Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast has always been regarded as the most important meal of the day. But hampered by busy schedules, many people neglect breakfast or choose to skip it entirely.

According to a survey done by Asian Food Information Centre (AFIC), a substantial number of us are following the trend common in industrialized countries. In Hong Kong, one in five people eat breakfast, while in Philippines; the number is one in four. Malaysian and Singaporeans are much better at breakfast with only ten per cent skipping the meal.

Eating breakfast not only starts your day right, it also lays the foundation for life long health benefits. In the United States, a study done by Linda Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine at North-western University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, found that people who ate breakfast had a 35 to 50 per cent lower rate of insulin resistance compared to those who skipped the meal. Insulin resistance is a marker for diabetes and heart disease. 

A morning meal can also help you lose weight. A survey by AFIC of 185 children from Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila found that those who eat breakfast regularly were less likely to be overweight than those who skipped it. 

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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Health


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Questions and Answers. Q&A

  • Three Little Words.

Q My boyfriend of six months constantly tells me that he loves me. The thing is, I’m not ready to say it yet. How can I respond without hurting his feelings. We’re both 20. A You should never say you love someone if you don’t mean it. So, the next time he says it, be especially nice to him, give him a worm squeeze of the hand or a gentle brush down the side of his face and tell him how lovely it is of him to say that. Hopefully he wont push it and ask if you love him too, Do you love him Or are you just afraid of saying it? he’s maybe a bit more in love with you than you are with him, things might change over time but if it doesn’t, think carefully about what to do next – unbalanced relationship  rarely works in the long run.  

  • Third Wheel

Q My two best friends and I used to have really fun times together. However, lately, they seem to be spending more time together without me, and whenever I bring up the fact that I feel left o, they say I am being silly. should I move on or what? A Threesomes are very difficult to get right and I sympathize with how you feel – there’s nothing really wore than feeling left out like this. the more you mention it, the worse it will probably get. so i would suggest that yes, you do try to move on and find some new friends. I’m not saying that you should stop drop these tho friends  of yours but it’s never a good idea to just have couple of friends anyway. we all need different friends to express the different sides of our personalities with, I’m sure you will have no trouble making some nice new friends soon as you’ve already roved that you can make friends.

  • Undecided

Q Recently I had sex with my bestfriend’s best friend. what’s more, his best friend happens to be a woman. I feel very confused about everything right now. What should I do? A Its likely you are still exploring your sexuality and have yet decide what or who you prefer. This kind of confusion is quite normal, and it doesn’t just occur when you’re young either.. Try talking this over with someone  sympathetic, someone you can trust,  who won’t go blabbing to everyone. if there isn’t anyone, you can try working this out alone first before considering seeking the eat or the professional counsellor. spend time working out what you want and what you enjoy most. Sexuality is a very fluid thing that can change all the time but it’s  also possible  that you do prefer woman over men. Spend your time thinking about it who you most like to be lying beside you. That might Help!

  • Self-Absorbed pal

Q Whenever I meet up with this friend of mine, all she ever does is talk about her new job, boyfriend, etc. I have problems too, but she doesn’t give me a change to air them., How can I get her to shut up? A  Well you could try getting her to listen to you but ii don’t fancy your chances. I’d be inclined to look elsewhere instead and find a friend t who listen and care about you and your problems. It isn’t easy I know, but I often think there’s nothing quite lonely as having a friend who listen to what you have to say, much or less care about it. But if you want to give her chance m, tell her how you feel – ask her to listen to you for just five minutes and explain how you feel about being unheard by her and having to wonder if she cares about you or not. She deserves, at last, a chance to change. Good Luck!

  • Package Deal

Q I’ve just started dating a wonderful man. He;s 10 years my senior and has a five years old daughter. I’m not really into kids, but now he wants me to meet her. ive never really dealt with kids before – what should I do on the first meeting? A Men who have kids don’t come as individual but as a part of package. His daughter is a part of him so you absolutely have to meet her if this relationship continues. Just be yourself. Don’t patronize her but talk to her as you would another person, albeit a much smaller one. Ask him for guidance as to whether you should take a small gift along, but for goodness sake don’t try to buy her affection. Remember, she might see you as a threat and also bear in mind that it’s likely you could ever mean as much to his child. It’s tricky territory so I would only suggest you to meet her if you’re serious about him.

  • Can‘t get along!

Q I love my job, but have a huge personality clash with my immediate boss. We’re constantly arguing over petty issues. We’ve both tried talking it over, but to no avail. We just can’t get along. I am worry my career prospects with the company. What should I do? A You could ask for a transfer or you could swallow it and do your best to get along with your boss – then work really hard so  that you’re promoted away from her. Personality clashes account for the biggest problems any us ever have to face at work and I sympathize  with you. We all spend  far too much time at work to be miserable there so if it doesn’t get better and you can’t find a way to  make it work for both if you. I’d suggest you to try find suitable alternative work.

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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Health


Shopping For A New Bed

If you’re tossing and turning night after night, don’t reach for the sleeping pills – it may be time for a new bed. The following tips on what to shop for are from The Sleep Council’s new bed buyers’ guide:

1. Your bed should be four to six inches longer than the tallest partner.

2. Partners should be able to lie side by side with their arms behind their heads and elbows out, without touching.

3. Buy the mattress and bed together, as sizes aren’t standardized.

4. Lie on the bed for at least ten minutes – don’t be embarrassed!

5. While lying face up, slide your hand into the hollow of your back. If there’s a gap, the bed is too firm. It it’s difficult to slip your hand in, it’s too soft.

6. Look for the blue and white FR label which shows that a bed meets fire safety regulations.

7. Mattress need to be turned regularly; if that’s difficult for you, buy a non-turn mattress.

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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Health


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How To Have Good Zzzs

Kiwifruit for Fitful Zzzs

If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, head to the kitchen and reach for some kiwifruit. A study by Taipei Medical University has found that eating two kiwifruits an hour before going to bed can improve your sleep quality by as much as 40 per cent.

Professor Jen-Fang Liu of the university’s School of Nutrition and Health Science studied the sleep pattern of 29 subjects with diagnosed sleeping difficulties over four weeks. She found that the kiwifruit diet decreased Sleep Onset Latency (SOL) by an average of 38.7 per cent. SOL is the time it takes a person to fall asleep after going to bed. The participants also reported waking up less during the night.

And here’s a handy tip: if you find it hassle to peel the kiwifruit, simply cut it in half and scoop the contents out with a spoon.

Chamomile Smile

A cup of chamomile tea before bed is now as commonplace as a night-time milky drink. THe fragrant flower has been used for centuries to treat frazzled nerves, skin complaints, digestive disorders and period pain. Its effects have been confirmed by a study that found German chamomile tea boost levels of compounds in the body that relieve muscle spasms and increase antibacterial activity.

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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Health


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Good Bacteria for Your Mouth

We spend countless hours banishing bacteria from our mouths, but a new study has found a particular microorganism that will actually freshen your breath. The study found that the saliva of some children who seldom fell ill, and didn’t have bad breath, contained the bacteria Streptococcus salivarius K12.

Dr Geoffrey Speiser of The Australian Breath CLinic has used this finding to develop a K12 treatment to manage very bad breath. First he rids the mouth of all bacteria before introducing the odour-busting K12 bacteria. Once established, the K12 bacteria keeps your breath fresh by fighting off any bacteria that causes bad breath and it can even stop strep throat.

Dr Speiser warns, however, that oral hygiene is the best treatment for normal breath problems. “Quitting smoking, cleaning you tongue, flossing daily and eating less meat and alcohol are all good practices.”

Here are a few ways to tell if you may have bad breath:

1. There’s often a sour taste in your mouth

2. Your tongue is coated and appears yellowish

3. You often breathe through your mouth and feel a lack of saliva causing a dry mouth

4. Lick the back of your hand, let it dry, and then smell it – that is how your mouth smell

Freshen Your Breath

1. Forget fancy mouthwashes and mini-mints. Keep your mouth clean with a healthy diet that will reduce the bacteria and plague that cause bad breath.

2. Pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that acts as a natural cleanser.

3. Yoghurt reduces plaque and gingivitis as well as stinky hydrogen sulphide. Choose sugar-free options.

4. Cranberries prevent plaque and bacteria from sticking to the surface of teeth.

5. Munching on raw vegetables increases saliva production, which helps wash food particles and acid from teeth.

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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Health


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Happy Talking

Happiness is an emotion rather than a personality type, says Simon Gelsthorpe, a clinical psychologist. ” We all go through happy and sad times, so when you describe someone as having a happy disposition, what you’re really talking about is their outlook on life. This type of person has usually developed ways of coping with the down in their life, as well as enjoying the ups.”

6 ways to a more positive attitude

1. Don’t blame yourself when things go wrong. You can’t control everything, Assess the situation realistically before you assume it’s your fault.

2. If you’re feeling stressed, take time out. A brisk walk, deep breathing exercises or a soak in the bath can help restore your balance.

3. Stop making sweeping generalizations like ‘nothing ever goes right for me’. Instead, try to remember when things do go your way.

4. When something good happens to you, don’t dismiss it as a luck break. You’ve worked hard and you deserve it.

5. Remember your successes and learn from your failures. When you make a mistake, understand where you went wrong and drop it.

6. Think positively. If you go to a party thinking you’ll have a rotten time, you will. But if you’re open to the possibility of enjoying yourself, you’re more likely to have a blast.

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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Health


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How Happy Are You?


1. How often do you spend time by yourself, either listening to music, reading a good book or simplydaydreaming?

a) You make a point of doing something special every day.

b) Too often – your social life is non-existent at the moment.

c) As often as your hectic lifestyle allows you.

2. When you buy a Lottery ticket, you think …

a) I’ll never win, and if I do I’ll be besieged by fortune-hunters.

b) It could be me, but it’s more likely to be someone else. Still, it doesn’t hurt to hope.

c) I’m going to win, I can feel it.

3. The job of your dreams has just been advertised. You …

a) Know it’s yours for the taking. They’d be mad not to employ someone as talented as you.

b) Update your CV, dust off your smartest interview suit and do your best to dazzle them.

c) Sign and ignore it – you’d never get the jobin a million years.

4. When you snuggle down under the duvetat night, your last thought is usually …

a) Thank God today is over.

b) I can’t wait till tomorrow.

c) Zzz…

5. How would you describe your social network?

a) You have lots of really good friends you can rely on.

b) You have a wide circle of acquaintances and a few special mates you’ve known for ages.

c) You find it difficult to make friends and generally prefer your own company.

6. Your best friend has just met Mr Right, but you’re in the middle of a man drought. What’s the first thought that pops into your head?

a) Good for her. She deserves to find someone who loves and respects her.

b) Hmmm, I wonder if he’s got any tasty, single mates.

c) Oh God, if she can get a man there must be something terribly wrong with me.

7. How do you feel about exercise, whether it’s going to the gym four times a week or walking the dog?

a) The very idea of exerting yourself makes you break into cold sweat.

b) You know you should do more exercise but getting motivated is really difficult.

c) Exercise is a regular part of your life and you get a buzz out of it.

8. How would you rate your overall state of health?

a) Awful – you constantly feel under the weather.

b) Generally good, but you do get the occasional sniffle.

c) It couldn’t be better.

9. After a tiff with your partner, you usually …

a) Apologize immediately and expect him to do the same – there’s no point in bearing a grudge.

b) Wait till you’ve both calmed down, then talk it over rationally.

c) Blame yourself. You must have done something really awful to upset him so much.

10. When you’re given a box of chocolates, you …

a) Eat a lot in less than 30 seconds, then feel completely sick.

b) Hide the box to avoid temptations.

c) Eat a few and save the rest for a special treat.

11. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

a) Working towards a whole new set of goals having achieved all your current ambitions.

b) Who knows? It’s as much as you can do to get through each day.

c) Probably still aiming for your dream, whether it’s travelling the world or climbing the career ladder.

12. When was the last time you had a real belly laugh?

a) Within the last day or so – your life is filled with laughter.

b) The last time something tickled your fancy.

c) What’s there to laugh about?

13. A businessman in a flash car cuts you up on the highway. You …

a) Yell some choice obscenities, flash your headlights and raise a finger in his general direction.

b) Shrug it off – what a prat.

c) Mouth ‘sorry’ at him and steer clear of him for the rest of the journey.

14. When something goes really wrong in your life, you’re most likely to …

a) Blame yourself and hide under the duvet till things improve.

b) Indulge in a little retail therapy to cheer yourself up.

c) Get on with life – things always get better in the end.

15. You unexpectedly receive a nice bi tax rebate. You …

a) Treat it as a windfall and blow the lot on a massive spending spree.

b) Wonder if they messed up and ring the Inland Revenue for advice.

c) Figure they must have made a mistake – maybe you owe them.

How did you score?

1. A-3 B-1 C-2

2. A-1 B-2 C-3

3. A-3 B-2 C-1

4. A-1 B-3 C-2

5. A-3 B-2 C-1

6. A-3 B-2 C-1

7. A-1 B-2 C-3

8. A-1 B-2 C-3

9. A-3 B-2 C-1

10. A-3 B-1 C-2

11. A-3 B-1 C-2

12. A-3 B-2 C-1

13. A-2 B-3 C-1

14. A-1 B-2 C-3

15. A-3 B-2 C-1

Stormy Weather (15-25)

Take a long, hard look at your life – is it really that bad or are you feeling so down you can’t see the bright side? “If you’ve had a run of bad luck you can get into the habit of expecting the worst and become trapped in a downward spiral,” says Simon Gelsthorpe, a clinical psychologist. “When life seems grim you need to remember how you’re feeling isn’t necessarily a true reflection of the situation,” he says. “You need to separate good from bad and focus on making the bad better/” How? First of all, stop being so hard on yourself. Some things are beyond your control, like he economy, but what about the things you can do something about? If your weight makes you unhappy, for example, why not start regular exercise and sensible diet? The moment you start doing something positive your mood will improve. But what if it’s something more serious, like getting retrenched, being dumped by your man pr relative dying? Surely you can’t shrug it off? “It’s normal to feel sadness, grief and anxiety, and these emotions are helpful. The human mind is cleverly designed. These emotions tell you to slow down, forcing you to dwell on the problem and take stock. It’s part of the healing process.”

Occasional Showers (26-35)

Life’s really not so bad, is it? You may not be floating on air but you’re not down in the dumps either. Most of us fall into this category most of the time, says Gelsthorpe. “Hitting the depths of despair or the heights of joy often depends on circumstances beyond our control. But your attitude can make a big difference to how you fell everyday. Train yourself to look on the bright side and use it as a springboard to better things. Listen to that little voice inside your head – these messages can often be negative, so learn to control it. Instead of thinking “I’m so stupid, I’ll never get this work done”, say to yourself, “Yes, I’m going yo be busy but I’ve faced bigger challenges before and overcome them”. Thinking positively but realistically is the way forward. And steer clear of friends who drag you down and seek out those who make you feel good.

Hello Sunshine! (36-45)

Your attitude makes you sparkle more than a Tiffany shop window. But while sheer joy can be the greatest experience on earth, beware you don’t set yourself up for a fall. It’s best to temper your high hopes with some realistic goals, advises Gelsthorpe. “People who feel very happy may have unrealistic expectations. If you think to yourself ‘I’m going to win the Lottery tonight’ and spend $2 on it, that’s not a problem. But, if you think, ‘I know I’m going to win’ and risk everything, then you’ll run into serious problems.” Lottery losses aside, there are other pitfalls awaiting anyone lucky enough to be riding the crest of a wave. The saying ‘Laugh and the world laughs with you’ doesn’t necessarily hold true, warns Gelsthorpe. “In fact, your happiness may make you less sympathetic with people who are suffering.” Don’t hide your happiness, bit don’t lay it on with a trowel either. Never forget what goes up must come down, moods included. Enjoy the high while it lasts.

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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Health