Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Meditation is exploring. When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds: sensations, emotions and thoughts.
Mindfulness meditation asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.
The croissant is a flaky breakfast food that is so culturally iconic and French that many defer to its native pronunciation (krwa-sohn).
Yet, in the 19th century, the French viewed the croissant as a foreign novelty that was only sold in special Viennese bakeries in Paris's wealthier parts.
The croissant was inspired by the Austrian kipfel - a crescent-shaped baked good featuring a generous amount of butter or lard.
The croissant started as the Austrian kipfel but became French when people began to make it with puffed pastry. There is no reference to the croissant in France before about the 1850s.
An Austrian entrepreneur named August Zang opened the first Viennese bakery in Paris in 1838. Zang's ability for marketing had Parisians flocking to his establishment to sample his Vienna bread, kaiser rolls, and kipfel. By 1840, there were at least a dozen makers of Viennese bread.
The croissant took the fast-food industry by storm in the late 1900s, as manufacturers introduced pre-made frozen dough and takeaway "croissanteries" that popped up throughout France.
The frozen croissant was introduced to America in 1981, which soon outpaced the pound cakes in sales. The croissant morphed into Cronuts (doughnuts made with croissant dough). The most recent incarnation is the Baissant, or bagel croissant.
Michel Lyczak was the 2014 winner of the "best butter croissant" award.
We often use the words “anxiety” and “stress” interchangeably. Both are normal, adaptive responses to life’s challenges and share many symptoms ( for example, worry, stomach aches, restlessness, muscle tension, racing thoughts, headaches, sleepless nights, etc.)
But despite their similarities, there are important differences between the two. And knowing the differences is the first step towards finding relief.
Anxiety is mostly triggered internally by excessive thoughts (for example, judgments about the past or worries about the future).
Like stress, anxiety can be useful in the right scenarios. The discomfort it makes us feel was designed to alert us of something, precisely so that we listen up and protect ourselves.
When left unchecked, both stress and anxiety can escalate into more severe mental health conditions.
Stress is a state of mental tension or emotional strain due to adverse or demanding circumstances, events, and situations.
Stress is hard to measure and someone may be suffering from it while showing no external signs.
The American Psychological Association (APA) says that the most common causes of stress (in the US) are finance, work, and family-related and that they affect more of the younger generations.
There is a constant need to be hyper-connected in today's modern workplaces, leading to a constant feeling of anxiety.
Social media is bombarding everyone with unattainable, unrealistic goals. There are rising cases of high blood pressure, headaches, and insomnia, all related to stress. Constant stress can lead to heart disease, diabetes, mental disorders and depression.
A limited amount of stress can actually be beneficial. Situations and circumstances like a deadline, or a sports competition can boost the body in constructive and positive ways.
The body also recognizes 'good stress' which is positive in its workings on the body, during moderate challenges.
In less extreme situations, the body and brain produce adrenaline, and the heart provides more blood, the brain is sharper and the body releases stress hormones, which can be beneficial in coping up and handling those situations.
Sleeping is one of the most important things that you need so that your body won't feel exhausted on a daily basis. Try to sleep about 7-8 hours on a daily basis consistently.
Sleeping too little or too much can be damaging to your body which can cause many complications such as: weight gain, lowered immunity, increased risk of diabetes and heart problems, and an increase in risk of accidents as well.
If time allows, make yourself a decent breakfast like scrambled eggs or enjoy a fruit bowl. Consuming protein for breakfast allows your body to avert the inconsistent sugar level that would ultimately result to your body being more alert.
Having a proper diet is essential to having more energy that your body can consume, but having sugar for breakfast - muffins, cereal, or a doughnut - leads to a spike in blood sugar level which would make your body crave a nap.
This may sound silly, but daily fatigue can actually be a way for your body to tell you that you need more stimulating activities.
Exercise raises your metabolism, boosts your mood and helps you sleep better at night. If hitting the gym ins't for you or doesn't fit in your schedule, a 20-minute brisk walk helps.
Not enough people drink the right amount of water needed by their bodies. Dehydration can lead to fatigue so always make sure to keep a bottle of water at reach.
If you still feel sleepy after drinking water, try washing your hands and face in cold water. It would surely give you the zing needed to feel awake.
The best morning energizers doesn't cost much. By doing something you find enjoyable in the morning, like listening to music, watching an episode of your favorite show, or engaging in sexual intercourse with your partner - could easily set your mood on the right track and start your day right.
Having small changes in your daily routine can keep you alert throughout the day.
If you run out of activities to help boost your mood, here are some other ways to relieve stress:
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines Eco-Anxiety as a mental health issue due to climate change. This and other existential threats are processed in the anterior cingulate cortex(ACC), a region of our brain that is also responsible for our behaviour.
Eco-Anxiety cannot be treated as it is not a specific mental health problem (yet), and we need to calm our mind by taking affirmative action. We need to concentrate on what can be controlled, taking step-by-step action, no matter how small it is, like recycling or buying second-hand, to minimize our environmental impact on the planet.
Animal milk is used to create over 1,700 distinct varieties of cheese; creamy Brie, buttery Gouda, crumbly Parmesan, stringy mozzarella, sharp Cheddar, to name a few.
The staggering variety of cheeses is testimony to cheesemakers' creativity throughout the ages, but the real stars of the show are the microbes.
All cheeses start from animal milk, including cow, buffalo, goat, sheep, and even camel.
Over the months of ripening, smelly parts can interact in new ways to produce more flavour-carrying molecules, such as a hint of nutty, spicy, woody, grassy, or burnt oats. More fat in the cheese generally makes it tastier.
Flavour compounds typically dissolve well in oils, fats, and alcohol, but poorly in water. Fat-rich foods will therefore cover your tongue with a flavour that lingers.
Some microorganisms digest more than proteins, they also digest fat, such as the Penicillium moulds found in blue cheese. The broken-down molecules may have a peppery taste, while others create an off-putting stink.
One of the substances, known as mushroom alcohol, has a mouldy smell, also found in breath and sweat. The really stinky cheeses, such as Munster and Limburger, contain molecules identical to those given off from old socks.
Our food-obsessed minds crave novelty. When we have a new flavour offered, the desire to try something novel is irresistible.
There are also some scientific-sounding claims that cheese is as addictive as cocaine because it contains opium-like chemicals called casomorphin peptides.
Should humanity face a nuclear apocalypse of worldwide war, we need to understand which foods might be safe for survivors to eat, and how long the foods will last.
To understand this, we need to ask what makes food spoil.
Most foods spoil because of the growth of microbes. Preserving food is an attempt to limit microbial growth. Food can be preserved by drying, salting, chilling, or storing in air-tight containers.
Preservatives are used in foods to extend their shelf lives. One of McDonald's Big Mac in Iceland is an example of a long-lasting processed food. It has been on display since 2009, in a glass box. Preservatives that has been discontinued by McDonald's are: