Fresh Organic Japanese Produce is now at Supernature Organics B1 Forum Shopping Mall

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Organic kale, lettuce, beetroot, spinach and every ang-moh veggies can be found in most supermarkets nowadays. But organic Japanese produce is really quite a painful find. Supernature Organics, one of our favourite place to stock up on all things vegan invited us for their Japanese produce launch late last year.

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We tried a wide variety of organic oranges, apples to rainbow kiwi fruit! It tasted quite sour but had a really good texture and the other fruits were sweet despite no pesticides or artificial coatings. Although they looked more bruised than the shiny fakes ones we see in most supermarkets, the ones here were still thoughtfully chosen and had really good lustre and shape.

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This was how a rainbow red kiwifruit looked like when sliced open.

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I was also given a few organic Japanese vegetables such as organic burdock (our favourite) and salad leaves (their version of a rocket leaves called Mizuna) to try.

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The next day, I made a refreshing wasabi sesame vinegar dressing with all the Organic Japanese produce and boy was it YUMMY! The vegetables portions may look small but I was able to use them for 3 meals and they lasted really fresh and good in the refrigerator for a week.

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And finally Supernature brought back vegan yoghurt! OMG:))))) Please bring the plain flavour one in soon too!

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I made a quick and easy fruit yoghurt appetizer with organic rainbow kiwi and served it with sesame stir fry burdock roots. Next I added some organic somen with tom yam broth to kick off dinner!

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If you are planning on creating a Japanese feast anytime soon, please go check out the latest fresh produce range Supernature brings in every week. We want to thank Alicia from Supernature Organics for the invitation and for the sponsored vegetables.

SuperNature
583 Orchard Road #B1-05/09 Forum The Shopping Mall
Singapore 238884
Tel: +65 6304 1338
Fax: +65 6735 0366
E-mail: sales@supernature.com.sg

Opening Hours: 
10am – 7.30pm daily

Poggiagliolmi Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Supernature Organics at Forum B1 Shopping Mall

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A few months back, I meet Elizabeth Liew, the founder of Poggiagliolmi olive oil at Supernature Organics supermarket at Forum B1 Shopping Mall. What a coincidence that she shares the same last name as my mother in law and was born in Malaysia! Elizabeth Liew was born in Kota Kinabalu and has worked in Germany, and in the UK before marrying her husband in London. She and her husband thought that living in London was not a place to bring up her children and decided to opt for a farm life instead. In 1999, they moved to Italy and only started thinking of selling their oil in 2010. The brand Poggiagliolmi is the family name of her husband. It is made up of the words Poggi-agliolmi meaning “the hills where the elms are” (the double G’s are pronounced soft, as in J’s).

I also got a chance to taste first hand how her olive oil fares when dipped with bread and grilled vegetables. I got one home where I have cooked it with almost everything and my guests and family never fails to mention they are able to taste something really special about it. One thing that stood out for me is the lightly aromatic aftertaste of olives that does not taste artificial. It is like appreciating fine green tea (sencha) if I could give a more visual impression.

The Farming to Harvesting process:

1) Pick olives, bring it to the press.

2) Leaves are removed, and olives are washed with cold water

3) Olives are then pressed/crushed into a paste

4) Through centrifugal action, liquid is separated from the paste

5) This liquid, which consist of oil with the suspension of the pulp (flesh) and water is cloudy and is known as “Olio Nuovo”

The oil is left in tall stainless steel containers and left alone in a cool dark place for up to three months, where the lighter oil will float to the top whilst the sediments will gently sink to the bottom and is removed.

This oil can then be bottled and sold as Premium Extra Virgin, First Press, Cold Press. The oleic acidity must not be higher than 0.8%.

6) The remaining paste, from which the above oil has been removed, (immediately after step (5) can now be put into another centrifugal cycle, temperature can be applied. The resulting oil can then be sold as Virgin Olive Oil.

7) The remaining paste left behind from this second cycle can go through other cycles, temperature may be added, and other thinner oils and sometimes, even chemical solvents may be added to increase the production of oil. This is now sold as Olive Oil.

In America, it is mandatory to label any olive oil produced after the first press as “Olive Promace Oil”

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One thing I enjoy most of the session was hearing how real being a farmer is like. You have to take care of each plant with so much love and care despite nature’s way of messing it sometimes. There are years where the harvest might be little but Elizabeth is steadfast about bringing the best but only the best to her clients and suppliers. She also shared that you can check out her facebook page where she post latest updates of her olive oil growth process and her harvest too. I especially like the personal touch to her packaging as the illustrations are hand drawn by her own children. Another thing I was wondering was what it means to be certified organic and Elizabeth gamely shares the process and boy am I impressed!

Being certified organic is not a case of paperwork and rubber stamping. Each year the company has to earn the “Certified Organic stamp as strenuous inspections are carried out by USDA to ensure that when you purchase an organic item you are paying premium for the assurance that you can trust the farm and the products they produce. In Elizabeth’s farm case, every July the soil in their farm is tested to ensure that no pesticides have been used. They are not allowed to use herbicides for weeds in their lawn near the olive grove as well. If they spot ants, they are not allowed to kill them too. As anything used will go into the ecosystem once the rains come. They are also not allowed to be near any farms that uses pesticides and every inspects takes place three months before the harvest to ensure that the consumers are able to taste the difference and use it with ease.

Poggiagliolmi olive oil can only be found exclusively at Supernature Organic Supermarket. It cost about $40+ for the biggest bottle and they do come in smaller can version at $21 as well. I say it is an investment for your body if we all start looking at food labels and to support companies that care and love what they are doing. Special thanks to Alicia and her team at Supernature for this invitation and for sharing Poggiagliolmi olive oil with us.

 

Grow your own organic heirloom herb garden-Lynseed Organics

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Pardon our long hiatus, we are finally back and we have a line up of really cool and exciting new vegan products, food haunts and our trip to NYC, Penang and India to share with you guys! First post back, we have to share is this really unique non-GMO and heirloom seeds of cherry tomatoes, mini bell peppers, greens and herbs that are easy to grow and would be ideal for small gardens by Lynseed Organics created by Lynsey, a 100% non-GMO and heirloom seeds online store. We got to know her virtually on Instagram as @freakyfreaky. If you ever wanted to grow your own herbs and plants just like we do you have to try this brand!

Having moved to our new place last December, we have been experimenting on planting our own flowers and herbs but to no avail they always end up not growing or dry up really quickly. Hence, we were initially sceptical about growing anything ourselves. Guess what, we were proven wrong that having green fingers does come easy and the rewards can be really amazing! (Scroll down to see our harvest). Lynsey made a special trip to our home and did a live demonstration on steps to start planting. She also gave us tips on what seeds grow best in our climate.

Easy to grow:

Greens – Rockets, Extra Dwarf Pak Choy and Tang Ho

Greens are very easy to grow, just evenly space and sow the seeds into a pot or soil. They require a full sun with regular watering. Other than that, greens require very little attention and care.

Herbs – Basil, Chinese Chives, Cilantro, Parsley

Like greens, herbs are easy to grow. They require even less attention and care than greens. I have found that they even grow better when I pay less attention to them! Over watering is one of the top causes for killing the herb plants.

Among the herbs, Chinese Chives are the easiest to grow. You can snip them bald and they grow back even stronger! (plus they taste great in homemade Char Kuey Teow!)

Kale

Kale is easy to grow as well. However, it needs more space and would need a larger pot or garden space. If space is an issue, an alternative to gardening is sprouting. Both Kale and Rockets can be grown for its sprouts, as salad or sandwich toppings (like alfalfas or tau guey).

Moderately Easy to Grow:

Mini Red Bell Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes

Both the mini bell peppers and cherry tomatoes grow well in small container pots, but have an additional step. Germinate the seeds in a small pot and let it grow until it has 3-4 true leaves. Then transfer each plant into a pot of its own under full sun. (They both love heat and sun)

Cherry Tomatoes are a little trickier to plant as the flowers may need help with pollination if there are no bees or birds to do so. To pollinate the flowers, just gently shake the flowers daily or so. If you have any used coffee grounds, you can also fertilise the plants with them.

In addition, here she gave out more handy tips and tricks:
– Soaking seeds quickens the germination process. A general rule of thumb: soak small, soft seeds for 15 – 30 mins. Examples of such seeds are tomato seeds. Seeds with a harder exterior will benefit from a few hours of soaking, no longer than 12 hours. These seeds include cucumber, peppers and melons.
– An effective and organic fertiliser is Epsom Salts – rich in essential nutrients magnesium and sulphate, Epsom salts makes plants bushier and more productive. Epsom salts can be found in pharmacies, Guardian here carries them. The salts can be sprinkled directly to the soils monthly. Alternatively, mix 1 teaspoon of epsom salt to 500ml of water in a spray bottle. Spritz onto the leaves of the plant every 2 weeks.- Other natural fertilisers that can be found in your kitchen waste include: coffee grounds, banana peel and leftover water used to rinse vegetables and rice (organic preferably).

Steps to start your own mini garden:

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1. Pick a herb or plant you like from Lynseed range of heirloom seeds! They range from S$4.90 to S$5.90 a packet and comes in bundle sets of S$10.90 with 3 different types of seeds. Each packet comes in an assorted of about 20 or more seeds depending on the size of the seed.

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2. Pick a deep clean pot

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Step 3: Peel tea bag sachets (you can get them at Daiso) open and layer them on the bottom of your pot to contain your soil and retain moisture after watering.

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Step 4: Use only organic soil (they can be found in most nursery in Singapore) and fill it about 1/2 to 3/4 full in each pot.

This was the brand we used! It was odourless and was really fine and smooth. We bought the biggest packet and it could cover 4-5 pots of varying sizes.

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Step 5: We used pre-soaked seeds (soaked a day before, and they looked like chia seeds!) and started to evenly distribute it all around the pot. Once that is done, slightly cover the seeds with some soil around it and pour a cup of water in each pot making sure the soil is damp. We watered our plants daily in the mornings and in less than a week….

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Our seeds started sprouting and looking really cute!

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And in less than 1 month time, look at our harvest!!! It was so green, so lush and we cooked it right away and they tasted so fresh! We cannot exclaim how easy and cool this whole process was like and we urge everyone to plant their own organic heirloom garden and harvest in the goodness in these heirloom seeds.

Follow Lynseed Organics on Instagram (@lynseedorganics) to get the latest updates or visit her website to find out more.We want to thank Lynsey for this great opportunity to learn so much and for giving us a chance to build our own garden:)

Priti NYC Vegan Nail Polish Review at The Naturally Better Company

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If you have been hunting down vegan beauty products in Singapore just like I did, you will be so happy to hear I found a vegan nail parlour at The Naturally Better Company at Millennia Walk (level 2)! I was so thrilled when Sharon, the founder of the shop offered me a free complimentary pedicure service and I topped it off with adding a manicure on my own too. The nail services are available only through appointment (weekdays and weekends) and my nail specialist Amanda, was such a delight to work with. I entered a cozy corner beside the shop and was given a kaleidoscopic range of colours to choose from.

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At the nail bar, everything that they use are toxic free from start to finish. It’s a one stop shop for professional nail care products which range from nail polish, organic scrubs and creams. Their manicure menu starts from $25 and pedicure starts from 38. The star product of the day was Priti NYC nail polish. Priti NYC products are created by Kim D’Amato when she got pregnant and wanted to use healthier, cleaner and non-toxic products. Another fact that I like about Priti NYC  is their mission to support organic farmers to decrease the amount of chemicals and pollution poisoning the earth and its inhabitants- one manicure at a time.

Priti NYC products are fast drying, chip resistant, super glossy and cruelty-free. They are also perfectly safe to use on children (They have kid’s bottle called Priti Princess, so cute!) and moms-to-be. Visit their website if you want to know more detailed information on the ingredients. I was really impressed by the soy polish remover which had no horrible alcohol smell, very gentle and moisturising on my hands. It really felt so much more comfortable as the key ingredient contains natural oils which was used.

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I have heard about this brand before when I was researching Stella Mccartney and I decided to try item code 209 which was such a gorgeous shade of nude tone. I was so happy with it, I bought the clear top coat $25.90 to maintain my nails!. It’s been two weeks and my nails still looked brand new. I guess it helps when you don’t really do housework too.

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Stella Mccartney creates custom shades of colours with Priti NYC for her runway show in Paris seasonally. And each colour is a separate collection from the ready to wear line. I cannot wait to try all the colours and they all look so pretty and versatile with any outfits!

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With the wonderful soy nail remover cleanser, my toes have never looked so clean and fresh! I chose two emerald tones of green and had a playful mix with them. I cannot wait to book my next appointment and Thank you Sharon for sharing how great vegan nail polish can be! There is no excuse now gorgeous ladies!

Visit them:

Millennia Walk #02-46

9 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore

Open daily from 11am-8pm, Friday and Saturdays from 11am to 9pm

Book an appointment today at 64717220

Free Giveaway: Organic Rawmio Gourmet Trail Mix Chocolate Bark from BGO Singapore

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The perfect snack to enjoy this festive season has to be chocolates! Who can resist them especially when they are dark, organic and filled with nutty flavours! We are thrilled to present a free giveaway from BGO as an early Christmas special for our readers! 10 lucky readers will be gifted Rawmio’s Trail Mix Chocolate Bark which combines two snacks into one decadent raw chocolate bark made with some of your favourite nuts, seeds and dried fruits such as goji berries, mulberries, pumpkin seeds, almonds and others.

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Ingredients: Raw Cacao Nibs, Coconut Sugar, Raw Currants, Raw Pumpkin Seeds, Raw Mulberries, Raw Almonds, Raw Goji Berries, Raw Pistachio. (All ingredients are certified organic).

Net Wt: 2.2 oz

Retail Price: $9.80

Item: Rawmio Gourmet Trail mix raw chocolate bark for 10 lucky winners (within Singapore only).

How to participate: Like BGO Ecoshop Facebook page & email them at bgosingapore@gmail.com to include a reason why you will love to win this awesome giveaway!

End of giveaway promotion: 13 December 2013 (Friday)

Notification of winners: 10 lucky winners will be chosen by BGO and will receive an email notification for confirmation of delivery address.

Delivery: Singpost normal mail

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Thank you to Chewy from BGO for this generous giveaway! Do check out their superfoods section on their website for unique nut butters deal, kale chips, vegan curry paste, Acai, grains and cereals as well.

Vegan Shopping Paradise- SuperNature by Club 21 at B1 Forum The Shopping Mall

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The lovely folks at SuperNature  invited me over to their spacious supermarket a couple of days back to check out some of their new offerings! I was really excited and was keeping my fingers crossed, hoping that I can find vegan cheeses such as Tofutti, Daiya, Earth Balance etc which are commonly used in overseas vegan food blogs. Guess what, THEY DO!!! And their selection of products was simply too good to be true in our sunny small island! Sadly, they do not sell these items in their online shop. Hopefully, they will soon as their current location is not very convenient for someone without a car.

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The supermarket is neatly organized and I spent so much time just oggling at all the different food products ranging from dry to wet and frozen items. Be prepared to spend hours there on your first visit to soak in the awesome organic range they have.

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Right at the entrance, lies the star attraction of the supermarket. All the vegetables and fruits are specially selected by Juliana, the store manager who is the buyer for all the fresh produce. She strongly recommends customers to come on Monday as all the fresh greens and fruits are shipped in weekly by air freight and comes in small quantities. Unlike other supermarkets, where I often find a spoilt vegetable bunch in the plastic packaging, supernature organics checks every single item and goes through them everyday to make sure that every single packet you purchase is the best. The high prices of the organic vegetables means you save money having to wash them with a vegetable wash, less wastage, it is way healthier than pesticide grown greens and most importantly they are shipped in directly from certified organic farms with no extra storage time. I heard that by wednesday or thursday, most items usually sell out! I just missed fresh figs which were wiped out when they first arrived.

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Currently, most greens and fruits come from US and in less than a month, the australia season kicks in with new offerings. I spotted so many unique vegetables and wished I could buy them all home. I saw tequila peppers which reminded me of watercolour paintings, purple carrots, rainbow carrots, chard rainbow, kale leaves (they are the best selling item in the store) and baby broccoli (another hot selling item) and so much more. They also have an online shop where they sell farm boxes ranging from western produce, asian produce, baby catered produce to juice produce right to your door step. The regular box is priced at $70 (25-31 items) and the large box at $90 (38-42 items). They provide free shipping with a minimum spending order of $70 and above. Besides shopping comfortably at home, they also offer a free membership card to their loyal customers (min purchase of $150) for their support and customers can get up to 5% off and earn points at their supermarket or when they shop at any club21 boutiques in Singapore.

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They also have organic fruits and I had the chance to try the crunchy pear starkrimson which had a floral aftertaste to it. We paired it with ice wine and it was perfect!

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They also have a range of local greens which are usually used in chinese cooking dishes and they looked super fresh. I got some nai pak for my grandma and the taste and texture was yummy. They are also famous for their giant onions too! Another item to try would be organic bananas, we tried organic ones before and they definitely taste better and work wonders for baking goods.

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Besides fresh produce, Supernature organics is a one stop shop for people with special dietary needs. They have items for people who are lactose intolerant, gluten free products and they also have an in-house nutritionist who help people plan their meals.

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There were so many items which we could hardly find in Singapore using really healthy ingredients. They have the widest selection of vegan health bars I have ever seen!

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I spotted chestnut flour, egg replacer to mushroom pate and even nigari for making your own homemade tofu!

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The frozen section got me completely excited. I could not believe my eyes when I spotted so many different varieties of vegan cheeses in one shelf. They have vegan cheese shreds, slices, mock hams slices, mock sausages, earth balance vegan butter in different flavour, cream cheese and the famous vegenaise mayonnaise.

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I went crazy shopping for them and left the place a super happy lady. In the next few posts,  I will be sharing some recipes using some of the ingredients gifted to us by Supernature. This media shopping trip was made possible by the sweetest folks at Club 21 and I want to specially thank Alicia and her team for this great opportunity and Juliana who taught me so much about organic produce within such a short time frame. They will also be moving to a more convenient location at Forum Shopping Mall end of this year with an organic in-store cafe too! We cannot wait and hope they will have some great vegan food offerings!

SuperNature
583 Orchard Road #B1-05/09 Forum The Shopping Mall
Singapore 238884
Tel: +65 6304 1338
Fax: +65 6735 0366
E-mail: sales@supernature.com.sg

Opening Hours: 
10am – 7.30pm daily

IDOCARE: Singapore’s First Eco & No Animal Testing Laundry powder & Dishwashing liquid

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A couple of months back when I was at Pasar Bella at the Grand Stand buying vegan toothpaste we got a sample of IDOCARE products from the counter and was shocked to find out they were created in Singapore! We decided to give it a try and it was really as good as any other products we have used. We decided to email Humaa, the boss of IDOCARE and we got an exclusive interview with her.

Here are the prices for the products at IDOCARE:

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5x Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid $6.95 (5x the amount)

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Concentrated Laundry Detergent $12 for 1 kg

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Concentrated Floor Cleaner $11 for 1 litre

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Hi Humaa, Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer the questions below! She just gave birth to her second child and we really appreciate her giving a heart felt sharing about how she started and some common misconception about good cleaners in the household industry!

1. What is the story behind idocare?

I decided to quit my job when my first child was born. Since she was “pure”, I wanted to expose her to as little harmful stuff as I could. I ensured all I exposed her to was as safe as possible. Having only 1 income, I realized being “non-toxic” was really expensive. So I decided to embark on a journey to create stuff for mum’s (just like myself) who want the best for their child but do not want to pay an arm and leg for it. And so IDOCARE was born.

2. Could you tell us more about yourself?

I am now 36 years old. Quite out spoken and love my independence. My teachers always pegged me as an entrepreneur. And I suppose they were right afterall. I started out in life trying to be an interlectual property lawyer (LOL), but that failed completely as I just did not have my heart in it. Eventually, I went into advertising and absolutely loved it. But soon after the birth of my firstchild, I had to leave beacuse I did not trust anyone looking after her. A wife and now a mother of two, I am learning lots about parenthood and business together:) I consider myself to be quite “out of the box” in my thinking and I have always wanted to do something to contribute to the world and IDOCARE is it!

3. Is it a Singapore registered company or a foreign company? Are the products made in Singapore as well?

IDOCARE is a local brand. It was born here. It is owned by my company “RATHOR HOLDINGS PTE LTD”. We manufacture our products in Malaysia to keep our costs lower. If we were to manufacture here, I would never be able to sell at the prices we are selling right now.

4. Could you share any secret or special ingredients used in your products that you want more people to know of?

Optical brighteners: They are found in many laundry detergents. They make your clothes look brighter and whiter and make your colours last. But it is just a layer of “chemical” that sits on top of your clothing. And it creates many skin problems. The most common being eczema. Our laundry detergent does not have this at all.

It is a common misconception that “bubbles” clean better. Again, that is a chemical that has been added into products to make you feel they are cleaning better. But it is not. We do not contain this chemical. Thus our powder is a low sud powder, which is better for you and better for the environment. And we clean very well!

People also feel liquid detergent cleans better than powder. Again this is wrong. Actually powders are able to get in between your fibers and in fact, powders (especially ours) clean better because the powder is so fine that is get in between.

5. We read that you can wash vegetables with your dishwashing liquid. That sounds pretty crazy and how safe is this technique?

It is safe because we are asking you to use very little dishwashing liquid. You need to follow our instructions on the bottle. It only applies to product that is not organic. We help to clean out all the pesticides so you must wash it thoroughly. We have a customer who blogged about how she eats blueberries. Before IDOCARE, she just used to wash them with water. After trying us out, she realizes that the colour of the blueberries actually changes after being washed because they are covered in wax and pesticide. Try it!

6. What are some challenges you faced creating the products and the obstacles you have gone through?

As we are really really new. Not many retailers want to give us a try. They say no one will buy us because no one has heard of us. This is really disheartening. But I do try as hard as possible and we have been lucky (sort of) that eventually after lots of pestering, they do give us a try and the customers do like us and continually want to buy our products.

Margins. Everyone is out to get big margins but due to our philosophy, we have found it very challenging to get our products into stores which require high margins. As it defeats the prupose of starting this brand in the first place. We will struggle with this but we will not give up.

Once I was told by a store that they did not want to stock anything other than the one brand they had in their store. I asked them, “Don’t you want to offer your customers a choice of cleaning products?” and they said a flat “NO”!

I have no real background in anything that I sell. From creation of the product to the manufacture to the sale. I have paid the price many times. I have had stock that has to be thrown away. I have had to pay for things that should not cost as much as I was charged. I am still learning many lessons. But I hope that one day, all my hard work and money will all pay off. When IDOCARE becomes recognised and loved by everyone!

7. Do you have any plans for new products in the future? Could you give us a hint?

To take over the world:D

I honestly hope that every household in the world of ASIA(for now) has at least 1 IDOCARE product in their house and uses it! I do plan to create more products and in the pipeline is an all purpose spray (great for high chairs and table tops). We are thinking of a bathroom cleaner(because bathrooms are really quite a dirty place and need their own set of products) and maybe even a hand sanitiser (lots of people are asking for this!)

I just need a bit more time to formulate and test it as I have needed to slow down a little recently (thanks to our latest edition to the family) but I will eventually get there.

8. Could you share any inside news about the household produce industry you found shocking and think everyone should learn about?

Hmmmm…There are really lots of things out there that you do not really need. Some products are created just to get a larger share of your wallet. I try to do the opposite by creating one product with multi functions and save you money and space (we need that in Singapore)! Take our dishwashing for example, great for kids bottles, mum’s breast pump and your dirty dishes and even cleans your stove. You do not need to have 2 or 3 different cleaners on your sink! Just 1:)

Overall, we love the smell of the products as they are really light with a touch of lemon. We think this makes a great gift for any new mothers too!

Vegan Food Pyramid

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The question we get asked most when we meet family and friends is whether we are getting the right minerals and vitamins needed for our body. Honestly, we don’t really have a big chart or plan stating what we should eat daily So we decided it was time we research all the essential key component to lead a healthy and balanced vegan diet as we are committed to do this for life. We are going to print this out in our kitchen before we do our grocery shopping from now on.

From this useful site, we found our answers and was thrilled to know there are many options we can get daily without much fuss. We also know vegetarian friends who take supplements to compensate on the lack of nutrients. Reason being they might be allergic to a certain kind of plant, nut or fruit or they do not cook and eat out too often to included fortified vitamin B12 into their diet for example.

Vegan Nutrition

The key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet is variety. A healthy and varied vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Protein (We have no problem getting this daily)

It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein as long as calorie intake is adequate. Strict protein planning or combining is not necessary. The key is to eat a varied diet.

Almost all foods except for alcohol, sugar, and fats provide some protein. Vegan sources include: lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peas, peanut butter, soy milk, almonds, spinach, rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, broccoli, kale…

For example, if part of a day’s menu included the following foods, you would meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein for an adult male:

  • 1 cup oatmeal, 1 cup soy milk
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, 1 bagel
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 cup vegetarian baked beans
  • 5 ounces tofu, 2 Tablespoons of almonds
  • 1 cup broccoli, and 1 cup brown rice.

Fat (We have no problems getting this daily too)

Vegan diets are free of cholesterol and are generally low in saturated fat. Thus eating a vegan diet makes it easy to conform to recommendations given to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. High-fat foods, which should be used sparingly, include oils, margarine, nuts, nut butters, seed butters, avocado, and coconut.

Vitamin D (Extra effort to source soy milk with fortified Vitamin D or just more sunlight which is not a big problem)

Vitamin D is not found in the vegan diet but can be made by humans following exposure to sunlight. At least ten to fifteen minutes of summer sun on hands and face two to three times a week is recommended for adults so that vitamin D production can occur. Food sources of vitamin D include vitamin D-fortified soy milk and rice milk. (For more information about vitamin D, see FAQs About Vitamin D)

Calcium (Another item we have no problem getting daily)

Calcium, needed for strong bones, is found in dark green vegetables, tofu made with calcium sulfate, calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice, and many other foods commonly eaten by vegans. Although lower animal protein intake may reduce calcium losses, there is currently not enough evidence to suggest that vegans have lower calcium needs. Vegans should eat foods that are high in calcium and/or use a calcium supplement.

Following are some good sources of calcium:

   ___________________________________________________________

   Soy or rice milk,
	commercial, calcium-
	fortified, plain		   8 oz	     200-300 mg

   Collard greens, cooked                  1 cup     357 mg

   Blackstrap molasses                     2 TB      400 mg

   Tofu, processed with 
        calcium sulfate                    4 oz      200-330 mg

   Calcium-fortified
	orange juice			   8 oz	     300 mg

   Tofu, processed with 
        nigari		                   4 oz      80-230 mg

   Kale, cooked				   1 cup     179 mg

   Tahini				   2 TB      128 mg

   Almonds                                 1/4 cup   89 mg
   ___________________________________________________________

Other good sources of calcium include: okra, turnip greens, soybeans, tempeh, almond butter, broccoli, bok choy, commercial soy yogurt…

The recommended intake for calcium for adults 19 through 50 years is 1000 milligrams/day.

Note: It appears that oxalic acid, which is found in spinach, rhubarb, chard, and beet greens, binds with calcium and reduces calcium absorption. Calcium is well absorbed from other dark green vegetables.

Zinc (We have no problems getting this daily)

Vegan diets can provide zinc at levels close to or even higher than the RDA. Zinc is found in grains, legumes, and nuts.

Iron (We have no problems getting this daily)

Dried beans and dark green leafy vegetables are especially good sources of iron, better on a per calorie basis than meat. Iron absorption is increased markedly by eating foods containing vitamin C along with foods containing iron.

Sources of Iron includes soybeans, lentils, blackstrap molasses, kidney beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, Swiss chard, tempeh, black beans, prune juice, beet greens, tahini, peas, bulghur, bok choy, raisins, watermelon, millet, kale….

Here are the iron contents of selected foods:

       ______________________________________________

            FOOD                            IRON (MG)
       ______________________________________________

       1 cup cooked soybeans                   8.8
       2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses              7.0
       1 cup cooked lentils                    6.6  
       1 cup cooked kidney beans               5.2
       1 cup cooked chickpeas                  4.7
       1 cup cooked lima beans                 4.5
       1 cup cooked Swiss chard                4.0
       1/8 medium watermelon                   1.0
       ______________________________________________

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (More excuses to do baking by using flaxseed)

In order to maximize production of DHA and EPA (omega-3 fatty acids), vegans should include good sources of alpha-linolenic acid in their diets such as flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, tofu, soybeans, and walnuts.

Vitamin B12 (An item we need more effort to get and we found that nutritional yeast contains vitamin B12!)

The requirement for vitamin B12 is very low. Non-animal sources include Red Star nutritional yeast T6635 also known as Vegetarian Support Formula (around 2 teaspoons supplies the adult RDA). It is especially important for pregnant and lactating women, infants, and children to have reliable sources of vitamin B12 in their diets. Numerous foods are fortified with B12, but sometimes companies change what they do. So always read labels carefully or write the companies.

Tempeh, miso, and seaweed are often labeled as having large amounts of vitamin B12. However, these products are not reliable sources of the vitamin because the amount of vitamin B12 present depends on the type of processing the food undergoes. Other sources of vitamin B12 are fortified soy milk (check the label as this is rarely available in the U.S.), vitamin B12-fortified meat analogues, and vitamin B12 supplements. There are supplements which do not contain animal products. Vegetarians who are not vegan can also obtain vitamin B12 from dairy products and eggs. (On our end, if we do not consume any nutritional yeast, we might take an egg or two every 3 months to compensate on this lack of vitamin in our body.)

In conclusion, it is really easy sticking to a vegan diet and still be healthy, energetic and happy at the same time. All we need is some extra care in selecting the kind of food we want to take and making that conscious effort to JUST DO IT!

Fruit of love- Pomegranate

whole-and-cut-pomegranate

The best buy from my recent trip to Bangkok has to be pomegranates! I bought 4 juicy ones at 50 baht ($2.08) each and they are crunchy, sweet and all so lovely. The last time we had it was in Morocco near the Sahara desert and we have been craving it. This fruit is really hard to find in Singapore and even if found costs a bomb. The cheapest alternative will be bottled fruit juices from Marigold.

After some research, I found out that this fruit is the oldest fruit found in ancient scriptures and writings and has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life too.  A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries and cranberries. We are going to make it a daily or weekly routine to drink more from this royal fruit!

Features of the Pomegranate

  • Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits
  • Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
  • Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies
  • May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis

Every time I meet my aunt Joanne, she tells me about how great the yoga sessions she goes to have helped her. Best part of all, it’s free of charge and by a really cool organization called Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir. It’s a voluntary group effort to spread their master love for yoga to the public. We just went for the first session on Monday and boy did we learn the basics and foundation of proper sitting and breathing techniques. It was quite a slow paced class but a well worth 2 hours course for such a big cause. There are still 15-20 available slots left. So hurry down and get a space for a healthier and more balanced lifestyle next Monday.

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