by Don Miguel Ruiz

from The Four Agreements.


Humans punish themselves endlessly for not being what they believe they should be. They become very self-abusive, and they use other people to abuse themselves as well.

But nobody abuses us more than we abuse ourselves, and it is the Judge, the Victim, and the belief system that make us do this. True we find people who say their husband or wife, or mother or father, abused them, but you know that we abuse ourselves much more than that. The way we judge ourselves is the worst judge that ever existed. If we make a mistake in front of people, we try to deny the mistake and cover it up. But as soon as we are alone, the Judge becomes so strong, the guilt is so strong, and we feel so stupid, or so bad, or so unworthy.

In your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you will tolerate from someone else. If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in the relationship and tolerate it endlessly.

If you abuse yourself very badly, you can even tolerate someone who beats you up, humiliates you, and treats you like dirt. Why? Because in your belief system you say, “I deserve it. This person is doing a favor by being with me. I’m not worthy of love and respect. I’m not good enough.”

We have the need to be accepted and to be loved by others, but we cannot accept and love ourselves. The more self-love we have, the less we will experience self-abuse. Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal. Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves; it is why we don’t accept ourselves the way we are, and why we don’t accept others the way they are.


What would you ask for?

If everything you ever had were taken away from you; your money, your career, your house, and your family, and the guarantee of their return is indefinite—it can be soon, a while, or never, and God had offered to create one thing to keep you company—if it were money you wanted, he will give you the money of the world; if it were a house, he will give you a mansion, if it were career, he will give you a dream job, if it were an animal, he will give you one animal of your chosen species and breed, if it were a person, he will give you a human being of your chosen gender, life-stage, and relationship; from a child, to a friend, to a soul-mate.

What would you ask for?

And.. it’s on. Hello, Jakarta!

“You’ve got the place, I’ve got the food. Why don’t we do something?” That’s what I proposed to Justina, the founder of Poste, 10 days ago. This was after I had fed her the lasagne off the menu to taste and pitched the event off with so much confidence.

Today? After a span of 8-hour continuous-nerve-eating of 3 white bread slices (UNBELIEVABLE), some Godiva & See’s Candies chocolates (OUTRAGEOUS), watermelon, palm fruit, and many more other edibles later, I realised.. I had never, EVER, worked behind a kitchen that feeds the mass before.. And I’ll be bringing myself to feed 80-100+ people (with anticipations, expectations, and judgements) in about 5 days. What on earth was I thinking?

“Hey.. Uh.. Should I be nervous? Will it be crazy? In the kitchen?” (sick face icon)

waiting. waiting.

“I’ll be there.”

what does that mean?


but.. ‘she’ll be there to help you.’


“So far, I’m seeing somebody who is a natural.” J reassured.

oh pffsshh.. I’m not (blush of the century).

I am?

I am.




Right. Enough of self-inflicted conversations. I need to head over to Poste now to test 2 beverages we decided to pop in the last minute: Iced Orange Earl Grey Tea & LeLi Squash.

And.. Marie Claire just called. They may want to do a August spread on raw food. I meet them tomorrow.

Too much.

Adora Svitak

She blew me away.

Tiramisu for Cancer

I pooled a list of names of potential tasters a few days before I made the tiramisu. I had a candidate whom I thought would be an easy target in being turned into a raw food addict. then I remembered a promise I made to myself last week. I had to summon courage in seeing my grandfather, a dying cancer patient, by the end of this week.

Since late 2009, he had been in and out of the hospital for numerous organ failures. Grandpa was fed pills, after pills, after pills of medicines that I deemed pointless. They made him no better and only weaker by the day. What angered me even more was the fact that the family had fear played against them to keep hospitalised patients where they are.

“You can take him home, but there are these risks…” Of course. The fearful them listened to avoiding those risks.

He couldn’t eat solid foods during the time and was fed milk. MILK. According to them, milk was a necessary feed for the nutritional values it contained. I’m not going to argue over milk nutrition, but the milk also contained lactose Grandpa couldn’t digest, which, like any lactose intolerant sufferers would react with an upset stomach, it gave him an upset stomach; hardly mobile enough to bring himself to the bathroom, he soiled the bed. I cannot imagine the state of revulsion he had to go through against his own self.

By that time, I tried to reason with my anger by trying to educate my aunts and uncles in giving natural healing a shot, and take him out of the hospital environment. His condition was probably too late for any miracle curing, but the least we could do for him was maximise his level of comfort. They nodded, seemingly wanting to believe; but who am I to them standing against educated doctors, designed drugs, and life-sustaining machines? Just a 23-year old girl hardly qualified enough to know anything about dying. I knew that all too well. So I had to take matters into my own hands if I wanted to help. I instructed my mom to buy some green coconuts to feed him coconut water the next day. I wasn’t there to supervise the feeding for I had work, but Mom reported back and said we weren’t allowed to feed him such food. Grandpa was again, fed milk. At lowered dosage.

That was it. The time when I had sworn and wished to every God of this universe and other galaxies for the worst disasters to befall that very hospital, alongside with its doctors and nurses. Burn it to the ground, whatever. I haven’t stepped in or made any more efforts in Grandpa visits since. Frustration, too much of it. I had a voice, and no one was open-minded enough to hear it. So I stopped fighting for the lost battle. This was early February. Grandpa had been hospitalised a number of times again since, and I still refused to see him. I may have appeared like the inconsiderate granddaughter to everyone, but I couldn’t care less. No one would understand. Not in that room.

Time passed, and time did patch up my resentments. I made the promise last week to see him by this week. There was just one problem: I’m not very good of a conversationalist with the elderly in my family; our perceptions of the world are on totally different pages. Worse. Try different books. And of different languages. And to stare Death right in the eye with nothing to say from my end is unimaginable. So there, yesterday, I stared at the tiramisu I just freshly chilled and decided to bring it to Grandpa. “Sorry, Candidate A. Another believer would’ve been nice for my achievement. But this will save my conversation dry spell. I’ll have a story to tell.”

I went. I found him lying in bed with no strength to be able to sit himself up. Cancer has spread to his spine. He put a strong smile and repeatedly told me that he is well, and that he’s 80% healed. He doesn’t know it’s cancer eating his life. Nor does Grandma. Their children kept the knowledge away from them. Decided it is best for he would have lost his life spirit a long time ago.

I told him the great story behind my tiramisu; that unlike other cakes, he can eat this one like a meal. For breakfast, lunch, or dinner because it’s made up of just good stuff. Not even refined sugars.

Grandpa and Grandma were both impressed and wore the biggest smiles I haven’t seen in months.

Raw Tiramisu: Coconut / Cashews / Dates in disguise.

This is your most highly-prized recipe you’ve been saving for your book. Do you know what you’re doing?

Not sure myself. But, 1) Book is a long way, 2) People have been bugging me about it, 3) This might infuse a little faith to raw in people. Like a bait. Or teaser. And 4) I guess it’s open source age.

Lets hope so.


Nothing beats the hedonic experience of cream fats and refined sugars in non-raw desserts. Although I’d be eating towards ecstasy with regular desserts, I’d also find myself struggling in finding the control switch to stop. The experience usually ends with regret and self-blame for weakness. For some reason I can’t quite explain, raw fats and sugars differ in giving their sense of satiation or fullness. And still so delicious.

TIP: If you cannot source certain raw ingredients such as honey and cacao, don’t let that hold you back. Use regular honey and roasted cacao powder.

Cashew Milk
1 cup cashews, soaked 1-2 hours
3 cups water
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender on high until you reach smooth milky mixture.

Use the remaining of this milk as your raw milk substitute. Drink on its own, use with cereals, or blend into fruit shakes.

Coffee Cake Layer
1/2 cup dates (preferably Medjool dates), soaked in 1/2 cup water until soft.
1 cup cashews, soaked 1-2 hours
3 tablespoon rum
2 1/2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1/2 tablespoon raw honey
1 1/2 teaspoons coffee extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

In a food processor, mix all ingredients until well incorporated and smooth.

Cream Layer
1 cup cashew milk
1/2 young coconut meat
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon soy lecithin, optional
1 teaspoon raw honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
Tip: You may substitute coffee extract with one serving of espresso or 1 tablespoon of coffee liquor. If sweet coffee liquor is used, omit raw honey.

Blend all ingredients in a blender on high until smooth.

*Soy Lecithin is a substance that acts as an emulsifying agent.  It prevents fat and water components from separating. Not a must, however. You can omit.


1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder

In a small casserole dish or pie pan, form a coffee cake layer (about 1cm in thickness) into  bottom of pan; then pour a layer of cream (about 0.5cm in thickness) over coffee cake and  chill in freezer until firm.
Repeat layering and refrigerate until firm.
Through a sieve, sift through raw cacao powder to dust over top layer of cream. Refrigerate until serving.

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Language. Iceberg Heads & Chinese Restaurants.

we speak different.

What triggers this? A rejection
Ooh, snap! What did you do? I was thinking of a series of things that lead to this idea I see can be so big someone could pull off. Too excited, too quick I dropped it on his plate. Didn’t mean for the sauce to splatter all over him.
You never had to learn this before? I have. But I just realized this isn’t standard Hindi I knew, this is Sanskrit. More complex, more protected. You try to speak it without learning its tradition, you get punished.
Sounds like you found an iceberg. Your ship got rocked! Yes.
Whose iceberg did you crack last? My own.

New iceberg. Uh huh.

I like that. Yea, me too.

I know you do. Shut up.


“What is design?” We would get asked on the first day of product design class. The conclusion is always this: that design is all around us. In things we read, information, in things we touch, objects, and in things we need to appreciate through non-tangible senses such as music, art, and food. Even as humans. We design ourselves. We make the choices we make, making choices is design. We choose the clothes we wear, we choose our friends, we choose the place we live in, every choice we make, is a process of design. We design ourselves as well as our own surroundings. That said, humans are individual pieces of design work. But Design is a designer’s word. Not a people’s word. I had to rephrase. Design is a language. If Design is a language, then every single human being has its own personal language.


Some languages are easier to learn than others. Spanish is relatively easy in comparison to Chinese. You can even tell from their restaurant environments. Try going into a Chinese restaurant. Unless drunk, and visited past 3am, you will notice at how unwillingly inconvenienced (generally speaking) its staffs are. You get seated quick, demanded to order pretty quick, eat even quicker, so they can kick you out for the next waiting customer (if busy. usually when cheap, it’s busy). But, you do want to eat there. So you have to harden up and live with it. You try to protest, you will start an argument, you still insist, you will get kicked out. Getting blacklisted is possible.

Then, when you give the restaurant more frequent visits and get familiarised with the staff (not pushing), only then cold greetings can turn into small smiles, then into small chats, then you start to know their spouses and childrens’ names by heart, the next thing you know? The Chinese are not as nasty as you thought they’d be, and he is serving you beer, right now, inside a teapot, past the legal serving hour. I mean.. You’d still be able to bribe any Chinese into breaking the law as long as you have extra cash. But here, he’s giving you that beer for free, past the legal serving hour. Because he likes you.

Not any more different than people.

*I am Chinese. I reserve all rights to talk about my own people in any way I want.