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How to Deal With Sugar Cravings While on a Diet

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It’s easy to forget that sugar can cause different health problems in the long run because it tastes good. So when you decide to cut down on your intake, you’ll find that these cravings can flare up.

But the good news is that you can make a compromise between your decision to live healthy and your penchant for the good stuff.

Here’s how you can keep your sweet tooth satisfied while still living a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Balance your blood sugar

Your blood sugar is important – it’s okay to have a small candy bar or cookie when you’re cutting down to live a healthier lifestyle. It also lets you steer clear from the feeling of being denied the things you love, which lets you steer clear of guilt-eating.

The key is not to not consume sugar altogether, but to balance the amount of sugar in your bloodstream.

  • Eat more fresh fruits

With your busy schedule, there’s a good chance that you’re not eating enough of them as you should.

You just can’t go wrong with fresh fruits. They’re naturally sweet and healthy at the same time, with the fiber and nutrients your body needs to clear out toxins and perform its daily functions normally. You should also stock up on nuts, seeds, and dried fruits as a trail snack.

  • Hydrate

Water is more important than you think – it improves digestion, fuels cells, and transports neurochemical signals throughout the body. It even enhances kidney function and helps you feel energized throughout the day.

Drinking water before meals also helps you feel more full, which is a great trick to keep yourself from overeating.

  • Get enough sleep

“Ghrelin”, which is known as the body’s “hunger hormone”, is produced more when you don’t get enough sleep. This is because your body tries to compensate for the lack of sleep with easily accessible energy from junk foods that are rich in sugar.

These cravings usually disappear once you’ve had enough sleep – between seven and eight hours in a night.

  • Get up and get moving

The best way to get your mind off an intense craving is to do something that will actually get you to stop thinking about it. So when the sugar craving hits, just walk away. Take a hike and do something that will give you a change of pace or scenery.

Even something as simple as a quick jog down the block or heading over to your local gym for a short workout session can put your mind off your cravings – and help you lose weight to boot!

5 Things You Should Never Do During a Power Outage

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When the power goes out, there’ll be no more AC. And if the outage lasts longer, there goes your perishables in the fridge.

Power interruptions causes more than just inconvenience—they can also be dangerous. The next time it goes dark, keep your home and family safe by avoiding these mistakes.

  1. Touching downed wires

It may be obvious, but people forget that any dangling or downer power line may still be ‘live,’ even if it doesn’t look like it is. Even if these lines are not sparking, they could be energized and still very dangerous. Keep a minimum distance of 30 feet from utility lines and downed wire. If the ground is wet, stay at least 60 feet away.

  • Using candles

You can find so many cheap, battery-powered flashlights and LED lights that can run for hours, so there is really no excuse for using candles, which can be a potential cause of fire. Buy yourself one of these battery-powered lights and save the candles for romantic dinners. If you must use a candle, look for stubby ones that will not tip over and place it in a lantern.

  • Opening the freezer or fridge

During a power outage, you want to preserve the coldness of the fridge as much as possible. Therefore, opening it too often will let the cold out, which can potentially spoil the food inside. Keep the freezer full and avoid opening it frequently, and it will stay cold and frozen for 48 hours even without power.

  • Forgetting to unplug electronics

It is easy to forget to unplug during a blackout. But if you do not turn off electronics and appliances during an outage, surges and spikes that happen when the power goes back on can potentially damage them. The moment the power goes out, unplug everything. Just leave one light on, so you know when the power comes back.

  • Putting the generator in the garage

Hopefully, you already know that generators give off toxic carbon monoxide, so make sure to keep it at safe distance form your home. But even if you store it in your garage with the garage door open, the space is still too close to your house. As recommended, keep it at least 20 feet from your house to avoid inhaling the fumes. It may be colorless and odorless, but it does not take long for someone to succumb to the poisoning.  

Generally, it is easy to cope with a power outage. However, if it lasts longer than a few minutes, it can cause some serious problems. It is always better to be ready by knowing what to do and what NOT to do during these unexpected circumstances.

5 Mature Reasons to Love Your Enemies

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Perhaps, every person in this planet has enemies. Sometimes, we cause conflict with these people because of differences in opinions and personalities, or sometimes it just happens that people hate us (or we hate them) for no clear reason.

But regardless how you got your enemies, consider the following reasons on why it’s a smart idea to not be bothered by these people and even foster a good relationship with them.

  1. Their negative comments will help you improve

Enemies don’t have so much good things to say about you. However, even if they talk about you out of hatred, some of the things they say could be true. Whenever you hear an enemy speak of something bad about you and you know in yourself it’s true, take it as an opportunity to improve and encourage personal growth.

  • They help practice anger management

To be honest, our enemies are the best people to teach us anger management and self-restraint. Although it’s true that enemies always have effortless ways to rile us up, this is exactly what helps us control our emotions better. After all, it isn’t good to stay angry at someone forever, and oftentimes this anger is what leaves us feeling guilty afterwards.

  • They serve as an opportunity for healthy competition

You may not be aware of it, but your enemies are great rivals that can help you harness the competitor in you. They give you the motivation to compete and this helps a lot in achieving your goals in life. However, while you’re on it, it’s important to remember not to let hunger for victory dominate in you, which can cause harm to yourself and to your morals.

  • They give you the chance to be optimistic

In the midst of negativity, a speck of positivity always shines through. Sometimes, just the thought of having enemies will help you focus on the positive things in life. Oftentimes, when we’re so concerned of what our enemies might think of us, we take for granted what really matters to us. However, having enemies also gives you the chance to step back and see the picture in a larger perspective, making us see the good things (and people) around you.

  • You deserve peace of mind

Enemies are toxic to your emotional and mental health. Since we all want to live a prosperous and peaceful life, leave the extra baggage behind. Hate is never good, so try to get rid of it. You’ve worked hard to where you are now and you know you’re not causing harm to anyone, so forget the haters and enjoy the perks of your heavy labor without carrying emotional baggage around.

Be mature enough to be the first one to let go. If you can make friends with your enemies, the better. But if you can’t, at least don’t feel the same hate and poison yourself with anger like how these people see and treat you.

Reasons You Should Try Drums

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The drum scene in Singapore is overall thriving and very active because of the promotion of arts. There are also a lot more drum students and teachers because of the many music schools. But drumming, more than the musical aspect, can really give us many advantages and benefits- more than you would expect.

Can be another form of exercise

Running primarily engages the legs and lower body, and rowing mostly involves the upper body. But using drum kit requires you to utilize both facets of the body. When played with enough intensity, drumming can be a great exercise for the whole body. Even when just playing 30 minutes of hand drums, you can already burn 200-300 calories. 

Stress reliever

Having an extremely stressful day and you just want to hit something? Let it all go with the sticks and the drum kit. The feel of vibrations that you get from the impact of the sticks and the drums can leave a meditative effect hence lowering blood pressure and reducing stress hormones. It’s also a fun physical activity that can divert our attention from all the stress.

Improves your coordination

As said earlier, drumming requires the use of both our lower and upper bodies. Adding to the difficulty, both arms and legs are engaged in different movements at the same time. This is why playing the drums can be difficult at first. But as you get better, you will notice that even the coordination between your eyes and limbs are improving.

Helps the brain

In most of our daily activities, only one or a few parts of our brain is used. But playing the drums employ different parts of the brain that usually isn’t utilized in other activities. In addition, reading the notes, checking the rhythm, and putting it all in practice requires an intense and well-organized train of thought. This is said to benefit and increase our IQ.

Helps you build confidence

Drummers have the ability to distinguish complex tasks, like the ones mentioned above, and manage them and do them with ease. This contributes to developing confidence, even with other aspects of life. You may think that guitarists are always on the spotlight, but there are also times when drummers shine.

A very social activity

Drummers like most musicians are always engaged in social interactions. You can be a part of one band or go around joining different bands and meeting new people. Also, because there are music schools in Singapore like Yamaha Music School, Academy of Rock, and Trinity Music School among the many, you have opportunities to learn and grow with others.

Makes you a better musician

The drums are basically the backbone of music. Drums are reliable for the rhythm and without it all other instruments will not have a basis for timing and melody. Knowledge of the drums, both theoretical and practical, can help you recognize rhythm easier and maybe even help you in producing your own music.

Jogging: Morning or evening?

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Many people choose to take a run either in the morning or the evening. Obviously, there are differences between both and many would argue for either side. But either way is still better than having no exercise at all. So here are some pros and cons of running on either time of the day.



It could be safer to run in the morning because if you’re running by the road, for example, you are more visible to approaching vehicles hence lowering the chance of getting an accident. Plus, you might pass through a dark alley at night and encounter a robber. Even with the low crime rates in Singapore, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Muscle development

Testosterone, the hormone liable for muscle building and development, is highest mid-morning. So if your trying to develop quads and calf muscles while jogging, it’s best to do it mid-morning when there is an increase of testosterone in the body.  


To some, a jog in the morning can be a great energy booster to start the day. It can help improve mental strength because you’ll have to fight that “I don’t want to get up yet” feeling. Jogging before any other major activity for the day could also prompt us to make healthier choices on food throughout the day.

A disadvantage of jogging though, especially early in the morning, is that your body temperature is still low and that you don’t have enough nutrients from food yet (if you didn’t have breakfast). In the morning, naturally the body’s temperature is still cold therefore the muscles are still tight. Exercising in this condition could give you a risk of injury. 


The body is warmed up

The body, temperature-wise, is at its top condition later in the day. This means that because the muscles are warmed up, you’ll have an easier run and won’t have to worry too much about injuries. The activities you do throughout the day could also contribute to this.

Avoid the heat

One of the reasons some run in the evenings is to avoid the heat, especially in Singapore where it’s almost always hot and humid. Moreover, you get to enjoy a cool breeze late in the afternoon and maybe even catch a scenic sunset.

Stress relief

Jogging in the evening gives you the chance to unwind and relieve the stress you’ve built up from work. Jogging, like other forms of physical exercise, can also promote a meditative state because of the increased release of endorphins that we get. This, as a result, improves our mood and helps us feel better.

The problem with running in the evening though, is that you might be too tired from your day that you won’t be able to do it anymore. The idea of exercising after an exhausting day at work can be too unmotivating. In addition, like what was said earlier, there could be issues regarding safety you should consider.

How to Paint Your Nails Any Color You Want in 5 Easy Steps

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Just like a painting, your fingernails are a canvas that lets express your mood and personality. But because there are so many colors to choose from, you can sometimes forget that painting your nails without making a mess can be a little tricky.

But with a little time and patience, you can paint your nails in any color you want. All you need to do is follow these five simple steps:

1. Start with your supplies.

Your best bet in terms of nail polish is to choose a color that matches your mood and outfit. Make sure that the nail polish you have isn’t too old, as old nail polish can be really hard to apply.

If you do have to work with old nail polish, add a few drops of acetone to the bottle and shake to mix the bottle to mix. Special polish thinners from popular brands can also work for this purpose.

You should also take this time to get the other supplies(cotton balls, towel, Q-tips, nail buffer, nail file, polish remover, nailclippers, etc.) that you will need to paint your nails properly.

2. Push back your cuticles.

These little pieces of skin at the bottom of each nail can easily make your polish look messy, but are quite easy to push back with a cuticle stick once you’ve soaked your nails in warm water.

Warming up also goes for your nail polish bottle by rolling it in your palms for about thirty seconds. This allows the contents of the bottle to mix evenly without forming bubbles. 

3. Start applying the polish!

Start by applying a clear base coat to give your polish a surface to stick to and help the color last longer. Be sure to wait until this coat has fully dried before adding on the colored polish. Once the clear base coat has dried, position the brush just at the bottom of your nail and allow a drop of paint to fall on this exact spot and pool towards the rest of the nail.

The three-striped method is arguably the cleanest andeasiest way to paint your nails, and you can do this by dipping the brush inthe drop of color polish at the bottom and working your way up the nail in asstraight a line as possible.

4. Add the top polish coat.

Once the polish is painted on, allow it to dry before adding the last coat of clear polish. This seals in the color polish and keeps it from getting chipped, keeping your nails colorful for a long time.

5. Experiment!

Once you’ve painted your base coat, you can try all kinds of designs and art, from stickers, other layers of color polis, and glitter, before adding the last layer of polish.

Cats or Dogs: A Future Pet Owner’s Guide to Choosing Pets to Adopt

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While most people have most likely already decided on an animal they’d want to get (if they haven’t already), you may find yourself at a loss when choosing between getting a dog or a cat as a pet. 

There are a lot of people and enthusiasts that love dogs and cats equally, and under the right conditions, they can even have both co-existing in harmony in the household. However, if you have to choose between either of the two, there are some things that you can use as a guideline on which one you should get.

Here are the things you need to consider when choosing a pet:

  • Living space – The amount of living space that you have at home is perhaps the biggest factor that will determine what pet you should have, as both cats and dogs need room to explore and adjust to.

You will also need to consider the people who live with you. Whether you have roommates, family members, or if you live with your partner/spouse, it’s important to make the decision a group decision.

Not only does this allow them toprepare for the possibility of living with a new roommate/family member, but italso comes off as a sign of respect for the people you live with.

  • Budget – Everything from food, medicine, and vaccines, to grooming and toys all cost money, and the costs can continue piling as your pet will be completely dependent on you.

Food, medicine, and vaccines are perhaps the biggest concerns when it comes to cost aside from the initial adoption budget. When you do decide to adopt, be sure to keep all these in mind.  

Dogs generally tend to be more expensive overall, while cats are often a more viable option to future owners who don’t have as much of a budget to work with.

  • Allergies– Allergies are another thing that you need to keep in mind, as it can almostinstantly decide whether you can even get a pet at home at all.

An alternative loophole to this may be to get a pet that’s hypoallergenic, such as a hypoallergenic cat, but the cost of care and shipping may ultimately prove to be beyond your budget.

  • Lifestyle – Whether you prefer to live an active, outgoing lifestyle or enjoy relaxing and staying indoors is crucial in getting a pet, as the pet you get will adopt your personality. This means that you need to take into account whether in fact you are willing to get up early in the morning or picking up after your pet on a regular basis.

For instance, dogs love stimulation and are highly social – which means that they shouldn’t be left alone or without attention all day. Meanwhile, cats are relatively quieter and are happy to sleep in most of the time.

Signs That Say You Need to Replace Your Paintbrushes

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Your paintbrushes are valuable – even though they’re cheap, they’re among the most important tools you could have as a painter. So when the bristles do wear out over time, it’s time to find new ones to take their place.

Here are a few signs that tell you it’s time to replace your favorite brush:

1. They start dulling
Quality round brushes with soft hairs end in fine points as they are selected and arranged to end that way.

However, the more you use a brush, the more this fine point wears away until you can no longer produce thin lines with it the way you used to. If you find this to be the case when you’re painting, check the bristles – it might not be your trembling hands after all!

2. They “feel” worn out
If you have a slight feeling that your brushes are no longer the same as they were when they were new, trust that feeling – especially when your brushes used to have stiff hairs.

However, there’s no need to throw them away just yet! Old brushes are still great for pushing paint around in certain ways, and they’re much easier to clean or sacrifice when you don’t use them as much for your pieces anymore.

Having worn brushes is normal, and as you improve your work, you’ll find yourself going through a lot of brushes over the course of different pieces.

3. They start to spread
Everything from general wear and tear to dried paint can encourage the brush hairs to fan out in a way they’re not supposed to. But while you should be replacing that brush if you need one to make fine lines for your pieces, you don’t always have to throw them out.

One way you can save them (or prolong their use) is by giving them a slight trim at the edges to narrow them and retain their shapes. Another way is by continuing to use them – but instead of using them for fine lines, use them instead to paint more loose strokes.

4. They’re going bald
Brushes lose bristles over time, and the more you paint with them, the faster they wear down.

However, this could also be because of the added strain produced by the ferrule coming into contact with the dried paint, which is why you should always wash them after every use (this is especially true for acrylics, since they dry really quickly).

Having stray hairs also makes it difficult to make realistic pieces, so be sure to keep an eye out if it happens more often.

5 Amazing Rice Dishes that You Can Make at Home

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There’s a good reason why most Asian households have this humble grain as a staple in their diet – it’s cheap, easy to cook (simply rinse, add water, and throw in a rice cooker), and depending on the variety, you can have all kinds of added health benefits.

You’ll also find that there are a lot of amazing dishes you can make with rice. Here are a few to get you started:

1. Nasi Goreng
Traditional nasi goreng is a favorite dish in many households, and if you want to introduce vegetables to your kids for a healthier diet, this is definitely a dish you should try out.

2. Nasi Ulam
Usually eaten in Malay or Indonesian households, nasi ulam is a type of fried rice with an added generous seasoning of different herbs and spices, such as lemongrass, and kaffir lime (you can add more herbs depending on your preference).

Be sure to use room temperature rice when cooking nasi ulam, since warm or hot rice turns the herbs brown and bitter.

3. Biryani Rice with Fried Chicken and Crispy Flakes
You can give a fresh twist to your traditional chicken or mutton biryani by adding rice (use a medium-length grain variety) and crispy flakes, and the result is a dish that’s great for any occasion.

To make this dish more convenient for you, you can prepare it a day in advance, especially if you need to save time for other occasions.

4. Rice Pudding
Think you have a little too much cooked rice in your fridge? If so, then you’re in luck. Break out the stove, since you’re only fifteen minutes away from a delicious dessert.

Making rice pudding is faster when you’re doing it with cooked rice (any variety will do just fine) – just add milk and stir over medium heat until it starts to boil, and turn the heat down before adding your choice of sweetener.
Once that’s done, keep stirring until the rice has reached the consistency of pudding.

5. Bubur Pulut Hitam
While this dish make take more time to make (you need to soak the black glutinous rice overnight), this well-loved dessert will be definitely worth the extra time and should be something to try making if you already love it yourself.

There’s no need to fret if you’re looking for an easy-to-make meal with one food item as a base. With the right ingredients, you can make all kinds of meals with rice, from meals to desserts, so there’s always something you can make for every occasion.

What are you waiting for? Break out the rice cooker and start cooking right now!

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

4 Tips to be More Sociable

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There are just those kind of people who seem to find it a breeze when they interact with other people. There are also those who break a sweat even if all they have to do is smile and wave to someone they see in the corridor.
Simply put, there are just those who are more sociable than others.

But humans are highly sociable beings so it is a must for us to oblige and give in to this impulse. However we do it, is up to us.

Here are some tips to help you become more sociable:

1. Slowly but surely
The first step to becoming more sociable is the willingness to do so. Once you’re past that, you have to keep in mind that this is no magic trick and it won’t happen overnight. It’s a process that can sometimes be painstakingly progressive as the days creep by. But the good news is, it can happen. It’s just a matter of when. A generous amount of patience also plays a key for this crucial step. Make sure you give yourself breathing room to grow, and not imposing rigid rules as to how your progress should be.

2. Learn the ropes
Ask around if you encounter social butterflies in different events or contexts. Make them spill how they achieve that comfortable banter with people around them with as little effort as possible. Learn the basic etiquette when it comes to dealing and interacting with other people. There’s a variety of social cues that could do you wonders once you get hold of them. However, make sure you don’t overdo this step. It’s an ugly scene when people notice you’re too by the book when interacting with them.

3. Get outside of your head
The most common mistake people make when interacting with other people is that they’re too stuck inside their heads to actually be in the conversation. They get too self-conscious and get too caught up with forming what to reply instead of actually listening. They think of the impression that the other person has of them, instead of just being in the moment. Once you learn to get out of your head and be in the here and now, you’ll find that you’re less nervous and could actually react appropriately to the person you’re talking to.

4. Accept and love yourself
There’s a reason all these pep talk lines are in most of our songs. They actually do you a whole lot of good when you accept yourself as you are and actually like who you see in the mirror no matter how imperfect you think you are. People are just people and if you make mistakes, so do they. Humans are universally the same so just go ahead and talk to them regardless of their background and prestige. At the end of the day, you’re both just humans having an exchange of ideas.

7 Foods That Will Give You More Brainpower

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The brain is the command center of the body. Having a healthy mind also means having a healthy body. What the mind conceives, the body portrays. Positive thinkers also have a healthy disposition in life. Whether you are going to take an examination or simply want to stay alert for your next meeting, you need to be conscious of your diet, as both have a correlation.

There is no known single food for the brain alone to be able to protect ourselves from getting dementia in the future or other medical conditions for that matter. Healthy and balanced diet includes brain-boosting foods that may help making your memory keen and your concentration and focus sharp.

1. Broccoli
Broccoli has been known to contain high glucosinolates compounds that slows the breakdown of the neurotransmitters and acetylcholine that our central nervous system needs to properly perform and to maintain a sharp memory. Broccoli is best source of vitamin K which is responsible for enhancing our cognitive function and improve brainpower. Low acetylcholine levels have also been associated with developing Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Nuts
Nuts are good source of vitamin E. vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role as an anti-oxidant in the body. It protects the heart, eyes and more. It helps the elderly prevent cognitive decline. Natural sources of vitamin E includes leafy vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains.

3. Eggs
Eggs is best source for vitamin B – B6, B12 and folic acid which helps reduce the levels of homocysteine compound in the blood that may contribute to stroke, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. High doses of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid are needed especially for the elderly helps to deter brain shrinkage. Good sources of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid are eggs fish, chicken and leafy vegetables.

4. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are best source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. It helps protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells that contribute to the developing of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Blueberries
Different blue or violet berries are good source of anti-oxidants. It helps in delaying short-term memory loss. You may want to check berries available in the market that contain the same protective compounds called anthocyanins.

6. Fish
Omega-3 fats are found in the fish. EPA and DHA good sources are salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines. Essential fatty acids are also found in flaxseeds or linseed, soya beans, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. Low DHA levels may lead to increased risk of acquiring dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. While having a sufficient level of these compound will help manage stress and help develop the serotonin in the brain which is the happy hormones.

7. Whole grains
Whole grains is the best source for glucose in our blood to the brain. This gives us energy to work, concentrate and focus. You can have this from brown wholegrain cereals, granary bread, rice and pasta.

5 Struggles Every Extrovert Secretly Deals With

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When people talk about extroverts, usually we hear something like “they’re outgoing persons, their life must always be fun and easy.” False. Extroverts may not seem as complex or delicate, but they have a whole different category of struggles that they have to constantly deal with, too. These five are all too real for most (if not all) extroverts out there.

1. Using the terms “extrovert” and “outgoing” interchangeably.
Although there are outgoing extroverts, having an extroverted personality doesn’t always mean that you’re a super outgoing person. While introverts find it recharging to be alone, extroverts find energy around people. However, once an extrovert has found friends to be around, they do not feel the need to go out and make new friends, since they already found a group to get their energy from.

2. People instantly assume you love to be in huge crowds.
Yes, they’re comfortable with having people around, but extroverts don’t always want to be thrown in a rave-like environment. Most of the time, they get their dose of people-time from their group of close friends, not in a rave party or in a concert.

3. Extroverts always perceived as confident individuals.
Having an extroverted personality doesn’t mean you have an abundance of confidence. Sure, it isn’t a big deal to be around people for extroverts, but that doesn’t imply that they are 100 percent confident in their actions and in themselves. I, myself, am an introvert, but there have been several times when I felt small, shy and unsure of myself.

4. The friendliness often gets mistaken for flirting.
Just because an extrovert smiles, engages conversation and talks playfully doesn’t mean they are romantically interested to the person they’re conversing with. Being an extrovert simply means that the person enjoys the company of others—they can appear confident and are comfortable striking up a conversation with anyone regardless of how little or how much they know them.

5. People assume you are always happy.
Generally, extroverts are cheerful human beings, but that doesn’t mean their emotions only range from slightly happy to very happy. They are still human beings—they have emotions. Just like anyone, they also experience the full range of emotions.

So, if you know (or encounter) someone with an extroverted personality, remember these before saying (or thinking) any stereotypical things about them. Being an introvert has its own struggles as well, so embrace your uniqueness and just follow what your heart desires.

Decoding Food Nutritional Labels

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Grocery shopping on Saturdays, meal-prepping on Sundays and always keeping healthy snacks on hand when out and about—this is what we’re supposed to do to keep ourselves healthy and fit. But let’s be honest, the convenience of packaged snacks and the temptation of instant satisfaction of vending machines are just so irresistible, especially during the busy hours of the day. That’s okay though, as long as you do a little reading.

It helps a lot to read the nutritional facts. However, it’s not necessarily the first thing to mind. Yep, you heard that right. Before you start searching for the caloric, protein, fiber and sugar content of your treat, know first where these things came from by reading the ingredients list. Here are the reasons why we suggest reading that short list first before anything else.

1. It helps identify right away whether the food contains something you want to avoid.
If there is a specific ingredient you want to steer clear of, perhaps because of allergic reaction, reading the ingredients list is the best way to go. Sure, there are label certifications that state that the food is gluten-free or has no GMOs, but there’s no verification whether the food is free from peanuts or herbs and spices, which may cause allergic reaction to some.

Reading the ingredients list help a lot in avoiding the food components you don’t like or have intolerance to. Also, it makes it easier to avoid straight up unhealthy elements like trans fats.

2. It makes you think outside of the “calorie” box.
The nutrition facts section gives you a quick evaluation whether the food is healthy or not. If it is low in calories and meets your needs for fiber and protein, it’s likely that the food is healthy enough. However, it doesn’t let you know how healthy the food is.

Just because a pre-packed food contains a certain amount of macronutrients doesn’t automatically mean it provides the most nutritional bang for your money. For instance, a slice of white bread and a slice of sprouted grain bread both delivers 100 calorie. But the former is made with refined grains, which causes your sugar level to spike and crash; while the latter is made with whole grains that provides essential nutrients like B vitamins and fiber. See the difference?

3. It makes the food transparent in your naked eye.
A wholesome label (e.g. low fat!) or a health-inspired picture (e.g. a fit woman eating a bowl of cereals) might suggest that the food is healthy, but it is in the ingredients list you’ll know the truth.

This section will not only tell what the product is made of; it’ll also give you clues how much of what ingredient is in there. Ingredients are listed by quantity, with the top three ingredients making up typically 75 to 80 percent of the food. If you see nuts and fruits near the top of the ingredients list, you know you’re doing the right choice.

The back (and side) labels of your pre-packed treats are jam-packed with useful information, so make sure to make good use out of it. Next time you’re going grocery shopping, make the ingredients label of every food you’re getting your first stop.

How to Choose the Best Catering for Your Wedding

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You may be lucky if the venue you’re thinking of also provides a catering service, but chances are that you’ll be adding it on your priority list anyway. Planning and choosing your wedding catering is exhaustive and will likely take up the biggest portion of your budget, after all, so it’s important that you know how to feed your guests.
If you’re having a hard time figuring this out, then read on to find out more about finding the perfect wedding catering service for you.

1. Do your research beforehand.
Go to different catering services so you can compare and contrast what each one has to offer and where you think you’ll get the best deal. Just be sure to tell them your expected headcount so that all your guests will be accommodated without having to wait too long.

Another thing that you want to keep in mind when comparing catering services is whether they provide alcohol. If that option is available, make sure that the catering company is licensed to do so.

Lastly, read their reviews and ask around about the quality of that particular caterer’s service. Even the little things such as the wait staff’s quality of service can make or break a wedding.

2. Have a budget and stick to it.
Know exactly how much you’re willing to spend before you begin to approach the caterer of your choice. It allows the company that you want to approach to be able to work around it in order to cater to your needs within the set budget.

Think about what is and isn’t included in the catering package, such as linens and tableware, as this could vary from one caterer to another.

3. Ask the venue’s management for suggestions or requirements.
If the venue for your reception also provides catering, then you don’t need to worry too much at all. They may even work with different catering services and have a list that you can choose from, but that doesn’t mean that you can only choose from their roster.

If you insist on bringing your preferred catering service to the venue, be sure to ask if the venue’s management has any special requirements.

4. Arrange for taste-tests.
Though most catering services won’t allow you to sample their dishes until after you’ve signed or given a down payment for their services, you can go for a sample if they host dinners or serve at bridal expos. You can also look up their schedule of events to see which ones you can attend.

4 Common Wedding Day Fears and How to Get Over Them

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Your special day is coming up, but despite months of preparing for every scenario, you still can’t help but feel like something will go terribly wrong in one way or another. But don’t worry – you’re not alone in your plight.
Here are 4 common fears every couple encounters at some point when looking forward to or getting ready for their special day, with helpful tips on how you can ease them before walking to that altar.

1. The ceremony and/or reception might disappoint the guests.
Every couple wants their guests to enjoy the festivities that they spent a long time carefully planning, but no matter how much planning you put into it – from the wedding decor, to the menu, to even the venue – you can’t possibly please everyone.

Instead, focus on the few elements of the wedding that you personally enjoy yourself. Unless your parents are the ones paying for it, you should have more or less complete control over the preparations.

2. A guest/family member will start a scene.
Speak with that particular person beforehand on the issue if you know that he/she has had a history of bad behavior. And just in case you’re really convinced that push will come to shove, assign your bridesmaids/groomsmen on both crowd and damage control.

3. Things don’t go on schedule (i.e., some things go on too long, while others are over too quickly).
Let’s be honest – it’ll actually be a miracle if everything in your wedding turns out perfect. It’s normal to worry about these things, such as the caterers being late, the wedding planner not showing up on time, or that there are too few or too many guests.

However, once the contracts have been signed, the RSVPs have come in, and the venue has already been decorated, there is little that you can do but trust that things will go fine.

4. The wedding photos might turn out to be awful.
If there is one part in your life that will be extensively documented, whether you’re the bride or the groom, it will be your wedding. It’s okay to have faith in your photographer – they’re experts, after all.

If you’ve already seen your photographer’s portfolio (which you should have during the screening process), you should have complete confidence in their abilities and eye in looking for the best shots to take. It’s also not a bad idea to send a list of “must-take” shots.

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