Friday, November 27, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Food (5)

The Sun and The Moon
have equal shares for the year,
but not for a specific hour. 
we indicated, in ideal situation, 
we would like equal strength of 
Yin and Yang food.

While, indeed,
the world is a balanced outcome of 
the Yin and Yang equilibrium;
the distribution of Yin and Yang elements 
dynamically fluctuates spatially and temporally.

In other words,
given a broad enough space and a long enough time frame;
the net effect 
between both counterbalancing Yin and Yang forces
is indeed zero.
the Yin or Yang status sampled at any given spot and moment
is not balanced.

For example,
The North and The South hemisphere 
get the equal total amount of sunshine every year.
But in July,
a northern city like Beijing will get a lot more sunshine
than a southern city like Sydney.
Yang and Yin may not be equal
given any random spot.


During mid Autumn day,
the number of sunshine hours 
is equal to the number of nightshade hours. 
But at a specific time e.g. 11am-1pm,
one will only see the Sun (Yang)
but not the Moon (Yin) at all.
The Sun and The Moon may not get a fair share of time 
given any random hour.

The above examples tell us that
at a random place during a random time
we may not expect a Yin and Yang balance.

Because of that,
we need to have awareness on where and when we are
to assess which of Yin or Yang element predominates,
so as to shed guidance 
on the proportion of Yin or Yang food that we eat.

The presence of the Sun (abundance of heat/life force),
offers our body an opportunity 
to aggregate energies for Life Force Building

The absence of the Sun (lack of heat/life force)
offers our body an opportunity 
to expulse energies for Interference Elimination.

In the  morning,
when the Sun has only just risen,
the environment is still very lack of heat
due to the night long absence of the Sun.
Our body then is under an extremely Yin condition 
after a night long detox.

While some healers suggest
taking the opportunity to extend the detoxification hours,
via detoxifying foods (Yin foods) 
such as juices, green smoothies and huge amount of water (>1L) 
to heighten the intensity of detoxification;
it's only advisable to do so for a short period of time
to achieve a cleansing effect, 
perhaps to adjust an overly congested system. 

Pro-longed period of Yin food consumption 
in the morning when the body is already very Yin, 
will tilt the bodily system off the balance.
Hence, it's suggested to take 
warm and grains/roots-based breakfast (Yang food)
to counterbalance the Yin body in the morning.

The corresponding notion applies for dinner time.
After long day of sunshine and hard work, 
our body will have overloaded with heat.
To help release the excessive Yang energies, 
it's advisable 
to consume higher proportion of Yin food (e.g. leafy veggies, fruits) and
to drink more water in the evening.
Releasing excessive Yang energies accumulated during the day,
will also help one sleep earlier and better.

For some people who are weak/sick,
healers may not allow Yin food for the end of the day, 
that is because these people 
could not conserve enough heat and energy during the day.
Prescribing a Yin-inclined dinner
may not sustain them through the Yin hours during the night,
causing severe imbalance.
-- Again, this is a context dependent case. 

In conclusion, 
although we will have equal proportions of Yin and Yang foods daily,
because of the oscillating Yin and Yang hours everyday,
we couldn't help but to segregate 
higher proportion Yang food for the morning,
higher proportion Yin food for the evening.

Hope this series so far has benefited readers
in appreciating the basic concepts of Yin and Yang.

To close this series on Yin and Yang of Food,
a gentle reminder for readers:
Be aware of the space and time we are in,
Be mindful about the rhythm of the universe and our body
Be disciplined with the corresponding ratios of Yin and Yang food that we eat.

May the forces be with you!
Kee Yew :D 
#Yin Yang

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Food (4)

Veg Pyramid which is based on
Yin and Yang balance
In modern nutritional science,
people talk about balancing their diet
by calculating the amount of
carbohydrates, proteins, fats,
minerals, vitamins, fibres and water intake.

While such calculations are scientifically founded,
it's not comprehensive enough
to offer insight into the mutual interaction
among the nutrients.

In Yin and Yang perspectives,
foods are understood
in term of their roles and functions.

From there, we know what foods
are mutually antagonistic or synergistic
(opposing behavior or supportive behavior)
and therefore categorized into Yin and Yang.

In The Veg School's advance course
"Life Force Management",
we talk about two opposing functions of foods:

1. Life Force Building (a.k.a. tonic)
~ foods that directly enhance the coordination of life,
involving the inward aggregation of energies, in general.
~ We could label these foods being Yang,
in the specific context of life coordination.
~ Generally, root, underground stem and seed parts of plants
offers such a function,
due to their life sustaining roles in the plant.

2. Interference Elimination (a.k.a. detoxifying)
~ foods that defend the sustaining of life from being interfered,
involving the outward expulsion of energies, in general.
~ We could label these foods being Yin,
in the same context of life coordination.
~ General, above-ground stem, leaf, flower and fruit parts of plants
offers such a function,
due to their life long combat against heat, UV, germs and pests.

In normal/ideal situation,
we should take foods with equal strength of
Life Force Building and
Interference Elimination functions.
- because both are equally important to sustaining life.

Therefore, by ancient Chinese wisdom,
we are advised to balance our diet via:

40% whole grains (moderately Yang)
30% vegetables of all 6 plant parts (moderately Yin)
15% fruits (strongly Yin)
10% legumes (strongly Yang)
5%   nuts and seed (strongly Yang)
[see for more details]

Upsetting the ratios above,
may attract health problems like:
## system clogging (e.g. atherosclerosis) 
-- an outcome of over nourishment or lack of detoxification, 
-- overwhelmed by Yang energies
-- commonly seen among people who eats too much meat or oily food; 
   neglecting fruits and veggies in overall diet

## system dis-coordination (e.g. hormonal imbalance) 
-- an outcome of under nourishment or over detoxification, 
-- predominated by Yin energies
-- commonly seen among people who go on dietetic control or 
   overly frequent detoxification;
   consuming too much fruits and leafy veggies; 
   avoiding grains and nuts.

Now, we may start to realize,
knowing the Yin and Yang of food
is different from
practising it in daily life.

Practising Yin and Yang
requires discipline to abide to the ratios,
on top of awareness and mindfulness. 

Next, we discuss about some simple techniques 
to adjust our dietetic pattern
according to the Yin/Yang oscillation throughout a day :)

Happy reading,
Kee Yew
#Yin Yang
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Food (3)

Mindfulness and Awareness
are pre-requisites to
applying Yin and Yang concepts
We now understand that
Yin and Yang labeling
is dynamic and context dependent.

Yin and Yang
are manifested at different degrees
depending on the mix ratio of the Yin and Yang elements within.

In view of those complicated concepts,
for most of us,
accurate Yin and Yang labeling is not an easy task.

Hence, to avoid unfavourable consequences,
due to inaccurate labelling,
it's advisable not to discriminate food being Yin or Yang
-- unless there are awareness and mindfulness that empower us in
assessing the context clearly
seeing through the properties of food in depth.

While we are still struggling to
improve our awareness and mindfulness,
it's recommended that
we first learn to eat a diversified range of food,
without discrimination.

When we eat food without discrimination of Yin/Yang,
given broad range of food,
50% will naturally be Yin and 50% will be Yang.
In the end, the summed up effect of all these foods will be neutral.

For whatever minor imbalances we may have,
via innate homeostasis,
our body will be able to naturally reset the balance,
without the need/worry of deliberate intervention
with Yin or Yang food.

With that,
we greatly reduce the risk of
mislabeling the Yin and Yang of food.

In some sense, we don't necessarily need to be a Yin Yang expert
to adopt a healthy balanced diet :)

Trying to be one
sometimes may cause more harm than good,
when we are lacking of awareness and mindfulness.

Not discriminating Yin and Yang food
is actually the most prudent way to apply Yin and Yang concepts,
because we truly understand what Yin and Yang is.

In the next posts,
we will discuss on the balanced intake
of different food groups,
justified with awareness and mindfulness!!

For awareness,
Kee Yew
#Yin Yang
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Food (2)

Variable Yang feature due to
variable Yin and Yang mix ratio
Another widely misunderstood concept
about Yin and Yang is

Misinformation II
Homogeneous view of Yin and Yang
(Yin entity is purely Yin, Yang entity is purely Yang)

Yin or Yang is a composite outcome
i.e. A Yin or Yang entity is never made purely with Yin or Yang elements.
Within every entity, there is always a mixture of Yin and Yang elements.
Whether an entity is Yin or Yang depends on
which of Yin or Yang groups of elements within the entity, predominates.

For example,
An animal, whether female or male, secretes both female and male hormones.
This animal will be a female
when it secretes more female hormones than male hormones,
It will be a male
when it has more male hormones than female hormones.

A myriad of possible ratios
in between the Yin and Yang elements within any entity
creates a range of Yin and Yang entities
with variable intensity levels of Yin and Yang properties.

For example,
A man with high dosage of male hormones and strong male hormone receptors
will have very dense beard, defined muscle tone, less body fat.
Another man with very low dosage of male hormones or weak male hormone receptors
will generate an outcome of scarce facial hair, weaker muscle tone, more body fat.

Despite the varied dosage of male hormones within a man,
as long as male hormones predominate over female hormones,
he will still manifest the male features.
But the variable level of predominance leads to variable intensity of male features.

By this composite concept of Yin and Yang,
we know that
there are Yang entities that may incline to Yin manifestation,
there are Yin entities that may incline to Yang manifestation.

When it comes into food healing,
it's not always necessary to deploy a Yang food to counterbalance a Yin body constitution.
In some situations, given the necessity,
A Yin food can still be adopted to to balance a Yin body constitution,
if such Yin food has a strong Yang manifestation.

For example,
In general, a leafy herb is a Yin entity.
But, lemongrass which has a very pungent property
(likened to a Yang ginger root)
could be used to warm up our body to achieve a Yang effect temporarily.

Given the indications above,
we also know that
it's not always correct to balance a Yin body with a Yang food,
because there are situations where a Yang food may manifest strong Yin features
which may make the body severely off the balance!

Yin and Yang concept is definitely not a straight forward one.
When it comes to applying it in our daily life,
it's even more complicated.
If misinformed, it can even cause a lot of hazards.

In the next post, we will discuss about
some basic skills to integrate
the concept of Yin and Yang into our life,
with prudence.

Well regards,
Kee Yew

#Yin Yang
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Food (1)

Yin or Yang, it's context dependent
I have always been tempted
to discuss about the Yin and Yang of our diet
on my blog,
but in the past ten years,
I have been delaying it.

Simply, it's a not an easy topic to clarify everything
over a few articles
it's difficult to simplify many 'bulky' concepts on blog series
for the ease of digestion by readers...

But I think I should try and see what happens here.

Should this series of blog posts do not make enough sense,
please do attend The Veg Nutrition Courses in Singapore or in Kuala Lumpur
where Yin and Yang Concept of Food is discussed in great depth :)


What is Yin and Yang?
Most people reckon that
Yin and Yang are
to label things
in accordance to their traits/behaviors/functions
by the philosophy of duality.

In other words,
by Yin and Yang concept,
we categorize entities into 2 exclusive categories
which are of opposite traits/behaviors/functions.

For example,
Animals could be categorized into males and females;
Ions into Cations and Anions
pH into Alkaline and Acidic
Time into Day and Night

Up till this point,
it's very simple to comprehend,
but exactly the over-simplification of
the Yin and Yang concept,
a lot of misinformation comes by...

Misinformation I:
Static view of Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang labeling is dynamic
i.e. one thing can be Yin in one situation, but Yang in another situation,
depending on the context and the perspective we are assessing.
The labeling changes.

For example,
Durian is labeled Yang when we assess it under the context of calorie,
because it produces a lot of heat after consumption.
But, it is labeled Yin when we assess it under the context of texture
because it is soft and moist (and helps to relieve constipation).


A carrot is labelled Yin when we assess it under the context of exposure to the Sun,
because it is hidden under the ground, and never get exposed to sunlight.
But it is labelled Yang when we assess it under the context of mineral content,
because it stocks up a lot minerals which are responsible for life sustaining functions.

So, it's extremely dangerous,
if we call a thing being Yin and
decide to label it a Yin entity forever.

This misinformation causes a lot of troubles
when one decides on what to eat to balance their own body constitution.

If the Yin and Yang is assessed wrongly,
because of adopting an irrelevant context/perspective,
it will make the body condition become worse.

For instance,
a lady thinks she has a Yin body constitution,
because she always feel the lack of energy
(she can't carry heavy things, she always feels cold etc),
and would like to consume more Yang food.

She decides on eating more flowers and leaves because
she was told that flowers and leaves vegetables are Yang entities
after being exposed to the Sun.

Unfortunately, her decision will make her even more weak after consuming
the flowers and leaves vegetables,
because she assessed Yin and Yang by the irrelevant context/perspective.

What she needs to improve her body condition,
is food that will increase her life force,
food that provides the life force nutrients e.g. minerals and good fats.

Under such context, the relevant Yang foods that are high in life force,
would be grains, seeds and roots vegetables!
-- whether they are exposed to the Sun or not, is not relevant in this situation.

Many a time,
people like to debate whether a food should be labeled Yin or Yang
and persist that they are right with their labels.

They will always be right,
given their own perspectives.

But what truly matters,
is whether they adopt the relevant context/perspective when they do the labeling.

Next, we will explore another piece of misinformation of Yin and Yang concept,
and it is going to get messier! -.-

Happy digesting,
Kee Yew

I# Yin Yang
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Healthy Quickie Breaky (3)

Avocado Alfalfa Sandwich,
filled with life force,
but siimple to prepare 
You will think this is impossible
-- this breakfast will look like a no-brainer,
because it requires no seasoning,
no prior preparation
no cooking
no waiting
... no more excuse :D

-- it's my all time favourite
(it serves well as a quicky lunch at work too!)

Avocado Alfalfa Sandwich

. 1 Fully ripened Avocado*
. 2 handful alfalfa sprouts**
. 4 slices of wholemeal bread

-- scoop flesh out of a half avocado using a tablespoon and generously lay the flesh on the wholemeal bread (without mashing), top with a handful of alfalfa sprouts, and sandwich with another slice of whole meal bread, serve fresh!

* see this post to learn how to choose a perfect avocado

** fresh alfalfa sprouts is available in many supermarkets nowadays. Please make sure it's rinsed a few times before serving raw, even though it looks clean.

Does it taste good without mayo, jam, seasoning etc....??
Absolutely YES! This recipe has been trialed in many of my cooking classes, among my friends and colleagues for a decade.. It's given the seal of proof by many people :P

Hope this series of simple breaky tips will change your view about healthy diet
and renew your confidence in preparing simple healthy breakfast that is most important for the day :)

For simplicity, I didn't elaborate on the nutritional values for the 3 recipes,
but in the past series, I have explained in details why it's important to incorporate substantial


in our diet,
as they are the sources of life force.

In the morning, when we wake up,
the environment is still cold and Yin,
it's important to take breakfast with predominantly Yang properties
(ie high in life force).

A lot people are very enticed to take, in the morning,
fruit juices, fruits, salad
which are substantially Yin.

If the raw breakfast is not properly balanced with Yang  elements,
there may be some long term side effects...

This will lead to another topic
which I will be explaining in the next series of posts
"The Yin and Yang of food"

Many blessings,
Kee Yew

#avocado alfalfa sprout sandwich
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Healthy Quickie Breaky (2)

Life Force Combo looks elaborate
but it takes only 2min to prepare!
Another simple tip to prove
that a healthy wholesome breakfast
takes only a minute or two to prepare,
is one of my favourites :P

Steamed Life Force Combo 

.1/2 cob Sweet corn (chopped into 2*)
.1/2 cup Sprouted Mung beans**
.200g Sweet potato (cubed to cook easily)
.1-2 pinch Sea salt
.1-2 pinch Curry powder
.1-2 pinch Italian herb mix

-- Steam all the ingredients above in a steamer for 15min
-- Sprinkle salt on sweet potato, curry powder on mung beans, Italian herb mix on sweet corn, and serve hot

* chop sweet corn the night before.
** wash mung bean the night before and soak in 2 cups of warm water to speed up sprouting overnight. Leave it in room temperature overnight, with lid on. They will be lightly sprouted the next morning.

This wholesome breakfast can be prepared within 2 min. Simply put everything in a steamer immediately upon wake up. It will be done, when you finish brushing your teeth and shower *o*

One more quickie breaky tip to come tomorrow.

Tunei in! :D

Bon Apetito!
Kee Yew
#steamed break

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Friday, November 20, 2015

Healthy Quickie Breaky (1)

Brown Rice Milk which is
filled with life force, done in 2min!
During the course of my sharing sessions
with students at The Veg School,
I often notice that urban people nowadays
have high tendency resorting to
powder-based / packet-drink breakfast,
due to the lack of time or
the misconception of a healthy breaky has to be elaborated and laborious.

A student recently texted me for a reliable brand of brown rice milk,
and my first response was to recommend the brand "Home-made" ^.^

Preparing for a wholesome breakfast can be easy, quick and clean, like the recipe below :P

Home-made brand Brown Rice Milk

.200g Pre-cooked rice*
.800mL Boiling hot water**
.2Tbs Lightly roasted sesame
.50g Molasses Powder (or adjust to taste)

-- blend all ingredients above for 2min until smooth in a blender and serve warm

* Pre-cooked rice can be prepared the night before in a Thermal Cooker, or precooked in a mini rice cooker. Do not remove cooked rice from rice cooker, to avoid contamination. With the lid on, switch off the power after the rice is cooked and let the rice sit in the rice cooker overnight.

** Switch on kettle to boil 1L water immediately upon wake up, it will be done after you finish brushing teeth :B

The healthy brown rice milk above won't take more than 5min to prepare. --Don't count in your teeth brushing time, because you are multi-tasking, no time lost :D

For more healthy easy breakfast tips, tune in tomorrow again, for another 2min healthy breaky *.*

Many blessings,
Kee Yew
#brown rice milk
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Monday, January 19, 2015

Healthy Vegetarian Eateries in Kuala Lumpur
There are more than 50 entries
for KL Healthy Veg Eateries
in TVS Veggie Map
I have veg friends visiting from overseas,
asking for recommendation of
healthy veg eateries in Kuala Lumpur.

Usually, I would suggest them checking out
The Veg School's Veggie Map which enlist
more than 50 healthy veggie outlets in
Kuala Lumpur + vicinity area.

But my friends would ask me to distill down the list further
so that they can "go straight to the point"
for they haven't much time during their short stay.

And the distilled creme de la creme
veggie places that I personally prefer,
would look like this :)

#1 Woods Macrobiotics
AG-8, Block A, Ground Floor, 
Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13, 46400, 
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Tel: +603-7958 5795
Fax: +603-7958 2188

Operating Hours:
Mon to Fri: 9am to 6pm
Sat: 9am to 1pm
Closed on public holiday

This is my Number-1 favourite place when I have to eat away from home.
Woods Macrobiotics has been around for more than 2 decades.
The owner, Mdm June Lim is a sincere buddhist and also
a well respected veteran in organic F&B in Malaysia.
I trust her putting the best organic ingredients into every dishes.

As June has dwindled down the scale of her F&B catering recently,
to focus more on culinary courses and organic groceries business,
WM is only serving one set meal per day.
The number of sets is also limited,
so it's a must to call in prior to visit
to ensure there are enough set meals left.

Woods Macrobiotics also have 2 other franchises
Woods Bio Marche @Bukit Bintang
Ground Floor, Wisma Bukit Bintang, 
Jalan Bukit Bintang, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603-2143 1636 . Open Monday to Sunday 10am - 9pm.

Woods MacroB @SS2
54, Jalan SS2/72, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: +603-7960 0260. Open Tuesday - Sunday 11am-9pm .

They are also worthwhile to visit!

#2 Green Meadow Health Cafe
62-62C, Jalan SS2/67, 47300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603-7873 0366
Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-8pm


Green Meadow is one of a few rare and precious
healthy veg eateries in KL.
The food that they served are not only healthy
but also nourishing.
The owners, Mr Teay & Mdm Chin
are knowledgeable holistic health veterans
who insists on the purest and nutritious organic foods for their customers.

Whenever I am there I will always first consider their
Lei-Cha, of proprietary blend of herbs and tonic!
If you haven't tried their Lei-cha, you haven't been to Green Meadow!

#3 Simple Life 
Simple Life @Lot 10
S12 & S31, 2nd Floor, Lot 10 Shopping Centre, 
50, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : +6012-351 7273
[To view other locations:]

Simple Life is one of the largest healthy vegetarian chains in Malaysia.
At Simple Life, you get a myriad of set meals, local delights, noodles, juices and titbits.
A friend of mine, along with her hubby and kid, visited Simple Life 5 times during her 3-day stay in KL, and didn't get bored with the food at all!

My personal favourite at SL is "Organic Mee Hoon Kueh with Organic Black Bean Soup".
Noodle soup lovers, this is Must x3 try!

#4 BMS Organics 

BMS Organics @One Utama, 
LG 310, One Utama Shopping Mall (New Wing)-1, 
Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
(next to Cold Storage)

Tel: +603-7725 0828 
[To view other locations:]


BMS Organics is yet another large healthy vegetarian cum organic grocery chain in Malaysia. The variety of organic foods at BMS is also very inviting, ranging from their semi-raw Lei Cha, to local delights like Nasi Lemak and veggie version of "Bak Kut Teh" etc

My personal recommendation is their Laksa Noodle which is more delicious than normal non-veg versions!!!

*note that not all BMS branches offer meals, some of them are just selling organic groceries.

#5 ECO Organic Choice
No 16, Ground Floor, Jalan 14/149L, 
Bandar Baru Seri Petaling, 57000, 
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603-9058 7133 . Mobile: +6012-378 6530

No 22, Jalan SL 1/12, 

Bandar Sungai Long, 
43200, Kajang, Selangor. 
Tel: +60 3-9010 4303
Open Monday - Saturday 11.30am - 6pm 


This is a family-run organic grocery business complemented with organic kitchens that serve home-cooked style healthy set meals and noodles daily, along with organic juices. They champion purity of ingredients as well as the nourishment for customers.

I will usually order the set meal of the day whenever I am there, and they have always tasted so good, for I know pure real food doesn't come easy these days.

Hope the above recommendations are of some help to many who would like to explore the healthier side of Kuala Lumpur ^.^

Well regards,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Digesting The Core of Wellness (5)

Leafy greens are easy to digest
but doesn't actively improve
the digestive system
In the course of
maintaining or improving digestive wellness,
we encounter the following pitfalls
in which people sometimes get trapped unconsciously:

(I) Eating more fruits and leafy veggies can improve digestion

The statement doesn't seem wrong generally,
but technically, it should have been stated this way:

"Eating more fruits and leafy veggies can relieve the digestive system"

The pitfall here is that
many people think, fruits and leafy veggies are easy to digest
hence it should improve digestion.

But the fact is that these foods
only help to reduce the burden of the digestive system
and do not enhance the performance of the digestive system.

If the digestive system is already weak to begin with,
eating more fruits and leafy veggies
only masks the weakness
as the digestive system is not required to do much work.
-- if any benefit for the digestive system to be claimed at all,
it's minimal and passive.

The worse situation is
when people over-eat fruits and leafy veggies
which are generally Yin in trait.

Over consumption of fruits and leafy veggies
easily put off the digestive fire
rendering a weaker digestive system
instead of improving it!

This is commonly seen among the slimming community
and vegetarians who do not know how to balance their diet.

In view of the issue above,
some of the solutions suggested are:

- to eat fruits and leafy vegetables moderately
(Exactly how much fruits and leafy veggies to eat,
please refer to


- to pay special attention to stimulating digestive fires
when eating a lot fruits and leafy veggies in a meal.
(E.g. adding spice mix powder on cut fruits, or sipping hot soup when eating a lot of leafy vegetables)

(II) Eating raw is beneficial for digestion

This is another pitfall which shares similar drill with the fruits and leafy vegetables.

Again, raw vegetarian food,
does help reduce the burden of the digestive system,
because of the active enzymes content.
But it doesn't really actively improve
the digestion system.

In contrary,
raw diet which is extremely Yin (if one doesn't know how to balance) ,
constantly suppresses the digestive fire,
due to overdosing of alkaloid
(a group of heat-sensitive natural plant compounds that interfere with digestive enzymes)

Long term suppression of digestive fire
will render the digestive system susceptible
to bad bacteria infection (e.g. H. pylori that flourishes under weak gastric juice condition)
incomplete transformation of nutrients.

Hence, long term raw diet should be considered prudently and
practical solutions should sought immediately if one is already on raw food:

- to avoid taking raw diet in morning when the digestive system is weak (for semi-raw/cooked foodist)
- to increase intake of citric juices in raw diet, so that alkaloid could be neutralized.
- to deploy digestive aids like pungent spices, warming herbs and hot water sipping

To improve digestive health, remember to take on a holistic approach which often has to via the path of overall life force improvement, as explained in the previous posts.

Hope this series of articles on digestive health have been beneficial to readers :)

Should you like more information about dietetic and nutritional wellbeing,
dp consider joining one of The Veg School's courses which are very elaborated and comprehensive =)

Till then, may health and bliss be with all ^.^

Well regards,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Digesting The Core of Wellness (4)

Spices have been used
for thousands of years
to improve digestive wellness
As digestive problems
are getting prominent in our society nowadays,
we see more and more people
taking digestive drugs, antacids, laxatives and kinds.

Medicinal approaches to digestive issues
generally do not cure the conditions.
They just suppress the symptoms.

Also, these digestive problems like
peptic ulcers, gastritis, flatulence, constipation etc
may haunt the victim for his/her entire lifespan
despite long term medication.

Coupling with the recommendations for lifestyle change
mentioned in the previous posts,
specific dietetic and nutritional management
would be able to resolve digestive issues
and bring about a rejuvenated body
without side effects:

(B) Digestion-oriented diet, nutritionals and herbs

1. pre-digest food prior to eating
so that our digestive system carry less burden and perform more efficiently with partially digested/disintegrated foods.

Pre-digesting food means:

i. blending our food, e.g. almond milk, creme of pumpkin, fruity smoothie (non-cold), sesame powder etc  [mechanical disintegration by a blender]

ii. fermenting our food, e.g. vegan yoghurt, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, idli etc  [bacterial/fungal digestion]

iii. sprouting our food, e.g. mung bean sprouts, germinated brown rice, buckwheat sprouts etc  [biological enzymatic digestion]

iv. cooking our food for long hours* e.g. stewed mushroom, stewed lotus roots, double-boiled soup etc  [heat-mediated degradation]

* some nutrients may be lost, but other nutrients become easily absorbed as they have been broken down into fine molecules after prolonged moderate heating

2. maneuvering with specific flavours and spices to stimulate digestive fire

i. The 3 flavours that stimulate digestive fire
namely, Sour, Salty and Pungent
increases one's appetite and
hence renders a higher chance of complete food digestion.

ii. Many common spices
e.g. cinnamon, coriander, curry leaves, long pepper, black pepper, cumin, basil, ginger etc
can improve digestion when incorporated into daily dishes or taken in powder form prior to meal.

In Ayurvedic system, healers often make a blend of spices and digestive herbs incorporating the black Himalayan salt, to be served just before a meal for digestion improvement.

In TCM perspective, one may also consume 1 glass of ginger-molasses drink (hot from thermal tumbler -- never drink cold), 9-11am or 3-5pm daily to rectify digestive issues and overall life force condition.

3. consuming sufficient calcium to boost life force

Due to generally stressful lifestyle in modern days,
people has high tendency of leaching calcium on daily basis.

When calcium leaches, the communication between the digestive system and the brain,
become significantly compromised,
in turn affecting proper digestive activities,
including proper gastric juice secretion and peristalsis.

Taking foods high in calcium (e.g. pre-soaked whole grains/nuts)
or supplementing with good quality calcium pills
can prevent digestive issue caused by stress.

4. consuming probiotics and soluble fibre 
so as to regenerate good flora of the gut, in turn
- reducing bad germs in the gut
- repair internal gut lining
- nourish digestive system

The probiotics or fermented foods consumed must contain clinically-trialed strains,
otherwise the benefits above are not achievable.

Also soluble fibre (ie prebiotics, food of Probiotics) has to be consumed concurrently with probiotics, to ensure better survival and blooming of good bacteria in the gut.

5. administering common herbs to protect and rejuvenate the digestive system

In Ayurvedic system,
there is this popular herbal mix of 3 types of dried fruit powder,
called Triphala,
which is very beneficial for proper digestive functions.
1 teaspoon of Triphala with 20ml hot water daily
is sufficient to maintain belly happiness.

In TCM perspective,
licorice would be a very good herb to rejuvenate the spleen and stomach.
Simmer 3 slices of ginger with 1 slice of licorice  root in 400ml hot water for 20min,
will make a very simple but potent digestive tea.

In the next post,
we will reveal some common dietetic pitfalls regarding digestive wellness.

Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Digesting The Core of Wellness (3)

Yogic Vajrasana pose
improves digestion
Improving the digestive system
can be a long course of rejuvenation.

It involves an overall revival of one's vitality
(ie Life Force Building as taught in Advance Nutrition and Healing Course)
in the perspectives of
- wholesale changes in lifestyle
- management of diet, nutrition and herbs.

When one's vitality is revived,
the digestive system naturally improves.
A good digestive system will also
improve one's overall vigour
which in turn kicks off a spiral up effect.

Hence, we discuss here,
a spectrum of measures to improve digestive system,
that targets both the digestive system specifically
and the overall health generally.

(A) Lifestyle Improvement

In line with life force building and hence the revival of digestive life force
it's recommended that one:

1. sleep latest by 10.30pm daily
to harvest the benefits of human growth hormones (hGH) designated to secrete 11pm-1am every midnight. hGH is a versatile hormones that repair, reverse, regenerate, restructure in our body. It is the ultimate holy grail in medicine, that preserve youth and rebuild life force. Failing to sleep in time every night, is likened to missing the pay cheque of the day, causing a lot of destruction to our body including our digestive system.

2. do kneeling yoga pose after meal
to increase the blood flow to the digestive system, for improved digestive fire.
How to do kneeling yoga pose (Vajrasana):

3. perform abdominal exercise 3-4 times weekly
as abdominal exercises like crunches, sit-ups tone the muscle of the digestive tract, prevent stagnant gas in the channel.

For beginners, crunches is a better option because it is less risky in term of physical injuries.
How to do basic crunches:

Other than crunches and sit-ups,
trampoline rebounding exercise also helps massage digestive tract internally.

4. empty the mind during meal
so that the communication between the digestive system and the brain is not disrupted.
It is an established textbook-fact that we actually digest under the command of the brain. During a meal, the stomach senses the degree of softness of the food and 'consult' constantly with the brain, which command on how much gastric juices and enzymes to secrete. When we are eating with a troubled or occupied mind (due to work, stress, TV etc), the communication between the stomach and brain will be compromised, rendering improper digestion.

5. nurture pro-digestive eating habits
i. sipping hot soup or hot water
     before, during and after meal,
     to help up-regulate digestive fire.
     But there is a restriction of maximum ~80ml.
     Larger volume of soup (that will put off digestive fire)
     can be taken 30min before or 1hr after the meal.

ii. chewing foods slowly and thoroughly,
     to improve digestibility of foods in the gut.
     Chew at least 30times on each side,
     until saliva lubricates the bolus in the mouth
     (and amylase begins to work).

iii. eating with hands (as per Ayurvedic teachings)
     to invite digestive agni (fire).
     This is because the hands can sense
     the softness/hardness (digestibility) of food
     and send signals to the brain
     for it to justify how much gastric juice will be needed
     before food arrives in the stomach.

Next, we will discuss about the dietetic and nutritional maneuvering
in order to increase digestive power and
to maintain a high performance digestive system.

Happy digesting =)
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Monday, January 12, 2015

Digesting The Core of Wellness (2)

Watering on digestive fire
which is meant to
transform nutrients
is one common mistake.
Now that we know
the digestive system
is crucial to our bodily health,
we will discuss here
on how to implement digestive wellness.

But, prior to doing the right things
to nurture a strong digestive system,
there are a few "Don't-s"
that need to be observed.
Otherwise, whatever good that we do
to improve our digestive system
will be futile.

(I) Avoid consuming cold water or ice-cold foods

Yes, we have heard enough of this advice
on and off.

But once the hot weather sets in,
people will start to get excuse for
cold drinks, chilly smoothies, ice-creams and icy desserts.

Obviously, they do not understand how dreadful
the digestive tract is compromised
in order to resist the temperature shock
and to "digest" the foods under non-permissive condition
(ie the wrong temperature for the digestive enzymes to work)

(II) Avoid untimely drinking of fluids

This refers to inappropriate habit of drinking fluids
within 30mins prior to a  major meal,
during a major meal,
within 1 hour after a major meal.

Water is a source of life force which is good,
but it also harbours a Yin trait
which can be mismanaged to do harm to our body.
Drinking water along with a major meal
will reduce or even put off the digestive fire
(ie diluting the gastric juice and enzymes)
and in turn cause improper/incomplete digestion/transformation of nutrients.

The fluids here refers to water or any type of beverages,
except small amount of hot soup (which will be elaborated in the following posts).

* The above time restriction also applies on showering/bathing and physical exercises.
** Individuals with digestive issues may consider no fluid 1hr before, and 2hr after meal.

(III) Avoid untimely eating

This means:

a) Eating without appetite -- when one is lack of appetite, it already means that digestive power is lacking. If food is forced into the digestive system, we are only going to get incomplete digested foods turning into toxins.

b) Inconsistent daily eating time -- this confuses the digestive system when to start up digestive fire, when not to; rendering a risk of incomplete digestion.

c) Eating at late night -- the digestive system slows down substantially after sundown. Putting in food into the digestive system late night, is asking for incomplete digestion.

(IV) Avoid over-eating

When the digestive system is overloaded, digestion will naturally become inefficient.
In such a case, life force will be drained, toxins will be formed, complications follow...

(V) Avoid mixing raw and cooked foods in a meal

In ideal situation, raw and cooked food should be eaten in different meals.
Both raw and cooked foods are digested with different amount of enzymes and "protocols".
When mixed, the digestive system gets confused,
rendering less efficient digestion.
If occasionally, raw and cooked have to be taken in one meal,
limit either raw or cooked portion to less than 20%,
so as to mitigate the negative effect.

Next, we will elaborate on the "Do's" to nurture a healthy digestive system
and some tricks to improve the digestibility of foods :)

Well wishes,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Digesting The Core of Wellness (1)

Digestive fire
is of paramount importance
but often neglected
Along the years of learning a holistic lifestyle
I gradually come into realization of
the pivotal role of our digestive system
in our overall wellness.

The realization gets more prominent
when I do cross referencing
among ancient wellness teachings and
modern medicine.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine,
by the perspective of the 5-elements theory (五行),
the digestive system (stomach+spleen) behaves like "Earth" (脾胃属土)
which is claimed to be the mother of all entities (土生万物).
Hence, the wellness of our body
relies significantly on the wellness of mother "Earth" ie the digestive system.

In Ayurveda,
digestive fire (Agni) is heavily emphasized on day-to-day basis,
to ensure all meals are fully digested and transformed properly.
Otherwise, any left-over undigested food in the digestive channel
will form into toxins (Ama)
in turn kicking off a cascade of detrimental effects in our body.

In modern settings,
we see a zillion daunting diseases
-- be it among the young, the old, the weak or even the strong;
many of which
could be prevented/cured via a good digestive system.
Simply, the digestive tract is
  a major gateway to administering proper nutrients and medicine
  and also
  an easily accessible interface to intervene any organ/system in the body.

While many who are veterans in the wellness circle
may not find this topic new,
certainly, there are still substantial crowd out there
  who do not appreciate the potentials of a good digestive system in preventing diseases;
  who do not understand the pressing need of maintaining a peak performing digestive system
  who do not foresee how the a poor digestive system brings about the wilting of wellbeing

With a good digestive system,
one does not only nourish one's body
but will also be able to specifically transform nutrients
to serve specific functions appropriately in the body.

For example,
if one were to build body mass,
proteins will need to be consumed
-- no doubt.

However, in the course of body mass building,
there is a pre-requisite
that these proteins are digested properly
and specifically transformed in muscle.
This renders a good digestive system very critical in the process.

If one's digestive system
were to be under-performing (e.g being low in digestive fire),
not only that the proteins consumed do not get transformed into muscle;
the undigested proteins will stay in the digestive channel
and get putrefied into toxins,
causing liver, kidney and allergies.

This is why, very often we hear some people complaining
not achieving the desired results
after consuming certain prescribed foods/nutrients.
It always seems that these prescriptions
will only work on other people,
but never on themselves...
-- The clue is with digestive system.

Exactly how to maintain a peak performing digestive system
we will discuss a myriad of strategies and techniques
in the next post :)

Toast to a better digestive health in 2015!

Many blessings,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Nurturing Vegetarianism

2014 was a fulfilling year
propagating vegetarianism.
2015 will be just as meaningful
in nurturing veggie wellness =) 
2014 was a remarkable year
for The Veg School.

It was an exciting year
The Veg School first established
vegetarian education in Kuala Lumpur
and unexpectedly expanded veg teachings
to other cities in Malaysia,
namely, Penang, Melaka, Kota Kinabalu
as well as Shenzhen (China):

Veg Nutrition Course, KL

VNC Intensive, KL

VNC Intensive, Penang

Life Force Nutrition, Kota Kinabalu

Organic Shopping Course, KL

Advance Nutrition Class Gathering

Organic Rejuvenation Camp, Titi

Veg Nutrition Course, Melaka

VNC Intensive, Shenzhen

The Veg School was also very blessed
to be invited to teach healthy veg cooking
and to deliver veg awareness seminars
for Tzu Chi Buddhist Society
at multiple branches:

Tzu Chi Kids Camp, B.Bintang

Black Sesame Sandwich

Tzu Chi Ai-Sa event, Sg. Long

Veg Seminar, K. Kinabalu

Tri-colour coconut milk

Organic Seminar, Kepong

It was also a blessing that
The Veg School organised an
Ayurveda Study Tour
at the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine
(of Trans Disciplinary University, Bengaluru, India)
where students learnt about
holistic lifestyle and herbal care:

Ayurveda Theory Class

Making of herbal care products

Excursion to Ayurveda Hospital

On-the-spot teaching of herbal functions at Herbal Garden

Ayurveda Practical Class
Ayurveda Course
Graduation Dinner

In 2015,
The Veg School will continue
propagate vegetarian awareness,
by teaching vegetarian nutrition and holistic healing
in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Tampin, Melaka, Kota Kinabalu and Shenzhen.

The variety of courses is enlisted in the followings
and hope more sentient beings will be benefited
from the good will of The Veg School's team:

*Veg Nutrition Course @ SG

*Advance Nutrition & Healing @ SG

*Vegan Culinary Certification Program @ SG

*Organic Rejuvenation Retreat @ Titi, MY

*Ayurveda Study Tour @ Bengaluru, India

*Veg Nutrition Course & Advance Nutrition Course @ KL
-- kindly obtain info from

While The Veg School continues to nurture vegetarianism,
we wish all sentient beings
a blissful and peaceful 2015!! :D

With deep gratitude,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}
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