Category Archives: How to Stay Healthy and Happy


boiled chick peas


healthy food

This blog post is about my cholesterol reduction challenge – my greatest challenge of the year. In retrospect, I collected my annual blood test results last week and was upset to know that my cholesterol level is still high. What was worse was that I was told my high cholesterol was hereditary which I may have gotten from my father. The doctor said that no matter how much I exercised or changed my diet, my cholesterol level would remain high unless I took medication. And I had to take it for life. So after that day, I vowed to completely change my diet and stick to a strict regime.

My Plans 

I have been thinking a lot about my situation and have done lots of research. Resulting from that, I plan to stick to the following:

  • Switch my food servings to 70% plant based including legumes and nuts, 20% protein and 10% wholegrain carbs.
  • Eat more blueberries and apples and other fruit that lowers cholesterol levels.
  • Exercise almost every day for at least 30mins.
  • Take Apple Cider Vinegar every day before dinner.
  • Take fruit smoothies for breakfast, if not daily perhaps on alternate days.

So with reference to the above, I’m thinking of:

  • investing in a blender to prepare my veg smoothies
  • conducting research on veg smoothie recipes and cholesterol lowering meals
  • taking my prescribed statin only for 3 months and then go without for the next 3 to 4 months before testing for cholesterol again.

My Actions Thus Far….

So far, I have been extra mindful of the food I consume and have been staingy away fromfried food, pastry and savoury ghee laden rice.

apple cider vinegar

As an example, lunch will consist of macaroni soup with steamed chicken and leafy veg while dinner comprises a veg and bean burrito. It is satisfying and I feel clean after being extra mindful of my food choices. I have also started taking apple cider vinegar (ACV) and sipped it through a straw as ACV can erode the teeth enamel over a long period of time. To take extra precautions, I brush my teeth right after taking it. Take note that the apple cider vinegar must be organic and contains the Mother which is actually the sediment (in rudimentary terms) which makes the end result effective. 

Reflecting over the past year, my cholesterol reduction goal has not been successful as there was only a reduction of 1 mg in my LDL, the bad cholesterol. My HDL is  good in contrast and the doctor reckons the high cholesterol level has nothing to do with my diet. And I weigh 55 kg. So I’m determined to prove the doctor wrong that people with hereditary cholesterol level cannot lower it without medication.

I will have to try very, very hard to forgo pesto, cheese containing high cholesterol especially my favourite Laughing Cow cheese, potato chips and oily as well as pastry-related food. Sinful food will only be a luxury that can be consumed once in a while. Aren’t we humans after all? I will chart my journey and share my recipes with you in my attempts to lower my cholesterol levels without medication. All I need is strong will power to avoid temptations and keep to my strict diet. Would love to hear from those who have successfully lowered their hereditary cholesterol levels without statins. 


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balcony work

Feeling down and unmotivated? Is winter making you feel less productive? This is the reason why. The area you work in lacks sunlight. Yes. It is true. If you’re not on top of things and feeling depressed, chances are, you’re working in the wrong part of the house. Ask yourself these questions: Is your home office dark and closed up? Are the curtains closed and obstructing the sunlight and view? If your answer is yes, then, you need to soak in the energy of the sun to be more positive and productive. Consider the tips below to energise yourself and change your state of mind.

  1. Soak in some sunlight

Work in the balcony or the backyard if such places are brighter and warmer due to more sunlight streaming in. If you work in a home office, draw the curtains to allow more sunlight to brighten the room. Sunlight helps to change your mood and mindset. Chances are you’ll be more productive and feel much better working when exposed to some natural light. Sunlight is indeed a natural source of energy that recharges your body and soul that are much needed for a positive mindset. Why do you think people feel lazy and unproductive when it’s gloomy and grey outside and are more active when the sun is shining brightly outside? The sun has got amazing energy that revitalises you inside out. So ensure that you have plenty of sunlight where you work. 

2. The pleasures of warmth

You work better when your home office is warm. This is because warmth brings comfort. Ensure that you have a heater or a fireplace near you. Warmth is inviting and comforting. You need it to stay productive. 


3. Yellow is gold

Painting a yellow accent on a wall will change the mood to any room. If your living room or work space is dull, try giving one part of the room a hint of yellow. Alternatively, introduce a vase of sunflowers or a painting that has predominant yellow colours to promote the flow of energy and the change of mindset. 

4. Reflect more light 

Use a long mirror to reflect and introduce light in the room. To do this, you need to position the mirror directly opposite a window. This helps to brighten your room and works as mood switcher. In no time, you’ll feel more energised and productive instead of feeling down and depressed. 

So, soak in the energy of the sun to be more positive and productive. Try one of or a combination of the above the next time you feel unproductive. Don’t take the sun’s rays for granted as it is the source of life and energy. Amazingly, it changes your mood and lifts up your spirits. Do share your stories about how the sun’s energy bring positivity to your mind and energises your body. 



The new year has just dawned upon us. While many of us anticipate good experiences and good luck in the new year, there are some of us who still have unresolved past issues that need to be addressed. It does not do you good to harbour ill feelings about unresolved problems in the previous year. The key is to let go of past ill feelings about people or incidents. Be positive and open your mind and heart to abundance. 

1. Positive thoughts and actions 

Think positive and act positive. Discard all feelings of resentment and frustrations. Unblock all passages that allow positive energy to flow towards you. Start your day with an affirmation such as ‘Today will be a good day for me’ or ‘Blessings will flow to me all day today’. Once you start your day in a positive light, everything else will flow smoothly. It is important to set the tone for the day so that all else will follow in the same rhythm. Kind actions such as giving way to another driver on the road or giving up your seat to someone else who needs it more than you do on the bus will spur good things to come to you. 


2. Give and you shall receive 

Giving your time to others will trigger feelings of happiness. This can come in the form of volunteer work or just time to listen to someone who needs a listening ear. Donating some cash or unused items such as clothes and other personal belongings will also have the same effect. You give knowing that someone else can benefit and help lighten their burden. When you give, you get threefold in different forms. The effects of giving is stupendous. 


3.  Keep a gratitude log

To be happy one has to be grateful for the things one has. Try keeping a gratitude journal and make it a point to write a few things you are grateful for each day. By doing this, you get to look back and reflect upon the things that you have which others are deprived of and the genuine people who are around you whom you tend to take for granted. Being grateful for even the little things will trigger feelings of joy and contentment. 

Abundance will flow if you keep to the simple rule of being positive and grateful. Open your mind and heart to new experiences and have faith that good things will come to you. Positive energy promotes positive experiences in your life. Change your mindset and let go of all negative feelings of resentment and frustrations from the previous year. 

Have a blessed, happy and fruitful new year! 





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It is unsurprising to note that simple folks are the ones who are happier than their wealthy sophisticated counterparts. Greed leads to discontent and depression. That explains why people who focus on what they do not have are more miserable that those who focus on what they have. The saying ‘An optimist sees the donut while a pessimist sees the hole’ clearly demonstrates how people who are concentrate on what they have and are thankful for them are happier people who lead contented lives. In counting their blessings, these people could see more opportunities that lay before them and make the best of such situations while those who lament on what they do not have will fall into the abyss of misery and depression as they tend to compare themselves with others better than them and whinge about the lack.

Follow the tips below to change your present mindset in order to feel happier and content with yourself:

1. Count your blessings

At the end of each day, reflect upon your entire day as the events unfold. Jot down all the things that you are thankful for in a notebook. Go through what you have written each week and notice how many things you are thankful for. You will be amazed by the number of  blessings that have taken place in your life each week. Give thanks to each one of them and notice how you feel at that particular moment.


2. Thank someone

The next time someone does something for you , no matter how trivial it is, remember to thank him or her. It may be a colleague who has opened the door for you or your child who has taken the garbage bin in. This act of gratitude is not limited to people whom you know or interact with each day. It can be a task done by a total stranger such as the cashier at the supermarket or the bus driver. Expressing gratitude to someone not only demonstrates a gesture of politeness but also  expressing your gratitude for little things that can be easily taken for granted. Saying thank you to someone also shows that the person’s gesture is being appreciated and in turn makes you feel aware that trivial things can make your life more tolerable, if not a little happier as things operate smoothly.


3. Notice the effects of gratitude

If you practise gratitude on a daily basis, be aware of its effects on you. More positive things will resonate with you when you count your blessings. You tend to get help effortlessly, get things done the way you want to, receive little pleasant surprises or have abundance come your way. Remember the adage ‘What goes round comes round?’ In short, the more good deeds you perform, the more positive thoughts you have and the more gratitude you express, the more positive things you will encounter. In turn, the happier you will become.


Never discount the power of gratitude. It is with reason that all religions teach their followers who embrace them the importance of gratitude. It is through the acts of gratitude that we are humbled and feel blessed about the things we have or have received. It is a way to counter check greed. By feeling blessed, we feel much happier and content.


woman happiness

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Happiness is a state of mind. It is connected to contentment and gratitude. Giving also promotes that good feeling as we proffer good words, good deeds and think good thoughts. In today’s world, people get embroiled in the rat race, work hours on end frantically and seek temporary solace in retail therapy only to get sucked in the rat race again when the weekend is over. That’s meaningless, I hear you say. That’s the reason why people uproot, change jobs, get out of their comfort zones in search of a better lifestyle in order to achieve happiness. Let’s look at how we can achieve that state of happiness.


1. Practise feelings of gratitude

To be grateful for the things you have and to express gratitude for the simplest things, will result in feeling of contentment. To be contented is to be happy. To focus on what we have and feel grateful for them is to count our blessings. Unfortunately, many focus on what they do not have and negative feelings of envy, hatred and frustration follow, leading to unhappiness and discontent.


2. Be kind

It pays to be kind through actions and words. This quality has a two way magical benefit. By being kind, you feel empowered and happier while at the same time making others happy by brightening their day. A smile is always a sure and simple way of radiating friendliness and transmit feelings of kindness.


3.  Live simply

We all have heard of the phrase ‘Less is more’ and ‘Declutter your living space’. By living simply and possessing only the things you need and not want will make you a much happier person as you live with less clutter and have less choices to make on a daily basis.



4.  Be engaged in enriching activities

All of us need to de-stress from the rigours of daily life and demands at work. Find an avenue to chill out and zone out from work and family demands. Engage yourself in enriching, creative or spiritual activities like meditation, exercise, dairy writing, reading, scrap booking, dance, painting or music.  Such activities will take your mind away from stress and allows you to express your thoughts and feelings freely and explore your creative side.


5. Connect with inspiring people

People around you can either pass negative or positive vibes.  Don’t let negative people affect you or those who seek your attention on a regular basis drain you. Instead enjoy the company of people who are positive, supportive and encouraging. Such company is comforting as you feel energised by positive energy and motivated by consistent support.


6.  Write down your thoughts

Keep a diary, conventional or online, so that you can express your thoughts and feelings and manifest your dreams and hopes. The law of attraction emphasises the habit of writing down your hopes and envisioning them through written words. By doing so, your mind is focused on what is being penned while may compel you to take action to realise your hope one step at a time. By having your hopes to focus on and taking an approach to make them happen, you actually feel much happier.


7.  Spend time in nature

Nature is healing. No one can deny the cathartic effects of nature. Take a walk by the beach or along a nature trail or in the park and your mind will feel much more at ease. The greenery that is spread before your eyes, the colourful blooms dot the monotony of the green foliage and the musical cacophony made by the birds overhead will take your mind away from the stress and unnecessary noise around you. Be at peace in the midst of nature as you envelope yourself in that magical moment as you communicate with the soothing sounds of nature.


There you are. If you ever are bombarded with negativity, follow the above steps to find solace and contentment in your strive to find happiness.



Recently I met up with an old friend whom I’ve not met for a year. We spoke about the old times and talked about what was happening in our lives. One thing that I couldn’t help sensing was the feeling of listlessness she exuded. Her lacklustre attitude affected me quite badly. I could feel the negative vibes wash over me. There was no inspiration drawn from her as life to her was a monotonous drudgery of work and an abyss of emptiness. Mid-way in the conversation, I decided to inject some verve in the way she looks at things. After all, happiness is really a state of mind.


1. Have something to look forward to

Pick up a hobby so that there is a zoom out session from work. If you are passionate about something, you’ll always be looking forward to getting your hands at it, be it gardening, writing, painting, playing a musical instrument etc. Alternatively, start enrolling for an online course and get into it. Learning something new can be enriching and fulfilling.


2.   Watch feel-good movies

Record a feel-good movie on television so you can watch it after a long day at work. Feel-good movies can be an antidote for stress and serve as a window period that allows you to zoom out of work mode and into a relaxed state of mind.


3. Pamper yourself

Treat yourself to something deserving such as a piece of heavenly mud cake or cheese cake or a bowl of ice cream. Or if you have been wanting to eat something but haven’t gotten round to having it, why not cook something nice for yourself? Savouring a little luxury can perk up one’s spirits. Remember to have that forbidden bowl of beef lasagne or ice cream in moderation.


4. Mingle with positive people

Mingling with positive and enthusiastic people can be gratifying. The good vibes that get rubbed onto you from these people make you feel better as you get inspired by their energy and positive attitude. Positive people are those who have something they enjoy doing in their lives and are happy to rub off their enthusiasm to you.


5.  Feel grateful for what you have

Start thinking of the things you are grateful for each day and jot them down. Rereading each sentence will make you realise how lucky you actually are. There are things that are positive in your life after all and they can easily be taken for granted.


Applying the above can help you change your mindset. The only person who has control over your feelings is you. Act now and start being a changed person in 2014. Be that person who radiates positive energy wherever you go. 


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