Monthly Archives: May 2012

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Fasting part 2

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May 2012

 

 

 

Today was a tough one!

But no instant meals today. Every morsel of food I took into my mouth has been perfectly healthy, thanks to conscience and gut instincts.

Everytime I get the urge to take a trip to the fridge, I tell myself: Why procrastinate when you can keep going without any distractions? Like yesterday, I was spending my afternoon doing my class readings while anticipating for the weekend. Even though it’s just one class I’m taking now, it’s 3 weeks. So, from a normal 16-week class, we have classes every single day, except for weekends of course. It seems like my brain’s digesting a lot of stuff at one go. It’s only the third day, but my teacher’s already talking about the final essay.

Anyway, like I said, today was tough. I just find all ways I can keep sticking to this fast. For the first half of the day, I decided to stay at home all day like yesterday. But I had to sign up for classes this summer, meaning I have to go to school and get my butt out of the house. My summer classes will begin right after this 3-week class ends. So I tried to call my school to schedule for an appointment with my advisor, and I didn’t get through. Maybe the school building is closed. So I just e-mailed my advisor, and thank God he replied promptly, and the school building is apparently NOT closed. I was worrying about it because if I’m not enrolled, that means I haven’t take these classes, which means I have not graduated!

Anyway, I get to meet my advisor either tomorrow or Monday, so I’m tremendously relieved.

So this morning, I had the same thing as yesterday:

 

 

 

I don’t think I can live without eggs. Back at home, ever since I was born, my mother always get me to eat 1 boiled egg every morning. Every single morning. Until today. So I guess it’s a habit.

Those eggs were so well-done that they immediately relieved all the hunger from my last meal yesterday (only a tablespoon of olive oil) all the way through the night. At about late morning, I was hungry again. I looked into my fridge, and all I have were vegetables. Parsley, cucumbers, frozen broccoli florets, cabbage.

 

 

 

 

I don’t want to go hungry for the next couple of hours, so I just brought them all green fibers together and ate a relatively large bowl of salad.

 

 

 
I sauteed them over olive oil and chopped garlic and onion. Then just top it all off with chili powder, black pepper, and garlic salt.

Yes, I love garlic. And I have a Dracula as a boyfriend. That’s okay. Everytime we eat out, he gives me his garlic, and I give him my meat. And then we eat eggs and tofu together.

Surprisingly, I was not hungry for up to 5 hours with that salad. Until I started craving for salmon. Raw, juicy salmon.

I love salmon. Raw as it is, uncooked, simply served with soy sauce and wasabi. Oh my God, it’s so fresh. The temptation, for me, was not to get out of the house and buy pounds of salmon and screw this fast. The temptation was actually to stay at home and ignore my cravings.

Last time, I mentioned that I’ve done an absolute fast before, but I didn’t document it. From that moment on, I learned to never ever deprive myself, because I know the consequence: Once the fast ends, I’ll be ravenous. I’ll obsess over food, and I will constantly and forever will be feeling deprived, even if I finally allow myself to eat the yummiest foods in the world.

I think the core of all this is just self-acceptance, which is a difficult thing for me. I don’t want to get too deep into this, but I’m deep down a very picky person and one damn stubborn perfectionist. Only my closest friends know about this, while others would wonder why it took so long for me to have a boyfriend. And my boyfriend’s a picky person too.

Anyway, back to food.

So I decided to satisfy my cravings. I really did bought salmon. And some other stuff. I wasn’t afraid anymore whether I’ll impulsively stash other things into my grocery cart if I go grocery shopping. I know what I want and I get them. However, I allow myself little indulgences, like this:

 

 

Soymilk. Another thing I’m obsessed with sometimes.

You might think that I’m weird to be craving such healthy stuff. But I’m blessed to have my mom cultivating healthy diet and healthy habits since I was born.

Besides a boiled egg every morning, I also have a glass of soymilk, usually sweetened with honey. And then there’s apple. These 3 foods are like my default menu for breakfast because I’ve been made to consume them every single day of my life – before I go to school, before an exam, before going to the gym, before heading out somewhere,… every. single. day.

So once in a while, I crave apples too. Like I do now. But the store I shopped at does not have fresh apples. I’ll just save this craving for later. As long as now I HAVE MY SALMON!!!

 

Pretty-in-pink salmon. Oh so good. They tasted like heaven to me. I bought two packets of these, and after I finished mine today, I had the urge to eat another packet… But it’s meant for tomorrow. It’s meant to be saved until tomorrow. And I’ve got to develop the grit to persevere, not procrastinate with food and stop doing my required reading for class, procrastinate from clearing up my stuff (yes, LOTS of stuff thrown away today) Anyway…

I chopped it all off into tiny cubes, then sprinkle LOTS of garlic powder and black pepper. And then pour a little bit of soy sauce until the salmon absorbs all of it, and then put some more chopped parsley and green onions on top.

 

 

So pretty.

Okay. So let’s do the math:

 

 

 

2 eggs fried with 1 tablespoon olive oil: 300 calories
sauteed salad bowl of broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, parsley on 1 tablespoon olive oil: 250 calories
honey soymilk: 250 calories
raw salmon, prettified with stuff that contains no calories: 200 calories

 

 

300 + 250(2) + 200 = 1000 calories

 

 

 

I hit the number right on the spot. I didn’t intend to do that, but I couldn’t help it – I was really hungry this evening.

However, I have a slight suspicion that out of these 3 days of partial fasting, today will be the hardest day of all. Tomorrow I think I’ll get used to the slightly hungry feeling and just shrug it off, because my bad habit is to eat until I feel full, so no matter how healthy I eat, I’m still eating much more than I need. Now that my stomach is satisfied, I have slightly-above-average confidence that I will not hit 1000 calories tomorrow.

Another motivation I thought of was to schedule a massage session the day after the 3rd fasting day ends. I’m still thinking about it – just the thought of it throughout today made me find all ways to feel less hungry. Like fitting in my primary school shorts, keeping my body warm in an oversized sweater, brushing my teeth, and drinking peppermint tea.

Peppermint tea has been shown to reduce your appetite. Right after my salad bowl, I drank peppermint tea. I guess the credits go to the fiber and the peppermint flavor to keep me satiated for the next 5 hours, before I craved for the salmon.

And I had my vitamins like yesterday: multivitamin, vitamin C, calcium with vitamin D, and GNC’s hair supplement.

Teas I drank today include peppermint tea, organic mint tea, and lots of green tea.

Green tea also absorbs up to 30% of our food intake for the day, so you actually burn off extra calories just by sitting down and drinking green tea. And I guess that’s why I am hungrier than yesterday. But I did it again – I persevered, I was productive, and still am able to keep up with my responsibilities for the day!

Hooray~

Tomorrow will be the last day… And I can proudly say I will be checking something off my bucket list!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muchaluva,
Stace

7 more delightful pigs

 

 

 

Muchaluva,
Stace

7 pigs to delight your day

 

 

 

 

 

Muchaluva,
Stace

Maybe this is why

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May 2012

 

 

To know and to love God.

Maybe this is why there are many different kinds of people with such variety of personalities, and as the years go by, the population seems to grow bigger, with each individual born as someone different than ever – yet as time goes by, our character differences grew more subtle, and sooner or later, every one on Earth will realize that if we all hold our hands together, we can understand each other better and then love one another.

Earlier today, I was reading Rick Warren’s best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life, and I was covering the chapter on Cultivating Community.

In some of the previous chapters, Warren covered on the fact that God loving variety. He does not only created a species, but he created numerous different kinds of that species, so many that each of the created one is different from another one – but in the end, they are all still one species.

Then I step aside from all the things that are visible. I came to the realization that there have been so many ideas, individual and valuable ideas, that have changed the world in some way, good or bad. There are many opposing ideas, analogous ideas, ideas that depended on one another, and so on. Ideas of good and evil, ideas of the fallen apple, ideas of morality and of faith, and as time goes by, we keep telling and re-telling each other stories that have been told again, new ones springing from the quilting of the old ones we have heard and known. Some we love, others we love to hate.

As we’re stepping onto the modern idea of the world as a global village, there can be no other time when all kinds of people from all walks of life and of all cultures imaginable have to go through the tunnel of conflict, believe in God, have faith in getting through the conflict of their differences with one another, and finally coming out of the darkness united as one, in order to know and to love God.

Knowing leads to wisdom, yet love requires a leap of faith. Each villager of this global community must have a reason why he or she is different from his or her neighbor, but is of the same species, a special species that are given both the choice to be stupid and the capacity to be wise. Everything we come to understand has happened for a reason. Everything happens for a common reason.

To know and to love God.

Just my little epiphany.

What can you make out of this little idea?

 

 

 

 

Muchaluva,
Stace

Fasting

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May 2012

 

 

 

Bucket list cross-out: 3-day fast!

No, technically, it’s not a real fast. And this is just the first day.

I’m being honest here. I was not 100% confident whether I can make it today, much less follow through till the day after tomorrow. Last night, I planned out what I will eat for the next 3 days, assessing the things I crave and keeping it all balanced nutritionally with supplements and a couple of healthy foods. It was quite a spontaneous decision: I didn’t make the decision yesterday morning, or the day before yesterday, but it was literally last night. Out of the blue. I wanted to do it. I’ve always wanted to try it, see how far I can go, challenging myself and all.

This is my first ever fast I documented. I’ve done a complete fast before with absolutely no food throughout the day, but it only wrecked my health because I wasn’t really prepared and largely because I feel so much deprived. I was depressed – my monthly period has been absent for more than a year at that time. The bottom line is, depression literally kills you. You have weird metabolism that makes the weight on your scale creeps up steadily over time as long as you’re depressed, even when you’re eating healthy.

At least that’s what happened to me. So I learned overtime that emotional and mental health are my top priority over physical health, because they all go hand in hand.

So, today, I almost couldn’t believe that I reached my goals without even putting as much effort as I could have (besides if you constantly think about food all day, you’re bound to fail). Instead, I feel a steady energy level throughout the day. It’s easier for me to do the fast because I stayed at home all day. I’m currently taking a speedy 3-week class in school, editing and building my art portfolio, doing assignments ahead of time for my summer classes, making a surprise for you readers, and another gift for my love next month. At the same time, I’m clearing up stuff at home so that everything either goes to the trash can or the baggage I’m bringing home with me on August, 10, 2012. Sorry, I can’t help but keep saying the date and put it in red. You just have to bear with me. That’s how excited I am to finally be home forever.

Back to the topic. Throughout the day, I just did my assignments for my class, researched for the final essay for this class, doing my laundry and clearing up stuff. Also writing some drafts and editing some more drafts for you readers to enjoy. (Starting to be even more committed to blogging…)

So, in the morning, I got up with 2 eggs fried on olive oil.

 

 

 
And that kept me feeling full for a while.  Then I went to do my long-overdue laundry. While waiting for the dryer I was doing my readings for class and researching the net about the final essay.

Then I think my brain needed glucose, so thankfully I had a medium sweet potato at home.

 

 
In the mid-afternoon I had my favorite drink, teh tarik. My mother brought a lot of my favorite instant stuff when she camehere. This is one of my favorite drinks ever since my primary school years in Singapore (ages ago).

 

 

 

 


And yes, at the background there, it’s my countdown post-it until I officially am finished with college. Every single day, counting down… That’s how desperate I am…

 

Then in the early evening, I was a little hungry. I made an instant oatmeal and topped it off with golden flaxseeds.

 


Last but not least, I had a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to keep my brain satisfied.

 

 

Of course I still have the help of supplements for this partial fast. I don’t think I can resist my favorite foods if I have them at home now. I take a mutlvitamin, vitamin C, calcium with vitamin D, and my GNC supplement for hair health.

 

 

 
One of the first things my mom said when she arrived at the airport last Thursday was: “Your hair is so long now (compared to the last time she saw me, the end of January).” That kind of gave me hope for it to grow faster. That’s also been the main motivation why I eat healthy and cook a lot at home now too, besides trying to embrace frugality. I guess I have to give credits for the supplement, because I have done zero exercise during the past 2 months and have quitted the local gym anyway. But it’s still growing thicker and longer. So, thanks to GNC and thanks to my mom for the good genes.

Also to note: I don’t normally take so many supplements. I keep a lot of supplements to ease myself according to my ailments. Vitamin C is when I’m feeling tired, vitamin B is when I don’t have food at home, calcium is when I don’t go out during that day. But I take multivitamins everyday.

Something to share too is that I didn’t weigh myself last night. The last time I weigh myself (when was it? I can’t remember, but it was sometime last week), I weighed 56.3 kg. So, to keep myself accountable, I will post a picture of my weight on the scale the day after the day after tomorrow.

So how do I define the fast? I guess it’s any quantity of meal you eat during a given day that’s below 1000 calories. An average woman requires 1500 calories a day to maintain homeostasis, so anything below that is not recommended. But people fast for different reasons, and I just want to check my bucket list to challenge myself and develop perseverance. Grit is something I think I lack.

All-in-all, like I said, it’s surprising to notice that throughout the day, my energy levels are pretty steady, even with such little calories. Well, if you want to know how little, let’s do the math:

 

2 eggs fried with 1 tablespoon olive oil: 300 calories
1 medium sweet potato: 160 calories
1 packet of teh tarik: 100 calories
1 packet of instant oatmeal with half spoonful of flaxseeds: 160 calories
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil: 160 calories

300 + 160(3) + 100 = 880 calories

 

 

 

Plus the supplements and innumerable cups of hot tea and 3 liters of water. Teas I drank today include green, black, and darjeeling tea.

I keep telling myself that this is not a real fast. A real fast, for me, is absolutely no food. This 3-day partial fast is just a precursor to the bigger challenge I’m going to face in the future. And I know there are tremendous health hazards professional physicians normally would say. But I genuinely believe in the power of abstinence, of experiencing contentment, satiety, and therefore gratitude. I consider myself as an ungrateful bitch, so that’s also what I’m working on. And I believe that abstinence from things we don’t really need in the first place gives us focus to what we have to do for the day, for 3 days, for 40 days, however long you want your fast to be. I feel pretty productive today, as I don’t spend a lot of time eating, preparing meals, or thinking of what to eat. I wasn’t really craving for anything either.

And I suspect that tomorrow I will have some. And that’s another challenge I have to face within these 3 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Muchaluva,
Stace

Recommended Restaurant: For your moderate indulgence

Green Sushi: Original sushi created as a healthier choice for everyone. Great for vegan/vegetarian.

Mango Paradise: Perfect combination of sweetness and tanginess. A classic favorite.

Mochi Ice Cream: Savor the softness of mochi in three flavors – strawberry, green tea, and mango. Cool and creamy fillings for respective flavors.

Kushi Tsuru
San Francisco Japantown
1737 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 922 9202

Hours:
M-F 11:00am – 09:00pm
Sa-S 11:00am – 09:30pm

Muchaluva,
Stace

My parents and I at the 2011 AAU commencement in San Francisco

 

How I feel like:

 

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