Enjoying meals with Moringa Bioenzymes + Mini Giveaway!

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Hi friends!

There's just something that makes overeating somewhat excusable when it comes to communal feasting. When I'm in good company and the mood is jovial, it seems almost grouchy to not indulge. Perhaps it's because our culture is one where we love encouraging each other to eat. "Have some more!" "Aiya, a little bit won't hurt!" "Try this one, just a bit!" "Once in a while.." Although some peg it as diet sabotage, I'm of the view that in most cases, this comes out of a good place where people (especially our elders) just want to share good things. After all, to a Chinese grandmother, the worst thing that could happen is that they've found out you haven't eaten! (Jiak pa buey?)



Chinese New Year was a real culinary celebration, with lavish spreads almost every evening over the 15 days that the lunar new year is celebrated. Abundance was the word of the season - abundance in wealth, health, food.. and weight? Yikes! Although I thoroughly enjoyed the 3Fs of food, family and festivities, it was a great relief to me that I had a little digestive help to keep the food down.




I had my first bad case of acid reflux when I was 17. I was on the way to school to sit for my SPM paper when I felt a sharp searing pain at my chest. For a brief moment, I thought I was getting a heart attack! Maybe it was stress from the upcoming exam?? I quickly called my dad and he assured me that no, you paranoid teenager, you are not going into cardiac arrest and that what I was experiencing was most likely "reflux", or more commonly known as "heartburn". A glass of milk later and I was fine.

This may be a little too much information for you guys but over the next few years, whenever I had meals that were a little too late or if I had too much spicy food, I would feel gassy or bloated and boy, oh boy, the farts were not pleasant for anyone around me. To add to that, I absolutely love anything cheesy, but when I have too much dairy, I belch in a way that would put Shrek in his place.




Unfortunately, I seemed to have inherited this from my mom, which is why I was particularly excited to partner with Iviora for their Moringa BioEnzymes when they offered to sponsor their product for both myself and my mom to review. When they found out how much my boyfriend and I love bonding over good food, Iviora generously also sent him a box for him to try. With all of us on board to give these bioenzymes a try, here's what we thought!


For starters, what on earth is moringa?
Dear friends, if you are as clueless as I was, allow me to introduce you to the core ingredient - moringa.



Also known as Drumstick tree. Click the picture for the Wikipedia page.

There are a lot of uses for this plant and one of the reasons my mom, who's generally very sceptical about trying random food products, was willing to try this was because of moringa. According to Web MD, Moringa is used for - takes deep breath - “tired blood” (anemia); arthritis and other joint pain (rheumatism); asthma; cancer; constipation; diabetes; diarrhoea; epilepsy; stomach pain; stomach and intestinal ulcers; intestinal spasms; headache; heart problems; high blood pressure; kidney stones; fluid retention; thyroid disorders; and bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections. Phew - what a list!


What do these bioenzymes do?





They claim to do 4 main things - digest, detox, restore and rejuvenate!

Uh-oh. Normally, when we hear the word detox, the thought that generally comes to mind is that this is going to be a laxative, which I was really not keen on. I didn't want to interrupt my CNY festivities with frequent toilet visits - especially as I was planning to do a lot of open house visiting! I suppose then that another aspect that reassured me about trying this product was that it was laxative free, preservative free, all-natural and had no artificial colouring. So the green you see? All natural!
Okay, okay, enough with the promo talk. How was it? For real?
The first day my mom and I had it was after a very heavy meat buffet at Avenue K (holla if you know it!), which left us feeling incredibly stuffed. We mixed a sachet with a small glass (they recommend 150ml) of room temperature water (hot temperature kills the live bacteria!) and took a sip. Ever had kombucha? Well, it kindaaa tasted like that - slightly sourish and sweet. If I had to taste rank it, it started out as a 5/10 (which was pretty meh) but over the weeks I had it, it started to grow on me and now I find myself craving its taste hahaha so maybe it's now a 7/10. I had to stir the glass very enthusiastically for it to dissolve and even then, there were sediments at the bottom of the glass. Still, it was fairly fuss-free and quick to drink.



I didn't feel immediate effects but when I woke up the next morning, I had no issues uhh.. going to the toilet. In general, when I have a lot of meat, I tend to feel a little constipated for a while, so I guess the enzymes helped get things moving. LOL and when I met my mom for breakfast, she said to me "wah, helps clean the system" which I suppose means that she had no issue with the toilet either haha. My mom actually found that it tasted quite nice, even from the first taste. I think it's because she has always been a fan of sour-sweet flavours so this suited her quite well. She particularly liked that it didn't cause diarrhoea, but still made her stomach feel cleansed and healthy. 

Over the next few weeks, despite all the heavy meals over the festive period, I was noticeably less bloated and felt that it helped regularise my bowel movements. I didn't break out at all, which is pretty incredible considering I ate plenty of oily food.

As for my boyfriend, we love trying new food together.


But too much good food can take a toll on anyone! Here's what he has to say:

"I highly recommend Moringa Bioenzymes because it really does help with the discomfort after eating. The taste takes a few tries to get used to but it became something that I looked forward to during the day. It's very easy to make though the powder could mix in better as it tends to clump. I was sad when I finished my box, so I plan to keep it stocked in my kitchen!"


Real reviews from real people, folks! I just recommended it to a colleague who's going through some bloating and if you're someone who has experienced some digestive issues - whether it's struggling to poop, being very gassy or just going through some heartburn - this is really worth checking out. When I made the effort to be consistent with it, it gave me good results! You can check out a little budget advert video I filmed here:



But don't just take my word for it! If you would like to try the product, here's a super easy-to-win giveaway for you with 2 product sachets and a discount voucher.

Just  post a comment on this post telling me why you would like to try it out AND drop Iviora's Facebook page a a private message saying "I want Free BioEnzymes Gift Set, Tiffany2019". My favourite comment will win!

Deadline is on 7 March 2019 (11.59pm) on Friday.


PS: Not paid for any of my comments, but I was given three free boxes of these to review!  

Working on those wrinkles with ID.AZ - Sleeping Pack Review

Thursday, January 24, 2019
In 2018, I started paying attention to skin care.

Perhaps it was stress, perhaps it was poor sleep, or perhaps it was the onset of new hormones your body delivers in your 20s - whatever the reason, I was breaking out and my skin was the worst it had ever been. For months, I was in denial. Somehow, I managed to convince myself that the sudden oiliness my skin was experiencing and the brash redness that spread across my forehead was temporary, and that with the power of hope, balance would be restored.

At the time, I thought my infrequent experimentation with various cleansers and moisturisers would be sufficient to do the trick. After all, I told myself, it’s better than nothing. So I washed my face for a day and hoped for clear skin the next. I slathered on moisturiser one night and expected smooth skin in the morning.

It's not surprising that it didn’t work. My skin was not used to being shocked with different types of chemicals one day, then a whole other regime the next. I ultimately decided I needed to actually go through a routine and carried out a 7-step Korean skin care routine which I blogged about before. That routine was the discipline my skin needed to finally figure itself out and ultimately clear the heck up. Since then, I’ve toned it down to a basic 3 step routine with Althea’s Bare Essentials and my skin’s balanced enough to handle new products and substitutions, which is where the fun really began!

I never truly understood how people could spend so much time, effort and money on skincare till I started paying attention to my skin. Good skin can make it look like a late night didn’t happen. Having hydrated skin actually helps me emote more because I don’t feel that stretch against my mouth and cheeks when I’m smiling too much (I don’t know if this is an actual problem that other people have lol). I definitely feel confident about being bare faced when I’m zit-free and I guess it’s just really nice when you look in the mirror and feel like you’ve got it together.

Starting last year is considered pretty ‘late’ to the game. My best friend has been trying to get me to make an effort with my skin since we were in high school and I brushed it off as expensive and vain. But, alas, this is one of those times that I will have to live with the regret, as you know what they say…

 Minimally retouched photo for authenticity ahem ahem. #rolemodel #realgirl #iwokeuplikethis

So listen up, folks! If you haven’t started caring for your skin, it’s worth making the investment now. If your skin is perfectly fine on its own, at the very least, invest in some sunblock, a good cleanser/micellar water and a reliable moisturiser. Don’t go crazy all at once with serums, ampoules and what have you because there’s an entire host of disadvantages to clogging up your pores, but I truly wish I started earlier and am here to make. a. point.

Here’s a helpful visualisation:


Completely unretouched photo for maximum authenticity. Please don't count my pimples. #realgirl #truth #aging #sucks

So according to my research online, there are many types of wrinkles due to different reasons. Some are caused by environmental factors like too much sun and smoke, etc, whilst others are due to unavoidable elements of gravity and declining collagen with age. Some wrinkles are the face tattoos of happy times, leaving creases around the mouth and eyes which crinkle when we laugh. And some are just because of silly things like us pushing our faces against our pillows when we sleep or frowning when we work, which could leave permanent lines between our brows. Terrible life hack: grow a unibrow and that wrinkle would not be an issue.

Anyway, I went on this entire tirade and specifically pointed out my wrinkles to introduce ID.AZ’s Face Fit - CU-V Tensioning Sleeping Pack (Phew - what a mouthful!). This Korean, quick-absorbing, gloriously mild smelling and indulgently rich moisturiser comes in the most satisfying packaging.



Housed in a glass-like cube, opening and closing this is an absolute dream. Call me dramatic, but every time I use it and feel the satisfying twist of the cap falling into place, I feel like I just solved a Rubik’s cube LOL.



ID.AZ makes bold claims with this sleeping pack. It promises to improve skin density, improve a sagging face, lifts and promotes anti-aging. They even patented their formula for lifting, which honestly gets the law nerd in me all excited. It claims to help with smoothing wrinkles by enhancing elastin formation, and even helps you slim your face and get that desired K-popstar V-shape.

For all of that, a jar of this is going for RM169.15 at Watson’s (it normally retails for RM199!) and is available both online and in stores.
Having used it for about two weeks, I gotta confess that in the first few days, I wasn’t impressed. I had just gone through ankle surgery and was completely bed ridden for a number of days, which meant that I spent 95% of my time in an air conditioned room, with my skin feeling dried out and bloated from the surgery. Using the sleeping pack just felt like I was slathering butter onto a dry piece of toast that simply did not want to soak it in and considering how bloated my face was, a V-shape outcome was definitely not going to happen. That was a total bummer because I wasn’t keen to write about this moisturiser that I thought was pretty mediocre.

UNTIL THE FOURTH DAY.

I don’t know what changed or whether it was just an adjustment period, but after using it for a few days, my skin started loving it. I felt a noticeable tightening of my skin and though I can’t say whether I have a slimmer face due to the product because coincidentally, the bloating post-surgery started coming down, I really like how my skin feels in the morning.

So I judge moisturisers on a couple of fronts:

1. Whether they make me feel oily
2. Whether they make me break out
3. Whether they cause any irritation
4. Whether they have any extra features

For this sleeping pack, here’s my thoughts:

1. It’s a pretty rich moisturiser, so there is some sort of oily feeling leftover. But I think that’s why it’s a sleeping mask rather than a day-use moisturiser. For the first few days, I woke up and felt like it left 0 effect on my skin. But by the fourth day of use, by the time I woke up, it felt perfectly absorbed onto my skin without any oiliness leftover and my skin felt smooth and plump.

2. Once again, not a great experience in the first few days where I developed two pimples after starting to use it. But after that initial adjustment, it’s been completely fine and no abnormal break outs.

3. This is the best part for me because I don’t have sensitive skin but I do have sensitive eyes. So a lot of the time, some facial moisturisers are great for my skin, but they make my eyes sting! I wake up with puffier eyes than when I went to bed and whatever positive effect on the other parts of my face feel neutralised because I keep having to rub my eyes throughout the day. This moisturiser cause no irritation to my eyes whatsoever.

4. ID.AZ’s promises of a slimmer face and reduced wrinkles seem like a tall order, especially when I grew up believing that once your wrinkles come, your only saviour is a good face lift/fillers or Botox. I personally haven’t seen any reduction in my wrinkles as shown above, but I do feel its firming effects and am pretty confident that if I keep using it, it’ll be able to help me reduce the development of further wrinkles and fine lines. Also it doesn’t have an overly strong smell in the best possible way, which to me, is a pretty good feature.

So all in all, a solid night time moisturiser. Took a few days to adjust to it, but now that I have, I’m pretty happy to introduce it to my routine as my go-to moisturiser, specifically because of its firming effect.


If you want one of your own, feel free to check it out online or in stores at Watson’s. If there’s a tester at Watson’s physical stores, don’t forget to fiddle with the jar to experience the satisfaction of its packaging. And well, yes, test it out.  

Thanks for the free jar, ID.AZ!



Welcoming 2019 With 4 Productivity Hacks

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Time is truly relative and the year that passed happened in a quick wink. Now that the fireworks have died down and the festive season is over, real life beckons and I’m once again looking at the year to come and wondering how best to make each day count.


DSC_0002

In my Christmas Eve outfit from Love Knot Label which I’m pretty happy about as I won it through an Instagram giveaway.


When we look at the numbers, you and I are given the same hours in a day as anyone else. To put it simply, whether we do more or less than the other person ultimately boils down to productivity and efficiency, which is why I’ve put together this list on some productivity hacks that I’d like to practice more of in 2019.


I’ve seen so many lists floating around on the internet claiming to give the “best productivity tricks” or “top efficiency tools”, but some of them spout things like “drink more coffee”, “be brave to say no” or “sit near natural light”!?!?!? If being more productive means turning down things I want to do or simply caffeinating myself, I don’t think that’s making the ‘best of your time’. Another gripe I had with the lists online which try to tell us about “productivity” is that so many of them are trying to bring back the ’old ways’ of being productive. Haven’t we heard enough about how our productivity is ruined because of the time we spend on our phones? I think the favourite productivity tip at the moment is for everyone to cut down on screen time. In my view, if you’re going to be unproductive on your phone, the likelihood is, you’re going to be unproductive without it too. But enough of throwing shade at everyone else’s suggestion.


Since I want to sleep for about 6 - 8 hours a day, that leaves me about 16 hours to use in a day. How then do I make the best of those hours?


1. Procrastinate well

I’ve been on this 3 minute rule for about 6 years now and I swear by it. If something takes less than 3 minutes to do, do it immediately. I’m no stranger to the world of procrastination, and have put aside so many things I actually want to do because I simply don’t feel like it. These can range from things like a book I’ve been meaning to read, to small things such as trash I want to throw away. But for the coming year, for tasks that take under 3 minutes, these aren’t allowed to fall within the category of “things I procrastinate”.


What that means is that rather make a mental note to reply an email/Whatsapp later, if I know it’ll just be a quick message, I do it immediately. If I have to put something away after I’ve used it, I don’t tell myself “I’ll do it later”.


If I am procrastinating something that takes longer than 3 minutes (such as blog post writing or cleaning my room), I have to procrastinate with something that I want to do anyway. So instead of delaying the inevitable by scrolling through the Facebook timeline with posts I’ve already seen, I’m going to read a book (I have ebooks on my phone), edit pictures, do in-bed exercises (like the one linked below!), or plan my Sunday School classes. The long and short of it is, if I’m not consuming something deliberately and I still insist on procrastinating, I need to do so with something that’s somewhat useful or something that I’d take the time to do on another occasion.


Some other ‘procrastination ideas’ include-

  • Shopping for birthday presents for friends/family (even if their birthday is ages away!)
  • Clearing out your purse/wallet (receipts to be sorted, random business cards to look through)
  • Messaging old friends that you’ve been meaning to catch up with
  • Data housekeeping - sort out your hard drive/phone pictures/camera memory cards/desktop

And if I really don’t feel like doing anything else, then I’m allowed to take a nap, because at least going to sleep is good for your body.



2. Use waiting time effectively

Okay, so I’m gonna confess something a little weird that I do. I mean, I think it’s genius, but whenever I share this with my friends or family, they think I’m insane.


I watch TV in the shower.


I prop up my water resistant phone on my toiletries stand and while I’m scrubbing my body or washing my hair, I’m also consuming my “fun content”. Sometimes, I put up Insta stories and just let it scroll past while I shower.


In my mind, I have to shower anyway. As this time is going to be spent somewhere where I don’t have the liberty of using my hands, I’m better off using it to do things that a “productive person” doesn’t always have time to do. And it’s worked really well for me! It helps me not binge watch as there’s only so much time you can spend in the shower, and sometimes, just 15 minutes of some entertaining content is enough to recharge and refresh you. After the shower, I’m in a totally different frame of mind from the work day that passed, which makes it easier for me to take the time to do other things I’m interested in.


You don’t just have to limit this to watching TV. I’ve used shower time to memorise notes (don’t underestimate the value of a glass screen door and some laminated study notes) and practice speeches. You don’t even have to limit this to shower time. There could be elements in your day which cannot be eliminated, but can be paired up with other productive tasks. Whether it’s in the shower, on the toilet, waiting in a traffic jam, standing in a queue for food, or even on the commute on the way to work, it’s always possible to make better use of your ‘waiting’ time.


If commuting in rush hour can make it really difficult to do anything else as you’re very likely to be squashed up against another person of if you’re driving, listening to podcasts can be a great solution for you!


3. Use technology!

With technology, so many things can be done immediately. I used to be one of those who’d say, “I’ll wait till I get home” to get things done, but as long as you’ve equipped your smart phone with adequate tools, there are so many things you can do right away. I’ve ordered food while commuting so it’d arrive when I’m at my destination, typed up draft meeting minutes on my phone on the way back from a meeting (though if you’re extra efficient, you could type during the meeting and edit it on the way back) and Googled mid-conversation instead of dealing with someone’s vague knowledge/recollection of a matter.


What I’m saying is, although there are a couple of things that still require us to be seated at a computer with information laid out before us, there are plenty of other things which we can do on-the-go, thanks to technology.


4. Have a big picture plan

When studying for my A-Levels, I used to draw up boxes on a sheet with my general study goals for the entire month, sort of like a calendar but for a particular event/goal. I did this again in university and when I was studying for the New York Bar Exam. This was super useful for me because I could see where I was at a given time on a goal, how much I had completed, and how much there was left to go. If you’ve fallen behind, it helps you reorganise your plans, so you’ll know when you need to buck up and do more.


But before I could do that, I needed milestones or “small” targets to achieve. When studying, that could be a subject/number of exam papers to go through, and when working, that could include subject matters you’re interested in exploring, or project/task milestones. Or it could just be little things that will help you be the person you want to be. You could plan out wanting to learn/master a language, pick up a sport or develop a skill.


I realised in 2018 that it was very easy to be unproductive when I didn’t have a bigger plan of what I wanted to do. Although, at the back of my mind, I knew that I wanted to blog more, exercise more, or do certain things in relation to other interests, because I didn’t have a plan, whenever I had free time, I would start another TV series or spend hours on the phone, consuming content I wasn’t genuinely interested in. So in 2019, I’m going to have little goals for each month and make it a point to complete them.


blognotequestions


I hope the above was helpful. Do let me know if you have other suggestions!


All the best with 2019, friends! May we have a great year ahead!

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