Thursday, 30 August 2012

Low-Salicylate Garlic Prawns

* Prawns are VERY HIGH in histamine. If you are a very sensitive individual, replace the prawns with chicken or any other meat which you are able to tolerate.

1. 1/2 clove of garlic (chopped into very fine pieces)
2. 1kg of prawns (de-veined and shells removed)
3. Sea-salt
4. Sunflower oil


1. Season the prawns with sea-salt.

2. Heat the wok with a bit of sunflower oil.

3. Add the garlic and fry them until slightly browned.

4. Once the garlic is browned, scoop them up onto a plate.

5. Now fry the prawns.

6. Once the prawns are cooked, garnish them with the browned garlic.

7. Serve with rice! (You can add a vegetable dish or fry eggs to go with the prawns.)

Bon appétit!

Monday, 27 August 2012

A Salicylate-Free Meal

Steamed cod fish, steamed lettuce iceberg and claypot style minced chicken+tofu!
Serve hot with sushi rice for a perfect-salicylate-free meal!
For cod fish recipe, click here.

Bon appétit!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Another Milestone!

I am able to add another 'foreign food' to my 'list-of-food-which-I-am-able-to-eat'!

Which means, YAHOO!!

Even though I am better where food is concerned, I still have not improved where smells are concerned. Vinegar, cheese, spices, herbs, durians, petai, recycled frying oil, perfumes, colognes, hand sanitizers, newspaper ink, new magazines and books, marker pens, coffee, wine, hair creams...etc. And the list goes on and on.

But hey, being able to eat is better than being able to smell and not eat. Says my wise mother! Haha!

Now does this not look yummy-to-the-tummy?

41 months have been too long! ;)

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Salicylate-Free Chicken Nuggets!


1. 500gm of minced chicken
2. 1/4 cup of organic all-purpose flour
3. 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
4. Sea-salt

1. Mix all the above ingredients until all blended well.

2. Make into small nugget shapes.

3. Heat the wok with just a little bit of sunflower oil.

4. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken nuggets into the wok.

5. Once one side is slightly browned, turn it to the other side and fry till it is slightly browned too.

6. Allow to slightly cool before serving.

Bon appétit!

Fresh home-made chicken nuggets with no preservatives, additives, MSG or flavourings! 
I made potato wedges to go with the nuggets! *YUMMY!*

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Container Garden - A Stormy Update

We had the mother of all storms on Monday and boy, did it wreak havoc in the garden!

It broke my corn plant, tore the pandan plant's roots from the soil and snapped them into half, moved a giant pot with the 7-feet jasmine plant 1 foot to the left, blown a few cherry tomatoes to God-knows-where, caused another tomato plant to collapse, and caused a huge mess. It snapped many twigs. Even the watering can was not spared. It was flung to the patio!

It was a nightmare.
Look at the corn plant on the ground! *SOB!*
The freak storm which murdered many of my plants!
The pandan plant which was ripped out from the pot!
The corn surrendered to the storm!
Periwinkles all in 'kow-tow' positions to the storm!
All 'kow-tow-ing' to the power of the storm!
The 'flash-flood' in our city!
I was shocked to see that this pot was 'blown' a foot to the left! It is impossible! This pot is about 40kg to 50kg. The wind was truly a mighty one! I am glad none of our roof tiles were blown off!

 The garden is still in a mess. I have no idea where to start. Sigh...

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Salicylate-Free Steamed Cod Fish


1. 1 slice of cod fish (I bought mine from the wet market)
2. Sea-salt
3. Sugar


1. Wash the fish throughly.

2. Season with some sea-salt and sugar.

3. Place in a steamer and steam until thoroughly cooked.

4. Serve while hot!
*Cold cod fish is not delicious at all. It has a very fishy taste.
**You can eat the cod fish with rice and a vegetable dish of your choice.

Bon appétit!

I had the cod with sushi rice and some stir-fried french beans! *YUMMY!*

Saturday, 18 August 2012

My Salicylate Survival Tips - Part 1

I've been asked many times about the salicylate levels in the food that I eat.

There are many websites out there about the contents of salicylate in food and they contradict each other. Some say it's negligible and another says that it is low or even moderate.

I use the Anne Swain research as my guide. I also follow the Failsafe Diet (though not 100% as I am able to tolerate a few different types of food). That being said, I also believe that each and everyone of us function differently. Some may not even tolerate even low levels of salicylate. I am able to.

However, being a person who experienced anaphylaxis due to an overload of salicylates, I still have to be careful and vigilant where my diet is concerned.

Here are some tips which I learned through experience and by researching:

1. Butter Is Not Yellow

I grew up thinking that butter was a dark, golden yellow as all the butter that we bought from supermarkets are in dark, golden yellow. Until a friend shared with me that the yellow colour is from COLOURING!

Annatto is used to give butter that deep yellow colour as the colour of butter range from creamy white to golden yellow. The colour of butter depends on the diet of the cow!

Annatto is derived from the seeds of the achiote trees. The seeds are sourced to produce a carotenoid-based-yellow to orange food coloring and flavour!

click on ANNATTO to read more

As annatto is from a plant, it does not surprise me when I read that it causes rare allergic reactions. To me, plants = salicylates. And when I searched for a link between annatto and salicylates, I found this:


Do take time to read this!

The best part is, even when I did not know of this, I was reacting to butter. According to the salicylate table content, the level of salicylate in butter is negligible! But yet, after every time I butter up my home-made bread, within a few minutes, the lid of my eye would break out in a tiny pimple and it would itch like crazy! I guess this 'annatto' must be the culprit.

2. The Promising Pear Isn't So Promising After All

The relapse which I had that sent me rushing to the ER after sticking the EpiPen into my thigh was triggered by a peeled PECKHAM PEAR!

And a peeled Peckham pear is supposed to be salicylate-free!

Well, it burned my mouth so badly that it felt like the fires of Hades were residing in my mouth. And the allergy-migraine-from-the-bowels-of-Hades struck. And then I couldn't breathe.

Could it have been triggered by the insecticide that was sprayed on the skin of the pears? Could it have been caused by something in the pear that I did not know of?

And so I did some research and discovered that pears contain a moderate amount of OXALATES!

The first thing that came to mind was, 'WHAT THE HELL ARE OXALATES?'

***Oxalates are crystals that may form in the body upon the ingestion of foods high in oxalic acid, such as spinach and soy. The crystals are needle -sharp, and can cause kidney stones as well as unexplained pain in any soft tissue, such as the muscles, eyes and heart.

***taken from here

The solution to oxalate sensitivity include avoidance of high-oxalate vegetables and fruits and increased mineral supplements both to prevent oxalate formation and to facilitate oxalate removal from the body.

To people who are salicylate sensitive, they may cross-react to many other things, which may include oxalates.

Am I oxalate sensitive? I have no idea. But it is good to be aware of oxalates.

Click here for an interesting read on oxalates.

3. The Anti-Caking Agent

When I first started the salicylate-free journey 41 months ago, I saw that corn flour is salicylate-free. Therefore I would be safe. Boy, was I wrong!

The burning sensation was horrible and the same allergy-migraine-from-hell came soon after.

Why did it happen?

What triggered the attack?

Most products in loose forms have anti-caking agents in them to prevent the formation of lumps. And it is an ADDITIVE!

The anti-caking agent (554) which is sodium aluminosilicate is a man-made product. It is mostly used in table salt. And this is present is dried milks, sugar products and even in flours!

An interesting link. Do read it.

4. The Sulphuric Cabbage

41 months back, I thought that cabbage was a very fine vegetable. I mean it was salicylate-free! And I LOVE cabbage. Yummy to the tummy.

But the smell of cabbage made me sick.

It was as though I was smelling rotten food. It gave out this gas which made me sick. Really sick.

After researching, I discovered that it was the sulphur! It was a sulphuric food. So was petai, durian and nangka (jackfruit). And I could not tolerate all these smells after the anaphylactic attack.

Here is a list of sulphur containing food.

People being salicylate-sensitive could cross react with sulphuric foods.

5. Of Beans & Sprouts

Just because the mung bean is salicylate-free, it does not mean you can pig out on bean-sprouts.
The beans have no salicylates. The sprouts do. They are low in salicylates. Bear in mind of the differences!

My allergist/immunologist shared that salicylate is negligible in sunflower oil. But not in the flower! So if you plant sunflower in your garden, and are VERY sensitive to salicylates, it is good to have this information in mind.

... to be continued

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Unsanitary Sanitary Issues - Part 3

After reading and researching for months, and seeing a gynecologist who confirmed that I suffer from sanitary-pad allergy, I now know the root of the monthly problems that I have been encountering.

It's the sanitary pads.

Without. A. Doubt.

So what solutions are there for this problem?

Natural Menstrual Choices

'The average woman in Western society will throw away 10,000 to 15,000 disposable pads or tampons in her life!'

Isn't that a scary figure? Imagine the amount of chemicals that has been absorbed into the system! And then we wonder why more and more younger people are getting the old people's diseases.

1. Cloth Pads

Reusable and washable cloth pads have been making a comeback of late. It is economical, chemical-free BUT not hassle free (in my opinion). It has to be washed!!!! Though in the long run, it is good for the environment ecologically-wise.

Reusable pads usually come in two-parts; which is a liner and a liner holder. The liner goes on the inside of the holder. The holder has wings which snaps (with buttons) around the crotch of the underwear to keep it in place.

Before I 'converted' to 'cave-age-rags-for-menses', I experimented with some organic cloth panty shields from an organic shop called Justlife.

My high school good friend forwarded me a website which sells cloth pads. And this shop is in Taman Tun, KL. Here is their website. They do house deliveries too. I bought all my cloth pads from this outlet in Taman Tun.

click on Mama Patch to view cloth pads

click on Momiji to view more on cloth pads

2. Chemical-Free Tampons & Disposable Pads

This is very pricey as they are chlorine-free, bleached-free and the cotton which is used is organic cotton. Thus, it has no pesticide or insecticide residue.

A box of 20 pads can cost almost RM30!

Natracare is the brand that I have been buying to be used on heavy days.

It looks like this:

3. Menstrual Cups

These are similar to tampons in the sense that you have to insert them into the vagina.

According to the Keeper's website, it does not cause the Toxic Shock Syndrome as it does not absorb the menstrual blood. It only collects the blood.

This is reusable and can last for 5 to 10 years if well taken care. All one has to do is to wash it after every use. The use of chemicals and boiling in hot water is not necessary at all.

There is also the one-use-disposable menstrual cup.

click on Softcup to view more.

4. Sponges

*** Sea sponges are a natural alternative to tampons that come in different sizes to absorb varying amounts of menstrual flow. On average they cost between $8-15 dollars (each). These are not the same sponges that you might buy in a grocery store to wash dishes with. Sea sponges are actually harvested from the ocean floor and contain no synthetic materials. They are not sterile, however. One sea sponge will last about 6 months, but some may not last as long. A menstrual sea sponge should be thrown away and replaced if you notice that it rips apart while you are inserting or removing it from your vagina. You should follow the instructions that come with the product. Before using a sea sponge, you’ll have to dampen it, squeeze it tightly in your hand, and then gently insert it into your vagina. Once in place, it works like a tampon to absorb menstrual flow.

A sea sponge needs to be rinsed out about every 3 hours and thoroughly cleaned and dried and properly stored at the end of each menstrual cycle. Care must be taken to remove the sea sponge to avoid tearing it. In the 1980s, the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) found that some sea sponges marketed as menstrual products contained potentially harmful bacteria. One sea sponge manufacturer (Sea Pearls™) offers ways to disinfect their product. As with tampons, it is possible to get toxic shock syndrome from sea sponges.

Click on sea-sponge to view more.
Harvesting sea sponges can be damaging to the ecological system.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Haze AGAIN!

Oh wait. When has the haze ever left? It is either bad, terrible, worse or horrible. It's been a long time since we had days of fresh air in a row.

Take a look at this picture.

Poor visibility: George Town could hardly be seen in this photo taken at 2.30pm yesterday.
This was taken in Penang yesterday afternoon. This was what we had today in the Klang Valley. I felt like a smoker. 

I think I need to migrate to another planet!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Low-Salicylate Fried Rice


1. 3 cups of sushi rice
2. 1 clove of garlic and a handful of shallots (sliced thinly)
3. 4 eggs
4. Sunflower oil
5. Sea-salt
6. Brown sugar


1. Boil the sushi rice and set aside to cool.
*(Alternatively, you could boil the rice the day before and keep it in the freezer.)

2. Heat the wok.

3. Pour the sunflower oil into the heated wok.

4. Add the sliced garlic and shallots and fry until slightly browned.

5. Add the rice to the wok and break the 4 eggs onto the rice.

6. Mix the eggs thoroughly with the rice.

7. Add sea-salt and brown sugar to taste.

8. Scoop onto serving plate.

9. Serve hot.

Bon appétit!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Chemicals In Children's Everyday Lives

I came across some interesting links concerning the chemicals we come across in our everyday life. Here are the links:

click  here to read on Chemicals In Children's Everyday Lives

click  here to read on 'Chemicals in Daily Life'

click here to read on 'Toxic Chemicals in Your Home'

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Unsanitary Sanitary Issues - Part 2

The Materials & Ingredients Used in Commercially Made Sanitary Pads

1. Wood Pulp Fibers

Fluff pulp is the common name for wood pulp fibers which are used in the absorbent core of sanitary pads and even diapers.

Fluff pulp is a chemical pulp which is most of the time made of bleached cellulose fiber obtained from wood which has long fibers.

* Chemical pulp is created by a method that uses chemicals and heat to convert wood into pulp. This process can be, and generally is, used as an alternative to mechanical pulping, which involves obtaining wood fibers by way of a grinding process.

There are two widely recognized processes for producing chemical pulp. One is known as sulfate pulping. The other is known as sulfite pulping. The major differences between these are the chemicals used, the quality of paper produced, and the economy of chemical recovery.
Sulfate pulping is a process that was developed in Germany in 1879. It is sometimes called kraft pulping because kraft means strength in German, and the paper produced with this chemical pulp is strong. It can be used to make paper bags, writing paper, or diapers. Chemicals are typically always recovered in this process.
click here to read more on chemical pulp

Fluff pulp is also known as fluffy pulp, comminution pulp, and fluffing, this pulp is made from trees classified as softwood, which means they belong to the conifer family, such as pines. Fluff pulp is produced worldwide in huge amounts. Some estimates put annual production in the range of 3.5 million tonnes. It is available in a large variety of grades and is used to create a large array of personal hygiene products.

click here to read more on fluff pulp

2. Rayon

*** Regular rayon (or viscose) is the most widely produced form of rayon. This method of rayon production has been utilized since the early 1900s and it has the ability to produce either filament or staple fibers. The process is as follows:

  1. Cellulose: Production begins with processed cellulose
  2. Immersion: The cellulose is dissolved in caustic soda: (C6H10O5)n + nNaOH → (C6H9O4ONa)n + nH2O
  3. Pressing: The solution is then pressed between rollers to remove excess liquid
  4. White Crumb: The pressed sheets are crumbled or shredded to produce what is known as "white crumb"
  5. Aging: The "white crumb" aged through exposure to oxygen
  6. Xanthation: The aged "white crumb" is mixed with carbon disulfide in a process known as Xanthation, the aged alkali cellulose crumbs are placed in vats and are allowed to react with carbon disulfide under controlled temperature (20 to 30 °C) to form cellulose xanthate: (C6H9O4ONa)n + nCS2 → (C6H9O4O-SC-SNa)n
  7. Yellow Crumb: Xanthation changes the chemical makeup of the cellulose mixture and the resulting product is now called "yellow crumb"
  8. Viscose: The "yellow crumb" is dissolved in a caustic solution to form viscose
  9. Ripening: The viscose is set to stand for a period of time, allowing it to ripen: (C6H9O4O-SC-SNa)n + nH2O → (C6H10O5)n + nCS2 + nNaOH
  10. Filtering: After ripening, the viscose is filtered to remove any undissolved particles
  11. Degassing: Any bubbles of air are pressed from the viscose in a degassing process
  12. Extruding: The viscose solution is extruded through a spinneret, which resembles a shower head with many small holes
  13. Acid Bath: As the viscose exits the spinneret, it lands in a bath of sulfuric acid, resulting in the formation of rayon filaments: (C6H9O4O-SC-SNa)n + ½nH2SO4 → (C6H10O5)n + nCS2 + ½nNa2SO4
  14. Drawing: The rayon filaments are stretched, known as drawing, to straighten out the fibers
  15. Washing: The fibers are then washed to remove any residual chemicals
  16. Cutting: If filament fibers are desired the process ends here. The filaments are cut down when producing staple fibers

***taken from Wiki Rayon

3. Polysorbate-20

*** Polysorbate-20 is fragrance component, a surfactant, an emulsifying agent, and a solubilizing agent.  
Polysorbate starts out as harmless sorbitol, but then it's treated with carcinogenic ethylene oxide.  It's called Polysorbate 20 because it's treated with 20 "parts" of ethylene oxide.  The higher the number, the more ethylene oxide it has been treated with.  This substance is then combined with various fatty acids.  The Skin Deep Database rates it as only a "one," and doesn't pick up on the risk that it could be contaminated with ethylene oxide, and subsequently, 1,4 dioxane.  In addition, it can be laced with heavy metals.
***taken from Chemical of the Day

4. Urea Formaldehyde

Urea formaldehyde (UF) is a cost-effective thermosetting resin that is widely used in the wood product industry. These resins cure easily and are scratch resistant. They are mainly used in the manufacture of pressed wood products.

Formaldehyde is a confirmed carcinogen. It means that it is a cancer causing agent.

click here to read more on Urea Formaldehyde

click here to read on Formaldehyde and Chemical Sensitivity

5. Sodium Polyacrylate

Sodium polyacrylate, also known as waterlock, is a polymer with the chemical formula [-CH2-CH(COONa)-]n. It is widely used in consumer products. It has the ability to absorb as much as 200 to 300 times its mass in water. 

Acrylate polymers generally are considered to possess an anionic charge. While sodium neutralized polyacrylates are the most common form used in industry, there are also other salts available including potassium, lithium and ammonium.

This is also used in baby diapers.

click here to read more on The Use & Effects of Dioxin and Polyacrylate

6. Polypropylene

Polypropylene (PP), also known as polypropene, is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including packaging and labeling, textiles (e.g., ropes, thermal underwear and carpets), stationery, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes. An addition polymer made from the monomer propylene, it is rugged and unusually resistant to many chemical solvents, bases and acids.
In 2008, the global market for polypropylene had a volume of 45.1 million tonnes, which led to a turnover of about $65 billion (~ €47.4 billion).

Polypropylene is a major polymer used in non-wovens, with over 50% used for diapers or sanitary products where it is treated to absorb water (hydrophilic) rather than naturally repelling water (hydrophobic).

click here to read more on Polypropylene

7. Bleach

In order to promote the whiter-than-white, sterile image disposable feminine hygiene products are heavily bleached and treated. Elemental chlorine gas has been a common bleaching agent. This is a source of dioxin, a known human carcinogen. Dioxin is 70,000 times more lethal than arsenic and next to plutonium the most toxic substance known to humans. 

Since an environmental campaign in Great Britain persuaded UK manufacturers to change the bleaching method many now use either chlorine dioxide or hydrogen peroxide.

click here to read more on Dioxin and Its Effects

8. Fragrance or Deodorant

This is an invention whereby a sanitary napkin has an adhesive with perfume carrying release agents. Preferably the release agents are microcapsules that release perfume upon removal of a release liner from the adhesive, and/or during the user's wear of the sanitary napkin, and/or upon the removal of the sanitary napkin from the user's undergarment. The perfume releases are either as fragrance bursts, diffusion or both.

click here to read more on Contact Dermatitis of the Vulva

*** Women with excessive vaginal secretions often use self adhesive pads for comfort and hygiene. A fragrance and disinfecting agent are commonly incorporated into the pad and both may produce contact dermatitis. Sterry and Schmoll reported the case of a woman with genital pruritis who had been using self adhesive pads for several months. Patch testing was positive to the layer of the pad which contained the fragrance and the disinfecting agent (CuII-acetyl acetonate and acetyl acetonate). A similar case has also been described of sensitivity to cinnamic alcohol and cinnamic aldehyde present as a perfume in a deodorant sanitary napkin.

***taken from here

Here are some interesting articles concerning the world of sanitary pads:

Chemicals in Sanitary Pads

Chlorine Bleaching and Dioxin

A Research on Dioxin

Chemicals in Sanitary Napkins

Menstrual Products Go Green

... to be continued

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Salicylate-Free Barley-li-cious Popsicle!


1. 3 cups of barley groats
2. 1 cup of sugar
3. 4 cups of water
4. Popsicle containers

1. Wash the barley groats.

2. Fill a large pot with 4 cups of water and add the barley groats into it.

3. Boil for about an hour.

4. Once the barley water has turned murky, the drink is ready.

5. Scoop up the groats.

6. Add sugar to the drink.

7. Allow the drink to cool.

8. Once it is no longer hot, scoop into popsicle containers and keep in freezer until frozen.

Bon appétit!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Unsanitary Sanitary Issues - Part 1

Sometime early this year, I started to develop a new sensitivity to a product which I have been using since the moment my body hit puberty.

Yup, sanitary pads have been giving me hell every month.

It began with urine infections after every period ended.

Month after month after month.

And then a few months back, the pads started to burn me. The sanitary pads would burn me as though I had salt being poured on an open wound. It certainly brought back all the unpleasant memories of the episiotomy and the severe urine infection I had immediately after the birth of my son seven-and-a-half years ago!

And then the yeast infections started. I have not had yeast infections for years!

I knew the pads were the cause of the problems as they all happened during and immediately after the periods. I would be symptom-free in between periods!

So I started reading and researching what disposable sanitary pads are made of and what they consist of.

The A - Z of A Commercially Made Disposable Sanitary Pad

1. Large amounts of wood pulp fibers are dispersed in a large tub of water. Chemicals and dyes are added to this process.

2. The pulp is then scraped, brushed and inserted with air to make it fleecy.

3. Some pads contain rayon, which also originates from wood for extra absorbency.

4. The cellulose in the wood is dissolved in a caustic solution, and squirted into fine jets in an acid bath.

5. The mixture then solidifies and dries into longer fibers.

6. The pads go through chemical processes which include de-linking recycled material, and washing with detergents.

7. Additives are used to enhance the absorbency of the pads. The absorbency agent and wet-strength agent are polysorbate and area formaldehyde.

8. To reduce the thickness of sanitary pads, sphagnum and super absorbent polyacrylate super absorbent gels which are derived from petroleum are used.

'The materials used to manufacture most pads are derived from the petroleum industry and forestry. The absorbent core, made from chlorine bleached wood pulp, could be reduced to make slimmer products with the addition of polyacrylate gels which sucks up the liquid quickly and holds it in a suspension under pressure. The remaining materials are mostly derived from the petroleum industry, the cover stock used is polypropylene non-woven, with the leakproof barrier made from polyethylene film.' click here

9. All sanitary pads are bleached with chlorine to give them that white, glowing, pristine look.

10. The bottom/back of the pads has strips of pressure-sensitive adhesive covered with a strip of siliconised compound paper.

11. If they are scented pads, fragrance is added.

12. And colourful prints (which are made of dyes) are added to pads today to make them look attractive.

click here to read Sanitary Pads - A Silent Health Threat

... to be continued

Monday, 6 August 2012

41 Months

Time sure flies. It has been 41 months since the day I met Death. As I am writing this, reminiscing all that has happened, all that I have gone through, the places in Life that I have gone through during these 41 months, I feel satiated and a sense of accomplishment.

You exclaim.

Am I healed?

Have I overcome the biggest obstacle of my life: to live in perfect health?

Can I smell, eat and use anything that I fancy?

Can I drop everything and go anywhere in a heartbeat?

Can I live life as 'normal' people do?

So how can I feel satiated and have a sense of accomplishment?

I can feel satiated because I fought the fight with all of me. I did not go into battle with a half-hearted, half-prepared Evelyn. I did not give up, although I fell down many times. I did not mop in self-pity. I made sure I got up after every fall. I climbed back up the mountain of Salicylates-and-Chemicals after sliding down a millionth time. I got up again and again and again and again AND again. And the 'again and again' is never ending.

And I have started to see a glimmer of hope.

My body started healing in different ways.

My eyesight has improved.

I have been able to take two different types of biscuits and a type of organic flakes. And they are not made by ME!!!! I bought them of the shelves of supermarkets!

I have traveled for the first time on a plane in a very, very long time to another country.

I have pushed myself beyond the boundaries of the life of a salicylate-chemical-sensitive person.

I drive a minimum of 180km every week.

I am able to eat food with salicylates in small amounts.

And that, is a great accomplishment for this warrior!

Just as our national badminton shuttler did not win the gold medal in last night's Olympic 2012 badminton competition, he is a winner indeed even with the silver medal. A champion. A glorified fighter. Because he fought all the way to the end without giving up. He gave his very best. He gave his all. And that makes him a winner!

My battle is far from over. My struggles are far from being over. But at where I am now, I can say that I have fought with all of my heart, with all of my might, with all of me. And that makes me a winner. And thus, I can feel satiated and say that I have accomplished much.

'I shall not die of a cold.  I shall die of having lived.' - Willa Cather

Container Garden - An Update

More cherry tomatoes and okras!
Another juicy looking corn!
Once the corn plants all bore fruits, I chopped and cut the leaves and stems into smaller pieces to speed up the process of composting. 
My 1 1/2 year old lemon tree
Even MORE cherry tomatoes! This is the second tray. 
Red Spinach!
Look at the aphids sucking the life out of this corn plant. This plant did not fruit at all. 

Siu Pak Choy!
Another tomato tree!
Fruit rot! :(
Kitchen waste will be turned into compost! 
Choy Sum!
The Zinnia drying up. 

Today's harvest of Choy Sum, Red Spinach, Okras and Cherry Tomatoes!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Barley-li-cious Pancakes!

Part 1


1. 1 1/2 cup of barley groats
2. 1 1/4 cup of brown sugar
3. 4 cups of water


1. Wash the barley groats.

2. Pour the washed barley groats and 4 cups of water into a large pot and boil for about 45 minutes or until the water turns murky.

3. Once the groats have softened, scoop the groats up and add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Set aside.


Part 2


1. 250gm of organic barley flour
2. 250gm of organic all-purpose flour
3. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
4. 50gm of butter (softened at room temperature)
5. 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
6. 1 teaspoon of sea-salt
7. 5 large eggs (room temperature)
8. 3 cups of barley water


1. In a large mixing bowl, add the barley flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, softened butter, sunflower oil, sea-salt, eggs and barley water.

2. Whisk the mixture by using an electric whisk until all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly and the mixture is smooth.

3. Heat the frying pan.

4. Once the pan has heated up, scoop up the mixture by using a small soup ladle.

5. Fry the pancakes.

6. Set aside to cool.

7. Serve warm.

Bon appétit!

*This was my first time using barley flour and it gave a nutty flavour to the pancakes. Try the recipe!

I had a barley pancake and barley drink for breakfast. One word to describe the meal, 'YUMMY!' 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Low-Salicylate Snacki-li-cious Snack!


1. 500g of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
2. 2 teaspoons of sea-salt
3. Sunflower oil


1. Wash and soak the chickpeas/garbanzo in a bowl of water overnight.

2. Pour the water away and boil the chickpeas until they have softened.

3. Drain the water away and dry the chickpeas/garbanzo beans until they are almost 100% dried.

4. Preheat the oven at 190C.

5. Pour them on a large baking tray and spread them out.

6. Pour the sea-salt and drizzle sunflower oil over the chickpeas/garbanzo beans and mix them thoroughly until all are covered in salt and oil.

7. Bake them for about 30 to 40 minutes.

8. They will be cooked when they have turned into dark, golden brown. Make sure they do not burn!

9. This dish will be done once the chickpeas/garbanzo beans are crunchy!

10. You can store them in an airtight container. But trust me, with a snack this delicious, it won't stay in the container for long!

Bon appétit!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Haze is Back!

The haze is so terrible that with each breath, my nostrils get burned. It got blown back overnight! The air is filled with the horrible acrid burning smell. When I was driving, it was as if I was driving through a fog. And it is so extremely, overly dusty. 

It's time for the hippo rain dance again, my friends! And if you can huff and puff like the big, bad wolf, please do so. We need healthy and clean air.

This was yesterday's weather. It was like inhaling nails into the lungs!
This was this morning at 9am. Not as bad as yesterday, but as the day progressed, the haze started to build up again.