Health Freak Mommy: September 2014

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Famous Char Koay Teow @ Lorong Selamat, Georgetown

After our 'starter' consisting of no-frills baked crabs and baked prawns at Sea Pearl Lagoon Cafe @ Tg. Tokong, we adjourned to Lorong Selamat to tuck into the world famous Lorong Selamat char koay teow!   To my hubs, a trip to Penang will never be complete without tucking into Penang char koay teow, cendol and ice-kacang.

Honestly, I think that the standard of the char koay teow has dropped.  The 'hor fun' that we got did not have enough 'wok hei' (this means not fried thoroughly) as the noodles appeared pale and did not have the 'wok hei' aroma.  Well, I guess the standard has dropped when there is mass production.  Aunty obviously could not handle the surge in customers during the school holidays.  The only thing that made the plate of noodles stand out were the huge prawns.  Each plate came with about 4 huge prawns.  Even my daughters commented that they preferred the char koay teow from our KL neighborhood coffee shop char koay teow seller.









The somewhat old auntie manning the stall is as famous as the char koay teow itself.  She is always seen donning a red beret.  With alleged arrogance towards her by her customers, yet the coffee shop is always full to the brim!  And yes, I think she and her workers are arrogant. When we asked for extra chopsticks and plates, they were very reluctant to provide and mumbled some Hokkien words which we could not comprehend! We ordered 3 plates and there were 6 of us, so asking for extra plates and chopsticks is understood. I heard that recently, there was a Facebook campaign to boycott her stall!



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sneak Peek Of Cass' Concert Costume

Cass' kindy concert will be held on Sunday this week. Yeah, it will be another long and tiring Sunday for me. Cass and I have to arrive at the concert hall by 8am!

Today was photography session in kindy in full costume and make-up.  She brought back her sexy pink dancing costume with tutu rara skirt.  Since she still had her make-up on, I made her dress up again and coerced her to do a few poses for me... and bribed her with 6 pieces of Tortilla chips muahahahaha!!





 

 My sexy maxi, rosy posy baby girl. Can't believe that this will be her last concert in kindy and next year she will be in Primary 1!
 



 


I also coerced her to wear this Princess Anna (Frozen) costume from my online store
 


 

Cute as a button my baby Cass but when she transforms into the devil's twin, she makes me spew out hot acid from my mouth!






The Many Healthy Diets of the World

These days, it seems that everyone has their own unique ideas on how to live a healthy life. Commercials about new pills or diet programs populate the television. Books concerning each emerging perspective stock bookstore shelves. The people behind the pills and programs and books give sold-out lectures on their viewpoints.

The persisting question is, do any of these ideas actually work?

They certainly do for some people. There are fervent testimonials from unpaid people, sincerely telling of their experiences and extolling the products and concepts. However, since each person’s body is different, some ideas work for some people but don’t seem to for others.
It’s intriguing to read about the various ideas and how and why they seem to work at all, even though a steady diet of such investigating can prove confusing. There are so many conflicting methods to choose from. Still, perhaps with a little knowledge of one’s body, it can be more easily determined which ideas to try.

One idea emerging on the market is the elimination of yeast from one’s diet. There have been books written on the subject and literally several hundred available yeast-free recipes. There are online blogs that discuss ideas about yeast-free nutrition, illnesses and other relevant topics. This diet certainly seems to work for some. While it likely isn't for everyone, the Wisconsin Institute of Nutrition, LLP is a strong supporter of the idea and their website at http://nutritioninstitute.com/ is worth a look for the interested.


Indian Breakfast On A Saturday - 27 September 2014

Hubs has some work to settle at his shop today, in preparation for several clients' functions. So today I am on my own again to settle the meals.

For breakfast, we had Indian rotis again at a nearby Indian restaurant.



Cass and Sherilyn had the classic roti canai. I saw someone seated next to us eating something that looked like a crispy fishing net and it appealed to me. So I asked the waiter what it was and ordered a roti rava to try. Good thing I was adventurous and tried roti rava. I immediately got hooked on it and so did the girls!  Roti rava is a crispy net-like looking Indian roti cooked with semolina, onions, chillies, grated coconut and veggies.  I love the three dipping condiments, consisting of dhall, coconut chutney and onion chutney -- healthy, natural and so flavorful!

My delish and crispy roti rava. Love it to bits and definitely going to this restaurant again next Saturday morning!

 



Someone ordered the wrong roti and got upset and whiny.  To placate her, I ordered what she actually meant to order, which was  roti tisu sprinkled with sugar (flour + margarine + oil + sugar = SIN + FAT!).




Total cost of our breakfast today was RM14.40 vs RM30+ at our regular Chinese coffee shop for char kuay teow, cee cheong fun and noodles.  This Indian restaurant is air-conditioned and clean vs. outdoor seating, unhygienic and smoky at the Chinese coffee shop.  Thumbs up to this Indian restaurant!

What did you have for breakfast today and how much did it cost?


How Bariatrics Helps Obese Patients Lose Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is an ideal all people want to reach. However, for those who are obese or extremely obese, weight loss can feel like an impossible task. That is where the science of bariatrics comes in.

Bariatrics is the field of medicine dealing with the prevention of obesity. Doctors who are trained in bariatrics provide advice to patients regarding losing weight. The most common advice given to patients include diet and exercise. But, for those patients who are struggling with obesity, such strategies may not work well. In order for many of these patients to control their weight, bariatric surgery may be necessary. Click this to find out more.

Bariatric surgery is surgery that physiologically deals with solving a patient's obesity issues. A bariatric surgeon is trained in the field of bariatrics and will be a certified surgeon like those who are a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS). These medical professionals approach their surgeries by restricting the amount of food that enters into the body. This is done by surgically altering aspects of the digestive tract. One example of this is a stomach band. A stomach band wraps around where the esophagus and stomach meet. This creates a narrower stomach entrance, forcing the person to eat less. Over time, the person will lose weight because they are unable to eat as much as they could before the surgery.

These bariatric techniques are some of the last resorts that need to be taken for obese patients. Although diet and exercise can work for some people, others need these physiological surgical changes in order to manage their weight. Patients can rest assured they will be in the right hands with the highly trained medical surgeons trained in the field of bariatrics.

Friday, September 19, 2014

2D 1N Stay At Four Points Sheraton, Penang (16-17 September 2014)

This is one of the best and most fun-filled holidays for the girls in Penang.  Ever since Cass' operation in Penang in 2009, our family has been making yearly trips to Penang, for Cass to see the surgeon for follow-up consultations and new treatments.

This time, we stayed at Four Points Sheraton, Penang and we loved this hotel and the awesome beach.



The beach was teeming with an assortment of seashells. Never in our lives had we seen such a bountiful of seashells on a stretch of beach. 

 



Can you spot Alycia, Sherilyn, Cass, my dad and me in the picture below?



 

The girls could not contain their curiosity and got their daddy and koong koong to climb the rocks with them to the other side of the beach to check it out and bruised their knees and hands.  I joined in the fun too!  I used to do a lot of these adventurous stuff during my teenage days.  I'll bet you won't believe that this puteri lilin here who would literally melt in the sun was a Girl Guides Patrol Leader and an avid beach camper eh? ;)  Well, that was yonks ago.



The girls found some life clams and did an experiment by submerging a clam in some water in the hotel sink but nope, the clam did not open up.

 


Part of the girls' seashells loot.

 


My mum having fun in the pool with the 3 girls.









Can you believe my mum is just 2 years shy of her 70th birthday?  She is exactly 68 years old today!  Happy birthday mummy!  May God bless you with many, many more happy birthdays. I pray that you will live long enough to witness Alycia, Sherilyn and Cass' graduation from university and witness their wedding and birth of their children too! :)





The girls burying a dead crab...





And collecting seashells...



My 71YO dad helping the girls hold their bagfulls of seashells...




Everyone had a blast in Penang. Not forgetting the seafood - we had crabs and prawns for 2 days.  Hubs also brought us on a 'jalan-jalan cari makan' tour of Penang to search and tuck into the best hawkers food in Penang.  Hubs commented that he ain't going to touch crabs and prawns for the next 3 months. Hmmm, I shall see how long he can abstain from his favorite food!







Thursday, September 18, 2014

If Only We Were Wealthy

Yesterday Cass and I bumped into a friend's daughter at the lift of our condo. Her live-in nanny cum maid was accompanying her to the music school. I asked her where she was going, to which she told me that she was going to attend violin and drum class at a musician's friend  shop located at a shopping mall  about half an hour's drive from where we live. Their driver was waiting in a big MPV. My friend has a driver and bodyguard and her husband has some kind of title awarded to him. Apart from drum and violin lessons, this girl who is a year older than Cass is also learning hip hop dance with Sherilyn and attending swimming lessons. This girl and her siblings have a dozen of extra-curricular activities to attend and they are chauffeured around by their driver and bodyguard.  If only we could afford the various lessons and a driver to chauffeur the kids everywhere with a nanny to accompany my kids, I would do the same for my kids. Ah, how nice would that be  if we were wealthy!

Sin Kheng Aun Penang - Hainanese-style cuisine and Apom Ah Guan

It has been more than 2 years since we last lunched at Sin Kheng Aun.

Upon arrival in Penang on Monday, hubs drove straight to Chulia Street. Thankfully hubs has an impeccable sense of direction. After our 3-week stay in Penang during Cass' surgeries in 2009, hubs has mastered the roads in Penang, mostly the roads to all the good food of Penang. That's my hubs - food will bring him to anywhere :D

Sin Kheng Aun is more than 60 years old and still standing strong and definitely not losing out to the newer and more modern air-conditioned competitors mushrooming in Penang.


What we had this time:

Gulai assam tumis with white pomfret fish. This is Sin Kheng Aun's signature dish and the crowd-puller, five-star dish.  We can never get fed-up of having this assam fish dish and ordered 2 bowls this time!

 

Lobak and assam pan-fried prawns.  Tofu with prawns and a veggie dish.




Kerabu chicken feet.




Caramelised fried chicken with dark soy sauce



Egg omelette with julienned turnip, crab meat and fried shallots




After this hearty lunch, we headed to Burma Road to get my all-time no. 1 favorite food in Penang - apom by Ah Guan!  And mind you, in order  to indulge in this fluffy and aromatic apom, PATIENCE is a MUST  due to the sheer popularity of this apom!  As usual, my darling hubs stood at the roadside and chit chatted with Ah Guan whilst I napped in the car for a little over an hour! 

For almost five decades, Ah Guan has been patiently flipping this fluffy local pancake for his legion of fans from his humble roadside stall.   He speaks English too and on the day that we were there, he was joking with a couple of German girls while flipping apoms!




I think Ah Guan's Apom is the best in the world and second to none.  Try it and you'll be hooked on it. 




We walloped close to 20 pieces of the apom from the drive from Burma Road to our hotel in Tg Bungah. 




Till we meet again Ah Guan, I can now only dream of your mouth-melting and fluffy aromatic apom!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Homecooked Dinner - 12 September 2014

Another simple and healthy homecooked dinner dished out in under an hour by a self-declared super busy no-time-to-even-shit health freak mummy :D

Grilled chicken drummets, steamed tofu and stir-fried organic veggie.




The chicken drummets were seasoned with all my favorite types of herbs and darkened with blackstrap molasses.





I tossed in some deep-fried crunchy vegetarian anchovies on the tofu.  To safe time, I placed the tofu on a stainless steel plate and heated it in the oven for about 10 minutes while the drummets were still in the oven.

As usual, one of my photos was once again photo-bombed by someone who could not wait for mummy to snap the pix. 







The vegetarian anchovies are made of mushrooms stumps and are very yummy!  They can be eaten on its own as snacks.

 


For getting a greased face and hands and clothes splattered with hot oil, my reward  is always getting a happy smile on my girls' faces :)


 









Friday, September 12, 2014

Cass In Kindy - Random Pictures

A picture taken last Friday at the lantern party at Cass' kindy.

Before the party started, all the parents and kids walked round the neighborhood with their lanterns.  It was my sixth (or was it seventh?) time doing this with my 3 girls.  And it will be our last time having this party in that kindy as Cass will be going to Primary 1 next year.  I can't believe how fast time has flew past us.  I remember Alycia going to this kindy when she was 3YO.   And that was 8 years ago!

This is Cass walking with one of her besties, Megan. I know she will definitely  miss all her buddies from the kindy on the last day of school in 2 months.




This is the spelling list for Cass...




The Ejaan list...







And the Ting Xie list.  A couple of the words in the Ting Xie list here were the same  as Sherilyn's Ting Xie list.  Imagine a 6-YO being tested on the same words as a 9-YO.  And oh yes, some of the topics in Math for 6YOs in this kindy are the same as what Primary 2 kids are learning.  Honestly speaking, Cass is still struggling with her Chinese but doing pretty well in the other languages and subjects.  I know I will definitely have some hair-pulling moments with her grappling with Chinese when she goes to Primary 1 next year, in her che ches' school.  Ever since the school was awarded with an SBT status, the academics expectations of the HM have shot up to the highest level on the Richter scale, putting even more stress on the students, parents and teachers!




In another 1.5 month's time, Cass will be sitting for her final exam.

What do you think of the level of  Chinese, English and BM in this kindy based on the list of words as shown here?  If you compare this with your kid's kindy, would you grade this as difficult, moderate or easy?  Would love to hear from you :)




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kids Nasi Lemak For Dinner - 9 September 2014

Today I cooked 'kiddos nasi lemak' for dinner.  My version of  kids nasi lemak is sans salty fried anchovies and peanuts and sans spicy sambal.  I replaced the peanuts with baked cashew nuts.

It was my first time trying out this brand of chicken curry paste, by Mak Nyonya.

The result was a HUGE success!  My super critical and persnickety hubs polished off the entire plate of chicken!



It was pretty easy to prepare this chicken curry.  First I heated up some oil, then put in the curry paste and fried it for a few minutes.  Next, dump in the chicken, puffed tofu and potatoes and cooked until aromatic and browned (about 20 minutes).  Then add in the coconut milk (santan) and some water and let them simmer for another 20-30 minutes until the chicken meat and potatoes are soft.  You can add more water if the sauce is too salty for your liking. I added quite a bit of water as I did not want it to be too salty and spicy.

 

I separated the chicken curry into two portions.  The one in the pyrex bowl was meant to be for tomorrow's dinner. But what do I know?  Hubs liked this so much that he walloped the entire bowl of chicken himself and asked for the second bowl of chicken, woohoo!  Pat on my own back for dishing out such a perfect curry dish :D  Now, I have to think of something else to dish out for dinner tomorrow.



 

Mak Nyonya curry paste is  mild in spiciness.  Even the girls ate it without having to dip the chicken in another bowl of hot water to wash away the curry.  And they did not have to run to the kitchen to look for ice cubes and water.  And nope, I did not feel thirsty after eating this... which means that it is indeed MSG-free!  I will definitely stock up  more Mak Nyonya curry paste.  It comes in a variety of curry pastes for chicken, fish (curry fish and Portugese fish), tomyam, nyonya laksa and vegetables and only cost RM4.90 a packet.

The rice was cooked with fresh coconut milk.  The girls love santan rice incredibly and there is not a single time when we had leftover of santan rice. They can eat the santan rice on its own.  Though I cooked double the portion of rice today, it was still not enough for everyone!  I am so glad that everyone loved my nasi lemak! :)






Monday, September 8, 2014

Nude Beef Bolognese

There I was the other day, very excited to cook some beef bolognese sauce for the girls.  I normally cook a big pot and deep freeze some. I use the sauce for spaghetti and as filling for our grilled wraps.

And there I was happily heating up the wok after I had blended the garlic, onions and tomatoes in the food processor.

The moment I ignited the fire on the stove, SH*T, where is the bottled bolognese sauce? I searched the fridge but there was no sight of it.  Never mind, tomato ketchup? I rummaged through the fridge and cabinets and SHI*T, no sight of it either.  That's the problem whenever there is a hiatus in my cooking. I tend to be too reliant on the mil to do the cooking when she is around.  I do not even check what is available in the fridge.

So how now brown cow?!

So I just cooked brown cow meat with whatever that I have on hand!  And I named my sauce - HFM Nude Beef Bolognese.  It is my very tasty beef bolognese sauce made from minced antibiotic-free Australia beef, garlic, onions, loads of organic tomatoes and seasoned with mixed Italian herbs, salt, a dash of brown sugar, ground cumin, ground coriander seeds and ground black pepper. 


A pot of HFM Nude Beef Bolognese - as natural as nature intended it to be :D




Part of the Nude Beef Bolognese sauce was used to make crispy grilled wraps.  Another portion is still in the freezer and I intend to use it for the girls' spaghetti lunch tomorrow.







Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Homecooked Dinner - 29 August 2014

Our Friday night grill...





Grilled Saba fish with an assortment of herbs.  I added ground cumin (love the aroma of this herb!), ground coriander, black pepper, parsley and oh boy, I think I used more than 8 types of natural aromatic dried herbs to marinate this fish to mask the fishy odor.  My mil has a cupboard filled with some very amazing and aromatic herbs, some of which were brought back from her recent trip to Hawaii.

Grilled organic Japanese pumpkin.  The pumpkin wedges were steamed for about 15 minutes and grilled for another 15 minutes in the oven.


I was having a stuffy nose that night, thus could not taste the fish. But I got the thumbs up and 'high 10s' from my 3 fussy eaters. Even Cass who was recovering from a stomach flu and did not have the appetite to eat anything walloped the fish!   So, I think I aced in this grilled herbs Saba fish with a 10/10! HA HA!

Stir-fried portobello mushrooms and Shimeji mushrooms with an entire bulb of garlic.  I needed the potent compound from garlic to help fight off my flu, thus I used a big bulb of garlic, sliced, to stir-fry this dish :)






On the menu tonight will be beef bolognese spaghetti. I am leaving my desk now to prepare dinner. This time, I will be blending the tomatoes, garlic and onions with a food processor. This will safe me some time chopping them up! :D


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