The 00 Cup Cake!

This Year we are celebrating our Birthday a little bit differently.


Normally, we gather Family and Friends on our Birthday Eve to spend the 00 together…Candles are blown and toasts are made with Champagne.
This year with exception, i am spending it alone! My Husband is in Beijing until Saturday (we will celebrate it on Saturday night), my Sister is arriving from Portugal in the morning of the 15th and because of the Typhoon my brother’s flight is extremely delayed. So for tonight, it will be me, my daughter, the frenchies and my all time favorite, amazingly scented carrot cup cakes with low fat cream cheese frosting!!!

I just removed them from the oven and i don’t know if i can resist until 00. I do have an old recipe that i will keep it forever, but is meant for a whole cake. This time, i have chosen a new recipe exclusive for cupcakes. I added a few ingredients from my original recipe like raisins and walnuts and added Yogurt (from this new recipe) for the first time ever and it wasn’t scary!


Happy Baking with this easy and quick recipe:



Carrot cupcake with low-fat cream cheese frosting
Ingredients
    For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk or yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (from about 4 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup of crashed walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of raisins

  • For The Frosting:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and  cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, egg, buttermilk or yogurt, and vanilla. Stir in carrots, the walnuts and raisins. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture mixing until well combined- but not over-mixed. Divide among muffin tin. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  4. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  5. For Frosting:
  6. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth; beat in vanilla. (If frosting is too thick, add a few drops of milk or cream.)
  7. Frost or pipe on cupcakes as desired.



As the countdown is about to begin: got the cup cake ready and a glass of pink sparkling lemonade for the toast!
This is how my little cozy 00 celebration looks like!













Blowing 29 candles!!!


August 15th – here you are…again :)This year flew!!ISeems like it was yesterday i was celebrating my 28th with family and closest friends at Altira, sipping virgin mojitos with a round 5 months bump!!
As the Big Day is approaching, I can’t help but look back – way back and see what this 29 years of my life has given me!I can only be grateful for where i am in life, for what i have today, what i have accomplished, built and developed. Both personally and professionally. 
I can’t thank enough to my forever Hero – my Father – that thought me/us so well. Till today i wonder how he could be an amazing Father, Mother and Friend at the same time, since the day i was born…My Father is my every day inspiration, that without his belief in me, i wouldn’t be the woman i am today!My sisters – my companions, my accomplices my Best Friends and Brother Duarte that share the same Birthday Day as i do. He is reaching his 30 years of life. What a Special time in our lives. And now, with a loving husband – my soul mate –  a beautiful daughter, the circle is complete, and i couldn’t be happier.I love my Family so much that it hurts. 


Today, for the first time, i don’t mind turning one year older!


Like it happens to all of us, there were some ups and downs along the road BUT the ups were so amazing that i can hardly think about the downs. The downs, thought me to be stronger, confident and appreciate life in a different way. The Amazing Years…They were just unbelievable.


Looking back, I will always remember Years like the Year i was born – of course – 1984,
1990 was the Year my Family and i moved to Macau. Back in 1991 my Family and I went to Thailand for the 1st time – Cha Am, and in 1993 i received my first writing prize – yes, i won 1st place in a writing competition between schools and received 1000 hkd that i spent it all – proudly – in Toys R Us 😉 among many other years.
The 90’s were pretty standard actually where we were all busy with Primary School and High School duties. I can’t remember any extraordinary year beside the last High School year beafore starting University! 

I still remember the year my brother moved to Portugal to pursue his Academic dreams- it took a very strong hit to all of us. Suddently it was just my father and 2 daughter at home. We became soo ridiculously united that sometimes, i forget how united we were back then. Amazing relationship.
In the 2000’s i moved to Portugal and then Italy – Florence – for University. The years i lived there (with my Sister Barbara) are also times to be forever remembered.
Since returning from Italy back to Macau my life have been a rollercoaster ride. So many things happened, so many turns, so many changes, challenges, discoveries and experiences that shaped me to the person i am today. Changing from my Law path to the Wellness path was definitely one of the biggest decision i have ever made and i couldn’t be happier. 
2007 was the Year I met my husband and the year i had my first serious job. I was 23 :)
In 2011 Per and I got engaged. Plans were made and dreams came true!
2012 Per was made Captain and our first Baby – Sienna – was born
May 5th 2013 – The day and year of our marriage
2014? We can’t wait for another amazing year and years ahead!


Last year was a change of chapter in my life book. It was a busy and eventful year – With no doubts one of the best ever – AMAZING year – where a lot have happened. From starting a new job, having Dexter (our lovely frenchie) and discover i was pregnant – all at the same time, March 2012 was indeed a special month! After knowing i was pregnant 4 more friends of mine where sharing the same joy of being Mothers (and all for the first time). Wedding invitations were pouring our mailboxes and the preparation and organization of my very own was one of the main task last Year – I was planning a delivery and a wedding – Destination Wedding – at the same time. Was intense, but an amazing and rewarding experience that i will keep forever in my treasure box. Being pregnant and discover the most amazing wonders and experiences of being a mother…is just insanely beautiful..I am Amazed
I am extremely curious to see what this year has in store. I will accept it and appreciate it like always…I am a true believer in the power of mind and dreams. 

Every year my wishes and prayers are the same. I think about my Family and Loved ones, I wish we keep living a happy and healthy life. That we keep being strong, united and dedicated to one another like we always did. I wish i keep being focused on things that really matter and let go of the things that are less important. I wish to be a better Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt and Friend. I wish for as many happy moments as possible. Times filled with LOVE, POSITIVE ENERGIES, LAUGHER, JOY and WONDERFUL Dreams.
I think about the relationships built up to now and realize how happy and grateful for the Friends i have and new friendships that bloomed along the way. 

Because every Birthday is a Special Day and i see each birthday as a new beginning full of promise and opportunities with chances to make dreams come true I Wish myself, my Brother and everybody else sharing their Bdays on the 15th a very Happy and Unforgettable Birthday, with special happy thoughts to our Mothers that brought us to the World.








Being Grateful for…


If you don’t know what to be grateful for here are a few reminders: 


Our parents – Because if there is no them, there will not be you.

Our family – For being your closest kin in the world

Friends – For being your companions in life and being there for you whenever you need them
Sense of sight – For letting you see the colors of life

Sense of hearing – For letting you hear trickle of rain, the voices of your loved ones, and the harmonious chords of music

Sense of touch – For letting you feel the texture of your clothes, the breeze of the wind, the hands of your loved ones

Sense of smell – For letting you smell scented candles, perfumes, and beautiful flowers in your garden

Sense of taste – For letting you savor the sweetness of fruits, the saltiness of seawater, the sourness of pickles, the bitterness of bitter gourd, and the spiciness of chilli

Your speech – For giving you the outlet to express yourself

Your heart – For pumping blood to all the parts of your body every second since you were born; for giving you the ability to feel

Your lungs – For letting you breathe so you can live

Your immune system – For fighting viruses that enter your body. For keeping you in the pink of your health so you can do the things you love
Your hands – So you can type on your computer, flip the pages of books, and hold the hands of your loved ones

Your legs – For letting you walk, run, swim, play the sports you love, and curl up in the comfort of your seat
Your mind – For the ability to think, to store memories, and to create new solutions

Your good health – For enabling you to do what you want to do and for what you’re about to do in the future

Your school – For providing a environment conducive to learning and growing

Your teachers – For their dedication and for passing down knowledge to you

Tears – For helping you express your deepest emotions

Disappointment – So you know the things that matter to you most

Fears – So you know your opportunities for growth

Pain – For you to become a stronger person

Sadness – For you to appreciate the spectrum of human emotions

Happiness – For you to soak in the beauty of life

The Sun – For bringing in light, tan and beauty to this world

Sunset – For a beautiful sight to end the day

Moon and Stars – For brightening up our night sky

Sunrise – For a beautiful sight to start the morning

Rain – For cooling you when it gets too warm and for making it comfy to sleep in on weekends

Snow – For making winter even more beautiful
Rainbows – For a beautiful sight to look forward to after rain
Oxygen – For making life possible
The earth – For creating the environment for life to begin
Mother nature – For covering our world in beauty
Animals – For adding to the diversity of life
Transport – For making it easier to commute from one place to another
Mobile phones – For making it easy to stay in touch with others
Technology – For making impossible things possible
Movies – For providing a source of entertainment
Books – For adding wisdom into your life
Blogs – For connecting you with other like-minded people
Time – For a system to organize yourself and keep track of activities
Your job – For giving you a source of living and for being a medium where you can add value to the world
Music – For lifting your spirits when you’re down and for filling your life with more love
Your bed – For you to sleep comfortably in every night
Your home – For a place you can call home
Your soul mate – For being the one who understands everything you’re going through
Your enemies – For helping you uncover your blind spots so you can become a better person
Kind strangers – For brightening up your days when you least expect it
Your mistakes – For helping you to improve and become better
Heartbreaks – For helping you mature and become a better person
Laughter – For serenading your life with joy
Love – For letting you feel what it means to truly be alive
Life’s challenges – For helping you grow and become who you are
Life – For giving you the chance to experience all that you’re experiencing, and will be experiencing in time to come
You – For being who you are and touching the world with your presence.


Be Happy and Be Grateful Everyday!

Super Nutrients that Slim you Down

When taking on a weight loss diet or program you HAVE to be sure that it works towards meeting your goals. There are a number of diets out there, however, it is important that you are being followed by a Registered Nutritionist first before you go ahead and adopt diets that deprive you of important nutrients that your body needs.

Have a look at the most wanted Nutrients that are extremely healthy and help you Slim Down.

Monosaturated Fats


While it is important to follow a balanced diet, which means including all three food groups in your diet (even when you are working on weight loss) you could consider reducing the content of carbohydrates from your diet and replace it with monosaturated fats.
You will find monosaturated fats in olive oil, avocados and Macademia nuts. They have more benefits as well, for instance avocado is rich in fiber, olive oil in antioxidants and Macademia nuts in B-Vitamins.


EGCG


Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG is an antioxidant is found commonly in green tea. In fact EGCG is found in a host of weight loss supplements as well. This nutrient helps increase heat production, by burning extra calories and by using the stored fat as energy. EGCG helps stop the production of fat cells.
EGCG occurs naturally in green tea and works well when combined with caffeine.

Raspberry Ketones


An antioxidant found in raspberries, this nutrient has some great weight loss effects. It directly increases the burning of stored fat, it helps in increasing the effect of hormone adiponectin that is a fat burning and muscle energizing hormone.

Include raspberries in your diet to gain maximum benefit from this amazing nutrient.

DHA


Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is found in oily fish like in salmon. This nutrient helps in stopping the growth of young fat cells and in fact kills them.
To make DHA a part of your diet, you should eat more oily fish, and if you are a vegetarian, you should try and pick an algae based DHA supplement.

Acetic Acid


Vinegar is a dilute form of the beneficial acetic acid. It has great glucose reducing effects. If one wants to maintain a lean body and continue their weight loss, controlling blood sugar is absolutely essential.
Add vinegar to most of your salads, make it a habit.

Protein


When it comes to picking the best weight loss nutrient, lean protein sources like poultry, dairy and fish are the one’s to choose. Amino acids found in these protein sources allow the body to release glucagon (an energy stabilizing and fat-burning hormone). Digestion of protein makes your body release a hormone called CCK, which allows your brain to think that you are full. It is a known fact that one’s body needs more energy to breakdown protein as compared to fat and carbs and therefore is a must have in your diet.
Include lean proteins in your diet.

Fiber


Fiber helps slow down digestion and is indeed a great nutrient for weight loss. It also helps one sustain high levels of energy and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. Consuming fiber can allow your brain to think that you feel full.
The bets sources of fiber come from sources that are no over processed. The reason is that processing fiber will change its chemical make up, which leads to decreasing its effect of lowering cholesterol and making you feel full. 

Mantras to get you through the Day

At times, it’s inevitable: you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. And it sets the tone for your day. Does it ring any bell?!?
While there are plenty of reasons to wake up in the morning, sometimes we need a little extra push.
That’s where the morning mantra comes in. Mantras are affirmations, amazing tools to reroute your thoughts – getting your mind back on the right (and optimistic) track.
I truly believe that mornings are the best time  to practice a mantra or affirmation, as when we first wake up we find that our mind is the most receptive to ideas and suggestions.
If, instead of having our first thought of the day be about our to-do list, or if instead of reaching for our phones from underneath the covers, we spend a quiet moment on a positive or motivational thought, perhaps we can be more in control of the day’s tone. Hello?!?
For the next few days, find some words, mantras, prompts or affirmations that resonate with you. Make these important words your first priority of the morning. Then, notice if the pace of your day has changed. Just close your eyes gently and breath in and out through your nose. Tell your Mantra as your breath in, and as you breath out, let go negative thoughts, the negative vibe and tension. Repeat this easy routine and you will feel G R E A T !
The more often you say them, the more they will impact your reality. Mantras  aren’t one-time-event…say them once and life is perfect, rather, they are an everyday choice, a choice we make with our thoughts and feelings. The more often you use them, the quicker you will begin to see new opportunities, engage in new healthy behaviors, and feel energized by the direction your life will be taking. 
Have a look at some of the Mantras to keep us going. 
Enjoy and Believe!!!


Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful

I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health

Today i am excited about everything

Be you, bravely

Today is a good Day to have a good Day

Being Happy is productive

You are Beautiful

Stop underestimating yourself

Do more of what makes you Happy

Stop holding on what hurts and make room for what feels good

Today is filled with opportunity. Everywhere I look I see it, and I trust my intuition to follow where it leads


Good Morning Life! I am so grateful to be alive today

Good Morning! Yes, it will be a good morning and a good day

I am grateful for today


The sun is shining through my window and through my heart


I enter this day with an attitude of appreciation


Today my world is changing for the better. I open my awareness to my shifting reality


I allow my intuition to guide my actions to day with trust that I am guided toward my highest good


Today I will be pleasantly surprised


I enter today with an open mind and a calm presence



Top foods and drinks RICH in Antioxidants

Eat more fruits and veggies as they are packed with Antioxidants fundamental to our health. Have a look at the best of the best

Blackberries
One cup of blackberries contains the most antioxidants of all the berries, beating out blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries. Plus, one cupful provides half your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

Walnuts

Just an ounce of walnuts, or 15 to 20 halves, is loaded with antioxidants. They’re also cholesterol-free and low in sodium and sugar. Nuts are laden with calories, though, so be mindful of your intake.

Strawberries
Bursting with fiber and vitamin C (149 percent of your daily recommended intake!), a cup of sliced strawberries is a cup full of healthy benefits. Regular consumption of the flavorful fruit raises antioxidant blood saturation levels. This can help to lower the risk of chronic diseases ranging from heart disease and cancer to metabolic disorders including diabetes.

Artichoke Hearts

I have to admit that it wasn’t before last year that i start enjoying this amazing super food. Add a cup of antioxidant-rich artichoke hearts to your diet as they are low in calories and full of nutrients: fiber, vitamin C, folate, magnesium. Artichokes also contain some of the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants among fresh vegetables. 

Cranberries

One cup of whole cranberries is full of disease-fighting and health-boosting antioxidants.
Cranberries are on the top 10 list of foods with the highest antioxidant levels. Add cranberries to your diet for a burst of flavor and a boost to your health. The festive winter fruit is rich in antioxidants, which may help fight cancer and improve cholesterol levels. Plus it may also help combat dental cavities.

Brewed Coffee

Your morning cup of joe does more than perk you up — it also boosts your health. Regular consumption of the flavorful fruit raises antioxidant blood saturation levels. This can help to lower the risk of chronic diseases ranging from heart disease and cancer to metabolic disorders including diabetes

Raspberries

Another super-healthy berry to add to your diet. One cup is loaded with vitamin C (54 percent of your daily recommended intake) and antioxidants.

Pecans

As if you needed any more reason to take a bite out of that pecan pie. One ounce, or 20 jumbo kernels, of pecans is rich in antioxidants.

Blueberries

This superfood is good for your health and can help protect your skin from premature aging.

Ground Cloves

Just a teaspoon of ground cloves can do wonders for your body. Spice up your meals and boost your health at the same time.

Red Wine
Red wine seems to have more heart-healthy benefits than other types of alcohol. Antioxidants in red wine – polyphenols – may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. Resveratrol (a polyphenol) is one substance in red wine that we should look at. Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The antioxidants found in red wine may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage. So sit back and relax with a well deserved glass of Red Vino!

Chocolate

Dark chocolate – not milk chocolate or dark chocolate eaten with milk – is very rich in antioxidants. Milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.
With dark chocolate, the richer in cocoa the better, is not only a to-die-for treat, it’s actually good for you. Just 1 oz of a very special chocolate packs more than twice the healthy antioxidants punch of red wine or other dark chocolates – NICE!
Studies have shown that people with high blood levels of flavonoids (the antioxidants found in the this types of chocolate) have lower risk of heart disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer, asthma, and type 2 diabetes.


Green Tea
Green and black teas have 10 times the amount of antioxidants found in fruits and veggies, by one estimate. All teas from the camellia tea plant are rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant. These wonder nutrients scavenge for cell-damaging free radicals in the body and detoxify them. Keep pouring that green tea Everyone.


Acai Berries
Acai berries are packed full of antioxidants. The antioxidant found in high concentrations in acai berries are the anthocyanin that are also found in red wine and other colourful fruits, and are known to be particularly effective at ensuring a healthy heart. Acai berries are considered super foods, with proponents claiming that they are helpful for a variety of health concerns, including arthritis, cancer, weight loss, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction, detoxification and improving general health.


Spinach
Spinach is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. One cup of fresh spinach has over 3,600 IU of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the many carotenoids that are well known for their anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. Beta-carotene is also good for the heart because it prevents the LDL cholesterol from oxidizing which can have damaging effects on arteries.


Garlic
Garlic has played an important dietary and medicinal role throughout the history of mankind. They  promote heart and cardiovascular health, prevent and treat cancer, and create a healthy lipid profile. Garlic prevents platelet aggregation and reduces high blood pressure. This super food has strong anti-inflammatory properties as well as  increases the overall antioxidant levels of the body







Dear Antioxidants we LOVE you Forever!!

Happy Friday Everyone!!!
I have been listing the topics that i want to share with you in the next few days, and in the top of my list are the ANTIOXIDANTS…
I am really excited to share with you the wonders that this cute little foods give us. The benefits are endless and that’s why we have to establish a long lasting relationship with ALL of them.
And this is why:

Antioxidants offer an array of health benefits. They have been touted as a possible preventative of diseases, ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s and they can indeed be effective in preventing a number of age-related diseases.
Antioxidants are present in fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains. Fruits and veggies that have bright, distinctive colors, such as red tomatoes, purple blueberries, yellow corn and orange carrots, are rich in antioxidants. (interesting how almost all the answers – health wise – lead us to consume fresh fruits and vegetables…)
A number of the vitamins, minerals and compounds in food have antioxidant properties. Vitamins A, C and E are among the most well known, as are beta-carotene, lycopene and selenium. Some foods that contain large amounts of antioxidants include:
  • Carrots
  • Green leafy vegetables like kale, collards and spinach
  • Berries, cherries and grapes
  • Green tea
  • Citrus fruits
  • Apples and pears
How Antioxidants Fight Stress and Free Radicals
As we age, our body tissues suffer from oxidative stress due to the process of oxidation (when molecules within the body lose electrons to electrically-charged molecules of oxygen – free radicals –  in the blood stream). The Free radicals have the potential to cause damage to cellular DNA. Over time, the damage can become irreversible and lead to disease.
Oxidation is a natural process that happens to everyone. Because it’s natural, a diet rich in antioxdants is necessary to keep the levels of free radicals in your body low and maintain good health. The more free radicals build up in your body, the more oxidative stress you’ll suffer.
As we age, our body’s natural defenses against oxidation, free radicals and oxidative stress become less effective. That’s why a high level of dietary antioxidants can prevent many age-related diseases.
Certain behaviors can increase the numbers of free radicals within our bodies. Smoking, drinking and sunbathing can cause unsafe increases in free radical production within the body. Other factors that can increase free radical production include air pollution, infection, and exposure to toxic substances or radiation.
Health Benefits of Antioxidants
Antioxidants benefit our health by cleaning free radicals out of your bloodstream. They have a range of health benefits. Antioxidants reduce the signs of aging by minimizing wrinkles and preserving the texture of the skin. They can even protect our skin from sun damage, and reduce the incidence of sunburn.
Although antioxidants aren’t proven to treat any conditions, antioxidants have been implicated in the prevention of a number of degenerative, age-related disease, including:
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Cataracts
  • Alzheimer’s
Different antioxidants benefit different parts of the body. For instance, the beta carotene found in carrots can help maintain eye health. The lycopene found in tomatoes can contribute to prostate health. The flavonoids found in tea, cocoa and chocolate are good for your heart, while the proanthocyanidins found in cranberries and apples can aid in the maintenance of the urinary tract.
In order to ensure that you get plenty of antioxidants in your daily diet, eat a varied diet, with at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and six to eleven servings of grains (including at least 3 go whole grains).

Body Fat ohhh Body FAT!

Losing body fat isn’t impossible, but common misperceptions can make it harder.Burn body fat the right way!!Below are some of the myths and facts about body fat.
Myth: You can lose body fat from just one area
Fact: Despite the range of products and programs that claim to target body fat on one specific area of the body, the truth is, you can’t burn body fat from just one area at a time. When you lose weight, the fat loss occurs throughout your entire body at once.
Your body stores fat to use as fuel, and when you begin a weigh loss program, your body burns that fat from all areas of your body so that one portion isn’t depleted. That’s because fat also acts as your body’s insulation, and your body doesn’t want to leave one area uninsulated.
Working a specific area will build muscle in that area, but without aerobic exercise, you’re still going to have a layer of fat over that muscle. A combination of aerobic and strength exercises can help you burn fat and tone your muscles.
Myth: Starving yourself helps burn body fat
Fact: It’s true that when you don’t eat enough calories, your body will break down stored fat to use as energy. However, when you go off your diet and start to eat normally again, you’ll gain all that weight back and some times even the double…Why? Because depriving yourself of necessary calories – daily –  puts you in physical “starvation mode.” Your body will think that there isn’t enough food available and that you’re starving. When you go off your diet, your body will store even more fat in reserve against future lean periods. You’ll also be more likely to overeat during this period.
To lose weight safely, lose a little at a time; two or three pounds a week is ideal. Don’t deprive yourself of food, and eat at least 1,300 calories per day – more on calories later.
Myth: Body Fat comes from fatty foods
Fact: Fat in foods does not necessarily equal fat on your body. Fat comes from calories; it doesn’t matter if those calories come from a burger or a salad. Obviously, it’s better to obtain calories from the salad, however, if you eat more calories than your body needs, it will store them as fat. To keep off body fat, don’t overeat any type of food. Instead, eat small and balanced meals.


Myth: Very Small Amounts of Excersize Will Burn Body Fat

Fact: Many products and programs advertise guaranteed weight loss in just five, eight or ten minutes a day. Some exercise machines even calculate the number of calories you’ve burned from the time you turn them on.
The truth is, your body won’t burn stored reserves of energy, or fat, unless it feels that it needs to. When you exercise for only a few minutes, you’re not burning energy stored as fat; you’re using energy from the food you ate that day. Your body won’t begin to burn the energy stored in fat cells until your other resources are depleted. 
Your body won’t begin to break down fat cells for fuel until you’ve been exercising for at least twenty minutes.  If you raise your heart rate for thirty minutes, that means you’ve been burning stored fat for only ten minutes of the workout. 


Fact: Body Fat Can be Linked to Your Thyroid

Thyroid gland is responsible for metabolism, as well as the temperature in your body. If your thyroid is underactive, it will cause slow metabolism and therefore hinder weight loss efforts.  It will cause ailments such as allergies, asthma, migraines, as well as other physical factors such as cold hands and feet.  If it is overactive, an increase in appetite may be felt along with possible weight gain from the increase in calories.Fact: Excess Body Fat Can Still be Healthy
Studies have shown that people who have some extra body fat and moderately exercise as part of a regular health regimen, are actually healthier than thin people who do not exercise and are sedentary.   If you look at certain parts of the country, there is proof that diets high in healthy fat can actually be good for you (such as in the Mediterranean where olive oil is used extensively).
Fact: Female breasts are composed almost entirely of fat which is one reason why, when dieting, they tend to reduce in size long before you lose the wobble elsewhere…there you go!!;)
Belly Fat vs Thighs or Butt fat:

It’s safer (health-wise) to be more of a pear than an apple shape. Belly fat, aka visceral fat, is much more responsive to the stress hormone cortisol compared to the fat on your thighs or butt, so when stress hits hard (and you don’t find a healthy way to handle it), any extra calories consumed are more likely to end up around your middle.

Belly fat is also much more inflammatory than fat located elsewhere in the body and can create its own inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals travel to the brain and make you hungry and tired, so you’re more likely to overeat or eat junk food and not exercise, thus creating a vicious cycle and perpetuating the storage of more belly fat. This might be a factor for serious mood disorders including bipolar disorders. If you’re stuck in a stress/eat/gain/stress cycle, however, you’re likely to experience at least a perpetually low mood, even if you don’t have an actual clinical condition.

The good news is that anything that helps you reduce inflammation helps reduce those signals to the brain.


Fat and Cellulite: 

It’s everywhere in real life and absolutely nowhere in TV, movies or magazines.As it turns out, magazine covers are incredibly deceiving, because plenty of celebrity moms are plagued by cellulite just like us. From models, to A-list actresses, to women who work out and eat right 100% of the time, famous mamas are not exempt from the lumps and bumps that seem to show up in all the wrong places.

Cellulite is caused by fat trapped under the skin = subcutaneous fat. The overlying skin texture are created by connective tissues that tie the skin to the underlying muscle, with fat trapped in between like a sandwich. You don’t need a lot of fat to cause this effect, so you can be in great shape and have low body fat but still have a little pocket of dimpled fat, for example, on your butt or the backs of your thighs.

The excess fat usually occurs more commonly in women than men. More particularly, it occurs in post-pubertal women. The areas most commonly affected by cellulite include the abdomen, the thighs and legs as well as the pelvic region. It is Important to distinguish it from cellulitis. The latter refers to infection of the skin and the underlying connective tissue.  Moreover, having cellulite does not indicate that one is overweight because even thin people can have it. Other terms describing this manifestation of excess fat include orange peel syndrome and cottage cheese skin.

Building muscle while losing fat (and the fat loss part is key—you have to have it to lose) can help minimize the appearance of cellulite; cellulite-specific creams and lotions can also help minimize the look of dimpled skin though they can’t do anything about the trapped fat beneath.


Why Gluten Free?



Definition

A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).
A gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.



The gluten-free diet is a treatment for celiac disease ONLY.

Switching to a gluten-free diet is as Big as changing to a Vegetarian diet and of course, it will take time until you get used to. Try to stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat. You may also be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available. Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods (mainly in Hong Kong) but you ca also start finding some products here in Macau including Watsons, Parking Shop, Seng Cheong and Mamacare – not sure about San Miu. 


According to the Mayo Clinic 

Attention: Foods without gluten aren’t necessarily more nutritious. In fact, a gluten-free diet can promote certain nutrient deficiencies. Most gluten-free products are not fortified with vitamins and minerals = low in calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and B vitamins.
Some of this foods have more sugar and fat to mimic the texture and mouth-feel of foods with gluten. Also, the low fiber content of many gluten-free foods may cause constipation.
However, a gluten-free diet that is based on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains that do not contain gluten, such as brown rice and quinoa, can be quite healthy.

If you’re just starting with a gluten-free diet, it’s a good idea to consult a dietitian who can answer your questions and offer advice about how to avoid gluten while still eating a healthy, balanced diet.

If accidentally you eat a product that contains gluten, you may experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. Some people experience no signs or symptoms but this doesn’t mean it’s not damaging their small intestines. Even trace amounts of gluten in your diet may be damaging, whether or not they cause signs or symptoms.
Allowed foods:
According to the Mayo Clinic 

Many healthy and delicious foods are naturally gluten-free:

  • Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
  • Fresh eggs
  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Most dairy products

It’s important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives. Many grains and starches can be part of a gluten-free diet:
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
  • Hominy (corn)
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • Teff
  • Always avoid:
    According to the Mayo Clinic 

    Avoid all food and drinks containing:

    • Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
    • Rye
    • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
    • Wheat
    • Bulgur
    • Durum flour
    • Farina
    • Graham flour
    • Kamut
    • Semolina
    • Spelt
    Avoid unless labeled ‘gluten-free’:
    According to the Mayo Clinic 

    In general, avoid the following foods unless they’re labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:

    • Beer
    • Breads
    • Cakes and pies
    • Candies
    • Cereals
    • Cookies and crackers
    • Croutons
    • French fries
    • Gravies
    • Imitation meat or seafood
    • Matzo
    • Pastas
    • Processed luncheon meats
    • Salad dressings
    • Sauces, including soy sauce
    • Seasoned rice mixes
    • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
    • Self-basting poultry
    • Soups and soup bases
    • Vegetables in sauce
    Don’t make Gluten-Free Diet a boring one. There is an array of yumminess available online and available for you. Have a look at Gluten Free on a Shoestring and get your motivation starting!

Food Allergies or Food Intolerance

I am always amazed with new discoveries made, specially when concerns to food and diet! 
We hear about food allergies and intolerances but i wonder how well we are aware of their symptoms and dangers.
I am sure – at some point – we all had a food allergy or an unpleasant feeling after eating a certain food. 
Sometimes we ignore it, sometimes we wonder why. Even though i follow (mainly) a vegetable, nuts and fruits diet – and never had a reaction –  my concerns about this intolerances grew after Sienna was born so, i decided to take a deeper look at what we may face when eating the wrong things. Staring from a young age.

It’s a fact that one out of three people either say that they have a food allergy or that they modify the family diet because a family member is suspected of having a food allergy, but only about 5% of children have clinically proven allergic reactions to foods. In teens and adults, food allergies occur in about 4% of the total population.

This difference between the clinically proven prevalence of food allergy and the public perception of the problem is in part due to reactions called “food intolerances” rather than food allergies. 
A food allergy, or hypersensitivity, is an abnormal response to a food that is triggered by the immune system. The immune system is not responsible for the symptoms of a food intolerance, even though these symptoms can resemble those of a food allergy.
For example, being allergic to milk is different from not being able to digest it properly due to lactose intolerance.
It is extremely important for people who have true food allergies to identify them and prevent allergic reactions to food because these reactions can cause devastating illness and, in some cases, be fatal.
Food allergies involve two features of the human immune response: 
the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) – a type of protein called an antibody that circulates through the blood. 
the mast cell – a specific cell that occurs in all body tissues but is especially common in areas of the body that are typical sites of allergic reactions, including the nose and throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract.
The ability of a given individual to form IgE against something as benign as food is an inherited predisposition. Most of the times such people come from families in which allergies are common — not necessarily food allergies but either hay fever,asthma, or hives. Someone with two allergic parents is more likely to develop food allergies than someone with one allergic parent.
Before an allergic reaction occur, a person who is predisposed to form IgE to foods has to be exposed to the food. As this food is digested, it triggers certain cells to produce specific IgE in large amounts. The IgE is then released and attaches to the surface of mast cells. The next time the person eats that food, it interacts with specific IgE on the surface of the mast cells and triggers the cells to release chemicals. 
Depending on the tissue in which they are released, these chemicals will cause a person to have various food allergy symptoms
If the mast cells release chemicals in the ears, nose, and throat, a person may feel an itching in the mouth 
may have trouble breathing or swallowing. 
If the affected mast cells are in the gastrointestinal tract, the person may have: abdominal pain, vomoting, or diarrhea
The chemicals released by skin mast cells, in contrast, can prompt hives.

Food allergens: food fragments responsible for an allergic reaction are proteins within the food that usually are not broken down by the heat of cooking or by stomach acids or enzymes that digest food. As a result, they survive to cross the gastrointestinal lining, enter the bloodstream, and go to target organs, causing allergic reactions throughout the body.

Which Food Allergies Are Most Common?

In adults, the most common foods allergies include: 
  • peanuts 
  • walnuts
  • shellfish such as shrimp, crayfish, lobster, and crab
  • milk
  • eggs
In children, he most common food allergies include:
  • milk
  • eggs
  • peanuts
Children are more likely to outgrow allergies to milk, eggs, or soy than allergies to peanuts, fish, or shrimp.The foods that adults or children react to are those foods they eat often. 

Treatment for Food Allergies:

The main treatment for food allergies is dietary avoidance. Once a patient and the patient’s doctor have identified the food to which the patient is sensitive, the food must be removed from the patient’s diet. To do this, patients must read lengthy, detailed ingredient lists on each food they are considering eating. Many allergy-producing foods such as peanuts, eggs, and milk, appear in foods one normally would not associate them with.