Happy new year everyone!

It’s the 3rd of January in Australia and I’m finally ready to admit we are in 2019 now.

Like it or not, time marches on relentlessly. I was a bit down about 2018 and was not ready for another new year. I felt I underachieved and haven’t been happy with my career for long time. I had a couple of accident in 2018 that caused physical pain and left more scars on my body. But on a positive note, I’m learning to count my blessings, no matter what.

I’ve finally learnt the value of money (which is an very important life lesson). I’m slowing learning how to deal with anxiety consistently. I’ve managed to loose some fat around my waist and underarm and didn’t gain the weight back like I used to. I’ve also travelled more in 2018 and went to Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and Singapore the first time as a solo traveller. I finally did fruit picking in Australia the first time in my life. I learned how to play Frisbee (I don’t know how to play any sports). As a person who’s never able to take more than half a glass of alcohol, I drunk more champagne than ever on New Year’s eve + New Year’s day and enjoyed being a little happy drunk.

So, what’s the plan for the new year? Firstly and most importantly, learn to stay free of injury. Secondly, write a note with a good thing that happened each week and put it in an empty jar even when I’m feeling slightly depressed.

Alright, that’s enough of me. Wish you all a very happy, prosperous and peaceful 2019! Never loose hope even when you are feeling down. Never give up trying as long as you live.

Where’s Your Career Going This Year?

Your career should be full of exciting and risky prospects, to make sure you’re always getting the most out of the job you’ve dedicated yourself to for a long time now. And of course, seeing as we’re in a fresh year, there’s a lot of time to make sure your career is going in the right direction for the future! So with that in mind, let’s think about where your career could realistically be going this year.

It doesn’t matter the direction, as long as you’re happy with where you’re going! (Unsplash)

To a New Passion

If you’ve found yourself recently picking up a new hobby, or a new love of learning about the field of nursing or how to shear sheep, then maybe it’s time to think about how you can turn this love into a career. It’s grabbed you with full force, and you know you’re capable – we’re exposed to all kinds of potential new passions when we’re at work, so why not explore them fully?

Maybe you completed a task that was more interesting than usual, maybe you networked with someone who was very charismatic and responded well to your proposals – maybe you took charge of your own little team for the day and realised what a good leader you were. Whatever it was that convinced you it’s time to try out something new in your career, be sure to follow your instinct about it. If you have the urge to take online classes for your career development, go ahead and finish that MBA program for Canadians. Maximize the hype and complete your goals to keep yourself motivated

To a New Location

Travelling for work is something more and more people are deciding to do, and for good reason. There’s a lot of opportunity out there, and often enough you’ll only find a new role or a promotion that you’d absolutely love to achieve by going in search for these positions. Maybe your boss needs you to spearhead a new branch on another continent? Maybe you need to refine the website to accept international customers? These prospects are risky, but they’re worth it!

When it comes down to it, there’s an abundance of jobs overseas and in other areas of your own town or city, so why not look into setting up shop in these new locations? After all, your career takes you to networking events and business conferences up and down the country anyway, why not take on a trip like this full time?

To New Contacts

Networking is one of the main strengths you’ll need on your side if you’re looking to expand your career horizons in the new year, seeing as there’s plenty of people out there you haven’t even met yet.

Being able to weave in and out of various social circles, leaving a good impression and your contact details with each and every member, can give you all kinds of exposure you’ve been waiting for for a while now. So be sure to start building yourself a presence in the working world, both off and online. Start from scratch if you need to.

Your career could go anywhere this year, so be sure to follow it!

Living a healthy lifestyle does not need to be huge changes in the way you live. Some small habits can make sure you get to old age a much healthier person who does not have to take medication for all sorts of conditions. Most of the suggestions are modifications rather than total changes, although of course, that does depend on how you live now.

Wash Your Hands Often

It would be impossible to know how many times a day you touch something that someone else has left germs on, and these germs could make you ill. Wash your hands often throughout the day especially after visiting the bathroom or before you eat a meal.

Start Stretching Your Muscles

When your job means that you are sitting in an office all day, your muscles can start to weaken through a lack of use. Start to make stretching your muscles part of your daily routine and then they will stay stronger and cause you less pain.

Yes! Stretch like this

Breathe In The Correct Way

Breathing from your diaphragm rather than your chest can improve your blood circulation and other body functions. The change in breathing technique is not difficult and although you may have to think about doing it to start with, it will eventually become the normal way for you to breath.

Have Lots Of Showers Or Baths

Of course, you already know that a bath or shower will clean your body and get rid of any nasty body odors. However, did you also know that they would revitalize your skin, as well as being a great way to relax your mind? Make them a time to pamper yourself too for the most benefit of some ’you time’.

Don’t Let Your Nails Grow Too Long

Long nails are the perfect place for germs to hide and this could result in all sorts of infections. Short nails are easier to keep clean and to get rid of any germs from underneath them. The problem is that is there is a virus or germs under your nails you could easily ingest them when you are eating.

Shorter nails can still look good and you should keep them that way unless you need to have long nails to model a nail varnish or some jewelry. Even then, if that is the sort of job you have, false nails could be used for the task.

Cut The Sugar

There is a huge proportion of the population in the US that suffer from type 2 diabetes as they get older and this is totally preventable. Keeping the intake of sugars very low in your diet will go a long way to lowering your risk of developing this condition.

Apart from the obvious things, such as candies, that have high sugar content, you should also avoid soda drinks and processed foods. It is processed sugars that are the problems and the natural ones found in fresh fruits and vegetables are plenty for our bodies needs.

If you do not want to end up injecting yourself with insulin every day, cut the processed sugars from your diet now.

Sleep More, Stress Less

Getting enough sleep is important to help stave off all sorts of health problems, and one that a lack of it will cause is stress and anxiety.  When you get depressed, you are more prone to heart problems and various other medical conditions. One of the biggest factors in coping with the stresses of everyday life is having enough sleep.

To help promote a good nights sleep make sure your bed is comfortable, never eat a heavy meal late at night and turn off computers, TV’s and digital devices at least one hour before retiring.

Take Supplements

Some people do not like taking supplements as it can feel like taking medication. The difference is that by taking supplements you are trying to prevent some medical conditions rather than trying to treat the symptoms, which is what most medications are for. 

Supplements for vitamins and various nutrients can be a huge help in keeping your body healthy. In most cases, if you have too much because you have changed your diet as well, your body will just expel the excess it does not need.

Put 30 Minutes Aside For Exercise

No matter how busy you are, put 30 minutes to one side each day for exercise. You can vary what you do, but that half hour a day will make a huge difference to your well being now and for the future. It does not even have to be very strenuous. If you have a dog, take it for a walk. If you have kids run around in the garden with them. Take up dancing, swimming, playing a sport or anything else that you think you might enjoy.

Exercise is not only good for your physical well being but it will also help you mentally too. If the exercise you do is in the fresh air that is even better. You will find that your brain becomes more alert, and this is why taking a walk in your lunch hour is good because then you are ready for the afternoon’s work, just as fresh as you were when you first arrived to start the day.

Drink Plenty Of Water

You should try to drink plenty of water every day. It will not only keep you hydrated but will also help to flush any toxins from your body and help to rejuvenate your cells. If you do not have enough fluid you will start to dehydrate and then will very soon start to feel unwell and exhausted.

However, not everyone likes plain water. You can flavor it yourself with a few slices of lemon or orange, or drink it as infusions such as green tea, which is also very good for your body. There are also ways of ‘eating’ water. Melons and cucumber are just two examples of foods with a very high water content.

Say Hi To Fruits And Vegetables And Goodbye To Carbs

Fresh fruits and vegetables have lots of fiber, vitamins and nutrients that are crucial for a healthy body. Eat more of these and replace the carbohydrates with them. Carbs will slow you down and make you sluggish and although they may give you an energy boost it will be very short-lived. The natural ingredients of fruit and vegetables are a much better way to get the energy you need, with the bad side effects of too many carbs.

It does not matter if the fruit and vegetables are frozen. They will have been put in this state as soon as they were picked and so retain much more of their goodness than ones that have been sitting on the supermarket shelves for more than a few days. Even tinned ones are OK, as long as the fruits are not in syrup and the vegetables are not in salted water.


Eat Good Fats And Avoid Bad Fats

Fats need to be part of everyone’s diet, but only the good fats that you will find in oily fish, nuts, olive oil, and seeds to name just a few examples. Avoid sauces made with cream, margarine and full-fat milk to keep bad fats out of your diet. Of course, there are many more of both of these, but the problem with the bad fats is they are likely to cause cholesterol problems, which in turn can create problems with your heart.

Some of the worst offenders for bad fats, sugars, and artificial preservatives are junk food. Hence you should say no to them as often as you can. If you really must have burger and chips, make them yourself at home. Then you can use the leanest of meats for the burgers and use a deep fat fryer that works with a fine spray of fat for the chips.

That way you can still enjoy your treat without having the excesses of all the bad things, although a really occasional treat of junk food will not do too much harm as long as you are avoiding them most of the time.

Quit Smoking

Most smokers know that their habit is bad for them but it is not always easy to stop. If you want to be healthy though you really do need to quit smoking. If you cannot do it on your own, speak with the pharmacist about some of the over the counter preparations that can help. You could also chat with your healthcare provider as they usually have support groups to help you with this problem. They may also be able to recommend other methods that may help you to quit smoking.

This is one thing that can affect other peoples health too as second-hand smoke can also cause a lot of damage.

Making these things part of your normal life will soon become a habit and they are ones that will help to make you healthier now and put in in good stead for a healthier life in the future.

I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas but have started to really like it. This is the season that everyone can take a breather, enjoy a couple of days freedom, a big feast with loved ones and simply be merry.

Not ready to let 2018 go yet but it’ll leave us forever regardless. Instead of feeling a little sad, this year I’ll just slow down to reflect, doodle, cook, eat and really take my time to enjoy the last few days of 2018.

Merry Christmas everyone. May your days be filled with love, joy and sweet dreams!

Everyone has personality traits and quirks that make them unique and individual; however, sometimes, you might get into a pattern of behaviour that becomes detrimental to your health, wellbeing, or lifestyle. It’s a challenge to get out of a boring, or unfulfilling rut, but the benefits will be a positive impact on your life. Therefore, it’s crucial for a happy and fulfilled life, to get out there, try something new, and take a fresh approach to your life. With the new year ahead; it might be tempting to continue as you are. However, this will only increase the strength of your habits, and you want the year to begin as you mean to go on; with a happy and healthy outlook, a positive attitude, and a fresh start each day. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice for those who are ready to have a fresh start and get into positive patterns of behaviour for a happy, healthy, and fun future ahead.

Fresh Activities

Have a look to see what’s happening within your local town or city. Local events can often pass you by when you’re not looking for them, even if they’re happening just down the street. Whether you look into fun activities for people with disabilities, clubs specifically for the LGBTQ community, or adrenaline-fuelled adventure with like-minded folks; there’s no time like the present to get some inspiration. If you already have a keen interest in something, why not search for any clubs or meetups that you’re able to attend. Again, you’ll make new friends in no time as you already have a common interest, and you get to do something you love, in great company.

Kick That Habit

Kicking a bad habit or detrimental pattern of behaviour is always going to be a challenge; however, doing it alone is even more difficult. Therefore, it’s worth looking into professional help who will be able to give you the tools and information to make the changes you need towards a happy and successful life again. Whether you look into hypnotherapists or counselling; it’s worth taking some time to research into reputable help, before embarking on any course of therapy. If you feel that something isn’t working for your straight away; give it a little time and patience before trying something new. Try to make the allowances you’ll need in your life to keep up the practices, sessions, and any changes that the professionals tell you to do; you’ll be on a new path towards your goals in no time.

Spend Your Energy Wisely

The more that you’re out and about, or keeping yourself occupied with new things, the less likely you are to be tempted to slip back into things you don’t want to. Make sure that you tell your nearest and dearest about the changes you are making and your plans for your future; they can become your support network and can start enjoying all the new things you’re trying. Keeping focused, honest, and open about your life is a great way to get your year off to a positive start in the knowledge you’re already putting the hard work in. Remember that the first steps are often the hardest, so be proud that you’ve started your journey today.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

When you’re trying to be healthy, it’s natural that you’re going to work on a range of different things. You’re going to want to make sure that your body is strong, that your diet is nutritious, and that you’re just feeling good in general. But sometimes, this can be tough. And you won’t always feel in the best possible mind frame to make this happen. Or, worse, it may not be working. However, when you are eating right and you’re exercising, there shouldn’t be any reason for why this isn’t working. Unless, there’s something going on with your mentally. Because whether you realize it or not, you’re going to find that stress can really wreak havoc on what you’re doing. And if you’ve not got the most favorable mindset, this is going to affect you immensely.

And this is why it’s just so important to keep your mindset in check. Yet, when you’re not used to doing this, or you’re really not sure what you need to do to benefit from the best possible mindset, then you’ve come to the right place. Because if you’re already working on a healthy lifestyle, yet it doesn’t feel like it’s enough, you’re going to benefit from focusing on positivity. Let’s take a look at how and why this can work.

It Affects Your Outlook

So first of all, you’ll want to recognize just how much this affects your outlook here. Because if you’re negative and pessimistic, then you’re only ever going to expect the worse, and see the bad, in life. Yet if you’re positive, you’ll look for the good. You’ll notice things that go well. And this perks your mood and reinforced a positive outlook on life.

It Can Drive Your Experience

But then, you’re also going to want to think about how this drives your experiences in life. Think about it. If you’re negative, you will take away negativity from almost every situation. But if you’re positive, you’ll be more willing to try new things, step out of your comfort zone, and experience great things in life.

It Keeps You Holistically Healthy

Next, you’ll also find that a healthy, positive, and strong mindset is going to help you to stay healthier all around. Because it’s incredible what positivity and optimism can do – whether you’re sick or not. Yes, there are specialists that you can turn to when you need them. But don’t you want to make sure that you are putting yourself in the best possible position to fight off illness too?

It Boosts Your Efforts

Now, something that a lot of people can benefit from with this, is the power of positivity. Because if you’re going to be able to enjoy the benefits of a healthier mindset, it’s going to allow you to make all of your efforts stronger. You’ll have more will power and you’ll have a much better chance at staying on track when it comes to everything that you’re doing.

You’ll Be Extremely Self-Aware

And something that is always largely important here, is to ensure that you’re self-aware. Self-awareness allows you to be the best possible version of yourself. Because you know where you’re going wrong. And you know what your strengths are. When you’re in a stronger place with your mindset, you can be more objective and do what it takes to make yourself better.

You Can Influence Others

But also, you might want to recognize just how much you can influence others in life. Do you feel as if people around you aren’t happy or that they are just as negative too? Then you’ll want to take a look at how your attitude and your positive, proactive, optimism can also help them and influence their mindset too. Because that’s the thing about positivity and happiness – it’s infectious.

Gratitude Is The Attitude

And finally, just as a last point to touch on here, it’s definitely important for you to realize just how powerful being grateful can actually be. If you know that you need to look to the positive in life, and if you want to be content in your everyday living, then gratitude is for you. If you can wake up and feel thankful to be alive, each and every day, then it’s going to be tough for you to ever feel bad. And you’ll be much tougher mentally, so that you’re able to take what life throws at you too.

When your computer comes to the end of its life, whether it has broken or you simply fancy an upgrade, it is important to dispose of it in a manner that does not cause significant damage to the environment. Unfortunately, electronic waste is a problem that is getting worse, and, therefore, by simply disposing of your old computer using a green approach, you can go a long way to combating this issue. So, continue reading to discover more about some of the green ways you can dispose of your old computer.

  •       Contact the manufacturer – It is worth finding out whether the manufacturer has a scheme in place where you can return electronic products once they have reached the end-of-life cycle. Nevertheless, you do need to be sure that the manufacturer is going to dispose of the computer in an ethical manner.
  •       Use a specialist company – This is the easiest way to ensure your computer is disposed of without causing harm to the environment. The company in question will have specialist methods in place for disposing electronic products in a manner that is safe and does not cause any damage to the planet. They will also be able to destroy the hard drive for you to ensure that all of your personal information is removed. This is of paramount importance because identity theft is rife at present, and if you do not destroy the hard drive you are simply asking for a criminal to come along and steal your data. A lot of people do not realise that when they ‘delete’ their documents, all they really do is delete the entry on the index file, not the file itself.
  •       Sell your computer – If your computer works, you may be able to get some money back by selling it on the likes of eBay and other auction websites. There are plenty of selling apps to help with this. However, please bear in mind that you will need to get rid of all the data stored on the hard drive, as just mentioned.
  •       Donate your computer to someone else – You may be tired of your slow, old computer, but for someone else, this could be the sort of thing they have always dreamed of. There are many families who can only dream of affording a computer, and you can make this a reality by donating your old machine to them.
  •       Use the spare parts – From the NIC card and hard drive to the CRT monitor and extra memory, there are many parts that may come into use later down the line. If you are someone with a little bit of technical knowledge, you can make use of these parts if anything happens to your computer.
  •       Trade your computer in – Last but not least, it is worth seeing whether you can trade your computer in. Of course, it is highly unlikely that you will get a straight swap. Nevertheless, you may be able to secure some discount off your order. Moreover, there are some stores that give store vouchers and such like for those that return electronic items.

When we think of health insurance and the benefits it provides, we tend to think about instances of medical emergencies. Most people purchase this product looking for peace of mind and the reduction of risk, both in regards to their health and their finances. They know that no matter what occurs they are going to be protected. But, medical insurance offers so much more than this. It actually gives you the platform to be much healthier.

How can health insurance actually make you healthier?

Extra healthcare perks

Of course, this all depends on the level of cover you go for when purchasing a medical insurance policy, as high cover policies will obviously give you extra health perks. There are policies that cover things such as maternity care, hearing care, and dental care. This means you would be much more likely to get regular hearing checks. This means problems are picked up on much quicker.

Access to better professionals

Nonetheless, one thing that all covers have in common is access to the best hospitals, facilities, and professionals. You can be safe in the knowledge that whether you go for a check-up or you are having a major operation you will benefit from super health care. This is particularly beneficial if you are in a country whereby the overall standard of health care is low. Without international health insurance you will have no choice over the hospital you go to or the doctor you use, and thus you have no control over the level of health care you will receive.

Regular general health checks
Aside from benefitting from a better level of health care, one of the main reasons why you will become healthier by having a health insurance plan is by having regular health checks. This is a common feature of these policies. You will be more encouraged to have health checks, as you won’t have to pay for them and you won’t have to suffer extensive waiting lists or be forced to see a doctor you don’t want to. As a consequence, any health issues will be identified early. This can stop serious issues developing. You will be able to deal with any problems early, ensuring you stay as healthy as possible.

All in all, buying international medical insurance is not merely about protecting yourself in cases of emergency. You can actually make yourself healthier and reduce the chances of such a medical emergency occurring. The benefits of this should not be overlooked. After all, nothing is more important than your health!

What if you already have a pre-existing condition?

Finding a health insurance policy can be much more difficult if you are deemed to have a pre-existing medical condition. You will find it near impossible to secure a plan if you opt for a local or travel health insurance policy. However, with international medical insurance, there are options available to you. So, keep on reading to find out everything you need to know…

First and foremost, let’s begin by establishing what a pre-existing condition actually is. If you are aware that you have a medical condition, or you have experienced one or more symptoms prior to taking out an insurance policy, this is deemed a pre-existing medical condition and you will not be covered. If you lie to your insurer you are assured to find yourself in trouble later down the line. If your claim is not refused imminently, there is a very high chance that you will be required to pay your insurer the amount they have spent covering your treatment and such like. This is a risk you definitely do not want to take.

Nevertheless, the industry has progressed a lot over the past few years. If you rewind the clock back you would have found it pretty much impossible to locate a global health insurance policy with cover for pre-existing conditions. Anything related to this condition would simply be excluded. However, things are somewhat different now.

There are no guarantees, yet insurers are a lot more willing to assess each case separately. They will look at your medical history and the particulars of your condition to determine what level of cover they can provide you with when taking out an expat health insurance plan. There are several options they may present you with. They can, of course, decide to simply exclude the condition from the coverage. But there are other options, such as medical history disregard, premium loading, and moratorium underwriting.

Premium loading essentially means the global health insurance provider will charge you a higher premium rate to cover the fact that you are more likely to need treatment than other policyholders without pre-existing conditions. Moratorium underwriting means that there will be a waiting period until the condition subsides.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, do not be disheartened. A lot of people feel there is no hope for them when it comes to health insurance plans. You do not have to take out a policy that simply excludes your condition, you may find that there are other options at your disposal instead.

We all want to live healthily, but it’s hard work. Many of us are probably guilty of trying to take shortcuts. Maybe you’ve tried a diet that was supposed to help you get into shape quickly, but it ended up being ineffective. Maybe you’ve even tried out a weight loss garment that promised to be helpful in the adverts but did nothing whatsoever to reduce your waistline. And we’ve still only discussed one aspect of your wellbeing. As you probably know, there’s no way to cheat your way around a healthy lifestyle. You need to adopt habits that will improve your long-term health. Your wellbeing won’t change unless you do, so these suggestions should guide you as you work on your lifestyle.

Start eating nutritious meals.

This is the most important lifestyle change to make if you want to see a big difference in your physical and mental wellbeing. Getting into healthier eating habits will benefit you in the future too. As mentioned in the introduction, many people get confused by the idea of a healthy diet. They see a diet as a short-term thing, and it often involves fasting. That isn’t a healthy eating pattern to adopt. You need to think about the long-term. Trendy diets that help you lose a ridiculous amount of weight very quickly are not going to help you maintain a healthy weight in the long-term. You need to focus on eating nutritious meals that give your body the sustenance it needs. At the same time, you need to avoid overeating. There is a good middle ground to be found.

A varied diet is the goal. Stop relying on processed foods that are easy to prepare. Look for whole foods in your local store. Whole foods are foods that haven’t been altered from their natural state; fruit, vegetables, beans, and grains (e.g. rice) are all perfect and delicious examples. On a nutritious and filling diet, you might achieve a healthier weight slowly, but you’ll be able to maintain that healthy weight. Why? Because you’ll be looking after your body. You’ll be eating filling meals, so you won’t feel hungry; you won’t crave junk food. You’ll be getting all the sustenance you need, so there’ll be no need to revert back to unhealthy eating habits. That being said, overconsumption of any food is bad for you. Don’t eat until you’re stuffed full; it’s always good to leave a little bit of room in your belly. Of course, if you still don’t feel physically great after ditching the junk food then there are plenty of yoghurts and other foods that can improve digestive health. If you have IBS or other digestive problems then you just need to adopt an eating pattern that works for your body.

Work out in some way on a daily basis.

You should also work out in some way on a daily basis if you want to improve your wellbeing. It can be hard to find a form of exercise that becomes a regular part of your lifestyle. Not everybody enjoys going to the gym or jogging, but the important thing is simply to get your body moving. It doesn’t matter how you do it. You might want to take up karate lessons in your local area to learn a new skill, make friends, and get exercise. Think outside the box. You could even try out some yoga stretches at the start or the end of the day. It’s more of a meditative practice, but it’s still a form of exercise that’ll benefit your physical wellbeing. Besides, exercise should be something you do for the sake of your mental health too. Physical activity releases endorphins in the brain, so it can definitely help with your emotional wellbeing.

Make it a priority to get a good night’s rest.

None of these suggestions are anything new to you, but you might not take any of them seriously. Perhaps you knew that eating well and exercising was important, but sleep deprivation? That can be solved with a morning coffee, right? Wrong. Sleeping well isn’t just about keeping your energy levels high either. It affects your health on so many levels. So, you might think that you can solve your sleepless week with a long lie-in at the weekend, but you’re doing more damage than you might think. Sleep deprivation can slow your metabolism, weaken your immune system, lessen muscle repair, and even accentuate mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. As you can imagine, those negative health effects would undo the positive effects of a healthy diet and regular exercise routine. So, depleted energy is only one issue of many when you don’t sleep properly. You need to make a priority to get a good night’s rest if you want to improve your wellbeing. Get 8 hours of sleep every night; make sure you sleep on a supportive mattress too. Your body needs to recover properly at the end of a long day.

A shocking statistic is that, according to research done by the USDA, the average American spends only 37 minutes a day in total preparing and serving food, and cleaning up afterwards.

In practice, this more or less means that the average American is doing virtually no home cooking. As anyone who regularly cooks will tell you, it’s difficult to make anything more complex than an omelet in that time period. What the statistic in fact shows, is that the average American’s diet is made up of processed and pre-prepared food, to an enormous degree.

It’s noteworthy that this coincides with a major obesity epidemic.

Home-cooking is almost a lot art in many places, but it doesn’t have to be that way, especially considering that we live in a time when information is at our fingertips and food is, in many places, as cheap as it’s ever been.

Here are some reasons why taking home-cooking seriously can transform your life for the better.

Home-cooked meals are infinitely better for your health than processed or pre-prepared food

Home-cooked meals are infinitely better for your health than processed or pre-prepared food, even if that food is fairly “clean”.

The food writer Michael Pollan has noted in the past that pre-prepared and processed foods and commodities sold by big businesses. To improve their bottom line, those businesses are incentivised to use the cheapest ingredients they can get away with.

Pre-prepared food is made to be cost-effective and palatable, not nutritious, and certainly not healthy. Many of the ingredients most commonly found in processed foods — such as things like high-fructose corn syrup — have been directly linked with obesity and other health conditions.

Simply by cooking your meals at home from scratch, you’re likely already significantly improving your health.

There’s a real art to good cooking

Home-cooking isn’t just something you do in order to fuel your body. It’s something that has a real art to it, and that can enrich your life in an array of ways, including the simple pleasure of being able to enjoy tasty food on a regular basis.

Good cooking is an art, and the more you get into that art, the more you’ll respect it, and the more meaningful it will become in your life. Japanese kitchen knives, Italian herbs, and centuries-old recipes are tools that take on near-magical significance if you pay enough attention.

Of course, your friends and family will also benefit from the tasty food you cook.

Cooking is a great way to unwind

Cooking is a relatively slow, focused, and deliberate practice, while still being quite simple. It’s the kind of practice that we arguably need in our lives more than ever, busy as we almost all are, almost all of the time, with the demands of modern life.

Cooking provides an opportunity for you to find a bit of peace and quiet, and enjoy a more meditative approach to life. It’s an excellent way of unwinding, and getting your thoughts free from the preoccupations that might otherwise be hounding you.

Your poor dentist. He’s only there to help, but many of us are terrified of him. Why?

There’s the expense for starters, but there is also the fear of pain, the loss of control, and the discomfort of somebody poking around in our mouths. We can also fear humiliation, especially when we know we haven’t cared for our teeth properly (get ready for a lecture).

Of course, we aren’t all terrified. Most of us feel a little apprehensive about the visit to the dental surgery. But there are those of us who have more intense feelings of dread and fear, and these can lead to dentophobia, a genuine and troubling phobia of the dentist.

Still, no matter what side of the fear spectrum we fall in, a visit to the dentist falls into one of those must-have health check-ups. If we continually avoid the visit, our phobias will get worse, and our oral health can be put at greater risk. If you are relating to anything we have said thus far, here are some tips to help you.

Find a dentist you can trust

If you have had a bad experience with your current dentist, ditch them and register with another surgery. The right dentist will understand your fears and will take steps to make your visit more comfortable. In the right hands, you will come to realise that a visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be so painful or so terrifying!

Talk to your dentist

Tell your dentist how you’re feeling. Let them know what fears you have. The more they know about your situation, the better the help they can provide. Solutions can usually be found to make your visit less problematic, such as using background music or a sedative to make you feel more relaxed, so don’t be afraid to communicate your fears.

Bring somebody with you

Don’t be embarrassed about bringing a friend or a family member into the surgery with you. They can provide extra support and assurance when you’re going through a procedure, and may even be allowed to hold your hand provided they aren’t in the dentist’s way. Of course, ensure you bring somebody along who doesn’t have their own fear of the dentist. You don’t want them making the situation worse!

Learn some relaxation techniques

You will only feel worse when your blood pressure and stress levels rise when you’re waiting to go in for your appointment. People with more pronounced fears of the dentist have often been known to flee the waiting room because their nerves have gotten the better of them. So take a few deep breaths to calm and steady your nerves, before and during your time at the dentist.

Seek counselling

If you are genuinely afraid of the dentist, then counselling may work wonders. A good counsellor will help you get a better perspective of your fears and will suggest actionable steps to help you overcome them. Book an appointment directly, or ask your doctor or dentist to transfer you to counselling agencies they are in touch with.

Finally

Our final piece of advice is this: care for your teeth. The more you can do to look after them the better, as you won’t need to visit the dentist beyond your usual checkups! Still, we hope our other tips were helpful to you, but if you have any further words of wisdom for any fearful readers reading this article, be sure to let us know.

It’s important we keep our health in regular check as we get older, though many times, we neglect to undertake the necessary tests to ensure we are retaining our state of good health – often, thinking that as nothing appears to be ‘wrong with us’, we must be fine, yet things such as hearing and eye set degenerate gradually over time and therefore we don’t always notice the difference.

It’s therefore a good idea to have a check-up in certain areas, at least once in a while, to ensure our health is okay – a bit like how we take our cars for a service each year.

  • EYE TEST

The majority of people today, particularly given the intensive use of computers, televisions, and mobile devices we all use require a little help to correct their sight; as we age the health of our eyes can start to deteriorate so it’s good to have a check-up.

  1. HEARING TEST

The good news is hearing evaluations are one of the less invasive tests required, yet so many of us begin to lose the edge of our ability to hear others, which leads to severe and totally unavoidable communication issues.  

The ability to communicate is so important, and if you are struggling with your hearing, then it’s a good idea to get a quick test – as it’ll be over in a jiffy and could save a lot of embarrassment down the line.  The other thing to note is that some hearing aids are now totally hidden within the ear itself.

  1. BLOOD PRESSURE

High or low blood pressure can lead to serious problems, or be an indication of something more serious underneath the surface – so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your blood pressure and make any lifestyle adjustments necessary to optimise your blood pressure, as this is an area that can lead to hypertension and heart disease.

  1. CHOLESTEROL

In a similar vein, you want to keep an eye on your levels of cholesterol.

Given the processed diets of the modern age a lot of us suffer with high levels of cholesterol; which is where over time the arteries begin to clog up and harden.  This is a major cause of heart disease, and if you do have high cholesterol, it’s something that should be addressed sooner rather than later.  Today, you don’t even need to go to the doctor as you can self-testing kits online.

  1.  DIABETES

Finally, it’s a good idea to be tested for diabetes.  Many people are pre-diabetic due to the processed foods and sugar they consume on a daily basis, but if you do have diabetes and aren’t diagnosed – it can worsen the condition, as once you have a diagnosis it can be managed and controlled much better.

Your mouth is the main entrance to your body. It is how we feed ourselves, where we take drinks in medicines.  Not looking after our teeth can cause gum diseases, and these can be made worse by the things we consume. Sugary drinks, for instance, are bad for your teeth, but if you must have them you need to clean away the residue afterwards.

The Problems Neglecting Oral Healthcare Can Cause

Neglecting your teeth and gums has been linked to other diseases, such as heart problems, lung diseases, kidney diseases, dementia infertility and miscarriages. There is also one study that has found a connection between gum disease and obesity. There are more than enough risks in our daily lives without putting ourselves at more risk because of poor hygiene for our teeth and gums, which is why if you want to get healthier, you should perhaps, start with your teeth. Doing so can have so many benefits!

There is more to cleaning them though than just running a brush over them every day. Soft bristles are the best type of toothbrush to use, as they will clean your teeth without damaging your gums. You should make sure you clean every side of all of your teeth and then floss them to ensure no bits of food have been missed.

Visiting your dentist practice every 6 months should also be part of your routine, as they will be able to let you know if you are caring for them properly, and deal with any problems you might have.

There are many dental issues that can be sorted without extraction if they are found early enough. There are replacements that can be used for lost teeth, but none of them will be as good as your own.

Hormone Problems

Where women are concerned, hormones can play a part in the health of their teeth. They can find they are more like to suffer from pain in their mouths when they are having their monthly period, while they are pregnant, when they are experiencing puberty or going through the menopause. In all these different stages of a woman’s life, her hormones will change, and so will the health of her teeth if they are not properly cared for.

It is very common for their gums to become inflamed, and although sometimes extra brushing and flossing can help, it may need an extra visit to the dentist to check that their teeth are ok.

Teach Them From An Early Age

If children are taught from an early age how to look after their teeth, it will become part of their daily routine that they will accept as perfectly normal The same applies to visits to the dentist. The sooner they start the better. You do not want your children to associate these visits with treatment, as they may get frightened to go. Far better that they see the dentist for a few times before anything needs doing, as by then they will have come to trust them, and you will be able to get them there with no hassle at all. Dental practices are very good at handling little ones, as they want them to become regular visitors too.

We live in a wide, wonderful world, and I believe that if you’re not taking the opportunity to visit other countries, and experience all that the world has to offer, you’re not living life to the fullest. To truly appreciate how diverse and beautiful the world is, you need to see how other people live, taste the food they eat every day, visit the places they call home, and drink in the cultures that make each place unique.

But you don’t have to confine your experiences and memories to your a scrapbook or your Instagram page. You can, and should, use every opportunity to explore different cultures as a way to improve your own life. Following are four ways that you can use the experiences and knowledge you’ve gained in your own adventures to improve your life at home.

Study Different Cuisine to Develop New Recipes

One of the first things we want to experience when we go to a new place is the food. You can learn a lot about a culture by experiencing the ingredients, spices, and cooking techniques they use to craft delicious meals for their own families.

 By incorporating these exotic food ideas into your own recipe book, you can gain a better understand of the different places you travel to, and appreciate the ingenuity and passion that they inject into their meals. If all else fails, you’ll add another recipe into your own cookbook that you can use to make a delicious, memorable meal!

Incorporate Interior Design Elements in Your Home

Every culture has a different way of expressing the common norms and values that are inherent in that culture, and the way they decorate their own homes is no different. Design choices not only provide visual flair and beauty, but also evoke emotions and memories that different cultures use to express who they are as a people.

By incorporating these elements into your own home, you’ll not only create a unique space that looks beautiful, but you’ll also create a living, breathing home that chronicles your adventures. You could decorate your home with a vase fashioned in the Chinese philosophy, or use a beautifully textured rug that evokes the traditions of middle eastern design.

Reflect on Their Spiritual Practices

Even if you’re not a religious person, you can glean a lot of insight into why a cultures places certain values above others, and the people live their lives the way they do, by observing their spiritual practices. The Buddhist monks of Tibet, for example, focus on achieving enlightenment by exploring the inner recesses of the human soul, and how we connect with other living beings. The tribes of Africa respect and give reverence to the spirits of deceased ancestors, calling on them for guidance, wisdom, and strength.

By studying these spiritual traditions for yourself, and using them to seek a better understanding of yourself as a human being, the part you play in the world, and how we connect with the natural order of the Earth, you may find an inner peace and understanding that will help you face the world with renewed purpose, and a fresh perspective. 

How They Interact with Their Families

In nearly every culture on earth, societies evolve with the family at the epicenter. The way people communicate, how they work, and how they live were all developed with fostering a family, and keeping their traditions alive, as the cornerstone of their day-to-day practices.

By understanding the family dynamics in other cultures, and the practices that allow those families to grow and flourish, you may be able to improve your relationship with your own family, appreciate why your family maintains certain traditions, and come to appreciate the love and sacrifices that your family has made to allow you to be the person you are today.

 

Changing habits is not easy, especially when we have to break bad, unhealthy old habits because old habits do die very hard! If it’s so hard, why change? It’s true that many people don’t even bother to change for better or tried but just gave up altogether after a short period of time.

Living the best, most inspired life is something that everybody should aim for. If you are reading this, you are like me, you want more from your life. Be more. I’ve only started to realise the importance of developing long term good habits to better oneself since 2015. Before knowing the concept of changing habits, I was sleeping walking through my life without any long term goals or strategic planning. Life experiences have slowly taught me that we could all be that better version of ourselves if we try.  It’s the little things we do on a daily basis that have a large impact on the quality of our lives. So why not just put a little extra effort everyday to reach our full potential and make our life more fulfilling?

Changing habits for better

Changing habit will be even harder when we overwhelm ourselves with too many changes at once. Aim to spread out your workload by focusing on developing one good habit at a time. As a starter, here are 12 essential habits to develop and maintain to make your life as satisfying as possible. The focus could be easily set on 1 habit a month.

1. Develop a daily routine

Yes routine sound boring. I used to loath the word “routine”. All I wanted was be to free! What I achieved by going without a  routine? Chaos, not freedom.  So trust me, in order to achieve the ultimate freedom you desire, one must develop a routine! A daily routine consists at least the following:

  • Get up the same time every morning

I remember it was said that if someone gets up early in the morning, he/she is more serious about life. If you wake up the same time every morning, you’ll be more alert, have stress-free mornings, and get to work in a calm and centred state.

Related: How Learning To Get Up Early In the Morning Helped Me Become A Happier Person

  • Develop a morning routine and stick to it

It doesn’t help if you get up nice early, only to spend an hour or two browsing on social media. Have a morning routine and stick to it. Each one leads their own life, so this morning routine is up to you how to make it. Of course, things change and your morning routine might be modified over the time.

  • Develop a bedtime routine and stick to it

Try to go to bed the same time each night. I used to be a night owl who wouldn’t sleep until it’s way past 1am. As a result, I couldn’t get up early in the morning, I felt unproductive and stressed all the time. Well, it’s essential to create a bedtime routine for brighter mornings. It’ll prevent years of fatigue and frustration down the road.

2. Eat healthy

  • Starting with having a healthy breakfast

Having a healthy breakfast is not just for weight loss, but also for your general well being. It is reported that a good breakfast can improve concentration and performance in the morning. I used to skip breakfast sometimes or just have a huge portion of desert for breakfast. Chocolate mud cake used to be my favourite breakfast choice. Then I started to change slowly. Remember? Changing habits is hard! Now having a big, healthy breakfast has become the favourite part of my day.

  • Maintain a food journal if necessary

Do this only if you are serious about changing your eating habit. At first, the idea of maintain a food journal sounds tedious and so not necessary to me. But I tend to over-eat and to have a food journal seemed to be the last few resources to help me tackle this problem. I did this for a good 3 months and it really helped to eat more healthy food.

  • Have small portions

Consuming big portions in one go cause serious bloating problems.

3. Make exercise your top priority

  • Exercise every if even it’s just a 5 minutes’ stretch

I’m born lazy and not athletic so naturally dislike the idea of exercise. As a result, I could go 2 years without excising at all. Changing habits starts with determination, therefore I decided to make exercise the top priority. Exercise doesn’t have to be painful or boring. Find something you enjoy doing and start slow. Small efforts do add up. The key is to be persistent.

Being busy is not an excuse because I believe everyone could squeeze 5 minutes each day. Make exercise your top priority, even if it’s just a 5 minutes’ stretch everyday. My favourite Yoga stretch is sun solute, tree pose, plough and standing bow pose.

  • Exercise at home

If you are committed to do a little bit exercise every morning, one little trick I learned is to put exercise clothes next to your bed every night. It makes excise in the morning easy and convenient. You don’t have to go to the gym for hardcore training. There are many exercise you could do at the convenience of your home.

List things to do for the day and tackle the most important task first thing in the morning

Make a list of things you need to do during the day helps you stay on track and be more organised. Think about the most important thing you want achieve during the day. Start with that one task first, stay 100% focused until you finish it. If you want to loose weight by exercising everyday, then exercise the first thing in the morning. If you need to finish a draft of your presentation, then do that first thing in the morning. By the end of the day, you’ll be amazed how satisfying it feels by knowing at least you got one thing that matter to you most done.

4. Set up a system for everything you do

It always helps to have a good system in place. Think about ways of doing your job better, more efficiently. Life is not an easy task, we must have a system in place to operate.

5. Be organised

  • Leave the house as you’d like to find it when you come home.

It’s so important to keep a clean and tidy home. A clean desk speaks a happy mind. Keep your desk tidy and clean will help greatly with your productivity.

  • When cooking, wash up and keep tidy while you go.
  • Have a fixed spot for everything.

Always put your bags, keys, glasses etc back to where they belong to so you don’t waste time looking for misplaced items. Put things back to their places at the end of each day. Clean up.

  • Remember to charge your phone battery

Smart phones really have short battery lives. How stressful it is to have a flat battery when you need to use your phone the most! To avoid the situation, charge your phone overnight everyday. The battery should last you a full day without excessive usage.

  • Check if you’ve got everything you need before leaving the house
  • Do leave things behind either.

When you leave somewhere ( a restaurant, a taxi, someone else’s house, shops…), check if you have all your personal belongings with you.

  • Put appointments in the diary.

Google calendar is a very useful tool to track your appointments and remind you when they are due. Don’t just rely on your memory.

6. Stay focused

Have laser focus when you set out to tackle your most important task. Stay away from any distraction when your are on it. Switch off your email notification; answer your emails when you have time. Put your phone on silent mode.

7. Always finish what you’ve started

Always finish the book you’ve started reading. Finish all your side projects. If you’ve signed up with a gym for a full year, go to the gym regularly for the entire year, not just the first month.

8. Stay curious and never stop learning

Always ready to learn new skills. Be curious about other people, be curious about things. Ask questions, find answers. Try new things. Keep an open mind.

9. Be financially responsible

  • Stop impulsive shopping

Note down the ideas things you need to buy and do weekly grocery run instead of impulsive shopping trips. Before purchase anything, always ask yourself if you need them, if you already own something similar.

  • Keep track of your spending

This will be something new to me too. Being an absentminded person, I totally had no idea how much I’m paying for my utility bills, health insurance, food, clothes… Though I was paying all the bills, my mind was always somewhere else – it never registered the amount being paid. This has to be changed.

  • Pay more attention to your personal finance. Save and invest wisely

This is the next area I’ll have to focus on because I’m so bad with money. I once withdrew $2000 from ATM and forgot to take the cash. I used to keep paying rent for 6 months after moving out of the old place, until my old agent told me I was over paying. I’m still leaving my shopping bags behind after paying etc. 🙁

So change is much needed and I’m work on it.

10. Manage time more efficiently

Schedule beforehand. Record how you spend your time each day.

11. Be a problem solver

It’s easy to panic and complain when there’s a problem. Complaining is a pure waste of time and energy. Nothing positive will come out of it. Try to stay calm and collected all time. Remember: everything has a solution. Think about a solution.

12. Review your progress regularly

Plan and track your progress. Set daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goals. It doesn’t help to just set goals dream in vain without taking actions and regular review of your progress.

Have at least 10 minutes “me” time everyday to review your day and set the intention for you new day. Have weekly/monthly/yearly reviews with yourself.

How To Maintain Those Good Habits

I’ve been try to break my old habit of getting up really late, skipping breakfast, never ever exercising and keeping eating until I’m about to burst… Sticking to the new good habits for the rest of your life is even harder but all is possible. Don’t forget: you have the ability to create the life that you want, to get the results you desire.

Are you struggling with change? Here are a few ways to help make those good habits you’ve developed easier to stick:

1. Start simple and keep it simple

Don’t be too ambitious with your goals. Don’t try to develop all the good habits at once.  If you do, you’ll probably overwhelm yourself and give up very soon.

2. Be consistent

Once you decided to change one habit, take action and commit to it everyday. Don’t give up after one attempt and try again a few months later when you feel motivated again.

3. Don’t give up 

When it gets hard and you want to give up, stay motivated. Remind yourself why you want to change at the first place.

4. Know the pain

Be aware of the fact that it’ll never be a smooth run. There will be obstacles and challenges along the way. Think ahead about what your potential obstacles will be and how you are going to handle the situation.

5. Banish excuses

Whenever we want to make consistent effort to change, the lazy part of our brain will come up with plenty of excuses to persuade us to stay in the old ways. Debate with yourself and don’t let the excuses get in the way! If you want to make getting up at 6am every morning a habit of yours, don’t allow bad weather, late night, bad mood etc to be the excuses for you to sleep in.

6. Regular review

So here’s a good practise of one of the good habits we’ve developed! Changing habits also needs regular review. Keeping remind yourself what is important and what’s need to be done. Review your progress and keep going!

Changing habits for good