Ten Tips to Drop Pounds and Improve Your Health in 2012

The following tips are provided by the International Food Information Council Foundation in one of their releases. These tips, based on consumer insights from the Dietary Guidelines Alliance, are said to help individuals to maintain momentum toward a healthy weight and active lifestyle.

  1. Take charge of your weight.
  2. Calories count.
  3. Know your number.
  4. Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  5. Small steps = big changes.
  6. Base your plate on nutrient-rich foods.
  7. Be a role model for your children.
  8. Every BODY wins.
  9. Fun stuff counts.
  10. Proceed with a plan.



Sleep is Awesome – Infographic

See more in enlarged chart ….

Fiber-rich Vegetarian Diet Improves Gut Microflora Profile

Consuming a vegan or vegetarian diet results in different profiles of gut microflora, with lower levels of potentially pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli, says a new study.

By studying fecal samples from 144 vegetarians and 105 vegans, researchers from the University Hospital in Tubingen, Germany report that the fiber and carbohydrate content of the diets led to a lower pH in stools, and such acidic conditions do not support the growth of bacteria like E. coli and Enterobacteriacea.

“The degradation of dietary fibers by exoenzymes mainly leads to greater amount of short-chain fatty acids such as acetate, propionate and butyrate that create a slightly acidic milieu with values between pH 5.5 and 6.5,” explained researchers.

“This effect may have been amplified by germs that grow because of the large amount of fibers. These pH ranges do not support bacteria such as E. coli and Enterobacteriacea in their growth as they prefer pH ranges greater than 6.5.”

The researchers note that the pH of stools in omnivorous women is higher than in men, despite both genders consuming similar amounts of fiber. However, when men and women adhere to a strict vegan diet rich in fibers for a long time both then differences in stool pH are no longer observed. This indicates that females profit more from maintaining a strict vegan diet than do men.

The study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


A Delicious Combination of Pork Ribs and Sea Cucumber


1 lb processed sea cucumber
2/3 lb pork ribs, chopped
1 slice ginger
1 stalk green onion
2 stalks green onion, cut up into short sections
4 cloves garlic
1½ cup broth (or use 1½ cup water mix with 1½ tsp chicken broth mix)


dash of sesame oil
pinch of pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp light soy sause
1½ tbsp oyster sauce


1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water


  1. Rinse pork ribs and wipe dry.
  2. Rinse sea cucumber and cut into thick pieces.
  3. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a wok. Put in ginger, green onion stalk, 1 tbsp wine and sea cucumber and cook for 5 minutes. Remove and drain.
  4. Heat wok and add 4 tbsp oil. Stir-fry sea cucumber for 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  5. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the wok. Sauté garlic till the colour changed to golden. Add ribs and stir well. Sprinkle with 1 tsp wine. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and cook for 25 minutes till ribs are tender.
  6. Return sea cucumber to wok and add seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes under medium heat. Add green onion sections and cook for one more minute. Add thickening. Remove to serving platter after sauce reboils and thickens. Serve hot.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

What’s for Breakfast?

Home-cooked Chinese Breakfast


  • Milk
  • Baked Green Onion Cake
  • Stewed Egg in Seasoned Soy Sauce