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No New Year Resolutions…Instead, Gratitude

Instead of writing New Year Resolutions, we here at The Wellness Insider have decided to write a gratitude journal instead. Why? Because life shouldn’t have just a single designated day where you make huge decisions or attempt to change. It is about thousands of small changes that you make each day. It is about any day in the calendar where you decide to take a stand and improve yourself by making conscious choices every single day thereafter.

Statistics have shown that only 8% of those who make New Year Resolutions succeed. Nonetheless, those who do make resolutions often are more successful (ten times more likely, to be exact) at achieving those goals compared to those who talk about them but don’t make any resolutions. Which goes to show the psychological benefits of penning your goals down. But…it doesn’t need to be 1 Jan for you to write down your resolutions, right?

Moreover, what happens if you look back and realised that you’ve failed your resolutions? Is that going to make you feel bad? Don’t be too hard on yourself because life is a continuous journey and as mentioned earlier, it is more important to make thousands of small changes before you see the huge change. For example, let’s take weight loss as a goal (this happens to be one of the top resolutions). Weight loss is about constant trips to the gym where you put in at least 30 mins into an activity, or a conscious habit to take daily long walks after a meal. You won’t see the results after a week but you’ll notice difference after a month or so.

Thus, here are some reasons why we’re writing a gratitude journal instead of a New Year Resolution:

  1. Helps us reflect on the year that has passed
  2. Makes us thankful for the blessings we have received
  3. Mindful of the mistakes and the lessons learnt from them
  4. Be more conscious of what we’re doing well, what we’re doing wrong and how to improve on them

All the above definitely will help one make better resolutions or set more realistic goals into improving our lives, regardless what time of the year it is.

Without further ado, have a great 2017 everyone and let’s work together to have a better year!


Reference: Statistic Brain

Photo credits: Pixabay and GIPHY

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Why Eating Disorders Are a Real Problem

Eating disorders are a tricky thing. They’re characterised as mental disorders that can mess with a person’s eating habits in different ways. However, these disorders aren’t tied to any specific body type or gender and can affect anyone in different ways.

Disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, which causes the person suffering from it to avoid eating in general in fear of gaining weight, or Bulimia Nervosa which causes the person to stuff themselves with food (binge eating) before making themselves lose it all as fast as possible (whether through vomiting, exercising or fasting) are the most common and have become well known all throughout the world due to the problems they have caused for young people, particularly teenagers.

There are also lesser known disorders like Orthorexia Nervosa in which people only eat what they percieve to be healthy, ignoring pretty much anything else regardless of any benefits that it might bring. This could even cause them to eventually develop either Anorexia or Bulimia as well. However, Orthorexics’ goals are usually related more to wanting to stay healthy, such as keeping count of the calories they consume and what’s in everything they eat. This can lead into malnutrition or causing them to develop social problems or even make their bodies unable to consume the foods that they’ve tried to avoid.

However, these problems don’t affect just teenagers; some sufferers can even be as young as nine years old. This problem is one that has been prevalent in Singapore just as much as other parts of the world as well.

The Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Eating Disorders Programme, a health centre that specialises in dealing with eating disorders, has seen an increase in the number of patients to 170 just last year, four times more than the 40 patients they housed back when they first opened in 2003 and is much more than they are currently capable of handling. Do note that SGH’s programme isn’t the only one in Singapore helping teens cope with eating disorders.

That’s not even the worst of it, according to Dr Alakananda Gudi, an associate consultant psychiatrist at SGH; it’s possible that, for as full as these clinics are, there are still a lot of people suffering from eating disorders that are not getting proper care. This is a problem that, as stated before, can affect even children who are still just growing and learning about the world and some of them, particularly those that suffer from anorexia, can die even if they are to get proper treatment.

Throughout the years, doctors have constantly called out the Media for how it affects young people today. From the fashion industry which may make young people feel like they have to fit into a certain body type, to social trends and challenges like the A4 challenge, where women in China compete to see if their waist is smaller than the width of an A4 sheet of paper (portrait, not landscape), which make people feel like being overweight or even slightly larger than their peers is something they have to be ashamed of.

Concerns about what people should or shouldn’t eat and what’s considered healthy or not can also lead young people to feel like they have to constantly watch everything they eat, or else they’ll be considered as leading an unhealthy life. There was even a case of a girl who would eat nothing but boiled vegetables because she felt it was the only thing that was good for her to eat in order to be thin.

Dr. Celine Wong, a consultant at the Psychological Medicine Department at the National University Hospital (NUH) said, “They associate being overweight or obese as being less attractive, less diligent and less likeable. Coupled with a low self-esteem, a negative body image and bullying in school, some adolescents fall into the trap of developing eating disorders.”

Peer pressure and school can be hard to deal with when you’re a teenager, a time when most people gain weight as a part of puberty; this can be even harder for young girls who feel like they have to do anything in order to fit in with the crowd and can even lead to Body Dysmorphia Disorder, which causes the sufferer to feel like there’s a flaw in their body that really isn’t there.

Of course, eating disorders for being skinnier are not the only ones out there. There’s the binge-eating disorder, which, as stated, makes the person eat a lot of food and gain weight really quickly. This, like the other diseases, can also occur due to depression or a desire to control who they are and change to fit an image that’s imposed on them.

 

Eating disorders are a serious issue, so if you or anyone you know thinks that you are suffering from it then there are a couple of things that you can do to help treat it. First is to learn more about it, thankfully there are a lot of sites that are willing to teach people about eating disorders such as this entry by AWARE. There are also pages on accounts of people who have suffered from disorders, as well as treatment clinics.

For a bit more info on things such as Body Dysmorphia and eating healthy but efficiently, you can check out one of Melissa’s Table Top Talks with Luke and Emilie Tan, where Luke discussed how he had body dysmorphia when he was a competitive bodybuilder.

For information on some Treatment Clinics you can contact we’d like to direct you towards the following clinics and their contact information:
Eating Disorders Programme at SGH – +65 6321 4377  |  [email protected].
Mount Elizabeth-Charter: 1-800-6738 9595

As well as some Support Groups:

Singapore Association for Mental Health : 1800-283 7019
Support for Eating Disorders Singapore (SEDS)

However, it must be noted that if you know someone who you think might be suffering from an eating disorder, the best thing you can do is to give them your support. Show them that everything will be okay and that you’ll hear them out and help them without forcing them into treatment, they are in that situation because of the fear of what people want them to be after all, so just listening and letting them know that you’ve got their backs should help.

Hopefully this article has helped you learn more about eating disorders and what they mean, now it’s up to you to use that knowledge to the best you can so that we can, hopefully, help pave a path to a better world for everyone.


Photo Credits: Affinity Magazine, Everyday Health, Psychology Today, Kids Health 

References: Straits Times, AWARE

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10 Amazing Benefits of Chlorophyll

You may have heard a lot of buzz surrounding the healthiness of vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables with deep, rich colour tones. In many ways, they’re perfect foods and part of the credit is owed to the chlorophyll they contain. Chlorophyll is a green pigment that’s instrumental in photosynthesis. Research also suggests it’s instrumental in promoting good health. The following 10 benefits demonstrate its amazing versatility and power.

1. Helps Control Hunger and Cravings

A study released in September of 2013 determined that compounds containing chlorophyll might help suppress hunger. Twenty moderately overweight women were given test meals on three separate occasions one week apart — two meals with chlorophyll, one without. They reported reduced hunger following the meals containing the chlorophyll and blood tests showed stable blood sugar levels. [1] These results suggest chlorophyll should be considered as an effective way to manage hunger and promote weight loss.

2. Controls Body Odour

Chlorophyll is good for your body from the inside out, literally. This includes body and fecal odours. When tested in a nursing home with 62 patients, one study reported improvements in the odors emanating from the test subjects. In addition to odor reduction, it also alleviated constipation and gas. [2]

3. Encourages Healing

The use of chlorophyll to promote the healing process was first reported nearly 100 years ago. One report published by Butler University (in 1950!) discussed its use for improving healing times. [3] A more recent study found that, when used as a spray, chlorophyll significantly helped wound therapy. [4] The research clearly backs its effectiveness in this area.

4. Promotes Cleansing

Environmental pollutants such as toxic metals can quickly destroy health. Chlorophyll binds with toxic metals to hamper absorption, and research has shown it can do the same with some carcinogens. A crossover study with 4 human volunteers tested chlorophyll’s ability to remove ingested aflatoxin, a known carcinogen. Each volunteer received three servings of the aflatoxin, followed with a meal, the latter two included a tablet of chlorophyll. The results showed rapid elimination with 95% evacuated within 24 hours. [5]

5. Protects DNA Against Fried Foods

Fried foods aren’t just bad for your waistline, they also contain chemicals known to damage colon tissue and the DNA of colon cells. In one study, participants who ate fried foods coupled with protective foods, including chlorophyll, were observed to have less DNA damage of colon cells. [6] Don’t take that as just cause to go crazy with the fried foods, the best idea is to avoid them altogether.

6. Super Potent Antioxidant Action

Chlorophyll’s status as a superfood is due to its nutritional and potent antioxidant properties. It protects cells from oxidative damage by eliminating free radicals. [7] One plant known for its high chlorophyll levels, Conyza triloba, showed very active superoxide scavenging behavior. An in vitro study found it capable of reducing free radicals while reducing cell damage. [8]

7. Promising Potential for Cancer Therapy

Although the research doesn’t currently show that chlorophyll is an all out cancer cure, researchers are excited about its potential as a therapy. One study found men with lower levels of dietary chlorophyll had higher risks of colon cancer. [9] Another study noted it effective at stimulating liver detoxifying enzymes and may protect against other carcinogens. [10]

8. Effective Against Candida albicans

Candida infection is a big problem for many individuals and can lead to fatigue, depression, and digestive problems; just to name a few. Research has shown that isolated chlorophyll solutions stop Candida albicans growth. [11]

9. Relieves Systemic Redness and Swelling

Traditional medicine has long used green leaves for infections. With modern approaches that have limited effectiveness and a long list of side effects, natural remedies are getting another look. Animal studies have found that green leaves help to reduce swelling and redness! [12] 

anaemia

10. Promotes Healthy Iron Levels

A modified form of chlorophyll known as chlorophyllin may be highly effective for anaemia. By swapping iron for magnesium at the center of the molecule, it provides a bioavailable form of iron the body can use. [13] While scientists may look for ways to develop patent-able medicines, no one needs to wait to take chlorophyll to gain its benefits.

Chlorophyll: An Excellent Dietary Supplement
Chlorophyll possesses an amazing range of benefits and is readily available to everyone. Chlorophyll rich foods are also healthy in their own right and contain essential vitamins and nutrients needed for cardiovascular, muscular, and neural health. Consume foods containing chlorophyll or take a dietary supplement for best effect. Blue-green algae is one of my favourites. Do you take chlorophyll? What effects have you noticed? 


If you do not consume enough green leafy vegetables in your normal diet, you might want to try Unicity’s Chlorophyll powder which can be easily dissolved in drinking water or juices as a simple but effective supplement. 


This article first appeared on http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/10-amazing-benefits-of-chlorophyll/ by Dr Edward Group.


References:

 

 

 

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Are We Actually Getting More Vitamin D Than We Should?

Vitamin D is an important part of our health; it helps strengthen our bones and may also help in boosting your mood and fight a lot of diseases. It’s also become famous in recent years due to a lot of doctors telling patients that they are not getting enough of it. This is mostly because humans’ main source of  Vitamin D comes from sunlight, causing it to get dubbed as the “Sunshine Medicine”, something which a lot of people can’t get enough of whether cause of the place they live in or because they work indoors for long periods of time.

 

There have been a lot of studies talking about how people aren’t getting enough, but now doctors think the problem might actually be the opposite. It’s possible that people are actually getting too much Vitamin D.

How could this have happened? Well it’s mostly because doctors are still unsure about exactly how much Vitamin D you should have on a daily basis. Over the years people have played around with the measurements or misinterpreted studies and this has in turn caused them to have a constantly growing concern for it.

To deal with this, people have been taking a lot of supplements and medicine to help increase their intake. People turn to supplements because, while milk and oily fish also offer Vitamin D, a lot of people feel that they’re consuming the ‘correct’ amounts.

It’s gotten to the point where people actively ask for Vitamin D check-ups in the USA, something that you can’t do unless it is requested by a doctor; this has caused the amount of check-ups to rank up as the fifth most common tests that people take, just after cholesterol levels and ahead of blood sugar, urinary tract infections and prostate cancer screening. Doctors aren’t sure of when doing Vitamin D tests became so popular either.

In actuality, the amount of people who might be in danger of Vitamin D deficiency is quite small and the amount of people who actually suffer from it is even smaller.

The amount that each person needs can vary from gender, to age and even genetics. It’s because of this uncertainty that doctors gave the general consensus that a person should obtain between 600 to 800 Vitamin D units, which in turn led to people believing that they weren’t getting enough even though they were getting more than what their body needed.

Thankfully the side effects of getting a lot of Vitamin D aren’t too bad as long as you don’t go too far into it. Because of this doctors advice that you simply live your life normally without worrying too much about your intake, get as much sun as you can and make sure to consume dairy products or fish. What matters is that you get the necessary amount and if you start to feel like you might be developing deficiency then talk to your doctor and get some guidance.


Photo Credits: My Skin Pharmacy, Draxe.com, Eat Right Ontario, Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation

 

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5 Fun Family Fitness Activities

In this digital age where we’re often on our smart devices, children are busy with video games and it may seem like we can’t live without our computers. That said, it is important to ditch these electronic devices aside and get active together as a family as explained in Melissa’s Table Top Talk on Digital Detox. After all, family fitness is important as it not only teaches children how to have a balanced lifestyle, it also encourages deeper bonding between parents and child. We do know that it is difficult to think of activities so here’s a list of 5 that you can enjoy as a family.

1. Go for pre/post dinner walks

Walking has been proven to be a healthy and easy exercise that both young and old can enjoy together. This is great fun especially if you have a dog. Otherwise, make it a game by asking the children to either “find the dogs” or “spot the number of red cars” while walking around your neighbourhood. If you’re into Pokémon Go, then it is also a chance to catch some Pokémons. Best benefit? Bonding together as a family as you would naturally chat about the day while it becomes a daily habit.

2. Have a disco night

This should be fun especially for younger children who love to move around and great idea for playdates. Move the coffee table and push the sofa aside, put on some tunes and boogie the night away! Even better, make it a really creative session by getting your children to design some disco costumes or make your own glittery disco ball. Get your friends and their children involved too so that it will also be a chance for socialisation for the adults too. This definitely family fitness is a fun and appealing way!

3. Make a game out of household chores

We call them household chores, but they don’t really have to be. Make it fun by playing with children’s imagination. Your kids could be superheroes who are saving the stove from toxic dirt or the mop is a secret weapon that will reveal treasures on the floor. Simple incentives would also help! For example, you can hide sweets under their pillows if they made their beds and say that it’s the cleaning fairy who is rewarding them for a job well done.

4. Walk or run in events

There are tons of marathons or runs happening in Singapore almost every month and some are perfect for family fitness activities. Sign up for them as a family, especially those for charity, so that you can do a sporting activity together as a family while also teaching them about giving back to society. There are also a lot of fun walks at 5km where you can also enjoy the view which you wouldn’t normally get since marathons are often organised on closed roads. Great way to catch some fresh air and build up stamina!

5. Console Fitness

Most people think that playing on the Wii or Xbox other consoles is not tiring nor will it give a workout. However, it has been proven during a recent Singapore Active Gaming event that doing sports via Wii does make participants break out in a sweat. In a good way, of course. Moreover, one doesn’t need to really know how to play the sport in order to have fun and exercise. This would also be a good way to introduce your children to a variety of sports which may pique their interest enough for them to do it in real life. Also, the competitive nature would also be a good topic of interest for long between parent, child and even siblings.

We have only listed 5 family fitness activities but we encourage you to exercise (yes, pun intended!) your creativity and expand on the above. Remember, a family that keeps fit together stays together!


Photo credits: Pixabay, Adobe Sparks and Xbox

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Melissa’s Table Top Talk Episode 23: The Problem With Positivity

We’re sure that you’ve seen those “Quotes of the Day” on social media which reeks of positivity or asking you to keep a positive mindset. You have probably also met that person who keeps telling you that things will come your way if you keep a positive mindset and are confident.

However, is this whole positivity thing really working or does it create more issues? Is it simply and excuse or delusion instead of tackling the real deep set problems that one may have? In this week’s episode of Melissa’s Table Top Talk, we explore the topic “The Problem With Positivity” with Kenneth Koh who had extreme case of eczema for the past 25 years and a lot of people were telling him that the problem was his mindset which was holding back his healing.

 

Below is a photo of how bad Kenneth’s eczema was only a few years back. Imagine how it must be like to have to live with this for the past 25 years and judged. Judged for how he looked as well as by people telling him that it was his mindset which was hampering his healing.

It was through observation, research and also experience that Kenneth realised that being positive is not enough. The problem with positivity is that it’s too simplistic to simply ask someone to be confident or to be more positive about their situation or problem.

As mentioned in the video, we’re not contradicting ourselves by promoting body positivity but yet discouraging a positive mindset. Just be mindful whether you’re using labels or ideas to give you a false sense of confidence or if you’re deluding yourself from resolving deeper issues. Moreover, each person is different and different situations require different solutions while optimism and positivity helps and encourages your desired outcome.

Catch the ‘live’ version of Melissa’s Table Top Talk every Tue, 8.30pm (Singapore Time) at Wellness Insider’s Facebook page. To be updated on the latest episodes, you can also subscribe via our YouTube channel.

 

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Anti-acne Skincare – Boxing Day Giveaway!

It’s Boxing Day but the spirit of Christmas is still alive! We’re giving away this set of anti-acne skincare products to ONE lucky winner.

Alba Botanica’s anti-acne skincare range is all natural and made with vegetarian products. Great for teens and even adults who do get the occasional spots. The full set will definitely help you say buh-bye to acne and hello to clear skin as it includes a facial wash, scrub, astringent (think of it as a toner) as well as a treatment gel.

To win, all you’ve got to do is to send in an email to [email protected] with your Name, Mobile no. and Mailing Address. Contest ends on 6 Jan 2017! Good luck everyone!

anti-acne skincare

Terms & Conditions:

  1. This contest is open only to Singapore residents
  2. Prizes are not exchangeable or replaceable with other prizes or cash
  3. Winner is chosen at random and results are final
  4. By entering this contest, you agree to be contacted by The Wellness Insider and included into our mailing list
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What People Misunderstand About Obesity

Chronic obesity has quickly become one of the most troubling diseases that keeps everyone worried. In a society that is increasingly concerned about health and also looks, it can be easy to be condescending towards obese people as the stereotype is that plus sized people are lazy or eat too much.  However, the reasons behind what causes obesity are not quite as simple as people think and research is still ongoing to figure it all out. Is it genetics? Diet and lack of exercise? Combination of both?

 

In a recent study done by NORC at the University of Chicago, 1,509 adults were asked to give their thoughts on what causes obesity as well as what they thought people with obesity could do in order to prevent it. The study, funded by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, found that concerns about obesity have risen. This is compared to just a few years ago, in a more limited survey, cancer was seen as the most serious health threat.

Now, it should be noted that throughout the years, researchers have determined that obesity isn’t just caused by eating the wrong foods or eating too much. What then are the reasons for obesity?

It goes beyond food intake – all the way down to genetics. From current research, it is deemed that certain genes may cause people to have more trouble when it comes to losing weight, whether it’d be due to their metabolism or just the constitution of their bodies.

Not just that, but there are people who are diagnosed with Chronic Obesity, which is an actual disease that can’t be treated simply by just exercising or dieting.

Unfortunately, that’s not how most of the people who took the survey perceived obesity. It’s not just the general public but doctors too, who said that they thought the problems behind obesity were more lifestyle choices than genetics.

Those surveyed as well as doctors thought that if people were suffering from Chronic Obesity, it was surely because they weren’t trying hard enough, or were lazy or lacked real willpower to exercise and diet.

The results of the survey have, understandably, worried a lot of researchers in the field as it goes to show just how little people seem to know about the truth behind Chronic Obesity. Not to mention that this social perception will also cause psychological issues with these people diagnosed with chronic obesity.

They note that, for a lot of doctors, it’s a matter of ignorance because they were not taught about chronic obesity as a disease and its causes in medical school, resulting in these medical experts to be only a little bit more knowledgeable on the subject than the public.

It’s especially disheartening because obesity does not just occur from eating too much or even being born with the disease. There have been accounts of people who have developed it thanks to side effects from certain medications that they have to take in order to survive.

At the same time, there have been accounts of people who have tried many times to lose weight through more conventional ways, but still have failed to succeed and have had to seek medical help.

This isn’t to say that exercise and diet don’t work, but it really depends on the individual. It also doesn’t help that people tend to look down on medical operations for dealing with obesity, as it seems like the ‘easy way out’. Thus, a lot of people suffering from obesity feel like they are judged twice – once based on their appearance; twice when they do something about their weight, people still judge them for the method of doing so. This goes back to the perception that fat people are lazy and therefore, are choosing surgery to lose weight instead of putting hard work and discipline in the gym and on their food intake.

We at The Wellness Insider encourage acceptance of all body types regardless of the circumstances. While we do write a lot of articles about staying healthy and exercising, what everyone has to understand is that you also have to accept a person’s appearance and that their body type is different from yours. If they’re happy the way they are or if they can’t just easily change who they are, then that’s also something that we have to accept.

Otherwise, you will be feeding into society’s trend of body shaming and perpetuating the cycle of negativity. Instead, we should all be supportive of one another no matter where we are on our health journey. We are a community and we’re stronger when we help each other rather than try to put others down.

When we accept that, then ‘obese’ or ‘obesity’ is no longer a label but an actual medical issue and treated as such. Don’t judge. After all, nobody’s perfect.


Photo credits: Wow Amazing, YTH, US News Health, Proud2BeMe

 

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