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10 Ways to Enjoy Oats

Posted by Angelica on November - 3 - 2011

The benefits of oats are endless and it’s ranked one of the healthiest foods in the world. To add on to this, oats is extremely easy & quick to cook and eat. If you’ve always had your oats in the same old recipe, you must read on further to see the various great & tasty ways to flavor and devour it. Now you can have your oats all 7 days in a week and start your journey towards the healthiest lifestyle you’ve ever had!

Oats

Benefits of Eating Oats

  • High in Vitamin B especially Inositol
  • Lowers cholesterols
  • Reduces high blood sugar
  • Selenium & Vitamin E content boost immune system
  • Natural antidepressant
  • Calms down the nerves
  • Relieves fatigue
  • Weight loss due to high fiber intake
  • Great protein source
  • Natural constipation remedy

     

10 Ways to Savour Oats


  1. Oat Cereal – commonly found in your nearest supermarket, this is a great way to enjoy the benefits of oats in the form of cereal and cold low fat milk

    Oat Cereal
       
     

  2. Oatmeal Honey & Fresh Fruits– Mix some rolled oats with hot water & mix in fresh fruits like berries, mangoes, bananas or apricots. Pour over some over & enjoy.

    Oatmeal Honey & Fresh Fruits
       
     

  3. Oats, nuts, dried coconut & fruits, & milk– This is a classic granola style recipe. Use nuts like almond, pecans & walnuts to enhance the taste and benefit out of the richness of the Omega 3 oils. Sprinkle some chocolate chips to sweeten it if desired. Serve with cold low fat milk.

    Oats, nuts, dried coconut & fruits, & milk
                    
     

  4. Oats, yogurt & fruits – Mix Rolled Oats with Greek Yogurt & Tropical Fresh Fruits like Banana, Mangoes, Papaya & Pineapples. Sweeten with honey if desired.

    Oats, yogurt & fruits

     

  5. Oatmeal Cream of Chicken Porridge – This is inspired by the Chinese rice porridge. Take your favorite instant soup such as cream of chicken or cream of mushroom, etc, mix it with some quick cook oats & mix it with hot water & enjoy!

    Oatmeal Cream of Chicken Porridge

     

  6. Oats with cinnamon, nutmeg & brown sugar – this is great if you’re in the mood for some flavorful spices

    Oats with cinnamon, nutmeg & brown sugar

     

  7. Oats, milk, & jam – the classic oatmeal recipe but sweetened with your choice of jam

    Oats, milk, & jam

     

  8. Banana, oats & flour fritters – mash bananas with some brown sugar, vanilla essence, flour & oatsand form a thick batter. Deep fry in hot oil and serve hot.

    Banana, oats & flour fritters

     

  9. Oats Muffin – try this recipe courtesy of Epicurious.com

    Oats Muffin

     

  10. Oats Ice Cream – and you thought deserts are always unhealthy?? Try sprinkling some oats on your favorite ice cream or make your own healthy oats ice cream.

    Oats Ice Cream

     

Steve Jobs Quotes

  • “I think we’re having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we’re always trying to do better.”
  • “My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”
  • “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
  • “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share.”
  • “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life

 

Carrying the real name ‘Steven Paul Jobs’, he was commonly known as Steve Jobs and highly linked to Apple more than any other companies he was associated with. Born on the 24th February 1955, in San Francisco, California, he grew up in a lower middle class family with an educational background of merely high-school certificate and dropped out of college after just the first semester.

Years late, Forbes magazine 2010 ranked Steve Jobs as the 136th richest man on Earth with a Net worth of $8.3 billion in 2011!

I’m not even a big fan of tech and yet when I heard the news of Steve Jobs passing, it saddened me instantly; and then I realized why. He played a huge part in heaps of things that gave happiness & fun in my life; Pixar, Walt Disney, Toy Story, iPod, iPad & communication… Nature’s law of attraction does hit you when you least realize it.

 

Facts of Steve Jobs

Full Name: Steven Paul Jobs

Age: 56 as @ year 2011

Occupation: Co-founder & CEO of Apple Inc.

Adoptive Parents: Paul and Clara Jobs

Religion: Buddhist

Married to: Laurene Powell ; married for 20 years

Children: Lisa Brennan-Jobs (born 1978.) Reed (born 1991), Erin Siena (born 1995) and Eve (born 1998)

 

Early Life of Steve Jobs

Biological parents of Steve Jobs were unmarried Joanne Schieble and Syrian Muslim father Abdulfattah Jandali who met at students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His mother had forced to put the baby(Steve Jobs) for adoption as her parents wouldn’t allow her to marry a Muslim.

Steve Jobs Father

Steve Jobs biological father – Abdulfattah Jandali

Steve was adopted by couple Paul & Clara Jobs, who later had they daughter Patti Jobs in 1958. His adoptive parents divorced in 1962.

His biological parents, Schieble & Jandali eventually got married and had a child, Mona Simpson(novelist). Steve discovered his biological sister at the age of 27. Steve describes his sister as “one of my best friends in the world”.

Steve Jobs Biological Sister- Mona Simpsons (novelist)

Steve Jobs Biological Sister – Mona Simpsons (novelist)

Jobs traveled to India Kainchi Ashram with a Reed College friend, Daniel Kottke, in search of spiritual enlightenment. He came back a Buddhist with his head shaved and wearing traditional Indian clothing.

 

Steve Jobs – Family

Steve fathered a child with girlfriend of high school, Chris Ann Brennan. His daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs lived with him as a teenager.

Lisa Brennan Jobs

Steve with his daughter from high School girlfriend – Lisa Brennan

Steve met his wife Laurene Powell at Stanford University while giving a speech there. They married in 1991 in a Buddhist ceremony. The couples have a son & 2 daughters.

Apple's Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell

 

Career Path of Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs Career Path


Steve Jobs in Apple


Apple Founders: Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak

Steve Jobs left with co-founder Steve Wozniak

Apple Inc. was founded in the family garage in 1976 by Steve Jobs & co-founder Steve Wozniak. It’s currently a multinational corporation that creates consumer electronics, softwares & serves.

At Apple, Steve Jobs introduced revolutionary innovations, the OSX(world’s most advance desktop Operating system), iPod, iPhone and the iPad.

Apple Founder: Steve Jobs

‘AAPL’ is the stock symbol under which Apple Inc. trades on the NASDAQ stock market. Apple originally went public in on December 12, 1980, with an initial public offering at US$22.00. Apple shares today are worth close to US$400. It’s the largest technology firm in the world with annual revenues of more than $60billion.

 

Personal with Steve Jobs

Lifestyle: Workaholic before marriage & family focused after marriage

Spirituality: Zen Buddhism

Favorite Places: Yosemite, where his marriage was held & Europe, Paris in particular

Political view: Democrat

Favorite Music: Bob Dylan, Beatles & Grateful Dead

Favorite Art: Photography & Japanese Prints

Food Preference: Strict Vegetarian

Home: Woodside Mansion

Car: Porsche, Mercedes, German cars

Work ethics: Perfectionist, arrogant, demanding, & aggressive

 

Steve Jobs Death


Jobs died on Wednesday, October 5th at the age of 56 after a long battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. News of his death has shocked millions of fans around the world.

Steve Jobs Funeral

Apple says that Steve had ensured all specifications required in developing the new iPod, iPhone, iPad & Macbook had been passed to the other engineers.

He is a great loss to Silicon Valley and around the world.

Steve Jobs: You will be remembered and missed dearly for the innovations & inspirations you’ve brought to us!

 

What would you say to Steve Jobs if you had the chance to meet him in person before he died?

-leave your comments and final  tributes to Steve Jobs below at our comments section.

 

Get Steve Jobs Apple Products

 

 

Caring for your Hair

Posted by Angelica on September - 11 - 2011

Quote of the day

I don’t think I could live without hair, makeup and styling, let alone be the performer I am. I am a glamour girl through and through –Lady Gaga

As part of human evolutions, having hair on the head was for the purpose of keeping the head warm, and protecting the scalp. As we evolved further to a modernized society, hair plays a significant role to determine personality, youthfulness, health & masculinity in men. Hair defines your facial appearance and can greatly accentuate your style.

 

Hottest Hair Looks 2011-2012

For Men

The fringe

Men's hair style

For Women

The Medium Bob

Women's hair style

General Hair Care

Below are some of the guidelines which can be followed in order to have a healthy & desired hair:

Don’ts

  • Smoke or drink excessively
  • Crash diets until it strains essential hair vitamins
  • Constantly expose yourself to stressful environment
  • Use products with alcohol in it as it dries out your hair
  • Apply products directly into the scalp which would result in pores clogging
  • Wash hair with hot water as it damages your hair
  • Blow-dry on hot heat at one spot for more than 3 seconds
  • Repeatedly brush your hair as it can cause breakage and thinning
  • Tie hair back on a tight ponytail
  • Work on the hair too hard when its wet as it is easily damaged
  • Color, perm or go for many styling that involves harsh chemicals

     

Do’s

  • Have a healthy & balanced lifestyle
  • Get enough sleep at night
  • Eat lots of vegetables and a balanced meal
  • Blow-dry on cool setting
  • Use swimming cap to protect your hair when in chlorinated water
  • Use conditioner or apply oil on your head when you find hair to be dry or damaged
  • Wash your hair frequently with a good mild shampoo if you are prone to have oily scalp. Always opt for “Sulfate free”

  • Get a haircut or trim every two months once to encourage repair of split ends and promote growth
  • Use elastic & soft ponytail holders if you need to tie your hair. Tie lightly towards the end of your end/ neckline to avoid strain on your crown area which could cause breakage & hair loss

  • Stimulate follicle repair & hair growth by massaging your scalp for about 5-10mins when applying moisturizer or shampoo

Massaging your scalp

 

Top 5 Hair Care for Men

  1. Wash out gels or other hair products as soon as you get home
  2. Avoid using hot shower for your hair, try lukewarm or cold water
  3. Don’t brush on wet hair as its most fragile when wet. If needed, use a wide toothed comb
  4. Do not towel dry excessively when out of shower, instead shake off excess water
  5. Avoid frequently wearing a cap or ponytail which could lead to hair loss in the long-run

 

Essential Vitamins for Hair

Vitamin B – all Vitamin B & especially Biotin that is essential for hair, skin & nails. It helps in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates and enables the body to effectively manage blood sugar and contributed to energy metabolism. Lack of this vitamin causes anemia which will result in hair loss. Biotin is a major component to aid the natural hair growth and development process and is commonly prescribed with major hair loss medications. Food high in vitamin B includes fish, shellfish, meat, liver, poultry, dairy, and eggs, nuts, brown rice, grains, and yeast extract (malt). Recommended dosage daily for vitamin B-complex is less than 500mg, and Biotin is less than 3000mcg.

 

L-lysine – an essential amino acid/ protein that is essential for hair. It helps in the absorption of calcium. This supplement is vital for the body but is not produced naturally. It has to come from foods(to be taken in fairly large quantity daily) like red meat, pork, and poultry, cheese cod & sardine fish, legumes, beans, nuts, eggs, & soybeans. Recommended dosage is 500mg per day taken in capsule form.

 

Omega 3 oils – is important for a healthy scalp & to make the hair stronger & shinier. Omega 3 intake promotes the production of natural oils to prevent dryness & dullness. It’s also a supplement that decreases the release of stress related hormones which can lead to unhealthy hair or hair loss. Food rich in Omega 3 includes tuna, salmon, mackerel, eggs, walnuts, spinach, flaxseed oil/grounded. Recommended dose for capsule is less than 1000mg, twice a week.

 

Vitamin E – keeps hair strong, hydrated & healthy and enhances blood circulation in the scalp. Food sources of vitamin E are vegetable oil, soybean, wheat germ, seeds, nuts, beans, avocado, and green vegetables. Recommended dosage is 400 IU 3 times a week.

*tip: break up the soft gels & extract the oil to be applied on the hair overnight for immense shine

 

Vitamin C – essential antioxidant that reduces the damage caused by the body’s free radicals(in this case free radicals that affect the hair) and helps with the absorption of iron, collagen, glucosamine & other essential nutrients that promote healthy hair. Foods that are high in Vitamin C include lemon, oranges, dark leafy vegetables, yellow bell pepper, parsley, guava, broccoli, kiwi fruit, papaya & strawberries. You need to supplement your intake if you’re not getting it from the foods mentioned above. The recommended dosage of Vitamin C daily is 500mg that is best taken throughout the day for optimal absorption.

 

Vitamin A/Retinol – produces a healthy sebum for the scalp & contains beta-carotene; a nutrient essential for the hair. Vitamin A is found in dark green and yellow vegetables/fruits, such as broccoli spinach, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and apricots, and in animal sources such as liver, milk, butter, cheese, and whole eggs. Recommended dosage is 10000IU taken once a week.

 

All you need to know about Anger Management

Posted by Angelica on September - 4 - 2011

Quote of the day

Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before – it takes something from him. – Louis L’Amour

 

Anger exists in every single one of us. No man would tell you that he/she had never lost their temper unless of course they’re 6 feet down the ground. Anger is a strong feeling of discontentment, hostility or violent behavior provoked by a rage or wrongness. If you’ve been guilty of losing your anger, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to hit yourself repeatedly for it. The key is really to learn how to control this fragile emotion of anger and not letting it control you.

How angry are you at this moment of time

Anger is one letter short of danger

The first step to managing anger is really recognizing that you’re currently experiencing this rage. Ponder on what or who has made you has put on this feeling onto you and accept it. The worst thing to feeling angry is denial towards it.

Below is a scale to quantify your anger. Each scale is weighted against the Intermational Mercalli intensity scale which is also used in the measurement of earthquakes.

The red line between 2 and 3 would show where your limit should be, or rather here’s where you need to start getting help or imply anger management techniques already!

 

Which level do you belong to?

Anger Level

 

Anger Indicator

Here are some of the symptoms that you’re currently feeling angry and seriously need to deal with it immediately:

  • Rapid Heart Beat and breathing becomes intenseAnger Indicator
  • Stiffening of neck, jaw, arms & shoulders
  • Feeling the adrenaline rush
  • Clenching of fists until the fingernails start hurting
  • Head becomes numb and aches
  • Stomach feels rigid and tight
  • Muscles work hard and become tensed
  • Face becomes red and heated up
  • Sweating of palms and forehead
  • Tendency to throw things
  • Tendency to break things
  • Tendency to hit/punch into things
  • Destruction of others and Self
  • Screaming on top of your lungs
  • Using fowl languages or cursing
  • Thoughts of hurting or harming a person
  • Becoming mentally unstable

Control your Anger with these Powerful and Easy Tips

  • Take a deep breath. Inhale & Exhale slowly & repeatedly for about 10 times. Let the oxygen stream into your nerves & blood flow while calming it down
  • Pause and count until 50 before you make any further moves
  • Channel positive thoughts like love, happiness, relaxation, enjoyment, or excitement to replace angry feelings
  • Drink some water to calm your nerves
  • Ask for comfort and help from the Almighty. Prayers are a powerful way when you’re confused and lost
  • Move away from the person or thing which inflicted anger to you
  • Remember than anger and hate will not solve anything. It brings no good to yourself nor others
  • Repeat words like “control”, “relax”, “calm down” or other calming terminology
  • Imagine calming environment/sceneries or think of calming songs or music

    Be Calm

  • grateful that for the gift of life and wisdom which makes us rationalize between good, & bad. No problem in this world cannot be fixed
  • Do some physical exercise to loosed up stiff muscles and release tensions that build up as a result of anger
  • Release your anger in a piece of paper. Writing down your emotions have similar impact to talking to a friend without being secretive or worried that you’ll be judged
  • Once calm, start expressing your angry in a non-destructive way
  • Put yourself in the shoes of the person who made you angry. Ponder shortly on the reason the acted the way they did?
  • Think thoroughly before you speak. It’s no point to be regretting after you’ve blurted out words that might have hurt the other person more than you think
  • Reflect and determine a possible solution for your rage
  • Forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness – yourself and everyone/everything else. Release a white dove(a symbol of forgiveness), when you have a major grudge in you

    Ask for forgiveness to free yourself

  • Use silly humor to switch emotions, make sure it’s not offensive
  • If anger levels are too high, sleep over it before confronting or dealing with it
  • Seek therapy or anger management classes if you find it too difficult to cope
  • Join anger management forums, or chat groups to see how others are coping with this crisis
  • Never bottle up your anger inside you for too long. Accept it, and find a way to deal with it
  • If you really have to let go of your anger physically, find a punching bag or a stuffed toy to punch out to your heart’s content
  • Always remember your values in life. Have you conflicted your principles & morale by behaving negatively towards an emotion?

Values in Life

Recommended Products For Anger Management

 

 

How to Sleep Well

Posted by Angelica on August - 25 - 2011

Quote of the day

There is only one thing people like that is good for them; a good night’s sleep” – “Edgar Watson Howe”

A human spends almost 1/3 of their lives sleeping and this should already tell you why a proper sleep is imperative more than anything else. Studies show that those who sleep between 6 to 9 hours live the longest. This has been proven to be the ideal and optimal sleeping period which is needed by a person.

 

Why is a proper night of sleep important?

Everyone out there at one point or another would have gone through the sleepless nights when the body so badly needs its rest, but somehow the mind doesn’t stop functioning. Dozing off at this point of time might seem like the most impossible thing to do. It’s like someone telling you “Don’t think of pink elephants” and what’s the first thing that appears in your thought? Click the link below that directs you to the alertness test. This illustrates on how well you’ve rested for the day.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/sheep/

Contrary to this, some other people find that they sleep more than they should be. The cause of oversleeping is mainly due to the lack of sleep itself and other reasons such as disorientated sleeping patterns, habits, stress, or other medical conditions such as diabetes or heart diseases.

Anything more than 9 hours in a day leads to oversleeping which is linked to medical problems such as diabetes, obesity, back pain, heart disease, depression, and increased risk of death. Anything less than 6 hours in a day leads to sleep deprivation which is linked to even more problems such as fatigue, daytime sleepiness; clumsiness, weight loss/gain, trouble focusing, and it affects the brain & cognitive functions. Long-term total sleep deprivation can also cause death.

 

Sleepiness

 

The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and weight. Proper sleep is the most effortless activity which gives you this many benefits and a quality life.

 

The Sleep Cycle – the stages of sleep

There are two types of sleep which is Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) known as quiet sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) known as active sleep. Below are the stages of sleep that takes place when a person hits the bed. The stages below are not necessarily in the order of 1-5.

 

Stages of sleep

The Secrets to a Good Nights’ sleep

Sleeping

 

  • Make sleep a priority
  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night
  • Maintain regular sleep schedule, even on weekends
  • Establish relaxing bedtime rituals such as reading, or having a warm bath
  • Make sure not to go to sleep when you’re angry
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, & alcohol in the evenings
  • Try to stay away from long naps of more than 2 hours during the day
  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible and avoid distraction of TV/Laptops
  • Listen to relaxing music’s like light Jazz, meditative music, classical piano, spa tunes, etc
  • Keep a miniature fountain by the bed. Flowing water sends relaxing signal to your brains
  • Try breathing techniques from Livestrong.com to help promote sleep
  • Stop working at least 1 hour before bedtime. Your brains need to calm down and relax to be able to fall asleep fast
  • Exercise during the early parts of the day to tire the muscles. This will result in easier dozing off at night as the body would automatically crave for its rest
  • If you don’t fall asleep within 15-30mins upon hitting the bed, get up and do some light activities like reading or listening to music until you feel sleepy again
  • Write down worrying thoughts in a piece of paper which you can review the next morning. Never go to bed with any bothering thoughts in your head.
  • Try warm milk with honey. It has proven to relax your mind and promote better sleep
  • Shop for a good eye mask & ear plugs if the bedroom seems bright or if you have a noisy neighborhood/ partner
  • Invest in a good pillow that helps promote sleep. Check out SleepingPillow.org for more tips on choosing the right pillow.

 

Herbal Remedies to Promote Sleep

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea – sometimes referred to as pineapple weed, it helps to calm the nerves & soothes stomach. Taken in a hot tea form.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – it’s a mild sedative herb that has been reported to help patients with insomnia & sleeping disorders. Its best taken in capsule form due to its strong smell.

PassionFlower (Passiflora incarnate) – safe sedative particularly helpful for insomnia caused by anxiety, worry or an overactive mind. Taken in capsule/ extract form

Kava root extract capsules (Piper methysticum) – a sedative that produces mild euphoria & works as muscle relaxer. Best to be taken in capsule form due to its pungent smell & taste

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) – Traditionally used to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain & discomfort from indigestion. Works better when combined with other herbs like valerian.

Try lemon balm as a topical use as the smell is believed to promote relaxation

Ashwagandha
(Withania somnifera) – also known as winter Cherry or Indian Ginseng, this herb carries a Latin name that literally means “sleep inducer”. It has tranquilizing effect that relieves anxiety, increases resistance to stress, uplifts mood and relaxes muscles. It’s taken as a supplement capsule form.

Other herbal products to aid sleep

 

What you need to know before purchasing herbal products:

  • Research if your herbal product can interact with other medications, food or medical conditions.
  • Talk to your doctor before trying an alternative approach and be sure to tell all your doctors what alternative treatments you are using.
  • If you experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, diarrhea or skin rashes, stop taking the herbal product and notify your doctor immediately.
  • Avoid preparations made with more than one herb unless it has been researched before & proven effective.
  • Beware of commercial claims of what herbal products can do. Look for scientific-based sources of information.
  • Select brands carefully. Only purchase brands that list the herb’s common and scientific name, the name and address of the manufacturer, a batch and lot number, expiration date, clear dosage guidelines and potential side effects.

 

Fruit Butter

Posted by Angelica on August - 13 - 2011

Fruit butter is a sweet spread made of fruits like apple, pears, pineapple, strawberries, grapes, plums, mangoes, banana or pumpkin cooked in a low heat to a paste, and lightly sweetened. This is a “kind to the body” substitute to butter, margarine or cream cheese, and tastes awesome. It is created by slow-cooking fruits and then putting the mixture through a sieve or blending it to reach the right consistency. When done well, it has the same texture as butter with a different flavor. This is different from jams/ jelly’s as the ingredients do not incorporate any thickening or preservative agents.

Fruit Basket

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh fruits of your choice Fruit Butter YellowFruit Butter Red
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp of honey/ maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of citrus zest (orange or lemon)
  • 5 tbsp of lemon or orange juice
  • Very little pinch of salt

 

Directions

  1. Combine fruit, water, sugar, salt & honey/syrup in a stove, slow cooker or oven. Add citrus zest and juice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, mashing the fruit and stirring occasionally. It would take about 20 minutes to more than an hour to become very thick depending on the type of fruits you use.
  2. Do a taste test to see if sugar is sufficient. You could add more sugar towards the end of the cooking process. Always start with less sugar. Some fruits are loaded with natural sugar.
  3. To see if it has cooked to perfection, put a spoonful of fruit butter on a plate. If no liquid seeps from the edges, it’s done. Return to a simmer to thicken more if necessary. If you need it to be smoother, puree in a food processor or blender, strain, and let it simmer again for a few minutes before taking our for storing.
  4. Store the butter in nice clean jars with lids. Let it cool at room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.

 

*Tips:

  1. Play with the texture of the fruit butter based on the type of fruits you use. For fruits like apples, pineapples, pears, & pumpkin, you could remove the skin to get a smoother texture. For fruits with seeds like grapes, berries & kiwis, use strainer upon cooking to remove the fine seeds. In the middle of cooking, you can remove the mixture and blend it with a blender or food processor until you’re comfortable with the consistency. Try to opt for a mixture which is perfect as a spread.
  2. If you would like a creamier taste for fruits like mangoes, pumpkins, pears, or bananas, minimize or do not use the citrus zest or juice to decrease the acidic taste.
  3. Be creative and add your preferred flavors into your fruit butter. Most commonly added are spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, or flavors like vanilla, almond or coconut extract. Blending your fruit butter with yogurt will boost up the Probiotics properties.
  4. You could also use dried fruits such as prunes, raisins, cranberries, apricots, or dates to make your butter.
  5. Mix and match your favorite fruits and flavors to get a wonderful homemade fruit butter!

 

The various great ways to enjoy your fruit butters!

Various great ways to enjoy your fruit butter

  

The Science of Stress

Posted by Angelica on July - 30 - 2011

Quote: “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

 

Stress has become a major problem in our society and the sad thing is really, people who are stressed are either not aware about this or are still living in denial. High stress level makes us feel tired, anxious, and unable to concentrate, tensed, over alert, & depressed. These symptoms soon lead to insomnia or trouble sleeping, eating disorder (overeating or eating less than usual) & addiction towards short term help such as smoking, alcohol & even drugs. When we are stressed, things happen to us in a reaction of the brain telling the body “Survival is getting hard, so get ready to battle”.

Why do we feel stressed?

Organizational factor

Excessive workload

Long working hours

Work affecting home life

Continuous crisis management

Lack of communication

Lack of recognition

Managerial Biasness

Bullying

Harassment

Racism/ Sexism

Repetitive work

Numerous rules & guidelines

Lack of interest

Trust Issues

Isolation

Boredom

Salary related issues

Threats of poor performance

Comparisons among others

Lack of support from managers

Lack of control

Environment factor

Poor work environment

Air Conditioning problems

Too little workspace

Poor lighting

Lack of resources or tools

Noise pollution

Travelling

Poor ventilation

Poor pantry/ washroom facilities

Self factor

Negativity

Lack of motivation

Self Doubt

Low confidence/ self esteem

Health problems

Loss of direction

Financial matters

Family Problems

Changes (marriage, divorce..)

How much stress can we handle?

 

 
 
In a book I read recently, “Managing Workplace Stress: A best practice Blueprint” written by Stephen Williams & Lesley Cooper; it caught my attention on how stress was elucidated.
 
 
 
 

It was an explanation in a simple graph form but made complete sense on how stress or pressure affects productivity:

Level of stress

This graph explains how pressure affects performance which is divided to 5 levels.

Level 1: Known as the Rust Zone is when we are put under very little pressure that causes unproductively due to boredom or don’t care attitude. People in this level have the tendency to brush of task and constantly complaint of boredom.

Level 2: Known as the Comfort Zone is when we are at the level of stress that is comfortable to our tolerance. People are productive doing the task they know or are good at. Most people in the workplace tend to fall into this group.

Level 3: Known as the Stretch Zone is when we push ourselves out of our boundaries of comfort zone thus getting into the ‘learning curve’. This level is usually when both employees & employers gain optimal results of productivity.

Level 4: Known as the Strain Zone is the continuity of Stretch level stress which is the starting point for productivity loss and cause of other illnesses related to stress. People managers are usually ignorant at this point when they don’t see the need to stop or decrease the pressure input on staffs.

Level 5: Known as the Panic Zone is when we are intolerant to stress anymore and stress has overpowered our personal lives and caused major drop in productivity. This is the point which people face nervous breakdowns, panic attacks, major illnesses & change in behavioral attitude towards negativity.

When to say no?

It is healthy to give & receive pressure right up to the Stretch Zone, but once a person feels the symptoms of stress kicking, it’s wise to put a clear stop sign. Any further push factor done by an individual at the Strain Zone will lead to physical illness such as body aches & pain, diarrhea or constipation, frequent cold, rapid heartbeat, & gastrointestinal problems. It is the body’s way of telling to mind ‘Enough Already’.

Bear in mind that different people have different tolerance level to stress. Just because a peer is hanging on, you are not obliged to put up with high amount of stress. Remember that our health comes as a priority and surpasses any other resources available.

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