No, I’m not about to preach about the benefits of oats and its nutritional facts because:
Most, if not all of us are already aware of how good they are for our bodies
There are plenty of articles out there on that; here, here and here!
I’m not an expert in the “science of oats”
So instead I’ll share about how we can turn these healthful, nutritious, and wholesome oats into amazing, delicious meals. As per usual, my recipes are so easy and under 10 minutes to prep. No excuse for not having your oats guys…😆 To any oat haters out there, I get you because I used to feel the same; that they are bland and tasteless. Little did I know there’s a secret to it and it’s all in its pairing ingredients and cooking methods.
You can cook oats in different methods to achieve different textures. You may not be a fan of one, but may be crazy over another. I’ll share with you 3 methods (and recipes) that’ll give you different versions of oats; I would like to call them the hot, the cold and the crunchy. 😄
Overnight Oats (The “Cold”)
This method involves no cooking, short prep time, but a longer waiting period (overnight or at least 4 hours). This is great for those of you who are always on the go, and in a rush in the morning. Grab the jar from your fridge and off you go!
Pour in milk, and leave overnight in the refrigerator (or at least 4 hours) to soak.
Serve and enjoy.
*Homemade Cashew Mylk Recipe
Ingredients: 100gm Cashews | 500ml Water | Pinch of Salt Directions: Blend, strain and serve.
Note: Can keep for 1 week, refrigerated.
Cooked Oats (The “Hot”)
This method involves cooking over a hot stove, but requires the shortest cooking time. Ready in under 5 minutes! This is perfect for those of you who want a quick fix and you’re just too hungry to wait for longer than 5 minutes…
Serve in a bowl, with drizzles of honey and your favourite toppings.
Baked Oats (The “Crunchy”)
This method takes the longest time but they can also keep the longest compared to the other recipes. This is great for those of you who like to meal prep beforehand and always have something handy to use. I love them in my smoothie bowls and on my nut butter toast.
Cinnamon Granola Oats Recipe
1 Cup Rolled Oats | ½ Cup Mixed Nuts and Seeds | 1.5 Tbsp Olive Oil | 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar | ¼ Cup Coconut Flakes
Pre-heat oven at 180C.
Add oats, nuts and seeds, and olive oil into a baking tray. Mix well.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Add coconut sugar and coconut flakes, mix well.
Bake for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
You can be creative with your ingredients and switch up the ones given in the recipes above, and make your own favourite bowl of oat MEALS 😉 For more meal inspirations, oat recipes or other easy recipes, you can head over to The Pantry by Erina. Hope you’ll find more recipes there that you’d like to try.
I hope this inspires you to try something new or food that you may think you’re not a fan of. And if any of these recipes convert you to a fan of oats, it’ll be so amazing to get to hear from y’all personally 😆
Have an amazing week ahead loves and remember to take a moment to stop, live, breathe, love and share moments with people around you. Be that light to someone who needs it 😘 Life’s too precious for us to live for ourselves.
Some would say, a meal with no refined/processed ingredients, others would say a meal with no carbs, and then there are some who define a healthy meal as one with loads of greens.
What’s your definition?
I used to be obsessively concerned about every little bit of ingredient that goes into my food, as if eating something unrefined in one meal was going to be detrimental to my health. Through all my crazy obsession at different points of my life, I have finally come to a place where I have found my own definition of “healthy eating” that’s balanced and not restrictive. I believe it’s different for everyone because we each have our own likes/dislikes and routines/schedules.
The key is finding the definition that allows you to nourish your body and enjoy food without excessive unsustainable restrictions in your life; socially, mentally, or psychologically.
Here, I’m sharing how I maintain my healthy lifestyle while dining out in ways that are suited to my lifestyle and likings.
Order side salad or a veggie dish
So, to me, a big part of nourishing myself is having my greens. When I cook at home, I will always include them in most of my meals. With dining out, it gets a bit trickier. Most meals you get in a restaurant include only a few strands of greens. Then there’s the option of ordering a salad dish as a main, but that wouldn’t usually be enough for me especially if they include just greens without protein and carbs. So the win-win to me is ordering a salad or a veggie dish on the side, and have it to share with others.
A cup of hot tea does the work!
I’m never really one with the habit to order a drink with a meal. But I do have days where just water would not suffice and that’s when ordering a cup of hot tea does it for me. If you’re one with the habit of ordering a beverage with your meal, try tea instead! Plus, there’s something about slowly sipping a hot cup of tea that centers you and eases cravings for sweets/snacks. It’s not that it’s “bad” to have dessert after a meal, but I find that sometimes enjoying a cup of tea after a meal will leave you not wanting that dessert anymore.
Stay mindful while ordering and eating
Being mindful is a big part of eating healthy because it allows us to feed our body what it truly needs or desires for.
How many times do we order something only to find we didn’t quite enjoy it or feel satisfied or feel good after..?
So upon ordering, I find myself asking these questions; “How will i feel after having this meal?”, “Is this what I really want right now?”
If I’m hungry at the point of ordering food, being mindful about the amount of food that I’m about to order help. It’s easy to go crazy because our hungry state makes us believe that we can eat a whole lot! Asking myself questions like “Do I need that amount to fill my stomach?” or “Will i feel my best/satisfied after these amount of food?” helps me make better choices most of the time.
While eating out, most people are likely to be distracted by the environment or conversations that are ongoing around them. So it’s easy to have a meal and end up overeating or feeling like wanting more even after having a full meal. I eat mindlessly all the time when I’m not paying attention to what I’m feeding myself. By just being mindful about every mouthful of food that’s being consumed, allowing myself to enjoy the different flavours and textures that the food presents, I always find myself enjoying my meal better and feeling completely satisfied after.
These are just a few tips that have helped me with eating well and feeling my best, whilst dining out. Just thought these might help some of you out there who struggle with it. However, do keep in mind that these are ways that are suited for me and my lifestyle. It’s different for everyone. Hope this inspires you to keep finding methods and ways that will help you eat well and enjoy food and life!
Have a great week ahead and let us all remember to always speak words that build and not destroy, share with/give to someone who is in need (be it love, care, kind actions, words of encouragement or material goods). Enjoy your week!
Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian Occupational Safety and Health Practitioners’ Association (MOSHPA) have announced that they are organizing a 5km fun run at Putrajaya’s Complex Sukan Air on 13th January 2019.
Of the event, MOSHPA’s president Dato Dr R. Kanagaraja said “We want to help celebrate an early Federal Territory Day with not only our members from MOSHPA, but with an event where all families in the community can come together and have fun.”
Although occupational safety and health management is not a laughing matter, both fitness activities and laughter reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, and strokes. The event of the day hopes to ensure that everyone will get a little bit of both by including a Zumba session, a 5km fun run, musical entertainment by well-known local artistes, food and beverages, and carnival games to entertain the children. General health checks will also be available for anyone interested in finding out if they need to go for a more detailed health examination.
Registering for the run costs RM50, and can be done online at RaceXAsia.com. Running can help keep the heart healthy, improves moods, and lose weight – which may also boost your immune system. Although walking doesn’t burn as many calories, there is a lower risk of injuries compared to running, while still helping to reduce hypertension, high cholesterol, and the risk of diabetes. Increased physical fitness increases mental alertness, and reduces the risks of injuries, slips, trips, and falls, and other associated sick days.
MOSHPA was registered in 1997, and since then has held several events each year including fun runs, awards ceremonies, and training programs, to promote safety and health culture.
For further inquiries or to contact us, please visit our website at www.moshpa.com
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Mr Adrian Doshi at 016-681 4556.
In a study conducted in JAMA Dermatology, researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine discovered that even though 93% of their clinic attendee purchased a sunscreen, most of the people have a lack of understanding on the terminology used in a sunscreen label. Fewer than half of the participants were able to identify correctly the terminology used on the label. UVA, UVB, SPF, broad-spectrum, and PA, they may all seem confusing to consumers. Are you as confused? Worry not, as this article will explain all the commonly used term for this essential product.
Is it a sunscreen or a sunblock?
Today, many brands are actually a blend of sunscreen and sunblock. The words are also frequently used interchangeably. Sunscreen or sunblock helps to shield you from the dangerous ultraviolet rays of the sun in different ways:
Sunscreen: Sunscreen filters or screens the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Also called chemical sunscreen, it keeps most of the rays out but lets some in. It is more commonly used than sunblock. It utilises a variety of chemicals that work to absorb harmful UV rays before they penetrate your skin.
Sunblock: Sunblock or physical sunscreen reflects the sun’s rays from the skin. It blocks the rays from penetrating the skin. Most sunblocks utilise titanium oxide or zinc oxide as the active ingredient.
What is UVA and UVB rays
There are many different types of rays present in sunlight. The rays that are most damaging to our skin are called ultraviolet (UV) rays. UVB and UVA are the two basic types of ultraviolet rays that reach the earth’s surface.
UVB rays are responsible for producing sunburn. It’s easier to remember UVB cause burning. The UVB rays also play the greatest role in causing skin cancers.
UVA rays also play a role in skin cancer formation. It also penetrates more deeply into the skin and plays a greater role in premature skin aging changes including wrinkle formation. Hence, remember UVA cause aging. There are approximately 500 times more UVA rays in sunlight than UVB rays. UVA is around every day and it can penetrate through window glass and the cloud.
How much SPF do you need?
SPF stands for the sun protection factor. It measures a sunscreen’s ability to filter UVB rays. SPF of 30 means that technically, you could be out in the sun 30 times longer before you get sunburned than you would be able to if you went out without sunscreen, as long as you keep reapplying it appropriately.
An SPF of 30 is not double as effective as an SPF 15. Rather, the effectiveness in filtering UVB rays are as follows:
SPF 15 filters about 93% of UV-B rays
SPF 30 filters about 97% of UV-B rays
SPF 50 filters about 98% of UV-B rays
Hence, the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is only a 1% filtering improvement. If the sunscreen is reapplied every two hours and use in the right amount, using SPF 30 sunscreen is enough for typical adults.
What does a broad spectrum mean
Since SPF only measures protection against UVB rays, UVA coverage is indicated by the word ‘broad spectrum’. Most active ingredients in sunscreen shield against UVB, but far fewer have UVA coverage, and only a handful offer both. A sunscreen that combines both physical and chemical sunscreen usually have a broad spectrum property.
What about PPD and PPA?
Any sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays qualifies as broad spectrum. There’s some criticism from consumer advocates that the standard allows any sunscreen that provides any measurable protection from UVA rays as broad spectrum, even if that protection is very low.
Meanwhile, around the globe, the standardized indicator for UVA protection may not be the same. Other test and labels are used unlike the universal SPF indicator for UVB protection. So many sunscreens from Europe and Asia show more specific rankings for UVA protection and can be seen on their label as:
PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening): Used in Asia and Europe, a PPD of 10 means that it’ll take around 10 times longer for your skin to tan, compared to if it was unprotected.
PA (Protection Grade of UVA): used in Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, the PA system simplifies and groups the ratings from a PPD test. It ranges from PA+ to PA+++
It is estimated that around 350 million individuals worldwide have been diagnosed with diabetes. While millions of others may be walking around undiagnosed as one in every two diabetic adults are usually unaware of their diagnosis.
As diabetes is usually linked to those with excess weight, lack of exercise, and unhealthy eating habits; many who have been diagnosed worry that they would have to make drastic changes in order to lead a normal life. The word ‘diabetes’ to them may invoke the image of restrictions, lifestyle changes, excessive control, loss of freedom, deprivation, medication, sadness, and many more. However, that is not the case. Many individuals who have diabetes need only to start with some tiny changes in order to see vast differences in their blood sugar level.
Why should you change?
Although having diabetes may necessitate certain lifestyle adjustments to control blood sugar levels, it is more important for a person with diabetes to open up to changes before diving into changes. It would be a good preparatory act to ask yourself ‘Why’ should I change my habits and what would happen if I did change them?
1. Better organ health
Having a good blood sugar level can help to protect your organs and lower the risks of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems.
2. Better physical health
Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) can cause more hunger or thirst than usual, excessive urination, tiredness and lethargy, frequent infections and blurred vision. While hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can cause sweating, hunger, shaking, dry mouth, dizziness, a feeling of weakness and headache. With good blood sugar control, these symptoms can be alleviated and prevented from occurring.
3. Better emotional health
Excessive low blood sugar reading can cause anxiety and confusion in some individuals while the excessively high level of blood sugar can sometimes worsen depressive symptoms. A healthy eating plan that helps to control your blood sugar levels will help in fostering positive emotions and thus, fostering a healthier and happier you.
How do I keep a positive outlook?
Diabetes has undoubtedly affected a person’s emotional well-being. It was found that persons with diabetes were susceptible to negative emotions due to the frustration of managing their condition. But the truth is nothing can take away your happiness unless you allow it to. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘None can make you feel inferior without your consent’. If you look at diabetes as something that is going to debilitate your life and steal your joy, your whole outlook on life will be of frustration.
However if instead, you chose to view your condition as a motivation for you to be healthier and reach an even better version of yourself, you will discover parts of yourself that you never knew existed. You will also start taking control of your emotions and learn to view this condition as a blessing rather than a curse.
It might help to ponder upon the following after being diagnosed:
now you have a bigger reason to start taking control of your health
now you are more careful of what you eat for which your waistline will also thank you
now you can start taking exercising even more seriously and you will also reap the benefits everytime you look in the mirror and see a healthier you
you are more mindful of your lifestyle habits which starts to not only improve your blood sugar levels but also helps your overall health
you appreciate every moment and every person in your life even more as you start to value your health and life more
There are also various myths running in the minds of persons with diabetes that should be addressed:
It’s time to make the change
Now that you have explored some of the Whys, the Myths and the Facts involved in changing your habits, we have now arrived at the Magical question of, “Are you willing and ready to change?”- If you have answered ‘Yes’ to this, think about a few things in your lifestyle that you are willing to change and slowly change this thought into action.
Being diagnosed with diabetes may seem like a world of never-ending restrictions. However, the good news is making even a tiny step of change will cause a huge impact on your health. And remember the food you eat and the physical activity you choose to do is just as important as how you feel. If you’re not happy with a certain eating plan or fitness routine, seek help on getting new ideas to tailor them to your health status and most importantly, satisfied yourself physically and emotionally. Are you ready to turn your situation into a blessing and have the intention to take action?
Research has shown that individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of depression than the normal population. Comorbid diabetes and emotional issues are found to be simultaneously associated, with one condition exacerbated by the other and vice versa. Traditional management of diabetes aims at diet, medication, and exercise while the psychological aspect of this disease is often overlooked. Due to negative perceptions and stigma on emotional/mental issues, diabetes patients may even feel reluctant to seek counselling or treatment.
The emotional turmoil of diabetic patients
Studies indicate that individuals with diabetes were more likely to have a strong emotional response to negative experiences. Research also indicates that individuals with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes had more activity on the right side of their brains, which is associated with depression and negative emotions.
Those with prediabetes and diabetes also recorded lower cortisol levels which shows a lower resistance to stress. It was also found that the occurrence of anxiety in the diabetic patient has been reported as high as 40%.
People with diabetes normally go through several emotional stages as they come to grips with having a chronic disease.
Psychological support for diabetes
As diabetic patients become more fixated on negative thoughts, losing weight and managing other health issues can become more challenging. Negative emotions and anxiety affect diabetes self-care management, which is manifested through poorer diet and medication adherence, lesser physical activity, and ultimately higher health care costs.
For healthcare providers, giving the psychological support needed by their patients can make a huge difference in diabetes management. Recent research has shown that when support and care have been given by health care providers, it has resulted in higher perceived self-efficacy and lesser emotional issues with the diabetic patient. With the right support, positive emotional health will facilitate self-management and improved health outcomes. This can be done through:
Providing awareness and skills development to diabetic patient
Being more emphatic and improve communication skills
Personalisation of patients’ management and care according to their needs
Assess diabetes impact on patients daily routine and how to overcome it
Worries and concerns about diabetes management have caused several patients to impose various restrictions upon themselves. They may isolate themselves, which may precipitate or exacerbate negative emotions. By using an approach that promotes an open discussion about the difficulties in following a diabetes regimen, health care providers can help them gain a sense of freedom through safe self-management skills.
Managing your emotions in facing diabetes
“if you don’t manage your emotions, then your emotions will manage you,” – Deborah Rozman.
Moreover, addressing your emotion should be your priority in diabetic management. Below are some of the steps you can take to manage your emotions:
Acceptance and acknowledgement
Acceptance and acknowledgement of your condition will help you to focus on strategies to manage this disease. You should also learn to accept and acknowledge the negative emotions that may be surfaced. Overcome them by reframing your thoughts by looking at the situation in a positive way.
For example, a person with diabetes may say to himself, “It’s a good thing I was diagnosed early because it’s not too late for me to start living healthier and to try to reduce my blood sugar levels till they become stable”
Forgive yourself and grow from this experience
It is easy for one to fall into a trap of guilt, regret and self-blame of their lifestyle consequence. But it is important for us to know that there is no one who is perfect and we should learn to forgive ourselves. Let go and move on to the next step and become healthier.
Have an action plan
After going through the initial phase of acceptance and awareness, it’s good to move on to the next phase of knowing how to manage diabetes. It would be helpful to go through an action plan involving food and fitness with a friend or a family member.
Being alone makes diabetes management worse as isolation can make you feel more anxious. Talk to your friends and family for support. Close family members who live with those suffering from diabetes can help by practising similar healthy eating patterns. This can be one of the most powerful ways to support your loved ones by making them feel like they’re not alone in their management plan.
Try to make time for some peaceful ‘me time’ sessions where you connect with nature in a recluse setting to help you unwind and get away from it all.
Managing diabetes may seem difficult at first but if we stop for a moment and reframe our thoughts and realize that diabetes management actually involves healthy thoughts, healthy emotions and healthy behaviour patterns comprising healthy eating and healthy fitness activities in order to ultimately attain a healthy lifestyle. Shouldn’t everyone be doing the same too? You’re not alone on this journey to becoming a healthier you. We’re all in this together.