November 24, 2009

Will Be Quiet For a Wee Bit...

Hi all!

My little blog will be quiet for a while until I sort out some issues with my laptop's HDD (hard disk drive). It's currently making some funky "knocking" noises after a certain amount of time and so, am doing the necessary backup just in case something happens. Aside from that, I'll be upgrading the HDD from 120GB to 500GB... since I may need to replace the HDD.

So, while that takes place, I'll be looking at upgrading my laptop's RAM as well from 1GB to 2GB. It isn't much but that's all my little Dell Inspiron 6000 can take.

The estimated amount of $$ I may need to fork out is RM400 for the parts. Labour cost is RM0 as I'll be doing the upgrade myself.

I am tempted to upgrade to Windows 7 but I don't want to fork out the additional $$ for the software.. I've been playing around with the idea of a mini portable (Mac, Windows, Linux???)

Anyway, I'm wondering if I can wait until PC Fair hits KL in order to get the hardware... Hmmm...

November 20, 2009

Sleep Troubles... Again!!


Snoopy doesn't like it when I disturb her "beauty sleep"

Of late I've been having difficulty sleeping...

It is frustrating as I've been experiencing great sleep at night for the last couple of weeks after I got out from the hospital. I'm not sure if it is due to the fact that I've started to go back to work since last week and that the stress is coming back, or it's due to the medication I'm taking.

Anyway, I've been trying to apply the correct sleeping habits as follows:
  • No caffeine/food 2 hours before bed-time
  • No exercise 3 hours before bed-time
  • No TV/laptop activities while in bed or before bed-time
  • Going to bed as soon as you feel sleepy...
However, it does not work. I tend to wake up at 4 or 5am feeling quite alert! Whenever I try to go back to sleep, it is not restful and I wake up feeling more exhausted at 7am.

Grrrrr... Also, I find that when I accidentally fall asleep by 10:30pm and not go to bed soon after, I'm wide awake until 12 or 1am!!!

Sleep is very important and we should try to get at least 7-8hrs per day to stay healthy. If we have not enough sleep, we can put on weight easily and also tend to crave unhealthy foods! My insomnia for the last 3-6mths also played a big factor in my being sick too... So, I'm worried about my sleeping patterns now...

Any suggestions??

November 19, 2009

Chicken Rice @ Restoran Satellite, Petaling Jaya

I can't believe that I did not blog about this particular chicken rice place despite having taken photos (and edited it) 3 months back!!!

Anyway, this chicken rice place has been at this location in PJ ever since I could remember. My family has been going to this shop for our chicken rice fix for many many many many years... Yes, ever since I could remember...

The restaurant's name is called "Satellite" and it is situated in PJ, near the KWSP building. It is the last corner coffee shop next to the road junction. If you are familiar with PJ, the shop is located opposite the AOG (Assembly of God) church at Jalan Gasing, PJ.


I love the bean sprouts served at this restaurant. The bean sprouts variety is fat and short, much like the ones they serve in Ipoh. It tends to be sweeter and has more of the bean sprouts taste.


In recent years, my Dad always like to order to minced pork meatballs which the restaurant serves in a soup. The meatballs are pretty large and I think they make it at the premises.


Finally, the "star" of the restaurant; the steamed chicken. The chicken is pretty sweet and fresh always. The sauce they drench the chicken in always seem to be so delicious, despite it being quite oily.

Of course, no chicken rice is complete without the "yellow" rice (rice cooked in chicken stock and other spices/herbs) and chilli sauce. For some of us, the chicken skin is the best part of all!! However, due to cholesterol concerns, we all don't eat the skin now.

Strange enough, when I spoke with my dietitian, she did say that I can still take chicken rice but remove the skin and not take too much of the sauce and avoid the "yellow rice". Besides that, portion control is important when it comes to how much protein and carbohydrates to take in this meal.

This restaurant also serves the "Hor Fun" or flat rice noodles cooked in soup or dry sauce, i.e. soya and oyster sauce which also goes very well with the chicken. ;-)

Just looking at these photos makes me drool.. Hehehe

November 17, 2009

Healthy Pasta Recipe - Chunky Tuna

Here's another healthy recipe idea... This time, I happened to have some fettuccine and tuna left over and decided to have a quick pasta dish.


Ingredients for 1 person's portion:
  • Fettuccine - 1 portion
  • Garlic (sliced) - 2 cloves
  • Onions (sliced) - 4 small onions
  • French Beans (sliced) - 1 portion
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Tuna chunks (in water or olive oil) - 1 portion
  • Salt and Pepper - to taste (optional)

1. Mix some sliced onions with the tuna chunks. If the tuna chunks was in water, drain the water first and mix in a bit of olive oil to moisten the mixture. If you like the tuna to be a bit sour, add some squeezed lemon juice.

2. Cook the pasta as per instruction on the packet.

3. Heat the pan with the extra virgin olive oil.

4. Cook the onions and garlic until it is soft. Becareful not to burn the garlic. I find that by cooking the onions first and then adding the garlic, I tend to not burn the garlic.

5. Add the tuna chunk mixture and stir well.

6. Add the cooked pasta and if possible, add in a bit of liquid used to cook the pasta.

7. Add in the sliced french beans. The french beans may be steamed first if you prefer them to be soft; otherwise, the crunchy french beans add a lot of texture to the dish.

8. Season the pasta with salt and pepper to taste. This step is optional if you intend to keep it low sodium.

9. Add some extra virgin olive oil to finish the dish.

This is definitely a very quick dish to make especially when you don't have the time when you're back home from work or school.

Hope you like it!

November 14, 2009

World Diabetes Day

14th November is World Diabetes Day.

The reason why I'm blogging about this is because my mother's sister suffers from Type 2 Diabetes. We don't have any substantial medical history if my mother's parents or other relatives suffers from the disease previously. So, when we heard that she had it, we were shocked.

A lot of folks do not realize the dangers of consuming too much refined sugars in our diet.

There are also alot of myths surrounding getting the disease such as "I'm thin, I won't get the disease" or "None of my family members had the disease and so, I won't get it."

Based on what I've read, it seems that researchers cannot pinpoint exactly why some adults will develop the disease despite being perfectly healthy and active. Of course, being overweight and not having a healthy lifestyle makes us more susceptible to developing the disease.

Some years back, my family discovered a book on the dangers of sugar and we started to cut back on our intake of processed foods. However, I've learned now that cutting back sugars is only 1 small part of the puzzle. The major part of the staying healthy is to be active, i.e. exercising.

My recent health scare has prompted me to take a more serious action on this as diabetes can cause many problems such as heart disease and kidney problems. Diabetes can also destroy nerves which leads to limb amputation and blindness. I learned that my blood sugar was a bit high and so, decided to learn more about this disease.

However, if you get diabetes, it does not mean that you'll need to have insulin injections. There is oral medication if you are found to be insulin resistant. That's why it is important to have a full medical check-up as the doctor would be able to prescribe the right therapy for you.

Besides that, getting diabetes also does not mean that your diet must be entirely sugar free. Diet changes should be to cut back on all foods with refined sugars such as white bread, sugar (obviously), soda drinks, anything which contains "corn syrup or high fructose syrup". Diabetics can still take sugars but in very very small amounts and less frequent as possible. Our bodies still need sugars as fuel.

Get your blood sugar checked. Prevention is better than cure...

November 13, 2009

Life Is Precious

I don't think most of us know how precious life is until something happens to us.


Anyway, as a quick update as I'm sure lots of folks are concerned about how I'm doing lately.

When I left the hospital I had lost 4kg. The nurses were quite shocked when I kept losing weight when they weigh me in the mornings when I was at the hospital. This is all water weight as I was taking some medication to get rid of water.

I had been given some medical leave by the cardiologist and I badly needed it. My BP (blood pressure) had dropped to almost normal and because of that new BP, I was feeling dizzy whenever I stood up. In fact, there were times when I experienced black outs and nearly fainted. So, I had to rest more in order to get used to that new range of BP.

For the last couple of weeks I've been closely monitored by my doctors and from the last visit, one of them decided to increase some medication, while the other has planned another echo-cardiogram scan next month.

The good news is that I'm allowed (and encouraged) by the cardiologist to start exercising, i.e. to concentrate on cardio more. I could do some resistance training to strengthen my muscles but not heavy lifting. So, until the doctor gives the OK, can I start to do vigorous exercising again. So, I'm limited to walking for cardio but not running on the elliptical trainer, which was what I like to do.

Besides that, no heavy lifting means that I can't really go running around with my laptop strapped to my back; which is what a lot of folks at the office see me do as I move around floors and between the two client sites.

I'm grateful for this new lease of life. To a lot of folks who knew me, I've already started my journey towards good health last year when I joined the gym and got educated on how to exercise and eat right.

All I can say is that, the cause of a lot of health problems was stress. I was stressed out. When I got stressed, I didn't sleep well, eat well or even found time to rest. When stress levels are high, we are drawn to unhealthy habits which would eventually lead us down a dangerous path.

So, from this scare, I'm grateful that God has led me down that path; and with His help and love, I can only get better in time.

November 11, 2009

The Twins Have Grown... A Lot!

The twins celebrated their full moon on 3rd October but I did not have the time (and energy) to organize my full moon photos... :P

Now that they are just past their 2nd month, I'm sure lots of people are curious as to how big my nieces, Charlotte and Olivia has grown.

I can tell you that they are doing very well and I noticed how big they've grown after 4 days in the hospital. It was as though they sprouted overnight.

Give me a "T"!!!

I took this photo at the end of last month when I was resting at home. Both twins had just woken up for their feed and we were waiting for the hot water to be ready to give them their morning bath. As you can see, baby Charlotte (in the foreground) has grown taller. Her face has gotten a bit rounder.

Give me an "L" (reversed...)

Here's a picture of baby Olivia. As you can see, she is almost bursting from her clothes... Yes, she is a bit heavier than her older sister, Charlotte.

According to my sister, both twins are slightly overweight. However, it is not too bad at this stage as they seem to be self-regulating the amount of milk they want to drink. They will stop feeding when they are full and no matter how hard we try to get them to complete their milk, they will refuse to drink.

Anyway, as long as both kids are healthy, that is all we care about at this point. :-)

November 09, 2009

Korean Food @ Kimchi Restaurant, Tropicana City

A few weeks ago, EV had the craving for Korean food. She was shopping at Tropicana City and I dropped by to accompany her for lunch.

I did not have any lunch but decided to take photos of the food she had. I did share a side dish and it was pretty good. :P


For Korean food, side dishes often accompany a main dish and this restaurant had provided a variety of type of dishes which has a taste ranging from sweet to sour to spicy. Aside from the traditional Korean spicy kim chi (top right), the side dishes we got was (from top right to left): sweet omelet slices, cold spinach, (from bottom right to left): sweet and sour tofu pieces, cold bean sprouts and sweet sliced fish cakes.

I'm not sure if the side dishes are refillable but we both could not finish all the side dishes.


I already had my dim sum lunch and so, just ordered a simple Mango smoothie (without milk). It was a bit too sweet for my taste but very refreshing. However, Tropicana City air-conditioning was running at optimum level and so, I was shivering when we left the restaurant.


EV ordered some grilled chicken. It had a hint of kim chi which made it a bit spicy but it was quite good. It certainly will be a good appetite inducer and will warm the tummy for a cold day... at Tropicana City.


EV also ordered some potato pancakes. These pan cakes were just lightly pan fried. There isn't much taste except for potatoes and so, can be eaten as replacement for rice... If you're bored with it. After eating this, I believe my potato-loving friend might enjoy this dish a lot.

As for price, I can't really recall how much everything came up to as EV paid for it. I do recall that the grilled chicken was around RM18+

There are other more interesting places at Tropicana City which both EV and I are curious about. I know with my strict diet I can't eat them all but at least photograph the yummy food...

November 08, 2009

Healthy Pasta Recipe - Tomato Based

Due to my food restrictions, I've been looking out for some healthy pasta recipes which I can cook.

I managed to find my whole wheat pasta and low-salt tomato pasta sauces from Cold Storage. I bought Preggo's Heart Smart Pasta Sauce which is made up of tomatoes, onions and garlic. It has low salt and has been approved by the US Heart Association. The sauce was a little pricey RM12 for a large bottle but I was lucky as I got the whole wheat pasta free together with the bottle!

Anyway, my recipe does not have any added salt or sugar as the sauce would have adequate seasoning.

Ingredients for 1 person's portion:
  • Whole Wheat Spaghetti (I got San Remo) - 1 portion
  • Garlic - 2 cloves
  • Onions - 2 small red onions or as many as you like
  • Cherry Tomatoes - 3
  • Heart Smart Onion and Garlic Pasta Sauce - 5 tablespoons
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Parsley Flakes
  • (optional) - Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Boil the spaghetti in hot water. The pasta will take around 8-10 minutes to cook since it is whole wheat. If you have specific diet restrictions, cook the pasta until aldente, i.e. still chewy and not too soft. Drain most of the water from the pasta.

2. Heat the pan with extra virgin olive oil.

3. Cook the onions and then add the garlic. Garlic tends to burn easily and so, do watch the heat of the pan.

4. Once the onions and garlic look soft, add the pasta sauce and keep the pan to medium heat.

5. Add the cooked pasta and some of the pasta water to make the sauce. Mix well. (Optional - You can add salt and pepper for taste at this point)

6. Add the cherry tomatoes and turn off the heat when the sauce and pasta has mixed well.

7. Sprinkle the parsley flakes.

8. Eat and enjoy. ;-)

There is also an optional step to this recipe which is to add a bit of skimmed or low fat milk to make the sauce creamy. Also, since this is a vegetarian dish, you can also add meat to the sauce too. The important step is to brown your meat first and then cook your sauce in the same pan.

Also, if you want to add more interesting flavours, here are my suggestions:
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Fresh parsley instead of dried parsley flakes
  • Fresh basil
Finally.. Here is the result of my quick recipe...


Looks good, right? ;-)

November 07, 2009

Dim Sum @ Taman Desa

One of the favourite things which I will miss is having dim sum... Not that I have it very often but just that being on a strict diet (and exercise regime), I don't think I'll be having dim sum so soon.

Anyway, after this dim sum lunch last month, my parents and I agreed that we can't have it too often as the stuff we order makes us feel too bloated after eating it.


We ordered all the usual stuff and we typically like the steamed stuff more than the fried stuff. We even ordered the pork and century egg porridge to share amongst us.

Dim sum is great to be shared with 3 people as the dishes come in threes which is just right.


The "Loh Mai Gai" was pretty ok. It wasn't too oily and I like that there was enough meat and mushroom filling proportionate to the amount of glutinous rice.


BBQ Pork Buns are my favourite. Since there were three served, each pork bun is not too large and just great for a taste. However, since we were already quite stuffed by then, we struggled to finish the buns.


One of my favourite dishes is the Har Gao or steamed prawn dumplings. For me, this is the epitome of a good dim sum. The skin of the dumpling should not be too thick or thin so that the prawns would not be too dry when eaten. Besides that, the prawns must be fresh too or else, the dish will be bland and tasteless.


I love steamed fish balls. This fish ball was quite good as it wasn't too hard and the texture was just right.


For me, no dim sum is complete without the Hong Kong styled Chee Cheong Fun. My parents wanted to try the BBQ pork and so, we had the pork variety instead of the prawn.

By the time we finished our meal, we were really full. Thank goodness we decided to have some hot Chinese tea to wash away all the fat and oil, though, the food was not all that oily.

I can't really remember the name of the restaurant but it is in Taman Desa, near the field where the dogs are being trained.

It will be a very very long time before I can head back to this restaurant again. Aside from dim sum, the shop does sell some noodles too.

November 05, 2009

My Health Scare

I'm finally well enough to touch the laptop. I don't miss it much for the past few weeks as I had to rest and it was a welcomed relief.

My silence is evident that I definitely needed to get away from the laptop and work. And I did.

It has been a couple of weeks since I had my health scare.

On 21st October, I went to SDMC (formerly SJMC) to see a doctor based on the recommendation of the family GP (General Practitioner) the night before as I had extremely high blood pressure. I went to see the family GP as I had been coughing very badly and found it hard to breathe.

When I visited the doc at the hospital, he was concerned about my BP and ordered some tests. I went for my chest x-ray and ultrasound scans first. I even had my blood drawn too. When the x-ray results came back, I had to be referred to the cardiologist.

That was the first scare but I was staying calm.

The cardiologist saw me, had my BP checked again and immediately asked me to stop all movement and ordered that I be admitted for full bed rest as my BP got very high and my heart was not doing so well. He had me go for an echo-cardiogram test.

I did not expect to be admitted but to be sent home with medication and perhaps a couple of days of MC.

Instead, the doctor ordered me to be admitted and have full bed rest. That meant that wherever I go, I have to be pushed in a wheelchair.

For that 1st night, my BP had a lot of difficulty being stabilized, so much so that I had to be given medication under the tongue to get the blood pressure to go down. My systolic BP hovered around the 200 region which was major cause for concern.

The blood pressure eventually did drop after I did some relaxing breathing exercises and bed rest. I ignored all phone calls except for those from my family. Some folks from work did come to visit but not my PM. She kept calling and probably wanted to ask about work or when I would be back. Not once did she visit me while I was at the hospital.

By Thursday, my BP was nearly back to normal and the doctor ordered a CT scan of my kidneys. Even then, my other PM called me just minutes before I went in to ask about work when I've e-mailed everyone about the status the day before I was admitted into the hospital.

Anyway, the CT scan was quite interesting where I ended up having an itchy allergic reaction to the dye. I had to take an anti-histamine which made me sleep. However, I did not realize that the nurses had twisted my IV needle in the back of my hand too tightly that I was bleeding for a bit. By the time I was ready to head back to my room, there was a small pool of blood on the floor and a slight pain in my hand.

Then, I had a call from the hospital telling me that they need to draw more blood from me as they did not have enough for a test. They wanted me to come in but I told that I'm already admitted in the hospital. Hmmm... Nevertheless, I gave them my room number so that they can come the following morning to get my blood.

I had a lot of visitors and was shocked that the customer came to visit too. My best friends dropped by, and one even sat down for 1 hour to give me a scolding. She had the biggest scare of her life as she said that she never expected to visit me at the cardiology ward.

I finally got discharged that Saturday and the doctor gave me 1 week to rest at home. I had an appointment to see the doctor again the following week. The doctor even assigned me a nutritionist to help me educate me about managing my conditions. Aside from the mandatory diet control, I've got to slowly get back to my exercise regime which cannot be too vigorous.

As of today, I will have a few more appointments with the doctors for the next few months before I return to the family GP for follow-up consultations.

I'm currently still resting as the doctor has given me another week off after I complained about feeling dizzy and being prone to black-outs due to my blood pressure falling very low.

However, I'm finding it hard to rest properly as I've to help out with the twins who are really a handful now. They cry constantly, cannot decide if they want to eat or sleep or burp or cry. They cry even when they are feeding!!

The biggest lesson learned is that I've not been taking good care of myself. Not enough "me-time" and too much "work-time". I'll always remember the look my family GP gave me about my attitude towards work. He said, "It can wait. Your health can't."

Hope that most of you know about your "numbers". No, this is not how much $$ you have in your bank a/c, your stock portfolio, # of skills/work experience you have but the following:
  • What is your waist-line, BMI (Body Mass Index), % of fat?
  • What is your blood pressure (during rest)?
  • What is your heart rate (during rest)?
  • What is your cholesterol levels?
  • What is your fasting glucose level?
These are just 5 basic "numbers". If you have not done your annual health check-up, please do so.. especially when you are approaching 30 or above it.

After my scare, most of my friends are planning to do their annual check-ups and some will be doing their blood test for the 1st time.

To my friends, and colleagues who prayed and visited, I thank you guys for keeping me in your thoughts. I'm feeling much better now and am getting on track to being active again.

I've got to learn to manage my stress levels better as any stress will cause 3 things to happen: 1) increased heart rate (which is bad), 2) increased blood pressure (which is very bad) and 3) increased blood sugar (which is very very bad and may cause my kidneys to tapao if not managed well).

Take care all!
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