Monthly Archives: January 2010

Biting Out Your Cancer Risk

I was reading the January issue of the Reader’s Digest and a very interesting health article caught my attention. Reading the article made me glad as I found out that my favorite food and foods that I include in my daily diet are anti-cancerous foods.

I would like to share the few foods here that are worth adding to your cancer-fighting menu:

Eggs
A recent US National Institutes of Health study suggests that eating one egg a day can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24 percent. Eggs are rich in choline, a B vitamin. Meat and nuts are other top sources of choline. I have been eating an egg a day for umpteen years. I find that eggs fill you up easily and it’s one of the cheapest source of good protein.

Mushrooms and Green Tea
A new study of Chinese women by the University of Western Australia found that women who ate at least 10g of fresh mushrooms daily were 64 percent less likely to develop breast cancer. Women who added green tea to their diet saw an even greater benefit. I’m just right on track. Having a cuppa green tea every morning is a must-have for me.

Wholegrains
New research from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute suggests that low-GI foods may also have a protective effect. The researchers found that a high-glycaemic-index diet can increase breast cancer risk by 34 percent. High-GI foods increase insulin and sex hormones in the body, which may contribute to the spread of breast cancer cells.

Another interesting fact on Antioxidant and Cancer Treatments that I read from the January issue of Reader’s Digest:
Doctors warn that taking antioxidants at higher-than-recommended levels may interfere with certain treatments. Some radiation therapy and chemotherapy medicines work by producing free radicals that attack cancer cells. Since antioxidants destroy free radicals, it’s possible that taking high doses of supplements might reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.

Share

Hyperactive Baby

Baby has been driving me bonkers lately. As usual, she is hyper active and does not seem to get tired a wee bit. She wakes up at 6am and does not nap until around 11:30am when I force her to. She also sleeps late, at around 11ish pm. Lately, she’s also into climbing up table tops. Just the other day, she pushed a stool in the kitchen and tried to grab something from the counter top. She slipped and knocked her chin on the tile counter top of the kitchen. Now, there is a blue-black mark on her chin. But this is not deterring her a wee bit in performing her heart-stopping stunts!

Share

Musically Inclined

Sherilyn my #2 is musically inclined. She loves listening to music, has photographic memory when it comes to memorizing the lyrics of song (though she may not know the meaning of the words) and dances very well too. Almost every day, she would bring out her mini battery-operated stereo player cum karaoke player and switch it on to full blast while she sings and jiggles. I think very soon, she will pester me to shop for MP3 players, I am quite certain she’ll do just that, just like Alycia who has already started to bug me for a Playstation.

Share

My Bad Experience On My First Car

Have I ever told you in this blog that I had a very bad experience with my very first car? It was a bright red Kancil and my dad helped me pay part of the car more than a decade ago. The first week I drove it, I crashed the rear part of the car into a glass door of an office building when I reversed the car!! Thank God my car was only slightly dented but the glass door of the building was shattered. And thank God again that I wasn’t injured but was quite traumatized. I think if it were some kind of steel buildings, the butt of my car would be totally ruined lol!

Share

A Career In The Medical Field

I have never ever liked careers in the medical field. However all that in me has changed ever since Baby C was born. Since Baby C was 7 weeks old, she has been in and out of the hospital, with the peak in May last year when she was hospitalized for 3 weeks after her 2 surgeries. Now, I think a career in nursing is such a noble job. A good nurse and doctor can really make a huge difference to how a patient or the patient’s loved ones feel during their stay in the hospital.

Share

Molecularly Distilled Fish Oil

I was at the pharmacy shopping for my fish oil yesterday when I noticed that several well-known brands of fish oil now has the word “molecularly distilled” printed on the bottle. I am still popping fish oil, all because I am still breastfeeding Baby and I want her to get the DHA, Omega 3 and what not nutrients from the fish oil, through my breast milk. Anyway, back to the molecularly distilled fish oil. I didn’t know what molecularly distilled (MD) meant but I knew it must be something good, an added advantage over non-MD fish oil. So I got a bottle of the molecularly distilled fish oil, which is slightly more costly than non-MD fish oil.

Today out of curiousity I googled what molecularly distilled fish oil is. Here are some excerpts that I have extracted from http://www.nutritional-supplements-health-guide.com/molecularly-distilled-fish-oil.html:

First, let me remind you why it is important to choose your omega3 supplement well. With fish oils, there is slight danger because some fish sources may contain toxic chemicals such as mercury and PBAs due to environmental contamination. Toxins such as mercury in fish oil will undoubtedly bring danger to your health.

However, this should not stop you from taking fish oil supplements. The health benefits of fish oil are just too important to forego. To ensure safety and effectiveness, you should choose high purity, molecularly distilled fish oil.

What is molecular distillation anyway? Molecular distillation is a purification method which is conducted in vacuum. It is actually an industrial standard procedure which is best for the purification of vitamins. Molecular distillation is the only process that can effectively remove metals, PCBs and other harmful toxins to a level that is perfectly safe for human consumption.

Molecular distillation is a very expensive purification method. The equipment you need and the conditions required are expensive and difficult. Not all fish oil supplement manufacturers have the resources to produce molecularly distilled fish oil.

In fact, other companies simply produce fish oil only by one straight, filtration process. After this lenient filtration, the fish oils are then encapsulated and bottled. A simple filtration process obviously will not take away much of the toxins. Hopefully, these companies’ fish sources do not have as much contaminants. But we can only hope. The question is: are you going to risk your health with these cheap fish oil supplements?

On the other hand, note also that molecular distillation as a purification process uses a solvent for distillation. This is also an important factor to consider. Some companies use hexane as solvent because it is cheap. Sadly, hexane can retain residual components so it may not be very efficient in removing harmful substances which may have been ingested by the fish.

Better fish oil supplement manufacturers use ethanol (food grade) which does not leave residual component. With ethanol, you get the purest fish oil possible at the end of this highly tedious process.

Share

Vomiting Caused By Trapped Wind In Stomach

On Saturday, we spent almost the whole day at Times Square. We spent almost 3 hours at the Cosmo’s World indoor theme park, which is the largest indoor theme park in Malaysia. We only had lunch at about 3pm and had some light dim sum and wan tan meen at a restaurant at Times Square. Half way through eating, Sherilyn complained of tummy ache and wanted to do her poopie business. After pooping at the toilet, she still complained of tummy ache but she was still very active. After lunch, we walked around Times Square and snapped some pix of the beautiful Chinese New Year deco. Just as we were about to leave, Sherilyn puked all her lunch out.

Sherilyn continued vomiting in the car throughout our journey home. Luckily I had kept a baby plastic changing mat in the car and let her sit on it. I used up all the plastic bags I had in my bag to store her vomit. After dropping us at home, hubs brought Sherilyn to the ER. She was given an anti-vomiting suppository and a bunch of meds. Back home, she continued vomiting. When she had nothing else to vomit, she vomited yellow bile liquid.  I think she puked about 7-8 times yesterday evening.  But she had no spike in temperature and no diarrhea. I was quite certain that she had trapped wind in her tummy coz I am one who would surely have tummy ache and bad nausea if I skip a meal or feel very stressed up.

I read from www.chinesemedicinetools.com that an irregular diet, whether cold or hot foods / no scheduled meal times can cause spleen dysfunction, thus causing phlegm to go upward with stomach Qi and cause vomiting. Lesson learned for me. In future if we bring the kids to any theme park before lunch, we will smuggle in some buns and biscuits for the kids to munch on.

This was how we treated Sherilyn without using any meds:

1) Let her have small sips of water at every half hourly.

2) Let her sleep and rest.

3) No food for her.  Only gave her plain cream crackers when she stopped puking and asked for food. However, she had not much appetite and only took a small bite of the cream crackers.

4) No milk for her for 1-2 days.

5) Applied some anti-wind oil on her tummy.

6) Gave her 100 Plus and oral rehydration salt (ORS). Sherilyn preferred the former and when she felt better, she drank almost half a cup of 100 Plus. I poured out the 100 Plus into a cup and stirred it to release the gas from the drink.


The bunch of meds that the MO prescribed to Sherilyn.  He even prescribed antibiotics.  But I fed none of these to Sherilyn.  Today, Sherilyn is back to normal and her appetite came back.

Share

Alkaline Foods For A Healthier Body

Your health depends on the balance of an alkaline environment, created by eating foods such as tomatoes, avocados and green vegetables…striking the optimum 80/20 balance and regulating your body’s acid/alkaline chemistry through simple changes in diet can result in weight loss, increased stamina and strength, a stronger immune system and a greater sense of well-being.

Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline ( 7.35 – 7.45 ). Below or above this range means symptoms and disease. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. A pH below 7.0 is acidic. A pH above 7.0 is alkaline.

An acidic pH can occur from, an acid forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals. If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build up of acids in the cells will occur.

An acidic balance will: decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease it’s ability to repair damaged cells, decrease it’s ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness. A blood pH of 6.9, which is only slightly acidic, can induce coma and death.

Each one of us is different – but most of us should aim to eat 70-80% alkaline foods and a maximum of 20-30% acid forming foods.

Generally, alkaline forming foods include: most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings, and seeds and nuts.

Generally, acid forming foods include: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains, and legumes.

Here are the lists of alkaline foods and acidic foods, extracted from http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm :


ALKALINE FOODS

ALKALIZING VEGETABLES
Alfalfa
Barley Grass
Beet Greens
Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celery
Chard Greens
Chlorella
Collard Greens
Cucumber
Dandelions
Dulce
Edible Flowers
Eggplant
Fermented Veggies
Garlic
Green Beans
Green Peas
Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Mushrooms
Mustard Greens
Nightshade Veggies
Onions
Parsnips (high glycemic)
Peas
Peppers
Pumpkin
Radishes
Rutabaga
Sea Veggies
Spinach, green
Spirulina
Sprouts
Sweet Potatoes
Tomatoes
Watercress
Wheat Grass
Wild Greens

ALKALIZING ORIENTAL VEGETABLES
Daikon
Dandelion Root
Kombu
Maitake
Nori
Reishi
Shitake
Umeboshi
Wakame

ALKALIZING FRUITS
Apple
Apricot
Avocado
Banana (high glycemic)
Berries
Blackberries
Cantaloupe
Cherries, sour
Coconut, fresh
Currants
Dates, dried
Figs, dried
Grapes
Grapefruit
Honeydew Melon
Lemon
Lime
Muskmelons
Nectarine
Orange
Peach
Pear
Pineapple
Raisins
Raspberries
Rhubarb
Strawberries
Tangerine
Tomato
Tropical Fruits
Umeboshi Plums
Watermelon

ALKALIZING PROTEIN
Almonds
Chestnuts
Millet
Tempeh (fermented)
Tofu (fermented)
Whey Protein Powder

ALKALIZING SWEETENERS
Stevia

ALKALIZING SPICES & SEASONINGS
Chili Pepper
Cinnamon
Curry
Ginger
Herbs (all)
Miso
Mustard
Sea Salt
Tamari

OTHER ALKALIZING

Alkaline Antioxidant Water
Apple Cider Vinegar
Bee Pollen
Fresh Fruit Juice
Green Juices
Lecithin Granules
Mineral Water
Molasses, blackstrap
Probiotic Cultures
Soured Dairy Products
Veggie Juices

ALKALIZING MINERALS
Calcium: pH 12
Cesium: pH 14
Magnesium: pH 9
Potassium: pH 14
Sodium: pH 14

Interesting fact:
Although it might seem that citrus fruits would have an acidifying effect on the body, the citric acid they contain actually has an alkalinizing effect in the system.

Note that a food’s acid or alkaline forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, lemons are very acidic, however the end products they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline so, lemons are alkaline forming in the body. Likewise, meat will test alkaline before digestion, but it leaves very acidic residue in the body so, like nearly all animal products, meat is very acid forming.

——————————————————————————————————-

ACIDIC FOODS

ACIDIFYING VEGETABLES
Corn
Lentils
Olives
Winter Squash

ACIDIFYING FRUITS
Blueberries
Canned or Glazed Fruits
Cranberries
Currants
Plums**
Prunes**

ACIDIFYING GRAINS, GRAIN PRODUCTS
Amaranth
Barley
Bran, oat
Bran, wheat
Bread
Corn
Cornstarch
Crackers, soda
Flour, wheat
Flour, white
Hemp Seed Flour
Kamut
Macaroni
Noodles
Oatmeal
Oats (rolled)
Quinoa
Rice (all)
Rice Cakes
Rye
Spaghetti
Spelt
Wheat Germ
Wheat

ACIDIFYING BEANS & LEGUMES
Almond Milk
Black Beans
Chick Peas
Green Peas
Kidney Beans
Lentils
Pinto Beans
Red Beans
Rice Milk
Soy Beans
Soy Milk
White Beans

ACIDIFYING DAIRY
Butter
Cheese
Cheese, Processed
Ice Cream
Ice Milk

ACIDIFYING NUTS & BUTTERS
Cashews
Legumes
Peanut Butter
Peanuts
Pecans
Tahini
Walnuts

ACIDIFYING ANIMAL PROTEIN
Bacon
Beef
Carp
Clams
Cod
Corned Beef
Fish
Haddock
Lamb
Lobster
Mussels
Organ Meats
Oyster
Pike
Pork
Rabbit
Salmon
Sardines
Sausage
Scallops
Shellfish
Shrimp
Tuna
Turkey
Veal
Venison

ACIDIFYING FATS & OILS
Avacado Oil
Butter
Canola Oil
Corn Oil
Flax Oil
Hemp Seed Oil
Lard
Olive Oil
Safflower Oil
Sesame Oil
Sunflower Oil

ACIDIFYING SWEETENERS
Carob
Corn Syrup
Sugar

ACIDIFYING ALCOHOL
Beer
Hard Liquor
Spirits
Wine

ACIDIFYING OTHER FOODS
Catsup
Cocoa
Coffee
Mustard
Pepper
Soft Drinks
Vinegar

ACIDIFYING DRUGS & CHEMICALS
Aspirin
Chemicals
Drugs, Medicinal
Drugs, Psychedelic
Herbicides
Pesticides
Tobacco

ACIDIFYING JUNK FOOD
Beer: pH 2.5
Coca-Cola: pH 2
Coffee: pH 4

** These foods leave an alkaline ash but have an acidifying effect on the body.

Share

Organic Buckwheat Noodles

One of my 3 gals’ favorite noodles is buckwheat noodles. When there is green tea noodles or buckwheat noodles served, meal times are such a breeze – no coaxing, no bribes, no threats and no yelling at rascal #2 to finish her food.

Here’s one of the ways I prepare buckwheat noodles for Baby.  Boil the noodles al dente and season with a little Bragg’s liquid amino acid, toasted sesame seeds and a little ground almond (both for added calcium).

Another of my gals’ favorite and quick-to-prepare dish is onion omelette.   

Baby’s bowl of wholesome dinner – buckwheat noodles with onion omelette and veggie.


Baby enjoying her dinner.

Some interesting facts on buckwheat extracted from http://www.healthyreader.com/2006/07/19/the-health-benefits-of-buckwheat/:

It may surprise some people to learn that buckwheat is actually a fruit even though it is commonly thought to be a grain. Buckwheat is a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel.

Whole buckwheat is a very nutritious food. The protein in buckwheat contains the eight essential amino acids and is also high in lysine. Buckwheat is also rich in many B vitamins as well as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese. Buckwheat is also a good oil source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid, which is one of the two essential fatty acids we must have to be healthy.

Health Benefits of Buckwheat

1.  Buckwheat is high in fiber. 1 cup of cooked buckwheat groats contains over 4 grams of dietary fiber.
2.  Buckwheat contains the eight essential amino acids.
3.  Buckwheat contains many minerals including: phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese.
4.  Buckwheat contains a rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin.
5.  Buckwheat lowers glucose levels and is beneficial for managing diabetes.
6.  Buckwheat has been found to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
7.  Buckwheat is a fruit seed and is a gluten-free alternative to grains.

Share

Kombu Health Benefits

I am sure many of you have never seen or heard of kombu.  Kombu (pronounced as khuan poa in Cantonese) is a type of seaweed that is cultivated in Japan. Kombu is available fresh, dried, pickled, and frozen in many Asian markets. It is sweet and it is used mainly to flavour broth, soups and sauces. My mil would never fail to buy packets of dried kombu whenever she goes to Japan. She has 2 ways of preparing the kombu. One is to boil it with lean pork to prepare soup and the other way is to make kombu salad, ala Japanese. The kombu salad is really delicious and no cooking is required. When she returns from HK, I will ask her to whip up a kombu salad for dinner.

Here’s the double boiled kombu soup with lean pork.

When I was shopping at Jaya Jusco several days ago, I saw a booth promoting kombu from Korea. I bought a packet for my mum. My mum has goitre and kombu, which is rich in iodine is good for goitre patients.

Health benefits of Kombu

Kombu seaweed is a very nutritious food and is high in protein, calcium, iodine, magnesium, iron and folate.

i) Reduces risk of cancer
Lower rates of breast cancers have been reported in Japanese women eating a diet high in kelp. It is claimed that Lignans, which help to fight cancer are found in high quantity in kelp and may provide protection against certain cancers.

ii) Good for Iodine deficient individuals
Seaweed can be treated as an energy booster in those who are iodine deficient and have underactive thyroids.

How to select and store
Very often you will notice a fine white film which appears on the surface of kombu. This is entirely normal and is not harmful. You just need to wipe the sheets of kombu with a damp cloth or wash it before use. Pickled kombu can be stored for long periods under refrigeration but it need to be finished within short period of time once opened.

Share