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Every day we go to work, because we have to; we eat, because we need to; we commute, because we have to get to work; we sleep, because we need get ready for work the next day. You know what’s often missing from our days? A bit of time, just for me…

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A couple of months ago, I found a new hobby. It doesn’t take a lot of time, it isn’t expensive, it’s relaxing, and it’s supposedly healthy although I’m not really aiming for that. If the pictures above haven’t clued you in already, my new hobby is drinking tea… :)

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Being a fulltime career woman with a pretty busy schedule, I always try to lead a healthy lifestyle. Nothing special, mind you, just routine daily exercise, plenty of stretching when I’m at work, and of course eating healthy. Well, that last one is a bit hard to maintain since I’m such a sucker for street food… :)

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Being a fulltime career woman with a pretty busy schedule (I’m guessing you’ve probably read this opening line before) I rarely have the time to cook regularly. Not that I’m particularly good at it or anything, but when I’m stressed out, the sights, sounds, and aromas (yep, another copy-pasted line) of the kitchen can be quite enjoyable. So, when I have a couple of free hours to spend, I sometimes try to cook up something nice and simple, just for the fun of it.

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Stress-busting Food…

When it comes to fighting stress and maintaining good health, one of the most important yet often overlooked aspects is sleep. While lack of sleep can kill you faster than starvation, more people are concerned about eating right rather than developing good sleeping habits. The simple fact is that most adults need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day—and that’s non-negotiable. Still, even if you do have the time, getting a good night’s rest isn’t always easy… Well, not if you know how, of course…

I guess it goes without saying that by the time we get to the weekends, we have a lot of catching up to do. Our sleep debt is one thing we usually can only repay (in installments) on Saturday and Sunday, along with family time, hobbies along with our favorite TV shows and movies, and so on. And then, there’s exercise of course. I mean, that’s one thing we’re not supposed to forget, right?

19 Aug 2013

Health Combo…

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As the holidays come to a close, I guess it’s time to go back to a healthier lifestyle. In other words: out with the rendang and opor, in with the fruits and veggies. Of course, carefully picking what you eat is only one part of a healthy lifestyle—albeit the one most people like to focus on. So, I thought it’d be nice if we could start off this whole get-back-into-shape-week by looking at the bigger picture. Just think of as the ‘table of contents’ of your lifestyle…

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Eight glasses of water—that’s what we’re supposed to drink each day so that we don’t get dehydrated, right? Oh, and we need to specifically drink eight glasses of water. Coffee, tea, and soda have a diuretic effect so you’ll actually lose fluids. So, again, it’s eight glasses of water.

Now, here are the cold, hard facts: Yes, we need lots of water; no, we don’t necessarily need 8 glasses a day; and yes, coffee, tea, juice, soda, and so on do count.

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Take a look at your Facebook news feed, or open your Twitter home page, and chances are you’ll find at least one shared article revealing a shocking medical ‘fact’ that you simply have to read and share. Sometimes it’s about popular products (“Did you know that Coca-Cola is so acidic that it can dissolve a nail?”), or about dietary habits (“Drinking cold water after meals causes cancer!”), and so on. And you’ll probably notice that the article in question has been shared several thousand times already…

Sadly, this simply means that thousands of people have fallen for a stupid hoax…

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Brushing your teeth—that’s something we’ve learned to do way before we even learned how to read, right? And of course we’ve been diligently doing it every day, at least two times a day, especially after meals. Unfortunately, most people’s tooth-brushing habits are terribly wrong. Yes, really…

21 Aug 2013

Hands vs. Germs…

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Have you ever thought about how many times you wash your hands each day? Probably quite often, right? No sense in getting extra grime on your keyboard or a handful of germs to your cup of tea. Still, soap and clean water are not always available or practical, such as when you’ve just shook hands with a client and only belatedly notice that he has the sniffles, or when your colleague’s little daughter—the one with the runny nose—has just given you a warm hug. It’s occasions like these that make you grateful for hand sanitizers, no?

Still, there a couple of pointers regarding hand sanitizer use that you might want to look into…

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Okay, so you’ve just come out of the toilet, and naturally, you wash your hands—the proper way, since we now know how to do that, right? ^^

Anyway, the point is that after coming into contact with something as dirty as a toilet seat (especially in public toilets) and before resuming your work (or meeting people, eating, and so on) you need to thoroughly clean your hands. And then I found a list of other everyday items with bacteria counts that put toilet to shame. So, you might want to pull out your hand sanitizer (the alcohol-based kind, of course) after handling:

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Dieting is tough, right? Counting calories, cutting back on fatty foods, and the following up with exercise… this all takes effort and patience. And when your supply of effort and patience runs low, it becomes all too easy to fall into the ‘super food’ trap. Well, you’ve probably heard quite a few foods and supplements that have been labeled ‘super’, such as bee pollen, açai berries, and even celery stalks—which some people believe to have ‘negative calories.’

But, as the saying goes, if something is too good to be true, it probably is…

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Getting enough sleep is important for your health… as anybody who has gone for even a day without can tell you. So, basically, all of us should be paying attention to the quality of our sleep (regular sleeping habits, proper relaxation, and so on) and also the quantity of it (8 hours a day).

Ah, but since we’re on the subject of quantity, apparently going over the prescribed 8 hours a day can do more harm than good…

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So, far I’ve written about exercise on two different occasions. Well, it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and considering how many people consider it serious business, there’s never a shortage of experts and references on proper exercise. And that’s exactly why I often like to dig around for non-mainstream, quirky, lesser known, and fun exercise tips.

You know, things like how chocolate helps you exercise… Of course there’s plenty more:

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So, you’ve finally decided to start a proper exercise program… but what will you be doing? Going to the gym after office hours? Swim a couple of laps in the morning, once or twice a week? Or perhaps join an aerobics class?

Can’t decide? Well, there’s always the option of buying couple of decent running shoes and jog around the block a couple of times a week…

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Want to make sure if a bottle of juice or a box of cookies is healthy? Check the ingredient list and nutrition facts on the label. Want to make sure that you’re picking out the best vegetables and fruit? Check if they’re locally grown… Yes, local produce has many benefits over their imported cousins… ^^

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Do you have a cat? Well, then you probably know how to get rid of fleas, right? (Cat fleas don’t really ‘like’ the taste of humans, but they won’t know that until they try to bite you… and that causes horrible itching.) However, even if you don’t own a cat, your house could be frequented by stray or feral cats… and also their fleas. So, how do you deal with that? Well, if you’re being invaded by cat-borne fleas, you could try:

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‘Alternative’ medication doesn’t always have to be exotic, weird, or dubious. Quite often, these are simply all-natural cures that can help you deal with many common conditions. Or they can boost your health and help you feel better after being sick.

Now, we all know about common natural remedies like honey and lemon for a sore throat… but there are also plenty we probably never heard of, such as:

Green tea… this is, like, the number one all natural health drink, right? Well, not if you’re like me and you tend to get your daily dose of green tea in the form of green tea lattes with as much sugar as a can of soda… ^^

But anyway, green tea is almost universally considered beneficial for both health and beauty. So, the question is: what else can green tea do aside from providing seemingly healthy options at your favorite coffee shop?

For those of us with extra sensitive skin, picking out makeup or skincare products can be quite the challenge. I mean, skin rashes and other allergic reactions are not exactly fun; especially if it’s because of something as innocuous as body lotion. Thankfully, you can easily find something that won’t require you to keep anti-histamine tablets ready by looking for a friendly ‘hypoallergenic’ tag… right?

Need to lose a kilo or two fast? Well, there are plenty of diet tips, exercise programs, and of course we also have the ever popular quick-acting weight loss solution: tea. But of course we’re not talking about your average cup of black tea… See, there are plenty of more exotic blends that can really help you slim down. There’s oolong tea, for example, that reportedly boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories; porangaba tea that suppresses your appetite; Feiyan tea that reduces cholesterol; and so on.

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Italy is known as the birthplace of pasta (carbohydrates), pizza (tons of cheese in each serving), and other ‘unhealthy’ foods. Yet, obesity is actually quite rare over there. So, what’s their secret? Well, it seems that the Italian secret to healthy living isn’t just the cuisine, but in their lifestyle as well. Basically, their ‘dieting’ secrets are:

There’s an old joke about a young couple who decided to go on a diet. Fortunately, the wife found a diet cookbook that guaranteed fast weight loss without sacrificing flavor. And indeed, the food was delicious and they never felt hungry. But after a couple of months, they noticed that they were actually gaining weight. So, they rechecked the cookbook, and lo and behold, at the end of each recipe a small note mentioned: ‘Serves 4’.

Moral of the story? Always watch out for serving sizes. And this also goes for a lot of products you see at your local supermarket…

19 Sep 2013

Organic food…

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What’s better than a diet of fruits and vegetables? Well, organic fruits and vegetables, naturally. Nowadays you have everything from organic apples and spinach, to organic macaroni and even ice cream. True, they’re a bit more expensive than their non-organic siblings, but more often than not, it’s worth the extra cost. Why? Well, here are some basic facts about organic food you might want to know…

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When it comes to dieting, we tend to look for surefire ways to shed a couple of kilos in as short a time as possible. And sometimes, this means looking at some of the more unusual weight-loss methods. But don’t worry, the world is more than happy to oblige with wacky diets that are at the very least fun to read about, such as…

20 Sep 2013

Midnight Snacks…

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Amongst the hundreds of healthy-living tips I’ve heard, especially when it concerns people like me who often work late into the night, one of the most common is: eating at night is a big no, especially snacks high in carbohydrates. And, well, this makes sense, right? Well, yes it does… but actually the opposite is true: eating donuts at night might actually help you lose weight.

Of course, this ‘eating donuts in the middle of the night is okay’ theory is backed by pretty solid science…

We can force our brain to adopt healthier eating habits. It’s tough, but it’s possible. Is there an easier way? Of course: because we can actually trick our brains into having healthier eating habits. Yes, seriously. This includes unconventional methods such as:

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We all know that we need to watch our carb intake, and also fat and sugar, but we often tend to forget about salt. Well, except for those of us diagnosed with high blood pressure, that is. Still, more often than not, we don’t usually think twice about opening an extra-large back of salty chips…

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Amongst the hundreds of popular health trends popping up each day, some are actually really, really beneficial without too much in the way of controversies. For example: probiotics, which is known as a surefire way to maintain a healthy digestion system, a stronger immune system, and so on. But what if you don’t like yoghurt? Or what if you don’t like the idea of having to take pills or tablets? Well, fear not, because probiotics can also be found in:

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When a newly imported and celebrity-endorsed health food shows up on the market, we’ll buy it in droves. But when it’s freshly dug from our backyard and endorsed by our neighbor’s grandmother, we tend to ignore it… right? Unfortunately, this means we’ll be missing out on some of the best superfoods that are scientifically proven to deserve the ‘super’ tag. For example: sweet potatoes…

23 Sep 2013

From the tummy…

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Next time you’re visiting a friend or relative who just had a baby, instead of looking at how cute the little one is, try noting how he breathes. Does his chest rise and fall, or is it his belly that’s expanding and contracting? Now, take a look at how you breathe… it’s the exact opposite, right? Now, the fact is, babies are doing it right and we are doing it wrong. In other words: we should all learn (or relearn, actually) abdominal breathing…

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Being an office worker leaves you little time to exercise… especially if you work and live in a city like Jakarta where you’re lucky to be home before 10 o’clock. But of course, exercise is important, and we can always sneak in calorie-burning activities into our daily office routine. And it’s not all that hard, for example we could:

24 Sep 2013

Kicking the habit…

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Smoking is bad for you. That’s pretty much common knowledge. And I guess we don’t need yet another post about the dangers of smoking, the benefits of quitting, and so on, right? However, quitting, or helping somebody else quit smoking, isn’t exactly easy. There are of course drugs that can help, but that’s not an option for everybody. So, more often than not, we need to rely on more mundane things… things like:

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Fruits and vegetables are healthy… even more so when they’re fresh… and even better yet when they’re brightly colored, which usually means that they are rich in antioxidants. Now, interestingly, different colors on fruits and vegetables can usually be associated with certain nutrients. So, here’s a quick guide of how you can make your meals healthier and more colorful as well…

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I’m not exactly a morning person, and I usually manage to get up and moving so early only with the help of a good cup of hot coffee. Thankfully, more and more info is popping up nowadays in support of the notion that a cup of morning coffee can actually have a myriad of health benefits…

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To complete a well-balanced diet, you need milk. That’s what we often hear, right? And another thing we often hear is that soy milk is even better than regular dairy milk. So, let’s take a look at how these two stack up against each other:

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Becoming a vegetarian or vegan is not exactly for everyone. There are many reasons for and against these choices, but let’s not get into that, shall we? Still, there are plenty of proven health benefits of going on a vegetarian and/or vegan diet… and it wouldn’t hurt to try going vegetarian/vegan for several days, just to see how it would fit you…

Better yet, you could try the vegetarian > vegan > raw vegan challenge…

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When we feel the need to lose a bit of weight, of course we think about dieting, or maybe jogging, bicycling and other cardio exercises. However, when our goal is to change our body composition and lose fat, nothing really beats resistance or weight training.

Why? Mainly because it helps raise your metabolism (muscle burns more calories than fat). So, let’s start with some basic tips to get you started…

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Fresh food is good, processed food is… well, still okay when there are no fresh alternatives available. And you can always check the list of ingredient before you buy, right? Well, the problem is that the laws and regulations on what can or cannot be used in food products, and on what has to be put on the labels or can be omitted, is sometimes a bit less than reassuring. This means that you don’t always know what it is exactly you’re putting in your mouth.

28 Sep 2013

Running Barefoot…

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Do you like to run? Do you live near a track or maybe a park that’s well maintained and clean? Then perhaps you could try barefoot running. Well, obviously it might be uncomfortable at first, and you might also need to be a bit extra careful about choosing where to run… but the benefits of running without shoes might surprise you…

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So, a couple of days ago I wrote a bit about trying out a vegetarian or vegan (or even raw vegan) diet. Obviously, going vegetarian/vegan is not for everybody… but what if we are interested, or at least intrigued and willing to try it out for a while and see how it goes? How do you start? Well…

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Have you ever suffered from low back pain? Well, I guess almost everybody has… Problem is, the pain can be so excruciating that you can’t get anything done. Which is actually just as well, since the best remedy for low back pain is getting and bed and letting your back rest, right? Yeah, about that…

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When people start talking about ‘traditional home remedies’, we usually picture bizarre herbs, leaves, and roots with funny names that also taste funny. But sometimes, it can be something as simple as a bowl of hot chicken soup.

21 Oct 2013

Sweet, sweet honey…

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As the rainy season starts off for real, sore throats and bad coughs are becoming more and more common. Naturally, there are plenty of old-timey remedies passed down through the generations to prepare for the onset of cold, rainy weather… and a lot of them involve one of nature’s sweetest gifts: honey.

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The problem with diarrhea is that it’s actually quite common and easy to contract, yet it makes you thoroughly miserable. Thankfully, there are quite a few common and easy to prepare home remedies which might work just as good (or even better) than store-bought medicine.

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Usually, we associate ‘traditional’ or ‘homemade’ remedies with things we can find in our kitchen or garden… and not something that’s usually stashed with screwdrivers, hammers, and other tools. Something like, say, duct tape. What could be possibly cured using duct tape, you might ask? Read on…

23 Oct 2013

Cat’s whiskers…

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Amongst Indonesia’s huge collection of indigenous medicinal plants, one of the most famous is none other than kumis kucing, known in the English speaking world as either Cat’s Whiskers (obviously) or Java Tea. And this is one plant you definitely want to have in your garden…

23 Oct 2013

Ginger…

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It’s a spice, it’s medicine, it’s… ginger. There are few plants as famous and with uses as diverse and varied as ginger, including as a spice, an ingredient for sweet foods (especially in Western cuisine, such as gingerbread, ginger ale, etc.), pickles, and of course: folk medicine.

24 Oct 2013

Soothing the sting…

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So, honey is good for your health. But honey is produced by bees, and bees have these nasty little surprise called ‘stings’. Even if you don’t work in a honey farm, it’s still easy to accidentally make a bee angry (or to get bitten by the hundreds of bugs that live around us). Fortunately, you can treat bee stings with some pretty common items lying around at home. Items like:

24 Oct 2013

Garlic…

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Garlic is a popular kitchen ingredient because, well, a lot of people love its pungent flavor. And, of course, it also has a long list of health benefits… a really long list of health benefits, since garlic is also one of the most extensively researched and widely used plants. So, for example, we know that garlic can be used to treat:

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Sometimes, everyday items that we find lying around the house are surprisingly useful to treat minor everyday ailments. We’ve already looked at duct tape to remove warts and clear nail polish to treat insect bites, but of course there’s plenty more. For example, to treat:

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It’s the middle of the night, and your tooth is just killing you. Obviously there aren’t any dentists who are still open, you’ve rummaged through your medicine cabinet and found no painkillers… so what do you do? Well, if you happen to have some clove oil stashed somewhere, you can always use that…

26 Oct 2013

Egg Bandages…

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What do you do if somebody gets cut and there are no bandages available? Of course we clean the wound first (with running water), then we can cover the wound with a clean cloth and apply steady pressure to stop the bleeding before we go off looking for proper medical treatment. Or, we can use egg membranes…

26 Oct 2013

Sunburns (Ouch!)

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Relaxing for a week on the beach or just a day in the pool can do wonders for the stress levels of the typical office worker. But then again, a week on the beach or a day at the pool is an easy way to get some nasty sunburn. Fortunately, besides cold showers and painkillers, there are plenty of natural ways to soothe your prickly skin:

27 Oct 2013

Homemade antacid…

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Upset stomachs are often caused by what comes out of the kitchen (well, not always your kitchen, but still…), so it’s only natural that the solution is also found in the kitchen, right? So, the next time you feel your stomach burning and twisting, try looking in the kitchen cupboard for some…

27 Oct 2013

Coffee vs. bananas…

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Maybe you’ve just had to pull a string of all-nighters and ended up drinking several gallons of coffee… or maybe you simply like coffee too much. Anyway, you’ve suddenly came face to face with the effects of too much caffeine: rapid heart rate, difficulty sleeping, headaches, and so on. So, how can you cure this caffeine overload? Simple… eat a banana.

28 Oct 2013

Bad hair days…

Keeping up with the latest fashion is not exactly easy. Trends change more often than the weather, and haute couture isn’t exactly cheap. But the burdens of high fashion doesn’t fall only on your wallet (or bank account… plenty of items cost more than what can conveniently be carried around in cash) but can also be detrimental to your health.

There are plenty of examples of how trendy can equal torture, and we’ll take a look at some of the more common ones in later posts. But why don’t we start from the very top: our hair.

28 Oct 2013

Killer Heels…

If you’ve ever attended a party in high heels knows that these shoes can be excruciating to wear. But, hey, no pain no gain, right ladies? Problem is, ‘pain’ is your body trying to tell you that something’s wrong, and that you might need to do something about it…

30 Oct 2013

Dicey Footwear…

High-heels are the poster child of ‘painful fashion’, what with the possible damage to your toes that they may cause. However, the side effects of wearing high-heel shoes usually show up in the long term. If you want spectacular short-term damage, you need to look at a whole different range of footwear…

Want to instantly create a different and edgy look? Just get a facial piercing… or two, or more. Sure, not everybody you know might approve, but a piercing on your lip, nose, or eyebrow is just another harmless fashion statement, right? Yeah, about that…

30 Oct 2013

Itchy Bling…

Well, it seems that just about every fashion category has some sort of health hazard. While some are a bit more obvious, others are relatively unknown. For example, a lot of people aren’t surprised when told that facial piercings carry major health risks… but did you know that your usual piercings can also cause problems?

30 Oct 2013

Skinny and Risky…

I like skinny jeans. So, looking into the health risks of this type of pants isn’t exactly fun for me. But in the name of fairness, let’s take a peek at the horrors in store for skinny-jeans-wearers like me. Or maybe just the single, most severe side effect: serious nerve damage.

Eyeliners: a definite must for the perfect look, no? Well, there’s a reason that this particular makeup has been around for centuries. (Millennia, actually… they say there are records of ancient Egyptians using eyeliner as early as 10.000 BC.) Still, you might want to be a bit careful with this one…

As more and more celebrities are seen carrying them, super-sized bags have become a definite fashion trend. And it’s also pretty useful, since with the extra capacity you can take everything you need wherever you go. However, while extra ‘large’ is useful, extra ‘heavy’ can be harmful…

01 Nov 2013

Lipstick…

Sometimes even the most mundane fashion item can carry slight but noticeable health risks. For example: lipstick. Did you know that the average woman will eat between two to four kilos of lipstick in her lifetime? And that most lipsticks contain toxic metals? Well, now you know…

01 Nov 2013

What’s in a bag?

It’s not the size of a bag that you should worry about, but how much you put in it. No less important, however, is what the manufacturer put into the handbag you’re now carrying around with you. Yes, your very handbag may be conspiring to ruin your health… ^^

Have you ever had somebody tell you that bras can be bad for you? Well, there’s more than just a bit of truth in that. Especially, that is, if you’re wearing one that’s too tight for you… and up to 70 percent of women are believed to wear the wrong bra size.

It’s not just women who are vulnerable to the potential health hazards of fashion… men sometimes face the same dangers. Worse, one of the most damaging male fashion item is something that a lot of men have to wear regularly: neckties.

Being prepared for common illnesses during the rainy season is not that hard… but of course, prevention is better than cure, right? So, let’s take a look at some easy tips to stay fit during the worst parts of this year’s monsoon…

Rainy days are of course no excuse for any of us to cut back on exercising, but did you know that exercising in the rain is good for you? Yes, you’ve read that right: going out to exercise while it rains can actually help you burn even more fat…

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Well, the end of year holiday season is now definitely over… which means only one thing: the start of year rush of activities and extra workload. So, now, it’s more important than ever to find a new balance point between work and leisure; between exertion and relaxation; and most importantly, between your body, mind, and soul…

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Nowadays, it’s extremely easy to be cynical when it comes to charity. Stories abound about beggars who make more than the average office worker, and scandals involving charities swindling donations aren’t exactly uncommon. So, in our quest to find balance, should we cross ‘charity’ off our lists? Of course not…

There’s one problem with trying to diet nowadays, especially right after the holidays: There’s always a new trend “recommended by experts”, or a new program “formulated by nutritionists”, and whatever diet you’ve started two days ago is now obsolete…

So, I guess the only ‘sane’ way is to go back to the basics: a well-balanced diet…

Early mornings are, for quite a lot of people, one of the hardest parts of a typical working day. However, what we do during that short period of time determines how we’ll perform—and also how we look!—for the rest of the day.

So, with that in mind, here are some morning habits that you really, really should stop…

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Beauty, they say, comes from within. So, I guess this means we should listen to the age-old advice that mothers have been telling their children for centuries: “Eat your vegetables!”

Of course, it’s no big secret that not everybody likes vegetables. So, let me introduce you to another secret that may help you enjoy vegetables: roasting. Yes, roasting. So, before you lose all hope on leading a healthy live, why not try one of these little experiments:

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It’s not the rainy season yet (I mean, not officially, right?) and it rains too often for it to be the dry season. As the weather becomes more challenging, staying fit and healthy is also becoming quite a challenge...

In other words: When seasons change, your lifestyle needs to change as well... at least a bit. What kind of changes are we talking about? Let’s see...

Hopefully you’re not sick of “spring this” and “spring that” yet… because, hey, spring is the season of new things, of creating new things. And even here, where we only have the dry and rainy seasons, we can still tap into that spirit of creation and reinvention to create ‘a new you’. Who knows… you might like what you find… ;)

But, uh, what kind of new paths should we look at?

10 Jul 2014

Detox the Right Way

Nowadays, it would seem that you can find dozens of ‘detox’ products just looking at the aisle with bottled juice at the nearest supermarket. And on the magazine rack, you might even glimpse ads for detox programs at some sort of spa facility.

Now, if you talk to actual health experts, there’s a lot of controversy about if this whole ‘detox’ thing actually works. Ah, but there are things—simple things—that any of us can do to get rid of all the toxins that’s part of modern life.

Don’t you just hate having brittle, easily broken nails? Well, you’re definitely not alone: brittle nails are annoying, sometimes painful, and hard to hide. Fortunately, there are plenty of stuff that can help strengthen your nails. And even if you don’t have brittle nails, there’s nothing wrong with strengthening them, no?

Oh, and as a bonus point: this also works for hair as well. So, read on, ladies...

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Today, those of us who have been fasting has done so for a bit over two weeks. Of course, there are also plenty of us who has fasted for years—decades, even. But that doesn’t mean that some new fasting tips wouldn’t be useful, no? And if you’re already familiar with some of these, then, well, here’s extra confirmation that your fasting strategy is something a lot of other people (including experts in health and nutrition) have been following as well. So, read on, ladies...

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Fasting is about self-control and self-denial. It’s as much a spiritual and psychological challenge as well as being a physical challenge. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with some extra insight into the world of nutrition to make sure that you are well prepared for each day spent fasting from sunup till sundown. Yesterday we covered some of the more basic aspects, and today we’ll take a closer look at some detailed tips, especially for sahur or the pre-dawn meal. Read on, ladies...

16 Jul 2014

Veggies for your Skin

Beautiful, gorgeous skin depends on a lot of things: immaculate skincare, picking the right beauty products (and applying them properly, of course), a good cleaning routine, and so on. Ah, but how about nutrition? Well, nutrition is important... but that’s more about your health in general, right? Well, yes and no: there are also quite a few plants out there with some extra benefits just for your skin. What kind of vegetables are we talking about? Read on, ladies...

Ever heard about how you’re supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day? Well, a lot of experts say that the exact amount of water you need depends on your activity level, what kind of food you eat, other sources of water (e.g., fruit), and so on. Still, a lot of people don’t realize just how bad it can get when you don’t get enough water (especially when you’re fasting... so make sure you drink enough water during the pre-dawn meal for the whole day). Some feel it’s inconvenient, and some even feel the need to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom.

Anyway, below you’ll see a list of what your water intake can do to your body (including how you look and how you feel...)

18 Jul 2014

Safe Under the Sun

Standing under the warm rays of the sun can be a truly relaxing experience, such as on a sunny morning after a long, cold night... or when you finally arrive at the beach for a short holiday. It’s also incredibly healthy: exposure to the sun plays a big role in optimizing hormonal functions and in producing vitamin D.

Of course, the sun can also be rather harsh on us, and especially our skin. So, there needs to be a balance between enjoying the sun’s warmth, and protecting yourself from the sun’s glare. How do you do that? Read on, ladies...

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So, one day after Lebaran, and I’m sure that there are plenty of leftovers from yesterday at most of our homes. Of course, holiday food is usually all about taste instead of being all healthy and nutritious. That doesn’t mean that our favorite Lebaran dishes are automatically unhealthy, but it is true that we don’t often pay close attention to the nutritional values of our holiday treats, right? So, before we spend the next couple of days finishing off yesterday’s ketupat, let’s take a closer look at three of the most popular Lebaran dishes...

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Probiotics... you’ve probably heard about this one more than once, no? And when eating habits shift—such as during and after the month of fasting—recommendations for taking probiotics will probably start popping up again. This is of course besides the more commonly touted benefits, from general digestive health to curing diarrhea and even acne.

Now, there are actually quite a few food items that already contain probiotics, such as kefir and kimchi. But it’s probiotic supplements that most people are talking about, and yes, there are a number of scientific studies that back up the claims of how effective they can be (although in limited cases). On the other hand, there are a lot of basic things about probiotics that most people aren’t really aware of. So, read on, ladies...

Staying under the sun too long can be bad for your skin. Air pollution can be bad for your skin. And so on. But we all know about things like these, right? Unfortunately, there are plenty of other parts of our day-to-day routines that no less detrimental to your skin condition... and sometimes we do them out of habit. So, it might not be such a bad idea to pay extra close attention to the following...

In yesterday’s blog post, we covered 10 (maybe) surprising daily habits that were bad for our skin... and of course, there’s more. So, below, you’ll find another set of stuff you might want to take a closer look at, especially if you’ve been wondering why your skincare routines have not had the desired results...

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to anti-aging, everything from proper skincare to proper nutrition, rest and exercise, and so on, and so forth. But the one thing that most people often overlook is age itself—as in how at different ages, we should focus on different areas or different anti-aging methods. Yes, there is a definitive guide for all age groups that is often recommended, and you can catch the details below... ;)

19 Nov 2014

Just the Essentials

Natural health treatment is, of course, the very best option for our well-being. And one particular natural treatment that’s experiencing a large surge of popularity is essential oils. Sure, there’s quite a bit of doubt and criticism about the use of essential oils as well well-documented dangers (mostly in how they’re stored, though), but there’s no denying that this age-old tradition does have a wide range of benefits.

There are currently dozens of essential oils, some made from flowers, others from roots or peel, and some even from the bark of trees. But today, we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular types, and how they might help you...

Even now when the rainy season is in full swing, we can still suffer from excruciating sunburn. Now, before you start searching through your medicine cabinet or planning a trip to the nearest pharmacy, you might want to take a look around your kitchen and/or yard first. There are plenty of natural and homemade sunburn-remedies that we probably have lying around the house. So, the next time you feel the sting of a sunburn, try one of the following...

27 Mar 2015

Sweet, Sweet Honey

Honey (or to be precise: the raw form of honey) has long been a popular ingredient in various skincare and beauty products. And today, as we have developed a much better understanding of the benefits of this wonderful stuff, more and more brands are catching on. So, what is it that makes honey (which, technically, is nectar that has been vomited up by bees) so good for our skin? Well, read on, ladies...

We wash our faces practically every day ever since we were old enough to do it ourselves, right? So, we've got the process pretty much down to a fine art. Or so we thought. In reality, there are quite a few important points to this seemingly simple routine. So, today, let’s take a closer look at how we’re actually supposed to wash our faces, for the best possible results...

Lately, the weather has been getting a lot more unpredictable. Temperatures are on the rise, but it’s also raining more often. Add to that our daily dealings with air pollution, dry air in the office, etc., and it becomes easier to see why more and more people are worried about—among others—their skin condition. So, perhaps it’s the perfect time to learn the secrets of keeping your skin’s glow no matter what you have to deal with on the outside, no? Read on, ladies...

Outside the sun is shining brightly, while inside, the air conditioner is humming steadily. Both of these conditions (plus several others we’re also likely facing) can contribute to one annoying problem: dry, chapped lips. So, yes, today we’re going to go over a couple of basic tips to tackle this common annoyance...

Some claim it’s a medical disorder, others say it’s simply a normal condition; some say it’s a genetic condition, others say it’s simply a matter of diet and lifestyle. Put simply, cellulite can be quite a tricky issue, since there are quite a few differing opinions on what cellulite actually is, what causes cellulite, and so on. There are, however, a number of no-longer-disputed facts... and that’s what we’re going to take a look at today...

One of the most interesting topics in the world of beauty is learning all the tips and tricks that make use of ordinary household items: From various fruit for face masks to condiments for treating acne. Of course, not all tips work as advertised, and not all tricks that sound ridiculous are worthless. More often than not, there’s some sort of middle ground between the claims and reality... and today, we’ll explore this area. So, read on, ladies...

Since we were little, we were always taught to share with others, right? Of course, there are things that should never be shared with others, even people close to us. For example ... toothbrushes. That’s definitely something you don’t share with anybody. Now, this very principle also applies to beauty tools such as:

We can get beauty tips from renowned stylists, makeup tricks from famous artists, and so on ... but have we ever thought about looking at what dermatologists actually use for their own skin? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to do this time: taking a look at what actual skin experts trust the most...

Wearing high heels—stilettos, especially—all day long is basically torture. Not just for your legs, but also for your back. We all know that, right? Unfortunately, there are plenty of other fashion items that are bad for your back. Basically, anything that alters your posture and range of motion can cause problems... especially these fashion staples that we probably use on a regular basis...

Knowing how to properly apply makeup is, of course, important. But knowing how to properly remove makeup is no less important. Perhaps it’s even more important in terms of maintaining your skin’s condition. So, today, we’re going to cover seven crucial points in the art of makeup removal. Read on, ladies...

Will you be spending a lot of time outdoors during the coming holiday season? Maybe even spend several days at the beach? Well, if so, then sunscreen is definitely an essential part of your travel kit. But which type of sunscreen should you pick? Because, yes, there’s more than one type, and each have their own advantages. Want to know more? Well, then, read on, ladies...

Usually, we treat sunscreen as a special kind of skincare product... one that you only buy or take out when you’re going vacationing to somewhere sunny with plenty of beaches. But actually, there are quite a few other instances where a healthy layer of sunscreen would be extremely beneficial. Below, you’ll find the three most important...

More often than not, we only exfoliate our face... that is, if we remember about skin exfoliation at all. Unfortunately, dead skin cells can build up all over your body. Yes, your face is a prime candidate, but there are other areas that could really use some extra attention as well. Especially those mentioned below. So, read on, ladies...

Do you want to avoid wrinkles? Then always remember to remove your makeup before bed and use a daily moisturizer. Unfortunately, these good skincare habits can easily be nullified by a series of bad habits. Yes, sometimes our misunderstanding of how skincare and beauty really works can speed up the formation of wrinkles. What kind of bad habits are we talking about?

03 Jun 2015

Total Sun Protection

Do you have your vacation already planned out? Well, it is already June, right? Now, no matter where you’ll be going to, chances are you’re going to be spending a lot more time outdoors than usual. Which means more sun exposure. Unfortunately, for the typical modern urban dweller, the sun isn’t exactly nice to your skin. So, what we need is a total protection plan. Sounds interesting? Then read on, ladies...

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No matter how careful and well-prepared we are when going outdoors, once in a while we end up having to deal with sunburn—especially during the holidays. Things only get worse when you realize that some of the most common “treatments” to sunburn can actually do more harm than good. So, just in case we stay a bit too long under the sun while vacationing, here is a comprehensive guide to treat sunburn...

Looking back at some of the recent posts on this blog, we’ve covered a lot about sunscreen, particularly the “when” and “where” we would need extra protection from the sun. Naturally, the next step—which is probably even more important—is the “how”. Yes, the way we actually apply the sunscreen is no less important. So, read on, ladies...

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Why is sunscreen so important, especially during summertime and the holiday season? It’s not just about avoiding sunburn but also skin cancer. Of course, like many other medical conditions, new findings on skin cancer is constantly coming up, and guidelines on how to prevent or deal with it are always changing. There are, however, quite a few interesting (and well-established) facts that all of us should know...

Nail problems are often the most overlooked kind of health/beauty problems we face, as well as being the most misunderstood... which is perhaps why we often get so annoyed when we’re dealing with brittle, yellowing, or bendy nails. But, of course, for every nail issue we might have, there’s actually a handy solution. Below, you’ll find some of the most important ones...

Anti-aging is always a hot topic... and it is also often quite complex. So, misunderstandings tend to pop up rather frequently. Furthermore, some of these misconceptions can gain enough popularity to become widely accepted. So, today, why don’t we take a quick look at some of these myths, and compare them with the actual facts...

Acne is never fun. But when it starts popping up on your back, it becomes doubly annoying, no? Especially since it’s not always easy to deal with it directly. So, the best course of action here is to learn about the common causes of back acne and how to deal with them. Interested? Then read on, ladies...

We usually buy deodorant for one use, and one use only: to deal with perspiration and body odor, especially in our armpits. And they do a good job at it, right? Especially those roll-on thingies. Ah, but deodorant has many other nifty uses that we might have overlooked all this long. What kind of uses are we talking about? Well...

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When you’re fasting, you need nutrient-rich food that will provide the energy you need to stay active during the day. This is especially true this year, as the month of Ramadan starts during the summer and daytime temperatures can reach well into the thirties. So, what kind of healthy eating habits should you focus on this month? Read on, ladies...

What some people tend to forget is that fasting also affects the condition of our skin. It’s not just the fact that we will refrain from eating and drinking for extended periods of time, but also how our decreased hydration levels will affect the skin, as well as what we typically eat when we finally break the fast each day. So, to keep your skin healthy and looking radiant while still fasting diligently, try out the following range of daily tips...

Pimples mean that there’s something wrong with your skin... it could be hormones, stress, too much greasy food, etc., etc. But apparently, we can pinpoint the exact cause (and thus the best solution) by looking at where the pimples are showing up. Yes, the location of a pimple can tell a lot about your health and your hygiene habits. Intrigued? Then, read on, ladies...

Collagen... we’ve probably heard about this one quite often, along with how important is to our skin’s condition and appearance. More often than not, we’d also be hearing about expensive supplements and skincare products that can supposedly restore the collagen in your skin. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural (and inexpensive!) ways to boost collagen production...

One of the most visible signs of aging is wrinkled hands, no? Yes, it’s not just your face that needs anti-aging treatment. So, to show some extra love for our arms and hands as the years go by, this is what you need to start doing every day...

04 Jul 2015

Skincare in Your 40s

Skincare requirements will constantly change as we age. That’s perfectly natural. However, when a woman hits the 40s range, a completely new factor comes into play: changes in hormonal balance due to the onset of menopause. And yes, this does affect your skin, particularly when it comes to how quick fine lines and wrinkles start appearing. But fear not, we have a pretty solid guide for skincare in your 40s...

Planning a July holiday? Already starting to pack your bags? Well, don’t forget that while the art of packing centers on not overloading your bag, it’s also important that you don’t miss any essentials. Especially in the skincare department. So, before you take off to your dream vacation, make sure that you have...

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Proper nutrition is, of course, important... especially now during the month of fasting. But no matter what time of year it is, it might not be such a bad idea to look into the way food can affect your mood. The thing is, certain nutrients can affect your brain chemistry and make you feel better. So, if you’re looking for something that makes you smile from the inside, consider trying one of these...

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Catching a cold is definitely not a pleasant experience, so we’re usually glad when it’s finally over. Of course that’s when we’re likely stuck with a dry and red nose. Fortunately, there are plenty of quick remedies to help you deal with this quandary...

There are plenty of proven methods to deal with acne ... some of which we’ve covered right here on this blog. Now, one acne-related problem that we often forget is the scars that might be left when the acne outbreak itself has been dealt with. The solution to this follow-up problem, however, might already be available in your kitchen or refrigerator. Yes, we’re talking about natural ways—masks, to be exact—that can speed up the healing process of acne scars...

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For many of us, today marks yet another transition in our daily eating habits... which might prompt us to look into new and popular diet tips. Unfortunately, not all diet advice is actually good for you. So, today, we’re going to look at some of the most popular diet methods that you might want to stay clear of, and why you should do so...

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One of the biggest challenges when you’re dieting is temptation... the temptation to once in a while “cheat” a bit and sneak in a tasty snack. But, of course, there’s nothing really wrong with indulging in an extra snack now and then; especially if it’s a healthy snack. And yes, there are plenty of healthy but tasty snack options... and some of these might surprise you...

Now, this is an ingredient that you’ve probably encountered quite a few times if you’ve been paying attention to skincare products. From hand cream and body lotions to moisturizers and conditioners, shea butter is used for just about every type of skincare, haircare, and beauty products, by just about every brand. So, what’s so great about this substance? Well...

What do we usually do when we find a pimple on our face? More often than not we try to pop it... or at least we’ll pick and poke it. But this is definitely a bad habit that needs to be stopped. Now, a lot of us might already know this, but what we may not know is just how bad the consequences of popping your pimples can be, which includes:

30 Jul 2015

Proper Hand Care

Whether we spend our days at home, at the office, or outdoors, our hands are always the busiest parts of our bodies. So, are we taking enough care of these two important “tools” of ours? Well, the easiest way to answer that question is to see if we’ve fulfilled these five simple “rules” of hand-care...

01 Aug 2015

Eye Cream: Basic Tips

Eye creams have a myriad of wonderful benefits, from decreasing eye puffiness to minimizing dark circles and reducing signs of aging. But perhaps you might have noticed that you’re not seeing these results... or at least not as soon or to the extent that you expect them to be. To solve this vexing problem, simply follow these basic tips...

We all know that green tea is beneficial for us, and that those benefits are pretty diverse. Actually, we’ve known this for quite a long time—which is why it’s just as easy to find green tea listed in a restaurant’s menu as it is to find it on the menu of a high-end spa facility. And yes, green tea is a popular ingredient for skincare products. So, what exactly can green tea do for our skin?

04 Aug 2015

The Art of Napping

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In Japan, they say that napping on the job is one of the signs of a dedicated worker who works so hard that they fall asleep. And in the west, “power napping” is often cited as a way to boost productivity. One thing, however, is certain: a nap (as in, getting some sleep in the middle of the day for 20-30 minutes) is good for you. Why is that? And how can you make the best of a brief nap?

One of the most common causes of acne outbreaks is hormone fluctuations. Now, if you’re seeing acne popping up around your cheeks and jawline at the same time every month, you’re dealing with hormonal acne. And yes, this is of course a girls-only problem. Of course, the important bit is how you deal with this sort of problem. So, read on, ladies...

Have you ever had somebody tell you that regularly trimming your hair will make it grow faster? Or that you should regularly change shampoos? Well, as it turns out, a lot of the more popular haircare advice floating around are rather incorrect, and in some cases might actually exacerbate the very problem you’re trying to tackle. So, what kind of tips/myths that we need to be careful of?

The appearance of gray strands of hair is, for a lot of people, quite worrying: Graying hair is obviously a sign of aging and sometimes stress. So, it might be quite useful to know a little bit more about this phenomenon, right? Why and when our hair goes grey, how we might be able to delay it, etc. So, below you’ll find a brief list of facts that might ease your worries a bit...

It hasn’t really started raining every day, but the weather is starting to turn colder. Which means, among others, that we don’t have to worry too much about sun exposure, right? Wrong! Even during the most overcast days of the rainy season, sun protection is still important and none of us should change our daily sunscreen use. And, unfortunately, there are plenty of other sunscreen-related myths or misinformation that we need to look out for, such as:

Are you one of those people who “wash” their face with just water? If you are, you might want to reconsider your cleansing regime, as the water-only approach can lead to excess buildup of acne-causing bacteria and yeast that result in a condition known as seborrhoeic dermatitis—sort of like dandruff, but on your face. So, what does a proper face washing routine look like?

Everybody wants beautiful and also healthy nails. And like so many other beauty and health issues, it all boils down to our daily habits. So, what can you do each day for your nails? It’s quite simple actually... so, let’s read on...

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  • Buying a new diamond ring (or any kind of diamond jewelry ...
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