Friday, 15 August 2014

Lemon wedge in your glass of water? Think again!

Do you like your glass of sky juice flavoured say with a wedge of lemon?

I sure do! This is especially so at restaurants. It makes me feel more “atas” (classy)!

Let me warn you. You might be drinking more than you bargained for as those garnishes could be serving up a doze of unappetizing organisms!

Researchers swabbed the rinds and flesh of lemons from some restaurants and found that a mindboggling 70% of them have microbial growth! The samples were collected as soon as the beverage was served, before drinking or touching. Researchers speculated that these microorganisms could have possibly come from the restaurant employees or raw meat or poultry contamination.


It’s rather weird as although lemons have known antimicrobial properties, a wide variety of microorganisms may still survive on the flesh and the rind of a sliced lemon. This means that lemon slices added to beverages may include potentially pathogenic microbes! Ouch! Yikes!

Most employees handle lemons with their bare hands and they may not diligently wash and scrub the lemons. It's also easy for a worker's hands, whether it be a bartender serving up a drink or a chef slicing the fruit in the kitchen, to cross-contaminate after dealing with patrons, washing glasses and handling food.

But fret not! According to researcher, there is only a small but distinct risk that lemon wedges might make you sick. Usually there would be no infection, but there is a small possibility. Our immune system is usually pretty good at fighting these microbes.

So you may just decide to squeeze the lemon juice directly into the water instead of throwing in a lemon wedge into your glass? Well, doing so will reduce exposure but you’ll never be able to eliminate it 100%. This is because even the flesh of the lemon can be contaminated!


But please don’t freak out just yet. You need to realize that similar organisms are present in all restaurants and in every surface area. This includes ketchup bottles and salt and peppershakers to menus and table surfaces! And the same likely goes for a variety of other drink garnishes too such as onions, limes, cherry etc.


So how do your manage this or protect yourselves? Start by adopting the most basic of action- hand washing as frequent as possible and/or use hand sanitizers Choosing a clean restaurant also helps but there’s no guarantee. If you still feel freakish, your best bet could be to cook and eat at home. But that too doesn’t guarantee anything.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Chateau Palmer, 2001, Margaux, Bordeaux

Chateau Palmer, 2001, Margaux, Bordeaux
Property of Mr Flabby Less

Dark ruby in colour. Sweet potpourri aromatics of dark fruits, pencil shavings, tobacco smoke, cocoa and mild leather. Velvety palate. Elegantly balanced. Concentrated. Has depth. Taste of dark fruits, mild spice and mineral. Tinge of green pepper after taste. Silky smooth. Decent finish of cedar and cassis. Firm tannins.

Third growth. Quite stubborn so needs patience when opened. Ideally decant for at least 1.5 hours.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Chateau Fleur Cardinale, 2008, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Chateau Fleur Cardinale, 2008, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

This Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe is a 91 pointer by RP comprising 70% merlot, 20% cabernet franc, and 10% cabernet sauvignon. This dark purple wine is medium to full bodied, concentrated, has lush texture with a nice bite/chew, silky smooth with rounded and elegant tannins, balanced and seductive. I enjoyed the lengthy finish with a nice lingering aftertaste of anise, coffee, chocolate, licorice and plum. The slight oaky taste offers character. This wine also offers beautiful perfume of blackberries, earth and flowers. Drinking very well now right up to 2020.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

My supplement stack

Any body builder or serious gym-goer would know this- you need to ingest sufficient nutrients to maximise your workout result and for overall health and well-being. Personally, I agree with this but I would extend the notion further...ingest sufficient nutrients at the right time throughout the day.

Let me explain. Let's talk about my daily protein intake. I'm about 200lbs so that means I need about 200g of protein daily for maintenance (that's 1g:1lbs and I would increase to 1.5g:1lbs during bulking stage). I can't stomach this much protein over a meal or 3 meals but I'm sure I'm able to do so over 6 or 7 meals. This means I divide the 200g of protein into 33.3g (for 6 equal meals) or 28.6g (for 7 equal meals). Take too much protein at 1 go and the body will immediately process and throw out the excess protein- yes, I'll waste time, effort and money. The idea here is to constantly nourish my body with sufficient amount of protein so that protein is consistently absorbed by my body.

While eating natural protein is encouraged, eating about 30g of protein (amongst other things) every 2.5 hours can be a daunting task. You'll probably feel bloated throughout the day, not to mention tired of eating too. As a result, you'll most likely not enjoy eating and eating can be an ordeal. This is where supplements come in handy. They are easy and quick to ingest. Just pop in a few pills or drink a shake and you would have met the nutritional needs for your meal. Brilliant!

Property of Mr Flabby Less
My supplement stack

Below is a list of supplements that I take daily:-

Natural Factors Vitamin C
Get the 1000mg type for maximum potency. Also, insist on the time-release variant so that you are able to receive a constant flow of Vitamin C over a period of up to 6 hours. I typically take 1 in the morning. When I'm down with flu etc, I would take 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening to help recovery. Vitamin C also helps to enhance your immune system.

ONS Opti-Men Multivites
This is packed with vitamins and minerals (1 of the best in the market IMO) and I take it in the morning- Tue, Thu, Sat and Sun. On Mon, Wed and Fri, I take Pharmaton. If there's no Pharmaton, I would take Opti-Men daily.

This is an important chain of protein and I take it every morning, and before and after my workouts. It helps with muscle/tissue building and improves recovery especially after a strenuous workout.

Mutant Whey Protein
I use this in between my main meals and it functions as a meal on its own. 30g of protein is taken in mid morning and late afternoon (on non-workout days) or just before workout (on workout days). I thoroughly enjoy the choc taste of this product.

Universal Creatine
Love this supplement as it functions as a cell volumiser and helps with muscle growth. It also enhances strength and is quite evident when you train with weights. I take 5g first thing in the morning and 5g before my workout. The monohydrate variant is the most basic and highly value for money. There are better creatine formulas but they don't come cheap. Matter of personal choice.

Jarrow Formulas EPA-DHA Balance (Fish Oil)
Fish oil (always insist on Omega 3) helps your heart, joint, brain and promotes overall health. However, you need to be aware that not all Omega 3's provide you with EPA and DHA so you'll need to choose wisely. Also, choose the molecularly distilled ones for added quality. I take this every morning for health maintenance purposes.

Pharmaton (With Ginseng) Multivites
This is another product that is packed with vitamins and minerals and I take it in the morning- Mon, Wed and Fri. I alternate this with Opti-Men as I find Pharmaton "heaty" and causes sore throat and acne. This is purely how my body reacts to Pharmaton. Some people do not experience such side effects. If this works well for you, you don't even have to alternate with another multivite.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Leptin and weight loss

There’s one important hormone that can either make or break your weight loss journey. The hormone is called leptin and it’s the “fat burning hormone”.

Leptin is essentially the "master" hormone that more or less controls EVERY other weight loss hormone in your body and your ability to burn fat as a whole. When you have leptin on your side, fat loss becomes easy.  When you don't, losing even a single pound can become virtually impossible. This means in order to lose weight or fat, you need to control the level of leptin in your body.

In order to burn fat, your body depends on these 2 things:-

1) high levels of leptin; and
2) highly sensitive leptin "receptors" (which acts as the "lock" to leptin's "key")

Every time you go on a diet and reduce your calorie intake, leptin levels plummet and fat burning is dramatically reduced. Why is this so? Leptin's main function is to protect your body against starvation and in the midst of decreased food and calorie intake when you diet, your body unfortunately views your stored body fat as a huge asset to survival. Whenever your food or calorie intake is below the "normal" level, your brain will reduce the leptin levels in your body and thus dramatically decreases your body’s fat burning capabilities.

Research has shown that leptin levels drop by as much as 50% after just 7 days of dieting.  That puts you at only 50% of your fat-burning potential just one week into your fat loss plan, and it only gets worse with each passing day.

So the bottom line is don’t reduce your food or calorie intake. Workout instead. Do it the smart and right way.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Les Charmes de Kirwan, 2000, Margaux

Les Charmes de Kirwan, 2000, Margaux
Property of Mr Flabby Less

Second label of Chateau Kirwan (Third Growth Wine) and 1 of my favs! Made with 40% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 10% petit verdot. Seductive ruby colour. Tastes slightly earthy. Velvety and smooth with a long aftertaste. Good nose of mature berries. Drinking very well now.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Chateau Fleur Cardinale, 2009, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Chateau Fleur Cardinale, 2009, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

A blend of 70% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 10% cabernet sauvignon. Full bodied, silky smooth, rounded and rich in texture, concentrated and very expressive/full of character. Taste of dark chocolate, dark berries, plum, spices, oak, with a hint of licorice, vanilla and cassis. Beautiful nose of blackberries/raspberries jam and mocha/espresso. Requires breathing/decanting, minimum 2 hours so that it opens up nicely. Perfect for cellaring.