Monday, January 28, 2013

Rice and weight loss

At this stage of my life, I am surrounded by more and more overweight people. Yes, overweight. Even as as avid yoga practitioner and 'health freak' as some friends would call me, I, too have some fair or rather unfair share of struggles to keep the weight down. I would like to stress here I do NOT advocate a daily weighing-in as it will simply interfere with our main objective....a looooonnnggg term weigh loss.
The common talks about change of diet usually include removing rice from the daily intake. Now, why would anyone wants to do that, really??!! Why rice? Unless you were born and raised outside Malaysia or any other Asian countries for that matter, rice was the first solid food that we were fed and rice has helped us to grow stronger and healthier day by day. Putting that side, we then conveniently blame rice as the key source to our weight problem. Rather convenient, I must say!! Some even went to the extreme of substituting rice with noodles or pasta because it makes them feel 'less full'. When we eat, we are supposed to 'feel full'. The whole purpose of eating is so that we can have that 'full' feeling. Unless, you are trying to tell me that you've adopted our beloved Prophet Muhammad style of eating, most of us 'feel full' after meal.
Now, let's compare rice to noodles/pasta. I often say that when we eat or drink, choose something which is less processed and this include noodles/pasta. Of course, if we wanna go further into this, we could say that brown rice is better than white rice but I shall leave that topic for another blog entry. You don't have to be a dietician to know that noodles/pasta has indeed undergone several more stages of processing compared rice and yet, more feel better about eating noodles/pasta and even bread compare to rice.
On average, I eat rice 4 times a week. During my two months stint in Mysore, I had rice almost everyday and  sometimes, twice a day but then again, I also had minimal 4hours of yoga practice so you may say that with that amount of yoga everyday I could eat a whole chicken daily and still lose weight.
The fact is, I chose rice over many things because I believe (based on my readings and experiences) that rice will provide me the most fulfilling and lasting feeling even when consumed in small portion which brings me to the next important step of weigh loss, portion control. Take one hand and make a fist. That should be the amount of food to take on each meal. I take minimal of 4 meals a day and I snack quite a bit. Check out the photo. Fruits are usually consume between 10-11am and biscuits+cheese between 3-4pm. I have breakfast around 7am and lunch between 12-1pm. I usually have rice+vege+/meat/fish for lunch with 1:3 portion. And remember the fist measurement while you're at it.
I wish people would stop demonising food at will and start looking at the way they eat for a change.




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

When my master comes for visit...

Recently my yoga master, Bharath Shetty, came to KL for Teachers Training Course  (TTC) organised by a fellow Yoga India graduate, Angeline Liew, at her beautiful studio which is very close proximity to Sunway Giza. She is a wonderful soul, true yogi and a great teacher...and thanks to her my visit to Mysore two years ago was less stressful to organise. God bless her.

Me and Master
My master, if i may call that, is based in Mysore, India. This trip to Malaysia is the first trip abroad for him and we are so honoured with that. After almost a week in KL, another fellow Yoga India graduate, Sam, and I, decided to take our master for dinner. Neither of us is vegetarian but for that evening we both decided to take him to Saravanan Bhavan in Bangsar Baru for some vegetarian goodness. Being a simple person he is, the food agrees with him well.

He asked if the two of us would be attending Master Class the following day to which we both said 'no' because of prior commitments. I obviously would not be able to make it as I have wonderful faces waiting for me in class. I told him that I will make it for his next trip in June. Having a class with him is indeed felt like being with a master...you can't help feeling the sense of achievement when you're done but yet feel that there are so much more to learn from him. You are humbled by that. Yoga makes you humble...more so with the master in class. There is a strong sense of peace and calm around him. You wanna say so much but you don't wanna as you are afraid it might just 'upset' the balance.

I will try to make it to his class in June. Perhaps I will try to organise my Sunday students to attend too. Now, that would be something worthwhile to plan.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Yoga and commitments

Since last December, I've increased the usual 60mins Sunday class to 90mins. Not sure why though. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I have students coming from as far as Bangi for the class and find it worthwhile for her to attend a longer class for her effort every week. You see, she has been in class since 2 years ago and I've had the pleasure of seeing her progress all these times and it is rewarding to bear witness to such thing. I know that it sounded absurd to decide on such thing based on one student but I guess, as a teacher, nothing gives you more pleasure to see such passion in class.
The Sunday class has grew and the students changed as months passed. We have new students and few old ones. Most have never done yoga in their lives and decided to start for reasons only known to them but some started because of injuries. For whatever reason, I'm glad some have open their hearts and minds to yoga. Yoga is, after all, for everybody.
On whether or not, they would still be there next few months, only God knows.

I've also started a personal class with a 45yrs old working lady at ungodly 6.30am twice on weekdays. When I started work last November, I decided not to take any classes on weekdays as I thought I wanted more 'me' time as I've already have weekend classes to commit to but...I  don't why but when I got her text, after some thoughts, decided to take the challenge. Yes, having class at 6.30-7.30am twice weekdays with fulltime job is by no means 'a walk in the park'. Funnily since started last 2 weeks, I felt more energise going to office right after as the feeling of accomplishment after each class took over me. Life is funny that way.

With all the happenings in my personal life, I've decided to get my mind occupied with things..things that matters, things that fulfilling, things that makes me better, things that makes me stronger. And that is how I'm gonna live my life from now on. You can't change people in your life but you can change yourself and insist on being happy! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eat right for your type...blood type. I am 'AB negative'...find out yours.

I find this book by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo "Eat Right For Your Type" is highly informative and beneficial. From the book cover, the book is 'the individualised diet solution to staying healthy, living longer and achieving your ideal weight'.
Here some excepts on my blood Type...AB negative:



Blood Type AB is less than a thousand years, rare (2-5 per cent of the world's population), and biologically complex.
Essentially, most foods which are not recommended for either Type A or Type B are probably bad for Type AB, although there are some exceptions.

The Weight Loss Factor
For weight loss, consumption of meats should be restricted, only eating small amounts that are supplemented with vegetables and tofu. (yes tofu)

The list is rather extensive but I'll be writing only 3 main food categories. Each food category is divided into HIGHLY BENEFICIAL,NEUTRAL and AVOID. Here, i'll be listing only the HIGHLY BENEFICIAL and AVOID. For more info, do buy the book and have a good read. It might help you to lose that stubborn fat and....save your life. So, here it is.

Meat, Offal, Poultry and Game
Avoid all smoked or cured meats. These foods can cause stomach cancer in people with low levels of stomach acid, a trait ABs have in common with Type As.
HIGHLY BENEFICIAL: Lamb; Mutton; Rabbit; Turkey
AVOID: Bacon;Beef;Buffalo;Chicken;Duck;Goose;Poussin;Veal;Venison;Quail

Seafood
Wide variety of seafoods for Type ABs, an excellent source of protein.
HIGH BENEFICIAL: Cod;Grouper;Mackerel;Red snapper;Sardines;Snails
AVOID: Anchovy;Lobster;Octopus;Oysters;Sea Bass;Shrimp

Dairy Products and Eggs
Beneficial especially cultured and soured products- buttermilk,yogurt and reduced fat sour cream. Primary problem is excessive mucus production. Should watch for signs of respiratory problems, sinus attacks or ear infections, indication to cut back on the dairy food.
HIGH BENEFICIAL: Cheese-Cottage,FArmers,Goat,Mozarella,Ricotta
AVOID: Cheese-blue,parmesan;Brie;Butter;Buttermilk;Camembert;Ice Cream

The list also includes several others food categories that is simply to long for me to write.
It includes: Oils&FAts; Nuts&Seeds; Beans&Pulses; Cereals; Bread,Crispbread&Muffins; Grains&Pastas; Vegetables,Sprouts,Soya Products&Fresh herbs; Fruits; Juices&Other Fluids; Spices,Dried Herbs& Flavourings.





Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Fasting Yogi....

It is the time of the month whereby as a good Muslim, I will fast the whole month of Ramadhan which coincidently this year will be in the whole month of August...it makes it easier, somehow, to count the number of days we Muslims have fasted which is very crucial for our day to day expectation....ok, i'm kidding on the last part. even at this not-so-young age of mine, i still keep a mental check on the number of days i've fasted on...well, hourly basis....this keeps my minds occupied and strong in facing the challenges...again, i'm kidding. well, keeping ones mind occupied is imperative in order for one to stay fasting day-in, day-out. of course, during this holy month, we are encouraging to recite Quran and go for Tarawih, after the break fast, to gain further benefits for body, soul and after life. Yes, the after life...the stage that we often forget or choose to forget.

As a yogi, i insist on staying true to my practice even while fasting. Since day 1, i've been practising minimal 60mins of yoga accompany with some soothing lounge music just to help with the flow. Yes, i admit, i do use music regularly in my practice...something that my master would not agree with. Then again, being in class with him is calming enough that no music or extra help is required. Bless you Master Bharath Shetty. When fasting, it is rather challenging to engage in the regular routine as the body is in a resting mode (and plan to stay that way whole day) that any attempt to engage in slightly more vigorous poses...will be denied! So, I opted for combination of Astanga, 6 rounds of sun salutation, and Yin Yoga. Why Yin, I always find Yin Yoga rather interesting and Paul Grilley with his Yin Yoga book, managed to capture my attention and made me a follower.

Over the years, i find that yoga is best for those fasting. It is less taxing to the body and yet, the feeling after is indeed invigorating and yes, you may take my word for it. Perhaps you can opt for less standing (e.g. warrior I,II&III) poses and more sitting (e.g. paschimottanasana,baddhakonasana) and lying (e.g. supta padangusthasana,bridge) down poses. With Yin Yoga, you are encourage if not expected, to stay between 3-5 mins depending on your body and capability as it believes this will strengthen the connective tissues (detailed explanation in first few pages of the book).

End of day...you do what you can to stay true to who you are and what you believe. I am a Muslim first and foremost...and a yogi, all year round.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

6 Days in Chiangmai



Recently, I spent almost a week in Chiangmai. Was there with an old friend and 2 new friends. Shared a room with one of the new friend and found myself talking about mental and emotional calmness over that few days. The old friend and one of the new friend are sisters whom silence will only be found when they are both asleep...which was much needed especially after spending the whole day together. During the entire trip, they visited more temples and religious related buildings small/big more than i did in my entire lifetime combined, and as of last sunday, 5June, i am not that young..LOL. So, you see, they did a lot of visits.

my roommate and i decided to take a more laid back approach by going for walks, massages and hairwash, and lots and lots of coffee breaks, and talked about important things like relationship and life in general. somehow, that managed to lead me into talking about my past experiences (always claimed i had the 'most' among friends especially when relationships are concerned) and how yoga has changed my outlook on work, family&friends, love and living in general.
she complained about having migraine, gastritis and sinus which stress is the common factor. i told her that i used to have all that because of stress at work. she looked a bit puzzled. now, i don't know why people seemed to assume that i've must been a yoga instructor all my adult life and failed to see why i 1.would understand anything about stress at work (how stressful can it be to teach yoga really??? 2. being a yogi with so much 'zen'ness cultivated over the years, stress managed to creep into my 'peaceful' life. but seriously??? Then, i felt compelled to explain rather briefly that i studied accounting in uni, graduated, worked in accounting firm for 5 long years where my youth was basically robbed if not stolen! And proceed to mention the rest of my work history...not a short one, i dare say.
you see, i can relate to a lot of my students and friends and whoever who wanna talk about all the happenings in their lives...well, almost anything...because at this stage of my life, I have been there and done that! i am comfortable of who i am and what i am.

Everyday, I strive to be a better friend, better instructor, better yogi, better sister, better daughter, better wife, better listener, better reader, better blogger, better twitter, better runner, better eater, better tennis player, better squash player, and in general, a better ME.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yoga Sequence during menstruation

1. Supta Baddha Konasana - support the torso on a bolsters (5mins)
2. Supta Padangusthasana - reclining big toe pose (use strap to hold the raised leg in place) each side 2 mins
3. Baddha Konasana
4. Janu Sirsasana -support head with bolster across extended leg or front edge of padded chair seat (if less flexible), 3-5mins each
5. Paschimottanasana -rest torso and head supported on bolster laid along her legs, 3-5mins each
6.Upavistha Konasana (seated wide-angle pose) - rest the torso on a bolster positioned between her legs with long axis parallel to the torso- 3-5mins- then came up and twist to each side for 30s to 1min, holding the shin or the inside of the foot
7. Urdhva Dhanurasana (upward-facing bow) - 3-5mins
8. Bharadvajasana
9. Viparita Karani (legs-up-the-wall pose)- support her pelvis on a bolster or rolled blanket
-to roll off the support before turning to her side, 5-10mins
10. Savasana - 8-10mins

(Min 45mins, max 60mins)

In practising during the menstruation, one has to listen to the body more than usual as the experience is different for everyone.