THIS BLOG HAS BEEN MOVED TO:
Monday, August 6, 2007
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Count your blessings! Take a little time of at the end of each day to dwell on the good things that have happened. Look for the silver lining in the not-so-good things (eg, what did you learn from it or could it have been worse?).
Back to posting after a few day's absence due to mum being in hospital. She's out now but the radiation and chemo treatments have really affected her health. Mum's not a positive person to begin with. Actually, I'm sad to say that she's the most negative person I have ever known in my life and it takes a great deal of effort to get her to think optimistically (with very little effect).
She suffers from a host of ailments which I have no doubt are very real but I do believe that most of this is due to her outlook in life and her doomsday thinking. Anxiety and worry plagues a person and the mind does things to the body. She's been thru a lot in life so I can understand why she's like that but I also think some people are just more worriers than others. I feel I've inherited some of this trait so I have to work really hard to psyche myself to be more positive. When a problem looms, I start counting my blessings. I look at mum and much as I love her, I don't want to be like her in this way.
Sometime ago, in a conversation among friends, we got to talking about the most important lessons our mothers taught us. I thought of how my mother always encouraged me to dress adventurously (within decent limits) saying that you won't get a chance to do that when you're old (not entirely true). That's kind of funny seeing that she's so conservative. So I wore the miniest of mini skirts, hottest of hot pants, bare-back halters, midriffs, chunkiest of platform shoes, etc. No big deal these days but eye-raising in those times. But I think the biggest lesson is what she didn't teach me but that which I learnt from observing her and that is to THINK POSITIVE and that's a big step to feeling good and staying beautiful, naturally.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
So now a study from the University of Miami finds people who drink moderately are more likely to report above-average health than light drinkers, heavy drinkers, and those who have never drank. But it's not clear whether moderate drinking leads to better health or whether moderate drinkers just have healthier lifestyles. The study notes the main health benefit of moderate drinking is that it can ward off cardiovascular disease, especially hardening of the arteries and stroke caused by blood clots.
This is just one of the many 'contradictory' reports I've come across. We have studies telling us coffee is bad because of its caffeine content, then drinking coffee suddenly becomes good because its high in antioxidant. Coconut milk is bad for cholesterol, then its good because half the fats contain lauric acid (found naturally in mother's milk). There are so many more such examples, it's just mind boggling. I believe the key to all of this is MODERATION. That's the best kind of diet for me - eating everything in moderation. Of course, it helps to know our foods better so we know how to moderate the portions as well to get all the proteins, vitaminc, energy, etc that our bodies need. I don't believe in going to the extreme of calorie counting - that just takes the joy out of eating.
But there also needs to be moderation in moderation as I still want to treat myself to a sinful chocolate cake or creamy rich ice-cream once in a while so I tell myself I will make up for it by having a light sandwich or bowl of cereal for lunch the next day (half the time, I don't). So its like a trading of foods, one for another, but its also trading foods and exercise - when I eat more I exercise more, when I can't get to exercising enough for the week, I eat a little less.
Now if only I can eat less and exercise more, I might just lose the last 5 lbs that I've been trying to lose for the longest time.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I absolutely detest exercises but after having spent considerable sums of money in alternative methods, the truth is that there is no good substitute for diet and exercise. Slimming salons programs and diets may help to give you that first push but these are not sustainable without diet and exercise. Most fitness gurus will advise 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 times a week, with an additional 10 minutes of weight training (give or take).
In my younger days, I was fortunate in that I could lose weight easily and didn't have much problem maintaining my weight. All that changed about 6 years ago and there were another couple of years of denial and trying alternative methods before I finally accepted that there is no lazy way out.
A couple of years ago, I joined a Latin Jam Aerobics class and voila! I found my perfect answer to exercise - with good music and good moves. I have since expanded my sessions to include ballroom and latin dances with my dear hubby. It took many many years of persuading to get hubby to learn dancing with me but thanks to Richard Gere's and Jennifer Lopez's "Shall We Dance?", he decided to give it a try. I'm sure he is enjoying this now (though he won't admit this out loud).
I now do dance classes 3-4 times a week and throw in a little weight training (still a chore) but for those who struggle with maintaining an exercise regime, I would say try dancing. Choose something with sexy moves and great music - never worry about having two left feet because you can only get better at it over time. I do a combination of dance aerobics for cardio exercise and dances like rhumba which are great for maintaining the waist line.
Don't forget to dress up though - that's part of the fun and it just makes you feel beautiful while losing weight.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Isn't this so true? Yet many people choose to see beauty only when the sun is out and shut their eyes in darkness. People are generally more forgiving towards (physically) beautiful women who do stupid things (enough said about Paris Hilton and the likes) but for ordinary-looking women, it sometimes takes a lifetime of effort before people can see the beauty that radiates from within them.
I am reminded of a folklore set in China. A farmer was wed to a girl, not of his choice. The promise of marriage was made between the two families when the farmer and the girl were very young children. Alas, the girl did not grow up to be a beauty and the farmer detested his wife, cursing at having to set his eyes on her ugly face everyday. He was mean to her and treated her as his slave. She was the fulfilling and dutiful wife, patient and understanding, yet with his eyes, the husband could not see this beauty.
One day, the farmer came down with an illness that eventually blinded him. Not being able to work, his wife took on his duties but instead of gratitude, his temper became more foul. Shortly after, a doctor came to the farmer with news that someone had died and donated his eyes to the farmer. The farmer did not ask any more questions but rushed to the hospital to have the transplant done.
For days thereafter, the farmer's wife took good care of him but the farmer only berraged her for being more clumsy than usual. When at least the bandages were taken off and the farmer could see, he was absolutely overjoyed. Then his eyes cast on his wife and he was taken aback. "What happened to your eyes?" he asked. His wife lowered her head and said nothing. It was at that moment that the farmer suddenly realised how beautiful she was. All that beauty inside had shone through for him.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Aerosol cans pump unhealthy solvents into the respiratory system. Dump these, then dump packaged in plastic as unstable gender-bending chemicals in the plastic mix may leach into oily products. Use glass bottles instead. Get rid of talc - studies link frequent genital dusing with raised risk of ovarian cancer.
An excellent way to improve dry skin and delay wrinkles is to "change your oil". Include cold water fish such as mackerel, sardines, haddock, cold water tuna or cold water salmon to your diet three times a week.
These fish contain fatty acids that are better for your skin than those that we usually eat.
Source: Dr Bruce Miller, certified nutrition specialist, member of American College Nutrition and Pauling Inst of Science Medicine
Yep, this is the title of my blog. Several things have happpened in my life recently that have made a profound impact on me. One of these is my mother being stricken with cancer for the second time. I believe everyone who's old enough would have experienced a loss of someone to cancer. I've seen several family members and friends succumb to cancer and in my frequent trips with mum to the hospital, I hear stories from doctors and medical staff on just how common cancer has become and how cancer knows no age barriers. This has set me thinking deeply about the lifestyle so many of us now take in stride - the stress, pollution, the food we eat and the cosmetics we slap on ourselves. As I become more aware of food labels, I am just amazed at the amount of foods we eat that contain preservatives, permitted flavorings, enhancers, and so on.
And what about the treatments we women subject ourselves to? I would be the first to admit to vanity and have even considered thermage treatment or going under the knife to reverse some of the aging process. Though I don't believe I will ever lose my vanity, I am beginning to see a different slant in my view. Just what is beauty? Why are we women subjecting ourselves to so much controversial and untested treatments just to make ourselves look good physically? I use the word 'untested' because while cosmetic surgeons will have us believe that whatever treatments they recommend is relatively safe, many of these treatments such as botox, radio frequency, laser, thermage, etc, are relatively new, so are we 100% certain that continued prolonged treatment holds little or no harmless side effects.
So after a lot of reflection, I have put down my own little definition of beauty:
Beauty is emotional, spiritual and physical. Beauty is natural, it starts from within our hearts and soul and we have to love ourselves for what we are and what we do. This is our inner glow. Beauty is good health which radiates through to the outer glow. Good health shows in our skin, our nails, and our hair. Beauty requires that we take care of our physical appearance and there are many natural ways to do this. Beauty is all of these - it is FEEL GOOD, LOOK GOOD, naturally.