Sunday, July 31, 2011

what to eat if you care about the environment

each type of food have its own carbon footprint. if you are a greenie, you want to know this. (environmental working group) released this simple, easy to read, but so informative chart that shows the carbon footprint of different type of food.

in summary, less meat, more plants.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

vanishing of the bees

if you care about the environment, you must watch this documentary!

beautifully presented (how i wish more documentaries are done this way), this documentary showcases bee colony collapse disorder as encountered by many bee farmers in the united states back in 2007. a colony collapse situation is whereby a whole colony of bees leave their beehive, leaving only a few bees along with the queen. this beehive couldn't sustain itself any more and slowly dies off.

this strange phenomena puzzled the bee farmers as they helplessly see their bee hives falter one by one. this phenomena was later discovered to have been experienced by farmers in europe as well.

much effort later, the most likely culprit is the use of systemic pesticide. unlike conventional pesticides which are applied topically, systemic pesticide is absorbed by the plant and manifests itself outwards on its leave, stem and of course pollen as well. it is believed that the pollen which is then accumulated by bees contain this poison and thus affect the bees so badly that they abandon their hives.

Vanishing of the Bees - Trailer from Bee The Change on Vimeo.

to support this hypothesis, none of the organic bee farms suffer this disorder. so again and again, a lot of the ailments of the modern age is man made!

watch it. learn from it. have new respect for bees and of course, organic farming.

more info from the vanishing bees website.

Friday, July 15, 2011

problem buying whole wheat flour?

is it just me or do you have problem buying organic whole wheat flour lately?

i used to see stacks being sold at hock choon, cold storage, country farm organic store etc but nowadays could hardly find them!

juslife still sells the australian variety but at rm9/kg, I prefer the turkish variety from karahan mill, distributed by country farm organics which goes for rm6+/kg.

uh oh, i hope this is just a temporary stock issue. i hope the retailer is not considering dropping this product line. to be honest, i wouldn't be surprised if they drop this line as i imagine they don't sell much of it. this is not surprising considering this is a nation whereby 15% of malaysians >30 years of age are diabetics! and you bet this number is rising!

just ask around. how many prefer whole wheat over white bread? brown rice over white rice?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

my friend victor

i salute victor. i have seen many folks who complain about poor health but wouldn't do anything to improve it. "food too good, can't resist.", "no time to exercise", "i don't eat much meat (yeah right)"...

but victor took it as a challenge and improved on his health. in september 2010, victor was diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood glucose level (on track to develop diabetes). a triple whammy.

but about 7 months later, his health has improved so much. so how did he do it? what medication did he take? what method?

september 2010

 the "before" pic


 june 2011

 the "after" pic

here's some questions i sent his way.

1. what made you decide to lose weight? how much weight you lost in how long the time period?
Obesity always my main issue since childhood. So what made me decide to to lose weight? Well, health of cause. Mid of September last year, I was diagnosed with diabetes with a reading of 20.85 after fasting (blood test)  [>5 for after fasting is bad!]. My cholesterol was off the chart as well... At that time I was 219 pound plus minus. [that's 100kg]

After advised from doctors, they set a target for me to achieve. from 200 plus to 170 to 175 pound (approx 80Kg). I did that in 2 months managed to bring down to 175-176 pound. Then they wanted to bring down to (65Kg)143.2 pound. With this new goal it is a bit difficult to achieve and I have maintained at 175 for about 3 months....

In April, 2011 I decided to set that target and re calibrate my food and exercise... from 175 to 168 in 2 weeks. I maintained this weight till June. A week ago I decided to bring down again my weight... and now is 165pound (75Kg)...

Currently: my walk is about 4Km/hour (2.5Km flat land and approx 1.5Km trail). Workout 2 hours in total (8Km). 3 to 4 times a week.

Will continue this routine and see how it goes...

2. what was your medical test results before and after? if you still have them?
For the blood pressure before September was somewhere around 138/85 to 148/90 at times was 158/98...[normal range is 120/80]

Now around at 123/68 to 127/72 sometimes 106/60 to 110/62 (at this point I think not enough rest and my food intake was too little on that day)... with average heartbeat of 72 to 75... 

Glucose level in blood
September 2010 - 20.85 (Blood test)
October 2010 - 16.5 (2 hours after meal) (High dosage pill)
November 2010 - 10.5 (2 hours after meal) (High dosage pill)
December 2010 - 4.8. 5.7 (2 hours after meal) (reduced dosage)
January til now 2011 - 5.5 to 6.2 (2 hours after meal) (maintain at minimum dosage)

On average after exercise 5.0

3. did you have difficulty sticking to this diet? did you feel like giving up? what was the motivation to continue?
For the first one month, it was end of the world for me.

September to October 2010
1. Morning Oats
2. 10 am. Biscuits and kopi O kosong
3. Afternoon Oats
4. 4 pm Biscuits and kopi O kosong
5. Dinner 200 gm of fish (stream) and Raw Salad (without mayonnaise)

No other food beside than this...

The motivation kicked in when my eyes when blurry even at the distance of 3 feet. The vision turned white like seeing through a filter lens... after taking high dosage of pills. That was from 20.85 to 16.5 in 3 days. In my mind I am still young and I still want to live on like a healthy person. There is no way out and accept the facts that i am sick and decided to take a very drastic action and fight this war. I don't want to depend on pills only but to push my organs to function properly. To do that only through proper Diet and exercise can achieve that at this moment.

[to be honest, such a diet is quite extreme but if you got such a diagnosis, you'll start something extreme right away! good thing victor realized this diet isn't enough so he changed his diet. also please please understand that medication is not the way to go.]

4. any advise to anyone who wants to do the same?Yes:

1. read and know the contains of your food and drinks. Observe every intake of food/drinks and your body reaction. You will know when you sweat. Taste your sweat.
2. Eat in small quantity rather than large quantity at a time. With small quantity you can increase your intake 5 times a day.
3. Reduce taking white rice or replace with brown rice (taj mahal) 3 - 4 spoons per meal.

4. Cut Off all soft drinks including 100 plus...
5. Cut off all fast food.
6. Cut off all oily food.

[this means cut out ALL fast food]

Increase intake of vegetables and fruits however. fruits that are forbidden for diabetic patients are:
1. Durian
2. Banana
3. Pine apple
4. Water Melon
5. Grapes
6. etc avoid fruits that are sweet

Take a many lemon and green apple as you can... but you need to monitor your glucose level...

You need to check with your doctor before switching your diet because every person has different physiology. Some may suffer from low sugar level....

so as you could see above, if you want to do it, you could do it. if desire/will is not strong enough, excuses  abound.

by changing his diet, taking more veggies/fruits, eliminating all junk food (soft drinks, fried/processed food etc) and incorporating exercise to his routine, victor managed to lose 60 pounds in 9 months! as you could see his blood glucose level and blood pressure all dropped considerably. he will do a blood cholesterol check later as he doesn't have the equipment to do it at home.

victor did it. i salute his determination and his discipline. i have no doubt he could maintain his weight.

once your health is good, you may indulge in those "unhealthy" food sporadically. the key is that this indulgence is the exception rather than the norm.

so... what's your excuse?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

malaysians are really healthy

"Statistics show that the prevalence of obesity among Malaysian adults increased by a staggering 250% over a 10-year period from 1996 while the number of overweight has increased by 70%.

The National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2006 showed that two out of every five adults or 43%, were either overweight or obese and an alarming situation where the number of obese adults had more than tripled over a decade, from 4% in 1996 to 14% in 2006.

According to statistics, 14.9% and 43% of Malaysians aged above 30 suffer from diabetes and hypertension respectively, with 20.7% of adults over 18 suffering from high cholesterol."

the above is quoted from a news article which appeared in a local english daily. 

so if you are a malaysian adult, you have a 40% chance of being overweight, 15% chance of being diabetic, 43% chance of suffering from high blood pressure and 20% chance of suffering from high cholesterol.

if i may add, i think this statistic is painting a very bleak picture as i personally know of friends who suffer ALL these concurrently!

young at heart

i was cruising on the road one sunday afternoon, listening to bfm (by far, the best malaysian radio station) when they had this show called "a bit of culture" where different presenters will present something unique or interesting they encountered, be it food, music, place... hence culture. that day in addition to nepalese food and other goodies, this young at heart acapella group is so damn interesting. at an average age of 80 years old, you may imagine some geriatrics singing some evergreen oldies... but spare the thought!

i managed to watch the documentary/film and it begins with a 93 year old (oldest member) lady singing the clash's should i stay or should i go! and what a performance!

but the best performance goes to this heart warming rendition of coldplay's young at heart. (this song was also played on the bfm show that day) i couldn't care less for coldplay and this song always gets on my nerve but this singing, this gravely voice, this "very old singing about loss" voice resonates deeply in me.

watching the documentary, it's like a celebration of life. sure, life is fleeting. we each have a limited number of years on this planet but please do not do not let old age slow you down. this group prepared for 7 weeks before their concert and during that time, 2 members passed away but this didn't stop anyone from continuing. no one gave up. in fact, the 2 who passed away attended every practice session all the way though.

as one concert goer commented "i'll never complain feeling old or tired ever again!"

to know more about the young at heart choir, go to their website.