Sunday, September 26, 2010

Life Force Recipes - Explanatory Notes (3)

We now know that seeds are important to us,
as they are the vitality-generating engines.

We also know that harvesting the life-force from seeds
isn't straight forward.

However, there are a few general pointers on
how to minimise the "side-effects" from the consumption of seeds:

(I) choose seeds which are alkaline in nature
~~ these seeds which are relatively rare,
     and can be taken on it's own without much need
     to balance any prominent biased traits.
     Some good examples are: millet, quiona and amaranth seeds

(II) choose seeds which are grown in the climate/region of residence
~~ in other words, these seeds can be grown
     (naturally and robustly without much human intervention)
     in the region we live.
     In the case of Malaysia/Singapore which are in the tropical region,
     some examples are rice, mung bean, millet and amaranth seeds

(III) soak or sprout seeds before consumption
~~ whether to consume raw or cooked,
     soaking and sprouting of seeds prior to consumption
     will reduce acidity of seeds to substantial extent
     For example: soaking of almond overnight, sprouting adzuki beans for two days.

(IV) add in enhancement ingredients to improve digestivity
~~ many seeds are not easily digested and their nutrients are difficult to absorb.
     Adding in some other cooking ingredients that will improve the digestivity
     will balance off the side effects of seeds.
     These ingredients are usually herbs/spices,
     like ginger, pepper, cumin and corriander.
     Cooking lentil with ginger, mixing brown rice with cumin and corriander
     elevates the taste of humble staple food while ensuring the digestivity of the seeds.

Hope you have been enjoying this series on the science of life-force so far :)

Well regards,
Kee Yew


{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Life Force Recipes - Explanatory Notes (2)

We know nothing is created equal on Earth,
because different entities have their uniqueness, preferences and bias,
so as seeds.

While the fact that seeds offer life force remains true,
some seeds are more difficult to digest compared to others;
some seeds are more toxic than others,
some seeds are more neutral (in term of Yin & Yang);
some seeds are more alkaline;
and some seeds are more robust (ie easier to germinate in harsh conditions).

In general, all seeds fit into life force recipes,
but without the knowledge of how to balance the biased traits of different seeds,
sometimes a badly formualted recipe may cause more harm
rather than serving the life-force-giving purpose.

There are different ways to balance off or to get around
the unfavourable traits of certain grains:

In the first recipes, Rejuvenate Concoction,
some of the grains are quite acidic,
but the problem was circumvented by selectively taking on the supernatant
and also balanced by other grains of opposite traits.

The same happened to the second recipe, Longevity Porridge,
where the Yang trait of Huangqi is counteracted by Yin trait of mung bean;
while the other ingredients were also formulated to balance each other.

As for the Amaranth recipe,
amaranth seed itself is very alkaline and not very biased in its medicinal properties,
hence it can be taken all by its own.

Hence, substantial knowledge and intellect are required in
formulating life force recipes... many a time this requires ancient wisdom!!

In the next blog,
more on how to harvest life force from seeds in the proper ways... =)

Well regards,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Life Force Recipes - Explanatory Notes (1)

In the past few days,
I have been posting a special series of Life Force Recipes.

This series of Life Force Recipes
will slowly expand in long term,
so that they will continue to guide people on taking the right food =)

Something I missed out from the beginning of this blog series
is the explanation on the essence of life force recipes.
Hence, there is a need of supplementary note here.

Probably one may already guess,
The essence of Life Force recipes
is to give longevity, vitality and energy?

Yes, but here are the principles behind:

(i) the food must have meant to give birth to life
(ii) the food must have comprehensive nutrients content to support a new life
to signify the presence of robust vitality.

Often in my vegetarian wellness classes,
I half-jokingly told my students that
there is one fool proof way to identify good nutritious food
-- that is to eat whatever babies eat!

In nature, babies are vulnerables and demand meticulous care
(especially in the quality and nutrition of their feed),
to ensure they grow up strong and healhty (reflection of life force).

If we have observed carefully,
it's not hard to notice that
eggs give life force to newborn chick
milk give life force to newborn cattle
seeds give life force to newborn seedling.

In vegan context, in order to harvest the life force from nature,
seeds is a very logical means for us to sustain life with vitality.

Seeds is a compact package of complete nutrients
(from proteins to minerals to carbo to fats to vitamins etc)
that ensure that a seedlings will germinate and grow up into a seedling
before it can nourish from the sun.

Therefore, in the entire series of Life Force Recipes,
one will always see the hallmark of
seeds, cereals, grains, nuts, legumes
among the major ingredients ;)

That's because life force recipes is virtually baby food :P

-- However, are all seeds created equal?
Are all seeds-packed recipes Life Force Recipes?
We will discuss about this next...

Toast to vitality,
Kee Yew


{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Life Force Recipe (3) - Amaranth Cereal Drink

Amaranth Plant
When I first became vegetarian,
like many newbies,
I was concerned about protein intake.

One day, I was surfing the internet
for more convincing info on vegan sources of protein,
and something 'different' popped up in my google search page
-- that is Amaranth Seeds.

According the article,
Amaranth seeds is actually the seeds of amaranth plant (of spinach family).
It was a staple of ancient South Americans
and is notably known for its high protein content and minerals.
This why one of the high protein foods that vegan body builders routinely consume
in place of whey protein and eggs
is Amaranth seeds.

Amaranth can be consumed in many ways,
e.g. served with salad, as cereal or amaranth powder blended into shake.

Sometimes, I would also add 1 or 2 tablespoon of Amaranth Seeds into my
millet/quiona congee, to further boost the protein content (and also life force!).

Here, would like to share a special Mexican-style Amaranth Breakfast Cereal Drink
for variety =)

. Amaranth seeds (1/4 cup)
. water (2 cups)
. Cinnamon stick (x1)
. Agave nectar (1 tbs or to taste)
. Sea salt (a tiny pinch)

- combine Amaranth seeds with water and cinnamon stick, and bring to boil.
- simmer for 20~25min
- stir in Agave nectar and sea salt and serve warm

~~ .. the cinnamon and the crunchy Amaranth seeds would perk you up in the morning =P

Bon apetit,
Kee Yew

p/s: Amaranth seeds is available at some health food shops in Singapore

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Life Force Recipe (2) - Longevity Porridge

I spent some quality time with mum
celebrating Mid Autumn in KL last weekend.

A very common scene
how I communicate with mum at home..
is watching cooking show or wellness show on satellite TV together
-- and discussing about the content (some times debate!!)

I was almost falling asleep in the sofa
when my mum woke me up to catch
this program (中华医药) on CCTV Channel
featuring a 93-year-old TCM physician in China.

When asked about his secret to his longevity,
given his hectic schedule and frequent travelling,
Dr Zhu Liang Chun, revealed on this Longevity Porridge that he takes every single day
for the past 60 years!!

The ingredients as shown below are very common grains and herb;
but the combination (invented by himself and his mum, 60yrs ago)
is formulated to support the harmonious interaction among the 5 internal organs.
By harmonizing the 5 internal organs, our health will naturally strengthen.

This very 'secret' recipe of Dr Zhu that
helped him endure a lot of stress and long working hours is a truly simple one:

[1 serving]
.Mung Beans 绿豆 (pre-soaked 8hr) ..................................... 10g 
.Lotus Seeds 莲子 (pre-soaked 8hr)  .................................... 10g       
.Barley 薏仁 (pre-soaked 8hr)  ............................................. 10g     
.White Yunnan Biandou 白扁豆 (pre-soaked 8hr) ................. 10g       
.Red Dates 红枣 .................................................................... 6g            
.Wolfberries  枸杞子 ............................................................ 2g         
.HuangQi Herb 黄芪 (pre-soaked 20min) ..............................50g       
.Filtered Water 水 ..................................................................3 bowls 

- Boil HuangQi herb in 2 bowls of water for 15min; collect the water.
- Boil with another bowl of water for 15min, collect the water and combine with the previous.
- Combine Mung beans, Lotus seeds, Barley, Biandou, Red Dates with HuangQi herbal water and bring to boil, before simmering for 40min
- add in Wolfberries and boil for another 10min and serve warm.

Longevity to all,
Kee Yew

p/s: if you read in Chinese, here is an excerpt of the TV program

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Life Force Recipe (1) - Rejuvenate Concoction

Several weeks ago,
I went for dinner at Kampung Senang Aljunied
after missing their hearty organic meal for a month or so!!

Then, Auntie MuiFa (the creative and loving chef @ Kg Senang)
came by my table and gave me this special beverage called
the Rejuvenate Concoction.

Rejuvenate Concoction is a humble wellness beverage
that helps (in TCM perspective)
  - improve digestivity and spleen function
  - unblock clogged up Qi within the body
  - remove "damp"-ness from the body

It's not the first time I had Rejuvanate Concoction,
but this time, it caught my extra attention, because I was shown the recipe along.
Auntie MuiFa asked that I spread this recipe for the benefit of broad public,
and hence I am happily uploading the recipe here to share the cyber community ;)

.Lotus Seeds   30g
.Organic Whole Wheat   30g
.Organic Brown Rice   30g
.Organic Black Wild Rice   30g
.Organic Millet   30g
.Organic Pearl Barley (Western)   30g
.Organic Whole Oat   30g
.Glutinous Rice   30g
.Chinese Barley   30g
. Filtered water   12L

- mix Lotus Seeds and Wheat with room temperature Water and bring to boil
- add in Millet and Rice
- add in Barley and boil for another 5 min
- add in whole Oat and boil for the last 5~10min before taking off the stove.

>>Drink only the supernatant (ie liquid part).
-- The sediment (ie grains) could be served as porridge or blended into rice milk.

Well regards,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The humble truth of genes (5)

Knowing genes are equally important as the environmental factors,
we should harness information from genes
to help us to improve our environmental factors.

For examples:
If we know from genetic screenings that
we are susceptible to cancer,
we should tailor our diet to contain more antioxidant or pick up a less stressful job.

If we know that we have gene variants that lead to higher cholesterol level in our body,
then we may take more folate to prevent inflammation of LDL.

The idea is to acknowledge the significance of genes,
but not to exaggerate the 'power' of genes.

Some time ago, I received an email from a friend asking for opinion whether
she should go for a genetic screening, as many of her relatives had cancers.

My suggestion then was that there wasn't a need to do a genetic screen,
as the family trend was already a virtual genetic screen!
There is no need to spend the extra money on the fanciful technologies
which tells the same as traditional methods do.

However if one happens to be unwell since young/birth for no obvious reason,
it's beneficial to go for genetic screening to get some clues what may have gone wrong.

What is most important is that we do the necessary changes accordingly in our lifestyle and diet
when the genetic cause is identified (instead of taking drugs to target the 'causative' gene)

There is no right or wrong as to how a genetic information is used,
but it's important to get educated on where gene is positioned in our lives
and take the corresponding action to improve our health via humble and practical means.
(hence the purpose of this blog series)

Well regards,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The humble truth of genes (4)

Genes, environment, diet, lifestyle and many other factors
are ultimately equal.

We sees genes being more important or playing a bigger part in one's health,
because we have little manipulation over it.

But, we forgot that we still have a lot of capacity to toggle the parameters (for good health) from the other aspects.

4 years ago or so,
I attended a scientific conference,
where a lot of biology experts gather to
discuss about the relationship between genes and cancer/stem cells/aging.

One of the speakers talked about how genes had something else beyond controlling them.
This new field is now called the epigenetic studies,
where biologists study how the physical structure of chromosomes
regulate the expression of genes and eventually direct the translation of genetic codes.

Apparently, the physical structure of chromosomes (cf. chemical coding)
as the speaker spelled out, is often influenced by diet and lifestyle of a person.

Since the discovery of DNA by Watson and Crick half a century ago,
scientist have been fancying the idea of
how DNA commands the biological function of living things
and gradually get drifted into thinking that
DNA is the ultimate number-one-in-command for biological entities.

Now with the latest modern scientific evidence,
we know that DNA and environment actually interacts on an equal ground,
influencing each other, balancing each other to eventually settle in a dynamic equilibrium.

Hence, it's important that we do not get carried away by the mysterious portrait of DNA
and sink into the futile attempts of controlling DNA we are not meant to control.
Exactly, this is how big pharmaceutical companies
convince the general public and governments
to fork out huge money in support for finding cure for a disease at it's 'ultimate source' (ie DNA level)
which is not truly the ultimate source (because there isn't one)...

Knowing that diet, lifetsyle and environment can also interact and influence the operation of genes,
why not instead put in effort into fine tuning these factors which we have the capacity to control?

Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The humble truth of genes (3)

Some readers may be already arguing that
there are situations where a child is born defective (e.g. Down Syndrome)
and that could seriously prove impossible to treat/prevent,
despite the change of diet, living environment, exercise etc...

This is very true.
But these events are rare and
are usually due to some 'ad hoc' malicious mutations or deletion in gene coding.
This is the only situtation where genes could be 'blamed'
(still it is arguable, because the parents, with sufficient information and education, could avoid these mutations sometimes).

Most common degenerative diseases like
diabetes typeII, cardiovascular diseases, adulthood cancers, allergy etc
that contribute bulk of the death in modern days,
are not due to malicious mutations or deletion in gene coding.

In some of these degenerative diseases,
genes may play a slightly bigger part.
E.g. some women are more susceptible to Breast Cancer
if they inherit certain variant forms of BRCA1 from their ancestors.
But still, genetic predisposition isn't everything.

Another important concept about genes stemming from this discussion is that
there is actually no gene that is meant for causing cancer or
making one susceptible to cancer (or any disease).

During the course of evolution (over hundreds/thousands of years),
genetic codes randomly and gradually vary (a kind of natural mutation).
Sometimes the variation will improve the function of a gene
sometimes it is the reverse.

When a genetic code changes to one that compromise the function of the gene,
the new species is naturally selected against (in term of bioogical/social survival and offspring propagation).
So, eventually there is no truly bad variant that gets carried onto the next generation.

In the case of cancer susceptible BRCA1 variants,
they were not meant to cause cancer despite their compromised functions (in DNA repair).
If these cancer susceptible BRCA1 variants were truly bad,
they won't have been passed on from their ancestors
-- because their far end ancestors bearing these variants would have been compromised in their survival/reproduction.

The real situation is that these cancer susceptible variants
could not cause cancer given the environment, diet and lifestyle during their ancestors' time.

When the era changes,
the environment changes (now with more pollution),
the diet pattern changes (now with a lot more meat and food chemicals),
the lifestyle changes (now with less exercise opportunity and more stress),
certain BRCA1 variants could not handle so much 'workload'
and hence now labelled cancer susceptible variants.

The whole issue is very clear,
in order to prevent breast cancer(or a disease),
one can choose
to blame on their misfortune to have inherited the susceptible variants
(where nothing more could be done)
to create an environment, diet pattern, lifestyle that mimic the ancestral time
when these nowadays-so-called susceptible variants were totally harmless.

Question may arise:
How is it possible now to live like our ancestors?
-- exactly a question reflecting one's unwillingness to change and to step out of their comfort zones
as indicated in previous post :P

Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The humble truth of genes (2)

One of the very common misconceptions about gene is that
genetic heridity is something not within our control.

While this hold true to the extent where we couldn't choose our parents
(--actually spiritually speaking, this is still argueable! but we are not discussing here :P) ,
not being able to choose our genes of preference
doesn't mean we can't control the outcome.

To take obesity as an example,
there are indeed genes that make one inclined towards obesity,
but having such genes doesn't mean one ought to be obese.

The proper way of analysing this issue
is to adopt the concept that
it's always multiple factors contributing to an outcome (so as disease).

While gene remains one of the major factors,
diet, exercise and environment (e.g. social culture)
are also important factors contributing to obesity.
As long as one of those many many factors is interfered,
obesity will not happen.

It's not very wise to just put all blames on genes and
quickly claim that one couldn't do anything to reverse a health condition.
(I exactly hear this very often among my relatives and friends who
kind of give up on their health problems, and use "gene predisposition" as an excuse
to go back to white rice,meat, cigarrettes, alcohol and inactive lifestyle)

The same applies to myopia (short-sightedness).
Many people naturally bear the myopia-susceptible genes.
But, it doesn't mean that if both parents wears spec,
the child is bound to wear spec.
If the child is brought up in a padi field, with little view blockage
in their living environment (cf. high rises in cities),
or if the child is banned from playing video games/computers and watch TV every day,
there will be little chance the child needs to wear glasses.

Treatment and prevention of many degenerative diseases/health conditions,
are actually (or supposedly) not that difficult (theoretically!).

As we could see from the above two examples,
the outcome of a disease is contributed by many factors.
As long as one of the factors is removed,
the outcome could be totally different (cured, or severity tamed).

If one would extrapolate such a strategy to treat/prevent a disease,
one may discover that cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, allergy etc..
could also be controlled.

The difficult part actually lies in
whether one is determined to eliminate one of those factors.
In other words the true hurdle happens to be human's attachment to their comfort zones
(ie lifestyle, diet, environment) and
hence the unwillingness to change...

Well regards,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...