Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Not in Good Mood?

Here's some good food ideas for you from realage.com:
It's that intense time of year again, when the lows are low and the highs are high. Here are our picks of uplifting foods that will banish the blues, keep you focused, and maybe even make you a little sexier. Bon appetit!

1. Peppermint: It's nature's drill sergeant, telling your brain to wake up and focus! Perfect for helping you handle all those must-do holiday details. The next time you're dragging, pop a piece of peppermint gum and listen to your brain say, "Can do!"

2. Dark chocolate: An ounce or two may be just enough to release the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. Plus, you’ll get a three-way energy kick from chocolate's caffeine, theobromine, and phenylethylamine (a cousin of amphetamine). And the antioxidants in 70% dark chocolate do your arteries good, too. No wonder we crave the irresistible stuff.

3. Wild salmon (mackerel and herring, too): Logged more miles in a day at the mall than you usually do in a week on the treadmill? The accumulated anti-inflammatory action of omega-3 fatty acids in a fish platter or a grilled salmon steak can help ease the wear and tear on your tired body.

4. Half a dozen Blue Points: You get more zinc from six Blue Point oysters than you need in a day in order to fuel your production of testosterone -- the hormone that keeps both men and women in the mood for love. Oysters are also a storehouse of dopamine, the brain’s pleasure chemical.

5. An omelet: Just two eggs give you an entire daily quota of vitamin B12, a nutrient that's crucial to your brain's supply of good-mood chemicals. Make it a veggie omelet, add a whole-wheat bagel, and you'll be good to go for hours. . . and for few calories!

Christmas Blues?

It’s too hard to avoid pigging out this holiday, isn’t it? Whereever you go there are foods tempting you. But sometimes, it’s too hard not to feel guilty after binging on fatty indulgent and fizzy high calorie drinks. After this merry season just go back to your routine of exercising, working out or diet.

This season also brings out the bad mood in us. Long queue where ever we go. If you’re annoyed and stressed, nibble on dark chocolate or have a bowl of soup. They are rich in serotonin, enough to make you feel good. It was in the telly last night that shopping gives some headache. Why? I do feel good every time I shop especially if I splurge for myself.

Oh by the way, I’ve an idea what gift will I give Mcj on the next special occasion. A dress watch like that of Nixon watches. His dress watch’s bracelet was broken and hasn’t been mended. Oh, I’m so looking forward to shopping of it already.

Don't Skip Breakfast

Here’s a very simple and easy to follow step on how to lose those unwanted pounds 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.

I am guilty as charged for not doing the number 2. I can’t eat breakfast early in the morning even if I am hungry. My stomach is not just for it. I tried to after having a shower, but still no effect. I reckon this is good because we can save money on breakfast. Maybe we can get that a tankless water heater to give room in the laundry.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Holiday Binge

The holiday season is not over yet. There are still heaps of time to indulge on decadence, yummy yet fatty foods and just chilling out (read: being lazy). Yet, I’m sure some of us are already complaining of the effects of those indulgence that we have last Christmas and those decadent we receive as a gifts – I heard someone whines just this morning, in our body. Bulges or love handles has started to build or cheeks getting chubby.

I wish I can complain the same. The last time that I pigged-out was on Christmas lunch – a heapful of meat (lamb, ham, pork) and salad. Mind you, though the meats were not cook through healthy grilling, they were not oily or fatty. The next day after that, my half-sprouted wisdom tooth decided to grow full blown. I can hardly open my mouth widely. The only decadent I had was a couple of Lindt chocolates and a half a bag of Doritos with a couple of sips of cola last night, if you count that as indulgence. I wish I can eat more than I used to. At least just this season.

I have New Year to look forward to. I hope, my wisdom tooth will actually use its wisdom and realise that it’s festive season and I need to feast. :)

Sunday, 21 December 2008

No Ordinary Dinner

This plate is just an ordinary dinner. We usually have this every week. Corned beef and veggies. But this one, I particularly like.

Heaps of veggies and generous serving of meat. I loved the potato salad - potatoes, onions and mayonnaise. Simple and easy. The carrots and corn were frozen but still taste yum! I liked the tomatoes. It's been a long while since I had some that I missed it.

It's a big serving but I ate it all. It's not fattening too as it is mostly veggies. I'm now hungry.

Have to check what's the buzz with Seattle injury lawyer about, first.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Stone Fruit

While the northern part of the world is bracing the cold weather, here in Down Under we are basking in the sun - hopefully with sunscreen and hat or just being sun smart.

Summer in Down Under does not only means sun, beach, longer days, flowers, etc.. it also means aplenty supply of stone fruit. Last week, we were in shopping frenzy of them. We bought heaps, as if they're going to run out and as if there a dozen of mouths to feed at home. Not!


Now, some are over-ripe and some starts to rot. I don't want them to end up in the mouth of the wilds so we better hurry up eating them or put them in the fridge. Humm, seems we are in Lipovox diet.

Being a Mum

Stumbled upon these in the net while I was reading some medical stuff. From cyh.com, this is very interesting and informative.
As your children grow

Your time and energy is your most precious resource. Spending time with your children is a sure sign to them that they are truly valued - and it will help them to behave better!

Say sorry when you lose your temper or treat them unfairly.

See yourself as a teacher - teaching them about relationships and about living in society with other people. These things take a long time to learn so be prepared to repeat lessons calmly.

Encourage your children to share in tasks around the home (in keeping with their age and ability).

Tell them when they do helpful things - that's how they know to keep doing them. Children need to feel that they are needed.

Set reasonable limits and stick to them.

Do unexpected small things to make them feel special. For example, a note on their pillow to say "I love you", or a treat in their school lunch box.

Take time to listen to what's happening in their lives - know the names of their friends, teachers, heroes and what their favourite books, videos or TV programs are about.


These are very common advise but I admit sometimes, I need reminding.

Whew, I'm being emotional here, I know. It's just me.

Better be going so I can finish my work and wrap some gifts. It occured to me that personalized books is a nice gift idea.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Clean House - Healthy Skin

Ridiculous, right? But yeah, for some it is so true. A friend has a skin allergry triggered by dust mites. She needs to change their linens very often than usual and maybe clean often as well.

If you're really into freak-cleaning, as I call it, here's some tips from realage.com:

Steam it. Vacuuming helps remove dust mites, but it can also stir them up, so try steam cleaning your floors, furniture, carpets, and drapes.

Filter it. For your home’s heating and cooling system, purchase a HEPA filter or other air purification system to help lower the mite count in your house.

Wash it. Dust mites love hanging out in bed with you. Wash your bed linens at least once a week in hot water, detergent, and bleach (if possible)


Keeping your house clean does not only helps the skin but the health of everybody at home.

This reminds me to do my own house-cleaning today. There are just so much dust around the house that soon I'll be wearing beanie to keep my hair clean.

Homemade Banana Cake


I had one big over-riped banana sitting in the fridge for a couple of days. I decided to try baking banana cake. I got a simple recipe from bestrecipes.com.au that I got so enthusiastic about it. I didn't follow it up to the amount of engridients though.

My version:
1 big ripe banana (cavendish)
1/2 cup brown sugar (haven't got caster sugar)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter

Mix the sugar and butter until cream. Add the eggs and milk. Dissolve the baking soda in milk and add to the mixture. Then add the flour in portions. Mix thouroughly.

Pour the mixture in greased tin. Try to sprinkle flour on the tin so the cake won't stick at the bottom. Mine got stuck as I only sprayed the tin with oil.

I cooked mine for 30 minutes in 180 degrees celcius and it is a bit crusty. Try cooking it in less time - say 20 minutes. If more, try it longer.

Mine taste good. Not so sweet - the way I like it. But it needs more banana - Mcj said.

This is a cheap snacks or tea. Nutritious as well and very easy to prepare. I'm sure, I'll make another one soon. Have to buy banana first. :)

For now, have to go back to work - check if our VPN to the office is working and maybe check some small business for sale if I have time later.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Flawless Skin

There are lots of skincare products available in the market now. Choosing what suits you, should be easy but for some, it isn't. You can never be sure if some are really safe as you can see in the news, more and more products are causing skin damage. Sometimes, it is better to go back to the basic and natural products that once had given perfect flawless skin.

Here's some tips from realage.com:

It’s olive oil -- great on salads and pasta but possibly even better on your skin. But don’t stop there. Your scalp, hair, nails, and lips might seem unlikely candidates for a moisturizer, but they can also benefit from this smoothing stuff.

Be picky when you shop; extra-virgin olive oil works best for skin. But because a small segment of the population can be sensitive to it, first rub a drop on your wrist to see how your skin reacts. If you’re good to go, try making your own skin-soothing Roman-bath experience by adding a quarter cup of olive oil and a few drops of lavender or peppermint oil to a warm soak. Top off the experience with some beauty sleep.


I wish I could have enough time during the day and night to do all these vanity stuff. I really need some TLC physically. Oh well, I'm getting enough TLC from my one-and-a-half-men anyway. I think, they're more powerful than any therapy. But, do I have time for that term life insurance quote.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Down by a Bug

I skipped work Wednesday as I was down with cold and flu. I don’t feel better yet but not that bad so I reported to work the next day. It turned out, there are several issues waiting for my attention. So, I am glad for Mcj’s prodding me to get up that day. I could have taken my notebook with me home so I can just work from here or save a copy of my files to work on in a flash memory, but I didn't. What a shame?

It could be the weather as it is like crazy. Warm, hot, cold, cool – all that in one day.

I think, it’s time again to stock up vitamin C in the medicine cabinet or more intakes of fruit that are richer of that nutrient.

Here are some tips from wikihow on how to treat cold. Might help.
Try taking a day off, from school or work. You wouldn't want to feel uncomfortable at school, with a blocked nose, runny nose, and the urge to sneeze every 10 minutes. This also helps limit your spread of the illness to others.

Stop the spreading of germs. Don't allow others to eat or drink from anything you have come in contact with, and change your pillow cases every day or two while you're feeling ill. This will limit your chances of spreading the illness, as well as help remove the germs from your environment.

Drink lots of water or juice. Staying hydrated will reduce the effects of many symptoms such as headaches and sore throat. You may go to the bathroom a lot, but it's no different than your body trying to get rid of stuff by making you cough and sneeze. A good indication that you are drinking enough fluids is that your urine will be almost clear. The deeper yellows imply higher concentrations of waste in your body that are not dissolving and diluting enough - so, raise your fluid intake. Hot soups are another good way to take fluids in.

Eat chicken soup. There has been some scientific evidence to suggest that chicken soup slows down the movement of certain white blood cells which cause the symptoms of a cold[1], in addition the hot liquid from the soup can help clear the nasal passages and soothe your throat. In addition, some view the combination of salt, heat and fluid in chicken soup as an aid in fighting infection.


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