Friday, 30 May 2014


Don't you just hate wearing glasses and contact lenses? I was wearing them for about 23 years and it was no fun!

As an active person, it is such a nuisance whenever my glasses slip down my nose when I sweat or my contact lenses come off when I wipe my face with a towel. Wearing glasses causes discomfort and pain at my nose bridge and at my ears. Wearing contact lenses causes eye irritation and dryness especially towards the end of the day. My eyes would periodically be infected by bacteria if the lenses are not adequately cleaned. I used to buy disinfectant for my contact lenses and that helped a bit. However, the lenses would soon feel rigid and uncomfortable towards the end of the monthly life-cycle. I could have opted for daily contact lenses for improved cleanliness but that's way too expensive.

I started talking to people about lasik and I received mixed opinions- some would say nay, some would say aye. Nay-sayers commented on the high cost and safety aspects of the procedure. Also, there is no guarantee that the power won't increase over time after the procedure. Aye-sayers swear by the comfort and freedom after the procedure. But they also warned about the slightly blur vision immediately after the procedure and eye dryness for the initial few months.

I visited websites of a few lasik centres to better understand the procedure and risks involved. There are a few key players to consider and their pricing is quite competitive. I've also asked former lasik patients to introduce their ophthalmologist to me.

I was keen but worried at the same time.

Enter FFB. We were enjoying our burger lunch in Bangsar Baru one afternoon and I popped the subject of lasik procedure.

"You should go see my friend. He does lasik and he previously fixed my ripped cornea. Here's his mobile number", FFB said.

After keying in the eye doctor's mobile number into my phone, I dropped him a sms to introduce myself. He replied saying I should visit his centre for a suitability check. But I needed to be off contact lenses for about a week. I was actually off contact lenses for over a month as the prolonged bad haze was irritating my eyes.

I called his centre to make an appointment. As soon as that's done, I read information on his website a few times to familiar myself with the procedure, risks etc.

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Brochures and price list from the lasik centre

The initial check was pretty quick, about 20 minutes or so. The power of my eyes were recorded and the usual eye tests were performed. After that, they announced that I qualify to proceed with the procedure. The entire procedure was explained to me clearly- all 3 steps, which are painless (yay!). They didn't promise 100% result and offered a realistic 95% improvement in my vision post lasik procedure. What I should and shouldn't do after lasik were also highlighted. They kept reminding me to look at the red light during the procedure for better results. Mental for red-light district! *chuckle*

I liked them as they didn't hard sell the procedure to me. They told me to go back and consider and return only when I'm ready to proceed with the procedure. I appreciated their professionalism. I would have ran away if they had given me the old sales pitch!

Naturally, I discussed this with Wifey when I got home. She advised me to consider carefully especially the risks involved. Yes, she agreed it was affordable at slightly over RM4,000 for both eyes but I needed to be aware of the side effects etc.

A few days later on a Thursday morning when we were spending time with our kids at the Farm in the City in Seri Kembangan (it was school holidays then), I declared to Wifey "I think I'll proceed with lasik. Since I'm on annual leave tomorrow (Friday), I could do it then. I know it's very last minute. Let me call them and see whether they have an available slot. If yes, then it's meant to be". I called the centre and there was a slot at 2.30pm on Friday for me! It was a sign and I greeted it with open arms! I'm so gonna be having 20/20 vision soon!

I was out the entire Friday morning with my family and it was another great day spending time with my kids. After lunch, we rushed home and I hurriedly showered, washed my face and shampooed my hair (as instructed before going for lasik). I arrived just 5 minutes before my scheduled appointment and they immediately prep my eyes. Eye drops were applied to dilate my eyes. Then I had to wear a blue head piece to cover my hair and a blue coat to cover my body. Just before I entered the operating room, anaesthetic drops were applied on my eyes.

The ophthalmologist was a picture of calm when I saw him. He guided me calmly with his clear voice. Once I'd settled in, he told me he would give me a heads up before he did anything. This way, I would be aware of his every action and less anxious of the procedure (not too sure about the latter!). He also reminded me to keep looking at the red light.

He started with my right eye. He affixed a gadget to hold back my eyelids. This prevented me from blinking. The next gadget sucked onto my cornea. It made a terribly irritating and painful grinding sound as it cut a thin layer of my cornea. My cornea was lifted back (think opening a window!) and my vision became blur at once. Antibiotics were applied. I was told to keep looking at the red light, which I did. He then started zapping the laser beam into my eye. I hated the burnt smell! My eyes were barbequed! More antibiotics were applied after that. Thereafter, he placed my cornea back into position by flipping it forward (think shutting a window!). There was no stitching involved. Immediate a plastic cover was placed over my eye and taped up. After about 30 seconds, he moved on to my left eye and the same process followed.

I remember half way through my second eye, I held my breath for awhile as I started getting distressed. The lack of vision and burnt smell finally got to me and I felt partially numb. I think at one point I was pressing my body hard against the table trying to distant myself from the laser beam (yeah I was chicken shit!)!

The entire process was over is a matter of minutes. I would say less than 10 minutes. There was absolutely no pain throughout the entire procedure. Only my mind and my heart were racing! It was simply nerve-wrecking!

After he had covered my left eye, I was led to a dark room. I spent the next 40 minutes or so there. My eyes were mostly closed during that time. I tried opening my eyes now and then to see things but my vision was still blur.

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Me with my sunglasses just before leaving the lasik centre

My ophthalmologist came into the dark room once I've adequately rested my eyes. He removed the plastic covers and put on my sunglasses for me. He reminded me not to wash my face or hair until the next day. He also assured me that my vision will improve over the next few hours. Finally, before I left, he advised me to diligently apply the prescribed eye-drops.

 Property of Mr Flabby Less
Prescribed eye-drops

With a relieved heart, I walked downstairs and waited for Wifey to pick me up. I immediately noticed my improved vision as I looked around Mid Valley. That was just an hour or so after my lasik procedure! I was amazed by the result!

Property of Mr Flabby Less
I wore protective plastic eye covers before going to bed

That night, I had to sleep with protective plastic eye covers. There could be a risk of the cornea moving out of position if anything or anyone accidentally hit my eyes. Rubbing my eyes against the pillow when sleeping could also move the cornea. It was scary shit! I didn't sleep well that night.

In the next morning, my vision was much clearer. The improvement was remarkable! My vision was still slightly hazy but I didn't have to wear glasses or contact lenses to see anymore! I was able to drive myself back to the lasik centre for check up!

Post lasik, I had to periodically return to the lasik centre for check-ups. My vision was not very clear initially but it has improved after a few weeks. My vision is now clearer and sharper. My eyes get dry occasionally and I would just have to apply some eye-drops.

I'm so glad I was ballsy enough to proceed with lasik. I feel like a new person without having to wear glasses and contact lenses. The freedom is priceless!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Miracles of cinnamon and honey

Read this article not long ago on Facebook and I thought it would be good to share in my blog for the benefit of my blog readers/followers...

Scientists of today note honey as very effective medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without side effects which is definitely a plus.Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients. It is found that a mix of cinnamon and honey cures most diseases.

Researched by Western scientists:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, put it on toast instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol and could potentially save one from heart attack. Also, even if you have already had an attack studies show you could be kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of cinnamon honey strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients can benefit by taking one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken daily even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain -- and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder....who knew?

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol-could be cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses, and it's delicious too!

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also is said to clear stomach ulcers from its root.

GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals

INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural 'Ingredient' which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of boiling water to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100 year old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

RASPY OR SORE THROAT: When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone. Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS: Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin Infections.

WEIGHT LOSS: Daily in the morning one half hour beforebreakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder three times a day for one month.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, even when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, when taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., the vitality of the body increases within a week.

BAD BREATH: People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Robert Mondavi, 2009, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, USA

Robert Mondavi, 2009, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Property of Mr Flabby Less

One of my fav wineries. Although the label says "cabernet sauvignon", this wine is actually a blend of 75% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot, 10% cabernet franc, 2% syrah, 1% petit verdot and 1% malbec. This is perhaps the reason for its more complicated (in a good way) taste and note compared to a bottle of straight cabernet sauvignon.

Deep alluring dark red colour. Dense and concentrated, my kind of texture! Intense taste of blueberry with a nice balance of chocolate, sweet cinnamon, toasted oak and cassis. Bold wine. Quite rounded and velvety. Good nose of berries and hint of oak. Perfect tannin. Long finish and aftertaste.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Leopard's Leap, 2009, Shiraz, South Africa

Leopard's Leap, 2009, Shiraz, South Africa 
Property of Mr Flabby Less

Nice concentrated violet colour. Medium-bodied. Sharp taste of blackcurrant, black pepper and spiciness. Hint of licorice. Spicy nose. Some people found it rather harsh tasting. Not too complex, quite straightforward wine. Short after-taste. Didn't enjoy the tannin.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Santa Julia, 2009, Chardonnay, Argentina

Santa Julia, 2009, Chardonnay, Argentina
Property of Mr Flabby Less

I ordered this at an Italian restaurant to go with my pizza and I wasn't disappointed! I thoroughly enjoyed the density and silky smooth texture, almost creamy. Not all too sweet and complimented the procuitto in my pizza. A very easy drinking wine, I must say. Definitely worth checking out!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

New weight training programme

It's time once again to change my workout programme. I still maintain a 3 day weight training programme and try to squeeze in 30-40 mins low impact cardio to burn fat.

Here's my new training programme:-  

Day #1- Arms, Chest & Front/Side Delts
1. Standing barbell curl superset with close grip barbell bench press
    12 reps each x 3 sets
2. Incline dumbbell curl superset with overhead barbell tricep extension
    12 reps each x 3 sets
3. Seated concentration curl superset with dumbbell kick back
    12 reps each x 3 sets
4. Machine pectoral flye
    25 reps x 1 set 
    20 reps x 1 set 
    15 reps x 1 set
5. Flat/Incline dumbbell bench press & flat/incline dumbbell flye
    10 reps each x 3 sets
6. Pullovers & pushups
    12 reps & 10 reps x 3 sets
7. Superset seated military press, barbell upright row and lateral raise
    12 reps each x 3 sets

Day #2- Chest & Front/Side Delts
1. Machine pectoral flye, full & pulse
    15 reps each x 3 sets
2. Incline dumbbell bench press & incline dumbbell flye
    12 reps each x 4 sets
3. Flat dumbbell bench press & flat dumbbell flye
    12 reps each x 4 sets
4. Pullovers & pushups
    12 reps each x 3 sets
5. Superset military shoulder press and upright row
    12 reps each x 3 sets 
6. Superset drivers and reverse grip military shoulder press
    12 reps each x 3 sets
7. Superset standing lateral raise and front raise
    10 reps each x 3 sets

Day #3- Back & Side/Rear Delts
1. Assisted pullups- wide grip and reverse grip
    12 reps x 2 sets each
2. Seated wide grip and reverse grip pulldown
    15 reps x 2 sets each
3. Seated cable row superset with single arm dumbbell row
    10 reps each x 4 sets
4. Racked deadlift and barbell row
    10 reps each x 4 sets
5. Superset barbell upright row and lateral raise
    12 reps each x 3 sets
6. Superset machine rear delt flye and bendover lateral raise
    10 reps & 15 reps x 4 sets
7. Single arm rear delt extension
    15 reps x 4 sets

This programme will not only work your target muscles but also raise your heart rate for cardio training as well. Look at it as a 2-in-1 programme (my fav as I'm always pressed for time). 

I've omitted the weight as it differs for everyone. Basically just make sure you are comfortable with the weight that you lift and you are able to achieve the prescribed number of reps and sets. Increase the weight gradually over time when the initial weight gets easier.

Have fun!