Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I go and become a vegetarian!

My darling 'ever so clever in asking question that puts me on a spot' son asked with wide innocent eyes why my blog name is "Go Vege'. Oh yah. Hm. It sounds nice. I am vegetarian. Its sound kind of special, et cetera.... But this 'ever so smart in front of her children' vegetarian mum has got to come up with a short, logical, uncomplicated explanation. Right? So the answer that came out of my mouth is "because I go and become a vegetarian." So thats it. GoVege!

Friday, June 12, 2009


My darling son's tuition teacher praised him for doing a good job finishing his assessments given to him and writing neatly. Wow! I'm so flattered. Thoughts of him passing his swimming bronze test after much hard work, and making himself useful by mopping the floor for me crossed my mine, and even when the most angelic part of me had wanted to believe that it is true that his has finally turned a new leaf, but there is this tiny part of me which still think that something is amissed.

I took a look at his assessments books and there it was, the answers was nicely written. Word for word. This vege mum took a pair of scissor and cut away the answer sheets at the back. Leaving no chance for repeated mischieve at all. No. Absolutely no. There is no chance that this silly son of mine can get away with cheating and cheating is not a good virtue. So son, be prepare to face the music. When you cheat, be prepared...

Friday, May 01, 2009


Parading in front of my son's school is a daily affair, along with many other parents in ordered to fetch our children after school. This old auntie came up and started giving me a piece of her 'well meaning' advise. According to her I can't bring my children to public places especially shopping centres. Because of the swine flu, she said. She kept talking and talking but in my mind I was like.... yeah, thanks for the advise.

'And you shouldn't bring them out if they are sick'... Yeah I know...'don't make people sick'....yeah I know'... 'The flu comes from pigs'...'yeah'...the machine gun that did its round of firing seems not likely to stop anytime soon. People suffers. War is imminent. A retaliation was in the agenda.

'why do you think such virus exist?' '......'
'why do you eat pork then?' '....'
'if people don't eat pork then there won't be any swine flu?' '....'
This time was my round of firings.....

This soldier got the signal that his enemy was too strong to takeover. A retreat was in order. The move away was swift, the retreat was in total. 'My grandson is here'... He was already here...

Well I didn't mean to hurt your feelings you know? I am speaking from my camp's(vegetarian) point of view. Normally I'm as meek as a gentle kitty cat. Not until peace turns into a war under the blazing heat...and hey...I don't even know you!

Monday, January 05, 2009

How do you celebrate Chinese New Year?

When I and my husband first turned vegetarian the people in our extended family were strongly against us vegetarians. Whenever there were gathering they will definitely persuade us to eat meat just for this special occasion. Then there were also the occasional good intentions and gentle reminders about proper nutrients especially for the children.

On such occasions, digging a hole on the ground and stick my head in is not an option. Extreme action like disappearing on an important day such as the first day of Chinese New did crossed my mind. Yes, if they cannot respect your wishes and philosophy, then they do not respect you as a person and do not deserve to be respected by you. Drastic times call for drastic measures. But we do know that in real life it doesn't quite work that way. It would create a wrong impression that vegetarians are anti-social. So what was I thinking?

So the only way is to put on that fakest of the smiles and hold your head high and don't argue or else all relatives will gang up against you. As time goes by they will accept the fact so in the mean time, patience is a good virtue.

Happy Chinese New Year to all!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What Are Phytonutrients?

Folk wisdom has always singled out fruits and vegetables as being indispensable for health, but it has only been within the last thirty years that we know why. Science and technology have isolated compounds in plants and vegetables that have literally been our life-savers. These are phytonutrients which all fruits and vegetables produce because their means of survival in the environment is through the release of disease-fighting phytochemicals. Phytochemicals stimulate the production of protective self-repairing cells in plants. They also produce the same kinds of responses in humans. For example, they release protective enzymes that inhibit cancer-producing substances, thus reducing our susceptibility to disease. It makes sense for us to harness the powers of plants in our diets. Four sources of phytonutrients that cannot be ignored if we want to remain healthy and cancer free are berries, cruciferous and dark, leafy vegetables, soy and red wine.

Berries, such as blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries offer the highest sources of phytonutrients. They all produce a natural substance called ellagic acid which has been shown to be a good defense against carcinogens because they suppress tumor development. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant content. High in flavonoids, they also provide powerful protection against prostate cancer. Two and a half cups of fresh strawberries a day can supply enough vitamin C to help restore sperm production in men. Cranberries have been known to prevent cystisis, a painful and often recurring urinary tract infection in women. A study involving 72 postmenopausal women found that 10 ounces of cranberry juice every day reduced the likelihood of bladder infection by 58%. Cranberries have also been shown to reduce stomach ulcers and lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) and dark leafy vegetables (like swiss chard, spinach) also have high levels of antioxidant phytonutrients. In a study conducted by New York's Strang-Cornell Cancer Research Laboratory, women who consumed a diet high in cruciferous vegetables experienced a dramatic drop in estrogen levels, which means that these vegetable are definitely powerful tools for fighting against breast cancer. The assumption is that the phytochemicals in these vegetables deactivate potent estrogens, thus preventing estrogen-sensitive cells, particularly in the breast , from developing tumors. Sulforaphane, another phytochemical in cruciferous vegetables, triggers a self-defense system in the body that acts to detoxify carcinogens. Spinach contains four times more beta carotene than broccoli and is a good source of vitamins C and E. It also has high levels of photosynthetic proteins which convert sunlight into energy. Researchers at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology are harnessing the power of spinach in a new direction--creating highly cost-effective solar panels.

Soy is another phytonutrient rich food. Soy products contain genestein, which has been shown to have strong anti-cancer properties. It contains as well phytoestrogen, which has been shown to reduce the risk and spread of prostate cancer. Researchers suggest that the phytonutrient isoflavones, like phytoestrogen, may reduce the risk of breast cancer. Another isoflavone compound in soy called daidzein has also been found to improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels in women. A study conducted at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has uncovered evidence that this estrogen-like compound is the main reason for soy's healthy effects. Women with low estrogen levels seemed to have benefited most from daidzein, which reduced LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels, leading researchers to recommend that women include soy food products as part of their cardiovascular risk reduction strategies.

And last but not least is the phytonutrient, resveratrol, found in red wine, that literally makes wine drinking a cancer-fighting measure. Resveratrol is present in the leaves, twigs and bark of the grape vines. And red wine, which is fermented from grape skins, seeds and twigs tends to have large quantities of these cancer-fighting substances. Resveratrol has also been demonstrated to be a potent antioxidant (more potent than vitamin C alone) which can act synergistically with vitamin C, thus enhancing the effects of each. It also prevents the formation of blood clots and promotes the formation of new dendrites in the brain.

Let us put all these phytonutrients to good use. Why not sit down to a hearty soy burger, broccoli spears and cauliflower salad, warm berry compote and a glass of red wine? Yummy! Life cannot be better!

Mary Desaulniers

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What Are The Natural Healthy Properties of Flaxseed?

Flaxseed oil, which was cited by Hippocrates as a medicine, is recently making a comeback in popularity as modern man has discovered the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids. Nutty flavored flaxseed oil is highly concentrated with this heart healthy unsaturated fat. Some of the benefits of Omega 3 acids include its positive effect on high blood pressure, the immune system, inflammatory disorders, and some cancers. Flaxseed oil has also proven beneficial in treating in treating eczema.

Both the seed and oil variety of flax are heart healthy due to the Omega 3 fatty acid. This type of fat is important to the development of cell membranes and the regulation of blood pressure. It also has a positive effect on lowering the body’s bad cholesterol levels and might even lower the chances of blood clotting thus preventing heart attacks.

Flax seeds themselves have even more health benefits than the oil. These seeds have a hard shell and are slightly bigger than sesame seeds. The seeds contain fiber, protein, minerals, B vitamins and lignins. Lignin, a phytonutrient, is believed to have anti cancer properties, especially, estrogen linked varieties such as breast cancer. Lignins are also noted for their antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal abilities.

Flaxseeds are high in fiber which can be taken regularly as a natural laxative and help prevent colon cancer and ease the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This type of fiber is also believed to be beneficial for those struggling to maintain their blood sugar levels.

Women may also benefit from adding flaxseeds and flaxseed oil to their diet as there are some studies that suggest it assists in promoting natural ovulation as well as having a positive effect on hormones which eases pre-menopausal symptoms.

After reading about some of the benefits the flaxseed offers one may be interested in ways to incorporate them into their diet. First, keep in mind that the seeds need to be ground to experience their health effects; otherwise they just quickly pass through and exit the body. Also, flaxseed oil, like all other oils high in essentially fatty acids is not meant for cooking with. The heating process has a negative effect. Simply add the oil to foods once prepared such as vegetables and pastas.

As mentioned, the flaxseeds can be ground much like flour and therefore can be baked into many foods, including breads, muffins, and pancakes. As the flaxseed has increased in popularity it can also be found in ready to eat cereals and bars. Or, one can simply grind the seeds and toss them on salads, vegetables, etc.

One caution is that some people may be allergic to flaxseeds.

Rachel Gillespe