Anytime Workout

Squat and Lift Exercise for Your Legs, Core and Shoulders

  1. Stand with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart. Hold an object and squat as if you were going to sit in a chair. Then engage your bum and core to stand up.
  2. Keep your core engaged as you lift the object over your head and hold for 5 seconds. Lower the object to the initial starting position. Repeat the exercise for 5 or more times.

Source: The Globe and Mail


Character Bento

Snoopy Charaben

The Character – Snoopy (スヌーピー)

Want to Stick with Your Diet? Better Have Someone Hide the Chocolate

If you are trying to lose weight or save for the future, new research suggests avoiding temptation may increase your chances of success compared to relying on willpower alone. The study on self-control by researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Dusseldorf was published today in the journal Neuron.

The researchers compared the effectiveness of willpower versus voluntarily restricting access to temptations, called ‘precommitment’. (Examples of precommitment include avoiding purchasing unhealthy food and putting money in savings accounts with hefty withdrawal fees.) They also examined the mechanisms in the brain that play a role in precommitment to better understand why it is so effective.

Molly Crockett, who undertook the research while at the University of Cambridge and is currently a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at UCL, said: “Our research suggests that the most effective way to beat temptations is to avoid facing them in the first place.”

For the study, the researchers recruited healthy male volunteers and gave them a series of choices: they had to decide between a tempting “small reward” available immediately, or a “large reward” available after a delay. Small rewards were mildly enjoyable erotic pictures and large rewards were extremely enjoyable erotic pictures. Since erotic pictures are immediately rewarding at the time of viewing, the researchers were able to probe the mechanisms of self-control as they unfolded in real-time. (The scientists could not use money, for example, since subjects could only reap the rewards of money once they left the lab.)

For some of the choices, the small reward was continuously available, and subjects had to exert willpower to resist choosing it until the large reward became available. But for other choices, subjects were given the opportunity to precommit: before the tempting option became available, they had the ability to prevent themselves from ever encountering the temptation.

The scientists measured people’s choices and brain activity as they made these decisions. They found that precommitment was a more effective self-control strategy than willpower – subjects were more likely to get the large reward when they had the opportunity to precommit. They also found that the most impulsive people (those with the weakest willpower) benefited the most from precommitment.

The scientists were also able to identify the regions of the brain that play a role in willpower and precommitment. They found that precommitment specifically activates the frontopolar cortex, a region that is involved in thinking about the future. Additionally, when the frontopolar cortex is engaged during precommitment, it increases its communication with a region that plays an important role in willpower, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. By identifying the brain networks involved in willpower and precommitment, the research opens new avenues for understanding failures of self-control.

Tobias Kalenscher, co-author on the paper from University of Dusseldorf, said: “The brain data is exciting because it hints at a mechanism for how precommitment works: thinking about the future may engage frontopolar regions, which by virtue of their connections with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex are able to guide behaviour toward precommitment.”

Source: University of Cambridge

Chinese Rice Dish with Pork and Vegetables


300 g white rice
60 g brown rice
250 g pork, cut into strips
300 g cabbage, shredded
4 dried black mushroom, soaked and sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cups water
3 tbsp oil


1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp cooking wine


1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/8 tsp salt
dash ground white pepper


  1. Mix pork and mushroom with marinade, set aside for 20 minutes.
  2. Rinse rice and drain well.
  3. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pot, sauté shallot until fragrant. Add pork and mushroom. Stir-fry until pork is no longer pink. Add cabbage, stir-fry for 3 minutes until soft.
  4. Add water, rice and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

Today’s Comic

My Recipe

Thai Grilled Shrimp


18 pieces of 21/30 per lb frozen shell-on shrimp
6 bamboo skewer


1 tsp garlic (minced)
2 tsp shallot (minced)
1 Tbsp Sriracha hot chili sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1½ tsp sugar

Hot Mango Sauce:

8 fluid oz canned Alphonso mango pulp
1½ tsp fresh red Thai chili (minced)
1½ Tbsp shallot (minced)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp + 3/4 tsp fish sauce
1½ Tbsp sugar


  1. Thaw frozen shrimp in refrigerator overnight or in a colander under running cold tap water. Shell shrimp with tail intact. Devein, if any. Dry shrimp with paper towel.
  2. Soak bamboo skewers in cold water for about 1 hour.
  3. Mix shrimp marinade in a bowl. Toss in shrimp. Set aside for about 15 minutes.
  4. Mix sauce ingredients. Set aside.
  5. Skewer 3 shrimps in one skewer. Repeat with the remaining 5 skewers.
  6. Brush shrimp with oil. Grill or broil on high heat for about 1 minute on each side or until shrimp turns pink. Serve with hot mango sauce.


Alphonso mango pulp is a canned version of Indian mango sold in Asian or Indian Grocery store. Can be substituted with 1½ to 2 large Mexican mango puree. Hot mango sauce can be frozen.

Nutrition value for 1 skewer of 3 shrimps:

Calorie 83, Fat 1.0 g, Carbohydrate 7 g, Fibre 0 g, Sugar 5 g, Cholesterol 83 mg, Sodium 423 mg, Protein 11 g.