I am so in love with Natto now.. seems to help me with my digestion. I guess its kinda like tempeh. I also guess its kinda also has properties like yogurt. Honestly I cringed and cried at how its tasted the first time… it is an acquired taste. It actually pretty easy to get here where I live (although far away from Japan)…
I like the fact that its stashed in the freezer.. no need to cook it. Thaw.. serve on rice or cooked grains.. and done. I am very sure its low fat.
First of all… What the heck is Konnyakku? click here for a good explaination… hahaha!
If you have read the article … its very healthy way of sweeping the tummy and if you can find the ones ready made you can add it to lots of stews or soups for a no calorie but very filling alternative to help you feel full but reduce the amount of red meat or carbohydrates you are eating. My favorite is to cook it in daging masak kicap or malaysian beef simmered in soya sauce.
It had been very hot lately and a good way to help my son feel cool during an afternoon at school is jellies. I also want to give him a dose of sugar and citric acid to help him with the dust floating around the air lately… it will help reduce the inflammation. Today its especially bad… the haze is back.
A simple solution is making konnyaku jellies. It comes conveniently in powder form and you can adjust the amount of sugar. You can also use juice instead of just water.
My son goes to school in the afternoon from 1pm to 6.30pm and he will have recess at around 3pm. No air cond… a typical school in the tropics.. hot an humid. Thanks to the Daiso shops around I an get so many cool Japanese ‘bento’ gadgets to help me pack a good snack for my son.
I found these cute Rubbermaid pots, enough to place single servings. Added fruits, since today is very hazy and dusty I am choosing strawberries and vallencia oranges. just cut up and place in cup. It will be warmed by the jelly so it will be ‘cooked’ somewhat. That will help to preserve the fruit too. I followed the instructions on the packet and had a about a cup left over so I just kept that to make make jelly cubes for later.
After making the jelly I placed it in a jug so its easier to pour in the cups but you can use ladles of course.
Then transfer to the fridge to set and cool about an hour. The cool thing about konnyaku is that it doesn’t melt so sensitively to heat so with a small ice pack in the lunch bag it can last till snack time for my son. When the days get cooler I hope to pack jellies made with agar.
All packed and ready… the small lunch bag reusable ice pack included to keep jelly cool… Why I love Daiso shops? even I can be a ‘Japanese’ mommy packing bentos… except the Rubbermaid pot all items are bought in Daiso for RM 5 each (some items come more than one a set)… even the spoon!
Just incase you were wondering what is in the triangular box?
Its onigiri! Rice ball. Just rice flavoured with sweet soya sauce wrapped in roasted seaweed sheet. My son’s favourite.
I do wish it would rain today. It will bring great relief to the dust problem. Poor kids in school inhaling the horrible haze. I hope everyone will have a good week ahead.
Jamie oliver making rolled oats porridge… see its good!!!… I have a few recipes here too. Savory or sweet… delicious!
Groggy Friday morning… Boost from a cheery breakfast. Strawberry Rolled Oats Porridge topped with Mini Marshmallows…
One for me the mama bear, my sister bear and baby bear… Went off smiling to school and work.
1 cup Rolled Oats
2 cups whole milk
1 cup water
2 tablespoon sugar
2 frozen strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan, medium low flame, slowly bring up to boil. When its boiling keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Cook until your desired consistency. About 20 minutes from start to finish.
You can add more liquid to it if you like a runnier porridge similarly less liquid if you want a thicker gooey one. Also change the milk/water ratio depending how creamy you want it.
Happy Friday :)
"Arnie the Doughnut!"
"ARNIE…. Turn out just the kind … of donut he hooup.. edd heee ED be..
Chocolate covered with birght coloured candeee SPRinkles”
Number 1 !! cut into ring with Ringy Dingy doughnut making Thingy..
NUMBER TWOOO!!! Deep fried……. ” read out loud by my son who is 6.
I found the book maybe a little more than a year ago in the camp library in Saudi. It was so hilarious we loved reading it again and again…. although I was kinda glad the 2 weeks were due because my throat is kinda drying out from reading it out loud 3 times a day.. hahahaha!
Now back in Kuala Lumpur we are proud owner of this lovely book thanks to the Bookalicious bookstore in Summit USJ who helped us get hold of it.
Its about … a doughnut… named Arnie… HAHAHAHA… he was bought by a man and got a big surprise!!
So without giving out the wonderful story I liked how they figured out what to do since Arnie didn’t like the surprise very much.
More excerpt of Arnie here Laurie Keller: Arnie the Doughnut
One year ago really made a lot of difference… this proud momma is happy to hear my son reading it on his own… Awwwww…. he is (according to his school principal) the best reader in his class…
So now Arnie the Doughnut marks another milestone for me, hearing him read, laughing at the jokes and enjoying the quirky notes around the illustrations! …. sigh… he has grown up yet a little more. :)
"look look mama! steel belted radiator doughnut!… AHA!! Ahahahaha!" craking up by himself..
I love books… now I love books even more because its something we share together mother and son :)
We started reading to Ghazi when he was probably 4 months old! My mom thought I was nuts. HAHAHA… then he started having a favourite book, "Madeline loves Animals" by John Bemelmans Marciano and phew EVERY single NIGHT we had to read it to him at bedtime. He was maybe 2, it lasted for a year!
When he was about 3 and the half … my mom came to sleep over and he made my mom read him his favourite at the time "I am Really, Really Concentrating (Charlie and Lola)" by Lauren Child. So were all snuggled up in bed, Grandma read…. so fast and she was trying to finish it quickly and skipped a page…
"HEY!! Gramma gramma wait!! wait! you missed this….. "
I burst out laughing.. “there you go mama (my mama), he knows!!! ha! now i know why I don’t remember you reading to me… its was probably too fast!”
She was probably trying to get out of it then.. and now (with the grandson) HAHAHAHAHA!
I all am for reading before bedtime (or anytime!). Its a very close and personal interaction with the child and you can develop so many things just in that couple of minutes. Books can do wonders and you can never start too early!
Looks like this time my move from Saudi Arabia to Kuala Lumpur is not as smooth as the previous ones and for once… hahaha.. I am very very busy.
We decided to do a lot of repairs on the house and maybe a brand spanking new kitchen for me.
For some reason all this home repairs, home furnishing, movers, unpacking and kitchen designing really makes me feel like a full fledge homemaker… because here I am choosing fabrics from curtain contractors at home with a lot of sample, choosing paint colours, roof tiles, cabinets, counter tops… lots of appointments with different contractors.. PHEW.. its not that I haven’t done it before but I have not done everything all at once.
Except for today I really had not enough time just to sit and write out my thoughts… which are plenty by the way… HAHAHA hopefully by the time the dust all settles down .. literally… I can happily type away to share again.. :)
If I am lucky we should be done just before mid February.
I am really missing my life with my friends in Saudi but I am also having fun with my life long friends and sister who is helping us getting settled in. Its hard work but yes when all is done its time to put my feet up and enjoy.
I hope everyone has a fantastic new year ahead and I will see you soon.
Last post from me was a couple of months ago… but not without reason. :)
I have been saying I had problems with my wrist and finally I got it check with my doctor in Kuala Lumpur since we were there for vacation. I got a diagnose… it had something to do with a vein inflaming from overuse. I will delve deeper about that soon.
I find that for now… its so much simpler to go back to the hospital that has all your medical history and I don’t have to explain so much about every single thing. Seems medically, being nomadic ain’t a good idea. Doctors, hospitals, therapist… if it doesn’t feel right.. most likely it won’t be right for you..
Taking a break from my medical endeavors another situation has arrived in July. My husband found an opportunity to move back to Malaysia. I am not too happy about it.. to the point of being depressed… seemed silly now but at that time I was not ready to pack up (AGAIN!) just when I’ve set everything in place in the house, I wasn’t ready to leave my new found … umm stuff-i-can-only-do-here … in short I was against it kicking and screaming. I felt that my adventures here in Saudi was not complete and I didn’t want to go home just yet.
After simmering my thoughts for months I kinda got so depressed that I couldn’t do anything… no mood to exercise… no mood to cook… no mood to eat.. and guess what? I ballooned up like crazy. No need for weighing scales.. my clothes don’t fit.
Yes so there you go.. When I am depressed.. I get fat.
I felt that although I knew not eating and exercising regularly will effect me physically, aches and pain will come back but in my head, I was at a dead end. Misery, dark and so unhappy… I did ran on the treadmill but I just couldn’t enjoy it… so finally I gave in.. LETS BE MISERABLE… eat whatever, do whatever… CRY OH CRY…
Somehow after couple of weeks… after sharing it with my close friends here.. and we got so sad… and we talked about it… slowly things began to become better. Yes its still not fun leaving such wonderful friends I’ve made here but we had to go and thats that! :P
I think I have to thank my husband for being so understanding… he didn’t force me to deal with it and forcing someone to come to terms is never a good thing do because the grudging afterwards I think will never pass completely.
With the time I have left in Saudi (about 7 days to date of post) … I will make the best of it and cherish the time with my friends here.
On the other hand my physical health… hmmm sad to say has taken a toll.. but never-mind, I can repair it slowly slowly again just as I have before.
So its important for me to note down things like this because I need to remember that no matter how bleak and sad things are not working out for me. I can rise up to the occasion and make the best of it eventually.
Its important to feel sad sometimes to understand what makes you truly happy and to keep reminding that being ourselves is about the Mind… is about the Body .. and how we nourish it. Not forgetting also we are human, not meant to be perfect.
This is also a great time for me to make a U-turn.
The house is packed and loaded up in a container, waiting to be shipped and we will start a new life in a very familiar place.. which is supposed to be a good point. *wink*
Wish me all the best! hehe…
My biggest problem when trying to loose weight was, is and always about food. This kind of food guide is very handy because it shows literally how to compare the food we choose to consume.
A lot of times an average well meaning person don’t want to stuff down less healthy things but the information given like say in the labels or the menu can be a little misleading (maybe intentional.. maybe not..)
This book is intended for Americans so maybe non American not shopping and eating in America cannot use it exactly but it can be a reference to how you make the comparison between what goes in a meal, how its prepared and learn about reading labels.
The book gives a lot of comparison from cereals, sauces, pasta to potato chips. About salt or sugar content, seasoning and additives you might not be aware of.
The restaurant guides I find most interesting and nowadays American style food is available and popular in other countries. McDonald’s like the above is the best example. In my very far away town in the dessert of Saudi Arabia you can still drive through to get a Big Mac.
In general if you are dining out on anything creamy, crunchy or crispy means more calories. So If I have a heavy meal I’d stick to just water but if I’d like a creamier drink I’d choose a lighter meal.
This guide by David Zinczenko is a good starting point if you want to learn about how to compare food choices. He also wrote a few version of this series.