Sunday, November 23, 2008

Potato salad....



:) I really like this combination! Butter head lettuce, potato, tomato and capsicum! Usually when I make my potato salad, I would eat it with a salad dressing. But unfortunately that particular home made salad dressing I got from the supermarket is no available in the market. And the one I bought before is already finished! Argh! So I had to think of something to use as a dressing for my potato salad. What I did was saute'ed some garlic and onions and add in some coarse black pepper and Italian herbs. Then mix those with chopped tomatoes and capsicum....plus, gotta add in some salt otherwise it will taste terrible! hehehe.....so after that is done, I just scoop some and poured it on top of my potato salad. It tasted quite good I must say hehehe......now I don't have to worry about my salad dressing anymore...I'll just make some myself at home! :)
Potato salad....SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vitamin B12



Did you know that Vitamin B12 is very important for us? This is what I found out today in the net about the benefits and nutritional value of Vitamin B12 for our body.

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, but unlike other water-soluble nutrients, it is stored in the liver, kidney and other body tissues. It contains the mineral cobalt, and is therefore also known as cobalamin.

The human body stores several years' worth of vitamin B12, so nutritional deficiency of this vitamin is extremely rare. Although, people who follow a strict vegetarian diet and do not consume eggs or dairy products may require Vitamin B12 supplements. Vitamin B12 is not usually present in plant food sources, and it is likely that a vegetarian will not consume enough of this vitamin in their diet.

The elderly are at risk too. Elderly people should also watch themselves for possible deficiency symptoms as cobalamin levels decline with age. Deficiencies in the elderly are, however, usually caused by improper absorption of the vitamin, and not a dietary lack. As the symptoms of a deficiency of this vitamin may not show themselves for five to six years until the body's reserves are completely depleted, it makes sense to consider taking a supplement. If you are uncertain as to whether you are consuming enough, you can have your blood tested.

What are the benefits of Vitamin B12?
  • Cobalamin works with folic acid in the formation of red blood cells and thereby prevent anemia.
  • Vitamin B12 is important for metabolism. Metabolism within the body includes the processes of energy generation and use; including nutrition, digestion, absorption, elimination, respiration, circulation, and temperature regulation.
  • B12 can be used in reducing homocysteine levels - high levels of this substance can point towards possible heart disease, so if you are a potential heart disease candidate, you can use a combination of vitamin B12, B6 and folic acid to help return your homocysteine levels to normal.
  • This vitamin it is necessary in maintaining a healthy nervous system. A long-term deficiency, if left untreated, can cause irreversible neurological damage.
  • It also helps improve memory and concentration and helps ensure restful sleep.
Required Dosage?
The body only requires a small amount of vitamin B12 - the recommended dosage is 2 to 3 mcg per day. Supplements with 50 to 2000 mcg of B12 are available, which can be used depending on severity of the shortage in the body. No toxicity has been reported, even on high dosages.

Deficiency of Vitamin B12
A deficiency of Vitamin B12 can cause serious harm if left untreated for long periods. A shortage can result in nerve damage, anemia, depression and fatigue. It is possible to prevent this damage if the low B12 level is diagnosed early, and supplementation is started before any permanent damage can occur.

Choosing the right supplement
Vitamin B12 works synergistically with other vitamins, like folic acid, vitamin A, C and E, which means that the potency of the vitamin is increased when taken with these other substances. Calcium is necessary for proper absorption of vitamin B12.

* Note : I made it a point to find out about Vitamin B12 today after watching Rachael Ray Show this morning. She was talking about it on the show and got herself a Vitamin B12 injection live on the show! The procedure was done by her guest who is a doctor by the name of Dr. Travis Stork. It seems that there are various ways to take this Vitamin other than by eating food that have Vitamin B12. You can also get it by taking supplements (pills), by injection and by using a Vitamin B12 patch as well. I hope this info will benefit all who read about it in my blog. :) Stay healthy guys!!

Vitamin B12SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Penne with chicken and romaine lettuce


Oh gosh.....I just love this recipe!!! Could it be because it has chicken in it???? Perhaps yes! hahahaha! I haven't been cooking chicken for quite sometime now....nor have I been cooking any red meat or sea food for that matter.....been trying to abstain myself from taking meat for awhile for health reasons. But occasionally I have that dying need to have a bite :). Either I buy chicken that's already cooked from the restaurant or I will have to cook it myself.

Now lets talk about this new pasta recipe shall we? :). It's just so simple to cook....I got myself this new pasta from Tesco....Rachael Ray loves to use this in her pasta dishes....it's called Penne. I love using this pasta because it holds the liquid from the sauce, which makes eating much more satisfying. You get to taste the nice flavours of the sauce in the pasta.

I moderately coated the chicken with coarse black pepper before I saute' it in the non stick pan. I added some Italian herbs to flavour it....which gave it such a wonderful aroma. When the chicken is halfway cooked, I tossed in the chopped onions and garlic. And when the onions and garlic are lightly browned, I add in some salt and water....not too much water though....just enough to cover the chicken.....we are making the sauce , not the soup! hehehe.....Then I let it the chicken cook all the way through. When it's done I quickly add in the chopped Romaine Lettuce....just stir those in with the chicken for a minute or so, not too long because we don't want the lettuce to get too mushy.... and for the finale', toss in the cooked penne together in the chicken and lettuce sauce ....give it a good stir and it's done!! It's THAT simple! And it taste good too.....well, at least for my taste buds that is......I don't cook that well, so.....to be able to make this pasta dish, to me, is somewhat a great accomplishment! HAHAHAHAHA!! LOL! :D
Penne with chicken and romaine lettuceSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PappaRich Kopitiam




PappaRich? Who? hehehe.....well, actually it's the name of a new kopitiam which is located very close by to where I'm currently staying....Bandar Seri Permaisuri. It's very new and this is the first time I had the chance to drop by to taste the food there. I must say, I just love, love, love the design of this kopitiam.....everything is black (well almost everything, the chair, table,ceiling and even the fan!) and looks so very chic :) Very nice ambiance, soothing music played and they served the food to us quite fast I must say.

Talk about the food.....just lovely! I ordered Chicken chop rice with the good old hot coffee. The coffee was really nice, not too sweet nor was it bitter. At least they didn't add condensed milk in the coffee....coz that would not be to my liking. I prefer fresh milk these days....coz it won't make the coffee taste like somebody accidentally spilled a bucket of sugar in it! hehehe! The chicken was really nice, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside....the black pepper sauce was just perfect for my taste....not too much of black pepper in it that would burn my throat hehehe....I just wish that there were more rice allocated for me to eat with the chicken hehehe :) I looked at the menu and there were so many varieties of cold beverages that caught my eye....they even have Durian ABC...wow! I would love to try that one on a hot sunny day hehehe.....and also they have in the menu which I find interesting is black coffee served with vanilla ice cream on top! That looked superdelicious as well hehehe! Gosh there are just so many to choose from. But of course I took the hot coffee because I don't like to have a meal with cold drinks....it will upset my stomach hehehe. But I will definitely give the other cold beverages a try someday :) . The price of the food there is not too pricey.......I guess the price is reasonable because you are paying not just for the meal but also for the nice place you are dining in hehehe...... :) All in all I would rate this kopitiam - 8/10.

PappaRich Kopitiam,
Dataran Dwi Tasik,
Bandar Seri Permaisuri,
Cheras, KL
PappaRich KopitiamSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Foods that promotes collagen...

I've always wanted to know what are the foods that promotes collagen....I did some research on that in the net and here are some of the facts that I found out.....

To begin with....what is collagen anyways?

Collagen is classified as part of our body's connective tissue. Connective tissue is found virtually everywhere in the body. Our bones and skin are composed primarily from connective tissue, but it's found everywhere, in virtually all of our organs. It's the job of connective tissue to hold things together, to protect other tissue, and provide our body with support. Our tendons and ligaments are all connective tissue structures.

Collagen is one type of fiber found within connective tissue. Collagen fibers are made from protein, and they are somewhat unusual in having large amounts of two amino acids, called hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline. These two amino acids seem to be important for formation of all types of collagen and are needed to provide the different collagen types with their appropriate amount of strength and flexibility.

Unfortunately, we haven't seen any research studies to support the addition of high lysine or high proline foods as a way of promoting collagen formation. Nonetheless, it would seem logical for consumption of foods high in lysine and proline to be potentially helpful in collagen support. Animal foods are the primary source of both amino acids, and all of the World's Healthiest Foods choices involving animal products would be your best options here. We have seen far more research on the lysine content of food than the proline content of food.

With respect to proline, egg whites appear to be an especially good source of proline from amongst the animal foods. And we've found one important exception to the animal versus plant proline rule - wheat germ. This plant-based component has much more proline than would normally be expected from a plant food.

All of the lean meats, the low-fat dairy products, and the fish would be especially concentrated sources of lysine. One plant food category would be an exception to the animal versus plant lysine rule - that category is legumes (and particularly peanuts). Legumes are significant sources of lysine, unlike most of their plant food counterparts.

One final note about lysine, proline, and collagen would involve the importance of vitamin C. This vitamin is required to change proline into hydroxyproline (the collagen form) and lysine into hydroxylysine (once again, the collagen form).

While you are trying to support your collagen tissue, you should remember that overall protein intake - both quality and quantity - is important. You may need to go beyond the RDA protein level of 46 grams (for adult women) and 56 grams (for adult men) to achieve this goal. You may also need to include a variety of foods that provide protein. Nuts, seeds, and legumes would all be food categories to consider.

Some of the diseases involving collagen damage have been found to improve with the addition of certain foods or food components to the diet. However, the research in this area tends to involve animals versus humans, and the experiments have often used food extracts or nutrient supplements instead of foods themselves. In this category, however, garlic has been a standout food, and two sulfur-containing nutrients - the amino acid taurine and the organic acid lipoid acid - have also shown the ability to support damaged collagen fibers.

Finally, you may want to consider two categories of phytonutrients as particularly important in a collagen-building meal plan. Those phytonutrients are catechins and anthocyanidins. In the research literature, the catechins found in green tea have been shown to help prevent breakdown of collagen, and for this reason we would definitely recommend that you consider green tea as a potential collagen support food. The anthocyanidins found in deep-colored, red-blue berries and fruits (including cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries) have been shown to work in a somewhat different way. These phytonutrients help the collagen fibers link together in a way that strengthens the connective tissue matrix.

Foods that promotes collagen...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, November 17, 2008

Macaroni dish!

Oh yeah! This one is a winner :) hahahaha......this macaroni dish with mix of carrots and capsicum is definitely a dish I can digest, especially since it is topped with some scrambled eggs.....couldn't get any better than that! But of course if there was some fried chicken fingers to go along with it, it probably would be even tastier. But the eggs will do. :) This pasta dish does not have a lot of sauce in it.....I made it just enough to cover the macaroni and give it some flavour. A simple pasta dish that does not require a lot of time to prepare and cook it...so simple, tasty and healthy. :)
Macaroni dish!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hot Cocoa....


Been having chest pains lately......and I think I know why.....it's the coffee again! Every time I take coffee twice or three times daily, everyday.....I tend to get these chest pains....it hurts so bad that sometimes I find it hard to breath......I tried to divert my attention from coffee today.....I forced myself to take hot cocoa instead....they say that cocoa has great medicinal properties that benefits the heart.....so I did an experiment, whenever I get the chest pains, I make myself some hot cocoa to drink....and slowly the pain just goes away.....believe it or not. Will see how it goes....I will do this experiment for a week or so to see if I can change from drinking coffee to drinking hot cocoa instead.

Cocoa does have caffeine but it's very minimal compared to coffee. A typical eight ounce cup of hot chocolate contains nine milligrams of caffeine, while an eight ounce cup of coffee may contain up to 133 milligrams depending on the brand. As such, caffeine is not a major health concern associated with hot chocolate. But....hot chocolate is not as good as hot cocoa though....because hot chocolate is made directly from bar chocolate, which already contains cocoa, sugar and cocoa butter. While hot cocoa is is made from a powdered mix of cocoa, sugar and thickeners without cocoa butter. Thus the major difference between the two is the cocoa butter, which makes hot cocoa significantly lower in fat than hot chocolate, while still preserving all the intrinsic health-giving properties of chocolate. Cocoa has antioxidants too. ...much more than antioxidants found in wine or tea.

The explorer Francisco Hernández wrote that chocolate beverages helped treat fever and liver disease. Another explorer, Santiago de Valverde Turices, believed that large amounts of hot chocolate was helpful in treating chest ailments, but in smaller amounts could help stomach disorders. When chocolate was introduced to the French in the 17th century, it was reportedly used "to fight against fits of anger and bad moods", which may be attributed to chocolate's phenythylamine content. Today, hot chocolate is consumed for pleasure rather than medicinally, but new research suggests that there may be other health benefits attributed to the drink.

So for now, drinking hot cocoa is definitely going to be in my list of beverages that I can drink...... :) Slowly but surely, the coffee will have to go!
Hot Cocoa....SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Auf......



A good friend of mine gave birth to her first born about 2 months ago.....a cute little baby boy named Ahmad Auf Sufyan......I paid a visit to her house today to see her little sweetheart....and went home feeling so overwhelmed by the wonderful hospitality by my good friend and her lovely family......I felt so welcomed there that it just overwhelmed me.....

The funny thing is that she and her family is from the state of Kelantan.....so obviously their dialect was bound to confuse me hehehe.....her mother especially who spoke to me in the Kelantan dialect most of the time, had trouble making me understand what she was saying......luckily my friend was there to help me with the translation, otherwise I would be so confused. Although I do understand some words as I used to learn the dialect from her when we were office mates years ago.....but of course I'm not an expert yet hehehe.....but it was really nice to hear the Kelantan dialect.......I love hearing them talk although I sometimes only understand half of what they say. But it is always interesting to hear.

I actually learned a lot from the visit......things about life......funny how sometimes the little things can teach you a lot about life. As I sit back and reflect I find that God sure does work his magic in the most unexpected ways. We always ask God for guidance in life....... and as for me today he showed it to me through this experience I had with that family. Life can be beautiful indeed......yes it can :)
Auf......SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Plain yogurt with oranges.....



I love love love eating this! Especially on a hot sunny day. It's just oranges with yogurt...take about 2 oranges....peeled and cut them into small pieces and then pour a cup of plain yogurt on it! Then.....I sprinkled some fine brown sugar on the yogurt and the oranges.....just so that it won't taste too sour. So as a result, it has that sweet sour taste to it. Really nice! :) I prefer eating this these days rather than taking ice cream.....this is so much more healthier for the body and taste good too.

I also prefer to buy plain yogurt rather than the fruity ones...because those fruity ones has sugar in it. God knows what kind of sugar they use in the yogurt. I prefer brown sugar. So, I just love buying plain ones and mix it with oranges or apples or any kind of fruits that is suitable to mix with yogurt. The sky is the limit....you can also add in some toasted sunflower seeds in it .....yummy too :) Honey is a great mix as well....whatever you like, you can add them in.....You can create your own special recipe too. It's just much more fun to mix your own combination of fruits to plain yogurt..... :) Well, that's how I love them....
Plain yogurt with oranges.....SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Juice of Life..........coffee :)


I am loving this mug of Nescafe lately.......I no longer buy or drink condensed milk with coffee at home.....nor any 3 in 1 coffee anymore......coz I know it's not good to take those.......I've been trying to quit taking coffee, but it's useless....I just can't seem to stop doing so. And for the past one week now, I've been taking my coffee with fresh milk! Gosh, they taste so much better.....hehehe...so I guess it makes it even harder for me to quit.

I saw in the Rachael Ray show today.....about some viewers who were trying to quit drinking coffee too.....and to my shock, Rachael Ray said that she drinks about 6 pots of coffee in a day!!!! Not 6 mugs but 6 pots!!! OMG! And all the while I felt guilty for drinking 4 mugs of coffee a day....hahaha.....but I have reduced it to only 2 mugs per day now....so I'm pretty happy with that. :) Anyways, in the show, they were suggesting a few ways of reducing or stopping the coffee intake by using products that has caffiene in them to keep us awake. Like toothpaste, lotions and lip balms that has caffiene in them.....only one of the viewers who tried the lip balm managed to reduce her coffee intake and the rest said the products they used didn't really work for them. In my case, I think my problem is that I just love the taste of coffee....and the smell of it.....not so much for the caffiene.....but for the smell and taste.....so even if I use the products, I would still go for the coffee drink.....

One of the viewers said the coffee for her is the "Juice of Life" hehehe........I won't necessarily say the same for me.....coz I've tried not taking it for more than 2 days...and I was ok. So I don't have to take it everyday.....but must have it at least a few times in a week...... :) Well, who knows, maybe I'll quit taking it altogether someday.........a good friend of mine managed to do it....maybe I can too! :)
The Juice of Life..........coffee :)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The benefits of eating yogurt....

I have for quite sometime now been taking yogurt regularly as part of my routine.....(couldn't take it daily cause it can be quite costly hehehe!) So I make sure I have my yogurt at least 3 times in a week. It's really fascinating how there are so many benefits of taking it in our daily diet.

(I got this info from Wikipedia) :
"Yogurt has nutritional benefits beyond those of milk.....and people who are moderately lactose intolerant can enjoy yogurt without any ill effects, because the lactose in the milk precursor is converted to lactic acid by the bacterial culture. The reduction of lactose bypasses the affected individuals' need to process the milk sugar themselves. Yogurt also has medical uses, in particular for a variety of gastrointestinal conditions, and in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea. One study suggests that eating yogurt containing L. acidophiles helps prevent vulvovaginal candidiasis, though the evidence is not conclusive. Yogurt is believed to promote good gum health, possibly because of the pro biotic effect of lactic acids present in yogurt."

The active live cultures in the yogurt are actually good bacterias that are important for our body to function well. The good bacteria prevents the growth of harmful bacteria that cause bacterial infections and many kinds of disease. Healthy levels of good bacteria promotes a good digestive health and will boost out immune system. The good bacteria also prevents the imbalances in our body's yeast level and prevents various types of yeast infection. It is also proven to help prevent urinary tract infections. Antibiotic taken for these type of problems can destroy the good bacteria in our body. Taking yogurt regularly will help restore the good bacteria levels in our body.

Yogurt is also high in calcium...especially the ones made from milk. There are in the market yogurt made from soy. So it is best to take the ones that is made from milk as it is high in calcium which is beneficial for our bones and teeth. So for those out there who are trying to prevent from getting osteoporosis or bone density loss, taking yogurt is the best way to prevent that. The calcium in the yogurt also helps our body to maintain and lose weight. Yogurt is also a great source of protein which helps give our body the energy it needs to keep going throughout the day. It is also great for our muscles and helps curb our appetite and helps us feel full for a longer period of time. Which is great for people who are trying to loose some weight. ;)

I also love taking the yogurt with citrus fruits....like Sunkist oranges....it's just so yummy to mix plain yogurt with that! I also sometimes add the plain yogurt with my salad as my salad dressing. Instead of using mayonnaise which is quite fattening, I replace it with yogurt. All I can say is that yogurt is definitely a part of my healthy lifestyle now. I don't eat ice creams or any other type of dessert anymore.....and I am replacing all that with yogurt. It taste great and is good for you! :)
The benefits of eating yogurt....SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend