f Five Hundred & Seventeen; Look good, feel good!


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Five Hundred & Seventeen; Look good, feel good!

February 1, 2013 /


Nothing beats being able to look AND feel healthy.
Don't you think so?!

I have been receiving questions all these while, on how to stay slim..
Perhaps you will find what I say cliche, but I will still tell you,
there are really no shortcuts to keeping fit & staying healthy.
It all goes back to two basic things:

1. Balanced diet
2. E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E!

Crash diets or skipping of meals should NEVER be the options for you.
(Sorry I know I can get pretty naggy sometimes.. but okay, it's for your own goooooooood. :D)

Alrighty, so today, let me share with you some tips on achieving a healthy lifestyle.
New resolution for 2013 (and all the other years ahead)?
Okay?? Deal!

Firstly, let's talk about balanced diet.

1. Drink plenty of water
This is especially important if you want your skin to look moist and supple!
8 glass of water? Nah! 
Just drink PLAIN water as and when you can, 
except right before you sleep. 
Unless you want to wake up looking like a puffer fish from water retention ;P
Cut down on sweetened drinks 
(soft drinks, bubble tea...... guilty as charged for bubble tea. 
but I have already been cutting down on them!).
Yes, sweetened drinks taste good and I know how tempting they may be at times,
but bear in mind, they also add on unnecessary calories to your diet!
So yes, the best drink to quench your thirst is... Plain water.

Did you know?
Water is vital to numerous functions in our bodies such as:

-Digestion, absorption and transportation of nutrients to cells
-Removal and excretion of waste products
-Lubrication for your joints
- Regulation of body temperature

2. Fruits AND Vegetables

Aim to eat at least 2 servings of fruits and 2 servings of vegetables daily!
For best nourishment and skin protection, 
focus on colourful produce, citrus fruit and green leafy vegetables.

I love fruits especially! 
Whenever I feel hungry, I'll try to snack on fruits instead. 
A relatively healthier option, and they ALWAYS help to satisfy my sweet tooth.
I am unable to list my favourite fruit because... 
I really love almost all of them! :D

One point to note: 
some fruits are relatively higher in sugar content (e.g. Mango, Durian), 
so if you are looking at reducing your sugar consumption, 
then you have to cut down on these high sugar content fruits too!

3. Carbohydrate, Protein, Calcium, Iron, Healthy fats Oils

Carbohydrate: We DO need carbs for the body and brain to function.
The availability of carbohydrate energy prevents the body 
from breaking down muscle tissue for fuel.
Yes, you can go for low-carb if you want to 

but i still think you should not abstain from it totally. 
Go for wholemeal bread, oats, beehoon, 
brown rice (helps you to stay full for a longer period of time!) 
instead of white rice, white bread, yellow noodles!

Protein: It helps to repair and maintain the body.
No ladies, you are not going become muscular 
just by having an adequate amount of protein intake!
You NEED protein to maintain and protect your body. 
Eggs, fish, meat, nuts, beans are all good sources of protein. 
Well, for a healthier option, you can go for the leaner meat and not the fatty ones! 
Oh yes, remove the skin too!

Calcium: Important in strengthening your bones and teeth
Dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. 
By the way, yogurt is my another favourite snack that I like to indulge in. 
It's a healthier option as compared to ice-cream with high sugar content!

Healthy fats and oils: Yes, you do need them for normal growth and good health!!
Fat helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins, especially vitamin A, 
which helps maintain good skin. 
The key point here, is choosing the right type of fats and taking in the right amount.

Unsaturated essential fats found in fatty fish 
like salmon, tuna and mackerel as well as
in almonds, walnuts and flax seeds, 
play a critical role in building up the cell walls and
maintaining good skin texture. 
Whenever you feel like snacking, 
you can also choose to have a handful of baked nuts 
(not fried/salted/or sweetened ones!) 
for some energy boost!
I love salmon, 
and you should know by now that salmon is really rich in Omega 3.
There are too many benefits of Omega 3: 
It helps to prevent heart disease and it helps to lock moisture into skin cells, 
encouraging the production of strong collagen and elastin fibers, 
which aids in having youthful looking skin!

In a nutshell, have a balanced diet!!
You need all the nutrients for your body to function. 
Go for healthier cooking methods, 
like steaming and stir-frying (use olive oil, sunflower/canola oil) 
and cut down on fried food (not only are they bad for your heart and weight, 
they are not very friendly for your skin too!)
Always try not to skip breakfast!!!
Studies have shown that people who have breakfast in the morning 
can control their diet better. 
Breakfast gives you the energy boost to keep you going for the day!
Do not skip meals. Go for more meals, less amount each time.
Last but not least, never deprive yourself from your favourite (unhealthy) food.
You can still indulge in them say, twice or thrice a month?
The key point here: Moderate.
Whatever you eat, have them in moderate amount! :)
I still go for food-hunting quite often, but on normal days,
I'll choose to go for healthier/lighter meals like fish soup/yong tau foo soup.
If I overeat on one of the days, 

I'll just eat healthier the next few days to make up for it!

I've talked (alot) about the input, now let's talk about the output i.e exercise!

You can control your diet and have a balanced diet, 
but you will still not be in your best condition if you do not exercise at all!
A healthy adult is recommended to engage in 150 minutes 
of moderate-intensity aerobic activity in a week. 
150 minutes out of 10080 minutes a week, 
that is definitely not too much to ask for!!

No worries! 
Just start with something simple and enjoyable first! 
Keep your goals simple
and realistic, this will help you to stay focused and motivated.
For instance, brisk-walking for 15-20 minutes in the park. 
Enjoy the scenery and fresh air at the same time! 
This helps you to relax your body, mind and soul, 
especially after a long day in school/at work.

Once you are more comfortable and ready, go for jogs! 
I love jogging because to me, 
it is really therapeutic and it helps me to clear my mind 
whenever I feel troubled or stress. 
Start with a shorter route, at your comfortable pace; 
and after some time, you can progress to longer jogs.
Tips: If you wish to burn fats, go for really slow jogs for more than 30 minutes ;)

As for myself, because I have been a netballer since primary 4,
I have been very involved in sports since then.
I took a break from my netball club 1+ year ago,
but I still exercise 3-4 times a week,
by going for long jogs & heading to the gym for strength training to tone myself up.
I love adrenaline rush & the feeling of sweat when I exercise.
Whenever I feel stressed/troubled, 
a long run always never fail in helping me to clear my mind
& make me feel instantly better.

If time is of a concern to you, 
you can always do your exercises at home!
Stretching, push-ups, dips can be done with your sofa, 

squats can be done against the wall,
abs training such as leg raises, crunches & 
sit-ups can be done as well,
you can even lift weights by filling up a 1.5L bottle with water/sand!
Do them daily when during commercial breaks, 

& you will definitely see the improvement!!

I've seriously talked quite a lot,
but I do hope you found what I mentioned useful!
You can find more information on all these health related topics 

at the newly revamped Breathe.sg website! 
It has many cool articles and tips and tricks to maintain your overall wellbeing!

In the website, you will also notice this big banner about CLICK.
Have you seen this poster almost everywhere?

As I was present at the bloggers' showcase,
I was lucky to have watched the first 7 episodes of the web drama – CLICK.
In 3 words, I can sum it up: I'm loving it (alot)! 
okay 4 words :D
I really urge all of you to catch this exciting web drama!!
The characters in the show are so relatable, 

& the issue/problems they faced are exactly 
what we may experience/experienced at some point of our lives.
E.g peer pressure, following your dreams, binge-drinking.

Each episode is approximately 3 minutes,
& is launched every Tuesday & Friday, 
6pm on Breathe.sg's Facebook Page.
Psst, I actually had a small appearance in this web drama,
&... I will appear in episode 3 :D
So........ check it out okay!!!

Make sure you eat a variety of foods,
--Sasha Cohen

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