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Habits that Hamper Concentration


By: Gemma Lagasca


ConcentrationDo you always have a problem focusing on your work or studies? According to Lucy Jo, PhD who is a respected Psychologist, there are ways to manage concentration culprits. The biggest distraction why people are becoming less attentive to their daily responsibilities is because of getting hooked to network sites. The activities in the cloud are quick, fuss-free and enjoyable yet they kill attention and time in performing the necessary tasks at hand. And also, losing concentration can have psychological impacts. Here are some advices on how to deal with concentration killers to retain a sound mind:

  1. Mobile gadgets: I think there are only few people who can ignore a cell phone’s ringtone. Once the phone rings, it will already kill your concentration and immediately interrupt your task at hand. To avoid affecting your daily task, try to set a caller ID to identify if it is an emergency call but if you suspect that the call is not urgent let the voicemail handle it. If you are attending an important meeting, put your mobile phone in to silent mode to avoid getting distracted. You may also set a specific time to read all the voice mails and messages received during your free time.
  2. Social Media: They are comfortable means for reaching out to friends and families living in any part of the universe. You can get through your favorite social media anytime and many times for as long as you want. However, social media is number one on the major concentration distractions’ list. To avoid this in your system, stay away from logging in while at work. If you want to get updates, set a schedule or make it during a quick break. This way, your focus on work will not interrupt your concentration. If for some reasons, you can’t resist logging in – then it’s about time to disconnect your internet access until you’re off from work.
  3. Pesky Feelings: Oh! This is quite hard because the problem is within you. Too much worries and concerns will totally devastate your concentration. It’s hard to set your mind and body to start your new task for the day. In fact, you sometimes carry the emotions from yesterday’s event and add them to the current dissatisfaction or disagreement with your boss or partner. However, these disturbing thoughts can be fixed within 3 minutes of meditation. Set yourself for a while to sort out what’s buzzing around your mind. After that, write down your task and highlight the most important chore that you need to complete within a specific time frame. This way, you can push yourself to focus and draw away pesky feelings while at work. You will be surprised with the outcome after you have successfully accomplished your main job.

  4. Boredom or Getting Burn Out: Let’s admit the fact that there are different kinds of tasks every day. Sometimes we get bored of our regular tasks although we have no choice but to accomplish them. As a result, it will take a little harder for our attention to focus. Additionally, the internet is enticing while your friends are online chatting. But, to avoid getting mixed up, hang on for a while and make a deal with yourself. If you prolong this kind of double or multi-tasking, you are only prolonging your agony. If you look forward to enjoy a coffee break, commit yourself – sit down and enjoy the whole process. You can turn on your iPod to listen to your music collections while sipping your coffee. This is not only relaxing but also very inspiring to do.

In conclusion, when you feel that depression is striking your concentration, this is a serious matter. According to the National Institute of Mental Health – being sad, hopeless and quiet are the symptoms of depression and a person detected with these signs needs medical attention as quickly as possible.

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Top 7 Grocery Buying Myths


By: Gemma Lagasca


Grocery BuyingAs we go in and out of the supermarket or grocery stores to shop for things we need for our day-today existence, we follow certain routines believing that they do us good. Little do we know that we are accomplishing some actions based on myths that should not be practiced now – that’s why it’s time to review some fine points for our guidance:

  1. “Don’t allow kids to go with you in the supermarket”. Most parents will lose their focus on what to buy when kids are around because they have to look after them while shopping. Of course, budget can easily be broken when the little ones keep on pointing at the items they want – and they don’t know its implications. On the other side of it, older children that are involved in planning a healthy meal must be taught on how to choose the right ingredients by letting them check on the labels. Guide them on how to read and understand the nutrition facts printed on the packages. That way, they will know exactly how to choose for the family’s benefit. So small kids will be better off left at home with a trusted help while the already responsible ones can start helping on your purchasing decisions.
  2. “All organic foods are healthy”. Yes, organic plants are better when they are grown conventionally with less or no exposure to pesticides – but it doesn’t mean that they are all nutritious. If you opt for organic fruits and vegetables, the best picks are lettuce, apples, peaches and spinach because these can be eaten fresh from the garden after washing thoroughly. Foods with skin like avocado, oranges and bananas are not significant whether they’re organic or not. So, even if fruits and vegetables are not organic, they can be as nutritious as the organic ones or more.

  3. “Select only “low-fat” products. Not all labeled “low-fat” products are nutritious”. To make sure of this, check on the nutrition facts printed on the label. Before you pick an item, remember the things that you need to avoid such as high sugar, fat, sodium, saturated fats, calories and trans-fat contents.
  4. “Back-off from indulging in sweets”. No way! Ice cream, candies and chocolates are also essential treats for the family. Just keep the tempting sweets in minimum amount. Add in fresh fruits with a single serve of low-fat ice cream or a whip of dairy topping. Include a pack of dark chocolates with raisins or nuts in your shopping cart – these can add few nutrients when taken in moderate proportions only.
  5. “Cross-out red meat from your list”. Red meat contains essential nutrients such as protein, zinc and iron. Therefore, there is no reason to take this away from your shopping list. The only thing you need to consider is the recommended amount you need to serve in every meal. Just buy the right slices in smaller cuts. Use only the lean meat as side dish for dinner and serve more veggies and whole grains as the focus of the meal.
  6. “Fresh foods are still the best”. We always stick to that thinking that fresh foods are still the best despite being pricy. But if you are considering your budget, frozen foods are also good. In fact, frozen foods kept at its right peak of ripeness preserves the natural nutrients like fresh foods. Canned vegetation can also be good if you will rinse the fruits or vegetables before eating to wash-away the unwanted salt or sugar added.
  7. “Buy in bulk”. Buying everything in bulk is a good idea if we talk about imperishable goods. You can save some cash from volume discounts! Nevertheless, buying frozen items in bulk is not advisable, unless you are sure that you can consume them before they expire.

So it’s about time to change those ways of thinking and embrace the facts for the better. Making some adjustments after learning from this article can benefit the family greatly. Happy shopping!

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Happiness – the Best Measure of Success


By: Gynn Flores


HappinessAre you happy?

How happy are you now?

How much has your Company earned this quarter?

Which question is more significant to you? If you are more concerned about the latter, then one can guess that the answer to the former is not going to be a very positive one.

With this in mind, I was happy to know that the Bhutanese have introduced a Minister for Happiness – yes indeed, a happiness minister.

This kingdom in the Himalayas has a new measurement of national prosperity – “gross national happiness”. By focusing on people’s welfare rather than economic productivity, there is likely to be a knock-on effect for business. After all, a happy workforce makes for a more successful and productive team. They become more creative, focused and inspired with what they do. It makes them inspired to perform well in their jobs.

Success and money can definitely contribute to happiness, but happiness itself is another thing altogether. Words like ‘family’, ‘friends’, ‘love’ and ‘laughter’ have a lot more to do with happiness than words like ‘gross’, ‘capital’, returns and ‘revenue’.

Money is said to be a by-product of bigger, more meaningful goals such as passion, fun and wisdom. I can say, have fun, do good, and the money will come. It is once said that it is the little things that make us happy, money only creates a scenario conducive to happiness.

Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from the Bhutanese and their Minister for Happiness. What other measurements for success are important to you? To the breadwinners, it is the capacity to provide for their family. For the businessman, it is the capacity to earn as projected or better yet, exceed the projections. Regardless of your purpose, happiness comes when you are able to achieve your goals. It gives you a sense of achievement and success. It is like rewards for your best efforts or some like to say the fruits of your own labor.
People have different expectations and in reality it is hard to give a measure to happiness. Regardless of your standards, your total well-being is what is important. Having achieved your goals – be it in business or employment, can make you able to sustain not only your needs but also your wants. Good health should be on top of the list followed by a comfortable home, good nourishment and finally the extras that you desire to have like holidays, gadgets, jewelries, novelty items to name a few.
Having achieved happiness, expect to hear laughter, contentment and a relaxed way of life. This is the life we all should struggle to achieve. It will free us from stress which is the source of most dreaded diseases. This may sound so simple but the reality is, it is s sort of prevention for the negative things to happen like worries, stress, anxiety and unhappiness. If everybody achieves this, we will all live happily wherever we may be. Initiate the effort and be happy.

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Home-based Moms’ Best Tips to Stay Slim and Fit


By: Gemma Lagasca


Fit MomsBeing a Mom is a tough job. Once you get married and started to have a baby, you will have to commit your life to performing motherhood responsibilities – at the same time a good wife to your husband every day at 24/7 rate if possible. Imagine if you have 2 or 3 kids in a row – it will definitely be a hectic life-crossing situation. But since we are all different, then it’s up to you how you would like to balance being a mother and loving partner to your husband.
Gaining extra pounds is the top problem of stay-at-home moms. However, don’t allow this to happen – instead, be determined to shed-off those extra pounds through practical means. It is important to opt for the natural way to keep your body fit for the welfare of your family. Stay away from quick fixes especially when chemical-based diet or supplements are involved. Home-based moms can maximize the resources at home with proper planning and determination. Note the 3 best points before you proceed with following the proper diet instructions.

  1. Learn more about calorie counts. Calorie intake is the primary factor to control before you begin a diet plan. The main reason why you need to do this is to be able to keep record on what you put inside your body. So, if you know how to slash and burn the calories you have taken in a day, you will have an idea how much work out is neeaded regularly to eliminate those extra pounds that are normally retained inside the body for a lifetime – if you don’t do anything about it.
  2. Determine the required caloric demand you need. For a female with normal height and weight, you need to reduce to up to 1,500 up to 1,600 calories a day. The standard number should be based on the individual’s actual height, weight, age and physical routine.
  3. Know how to calculate your Count Base Metabolic Rate. Here is the formula:
  • Get your weight in pounds and then multiply by 4.3
  • Take your age and then multiply by 4.7
  • Get the total of 655 + (height + weight)
  • The sum of # 3 step should then be subtracted to your age to get your BMR (Base Metabolic Rate)

Sample Computation of a 40 year old woman:

Height: 5feet
Weight: 140 lbs.
Age: 40
(4.3 x 140 lbs) + (4.7×60 inches) +655-(4.7 x40) =1,351

Now it’s time to create a new diet plan. Here are some basic and natural steps to stay away from adding inches to your waist:

  • Wear aerobics clothes at home. This way, you will be in the mood to exercise harder while doing your daily chores.
  • Nap, relax and get enough sleep.
  • Eat your supper earlier than usual and please avoid having midnight snacks.
  • Never finish your kid’s left over foods.
  • Don’t forget to eat your breakfast every day and then eat small but frequent amount of foods within the day.
  • Eliminate those oily and fried comforting foods. Instead go for grilled, steamed and boiled preparations.
  • Take advantage of using the stairs as a form of your daily exercise.
  • While the kids are in school or having a nap, do shadow boxing, jumping rope or treadmill for 20 minutes.
  • Enroll in an aerobics class near your area and make it a point to attend when all your kids are in school.

May all these important tips will help stay-home moms to be pro-active. Our home is our sanctuary. All members of the family will be happier if everyone is fit and contented. If you know how to take good care of your health, you will feel good and you can give the best care for your loved ones.

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Hair Myths and Facts Affecting Your Health


By: Gemma Lagasca


Does hair tells that you’re healthy? There are different kinds of health problems that may affect your hair—hair loss is one example of a medical side effect. However, there are some myths and facts affecting your health and your hair. Continue reading this article to know these things:

  1. Daily hair shedding is normal. Hair shedding is not an evidence of being unhealthy. Our hair usually goes through three phases—shedding, resting and growing. According to WebMD’s researchers, the estimated amount of hair for normal shedding per day is up to 100 strands. The 90% of hair follicles are bringing forth new hair anytime and the remaining10% are in telogen phase or resting phase. It means that the new hair will grow back in a certain period of time.
  2. Low immune system is not related to hair follicle damage. The hair damage manifested by abnormal hair fall is medically known as alopecia areata. This problem can exist when an unusual attack to your system happens when undergoing surgery, medications, stress, thyroid problems and when giving birth. Some people may experience this over and over again but the hair normally grows back naturally.
  3. White flakes do not create health risk. Even doctors are not sure about the dandruff’s root cause or origin. But base on the theory, dandruff is caused by overgrowth of fungus. The sources of these funguses include stress, obesity, oily skin, dry or cold weather and when suffering from psoriasis or eczema. Consequently, the intense itch is definitely irritable—but dandruff is not infectious. Try to use antidandruff shampoo to treat or control the continuous production of white flakes.

  4. Male and female pattern baldness. Baldness is 90% caused by genes especially for men. This problem is more influenced by your mother’s bloodline than your father’s. For women, the usual hair loss is not concentrating in one portion—it is more on thinning hair all over the head. So women rarely experience baldness compared to men. According to the old belief, long hair can cause hair fall because the nutrients cannot sustain it whereas some people believe that a brand of shampoo can cause hair loss—unfortunately these were all myths. Try treating your hair with Minoxidil to prevent it from thinning and it may also help the hair to grow again.
  5. Unhealthy diet brings unhealthy hair. Of course, unhealthy foods will not sustain your hair and body needs. So enrich your body with hearty or healthy diet. Include salmon, walnuts, spinach, carrots, oysters and cashews in your daily diet. These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and zinc to keep your hair shiny.
  6. Over-styling can damage hair. Too much styling like colouring, bleaching, straitening, blow-drying and ironing can cause hair damage. The hair will become dull and dry—but this hair problem does not indicate permanent health damage.
  7. Scalp massage improves scalp condition. Although there is no concrete proof that scalp massage will help avoid or slower hair loss—but it can relieve stress. Massage will help improve the blood flow in the nerve and triggers the production of good hormones like dopamine and serotonin.

There you go – you should know by now if there’s anything you can do with your hair problems – if you have any!