Saturday, 26 February 2011

I've always thought that eating fish is healthy without any implications whatsoever but after reading, I found that I should be conscious of the mercury content. It's not that I am pregnant but it always pays to be conscious with what we put in our mouth. Anyway, here are some important facts about fish and mercury:

Eat 2-3 servings a week (pregnant women and small children should not eat more than 12 ounces (2 servings):

* Anchovies
* Catfish
* Clam
* Crab
* Crawfish
* Flounder
* Haddock
* Herring
* Mackerel
* Mullet
* Oyster
* Perch
* Pollock
* Salmon
* Sardine
* Scallop
* Shrimp
* Sole
* Squid
* Tilapia
* Trout
* Whitefish

Eat six servings or fewer per month (pregnant women and small children should avoid these):

* Bass
* Carp
* Cod
* Halibut
* Lobster
* Mahi Mahi
* Monkfish
* Perch
* Snapper
* Tuna (Canned Chunk light)

Eat three servings or less per month (pregnant women and small children should avoid these):

* Bluefish
* Grouper
* Sea Bass
* Tuna (Canned Albacore, Yellowfin)

Avoid eating (everyone):

* Marlin
* Orange Roughy
* Shark
* Swordfish
* Tilefish
* Tuna (Ahi)

I suppose, if one is eating seafood once or twice a week, it doesnt matter if the fish is high in mercury - is that good reasoning?

But yeah, if one is pregnant.. it pays to be vigilant as one can be complacent with hot tub covers but not with the food intake.
Well, I wasn't doing some more research for gluten-free bread crumbs. I just found how to from

1. Crumble as many gluten-free bread slices as necessary –- about 3 slices per cup of fresh bread crumbs –- onto a cookie sheet.
2. Toast the crumbs in a 200 F oven for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
3. Let stand in the oven until cool or overnight.
4. If you want very fine crumbs, process them in your food processor or blender.
5. Store leftover crumbs in the freezer.
If you don't have bread on hand: gluten-free corn flakes or nacho chips -- or any gluten-free crackers you have in the house -- can make great bread-crumb substitutes. Either crush them in a plastic bag (for coarse crumbs) or grind them in a food processor or blender (for finer crumbs).

I think the next time we'll have fish, I have to use gluten-free bread crumb for my brother-in-law and the rest will just be normal crumbs.

I'm getting savvy at all these gluten-free food that maybe I can make my own gifts rather than just giving cigars and what-have-you. I've been cooking gluten-free food for months now and so far we are eating like the normal. No special food or special cooking.

We changed our menu for Saturday dinner. Normally, we'll have sausages - easy to cook and we can have our choice of sides. But I changed it to fish and chips - home cooked, that is. I'm learning what fish tastes better and of course how much they cost. Seafood is not cheap especially if bought in supermarkets. I just know a butcher that sells seafood as well. The price is not much cheaper but a few dollars saved is good enough.

Another upside of this routine is I'm getting better at making gluten-free batter. I'd wish there are gluten-free bread crumbs as I really prefer crumbed fish than battered. With the rate I'm going, I'll be able to create a nice Birthday Food Baskets in the future.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Get the nutritionist's guide to gaining weight while still leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

(Q) I am sick of picking up magazines where there is information of all sorts on how to lose weight. I am at the other end of the scale where I need to put on weight and I cannot. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

(A) For healthy weight gain you need to increase your calorie intake by increasing nutrient and calorie rich foods in the diet. You need to supply your body with all the essential nutrients it needs for muscle growth and maintenance.

You should be aiming to put on healthy weight by increasing muscle mass with a healthy proportion of body fat. To do this you need to increase your daily food intake of high-protein foods, healthy fats and slow releasing complex carbohydrates. Steer away from heavily processed junk foods that contain 'empty calories' and are high in hydrogenated oils and sugar.

Protein is essential for growth and maintenance of muscles, healthy choices include oily fish, chicken, red meat, dairy foods and nuts and seeds. Protein powders are very useful for people trying to increase their weight, try adding some to smoothies.

Increasing your intake of complex carbohydrate foods such as wholegrain breads, pasta, oats and rice, and starchy vegetables (potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, corn), will help promote healthy weight gain, without disrupting your blood sugar levels.

Upping healthy unsaturated fats, replacing saturated and trans-fats, is also beneficial. Use more cold pressed oils (olive, macadamia, walnut and chia), nuts and seed pastes, and avocado. Try making salad dressings with cold pressed oils and tahini, satay sauces with natural peanut butter, pesto through pasta, and cheese sauces over vegetables. Fresh coconut flesh is a delicious addition to smoothies.

Try including more calorie and nutrient rich snacks in your daily diet such as nut butters, tahini or avocado on wholegrain toast; nuts and seeds with dried fruit; muesli bars (try making your own healthy ones); cheese, avocado and tomato on whole wheat crackers; or smoothies with protein powder, milk, LSA (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds), and banana.

Remember to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as they should be a major part of any healthy diet. Naturopaths and herbalists use herbs such as gentian to help stimulate appetite and digestion.

Conditions such as an over active thyroid can make it difficult for people to put on weight, and should be investigated and treated.


For those of us who wants to gain weight. Ive been working on it but the problem is, I dont have much appetite. I like eating yeah, but it seems that food aren't much appetising to entice or whet my appetite. It's not that I'm taking the best weight loss supplements. Maybe, I need some thing that will triger the opposite.

Extra curricular activities: how much is too...
It's an issue many parents struggle with - how many out of school activities should their child be involved in?

Melbourne psychologist Andrew Fuller, author of Tricky Kids (Finch Publishing), says scheduling lots of activities is not a bad thing as long as you prioritise. "Spending time as a family must come first," he says. Fuller suggests blocking out at least two family times a week - one evening and one afternoon. "It enables everyone to engage with each other, with no rushing around."

And findings from a 2009 US study buck the convention that an over-scheduled kid is a stressed one. The study showed participation in organised activities, even lots of them, is linked to positive outcomes in school, emotional development, family life and their behaviour. Meanwhile, the under-scheduled kid was more withdrawn, less emotionally mature and had lower self-esteem.

But don't panic if your child has not started violin, golf or art appreciation yet. Fuller says kids who come to things later can often be more successful. And while it's not unusual for teens to start losing interest in extra-curricular activities as they move through high school and their study loads increase, Fuller says it's still important that they stick with them.

"Resilient kids have at least one other peer group outside of their school peer group," he says. "They stop their social field from narrowing."

Tip: If your child is just starting school, keep extra activities to a minimum in the first term - they'll be tired enough.


The Tatapilla is going to start a swimming lesson for the second time next week. Hopefully, this will turn out okay and he'll learn something and we can see improvement. He's like a duck to water but problem is he opens his mouth and swallow cupful of water everytime he goes under. He is also lazy when you teach him to swim, he doesnt kick but walks.

So yeah, I'm not in the position to say that the Tatapilla is burnt out as pci hosting is the least of his worries.. I wish. He's enjoying every moment so we're all happy.
Balding men may have a hairy future to look forward to.

Bald men everywhere could be forgiven for thinking they have heard it all before.

But this time it seems a treatment really is on the horizon that offers hope of a new, hairy future to all those who had resigned themselves to living with a shiny pate.

Scientists believe they have stumbled across a quick-acting drug that reverses baldness – and the treatment could be available in only five years.

Laboratory tests on a chemical called astressin-B showed “astounding” results for hair regrowth after one jab a day for just five days.

The discovery was an accidental side-effect of laboratory tests to see whether the drug could prevent stress-related stomach problems.

The tests were on mice and more research is needed to see if the chemical will have the same effect on humans. Yet if all goes well, the treatment could be in widespread use in five to ten years.

It is hoped it will help sufferers of male pattern baldness, which affects two-thirds of men as they age, as well as men and women with alopecia, in which small bald patches appear on the scalp.

The breakthrough comes from University of California Los Angeles researchers who were studying mice with gut problems triggered by a stress hormone.

The mice’s coats also thin as they age, leading to their backs eventually becoming bald. However, the researchers were stunned to see that the animals’ fur also quickly regrew when they were given astressin-B.

It worked so well that three months after treatment the once-bald mice were indistinguishable from their healthy cagemates, the journal PLoS ONE reports.

Researcher Dr Million Mulugeta described the results as “astounding”, adding: “This could open new avenues to treat hair loss in humans.”

What is more, just one jab of the drug a day for five days was enough to trigger the regrowth – and maintain the effects for up to four months. “This is a comparatively long time, considering that a mouse’s life span is less than two years,” said Dr Mulugeta.

Further tests showed the treatment to work much better than minoxidil, one of the drugs of choice in treating hair loss. The team now plans to research just how the drug triggers regrowth, ahead of tests on people.

Treatments for baldness range from tablets to hair transplants – but success is variable and they can be expensive.

So far, I have only see one ad for hair transplant in the telly. But yeah, I think next to prostate cancer this is one of the major problems of men (vain men anyway or those in sales jobs? maybe?). I love my man shaved head - well, almost anyway.
The facts everyone needs to know.

If the thought of becoming an organ donor has crossed your mind, or you are a registered donor but haven’t told your family, now is the time to take action.

The inaugural DonateLife Week kicks off today (February 20 – 27), a campaign led by Australian Government’s Organ and Tissue Authority to raise awareness and increase organ and tissue rates around the country.

Last year Australia recorded 13.8 donors per million people – the highest in the country’s donation and transplant history. But registering to become an organ and tissue donor doesn’t stop there. Here’s what you need to know.
How do I become a donor?

The Australian Organ Donor Register is where you can officially register your donation decision. To join, click here. Yet you do not have to register to become an organ donor. Ultimately your family will need to give permission for the donation to proceed so it’s important to inform them of your wishes.
What happens next?

You need to tell your family of your decision. Last year there were only 309 deceased organ donors, meeting less than half of the overall need for transplants. Forty per cent of families do not give consent for donation to take place because they did not know the wishes of their loved one. Making your decision known will lead to increased family consent rates and therefore save or improve more lives.
Who will I help?

Around 1,700 people are officially waiting for transplants including kidneys, hearts, lungs, skin tissue and corneas at any one time. One donor could help save the lives of up to ten people and significantly improve the lives of dozens more. Those touched by organ and tissue donation have shared their life-changing stories in the DonateLife Book of Life. Read their stories here.
If you think you’re too old to be a donor, don’t

Anyone can donate organs and tissue. People in their eighties have saved the lives of much younger people. Transplant professionals decide which organs and tissues can be used at the time of death after looking at your past medical history, the condition of your organs and their suitability
What is the donor success rate?

Australia has one of the highest reputations for successful transplant outcomes. Since 1965, more than 30,000 life-saving or life-improving organ and tissue transplants were performed in Australia. Despite this world-class success rate, our country has one of the lowest donation rates in the developed world.

I have wanted to be an organ donor. I have discussed it with my husband but I haven't signed the form yet as I want to discuss it with my family in the Philippines that when I die, my body won't be transported there. I always believe that when we die we are everywhere so they can communicate with me however they please. :) I learned recently that I can donate skin tissues (no tattoo removal then as I dont have any tats). I thought that maybe, other people might benefit from my physical body.
Brittle nails

It’s a lack of moisture that makes nails snap off when you bump them. Brittle nails typically don’t flex and feel very hard. Most people notice the problem gets worse when the temperature drops simply because there isn’t as much moisture in the air.

It’s also a very common problem for people whose hands are in and out of water. Both lanolin and vitamin E creams are cheap moisturisers you can use to seal moisture into your nails. Rub into the nails and cuticles straight after your shower or bath to prevent moisture loss. Keep a tube in the kitchen and apply whenever you remember.

Wear gloves for cleaning and dirty jobs. Nail polish can also help to seal in moisture, but avoid the quick-dry formulations, which can make the nail cells even drier.

Dermatologist Dr Catherine Reid suggests taking 2.5 milligrams of the vitamin biotin daily, but don’t expect to see results overnight. It takes six months for nails to grow through to the tip.
Nails that bend

The average fingernail is 0.5 millimetres thick, but some people’s are thinner, and bendy nails are a sign you have a looser arrangement of cells, the keratin fibres are fewer in number than average, or the nails are thinner because they don’t have as many cells.

Look for nail hardeners that contain formaldehyde. This stimulates keratin cells to produce more fibres, which cross-link with each other and make the nail stronger.

You’ll find formaldehyde in many of the strengthening products such as the Sally Hansen Hard As Nails range. But don’t use it all the time. It can make nails too strong, which creates problems such as nails lifting off the nail bed. Using it for just a few weeks can help.
Nails that split

Splitting happens from repetitive wetting and drying of hands over a reasonably long period of time. Even children’s nails will start to split over the summer holidays when they are constantly in and out of swimming pools.

Dr Reid says exposure to household cleaning products can also cause the nail layers to separate and split. Rarely, she says, has it anything to do with vitamin deficiencies.

Ridges in the nails are caused by the same reasons, Dr Reid says. So wear gloves whenever you’re cleaning, apply nail polish to help protect the nail, and keep nails short until they recover.
White spots

The most common cause is an injury to the nail matrix, which lies under the skin. When the matrix gets damaged, the injury leaves a scar on the keratin cells, which appears white when the cells grow through to the nail.

Tip: Make red nails look extra dainty. Don’t paint right to the outer edges. It’s a simple trick but works like a charm.


Funny though, because I don't usually wear polish. My last polish was actually almost 2 years ago. Yet I get white spots. I was told then that it can be symptoms of being anemic. Superstitioun, I suppose. It doesn't bother me though as it doesnt usually look off-putting, doesn't stand out either as I am not near those tanning bed lotions. But the tip is useful.
A look at five different headaches and how to avoid them.

Five types of headache you haven't heard of:
Chinese Restaurant Syndrome

Ever wondered why your head spins after a meal at your local Chinese restaurant? About 3 grams of MSG or monosodium glutamate contained in just 200ml of wonton soup can bring on pressure or throbbing over your temples and a band like sensation around the forehead. It usually strikes about 20-25 minutes after eating Chinese food, but the good news is it doesn’t last, usually passing within an hour. Avoid foods containing MSG.
Thunderclap Headache

A sudden onset of severe headache that can be caused by migraine, orgasm, or a rapid elevation of blood pressure. The cause can also be far more sinister like an aneurysm when symptoms may extend to stiff neck, double vision, even a loss of consciousness. You may need medication to keep your blood pressure under control. If it is an aneurysm, you will need urgent hospital treatment.
Cluster Headache

Can often strike an hour after going to bed and cause excruciating pain around one eye. Attacks often occur in clusters, hence the name. Symptoms can also include a drooping eyelid, watering eye, nasal congestion and steady rather than throbbing pain. Treatment during an acute attack may involve inhaling oxygen or sumatriptan subcutaneous injection. There are also preventative medications available, but see your doctor, advises Headache Australia.
Rebound Headache

If you’re quick at popping painkillers as soon as a headache strikes, you may be at risk of rebound headaches. They’re caused by overuse of headache medication and can be triggered if you take pain relief more than a couple of days a week. Reducing or stopping the medication might be hard short-term but should provide long-term relief from rebound headaches. Consider acupuncture or relaxation techniques instead of conventional medicine.
Hot Dog Headache

The nitrites contained in foods such as hot dogs, salami, bacon and ham can lead to expansion of blood vessels inside the skull, causing a moderate headache. Like Chinese Restaurant Syndrome, it’s best to let it pass and avoid such foods in the future. They’re usually full of additives and preservatives anyway.

I'd say I am very lucky because it seems I seldom get a headache (nothing that will really need me to resort to best eye cream for dark circles) and I'm not the type to pop a pill when I feel some uneasiness. I'd just sleep it off and I'll feel better soon after. But these types of headaches notes from quiet helpful.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Yes, it's my parents-in-law's wedding anniversary tomorrow. The very V-day as most people know it. I think, it was timed so they won't forget the day. :)

Anyway, to celebrate it we had take away today. How Australian is that? Or should i say how authentic. Instead of going to a fancy dinner, which they don't really adhere to, they opted for KFC chicken. They haven't had such for a long time.

As to pressies? We don't worry about them either. They're not into commercialism of the significant days in their lives. We give gifts when we see fit. So giving otterbox iphone 4 is not expected of me. They don't even own a mobile phone. :)

Sunday, 6 February 2011

It was the first time that I cooked it and it was a hit with my family. Mcj even said that I stole the Kenny Roger's recipe for their spare ribs. I know, it's not as good but it was close. I cooked it using this recipe. I took a lot of time because I really made sure that the meat is tender as the oven time is just 30 minutes - for me it's not enough to tenderise the meat. I used pork ribs with a bit of fat on it (not really enough to warrant adapexin-p). I'll try to make it my signature dish on barbi if I can as it is so easy to make.


Life in a home with gluten-free diet, preventing Diabetes 2 and trying to be lactose-free. And a little bit fussy child. It sounds difficult and complicated but not really. It's been roughly ten years on - we have a lot of practice.

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