Tuesday, April 29, 2014

When Life Becomes Just A Fleeting Moment

I was in the ambulance accompanying a family member to the hospital the other day and I remembered the day when I suddenly fainted. Out of panic, my mom screamed for an ambulance in that bak kut teh shophouse and the world stopped to watch me in that horrifying state for once. When things like this happen, life becomes just a fleeting moment. If I didn't regain consciousness, I wouldn't have known what I left behind. I was out in a matter of seconds, just like that. So then what good would it do me if I chased after money, fame, power, or popularity? What good if I gained the whole world but loses my soul? I would have left it all behind. One would only remember the legacy that you left behind, not your material wealth. Our souls have been bought by Jesus when He died on the cross and He will open the door for those who seek Him (Matthew 7:7-8). And so while we are still alive, let's live without regret, finding our purpose and peace in Him alone who gives us joy and strength.

"Perfect peace I cannot gain on my own; unconditional love I cannot earn; and joy I cannot depend on my circumstances. However, I have all of these in perfect measure only because HE, the Risen one GAVE them freely as a gift to me. I can only find it in Him." - Joann Chang.

God loves you.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Health Benefits of Almond Milk and How to Make It

Almond is one of the healthiest nuts there is. It is high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E (a natural antioxidant), magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. It doesn't contain any lactose, soy, and casein (gluten) so it is an excellent milk substitute for someone who is allergic to cow's milk or on a gluten-free diet and for those who are staying away from soy. However, the calcium content in homemade or unfortified almond milk is lower than cow's milk and thus, it should not be used to replace cow's milk as a source of calcium. Those with tree nut allergies should avoid almond milk as it may cause severe allergic reactions.

To maximize the absorption of nutrients and easier for our digestion, it's important to soak the almonds overnight as it reduces the anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors.

Making Homemade Almond Milk


1 cup almonds (soaked overnight in the fridge)
3 cups drinking water
1 tsp to 1 tbsp of raw honey (mixed with a little bit of water to make honey water), depends on how sweet you like the milk to be


1. Put the soaked almonds and water in a blender and blend for about one minute. 

2. Strain them using a cheese cloth or other types of strainer. 

3. Mix the honey water to the almond milk and stir. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Bon appétit!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

If I Were to Have My Life Over

Recently I went to appeal to the management of the property where I live to waive an interest charge of a bill I did not receive. I didn't think it is fair for me to pay for something that I didn't do wrong for. At that, the management blatantly told me that I can present my case in the upcoming general meeting if I want to but he will make sure that I will not win my case. In essence he was planning to influence the voters to object to my case before I have the chance to even present my appeal. I left his office utterly disgusted and disappointed. I just wanted to cry.

Life is unfair sometimes. But it is the reality. We are all imperfect people and we live in a fallen world. Even Jesus had to die on the cross for sins He didn't commit. 

I had a choice to let this affect the rest of my day or I could just let it go and pay the bill. I told myself this shall soon pass and I will not let this incident take away my joy.

A friend shared this this post titled "If I Had My Life to Live Over"
written by Erma Bombeck near the end of her life. 

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more. 
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. 
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."
There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ... But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

This made me ponder about my own life. A much needed reflection on how I shall not take this life for granted and worry about the little unnecessary things. I want to be able to say, at the end of my life, that I lived my life to the fullest, with purpose and thanksgiving instead of grumbling and discontentment. And if I were to have my life again, I would not do anything differently because I've done the best I can while I still lived. And so, while I still can, I will try to remember and try my best to:

Worry less when life's problems come, knowing that they may just be God's blessings in disguise.
Not compare ourselves with other people.
Remember that my child is a blessing from God and not a burden (which I sometimes feel when motherhood gets hard!) 

On a more practical note, I will remind myself to:

Take it easy when my child spills her food (or anything else for that matter) on the floor.
Let my child have her childhood! Let her play as she likes and enjoy God's creation through nature.
Say "I love you's" more to my parents and family and love generously, before it's too late.
Take things slowly and appreciate the little things instead of rushing through life.
See all the strengths in my husband and praise him more, while helping out in his weaknesses and alleviate his husband duty whenever I can.
Grumble less when it's hot outside (I said it!) and praise God that I can still go outside.
Be more generous to those in need because a little change may mean a lot to them (it may be their only meal of the day!). God gives good exchange rates!
Complain less and be an encourager instead!
Not let small things (like my example above) take away my joy.
Give thanks more often - because for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).

I hope I will not forget to remember this precious life that comes only once and the grace that was given so freely, yet at a price too heavy for anyone to bear, only Jesus could.

If you can have part of your life over, what would you change or how would you like to be different?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Travel: Sydney with a Toddler

Sydney is probably one of the nicest places to visit with children. Everything in the city is accessible by foot and it's stroller friendly. There are parks, museums, aquarium, zoo, shopping centers, and harbors - all within walking distance. Not to mention, I love the food there! We stayed at Four Points Sheraton, which is located right on Darling Harbor. We stayed there for a week and it's perfect.

What We Did

Day 1

We walked around Darling Harbor and visited Wild Life Sydney Zoo and Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, both located in Darling Harbor. The zoo features animals that are unique to Australia like the koalas and kangaroos. (If you have more time, you can visit Taronga Zoo.)

Lighthouse in front of the Maritime Museum at
Darling Harbor

View of Darling Harbor at night

Koalas at the Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Day 2

We went to the Sydney Fish Market in the morning. They had fresh seafood for sashimi, fish and chips, etc. We also enjoyed fresh cherries (Elin's favorite!). 

Then we went to the Powerhouse Museum. It was quite a walk but this place is a must-go. It has a large area for children and it showcases just about everything you can think of: a section on design, airplanes, science, fashion, music, ecology, space, cinema, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. You can spend the whole day just in the science lab.

Day 3

We went to Superbee Honey Shop to buy Manuka Honey and pure Australian honey. It's a lot cheaper there than in Singapore. Then we made our way to Sydney Observatory for a short tour learning about the space, telescopes, and such and had lunch outdoor, overlooking the city.

Day 4

We explored Hyde Park area and see the malls nearby (David Jones and Westfield Malls). One of our favorite things to do in a foreign city is to go to their local supermarkets and just see what they sell. I was so happy to find that grass-fed milk is sold in the supermarket at a low price (compared to Singapore).

Day 5

We purchased a tour package to go to the Blue Mountains and see the Three Sisters. We did a short escorted hike and enjoyed the scenery surrounding the mountains. It was Elin's first hike too! In the afternoon, we were dropped off at Olympic Park and took a one-hour ferry ride to Circular Quay, where you can see the Sydney Bridge and Sydney Opera HouseRight on Circular Quay, there is the Museum of Contemporary Art, which we visited and it was free of charge.

Blue Mountains National Park

You can take the cableway to view the national park.

Elin's first hike
Taken on our ferry ride back from Olympic Park to
Circular Quay

Day 6

We took a ferry to go Manly Beach. Our trip wouldn't be complete if we don't witness any of the white-sanded Australian beach while we are there and Manly Beach was just it. Lovely place to relax and play. We tried a fish and chip nearby. In the afternoon, we took a ferry back to Circular Quay and explored the Botanic Gardens located next to it. 

Where We Ate

Cafe Morso at Jones Bat Wharf for brunch or lunch. It's my favorite place to eat there. I went there three times during my stay and tried their gnocci, quesadilla, pasta, and fish an chips. They were all excellent.

Pizzas at The Australian Heritage Hotel. We just had to try what kangaroo, crocodile, and emu meat pizzas while in Australia. If you're feeling adventurous, don't miss this place!

Hurricane's Grill. Mouth-watering ribs.

Italian pizza and pasta at Ventuno Restaurant. Delicious Italian food.

Thai food at Chat Thai. Food was great but the desserts were outstanding. I love every bite. I don't even have pictures to show. I was too hungry to take pictures :D

San Churros. A friend recommended to try this place which is known for their churros and its chocolate dip. It was a treat!

I love Sydney and will go back there again next time!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Health Benefits of Wheatgrass (Chlorophyll) and Wheatgrass Juice Recipe

Functions and Benefits of Wheatgrass

I began to drink fresh wheatgrass juice daily in the morning after reading about all the wonderful benefits of this plant. Wheatgrass is believed to increase our general well-being, boost our immune system, get rid of toxins out of the body, heal scars, improve digestion, lower cholesterol, balance sugar level, and treat various other conditions. Although there are not enough scientific evidence to prove all these, it is nonetheless a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, C, and E, and it is one of the best sources of chlorophyll. 

Functions and Benefits of Chlorophyll

We know that chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color and plants use chlorophyll and light to make food through a process called photosynthesis. Plants cannot survive without chlorophyll. Thus, it is often referred to as the "green blood of plants" because it resembles a lot like our red blood cells, known as hemoglobin, the pigment that gives our blood its red color and transports oxygen in our body. Chlorophyll helps to detoxify our body, treats bad breath, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight infections. It is also believed to promote red blood cells formation and cleanse our blood.

Adding Chlorophyll in Our Diet

Any green vegetables that we eat essentially contain some chlorophyll but the darker the green color, the more chlorophyll it contains. Wheatgrass juice is probably one of the best sources of chlorophyll as it contains up to 70% chlorophyll. Fresh wheatgrass is available in the local supermarket in Singapore. I try to eat fresh if I can find them, but if you can't find them, you can buy liquid chlorophyll in health stores or online. 

How to Make Wheatgrass Juice

Making wheatgrass juice is easy. The wheatgrass that is sold in the supermarket is already clean and ready to use (like the picture above). I rinse it, then cut and use only the green part of the wheatgrass to make the juice. I don't mind the raw taste of wheatgrass and I drink it at room temperature. It has a mild sweetness to it. But if you don't like it, you can try adding ice cubes and pure honey or other natural sweeteners

I use a handful of wheatgrass (about 1/2 cup) and add about 1-2 cups of water. Blend for about 45-60 seconds. I drink it in the morning on empty stomach.

Do you have any experience with consuming wheatgrass or liquid chlorophyll?

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Recipe: Chicken with Star Anise and Plum Sauce

I was a bit bored of the usual taste of soy sauce-based chicken, so I upped the recipe to make a more flavorful and tasty chicken dish. The flavor is very strong and it is perfect to eat with a bowl of warm rice.


1 whole chicken, cut into chunks
1 cup plums, pureed
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon
a handful of star anise


Marinate chicken with all the ingredients for a few hours. Let it sit in the fridge until ready. Heat up cooking pan and simmer the marinated chicken until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the sauce thickens. You can add a bit of water if the sauce has reduced and thickened but chicken is not yet cooked. 

Bon appétit!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Case For and Against Fluoride

I have been reading about the use of fluoride in our toothpaste and I never realized that this topic can be so controversial. There are those who strongly believe that fluoride is very important for dental health and there are those who are strongly against its use. 

Demineralization and remineralization are two processes where minerals are lost and added to a tooth's enamel layer each day. Demineralization happens when acid that is produced due to bacteria and sugar, erodes tooth enamel and damages our teeth. Remineralization happens when minerals such as fluoride and calcium get redeposited to the tooth enamel when we consume food and water. Tooth decay can happen when one experiences too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer.

The Case For Fluoride

Fluoride is believed to help prevent tooth decay and protect from demineralization by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also strengthens the enamel as it accumulates in the demineralized areas and thus making our teeth stronger and prevent cavities. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults. Water authorities add fluoride to tap-water because they say it reduces the prevalence of tooth decay in the local population. Proponents of fluoride believe that fluoride is only harmful is excess dosage as it may cause fluorosis and fluoride toxicity but it is not a problem if consumed on a small amount through drinking water and toothpaste (which we spit out anyways).

The Case Against Fluoride

On the flipside, many studies and researches, such as this and this, believe the risks much outweigh the benefits of using fluoridated toothpaste and that fluoride is a known carcinogen and toxic waste product of the fertilizer and aluminium industry. Flouride toxicity can also affect the brain, bone, kidney, thyroid, and teeth.

Where Do I Stand

At this point, I'm still using fluoridated toothpaste because my dentist strongly suggests it, but my two-year old is using non-fluoridated toothpaste because she can't spit out the toothpaste yet and Singapore's water is already fluoridated. She is using Earthpaste toothpaste if you are curious, it's the best non-fluoridated toothpaste I know so far that doesn't include preservatives, toxic ingredient like sodium lauryl sulfate, glycerin, or artificial sweeter like saccharin. 

I'm no fluoride expert and I don't claim that what I'm doing is the best for everyone, but it's what I decide to do given the information I currently know. It's worth mentioning that proper and nutritious diet play a critical role in keeping our teeth healthy. In his book, Nutrition and Psychical Degeneration, Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist, explained that our teeth are the first part of our body to noticeably be affected when our bodies are not properly nourished. Consuming real and traditional foods are necessary to keep our teeth healthy, and even reverse tooth decay. A modern diet full of refined and processed foods not only damage and rot our teeth, but also displace the nutrients that our body needs.

What do you think about the use of fluoride in our toothpaste?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blog Anniversary: Blogging as a Ministry

I began learning about nutrition a year before I started this blog and I fell in love with the subject right away. I kept on reading on new topics, absorbing everything like a sponge, and wanted to know more and more. I realized our understanding of healthy living has been influenced so much by media, industrialization, and modern culture and healthy living is just not as simple as it once wasA year ago, after I was comfortable and knew enough about nutrition and natural living and practiced healthy living, I felt so many of my family and friends could benefit from many of the things I learned in this area. But writing a blog on healthy living scared me. Declaring that I want to start living healthy is like declaring my faith (I was that scared!). Once I do it, there is no turning back. I was nervous that people will judge me if I do anything less. Just thinking about what might come made me resistant about whether I should start a blog. Keeping it to myself would be the easiest thing to do. I don't ever have to explain to people why I eat certain food, why I choose to buy more expensive organic food, why I do things differently than others. And I could eat peacefully in public without fearing someone will judge the occasional treats I allow myself to enjoy. Going against the norm is hard. Additionally, I don't want other people to feel that I'm better than others because I choose to live "healthier." I don't want people to think that I look down on other people or induce guilty feeling because I choose to live life and eat food differently. These are certainly not the reasons why I want to live a natural and healthier lifestyle. We are not any better just because we choose to live life differently. We are all equal standing before God. I chose to do it because I want to be a good steward of my body because the Bible says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Thus this blog. And what finally encouraged me to start this is knowing why I want to live a healthier lifestyle. My motivation and my goal is to glorify God through my body. Taking care of my body well pleases Him. I desire to serve my family nutritious food, because it affects our ability to serve the Lord - so that my husband can go to work with the energy and nutrition he needs to do his job well and so that my child(ren) can grow up appreciating the real food that God has created and equip them to be more fit for the journey God has planned for them. It is an investment on their health that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. We are still far from perfect but we're learning and making changes one baby step at a time. 

I wanted a ministry that I could do without compromising the ministry I have been called to with my family. I think this blog could be it. And as I try to live my faith publicly, even though it had to be done imperfectly, I'm honored and humbled to be given the time and enjoyment to learn about nutrition and natural living, things I didn't know two years ago. It is a testimony of how great our God is and how amazing His creations are. I realize what God originally created is best in its most natural form. He knows best. When He created the world and everything in it, He saw that it was good. Living healthy doesn't mean we will never get sick. Living healthy doesn't guarantee a longer life. And living healthy doesn't mean God favors us more than others. I know we will never be perfect, but we try as best as we can, where possible, to live healthy so that we can be physically equipped to serve the Lord. 

It's been a lovely one year of blogging. It forces me to learn something new everyday. It helps me to converse to a wider circle of people because health-related topic is understandable by everyone. I get to experiment with new ingredients that I never knew before. I also met many new friends who share the same interest in healthy living through this blog. Most importantly, I get to serve my family nutritious food. And I give thanks.

I realize what works for us may not work for everyone and it's okay. The changes I implement for my family, are something I learn through my own reading and research, while not everything may be scientifically correct (I'm still learning!), it's what works for our family, what we believe is true, and what we choose to do. I don't mean to even come close or even hint at the idea that what we do is the only right way to live. You don't have to agree with everything that I write about. Many studies say this and that and everyone are entitled to have opinions on how to live or what to eat, I hope we don't get defensive or lose sight of what God has called us to do with our family. My hope is for all of us to be encouraged to take care of our bodies, not to extend our days on earth (because only God knows the number of our days), but so that we may be more fit and equipped to do God's work when He calls us to. I keep this verse below as a reminder to myself to be humble in my journey because only by God's grace I have the opportunity and time to learn about healthy and natural living. And if any of my posts have blessed you, all glory belongs to God alone - the Creator of all things.

"Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them." - Romans 14:1-3

Disclaimer: I'm not a certified physician or doctor and I'm not here to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. I don't have a formal education background in nutrition and I can't decide whether a particular food is good for a specific need or someone. I just don't know enough nor do I have the qualifications to do so. I'm here to document what I learn, the changes I make in my own family based on what I believe is true. You are free to follow the things we cannot be held responsible on the decisions you make for you or  your family.