Monday, March 29, 2010

citrus mix

I tend to like Cappucino, Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla shakes but did not quite like the Tropical Fruit flavour and Strawberry. Unlike me, John loves the Tropical Fruit flavour. Anyway, I decided to make a more citrus flavoured Tropical Fruit shake for John and I myself over the weekend and love it!

Shake for 2 persons:

F1 Tropical Fruit 2 scoops
F1 Vanilla 2 scoops
2 passion fruits
1 small orange
1 small red apple
3 yellow tomato cherries
Ice water

Cut apple into small pieces. Cut orange the usual way and remove flesh. Cut passion fruits into half and scoop out content into blender. Put all the fruits and tomato cherries into blender and pour 150ml ice water into blender and blend.

Add blender with ice water until the water level touches 800ml. Then add the 4 scoops of F1 and blend again till smooth. Serve in 2 tall glasses.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Herbalife University graduation

John and I attended a short course to learn more about Herbalife. It was held every Tuesday night for nine weeks. We could not imagine how we had managed to go through it all without missing a single session. It seemed impossible for us since our work loads were heavy and schedules unpredictable. But, we made it! It was an achievement even though it was just a certificate that we received yesterday evening at Maple Suite restaurant just next to Herbalife headquarters.

We received a certificate from Jeff Fiore who was from Herbalife headquarters in the United States at the end of the course and were treated to a barbecue dinner.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Recipe for French Vanilla

I normally take my shake plain with ice water and it is already tasty for me. I take it for breakfast, as the ideal breakfast because I read that the ideal breakfast should be high in protein for this ensures that our blood sugar level remains stable and not dip too low. And I like the idea that Herbalife's protein is plant based.

The Star newspaper recently reported that to beat the sugar craving, we should have protein in our breakfast.

The article says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. "Your first meal must create blood sugar stability that will carry you to the next meal without sugar cravings. You are also advised to eat protein with each meal as it keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day."

I read elswhere that a good breakfast coupled with consistent eating time help reduce the risk of diabetes. Of course, there are other factors too such as reducing stress levels, exercise and getting enough nutrition, sleep and water.

Recently, I decided to try out a recipe to go with the Herbalife F1. And I only take this for breakfast. It is a complete meal by itself because the F1 contains 55 types of vitamins and minerals and it fills me up until lunch. I modified the recipe from a book on juicing and blending that a friend gave and the shake turned out truly delicious.

F1 French Vanilla - 2 scoops
F3 Blended soy and Whey Protein Powder - 1 scoop (optional)
Soya milk (Soyfresh brand - contains the lowest sugar in the market) - 200ml
1 small red apple (remove seeds and core and cut into small pieces)
Nestum - one scoop

Put in 100ml cold water into the blender and put cut red apple into the blender and blend well. Then pour the soya milk, two soops of F1 and one scoop of F3 and Nestum into the blender and blend. Pour out and enjoy.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

John's hardly sick now

We are reaching our third month soon from the time we started on our shake and I noticed that John had not been sick since. He used to fall sick every two or three weeks once and has to go to the doctor and take medicine, otherwise, his condition would worsen and he would be terribly ill for five days to a week.

Before the shake, John had been taking multi-vitamins tablets of a well-known brand which we bought from pharmacy. I would say that it did help with his health to some extent, otherwise, he would be tired all the time due to pressures and long hours at work. But he still fell sick every couple or three weeks then. I am not surprised because on a regular day, he leaves home for work at 7am while I am still asleep and does not get home until late at night. Basically, he works 10 days a week even though it is a five-day-week. Sad to say, that's the kind of stress and low wages that many living in the city have to cope with.

When I knew John more than four years ago, he told me that he took anti-biotics each time he fell sick, which was frequent. I cannot imagine how much damage that can cause his kidneys or liver. Anyone who knows me knows that I am anti anti-biotics and only use it sparingly. And as the result, John had to suffer for a week at one point because his body took longer to recover without anti-biotics. Then I stopped telling him not to take it but he had adopted my habit.

So the change to our health had been significant since the shake. The improvements were many and more significant than any supplements we had ever taken. For me, I am totally alert at work. I could concentrate totally well. I wish I had this when I was a child/student because I recalled how tired I was at school and found it hard to concentrate. I would have excelled in my studies instead of just doing ok. I also recalled battling with fatigue even when I was doing sports. I was a little malnourished, like many kids then in the '70s in Malaysia.

The joint/arthritic aches I used to suffer from continues to be under control. I have been avoiding fried food as much as possible because I was afraid that if I take too much, I may intoxicate myself again and my fingers hurt/burns and I had to take lots of the tea again to remove much of the toxin in my body.

Compared with the spirulina that I used to take for 12 years, and which also helped reduced the aches and swelling in my fingers and helped in my concentration, the Herbalife shake seems to give more goodness than that. Also I can blend fruits with the shake while I cannot eat fruits with spirulina for I will get a stomach ache after that.

However, currently, I have one issue. I am not sure if I am constipating but I am going to toilet less often. One of the reasons could be that I have been eating less because I don't have anymore cravings for oily and sweet food. Yes, I do know that when our bodies get enough nutrition, we hardly have cravings, hence, we don't simply eat and put on weight. Instead of going daily, it is now once in one-and-a-half days and the stools come out in one solid piece, sometimes a bit too hard but most times, if I don't eat the wrong food, just right. I haven't seen that since I was a young. I understand that the hard stools could be a sign of healing crisis since I have certain existing health conditions. I have removed the F3 whey protein and only take the F1 and I did not constipate. But I have started to add soya milk (which also contains protein) in place of the F3 and started to go to toilet less frequently again. Maybe I just have to just stick to F1 and the tea. Well, we shall see what happens a few months down the road.

A friend who has started to enjoy the shake has also started to lose inches and has become more energised and alert.

Healthier us

This was posted on February 22, 2010 at our personal blog.

About a week before Christmas, John and I started to consume a certain nutritional shake for health reasons and to lose a few kilos, especially around the abdomen. He had recommended the product to me since he had taken it for two months before our wedding in 2008 and became rather trim. He then stopped since I complained, thinking that it was expensive and that he too wanted to maintain his weight by just going to the gym or taking walks in the park. But with his long working hours, he hardly got to do either. He had gone to the gym possibly less than five times a year.

So after our wedding, we both ballooned again to the weight we were before marriage. At our age, it was difficult to manage our weight. I could lose half a kg or a kg on my own but it requires a LOT of effort and discipline. It is difficult to lose weight because it is almost impossible to find healthy food whenever we eat out.When John told me about the shake that I could take for breakfast to replace my usual breakfast, which was either fruits followed by fried bee hoon, roti canai or nasi lemak with Milo, or if I make my own breakfast, it would be a fruit, my favourite half boiled egg, bread with butter and Milo, I wanted to try it out because I often yearn for healthy breakfasts.

I know that if I could have a healthy breakfast every morning, half the battle is won. So I gave myself three days to try the shake because since it is soya based, I feared that I would suffer from joint aches as I sometimes would when drinking soya milk or eating tofu. I thought if I do not experience any bodily discomfort, I would take it daily. That’s because all processed food do cause some discomfort to my body. My friends told me that my body is like a barometer that gauges how “clean” a certain food is. It works better than the “halal” certification because even with halal food, they were not “clean” enough for my body.

This is how my body suffers when I take processed food:

1. Fried food/animal fat/cooked santan – this is the worst culprit for me. My hands will feel an intense burning sensation from inside within half hour after eating and that includes KFC, which I wish I can sometimes enjoy. A small pus will emerge on my face. Then my fingers will swell and the joints hurt the following morning.

2. Black tea – sore joints in the fingers, knees and sometimes toes and sleepless night even if I take it in the morning.

3. Coffee – sharp joint pains in the fingers, knees and toes and heart palpitations. Also sleepless night despite consuming it in the morning.

4. Burgers/sausages/cheese/canned food – fingers swell and joints ache

5. Milo – laboured breathing

6. Ajinomoto and other monosodium glutamate – shoulder aches and breathing discomfort

7. A sweet - put me to sleep or knock me unconcious within 15 minutes.

8.Soya/tofu – sometimes have joint aches.

A specialist said I suffer from arthritis while Chinese physicians said I had poor blood circulation and toxin accumulation.

Whatever it is called, I often dread eating, especially when I have to eat out, because I would suffer after a meal. So for three days I tried the shake and I did not have any symptoms. I was intrigued by the product. I thought: What is this processed food that is as good as nature? So I decided to consume it daily.Today is the second month I took the shake and I have lost almost 4kg. That’s a feat considering that we only took the shake for breakfast and hardly took it for dinner because of all the dinners John and I had to attend during Christmas and Chinese New Year. I was 8kg overweight and friends and colleagues had been asking whether I was pregnant, but I haven’t had such questions asked for more than one month:).

More than the weight issue, my joint aches and swelling have subsided and I hardly have any of the symptoms anymore. I am not sure how the products have helped because I had only intended to take it as an ideal breakfast and to reduce my big abdomen. Amazingly, I now sleep well every night, unlike before. Several years ago, doctors had advised me to take medication. I did for a short while and then stopped and tried various alternative medicine which didn’t work out. I had even gone for faith healing. While I could after that stood and walk for long periods without pain, the morning swelling and stiffness in my fingers would not go away. Finally, I told the Lord three months ago that if He was not healing me directly for some reason I might not understand yet, I had asked that He bring something to me to help me keep my symptoms under control. The good effects from the nutrition and special tea mix on my joints were totally unexpected. I consider my prayer answered. I can even enjoy a glass of wine now without my joints hurting. John has lost more inches and his alarming visceral fat level has gone down two notches after drinking the tea mix daily. I cannot believe my eyes how it had worked so well with him. Mine, which was considered healthy but not excellent, had also gone down by one notch. So we have less fat around the vital organs now, which is considered more dangerous.

Our skin texture too have also improved. I have 4kg more to go and if all goes well, I should achieve my target in a month’s time since CNY is almost over and it is time to be serious about weight losing and being healthy. It’s not that I have not tried to be healthy. It is very difficult when we eat out most of the time. John has another kg to go but his abdomen is still big although it has shrunken to half its size. It is best to couple the weight loss effort with exercise... We are now enjoying a better quality of life and I no longer think that the product - Herbalife – is expensive. I would say it is value for money. For me, I have in the last 15 years put health as a priority and spent less on clothes, accessories and electronic gadgets, hence, am willing to spend more on nutrition.