Health and Beauty

How to check your breasts

When you are checking your breasts, look at the size and shape of each breast and check for any lumps. Make sure you check your nipples and the skin on your breasts. Check each area for any pain when you are touching them, too. You might notice that your breasts feel different at different times in the month; it’s a good idea to become familiar with what’s normal for you during these times, so you can spot anything unusual.

What to look out for

• A change in the size or shape of your breast

• A change in the look or feel of your skin

• A new lump, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit 

• Discharge or bleeding from your nipple

• Any new discomfort or pain in one breast that does not go away. 

How often should I be checking my breasts?

Try to get into the habit of checking your breasts regularly – as a general guide, aim for at least once a month. Find a suitable time that works for you; perhaps it’s after you have had a bath, when you are getting dressed or when you’re settling down for the evening. What is also important that you are aware of what’s normal for you and your body. You should be mindful that your breasts will change during your monthly cycle, pregnancy and menopause.

How early should you start checking for lumps?

Whilst there’s no specific age you should start checking your breasts, checking them from an early age will help you to become more aware of how they usually look and feel, and to help you spot any changes. If you’re over 50, you will be invited for a breast screening (mammogram). You are offered this screening every three years until you are 70. You should still be checking your breasts regularly – a breast screening shouldn’t replace your regular breast checks.

What should you do if you find a lump?

If you notice a lump in your breast, it is really important to get this checked by your doctor. A lump or change to the feel or appearance of your breasts should never be ignored. Whilst it may not be anything serious, it can help put your mind at ease to speak to your doctor about any changes you spot.

Are there any breast abnormalities to look out for that may not be cancer?

Your breasts will change naturally each month and as you get older, and they may feel tender, heavy or lumpy at the end of your monthly cycle. These changes should normalise once your period starts. It is easier to check your breasts regularly outside of your monthly cycle. If you are pregnant, your breasts will change while your baby is developing to get ready for breastfeeding, which means they may get bigger and feel sore and tender. When you reach the menopause, the amount of glandular tissue in your breasts reduces, because of the changes to your hormones. This can make your breasts feel different, and some women find they are softer and less firm. It’s really important that when you’re checking your breasts (make sure you’re checking the whole of your breast area), you are looking for any changes that feel different for you. It is best to speak to your GP about anything you are feeling unsure, worried or anxious about – as they’ll be able to help you.

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A conference was held at Shangri-La Hotel Chiang Mai, which was themed “Rape and Sexual Assault Survivor Handling Conference”. The conference was supported by the British Embassy Bangkok and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) UK partner, Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis Centre.

Thailand is a popular international tourist destination which like any country experiences some incidents involving tourists. This conference was held to highlight problems and disseminate solutions and best practices for the many agencies involved in assisting victims. The focus of the conference, was on rape and sexual assault and how the police, Tourist Assistance Authority, medical staff, consulate staff or counsellor’s respond to victims.

The British Embassy announced that over the past few years there had been over 40 cases of rape of UK nationals in Thailand reported to the Bangkok Embassy, averaging around 15 cases per year. According to The Crime Survey for England and Wales, 83% of rape victims do not report their rape, which means the actual number must be much higher.

The Embassy stressed that Thailand is still a safe destination to travel. According to Derek Johnstone, Vice Consul at British Embassy Bangkok, “The British embassy does not want to portray Thailand as a dangerous country to visit, but that there are victims of crime in all countries, not only in Thailand. The important thing is working with the host country to ensure that any victims are treated sensitively”.

This has meant that the Embassy has had to deal with an increasing number of incidents which has led it to focus on two things; that of informing British tourists of safety and prevention measures as well as taking care of survivors.

Chiang Mai was the first city in Thailand to launch an initiative establishing structured procedures to support travellers in collaboration with multiple local agencies. As more stakeholders join the expanding network, it is crucial for the collaboration to be efficient and effective. The Embassy is acting as the centre for such collaboration between the US Consulate General, the Tourist Assistance Centre (TAC), police and hospital One-Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC).

The conference, Rape and Sexual Assault Survivors Handling was aimed at educating those agencies as to how to treat survivors in appropriate ways to avoid unnecessary trauma. First responders to rape incidents were told that the most important thing to establish upon contact with a rape survivor was their physical safety and wellbeing. They should not bombard victims with questions which may confuse them and if the victim was injured physically or mentally it was important to offer them a safe shelter and create some distance between the survivor and perpetrator and for officers to make them feel secure. Most survivors do not know what to do or how to react following the incident and they can be very unstable emotionally. No added stress must be put on them and questions and comments should be kept simple, such as, “Just take your time; there is no need for you to tell me anything you do not feel comfortable with,” or “Sounds as though you have been through a really tough time”. Here in Chiang Mai, the tourist police tend to be the first responders, and it was important that that there were female officers and interpreters present so as not to intimidate or scare the victim. Counsellors should also be provided as soon as possible. 

The British Embassy is highly committed to this issue and conducts has conducted training sessions with the U.S. Embassy, Australian Embassy and New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok. This week it has also held training sessions in for staff in various provinces across Thailand, especially those which receive high numbers of tourists such as Pattaya and Phuket.

At the end of the conference, Vice Consul Derek Johnstone said, “The next phase is to conduct more training sessions with multiple agencies across the country “.

Background: 1 million British tourists travel to Thailand each year and over sixty thousand live as expatriates on a long term basis. The consular team in Bangkok responds to over 1500 consular cases per year. Between June 2016 and June 2019 the Consular Section Bangkok assisted 40 survivors of rape and sexual assault. This is 4.2% of global cases (962) for the same period. Consideration should also be given to the number of survivors of rape who do not inform either the Police or the British Embassy about their attacks. The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) which records the propensity of survivors to report such crimes showed that around 83% did not report their experiences to the police. (U.K. Embassy in Bangkok)

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STDs can affect people from all ethnicities, races and ages, but adolescents and young people are the most impacted. Estimates suggest that even though youth make up only 25t% of the sexually active population, nearly half of all STD cases occur in people aged 15 to 24.

It is important that people in this age group receive comprehensive preventative care to ensure that they are well educated on the transmission of these diseases, how to prevent them, testing and treatment. However, there are factors like stigma and lack of access to information or services that can prevent young adults from getting the help and information they need to make sure that they have good sexual health. Providers and services need to be open about talking about these subjects and initiating the conversation about having healthy sexual interactions. 

Getting tested for STDs and STIs are one of the most important tools for prevention and treatment. Early detection is a key aspect of being tested as many STDs have no early symptoms, yet they can cause major problems in the future such as infertility and early treatment. Getting treatment early on can help minimise those effects. 

Sexually transmitted diseases/infections can be spread through contact with any body fluids: blood, semen, saliva (only for herpes). They can also spread through contact with infected skin, like sores in the mouth. The exposure to infected skin and body fluids is increased when sexually active. Illicit drug use can also spread STIs, due to sharing needles. 

Unprotected sex, multiple sex partners and illicit drug use as well as poor awareness on sexual health increase the risk of STDs. However, STDs are treatable and curable. Being conscious of the 5 Ps and awareness on sexual health can prevent these diseases, leading to a happier and healthier life. 

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Hormonal imbalances lie at the root of a host of common health concerns that affect many, if not most, women at various stages of life. Whether it is teenage (or adult) acne, PMS, fertility issues, fibroids, weight gain, fatigue, mood swings, blood sugar imbalances, osteoporosis, premature ageing, insomnia, loss of libido, most women have experienced at least one or more of these symptoms of hormonal imbalance. 

Fortunately there are many ways to support hormonal balance naturally and take back control of your health, your life and your sanity. There is no quick fix and neither will you ever be “done”: as your body, the environment and your circumstances keep changing, so does your need to adjust and course -correct.

But despite these caveats, achieving hormonal balance is within reach. If you are ready to do what it takes, make targeted diet and lifestyle changes, use some good quality natural supplements, work on optimising your digestive health, you can be well on your way to feeling better and resolving many of your hormone -related health concerns. 

In this article I will discuss some common root causes that contribute to hormonal imbalance and share some essential nutrition and lifestyle tips that can help restore balance and resolve symptoms. 

The wondrous world of hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers, secreted by the endocrine glands that govern most bodily functions. The role of the endocrine system is ultimately to maintain balance and to regulate important processes such as growth, reproduction and development.

The way this system works is truly amazing. It depends on an intricately complex communication and feedback system and can be compared to an orchestra with a conductor and many musicians, who need to be finely tuned into one another in order to create that perfect symphony.

Many things influence that delicate balance but there are 4 areas that can be considered of prime importance when it comes to building a strong foundation for hormonal health.

  1. Adrenal function

Our adrenal glands are the tiny glands atop our kidneys responsible for regulating the stress response in our bodies through the synthesis of a number of different hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. The adrenal glands are, in a way, the fuel tank of our bodies. Designed to respond to a sudden stressful situation they release (amongst other things) adrenalin and cortisol, which get the body ready with increased levels of energy and focus so you can “fight” or “flight” from the stressor you encountered. When the situation has resolved, you adapt and your body recovers so that you can go on with non-emergency functions such as digestion, repair, reproduction etc.

However, sometimes life is an ongoing chain of stressful events. You might be facing deadlines at work, eating a not-so-healthy diet, entertaining often with alcohol and late nights, dealing with relationship issues or worrying about the health of a relative.  Maybe you live in a big city and have to deal with traffic, pollution or a long commute to work.

There are so many different things that cause us stress and when there is no time for the body to recover and adapt the adrenals pump out high levels of cortisol continuously thereby not only affecting essential functions in the body but also disrupting hormonal balance. Thyroid issues, and steroid hormone imbalance often happen as a result of continuously elevated cortisol levels.

As you can see it is very important to address the stress in your life: mental/emotional stress but also the “internal” stress caused by a poor diet, nutrient deficiencies, infections, or toxicity.

  1. Blood sugar balance

When we eat carbohydrates they get broken down into simple sugars, which are then absorbed into the blood stream causing blood sugar levels to rise. This triggers the release of the hormone insulin by the pancreas, which signals cells to pull glucose out of the blood stream and into storage. This mechanism helps to keep blood sugar levels in a normal range.

When we are continuously flooding our system with high sugar foods it can eventually cause that system to falter leading to blood sugar highs and lows, insulin resistance, and eventually continuously high blood sugar levels.

This in turn can affect the body and brain in several negative ways. Blood sugar imbalances become an additional “stressor” on the already taxed adrenal glands contributing to the whole cascade of hormonal imbalances.

A first step to better blood sugar balance is to modify your diet and reduce carbohydrate consumption, most importantly refined sugar and high sugar foods. Eating healthy whole foods and including healthy fats, fibre and protein in every meal further helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

    Portrait beautiful young asian women happy smile relax around sea beach ocean at sunrise or sunset time
    1. Gut health

    All (hormonal) health begins in the gut. For every hormone that is created or detoxified in our body we need certain minerals or vitamins. A healthy and well functioning digestive system results in the efficient breakdown and absorption of these vital nutrients. Additionally, our gut microbiome (the trillions of micro-organisms that reside in our gut) is directly involved in the regulation of many hormones, including estrogen, thyroid hormones, melatonin and hormones involved in metabolic processes. 

    Diet is critical in supporting gut health and a healthy gut microbiome. Removing foods that contribute to intestinal inflammation, and including foods that support digestive function are vital. Make sure to include fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yoghurt, kefir in your diet as well as a variety of colourful fibre -rich plant -based foods that help feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. This will all help build a strong and healthy gut and support hormonal health. 

    1. Liver function

    We know the liver as the body’s main detox organ, responsible for breaking down and eliminating harmful toxins but some of its other important functions include the detoxification of excess hormones, conversion of thyroid hormones into their free and usable forms, the production of serum proteins that act as hormone carriers and the regulation of sex hormones.

    You can see how a compromised liver function can have a ripple effect on your hormonal balance and how important it is to support your liver function. Eating a clean diet, restricting alcohol, sugar, nicotine, reducing your environmental toxic load, and supporting toxin elimination with adequate hydration, a fibre rich diet, and exercise can enhance the body’s natural detoxification pathways. Vitamin -C rich foods, turmeric, beetroot and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, onion, kale and radish are wonderful to help support liver function. 

    5. Diet first

    When it comes to building good health there is not just one thing that is going to do the trick. Finding the right diet for your unique body and circumstances is essential but so is movement, sleep, eliminating toxins, enjoying good relationships, spiritual wellbeing, stress management and having a purpose.

    Even though all these areas need to be addressed, adjusting your diet helps to build a strong foundation. Eating a healthy whole -food diet that is right for you will ensure that your body and mind are getting the right building blocks in the form of macro and micronutrients.

    Everybody is unique and I work with my clients to identify their root core imbalances as well as their unique requirements in terms of nutrition but there are a few principles that apply to everyone, no matter what the circumstances are:

    1. Eat real food: unrefined, unprocessed, traditional and wholesome, preferably seasonal and local.
    2. Bump up your rainbow coloured vegetable intake to increase the nutrients and fibre in your diet.
    3. Eliminate inflammatory foods such as sugar, GMO foods and unhealthy fats such as trans fats and refined vegetable seed oils. 
    4. Avoid overeating and unlimited snacking and eat with awareness, chewing properly to support your digestion.

    These principles, even though very simple and straightforward, can be very powerful in building a strong foundation for health in general and hormonal health in particular.

    If you focus on supporting the four areas I covered in this article and you apply these four diet principles in your life, you will start seeing a difference in the way you feel and in the symptoms that are related to your hormonal balance. If you feel you need more help, get in touch with me on my website to set up a free Nutrition Breakthrough session!

    Be Well.


    Monique Jhingon is a Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Practitioner who offers select private coaching to expats whose health and digestion has been compromised as a result of transitioning into new environments, cultures, climates and foods. 

    You can read more on her website and sign up for a free Nutrition Breakthrough Session here:

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    by Ines Caldiera CEO Thailand

    LOréal Group has been in the forefront of sustainability and its efforts have been recognised at the global level by wellrespected institutions such as the United Nations and CDP. The companys firm commitment to sustainability started in 2013 with a programme called Sharing beauty with all, whose aim is to engage the whole value chainfrom product design to distribution, including production processes and the sourcing of raw materialsto address its impact. The groups sustainability work seek to address four pillars of sustainability: innovation, production, consumption and community.

    TheSharing beauty with allprogramme has clear targets set for 2020. Some significant progress has been made from 2013 onwardincluding the reduction of environmental footprint across its plants and distribution centres. The company already exceeded its goal by reducing CO2 emissions by 77% in 2018 as production rose by 38%. 

    On the target to improve the environmental or social profile of 100% of its products by 2020, the company achieved 85% of its goal last year. The focus is on reducing the environmental footprint of its product formulas by sourcing raw materials in a responsible, sustainable way with respect for biodiversity. The optimisation of product packaging is also a high priority: by 2025, 50% of its productsplastic components will be recycled or biosourced and 100% of the groups plastic packaging will be refillable, reusable, recyclable or compostable. With the groups commitment to innovate and develop more sustainable products worldwide, LOréal Thailand is able offer to consumers in Thailand more sustainable choices for consumption

    Some examples of products with improved environmental footprint available for Thai consumers include the LOréal Paris Botanicals haircare range and Kerastase Aura Botanica, all of which come in ecofriendly packaging. The bottle is 100% composed of recycled plastic (except for the cap and pump) and can in turn be sorted and recycled after use. Some packaging is also designed to be both desirable and sustainable. For example, the jar used for the luxuryrange facial care product Lancôme Absolue LExtrait delivers elegant visual appeal while also being refillable. With the new design being 39% lighter than before, using this refillable Lancôme jar and two refills represents a packaging weight reduction of 58% compared to using three conventional products.

    LOréal Group is also collaborating with partners on many innovations to ensure it has access to the best technologies to improve packaging. The Sustainable Packaging Initiative for CosmEtics, for instance, seeks to introduce a common methodology in cosmetics product packaging to reduce environmental footprint. The company also collaborates with partners to adopt innovations in the form of biobased and recyclable paper bottles, and even co-creates a consortium to promote the industrialisation of enzymatic bio-recycling technology with an aim to create a more sustainable world based on circular economy principles.

    In terms of sustainability and safety of ingredients, LOreal is transparent about information on our products and ingredients. The company have a website,, that is made for consumers to give answers to questions about its products and ingredients. The website contains informative contents on key ingredients such as sun filers and palm oil. 

    LOréals endeavour is to go beyond the regulations and answer to its consumersexpectations and the trends it observes. The company often anticipates the regulatory evolutions by removing, several years in advance, some ingredients from its formulas, forbidden later on. For example, in January 2014, LOreal committed to eliminate all plastic micro-beads from its rinse-off products before the end of 2017. This commitment was achieved in January 2017, almost one year before the regulation required our industry to do so.

    Supporting the community is also a key aspect of this programme, and LOréal Thailand is contributing actively to this global target. By 2020, the company expects 100,000 people to discover new job opportunities through programmes such as Solidarity Sourcing or Beauty For a Better Life. In Thailand, over 200 underprivileged people have received support from the two programmes, enabling them to generate steady income. LOreal Thailand is ambitious to support more beneficiaries in the coming years. 

    LOréal has embarked on a fundamental transformation towards a more sustainable model and we are proud of the progress we have been making. In Thailand, we contribute to the groups sustainability targets particularly in reducing environmental footprint from our LEEDcertified distribution centre and helping underprivileged people have access to work. We collaborate with our suppliers through the Solidarity Sourcing programme to hire people excluded from the workforce, such as the elderly and the disabled. We also help underprivileged groups develop hairdressing skills from our Beauty for A Better Life training programme so that they can become a hairdresser and have a stable profession. We have also been working on improving areas of our point of sales materials and retail. Clear guidelines have been adopted to ensure ecoPOS and sustainable retail.

    LOréal Group remains fully committed to this collective effort as a matter of urgency. 2020 marks the end of the first series of Sharing beauty with alltargets and will also be a turning point in terms of sustainable development as the company will unveil its new programmes and commitments for 2030 later this year. The new targets will be based on the Science Based Targets initiatives framework to reaffirm its commitment in taking action on the climate, and in line with the 2°C trajectory defined by the Paris Agreement. This sustainability programmealong with its strong commitment to ethics, policy of promoting diversity and inclusion, and philanthropic activitiesenabled the group to contribute to 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations in 2015.

    As climate change increasingly becomes a reality, it is important that everyone take part in tackling this great environmental challenge. Our tangible, ambitious targets show how committed we are to sustainability, and we hope that these goals will be able to inspire others to help preserve our planet

    Through its transparent communications, LOréal has provided data on its corporate social and environmental responsibility strategy, challenges, and results in three reports: The Registration Document; LOréals annual report to the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact); and the Sharing Beauty With All Progress Report. More than ever in 2018, LOréals performance enabled the group to be recognised by the most demanding global organisations in this area. In 2019, for the fourth year running, LOréal achieved an Arating in all three of the rankings conducted by the CDP for its efforts on climate protection, sustainable water management, and fighting against deforestation. LOréal is the only company in the world to have been recognised for achieving the highest level of performance for three consecutive years. In 2015, L’Oréal was recognised as a Global Compact LEADcompany by the United Nations and action on climate change was stepped up by committing to zero net emissions by 2050.

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    First thing in the morning after you open your eyes you start thinking of the problems you have (same old story in your head).

    “I don’t like my job my boss is an idiot.”

    “I hate my tummy it’s just hanging there.”

    “I am never going to get married and will end up being alone.”

    Then you drag your exhausted body out of bed, take a shower, and rush to work. By the time you get to work you’re too busy answering emails because that what you do first thing. 

    You probably don’t have time to eat breakfast because you always rushing to work (you thought who eats breakfast anyway). 

    Lunchtime comes you kind of hungry you grab a quick bite and another coffee to keep you alive before 3pm. 

    In the evening you go to the gym because you want to get back in shape. You kill yourself in the class kind of punish yourself to make it up for the guilt that you think you eat too much and now you’re fat.

    By midnight your eyes still wide open, a mix of hungriness and some posts that you saw on FB or a photo of this “slim girl” on IG that make you feel bad with yourself, then you think about your boss and your colleague at work, still can’t sleep at 1am might have a look at email on my phone a bit then you fall asleep by 2am. 

    Your alarm wakes you up at 6am, you push the snooze button because you just want to sleep a bit more. But it’s time to wake up and you have to start everything all over again. 

    Is this the life you really want?

    Stress will never be out of our life because it’s a part of life. Actually, a bit of stress can push us to start doing something about it, to ask for help, to change how we eat, to start doing exercise. But most people have too much worry, too much stress. We think of what would happen in the future which most of the time it’s never going to happen. 

    The only moment that is real, that you can have, that you can enjoy is this present moment here is now. You can’t turn back time and fix your past, and you can’t keep worrying about the future which hasn’t happened yet. 

    Worrying is using your imagination to create something you dont want.

    Worry is in your head; you might keep telling yourself the same story what happened in the past or what might never happen in the future.Worry is helpful only if leads to change, not if it turns into obsessive thoughts. There’s nothing in this world can trouble you, as much as your own thoughts.

    Stress affects your body. When you worry too much it creeps to your body not just the thought in your head anymore. You might start to see some of these signs; headache, diarrhoea, or even throw up.

    Anxiety happens in your mind and body. Not only you’re a prisoner of your own thoughts but a slave of your life. 

    Let me tell you this story. Once a psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired” How heavy is this glass of water?”

    Different students gave different answers. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralysed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

    She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you’ll feel paralysed – incapable of doing anything.” It’s important to let go of your stress after a particular time.

    So how long have you been holding this glass now 

    I believe the easiest and cheapest way to reduce stress is exercise. You need to start moving your body. All the thought in your head the more you think about it the more energy you give to it. Just get outside, go for a walk, meditate or journaling helps a lot too. Start putting good nutrients into your body. 

    For meditation, you just have to sit comfortably and focus your attention on every in and out breath. Our breaths are born and die with every moment and they only happen in the now. When your breathing stops, now will also cease to exist.

    If your mind drifts away from your breaths, gently bring it back and return your focus to where it should be. Do this simple meditation every day start from 5 minutes if you’re new then increase the time to 20 minutes. I’ve been practicing meditation for 30 mins everyday my goal is to add up to 60 mins at the end of this year.

    As you become accustomed to focusing on your breaths, it will become progressively easier to stay in the now. Your mind will become less distracted by haphazard thoughts and memories. By being able to focus on this moment, you bring greater awareness to your everyday life.

    When there is full awareness, mental walls slowly break down. Instead of being limited by your conditioned way of thinking, you live life spontaneously and act according to the needs of each moment instead of living in the past or future.

    Take home message. My trick which works most of the time is to know that eventually you’re going to die, we all are. You’re on this earth for a limited of time so you better start enjoy it because when you’re gone none of this would matter anyway.

    Saree Jitta has helped hundreds of women regain self-love and self-confidence through her popular Superwomen Wellness System. Her inspiration came from her struggle and triumph over emotional eating and trauma which now has allowed her to help others transform. Schedule in for a complimentary consultation via [email protected] or find out more at  

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    by Moira Lawler Medically Reviewed by Kelly Kennedy, RD

    You have no doubt heard the advice to drink eight 8 glasses of water each day. But do you know where that advice for avoiding dehydration comes from, and if it is still relevant? Sean Hashmi, MD, the regional physician director of weight management and clinical nutrition for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, says it originally came from a recommendation from the US Food and Nutrition Board in 1945. (1) “But people misread the statement,” Hashmi says. “The second part of the sentence said most of that water you get from food.”

    That said, you still need to drink water during the day to avoid health risks like kidney stones. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine, or IOM) generally recommends ½ ounce (oz) to 1 oz of fluid, including water, daily for each pound of body weight. That means if you weigh 150 pounds, you’d need between about 9½ and 18¾ cups of fluid per day. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need more. (2)

    The exact amount you need also depends on factors including age, gender, and activity level, says Rachel Lustgarten, RD, a registered dietitian nutritionist with Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

    The good news for those who have a hard time sipping H2O all day: The foods you eat play a big role in keeping you hydrated. Shreela Sharma, an associate professor and registered dietitian at UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, estimates about 20% of the body’s hydration needs come from foods. “These foods are not just hydrating, but also nutritious and provide various nutrients, including vitamins and fibre,” she says.

    Another plus: You don’t have to overthink it. “If you are eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, this should not be hard,” says Julie Devinsky, RD, a clinical dietitian at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. To hit the mark, you can follow tried-and-true nutrition advice by aiming for two to three servings of fruit and five or more servings of veggies daily.

    That said, some foods are more hydrating than others. “Foods that rehydrate are typically the ones that hold the most water,” says Garth Graham, MD, MPH, the president of the Aetna Foundation and a cardiologist based in Hartford, Connecticut. Just keep in mind that the fruit or vegetable will lose water if it is cooked. “To optimise the hydration aspect of these foods, it is best to eat them raw or minimally cooked,” Devinsky says. And for the best, most hydrating effect, enjoy these foods with a glass of water. “As much as it is important to eat your daily dose of fruits and vegetables, do not use it as an excuse to skimp on water,” Devinsky says.

    Here are eight of the most hydrating foods and some ideas for how to enjoy them.

    1. Swap crisps for cucumbers for a hydrating snack

    Devinsky says cucumbers, which are 95% water, are one of the most hydrating options available. The green vegetable is not just a salad topper. Sharma says to get creative about incorporating cucumbers into your diet. For instance, try dipping cucumber slices into dip in place of crisps or making a chilled cucumber soup for a refreshing summer appetiser. Be sure to keep the skin on to reap the most vitamins and minerals.

    1. Dip celery sticks into creamy peanut butter to up your water intake

    There is not much to them. They are low in calories (only 14 per cup) and other vitamins and minerals, but they’re very hydrating and made up primarily of water. (3) Celery sticks can be boring to eat on their own, but there are ways to make them more filling. Devinsky suggests pasting them with peanut butter or tuna salad, which can help reduce your carb intake if you use celery in place of bread.

    1. Watermelon is the perfect addition to a summer salad

    The refreshing summertime fruit has water built into its name — and that is not just a coincidence. Watermelon is high in water and low in calories (and has just 46 calories in one cup). (4) It is a welcome addition to many summer dishes and works well in gazpacho and fruit salads. Devinsky says watermelon also plays nicely in an arugula and mint salad.

    1. Cantaloupe offers hydrating Potassium and is good in a fruit salad

    Even though watermelon is the most obvious hydrating melon, others, such as cantaloupe, should not be overlooked, Sharma says. A 1 cup serving packs 427 milligrams (mg) of potassium, which is about 9% of your daily value. (5,6) The nutrient is important for hydration — it is an electrolyte, which means it helps the body balance its water content. (7) You can eat it solo or in a fruit salad, add it to smoothies, or pair it with prosciutto for a sweet-and-savoury snack, Devinsky says.

    1. Strawberries contain a surprising amount of water

    The sweet red fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, with a whopping 162.6% of your daily goal in just 1 cup of slices! (8) That’s not all: Strawberries are also incredibly hydrating and clock in at 91% water. (9) Devinsky suggests getting your fix by serving a strawberry-and-basil salad. Or try dipping pieces of the fruit in melted chocolate or adding to chia seed pudding for a nutrition filled dessert.

    1. Trade your bread bun for iceberg lettuce

    All types of lettuce (and other greens like kale and spinach) have high water content, but iceberg lettuce wins as the most hydrating at 95% water by weight. (9) The most obvious way to enjoy it is chopped in a salad, but you can use it in place of a bun on your next burger, Devinsky suggests.

    1. Tomatoes, no matter how you eat them, are hydrating

    Tomatoes boast about 95% water content. And, like cantaloupe, they’re also a good source of potassium, offering about 9% of your daily target in a 1 cup serving. (10) Happily, they’re as versatile as they are delicious. You can enjoy them in pasta sauce, stew, fresh salsa, gazpacho, or simply sliced and sprinkled with a touch of salt and pepper.

    1. Bell peppers are a low-carb hydrating food

    Bell peppers are about 92% water and are a decent source of fibre, especially considering how low-carb and low-calorie they are. (11) Use diced bell peppers to add crunch to salads and salsas or large slices as an alternative to crisps for scooping hummus or dip, Devinsky says. Stuffed peppers are also a great entrée option, though keep in mind they will lose some of their hydrating benefits during their time in the oven

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    After all the announcements from the Thai Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister about how close Thailand is to discovering a vaccine it seems that they are now being led and or supplied by British and Swedish companies. One assumes after all of his negative comments regarding “dirty farang’ that we will have to pay to get our shot privately…

    Siam Bioscience Group has been chosen to produce the Covid-19 vaccine once the human trials conducted by Oxford University and AstraZeneca prove to be successful.

    Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced on Monday that the vaccine will initially be tried out on Thais in their mid-60s, with the eventual target of covering at least 50 per cent of the population.

    The Public Health Ministry is working on ensuring a sufficient supply of the vaccine by pre-booking through the World Health Organisation’s COVAX facility, using bilateral agreements or negotiating for technology transfer.

    Thailand is also developing vaccines using seven codes, namely mRNA, DNA, viral-like particle, protein subunit, viral vector, as well as inactivated and live attenuated vaccination. There are nine agencies involved, including private and public universities.

    So far, three studies based on mRNA, DNA and plant-based vaccine have entered the Phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials. It is difficult to conduct human trials domestically because Thailand does not have enough Covid-19 patients.

    Dr Supakit Sirilak, the Public Health Ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, said approximately 65 million doses will have to be reserved if half of the population, or some 30 million people are to be vaccinated.

    He added that some 40 per cent of the doses will be reserved with COVAX, 40 per cent with AstraZeneca and 20 per cent with other sources.

    “Siam Bioscience has the potential to produce up to 200 million doses. Once the technology transfer agreement is signed, the Thai side will have to be trained on production processes. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is expected to pass Phase 3 testing and production should start in December. After that it needs to register with the FDA in the UK and Thailand, before we can start producing the vaccine mid next year,” said Nakorn Premsri, director of the National Vaccine Institute.

    Meanwhile, the price of the vaccine has yet to be set clearly. Initially, COVAX priced each dose at US$10.55 (Bt329), but AstraZeneca has said its vaccines will be a lot cheaper.

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    BANGKOK: Right at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic I was absolutely sure people will only travel again if they feel it is safe to do so in the new Covid-19 world, and when they have the spare cash to do so. My conviction to that mantra is as solid today as it was all those months ago.

    Whilst Thailand today is considered safer, with no new local infections for the past 4 weeks – what about the rest of the world? With new regrettable milestones being reached this weekend – now over 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths globally – most predictions appear to have been widely off the mark. No more so than in the United States.

    With 1 in 4 of all coronavirus cases and deaths globally within its borders – 2,510,000 cases including 44,000 new cases daily and 125,000 deaths – the USA is worst of all.

    I was sorry to read via the BBC that in India, Delhi is now the country’s worst-hit area, with about 73,000 recorded cases of Covid-19 and at least 2,500 deaths.

    Delhi has had many challenges including a fragmented local and regional provincial government that did not always see eye-to-eye and a population that lacked the will to follow hygiene and social distancing guidelines. It is also a state with many borders making containment difficult.

    For Thailand we have been well managed. No new coronavirus cases or deaths reported for a long time leaving the total number at 3,162 cases and 58 deaths since January. No new local infection for 31 days, and no new deaths.

    We have been very strict, with a strong Thai government in control, and excellent compliance from its citizens even during the curfew, when it was in place.

    What is happening across the world is important to Thailand. We must sit up and take notice. WHY?

    Whether we like it or not we are very much interconnected. With 10 million cases globally that is 1.5 people in 1000 who are infected with the coronavirus GLOBALLY and some reports suggest it to be higher. Without Covid-19 under control globally we are all affected.

    Is it RESPONSIBLE to open our borders and airports in Thailand to visitors from around the world when countries in Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Asia are still seeing coronavirus hotspots and deaths? As a person heavily invested in hospitality and tourism I am reluctant, but have to say YES it would be irresponsible.

    If I were the Thai PM what would my answer be? I don’t think I need to spell it out.

    Next week Thailand is expected to make a number of major announcements. The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will on Monday disclose details of the easing of Phase 5 restrictions, due to begin on the first of July. Apart from our land neighbours I cannot see the government risk all the good work of the past 95 days since the State of Emergency in Thailand was declared on the 26 March 2020. As much as I wish it were not so – for the sake of travel and tourism jobs – the Thai PM will not gamble on opening borders and airports completely. It would be such a risky move.

    I was encouraged by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen when talking about vaccinations she announced that the European Union will do all in its power to ensure that all peoples of this world have access to a vaccine, IRRESPECTIVE of where they live. She also said that we must be ready to manufacture and deploy such a vaccine across Europe and the world. Especially to poorer countries. WHY?

    Because she too also recognises our connectivity. That we are ALL interlinked. No-one is an island and we must all play our part to protect our one world, we are one people. We are all interconnected.

    I would like to say safe travels however in its place let me say:

    Stay safe, stay healthy.

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    Stretch Me launched by the Siam Wellness Group 3 years ago has now 5 branches in Thailand. Manned by physiotherapists it is exactly what it says. You arrive and the type of programme you are seeking is discussed with the receptionist. Once that is settled you are asked to change in to a t shirt and jogging bottoms and shown in to a very smart studio with a dozen or more expensive electric massage tables, subtle lighting and music.
    You lie on the table and the physiotherapist then puts through a series of stretching exercises. Head and neck, shoulders and arms then legs. The starter session I chose was for an hour called Office Stretch and concentrated mainly on my neck and shoulders but because I told the physio my legs and lower back were the problem she also stretched those too.
    They just force a stretch perhaps more than you would on your own in everyday life and I can honestly say that now I feel better. The hour session was over far too quickly which made me think I should have chosen 90 minutes or 2 hours or booked a course of 5/10 appointments. But I will do that after I see how I feel tomorrow!
    Afterwards I had booked a relaxing one hour message as it is all part of the same spa along with a sophisticated facial treatment (Dr. Spiller). The receptionist again discussed what kind off treatment I wanted and gave me a choice of various massage oils all with their own explanation. I chose a Soothing massage and I think that the oil was of the same name.
    It is a very well designed, clean lines studio and I was surprised about the size of the spa. I was walked through and shown in to a therapy room which again seemed to have everything necessary. Soft music and lighting, an aromatherapy steamer, which made the room smell good, the massage table and impeccably clean shower. I was told to shower and when the therapist came back she told me to lie down on the table. She dimmed the lights, held her hands over my face and asked me to breathe in the scented oil, breathe in deeply and then relax and she commenced on my shoulders with the hot oil. Working down every limb and my torso from head to foot. When she had finished she started to wipe the oil off me with a warm flannel but I asked her to leave it so that I could smell it and let it soothe me for the rest of the day… bliss.
    Rest assured I shall make another appointment soon armed with more information of what I should order.
    Let’s Relax Spa is on the 2nd floor of Hotel Nikko let’s relax thonglor nikko hotel 02 080 2111 when you call to book mention Expat Life in Thailand for special advantages and a reader promotion. Other branches can be found under enjoy!
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