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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

weight loss and supplements...

i've been dealing with weight problems for the longest time. i used to be this scrawny girl who could eat practically as much as i like and not gain weight. those were the days. once i hit puberty my weight began it's glorious increase up til form 5. fortunately by mid-form 5 i was beginning to lose weight somehow (i took dance classes for 2 months) and returned to my slimmer sillouhette by year end. it stayed that way for about 3 years - well, kinda. i did gain during my uni semester breaks - until that unfortunate gastric attack during the end of my 2nd year's 2nd semester. who knows whatever meds the doctors injected into me while i was laying in the university's health centre emergency ward (thanks to the help of my buddies, muax babes!). all i kno is from then on weight loss was no longer a breeze. my weight escalated and all efforts to slim down was somewhat hampered. *sigh*

here i sit now at my highest weight to date still trying almost everything under the sun to reach the ideal and healthy weight for my height and frame. days gone by and my target still eludes me. i enlisted in the then new gym in town - y fitness - which recently went "kaput"! i did manage to squeeze some good out of the membership so not much regrets there for not going as regularly as i'd hoped. anyways, the reason for this blog entry is this. sharing my experiences with slimming products currently in the market. *smile*

this is a product i absolutely love at the moment. oriyen's corn fibre plus chewables. it contains corn fibre (duh!!) to bind and flush oil out of the body, green tea to prevent digestion and absorption of oil and fat and garcinia fruit which prevents fat synthesis and increases metabolism. you can take it before, during or at most 30 mins after taking a heavy or highly fatty/oily meal. gotta love that flexibility. seriously, you can literally see the oil in your stools!!! i kid you not. it's yummy too (orange flavour). there's absolutely no discomfort for me or frequent motion passing. it really helps alleviate the guilt of eating your fave foods!!

nn's apple juice drink with l-carnitine is delish! since l-carnitine is highly found in red meat (which you shouldn't be taking a lot of), this is a great alternative. i drink 15ml mixed with 1/2 glass of water twice a day. what it does is converts your fat deposits into energy which is great cos it helps make me feel less fatigued hehe. as far as weight loss results, i can't vouch for its efficacy yet. omg! yes, i do have a cellulite problem and i'm not proud of it. anyhow, since it's already there, i might as well find some way of improving its appearances right? enter nn celluease caps. that's 1 cap twice a day (as recommended on the box). i've ony just started on this so i can't really say it's working because i'm also doing some kneading with l'oreal's pro-massager (i'll talk about it in a bit). this is gonna sound so cliche but because cellulite is a result of poor circulation, it's recommended to consume at least 2 litres of plain water (about 8 8oz glasses that is). but mind you, this really varies on the individual though. some people might need more than 2 litres daily depending on your own body water composition. you can check with a nutritionist on this. i was watching dr. mehmet oz on oprah last night and he mentioned the importance of fibre in our diet. so here's what i've started taking recently: nn fibre plus (main component: psyllium husks). it's sugar-free and absolutely yummy (orange flavoured again). of course we all know fibre helps for those who experience constipation and anyone with high cholesterol problems. this product is said to have a higher fibre potency than oats. so if you're not really into the whole oatmeal thing, here's a nice alternative to look into. just 1 heaped scoop (scoop included in can) with 1/2 or 1 glass of water. if you take this in between meals, it helps to fill you up to curb cravings too! but i take it for it's fibre benefits. *wink* no, you won't be rushing to the bathroom with this one.
as a breakfast meal replacement (on most days), i take nn thermo trim drink either in vanilla or choc flavours. the easiest way to prepare this drink is mixing 1 glass of water (i use room temp water) with 1 tbsp nestle nesvita non-fat milk powder and 1 sachet of thermo trim - all in a shaker. i like it simply because it doesn't taste like a meal replacement. it's like having milo or milk for breakfast. anyways, i'm pretty filled up in the morning after a glass of this, the apple juice and fibre drink. i don't recommend drinking the choc version sans milk though. i personally didn't quite like the taste. if you don't have nesvita non-fat, use any low-fat or skim milks instead. plus, you can get creative with the preps - make smoothies and fruity shakes. alternatively, you can take this between meals or replace breakfast and dinner. *smile*
i may be a bit biased (i love l'oreal) but this is a wonderful product. unlike any other slimming or firming lotions out there, this one has it's own massage head. and it only takes 1 to 2 strokes on the intended areas! first massage, then use the post-massage lotion on the other end. simple and not messy. no intense massage sessions required. i definitely saw improvement with my gigantic thighs. the cellulite is less visible and skin texture is smoother. i actually tried this before buying the celluease. hehe. and to think i'm only on my first bottle!
now here's a product i'm still waiting to try but am still waiting for my iou's to arrive. oriyen's mixed vinegar tabs i said to contain the beneficial acetic acid content of a whole lemon. contrary to popular belief that lemons are bad for you if you have gastric problems (like me), it's actually recommended to stabilize the acidity in the stomach (as per my mum's doctor's advise). ok, so i'm not just interested to try this supplement because of it's neutralizing properties but also because of its many other benefits (read: apple cider vinegar) including promoting weight loss. did you know that if your body is acidic, it holds on to more fat to protect your internal organs?!?!?

ok. for what didn't quite cut it for me: nh detoxlim and nh detoxlim plus. i know the package says no side effects and all natural ingredients and all, but unfortunately these aren't the products for me. i had acute stomachaches and at times it became so bad i could barely walk about and end up resting on the bed. i tried both versions on two separate occasions but with the same results. in fact i got similar effects with putri binari's pijut perut xlim (previously known as susut perut).another -xlim family is beauxlim. i know the ads are very inviting. it enticed me. lol! but i really didn't see any results whatsoever with this product. i bought the 2+1 value pack (2 in fact) for a 2 month programme. no stomach pain with this one though (thank goodness!!). nothing extraordinary with this experience. it's pretty much as described on the box except maybe the part where they say at one stage your body no longer absorbs fat or something like that.

here's a product that has garnered rave reviews but i'm thinking it's probably only meant for those not so big peeps out there. maybe for someone who needs to lose the extra buldge (a small buldge i presume). plus the massaging part is such a chore!! but then again, if you're really interested in this, there's always the watson lotion massager unit to the rescue. just fill up the cylinder with the wonder shaper and squirt squirt, you can start the battery-operated massager. *smile*

all this talk about products and meal replacements and what not, don't lose sight of making sure your body gets the proper nutrients. the best and easiest way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals is an all-in-one (pretty much) tablet. after scouting around for the best brand to provide this need for me, i've settled with gnc's women's ultra mega multivitamins. if you're a member (i think it's rm30 - don't quote me on this cos i'm not too sure) you could get it at a discounted price. but if you're lucky, and you tell the salesgirl you'd like to try out the product first before considering membership, she might be able to give you the member's discount as well. *wink* for better value, get the bigger bottle (90 tabs) which should last you about 3 months. the best thing about this particular multivit is you only have to take it once a day (i.e. at breakfast) and the vits are time-released so you don't have to break it in half (as recommended by dr. oz on oprah) to make sure you don't waste the benefits. for a detailed look at the vits and minerals list click here. so far after much comparison, i have yet to find a rival to the list of goodies packed in this one.

hhmm. calcium is also important. we don't want to have to go through osteoperosis in our golden years now do we? my one-a-day tab only provides half the recommended dosage (but our bodies can take up more) which is why i've added the nesvita non-fat milk powder to my thermo trim (apart from improving the taste of the choc flavoured version). according to the nestle website, 2 glasses of the milk product accounts for 100% of the recommended dose. so there you go. there's also magnesium and d3 vitamin in the multivit and those are important for calcium absorption as well as making sure your stools aren't too loose/hard.

if you're lactose intolerant or you just plain don't like milk, try citrex cal-mag-d3 then. these are choc flavoured chewables and best part is unlike most other brands, it contains not only calcium but both magnesium and d3!! and because these are chewables, it's just so convenient.

i wasn't at all interested in taking supplements before this. especially not on a daily basis. but end of the day i came to a realization that it isn't easy to fulfill our recommended dietary dosage of vits and minerals. and more often than not, in this day and age, there's just way too much processed foods and food lacking in nutrient which makes it even harder to stay healthy proper. i'm also taking bio-life's 1000mg epo 1 vege cap a day. epo helps balance out hormones and if you experience pms (i.e. cramps, mood swings, etc) this is a great help.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Melamine Scare...

Now that petrol prices are more or less stabilizing and the government is slowly reducing petrol prices (1st: 15 sen; 2nd: 10 sen), here comes another outbreak from China (list- bird flu, HMD, dangerous dye-cast iron toy cars, JE, etc.), The Melamine Scare!!!!

I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that I've been literally fed melamine via the famous (now infamous) white rabbit candy:

But seriously, by only taking the example of white rabbit alone, I'm betting that's a lot of children and parents (*ahem* during their childhood) to have eaten these toxic candies. I wonder how much melamine is in our bodies now especially with the knowledge that a host of other products are also contaminated.

Now when the word melamine is heard, the first thing that comes to my mind is obviously plates and the likes. Only a few months back my grandma was making such a fuss about using melamine-ware for dining. She's been insisting that we serve food in ceramic or glass plates and bowls instead. Looks like she's more far-sighted than the rest of us. Though it's not like she bans the use of melamine-ware completely. Her main concern is when serving hot food in fear that the heat might result in a teeny bit of melamine to be mixed into the food. Now with all this bad publicity on melamine, her words bear more weight.

Thank goodness my Nestle Nesvita Non-Fat Milk is off the hook with the assurance from Nestle Malaysia:

As a precautionary measure, Malaysians or those visiting Malaysia can check on the list of milk-related products affected at the Ministry of Health website.

Now this begs the question, why China?!?!?! Apart from the fact that a whole lot of things are "Made in China" these days due to cheap labour there that is. I wonder if these Chinese perpetrators are cutting corners just to save costs and woo in investors. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to blame anyone or suggest anything here. But let's ponder the notion for a moment. Has anyone forgotten the case of the dye-cast iron toy cars?!?!? I mean c'mon. My little brothers play with those things (and not to mention a gazillion other kids). Younger children would even put those toys in their mouths and what not.

Worst still, even vegetable produce is affected by this adversity. How is it possible that with so much advancements in the field of technology, we're becoming more and more destructive to ourselves (and the world we live in)? It is to my understanding the the fundamental of pursuing these advancements is to alleviate our pains and ease our tasks. Or am I still in a primitive state of mind here?

The movie Wall.E is actually an amazing example of how technology really spoils us. In the movie, the human race can't even walk!! After tumbling down from the moving seats, the guy didn't even know how to get up! As lazy as I am, I do hope we never get to that stage though. But I loved the part where the captain of the ship got so obssessed with learning about the civilization and simple life the human race had left behind. Of course that part and the cute little romance thingy going on between Wall.E and Eva. Hehehe.

Back to the main topic here, let's all hope that China beefs up it's health guidelines and policies for the benefit of us all. By us I'm referring to the entire global population. Profits can only take you so far.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

bitten by the sewing bug...

yeap. i've been bitten by the sewing bug. ok so technically i've always liked sewing somehow. when i was in primary school i got excited with hand stitching. a whole lot of trials and errors during the learning process (from a home ecs book no less). then of course there was the cross stitching phase which after awhile i kinda got tired of. heheh. it's such tedious work but i'm happy to know that i know how to do it. LOL!!! oooo and i did learn a lil bit of crocheting from my late grandma and great grandma. i've never actually completed a project on that though. just basics. hehehe. i've got sweaty palms so it didn't really work for me.

when we did home ecs in form 1 through 3, i loved the sewing parts. not that i was any good at the time but it was just something i found interesting to do. there was the skirt project, the kitchen hand towel project and of course the pmr box cover project. that involved a bit of quilting (well, kinda).

my mum had gone for sewing lessons before at her work place. so she knows a thing or two about sewing. so we have a sewing machine at home because of it. that was almost 20 years ago!!!! but i totally love the machine she has cos you don't even have to take the bobbin out of the arm to wind it. hehehe. this particular model/line winds the bobbin in the arm itself. hehehe. anyways, the machine has done a lot of good for us. my mum and i usually do the curtains for our home. in fact we've just finished the dining and kitchen curtains during ramadhan. now we're planning on the huge front door panels' curtains. thank goodness kamdar is finally here!!!! i heart kamdar for all the beautiful fabric they have. LOL!!!! but seriously, the sewing machine is mainly used for clothes repair and pants hemming. hehehe.

after realizing how enormous i've ballooned (i can't fit into ANY of my baju kurungs' skirts), i got the idea of sewing my baju kurungs myself. with a superb online tutorial from myGFL. unfortunately it didn't come out as i'd like mainly due to my overambitious nature (no clothes sewing experience and i had to choose a difficult and slippery fabric to work with). good thing i managed to salvage my raya wardrobe panic with a couple shopping expeditions a few days before we left for my grandma's house. LOL!!!!! to think i'd wanted to help sew my lil bro's raya costume as well. hehehe.
anyways, from then on everything built up. my passion for sewing that is. hehehe. i found an absolutely awesome site that has downloadable and adjustable next project is to sew a pair of pants and a simple basic pencil skirt for work... i've already printed the patterns (seam allowances included) but haven't patched them up yet. hehehe. this should be fun. weeeee!!!!!!
another sewing project i've been addicted to somewhat is t-shirt surgery. my mum borrowed a book for me from the library a few months back cos she thought i'd like it (and i LOVE it by the way) called Generation T. this is a fantastic book i'm telling ya.. this book has a gazillion (more like 108) ways of transforming the average tee. it's truly inspiring and from the rave reviews i've been reading about it, it's one of the best out there!!

then there's a community site on LJ dedicated to t-shirt surgery (here). now there used to be a member there that makes the most gorgeous pieces called ninjatoshiba but somehow she's been wiped off from cyberspace all of a sudden. her site/blog on piczo is non-existent too. i wonder what happened to her?!?!?

another reason for my sudden obssession for sewing is because although i'm not exactly super duper double whammy incredibly huge in size or anything, mot stores, boutiques and outlets don't have stuff that fits me and a lot of which don't have the kinda designs that i like. i'm a very simple person and i play around with a lot of basic pieces when it comes to my sense of style. the fashion scene where i live is dominated by hong kong, korean and japanese fashion cultures which unfortunately cater to more boney frames. dresses are mostly in free size (or as they call it in indonesia "all size") that generally fits sizes xs to m. t-shirts are littered with nonesense sentences and spelling errors that i'd be too embarrassed to wear in public. just the other day i was looking for some new pair of work pants. and guess what?!?!? the store only had up to size L. how pathetic is that?!?!?! although they insisted that they have a size xl but it comes as a blazer-pants set and needless to say, i don't need a blazer. this is why i do a lot of my shopping at fos. nichii's pretty good too for basic stuff. me likey!!!

anyways, some clothes are cheaper sewn than bought. heheh. at least i've got a hobby again. :) yay!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

packing the pounds is easier than trimming down...

after a month of fasting, syawal has arrived bringing the ever-anticipated aidilfitri celebrations. of course we went back to my grandmother's house for the annual family get together to mark the end of ramadhan. hari raya is i think more of a celebration of feasting than anything else. of course there are the sad sentiments woven into the picture. reminiscence of those who've passed and are not able to share the joy and laughter of today. the young collecting green packets filled with cash.

ooo.. the food!!! apart from the scrumptious selection of cakes and delicious food (i.e. mutton & chicken curry, beef rendang, mixed vege, soto, etc.), then there's the indian twist (mostly because my stepdad's indian blood) with chapati and dhal. yum yum... delicioso!!

you would expect one to actually lose weight or slim down a bit during fasting month. well, i failed miserably in that area despite having lesser food intake. my body's not working as it should.

well, all of a sudden i'm on this health spree or something. i've acknowledged that i need supplements (finally!) am currently trying out gnc women's ultra mega multivits and am taking it with epo. then i've just started on cellu-ease tablets to reduce cellulite appearance. to aid my weight loss efforts, i'm also taking nn l-carnitine apple juice (delish!!) twice daily and oriyen corn fibre whenever i'm consuming oily or fat-rich foods. soon i'll have to start on my yoga poses. the last time i did yoga it helped increase my body muscle mass. the difference is this time i'm taking it slow. i've been trying to lose weight too fast for my own good and it backfired. i ended up becoming even lazier (and bigger) than before i started. call me crazy but i'm taking meal replacements for breakfast. at the moment i'm trying out nn thermo drink (vanilla & choc). hehe. i'm obssessed with cosway products now and can't wait for next month's promos.