Apr 16, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on 5 Surprising Things That Could Be Causing Your Headache

5 Surprising Things That Could Be Causing Your Headache

We’ve all been there, trying to enjoy life’s most pleasurable moments—a lazy afternoon in bed, alone time with beau, cuddles with your furry pet—and then bam! Headache hits you like a truck. If you are one of those people who often suffer from headache and migraine, you already know the usual causes: not getting enough sleep, too much alcohol, overworking your eyes—those kinds of stuff.

However, there are more surprising reasons why your head could be pounding in pain. Check out this list to help you squash the pain before it even starts.

Tight Hairstyles

That cute high bun can hurt your head. Same goes with hairstyles like tight braids, ponytails and various updos that pulls the scalp from the tug on the hair. The constant traction and pulling can irritate some nerves in your head, causing headache whenever you’re sporting certain hairstyles. Ease the ache by letting your hair down and massaging your scalp.

Sex

This is probably the most surprising one on the list. Believe it or not, there’s such thing as sex headache. However, this is more common in men and is commonly caused by a sudden spike in blood pressure. If you happen to experience the headache for the first time or if its onset is too sudden, it is something worth discussing with your doctor to ensure there isn’t serious underlying health issue occurring.

Bad Posture

One of common diagnosis for headache, yet still surprising for many, is bad posture. According to health experts, there’s a sudden increase in headache issues due to bad body posture related to the prominence of hand-held devices, such as phones, laptops and tablets. These devices requires you to look down for long hours and put your neck in its unnatural position, putting pressure on nerves and joints in the neck area and up.

Inactivity

Studies show that those living an inactive lifestyle are more prone to experiencing severe headaches that those who regularly work out. Aim for 20 minutes cardio a day, five times a week, to regulate blood flow to the brain, relieve stress and get your endorphins flowing. However, exercise can be a trigger for people with health issues, so make sure to consult your doctor first.

Meat and Cheese

No matter how you love your wine with a platter of deli meats and cheese, that charcuterie board of goodies may be the culprit of your pounding head. Certain meats such as lunch meats and sausages and cheeses like blue cheese, Gouda and Parmesan contain tyramine, a food chemical that’s known to cause headache.

Usually, these headaches are minor and will go away immediately, but if yours is a serious case of migraine that hampers you from doing your normal activities, it’s best to talk to your physician for remedy.

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Mar 15, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on 4 Amazing Tips for Healthier Grocery Shopping

4 Amazing Tips for Healthier Grocery Shopping

These days, grocery shopping is a regular task that you need to do once a week or every other week. But when a hectic schedules gives you little time to plan, you might end up with more unhealthy choices when you’re shopping for groceries.

Here are seven tips that are guaranteed to improve your experience when shopping for more healthy groceries:

1. Choose a place that’s clean and well-supplied.

When grocery shopping, the first thing you should be on the lookout for is spoilage. Products that are past their expiry date or look spoiled are ones that you should definitely avoid. This can also extend to items that don’t always show obvious signs of spoilage, such as those sealed in cans.

(However, it’s safe to consume products that are close to expiring if you plan on consuming them right away.)

But health and safety doesn’t just end with the groceries – it also extends to the grocery store or supermarket selling them, such as dust on the shelves or anything else that could indicate that the place is not properly maintained.

The good news is that most stores in Singapore are clean and well-supplied to have the items that you need, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

2. Check the ingredients for processed products.

Everything from additives, preservatives, and artificial coloring can lurk in your favorite food. While they’re delicious, they can also be really unhealthy for you in the long run.

This means that whenever you find an item that you think would be healthy for you, check its label for its nutritional content and its ingredient list – you’d be surprised at the number of additives you’ll find.

3. Your grocery list is your best friend.

When you’re tempted to buy on impulse because of all the ads, discounts, and promos, you need your grocery list to stick to healthier food choices.

While you’ll have to accept that grocery shopping means spending money, having a list not only allows you a better control of the foods that you need to buy, but it also helps you stick to your budget. This is indispensable especially if you’re seriously looking to save while eating healthy.

4. Take advantage of online shopping.

Supermarkets in Singapore now have websites that allow you to order from the comfort of your own home, which takes away a lot of the stress of having to physically go there yourself. All you need to do is select what items you want to buy and they will show up at your doorstep.

So if you’re too busy, tired (or even just lazy) to leave your home, then online shopping is definitely the choice for you.

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Mar 15, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on Fermenting vs. Pickling: What’s the Difference?

Fermenting vs. Pickling: What’s the Difference?

Fermenting and pickling foods have been around for a long time, and are some of the oldest ways of preserving food before there were refrigerators. But while the two methods are different, they actually overlap so much that it’s hard to tell one from the other.

So what’s the difference between the two?

What You Need to Know About Pickling

Pickling is the general term for food preservation where the food is partially broken down by bacteria in an environment without oxygen or air.

The process of pickling starts with boiling the container and lid to sterilize them, and fruits or vegetables are added to the jar along with the brine and left to process on their own until the desired taste is achieved. This brine can be anything from lemon juice, to hot vinegar, to even salt and water.

If it sounds a lot like fermentation, that’s because it falls under this category – and why it can be so difficult to distinguish between the two.

What’s With Fermentation?

Fermentation is essentially the process where sugars are broken down by bacteria in a chemical process that doesn’t involve oxygen.

While this is often used for brewing alcoholic drinks, such as beer, cider, and wine, fermenting has also been used for storing fruits and vegetables in a way that would enhance their flavor while making them last longer.

There are two types of fermentation processes you need to know about:

  • Alcohol fermentation – This process breaks down sugars and converts them into ethanol using yeast, and produces alcoholic drinks. It also takes much longer to break the sugars down to ethanol fully, depending on a variety of factors.
  • Lactic acid fermentation – With lactic acid fermentation, the natural bacteria in fruits and vegetables break down the sugars in vegetables and release lactic acid as a by-product, which adds to the vitamin content in the food.

While fermentation and pickling is in many ways similar to each other, keep in mind that not all fermented foods are pickles, and not all pickles are fermented.

Pickling can extend to vegetables and even certain spices, such as garlic, and a lot of foods such as yogurt and sourdough bread are the products of fermentation.

Achieving a Healthy Diet

Fresh produce and whole foods can add so much more to your diet when you ferment them, such as the health benefits and the complex flavors that are introduced once the food has been processed by bacteria.

Additionally, fermenting vegetables and fruits can even be something you can do as a hobby that lets you enjoy good food and have something healthy at home – you can enjoy it anytime even if you’re unable to take the time to cook because it’s so easy to prepare.

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Feb 21, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on How to Clean Your Fine Jewelry at Home (and Why You Should)

How to Clean Your Fine Jewelry at Home (and Why You Should)

When you wear jewelry every day, it’s important to keep them in good condition as much as possible by cleaning them regularly. Doing this ensures that they will not just be clean and safe, but also scratch-free and thus retain their sparkle for a really long time.

Why Clean Jewelry?

Dirty, unkempt jewelry can easily be a breeding ground for all kind of germs and bacteria that can lead to skin irritation and allergic reactions, and even discolor or degrade the metals, and even the gemstones themselves.

When you clean your jewelry right, there’s a far lesser risk of damaging them. This means that you should avoid using methods such as rigorous scrubbing, harsh chemicals, or prolonged submersion in liquids.

How to Clean Your Jewelry and Rings

There are a lot of ways you can clean your precious metals and gemstones depending on the stone and the metal, and you can clean them less or more frequently based on how often you wear them around.

Diamond rings, for instance, are quite resistant to wear and tear, and a quick, gentle scrubbing once a week is great if you wear it every day.

However, for jewelry that’s more fragile and worn less frequently, you should steer away from using liquids to clean them as much as possible. The best way to go about cleaning them is by using a soft, damp toothbrush and a polishing cloth.

            Other ways of cleaning jewelry include the following:

  • Vinegar – For your gold jewelry, let them sit in a shallow container or jar containing white vinegar for ten minutes.

After ten minutes, remove them and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub them clean of any bacteria or mold that may have gathered around the tiny nooks and crevices.

  • Baking soda – To get rid of any tarnish from your silver jewelry, prepare a thick paste using 1/4th cup of baking soda and two tablespoons of water.

Apply this to silver using a damp sponge and gently rub. Afterwards, rinse and dry. (Note: Do not use this technique for jewelry with pearls or gemstones, as this can either damage the finish or loosen the glue.)

  • Aluminum foil – Line a bowl with aluminum foil. Inside the foil, pour hot water and add a tablespoon of laundry detergent in powder form that’s bleach-free.

Place the jewelry in this solution and let it sit for one minute before rinsing thoroughly and air-drying.

Professional Ring Cleaning

If you purchased jewelry locally, there’s a good chance that the inspections and cleanings are included for the piece’s lifetime.

However, if you purchased it elsewhere, the cleaning may depend on the jeweler, so be sure to choose one who has a keen understanding of the jewelry that you own, especially when it comes to antiques.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

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Feb 21, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on How to Avoid Burning Out From Working Under Pressure

How to Avoid Burning Out From Working Under Pressure

When you’re under stress to perform above and beyond at work, not being able to manage things properly means that you make yourself more prone to what is known as a “burnout”.

Burnout can make you feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and unmotivated to get your tasks done, which is the exact opposite of feeling fulfilled at your work. This can leave you with a huge dip in your overall enthusiasm in both your work and your life in general.

But the good news is that there are ways that will allow you to work well under pressure to avoid the burnout and stay upbeat.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Recharge

It’s actually quite common in Singapore for workers to work long hours, or even take that work home with them during their time off. However, looking at those spreadsheets or reports for more than fifty hours a week is a sure-fire way to feeling that burnout.

To avoid this, it’s important to learn how to take a break and recharge during your downtime – and this means leaving your work in your workplace, and not taking it home with you.

Being able to take a breather allows you to relax during your downtime and take on your tasks with better enthusiasm, but if you find yourself having a hard time doing this, there are a number of relaxation techniques you can try out.

  • Take advantage of workplace perks

If your office offers unique benefits, such as a gym membership, health or book clubs, or company-sponsored outings, then use them to your advantage.

This can help you unwind your stress from work as well as give you the opportunity to get to know your co-workers better. More importantly, you’ll be able to unwind and enjoy your downtime.  

  • Straighten out your priorities

There are a lot of reasons to feel overwhelmed by the huge workload in the office, but it’s even easier to feel overwhelmed and bend to mounting pressure when you don’t have your priorities in order.

The antidote to this is simply to take a step back to assess your workload and figure out which tasks should be given the highest priority, and which ones can wait. By giving yourself a more concrete plan, you’re able to focus on one priority task at a time.

By doing this, you’ll not only keep burnout to a minimum, but you’ll also be able to manage stress more effectively.

What You Should Take Away

The most important thing to remember is that you should take care of yourself especially when working under a lot of pressure. Aside from taking a breather when the going gets a little too tough, it’s also important to take a little bit of self-reflection.

Being able to assess yourself, your work, and your relation to it can mean the difference between motivation and burnout.

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