turning healthy

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Major Hiatus! It has never been this way before! What has been happening? The usual. Tackling the oft-grinding life of working motherhood. Sleep deprivation. Adrenal fatigue. These somehow reverberated in several spheres for the past week. Lil K was sick. Down with viral fever initially. Shooting up to over 40 degrees twice and at 3am, it was the last straw. I took her to A&E, only to be disappointed by KKH. The doctor wasn't too sympathetic and instead criticised the medication I received from my pediatrician. On top of that, we were told to collect K's urine sample to test for UTI but from 330am till 7am, there was no pee! PANIC attack! I craddled her as she slept n the hub was also snoring away in his seat. The doctor and nurses offered no help. Finally, we decided to go home and wait for the pee to come. Collecting the pee was as traumatizing. Lil K was afraid of peeing into the little container. We let her go diaperless in hope that she'll let us know when she wants to pee (she usually does), but alas, she knew we were up to no good thus was pee-ing everywhere. Finally, at noon, we collected a clean sample! N guess what? As expected, it wasn't UTI. The doctor then told us if the fever persists for 4 days and rash comes out, only then will they conduct a blood test. FOUR DAYS? u gotto be kidding me! I need a solution pronto! Thankfully, her fever subsided on Day 3 but on Day 4, diarrhoea kicked in. Once again, we visited our PD (Dr Hiew from Junior Baby clinic @ Marine Parade). He was concerned and believed that Lil K had the stomach flu. True enough, the next few days, members of the entire clan caught the bug. All except me. Somehow, nature has its way of keeping the mother strong. I gulped down tons of vitamins and water to ensure that I stayed strong. It was sleepless nights as Lil K woke up to poop. At its peak, i had to change her 10 times a night! Amidst all these hullabaloo, I had to work. It was and still is, peak season for me. I often get bouts of panic attacks when thing get ovewhelming. Shouldering sleep deprivation isn't easy, however I've to constantly remind myself that we are not wired for work alone. Thereafter, the hubs went on 2wks reservist. Even though he got to come home every night, it was still mostly me, myself and I. Right after reservist, he was flying again.
This post has been hibrnating under "draft" for the longest time. Each time, i could only type a bit as I can't seem to find a full hour to sit down and pen down my thoughts. Frustrating much. wish there's a machine which can read my thoughts. Worse yet, the downloading of photos is an ardous process. In addition, my lappy's battery has popped and the hub's lappy is terribly sensitive. The cursor strangely jumps around when I type. Which is terribly annoying because it sometimes deletes what I type. Thankfully there's the UNDO button!
Alright, I'm pretty sure you won't want me to be yakking about how painful life is so i'll get to the point. I shouldn't let time go by without looking after myself well. This is especially important after the series of events which in a twist of fate, led me to realise how fragile and unpredictable life is.

Since young, I've been conditioned by self reliance. Especially so since communication with Empress Dowager was terse. There's nothing much medically that I can do at this moment so rather than to dwell on something exponentially unpleasant, an action plan to a healthier life should be in place. So that's what I've been doing. Looking at things from the other end of the tunnel, I'm starting to feed myself better despite having to juggle with comitments of both work and family. It's no excuse, everyone else is doing so. Only difference, they prolly have a better support system or spare cash under their pillow to put mounting financial stress at bay.Then again, 家家有本难念经, so I should not plummet myself into this viscious cycle. No matter how insurmountable it might seem, I'm going to try harder to treat myelf better. It's tough not to rush around and have the bandwidth to linger and reflect, but I hope to take baby steps to strike a balance in the drudgery of life.
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well
Here's what I've been doing to keep myself healthier (or so it seems):

I've been a staunch believer of TCM and lately I've switched physicians. This old man (Ban Choon Chan) @ Marine Parade came highly recommended but be warned, his queues are amazing too! He isn't opened on Monday and Tuesdays and the rest of the days, he's only opened in the day. His doors opens at 830am but pilgrims (including old ladies) are there even at 7am! Once I was there at 8am (happily  thinking that I was early), but alas! I was 12th in q and waited till almost 11am before it was my turn! There is no q number given so u basically have to be seated physically. Some even resort to putting a pack of tissue paper in order to sneak out for a breather! The meds don't come cheap. Two dosages like the above set me back by $75. Taken on certain days of the cycle unlike my previous TCM which had me consume a cough syrup like concoction everyday, every 4 hours. Honestly, I'm not too sure which works, but at least this physcian is located nearby and most importantly, SPEAKS ENGLISH! i've seen even Indian customers of his! And when I  first told him of my condition, he immediately used heaps of medical terms to explain. That bought me over.
I've recently (ok not very recent considering the hiatus) chanced upon this awesome little organic stall. It's really quite a small area selling all sorts of organic stuff (except fresh produce). I was particularly impressed by the fact that I could purchase organic pepper, garlic powder and some other spices by the gram! this saves a lot on wastage. Green Pantry is located at Katong i12, Basement.
I bought myself some Quinoa, organic noodles, red rice and organic raw cacao powder amongst others.
Here are the benefis of Quiona which I generally add to rice or porridge:
1. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.

2. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.

3. Quinoa contains Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.

4. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.

5. Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
6. Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.

7. Quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.

Another superfood worth mentioning is Cacao powder. I add this to my daily cup of Milo.
The much touted nutritional benefits or raw cacao range from reducing cataracts to improving heart function to alleviating stress. The theobromine naturally found in raw cacao is a mild, non-addictive stimulant that some believe can treat depression. Nowadays we know that raw cacao is certainly very high in antioxidant flavanoids, sulfur and magnesium. The essential fatty acids found in chocolate may help the body to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. The high levels of antioxidants reduce the amount of free radicals in the body --that certainly sounds good to me.

The above are some of the simple healthy dishes I've whipped up. I try keep my dishes simpler as it's mostly prepared before work for lil K and I. It's no mean feat having to cook and having a lil toddler clinging by your leg literally. Not to mention the cleaning up thereafter. It's often a madhouse right after I drop off Lil K at her granny's. Sometimes I'd be in such a big hurry, the dishes will just have to wait. Thankfully, the ants and cockroaches are still at bay.
When I'm out, I try to opt for healthier options too. Am trying to avoid fried stuff (oh how i love my  KFC) but i now indulge in such foods only once in a blue moon. The above haunt is an awesome place i found in the Toa Payoh enclave. Nestled in the heart of the interchange, this stall which sells only steamed stuff is really a gem. You may think that steam = boring. But check out it's array
 of dishes! From Assam Fish Slice to plain old steam veggies, they have them all. There's also an option of white rice or brown rice. Naturally, even though it doesn't taste as chewy, I force myself to go with the brown rice.
Apart from white rice, I've stocked up on red, brown and black rice! ooooo i love colours! Am trying to get the whole family (namely the hub and lil K) involved in eating these supergrains as their benefits speak for themselves:

1. Rich in fiber
2. Controlling blood sugar levels
3. Making full faster
4. Contains antioxidants to counteract free radicals
In addition, red/brown rice is rich in zinc, a mineral that helps accelerate wound healing and maintain the body's immune system to function properly. Just as iron or manganese, zinc is also rich in antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals that can damage cells and tissues in the body.
5. Containing Vitamin B6
6. Lowering bad cholesterol levels
Having spent so much effort in detoxing, the results seem to be showing. My bowel movements are more regular and I'm feeling less lethargic and healthier. I don't know how long I can keep this up but hopefully the efforts will pay off!
Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food