Looking for a particular post or topic? Search here!

Where My Readers Are From

Flag Counter

Who's Reading HFM Life

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Meal Replacement Shakes

Designed to have fewer calories than an average meal, meal-replacement shakes include all the vitamins and nutrients needed for the rest of the day. While taking such shakes, one needs to make sure it is followed by healthy dietary and lifestyle habits in order to drop some weight.

Generally, it is a good idea to drink the shake for breakfast in the morning. It goes without saying that  your dinner, lunch and snacks ought to be low in calories and sugar-free. Such changes make you lose weight faster and easier to sustain.

Here are a number of tips on what properties to look for:

Avoid sugar
When your liver is unable to absorb the excessive amount of sugar, it is turned into fat.

You should avoid the following foods, among others:
~ Spirits (and alcohol)
~ Sweets, pastries, cakes, biscuits
~ Jarred fruits

Fruits can be consumed in larger quantities quite safely as fructose doesn’t make you gain weight like sugar.  However, it is best to eat everything in moderation.  Fruit is an excellent choice as a healthy source of carbohydrates.

Low-caloric diet makes our body use fat as fuel
Consuming excessive calories, your liver transforms them into fat. If you alter your dietary habits and avoid sugar, your body will use fat for energy. Seek shakes that are lower than 200 calories. Also, avoid eating foods low on nutrient properties such as donuts, French fries, corn dogs, popcorn, etc. Such foods are rich in calories and low in nutrients.

Know that there are different carbohydrates
After consumption, they can either be transformed into sugar or as protein. Simple carbohydrates are easier to digest providing us with energy in a short term. Dairy products and juices are the sources of such carbs. Complex carbohydrates work vice versa – they take more time to digest, yet provide more energy in a longer term (grain products, greengrocery). Thus, aim for shakes with food fibers and low on carbs so that they fill you up and you shed weight faster.

20g of protein or less
In addition to enhancing your metabolic process, shakes also help to get rid of fat and keeps you full longer. For you to choose the right shake, choose one with 20g of protein per serving.

  meal replacement shakes with fruit

Add greengrocery in your menu
They are rich in fiber, which is paramount for you to lose weight. It goes without saying that fruits and vegetables are the key to good health due to the abundance of vitamins and minerals. What’s more is that they reduce your craving for unhealthy snacks, give you energy and are low in sugar.

Cutting Down On Salt
We should aim for less than 1500 mg of sodium per day, and definitely not more than 2300 mg. 1500 mg of sodium amounts to 0.75 teaspoons or 3.75 grams of salt per day, while 2300 mg amounts to one teaspoon or 6 grams of salt per day.  Try to avoid eating foods high in salt.

Meal Replacement Shakes: A load of crap or loads of help?

GMOs and gluten-free
Your diet should be free from GMO and gluten containing products. This includes paying close attention to the greengrocery you buy.

There are plenty of shakes available in the market to meet the preferences of vegans, lactose intolerant patients, those on a weight loss diet, etc.

With the  above tips, I am sure you now have a better idea on  how to choose a proper nutrition shake.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Light Lunch - 25 Feb 2017

Drama Queen came home after a jogathon at school today and whipped up this scrambled eggs dish...

Image may contain: food

I bought sushi for the girls but she said sushi is too light and not filling enough for herself. Being the culinary lover that she is, she volunteered to cook scrambled eggs for everyone. It's really nice not having to lift a finger in the kitchen and get served with yummy food cooked by my daughter 👍😋

I ate the scrambled eggs with a slice of crispy wholemeal toast and the girls had it with sushi.

Stop Dependence On Medication

Elderly folk usually have a flurry of daily pills to consume for their lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. I had elevated cholesterol reading last year at 6.4. With an altered diet, clean eating as much as possible, exercise 5x a week and consuming Izumio and Super Lutein consistently every day, my cholesterol reading went down from 6.4 to 5.8 to 4.9 within a 11-month period.

Did you know that Izumio and Super Lutein neutralise free radicals in the body and strengthen the immune system so that the body fights these lifestyle diseases naturally? Email shireenyong@gmail.com or Whatsapp / call 019 266 4290 to find out more.

Image may contain: one or more people

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tau Kok Lup And Sweet Potato Porridge

This is another comfort food that everyone in the family loves - tau kok lup.  I lup you tau kok lup 💓

Image may contain: food

Cantonese for "diced or cubed beans”, tau kok lup is a typical Chinese home cooked dish comprising of long beans, dried tofu, choy po (preserved turnip), roasted peanuts, diced meat (chicken or pork), diced prawns, diced carrots and stir-fried with garlic, a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil for seasoning. It’s a great dish to go with porridge or rice. We always have our tau kok lup with plain porridge or sweet potato porridge. Our porridge consists of organic baby millet, quinoa and rice.

This big bowl of porridge with heaps of tau kok lup is for Cass. She loves her porridge with lots and lots of tau kok lup.

Image may contain: food

Never  without  a book on the table while she eats. That's a great habit to have but someone ain't happy with this as she says meal times are always extended because of this habit. Yay or nay? 😶

Image may contain: one or more people

Monday, February 20, 2017

Our Saturday - 18 February 2017

It was an activity packed Saturday for me. My day started at 4:45 a.m..  Alycia and Drama Queen had to attend full day school. Since the transporter does not provide service on Saturdays for Drama Queen, I had to Uber her to school. Back home, I hopped back onto bed for an hour of shut eye. Then woke Cass up and off we went for breakfast and grocery shopping.

At 1:30 p.m., I sped off to school to attend a briefing on 'Hari Penepatan Target UPSR'.  It is a compulsory briefing for parents and students. With the entire briefing by the principal in Mandarin, I could only comprehend less than 50% of what was being said and tried really really hard to keep my eyes opened 😴😴

Image may contain: one or more people and crowd

The principal's target for this year's students sitting for the UPSR exam 😱

Image may contain: indoor

Year 6 students taking their oath that they will endeavor to do their utmost best in the UPSR exam, followed by the parents taking their oath that they will endeavor to nurture and provide all the support to their children...

Image may contain: one or more people

After the briefing, I hit the gas to reach home, took a quick lunch and then rushed to send Cass for piano lesson.  After dropping off Cass, I brought the big girl to get a gift for her friend. She was to attend a friend's surprise birthday party the next day.

Back home from piano class, I hustled our bustle and got us ready to leave the house at 6pm to attend our friend's house warming party at Kota Kemuning.

Below - Cass playing board games with her friends...

Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

We left our friend's house slightly after midnight. After a 45-minute ride home and our late night showers, we only hit the sack at 2 a.m. And as usual, I was up by 8 a.m. on a Sunday. It has been another sleep deprived week for me and this weekend will be yet another seriously lack of shut-eye week for me. I am joining Cass and Drama Queen in their school's jogathon this coming Saturday morning. *feeling excited yet exhausted* 😦😰😴 Thankfully I have my most trusted Izumio and Super Lutein to keep me energized to ride out my hectic week.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Our Valentine's Day 2017

The hubster and I had a very lowkey Valentine's Day celebration this year. To come to think of it, it wasn't even a celebration.  He was busy with work plus didn't want to break the bank on a dinner, which would surely have been very costly on such a date.  So we had breakfast at our usual coffee shop.   While the man had 'char beehoon' and wanton noodles, I had tosai.

Image may contain: food

I love this tosai served with potato dhal curry, beans dhal curry and onion chutney. This tastes like a million dollar yet only costs a paltry RM1.50!  To our American friends, that would only cost them no more than 30 cents.  I wonder if the owner even makes a profit. I will definitely be back to this newly open Mamak stall to try their new curry dishes and to support them.

Image may contain: food and indoor

Valentine's Day is not about splurging on the most expensive flowers, gifts or food. It is a time to celebrate romance and love and kissy-face fealty. 💕💘

Part of the reason of not splurging on a glitzy dinner is because we will be celebrating Drama Queen's birthday in another 2 days. We could instead kill 2 birds with just one stone and have a more celebratory dinner on her birthday instead 😁

How was your Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Indulge Moderately But Take Precaution

The 15 days of Chinese New Year celebration is finally over.  For those who celebrated, I am sure you had a hard time trying to resist sinking your teeth into those irresistible cookies, arrowroot chips, crabstick crisps and dried meat. And those back-to-back high fat and meaty meals with family members and friends with no opportunity to even rest our innards.  Even 'lou sang' is the baddie with such ingredients as super sweet gooey plum syrup, oil, fried crackling crisps and fried vermicelli colored with an assortment of bright food dye added into the plate of fruits and vegetables to make the dish look colorful and palatable. Thankfully I didn't gain any weight despite indulging in such high caloric food while skipping exercise for one week during the CNY school holidays 😊

To keep your weight in check, never starve yourself, skip meals or go cold turkey on your favorite snacks. That will only make you crave more for the forbidden food.  Eat everything you love in small portions and in moderation. I like to satiate my crave but never overdo it. Never ever overeat on anything. Below is my favorite 'nin ko' prepared in the humblest way - steamed and coated with freshly grated coconut. I have been craving to eat steamed nin ko with grated coconut throughout the 15 days of CNY but only get to satiate my craving today 😋 And nope, I didn't gorge on it.  A few really yummy pieces managed to satiate my crave. Till then, I'll wait for another year before I get to taste nin ko again 😀

Image may contain: food and indoor

While it's okay to indulge occasionally, it is very important for us to ensure that we are doing our best to take good care of our health.  Even if you’re eating a healthy diet, however, white flour and sugar raise your risk for diabetes as well as many other diseases.

The production of white flour involves stripping away of the most nutritional aspects of the grain: the germ and the bran. It also includes the addition of lost B vitamins and iron, and bleaching it with a chemical bleaching agent to make it appear bright white. The flour itself is devoid of the fiber which aids in passing easily through the large intestine. A person following a diet that regularly includes eating white flour as well as sugar or products made with the ingredients, increases their chances for weight gain, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

I am glad that I have Izumio and Super Lutein to keep me healthy. After sinful indulgences, I always drink an extra packet of Izumio and pop extra Super Lutein. The same goes for my girls.  I cannot tell you how effective these products are in keeping our immune system strong, thus preventing us from easily falling sick.

What are you doing to ensure that your health is protected?

For more reading on Izumio and Super Lutein, you can click here.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cutting Down On Green Tea

I love drinking tea, especially green tea.  I used to drink at least 2 cups of green tea a day until my total blood count test shows that my iron level is very low.  With its bounty of antioxidants and relatively moderate levels of caffeine, tea is one of the healthiest beverages around.  But drinking tea is said to block the body's absorption of dietary iron, potentially causing a deficiency.

Thus, I have reduced my consumption of green tea, though not going cold turkey on it. Why? Well, green tea is still beneficial to me.  According to a study published in 2010 in the “American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology,” a substance in green tea appears to significantly shrink the size of uterine fibroids.  So yeah, I am still drinking green tea but reduced significantly to say maybe about 3-4 cups in a week.

I have now replaced green tea with peppermint tea, lemon grass + pandan tea, Misai Kuching tea and lemon myrtle tea, on top of my red dates + black dates tea which I drink daily now. I also drink 2 packets of Izumio everyday.

Below is my cup of "all greens tea" consisting of everything green -- a sachet of organic 3 mints tea consisting of peppermint, spearmint and fieldmint, freshly plucked basil leaves from my little garden and fresh pandan leaves.  I had sips of this tea while tucking into all my mom's home baked CNY cookies 💗😋

Image may contain: food

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Carelessness Or Jinx?

This looks like someone who had attempted suicide by cutting her wrists but it's pure accident, thank God not a freak one! But there was a pretty deep cut on my left wrist and some superficial cuts on the right wrist.

Image may contain: one or more people and shoes

I had wanted to wash a bowl and while bringing it to the sink hurriedly, I accidentally tapped the bowl against a bottle that was sitting on the counter top. It was not a hard bang but the bowl broke into half. Maybe there was already a hair line crack on the bowl, which no one realized, else it wouldn't have broken into half so easily.  As I was trying to catch the two broken halves of the bowl from dropping, the unforgiving sharp edges of the broken bowl cut both my wrists.  There was blood  seeping out.  Cass who heard me screaming ran to the kitchen. She screamed too on seeing the blood on my wrists. She then darted to the bedroom, took a piece of tissue paper with Melagel antiseptic gel and three band aids and came to my aid.  She wiped off the blood, applied the Melagel on the wounds and helped to put on the band aids. Then she said this "luckily the bowl didn't cut your veins, else you will bleed to death mummy. You already don't have enough blood!"  ðŸ˜²ðŸ˜¨

Super proud of my baby girl.  ðŸ‘

This is the second time in a week that I had broken something.  Last week as I was cleaning the kitchen sink, my elbow nudged a tall glass off the counter top and it broke into a million sharp pieces!

What is wrong with me?! I am usually very careful in the kitchen and hardly ever break things. Perhaps I have been working too hastily to accomplish more but this is definitely counterproductive.

Note to self - I really need to SLOW DOWN, smell the roses, live in the moment and not rush off each day trying to over achieve my targets. 😵

Monday, February 6, 2017

Light Meals

After stuffing myself with rich and meaty meals during the first five days of CNY, all I wanted to eat was something light and vegetables-centered. After sending my car to the car wash center, I walked to the food court to have brunch alone.   Inside the food court, I walked around for about 15 minutes. Nothing seemed to excite my palate.  Most stalls were selling noodles and I didn't want to put carbs into my body. Other stalls were selling chicken rice, nasi lemak and Bakuteh.  Certainly not for me too. One stall was selling porridge and Hakka 'lui cha' and voila, I found something that I liked. But I was really disappointed when the 'lui cha' arrived as the broth was really awful - too salty and oily!  That will be my first and last time to patronize that stall.

Image may contain: food

After the disappointing bowl of 'lui cha' with a bad aftertaste of MSG lingering in my mouth, I walked around the food court again searching for the least unhealthy lunch for the girls but none met my criteria  ðŸ˜· I left the food court empty handed. Back home, I prepared crispy toasted bread for the girls. When the girls were back from school, Drama Queen volunteered to cook scrambled eggs to go with the toasts. The girls were very contented with their crispy egg toasts with mayo and sliced cool cucumbers. Cheap and yummy, the egg toasts were way healthier and satisfying than some hawkers food 😋

For dinner, I whipped up a big pot of droolicious porridge with chicken drumsticks, minced meat, carrots, pumpkin, dried cuttlefish, freshly peeled groundnuts and seaweed. The porridge was so tasty that it was finished to the last drop that night.  The mil was away in Ipoh to attend a funeral and dinner was mine to cook.  I also sauteed a head of organic cabbage with carrot, garlic and egg.

Porridge is  one of the easiest meals to prepare and it's both tasty and nutritious. You could add in lots of vegetables too for added fiber. The 2 younger girls and I don't mind having porridge 2-3 times in a week.  But the big princess is no fan of porridge. She would sulk each time porridge is served. But this time I told her that I ain't cooking or buying something else for her. She gets no special treatment anymore. She either eats the porridge I cook or help herself to whatever she could find in the kitchen 😐

She ate the porridge 😁

Image may contain: food

Porridge cooked using organic baby millet, quinoa and rice. Super smooth and yums. iLike it!

Shopping Queen

We had a lazy and relaxing day in Ipoh on the third day of Chinese New Year, after a super hectic day the day before, where we took the 8:30 a.m. train from KL back to Ipoh to attend a reunion lunch with my relatives. Everyone slept in except for my dear parents who got up early to send off my brother and his family who returned to Singapore. We spent the third day of our CNY lazing around at home and enjoying my mum's home baked cookies, bonding with my parents, visiting friends and shopping! Nothing makes me happier than shopping. I can find bliss just from shopping for groceries, which makes me so easy to please 😄

While the kids, their grandma and dad spent their afternoon at a good friend's house playing card games, I went shopping! You wouldn't believe what I bought!

I bought a new bikini, like the one shown in the picture below!!

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

Nah, just kidding.  But I did buy a new 2-piece swimsuit (not as sexy as the bikini above😆  ) as I had bought a wrong size of swimsuit about 2 months back and now Drama Queen is the proud beneficiary of the old but still new swimsuit.

I also bought 2 pairs of shoes and had to discard the boxes and discreetly stuff them into my luggage coz someone had to lug my luggage bag up and down the train,  up and down escalators before we took a cab home from the train station in KL haha 😆💪

I almost bought some dresses too but had to try hard to refrain myself from doing so as I didn't want to stoke the suspicion of the someone lugging my super heavy and bursting luggage bag!

Anyway, I can always shop for new dresses from online stores at my finger tips and within days, the dresses will reach my door step.  I am already eyeing a black dress and a shift batwing kimono top from StyleWe.com

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and text

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

I have been telling myself that I have more than enough of shoes and clothes to wear but unless you are a shopping queen who finds pleasure from buying clothes, shoes and bags, you wouldn't exactly know the ecstasy you get when you do so 😁

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Second Day of CNY 2017

On the second day of CNY, we took the 8:30 a.m. ETS train from KL Sentral to Ipoh.   We had to be in Ipoh for the Yong family reunion lunch.

I jumped out from bed at 5 a.m. despite only going to bed way past midnight the night before. After doing the laundry, I woke the girls up and hollered repeatedly to them to get ready before I called Uber for two cars to bring us to the train station.

We reached KL Sentral at 8:10 a.m.  Hubs brought us to McDonalds to have a quick bite while he went to Burger King to get some takeaway burgers. Holidays are the only time when the girls get to indulge in junk food.

Image may contain: 4 people, indoor

In the train, Cass had another round of breakfast... with me putting the brake on her appetite before she stuffed  more nuggets into her mouth!

Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

On the fourth day of CNY, we took the 9 a.m. train from Ipoh back to KL.  On arrival, someone requested for Burger King again! 😰😳  That's it, the girls had used up their fast food quota and they will have to wait for at least another half a year before they get to eat fast food again. 😈

Image may contain: 1 person

Below - a picture taken with my favorite cuzzie, Suzan, her daughter, my niece Raelyne and my 3 angels. This was taken at our reunion lunch in Ipoh on the second day of CNY.

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people sitting, people eating and indoor