Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Confinement the Organic Way

My son celebrated his 3 months recently and I have more time in my hands now that he can sleep longer. I reflected back at why I recovered so easily this time around, faster than my first delivery 4 years ago... and I suspect it's a combination of adding juice into my diet plus the fact that for my confinement, I didn't do the typical Chinese overly-loaded pork and fat kind of diet.

In fact, apart from the green juices (fruits plus veggie juices), I was having one dinner meal delivered to my home, catered by Woods Macrobiotics restaurant. It wasn't cheap. But it was definitely worth the money. In the end I paid about RM 1,000 for 25 deliveries. This included the delivery fee. The receipt below they miscalculated the delivery fees so I had to top up and pay the additional fee at the end of my confinement. Also take note they don't deliver on weekends. So they provided my dinner everyday on weekdays.

It was a pleasant experience and definitely something you can look into if you want a healthy balance during the confinement period. It's a way to gain strength without the heavy meat -- especially at night. I found it to be helpful for me, hence I am sharing it here.

I opted for dinner delivery every weekday. In the end I paid about RM1,000 instead of RM851

Sunrise UEM Mont Kiara Christmas Party Activities 2013

Once again, I reiterate how interesting it can be for expats and foreigners to be living within the Mont Kiara community -- specifically under Sunrise UEM condominiums. I didn't expect the Christmas party this year to be this fun-filled. They had Santa walking around giving away candies, huge soap bubbles flying with Christmas songs in the background (Check out the youtube), plus cupcake decorating, etc!

My daughter enjoyed her time there with daddy, while I had to look after my little boy. I saw smiles everywhere. Definitely a big plus for families living in Mont Kiara.

Santa came to say hello
Balloons and funfare
All kids (and adults) trying to make huge soap balloons
Fun-filled evening
Clowns, fairies, santa, and balloons
Fairies going around to give candies

Santa on the job

Huge soap bubbles flying
Giant soap bubbles

To view some of the videos, check out the link...

Sunday, December 08, 2013

HSBC ATM at LCCT Airport Malaysia

Once again, I wanted to share with fellow expats and tourists that if you fly AIR ASIA or other low cost flights that pass by Kuala Lumpur, you don't have to be worried because they have ATMs located near the Starbucks and their toilet area. 

I am happy HSBC has an ATM there as most foreigners will benefit from this. There are local bank ATMs as well which I am sure their network somehow has agreements with other groups like VISA/MASTERCARD, etc.

Happy travels!

A row of ATMs located near Starbucks at the LCCT airport
HSBC has their ATM there along with some of the Malaysian local banks

Christmas Spirit at Gardens Mall this 2013

Christmas spirit in Gardens

Here we are at our favorite mall and pleasantly surprised with the Christmas spirit that is well celebrated this year.

After our lunch we saw the brass ensemble playing Xmas songs which really brings out the spirit of the holidays. 

The decorations are also well done with lots of red around. 

I included the schedule for your information in case you want to catch the live shows and Santa meet and greet.

Happy holidays!

Live music brings the Xmas spirit

Schedule for 2013
Close up of schedule for 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Losing Weight The Healthy Way Through Juicing... Our PersonalExperience Shared

I would like to share how juicing changed our life radically -- in terms of losing weight and gaining more energy. I would like to also share some photos of ourselves -- both me and my husband, as we have gone through the transformations.

My husband was enjoying the Asian lifestyle so much (like eating rice, etc) that over the years he accumulated some fat on his belly. He is considered someone with moderate exercising activities and tries to eat healthy every now and then. However, despite the urge of being healthy, the round belly accumulated and here in the picture you can see that when we went to the beach you could peak at the love handles.

After 24 days of juice cleansing (he ate soup or salad in the evening), he lost 8kg initially. Due to the continued lifestyle change -- eating less meat, less coffee, less processed foods -- he gained more energy which means he went running and hiking more than before... he continued to lose weight until he lost a total of 11kg.

This is hubby before and after photo

As for me, my experience is different. I was pregnant when we started our juice journey, so I couldn't do a full juice cleanse. I started drinking juices to complement my meals. I replaced my breakfast with the green juices first thing in the morning. Then if I am hungry I would eat something an hour after. One must learn how to listen to your body. After delivering, I was still taking juice during my confinement period. And by the 2nd month of delivering, I lost a total of 11kg.  I recovered faster from my c-section, had more energy to move around, and lost weight faster than my 1st pregnancy. Juicing changed our lives. I hope it will change yours too!

If you are interested to learn more about juicing, visit the website www.lajuiceria.com or www.facebook.com/lajuiceriaMY

Me, pregnant. Gained 13kg in total. Lost 11 kg by second month

Monday, November 18, 2013

Green Garden Vegetarian Restaurant

Tucked away in an area that I wasn't so familiar with, we went for a lunch visit on a Saturday sunny afternoon. The restaurant is located near the Desa Park City area, but not really quite inside Desa Park. We trusted our handy GPS which brought us there without issues.

To parents with small children, note that you can't carry up the stroller as they don't have an elevator -- we carried the baby basket up the staircase.

The restaurant in itself is simple and welcoming. The staff service is friendly. And the highlight for us was really the food. As we embark on our journey of becoming vegetarian -- or simply discovering new places that offer delicious veggie (and even organic) food, we are happy to find this place.

Here are some notes of what we experienced:

  • Delicious fruit tea-- a must try
  • Yummy dish made from lion's mane mushroom , not sure what it's called though
  • My daughter enjoyed the "teriyaki" burger (which was of course vegetarian)
  • Hubby enjoyed the rice meal dish. My daughter liked the "yellow" rice served with it
  • The salad was fresh -- one of the best leaves we have seen... it's hard to find good salad in KL. Sometimes I get so disappointed with the salad leaves... here it was superb!
  • My daughter and I enjoyed the mushroom soup -- steaming hot and tasty
  • Tofu dish with mahogany sauce was yummy, too!

Overall, my only complaint is... how I wish they had a branch in Mont Kiara!

They are selling this honey -- tasty & we used it to make our own fruit tea at home
Daddy and 2-months old Nicolas
Delicious rice set with fruit tea
Mushroom soup which my daughter and I shared
Fruit Tea
"teriyaki burger"
Fresh Salad
Lion's Mane Mushrooms
Tofu with Mahogany Sauce

Green Garden
First Floor, Jalan 3/62A Bandar Manjalara, KL 52100
Tel: 03-6274-7863 or 03-62621561
(we took the Penchala Link coming from Mont Kiara and it is not far away from Desa Park City)

Pre-Wedding Juice Cleanse: Lose Weight and Get Radiant

Would like to extend our best wishes and congratulations to the newlywed. I was so happy to see the bride and groom on their special day, and both of them looked radiant!

It's been more than a month since I started sharing the benefits of juicing to all who would like to listen -- and I am amazed at the transformation and changes that have happened to people who have tried it. I feel so fulfilled seeing the positive changes -- from losing weight to curbing the coffee cravings. 

I myself have seen the wonderful benefits. My baby is now 2 months old, and I successfully shed 11kg already -- a combination of juicing, eating more greens (than meat), plus breastfeeding. My husband is now 10kg lighter -- again thanks to the lifestyle changes we have done.

Again, I would like to reiterate that juicing is not just juice cleansing -- it is a total lifestyle change. You can take the juice first thing in the morning -- preferably GREEN juice. This gets absorbed faster by the body on an empty stomach. Imagine flooding your system with enzymes and nutrients -- as opposed to acidic coffee (which I used to do). In many of my readings, coupled with personal experience, we noticed that the coffee cravings, the meat cravings and even the cravings for sweet stuff are declining thanks to the newly-found appreciation for plant-based foods. To me, eating veggies never seemed as exciting as it is now -- the taste of it is heightened through my newly-acquired taste buds that have transformed since we started juicing.

Another thing that has got me thinking is how people nowadays are looking for that "quick fix" to lose weight through a unnatural way -- like the pills + powdered protein shakes that Nu Skin are selling. I have come across several people saying that they have been taking those as meal replacements. I am not a scientist to analyze the molecular and effects of pills vs natural form of fruits & veggies, but common sense tells us that taking in things in the most natural form is better for your health and body -- especially in the long run. I highly urge people who are looking for that "quick fix" to instead turn to juicing -- not only to lose weight, because weight is merely an aspect of beauty -- but to become healthier inside & out.

For those interested in finding out about more tips, recipes and updates on juicing, please join the Facebook page of La Juiceria HERE.

Me and hubby with the newlyweds Nov 16, 2013

Newlywed Couple Lost 4 KG each before the wedding
Nu Skin selling various pills and powdered shakes

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Juicing Testimonial: Positive Effects

I wanted to keep this post simple. Basically, after 3 weeks of juicing, my friend, who purchased the Hurom Slow Juicer from La Juiceria, experienced great benefits.

Here is a screenshot of her FB page...

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Hurom Juicer & Juicing: Lose Weight in a Healthy Way

My little Alex drinking her green juice
The past days have been crazy for me... Crazy because now I have 2 kids. One daughter who is almost 4 years old who is now constantly trying to get my attention due to the new baby addition. While the little baby crying, wanting to be carried all the time and of course breastfeeding.

While all that is happening on the background, I am trying to finalize all the details of my new company called LA JUICERIA (website HERE). Basically, I want to set up this company to help spread the word about juicing! How it can help you change the way you live your life... how you can lose weight, gain more energy, get glowing and clear skin, better metabolism, better bowel movement and more.

A small example I can think of is when some friends came over to visit me during my confinement, they brought their girlfriends. After a chat, I realized many, many women out there are like me -- constipated! Simply because we girls love our sweets -- despite that I try my best to live a healthy life, I cannot resist cute cupcakes, nice looking cakes and pastries...and sometimes chocolates! These things clog up our system, and every now and then we need to 'unclog' and give ourselves some time to reboot. Our computers need to shut down every now and then... our bodies need it, too.

Hurom Slow Juicer HA Series
One of the recent good news I heard from another friend who visited me ... yesterday she posted that she lost 3KG in time for her wedding (which is next week Nov 16, 2013). When she bough the Hurom from me, she was excited and her soon-to-be-hubby also was curious if this could really work. After just a few days, she already lost weight the healthy way (meaning juicing) and I asked her permission if I could share her Facebook update which really made me happy. Over the years that I have known her, we have always talked about losing weight, exercising more... but sometimes it just doesn't happen. Well, now it did. I am not sure if it's the pressure of the wedding (hee hee, we all know how that is!) or the sheer determination ... oh and also the supportive fiance who also juiced together with her. Both of them lost 3KG as of today. The post I have below is one of her updates when she bought the juicer just 9 days and she saw effects already. I am yet to update the other posts that they have made (need to ask permission first :)

I am happy that the changes she experienced are exactly what the juicing articles have stated. You get a better appreciation of vegetables and plant-based food. My husband and I got off coffee (in a million years I never thought that would happen). We own several coffee machines and are regulars in certain cafes! Now we just juice. Occasionally I indulge in hot chocolate, but more often we take tea. I have a better appreciate of vegetables and tofu -- and now even my daughter has learned to eat veggies right at its face -- without having to 'hide' the veggie in some soup or pasta (which I used to do to trick her). She would drink green juice, or other juices we make (which contains raw veggies) and now she also eats her broccoli, mushrooms, tofu, etc without fuss. I also included a pic of my daughter (tee hee!)

Happy results from juicing :)

My little girl drinking her green juice :)

This was a screenshot I took from my iPhone. I was so happy to see my friend's FB update.
She has experienced the joy of juicing!

Cheers! Juice on, Malaysia!

Delivering A Baby in Kuala Lumpur

While baby is asleep, I am sneaking some online time to update my blog. For those out there who might be wondering how much it costs to deliver a baby in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, well, here are some points which may help you...

- Hospitalization + Caesarian Section + Doctor Costs = RM12,000 (3nights, 4 days at a very reputable hospital in the heart of Kuala Lumpur)

- Hospitalization and Nursery costs of my baby when he was delivered (they bill separately for the baby) = about RM1,300

- Cost of diaper per pack for newborns: roughly about RM 30-40 / pack (around 55-60 pieces inside which will last you about 5-6 days depending how much they poo). Sometimes they have sale and discounts on diapers at Jusco / Tesco

Huggies Diapers at Village Grocer Mont Kiara RM28.90 for Newborn & Small Size
The blue packaging is cheaper than the red ones

- Milk: we recently bought BABYNAT which is an organic milk from france RM89 per can which will probably last 2-3 weeks depending if you are mixing with breastfeeding or fully feeding with formula

- Doctor's visit - this highly depends where you go. I visit Dr. Altaf at 2 different clinics. One at Mont Kiara (Global Doctors) which is pricier but no queue or sometimes we go to TTDI where he has his own clinic but be ready to wait for up to 2 hours sometimes! Price will vary from RM30 for consultation to RM80 depending where he is. And here in Malaysia they can dispense the medication at their clinics, so I usually take the medicine from them.

- Maid or Household Help : if you are planning to get some help around the house, be ready to fork some money if you want to hire a Filipino national. Their salary range can be around RM1,000 - RM1,800 depending on many factors: how many kids will they take care of, how big is the house/apartment, etc. Also if you use an agent to get a maid, be ready to fork out about RM12,000 just to get things going : for permits, finding the maid, flying them in, etc.

Definitely not cheap to have a baby. But somehow, people manage around it... good luck and hope this gives you an idea of the cost of having one! 

Juicing Benefits and Hurom Slow Juicer

It's been more than a month since I delivered my baby and I can clearly see the benefits of my whole juicing journey.

Months ago when we started our juicing experience with the Hurom Slow Juicer, our loves changed.

My husband lost a total of 8kg to-date. He has more energy to go running and hiking. He loved coffee and I never thought he could give that up!

I recovered faster from my c-section this time around, as compared to my first c-section which was close to 4 years ago!

My skin got clearer. I lost weight faster than my first pregnancy. I gained a total of 12.5kg for this pregnancy and lost 9kg on the first month alone during my confinement.

Juicing also is the best way I have found to give raw vegetables and fruits to my 3.5-year old daughter. There is NO WAY she will eat all that raw vegetables and fruits, and no way she can consume quantity if not for juicing.

Juicing also helped us transition to a plant-based diet faster. I never thought I would lose appetite for meat -- I don't miss my usual favorites from the past -- like steak, char siew, fried chicken, etc. I am not saying I would never eat those again. Juicing just made it easier for me to forget about them, it made me appreciate the taste of vegetables and fruits more than before.

After all the good things that have happened to us through juicing, I decided I must do something to spread the word -- to share it with the people around me. The best way to do that is to start a company dedicated to juicing. And that was how LA JUICERIA was born.

I started the company and started spreading the word to my friends. Some came to see me at my home and saw the demo and was immediately convinced of the benefits of juicing ordered the Hurom Slow Juicer from me. And within 2 weeks, one of my friend shared that she lost weight, felt much better (no more gassiness) and was able to quit coffee. As of today as I am writing this, she lost 3kg and is happily preparing for her wedding.

I highly recommend the Hurom Slow Juicer to people who want to get a start on a healthier lifestyle. It may seem like a hefty investment due to its price versus a normal (noisy) juicer, but in the long run you will not regret the investment. In fact, if you do the math, the juicer will pay for itself in less than a year due to the savings you will get from maximizing your fruits and vegetables. Let me explain further:

If you juice RM100 a week worth of veggies and fruits through the Hurom vs a normal juicer, you will be extracting 35% more juice with the Hurom. That means RM35 saved per week. If you are juicing for a year, that would be RM1,820 saved!

Let me give you 3 good reasons why Juicing is the way to go for a healthier life:

1. It helps you absorb the nutrients from fruits and veggies faster into your bloodstream
2. It allows you to consume an optimal amount of fruits and vegetables in an efficient manner
3. You can add a wider variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet -- which means those veggies that you never thought you would consume raw, now you can!

I am so excited to spread juicing to everyone... to each person I encounter and to people who are willing to listen. Juicing changed my life. And I hope it will change yours too.

Juice on!

Check out my newly created company website and FACEBOOK (if you want to learn tips and recipes!)

PS. The Hurom Juicer I am using is the black Hurom HA-BBE08, which is the latest model launched by Hurom this 2013. It comes with 20 years warranty on the motor. Definitely shows that they are very confident with their product!

Oh ... by the way, if you are interested to learn how to make homemade ALMOND MILK, do check out my YouTube video!

Link to the Youtube (copy and paste to your browser)  http://youtu.be/iggGxhqFI-8

Some information on the Hurom Slow Juicer:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beyond Veggie by Secret Recipe: Worth The Visit!

When we first came to Malaysia, I visited Secret Recipe often. After a while, I found the quality so-so, or perhaps because I was more familiar with Malaysia and its food paradise I quickly forgot about it with the myriad of choices!

Soon, years went by without one visit to Secret Recipe. It is simply... forgetful, in my opinion. However, all that has changed. My view of its latest restaurant creation called Beyond Veggie ... simply divine and worth visiting again and again. And I literally mean "again" because after our meal there last Sunday lunch, we went back again for Monday dinner.

I know that vegetarian restaurants are not too many -- or at least I still need to discover them as I go on this vegetarian journey of mine. Meanwhile, I am sticking to a safe choice which is just around the neighborhood -- Publika to be exact.

We drove by Beyond Veggie couple of times months ago, and I also saw their branch at Tropicana. That sparked my interest but it was not enough to make me go in yet. The mix of my turning vegetarian plus the good reviews that I have seen online -- has prompted me to go visit. Twice.

To summarize in short terms why I would visit again and again:

- wide range of interesting tofu and mushroom dishes... and I will highlight below what I especially liked
- very clean and refreshing ambience -- white with some green, welcoming and brightly-lit
- service is much better than my last experience with Botanical -- at least the waiters are smiling and willing to help
- plenty of room and seats, unlike Botanical where it was cramped. Imagine I have 2 kids and I had 2 strollers (baby pram) and it was so tight at Botanical
- The portions are for sharing
- they have interesting drinks ! I especially like the 3 types of Fruit Tea they offered

Let me share more photos below and reasons why I would go back...

Ambience -- as you can see below the place is well-lighted and very refreshing to the eyes. I like the interior design. The fake grass gives a certain "eco-friendly" feeling as we enjoy vegetarian food... especially as one of the reasons why I turned vegetarian is due to trying to be more earth-friendly (and stopping animal cruelty).

Interior of Beyond Veggie

Interior of Beyond Veggie, nice green and white combination

I thoroughly enjoyed the fruit tea -- which can be nicely shared by 3 people. They are generous with the cups and they also give ice if you request for some. That way you get some "Fruit Shots" while you have your meal. I tried both the Original flavor and the Passion Fruit. Highly recommended.

Fruit Tea

This appetizer is okay. I wouldn't highly recommend... unless you are darn hungry and would like to eat some food quickly. It is okay in taste... nothing special.

Appetizer Pie Tee - top hat 

This is a winner! The red yeast fried rice that is served with some "satay stick" which is actually made of mushrooms -- oh so yummy! Definitely a must order when in Beyond Veggie.

Red Yeast Fried Rice

The next dish is a tofu dish with a different kind of sauce. Tasty and not bad. Will probably try this again next time.
 Mahogany Tofu dish 

My super favorite -- the Sweet and Sour mushroom dish which has a texture like meat. It is my first time to try this Lion's Mane Mushroom which I understand is hard to find / buy in Kuala Lumpur. Worth ordering again, and again... and again.

My favorite : Sweet and Sour Mushrooms ... really tasty and love the texture

We loved the Margherita Pizza. My daughter and my mom liked it... that is enough for me to garner plus points for this winning pizza.

Pizza Margherita worth ordering! My daughter loved it!

The Pistachio cake was okay -- nothing to shout about. 

Pistachio Cake slice

VM07 is the superb dish I liked so much I took a photo of the menu...
Especially loed the VM07 - Sweet and Sour Lion's Mane Mushroom

About RM145 for 3 adults and 1 toddler. It was a great experience... to the point we went back for another meal the next day. Glad Secret Recipe launched a Veggie option!

Bill for 4 adults and 1 toddler

Beyond Veggie by Secret Recipe
Ground Floor Solaris Dutamas (Publika)
Tel 03-62053048

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