Israel and Palestine: The Land Of Milk And Honey

March 16 – 22.

After crossing the Jordan border, we found ourselves in Jericho. The first place we visited was Mount Temptation — said to be the place where Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and where he was tempted by Satan 3 times.

We visited several places since: sites where Jesus had set foot on, where he was born, where St Peter lived, where Jesus was crucified and later buried, home of Joseph and Mary, and more…

We also went to the Galilee Sea and we’ve been to Dead Sea twice!

When I find the time, I’ll put together the video I took throughout the trip. Easier and faster to sum up the trip and more to photos 🙂

The Topaz Tour Company did a good job, however some members of the tour were shitty and put a dent on the memorable trip.

It’s appalling how a group of adults old enough to be my parents can be so misbehaved and show little respect for time and to the tour guides, Elias and Rama, when they were explaining to the group. A mental note not to deal or have anything to do with shit folks — it’s not an age thing but a mindset thing.

All in all, still a great trip and I’m glad we did it! Mom got her dream come true, and I can go back to business 1,000% from here on for the rest of the year! 🙂


March 14 – 15.

This has been planned since several months ago, and talked about in the last couple of years. Going to Israel has always been on my mom’s bucket list – and I wanted to take her there while she’s still relatively young and healthy to enjoy it.

So here we are — we signed up for a 10 day tour to Jordan and Israel!

The 15-people tour began at Jordan, and one of the main highlights for me was visiting the Al-Khazneh (Treasury) — it was featured in the last scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989 film) It was a surreal feeling being there in person!

The other surprising thing about being in Jordan is how fast WIFI is, even though we were in the middle of nowhere!

Like my Iran trip 10 years ago, the landscape is mostly brown and climate is dry.

The Jordan part of the tour was warming up for the real highlight: Israel…

Follow-Up On My Health Journey

In November last year, I shared my initial progress on reclaiming and optimizing my health.
I am not an inherently fat person, so some of my friends wonder why I seem obsessed with losing fats.
Losing fats is just part of the bigger picture, and fats are the results not the cause.
Several months ago, I discovered I wasn’t as fit as I thought or looked. For my height and stature, I was leaning towards higher body fat percentage (anything above 20% for men is high) and this is despite living a rather active lifestyle.
Blood test showed higher than normal cholesterol. I was considered pre-diabetic. I have high uric acid, and years of experiencing acid reflux proved that. It was what landed me in the hospital for the first time at this time last year. No thanks to stress, of course.
While I’m far from falling apart, if left unchecked I foresee having to deal with new health problems in my late 30’s or 40’s. (And as a guy, man I’d hate to have a bulging tummy!)
On a more serious note, I’ve been hearing and know of horror stories happening to good folks I know, some even gone too soon.
And I’m not keen on shopping for hospitals. I’d rather be shopping for investments but hey, health is wealth right? It’s either pay the price now or pay it later with interest.
I started small, following a food and supplements program for 3 months. I set myself an achievable goal but of course for as long as I inhibit this body it is an on-going project.
So it’s been a while and I know the photos below is slightly dated, but let’s talk results FIRST…
* I started out 23% (close to 24%) body fat in September. 3 months later I was below 16% for the first time! (of course, it can be a little skewed as at the time I just did Spartan Race and trained quite a bit leading up to it)
* Safe to say, I average around 17-18% body fat most of the time now
* I started out with 8 layers of visceral fat. Today it’s 6.0 layers, sometimes 6.5 still. Very stubborn indeed, this one is harder to lose compared to outer body fats. I’d still like to have this lowered to 5.0. But I couldn’t have arrive here without supplements; one can’t undo decades of past damage just eating healthy all of a sudden.
* Uric Acid – border line healthy on blood test inspection within 30 days. I ought to have this checked again to be sure. But it’s been months since I last felt nausea or the need to buy antacid or charcoal pills, so that’s a positive development 🙂
* Waist size – a total reduction of 4cm! I might need new clothes at this rate…
* Body Age – previously 37-38, for the first time 30-31… you can say I am acting my own age now, lol
Again it’s not about for the sake of losing fats (I don’t have a lot to lose compared to say, an obviously obese person), but having a healthier and better quality of life overall.
While I continue with my physical activities like gym, evening walks, and jungle hikes, the KEY factor is in…
I was never one to pay attention to what I eat. For a long time, I ate almost nothing but outside food and I thought that by exercising and working out I then have the ‘license’ to put in anything into my stomach.
I couldn’t be more wrong.
For the first time, my eyes were opened to what was always there (but I was ignorant)
Like how greasy and oily our foods in Malaysia are… how ‘health foods’ weren’t actually healthy after all. And others, excessively covered in sugar!
For most of the time now, I steam my own food and when I’m outside, Subway is on the menu most of the time.
It was frustrating at first, but I learned to adapt 🙂 This is not to say I totally quit eating my favorite foods, it’s just that I minimize them drastically.
And I’ve not had a soda drink since Hari Merdeka last year…
For all the switch to healthy eating, it doesn’t redeem me from my past ‘sins’…
It’s been exactly 10 years that I ate mostly outside food – especially since I left mom’s and stayed on my own.
So I’ve been taking various supplements to ‘reverse’ the body age and also ‘repair’ the internals, so to speak.
A little too technical, I might write about this in detail another time.
The long and short of it: It was the combination of supplements and careful intake of food that led to these positive results.
Sure exercise and workout are important, but on their own it’s not enough. I’d say Food is 70-80% success factor here.
So there you go, hope this helps with some insights — I’m by no means a health expert (in fact, I realize how little I know the more I learn)
But I know too many people who don’t care about their own health… until it was too late.
Talk to me anything about Health just a few months back and I probably wouldn’t have listened too.
Take care, health is wealth!

5KM Fun Run And New Year’s Eve 2018

Ended the year 2017 with a 5KM Fun Run at The Curve with Vinnie!

I don’t train for runs (it’s been years), so I was pleasantly surprised to complete it with little difficulty (35 minutes 40 seconds)

It’s also been years since I last go out for a countdown in a public area. I would have preferred to stay home but hey, I can do that anytime of the year 🙂

Happy New Year everyone!