Friday, 21 November 2014

I'm from CHIJ Katong Convent (1)

Once a KC-ian, always a KC-ian
Many things going on recently... but I guess the one that takes the most emotional toll on me is that my alma mater is closing for renovation (school temporary resumes at Geylang Lane) and with that, the bookshop owners whom KC girls fondly known as Mr. & Mrs. Lim (or Auntie Shirley, Auntie Lim, Uncle Lim) will be retiring (and so were the drink stall uncle & auntie).

The bookshop itself have tremendous amount of inventory to clear and especially arts & craft supplies (and other random bits and pieces here and there) because the new vendor is not keen to take them over only accepting those with the school logos. 

So, earlier last week, after a notice put up by one of the seniors on our FB group page seeking help to buy and clear some of the inventory, many responded.  Its really heart warming to see seniors & juniors of all batches coming together and lend a helping hand either by purchasing or spreading the word around.  Although we are not blood related but the common bond of being a KC-ian and the attachment to Mr. & Mrs. Lim's bookshop held us all together.

I too, spend quite a fair bit on art supplies.  Not for myself since I'm not artistically inclined but with the intention of donating it to children homes and apparently, I was not the only one with this intention too.  I read in the page that 1 had donated some to a nursery school and 1 private buyer who bought up everything thing that was left behind to donate it to the Salvation Army (transportation was sponsored by another KC-ian).

However, we were later told that the owners did not pack everything to be sent away after one of the senior went back to school to 'spot check'.  We all kind of suspected that they find it really hard to let go of everything after being close to 50yrs with the school.  Yes, 50 years.  They were with us since 1969 and back then, KC was not at Martia Road even.

If I who graduated 14yrs ago feel this sad for the closure, I can only imagine it must have felt 10x, 100x, 1000x much worse for them.  The hardship they first faced when setting up the shop (no money to buy inventory), the warmth, love and assistance received from the Sisters who helped them esp. when Mrs. Lim was pregnant, all 3 of her daughters attended KC and grew up as a KC-ian. 

All those memories remained vividly in her mind as she share with those who return for a visit.  One can sense the pride she has for the school and the girls.  As she always say "KC girls are the best!"

A very warm, cheerful and vocal lady who treat all KC girls young or old like her own daughter/grandchildren (uncle was more reserved and most of us will remember that uncle is always getting a scolding from auntie).  Not really a wise business woman thou because she simply refuses to overcharge the students.  She feels bad having the students spend too much at her shop and kept the price to a minimum earning little profit.

A senior shared with us in the FB page that they did not make any profit the last few years due to change in buying patterns of the students and pressure from big bookshop chains but they hung on to the shop because of the love for the school and the students.  Quoting an example, for a pen that sells $2+ elsewhere, she only sold it at $1.20 to us.

Even now, as an adult, with the ability to earn a living buying up supplies the last week in 3 separate trips, each time she would frown at me and say she feels bad that I am spending so much but each time I would reply to her, its ok I am donating to children home.  She will always hugged in appreciation and said "God Bless You Dear". 

In fact, what I am doing now is not even enough to thank her.  Thank her for the love she has for all of us, thank her for the advice the previous week I was there.  I actually even feel bad for not being able to spend more money to help her clear her stock.

When I first went back to school for a walk and picture taking a week prior to the purchase of supplies, I was actually apprehensive of approaching them.  My mind tells me that it will be awkward since I was not sociable and I cannot hold a decent conversation with people whom I have not seen for so long but after hesitating for awhile in front of the bookshop, memories came flooding back.

I did approached them in the end with a 'Hi' and then my worries are unfounded.  Mrs. Lim took the time to talk to me, ask how my live was, what I was doing, if I was happy, how's my mum.  She was the one who talks most of time as she can sense that I was a very shy and quiet person.  She mention that I was like her younger daughter whose also a very quiet person.

During that short session, she has advised me, console me, sayang me like her grandchild.  I almost forgot my roots.  I almost forgot what KC spirit is until I spoke with Mrs. Lim. 

She reminded me that I was a KC girl and KC girls never give up with the can do, dare to do & never give up spirit.  They try and they try until they succeed.  I cried that day, in front of her. I will always remember her words "Don't forget you are from KC, KC girls never give up and plus you got your mum's DNA. DNA won't lie"

To be honest, since that visit, I have honestly see things in a much positive mindset.  More often then I previously would.  Up till today, I did not frown or fret at work (apart from stressing that I was bored with nothing to do and yet I have to go to work and not waste my leave), I was more open to things and people around me (still have to work on being more tolerant of others), more obliging to helping my aunts especially.

If in the past I was 20% happy, I am at least 60% and counting.  Possibly.  Its like something in me just click after that day.

I am glad that I studied in KC and I believe it's with God's blessing that he has made us cross path with Mr. & Mrs. Lim.  Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Lim.  Thank you God.
 
Once a KC-ian, always a KC-ian

P.s. They will be a garage sale at Mrs. Lim's house for the remaining art supplies.  Not sure if it will be on time before my donations are sent to the Children's Home but if its after, I will just buy for myself since there are times when I am in my artistic mood. HAHA! thou rarely... *hoarder mode: my weakness are colored papers and marker pens*

Thursday, 20 November 2014

雨声滴溻滴溻响,
好比天上泪满行。
空中弥漫感伤触,
心情此刻无比忧。--- rainote 20/11/14

Friday, 14 November 2014

HIC Juice - 3-Day Level 2 Restore Juice Cleanse

 
"Our cleanse program acts as a healthy routine maintenance tool for your body to detoxify through the wholesome ingredients you consume while at the same time allowing your digestive system and liver to get a much needed rest. You will be feeding your body with organic ingredients that are easy to digest and filled with live enzymes and vitamins, while eliminating processed sugars, alcohol, caffeine, carbs and meat from your diet. This shifts your body from an acidic environment to one that's highly alkaline and boosts your body’s immunity and helps it to fight inflammation." -- taken from their website.

 
*** Disclaimer:  This is my own experience to the juice cleanse.  Please keep in mind that each individual body is different and may react differently from me.  For those with existing ailments or medical conditions, please seek advice from your doctor before proceeding the cleanse.  Also it may contain explicit description. ***

Background❤
 
Have heard of the many health benefits in association with juicing.  It was said to be able to aid in detoxification of toxins in the body resulting one feeling more energetic, having better sleep quality, strengthening the immune system, improves skin conditions and appearance.  Since then, I have always wanted to give juice cleansing a try but never seem to put that into action until recently. 

Just about a year ago on 29/12/13 I had done up a new year resolution list.  One of the resolutions for the new year in 2014 was to lose 5kg by XMAS.  Looking at the calendar now, it brings me slightly less than 7 weeks to the 'deadline' and instead of loosing weight, I think I actually gain weight.

Although my primary goal of mine in starting the juice cleanse was to lose weight but I reckon before I could actually get down to losing weight, I must first get rid of the accumulated toxins in my body from the past 11months of food intake.  My diet although still generally clean and I exercise restrictions on certain food but it is not until recently, I had been having chips, cakes, kuehs and desserts either because of my kitchen projects or succumbing to temptations lying around the house.

Why Did I choose hic'Juice?

Decided to take action to cleanse my body first before trying to loose the weight by XMAS and so I went searching on Google for a juice cleanse and realised that there were actually quite a few brands in Singapore.  To be honest, I was initially looking at another brand but they had failed to follow up promptly and so I went with hic'Juice.
 
 
One of the main reasons why I eventually chose hic'Juice was because their kitchen was just within walking distance from my office.  This was good news as I could save on delivery charges (S$30) with the self-collection.  In addition, bloggers who have tried the cleanse gave mostly positive reviews, so why not just give it a shot?  After all its just fresh fruits and vegetable juice and I do not have any other known allergy except for Amoxil (anti-biotic).

My Order
 
 
They have 3 levels of cleanse: Reboot (Lvl 1), Restore (Lvl 2) & Reborn (Lvl 3) and it is available in 1, 3 or 5 day cleanse. 
 
After looking at the description of their cleanses and the juices within each level, I decided to just jump straight into Level 2: Restore for 3 days since 5 days is a bit too much for my first time juice cleanse.  Which means for the next 3 days, I will not be consuming any solid food and have only the juices to sustain me.  Sounds damn challenging alright.  Determination is key to get anything done and I'm all ready to go.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
 ❤My Pre-Cleanse
 
Starting on the 04/11/2014, after receiving an email for the guide to pre-cleanse the day before, I try to follow as indicated.  Do note it is not compulsory but recommended to follow the guide.  Did my best to stay away from things like caffeine, salt and processed food, refined sugars, meat and animal products as well as alcohol & nicotine.  I also have been increasing my water intake to stay hydrated leading up to the Saturday.
 
I would not say I follow 100% because for breakfast I do have scrambled eggs or omelettes with wholemeal toast.  I also had one on occasion have oatmeal for breakfast.  For lunch, I stick to my usual brown rice and the rest is just vegetarian dishes of veges and more vegs (all dishes were just lightly salted and seasoned).  As for water consumption, I do not think I hit 2 litres a day but compared to the past, the intake was much higher.  How I know? I frequent the washroom.
 
Due to work or lack of appetite, I skipped lunch and dinner once.  Had water to fill myself up till the next meal. The last day prior to cleanse, I had only ABC (apple, beetroot, carrot) juice for breakfast, salad and toufu roll for lunch as well as a large apple & pear for dinner.
 Breakfast:
  
 
  Lunch: (vegetarian)
 
Dinner:
 
As you can see, I included a whole lot of vegetables and fruits these few days and have since not eaten a slice of meat which is quite a feat.  I can do this!!!!
 
How does my body feel to the Pre-Cleanse
 
Apart from getting minor migraines every now and then, my head also feels heavier.  I think both are linked somehow.  In addition to the haze, it gets really frustrating but so far, it did not hinder me at work during the month end accounts closing so its ok. 
 
I also frequently went to the washroom to pee but at the same time seem to have a minor bit of constipation.  It is not serious but sometimes it is just tiny quantities or none and having to strain myself.  Lastly, I feel quite gassy at times within; be it burping, farting in the washroom or hearing weird gas sounds from my intestines or stomach.
Day 1
 
 
Woke up at 9am and so after washing up, I made myself warm lemon water to drink first and after awhile, I start on my first bottle.  The pictures actually quite display my reaction to the taste.  First bottle was not bad and after it, I did chores such as removing the lace curtain at a corner and washing them by hand.  Aunt threw in 3 more floor mats and by time I was done, its already time for the 2nd bottle. 
 
All I can say is I may love spices in my meals but drinks is a first time and I don't really enjoy drinking the pepper coz it kinds of burns/stings the throat.  Did not finish everything. Looking at the pepper at the bottom is scary enough.
   
 
I then went out to the mall to get new clothes with my aunt.  It was close to the time for my 3rd bottle and in the end by time I got home, it was at least 3hrs pass my scheduled 3rd bottle.  3rd bottle taste was weird but its because of the celery and parsley, taste and smell of it was strong.  4th bottle was not bad except for the celery taste, 5th was ok and I had the 6th bottle at 12mn, it has quite an amount of nut bits so I kept chewing on it and went to bed about 2am.
 
How does my body feel after Day 1

I woke up feeling quite energetic that morning, after days of pre-cleanse I thought I would be lethargic from the lack of meat and carbs and what not. After first bottle, even up till the 2hrs of constant stomping and scrunching of curtains and mats, I was doing fine.  Happily went out of the house with my aunt because I hardly do so on weekends. 

aunt's lunch at my fav stall... can only smell it like a hungry ghost... =.=

Watch her eat her meals and later did shopping.  Halfway through about 4pm I began to feel really sleepy and kept yawning.  By time I got home and had the overdued 3rd bottle I was feeling slightly lethargic.  Then by the 4th bottle, I thought I would be going to bed soon but surprisingly I was quite awake.

aunt's dinner from punggol nasi lemak... can only smell it like a hungry ghost... =.=

My aunt ate in front of me again but I resisted.  So far I was able to stay away from solid food just fine by sniffing my aunt's meal like a hungry ghost. HAHAHA.  I am generally doing quite ok in day 1.  Did not have any severe hunger pangs or anything like that, stomach did not growl from hunger.  Maybe because in the past I am used to diets with just salad, fruits and juices.  Hopefully I will get by day 2 too.
 
 ❤Day 2
(there were repeated drinks from day 1)
  
 
The juices today, to be honest, apart from the first and last bottle, I did not really enjoy the rest.  Thou I eat celery but I don't really like it in almost every juice today.  For the 4th bottle, there was a combination of ginger and cayenne pepper which is a double combo to burn/sting the throat.  Personally, I do not like ginger so it was dreadful.  Guide says to chew every juice and not gulp it down but really if I do as it says, I would have given up on the bottle. No choice I had to gulp it down in 3 separate times.

I honestly think for today, pure coconut water is the tastiest drink cause its just purely coconut water and nothing else.  I dread the final day tomorrow as from what I see from the menu, there's cayenne pepper again....

How does my body feel after Day 2

It feels like any other normal day.  Thou in the later afternoon, for once since I started the cleanse, my stomach really started to growl in the hungry sense but it was just nice as it was time for the juice so I was fine after it.  Strange as it sounds but although stomach was rumbling, I knew it was telling me that I am hungry but I did not have that uncontrollable urge to eat solid food.  All I did was to smell my neighbor's cooking in the evening and that was it.

Did not experience lightheaded-ness from lack of solid food/carbs or dizziness so to speak.  In fact, I still feel quite alert and mood was not cranky at all.  More like focus on drinking the not-so tasty juices and not let it go to waste.  Very light migraine once or twice I believe but it was over very quickly.  I was not lethargic also but I chose to stay in the whole day on the sofa knitting and watching TV, just like any normal weekend.  Basically, I was awake and alert the whole day. Fascinating...

Lastly, having constipation since day 1 or was it during the pre-cleanse.  Only manage to do relieve myself almost shortly after each bottle but each time when I have that urgency to poop after that it only came to 2-3 pellets and that is after I had to massage and strain myself to excrete it.  It feel hard.  Expected though, after all I really did not eat or drink anything else except the juices and plain water.  Did not strain myself further and just listen to my body. If I need to go, I go, do not need to strain too much.
 ❤Day 3
(mostly repeated drinks from day 1 & day 2) 
 
Clear a lot off my system in the morning before work.  Initially it was hard pellets and then it became smooth and then watery stool.  Compared to the past week, it was significant in amount.  Was glad it happen coz it could only mean the dirty stuff is out of my body.  Colour is a bit worrying thou.  Instead of dark brown I had orange poop, which I could only think its due to the juices.
 
1st bottle was ok, just got to get use to raw cucumber taste. 2nd bottle, oh god cayenne pepper horror again.  Went to visit my sec school and was couple of hours past for my 3rd bottle. Timing was push to way back and went to bed 2hrs after my 5th bottle for the day.  As for my 6th bottle, I had it as breakfast on Day 4 (breaking cleanse 1).  Today's menu is horrid.  Cayenne pepper & celery & cucumber, I think I may have phobia of having it raw now.  

How does my body feel after Day 3
 
Still quite awake and alert.  Stomach growling for food in between the juices was slightly more intense but I did not give in to eat solid food.  I guess I am already used to this feeling in the past when I am dieting.  Everything feels normal to me. Slight migraine when I was walking outside but it cleared pretty quickly too.  Sleep pretty well for all 3 nights also.
 
Best part I did lose just a bit of weight (which is apparent coz I did not eat anything else).  When I started on the pre-cleanse on the 04/11/14, I was about 71.8kg.  As of 14/11/14, I lost approximately 2.9kg after 3 days of breaking cleanse after the juice cleanse.  Max weight lost was 3.6kg thou when weight was 68.2kg.  Anyway, weight loss is a bonus on top of the detoxing so I'm fine with it la...

night 07-11-14 - 70.2kg

day 1 morning 08/11/14 - 69.4kg

day 2 morning 09/11/14 - 68.9kg
day 3 10/11/14 & day 4 morning (break cleanse start) 11/11/14 - 68.6kg
day 5 morning 12/11/14 - 68.2kg
 
day 6 morning 13/11/14 - 68.4kg
day 7 morning 14/11/14 - 68.9kg (must have been the rice last night) lol....
Breaking Cleanse Meals

Well in order not to let the clean body go to waste, I decide to try and eat clean as recommended for the next 3 days.  Did cheat a little by including toufu, vietnamese rice paper and cuscous into some of my meals with plenty of raw vegetables while for dinner, I had roasted pumpkin from soup spoon (minus the bun) for the first 2 days.  Then on the 3rd day when I could include grains and white meat, I cooked tomato brown rice with mushrooms for dinner.
Break Cleanse 1 - Lunch. Small salad & Vietnamese rice paper roll
Break Cleanse 1 - Dinner. Roasted pumpkin soup
Break Cleanse 2 - Breakfast: Apple juice & banana
Break Cleanse 2 - Lunch: Carrot apple juice & Vietnamese rice paper roll
Break Cleanse 2 - Dinner. Roasted pumpkin soup
Break Cleanse 3 - Breakfast. Omelette with wholemeal toast & ABC juice
Break Cleanse 3 - Lunch. Vegetarian fish roll in rice paper
Break Cleanse 3 - Dinner. Tomato brown rice with 3 types of mushrooms
 
How does my body feel after breaking cleanse
 
Feels alright in general.  Hungry frequently in Day 2 because I did not eat much.  A lot of gas noises from intestines.  No migraines or any discomfort apart from slight gastric.  I am still resisting coffee throughout the day and will only resume next Monday (17/11/14) but I gave in to pure green tea in the late afternoon of day 3 of breaking cleanse.  Other than that, I will resume back to eating and continue my own food restrictions which is less oil, less salt, less sugar, less carbs, less meat and more veg.
 
Would I recommend it?  After thoughts.

Although there were arguments on the effectiveness of a juice cleanse I would still recommend it but I would not advice to do it too frequently thou cause thinking about it, it seems a rather extreme way of dieting.  Would I do it again? Yes. Maybe I will do the 1 day cleanse and choose Lvl 1 instead.

1.  For people who are used to diets with salads and fruit/veg juices and eats clean in general, it would not be much of a problem adjusting to it like me. 

2.  It would be quite a hurdle for people who could not control themselves in front of food.  Self-control and determination is very important in starting the cleanse.  Especially for 1st timers.

3.  It would be best to start with 1 day-cleanse first for beginners to see if you like the taste of the juice.  For me having to endure cayenne pepper/ginger/raw celery & cucumber put a frown on my face for the 3 days but I did finish all the juices in the end NOT to the last drop from those with cayenne pepper and ginger thou, just a tiny bit left of it.

4.  Think positively and doing things that make you happy helps the juice cleanse to be more enjoyable.

5.  Best to do over the weekends or over holidays because normal weekdays when one is out working, there were too many temptations around us.  Come on, we are in a food paradise.  Every corner is dragging you towards food.

6.  But I must stress that to be safe for those who have existing conditions or sickness, please seek doctor's advice first before commencing.

7.  For those who opt for self-collection, please bare in mind that it is quite heavy to carry.  1-day cleanse is manageable but carrying 3-day cleanse and taking a public transport can be quite a challenge for those who are not strong enough.  May need to call a cab or have someone to drive you home.
weight of 1 bag
 ❤Signs to show you are detoxing-in-progress
 
Apparently, experiencing lethargic, mood swings, anger, weakness, light-headedness, insomnia, skin breakouts or irritability is normal based on the given cleanse guide.
 
Research online also shows headache, fatigue, diarrhea, cold/flu and skin breakouts as normal indication of detoxing.  I have included the link for your reference.  Read more here: 5 signs you are detoxing

In All:

What I Did: hic'Juice Restore 3-Day Cleanse
Price I paid: S$340.26 (inclusive of 7% GST)
Order Date: 03/11/2014
Collection Date: 07/11/2014
Collection Mode: Self-collection
Start Date: 08/11/2014
Weight Loss:  2.9kg (starting from pre-cleanse to post cleanse)

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

Do check out their website for more information on the juice cleanse.  They have recommended guidelines (thou not compulsory to follow) for pre-cleanse, during the cleanse and post cleanse as well as a FAQ page which they compiled a list of possible queries you may have on the cleanse program itself.

If you would like to give it a try, please refer to the following details:

Shop Name: hic'Juice
Address: 27 Boon Tat Street, Level 2 (above 7 Cycle)
Tel: +65 8123 9311
Enquiry: thejuiceroom@hicjuice.com.sg or concierge@hicjuice.com.sg
Order Status: orders@hicjuice.com.sg
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9am - 9pm , Sat 9am - 3pm
Self Collection: 6.30pm - 8.30pm (evening before start date)
Delivery: 7pm - 10pm (evening before start date)
Website: http://www.hicjuice.com.sg
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer Station (Downtown Line - Blue)

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤