Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

I mentioned that the other day that I bought myself a new Public bike. This had been on my wishlist for almost a year. I’m so enjoying my new bike. Love love it. Such a great ride. It was my holiday gift to myself. I got a  great deal since it was an after Thanksgiving giving sale. Isn’t it a beauty? Style and design, totally my thing too. I love the Dutch style step thur bikes which makes it easier to get on and off and allows me to wear skirts.

My new ride!

My new ride!

I love how I can sit upright and bike away without having shoulder or lower back issues. Before,I was riding my mom’s bike which was two inches to short for me. Sunshine’s bike tires were the same as mine. Can you believe it? In fact, a bike employee asked when when we brought my old bike in for baskets if the bike was my teenage daughter’s. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or be mad. I’m not that old looking, am I? Right then, I knew I needed a real bike. It took almost almost a year for me to get this lovely bike. It was totally worth the investment.  I’m loving it. We have been riding to school almost everyday. It’s cold but it’s such a nice ride. We take the bikes to the supermarket, yoga, farmer’s markets, friend’s houses … everywhere we can bike, we do.

Special thanks to my friend Yang Sze for introducing it to me. She did tons of research and come up with Public bikes. This coming August 2013, she is coming out with her new book, Ghost Bride. If you have chance, please check out her website and her new book!


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It has been a dry winter and they say allergy season will be bad this year. And, it has been. Most people and kids I know have been rubbing their red eyes or having sinus headaches. Many people say their kids never had allergies but now due.

A few weeks ago, we had a little scary moment, Sunshine couldn’t hear out of his left ear. The doctor said is was due to allergies. His congestion had clogged the canal between his nose and ear. Scary, huh? I have never heard of such a thing. She suggested we do a nasal rinse and if this did not help, we could try over the counter Claritin for Kids. We already had dust mites covers, air purifier, no animals, and hardwood floors.

I had heard of nasal rinses and neti pots but hadn’t tried. Well, I’m now a believer. It is amazing. To encourage Sunshine to do it, I decided to join him. The first time I did it, I could breathe. Seriously, I could breathe. Sunshine really liked it too. He said he could breathe.  We do it 2x a day, morning and night because the allergies are in full force now. To be honest, I’m shocked by had come out of Sunshine’s nose. I’m so glad that we are able to flush it out. It seems his body creates congestion and it goes into his lungs. Now, I’m thinking he doesn’t have asthma. Since, we have doing the neti pot, we have not used the inhaler and he doesn’t cough a night due to allergies.

There are a couple of tricks for the neti pots, you need sterile warm water. So, we use our hot water dispenser. It is a lifesaver when we want hot water for tea and now for our allergies. I seriously don’t know how we live without this gadget.

We love Neti Pots!

My friend Christine suggested the Nutribiotic Nasal Spray. It’s all natural made of grapefruit seed extract so I feel safe giving it to Sunshine. I use it almost every night and I have noticed a decrease in mucus generated. On the days, I don’t he does seem to have more. So, it seems to be working.

I do have to admit, the novelty for Sunshine has worn off. He says, he doesn’t like the neti pot. For a couple of days, I made it mandatory but it was not fun for the both of us. Then, I changed tactics, I explained to him that he was helping me with my allergies. If it wasn’t for him, my allergies would be really bad. He was helping me. It was all because of him. This line of reasoning seemed to work for him. He doesn’t fit me on the neti pot. It has been a week. Let’s see how long it will last 🙂

Hope this inspires you to try the Neti Pot for your kids. It’s a natural and safe way to fight allergies. Do you have any suggestions for how you fight allergies? Love to hear your ideas.

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Yoga anyone?

Since this past Fall, I have been going to Yoga. For years, I would tell people, I’m not into that, it’s too slow for me. I’m more of a pilates person. Well, I’m now a Yogie! I try to go 2x a week and I love it. My fav is Core Yin. Maybe, because I’m getting older but I appreciate the meditative aspect of Yoga. The deep breathing and stretching bring me a calmness that has so good for me.

So, as part of my resolutions to treat myself with kindness, I treated myself to a dvd player and a yoga dvd so I could practice at home when I have a free moment. Well, Sunshine loves practicing Yoga with me and gets me to do it after dinner/bath. Ironically, something that was for me has turned into a nice bonding time for me.

Cobra. Not bad, huh?

Downward Dog.

Which Yoga style are you? Any good dvds out there? I’m looking for a good cardio one too. Suggestions??

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Old fashion fun … Jump roping

One thing I love about moving home is enjoying the simple life. It is so easy to be outside. No crazy cars or smog. As a child, I remember playing outside all the time … running and jumping with friends.  The other day, my neighbor taught Sunshine how to jump rope. He was really excited and kept practicing. It was quite a workout.

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So, by chance and luck, my old neighbor Mel and her family were visiting Shanghai from Australia at the same time we were there. We had great time catching up and spent one afternoon re-exploring the French Concession, the best part of Shanghai (I’m biased because this is where we used to live!).  Even though we both have lived in Shanghai for a number of years, we both had never been to this little Chinese herb shop. It is tucked in a number of clothing shops but the immaculately organized and colorful were so vibrant to the eye that they caught our interest. Mel took these wonderful photographs.

Isn't the shop beautifully organized? I love the glass jars.

Aren't the colors gorgeous?

I wanted to try every one of these flowering teas.

Aside from teas, the shopkeeper also sold some exotic herbs from the sea and/or bugs. Though those sounding enticing, I picked up something I was familiar with. Red Dates, 紅棗, because they are great for the winter. They have a warming property which is used for protecting the liver and strengthening of muscles.  They were so sweet and yummy. I can’t wait to cook them in this Sweet Red Date, Lotus Seed and White Fungus Soup Recipe.


  • 30 Dried white lotus seeds
  • 12 Chinese red dates or jujube, washed and pits removed
  • 3 whole florets White fungus (white tree ears)
  • 1.5 liters water
  • 75 g Rock crystal sugar

* Soak the dried white lotus seeds in cool water overnight. Drained.
* Soak the white fungus in cool water for 1 hour. Drained, tough bases discarded and roughly shredded.
* Place the lotus seeds in a large pot together with the red dates, white fungus and water.
* Bring to a full boil, then sweeten with the rock sugar. Cover, then lower heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.
* Taste the soup for sweetness, and adjust if necessary.

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This summer, Sunshine learned how to ride on a two-wheeled bike and since then we have been riding our bike around the neighborhood. We’re lucky to have a bike boulevard in our neighborhood which allows us to ride for a few miles without stopping. Sunshine loves to ride fast and we get to cover a lot of ground!

Biking riding has been a wonderful way for the two of us to chat about what we see and to actively spend quality time together. During our rides, we talk about the importance acknowledging other neighbors, listening for cars, and saying thank you to others for sharing the road or sidewalk with us.

Riding a two-wheel bike definitely seems to be a rite of passage for Sunshine. He’s quite proud because all the older kids ride only two wheels. In fact, his doctor even asked him if he was riding a two-wheel bike.  I was surprised because I didn’t know this a development check .

Watch me go!

Mommy, I like these vines, all the different colors - red, green, brown.


Mommy, I like this really tall tree. Can we plant it too?

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So, I’m joined 3 other friends on a 5 day detox, my first one! I’m a newbie. The detox was inspired after watching the documentary, Fat, Sick, And Nearly Dead. The movie is about an overweight Australia, Joe Cross, who survives on nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days in order to change his lifestyle habits and allow his body to naturally heal itself. It is a pretty amazing story of dedication.

Since starting the detox, I have to admit, I saw and smelled food everywhere. Everything looked and still looks really yummy! I did cheat a little … shhh… I have had a few apples, cherries and raisins to supplement the juice 🙂 but I’m hoping that I can drink juice only today!! Luckily, the juice does taste pretty good.

The whole process has been interesting. I’m day 3 of the detox. At times, I am hungry but I also realized that I eat out of habit and emotion. Some benefits are my tummy is slightly flatter, my mind has been clear, and not as many highs and lows during the day. Maybe, it’s because I do not have much sugar in my diet i.e. fruits, candy, and ice cream… those do sound yummy.


 Juice Fast Receipe:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Ginger root

If you are thinking of doing the detox, watch the movie, it might inspire you too! And, get a good juicer and drinks lots of water!

Love to hear if you have tried a detox and did it work for you?

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