Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Holy Alphabet

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known!
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God! most high
Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Zion waits in glory....where none are ever sad!

"I am too blessed to be stressed!"

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything. Love and peace be with you forever, Amen.


God is GREAT! All the times!

Read 'The Holy Alphabet' over and over again, for everyday is a blessing from God.

Monday, May 25, 2009

10 Foods You Don't Have to Buy Organic

These Fruits and Vegetables Don't Hold on to So Many Pesticides, So You Can Save Your Organic Dollars for the Ones That Do.


Asparagus face fewer threats from pests such as insects or disease, so fewer pesticides need to be used.

Choose: Look for firm spears with bright green or purplish compact tips. Plan on a 1/2 pound per person, and for more uniform cooking, select spears of a similar thickness. Store in the refrigerator vegetable crisper and give them a good rinse before using (even if you're going to boil them).


Avocados have thick skins that protect the fruit from pesticide build-up.

Choose: Look for avocados that are still somewhat unripe and firm to the squeeze; they'll ripen nicely on your kitchen counter in a couple of days. Store at room temperature. Although you'll be using only the meat of the avocado, it's always a good idea to rinse them before you slice them open.


Pesticide residue remains on the banana peel, which isn't eaten.

Choose: There are basically 3 stages to a ripening banana. You'll want to choose them according to how you're going to use them. Chosen green, where the peel is pale yellow and the tips are green, their taste will be somewhat tart. These work best for frying or baking in a pie. Chosen at their next stage of ripeness, where the peel is mostly all yellow, the pulp will still be firm but their starch content will have started to turn to sugar. These also work well in pies and tarts. In the last stage of ripeness, the skins will show signs of brown spots with the peel a deeper yellow color. This is when they're sweetest and work well mashed and added to baked goods like banana bread recipes. Store at room temperature. If they're unripe, you can place them in a brown paper bag to ripen. Give the bananas a quick rinse and dry before you peel them.


Conventional broccoli doesn't retain so many pesticides because the crop faces fewer pest threats, which means less spraying.

Choose: Look for tightly bunched flower buds on the broccoli stalks that are immature. In other words, try not to buy them if their little yellow flowers have opened. Color-wise, the broccoli should be deep green and the stalks should be firm and not rubbery. Before use, wash in a cool water bath and change the water a couple of times in the process. Store in the refrigerator crisper.


Cabbage doesn't hold on to so many pesticides because a ton of spraying isn't required to grow it.

Choose: Look for cabbage heads whose leaves are tight and be sure the head is heavy for its type, and firm. For most cabbage varieties, you'll want to make sure the outer leaves are shiny and crisp. Savoy is the exception to this rule, as it forms a looser head and the leaves grow crinkly naturally. You'll want to avoid any with leaves that show signs of yellowing. Bok choy should have deep green leaves with their stems a crisp-looking white. Discard the outer leaves of a cabbage before using. You can wash and spin most cabbage leaves just like you do salad greens. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

Kiwi Fruit

Kiwi peel provides a barrier from pesticides. Give them a rinse before cutting.

Choose: Here's where your nose plays an important part when choosing fresh fruit. Sniff out kiwis that smell good. They should be plump and yield to a squeeze like that of a ripe pear. Steer clear from those with moist areas on their surface or any skin bruising. If unripe kiwi are all that are available, simply take them home and place them in a paper bag at room temperature with other fruits that need more time, such as bananas or pears. Store in the refrigerator crisper.


Sweet mango flesh is protected by its thick skin from pesticides. Still, you'll want to rinse under water before cutting open.

Choose: Depending on the variety of melon, look for those that are bright in color such as red, yellow, or orange. It should have a distinctive "fruity" smell. If there's no ripe-fruit aroma, steer clear. Mangoes should be slightly firm but yield to your touch somewhat -- the softer the mango, usually the sweeter it is. If the mango is too soft, there's a good chance that it will be rotten inside. Store in the refrigerator crisper.


Onions don't see as many pest threats, which means less pesticide spraying.

Choose: Look for onions that are firm, have a distinctive "oniony" smell that's not overpowering, and show no visible signs of damage or soft spots. Store in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.


Pesticide residue stays on papaya skin, but be sure to give them a wash before slicing open.

Choose: Papaya colors usually range between yellow and green. Look for those that are slightly soft and show no signs of bruising or appear shriveled. If they're not fully ripened, you can toss them in the brown bag along with your unripened kiwi fruit, peaches, and pears. Once they're ripened, store in the refrigerator crisper.


You won't be eating the tough pineapple skin, which protects the fruit from pesticide residue. As with all your produce, you should rinse the pineapple before cutting.

Choose: Although tempting, this is one fruit that you won't want to choose if it has a strong, sweet smell. This usually means that the pineapple is overripe and has even begun to ferment. Like all other fruits, avoid any that have soft spots, and in the case of pineapples, damage to the rind. Store in the refrigerator crisper.


I reckon these are favourite fruits and vegies for most of us if not all and we eat them very often if not everyday. With the information given, why spend more buying the organic ones?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tips to ward off dementia (cognitive and intellectual deterioration)

Implementation of some of these ideas may help!

To help ward off dementia, train your brain. Timing is everything, comedians say.

It's also important when it comes to taking care of your brain. Yet most of us start worrying about dementia after retirement - and that may be too little, too late.

Experts say that if you really want to ward off dementia, you need to start taking care of your brain in your 30s and 40s - or even earlier.

"More and more research is suggesting that lifestyle is very important to your brain's health," says Dr. Paul Nussbaum, a neuropsychologist and an adjunct associate professor at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. "If you want to live a long, healthy life, then many of us need to start as early as we can."

So what can you do to beef up your brain - and possibly ward off dementia? Nussbaum, who recently gave a speech on the topic for the Winter Park (Fla.) Health Foundation, offers 20 tips that may help.

1. Join clubs or organizations that need volunteers. If you start volunteering now, you won't feel lost and unneeded after you retire.

2. Develop a hobby or two. Hobbies help you develop a robust brain because you're trying something new and complex.

3. Practice writing with your nondominant hand several minutes every day.
This will exercise the opposite side of your brain and fire up those neurons.

4. Take dance lessons. In a study of nearly 500 people, dancing was the only regular physical activity associated with a significant decrease in the incidence of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. The people who danced three or four times a week showed 76 percent less incidence of dementia than those who danced only once a week or not at all.

5. Need a hobby? Start gardening. Researchers in New Zealand found that, of 1,000 people, those who gardened regularly were less likely to suffer from dementia. Not only does gardening reduce stress, but gardeners use their brains to plan gardens; they use visual and spatial reasoning to lay out a garden.

6. Buy a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps a day. Walking daily can reduce the risk of dementia because cardiovascular health is important to maintain blood flow to the brain.

7. Read and write daily. Reading stimulates a wide variety of brain areas that process and store information. Likewise, writing (not copying) stimulates many areas of the brain as well.

8. Start knitting. Using both hands works both sides of your brain. And it's a stress reducer...

9. Learn a new language. Whether it's a foreign language or sign language, you are working your brain by making it go back and forth between one language and the other. A researcher in England found that being bilingual seemed to delay symptoms of Alzheimer's disease for four years. (And some research suggests that the earlier a child learns sign language, the higher his IQ - and people with high IQs are less likely to have dementia. So start them early.)

10. Play board games such as Scrabble and Monopoly. Not only are you taxing your brain, you're socializing too. (Playing solo games, such as solitaire or online computer brain games can be helpful, but Nussbaum prefers games that encourage you to socialize too.)

11. Take classes throughout your lifetime. Learning produces structural and chemical changes in the brain, and education appears to help people live longer. Brain researchers have found that people with advanced degrees live longer - and if they do have Alzheimer's it often becomes apparent only in the very later stages of the disease.

12. Listen to classical music. A growing volume of research suggests that music may hard wire the brain, building links between the two hemispheres. Any kind of music may work, but there's some research that shows positive effects for classical music, though researchers don't understand why.

13 Learn a musical instrument. It may be harder than it was when you were a kid, but you'll be developing a dormant part of your brain.

14. Travel. When you travel (whether it's to a distant vacation spot or on a different route across town), you're forcing your brain to navigate a new and complex environment. A study of London taxi drivers found experienced drivers had larger brains because they have to store lots of information about locations and how to navigate there.

15. Pray.
Daily prayer appears to help your immune system. And people
who attend a formal worship service regularly live longer and report happier, healthier lives.

16. Learn to meditate. It's important for your brain that you learn to shut out the stresses of everyday life.

17. Get enough sleep. Studies have shown a link between interrupted sleep and dementia.

18. Eat more foods containing omega-3 fatty acids: Salmon, sardines, tuna, ocean trout, mackerel or herring, plus walnuts (which are higher in omega 3s than salmon) and flaxseed. Flaxseed oil, cod liver oil and walnut oil are good sources too...

19. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables mop up some of the damage caused by free radicals, one of the leading killers of brain cells.

20. Eat at least one meal a day with family and friends. You’ll slow down, socialize, and research shows you'll eat healthier food than if you ate alone or on the go.


The tips are useful and many of them have been known to us for years. Question is how many of them are we practising daily to train our brains and ward off dementia? As for me, just 8 out of 20. What about you, my friends? It's still not too late to implement more of these ideas. Don't you agree?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Beating The A (H1N1) Flu

Adapted from Beating The Flu: The Natural Prescription for Surviving Pandemic Influenza and Bird Flu, by J.E. Williams, O.M.D. (Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 2006).

Feed a fever, starve a cold. Or is it the other way around? Maybe both! Foods not only nourish and sustain our bodies, but are also rich in compounds that prevent disease and fight infection. This list of common kitchen herbs used to spice up foods are an excellent and all-natural way to treat common ailments, and they also have flu-fighting properties.

Try one of these spices and feel better soon!

Anise: Aids in digestion and helps stop coughing.

Basil: Helps clear head congestion during a cold.

Cardamom: Helps digestion of dairy products and soothes the stomach to treat indigestion.

Cilantro: Helps prevent food poisoning and removes mercury from the body. Cilantro is the name of the young green leaves of the coriander plant.

Fennel: Controls bad breath and, when chewed after spicy meals, masks the odor of garlic and onions.

Oregano: A favorite in Mediterranean cooking, oregano has powerful infection-fighting properties.

Peppermint: Stops intestinal gas, calms indigestion, controls nausea, and sweetens the breath.
Parsley: Promotes urinary flow and provides antioxidants.

Rosemary: A powerful antioxidant, rosemary also had microbe-fighting properties, and it helps calms nerves.

Sage: Treats the congestion and stuffiness associated with colds, clears headaches, and kills parasites, bacteria, and yeasts. Sage oil may improve memory.

Thyme: Well known as a natural antibiotic, it kills parasites and yeast. It can also soothe the chest and halt coughing.

Turmeric: The main ingredient in curry, turmeric adds zest and color to foods. It’s cancer fighting and lowers unfavorable bacteria in the gut that cause gas and bloating. It has anti-inflammatory properties.


A write up in a local Chinese newspaper suggested drinking a glass of honey plus 5 drops of Propolis in the morning able to strengthen our immune system to fight against A (H1N1) Flu. Why not give it a try?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Soursop, the exotic fruit

I begin to like soursop juice when I was introduced to Juiz Sirsak in Jambi, Indonesia, when I was there as an expatriate planter from 2004 -2007. Then I was transferred to Medan in 2008. To me the soursop juice tasted good the 1st time I drank it pure without ice. Of course, my Indonesian friends prefer to drink it with sugar with ice.

Then I started buying the fruit every now and then from the supermarket and blending my own soursop juice. I could not finish all and I kept the balance in the refrigerator. I also liked to eat it raw. Soursop fruit is heart-shaped with a rough green skin with soft fleshy spines. When it is eaten fresh it has a creamy, sweet flavor similar to that of durian and its relative, the custard apple. Wow! The flesh, separated into segments containing 50 - 100 indigestible black seeds, is very juicy and slightly acid, and produces a rich creamy juice which is very refreshing. The seeds are quite a nuisance when trying to separate them from the flesh.

In Indonesia, soursop is called 'Sirsak' which is derived from the Dutch 'zuur zak' meaning sour sack. Soursop is also common ingredient for making fresh fruit juices that are sold at most of street food vendors and restaurants or Rumah Makan. Then I remember back home in Malaysia soursop is known as ‘Ang Mo Liulian’ in Hokkien and ‘Durian Belanda’ in Malay. But in the past, somehow we seldom like to eat soursop fruit; or rather it is being ignored and disliked by most of us. In Thailand, it is called ‘Thu-rian-khaek’ and in Philippines, it is called ‘Guayabano’ in Tagalog.

It seems that now soursop juice is a popular beverage throughout Southeast Asia and is available canned or bottled. Throughout much of Central and South America, soursop is processed into excellent ice creams, sherbets and beverages. In these countries, sweet varieties of the fruit are often eaten raw, and used for dessert.

Now you know that soursop is a very exotic fruit, I bet you will like to taste it. Nutritionally, the fruit is high in carbohydrates, particularly fructose. The fruit also contains significant amounts of vitamins C, B1, and B2. Accordingly, the fruit, seeds, and leaves have a number of herbal medicinal uses among indigenous peoples of regions where the plant is common.