Saturday, 23 August 2008

Something for the Mind

Our mind needs to get active else we would go insane or worthless (might be worse). I gather this is especially to the retirees. Imagine doing nothing all day. Won't you get bored? Well, that's why while you're still young and earning, you save up for your retirement - for travel, for playing golf and other games that you might fancy, for playing pokies, etc.

My parents-in-law used to do puzzle. They always bought heaps and heaps of puzzle books every week. But that changed now. Mcj set them up a PC that they can play solitaire or pokies. They only have limited games. Well, you know.. when you're of age you just want to indulge yourself in simple things. I'm not talking from experience here - first hand that is. Anyway, they had fun playing the machine since then. For the first few months, they always slept late in the morning, playing until the wee hour. They can't get enough of it, I would say.

Imagine how thrilled would they be if they own one of the gaming keyboards? They really look cool to me. Even if you're not that avid of games, owning one or maybe having one (somebody might gift it to you), you might be tempted to try games and get addicted. Leisure such as this comes in different size and package, you'll be surprise how flexible they can be to cater to your needs. Plain keyboard with gaming keys extra or standalone pads are available.

In this day and age, there are heaps of options to choose from for entertainment. You'll have a hard time choosing one.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Eating Breakfast

Do you eat breakfast everyday? Some of us don't for several reasons. One, there is really no time for breakfast especially if running late for work. Some said they don't want to earn more pounds so they skip breakfast.

I eat breakfast. Even then when I just burn it with pushing strollers or playing with my little boy. Before, I am not used to have one very early in the morning but recently I changed my routine and eating breakfast early doesn't bother me anymore.

For those who skip breakfast because of worry of gaining weight, here's some help from realage.com:

Here are DesMaisons’s four simple rules for using breakfast to counterbalance the biochemical mechanisms behind sugar cravings, obesity, and depression.

Do it daily. Your goal is to make it a daily, automatic habit. The reward? You can kiss late-day low blood sugar and sugary snack cravings goodbye -- permanently.

Do it sooner rather than later. For the best results, eat breakfast within an hour or so of waking up -- even if you’re not hungry. Morning-time low blood sugar produces a brain chemical designed to mask hunger pangs -- but can cause sugar cravings later in the day.

Make it complex. We’re talking complex carbohydrates here (whole-grain cereals, steel-cut oats, high-fiber fruits, etc.) The fiber keeps blood sugar on an even keel and helps you feel full longer.

Power it with protein. Protein slows digestion, helps prevent spikes and dips in blood sugar, and can even give you a dose of depression-fighting tryptophan. DesMaisons recommends that you get a third of your daily protein at breakfast.

More vitamin C

We are just keeping on passing the germs around the house that the sneezing and running nose are not going away. What to do, what to do?

Mcj had been on antibiotics for almost a week now. And when he thinks he is getting better, the bug had hit him again. Same with Jens - runny nose and a bit of cough. I on the other hand is fighting the germs. There had been two instances that I shoved it off by taking two paracetamols, stuffed my face with citrus and honey.

I just home, this bug won't stay around that long. You know that when a man is sick, he is worst than a baby right? Moaning there and here. Plus I have to attend to my little boy. And when the progesterone level is rising, all hell breaks loose.

I just need to keep an eye to them and make sure I take lots of citrus myself.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Dagwood Dog

We went to ekka last Sunday. After we got off the train, I bought a show program then bought dagwood dogs. Mcj said, it is one of the foods that the show is known for. It is just a crumbed sauge on a stick. You can have it with sauce or none. It was yummy for me who was really hungry.
It was a fun Sunday. We spent more time walking and eating than sight seeing. Throngs of people were coming from all direction that getting around was difficult especially with a pram.

I wonder though what are the specialty in Vegas vacations - apart from casinos and desert. Better check the net.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

It's The Weather

Winter is almost over yet the worst of it has never come yet. Westerly wind hasn't started blowing. It is supposed to be in these days, in time for the Brisbane exhibition.

I am not happy or should I say the entire family isn't happy because we've been visited by illnesses. Mcj had cold and flu and developed into something severe that he had to postpone his dental appointment for the next three weeks. The appointment that he'd been waiting for almost two months. And the reason why we didn't push through our plan to go to the Philippines last month. Then, Jens had a temperature running up to almost 39 degrees celcius for almost three days and when it was over, some rashes appeared on some parts of his body. Now, I am worried that it is measles. If only our human body are like furnitures that we can just put patio furniture covers over us during winter and not much damage that should be done. But it's not.

Here are some facts about colds:

Can you prevent colds?
The time when people with colds are most likely to pass them on to someone else is in the first 2 to 4 days after the cold starts, especially when the person is sneezing, coughing or has a very runny nose.
Colds are spread by little drops in the air from coughing or sneezing, or by touching the nose or mouth of someone with a cold and then touching your own nose or mouth, or after touching something the person has coughed or sneezed onto (such as a tissue).
Since colds are everywhere it is almost impossible to stop children from getting colds, but there are some things which may help.
Try not to let people with colds come close to, or hold, babies.
Wash your own and children's hands, especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing noses and before eating.
Teach children to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. They need to wash their hands straight afterwards.
Use tissues once and then throw them in the bin, instead using of handkerchiefs.
If anyone has a cold, they should try not to pass it on. They should stay home from childcare, school or work whenever possible.
There are no immunisations against colds, because of all of the different viruses that cause them, and there are not likely to be immunisations in the near future.
Eating healthy food seems to help, but even very healthy people can get colds.
There is no proof that extra vitamin C helps prevent colds, but many people use vitamin C. It seems that it may shorten the time a cold lasts by a small amount. It does not do any harm unless you take very large doses.
Recent research is showing that taking extra zinc can shorten the time some people are unwell and make the symptoms less severe. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist (chemist) to find out the best type of zinc preparation if you want to try this.
If a person has been near another person who has a cold, taking Echinacea might prevent a cold developing. It also might be useful in the very early stages of a cold, making recovery quicker. Make sure the preparation you use is suitable for children, and that it does not have any aspirin in it.
The air passages and lungs of babies and children are smaller, more delicate and sensitive to the effects of the chemicals in the tobacco smoke if they are around people who smoke. Tobacco smoke irritates eyes, nasal passages and children can catch more colds and other respiratory illnesses.

Guilt-free Pancakes

Do you like pancakes? I do but I seldom make them. Even if the procedure is fairly simply, it still hard work for a busy Mum like me. But I guess most people don't share my reason why they don't make pancakes for breakfast anymore. It's the calories in them. I read that making pancakes are like baking cookies or making rissoles. You can threw in whatever you like and the mixture will just come out fine.

Here's some tips on how to make pancakes guilt free:

1. Cut Down the Calories
· Use half the oil, margarine, shortening, or butter called for in the recipe.
· Use nonfat milk or nonfat condensed milk -- or low-fat buttermilk or soymilk -- instead of whole milk.
· Use cooking spray to prepare the griddle.
· Keep servings to two 4" pancakes.

2. Pump Up the Fiber
· Replace some of the white or unbleached flour with whole-wheat pastry flour. (It's lighter than regular whole-wheat flour.) Start with 3/4 cup white and 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour for every cup of flour called for. Increase the whole-wheat flour every time you cook until you find the proportion you like best.
· Toss in a handful of oatmeal to up the protein and fiber. (You may need to add a little extra milk, too.)
· To make gluten-free pancakes, use buckwheat flour.

3. Skim Off the Cholesterol
· Replace the eggs with egg substitute, or use two whites per yolk.
· For fluffier pancakes, whip the whites separately, and then fold them into the batter.

4. Skinny Down the Sugar
· Replace half the sugar with Splenda.
· Try adding sweet-tasting flavorings: vanilla, nutmeg, and/or cinnamon, and leave out some of the sugar.

5. Rev Up the Antioxidants
· Mix a spoonful of canned pumpkin, grated apple, or whole blueberries into the batter.
· Add some toasted wheat germ or ground flaxseeds, too.

6. Swap Out the Syrup
· Heap on fresh or thawed berries -- any kind.
· Top with a tablespoon of all-fruit apricot jam and a sliced banana.
· Spoon on fat-free sour cream, yogurt, or ricotta cheese mixed with mango chunks or mandarin oranges.

If you still crave syrup, drizzle any of the above with a little agave nectar (sold in health-food stores). It tastes as sweet as syrup, but it's far easier on your blood sugar levels.

There you go. I'm sure indulging to pancakes once in a while will be guilt-free. :)

By the way, have I mentioned before that Mcj loves watching cooking shows? It's not because he watched it online in Sony Vaio because he hasn't got none of that. He doesn't cook either. I can' explain it myself but I tell you, he fits the showing time of his favorite cooking show in his work schedule. I'm stump!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Keeping Your Weight

For some that doesn't have the time to go walking, jogging or exercise outdoor, they resort to all gadgets available - treadmills, something for the abs, etc. All these helps at some point, when the routine is done religiously. But there's a gadget that can really help.
If the pounds you dropped in time for summer are working their way back on, there’s a time-tested gadget that might help halt the creep.

It’s your bathroom scale. Research shows that people who weigh themselves regularly after reaching a goal weight do a much better job of keeping the lost pounds off.

Maintaining Your Losses
When you’re trying to lose weight, a bathroom scale may not be your best friend. It doesn’t always tell the whole story. But if you’re trying to keep lost weight off, a scale could be just the thing to keep you from backsliding. Researchers asked people who had lost weight over a 2-year period to weigh themselves daily for 18 months. The result? People who regularly weighed in were more successful at keeping the weight off for the long haul.

More Strategies for Control
So what else can you do to keep your weight -- and appetite -- in check?

Eat a little healthy fat at the start of each meal. It will help curb your appetite.

Buy a bag of pears, and have one before each meal. You’ll eat less overall.

Don’t diet! Really. Dieters usually regain what they lose.

Skin Diet

I don't mean eating skin - mandarin peel, etc. I mean, eating food good for your skin.

Whether we are ready or not, wrinkles will appear on our skin eventually mainly because of our sun exposure. Most resort to botox or surgery or any invasive procedure - that is for cure. For prevention, we use sun screen. Though, it pays to examine the food that we put into our mouth.
Food fight... against aging
Researchers are just beginning to explore the extent of diet's role in the skin aging process. One recent study revealed that people whose diets are rich in vegetables, beans, olive oil, nuts, and multigrain breads are less likely to wrinkle than those who feast on red meat, butter, and sugary foods.

Experts suspect that antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E and the minerals zinc and selenium may keep wrinkles at bay by reducing the amount of potentially damaging free radicals produced by skin cells. One study revealed that a supplement that included a combination of these antioxidant vitamins helped protect the skin from aging due to solar UV exposure.

Another study suggests that for light-skinned people, consuming a diet rich in carotenoids offers similar UV protection and also may contribute to healthy skin coloring.

To achieve a healthy, youthful glow, turn away from the sun and turn to carotenoid-rich foods such as cantaloupe, apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and other fruits and vegetables that have deep green, yellow, orange, and red hues. A multivitamin may provide your skin further protection against aging.

In addition, several research reviews have revealed that botanical antioxidants show promise as an effective means of protecting skin cells against ultraviolet radiation; this is another good reason to eat at least four servings of fruits and five of vegetables each day.

Eating the right food just doesn't help keeping wrinkles at bay but also prevent acne from appearing.