Monthly Archives: January 2018

GREEN CHILI PICKLE AND A POST ON A SPICE/HERB CHILI/HOT PEPPER
Chili is the most valuable spice of the world and is gaining its popularity throughout the world, and now it is used in more and more cuisines of the world. India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of chilies, which is 40% of the total world production. Chili production requires sunny, tropical, humid conditions with a good amount of rainfall. We have grown a lot of chilies in our kitchen garden when I was in Kenya. We had around 25 plants of 3-4 feet high and were producing a lot of green chilies, being small as a family we were not able to consume a lot, so were leaving the chilies on the plants itself to ripen. When their colour turned red, I used to collect and dry them in the hot sunny area of my garden, and later was grinding in my dry grinder to make red chili powder, which I used in my kitchen.
There are many different types, colors, shapes and mild to a very hot pungent taste of the chilies are available in the world. This spice – chili and chili powder are used in many cuisines of the world. Raw chilies are normally green in colour, but ripened chilies are yellow, orange and red in colour. Since it is impossible to tell how spicy a chili is just by looking at it, you will have to taste it to get an idea. Once you know how spicy it is then you can use it according to your taste.
In Indian cuisine, chili powder is used from ages, some chili powders are giving only a red colour to the recipe and are not very spicy like Kashmiri chili powder, it is more or less like paprika. But some chili powders are very hot, and people use it depending on their taste and the requirement of the recipe. In Southern states of India, whole red dried chili is used a lot in tempering many recipes. Red chili flakes/crushed chili is also used a lot in the Indian cuisine throughout India. Some people have the misconception that Indian food is very spicy, but that is not the case, yes, we do use different types of chilies in its different forms but how spicy the food absolutely depends on individuals choice. Green chilies are a good source of vitamin C; so many people eat raw green chilies with their food.
Some people think that chili pepper is consumed only to put fire on your tongue or to get tears in your eyes but the surprising fact is that chilies do have a lot of health benefits like natural pain relief, boosting immunity, clearing congestion, preventing stomach ulcers, and reducing weight. Check this website for detailed study of all this and a lot of useful information about chilies.
According to Ayurveda, there are six tastes by which all food can be categorized: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. Pungent taste is hot and spicy as found in chili pepper and astringent is dry and light as found in popcorn. Ayurveda suggests that all these tastes should be included in every meal for optimum health and to get initial spark to the digestive system. These six tastes satisfy each of the major dietary building blocks and these six tastes also guide our body to accomplish its nutritional needs. Each taste feeds our body, mind, senses and spirit in its own unique way. Ayurveda is a traditional healing system of India, which gave us yoga and breathing exercises and still successfully practiced in India. Check this website-
Chili powder is eaten by one-quarter of world population every day, in all countries all over the globe. But chili powder was completely unknown to the most of the world until Christopher Columbus discovered America. Check this website which explains very nicely that of course, Columbus was not looking for chilies, but was looking for a trade route. This website further explained that, until well after the middle ages, almost all through the world, pepper travelled from the Malabar coast, India to Europe and then to America.
Coming to the recipe, this is my mom’s recipe as it is in which she used mustard oil. I get mustard oil from the local Indian grocery store, so I have also used mustard oil, but you can use any other oil instead if you prefer. Mustard oil is used for cooking in Punjab and many other Northern States of India. This is a simple and quick recipe which can be enjoyed using mild to hot chilies basing on your taste.
INGREDIENTS
  • 200 grams long green chilies (around 25-30)
  • 20 grams of black mustard seeds (rai)
  • 20 grams of fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 10 grams of fenugreek seeds (methi )
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I used mustard oil)
  • 10 grams chili powder (optional) *
* Normally these green chilies are not spicy/hot at all, so if you need some spice in this pickle you can add some additional chilli powder
  • Mix the fennel, mustard and fenugreek seeds and grind it coarsely in a dry spice grinder.
  • Wash and dry the chilies or wipe with a kitchen towel.
  • Slit the chilies in the middle lengthwise.
  • In the already ground spices, mix salt and chili powder and fill ( stuff) through the slit in all the chilies and leave aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, when hot add all the chilies, mix slowly and cover it after 5 minutes add the remaining spice mixture on top of the chilies.
  • Cook for 8-10 minutes till the chilies are cooked and changed in colour.
  • Cool it and serve with meals as a condiments/pickle/chutney

“Sayangnya nak buang… Boleh pakai lagi ni. Letak sini dululah. Mana tau nak guna nanti.”

Kata orang, ‘less is more’. Tapi ada juga yang menganggap bahawa terdapat ‘nilai’ tersendiri dalam keserabutan.

Terdapat banyak perspektif dalam penjagaan rumah dan ruang peribadi. Salah satu amalan yang kian menjadi tabiat rakyat Malaysia adalah suka menyimpan barang berlebihan sebab nak berjimat atau ‘sayang’ nak dibuang disebabkan banyak ‘sentimental value’. 

Benar, sesetengah barang memang ada nilainya. Tapi sikap begini yang berlebihan hingga menimbulkan keserabutan dan mengorbankan keselesaan merupakan petanda penyakit mental atau ‘hoarding disorder’, seperti yang dilaporkan oleh Psychology Today.

Selain memberi kesan kepada emosi, barang-barang berlebihan tersebut bagaikan ‘beban’ yang boleh menjejaskan kesihatan fizikal dan produktiviti. Ini 5 kesan buruk yang akan dialami oleh pengamal tabiat tersebut.

Tabiat Suka Simpan Banyak Barang Petanda Masalah Mental. Ini 5 Bahayanya

Inilah 5 bahayanya kalau seseorang memiliki tabiat ‘hoarding’ atau terlalu suka menyimpan banyak barang.

1. Suasana Yang Mendorong Rasa Tertekan

Bila dapat simpan banyak barang, mungkin ada yang berasa lebih ‘selamat’ sebab tak perlu keluar duit untuk membeli lagi. Bila nak guna, semuanya dah tersedia. Tapi hakikatnya ia tetap juga disimpan walaupun 4-5 tahun tak pernah digunakan langsung!

Rumah sepatutnya menjadi tempat untuk merehatkan mental dan fizikal selepas seharian bekerja kini menjadi sesak tanpa disedari.

Sedikit demi sedikit, tekanan akibat barang berlebihan menjadi perudum semangat kita untuk memulakan rutin harian. Bahkan, rutin harian kita akan terganggu akibat terlalu banyak barang di sesuatu tempat.

Foto Kredit: houselogic.com

2. Mendorong Tabiat Makan Berlebihan

Rupanya, tabiat suka mengumpul banyak barang ini ada kena-mengena juga dengan diet kita. Kajian telah membuktikan bahawa ia merupakan salah satu punca yang mendorong kita untuk makan berlebihan. Kalau siapa tengok rancangan realiti ‘Hoarders’ di TV, mesti anda perasan orang yang suka kumpul banyak barang ini sememangnya terdiri daripada mereka yang gemuk-gemuk belaka.

Suasana berselerak membuatkan seseorang rasa stres lalu makan berlebihan untuk berasa lebih selesa. Selain itu, ia memacu kecenderungan untuk memakan ‘comfort food’ yang tidak berkhasiat bagi menenangkan diri.

Foto Kredit: hdfootagestock.com

3. Kurang Produktif

Timbunan barang bukan saja membuatkan mata kita sakit, tetapi menyesakkan minda yang cuba untuk bekerja. Bayangkan, kalau tengok inbox email yang beratus-ratus pun buat kita rasa stres, apatah lagi barang-barang di depan mata. Bila makin bertimbun, makin susahlah nak fokus dengan kerja yang ada.

Persekitaran yang tersusun membawa kepada kesihatan mental yang baik. Begitulah kesimpulan yang dapat dibuat daripada kajian yang dijalankan untuk mengenalpasti kaitan stres dengan persekitaran di tempat kerja.

Foto Kredit: smh.com.au

4. Mudah Nyanyuk

Minda yang serabut kerana tidak dapat berhenti menapis maklumat yang tidak berguna di dalam otak. Maklumat ini dinamakan ‘mental clutter’ dari sudut psikologi dan ia adalah salah satu punca utama kepada nyanyuk pada usia tua.

Ia bermula dengan pemikiran yang tidak tenang dan mengakibatkan otak tidak dapat memproses maklumat dengan efisyen. Otak  terpaksa bekerja berlebihan kerana rangsangan lebih daripada persekitaran yang tidak teratur.

Akibatnya, pada permulaan kita akan mengalami ‘short term meory loss’ atau lupa ingatan pada jangka pendek. Jika tidak dicegah, ia boleh melarat hingga membuatkan seseorang mudah hilang fokus dan nyanyuk.

Foto Kredit: indiatoday.com

5. Pengasingan Sosial

Orang yang suka sangat kumpul banyak barang ini bukan saja akan mengalami masalah terhadap diri sendiri, tetapi kesannya juga akan dirasai oleh ahli keluarga.

Apabila terpaksa ‘bersembunyi’ di bawah timbunan barang, ahli keluarga bukan saja akan berasa ‘lemas’ tetapi juga terkesan dari segi emosi. Apa yang lebih serius, keserabutan ini menjadikan seseorang sukar untuk membaca raut wajah insan lain dalam hidup mereka.

Akibatnya, pengamal tabiat ini semakin kurang mengambil berat tentang perasaan ahli keluarga kerana emosi yang kelihatan sama setiap hari. Malah, mereka juga cenderung mengasingkan diri dan semakin obses terhadap barang tersebut hingga tak mahu orang lain menyentuhnya.

Foto Kredit: people.com

Ada Bezanya Antara ‘Hoarding’ Dengan ‘Collecting’

Tak dinafikan sesetengah orang suka mengumpul barang sebagai hobi. Tapi kita haruslah dapat membezakan antara koleksi barang berharga dan sebaliknya.

Menurut Anxiety And Depression Association Of America, perbezaan antara kedua tabiat ini adalah pada susunan dan organisasi ruang, emosi, serta masa yang dapat diperuntukkan untuknya.

Seorang yang benar-benar mengumpul barang antik atau koleksi berharga selalunya akan berasa bangga, mampu mengurus dan mengkategorikan semua barang dengan baik, tersusun, dan mempunyai ruang khas untuk semua barang tersebut. Sebaliknya, mereka yang dianggap ‘hoarder’ ini tidak mampu mencari dan menyusun barang mereka, mengorbankan ruang asas dalam rumah, dan berasa tidak selesa untuk bercakap tentang barang-barangnya.

Jangan terkejut, terdapat penelitian juga yang mendakwa bahawa kebanyakan daripada mereka ini bukannya ‘berjimat’, sebaliknya memiliki masalah kewangan dan banyak berhutang!

Sumber rujukan:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201705/5-reasons-clear-the-clutter-out-your-life

https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/hoarding-basics#

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/hoarding-disorder/what-is-hoarding-disorder

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hoarding-disorder/

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/hoarding-disorder/what-is-hoarding-disorder

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201203/why-mess-causes-stress-8-reasons-8-remedies

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Erin Brodwin / Business Insider

I’m no stranger to fitness apps, having tried everything from an app that promises the benefits of a trip to the gym in seven minutes to a tool that lets you track and share your runs with other users.

But when I first heard about Sweatcoin, an app that “pays you” in a type of currency that it aims to eventually turn into cryptocurrency to reach your fitness goals, I was intrigued.

Naturally, I had to give it a shot. Here’s how it went.


The first thing I learned about Sweatcoin after installing it on my iPhone is that it doesn’t actually pay you to walk around — at least not in the conventional sense of the term.

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Sweatcoin

The app lets you earn “Sweatcoins,” or points based on the number of steps you take in a day, which you can then use to buy a limited number of specific goods that Sweatcoin has made available – like a Fitbit tracker, fitness classes, or subscriptions to apps designed to help you eat healthier. Eventually Sweatcoins founders aim for it to be listed on cryptocurrency exchanges, but it isn’t yet.


The irony of the fact that my Sweatcoins could only be used to purchase fitness equipment and classes was not lost on me. Nevertheless, I kept the app running in the background of my phone, thinking perhaps it would spur me to move more.

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Sweatcoin

Although I was feeling slightly less enthusiastic about my potential purchases with Sweatcoins after learning how they could be spent, I kept the app running in the background of my phone. If you hard quit the app (or swipe up when you’re not using it), Sweatcoin will stop tracking your steps.


I also learned that Sweatcoin doesn’t track all of your steps — only those the app believes are completed outdoors.

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Shutterstock

Because the app is constantly running on your phone – something that many users have complained drains their battery – it is able to use GPS to roughly determine when you’re inside and outside. The only steps that count towards your Sweatcoin earnings are those you take outdoors. Also, the app doesn’t sync with Fitbits or other fitness trackers. Instead, it relies on your phone’s step tracking software.


Although I started out skeptical, after a few days with the app, I noticed myself subtly favoring outdoor walks with my dog over indoor workouts at the gym.

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Erin Brodwin / Business Insider

Knowing that I wouldn’t get any credit for the indoor workouts I did at the gym (and seeing the giddy look on my dog’s face every time I took his leash out of the cabinet), I started opting to take him out more frequently. I’d occasionally pull out my phone just to make sure the app was counting my steps, but otherwise I mostly ignored it.


One day after a particularly long walk, I checked my daily Sweatcoin count and noticed I’d only gotten 5 credits, or coins — the exact same number as the day before, when I thought I’d barely budged. Something was up.

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Erin Brodwin / Business Insider

After a few minutes swiping around in the app, I realized the problem was my status. I was still a mere “Mover” – the very first category of Sweatcoin membership – and “Movers” can’t earn more than 5 Sweatcoins per day. Even though I’d earned more coins by walking more, I’d maxed out on what I could actually earn because of my level. To earn more, I had to move up a category to “Shaker,” but to do so, I had to pay (in Sweatcoins, of course). Not liking either option, I decided to try it out for 30 days for free.


In the meantime, I did notice myself walking a little bit more, but I wasn’t sure I’d keep it up — or that my slight adjustments were significant enough to make a dent in my overall health.

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Erin Brodwin / Business Insider

Scientific studies on whether fitness trackers actually change behavior have been largely inconclusive. Some studies suggest that for specific populations, like people who have been diagnosed with heart disease or are obese, fitness trackers can motivate them to move more, at least for several months. Others studies find that while using the devices may be helpful for certain people, they don’t necessarily drive behavior change on their own.

This is something that Sweatcoin co-founders Oleg Fomenko and Anton Derlyatka are aware of. But they believe Sweatcoin will be different.


Since Sweatcoin is still new, there’s not much research yet on whether giving people more concrete rewards for fitness — like Sweatcoins — will help motivate them to move around more.

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Sweatcoin / Twitter

Still, there is some research that suggests this might be a promising vision for future step-tracking apps. One recent peer-reviewed study of a workplace-based program that gave employees money for walking suggested that the model could work. Over half the participants – all of whom were hospital employees outfitted with a fitness tracker – met their step goals 12 weeks into the program.

Fomenko and Derlyatka told Business Insider that internal data suggests the same thing: that giving users real rewards may prove to be the aspect of the app that makes it different from other fitness-tracking software.

“We want to show the world that physical movement has economic value,” Derlyatka told me in January.


Now that I was free to earn more Sweatcoins, I started exploring the social component of the app.

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Flickr / Adam Fagen

As a former Fitbit user, I’d enjoyed being able to see my friends on the app. I avoided comparing my step count directly to theirs since I can get pretty competitive, but I liked knowing that they were there. It felt like I was embarking on my fitness adventure with a group. Same thing applied to Sweatcoin.


But when I looked at my daily leaderboard, I couldn’t help but feel a little discouraged when I saw my place near the bottom of the list.

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Erin Brodwin / Business Insider

I take public transit to work and do yoga almost every day, but most of my steps are indoors, so they don’t count.


This got me wondering if other users had tried finding another purpose for their Sweatcoins — like making actual money.

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Twitter

Sure enough, some users are already selling their Sweatcoin. And that’s OK with Derlyatka and Fomenko.

“We are in this for the long-haul. We believe we can create one of the most popular currencies in the world,” Derlyatka said.


Then I started wondering if you could trick the app to make you think you were walking and earning more than you really were.

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Dax with my phone attached to his collar
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Erin Brodwin / Business Insider

So I decided to experiment. One evening, I attached my phone to my dog’s collar and took him to the park, where he happily tore up the grass with energy. He ran in loops, bounding and skipping. With every joyful leap, I thought of more coins in the bank.


Turns out, it’s not that hard to trick the app — but Fomenko and Derlyatka say they are hard at work trying to improve their algorithms to prevent this. In the meantime, Sweatcoin’s terms of use specify that you can get banned from the app if you do so.

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Erin Brodwin / Business Insider

Under its Terms of Use, Sweatcoin specifies that users “shall not … seek to generate Sweatcoins by any means other than your genuine physical movement.” It goes on to specify that users cannot “simulate any such verified movement” or “enlist third parties to generate Sweatcoins on your behalf.”

Doing so, it continues, can result in getting banned from the app and having your Sweatcoins revoked.


The whole point of the app is to get moving outside more. That said, Sweatcoin also collects data on your location and steps — data that it may sell to marketers, as outlined in its privacy policy.

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Erin Brodwin / Business Insider

Sweatcoin isn’t alone in collecting this information. Hundreds of location-based apps like Foursquare and Swarm do it too. However, Fomenko and Derlyatka said they would never share information on an individual user’s health or behavior to third parties. The data is used exclusively to verify that a user’s steps were taken outdoors, Fomenko said.

“We would never ever post this information to anyone else,” Fomenko said. “The point of it is to verify the movement. So we know that every Sweatcoin in existence was genuinely sweated over by you or me.”

Chia seeds have been used since ancient times by the Mayan and Aztecs. Aztec warriors ate chia seeds for the energy boost and endurance. On the other hand, Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language. Therefore, Chia seeds were a staple for runners and warriors during battles. Modern research founded that chia seeds benefits for health are even more remarkable than we realized.

Chia seeds not only provide energy but also promote healthy skin, reduce the signs of aging, good for heart and digestion and make your bones and muscles stronger. They are even capable of reversing diabetes.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are now easily available worldwide so you can use them as a powerful addition to your diet. They are rich in nutrients, loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as proteins and fiber.

You can eat them raw, soaked in juice or add them in porridges, puddings, and baked stuff. You can also add them to make some healthy smoothies, yogurt, and salads. You can also use chia seeds to thicken up sauces as they readily absorb water and fat.

Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds benefits and recipes

#1 Loaded with Antioxidants

Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants that remove free radicals from your body and help fight against aging and cancer. The high antioxidant concentration also increases their shelf life, and they can last almost two years without refrigeration.

A study uncovered that chia seeds have a total antioxidant concentration nearly two times higher than previously reported, and the antioxidant activity was shown to remove up to 70 percent of free radicals.

This means that chia seeds are one of those foods that provide you with a high antioxidant concentration.

Why you need antioxidants?

Antioxidants speed up the skin’s repair systems and prevent further damage, making it healthy and glowing. Consuming chia seeds prevent premature skin aging due to inflammation and free radical damage.

#2 Chia Seeds are Good for Digestion

Chia seeds contain a high amount of fiber, making them incredibly good for bowel regularity and healthy stool. Fiber also makes you feel full sooner as it can absorb a considerable amount of water and expand in the stomach.

Chia seeds after absorbing water create a gelatin-like substance in the stomach that can act as a probiotic that supports the growth of probiotics in the gut, therefore, helping in better digestion.

#3 Weight Loss

Weight loss

Foods that are rich in fiber and protein are ideal for weight loss diets, and chia seeds are one of them.

Fiber reduces inflammation, lowers cholesterol, and regulates bowel functions. Chia seeds are a rich source of fiber. They offer 10 grams of fiber in only two tablespoons, which is one-third of the daily-recommended intake of fiber.

Chia seeds also stand among the top plant-based sources of protein. This is another reason why this seed is amazing for people trying to put on lean muscle, burn fat and balance blood sugar levels.

The unique ability of chia seeds to absorb up to 10 times their weight in water is a result of the fiber content. This prolongs hydration and improves nutrient absorption of electrolytes. Also, it also keeps you satiated longer, thus reducing sugar cravings.

#4 Chia Seeds are Good for Your Heart

Chia seeds can reduce inflammation, regulate cholesterol, and decrease blood pressure, making them extraordinarily beneficial for your heart. Chia seeds also reduce oxidative stress, thereby decreasing the risk of developing atherosclerosis.

Chia seeds also contain large amounts of omega-3 (healthy fats). Omega 3 protects your heart by decreasing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation.

#5 Boost Metabolism and Energy

Chia seeds have been known to provide a boost of energy since historical times.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning deduced that chia seeds could improve exercise performance in workouts in the same way any regular sports drink would and without all the unhealthy sugar.

By including chia seeds in your diet, you can make a great difference if you are trying to lose weight. Not only they boost your metabolism but can burn belly fat as well. Studies reveal that the addition of chia seeds to your diet can decrease visceral fat or commonly known as “belly fat” tissue that affects the metabolism of the body.

How Much Chia Seeds per Day

Roizen and Mehmet Oz, MD, in their book You Staying Young recommend two daily doses, each consisting of 20 grams (a little less than two tablespoons) of chia seeds. Still, other resources mention that you should not exceed two tablespoons per day. The reason for that is that chia seeds are rich in fibers, which may cause stomach issues if you are not used to eating fiber-rich foods.

Nutrition Facts about Chia Seeds

Benefits-of-Chia-Seeds

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA Branded Food Products Database two tablespoons of chia seeds (about one ounce) contain:

  • 70 Kcal
  • 3 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of fiber
  • No sugar
  • 100 grams of Calcium
  • 32 grams of Iron
  • 2 grams of vitamin C
  • No cholesterol or fatty acids

How to Eat Chia Seeds

  • When soaked in water, chia seeds will form a gel-like, which can make you feel full for a longer duration. You can also use this mixture to thicken foods in some recipes like the pudding, and it can also replace eggs in vegan cooking.
  • As a whole, you can consume these small seeds as a whole by adding some to your morning breakfast; sprinkle some on cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal or add some to your fruit salad for an extra energy booster.
  • Powdered in bread dough, muffins, or cake as it keeps it moist for a longer period.

8 Creative Chia Seeds Recipes

#1 Chia Seed Crackers

Chia seeds crackers

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Crackers could be a perfect snack for kids and adults, too. This crackers recipe contains sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds along with chia seeds.

#2 Chia Seeds Smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to boost your energy and provide your body with antioxidants, adding chia seeds will for sure double the benefits, and makes your smoothie the perfect snack after a workout, they provide your body with protein, minerals, and reduce sugar craving.

There are so many smoothie recipes that you can choose from, tropical smoothie, citrus smoothie, Spanish smoothie, banana smoothie, and many more. You can choose from this dairy-free tropical green chia smoothie by Kristine, detox green smoothie by Ally, or blueberry and chia smoothie by Amy Chaplin.

#3 Chia Seeds and Raspberries Pudding

chia seeds pudding with fruits

This chia seeds pudding by Giada De Laurentiis is easy to make; you will need to mix almond milk, yogurt, maple syrup, the vanilla, and salt. Then cover and refrigerate for overnight.

As chia seeds will absorb the water in the mixer, it will thicken and form a nice pudding by the next day. Add berries, red berries, or strawberries and serve in small bowls or glasses.

#4 Apple Mug Muffin and Chia Seeds

This egg-free muffin recipe uses chia seeds as a replacement for eggs, which makes it vegan-friendly. It also includes apples to add more flavors.

#5 Banana Chia Power Breakfast Bars (Banana Cake)

Chia seeds and banana cake

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This gluten-free banana cake can be a great start in the morning, either has alone or top it with some cream cheese frosting or butter. Alexa uses almond flour and tapioca flour, along with flax seeds and chia seeds, which makes a great fiber source and energy booster for your day.

#6 Greek Yogurt and Chia Seeds

Chia seeds, yogurt and fruits

This easy, still delicious recipe makes the perfect snack.

Mix yogurt and chia seeds, let sit for a few minutes, then add fruits of your choice.

#7 Fruit Salad

Chia seeds fruits salad

Another easy recipe is by slicing fruits of your choice, kiwi, oranges, and bananas are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, add chia seeds and honey if you wish.

#8 Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets and chia seeds

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Kids love chicken nuggets, yet most chicken nuggets served in restaurants are not healthy. This healthy chicken nuggets recipe is a healthy twist on what you would find in a readymade kid’s meal. Chicken is breaded with chia seeds, ground flaxseed, Parmesan cheese, and herbs. Then bake in the oven.

Chia Seeds Side Effects

As mentioned earlier, you should consume chia seeds in moderation, and it would be better if you start slow, like a teaspoon a day.

If you are allergic to sesame or mustard, you should consult your doctor before taking chia seeds.

About the Author: Lisa Brown has been helping her readers with successful business and entrepreneurial strategies for the past three years. She currently works with Ekuep, which is the first online store in the Middle East that caters to the foodservice industry. It sells kitchen equipment, restaurant equipment, and food service equipment that are made by leading brands from all over the world. These machines and tools are trusted by all restaurant and cafe owners from across the world.

This post was updated by Dima Al Mahsiri

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We all have that one friend who owns more makeup brushes than you own shoes. It’s always inspiring to see the stunning makeup looks they create with their bristled-beauties, but if you’re wondering what are the five or so brushes that are must-haves, you’re in the right place.

We gave some of our celebrity makeup artist friends a call to see which of our vegan brushes with animal-free bristles are their favorites. We also got them to spill a few brush hacks.

Keep scrolling to read their secrets.

Foundation Brush, Circle\Delete Concealer

The Best Way to Apply Concealer

“To evenly apply a cream concealer, I love using a flat dense brush with medium to short bristles, like a Foundation Brush. Then, I lightly blend the product in with a slightly damp sponge for uniform coverage and a smooth finish.”

–Emily Hache, @emilyhachebeauty

vegan foundation brushFoundation Brush
$41.00

circle\delete #1Circle\Delete Concealer
$32.00

Handi Brush, PurePressed Base

How to Apply Mineral Powder Foundation

“A long-bristled, flat top brush like The Handi Brush is best for pressed powder mineral foundations. Tap off excess and gently sweep in straight lines down the face, building as needed. Avoid buffing minerals into the skin, which can actually cause the finish to look muddy!”

–Jamie Greenberg, @jamiemakeup

handi brushThe Handi Brush
$45.00

cocoa purepressed basePurePressed Base Mineral Foundation
$42.00

Kabuki Brush, Liquid Minerals

How to Blend Liquid Foundation

“My favorite brush to use with Liquid Minerals is the Kabuki Brush – It blends effortlessly. Once I have the desired coverage, I wipe off any excess foundation left on the brush and use it to [blend the foundation into] the skin, using circular motions to create a flawless finish.”

–Paige Padgett, @paigepadget

kabuki brushKabuki Brush
$38.00

suntan liquid mineralsLiquid Minerals
$52.00

Dome Brush, In Touch Cream Blush

Get the Perfect Rosy Glow

“For a natural rosy glow that appears to come from within, I like to use InTouch Cream Blush. Using a Dome Brush, swipe the end of the brush back and forth over the cream product. Apply in circular motions over the apples of your cheeks. The bristles of a Dome Brush are perfect for creating a diffused look, doing all the blending work for you.”

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dome brushDome Brush
$42.00

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AngleLiner Brush, Mystikol Powdered Eyeliner

The Right Brush for Graphic Eyeliner

“I’ve been asked to do lots of graphic liner looks from my clients lately, and an Angle Liner/Brow Brush is perfect to achieve those 45 degree angle, sharp wings. Not to mention, I can also double it as an eyebrow brush.”

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angle liner/brow brushAngle Liner/Brow Brush
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onyx mystikol powdered eyelinerMystikol Powdered Eyeliner
$24.00

Blending/Contour Brush, White Fan Brush, GreatShape Contour Kit

Best Brushes for a Natural Contour

“For an effortless contour, less is more. Always start by applying a small amount of your darker shade with an angled brush, like the Blending / Contouring Brush, and blend well. Then, use a Fan Brush to diffuse your highlight shade for soft, glowy cheeks.”

–Azra Red, @azraredmakeup

warm greatshape contour kitGreatShape Contour Kit
$49.00

Began Blending/Contour BrushBlending/Contour Brush
$41.00

white-fan-brushWhite Fan Brush
$18.00


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Tags: vegan brushes

Flu experts agree that the 2017-18 flu season may not be a full-blown pandemic, but it sure is nasty.

The flu is widespread across 48 US states right now. Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say doctors have been seeing as many patients as they did at the height of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic.

The epidemic this season is not at pandemic levels, but it has been especially tough on baby boomers. CDC officials say that could be in part because they weren’t exposed to this year’s most aggressive H3N2 strain as children.

It’s nearly impossible to predict how this flu season will end, as flu viruses don’t follow predictable models from year to year.

Still, there are a few simple things to do to stay healthy and safe. Here’s what you need to know.


It’s been a season of horror stories about the deadly flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called this the worst season since the 2009 swine flu.

source
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Eighty-four children across the country have died from the flu this year, and experts think the real number could be double the total in official reports.

In California, at least 185 people under the age of 65 have died. As of early January, most of those deaths were unvaccinated adults, the state’s Department of Health told Business Insider.


Flu shots are less effective this year than they’ve been in the past, but the vaccine can still help.

It’s true that the flu vaccine is not as effective this year, largely because it doesn’t protect as well against the H3N2 strain, which is everywhere. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday said the vaccine is about 36% effective this year, and only 25% effective at combatting H3N2.

It’s still a good idea to get vaccinated if you haven’t, though, because the shot is more effective at preventing other strains of the virus, such as the influenza B strains. In addition to lowering the likelihood that you’ll contract the flu, the vaccine can reduce the intensity of your illness if you do catch it. Flu season can last into May, so if you haven’t gotten your dose yet, it’s not too late.

A 2017 study found that a flu shot could significantly reduce a child’s likelihood of dying from the virus.

Pregnant women are especially encouraged to get flu shots because they’re more likely to be hit hard by the virus. And there’s some evidence that if a pregnant mom gets the shot, that can protect babies in their first months of life, when they’re too young to get the vaccine.


It’s been deadly, but this season is not a pandemic.

source
Loren Kerns on Flickr

Flu viruses can shift rapidly, making them harder to vaccinate against and tough to predict from year to year. That’s part of the reason drug makers have struggled to come up with a “universal” vaccine for the flu that would protect you for life.

What counts as an “epidemic” changes a little from season to season – and even week to week – but the CDC’s latest numbers indicate we’ve reached epidemic levels, meaning the flu is spreading quickly and leading to more fatal cases than usually expected. In the final week of January, 10% of all deaths across the country were attributed to flu and pneumonia, well above that week’s epidemic threshold of 7.3%.


Though flu levels are still high in 48 states, the CDC’s flu chief, Dan Jernigan, says there are signs it has already peaked in some spots.

source
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Experts say that what’s been especially unusual about this 2017-2018 season is that the flu is hitting everyone at the same time.

“We often see different parts of the country light up at different times, but for the past three weeks, the entire country has been experiencing lots of flu all at the same time,” Jernigan told reporters in late January.


Pandemic flu happens “when a new flu virus emerges that can infect people and spread globally,” quickly, and efficiently, the CDC said.

source
National Museum of Health and Medicine

The flu reaches epidemic levels (like we’re experiencing now) at some point every season. But pandemic flu levels are even more dangerous.

Long before the 2009 swine flu pandemic, the deadly 1918 Spanish flu spread around the world, infecting about one in every five people and killing as many as 50 million. That’s more casualties than in World War I.


This year is proving to be a tough one for some baby boomers.

People from 50 to 64 years old have the second-highest hospitalization rate in the US after elderly people. They’re sicker than kids up to age 4 this year, which experts say is unusual.

Coming down with the flu can also increase your risk of heart attack sixfold, a new study found, because it puts more stress on your system and can increase inflammation. Plus, “when you get an infection, your heart is beating faster,” Jeffrey Kwong, the study’s lead author, told Reuters.

For older adults, there’s the more potent higher-dose Fluzone vaccine, as well as Fluad and Flublok, which also pack an extra punch.

As many as 56,000 people die from the flu every year in the US, the CDC reports, many of them older with compromised immune systems.


People with the flu can be contagious the day before they start showing signs — meaning they don’t even know they’re spreading the virus around.

Scientists say influenza can incubate in the body for one to four days before a person shows any signs of getting sick. That means you can be contagious and not know it, as the CDC points out. And some people can spread the virus around without showing any symptoms at all.


Stay 6 feet away from people with the flu.

source
REUTERS

Person-to-person transmission – from talking, coughing, sneezing, or even just breathing on someone else – is more likely to cause an infection than simply touching a surface with some flu virus on it and then reaching for your nose or your mouth.

Dr. Patricia Salber says the flu virus can persist on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours but survives only about 15 minutes on tissues.


Everyone’s “viral load” is a little different, but you tend to spread germs the most in the first two or three days of the illness.

source
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It’s important to wash your hands and avoid touching your face too much this season to fight the spread of the germs.

New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this month found that the flu could spread among people who are just breathing.

Jovan Pantelic, one of the researchers behind the study, said some people could “exhale or cough high quantities of live virus particles – up to 1,000 in 30 minutes.”

“When we consider that an infectious dose is just one virus particle, this means that potentially 1,000 people can be infected in short order,” he said in a statement.


Cold snaps could be to blame for more flu, too.

caption
A woman bundles up amid cold temperature in New York.
source
Thomson Reuters

A team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health tracked decades of flu epidemics and found that the upticks lined up almost universally with drops in air humidity.

But boosting the humidity in your home isn’t a cure-all.

While the flu bug may thrive better in cold, dry air, “there are other pathogens, such as pathogenic mold, that thrive at higher humidity,” Jeffrey Shaman, the study’s lead author, told the BBC.


Most people who get the flu don’t need to see a doctor. If the illness is diagnosed in the first 48 hours, prescription drugs can help make it shorter and milder.

source
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Many people coming down with the flu can stay home and wait it out with the help of liquids, over-the-counter drugs, and a heavy dose of sleep.

But when prescribed quickly, drugs like Tamiflu can help shorten the illness. There have been some isolated shortages reported at pharmacies in cities like San Francisco, New York, and Atlanta, so it’s best to call ahead.


If you do get sick, there’s one simple way to know whether it’s safe to head back into the world.

source
Zetar Infinity/Shutterstock

Experts say you can head back to work or school when you’ve been fever-free for a full 24 hours.

Typically, people have the flu for about a week, but some people can stay sick with the illness for up to two weeks, and kids can often be contagious for more than seven days with symptoms like fever, chills, congestion, fatigue, cough, and general misery.


Even dogs aren’t immune to this year’s flu.

source
Rafi Letzter/Tech Insider

The canine flu can’t spread to humans, but it can leap from dog to dog pretty easily.

Some pet owners vaccinate their pooches with a flu shot, but many vets say it’s better to monitor your dog for signs of sickness, as the illness isn’t usually deadly and is not widespread in the US.

Prince performs onstage at the 2006 BET Awards.

caption
Prince performs onstage at the 2006 BET Awards.
source
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Fentanyl, a drug that’s 30 times stronger than heroin and claimed the lives of more than 20,000 Americans last year, has been implicated in the deaths of celebrities including Prince and Tom Petty.

A new report from the Associated Press confirms the drug played a big role in Prince’s death. A toxicology report obtained by the AP reveals that Prince had “exceedingly high” levels of fentanyl in his system when he died in 2016.

Here’s what the drug is, and how it makes its way to the US from China.


Fentanyl can take many forms. Available legally with a prescription, the drug is often prescribed in patches or injected through an IV. On the street, it typically shows up in pills and may be disguised as another opioid painkiller like oxycodone.

caption
Ampule of fentanyl in solution
source
Erowid Center

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Since 1999, overdose deaths involving opioid painkillers have quadrupled. In 2016, close to 64,000 Americans died from opioids. Roughly 20,100 of those deaths were from fentanyl alone.

source
Business Insider / Samantha Lee

Fentanyl is increasingly showing up in counterfeit pills seized by authorities on the street. These pills, which were labeled hydrocodone, were recovered by authorities during a recent fentanyl investigation in Northern California.

source
Reuters

Since fentanyl is so much more potent than other opioid painkillers, drug traffickers only need to pack their drugs with small amounts of it to provide users a powerful punch. But a tiny bit too much can be deadly.

caption
On the left, a lethal dose of heroin; on the right, a lethal dose of fentanyl.
source
New Hampshire State Police Forensic Lab

Sources: Fusion, “Death by Fentanyl,” 2016; The Globe and Mail, “How Canada got addicted to fentanyl,” 2016


Five of the six online fentanyl vendors investigated in a new Senate report are based in China. The sellers sent hundreds of packages to more than 300 sources in the US by way of the US Postal Service (USPS).


Previous investigations have also implicated Mexico in the trade. Sometimes, the components for the drug come from China and are fashioned into large quantities of powder by traffickers in Mexico. Other times, the components appear to be shipped directly to the US and made into drugs inside the country.

source
Drew Angerer/Getty

Traffickers pack up the powder in boxes disguised with harmless labels. In Southern California, authorities recently seized a group of boxes labeled as office supplies that were later found to be part of a drug manufacturing scheme. One of them contained a quarter-ton pill press — used to punch out pills — that had been labeled “hole puncher.”

source
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In Mexico, a version of the drug mixed with heroin is called “El Diablito,” or the little devil. “There’s almost nobody making pure heroin anymore, because el diablito is so much stronger,” one trafficker recently told a Fusion reporter as part of an investigation into the trade.

source
Fusion/YouTube

Source: Fusion, “Death by Fentanyl,” 2016


That trafficker said he got the precursor chemicals from China and paid a Colombian chemist $50,000 to show him how to make fentanyl.

source
YouTube/Fusion

Source: Fusion, “Death by Fentanyl,” 2016


The drugmakers change up the specific ingredients in the drugs so fast — and produce them in such massive quantities — that drug enforcement can’t keep up. Between 2013 and 2014, drug busts that turned up fentanyl rose by 426%.

source
YouTube/Fusion

Source: STAT News, “Chinese labs modify deadly fentanyl to circumvent ban on sales to US,” 2016


The US Drug Enforcement Administration may not have adequately prepared for the surge. In a 2015 report on national drug threats, DEA officials stated that fentanyl was “unlikely to assume a significant portion of the opioid market.”

source
YouTube/Fusion

Source: 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, DEA


It appears that prediction was incorrect. Instead of decreasing or flat-lining, the rate of drug overdose deaths from fentanyl increased 88% every year between 2013 and 2016, according to the latest CDC data.


“We now know the depth to which drug traffickers exploit our mail system to ship fentanyl and other synthetic drugs into the United States,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), an author on the recent Senate report, said in a statement. “The federal government can and must act to shore up our defenses against this deadly drug and help save lives.”

If you want to improve the appearance of your skin without having to spend a lot of money and without using products with harsh ingredients, you could be wondering if there are any natural home remedies that can help you achieve clear skin. These are a few remedies that can help you get the skin that you want from home.

1. Use Tea Tree Oil

essential-oils

If you have ever used benzoyl peroxide to deal with your acne, you probably know how effective it can be. However, you probably also know that it can be quite harsh on your skin. One good option that will provide you with similar results without being nearly as harsh on your skin is tea tree oil. Simply mix a few drops of tea tree oil with witch hazel, then apply it to your skin using a cotton ball.

2. Make a Honey Mask

Oatmeal and honey face scrub

One of the best natural home remedies for clear skin is making a honey mask. You can simply mix one-part honey with two parts oatmeal to create a mask that you can rub all over your face. After applying, allow it to set for about 30 minutes, then wash it away with cool water.

3. Use Green Tea Bags

green tea-cup

You might have heard of using green tea bags on your eyes to help get rid of puffiness, but what you might not realize is that tea bags are great for helping with acne as well. Allow a green tea bag to cool after steeping, then lay it on your acne for healing.

4. Make an Aspirin Paste

Aspirin tablets

Did you know that aspirin is commonly used in home remedies for skin? Just mash up an aspirin with a little bit of water until you create a paste. Before applying, wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Then rub this paste on your pimples for a treatment that is similar to using salicylic acid. Allow the aspirin paste to sit on your blemishes for a few minutes up to a few hours before washing it away.

This simple mask will remove excess oils and exfoliate your skin just like salicylic acid would do, thus reducing the possibility of clogged pores; the number one reason for forming acne.

5. Use Lemon Juice

lemon

Lemon juice can be used to exfoliate your skin, make scars less visible and prevent acne. Unless your skin is sensitive, you can simply rub a lemon wedge all over your skin, being careful to avoid coming in contact with your eyes. You can also mix yogurt with a few drops of lemon juice, apply to your face and wash it after 15 minutes.

If you are just treating a few blemishes, you can dip a cotton swab in lemon juice and apply. Allow the lemon juice to sit for about half an hour, then rinse it away with clean water.

For more information about home remedies, check out resources like HomeRemedyBook.com.

6. Use Baking Soda

baking-soda

Baking soda is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, so if you would like to reduce the appearance of your pimples, baking soda is an affordable household ingredient that can work perfectly.

All you have to do is mix a small amount of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water until you create a paste. This paste can be used as a gentle, natural exfoliant. After scrubbing your face with it gently, wash it away with clean water.

7. Use Cucumbers at Night

cucumbers

You might know about the common use of cucumber slices to help with puffiness around the eyes, but what you might not know is that cucumbers are actually great for improving the overall look of your entire face.

Simply cut a cucumber into a few thick slices, then wipe your entire face with the slices after cleansing with your favorite nighttime cleanser. Pat dry if necessary, but avoid rinsing until you wake up in the morning. This can give the cucumber juice a little bit of time to work its magic to hydrate your skin and give it a great glow. Alternatively, you can try mixing cucumber juice with a little bit of lemon juice to treat your skin.

8. Moisturize with Coconut Oil

coconut-oil

Keeping your skin well moisturized is very important if you want it to look and feel its best. Of course, there are a ton of moisturizers that you can purchase in a store, but there is no need to use one of these products when you can use a good natural option instead. Coconut oil is ideal for moisturizing your face and your entire body.

You can use it as-is, or you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give it a great scent and to utilize the healing properties of the essential oil. Just remember that a little bit goes a long way, so you only need to use a dab to moisturize your skin. If it feels too greasy, simply rinse it clean after allowing it to sit for a few minutes.

9. Soothe Your Skin with Aloe Vera

Aloe vera

If you have a sunburn or if your skin is inflamed and irritated because of the harsh wind or a product that you have been using on your face, you could be looking for a way to get some relief. Luckily, aloe vera can work perfectly for moisturizing your skin and as a pain reliever.

You can purchase pure aloe vera, or you can even keep a small aloe vera plant in your home so that you can make use of its healing properties. Along with being great for soothing your skin for the above-mentioned reasons, aloe vera can also help with things like cooking-related burns.

10. Moisturize with Olive Oil

olive-oil

Olive oil is another good option for moisturizing your skin. A little bit goes a long way, just apply a few teaspoons to your clean and slightly damp skin. Then, moisten a washcloth or towel and lay it over your face for a few minutes to enjoy the benefits of olive oil. Afterward, rinse the olive oil off your skin with clean water.

As you can see, you can try many natural home remedies if you would like to improve the appearance of your skin. Many of these ingredients are common household items, so you might have the items in your home to get started. Then, you can improve the look of your skin and help ensure that it is healthy and nourished.

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Wanita mana je yang tak nak kelihatan muda remaja? Ada kulit yang anjal, bersih dan flawless kan? Tapi nak kulit yang menawan macam tu perlu penjagaan yang rapi. Gunakan produk yang betul. Bukan main beli je tau! Make sure produk dapat kelulusan Kementerian Kesihatan dan kalau boleh biar lah ada recommendation daripada dermatogist.

JOM BELI DENGAN HERMO!

Hermo ialah kedai kecantikan atas talian yang pastinya menjadikan urusan anda lebih mudah. Segala info berkaitan produk dan cara penggunaan ada disediakan. Malah, review pelanggan tentang produk juga ada Hermo. 

Apa yang menarik tentang Hermo ialah produk dan tawaran yang mereka berikan. Kebanyakan produk penjagaan wajah dan kecantikan mereka dapat pengiktirafan dermatologist antarabangsa. Lebih menarik sempena Sambutan Tahun Baru Cina yang bakal tiba mereka bagi offer kaw-kaw untuk anda.

SHHH… BOLEH DAPAT HADIAH!

Tahu tak kalau anda berbelanja sekarang dengan Hermo RM 88 ke atas anda layak untuk mendapat  Lunar Love Angpao. Ha! Bukan itu sahaja, jika anda ahli Gold & Platinum Hermo anda boleh dapat Lucky Pouch bila anda upgrade pembelian anda dengan nilai RM 188.

Nak tahu apa ada dalam Lucky pouch? Kena la Shopping dengan Hermo dulu okay? Yang pasti anda berpeluang dapat special treats dari Hermo iaitu produk Maybelline dengan nilai RM 40. Awesome kan?

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Anda nak jadi ahli Hermo? Mudah je… Anda hanya perlu beli barangan kecantikan dan skin care dengan mereka. Anda akan automatik  jadi ahli bila dah spend RM 1000 (Gold Member) dan RM 2000 (Platinum Member). Jangan rasa banyak pulak sebab ianya perbelanjaan secara terkumpul. Bukan sekali beli ye!

Pelbagai manfaat anda boleh nikmati bila jadi ahli Hermo. Antaranya dapat join pre-access sales, diskaun tambahan dan boleh dapat hadiah lagi dengan setiap pembelian yang anda buat. Inilah keistimewaan jadi ahli Hermo. Langsung tak merugikan. Tak ada yuran keahlian pun! Hanya berbelanja dengan mereka sahaja.

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Bukan itu sahaja bermula 5 Februari hingga 11 Februari nanti anda boleh dapatkan 2 item untuk skin care terkemuka pada hanya RM 58. So, nanti just singgah dekat Hermo Official page untuk nikmati tawaran hebat ni.

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Masa ni lah anda kena upgrade sikit penampilan anda. Jangan bimbang Hermo ada semuanya. Nak beli blusher, eyeshadow , skin care? Cakap je! Semua ada. Paling penting dapatkan krim untuk hilang lingkaran di bawah mata  dan juga mask muka. Barulah kulit muda remaja. Antara produk yang anda boleh try ialah Kate Dimensional Palette dan Canmake Mat Fleur Cheek. Tak lah kusam wajah anda tahun. Nampak ceria dan menawan je.

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Hermo Malaysia

Figuring out what buttons to push to meet your own nutrition needs can be difficult and stressful. With so many food choices, claims, and hype — not to mention specific eating preferences, allergies, and food sensitivities — it’s no surprise that consistently eating well is a big hurdle. 

Following a vegetarian diet is a common approach for most people looking to follow a healthier lifestyle. The catch? It can feel difficult to fill the gaps on a meatless diet, especially when it comes to protein, which is a key to building muscle and losing fat.

So we turned to Eric Helms, Ph.D. Not only does Dr. Helms have a master’s in sports nutrition and a doctorate in exercise science, but he’s also been following a plant-based diet since 2011. Here is his advice on following a plant-based diet, and how to build muscle on a vegetarian diet.

[Editor’s Note: We’re launching “The Born Fitness Lab,” where our coaches give you behind-the-scenes access to workouts, diets, and techniques we’re testing before we ever try them with clients. Access the lab by entering your email below (it’s free!)


Ok, you reflected on what you want and decided to follow a vegetarian lifestyle. But you’re also interested in building muscle (or making sure you don’t lose the muscle you’ve already earned). How do you do it?

You might be surprised that building muscle on a vegetarian diet isn’t that different from a meat-filled plan. In fact, no matter what eating style you follow, if you want to build muscle then you need to eat slightly more calories than you burn in a day (called a “caloric surplus”), and make sure you emphasize protein. All that changes is the source of protein you need when following a vegetarian diet. Do that while training consistently and voila! You will add muscle.

Vegetarian Diet Muscle: Start with Calories

Your first step is to figure out your “maintenance level,” or the number of calories you must eat to keep your weight consistent. To do that:

  1. Identify your goal weight. Think “where you want to be,” not “where you are.”
  2. 
Use that figure to calculate an estimate of your daily intake using this equation: goal weight x (workout hours per week + 9.5) = daily number of calories
  3. Track how much you eat. Online logs like MyFitnessPal can be helpful.
  4. Monitor your intake and your scale weight for a couple of weeks. (Weigh yourself first thing in the morning, after you’ve went to the bathroom but before you eat or drink anything.)

If your body weight holds steady, you’ll know that you’ve accurately hit your maintenance number.

If you’re losing weight, you can bump up calories. Add about 100 per day across a week — so, if you were eating 2000 calories per day last week, you’d bump up to 2100 calories per day this week.

If you find you’re gaining weight, do the opposite. Drop a hundred calories per day.

When you reach a number that keeps your weight consistent, voila! You’re at the maintenance level.

But if your goal is to add muscle, you can’t just stop there. To gain muscle, you need to eat more calories than you burn. How many more?

Let’s say you are an intermediate level lifter, meaning that you have been training for a few years.

  • If you are a woman or a smaller guy, you’re probably going to want to eat an extra 100 to 200 calories above your maintenance amount.
  • If you are a larger, taller guy, you’ll want to focus on an extra 200 to 300 calories.

This should result in you gaining one to two pounds per month. It’s a rough guideline, but one that will cover most people (although not everybody).

[Ed. note: Could you gain more muscle than this? Sure. But this is a realistic rate of growth. Don’t buy into promises that sound great on paper but will only leave you frustrated and want to quit.]

From there, you’ll want to monitor your weight and ask yourself: Am I gaining at the rate of weight that I want? If the answer is “yes,” then great. But if “no,” then continue to bump up your intake incrementally.

How Much Protein, Fat, and Carbs Do Vegetarians Need?

An array of fruits, vegetables, and protein options.

Let’s imagine that you’ve determined how many calories you need to gain muscle. For the sake of keeping the math easy, let’s say you need 3,000 calories per day.

From there you can budget your macronutrients, or how many grams of protein, fat, and carbs you should aim for in a day. Do it in this order:

1. Start with protein. Note that your protein intake will not actually be based on your total energy intake. Your target protein number should be based on how much lean body mass you have. [Ed. note: “Lean body mass” is the weight of everything in your body that isn’t fat — muscle tissue, bone, etc.]

Most people don’t have an easy way to calculate that accurately. So, instead, a good surrogate number to use for calculating protein is your goal body weight (If you are 180 pounds and want to weigh 200 pounds, then that is your goal weight). Multiply that weight by .8 to 1.0, and you’ll have your target protein intake in grams.

You can eat more than that, but you don’t need to. The times when you might want to consume more protein would be if you are gaining weight too quickly because you are hungry all the time. Protein is pretty filling, and going above your bodyweight-based target may help you feel fuller longer.

2. Next up, calculate fat. Let’s go back to the example of 3,000 calories per day with a goal weight of 200 pounds. That means you want 200 grams of protein per day. That equals 800 calories from protein (since protein is 4 calories per gram). You have 2,200 calories remaining for fat and carbohydrates.

A good range for fat in your diet is anywhere between 20% and 40% of total calories from fat (Note: exceptions do exist, such as if you choose to follow a ketogenic diet.). For the 3,000 calories-per-day example, here’s what it would look like:

  • Goal weight: 200 pounds
  • 
Protein: 200 grams
  • Fat calculation: 20-40%
  • If 20% of 3,000 calories = 600 calories from fat (or 600/9* = 67 grams of fat/day)
  • 
If 40% of 3,000 calories = 1,200 calories from fat (or 1,200/9 = 133 grams of fat/day)

[*Ed. note: fat is 9 calories per gram]

3. Carbohydrates take up whatever calories are remaining. Divide that remainder by four and you’ll find the number of carbohydrates you want to eat in grams. So for each of our examples above:

20% Fat40% Fat
Total calories:3,0003,000
Total protein:200 grams (800 calories)200 grams (800 calories)
Total fat:67 grams (600 calories)133 grams (1200 calories)
 

Remaining calories for carbs:

3,000 – 800 (protein) – 600 (fat) = 1,600 calories remaining3,000 – 800 (protein) – 1200 (fat) = 1,000 calories remaining
 

Total carbs:

1,600 calories/4 calories per gram = 400 grams of carbs1,000 calories/4 calories per gram = 250 grams of carbs
 

In this sample, you would eat:

 

200 grams of protein
67 grams of fat
400 grams of carbs

 

200 grams of protein
133 grams of fat
250 grams of carbs

What Are the Best Protein Sources for Vegetarians?

When you go on a vegetarian diet, it’s hard to find many foods that are pure protein. That’s because many vegetarian protein sources have a lot of crossover – i.e. a grain like quinoa will be high in protein but also high in carbs, or nuts will have protein but also a lot of fat.

That’s especially true as you move toward a strict vegan diet. Picture all plant-based diet on a spectrum, with flexitarians or pescatarians (people who’ll eat fish, eggs and dairy) on the left and strict vegans on the right. The closer you go to veganism, the more difficult things will be.

If you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian, eggs and dairy alone provide you with ample opportunity to get sufficient protein. If you have a few protein servings from one of those sources at each meal, you should be set.

For a lacto-vegetarian, again, it’s not hard to keep your protein up. You can consume whey protein or non-fat Greek yogurt, and both are high in protein while being low in carbs and fat. They might as well be meat in terms of their macronutrient breakdowns (although with some extra carbs in there).

For an ovo-vegetarian, egg whites provide basically the same thing: a food that’s high in protein and low in everything else. You could stick with just those if you were trying to control calories. Or you could mix in as many yolks as you want to hit your fat target for the day.

Best of all: In both cases (lacto and ovo), you’re getting a high-quality protein source. What I mean by that, from the perspective of someone who wants to gain muscle, is that they are high in essential amino-acids like leucine, which is one of the triggers for muscle protein synthesis (the process of building of new muscle).

If you’re a vegan, you have to worry to some degree about complementary proteins. Basically, many plant-based protein sources don’t have all nine essential amino acids. [Ed. note: if you don’t have all the essential aminos, then you can’t put those aminos to use for building muscle.] So you’ll have to mix different sources of plant-based protein together in order to get a complete set of amino acids.

A common example is rice and beans. Together, those two foods provide a complete protein source.

You don’t need to worry about complementary proteins on a meal-to-meal basis. You just want to look globally at your diet. Are you consuming multiple sources of proteins — rice, beans, quinoa, tofu to some degree — that are complementary in nature? Eating a variety of protein sources as a vegan ensures that you’re getting all of the essential amino acids.

Here are some of the vegetarian diet protein sources:

High Protein

  • Edamame (1 cup, cooked) = 16g of protein
  • Tempeh (3 oz.) = 16g
  • Seitan (6 oz.) = 15g
  • Textured Vegetable Protein (¼ cup, dry) = 12g
  • 
Hemp Hearts (3 tbsp.) = 10g
  • Spelt (1 cup) = 10g

Moderate Protein

  • Red lentils (½ cup) = 9g
  • Peas (1 cup) = 8g
  • Red Beans (½ cup) = 8g
  • Kidney Beans (½ cup) = 8g
  • Quinoa (1 cup) = 8g
  • Tofu (3 oz.) = 8g
  • Black Beans (½ cup) = 7g
  • Great Northern Beans (½ cup) = 7g
  • Almonds (1 oz.) = 6g
  • Garbanzo Beans  (½ cup) = 6g
  • Pumpkin seeds (1oz.) = 5g
  • Collard greens (1 cup, raw) = 5 g
  • Hubbard Squash (1 cup, cooked) = 5g

Lower Protein

  • Asparagus (1 cup) = 4 g per cup
  • 
Spinach (1 cup) = 4g per cup
  • 
Sweet potatoes (1 cup, roasted with skins)= 4g
  • Beet Greens (1 cup) = 4g
  • Brussel sprouts (1 cup) = 3.9g
  • 
Mushrooms (1 cup) = 3g
  • Broccoli (1 cup) = 3g
  • Broccoli Rabe (1 cup, cooked) = 3g
  • Mung Bean Sprouts (1 cup, cooked) = 2.5g
  • 
Kale (1 cup, raw) = 2.5g
  • 
Zucchini (1 cup, sliced) = 2g
  • Cauliflower (1 cup, chopped) = 2g

Vegetarian Diet Protein Powder: A Primer

If you are a vegan, it’s likely that you’ll want to invest in a pea protein (or pea protein blend).

Why pea and not soy, the most common one?

There’s some research showing that soy protein, in large amounts, could potentially affect sperm quality and quantity in men. There’s other research indicating that soy could potentially affect estrogen levels, but that’s less consistent. Some studies show it, some don’t.

Women probably don’t have to worry about this stuff because even if estrogen changes, you’d still be within normal, acceptable ranges compared to how much estrogen you’re normally producing. But, I’m not comfortable enough with the ambivalence of the research, and the potential consequences, to advise having soy as a large part of your diet, as a vegan or a vegetarian.

Notice I said “large part.” Having a serving of soy per day is not a big deal. So if you want to have tofu once a day, that’s all good. If you have a scoop of soy protein once a day, that’s totally fine. You just wouldn’t want to have 40-50% of your protein intake come from soy. That’s probably not a good idea.

Instead, you probably want to invest in a protein blend that is high quality, complete, and doesn’t have those issues. Pea protein or a rice-pea blend is what you want.

In fact, pea protein performs really well in research. It’s comparable to whey protein in terms of its leucine content. A term that I’ve seen thrown around is “vegan’s whey,” which is roughly a 70/30 blend of pea protein and rice protein. You actually get a very similar essential amino acid profile to whey.

Outside of just the amino acid profile, we’ve actually seen studies where people perform just as well in terms of body competition change (ratio of muscle to body fat) and performance when they eat pea protein after a workout, compared to whey.

The one thing to note about pea/rice blends is that they bulk up a lot. No matter how much water you add to it, it will have an earthy flavor. The mix is pretty filling, I’ve found, but drinking it can feel a little bit tiresome due to that mouthfeel. If you are accustomed to whey protein, which is very thin, this will be different than what you are used to.

A way to work around that is to mix small amounts of vegan protein powder into things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You can’t put a huge amount in there or it can start to get a little gritty and weird, but sneaking in a little bit will help you up the protein count of your meals – and save you from having to drink shake after shake.

How to Tell if a Vegetarian Diet is Working for You

When your goal is building muscle, start by tracking your weight. You’ll also want to track your workout performance. Whether or not the weights you are using, or the reps you can perform, are going upward or downward can tell you a lot about how well your lifestyle is supporting your goals.

But remember: external goals aren’t the only thing that matters. You also have to live in the body you’re building every day. So create a rating scale for yourself, say, from 1 to 5. Each day, rate how you feel on the qualitative aspects of your life. This includes:

  • sleep
  • energy
  • hunger
  • mood
  • 
mental clarity
  • 
workout quality or enjoyment

Those subjective ratings are important. Also, while it’s a little bit uncomfortable to talk about, you may even want to monitor whether it’s easier or harder to use the toilet. If you’re eating appropriately and drinking sufficient water, it should get easier.

While we’re on the subject, here’s another thing to note: When you increase your vegetable consumption, you may experience an increase in gas. Really, that’s true whenever you make a large-scale change to your diet. Two things to note:

  1. Try Gas-X (it’s a lifesaver).
  2. Typically, things should start to normalize as your gut microbiome gets more accustomed to what you’re taking in. You’ll likely notice an improvement over a few weeks to a month.

Your energy levels shouldn’t fluctuate that much if you’re doing it right. If you feel really off, even though your macronutrients and your total calories are the same, that can indicate some type of micronutrient problem. That’s not always the case, but it’s worth watching. If the issue is persistent, try a blood test.

For Long-Term Success, Be Clear About Why You Want to Be a Vegetarian

Whenever I first start talking to someone who wants to make a shift over to a vegetarian or vegan diet, but who is also interested in athletic performance, the first thing I ask is: Why do you want to do this?

A common response is, “Well, we know vegetarian diets are better for health and performance.” That’s where we have to stop and take an objective look at what we really know about vegetarian diets.

There are two things that often skew people’s viewpoints:

1. The “rose-colored glasses” problem. It’s natural for people to see only the positives in data, especially when their ethical beliefs are driving it. Someone who promotes vegetarian diet, or who believes it is unethical to not eat vegetarian, may only highlight or acknowledge research showing that vegetarian diets are healthier.

2. The confounding variables problem. When you look at the broad spectrum of quality research, you see that, yes, vegetarians are healthier and live longer compared to the general population. The thing is, a person from the general population is not someone who really thinks about what they are eating, other than perhaps to ask, “Do I want more salt on this?”

So in these studies, as soon as you look at a vegetarian, you are bringing in someone who has made a serious decision about their nutrition. Which usually means they are more attentive to their health in general. They’re typically more active. They drink and smoke less. They are more conscious of calorie intake. They usually have a lower BMI. All of these things predict a longer life and better health. So yes, compared to the general population, vegetarians typically do better.

Here’s the “but.” But, when researchers get comparable controls to vegetarians (i.e. people who tick those other boxes about less drinking/smoking, lower BMI higher activity levels, and so on), it starts to wash out those differences. You don’t see such drastic health benefits.

That’s not to say a vegetarian diet can’t be healthy. Fruit and vegetable intake are highly important for health. But you can eat meat, fruit and vegetables, and likewise be healthy.

I would say that the only “evidence based argument” to do a plant-based diet would probably be for ethics – and even then, it’s going to be subjective, and specific to your personal ethics.

I encourage you to assess your own beliefs. Figure out what you feel the most ethically comfortable with. Instead of just rigidly trying to follow someone else’s plan, ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish?”

Vegetarian Diet for Muscle Building: Quick Notes

    • Building muscle on a vegetarian diet is very possible. The basic rules are the same: Eat a little more, prioritize protein, get sufficient rest and sleep, and then kick ass in the gym.
    • If you’re a flexitarian, pescetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, you have plenty of options for getting sufficient protein. Whey protein is your friend. So is Greek yogurt and eggs.

Want to see how the coaches at Born Fitness build a vegetarian muscle building plan? Join the Born Fitness lab. It’s completely free. And every few months the coaches try a new experiment. You can sign up below.

READ MORE:

The Best Protein Sources

The Myth of the Best Diet Plan (And How to Find What Works for You)

Winning the War on Hunger: Practical Solutions to Overeating