• 26Jul

    My brothers and I grew up eating Marmite and Bovril. We ate it with our porridge.  On days when my late maternal granny didn’t cook any soup, we would have instant soup of Marmite or Bovril.

    When our daughters were toddlers, I used to substitute dark soy sauce with Marmite.  It’s been a while since I last bought our last jar of Marmite.  The other day, I came across a recipe for Marmite pork and I was itching to try this recipe.  So off I went to get a jar of Marmite and dished up Marmite pork, which was outrageously yummy! Instead of deep frying the Marmite marinated pork strips, I pan-fried them.

    My Marmite Pork with Lemon Zest, SO delish!

    I like having a bowl of light Marmite soup for my mid-morning breakfast, with 1 teaspoon to about 300 ml of hot water. Whenever I crave for something savory and don’t have quick access to it, I’ll make myself a cup of Marmite soup to satiate my craving.

    Did you know that science has proven that Marmite is actually rather good for you.

    Originally containing only four ingredients (yeast extract, salt, spices and celery), vitamins and minerals were later added to the recipe to boost Marmite’s health potential, and scientists have been championing its benefits ever since.

    In fact, the black stuff was considered so essential for a healthy diet that it was included in soldiers’ ration packs during World War One and has subsequently been used to treat conditions ranging from malaria to malnutrition.

    Why Marmite Is Good For You: 

    1. It can help you sleep better

    According to a recent study, magnesium – a mineral that’s abundant in Marmite – can help us all get better shut eye. Scientists believe it calms the body’s nerves, hence relaxing muscles and improving our slumber.

    2. It can help prevent dementia

    A scientific study suggested that the cult British foodstuff could help boost brain power and stave off dementia. Researchers from York University said the high concentration of Vitamin B12 in the yeast extract increases levels of chemicals in the brain which are thought to protect against neurological disorders. Participants in the study ate a teaspoon of Marmite per day and were found to have increased levels of a neurotransmitter known as GABA, said to calm the brain and soothe the effects of anxiety.

    The effects were noted for eight weeks after the study was completed, suggesting that the health benefits of the inimitable brown spread could have a long term impact on the body.

    3. It’s as nutritious as vitamin supplements
    Marmite is packed with B vitamins that are essential for good health – containing so much per serving that you can probably do away with taking expensive B supplements. A single serving contains 17pc of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin B1 (thiamin), 18pc of B2, and 36pc of B3. These vitamins are essential for eye and skin health, as well as protecting your nervous system and helping you to break down the energy from food. B vitamins are all water soluble so are not stored by the body, thus requiring a daily dose.

    4. It can keep your heart healthy
    Marmite’s high content of Vitamin B1 could be highly beneficial for preventing cardiovascular disease, particularly among diabetics. A study at the University of Bristol found that supplementing diabetic and non diabetic mice with a chemical similar to Vitamin B1 called benfotiamine  improved their recovery after a heart attack and lowered their risk of cardiovascular conditions. Further studies are required to see if the same theory can be applied to humans, but it seems a good enough reason to up your Marmite intake, all the same.

    5. It keeps vegans alive

    Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system and blood, but cannot be found in plants. This is a problem for vegans, who do not eat any animal products, which naturally contain the vitamin.

    Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause numerous health problems, but Marmite may provide a solution.

    Fun Facts :

    In Sri Lanka, Marmite is apparently used as a potent hangover cure. Simply dissolve it in boiling water and lime juice, add a fried, sliced onion and watch your hangover quickly disappear
    After trying it on the UK on tour in 2011, Britney Spears admitted she’s a fan of the yeast based spread. According to insiders, she tried to make a stew with Marmite and also asked for Marmite Twiglets on her rider.

    Spears isn’t the only superstar fan of the spread. The Rolling Stones, Dido, and Eddie Redmayne are all reportedly fans.

    Britney Spears


  • 25Jul

    I was down with a cold and a bad throat yesterday. I must have been bitten by the bugs from my hubs and my second daughter, who were down with a cold and strep throat just a week ago. I struggled to get by my day yesterday. Though I felt like I was going to collapse any time, with drooping heavy eyes and a beat up body, I dragged myself into the kitchen and cooked lunch and dinner. In between house chores, I felt extremely sleep and napped whenever I had a chance to do so, which was extremely difficult with 2 daughters having an exam and the Mandarin tutor in the house.

    This morning when I got up, I was still feeling extremely lethargic with tired eyes.  I skipped jogging after sending my daughters off to the school van. Instead of going to the tracks, I snuggled back onto my cozy bed and slept for 2 hours. When I got up, I felt so energized. The heavy droopy eyes are now bright and well rested. My brain does not feel foggy anymore. I have been sitting at my PC typing away for 2 hours continuously, after breakfast of a slice of light chiffon cake and a bowl of light Marmite soup (1 teaspoon to about 300 ml of water).

    Allergy, Cold, Disease, Flu, Girl, Handkerchief, Ill

    A strep throat, achy muscles and a runny nose can make you miserable, but if you still have the energy to exercise, should you?  I will continue to exercise if I have the energy to do so, but will tone down the intensity and duration. For eg. I will do brisk walking instead of running and instead of walking 40 minutes, a 30-minute walk will suffice.  But if I do not have the energy to exercise, like this morning, I will definitely give exercising a miss for a day or two to rest and catch up on my sleep. I always get well from a cold naturally, from getting lots of rest and sleep and taking natural supplements like carotenoids, hydrogen water, raw honey, Manuka honey, propolis and Esberitox.

    Exercise, Weight, Woman, Sport, Girl, Training, Smile

    Some physical activities when you’re sick can be alright, but there are times when exercise can make things worse.

    The best way to determine whether you should go to the gym, or go to bed is the extent and location of your symptoms. You will need to give yourself a “neck check”.

    You can exercise safely when…

    If your symptoms are from the neck up, such as a sore throat, then it’s okay to exercise. Physical activity won’t slow down your recovery, as long as you don’t elevate your heart rate and body temperature too much.

    US researchers studied people who exhibited an upper respiratory tract infection or “head cold” over 10 days. They compared people who exercised for 40 minutes every second day with people who didn’t exercise at all. They found no difference in symptoms at the end of the study, and that exercising with a minor cold did not alter the severity or duration of the illness.

    Green light symptoms (yes, you can exercise)

    • runny nose
    • sneezing
    • watery eyes
    • sore throat

    It’s best to rest when….

    If your symptoms are below the neck, such as a tight chest, then your body needs rest. Exercising with major cold symptoms, particularly a fever, will prolong your illness and can be dangerous. Physical activity will compromise your immune system as the body focuses on energy production and muscle function instead of fighting the illness.

    If your oral temperature is at or over 37.5 °C (99.5 °F), your body is fighting an infection, and needs rest to recover. Listen to your body, and take comfort that you won’t lose any conditioning by taking a few days break.

    Red light symptoms (best to avoid exercise)

    • coughing
    • fatigue and tiredness
    • congested or tight chest
    • chills
    • nausea or upset stomach
    • muscle aches
    • diarrhea
    • high temperature / fever

    Fit people recover from illnesses quicker and experience milder symptoms than couch potatoes, according to a 2011 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  The following are the guidelines for exercising before, during and after a cold or flu.

    If you feel like you’re coming down with a garden-variety cold, you can still exercise without significant limitations. If you begin to feel worse after your workout, however, cut back. Take a few days off or reduce your effort to 50% of your normal capacity. Walk for 15 minutes instead of running for 30 minutes, or do one set of lifting instead of five. Also keep in mind the above-the-neck rule: If your symptoms include a runny nose, dry cough, or sneezing, you should be fine to exercise. But if your symptoms are below the neck, such a chest congestion, muscle aches, upset stomach, etc., make sure to rest.

     Stay home if you have a fever, stomach symptoms or the flu. If you’re wiped out with fatigue there’s no reason to work out. Plus, you’re contagious the first five to seven days. Rest allows your immune system to recover. Get to bed early and get extra sleep, drink plenty of fluids (no alcohol), take over-the-counter cold and flu medicines or ibuprofen as you recover.

    Try to keep stress at bay. Stress is known to suppress the immune system which makes it easier for you to get sick and cranky and harder to fight off bugs.

  • 20Jul

    Lately, my 14-year old daughter has been obsessed with gaining a few inches in height.  At 13.5 years old, she stands at about 155 cm in height while I stand at 158 cm.  My height is sufficient to get me into Malaysia Airlines for a flight stewardess job when I was 22 years old but I gave up the ambition of my dreams.

    In my daughter’s class, most of her classmates are at least 158 – 165 cm in height.  That’s tall for 14-year old Asian girls.  To be fair to my daughter, she is one of the youngest in her class and she is only 13 years old. She’s a December child.  We still have hope that she will still grow taller!

    In her quest to gain that few inches extra in height, she skips the rope everyday, about 1,000 – 3,000 skips each time. She plays tennis, takes part in all the jogathon and half marathon organized by her high school, runs and goes to the gym occasionally.  Her grandma would cook peanut root soup occasionally, known among the Chinese old folks to boost growth in height.

    After about a year now skipping regularly and drinking peanut root soup and seeing not much significant spurt in her height, my daughter is now a tad discouraged. She does not jump as much as she used to and tells me dejectedly that jumping does not help her to grow taller.

    Young woman skipping rope during sunny morning on stadium track

    Girls grow at a quick pace throughout infancy and childhood. When they reach puberty, growth increases dramatically again. Girls stop growing and reach adult height usually between the ages of 14 or 15 years, or a couple of years after menstruation begins.  As my daughter is still 13 years old, she still has a glimmer of hope to grow taller! Keeping our fingers crossed!

    Genetic Factors

    A big factor that determines your height is genetics. If your parents are both short, that does not mean that you will also have the same fate! Height is influenced by ranges of genes and if there are members in your family tree who are actually tall, you also have a chance to acquire that gene! Hormones such as testosterone in men also affect height.

    My husband and I are not very tall. We are of normal height for Asians.  From my husband’s side, his late father was very tall while his mother is of normal height. Of his 4 sisters, 3 of them are very tall and only one sister is of normal height. My husband is the shortest of the 5 of them.

    How does puberty affect growth?

    Girls typically have a growth spurt in the 1 to 2 years before menstruation starts. For most girls, the growth spurt starts between the ages of 10 and 13. They then grow just 1 to 2 inches more in the year or 2 after getting their first period. It’s during this time that they reach their adult height.

    Most girls reach their adult height by age 14 or 15. This age could be younger depending on when a girl first gets her period.

    What’s the average height for girls?

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the median height for adult women over 20 years old is 63.8 inches, or just under 5 foot 4 inches. The average height at the earliest start of puberty is around 50 inches, so that’s a lot of growth during a short period of time.

    The following information comes from the CDC:

    Age 50th percentile height for girls
    8 127.5 cm (50 in.)
    9 133 cm (52 in.)
    10 138 cm (54 in.)
    11 144 cm (56.5 in.)
    12 151 cm (59.5 in.)
    13 157 cm (62 in.)
    14 160.5 cm (63 in.)
    15 162 cm (64 in.)
    16 162.5 cm (64 in.)
    17 163 cm (64 in.)
    18 163 cm (64 in.)

    The above chart is for American girls. Asian girls are genetically shorter and smaller built than their Western counterpart.

    Can I grow taller after puberty?
    There is very little evidence to suggest that people can grow taller after puberty. Humans usually grow faster as infants and toddlers. They also grow significantly as growth spurts hit during puberty.

    What are growth spurts?

    Growth spurts is a term used for a rapid increase in height and weight which typically occurs during puberty. In their teens, kids put on an amazing growth to reach their final adult height. This phenomenal growth starts at the outside of the body and works in. Hands and feet are the first to expand. Needing new shoes is the first sign of experiencing growth spurts. Next, arms and legs grow longer. Finally the spine grows. The very last expansion is a broadening of the chest and shoulders in boys, and a widening of the hips and pelvis in girls.

    What kind of a diet can help increase my height?
    A nutritious diet that includes fruits and vegetables, dairy, cereals, meat and plenty of water will aid the natural process for enhancing height.

    Does sleep help human growth?
    Getting proper sleep is vital for the growth hormones to perform its function effectively. Not getting enough sleep can lower the amount of growth hormones your body produces.

    My daughter is a night owl. She only gets 5-6 hours of sleep on school-going days (despite my constant nagging at her to sleep early), which is way insufficient for the recommended 9-10 hours for them to function optimally.  Studies show that most teenagers need exactly 9 ¼ hours of sleep.

    Can stretching exercises help me gain height?
    Some stretching exercises can help increase the height enhancing process during puberty. After puberty the stretching exercises can still help correct a person’s posture. You’ll be surprised by how much of Height is hidden behind your slouched back. You can, at any age, add an inch or two of height by simply improving your posture.

    Girls may gain a foot or more in height from childhood through puberty. Getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly are all things that can help them grow in a healthy way.

    Thankfully, my daughter has not faced heightism in school. What she and I dislike are relatives comparing her height with her taller cousins of the same age as her *roll eyes*

  • 20Jul

    There are many reasons people go to a psychic for a reading, some want to know about their future job and career opportunities, some want to know about a loved one who has passed away, some are looking for a path to happiness because they have lost their way. Still others have questions about their love life. This latter area of an individual’s life is often riddled with uncertainty, but it is love psychics who have the ability to help you with this problem.

    Psychics can help with your relationship problems
    If you are in a relationship that is heading in the wrong direction, it is only natural to wonder if you should continue the relationship in the hope that things will get better or to end it now. It can be a difficult decision, especially if you have strong feelings for the other person, but if the relationship is headed for a breakup, then it is best not to invest any more of your time and emotion into it. Then again, if there is a good chance that things will get better, you don’t want to walk away from the one you love. A psychic can listen to your story and help you make the right decisions.

    Psychics can help you with a future relationship
    Are you feeling lonely? Perhaps you are looking for that special person to share your life with, but no matter what happens in your life, you never seem to meet this person. A reading with a psychic can give you important insights into your love life that will help you look forward to the future. A psychic may also be able to help you with knowing how best to find this new relationship that you are looking for, and the likeliest places you will find this person. There are many possibilities, but knowing that you have a future romantic partner out there, and you will meet this person, is often an uplifting feeling.

    Psychics can help you resolve issues with loved no longer living
    Psychics can help you with questions about loved ones who have passed away. Perhaps someone you loved died when there was a problem between the two of you. A psychic can reach across to the other side and help you communicate is such a way that you can experience closure with your loved one, or simply have the satisfaction of knowing they are all right.

    There are many ways a psychic can help you with your love life, so if you have never used the services of one before, you should keep an open mind and give one a chance.

  • 04Jul

    Mulberries are filled with nutrients that are important for our body, including iron, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, phosphorous, and calcium, as well as a significant amount of dietary fiber and a wide range of organic compounds, including phytonutrients, zea-xanthin, resveratrol, anthocyanins, lutein, and various other polyphenolic compounds.


    All parts of the plant from root to tip can be used medicinally, though these days we tend to concentrate only on the fruit and leaves, which are high in antioxidant anthocyanins as well as cancer-fighting resveratrol and vitamin C.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice has used mulberry trees for thousands of years to treat diseases like heart disease, diabetes, anemia and arthritis

    Although there are many different types of mulberries, there are three main species that you will see in health stores and supermarkets:

    • White mulberry (Morus alba) is native to China and the preferred food of silkworms. The leaves are antibacterial and antidiabetic; the fruits have a neuroprotective effect in humans.
    • Red mulberry (Morus rubra) is native to American soil that has antibacterial properties and can help fight urinary infections.
    • Black mulberry (Morus nigra) is a Western Asian variety transplanted to Europe. These dark berries have antiviral properties that show effectiveness against the HIV virus.

    The leaves of the mulberry tree are also traditionally used to strengthen the liver and lungs, treat fevers and cold and eye infections. They also have important antidiabetic properties which modern science is beginning to acknowledge.

    Mulberry leaf tea’s health benefits are attributed to its naturally occurring compound, 1-deoxynojirimycin, or DNJ, which is responsible for its antidiabetic effects. Like the fruit, the leaves also have powerful antioxidant properties and has been found to lower cholesterol and triglycerides and reduce inflammation.

    Health Benefits of Mulberries


    1. Source of Antioxidants

    Antioxidants help lessen the damage caused by free radicals and the entire mulberry plant- leaves, stems, and fruit, contains antioxidants.  One antioxidant in particular, resveratrol, has gotten much attention. Research published by the University of Texas Health Science Center credits resveratrol for positive effects on age and longevity.

    2. Lower Cholesterol

    Cholesterol is an important fatty molecule that is present in every cell in the body. However, elevated cholesterol in the blood is also linked to increased risk of heart disease.

    Animal studies show that mulberries and mulberry extracts can reduce excess fat and lower cholesterol levels. They may also improve the ratio between LDL („bad“) and HDL („good“) cholesterol.

    Some test-tube experiments also show that they reduce the formation of fat in the liver, potentially helping to prevent fatty liver disease.

    3. Improve Blood Sugar Control

    Diabetics are sensitive to rapid changes in blood sugar, and need to be careful when they eat carbs.

    Mulberries contain a compound called DNJ (1-deoxynojirimycin), which inhibits an enzyme in the gut that breaks down carbohydrates.

    DNJ is therefore considered to be beneficial against diabetes, by slowing down the increase in blood sugar after meals

    4. Reduce Cancer Risk

    Increased stress in the body has been shown to induce oxidative damage in cells and tissues, and is associated with increased risk of cancer.

    For hundreds of years, mulberries have been part of traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy against cancer.

    Some researchers now believe that these reputed cancer-preventive effects may actually have a scientific basis.  Animal studies indicate that antioxidants in mulberry juice can decrease oxidative stress, potentially reducing the risk of cancer.

    5. Immune System Support

    Mulberries contain alkaloids that activate macrophages. Macrophages are white blood cells that stimulate the immune system, putting it on high active alert against health threat.


    This is the mulberry + orange + apple + lemon + raw honey smoothie that I made for our girls.  I get my mulberries from a farmer who plants pesticide-free vegetables and fruits.

    In addition to mulberry fruits, I also drink organic mulberry leaves powder regularly.


    Adverse Effects and Individual Concerns

    Allergy to mulberries is rare, but pollen from mulberry trees has been reported to cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

    Individuals who are sensitive to birch pollen may also react to mulberries, as a result of cross-reactivity.



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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!