All posts filed under: Health & Well-Being

My Morning Routine

I’ve always been a morning person, so mornings are my favorite part of day. It’s when I feel most active and alert, in anticipation of the day ahead. Back in school, my mornings used to be hectic and I’d be running around the house scrambling, grabbing things as I went, and eating breakfast on the go. But now that I operate on my own schedule, I ease into my mornings with calm. I get to do the things I want and need to do, which mostly involves taking care of myself, R, and our home. I take comfort in my morning routine as it helps set the tone for the rest of my day which I try to make the most of, everyday. So here’s what my current typical morning routine is like. I wake up: typically before 7. The first thing I do is drink a tall glass of water before emptying out my loaded bladder and brushing my teeth. I feel: energized and ready to start the day! The sun is up but …

Dental Musings

When it comes to electronics, I live by one simple philosophy: I have what I use and use what I have. On top of the unnecessary spending, I absolutely hate accumulating things in the name of accumulating things. With the exception of shoes, maybe. Ha! But even then I’d make sure to get plenty of wear out of them instead of just having them around. The same thinking applies to my dental care. I’ve used traditional toothbrushes all my life, up until about a couple of years ago. When my parents and brother started using the electric brush, they suggested I do the same, telling me that it made such a difference. I wasn’t convinced. The traditional brush has worked for me all this time, and I didn’t see the point in spending the extra money for a simple tool to clean my teeth. Plus I really didn’t mind the arm workout. It wasn’t until my parents bought me an extra one and insisted I use it that I finally gave it a try. Talk …

10 Superfoods to Eat Today

Superfoods are foods high in nutrients and phytochemicals, with few negative properties such as artificial ingredients, saturated fats, and other chemical additives. Although the term “superfoods” has been contested to be a purely marketing gimmick, I can’t say that I prefer loading up on vitamins to these natural foods. All or most of the foods listed below, which we have highlighted to be particularly good for women in the 20s and 30s, are readily available at your local grocery stores, and perhaps in your fridge. I’ve also included delicious serving ideas to pair with each superfood. Start and end your day right for a happier and healthier body! APPLES Apples are rich in fiber, a great food to help us feel satiated, giving our body the necessary dose of pectin, a soluble fiber believed to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes. Serving suggestions: eat with peanut butter, juice with other fruits (I like apples with carrots), or consume as is. TOMATOES Loaded with the antioxidant lycopene (the …

Drugs: to Take or Not to Take?

It seems like these days many are feeling the bite of dengue fever. If not us, our neighbors are catching it. And we are sitting at home fearing we’ll be next. This malady, a tropical household disease not foreign to those of us living in Indonesia, is one of the reasons for round-the-clock doctor appointments and expeditious drug dispatch. It almost feels like we are experiencing an alien phenomenon unheard of before. Families and communities are panicking, rushing to equip their homes with fogging machines and pesticides for mosquito control. All this precaution and alarm is understandable and justifiable, except when it comes to the pile of pills we are consuming, or those the doctor makes us believe we need to consume. I accompanied my boyfriend Kyle, who tested positive for NS1, to the doctor yesterday. His helper, Ben, who’s had the virus for about a week now and was almost fully recovered, also came along to get checked. The clinic, a private practice with an in-house pharmacy, is located in West Jakarta. We signed …

10 Tips for a Refreshing and Rejuvenating Sleep

I love sleep. I love sleep so much that I refused to come out of my mother’s womb. My twin had to be born first because I was still sleeping. I kept hitting the snooze button. That’s what happens when it’s warm and cozy and comfortable. I was born 51 minutes later. When I was a shift worker in my early twenties and doing back-to-back evening, morning, and evening shifts, I would count down the hours until I could go back to sleep as soon as I woke up. It was during this time in my life that I was diagnosed with a chronic illness with fatigue being the the overarching symptom. My sleeping patters were irregular, I was tired allthe time, and my mood was stuck on irritable. If you’re thinking, that’s me too, know that you can have a refreshing and rejuvenating sleep just by making a few simple lifestyle changes. There are many restorative processes that take place when we are sleeping. Ideally, we should be aiming for around eight hours of shut-eye every night. The …

How to be A Morning Person (When You’re Not)

If Neil Sedaka sings, “breaking up is hard to do,” many of us would say waking up (early) is also hard to do. But it doesn’t have to be. Being a morning person isn’t necessarily something you are born or not born with. Like many things, it can be learned, practiced, and mastered over time. What better way to start the day than being fresh and awake in the morning? Donuts, maybe. Here’s that donut. HOW TO BE A MORNING PERSON (WHEN YOU’RE NOT) 1. Baby steps. If you’re not a morning person to begin with, you’re not going to suddenly spring out of bed at 6 am (just because you are reading this article. But kudos to you if you do!). Make gradual changes as you go along. If you are used to waking up at 9, set your alarm for 8.45. The next day, set it for 8.30. The following day, 8.15. And so on. You get it. Do this until you have reached your desired wake-up time. 2. Strategically position your alarm clock. Place your …

Healthy Snacking Tips and Tricks

Most of us readily accept a snack offer, but the rest of us, meek and timid, experience a universal sense of guilt at the idea of consuming extra calories. We are here to say that there is nothing wrong in nibbling on something between meals. In fact, snacking is one way to satisfy your nutrient requirements and healthy snacking can offer you a whole lot of benefits! For example, having a glass of milk amounts to 50% of your calcium requirement and crunching on a carrot fulfills your vitamin A requirement for the day. Snacking also helps in keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day, preventing you from feeling too hungry and overeating during meals. If you sometimes find your energy level drop between meals, keeping your blood sugar level stable will help you feel energized and awake throughout the day. However, remember that snacks will add to your total calorie intake. Here’s a tip. Do not judge calories by their size. Those mini-sized treats may not be as mini in calories as they seem. In snacking, a little may actually hurt. Did you know that just by consuming …

Tips for Eating Out the Healthy Way

Dining out has become most everyone’s favorite pastime. Being a big part of the everyday lifestyle, it’s even become a necessity for some. This is particularly true here in Jakarta, where people are always on the lookout for all things novel and adventurous, and new restaurants offering a variety of cuisine types are sprouting in every corner, rendering our options endless. While dining out is a great way to unwind, meet new people, and engage in conversations, studies have shown that the more people you dine with, the more food and drinks you will consume. Worry not, I am not here to counsel you to abdicate dining out. But here are some tips on how you can continue to enjoy your dining experiences in a smarter (healthier) way. FRENCH CUISINE French food used to be notorious for being high in fat thanks to the French love of butter (think Julia Child). Luckily, the nouvelle cuisine has introduced a lighter, more delicate method of cooking. Now, before going on those fancy dinner dates, remember these few tips: DO’S French bread with olive oil dipping sauce Bordelaise or other wine-based sauces Have your …

The Xtendbarre Experience

My thighs shook and my glutes burned. I knew my feet would give way if I let myself relax a little. The wooden floor and the barre glistened with my perspiration. I lifted my heels higher and held the moist barre tighter. The somewhat distant voice told me to squat a little lower, and to feel the burn a little longer. “Just hold on for 8 more pulses and we’re done.” I kept thinking. But deep down I knew it was never going to be just 8 more. I didn’t stop. Everyone else in the spacious studio hung on. A peculiar sense of unity manifested in the room as each second trickled by. The beat of the music accompanied our rhythmic movements, every single count and every single burn. When it came to that last bow to signal the end of the ordeal, exhilaration took over. I was overcome with an emotion akin to that of winning: a giddy sense of euphoria and gratification after conquering a tumultuous challenge. Everyone joyously engaged in a mini celebratory exchange …

Studio 360 Jakarta

Last week, I sat down with the inspiring ladies behind Studio 360, a pioneer in the fitness industry for introducing xtendbarre to the masses in Jakarta. Bella, Bianca and Jessica could not be more different. Bella is the science girl and currently dabbles in glass manufacturing; Bianca studied fashion merchandising, and is a public representative for a prominent designer in Jakarta; and Jessica is the newly wed finance whiz. What they all have in common is a passion for fitness and a brilliant, business-savvy mind. They saw an opportunity in the dated and backward fitness industry in Jakarta, and they filled a void.  Studio 360’s vision is to provide a one-stop studio that engages its members in fun and dynamic workouts and at the same time, encouraging its members to develop a passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle. With this vision in mind, they outsourced an xtendbarre expert, hired instructors, got certified, and got the ball rolling. Fast. They decided on Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) as their first location. A smart choice, in my opinion. While …