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5 Healthy Hawker Foods in Singapore that You Must Try

Food is what brings people together, and different cultures mixing in the forms of different dishes is what makes hawker centers a uniquely Singaporean experience. However, there have been notions that hawker food isn’t healthy, and other healthier options such as salad and grain bowls can often bring your wallet to tears.

Fortunately, weight- and cholesterol- watchers in Singapore no longer need to fear the hawker centers to stay in good health and shape. As long as you’re conscious about your choices, you’re good to go. Here a few healthy foods that you must try:

1. Thunder Tea Rice

This dish has a wide variety of vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, leek, and even radish, which is served alongside a green soup made with basil, green tea, mint, and coriander. All these ingredients make thunder tea rice the perfect dish for working adults too busy to make their own meals – and that’s not even including the health benefits.

2. Fish Soup

Fish soup ranks high on the list of every weight watcher because of how little fat is added during the cooking process (provided that you steer from fried fish and instead choose boiled). With tofu, tomatoes, seaweed, lettuce, and bitter gourd balancing out the fish, what more could you ask for?

3. Teochew Porridge

A bowl of watery congee with a few sides to go along is the easiest way to achieve a balanced meal. Your best bet would be steamed dishes or food that has been lightly stir-fried. Just stay away from the side dishes with batter or those with a thick layer of oil on the surface.  

If you’re really looking to steer away from the excess calories, avoid fried dishes, as they can easily triple the amount of sodium and fat in your meal.

4. Chapatti

This Indian dish is made using fiber-rich whole meal flour, which is not only low in fat, but also comes with sliced fish, tofu, tomatoes, and even seaweed and lettuce. You can even ask for more vegetables and less rice if you’re conscious about your weight.  

5. Yong Tau Foo

Though most Yong Tau Foo comes with soup, the best thing about this dish is that you can handpick your own ingredients. Different kinds of vegetables, such as lettuce and bitter gourd, and tofu items that are boiled and dried can be brought together in a bowl and eaten on their own or with rice and noodles.

To make this option really healthy, you can even ditch the sodium-high soup and the ground meat stuffing, and add more vegetables such as kangkong and watercress.

5 Effective Ways to Cope With Jet Lag for the Frequent Flyer

Jet lag is the term used to describe the physiological response that happens when a person travels across time zones without being able to adjust their natural circadian rhythm.

This may last for several days before being able to fully adjust to the new time zone, and can be an issue for people who cross time zones on a regular basis, such as airline pilots, crew, and even frequent flyers. There

Fortunately, there are ways to cope or even overcome jet lag and adjust to your rapidly-changing time zones, such as the following:

1. Set your watch to the time zone of your destination.

Preparing yourself for the new time zone is a good way to cope with jet lag. As soon as you set foot in the plane, set your watch to the local time zone of your new destination and follow that specific time zone.

The challenge here is being able to stay awake and fall asleep when it’s daylight or nighttime, depending on where your plane is currently flying.

2. Don’t fill yourself up.

Airplane food can affect the intensity of your jet lag, and carbohydrate-rich foods can make it difficult for you to stay awake. However, you take advantage of this to make you fall asleep if you need to quickly match the time zone of your destination.  

Don’t drink any alcohol or coffee, either – alcohol and caffeine can have quite toxic effects when you’re in the upper atmosphere. Go for water and fruit juice instead if you need to replenish on fluids.

3. Don’t make it too hard on yourself for the first few days.

Once you get to your destination, give yourself at least one day to slowly adjust to the time zone. Because it takes a lot of effort and no specific time period (as different people can take longer or shorter periods of time to adjust), it may take longer than just one day to do this.

Feeling tired and listless is normal during this time, as your body is trying to adjust to your new environment and time zone. Start by going out for short walks if you feel the need to do any physical activity.

You should also be especially wary of using sleeping pills. Even though they can help a lot, there is a good chance that it may actually worsen the jet lag.

4. Control the lights.

The most in-depth process when it comes to combatting jet lag also happens to be one of the most effective. Seeking out and avoiding exposure to light at certain times of the day can help you adjust your body clock faster, and there are even apps that can help you out with this.

How Taking 60 Minutes from Your Sleep Can Break Your Day Before It Even Starts

Whether you’re working or still at school, having a hectic schedule in Singapore means that it’s really important that you get the right amount of sleep once you get home from school or work.

It also goes without saying that not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling drained, and that even taking an hour away from your valuable sleeping time leaves a profound effect.

But how exactly does this happen?

How Less Sleep Affects You
Healthy adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep, and teenagers and children roughly eight.

Your body takes this time to rest and repair itself on a cellular level, but when you short yourself out on your sleep, you will see both short-term and long-term effects on your body, from a general lack of alertness and an impaired memory to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Sleep deprivation can also affect your appearance and lead to premature wrinkling and dark circles under your eyes, since the long-term presence of cortisol in the body breaks down collagen in skin.

But with all these effects, why do we still sleep less today?

Why We Sleep Less
Hectic schedules aside, there are a lot of reasons why we sleep fewer hours now, such as maximizing our work or free time. However, there is also a third reason, and that is the lights we keep switched on, from the light bulbs to the LED screens of our TVs and devices.

This constant exposure to bright light inhibits the sleep hormone melatonin, and this lack of the chemical keeps us awake for longer.

However, you don’t need to be asleep and then wake up to feel the effects of a lack of sleep on your body.
The effects of sleep deprivation will show whether or not you are awake, and the result is a reduced state of alertness and memory loss that many studies have shown to be similar in brain function as legal drunkenness.

Taking Back Your Sleep Hours
The easiest way to make sure you get the optimal amount of sleep possible is by measuring how much sleep you really need.

All you need is to try to sleep at varying times around when you usually sleep. For instance, you can sleep fifteen minutes earlier and wake up fifteen minutes later. Do this for a few times until you find a day that you wake up feeling the most refreshed.

Gauging your optimal amount of sleep will take a few days of trial and error, but when you find out the best amount of time you need, you will be able to stick to it and get consistent sleep as a result.

4 Simple Steps You Can Take to Be More Assertive in Your Life – and at Work

If you have an anxious disposition, chances are that you find it difficult to say what’s on your mind and just let other people have their way even if you don’t like it. However, there will come a time when you need to assert yourself and stand by what you believe, and being assertive as a person will definitely help.

Being assertive is different from being aggressive. It allows you to communicate your thoughts honestly and stand your ground, and even give you more confidence and less stress.

Here are the steps that you need to be more assertive in the future:

1. Know what you want. Most of the time, people who find it difficult to stand up for themselves don’t know what they want, and the antidote to that is by having a clear vision of it in your head.

Once you know what exactly you want, even if it’s still just in your head, it becomes more tangible and you can take the needed steps to go after it.

2. Change your mindset. One good way to start being anxious quickly is by being too self-conscious. Instead of focusing on yourself, give your full attention to the situation or on what the other person is saying.

This is because when you focus more on the other person, you take in more of what they’re saying, which lets you respond much better.

3. Find ways to be more assertive without sounding aggressive or rude. Standing your ground doesn’t mean that you have to be disrespectful or rude, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you need to have a short fuse to be assertive.

When you frame your words the right way, your honest thoughts and opinions may even be more valuable to people.
It also helps that you don’t fumble your words by speaking too quickly. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re a little anxious, take a deep breath, and speak more slowly.

4. Learn to say “no”. Saying the word is the best way for you to start getting comfortable with it. Even with extremely persistent people, just repeating “no” will eventually get your message across.

You can start by saying no to situations where you would otherwise be compelled to say yes, such as a night out with friends or co-workers when you really want to stay in.

If there are times that a lack of assertiveness has held you back, even doing something simple as writing down the pros and cons of asserting yourself can give you enough reason to do so. But most importantly, being assertive can save you – and everyone involved – time.

What Should You Do About Melasma?

Melasma is a common skin problem among women and can even manifest during pregnancy. It causes brown or blue-gray patches to appear on the skin, especially on the cheeks, chin, and forehead. It also appears on parts of the skin that are most commonly exposed to direct sunlight such as the arms and neck because of the overproduction of pigments. Melasma during pregnancy, however, is caused by the fluctuations in the hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

Fortunately, melasma does not cause other problems and can be prevented with the use of sunblock every time you go out. It can also fade over time, especially if it was triggered by hormonal changes during pregnancy or if it’s a side effect or oral contraceptives. Melasma does not have a cure, but there are various treatments available for those who are conscious of the patches on their skin.

Available Treatments for Melasma
The type of treatment that will be recommended by a dermatologist in Singapore will depend on the severity of the problem. The doctor will examine the patches and use Wood’s light to look at the condition of the skin. In some cases, a biopsy is needed because melasma can look like other skin problems.

1. Hydroquinone. This is usually the first medication recommended for people with melasma. It is a skin-lightening product that come in lotions, cream, gel, and liquid. Hydroquinone products that are bought over the counter usually contain less active ingredients than those prescribed by your dermatologist. It can irritate some skin types, so the dermatologist will usually recommend a product that contains 2% hydroquinone.

2. Tretinoin and Corticosteroids. These are used to enhance the effectiveness of the first skin-lightening product that you’re using. Your dermatologist might recommend a triple cream type that contains hydroquinone, tretinoin, and corticosteroid if needed.

3. Topical Medications. Other topical medications besides those listed above also have alternatives such as kojic acid, arbutin, and azelaic acid. Kojic acid will help decrease the number of dendrites and melanosomes and bounds the chelates copper to tyrosinase. Arbutin inhibits the maturation of the melanosome and suppresses tyrosinase activity. Azelaic acid inhibits tyrosinase and is also an anto-proliferative. All the topical medications have different side effects, and it sometimes take a trial-and-error process to determine which one works best for your melasma. Other alternatives also include lactic acid, L-ascorbic acid, licorice, mulberry, rumex extract, phenylethyl resorcinol, undecylenoyl phenylalanine, phytic acid, and antioxidants.

4. Dermatological Procedures. In some cases where topical medication is not enough to get rid of the pigmentation, the dermatologist performs chemical peel, dermabrasion, and/or microdermabrasion to remove dead skin cells.

Proper Beauty Regimen
Overtreatment can worsen the condition, that is why a gentle beauty regimen is recommended. Use only low-percentage topical treatments daily and use sunscreen whenever you go out. Use a sunscreen that not only protects the skin from UV rays, but also has antioxidants and melanogenesis inhibitors. Apply the sunscreen every 2 hours when you’re out swimming or walking or 30 minutes before exposure to direct sunlight.

Dos and Don’ts of a Courtroom Attire

Have you ever been invited to attend a court hearing? Hopefully it’s not because you have a criminal charge, but in case you were required to be in a court, remember that there are rules on how to dress appropriately for the occasion.

Don’ts When Dressing Up for the Courtroom
You don’t need to look like you’re about to get married, but it would not hurt to dress professionally for court. Below are some clothing you should avoid when dressing up.

1. Short-sleeved shirt
2. Sneakers
3. Shirt with cufflinks or French cuffs
4. Low-cut blouse
5. Heavily patterned/brightly-colored blouse
6. Short skirts
7. Shorts
8. Tube top, halter top or spaghetti straps
9. Tight-fitting clothes that are suggestive
10. See-through clothing
11. Torn or ripped jeans
12. Baggy pants that expose your underwear
13. Hats or caps
14. Shirts with indecent or offensive prints
15. Flip-flops
16. Open-toed shoes like sandals
17. Spike-heeled shoes
18. Distracting colors on your shirt, pants or shoes
19. Too much jewelry or accessories

A Guide for Men
Men should dress conservatively by avoiding patterns and colors that will catch unwanted attention from the other people in the court. You can still color-coordinate your outfit, but pick neutral colors such as white, navy blue, tan, or black.

Learn about the court’s dress code, if there is any, before picking an outfit. A suit and tie is the most acceptable outfit, or you can also pick a sports jacket, dress shirt with no tie, and neutral-colored trousers. If you have tattoos on your arms, you will be advised to cover it with long sleeves. Pick only the most comfortable size you can wear because depending on the procedure, a hearing might take an hour or more.

A Guide for Women
Remember that dressing up for court means you have to look conservative to avoid unwanted attention from the other people who will also attend the hearing. There are other venues where you can show off your personal style, but the court is not one of those places.

Do not overdress when you’re in court, instead pick clothing that are comfortable and are of the right size so that you can keep your focus and concentration during the proceedings.

A neutral-colored blouse with minimal patterns is your best bet. If you have a dress suit or pantsuit, it can be an alternative to the business casual outfit you also wear at the office. For your shoes, pick a pair of dress shoes in neutral colors that have low or mid-heels. Some stylists advise against the use of an all-black outfit to court, especially if you’re representing yourself, because it might send the wrong message to an older conservative judge.

If you have long hair, you might be advised to pull it back from your face to avoid distractions especially if you’re attending for self-representation.