Archive for health

Stress and Ageing

I’m going to write something totally different today.Stress can and will affect us all at one point in our lives and can be down to so many things. It doesn’t have to be a big event or drama. Stress can build up from series of small problems which on their own would be no hassle at all. But together can give you sleepless nights and high anxiety leading to health problems such as high blood pressure.

Lately there has been lots of chatter about how the stress of being a President ages a person over the stretch of their incumbency. This physical impact is not just in our imaginations, and it doesn’t require the strain and toil of the highest office in the world. Stress in general, a new study has found, can age us in very visible and evident ways.

For the study twins were used as twins are destined to age in genetically identical ways. Researchers looked at them to see how varying stressful life experiences further changed their appearance. The primary example was of twins who had gone through a divorce and ended up looking at least two years older than their identical siblings who were single, married, or even widowed.

Additionally, use of antidepressants appeared to make subjects look older. Researchers attribute this to the medication’s tendency to cause sustained relaxation of facial muscles, which can lead to sagging of the skin.

So what does all this tell you…..DON’T STRESS.

You should always try and sort all your problems out quickly and don’t hold them in tucked away, try to always look on the bright side on things and not just the negatives. This can be hard but if you want to keep looking young when you’re older then you need to take a step back and try to chill.

Leave a comment »

5 Tips To Healthy Cooking

In this day and age, we can’t help but be concerned about our health – especially when it comes to what we eat! We all want to be healthy and live longer with no lingering illness, so it is indeed a good idea to be concerned with how and what we are stuffing ourselves with, and simple things we can do each day to keep healthy!

Here’s some useful tips on how to cook more healthy meals and make simple changes to your favourite family recipes:

1. Lessen the oil
Even if extra virgin olive oil is a healthy alternative to other edible oils, it is still fat. Our body needs a healthy dose of fat to function properly, and so we do need them, but if you are used to using a cup of oil every time you cook, try using just half of that.
2. Lessen the salt
Salt is also another ingredient that we need, not only for our body to function well, but also for us to enjoy more the flavour of the food we’re eating. Some favourite foods are quite salty to start with – like bacon – but we just have to eat less of them these days.
3. Try boiling your meat (stews) instead of frying them
Meat, instead of being fried, can be boiled or cooked in stews. This will definitely lessen your fat intake since you won’t be adding oil while cooking. If you can get away with stews when deciding to cook a certain meal, then go ahead.
4. Try steam cooking
Steamed dishes are healthier compared to frying or grilling and a feature in a lot of Asian recipes. Aside from that, they also cut down time hovering over your stove!
5. Incorporate more vegetables to your dishes
I guess we just can’t stress enough the importance of adding vegetables to our meal; not only do they provide us with the necessary nutrients; they are also good for our digestive system.

Recipe – Tossed Basil Roasted Potatoes

This is a quick, delicious vegetable recipe that is a snap to prepare and tastes awesome. It is sure to be a favourite in any household!

4-5 medium potatoes
¼ cup canola or olive oil
Basil to taste
Salt to taste
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Coat bottom of a 9 x 11 glass or metal baking pan with oil.
Slice potatoes about a ¼ inch thick and dip in oil on both sides in the pan. Sprinkle salt to taste over the potatoes followed by basil and then Parmesan cheese. Place in a 350-degree oven on the top shelf for 45 minutes. Serves 4.

Note: if you want more potatoes just add another layer.

A sneaky tip for parents: add some sliced carrots to the mix as a way to get stubborn kids to eat more vegetables! Try out this yummy vegetable recipe tonight and let us know what you think!

Ways To Get Kids To Eat Their Greens
Getting kids to eat their vegetables is one of the most challenging tasks to some parents. If your vegetable hating children are making you pull your hair out in frustration – here’s some ideas on how to get kids to eat the fruit and vegetables they need to stay healthy!

Train them from the beginning
There are some studies also say that children who are breastfed will normally eat more green than those who are not. Many believed that what mothers ate during their pregnancies will dictate what their kids will eat too. Therefore, pregnant mums are advised to take in more serves of fruits and vegetable daily.

When babies start eating solid foods, parents should try to introduce as many varieties of fruits and vegetables to them. This will help them to slowly get accustomed to the different taste and texture. If they rejected the first few times, do not feel despair as a few more tries will surely help in the end.

Make vegetables fun to eat
When kids enter the toddler years, they will start to pick their food and quite often shove away the greens. Try making the vegetables fun by using cookie cutters to cut out shapes and serving with healthy dips the kids will love to dip vegetable in.

Another fun way is to create a Bento Box set or Japanese Lunch Boxes where a mix of different vegetables and fruits are placed in a different section within the box with cute decorations. Trust me, this is one of the ways kids will eat their green!

Image taken from BentoYum.com

Rotate the styles of preparations
Kids get bored very fast and parents have to know how to rotate their cooking styles to accommodate their kids. Don’t serve kids with just boiled vegetables every day. They will get sick of it! Try to cook your green in different styles everyday so your kids would not notice that they are still eating the same vegetables as the different styles gave different taste too!

Lastly, never force your kids to eat things they do not want!
Instant Noodles Can Be Nutritional Too

Although I love to cook, there are times when I get a little lazy and would love to skip all the fuss in the kitchen preparing a complete meal. For such times, digging out my favourite packet of instant noodles and turning it into a complete and nutritional noodle meal makes a quick and easy dinner!

It is always handy to keep some instant noodles at home as they’re a good meal replacement when you’re just too busy to cook a meal from scratch. Having just a bowl of noodle with the soup base is not very nutritional. However, with some creativity, we can always make our bowl of noodles into a healthy meal!

Try adding these side ingredients:

 Vegetables
Scavenge your fridge for some greens such as lettuce, shitake mushrooms or carrots. If you don’t keep fresh food around, try to keep a few packets of wakame (Japanese seaweed) so you can toss some into the noodles.

 Dried food
You can soak a few dried mushrooms, fu-chok or dried soy bean skin in with your noodles for instant added nutrition.

 Meat
When you visit the butcher, make sure you some extra slice of your choice of meat to be deep freeze. These often come in very handy as you can thaw some if you have nothing to cook but need the protein.

 Eggs
Eggs are a great addition to so many recipes. Simply hard boil one or just drop one into your soup and let it boil for a while before serving.

With the above, your bowl of instant noodles will taste just like what you would normally pay quite a bit for at a Chinese restaurant! So, why pay more for something you could do in a jiffy?

Leave a comment »

3 Thumbs Up for Cinnamon

Cinnamon! How wonderful it is. A perfect spice to add to so many of your favourite recipes! Originally, the most aromatic and flavourful cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka. A small tree grows on this island and cinnamon is the inner bark of it. A common kind of cinnamon also grows wild throughout China and other parts of East Asia. Cinnamon has been popular since ancient times. The Romans thought of it as sacred. It has been used since at least 2000 BC and possibly earlier. It can be toxic if consumed in large doses though, so please use in moderation. This spice really deserves 3 thumbs up.

Thumb 1: It is good for your health.

Cinnamon can fight yeast infections, ulcers, and lice. It contains antiphrastic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Other properties cinnamon has are ant-inflammatory. It’s also a good source of dietary fibre, iron and calcium, and manganese. If you have cholesterol problems, it can help lower the bad cholesterol. Another use is for stomach disorders. Your memory can improve also when you smell the spice.

Thumb 2: You can’t ignore the sweet aroma.

You can’t help but get a warm and cozy, happy feeling when you smell cinnamon whether from a scented candle, oil, cinnamon sticks boiled in water, or just from the baked goods.

Thumb 3: Undeniably renders tasty food and drink.

Sink your teeth in a warm, freshly cooked cinnamon roll. Heavenly isn’t it. How about a dash of cinnamon powder in your morning cup of coffee or maybe you could sit back and relax at the end of the day with a cinnamon tea. Again it is so warm and calming. There are tons of easy recipes for baked goodies that call for cinnamon that will tickle your tummy. You can add some in a little sugar and sprinkle that sweetness over toast, cereals, and sliced raw apples. There are even some main dinner dishes that call for some cinnamon.

Leave a comment »