You are What You Eat

6 Eating Habits That Could Make You Gain Some Weight

You’ve been exercising regularly and you’ve been steering clear from every high-calorie that you see, but you’re still not shedding those extra pounds away. We know it’s frustrating, but before you turn your anger on your weighing scale, you might want to check and re-evaluate some of your eating habits that could be causing you to gain weight.

Failing to Eat Enough Every Meal

It may come as a shocker, but not eating enough actually forces your body to go into starvation mode. This is where your metabolism slows down, making it more difficult for you to burn calories even if you’re eating healthy meals and working out regularly.

Eating Rapidly

If our body has one huge flaw, it would be this: it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to inform your brain that you already ate enough. One study found that slow eater consumed 66 fewer calories each meal, but compared to their fast-eating counterparts, they felt fuller after each meal. Well, what’s 66 calories you ask? It simply means losing more than 20 pounds a year if you eat 66 fewer calories on your meals.

Missing Nutrients That Your Body Needs

Did you know that failing to give your body enough iron, magnesium or vitamin D saps your energy? And if you’re already feeling deflated, you’ll likely end up snacking on sweet, high-carb foods to compensate for the energy that you lost – which in return, causes you gain some weight.

Drinking High-Calorie Drinks

If your diet and exercise aren’t working, then perhaps that because you’re drinking your calories. Remember, juices and sodas are often loaded with hundreds of calories per serving, which could quickly add up to your weight without you noticing.

Being Tricked By Food Labels

Not everything that’s labelled fat-free is good for you. When fat is completely removed from a food, it ends up becoming flavourless, a problem that most food manufacturer remedied by adding tons of salt and sugar to the product.

Focusing Too Much on Your Workout

Here’s a secret: hitting the gym won’t really burn that much calories. According fitness experts, a person weight 155 pounds only burns 112 calories for every 30 minutes of weightlifting exercise – which you can easily counter if you mistakenly drink a soda after working out.

Shedding off some weight isn’t just about exercising regularly, it’s also about cleaning up your eating habits. Because as they say, a well-toned body is often made in the kitchen and not in the gym.

Financial Resolutions You Should Consider Making Now

Fitness and finance are the top categories where we have the most room for improvement, and while engaging in fitness improvements can be a bit straightforward, figuring out how you can better manage your finances could come with certain complexities. The following are some of the financial resolutions that you can make so you could be financially fit in today.

Set Clear Financial Goals

One financial resolution you should do this year is to create a plan that’ll help in executing your financial goals. But for you to do so, your goals should first be clear and concise. Make sure that your financial goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (S.M.A.R.T). So instead of saying “I will pay my debt,” say “I will pay my debt of $20,000 this year by paying off $840 whenever I get my pay check.”

Increase Your Savings

Paying yourself first – meaning putting money to your savings prior to paying your bills – isn’t just a great financial resolution to practise, but can also help you achieve your financial goals. This will also serve as your cushion to take care of your everyday needs in case of a financial emergency. You can start doing it by saving at least 10 percent of your income every time you get paid.

Lessen Your Debt

Reducing your debt isn’t just a great New Year’s resolution, but also a great practise to do all year round. Lessening the amount of money that you owe to other people will assure that you can weather any storm. Because when you have fewer financial obligations, you are far more likely to handle any unexpected expenses.

Engage Into a Side-Hustle

Have you been putting off your passion projects for too long? If so, then let this be the year where you make your side-hustle a reality. Today’s technology has made starting a business convenient, so ensure that you create a plan that will help and allow your passion to fully bloom.

Broaden Your Investments

Investing your money to allow it to grow is another great financial strategy. But if your investment are not diversified, then you’re likely setting yourself up for a financial disaster. To ensure that you aren’t prone to losing your investments, review them with your financial adviser and branch it out as much as possible.

Setting financial resolutions is one way of ensuring that you’ll have a healthy financial life. So be sure to add these resolutions on your list to enjoy a new and more financially successful you.

Things to Do the Night Before Your Wedding

Perhaps the most stressful part of the wedding preparation is the night before the ceremony. Most people will advise the bride and groom to get a good night’s sleep for the long day ahead, while some prefer to spend it with family and friends to commemorate the last night of being single.

Here are some productive things you can do before the big day.

Make a list of things to do – Even if you think you have prepared enough for the ceremony, it won’t hurt to do a last-minute check of everything that needs to be done before tomorrow. You might want to sit down with your wedding organizer and your assistants. This will help you remember things you might have overlooked and the items that you have missed.

Last-minute check with the vendors – Make sure everything goes well tomorrow by checking for the scheduled payments with the vendors even if you have a wedding organizer. You should have a list of all related information about the vendors, such as names and phone numbers.

Check with your photographers – Do a last-minute check with your photographers and videographers to make sure everything is working. You should also check your own phone and cameras if you plan to take a few photos yourself.

Talk to family and friends – You can do a last-minute check with your entourage to see if there are any problems, or if you’re feeling nervous or stressed, talk to family and friends to ease your worries.

Beauty prep – This is the perfect time to get last-minute finishing touches such as a spa session, but you should book an appointment with the salon or spa weeks ahead. If you think you need a facial, it should be scheduled at least a week ahead of the wedding day, because you don’t want to have a breakout when you need to look your best.

Check your personal items – Double-check all your personal items before going to bed. Don’t leave anything that can get lost or misplaced, so make sure that all your items are organized and returned after use. You should also pack a separate kit in case of emergencies that contains extra hairpins and buttons, safety pins, hair products and makeup, extra underwear and shirts, tissues, and a small sewing kit. Then assign someone to carry your personal items, emergency kit, and cash during the wedding.

Rehearse your speech or vows – Make sure you practice your speech or vows before going to bed, so you will feel more confident tomorrow. You can ask someone to listen and give advice while you recite.

Get enough sleep and rest – As much as possible, all the necessary preparations should be carried out days ahead to avoid stress. Eat a healthy meal and drink lots of water, then get plenty of relaxation and sleep and avoid any activities that will ruin your mood by turning off your phone before going to bed.

How to Pick a Gift for a Newborn

A newborn will spend most of the day sleeping and feeding, so it might not be practical to give him/her a toy just yet. The parents will also appreciate practical baby gifts that are useful, especially if it’s their first baby.

Here are some ideas on what to give to a newborn and the parents.

Diapers and wipes – While these might not seem like ideal gifts to you, these are quite useful. There are also diapers and wipes that come in different designs and packages, so all you need to do is add bath accessories and other items to make up a baby gift basket.

Baby closet organizers – While it might be tempting to give the newborn some cute clothes, most of the family and friends will have thought of that already, so give the parents some hangers, dividers, and organizers for the closet instead.

Growth chart – You can also give the parents an item that will help them remember baby’s firsts with a growth chart. Pick one that has sections for photos and text that the family can look at later when the baby grows up.

Bath accessories – Babies will need warm towels, hooded towels, baby soap and shampoo, bath sponge or cloth, and other grooming accessories. You can personalize some of the items by placing the baby’s name on the towels for example.

Blankets and nursing cover – The parents might have bought plenty of blankets for the baby already, but it would not hurt to have extras in case some become spoiled. The nursing cover is also useful for nursing moms who need to go out, besides, it can also double as a blanket.

Baby monitor – A baby video monitor will be useful for busy parents who need to work while looking after the baby. Look for a baby monitor with a digital camera, infrared night vision, temperature monitor, and two-way talk back.

Baby food items – You could also give the parents personalized feeding bottles, divided plates, and other food accessories for the baby.

Baby bouncer, playmat or swing – The parents might have thought of this already, so check if they already have any of these useful items. The bouncer has a built-in toy that can keep the baby entertained while the parents are busy with the chores.

Nursing pillow – This is not only useful for the mother while nursing the infant, but it can also be used to support the baby’s head.

Nursing items for the mother – You might also want to give items for the nursing mother instead, such as breast pads, wipes, and nipple balm.

A book guide for parents – Rookie parents will need all the support and help for their new journey ahead, so it’s also practical to give them book guides on how to take care of the newborn properly. You could also pick a book that includes a guide for baby’s vaccinations required in Singapore, teething, sleep chart, breastfeeding, and weaning.

Growing Flowering Plants in Your Backyard

Growing flowering plants in a small apartment in Singapore can be a challenge especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with gardening. But it is possible, and the rewards are worth the effort.

Here are tips to maintaining a small but beautiful backyard garden of flowering plants.

  • If you are going to use pots, make sure that there is a hole at the bottom for sufficient drainage.
  • Do not use just about any soil you can find in your surroundings. Buy a gardening soil from supply shops to avoid diseases, weed seeds, and fungal growth. The best type of soil is mixed with vermiculite, decomposed organic matter, or peat moss. Flowering succulent plants and cacti require a different type of soil.
  • It’s also a good practice to transfer the plant to a new pot instead of keeping them in the original container. Fill the new pot with soil including the potting mix. Next, pat the soil to remove air pockets but don’t pack it too tightly. Loosen the plant from the original pot; don’t pull. Then, set the plant on top of the mix in the new pot then fill in with the soil. There should be at least 1 inch between the soil and the rim of the container.
  • Water the plants only when the top inch of the soil is dry and free from moisture. Excessive watering can cause fungal diseases in plants and make the roots rot. During hot days, you may need to water the plants daily, but check for specific requirements for each plant first.
  • Over time, the gardening soil can lose its nutrients. For flowering plants, use water-soluble fertilizers or liquid fertilizers you can purchase at garden supplies shops in Singapore. Follow the instructions to the letter to avoid harming the plant or dilute the solution before applying it.
  • Inspect the flower pots or beds regularly to remove weeds. These not only compete with resources with your plants, but they can also bring in diseases and pests.
  • Most beginner gardeners forget mulching when it comes to plants. Mulch can retain soil moisture but is also an excellent way to avoid excessive water retention. Which mulch is best for you garden depends on how it will look once the soil is covered with the material. The natural-looking materials are composed of wood chips, leaves, or grass.
  • Majority of flowering plants require plenty of sunshine, so you should place your pots in areas where it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight. If not, place them on the windowsills where they can get sunlight during the mornings. However, some plants that do not require a lot of sunlight should be placed in shaded areas.
  • Flowering plants are prone to pests and diseases. Inspect for weeds regularly and install traps and barriers for common pests such as aphids, gnats, and mites. You should also avoid planting different species in the same plant box or pot, so it is easier to monitor signs of disease.

Caring for Live Pond Plants

Live plants need as much love as fish because not only do they help make the area look pleasant and natural, they can also help maintain a better water quality for your pond.

Here are some tips to keep you plants healthy.

  • Before choosing the plants, make sure you know which ones can potentially take root and spread in your pond in case you do not want that to happen. Some species can be difficult to contain, but if you want to have plants that spread their roots like the cattails, you can contain their growth using fabric planters. Water hyacinths can be contained using a fishing line to keep them in one section of the pond.
  • You can retain containers like mesh baskets and plastic pots for plants in the pond. These can be useful for marginal plants, lotus, and water lilies so the roots don’t spread to the rest of the pond. Marginal plants will look better when planted in forming fabric planting beds, but for most types of plants, fabric planters are your best choice.
  • The use of fertilizers will depend where the plant usually grows. For example, floating plants get their nutrients from the water via the roots, so use a liquid fertilizer for your hyacinths and water lilies. Potted plants on the other hand will need tablets inserted into the planting media. This will fertilize the roots directly.
  • The placement of the pond in relation to other garden plants can affect the water quality and the parasites affecting pond plants. Do not place the pond under flowering trees for example if you do not want an aphid infestation in your aquatic plants. However, do not place the pond in direct sunlight as it can trigger algae growth.
  • Most ponds will need at least six hours of sunlight to be healthy, but to much exposure will lead to an overabundance of algae.
  • Do not place plants in the direct path where water flows in your pond because the disturbance will inhibit their growth.
  • There are 5 types of pond plants to choose from, such as marginal, deep water, floating, aerators, and bog. Each type has their special requirements.
  • Floating plants can be planted in plant baskets and lily tubs to contain roots.
  • Underwater plants can help limit algae growth in the pond. If you want to place them in your pond, plant them in one-gallon containers with pea gravel to hold them in place. They will need to be submerged in a depth of at least 12 inches.
  • Shallow water plants are marginal plants that will need to be planted in a minimum of 10-inch fabric pots. Place them in depths of 3 inches and they must be fertilized every 8 weeks.
  • Water lilies will require large or extra-large planting baskets lined with sphagnum moss or filter pad and 1 inch layer of gravel or sand on top. They are also placed at least 12 inches below the water.
  • Regular replenishing of nutrients using fertilizers is important in a closed environment such as a pond. Most plants are hardy even without regular maintenance, but pruning is required for some species.

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