to Sifnos Island (Greece)

ahh, Sifnos...

our snack - recommended by our taxi driver

packaged breakfast


the only way to eat

I came across an info-graph this week about how households these days are spending less and less money on food, much lower compared back 50 years ago, I think it was about 40% then, and now around 15~20%?  (if I remember correctly). 

I used to be one of them.  Just 3 years so years ago, I had no clue or interest in nutrition and had my priorities else where.  I now cringe at the thought when I used to buy a "1000won square ham" for our curry dinner.

So, to cut the story short, we spend much of our monies on food, quality food.  We always try to go organic when possible.

organic apples - in stock!

Recently, my husband "cured" his apple allergies!

Yes, he was allergic to them forever, until just 2~3 months ago.  He can now eat a whole apple with skins and all - without any reaction., but the thing is they were all "organic apples" or "high quality" apples. 

I'd like to think that changing our life style;  eating healthier (organic), eating/cooking more at home, avoiding processed food/eating out, taking folic acid / magnesium / omega 3 / chlorella  / vitamin C / supplements had to do something with it...  I would like to think so! 

I think it's worth spending good money on higher quality food (=paying attention to what you put in your body).

Hey, it even cured my husband's apple allergies :P

organic onions straight from the farm - much sweeter and much longer shelf life

you are what you eat..


remembering Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey was nothing but taking it all in.

where we sat for 2 consecutive days indulging on sweets


fall, coffee, and poems

cold weather is making me drink twice the coffee,

and read,

poetry!  (thanks library)


loving America a long time

Korea is becoming "westernized" really really fast.

I turn on the TV to find Kpop singers fondling each other on stage mimicking a sexual act - or a pole dancing girl group on stage supposed to be a serious act?  is this all a joke?

did Korea poke themselves in the butt to just be another "western american puppet" - apparently so.

kids are having more sex with strangers - promiscuity is becoming normal and "cool"er than it was 10 years ago.  Oh, Korea is going through its nasty puberty stage.  I just hope it matures and grows up - soon (will it?!).

Korea, stop being a puppet. 

respect your own culture and stay away from being so sexual - it's not a good influence for the kids and their future.

I want old Korea back - with more morals - and respect for their culture. 

makgeoli with aspartame

I just found out that the makgeoli I was happily drinking contained, aspartame....!!!


and guess what?  I'm  having muscle spasms on my right arm right now as I type this - lasting me all day.

***my muscle spasms didn't go away until the next day :(  

It never crossed my mind that something wholesome as makgeoli would contain, aspartame.  How naive of me!

Always read the labels.. always always always.


Here's a photo of a makgeoli we  got one day, that didn't have aspartame.

Look for the chinese letter for "without", pronounced "mu" in Korean.

So anytime, you see that, it means "without ____".


Brain tumors: Bad. Aspartame banned by the FDA.

In January of 1981 Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of Searle, stated in a sales meeting that he was going to “call in his markers” and make a push to get aspartame approved. That month Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President of the United States. His transition team included Rumsfeld who hand picked Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. to be the new FDA Commissioner.
Within a couple of months, Hayes appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the claims on aspartame. In a 3 – 2 decision, the panel upheld the original ban, stating that the artificial sweetener was unsafe.

Aspartame: Banned twice by the FDA.

Despite the panel’s decision, Hayes later installed a sixth member on the commission who voted in favor of the making aspartame legal. The vote was now deadlocked.
So what happened?
Hayes personally broke the tie in aspartame’s favor. (Keep in mind that Dr. Hayes, a pharmacologist had no previous experience with food additives before becomes in the FDA Director.)
On July 18, 1981 Hayes officially approved the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetener in dry goods. (How’s this for a kicker: In 1983 Hayes later left his post at the FDA amid accusations that he was accepting corporate gifts for political favors. BUT, just before leaving office in scandal, Hayes approved the use of aspartame in beverages.)
The icing on the cake: In 1985 Searle was absorbed by Monsanto. Donald Rumsfeld reportedly received a $12 million bonus. And the sad tale of fake food and experimentation on the human race continued onward.

So is Aspartame dangerous?

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Here are just some of the different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame:
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Numbness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Weight gain
  • Rashes
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Tachycardia
  • Insomnia
  • Vision Problems
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of taste
  • Vertigo
  • Joint pain


spent time


Wow, I just spend some time changing the privacy settings on my google account.  apparently, you can see anything on my youtube account - and I didn't know this.. it was just somehow connected.  google + youtube.

and I hate it. 

I hate how privacy settings are set to public.  and somehow accounts gets connected - into one?  this is they say, something we just have to deal with - since we use their service, blah blah BS. 

well, I had enough, to a point of wanting to go back to no email.. sigh...


I don't have facebook.  I don't even remember when I deleted it (2~3 years ago?).  Yes, I had it when our uncles and aunts (grandmas and pets) weren't in it. 

life is so much better without it. 

it's just a distraction away from the real thing, life.


did I tell you how much I hate g---gl-???  I do.


new addition - abyssinian brothers

Jack and Mason

2 new addition in our house - Jack and Mason (abyssinian brothers).

Jack looking for trouble

they are bringing much joy in our house!  so much laughter and awws :)


I'm still here!

in Athens (2012)

I'm still here!  Sorry for the lack of "stuff" - but I've been;

  • still trying to find "the diet (lifestyle)" - I now eat for 8 hours(freely!) and don't eat (fast) for 16 hours, called intermittent fasting
  • trying to maintain my growing indoor garden
  • enjoy coffee with a splash of organic virgin coconut oil - smells like "tropical coffee"
  • still not wearing facial sunscreen even in hot blaring sun
  • trying to meditate more 
  • Gregg Braden

It's super rainy and wet... rainy season.

Haven't had the need to turn on the AC yet!  We'll see how long we can do without it!


[2cents] Angelina Jolie's message

This topic is long due, but I have to say this,

I don't applaud Angelina Jolie's action.

She's trying to be a "heroine" for women to be "brave" and mutilate their body in the name of "prevention"... to give off a message that,

"breast cancer is so hopeless that the best way to prevent it is to take them out" - how harsh and ignorant!

She's running a scam for the medical field against women... it's really mind boggling!

If your family has a history of brain cancer, would you take out your brain to reduce the risk?

*** Cancer they say is hereditary, but much of it is due to the fact that families live in the same environment, stress(life style), habits, eating habits, food, and nutrition.

If more became aware that optimal nutrition, avoiding toxins, positivity (mental health), moderate exercise and optimal oxygen supply to body parts in our body is the key to preventing cancer, it's not scary because you have all the control.

Do you know how long it takes to survive without oxygen?  Umm - not very long - seconds?  minutes?  Cancer is when cells become "sick" due to many factors as stated - the main, "lacking oxygen" and not being able to to replenish and regenerate itself.  When cells are sick, they stick together (mass) - become abnormal.  

All the fear and propaganda that cancer is hopeless is destructive - it allows the medical field to take control of your health(life) - to make you feel helpless. Who does that?! Let's be aware and make decisions for our health - time to take your health seriously. Let no one tell you you have a so and so chance of a disease! I hate seeing the "chance statistics"! Take control and prove the number wrong.

photo credit: The PIX-JOCKEY (no comment, just views) via photopin cc


Vegetable oil is the one to blame

My latest craze is "health and nutrition" - although, I've been always been keen about health since I was younger...  I remember buying a book in middle school on garlic and health - a colorless gray dull book in Barnes and Noble - when  a fashion magazine which would have been more appropriate for my age then. 

And I'm still going - it's an endless learning experience and trials.

The latest, vegetable oil is bad.

First of all, how is vegetable oil made you should ask..

Well, it's not quite simple as making olive oil and natural either.

The process is hugely complicated (under stated).. so much goes in to make "vegetable oil (canola, grape..)" - which kills any nutrition and actually becomes harmful for us - our bodies are smart enough to work with it, but only to an extent.

Back in the old days, canola oil and "cooking oil" did not exist - we cooked with olive oil or lard, animal fat.   Doesn't that tell you enough?  The latest and newest thing isn't always the best.

We are to believe that butter is bad - when actually margarine is the one to blame.  A good natural butter has so much more nutrition than margarine!  It's also natural compared to the "fake chemical oil".

By the way, we need fat, good fat.  And we need cholesterol too - but with moderation (that's the key to everything it seems..)  I will talk about how fat/cholesterol is not bad for us on a later post. 

We need to ask more on where and how are foods are made.  If I can't  make it without a machine - I'm not eating it!

It's not too difficult to wean off the conventional "cooking oil".  You can start by sauteing your meat/veggies with water or animal fat.

Yes, "animal fat" is a  healthier choice compared to the petroleum based synthetic fake oil (I feel betrayed!)

For now, try weaning off that fake oil. 

Eat more butter and natural oil (olive, coconut oil).

photo credit: Curtis Gregory Perry via photopin cc



First watermelon of the year!

If you live in Korea, you're most likely aware on fruit prices here - it can get expensive...:(

Watermelons - even in season right now are around 10,000won and up!  Luckily, our grocery store had them for a good price and it looked so fresh!

Looks were not deceiving this time!

It must have been the tapping I did to check it - but I got lucky - this was has been the best tasting watermelon yet!

I've had some of the best tasting apples and strawberries in Korea.

I can't tell you why - maybe it's close proximity to the farms - compared to fresh produce in the states in big grocery stores - I remember watermelons tasting just like water... 

scraps - food for the worms

I haven't been much of a fan of watermelons - due to its price and size (and taste) - but it's the new outlook I have lately that's making me appreciate seasonal goods!  Fresh produce in Korea tastes much much better! 

You can guess we are going to be having lots of watermelons this summer!  ;)


[2cents] Take off your bra!

I hate wearing bras. 

I hate how it makes me feel so uncomfortable.

I usually do without one(I work at home) - so anytime they get on - I hate how it feels "unnatural" on my body.  And I'm not a fan of unnatural and uncomfortable things.

After doing some research - I'm starting to learn more about the importance of "good circulation" throughout our body.  When an area doesn't get enough oxygen and  blood flow to flush out the toxins - build up over time becomes "trouble". 

I'm a believer in prevention, good health and nutrition.  I'm not a risking my health for "style". 

You can start off by wearing them less, buying looser breathable bras and massaging your breasts and inside your armpits (lymph nodes) everyday - if it's sore, keep massaging it to release pressure/buildup.  Don't be scared to touch and feel your body - it's yours!

My conclusion is;

Bras suffocate - much worse if you wear a tighter style and wear it all day.. I always prefer to do without one = thankfully I don't need much support...TMI.. but when I do - my bras are loose fitting and taken off ASAP!

So ladies, let your breasts breathe and give them some love and care! 

photo credit: Mangiu via photopin cc

[update] My worms are doing fine :)

I'm raising earth worms - yes worms :)

They're doing just fine :)  Their house has gotten small for them, so I did some "house moving" for the guys.  I received another smaller box of the kind that I like for their house (free of course) - just in time for their move!

The photos look deceiving because the process of "cleaning the house" is not as pretty - it can get quite messy, but fun :) 

Cleaned up their poopy matter on the bottom (it clumps together like clay!) and fed them to my beloved trees and plants - right in time for my very needy guava tree (it's growing so fast!)

It's also gotten a lot warmer now, so I moved them inside the house.  They used to reside in the balcony.

The smaller house sits in our kitchen floor and the big house in the laundry room.

I used an "onion bag" to make a little breathing hole.  I don't have to leave the top open like I used to.  This is actually a better way for them - it keeps a lot of the moisture inside.

I feed them fresh food scraps except orange peels and so since it can get acidic for them - also no meat or bones - unless you want those pesky bugs and stinkiness!

Why am I raising earth worms?
  • They eat the food scraps
  • They poop out fertilizer for my plants
  • Playing with dirt is therapeutic and good for health! 

So far so good!  I kind of dreaded the summer season thinking their house might get too stinky!  But it isn't at all!  As long as you avoid meat and bones and such, it smells actually pretty good - like a rainy day!

I don't get too smell much "nature" living in Seoul - this is my way of reconnecting with the earth ;)


Gongdeok landmark - Lotte Hotel & residence

It's directly connected to Gongdeok station and has Lotte Super (grocery store) in the basement of the building, which is also connected to the subway station.

Lotte Super is a smaller grocery store that carries fresh produce, meat and such.. They also have a few vendors inside, like a hotdog/sandwich/coffee eatery and a Japanese ramen/food vendor inside the grocery store.  If you're looking for affordable fast food, you can check these out if you're in the area.

The building also has Paris Baguette (bakery, cafe), coffee shops, and Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese restaurants in the lower floor.

I suppose this hotel would be nice to stay in bc it has all of the necessities you would need in one building - also has health clinics and drugstore on the first upper floors.  The location is also nice in that the "airport bus" stop is right across the street.  It is also in the center of Seoul - Myungdong, Insadong, Jongno are a minutes drive away.

No, I am not trying to sell the hotel :P

My only complaint about this area is that it is "nature less" - I would like a mountain behind :P  too much to ask right?!  Other than that, it is a very safe place to live in.  You can feel safe walking at night since most of the stores/buildings are unoccupied by night since they are office/public buildings.


End of May 2013...time goes so fast!

While some people desire to live in a bustling city (perhaps like Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, NYC, or DC..) - I day dream of our future farm house with goats and chickens while over looking a garden of my own.   For now, I am still stuck in the middle of Seoul. 

I guess the grass looks greener on the other side.

Seoul city hall library display this Month


I told you about the "cloth toilet wipes" I use for my #1s (as a woman, we use so much!).

Here they are.  I cut up an old bed sheet that was too small.

I cut up the edges like so - no need for stitching. You can invest in a good pair of pinking sheers, it's worth it.

I like them.  They are very comfortable on my delicate skin.  And I no longer have to stress about hunting for the next sale on TP. 

I just throw them in anytime I have my next load of laundry.  No stress. 

No, they don't stink up the bathroom, You can put a small hamper for the wipes after using them.
I don't have the courage to use them for #2s, but some do. I will leave that up to you!

If you have some old good quality sheets - these are so easy to make and use.  You can either cut them up like so, or stitch them however you want.  


I splurged on some "health food" this month.  I got this honey on sale for around 25,000won (retail price is around 40,000won).  And the price at home(USA) is about $20.  

I feed a spoonful for each of us every day.  We indulge on it like its a special treat.


I'm eliminating a lot of my "grain" intake lately.  I try to limit myself to only half a rice bowl a day.   Lots of animal fat, meat, veggies and fruit. 

dinner - pork & veggie saute with "dwenjang sauce"

It's getting easier.  The first week was hard. 

I got back on this semi "Paleo diet" because one day, I found myself so bloated after switching to brown rice and not watching what I was eating (having jajangmyun and eating late nights..).  My body reacts to all of that. 

And after learning more about how "grains are anti nutrients" - I'm making some changes in our diet.

I'm also getting rid of all the "veg oil"(cooking oil) - too processed and "bad fat" for our body.  Yes, I like experimenting. 

2 weeks in so far - so far so good. I feel healthier and getting more comfortable being "hungry" and not being as cranky when I don't eat every hour :)

For now,
that is all~*


Still here

Seoul is a lot warmer right now.

My plants are enjoying the stronger rays of sun.. And I am too :)

I have a few new things going on - let's just name a few,

-switched to "cloth toilet wipes" (for pee only!)
-threw out all of my sunscreen products (harmful chemicals)
-therefore, stopped wearing sunscreen
-wash my hair with baking soda and vinegar rinse
-eliminated chemical cleaning supplies - I have baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide now
-much much fewer sugar cravings and intakes

Those are what's been going on for the past month or so. Some of it sounds silly and crazy(?), like cloth wipes, but I'll save that one for another post.

I love learning new things and experimenting!


Easy seaweed soup without meat

Seaweed soup - "miyok gook" is a simple recipe that I try to prepare once a week for its health benefits.

Dried seaweed, onions and soy sauce is all you need!

our staple soup - miyok gook

Preparation:  Soak 1/2 cup of dried seaweed in water (20 minutes~ or until bloated).
Serves 2 bowls or more.

  1. Saute 1/2 of an onion(diced) until clear (use good quality oil - grape/olive/sesame oil).
  2. Add soaked dried seaweed, saute with the onions for a minute over medium heat.
  3. Add 1 TB (tablespoon) of soy sauce and let simmer (low heat) and cover for 3 minutes.
  4. Add enough water until consistency of soup desired : I usually add enough water for seaweed to level with water - it's your preference.
  5. Cover and boil for 7 minutes - taste & season with 1 tsp of soy sauce or pinch of salt if desired. 
*Adjustsaltiness with salt - too much soy sauce will make it taste "soy saucy."

That is it!  Very easy.  

Using good quality seaweed and ingredients (oil, soy sauce) makes a huge difference.  

I prefer a very chunky hearty seaweed soup with just enough water and less salt.

Food is medicine!


bye bye cherry blossoms

(photo break) cherry blossoms in our apt complex

pretty colors and greens :)

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