Monday, September 2, 2013

chemical free face... sort of

I was trying to recall the other day when did my obsession with using natural and organic products started. 

It all started with my face. I have a combination type of skin. More towards the oily side. I wouldn't say I've tried all sorts of moisturizer but I had my fair share of it. Every month I would have at least a pimple or 2. I  could never get rid of the blackheads or the whiteheads. I was prone to breakouts all the time. 

I've used cream moisturizer that promises non oily properties = breakouts. 
Then I found the gel type moisturizer = less breakouts. 

But I felt that I was putting parfum on my face every time when I use it and there also a layer of film on my skin which I thought that it would be okay as long it doesn't make my face breakout so often.(haha..)

I had to go for my monthly facials to make sure that my face would not be congested with black & whiteheads. The funny thing is that most of the time, I would have breakouts a day or two after my facial sessions. I would keep hearing the same thing from the beautician every time she does the extraction. 
"wah... You have a lot of blackhead and white heads... "
"your whiteheads is like toothpaste coming out every time I press it."

Finding the right face scrub was a challenge as well. Some help to clean out my blackheads but it was drying to my skin. Which causes more oil on my face. Some scrubs were not harsh on my skin nor it was helping with my blackhead problems.

I then stumbled upon vivawomen. I guess that's how it all started. Read reviews on Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser. Bought the To-Go sample to try out. I just feel in love with this cleanser the first time I tried it. I was using it for a month++ before my next facial appointment.

I was super delighted when I heard the beautician's statement.
"eh... your face got very little blackhead and not much white head anymore..."

I was thinking to my self "hey.. this sugur scrub thingy really works...."
My face was less oilier cos it does not totally strip out all the oils and it really cleans my pores. 

As I found out more about chemical being use in beauty products. I started to read up the ingredients of the products that I was using and realise that all this years I have been putting chemicals on my face and it didn't even help with my problems. I need to go back to nature... Well more to natural products that it. 

My face was already filled with pimples, black & whiteheads... I should stop applying more chemicals to my face.

Hey, for centuries people from all around the world has been using natural stuffs for their beauty.. why stop now? It worked for them rite?...
We are putting way to much chemical to our body and not forgetting consuming it as well. 

To cut the long story short, I purchase some clays online for my pimple problems, then it lead to DIY hair shampoo (which I've gotten lazy with it) then I discovered eco enzyme  (from BFM) for all sort of usage (and it's environmental friendly).

Then soapnuts and the power of sodium bicarbonate!!

I've totally stop using off the racks beauty products now (except for the bodyshop seaweed toner) and religiously use all natural products. The more I found out about natural products the more it made sense to me. All this improvement also could be due to aging I guess... Hormones changing... who knows... 

Well, I can finally say that I have found my holy grail for my face. Ever since then, I have not gotten any huge monthly pimples... Once in a blue moon... like 2-3 months once, a pimple or 2 would pop up but then I would straight away apply clay on it. It would dry up before it can even form any pus. I have so much less blackheads and no more toothpaste like whiteheads.... the only blackheads I have now is around my nose area now... 

Pigmentation problem is still there.... due to my laziness of applying sunblock when I was younger. A lesson that is literally scarring my for life... 

Those days, I had to go for my monthly facials cos if I don't, my face would be congested with blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. 
It's been 3 years now... 
Since then, I've only visited the facial saloon twice and my last visit was Oct 2012.  I still have 12 more sessions with them.. all paid up... Darn....
I shall treat it as a relax/massage visit. sigh... a very expensive visit..

I use soap nuts for my laundry. I use Eco enzyme as detergent for dishes, for my laundry and to mop the floor. The residual from the enzyme, I add to my compost to use for my own grown veggies.

I love it... The more I find out about Eco Green the more I love it. Back to the basics. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013


so I've purchase my collagen supplements from

I was hunting/researching for some supplements for my knee problem and found out that there is collagen supplements for cartilage problems. So I went around town to hunt for collagen Type2. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any here in Malaysia for joints problems except glucosamine.
I am consuming glucosamine so am thinking of giving Type2 collagen a try. Surprisingly, the orthopedic that I went to see told me not to bother buying glucosamine as he does not believe it would help. 

So as I was saying, there's lot of glucosamine on the racks and nothing on collagen. Collagen for beauty was plentiful. Collagen for joints... only 1. A box of collagen drink mainly for beauty but on the side, it does help with joints. Was very tempted to purchase it as the shop was having a Buy2 Free1 promo. A box with 8 bottles in it cost RM 219.90. 1 bottle = RM18.35

Then I reminded my self, that I should buy what I really need even thou this collagen drink kills 2 birds with 1 stone. Maybe I should give it a try... later in future.

So, made the order with iHerb on the 7th July. Then I realized that I was also running out of sunscreen for my face. My plan was to buy MVO sunscreen when this current one runs out but the price keeps holding me back. It's pretty pricey if you ask me but the review is very intriguing to me. 

Anyways, I canceled my order and reordered my purchases with an additional Badger Sunscreen Stick (which i think i'm going to regret) and a box of  collagen Type1&3 on the 10th July.
On the 12th July, I received the tracking number and the package came on the 16th JULY! Don't you love DHL....

Collagen for joints... #iherb by melmok
photo by melmok

and 2 extra samples...
upload by melmok
photo by melmok

So let's wait for a month and see if the collagen Type2 helps.

If you're gonna purchase from iherb for the first time. You can use this discoubt code LCZ161 and get to save $5 off from your purchase or a $10 off if you purchase above $40. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

my knee

I made a point to sweat it out at least twice a week after getting the new kinect.
Been doing that for at least a month till I injured my leg. I heard a 'pop' sound on my knee and thought I have sprain my muscle. *silly me...
Cos after the 'pop', I didn't feel any pain on my knee but my muscle around it.
Later in the evening, it became slightly swollen and I had to limp thou the night.
After a day or two, the swell was gone, but I still couldn't walk properly. 

2 weeks passed and I got a bit worried as I was still unable to fully stretch and stand straight with my left leg without feeling the pain in the knee area. So I went to a GP and was told that I could have just sprain my leg and it would take some time to heal. 

After a month plus with no improvement, I went to see my company panel clinic and explained my problem to her. She suspected that I have could have torn my ligament and suggested to see an orthopedic and get it fix. She then asked me to choose a hospital that is near where I stay for traveling convenience as the surgery is just a minor one, which any orthopedic surgeon can conduct.

So, I made an appointment and went to a doc at Colombia Asia Hospital.
He diagnosed me with Plica Syndrome and Chondromalacia patellae

I had 3 options. 
1. physiotherapy to reduce the inflammation.
2. inject steroids directly to reduce the inflammation.
3. arthroscopy surgery to remove the gel and to even back the knee cap that is already been bruised.

He told me that the first 2 is a temporarily method and my problem would come back in the future. Only god knows when.
Estimated cost surgery : RM15,000

Just to ease my heart, I went to my company panel hospital at SALAM, Shah Alam Specialist Hospital to get a second opinion from the doc. 
Told him the whole story again and he diagnosed me with the same condition as the 1st doc and on top of that, a possibility of ACL injury. He told me that I could have a possible ligament torn. 
*slaps forehead*
when I heard that. 

I had 2 options.
1. ACL surgery.
2. Change lifestyle

If I opt for non surgery, I cannot do any out outdoor activities except swimming and cycling anymore. 
Crap! The first though that came into my mind is that what if there's an emergency that I need to jump or run for my life. There's no way I can run to save my dear life. I would be limping my way to safety which, I would probably be dead before I can even reach half way to a safety point. 

The doc suggested that I do the arthroscopy to remove my plica gel and from there he would be able to see how severe the ligament torn is. There and then I can decide to do the hamstring reconstruction or wait till later on to see if I want to fix it in future.
Which means, I would have the double recovery period and the double cost of the surgery. 
Estimated cost for the surgery : RM18,000

So instead of getting a confirmation on my diagnoses given from the1st doc, the issue of ACL is added to my problems. 
His description of the hamstring reconstruction scared the hell of of me. My anxiety level went up and up every time I find more information about the surgery.
The surgery, the recovery period.. it was freaking me out...

I then decided to get a 3rd opinion. Made an appointment with an orthopedic at GlenEagles Hospital.
By the time I went to see the 3rd doc, it has already been 2 months plus after the injury.
I was still having problems standing straight, once a while I would just get a wobbly feeling when I walk or use the stairs. 
I told the doc my situation, he made me do a lot more physical test compared to the other 2 docs. I had to describe my pain and discomfort in detail to him. 
At the end, he told me that I'm just 'too flexible' and am prone to dislocation of joints. Great! Just great... I can foresee my future problems....

He told me that I don't need any surgery. Hallelujah!!
What I have is patella tracking problem. On my both knees.
I just need to build up my inner quadriceps muscle to pull my kneecap to the center as it's now on my outer side. I do need to inject cartilage back to my knee area because of my imperfect knee cap condition. I regretted by not asking more on my cartilage issue cos I was stunned with my patellar tracking problem. And the joy of not having to do any surgery. 

I've been doing some exercise that he taught me for the pass week now. I'm feeling a slight improvement to my leg. 
Because of my limping for the pass 2 months, I'm feeling the pain on my right knee as well.*crap

I do realize that I don't stand or walk properly. Not knowing how to balance the weight correcly can really put pressure to the knee. 
I'm really worried about my cartilage right now... sighh... 

I've actually made an appointment earlier on to see another doc at SDMC this coming Monday. This was due to the doc having his long holiday and fully booked appointment sessions. 
Not to sure if I should see the 4th doc or play the wait and see game while continuing my exercise...

Monday, April 1, 2013

salmon and anchovies

As I was flipping thru the channels on the TV last weekend, the program 'Kitchen Boss' caught my eye. Buddy, the chef is usually joined by his family members in this show. This time around it was his Aunt. (i think...) So far, I think his/family recipes is really easy to follow. I have not tried any of it until this dish caught my attention.

It was a fish and veggie dish.
I missed out the first part of the fish section. But the veggie part was really easy to make.

The ingredients were pretty simple too.
- olive oil
- garlic
- caper
- anchovies
- zucchini

It was super easy and it 'sounded/looks' delicious.

As we were doing our usually weekly grocery shopping for the week. The salmon at the fish section was calling to to me.... (cos it looks fresh) I asked the 'MR' if he's up for a salmon pasta with a twist for dinner that day and he gave me the nod.

So I made this simple picolino cucumbers dish(I couldn't find zucchini, so I replaced it picolino cucumbers), then top it up with fillet salmon with lemon.

I loveee salmon... Don't get me wrong. But I sometimes feel that salmon has a very heavy and rich body to it especially if it's with pasta.

So I figured, why not mix and match this 2 dish together to ease up the heaviness of it.

It turn out nice...
I should have added more anchovies like how Buddy did!

Homemade dinner - picolino cucumber with a hint of anchovy, top with salmon fillet. #food #pasta by melmok
photo by melmok

Monday, March 25, 2013

harvesting bok choy

I managed to harvest all my baby bok choy except 3 or 4 which was destroyed by leaf miner problems.

I'm only disappointed with the size. I guess they don't call it Baby Bok Choy for nothing.

ready to cook bok choy by melmok
photo by melmok


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

not bake but 'half baked'

A 'half baked' dish that I did last weekend.
Oyster sauce ginger chicken.

As usual, I forgot to add in a few ingredients. I have this bad habit of forgetting to add one or two ingredients when I cook. The problem only happens when I don't refer to the 'recipe collection'.
Sometimes Most of the time, I'm just to lazy to go back and forth to refer the recipe when I cook. hahahaha....

5 little chicken drumsticks
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce + pepper
julienne ginger
1 teaspoon of soy sauce

my missing ingredients was
sesame oil
chinese wine

I marinated the chicken with the oyster sauce and pepper for an hour of more. I prepared the ingredients in advanced and then went on cleaning and mopping the house.

oyster ginger chicken by melmok
photo by melmok

Stir fry the ginger till the smell exploded (which smells wonderful) then add in the chicken. Let it cook for a while till the chicken is white.
I probably added about half a cup of water and let it simmer till it dried up.

oyster ginger chicken by melmok
photo by melmok

The last time I cooked this 'little' chicken drumstick, I undercooked it. The outer part was white and cook, but the inner part near the bones was red and uncooked.
So this time around, I left it there to cook longer with the help of the water.

The dish came out ok. Meat = Totally cook. :)
Just without the kick of the sesame oil smell and the chinese wine taste.

oyster sauce ginger chicken by melmok
photo by melmok

Accompany with Pork Bone Soup with Red Dates, Dried mini Scallops and NZ Spinach.

soup by melmok
photo by melmok

Together with my disappointing Fried Slice Luncheon Meat.

luncheon meat by melmok
photo by melmok


Saturday, January 5, 2013

bye bye leaf miner

After spraying some neem oil with garlic juice and planted garlic chives next to the bok choy. The leaf miner have gone to heaven. It's free from leaf miner for now. woo hoo

Just can't wait to harvest the veggies now.

bok choy by melmok
photo by melmok