Introducing the New Food Pyramid

Most legitimate diet programs have a chart or diagram that lists down how much nutrient or vitamin your body needs on a daily basis. The most famous diagram used for nutrition is perhaps the food or diet pyramid that illustrates the ideal serving for each basic food group.

As a parent with growing kids, it is important not only to keep your children well-fed but to feed them the right food for optimal growth. Here is a brief guide to the food pyramid nutrition.


The purpose of the food pyramid is to provide an easy guide for healthy eating, which means there is a clear illustration of how much carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, fat, and minerals are needed to be healthy. The division of the type of food is based on the type of nutrients they contain. The aim of following the guide is to get the right balance of all the essential good stuff without over-consumption of the other food groups.

Old Pyramid

The structure of the pyramid should tell you that you should not consume more of the food that belongs to the top, but you need to eat more of each food group from the second level to the bottom level. This can be used both to maintain a healthy weight or to gain weight because there is a minimum and maximum number of servings for each food group.

In the old pyramid food group, you should consume sweets, oil, and fats the least because they belong on the top of the pyramid. Below that are classified milk, yogurt, and cheese as well as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts. You should only have 2 or 3 servings per day. After that are the vegetables and fruits, which you will need 2 to 4 servings to meet daily requirements.

At the bottom of the pyramid are bread, cereal, rice and pasta; which means you should eat 6 to 11 servings per day. In the old pyramid, the ideal calorie level for women, children and elderly is about 1,600, while for teenage boys and girls it should be between 2,200 to 2,800.

New Pyramid

The new food pyramid is updated to emphasize a balanced diet without having to count calories. It also has six food groups instead of the five from the old pyramid. Instead of the rows from top to bottom, the pyramid is now divided into columns. On the leftmost column belong grains, especially whole grains in which the daily recommended amount is 6 ounces. Next are vegetables which should equal to 2 ½ cups per day.

After that are fruits which should equal to 2 cups daily. Next is a thin column that belongs to oils which should be consumed sparingly. Next is milk or dairy, which should amount to 3 cups daily. Last are meat and beans which should not be more than 5.5 ounces daily. It even has a recommendation of a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise for adults daily, and 60 minutes minimum for children.

Tips for Keeping Your Fish Tank Clean

Freshwater and saltwater aquariums have specific requirements to keep the fish happy and healthy, but there are common practices that you need to remember when maintaining the tanks. If you are a beginner, these are some helpful tips to keep your aquarium clean.

Use two different filtration systems. If you currently only have mechanical filtration installed, which is the type recommended for most beginners, consider installing biological or chemical filtration. There are also other options that combine the best qualities from all three filtration systems.

Use a filter that’s bigger that your tank requirement. Always choose one size bigger when it comes to the basic equipment for the aquarium. This will leave room to add more fish, plants, and decoration. You will also feel assured that you’re getting more than 100% from the filtration system.

Limit the number of decorations. Plastic decor can be home to bacteria and catch debris from leftover food and droppings. They will need to be cleaned once a week, but if you do not want the hassle, switch to rocks and live plants. Not only will they make the tank look more natural, but they can also help keep the water clean.

Do not overfeed. Each species of aquarium fish has a specific requirement for feeding, nutrients, temperature, etc. that you need to remember. The correct amount of food you need to feed the fish should be based on how much they will consume within 5 minutes. If there are a lot of leftovers, the food will spoil and make the water dirtier.

Clean up after feeding. Make it a habit to clean up the leftover food after each feeding. Rotten food will increase ammonia in the water. You can use a fish net or a gravel vacuum to remove the food debris.

Use only premium food. Some fish need to be fed only once or twice daily, so you do not have a reason to go cheap when it comes to food. Choose only the best quality food you can afford that is easy to digest. The better the food, the less dirty the water will be.

Control lighting. Do not place the aquarium near the windows or any heat or light sources because that can affect the algae growth. Make sure that you have the correct lights installed for the tank based on the species’ requirements. There is also a limited amount of time required for plants and fish to be exposed to light.

Consider bottom feeders. Fish are also classified based on where they feed. Bottom-feeders are great for cleaning up debris that sink to the bottom of the tank. There are also other fish that can help with algae control.

Replace the water. You are required to change 25% of the aquarium water once a month. It will be easier to control tank conditions that way. You should also schedule the brushing of the interior of the tank once every few months to remove algae and other debris.

How to Be Fashionable and Eco-Friendly

With so many cheap materials and machines used to make clothing, we are now making more clothes than we will ever need. In fact, according to studies in the fashion industry, clothing and textile garbage make up the second largest polluter in the world next to oil.

However, the problem doesn’t just stop at the disposal of used clothes and the overproduction of clothing and textile in general, but the manufacture and production, too. Textile industry wastes more than 2 billion tons of water annually and the cuttings also contribute to the garbage problem.

As a consumer, is there something you can do to help lessen this problem?

Repair Old Clothes and Shoes

Investing in quality clothes and shoes lets you save money because they are durable and will last long than most cheap materials, needing fewer repairs and replacements. Expensive items are like jewelry that need proper maintenance to make them last longer, that is why you should also invest for cleaning, repair, re-sole/re-heel, or re-dyeing of shoes. Clothes can be repaired by a trusted tailor or made into new clothes.

Stop Buying New Stuff

A lot of people want to have a walk-in closet full a year’s supply of clothes, but like it or not, not everything will fit after a few years or so. Maybe you’ll get thicker (or thinner) or your feet will get slightly bigger (yes, they still keep growing as you age), or maybe the designs and colors are no longer the trend. Invest in clothes that are made from durable materials and with colors and designs that are timeless.

Learn How to Wash Clothes Properly

The wear and tear on the fabric happens during the washing. Even durable fabrics like cotton mixes can be torn and stretched if you don’t follow the proper washing instructions. Dry-cleaning regularly is not the only solution, too, because your clothes will regularly be exposed to chemicals. Skip the tumble dryer if you can. Not only does it use a lot of energy, the heat can also damage fabrics.

Learn How to Sew and Recycle Clothes

Sewing is a basic life skill every adult should know. You can’t just rely on your tailor to reattach a button or change the garter of your clothes. Keep a mending kit at home and learn at least the basic sewing patterns. This skill can also be used for recycling old clothes and other textiles for other use. For example, you can use old materials for cosplaying instead of buying new fabric. Old shirts can also be sewn into tote bags that you can use for groceries.

Know Your Brands

Some top fashion brands now use recycled polyester, organic cotton, wood pulp fabrics and other alternatives for brand new clothes and have cut down the use of water for printing by using digital printing techniques instead of the traditional screen printing.  You can learn about these by reading the labels or visiting the company’s website. Eco-conscious celebrities also endorse some names, so take note!

4 Easy Microwave Recipes

Why beat yourself up trying to prepare an elaborate meal that will take hours? All you need for these 5 awesome meals if your trusty microwave oven.

Risotto Primavera

Ingredients: 350 grams risotto rice, 100 grams goat’s cheese, 175 mL white wine, 100 grams asparagus, 850 mL vegetable stock, 500 grams pea and bean mix, and torn mint leaves

Preparation: In a microwave-safe bowl, pour wine and 1/3 of the vegetable stock on the risotto rice. Microwave for 10 minutes while covered in cling film. Take out the bowl and stir the rice before adding the remaining stock then microwave again for 3 minutes while covered.

Take out and stir the rice to add asparagus and pea and bean mix. Microwave while covered for another 7 minutes. Take out the bowl then stir in mint and cheese. Let stand for 2 minutes before serving.

Microwave Enchiladas

Ingredients: 3 cups enchilada sauce, 1 ½ cups water, 12 corn tortillas, 1 ½ cups chicken broth, 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 cup shredded cheddar, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 3 tablespoons rice flour, ¼ cup red chili powder, and salt

Preparation: To make a sauce, heat oil in a pan then cook flour and spices for 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in water and chicken broth until smooth then bring to a boil. Finally, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture looks thick.

To make a filling, mix a cup of enchilada sauce with chicken and cilantro until combined. Spread half a cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a microwave-safe pan. Dip the tortilla in enchilada sauce then spoon the filling and roll. Place these in the pan then spread the remaining enchilada sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheese before microwaving for 5 to 7 minutes.

Meat Loaf

Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef, 1 lightly beaten egg, 2 tablespoons mustard, 5 tablespoons ketchup, ½ cup bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons onion soup mix, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper

Preparation: In a bowl, mix mustard, egg, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, salt, pepper, soup mix, and bread crumbs with ground beef. Once mixed, form mixture into a loaf then place in a microwave-safe dish with lid. Microwave for 10 to 12 minutes on high heat. In a separate bowl with lid, mix vinegar, ketchup, and vinegar to create a meat loaf sauce. Drizzle on the cooked meat loaf then microwave loaf again for 2 to 3 minutes.

Zucchini and Ham Frittata

Ingredients: 4 cups zucchini, 1 cup cooked and cubed ham, 4 eggs, 1 cup shredded cheddar, ¾ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1 onion

Preparation: Combine onion and zucchini in a microwave-safe plate then microwave while covered for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain excess liquid and set aside. In a bowl, whisk eggs, salt, pepper, ham, and cheese until smooth. Pour this on the zucchini then microwave for 8 to 9 minutes.

What You Need to Know About Hypochondria

Did you know that there is a type of anxiety that causes a person to have serious fear of having an illness even if there is nothing wrong about them physically? It is normal for people to worry about getting sick, but for a hypochondriac, this worry is excessive, persistent, and can be debilitating.

What are the symptoms?

A person with hypochondria might focus on a particular illness, organ, or they could also fear various diseases. Symptoms exhibited include obsessive behavior such as talking excessively about an illness to family and friends, excessive worrying that he/she has an illness despite being cleared by doctors, regularly visiting the doctor because of minor abnormalities and even normal function like sweating or fast heartbeat, keen avoidance of places or food or activities that are associated with health risks, and expending a lot of energy learning about the disease/s.

In some cases, a hypochondriac might avoid going to the doctor for fear that they will be diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer. If these symptoms recur in six months or more, the person should be convinced to get help from a psychiatrist.

What triggers hypochondria?

The cause of hypochondria may be a result of a combination of different factors, just like any other anxiety disorder. A family history of the illness can influence a person’s outlook on body and health, as well as personal experiences of having survived or recently diagnosed with an illness. It can also be triggered by a near-death experience despite having been cleared by several doctors or it could start at a young age as a misunderstanding of how the body works.

In some cases, hypochondria is a result of a major life stress, a history of childhood illness or history of child abuse. Most patients who are diagnosed with hypochondria are also most likely to suffer from other psychiatric illnesses such as generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Can it be treated?

Although some patients with the disorder have been diagnosed with the illness they fear, sometimes the symptoms are mild and treatable. Treatment therefore should not address the illness they fear but the person’s psychological reaction. Treatment begins with the recognition of a family member or a loved one that the person needs professional help. This is to help the person keep functioning normally at work or school, home, and community; to ease the distress felt by the person; and to discourage the person from depleting the resources for the numerous hospital trips.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most effective way to address the problem, preferably with a doctor that the person knows and trusts. That’s because mistrust with other doctors who have previously cleared the patient of the real or imaginary disease can also be a factor during the treatment. Medication might not be necessary if the person does not suffer from other psychiatric illness.

What is Sleep Paralysis?

Ever had an experience when you could not move or speak even when you know you’re awake? Sleep paralysis is quite a common occurrence and may be triggered by different factors.

When does it happen?

There are two instances when sleeping paralysis can happen. Most people experience it when they are waking up from sleep or when they are about to fall asleep. Remember that there are stages the brain goes through when sleeping; that moment when you are about to final fall asleep is called predormital form, while that stage when you’re about to wake up is called postdormital form.

Some people who experience sleep paralysis more often than most have a condition called parasomnia and is associated with other symptoms that point to a sleeping disorder.

How does it happen?

When you go to sleep, your brain has to go through a phase called atonia to feel relaxed. But there are times when atonia happens while you are awake, that is why sleep paralysis happen specifically at those moments already mentioned above.

This is also why people who have experienced it tell you that they are aware of what is happening and are trying to do their best to move or speak. It can be scary, but most people have experienced sleep paralysis at least once, so it is not usually a sign that you have an illness.

Is it nightmare?

For most of human history, sleep paralysis was associated with nightmares. It was only when the stages of sleep were understood that the two were differentiated. Nightmares usually happen during slow-wave sleep, that is why most people having nightmares might be difficult to wake up because they are in deep sleep.

Nightmares also tend to happen in the early part of sleep, while sleep paralysis often occurs at morning or when the person is about to wake. Sleep paralysis tends to cause hallucinations, which is why it is often confused with nightmares.

These hallucinations make the person feel as if there is a threat around, such as ghosts, aliens, and monsters. There are also testimonies that people also go through an out-of-body experience during sleep paralysis or there is an entity sitting on their chest or abdomen.

How can it be prevented?

There is no proven method to prevent sleep paralysis, but there are things that you can do that might help you get better sleep overall. These include not falling asleep on your back, follow a regular sleeping schedule, learn to relax before sleeping, and to avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

If sleep paralysis happens often, you might want to consult a behavioral therapist to help you. Sometimes it can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, and mental distress.

If sleep paralysis happens often, you might want to consult a behavioral therapist to help you. Sometimes it can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, and mental distress.

What should you do when you experience it?

Even experts don’t know what to do when it happens but knowing that it is happening to you can help you calm down instead of panicking. Fortunately, it’s not dangerous, just scary.

A Very Simple Guide to Men’s Skin Care

Usually, the last thing on a man’s list of priorities is skincare. Most like to talk about exercising regularly, having nice haircuts, etc. But they almost don’t talk about cleaning their faces, what type of moisturizers to use, and other such things. Why is that though?

Why men usually don’t care about skincare

Actually, it’s pretty obvious that they don’t talk about skincare because they think of it too much as a “feminine” thing to do. But the thing is, skincare is just like shaving or brushing your teeth, it’s simply basic hygiene!

We have skin too, and our skin has issues that need to be solved just like women’s. That’s why you should start getting rid of the mindset that skincare is only for the ladies. 

The basics

If you’re already convinced and want to start investing in keeping your face clean and healthy, here are some basic things you need to know.

  • Cleansing

As the name suggests, cleansing is about washing your face and using some product to get rid of any dirt that’s stuck in your pores. That being said, you will cleanse at night rather than in the mornings.

This is obviously because your face is still clean as you wake up but when you go home at night, it should have already gathered dirt. You wouldn’t want to leave all that dirt in your face before you sleep if you don’t want to get acne and other skin problems!

  • Protection and moisturizing

There are many things around us that can damage our skin. One, you already know about the heat in Singapore. Of course, too much heat and exposure to sunlight can irritate our skin. Two, there’s smoke from cars and also industrial chemicals that pollute the air.

So aside from cleansing, you should also find ways to protect your skin. Before going out, apply a moisturizer that has SPF. Even if you’re not going to the beach, sunscreen will be a great addition to protect your skin.

There many other things you can do, but these two are the best to start with. Here’s also one thing you should remember:

Do your research

Before you go buying any kind of product, you should do your research first. The most important is to know your skin type. If you have oily skin, for example, you should buy a non-comedogenic cleanser or moisturizer.

If your face is oily, it’s easier for sebum to gather in your pores. Having a non-comedogenic product helps you avoid this. If you didn’t know this and you just went around buying whatever kind of product, it would have had the opposite effect.