Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

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.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Floral themed cafe in KL | Le Shady Trinity Cafe Review

Walking pass the front of the shop,  one could have easily mistaken the cafe for a florist.  It's such an enchanting and magical existence. It makes one want to stop and spend some time or snap a few photos for memory keepsake. Located in the midst of the most chaotic part of the metropolitan, it's such a stark contrast and welcomed sight.

Le Shady Trinity Cafe

Ground Floor, 177, Jalan Tun H S Lee, Petaling Street, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
03-2022 0882
Official website 

The atmosphere in the cafe is relaxing and comfortable.  It makes a great spot to wind down after a stressful day. The owner has paid so much details into the decoration and it's hard not to love it.

If you like to selfie and post on instagram,  there are also many photo opportunities. I particularly love the wall of roses.  It makes me look and feel so bohemian.

A wonderful dining environment has to go with great food. To start with,  match the floral theme with a great pot of rose tea. The premium rose buds infused the tea with so much fragrance that it really helps one to wind down and become one with the surroundings. The pot is constantly heated to make sure each sip of art the right temperature.

Not such a fan of tea? Try the colorful butterfly pea flower drink that is a magical deep-sea blue which transforms into a lovely shade of purple with a splash of acid. 

The signature dish at Le Shady Trinity Cafe is the giant homemade croissant. It's crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside. The croissant is so big that it can fit the whole chicken chop inside .The chicken chop is battered and deep fried to a golden exterior but the meat remains tender and juicy.

Drizzled with their special sweet and spicy sauce,  it's quite a sinful indulgence. If you prefer more sauce like me,  don't hesitate to let the staff know so they can top up.

The black pepper chicken chop is as fiery as it looks. The taste of freshly ground black peppercorn and rosemary marinated chicken is a perfect combination. Generous portion and fairly healthy because the chicken is grilled.

Dessert wise,  the chocolate croissant is a must try for pastry lovers like me.  The chocolate is a good combination, neither too rich nor sweet to overpower the taste and crispiness of the croissants.

One more dessert that's not on the menu-please ask the staff whether it's available on the day or not.  The chocolate lava cake is to die for if you are a fan of chocolate just like Mr husband. Admittedly one of the best I have ever tried. I was lucky to be able to steal a bite before he walloped the whole cake.  Poor Bing boy didn't even get to taste it. The gooey chocolate lava went really well with the rich taste of the cake.  You will sure get a chocolate overload afterwards.

With this type of food and atmosphere,  it's very hard to believe that most of the items on the menu was only less than RM20! Such a bargain. 

Our verdict is therefore 7.5/10! 100% for atmosphere with good comfort food. Even if you are not hungry,  have a cuppa in the afternoon and enjoy the garden cafe in the city.

How much exercise is enough? | BH fitness treadmill review

As an general physician,  I often tell my patients to exercise because most of them are sedentary and obese.  But how much is enough? What should be done? I do think a correct exercise prescription is essential in helping patient to achieve fitness.

This is a great mnemonic that sums up all the components of an exercise prescription- FITT.

Frequency- at least 3 times a week
Intensity- moderate or greater
Time- 30 minutes or longer
Type- aerobic/endurance, strength/resistance,    mobility/stretching, warm up and cool down

Moderate intensity exercise means the person is too winded to sing, but not so winded they cannot talk which will be considered as vigorous exercise. Warming up prepares the body for more vigorous activity whereas cooling down tunes the body down to avoid low blood pressure and fainting after exercise.

Good exercise equipments are also an important part of a sustainable and comprehensive exercise program. If one cannot commit to a gym membership to gain access to a variety of equipments and possibly a personal trainer,  it maybe worthwhile investing in a good piece that can allow most types of exercise to be done.

BH Fitness is a Spanish based multinational company that has been around for about a century now.  It produces high quality user focused sports equipment both home and commercial settings. It can be found in over 65 countries worldwide. Malaysia is honoured to be part of the BH family.

BH Fitness Malaysia Sdn Bhd

23, Jalan PJS 11/1, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
03-5621 0516
Official website

I have recently tried their BT6380 Vector Treadmill and these are the plus points that I have found.

BT6380 Vector Treadmill

The treadmill comes with 12 preset programs that tailors to the need to achieve FITT as I just described for an average adult by changing the speed,  incline and duration. It also starts by warming up at a slow pacing speed and similarly cool down slowly after the workup. Older adults and those with medical issues such as coronary heart disease and arthritis modifications should be done as per the same FITT principle.

The design also provides plenty of space to place 2 big water bottles at least 1L capacity each, an iPad rack and 2 holding racks to place other items such as towels.  So I don't have to pause my exercise just to grab these few essential items.

The other cool setting is the Eco mode. With the recent price hike in the electricity bill,  most household bills have at least doubled.  The Eco mode can at least save 30% electricity compared to the normal mode but it doesn't compromise the functionality of the treadmill.

When one gets this machine online, the treadmill will get delivered by an delivery service.  It's fairly lightweight and easy to set up. It only takes about 90 seconds from unfolding,  locking the tubes and console. Then one can start running! I can fold the treadmill up to free up some space after running effortlessly.

Instead of having the treadmill occupying a big space at home,  the BT6380 Vector Treadmill has a hydraulic mechanism that allows it to be lifted and partially folded to save space as well.

Watch my short YouTube video here about the BT6380 Vector Treadmill.

If you are still wondering how to start exercising,  talk to your healthcare professional or any BH Fitness personnel today! It's never too late to regain fitness and health by exercising.  Investing in good quality and durable fitness equipment is always a great headstart. Don't forget losing a mere 5kg can help to lower systolic blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Is Taiwanese milk tea bad for you? | Who's Tea Malacca Review

Bubble tea is an all time favorite beverage in Asian countries,  first founded by the Taiwanese.  However,  a cup contains a huge amount of sugar and trans-fat,  not to mention the artificial coloring and flavouring used.  Even though it's called tea,  many are not made with real tea leaves.  Therefore,  the amount of calories add on to medical problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. That's why worldofbuzz recently written about the downside of consuming bubble tea. However, are all Taiwanese milk tea the devil?  Definitely not!

This is precisely why Who's Tea was founded in Taiwan since 2011. Besides Malaysia,  Who's Tea also has franchise in China, Cambodia,  South Korea,  the United States, Japan and Thailand. Literally translating to Bearded Tea,  Who's Tea is topped with special foam that leaves a cute little moustache above the upper lip.

Malacca luckily owns the first branch of Who's Tea in Malaysia. It's introduced by Pro Specialist Advisory (International) Sdn Bhd which officially launched on March 27, 2019.

Who's Tea 鬍子茶
Location: No.8, KLJ 9, Taman Kota Laksamana Jaya, 75200 Malacca City.
Opening hours: 11a.m. to 1 a.m.

Phone: +606-288-4911
🍽Google map

Who's Tea uses real tea leaves originated from Taiwan in all its beverages.  These are high quality Black tea, Green tea, Oolong tea and Tie Guan Yin. One variety is uniquely brewed from Taiwan's famous Highland Tea. Of course, real tea has so much more health benefits like what I wrote in my previous post.

No artificial coloring or flavouring is used.  Fresh milk or yoghurt drink is then added to complete the unique taste. Who's Tea is sweetened by molasses from sugar cane which gives it a milder sweetness and harmonizes the flavour of the tea.

Tea lovers be prepared to savour various tea choices with nice twists or fusion flavours. There are many tea series in the menu to choose from.

The black Who’s Series is the most popular beverage.  It features the signature Chocolate Milk Foam and Oreo cookies toppings. One needs to sip the drink at a 45 degrees angle to fully enjoy the lightness of the foam with the smooth chocolatey taste which leaves a fragrant tea aftertaste. It requires practice to drink it perfectly and I obviously failed in my first attempt on my IG story :p

We tried three varieties of Who's Tea fresh fruit series.  The fresh bowl of grapefruit had a really citrusy flavor.  And each sip of the drink contained some pulp and peel. It tasted similar to the Korean honey citron tea. The fresh authentic fruit tea also contained pieces of thinly sliced fruits but the strongest taste came from the lemons. The other popular choice was fresh red dragon fruit which went so well with the yoghurt drink base.

The other series are:
• White Who’s Series (Rose Salt Foam)
• Cheese Who’s Series (Cheese Milk Foam)
• Tasty Tea Series
• Fresh Milk Tea Series
• Vinegar Series
• Bubble Tea Series

Besides tea, there are also some finger food options like the black Panini series,  fried sweet potato,  fried popcorn chicken and fried potato chips.

The charcoal bread used in the Panini is sourced locally, fermented and hand made.  It's soft and fragrant. There's so much ingredient in the panini that makes it filling. I loved how runny the yolk of the omega egg. There's a surprise element as I bit through the layers of stringy melted cheese,  tomato slices and lettuce. I couldn't believe how well strawberry jam matched the savoury taste!

Popcorn chicken is also well marinated with crispy tempura batter and tender juicy meat. There's no need to add sauce to the chicken because the flavour is already well balanced with the five spice powder used.

Our verdict is 8/10! Menu out of the ordinary, mid-range prices, great food quality and taste,  not to forget their excellent service.


Friday, June 21, 2019

The benefits of drinking tea | T3aLong review

Tea has been regarded in centuries as a healthy beverage. It's therefore, not surprising that many research has been done about the benefits of drinking tea. Freshly brewed tea, for one, doesn't have any downsides-- not much caffeine and no calorie or sugar. A lot of brews are considered as tea including certain fruits/flowers infused drinks. However, purists only consider green, black and white tea.

How do we differentiate the types of tea?

Green tea is made with steamed tea leaves and has a high concentration of antioxidants called flavonoids in which ECGC is the most potent. This has been linked with anti-cancerous properties, the ability to burn fat and reduce risk of dementia. Black tea, from fermented tea leaves, has the highest caffeine but is great for flavoured teas and instant teas. It has been shown to protect lung damage due to cigarette smoking. White tea is not processed (not cured nor fermented). Theoretically, this will lead to the highest concentration of anti-oxidants.

The caveat being we are still not sure how much tea do we need to drink to get the touted benefit. But it's better than none. Read more about the benefits of drinking tea at WebMD.

However, not all teas are good. In fact, the FDA has issued warning for certain herbal teas which may potentially lead to bowel problems, liver and kidney damage, even death. Read the labels and make sure your tea doesn't contain the following ingredients such as senna, aloe, buckthorn, comfrey, ephedra, willow bark, germander, lobelia and chaparral.

This is particularly why I only drink good quality teas. T3aLong hails from Singapore and relentlessly source the best tea from China. This is the place of origin for Chinese teas because the climate and geographical location is suitable for tea growing. The finest and purest leaves are obtained in a pollution free area at a high altitude near 1600meters at an average temperature of 10-18 degrees Celsius with average annual rainfall of 2000mm (The exact location remains a secret).

The tea leaves go through these following process- plucking, withering, tossing, oxidization, fixing, rolling, drying and finally roasting. How does one quickly know that T3aLong tea is of high quality? Only leaves are used in their Nanyang Savour Tea (not powder which is usually of the leftover after processing and is used in tea bags). So true tea lovers only buy premium tea leaves such as T3aLong from Singapore.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

I am absolutely in love with the flavour of T3aLong Nanyang Savour tea. It's just at the right strength which doesn't affect my sleep even if I have it near bed time. In fact, it helps me to relax and wind down just before that. The flavour is also balanced with a hint of floral scent, neither bitter nor stale. Even if after I steep the tea for over 10minutes.

The metal packaging makes it easy to store the tea leaves. Comes with a pack of desiccant, this enables me to maintain the freshness of the tea for even longer. Since I don't really drink coffee anymore, tea has also become a good companion when I need a good teatime.

Intrigued and want to try T3aLong? These are the websites. Quote yingzangel when you check out for 10% discounts!

Official website

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Comprehensive skincare | Dr Eslee product review

Dr Eslee is founded by Prof Lee from Korea. We are so lucky that it's now available in Malaysia as well. It's a skincare brand made and also used by doctors. It's in fact currently sold in more than 670 dermatology clinics. Dr Eslee's products also embrace the principles of evidence based medicine which only uses the most effective ingredients proven by relentless research.

Dr Eslee's products are made of eco-friendly phytonutrients. These ingredients are plant based and sourced from quality suppliers all around the world. Read more about the power of phytonutrients in my previous post here. Not only do phytonutrients make good supplements, but they are also great skinfood. Of course, the products are also free from potential allergens like parabens, SLS/SLES, chemical UV absorbers and artificial fragrances.

Let me bring you through the step by step way of complete skincare using Dr Eslee products. Note that the following products are useful for people who have combination skin like me. I have dry face. Yet my T zone is often oily with clogged pores causing acne and blemishes.

1. Cleanse/exfoliate
-Wash foam
-Enzyme wash doubles as face cleanser and as scrub if less water is used. Suitable to be used 2-3 times a week

2. Tone
-AC skin lotion is a convenient 3 in 1 product (toner, moisturiser & skin colour toning)

3. Anti acne
- Intensive care gel applied on the blemish

4. Moisturize
-Enriched water gel
-Hydra emulsion or drynix lotion (oil based moisturiser)seal skin moisture off

5. Sun protection
- Physical Sunscreen contains SPF50 which is more than enough to protect our skin from photoaging

6. Conceal
-Intensive blemish balm functions to reduce scar appearance and acts as foundation with UV protection

Besides this, Dr Eslee also has different range of skincare for various skin types- oily, dry, combination, aging and lastly sensitive/eczema prone skin. One can either purchase the products in their normal sizes or just in cute sachets like the ones I show in the photos. Excellent size for traveling. Each sachet is conveniently packed for single use.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

Dr Eslee's products provide a complete solution for almost all skin problems. If you go through their website, they also include many useful advice for skincare tailored to skin types. It's not just skin deep! If you are like me, with no time for so many skincare steps, Dr Eslee also has products that are multifunctional.

Being a doctor, I fully realised how important it is to put evidence based medicine into my daily practice. And Dr Eslee is exactly following the same philosophy. This makes me trust the products even more. Made of natural plant based ingredients, I don't need to worry about possible allergic reactions.

Interested to find out more?

Dr Eslee Official website

As my readers, quote NJQFJH to get 20% off your first purchase! 

Getting Phytonutrients using Natural Plant Extract |Bio-Nutricia Extract Product Review

As our healthcare system improves its service, people are living longer and healthier. So non infectious diseases or what we call lifestyle diseases are becoming more and more common. The 3 highs such as high sugar (type 2 diabetes mellitus), high blood pressure and high cholesterol become the main concern. Therefore, the mainstay of the treatment being a good diet rich in vegetables and fruits. This is also what is more technically called as phytonutrients.

Phytonutrients or plant food is a more complete way to 'supplement' our diet instead of individual minerals or vitamins. This is because various research has shown the significant benefit of consuming whole food. Examples of phytonutrients include carotenoids, flavonoids, resveratrol and phytoestrogens. To understand more about phytonutrients, read this interesting article on WebMD.

However promising the research results may seem, please note that phytonutrients do not and cannot fully substitute the need for proper medication and follow up in most patients. But they can be useful and safe adjuncts. Many studies have been done but mostly not in huge numbers (less than a hundred subjects), use animal models or only deal with molecular structures.

Therefore, it can be difficult to determine how great the effect is, the dose required and whether the result can be generalised to the whole population. On the contrary, medications are tested in at least thousands of patients in terms of efficacy and safety before it's widely used.

Bionutriciae natural plant extract concentrates are produced with the most stringent standards using fresh leaves. It aims to preserve freshness yet to save the trouble of extracting the juice manually in the kitchen which often requires long hours of cooking and multiple tedious steps. This is very useful for full-time working mothers like me who want to put good quality food on the table using the least time. We are talking about dinner ready in 30-60minutes.

There are 4 main plant extracts available- Pandan, Butterfly Pea Flower, Roselle Hibiscus and Lemongrass. These products fulfill quality food production standards such as GMP, FDA and HACCP. Read about these quality assurance bodies in my previous post here.

Fresh Natural Pandan Extract Concentrate

Our Pandan Barley Soup makes a refreshing and healthy afternoon tea whether served cold or hot.

Pandan as known as vanilla of the East, is no stranger to most Asian kitchens. It's widely used in many dishes and desserts for it's attractive green colour and fragrant smell as well as flavour.

Containing many flavanoid compounds, pandan neutralizes acidic pH found in kidney diseases, has anti-oxidant properties, detoxification properties,  improves stamina and boosts energy levels. It may also prevent surging in blood sugar levels, reduces risk of depression and anxiety. 

Fresh Natural Butterfly Pea Flower Extract Concentrate

Homemade blue rice makes it more appetizing.

Butterfly Pea Flower gives an attractive blue colour from anthocyanin phytonutrient. When added with some acid such as a squeeze of lemon, the colour turns from midnight blue to violet then pink. It is a popular tea/beverage in Malaysia, Thailand , Indonesia and Philippines. Certain food such as pulut inti, nasi kerabu and nyonya dumplings uses Butterfly Pea Flower aka Bunga Telang as natural colouring. 

Not only is this visually pleasing, but it also contains water soluble anthocyanins which has antioxidant properties as well as the ability of enhancing vision,  reducing inflammation, controlling blood sugar, reducing the risk of heart attacks and preventing cancer formation. 

Fresh Natural Roselle Hibiscus Extract Concentrate

Sponge cake in progress with Roselle swirl baked by my mom.

Roselle aka Red Sorell has been traditionally used to treat urinary tract infections, cold and hangovers. It can also be made into beverage or jam. As the color remains stable with high heat, it is widely used in pastry baking as well.

Roselle is high in Vitamin C, anthocyanin which gives its brilliant red hue. It also has antioxidants and lowers starch absorption which helps in weight loss. 

Fresh Natural Lemongrass Extract Concentrate

Flavoursome home cooked curry laksa 

Beside being used in cooking curries, tomyam, soup and laksa, lemongrass can also be drank as tea. It can also be found in essential oils especially to repel insects and mosquitoes.

Lemongrass is high in citral which is the key of its flavor and smell. The phenolic and flavanoid compounds in lemongrass are strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. It can also lower cholesterol and sugar. 

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

I have two young children at home and it can be a real struggle to get them to take their fruits and vegetables. However, these natural plant extracts have such great flavours and interesting colour that makes preparing food and consuming them so much fun. I often get my eldest to be involved in preparing his own meal so he really appreciates the whole process and gain some skills necessary for basic survival. Not only did we drink the extracts on their own, we also add them to our food as depicted above -- my boy really thinks it's magic!

Bionutriciae Official Website

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Home remedy for neck strain | Sneapy Neck Massager Review

The nature of my job makes neck strain a common problem. Unfortunately most of the hospital beds and cardiac tables are old and cannot be adjusted to height. So we are often forced to work in a hunched position for a long period. In the outpatient clinics, we are needed to sit for long periods and write lengthy and repetitive documentations about patients' health conditions. Due to the sheer number of patients, we don't even have time to stretch.

It's heavenly to come home and receive this great gift from Sneapy- a home neck massager! Just the right tool to wind ourselves down after a long day at work!

Sneapy is an online platform that sells various creative home solutions as well as innovative gift ideas. I have reviewed Sneapy gift cards- great to record and send your wishes to others online. Read my previous post here.

This intelligent cervical vertebrae massage instrument comes in an A4 sized box like this.

The back of the box explained what the product actually does.
-Electric impulse massage mode
-Heat moxibustion
-Magnetic effect
-High frequency vibration massage
-Annular traction

These are the correct technical terms of how the massager can help to relax the neck muscles as well as to improve blood circulation. It also helps to relieve neck stiffness.

Unboxing the neck massager reveals this following cool components
- the massager
- a graphic manual of use
- USB charging cable
- extension cables and sticky pads for upper back massage
- aloe vera gel
- remote control
- spare mercury battery

The designs of the neck massager is sleek. It's easy to grip, not too bulky or heavy to hold in the hand.

How to use the instrument?

Firstly switch on the massager. The button is at the bottom of the device. I love the elegant slit blue light indicating the product is switched on.

Attach the massager to the neck. Make sure the buttons are facing the floor.

It's important to note that for the device to function properly, the neck needs to be free from things such as necklaces. Wet the back of the neck with warm towel/the aloe vera gel provided so the metal electrodes are directly adhered to the back of the neck. Just like how it's shown in the photo. Or else the massager may not work properly. Worse even, the impulses delivered may feel like tiny doses of sharp electric shocks to the neck.

This is how big the massager looks like when it's on my neck.

The following parameters can be adjusted while enjoying the neck massage using the remote control. I'll suggest to start with low levels whole accustoming yourself to the function of the massager.

- Strength of impulses
- Strength of massage
- Duration of massage (In minutes)
- Level of local heat application
- Frequency of vibration

Since it's so lightweight, the neck massager can be brought along while traveling and give a good neck massage during long distance driving. It really helps because I get bad neck strains focusing too much on the road for long hours. Just setup the device before you start driving. It's hands free otherwise.

We all know how relaxing a massage is and can lull people to sleep. But please do not wear this massager to sleep or wear it in the shower because it's nevertheless an electronic device. It may be dangerous to do so.

Ran out of battery? No worries. The device, once charged using the USB cable attached, can work up to 2 hours. This is more than enough for a hands free and mobile massage session.

Just having a neck massage is not enough because I often get upper back muscles strain too. That's due to my bad habit of hunching both standing or seated. What's beautiful about this device is that 2 extra sticky reusable electrodes can be attached to the upper back or even your forearms to extend the massage to those areas.

Interested to grab one of these trendy next massagers? It's a great gift for yourself, your spouse and also your parents. Father's day is coming up soon. So if you have been gifting one too many ties or watches, maybe it's time to consider something cool yet practical like this neck massager.

Sneapy Neck Massager Official Link

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