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Fitness/Health, Lifestyle

How I Turned Vegan In Singapore With $1.80 Meals Included

As a former PR girl of a Michelin-starred restaurant group, I was paid to eat for four years. Now, God forbid I’m vegan (just kidding, I always aspired to be one).

Naturally, I relate to questions I often receive on veganism.

How did you turn vegan? Why did you do it? *Insert scientific debate about nutrition intake* Do you do it for religion or health reasons? How do you survive without meat? Do you miss meat?

In Singapore, food is king. However, we don’t get the freshest vegetable produce or the most affordable, plant-based protein options. Nutritious food always seems more expensive.

Placing aside nutritional debates, I’m mainly vegan because I love vegetables, the discipline of preparing my own meals and being in sync with my conscience. My dog might need meat, but I know I don’t. Also, going vegan helps the environment.

I remember stroking a farm cow in France and watching a calf skip around the barn with joy, thinking how sorry I felt. Perhaps, that’s why we bring a child to a fruit farm but not the slaughterhouse.

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Lifestyle, Reflections

Why Are People Marie Kondo-ing Closets And Not Their Digital Space

A woman carves a successful career out of her love for tidying rooms. She writes books to help people spark joy and makes a show on Netflix, which reinforces my beliefs in having less and being more.

Clickbait Youtube channels reveal her obsession stemmed from OCD, an acronym for a disorder we loosely use to describe the way we arrange our utensils in a neat row for the first time. But we don’t mind because her positivity is refreshing to watch among modern films of misery porn.

I respect Marie Kondo’s positive influence and effort. It’s easier to get famous with a sex tape these days, than with a book on thanking your clothes. I think friends and family of hoarders should have her face secretly set as a desktop wallpaper.

Slowing down

In a world of fast fashion, food and everything, it’s ironic how we crave the need to slow down. Just like Marie, many content creators reiterate the importance of knowing the true value of life.

Pinterest is flooded with ethical, sustainable lifestyle tips; Nas Daily made a video about how he lives out of a suitcase; 15-year-old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, sparked a global protest to stop global warming and climate change.

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Lifestyle, Youtube

Ringmaking Workshop: DIY-ed Our Rings In Singapore

Steph and I value experiences so instead of buying him a gift for his birthday, I surprised him with a rainmaking workshop instead.

Many couples asked me if they could make wedding bands here and I told them it all depends on you and your partner! If you guys are open to having something handmade, why not? A ring doesn’t determine the quality of a marriage. Some couples even choose to get wedding bracelets instead.

Personally, we chose to buy our wedding bands from a friend who owns jewellery stores in Singapore. There were four main reasons why: the customisation of colour (we wanted rose gold), less risk of skin allergies, warranty/a place to get our rings fixed if they were damaged, and durability. We didn’t think our amateur skills would have made the cut in our virgin ring making workshop.

Turns out, the biggest downside for me was not being able to wear it daily for the long haul as I developed small blisters around the ring area. This was possibly due to the lack of interior coating/smoothening and friction caused by metal bars when I lifted weights at the gym. I’ve since turned it into a necklace for keepsake.

At the workshop, some chose to have a more feminine, shiny design. While we loved the rings we made, we chose to smoothen and coat them with matte black, which faded into silver over time. For long-term wear, there will be scratches. We didn’t mind them but if others do, I’d recommend considering a design (e.g. with texture) that can conceal scratches better.

Location:Artisan8studio, 150 Orchard Road, Orchard Plaza #03-06 S238841, Sinapore
Duration: 2.5 hours
Where to book: through Airbnb experiences
Cost: approx. $89 per person. All equipment is provided.

Lifestyle

Dog Training Life Hacks By A Chow Chow Owner Too Busy To Read Guides

Note: All opinions about puppy training are the author’s own and do not replace professional advice.

Chows are often called one of the ‘Top 10 Fiercest Dogs’ on the internet. Aggressive and aloof, they once guarded Chinese emperors, pulled sleighs and hunted wolves, which made them the poster boy for stone statues found in Buddhist temples today.

But to the disgrace of his ancestors, 4-year-old Bibi is an overly friendly bear-dog that trips on his own feet. He has even done meet-and-greet sessions with his Instagram followers. I started his account back in 2015, which garnered over 10,000 followers within a year until I got too busy with my day job.

I can’t be sure if it was due to my excessive babying or his personality that turned him into a walking teddy bear that can’t ‘dog’ properly. He puts his soft toys back, dislikes barking, and once played dead on the grass when a dog tried to bite him.

Some of us assumed he was born with mild autism—a possible answer to questions I’ve received about Bibi’s unusually sweet nature. But through my personal experience, I believe a few simple puppy training techniques encouraged his good behaviour.

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Lifestyle

Dr Natasha Lim Eye Centre Review: Presbyopia/Lao Hua, Vision Correction & Cataract Surgery (Part 2)

(Continued from part 1)

The next day, my mum went back to Dr Natasha Lim Eye Centre for the same procedure on her right ‘non-master’ eye that also had a custom fit Toric Mono-focal lens implant. This time, it was specially tailored for her to provide long hours of reading.

No Downtime After Operation

With the stitch-less, small-incision cataract surgery my mum had, there was no downtime, although my mum mentioned that her eyes felt slightly tired.

Second-day post-op, my mum was told she could shower and wash hair as per normal. This was because she had a micro-incisional cataract surgery which healed immediately.

However, she was advised not to use make up for three days following her op, so some people may prefer to take medical/hospitalisation leave for a few days and rest at home.

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Lifestyle

Dr Natasha Lim Eye Centre Review: Presbyopia/Lao Hua Correction & Cataract Surgery (Part 1 of 2)

My mum has been a 900-degrees soft contact lens wearer for the last 38 years, thanks to mild astigmatism, severe myopia and presbyopia (Lao Hua).

After years of squinting and buying multiple pairs of spectacles, she finally got a permanent solution to have her eyes fixed at Dr Natasha Lim Eye Centre (where I did my Lasik surgery).

While her initial plan was to opt for Lasik surgery, Dr Natasha advised against it as the procedure is only suitable for people without cataracts. Instead, she recommended Cataract Surgery and Lens Replacement.

Using a customised Toric Mono-focal lens implant, it could correct her myopia, astigmatism and presbyopia (Lao Hua) and make her spectacle-free.

In order to understand my mum’s visual requirements, Dr Natasha asked about my mum’s lifestyle, her occupation and interests/hobbies.Then, she tailored the surgery to suit her daily work routine.

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Lifestyle

LASIK Consultation: Bladeless Pain-Free LASIK With Dr Natasha Lim Singapore

Read my first post HERE, talking about the misconceptions about LASIK surgery, and the differences between iLASIK and standard LASIK that everyone should know about.

Whenever someone with eagle vision asked me how 500-degrees and Myopia “look like”, I would say, “okay cross/cock your eyes a bit until you can’t read anything, that’s how it looks.”

Even though I adapted to contact lens over the years, spectacles gave me frequent headaches and I hated it whenever I forgot to bring my solution or case (always one or the other) during overseas trips/sleepovers.

However, due to common misconceptions about LASIK such as price (explained in my first post), I used to see it as a want more than a need.

That is, until, I discovered the existence of a bladeless pain-free method called iLASIK that NASA astronauts use. It costs about $3k+ for both eyes.

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Lifestyle

LASIK in Singapore: Truths & Misconceptions To Know About Vision Correction

Few months ago, I finally decided to zap away my 500-degree vision with the latest iDesign iLASIK technology that’s pain-free and bladeless.

I did it with Dr. Natasha Lim Eye Center at Mount Elizabeth Novena as she’s one of only two clinics offering iDesign iLASIK in Singapore, and her results are published worldwide on the iDesign iLasik Registry to provide guidance to iLASIK surgeons.

The main reason why I did it was because spectacles tend to give me a headache and having a digital-centric life, I need my contacts for an unhealthy span of 12-15 hours a day. I also hate to spend money on eyesight checks and changing lens degrees.

There were a lot of misconceptions about LASIK which held me back, particularly the cost and whether I would be able to wear coloured contacts again (because I’m vain like that).

But after finding out more through friends who underwent various LASIK surgeries, as well as Dr Natasha, I hope this post will benefit those who might be considering LASIK.

THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF LASIK/VISION CORRECTION SURGERIES

Maybe it’s just me but I always thought LASIK was just LASIK. There are various forms of LASIK that clinics may sell differently (read below) but the bladeless, pain-free iLASIK is the one that’s used by NASA astronauts and US naval pilots.

Like our iPhones and iPads, iLASIK is made in California, and is FDA approved. In the U.S., approximately 75% of LASIK clinics use iLASIK for their patients.

IT’S ACTUALLY MORE AFFORDABLE THAN YOU THINK

No, it does NOT cost $10k or anything close to it. I know many people have shared the same misconception as me, even my colleagues.

It used to be more expensive but the most advanced iLASIK costs $1.8k++ per eye with 0% interest instalment plans, and $1.6k++ per eye for standard LASIK.

YOU CAN WEAR COLOURED CONTACT LENS

For all my vain friends out there, I’ve debunked the myth. You can wear non-degree lenses post surgery, provided you wear them less and care for them better. I clarified it many times with Dr Natasha.

However, not all lens types may suit your new curvature so try different brands to find a pair that has maximum comfort. Don’t forget to remove your lenses as well, as perfect eyesight will be the norm!

STANDARD EPI LASIK or ILASIK? 

According to my friend who did Epi-LASIK, which involves a blunt blade to cut open the flap, her eyes were slightly swollen, red, and painful for a few days.

On the other hand, iLASIK uses a wavefront-guided machine that does a clean job in 10 minutes with minimal downtime. No pain, no blades. It basically uses a femtosecond laser machine to make a bladeless LASIK flap in just 12 seconds, then an excimer laser machine to zap away your short-sightedness and astigmatism in another 30 seconds.

iLASIK’s night vision is also better with less glare and starburst, which helps night driving. The whole surgery is done map-guided for extra precision via 1257 intelligent LED light rays.

Dr Lim superimposed the map onto my eye during the actual surgery to guide the treatment. This way, my post-op night vision would be far superior to other methods such as wavefront-optimized Lasik.

She explained that wavefront-guided iLASIK is a personalised treatment whereas wavefront-optimized LASIK is a more basic form using a standard algorithm for every eye.

WHAT KIND OF LASIK YOU SHOULD DO DEPENDS ON CORNEA THICKNESS AND DEGREE

Epi-LASIK is not so suitable for those with 500 degrees and above as it might cause scarring with high degrees treatment. However, it’s a good method for patients with thin corneas.

Click HERE to find out more about Epi-LASIK or a similar version called LASEK.

RECOVERY TIME

According to my friends’ experiences with Epi-LASIK, it was about three days of discomfort and redness and up to two weeks of recovery time.

For iLASIK, I didn’t have any redness or pain (thankfully). The clinic can produce a 1-week MC but for urgent matters, I think two days of recovery time is enough for your vision to clear up.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LASIK AND IMPLANTABLE CONTACT LENS (ICL)

Dr Lim also performs ICL but she reserves it for people with thin corneas and whose degrees are too high to treat with LASIK for their thin corneas.

She says LASIK is very safe so long as your cornea thickness is okay. A little bit of cornea thinning by LASIK will not cause any harm to normal eyes with healthy thickness and in fact, it is considered more safe than ICL by most eye specialists.

This is because LASIK is only lasering externally on the outer aspect of the eye, whereas ICL is fully invasive.

DO I NEED TO WEAR SUNGLASSES FOR A MONTH? 

Before my procedure, my boyfriend told me that other pilots he knew in the force had to wear sunglasses for a month after doing LASIK.

Hence, he insisted I needed a “proper pair of shades” so he got me Raybans for my birthday! Much to my boyfriend’s slight disappointment, you don’t need to walk around like in The Matrix with sunglasses for a month if you do iLASIK.

CAN I DO LASIK MULTIPLE TIMES?

According to Dr Natasha I’ve a much thicker cornea than oriental standards, so I’ll probably be able to do it 3 times within this life. Hence, it’s a myth that it can only be done once after it goes away in 10 years.

Of course, it depends on the individual’s suitability. The chances of needing further enhancement is only 1-2 % for people undergoing LASIK.

AM I GUARANTEED 100% PERFECT VISION?

Sad to say, it isn’t like a “100% satisfaction guaranteed or money back” Courts deal for everyone, but you will have a significant correction that is enough for you to go spectacles-free. That alone is a remarkable feeling that you won’t fully comprehend until you live with the convenience of good eyesight.

Just make sure you rest your eyes more, don’t use mobile devices too long in the dark, and swap warm lights for white lights.

YOU MIGHT GET DRY EYES, WHICH MAY AFFECT VISION.

Eye drops will be your best friend. Dr Lim advised post-LASIK dry eyes is only temporary for 3 to 4 months. Mine took about 4 months.

If I don’t lubricate it, especially in a cold country, my vision will be impacted. However, it’s always perfect vision when I open my eyes in the morning after a good rest.

MY OPINION?

After speaking to friends who did the standard LASIK, the consensus was “it’s the best decision ever”. And I have to agree, even more so with iLASIK.

In the next few posts, I’ll be blogging about the consultation, procedure day, and my parents’ surgery that involved cataract removal and vision correction.

Hope this helps!

For more information, visit:

Website: http://drnatashalim.com/

Address: #04-31/32, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

Phone: 6570 2220

Cover image: Source