The following articles were authored by Editor

Unhealthy Food Preparation Methods to Avoid

If you love cooking, then you must have tried most of the techniques and recipes you will usually find in basic cookbooks. However, there are food preparation methods that you need to avoid if you’re health-conscious or if you’re looking for ways to change how you prepare food for the family.

Avoid deep-frying and pan-frying. You can’t deny that deep-fried food is tasty, but the cooking oil used can be a source of saturated fats and cholesterol. Although you can substitute unhealthy cooking oil with natural oil, you can’t be sure of the ingredients used if you’re dining at a restaurant or buying street food. The same goes for pan-fried food, because the shallow cooking method increases fat and cholesterol.

Wash the ingredients, including vegetables. You should wash the ingredients thoroughly before cooking, including the vegetables to remove leftover pesticides and dirt. You should still wash them even if they are organically-farmed, because they were still exposed to chemicals during the harvest, transportation, and sale. Just rinse them under running water before chopping or dicing.

Don’t use plastic when preparing food. Although there are microwave-safe plastics that you can use to heat up your food, pick ceramic containers which are safer. Microwaving isn’t a bad cooking technique and using plastic as a food container is a good idea, especially for carrying food and water, as long as you do not expose the material to heat.

Roast and bake properly. Both roasting and baking are healthy food preparation techniques, but you need to make sure that the heat doesn’t dry the food completely by covering the food and adding water, wine, and natural oils. It’s also important to substitute unhealthy ingredients (butter and other ingredients with saturated fats) with better and safer alternatives.

Avoid using butter if you can. Butter is a staple ingredient in most baked goods and pasta, but they contain saturated fat which can be bad for people with cardiovascular issues. If you need to use butter, you can use other alternative ingredients that are healthier, such as avocado, olive oil, applesauce, nut butter, Greek yogurt, and pumpkin puree.

Steam instead of boil. Boiling ingredients can possibly dehydrate them of the beneficial vitamins and minerals, that is why steaming is a better option because the hot water doesn’t touch the food directly. You can prepare a lot of tasty recipes by steaming meat and vegetables.

Barbecue using electric grill, not charcoal. Barbecued food is healthy as long as you use the cooking method properly. You might want to use an electric barbecue grill instead of using charcoal, because the material is considered a carcinogen. An electric grill is also environmentally-friendly and will make preparation faster because you can avoid charring the meat.

6 Pasta Sauces You Need to Try

Tired of your usual homemade spaghetti? Try one of these pasta sauces for a different pasta experience.

Acciughe
• Ingredients: Bucatini pasta, soaked and filleted anchovies, one-half cup olive oil, minced garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, two teaspoons minced flat-leaf parsley, and ¾ cup finely-ground bread crumbs

• Preparation: Prepare the anchovies and other ingredients, then cook the pasta for ten minutes. Prepare the sauce separately by sautéing the olive oil, anchovies, garlic, and chili flakes. Add the parsley when the anchovies are cooked. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce. Serve with sprinkled breadcrumbs.

Aglio e Olio
• Ingredients: spaghetti, 250 grams cleaned and deveined prawns or shrimp, olive oil, one minced garlic, 1 teaspoon chili flakes, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, salt, and grated Parmesan

• Preparation: Boil the spaghetti separately. Sauté the garlic, chili flakes, shrimp/prawns for two minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Finally, add parmesan and parsley before serving.

Amatriciana
• Ingredients: spaghetti or Bucatini, 28 ounces of whole peeled tomatoes, olive oil, diced pancetta/guanciale, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 6 pieces basil leaves, salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, and grated pecorino/parmigiano-reggiano.

• Preparation: First, puree the tomatoes and boil the pasta. To prepare the sauce, sauté guanciale/panacetta, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Next, add the pureed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and basil. Stir for 15 minutes then toss the pasta and sprinkle the parsley and cheese.

Burro
• Ingredients: penne rigate, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons formaggino, ½ cup grated parmigiano Reggiano, and salt.

• Preparation: Boil the pasta according to instructions, then drain the water and place in a mixing bowl. Add leftover pasta water, cheese, formaggino, and butter. Mix all the ingredients.

Cacciatore
• Ingredients: 4 pieces chicken thighs, 2 pieces chicken breasts, all-purpose flour, olive oil, salt and pepper, 1 chopped red bell pepper, 3 chopped garlic cloves, ¾ cup dry white wine, 1 can diced tomatoes (with juice), 3 tablespoons drained capers, dried oregano leaves, chopped basil leaves, and ¾ cup chicken broth.

• Preparation: Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken then dredge in flour. Sauté the chicken then set aside. Sauté bell pepper, garlic, onion, then season with salt and pepper. Next, add white wine and simmer for 3 minutes before adding the tomatoes, broth, capers, and oregano. Add the chicken pieces in the sauce, then simmer for about 20 minutes.

Frutti di Mare
• Ingredients: spaghetti, cleaned mussels and clams, peeled shrimp, squid tentacles, extra virgin olive oil, 4 grated garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ cup white wine, basil leaves or chopped parsley, arrabiata tomato sauce (already prepared), salt, and lemon.

• Preparation: boil spaghetti, then drain and set aside. Sauté garlic, red pepper flakes, clams, and mussels. Pour the white wine then cover the pan for a minute. Add the shrimp, then cover the pan for another minute. Add the squid tentacles and cook for another minute before adding seasonings. Pour the arrabiata tomato sauce on the seafood and toss before adding the spaghetti. Serve with lemon wedges.

Where to Get the Best Wines in Singapore

Are you planning to expand your knowledge about wines? Or do you want to try something you don’t have in your personal bar at home? These are the wine bars you need to visit in Singapore.

Verre Modern Bistro & Wine Bar
Choose from a variety of appetisers, mains, tarte flambee, sides, desserts and pastries, and wine bites. They also serve coffee, tea, bottled beers, juices and wine cocktails besides red, white, sparkling, sweet and rose wines by glass. Located at 8 Rodyk Street, Verre is open from 4 pm to 12 am Mondays to Thursdays, 4 pm to 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays, and 4 pm to 11 pm on Sundays.

Praelum Wine Bistro
The name praelum or winepress should speak for itself. Praelum has been serving wine connoisseurs since 2011. They even have their own cellar with over 1,000 bottles. Pair a glass of wine with any of the authentic French cuisine. You can also take your friends to sample a beverage in their weekly Learn-a-Drink or book a wine class party for a group of 8 to 25 people. Praelum is located at 4 Duxton Hill.

Caveau Bar
They have a day menu for early visitors consisting of coffee, tea, chocolate and milk drinks, mojito and craft beers. They also serve excellent food such as duck rillette with crostini, cheese platter, and jamon Iberico reserva ham platter. The best part however is their long list of wines and spirits. Caveau Bar is located at 1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre. The bar is open from 10:30 am to 11 pm Sundays to Thursdays and from 10:30 am to 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Napoleon Food & Wine Bar
Napoleon’s pride is their menu of 32 European wines in Enomatic wine dispensers. They also do retail and wholesale of French wines directly imported from their sources. Not only that, they also serve French and Asian cuisine. You need to try their shrimp truffle angel hair, hand-cut Angus beef tartate, smoked whole spring chicken and seared tuna steak. If you’re planning a group party, Napoleon offers wine tasting lessons and appreciation classes. Located at 206 Telok Ayer Street, Napoleon is open until midnight from Mondays to Saturdays.

O Batignolles
The name is taken from a French village while the restaurant’s theme is inspired by Parisian bistros. If you’re looking for French wines such as red, white, rose, cremant and champagne, this is the best place to visit because they also serve authentic French bistro food. Drop by O Batignolles at 2 Gemmill Lane from 12 noon to 12 midnight Mondays to Fridays, 11 am to 12 midnight on Saturdays and 11 am to 11 pm on Sundays.

13% Gastro Wine
Founded by an experienced wine connoisseur and an award-winning chef, you’ll never go wrong with 13% Gastro Wine. They also serve cheese puffs, fries, black pudding, crab cake, sardines, sweets, pizza, baked Camembert, Iberico, cheese and many more. The bar is located at the 2nd Floor of a shop house at 14 Aliwal Street.

Types of White Wines You Should Try

With over 40 white wines, how do you pick the best for a special occasion? One way to narrow down your choices is to pick the best from each of the five types of white wine.

Light and Sweet
1. Riesling – It is thought to have originated in the Rhine River region. It has a range of styles when it comes to weight, from very sweet to bone dry.
2. Muscat Blanc or Moscato – It comes from one of the oldest cultivated grape varieties in the world. It is well-known for its grape scent and also has flavors that hint of caramel or jasmine.
3. Gewurztraminer – This is a type of aromatic sweet wine and is one of the 18 classic noble grapes. It’s a very rare type of wine grape too. It’s stronger than Moscato and has a grapefruit, pineapple or lychee taste.

Light and Zesty
1. Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris – Pinot Gris from Alsace has a hint of honey, while Pinot Grigio from Italy has a bitter pear or peach taste. American Pinot Grigio on the other hand is less acidic than the two.
2. Muscadet or Melon de Bourgogne – This wine from France tastes like citrus and is quite acidic. It is sometimes aged on lees to attain a creamy flavor.
3. Gargenega or Soave – It has a hint of orange and melon and is quite cheap. It’s a type of old white wine grown in Soave in Italy.

Herbaceous
1. Sauvignon Blanc – This is one of the oldest white wines in the world. Depending on where it was harvested and produced, it has a subtle green flavor like green apple, peaches or gooseberries.
2. Gruner Veltliner – This type grows almost exclusively in Austria. Most of it is produced as dry wine and is very acidic in taste.
3. Vermentino – It is produced mostly in Sardinia and is quite sweet. One type is creamy while the other has a zesty and floral taste.

Bold and Dry
1. Semillon – It tastes like green papaya, apple, pear or lemon. There are also hot climate and cool climate Semillon. When mixed with Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc, they create the White Bordeaux.
2. Viognier – This French wine is known for its delicious tangerine, peach and honeysuckle scent. It’s less acidic than most and has a fruity taste.
3. Chardonnay or Chablis – It is a widely cultivated type of white wine and has two major styles; oaked and unoaked. Oaked Chardonnay tastes creamier than Unoaked Chardonnay or Chablis.

Bold and Sweet
1. Sherry – This type of wine is best paired with food because it’s dry. The best Sherry comes from Andalucia in Spain which has a nutty and salty hint.
2. Tokaji – This Hungarian special is best paired with desserts. It needs four to seven years to mature and even then it doesn’t fully ferment because the grapes are extra sweet.
3. Sauternes – The sweetness of this French wine comes from the process of letting a fungus infect the grapes while still on the vine.

Christmas Trees at Gardens by the Bay

Now the Christmas tree is definitely the most symbolic representation of Christmas. In fact, given a pine tree with the colors of green and red around it and maybe even some Christmas lights, voila! You have a Christmas tree. But then again you wouldn’t want to spend your Christmas with just any Christmas tree.

Inside all of us is the huge expectation of magic during Christmas. Magic that can only be seen when it is represented by beauty. This beauty, is the Christmas tree. The more magical the Christmas tree appears to be, the more magical our Christmas begins to feel. With the glistening radiant Christmas lights scattered around like stars in the country sky, now this is beauty.

The glistening lights is just a display of glamour, what gives a Christmas tree it’s personality is the little things one uses to decorate their tree. Now we’re sure you’ve heard of Gardens by the Bay and we know that you know that since it is Christmas, Gardens by the Bay definitely has something in store for you.

What do you think it is? Well, remember the surreal building like structures covered in plants and green looking as if stumps of a tree but also the actual tree itself? Imagine that as a Christmas tree! You read it right!

Almost stump like structures reaching all the way to the sky before suddenly spreading out into a fountain of not just greens anymore, but also lights! Christmas is very well celebrated at Gardens by the Bay as one look towards the sky takes you into a whole new world! A world of Christmas.

The trees aren’t everything though, there is even a castle made out of lights illuminating the perfect image of a castle hidden at the back of your mind in the sea of imagination. Gardens by the Bay feels like a dream come true without you even knowing that you’ve been dreaming for a sight just like the one you’ll experience.

Subconsciously, the place does not just please your eyes. It also finds a way to seep into the comforts of your soul. Welcoming you into the holiday and bringing with it the Christmas spirit which may have been a familiar feeling or maybe a feeling you’ve never even experienced before.

Either way, Gardens by the bay is a perfect place to experience Christmas. Not just for you, but also for the ones you love. Christmas is a time for being with the ones you love and what better way to experience Christmas than to be in a place where Christmas is not only seen, but also felt.

Photography: Establishing Intimacy With Your Subject

In taking the perfect photo, understanding the level of intimacy you have with your subject is very important. We already know about intimacy yet some of us are unaware that we already possess this knowledge when it comes to photographs. Capturing the perfect photo with the perfect understanding of what you actually want to portray may be quite difficult at first but once you are able to learn how to portray the type of intimacy you are aiming for, everything would then turn into a walk in the park as you are not only able to express yourself, but also capture perfection.

Once you understand the relationship between you and your subject, you’ll then find the perfect angle and the perfect distance for you to take the photo. The angle of the photo is something which some people do not understand is important. Whether it be uplifting your subject or looking with wider scope, there are so many things you can do to communicate through your photo.

Ever looked at a certain scene or subject and think to yourself, I would love for people to see exactly what I see but then when you take a picture, you end up disappointed? Well, maybe this is because of the angle. Maybe you’ve taken the picture with the wrong angle. Maybe looking at the subject or scene with another angle would change everything and might even elevate your subject into a position of higher importance or higher quality. This is the beauty of photography, it allows us to present things through the way we see it instead of the way they seem to be.

There aren’t many people who are good at expressing themselves through the photos they take. Why is that? Is it because they do not know how to portray the subject? Or is it because they themselves do not understand which perspective of the subject they should portray. There can be a thousand things rushing through your mind when it comes at looking at a single picture. From the closeness of the subject to the lens to the distance between the subject and the camera making them almost acquaintances, distance is very important.

The closer you are to the subject, the more intimate you obviously are. Now, how can you be sure when the subject is too close or too far? Well, you’ll never be. You just have to trust yourself when reason goes beyond all understanding. Sometimes art isn’t literal and sometimes crossing your boundaries puts you right where you should have been from the start. Sometimes the perfect picture requires more than your skill. Sometimes the perfect picture requires your honesty.

Common Mistakes Men Make When Buying an Engagement Ring

Purchasing a jewellery is not an easy task for most men – some even put it off as long as they can. When it comes to buying an engagement ring, however, putting things off doesn’t make it any easier. Admittedly, choosing the perfect ring for your partner can be quite intimidating and, unfortunately, many men have ended up a ring their girlfriends didn’t quite get ecstatic about. Here, we’ve listed down some of the common mistakes that most men make so that you can avoid them when it’s your turn to purchase the most important ring in your life.

1. Searching in Just One Jewellery Store

One of the most common mistakes that men commit is purchasing a ring from the first jewellery store that they walk into. You know that purchasing a car from the first dealership that you walk in is a huge mistake, so use the same reasoning when buying jewellery – especially a proposal ring. Failing to know what other options are available out there won’t help you make an informed decision. Also, remember that you can always browse through the internet to get useful information about engagement ring shopping.

2. Assuming That Every Lady’s Taste is the Same

Apart from not doing any research, assuming that every lady’s taste is the same is another mistake that most men make. Understand that every woman has a unique style that fits her personality. If you’ve been together for quite some time, then you should’ve already picked up some hints about the style that she liikes. If you’re unsure, consult her mother, sister or best friend about it.

3. Picking the Wrong Jewellery Retailer

Choosing the wrong retailer can be a costly mistake. Be sure to shop from a reputable jewellery retailer like ling jewellery from Singapore to avoid getting duped into purchasing inferior quality pieces. When you purchase from a reputable jewellery shop, you’re shopping from people who will go all out to protect their reputation – and this will give you the confidence that you’re getting your money’s worth.

4. Purchasing the Wrong Ring Size

Although most engagement rings can be resized, it’s crucial that the ring is as close as possible to the perfect fit during the proposal. To figure out the correct ring size of your significant other, bring one of her existing rings to the jeweller or ask someone close to her about her ring size. The most common ring sizes among women are between six and 6.5. If it’s impossible for you to determine her exact ring size, then choose an engagement ring within this range.

5. Rushing the Buying Process

Purchasing a diamond ring can really be overwhelming. With a lot of things involved in the proposal ring purchase, it can be really tempting to rush through the buying process. Seeing as this is a very important purchase in your life, however, you need to ensure that you spend enough time thinking about it. Carefully evaluate each ring that catches your eye, and only make the purchase if it meets all the criteria you’ve established.

6. Not Thinking About the Wedding Band

It’s been established that the stone itself in an engagement ring is important. But as you make a purchase, don’t forget about the importance of the future wedding band and how it’ll go with the proposal ring. Normally, an engagement ring is worn above the wedding ring to form a set. So think about how the two rings will complement each other before purchasing either one of them.

7. Following the Three-Month Salary Rule

When it comes to setting a budget, some men in Singapore still follow the traditional three-month salary rule. This rule states that a man’s budget for an engagement ring should be thrice the amount of his monthly salary. While it’s a good rule in general, you might want to spend a little less or opt for a larger purchase. Remember that the three-month salary rule isn’t a hard and fast rule, so don’t let it pressure you into purchasing a ring that you can’t really afford.

8. Overspending

Similar with a home or car purchase, many people get caught up in the emotion of making a life-changing decision and choose not to set or go against their allotted budget. To keep yourself from overspending, ensure that you set a budget prior to visiting a jewellery store and stick with it. Setting a budget beforehand will also let you know the upper limit of the ring’s price. While we advise to avoid overspending, getting just any cheap engagement ring might not be a wise thing to do either. Best to just save money and stick to your budget.

9. Ordering in the Last Minute

Another common mistake that men make is waiting until the last minute to order the ring they want. Most jewellery stores in Singapore take two to four weeks to finish an order (six if it’s custom-made). So if you’ve scheduled a date for your proposal, ensure that you order the ring ahead of time so your plan goes as smoothly and as perfectly as possible.

10. Failing to Get the Ring Insured

While you might not think that it’ll happen, it’s not unusual to lose an engagement ring. Practices like taking it off while washing dishes or taking a bath makes the ring susceptible to theft or loss. With this in mind, it’d be terrible to lose the ring if it’s not insured. You’ll likely find yourself purchasing a new piece if you lose a ring that isn’t insured. By insuring it at the time of the purchase, you’ll be able to save money and have peace of mind in case the ring is stolen or lost.

Just like a wedding ring, an engagement ring symbolizes the commitment and love of a couple for each other. So make sure that you spend enough time researching and thinking through the whole purchasing process to assure that you get the right ring that will represent your desire to be with your significant other for the rest of your life.

Plumbing Checklist for Home Buyers

A smart buyer inspects every aspect of a property before making a down payment. Superficial things are the things we check in details. However, if you want to get the most value for your money, you have to scratch the surface and look deeper than what meets the eye. Heating and electric installations should be on top of the list, but the number one priority must be the plumbing system since plumbing problems are usually the hardest to fix. Here’s how to inspect a property’s plumbing works before making a final decision.

Toilets
Home toilets have their ways of developing issues like clogs and leaks over time. Find out whether or not a property’s toilets are in good working condition by doing the following during a site visit:

• Sit on the toilet. This lets you know if the toilet is stable. Instability of the toilet is a sign that the wax around the toilet’s base has deteriorated. Though it can easily be repaired, an existing leak might have rotted the wood or have accumulated moulds in the tiles.
• Check the base of the toilet for leakages. To determine whether or not the toilet has leaks around the base, check for any discoloration and deformation of the floorboard. If you can see signs of damage, point this out to your real estate agent and ask to have it repaired by a professional plumber.
• Flush the toilet. Once you flush the toilet, the water should quickly swirl down until the tank is empty. After the toilet is flushed, the water should refill the toilet tank to a standard level of water in a matter of seconds to a minute.

Underground Leaks
Not all leaks can be detected easily, so it’s important to be more thorough in checking pipes that are buried under the ground. With this, it’s bet to ask the help of a plumbing contractor when visiting a property. Do the following to help you detect if there’s any underground leaks happening.

• Notice the ground. Look for any wet parts or ground of the house, especially the driveway and the pathway in front of the property for evidence of flowing water. It may not be a steady flow of water; it could also be a puddle of water that never dries up or a dark, moist spot.
• Observe the meter reading. Check the water meter and remember the meter reading, and then turn off all faucets and water outlets for two to three hours. Re-read the meter. If the reading shows usage and the seller claims that the known leaks were already fixed, then the house may have underground leaking.

Sewer Pipes
Besides being nasty and stinky Sewer problems are an expensive repair according to super plumbers from Singapore. Check to make sure that the toilet isn’t blocked or that the sewer waste does not come back up into any of your drains inside your home. Pipes can be cracked or broken, dir or even tree roots t penetrate into the pipes and cause them not to work properly.

Hot Water System
Most plumbers in Singapore can easily determine the age and condition of a property’s hot water system through a simple inspection. In average, a home’s water heating system lasts up to 12 years. If it’s over or close to 12 years at the time of your visitation, you may want to negotiate the price of the property with the seller. The pressure relief of the heater must be replaced every five years. If the valve fails to work, the pressure in the tank builds up over time, which could eventually cause the heating system to explode.

Water Hardness
Hard water, or water with high mineral content, can cause stains, making cleaning windows and washing dishes difficult. Even worse, if hard water is left untreated, it can cause scale build-up in the plumbing system, which will eventually restrict water pressure and cause clogs inside the pipes. To find out whether a property has hard water, check the exterior of the faucets and toilets for signs of scale build-up. If you find any, negotiate if you can include water softener into your deal or ask for a discount from the seller. Keep in mind that hard water will eventually damage the insides of the pipes, so ensure to have it professionally checked by a reliable plumber to see if the high mineral content has taken a serious toll into the property’s plumbing system.

Lead Pipes
Lead pipes, which are common to older homes, have life expectancy of 100 years, but can leach lead into your water, which is a potential health hazard. These pipes typically look gray, with surfaces that can be easily scratched with a key or knife. If you suspect that the property you’re eyeing has lead pipes, have the water tested. If the results show positive, ask the seller to have the plumbing replaced by a professional plumber.

Storm Drain
It is important that the down pipes and gutters of a house are connected to a storm drain. From the gutter of the house, the water should eject into roadside gutters or to a storm water pit. It’s common to find homes in Singapore with down pipes that are not connected to a storm drain, and when it rains the water spills out onto the ground, which attracts termites due to the damp environment. This can also cause the water levels to rise and enter the house during a rain storm. Ask the seller to have it fixed by a plumbing services contractor before closing the deal to avoid costly repairs in the future.

Owning a home could be the most exciting part of being independent, but you need to be extra careful when looking for a property to spend your hard-earned money on. Use this home buyer’s plumbing checklist as your guide to getting the right property for you. A professional inspection from a 24 hours plumber is your best option to ensure that you get the right home that’s worth its price. These professionals offer round the clock plumbing services, which include plumbing inspections for property visits.

What is Hair Rebonding?

Hair rebonding is one of the three existing techniques to straighten curly hair. It’s ideal for naturally curly, unmanageable hair. Curly, straight or wavy hair are determined by the protein bonds in our hair. When rebonding, these bonds are chemically altered so that hair can be straightened.

Process

Before the process begins, the stylist will shampoo the hair then let it dry naturally or using a blow dryer set to medium heat. Next, the hair is parted into smaller sections for easier application of the relaxant.

Hair rebonding involves a two-step process. First, the bonds in the hair are broken and then these components are rearranged to straighten the hair shafts. In the first step, a softener or relaxant is used. The second uses a neutralizer to form the structure by rebonding.

First Process: The relaxant is applied to sections individually. Keep in mind that the formula should be left on you hair for not more than 30 minutes.

Next, the hair is steamed for ten to forty minutes. The hair is then rinsed and blow dried.

The next procedure involves the application of a keratin lotion and the the use of a flat iron to straighten the curls.

Second Process: The second step involves application of the neutralizer onto the smaller parted sections of hair. The chemical is left for not more than 30 minutes then the hair is rinsed and blow-dried.

Finally when the hair is dry, a serum is applied to your hair and ironed.

Maintenance

You will be advised not to wash your hair for the next three days right after the procedure. It takes a while for the hair to take shape, so you’re not allowed to style, tie it up or tuck hair strands behind your ears.

Avoid Chemicals. You can shampoo and condition your hair after three days but don’t use styling tools that need heat. That includes washing your hair in hot water, blow drying and straightening. Let it dry naturally or use a fan instead for cool air. If you have oily scalp or you’re prone to dandruff, you’re advised to shampoo everyday. Just don’t let your scalp and hair dry out completely because that will make your hair brittle.

When combing your hair, a wide-toothed comb is recommended. You can apply a leave-on conditioner to help keep your hair shiny and moisturized.

Avoid Exposure. Rebonding exposes your hair to a lot of chemicals so avoid all types of styling and treatments for the next six months. You are advised however to get a trim every few months especially if you have split ends. Treatments that involve moisturizing your hair are recommended too.

Besides using chemicals, you should avoid exposing your hair to too much sunlight. If you’re always required to go outdoors, use a hair serum with UV protection then wear a hat or bring an umbrella. Exposure to rain can also damage your hair because it carries pollutants.

What’s in the Tea?

Tea is as fashionable and popular as coffee and like coffee, tea also contains caffeine. There are many claims to tea’s good effects on health but there are no conclusive studies so far.

It’s still popular however for its taste and its many varieties. It can also be paired with a lot of food.

History
Tea was originally prepared as a medicinal drink in Southwest China. Cured leaves of a species of an evergreen shrub, the tea plant, is prepared with hot water. By the time of the Tang Dynasty, it became a recreational drink and was also popular in other parts of East Asia.

It was later introduced to Europe by the Portuguese. In the 17th century, it became a fashionable drink in Britain and the Netherlands. The Dutch introduced tea to France, Germany and the Atlantic region including New York. It was quite expensive in Britain until the 18th century. It was so popular that controversies about the demand for tea even contributed to the American Revolution.

Today, there is a tea culture everywhere in the world. It’s used for ceremonies, social gatherings, and as an ingredient for local cuisines.

Varieties of Tea
There are two general types of tea based on how they are processed. The first type involves steaming or panning. This is how green, yellow and fermented tea are made. The second type begins with wilting. The process creates white, black and oolong tea. Let’s look at each one closely.

1. Black Tea
It’s also called red tea in China. Its leaves are fully oxidized, meaning all the water has evaporated and the leaves absorbed oxygen. It has many varieties including Darjeeling, Ceylon, Turkish and others.

2. Oolong
The leaves are withered, oxidized and fired for a semi-oxidized result. They are known for their fragrant arom.

3. Green Tea
The leaves are slightly wilted and heated to prevent oxidization. One variety is the Matcha which produces a frothy and thick drink.

4. White Tea
Young tea shoots are withered and dried and do not undergo oxidization. This type of tea is rare outside of China.

5. Yellow Tea
The leaves are dried or pan-fried before they are steamed. The process turns the leaves yellow.

6. Fermented Tea
It’s called black tea in China. One variety is the Pu-erh tea which has leaves that are aged for some years to expose them to bacteria for fermentation.

Other Mixtures
The varieties listed above all use one type of leaves from the same plant. There are other teas that use different ingredients.

1. Masala Chai
It is a type of tea from India that is mixed with spices like ginger, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and others.

2. Yerba Mate
The ingredient comes from the tree of the same name found in South America.

3. Tisane
Also called ito en, tisane are teas made from fruit, flowers and herbs and do not contain any caffeine. Examples are rooibos and chamomile tea.