Saturday, August 30, 2008


My dad used to work at the Land and Survey department for the government when I was a little girl. And every year, the guys at my dad's office will take a long drive down to an island to see if they can see the new moon (the month is determined by the Muslim calender). If they can see the new moon, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the paramount Royal ruler of Malaysia) will announce the next day to be the start of the Ramadan month.

It was very exciting for the children because we get to follow our dads to the beach and play in the sand while we wait for our fathers to do their thing.

The people, irregardless if they were Muslims, Buddhists, Christians or Hindus, in the office enjoyed going on the field trip as it was a fun outing for all.

I remembered, they would buy food from the villagers, and the mummies would put the spread on a table. You know, swimming and running can make a kid real hungry. All those clean air and salty water was heavenly. My mood was not dampen even when my mum forced my brothers and I to wash ourselves from the icy cold well water. *Brrrrr*

I remembered sitting cross legged on a beach mat, eating rice on a banana leaf, as a plate, with plain boiled shrimp, roasted fish from the barbeque pit and raw vegetables (called the ulam) with my hands .... all these food, a kid would normally thumb their nose at, at the dining table, just tasted exotic and absolutely delicious.

You know, when we try to eat healthier, sometimes we tend to focus on the yuck aspect of what we consume ... like less salt, less sugar, less of everything. We need to remove ourselves from this mindset and make meals fun. Go out and have picnics with your kids. Meet friends at a restaurant for a meal. The meal you consume may be simple, but your friends will distract you with fun conversations.

Break out and enjoy!

Jasmin "Who Thinks Ramadan Will Start on 1st Sept 2008" Choy
"Eat Raw Food Today" facebook group

Friday, August 29, 2008


The annual Ramadan month is just around the corner, just a few days more as a matter of fact. It is a special month of the year for over one billion Muslims throughout the world and for non Muslims in Malaysia as well.

According to the website ( the Ramadan month is about intensive worship, reading of the Quran, giving charity, purifying one's behavior, doing good deeds and learning self-control through fasting. Fasting is a way of experiencing hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate, and learning to thankfulness and appreciation for all of God's bounties. Fasting is also beneficial to the health and provides a break in the cycle of rigid habits or overindulgence.

Now, I'm not a Muslim, but I luvvv the Ramadan month. Unfortunately, it is the month I overindulge in food, and can you blame me? It is only during this month can we find special, hard to obtain lip smacking dishes being sold everywhere.

So this year, I resolve to learn a bit of self control and
not binge. :-)

It's particularly important that I do this because while Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, I think about eating all the time! It's really not good!

Instead of indulging in heavy, oily, artery clogging, cholesterol laden meals, I will take it slow and eat less of these no-no food and up my intake of raw fruits and vegetables. I will eat more fruits like the rojak (a kind of salad consisting of tropical fruits topped with crunchy crushed peanuts and a sticky toffee like sauce), drink more coconut and sugar cane juice, eat some raw dried kurma and sweet pickled carrots before I dive into my spicy curries and oily Briyani rice.

I will partake in Nasi Ulam instead of Nasi Lemak because Nasi Ulam has lots of finely cut herbs mixed with the rice, making it one of the healthiest rice dishes during the Ramadan month.

I will not step foot at any restaurant Ramadan buffet line because it's the easiest way for me to lose my self control. Instead, I will buy food from the temporarily set up Ramadan food stands and share the food with my family at home, taking care not to over buy all the fragrant goodies.

I will make a conscious effort to pay attention to the quality of food I put into my mouth, and into the mouth of my loved ones.

Jasmin Choy
"Eat Raw Food Today" Facebook Group