Category Archives: LIFESTYLE

Articles relating to lifestyle, travel, tips, etc.

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The first two months of the year have hastily sped on. How did it go with you? Did you meet your personal and corporate goals? Were you completely in control of your necessary human experiences?
To be fair, I must admit that 2017 has not been the best of years for most and will not be so all through the year for many more. The economy has continued to go south; and except monetary and fiscal policies take a substantial turn for the better, one dollar (according to industry watchers) is bound to hit the NGN1,000 mark before we say another happy new year. It’s really an intimidating consideration.

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HEALTHY OFFICE SNACKS OPTION

When people hear the word ‘snack’, what immediately comes to mind are a list of unhealthy junk foods that are completely fattening and extremely high in calories. The truth however, is that a snack is simply something you eat in between meals and are usually in small quantities. So the choice to have something healthy or complete junk is left entirely up to you.

Now, it has been discovered that people who sit longer especially at the office tend to want to snack more and are more susceptible to consuming more calories. So we have gone round and gathered a few healthy snacks that we consider appropriate for you. They are not only low in calories but are also filling so the urge to keep snacking and consuming more automatically disappears.

  1. Brown bread sandwich: All you need for this are 2 slices of brown bread, 1 slice of cucumber, 1 or 2 slices of tomatoes [depending on your preference], a slice of ham and a layer of fresh lettuce or cabbage. This simple sandwich snack is just a little over 170 calories.
    SANDWICH
  2. Stir fried vegetables: For this simply stir-fry with very minimal oil some vegetables of your choice like, tomatoes, carrots, celery, kidney beans, and basically any vegetable you want to add. This kind of snack is a good way to incorporate a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and fibre into your diet. Now depending on the vegetables you choose to use, an average bowl of stir fry is about 100 – 300 calories.
  3. Instant oats: I’m sure someone is wondering how oats can be classified a snack. Well, like we already established, a snack is a food you eat in small quantities in between meals; so there is absolutely nothing wrong with snacking on oats. Besides oats now come in small portable sachets that can easily be cooked with a microwave. Oats are said to be low in cholesterol and have the capacity to reduce the risk of heart diseases. And a simple packet is about 110 calories.
    bowl of fruits
  4. Fruits: When you feel low on sugar and are tempted to go for some sweets or artificial sugars, fruits are your best bet. They contain natural sugars and are filled with antioxidants and vitamins. Note however that fruits vary in their calorie count but on the average, a bowl of fruits should have between 70 – 200 calories.
  5. Nuts: Among all other snacks we have mentioned, nuts are the most healthy you can find. According to Amanda MacMillan, “Nuts are nature’s way of showing us that good things come in small packages.” Nuts are completely packed with proteins and will fill you up for longer periods. Examples of healthy nuts are: Almonds, Cashew nuts, Hazelnuts and Walnuts. Please note that I did not mention groundnut…as they are not classified as nuts. Groundnuts belong to the legume family.

WORKING OUT MADE EASY

“I don’t have time.”

“I am too busy…I leave home early, get back late and I’m usually too tired.”

The above phrases are some of the excuses many of us give for why we do not exercise. However, except you are an expert in creating excuses, this article helps eliminate any of such excuses. The exercises explained below can easily be incorporated into your daily routine: in the morning while prepping for work or in even at work during your spare time [and don’t tell me you don’t have spare time…]. They don’t require any special time set aside to do them.

The following are brought to you by three fitness experts consulted by Yahoo.

Step-ups and squats while you brush your teeth

“Alternate doing squats one day and step-ups the next—they’re two of the most effective exercises to work your butt and legs. For squats, put the toilet seat down and sit upright with your feet shoulder-width apart flat on the floor. Stand up tall pushing from your heels, and sit back down as many times as you can while you brush your teeth. For step-ups, put the toilet seat down and step up and down 10 times each with your left and right legs. Not all toilet seats are meant for doing this one, so be careful!” – Brooke Marrone, president and founder of Brooke Marrone training studio

 

Twists while your tea brews
“If you engage your core in the morning, you’re more likely to use it all day long, giving you a tall, confident stance as you conquer your day. Pick two of your favourite songs—the heavier the beat, the better. Grab a pair of Ripstix, or just something you can strike together, or you can use your hands. Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you and sit back so your body looks like a letter “C.” Twist from side to side, striking the ground on either side of your hips. Go faster and slower to match the beat.” – Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom, fitness experts and the creators of POUND

 

Woman doing yoga

Balance while you blow-dry
“Stand on one leg for half the time of your blow-dry [for men this can be while you shave], and switch legs for the second half. If you want to take this a step further, invest in a small balance disk. Both of these options are great for promoting core stability, supporting and challenging the spinal muscles, and enhancing good posture. Your standing leg gets a pretty good workout too.” – Brooke Marrone

 

Early morning work call? Work your quads at the same time
“Stand about 2 feet in front of a wall and lean against it. Slide down until your knees are at 90-degree angles. Keep your shoulders and head back, make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart, and keep your weight in your heels. Place a small hand towel behind your head and make sure it doesn’t fall while you’re holding your squat. (It’s a great way to maintain good posture throughout the exercise.) Hold for one minute, take a brief rest, and repeat as many times as you can.” – Brooke Marrone

 

Tighter inner thighs while you floss.
“Place a small, inflatable ball between your knees. (If you don’t have a ball, you can roll up a bath towel.) Slowly squeeze your knees, contracting your inner thighs. Release just slightly, keeping some tension on the ball or towel, and repeat, getting in as many squeezes as you can.” – Brooke Marrone

By Chelsea Peng

https://www.yahoo.com/health/how-to-work-out-while-youre-getting-ready-for-108949589568.html

 

 

PROPER HYGIENE

As important as cleaning is, and as often as some of us do it, there are facts about it that many of us are not aware of. Like how often and even what should be cleaned. For instance, I’m sure an advice like cleaning your phone would sound ridiculous to some, but the truth is we indeed need to clean these things.

Below is a summary of the advice given by a group of experts [a microbiologist, an underwear specialist and some clothing designers] in America for the Daily Mail Newspaper.

MOBILE PHONES

Mobile phones ought to be cleaned EVERYDAY. According to a research, we touch our phones a minimum of 150 times per day, and 7,000 different types of bacteria were found on 51 different phone samples. Although some of these bacteria aren’t harmful, some are.Cell Phone

Usage of phones causes them to heat up thereby providing a very conducive environment for bacteria to breed and multiply. Some of the bacteria found on phones are Enterococcus [found in faeces] and Pseudomonas bacteria [found in animals and soil] both of which can cause very terrible pathogenic infections.

Phones must be cleaned everyday with antibacterial wipes; and phones with keypads should be cleaned more often than ones without.

BED SHEETS

In a typical day, we shed millions of skin cells, most of which are shed in bed at night and we lose about a litre of sweat per night. Leaving these on the bed for too long can attract dust mites to the bed. Bedroom

Now although these mites are harmless in themselves, they produce droppings that contain allergens that can trigger itching eyes, nose inflammation and even asthma.

It is recommended that we wash our bed sheets/pillow cases once a week and dry them in direct sunlight to effectively kill micro-organisms. Then a hot iron should be run over them to kill any leftover bacteria.

PILLOWS

Pillows [not pillow cases] should be washed every 3 months. Doctors have found that up to a third of a pillow’s weight can be made up of bugs, dead skin, mites and their faeces, and the average unwashed pillow can contain a revolting 16 species of fungi.

The more sweat the pillow soaks up, the more easy it is for it to become a breeding home for bacteria and mites. So please every 3 months, wash your pillows.

MATTRESS

Same goes for your mattress as well. Although you don’t need to wash your mattress, once in six months at least, hover or steam it then air it outside under direct sunlight. After cleaning, be sure to rotate it.

DENIM

If you want to preserve the life span of your jeans, ensure you don’t wash it after ever wear. This doesn’t mean, you are then licensed to keep wearing the same jeans consistently without washing. Denim jeans

Jean designer Donna Ida advices that we wash our denim after every 5 wears. She also advised for those who have an extra special pair, that you can put them in a plastic, airtight bag and freeze overnight. This method is just as effective as washing in killing bacteria.

Please note that freezing overnight does not eliminate washing…this is just in between washes.

BRAS

This is for our women… your bras must be washed after 2 wears. The crease in your bust and the area under your arms are hot and sweaty and so you can’t afford to wear a bra more than twice and at most thrice before washing. USA, Illinois, Metamora, Blue bra on hanger

It is also advised that you don’t use washing machine to wash you bra as this can affect its elasticity and thereby shorten its lifespan [which should be like 12 months].

PURSES AND HANDBAGS

Your purses and handbags are very susceptible to picking and retaining bacteria. Washing your hand regularly still doesn’t immune you from contaminating them. For instance, when you pay for things you still have to hold your purse or place your bag down somewhere. And currency notes have been found to play host to a lot of bacteria. More bacteria cling to notes more as they are more porous than normal cards. bag n purse

Thus to maintain a proper hygienic lifestyle, you should wipe your purses and bags every week with disinfecting or antibacterial wipes. If you are worried about ruining your precious leather bags, you can clean a small part first as a test to be sure before doing the full thing.

To read more, you can check out this link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2940230/Why-wash-bras-two-days-clean-phone-daily-disgusting-truth-hygiene-habits.html

PERSONAL CARE DURING HARMATTAN

I recently came across this article and though it was published 3 years ago, it is still very relevant and useful today. This weather is normally associated with a lot of dryness & cold, thus proper care of our skin, hair and well-being MUST be taken. Below are tips from Eudora Ndubisi published in THISDAY Newspaper that will greatly help:

Harmattan period is usually associated with low humidity which simply means there is very little amount of water in the atmosphere compared to other seasons of the year. As a result the weather appears harsh to our Hair and Skin.

The good news is we can follow this few steps to keep our skin fresh and moisturized.

Body Skin…

  • Like your face use mild moisturizing soap or body bath creams.
  • Invest in body oil to retain moisture on the skin after bath. Do not completely dry your skin after shower; about 10% of moisture is retained if you apply on damp skin. You can pour few drops of oil into water before bath if you prefer.
  • Apply your moisturizing cream or lotion all over your body including your under feet. Hydrating creams and lotion are best for all skin types this season. African American woman applying lotion to legs in bathroom
  • Apply hand cream during the day and night before going to bed. Invest in a hand cream if you don’t have one.
  • Applying nail polish can help protect nails from excessive drying and hardening.

Your Face…

  • Use mild soaps (even if you have oily or combination skin) to wash your face as harsh soaps and cleansing bars will remove all the oil on your face.
  • Stop the use of face facial cleansers and toners that contain alcohol or astringents. Use only mild facial cleansers and toners. Facial cleansers and toners with a neutral PH of 5.5 are best.
  • Always moisturize your face after cleansing (even if you have oily or combination skin).
  • Remember to invest in a lip balm, lip salve or lip gloss. Always moisturize your lips before going to bed.
  • LADIES: Always apply lip balm or lip salve before lipstick and if you prefer lip gloss apply after lipstick.
  • GUYS: Well kept lips makes you appear groomed. So invest in a lip balm or lip salve for a non glossy moisturized lip.

Mixed race woman pouring lotion into hand

Your Hair…

*  Wash hair with shampoo and conditioner as usual.
*  Don’t dry hair completely to retain some moisture in hair.
*  Apply hair oil, pink oils, lotions and creams to hair daily or every other day depending on hair type and severity of the weather
* Avoid using hair sprits, gels and strong hair hold. Mild styling mousse can be used for styling in their stead.
* Use hair sprays to add shine to your hair.
* Scarves and hats are amazing accessories that can be use to protect hair and still be fashionable.

Use this tips during this dry season and your skin will appear fresher and moisturized all day, every day.

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