Sunday, June 29, 2008


YUMMM...I just had some durian for lunch. For those who do not know, the durian is a VERY thorny fruit, grown mostly in South East Asia, where it is commonly known as the King of Fruits. It's a seasonal fruit, so it's only available certain times of the year. For local Malaysian durians, its tree bear fruit around middle of the year, from June to July. It's possible to get durians at other times of the year, but usually they would be imported from Thailand.

Depending on the species of durian, its flesh can have a very sweet to bittersweet taste, the color of the flesh can vary from bright orange (very sweet) to white (bittersweet) and the texture can vary as well. Overall, I'd say that the texture is similar to custard. With it's luscious, rich sweetness and custard texture, this fruit is what I call, nature's custard.

Contrary to popular belief, durians are very healthy, as are all of nature's products. Just look at the nutritional profile here and here. It's high in fiber, has no sugar, contains good unsaturated fats and is high in vitamin and minerals. Per 100 grams, it has only 147 calories. Eating durians have been known to increase bodily heat. So, be sure to consume moderately and drink plenty of water afterwards. Drinking ENO helps quell the heat as well.

Durians are an acquired taste, even for locals here in Malaysia. You either love it or hate it. Foreigners or tourists from Western, Middle East and other Asian (from Hong Kong, Japan etc) countries usually stay away from durians because they can't stand the smell. To those who hate them, it has been described to have a strong pungent smell. That's why hotels, tourist spots and private establishments prohibit durians on their premises. If you can take or love the smell of durians, loving this heavenly fruit is easy as it's nothing less than DELICIOUS! This hands down, one of my ABSOLUTE favorite fruits of all time!

A note of caution: after ingesting durians, release or emission of bodily gases (burp or farts) could possibly knock out a wild elephant. It's best to exit any room or clear the room of other human beings before doing so, lest you be charged with releasing terrorist nerve gases.

During fruit-bearing season, durians are usually sold along the roadside.

Or can have their fruit extracted and sold pre-packaged in supermarkets for convenience.

Since it's seasonal and depending on the species, durians can be pretty costly. It can cost from RM 5 to RM 50 each, sometimes EVEN more! If you're looking for cheap durians, it's definitely best to look for sellers or friends who own their own durian orchard, then you can get it dirt cheap. Nowadays, durians are even exported to other countries or manufactured into products such as durian ice-cream, cakes and candy, just to name a few.

Hate your enemies? Can throw whole durian or durian skin at them lah! Guaranteed to HURT!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Guide to Healthy Eating: The 80/20 Rule

In my previous posts, I highlighted on what and how to eat. When explaining how to eat, I did mention in my last point about bad foods and that it is alright to indulge once in a while.

As much as I love a healthy and fitness lifestyle, I DO love to have some desserts and fried foods too. After all, food plays a GREAT part in one of life's pleasures and should be enjoyed thoroughly. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean you need to swear off desserts, foods or treats that you love. It just means you need to eat once in a while and not go overboard. You just need to practice the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule (or some use 90/10) means that if you eat healthy 80-90% of the time, then feel free to reward yourself for the other 10-20% of the time. For example, if you eat 5 meals a day, which totals 35 meals a week, about 80% or 30 of those meals should be healthy and you can reward yourself for the rest. These rewards or indulgences are called cheat meals (however, if you're trying to lose fat, have them only 1-2 times per week or eliminate completely, depending on results).

The benefits of having a cheat meal is you get to let loose psychologically, boost your metabolism and of course, reward yourself for your hard work and dedication (although good health and being fit should be your greatest reward for a healthy lifestyle!).

As I said earlier, when indulging in a cheat meal, do not go overboard into BINGING! Binging happens when you continuouly stuff yourself, even when you're already full, sometimes to the point of feeling sick. It can be caused by long bouts of low calorie dieting or being too overly strictly in your diet and depriving yourself of the foods you love. During binging, it's like your appetite and you stomach are not in synch. You stomach signals that it's FULL, but your appetite still wants more. I should know, coz I've BEEN THERE!

For me, it's ok to...

...have some ice-cream, but not the whole large tub (this is my krytonite).

...indulge in a bar of chocolate, but not 3 bars (another one of my kryptonite, why am I letting people know my weaknesses???)

...have some fried chicken, but not the entire bucket.

...a few slices of pizza, but not the whole pizza.

...have a small/medium bag of chips, but not polish off a family-sized bag.

Well, you get my drift =)

Therefore, it is important to occasionally indulge and be guilt-free about it, but remember to regulate yourself.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Look Below Average

Although this might sound like a rant, I'm actually a realistic person and I'm just being honest about myself. It's not that I'm fishing for pity or feeling sorry for myself (well, maybe a bit =P), but I believe in the outlook department, I would definitely fall below average. I'm neither good-looking, attractive nor cute and generally don't fare well when it comes to first impressions (looks-wise). Out of 10 (for being the best), I'd probably rank myself as a 3 or 4. However, you'd think I'm just exaggerating, I do have my reasons to back this up! Read below please:

1. I have zits (pimples lah!).
In my early teens, when puberty hit me like a tonne of bricks, it brought along a family of zits that settled permanently on my face, and would later spawn generations of zits right into my 20s. Although I've evolved from a pizza-with-extra-topping-faced teenager to a less frightening version as an adult, the effects of having zits still affects me physically and psychologically. Yes, having zits WILL weigh down on your self-esteem and make you more self-conscious. In my case, apparently it's genetic (and comes from my mother's side, since my dad's face looks smooth) and right now, even my younger sister is having it too (she's taking better care of it than I did when I was her age). With occasional (lately more constant) lack of sleep and plenty of stress from work, it's doing absolutely 'wonders' for the birth rate of zits! As I was saying, zits constantly deals a blow to my self-esteem, from my teens up till now. I can't help but feel ugly and self-conscious about it. It's just an unwanted growth that should not be a part of your face, but most of the time, there's no way to stop it. I envy those who've NEVER had to deal with this problem with their skin and have had smooth skin all their lives. I've tried several dermatologists and quite a few products and I can only hope to find someting that truly will work for me. I'm considering some good facial treatments that has worked great on a friend of mine, but it's kinda pricey. What can you recommend?

2. I have facial scars.
Thanks to the history of zit colonies on my face, it now has more potholes than the roads in Malaysia. My face is like a human version of the surface of the moon, with its numerous large craters and uneven terrain. In my teen years, I was hardest hit by zits and was an idiot who didn't know about facial care and consider the effects it would have back then. Now, my face is irreversablly ridden with acne scars, as a remnant of my past mistakes. I'm looking for any products that can effectively lessen the visibility of the scars...any help?

3. I have rough facial skin.
Since I still suffer from zits and acne scars, it just makes sense to have skin akin to sand paper. (My friends reading this might think this is A TAD exaggerating). On some parts of my face, it would look like the Himalayas, deadly and rough with highly treacherous terrain! I've gone for facial peeling sessions that feels like the actually PEELING OFF the face, wah lau eh, THE SEARING PAIN! (I suspect the bitch used too much). People with smooth faces, I hate, not really.....yeah I do =P

4. I have weird facial structure and facial features.
Yes, that's true, especially if you look from side-ways. It like the front part of my skull excels in funny shapes. Many people say I look like my mum, which is true. But the saying 'Guys who look like their mother are usually good-looking', doesn't apply to me. I don't have sharp and lean features that makes a guy's face look good. I have a wide face, small eyes, bushy eyebrows, bad skin (READ ABOVE from 1 to 3) and almost no bridge on my nose. Yes, it's not a pretty sight as I'm dissecting my countenance (means face), isn't it? I don't like taking pictures and I don't like to look at myself in pictures. Exceptions, for memory's sake (gatherings with friends, family etc).

5. I'm clueless about hair (on my head ya...).
In my defense, I DO NOT have messy OR dorky hair. However, I have no clue on how to style my hair and usually just cut it short and spiky to minimize maintenance (no need to comb every time a gush of wind messes up my locks). You might say I go for the natural look, although it's BORING me to tears ( see me 5 years from now also same look, sure yawn in my face, right?). I have gone to style my hair before, and it was good, but I didn't know how to duplicate the style after I washed my hair. Yes, I'm pathetic =P

All in all, those who wanna meet me: Be afraid, be very afraid!, not really.......yeah, you should be XD

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Tribute to Leona Lewis

I was watching videos of Leone Lewis on YouTube and I must say, she can add another fan into the millions already adoring her. Leona Lewis is actually a winner in the 3rd season of the UK's singing talent show called The X Factor in December, 2006.

Some simple facts about Leona, taken from Wikipedia:

Real name: Leona Louise Lewis.
Age: 23
Date of birth: 3rd April 1985
Place of birth: Stoke Newington, London.
Currently, I'm sure all of you would know her through one of her greatest hits to date, Bleeding Love (embedding removed from YouTube). Since we don't get to watch The X Factor here in South East Asia, pardon my late discovery of her background. Therefore, I wanna showcase some of her videos during her time spent on The X Factor, which features her ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR talent in singing and her amazing, angelic voice.

Over The Rainbow (Leona's first audition):

Over The Rainbow (during The X Factor, very emotional):

Without You:

I Have Nothing:

I Will Always Love You:

Summertime (one of my absolute favourites among Leona's performances):

All by Myself:

A Moment Like This (This is the first US American Idol, Kelly Clarkson's winning song in the finals; which Leona sang in the finals of The X Factor as well. I love Leona's version more, and that's saying a lot, since I'm a huge fan of Kelly as well).

Apart of being such a singing sensation during The X Factor, her TRULY HUMBLE nature and the fact that she actually doesn't know how good she is, made her even more appealing to her adoring fans. Simon Cowell had actually said that in ALL the singing talent shows that he has ever judged for (US and UK American Idol etc), none of the female singers could ever compare to Leona's sensational singing, which I thoroughly agree. She has an amazing control, power and range in her vocals and each of her performances during The X Factor are truly phenomenal (even Simon Cowell gave her standing ovations after many of her performances).

She definitely HAS the X Factor and deserved to win, NO QUESTION about it! Leona Lewis is the embodiment of AWESOMENESS!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Guide to Healthy Eating: How to Eat?

In my last post, I talked about the importance of healthy, wholesome nutrition. Now I'll talk about good eating habits.

By developing good nutritional and eating habits, you will experience better emotional, physical and mental health, and better performance in your workouts or daily tasks. These habits will automatically dictate a change in lifestyle and how you view food in your daily diet.

Some basic and good eating habits that I follow:

1. Eat 5-6 small meals per day, spaced about 2.5 -3 hours apart. The purpose for this is to enhance your metabolism by increasing the Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF), which happens when your body burns calories during digestion to break down food for absorption by the body. If you're trying to lean out, a fast metabolism is what you need. A slow, sluggish metabolism is one of main reasons why people are overweight. Another benefit of constant feeding is to ensure you're getting enough food and nutrients that your body needs to grow and repair itself (recovery), especially if you're working out or involved in other strenuous activities or sports.

2. Daily diet should consist of healthy and balanced nutrition. You should consume natural, wholesome foods such as lean protein, complex carbs, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. (read more about this in my last post).

3. Eat lean protein with every meal if possible. This is because your body does not store protein, as it does carbs in the form of glycogen. Therefore, you need to continuously supply your muscles with complete protein every few hours or the body will begin 'cannibalize' itself by using the protein from your muscles instead, causing muscle loss. This process can be known as catabolism. Protein is somewhat a diuretic and generates heat when being digested, so it's best to drink PLENTY of water when your protein intake increases.

4. Eat most of your carbs at breakfast and post-workout meal. Since your body wakes from an overnight fast for 8-10 hours, you need to consume carbs to replenish glycogen stores. This is the same for your post-workout meal, when glycogen stores are almost depleted from being used during weight training. Therefore, your carb-heavy meals should be for these 2 meals. Eat the rest of your carbs in small/moderate amounts as needed during the day.

5. Reduce/eliminate carbs in the evenings or at night. This is because your body doesn't require as much energy in the evenings or at night, and it might go into storage instead of being burned by the body. Therefore, most of your carbs should be consumed during the day, when you require the most energy. An exception to this is your post-workout meal for recovery, if you workout in those times. However, this depends on the each individual if you want to include some carbs or cut it out. You SHOULD NOT consume MOST of your carbs in the evening or at night, as it is more likely to be stored as fat.

6. Do not mix too much fat with carbs, especially sugar. To explain briefly (I'm not a biologist): when you eat carbs, you create an insulin response to clear the bloodstream of excess blood sugar. When you consume a lot of fat with carbs, fat will ride the insulin wave and get shuffled into your fat cells, thus causing instant fat storage! A small amount of fat is good to slow down digestion of carbs. But if you eat a lot of fat with large amounts of sugar, which generates a large insulin spike, it's a sure fire way to store fat!

7. Drink PLENTY of water. This is a no-brainer, and is especially important if you're eating more protein, exercising/working out or involved in sports. Your body requires plenty of water to optimize bodily functions, flushing out toxins from your body and help with fat oxidation (burning fat!). You should drink at least 8-10 glasses a day. Aside from water, you can drink non-caloric drinks like green tea, coffee (black, no sugar/creamer but I do add sweeteners from time to time) or diet sodas (I seldom drink this but it's calorie-free). Make sure you drink more water if you're drinking tea and coffee, as those are diuretics.

8. Reduce/eliminate fast food, junk food and processed foods high in sugar and fat. This is another no-brainer, right? Out with the BAD FOODS and in with the HEALTHY, NUTRITIOUS FOODS! Bad foods (all types of fast foods, fried foods, cookies, ice-cream, cakes, chips, donuts etc) are basically EMPTY CALORIES, meaning that for every calorie that you eat from it, there are NO NUTRIENTS that your body can derive from to nourish itself. To live fit AND healthy, you must DEFINITELY MAKE A CHANGE in your food and eating habits. I'm not asking you to go cold turkey and cut it out completely starting tomorrow, but you can make small adjustments daily to substitute bad foods with healthier choices, so that you won't feel overwhelmed. These small adjustments will add up and you will eventually start to live a healthier lifestyle.

My Experience
I find that once healthy foods became a staple in my daily diet, I don't crave or feel the need to eat bad foods anymore. Instead, I crave healthy foods and I feel great on the inside. This is because my body knows it's getting all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals that it needs and continuously craves for it. Healthy foods are like grade A material and bad foods are grade D. If you've been given grade D material and suddenly you're given grade A, would you fall back to having grade D material? That being said, I DO enjoy ice-cream, chocolates, fried foods and junk foods from time to time (just for the taste basically). BUT, I will only have it once or twice a week, during my cheat meals, when I allow myself to indulge as a reward. The key is moderation, not eating it every day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Guide to Healthy Eating: What to Eat?

Whether your goal is to lead a healthier lifestyle, win the battle of the bulge (want to lose fat) or bulking up, I truly believe that healthy, wholesome nutrition and good eating habits are absolutely vital to ensure that your body functions optimally for health and good results. I will first share on what to eat on a daily basis.

For a healthy and balanced nutrition, here's what to eat:

1) Lean protein: Why should you eat it?

- When it comes to enhancing metabolism and building lean body mass (LBM), protein is KING, regardless if you're trying to lose fat or bulk up.

- Protein is the main building block of the body (like bricks for a house) and is crucial for cellular regeneration, muscular growth and recovery, especially if you're involved in sports or weight-lifting.

- Protein requires the most energy by the body to break down and use. The TEF of protein is as much as 30%! For example, if you eat 100 calories worth of protein, 30 calories is burned by the body just to digest it and only 70 calories is taken in!

The best protein sources should contain all the necessary amino acids which make up the protein structure. Sources from animals like meat and produce contain complete proteins. Plant-based sources such as soy and beans are incomplete proteins, as there are missing amino acids and require other protein sources to complete them.

Ranking for the best protein (in order of number):
1) animal/whey protein.
2) casein (from dairy).
3) soy-based protein.

Good sources of complete protein: LEAN white meat/poutry (chicken/turkey/pork), LEAN red meat (beef/venison/bison/lamb etc), egg whites/whole egg, all types seafood, 100% whey protein powder and low-fat dairy (if you're not lactose intolerant). Note that whole animal protein (meat/eggs) is always best and should be emphasized over protein supplements like whey protein. I usually consume whey during post-workout or at times when it's inconvenient to have a proper meal.

2) Starchy complex carbs: Why should you eat it?

- Carbs are absolutely vital for optimal performance and health, and it is the preferred source of energy by the body. - Starchy complex carbs contain necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and are high in fiber.

- Due to it's high fiber content, it has a low GI and is slow-digesting, thus it provides a sustained release of energy and doesn't cause a large insulin spike.

- When it is eaten, the body has to undergo a complicated metabolic process to digest, break down and absorb it. Thus, complex carbs generates a TEF of about 20%.

To explain briefly on carbs and insulin: When all carbs are consumed, it is converted to blood sugar or glucose in the bloodstream. When glucose levels in the blood are elevated, the body responds by releasing a hormone called insulin from the pancreas, which is responsible for transporting nutrients to all the cells in the body. Then, glucose is transported to the liver, muscles and fat cells. In the liver and muscles, they are converted to glycogen, a form of energy storage for the body. Any overconsumption of carbs will result in (you guessed it!) fat storage, when glycogen stores are full. An insulin spike occurs when carbs are absorbed too quickly into the system and the body over-reacts by secreting too much insulin. The insulin then quickly shuffles all the glucose into the liver, muscles and fat cells (if you eat too much) to stabilize the blood sugar level in the body. Very high insulin levels also prevent fat from being used by the body and promotes fat storage. Therefore, both quantity and quality of carbs are important to prevent frequent insulin spikes that will result in fat storage.

Good sources of complex carbs: oatmeal (I love this!), all types of potatoes (sweet/white/red etc), yam, brown/wild/basmati rice, whole-grain bread/pasta/cereals, all type of grains (quinoa, wheat, rye etc) and all type of beans.Note that it is best to consume complex carbs in its MOST NATURAL STATE, with exception to whole-grain bread/pasta/cereals. For non-natural complex carbs, it's best always to read nutritional label AND ingredient list before consuming, as there are a lot of fake or low quality manufactured whole-grain foods. When choosing, look for products with higher protein, the MOST fiber, LEAST amount of sugar and sodium.

When trying to lose fat, you might need to limit carb consumption. But, this will depend on individual genetics, level of carb sensitivity (how well your body responds to carbs) and how your results turn out. There's actually no need to jump right on a low-carb diet, which is usually short term and is not healthy long term. From my own personal experience, it is better to switch to high-quality, natural carb sources and follow a moderate carb diet to fuel my workouts and stay healthy.

3) Fruits and vegetables: This one is a no-brainer, right?

Here are some of the facts and benefits of eating fruits and vegetables:

- Both are very high in fiber and provide volume due to its water content, which naturally suppresses appetite, increase satiety and make you feel full longer. You can easily reach your daily recommended fiber intake by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.

- Both are much less calorie-dense (less calories per serving) and are very nutrient-dense (provides the most nutrients per serving).- Both contain loads of antioxidants/phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals to boost your immunity system, decrease risks of developing illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases and to repair and nourish the body.

- Vegetables are also a type of complex carb (fibrous complex carbs) and also requires a lot of effort to break down and absorb during digestion. It has a TEF almost similar to protein, about 30%.

If you're trying to lose fat, some may argue that the sugar content in fruits may hinder results. However, the sugar (natural simple carbs) in fruits are a mixture of glucose and fructose in varying ratios. Fructose cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream directly and must be converted into glucose first in the liver. Thus, fruits usually only trigger a mild insulin response when consumed. Whether to exclude fruits or not, it depends on each individual and your results. For me, however, I would still eat them. To me, optimal health is the most important.

Good sources of fruits: EAT ALL TYPES OF FRUITS!

Vegetables (non-starchy) is the only food that's extremely low in calories and carbs, most nutrient dense and extremely high in fiber. If you're trying to lose fat and want optimal health, it is basically a free food so consume AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!


4) Healthy Fats: In this day and age, fat phobia still does exist. Like carbs, the key is choosing the right kind of fats to eat, not avoiding all fats. Healthy fats or EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) are very much needed, cannot be produced by the body and can only be obtained from foods. EFAs consist of unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated (omega-6) and polyunsaturated (omega-3) fat and can come from both plant and animal sources.

Some benefits of EFAs:
- Increases metabolic rate and energy production.
- Helps fat burning. (Yes, you need to eat fat to lose fat!)- Boosts your immunity system and reduces inflammation.
- Increases testosterone production.
- Helps in lubricating your joints.
- Improves skin texture (dry skin is a symptom of EFA deficiency).
- Reduces bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol levels.Good sources of healthy fats: all types of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, etc) and most seafood, all types of nuts, 100% natural peanut butter (no added sugar/salt/oil/additives), avocado, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil etc.

As mentioned, not all fats are created equal:
1) unsaturated fat/EFAs (extremely beneficial).
2) saturated fat (consume moderately in small amounts).
3) trans fat (avoid this like THE PLAGUE!).

Some people may argue that saturated fat is not necessary but it is actually important to have a small amount of saturated fat, along with EFAs in your diet. Saturated fat from natural foods are different and have a slightly different chemical structure than saturated fat from processed, refined foods. Contrary to popular belief, when saturated fat from natural sources is consumed in small amounts, it does not increase bad cholesterol at all, unless processed fats. You can get saturated fat naturally from butter, milk, egg yolk, coconut milk/oil, animal fat etc. I will write about the dangers and how to spot trans fat in foods in a separate post.

Now, you have an idea on what healthy, balanced and wholesome nutrition should consist of. If you've been eating a lot of unhealthy fast food or junk foods, you should make small adjustments to include healthier foods until eventually, it will become a norm in every day life. Healthy eating is all about a lifestyle change to better your physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk

Synopsis: Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is living in the shadows, scouring the planet for an antidote. However, the warmongers who dream of abusing his powers won't leave him alone, nor will his need to be with the only woman he has ever loved, Betty Ross (Liv Tyler). Upon returning to civilisation, he is ruthlessly pursued by The Abomination - a nightmarish beast of pure adrenaline and aggression whose powers match The Hulk's own. A fight of comic-book proportions ensues as Banner must call upon the hero within to rescue New York City from destruction.

Verdict: From the action, effects and storyline, it's definitely better the first Hulk movie. In terms of action and effects, we get the usual stuff and more:

- loud, deep voiced, neanderthalic roars that can possibly shake mountains.

- [insert vehicles here] flying through the air, as a result of being thrown, kicked and...possibly even just spit at by the Hulk.

- numerous building, roads and [insert other architectural structures here] being badly damaged or destroyed by the Hulk, as a result of him rampaging or possibly just letting go a fart around the city.

- futile attempts by the military using loads of firepower and [Spoiler Alert!] even a brand new SOUND CANNON to subdue the Hulk. It's thoroughly entertaining to watch the military getting their asses kicked repeatedly and continue to dish out more firepower!

- [Spoiler Alert!] a really intense, violent battle with a new villian called The Abomination, a horrific mutation of Emil Blonsky, a military assassin. The Abomination is one fucking ugly badass who's bigger than the Hulk, but is more of a monster than a human being. The only thing they share in common is being green.

In terms of storyline, it's more on the journey of Bruce Banner, as we might expect. It mostly dwells on BB's sad and elusive life after the first movie, to escape the military from obtaining the secrets of his body and to protect Betty's well being.

Another aspect would be his past relationship with his lady love (Dr. Elizabeth Ross or Betty) in the first movie and how they got back together again in this one. [Spoiler Alert!] I especially loved the ROMANTIC scene when they finally meet face to face on a bridge and embraced each other in the rain, and all the while, Betty is saying,"Don't leave me, please don't leave me again.". GOSH, so SWEET! (yes, I'm a romantic bastard and happen to think that kissing the rain is very romantic, ok?).

As for character development, most of it would be on BB (who else could it be) and Emil Blonsky, who is portrayed as being driven at the beginning, and eventually becomes obsessed with killing the Hulk. Some mild humor is successfully injected here as well; like when BB is shopping for over-sized pants and when sex could've gone horribly wrong in a motel room, IF BB didn't have his heart rate monitor (BB uses a heart rate monitor to make sure he doesn't exceed a certain heart rate, know what).

There are a few a couple of minor loopholes in the movie as well. Like how [Spoiler Alert!] BB jumps from a helicopter, fails to turn into the Hulk and smashes though the road into the sewer, in human form. Yet, he manages to turn into the Hulk in the sewers and climb back up, as if gravity didn't work and crush all the bones in his body. There is also a question of why BB's pants ALWAYS never disintegrate completely like the other pieces of clothing when he turns into the HULK and thus, leaving a naked BB when he turns back.

Also, [Spoiler Alert!] Tony Starks (Iron Man) appeared in the end of the movie. You can also catch (blink and you might miss it) some elements of Tony Starks in the movie background as well. I guess this shows that the Incredible Hulk actually a sequel for both the first Hulk movie AND Iron Man. Being the unofficial sequel to Iron Man, this could possibly be part of the development of the Ultimate Avengers movie later on, of which both Iron Man and The Hulk are team members.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Others: Out of all the superheroes, I think The Hulk is one of the scariest coz he doesn't have any real weaknesses (girlfriends DON'T count). I mean, even Superman has kryptonite and Batman is vulnerable to human injuries. Bloody hell, once he starts rampaging, he's basically unstoppable! Like our country's fuel price hike lah!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How much do we shine?

This is Anya Sparks, who auditioned for Britain's Got Talent.

She's not exactly young, gorgeous, and has the body of a supermodel. She's a 42-year-old mother, overweight and is average looking. Yet, here she is; wearing a sexy, skin tight outfit and doing a sexy dance to Britney Spear's Toxic in front of a live audience, hoping to get through the first round of Britain's Got Talent. I can't help but to admire her courage, confidence and strong self-belief.

It is so inspiring to see her being so energetic, positive and confident in doing what she loves. She doesn't let her weight, looks or other people's opinion of her hold her down. (It's not that I'm saying it's ok to become overweight, as it could be a danger to your health, but it's her attitude that inspires me)

It is so evident that she absolutely shines when she starts dancing, just oozing with confidence and positive energy. Did you notice how the crowd giggled and laughed when she pulled out the chair to do her dance in the beginning, but cheered loudly for her, putting aside any negative opinion they might have had on her until she finished? After her dance, she even asserts herself, when commented by Simon Cowell, by saying aloud,"That's big girl's power!".

Simon Cowell's insulting comments aside, EVERYONE from the other judges, to the audience, to hosts Ant and Dec, absolutely loved her. Judge Piers even went on to say,"Real talent lies in people like you." which I couldn't agree more.

I think this is an important lesson to be learnt: If you shine from within, you will shine to the world as well.

We need more people like her in the world.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More Chocolatey Goodness From Nigella!

More sinfully decadent choco-licious desserts from Nigella Lawson!

Chocolate Mousse:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae:

Rocky Road Crunch Bars:

Chocolate Pear Pudding:

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge:


*Warning: I take no responsibility towards any reader for weight gain caused by over-indulging in these recipes*


New running shoes!

I bought these a couple of weeks ago. Since most of my cardio consist of outdoor running/jogging, I needed a really good and reputable pair of running shoes to protect my heels, ankles and knees. After reading reviews from Runner's World, I found this in the Adidas shop at Queensbay.

The moment I slipped them on, I fell in love with them. The shoes had a soft, cushiony interior that feels welcoming to the feet and all around the top of the shoes were visible pores to help your feet 'breathe' better when you run. When running, the shoes feel very light, stable and of course, provides adequate shock absorption every time your feet hits the ground to relieve some stress from your joints. However, what did it COST ME?

A pair of Adistar Control 5 from Adidas = RM 530 (I love my knees too much to spend any less on protecting it)

2 pairs for Adidas socks = RM 14.90 each (received FOC with purchase of shoes)

Stepped on dog shit on the second day of my morning run = PRICELESS!

Kanina...time to go shoot some dogs.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Movie Review: Kungfu Panda

Synopsis: The lazy and irreverent panda, Po (voiced by Jack Black), must somehow become a kungfu master in order to save the Valley of Peace from a villainous snow leopard, Tai Lung. Set in the legendary world of ancient China, this is the story of Po, our unlikely hero, who enters the rigid world of kungfu and turns it upside down. Po ultimately becomes a hero by learning that if he believes in himself, he can do anything.

Verdict: This is definitely one of the best movie animations I've seen so far and I think that it has set a new benchmark for future animations to top. Kungfu Panda is definitely funnier than Over The Hedge (which I think is the funniest animation I've seen before this!) and more heart-warming that the likes of Ratatouie. The animated graphics are astounding, have great clarity and are extremely detailed. And add that along with generous splashes of humour and witty dialogue, amazing fast-paced action choreography (c'mon, you gotta give them props, they used animals to do kungfu and still made it look good!) and great use of different camera angles to enhance the action scenes; you've got a winner right there. Another thing which caught my attention was the viewing experience was the random insertion of slow-motion moments during all the action scenes, which will definitely tickle your funny bone! [Spoiler alert!: The scene where Tai Lung and Po were tumbling down the temple steps, followed by a slow-motion scene where Po's ass actually SAT on Tai Lung's face was PRICELESS!].

In terms of character development, it centered mostly on Po and Master Shifu which I think it vital to fully understand why the both of them were doing what they did throughout the movie. As for the rest of characters, not much is done but no complaints there, as all of them were thoroughly entertaining, especially Master Oogway!

A movie animation would not be complete without an important lesson in the end, right? The lesson here is that sometimes there is no secret ingredient, something can be special if you BELIEVE that it's special! This is great message to everyone out there (myself included!) that sometimes it doesn't matter what the world or everyone around you thinks of you, whether it's because of what you look like or can do, the most important thing is to look inside yourself and realize that you ARE special and that if BELIEVE in yourself, you can do anything.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Others: I've watched it twice already in the cinema. In fact, I just came back from watching it the second time from Queensbay Mall 20 mins before writing this. Both times I laughed my ass off...and that was PRETTY LOUD!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Say NO to fad diets!

A few of my friends have asked for some tips on how to get into better shape, which usually suggests either losing fat or gaining muscle. To do this, I believe that a combination of proper nutrition and training is required to get the best results possible. However, before someone begins their fitness journey, diet or nutrition is the very first thing to look into and it should form the foundation of a good and effective fitness plan.

Do not jump on a fad diet!
By fad diets, I mean diets that emphasize very low calories, sometimes due to low carbs or low fat, or eating only certain foods as much as you want while disregarding the law of caloric balance. Even worse, there are some dieters who eat only once or twice a day. This is worrying and so I've decided to shed some light on this matter.

Here are a few things you should know about fad diets or severe dieting:

1. Fad diets are usually only temporary and not sustainable long term. That's usually the case with diets, isn't it? When someone goes on a diet, they stick with it only for a short period of time to get to the weight or size that they want. Even dieters know that the amount of foods that they are eating is low and won't choose to do it long term.

2. The 'Yo-yo' dieting effect. This is what happens when dieters who slash their daily calories too severely, then come off their diet and resume their normal eating habits. They would balloon up and gain back all the weight, AND THEN SOME! This is called the 'yoyo' effect of dieting, which causes wide fluctuations in body weight, and is very unhealthy and stressful for the body. This is because your metabolism slows down drastically to match your low caloric intake and when you return to eating normal caloric intake, your body still burns much less calories and what does it do with the excess? Straight to fat cells!

3. Very low calorie diets kills your metabolism. Why does this happen? Because fad diets only work short term and low amount of calories ingested for a certain period of time, your body adapts by slowing down metabolism to a crawl. When calories are taken too low, it evokes your body's starvation response. That is when your body thinks that it's starving and lowers the amount of calories burned by slowing down your metabolism. This is part of our body's survival mechanism for self-preservation. Therefore, there will come a time when no matter how little you eat, you will stop losing any weight! Your body doesn't care about looking good, it just wants to LIVE!

4. Very low calorie diets are unhealthy. Since your food intake is low, risk of malnourishment increases as you are depriving your body of essential nutrients to functional optimally and in good health. You might start to fall sick easily and simple daily tasks like walking, chores and even thinking properly, will become challenging! Each part of the body, from cells to internal organs, need sufficient nutrients to support its functions. Malnourishment can be damaging, even long term, to your body if you severely diet too frequently.

5. Loss of lean body mass (LBM) or muscle. To make matters worse, dieters usually don't include any form of exercise and risks losing more lean body mass (LBM) or muscle, which also further slows the metabolism. Sometimes, loss of LBM is still inevitable, even if you include exercise. No matter male or female, how skinny or fat you are, you DO have LBM or muscles supporting your skeletal frame and performing all your daily tasks. Muscle is living tissue that burns calories, even at rest, and requires energy to sustain. In fact, one pound of muscle burns about 50 calories. Fat burns almost no calories, period. Therefore, since your body's survival mechanism is smart, it is more likely to burn off muscle that needs more calories to sustain and keep as much of it's fat stores as possible. Fat stores are basically a form of insurance or savings for your body, so that you can survive under harsh conditions when food is scarce or not available.

6. You will find it difficult to get the results that you hope for. If a lean, toned and/or muscular build is what you seek, then severe dieting will only distance yourself away from that goal. As I mentioned previously, severe dieting prevents fat from being used due to its survival mechanism. This is because your body chooses to burn off your LBM, not its fat stores. Quite often, you will end up smaller version of yourself, with no muscle tone and still have slightly less or same amount of body fat. This can also be referred to as being 'skinny fat'.

Please note that I'm NOT a certified nutritionist, professional body-builder or health expert. I'm just sharing some knowledge based on research done and experience from my journey. I have to admit, I was a fad dieter when I first started out. Slowly, through some research, I learned through my mistakes and made the proper adjustments to improve myself. When trying to improve physical fitness and health, I believe it is VERY important learn what you can and put it into practice. Soon, I will share some nutritional knowledge and tips that I practice daily for physical improvement and health.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Since my last relationship (very short one too!), I've been single for almost 1 year and 4 months. Whenever my friends would ask me if I'm attached or have a lover, I would say I'm single and they would go, "Aiya, don't be so choosy laaa". Most people think that way, I'm too choosy or picky in finding the right guy.

I have gone after some guys that I really liked before, but it usually ends up that they are either not ready for a relationship or don't like me the same way. My very best friend, Joe, told me that I always had a tendency to go for guys who either, just got out of a relationship and are vulnerable, still young and wanna play around or are too popular to commit to a single guy. Judging from history of flops lately, what he said is quite true. He also pointed out that I can't really say that guys don't like me, as I do have my admirers but I either turned them down or chose to remain good friends. Is this a case of karma in my life right now? Am I being turned down by those I like because I turned down others that liked me?

Although people may think I'm choosy, I think that I have a right to choose who I want to be with. So why the hell aren't I in a relationship right now? Is this vicious cycle of rejection gonna end? Am I setting my standards too high? I don't really think so, as guys I like aren't male models or anything like that. But anyway, looks are nothing if someone has a shitty attitude, completely turns me off.

Then, Joe pointed out something that kinda woke me up. Am I actually opening up myself to gives others a chance? Do I shut myself almost completely when someone who's not my type approaches me? Did I give others a chance the way I'd wish others might give ME a chance? Did I give others a chance to show what they have underneath? It could be that Mr. Right had come along and I HAD turned him down before. This really hit me...he could've been right there and I didn't even know it!

I mean, it's nice to have mutual liking in the beginning and then start a relationship, but that's not always the case. Sometimes mutual liking doesn't happen in the beginning, a person can like another, but the other person is either indifferent or doesn't even like him, and that changes after both spend more time together. Thus, a relationship blossoms.

So, I should learn not to fall for guys who are not ready or willing to commit, and I should open myself to more options. Hopefully, my future BF and I will cross paths again some day...

Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Heaven!

As I was saying earlier, Nigella's desserts look really heavenly...and it's best to discard any thoughts of caloric count if you're gonna try out any her recipes! I believe these clips were taken from one of her episodes.

Grown-up hot chocolate:

Old-fashioned chocolate cake:

Chocolate cheesecake:

Triple chocolate brownies:

Such choco-licious desserts, so simple but yet looks so heavenly! Damn, wish I had a proper kitchen =P

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bonjour, sexy!

I actually came across this ad in YouTube by accident, when I was searching for something related to chocolate. Let's just say Nigella Lawson's desserts kinda got me hooked.

Anyhow, ENJOY!

Now...don't you really feel like visiting their factory? XD


Well, I'd thought of joining the blogging community juggernaut for some time now and finally, I've gotten to it. Just a little bit about myself there:

I'm not the type of guy who turns heads in a crowd.
I'm not the type of guy who possesses perfect drop-dead gorgeous good looks.
I'm not the type of guy who inspires envy or jealousy in other people.
I'm not the type of guy who leads a lavish life.
I'm not the type of guy who makes people wish that they could have or be me.


I am the type of guy who likes to see others smile and laugh.
I am the type of guy who would listen to your problems and try to help you out.
I am the type of guy who always consider the feelings of others.
I am the type of guy who doesn't like being fake, what you see is what you get.
I am the type of guy who always loves a good laugh and does it loudly too!
I'm also the type of guy who likes to make friends and cherishes love.
I'm also a health and fitness enthusiast...well, a bit of a nut about it actually. That's because I've come a long way in my own personal fitness journey. (I was a whooping 93 kgs more than 2 years ago!)

As for the rest, read my profile or just e-mail me. LOL