Friday, 12 May 2017

Gluten-free Foods Guide

Last year, when my son had the skin problem, I started him on "clean eating" diet and whilst he waited out the flare-ups, his rash appeared like a gluten intolerance rash.

Thus, I decided to try a "gluten-free" diet and looked out for gluten-free foods. Among the list of foods he had to avoid were:
1) Barley
2) Soy sauce
3) Oats
4) Flour and flour products - bread crumbs, pasta, cake flour, tortillas, ramen, udon etc!

Was the gluten-free diet successful?

Yes, in the sense that I managed to remove A LOT of processed foods from his daily diet and introduced more whole foods e.g. proteins, fats, fruits and vegetables that should part of a growing child's diet.

However, in shopping for "gluten-free" products in the supermarket, I found that many of them (some of them were unhealthy to begin with) were sold at ridiculously expensive prices.

Plus, some of the foods that are labelled "gluten-free" are not even nutritious to begin with!

Since health foods are big business now, many food manufacturing companies are cashing in on consumer trends.

Please think carefully before you buy any expensive "gluten-free" packaged foods from the supermarket, ok?

Here's one of the more helpful charts showing us food that contain gluten and foods that are gluten-free:

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Why are French fries bad for health?

On this cold and rainy night, I took out a bag of French fries from the freezer - they are leftover "party food" I bought for my kids' birthday party. As much as I hate junk food, it's just as bad to waste food.

In the end, I deep fried them in coconut oil and sprinkled sea salt over them. 

While waiting for the French fries to cook, I decided to do a bit of investigation on why and how French fries are bad for us.

1. Danger of acrylamide (a carcinogen) from golden brown French fries 

Nearly half of the experts we talked to warned about the carcinogen acrylamide, a chemical that forms in some foods when they're cooked at high temperatures by frying, roasting or baking. To make acrylamide, a food needs sugars, an amino acid called asparagine and hot temperatures—all of which are involved in the making of the fry. Along with potato chips, it's the most often-cited source of dietary acrylamide.

“At very low concentrations, it will accumulate during the years of childhood and adolescence and will contribute to serious diseases, including cancer,” says Allal Ouhtit, professor at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman and author of a recent review on acrylamide. You should limit your intake of French fries, says Eric Morrissette, spokesperson for Health Canada, but eating them occasionally isn’t likely to be a health concern.

One way to cut down on the toxin is to cook fries for less time. “When the product is overdone—beyond the ‘golden yellow’—the amount of acrylamide in French fries increase exponentially,” says Vincenzo Fogliano, chair of food quality and design group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

People who eat a diet high in acrylamide may have a slightly increased risk of cancer, he says, but if fries are prepped in good oil that hasn't been reheated, cooked for not-too-long and naked of mayo and ketchup, they’re a-ok. “French fries per se are not that bad as people think,” he says.

2. Regular consumption of French fries is related to macular degeneration 

Only one study was cited and this was done by a Chinese scientist studying aging, which makes perfect sense because China is facing an aging crisis amidst the increasing popularity of Western-diet foods. Did you know that this is exactly the same problem that the Japanese are facing?
On a much stranger note, French fries may mess with your...eyes? Chung-Jung Chiu, PhD, a scientist at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University found a link between popular Western-diet foods—including French fries—and age-related macular degeneration. “When people are older, they become even more vulnerable to these dietary insults,” he says.
I am now even more convinced to stick to a traditional Asian diet because many of the old folks lived healthier and happier lives when they were in their golden years.

Source: TIME magazine

3. McDonald's French fries contains MANY additives and preservatives 

For your family's and your own health, *please* read this article "What's really inside those McDonald's French fries" that examines the ingredients and cooking method for McDonald's French fries.

LISTED INGREDIENTS: Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (to maintain color) and salt.

Prepared in Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil) with TBHQ and Citric Acid to preserve freshness of the oil and Dimethylpolysiloxane to reduce oil splatter when cooking.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

World Health Organization child growth standards

Do you know your child's height and weight?

When my kids were babies, we used to bring them into the pediatrician's office or the Klinik Kesihatan for their regular check-ups (head circumference, height and weight) but once they start primary school, who is charting their growth progress?

This year, my daughter had to note down her height and weight for her science homework under the KSSR programme.

One thing I notice about my daughter (and previously son) is how much weight they'd lose once they start Year 1. Check out her height and weight measurements:

2016 - 6 years old

- Height - 115 cm - 50th percentile for height - she's the shortest in her class of 25 kids
- Weight - 16.3 kg - lower 15th percentile for weight - 3.7 kg underweight. 50th percentile - 20 kg. 

She had been going to the clinic a couple of times for fevers and coughs. A nice GP pointed out that she's a bit on the skinny side and took her measurements.

Then, she explained to me that my baby girl is underweight.

As a busy working Mom, I do complain to Hubby that I miss the days when I was a housewife and could comfortably prepare healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for my kids because I do not like taking them to see the doctor.

The doctor's confirmation was a wake-up call and I decided to plan my time well to cook dinner 3 times a week. I am also now ensuring that my little girl eats a good breakfast like the ones she used to have when she was a toddler:

2017 - 7 years old

- Height - 118 cm - 50th percentile for height - she's the 2nd shortest in her class of 35 kids
- Weight - 19.5 kg - lower 15th percentile for weight - 3 kg underweight. 50th percentile - 22.5 kg. 

Growth reference charts:

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Antioxidants and free radicals

"In a healthy body a balance exists between the generation of radicals and the antioxidant enzymes that neutralise them.
Oxidative stress is the result of an imbalance between the production of ROS/RNS and the body’s ability to detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage. 

Cells are protected against oxidative stress by an interacting network of antioxidant enzymes, which are 
- Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) (superoxide radical)
- Catalase (CAT) (hydrogen peroxide) and
- Glutathione Peroxidase (peroxide).

Every chromosome, amino acid and protein block in our bodies need Hydrogen to build good quality cells.

As the smallest atom in the chemical chart of elements, Hydrogen can access the deepest darkest parts of the body (mitochondrial cells) where other elements cannot reach.

Did you know that Molecular Hydrogen (H2) targets free radicals?

Hydrogen scavenges the hydroxyl radical and increases the body’s natural antioxidant molecules. 
Also, due to its small size, it easily crosses cell membranes and has access to parts of the cell that other antioxidants are too large to reach.
Research based on over 350 scientific studies into the potential health benefits of molecular hydrogen has shown a number of conditions, especially those with a strong oxidative and inflammatory element in their progression, may be improved by the therapeutic use of Molecular Hydrogen.
These conditions include, but are not limited to:
• Metabolic Syndrome
• Cardiovascular health
• Obesity

• Fatigue

• Cognitive function
• Gastrointestinal Function including

– Liver detoxification capacity

– Pancreatitis
• Chronic pain and inflammation
• Abnormal cell division
• Immune function"

When a person drinks hydrogenized water, particularly molecular hydrogen (H2),
H2 binds with O (oxygen=free radicals that cause oxidation) = H2O (water) in the body and is discharged as urine.

Drinking hydrogenized water neutralizes free radicals, which are then flushed out from your body in the form of urine.

IZUMIO Hydrogenized water is packed and produced in Japan using membrane dissolution system and sealed in a 4-layer aluminium pouch and it has the highest concentration of Hydrogen (2.6 ppm).

You can check this against other hydrogenized waters/filters in the market.

For more info about IZUMIO, please email me at iamsupermum[@]gmail[dot]com

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Morning workout

Happy New Year 2017!

We started the year with a "Let's Get Healthy" programme, which started with morning exercise :)

Yup, the Hubs and I have been waking up at 5.30 am (!!!) a few times a week to do cardio, stretching and yoga. He has been doing really well (after A LOT of "encouragement") that now he's unstoppable.

Me? I am trying to keep to:

a) stick to the 3 times a week routine and
b) get a balance of cardio, stretching and weight training

Anyway, here are my favourite videos for my morning workouts (will be updated):

10 Day Flexibility Challenge - Day 1 - great to stretch the thighs, glutes and hamstrings!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

More than 20 years ago, an accountant recommended me to read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki" and my first thought was, "Oh my God, all he can think of is money!"

Well, that accountant is having the last laugh now because he is travelling around the world, enjoying a good life, eating good food and I think exercising on a regular basis to keep his paunch in check.

If anyone gave you "Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki" for Christmas, you should read it and read it with an open mind!

Here's an excerpt:
If they used the power of the mirror, they would have asked themselves, “Does this make sense?
All too often, instead of trusting their inner wisdom, that genius inside, most people follow the crowd.

They do things because everybody else does them. They conform, rather than question.

Often, they mindlessly repeat what they have been told: “Diversify.” “Your home is an asset.” “Your home is your biggest investment.” “You get a tax break for going into greater debt.” “Get a safe job.” “Don’t make mistakes.” “Don’t take risks.” 

It is that same fear, the fear of ostracism, that causes people to conform to, and not question, commonly accepted opinions or popular trends: “Your home is an asset.” “Get a bill-consolidation loan, and get out of debt.” “Work harder.” “It’s a promotion.” “Someday I’ll be a vice president.” “Save money.” “When I get a raise, I’ll buy us a bigger house.” “Mutual funds are safe.” 

I am still halfway through the book but the thing that hit me is what he said about the middle class - we work so hard all of our lives and yet we may not have enough in our EPF for our retirement or even medical expenses!

You must have read these articles about EPF investments:
- "Only 22 per cent EPF contributors have sufficient savings for retirement"
EPF members can now invest in funds that are invested 100% overseas

Thank you, Robert, for continuing with your important message of financial education despite all the backlash you have experienced since the launch of your book.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Hydrogen water for detox

In late July 2016, my poor son developed a rash on his body, which looked like chicken pox.

However, since he already had his chicken pox vaccination, I was skeptical.

When I shared some snapshots with my WhatsApp group, someone mentioned bed bug bites.

Anyway, I went on a cleaning frenzy by:

i) replacing all the bed linen and

ii) vacuuming the edges of our mattresses etc

Days, weeks and months went by and we also went to see THREE doctors who gave different diagnoses.

Each doctor prescribed steroids, then antibiotics and finally, an unrelated drug that he'd have to take for 3 months!

If you're a mother, you'll know what "heart attacks" are when you have a sick kid, especially one with a skin problem :-(

If you follow my blog, you'll know that I had been drinking it myself for my muscle fatigue and although I have seen Izumio working on kids with eczema, I was still nervous when I saw my son's skin looking like this:

Since I have seen the effects of Izumio on children with eczema and even adult diabetes patients with skin ulcers and psoriasis, I gave him one pack of Izumio per day (in July 2016) and increased it to 2 packs a day (in September 2016).

I am not an overly religious person but I thanked God when I saw his skin gradually healing.

Every week, his little sister and I will examine his body, especially his back and the back of his legs, to document the progress with photos. We were such scientists!

After this "healing crisis", I am glad that I persevered with IZUMIO because I had stopped steroids when he had eczema as a toddler. No way am I going back to drugs.

Why did Hydrogen work for his "healing crisis"? Please read the next post on Hydrogen as a unique antioxidant.

For more info about IZUMIO, please email me at iamsupermum[@]gmail[dot]com