Going Green And Raw

I have been going green and raw for the past few days.  Firstly, I am not feeling 100% up to the mark, no thanks to the flu bugs  loitering in our home. No matter how hard I try to eat clean, I somewhat succumbed to the virulent bugs.  But the good thing is – the infection is a very mild one and definitely does not warrant medication.    Secondly, I am trying to steer clear of oily and heaty food to up my immune system.  We have an overseas trip coming up in just 2 weeks.   The girls ain’t following exactly what I eat but are sticking to non-oily, non-spicy and non-fried food.

Today’s lunch is salad with eggs (organic) again! :)

Besides stuffing myself full with greens, I have also been working out hard at the gym the past few days, sweating it  out really well and I am so happy that I am finally picking up the momentum again since months ago.  I have not hit the gym for almost 2 months as during school-going days, I would be too early for the gym. The gym is only accessible at 7am and I am always done with my run at the condo’s jogging trek by 6:50am.  Besides sweating buckets, I have also been getting a good dose of morning sun the past few days.   The morning sun shines right at me as the position of the air walker that I normally work out on faces the morning sun directly.

This Hakka Lui Cha was my lunch yesterday.  As you can see, the composition of this healthy dish is mainly veggies, chick peas and peanuts  in blended mint broth.  While I gobbled down this bowl of green stuff,  my girls ate soupy noodles with eggs and minced pork.

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Pork Bolognese With Fennel and Bay Leaves

I made a big pot of pork bolognese sauce the other day.  I used part of the sauce to whip up a penne pasta dish for the girls’ dinner and kept a portion in the freezer.   I used the thawed portion for making cheat pizza (from wraps) last Sunday.  How handy was the frozen pork bolognese on a day where we could not do any cooking!   We were having some renovation works done to our wet kitchen, thus have not been able to cook for the past 5 days.  My girls commented that my cheat pizza with pork bolognese tasted way better than the ones sold at restaurants!  Getting compliments like this spurs me to keep cooking and gradually, I have developed the  love to cook, albeit only simple menus.  I have never really liked cooking out of  sheer laziness and lack of time but it is out of love for my girls that I cook no matter how busy I may be :)

My pork bolognese sauce tasted incredibly flavorful this time as I had thrown in a handful of dried basil leaves and a packet of fresh fennel herbs to cook with the sauce.

 

 

Fresh fennel…

 

 

 

Fresh fennel emits a very aromatic flavor to your food. Its green, feathery fronds look a lot like dill but the fennel herb has a much stronger aniseed flavour. It can be used to spice up your sauces, meat and salads. If only I have a garden, I would fill my garden with pots of fennel, basil, peppermint and an array of herbs :)

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Health Freak Mommy’s Breakfast – 4 November 2014

This is what I had for breakfast this morning…

Roasted pumpkin wedges, carrots, aubergine and garlic with olive oil and salt. And I ate them cold.  Straight from the fridge and I like it this way :)  In fact, I like food eaten (certain food, not all) straight from the fridge.  I wonder if anyone has this quirk like I do!

I do not normally eat this sort of stuff for breakfast but today, I am feeling crabby.  My aunt flow is giving me superdy duperdy painful stomach cramps like miscarriage kind of pain, with heavy pressure at the lower abdomen area since yesterday.  Darn the fibroid in my uterus.  It is causing me heavy aunt flow with blood clots too.  This month is really bad.  So bloody, so much blood clots and the pain is really crap!

Anyway, whether I am feeling great or in pain, life has to go on.  While I ate breakfast, I read the newspapers and went through the clock with Cass.  She is sitting for her final exam today and tomorrow.

What did you have for breakfast today?

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Health Freak Mommy’s Breakfast – 28 October 2014

My quirky and absolutely healthy mid-morning breakfast today!  I call it quirky coz I tossed in some tortilla chips into my yoghurt for the crunch and saltiness that I craved for this morning. My first breakfast is always fruits on empty stomach followed by a cup of fresh milk with coffee half an hour later.  And the absolute first form of food that goes into my body every morning is apple cider vinegar and psyllium husk (concoction added with Ribena for ease of swallowing).  Yucky but works like a charm in combating constipation and for a flawless complexion.

Plain unsweetened low-fat yoghurt with chia seeds, toasted almond flakes, pumpkin seeds and organic tortilla salsa chips. Absolutely low in carbs and high in protein.   The zero-sugar tortilla salsa chips that tantalize my taste buds seem to be able to ward off my desire to have something sweet and sinful.

 

 

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Maple Syrup Health Benefits

This morning I bought a bottle of organic 100% pure maple syrup from the mini mart.  I could not decide if I should buy it or otherwise as I think forking out RM34.90 for a 250ml bottle of syrup is just too expensive.  At the mini mart, I was also hunting for agave nectar (which is slightly cheaper) but it was out of stock.  In our household, we do not use white sugar.  We use healthier alternatives like agave nectar, palm sugar or organic raw brown sugar.  With no other choice, I bought the bottle of 100% pure maple syrup, simply because the new chicken recipe that I found requires maple syrup and I am very eager to try cooking this crock pot chicken drumstick cooked with maple syrup and dijon mustard.  It looks very easy to prepare and sweat-free too.

Besides using maple syrup to cook the new chicken recipe that I have in mind, I can also drizzle some maple syrup onto my sugar-free skinny yoghurt which I take on most weekday mornings.

 

 

 

 

 

Why is maple syrup one of the best sugar alternatives?
This healthy sweetener is 100% natural, pure and free of any coloring or additives. Boiled down directly from tree sap, which is harvested from the maple tree towards the end of winter, pure maple syrup is an unprocessed, authentic product of nature. White sugar, for example, is typically derived from sugar cane, and processed and purified before being sold. Because maple syrup is not processed, it contains higher levels of potentially beneficial minerals, including calcium, potassium, sodium and copper, making it the best sugar alternative.

A previous study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 found that maple syrup contains polyphenols such as abscisic acid (ABA), which is thought to stimulate insulin release through pancreatic cells very much the same way berries increase sensitivity of the fat cells to insulin, which makes the syrup beneficial for those with metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Maple syrup is one of the many wonders of the world and far more than a simple sweetener. Maple syrup is not only rich in essential nutrients such as manganese as well as zinc, but 34 new beneficial compounds discovered just a few years ago have been confirmed to play a key role in human health.

 

 

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Overnight Oats With Fresh Coconut Milk

This bowl of overnight oats is probably the last thing you want to eat for breakfast. But looks can be deceiving. My bowl of chilled oats for today’s breakfast tastes awesome! It reminds me of the Bircher Muesli that I often eat at hotels for breakfast, sans the grated apple.

 

 

 

 

 

Health Freak Mommy’s breakfast of overnight oats today composes of chia seeds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, ground hazelnut, fresh coconut milk and zero sugar.  All the nuts and seeds were raw and soaked with the oats and milk, except for the ground hazelnut.   The fresh coconut milk was added in last, at the time of eating.  This breakfast is suitable for diabetics and diet freaks too as it is sugar-free, low in carb and high in protein. This is just so good. Eating clean just can’t get any better!

 

 

 

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Recycling Chicken Breast Meat

We all know that breast meat is lean and  healthier  in comparison to other parts of the chicken.  Lean chicken meat is one of the best sources of protein and perfect for health freaks on a low-carb and low-fat diet.   The problem with us is when we are served chicken, no one would touch the breast meat.

Below is a common sight whenever we have roast chicken.

 

 

I normally keep the breast meat and deep freeze them for ‘recycling’ at a later date.  I use it in fried rice, fried noodles, fried vegetables, pizza, salad, sandwiches and wraps by shredding the meat.

These are my chives wraps with the ‘recycled’ chicken breast meat.  I saved the sauce that came with the roast chicken and spread it on the wraps.   Added fresh sweet corn kernels and a slice of cheese before baking it for 15 minutes in the oven.

 

 

Oops!! The toothpick from one of the wraps came off and I could not join both ends back as the baked wraps had turned crispy and was easily breakable.  Alycia loved it anyway.  Taste is all that matters, not the appearance :D

 

A simple  yet yummy lunch for the girls on a day when I was just too busy to crank up the stove…

 

 

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Wood Pulp In Pre-Shredded Cheese

Sherilyn had a one-day break from school on Tuesday as it was the resitting day of the UPSR Math and Science test papers for Primary 6 students.

Since she had finished her homework, I got her around to help me to grate cheese.  Of the 3 girls, Sherilyn loves cooking the most.   For someone who has problem waking up early in the morning and completing her homework,  but the moment I shout out to her for help in the kitchen, she will dart right into the kitchen to lend a helping hand!  Cooking is also one of the ways to train her to shed off her clumsiness.  I allow her to use knifes and to fire up the stove.

For the life of me, I never ever like to grate cheese.  I prefer to use pre-shredded cheese as it is so much convenient and faster to add into your food.  Pre-shredded used to be a permanent fixture in my fridge but not until I found out about the health risks of eating pre-shredded cheese.

Sherilyn at work…

 

 

 

If you are just as clueless as I was, then this information may rock your world. Pre-shredded cheese is covered in a chemical that the industry calls cellulose to keep it from clumping together. Have you ever noticed that white powdery stuff on your shredded cheese? Yeah. It’s not cheese dust. Cellulose is commonly made from WOOD PULP *gulp*!!   I think sometimes it is even listed as anti-caking agent.

I am sure that by now, after reading this piece of information on pre-shredded cheese, you will be more inclined to get block cheese and spend a little of your time grating it. By getting block cheese, you:

1) avoid unnecessary food additives
2) save your money. Block cheese is cheaper than pre-grated cheese
3) It is tastier too and
4) from my experience, block cheese lasts longer than its pre-grated counterpart. Have you ever noticed that pre-grated cheese gets moldy really quickly even when kept in the fridge?

Now don’t you just get cheesed off knowing that you have been eating wood pulp in your pre-grated cheese all these while?!

 

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Health Freak Mommy’s Breakfast

My breakfast for today and yesterday as well :)

Oats squares with yoghurt milk, ground hazelnut, toasted almond slices, pumpkin seeds and a dollop of Steffi’s sugar-free peanut butter.

 

2 lava eggs, seasoned with organic soy sauce and pepper. I used free-range chicken eggs.

 

I am trying to steer away from bread and any product that consists of yeast.  I have another yeast infection attack again, sigh!  This always happens whenever I have finished a course of antibiotics.  This year is one of the worst years for me, health wise. This is the reason why I am so anti-drugs, especially antibiotics.  But I had no choice when I had a swollen gum –  pre and post tooth extraction a few months back.  I desperately succumbed to not one but two courses of antibiotics :(   With a vaginal yeast infection under attack, your choice of food is really limited.  The only low carb and yeast-free breakfast that I can think of are eggs, nuts, yoghurt, yoghurt milk and low-sugar cereals.

Can you stomach unexciting breakfast like this?

 

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Bakuteh With Kudzu Root

The other morning when I was at the butcher to get some pork ribs to make bakuteh, the butcher who is ever full of handy tips told me to get a wedge of ‘fun kot’ (kudzu root) to boil it with the bakuteh herbs and meat.   The kudzu root will impart natural sweetness and flavor to the pot of bakuteh.  And this root that is full of medicinal properties will also help to expel ‘heatiness’ caused by the bakuteh herbs.

Picture of ‘fun kot’ (kudzu root)

 

 

I listened to Keong, the butcher and he was so right!  My pot of bakuteh soup was more flavorful and ‘thick’.  And the next day, my kids and I did not feel ‘heaty’.  I am so thankful to Keong for his handy tip!  I did not even need to add oyster sauce, salt and thick black sauce to add flavor to the broth.  All I added was about 1 tablespoon of organic soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon of organic blackstrap molasses to darken the broth.

 

 

My bakuteh composed of 2 sachets of bakuteh herbs, a head of garlic, pork ribs, dried flower mushrooms, golden needle mushrooms, puffed tofu and hard boiled eggs.

 

I used Snow Deer brand of bakuteh herbs – one of the best thus far!

 

 

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