Sunday, August 23, 2009

Debunking Myths In Vegetarianism

During the course of promoting vegetarianism
in the past few years,
2 most common questions asked are:

"Where do vegetarians get their proteins from?"
"Are vegetarians lack of iron?"

These two questions are so frequently asked
to the extent that they seems like real issues..

In fact,
proteins and iron are never concerns to
well informed vegetarians.

All food contains proteins at different concentrations,
because all living things
include plants, bacteria and viruses
are made of proteins =)

People may question the "completeness" of the proteins in plants.
This is easily solved by taking 2-3 different types of plants.
The combined spectrum of proteins from
a few different plant sources
easily cover the complete range of proteins we need :D

Some good sources of plant proteins:
Soya, Millet, Quinoa, Spirulina, Lentil and Chickpea.

Lacking of iron is not a vegetarian-specific issue.
Generally, due to non-organic farming,
our food nowadays is getting more mineral-deficient.

When vegetarians are lack of iron,
they may source out for plant foods
which turn brown (oxidised) easily.
Some examples are:
Apple, Potato, Dates, Sweet potato and Spinach.

For those who need urgent remedy
for serious iron-deficiency,
consider this nice recipe :)

In 1 cup of warm water,
mix in 1-2 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

Drink 2 cups daily for 2 weeks for emergency rescue.
For long term maintenance,
drink 1 cup daily on alternative month.

Blackstrap molasses is a natural sugar cane extract
being the side product of cane sugar refinement.
It's very rich of iron and calcium.

Happy Vegging,
Kee Yew

Friday, August 21, 2009

Why being middle class is not good enough

One of the many important teachings
that I gathered from the millionaires' workshops
I attended in the past 9 months
is the realization of the middle class crisis.

According to Robert Kiyosaki and many others
the current middle class is soon

This is due to
the new capitalism system after 1971,
the abuse of debts in current financial system and
the poor financial education in general.

When a big financial tsunami hits,
most of the middle class people who
preferentially save their hard earned money
will lose their money substantially and
downgrade to poor class.

The already poor class people will suffer the most.

Whereas, the rich and super rich class will be cushioned
by their higher financial IQ and cash flow investment.

In Kiyosaki's seminars and books,
he repeatedly expressed his concern of
wide spread financial-illiteracy,
and hence his good will to educate.

He believes financial IQ is the only key to
draw the middle class out of the crisis.
He foresees, the vanishing middle class will
segregate into the poor class and the rich class
depending on whether they are willing to
increase their financial IQ.

Well wishes,
Kee Yew

Thursday, August 20, 2009

4 Vital Steps Towards Success

I was in Greg Secker's Forex Trading workshop
last weekend.

Other than the eye-opening techniques
of analysing charts and interpreting signals,
Secker touched base on something more
important in managing financial wellness.

He put a lot of emphasis on translating
knowledge to action, and
realising theory in the practical world.

Secker mentioned, despite many people who
have learnt about forex trading,
very few people practically trade!

This is a problem which is non-exclusive
to forex trading which one may think that
it's the high risk that hold people up
(which is untrue).

In fact, Secker pointed out that
it's more about how people are unwilling to

Hence he suggested 4 vital steps to make changes
in life successfully
-- this is the way this multi-millionaire lives by
and made quantum leaps in his path to success:

1. Set a series of small goals towards our dreams
2. Make plans to achieve the goals with surgical precision
3. Schedule the plan and lock the door behind
(ie no easy U-turn)
4. Get around with the pathwalkers
(mix around with successful players in the specific field)

Also, mentioned in his workshop,
sharing the similar tune with Robert Kiyosaki,
the fact that many people are less well-off financially
is due to the lack of financial education.

Many of us, who are already financially under-educated,
prefer to leave our hard earned money to the
"experts" or "professionals" who protrait images of
being good at money management.

This is the very trap
in the current (messy) financial system,
that most people fell into and inherently
let other people to maneuver (abuse) our money
for their own fortune.

Secker stressed that it's time
we ourselves to be responsible of our own wealth.
To do that, we have to get ourselves
financially educated in the proper way.

Well wishes,
Kee Yew

p/s: Golden phrases from Secker:
Winners are people who focus on how to manage risk;
Losers are people who focus on how much money to make.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A humble fruit that heals -- Lemon.

One of the important health tips
that I have learnt during the last few years
I spent with my nutritionist teacher, Ms Sim,
was the use of Lemon!

At first, it didn't quite catch my attention,
altho' almost every single dishes she made
and all detox protocols that she prescribed has got lemon in it!
Ms Sim claimed that, people in this fast-paced era
have poor digestive system and the lemon could help.
-- I just thought it's probably a personal preference.

Much later, a cascade of events led me into
investigating the deep benefits of lemon.

One day, I picked up this line on a TV show
by a Feng Shui master who mentioned that
by the principle of 5-Element (五行),
both "Sour Food" and "Liver"
belong to the same element Wood (木).
Hence sour food could strengthen the liver
(which is the foundation of a healthy body in TCM).

In another occasion, my yoga teacher Mr Jason Lim
advised his students to take 1/2 lemon squash
(diluted in 1 cup of luke warm water)
every morning (before breakfast).
He explained that many yogists do this daily
as a basic means of wellness maintenance.

Also in a seminar, I learnt that lemon is an 'alkalic' food
(despite the apparent acidity)
which can turn our blood pH into the alkaline range,
and this subsequently infers that
lemon could help curb/prevent diseases
(cf acidic blood pH that promotes bacterial/viral/cancer growth)

All these amazing information on lemon triangulates
and made me drill in further on Why Lemon?!

Eventually, I bumped into an online article that
ultimately convinced me about the healing power of lemon.

In this article, the author described that lemon contains
a lot of essential and ready-to-use nutrients/enzymes that the liver needs.
Hence, lemon could support the wellness of the liver which
in turn confers a better immunity and stronger life force.
-- Accodting to the author, it is known that,
any person who has a healthy liver should not suffer
from any illness for longer than 2 weeks (and vice versa).

Now, I dedicatedly take diluted lemon juice every morning.
Along the past 1.5 years of integrating this humble fruit in my life,
my health quality experiences a quantumn leap :)

Don't be afraid of the sourness, give it ago today :D

Well regards,
Kee Yew

Monday, August 10, 2009

What Happens If The Earth Is 6-degree Celcius Warmer?

I was at a movie appreciation session
at Dharma Drum Singapore last Saturday.

They were screening this impressive
documentary on global warming,
"6 Degrees" by the National Geographic.

While most people would reckon that
this is an educational movie,
I looked at it from a slightly different perspective.

Actually, one could perceive the documentary
as an introduction to multiple levels of hell...

Not kidding!
The movie basically focuses on describing
the possible scenarios
when our Earth's temperature rises
1 degree, 2 degrees, 3 degress to 6 degrees.

With every degree higher in temperature,
the scenerios got more and more
unsightful, devasting and detrimental.

For every degree rises in temperature,
scientist predicted
more damages, more sufferings, more chaos
and more deaths.

That afternoon,
I could feel some audiences at the event
got uncomfortable watching the movie.
Simply, nobody would accept the accusation
that the hell-on-Earth to come,
is caused by our very own goodselves.

In the end of the movie,
the narrator made 2 very stern warnings:

1) With every degree higher,
the increase of temperature accelerates.

2) With every degree higher,
there is less likelihood of turning-back.

The message from the movie was clear:
Nobody should delay
the rescue of the Earth (and ourselves)
from the horrifying future to come.

Please act now to cut your carbon foodprint!

With metta,
Kee Yew

Friday, August 7, 2009

Connecting with the heart of universe

One of the most impressive
sutra that I have learnt during my
3-year dharma course is
The Prajna Paramita Hrydaya Sutra
or The Heart Sutra (心经)

In the Chinese version of this precious scripture,
there are only 260 characters.
It's one of the shortest sutras that
harbours the most profound and
most comprehensive Buddhism teachings.
One may even see it as a summary of
the core of the universal laws.

In Dharma class, I was told that
it was the Heart Sutra that sustained
Venerable XuanZhuang of Tang Dynasty (唐三藏)
through a lot of difficulties and dangers
during his journey to India
to fetch more sutras back to China.

After knowing how much Venerable XuanZhuang
treasured this ultimate scripture on Earth,
I vowed to integrate the Heart Sutra
into my day-to-day life
so that I could also sustain through
the challenging path of enlightenment.

In other words, I vowed, at my very best, to
decipher the true meaning of the Heart Sutra,
understand the core principles of the universe,
practise the teachings of the Heart Sutra.

The following is a very nice
Chinese Heart Sutra song
-- I find it easy to memorise the scripture
with nice melody :)

Also try the Sanskrit version,
composed and sung by Imee Ooi
if you like something more exotic!

With metta,
Kee Yew

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How to persuade kids to take veggie?

One answer is
to be a SUPERHERO!

I have to admit that
I am a big fan of Spiderman.
When I was working in Adelaide,
I used to wake up early purposely,
just to catch Spidey comic strip on TV
before I go school (oops.. work!)

When Spidey Movie first came out,
I was absolutely excited.
But, guess what, I was even more astonished
when Spidey told kids
to take more veggie and fruits!

Most people probably skipped that "insignificant" line,
but I was amazingly sensitive enough to pick it up.
So, right after the movie,
with great suspicion and anticipation,
I went online to google Tobey Maguire's background.

And BINGO: he was a strict vegetarian for 9 years
when he filmed for Spiderman1!

Straight away,
I mailed out to Vegetarian Society and many friends,
the online article stating Tobey Macguire being a vegetarian
and describing how he worked closely with
his trainer and nutritionist to puff up his muscles with
strict plant-based diet (yes, he avoided even whey powder!).

Soon after that, I also found out that
Christopher Bale (Batman), Chris Evan (Fantastic Four)
and many other celebrities are also vegetarians!

Those are very very good news,
as most kids tend to think that
in order to grow up strong and tough,
meat is one major ingredient..
These 'Superheros' celebrities with good physique
dispel all those misconception
and encourage kids to grow up
with the proper plant-based diet.

During the course of promoting vegetarianism,
I gradually understand that,
while scientific facts and figures
may convince people about
the importance of vegetarian diet,
the image of vegetarian is one big final push
to get people to take the plunge.

Having these Super Veggie Heros around
certainly will compound the strength of
vegetarian movement :)

See how Tobey MaGuire recently
contributed his fame to promote
healthy veg lunches for kids at school.

Well regards,
Kee Yew

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Organic food is not necessarily healthier?

In a study recently published in a US journal,
researchers at the London School of
Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
found there were no major differences
between organic and conventionally-produced food.

As some of my organic-conscious friends around
have already started to debate over the finding,
I also feel compelled to speak up
for the sake of mother Earth.

Despite the so called scientific studies on organic food,
I would like to stress that
the results may not be reliable,
-- depending on the methods of analyses.

Being a biologist myself,
I am constantly reminded
to review scientific reports critically.

A few general points that scientists usually consider
to determine whether a scientific report is reliable:

1. Read first hand the original report;
2. Look at the "Method" section which is often likely biased
· see if the subjects are being compared on the same platform?
-- are both non-/organic foods grown in the same region,
on similar soil, under comparable weather/climate etc?
· see if the tested representatives of each group are truly representative?

-- my impression is the quality of organic foods can vary a lot.
Simply using a mean value to assess isn't a wise approach.
· is the statistical analysis method sound? are data normalised?

With my personal prejudice,
it's not easy to compare non-/organic foods directly,
simply due to the loose definition of organic food,
high biological variability/operators' variability
and limitation of testing device/technology.

Simply put,
the methodology of any study has to be scrutinised
before even trusting any of the data..

It's too easy to be drifted into
controversial but unnecessary debates
cooked up by the media,
without assessing the original report.

Also, with a lot of food politics around nowadays,
it's also important to find out who fund the research studies
i.e. check for vested interest/hidden agendas?

Well wishes,
Kee Yew

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Essence To Become Rich

One of the most enlightening moments
when I was sitting in T. Harv Eker's
Millionaires Mind Intenstive workshop (in Dec 08)
was when he did a simple psychological exercise
with the participants, TWICE.

At the start of the exercise,
he wanted us to list out
all the reasons why we want to be rich.

When all reasons were written down,
he picked some participants for their answers.
Many had the similar answers,
ranging from buying a dream home, dream car,
to spend more time with family, helping charity and the like.

At this point,
Harv purposely showed a dissapointed face,
and criticised that these "small" dreams
were not sufficient to drive us rich...
simply because, he exclaimed,
there is not much value added in other people's lives!

He then asked us to repeat the same exercise.
This time, we had to give much greater reasons
to justify why we deserved to be rich.
i.e. ask how much value are we willing to
add on to other people's lives
to deserve the massive wealth we dreamed to have.
-- he especially emphasized that
the more value to add onto more people,
the more money we will get!

This simple exercise stroke me.
It's such a simple message.
Harv even repeatedly mentioned that in his book
Secret of The Millionaires Mind
but, I didn't really absorb the teaching
until he yelled out loud
"You Need to Add More Value on People to be Rich!"

We always asked a lot of things in life,
but never have we asked
the question Harv provoked,
"Why do we think we should be rich
if we are not serving any purpose to people and to the world?"

Stephen Pierce and Joel Comm
who are two great internet marketers cum multi-millionaires,
also mentioned in 2 separate occassions,
in order to market your products,
one needs to first contribute to the cyber community.

When I heard these similar remarks over and over again
from more successful millionaires,
they triggered a thought in my mind:
Like many other things in this world,
making money is also a zero sum game.

There is always a balanced relationship between
input and output.

There should at least be value input first,
in order to have value output (in form of wealth)

With metta,
Kee Yew

Sunday, August 2, 2009

How to cook with the least energy?

I was introduced by my teacher, Jessie Cheong,
to a very lovely cooking device
a few years back, and
have since fallen in love with it!

This brilliant cooker which is generally called
the thermal (magic) cooker
was first invented by the Japanese,
to minimise
energy wastage (good for the environment!),
duration of attention and
hassles during cooking.

It basically uses
the principle of the thermal flask
to cook slowly without electricity.
The following is a schematic illustration
of the assembly of the cooker:

With advanced technology,
the outer pot of thermal cooker
insulates the heat at such a high efficiency
that the inner pot loses only 3-4C per hour.

So, when one put the stainless steel inner pot
on the stove to cook for 5-10min in order to
bring the temperature above 100C,
prior to locking it in the insulating outer pot,
the food within will retain >80C for many hours
and continue to cook over the incubation period.
(yes! food is cooked at temperature >80C).

With thermal cooker, my quality of life
improved so much.
Due to my hectic schedule,
I only need to spend 15min in the kitchen
before I go to bed at night (say 10pm),
to cook my millet-quinoa congee.
The next morning,
I will just bring the easy-to-carry
mini thermal cooker (1.5L) to work, and
have my warm home-made healthy lunch at 12pm ;)

For the sake of life quality and environment,
I always recommend this cooking device
to my friends and students.
It's available in most big departmental stores and
some health food shops.

Well wishes!
Kee Yew
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