Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Cooking Journal 26 - Stir Fry Button Mushrooms With Sliced Pork In Oyster Sauce

This time, I would like to introduce one of my favourite dishes – “Stir Fried White Button Mushrooms with Slice Pork in Oyster Sauce”. In this dish, I have added red onions and spring onions to give a touch of pungent aroma. I personally enjoyed the intense flavour and crunchy texture of this dish.
White button mushroom (Scientific name: Agaricus bisporus) has great value of nutrition facts, easy to cook and taste more flavourful when cooked. It is believe that button mushrooms contain several valuable nutrients that will benefit our heart, boost our immunity and enhance weight loss. It has high amount of copper that assist in producing blood cells. Research studies show that it is capable of reducing inflammation in arterial cells that will help in lower the risk of blood flows problem. 
In addition, button mushrooms contain anti-oxidants properties and are beneficial to our immune system. It helps to increase the production of natural killer cells and other proteins to fight against foreign invaders and assist in repairing our body tissue. It is low in energy density (low-calorie) that improves our body compositions and helps maintaining body weight loss. Additional nutrients are vitamins B and D2 and minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium that will also enhance our diet nutrition.
Select and Store
You can easily buy them in any supermarkets or local wet markets. If choosing mushrooms, make sure that they’re firm and plump with uniform colour, no signs of bruising or dampness. I usually wrap them in paper and store it in an air tight container. They can last for 3 to 7 days in the refrigerator.
Preparing and Cooking
When preparing, give them a quick rinse avoiding them absorbing too much water as mushrooms are porous. Then use a paper towel to pad dry. Cut or slice them as desired. When they are cooked, majority of their nutrient contents remains and only between 5 to 20 percent of their value is lose. It is recommended to sauté for approximately 7 minutes in high heat to maximize their flavour and nutrition. 
 1. 1 pack White Button Mushrooms - Cut into thin slice, rinse and pad dry before cook
 2. 1 piece of pork loin (2 inch thick) - Cut into thin slice 
 3. 2-3 stalk Spring Onions - Wash & Cut into 2 inch length 
 4. 2 medium size red onion - Wash, remove skin and cut into thin slice 
 5. 2 slices Ginger 
 6. 1 clove Garlic - skin peel and slice (1 table spoon)
 7. Oyster sauce – ½ table spoon for stir fry and 1 teaspoon for seasoning of pork slice
 8. Pinch of corn flour, pepper & sugar 
 9. 2 tablespoon Olive Oil

Friday, August 15, 2014

End Of CYC (Cyclophosphamide) IV Treatment For Lupus Nephritis

Finally my CYC treatment (6 treatments) was over. It ended on 11 August 2014, but was the most painful one that I encountered in the haematology centre. Before the therapy start, the nurse will insert a needle with small tube into my vein for letting the medicine to pass through the bloodstream. Unfortunately, the job was not properly done and a "big bump" was formed on my hand (sign of back flow). She quickly removed the needle and another nurse assisting to re-do the needle insertion on my the other hand. During the process, I felt a sharp poky pain. I started to sweat as I'm phobia to needle and blood. I almost wanted to give her a loud thunder roar but didn't. I never encounter such a lousy skill before!
The Treatment

During the treatment, I was given 250mg Mesna first (for protect my bladder), followed by low dose CYC (cyclophosphamide) 500mg IV (30 minutes over) and finally  another 250mg Mesna (2 hours later after CYC) for every two weeks x 6 times.

The Side Effects
Each time when I completed one session, my legs become very weak. The impact will be greater on the 2nd and 3rd day after the therapy. My body felt weaker with stiff joints especially on my knee and spine. I can't bend down my knee and will hear a loud "cracking" sound when squatting. I can feel the tightness on my spine as if metal rod was tied onto it to make it tighter and stiffer and sensing of back pain at times. I just feel like I am "humpty dumpty" when the pair of "jelly" legs start to wobble.

Another constant night mare was hair loss. I have lost a considerable amount of hair and saw strands of dropping hairs on pillow, floor, bathroom etc. My boy could even notice the clumps of hairs on the bathroom's floor trap and had questioned me who its  belong to? I was quite sad with the drastic change in my appearance. I hate glancing at the mirror with that big moon face, thinning hair look and sign of bald patch at the back of the head. I had gained a lot of weight recently. My boy had noticed my fat tummy and commented that I have become fatter. I must say "thank you" to prednisone for pumping me up like a balloon. Not only my appearance, the medication had also affected my mood whereby I get irritable easily and my mood can swing like roller coaster.
I'm hopeful that I can return to the same old me soon and my hair will grow back in few months times. At this point, I am trying hard to step down my prednisone dosage (from initial 40mg to now, 18mg). At least, the good new is there were sign of improvement after these treatment. From the test result, it shows that no more blood  appeared in my urine and protein in the urine had significantly reduced to normal level. 

My nephrologist had commented that he will start me off next week with "MMF - the immunosuppressive drugs which I never try before. I am hopeful that the maintenance phase will turn out well and I can continue to eliminate prednisolone to "zero" phase. Another worry is the medical bill, hearing that MMF is an expensive medication. Looks like the hole in my pocket will get bigger!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

New Episode For My Lupus

My new chapter of life living with lupus begin here.  I was discharged from hospital on 3 June 2014 for SLE Glomerulonephristis Syndrome, Class IV. It just comes unexpectedly and without much choice, I have to take whatever possible advise from Doctor to safeguard my kidney.
My rheumatologist referred me to see a kidney doctor as there was sign of protein and blood in my urine. My first visit with the Kidney doctor, he advised me to carry out a kidney biopsy to determine the extend of the inflammation in the kidney. I decided to get the biopsy done on the following week. So I went to the hospital on 29th May 2014, thinking that it just a simple outpatient procedure and I will be discharged on the next day. Doctor rang me up on the day when I was discharged from hospital. The test result showed that my lupus were very active. They need to put a quick stop to prevent further inflammation caused to my kidney. I was re-admitted on 31st May to start with chemotherapy  (Infuse with cyclophosphamide which is the immune suppression medication) followed by methylprednisolone on three consecutive days.

By hearing the side effect such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss, infertility, urination bleeding etc, resulting from the medication.  Its really make feel nervous and demoralise. Even since living with lupus (for 8 years), I am always haunted by hair loss problem. My hair is getting thinner and lesser each days even though I have tried many hair supplement to savage the situation but with no avail . I wouldn't know how to face myself when the side effect kick in? Definitely, I will be demoralise! My lovely hubby keeps assuring me things will be alright and he will stand by me throughout this bumpy times.
I have never expect Lupus to attack my kidney even though I knew Lupus is a disease that can attack any part of your body organ. At some point when there were signs of flares, my rheumatologists will at most add on the dosage of prednisolone to keep the activity down. It seem to me that all these years it was quite under control.

Except for last year, in 4th April 2013, I was once admitted to hospital for Pseudomonas chest infection with acute bronchitis and sinusitis. Probably because of SLE that have make me prompt to bacteria infection. For that past few months, I encountered a rough and tough rollercoaster ride. I thought things will turn out better after my recovery.

Well, I have never expected this coming one did a great impact on me. After going through the 1st chemo session, I feel extremely tiring, fatigue and with lethargic joints. My back aches at times and my knee seem to break into two parts and have no strength upholding my legs. I even have to rest on bed for a while to rejuvenate my energy to keep up with my daily activity. I am expecting more side effects to occur within the next few weeks. Not knowing how bad is it, I know that it will make me feel lousy and terrible!  

In fact, this June holiday, we had planned an overseas trip to Beijing with my parents, siblings, niece and nephews. It was my Dad's dream (who is 80 years old) to be able to visit Greatwall of China in his life. We wanted to fulfil his wish and decided to organise a family trip to Beijing. Well, the negative news is doctor advised me not to travel overseas due to my low immunity. I am pretty disappointed but still holding out hope for travelling with my family in this June vacation. Hopefully miracles do happen and I could obtain green light from Doctor to allow me to travel.

At this point of time, my worrisome will not make any difference, so just let it be and takes one step at a times. Live as per normal and hope for the best.

I am looking forward for a positive outcome as I knew that my two lovely boys need my accompany. I wanted to give them a complete family life till they grown up and I will try my best to overcome whatever obstacles occurring to me.

Never underestimate this little friend, Lupus! Listen to your body!


Monday, October 24, 2011

My Cooking Journal 25 - Stir Fry Salt And Pepper Prawns

As a Prawn lover, I enjoy the firm texture and natural sweetness of this ocean creature. It makes me mouth watering and tempting when served in any style. Prawns are well known for its high cholesterol contents. You need to watch your diet and avoid eating too much deep fried prawn as deep frying foods contain higher cholesterol levels (due to saturated fat). It should be alright if you consume in moderation and have them in steam or grill style for health benefit effects. Here is some basic nutrition that prawns can provide for our body. 

Prawns are low in saturated fat and calories and with good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.  It contains vitamin B3 and B12 and good source of minerals such as iodine, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, iron, sodium, calcium and magnesium.

Its complete supply of protein will assist in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. By eating a portion of prawns will provide 50% of the daily protein needed in our body. Prawns rich in Vitamin B3, B12 and iron (copper) aid the production of red blood cells in our body and prevent anemia and symptoms of weakness and fatigue.  It also helps to maintain a healthy thyroid through its supply of copper.

Minerals like phosphorous, calcium and magnesium in prawns will work together to give us stronger bones and teeth and a relaxing nerves and muscles too.

Prawns provide significant amount of Omega-3 fatty acids benefits our mental health and reduce risk in depression as well as stroke and heart disease.  It also contains selenium (antioxidant) that will help to fight against certain form of cancer and ease the symptom of arthritis by reducing the inflammation in the body. 

Buy and Store:

You can purchase prawn from local supermarkets or wet markets. When selecting prawn, choose those with shinny and firm shells. Just ensure that the shells are not broken, not in slippery texture and not with loose or missing heads. The eye should look shiny, intact and not distorted . If there's any sign of discolouration and odour smell, it is likely to turn bad soon.

It is best to cook after purchase or within three days of purchase. Refrigerated it in the freezer compartment  for up to 5-7 days can still be good. You can used back the orignal packaging or transfer it to a plastic container prior storing it in the freezer compartment.


  1. 10 Medium Prawns
  2. 2-3 stalk Spring Onions - Wash & Cut into 2 inch length
  3. 2-3 stems Curry Leave  - Wash, remove leave from stem and cut the stem into 2 inch length
  4. 4-5 slice Ginger
  5. 1 clove Garlic - skin peel and mince
  6. 1 Red Chiller - Wash, Deseed, Cut into thin slice (3 to 4 Chilli Padi is prefer)
  7. 2 tablespoon Corn Flour
  8. 1/2 teaspoon Ground White/Black Pepper - crushed
  9. 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  10. 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
  11. 2 tablespoon Martell (Hard Liquor)

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Cooking Journal 24 - Stir Fry Broccoli and Cauliflower with Fish Cake

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables which includes relatives such as cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, bok choy etc. With its high nutrition properties, it is recommended to consume regularly. 

This vegetable is low in calories and packed with Vitamin such as C (high level), A (high level), B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6, B9 (Folate). Its also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, dietary fibre, potassium and zinc.

Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron, eases symptoms of common cold, boost immune system and repair body tissue. And with the presence of sulphur and amino acids in Broccoli, it has become a good detoxifier that will help to purify our blood, remove free radicals and toxins from your body, combat problems such as skin disease, rashes, arthritis, rheumatism etc.

Vitamin A (mostly beta-carotene) helps to maintain good eyesight and prevent cataracts. It also helps to balance the Vitamin D metabolism in our body and boost our immunity with the assistance of others vitamins and minerals such as copper, zinc, phosphorous etc.

With the presence of Vitamin C, B and A, it helps us to maintain healthy skin and hair and revives our skin tissues. Folate (B9) is good for woman in sustaining growth of normal tissue, prevent birth defects. Broccoli being rich in Calcium assists us to build strong bone and teeth and prevent osteoporosis.

It is definitely a great food for weight watcher as it is low in calories and high in fiber. It helps to prevent constipation problems and maintain good digestive system. Beside this, its rich in fiber, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids along with chromium (mineral) help to regulate blood pressure and reduce blood cholesterol levels, this in turn will help us to maintain a healthy heart.

Last but not least, one impressive characteristic of Broccoli is it helps to fight against cancer. It contains phytochemicals (anit-carcinogens) which includes indoles and isothiocynates also called suolforaphase that helps to promotes good enzymes to fight against cancer like breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer etc.  

Buy, Storage and Preparation:

You can purchase broccoli from local supermarkets or wet markets. Before purchase, choose those that are firm, greenish or purple-green in colour and compacts with florets. Make sure the broccoli is unwilted, no yellow/brown spots on stalks/forets and no yellow flowering as this is a sign of maturity.

It is best to cook after purchase or within three days of purchase. Refrigerated it for up to 5-7 days can still be good. To maintain it freshness, wrap in paper towels or newspaper, then place it in a plastic bag and refrigerate it. 

If happens that you decided not to cook it after washing and trimming of the broccoli, just store them in a air-tight container and keep it in refrigerator for up to 3 days.  It can still maintain it freshness.

Preparation (Broccoli or Cauliflower):
Cut the flowerets into quarters or halves to achieve even size for ease of stir frying. Peel the stem and slice stems diagonally to 1/2 inch length . Wash thoroughly in water and drain.


  1. 100g Broccoli - Refer above for preparation
  2. 100g Cauliflower - Refer above for preparation (same method as broccoli)
  3. 50g Red Capsicium - Optional (I used up my remaining portion)
  4. 1 piece Fish Cake - Cut into thin slice
  5. 3 slices Ginger
  6. 1 clove Garlic - skin peel and mince
  7. 1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce - mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  8. 1 teaspoon Corn Flour - for sauce thickening
  9. 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  10. Pinch of Pepper, Sea Salt and Sugar
  11. 1/4 cup Water

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Cooking Journal 23 - Spinach Soup with Meat Ball and Silver Fish

One afternoon, I was at an eating house along Joo Chiat Road enjoying their famous delicacy that is the curry fish head with two others dishes to accomplish a satisfying lunch. One of the side dish that we ordered was this spinach soup with silver fish. I really fell in love with this spinach soup because of its refreshing and flavourful taste. It is a simple soup comprises of spinach, silver fish, mince pork and some shallots to enhance the flavour of the soup. I think it would be easy to cook and decided to copy their version using my own cooking instinct.

Well, the result was satisfying and I started to cook this soup for my family occasionally. It is a simple, hearty and nutritious soup embrace with high volume of calcium as I used ingredients like ikan bilis, spinach and silver fish which contain significant amount of calcium for our body. You may refer to My Cooking Journal 9 to find out more on the benefits of spinach and I hope you will enjoy this soup as much as I do.   

My Ingredients:

1.      1 pack (200g) Spinach – Wash and trim (Refer to my Cooking Journal 9 for preparing spinach)
2.      200g Ikan Bilis - (Stock) Wash and rinse
3.      100g to 200g minced pork – Rinse, marinate and roll into balls
4.      50g – Dry Silver fish - Rinse
5.      3 slices Ginger
6.      2 - 3 cloves Garlic – Deskin and cut into slice
7.      3 cloves shallot – Deskin and cut into slice
8.      1 teaspoon sesame oil – for marinate
9.      1 teaspoon fish sauce  - for marinate
10.  Pinch of corn flour – for marinate
11.  pinch of pepper, salt and sugar – for marinate and to taste 
12.  1 tablespoon olive oil
13.  1.6 litre Water (enough to serve 2-3 person)
14.  Fried shallot and diced spring onions (for garnish)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Cooking Journal 22 - Herbal Chicken Slow Cook Soup

Oh my God! My "part-time lover" (laptop) really give me lots of problem lately, kind of frustrating coz I have difficulty browsing internet and my lover just “hang” himself whenever he likes it.  

Oh no! I gonna need some Chicken herbals soup to strengthen and tonify my brain and body. To me, its kind of painful and irritable when comes to tackle computer problem. My hubby had helped me to reformat the entire system but problems still occur inevitably.

Talking about Chinese Chicken herbals soup, it is one of the best soups that will help those with weak body constitution to strengthen and tonify their body system. Of course it must be used with right proportion of herbs and ingredients. Otherwise, overdosing or under dosing of the herbs will not benefit your health and the former will cause harm to you. It is also crucial on the type of pots that you use to brew the soup. Claypots or ceramic pots are best for brewing soups. Stainless steel pot can be used but not on metal or aluminium pots. Some herbs might react with the metal pot therefore; reduce the effectiveness of the herbs and your effort will be wasted.

My Ingredients:

The dry ingredients that I used can be easily obtained from any Chinese Medical hall and some common one like red dates, dry mushroom, wolfberries can be easily purchased at any supermarket.  Here are some basic introductions of the ingredients/herbs that are used for my Chicken Soup:

Chicken meats are rich in proteins, fats, Vitamin A, B, C and D. However, it is important to remove any excess skin before cooking to reduce the fats and cholesterol contents will give you a clear and less oily soup base. It is preferably to use kampong chicken as it is less fatty and using whole chicken will also retain its rich flavour and moisture at tip top quality.

Dry Scallops (乾瑤柱):  contains vitamin B12, Magnesium, Selenium, Protein, Fat, Calories. It is often use to add flavour and sweetness to the soup and is good for improving your immunity.   

Dry Chinese Mushrooms (Shiitake): High in protein, low in fat, Vitamin B2, help to treat cold, flu, stimulate immune system, fight against infection and suppress cancer cells spreading. It is also good for adding flavour to your soup. 

Dry Huai Shan (淮山) also known as Chinese Wild Yam or Shan Yao (山药):  Has neutral property. It helps to nourish the spleen and stomach and strengthen the kidneys and lung. It has the ability to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, promote fluid secretion and clear urine protein, stops diarrhea, cure cough and reduce phlegm and thirst and can be used to strengthen those with weak body constitution.

Dry Yu Zhu (玉竹): With cooling effect that helps to tonify yin, boost internal fluids level, balance heatiness, contains Vitamin A which is good for skin as it helps to moisten skin dryness, ability to nourish your dry lung and strengthen your stomach, relieve dry cough, dry throat and thirst. But people who have loose stools, spleen deficiency, stomach deficiency, phlegm stagnation is not suitable and is best to consult your physician before consume.

American Ginseng (西洋参) : It tastes bitter and has cooling effect that is capable to promote production of body fluids, reduce heat in the body, moisten the lung and boost the body’s collagen levels. It also can reduce dry and thirsty mouth and throat, boost energy (reduce fatigue) and boost immune system, relieve menopause symptom for woman, regulates blood sugar level and effective for treating diabetes, calm the brain, boost the heart. It helps to harmonize your entire body system and maintain healthy function of spleen, stomach, heart, brain and nervous system. Avoid taking carrot, radish and tea if you are taking American Ginseng. This will reduce the effectiveness of the herb.

Chinese Almonds (杏仁) : They are two types often known as Southern (南杏) and Northern (北杏) Chinese almonds.  The former is larger in size and sweeter whereas the latter is more aromatic and bitter.  Northern is more beneficial than southern and is often used in soup to smooth inflammation in lungs, treat cough, calm wheezing, moisten intestines and unblocks bowels. It is effective for clearing the airways in lung and smooth breathing.  

Red dates (红枣) : It is rich in Vitamin A, B2, C and E, minerals such as phosphorus, calcium and iron. It helps to reinforce the blood-building function of heart, strengthen body immune system and is often use as a sweetener in the soup.

Wolfberries (枸杞子) : It contains essential amino acids, vitamin C and B2, iron, potassium, zinc, selenium, phosphorous, calcium and germanium and also with small amount of vitamin E, dietary fiber and proteins. Is good for curing giddiness, cough, thirst and reduce heat in the body. It can tonify your kidney and liver, nourish your lung and improve vision. With the sweet taste, it is often use as a sweetener in the soup.


  1. 1 Kampong Chicken (whole)
  2. 4 pieces Medium Dry Scallop
  3. 3 pieces Dry Mushroom
  4. 4 slices Dry Huai Shan
  5. 20g Dry Yu Zhu
  6. 2 slices Ginger
  7. 2 tablespoon American Ginseng
  8. 1 tablespoon Wolfberries
  9. 6 pieces Red Dates
  10. 1.6 litres of water