No Nonsense Diet Guide for Losing Weight

Diet fads and meal plans for people trying to lose weight are usually filled with information and advertisements that do not help. Often, people are given promises of fast results that are unhealthy and unrealistic. Below is a guide to creating a diet plan without having to resort to fancy tricks and diet supplements.

Watch What You Eat

Unlike people trying to gain weight, you’ll have to avoid some types of food to lose weight. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but if you get used to a healthy meal plan, then you won’t be craving for most of these. Generally, you should avoid desserts after every meal to lessen the unwanted calories. Avoid soda, fruit juices brought at shops, white bread, fast food, frozen meals, cereal, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, and alcoholic beverages.

Stave Off Hunger

The first few days of your new diet will be the most difficult because your body is still getting used to the new routine. It could be more tempting to eat especially during evenings, and you will always feel hungry and deprived, but don’t give up. If you feel like having three complete meals a day isn’t enough, drink water or unsweetened tea in between meals or eat fruits.

Practice eating smaller portions of what you used to eat and try to eat them slowly, like literally chew the food slowly. An alternative is to eat six small meals per day consisting of one source of protein, one source of fibrous carbohydrates, and one source of complex carbohydrates. You can get these from brown rice, broccoli, chicken, green beans, tuna, baked potatoes, lean beef, salad, sweet potatoes, asparagus, quinoa, and salmon.

Watch Your Insulin Levels

However, for those who already have problems with their insulin levels or insulin production, a different diet is required. Most doctors in Singapore will advise you to eat every three hours to keep the insulin levels stable and to control any urge to eat unhealthy food.

But you’re supposed to eat less, right? Not exactly. If your metabolism is slow, then your body needs to eat more healthy food to burn calories, because skipping or missing meals can trigger the starvation process in your body, making you crave for more food.

More Healthy Food

Admit it, you’ve probably gained your weight from eating more than what your body can burn, that is why you should re-examine the types of food you usually eat and pick out the ones that are nutritious and contain less carbohydrates and fat. Stick to vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, but avoid cookies, deep fried food, soft drinks, chips, and any food with refined sugar, fruit juice or honey.

The healthier option come from brown rice, wild rice, oats, barley, spelt, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and legumes. Eat more dietary fat from salmon, trout, olive oil, nuts, mackerel, avocado, seeds, and peanut butter. Be warned, however, that some of these are going to be hard to find, especially if you’re planning to go organic.

How to Find Clothes if You Have Bow Legs or Knock Knees

Some fashion-conscious individuals consider it a fashion crime to wear tight-fitting trousers when you have bow legs or knock knees. These conditions refer to the odd leg curvature at an upright position that are either one of the following: O-shaped legs, X-shaped legs, and odd shin curvature.

Unfortunately, correcting your leg’s odd curvature is not going to be easy, that is why the most you can do is to minimize their appearance by picking the right clothes.

To determine if you have knock knees, examine your legs in front of a mirror while standing up with your thighs together. If your calves look like they are bending outwards and there is an obvious inward curve below your knees, then you have knock knees.

Bow legs or genu varum is a condition where the curvature of the tibia or the femur makes the legs appear bent when your feet are placed together. This means that if you try to stand with your feet together, your thighs, knees, and calves will not meet.

Trousers or Jeans

To minimize its appearance, you should stick to straight leg trousers, most straight leg jeans, boot cut jeans, flared jeans, and wide leg trousers. Avoid skinny jeans that will make the gap between your calves appear wider. Boyfriend jeans are fine if you have long legs, but the cut will highlight your calves. You should also stay away from capri pants, stretch jeans, and trousers with patterns and stripes.

A-Line Dresses and Skirts

Would you rather wear dresses and skirts than jeans? No problem. You can still look stylish in A-line skirts and dresses that will work on any body type and height. A-line means that the skirt ends just below the knees or in mid-calf to hide the unsightly leg curves. Trumpet skirts are also a good choice because they flare out at the hem and give a nice, flowing look. The former is recommended only if you want to hide your thigh gap.

Avoid straight, tight-fitted skirts and mini skirts in general, and instead, go for long skirts, flowing skirts, and mid-calf skirts.

Colors, Patterns, and Contrast

Ideally, you would want to draw away the attention on your legs by wearing colored and/or patterned tops complemented by dark-colored or solid-colored trousers. Focus on accentuating the upper half of your body with various accessories, makeup, and hairstyle. But you could also buy shoes that will make your legs appear straighter, such as knee-high boots.

Shoes and Correction Insoles

Matching the color of your shoes to your pants will also do wonders for your bow legs, especially if you pick monochromatic colors that never go out of style. It’s also a good idea to invest in corrective shoes for bow legs or heel pads that you can insert in your shoes to avoid wearing down the soles. It can provide additional support for your walking posture without having to rely on unfashionable knock knee braces.

Teaching Kids How to Cook

Encouraging your children to practice cooking at an early age can help them become responsible eaters and independent individuals because they know what happens from purchasing to preparation and serving.

After all, it’s a basic survival skill that they will have to learn sooner or later. What can you do as a parent to teach your kids to love cooking? Here are some tips.

Cooking Activities by Age

Some psychologists recommend that you should expose your kids to certain preparation techniques appropriate for their skills to avoid accidents in the kitchen. For example, at age 3 or below, you can start by letting the child wash vegetables, stir room-temperature ingredients, place ingredients on scales, or mash ingredients with a fork.

By 5 years, the child should be able to knead, sieve, weigh, wash fruits and vegetables, roll the dough, hand-mix, and use the mortar and pestle. At age 7, your child can be taught to handle small knives and scissors and set the table. Eleven-year-old should be able to identify most ingredients, make simple salads, open cans or use peelers, and operate the oven and microwave.

Assign Chores in the Kitchen

To avoid accidents, your child should be assigned to help in smaller and easier tasks that don’t involve carrying or touching sharp, pointed, and breakable objects. Toddlers should be encouraged to watch you prepare while older kids younger than 12 should be able to identify the various fruits, vegetables, and meat.

Do not be afraid to relinquish control or worry that your child will get dirty. As long as they are not playing with open fire and are safe from dangerous objects and substances, let them help if they want.

Master Simple Recipes and Learn Responsibility

Snacks, simple breakfast, smoothies, and salads are the easiest recipes kids can learn on their own. It could be as simple as scooping and spreading ready-made ingredients on bread, peel fruits, and make toast.

Not only will you encourage them to love cooking, but they will also become aware of the effort it takes to prepare food. Next time that they go to a restaurant or a street food stall, they will have more respect towards people in the food business and will hesitate to waste leftover food.

Safety First

Some kids will ask that they be allowed to cook on the stove, but if you think they are not yet ready to handle open fire, you can let them watch you cook instead. That would be the perfect time to teach them about safety and responsibility. Point out which items they are allowed to use and why they are not yet allowed to handle knives.

Explain that they will one day be able to cook for themselves once they have mastered the basic preparation techniques. These include washing hands before handling food, keeping the kitchen and utensils clean, which food must be refrigerated, how to determine which are raw or ready-to-eat, and when to taste food.

What is Beer Crafting?

If you love beer, then you will know there are thousands of beer styles and brands all over the world, some of these include craft beer including those made in Singapore bars and restaurants.

Unlike wine and other alcoholic drinks, you can make your own beer with minimal equipment and training, but making a great beer requires practice and knowledge of the key beer ingredients.

Here are the basics of beer crafting for beginners.

Brewing Materials

You might want to invest in home brewing-designed materials for beer crafting such as the following:

  1. Airlock, which is used to prevent contamination of the ingredients. This comes in many styles but the most common are the three-piece and bubbler types.
  2. Boiling pot that can hold 3 gallons or more. Pick models that are made from durable but affordable materials such as stainless steel or ceramic.
  3. Fermenter, specifically the food-grade types made of plastic which can hold at least 6 gallons. Once you are used to the beer brewing process, you can invest in more expensive fermenters.
  4. Racking cane used for siphoning which leaves the trub.
  5. Siphon, usually made of plastic and connected to a racking cane and bottle filler.
  6. Bottle filler is a tube used to fill up beer bottles.
  7. Bottle capper for sealing the beer bottles.
  8. Measuring cup, specifically those made from heat-resistant glass for measuring the ingredients.
  9. Thermometer for getting the temperature of the wort.
  10. Stirring paddle made from food-grade plastic to stir the wort.

Additionally, you will also need a supply of bottles and bottle caps if you want to sell or give samples of your beer.

Brewing Ingredients

Most beer, those made commercially by large brewers and craft beer made by small brewers, are made with barley or other grain, hops, water, and yeast. The differences in the amount of ingredients and the type of grain creates different flavors. Additionally, you can include sugars, spices and flavorings, salts and treatments, and beer finings.

Brewing Process

The homebrewing process is almost similar to commercial beer brewing and follows the basic steps of malting, mashing, boiling, fermenting, bottling, and aging.

  • MaltingFirst, the grains are processed by heating them and then drying out and cracking to isolate the enzymes.
  • MashingOnce the malting is done, the grains are steeped in hot water for an hour. Do not boil the grains so that the sugars can be released and broken down. After about an hour, the water is drained. This liquid is called the wort.
  • BoilingThe wort or the sticky fluid is boiled again for an hour. The other ingredients such as hops and spices are mixed to preserve and add flavor to the wort.
  • FermentationAfter boiling the wort, it is set aside and cooled before it is strained and filtered. Next, it is placed in a fermenter and the yeast us added. The wort and yeast are left in the fermenter for weeks in room or cold temperature.
  • Bottling and AgingFinally, the beer is carbonated then bottled.
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Simple Healthy Habits for Your Body and Mind

You’ll be surprised at how a lot of people don’t actually pay enough attention to their own well-being. Fortunately though, there are a lot of habits we can do to keep our mind and body healthy. Here are only some of them.

Stay well-hydrated

Drinking enough water each day will benefit our overall health. It keeps our organs functioning at their best, it keeps mind sharp, it keeps your skin healthy, and many more. That’s why it is important not to neglect your water intake. Especially in Singapore where it gets hot often and you might sweat a lot. So, remember to drink enough water throughout the day!

Eat healthier food

Another pretty obvious habit you should have is to eat more healthy food. Fruits and vegetables are just as important because they also provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients we need daily. In addition to that, they are also low in fat helping us prevent the unhealthy build-up of plaque in the arteries or the blood as a whole.

Don’t follow fitness trends

If someone claims that they have the key to quick weight loss using a certain diet, don’t believe them. Unless that topic is actually well-researched, don’t assume anything from different fitness trends. Of course, there are some who trends that can be effective. But most trends are fads and still stem from poorly-researched endeavors.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is also very important for the body and mind. For one, it helps us maintain our weight. Losing fat and gaining muscle to achieve your ideal weight can have many benefits you don’t even know about. It keeps our heart and lungs healthy, it keeps our blood flowing efficiently, and it also boosts brain function.

Walk more often

You might not notice it but people actually walk less and less in today’s time. This may be because of a sedentary job or maybe the person is just lounging around and scrolling on his phone. Because walking is a natural part of our life, we need to start doing it again more often. Try to get at least 30 minutes of walking each day.

Have enough sleep

Another important practice to keep our brain and body healthy is to get enough sleep. It’s already known that Singaporeans lack sleep. But getting enough shut-eye is really more important to your well-being than you think. It gives your mind some much-needed time to rest and take a break and it also allows your body to recover muscles tissues just as well.

Have a hobby

Have a hobby that you’re sure you can have fun with. Having a hobby is a great way to relieve stress. Of course, de-stressing is very important and beneficial not only to our mind but also our body. If you’re stressed too often, your blood pressure will rise and your immune functions will also weaken. So, find a way to relieve stress!

Self-Limiting Beliefs That Might Be Holding You Back

Humans have unlimited potential. The thing is though, too many of us today don’t think highly of ourselves. But usually, it’s really just our minds playing tricks on us. Here are some limiting beliefs you need to watch out for.

I don’t have enough time

Sometimes this can be true but saying it too much can cause us to believe that it’s actually true. The thing is though, you do have time and sometimes you just don’t notice where you’re wasting it. Today, the most common thing that wastes our time is social media. No matter where you are in Singapore, you’ll see people stuck scrolling on their phones for hours. If you think about it, you can do so much more instead of just keeping your eyes glued to your phone.

I’m not like them

Another limiting belief that can be caused by social media is comparison. Although, in this case, social media isn’t the only culprit. Comparing yourself to others can really put you in a bad position when it comes to self-consciousness. If you do find that you’re already comparing yourself to others, remember that we all have different upbringings. Though some are more fortunate, they still have their own ups and downs just like you. So, there’s no need to think that you can’t live a certain way because you’re not as good as others.

Others might judge me

Another very common limiting belief we say to ourselves is to just avoid doing something so that we won’t get judged. For example, you plan to go jogging in a park somewhere in Singapore but decide not to because many other runners already look fit while you’re there just starting your weight loss journey. What you should remember is, people generally only pay attention to themselves. They have their own problems and reasons to go jogging, so they won’t really mind another person they have nothing to do with.

One needs to struggle to succeed

Of course, it’s true that we need to work hard to succeed in life. But that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer during the process. This is limiting belief is not something we have at the start. It’s usually a mindset that we begin to develop, especially when we start having a hard time. But you should remember that struggling does not equate to hard work. If you align your actions accordingly to meet your goals, you’ll rarely develop this self-limiting mindset.

I don’t know what I want yet

Another excuse we usually say to ourselves is that we’re still not sure what we really want to do with our lives yet. Even so, this is really not a good excuse to stop yourself from growing up and exploring new things. You’ll never find out exactly what you want if you stay there doing nothing. But that’s the thing too, you’re not exactly doing “nothing”. You’ll usually learn more about yourself by simply looking at your current lifestyle.

A Simple Introduction on Setting Up a Smart Home

Many Singaporeans already utilize some level of integration into smart homes. But it really is a whole different experience controlling your lights, TV, and aircon with just your voice! Now, more and more people are starting to set up their smart homes. If you want to get on the hype train, here are some things you need to know first.

The smart assistant

When setting up a smart home, the first step is to get the main voice assistant. There’s Google Assistant, Siri for Apple, and Alexa for Amazon. These are basically the devices you speak to when you give voice commands. Because Android devices typically dominate in Asia, Google Assistant should be one of your first choices.

In America, on the other hand, more people choose to use Alexa for their smart homes. Either way, this is one of the first things you should focus on. Do your research regarding these different products to find out which one will be the best for you.

Smart speaker

These assistants are usually already a feature of smart speakers. Smart speakers, as the name suggests, deliver audio content from your media library or even other platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. Or when you ask for a recipe, your smart assistant will also dictate the instructions through those speakers.

Smart lights

Too tired to get out of bed and switch the lights off, well, this won’t be a problem anymore once you’re done setting up your smart home. You can simply use your phone or issue a vocal command to your assistant and voila, you can switch your lights on or off without standing up.

When installing smart lights though, you’ll have to change what you already have in your home. If you think your lights are still fully functional or you just don’t intend on spending money there, you can opt for smart light switches instead.

Security system

You can also get smart locks that will allow you to lock your doors with your phone. This can be especially advantageous because you won’t have to worry about losing or forgetting your keys. You can also integrate cameras, doors sensors, and even a siren for better security as well. You can even set up a doorbell camera system too so that you can see who’s at the door without having to go out anymore.

Do I need the internet?

Most, if not all smart devices are controlled with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. In essence, you do need the internet for your smart assistant. And because the smart assistant is where you issue commands, the internet is all the more necessary. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to turn on your lights or adjust the aircon temperature without it.