Healthy Food for Thoughts

March 20, 2009

For those of us who want a healthy life style, it not only means regular exercising, but it also means having a healthy diet. It is not healthy to exert a lot more during exercise than what you take in. This can lead to malnutrition and also the body will crave for more because too little food is available. I believe that a balanced diet is very important. Instead of eating cereal for dinner every day (which I have heard some of my friends do), a healthy diet can be much more exciting than this.
Here are some foods which are both healthy and tasteful:
• Berries: These include raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. The darker the color, the more antioxidants. Antioxidant is essential for protecting skin and muscle from free radical damage. This is important replenishment for the skin and your body.
• Banana: This fruit is filled with potassium that can help your body with fluid absorption and it is packed with potassium. During exercise, you can lose lots of fluid due to sweating. Banana can help a great deal.
• High fiber food: Fiber can help reduce the risk of heart disease. It can also help to move food more quickly along your digestive tract. Examples of high fiber food include oatmeal, brown rice, orange, berries, and whole wheat bread.
• Drink less caffeine: Caffeine can constrict blood flow to the brain and body. In general, excessive caffeine is bad for the skin also.
• Fish oil: It has lots of omega 3 fatty acid which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. It stimulates blood flow circulation and prevents against scar formation. This in turn is also good for the skin.
There are lots of resources out there to find out what food we should eat. I think the key is have more of the healthy food but ensure a well balanced diet. Anything taken excessively is not good, but a balanced diet is part of a healthy life style.
Some good resources to look at:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com
http://www.americanheart.org

Sell Your House Fast in a Bad Economy

March 16, 2009

House buying is one of the most important decisions in our lives. House selling is yet another. Things change and unplanned circumstances come up. There is always an inevitable chance of having to sell our house, even when the economy is bad and even when house prices have already dropped by more than 10%. For those of us selling our house these days, it can be a very difficult and enduring process. Personally, I have experience going through this and have truthfully felt the pain.
Had I have the benefit of hindsight, I realized that I have some important lessons learnt:
1. Do some research on list prices and recent sales records of houses in the same zip-code. I would ensure that my list price is slightly or significantly below the prices of other comparable houses. This means putting the house at a bargain price. Many buyers today are not able to borrow money. For a few of those who can, are really out there looking for bargains. There are so many properties out there today and the demand is little. This is all about supply and demand. So the first point to be realistic in the list price.
2. Try to sell the house quickly rather than wait out for a better offer. In today’s market, if a buyer is willing to offer you at $X, a buyer next week is likely to offer you even less. If you want to sell the house quickly and move on, it is best not to be too greedy and expect worst is yet to come.
3. Stay on top of the price trend and look out for other comparable houses. Regularly review the listing price and features of other houses and understand what your competitors are offering. The market changes frequently, if you stay ahead of the curve, you will be more ready to position your property in the right price range, and at the right time.
4. Spend less $ in renovating the house. In many cases, the amount spent in renovation doesn’t equal to the additional $ you will get in the offer. Instead, you can consider offering a discount during the negotiation process.
5. Market your house. Ensure that you market the house in as many channels as possible. This can be in posting online, in talking to friends or anybody you know, in putting up posters, in posting to craigslist and listing in newspapers.
6. Stay positive. You can’t control when you can have your house sold. It is very important to stay positive and support each other in the family. Always be on the look for solutions rather than being miserable. Being miserable doesn’t help.
I hope that this helps those who are in a similar situation.

Effective Acne Treatment

March 7, 2009

Some of us continue to battle with acne when we are well into our thirties and in fact, acne outbreak can occur at any time.  Acne can be caused by environmental factors, internal changes in hormonal levels as well as our genetic makeup.  It doesn’t seem possible to cure acne once and for all but it is possible to control it.  An effective acne control regime is daily facial cleansing and regular exercising. If you are planning on or are already pregnant, it is best to consult with the doctor before using any acne treatment due to the proven cases of birth defects caused by some known acne treatments (refer to my previous blog on acne treatment on pregnancy).  For others who are not planning on being pregnant, an effective facial cleanser would be something that has benzoyl peroxide along with a facial cream of salicylic acid.  I found this quite effective in both cleansing out and controlling acne breakout.  One recommendation is Johnson & Johnson Clean and Clear acne cleanser as well as its acne control lotion.

Does exercise make our skin healthier?

February 19, 2009

Apparently, exercise can not only helps us in losing weights, in tuning our body, but also helps greatly with our skin.  Exercising increases blood circulation and help deliver sufficient nutrients to our skin.  It makes our body to sweat more which can help with elminating toxins from our body which also helps in acne control.  We usually drink more water during and after exercise, which helps to hydrate our skin.  Also, I find that exercising helps to de-stress after a long day of hard work in the office.  People say also that exercise can help with acne due to reduction in release of hormones.  I have acne prone skin and I have been exercising for years.  I stopped exercising for a few months in the past due to the need to move to another place to live and at the end, I suffered from major acne breakouts.  Part of the causes may be due to stress but I think exercise did help to control my acne problems.  Overall, there are so many benefits to exercising that it should definitely be part of our life routine.

More resources:

http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/guide/exercise-your-body-your-skin

http://digghealth.com/habitsthat-skin-age-faster/

Exercise is Part of My Routine

February 11, 2009

I have been exercising for years, mainly using the treadmill, and following aerobic tapes.  In the recent few years, I have been going to the gym and joining step and yoga classes.  A regular routine of one hour each time, 3 times a week exercising has been keeping me in shape for many years.  Of course, this has to be coupled with a healthy diet of more vegetables and less fatty meat.  Recently, I have joined a private yoga class with a dozen friends.  I find that private yoga class is better than the ones at the gym.  Private tutor will help with your correct postures and movements.  I think this is important for properly benefiting from yoga and also preventing injuries.  While I was doing yoga in the gym, there wasn’t really anyone watching over us and I find that I was just following the girl beside me for doing poses.  From the recent private yoga class, I found that there are many poses that I wasn’t doing correctly in the past.  If you are interested in yoga, pay attention to proper postures or have someone who can teach you.  Here are some useful resources I found: 
http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/finder/browse_categories
http://www.mindbodyfocused.com/articles/body/yoga/yoga-injuries.php

Survive Tough Economic Times

February 8, 2009

During these times of economic hardship, families are suffering from big loss in investment or their life-long savings. These are very difficult times and it is very easy for us to become depressed or feel lost as we lose control financially. In order to survive through tough times, it is important to keep things in perspective. Today, we fear to lose our job but leaving our job may mean a new and better opportunity somewhere else. Without much pressing, it is far less motivating to find new and better opportunity. For many problems or things that we worry about today, they often seem minute as we look back on them in the future. Instead of feeling depressed or lost, it is more helpful to plan and do something actionable. Things like budget planning, cost cutting and create new additional ways to earn money, are concrete things that can help us through tough times.
Useful tips:
http://www.adaa.org/gettinghelp/MFarchives/EconomicTimes.asp
http://www.ehow.com/how_2254200_survive-bad-economic-times.html

Skin Care During Pregnancy

February 8, 2009

There are a lots of skin care products out and women should be informed in choosing the right and safe product. Whether it is for acne treatment, anti-aging, or hydration, women should be extremely careful if they are planning pregnancy, are already pregnant or are breast-feeding.
For acne treatment using Accutane, it has proven result to cause birth defects.  Other common ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, may have effects on fetus, although such effect has not been proven.
Also, excessive amount of anti-aging ingredients such as retinol may also lead to birth defects.
In general, it is essential to consult with your doctor before using any of these skin care products.


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