Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Living

Singapore celebrates 20 years of healthy lifestyle with the 20th anniversary of our 
National Healthy Lifestyle Campaign.

As with many other titles, Singapore, with its elitist mindset, always aims to be top in everything. In a recent article published by channelnewsasia.com, Singapore was ranked as the "World's Healthiest Country" based on a Bloomberg survey, surprisingly surpassing Australia and Japan. Read up on the full article here. Well, I guess I wasn't part of their surveyed results, since I haven't been exercising for almost 3 months.

Back in our tiny island, our Health Promotion Board has come up with a few new initiatives to motivate the tech-savvy generation [That's us!] to keep healthy amidst our hectic lifestyle.


Healthy Lifestyle Index

Ever wondered how healthy you really are? Did you know that 7 out of 10 humans think that they are healthier than they actually are? The good people at Health Promotion Board have come up with an interesting way to understand your own health. Just by answering 10 simple MCQ questions, you can get a rough gauge on how far up [or down] you are on the healthy ladder. Here's how:

1. Visit the online application at www.healthylifestyleindex.sg

2. Login with your facebook account [Come on, don't tell me you don't have a facebook account]

3. Fill in a short form on a few personal particulars [the only additional info I provided was my email address.]

4. Select a number on the gauge that corresponds to how healthy you think you are.

5. Complete 10 simple questions on your BMI, physical activity, diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, sleeping habits, stress management, depression, social/emotional support and health screenings, and the system will tell you how healthy you actually are!

Oh, and for those of you who are afraid of your facebook friends knowing how unhealthy you are, fret not, as the application will only post on facebook that you are doing the survey, but will not publish your results until you tell it to.

But wait, there's more! After taking the test, the application will email you a report detailing what your ratings mean, as well as recommendations on how to improve those areas where you are lacking in. You can retake the test as many times as you like, but do take note that the report will only be based on your first test results and will only be recalculated based on the new results after 6 months. And not to worry, for those absent-minded humans who forget where they put their emails, the application allows you to resend the report based on the last reported results to your registered email address.

Ok, after ranting on for so long, here's my own result after taking the test:

*Drumrolls please*




A 6! That's not bad!

Hmmm...Not sure if I should be happy because my actual result is better than my perceived result, or sad because I have no confidence in my own health.

Some of the feedback that I got in the report seemed to be what my mum always told me:
[And up till today sometimes I still don't listen.]
"Boy ah, you are not sleeping enough"
"Boy ah, don't drink so much"
"Boy ah, eat your fruits and vegetables"

I guess sometimes it's true that mummy knows best.
What will your Healthy Lifestyle Index be?



healthyMEtv

In our fast-paced society today, everyone tends to look for information on the go. And most of the time, this means looking for information through their smartphones. The Health Promotion Board has caught on to this trend and has come up with their very own mobile application called healthyMEtv.

Apart from the mobile app, this platform is also available for viewing via any Internet connected device. The platform even has customised layouts to enhance the viewing experience on any of those devices, be it your computer, tablet, smart phone or even smart TV. And the best thing about this app? It's FREEEEEE!!
[This cheapo has never jailbroken his iPhone but has yet to spend a single cent on applications!]

You can find a vast array of health-related content ranging from 3-4 minute short videos educating you about various medical conditions, to full-fledged TV programmes on exercise, healthy eating and relaxation. You will find some familiar faces hosting these programmes such as Darren Lim and Nikki Muller, as well as well-being experts in the field such as Kristy Curtis and Dr Robert Sloan.

You is English no good? No worries, there's even content in Mandarin, Malay and Tamil too!

Here's a motivational video on how a chain smoker found his motivation to quit smoking.
[I wish some of my friends could find their motivation too!]

http://www.healthymetv.com.sg/health-tools/quit-smoking/video/i-quit-testimonials-farhan#video-player


Or if you're an exercise freak, there's lots of videos on how you can improve your workout routine to suit your own body and fitness. Here's one on how to make full use of an exercise ball.
[If all else fails, at the very least it can be used as a bouncy seat!]

http://www.healthymetv.com.sg/shape-up/exercise-ball/video/how-to-use-an-exercise-ball#video-player

We check on our finances, on our families and friends, and even spouses online and on the go. So why shouldn't we do the same for our health?

For more information and videos, visit www.healthymetv.com.sg



Takeaways

Thanks to the humans from Health Promotion Board, we were treated to some "Healthier Choice" treats. Everyone knows bread is considered to be healthy food. But even healthy food can get healthier!

Did you know that BreadTalk has come up with some new and interesting bread recipes? Here are some of their new "Healthier Choice" concoctions:

Free Breakfast from BreadTalk!


First out of the bag... Chia Seed Toast

Chia seeds are known to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They also help in providing your daily dose of calcium, phosphorus and manganese.


Next up... Pumpkin Seed Toast


For those of you with constipation problems... High Fibre Multigrain Toast 


Keeping in line with our healthy breakfast theme, it's time for some cooking with 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, in a spray container!


The final product! Scrambled eggs with multi grain toast and supplement-boosted drink 


Nothing beats a yummy, healthy breakfast with your loved one!


Yummy! Kindly ignore the out-of-bed hair.


What? You don't like bread? Fear not my friend! In addition to the bag of toasts, we also got a special recipe book that teaches you how to cook the healthier twin of your everyday home-cooked dishes like Curry, Mee Rebus and Chicken Rice.







I think that leaving it in my hands would just be a waste of wonderful resources, since I only cook anything other than maggi mee like once in 725342 million years.

If you are keen on getting this cookbook, drop me an email at minutemansg@gmail.com and I'll see how I can pass this healthy gem to you. Act fast because I only have 1 of it!

Note to self: You really REALLY need to start on your exercise routine again very soon! Losing shape already!

Taipei Station @ Bugis+

The nice people at Taipei Station were kind enough to let me tag along with Mint Leong for her food review. So in return, here's my own review of the treats we sampled that day.

Located on the 4th floor of Bugis+, the store front is easily spotted with their simple yet attractive red and white colour theme.






If you're not sure what to order, you can always take a look at their menu, which is conveniently placed on the left side of the store. This brightly lit up menu was even taller than me! No, actually it's because you're short. Shut up! I'm just the right height, all those other people are too tall!




On one side of the shop is an open-concept kitchen, where you can watch the chefs prepare your delicious food and drinks. Just don't stare at them for too long, as that might make them uneasy and result in your food being overcooked/undercooked.

On the other side of the shop is the dining area, where there are ample number of seats for customers to enjoy their food straight from the kitchen. The seating arrangement was comfortable for me, but may be a little tight for plus-sized humans. Ahhhh... The advantages of being minute~



We shared the table with bloggers Silver Ang, Zoe Raymond and Alvin.


Now, it's time for the main reason we came here... Fooooooood! *Slurps~*



Being a Taiwan style cafe, I was surprised that they only had 4 types of bubble tea to choose from:

1. Jasmine Green Tea with Pearl (S$2.50)
2. Milk Green Tea with Pearl (S$2.50)
3. Honey Oolong Milk Tea with Pearl (S$2.80)
4. Toffee Milk Tea with Pearl (S$2.80)

I tried the Honey Oolong Milk Tea, it was not too sweet and they gave a generous serving of pearls too. Drinking bubble tea always reminds me of the times when I was in secondary school, where my friends and I would finish the milk tea and leave the pearls untouched for...... BUBBLE TEA WARS!!

It was so much fun shooting the pearls at each other while trying to avoid being hit, especially when wearing white, which meant that every hit would be visible to the public until your clothes got to the washing machine.

Honey Oolong Milk Tea with Pearl




The food would be served in easy-to-manage-sized bags, that you could carry around and eat while doing some shopping if you wanted to. Now on to the food! What's Taiwan snacks without crispy chicken? Being a meat lover, I must have my chickens...

 Original Crispy Chicken (S$4.20)


Wasabi Crispy Chicken (S$4.50)
  

Cheese Crispy Chicken (S$4.50)
My Favourite!!


Subject focusing fail!!


The Chicken Bowls!



Crispy Taiwan Tempura (S$4.20)
This was a crowd favourite!! 


Fried Mushrooms (S$3.50)


The food was piling up faster than we could eat!!


Fried Broccoli (S$3.50)


Fried French Beans (S$3.50)
They have a main dish called "Crispy Vegetable Combo" if you want to try all 3 of the fried veges!


Tofu Cubes (S$3.00)
I likeeeeeee....


We were already almost exploding trying to finish all the chicken and vegetables. But wait, there's more! The next dish was the Braised Pork with Rice, a well known Taiwan speciality food. The braised pork was Mmmm... Mmmmmm... It would probably still taste good even if you brought it home and reheat it in the microwave.
(Actual Serving)


The bowl is just so "dabao-able"



And we were still not done yet. Next up was dry Cold Noodle with Peanut Sauce. They served it to us in the same paper bowls as the rest of the dishes.




This dish was a little too sweet for my liking, but humans with sweet tooths might like it


And the best dish of all in my opinion, Oyster Rice Vermicelli (S$4.90).

We tried our best to finish up as much as we could, but in the end we still had quite a bit of leftovers. We were even joked about asking them for the plastic covers so we could dabao the leftovers home. But what amazed me was how the 4 girl bloggers seated at the table beside us, who were mostly smaller sized than us, managed to finished ALL their food.

And not only that, they were like finishing off each dish before the next dish even arrived!! I heard that they were food bloggers. Well, they were really on a different level, one which I don't think I'll ever want to reach... haha.


Posing for a group photo after a very very filling meal.
Ya, so filling until you fell asleep. =.=



Check out their links for the full menu and other promotions!

The End of the World... Or is it?

21 December 2012. It's only 1 month away. The end of the world.

Quit school, quit your job, leave home, go round doing silly things that you always wanted to do, then feel like an idiot when you wake up in the morning of 22 December 2012. While your at it, here's a list of 10 things you can try to complete if you still believe the world is going to end in 1 month:



1. Compete with a "FREE HUGS" guy with a "$2.00 DELUXE HUGS" sign

2. Put a desk in an elevator. When people come in, ask them if they have an appointment

3. Go to McDonalds and ask for directions to Burger King

4. Put a stick-it note on a drive-through microphone that says "Speaker broken. Please yell"

5. Page yourself over the office intercom. Do not disguise your voice

6. Phone someone and tell them "I can't talk right now!"

7. Pay for something that costs more than $100 with only coins

8. Wrap the middle section of the toilet seat with clear wrap, then leave the seat down

9. Go to the store and buy some candy, rope, duct tape and a knife

10. Hire 2 private investigators. Get them to follow each other


The main reason for all this hype is due to the fact that it is the last day of the Mayan calendar, the end of a 5 125-year-long cycle that the Mayans followed. Following this, there are many different theories on how the world will end in a month's time. Most of them are based on some kind of super catastrophe that will wipe the entire world population of the face of the planet, much like what happened to our fellow friends the Dinosaurs.

Some people believe that we will go out in style, from a wayward comet or planet crashing into Earth, wiping all of us out in a single blow.

Others believe in a more down to Earth cleansing via natural disasters like combination of earthquakes, volcano eruptions and tsunamis.

Another theory goes that there will be a switch in the earth's polarity, causing the continents to rearrange themselves.

Yet another says that as a result of some interaction with the black hole at the centre of the galaxy, the sun will release a pulse of light and heat, called a solar maximum, that will burn through everything, much like the movie 2012.

Personally, I believe that the 21st of December 2012 is going to a rather disappointing, uneventful day.

The only possible chance of a real global apocalypse is if someone presses that big red button that says "Do Not Push", and a couple of nukes are launched, sparking the beginning of World War 3, and the end of humanity as we know it.


Heck, even NASA has a write-up on why the world won't end on 21 Dec 2012. Read more about it here:



In any case, should it happen that we were to only have 24 hours before the world ends, what would you do amidst all the chaos? Here's my hour-by-hour plan on how I would spend the last 24 hours of my life:



Hour 0 to Hour 1: Using whatever materials available, I'll try to make something that may be found by the next generation of intelligent lifeforms in the future. It would probably be something physical like a hand written message in a bottle that I would bury somewhere nearby. My message would include a short write-up on today's date and how we are supposedly going to be wiped out. It would also include my name and a photo of myself, stating that I am the ruler of this planet, just to troll the generation that finds my message.


Hour 1 to Hour 2: After writing my troll message in a bottle, I would then spend the next hour searching for a suitable location to bury it. It should be somewhere easily accessible but yet stable enough not to get destroyed during the apocalypse. Maybe somewhere like one of the underground bunkers in Fort Canning. Now where did I put my playground shovel?


Hour 2 to Hour 5: Fooood! Hey, even dying people have to eat right? If not, where would we find the energy to finish the rest of this list? I would spend this time trying to find my some of my favourite foods. Burger King breakfast, Black Pepper Crab, Sambal Kang Kong, Authentic Thai Tom Yam Soup, Santouka Ramen... Mmmmm. Obviously by this time, there would be widespread panic and chaos everywhere, so undoubtedly, most of these places would have already been ransacked closed for business. If all else fails, we can always still have some tasty home-cooked Ai Xing Maggi Mee... *Slurps*


Hour 5 to Hour 6: Communicate my appreciation for all those people who are important to me. Hopefully the telephone networks are still up and running during this time. If they were, I would individually send personalised messages to all my closest friends and family. Thanking them for being a part of my life and wishing them all the best. I would also advise them to spend their last hours with the people that really matter in their life. After all my messages have been sent, it's time to do the unthinkable... Turn off my phone and put it away. The last few hours should be 100% dedicated to the people who really matter to you. Be it your family, friends or partner. Having your phone around you would only be a major distraction.


Hour 6 to Hour 8: Family time. Gather my family members together, express some love for each and every one of them. You only have these last few hours on this planet. It's time to reconcile any grudges that you may have with your parents and/or siblings. I believe that family is one of the most important factors in any person's life. And there should be no grudges between family members when it's time to leave.


Hour 8 to Hour 10: [From here on, all the items in this list should be done together with your loved ones] Lie in bed with your loved one for some heart-to-heart pillow talk. Talk about all the good times that you've had, as well as all the what ifs if the world didn't have to end today. Heck, 2 hours may not even be enough!


Hour 10 to Hour 11: Dress up! If we're going out, we might as well go out in style! While others are scrambling about, I would take my time to wash up, put on my smartest outfit, wax and spray my hair and put on my favourite cologne. Hey, it's my last few hours to be able to show off my looks!


Hour 11 to 14: Have a romantic stroll by the beach. It doesn't matter whether its 3pm in the after or 3am in the morning, a hand-in-hand stroll down the beach is always romantic. Take your time to enjoy each other's company and learn to take in all the sights and sounds from your surroundings. East Coast Park is highly recommended here.


Hour 14 to Hour 16: Have a nice meal together with your partner. If you are lucky enough to find a romantic candlelight restaurant that is still open for business, good for you. But more likely than not, you would probably be having something simple with your partner like sitting by the side of the road at one of those abandoned street cafes eating some simple bread and drinking water out of a water bottle bought taken from a nearby abandoned NTUC. It's not the food or ambience that counts, it's the quality of the company.


Hour 16 to 18: Take a walk through a deserted Orchard Road. When in the world can you see probably the busiest street in Singapore totally void of human traffic? This may be your only chance to see and feel what it's like to be in a uptown shopping area with nobody around. Plus point: Most of the shops would probably be left abandoned too! So if you spot something nice, you can always have an instant makeover at zero cost!


Hour 18 to 20: Have a quick nap in a furniture mall. Try out all the different kinds of beds and mattresses they have to offer. [Water beds are fun!] Find the most comfy bed in that store and just get a 1 or 2 hour power nap to recharge a little energy. But remember to set your alarm clock! You don't want to be caught snoozing when during the end of the world happens!


Hour 20 to 22: Make a few new random friends. Go up to anyone you see and befriend them. Ask them how they are spending their last hours. Find out about their life stories, their celebrations and their regrets. Tell them about yours. You'll be amazed at how much a person will open up to any listening party when his time is nearly up.


Hour 22 to 23: Propose. Yes, propose. No ring necessary here. During this time of sadness and woe, even the tiniest spark of happiness would mean the world to your partner. Just find a secluded spot, grab a wild flower or something that remotely resembles a ring, get down on one knee and pop the question. Chances are, you are going to get a positive answer.


Hour 23 to 24: Find a location with a great view of the surroundings so that you can take in the end of the world in all its glory. Some ideal spots would be in a cable car on the way to Sentosa, One Altitude at the top of UOB Plaza or at the peak of Mount Faber if you're a nature lover. Standing at these highgrounds, you should be able to see the end coming and spread your arms wide open, shouting your final war cry "Come at me bro!!"


Alternate Ending: Another idea would be to be having some awesome sex while the end of the world is coming. Time it well enough and you might just end off together with the rest of the world [literally] with a big, fat orgasm!!!


How would you spend your last 24 hours you have to live on this planet??

Phewtick: The Latest Craze in Town

Who doesn't like earning money? Here's a simple way to earn a quick buck or two.



Seems like phewtick is the latest mobile application trend happening in the iPhone and Android app market. [Sorry Windows/Nokia phone users!] What is it all about? Well, to put it in simple terms:

1. Meet people
2. Get them to install the mobile app if they don't already have it [What?? Which cave did you crawl out from?]
3. Scan their QR code from the app
4. Earn free money!!! *Ka-ching!* *Ka-ching!*

Not sure if it's true or not, but I've heard that there are slightly different versions for different countries, and the payouts are all in your local currency.

You can scan as many new friends that you meet, and friends who you have already scanned can be scanned again after 1 hour! Each scan earns you a random number of points and in Singapore, 10 points = $0.0155.

*Point to Note: Remember to change the application settings so that your facebook friends don't start unfriending you because you spam them with 5-10 meetup notifications every hour.*

Once you collect a minimum of SGD$30.00, you can cash it out to your PayPal account! Even though Phewtick takes a 15% cut of your earnings, it's still SGD$25.50 just for sitting around and playing with your phone!

Oh, by the way, you can even choose to donate your points to UNICEF or the Red Cross if you're feeling gracious!

The lowest point scan I've seen so far is 8 points [We really had a good laugh] and the highest I've personally got was 2,000+ points. [Huat ah!!] I've only been on it for 2 days and have already earned about SGD$7.00! And I'm not even that active on it!

I've also heard rumours that the highest jackpot on a single scan can reach up to 100,000 points! [That's equivalent to SGD$155.00 on a single scan!!]

*My colleagues and I have just "Punched-In" again, earning me $0.15 more*

As always, I always like to test the system, but it seems that they have all the mechanics worked out. You can't "share" your QR code online for mass points as:

1. Each QR code is a unique number assigned to that user only, and the QR code changes frequently
2. The application actually uses location services to check that you are physically near to the person you are scanning with

Although this kinda throws my plan out the window, but I still think it would be cool to wear a white printed Tee that reads "Phewtick me!" with a huge QR code printed on the front. [I'd probably end up on STOMP! the next day]



But being a natural sceptic, there's one thing that has been bugging me since I installed the application. How in the blue hell does their business model work?

The app currently does not have any advertisements [Either that, or they are damn good at making the ads look like part of the app], users don't need to 'do' anything that helps the company earn money.

Some people say that they collect user data from the facebook accounts and meetups and sell them to other companies looking for the data. But in order to collect a substantial amount of information to sell, they would first have to cough out enough money to pay the 10 million and 1 users already earning money from the app.

My only conclusion is that they must have some DEEP pockets.

Oh and another pet peeve that I have with the app:
Why do they use a kitty icon when puppies are obviously cuter? *Meow*



Opps. Time to "Punch In" again! "Team! Fall In!"


Check out their website here: http://www.phewtick.com/
Get the iOS app from the app store here: phewtick iOS download
Get the Android app from Google Play here : phewtick Android download

Size DOES Matter!



Asians have always been the tiniest in the world in terms of physique. But being dubbed as small within that tiny is a whole different ballgame altogether.

Having been on the lowest end of the apparel sizing chart for almost all my life, I have experienced the banes of being one size too small for adult sizes and yet one size too large for kid sizes.

Ask most guys or girls on the street and you will find that the average ideal height of a guy would be around 1.75m. Well, I fall well short of this expectation, but in actual fact, I'm proud to say that I am only 1.65m and of small physique.



Here are some actual quotes that were personally directed to me during the course of my life...

1. When I wanted to try bungee jumping in New Zealand when I was in primary school: "Sorry, you are under the weight limit. We can't allow you to jump."

2. When asking a girl to be my 'stead' in secondary school: "It's kinda funny right? Your shorter than me..."

3. When shopping for clothes/shoes: "Sorry, that's the smallest size we have"

4. When asking another girl if she liked me: "I only treat you as a good friend. And you're smaller size than me, got no 安全感 (sense of security)"

5. Someone close to me once said this: "Actually, you're not small-sized. You're just short."



So if I may, lend me your ears and eyes as I tell my story and at the same time, try to find nooks and crannies in lil' old Singapore that actually have good stuff that caters to the minute community.