• 26May

    My face is often devoid of make-up. I don’t even have foundation and face powder in my vanity pouch.  Thank God for my parents’ genes, I have pretty flawless skin.  The most I’ll do is to dust some baby powder on my face and brush a stroke or two of blusher on my cheeks. Occasionally, I will draw my eyebrows and put on a little color on my lips. I dispose my lipstick after a year, even if the stick is not even 50% used.  I really hate to think of what the chemicals will do to my body when I ingest chemicals from the lipstick that I put on.

    See this list here?  This applies to everyone, not just eczema sufferers. When we use these products with hidden chemical, it is indirectly entering our bloodstream and over time causes harm to our bodies. Breast cancer is just one disease you can get from over use of such products, for example.

    This is how manufacturers screw consumers!

     

    My friend chanced upon this Drug Facts labelling when her young daughter peeled it off her Lady Speed Stick.  Tell me, who would actually tear the label off to read what’s overleaf.  I’ll just chuck my empty toiletry container into the recycle bin without giving a hoot to peel off the label to read what’s overleaf.

    This particular speed stick, looked pretty innocent with a sticker at the back showing its ingredients.  Check out the 4th line – it says ‘Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease’.  So what does this mean?  It is trying to warn you that the chemicals from the Speed Stick enter our bloodstream and if you are a kidney patient, the chemicals may exacerbate your condition.

    That is why I never use roll-on anti-perspirant and anti-deodorant. Even with talcum powders, I read the ingredients very carefully and only use baby talcum powders made from corn and other natural ingredients.  Once I bought a bottle of talcum powder with cooling effect. I liked it a lot as it gave me a nice cooling sensation and I loved the fragrance.  Then, the health freak me read the list of ingredients carefully and I was horrified when I read that Triclosan is one of the ingredients in it. Go Google to find out what Triclosan is.   I  buy shampoos and soaps without  SLS and paraben, though they cost so much more than regular ones.  And I drink Izumio everyday.  The hydrogen from Izumio acts to flush out toxins from our body through sweat and urine, besides balancing the pH within the body.  Hydrogen is the smallest atom in the world that can penetrate your cells at a mitochondrial level and has strong anti-oxidant properties, eliminating free radicals within your body at enormous rates.

    It is really quite hard for many of us to avoid using make-up, toiletries with hidden chemicals and expose ourselves to toxic chemicals. Even the Clorox (which is highly corrosive) that you use to clean your toilets and whiten your white shirts are highly toxic when mixed with ammonia.

    So do yourself a favor today by giving your body a detox to rid it of toxins and free radicals.  Besides the simple fruit and veggie detox, juice cleanse, exercise and drinking detox tea, you can also drink hydrogen water.  Choose one that suits your lifestyle.  Do not wait till your body is overloaded with toxins and serious ailments start to creep out.  Start detoxing your body today! 🙂

    For more reading on Izumio and Super Lutein, please click on the following link:

    Izumio Hydrogen Water and Super Lutein

    Izumio and Incontinence

    Super Lutein

    Day 18 On Izumio Hydrogen Water For Incontinence

    Symptoms of a Body Detox

    IZUMIO – Antioxidant Hydrogen Water

    Hydrogen Water Facts

    Super Lutein Goodness

    Cancer Patients Drinking Hydrogen-Rich Water

    Dangers of Eczema Steroid Creams

     

     

     

     

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  • 21May

    If you ask me which department I really need to start buckling down with immediate effect, it would be my ‘sleep department’.  I am chronically sleep deprived ever since my live-in helper went back to her country for good 3 years ago.  Even when our live-in helper was around, I was already not getting sufficient sleep and with her leaving, I have since been piling more onto my already full-to-the-brim plate.

    Next, you would be wondering how much sleep I get everyday.  On good days, I get a maximum of 6 hours. On most days, I get 5 hours. Sometimes fewer hours.  I know this is bad.  I have already cut down on many non-necessity chores and I have no time to watch TV or to indulge in online games, unlike many of my friends who still have the luxury for these. I wonder how some full-time working mums and SAHMs can still find the time to watch TV and play online games.   My social life is pretty pathetic and meeting friends is an occasional luxury that I get.

    All I can say is that being chronically sleep deprived is damaging to my health.  My tolerance and patience levels are very low, I snap at everyone quickly, especially my kids, I am grumpy, groggy, forgetful, foggy at times, emotional, have lowered stamina when I exercise every morning and I feel lethargic.  Fortunately, I was introduced to Izumio hydrogen water and Super Lutein about 1.5 months ago to help  ease my lethargy and strengthen my immune system.  These products have given me back the energy and mental acuity that I need so much everyday so that I can function.

    To be a full-time SAHM (stay at home mum) is tough already. But to juggle between being a SAHM and WFHM (work from home mum), it is akin to juggling 5 balls whilst walking on a tightrope hung 10 meters above ground!  Every single day.

    The average adult needs about seven to nine hours of sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation, but most of us don’t even get that much. But getting too little sleep — generally understood to mean six hours or less a night, can be serious — enough to change your genes!

    Of course, one night of short sleep won’t put you at serious risk, but one week can. After just seven nights of too little sleep, researchers observed more than 700 genetic changes that could play a role in consequences including heart problems and obesity, according to a recent study.  OMG, I am petrified! And I am trying my level best to let go of some things just so I can get an hour extra of sleep each day.

     

    Today, I want to share with you the scary effects of sleep deprivation.

    Sleep deprivation can:

    1) Lead to obesity
    Too little sleep can spur some less-than-ideal food choices, including serving yourself larger portions, and a hankering for junk food, thanks to some complicated hormonal changes that occur when you don’t get sufficient shuteye. It seems that six hours of sleep or less bumps up production of the hunger hormone ghrelin and limits leptin, which helps you balance your food intake, according to a 2012 review of 18 studies of sleep and appetite
    2) Up Diabetes risk
    A pair of small studies from 2012 examined the link between poor sleep and insulin resistance, a telltale risk factor for diabetes. One found that among healthy teenagers, the shortest sleepers had the highest insulin resistance, meaning the body is not using insulin effectively, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The second study examined fat cells, in particular, and found that cutting back on sleep increased insulin resistance in these cells, even when diet and calorie intake were restricted, Health.com reported.

    3) Damage bones
    At least in rats, long-term sleep deprivation seems to contribute to osteoporosis, according to a 2012 study. Researchers found changes to bone mineral density and bone marrow in the rodents when they were deprived of shuteye over a period of 72 days.

    4) Increase Cancer risk
    A small (but growing) body of research suggests that short and poor sleep can up risk for certain types of cancer. A 2010 study found that among 1,240 people screened for colorectal cancer, the 338 who were diagnosed were more likely to average fewer than six hours of sleep a night. Even after controlling for more traditional risk factors, polyps were more common in people who slept less, according to the study.

    Getting just six hours of sleep a night has also been linked to an increase of recurrence in breast cancer patients. The study’s author has pointed to more and better sleep as a possible pathway of reducing risk and recurrence.

    5) Hurt your heart
    The stress and strain of too little sleep can cause the body to produce more of the chemicals and hormones that can lead to heart disease, according to 2011 research. The study found that people who slept for six hours or less each night and have problems staying asleep had a 48 percent higher risk of developing or dying from heart disease.

    6) Kill sex drive
    Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame.

    For men with sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interrupts sleep, there may be another factor in the sexual slump. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2002 suggests that many men with sleep apnea also have low testosterone levels. In the study, nearly half of the men who suffered from severe sleep apnea also secreted abnormally low levels of testosterone during the night.

    7) Kill you
    It’s not just heart problems that can lead to sleep-deprivation-related death. In fact, short sleepers seem to die younger of any cause than people who sleep about 6.5 to 7.5 hours a night, TIME reported. A 2010 study examined the impact of short sleep on mortality and found that men who slept for less than six hours of sleep a night were four times more likely to die over a 14-year period. The study’s authors called this link “a risk that has been underestimated.”

    8) Age your skin
    Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But it turns out that chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.

    When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.

    Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. When we’re young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones.

    “It’s during deep sleep — what we call slow-wave sleep — that growth hormone is released,” says sleep expert Phil Gehrman, PhD. “It seems to be part of normal tissue repair — patching the wear and tear of the day.”

    9) Make you forgetful
    Trying to keep your memory sharp? Try getting plenty of sleep.

    In 2009, American and French researchers determined that brain events called “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for consolidating memory. The ripples also transfer learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored. Sharp wave ripples occur mostly during the deepest levels of sleep.

    For more reading on Izumio and Super Lutein, please click on the following link:

    Izumio Hydrogen Water and Super Lutein

    Izumio and Incontinence

    Super Lutein

    Day 18 On Izumio Hydrogen Water For Incontinence

    Symptoms of a Body Detox

    IZUMIO – Antioxidant Hydrogen Water

    Hydrogen Water Facts

    Super Lutein Goodness

    Cancer Patients Drinking Hydrogen-Rich Water

    Dangers of Eczema Steroid Creams

    I can be contacted at shireenyong@gmail.com.

     

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  • 12May

    My 3 kids love kimchi, I kid you not! Do your kids like the tanginess of the kimchi?   I have not seen many kids who can stomach this spicy and sour pickled veggies but my kids ace through it, though they would be gulping down cups after cups of water afterwards (drinking lots of water is good!).  They even love kimchi soup and even 7-year old Cass loves the piquant taste of kimchi.

    On Mother’s Day last Sunday, we had Korean BBQ and this plate of spicy kimchi was superb in taste and texture. I especially love the pickled radish.   My kids loved it too.

     

    Article extracted from US National Library of Medicine:

    Kimchi is a traditional Korean food manufactured by fermenting vegetables with probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Many bacteria are involved in the fermentation of kimchi, but LAB become dominant while the putrefactive bacteria are suppressed during salting of baechu cabbage and the fermentation. The addition of other subingredients and formation of fermentation byproducts of LAB promote the fermentation process of LAB to eventually lead to eradication of putrefactive- and pathogenic bacteria, and also increase the functionalities of kimchi.

    Accordingly, kimchi can be considered a vegetable probiotic food that contributes health benefits in a similar manner as yogurt as a dairy probiotic food. Further, the major ingredients of kimchi are cruciferous vegetables; and other healthy functional foods such as garlic, ginger, red pepper powder, and so on are added to kimchi as subingredients.

    As all of these ingredients undergo fermentation by LAB, kimchi is regarded as a source of LAB; and the fermentative byproducts from the functional ingredients significantly boost its functionality. Because kimchi is both tasty and highly functional, it is typically served with steamed rice at every Korean meal.

    Health functionality of kimchi, based upon our research and that of other, includes anticancer, antiobesity, anticonstipation, colorectal health promotion, probiotic properties, cholesterol reduction, fibrolytic effect, antioxidative and antiaging properties, brain health promotion, immune promotion, and skin health promotion. In this review we describe the method of kimchi manufacture, fermentation, health functionalities of kimchi and the probiotic properties of its LAB.

     

    Food For Thought:

    Health Benefits of Kimchi

    1. Contains healthy bacteria and probiotics for the overall wellness of your body

    2. Lowers cholesterol levels

    3. Facilitates healthy body development and clear vision

    4. Produces radiant skin and shiny hair

    5. Prevents stomach cancer

    6. Slows down the aging process

    7. Helps you lose weight

    8. Prevents the occurrence of peptic ulcer

    By eating kimchi. Kimchi contains leuconostoc mensenteroides which produce dextrin, a substance important to stop the growth of H. pylori in your body!

    9. Boosts your immunity

    Fret not if you don’t have the time to make your own kimchi; just pick it up in the refrigerated section of your supermarket or an Asian market and they ain’t very costly. You can wake up your morning by scrambling eggs with kimchi, diced tomatoes, and mushrooms. Use it as a wrap filling or to top a baked potato. Or try Spicy Beef and Kimchi Stew.  I like to fry rice using Kimchi with loads of chopped garlic! Kimchi wrapped with raw lettuce tastes great too and that’s how the Koreans like it eaten best.

     

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  • 11May

    A blog reader’s mother will be undergoing chemotherapy soon for cancer. My blog reader asked me whether Izumio hydrogen water is  good for cancer patients, to which I told her that we have members (Naturally Plus Malaysia) with cancer markers brought down significantly after consuming Izumio and Super Lutein. Recently, a customer was healed from Prostate Cancer WITHOUT chemotherapy, which is unbelievable! His cancer marker from a few hundred has come down to just 8. He was a Stage 4 Prostate Cancer patient. He is 74 years old and very healthy now. He took 15 Super Lutein capsules and 5 packets of Izumio for 2+ months now. His doctor is really amazed.

    Hydrogen-rich water is also scientifically known to increase the Quality Of Life (QOL) of patients receiving radiotherapy. I did a Google search and found a research paper from the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health dated 7 June 2011.  Here are some excerpts from the Research Paper:

    Effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on the quality of life of patients treated with radiotherapy for liver tumors

    Background

    Cancer patients receiving radiotherapy often experience fatigue and impaired quality of life (QOL). Many side effects of radiotherapy are believed to be associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation due to the generation of reactive oxygen species during radiotherapy. Hydrogen can be administered as a therapeutic medical gas, has antioxidant properties, and reduces inflammation in tissues. This study examined whether hydrogen treatment, in the form of hydrogen-supplemented water, improved QOL in patients receiving radiotherapy.

    Methods

    A randomized, placebo-controlled study was performed to evaluate the effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on 49 patients receiving radiotherapy for malignant liver tumors. Hydrogen-rich water was produced by placing a metallic magnesium stick into drinking water (final hydrogen concentration; 0.55~0.65 mM). The Korean version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer’s QLQ-C30 instrument was used to evaluate global health status and QOL. The concentration of derivatives of reactive oxidative metabolites and biological antioxidant power in the peripheral blood were assessed.

    Results

    The consumption of hydrogen-rich water for 6 weeks reduced reactive oxygen metabolites in the blood and maintained blood oxidation potential. QOL scores during radiotherapy were significantly improved in patients treated with hydrogen-rich water compared to patients receiving placebo water. There was no difference in tumor response to radiotherapy between the two groups.

    Conclusions

    Daily consumption of hydrogen-rich water is a potentially novel, therapeutic strategy for improving QOL after radiation exposure. Consumption of hydrogen-rich water reduces the biological reaction to radiation-induced oxidative stress without compromising anti-tumor effects.

    Background
    Radiotherapy is one of the major treatment options for malignant neoplasms. Nearly half of all newly diagnosed cancer patients will receive radiotherapy at some point during treatment and up to 25% may receive radiotherapy a second time [1]. While radiotherapy destroys malignant cells, it adversely affects the surrounding normal cells [2]. Acute radiation-associated side effects include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, loss of appetite, hair loss, sore skin, and depression. Radiation increases the long-term risk of cancer, central nervous system disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts. The likelihood of radiation-induced complications is related to the volume of the irradiated organ, the radiation dose delivered, the fractionation of the delivered dose, the delivery of radiation modifiers, and individual radiosensitivity [3]. Most radiation-induced symptoms are believed to be associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation, due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during radiotherapy, and may significantly affect the patient’s quality of life (QOL) [2].

    Hydrogen, a therapeutic medical gas, has antioxidant properties and reduces inflammatory events in tissues [4-6]. Drinking liquids supplemented with hydrogen represents a novel method of hydrogen gas delivery that is easily translatable into clinical practice, with beneficial effects for several medical conditions, including atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cognitive impairment during aging and in Parkinson’s disease [7-11]. Currently, there is no definitive therapy to improve the QOL of patients receiving radiotherapy. Drinking solubilized hydrogen on a daily basis may be beneficial and would be quite easy to administer without complicating or changing a patient’s lifestyle. We hypothesized that oral intake of hydrogen-rich water, generated via a magnesium stick, would reduce adverse events in patients receiving radiotherapy.

    Conclusions
    In conclusion, our study demonstrated that drinking hydrogen-rich water improved QOL and reduced oxidative markers in patients receiving radiotherapy for liver tumors. This novel approach of oral intake of hydrogen-rich water may be applicable to a wide range of radiation-related adverse symptoms.

    If you wish to find out more on Izumio hydrogen water and Super Lutein, do drop me an email at shireenyong@gmail.com

    For more reading on Izumio and Super Lutein, please click on the following link:

    Izumio Hydrogen Water and Super Lutein

    Izumio and Incontinence

    Super Lutein

    Day 18 On Izumio Hydrogen Water For Incontinence

    Symptoms of a Body Detox

    IZUMIO – Antioxidant Hydrogen Water

    Hydrogen Water Facts

    Super Lutein Goodness

     

     

     

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  • 08May

    I love sweet corns and so do my girls. The aroma of sweet corns steaming in the pot is really therapeutic, better than any expensive essential oils!  Today I am going to steam sweet corns for dinner, along with other dishes.  I have heard the not-so-sweet news on sweet corns but how true is it that sweet corns are bad for you?

    Well, I always believe that moderation is the key. I do not think that eating an ear of sweet corn once or twice a week can cause diabetes or heart disease.

    Antioxidant Phytonutrients in Corn

    • anthocyanins
    • beta-carotene
    • caffeic acid
    • coumaric acid
    • ferulic acid
    • lutein
    • syringic acid
    • vanillic acid
    • protocatechuic acid
    • zeaxanthin

     

    Here’s what Eating Well Media Group, a communications company producing an award-winning consumer magazine in the US has to say about sweet corns:

    Myth #1: Most sweet corns are genetically modified.
    Truth: A lot of people mix up “sweet corn,” the vegetable you buy to eat, and “field corn”—the virtually inedible commodity crop used to make everything from livestock feed to ethanol to high-fructose corn syrup. While most field corn is genetically modified, most sweet corn is not. Last year only 3 to 4% of the sweet corn grown in the U.S. was GMO. Food-giant Monsanto hopes to change all that this summer, however. For the first time, farmers are planting Monsanto’s newly approved, genetically modified Performance sweet-corn seeds. A representative from the company wouldn’t divulge how much will be planted this year. One way to try to tell whether the sweet corn you’re holding is GMO is to ask the farmers you buy from if they plant GMO corn. (Syngenta’s Attribute and Monsanto’s Performance are the two varieties sold in North America.) Another way: choose USDA organic corn. GMO crops are forbidden under organic standards.

     

    Myth #2: Corn is fattening and sugary.
    Truth: An ear of corn has about the same number of calories as an apple and less than one-fourth the sugar. In other words, it can be one of the healthier foods at the cookout! Just remember: while sweet corn is healthy, some of the toppings people like to put on it aren’t. So don’t assume an ear of corn slathered in butter and doused in salt is still a healthy option.

     

    Myth #3: Cooking corn makes it less nutritious.
    Truth: Antioxidant activity, which helps protect the body from cancer and heart disease, is actually increased when corn is cooked.

     

    Myth #4: Corn has no healthy benefits.
    Truth: Sweet corn is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision. A mid-size ear also offers a helpful 3-gram dose of dietary fiber.

     

    Myth #5: The best way to choose corn is by the color of the kernels.
    Truth: Although corn lovers often profess to have favorite varieties, farmer Kevin Smith, interviewed by Estabrook for the story, says variety is far less important than freshness. “Any corn can be ruined if it’s old,” he says. Nor is color a key to quality. Yellow, white, bi-color—it doesn’t really matter. Preferences vary from region to region. Avoid corn with dry, pale husks and silks that are desiccated where they enter the cob. If pricked, kernels should squirt whitish juice. As for choosing the best-tasting corn, abide by Smith’s “one-day rule.” Don’t buy a cob that’s more than 24 hours out of the field.

     

    So we are still going to have our once weekly  indulgence in sweet corns.  Eating sweet corns is still a much better option than tucking into some unhealthy snacks that are processed.  The sweetness from the sweet corns can satiate my kids’ craving for something sweet and this is way healthier than licking on a lolly or chewing on some colorful candies. 🙂

     

     

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  • 03Apr

    There have been a lot of diagnostic tools that have been created that have allowed doctors to learn more about a wide range of diseases and sicknesses. One of the most revolutionary devices that has been created in the 20th century is high-resolution ultrasound. Many have been successfully diagnosed and treated for different injuries and diseases thanks to these detailed scans.

    High-resolution ultrasonic scans work by producing sound waves that cannot be heard by the human ear. A transducer is used to transmit these waves through the body. As the sound waves bounce back to the device, they are used to help medical professionals determine the size, shape, and makeup of soft organs and other tissues.

    Ultrasound is extremely safe and it is completely painless. It allows medical professionals to look inside the human body and scan parts of the body that cannot be clearly seen via x-ray. The detailed images that are created by ultrasound allow doctors to study things like the heart, the thyroid, the testicles, the breasts, the uterus, the spleen, and other organs in the body.

    The information gathered from a high-frequency ultrasound machine is extremely accurate. In addition to ultrasound, medical facilities, such as Medical Imaging for example, will often provide patients with MRI scans, CAT scans, digital x-rays, and 16 slice CT scans. In many cases, the information provided by the scans serve as an early warning for things like herniated disc, tumors in the brain, and certain types of cancer. For many patients, access to these medical imaging scans has literally saved their lives.

     

     

     

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  • 03Oct

    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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  • 09Aug

    The other day, at a friend’s house, she showed me a bottle of honey that she had been keeping for 20 years!   Though the color of the honey has turned into dark brown, nonetheless it has not crystalized yet.  Just before she left for overseas, she gave us the bottle of honey.  One of our topics of discussion that night was honey – the food that never expires!

    Just like uncooked rice, sugar, salt, vinegar, corn starch, wine and pure vanilla extract, honey is also one of the top ten foods that never expires.    Some food items just can last forever.  These vampires of the food  are good to have on hand — and to buy in bulk — because they will never spoil, hardly lose quality and will always be there when you need them.  But seriously, would you dare to cook up that bag or rice you found hidden behind your kitchen cabinet that your late grandma bought in 1980?  Or put into your coffee a teaspoon of sugar that your mum bought 30 years ago?  Errm, I don’t think I will do it.  The bottle of honey that my friend gave me is still on my kitchen shelf. I guess I will keep it for remembrance. Some day perhaps when I summon the courage to try it, I shall!

    So why does honey never go bad?

    Honey is a sugar. You may have heard all sorts of things about the health benefits of substituting honey for sugar, which may or may not be true. While honey isn’t the same as regular, granulated, white sugar, it’s still a sugar. And sugars are hygroscopic – they don’t contain much water in their natural state. And very few bacteria and microorganisms can live in the resulting low-moisture environment.  Honey in its natural form is very low moisture. Very few bacteria or microorganisms can survive in an environment like that, they just die. They’re smothered by it, essentially. The fact that organisms can’t survive long in honey means they don’t get the chance to spoil it.

    Another thing that sets honey apart from other sugars is its acidity. Honey’s pH is between 3 and 4.5 (or, more precisely, 3.26-4.48), which also kills off anything trying to make a home in honey.

    Caveat: Infants

    So, yes, honey mostly doesn’t spoil. However, honey can contain spores of Clostridium botulinum. This isn’t harmful to adults and children over one year old, whose gastrointestinal tract is developed enough to deal with the spores. But children under one are at risk for infant botulism, so honey is not for your infant.

    So could you eat 5,000 year old honey? Well, if it’s spent that time sealed and stored against moisture, sure. If it’s crystallized, it’s not spoiled, just heat it up and put it in your food of choice. Unless you’re under one year old. Then you’d have to wait.

     

     

     

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  • 24Jul

    Recently, my girls were down with a bout of cough, mild running nose and a phlegmy throat. When my eldest girl coughed, the phlegm in her throat made her cough sound pretty bad. Someone close to the girls passed a remark as to why I am reluctant to bring them to see the doctor to get medication.  This person remarked that if the cough continues, it may cause injury to the lungs.

    Truth is I always believe that the flu and cough will resolve on its own, naturally. The body can heal on its own. I do not believe in cough and flu meds and I have never fed them to Cass, my youngest daughter. First, her tiny body had been exposed to too much antibiotics since she was 6 weeks old until she was about 15 months old – taken on a daily basis for the UTI attacks that she got caused by Kidney Reflux. Secondly, her body has also been exposed to too much radiation from scans and various invasive tests.  During her surgeries 5 years ago, her petite body was exposed to GA, sedatives, morphine and a host of other medications.  I do not want to burden her body any further with synthetic medication.

    Cass and my 2 other girls have had been attacked by the flu and strep throat bugs umpteen times and I thank God that I managed to treat them without the use of medication. I have my own way of treating them by using Manuka honey UMF 10+, Propolis, Esberitox along with fruits and juices. Abstinence from certain type of food is very important too. My girls and I have a very ‘heaty’ body, so abstaining from fried food, spicy and oily food and overly sweet food helps to speed up recovery. My method always worked well on my girls and on myself and I thank God for it.

    Today I googled on the usage of cough and cold medication for children and what I found from Science-Based Pharmacy is interesting. Here are the excerpts from the website:

    In 2008, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel concluded that cough and cold products in children were ineffective and potentially hazardous. The committee recommended that they should be relabelled to indicate “do not use” in children under the age of six. Following this announcement, product manufacturers voluntarily relabelled their products to state “do not use” in children under the age of four.

    Around the same time, Health Canada announced that cough and cold products will be relabelled to caution against use in children under the age of six. Products developed just for this age group will be no longer be sold. This extends an earlier decision to remove any products intended for children under the age of two.

    In Australia, cough and cold products are now labelled “do not use” for those under the age of 2, and are available only with a prescription. They continue to be marketed and sold with labelling for children aged 2 – 12.

    In the United Kingdom, products for children under the age of six are currently being withdrawn. Medication for children aged 6 – 12 will continue to be available, with new warnings on the label.

    So depending on where you live, certain products may or may not be sold, and dosing instructions for children may vary dramatically. Given the average household has four to eight over-the-counter cold medications, efficacy and safety questions are highly relevant to most consumers. So how did four different countries arrive at different conclusions? Is any decision the right one? This review will focus on the evidence base supporting cough and cold products for children.

     

    The Nature of Colds in Children
    Colds are viral infections, caused by a variety of respiratory viruses. Children get the most colds (6­ – 8 per year), and they tend to last longer – up to two weeks each time. Adults contract 2 – 4 colds annually, and then tend to last 7 days on average. Cold symptoms experienced by children differ from adults. Runny noses are the most common sign, and fever is common in the first three days. Other common symptoms include sore throat, cough, difficulty sleeping and reduced appetite. Ear complaints are also common.

     

    Treatments
    There is no cure for the common cold, and treatments are intended to reduce symptoms. The most common drugs in non-prescription cough and cold products are antihistamines, decongestants, cough suppressants, and expectorants. Each manufacturer puts together their own concoction, with either single-ingredient or multi-ingredient formulas. The main features that distinguish a product like Benilyn from Triaminic or Dimetapp are packaging, flavouring, and marketing – the ingredients are typically identical within each category.

    Fever reducing drugs (i.e,, Tylenol or Tempra (acetaminophen); Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen)) are used to treat fever and pain from colds. Fever reduction is acceptable but not essential when treating a cold. Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen effectively reduce fever and are safe when used as directed. No countries have recommended restricting their use in children.

     

    Examining Efficacy in Children
    Cough and cold products have been sold for decades, and were approved for sale long before rigorous proof of efficacy was required. Consequently, clinical studies that support these drugs are (in general) of poor quality.

    When we look at studies specifically in children, the data are even more limited. Research results are complicated by different age groups, irregular dosing, lack of placebo control, and very small patient numbers. [2] It turns out that the current recommended dosage for children, typically determined during clinical trials, is based mainly on expert opinion. When these products were originally approved, it was assumed that children were just “small adults” and that research in adults could be applied to children. Dosages were estimated based on ages – not weight, which would be more relevant. [2]

    But children are definitely NOT small adults. Differences exist in how children absorb drugs (amount of stomach acid) and where the drug goes in the body (body fat percentage). Their ability to metabolize drugs may differ, due to an immature liver. Consequently, drugs can behave in different and unpredictable ways, compared to adults.

    Few studies have examined how cough and cold products behave in children. Consequently, their absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination are poorly understood. The FDA expert advisory panel indicated that it was inappropriate to extrapolate data from adults to children.[3]

    Despite the lack of direct research, cough and cold products have a long history of use in children with very rare reports of toxicity, usually due to inappropriate (excessive) dosing. In general, these drugs have a wide “therapeutic window”, meaning that large overdoses are required before serious side effects are expected.

    So let’s consider the evidence to support their use. Literature searches have identified only a handful of clinical trials studying children, with few trials demonstrating efficacy.

     

    Expert Opinion
    When there is insufficient data from clinical trials, it is reasonable to consult expert opinion for guidance. The following organizations have made statements:

    The Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) provides advice consistent with Health Canada, recommending against treatment with cough and cold products in children under the age of six. The only acceptable exception are fever-reducing drugs (ibuprofen and acetaminophen).
    The American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that cough and cold products are ineffective in children under 6 years old. It has regularly criticized multi-ingredient products as well as the lack of data to support the recommended dosages.
    The American College of Chest Physicians has concluded that the published data does not support the efficacy of cough and cold products in the paediatric age group.

     

    Summary of the Evidence
    There is little convincing evidence that these products are effective in children up to about age 18.
    Serious side effects are rare, and usually associated with high doses, typically the consequence of administration errors.
    Parents and caregivers may be unaware of the risks of excessive doses.
    Excessive doses may be accidentally caused by the use of multiple products at the same time.
    Evidence-based dosing guidelines are problematic due to the lack of good quality evidence.

     

    Summary
    Despite a long history of reasonably safe use, we must hold cough and cold products to the same standard that we would apply to any other unproven therapy. Despite the presence of a drug, and in some cases, demonstrated efficacy in adults, it’s not clear that cough and cold products have any effectiveness in children. While most children tolerate these products well, mild side effects are not uncommon. Fatal side effects are exceptionally rare, but possible. Risks are greater in the younger child, and particularly in infants. We know that colds are generally mild and resolve on their own, and that no product has been demonstrated to have a meaningful effect on the duration of the cold. Rest, adequate fluid intake, and acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the feverish child may be all that is required. Steam humidification and saline nasal sprays may also offer some modest relief of clogged nasal passages.

     

    Disclaimer : This post is NOT intended to give medical advice. If you or your child is unwell, please consult the doctor. The first three paras of this post is written based on my own experience.

     

     

     

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  • 05Jul

    I am quite a coffee addict. I need it to kick-start my day. But I am not persnickety though. I do not need gourmet coffee or boutique coffee. I can’t really tell the difference anyway 😉  Nescafe is enough to satiate my addiction of the day. I am el-cheapo when it comes to food.  I eat to live and not the other way round like my hubs.

    I am so glad that I found my favorite Cafe Latte from Farm Fresh going on a real good deal at Sri Kota.  From the usual RM10+ a bottle, it was selling for RM7.99 a bottle!  So I grabbed a bottle and here’s my fix for today and it tastes so so good, like gourmet coffee!  Yeah, I am easily satisfied.

     photo cafelatte5jul2014_zps4132177d.jpg

     

     

    Did you know that coffee is not that bad for your health after all?

    Have a read on this article, extracted from mayoclinic.org

    Coffee has a long history of being blamed for many ills — from stunting your growth to claims that it causes heart disease and cancer. But recent research indicates that coffee may not be so bad after all. So which is it — good or bad? The best answer may be that for most people the health benefits outweigh the risks.

    Recent studies have generally found no connection between coffee and an increased risk of cancer or heart disease. In fact, most studies find an association between coffee consumption and decreased overall mortality and possibly cardiovascular mortality, although this may not be true in younger people who drink large amounts of coffee.

    Why the apparent reversal in the thinking about coffee? Earlier studies didn’t always take into account that known high-risk behaviors, such as smoking and physical inactivity, tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers at that time.

    Studies have shown that coffee may have health benefits, including protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer. It also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression.

    However, the research appears to bear out some risks. High consumption of unfiltered coffee (boiled or espresso) has been associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels. And some studies found that two or more cups of coffee a day can increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific — and fairly common — genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body. So, how quickly you metabolize coffee may affect your health risk.

    Although coffee may have fewer risks compared with benefits, keep in mind that other beverages, such as milk and some fruit juices, contain nutrients that coffee does not. Also, adding cream and sugar to your coffee adds more fat and calories. Some coffee drinks contain more than 500 calories.

     

     

     

     

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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!

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