Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. 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.

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

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.

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.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

DIY cookies | Weekend parent with toddler activity idea

Bing Boy's assessment week at his school was coming up the next Monday. We did not want to put too much stress to ask him to revise. After all, he is only 3 years plus and we would like him to explore and develop an interest in reading, writing, reasoning and counting at his own pace. There has been studies stating that children nowadays are forced into formal education too early. The expectations from schools and parents can be unrealistic for young children which may have adverse effects on their emotional, physical and social development. The full study can be accessed here.

Bing Boy happily munching away and reciting the alphabet and number cookies. 

Since Bing was not happy to write A-J, 1-7 which were his assessment scope, we decided to make it fun to revise. There came our weekend alphabets and number cookie making.

We got this Dr. Oetker chocolate cookies premix from Giant Superstore. So we did not have too much mixing to do because young children get bored if there are too many steps involved.

Fairly simple instructions: Bing boy fetched an egg for me. Mixed that with 125g of butter and the premix then we were all good to go!

After mixing the dough thoroughly, we had a nonsticky and fun playdough!
Time to shape the dough into alphabets, numbers and shapes. I did most of the shaping but Bing Boy had his share of fun mixing and handing me the dough. Of course we revised the strokes for writing and taught him to recognise them. We did not use any mould but in retrospect that would be a lot easier and faster.

After 15mins of bakingn at 180 degrees, tadaa! We were quite proud that the cookies did not break. They turned out crunchy, buttery, yet not too sweet. 

Dr. Oetker has many other premix for cakes, cookies and Malaysian dessert. It makes baking so much easier and less hassle. Their website also has many other simple recipes. Involve the children and they will appreciate the result so much better than you baking or cooking it alone.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Cosy staycation | Hatten Place Malacca Review

From my recent posts about Encore Malacca and Who's Tea Malacca, you guys could have probably guessed that we have recently visited Malacca! So where did we stay? Of course at the newest hotel in town-- Hatten Place. Follow me to find out what Hatten Place Malacca is like.

Hatten Place Malacca
Address: Hatten Place Melaka, Jalan Melaka Raya 23, Hatten City, 75000 Melaka
Phone: 06-222 9696
Official website

Hatten Place Malacca is a 4star hotel located above Elements Mall Malacca. The lobby is at level 12. Look at how stately the check in lobby is.

My boys, as usual, quickly made themselves comfortable after we checked in to the Superior Room. It is 20.5 sq meters  and equipped with a King sized bed, 40' LED TV, bar fridge, safe, tea and coffee making facilities and a rain shower. Fairly cosy but just a tad small for a family of 4 with 2 young children.

The bathroom is clean and there is a blind, when lifted, with direct view of the bed.

The view from 21st floor. We could see part of the Straits of Malacca and the cargo ships which my eldest was excited about.

One can also order for different pillow options, which unfortunately we conveniently forgot because we were too tired and hit the sack straight at night.

We had some problems with the safe but the staff responded and replaced the broken safe within a few hours.

But don't worry, there is plenty of space around the gym and swimming pool area for the children to spend some energy. There is an infinity pool with a spectacular bird's eye view of Malacca and a children pool which is under the shade so water can be a bit chilly at times.

The buffet breakfast at the Thyme is quite standard for a hotel of such establishment. There is a section for hot food such as local breakfast (nasi lemak, fried noodles, chicken rendang) and western options (hashbrown, baked beans, omelette, hard and half boiled eggs, sausages). The salad bar is great as well. I love the cherry tomatoes and caesar salad dressing. Besides that, the bread and pastry corner is definitely up to par with my favorite sour dough, multigrain bread, danishes and croissants.

Since Mr husband was busy at the conference during the day, we decided to explore the Elements Mall our own. It's definitely not easy to bring 2 young children, one in stroller and the other free on the go. I was quite glad that there wasn't much of a crowd. The mall is still very new and there is very limited shopping and dining options. But enough for us to spend the afternoon.

There are plenty of children rides in the mall.

The lifts in the mall can be confusing because at one wing, it could directly lead to the hotel lobby and only certain levels in the mall. The other lift could only access the other levels such as Jumpers Land on level 3.

Jumpers Land is a really big indoor playground. As it is new and the management do serious sanitisation 4 times a day, we have no worries letting our children play there. The size of the slides, mega bocks, maze, trampoline and children toy rides can easily entertain children from toddler to primary school age for the whole day.

And they check the children's temperature because those with fever will be denied entrance. Both children and accompanying adults have to wear socks in the playground. And we were allowed multiple entries during the day for toilet breaks and lunch elsewhere in the mall. There is a western food corner meant for family just next door with children friendly options like burgers and carbonara.

Overall, we find Hatten Place Malacca a pleasant stay and welcome the serenity of the place.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

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.

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