Thursday, July 18, 2019

The importance of resistance exercise | BH spinning dumb bells review

I have recently written about how to design an individualized exercise prescription using the FITT principle.  One of the component of a good exercise regime is to include resistance training.

Resistance exercise is also called weight or strength training. It helps to build up the strength,  endurance and the size of the muscles. This is because a resistance force that is repetitive and consistent will make the muscles work to overcome it. Besides muscles,  resistance training is also beneficial for joint function, bone density, muscle, tendon and ligament strength.

The key points for a good resistance exercise is to repeat the same sets with rest in between with progressive overload (intensify frequency,  lengthen duration,  increase reps/sets, increase weight). The type of exercise should be changed periodically because each exercise only trains specific muscles. A good recovery time of 48hours should be given afterwards to allow muscle repair and adaptation.

One of the ways to get good resistance training is using spinning dumbbells.  BH Fitness is the leading specialist in designing this piece of fitness equipment.

Spinning dumbbells are relatively small and lightweight to allow resistance exercise, even on the go. The dumbbells spin during exercise either clockwise or anticlockwise using what's called centripetal force.  This quadruple the efficiency of resistance training using conventional dumbbells.

Individual muscle groups can be trained separately using BH spinning dumbbells. The dumbbells can be swung overhead for warm up. Then,  use the rules of 3- 3minutes each rep and 3sets each rep . For arms training,  the brachioradialis, deltoid, triceps and biceps are included.

The hips can be trained by sliding the dumbbells forward and stretching the hip muscles. Besides that,  the spinning dumbbells can also strengthen core muscles and back muscles. For a complete set of resistance workup, one can refer to the BH fitness product guide link I  provide at the end of the article.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

The BH spinning dumbbells are light and easy to carry, even my three year old toddler can pick it up easily. There's a anti slip and anti sweat grip that's comfortable and does not cause sore hands or even abrasion with repetitive training. They are also durable. Bing boy had thrown it onto the floor before without injuring himself,  damaging the flooring nor breaking the dumbbells. A single set can allow training for the whole body at home without the need to head to the gym.

Those serious in getting back in shape can head on to BH Fitness website to get your very own spinning dumbbells at RM129 now. That's so much cheaper than a gym membership.

Is fabric conditioner necessary? | COMFORT Luxury Nature Fabric Conditioner Review

Doing laundry has its own art as well. Laundry detergent is meant to cleanse dirt (dust, hair, skin, food particles and germs) away. But laundry conditioner, just like hair conditioner, is important in protecting our clothes. It lubricates, strengthens the fabrics and reduces friction between the clothes. This prevents piling, fuzz, colour fading and helps to maintain the clothes in their original shapes. Certain fabric conditioners help to soften the clothes as well. Therefore a good laundry conditioner is as important as a good laundry detergent.

I have recently received COMFORT Luxury Nature Fabric Softener from the Home Tester Club. It used to come in 4 scents: Glamour Orange, Fresh Green, Elegance Purple and Romance Pink. But the latest innovation is what is called air activated perfume. As air interacts with the fabric, a luxurious lilly fragrance is released which is lasting.

How to use the fabric softener?

For hand wash:
Use after rinsing the detergent out of the clothes.
Only half a cap is needed for 10L of water
Soak clothes for 10-15minutes.
Dry clothes.

For machine wash:
Use 1 cap -- only add after the washing cycle is completed to avoid washing away the softener completely.
If there is no dispenser, add the fabric softener into water pockets and not directly onto the clothes to prevent chance of staining.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

Using fabric conditioner is just as important as how I would use hair conditioner. It makes the clothes more durable, smells better (especially doing laundry in the rainy season) and softer to wear. COMFORT Luxury Nature Fabric Conditioner is an affordable and effective solution to soften and condition our laundry.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Best Thai Dessert in KL | Veggielicious Thai Cuisine PJ Review

If Rama V  has the best Thai cuisine in KL area, I would say Veggielicious Thai Cuisine in section 17 has the best vegeterian Thai food and dessert in town. 

Veggielicious Thai Cuisine
Address: 17-G, Jalan 17/56, Seksyen 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Telephone 03-7931 3299
Opens daily except mondays 11.30am-2.30pm, 6-10pm

Even though I only had 2 photos of our dining experience there, I highly recommend if you want a decent vegetarian meal. It did not feel as if I was having vegetarian at all. We ordered sweet and sour 'fish' (made of tofu and seaweed), luohan vegetables (a mixture of stir fry bean curd skin, glass noodles, black fungus, shitake mushrrom and carrot), mango kerabu salad, fried tempeh with fried peanuts, green curry, red tom yum and egg tofu stew with mixed vegetables. The flavours were balanced and the texture interesting.

The highlight of the meal was the dessert.

Red Ruby 

Fresh and crunchy water chestnut cubes were coated by tapioca flour in attractive ruby colour, resembling the gemstone. It went so well with the jackfruit slices that made us wanting for more even after we finished. The shaved ice with coconut milk was a welcomed taste especially during hot weather.

Mango Sticky Rice

A classic Thai dessert, this is also a must try at Veggielicious Thai. The glutinous rice was warm and dense yet not too thick. Drizzled with a generous amount of coconut milk, it made the rice even more fragrant. Topped with cripsy yellow mung beans, it is a great contrast in terms of texture. The mangoes were just riped and fresh, sweet and went very well with the glutinous rice. It brings about a very homey feeling.

Our verdict was 8/10! Having vegetarian meals do not have to be boring. One just need to know great places to hang out such as this or Zao Zi Shu as I have previously blogged before.

Lunch Date in Kuntan | Loft by Loteng Food Review

We have been wanting to try Loft but it's always crowded. So one fine afternoon we managed to beat the crowd and arrived when the place was still quiet. If you want to really enjoy the place, I will suggest to reach slightly before 12noon.

Loft by Loteng
A37, Jalan Dato Lim Hoe Lek Taman Union, Jalan Dato Lim Hoe Lek, Taman Union, 25200 Kuantan, Pahang
012-318 8949
Opens daily 12–11pm

Our attention was first drawn by the attractive range of dessert (cheesecake and icecreams) on display. We decided to dine upstairs as it was hotter and stuffier downstairs. Fairly comfortable air-conditioned dining environment.

These were the lunchset menus. Each main dish comes with a free beverage (lemongrass drink/iced tea/hot green tea) and a free scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

The complimentary scoop of icecream was creamy and rich. But we would appreciate it to be served after we finished our main meal. Because by the time we finished, it was almost all melted. It was brought out without asking us which was a minor letdown.

We chose the Serai Aroma drink which was fragant and surprisingly not sweet.

Mango Kerabu Tempura Chicken Chop

I love how crispy and juicy the chickn chop was. The portion was generous. One has to eat it fairly quickly or else the vinegrette from the Mango Kerabu salad will render the chicken chop soggy. The Mango Kerabu was refreshing and tasted sweet and spicy. The surprise element was the coriander which stood out beautifully and brought the flavours together. Chips were hot and crunchy as well.

Tom Yum Bee Hoon Soup

The Tom Yum was fiery enough to my liking. Coconut milk was added, perhaps to a more Malaysianised taste. Big portion and could easily feed a very hungry grown up man. The ingredients were also fresh. To be honest, the presentation looked so much more humble than the strong kick that it gives.

Durian King Ice-Cream

This was the main reason why we wanted to try the Loft out. Not a fan of durian food product, but the presentation really made us wanting to try this Durian King icecream out. Made of fresh durian flesh, it was rich yet not too overpowering. Smooth and made us feel like gobbling the whole icecream. The 'thorns' were made of piped matcha cream frosting and we got a bit sick after having a quarter of it though.

Our verdict 7.5/10! Affordable price and cosy environment. Yummy food but we thought the staff could be more attentive and efficient.

A Weekend Business Trip at Pullman bangsar KL

This business trip was my first ever attempt to leave both baby Yi and Bing boy under the care of my parents and husband. I decided not to bring them along as I would only be away for one and a half day. The separation anxiety was not really there by the time I drove out of the house because I had already prompted Bing boy a few days beforehand but it certainly took him a while to accept that mommy was not going to put him to sleep on Saturday night. 

With the newly found 'me time', I arrived at Pullman Hotel Bangsar an hour ahead of the scheduled meeting. 

Unfortunately, the rooms were not ready yet so I had to leave my luggage at the concierge. Since I would be pumping, I asked about leaving my ice blocks in the hotel fridge but it was not possible due to worries about cross contamination. I was reassured that the hotel would be able to provide me a bag of ice though upon check out the next day. I was glad that I checked in before the meeting started because there was a long queue because they advised to only check in after the day ended. 

No. 1, Jalan Pantai Jaya, Tower 3, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 (3) 2298 1888 
Fax: +60 (3) 2298 1999

The room was too spacious for me alone to be honest! It's what everything a 5 star hotel should be. Comfortable, fluffy pillows and fresh beddings. A working desk. Flat screened TV with satellite TV channels. Tea making station with bar fridge (no freezer compartment). The fridge was bug enough to fit all my expressed breastmilk- about 20 oz worth. A safe. 2 bathrobes with iron in the wardrobe. 

The bathroom was equally fabulous. 

I could finally enjoy the whole big bathtub to myself. But this tub could easily fit 2 people and it took about 15miutes to fill it up. 

The toiletries provided was of good quality. Hair dryer was also available. 

I even managed to squeeze 30minutes time each for a quick swimming before dinner and cycling trip after dinner.

The highlight of the hotel stay was definitely the food!

Dinner was spectacular with seafood theme. It featured Chinese, Malay, northern Indian, Japanese and Western menu. From sashimi (salmon, tuna, octopus), iced seafood (scallops, prawns, crabs and oysters), grilled seafood, seafood hotpot (soup choices- chicken, prawn or tomyum broth). 

The standard rice dishes, brocolli cream soup, pizza, bread, salad bar and soup noodles were also available. 

The dessert section was so colourful with tempting chocolate fountain and a great selection of local kuih muih.

The other side has assorted cakes, very rich brownies (to die for!) and cashew chocolate cones, not to mention their yummy ice-cream and shaved ice stations. 

The breakfast was of equally good standard and variety. My favorite is their croissants and danish with fresh delicious salad bar. Their bread is soft and still warm. 

They also have one of the freshest and cheese selection! Love it to bits. 

I would easily rate my weekend stay a 8/10! Very impressed and exceeded my expectations. Definitely would consider staying at Pullman Bangsar again.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Is probiotic skincare worth the hype? | Suzuki Herb Probiotics Lotion by Japan Premium

Here comes another popular Japanese skincare product from Japan Premium! Our skin will not be healthy without adequate moisture. Besides hydrating ourselves with fluids, we also need to protect our skin by applying moisturizer. Besides dry and flaky skin, dehydrated skin may also manifest as sensitive skin prone to itchy rash/eczema, when makeup does not adhere well and appear in blotches. It may also cause premature skin aging and make fine lines appear much earlier.

Many of us may have come across using water after being rinsed with rice as a remedy for dry skin. The Suzuki Herb Probiotics Lotion is formulated from the same principle. This is because this water contains important probiotics for our skin.

The use of probiotics in alleviating gut problems such as indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome is well described and has many anecdotal evidence in the literature. But do you know that probiotics can also be helpful for our skin? The normal healthy skin contains a balanced bacterial microbiota.

Probiotic skincare products help to maintain a balanced state of the skin.  It makes the skin neither too oily nor too dry and tones down inflammation- the secret to a flawless glow.

This includes the staphylococcus species which is important to retain moisture and oil balance on the skin, as well as to strengthen our skin's ability to function as a protective barrier against irritants, pollutants,  UV and harmful bugs. Skin staphylococcus does this by breaking down sebum into glycerin which is a moisturizing ingredient found in many skincare products. It also produces antibacterial peptides to fight against bad bacteria which cause inflammation .

The other active ingredients found in the Suzuki Herb Probiotics Lotion are as follow:

- Lactobacillus La Flora:
This is a good bug with registered trademark under Ichimaru Faruco Ltd. It functions as a bug which produces lactic acid which increase the amount of moisture in the skin, protect the skin against sun damage and improve the skin's natural barrier function.

Lactobacillus also helps by maintaining the skin's weakly acidic pH balance which is often disrupted due to sweating and excessive sun exposure.

- Lactoferrin/yoghurt/whey protein:
These ingredients are found abundantly in human liquid gold aka breast milk as well. They contain collagen and amino acids that are essential in making the skin supple, firm and radiant.

- Chlorella/Aloe Vera/Scarlet roots:
This combination works well to soothe irritated skin,  further alleviates inflammation and prevent breakouts.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

I love how hydrated my skin feels after using the lotion twice a day after cleansing. It works fast within minutes and I could feel the instant boost. The lotion is also suitable for use on both the face and the whole body.

Suzuki Herb Probiotic Lotion is available at Japan Premium. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Local comfort food | Home Coffee Cafe 关丹全家咖啡 Kuantan

Since we got off from clinic early today,  we decided to grab some local food from the new cafe opposite to Sultan Abu Bakar School and near Meng Fang Kopitiam.

Home Coffee Cafe 全家咖啡
B-1453 Taman City,  Jalan Beserah, 25300 Kuantan.

We really love the bright sitting in the cafe.  It's comfortable and air-conditioned!  We enjoy the clean and spacious dining environment.

Since its grand opening, Home Coffee Cafe is serving hot food from breakfast until late afternoon.

There are 3 main hot food options:
-Nasi Lemak with optional sunny side egg,  fried chicken and  curry chicken
-Pan Mee soup
-Penang fried kuay teow

Various local drinks are available from barley,  tea and Milo (an all time favorite malt drink). But our favorite will always be their hot coffee. It's thick,  aromatic and the bitterness is well balanced by the milk. We could easily smell it from far.

The Nasi Lemak is well cooked with a nice screwpine fragrance. Topped with crispy fried anchovy and sweet sambal, it goes so well with the sunny side up egg and thick curry gravy. The fried chicken is crunchy yet still juicy inside.

Pan Mee, on the other hand,  is pipping hot with clear broth which has a homey taste.  The portion is generous with large and fresh fish balls,  as well as sliced pork and homemade pork balls.  The noodles are springy and thin. 

Overall,  our verdict is 7.5/10! We look forward to future addition to the menu.

Monday, July 8, 2019

How to whiten pigmented skin | Ibiza Cream Japan Premium Review

Certain areas of our skin darken easily. Examples include elbows,  knees,  underarms, bra line and bikini lines. This is due to the deposition of excessive melanin in that area.  It makes people feel inferior and try to hide these areas because dark areas look 'dirty'. How to make us feel in our skin again,  literally?

How can we prevent these skin areas from getting darkened? Be gentle to that area by avoiding harsh shaving, tight clothing or lingerie resulting in chafe and repetitive friction. But, what if these skin areas are already pigmented? Besides painful lasers, Ibiza cream offers a painless and effective alternative to whiten the areas mentioned. There are many other ways to lighten skin colour, including skin bleaching, skin lighteners, chemical peels and microdermabrasion. The pros and cons are discussed in this WebMD article.

Ibiza cream is classified as a 'Quasi Drug' by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. It has been proven clinically to be able to reduce skin inflammation. Quasi drugs mean that Ibiza cream contains potent active ingredients that makes it grouped between cosmetics and medications proper. These are tranexamic acid which whitens the skin, as well as glycyrrhizate that soothes and smoothens the irritated skin.

Hailing from Japan, Ibiza cream harness the goodness of phytonutrients as well.

It contains 2 types of nano capsules which melts and penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin to suppress melanin formation.
- Whitening support capsules (hydrolozed Tong Sun, chamomile and alpinia katsumadai seed)
- Anti-glycation capsules (Sakura leaf, plum, soybean)

There are also 8 additional ingredients that make Ibiza cream moisturizing to the skin with deep penetration, namely vitamin E, stearoyl phytospingosine, rose water, sodium lactate, hydrogenated soybean phospholipid, glycerin, pentadiol and butylene glycol.

Ibiza cream is also free of potential irritants and allergens such as artificial fragrance, artificial colorant, mineral oil, parabens and alcohol. Since it's gentle and suitable for use at private delicate skin areas, it can also be used on other parts of the skin which has pigmentation problems.

How to use Ibiza cream?

1. After shower, apply Ibiza cream at the desired areas at least twice a day,
2. Apply at least 1 cm larger than the pigmented area.
3. Gently massage the cream in by drawing a circle 5 times.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

It is great that skin whitening at our delicate areas can be painless by using Ibiza cream. I love how lightweight and non-greasy the product is. Ibiza cream is effective but the effect is gradual after 2 months so one needs to be consistent and patient about it. Since it can be used for the whole body, it is a useful product to have for everyone. The tube size is convenient to carry around even if you travel frequently and each tube can last about a month depending on use.

It is now so much easier to get our hands on great Japanese products like Ibiza cream in Malaysia. This is because Japan Premium offers a comprehensive range of high quality Japanese products from cosmetics, skincare products to food delivered straight to your doorstep at a much lower price tag.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Tips of choosing and applying sunscreen | Japan Premium Nalc Sunscreen Review

Excessive sun exposure can be harmful to the skin.  Not only does it cause premature skin aging called photoaging,  it may also cause skin cancers which can spread such as melanoma. In the short term,  UV exposure can cause sunburn and skin damage.  Later on,  photoaging creates dry skin, lines,  wrinkles, skin pigmentation, freckles and sun spots. This makes sun protection and a good sunscreen in our tropical country extremely important.

The slip,  slop, slap slogan summarises  beautifully what should be done to protect against harmful UV rays. It's a successful health campaign that advises people especially Australians to slip on T shirt,  slop generously on sun screen, slide on sunglasses and slap on a hat between 11am to 3pm when the UV is at its strongest. This managed to reduce the incidence of melanoma.

Nalc sunscreen utilises the latest three phase emulsification technology to make sure that even with moisture, it doesn't reemulsify and get washed off which makes it really water proof. This technology also eliminates the need of using surfactant in the sunscreen,  rendering the UV gel suitable for sensitive skin and children use. However it get removed easily with soap and facial cleanser.

Nalc sunscreen has a SPF (sun protection factor)  of 50+ PA++++. Generally speaking,  a SPF of 30 filters 96.7% of UVB and SPF50 filters 98%. Nalc sunscreen is broad spectrum, which means it also protects against UVA (PA++++). The average-sized adult needs a teaspoon of sunscreen for head and neck, each limb and for the front and the back of the body. Sunscreen needs to be applied 20 minutes before heading outdoors and re-applied every two hours and earlier after water activities or excessive sweating.

The other active ingredients /phytonutrients in Nalc sunscreen are as follows:

-hyaluronic acid prevents skin dehydration after sun exposure

-Glycyrrhizinate dampens skin inflammation after sun exposure.

- Clara extract keeps tyrosinase activities in check to avoid skin pigmentation, wrinkles and saggy skin formation.

Not only that Nalc sunscreen is also free of harmful additives such as parabens, alcohol,  mineral oil,  artificial colorants and surfactant.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

Nalc sunscreen is a great sunscreen because it provides broad spectrum UV protection. It's light and easy to bring during traveling.  I only have to bring one for my family of 4 with 2 young children.  It's not sticky,  spreads well. There's no white residues left after application. I also love to use it before I apply foundation on my face as a base.

Can't find this product from Malaysian supermarket shelves?  Don't worry. Nalc sunscreen can be purchased online from Japan Premium now.

Acne Buster | Japan Premium Null Face Wash Review

We can't help but notice that Japanese generally have tiptop skin condition,  even for those who are aging. Most of them look so refined and elegant. So the secret must lie in the skincare products they use. That's why I love 100% authentic imported Japanese products from Japan Premium.

Null Face Wash is a must have for both men and women who are troubled by acne. Acne vulgaris can affect adolescents as well as adults.  Acne is formed due to excessive keratin production in the follicles, as well as  too much sebum clogging the pores, resulting in bacteria proliferation and inflammation. Male hormones can further aggravate breakouts.

There are many active ingredients aka phytonutrients used in Null Face Wash

Glycyrrhizate- anti-inflammatory, soothes the irritated skin and prevent acne from forming

Hamamelis, Gingko biloba & Chamomile- powerful phytonutrient which softens the skin and reduce appearance of acne scars

Artichoke,  soybean and Scutellaria Baicalensis- form the basis of the bubble foam that cleanse in depth and exfoliate gently to achieve a radiant glow.

Aloe Vera and collagen- great moisturiser and contains hyaluronic acid which maintains skin elasticity.

Lime essential oil- this gives the facial wash a refreshing smell and rejuvenates the skin

Null Face Wash is also free of paraben,mineral oil, alcohol,  artificial coloring, artificial  fragrance  and petroleum surfactant agents.  These are potential allergens or irritants to skin. 

How to use?

1. Apply 2-3cm onto a wet face washing net.
2. To create foam,  rub the net between the hands.
3. Apply the foam lightly onto the face with minimal contact to the skin.
4. Rinse off with water and avoid rubbing the skin.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

I love plant based products because they are natural yet effective.  Null Face Wash is a great product that has multiple functions by cleansing,  exfoliating and moisturising,  as well as reducing inflammation and preventing acne formation. This simplifies our daily skincare regime.

Null Face Wash makes a perfect acne buster and birthday gift for your boyfriend/spouse.  Purchase it from Japan Premium now.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt