Insomnia

For a long time I had insomnia. Even though I was physically exhausted, I couldn’t sleep and kept tossing and turning in bed. When sleep finally came to me, there was probably only an hour before the alarm had to go off.

Family and friends told me to stop drinking coffee, but I wouldn’t hear of it — how could I function without my morning coffee?

But then it got to a point that I was so desperate for sleep that I finally decided to switch to decaf in the morning. Surprisingly, I was fine! I didn’t feel any different; I’m a morning person and even without my regular blend, I went to work full of energy. And I had a really good sleep that night as well.

That’s how I was convinced to make the switch to decaf.

However, what I want to understand is why did my body all of a sudden become overly sensitive to my beloved coffee?

Is it because I have changed my diet? I seldom eat red meat or drink soda or sugary drinks now. I haven’t had red meat in almost a year, soda in over a year!

Is it because of age?

I am still searching for the answer but grateful that now I can sleep again.

If you’re reading this because you have trouble sleeping, perhaps you can try changing something in your diet. Or habit.😉

Good luck!

T.

Veggies in a Nori

I’ve been craving spring rolls for two weeks now. I even got my sisters to eat vegetarian spring rolls last time I was home. I was so amazed that they ate them — all veggies, no meat at all! Finding spring roll wrappers back home is not a problem. You can find them in the supermarkets or grocery stores.

I find it ironic that I am having a hard time finding them here in China. So today at the supermarket I bought nori instead! It you ask me why I won’t just eat the veggies without wrapping them, the only answer I can give you is — I just want them in a wrap!

Today I had stir-fried bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, cilantro and king oyster mushroom wrapped in nori. It’s not sushi, but has the taste of one without the caloric content of rice.

It was a filling and healthy lunch. 😊

Have a wonderful week!

T.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

I had a quite filling yet inexpensive lunch today — two pieces of vegetarian spring rolls.

Ordering these spring rolls before grocery-shopping at Walmart-SM Mall has been a habit of mine for years now (Walmart-SM is on the island, so I only go there once or twice a month.) A friend of mine introduced the restaurant to me at least 10 years ago, and I’ve been going to that restaurant for their spring rolls ever since.

  • These spring rolls have dried tofu, cabbage, celery, cilantro, carrot and peanut sauce.

  • A very simple yet filling and healthy meal.

    There are a number of spring roll recipes online. You can try making your own.

    Apart from finding time to exercise, it isn’t very hard to lose weight. Stick to a healthy diet.

    Good luck!

    T.

    Dumplings for vegetarians

    Egg and leek dumplings

    I am not a vegetarian, but I try to eat more vegetables than meat. Yesterday I had my first (and last) meat dish for the week, so I wasn’t so keen on having dumplings for supper.

    But my husband wanted to have dumplings in a Dongbei 东北 (northeastern) restaurant. Most dumplings have meat in them. Thankfully the restaurant serves leek and egg dumplings (韭菜鸡蛋水饺.)

    Soy sauce + vinegar + red pepper sauce

    Last week I did my dance workout one hour every single day and also did planking and lifting weights and really watched my diet.

    I lost 1 kilogram.

    Though I tend to eat more during weekends when my husband and I eat together, I know if I really want to, I can lose one kilogram again this week with exercise and a vegetarian diet.

    Optimism and discipline. 💪

    T.

    Coconut Water

    When I was a kid, we never had to buy coconut or coconut water as my late grandfather had a farm and we could have all the coconut water we wanted. The tenants’ sons so expertly climbed the tree and got us young coconuts which they then as expertly cracked open with the blunt edge of a bolo.

    Those were the days.

    Now we have to buy young coconuts for the water. I’ve only tried the coconut water sold in stores once, and that was it. It didn’t taste like coconut water at all. Luckily for me, I come from a country where it’s in abundance so it’s pretty inexpensive. I was quite surprised to find the price of one here in Jimei is 15RMB (2.15 USD). For that price back home, it’s served in a restaurant and you don’t have to open it yourself! Lol.

    Coconut water is supposedly rich in potassium, richer than bananas even. It is also low in calories and free of fat and cholesterol.

    I had kidney stones as a kid, so my mother often encouraged me to drink more coconut water. Back then I didn’t know why but having read about it more, coconut water is supposed to help dissolve kidney stones because of its richness in potassium which helps prevent formation of kidney stones.

    I honestly think it helped me back then, especially as I don’t remember taking medicines for my kidney problem.

    However a few articles online also said that if you have chronic kidney disease, you should limit your potassium intake which means coconut water may not be best for you.

    Like most “findings” these days, it’s hard to determine which one’s right or wrong. One day “experts” say something is good for you; later, another group of “experts” say it’s bad for you.

    I guess the best advice is: moderation.

    But one thing I can assure you: fresh coconut water is healthier and more refreshing than an ice-cold soda!

    Happy weekend!💕

    T.

    Bitter (Gourd) Memory

    This is what I had for lunch today: bitter gourd with egg, sprinkled with black pepper and cumin.

    I loved it. But I haven’t always loved it.

    When I was a child, my mother often prepared a bitter gourd salad which I could not even chew because of its bitterness. In high school, our Practical Arts teacher told us this vegetable (or vegetable-fruit) was a blood purifier. That really stuck with me. Several times I tried to like this vegetable, but it wasn’t until only a couple of years ago that I could finally appreciate the bitterness of the bitter gourd.

    And am I thankful that I like it now!

    It’s supposedly packed with nutrients and can help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels. And as it is rich in fiber and low in calories, it’s great for weight loss as well.

    Did I enjoy my lunch? I sure did! (I learned from my Korean friend that this is not cheap in South Korea. However, there’s an abundance of bitter gourd in southern China where I am now and in my home country as well. So, lucky me!)

    Have a healthy week!

    T.