Challenge Accepted : Quaker Smart Heart Challenge

"Health is Wealth"

This saying is so true as I hear stories of family friends, relatives or friends of friends falling sick. Be it one who's in their senior years or another one who's in his 20s, falling sick can really take a toll not only on one's body but on his financial being, his family's well-being and more. I come from a family with very strong genes of cardio-vascular problems like stroke and hypertension. From my Amah and my Angkong, both of whom have experienced having a stroke or dealing with super high blood pressure for most parts of their lives down to my mom and her siblings who, despite trying so hard to keep a healthy lifestyle, also ended up stroke patients themselves.

When I gave birth to my twins, my blood pressure shot up to 200/120 which wasn't a good sign at all. Prior to that, I was tested to have gestational hypertension so I was on meds round the clock which got me so worried if this will affect my babies in the long run. I wasn't even able to see my twins from the time I was wheeled out of the operating room up until the 3rd day because they were busy regulating my bp. I was put on magnesium drip to help fight the chances of me getting a seizure and boy, was it so awful! The magnesium drip made me saw nauseous that I would end up throwing up whenever they'd try to wheel me even for a super short distance. I felt so weak and warm all over. I later found out that despite how horrible it was, that magnesium drip saved my life. Without it, most severe pre-eclampsia patients can get seizures which could lead to bigger damages or even death.

I diligently visited my cardiologist after giving birth and my blood pressure normalized a month post-partum. I was told that pregnant women who had gestational hypertension have very high chances of having chronic hypertension later on in life. This is something I'm not very surprised to hear but of course, I still do hope that I'd be spared someday. After all, I really want to stay healthy and to live long enough to see my twins grow up.

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I recently joined the launch of Quaker's Smart Heart Challenge where we learned how eating at least 2 scoops of oats a day can help lower cholesterol level. Scientific studies have shown that beta-glucan which is found in oats, is capable of lowering the cholesterol level in the blood which in particular is the LDL-cholesterol. I've been guilty of having high LDL cholesterol which is the bad cholesterol and less of the HDL cholesterol which is the good kind found in avocado and salmon among many others. You see, the LDL cholesterol is the kind that blocks your arteries and causes stroke. So in many cases, strokes can be caused by the cholesterol in your body and you may not even know that you're bound to have one because not even blood pressure can help predict this.

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I had my blood chem tested and surprise surprise, my cholesterol was pretty high thus making me very eligible to be part of this challenge. Normally, I'd shy away from these type of challenge but I figured that it's all for having a better healthy lifestyle. I got my package of Quaker Instant Oats and while I'm used to taking rolled oats, I like how easy it is to prepare this. All I had to do was to put two scoops of oats on a large bowl an fill it up with hot water. Once "cooked", I would add in some choco powder and chia seeds to make it extra yummy. On days when I don't have the time to have my oatmeal for breakfast, I'd have it for lunch and dinner. Similar to how I'd eat my congee, I would have my oats with whatever meat and veggie dish that we have that day. So far, I'd had my oatmeal with grilled teriyaki chicken, steamed fish, stir-fried green beans and it went very well together.

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2 scoops of oatmeal is actually very filling so you don't have to worry about feeling hungry quickly. also, it's easy to prepare and it's very affordable too. I'm half-way through my Quaker Smart Heart Challenge and I pray that come Day 30, I'd be greeted with a much better cholesterol result as compared to the one that I got before Day 1. Wish me luck!

By the way, are you curious about the challenge and how YOU can join too?

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Simply buy a bag of Quaker Instant Oats and scan the QR code found in the bag. This will lead you to the automated Facebook Messenger chat board where you'd be asked to submit your personal details. After which, you'll get a coupon to get a free blood test at selected Hi-Precision Diagnostic Center branch. Wait for the result to come in and if you have beyond normal cholesterol level, then you're qualified to be part of the challenge. All participants will receive 3 bags of Quaker Instant Oats, a plastic dispenser and a scoop. You'll also receive daily updates like recipes and motivational messages to keep you going.

After 30 days, you'll once again receive a coupon to take another blood test and the person with the biggest improvement wins the challenge. Here are the prizes at stake:
- Smart watch with 1 year supply of Quaker products (for the top 3 winnes)
- Fitbit bands with 6 months supply of Quaker products (for the next 10 winners)

Interested to join the challenge? Click here for more info: Quaker Smart Heart Challenge

Join me in the challenge and let's say hello to a healthier, tomorrow! ♥

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