Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Non fool proof weight loss plan...

I don't have any cut-out plans on how to lose weight, and neither do I join any of those paid weight-loss program. However, my short-term goal is to lose those extra post-baby kilos before Carissa turns 1 -- technically that's like 10 kgs give or take -- before December this year. The long-term goal is of course, to be fit and healthy, not so much to be slim lah. Konon.

I gotta start somewhere man.

So holding to one side the real fitness regime (to be mentioned at another time, i.e), here's my non-fool-proof plan when planning to lose weight...

1. Refrain from weighing yourself everyday. The digital scale cannot take it, and neither can your ego.
2. Do not skip breakfast. Breakfast is, as the age-old saying says, most important meal of the day. Starving oneself will only result in an all-consuming needs to have food later.
3. A minimum of 15min exercise at least 3 days a week. Do or die.
4. Coke once in every 10 days. Good job! Coke in every 15 days. Great job! Coke was, of course, the catalyst that got me ballooned up during the pregnancy. Crazy Coke craving.
5. Join a support group. Or at least get another person to join you in your quest for smaller waistline.
6. 8 glasses of water everyday. Good job. 10 glasses of water everyday. Great job!
7. Minimum 5 days of home-cooked dinner in a week. Optional 2s are reserved for eat-outs.
8. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Rest is scarce and must always be enough. As a mom, i.e.
9. Take the stairs. Always. If you can help it.
10. Avoid looking at food pictures. Those visuals are very powerful to trigger appetite. For the same reason looking at sexy visuals will make you horny.


Already kick-started Day 1 of this journey yesterday with a 20 minutes jog+workout. Almost literally didn't break a sweat, after almost a year on sabbatical. Man! My fats must've been jolted from sleep and refuse to wake up!

But all things in a positive light. Just taking this one day at a time. So help me God.

Report in a months-time! Hehe

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Tom Yum Goong project...

... Was a success! If I say so myself. For a first timer, i.e. I mean, using an instant tom yum paste is easy and all that, but after having tasted some of the most delicious original tom yum in Phuket, I just had to forgo the easy work and try to go conventional. Key word: Try.

I actually watched various YouTube videos on this from reputable chefs (Thai chefs, mostly of course, since they are the authority on the subject) and they made it looked so easy. Given, it looks easy in a way, but in reality the work is a bit tedious. So after a few deliberations, I finally decided that since my man and I both love original tom yum, why not try make one? YouTube is a reliable tutor, hey! And no instant tom yum paste! Yay!

I'm no chef, but thanks to technology, here's lil ol me sharing my humble bowl of Tom Yum Goong (Goong means prawn, so of course there will be prawns in this dish):

*This serving is initially prepared for 3-4 people.

The Ingredients:
A cup of medium sized prawns, deshelled (I should've used huge tiger prawns for this!)
Half a cup of medium sized squids, sliced (cause we had some leftover in the fridge...)
6-8 pieces of kafir lime leaves (also called daun limau purut)
Juice from 2 lemons
3 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 stalk of lemongrass (serai)
8-10 thin slices of galangal (lengkuas)
A handful of mushroom, sliced (I used medium shitake mushroom)
3-4 fresh chili (cili padi)
300ml of shrimp stock (using the head/shell from the prawns coz I don't have chicken stock)
Coriander leaves for garnishing (cause I couldn't find cilantro leaves anywhere... sama sik kah?)
And the secret ingredient: 3 tablespoon of Thai Chilli paste!! (although it's optional to some)

I found this authentic looking can of Thai Chilli paste at Everrise Padungan (after trying to look for them everywhere from Plaza Merdeka to Green Heights Cold Storage)... and they only had 2 left! Lucky me! This one is a popular brand in Thailand (I know cause I Googled, duh) and sometimes they have a different packaging. Priced at RM16++ I think, I don't remember because it didn't matter.

Maepranom Thai Chili paste...

I'm not going to tell you the how-to right here because it's very basic cooking once you have all the ingredients ready, besides, writing about this right now makes me salivate. Haha. Anyway, if you're looking for good video tutorials, I basically just followed Ms Pailin's step-by-step YouTube easy instructions.

Half and hour and almost a burnt tongue later...VOILA!

Tom Yum Goong Coffee Girl's version...

For an amateur, I think I did pretty well, thank you very much! Perhaps I should try remaking it this weekend, with a bigger prawn, maybe?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Breaking up...

Freedom is taking a scissor and cutting the plastic into few tiny pieces of redemption.

Thank you for being interested in me enough to send it over even after I repeatedly told you I don't want you at all. You thought maybe if I see you in person, I would change my mind and then take you in. Perhaps in those days I would be a fool to fall for your spell. But I'm many years wiser now. You're pretty, but you're deadly. And truth be told... I don't trust myself with you.

So yeah, sorry but I had to kill the relationship before it even started. Because I don't need another excess baggage, another heartbreak, another nightmare, another prison. One is all I can manage at a time, and I'm very loyal like that.

Die in peace yo.

Let's sing it!

... I'm gonna pop some tags
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I, I, I'm huntin
This is f****n awesome!...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Here's to you mothers: You're A Good Mom...

Hey, it is my first Mother's Day celebration! Being a new mom opens my eyes to so many new feelings and adventures, sometimes it's truly unfathomable. I may still be new at this, but I do get you now mom. This isn't written by me, but it's so good that it's worthy to be shared. Here's a tribute to you mothers...

To the mom who's breastfeeding: Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage! You're a good mom.

To the mom who's formula feeding: Isn't science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn't produce enough would suffer, but now? Better living through chemistry! You're a good mom.

To the cloth-diapering mom: Fluffy bums are the cutest! And so friendly on the bank account. You're a good mom.

To the disposable-diapering mom: Damn those things hold a lot! And it's excellent to not worry about leakage and laundry. You're a good mom.

To the mom who stays at home: I can imagine it isn't easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing! You're a good mom.

To the mom who works: It's wonderful that you're sticking to your career. You're a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it's fantastic! You're a good mom.

To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive-thru all week because you're too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping: You're feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren't complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a red box with a big yellow M on it. You're a good mom.

To the mom who gave her kids a home-cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past week: Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they're learning to enjoy healthy food at an early age, a boon for the rest of their lives. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the kids who are sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant: Kudos! It takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can't run around. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle: They always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds don't they? We've all been through it. You're a good mom.

To the moms who judge other moms for ANY of the above? Glass houses, friend. Glass houses.

- Anonymous
(Borrowed from www.babysavers.com via Pinterest)

My 1st mother's Day gift from my babies...


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Post-pregnancy side effects I didn't know about until I had them...

[Note: Motherhood Journal Pt 4]
Read about Pt 1 HERE on Obstetrician, Pt 2 HERE on Pregnancy side effects and Pt 3 HERE on the Birth Plan.

My lil girl is 4 months 2 weeks now and I have been a new mom about the same length of time. The rejuvenation and recovery period started immediately after birth, and it is still happening today. Quite baffling that at 4 months, I am still undergoing this restoration period, physically that is. No kidding on this part. I know I read them before it happened (just to prep), but when it did, I'm still in a state of disbelief that those changes are happening and it's as inevitable as the sky is blue.

So here's a quick one because although I'm not that comfortable talking about them, I'm just going to share them briefly. Because it's constantly bothering me that I could've been better prepared for this (at least mentally) but didn't and I could've been better informed about them but wasn't.

1. The Flood
Well yes this part is expected - the bleeding. After having them on hold for 40 weeks, what do you expect to happen when the plug is finally pulled? It rained day and night, as in the days of Noah. Unlike a normal menses, the discharge continues for up to several weeks. In my case, it was like mm... 6 or 7 weeks. But then this is manageable as most new moms undergo a period of confinement at this time. How did I get by? I supposed it went unceremoniously as I had a more pressing matter to be concerned about e.g the baby, the confinement, the breastfeeding, the family, etc.

2. The Belly Paunch
I still have them, and doing plenty of sit-ups to try to minimize them. I can forget about a flat belly because my belly has always been cute and bumpy. Now more so. Haha. I supposed it can't disappear forever as my uterus shrink back to it's normal size. And I supposed I should thank all the Cokes and Sundrop I had when I was wading off the sugar cravings.

3. The Rock 
Perhaps I'm one of the more lucky ones because although I went through a brief period of breasts engorgement (sometimes they were hard as rocks, even I was a little alarmed), it was not as painful as what I've been told about. Or maybe I followed the program right (when to express milk, when to feed the baby, what to do when you can't express etc) so it didn't cause too much problem. Here's a big thanks to the nurses at Normah Hospital because they were really helpful with tips and advice and even encouragement. Oh by the way, if you don't have a water heater for warm baths at home, now is a good time to install one. Hot showers do wonders for them rocks. =)

4. The Breakouts
I don't normally have any problems with acne or pimples and my facial skin is clear at most times. During the pregnancy months, I actually experienced a smoother and clearer skin. Glowing, some may say. However, two weeks after the birth, my face went through a period of breakouts like nobody's business! Okay I exaggerate. It wasn't so bad but the red splotches here and there and sometimes appearing and disappearing without warning were really annoying. The skin was also kind of dry and although moisturizer helps, it doesn't do much to stop it. Inevitable... of course. Drinking plenty of fluid helps, and so does staying away from the sun. It naturally stopped on its own though.

5. The Hairball
This is the most annoying one. My doctor actually warned me about them but I didn't think it was anything I should worry about until it actually occurred. When I was pregnant, my hair felt thick and glossy and voluminous, they even stopped falling off, all thanks to the hormones. But about 3 months after giving birth, the hair-fall comes with a vengeance! It's still happening as I type this, to my dismay. I used to experience hair fall previously, but it wasn't as bad as this. This is literally hair-shedding! Every morning when I wake up, I'd run my fingers through my hair and like 5 - 10 strands come off at one go. The floor, on a good day, has strands of hair here and there. I couldn't even shampoo my hair without taking off clumps of hair from the drain cover. I think the thinning patches are showing and it doesn't look good on me. This is the one change I'm truly upset about and can't wait for it to end in a month or so before I go completely bald! Kidding. It's just the body's way of returning to normal and some stuffs need to mend.

6. The Thyroid Nods Swell
Ah. This one. Tricky. And it doesn't happen to everyone. So ask your mom if it runs in the family especially after you've had an operation, because it happened to me and I had to undergo another operation to deal with it. The doctor said it wasn't cancerous but at the same time, there were no medications for it and if the swell is left unattended, it could go bigger in years although still non-cancerous. I had a tiny lump the size of tiny quail egg on the right neck after I had the C-Sec, which wasn't even there before. All that hormone overdrive allegedly triggered it. Couldn't really see them unless you look closely. I survived them --Thank You God-- and I have the visible scar to prove it. My best friend said it's my lucky natural necklace that only special people have. True, that. =)

There are actually other changes but they're not as obvious as the above. So how do I deal with all these changes? They will eventually stop naturally and that should indicate the body is done doing its round and is back to normal. All in its time. But most importantly, I tell myself everyday that my beautiful and healthy baby girl is totally worth it all. :-)

And so, will this make me think twice about having a sibling for Carissa? Nah. Babies are God's gifts to mankind. Remember that it's a blessing to even be able to conceive.

That's all for today, and sorry no visual aids. But thanks for reading!