Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Did You Know...

... That beer can be made from bananas? This is very popular in eastern Africa.

This alcoholic beverage is made from fermented mashed bananas

Sorghum, millet or maize flour are added as a source of wild yeast.

For the recipe on how to make your own homemade banana beer, click on LINK.


Monday, 22 December 2014

Braised Tofu Pok Chicken


Ingredients:

1. 1 whole range-free chicken (skin removed and cut into 4 parts)
2. 20 pieces of washed tofu-pok (tofu pok is also known as deep fried tofu or deep fried beancurd)
3. 1 garlic clove (outer layer removed but leave it in bulb sizes)
4. Sunflower oil
5. Sea-salt
6. 2 tablespoons ofd tamari sauce
7. 3 cups of chicken broth

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1. You can either use a crock pot for this or a clay pot over the stove fire. I used my trusty old multi-function rice cooker.

2. Stir fry the garlic with sunflower oil until the aromatic garlic smell permeates the whole kitchen.

3. Place the chicken, tofu pok, chicken broth, tamari sauce, the cooked garlic into a large pot.

4. Heat it up until it boils.

5. Sprinkle some sea-salt and then allow it to simmer on the smallest fire/heat (with the lid closed) for about an hour or so.

6. Once it is done, serve hot with piping hot rice.

Bon appétit!


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts with Tofu


Ingredients:

1. 4 square tofu (cut into 6 parts)

2. 4 bulbs of garlic (sliced thinly)
3. 2 cups of bean sprouts
4. Sea-salt
5. Sunflower oil

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1. Heat up a wok.

2. Add some sunflower oil to the heated wok.

3. Throw in the sliced garlic.

4. Stir-fry until slightly browned and the aromatic garlic smell wafts through the kitchen.

5. Scoop up the garlic into a plate and set aside.

6. Placed the cut bean curd pieces on the wok (use medium fire) and allow it to cook until it is slightly browned.

7. Turn the bean curd pieces over and continue cooking until the other side is browned too.

8. Pour the cooked garlic back into the wok and add the bean sprouts.

9. Add some sea-salt and mix everything throughly.

10. Once the bean sprouts are cooked, you can scoop up the dish onto a serving dish.

11. Serve with hot steaming rice.

Bon appétit!


The Big Bad Wolf Sale 2014

My high school best friend gave me a pass to the preview of the Big Bad Wolf Sales! She gave me one last year but I had the emergency surgery so last year was a no-show for me.

I went with two of my neighbours and I was happily drowning in a huge sea of books. It was so wonderful. Even though I had to leave early and had only 3 hours, it was still great. At least I had 3 glorious hours.







I too had a roller bag this round!
I had this book when I was about 5 years old. Amazing that this is still around.

They had some clowns performing some tricks for the little children.
Some bicycles too!



A Hello Kitty section. And this was not all of it. There was a bigger section with all sorts of Hello Kitty books!


These were what I bought! I was (still am) one very happy person!



Saturday, 20 December 2014

Did You Know....

... That lipsticks contain fish scales?

Fish scales are used in lipsticks to give that shimmery look. It is called 'pearlescence'. It is the silvery stuff found in fish scales which are grounded and then added to lipsticks.

There are lipsticks that are made without fish scales. Some use synthetic ingredients to replace the fish scales.

For more information about pearlescence, click on LINK. This is an interesting read.



Friday, 19 December 2014

Glorious Eggs!

Aren't they a beauty?

This was most unfortunate. A female decided to abort her pregnancy. Those green stuff are eggs. And this shrimp is eating them. Well, unfortunately that's life. 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Baked Minced Chicken Garnished With Potato Thins


Ingredients:

1. 1kg of minced chicken
2. 3 sticks of celery (peeled and sliced into small pieces)
3. 3 bulbs of garlic (chopped into fine pieces)
4. 4 medium sized old potatoes (peeled and sliced very thin slices)
5. Sea-salt (amount is up to you)
6. Sunflower oil (amount is up to you)
7. 2 large eggs
8. 4 tablespoons of potato flour

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1. Pour all the ingredients above (except the sliced potatoes) into a large mixing bowl.

2. Mix everything until all ingredients are well blended.

3. Preheat oven to 230C.

4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

5. Fill the baking tray with the blended minced chicken.

6. Flatten it with the back of a spoon.

7. Arrange the sliced potatoes in an orderly fashion. (You can see how I did it in the picture above.)

8. Bake for approximately 1 hour. (Halfway through, I turned the baking tray around. I DID NOT flip the dish! I turned it as in the part of the tray which was near the back of the oven would now be at the front near the oven door.)

9. Allow to cool once it is done.

10. You can eat it plain or serve with warm rice.

Bon appétit!



Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Did You Know....

... That cockroaches and chocolates have a relationship?

Yes! In every single bar, or lump of chocolate, there are cockroach body parts in them!!!!!!

According to the FDA guidelines, an average of EIGHT insect parts found in a chocolate bar is deemed SAFE. YUM-YUM! (Don't believe me? Click on LINK)

Therefore, there is a possibility that people are not reacting to the chocolates but to the roaches that are in them. Some people have migraine, cramps, itching or hives after consuming chocolate. It could be the roaches body parts that could be causing those reactions. Cockroaches can cause asthma too.

Click on LINK to read more about chocolate and cockroaches.

Chocolate anyone?

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Gut - The Root of All Health (Part 2) : The Fungi-ed Gut

Did you know that we humans have a small amount of candida in our mouth and intestines?

And it has a function and a job!

It actually aids in the area of digestion and nutrient absorption.

The four known fungi in the gut flora are candid, saccharomyces, aspergillus and penicillium.

Candida

Though an overgrowth of candida will cause digestive problems, healthy levels of it are needed to maintain a proper nutrient absorption. It also protects the intestinal tract from infections.


Saccharomyces Boulardii (S. Boulardii)

This fungi functions like a probiotic in the body. It isn't a bacteria. This fungi is prescribed by doctors to patients to help their gut recover after a bout of diarrhoea. It actually helps regulate the intestines. It also protects the intestines from pathogens that can harm the lining of the intestines. Not only does it protect the intestines, it also regulate various functions of the immune system. It also keeps the intestinal barrier function in tip-top condition.

To find out more about this fungi, click on LINK.

An Overgrowth

Even though these fungi help with the digestion and the gut, an overgrowth of them will cause problems.

There are several reasons to how fungi can overgrow in the gut. They are:

1. A diet which is high in refined carbohydrates and sugar.

2. A high consumption of alcohol.

3. A very high-stressed lifestyle.

4. An intake(s) of antibiotics which killed too many of the good guys (good bacteria).


Monday, 15 December 2014

Stir Fried Lotus Root & Minced Chicken


The lotus root or lotus rhizome is from the lotus plant. In the Chinese and Japanese cultures, the lotus plant is held in high esteem. In Japan, the lotus root is popularly known as renkon.

The lotus root is a very good source of fibre. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C.

For the chicken soup, the larger and fatter lotus roots are used. For stir-fried dishes, a slimmer version of the lotus root is used.

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Ingredients:

1. 1 medium sized slim lotus root (outer layer peeled and sliced into thin slices)
2. 400gm of minced chicken (seasoned with sea-salt)
3. Sunflower oil
4. Sea-salt

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1. Heat up a wok.

2. Drizzle some sunflower oil.

3. Add the lotus root and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.

4. Add about 1/2 a cup of water and turn the fire to the lowest.

5. Cover the wok and let it simmer until the lotus root slices are cooked. (It will still be crunchy)

6. Remove the cover and add the minced chicken.

7. Stir fry the minced chicken until thoroughly cooked. Break the minced chicken into fine pieces.

8. Sprinkle some sea-salt and mix thoroughly.

9. Scoop onto serving plate. Serve with warm rice.

Bon appétit!


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Cooking For Joel: An Update

Little boy's IgE had shot up to 500+. Mr. Immunologist said that he felt very strongly that parasites could be the cause.

Thus, little boy was placed on a 3-day anti-parasites medication.

One month after that course of medication, little boy went for a blood test again.

His IgE had dropped to 100+!

He WAS infested with worms. Eeeeeewwwww!

Obviously he got that from school. Everyone in the house took the anti-parasites medication too.

As of now, we are still very careful with his diet. But he seems to be back to normal. (*keeping fingers crossed!)

But the guys have been following my diet.

I'll blog on that later.


Did You Know....

... That chlorine and chicken are related?

In the US, chicken are dumped into antimicrobial baths which include chlorine to kill salmonella and other bacterias! The baths are used as disinfectant.

In Europe, they control bacterias in the chicken by making sure the chickens which are at the top of the chain (which produce the descendants) with a stringent check-up. And if any of them are infected, the entire flock is annihilated! The EU produce fresh chicken which is then air-chilled before they are sent to supermarkets.

Some would say that the chlorine gets washed off the chicken after the bath and does not affect the people's health when consumed. And the people on the other side of the fence would say, 'Would you drink water from the swimming pool?'

For more information on chlorinated chicken, click on LINK.

Also click HERE to read on the dangers of chlorinated chicken.

Did You Know....

... That it takes only a mere 26 SECONDS for anything that you are exposed to AND also what you apply on your skin to enter the bloodstream?

That also includes products which you use in your home and things that you come in contact with on a daily basis. You don't need to come in contact with Agent Orange to kill you. The plastic bottle which you use to drink your water from, the shower gel you use, the air freshener that is on auto-spray-every-30-seconds, the smog that you are exposed to every other day, the detergent you use to wash your clothes and many more are enough to sicken your body and bring about a host of health problems.

Imagine that an unborn baby will 'inherit' roughly about 200 chemicals from his/her mother. Those are passed through the placenta and umbilical cord. And even more will be passed to the baby when breastfed! (taken from HERE. Do read the WHOLE article.)

Click on LINK to read about the journey of one man who tested for chemicals which he has been exposed to, in his daily life since birth. Do read the whole article.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Did You Know....

... That farting is a sign that you have a healthy ecosystem in your gut???!!

Farting is a result of the bacteria digesting food which our gut is unable to do. Our gut does not have all the enzymes that are needed to process the food that we consume. Thus the role of bacteria in our gut. Gas is a by-product of the food processing.

Farts Trivia

1. Almost 20 times a day.
An average person farts between 10 to 20 times a day!

2. Enough to fill a mini balloon?
An average person produces 500 to 1500 milliliters of gas per day.

3. It's silent but not deadly.
99% of your farts are odourless.

4. The deadly ones!
Sulphur is the main compound which makes our farts stink! Sulphuric food such as onion, garlic, beans, broccoli, cauliflower will cause the DEADLY farts!

5. Come on baby light my fire!
You can literally light a fart on fire as one of the components of a fart is methane gas. Of course this is not advisable as you can literally light your ass on fire!

To fill your mind with more info on the human farts, click on LINK.



Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Homemade Char Siew


Char Siew is also known as Chinese flavored BBQ pork. The parts that are used to make this dish are the pork loin, the butt (shoulder) or the pork belly. 

I usually ate this whenever I had Chinese chicken rice or wantan noodles from the restaurants or hawker stalls. After almost 6 years of not having this, I think I died and went to the heaven of char siew when I made this and ate it about 2 months ago. HAHA!

The char siew which is sold outside uses chinese wine, fermented red bean curd and some use the Chinese five-spice powder. All which I am unable to eat.

So here is my low-salicylate, gluten-free version.

Ingredients:

1. 1kg of pork belly (skin removed)
2. 1/4 cup of sunflower oil 
3. 1/2 cup of brown sugar
4. Tamari (wheat free soya sauce)
5. Sea-salt
6. *Sesame oil
7. *Grounded black pepper

*Ingredients 6 and 7 are high in salicylates. Omit them if you cannot tolerate them.
The amount of marination ingredients is up to you. Some like it sweet. Some don't. So experiment with the amounts until you are comfortable with the taste and flavour. 

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1. In a freezer bag, place the washed pork belly inside.

2. Pour all the ingredients onto the pork.

3. Seal the bag and mix all the ingredients until the pork is well coated. 

4. Place in freezer for about 2 weeks.

5. On the day or even the day before, take it out from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the fridge.

6. Line baking tray with baking paper.

7. Preheat over to 220C.

8. Place the well seasoned pork onto baking tray and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Allow to cool before serving.

Bon appétit!

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Gut - The Root of All Health (Part 1)

AN INTRODUCTION

The human body is not an isolated island at all. It does not live and function on its own. Rather, it is a complex ecosystem with billions and trillions of microorganisms.

It is amazing that most of the human cells are not human at all! Bacterial cells outnumber the human body cells at a ratio of 10 to 1!!!

Our Gut

Did you know that we have over 100,00,000,000 of bacteria of more than 400 species living in our gut? The food that we eat influences the way the bacteria functions in our body. These bacteria harvest energy from our food, provides us nutrients, prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and is the defense AND offense army of our body.

Science is still not advanced enough to decipher each individual bacteria's job and potential. But what scientists do know is that these bacteria harvest, break down and ferment complex molecules from the food that we take. Some bacteria produce vitamins and fatty acids that our body lack. Some bacteria also help convert unusual chemicals into useful substances. For more information, click on LINK.

The gut is truly the root of our health!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The ABCs - I is For Inflammation & Inflammatory Food (Part 4)

FIGHT & FLIGHT

When our body perceives that we are under an attack, it triggers a release of the stress hormone called 'cortisol' from our adrenal glands. In our normal, everyday life, cortisol is needed to convert proteins into energy, to release glycogen (which functions as the secondary long-term energy storage) and to counteract inflammation.

No human can live without cortisol.

But imagine constantly living with your body constantly under 'threat'. Immediately pictures of those humans in Walking Dead come to mind. You get my drift. They must be ridden with all sorts of inflammation as they are constantly on high alert.

Being on a constant mode of high alert will cause your immune system to crash. And when the immune system crashes, inflammation will be having a party.

Even though we have become an advanced society (I mean, who would have thought that babies could navigate the iPad better than us adults?), depression and stress is on the rise. (Yes, I am a very good example of a stress-machine. And my gut is paying the price!) And when the human body is under stress, the *CRP rises too.
(*CRP is the pro-inflammatory marker for the silent inflammation that happens in our bodies)

So go and de-stress and give your body a break!


The ABCs - I is For Inflammation & Inflammatory Food (Part 3)

3. PROCESSED FOOD

I'm sure I do not need to go through the list of ingredients that processed food has. Artificial sweeteners, flavours, additives, preservatives and etc is enough to bring down a healthy bull!

4. SYNTHETIC SWEETENERS

Even though the artificial sweeteners are not sucrose, there is a possibility of a person developing diabetes type II from constantly consuming these artificial sweeteners. So do not think that you are safe from diabetes by consuming these!

Some of these artificial sweeteners will not raise the blood sugar level after consumption as they are not carbohydrates. BUT the sugar alcohols (which occur naturally in some fruits and vegetables) and are now artificially produced are carbohydrates. And carbohydrates raise the blood sugar level. The sugar alcohols are found in chocolate, candy, chewing gums, frozen desserts, mouth wash, toothpaste, baked goods and food spreads.

5. GLUTEN

Gluten attacks the lining of the gut of people with the Celiac disease. Our intestines are layered with villi which is where nutrients are absorbed. Gluten flattens these villi and cause them to lose the ability to absorb nutrients from food we ingest.

The end result would be malnourishment, a leaky gut and a compromised immune system.

For more information on what gluten does to people, click on LINK.


Thursday, 4 December 2014

The ABCs - I is For Inflammation & Inflammatory Food (Part 2)

The sad part about inflammatory diseases is that doctors prescribe all sorts of medication such as NSAIDS and painkillers to deal with the pain, acid blockers for the reflux, anti-spasmodic medication for the intestines in IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), diabetes medication, high blood medication, and the list goes on and on and on.

This made me wonder. What is the ROOT of all these inflammation?

The GUT

Did you know that two thirds of our body's immune system lies in the gut? They are all in the gastrointestinal tract! (Which means I'm screwed as my gastrointestinal issues have been multiplying!!!!)

So it all begins in the GUT!

An inflamed gut would result in GERD (gastrointestinal reflux), intestinal and abdominal bloating, frequent episodes of diarrhoea, frequent episodes of constipation, nausea, heartburn, excessive gas, and abdominal pain.

So what causes the gut to be inflamed?

Studies have shown that our diet today is the trigger for a lot of the inflammation which happen in our bodies.

Inflammatory Food

1. SUGAR

Foods which are loaded with sugar or even with high glycemic values cause the insulin in our body to shoot up. A few examples of food with high glycemic values are white bread, corn flakes, oatmeal, short grain white rice russet potato, pumpkin, pretzels, rice cakes, popcorn, saltine crackers, melons and pineapple. I don't think I need to list examples of food which are loaded with sugar. We all know what they are!

The immediate surge of blood sugar triggers a release of insulin into the body. This insulin levels will trigger eicosanoids which is a short-lived hormone inside our cells. The function of this eicosanoids hormone is to act as either a pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory compound. When insulin levels are high, these eicosanoids become confused and tends to lean towards the pro-inflammatory function.


2. HYDROGENATED & TRANS FATS

The food industry evolved where vegetable oils were concerned in the late 19th century when they discovered that by turning non-hydrogenated fats into partially hydrogenated oils allowed for easier transportation and wider usage. This was also very much cheaper than solid animal fats. And the oils would not go rancid so fast.

This process turns some polyunsaturated fatty acids into monosaturated and saturated fatty acids. When this occurs some of the saturated fatty acids are turned into 'trans fat'. And 'trans fat' raises the (LDL) cholesterol levels which are the bad cholesterol levels. Not only does it increase the bad cholesterol levels (LDL), it also decreases the good cholesterol levels (HDL). And this increases the risk for heart diseases and promotes inflammation in the body. Eating these kind of unhealthy oils can lead resistance to insulin in the body which can lead to diabetes.

Hydrogenated oils and 'trans fats' are used in margarines, commercially baked goods and snacks. And deep fried foods are food to absolutely avoid as these unhealthy oils are mostly used.

For more information, click on LINK.
You can also click HERE for more reading information.

(to be continued...)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

We Are Having Babies!!!


Pregnant with eggs!
You can see the eggs more clearly at the reflection on the glass.
We currently have 4 pregnant ladies. One is on the verge of giving birth. Long live the shrimps!!!