Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Soup : Sweetcorn Chowder & Tomato Soup

Soups are nourishing, satisfying, and very easy to make. They provide an economical way to feed a large family, using simple ingredients, as well as being an easily prepared meal for busy people. A variety of vegetables can be used: in winter, root vegetables such as parsnips, swedes, and turnips make a warming broth, especially with the addition of grains or pulses. For a light summer soup, use watercress, tomatoes, courgettes, and lettuce, and flavour with fresh herbs.

Sweetcorn Chowder

A thick creamy soup that can be a meal in itself when served with wholegrain bread and salad.

  • 4 fresh cobs of corn
  • 1/4 white cabbage, shredded
  • 3 medium potatoes, diced
  • 850ml (1 1/2 pints) cold water
  • 175ml (6fl oz) soya milk
  • salt and pepper
Scrape the kernels off the corn. Place in a pan with the cabbage and potatoes. Cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are soft. Blend, then add soya milk, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat gently, but do not boil. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Tomato Soup
This simple soup is best made using fresh tomatoes, and flavoured with Mediterranean herbs.

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 x 400g (14oz) tins or 1kg (2lb) fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • black pepper
  • 570ml (1 pint) hot water or vegetable stock
Heat the oil in a large pan, and saute the chopped vegetables over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and bring to the boil. Pour in the hot water or stock, bring back to the boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste, and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Variations : For a thicker consistency add some flour with the vegetables, and stir well as you add the water or stock. For a creamy tomato soup, mix milk or soya milk with a little soup when it is cooked, and then return to the pan, stirring well. Reheat gently, but do not boil. For an even heartier tomato soup, add 150g (6oz) of cooked grain at the same time as the water or stock.

Source from Yoga Mind & Body - Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre

Saturday, June 13, 2009

3D Batam Kelong Trip

I have gone to a Batam Kelong on 7th Jun 09 for 3 days recently. This is my first time going to a Kelong. It's a different experience. This is a modern Kelong with aircon bedrooms and common western washrooms. It consider quite a clean Kelong and cosy place.

Total there are 12 of us in our group. We are all friends of friends. One thing good about this Kelong it does not mix our group with another group. In another words, we have the whole Kelong for ourselves! It's like an exclusive Kelong for us. Isn't it sound good?...:-)

When people talk about Kelong, will be thinking it's a fishing place only. I don't think only when you want to fish then go to Kelong. I'm not a fisherwoman. Fishing is not one of my interest sorry to say that. My purpose of going there is just to relax myself, to be closer to the nature and out of the city.

I would say that I enjoy this trip as it's really relaxing. I have no worry about the time. Doesn't bother at all. Reading my book there. As and when I feel like just look up and can see the seaview. Mainly just relaxing there! This suit my purpose there anywhere. Mainly just relax and feel the nature around me and do nothing! I can have alot of my time to read my book there which I enjoy doing where I can't really find much time to read when I'm in Singapore.

I would like to share some pictures of the Kelong over here. Enjoy!

This is the Jetty to the Kelong. It's about 10 min journey.

Reaching the Kelong.

The boat & the area where we alight.

Under view of the Kelong.

On the Kelong.

Part of the Kitchen area.

Part of the kitchen area.

Common area on the Kelong.

Common area on the Kelong.

On the Kelong.

Seaview from the Kelong.

Where is the fisherman??

On the Kelong.

Sunset & the Kelong.

Sunset view from the Kelong.

Sunset view from the Kelong.

Fishermen & the Sunset.

Full moon view from the Kelong.

Full moon view from the Kelong.

Kelong Kitty

I and the Kelong Kitty

Video of the Sunset & Kelong

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) combines Yogasanas (yoga postures) and Pranayama (yoga breathing). It brings about the general flexibility of the body preparing it for Asanas and Pranayama. This is usually done both at sunrise and sunset, facing the Sun.

The Sun Salutation is a warm-up exercise that should be practised before starting the other Asanas. It is made up of 12 different spinal positions giving various vertebral movements to the spinal column. It brings great flexibility to the spine and limbs. For stiff people the Sun Salutation is a great boon in helping to regain lost flexibility. The Sun Salutation helps to regulate the breathing and focus the mind.

The are mainly two modes of performing Sun Salutation. In one, there are 12 steps and in the other only 10 in each round. Each stage of Sun Salutation is accompanied by regulation of breath.

Technically, Sun Salutation is not an asana, but a series of gentle flowing movements synchronized with the breath. Once you have learned the positions of the Sun Salutation, it is important to tune them to a rhythmical breathing pattern. Try to do 6-12 cycles of the Sun Salutation every day.

12-step Sun Salutation

Starting Position:
  • Stand erect with legs together. Bring the palms together at the chest in the Prayer position. This is a powerful physical, mental, and psychic way of centring the body.
  1. Take the hands above the head while inhaling and bend the trunk backwards.
  2. Bend the body forward while exhaling. Touch the forehead to the knees. Keep the palms on the floor on either side of the feet.
  3. In this step breath in and kick the right leg back. Push the buttock forward and downward so that the left leg is perpendicular to the ground. Look up.
  4. In this step, exhale and take the left leg also back, resting only on palms and toes. Keep the body straight from head to toes inclined to the ground at about 30 degree. Take care to keep the neck in line with the back.
  5. While inhaling, bend the legs at the knees and rest them on the floor with buttocks resting on the heels without altering the position of the palms and toes. Exhale as you rest the forehead on the floor. Then relax in normal breathing.
  6. While exhaling without shifting the positions of hands and toes, glide the body forward and hold the breath and rest the forehead (or chin), chest, hands, knees and toes on the ground. Raise the buttock off the ground. Note that eight points of the body are in contact with the ground - hence the name sastanga namaskara (Salutation with eight parts).
  7. Inhale, raise the head and trunk making the spine concave upwards without lifting the position of the hands and feet. Arch the back as far as you can until the elbows are straight.
  8. While exhaling, raise the buttocks, push the head down until the heels touch the ground without shifting the position of hands and feet.
  9. Same as step 5.
  10. Inhale and bring the right leg in between the two hands. Arch the back concave upwards as in step 3 until the right leg is perpendicular to the ground.
  11. Exhale and bring the left foot forward next to the right foot and reach down with your upper body to touch the forehead to the knees as in step 2.
  12. While inhaling, come up to step 1 and then back starting position. This completes one round of Sun Salutation.
You are now ready to begin the next Sun Salutation cycle. In the steps shown here, you are asked to lead with the right leg, but for the next cycle, you should lead with the left leg.

Note: In 10-step Sun Salutation, the 5th and 9th stages are omitted.

Note: Please perform the yoga under the guide of a certified yoga teacher especially for beginner. You are at your own risk and responsible if you perform on your own. Whatever provided here is just act as an information.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids that humans cannot produce, meaning they must be obtained from dietary sources. But relying on dietary sources alone may not be enough; supplementing your diet with fish oil has become a better alternative.

Fish oil lowers heart rate

There is significant evidence that omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial effect on heart arrhythmias (irregular heart beat), which can lead to a decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. New analyses indicate that regular fish oil intake could correspond to as much as a 5% reduction in population-wide sudden deaths.

A meta-analysis published in the journal Circulation further confirms the association between omega-3 fatty acids and heart health. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health compiled statistical data from thirty studies published from 1996 to 2005. These studies involved nearly 1,700 individuals treated with fish oil or placebo for up to one year. The average combined dose of EPA and DHA was 3.5 grams/day for an average of 8 weeks.

The overall estimated change in heart rate of those treated with fish oil was 1.6 beats per minute. The reduction in heart rate was even greater in trials where the participants had higher baseline heart rates. In those studies, treatment with fish oil resulted in a decreased heart rate of 2.5 beats per minutes. There was no evidence of a dose-response effect, and heart rate was not significantly different between higher and lower doses compared with placebo.

Although the overall effect of fish oil on heart rate appears small, researchers estimate that on a population-wide basis this could correspond to as much as a 5% reduction in sudden death.

Mozaffarian D, Geelen A, Brouwer IA, Geleijnse JM, Zock PL, Katan MB. Effect of fish oil on heart rate in humans. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Circulation 2005;112:1945-1952

Oily fish intake and dietary omega-3s may improve eye health

According to new research, eating one portion per week of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by over 50 percent.

Fish intake, the major source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two types of AMD: wet and dry. Of these two types, wet AMD is the primary cause of vision loss.

In a study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers recruited 105 people (age 65 and over) with wet AMD and 2170 healthy people to act as controls, then compared their dietary habits using questionnaires. The scientists then investigated the association of oily fish dietary DHA and EPA with wet AMD.

Compared to people who consumed less than one portion of fish per week, participants who consumed at least one serving of oily fish per week had a 50 percent reduction in risk of developing wet AMD. In addition, people who got a least 300mg per day of DHA and EPA were 68 and 71 percent less likely to have wet AMD than those with lower consumptions.

The results of this study support previous research indicating a protective benefit of omega-3s against the onset of AMD. The benefit may be due in part to their important role in the layer of nerve cells in the retina.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 2, 398-406, August 2008

Flaxseed oil and fish oil raise omega-3 fatty acid levels in human blood cells

Fish oil supplementation is known to result in an increase in plasma omega-3 fatty acid content, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in plants, is the direct precursor of EPA and DHA and should show effects similar to fish oil. Until now, however, this has been challenged because of reported low conversion of ALA into DHA. A recent study provides evidence that the ALA supplemented from flaxseed oil is effectively converted to EPA and DHA and accumulated in human blood cells.

Recently reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers designed a clinical trial in which flax oil, fish oil, and sunflower oil (placebo group) capsules were given to 62 firefighters. The firefighters were randomly divided into 6 experimental groups receiving 1.2, 2.4, or 3.6 grams of flax oil/day; 0.6 or 1.2 grams of fish oil/day; or 1 gram of sunflower oil/day for 12 weeks. Blood was drawn every 2 weeks, and the total phospholipid fatty acid composition of red blood cells was determined.

As anticipated, fish oil produced a rapid increase in DHA and total omega-3 fatty acids. The consumption of either 2.4 or 3.6 grams of flaxx oil/day was sufficient to significantly increase blood levels of ALA, EPA, and DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) fatty acid content.

The consumption of ALA-enriched supplements for 12 weeks was sufficient to elevate blood levels of EPA and docosapentaeoic acid content, which shows the effectiveness of ALA conversion and accumulation into red blood cells. The amounts of ALA required to obtain these effects are amounts that are easily achieved in the general population by dietary modification or by modest dosages of omega-3 rich foods such as flax oil.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 3, 801-809, September 2008

The Straits Times name USANA BiOmega-3 the TOP 3

The Straits Times Mind Your Body supplement on April 26, 2006 has named USANA BiOmega-3 as one of only three brands available in Singapore which are listed as "Best Choices".

This was based on a study by Environmental Defense, a leading U.S. non-profit organisation which has been studying fish oil and fish oil supplements since 1967. It compared 75 brands of fish oil around the world and rated them according to purity. USANA BiOmega-3 among the purest and the most outstanding value for money because this BiOmega-3 comes with a high content of EPA and DHA.

USANA's BiOmega fish oil approved by ConsumerLab.com

USANA's BiOmega fish oil supplement was evaluated and approved by ConsumerLab.com, LLC. A leading provider of independent product test results and information, ConsumerLab.com helps consumers and healthcare professionals evaluate health and wellness products.

ConsumerLab.com reviewed BiOmega as part of a larger evaluation of dietary supplements sold in the United States that claim to contain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Products were tested for their omega-3 levels; mercury, lead and PCB contamination; and signs of decomposition. BiOmega received an approved rating in all three testing categories. The review can be found on the company's website at http://www.consumerlab.com/.

ConsumerLab.com stated in its product review that the quality of fish oil and other omega-3 supplements is an important issue because supplement levels vary depending on the source and method of processing. Fish also can have accumulated toxins that could potentially contaminate supplement. USANA uses a double molecular distillation process to manufacture its BiOmega supplement, ensuring the highest possible purity from mercury, PCBs, pesticides and other heavy metals.

You may find out more detail about USANA at the following website.


May everybody have a very good health! Take care of yourself!