Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Hi there! Welcome to my blog!
I'm very happy to see you here. I love to share my journey with you and for you to get to know me a little, and continue for many years to come. My journey to a Healthy Lifestyle and Happier Mindset.
My family is from Singapore, a compact and beautiful city-state country. Though I've lived and worked in several beautiful cities, Hong Kong, Sumatra, Melbourne, Lucerne, Bangkok, and Saudi Arabia. After the birth of my son, my family settled in California and have been here for 15 years.
I'm a mom, student, bookkeeper, avid reader, baking and often gardening enthusiasts, and above all a remarkable optimist. Blogging is something I'm doing for myself. Something creative to connect with like-minded souls. To share, learn, connect, and grow my community. I'd like to share my journey with Cleansing, Intermittent Fasting, and Nutrition. (Dislike using the word diet, it's too restrictive!) I welcome feedback and comments.
Well here goes...Seventeen years ago I hurt my right knee in a fall during a multi-board step class. There was a newbie in class and she came swinging the wrong direction towards me. I ducked to avoid getting hit in the face, slipped off the board, and went down on my right knee. The pain was so horrible I saw flashes of light! Turned out the injury was bad, though I didn't think so at that time. Figured resting & icing would do the trick.
No, no such luck! Persistent swelling and pain brought me to my GP's doorstep. Followed by a visit to an orthopedic specialist. X-ray was normal, so the next step was MRI. MRI reflected damage to the cartilage but could not discern the extent of the damage. To cut the story short, two years down the road I had to have knee surgery. The damaged cartilage was removed. It was almost brittle! Cartilage and ligaments do not regenerate or repair themselves. Who knew!
I had to completely revamp my life. No more running, jogging, or fitness training. The doctor recommended walking and swimming were fine once I healed, but all I heard was, "that's it! it's over!" Never liked swimming. I went for walks but never on an incline - it hurt too much, and I had to rest up otherwise I could feel my knee starting to burn. Doctors kept prescribing anti-inflammatory medicine - Asprin & Ibuprofen. Short-term they worked, but in the long run, I developed side effects. Rashes on my spine and it starting to affect my kidneys.
Months after my surgery, I started to put on weight. Diets didn't work in the long run as it was boring and I couldn't stick with them for more than a month. I would drop off a few pounds, mostly water weight before plateauing out. It was frustrating! To go from active and fit to not being able to run, jog, or even go for long walks. I began to feel low as I was missing out on my regular runs and joining my friends for activities.
The appearance of cardinals has spanned cultures & centuries as a symbol of the presence of spiritual messengers. Wearing these handpainted red, green & black accents to remember the loved ones who still surround us.
Watching my struggles with knee pain and general unhappiness, my grandmother asked me to try fasting - to start with no food for a minimum of 12 hours after dinner. She broke it down simply for me! She went on to explain the science behind it. Scholars and Yogis of old had been doing cleansing fast for eons. Cleansing fast had been an age-old practice, which had been pushed under the rug - forgotten or given no import in the 21st century. It has rebound in the form of Intermittent Fasting. (Get this, neither one of us had heard of Intermittent Fasting! This was 17 years ago.)
Fasting helps to cleanse the body. It helps the liver, spleen, and kidneys eliminate toxins. Fasting helps lower blood pressure and improves Brain Health. Eliminate toxins or waste. Cleansing is not done while we consume gallons of bone broth. Don't get me wrong, I love bone broth. It's beneficial for us, just take it during the eating window. I use broth in my soups, curries, and dumplings, it's an excellent way of boosting our recipes and great for our joints.
My grandmother now was in her late 70s. She woke up by 7 am every morning and walked for at least 30 mins before breakfast. She had type 1 diabetes which she controlled very well and was active for her age. Two things she did every day, light yoga stretches and she refrained from eating after 7.30 pm, basically when the sunset she stopped eating. I realized she was explaining in layman's term circadian rhythm! I was very impressed with her and she was delighted to coach me.
Seemed doable, my family usually ate around 6.30 pm, BUT I grazed after dinner. I snacked when I watched TV, while chatting, or reading a book, especially during weekends. That's my downtime! Healthy snacks, but still snacks and well into bedtime. Before my knee injury snacking wasn't an issue. I didn't give it a second thought, I was physically active and had no inflammation, weight issues, or joint pain.
Well, that's the preface, now here's how I revamped my life with my grandmother's help. My journey with Cleansing - Intermittent Fasting, Nutrition, Non-impact Jogging with Meditation and the mechanics behind this age-old practice.
"What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”
Demystified: Cleansing - Intermittent Fasting.
It was simple to execute. Don't eat after dinner. Drink plenty of water or hot tea (no milk, cream, or sugar). I drank freshly brewed hot green tea, turmeric & ginger tea (zero calories) with my meals and stopped an hour before bedtime. I drank turmeric & ginger tea to help combat inflammation. You can have any of your favorite tea. Have at least a cup of water (8 oz) upon rising in the morning.
By introducing water we neutralize stomach acids in our gut.
We flush out toxins and waste built up while we slept and rested from our liver and kidneys.
Continue sipping a cup of water or tea every hour until we break our fast.
I started with 14 hours of Intermittent Fasting - finishing my dinner by 7.30 pm almost every night. I kept to the 14 hour fasting period for the 1st month. Then increased to 15 - 16 hours in the subsequent months.
The 1st meal after breaking the fast should always be fruits. Any fruits, any number on an empty stomach. I mostly ate melons, berries, and citrus. I enjoyed a huge selection of tropical fruits year-round.
Eat slowly - I enjoyed and tasted every bite. I could taste the difference in the texture of the fruits and how much sweeter they were when I wasn't in a hurry. I cut up the fruits the night before and brought them to work with me the next morning. With 14 hours of fasting, I was breaking my fast around 9.30 to 10 am. This was the easiest for me! Finished the fruits, had a latte or green tea with a homemade nut bar or peanut butter on rye.
At 12 pm I would have my lunch. Usually, rice with vegetables & fish or some protein. Sometimes I would have sandwiches with avocado and tuna or turkey. On rare occasions, I would have black forest ham sandwiches. I made sure I was full and had plenty of fluids.
Unless I'm in the office working late I'm usually home for dinner by 6.30 pm. If I'm stuck in the office someone would go for a meal run and I'd finish eating by 7.30 pm.
My cravings for chips, chocolates, and desserts - I had myself some on weekends during my feasting window of 8 hours. I made sure I fasted for 16 hours during weekends. I made desserts with zero-calorie all-natural sugar. More in my next blog post! (Subscribe to receive a Free Fasting Guide Booklet)
It WORKED! My pain was bearable within 2 weeks. Everyone noticed I was groaning less and wasn't limping as much when tired! Started losing weight, my chin cleared up, and felt really, really good overall than I'd felt in a really long time!
My friends and colleagues commented on my general appearance and well being. They wanted to know if I was taking a new medication for either pain or weight loss!
I started this journey to fight inflammation and pain, but I gained so much more. I was sleeping better, felt better, was sharper and I was looking forward to doing more.
Friends reported it improved their Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) immensely. It must be the resting phase where their digestive system gets a break to rest and heal.
Over the next few months, I incorporated slow jogging coupled with meditation. I would never be able to sprint or get my black belt, it was okay. I was okay with it! More focused, not warring with myself, enjoying my life again I reached my zen in the months to come!
I was and will forever be grateful to my grandmother for teaching, coaching, and encouraging me. She took delight in my progress. I have always loved my grandmother very much, now my appreciation for her grew leaps and bound!
I've attached a video where Dr. Jason Fung explains this age-old practice, its benefits, and the science behind it very well. Stay tuned for more on nutrition, recipes, non-impact slow jogging coupled with a meditation on my next blog...