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The original Mediterranean diet first became popular in the United States during the 1960s. At this time, health experts realized that certain Mediterranean countries dealt with fewer deaths caused by coronary heart disease compared to the US. The diet was quickly adopted by many households in the US and some other parts of the world. To this day, it remains one of the popular diet plans.

In 2020, a study was published that showed how a new version of this diet, known as the green Mediterranean diet, could further benefit the metabolism and cardiovascular system. Although it’s mostly based on the original diet popularized in the 1960s, it does add some more restrictions and promotes an increased intake of certain foods.

What Is the Standard Mediterranean Diet?

The standard Mediterranean diet doesn’t tell you how many calories you should consume on a daily basis. This is up to the individual to determine based on their own personal goals. If your goal is to lose weight, you should burn more calories than you consume.

In essence, this is not a structured diet in any way. Instead, it revolves around a way of eating popular in some countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, like Italy and Greece. The local cuisine in these countries is quite different, but they share many similar principles.

The standard Mediterranean diet encourages people to increase their intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats on a daily basis. It also promotes eating fish, eggs, beans, and poultry at least once a week. If you follow the standard Mediterranean diet, you should consume dairy products in moderate amounts and strictly limit your intake of red meat to an occasional treat.

Foods not mentioned above should be avoided. That means that you shouldn’t consume sugar, unless on special occasions. For instance, it’s okay to have a piece of cake once a month if you’re attending a celebration. To reap the full benefits of this diet, it’s important to take care of your physical health. It’s recommended that you engage in physical activity on a regular basis. Try to squeeze in a 30-minute workout into your schedule at least 5 times per week.

Aside from improving your eating habits and exercising, another great way to maintain your health is to get a good Medicare Advantage plan. With the right plan, it’ll be easier for you to do routine checkups at the doctor and receive medical treatments whenever you need them.

What Is the Green Mediterranean Diet?

The purpose of the green Mediterranean diet is to promote additional intake of plant-based foods while lowering the consumption of meat and poultry. In research that was published in November 2020, it was concluded that this type of diet provides great cardiometabolic protection. In fact, it offers more health benefits than the traditional green Mediterranean diet.

The study was conducted among 294 participants who lead sedentary lifestyles and had an average age of 51. Most of the participants in this study were men with moderate obesity. They were divided into three different groups. Researchers ultimately found that the green Mediterranean diet is able to provide a 20 percent reduction in low-grade systemic inflammation. It was also shown to lower bad cholesterol by four percent.

The first group of participants was given some basic information on how to eat healthier and exercise. The second group was provided with guidance on how to increase physical activity. However, they were introduced to the traditional Mediterranean diet as well. This diet included some calorie restrictions and didn’t allow participants to eat red meat at all. They replaced red meat with poultry and fish – and had the participants eat 28 grams of walnuts each day.

Finally, the third group received the same information regarding regular exercise as the other two groups. Meanwhile, they had to follow the green Mediterranean diet. Just like the second group, they also had to avoid red meat. The participants in this group were also told to stop consuming processed meat of any type. They also had to increase their intake of plant-based foods.

What was significant about the third group is that they’d drink three or four cups of green tea per day. They’d also consume 100 grams of frozen duckweed in plant-based shakes to maintain high protein levels without eating meat. The reason why duckweed was chosen is that it contains all nine amino acids, which is incredibly rare among plant-based foods.

Each group followed rules that were given to them for six months, which is when researchers began examining results.

The Health Benefits of the Green Mediterranean Diet

Researchers found that participants in the third group were able to lose more weight than others. The average person that followed the green Mediterranean diet lost almost 14 pounds over the course of six months. Meanwhile, the participants in the second group lost nearly 12 pounds over this time period. Participants in the first group, which received only basic advice on how to improve their eating habits, lost just three pounds on average.

It was concluded that the green Mediterranean diet can be part of an effective weight-loss strategy. The waist circumference among participants in each group decreased. For the third group, it was an average reduction of 3.4 inches. Meanwhile, the decrease was measured at 2.7 inches for the second group and 1.7 inches for the first.

Those who followed the green Mediterranean diet experienced a 4% reduction in bad cholesterol. For people in the second group, it was a 1% decrease. There was hardly a noticeable reduction in the first group. The green Mediterranean diet offered notable other health benefits, such as a decrease in diastolic blood pressure, an increase in good cholesterol, and improved insulin resistance.

What the researchers concluded was that a whole foods plant-based diet rich in protein can strengthen your cardiovascular health and help you lose weight. Based on their findings, it’s clear that it’s much healthier than the traditional Mediterranean diet.

There is a general notion that having a wedding in Singapore is quite costly. This situation is promoted by the Singaporean wedding culture, a mixture of western and traditional elements. Moreover, the high costs are brought about by hosting a hotel banquet and the need to invite friends from the business circles, rather than the usual paper signing process.

However, there are various ways of how you can avoid spending too much on your wedding. Although some sites, such as https://www.a1credit.sg, have written helpful articles that contain tips for planning a wedding, it can still be a challenge for some others.

If you intend to cut wedding costs, here are 5 essential wedding planning tips that we have for you to consider.

1. Go for Alternative Venues

In Singapore, a significant portion of your wedding cost could be taken up by the banquet. To reduce the amount of money to be spent at your wedding, consider shunning these wedding banquets. Rather, it might be worth hosting your wedding at alternative venues such as parks, restaurants, or event halls. Though it is not a guarantee that these places are cheaper, the prices quoted would provide you with options to make flexible adjustments. From the range of options, you can get a place that provides a suitable wedding reception with romantic themes and in the process, save the extra cash while receiving value-guaranteed services.

Believe it or not, we actually booked and secured our wedding banquet package 3 years before our actual wedding and we saved a lot. I know it sounds kiasu but back then, a table at One Degree 15 Marina Club costs us $888++. Today, I don’t think you can find such a price anymore.

2. Acquire A Bridal Package

This is the most cost-effective method of obtaining all the required wedding services such as photography, suit rentals, gowns, and make-ups. Hence, bridal packages are quite popular in Singapore as the wedding costs could be hiked if couples use separate vendors. There are certain tricks that you can use to benefit optimally from bridal packages. For instance, let your chosen bridal studio comprehensively list down all the items that are included in the bridal package. Then, decide on what is necessary and replace the unwanted items by checking them off the list.

Getting a wedding planner can also be another solution to cutting down extra costs. Though many people believed that hiring a wedding planner can be costly since they do charge additional fees to source the items required and to plan the actual event; wedding planners do have connections with vendors and they can often negotiate for discounts especially for the items that you want. Therefore, when planning to have a large wedding with specific requirements, consider getting a wedding planner to cut down the costs.

For us, we got our bridal package from Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

3. Do It Your Way

This is mostly applicable when you have some creative skills. It helps cut down extra expenses in acquiring some items. For instance, there is no need to splash out hundreds of dollars on things such as wedding favours, decorations, and invitation cards. In fact, you can have all these and other items printed from home.

We actually got our wedding invitation cards printed in China (yes thank God for Taobao) and we had them shipped all the way to Singapore.

When not sufficiently skilled in either of these areas, you can get help from friends who can take care of your actual day wedding photography. Even make-up and hairstyling can also be taken care of by your friends. However, we are not disqualifying the necessity to pay for services from professionals. In fact, for a once in a lifetime event, we recommend that you hire professionals to do the job but if the budget is really a constraint, then these alternatives would help reduce your wedding expenses and go a long way in cutting down unnecessary costs for your wedding. It might even be a creative way of getting your family members and close friends involved in your wedding preparation.

4. Be Selective

In Singapore, everything can really be expensive, especially for events such as weddings. When planning to hold your wedding at relatively lower costs, it is worth being selective with everything you buy as the small things can eventually add up to a huge sum. You can also be selective by screening the list of people whom you intend to invite for your actual wedding event. You do not want to spend a lot buying stuff, only to end with a long list of absentees.

Another vital area that you can be selective about is the wedding menus. Go for food and beverage selections that are wallet-friendly. For instance, instead of hard liquor, serve your guests with wines and beers as that can help you save a considerable amount of money.

5. Use Good Credit Cards

It is not uncommon for newly-weds-to-be to resort to using credit cards in the event their finances take a bitter turn before, during, or after their wedding. This is especially true when buying lavish items and it can sometimes be quite unavoidable in an expensive country like Singapore. To get the most out of your credit card, ensure that the credit card you are using offer discounts at the wedding venues of your choice. A reasonable discount is between 5 and 10% of the reception cost.

Furthermore, you can switch to using cashback cards which allow you to get cash rebates instead. This is quite helpful as you can split the installment payments to cater to the required rebate expenditures. For instance, you can use the UOB One Card which offers a 5% rebate when you spend $2000 monthly for 3 consecutive months. What you get back is a whopping $1,200 in a year. This option is suitable when you shop for wedding items and want to save some cash in return.

If you are planning to accumulate miles for your honeymoon, the American Express® Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card is a card to go for. In fact, we have managed to accumulate business class flights for our trip to New Zealand last year.

Closing Thoughts

The wedding culture in Singapore requires one to have proper planning and you can still have a magnificent wedding in a romantic venue while saving money by following the tips discussed in this article. If you are planning for an upcoming wedding, incorporate some money-saving tricks to avoid spending everything from your own savings.

Home delivery services have doubled in popularity recently. The pandemic has played a significant role in the popularity of home delivery services. As their popularity increases, more businesses are adopting home deliveries and launching online shopping platforms and websites like Shift. Below are some reasons why home deliveries are currently very popular;

1. It Saves Time

One of the primary benefits of home deliveries is that they save you a lot of time. The reason is that you do not have to go out of your way to and from stores and this gives you more time to handle other businesses. You also do not have to keep moving around with many bags in your hand, especially if you have more than one place to visit. All you have to do is order the products that you need and wait for them to get delivered. Home deliveries are especially beneficial for people with tight schedules. You spend less time shopping and that leaves you with more time to spend with loved ones and doing more important things like self-care. However, convenience comes at an extra cost.

2. It Helps to Foster Social Distancing

Following the coronavirus pandemic, the WHO issued directives against human contact to reduce the spread of the virus. Home deliveries have made it possible for people to shop and get their items delivered without coming into close physical contact with other people. Companies offering home delivery services have also gone out of their way to ensure that their delivery personnel are free of the virus and are well protected to ensure that they do not pose a risk to clients.

For clients who are sceptical about interacting with strangers, including delivery men; contactless home deliveries are the way to go. Contactless home deliveries refer to situations where the delivery teams do not have any physical contact with the clients. Delivered goods are either placed in the mailbox or outside the house, depending on preferences and locations.

This means that you do not have to sign for the products. Many stores have adopted contactless delivery during the pandemic to reduce social interactions by all means.

3. Convenience

Home deliveries are also quite convenient. They create a means for you to shop without leaving your house or office. This means that you can take a few minutes while taking a break from work or in the middle of the night and even while watching your favorite shows. You also do not have to leave your house to get the items you ordered delivered to you. The convenience of home deliveries is why it has become very popular, and more businesses are adopting it.

4. Environmental Conservation

Another advantage of home deliveries is that it helps conserve the environment. The fact that you do not need to travel from one place to another saves gas and reduces your carbon footprint. A study shows that home delivery services have helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least half. Another study also shows that during the pandemic, the carbon footprint has reduced significantly due to the movement restrictions, and home delivery services have played a significant role in this. The money that could have been spent on gas can be utilized in other areas.

5. More Options in One Place

Home delivery services also offer you more options in a single place. This does not necessarily mean that you will get to shop for everything you need at the same place. What it means is that you get to do it all on your computer and have them delivered. If you had to do this in person, it would be very challenging moving from one store to the next while lugging around shopping bags. You also get to choose from a wide range of options in the least time possible because most online shopping sites are very easy to navigate. There are also online platforms that offer a wide range of products in the same place.

Conclusion

While there are numerous advantages to home deliveries, there are also a few downsides. One of them is that the conveniences come at a fee. However, if you consider all the benefits and compare them to the downsides, then the benefits outweigh the latter. For instance, although you may have to pay for the delivery services, you also get to save money that you would otherwise have used as transportation.

Understanding the basics of guitar, such as its chords, can be essential to your learning process. Those who jump right into learning their favourite songs can certainly practice and improve, but their journey will generally be far quicker and more efficient after getting to grips with the basics.

How many chords are there in total?

There are many different chords and even different groups of them; like power chords, and barre chords. Having a general understanding of these can be important as you learn. Still, as a beginner, you should focus on a specific set before progressing to ensure the best possible chances of success.

How many should I learn?

Since these are the building blocks of songs and harmonies, chords can often be one of the most important things to learn for someone new to guitar. Usually, you don’t need to know all of them to start creating your own riffs – in fact, if you know 8 of the basic ones, you could be well on your way to making music. 

These chords are C – A – G – E – D – Am – Dm – Em. Once you know these, you’ll be able to play a wide variety of songs. In fact, many tunes just use the G – D – Em – C chord progression, so it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge at all for you to start exploring your musical side once you have an understanding of even just these.

Once you feel familiar with the first few, knowing the open chords will allow you to expand and learn more advanced ones too – although you don’t need to stress yourself about those just yet.

Things you should keep in mind when learning:

  • It might be worth beginning with just G – C – D when trying to play songs and then working up from there.
  • Practice your chords daily – it’ll help you to remember them to the point where you can play them instinctively.
  • Press the stings with the tips of your fingers, and make sure that you apply enough pressure
  • Before playing, check each string and try to determine whether or not they sound right – your instrument may need tuning otherwise.
  • Keep your thumb behind the guitar neck, and your fingers as close to the fret as possible. 

Why not use Fender Play?

If you’re looking for an excellent way to get started on your musical journey, Fender Play could be ideal for you. Countless other aspiring artists have used this learning program to further their education and give them a solid foundation to work from. This offers them a chance to become the best guitarist they could be with time and dedication. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about this program, we’d suggest that you take a look at our professional Fender Play review. As experts, we know what to look for in a good guitar learning resource, so you can rest assured that our opinion will be a trustworthy one.

This time last year, we were having a holiday in New Zealand and we really enjoyed the experience so much that we hope to visit again.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it looks like leisure travel is not going to happen anytime soon, and we hope that all of us (globally) will get through this tough time together.

Since travelling out of the country is not possible at this moment in time, the next best option is to check out what is available in Singapore for us to revisit. Although Singapore is not that big a country (in fact, we are smaller than Hong Kong), there are still lots of things that one can do in Singapore.

Whether you are a thrill-seeker, a nature lover or a foodie; there’s bound to be something that you can do in Singapore.

Thrill-Seeker

Image Credits: Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios Singapore is opened for all thrill-seekers and if you need to get some adrenaline pumping, this is the place to go and if that’s not enough, you can head over to AJ Hackett Sentosa to do a Bungy jump.

Nature Lover

There are many green spaces in Singapore that you can explore and if you are up for a challenge, embark on the 36km Coast-to-Coast trail! If you prefer to just chill, grab your beach towel and head to the beach for a simple and relaxing day. You can even organise a simple beach picnic with your family and friends.

Speaking of beach towel, we recently got one from Tesalate and we really love it! There are more than 40 different prints and designs and you get a 10% discount off your first order when you join their newsletter!

Glamping @ Home

We got the, ‘Into The Wild’ design and seriously, the 1.6 m by 0.8 m full-sized beach towel can comfortably fit 3 persons and since we miss glamping out in the wild, we decided to glamp at home.

If you are looking for an ultra-absorbent and compact full-sized beach towel, you should consider getting it from Tesalate.

Foodie

Brunch @ Lola’s Cafe

Singapore is a melting pot of cultures and you can find some of the world’s best cuisines here. Whether it is French, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Chinese, Italian or Spanish food; there are lots of options available for all sorts of budget.

Got any other places or activities to recommend? Share them with us in the comments section below!

Many people view golf as the perfect refuge from family life — and let’s face it, that’s something all of us need from time to time. However, you may be enthusiastic enough about golf to teach it to your kids as well. If you’re up for some family golfing, we’ve got a couple of tips that will help you ease your children into this activity!

First and foremost, though — if you want to get your kids into gold, you should realize that this isn’t your usual Sunday morning game of golf. That is – if you intend to go to a golf course that’s simultaneously used by other people as well. You should try to limit your family golf sessions to a schedule that doesn’t interfere with others who aren’t bringing kids to the golf course. Evening hours are preferable if you want to be considerate to other golfers — but that’s important for your own wellbeing as well.

Believe us – you won’t have much fun seeing a child of yours go straight for the bunker, not when someone else is nervously waiting in the nearby fairway. Sure, if you’re bringing kids to the golf course, they should learn to respect the average pace of the game regardless of their age. Still, not accounting for inevitable delays due to their play is a mistake.

Excite Them

If you want the young ones to get excited about golf, it has to be about more than the pure gameplay itself. Yeah, we all want our children to avoid becoming fixated with solely material stuff. On the other hand, you need to realize that the children’s fun with golf is everything that’s a part of playing it. Get them a ball sleeve from time to time, tees, ball markers — all of this will make them more excited for the game.

Golf Cart Fun

We arrive at another compromise that you’re bound to make when you decide to organize family golfing with children. Many devout golfers feel that walking across the course is an innate part of the game. Plus, it’s one of the rare things that require a certain degree of physical activity in golf — it’s definitely a welcome form of exercise.

However, once you start playing with your kids, one thing is sure to happen — they’ll fall in love with the golf cart. For the kids, these carts are basically small cars that they can have fun with — something like a ride in an amusement park. Even if you like trekking all over the course, you should lean into the kids’ desire to ride around in the cart. At the end of the day, you’ll find that walking around with your kids the whole time makes you a lot more fatigued than when you’re on your own. Try to contain your inner snob when it comes to this particular kind of playing golf.

Consider The Yardage

We should have probably started with this, but it’s obvious enough that many of you will have probably thought of it already. Naturally, we’re talking about the yardage that you’ll play when you’re with your kids. Sure, you can keep the yards that you usually play — but we have to warn you that this is bound to bore the young ones. You want the course to be kid-friendly and for the game to be manageable. Plus, they’re more likely to actually hit the green from closer markers, providing them with much-needed positive reinforcement. And let’s be honest — they’re going to need it, considering how frustrating golf can be.

Course Etiquette

Anyone who plays golf knows that, while this game is becoming more and more accessible to all kinds of people — there is still a certain etiquette that has to be respected, and all newbies should familiarize themselves with it.

If you want to play the game with your kids, this is another thing they must learn, at least to a certain degree. Though, this brings us back to our original premise — you want to play with your family when your golf course is practically empty. If you do that, there’s less chance that your family will come into conflict with someone else’s game.

Still, teach the children some of the basics — for instance, they need to wait for the proper turn to hit, and they mustn’t goof around in the golf bunkers. On the other hand, you don’t want them to view the game as a set of boring rules; they’ll quickly grow bored of the proceedings. All you need to do is to teach them some basic respect. We hope this guide was useful to you and that you’ve learned something new. Stay safe and have a good one, guys!

It’s 2020, so you’ve probably heard of the expression “spirit animal” up until now. What you may not know is that this is no mere Internet meme — we’re talking about an ancient tradition that goes back to the time of the Native Americans.

For these indigenous cultures, spirit animals represented a unique embodiment of people’s spirits — something of an astral guide. These guides are prone to show themselves in many ways in order to catch our attention. However, they were said to appear most often in the form of an animal that’s familiar to us or carries some other unique trait that makes them close to us.

Most people have a single spirit animal, though there are those that feel like they are communicating with more than one spirit guide. These give you more confidence, faith in yourself and your choice, and more ease during your life in general.

If you’re wondering what your spirit animal is, don’t worry — we’ve got plenty of tips here that will aid you in finding out!

Listen To Your Dreams

There is an immensely crucial connection between your waking life and the spirit world discovered when we dream. That’s why your spirit animal will come to you most often when you’re asleep. With that in mind, try to remember or write down each time you spot a particular animal in your dreams — especially if this animal tells you something and keeps appearing regularly.

Consider Your Past

In many cases, our spirit animals are creatures that have something to do with our past lives. Perhaps you had a favorite animal when you were a kid – or a pet that you simply adored? Heck, it could be an animal from the wilderness or from a favorite cartoon. Still, it’s usually something that’s connected to your past — a creature that represents a specific period in your life.

Meditate

Finding your spirit animal takes more than merely thinking about animals from the past. You need to look deep into yourself — explore depths that you have not been privy to before. Take some time to meditate, and let your intuition take you where it wills.

At some point, you will simply feel a connection to a particularly significant animal. At that point, strip away all other layers of your consciousness, and ask yourself a single question — is this truly the animal that is my guardian spirit? And if so, think about what kind of message and lesson this animal wants to present to you. Spend some time ruminating on the meaning behind these things.

Quizzes

Of course, many people do all of the stuff that we’ve mentioned above, to no avail. If your dreams, meditations, and thoughts haven’t provided you with a clear-cut answer, there’s something else that you can do — take an online quiz. And no, we’re not joking; there are plenty of quizzes that are designed to give you a more structured perspective on the traits behind your spirit animal. For many, this is just the introspective push they need to figure out what their spirit animal is.

Heed Your Spirit Guide

Once you do find your spirit animal, it’s quite essential to heed its advice. Spirit animals are the flip side of our spiritual being; they are there to teach us things about our mind and soul that we couldn’t figure out on our own.

In many cases, spirit animals emanate those strengths and positive traits that we should try to promote throughout our lives. They can help you stay on the right path and aid you in charting the correct course. That’s one of the reasons why many people actually experience their spirit animal transforming and changing after some time.

Different Spirit Animals

Now that we’ve given you some advice on searching for your inner spirit animal, we’ll provide a cursory glance at the meaning behind most common spirit animals.

If you’ve got a spirit guide in the form of a bear, this is definitely a powerful spirit animal. Most often, it represents someone with an extremely emotional character — as well as a secure connection with the outdoors – and nature in general.

Many people also find that their spirit animal is a cat. This happens most often to people with a strong independent streak, someone looking for adventure and a person who’s forever curious. Additionally, these are usually patient individuals.

A dove is another commonly sighted spirit guide — it signals pacifism, turning a new leaf, and a general love for peace. It’s a spirit animal that’s optimistic and hopeful for the future — which is what it tries to inspire in you as well. And that wraps it up! Make sure you are staying safe and have a good one, folks!

There is something about gardening that relaxes, comforts, and heals. One moment you’re stressed, and the next, you are in the garden, pruning and planting like you have no worries. 

Researchers have done lots of study on the healing power of gardening, but their results only confirm what many already know; the healing power of gardening relieves the stress in your body and comforts your mind. The researchers call it horticultural therapy or garden therapy. 

Unlike traditional therapy where you sit on a couch and discuss your feelings with a therapist, horticultural therapy doesn’t happen in rooms. It happens right at the heart of nature all around you, and with nature itself as your therapist.

You may wonder how the garden heals. What’s therapeutic about gardening? Well, here is your answer.

How Does Gardening Heal?

Here are ways the garden heals you.

1. Garden Therapy Enhances Your Cognitive Abilities

People who have suffered some setbacks in their cognitive performances would find garden therapy to be helpful. The therapy not only stops their conditions from worsening, but it also helps them get better.

And the exciting thing about gardening is that it involves a lot of activities that patients can easily adapt to heal them in the way they want. For instance, those who need to get stronger can concentrate on heavy gardening works like digging and sanding. 

When they do these for extended periods of time and regularly, their muscles get stronger. Individuals who want to socialize can benefit from group gardening where they get to interact with other gardeners.

The ease of adaptation of gardening makes it one of the best therapeutic ways to make your cognitive abilities get better.

2. Garden Therapy Improves Your Sense of Responsibility

Individuals who have suffered low self-esteem and young people with difficulties in learning would find gardening helpful. When they actively take part in gardening, irrespective of how simple their tasks are, it boosts their confidence level. 

It fills them with a sense of control over their surroundings. This could even be helpful for those who have trouble controlling their feelings and emotions.

3. Gardening Helps To Relieve Emotional Stress

Emotional issues affect the daily lives of the individuals who have them in no small way. Those who struggle with trauma, anger, depression, anxiety, and mental issues would find garden therapy very helpful in managing their emotions and helping them to get better.

Gardening often requires focus and concentration, but not a lot of deep thinking. This makes it a perfect diversion from the rather unhappy thoughts of those who have emotional issues. 

4. Gardening Makes You Happy

Even science backs this up. When you are in a space that has a lot of green, it helps your body cut down its stress level.  The release of cortisol, the hormone that has the unfortunate duty of making you feel stressed, is reduced. 

Consequently, stress takes a dip, and high blood pressure follows suit. Although it isn’t restricted to them, it is of great benefit to seniors and they may gain the most from this healing advantage of gardening.

But the garden isn’t only a world of green. It is a combination of colors and smells which are great at helping you relieve your stress and making you happy. 

5. Gardening Rewards You

It could frustrate you to do things repeatedly without getting the results you require. However, situations like this rarely happen in gardening. Gardening rewards you in a lot of ways. 

It serves as a confidence booster for you; it gives you the feeling of self-control; and gives you a sense of responsibility. Add those to the beautiful colors of blooming flowers or the full growth of herbs; what you have is a bounty of rewards in gardening.

6. Even the View Has Its Healing Effects

According to a study by a behavioral scientist and healing gardens expert, Roger Ulrich, merely staring at the garden has its benefits. Individuals who are just healing from physical illnesses could increase their recovery rate by just gazing at the garden. 

Ulrich conducted this research on some gallbladder surgery patients. Patients who had windows that looked out to full trees healed faster than others who didn’t. These patients also didn’t need to take a lot of pain medications.

And of those patients who didn’t have a window that looked out to nature close to them, patients who were shown images of nature also had similar results to the window patients. They healed faster and needed fewer pain medications.

The Bottomline

Knowing the healing power of the garden is one thing. But tapping into it is another thing entirely. You don’t have to wait for a doctor’s recommendation before you start gardening. Get proactive with your well-being today and start gardening!

We live in a society where everybody is trying to get ahead. It appears the early bird catches the worm and the smartest people will always get the better things in life. And it seems that when we are placed in a world where there is this pressure to keep afloat or be gone forever, this can either force us to change our ways or decide to plead ignorance. But we might feel that we try our best but it’s not good enough, that we are limited by our own intelligence or abilities. But while many people think that we are just born with intelligence, that we just have it or we don’t, this is not the case. The key is about treating your brain like a muscle through certain lifestyle habits that help your brain. Intelligence comes in two forms. Crystallized intelligence which comprises your skills knowledge and vocabulary. But there is also fluid intelligence, which is your ability to think abstractly or reason. And there are many ways to increase both.

Reading

It may seem obvious but reading stimulates every part of your brain. Because it requires you to pay attention to exercise comprehension visual processing, as well as your working memory reading, is one of the best ways to boost the neural connections between every part of your brain. Reading is something that we need to get into the habit of doing. It’s not just about picking books that are beyond your comprehension. After all, our intelligence increases with age. The very act of reading is something that we need to get into because it will improve our concentration and comprehension while increasing our neural pathways. This means that getting into the habit of reading is a must. If you do not read regularly, think about the best time for you to do it. Many people read before bedtime. But also, think about the right tools that can help you to focus such as glasses which you can purchase here. It’s important to remember that if you aren’t a regular reader and you feel that you’ve got lots to catch up on, you shouldn’t try to read a book in a week. Take it one page at a time and engage with the material. Many people boast that they have read so many books in their life, but reading books passively is completely different from engaging with the subject matter. Reading is not the sign of intelligence, but it is the sign of someone wanting to improve.

Meditating

It isn’t just about sitting there listening to nothing. Meditating is something that requires a significant amount of concentration. If you’ve ever sat in silence and tried to think of nothing, this is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Meditation is a fantastic way to improve your working memory. While there has been much research on meditation and the results have shown better brain function, speculation on the results may very well be down to the emotional benefits of meditation. But it stands to reason, the more relaxed you are, the more receptive you will be. If you are someone who struggles to learn anything, this may not be down to your own abilities but it could be more to do with your inhibitions or blockages. We may become a barrier to our own success. And if we struggle to get out of our way so we can reap the benefits of learning, meditation may prove to be the key. Meditating is a hard task to accomplish but there are tools that can help such as meditation machines, as well as guided meditation videos and apps.

Playing an Instrument

It’s never too late to learn. It’s something that can be a very creative way to boost our intelligence. If you don’t like the idea of doing crosswords or sudoku, playing instruments involves numerous skills such as recognizing patterns, auditory perception, as well as physical dexterity and coordination. With all of these working together your sensory and cognitive skills are challenged. And when you start to delve deeper into music and think about transposing keys or improvising music in certain keys, this is the mental exercise your brain needs to develop. The great thing about music is that it’s one of the most fun pastimes. The initial lessons may prove frustrating. But learning an instrument to play along to your favorite songs helps you to develop those mental skills and working memory while also having a good time. Whether it’s playing the guitar or the drums, each instrument comes with its own individual benefits. Playing the drums is something that is very good because it engages both sides of our brains, but it’s also very good as a stress reliever.

Other Considerations

Lifestyle is just as important. There are many other components that you should consider if you want to improve your brain function. One of the simplest is exercise. Light exercise promotes activity in the hippocampus which can help to improve your memory. You should also think about sleeping properly, as this helps you to consolidate memories that you’ve created during the day. But you should also think about diet. A small dose of caffeine can improve your attention which can help you to retain information. But also think about foods that are rich in nutrients. We’re talking about the usual culprits here; omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, as well as flavonoids. In short: eat your greens! It’s also important to remember that training your brain in ways beyond the norm can help. There are things that you do every single day that enhance your mental abilities. Being sociable can help. If you have found yourself dwindling recently because of the pandemic, find ways to be more sociable online with friends. Now might be the perfect opportunity to focus on improving your intelligence. But many people believe that they have a certain amount of intelligence that they cannot improve on. In fact, it’s about the tips above while also remembering to stay curious. Intelligence isn’t just measured by knowledge of facts and figures; it’s about stimulating your brain in the right ways. 

Electric toothbrushes have been around for a long time and the market has always been dominated by a few brands such as Oral B and Philips. As technology advances, electric toothbrushes are also becoming more accessible to the wider market as prices are now more affordable than previously. 

Before I dive deeper into my review of the Zenyum Sonic Brush, I must say that I personally owned two types of Oral B electric toothbrushes; one being the Oral B Genius 9000 (the most expensive electric toothbrush that I have) and the other being the Oral B Vitality (the most wallet-friendly electric toothbrush). Hence, I am pretty familiar with the use of electric toothbrushes as I have made the switch many years ago. 

Costs 

The Zenyum Sonic brush costs SGD$39.90 (promotional price with brush head refill subscription plan) and while it is not the cheapest electric toothbrush in an already saturated market, it is also not the most expensive. 

In terms of the operating costs, the Zenyum Sonic brush head refill costs SGD$5.90 and the Oral B brush head refill costs SGD$7. The average brush head can last about 3 months so if you divide the cost of the brush head refill by 3 months; it will be SGD$2 and SGD$2.30 respectively. 

Even if you are using a manual toothbrush, you should still change your toothbrush every 3-4 months because not doing so can result in poor oral hygiene that will cost you even more money when you visit the dentist to get a dental treatment done (yes, I have spent thousands of dollars on dental treatment and it’s not a pleasant feeling & experience at all).

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Features 

Whatever electric toothbrush you use, it is definitely going to be a better experience than using a manual toothbrush.  

The more expensive electric toothbrushes like the Oral B Genius 9000 (SGD$179.90) will have more features such as a pressure sensor, a two-minute timer that is divided into 4 segments of 30 seconds, different cleaning modes- routine brushing, whitening, gum, tongue, and even comes with a mobile app to review if you have brushed your teeth properly. 

For the more wallet-friendly electric toothbrushes like the Oral B Vitality (SGD$29.50), it will typically come with a two-minute timer that is divided into 4 segments of 30 seconds and only one single mode of cleaning. 

As for the Zenyum Sonic, it comes with three modes of cleaning and a two-minute timer that is divided into 4 segments of 30 seconds. While the Zenyum Sonic lacks a pressure sensor, it isn’t necessarily a deal breaker and what I really like about Zenyum Sonic is the ability to charge the electric toothbrush using a portable power bank (it comes with a USB cable). The other thing that I like about the Zenyum Sonic is the hassle-free brush head subscription plan where you can choose to have a new brush head delivered to you either every month, every two months, or every three months. 

If you go for the Zenyum Sonic with the Brush Head Refill subscription plan, I would say that the Zenyum Sonic is a good buy especially with the promo price of SGD$39.90. However, if you go for a single purchase of the Zenyum Sonic without any refill plan, it will cost SGD$64.80 and that may be a deal breaker for some people. 

Some Helpful Tips When Using Electric Toothbrush For The First Time 

#1: You just have to hold the brush and guide it to the teeth that you want it to clean. 

#2: You don’t have to scrub your teeth with the brush, just let it glide along the teeth. 

#3: You don’t have to press the brush too hard on your teeth.

#4: Don’t brush your teeth for longer than 2 minutes (yes, even if you use a manual toothbrush).

Overall 

I am pretty sure a manual toothbrush can do a good job of cleaning your teeth if you’re using it properly but if an electric toothbrush can do an even better job, you should really invest in one.

If it is your first time getting an electric toothbrush and you don’t want to spend too much money, I will recommend that you go for the Zenyum Sonic with Brush Head Refill Subscription instead of the single purchase option. You might feel slightly off when using an electric toothbrush for the first time but I am pretty sure you will get accustomed to using it over time.