Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Twice Loaded-Baked Potatoes

YUM! YUM! I found this recipe on while browsing and thought that I would share with you. Since it also caters to vegetarians. . . and pretty easy to make -which is very important criterion for me-, it’s a plus, I love this!


  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 8 ounces 90%-lean ground beef
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 scallions, sliced

Cooking Directions

  1. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook at 50% power, turning once or twice, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. (Or, use the ‘potato setting’ on your microwave and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.)
  2. Meanwhile, brown meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Increase heat to high, add broccoli and water to the skillet, cover, and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli; add to the meat.
  3. Carefully cut off the top third of the cooked potatoes; reserve the tops for another use. Scoop the insides out into a medium bowl. Place the potato shells in a small baking dish. Add 1/2 cup Cheddar, sour cream, salt and pepper to the potato insides and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add scallions and the potato mixture to the broccoli and meat; stir to combine.
  4. Evenly divide the potato mixture among the potato shells and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Microwave on high until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

A little ‘zing’
Think of baked potatoes as nature’s mini casseroles: an edible dish that can hold up to a hearty stuffing. Russets have just the right balance to make a perfect twice-baked potato: enough starch to keep its structure, enough moisture to endure the double cooking. Make it a Meal: A tossed green salad with your favorite dressing will round out this meal.

Vegetarian Variation

Replace the ground beef with a soy-based substitute or omit the beef altogether and increase the broccoli to 1 1/2 cups and the cheese to 1 1/4 cups.

Make Ahead Tip

Prepare and stuff potatoes. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Microwave and serve.

Great SkinGreat skin doesn’t require spending a fortune on some ‘miracle cream’ made from rare seaweed from the Arctic Circle! It’s all about simple good habits.

But let’s approach those habits from the opposite direction: What are the most damaging bad habits that we usually see pass through.

Taken from one of Dr. Leslie Baumann‘s article, I can assure you that you’ll never have a bad-skin day ever again

1. Using a cleanser with harsh detergents
Many people assume that the suds of their vigorously foaming cleanser are a good sign; surely they’ll leave skin extra clean. Unfortunately, copious suds are generally a sign that your cleanser contains a harsh detergent, like lauryl sulfate, that strips skin of vital lipids; And don’t even think about using on bar soap, that is a total no-no.

Instead, look for cleansers that contain fatty acids and will actually fortify your skin, like Dove’s ProAge products, or even simple cold cream. If you have particularly dry skin, Dr. Leeslie Baumann  recommend cleansing oils, which remove dirt and makeup without disturbing your skin’s natural protective barrier.

2. Not using a retinoid
Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is the only topical ingredient proven not only to prevent lines and wrinkles but to minimize the ones you already have.
Past the age of 30, try seeing a dermatologist for a higher-concentration prescription retinoid (like Retin-A, Differin, or Tazorac, for example), but there are also many great over-the-counter creams that contain lower concentrations of retinol like Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Night Cream, and SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0.

3. Spending too much on skin care Facial mask from any drugstore
Splurging on the beautiful packaging and luxurious scents of pricey boutique skin care lines can feel wonderfully pampering, provided you know that it’s absolutely not necessary for great skin.

In fact, many of great products are made by drugstore brands, because those companies have the large budgets for top-notch research and development. If you have to choose, put your money toward that prescription retinoid, and buy the rest of your regimen at the drugstore.

4. Getting facials
Yes, that’s right. You can strike facials from your skin-care budget and actually be doing your skin a favor! Studies show that as many as 80% of people break out after a facial.

Aestheticians often don’t know which products are right for the skin of each client, and may use ingredients that can worsen acne, or essential oils that tend to irritate sensitive skin. Even if you don’t break out, there are really no long-term benefits to facials.

5. Washing your face at the wrong time
Always wash your face after you rinse out your hair products and conditioner in the shower, never before.
Many conditioners contain pore-clogging isopropyl myristate and other hair products often contain coconut oil; both are common acne-causing ingredients that you don’t want to leave on your skin.

Sunscreen With SPF-156. Not using sunscreen every day
Not just for your trip to the beach. Not just during the long summer days. Every day. Yes, it’s important to be even more vigilant if you plan to spend lots of time in direct sunlight.

But incidental sun exposure typically accounts for more of our lifetime exposure to ultraviolet rays than those days at the beach. Walking to and from your car, dashing out of the office for a sandwich, or sitting outside for a few minutes adds up. Make sure you’re covered with at least SPF 15, every day.

Having a great radiant skin requires time and doesn’t work overnight. Take it step by step, though you didn’t achieve it right after tomorrow, gradually you will. Well then, what are you waiting for? put your lazy bum to work and get your skin looking healthier than ever for 2010 New Year’s Eve party!

P/S: I used to play hockey for my junior high and my skin was really bad that time. Big thanks to dearest mom for coming to my rescue. And yes, DON’T forget to wash your face everytime before going to bed!

tummyWhoa, it can be rest assured that being a female is NOT hard but is not easy either. A LOT is going on not just in our brain but to our body too! Hey, I’m not kidding here. For example I came across these article on the causes of lower abdominal pain to a woman and I found out that some of it sure wants a REAL attention from you, let’s browse through together from clockwise of the abdomen:

At 12 o’clock is the stomach area. If you’re feeling nauseas don’t worry. It is just a common symptom that can have many causes. You should ask yourself; is your period late? or could you be pregnant? and if you are, consider a urine pregnancy test instead.

Your abdominal pain also can be cause by heartburn that can be a sign of gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining). The cure? try ‘Pepto-Bismol’ or any other medicinal solution over at the pharmacy counter. My suggestion? if all else’s fail GO TO THE DOCTORS because you may have developed an ulcer.

From 2 to 5 o’clock is the area of the descending colon. Constipation. Yurp you read it right, constipation especially in young women can cause pain the area of the descending colon. And according to Dr. Paula Kue in one of her articles, more people are constipated than will admit it. She also recommends that your fluid intake should be increased or a drink of a glass of water with fiber (like Metamucil or Citrucel) every day should do the trick if you don’t have a daily soft stool that’s easy to pass. Gosh talk about spending ‘valuable’ time in the loo, there’s a ‘force’ to be reckoned with.

Okay here’s the high-traffic area of pain that is the lower abdomen. Located from 4 to 8 o’clock, the pains can be mostly cause of ectopic pregnancy, urinary tract infections(UITs) or even pelvic inflammatory disease(PID) that is often cause by untreated sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea or clamydia. Antibiotics are necessary to prevent scarring of the reproductive organs, which can lead to subsequent infertility. Practice SAFE SEX!

The left ovary can also lead to lower abdominal pains for women.  During ovulation some women can feel pain referred to as ‘Mittlesmirtz’. Unlike the ovarion torsion, during early or mid-pregnancy, women often get round ligament pain in this area and is not really a cause for concern.

Appendicitis however can occur at 7 o’clock clockwise of the abdomen and can cause a pretty pain here in the lower abdominal also. It is usually associated with the lack of appetite.

And at 10 o’clock is the liver and gallbladder. Yurp, gallstones which commonly occur in women than men, can cause bouts of pain in the lower abdominal. Gallstone are first treated with a reduced-fat diet, but often at times they must be surgically removed.

Finally in the center of the clock,  if you have recently feel bloated or cramps that lead to diarrhea, your lower abdominal pains might be caused of the small bowels. Excess swallowed air may cause bloating and your in ability to digest the sugar and dairy products(lactose) a.k.a lactose intolerance may cause cramping and can lead to diarrhea.

Apart from the causes stated there are many others but best let the accredited person tell. Browsing The Net can be one of the options to know a little bit more of what you are curious about but if you have any symptoms such as stated you might want to record when it happened and keep a journal about it. When you go and see you doctor it can be an easier task for your doctor to identify and to diagnose you.

P/S: My uncle had his gallstones removed a year ago. The doctor said that it was because of the fatty meals he’s been eating. And he’s a male. Update: my uncle has since watch his diet by cutting down his fat intake and now he has even loses some weight from 90kg to 75kg! WOW!

Cigarette packs will carry pictorial warnings by January 1st, 2009. Malaysian Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said that a minimum of RM6.00 for 20-cigarrete pack will be charged to consumers. Non-smoking premises also will be extended.

Get it? Do not smoke. It is bad for you!

Get it? Do not smoke. It is bad for you!


'Goodbye, Metabo!'

Unlikely it is being a country that has well been known as a country that encourages healthy living now, overweight people in Japan will be re-educated on living a healthy life. According to The New York Times, this has come into effects under the national Japan law two months ago stating that the Japanese peoples’ waistline limits must measure 33.5 inches and 35.4 inches respectively for men and women. Japan also has taken a leap frog through this weight-loss campaign in the effort to slim down its citizens by re-educating its people after three months who does not lose their weight accordingly.