choose to sieve the milk or leave it with the fine grounded cashews.

3. Serve it hot.