Tag Archives: Health

Hand foot mouth disease (HFMD)

HFMD has been on the news almost everyday lately. It’s interesting that it can be so contagious. Considering that usually it is children 5 years and below who are most likely to contract the virus. So I was surprised that even primary schools children were also affected, and class rooms, if not the whole school, had to close down for disinfection. To be honest, there is no guarantee your child won’t pick up the virus, even if your child only stays at home all day. Parents can bring home the virus after work. So parents need to clean themselves up too when they got home.

The best way to lower the risk of getting infected is to always wash your child’s hands with soap and water before they eat. Ingesting the virus is probably the likeliest way one can get infected. The virus is not air borne, I believe. And you won’t get infected by just coming into contact with the virus. The virus can’t penetrate your skin.

It is basically not practical to keep your child in the house all the time and never leave the house. So when you do bring your child out, remember to practise good hygiene. Some restaurants in shopping malls don’t have basins to wash hands so you may have to bring your child to the toilet. Liquid sanitiser can kill bacteria. But not viruses. Wipes might be a better option if there isn’t water source around to wash the hands clean. It’s the same when going to a playground. Always remember to wash hands after play. Parents too! If your child is still young, then you will need to keep an eye on your child so he won’t simply put his hands or fingers in the mouth. If the playground is outdoor then it may be a good idea to bring some water along for washing hands.

Last but not least, it is always better to boost your child’s immune system by getting him to eat healthily. So even if he’s infected, potentially by just a weakened virus (virus can’t survive on surfaces indefinitely), his immune system can fight off the virus.

More reasons to become vegetarian

I just read one of the most ridiculous comment in the Metro today. One reader questioned how vegetarians can do any good to the environment given that they eat away all the plants! I found myself in utter disbelief on the level of ignorance in such a civilised society.Perhaps not many people know that livestock rearing accounts for approximately 18 percent of the global greenhouse gases! Methane gas is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide and you need the equivalent of 6kg of plant protein to convert into 1kg of meat protein! However way you look at it, vegetarians can’t be doing more damage to the environment than meat eaters.With the food commodity prices soaring inthe past year because of grain shortage partly due to rising demands of meat in developing countries like China and India, I wonder how much longer human can live like they do now without making compromises. An easy solution would be for more people to become vegetarians and reduce food wastage. There can only be winners from this. More and more dietitians and doctors are advocating eating more fruits and vegetables. Not only does this improve your health, it also alleviates demand for meat and reduce the damageto the environment at the same time slowdown the surge in food prices like grain (that is the main feed to livestock).I don’t understand why so many people are against the idea of becoming a vegetarian. Most seem to find vegetarian food bland and not providing enough nutrients. Contrary to most people’s belief, most vitamins and minerals are best absorbed when ate uncooked from vegetables and fruits. I have never found vegetarian food bland. It’s only a matter of adjusting your palate. Most meat eaters are used to the strong tastes and therefore unable to appreciate more subtle flavours in vege. It only takes a few weeks for your palate to readjust and vegetarian food can be very tasty too! In fact, C used to have acnes all the time right until he stopped eating meat. He still have the odd acne every now and then but nothing as serious as before. He has not made any changes to his lifestyle or skincare regime at all (note that he never use skincare products) and he cannot relate it to any other reason other than his change in diet. I hope everyone will give vegetarianism a chance and give yourself a chance to live a healthier life. You can always have that odd treat of meat if you wish, it’s not as though you have crossed the Rubicon.

Calories intake

There seems to be a rush of TV programmes on food, diet, healthy living and animal welfare recently. It seems that the reason people are getting obese is they are eating too much. Painfully obvious, but what is interesting is people have little idea about the calories they take in. A lot of them think their diet is okay, without realising that they actually eat more than their body can burn off everyday. Yet wonder why they are getting bigger in size! One woman was convinced that her metabolic rate is lower than an average person’s and turns out she actually has a normal one after consultation with a doctor. Now I start to wonder if I have not been eating enough, as I’m definitely underweight, and have always blamed this on my high metabolic rate! Perhaps I should start paying a bit more attention on the calories I take in as well. How ironic :)BTW, as food is getting more expensive nowadays, there is definitely a strong case for people to start eating less (not more than they need), not just for obesity issue, and consume less meat, for various reasons.

Getting fit during winter

It’s not an excuse, but getting fit during the winter is harder than I thought. Unless you are another gym fanatic, or hard core athlete, it would take more than just determination to attain the at least four times a week recommended regime. For normal people like myself who have to work from Monday to Friday, it means that I can only try to compensate by exercising more during the weekend or eat less, just to fool myself.The weather is extremely harsh in the winter not to mention the limited number of hours of sunlight that we get. For example, it was pouring over the weekend and wind blowing at about 25 miles per hour. For anyone wishing to do something outdoor, a glance at the weather forecast would have dampened even the most warm-hearted.C and I went cycling on Saturday. We thought the weather would be fair although the wind was rather strong. Being more intolerable to coldness than most people, I went out in full gear, which involved super warm cashmere earmuffs, ski gloves, waterproof walking boots for rough terrain, microfleece doubled up with a windproof jacket with thick fleece layer, extra layer of thermal pants and super warm socks for winter use. I mean it does take a lot of preparation. It just not meant to be our day when half way through our birdwatching affair, the rain started pouring. Water started sipping into my gloves because it was not skin tight and we had to cycle through puddles of muddy water that stained my trousers to beyond recognition. My gloves were soaking wet by the time we got home.This was just another example of those dreary winter days when we try to brave the weather to do something to concur my winter blues. It’s really not surprising why most people would choose the easy option to be a couch potato given the adversities. Once you get into that habit, it is even harder to convert yourself.

A healthy day out

Dinton_PastureI was bored of our usual cycle route and thought I would find a different cycle route for our new adventure last weekend. Having searched the local council’s websites, I realised that there’s a 300+ acres of reserve park just about 6 or 7 miles from our place. It was great news! I had been wanting to make more use of my binoculars for birdwatching now that winter is here. We had a long 3 hour walk at the reserve park after about 45 minutes bike ride. It was a fun day. The reserve park has several lakes and is a good place to see wildfowls. I am so happy that I found this park and we will become regulars very soon. Here’s a photo taken with my phone camera to share with you.

Japanese food


I recently read an article in Marie Claire about a woman following a Japanese diet after reading the book ‘Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat’ and managed to lose 1/2 stone in 2 months. To me, Japanese food is not about dieting, it’s about enjoying authentic taste in food and feeling absolutely great even after stuffing yourself with rolls of sushi and ‘pints’ of green tea!Yes, I love it all, whether it’s due to its close resemblance to chinese food or the fact that I love fish which features commonly in Japanese food. I even make sushi at home every now and then to quench my thirst for Japanese cuisine. Some of my English friends have never ventured Japanese food further than the pre-packed sushi from supermarket. Some thought it tastes bland, not surprisingly, because he’s indian. I think they are missing out one of the finest cuisine in the world.Japanese restaurants are a lot more common in England now than they were a few years ago, not least because people are turning a little more health conscious and increasing obesities. I am no french and am probably not as particular about food than they are. But I can’t help to share my sympathy when it comes to critics on how unpalatable and boring British food is. It’s always fish and chips, burger or chicken tikka and countless of pizza and pasta chains. To me, it’s a good sign that international cuisines are more and more common here and hopefully with a little bit more competition, they can be more affordable. But before that happens, I think I have to work on my cooking skills a little more to enjoy fine and healthy meals.Just one year ago, I had to go to Japanese specialties shops to buy simple ingredients like silk tofu, miso paste and wasabe for my sushi. But it’s no longer necessary these days thanks to giant supermarket like Tesco. They are all on the shelf just like baked beans and potato crisps. Better still, we managed to buy some pickled ginger that taste as good as those in Japanese restaurants and we absolutely go crazy about it.It’s just so easy to make a simple non-fatty meal these days. Mix miso paste in hot water, boil some soba noodles, pour soup into noodles and cut several cubes of tofu into the soup and sprinkle with spring onion and voil�. You can even find space to finish your meal with a few pieces of fruits like melon and some strawberries to complete a wholesome meal! Ideally I would recommend fruits in between meals for maximum health benefits. It’s a change from pasta and pasta sauce from the can!

Life and death

Ever since I am 10,000 miles away from home, there is a fear that has been bugging me. This morning, I got a call from my best mate from Singapore. It is not usual and I know something must have happened. It turned out that one of our very close friend’s mum just passed away. I felt very sorry for what had happened but at the same time I was relieved. I am not ready to face matters of life and death yet. I have serious problems handling babies and at the other extreme, I don’t think I can handle if any of my family members passed away.Sometimes I do wonder what truly happens when one dies. Are there really spirits? How do you know for sure if you have not experienced it yourself. I am not a religious person. If I am at all religious, it will only be scientifically religious. That’s probably related to my education background and the fact that I have more questions than all the faiths I ever have in anything. Even when faith exists, it’s based on my past experience and logics. To have so much trusts in something that cannot be proven in any way is, to me, an alien concept.I don’t even know whether I should give my friend a call. I am not particularly good in handling situations like these and I don’t even know what to say. I mean, all I can think of to say is, be strong, take good care. It just sounds so superficial and to be honest, there IS really no best words to use.I can’t help but to relate sickness to our lifestyle. Honestly, it doesn’t cost much to be healthy. Ever since I start taking care of my diet and staying active, I feel rejuvenated and refreshed everyday. All you need is a few fruits and some salad everyday. It doesn’t take much preparation. Well, I have to agree that it may sound bland to some, but with a bit of ideas, it does actually spice up your food and health too! With a bit more time, I will probably share my ideas. But for now, it’s time to take my bubble bath.p/s: You might find some meal ideas at eDiets 🙂