Sunday, November 29, 2009

what to post?

almost 2 months i have not posted anything.. november is a good month.. my birthday was on the 5th.. getting older with more and more grey hair.. maybe i should start thinking about dyeing my hair huh.. what would be a good color? maybe i should try white.. LOL.. ;)

Monday, October 26, 2009

to all the girls i've loved before (Julio Iglesias & Willie Nelson).. girls thanks for the memories

To all the girls I've loved before
Who travelled in and out my door
I'm glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls I've loved before

To all the girls I once caressed
And may I say I've held the best
For helping me to grow
I owe a lot I know
To all the girls I've loved before

The winds of change are always blowing
And every time I try to stay
The winds of change continue blowing
And they just carry me away

To all the girls who shared my life
Who now are someone else's wives
I'm glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls I've loved before

To all the girls who cared for me
Who filled my nights with ecstasy
They live within my heart
I'll always be a part
Of all the girls I've loved before

The winds of change are always blowing
And every time I try to stay
The winds of change continue blowing
And they just carry me away

To all the girls we've loved before
Who travelled in and out our doors
We're glad they came along
We dedicate this song
To all the girls we've loved before

To all the girls we've loved before
Who travelled in and out our doors
We're glad they came along
We dedicate this song
To all the girls we've loved before

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

an officer and a gentleman

"An Officer and a Gentleman is a 1982 film which tells the story of a United States Navy aviation Officer Candidate who comes into conflict with the Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who trains him. It was written by Douglas Day Stewart and directed by Taylor Hackford. It starred Richard Gere, Debra Winger and Louis Gossett, Jr. and was produced by Lorimar Productions for Paramount Pictures. The film's title uses an old expression from the British navy or from the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice, as being charged with "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman" (from 1860)."

this movie is like 27 years old already.. one of my most favorite movies.. this movie is so full of love, hatred, rage.. how a nobody can be a special person..

i am currently an officer.. but when will i be a true gentleman???

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Been so busy.. or just lazy??

for the past month i havent had time to update my blog.. or am i starting to become a lazy blogger? maybe i just need something new as a motivation.

Monday, October 5, 2009

7 tips to outlast your food cravings!

Researchers define a craving as an intense desire to consume a particular food that is difficult to resist. But you're probably more familiar with the feeling in layman's terms: I want a Mars bar, and I want it NOW.

Cravings may be tough to withstand, but they're even harder to figure out. "You'd like to think that a craving is your body's way of telling you something, and that if you give in, everything will be okay. But that's not always the case," says Adam
Drewnowski, Ph.D., director of the nutritional-sciences program at the University of Washington. "Cravings can have different triggers—stress, depression, hormones—and while there are some cravings you can indulge, there are others that you shouldn't."

8:00 a.m.: A Box of Cap'n Crunch

A big appetite in the morning is your body's way of coming out of starvation mode after hours of not eating. Going without food triggers your brain to release a substance called neuropeptide Y that helps to increase your appetite, says Janine Whiteson, M.Sc., a New York City nutritionist and author of Get a Real Food Life. The longer you've gone without food, the greater your hunger when you wake up.

Give in or Fight It?
Give in—just don't go overboard. "It's fine to eat a doughnut or a bowl of sweetened cereal in the morning, as long as you also eat some high-protein food with it," says Laura A. Lees, Psy.D., a Wisconsin-based eating-disorders specialist. Studies show that protein keeps your appetite in check longer than carbohydrates or fat can. So go ahead and eat a bowl of Cap'n Crunch, but combine it with a couple of slices of Canadian bacon or a small block of cheese.

8:45 a.m.: A Jelly Doughnut

You probably didn't eat enough at breakfast. "It's normal for cravings to pop up every 2 to 3 hours," says Heidi Skolnik, M.S., a sports nutritionist for the New York Giants and a contributing editor to Men's Health. That's roughly how long it takes for your body to break down the sugars in the food you eat, release them
into your bloodstream, and convert them into energy, she explains.

Give in or Fight It?
Fight it. Instead of sugar, you need something that's high in fiber—it'll fill you up now but won't interfere with snack time later. "Mid-morning snacks are great, but this isn't midmorning, and you don't want to break out your big snack too early," says Skolnik. Instead of the doughnut, reach for dried fruit, a handful of nuts, or an energy bar. "Eat enough to satisfy your craving, but not enough to keep you from being hungry an hour or two later," she says.

10:30 a.m.: A Coke

You could be craving the caffeine. The coffee or soda you drank on the way to work is wearing off, and you want another hit to get your energy level back up to what feels like normal.

Give in or Fight It?
Fight it. Swear off the regular soda and opt for the caffeine-free diet variety. "Caffeine gives you a false sense of energy because it doesn't give your body any real fuel to burn," says Lynn Grieger, R.D., C.D.E., a Vermont-based nutritionist. If you switch to caffeine-free soda, not only will you break the
caffeine/craving connection, but you probably won't even notice a difference in the taste. In a study from Johns Hopkins University, researchers found that fewer than 10 percent of people were able to tell the difference between regular and caffeine-free soft drinks.

Noon: Macaroni and Cheese

You're stressed out about your boss, your dog dying, your boss's dog dying, something—and that craving is your body's attempt to make you feel better. "Carbs trigger the production of a feel-good hormone called serotonin, which helps to boost your mood and temporarily relieve your stress," says John Foreyt, Ph.D., director of behavioral-medicine research at Baylor University.

Give in or Fight It?
Give in—occasionally. "Using food for temporary relief from a problem is fine, as long as you don't do it all the time," says Lees. A better alternative: Trick your mind into thinking about something else. "Use your lunch break to go running or lift
weights," says Skolnik. "Or try to outthink your craving. When the urge to eat strikes, rate your hunger on a scale of one to 10. "Unless you're at a level of seven or eight, don't allow yourself to eat."

Still Hungry?
Go ahead and eat, but opt for a very small portion and eat it along with a high-protein food like steak, chicken, or tuna salad. "The last thing you want for lunch when you're working is something like macaroni and cheese," says Deborah Gleason, Ph.D., a psychotherapist in Rochester Hills, Michigan. A few carbs may boost your mood, but too many can overload your brain, leaving you sluggish and tired, she says.

2:45 p.m.: Chocolate-Chip Cookies

You might not be getting enough magnesium. Semisweet chocolate chips are one of the top sources of magnesium, and, according to one theory, not having enough of the mineral in your system could generate a desire to eat chocolate. Or, if you eat chocolate all the time, maybe you're a chocoholic. Spanish researchers found
that chocolate and cocoa contain some of the same potentially mood-altering compounds found in alcohol.

Give in or Fight It?
Give in. "If you have an intense craving for a bit of a very specific food like chocolate, it's best to go ahead and eat it," says Skolnik. "If you don't, your craving is going to get more intense until you eventually give in anyway, and you'll have eaten a lot of unnecessary calories in an attempt to make it go away."

Make sure you keep your portions under control, meaning take two or three cookies at most—and then put the rest away. You may feel as if you want more, but according to a study from Pennsylvania State University, people who were served the smallest portions of a food felt just as full and satisfied after eating as people who were given unlimited helpings of the same food.

8:00 p.m.: Potato Chips

You want to relax. In this case, the craving is less about the food and more about what the food signifies. "A lot of guys feel stressed out and tired all day, and when they get home, they just want to relax and forget about their day with a bag of chips and the remote control," says Skolnik. "They feel like they've been in control and used restraint all day, and the chips are part of their reward for that good behavior."

Give in or Fight It?
Fight it. You're eating for the wrong reason. "It might not seem so bad in the short term, but over time, this kind of emotionally driven eating is one of the primary reasons men gain weight," says Skolnik. To break the habit, go cold turkey: no food while the TV's on. "Even healthy snacks won't help break the association between food and relaxing," says Gleason.

To make the process easier, rearrange your living-room furniture or watch your favorite show in a room where you typically spend less time. Studies from Brookhaven National Laboratory suggest that hanging out in a spot where you've indulged past cravings can help trigger future ones.

11:00 p.m.: Ice Cream

You want to watch Letterman but your body wants you to go to bed. Men may crave foods like ice cream and crackers late at night because carbohydrates help to boost levels of a sleep-inducing compound called tryptophan. As tryptophan levels
in your brain increase, you naturally become sleepier, say researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Give in or Fight It?
Give in. "Hunger can keep you awake at night, so you're better off eating something than eating nothing at all," says Lees. Her advice: Keep the serving small and pick a regular, full-fat ice cream, not the fat-free kind. According to a study from Purdue, tastebuds can detect fat, and that may be why fat-free foods aren't as satisfying as full-fat foods.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Common Spice That Will Trim Your Tummy!

want to pass along a quick interview
with fitness guru Mike Geary. If you listen to his tips you
will pick up a quick tip for increasing your metabolism


I've written before about the power of certain herbs and spices
in terms of antioxidant capacity and other health benefits. If
you remember, I wrote a couple months ago about the super-food
status of cinnamon and how powerful a health food (or rather
spice) that it can be.

The next super-spice -- Chili!

I was just reading about a recent Australian study that
documented how you can burn more calories, increase your
metabolism slightly, and help control your blood sugar and
insulin levels by including chili peppers and chili spice (or
cayenne) in your foods.

Keep in mind, this may be a minor "detail", but when you add up
a lot of these types of "details", you can make significant
changes to your body over time.

As you've probably heard in the past, the active ingredient in
chili pepper (capsaicin) can cause slight increases in your
metabolic rate and calorie burning from a meal. This has been
reported many times in both animal and human studies.

However, in this Australian study, Madeleine J. Ball, MD, one of
the researchers from the study, sought to find out how chili
pepper affected blood sugar and insulin response after a meal.

As you know, chronically high insulin levels in your body can
not only cause deposition of excess body fat, but also can lead
to diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

The study was split into groups of subjects that ate meals
without chili spice, and other groups of subjects that ate meals
with chili pepper.

As it turned out, the chili pepper eating groups had lower
insulin levels and more stable blood sugar after the meals than
the groups that ate the same food without chile. According to
Dr. Ball, "the chili is probably having some effect on the
ability of the body to clear -- or remove -- insulin from the

Aside from the temporary calorie burning boost and insulin
controlling response, apparently chili pepper also has
significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties...

So if you can handle a bit of spicyness, go ahead and enjoy
adding some extra cayenne or chili pepper to your pot of meat
& bean chili, your morning eggs, meat dishes, and other meals,
knowing it's possibly giving you a slight edge in the fat burning

One of my favorite meals that I've been eating a lot of lately
is my home-made chili. I make big batches of it, and that leaves
leftovers for quick and healthy meals whenever you need them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


i am having a bad but still controlable migraine. yes my head hurts but i still have to live my life. i cant go on head banging against the wall every where i go.. LOL.. below is what wikipedia says migraine is.. maybe anyone who reads this is a doctor can give extra info..

Migraine is a neurological syndrome characterized by altered bodily perceptions, severe headaches, and nausea. Physiologically, the migraine headache is a neurological condition more common to women than to men. The word migraine was borrowed from Old French migraigne (originally as "megrim", but respelled in 1777 on a contemporary French model). The French term derived from a vulgar pronunciation of the Late Latin word hemicrania, itself based on Greek hemikrania, from Greek roots for "half" and "skull".

The typical migraine headache is unilateral and pulsating, lasting from 4 to 72 hours; symptoms include nausea, vomiting, photophobia (increased sensitivity to light), and phonophobia (increased sensitivity to sound); approximately one-third of people who suffer migraine headache perceive an aura—unusual visual, olfactory, or other sensory experiences that are a sign that the migraine will soon occur.

Initial treatment is with analgesics for the headache, an antiemetic for the nausea, and the avoidance of triggering conditions. The cause of migraine headache is idiopathic; the accepted theory is a disorder of the serotonergic control system, as PET scan has demonstrated the aura coincides with diffusion of cortical depression consequent to increased blood flow (up to 300% greater than baseline).

There are migraine headache variants, some originate in the brainstem (featuring intercellular transport dysfunction of calcium and potassium ions) and some are genetically disposed. Studies of twins indicate a 60 to 65 percent genetic influence upon their propensity to develop migraine headache. Moreover, fluctuating hormone levels indicate a migraine relation: 75 percent of adult patients are women, although migraine affects approximately equal numbers of prepubescent boys and girls; propensity to migraine headache is known to disappear during pregnancy, although in some women migraines may become more frequent during pregnancy

Friday, September 11, 2009


This article was forwarded to me.. Since its crazy wedding season now, some useful tips for those who just got married, about to get married, planning to get married or who dont even want to get married. Hehe. Not sure who wrote the article tho


During one of our seminars, a woman asked a common question. She said,'How do I know if I married the right person?'

I noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so I said, 'It depends. Is that your husband?' In all seriousness, she answered 'How do you know?'

Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it's weighing on your mind.

Here's the answer.

EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse / partner . You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies (unconventional behavior/habit).

Falling in love with your spouse wasn't hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to DO anything. That's why it's called 'falling' in love... Because it's happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, 'I was swept of my feet.' Think about the imagery of that __expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy. It's a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria (excitement) of love fades..

It's the natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, 'Did I marry the right person?' And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown. People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it. I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love with someone else.

You could.

And TEMPORARILY you'd feel better. But you'd be in the same situation a few years later. Because (listen carefully to this):


SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It'll NEVER just happen to you. You can't 'find' LASTING love. You have to 'make' it day in and day out. That's why we have the __expression 'the labor of love.' Because it takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it takes WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage. .

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It's a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable. .. you can 'make love'.

Love in marriage is indeed a 'decision'... Not just a feeling.

Remember this always:

'God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.'

How to achieve good vision during heavy downpour, while you are driving

How to achieve good vision while driving during a heavy downpour. We are not sure why it is so effective, just try this method when it rains heavily. This method was told by a Police friend who had experienced and confirmed it. It is useful...even driving at
night. Most of the motorists would turn on HIGH or FASTEST SPEED of the wipers during heavy downpour, yet the
visibiilty in front of the windscreen is still bad.....

In the event you face such a situation, just try your SUN GLASSES (any model will do), and miracle!

All of a sudden, your visibility in front of your windscreen is perfectly clear, as if there is no rain.

Make sure you always have a pair of SUN GLASSES in your car, as you are not only helping yourself to drive safely with good vision, but also might save your friend's life by giving him this idea.

Try it yourself and share it with your friends!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Is fruit making you fat? The FINAL word on fructose and fat loss

Does fruit make you fat? Are bodybuilders right when they cut out fruit before competitions or is that unnecessary? These and other questions have been hotly debated for decades. In this short 4 minute audio, Kevin Larrabee of the Fit Cast show puts this question to Tom Venuto, who puts everything in perspective and gives you the final word on fruit, fructose and fat loss...

Read the transcript below . . .


KEVIN LARRABEE: Well, let's jump right into the questions. The first one we have comes from Chris. He says, "I'm just curious, what are your thoughts about fructose? Should the average person avoid a lot of fruit? I tend to avoid starchy carbs altogether, instead focusing on lean protein, fruit and veggies, in addition to healthy fats. Should I be worried about the fructose stuff? I eat 3 to 5 pieces of fruit a day, and that includes apples, grapes, bananas, oranges and really whatever is on sale at the store."

TOM VENUTO: I saw this topic got stirred up again just a few weeks ago. There was a study published in June, and it got written up in The New York Times, about fructose getting converted into fat. And you know how good the media is at reporting scientific research. Right? [sarcasm]

KEVIN LARRABEE: Oh, it's great. It's fantastic. I go to The New York Times for all my nutrition information actually. [more sarcasm!]

TOM VENUTO: [laughs] Well, it was The Journal for the American Nutrition Society. The title, right off the bat, was really damning. It said, "Dietary Sugars Stimulate
Fatty Acid Synthesis." Then The New York Times' article says, "Does Fructose Make You Fatter?" And everybody saw that and they're like, "Oh, my God! Fruit turns into fat!"

To tell you the truth, having started in the bodybuilding world, I believed that too. That's what I was taught. I was taught that fruit turns to fat, and when you go on a contest diet, you have to cut the fruit out. So when I was just starting out in bodybuilding, in my first few contests, I cut the fruit out. And then I started to really analyze it and it didn't seem to make any sense to me, so I put the fruit back in. I didn't see one shred of difference.

If you really go and look at these studies, like this new one, they were talking about high fructose corn syrup, not whole fruit. We know that the fructose goes to preferentially restore the liver glycogen, and the liver has a limited storage capacity. Some of the studies suggest that about 50 grams of fructose before it starts to spill into fat, at least in the context of those studies.

But does anybody know how much 50 grams of fructose is? I mean, in terms of soda, or high fructose corn syrup, I don't think it's hard at all to get 50 grams. And in that study, they didn't give people whole fruit. They gave them a big liquid dose that had 85 grams of carbs in a 75% fructose solution. That's like 64 grams of fructose all at once.

So there you have it. That's consistent with what you'd expect based on the research.

Now, if you look at whole fruit, everybody saw the headline and they thought, "Fruit equals fructose." But fruit and fructose aren't exactly the same thing. A lot of people think that all the sugars in fruit are fructose. But a typical piece of fruit has what? About 6-7 grams of fructose?

Maybe you'd get about 10 in a big banana, and some of the berries that are really high in fiber, have only 2-3 grams of fructose. So it would take almost an impossible-to-eat amount, especially if you're trying to stay in a calorie deficit, for that to cause any fat storage. And if you're in a calorie deficit for the day anyway, should we really be worried about it?


TOM VENUTO: I think fruit is good for a fat loss diet. You could actually make an argument that you should include it because it's high in nutrients, it's high in fiber; it's high in water content, and we know that's a combination right there
(high fiber, high water) that's good for reducing appetite and making you feel fuller. So maybe the pre-contest bodybuilder or the low carb dieter is going to pull back on fruit a little bit. But that's mainly a function of cutting down on everything across the board -- cutting down calories across the board and
cutting down carbs across the board. Fruit is just too nutritionally
valuable to get rid of.

KEVIN LARRABEE: Exactly. I think something that Craig Ballantyne said was that he's never had a client that got fat by eating fruit. They got fat by having breads, like pastries, junk food, pizzas, things like that. You're not going to get fat by eating
fruit. I think people are just focusing on the wrong things.

TOM VENUTO: Yeah. Absolutely. Eat your fruit.

Common Bid'aah Made in Imsak

The practice of some people is to stop eating Suhoor 10-15 minutes earlier than the time of Fajr to observe Imsak. This is not correct because Allah has permitted the fasting person to eat and drink until dawn comes.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (raheemullah) was asked about some timetables which give the time of imsak as being approximately o­ne-quarter of an hour before Fajr. He said:

"This is a kind of bid’aah (innovation) which has no basis in the Sunnah. Rather the Sunnah is to do the opposite, because Allah says in His Holy Book (interpretation of the meaning)":

...and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night) [al-Baqarah 2:187]

And the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Bilal gives the azan at night, so eat and drink until you hear the azan of Ibn Umm Maktoom, for he does not give the azan until dawn comes.” This imsak which some of the people do is an addition to that which Allah has enjoined, so it is false. It is a kind of extremism in religion, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed.” Narrated by Muslim, 2670

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy o­n him) said: "This shows that it is permissible to eat, drink, have intercourse etc until dawn comes."

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari (4/199): "One of the reprehensible innovations that have appeared in our times is giving the second azan approximately twenty minutes before Fajr in Ramadhan, and extinguishing the lamps which indicate that it is haram to eat and drink for those who want to fast. Those who introduced this innovation claim that they are erring o­n the side of caution with regard to an act of worship."

What is obligatory o­n all Muslims is that they hold o­n firmly to the Qur'an and Sunnah and follow it as closely as o­ne can. This is a safeguard for us, so that we don't fall right or left but stay o­n the middle course. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) described the religion of Islam that is a middle course between extreme and lenient. Remember these words of the Prophet
(صلى الله عليه وسلم): I leave behind me two things. You will never go astray if you hold fast to them: The Qur'an and my Sunnah.

O Allah! Render the thoughts and inclinations within my heart, to be Your fear and remembrance, and let my endeavour and desire be devoted to what You love and appreciate. Keep my feet firm o­n Thy Right Path so that I should not stagger, and guide me to the true Faith so that I should not go astray. Ameen!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Subject: Fw: Microsoft will pay you $245.00 - spam email crap

below is from an email i got.. read it and see what i say about it afterwards

Dear Friends,

Please do not take this for a junk letter.. Bill Gates is sharing his fortune. If you ignore this you will repent later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period.

For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00, for every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks!, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a cheque.

i first got this kind of mail when i was still studying in the states.. 1994-1998.. like 15 years on it is still lingerie on the net.. i thought it was real then.. the testimonials seem genuine.. i sent this mail to so many friends..

just imagine how many malaysian students were online then.. the number could have easily been in the thousands.. all of whom got in touch with each other thru email and mirc(something like ym, windows messenger, skype for the younger generation now)..

lets say i forwarded this to 100 frens.. so according to the email i would get USD245 per person.. i should have gotten USD24,500 then right.. but i didnt get any response from Microsoft or AOL.. no email.. no calls.. my Great Western bank account still had the same balance as before.. there were no checks in the mail..

now its 2009.. AOL is still not a part of the Microsoft Corporation.. rocketmail no longer exists.. i still get this email.. if this was genuine.. 15 years on.. i should have already become a millionaire at least.. thank god at least u do not have to part with ur money to try this and learn that it is a hoax..

come on people nothing in life is so easy.. wise up..

Monday, September 7, 2009

Facebook - Connects

i may not have been using facebook for a long time.. but i find it very2 useful.. i found my friends from when i was in sarawak and perlis.. and from my frens i get to make new frens.. sometimes i get to play with the quizzes and apps.. no wonder it is so hard to meet people in person.. almost everyone is online.. anyways the weather here in malaysia is not very forgiving for meeting people.. it is so hot and humid.. i do pity the foreign tourists.. especially caucasians.. they get so hot and red..

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Coconut Water can prevent H1N1 ??

i am not sure if the health ministry of malaysia endorses this but since H1N1 is threatening the livelyhood of malaysians.. i just thought i would share this email that my friend forwarded.. trying wont hurt.. not trying??? well u know there has been 73 deaths since it all started.. so why not give it a shot..

Former associate professor of ecology at Universiti Malaya has authored several books on complementary therapy called, 'Ecological Healing System'.

Dr Palaniappan said his 33 years of research had shown that high acidity in the body resulted in loss of immunity, thus making people more susceptible to viral diseases like Influenza A (H1N1).

Hence, to prevent acidity, it was essential to consume alkaline food and drinks that could neutralise excess acid in the body.

Dr Palaniappan recommends coconut water, which is alkaline, and therefore could be used as a herbal medicine for the prevention of H1N1.

For example, he said, those who felt feverish and developed a burning sensation while attending to a call of nature because of extreme acidity, could neutralise it by drinking coconut water, twice a day, for three days.

He also recommended orange, lemon and pomelo which, despite containing citric acid, were very rich in potassium and therefore, would not disturb the body's immunity.

According to Dr Palaniappan, excessive physical activity like running a marathon should be avoided as it produced acid due to excessive metabolic activity.

Similarly, he said, keeping late nights without adequate sleep and working without proper rest could also increase the body's acidity which in turn, lowered immunity and made the body vulnerable to viral attacks.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Langkah Bestari Suami Mithali ( Dato' Dr. Mohd. Fadzilah Kamsah)


1. Pasang niat dan berdoa untuk menjadi suami terbaik. Tanpa berniat dan berdoa anda tidak mungkin jadi suami yang cemerlang. Ramai suami terlupa.

2. Bersyukur kerana mempunyai pasangan hidup. Yakinlah bahawa isteri anda adalah pasangan terbaik yang Tuhan tentukan untuk anda. Ketentuan Tuhan adalah yang terbaik.

3. Suami mithali menjadi kebanggaan isteri. Pastikan anda membentuk sifat positif dan istimewa. Cuba tanya diri apakah sifat atau amalan yang boleh dibanggakan oleh isteri anda.

4. Setiap hari pulang dengan senyum dan bersemangat. Apabila suami tersenyum, isteri dan anak-anak akan bahagia dan rahmat Tuhan akan turun.Senyumlah apabila sampai ke rumah.

5. Pastikan anda ada masa untuk berbual dengan isteri setiap hari. Semua isteri bahagia apabila dapat berbual dengan suami. Berapa minit yang anda luangkan unutk berbual dengan isteri setiap hari ?

6. Telefon isteri ataupun hantar SMS sekadar untuk menyatakan yang anda sayang ataupun rindu pada isteri. Isteri anda akan berasa seronok dan bahagia apabila mendapat panggilan ataupun mesej tersebut.

7. Hiburkan hati isteri anda dengan bercerita, buat lawak atau gurauan yang mesra. Setiap gurauan mengubat hati isteri dan mengeratkan hubungan suami isteri.

8. Pastikan anda bergurau senda dengan isteri di dalam kenderaan semasa dalam perjalanan ke tempat kerja ataupun ke mana sahaja. Ramai suami membazir masa dengan membisu semasa di dalam kenderaan.

9. Amalkan makan bersama setiap hari. Berbual mesra dan nasihat menasihati semasa makan. Amalan ini akan menarik hidayat Tuhan dan mengeratkan hubungan. Elakan berbual perkara yang melalaikan semasa makan.

10. Ajak isteri mandi bersama sekali sekala. Bergurau senda semasa mandi bersama adalah sunah yang dapat mengeratkan hubungan suami isteri.

11. Bantu isteri melakukan kerja rumah. Ini adalah sunah yang dapat meringankan beban isteri, mengeratkan kasih sayang dan menbahagiakan pasangan anda.

12. Amalkan mesyuarat keluarga sekerap yang mungkin. Amalan bermesyuarat menarik hidayat Tuhan,mengeratkan hubungan dan menyelesaikan banyak masalah.

13. Pastikan penampilan anda anggun, kemas, bersih, wangi, sihat dan ceria. Ramai suami inginkan isteri yang mengancam, tetapi mengabaikan Penampilan diri sendiri. Mana adil ?

14. Didik isteri dengan memberi nasihat dan peringatan secara hikmah.Jadikan tindakan dan amalan anda sebagai contoh teladan yang cemerlang.Elakkan cakap tak serupa bikin.

15. Berikan nafkah kepada isteri mengikut keperluan keluarga dan kemampuan suami. Ramai suami mengabaikan nafkah kerana isteri bekerja. Ramai suami yang kedekut dan berkira. Ini menyebabkan isteri derita dan rumah tangga terancam.

16. Jadikan penawar hati kepada isteri. Ambil berat keperluan dan kemahuan dan peka kepada emosi dan situasi isteri. Isteri yang bahagia membentuk keluarga sejahtera

17. Sentiasa taat kepada semua perintah Tuhan dan memastikan keluarga juga patuh kepada Tuhan.

18. Suami mithali sentiasa menyimpan rahsia isteri. Ramai suami secara sengaja ataupun tidak sengaja menceritakan keburukan isteri kepada orang lain. Ini wajib dihentikan.

19. Muliakan keluarga isteri seperti keluarga sendiri. Ada suami yang menbeza-bezakan antara keluarganya dan keluarga isteri. Ada suami yang memusuhi keluarga isteri. Anda bagaimana ?

20. Bentuk sifat cemburu yang positif. Cemburu tanda beriman, sayang dan endah. Suami yang tidak cemburu adalah dayus. Isteri amat suka apabila suaminya ada sifat cemburu. Dia rasa dihargai.

21. Jadilah suami yang pemaaf. Syurga isteri di bawah tapak kaki suami.Maafkanlah isteri setiap malam sebelum tidur supaya rumah tangga bahagia dan isteri mudah masuk syurga.

22. Tegur kesilapan isteri dengan hikmah dan kasih sayang. Isteri merajuk bukan sebab ditegur, tetapi cara ditegur yang kasar. Apabila suami kasar, isteri jadi takut, bingung, hiba dan memberontak.

23. Gunakan Nabi Muhammad sebagai model. Hidupkan amalan sunah dalam rumah tangga. Sebut nama rasul apabila mendidik dan menasihati keluarga bagi mendapat hikmah.

24. Mendahulukan keperluan isteri daripada orang lain. Ini adalah tertib memberi khidmat. Ramai suami yang melebihkan orang lain daripada isterinya. Elakan kesilapan ini.

25. Suruh isteri dirikan sembahyang dan ibadah lain. Apabila berjauhan, telefon ataupun SMS bagi mengingatkan sembahyang.Wasiatkan isteri untuk sembahyang fardu dan sunat. Buat pesanan ini sehingga suami meninggal dunia.

26. Cintai isteri sepenuh hati. Cintai tanpa syarat, bertambah mengikut usia, penuh kemaafan, memberi tenaga,tidak pernah sensara serta berteraskan iman dan takwa.

27. Sentiasa berubah secara positif. Sebelum cuba ubah isteri dan keluarga, ubah diri dulu. Apabila suami berubah, keluarga akan turut berubah. Apabila suami cemerlang, isteri akan gemilang.

28. Pamer keprihatian yang tinggi terhadap keluarga. Ramai suami tidak ambil kisah dengan keluarga mereka.Cuba tanya apa lagi khidmat tambahan yang patut berikan kepada keluarga.

29. Pamer kematangan yang tinggi. Orang yang matang tenang, sabar, waras, bijaksana, dapat membuat keputusan dan cekap menyelesaikan masalah.

30. Memuliakan semua perempuan bukan sekadar isterinya. Ramai lelaki cuba hormat wanita tertentu sahaja.Ramai isteri yang kecewa terhadap suami yang menghina atau tidak hormat sebarang wanita termasuk pembantu rumah.

31. Bentuk beberapa sifat wanita yang terpilih dalam diri suami. Nabi Muhammad amat pemalu, pemaaf, peka,endah dan mudah menangis. Sifat wanita yang ada pada lelaki menaikkan martabat lelaki dan lebih disayangi wanita.

32. Mahir dalam menguruskan keluarga. Peka dengan masalah dan karenah ahli keluarga, cekap mencari punca masalah, mencari alternatif penyelesaian dan memilih penyelesaian yang optimum.

33. Membaiki diri secara berterusan. Tingkatkan iman dan takwa, cuci hati dengan sembahyang taubat, istighfar,memaafkan dan minta maaf, berkawan dengan orang yang baik, pendapatan yang berkat dan baiki amalan dan tindakan.

34. Jadi contoh atau model terbaik untuk keluarga. Doa dan usaha supaya setiap perbuatan anda dapat dicontohi dan dibanggakan ahli keluarga.Apakah sifat dan amal anda yang dapat dicontohi oleh ahli keluarga ?

35. Jadikan diri anda pendorong dan motivator berkesan unutk keluarga.Sentiasa beri galakan dan belaian. Elak marah, kritik ataupun hina keluarga. Fikir positif dan bersangka baik terhadap keluarga.

36 Tingkatkan ilmu berkenaan agama. Lazimnya, suami yang mendidik keluarga berkenaan agama. Belajarlahilmu agama dengan niat mendidik diri dan keluarga.

37. Sentiasa menegakkan kebenaran. Tegas menyatakan apa yang buruk dan apa yang baik. Elak mengenepikan kebenaran semata-mata bagi menjaga hati ahli keluarga. Tegakkan kebenaran dengan hikmah.

38. Bertindak tegas dan lemah lembut mengikut situasi. Tegas dalam menyeru ke arah kebaikan. Lemah lembut dalam menegur dan memberi nasihat. Tegas sangat orang memberontak, lembut sangat orang pijak.39. Latih diri memuji dan menghargai isteri. Ramai suami yang pandai kritik tetapi tidak tahu memuji. Belaian merawat emosi dan fizikal isteri dan membuat dia terasa disayangi. Cari peluang untuk sentiasa memuji.

40. Cari peluang untuk bertindak romantis terhadap isteri. Ini termasuk senyum, lemah lembut, sebut sayang tiga kali sehari, buat sebelum disuruh, sentuhan sayang, pujian dan memberi hadiah.

41. Fahami yang isteri ingin selalu di sisi suami. Suami pula berjauhan dengan isteri sekali sekala. Apabila berjauhan, telefon, SMS ataupun e-mel unutk bertanya khabar, berikan maklumat dan mengubat rindu.

42. Bentuk kerjasama yang mantap dengan isteri. Pamer kesatuan hati dan pendapat kepada anak-anak dan orang lain. Wujudkan kerjasama melalui mesyuarat, berbual, tolak ansur, bermaaf-maafan dan banyak berdoa.

43. Nilai diri daripada kaca mata isteri. Buang sifat dan amalan yang isteri benci. Berusaha keras melakukan perkara yang isteri suka. Apabila isteri bahagia, suami akan bertambah bahagia.

44. Apabila suami melayan isteri seperti mana dia melayan kawan, pasti isteri bahagia. Bayangkan cara anda melayan isteri sebelum kahwin. Ulangi layanan itu sekarang. Pasti hebat kesannya.

45. Suami wajar belajar jadi mengikut setia. Patuhi cadangan, Pandangan dan pandapat isteri yang betul. Jangan bangkang perkara yang baik. Kawal macho dengan saksama.

46. Buat undang-undang dalam rumah tangga. Apabila suami marah, isteri mesti senyap. Apabila isteri marah,suami mesti senyap. Ini mengelakkan daripada bergaduh. Orang tidak boleh bergaduh sendirian.

47. Latih gerak batin anda supaya serasi dengan gerak batin isteri.Serasikan gerak batin dengan berdoa, patuh perintah Tuhan, maafkan isteri, bersangka baik dan lakukan perkara baik untuk isteri mengikut sebarang lintasan dalam hati.

48. Pimpin isteri dengan nasihat dan kasih sayang. Pesan selalu dan nasihat sekali-sekala. Waktu terbaik nasihat adalah semasa rehat, minum petang, waktu bersiar-siar dan semasa hendak tidur.

49. Seimbangkan hidup dengan sempurna. Rajin di tempat kerja, Rajin juga di rumah. Peramah dengan kawan, peramah juga dengan isteri. Disiplin di pejabat, disiplin juga di rumah. Sabar dengan orang, sabar juga dengan isteri. Di luar dan di dalam rumah serupa.

50. Urus stress dengan sempurna supaya keluarga tidak terjejas, lakukan riaadah, berdiet, hentikan merokok,bercampur dengan orang positif, bermain dengan bayi, tengok ikan di akuarium, menyanyi, sembahyang taubat dan maafkan semua orang.

Biar susah, jangan menyusahkan

Hantaran Al-Quran = Al-Quran as wedding gift

Semasa tengok siaran lansung Solat Tarawih dari Masjidil Haram.. terdengar imam membaca ayat dari Surah Ar Ra'd.. teringat pulak email kiriman dari kawan.. jadi saya ingin berkongsi email itu disini.. bukalah hati anda bila membaca kandungannya.. tidak bermaksud untuk mempersendakan.. tetapi sekadar berpesan-pesan agar manusia tidak di dalam kerugian

“Sayang, tengok nih. Cantiknya AlQuran nih. Warna keemasan. Sesuai untuk kita buat hantaran” pekik Jamilah kepada Nabil.

“Sini pun cantik juga. Warna unggu keemasan. Mana satu kita nak beli nih” balas Nabil.

Mereka sedang asyik mencari bahan-bahan untuk dibuat hantaran. Tinggal satu lagi yang masih dicari-cari iaitu AlQuran yang bakal dijadikan hantaran.

“Tapi, yang ni lagi best, ada terjemahan arab” keluh Jamilah.

“Ala, awak bukan reti pun bahasa arab” jawab Nabil. Tergelak Jamilah. Berbahagia rasanya dapat calon suami seperti Nabil. Prihatin.

“Apa yang saudara cari tu. Nampak seronok saya lihat” tegur pakcik berbaju putih. Jaluran baju ke bawah menampakkan lagi seri wajah seorang pakcik dalam lingkungan 40-an.

“Oh, kami cari AlQuran. Nak buat hantaran. Maklumlah, nak bina masjid” sengih Nabil. Jamilah ikut senyum tidak jauh dari situ.

“Oh. Bagus lah. Adik selalu baca waktu bila?” pakcik menyoal sambil tersenyum.

“Aa.. aa.. lama dah saya tak baca, pakcik“ teragak-agak Nabil menjawab. Jamilah sudah di sebelah rak yang lain.

“Kalau gitu, tak perlu lah beli AlQuran kalau sekadar hantaran. Kesian ALQuran. Itu bukan kitab hiasan, dik” tegur pakcik berhemah.

“Alah, pakcik nih. Kacau daun pulak urusan orang muda. Kami beli ni nak baca la” tiba-tiba Jamilah muncul dengan selamba jawapannya.

“Oh, baguslah. Kalau gitu beli lah tafsir ArRahman. Ada tafsiran lagi” cadang pakcik.. Mukanya nampak seperti orang-orang ahli masjid.

“Ala, besar lah pakcik. Kami nak pilih nih. Kiut lagi” senyum Jamilah mengangkat bungkusan AlQuran warna unggu keemasan. Saiznya kecil.

“Jangan lupa baca ya” pakcik dengan selamba sambil meninggalkan pasangan tersebut.

“Sibuk je la pakcik tu” Jamilah mengomel.

Nabil kelihatan serba salah. Mungkin ‘terpukul’ dengan kata-kata seorang pakcik yang muncul secara tiba-tiba.

Hari yang dinantikan sudah tiba. Mereka sudah bersolek. Hari nan indah. Terlalu indah buat pasangan teruna dan dara yang bakal disatukan. Nabil dan Jamilah tidak sabar-sabar menantikan ucapan indah tersebut. Pak imam baru sahaja sampai.

“Assalamualaikum semua” ucapan salam Pak Imam bergema.

Nabil bagai hidup semula. Dirinya terkejut. Jantung bagai gugur serta merta. Mungkin tidak percaya apa yang dipandangnya dihadapan. Ahli-ahli keluarga berebut-rebut bersalaman dengan Pak Imam. Mukanya berseri-seri. Janggutnya putih. Jubah putih. Rambutnya ada yang berwarna putih.

“Inikah pengantin hari ini?” tegur selamba Ustaz Saad.

“Pak.. Ustaz.. kabar baik, pak.. usta.. ustazz..” jawab Nabil mengigil. Jamilah juga terkebil-kebil melihat kelibat orang yang dikenali di kedai buku 2 bulan lalu.

“Oh, sebelum tu, saya suka mendengar bacaan adik Nabil. Mudah-mudahan kita dapat mengambil manfaat dari bacaan pengantin” cadang Ustaz Saad. Kelihatan orang ramai mengiyakan. Maklumlah, ustaz Saad merupakan antara orang dikenali oleh ahli-ahli sebagai penceramah tetap setiap hari Khamis selepas maghrib.

Nabil menelan air liur. Baginya inilah saat paling menyeramkan bagi dirinya. Peluh membasahi baju melayu satin berwarna putih.

“Ss.. su.. surah apa ustaz?” Nabil cuba mengagahkan diri. Jamilah masih melihat dari tepi tirai. Memegang kepalanya. Seperti mengagak benda yang sebaliknya berlaku.

“Oh, ayat yang mudah ja. Baca 3 ayat Surah Ar Ra’d” kata ustaz Saad sambil menunjukkan baris giginya yang putih hasil bersugi setiap solat mengikut sunnah nabi.

Surah Ar Ra'd

“Apa benda nih” detik hati Nabil.

“Bismillahirrahmaanirrahim..ALL..MAA.. RIII..!!” berlagu Nabil.

Kelihatan gemuruh satu rumah pengantin perempuan. Ada yang keluar dari rumah menahan gelak. Ada yang mengeluarkan air mata menahan kelucuan. Ada yang menggeleng-geleng kepala. Ibu bapa Jamilah merah padam wajahnya. Jamilah entah ke mana, mungkin berpura-pura ke tandas.

“Baru ustaz tahu ada kalimah almari di dalam ALQuran. Adik Nabil, cara bacanya seperti begini : A’uzubillahiminnassyaitaanirrajim.. Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.. ALIF.. LAMM.. MIMMM.. RAA..” kedengar suara gemersik Ustaz Sa’ad. Orang ramai kelihatan ingin mendengar lebih banyak lagi alunan irama ALQurannya.

Nabil berasa seperti kilat menyambar kepalanya.

“Nabil, kamu jangan merendah-rendahkan kitab petunjuk iaitu AlQuran. Ianya hendaklah dibaca bukan sekadar dijadikan hantaran. Malah lebih malang perlakuan seperti ini seolah-olah menghina ALQuran. Beli ALQuran kemudian menaruh di tempat-tempat tinggi seolah-olah ianya sudah cukup bagi seorang muslim” tazkirah sudah bermula. Orang
ramai memang senang cara penyampaian ustaz Sa’ad.

“Tinggi mana pun kamu belajar, tiada gunanya kitab yang tidak berubah ini tidak mampu kamu baca. Kitab ini pasti begini rupanya, ayatnya tetap sama, kedudukannya tidak sama. Malah, ketahuilah Allah akan menjaganya sehingga hari kiamat. Nabil, kalau kamu tahu orang-orang yang mengaku kitab AlQuran sebagai kitab petunjuk kemudian diabaikan dia pasti dilaknat oleh AlQuran itu sendiri. Tetapi beruntungnya orang-orangnya memanfaatkan AlQuran setiap hari, membacanya, menghafalnya, mengamalkan menjadikan hati terlalu tenang walapun dia bukannya seorang yang tinggi pelajarannya, kaya hidupnya dan sebagainya..” penutup Ustaz Sa’ad sudah dikagumi orang terutama yang mengikuti ceramahnya.

Hari semakin cepat berlalu.

Nabil sudah melalui hari-hari yang indah. Kitab ALQUran yang menjadi hantaran pertunangan sudah menjadi diari kehidupannya yang aktif setiap hari.

Pit.. Pit! Jangan lupa datang rumah ustaz malam nih. Kita belajar sama-sama. Jangan lupa bawa isteri sekali ya Nabil. SMS dari ustaz Sa’ad tiba. Jamilah senyum disisi suaminya, Nabil.

Fake Egg ???? What are the CHINESE gonna think of NEXT?????

This article i got over the net.. i do not know whether it is true or not.. but when i read it.. and if it is true.. it makes me wonder.. are the eggs we are buying here in Malaysia 100% original or are they manufactured?

In China there are fake schools and classes that teach a variety of blatant fraud technology, even eggs can be modulated by chemical materials, but also be able to fry cook, is currently the most popular False course.

Step 1 modulation of raw materials
Using 7 kinds of chemical materials, see pic below

Fake egg was made from calcium carbonate, starch, resin, gelatin, alum and other chemical products.

Step 2 egg production
Raw egg into the mold to 2 / 3 full, put calcium chloride, colouring die, the egg appears on the film been announced.

The 'yolk' is shaped in the round mould. 'Magic water' containing calcium chloride is used.

By adding a yellow pigment and become raw egg yolk.

Step 3 fake egg shape
In the mold into 1 / 3 raw egg white, like the first package, like dumplings into the egg yolk, egg white into another, into the magic water, a shell eggs will come slowly. Naked egg shape to 1 hour to dry after washing with water, at shells ready.

Step 4
Sewing lines through the use of eggs, immersed in paraffin wax, calcium carbonate, such as modulation of the eggshell into a solution, repeated several times until the shell a little dry, immersion in cold water pumping line shape, this point, the egg has been put on a false cloak , You're done.

Hard shells are formed by soaking in paraffin wax onto the egg, which are then left to dry.

Oh yeah The Egg is ready. The artificial egg shell is very fragile and break easily but who cares!! Look so real

Many small bubbles is formed during frying the egg but not many people can tell the difference. The egg look exactly the same, and the eggs taste better than real but you are adding to the statistic of food poisoning person.

Why make fake eggs ? Because of money.

The cost of fake egg is only 0.55 Yuan/kg, while the true eggs’ market price is 5.6 Yuan/kg.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Almost 33 years old

in roughly 2 mths time i will be 33 years old.. it feels like it was just yesterday when i was a little kid.. most of my childhood was spent in Kuching, Sarawak.. i was in standard 1 and when i left Kuching i was in form 3.. roughly 9 years.. with the exception of 2 years when i followed my Mama to Miami, Florida.. Abah was suppose to follow but something went haywire in the planning.. and then i was in MRSM Perlis, now known as MRSM Beseri for 2 years.. after my SPM.. i went to the United States of America again to pursue my degree.. this time on the west coast.. Los Angeles, California.. i came back to Malaysia with my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in April 1998.. 11 years on after working here and there.. this year is my third year working for the Government of Malaysia via Jabatan Kerja Raya..

overall i have experienced and achieved a lot of things in my life.. well there is always financial freedom.. but how to achieve that?? anything and everything in this world involves money.. so i dont think anybody on earth can truely achieve that.. that only leaves 1 thing that i havent achieve.. to find my one true love and soulmate.. seeing friends from way back walking around town with their wife/husband and kids.. really makes me feel that i am missing something and much worse it makes me feel lonely.. before i had set a target of getting married by 27 like Abah.. it has been 5 years since that target went past.. sighhh!!!!

i've had girlfriends.. so since i am still single.. u must guess something didnt work out along the line.. being the only child.. there are a lot of things that i have to think about.. most importantly must be "will my future wife be willing to live with my parents and accept them??".. "will my parents like the woman that i bring back to the house and introduce to them??".. guess thats y more and more grey hair keeps appearing on my head.. these questions are hard to answer.. how do i know that the woman is really sincere when she says that its ok to live with my parents..

being almost 33 i have been to so many weddings.. wonderful.. but what i hate most.. i have to answer the same old question.. "are you married yet??".. "when are you gonna get married??".. especially when i attend weddings of my relatives or friends of my parents.. i am so fed up with these sort of questions that i hesitate to attend another wedding.. i'd rather drive my parents to the event and wait in the car.. or if its a long wedding.. pick them up after they are done.. even if i am in that wedding i just cant wait to leave..

i'd rather not talk too long about this.. it makes me feel so much more depressed.. if i get over depressed i might just end up crying.. anyways i hope to end my search by 2010.. especially when the dates 10/10/10 or 20/10/2010 looks so good on the calendar.. with this i seek your divine help my dear ALLAH.. show me who and where this soulmate of mine is..

Sunday, August 30, 2009

1957 - Hati Malaya

i first watched this movie while i was in Melaka for BTN 13th-17th August.. tonight on the eve of 31st August.. the 52nd independence of Malaysia.. i am watching it again on RTM 2.. it as basicly a reenactment on how Malaysia achieved its independence.. Everybody who had a role during the period is potrayed in the movie, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, Dato' Onn Jaafar, Tun Dr. Ismail, Saadon, Tan Cheng Lock, HS. Lee, Sambanthan just to name a few...

i sincerely hope at least 20% of the population of Malaysia is watching this movie.. this based on history movie, should provide a better understanding on how Malaysia became an independant country, why the Malays obtain special priveleges, how the Chinese and Indians became citizens, and the sacrifices made..

if anyone who reads my blog missed the movie.. please do get urself a copy.. understand and digest what the movie is about.. God willing Malaysians will be more harmonious.. 1 Malaysia - People First, Performance Now..

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Benefits of fasting especially in the month of Ramadhan

Most Muslims do not fast because of medical benefits but because it has been ordained to them in the Quran. The medical benefits of fasting are as a result of fasting. Fasting in general has been used in medicine for medical reasons including weight management, for rest of the digestive tract and for lowering lipids. There are many adverse effects of total fasting as well as so-called crash diets. Islamic fasting is different from such diet plans because in Ramadan fasting, there is no malnutrition or inadequate calorie intake. The caloric intake of Muslims during Ramadan is at or slightly below the national requirement guidelines. In addition, the fasting in Ramadan is voluntarily taken and is not a prescribed imposition from the physician.

Ramadan is a month of self-regulation and self-training, with the hope that this training will last beyond the end of Ramadan. If the lessons learned during Ramadan, whether in terms of dietary intake or righteousness, are carried on after Ramadan, it is beneficial for one's entire life. Moreover, the type of food taken during Ramadan does not have any selective criteria of crash diets such as those which are protein only or fruit only type diets. Everything that is permissible is taken in moderate quantities.

The only difference between Ramadan and total fasting is the timing of the food; during Ramadan, we basically miss lunch and take an early breakfast and do not eat until dusk. Abstinence from water during this period is not bad at all and in fact, it causes concentration of all fluids within the body, producing slight dehydration. The body has its own water conservation mechanism; in fact, it has been shown that slight dehydration and water conservation, at least in plant life, improve their longevity.

The physiological effect of fasting includes lower of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. In fact, Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity and essential hypertension. In 1994 the first International Congress on "Health and Ramadan", held in Casablanca, entered 50 research papers from all over the world, from Muslim and non-Muslim researchers who have done extensive studies on the medical ethics of fasting. While improvement in many medical conditions was noted; however, in no way did fasting worsen any patients' health or baseline medical condition. On the other hand, patients who are suffering from severe diseases, whether diabetes or coronary artery disease, kidney stones, etc., are exempt from fasting and should not try to fast.

There are psychological effects of fasting as well. There is a peace and tranquility for those who fast during the month of Ramadan. Personal hostility is at a minimum, and the crime rate decreases. This psychological improvement could be related to better stabilization of blood glucose during fasting as hypoglycemia after eating, aggravates behavior changes.

Recitation of the Quran not only produces a tranquility of heart and mind, but improves the memory. Healthy adult Muslims should not fear becoming weak by fasting, but instead it should improve their health and stamina.


Marilah kita bermuhasabah atau menilai dan menghitung kembali tentang amalan harian kita. Kadang-kadang kita akan dapati amalan kita adalah terbalik atau bertentangan dari apa yang patut dilakukan dan dituntut oleh Islam. Mungkin kita tidak sedar atau telah dilalaikan atau terikut-ikut dengan budaya hidup orang lain. Perhatikan apa yang dipaparkan dibawah sebagai contoh amalan yang terbalik:-

1. Amalan kenduri arwah beberapa malam yang dilakukan oleh keluarga simati selepas sesuatu kematian (malam pertama, kedua, ketiga, ketujuh dan seterusnya) adalah terbalik dari apa yang dianjurkan oleh Rasulullah di mana Rasulullah telah menganjurkan jiran tetangga memasak makanan untuk keluarga simati untuk meringankan kesusahan dan kesedihan mereka. Keluarga tersebut telah ditimpa kesedihan, terpaksa pula menyedia makanan dan belanja untuk mereka yang datang membaca tahlil. Tidakkah mereka yang hadir makan kenduri tersebut khuatir kalau-kalau mereka termakan harta anak yatim yang ditinggalkan oleh simati atau harta peninggalan simati yang belum dibahagikan kepada yang berhak menurut Islam?

2. Kalau hadir ke kenduri walimatul urus (kenduri kahwin) orang kerap salam berisi (hadiah wang yang diberi semasa bersalam). Kalau tak ada duit nak dikepit dalam tangan, maka segan ia nak pergi makan kenduri. Tetapi kalau ia menziarah orang mati, tidak segan pula salam tak berisi. Sepatutnya kalau menziarah keluarga si matilah kita patut memberi sedekah. Kalau ke kenduri kahwin, tak bagi pun tak apa kerana tuan rumah panggil untuk diberi makan bukan untuk ia menambah pendapatan.

3. Ketika menghadiri majlis pemimpin negara kita berpakaian cantik kemas dan segak tetapi bila mengadap Allah baik di rumah maupun di masjid, pakaian lebih kurang saja bahkan ada yang tak berbaju. Tidakkah ini suatu perbuatan yang terbalik.

4. Kalau menjadi tetamu di rumah orang dan di beri jamuan, kita rasa segan nak makan sampai habis apa yang dihidangkan kerana rasa segan dan malu, sedangkan yang dituntut dibanyakkan makan dan dihabiskan apa yang dihidang supaya tuan rumah rasa gembira dan tidak membazir.

5. Kalau bersolat sunat di masjid amat rajin, tapi kalau di rumah, sangat malas. Sedangkan sebaik-baiknya solat sunat banyak dilakukan di rumah seperti yang dianjurkan oleh Rasulullah untuk mengelakkan rasa riak.

6. Bulan puasa adalah bulan mendidik nafsu termasuk nafsu makan yang berlebihan tetapi kebanyakan orang mengaku bahawa dalam carta perbelanjaan setiap rumah orang Islam akan kita dapati perbelanjaan di bulan puasa adalah yang tertinggi dalam setahun. Sedangkan sepatutnya perbelanjaan di bulan puasa yang terendah. Bukankah terbalik amalan kita?

7. Kalau nak mengerjakan haji, kebanyakan orang akan membuat kenduri sebelum bertolak ke Mekah dan apabila balik dari Mekah tak buat kenduri pun. Anjuran berkenduri dalam Islam antaranya ialah kerana selamat dari bermusafir, maka dibuat kenduri, bukan kerana nak bermusafir, maka dibuat kenduri. Bukankah amalan ini terbalik? Atau kita mempunyai tujuan lain.

8. Semua ibubapa amat bimbang kalau-kalau anak mereka gagal dalam periksa. Maka dihantarlah ke kelas tuisyen walau pun banyak belanjanya. Tapi kalau anak tak boleh baca Quran atau solat, tak bimbang pula bahkan tak mahu hantar tuisyen baca Quran atau kelas khas mempelajari Islam. Kalau guru tuisyen sanggup dibayar sebulan RM20.00 satu pelajaran 8 kali hadir tapi kepada Tok Guru Quran nak bayar RM15.00 sebulan 20 kali hadir belajar pun menggeletar tangan. Bukankah terbalik amalan kita? Kita sepatutnya lebih berbimbang jika anak tidak dapat baca Al Quran atau bersolat dari tidak lulus periksa.

9. Kalau bekerja mengejar rezeki Allah tak kira siang malam, pagi petang, mesti pergi kerja. Hujan atau ribut tetap diharungi kerana hendak mematuhi peraturan kerja. Tapi ke rumah Allah (masjid) tak hujan, tak panas, tak ribut pun tetap tak datang ke masjid. Sungguh tak malu manusia begini, rezeki Allah diminta tapi nak ke rumahNya segan dan malas.

10. Seorang isteri kalau nak keluar rumah samada dengan suami atau tidak, bukan main lagi berhias. Tetapi kalau duduk di rumah, masyaAllah. Sedangkan yang dituntut seorang isteri itu berhias untuk suaminya, bukan berhias untuk orang lain. Perbuatan amalan yang terbalik ini membuatkan rumahtangga kurang bahagia.

11.. Kita cukup teruja untuk meng'forward' kan sms atau emel dalam bentuk gossip2 artis kepada kawan2. Malah kebanyakkan sms emel tersebut tidak benar dan boleh menjatuhkan maruah org lain. Tapi kenapa susah sangat nak forward peringatan sebegini kepada kawan2 kita??.....
Cukup dengan contoh-contoh di atas. Marilah kita berlapang dada menerima hakikat sebenarnya. Marilah kita beralih kepada kebenaran agar hidup kita menurut landasan dan ajaran Islam yang sebenar bukan yang digubah mengikut selera kita. Allah yang mencipta kita maka biarlah Allah yang menentukan peraturan hidup kita. Sabda Rasullullah SAW: 'Sampaikanlah dariku walaupun satu ayat.' (Riwayat Bukhari)

ramadan bazaars as tourist attraction

The Ramadan bazaar is practically a showcase, a one stop center. You can find all sorts of food there. Through aggressive promotion, Ramadan bazaars might just become another tourist product for local and foreign tourists. Malaysia could attract more tourists from Muslim countries to experience Ramadan festivities here.

Malaysia is not just well known for its multi racial society, it is also well known for its variety of food. Anybody who has been to Malaysia that i have met just loved our food. Even the number of Malaysians who are away from their hometown either local or abroad either studying or working have introduced the Malaysian menu to their friends.

I have heard "a way to a man's heart is through his stomach". Food tourism should be one of the things that the Tourism Ministy of Malaysia should market seriously to anyone who wants to visit Malaysia. Maybe when the stomach loves Malaysian food, the person may love Malaysia.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Medical Benefits of Taraweeh Prayers By Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph.D

My thoughts: Only Allah knows what the true benefits of Tarawih is.. We, humans try to derive what the benefits are from our own understanding.. Hopefully by spreading this article, we will have a better understanding..

Muslims perform five daily contact prayers (Salat) and voluntary prayers (Sunnah, Nafl) throughout the year and Taraweeh prayers during the month of Ramadan. This results in moderate physical exercise particularly to every muscle in the body.

Muslims derive therapeutic and spiritual benefits starting from the Wudu to the physical movements in the Salat - Takbir, Qiyam, Ruku, Sajda, Jalsa, and Tasleems. Muslims perform five daily contact prayers (Salat) and voluntary prayers (Sunnah, Nafl) throughout the year and Taraweeh prayers during the month of Ramadan. This results in moderate physical exercise particularly to every muscle in the body. Some muscles contract isometrically (same length) and some contract in approximation or isotonically (same tension). The energy needed for the muscle during exercise is met by a process known as glycogenolysis. The rate of muscle metabolism increases during the performance of Salat, resulting in a relative deficiency of oxygen and muscle nutrients. In turn this deficiency causes vasodilation - an increase in the calibre of blood vessels - thereby allowing blood to flow easily back to the heart. The temporarily increased load on the heart acts to strengthen the heart muscle and to improve the circulation within the heart muscle.

During the month of Ramadan, additional prayers are performed after salatul Ishaa, called Taraweeh prayers which vary from 8 rakat (unit of prayer) to 20 rakat with a few minutes break after every 4 rakat for chanting and extolling the Majesty of Allah. After Iftar (breaking of fast) the blood glucose level continues to rise from the food ingested. Just before the Iftar meals, the blood glucose and insulin levels are at their lowest level. After an hour or so after the Iftar meal, the blood glucose begins to rise and also plasma insulin. Liver and the muscles take up the circulating glucose. The blood sugar reaches high levels in an hour or two and the benefits of Taraweeh prayers come into effect. The circulating glucose is metabolised into carbon dioxide and water during the Taraweeh prayers.

Hence the Taraweeh prayers help in expending the extra calories and improve flexibility, coordination, reduce stress-related autonomic responses in healthy persons, and relieve anxiety and depression.

Physical and Emotional Well-Being
The gentle exercises performed in Taraweeh prayers improve physical fitness, emotional well-being and increase the longevity of the Namazi (one who performs the Salat or Namaz). When a little extra effort is made, as in performing the Taraweeh prayers, there will be a betterment in the endurance, stamina, in flexibility and strength. It was noted that the five daily prayers (Salat) produce the same physiological changes without any undesirable side effects as those produced by jogging or walking at about three miles per hour. Recent research studies performed on 17,000 Harvard alumni who entered college between 1916-1950 give strong evidence that only moderate aerobic exercise, equivalent to jogging about 3 miles a day, promotes good health and may actually add years to life. Men who expended about 2000 kcal of energy on a weekly basis (equal to a daily 30-minute walk, run, cycle, swim, etc.,) had one-quarter to one-third lower death rates than classmates who did little or no exercise. In addition to the health-boosting qualities of the Salat, the Namazi will be trained to be ever ready for any unexpected physical exertion such as sudden lifting of children, chairs, or catching a public transportation vehicle. The elderly will accomplish this more securely and efficiently. Hence this is an advantage for the elderly to maintain their physical fitness for a longer period of time. It has been observed that those who fast and perform the Taraweeh prayers report feeling much convalescing and robust.

The Elderly
As human beings grow older, their physiological activity diminishes, as a result their bones become thinner and if not taken care of will suffer from osteoporosis (which causes the fractures of the bones when they fall in the elderly due to a loss of bone mineral content and consequent sponginess of the bones. The bone then becomes structurally unstable, brittle and susceptible to fractures). Primary osteoporosis is most common among postmenopausal (due to reduction in oestrogen) women or those who have undergone a bilateral oophorectomy (both the ovaries removed). Women are six times more likely than men to develop Type I osteoporosis. The three major prevention strategies of osteoporosis are a high dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D, regular exercise and oestrogen replacement in postmenopausal women. The skin also becomes fragile and crinkled. The repair processes of the body become slower and immune responses are decreased. In the elderly their physical activity is reduced as a result they have lower levels of Insulin Growth Factor 1. Reserve functions of all vital organs decrease and the elderly are more susceptible to mishaps and ailments. Because of repeated and regular movements of the body during Salat the muscle strength, tendon power, joint flexibility and the cardiovascular reserve are improved. Hence Salat and Taraweeh prayers enable the elderly to enrich the quality of life and to meet with unforeseen difficulties such as falls which could injure their bodies. Therefore Taraweeh prayers will improve their endurance, self-respect and self-confidence in being self-reliant.

Adrenaline is secreted even by minor activity. The secretion outlasts the incitement. Even after the Taraweeh prayers are over the effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline are manifest. (Adrenaline also called epinephrine is produced by the adrenal glands. The middle part of these glands, the adrenal medulla, secretes the hormone, which is chemically almost identical to the transmitter substance noradrenaline produced at the ends of sympathetic nerves. Adrenaline secretion into the bloodstream in stress causes acceleration of the heart, constriction of arterioles, and dilation of the pupils. In addition, adrenaline produces a marked increase in metabolic rate thus preparing the body for emergency.) Even the thought or the intention of performing the Taraweeh prayers is sufficient to activate the sympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic nervous system (thoraco-lumbar nervous system) is one of the two division of the autonomic nervous system, which supplies motor nerves to the smooth muscles of internal organs and to the heart muscle. Sympathetic nerve fibres arise via spinal nerves in the thoracic and lumbar regions. Their endings release mainly adrenaline, which increases heart rate and breathing rate, raises blood pressure, and slows digestive processes, thereby preparing the body for "fight or flight" and antagonising the effects of the sympathetic nervous system. The adrenaline would redistribute the blood in the body to the active muscles, would mobilise liver glycogen if necessary in order to provide glucose for the active tissues, would diminish fatigue in skeletal muscles and would facilitate alveolar ventilation relaxing bronchiolar muscle, and would initiate cardiovascular changes. Exercise induces a more effective functioning of beta-adrenoreceptors located on cell membranes.

Beneficial effects of Gentle Exercise
The Taraweeh prayer is considered to be gentle exercise. The beneficial effects of gentle exercise on the body are many which are elaborated here.

Effects on Skeletal Muscle
Once muscles atrophy inspite of the availability of ample proteins. During the Salat and Taraweeh, every muscle in the body contracts isotnically and others isometrically. This gentle exercise also enhances endurance and diminishes tiredness. It helps the incapacitated to make the most of their remnant capabilities. The blood flow in strung muscle is low. During the prayers the blood flow is greatly increased to the muscles. Blood flow sometimes increases even before the start of Taraweeh prayers, with just the thought of performing the Taraweeh prayers. In addition to needing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, the human body requires minerals such as Potassium for nerve and muscle activity. It is found in fruits, meats, seafood and milk. Potassium deficiency leads to muscular and neurologic disorders. Potassium is also important in the transmission of nerve impulses and is a major positive ion in intracellular fluids. Potassium is involved in cellular enzyme activities, and it helps regulate the chemical reactions by which carbohydrates is converted to energy and amino acids are converted to protein. Also Potassium ions cause vasodilation of arterioles. During the Taraweeh prayers, systolic Blood pressure may rise (the larger number in B.P.) a little and the diastolic Blood Pressure(the lower number in B.P.) may remain unchanged or even fall. However after the Taraweeh prayers are over, the B.P. may drop to just below normal levels which is a welcome sign. Taraweeh prayers improve respiratory efficiency; circulation in the capillaries surrounding the alveoli, or air sacs, is increased, and this brings about enhanced gas exchange and deeper breathing. The increase in the maximal consumption of oxygen is what makes the Namazi feel better. Those who perform the Taraweeh prayers, apart from the prescribed Salat, are more alert and active than those who do not perform the Taraweeh prayers, even after the age of retirement. Taraweeh prayers improve physical strength and joint stability and reduce the risk of injury to the tendons and connective tissues. After age 40, the bone mineral density falls with age. Taraweeh prayers increase bone mineral density in both menopausal and in elderly women and prevents osteoporosis and maintains normalcy in bone structures. Osteoporosis results in hip fractures in women after menopause and in elderly men. The risk of osteoporosis is substantially reduced by regular Salat and Taraweeh prayers. The prayers improve lubrication of joints, movement, and maintain flexibility. Deep vein thrombosis (the most common cause of ulceration of the legs in the elderly) is prevented by performing Salat and Taraweeh prayers.

Metabolic Effects
Salat improves body weight control and expend calories without proportionate increase in appetite. A combination of moderate dietary restriction, both at the Iftar and Sahur (early morning breakfast before the start of fast) meals, accompanied by the Taraweeh prayers, should achieve weight reduction. This will also reduce both fat and body weight, but fat-free weight will remain constant or may even increase slightly. Hence during Ramadan one should not overeat at the Sahur and Iftar meals and continue to perform Salat and Taraweeh prayers in order to lose some of the excess weight.

It is well known that exercise prevents coronary heart disease (CHD), increases high density lipo-proteins (HDL or healthy Cholesterol), increases maximum oxygen uptake, slows the heart, lowers the B.P. slightly, decreases ventricular ectopic activity, enlarges the lumen of the coronary arteries and increases cardiac output. Exercise also improves carbohydrate tolerance and improves late-onset diabetes, and helps cases of chronic respiratory diseases. Beneficial changes have been recorded in the lipid profile, B.P., clotting factors, weight reduction and insulin sensitivity of muscles and other tissues in persons who exercise regularly. Growth Hormone secretion is elevated by fasting and it is further elevated by Taraweeh prayers. As Growth Hormone is necessary for collagen formation, this may be an important factor as to why the skin of those who fast regularly during Ramadan and perform the Taraweeh prayers do not get wrinkled, even when they grow old.

Mental Health
It is a known fact that exercise improves mood, thought and behaviour. Exercise improves the quality of life, induces greater sense of well-being and energy, reduces anxiety and depression, influences mood favourably and contributes to self-esteem and an aura of confidence; improves memory in the elderly especially with constant repetition of the Ayaat (verses) from the Glorious Quran and other Ayaat which exalt His Glory. This constant repetition of the Quranic Ayaat would help to screen the mind from the incoming thoughts. It has been found by a Harvard University researcher, Dr. Herbert Benson that repetition of a prayer, Ayaat of the Quran or remembrance (Dhikr) of Allah or muscular activity coupled with passive disregard of intensive thoughts causes a "relaxation response" that leads to the lowering of Blood Pressure and decreases in oxygen consumption and a reduction in heart and respiratory rates. All these are combined in the Taraweeh prayer which is an ideal condition for "relaxation response." It combines repeated muscular activity with repetition of Salat, chanting of words of glorification of Allah and of supplications. The Taraweeh prayer puts the mind in a relaxed state. This calm state of the mind may be partly due to the release of encephalins, beta-endorphins (endogenous morphines) and others into the blood circulation. Endorphins are any one of the neuropeptides composed of many amino acids, elaborated by the pituitary gland and acting on the central and peripheral nervous systems to reduce pain. Endorphins are categorised as alpha-endorphin, beta-endorphin, and gamma-endorphin which produce pharmacologic effects similar to morphine. Beta-endorphin found in the brain and GI(gastro-intestinal) tract is the most potent of the endorphins and is a powerful analgesic(pain killer) in humans and animals. For example during childbirth many women release endorphins reducing a woman's sensation of pain. The release of endorphins is associated with an euphoria. During childbirth, women who give birth with little or no medication sometimes label this euphoria a "birth climax."

Islam is the only religion where physical movements of Salat and Taraweeh prayers are combined with spiritual exercise. When Salat and Taraweeh prayers are practised throughout a person's life, recurring every few hours or so, trains a person to undertake the difficult task of meditation during physical manoeuvres of Salat and Taraweeh prayers, so that the Namazi(one who performs the Salat) benefits both from spiritual as well as physical exercise. Salat and Taraweeh prayers are unique in that tension builds up in the muscles during physical manoeuvres on the one hand, while tension is relieved in the mind due to the spiritual ingredient, on the other hand. The following benefits have been noted among those who perform the Taraweeh prayers: burning off calories and losing weight, maintaining muscle tone and body composition, joint flexibility (stiff joints are often the result of disuse, not arthritis), increasing metabolic rate, improving circulation, improving heart and lung function and aerobic capacity, decreasing heart disease risk profile, increasing your sense of self-control, reducing your level of stress, increasing your ability to concentrate, improving your appearance, reducing depression and resistance to depression, helping you sleep better and suppressing your appetite. Evidence is also accumulating that those who perform regular Salat along with voluntary prayers can conserve and actually retard the loss of bone mass in the elderly, thus staving off the ravages of osteoporosis that afflicts both men and women. It is also possible to retard the aging process and confer some protection to health in later life. Those who have performed Salat (Fard and Wajib), Sunnah and Nafl and Taraweeh prayers throughout life get protection and a positive effect in terms of health and longevity. They reverse the life-shortening effects of cigarette smoking and excess body weight. Even people with high blood pressure (a primary heart disease risk) reduced their death rate by one-half and their risk of dying from any of the major diseases is reduced. They also counter genetic tendencies toward an early death.

Hence Salat (Fard, Wajib), Sunnah, Nafl and Taraweeh prayers are necessary for Muslims to preserve life and their desirable qualities into old age.

25 diet tips

1. Add just one fruit or veggie serving daily. Get comfortable with that, then add an extra serving until you reach 8 to 10 a day.

2. Eat at least two servings of a fruit or veggie at every meal.

3. Resolve never to supersize your food portions-unless you want to supersize your clothes.

4. Make eating purposeful, not mindless. Whenever you put food in your mouth, peel it, unwrap it, plate it, and sit. Engage all of the senses in the pleasure of nourishing your body.

5. Start eating a big breakfast. It helps you eat fewer total calories throughout the day.

6. Make sure your plate is half veggies and/or fruit at both lunch and dinner.

7. Eating out? Halve it, and bag the rest. A typical restaurant entree has 1,000 to 2,000 calories, not even counting the bread, appetizer, beverage, and dessert.

8. When dining out, make it automatic: Order one dessert to share.

9. Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate.

10. See what you eat. Plate your food instead of eating out of the jar or bag.

11. Eat the low-cal items on your plate first, then graduate. Start with salads, veggies, and broth soups, and eat meats and starches last. By the time you get to them, you'll be full enough to be content with smaller portions of the high-calorie choices.

12. Instead of whole milk, switch to 1 percent. If you drink one 8-oz glass a day, you'll lose 5 lb in a year.

13. Juice has as many calories, ounce for ounce, as soda. Set a limit of one 8-oz glass of fruit juice a day.

14. Get calories from foods you chew, not beverages. Have fresh fruit instead of fruit juice.

15. Keep a food journal. It really works wonders.

16. Follow the Chinese saying: "Eat until you are eight-tenths full."

17. Use mustard instead of mayo.

18. Eat more soup. The noncreamy ones are filling but low-cal.

19. Cut back on or cut out caloric drinks such as soda, sweet tea, lemonade, etc. People have lost weight by making just this one change. If you have a 20-oz bottle of
Coca-Cola every day, switch to Diet Coke. You should lose 25 lb in a year.

20. Take your lunch to work.

21. Sit when you eat.

22. Dilute juice with water.

23. Have mostly veggies for lunch.

24. Eat at home.

25. Limit alcohol to weekends. (for non muslims)


I want to touch on a topic that is in virtually everything we eat or drink and yet we never question it at all.

I want to talk about artificial sweeteners today because I've noticed that there's a lot of confusion and misconceptions revolving around these non-caloric sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners and the huge list of products sweetened with them are marketed to you relentlessly as "healthy foods" or "healthier" than sugar or corn syrup sweetened products. But are they really?

Just to clarify, some of the most popular artificial sweeteners on the market today are:

Splenda (sucralose)
Acesulfame Potassium (aka - acesulfame K)

These artificial sweeteners are used in abundance in almost every "diet" drink, "lite" yogurts, puddings, and ice creams, most "low-carb" products, and almost all "reduced-sugar" products. Heck, even most protein powders are loaded with
artificial sweeteners too (just look on the ingredients and you'll usually see one or more of them).

Splenda is probably one of the worst offenders of claiming to be "healthy" as they say that it's made from real sugar. Don't be fooled! It's still an artificial substance. What they don't tell you is that Splenda is actually a chemically modified substance where chlorine is added to the chemical structure, making it
more similar to a chlorinated pesticide than something we should be eating or drinking.

The truth is that artificial sweeteners are not even close to being healthy, and as you'll discover in a minute, can easily be just as bad for you, if not worse, than sugar or corn syrup. Most people think that they are doing something good for themselves by choosing the "diet" drinks or "lite" yogurts compared to the
sugar-laden versions, but the problem is that you're exposing yourself to a whole new set of problems with the artificially sweetened drinks and foods.

I know you're probably frustrated by all of the contradicting messages you hear each day about which foods are good for you and which are bad. I'm sure just today you probably saw some clever ad or commercial somewhere screaming health benefits for
a food product that is loaded with artificial sweeteners. Don't worry. Just stick with me and I'll get past the marketing hype for you and decipher the truth. I'll also give you some ideas for great alternatives to artificial sweeteners as well as
alternatives to sugar or corn syrup sweeteners.

The fact is, artificial sweeteners vs. sugar or corn syrup is really just a battle between two evils. Which evil is worse?

I'm sure you already know the problems with sugar or high fructose corn syrup sweetened products. The excess empty calories, blood sugar spike, and resulting insulin surge this creates in your body not only promotes fat gain, but also stimulates your appetite further, making things even worse.

On the other hand, artificial sweeteners save you calories, but there's growing evidence that they can increase your appetite for sweets and other carbohydrates causing you to eat more later in the day anyway. Therefore, you don't really save any calories at all. Also, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can
stimulate high insulin levels in your body too, which again can promote fat storage.

All of the 4 artificial sweeteners listed above are nasty chemicals that the human body is simply not meant to ingest. However, most of us are ingesting a whole lot of these chemicals on a daily basis. Aside from the problems I touched on so far,
other health issues that have been related to artificial sweeteners in scientific studies as well as observations are:

* some have been linked to potential cancer risks
* negative effects on the liver, kidneys, and other organs
* stimulating cravings
* gastrointestinal problems
* developmental problems in children and fetuses
* headaches
* and too many more issues to list

Now some of the above potential health problems are definitely not proven as fact in studies. However, some of them have been shown in animal studies given high doses. Regardless of the fact that any real health problems for actual human use are not proven yet, I don't know about you, but I'd rather protect myself and steer clear of these possibly dangerous artificial chemicals.

Of course, despite all of the health issues potentially associated with artificial sweeteners, the companies that sell the products will continue to claim that they are fully safe and they have studies that prove that they are safe. The bottom line
is that the body was not designed to deal with foreign substances like artificial sweeteners. Take my word on that one.

So what are your options for alternatives? Well, your best alternatives for sugar or corn syrup are either raw honey, organic maple syrup, or even a little-known high antioxidant syrup called sorghum syrup (common in the southern US). Even though these alternatives still have the same amount of calories as sugar or corn syrup... honey, organic maple syrup, and sorghum syrup actually provide some nutrients and antioxidants, so it's not just empty calories. Empty calories stimulate your appetite
more because your body is lacking nutrients.

Now you're probably thinking that you'd like to still save on calories but avoid the nasty artificial sweeteners. Good news...
You can!

You've probably seen me reference this natural sweetener in a lot of my recipes. It's called Stevia. I've been using it for years as an alternative sweetener when you still want to save a little on calories and sugar.

Stevia is not artificial like the other chemical sweeteners I mentioned above. Stevia is a natural non-caloric herb. It is a South American herb and when dried into a powder, has a sweetness about 200-300 times stronger than sugar. Something
interesting that I heard recently was that artificial sweeteners are banned in Japan, and therefore Stevia is a very popular alternative over there.

One problem I've noticed with using Stevia is that the pure powder is a very powerful sweetener, so you can easily use too much. However, I've found some good Stevia products that use a bulking agent added so that you can measure out the stevia
powder in direct comparison to measuring sugar.

I've yet to see any negative reports or health concerns regarding stevia and only positive potential health benefits. I definitely give Stevia my seal of approval. Do yourself a favor (and your family), and if you are currently an artificial sweetener junkie, please consider switching to stevia.

One of the best products I've found over the years is made by a company called Steviva. They have an excellent stevia product blended with another natural sweetener called erythritol. I suggest giving it a try! Just look for the "Steviva Blend". You can use it in your coffee or tea, to sweeten up plain yogurt, added to smoothies for extra sweetness, on cereals or oatmeal, in baking, or where ever else you might need a sweetener but want to reduce the sugar content.

Well, that's it for today. I hope you enjoyed this important discussion.

10 awesome strategies for health weight loss

I want to share with you 10 awesome strategies for health weight loss

1. Exercise is essential for weight loss

It's nothing new, but exercise is probably the most important predictor of whether you will succeed at long term weight loss and weight loss maintenance. In order for
exercise to be helpful in weight loss, you should strive for a minimum of five 30 minute sessions per week. The good news is that recent research has shown that three 10 minute sessions in a day are as good as one 30 minute session.

Having trouble getting a workout in? Why not try one of these programs:

* 15 minute boot camp workout
* Power workout for busy executives
* 10 minute workout for busy moms

2. Weight loss and weight training

We chose to list this separately from the "exercise" category because of the significant weight loss benefits attached to weight training in and of itself. The basic equation is this: the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you will burn. This is why world class weight lifters must eat thousands of calories a day to maintain their weight.

3. Keep a diary for triggers that hinder weight loss

Keeping a food diary can be a huge asset in successful weight loss. Devote some time each day to record what you have eaten and how much, your hunger level prior to eating, and any feelings or emotions present at the time. A food diary can provide a large amount of self-awareness. It can identify emotions and behaviors that trigger overeating, foster greater awareness of portion sizes, and help you discover your personal food triggers.

4. Stay focused on being healthy, not on becoming thin

Many people become more successful at long term weight loss when their motivation changes from wanting to be thinner to wanting to be healthier. Change your mindset to think about selecting foods that will help your body's health rather than worrying about foods that will affect your body's weight. The Food Pyramid offers a basic outline of the types and amounts of food you should eat each day to give
your body the nutrients it needs for optimal health.

5. Find out why you overeat

All too often overeating is triggered by stress, boredom, loneliness, anger, depression and other emotions. Learning to deal with emotions without food is a significant skill that will greatly serve long term weight control. The Solution, a book and national program developed by Laurel Mellin, RD, helps participants to identify their eating triggers and respond to them without food. A research study
showed that the participants in this program demonstrated a better rate of long term weight loss maintenance than those who simply diet and/or exercise and don't address behavioral and emotional issues. Chronic over-eaters and "emotional eaters" can be significantly helped by learning new behavioral skills such as those Mellin presents. You can also seek help with behavioral and emotional eating issues
from a licensed counselor or psychologist in your area.

6. Weight loss support: join a weight management group

A big key in long term weight control comes from receiving encouragement and support from others. You can check to see if groups such as Jenny Craig offer programs and resources in your areas. You may also wish to check with your local hospital to see if their registered dietitian conducts group weight loss programs.

7. Weight loss and portion control

With the advent of "super-size" meals and increasingly huge portions at restaurants, our concept of normal serving sizes is a distant memory. Be mindful of the amounts of food you consume at a sitting. When necessary, divide your food in half and ask for a take home bag. It is all too easy to be a "plate cleaner" even when served enormous portions. Learn to pay attention to your hunger level and stop eating when
you feel comfortably full, not stuffed.

8: Lose weight slowly with small changes

Try to remember that "losing 15 pounds in two weeks" is nothing to celebrate. It is important to realize that the more quickly weight is lost, the more likely the loss is coming from water and muscle, not fat. Since muscle tissue is critical in keeping our metabolism elevated, losing it actually leads to a decrease in the amount of calories we can each day without gaining weight. Fat loss is best achieved when weight is lost slowly. Strive for a weight loss of no more than 1-2 pounds per week.

9. Eating slowly can lead to weight loss

Did you ever notice that thin people take an awfully long time to eat their food? Eating slowly is one method that can help take off pounds. That's because from the time you begin eating it takes the brain 20 minutes to start signaling feelings of fullness. Fast eaters often eat beyond their true level of fullness before the 20 minute signal has had a chance to set in.

10. Weight loss through eating less fat - but do it wisely

We've known for some time that limiting high fat foods in the diet can be helpful with weight loss. That's because fats pack in 9 calories per gram compared to only 4
calories per gram from proteins or carbohydrates. To many, the message to limit fats implied an endorsement to eat unlimited amounts of fat-free products. Just to clarify, fat-free foods have calories too. In some cases fat-free foods have as many calories as their fat laden counterparts. If you eat more calories than your body uses, you will gain weight. Eating less fat will help you to lose weight. Eating less fat and replacing it with excessive amounts of fat-free products will not.

I hope that at least one of these tips helps you to achieve
your weight loss goals.