Mar 30

5 Things You Should Never Do in Your Hotel Room

Travelling gives you the opportunity to stay in luxurious hotels, and we all love the experience—somebody makes the bed for you, brings you food when you call for it and lets you use its amenities anytime you want (e.g. the pool, gym, spa and massage, etc.).

However, being a guest doesn’t mean you can do everything you want to do. Other than the obvious “don’t yell at the hallway,” here are the biggest hotel no-no’s that can easily turn your dream vacation into a travel nightmare.

Cook without proper kitchen area

It’s understandable that we want to save money when travelling. If you are the type who brings portable cooking appliances when you travel, be aware that it may be a source of problem for some hotels, especially if the room you’re getting has no kitchenette. These appliances can set off fire alarms or worse may cause fire. Instead, stick to no-cook meals or prep your own meals that you can keep in the fridge and reheat in the oven.

Restock the mini-bar

Mini-bars are there for you to enjoy. But if you’re planning to take that bottle of beer out of that fridge, just accept the fact that you will be paying for it. Don’t try sneaking in a fresh new bottle to replace what you’ve got. While you probably think you have replaced it, you’d still be charged for taking that bottle of spirit.

Do sensitive transactions over the hotel Wi-Fi

You should never, ever perform any sensitive transaction using the hotel’s free Wi-Fi. Given how easy it is to hack Wi-Fi hotspots, you might as well yell your bank details and passwords down the hall. Use your own mobile data if you must use the internet for sensitive businesses.

Sneak in your pet

Many of us bring our furry friends on vacations, but make sure to check with your hotel before booking your room. If the hotel won’t allow, do not try to sneak it in—animals leave evidences, from smells, to hairs to paw prints—if you wouldn’t want to be charged with extra fee.

Leave valuable items in your suitcase

Even the most expensive hotels cannot always stop thieves from breaking into their premises, so never leave your jewelry, purses, cash or wallet in your suitcase or anywhere in your room, unless your hotel provides your room with a safe.

Whether you are having a staycation or going out of town, your hotel stay should be a relaxing and fun experience. Do not put yourself in a sticky situation by doing any of these aforementioned things. Since we all want to be able to return to our favorite hotels anytime, abide to the house rules and be a courteous guest at all times.

Mar 24

What You Need to Know About Measles

Most infants in Singapore are given a vaccination against measles that is why getting the infection is unusual nowadays. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about measles and the complications can still be fatal for children because of such myths.

To understand what measles are, let’s dispel some misconceptions about it.

How the Infection Occurs

Measles is a highly-contagious disease, but you don’t see outbreaks anymore since the vaccine was introduced in 1963. Before the vaccine, the most affected were children younger than 5 years. The virus can be passed through air as well as direct contact with an infected person. It primarily affects the respiratory tract and will spread throughout the body.

When a person is infected, an incubation period between 10 to 14 days happens. No symptoms will show up during the incubation period. One common misconception is that chicken pox and measles are caused by the same virus, but they are not despite having the nearly the same symptoms.

Symptoms of Infection

The first symptom is a high fever which can last for up to 7 days and is often accompanied by sore throat, inflamed eyes, cough, and runny nose. Some parents might mistake these signs for flu, but small red spots or rashes will also show up. Fever can run as high as 105°F in some patients. Four days after the rash appears, the infected person has the highest chance of passing on the virus to other family members.

Complications of Measles

Parents should worry about complications in children younger than 5 years or family members who have weak immune systems or are malnourished. Complications include dehydration, diarrhea, encephalitis, ear infections, respiratory infections, and blindness. Unvaccinated children have higher risk of developing complications, and if there are other children in the family, there is also a high risk of transmission.

Avoiding Transmission

Another member of the family can be infected through sneezing, coughing, personal contact, or contact with the nasal or throat sections. The virus is most active 4 days before the rashes erupt. Some people who have been vaccinated against measles but have not developed the immunity for it can still get measles, but routine vaccinations give everyone a better chance of avoiding complications.

The vaccine is usually given with the mumps and or rubella vaccines and is usually given before the first birthday of the child. In total, two doses of the measles vaccine are given to give a higher chance of protection against the virus. Family members who love to travel and have not been vaccinated should be encouraged to update their vaccinations to prevent transmission of infections to other family members.

Treatment of Measles

Measles cannot be treated you are already infected, but the best that can be done is to try to avoid complications from the infection. This means preventing dehydration, using antibiotics to treat eye/ear/respiratory infections, and maintaining good nutrition. Some children are given vitamin A supplements to reduce the chances of blindness or damage to the eyes.

Mar 24

Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Heart

Some of the common non-communicable illnesses in Singapore include cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and other coronary heart diseases.

However, even well-documented illnesses can still have a lot of surprises especially if the symptoms are not so obvious to the person. The heart, which supplies blood and oxygen to various parts of the body, often show signs that it is unhealthy in other parts of the body.

Sleep Problems. If you have had sleeping problems for years, then you are at high risk of developing a hear disease. Sleep apnea in particular has been linked to heart attack and stroke because you temporarily stop breathing for a few moments. The lack of oxygen can potentially damage organs including your heart.

Coughing. Persistent coughing may be a sign that there is fluid retention in your lungs, which can be a sign of heart failure. Do not ignore coughing that feel as if you’re struggling for air because it could be an obstructive pulmonary disease.

Sexual Health. Maybe your poor intimate relationship with your partner is not a sign of old age or dysfunction but it could be an early symptom of a heart diseases. After all, reduced blood flow to parts of the body mean that your cardiovascular system is working a lot harder than it should. There are also studies that show a correlation of erectile dysfunction to heart disease among men.

Fatigue. Sometimes there are early warning signs of a heart attack days before the event. If you notice that you feel unusually and severely tired and lethargic even when you haven’t done any exercise, it is probably time to visit your doctor.

Sore or Bleeding Gums. If the cause of your dental issues is not linked to dental health, the doctor might consider your history of cardiovascular diseases. There is a 50% chance that you are experiencing the early signs of heart disease especially if the inflammation in your gums has not been treated for a long time.

Loss of Appetite and Nausea. If you have ruled out food poisoning or other illnesses, it could be a sign of a heart attack. Some people have fluid buildup in their abdominal cavity which causes it to swell, making the person feel full. Unfortunately, by the time you realize this the damage has been done.

Swollen Legs or Feet. Puffy legs or feet can be a sign that you have poor fluid retention or edema, which is one of the symptoms of a heart disease. Fluids are retained in the extremities (hands and feet) because your blood can’t keep up with the task of carrying waste products from your tissues.

Cold Sweats. If for no apparent reason or if you have not had any strenuous physical activity and you suddenly break into a cold sweat, it is time to call for emergency. Drenching sweat is a sign of a possible heart attack.

Feb 26

Different Ways to Improve Your Self-Control

You find it hard to control your eating habits because of all the delicious food around Singapore. You have difficulty saving money because you like to shop every after payday. But are these valid reasons or are you only making excuses for your lack of self-control?

Everybody has a bit to be guilty of but even if you don’t pay much attention to it, self-control is really important in our day to day lives. Before you can learn about the ways you can improve your self-control, it’s important that you understand one of the many factors that govern it.


Gratification is the biggest influence when it comes to self-control. Delayed gratification, specifically, is the key to controlling your urges and improving your discipline. It’s the ability to resist the temptation of getting an immediate reward in favor of a more valuable reward later. This is basically the essence of self-control since it teaches you to wait before you can get what you want.

And so, here are some of the many ways you can actually improve your self-control.

Set goals and plan ahead

If you want to start improving your self-control, you should start by setting goals first. For example, if you find that you eat a lot of unhealthy snacks as a result of not eating breakfast, you can simply put “eat breakfast every day for the next 4 weeks”.

This will help you discipline yourself to eat healthier while also getting rid of a bad habit. On the other hand, you should also try to plan ahead. By doing so, you know what to do when there are situations that might tempt you to lose your self-control again.

Try your best to avoid temptation

It’s always possible that you’ll just lose your self-control at one point. And that is magnified by things or situations that actually tempt you to do those unwanted desires. So, as much as possible, stay away from the things that can make you break your resolve.

With the example of unhealthy snacks, you can avoid the temptation by keeping your home or office free from them. By limiting your exposure to those snacks or not seeing them at all, you won’t be tempted to consume those types of food anymore.

Practice, practice, practice

It may sound weird because it’s not some kind of sport, but one of the best ways to improve your self-control is to practice it a lot more. Put yourself in situations that allow you to test your self-control so that you can make it stronger over time.

Of course, only do things that you can successfully exert your discipline at. It won’t make any sense to put yourself in a situation to control yourself if you will only fail in the end.

Feb 26

The 3 Worst Cardio Mistakes You Can Make

Even if you’re running or anywhere around Singapore for hours, it still doesn’t mean that you’re doing cardio effectively. You can give your heart a good workout through these exercises, but you might also have mistakes and misconceptions that are hindering your progress. Here are some of those mistakes that’s making your cardio workouts not worth the time and effort.

1. Believing that you can outrun a bad diet

Let me put it to you straight. It’s almost impossible for any person to outrun a bad diet. For example, you decide to eat 2 slices of pizza because you’re going to do cardio later in the day anyway. We can estimate that 2 slices of pizza all in all will be close to 600-650 calories.

The typical cardio session, on the other hand, will have you burn around 300-400 calories. Count them all together and you still have 200 more calories left which will eventually still lead to weight gain. No matter how you put it, weight loss (or even weight gain) will be centered on your diet more than anything. 

2. You do steady-state cardio too much

Running on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary bike are common forms of steady-state cardio. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing these from time to time. But only doing steady state cardio won’t give many benefits and will not give you your desired result. This is simply because they are light exercises and don’t challenge your heart as much as other methods.

Instead, you should incorporate a bit of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). An example of a HIIT workout would be too run full-speed for 30 seconds and then break to a light jog for a minute. The light jog will serve as your rest and after a minute, you go back to that 30-second full-power sprint. This makes HIIT even better than steady-state cardio.

3. Not eating before doing cardio

One of the most detrimental misconceptions about cardio is that you should do it on an empty stomach if you want to maximize your fat loss potential. Any type of cardio exercise will demand a good amount of energy from your body. If you don’t eat, your body will have a difficult time going through the exercise.

By the end, you’ll feel more fatigued and exhausted. And chances are, you’re going to be more hungry so you’ll end up eating a lot after each workout. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to eat a lot so that you’ll have a lot of energy as well. Just have a small snack that can boost your energy throughout your workouts.

Jan 07

How to Make Your Own First Aid Kit for Emergencies at Home

Accidents can happen at any time, and when they do, being ready to respond to them can sometimes spell the difference to quick treatment or a more complicated situation, which is why every home should have a first-aid kit in order for medical care to be given as quickly as possible.

Being prepared starts with having the right supplies in a part of your home that you can easily access, as well as knowing how to use them to handle and treat minor injuries.

Why Make a First Aid Kit?

While there are many pre-made first aid kits you can easily buy, there’s a good chance they won’t have everything you need for your emergencies at home. But you can easily supplement what your first-aid kit is missing by heading to the local pharmacy.

To start, these are the primary items you will need when building your first-aid kit:

  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Plasters/Band-Aids
  • Sterile dressings/dressing pads
  • Latex gloves
  • Thermometer
  • Eye wash
  • Bandages

Other miscellaneous items that would be great to have in your first-aid kit include the following:

  • A list of family members’ drug allergies or conditions
  • Phone numbers of physicians
  • Safety pins
  • Tweezers/scissors
  • Cotton/cotton balls


Another important part of the first-aid kit is the over-the-counter medications. While you don’t always need to travel far to get to the nearest pharmacy, it’s still good to have something in your medicine cabinet or first-aid kit for when you have a fever or a really bad headache.

If you plan on adding medicines to your first-aid kit, get started with the following:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Antacids

The following medicines listed can easily be bought at the nearest pharmacy. Even if no one in your home is experiencing any problems, having these in handy in your first-aid kit can do a lot in terms of preparedness.

However, if you’re unsure about any emergencies or those that are life-threatening, it’s crucial that you call the emergency number for medical emergencies. Having the emergency number written down also helps.


Pretty much any container will do when you’re making your own first-aid kit. You can choose a plastic container with a snap-top lid, a standard first aid kit with handles, or even a small backpack at home.

What is important is that you label your containers clearly so everyone will know that these containers are dedicated for your first-aid kits and medications.


Every home should have their first-aid kit placed in an area that’s out of reach for small children while being easily accessible to adults. A central location in the house that gets high traffic would be a good idea for this.

Jan 07

How to Properly Store All Your Clothes and Shoes

Having a lot of clothes can be a challenge with the limited space that you have, and if you have a knack for buying clothes, it can be an even bigger challenge that can leave your closet bursting full if you’re not careful.

However, sorting your clothes and shoes and staying organized doesn’t have to be difficult – in fact, there are only a few guidelines that you need to follow at all times when deciding where to put clothes:

  • Use all available space – Even if you think you’re already using every inch in your closet, there’s a good chance that there’s still room for more. For instance, hanger beams and spaces in between columns of folded clothes can still be utilized to take on more items better.
  • Keep clothes where you can see them – The biggest reason for this is that the more you see your clothes, the more likely you’re going to wear them. In fact, there’s a good chance that many items that you end up having to get rid of because they’re pushed to the back.

Hanging vs. Folding Clothes

When it comes to the question of which clothes to hang and which clothes to fold, keep in mind that there are certain clothes that are better off folded rather than hung, such as knitted clothes and sweaters, which would only develop hanger bumps.

Otherwise, most clothes can be folded and stored in neat piles that you can assign in different shelves in your cabinet.

Shoes and Bags

Shoes and bags are another category that needs paying attention to, but they’re actually much simpler to organize.

With shoes, you can easily store them at the bottom of your closet, but make sure not to store them in their original shoeboxes to keep them from attracting mold, dust, and even unwanted pests.

Bags can be stored in the upper storage shelf of your closet. If you’re worried about them being flattened over time, simply stuff them with tissue or newspaper and they will stay in shape.

Keeping vs. Donating

Knowing which clothes to keep and which ones to donate can be difficult if you have sentimental value for your things, but you might notice that this is usually reserved for the things you really enjoy and use often.

If you find that a particular clothing item no longer fits you and is something you don’t wear anymore, but is still in good condition, then you should donate them.

Now that you know the steps to sort your closet, organizing doesn’t have to be so difficult, so go ahead and start doing it right now!

Nov 26

17 Plants that Help Purify Air in Your Home

House plants are not just for decoration, but they can also double as air filters. If you are running out of ideas for home decor, look for these house plants next time you are out hunting in shops.

Peace Lily – This beautiful and versatile plant can be placed on your bathroom sink to remove toxins such as carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene and formaldehyde.

Chrysanthemum – Not only will this houseplant look gorgeous as a live decoration, but it can also remove toxins such as xylene, benzene, ammonia, and formaldehyde.

Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos – This simple plant that can be planted in pots, water or in hanging baskets is known for its purifying abilities when it comes to common toxins. It is also a hardy plant.

English Ivy – It is not only good for decorating walls, but it is also a known air purifier because it removes benzene and formaldehyde.

Boston Fern – When raised correctly, this gorgeous plant not only provides excellent outdoor decor, but it can also remove toxins like xylene and formaldehyde.

Weeping Fig – This can be grown indoors and is used as an air purifier because it can remove common household toxins.

Barberton Daisy – Love flowers? This daisy comes in a variety of colors and are also easy to raise as houseplants. Plus, they are known to remove common household toxins.

Rubber Plants – The Ficus elastic can be planted indoors in a pot or outdoors to provide shade. It is also known to remove toxins such as trichloroethylene and benzene.

Snake Plant – Do you ever wonder why this plant is so common even in commercial spaces? That is because it is low-maintenance and can even remove common toxins like trichloroethylene and benzene.

Philodendron – Even though it looks so simple this hardy plant is known to remove formaldehyde in homes.

Dracaena or Dragon Plant – This plant needs plenty of space to grow but they are known for removing harmful toxins when planted indoors.

Aloe Vera – Not only is this succulent known for its medicinal properties, but it can also remove toxins and is fairly easy to grow.

Chinese Evergreen – You can place this near your bathroom, and it can help cleanse the air of chemicals from common items used for bathing.

Spider Plant – Despite its terrifying name, arachnophobes have nothing to worry about because this hardy plant can remove xylene and formaldehyde in your apartment.

Dwarf Date Palm – It is quite easy to grow but needs a lot of space (it grows up to ten feet) if you want to decorate your apartment. It is known for removing xylene and formaldehyde in homes.

Areca Palms – The Chrysalidocarpus lutescens is perfect for decorating large empty spaces because it can grow big. It is known to remove toxins, but it should be kept out of reach of pets.

Pineapple – Yes, you can grow a pineapple in your home. Studies show they can even help with sleep problems because they boost oxygen levels in your home.

Nov 26

3 Delightful Okra Dishes You Should Try

One cup of okra daily is healthy for you because it is high in vitamins and minerals. However, its viscous juice makes it an unpopular vegetable in some people. Here are ways to make the vegetable more attractive for those who don’t like okra.

Brunswick Stew

Ingredients: 2 cups okra, 1 pound smoked turkey drumstick, 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 cups lima beans, 2 cups corn kernels, 1 pound potatoes, 1 dried bay leaf, 15 ounces diced tomatoes, 4 cups chicken broth, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, 1 onion, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 2 celery stalks, 2 carrots, 3 garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Preparation: Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and cook onion, celery, carrots, salt, and pepper for 3 minutes. Next, stir in garlic, crushed red pepper, and thyme. After 1 minute, stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Next, add broth, tomatoes, and bay leaf then bring mixture to a boil. Add corn, okra, turkey, potatoes, and lima beans then bring to a boil. Next, bring down to a simmer to cook for 20 minutes while covered. Add vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Simmer for another 20 minutes, shred turkey, and heat thoroughly before serving.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Ingredients: 2 cups okra, 8 ounces smoked turkey sausage links, 2 cups cooked and chopped chicken breast, 14 ounces chicken broth, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup water, 1 cup red/green sweet pepper, 1 cup onion, 4 garlic cloves, ½ cup celery, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dried and crushed thyme, and 3 cups cooked brown rice

Preparation: Heat saucepan over medium heat and cook flour for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly before adding the broth. Stir until mixture thickens then pour into a slow cooker. Add okra, sausages, chicken, onion, celery, thyme, garlic, sweet pepper, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and water. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. If you don’t want to wait long, cook on high for 3 to 3 ½ hours. Make sure to skim off fat occasionally. Serve gumbo with cooked rice.

Okra and Rice Casserole

Ingredients: 1 ½ pounds trimmed okra, 3 tablespoons canola oil, ½ cup yellow onion, ½ cup celery, ½ cup green bell pepper, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons garlic, 15 ounces diced tomatoes, 3 cups vegetable broth, 1 cup corn kernels, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, ¼ cup melted salted butter, 2 pressed garlic cloves, 8 ½ ounces basmati rice (microwavable), and 8 French bread slices

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a baking dish (13 x 9 in) by greasing it. In a Dutch oven, whisk flour and oil over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Next, add bell pepper, garlic, onion, and celery. Cook for about 3 minutes then add broth, tomatoes, corn, okra, Cajun seasoning, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until thick. Combine butter and pressed garlic in a bowl then brush the bread with the mixture. Bake bread for 3 minutes per side then transfer to a food processor and pulse until crumbled. Cook basmati rice in microwave according to instructions then spoon into prepared dish. Top rice with okra mixture and breadcrumbs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Sep 24

Things You Can Do to Nail Every Interview

Regardless if it’s your first-ever job interview or not, there’s always a chance that you’ll be very nervous and scared. The thing is, that’s normal! Especially because getting a job will affect your life through and through. Nonetheless, there are many things you can do to nail an interview. Here are only some of them.

Do your research

One common mistake applicants make is that they don’t do enough research. Whether it’s about the company or the job description itself, always try to do some research. For one, it shows the interviewer that you’re knowledgeable about the company and that you must be eager to work there. That will apply, for example, when you are asked “why did you apply for this job?” or “what made you choose our company?”

Be ready with the questions

One of the most common things that applicants do is to look up traditional interview questions. Naturally, you should too!  It’s the simplest way to be prepared with whatever’s thrown at you. Of course, knowing the questions can help you provide better answers. The interviewer can easily notice if you’re well-prepared, you’re a 50-50, or you haven’t prepared at all.

Know your selling points

If you look at it another way, you’re really going to an interview to sell yourself. That’s why you should try to come up with your best attributes and assets beforehand. If you want to, you can make a list of your skills and achievements. Then, you can think of ways to incorporate them into your answers. Just remember not to overdo it because you’re just going to come off arrogant.

Prepare a question as well

Right as the interview finishes, you’re usually asked if you have any questions. Using this time correctly can also land you bonus points to the interviewer. Some good questions would be “what skills are required to succeed in this certain job?” or “what are the challenges I might face if I get this job?” These questions can show that you’re eager and might impress the interviewer. One question should be enough though as you don’t want to take too much of their time as well.

Just think positive

Having a positive mindset before, during, and after the interview is probably the best way to go through it. By thinking positive, you can automatically show your confidence and enthusiasm. If the interviewer sees this in you, your chances of landing the offer can skyrocket. Simply put, don’t doubt yourself too much and just think positive!

Always say thank you

Lastly, always say thank you. You’re thanking them for giving you the opportunity. You’re thanking them for giving you time to discuss the job opening. And it simply shows that you know how to be grateful. Even when the interview doesn’t go exactly your way, it can show that you’re respectful and appreciative overall.

Sep 24

Signs That You Are in a Bad Relationship

Being in a relationship can be a serious commitment. Even if you’re not planning for marriage yet, you’re still investing a considerable amount of time and energy with another person. The problem is, things aren’t always going to turn out the right way. More than anything, your emotional and mental health can be affected if your relationship starts to get rough. So here are some signs you should watch out for.

1.  Gaslighting

Let’s start with one of the worst forms of manipulation there is, gaslighting. Gaslighting is basically a tactic wherein the manipulator makes you question yourself and your sanity. One simple example is blatant lying. When it’s already very obvious that the other person is lying but he/she insists that “you’re just imagining things” or something like that.

2.  Your partner is being passive-aggressive

Another warning sign you definitely should not ignore is passive-aggressiveness. It’s pretty toxic because the other person makes you feel guilty just so he can get what he wants. No matter how much you think about it, it’s not healthy because the other person is using guilt instead of actually engaging in a discussion with you. If you let this go on, you’ll only make things more miserable for yourself.

3.  You submit to your partner’s opinions

If you find that you’re constantly changing your opinion just to please your partner, then that’s a bad sign. In a healthy relationship, you should be able to speak your mind freely without facing the criticism of your partner. If you consider not speaking at all because you’re going to get nagged by your partner anyways, that will be very taxing for you emotionally and mentally.

4.  There’s no trust anymore

Trust, of course, is crucial in any relationship. One of the more common examples is of sharing social media accounts. Some people like to know their partner’s social media passwords so that they know who their partner interacts with. But doing this is somehow breaching privacy already. Snooping too much on their interactions only show that you lack trust. Sometimes it can even be a reflection of you. You’re snooping too much because you are already guilty of breaking your partner’s trust.

5.  You simply do not feel good about the relationship anymore

With all the points mentioned above, you may just start feeling like the relationship isn’t the same anymore. You might start mutually avoiding each other just to spend some time apart. Or maybe you just stopped communicating as much as before. This is a good sign that you’re growing tired of the relationship already. Just don’t deny it and recognize that, if really taken to the extreme, you’ll just end it there.

Aug 19

First Trimester Diet Guide

The first few weeks of your pregnancy is an exciting time for the entire family. Expect your relatives and family members to flood you with tips about how make the nine-month journey stress free and healthy, but they will also be giving you various tips of what you should and shouldn’t eat.

Balanced Meals

You do not just eat for two people, but you have to eat right; that means maintaining the right balance of essential vitamins and minerals that will keep you and your baby healthy. During the first trimester, you will have to increase your daily intake of certain food groups. For example, pregnant women will be advised to take more food rich in iron, calcium, zinc, folate, and fiber. Generally, you should have 3 to 5 servings daily of vegetables; 3 to 4 servings of fruits daily; 3 daily servings of dairy; 2 to 3 servings daily of protein; and 3 servings daily of whole grains.

Know Your Food

When it comes to fruit, always go for fresh although canned, frozen, and juices are also fine if there are no alternatives. You must, however, include at leas one citrus fruit in your diet. For vegetables, increase your intake of leafy greens and make sure they are always fresh from the market. Good dairy sources can come from milk, cheese, yogurt, and fortified soy milk. Get your daily dose of whole grains in the form of cereals, crackers, and bread, while healthy protein should come from lean meat, fish, poultry, seeds, nuts, and lentils.

Don’t Eat More

The point is to increase the essential vitamins and minerals, not increase the serving of each meal. You will not be needing the extra calories until later in your pregnancy, but you will need more folic acid, protein, and vitamins A and D on your first trimester. Supplements can help augment your diet but consult your doctor first before taking any vitamins or medications during pregnancy. Stay within the daily recommended allowance and use only the products recommended by your doctor.

Extra Calories

You will need a slight increase of your caloric intake, but you should be careful where you get it from. Ideally, pregnant women will need an extra 300 calories, but this can change depending on your current health condition. You should also look for food rich in complex carbohydrates along with fiber to avoid tummy issues. The best sources for carbohydrates are legumes, beans, pasta, whole wheat bread, and vegetables.

Colorful Diet

The best indication that you are eating healthy is by looking at the variety of colors on your plate. Have as many greens, yellows, and reds when it comes to vegetables. For fruits, pick citrus, avocado, banana, apple, watermelon, mango, and grapes. Most seafood are fine if you do not have allergies, but you need to cut down on deep sea fish like shrimp, king mackerel and sword fish. You should also avoid anything raw or undercooked, soft cheeses, raw sprouts, non-pasteurized milk, caffeine, and sweetened beverages. If you are feeling nauseous and don’t like the food set before you, pick tummy-friendly food that will not give you diarrhea.

Aug 19

STD and Pregnancy

Most first-time parents are unaware about the dangers of undiagnosed and untreated sexually-transmitted diseases during pregnancy. Complications can be life-threatening for both the mother and the baby, that is why you should be aware about what to do when you are diagnosed with STD while expecting a baby.

Think About Getting Tested

In Singapore, you can get STD screening using kits you can buy at clinics. This is a convenient way to get tested if you are uncertain about going to a clinic yourself. You and your partner should talk about both getting tested when planning for a baby, but if this was not possible, you can still get tested during your routine prenatal checkups.

You Can Still Get Infected

Even when you tested negative before the pregnancy, you can still get infected while carrying the baby. Being pregnant does not automatically shield you from STD if you are still sexually active with your partner. You can avoid this by getting tested with your partner during your first prenatal checkup. The earlier the detection of the infection, the better the chances for a successful treatment.

STD Affects Your Baby

Women can suffer from complication during pregnancy or go through a difficult childbirth because of STD. In worse cases, it may even end up in a miscarriage. Some problems will not be obvious until weeks later, so if you have tested positive, take all possible measures to protect your baby during childbirth. There are ways to prevent your baby from getting infected while you yourself are undergoing treatment.

STD Can Be Prevented

While it is still possible to enjoy intimate moments with your partner while pregnant, you must make sure that your partner uses latex condoms to protect yourself from diseases. It would also be safer if you both undergo STD testing.

It Can Be Treated

Some types of STDs can be treated during pregnancy such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis. Most of these can be cured, too, if treated early. Others like HIV, herpes, and hepatitis B cannot be cured but the doctors can take measure to prevent the virus from infecting the baby during childbirth.

STDs Affect You and the Baby Differently

Each type of STD affects you and your unborn child in many ways. Most of them also can only be transmitted during childbirth, not during the nine months you are carrying the fetus.

  • Hepatitis B can be transmitted during the delivery, so doctors have to treat the child right after birth.
  • Hepatitis C can be passed on during pregnancy and might lead to premature birth or low birth weight.
  • HIV can be passed during pregnancy, labor, vaginal delivery, and breastfeeding. You can reduce the transmission during the early part of your pregnancy if you are given early treatment.
  • Syphilis can cause stillbirth, premature birth, or even death after birth. Babies will also have several organ complications.
  • Chlamydia can lead to preterm labor, low birth weight, and premature membrane rupture. If not treated, the baby might get infected during vaginal delivery.
  • Gonorrhea can lead to low birth weight, premature birth, and premature membrane rupture. It can only be passed to the baby during vaginal birth.

Jul 11

6 Reasons to Sip on Tea Instead of Coffee Before a Workout

Increase your workout energy and fat-burning potential by sipping on some caffeine before your next gym session. Drinking caffeinated drinks can help boost the effectiveness of a workout, as well as help relieve pain caused by intense exercise.

However, when choosing which caffeine to take, tea is said to be more effective than coffee. Read on to find out why your favorite green tea is the best substance to drink before hitting the gym.

1. It Enhances Memory to Remember Routine Moves
Unlike coffee, green tea is great for enhancing your memory—so great that some studies say it can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Make sipping green tea a habit by having a cup before your next workout class. You’ll not only get yourself alert, but you’re also investing for better memory in the future.

2. It Improves Your Focus
Sure, anything caffeinated will give you an instant boost. However, even if a cup of tea and coffee have the same amount of caffeine, studies suggest that the former gives you a clearer and more focused kind of alertness, which is something you need when you have, say, a hundred pound of weight to lift.

3. It Keeps Your Bones Strong
Green tea helps strengthen and improves the quality of the bones, therefore protecting you against possible injuries with continuous workout. Consume a cup of it before every going to the gym and you’re doing your bones and joints a big favor for their future.

4. It Has More Antioxidants
A major reason why green tea is great is because of the compound called polyphenols—an antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body. What does free radicals do to you internally, you ask? Well, they’ll simply increase your cholesterol level, alter your DNA and change the course of your cell membranes in a bad way. Green tea is here to help reverse the effects of these harmful chemicals.

5. It Aids Healthy Blood Flow
Just in case you’re not aware yet, you need a good amount of oxygen in your bloodstream when executing exercises. Green tea helps lower cholesterol level, improve blood pressure and increase blood flow while you’re doing strenuous activities in the gym.

6. It Promotes Better Sleep
If you want to have the energy for a workout session the next morning, then sip on some tea before hitting the sack the night before. As a known fact, coffee drinkers experience more difficulty in falling asleep than tea drinkers. Opting for a refreshing cup of tea over coffee means better sleep and waking up to more energy the next day, right?

Working out is healthy for you. Boost the health benefits even more by consuming the right kind of food and drink.

Jul 11

4 Ways to Spruce up Terra Cotta Pots

Flowers are a great way to liven up any space, and they also bring a lot of benefits. Aside from adding more oxygen to the room, looking at nature (even just tiny house plants) have been proven to significantly reduce stress levels. The calming nature of plants have also shown to increase productivity, memory performance, and attention span. While there are many spaces in Singapore where you could find a bit of green, it’s always a good idea to bring nature indoors. While you’re at it, why not spruce up your boring planters with a bit of DIY magic? Here are a few DIY ideas to that will help jazz up your planters.

1. Flower Decoupage
One thing you could do to liven up your terra cotta is to do a bit of decoupage. All you need to do is to paint your pot a plain color (off-white works well for this) and cut out shapes from colored napkins. Once the paint is dry, stick the napkins with mod podge, and then add another coat of mod podge to the whole thing to seal it.

2. Fabric Decoupage
If you don’t want to decoupage with flowers, there are other materials that you could use. For example, take fabric. You could use fabric of any pattern, as long as it’s not too thick. Light colored, cotton fabric is a safe choice. Simply put a layer of mod podge on the terra cotta, then wrap the fabric around the pot, making sure to create an allowance of about an inch at the top and bottom of the pot. Then add more decoupage on the cloth, and press out any bubbles under the cloth with your hands to ensure a smooth layer.

3. Faux Antique Terra Cotta
Other than adding decoupage, another thing you could do to terra cotta planters is to make them look older than they actually are. To make your pots look antique, simply spray the pots with fleck stone spray paint, then sand the pot. For an added illusion, dab on some dark green and brown paint to mimic dirt and moss.

4. Chalkboard Paint
Using chalkboard paint gives you an extra bit of function to your pots. If you’re planting herbs, you could write down the names of each herb to remember which plant is which. To avoid overwatering, you could even write down the date of when you last watered your plant. If you’re giving your plant as a gift, you could write a short note, or draw a small doodle.

To use chalkboard paint, simply put two even coats of paint on the planter of your choice. Make sure that each layer dries completely, then put chalk to paint and get creative!