Jan 27, 2021

The Scoop on Good Gut Health and my Family's Wellness

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What constitutes good gut health?


Is it just being able to poop on a regular basis, or simply not experiencing bloatedness in the tummy?


But believe it or not, my gut instinct is good gut health is much much much more than that. 😆 Because having a healthy gut ensures that maximum nutrient absorption can take place, which supports proper hormone production, low inflammation, good health and mood regulation.


Because did you know that our gut is home to more than 100 trillion bacteria? Wait, what? This isn’t a bad thing actually. The good bacteria play a vital role in our metabolism and health, which is why the gut is largely responsible for the critical functions of our bodies. Simply put, your gut is your second brain.


So as much as we nourish our brains, we should nourish our guts as well. And I should know... because the two ladies in my household frequently experiences bloatedness in the tummy and the occasional constipation.



“Pa, my tummy is bloated again. Can help me rub some oil?” That's the usual chant I invariably hear from Ale (and the wifey) every other night.


But if you have been following my social media pages, you might recollect that sometime in October last year, we got started on Akesi Wellness’s probiotics products and the results after one month were highly encouraging. That 'bloatedness' frequency has diminished significantly.



Fast forward another 2.5 months and the whole family, including the 2 boys and myself, have been taking the probiotics on a daily basis and call it a gut feel 🤣 - but there have been signs that the probiotics have been silently doing its work behind the scenes:


- We have not fallen sick, apart from the little sniffles in the morning. Even so, those episodes have reduced and they clear by noon time.

- I used to have gout issues but ever since I started consuming Bio-Fermented Turmeric Tonic (it's a potent anti-inflammatory tonic by the way), my gout has not flared up at all.

- The wifey and Ale have experienced better digestion and feeling much less bloated after meals.

- I am happy to report that our poops are pretty much right on schedule 😁



Who and What is Akesi Wellness?


Founded by two mums in Singapore, Akesi’s products supports the immune system (especially important in a COVID world now!), assist with digestive health and help to maintain regular bowel movements.



In short, Akesi nurtures good gut health. Even better, it is so EASY and DELICIOUS to consume them on a daily basis that it is almost like clockwork now when it comes to getting our daily dose of probiotics at home.


What does Akesi offer?


Akesi's products are 100% natural, keto friendly, vegan, dairy free, sugar free, and gluten free. There are a total of three concentrate blends as well as two in powder form.



1. Bio-Fermented Berry Spritzer ($58)


Now this is THE one for kids and I guarantee you that they will not need any persuading to consume their daily dose. Just ask my kids! 




The probiotic tonic is sweet and rich in berry antioxidants, which is diluted in still or sparkling water (1 tablespoon of tonic to 1 cup of water). Just one cup will meet your daily probiotic needs and it is rich in antioxidants too!



For my kids, it was love at first sip. Ale NEVER fails to remind me of her daily dose! 😅 



2. Bio-Fermented Papaya Leaf with Pomegranate ($58)



Through the natural bio-fermentation process, papaya leaves, papaya fruit and pomegranate have been transformed into highly available bio-active nutrients known for their healing properties.


Rich in phytonutrients, this tonic supports the immune system, assists digestive health, maintains healthy bowel habits and restores the body’s diverse gut microbiota.


The wifey takes this on a daily basis, which can be consumed as a shot or diluted in water.


3. Bio-Fermented Turmeric with Ginger and Black Pepper ($58)


Now this has been my saviour for the past few months! If you have gout like me or other inflammatory issues, get this spicy anti-inflammatory king because not only does it aids in digestive health, maintains healthy bowel habits, supports the immune system support, its selling point has got to be its potent anti-inflammatory benefits.



It is known that turmeric, ginger and black pepper have anti-inflammatory and healing properties so through Akesi's natural bio-fermentation process, these ingredients have been transformed into highly available bio-active nutrients.


Disclaimer: Ale gamely tried the tonic in the photo above but she gagged after tasting it. Must be the ginger and turmeric. 😅😅😅 So for kids, I reommend sticking to the Bio-Fermented Berry Spritzer instead. Lol.


4. Akesi Probiotic+ Elderberry Boost ($55)



Short on time? Go for the Probiotic+ Elderberry Boost powder. Just one teaspoon a day consists of 10 billion cfu* of 10 probiotic strains, prebiotic fibre & elderberry. And you should know this by now, because it also offers the same benefits as the above blends: assists digestive health, maintains healthy bowel habits, provides immune system support and rich in antioxidants!

(*Just in case you are wondering, cfu stands for “colony forming units” and is used to quantify how many bacteria in probiotics are capable of dividing and forming colonies. You're welcome. 😊)



Since it is in powder form, it is also incredibly versatile. The kids love putting it directly in the mouth where it'll dissolve like a fun sherbet (it’s sweet and not sour at all).



For me, I love sprinkling it over yoghurt or smoothies in the morning.



5. Probiotic+ BASE Powder ($55)


If you have an infant at home, then this is the probiotic powder to get! Akesi's Probiotic+ BASE Powder is suitable for all ages from birth with 15% prebiotic support and has the same benefits of assisting digestive health, maintaining healthy bowel habits, providing immune system support, and protecting and nourishing the gut microbiota.



The powder contains 10 strains x 10 billion cfu plus prebiotic fibre which is great for all, from newborns to adults. Best of all, it is pure which means it has NO flavour and NO colour - great for hiding or dissolving into solids or liquids without detection. So for fussy children (and adults), simply add it into their food... and they won't even know a thing. 😆



In case you are wondering, each bottle is good for a month’s supply for one person.


While all products are suitable for adults and children over 3 years of age, I personally recommend giving kids the Bio-Fermented Berry Spritzer or Akesi Probiotic+ Elderberry Boost because they taste really good. The other two blends are more for adults, taste-wise.


Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to gut health or even total body wellness for that matter. The only way to ascertain whether Akesi products work for you and your family is to give it a shot - Akesi recommends its customers to try them for 3 months to assess its benefits.



We did and personally, I love that how the Akesi range has something for every member of my family. Even better, they make it so easy for my kids to have their daily dose of probiotics - just one spoon into the mouth or into a glass of water and it's done.


Can't get simpler (and more effective) than that!



For more information Akesi products, head to www.akesiwellness.com or you can check out the products at its online store.



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Jan 21, 2021

How to Find these Stunning Massive Trees in the Heart of Bukit Brown Cemetery

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Of all the hiking and jungle bashing trails in Singapore I have done in the past few months, I think I may have found my fave hiking spot right in the heart of Bukit Brown Cemetery.



Don't worry, there's nothing spooky about the trail - if you go during the daytime, that is! - but rather, a stunning landscape of greenery and super tall trees will make the hike worthwhile.



We first went on the trail on the last weekend of 2020 and it was probably the most challenging one yet because the skies opened up during the early part of the hike so we walked in torrential rain for the most part of it - complete with muddy and flooded trails! 



The last time I remember walking in such heavy downpour was during NS, so kudos to the monkies for persevering through it. In fact, the boys loved it because it was “so much more cooling” while Ale was a little irritated that she got drenched as her poncho was oversized. 😅


But while walking in the rain was an experience in itself, it prevented us from stopping and appreciating the highlight of the hike - the super tall trees in the middle of Bukit Brown. They definitely looked so majestic but unfortunately, we had to keep moving due to the rain.



So it was a pity (no blue skies *sob*) but no matter, because the wifey and I made plans to head back again on a sunny day... this time without the monkies. And so we did.



START OF THE TRAIL


While there aren't any marked signs to indicate the presence of the trail, the entire walking trail is NOT within an out-of-bounds area so you won't be breaking any laws. The only sign that you may come across is the one below, which basically absolves any party from any responsibility should anything happen to you.



The start of the trail begins near Kheam Hock Park, along Kheam Hock Road. If you are driving, you can park along the road among the landed properties in the University Road area. From Kheam Hock Park, you can see a flyover. Walk under it and you can see the opening of the trail immediately on your right... and a unmistakable Singapore flag.



Head towards it and go up the slight slope on your right.



THE TRAIL


From here, it is essentially a straight path that runs parallel to the PIE on your right.



After about 15 to 20 minutes, you will come across a sign that says 'Sin Heng San Teng Tua Pek Kong' temple. If you wish to, you may deviate and pay the temple a visit before continuing on the hike.



Interestingly, this temple is sort of abandoned but has been maintained by a group of volunteer caretakers who have taken it upon themselves to upkeep it in a good condition.


The area surrounding the temple is a cemetery previously owned by Hokkien Huay Kuan and it is now part of Bukit Brown Cemetery. The name of the cemetery was Sin Heng San Teng, hence the temple's name too. The temple's history can be traced to 1893, based on the words carved on the oldest incense burner in the temple.


Head back to the same path after the temple visit and continue on it. This stretch of the trail is relatively easy... perhaps only muddy if you are visiting after a heavy downpour.



Along the way, you will spot some amazing trees... which make for good photos for your IG grid.


That's the beauty of hiking without the kids - we can take all the time in the world to stop for photos. 🤣 


You will then reach a rather steep downslope. Once you have made your way down, you will see a stream in front of you. Turn left and follow the well-trodden (muddy) path.



And this is where things get really interesting.



The vegetation here is amazing... and some are extremely huge!



Also, the trail here is muddier than the previous portion so my advice is to wear proper hiking shoes.



Personally, even though this portion of the hike is muddy, I love the entire feel of the surroundings while hiking along. Now I know it means when people say nature is therapeutic.


After about 20 minutes, the trees start to clear up overhead and you enter the highlight of the hike.



THE 'AVATAR' TALL TREES



I don't think there is any other word to describe the trees but BREATHTAKING.



Seriously, these massive towering trees that reside in the heart of Bukit Brown Cemetery are stunning. In fact, they remind me a little like the ones in the Avatar movie!




And as you may have rightly guessed, we went crazy with the photo-taking! 😅






I love how tranquil the entire area is and that sound of nature that travels through the forest while standing in the middle of it all? Just WOW.


Once you have your fill of photo-taking, simply follow the trail to head into Bukit Brown Cemetery proper.



From here, the paths are paved so it is extremely straightforward. You can choose to continue on the Bukit Brown Heritage Trail - you can download the self-guided walking tour HERE - or head back to the starting point at Kheam Hock Park.

Simply turn left at the forked road after exiting from the 'Avatar' trees area and you will reach Kheam Hock Road.


I think we will probably go on this hike again soon because like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is one of my fave hiking trails so far. And next time, I'll keep my eyes peeled so that I can spot more of things around me that Nature has to offer. 😍


OUR WALKING TRAIL MAP

If you are interested, here is our walking trail map. The total distance is 2.2km so it is pretty doable in terms of distance.



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