Monday, March 29, 2010

Some Basics About Healthy Oil

In 2009, I was interviewed on Channel U,
to comment about some simple facts on
good healthy oils.

Below is a short video clip below (Mandarin),
extracted from the TV series "Essential 7".

In the video clip it was mentioned that:

- oil is best consumed in form of natural food
(ie seeds, grains and fatty fruits)

- good healthy oil should not be heated
to avoid structural damage and generation of carcinogens

- when heating is needed,
specific type of oils are required,
and it should not be overly heated still.

- one way to minimise oil damage during stir-fry
is to simmer thin layer of water on the wok,
put in the veggies and sprinkle oil on top of the veggies

Hope you enjoy the clip =)
Happy watching!!

Well regards,
Kee Yew

p/s: more details on fats and oils in previous blog series: The Fats of Life :)

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Good Start for Organic Living!

Last Saturday was one of my happiest days in 2010! haha...

-- I set up this Organic Living Meetup group recently,
to raise awareness
for leading an eco-responsible and healthy lifestyle.

The online setup allows any member of the public to meet up
for a specified activity (in this case, an organic dinner),
at a pre-arranged date/time and venue
(we dined at an organic restaurant, Vegsenz).
At first, I was wondering how should I greet every one of them,
then I was worried would the atmosphere be quiet
or should I need to do ice-breaking *^&*$#%%^ ?..

Basically, I wasn't sure how an organic dinner
with a group of strangers would be!
(altogether 23pax, 70% of them I've never met)

But, the Organic Goers turned up to be
super-friendly, chirpy, humurous and kind-hearted!!

What made me real happy was that,
I made friends with so many health conscious and eco-friendly people
and we had great chat
from tasty healthy food
to nutrition,
to raw cooking,
to veganism ,
to GMO,
to environment conservation etc...

The event started 6.30pm.. but we didn't quite wanted to leave until 10pm..
It was like we've met each other long ago..
there were so much to share, so much reconnect with.

I believe
it's the power of organic spirit =)

Well regards,
Kee Yew

p/s: next Organic Living Meetup will be on 24 April. Please come :D

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Healing Power of Juices (4)

Some FAQs about juicing:

(A) Can I choose either juice or fruit as my daily routine,
which one is better?
We should take juices on top of fruits we're already taking.

Fruit when taken in whole, confers the most complete benefits
(from fibre, to phytonutrients, to enzyme, to vitamins etc).
Fruit is the basic foundation of healthy diet,
but it is lack of some healing traits.

Juice is supposed to supplement our body with high dosage of
phytonutrients and enzymes which are limited in mere whole fruit intake.
Hence, juice may serve as a healing agent,
given the high dosage of phytonutrients and enzymes.
But juice does not work alone without the basic foundation
(ie grains, veg, fruits and nuts).

(B) Isn't it a waste to chuck away the pulp everytime we juice?
There are many good ways to fully utilise the pulps.
It's not necessary to throw them away.
For examples, they can be used to bake muffin, cook soup,
ferment enzymes, compost fertiliser and wash dishes!
Fyi, Kampung Senang's Eco-kitchen routinely uses their organic carrot pulp
to make into chilli floss :P

(C) Isn't it too much liquid for a day?
We are recommended to drink 12 glasses of water daily.
6 out of the 12 glasses may be replaced with fresh juices or plain chinese tea ;)

(D) Is it necessary to go organic juice?
Ideally yes. But we can still make do with conventional fruits.
One fact about juicing is that,
juicing separates the water-soluble juice from
the water-insoluble pulp where most pesticides/chemicals reside.
Hence, drinking non-organic juice is 'safer' than eating the same non-organic fruit.
But, don't get me wrong, it's still important to go organic, due to its higher nutrient content!

(E) I have no time to juice, is it ok to buy packeted all-natural fruit juice?
Preferrably not.
Manufactured juice, is lack of enzyme,
and is depleted of certain heat-labile vitamins/phytonutrients, due to pasteurisation.
But, in situation where fresh juice is not available,
go for additive/preservative-free 100% juice
(not juice-like beverage made from 100% real juice, if you know what I mean :P).

Fyi, the popular brand, Magnolia's Peel-Fresh is not qualified at all... heee..

Seriously, hawker centres with juice stalls are all around Singapore,
it's rather hard to convince that fresh juice is hard to get... ;)

Well regards,
Kee Yew


Juice recipe of the day

Coconut smoothies
~~ yet another vegan, nutiritious and yummy smoothie!

Blend 300mL of coconut water and young coconut flesh (from 1 coconut) with 1 serving of either papaya, dragon fruit, rock melon, honey dew or mango.
-- you may rotate the colour everyday!!

Benefits: rich in good fats for higher metabolic rate, hormonal balance and stronger immunity .


{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Healing Power of Juices (3)

Now that we have heard stories about the magic of fresh juices,
but what make it magical?

There is nothing magical about fresh juices really.
The healing power of juices actually comes from the high content
of phytonutrients (i.e. plant-specific nutrients) which
confer some antioxidant and detoxification effects.

Vitamin C which is a well known antioxidant,
when taken in high dosage (e.g. via 2-6 glasses of juice),
confers protective benefits against
free radicals in our body (due to stress and pollution).

The red pigment (also a kind of phytonutrients) of the dragon fruits
can diffuse into our blood stream,
pick up toxins and get rid them out via the urine.
-- plant pigments are usually sticky, hence they have affinity to "dirts" in our blood.

When our body experiences reduced load of free radicals and toxins,
the body systems will automatically repair themselves
and hence will improve the functionality of our organs, from eye to brain to skin to liver etc...

In order to achieve the detoxification/healing effect,
it's important that our body is fed with high level of the phytonutrients.
This is why eating fruits alone may not match the effect of drinking juices.
-- Fruit fibres restricts the amount of servings of fruits taken at a time,
hence the amount of phytonutrients intake.
Whereas juice without the fibre can be drunk in large quantity at any time,
and escalate the level of phytonutrients intake.

The healing power is directly proportional to the phytonutrients content.
Now we understand why Ms Sim wants people to drink 6 glasses of juices a day
(to make the equivalent of 18 servings of fruits a day easier!).

Have a juicy day,
Kee Yew


Juice recipe of the day
Detox Punch
~~ a detoxifying juice that taste like 'alcoholic' softdrink ;)  -- also taste a bit bitter and 'spicy', but tantalising!

Mix 250mL of ruby grapefruit juice with 25mL of raw white radish juice. Serve chilled.

Benefits: detoxifies the liver and cleanses the colon. It gets rid of parasites in the gut too, but the white radish juice portion needs to be increased for better efficiency ;)


{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Healing Power of Juices (2)

Another amazing juice story happened
on a 9-year-old mentally retarded girl.

The retarded girl's mum was one of Ms Sim's detox clients.

Out of good will, as always,
Ms Sim advised that the mum to feed her girl
with 6 glasses of juices too,
for the benefit of the girl's overall well being.

The mum tried to heed Ms Sim's advice but
eventually only fed  her girl with 2 glasses of fresh juices daily.

Then, something happened...

One fine day, the girl suddenly dissappeared from the house.
For her entire life, the retarded girl had never left her home
without the company of her family members.
Simply, she could never recognise her way home.
She had to hang a name tag with home address whenever she went out.

Her family was obviously worried,
and did everything they could to search for her.
But just before they could lodge a police report,
the retarded girl came home with some candies in her hands
by her own goodself!

Apparently, they girl went off to nearby grocery shop
to buy candy and found her way home all by herself,
for the 1st time in her life!

Her mum could only claim the only difference she did to her
was the 2 glasses of fresh juices daily over two months =)

Fresh juices are everywhere,
why not grab a glass today? :D

Well wishes,
Kee Yew

Juice recipe of the Day
ACE Juice
~~ This juice is creamy and tastes better than carrot milk! (what's more, it's vegan!)
Why organic carrot? because it's sweeter and has higher beta-carotene content.

Blend 350mL of organic carrot juice with 1/2 fully-ripen avocado pulp. Serve chilled.

Benefits: High in Vit A, Vit E and good fats, good for liver, skin, eyes and brain ;)


{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Healing Power of Juices (1)

I have become a big fan of fresh fruit/veggie juices
ever since I started to learn from my teacher, Miss Sim.

In 2005, I first met Ms Sim at her healing centre cum organic cafe
at Stanley St, Tanjong Pagar.

It was from then on, Ms Sim educated me on the importance of juices
and emphasized the need of drinking 2-6 glasses of fresh juices daily.

I naturally like fruits and juices,
so it's wasn't difficult to get into a habit of drinking juices daily,
but at first, like many people out there,
I was skeptical about the need of drinking up to 6 glasses a day!

Repeatedly, whenever I dined at her organic cafe,
Ms Sim would tell me stories after stories about how people got healed
from a lot of health conditions including constipation, skin problems, autism etc
by drinking high dosage of fresh juices everyday.

Due to practicality for a guy who has a full time job,
I decided to go for minimum 2 glasses of juice during week day
and 4-6 glasses during weekend.
I tried that juice intensive regime out for about a month or two,
and then some amazing things happened.

My body became very 'light' (ie not easily tired),
my eyes became very bright,
my mind could spin very fast (ie clear and speedy analysis of the brain)
and my memory was better than ever!

There was this incidence when my mum drove me to her friend's place
which was in totally an unfamiliar neighbourhood.
My mum left the car with me and wanted me to drive back home.

Usually, in such a situation, I would rely on a road map.
But guess what,
that day, I drove out of the "maze" in a matter of minutes,
without a map!

The best part of the story was that along the way mum
drove into the neighbourhood,
I was actually half-asleep!
(my car seat was lowered, and I was only watching with half-opened eyes
when my mum was driving).

I was puzzled by my improved memory
and I could only attribute that to my intensive "juice therapy"
during that two months!! kekekekek...

More juicy juicing stories to come :D

Happy juicing!
Kee Yew


Juice recipe for the day:
ABC Juice
~~ this is a classic one may already be familiar with. But it's worth posting for juicing newbies.

Mix equal portion of Green Apple Juice, Beetroot Juice and Carrot Juice. Drink fresh!

Benefits: detoxing (for gut and liver), good for anemic and cancer patients etc ;)


{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Putting Vegetarian Theories into Practice

As I have been teaching vegetarian classes
for quite a few years now,
I noticed that large number of people
seldom put the theories that they have learnt in lectures
into real life.
For example,
a typical advice of refraining from fried foods
often remains an advice and
people usually will just go ahead having fried stuff
whenever they feel like it.
-- not that they do not know how bad fried foods are,
but knowing and putting the knowledge into practice
can be very different.

In 2009, when invited by Cixin
to teach at Awareness Place Wellbeing Centre,
I wanted a break through.
I wished that my students
would deeply impart the knowledge into their lives
and practically get benefited.

Then, I designed a 9-lesson Vegetarian Wellness Course
that comprehensively delivered the A-Z of healthy vegetarian diet,
cooking skills, detoxification, organic tour and the philosophies of vegetarianism.

To ensure that the theories were put into real life practice,
I assigned 3 group-projects to the students.

In these 3 projects, students were tasked
to do literature reviews on 3 separate topics:
Healthy Oil, Healthy Diet and Healthy Water.

At the end of the projects,
other than writing up on their findings,
students also had to survey and rank
different brands of edible oils, brown rice sets or water filter systems
that are available in the market.
That was to ensure the in-depth appreciation of the theories learnt in class
and to translate theories into practical benefits for themselves and broad public.

When they submitted their reports eventually,
I was very impressed and touched.

The reports revealed that
the students truly had very good understanding of the topics
and did reaped a lot of practical benefits from the exercise.
(I myself learnt so much from the reports too!)

I can't help praising my VWC students for their admirable effort.
Now, you can see for yourself the amazing work they have done
as their enriching reports are now available online =)
Check them out!

Well regards,
Kee Yew

p/s: The survey portion of the reports may not be comprehensive and professional (due to many limitations), but do focus on the principles they based on to assess the different brands :)

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Sunday, March 7, 2010

When is organic food truly organic? (4)

In reality,
it may not be easy to fulfill all the 6 definitive criteria.

Simply, some of the criteria are
- unmeasurable,
- arbitrary (if measurable) or
- non-achievable (given the unfavourable condition/background in certain region.)

Organic produce from different regions
are hence very variable in quality
depending on
the farming practice,
certification stringency,
public's receptive-ness etc...

This fact however
should not contradict the need for organic agriculture.
Because we do whatever best achievable.
If we give up on organic agriculutre
just because we cannot perfect the organic agricultural system,
we will never have organic food.

When I led local organic tours in Singapore,
often I told the participants
that the farms we visited were not truly organic,
by strict definition.
However, we should still support them,
because of their organic spirit and
their good will to produce safer food with less chemicals.
Without them, we will never get anything close to organic.

This leads to one last criterion to define organic food
-- Gratitude.

This is getting a little bit far fetch to some of us.
But gratitude is indeed needed to ensure that
organic spirit will sustain and persist.

Our ancestors used to live in an organic world.

But this organic world slowly degenerates,
as mankind become less and less contented/grateful.

We want luxuries (e.g. "abundance" of meat)
which could not be provided by Mother Earth.

When Mother Earth can't catch up
with our ever-expanding demand,
we do silly and unnatural interventions
to 'fix the problem" from the surface,
by poisoning small animals,
     hormonising the live stocks,
     genetically modifying cash crops
and eventually intoxicating our ownselves,
-- under the excuse of saving world hunger...

As we can see now,
the lack of gratitude is the fundamental cause
that get non-organic agriculture started.

To revive the organic world
once our ancestors lived in,
we need gratitude.

Hence, Gratitude is the ultimate ingredient of true organic living.

With Gratitude :)
Kee Yew

I recently set up an Organic Living Meetup Group.
and sincerely invite you to join in the force to support the organic industry
for the betterment of Mother Earth, if you are residing in Singapore =)

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Saturday, March 6, 2010

When is organic food truly organic? (3)

If growing a crop naturally is still not enough to
define an organic crop,
what criterion else is needed?

-- another criterion to ensure a crop being organic
is to abide with harmony.

This is the philosophical core of organic agriculture.

Being natural is not enough.
If a natural agriculture does not harmonise with
the people, animal and environment,
it defeats the ultimate purpose of organic farming.

This 6th criterion is actually the "blanket clause"
to cover all the 'loop holes' that Criterion 5 (plus 4 sub-criteria)
technically fails to cover,
and also to align with the spirit of organic farming.

To harmonise with people, animal and environment
means to cause no harm to people, animal and environment
and to support the survival/sustainability of people, animal and environment.

Anything we do with our food,
as long as
it harms people (e.g. spraying herbicides),
it harms animals (e.g. spraying pesticides),
it harms the environment (e.g. upset the eco-system),
it's drifted away from the spirit of organic living.

This brings up the myths of organic meat.

Slaughtering, fundamentally does not adhere to the principle of
mutual harmony between
human (acidic food) and
animals (suffering and killing) and
environment (pollution).
Even tho' the animal is fed with purely organic feed,
the meat should not be considered as organic food.

Another perspective is that,
because meat is an inefficient manner to feed population on Earth,
hence not sustainable,
meat is totally out of the organic scene.

Organic living is more than just free from chemical, really.

Well regards,
Kee Yew


{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Thursday, March 4, 2010

When is organic food truly organic? (2)

Why an organic crop could still be wrongly defined
even it doesn't get in touch with a single molecule of
harmful chemical, pollutant or contaminant?

This is because:

1. the four criteria mentioned previously
    could be technically 'plagiarised',
    e.g. fertilising crops with high-Nitrogen biomass-derived
          (ie non-synthetic) fertilizer
          that boosts the growth and green-ness of a crop,
          will result in risky level of residual
          nitrites in the plant, causing harm to consumers.

2. the fulfilment of the four criteria doesn't necessarily
    adheres to the core principle of organic agriculture
    e.g. traditionally crossing related species of crops to derive a super variety,
           eventually resulting in wiping off its wild type relatives in nature.
          [this effect can be as bad as growing a GMO, environmental-wise; but
           the crop is still defined as organic, since it fulfills all 4 criteria]

The four certification criteria emphsize on
only the measureable aspects of organic agricultural practice.

The 4 basic criteria hence have to be supplemented with
a 5th criterion which is
natural farming.
This is when 'organic' is getting difficult to measure or it's almost inmeasurable.

Natural farming means going by the flow of nature.
As mentioned, it's not quite measureable,
so it's not possible to list out all the parameters.

But there are a few examples here to illustrate:
E.g.1  to grow crops which are local
E.g.2  to grow crops according to season
E.g.3. to refrain from human manipulation (like cross-breeding, air-conditioning & sheltering)

~ growing crops on a non-indigeneous land or in the wrong season,
will compromise the survival/competence/health of a crop.
This in turn "justifies" for heavy fertilisation (even tho' non-synthetic)
and eventually leads to possible 'poisoning' of crop and low nutrient content.

That's why it's not surprising to see no difference in nutrients level between
both chemical-free organic Choy Sum
and non-organic Choy Sum grown in tropical Singapore
(which is not native to Choy Sum of temperate origin).

--  This is when parties with 'vested interest' invest in research studies
and claim that it's not worthwhile growing organic crops
since there is no added value in nutrition.

As one may observe by now,
Criteria 1-4 are actually the measureable subset of Criteria 5,
to facilitate certification and easy referencing.

To grow a crop organically
is to grow a crop in a manner abiding to natural laws,
so that the crop is full of life-force.
(note: the word 'organic' means pertaining to life)

So, if a crop is grown naturally and is full of life-force,
can it be fully-defined as an organic crop?

May or may not be.

Explanation to come..

Well wishes,
Kee Yew


{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

When is organic food truly organic? (1)

The popularity of organic food is getting higher nowdays.
At the same time, the organic issue is also getting more controversial.

Hence, there is a need to inform further the public
on what truly organic food is.

There isn't yet one mutually agreed definition of
"Organic" among the international organic communities.

And, exactly because of the 'loosely' defined organic industries,
at times, it draws a lot of debates and misunderstanding/confusion.

At one time, a research study would claim that
organic food is more nutritious;
at another time, another study would contradicts
that organic food is not much different from chemical-grown foods...

Set aside the questionable motives behind some of those research studies,
there are indeed loop holes in calling a crop being organically grown.

This boils down to the arbitrary guidelines/parameters
different certification bodies use to define organic agriculture.
Also, intrinsically, not all aspects of an organic crop can be measured.

In general,
an organically grown crop could be defined when a crop:
1. is not treated with chemical pesticides, herbicides or fungicides
2. is not fertilised with synthetic/chemical fertiliser
3. is not grown in an environment (ie land, water & air)
    which is contaminated with heavy metals, chemicals or any harmful substances
4. is not a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)

When the ALL four criteria are satisfied,
usually a crop could be certified an organic crop

BUT, with that minimal set of criteria,
a crop can still be 'wrongly' defined as an organic crop.

Why? Find out from the next blog :)

Well regards,
Kee Yew


{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bouncing towards a healthier lifestyle

About 2 years ago,
I first heard about trampoline (or rebounding exercise)
from my teacher, Glenis Lim.

According to her,
Anthony Robbins highly recommended
getting fit and healthy with a trampoline.
Robbins ever mentioned,
trampoline is one useful tool for presenters
to boost their confidence and energy level
just before getting on stage
(effective switching of the brain waive
from alpha-state to beta-state).

I was interested. But did nothing about it,
as I had no idea how to use, where to buy,
what to do about it... (ie plain lazy :P)

Another year passed on.
When I subscribed with T Harv Eker's,
I came across this advertorial interview
with David Hall on the benefits of bouncing on trampoline.

According to Hall,
with his 20yrs of rebounding experience,
a trampoline is able to
stretch and contract every single cells in our body,
tone muscles, massage internal organs, drain lymphatic systems,
circulate blood, balance postures etc..

I was moved! But still didn't do anything.

Another a year or so passes on,
my good friend Joo Heng and I did a bone density test
at a USANA roadshow.

I was pleased with my standard bone density index of 1.
Joo Heng was excited. He told me just got index of 1.8
(cf. index of 1, just half a year ago!).
-- the only different thing he did for the past 6months
was rebounding on a trampoline.

I was impressed!!
This time, I did a deep search on Google about
the benefits of bouncing on a trampoline.
The list of benefits was endless.
On top of what just mentioned above,
it can also reduce stress (I needed it!),
balance hormones,
help in secretion of happy hormones (anti-depression)

when I got my 13th month bonus, last December,
I bought a mini trampoline @ SGD138 from
AIBI (Lvl3, Plaza Singapura)!

Ever since I tested it out 2 months ago,
I have become 'addicted' to it!
When I went holidaying in Malaysia last Jan,
I missed my trampo so much that
I had to bounce on the hotel bed every morning!

So far I am experiencing:
better sleep,
better posture,
better blood circulation,
deeper breath and
clearer mind.
I have since told my friends about it and
urged them to get one.. and may of them did!
And they are enjoying it too! hahaha..

I told them, perhaps we can for a trampoline club soon =)

Happy rebounding,
Kee Yew

p/s: N.A.S.A. once quoted:  Rebound Exercise is the Most Effective and Efficient Form of Exercise Yet Devised by Man".

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}
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