Read the labels to save your skin from aging and other health concerns!

How to Prevent Skin from Aging

Recall what you did this morning.

Wake up. Jump into the showers. Slather on some body wash. Quickly wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner because you are almost late for work. Slap on some serum and cream on your face. Put on your eyeliner, mascara, foundation, blush and powder. Throughout the day, you put on hand lotion to keep your hands from cracking. After a long day, the first thing you want to do when you get home is remove your make up then sleep. You soak your eyes with makeup remover. Clean your face with a cleanser and finish off with toner and night cream.

Does that somewhat depicts your daily routine? Some of us might skip the makeup or the toner etc. But I hope shower and hair-washing applies to you. *sniff…sniff*

Does this look like your cabinet? You might not have all the above, but one shelf full of these conventional products is bad enough!
Does this look like your cabinet? You might not have all the above, but one shelf full of these conventional products is bad enough!

How many personal care products did you use? 3? 7? more than 10? Do you look at the ingredients on the label? You are putting yourself in danger if you are not aware of the ingredients manufacturers put in these products.

Use this checklist to see how many products you use on a daily basis. If you use more than 3, you are putting yourself in danger if not cautious!
Use this checklist to see how many products you use on a daily basis. If you use more than 3, you are putting yourself in danger if not cautious!

The deadly ingredient I want to point out is Paraben.

Parabens are used to prevent the growth of microbes. In other words, they are the preservatives in consumer products. That’s why the never-finished shampoo that has been sitting in your cabinet 3 years ago STILL smells gorgeous with no mold.

Why should I care?

Many studies have shown the association between breast cancer and parabens. Specifically, an UK study detected 5 kinds of parabens in the dissected breast tumors of 19 out of 20 women studied. They are also linked to reporductive toxicity, immunotoxicity (functioning of your immune system), neurotoxicity and skin irritation/allergies. And the very important concern of all… Parabens age your skin, diminish skin tone and accelerate the formation of wrinkles and age spots.

The government does have regulations on the concentration of parabens the manufacturer may use in their products. However, these restrictions do not account for exposure to parabens from several products by a single individual.

What should I do?

Read the labels! From skin care products, cosmetics, personal hygiene items and even food (scary how they put these in food nowadays). Watch out for Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben and other ingredients ending in -paraben.

Watch out for products that contain parabens!
Watch out for products that contain parabens!

Try to switch up your routine and use as many natural and organic cosmetics/skin care as you can. They usually have a shorter shelf-life if not created with the right scientific technology. The longest preservative-free skin care and body care products that I know of has a 2-year shelf life.

Next time you want to buy a body wash or a new cleanser, think parabens… and think aging… and choose wisely =]

Have a wonderful Easter holiday!!

Breast-Cancer-Health

5 Tips to Reduce your Risk of Breast Cancer

Last week, my friend and I went to UBC x SFU YOURS Charity Singing Contest. It ‘s been awhile since I was at a concert.  Brings back the youthful years! Apparently, YOURS sponsors a different organization every year. This year was the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

In the program was this bright pink insert with BIG letters on the top that says “BREAST HEALTH IS IN YOUR HANDS”. So I thought sharing the tips would be beneficial to all the ladies… and men as well (Yes, be aware! Men can develop breast cancer too.)

According to Canadian Cancer Statistics, breast cancer continues to be the most common diagnosed cancer among Canadian women over the age of 20. One of 29 Canadian women will die of breast cancer.

Ladies, please do spend the minute to take a look! Guys, take care of your lady and share these tips with her.

1. Get Active

  • do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day
  • maintain a healthy body weight. Find out at Health Canada if your body mass is classified normal using BMI.

2. Limit Alcohol

  • limit alcohol consumption to one drink or less per day

3. Eat Well

  • eat 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day
  • supplement your diet
  • include whole grains in your diet
  • reduce your daily intake of fat and sugar

4. Don’t Smoke

  • if you smoke, quit
  • if your don’t smoke, don’t start

5. Take Care

  • check your breasts regularly
  • have an annual breast exam by a trained health care provider
  • if you are between age 40-79, have a free mammogram every two years

And one more thing that you can EASILY do to reduce your risk of breast  cancer–>

Try to minimize your usage of skin care/lotion/body wash/shampoo etc… that contains PARABENS. In a UK study, 19/20 breast tumors contain parabens… If you want to know more about parabens and how it is associated with breast cancer, watch out for our blog next week!

For more information on prevention tips, visit Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

brown-rice-white-rice

Anatomy of Grain: Refined and Whole

Growing up in an authentic Asian family, eating rice every single night has always been the “tradition”. Later on, I found that you are literally eating sugar spoonful after spoonful if you are eating white rice/bread/pasta.

Imagine eating 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 chocolate bars for dinner every night. That’s what you are doing if you are eating refined grain. After such meal,  you will feel the energy jumping up…then… crashes in to fatigue.

Whole grain vs Refined grain (white bread, pasta, white rice etc.)
Whole grain vs Refined grain (white bread, pasta, white rice etc.)

If you are eating white bread, pasta or rice, you are missing out from the nutrients party.  Your food is stripped away from the nutrient dense part of the kernel called germ and the high fiber bran (which helps give long lasting energy rather than an energy boost then crash)

Making the smarter choice: Switching to eating brown rice and whole grain bread all at once might be a trouble for you if you have been eating refined grain for your lifetime. Going step by step might help you with your smart change. Back at home, we mix 50% white rice and 50% brown rice. Oh, and don’t forget to give yourself a treat once in awhile for the smarter choice that you’ve made!

Happy Monday!

C.

cow-herd

6 reasons why we shouldn’t drink milk.

“Drink your milk!” Mom reminds you from across the kitchen counter.

Remember those times? Yes… your mom was right if that had happened before the 1970s and given that you are a calf that’s not weaned.

Recently, I came across this infographic about milk… it unravels why we should avoid drinking milk and dairy products. So as a very nosy person, I went and did some more research on why milk is… not as healthy as our doctors and moms had told us.

Milk Production
How are cows producing more milk? GROWTH HORMONES…. Same goes with how poultry and pigs grow to be so big and meaty.

So here’s why we should pass up milk:

  1. You are drinking cancer promoters. The growth hormone they inject in cows contains IFG-1, a known cancer promoter. It binds to cancer cells receptors making it 4 times more likely to get prostate cancer in men and 13% more likely for women to get ovarian cancer.
  2. Milk causes depletion of Calcium. You’ve always been educated the other way around. Here is the explanation. All animal proteins (including milk) raise the pH level in our body. Our body naturally corrects this by pulling out calcium (Yes… from our bones) to neutralizes the acidity.
  3. You are growing when you are not supposed to. Growth hormones in milk are for calves that need to grow… In a full grown human adult, cell growth is what we want to slow down, NOT accelerate!
  4. Milk leads to diabetes. The protein lactalbumin, has been identified as a key factor in diabetes and this is exactly why infants are not being fed Cow’s milk!
  5. 3 in 4 people are lactose intolerant. We drink it… but we can’t digest it. It makes us bloat, have cramps/pain, our stomach rumbles and even throw up.
  6. Mammals don’t drink milk from another mammal. You wouldn’t see piglets drinking cow’s milk… nor a kitten drinking deer’s milk. You wouldn’t see a grown pig drinking milk either… so… neither should you witness human drinking other milk from another mammal.

If you are a daily fan of milk, please consider other options when you go grocery shopping! Almond milk and Soya milk are more popular alternatives. But bear in mind that if you buy soya milk… please go for the organic one to avoid having genetically modified soya beans!

The Unusual trip to Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.

Last weekend, M. and I went on a getaway to Harrison Hot Springs. It was those “decide the night before” kind of trip. We just wanted to go somewhere quiet and relax from all the scrambling in the big city.

Our first stop was lunch at Muddy Waters Cafe and Espresso Bar. We ordered Fraser Valley duck breast sandwich with home-made black berry mayo and arugula on cranberry sourdough. We also had a salad and bean soup on the side.IMG-20140313-WA0020

WOW! What a meal… you can literally taste the freshness of the ingredients. Apparently, locals say they use local ingredients as much as possible. Knowing that the food we are putting in our mouths hasn’t been harvested a week or two ago and sat in under-ventilated trailers travelling thousands kilometres to get to our table just boosts our appetite THAT much!

The mixed salad was very fresh with a very unusual but tasty sesame oil dressing. The taste of juicy duck lingers… *gulp* Must pay a visit when you go to Harrison!

As we walked out of Muddy Waters, we felt the tranquil. We were literally the only ones on the block: us and the sound of raindrops. There’s always something good about all things… adjust your field of vision, you might just see the good =]

We decided to drive around before our next unusual activity. We drove to the northeast of Harrison, following on Rockwell Drive. We came to Sasquatch Provincial Park. It looks like a nice place for a picnic or barbecue in the summer time. As well, we discovered some off road camping grounds!  We’ll definitely come back for that in the summer.

We arrived early at our next destination, Spirit Yoga and Wellness Centre.

IMG-20140313-WA0002Cheryl and Eliz were setting up for our sound massage. Sound Massage??  Yes… I mentioned it was a very unusual trip! Imagine yourself immersed in calming sounds of singing bowls, turning forks, bells, and Gong. Layers of beautiful resonance intended to heal the physical, emotional, and spiritual body surrounds you. Throw back your worries and thoughts away for a bit, enjoy the relaxing moment.

IMG-20140313-WA0004IMG-20140313-WA0008IMG-20140313-WA0012

After the journey of sounds, we had a lovely talk with Cheryl and Eliz. We have similar passion in life: wishing to influence with our love of being well.  It’s always nice to be surrounded with like-minds.

Check out their classes and therapies at their website: http://www.spirityogaonline.com/index.html

Many people would choose to live near the waters when they go to Harrison Hot Springs. However, continuing with our very different trip, we chose to go stay at Mt. Woodside Bed & Breakfast near Agassiz. Away from disturbance, submersing in quietness, our first B&B experience = Fantastic. Ruth, Dave and their pets warmly greeted us and showed us around the house.

IMG-20140313-WA0025IMG-20140313-WA004320140308_195658IMG-20140313-WA0052IMG-20140313-WA0047IMG-20140313-WA0041We enjoyed our stay a lot in the beautifully renovated home, as well as the delicious home-made breakfast made from local farmer’s market food. The best part… they LOVE travelling. They have almost 3 full show cases of destination spoons. They shared with us many stories and suggestions for travelling. There would be hours of conversation if it we didn’t have to depart.

Here’s Mt. Woodside B&B website just in case you want to spend a night or two at this lovely home: http://www.mtwoodsidebandb.com/

Meeting wonderful people on this trip made this trip 10X more amazing. We will be back for sure =]

Connecting with like-minded friends; this is what we love to do!!  Connect with us by following our blog if you love what we share!

Cheers,

C.

Positivity: Star in You @ Wanting

Wanting Qu is a Chinese songwriter/singer/pianist based in Vancouver. Star in You is one of my favorite songs that I love to just put on loop in my car when I feel exhausted.

Apparently, this song was an insert in one of the episodes of Degrassi, a Canadian drama that has been around since the 1980s. This drama addresses many of the problems and issues happening among teenagers during high school years. (I’ve never watched it… it’s my first time hearing about this drama!)

I’ve worked with many high school students when I was teaching extracurricular programs in Hong Kong a couple years ago. Being a fairly young “teacher”, these young adults loved sharing their stories with me. Though they are young still, they had a lot of things on their plates… and how much they can do just amazes me…With perseverance… we can achieve more than what we have.

Be the change you want to see…

–Star in You @ Wanting

Enjoy!

C.

You can live a happy, healthy life too.

Yes!! You guessed it. Another blogger on the loose. You might be already thinking to yourself, “There are so many blogs out there, what else could these insanely passionate people offer?” So here goes!

I’m excited to share with you what I absolutely LOVE doing… staying happy and healthy.

A few years ago, I was just like many young people out there: UNAWARE of my surroundings, my health, and that time is flying pass quietly.  Now that I trace back, there were so many moments in life when this message keeps coming across and leaving without me noticing it. These moments include finding out the health/mental health concerns of my family and friends, seeing a colleague pass away just months being diagnosed of cancer…  After numerous incidents (I wish you won’t need to go through as many as I did), I have finally gotten a clear picture of what was happening to the lives of those whom I cherish and that of my own.

Life is too short… living by that message that was hidden at the back of my brain for the longest time, I started searching for ways to keep my mind, soul and body healthy…

Life is too short to wait for anything to happen. Create those changes for the better.
Life is too short to wait for anything to happen. Create those changes for the better.

While I was searching for ways to become a Better Me, I’ve also found my perfect soul mate along the way. We share the same passion, keep each other up, stay active, and laugh at the silliest things.  And we hope to instill the love of life to everyone.

After a big blab about us, you must be wondering what’s in this for you. Our aim is to inspire those who want to live a healthier and happier life, the way YOU want. We want you to be able to live your dreams and not just talk about them. Here, you will find tips, myth busters, healthy recipes and positive spirits to help you create the LIFE you WANT.

So be sure to come back if you want to rock your life!! Remember to comment, post any ideas or suggestions, and share your struggles & triumphs!!

Cheers!

Cindy

Because Your Life Matters

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