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Posts Tagged ‘beauty

How to reduce abdominal obesity? 18 healthy tips

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  1. Keep well-hydrate ∴ carry water everywhere you
  2. Never skip breakfast
  3. Color your plate
  4. Eat well and don’t starve yourself (this is counter-productive)
  5. Eat more fat burning foods, such as brown rice, whole grains, vegetables, natural fruits, skim milk, lean poultry or meat, seafood, and egg whites.
  6. Drink a glass of water before you eat, this is because people tend to eat more when they are thirsty
  7. Eat 5 small meals a day
  8. Eat slowly because it takes a few minutes for your tummy to realize it’s full
  9. No fast food!
  10. No soda!
  11. A once-in-a-while small treat is ok
  12. Do exercises in moderation: swimming, brisk walking
  13. Dance
  14. Have a specific goal in mind for losing abdominal fat, write it down and repeat it: it’s our new mantra.
  15. Ignore the hype when it comes to commercial products e.g. a special diet plan, a pill, or a piece of workout equipment.
  16. Maintain a good posture. Suck your tummy in, put your shoulder back, keep your head up, and, with this good posture, you’ll look (and even feel) much fitter.
  17. While shopping, read the labels / food ingredients
  18. minimize stress

Meat substitutes that I hope to eat more instead of meat:

  • mushrooms

  • tempeh

  • tofu

  • lentils & beans: black bean

  • chickpeas

  • quinoa

2015021

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Written by blueroselady

May 23, 2015 at 5:15 am

30 revealing ideas from social psychology that can help us to appreciate people and our lives

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Below are interesting points (sometimes with some of personal thoughts & reflections) that I have learned from a course on social psychology taught by Professor Scott Plous of Wesleyan College.

@~@ Know yourself. Seach inside yourself.
LaoZi : "He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is enlightened."
Benjamin Franklin : "There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self"
Daniel Gilbert : "We seem to know less about the worlds inside our heads that about the world our heads are inside."

@~@ People often MISWANT.
Blueroselady :
How to overcome the challenge that we are remarkably bad at predicting of what will make us happy?
This question is very important because many of life’s big decisions involve predicting our future feelings.
Examples of life’s big decisions : marriage, career / profession, migration, vacation.
Funny real-life example : a friend J told me that her husband fluctuates between praising-in-the-form of question and complaining:
(1) "why a such a smart woman like you wanted to marry a jerk and stayed on?"
(2) "It’s a nightmare to be with you for the rest of your life, I was enticed by your physical attractions"

@~@ Most people are too preoccupied with themselves to notice our shortcomings (e.g. your pimple, your spiky hair because of having no time to comb your hair because of waking up late).

@~@ "Research has found that audiences can’t pick up on your anxiety as well as you might expect …
Other people are noticing less than you might suppose."
Blueroselady: The next time you have to deliver a public talk / give a company presentation / make a sales pitch, do not worry. Just do it!

@~@ Susan Andersen & Serena Chen, 2002: In our varied relationships, we have varying selves.

@~@ Much of our behavior is not consciously controlled but automatic and unself-conscious.
Blueroselady: Be mindful. We can choose to practice mindfulness.
Mindful breathing… Mindful eating… Mindful doing…

@~@ self-schema vs possible selves
self-schema = beliefs about self that organize & guide the procession of self-relevant information.
possible selves = images of what we dream of or dread becoming in the future.
self-schema strongly affect how we see / perceive, remember, evaluate other people & ourselves.

@~@ major negative events vs minor irritations
major negative events activate our psychological defense.
minor irritations do not activate our psychological immunity.

@~@ Role playing becomes reality.
As we enact a new role, e.g. college student, parent. salesperson, we initially feel self-conscious.
Progressively, the role playing becomes reality.
This reminds me on the message that Amy Cuddy wants us to remember in her TED talk on body language.
Fake it till you make it.
Fake it till you become it.

@~@ How do we decide if we are rich, smart, or tall?
The answer is social comparison (Festinger, 1954) in affluence, status, achievement.
Blueroselady: Many things in life (that I know of) are relative, particularly those that are measurable.
A reader’s question: "I have made a living comparing data in my job / career. Comparing has become my second nature. How can I stop comparing in life?"
Blueroselady suggestions:
# Gratitude exercises.
# Detachment exercises : Detach your emotions from the outcome of your comparisons. I hear you, it is easy to say, but challenging to do, that is why detachment is an art; for the sake of our happiness, we must practice the art of detachment.
# Mindfulness exercises : Remember that (1) social comparisons can decrease our life satisfaction. (2) 人比人气死人 (3) "There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self."
# Kindness exercises : Be kind & compassionate to yourself, leave behind comparisons with others.
# Affirmations e.g. It is better to be a first rate version of yourself than a second rate version of someone else.

@~@ Children whom other people label as as gifted, hardworking or helpful tend to incorporate such ideas into their self-concepts & behavior.

@~@ Self-reliance
Self-reliant individual is celebrated in Western literature, e.g. The Iliad, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

@~@ Classifying / pigeonholing / labeling cultures as solely individualist or collectivist oversimplifies.
The oversimplification is because within any culture, individualism varies from person to person (Oyserman et al, 2002).
Blueroselady: Remember not to do hasty generalization.

@~@ Interdependent self
# has a greater sense of belonging.
# is defined by social connections with family, colleagues, loyal friends.
# has many selves: self-with-parents, self-at-work, self-with-friends.
# disapproves egotism, whereas independent self disapproves conformity.
# e.g. collectivistic Asian & Third World cultures.
# persists more on tasks when they are failing because wants to meet others’ expectations (e.g Japanese)
# prioritizes WE over ME

@~@ "So far, most of psychology has been produced by psychologists in middle-class White American settings studying middle-class White American respondents."
However, there are ways of life beyond the one that each of us knows best.
Blueroselady: In other space & time context (e.g. sociocultural context), there can be different ideas & practices about how to live a meaningful life.

@~@ Tips: eat before shopping.
Gilbert & Wilson (2000) showed that hungry shoppers do more impulse buying

@~@ Why is your friend’s success can be more threatening that that of strangers?
According to Zuckerman & Jost (2001), you feel that your self-esteem is threatened.
How do people react to self-esteem threat?
High self-esteem people blame others or try harder next time.
Low self-esteem people blame themselves or give up.
According to Roy Baumeister, folks with high self-esteem are more likely to be obnoxious, to interrupt, & to talk at people rather than to talk with people.
Bonus: It is useful for parents to know that
# among sibling relationships, the threat to self-esteem is greates for an older chld with a highly capable younger brother / sister.
# many people could not escape their tough childhoods, which is a cause of low self-esteem.

@~@ Secure self-esteem
# is rooted more in feeling good about who one is than in grades, looks, affluence / money, others’ approval.
# is essential for long-term well-being.
# Blueroselady views secure self-esteem neither as high nor low self-esteem, but self-esteem in equilibrium / in balance.

@~@ self-esteem vs self-efficacy
self-esteem = if you like yourself overall
Self-efficacy = if you believe you can do something

@~@ How to be less intimated (by others) & less gullible?
# remember that personal testimonies are powerfully persuasive but they may also be wrong.

@~@ Self-serving bias?
# attribute positive outcomes to oneself (e.g. own managerial skill)
# attribute negative outcomes to other factors (e.g. a down economy)

@~@ Examples of self-serving bias
# Group members’ estimates of how much they contribute to a join task typically sum to more than 100%. For instance, husband & wife are members of a group.
# most business people see themselves as more ethical than the average business people.
# Pronin & Ross (2006) reported that we see ourselves as objective & everyone else as biased. No wonder we fight!

@~@ Feedback is best when it is TRUE & SPECIFIC.
Specific feedback e.g. You are good at maths.
General feedback e.g. You are great.
To encourage someone (e.g. children, mentees, students, subordinates), remember that specific feedback is more effective than general feedback.

@~@ To improve performance, give self-efficacy feedback instead of self-esteem feedback.
e.g. of self-efficacy feedback : You tried really hard.
e.g. of self-esteem feedback : You are really smart.

@~@ When to listen to criticism & not to listen?
David Dunning’s gentle rule: "if two people independently give you the same piece of negative feedback, you should at least consider the possibility that it might be true"

@~@ Terror management theory by Jeff Greenberg: the reality of our own death motivates us to gain recognition from our work & values, but not everyone can achieve such recognition.

@~@ Competence + perseverance = success

@~@ Success requires enough optimism to sustain hope and enough pessimism to motivate concern.

@~@ According to Jule Norem (2000), defensive pessimism can sometimes save us from the perils of unrealistic optimism.
Blueroselady: Negative emotions such as anger and pessimism are not entirely bad, we just need healthy ways to deal with them.
Tips: Whenever you feel angry, remember that the person you are hurting is yourself.

@~@ Tyranny of freedom? too many choices can lead to paralysis.
According to Barry Schwartz, individualistic modern cultures have an excess of freedom which leads to the tyranny of freedom.
# Choice may enhance regret.
# People have expressed greater satisfaction with irrevocable choices than with reversible choices. This is because when people can undo their decisions they tend to consider both the positive & negative features of the decisions they had made. When they could not undo their decisions, people tend to concentrate on the positive features & ignore the negative features. For example, people expressed more satisfaction with their marriages several decades ago when marriage was more irrevocable.

@~@ Love causes marriage, but marriage would also causes love.
Blueroselady: This hypothesis may explain why arranged marriages (in some cultures) have successfully worked and survived.

@~@ The 5:1 ratio of positive:negative activities
To sustain important relationships such as marriage and parental relationships, ensure that you strive to increase the ratio of positive to negative activities by at least 5 fold.
e.g. of positive activities : holding hands, giving a hug, lending a listening ear.
e.g. of negative activities : arguing, complaining.

More
# Book: Social Psychology. Chapter 2. DG Myers. 2012.
# Notes at the end of email

Written by blueroselady

December 26, 2013 at 3:55 am

Decluttering in autumn 2013

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I love to remove clutters (declutter),
it cleans my physical, spiritual, and emotional life.

Decluttering allows us to realize that life is full of delightful treasures, if we take a moment to look around.

Cool stuff:
# DNA-based computers. Leonard Adleman.
# Self-tracking / health-tracking devices. Up wristband.
# portfolio career.
# What heals the soul, heals the mind and body as well.

Interesting quotes:
# Time is most definitely a thief.
Questions: What is the longest yet the shortest? What is the fastest yet the slowest?
Answer: TIME

Useful tips:
# Be careful! Over use of medication (e.g. paracetamol), either intentionally or accidentally, may damage liver.
# To fight pimples and minimize scar, I have used tea tree oil and aloe vera.
# Try to move after sitting for 45 minutes, e.g. while travelling on long-distance flight. In terms of radiation, 7 hour flight ~= an X-ray session.

Inspiring people:
# Bernie S. Siegel
# Christine Ong of UBS Wealth Management Singapore
# Reene Ho-Phang

Some random muses and reflections …

@~@ On life
An event that at first seem to be unfortunate / undesirable may actually provide surprising advantages, e.g. autumn 2007 (that affects the next 7 years).

@~@ On being unique
It is a great thing to be unique or different.
The grown ups often tell any kid (e.g. a 6 year old) that it is great to be yourself.
Be unique.
However, the goal of many grown-ups in life is to fit in.

@~@ On career
A career for life vs portfolio careers.

@~@ On gifts
Some people (e.g. KS) value expensive gifts. In case of KS, he acknowledged the hardship in his early life.
Some people (e.g. KF) value heartfelt letter of appreciation much more than expensive gifts. Possibly, people who are relatively richer than me in material wealth and assume leadership roles (e.g. my direct boss in 2013) have similar perspectives as KF does.

@~@ On travel destinations
Some destinations wow me and are perhaps best to be visited once over a short period of time (instead of residing there) in entire life, due to extreme weather conditions or high living expenses. For example, Cappadocia and Antarctica.

What’s next?
# Deal constructively with criticism. Give constructive criticism.
# What are you going to do for the rest of your life? (A question I wrote in a note taken in Switzerland)
# DO, don’t dream.

Written by blueroselady

November 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm

How to choose sunscreen (at least for myself and children)?

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In mid November 2013, I read a scientific finding (by J.L. of my undergraduate almamater) that nano particles such as zinc oxide can possibly cause cancer.

Then, I feel the need to check the ingredients of my sunscreen.

SPF 15 or higher only protects against UVB, but not UVA. According to Dr. David J. Leffell (professor of dermatology and surgery at the Yale School of Medicine), the followings (ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide) protect against UVA.

According to the webmd.com, children’s sunscreens use ingredients less likely to irritate the skin, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

It seems that the more complicated a product is, the more hidden or unknown risks it carries.

Is zinc oxide (in sunscreen) good or bad for us?

Dr. Lawrence Gibson (a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic) views that sunscreen is safe (has not been proven to increase the risk of skin cancer, has been proven to reduce the risk of melanoma). Instead of looking at a sunscreen’s SPF, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect you from UVA and UVB rays

If you are pregnant, avoid sunscreens that contain antioxidant retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A or retinol.

Sand, water, snow and concrete reflect sunlight.

Instead of being confused by the choices of sunscreen,
consider the following tips:
# Avoid the sun during peak hours (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.), regardless of season (Since UV light can pass through clouds, use sunscreen even when it’s cloudy).
# Choose indoor activities (e.g. indoor swim) during the sun peak hours.
# Wear protective clothing e.g. pants, long sleeve shirts, sunglasses.
# Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
# Use an umbrella.
# Vitamins. Vitamin E can protect against UV-induced DNA damage. Vitamin C helps protect skin from sunburn.
# Do not let any product lull you into a false sense of security about sun exposure.
# Finally, pursue a combinatorial approach (shade, clothing, umbrella / hat, sunscreen, common sense).

Written by blueroselady

November 14, 2013 at 7:30 am

What Will Matter by Michael Josephson

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Thank you Michael Josephson for sharing “What Will Matter”.
Herein, I include my reflections in italic.

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
Blueroselady: adopting an attitude of 富贵于我如浮云 can give us serenity.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.

So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
Blueroselady: 是非成败转头空.青山依旧在,几度夕阳红.

生活只有两种选择:重新出发,做自己生命的主角,抑或停留在原地,做别人的配角。
Be the main actor of your life!

It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built,
Blueroselady: to build = to create / invent / innovate
not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success butyour significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched,
empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew,
but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories of those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
Blueroselady: You have tremendous intrinsic strength to choose the life that you want to live. Be the master of your soul, be the captain of your ship.
Believe in yourself!

©2003 Michael Josephson

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Written by blueroselady

May 20, 2013 at 7:39 am

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Safety in pregnancy

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NO to caffeine.
Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) readily enteres the baby’s bloodstream and accumulates in the brain.
When I knew that I was pregnant in my 1st pregnancy, I started to abstain from cofee, tea and soft drinks.

NO to alcohol. Beware of food with alcohol, e.g. tiramisu.

NO to chemicals.
Organic solvents used in dry cleaning can pass through placenta.
Pregnant women who are exposed to organic solvents at the workplace (e.g. laboratory technicians, factory workers, professionals artists / chemists) may also place their developing baby at a greater risk of developing birth defects.
Avoid chemical finishes e.g. stain repellents, flame retardants, paint / DIY products which emit fumes.
Avoid chemical air fresheners.
Avoid heavily scented cleaning products e.g. dishwashing liquids, floor cleaners, washing powders, pesticides.

NO to hair dyes / perms.
Remember that pregnant mothers are blooming beautifully, you do not need to change the color of your hair to feel beautiful.

NO to cigarette.
Avoid smokers. Exposure to as few as 2 hours a day of 2nd hnd smoke also significantly increases the risk of having a low-birth-weight baby.

NO to deep-tissue massage e.g. foot reflexology, Shiatsu.
No to sp treatments that raise pregnant mothers’ body temperature e.g. body wraps, sauna.

YES to exercise.
Walking is highly recommended for at least the 1st 2 trimesters.

When in doubt, always consult your doctor.

Related:
How to achieve pregnancy (Billings method) in the Dragon year?
Early signs of pregnancy
Challenges in pregnancy
Stay positive, be protective in pregnancy
Improve your lifestyle in pregnancy.
Checklist for week 20 scan during pregnancy.
Insurance.

Food for pregnancy:
soup of Beet root, Carrot, and Dates

Written by blueroselady

May 11, 2013 at 4:57 am

7 Inspirations from the movie "The Grandmaster" by Wong Kar Wai

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A mentor of mine AC shared with me that he obtained a lot of visual inspirations from the movies directed by Wong Kar Wai / 王家卫.
Since then, I have started to study movies directed by the talented director.
In the spring 2013, I watched a movie entitled The Grandmaster 《一代宗師》 about Yip Man / Ip Man / 葉問 / 叶问 by Wong Kar Wai,
which was three years in the making and more than 10 years in gestation.

Yip Man was a Chinese martial artist practising Wing Chun style / 咏春拳 who have taught Bruce Lee.
The Grandmaster is an integration of artistic and kungfu movie.
I refer to this approach as an innovation,
in which the movie viewers are not only showered with fast and furious fighting actions but also the relatively s…l…o…w melancholy musings, philosophy and aesthetics,
which make this movie unique.

Herein, I share inspirations (not a movie review) that I acquire from watching the movie.

1. I find the style name of 咏春 (that sounds like forever spring) meaningful, because many people desire their lives will be youthful forever like spring, but winter is also part of our life journeys.
If life has four seasons, it’s spring to me before 40. But it then just turned straight to winter.

Instead of yearning for the past time, let us be present and cherish the four seasons of our lives!

2. The martial arts arena (江湖) are the fights of survival and striving to be the top among the martial artists,
those with the highest quality of kungfu skills tend to win, but those with wits also win.
Confucius mentions that wisdom is more important than speed, through the story in which the tortoise wins over a fast-running animal.
Today, in everyday lives of many people, we are still fighting like those martial artists,
people fight with their relevant / specialized skills (in offices / corporations, hospitals, institutions, schools, markets, etc).
All these arena are indeed highly similar, there are honor and rules of conduct to follow and abide by;
and as long as one continues to constantly learning to enhance his / her skills and enlarge his / her wisdom,
s/he will do well.

3. Super fine attention to details, a commitment to one’s career / project.
The reflections of water on the street with a moving shadow.
The thundering rain, the splashing water, the drops of water / blood.
The swirling smoke, the macro visual of dried tobacco leaves wrapped inside the cigarette stick.
The beautiful pristine white snow effects that can make audience feels the bone chilling coldness.
The splintering glass at s…l….o…w motion.
Frames and frames: e.g. the snow covered tree on both sides of the wooden residency of the Gong Grandmaster.
I put my hat off to Wong’s attentiveness to color palettes and the talent of the French cinematographer Phillipe Le Sourd.
After all, a movie is a collection of pictures that move, that’s why movie is also known as moving picture;
and the men behind The Grandmaster seem to make every picture beautiful at super fine level.
4. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I always love the classic make-up of the 1930s.
The women (referring to the courtesans in cheongsam / qipao 旗袍 in the movie) have curly hair which is time-consuming to maintain in today age, but the effect is glamorously stylish.
They also have thin line eyebrows that are bending like the crescent moon.
I would refer to such a fashionable look of that era as the Ruan Lingyu’s look.
However, some people comment to me that the thin line eyebrows make them look vulnerable and pitiful.
The women express through all their bodies the sorrow, pain, grief provoked by life.
They also imply some mysteries and desires that entice people, including me a modern woman of the 21st century!
Perhaps, women with doe eyes and tiny faces are the most suitable to adopt the Ruan Lingyu’s look, from the perspective of style.

5. The themes of love, loss and the passage of time are prevalent in Wong Kar Wai’s movies, including The Grandmaster.
Even heroes and heroines are not spared from the human experiences of aging, falling ill, and death;
they are often emerging as heroes and heroines due to the tragic of human experiences such as natural disasters, wars, and death of loved ones.
No matter what happen, we want to cherish our love now,
before we loss some people who are truly dearest to us.

6. While we love many things (including people who are dearest to us), we must practice the art of detachment.
To quote Bruce Lee, "My instructor, Professor Yip Man, head of the wing chun school, would come up to me and say: Let your mind, the basic reality, do the counter-movement without any interfering deliberation. Above all, learn the art of detachment."
I will share about how to love and detach in harmonious ways in the near future.

7. Have you ever wondered why artistic movies often have sad endings?
In the movie, Yip Man’s wife died without seeing him after he moved to HK and Gong Er (inspired by female legend, Shi Jianqiao) could only keep Yip Man in her heart since Yip Man is a married man and Gong has vowed not to marry ( 獨行道) for the sake of revenging for the death of his father.
The tragic of life has appeal to the viewers,
人生如戏,
that is why movies, especially artistic movies, explore themes such a ‘tragic fate’ persona.
but we can also create our own real movie that has a happy ending,
let us be a master director of our ‘fate’.

Related:
http://cinemainterruptus.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/movie-review-the-grandmaster-yi-dai-zong-shi/
http://moonlightknighthk.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/meanings-of-the-grandmaster/
http://feelpositive.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/the-grandmaster/

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Written by blueroselady

April 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm