Sick Days

2012 has not been a good year for me in terms of health. I’m sick all the time, so I should just start telling you when I’m not sick, and let that be news. But let’s be real: when you’re sick, there isn’t much else to do except complain that you’re sick. Hence this entry.

I wrote about my allergic reaction to something unknown some time back and it’s still happening. I get itchy bumps and rashes daily and UNIVERSE, PICK ON SOMEBODY ELSE, THIS SUCKS! I’m seeing a skin specialist on Friday but these things are easier to treat blindly than find the cause of and blind treatment so far hasn’t suppressed the symptoms entirely for me. I don’t know what I should expect.

The Chinese believe in wearing red to ward off evil and bad luck in bad years. Maybe I should start wearing red panties.

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Not So Fine Days

For the past few weeks, I’ve been having an allergic reaction to… something unknown. A doctor thought the red bumps were insect bites, but I kept getting them when no one else was affected! The bumps appeared all over and were so itchy! When they got better, they left darkened marks. Let’s just say I’m not crazy about them.

I’ve tried applying all sorts of cream, but they didn’t help. The doctor said finding the responsible allergent was akin to a witch hunt, and so she put me on antihistamines for a month, just to treat the symptoms. I have to tell you guys, be extremely grateful if you’re lucky and not allergic to anything! I took it for granted and now I can’t think of anything I wish more. I can’t ignore the itches, they’re always there at the back of my mind, and it’s damn irritating!

I didn’t think twice when my colleague Yulina suggested that I try traditional medicines. I was desperate. Traditional chinese physicians are still common and respected in Singapore, so it wasn’t difficult to find a clinic. The doctor did not speak much English but seemed to grasp my condition just fine and prescibed me enough bitter powder medicine to last for a week.

I’m taking both the antihistamines and unknown powder now, twice a day, 1-2 hours apart. The itchiness has subsided, but new bumps are still appearing every day. Because I’m vain, I worry about the scars and marks they’ll leave everywhere! Any helpful advice?

Weighing In

Today’s my first day back at work in Singapore after my Brisbane trip, and a friend of mine, Jan, asked me if I was ill-treated in Brisbane because I seemed to have lost some weight. Hmmm.

I know I am a little on the skinny side these days (I used to weigh 50 kg in high school, that was considered normal, and now I am a little under), but in Singapore, where most girls my height (almost 160 cm, in case you’re wondering) weigh about 45 kg, I do not stand out at all. I am the only girl in my team at work who actually finishes her lunch, and I don’t fret about every single food item I put into my body because I enjoy eating and I’d like to think I lead quite an active life. Not as sporty as some, but not as sedentary as others.

If I fuss about what I eat, it’s because recently I’m more aware about their nutritional values. I didn’t eat my vegetables until I was in high school, so I have to make up for those times! And I am more well read on health issues, not to mention have relatives and friends who are health-conscious and advocates of vegetarianism. They help shape the way I regard food nowadays.

Some girls have boyfriends who tell them they should slim down or stay skinny to be attractive (I know some, it’s quite common here in Asia). Not V. I could rely on him to forcefeed me when I am lazy to eat and exercise with me if I do get too chubby for my own good. And most importantly? He never stops telling me I look great the way I am.

Eating for Your Health

If I look at myself and my eating habit these days, it’s hard to imagine I was one of the kids who avoided vegetables at all cost growing up. I incorporate vegetables in all of my meals now, and believe it or not, V and I drink smoothies of blended vegetables and fruits for dinner or breakfast most days of the week!

The original recipe involved spinach,¬†romaine lettuce, celery,¬†apple, pear, lemon, and banana. It was a great way to get started as the resulting smoothies will be sweet and pleasant. But V and I have since mixed things up and used tomatoes, kiwis, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mangoes, papayas, lemons, and honey! Different fruits give you different benefits, and if you’re lucky, you come across winning combinations you’ll really love.

Doing this means you do not need to worry too much over your food intake for the rest of the day as the smoothies will satisfy your body requirement for vitamins and fibres for the day. Blended, they’re very easily digested too, in a shorter amount of time. The fact that they’re consumed raw is also a health benefit, but don’t forget to buy organic vegetables and fruits, especially for those we do not peel or have thin skin, so you don’t take in the chemicals that might be used to grow them. Go try and enjoy!

Delicious, Simple Semi-Vegetarian Meal

Yesterday V and I had these for dinner:
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They are custom-made rice rolls from QQ Rice, a relatively new health food establishment in Jurong Point. You basically get to choose your own rice, the toppings you want stuffed inside it, and the sauce. Each is priced at $4.2 to $4.5. The triangle-shaped ones are snack rolls. They’re smaller, pre-stuffed, and cheaper at $2.

What I like about these rolls is how healthy they are. The choices of rice are complex carbohydrates with lots of fibers (brown rice, red rice, purple rice, multi grain rice, …), and they have much more types of vegetables than meat products in their toppings selection. V and I are semi-vegetarian, so in our rolls we had braised nuts, kidney beans, french beans, mushrooms, seaweed, corn, eggs, and salmon floss. Would you look at that combination of colors!

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Remember to eat well, everyone!