Month: July 2017

Working out at home

Why work out at home? It’s free. Convenient. Time-saving. Excuse-proof. Comfortable. And you can wear whatever you want. A gym rat for decades, I’ve recently discovered the joy of doing my workouts at home. My love affair with working out began when I was a teenager and I’ve a gym membership for as long as I can remember. That is, until a hectic and erratic work schedule meant no more gym and I started dabbling in home workouts.

Credit: Freestocks.org on Flickr

He loves me? No. I love me.

When it comes to women and relationships, there’s nothing more frustrating than to see intelligent, strong, successful, self-sufficient, well-travelled, beautiful women succumb to desperation. Desperation because of a man. Desperate for the love of a man. In extreme cases, it doesn’t even matter which man. Just any man will do.

Credit: Katerina Athanasaki on Flickr

An undervalued key to a strong, lasting relationship

In articles that explore the ‘secret’ to a lasting relationship, I’ve come across kindness, tolerance, acceptance, companionship, respect, and many other wonderful traits couples who’ve been together for a long time have.

But there’s something I haven’t come across yet, and personally, it’s something that has worked for me for the past 15 years. I also see this in Michelle and Barack Obama’s relationship.

It’s the most unromantic-sounding trait, but from a purely rational perspective, it’s almost a no-brainer to understand why this is a powerful glue that can hold a couple together and keep them happy together.

Credit: Astrid Westvang on Flickr

Body positive, but not complacent

There’s a lot of passionate debate online over what body positivity means, but I’d like to focus on one part of the discussion: your view of your body. There will always be judgment coming from all directions, but that’s just noise. The most important ‘judgment’ is the one you make on yourself. In fact, it’s not judgment you need, but acceptance.

Having said that…

Yes, you have to love and accept your body just the way it is. BUT loving your body entails taking care of it by keeping it healthy and active.

Gooey vegan chocolate fudge brownies

There’s such s great feeling of fulfilment when you come across something that simply works. That’s how I felt when I came across red kidney beans (haricot rouge) and used it as the main ingredient in making chocolate fudge. I kid you not, it is delicious. I’ve made this so many times that I’ve lost count, and each time, friends and family fall in love with it. This healthier version of chocolate fudge is one you should definitely try. 

Health & fitness: first undo what you thought you knew

Dieting in the form of restricting food intake or over-exercising has been part of the lives of many people, especially women, since adolescence. After decades of trying, I wondered if achieving that svelte, toned physique was even possible. But now almost two years into my own fitness journey, I’ve found that what seems counterintuitive to what we’ve programmed ourselves to think all these years is what actually works.

Credit: Yukiko Matsuoka on Flickr

The right to think for oneself

In recent months, there have been a lot of media coverage on the proliferation of ‘fake news’ on social media sharing sites such as Facebook. The fact of the matter is, this isn’t a new phenomenon. Fake, misleading, incomplete, misconstrued, or manipulative information have been and will always be around. It’s up to us to take the bull by the horns and decide what we allow to shape our own opinions.

Credit: Arina Borodina on Flickr

Break free from vicious cycles

There’s an image that gives me the creeps — that feeling you get when you think something’s crawling on you, or a torturous itch you can’t scratch.

It’s the mental image of myself standing in the same spot, holding a ball and chain much like the one used in the hammer throw, using centrifugal force to keep the ball and chain in the air, circling on its own orbit. I feel stuck, unable to get out of position for fear of disrupting the circular path, therefore forced to actively keep spinning without leaving the exact same spot.

That’s the image I associate with vicious circles. Even thinking about it makes my body tense up.

Berlin brunch places

While the concept of brunch can apparently “be partly traced back to the upper-class British tradition of hunting luncheons,” it’s the Americans who popularised Sunday brunch, complete with boozy drinks. I’m neither British nor American, but I’ve always enjoyed the idea of having a laid-back morning somewhere between “very early” and “oh no the day is half over” while enjoying a spread of eggs, pancakes, coffee, and juice while musing over life with good friends.

Credit: Steve Sawyer on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevesawyer/90354559/in/photolist-8Z6ge-P8uT7-P8kQ5-5WxosS-o2MMrW-b2JNaF-huYC7K-U62Qeo-5wh4EJ-4z9LEf-V9DNYB-iWejNE-iozhsS-nqegmH-qeekaF-4z9NVY-UJoGgU-4z5xaM-apgM7j-761JzB-5v4Yw1-5yFToJ-eBWbNx-d34hh3-mDXh72-n1jAYB-swb1eV-fP2Brz-4GKBNy-8msyYh-5y1ZbY-byphy4-9LE1CS-egmXRX-qGwHfU-RQ2EBc-pBR2Eo-8kwnWt-P8xG1-WdVgoR-a7XzWj-81JzpW-5T4V7s-ahsP8v-b633GT-5iqA1f-GkBCdy-azTBfD-RN39XN-4z5wrn)

Stereotypes: 5 reasons why you’re on the losing end

It’s a natural response when encountering the new or unknown, be it a person, place or thing—human beings size up whatever is before them, instinctively deciding whether it’s a friend or foe, a threat or an opportunity.

I am a so-called ‘third-culture’ kid. I am one type of Asian with mixed ancestry, raised in another Asian country with a completely different culture, studied in Chinese, British, American, and Canadian schools, speak four languages and later worked and lived in Russia and Europe.