Notes: Recovery

www.It was all started in 2009 when a doctor told me that I would only have another 10 years to live if my liver problem was being treated. He did not give me any choice because he saw me as a poor student and the treatment was expensive. I was only 21 years old university student back then. So he only gave me some dodgy vitamin. I was afraid & terrified.

What would I have achieved by the age of 31 y.o? Would I be a successful woman?” I was terrified. I was in a relationship that time, I told him & gave choices either to stay or to leave. He stood by me, so he said. He did, he still is. He then found one of best doctor in Southeast Asia.

We met her in SG. After test & consultation, she told me that everything would be okay as long as it is treated properly. I was not really convinced but we went ahead with the treatment. It was a strong drug. After 2 years, it showed a significant improvement and the doctor stopped the treatment. I was very happy. I thought the first doctor was full of b.s.

Yet, I was still afraid that I might die at the age of 31. So I worked so hard to achieve everything that I wanted in life. “I only had 10 years, got no time to waste.” That’s what I said to myself. Jakarta’s life was not that easy & it made life circumstances harder. This led me into #depressionand #anxiety.

I must say that time I often felt that I was worthless, no point of living this life and I always kept distance from anyone. I became an unpleasant person to be around with and I built Great Wall from my friends and family. I would not talk to anyone unless I wanted to. It came to the point where I tried to kill myself and landed in hospital several times. Pills, knife and car accident. I was out of my head. And yet, I was still alive.

Nobody told me that I needed a help but I thought that I needed professional help. So I looked around and found one. Unfortunately, some physicists that I saw were being judgmental. It didn’t work. Yet, they prescribed me with anti-depression. I become dependent. From 0.125 mg to 2.5 mg. Higher & higher. The 2.5mg didn’t work anymore.

Out of the unknown, these anti depressant pills were bad for my liver. My problem returned & worse. It got me more depressed. I then started believing what the first doctor said that I am indeed going to die by the age of 31 y.o I was lost & didn’t know what to do. And one day, a friend took me to #running track to cope with my depression for the very first time & it was hard

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Notes: Good People, Good Heart

www.catatanfani.comSometimes I wonder, where are the good people going? Sometimes, I feel that there are not many good genuinely kind people around. If some are being  too kind, I often think that there must be motivation behind that. Or if some are being too friendly, sometimes I think that they would just blast me in the back. But then, I guess I am wrong. I guess I am too blind to see the fact that actually there are so many genuinely good people around me.

So today, I went to Coldstone, an ice cream shop in Gulshan 1. I went there, not to have ice cream but to have a cup of cappuccino and a piece of brownie. I love their coffee and I love their brownies because it’s not too sweet and very moist. It’s just finger-licking good and it seems that I am addicted to it. “Oh nooo…..! Is it gonna be another coffee cake disaster again?

Anyway, as am in love with their brownies, I somehow become their regular customer for coffee and brownies, not their ice cream. Even one of the waiters started noticing me and always remembering my order. I vividly remember when I ordered coffee and brownies without ice cream for the very first time, he raised his eyes brows and asked “Only brownies?” and I said “Yes, only brownie!

It came across to me that somehow he  found it strange because many of them came to Coldstone to have ice cream but I only ordered coffee. So he tried to assure himself that what he heard was correct and asked me similar question every time I went there. “Ma’am, you don’t want ice cream?” and I answered “No. I just want coffee and brownies please. I love your brownies because it’s not so sweet and very moist,

As I finished having my coffee, I asked for bill and this waiters somehow surprised me by giving me four pieces of free brownies. “Ma’am, this is for you, from me.” He said politely with friendly sweet smile. I was somehow moved by his act of kindness.

I must say that this is not the first that I encountered with this kind of circumstance. Yesterday for instance, my personal trainer gave me a big surprise, one unit of bicycle. I know some people might find it strange but it doesn’t matter to me. Or last year for instance, my nanny gave me a set of clothes for baby A when he was born. It was a set of nice clothes. Or, the day when my driver brought me green coconut or fruit or vegetable from his villages. Or, my Indonesian friends who invited me to have some homemade mouthwatering Indonesian food in the last minute. Or, the day, one of wise Indonesian lady dropped me a package of vegetable.

These occasions got me thinking and reflecting that some of these people are just ordinary people. Some of these people might not earn a fortune. Yet, they always try to give the best to their boss or friends by spending large amount of money to give the best present to their boss as a form of gratitude or the best gift to their friends as an act of kindness.

Although I must say that some of us sometimes might think “Oh, they want more money that’s why they give us this kind of gift,” or “Oh, it’s just a way for them to show their gratitude for giving them job and treating them well as they know that some of their peers are not as lucky as they are. So they are just genuinely being kind,” or they are just simple people with good heart, expect nothing in return. Right?

Meanwhile, we, the upper middle class or the educated people, often time count how much money we want to spend on gift to a family or friend, which is also not bad as we must always be aware with our cash flow. Or, some even have to brag how much money they have spent on a gift to their friend and complained how cheap and worthless gift they got as a return simply because they wanna show how generous they are while the rest are just plain old cheap people. “Ooo boy

As a conclusion, the occasion taught and showed me that many ordinary people tend to have genuine heart than the upper middle class people who tend to be busy counting every penny that they have and/or or being suspicious or being to calculative in their move. Of course, we cannot generalize them all. Yet, I believe that being kind is so easy and it is free of charge. Yet, sometimes I wonder why aren’t we doing that more often?! I asked myself and I don’t know the exact answer. I guess we are too critical or too suspicious or too calculative in our move. Hence we often have trust issue with people around us.

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Notes: Losing Your Body? Nah! (1)Many people say that once a woman becomes a mother, she will lose her body, become fat and have jiggly yet flabby body especially those who has baby delivered through c-section including me. Don’t even dream to get your body back, so they say. But here I am, I prove them wrong. You can still have a well-shape body even you have many children be it through normal delivery and/or c-section.

I started getting back to my training regime at seventh weeks postpartum. I must say that I didn’t find it easy. Sometimes I got frustrated because I didn’t seem to lose any baby fat after working out for one month. Sometimes I got frustrated or even depressed because l only run at the slow pace. Sometimes I even gave up, just sat down, did no exercises for hours and just played with my phone because I felt that I did not make any progress. 

But one day, I said to myself “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just started again,” so I started to take it easy that time. I just forgot about the aesthetics result and just focused on the form of my exercise as well as my diet.

At the end, aesthetic result is not my main exercise’s goal but sanity is. As a result, I got my body back faster than I expected as you can see on the picture above. 

Ps: no whey protein is being used. It’s all natural diet.

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Catatan: Olahraga Waktu Hamil?

SONY DSCBagi beberapa-banyak orang, berolahraga saat hamil adalah ide yang sangat gila. Banyak yang khawatir bahwa olahraga dapat menyebabkan keguguran. Bahkan banyak bapak-bapak atau laki-laki kabur setiap kali melihat saya masuk ke ruangan gym dengan perut besar. Tapi apakah betul bahwa perempuan hamil enggak boleh neko-neko dan lebih baik duduk anteng dan makan sebanyak mungkin? Well, saya ingin berbagi pengalaman saya. Bukan sebagai dokter kandungan ataupun personal trainer tetapi sebagai fitness enthusiast.

Kalau boleh jujur, saya seneng dan juga agak sedih ketika saya tahu bahwa saya hamil. Lho kok gitu? Well, mungkin karena saya sangat egois, saya tidak ingin kehilangan bentuk tubuh yang sudah saya bentuk selama tiga tahun terakhir ini. Mulai dari legs, abs, shoulder, back and also chest. Dibutuhkan disiplin dan ketekunan selama beberapa tahun untuk mendapatkan otot-otot tersebut. Saya enggak mau kehilangan semuanya itu begitu saja. At the same time, I was very excited with the little one inside my womb and I want him to be healthy and happy baby. 

But then again, there was a fear within me. Kenapa? Well, sebagai trailing spouse yang baru saja gave up my job and beradaptasi di tempat baru, saya takut tiba-tiba mendapatkan anxiety attack or even worse depression. Di mana dulu, tak jarang, saya mengkonsumsi xanax ketika kedua hal tersebut menyerang ketika saya tinggal di J-Twon. As a result, saya takut untuk mengkonsumsi obat tersebut. So, how can I have a healthy pregnancy? Being fit and staying sane.

Luckily, seorang kawan memberi saya buku berjudul What To Expect When You’re Expecting yang ditulis oleh Heidi Murkoff dan Sharon Mazel.  Pada Chapter 3 buku tersebut yang berjudul Pregnancy Lifestyle, Murkoff dan Mazel menulis “Workouts are not only a-can-do for most pregnant women but a definitely do. In fact, the vast majority of workout work well with the vast majority of pregnancies, which means you can almost certainly count on continuing your usual routine through your 9 months.”  langsung loncat-loncat dong waktu baca chapter tersebut. So that was the answer! Saya enggak perlu anti depressant dan lain-lain untuk tetap waras selama hamil.

IMG_4492Lalu apa keuntungan berolahraga saat hamil? Well, banyak! Baik untuk ibu hamil maupun janin. Untuk ibu hamil, olahraga dapat meningkatkan stamina, kualitas tidur, kesehatan, mood, otot dan punggung serta menjaga sistem  pencernaan agar lancar. Plus, lebih cepat sembuh setelah melahirkan. Sedangkan untuk janin, meningkatkan peredaran oksigen dalam tubuh dan dipercaya akan jauh lebih pintar.

Nah selama hamil, saya justru tidak melakukan yoga tapi tetap melakukan jogging, running dan weightlifting. Saya berolahraga setiap hari dua sampai tiga jam per hari. Hasilnya, saya hampir enggak pernah merasa depressed selama hamil. Boleh dikatakan bahwa olahraga saja enggak cukup. Makan makanan bergizi pun penting terutama buah-buahan, sayur-sayuran, susu dan juga daging-dagingan. Kalau bisa, jangan terlalu banyak konsumsi makanan yang mengandung gula. Selama hamil pun berat badan saya  naik 12 kg dan sekarang tinggal 2 kg. Saya masih punya banyak PR untuk membawa tubuh saya kembali kebentuk semula. Bukan, bukan kurus namun sehat dan berotot.

Tentu banyak orang yang berpendapat berbeda-beda namun saya akan jauh lebih mempercayai hasil riset daripada mitos tentang ibu hamil. Oleh karena itu, kalau ingin sehat dan dapat terus berolahraga selama hamil, alangkah lebih baik jika mulai menyukai olahraga sebelum hamil sehingga badan kita enggak kaget dengan berbagai macam perubahannya. Bagi saya, sembilan bulan hamil bukanlah waktu yang susah, gamping banget! Yang susah justru tiga hari setelah melahirkan apalagi saya melahirkan secara c-section. Bahkan sampai sekarang kalau saya enggak olahraga bekas jahitan malah sakit.

Btw, saya baru bikin akun Instagram yang berisi fitness dan makanan sehat. Follow @ibuksehat yuk!

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Notes: My Clothes, Your Clothes

Are you wearing fast fashion products either it is from Zara, Pull & Bear, H&M, Bershka and any other? How often do you buy a new outfit? And….have you ever wondered who makes your clothes, under what condition, how do they make it or where do they make it? Well, let me tell you a story.


Yesterday, my friends and I went to an interesting yet eye-opening trip. We visited one  ready made garment factories in Bangladesh. This trip gave us the opportunity to see how our clothes are manufactured from the scratch. Located 35 kilometer from Dhaka, the factory is owned and run by Beximco Group, a Bangladeshi multinational company. The company manufactures products for a wide range of clients ranging from Zara, Pull&Bear, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger to DKNY. According to its official website, currently the company’s Textile & Apparel Division employs more than 5,150 people.

Bangladesh is known as the second largest ready made garment producer after China. The industry has become one of the largest export earning contribution to the country. According to Dhaka based newspaper The Daily Star, the industry has generated export earning up to USD 28.67 billion as of December 2016. The industry hopes to increase to USD 50 billion by 2021.

SONY DSCThe Bangladesh textile and garment industry employs approximately 4 million people. Most of the workers are women. Every month, they earn approximately 7,000 to 10,000 BDT, this figure is actually slightly higher than its minimum wage which is at 5,300 BDT. According to various local media report, the worker union is demanding that the minimum wage should be increased to 16,000 BDT.


Some of you might remember the 2013 Rana Plaza incident which caused more than 1,100 killed and 2,500 injured; this incident is known as the deadliest industrial disaster ever. Since the incident, the Bangladesh’s textile and apparel industry claims that they have been making effort to improve the factory condition that meet the safety standard. Yet, as we walked around the factory and learnt about its production process, I noticed that many textile and apparel workers are exposed to high level of noise from the machines as well as chemical hazards without any protection which you can see from my pictures. This condition is feared to have a significant impact to the worker’s health. Not forget to mention that many of them spend hours to standing or sitting while doing their work. This made me wonder how much the 2013 Rana Plaza incident has really brought changes to the textile and garment’s industry in Bangladesh.

I must say that this trip has reflected upon me that despite the fact that Bangladesh has become a centre of ready-made garment manufacturing for many global fashion brands, the country is still severely underdeveloped. Additionally, workers tend to have terrible conditions while others get massive profits. Yet, without this sector millions would be unemployed.


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Kitchen: Pumpkin Soup


Pumpkin Soup [2016:EO]


  1. 1 kg of pumpkin or squash (chop into chunks)
  2. 2 large onion (finely chopped)
  3. 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  4. 1/2 chicken breast (chop into chunks)
  5. 700 ml of water
  6. 1 tsp of salt
  7. 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  8. 2 tbs of olive oil


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over the medium heat for 30 seconds
  2. Place the onion and cook it for 4 minutes until it gets soft;
  3. Add the chicken chunks and stir it together with the onion for 5 minutes until it turns white;
  4. Add the pumpkin chunks, then carry on cooking for another 5 minutes until the pumpkin get softs;
  5. Pour the water into saucepan, add the salt and pepper; stir them together and continue to cook it over medium heat for another 15 minutes until the pumpkin gets really soft;
  6. With a hand-blender, mash the pumpkin and chicken until it turns to be puree;
  7. Transfer it to a serving bowl and serve it with garlic bread.


  • you can also make large amount of it and freeze it as an ’emergency food stock. It can be frozen up to two months.
  • if you are a vegetarian, you can remove the chicken


Kitchen: Cauliflower Spinach Pizza


Cauliflower Spinach Pizza [2016:EO]


  1. 3 head of medium size cauliflower
  2. 6 tbs of grated parmesan cheese (divide into two for the dough and toping)
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1/2 tsp of oregano
  5. 6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped and divide into two)
  6. 60 gr of block cream cheese
  7. 1/2 cup of skim milk
  8. 1 tsp of butter
  9. 1 package of spinach


  1. For the cauliflower based pizza dough: Cut raw the cauliflower into small pieces and place them into food processor/blender. Pulse it until the cauliflower becomes the small grain of quinoa;
  2. Pour the cauliflower grain into a microwave safe bowl and cook it for 5 minutes until the cauliflower is soft (If you do not have microwave, you can steam the cauliflower in medium high heat for 7 minutes);
  3. Place the cauliflower grain into cheese clothes/ clean thin dish towel, let it cool and dry.  As it cool,  remove the cauliflower’s water by squeezing and twisting the towel; (the dryer it gets, the better crush it will turn out);
  4. Transfer the drained cauliflower grain into a mixing bowl; add the half of the finely chopped garlic, egg, parmesan cheese as well as oregano; mix them well together;
  5. Preheat oven to 200 C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, cover it with butter. Place the cauliflower based dough and spread it with finger in the form of circle with 1/4 cm thickness;
  6. For the cheesy spinach toping: In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium low heat and place the left finely chopped garlic for 30 seconds;
  7. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach soft for approximately 2 minutes over medium high heat;
  8. Add the cream cheese, followed by  skim milk and mix them well together over medium low heat for 5 minutes.
  9. Place the cheesy spinach on the top of the cauliflower based pizza dough, add the grated parmesan cheese. You can also sprinkle it with oregano and chile flake if you like it. Bake it for 15 minutes until the crush turns brown. You can add extra parmesan cheese and baked it for another 5 minutes.
  10. Transfer the cauliflower spinach pizza into a serving plate and serve it with chili flake.
  11. PS: do not expect that the cauliflower based pizza dough will be as crispy as the flour or wheat based dough.

Happy cooking!

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