Eid Mubarak!

Image source: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Image source: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Selamat Hari Raya to you and your loved ones 🙂 I pray that the next year will be filled with blessings, and that the suffering of our brethren worldwide will be eased.

In the spirit of a reflective Ramadan, I’ve posted up a piece on Lip Mag: Mountains, Moonsets and Migrating Camels. Enjoy!

Recipe For Grounding, a poem by Caits Meissner


Please hop on over to The Elephant Journal for this beautiful, beautiful poem by my poetic mentor, Caits Meissner: Recipe For Grounding. Read it out loud, whisper it to yourself, feel the words resonate through your soul.

May this poem inspire you to stand tall, grow roots, and simply be.

(If you haven’t already, I encourage you to be a reading member of The Elephant Journal for only $13 per year. Support this gorgeous independent press and its writers!)

I took this picture at The University of Life, at Janda Baik. It’s truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stepped into.

Raw milk, by Bright Cow

bright cow logoOne of the best things about living in Malaysia is our access to delicious, creamy and nutritious RAW MILK!

That’s right folks, unpasteurized and unhomogenised milk is delivered to my doorstep twice a week at the amazing price of 8 ringgit per bottle (1 litre). It is literally the best milk I’ve tasted.

If you’d like to learn more about it, you can hop on over to their website.

Also, Poskod MY ran a lovely article on Bright Cow.

For those curious about the health benefits of raw milk, click here.

Drink some Bright Cow milk and notice the difference!


Love, Marriage and Bipolar disorder – My SISTERS article

I was inspired to write this article after watching The Silver Linings Playbook for the second time. If you liked the movie, you’ll love the book, by Matthew Quick. I can totally see why Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for her brilliant performance. Bradley Cooper has really grown as an actor since his days in Alias!

I’d like to thank Tamara Redfern, life coach extraordinaire, for helping me bring my article to life.

I spotted an error in the second paragraph in my article: I’ve interviewed a writer with Bipolar Type 1, Sara (pen name) and her husband, Ali (pen name), who does not have bipolar. I’ve also interviewed Tamara Redfern, Sara’s life coach, who also has bipolar.

Sorry about that, folks. Nobody is classified as an illness!

Everyday Heroes – My brother, Abdul Hadi :)


Today is the 28th birthday of my brother, Abdul Hadi 🙂 I’ve been very blessed to have him in my life. He was my roommate in Jordan, we went to Syria together with our brother Ahmad, and he was my very patient Hajj buddy in 2010.

My brother has courageously stepped up and volunteered for the City2Surf in order to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute. You can find his page here and you can learn more about the Black Dog Institute by clicking here.

Mental illness is a lot more common than most people think. Check out some surprising points from this Black Dog Institute fact sheet:

One in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year.

65% of people with mental illness do not access any treatment [3,4]. This is worsened by delayed treatment due to serious problems in detection and accurate diagnosis. The proportion of people with mental illness accessing treatment is half that of people with physical disorders [4].

Rates of depression are slightly higher in women with depression, affecting one in six (17%) compared to one in 10 (10%) men experiencing depression in their lifetime. Across both sub-types, bipolar disorder affects around one in 33 (3%) men and women in their lifetime [1]. However, prevalence of bipolar disorder is probably higher than the statistics suggest, as many cases are often undetected or misdiagnosed.

Please donate to my brother’s fundraising cause, and help him raise funds for an institute which has helped to save so many lives. The Black Dog Institute is working hard to minimise the impact of mental illness, and maybe even one day, prevent them from developing in the first place.







Nourishing food, TCM style

1368859_14894374It’s autumn in Sydney, and it’s the start of flu season. Alhamdulilah, with my twice-daily ginger tea and goji berry ritual, I’m feeling pretty good. If you’re feeling cold, get those fantastic ginger sachet drinks from your local Asian grocery store. I add goji berries to mine to increase the potency of the tea. Drink it in the morning and afternoon, and even in the night if you need more warmth.

Anyone who knows me well enough will see my current good health as a testimony to the effectiveness of TCM. Yup, I was that sick kid in primary school with the tissues and Vicks Vapour Rub. God bless the person who invented Vicks!

In the spirit of knowing what foods are good for you, check out this great Traditional Chinese Medicine website.

Potato: neutral, sweet, Sp, Sp Qi tonic, heals inflammation
Sweet Potato: neutral, sweet, Lu, Sp & Ki, Qi, Blood & Yin tonic, benefits Kidneys, astringes Jing

I love potato and sweet potato, and interestingly enough, I have to strengthen my lungs and kidneys…it’s amazing when the food we enjoy actually helps to heal our bodies. Lu = lungs, Sp = spleen, Ki = kidneys, Qi = life-force.

Learning more about food properties actually puts a whole new spin on cooking. It’s not just about cooking healthy food, it’s about cooking food that will nourish me, depending on what season it is. I’ve been having mutton soup, sweet potato, apple stews and other warming foods because of the colder weather. Mmmm. Sooouup.

Disclaimer: You’d actually need to see a TCM practitioner or apprentice/student in order to get your diagnosis e.g. Lung Yin deficiency or Liver stagnation etc. Once you know what’s going in your body (your kidney, spleen, liver and lung system), you can then take a look at the above chart then cook the food your body needs. And remember to avoid food which might actually harm your body.

I’ve been seeing my acupuncturist for over a year now, and her knowledge continues to amaze me. All she has to do is feel my pulse, look at my tongue, my nails and my general complexion, and she’s able to give me a good summary of how I feel, and, best of all, the right kind of treatment.

It’s important to note that the ‘kidney’ in TCM is actually the entire kidney system, including the adrenals and the bladder. This fantastic article helped to explain it to me: My Kidneys Are What?

Handy tip: If you’re feeling the beginning symptoms of a cold like a scratchy throat or runny nose, cut up a small piece of raw ginger and chew on it. Literally. If that doesn’t do the trick, eat more raw ginger. It’ll warm you up and expel the cold in your body. When it’s cold outside, remember to cover the back of your neck, which is susceptible to wind invasion.

Stay tuned for more TCM updates!