WildFit Challenge – Week 3 – NO SUGAR!

Now it starts to get real, and real hard haha – the first real thing to remove from our diets is the worst of course – which is going all out no sugar.

Fortunately for me, I’ve been cutting most of the sugar out of my diet since June when I came back from Europe with a little too much extra love around the middle, so I don’t have a huge sugar dependence.

The problem mainly in Asia is eating out, EVERYTHING has sugar in it (soya sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine etc) so eating in restaurants is mostly impossible. Also check the ingredients on everything you buy, you’d be shocked at how many things have sugar in them.

One person checked the ingredients for their salt, yah salt, low sodium salt to be precise – and guess what? Yah, it has sugar in it – so be vigilant, the food industry is hiding sugar everywhere because it’s addictive, cheap and every time you eat sugar it makes you want to eat more sugar.

Day 1

The start of the week wasn’t too hard actually, we just had to be a little more vigilant especially with the seasoning we used – and we got this for snacking on (from Tesco).

Sugar Free Peanut Butter

No sugar at all! Also with eating all the fruits and the Alkagizer religiously, you actually have much less cravings for sweet stuff than you did before – and unhealthy stuff as well in general.

I actually also stopped coffee (and most dairy) this week, because after the fruits and Alkagizer I didn’t feel any need for caffeine. And other than coffee I don’t eat all that much dairy anyway.

Day 5

It got a little harder towards the end of the week as I was travelling to Penang to give a talk at a Google event, yah PENANG FOOD! So honestly I stretched the rules a little as I knew the food I was eating had Soya sauce etc (minimal amounts of sugar), but I made good choices wherever I could (ordered warm water with lemon instead of sugary drinks etc) and didn’t over-eat (which is REALLY hard in Penang).

Plus I even found a Paleo friendly place Awesome Canteen where I went for lunch and had a smoothie (we brought our own Avocado along too like weird nerds and ate that too haha).

I had a delicious eggplant burger with sweet potato fries.

Paleo in Penang

So yah, plus eating fruit still first thing in the morning.

And then on Sunday it was off to Thailand, thankfully fruit is in abundance there and we were still in the buffer zone until Monday anyway. And we still had some Avocados fortunately haha, so we had half each of one of those each morning for our good fats.

Honestly by the end of the weekend I was missing good food with lots of veges and my Alkagizer!

So yah, no sugar wasn’t too tough – there are harder ones coming I know it..and again Friday was an enhancement day with the weekend as the buffer zone – which we took advantage of haha.

Weeky 3 Summary

So this weeks enhancement wasn’t too bad for us, it would be bad if you have a very sugary diet and eat a lot of junk with ingredients you can’t pronounce (Sugar has around 60 names commonly listed in ingredients – make sure you avoid them ALL).

If you were already using natural sugars (honey, pure maple syrup) you can continue during this week, but you can’t substitute refined sugar for natural sugar.

Natural sugars as ingredients in anything are also OUT.

– Drink more water (at least 6-8 large glasses a day)
– Eat 3 pieces of fruit each morning on an empty stomach
– Drink the Alkagizer Mild
– Then eat lunch as normal
– Add an EXTRA portion of vegetables at every meal
– Remove ALL refined sugar from your diet

The sugar lobbyists are seriously dangerous, read more here:

Sugar lobby paid scientists to blur sugar’s role in heart disease – report
How the Sugar Lobby Skewed Health Research
How the sugar lobby helps perpetuate that sweet tooth of yours
The sugar lobby’s sour tactics

And on and on there’s also some documentaries about it like That Sugar Film and Fed Up.

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CrashPlan Crashing on Synology DS412+ Keeps Closing – Increase JVM Heap

So I’ve had a Synology for a long time, and issues with CrashPlan Crashing – before this I used to have a great little D-Link NAS and I’ve been using CrashPlan on Synology DS412+ for a long time too (since I got it pretty much).

I upgraded from the D-Link for storage reasons, plus the apps available on the Synology + faster performance and you can install things like CrashPlan, Plex and so on.

I’ve forever had issues with CrashPlan though, crashing on scanning, crashing on upload because my file set is too large (my photos folder alone is over 120,000 files).

CrashPlan on Synology DS412+

And I’ve tried all kinds of tweaks, settings, changes etc and it was also getting really hard to get the CrashPlan client on my Windows desktop machine to connect to the headless installation on the Synology to configure folders, check progress etc.

Especially seen as though it crashed every few minutes, it always got disconnected.

So here’s how to get it all working as of now, with the current versions etc.

Installing CrashPlan on the Synology DS412+

This part is fairly straight forwards, find CrashPlan in the community section of the Synology Package Center.

Installing CrashPlan on Synology

Also at the same time, go and download the latest version of Oracle Java JRE (Which it will ask for, in this case speifically jre-8u111-linux-x64.tar.gz) – which you can find here:

Java SE Runtime Environment 8 Downloads

Once downloaded, copy it to the /Volume1/public folder on your Synology, select custom Java 8 and the installation should proceed just fine.

After it’s installed just click Run in the drop down menu and you’re good (check the log to make sure it started ok).

CrashPlan running on Synology

Configuring Headless Access from Windows 10

This part seems really technical, and honestly it is quite technical – if you aren’t familiar with SSH and PuTTY you might get a little lost here. You’re probably already using CrashPlan client on your Windows machine to backup your files (and if you’re not you SHOULD) so you have the client but you need to do a little fiddling and port forwarding to get it working.

Also close the CrashPlan client before you start any of this.

So first things first, you need PuTTY or an equivalent SSH client, and you need to connect to your Synology, use the login as admin and your admin password on port 22.

Get the Authentication Token

The first thing you need to do is retrieve the ID from the Synology CrashPlan installation which you can find with this command:

cat /var/lib/crashplan/

You’ll recieve a string like this:


This is the port, auth token, IP address. Save this somewhere as you need this to access the headless install with the CrashPlan client.

Edit the Local CrashPlan Config

So now you have the token what you need to do is edit your local CrashPlan client config, for me on Windows 10 with CrashPlan installed for all users this was located at:


What you need to do is change the port to 4200 and replace the existing auth token with the one you retrieved from your Synology.

Start Port Forwarding with PuTTY

This is the final step you need to do before launching your client, so what I suggest is you save an entry in your PuTTY Sessions for the Synology and then you need to open the config section under Connection -> SSH -> Tunnels and add a port forward with the following details:

Source port: 4200
Destination: localhost:4243

PuTTY Synology Port Forward

Click add, then connect to your Synology with this SSH session – this should activate the port forward.

Start the CrashPlan Client

Fire up the client, it might take a little longer than normal, but it should connect to your Synology and give you the option to add folders, configure the backup options and so on.

CrashPlan on Synology DS412+

So you can see it’s half way through scanning and already 80k files and over 250GB, my whole set is about 130k files and over 500GB and it works well with the below tweaks.

You can stop here if you have a smaller data set and not many files and everything will work just fine, but if you have a larger data set and are having problems with the CrashPlan service on the Synology crashing/closing/disappearing regularly (in my case every 1-2 minutes you’ll need to make the below changes.

Adjusting the JVM Heap size to accommodate CrashPlan

The problem is the Synology DS412+ is fantastic in many ways, but it only has 1GB of RAM – this is great for most things, but CrashPlan with a large data set is a hungry beast. Fortunately it also has 2GB of Swap so you can push the limits a little bit unless you dare to upgrade your NAS with more RAM (which is also an option up to 4GB).

Ok so what you need to do here is stop the CrashPlan service in the Synology dashboard so you can edit the config files. You’ll need to use vi (pain in the arse) but that’s what it has installed.

To get started, you’re probably still connected via SSH to the Synology, but if you aren’t reconnect. I’m gonna leave the vi lessons out here, so you’ll have to figure that out yourself.

To edit the first file use this command:

sudo vi /volume1/@appstore/CrashPlan/syno_package.vars

Have your password handy, as you’ll have to enter it again.

When you’re in the file, right at the top add:


Then for the second file:

sudo vi /volume1/@appstore/CrashPlan/bin/run.conf

You’ll find a really long line that looks like this:

RV_JAVA_OPTS="-Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -Dapp=CrashPlanService -DappBaseName=CrashPlan -Xms20m -Xmx512m -Dsun.net.inetaddr.ttl=300 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.ttl=300 -Dsun.net.inetaddr.negative.ttl=0 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.negative.ttl=0 -Dc42.native.md5.enabled=false -Djava.io.tmpdir=/volume1/@tmp -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true"

You need to change that to:

RV_JAVA_OPTS="-Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -Dapp=CrashPlanService -DappBaseName=CrashPlan -Xms128m -Xmx1536m -Dsun.net.inetaddr.ttl=300 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.ttl=300 -Dsun.net.inetaddr.negative.ttl=0 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.negative.ttl=0 -Dc42.native.md5.enabled=false -Djava.io.tmpdir=/volume1/@tmp -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true"

These are the recommend settings for this model with 1GB RAM and 2GB Swap (the default config), obviously if you have more physical RAM you can go even higher.

Restart the service on the Synology, connect the CrashPlan client and check the config by double clicking the house, then typing java mx you should see this:

CrashPlan Java Heap Size on Synology

That means everything is good and your backups should work fine.

Mine hasn’t crashed at all yet.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask below in the comments.

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WildFit Challenge – Week 2 – Alkagizer Mild

So into the second week of the WildFit Challange we go, we introduce the Alkagizer Mild as a daily ritual and start eating a bunch of fruits every day before anything else. This was a reasonable enhancement, nothing to cut out – only more good stuff to add.

It felt very doable, it just required a little more planning and grocery shopping.

Day 1

So here was me Week 2, Day 1 morning before heading to work at the awesome Mindvalley office.

WildFit Challenge Week 2 Breakfast

After eating the 3 fruits (Kiwi, Apple + Plum), I actually felt quite full and had to consider if I even could finish the Alkagizer. But then I had the Alkagizer anyway (which took me far longer to ‘drink’ than I expected), as it’s more of a chunky than a smoothie – around 30 mins or so. And only half of it, there was still another jar left.

I thought we might need to water it down a bit more. Then after drinking the Alkagizer I felt more hungry, but not ravenous. I had to skip my bulletproof coffee I would normally have as I was out of time.

But I headed to the office and went to get a Subway tandoori salad as usual (with double meat), but they were out of Salad Bowls (what?!) so I had a wrap instead (still with double meat).

It was nice.

Was pretty hungry still be 6.30pm or so. I had the left-over Alkagizer after dinner, which on hindsight I probably shouldn’t as it has fruit in it – I should have had it before dinner on an empty stomach?

So yah, first day went fine so far. Honestly not super looking forwards to preparing a bunch more spinach and celery and blending a bunch of stuff tonight (without a blender..) – but onwards and upwards.

We tried our cheapo Elba blender last night, but it literally did nothing, just whirled a few bits around. It ended up in the bin.

So we did it in the food processor until it was basically finely diced, then stuck the immersion blender in and got it as fine as we could – yah am still pulling bits of celery out of my teeth.

Cheers, and here’s to day 2!

The rest of the week

It basically went fine, we didn’t run out of anything, Kim has been a champ preparing the Alkagizer every night (4 jars) as we aren’t morning people.


And we diligently at our fruits and Alkagizer each day, although it was hard to even think about eating lunch after that (especially with how long it took to down the rather chunky Alkagizer).

WildFit Challenge Week 2

I started rather enjoying it, and it became nice to sit down as a family and eat a bunch of fruits.

You can see how chunky our version is in the picture below haha.

WildFit Challenge Week 2

It was really fine, eating lunch was kinda tough, and we did start feeling very nutritionally satisfied – which reduces the cravings for bad stuff to almost zero. It’s gone very quiet in my head in regards to caffeine, sugar, bread etc.

Not much desire to snack between meals, good energy, good sleep.

Week 2 Summary

So the first enhancement this week, it went really well. A lot of people got a scare in the Friday video, but I’ll talk more about that in the week 3 post.

– Drink more water (at least 6-8 large glasses a day)
– Eat 3 pieces of fruit each morning on an empty stomach
– Drink the Alkagizer Mild
– Then eat lunch as normal
– Add an EXTRA portion of vegetables at every meal
– DO NOT give up anything
– Keep examining your dialogue

Feeling good so far, although a little scared about week 3 haha – it’s gonna be REAL tough for some people.

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A Klang Valley Staycation at Amverton Cove

So living in a city can be hectic, sometimes you just want to get away – but you don’t really want to drive for hours or take a flight. That’s where the whole concept of Staycation (stay+vacation) comes in, which is basically having a holiday in your own city or nearby (in this case still within the Klang Valley).

This time we checked out Amverton Cove at Pulau Carey (Carey Island) which is an island located south of Port Klang and North of Banting.

Amverton Cove Golf & Island Resort is a secluded and peaceful all-in-one golfing getaway with resort facilities. It’s family friendly, with plenty of recreational facilities and a good mix of accommodation types including standard rooms, suites and chalets.

It had been raining for days with grey overcast skies, so we were super glad the morning we woke up was sunny, bright and it looked to be a good weekend ahead. The drive there was a little jammed as it was long weekend, but once past the airport it was pretty clear all the way.

Pulau Carey

Our little man Liam was pretty happy on the way too, as he wanted to get out of the city as well.

Liam in the Carseat

We reached the resort around lunch-time and checked in, service was prompt and polite and we met the general manager David who was extremely helpful through-out our stay.

Amverton Cove Golf & Island Resort

The room was clean and spacious with a bathtub and shower with a king size bed, TV, fridge and they even provided a cot for Liam.

Amverton Cove Golf & Island Resort

We had the set lunch at the golf-course restaurant which was delicious, the eggplant was amazing! It came with a fish-head curry, mixed vegetables and an omelette.

Amverton Cove Food

I still remember this dish, that’s how good it was!

Amverton Cove Food

It’s a lovely open restaurant too with a view of the lake, the Animal Island and the golf course.

Amverton Cove Restaurant

We were lucky to have spectacular weather all weekend.


After lunch we went for a tour around the resort, which included checking out the facilities.

Golf Buggy!

They have archery, paintball, ATV and an obstacle course with 14 elements which is ideal for team building. It’s a good place to consider for company team retreats, they have meeting rooms and indoor facilities too + some great kit for team building exercises. The max capacity of the resort would be around 190 people if you want to book the whole place.

The obstacle course looks pretty impressive with a large flying fox as the centrepiece. Minimum 10 pax if you want to have a go with your friends and family.

Amverton Cove Obstacle Course

There’s a spa too, so you can have a massage after all that hard work 😀

Amverton Cove Spa

And of course, the highlight of any staycation for us is the POOL! And Amverton Cove didn’t disappoint in that aspect, with a large pool including a water slide and a lovely view of the golf course.

Amverton Cove Pool

Liam had a great time splashing around!

Amverton Cove Pool

He really didn’t want to get out.

Amverton Cove Pool

Happy family after some pool time.

Amverton Cove Pool

After a nap and a recharge we decided to go and check out the Animal Island, of course we got ferried to the boat ride in a buggy, because it’s fun.

Amverton Cove Buggy

I was really glad to see appropriate life jackets for a kid Liam’s age – pretty unusual to see proper safety equipment in Malaysia – I was impressed.

Toddler Life Jacket

Liam was too shiok with the wind in his face.

Amverton Cove Boat Ride

Look at that face.

Shiok Liam

He had a great time on the Animal Island, I think he’s finally at the age where he can kinda understand what’s going on with animals and appreciate seeing something new and interesting.

Amverton Cove Animal Island

He was really fascinated by the Macaque monkeys.

Amverton Cove Animal Island

And you can go inside the rabbit area, he was really excited in there.

Amverton Cove Animal Island

Of course everywhere we went, he still needed his trusty cornflakes.

Amverton Cove

They also have a really well equipped, large play zone for younger kids – pretty impressive actually and very well maintained. Every time we walked past, Liam wanted to go in. So eventually we did and he had a great time!

Amverton Cove Play Gym

His favourite ‘babu’.

Amverton Cove Play Gym

Of course, because of the area there’s plenty of good food around, we headed to a restaurant called Kang Guan which is still in Pulau Carey so only around 10-15 mins drive from the resort – well in range for lunch.

Kang Guan Seafood Restaurant

The portions are generous, lovely fresh seafood and shellfish, really nice drinks (in massive jugs!) and well-priced.

Kang Guan Seafood Restaurant

Definitely worth a look for lunch/dinner if you’re in the area.Kang Guan Seafood Restaurant

All in all we had a great weekend away at Pulau Carey and I can recommend Amverton Cove for those wanting to have a break without going too far, it’s about a 50-60 minute drive from Bandar Sri Damansara and fairly straight-forwards with the SKVE. It’s marked on Google Maps and Waze and the location information was accurate too.

Amverton Cove Golf & Island Resort

It’s a relaxing place with lovely clean, fresh air, plenty of things to do, great food nearby and excellent service. Thanks to David and his team for their excellent hospitality.

Do mention me if you happen to make a booking there – thanks!

You can check out the website or Facebook page below for their latest deals, packages, offers and to find out more about the resort and its facilities.

Amverton Cove Golf & Island Resort
Address: Jalan Pulau Carey, 42960 Pulau Carey, Selangor, Malaysia
Phone: +60 3-3123 3888
Web: http://www.amvertoncove.com/
Facebook: Amverton Cove Golf & Island Resort

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My New Goodyear EfficientGrip Tyres

So a while back I trekked all the way to Cyberjaya to help with a panel on tech infrastructure and architecture for MaGIC Academy, and on the way back…whilst I was conducting a phone-interview for a newspaper no less (hands-free of course) I heard a weird noise and my car felt a little odd.

My Puncture

I ended the phone call abruptly and pulled over to the side of the road, I imagined I had a puncture..and to my dismay – I really did. It must have been pretty bad as the tyre was already totally flat.

I got the fancy pumpy foam thing out of the boot (yah, I have one of those cars with no spare tyre..) and hooked it up.

Volvo V60 Puncture Repair Kit

A few seconds later, I found out this puncture was actually more of a complete failure/tear/gash/blackhole in the tyre and it wasn’t going to get mended.

Volvo V60 Puncture

Fortunately my car comes with a call service for break-downs, so I called them and waited quite a while to be towed away. I got all the tyres replaced as I didn’t know what condition in seen as though one could break down so completely.

New Tyres – Goodyear Eagle EfficientGrip

I went for Goodyear Eagle EfficientGrip.

The new Eagle EfficientGrip is Goodyear’s quietest, most comfortable tyre ever. The leading tyre company’s latest innovation is engineered with advanced “Quiet Tred” technology to minimize road noise and help deliver a silky smooth ride, without compromising safety which is the hallmark of all Goodyear tyres.

Designed for luxury car drivers in who are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the urban environment when they step into their cars, the new Goodyear Eagle EfficientGrip can help make the journey more quiet and smooth.

I’ve had them a little while now, but wanted to wait a while before writing about them as it takes 1-2000km to break new tyres in and I wanted to experience a variety of conditions and a long drive (I had a trip to Singapore scheduled).

The tyres look good on my car for a start, I’m using 235/45 R17 94W.

Goodyear Eagle EfficientGrip

And have a good tread pattern, both for grip and for low-noise & greater fuel efficiency.

Goodyear Eagle EfficientGrip Tread

I honestly initially though of going for something UHP (Ultra High Performance) like the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2. Those kind of characteristics are no longer my key priority though, I don’t drive that fast and I’m old now haha – so I prefer quieter tyres, that still deliver good performance with higher fuel efficiency!

Tyre Date Code

The tyres are new too, in the world of tyres – anything made less than a year ago is optimal. Tyres expire after 5-6 years, so newer is definitely better.

Goodyear Tyre Date Code

If you’re not familiar with tyre date codes, whenever you buy tyres check for a 4 digit number like the one in the above picture.

This signifies the week (1st and 2nd digits – 1-52 ) and year of manufacture (3rd and 4th digits). So in this case it’s week 51 2015 (5115), or the 3rd week of December last year, making this around 7 months old.

Summary of Goodyear EfficientGrip

I’ve done a few thousand KM on them so far, including a trip down to Singapore and my summary so far is:

  • Quiet on the road, even at highway speeds
  • Good grip in wet and dry
  • Improved fuel efficiency
  • Stiff sidewalls, but not so much to be bumpy
  • Good cornering and grip

No real down-sides so far. It’s the first time I’ve hit almost 600km in a single tank with these tyres, it might also be combined with the fact I increased the tyre pressure to match the recommended ‘eco’ setting of the car which is 38psi.

Volvo V60 Fuel Efficiency

But as you can see, almost 600km on a tank and predicted range of 660km for a 2.0 turbo car (Which I drive pretty fast) – is very nice!

So far so good!

If you want to know more you can find out here:


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WildFit Challenge – Week 1 – Inner Dialogue

So the WildFit Challenge has become quite a thing lately, it seems interesting so I thought I’d dive in and give it a try. I’ve done multiple other things before including following the slow carb diet from 4 Hour Body (which was difficult, impractical and unpleasant), I’ve completed the entire Insanity program without missing a day (man that was hardcore) and I’ve tried Couch-to-5K.

And I’m still over-weight, although reasonably fit I could be much healthier. And with the results I’ve seen from WildFit (my CEO went from 22% to 15% bodyfat, and another guy lost 7KG from about 80+ which is great).

WildFit Challenge - Week 1

It’s an interesting program as it doesn’t advocate exercise, not for weight loss anyway, how much you weigh and how your body looks is 95% your diet – which I’ve had personal experience with. Insanity lost basically zero weight for me, it did drop my BF% but that’s all.

It’s more about psychology and the thoughts, emotions and habits you have surrounding food. Adjusting and resetting those, rather than cutting out a bunch of stuff and relying on will-power (which WILL fail).

WildFit is a powerful, effective and new health and Fitness methodology, a methodology that draws its inspiration from evolutionary and functional medicine and nutritional anthropology.

Humans evolved in a process that took millions of years and took place almost entirely in nature. Today, even as we have removed the perils of living in the wild, we have created a lethal lifestyle that is sweeping the plant and causing a wide variety of diseases, weight problems and, sadly, massively reduced quality of life and lifespan.

As we face the reality of a generation growing up processed food and without regular exercise, we are beginning to wake up to the reality that we are off course. That the human and financial cost of our current way of life is far too great. Inspired by Eric Edmeades’ 2003 Essay The Human Diet, WildFit is a fitness methodology informed by evolution and human history. Today, most people know what to eat, what not to eat and that they should exercises. And still, most people are over fed, under nourished and lack the most basic levels of physical fitness that will lead to a long, healthy and enjoyable life.

WildFit address the five primary reasons that so many people have yet to make the changes their bodies so badly want them to make and then guides you through an easy program to make lasting changes without ever feeling hungry and always having a feeling of abundant freedom.

It has interesting concepts like the 6 human hungers, which we all get trapped by – many people eat emotionally (I drink), most people are dehydrated and don’t know so they eat when they are actually just thirsty. There’s also “Code Red” or low blood sugar hunger which we call HANGRY, which you should never let yourself get to.

WildFit Challenge - 6 Human Hungers

Week 1 of The WildFit Challenge

So this first week of the challenge, really isn’t a challenge – there are no required changes. Nope, nothing to cut out or cut back on.

Basically the only instruction is – drink AT LEAST 6-8 glasses of water a day – as most people are dehydrated many already feel changes after just this small change.

Other than that, the instructions are centred around internal dialogue and how to think about food, how we justify treats to ourself (oh it’s the weekend, I had a good day, I had a bad day) or rules that you have attached to food (Oh it’s Thursday, that’s pizza/kfc night).

And how you feel before/during choosing what to eat, during eating it, immediately after and how it physically makes you feel 30-40 minutes later or even the next morning.

It’s pretty interesting to try and consciously listen in to the devil/angel dialogue when you are reaching for that biscuit/snack, and when you realise you can eat more than you thought unconsciously (pop-corn in the cinema is the best example of this).

Or eating because you think you want to, or you should, or you deserve a treat (dessert after a great dinner when you are already full and satisfied).

Plus some interesting insights into things around food and food marketing, like why restaurants serve bread BEFORE the meal (bread actually slows your digestion + spikes your blood sugar which then increases your insulin and makes you want to eat more). Basically the more sugar you eat, the more food you desire.

And other things like you should never eat fruit AFTER eating other foods, it will cause wind and will putrefy in your stomach as it’s designed to digested very quickly to protect the seeds from your stomach acid, so only eat fruits on an empty stomach (first thing in the morning).

The First Enhancement

Towards the end of the first week, the challenge started talking about a green smoothie called the Alkagizer Mild – which was introduced on Friday. So an enhancement was introduced on the Friday of the first week (day 5) which was to eat 3 pieces of fruit when you first wake-up and 16oz (about a pint) of Alkagizer.

The pieces of fruit can be anything, and they are whole pieces (like 3 bananas, 3 apples or 3 different fruits say an apple, a banana and a pear) before eating anything else.

Followed by the smoothie, which is spinach, apples, celery, avacado and cucumber.

The weekend is a buffer zone, so you can choose to start the enhancement early, or do them on Monday – we didn’t have easy access to the stuff so we decided to start on Monday and buy the things on Sunday.

We went to NSK in Selayang to buy the stuff thinking it might be cheaper, but it really wasn’t any cheaper than Tesco and it was chaotic, packed and parking was terrible. We won’t be going back (the fruit is from MBG so it’s not cheap) and some things were even cheaper at Jaya Grocer.

NSK Selayang Fruit

So Sunday night we diligently got ready for Week 2.

More on that soon!

Week 1 Summary

– Drink more water (at least 6-8 large glasses a day)
– Examine your internal dialogue around food
– Look at the emotions you have attached to food and food choices
– Make sure to be concious of any rules you have around food and eating

Interesting stuff.

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Continue Reading · 1 Comment · Fitness, WildFit

We Lost Our Twins at 24 Weeks 5 Days To Extreme Prematurity

So here I am, in my study, with some kinda relaxing classical music play-list on Spotify trying to gather my thoughts. I’m not sure why I’m writing this, or how I’m gonna even pen down how I feel, or if this will ever be published.

But I am here, and I think I am writing this mostly for selfish reasons. I need to get this out of my head and onto a page, I need to collect and structure my thoughts, try to distil them, feel them to the maximum of my capacity, then process them and move on. In some parts this whole thing feels surreal.

Some part of me feels like keeping this password protected, some part thinks I should do it as a Facebook note so only my friends on Facebook can see it, some part of me wants to not doing anything at all and just curl into a ball.

Also selfishly I want to avoid hundreds of separate, awkward conversations about this which will trigger a new wave of devastation each time I have to talk about it.

Our Twins

I also need to put a trigger warning here up-front, if you have lost a child, had a 2nd or 3rd trimester delivery (late miscarriage or pre-term birth) where you lost the babies or anything similar, this may be extremely hard reading for you.

Some people may think I’m over-sharing, or this is very private and should stay that way. You are probably right, but this is my way of dealing with it, I don’t really have any very close friends or support system and I have no other way to get through this. I can’t put it all on Kim, she has to deal with herself too and I truly believe it’s much worse for her than it is for me, and what I feel I already find unbearable.

For context, and for those that didn’t know. Kim was pregnant with twins, at first we were terrified because twins come with a lot of complications and our first child was already premature at 32 weeks although he made it through just fine with no apparent long term disabilities. They were due on December 22nd and we expected them to come out around mid November (around 36 weeks is normal for twins).

But we reconciled our feelings about it, we got excited about it, the magic of twins, we had plans, had accepted van life was becoming a reality, dreams, fantasies about our lives together. And we found out the twins were a boy and a girl – it could get no better.

The pregnancy was wholly uneventful, no spotting, no pains, nothing – no signs anything was wrong. Everything was going just fine, the twins were growing well, Kim’s cervix was fine and long – better than expected actually as they were both the size of regular babies at the last check-up. There were minor issues like the placenta was quite near the cervix, but not totally covering it (placenta previa) and Kim had low iron.

Honestly the pregnancy with Liam was far more stressful and showed many more signs of prematurity being a real risk. We were totally shocked when Kim went into labour at 32 weeks and we had to learn a whole lot about NICU and premature babies really fast, I wrote a little about it here: What It’s Like To Be The Father Of A Premature Baby (Premie).

He’s absolutely fine though, just past 2 years old and is developing into a smart, bright, loving, sweet little man.

We expected some level of prematurity with the twins, definitely not before 30 weeks (the danger zone) and hopefully after 34 weeks – for no NICU stay.

So what happened?

This is the most common question we get asked from the very few people we’ve told (currently single digits), and is fairly straight forward to answer – it’s also very unpleasant to answer over and over because it makes me or Kim relive the entire experience each time we have to tell someone about it. Which is really, really, genuinely horrible.

I’m gonna tell it as it happened from my perspective, it’s going to be detailed, gruesome in parts and emotional.

At around 6.10pm Thursday 1st September Kim sent me a picture of some discharge she had, she said spotting..but when I saw the picture, I very obviously saw a mucus plug (the thing which closes the cervix to the outside world). Which made me absolutely terrified, I was actually in the tail-end of a company off-site meeting and was already exhausted. I tried to stay mentally strong, and imagine it was thrush or just some mucus, or discharge.

Spotting & Mucus Plug

But deep inside, I already knew this was bad, really fucking bad. It was the same thing that happened last time, and last time 7 days later Kim’s water broke in our bedroom and she went into labour and gave birth the next morning.

I quickly read up on it again to refresh my memory, but I was right, it was a bloody show, it looks exactly like everything on Google image search for “bloody show” or “mucus plug“. If there’s blood, it’s bad.

At this point, I’m unsure if it’s better to know more or less, I already knew a lot about this subject, what it meant and what was imminent. I’m not sure if that’s more terrifying, or not knowing anything would have been worse.

Either way, it looked really bad.

I rushed home as fast as I could, after crying hard in the car for a while to try and get my shit together. I wanted to reach home and present a strong, positive front to try and make the best of the situation.

I picked up some dinner on the way back, and shortly after I reached, Kim lost some more mucus plug. I think at that point we both knew what was about to happen, the last thing that we wanted and something that had honestly never crossed our mind as an option.

We were very likely about to lose the twins.

By this time it was about 9pm, we’d managed to eat a little and feed Liam.

And then Kim thought she started feeling contractions, I tried to believe they were Braxton Hicks contractions, but we started timing them…and they were coming 5 minutes apart.

And having gone through labour before, she knew they were real because they hurt like period cramps, which real contractions do – Braxton Hicks do not.

We quickly gathered some things and proceeded to the hospital, we reached there at I’d say approximately 11pm and they took Kim straight into the maternity ward. I waited outside with Liam and tried to stay calm, hope they could stop the contractions and prevent the onset of labour.

I couldn’t go in as Liam was with me, so I had no idea what was going on.

About an hour later they let me into the ward waiting area, where I sat with Liam for about 20 minutes. Of course I was still hoping for the best, but by that time I had very little hope left and was absolutely physically and mentally exhausted.

The doctor came, and sat opposite me, he said Kim had already given birth to both babies naturally (not c-section) and was fine, they were just cleaning her and the room up and I could go and see her. By the time we had reached the hospital, her contractions were less than 2 minutes apart and she was fully dilated at 10cm, the doctor said for babies this small she only needed 6cm dilation to give birth.

When the nurse checked her dilation she could already feel the babies fingers.

There was absolutely nothing they could have done to stop or slow down the delivery.

He said the babies were very small, there were some signs of life, but they were extremely premature and it really didn’t look good.

Even though I was fully expecting it, it was still a shock.

Strangely I didn’t really feel anything, I felt numb and emotionless. He kept telling me over and over it was not Kim’s fault, and I shouldn’t blame her. I knew that, but I also knew why he was saying it as most humans have a tendency to blame as a first instinct when anything bad happens.

By this time it was about 1am, and they let us into the delivery room, Kim looked fine and healthy and we sat and talked about what had happened a little. I think we both didn’t feel much at this point. Things were happening faster than our emotions could process it.

Kim in Delivery Room

I think we slightly freaked people out with our stoicism, although in hindsight it was most likely shock more than anything else. We really couldn’t feel anything.

The paediatric doctor came in a little time after 1am to let us know neither of the twins had made it. They were born at 630 and 670 grams and were extremely premature, their eyes were still fused and they had no real lung capacity.

As we expected, we had lost them. They were born at around 11:47pm and 11:58pm and died before 1am, they lived around 45 minutes.

They kept asking if we wanted to see them, I refused, I honestly didn’t want to see any dead babies – even if they were mine and part of me. Kim didn’t want to see them either, she had seen them during birth and they were very purple.

The Doctor also warned us they were very bruised and in quite a bad way, especially the boy as he came out head first so the bruising was on his face.

We still didn’t feel much, we talked more about logistics than anything, the hospital staff were very empathetic but not very useful when it came to what we were supposed to do about the bodies, the registration of their deaths, was it considered a miscarriage etc?

They kept talking about Forensiks which I now realise is the mortuary and associated functions not actual forensic examination.

I went home a little after 2am as Liam was getting very tired and cranky. I think I passed out for a while putting him to sleep around 2.30am-3.30am with the front door and grill wide open, keys still in the padlock.

I got up and did some laundry (Kim’s bloody clothes), read up a bit more about related subjects, had a shower and went to be around 4.30am.

I slept fitfully.

The Day After

I woke up the next day with Liam around 1.30pm after sleeping on and off. Kim had sent me a list of stuff she needed on Whatsapp to bring to the hospital.

I collected all the stuff (well most of it, I forgot some because my mind was a mess) and went to the hospital.

I arrived around 2.30pm and went to the ward, I couldn’t go in though because of Liam – no under 12s allowed as it’s an infectious disease centre.

Fortunately the guard helped me take Kim’s stuff inside.

And then something good happened, Liam’s Paedatric Doctor showed up, and asked me what I was doing there and who was warded, I said Kim and he said why? So I explained the situation to him, he looked genuinely sad, asked a bunch of doctor-ish questions, confused me with his big words (He asked if Kim is ambulating) and said it sounds like Incompetent Cervix.

He went inside and tried to sort things out, which he did. He’s the head of NICU in the hospital, so he said Liam could wait in the NICU counselling room with the counsellor while I went and got Kim sorted out, got a wheelchair, paid and so on.

I was and still am very grateful for his help, he made a terrible situation a lot less stressful.

We had decided we would let the hospital deal with the babies bodies, so we had to make a police report for that, which the hospital staff very kindly helped with.

By this time, the feelings were starting to sink in, and break through the numbness.

I got a wheelchair, made the payments and collected Kim, we got Liam on the way back down and I took Kim to the car.

And then we went to eat Texas Chicken, for some reason that felt comforting, and it was good, hot fried chicken, sweet tea and butter biscuits. We both felt a lot better after that.

We got home around 5pm.

Kim was in quite a lot of pain from her uterus contracting and we were both exhausted and the emotions were starting to come.

Seeing our Children

Kim’s dad just got back from Thailand and came straight over, we were grateful for that as it meant we could go back to the hospital to settle the death certs without Liam (we DO NOT want to take a 2 year old to a mortuary).

We also decided together to see the babies for one last time and say goodbye, I also rationalised that it’s possible I would regret not seeing them in the future but it’s very unlikely I’d regret seeing them – so logically it makes sense to see them even though every fibre of my body screamed no.

I think it was just fear of seeing them dead, perfectly formed would just make it too real, and be too traumatic. Although rationally I knew it would help me have closure, help me heal faster and I had to pay them respect, they were my children, however short their lives.

We went after the traffic had died down, I fell asleep for a while with Liam while he was napping, the stress of preparing myself to see them…was really hard on me.

I couldn’t speak.

We drove to the hospital and located the mortuary around 9pm, I just totally broke down, I couldn’t cope with what was about to happen.

It made it real, final. My babies were never going to grow up, they were never going to feel my love for them, I would never find out who they could have been. It destroyed me.

By the time they prepared the babies and brought them out, I had gone numb again, whilst in the viewing room Kim went into the state I was just in.

We spent some time with them, told them we loved them, touched them (they were cold and slightly clammy) and very bruised. I took some pictures, Kim was racked with guilt that they hadn’t survived, and I think she somehow blames herself even though it’s not her fault at all.

She kept saying sorry over and over.

The girl was so beautiful, tall and elegant with more hair than Liam had when he was born – with perfectly formed eyebrows.

The boy was absolutely battered, he looked like he had finished a boxing match. His whole head was terribly bruised.

But they were both perfectly formed, with high noses and they looked a lot like Liam when we was born.

Kim signed all the paperwork for the death certificates and the release to allow the hospital to dipose of their bodies.

We decided not to have any ceremony.


I’m gonna run through the emotions, internal and external dialogue below in no particular order, because they just come in waves, sometimes one at a time, sometimes many at once, either way it’s very overwhelming.

They are all very intertwined and lead to each other.


This is obviously the predominant emotion, and in comes in waves, not even waves, tsunamis – it’s like being hit with a sadness freight train travelling at 200mp/h.

When it comes it’s completely debilitating.

It’s deep, it’s almost like it physically hurts in your heart, your soul, your spirit or whatever you want to call the deepest part of your own self. You’ve become attached to these little people, you have aspirations, dreams with them, fantasies of them playing with Liam, imagining what their faces look like, imagining the love you will have for them.

Then all of that is ripped away, it leaves a big hole.

It’s constant at a low ebb, apart from when I guess it gets too overwhelming and you get numb again, which happens. And sometimes, usually after being numb for a while it comes back really hard, fast and abruptly.

The sadness also leads into a lot of other things, when you are in that deep darkness, you start questioning, your questions lead to confusion, guilt, frustration, anger and more.

Honestly I feel this one is only in check and under control because of Liam, he’s such a bright little spark, so full of laughs and giggles and physical affection, it just makes it impossible to become too self pitying.

I still need to feed him, bathe him, care for him and his life goes on – he has no idea what just happened and honestly I think that’s really good for us. Because coping with this whilst also copying with a grieving child who has less developed emotions would be really, really tough (selfish thoughts again).

My first reaction was so deeply sad, I just didn’t even want to be alive any more.

But with Liam, that’s not an option.

I do suffer from depression sometimes, so I have to be very careful not to slip into a depressive state (another reason why I’m writing this), keeping active, the house is spotless..and I’ve been avoiding drinking as it’s a depressant.

I believe this sadness will get less and less as each day goes by, but never completely leave us. It will probably re-emerge at their birthdays or due dates.


I don’t think Kim feels this one much, but I do, I think deep inside me there’s still a lot of rage somewhere, and this brings it out. I don’t even know what I’m angry at, I just feel intense anger bordering on hate sometimes. I’ll be more specific about that below.

Angry at the world, angry at myself, at Kim, at the doctors, at random people on the road.

I just want to do violent things, hurt people, destroy things.

It’s totally irrational, and I don’t feel it much after day 1.

Even sometimes I’d feel pure anger at Liam, for being alive – which is ridiculous.


This was my default state at the hospital the night it happened. It felt weird, surreal, like a bad dream, I guess that’s what shock feels like.

I’ve never experienced it before.

It brings with it guilt as you wonder why you aren’t feeling sad, or angry or anything really.

After reading about it a bit, it seems normal and it’s when your emotions overwhelm your concious ability to keep up with them, which is basically some form of shock.

You shut down your ability to feel until you can catch up, when things happen too fast, and are too emotionally intense, you just can’t deal with it.

It’s probably the most bearable of all the feelings/emotions, but also the least useful when it comes to moving on/processing/grieving.

I think writing this post has put me in this state, as I don’t really feel anything right now – probably because my brain is using all it’s horsepower in recollection, ordering, typing and so on.


This is possibly the most horrible one and this also encompasses a whole bunch of “What ifs?”, self-doubt and some hate.

  • Could we have done more?
  • Should I have been stricter with Kim?
  • Why didn’t we put a Cervical cerclage and force the issue with the Doctors?
  • Should we have had more regular appointments at the hospital for a high risk pregnancy?
  • What did we do to deserve this?
  • How did we fail our son and daughter?
  • Did they die because of us?

And on an on. All these questions lead to more sadness, more hate, more anger..

I also feel horrible, that in some way, as soon as I knew Kim was really going into labour I hoped for them to die painlessly and quickly. Which sounds really inhuman said out loud, typed or even thought about consciously.

But it’s the truth. And it’s the thing that makes me feel most guilty. It’s also based on facts, stats and in a way is an extremely selfish and overly-pragmatic view. But it’s also my character.

The facts are, only 63% of 24 week old babies will survive and out of those 63% almost all will have some form of disability (84%). And with twins, the figures are even worse.

Birth at 24 Weeks of Gestation Source – PENUT Trial

No parents want their kids to just survive, you want them to live and thrive. And with children born this premature, they won’t have a good quality of life (they can be blind, or almost blind, have really bad breathing problems and have spastic muscles, low IQ etc) and most likely will die within the first few years.

You can judge me for this one, but trust me, I already feel way worse about it than you do.


This is probably the second most horrible, and totally irrational much like the anger which in a way manifests as hate.

I hate myself, I hate the doctors, in some part I hate Kim and her stupid cervix (please note I do not blame her at all in any way – this is just how I feel).

I hate that we didn’t do more, I hate that the doctors didn’t make us take more preventions (cerclage, progesterone shots etc).

Sometimes I just hate everyone, I hate people for having healthy kids, I hate Liam for surviving, I hate myself for being weak.

Thankfully this one passes pretty fast, and I know it’s totally irrational, so I just let it go as fast as possible. It’s now day 2 and I don’t really feel much anger or hate any more.

Just acceptance and sadness and sometimes numbness.

Don’t Be Insensitive

If you do choose to speak to us about this (which is not necessary, more below), please don’t be insensitive or inappropriate. People need to learn to speak with compassion to the broken hearted.

If you are a parent, you probably have some idea how this feels, but unless you’ve been through the same or a very similar experience, you have no idea how it actually feels. And even if you have been through it, don’t tell us you know how we feel, because you don’t. We all deal with things differently.

  • Don’t tell us we are lucky, we already have a child.
  • Don’t try and minimise our loss by offering platitudes like telling Kim she’s still young she can try again.
  • Don’t assume there will be another pregnancy.
  • Don’t think because they were so pre-mature it makes it somehow easier to deal with, it doesn’t.
  • Don’t try and ‘cheer us up’, grief is powerful and needs to be expressed.
  • Don’t fear making us cry, it’s part of the process.
  • Don’t be cheery and bright about it
  • Don’t be nervous and keep talking, silence is better

If you want to understand more read these:

Helping Someone After a Miscarriage
6 Things to Never Say to a Bereaved Parent

Don’t Feel Obligated to Care

Honestly, if you don’t really care I’m 100% fine with that. I’m not hugely empathetic so I understand. I’m writing this part as a form of emotional protection for us based on our characters, and it may sound harsh but I’m writing it in the most straight forward, honest, open manner I can without beating around the bush, being subtle or avoiding the subject.

You’re not obliged to console us, or even talk about this with us, I’d prefer silence over shallow or insincere condolences.

If you aren’t genuinely feeling something about this, that’s perfectly fine, don’t feel weird, and don’t make it awkward by feeling some social obligation to say something to me or Kim

Just don’t say anything, please.

The last thing I want is a stream of “Condolences” on Facebook that are completely meaningless. If you do that, I’ll know you probably didn’t even bother reading this far and that will make me sad.
Even if you do feel sad or upset by this, but don’t know what to say, that’s fine too and as above silence is best. The whole reason I’m writing this post is to avoid having to talk about this over and over, endlessly.

So yah, if you do need to say something to us, that’s fine too, but please read up first how to be compassionate, do’s and dont’s and be careful. Because we are really tender right now.


I feel like I feel much better after writing this, even though I may just be feeling numb from reliving it all.

Certain parts did bring a tear to my eye.

Kim has read this and is ok to publish and let the world know. And I do have to write/publish/do something so people won’t wonder why we disappeared and won’t wonder why we look so sad and why we will be out of contact with the world for a while. Also I do know a lot of people do care about us, have been following our pregnancy and are excited for us.

Honestly Thursday and Friday were the worst days of my life so far, I hope to never relive them and for anyone that’s been through a similar experience, I am so so so sorry.

No one should ever have to feel this.

I imagine at some point Kim might write things from her perspective, as it would be very different from mine as she did with Liam: I have popped and this is how it went down.

As for cause, it really does look like Incompetent Cervix as the labour was much shorter than last time and the babies are more premature, which are both strong indicators.

We will have to seriously consider our future options, right now I’m torn between never wanting to go through this again and being fine with 1 child, to wanting to have another go. I think I have 1 more fight left in me.

It’s too soon now though, so we’ll have to see.

If you read this far, thank you, it’s half a dissertation (over 4400 words) – and is hard reading. If you want to talk to me about it, with the above caveats, please go ahead.

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Singapore Trip – Village Hotel Changi & Village Hotel Katong

So in January 2016 I headed down to Singapore for Applehops Beer Bash, celebrating their 2nd anniversary.

Obviously being in Singapore for a few days, I needed somewhere to stay! For the first couple of days I stayed at Village Hotel Changi which is a beautiful peaceful retreat on the North East coast of Singapore (near the airport).

It’s a beautifully breezy area, great for cycling and you can even take a daytrip to Pulau Ubin. It’s a really good choice for Singaporeans looking for a staycation as well as they have activity packages a great buffet lunch and it’s well away from the hustle/bustle of the city.

There’s also a pretty nice food court (famous for nasi lemak) right across the road (Changi Village Hawker Centre).

Someone was excited to get to the hotel of course..

Village Hotel Changi

It was quite a drive to Singapore, as I followed Google maps and for some reason it took some weird arse way to a ferry terminal that I didn’t even know existed..that didn’t have a ferry until 8am the next morning (Tanjung Belungkor).

So yah, we were really glad to be there!

Village Hotel Changi

It’s a nice, bright spacious room with a big comfy bed, a writing desk, a small sofa/seating area, a tv a minifridge and a bathroom with both shower and bathtub (great for a baby).

Village Hotel Changi

The sitting area is especially useful for us, dealing with a rambuntious toddler who we need to sit down sometimes to drink his milk, eat some snacks etc. Overall a pretty child friendly hotel.

Service was really good too.

We had the buffet lunch at the hotel which is quite good value for money and is available every day with a broad variety of local and international delights. All the way from stuff like porridge with all the trimmings.

Village Hotel Changi

Which includes yau char gwai of course – one of Liam’s favourites!

Village Hotel Changi

To Sushi – one of our favourites!

They all have a good mix of other stuff, roast and grilled meats and seafood, pasta, salad and much more.

Village Hotel Changi

The absolute highlight for us at Changi Village was the pool, the main reason we went there, located on the 8th floor with a stunning view of the straits.

Village Hotel Changi

It was super breezy, fresh and totally relaxing – we spent hours up there. Even though it rained, we stayed in the pool anyway! Of course Liam absolutely loved it too, and there was a nice jacuzzi area too with a ledge for him to play on.

Village Hotel Changi

I was literally late for my event because I had too much fun hanging out in the pool haha, was sooo relaxing. Totally recommend it.

Village Hotel Changi

So overall I think Village Hotel Changi is a good spot for a getaway, especially to get out of the city, or as a quick stop-over near the airport. It may be a little far (around 30 mins drive) if you want to do a bunch of stuff in the city – but even then, the pool is kinda worth it!

It also has a nice, convenient spacious car-park which is included in the room price. Important to me as I was driving. Plenty of good food around within walking distance, shops, convenience stores and yes, there are Uber cars around there.

After that we moved to Village Hotel Katong, which is still on the East coast but much further in and nearer to the city.

This is an exceptionally beautiful hotel with a Peranakan influence, it feels rather swanky and is super cool as it’s basically on top of a small shopping Mall (which gives you access to a big grocery store, a few restaurants and hipster coffee).

Village Hotel Katong

The style is a really nice mix of modern slick aesthetics combined with Peranakan zest and details, it’s really, really nice.

You can see the details in the tiles which were placed around the room, like on the luggage stand and in the bathroom.

Village Hotel Katong

Really nice room to hang out in, watch TV, drink some craft beers, wonder downstairs for some Katong Laksa, grab some stuff from the grocery store under the hotel and just chill.

Village Hotel Katong

And yah, Liam found his favourite thing..the telephone haha. He loved the room too.

Village Hotel Katong

Definitely looking forwards to visiting there again!

Village Hotel Katong

Honsetly didn’t stay there long enough to really take it in, I’d love to stay there longer as it’s a nice area and a really beautiful hotel. It does have a small pool at the back, but we didn’t really have time to check it out.

Now I’m feeling like it’s time for another trip to Singapore! I need to pick-up some stuff anyway, check out the newly opened Mikkeller Singapore and well, have a holiday! Probably when we get back from Europe we’ll head back over in June/July.

See yah soon Singapore!

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Singapore Craft Beer: Druggists @ Kallang

Druggists is another legend of the Singapore Craft Beer scene, and one which focuses entirely on draught (no bottles at all). Which is not surprising as it’s from the same owner of The Great Beer Experiment in PasarBella, so they’ve separated out into bottles and draught.

Serving kickass craft beers all year round, with food that pairs beautifully with the brews. There’s nothing more perfect than walking into a restaurant with 23 taps serving kick-ass beers from cult breweries across the world. That’s what we thought and so Druggists will be tapping Mikkeller, TO-OL, Amager, DeStruise, DeMolen, Rooie Dop, Magic Rock, Thornbridge, Prairie Artisan, Birra Del Borgo all year round. Wait, there’s food too- hearty, delicious and curated to pair with these kick-ass beers. Momma would approve.

It’s situated in the Kallang area, or some people might say Jalan Besar, it’s about 4 blocks from the Lavender MRT station – so it’s probably a good idea to Uber there ;).

So, let’s talk about Druggists – they have a very impressive 23 taps which are pretty much always all in use. This gives you a pretty staggering range of beer and almost guarantees something for every palate, all the way from lager/pils up to barrel aged imperial stouts and some pretty nice sours.

For the beer geeks: If you want to order a big stout, order it a few glasses earlier and let it warm up as it’s served way too cold. Also note from my experience, big beers are usually best from the bottle (for some reason?).

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

It’s a pretty cool location, very trendy hipster-ish – repurposing a historic building and keeping the original facade and floor tiles intact give it a distinct feel. Less cookie cutter than the average modern, overly sculpted bar. Inspired by Chye Seng Huat maybe?

Druggists is situations in you guessed it, the old Chinese Druggists Association building – which was basically the pharmacists’ association back in the day.

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

It has a pretty interesting feel to it, not really like a bar, rather like you’re drinking excellent beer somewhere you aren’t supposed to – which is nice haha. It has the original facade, floor and keeps a very minimal almost kopitiam style inside with marble tables and classic chairs.

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

It has the original signboard (of something?) over the door on the inside too, reminiscent of those sifus and their medicine halls in the old kung-fu movies about Wong Fei Hung.

It’s not a huge place, nor is it cramped – there’s a lounge space and quite a bit of outdoor seating too for smokers – but beware it is a popular place and does get busy (especially at weekends).

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

Also note, popular kegs can finish really fast – so get there early if there’s something you really want to try.

It has a great range of beers, well served, but slightly on the pricey side. But then the location is very special and you always pay something for that. It’s definitely worth checking out.

When we were there we had:

– Shiga Kogen Sono 10 (Anniversary IPA)
– Thornbridge/Sierra Nevada Twin Peaks
– To Øl Black Ball
– Prairie Bomb! (Very disappointing on draught)
– Buxton Battle Horse

Yah I wonder where the glasses are from?

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

And why does The Great Beer Experiment have it’s own nice glasses, but we go there we have to drink from plastic cups? Haha, must be a Singapore thing – Thirsty is down with the plastic cups too.

Facebook: Druggists
Instagram: @druggists_sg
Address: 119 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207547
Phone: +65 6341 5967
Opening Hours: Tues-Sun: 16:00-00:00
Ratebeer location: Druggists | Singapore – RateBeer

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Continue Reading · No Comments · Alcoholic Frolic, Craft Beer

eForex – Mobile Currency Exchange in Malaysia

So recently I’ve tried out this new app from Merchantrade (the largest money exchange network in Malaysia) called eForex enables mobile currency exchange in Malaysia. The app allows you check live rates and book at that rate from the app itself, you can then pick up the money at one of their branches around KL.

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia


The app is designed to make it easier for people who travel frequently for business or leisure to buy currency on the go and pick it up at their convenience, I think it would be especially useful if you needed more than 1 currency type for a trip and wanted to pick it up.

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Also if you needed something that’s often out of stock at the regular money changer (like JPY) you can book it using the app.

The main features are:

  • Over 20 preferred currencies to choose from
  • Live currency exchange rates
  • Set favourite currencies
  • Rate alerts notifications
  • Pick up point selector
  • Currency calculator
  • Secure online payments (FPX and MEPS)
  • Browse transaction history
  • Travel reminder

The alert features, booking money etc are only available after signing up for the app.

eForex App Review

The Good

Overall the app can make getting foreign currency arranged convenient and take the stress out of it (Midvalley parking?). Also you don’t have to worry about driving somewhere and them not having the currency you want.

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Main positive points for me would be:

  • It’s very convenient to check the current exchange rates even if you aren’t buying currency right now.
  • The app makes getting foreign currency really convenient, especially if the pick-up location is near you or your office and you get get there easily.
  • Rate alert feature is great if you are waiting for a certain currency to drop, or you want to buy it before it gets too expensive.
  • You can set a travel reminder in the app so you can get your currency in time.

The Ok

The rates provided are ok, better than the bank, but the ‘famous’ money-changers in malls are slightly better. I got a marginally better rate at my nearest Tesco as I was shopping there anyway and I didn’t realise the app needed a 3-day window between booking and collection (I wanted to collect the same day or the next day).

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Some kind of faster collection as a premium service would be better I think, and delivery would be great too.

The app is quite quick to load and responsive to use, and intuitive in most part.


eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

There are a few minor aspects outside of the core functionality that I’d like to see improved in the app, mainly:

  • Increase the duration in between each session expiry to minimize constant re-login. A sign-up function via Facebook or Google Account would be a cool add-on.
  • Branch search could show adjacent areas ordered by distance from my current location – so when I searched for where I live, it will show the nearest results.
  • A buy/order feature from the favourites screen would be an added advantage.
  • When you go to book currencies, your favourite currencies should be at the top of the list.

It’d also be great if the sign-up was a lot easier, like you only need to enter passport number etc if you want to book currency – then it saves it. Sign-up with Facebook/Google for a faster on-ramp just to use the rate alert features.

I think this would get more people using the app as registered users.


Overall it’s a decent app, with some minor functionality and UX improvements it could be very useful. If you want to check exchange rates often it’s worth a look and they offer decent rates if one of the branches is convenient for you check it out.

The app is available here:

eForex Android
eForex Apple

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