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5 Awesome Sites to Check Out this GSS

The Great Singapore Sale (GSS for short) has started and that means that a lot of stores will be shelling out discounts and products for every shopper to enjoy. While the city is buzzing with tourists and citizens going out to try and get the best deals possible, we ourselves have decided to make our own selection of online shops to check out if you want to buy something from the comfort of your own home.

Sulwhasoo

Sulwhasoo

Sulwhasoo is a store you should try out if you’re looking for some high quality beauty products. It offers everything from skincare products to anti-aging and protection. It also has a repertoire of products to help with makeup such as balancers and cushions to help with brightening.

That’s not all, if you sign up for it today you’ll get a 10% discount on your next order. It’s US branch is also offering a father’s day offer on Men’s skincare product, because they deserve to take care of their skin as well.

Lorna Jane (US)

Lorna Jane

For all your active wear needs, Lorna Jane has got you covered. This store boasts a variety of active wear products like tank tops, leggings and even jackets in different colors, shapes and decorations that are both breezy, comfortable and beautiful to boot. Not just that, if you want a new water bottle that’s easy to travel with then it’s got you covered too.
This store is also offering a 25% discount on any selected items and is valid until 30th June, so take the chance while it’s still up for grabs!

Take advantage of the mid-year sale at Yoshop. Use the coupon

YoShop

If you’re looking for variety when it comes to what you can buy for this GSS season then Yo Shop’s actually a pretty good place to start. While it can be a bit overwhelming, this site offers just a little bit of everything from clothes to accessories for both men and women.

It is offering up to 60% discount for its products along with free shipping, featuring plus sized dresses and bikini sets for those who want something to wear to the beach.

Tea Box

Tea Box

If you like your tea, then you’ll love Tea Box and all the different flavors that it provides. This site doesn’t just sell a good mixture of leafs, it also sells tea sets and even tea makers and other types of wares that can make creating your own tea recipes easier. For this GSS season it is definitely a store that any tea aficionado should check out, especially if you’re trying to lead a healthier and calmer life.

Tea Box is also a holding a discount of 12% for any of its products that lasts until the 30th, so make sure to not let it go to waste.

Dr Brandt Skincare

Dr. Brandt

This brand is another one that pus skincare at the forefront, it doesn’t just focus on skincare products either. Dr. Brandt makes sure to give customers the chance to purchase everything from masks to creams that can help with enlarged pores. Not just that, but if you take the chance to buy a Detoxifying Antioxidant Water Booster for your skin you’ll be able to get one free, just make sure to get it before the 19th.

So don’t be shy and let the inner shopper in you have some fun for this GSS season, we’re sure you will enjoy these great offers.


Photo Credits: Sulwashoo, Lorna Jane, Yo Shop, Tea Box, Dr. Brandt

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How Breast Implants Affect Women

Breast Cancer is one of the more iconic diseases in the last decade and there is an increasing amount of information about it, with a lot of foundations now established to fund more research. And latest research has shown that a disease that may surge because of breast cancer is anaplastic large-cell lymphoma.

Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (we’ll just call it lymphoma for now) is a type of cancer that women can develop through breast implants. Women get these implants either as a result of breast removal due to breast cancer or for cosmetic reasons.

The disease can affect anyone who’s had implants for two to up to twenty-eight years and the only way to treat it is by removing the implant and any scar tissue that’s around it. It’s not an everyday occurrence, but more and more cases are appearing.

This rare form of cancer has affected over 10 million women worldwide in the last few years, with some areas of the world seeing a bigger sum than others.

Doctors first discovered the link between cancer and implants in 2011, when they realised that patients who developed lymphoma were usually the ones with the rougher and more textured implants, as opposed to smoother implants which are frequently used.

Even though they’re not quite sure on why the difference in texture would affect the development of lymphoma, doctors theorise that it could be bacteria that are attached to the textured implant; if this is the case, then the bacteria would be able to form a type of coating called a biofilm and attack the immune system. The effects of this biofilm could vary from causing severe inflammation to even developing cancers such as lymphoma.

Researchers argue that it might not be the only cause; more investigations have gone into testing whether or not women’s genetic makeup has some molecule that could reject the implants and in turn generate lymphoma.

Thankfully, the symptoms for lymphoma are easy enough to spot. Like Breast Cancer, symptoms involve swelling and a buildup of fluid. Small bumps will also appear around the breast or on the armpits.

bariatric surgery

Thankfully, this type of lymphoma can be solved quickly. To test for it, doctors simply have to drain some fluid from the breast and test it for a substance called CD30 which is what causes lymphoma. Not just that, but if spotted early, it is easily treatable, and the patient won’t run any risk of the disease resurging at any point during their life.

Unfortunately, things aren’t quite that simple. The link between implants and lymphoma was only made a few years ago, before that, doctors either had no idea of what was happening or didn’t have any concrete evidence. Because of this, a lot of women were put back into chemotherapy treatment which didn’t help their condition at all.

Even after it became a known, many doctors still weren’t aware of the disease or what to do to prevent it; this led women to look for help from each other through social media groups where they could relay their accounts to one another and learn more about their situation.

With time, lymphoma through implants has become better known, but a lot of damage has already been done. Breast implants, regardless of the cause for them, have become one of the more common plastic surgery procedures in the world, so the possibility for people that could develop this type of lymphoma is certainly high.

Not just that, but as of 2015, only 30% of plastic surgeons frequently talked to their patients about cancer, according to Dr Mark W. Clemens II, a plastic surgeon and an expert on the disease at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

With all that said, doctors are still working hard to spread the knowledge about lymphoma, and these women are also doing everything they can to help each other out. It’s just a matter of time before more people learn more about it and help future cases be more prepared. In the meanwhile, we highly recommend women to do regular checks on their breasts and see a doctor once they notice anything unusual.


Photo Credits: Daily Mail, Stefano Marianelli, ShutterStock

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Positive Workout Songs Playlist (Part 2)

Music influences our mood and the right songs could pump us up for an activity, while the wrong one could make us feel even more anxious or lacking energy. Which is why, listening to the right playlist while exercising can motivate us to run further or cycle faster. Here’s another list of songs that we feel will keep you all pumped up when you workout!

Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars’ songs have always feel somewhere between melancholic and just outright fun. Runaway Baby is one of the latter and, just like “Uptown Funk” it embodies a great feeling of cheerfulness and energy that can prepare anyone for the start of a good run. Just make sure you don’t run away too fast.

Titanium by David Guetta and Sia

If Runaway Baby is a fun and happy song then Titanium is the complete opposite. It starts off with a sad tune whose purpose is to remind you of things that depress you. However, as the song picks up, it starts to become more energetic and almost rebellious as the song talks about standing back up and overcoming problems.

Needless to say, this song is perfect for moments when you’re doubting if you can continue or not as it reminds you why you’re working out and pushing you forward.

Levels Avicii

It’s best to ride that wave of good vibes with another energetic song. While this one is mostly instrumental, it might work better than some others on this list as you have to focus only on the melody, whose techno vibe helps in raising the spirits back up after a gruelling run. Plus, we can guarantee that it’ll make you put a kick in your step.

Shake It by Metro Station

Shake it became so popular back when it came out that it got tiring. It’s song is very simple, and a good chunk of it is just repeating the title. However, this part is also catchy, and the fun beat that accompanies it can get even the people that dislike it the most to dance to it as if it was nothing.

I don’t Like it; I love it by Flor Riad ft. Robin Thicke and Verdine White

If we’re talking about good and catchy beats then no song can come up with this one, unlike Shake it which could get a bit jarring after a while, I don’t Like Its’ chorus is intermingled with some nice solo beats and melodies that’ll make you dance like there’s no tomorrow. It also helps that its bright tone and simple style also make it easy to focus on it more.

Going to Make you Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Factory

We couldn’t exclude this early 90s classic; Everybody Dance now has become one of the more iconic songs of all time and for a good reason. It’s disco/rap combo helps it stand out from other songs, and unlike a lot of party songs, everything about this one is iconic and energising.

You should listen to it if you’re doing anything that requires you to move, but it’s perfect if you’re practising your dance moves.

Burn by Ellie Goulding

We finish this list with Burn, a song whose quiet melody and lyrics might feel a little too slow at first, but they work great as an inspirational song with the aim of lighting a fire inside of you, as the song likes to point out. It’s probably not active enough to keep you going while doing cardio or running, but listening to it as warm up or doing some simpler exercises could work better.

With all these amazing songs up front, we certainly hope that you’re able to find something you like and that works for you when you work out.


Photo Credits: SpeakStick

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What You Need To Know About the Mediterranean Diet

The  term “Mediterranean Diet” came about in 2013 when medical researchers were studying diets from around the world and tracked the health statuses of women from when they were in their 50s to 60s till they were in the 70s. They found that the people from this small village in Italy had the lowest cases of age-related diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases, and thus started looking into their diets to find out whether it is the cause of their better health status.

mediterranean diet

First, let’s talk about what Mediterranean food is not about. When one mentions Italian or Greek food, one would often think about pasta, pizza, lamb and loaves of bread accompanied by bottles of wine. However, Mediterranean food is more than that and when referring to the Mediterranean diet specifically, it’s about eating a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables, beans, shellfish, chicken, fish, tomatoes, nuts, olive oil and…even, red wine. For example, the paella or pilaf has a lot of the above ingredients inside. Nonetheless, the key to everything is moderation.

This “Mediterranean diet” has been around for thousands of years but contrary to what most would believe, it’s not just a diet but a way of life. People who live with the diet don’t just eat; they also lead active lives, get a lot of exercise and are very social. It’s a lifestyle that is meant to keep you healthy in all fronts – physical, emotional and mental.

Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

We’ve talked a lot about the Mediterranean diet and what it is, but you might be wondering what the benefits of it actually are, people wouldn’t talk about it if it didn’t live up to the hype after all. The main benefit that everyone mentions when they talk about this particular diet is how it can help prevent heart disease, type-2 diabetes, obesity and even depression.

It’s Low in Processed Foods and Sugar

Ingredients found in Mediterranean food tend to be natural with little processing and no artificial flavouring, favouring on fresh produce. The only ‘processed’ foods would be items such as cheese, sausages and preserved olives or capers. It doesn’t shy away from carbs nor is it exceptionally high in protein (e.g. Atkins or Paleo diets).

The Mediterranean diet is also low in sugar, with the only sugar present being in fruits and wines. It also involves drinking a lot of fresh water or natural juices, which also lowers the consumption of sugar that could lead towards diabetes.

Helps You Lose Weight

This is one of the main reasons why the Mediterranean diet is so popular. Not only is it sustainable, the ingredients are all healthy and offer a variety of nutrients (protein and omega 3s etc) that allow you to lead a healthy life without making you go hungry, so you won’t have to skimp on food. Not just that, there’s also a large variety of foods and dishes, so you won’t have to worry about sticking to only one type of food, you can try out different recipes that suit your palate or needs.

prostate cancer

Improves Heart Health and Prevents Cancer

The benefit of a lot of these dishes, and their reliance on olive oil in particular, is that they offer a great amount of Omega 3 fatty acids that can help heart disease, as some famous stars would tell you. Coupled with a diet high on fish and the chances of cardiac arrest can be lowered by 30%, with sudden cardiac death going down by 45% or more.

Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is also great at lowering hypertension because it makes nitric oxide more bioavailable, which makes it better able to keep arteries dilated and clear. It also helps fight against oxidation and improves endothelial functions, which is further enhanced by the antioxidant resveratrol found in red wine.

The antioxidants found in red wine and the various fruit and vegetables also help to prevent cancer by protecting DNA cells and slows down the degenerating rate as well as lowering cell mutation and delaying tumor growth.

healthy fats

Prevents Diabetes

Its ability to lower inflammation also makes Mediterranean diets able to lower the risks of diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type-2 Diabetes. The reason for this might be in the fact that foods found in this group control excess insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, and makes us gain and retain weight.

People living with a Mediterranean diet eat a balanced breakfast shortly after waking up and eat all three meals a day, with their biggest one usually being lunch.

Can Prevent Cognitive Disease and Help You Live Longer

The effects of anti-inflammatory vegetables and fruits also help fight age-related cognitive decline. Thus, the Mediterranean diet can work as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, which are often thought to be related to the lack of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is necessary for body movements, body regulations and thought processing.

This diet also encourages people to spend more time with nature as well as getting a good sleep and spending time with loved ones. Constantly spending time with those you care about helps release dopamine too, and can help with fighting stress and depression.

Plant-based foods and healthy fats also act as a good combination for longevity. Olive oil for its part offers a lot of monounsaturated fat, which is associated with lower levels of all the diseases we’ve mentioned before and also acts as the main offering of this diet.

 

These are some of the main benefits tied to Mediterranean diets that have helped push it into popularity as of recent years. It stands out even more in an age where people are looking to live healthier and change the direction of their lives.

However, like many things in life, a Mediterranean diet will only help you if you eat the correct amount of calories for your body type and weight, and stick to it. If you’re able to find a balance and follow the diet as best you can we’re sure to get results.


Photo Credits: Draxe.com, Wallpaper Gallery, Natural Society, UPI, US News Health

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Iron Supplements: Do You Need Them?

 

A poll result published on 26 Nov 2015 indicates that nearly 50% of females in Singapore may not be aware that they have iron deficiency. Doctors said that symptoms such as physical and mental fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails, may point to iron deficiency – but most people may put them down to stress and/or lack of sleep.

Iron deficiency is more often found in women who have heavy menstruations or are pregnant. While iron supplements may be readily available, doctors recommend a balanced diet as the best way to maintain healthy iron levels.

iron supplements

How about the reverse – iron overload?

In the article published by PhysiciansCommittee, iron is called a double-edged sword.

The body requires iron for healthy blood cells but beyond a certain level, iron becomes a dangerous substance as it acts as a catalyst for the formation of free radicals. Once the excess iron is absorbed by the digestive tract, the body stores it. Because of this, research studies have shown that higher amounts of iron in the blood mean higher risk of cancer.

In spite of advertising from health supplement manufacturers, iron overload exists and the tendency is higher for men and for women after menopause.

anaemia

Major contributors to iron excess are taking vitamin and mineral supplements that contain iron. Some people may be taking certain multi-vitamins without knowing that there is iron in it. Other factors include eating excessive red meat and to some extent, processed foods that have iron added.

It was mentioned earlier that women with heavy menstruations may have iron deficiency. The reverse may be true for women after menopause or women who don’t menstruate regularly. Which explains why men have a higher tendency of iron overload – because they don’t menstruate!

Hence, it is prudent to have your doctor check your iron level before taking any supplements containing iron.

What are the symptoms of iron overload?

  • stomach pain
  • heart palpitations or chest pains
  • unexplained weakness
  • joint pain
  • unexplained fatigue

joint pain

The test used to check one’s iron level is known as ferritin. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron, releasing it when the body needs it. Ferritin is stored in the body’s cells until it’s time to make more red blood cells. Thus, if a person has an iron overload, it may take months before the normal level can be reached.

It’s an inexpensive test, likely costing less than a bottle of iron supplements, and it can help ensure that you do not over or under-consume iron.

For more information on integrated health management, visit www.vitalay.earth

Contributed by LayYong, Wellness Entrepreneur.


References:

The Straits Times “Women not aware of iron deficiency”, Nov 26 2015

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Iron: The Double Edged Sword, www.pcrm.org

Photo credits: Pixabay and JustSaying.Asia

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Aqua Zumba Pool Party (Full Moon Edition)

Singapore’s first ever Aqua Zumba FULL MOON Pool Party!

Join the madness, or fitness, if you would prefer to call it, as we welcome the full moon on the 9th of June 2017 with an aquarium of Zumba and hot chocolates! As the full moon approaches, we shall create a new story for all you party animals!

*Kindly note that this is an aquatic event.
Please bring along enough towels for yourself and also a spare set of dry clothes to change into from your swimwear.

aqua zumba
Experience includes:
  • 60 minutes of Zumba party in the evening pool
  • Unwind over a complimentary cup of hot chocolate as we welcome the full moon at 21:09
  • Lockers and shower facilities available

Date:  Fri, 9th June 2017
Time: 7.45pm to 9.45pm
Price: S$29/person
Venue: To be revealed upon registration

To register, please click here.

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Baby Teeth – A Dentist’s Advice

As a dentist, I’ve seen many children with dental decay, pain and swellings in the mouth. Having worked in hospitals, I have seen numerous little ones have general anaesthetic to have their teeth taken out. These are emotional and costly measures for a disease that is completely preventable.

As a parent there is so much going on. Taking care of your baby, your family and yourself. When it comes to a healthy smile, there are a few things to look out for:

1. Baby teeth

baby teeth

The baby teeth (primary/deciducous teeth) start to come through (erupt) at around 6 months. The lower two front teeth are the first ones you may see in the mouth. You may notice a ‘teething’ phase which is perfectly normal.

2. Teething

It is completely normal for teeth to start growing between 3 and 12 months old. Drooling, irritability and not wanting to feed are all part of the process. It can be painful and uncomfortable and babies often need patience, love and affection.

3. Adult Teeth

Between 6-7 years of age the adult (secondary) teeth will begin to erupt starting with the first molar. This will be an ongoing process from age 6 to 14 years (exclusive of wisdom teeth). Don’t be surprised if the teeth are not all in line initially. Often, they straighten out as the jaw grows. If this is not the case, you may wish to see a dentist about braces.

4. Bleeding gums means gum disease

Dental plaque is made up of sugar and bacteria. When it sits around the gums and is not removed, the gums start to bleed. If this continues, the gums will begin to drop back over time. What do you do? Ensure the teeth are brushed twice daily and limit sugary foods.

5. Dental decay needs attention

Dental decay is also known as dental cavities or dental caries. You may notice this as brown or black areas on the teeth. They may give no symptoms but can cause sensitivity and pain. If there is no pain, it does not mean the cavity does not need treating. A dental cavity can get bigger and reach the nerve in the tooth. This results in severe pain, swelling and the tooth needing extra attention or taking out. A large infection can lead to damage to the adult teeth.

Your child’s teeth are important. While they may get a second set, if the first set are not cared for, they may result in infections, pain and even being taken out. This can hinder the growth and development of the adult teeth with regard to shape, colour and position in the mouth.

Current best practice suggests brushing twice a day for two minutes on every surface of each tooth. Children who can not tie their own shoe laces tend not to have the manual dexterity to brush there own teeth. It’s advisable that an adult helps them. We always recommend limiting refined sugars and not eating after the bed time brush.

Top Tips for a happy healthy smile:

  1. Cut the sugary drinks
  2. Avoid processed food
  3. Brush twice a day
  4. Inspect the teeth for decay and gum disease
  5. See a Dentist every 6 months

Until next time, keep smiling!

 

Contributed by Dr Surinder Arora, Integrative Dentist and Health Coach.


Photo credits: Pixabay

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Why Do I Get The Cold Often Even When I Get Enough Exercise?

The common cold is the most frequently occurring disease in the world, and is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from work, school and yes, from your fitness classes.

There is a hidden fact about why people are often infected with the common cold.

Some of the ways to ward off communicable diseases like the cold, is to exercise, eating healthy and washing your hands as often as possible to minimise the chances of getting sick. Yet, some of you who exercise, eat healthy are often affected by the common cold.

Why?  The simple fact is you could be deficient in Vitamin D.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has powerful effects on several systems throughout the body. For example, muscles need it to move.

Unlike most vitamins, vitamin D is a hormone (the medical community continued to use the term vitamin, even after it has been found to be a hormone – habits are difficult to change!) and every cell in your body has a receptor for it. Your body makes it from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common. According to a 2011 study, 41.6% of adults in US are deficient.

What about Singapore or people living in the tropics? One would think low Vitamin D is not an issue given that there is sunshine all year round. The surprising thing is that a large majority of people does not have sufficient Vitamin D, one key reason being, most people live in modern cities and spend most of their time indoors.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

  1. Getting sick and infected often, especially with colds or the flu.
  2. Fatigue and tiredness.
  3. Bone and back pain.
  4. Hair loss.
  5. Muscle pain

Some people might attribute any of these symptoms to aging and live with it but you don’t have to.

It takes a simple test to find out if you are deficient in Vitamin D. If yes, you can correct it.

But read on. There is more to Vitamin D than we know. Research has shown Vitamin D is important in preventing other illnesses like diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.

prostate cancer

Vitamin D and Bones

Studies have shown that elderly individuals with low vitamin D are more likely to develop fractures and higher doses of vitamin D intake can reduce the likelihood of fractures

Vitamin D and the Heart

Studies have shown that low vitamin D levels are seen in people with heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke. There is some evidence that vitamin D may have a role in regulating blood pressure and preventing artery damage.

Vitamin D and Diabetes risk

Vitamin D levels also have an association with the increased incidence or likelihood of developing diabetes, a major risk factor for heart disease.

Vitamin D and the Immune System

It has been established by research that vitamin D is crucial to activate the body’s immune defences and that without sufficient intake of the vitamin – the killer cells of the immune system will not be able to react and fight off infections in the body.

Next time, ask your doctor to include the Vitamin D test to determine that you’re neither having too little nor too much of it.

For more about integrating health and fitness and be proactive in building optimum health, visit www.vitalay.earth.

 

Contributed by Lay Yong, Wellness Entrepreneur.


References:

Vitamin D crucial to activating immune defences – www.sciencedaily.com, March 8 2010, University of Copenhagen

Vitamin D keeps the doctor away, Heart Stroke & Cancer Centre www.shscentre.com; Dr Michael Lim

Photo credit: Pixabay and GIPHY

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