cat-right

Different Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite Ju...

It’s easy to get sucked into junk foods. You can get them anywhere, they’re cheap, they’re delicious, and the sugar can give you the boost of energy you need to coast through a rough day. But they’re called that way for a reason.
They’re high in sodium (which can raise your blood pressure), way more sugar and carbohydrates than what you need every day, and are an abundant source of bad cholesterol (which can put you at a higher risk of heart disease).

It can also be hard to make the switch to healthier whole foods, especially if vegetables make you feel like you’re eating leaves compared to junk food.

But there is good news – there are healthier alternatives to the unhealthy foods you’re used to eating:
• Chips – Instead of your go-to potato crisps that are high in sodium and vegetable oils (which, surprisingly, can be quite uhealthy), try swapping out the potatoes for sweet potato wedges or fried kale chips.

Potato Fries – Potato is a versatile food ingredient, which means it can be cooked in many different ways. Instead of frying potatoes, baking them is a healthier alternative that results in fries that are just as yummy – but without the unhealthy fats that come with frying.

• Cake – Try banana cake instead! While most cakes aren’t really all that healthy, whole wheat banana bread has a lot of fiber and contains important nutrients such as potassium and zinc.
Banana cake is also made with bananas, and is just as delicious while still being a healthy option.

• Ice Cream – There’s nothing quite like this special treat that’s essentially frozen fat and sugar churned a certain way, but frozen yogurt (packed with probiotics that help your digestive system) paired with fresh fruits also works as a sweet, healthier option for beating the summer heat.

• Candy – Swapping out the refined sugar with fresh fruit doesn’t have to feel like a downgrade when you there’s kinds of fruits to choose from. You can even bring them together, add cream, and chill for a few minutes to make a fruit salad.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to feel at all like a culinary downgrade once you know there are a lot of ways you can prepare and season them to your liking. And since the same can be said for fruits (you can preserve them, make them into fruit shakes, etc.), it’s really all about finding the right foods that work for you.

So the next time you get your cravings for some of your favorite foods, keep these healthy alternatives in mind and indulge yourself guilt-free

5 Tips to Appreciate Wine Better (and look like a ...

The best way to sound like a wine expert and impress people (even though you’re new to the wonderful world of wines) is to start working on your finesse.

There are a few simple tips and tricks you can learn to start looking like a pro at dinner parties and other kinds of fancy social gatherings before you know it.

Here’s how you can get started:

1. Know where wine comes from
Most wine is made from grapes, but unlike the ones you usually see in the fruits section of the supermarket, wine grapes much smaller, have seeds, and are mostly darker in color.

Aside from the grape variety, there are also other factors that could determine the type of wine in your glass, such as climate, rainfall, and even soil texture.

“Old world” wines, those from France, Italy, and Spain, tend to focus on environmental factors, while “New World” wines from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States tend to focus more on the grape variety.

2. Think ANP: appearance, nose, palate
If there’s one thing you absolutely need to know, it’s these three that serves as the basic steps you need to savor a glass. Once you’ve poured your wine, place it against a clean, white surface to get a better idea on its color and appearance.

To get a better grasp on the wine’s aroma, give it a good swirl before sniffing, and start with a small sip to take the time to determine its flavor profile. Naturally, the taste will match the smell.

3. Don’t force yourself to speak the language
Even though knowing a little bit about the basics helps a lot, there’s no need to know all the notes and terminology. When you’re just a beginner, as long as wine smells like wine, you can start there.

It’s usually best to start with simpler terms, such as “fruity” or “spicy” when it comes to the taste, or “rich” and “light” when it comes to texture.

4. Right food, right wine
Wine preferences can be subjective since people have different tastes, but it’s still important to know the basic pairings, since having the right wine to go along with your meal can enhance your dining experience greatly.

This simple rule of thumb goes as follows: white wine goes best with light meats, like fish and chicken, while red wine goes best with red meats, such as pork and beef.

5. Check in on your friends’ preferences
And because wine tastes are subjective, it’s all the more important that you check in on what your friends prefer if you do decide to host a wine tasting or offer them any.

The best way you can go about doing this is by paying attention to their preferences the first time, but if you didn’t, you can always make an estimate based on the occasion.

7 Fun Topics to Talk About on a First Date

A first date is a big deal for many. While it is a good idea to just let chemistry do its work, sometimes it takes a little effort to get to that point. That being said, it never hurts to prepare a little to eradicate the pain of awkward silence. Here are seven fun topics to bring up (other than how’s your day) when you’re tongue-tied.

1. Where did you grew up?
Knowing where the person is from, as well as where they lived throughout their life, is a good way to get to know someone. You’ll be surprised to know that you’ve been neighbors all along or at least once in your lives. If not, ask what the place was like living there to keep the conversation flowing.

2. Do you have a favorite place?
Some people like exploring the great outdoors, while others love lazing on the beach. Others like the hustle and bustle of the cities, while some love the peacefulness of the roads less travelled.

3. What do you do for a living?
People can talk about their jobs for hours. Find out what they currently do for a living, as well as their past jobs, and maybe also the reason they left the previous work. You will learn a lot about the person by knowing what keeps them busy.

4. Where did you finish school?
Talking about your college days is always an interesting topic to talk about. Other than sharing about your finished degree, also ask and bring up stories about college friends, the school clubs you joined, fun night outs and your overall college experience. University years are always fun, and you certainly want to highlight your fun side during a first date.

5. What kind of music do you often listen to?
For the music lovers, this is a particularly interesting topic to talk about. Ask about favorite bands and artists, concerts and music festivals you have been to, and so on. It will give you a peek of whether you have the same taste for fun. Plus, you’ll have ideas for your second date!

6. What hobbies do you have?
Learning new interesting things is important when dating a new prospect partner. Your date may have some cool hobbies that can lead to weird and fun conversations, or you can share yours and offer your date to teach them your hobby some time.

7. What do you like to splurge on?
Many people love to go shopping for clothes, others have an impressive music collection, while some enjoy a splendid vacation once a year. This will give you a glimpse of what your date really enjoys doing.

Let’s face it; first dates are like job interviews, except that the both of you are the interviewer and the interviewee. And just like any job interview, you want to make a good impression. A little preparation and some research will more likely make things run smoothly for you.

6 Things You Need to Know When Travelling to Singa...

Singapore is one of the smallest (if not the smallest) country across the globe. But don’t be fooled by its land size; it is one of the most vibrant and exciting city-states in the world.

On a quick glance, Singapore may seem like a collection of high-rise corporate buildings and luxurious hotels, but once you get to explore the place, you will get a sense of how truly exciting the Little Red Dot is and why you need to visit very soon.

1. Extremely Safe Place
Walking your way back to your hostel in a dark and quiet alley is like taking a stroll at the park in broad daylight—it is that safe. If you are planning for a solo trip, Singapore is one of the safest place in the world to visit.

2. Cheap Food
In some aspects, Singapore can be quite costly. But if you are looking for gastronomical experience, the Merlion City is oozing with cheap and authentic eats. The hawker centres are where you can find cheap and delicious local treats.

3. Multi-Cultural City
Singapore is a melting pot of cultures. The mix of locals and expats from neighboring countries creates a colorful fusion of a variety of culture, experiences and food.

4. The King of All Fruits
Durian, the king of all fruits, is eaten often here. Sounds like a boring fact, but wait until you experience the fruit yourself. Try to smell it. Yes, indeed, it stinks a lot; which probably leave you wondering why people, especially the locals, love it. The trick is to first try it before the fruit gets too ripe. But if you’re an avid durian fan, you’d probably don’t mind picking the ripest one in the bunch.

5. The Best Airport in the World
This is a well-known fact about Singapore—Changi Airport is hands-down one of the best airports in the world. There is so much to do and see in this airport, making it a great place to have transit in.

6. Beaches are Scarce
Singapore doesn’t really have fascinating beaches, but they have breathtaking infinity pools. That being said, there are still a number of decent beaches in Singapore, though they aren’t as glorious as the beaches in Bali, they are still great hangout place for a weekend with friends.

7. Summer Weather All-Year Round
The weather in Singapore is quite consistently warm all-year round. So, if you are planning to stay in one of its luxury hotels with pool in it, like the Marina Bay Sands with a magnificent infinity pool that boasts a mesmerizing view of the Singapore skyline, you sure have a lot of time for a dip and swim.

Singapore is a popular tourist destination for all the good reasons. Let this list be your little guide to appreciate this city in the best possible way.

Pros (and Cons) of Online Dating

OkCupid, Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, and a whole lot of dating apps and sites are already being used in Singapore. The question is simple, are they really reliable?

1. Quick and convenient
One of the best things about online dating is that it is quick and easy. You can easily disregard people you don’t match with without, for example, having to spend any time or money on a coffee date. You can save some time and maybe save yourself from the embarrassing moment of getting turned down on the first date.

Con: No second chances
The other person might already be doing a hobby that you want to try out, or you just observe certain things about him/her that is mysteriously appealing in person. You can only really see this if you see each other face-to-face.

2. Plenty of choices
‘There’s plenty of fish in the sea’ it is! Dating online means you get exposed to a diverse set of people who may share the same interests with you. You’ll never run out of choices because dating online means you’re not only limited to the people of your place, but also in other places, cities, even other countries.

Con: A little too many choices
It can be a hassle to sift through people who don’t interest you only to find “the one/s” an hour later. Also, there are others who incidentally use multiple dating sites and apps at once for whatever reason – this definitely adds to the stress.

3. It is fun
Somehow, you could say that online dating is meant to be a fun approach to romance. You get to learn about a person’s culture, language, likes and dislikes, all by simply talking to them online. When it comes to dating apps, for some reason, people have a lot of fun swiping left or right (left: not interested & right: interested, although this can change depending on the app).

Con: You might get disappointed
It may be fun before you meet each other in person, but once that happens, prepare for the worst (well not always if you’re lucky). You might get disappointed because the other person isn’t the same as he/she is online. For instance, a guy or girl might be talkative and funny on chat, but plainly the opposite in person.

4. Compatibility
Some dating sites and apps start with a personality test when you sign up. You put down your hobbies, likes and dislikes, and all that information. This is then what the site uses to match you with others whom you might be interested in. Plus, some people also put descriptions on their profile, which can tell more about themselves making it easier for others to see if they can be suitable partners.

Con: People lie
It’s very easy to fool others on the internet. There are people who use fake pictures, lie about their physical appearance, maybe even pull scams. This is why it’s not entirely reliable and safe when meeting someone online.

Owning Less: Advantages of Being Minimalistic

Minimalism is slowly gaining track partly through the Facebook group, Minimalism in Singapore. But what is it exactly?

Being minimalistic allows you to get rid of what things you don’t need and allow you to focus on the more important ones. But, some people may think it stops there – decluttering and getting rid of unessential things. No! There’s more to it than that, more opportunities, and definitely more benefits.

You spend less
It’s very simple: you buy less stuff, you save more money! When you are able to distinguish between your wants and needs, you will spend considerably less money. It’s unnecessary to buy the new model of a smartphone if the one you have is still working properly. Consequently, having that extra money allows for financial freedom. You can use it for learning or gaining new experiences (e.g. traveling) rather than using the money on temporary things.

Lower stress
Decluttering can have a very therapeutic effect. When you have a desk full of documents and files, pens and pencils lying around, and pieces of used papers everywhere around you, this will only add to more stress. Decluttering and organizing your work desk, room, or office will have mirrored effects on your mind. Being in a clean, organized environment invites a calm and peaceful mind that will definitely help reduce stress.

You get to focus on the important things
Again, recognizing your needs from your wants – the essentials vs. mere fancies, is an attribute that comes with minimalism. It guides you to see the value of the things you already have instead of the satisfaction from having more (yet unnecessary) things. This also teaches you to recognize the things that you really need in your life, and avoid the unimportant stuff that may hold you down.

Makes cleaning a lot easier
Because you have less things, it’s also easier to go around and clean. You’ll have an easier time organizing your things and cleaning because, well, you don’t have unnecessary stuff. Plus, having fewer things in your house or office means you spend less time cleaning and more time relaxing or accomplishing the more important things you should be doing for the day.

Also helps you find things easier
In addition to making cleaning easier, you’ll also be able to find stuff faster. You won’t have to dive in heaps of papers to find an important document you’re looking for if you keep things small, clean, and organized. Having less means it is easier to keep things arranged. As a result, you’ll know where things are and save time looking for them.

Helps you improve your health
In summary, being minimalistic is a step towards being better and healthier versions of ourselves. For one, when we have less things to clean or have less to worry about, we’ll have opportunities to exercise, learn new things, and even relax. In general, we have more time to take care of our mental, physical, and emotional health.

5 Signs that Say You’re Shaving Wrong

While it seems that keeping your facial hair to a minimum seems simple enough, shaving is actually more complicated than it seems – and there’s a good chance that you’re doing it wrong. Here are five signs that tell you that you are:

1. You’re rushing your shave.

Shaving should take at least five minutes, and a good shave should take more than that as you make sure that every inch of your face that would sport facial hair is free. Even most professional shaves in barber shops would take between twelve and twenty-five, which includes the time for preparation, shaving, and the after-shave.

2. You’re shaving before showering.

Ideally, your skin’s pores should be opened up and yourfacial hair should already be moist before you start taking the blade to make yourface’s skin as smooth as possible. This makes shaving solutions an importantpart of your kit: they help to moisturize, lubricate, and soften your facialhair and skin. 

3. You’re using a dull blade.

Contrary to what you think, the sharper your blade is, the safer and better your shave will be. What makes dull blades dangerous to use is because of the microscopic burrs that develop on the edge of the blade – while they may be too small to be seen by the naked eye, they can make shaving all the more difficult and painful.

If your razor comes with a cap, don’t throw it away. Having caps on your razors allow the blades to last longer as they will come in contact with the elements less frequently.

4. You’re not sure whether you should shave along or against the grain.

When it comes to shaving, considering the grain is really important – hair grows in all directions, and your facial hair can grow in multiple grains. Get a feel of how your beard/mustache grows by actually taking your fingers and running them down your facial hair.

You will know when you’re going against the grain when you feel a little resistance against your fingers and it feels prickly and weird. Depending on the type of razor and the grain of your face, you may have to go against the grain for a closer shave.

You should also use short strokes when you’re shaving.Not only will this allow you to account for the multiple grains on your face,but using long strokes when shaving could result in cuts that make theexperience more painful. 

5. Your aftershave is really harsh (and it stings).

Alcohol-based aftershaves are not only painful, and you don’t even need an aftershave in the first place. What you do need to do is to keep your facial skin smooth, which a simple moisturizer is suited to quite nicely.

How to Keep Your Shoes Looking Like New All the Ti...

Your shoes can do much more than enhance your look ata party or wherever you go – much like your outward appearance, it’s aninvestment that will stick around for a long time and will keep you from havingto buy new pairs on a regular basis.

Polish leather shoes frequently.

As much as leather shoes can last you forever, they also need to be taken care of a lot. You can get them to do this by investment in a high quality shoe polish for your leather shoes.

When choosing to invest in suede shoes, be sure to invest in a spray that’s capable of resisting both sand, water, and mud. Be sure to test the spray before using it to know that you get what you’re paying for.

Remember to take brushes over sponges when cleaningyour shoes – you’ll never know what could be in them, and they might end updamaging your investment instead. As much as possible, use shoe polish thatdoesn’t use a sponge-tip applicator.

Keep your shoes dry as much as possible.

Even if your shoes are built to withstand getting wet, keeping them dry as long as possible is perhaps one of the best ways to extend their life span. One way to get them to dry as fast as possible after a hard rain is to stuff them with newspaper.

What you shouldn’t do when your shoes get wet is to place them near somewhere really hot or use a blow dryer on them, as it could cause your shoes to become cracked and brittle. This is especially true when it comes to leather.

Investing in a waterproof protector will also go a long way when it comes to keeping your shoes’ surfaces from getting wet in the rain.

Have an added layer of rubber to your shoes.

Dress shoes can benefit a lot from having an addedlayer of rubber soles on the bottom – not only will they protect the actualsole from getting worn, but they are also much cheaper to replace and give youthe extra traction you need with your footing.

Allow your boat shoes to embrace the elements.

There are some exceptions to maintaining your shoes – some types of shoes have to take on the dirt and be salt-washed and faded, such as boat shoes. Sometimes, the best way to keep your shoes in peak condition is by allowing them to embrace the elements.  

You should still avoid introducing the elements to your shoes too much as they can still be worn down. One of the many ways you can start is by not dragging your feet to avoid damaging the soles.