A snack option for eczema / allergy sufferers – Zing Bar

In this post, I would like to share with readers a snack that I have been taking from time to time for the last six months after my recovery of chronic eczema condition.

The snack is called “Zing Bar” and it is essentially a “nutrition” bar that is made of organic certified ingredients with a good balance of protein, fibre and carbs.  There are a number of flavours, some are gluten-free, some are dairy-free, none have preservatives and all are made with 100% natural ingredients.  I have tried all the flavours, I think they taste good (so does my 5 year old son) and I think they are a good alternative to the typical over-the-counter savoury snack (chips/biscuits) or sugar-loaded snack (chocolate bars).

Nowadays, I often have a zing bar during a workout to replenish on my carbs and protein requirement and sometimes to satisfy my chocolate / sweet tooth craving.

Below is a screenshot of the available flavours.

Overview of Zing Bars

Overview of Zing Bars

For more information, you can visit their website:  http://www.zingbars.com

In the website, you will see that the Zing Bar is an American-based product and retails for about HK$20 per bar in the USA.  In some places, you can even get it by the box of 12 for about HK$12 per bar, e.g. Amazon.com.

In Hong Kong, I buy them from ThreeSixty at Elements Mall in Kowloon.  They go for HK$29 per bar (price as of Apr 2013) and if you buy 12, you get 2 free and so the price averages to HK$24 per bar if you buy 12.  Pricewise, it isn’t cheap and you probably thinking I can get 4 equivalent chocolate bars in a convenience store for that kind of money, but I think it is an good healthy alternative, especially if you want gluten-free or dairy-free products.

Additional note (as of May 2013):  If you purchase them bulk from ThreeSixty in Elements Mall, you can get HK$100 off by spending HK$1,000 in one go and join their wellness club for the first purchase.  Subsequently, you can get another HK$100 off for every HK$2,000 spent by accumulating 20 points on the wellness card (HK$50 per point).  This would take it to HK$22 per bar if you are willing to buy 48 bars in one go.  

To date, I haven’t seen the product being sold anywhere else in Hong Kong.  If any readers spot it in Hong Kong and for a cheaper price, do let me know and I will check it out and update this post.  Thank you in advance.

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Greendotdot 點點綠 – Organic chainstore in Hong Kong

In this post, I would like to introduce a shop called “Greendotdot” to readers.  Greendotdot is a health and organic chain store with 18 stores located in Hong Kong.

Personally, I have not done much shopping in Greendotdot although I have done some window shopping and they seem to have a bit of everything.  Hence, I think it would be a useful reference for many people in Hong Kong, especially if you are finding it difficult to source organic / healthy food in your vicinity.  For more details of the locations of their stores, click here.

Greendotdot stock a range of goods including:

  • organic grain
  • organic honey, oil and seasoning
  • frozen organic meat
  • organic noodles, drinks and snacks

They have an online website with online shopping facilities, so users can also go and check out their products, pricing and shop online.  Their website is http://www.greendotdot.com/main.php.

I hope you find this post useful.

Local organic chicken in Hong Kong

In one of my prior articles, I mentioned switching to organic food to lead a more healthy lifestyle.  I also gave more information on the availability of local organic pork – Wah Kee pork in my prior article.  In this article, I will cover off the availability of local organic chicken in Hong Kong.

Ka Mei chicken is not only available at organic BB in Shatin but also at over 30 different sales point dotted throughout Hong Kong.  For more information, please click here (NB: in chinese).

As for more information on Ka Mei chicken, readers can visit their website by clicking here (currently in chinese only).  On purchasing Ka Mei chicken, my own experience is price can vary widely at different sales point.  I have seen a Ka Mei chicken going for HK$400+ at ThreeSixty (Kowloon ICC), HK$200+ at Organic BB (Shatin) and ~HK$150 at Sheung Shui market.  Hence, it is probably most economical to purchase it from the local wet market where I assume the lower cost of rent is keeping the price competitive.  However, readers do also need to be careful they are purchasing the chicken with their feet tagged. There have been newspaper stories of authorized sales point selling off non-organic chicken as Ka Mei chicken.  Somehow, the customer could taste the difference, made a complain to the farm, had leftover samples sent to a lab for testing to catch out the mischief.

Local organic pork in Hong Kong (Updated March 2013)

  1. In one of my prior articles, I mentioned switching to organic food to lead a more healthy lifestyle.  This included purchasing local organic pork (Wah Kee Pork) from Organic BB.  Since then, it has come to my attention that Wah Kee farm maintains an online blog in chinese.  To visit the blog, click here.

As a quick summary in english, wah kee farm is a local farm in yuen long with over 50 years of history.  In 1996, the 2nd generation of wah kee’s farmers started to focus on raising pigs/hogs and began to introduce modern hygiene management practices as well as UK’s Bath Berkshire hog raising best practices to run the business.  Wah Kee is now a iso 9001 certified farm.

For information of authorized sales points to purchase wah kee’s pork, click here. (NB:  in chinese).  Below is a translation of the sales points in English for those who cannot read Chinese.

New Territories

  1. Yuen Long, Liu Lok Square, Yuen Long Government & Tai Kiu Market, Ground Floor, Shop M29/30
  2. Tai Po, Heung Sze Wui Street, Tai Po Complex, Ground Floor, Shop M37/38
  3. Tai Po, Tai Po Tai Wo Road, Tai Po Mega Mall, Yata Supermarket
  4. Fo Tan, 1 Tsun King Road, Ascot Plaza, Shop G31 – Organic B (Telephone is +852 2104 1000)
  5. Shatin, Pak Hong Ting Street, New Town Plaza, Yata Supermarket
  6. Shatin, CityOne, Ngan Shing Commercial Centre, Shop 108 – Organic B (Telephone is +852 2683 1333)
  7. Tseung Kwan O, Po Lam, MetroCity Plaza Phase 3, 1st Floor, Shop 151 – Organic B

Kowloon

  1. Hung Hom, 11 Ma Tau Wai Road, Hung Hom Municipal Services Building, Hung Hum Market, 1st Floor, M13
  2. Cheung Sha Wan, No.863 Lai Chi Kok Road, Banyan Mall, 1/F, Shop 14 – Organic B (Telephone is +852 2802 3283)

Hong Kong Island

  1. Sai Wan Ho, 111 Shau Kei Wan Road, Sai Wan Ho Market, Ground Floor, Shop M12 

Remark:  Please click here to goto the prior post for more information on Organic B.

Eczema & washing lotions

In the past, I would use mild chemical based washing lotions to deal with my eczema ( the most used being seba-med). However, I recently came across an organic product made purely of natural ingredients that I could understand. This product is called Aquarius mineral body wash. It is from the US and certified organic and comes in different scent but I use the peppermint scent. The product is made of the following ingredients: mineral salt, olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil and essential oils.

One word of caution, if you have cuts / wounds, using this product will sting because, I think, of the salt content reacting to the wounds. Otherwise, I find that this is a product that I can trust. You can get this product at Green at heart (please refer to other blog article).

Below is a picture of the body wash.

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Frozen meat store in Luen Wo Hui Fanling 曾記環球凍肉

I had been searching for a while to find a place that sells grass-fed organic beef in Hong Kong. Yes, it is probably available in higher-end supermarkets like ThreeSixty, Olivers or CitySuper, chilled and air flown from overseas but it would cost at least HK$400 to 500 for a small piece in those places which is not something I can afford on a everyday “grocery shopping” basis. Luckily, I came across a frozen meat store in Luen Wo Hui Market while doing some BBQ shopping. In the market, there is a frozen meat store called “Tsang Kee” that stores some higher end frozen meat including frozen grass-fed organic steak from Australia at ~HK$100 a piece. Choice of sirloin and rib-eye is available. Additionally, organic pork loin and pork chops is available from the US. Below is the Chinese address to the market and facebook page of Luen Wo market:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/聯和墟街市/127414080664968

曾記環球凍肉 粉嶺聯和墟新街市1樓M9號舖 2676 0737

Live in Green Company 活在綠色

Live in Green is a local company that sells special allergy bedding products from the UK. Their website is

www.live-in-green.com

Their bedding products is made of pure cotton, comfortable to the touch and durable. I have purchased 2 sets of bedding due to my allergy to dust mites and having been using the bed sets for over a year washing every them other day in >60C temp water. They are still in good condition and has helped me with my allergy to dust mites.

I also happen to have a water-based rainbow vacuum cleaner and had a chance to test the effectiveness of the bed sheets by vacuuming 2 beds to compare the impact of having these bed sheet and without them. There were still some dust with the allergy bed sheets but it was minimal compared to the bed with normal bedsheets, so I think they are purchase an investment if you are allergic to dust mites.

有機仔仔 Organic BB

Organic BB is a small shop based in Shatin in the New Territories. This shop was recommended to my wife when she was shopping at an organic product counter and she was discussing my condition with the sales lady. We now do a weekly shopping routine at organic BB where my wife would place an order and I would pick it up after work on Tuesday. Parking is quite convenient and I always park outside on the pavement road near the shop.

More recently, they have set up a online ordering system with free delivery for orders over HK$400. Other fellow HK’ers may want to check it out. Below is their website link, Facebook link and Blog link:

www.organicb.com.hk
Facebook page
Yahoo Blog

Personally, my family would buy the following groceries:
1. Local organic vegetables
2. Local organic ka mei chicken
3. Local yuen long monkshood fish
4. Local wah kee bath premium pig meat
5. Dried banana snacks

I also notice the following produce is available that is interesting:
1. Dried seaweed
2. Local organic honey
3. Braggs apple cider vinegar
4. Rocksalt (aka himalaya salt)
5. Local fresh milk
6. Limited local seasonal fruit produce

Anyway, healthgoers should check it out themselves and make their own judgement of the shop.