5 Ways to Eat Fruits for Beauty and Energy

28 April 2012 |
Fresh fruits are regarded as one of my favourite foods to consume! It provides energy quickly in times of need, since fruits pass through the stomach in a short period of time. However, it is important to know how to correctly consume fruits. When inappropriately eaten, fruits can have a devastating effect on our body and may lead to some harmful side effects.

Signs of incorrect consumption of fruits include:
  • Flatulence
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Ulcers
  • Excess weight
  • GER / Acid reflux
  • Premature lines on face
  • Graying hair
  • Dark under eye circles

Have you ever felt sleepy after a meal? Well, it is preventable and there is a way to feel even more energized AFTER a meal. Digestion of food requires a large amount of energy (for secretion of digestive enzymes etc.). Fruits are a great energy boosters because the digestion of fruits requires very little energy! Here's why: everything we eat has to be broken down into basic building blocks (amino acids, fatty acids, glucose, fructose). So, how do we properly consume fruits? Here are the simple ways to eat fruits so that they can boost your beauty and energy - the way nature intended them to!

1. Eat fruits only on an empty stomach
I cannot stress this enough! This is the MOST IMPORTANT point of all. A lot of people consume fruits as a dessert, after a meal, or combine them with other foods (such as bread, yoghurt, cereal) - this is a recipe for DISASTER. Fruits must be consumed only on an empty stomach. This is because of its high water content (around 80-90%). All fruits (with the exception of bananas, dates and dried fruit) pass through the stomach in twenty to thirty minutes, and is digested in the intestines. 

So, what happens when you have fruit with other foods or after a meal? If you eat a piece of melon after your meal, the melon is ready to go straight pass through the stomach into the intestines. BUT it cannot do so because the stomach is filled with other foods. As a result, the melon is trapped in the stomach, starts to ferment, causing bloating, acid reflux and all those nasty stuff! Then, you feel tired and sleepy, bloated and may even experience acid reflux. 

2. Fruits and vegetables, starches, proteins
Fresh fruits and vegetables do well together, so it is okay to combine fruits with vegetables - such as in a green smoothie! As a general rule, starches leave your stomach in 3 hours and proteins in 4, so it is best to wait for 3-4 hours before having fruit next.

3. Enjoy fruits in the morning
A great time to reap all the detoxifying and beautifying benefits of fruits is in the morning, when you are hungry. This is because the stomach is empty at this time, and fruits will be digested and assimilated extremely quickly - providing your body with great benefits.

4. Exceptional fruits
Fruits such as lemons, tomatoes, avocados and cucumbers are exceptional fruits as they are able to combine well with other food. So, feel free enjoy squeezing lemons as a dressing with your lunch or dinner!

5. Eat melons alone
Due to their high water content, enjoy melons such as watermelons and cantaloupes should be enjoyed alone. Watermelon slushies are great refreshing drinks to be enjoyed on a hot day.

I hope these simple tips and explanations will help you in your journey to a more energized, healthier and happier you! I swear by these rules, and the best way to understand is by trying them for yourself. You will feel so much energy that you will never want to go back to improper fruit consumption! Let me know how you go. 

To your health. 
Jia Ni xo 

Rockmelon slushie

21 April 2012 |

Cantaloupes, also known as rockmelons, are in season right now - freeze some and make a delicious and refreshing 100% pure fruit slushie! High in Vitamins A and C, these melons are absolutely beauty foods for a beautiful and flawless skin!
Ingredients (2 large glasses)
1 1/2 cup melons 
4 1/2 cup frozen melons
Freeze 4 1/2 cups of melons the night before, refrigerate the rest.
In a high speed blender, place the melons (non-frozen) at the bottom and the frozen melons above. Blend till smooth. Enjoy this delicious and healthy treat!

Almond coconut cookies

17 April 2012 |

Ingredients (makes 4 yummy cookies) :
4 Tbs homemade almond butter*
1 Tbs honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup organic coconut milk^
3 Tbs shredded coconut

*Almond butter made by blending raw almonds in a blender or food processor for about 10 minutes till almond oil comes out
^Coconut milk can be made by blending together coconut meat and some coconut water to reach a thick, creamy consistency

1. Mix everything in a bowl
2. Spoon out the batter onto a sheet of baking paper. I made them round.
3. Baked in my toaster oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

3 ways to wash produce to remove chemicals

14 March 2012 |
Hello! I just spent quite some time on Tuesday evening cleaning my fruits and vegetables, and then realized how important it is to do it - when lots of people probably do not - hence this post. It is SO important for us to wash any produce we bring home, especially raw food we consume.

Here is why:
  • The U.S uses 1.2 billion pounds (545,454kg) of pesticides a year.
  • According to a study, children living in areas with heavy pesticide use had impaired coordination, short term memory impairment and decreased stamina.
  • Other health risks associated with the use of pesticides include: skin, eye, and lung irritation; hormone disruption; brain and nervous system toxicity; cancer; blood disorders; nerve disorders; birth defects; reproduction effects.

The 'dirtiest' produce (try to buy organic when possible!):
  • Apples
  • Plums
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Bell peppers
  • Green leavy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens)

The 'cleaner' produce:
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Pineapple
  • Avocado
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Cantaloupe/rockmelon

Produce that is not organic can be laiden with pesticides and harmful chemicals that we do NOT want to ingest into our body! Even organic produce needs to be washed well because it has been handled and it is important to remove any traces of dirt. This is why it is vital for us to wash them properly. And how do we do that? Here are four ways to properly wash your produce!

1. Aluminium free baking soda
Also known as sodium bicarbonate, it forms an alkaline solution when combined with water. I like to use this method because it is really easy and hassle free! Interestingly, baking soda, when ingested works wonderfully as an antacid too because it is alkaline forming and will remove the excess acid in your stomach. Make sure you are NOT buying baking powder (which is acidic) and remember to get Aluminium free baking soda!

Directions: Add baking soda to a bowl of water and soak produce for 10 minutes, rinse well and drain.

2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to have bactericidal effects.

Directions: Add vinegar to water, soak produce, rinse well and drain. The vinegar will also acts as a mild detergent to remove particles on the produce.

3. Sea salt
Adding salt to water will cause any bugs hidden between the leaves of the vegetables to float up to the surface of the water. At home, we use Celtic or Himalayan sea salt! Stay away from table salt as it has no minerals whatsoever and will only lead to bloating. Sea salt will also make the vegetables crisper, what a bonus!

Directions: Add sea salt to water, soak for 10 minutes, rinse and drain well.

Even better, if you have the time, try making your own veggie wash by combining the above ingredients - it is fairly inexpensive and will be worth it!

Stay healthy! x

3 chemicals to avoid when buying personal care products

08 March 2012 |
Today, many 'sulfate-free' products are emerging in the market. Most shampoos, conditioners, cleansers, and even laundry powders and other cleaning products advertise that they are sulfate-free or SLS free on their labels and company websites. So why is a product being sulfate-free so important? And with so many sulfate-free products now on the market, how do you narrow down?

There are definitely three important ingredients I always look out for when buying hair and skin care products. Afterall, you are going to be putting the product on your skin and you do not want your skin to absorb the nasties into your body system! We want healthy hair and smooth, glowy skin!

1. Sulfate
Commonly used in soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes to create a 'foam'. These chemicals are known as surfactants, and are very effective foaming agent, and cheap too! Sodium Lauryn Sulfate (SLS) dissolves oil on the skin, leaving the skin dry. Studies have also shown that it denatures skin proteins, causing irritation and exposes the skin to contaminants. It is also used to dissolve grease on car engines. It is also usually contaminated with dioxane - a known carcinogen!

Absorbed into the body after being applied onto the skin, SLS mimics the activity of Oestrogen. This leads to health problems including PMS and menopausal symptoms, fall in male fertility and increase in cancers. SLS has also been shown to have a long retention in tissues. A study has even shown that SLS penetrating young children's eyes caused cataracts to develop when they were adults. 

2. Parabens
Parabens are preservatives that are added to stop fungus, bacteria and other microbes from growing. These chemicals also mimic the function of oestrogen, which is known to play a development of breast cancer. A research conducted in Japan also reported that exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben affects the function of the reproductive system.

3. Synthetic fragrances
Last but not least - fragrance! It is also sometimes labeled as parfum, these are petrochemicals derived from natural gas and petroleum. One study links exposure to certain petrochemicals to developmental abnormalities of fetuses and young children in exposed mothers. Many artificial fragrances contain phthalates which disrupt the endocrine system, reproductive system and is also harmful to the environment! Instead, look for products that are derived from natural sources, like essential oils.

I hope these help you to choose wisely the next time you are out purchasing a new hair or skin care product!  Check your shampoo/conditioner/body wash/facial cleanser ingredient list to see if these hazardous chemicals are in them! 

Regarding my personal experience, I have been using a sulfate-free, paraben-free, artificial fragrance-free hair conditioner by Sukin Organics and I immediately FELT the difference. My hair did not feel 'heavy' or weighed down right after the first use, and it definitely feels much lighter, smoother and manageable!

Have you had a similar experience or do you know any great particular products that are free of these chemicals? I'm still on the lookout for a good brand so do let me know! 

To your wellness! xx

Stay hydrated this summer

22 February 2012 |
The weather has been burning the past few days! Some of the days it got as hot as 36 degrees. The thing I tend to forget to do is to stay hydrated. I never realize how thirsty and dehydrated I am until I pour a glass of water to drink - and end up downing at least 3 cups! My sister is also an easy prey to this dehydrating condition, she rarely touches her water -so I've added some freshly squeezed lemon juice into her water every morning, apart from adding more greens to her diet. Glad to say that she almost finishes her bottle daily nowadays..

Anyway, watermelons are in season right now, which is wonderful! Watermelons have an extremely high (more than 90%) water content. This makes them ideal for hydrating our body! Just make sure to eat them on an empty stomach and before meals!

We dropped by the market today, and picked up this lovely watermelon for just under $2.50. Awesome! I love picking up a whole fruit as opposed to cut up slices since you never really know when/where/how the fruit has been cut, and fruits oxidize really quickly and lose a lot of their nutrients if not stored properly. Also picked up a seeded watermelon. In my opinion, hybridized seedless watermelons bred for high sugar content and inability to reproduce don't sound as appetizing to me at all. ;)

Stay hydrated in this hot weather - remember to drink lots of water and green smoothie too! How do you stay hydrated during a hot season?

Miso soba noodles

21 February 2012 |
Our dinner tonight!

  • Soba noodles (I used Hakubaku's Organic Soba Noodles)
  • Dried wakame (soaked till expanded and rinsed)
  • 2 Tbs unpasteurized brown rice miso paste
  • *Optional* Extra vegetables (I added okra, lotus root and bean sprouts)

  1. Wash vegetables and soak dried wakame for 2 minutes or until expanded. Rinse.
  2. In a pot, boil 4 cups of water. When boiling, add vegetables and wakame. Let it boil for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of miso paste and continue to boil for 2 minutes. After this, I transferred my pot into a magic cooker, but if you don't have one you can let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add soba noodles into the same pot and bring to a boil for 3 minutes and you're done!

Also prepared a curry fish with broccoli dish. I have sneakily added broccoli into my sister's diet and she now eats this wonderful green she once disliked, yay! And also had a large alkalizing salad. Yum! :) 


Summary: Mid February

20 February 2012 |
1. Veg stir-fry prep for dinner
2. Brain food (brown rice/quinoa)
3. New mason jars!
4. Green smoothie storage
5. My room-mate-sister
6. Super cute owl cup from my cousin!

Hello, inspiration to blog! :)

Simple Green Smoothie

09 November 2011 |
1 banana
1-1.5 large handfuls of spinach
1 cup water 
1. Combine spinach and water in blender and blend till smooth. Add banana and continue blending till smooth. 
2. Serve! (*optional: Sprinkle with cinnamon powder for a lovely colour and an extra health boost - cinnamon helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which will help fight those unhealthy cravings!)
Picked up some ripe bananas selling at $2.99/kg a few days ago. I was SO thrilled, since bananas have been about almost $10/kg lately. I missed having bananas! :) When I got home, I immediately peeled them and stored them in a freeze-safe container and popped them into the freezer!

I LOVE green smoothies and juices! Been having one every single day when dad was over, and starting my day off with them just makes me and my entire body feel energized, happy and healthy!

To your health!


Subiaco Farmers Market

09 October 2011 |
Saturday morning
You know you are amongst people who are passionate about their products when the twinkle in their eyes doesn't seem to disappear and you can hear laughter in the air from many miles away. That summarizes the atmosphere of Subiaco Farmers Market! Not to be confused with Subiaco's Station Street Market, Subiaco Farmers Market has an amazing atmosphere and is filled with lots of quality, fresh, local produce. There are many booths set up with people selling their own organic produce and homemade sauces. There is also a little hang out spot under a huge tree in the heart of the market where families and dogs sat down enjoying their breakfast, be it German sausages or creamy crepes or freshly baked pastries (among many many many others) with a cup of freshly brewed coffee/chai tea/100% juice! :))

I picked up a few goodies for myself before heading over to Station Street Market, since there were a few things I couldn't find in the Farmers Market. I also wanted to stop by Angry Almonds in Station Street Market to pick up some popcorn and oatmeal! So happy to have found this market, I definitely have to try out Waikika Moocow's frozen yoghurt (I am SUCH a fan of froyo) next time. I am also really tempted to pick up some succulent plants and herbs to start a little garden project soon~