A Healthy Start to the New Year!

Friday, February 08, 2013

*Long Post* Hello everyone!
Sorry for being away for a couple of days .. coz I've been working on this article for a pretty long time .. there are so many aspects and topics that I want to cover here and I didnt know where to start! And I was pretty busy trying to spring clean and get ready for CNY so that's quite a bummer .. hahaha!
As you can see from the title, I've always wanted to post on my Detox Regime. 
I've been doing this for about the past year and so far everything seems to be going great. I'm also eating with more awareness and although I dun restrict myself or go on a diet, I find myself being more attuned to what I put in my mouth now. I generally try to eat less carbohydrates but I dun go on a total NON-carbohydrate diet either. I personally feel (As an Asian,) how do we go without rice? So I eat what I want in the day and generally eat less at night and I try my best not to eat supper. Just a Milo if I get hungry. 
Anyway, before I digress - let me show you what I drink daily.
Detox Drink
Thats actually my 'Detox Box' .. haha! 
Here below are the list of items in it.
This started when I read about the 'wonders' of Apple Cider Vinegar and it got me extremely intrigued. Over  time, I began to do more research on organic ingredients and started to make my own mix. Basically this drink is great for bowel movement but as usual, before you start anything - please make sure to consult a doctor. Im not an expert and what might work for me, might not be beneficial for you. 
* This detox is to be carried out with a normal diet. There is no need to fast.
Why should you Detox?
First up. Why should you detox? 
Our bodies have a natural detoxification and healing system, which is our organs like the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph nodes and even our skin. However when this system is compromised, impurities are not properly filtered out and cells in our body is adversely affected. If you feel sluggish, out of sync and have digestive problems, it might be time for you to detox.
The colon is also known as the large bowel or large intestine. It is an organ that is part of the digestive system (also called the digestive tract) in the human body. The digestive system is the group of organs that allow us to eat and to use the food we eat to fuel our bodies. Natural health practitioners advocate detoxifying your colon as a path toward optimal health. They contend that over time, the large intestine is beset by toxins from environmental factors and diets rich in refined sugars and hormone-laden meats. As a result, your colon is forced to secrete mucus, which traps toxins in your body. Colon-cleansing may help neutralize these toxins and flush them out of your system. Constipation is a result of a sluggish system but what causes constipation? Well, the obvious culprits include a low fiber diet, repeatedly ignoring the urge to go, not drinking enough water, a diet of higghly processed food or even a lack of exercise.
The steps for a detox overhaul follows :
Change your diet. Cut out processed food eg. Fast food.
The first step in a comprehensive colon-cleansing regimen is a detox diet. Eliminate all foods that burden your colon and substitutes them with foods rich in fiber.
Fiber-rich foods help 'scrub' the colon. They include: Raw vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and cauliflower or Raw fruits including mangoes, guava and most berries
Drink several glasses of filtered water each day to help flush the colon.
Back to my Detox Drink :)
Item List
The drink that started it all. 
BRAGG Organic Apple Cider Vinegar could be found at any supermarket in the organic section and cost around $10. If you do abit of research on it you can find that people use it externally  as well as drinking it in small portions. But never take it without water! Its so strong and the taste is rather awful. I'll talk more on it later. But I personally can see how it regulates my bowel movement and it is all natural, with not known side-effects. The worst part is getting pass how its tastes!
Here's some of the 'claims' on Apple Cider Vinegar. 
I dun have the luxury of time to buy fresh vegetables to blend, so I add some Organic wheatgrass powder into my drink. It also tastes yucky to say the least! Taste like grass haha!
But then again. So many 'benefits'! 
I am also taking multi-vitamins in addition to my diet and NutriFirst has kindly sponsored me Natrol JuiceFestiv which incorporates both vitamins from vegetables and fruits. I take 2 tablets each daily in addition to my detox drink.
I also like to add Morlife's Antioxreds powder into my drink as this gives the drink a nice red color, takes away some of the smelly apple cider vinegar taste lol and antioxidants are great for us! It helps in keeping us young and it has substances that may protect our cells against the effects of free radicals.
This is a list of antioxidant rich food/fruits
And what Antioxidants does
For those who are not into organic/detox stuff .. perhaps you might never have heard of Psyllium Husks. But Im pretty sure you know that to have regular and healthy bowel movement, you need to have a good intake of FIBER . But most food that we eat are mostly processed food (Including your white rice) so it might be difficult to get a good amount of fiber in your daily diet. Hippocrates once said : "Colon toxicity is the common denominator of all disease." And besides going for extreme measures like a colon cleanse, having enough fiber is the most natural way for your body to get rid of toxins. 
Psyllium Husk is known to pull over 10 times it's weight in toxins from your colon. Being a water soluble fiber it expands and creates a gooey substance which bulks up your stool and softens it. This is why it is excellent at lessening constipation. Yet Psyllium Husk is not a laxative. It doesn't liquefy the stool like laxatives or cause you have have any stomach pain. You might feel slightly bloated in the beginner but it is normal. Psyllium Husk allows nutrients to be fully absorbed while removing toxins smoothly out of the bowel. You can get it easily and cheaply at most health food/ organic stores.
Why do we need fiber in our diet?
This is a list of Soluble and Insoluble Fiber. 
They are slightly different but try to have alittle of both ideally in your diet.
Im also trying to take more Collagen as I age. I think its been getting very popular now, too! There are powdered versions, bottled drinks and tablets so do try something that you are comfortable with. Unfortunately they might not be Halal becoz they mostly contain animal protein so do check carefully if you are concerned. I am taking Ultimate Collagen Plus which was kindly sponsored to me and it has a raspberry sweet sourish taste which I really enjoy! If you like Ribena, you will like this!
This item can be found at Guardian pharmacies, Nishino pharmacies, Robinsons, Selected Sa Sa stores, Pharmex Healthcare at Kembangan Plaza and Kaki Bukit.
Each box of 30 sachets retails for $88/-
 Collagen is a protein made up of amino-acids and it makes up approximately 30% of the proteins within the body. These are tough and strong structures found all over the body: in bones, tendons and ligaments. But with age, collagen production slows and the cells structures weaken. The skin gets thinner and is easier to damage, hair gets lifeless, skin sags and wrinkles, tendons and ligaments become less elastic, joints get stiff etc. By adding collagen to your diet, you prevent skin weakening and slow down aging processes.
So after an introduction to the list of ingredients that I normally use for my Detox Drink, Im going to show you how I usually do it daily. I drink it in the morning and night but I would suggest you to go slow and try it gradually. Do note that Im not medically trained to advise you in any way so I hope everyone will practice a general sense of awareness and do check with a doctor before you embark on anything that you are uncomfortable with. :) Other than that, I hope you have fun!
You may wish to get a larger mug so you can add water in to dilute the taste. It is also advisable to drink lotsa water with apple cider vinegar and psyllium husks. I use room temperature water.
I normally fill half the mug with plain water.
A tablespoon will come in handy to stir it all together before you drink.
You may also wish to start with 01 tablespoon before you get accustomed to the (super) sour taste! Remember to drink it with water and never take it straight from the bottle. (Unless you sprinkle it over your salad, some people do that too as a low fat version of salad dressing.)
I add in 01 teaspoon of my wheatgrass powder. I usually recycle those plastic spoons from cough mixtures coz they are so handy!
Then I add in a teaspoon of my antioxred powder.
Next will be my collagen plus. I only take 01 packet a day.
This is how it looks like! 
Haha! Abit yucky I know with all the green wheatgrass powder.... :p 
Tip : Always add in the psyllium husk last! 
They 'gel' up extremely fast and if you dun drink it immediately, you might choke so do finish it once you add it in the water! I normally use 03 tablespoons but maybe you can start with 01-02 tablespoons in the beginning.
Stir and drink up! Add more water if you find it thick.
I drink it with my multivitamins and after awhile Im used to the taste! Infact I like the sweet taste from my collagen and antioxred powder so its quite bearable. The psyllium husks will have a consistency of oats and not much taste. But you might find the apple cider vinegar sour, and the wheatgrass powder bitter so do try it slowly when you are first starting out on this detox drink. Do also feel free to play around with other powders like Goji berries, Chai Seeds, Acai powder, Barley grass, Chlorella, Spirulina ~ the list is endless! You can find these in health stores or organic sections and they have so many kinds and brands, so do some research before you buy anything :)
While we are on the topic of Detoxing, I also want to let you see that there are many Detox and Cleansing programs available on the market if you are not really into making your own Detox drink, perhaps you can try out NutriFirst's AcaiBerry Weekend Cleanse. 
This is a specifically Detox program for the weekend where its easier for you to monitor your diet (although you dun need to abstain from any food, but if you are going to Detox, might as well stay away from fast food right? Im just saying. No judgement haha! ) 
This 3 Day program is great when you feel your pants getting tight, and perhaps you might be having too much good food (Read: Chinese New Year hey!) Do check out NutriFirst Website (Here) or go to their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NutriFirst. I had a informative exchange while explaining to them what I was going for and they are extremely professional, prices are kept lower than retail and they have a wide range of products in the website.
Do remember to take your multivitamins daily too!
Th NutriFirst Show Room:
Blk 1015 Geylang East Ave 3,
#04-139 Singapore 389730

Health and Exercise : Yoga
If you follow me in Twitter @Sugar7733 or Instagram @Sugar73, you might have realised that I've been doing Yoga pretty frequently these days. Well, in actual fact I have tried it a long time ago, but stopped when my flying schedule became hectic. Only when I have more free time on my hands after quitting my job, that I picked it up again and have been doing it 4-5x a week. I try to incorporate some running and swimming in between, but truly .. Yoga has always been my first love.
Im not a yoga instructor, I have not been professionally trained to teach Yoga and Im merely a beginner who goes to regular classes. But I have sweet readers who ask me about Yoga and tips on picking it up so before  I continue, I would like to show some of the pictures that I took for CommunitySportsClub (FaceBook Page) , organised by the People's Association - where I joined my fellow bloggers as one of their Star Bloggers for the year of 2013. 
The Community Games 2013 (CG 2013) is a multi-sports competition held across the island, bringing the Games to the heart of the community and connecting residents of different ages, races and living across estates. CG 2013 is organised by the People’s Association and Community Sports Clubs, with support from the National Sports Associations of the sports to be featured. 
The sports featured under CG 2013 are Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Dragon Boat, Football, Netball, Road Run and Sepaktakraw, Swimming and Table Tennis.  CG2013 will be taking place from March to June at various facilities across Singapore.
The Yoga poses below are mostly beginner friendly and even if you have never worked out a day in your life before, it is extremely easy to try out these poses to awaken your senses and warm up for the day. They are not actually in sequence, just a few of my favourite poses! :) Have fun trying it out!
-Downward Dog-
One of the most widely used asanas, this pose is part of Sun Salutation and will quickly warm up the body by getting your blood circulation going and muscles slightly stretched. I love doing this before I start on any yoga for the day. 
-Tree Pose-
This might look relatively easy but there is a deep level of concentration here as you stand tall, like a tree in the wind. I love this pose, its so strong but elegant at the same time.
-Warrior Series-
There are mainly 3 Warrior poses in the Yoga Sequence, but there I've decided to show Warrior II. Stand with your legs apart and bend one knee 90 degrees. Both feet should be planted firmly on your mat and raise your arms straight. Like a beautiful warrior.
-Triangle Pose-
This is one of my favorite poses in Bikram Yoga. The master of all the 26 poses we do in the hot class, this made me frustrated when I first tried it. 
Bend your knees deep, 90 degrees and windmill your arms in the air. Your fingers should be lightly touching in between your first & second toe, but there is no weight on it. You are using your core strength to hold your body up, look up at your other hand and imagine being powerful. 
-Sitting Forward Head to Knee-
This might look like a relaxing pose, but it is actually quite active. Keep your back straight, and exhale as you aim to lengthen your tailbone. Ideally you should be looking straight ahead of you, but I have no makeup on so I looked down! LOL.
Leaving you one of my favourite quotes!
Ok....! So how now brown cow! 
You realise that you are really interested in picking up yoga. What should you do first?
1. Do your Research. 
When I was looking for a yoga studio, I specifically wanted one near my place. I drive, but I dun want to get stuck in traffic or bad weather so I started listing out places that have yoga around my house so its more convenient for me. You can either do the same, or you can find a studio near your workplace so its easier for you to pop by during lunch and after work.
2. Do your calculations 
Most yoga studios are extremely upfront with their charges. You can easily find it on their website or you could call them for more information. They usually charge per 'drop-in' class but thats pretty expensive. Packages are usually recommended if you intend to do it often BUT do not commit if you are unsure. 
When I first started out, I took the 10 class package deal even if it was more expensive than taking say, a 25 class package But I wanted to make sure I will commit to the program and not sign up and give up half-way. But even if I did, a 10 class package is not too expensive a lesson to learn. Do not pay for a 2 year membership that might cost you a few thousand dollars just to 'save' some money. What if you decide its not for you? And all that money goes down the drain. Oh, and if the yoga studio coerces you, I think you are better off somewhere. Do not go to a place that only is interested in your annual membership fee.
3. Yoga Clothes
Ok you finally decide to take the plunge and try out a class at a studio you picked. But hang on ... now what should you wear to class? 
Practically speaking, it depends what type of class you are going to. Is it a Power Yoga or Hot (Heated room eg Bikram Yoga ) Class? Or even a gentle flow class like Hatha Yoga where you might perspire. (To perspire is the whole point right!) While a loose fitting t-shirt might be suitable for guys, I strongly recommend girls to wear a tight-fitting top like a sports crop top where you can get into poses like Downward Dog (shown above) and not be conscious of your t-shirt falling over your head and exposing your stomach. A pair of good fitting yoga pants, capri-length or shorts is also comfortable and while some people like to wear full length yoga pants, Im not a fan becoz sometimes we hold on to our feet and the length of the pants might get in the way. Below the knee is usually what I wear, but dun be surprised to see micro shorts n bikini type tops in a hot class! :)
4. Yoga Gear 
You might not have a yoga mat at home but dun worry becoz most yoga studios have their own mats although it is helpful to ask in advance before you head down. What you might also need is a water bottle or a small hand towel to wipe perspiration during your practice. If you dun feel comfortable lying on a common shared mat, (some of the poses might need you to lie on mat) you can bring a regular sized towel but most good studios will usually provide it so once again, it pays to do some research and ask the studio these questions before you arrive at class. Yoga blocks and straps are also provided in the studio so don't worry too much on it. 
5. Yoga Etiquette
To me, this is the most important part of your practice. Set the tone correct and cultivate good habits when you are new to Yoga. 
If its your first time, aim to reach the studio at least 20 mins before a class to fill in forms, or get introduced to the space. There after, it is generally good to reach 10 mins before the session to settle down eg Fill up your water bottle, put bag/handphone in locker or get a comfortable space in class. 
- Communicate
If you are new, speak to the instructor before the class starts to let them know that you might be needing abit more attention and guidance. At the same time, do let them know if you have any past injuries or if you are uncomfortable doing certain poses (eg. its your time of the month)
- Breathe
The most common mistake a new student might do is to try to hold their breath while getting into a pose. Try to let go and breath deeply as you go along. You might not feel comfortable, but as long as you dun feel any sharp pain while getting into a pose, it should be alright. Listen to your body and dun try to match up with the student next to you! Everyone is built differently and have different body types n structures. In addition, most of the poses need some time to master so just go with the flow.
Most of the classes have a varying range of yogis. Some might be just as new as you, some might be more advanced in their practice. A good yoga teacher will provide you the options of a pose : a basic variation or a more advanced, full expression of a pose. Do not feel that you MUST push yourself to do any pose (that you can't!) BUT at the same time do respect your other fellow yogis who can. My personal pet peeve is yogis who dun try to get into a pose, and simply 'give up' without even trying while the rest of the class is deep in concentration. Always do your best - unless you are in great pain, or have an injury that stops you from getting into the pose. A slight aching sensation means you are working your muscles! And thats a good thing! And oh, never bring your handphone in class unless you wish to get ticked off!
-Don't leave in the middle of Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Most classes usually end lying on the mat with the lights dimmed, also known as Savasana. 
This is a widely under-rated yoga pose but in actual fact this pose is so beneficial to everything that you have done in class! 
“Savasana is being without was, being without will be. It is being without anyone who is.”  
 - Light on Life, B.K.S. Iyengar
Believe it or not, Savasana is pose of total relaxation - making it one of the most challenging yoga asanas. It is intended to rejuvenate body, mind and spirit. So if you have 5 mins to spare after class, simply lie on your mat to reap all the benefits of your yoga practice. After that you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated, trust me. :)
-Leave quietly
If you are ready to leave the room, please do it quietly. Respect the private calm and personal time that your fellow yogis might be luxuriating in. Mindless chatter in rooms are discouraged, as this might be the only chance for you to be at peace and to do something for yourself. Take the first step on getting on a yoga mat and be amazed. Namaste~!
And if all fails ............
"Never let a bad day feel like you have a bad life."
I hope you enjoyed this little post of mine! I spent some time on this and I hope you might inspire you to make the change you have always wanted. Stay blessed and I wish you and your family a prosperous lunar new year! Celebrate the divine in you. 
Thank you my yoga teachers and fellow yogis for allowing me to take in all their wonderful knowledge and experience in yoga. I am deeply humbled by their grace and I honor their teachings and lessons that I learn, - Both on and off the mat. I thank you all. 
Will be back to reply tags tomorrow! 
Need to continue my spring cleaning session before the celebrations! Do leave me a tag if you have any questions - I'll be more than willing to answer them. :)
Disclaimer: This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. 

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  1. Hi Elaine, mind telling where u got your psyllium husk from?

  2. Hello! I got it from an Organic shop in Marine Parade central but u can find it easily in most organic shops :)

  3. Hi Elaine, may I know where did you get the Morlife Antiox Reds?

  4. Hello! U can get from most Organic shops or even the organic section of supermarkets like NTUC Finest, or bigger Cold Storage stores :)

  5. Hi Elaine

    Can i still do the daily detox (formula from your detox box) while taking the acaiberry weekend cleanse? Thanks =)

  6. Hi dear Anon!
    For best results, I think its better NOT to mix.
    I didnt mix mine.
    If u are a first timer, maybe u can try the Acai weekend cleanse first, becoz frankly the detox drink will really need some discipline. Everyday need to do the drink! But now Im used to it, if i dun drink i feel weird.
    Acai weekend is more for busy people or beginners - coz its very easy, all in tablet form.
    Maybe u can try it first, see how u react to it then decide if u want to buy all the Detox ingredients and make your own drink. :)
    I guess there is no right or right.. but wat u are more comfortable with :))))
    Hope this helps! xo

  7. Wonderful information! I also do yoga regularly with my personal trainer. It’s very effective and enjoyable physical activity.back pain and neck pain


Hello there, Pixie! Feel free to leave a comment, thanks! xo

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