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Monday, September 11, 2017

Diverticulitis

After I went on my whole foods plant-based diet, I encountered 2 conversations that has strengthened my resolve to eat as much real food as I can. Whole foods = food that is as little processed as possible. Plant-based = food that does not come from animals.

In the first conversation, a friend was telling me about her Dad who is already in his 70s. He was hospitalised for rectal bleeding. He passed copious amounts of blood every time he went to the toilet. He almost died from loss of blood.

In the 2nd conversation, The Daughter recounted her friend's experience in Barcelona. An elderly parent succumbed to food poisoning. After a period of vomiting, he vomited copious amounts of blood too.

Apparently, when people eat a lot of meat, dairy and processed foods, the walls of their colon develop pouches that bulge into the intestinal tract. As food passes through, these pouches of intestinal wall are susceptible to rupture leading to massive blood loss. Since the rupture is internal, it is very hard to pinpoint the location. Much blood is lost before something can be done to plug up the rupture.

I tell you. Both these stories freaked me out no end. I guess that by the time one gets to 70-ish, skin and flesh lose elasticity and are prone rupture. Hence, an entire lifetime of eating meat, dairy and low fibre foods catches up on one.

Apparently, diverticultis (see HERE) is a 1st world country disease. In poorer countries, people have more vegetables in their diet. I wonder how many Singaporeans will end up with diverticulitis because whenever I go out to the hawker centre, every stall sells meat. In some stalls, the main dish is meat with a few slivers of vegetables. It has become rather hard to eat out these days because I can't eat gluten and I won't eat meat.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mosquito Net

I used to think a 4 poster bed an unnecessary expenditure. To me, such beds looked imposing and took up a lot of space, but served not much practical purpose. Those were the days when I relied on wall plug-ins against mosquitoes.

The mosquitoes were knocked out by the chemicals that filled my bedroom every night. The same chemicals also disrupted my endocrine system, causing all sorts of hormonal imbalances. I was in ill health for years.

I was too stingy to buy a new bed so I tried everything else possible from ...

(1) lighting mosquito coils in the day to chase away mosquitoes

(2) diffusing citronella oil in the day to chase away mosquitoes

(3) using an electrified mosquito bat to hunt down mosquitoes before bed time

All these measures worked for years because the mosquitoes flying about were the aedes aegypti ones. Then, the NEA introduced the wolbachia virus into aedes aegypti mosquitoes, to disrupt their reproductive cycle. The wolbachia virus rendered the male aedes aegypti mosquitoes sterile. This meant no new aedes aegypti mosquitoes were being born.

Measures (1) to (3) above were good for aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are active in the daytime. They did not work for those mosquitoes that bit in the night. With the disappearance of the aedes aegypti mosquitoes, we began to see other types of mosquitoes appear in our bedroom. These were active all night.

We had sleepless nights.

I was so desperate for a solution that I bought a 4 poster bed online. The mosquito net was a whole long story on its own. I approached the curtain shop and they charged me $850. The shop that sold me the bed retailed one for $350. I went on Amazon and got one delivered for $35.

It has been bliss. Once the mosquito net is down, we sleep the sleep of babies with no fear of mosquitoes. Best of all, we are not breathing in anti-mosquito noxious fumes all night.



Monday, July 24, 2017

Eating A Plant-Based Whole Foods Diet

I watched a documentary entitled Forks Over Knives. Overnight, I switched to a WholeFoodsPlantBasedDiet. I had been on the diet for 2 days before I introduced the documentary to The Husband. Overnight, he embraced the diet.

In the beginning, he complained a little and looked sad whenever his children ate meat in front of him. By Day 4, he was hooked. He wouldn't eat meat even when I asked him to.

The cooking is so much less of a hassle too because I pressure cook the vegetables in water before adding some fish sauce and olive oil to flavour. It takes 2 minutes to pressure cook carrots so you can imagine the amount of time saved in the kitchen. With this diet, I also forage more in the garden, plucking flowers and young leaves to add to the salad.

By Day 4, The Husband and I were full of energy. We did not miss meat at all!

I am told that I should supplement with some meat occasionally so that we can get all the amino acids we need, as well as the vitamin B12. We will do that. The aim will be to eat only 3 meals with a bit of top grade organic meat or seafood.

The remaining meat in the freezer is going to last us a long while.


Buckwheat, asparagus, pumpkin flowers. The pumpkin flowers are from the garden.

Roasted carrots, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes, carrots and tandoori chickpeas on a bed of salad greens.

Portobello mushroom steak topped with sweet potato + roasted cherry tomatoes + amaranth leaves (from the garden) + cranberries + figs + fermented red cargo rice..

Jackfruit seeds, jackfruit, avocado, cherries, bananas and freshly bloomed pumpkin flowers.

Caramel dipped walnuts, avocado, jackfruit seeds, jackfruit, young buah long long leaves, pumpkin, brinjal and lady fingers.

Lady fingers, jackfruit seeds, jackfruit, pumpkin flowers and chopped cucumber.

August 2017 Parent Seminars

Sign up for the August run of Positive Teaching HERE.

Sign up for the September run of HOT Skills HERE.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

More on Waterfall Cafe

A shout-out to all celiacs! The range of buffet anti pasti dishes at the Waterfall Cafe, Shangri-La has increased somewhat. Most of it is gluten free.












Thursday, July 6, 2017

CPF and Polyclinic

CPF Board, Woodlands

I don't suppose I will ever feel secure about money. So, for some peace of mind, I decided to pop into CPF to top up my CPF Special Account.

Seeing how my in-laws have aged, it becomes clear that there will come a day when working for a living would be arduous, if not impossible. So, having monthly pocket money given to me every month from a pool of my own money kept safe by CPF looks ok. Besides, I want to qualify for CPF Life Plan, which pays out a monthly sum to me every month for as long as I live (when I reach 65 years). To qualify I need to have $60,000 in my CPF retirement account 6 months before I turn 65 years.

If ever I become destitute, I would at least have money to buy food.... and maybe a book or 2?

It was such a pleasant experience. A tallish gentleman at the Woodlands branch Called Mr Terence Lee took me out of the very long queue when he understood that I wanted to top up my account. He gave me a form and took my IC to check the amount I was allowed to put in. He came back with a very exact amount and explained a few obscure details that he thought I might not be aware of...

- the money I put in will be stuck there till I am 55...
- moneys flow over from my Medisave to my Special Account on the 25th of each month. My top up sum could be rejected if I fail to account for these extra moneys going in by 25th of this month.

I liked him very much. He spoke to me in a Parenty-Teachery voice. When he disappeared to check my account details, other officers took over. They all approached me to ask if I needed help. They too spoke in a Parenty-Teachery voice.

I like it when Customer Service Officers talk to me in a Parenty-Teachery voice.


Woodlands Polyclinic

Then, it was time to go get my mammogram and fasting blood test done at the Woodlands Polyclinic. The Customer Service Officer on the phone had the presence of mind to line up both appointments very close to each other. I went in at 10.25 am for the blood test (appointment at 10.15am)... left for a small breakfast and completed my mammogram shortly after by 11.15 (appointment at 11 am).

There were literally hordes of people. So, I was amazed that the nurses were all so calm and friendly.  They too spoke to me in a Parenty-Teachery voice.

I think the Parenty-Tecahery voice is a very powerful voice skill in customer service. It sets the customer at ease because he/she feels looked after and it also communicates a sense of higher authority so that people won't disrespect the Nurses or Customer Service Officers.




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

3 Filial Scandals

One Filial Scandal?
When one takes a bit of distance, one can actually be proud of the FamiLEE Saga. In other countries, scandals are made of real sex and real corruption. In Singapore, our scandal is when an eldest in-law goes into her deceased father-in-law's house to organise his belongings.

Gee... I dunno. I am also the eldest daughter-in-law. In fact, I am the only daughter-in-law. My sister-in-law does not cook and she does not clean. She is not even in Singapore so I have to do the ferrying to and from hospital of the old folks. I am the one who bakes them gluten free bread so that MIL's digestive problems abate. I am the one that grows organic veggies to share with them. My kids are the ones who resolve iPad problems, fix light bulbs, help her sort out SingPass issues and all that.

If it is scandalous for a daughter-in-law to organise a deceased father-in-law's belongings, then it really is a scandal to be proud of.

Ok lah... we too have real sex scandals - Michael Palmer and David Ong but this one... this one that has the world laughing at Singapore, is not really a scandal lah! I really fail to see how an eldest daughter-in-law carrying out her filial duties of organising her deceased parents-in-law's things can be construed as an abuse of power. After all, she must have been doing similar things for decades!

Another TWO Filial Scandals?
2 siblings (LWL and LHY), from filial piety, want to ensure that their Father's last wishes are complied with. Of course, these 2 are not politicians. They have no duty nor responsibility to the Cabinet.

The eldest sibling, LHL has to face Cabinet, who to a man, are dead set against demolishing the house. Unless the Cabinet is composed of mindless robots, LHL cannot simply dismiss their concerns. If he does that, he loses their respect and loyalty. If LHL loses the respect and loyalty of his immediate followers, the damage to the government of Singapore is incalculable. Given the very laws that LKY put in place, LHL CANNOT ask his Cabinet to accede to his Father's last wish, just because it was his Father. Given the laws LKY put in place, LHL would strike a mortal blow to a cornerstone of LKY's legacy...

No one is above the law. Not even the PM can bend the law in his father's favour.

It is one thing when you own a company or are CEO of a company you founded. You can take unilateral decisions just because you are The Boss. LHL does not own Singapore. He does not own the Cabinet. Singaporeans voted in the Cabinet. LHL's hands are really tied.

So herein, we have ANOTHER 2 filial scandals. LWL and LHY are filial in wanting to ensure their father's desire is carried out. LHL is filial in wanting to preserve the kind of governance LKY wrought.

Proud of Our 3 Scandals
In the midst of those who call for this family to cease and desist in their social media war because we are all a bit tired by the kacang putihs LWL and LHY are throwing out as scandals, I think we have a good problem.

Come on lah... find me another country that makes a BIG deal out of a dead leader's last wish. Find me another country where the dead beloved and honoured leader literally die die also does not want to be honoured like Ozymandias. Look over at North Korea! Fella not dead yet and he already has commemorative statues made of himself. Find me a country where a public "Scandal" ensues because 2 kids wanna be filial to the father's last wish and another kid wanna be filial to the father's lifetime work.

Who Must Win?
To me this is clear. The government cannot lose this fight. If the government yields to the threats and tantrums of LWL and LHY, it is tantamount to...
(1) dealing a blow to LKY's legacy of the rule of law
(2) admitting that it is guilty of abuse of power

If the matter had stayed private and LWL/LHY had patiently awaited an outcome, then there was every chance that the government could back down and discreetly accede to the demolition wish of LKY. Right through the parliamentary proceedings of the past 2 days, the 2 siblings continued the Facebook war. In a sense, threatening our PM (and the government) and making outsized public accusations of impropriety has painted the whole issue into a corner.

This is a fight the government cannot afford to lose. If it demolishes the house because it wishes to honour LKY's last wishes, then it makes a mockery out of the Rule Of Law that LKY put in place. It must win this fight to protect LKY's most important legacy, not because it is LKY's legacy... but because every Singaporean depends on it. It now is no longer about a house. It is about whether one man's dying wish can over ride a government guided by policy and law.

If the matter had remained quiet, discreet concessions could be made. Now that it is in the public, demolishing the house also demolishes a cornerstone of LKY's system of governance.

The only way out, and I hate to write this, is for LHL to contest the 7th will in court, void it... and preserve the house with its private areas within, demolished. There is no other way to protect the country that LKY left us.

Singapore is Soooooo Square and Nerdy
Singapore is sooooo square and nerdy that we actually have a scandal rooted in filial piety!! This reminds me of the time our friends were flabbergasted that our family was too square and nerdy  to own a TV. It was predicted that The Son would grow up stupid and only academically excellent. I was proud of owning no TV back then. I am proud of The Son today.

What a blessed woman I am to mother a family of square nerds and belong to a nation of square nerds.