Category Archives: Lifestyle/Health

The Ultimate Sub-Zero Dress Code (and more)

Why the tendency to land myself in places that are cold? Let’s see…

  • when I studied abroad in Beijing, winter was about -10°C (14°F)
  • when I worked in Seoul, Christmas was -14°C (6.8°F)
  • when I visited Harbin for the Ice and Snow Festival, it was a walloping -35 °C (-31°F). Standing in front of St Sophia Cathedral (see photo below), both myself and the bing tang hu lu [1] held in my hand were quite frozen, albeit one slightly more than the other.
In front of St. Sophia Cathedral (Haerbin, China 2011). Even the sugar-coated plums turned form soft and juicy to completely frozen.

In front of St. Sophia Cathedral (Haerbin, China 2011). Even the sugar-coated plums turned form soft and juicy to completely frozen.

Having been to very very cold places and lived (obviously) to tell the tale, here are some tried and true advice to staying warm.  Continue reading

Walkathon, another “OMG I was so drunk and…” story

“I am so hung over!” (image credit:

Somehow, exchanging drunk anecdotes proves to be devastatingly fun. Not only do we find solidarity in shared misery (oh yes, those hangovers), we relish outdoing our friends. The crazier, the more ridiculous the “oh-I-was-so-drunk” feat is, the better.

Let’s see, among my friends, one fell flat on her face running down Market Street in San Francisco, and another mistook a police car for a taxi. But nothing nowadays beats the late-1800s, where competitive walking was the craze. In fact, competitors walked — buzzed on Champagne  Continue reading

Bring ‘MAN-ly’ back with this hunky… CHIN

Work out the tris, pecs and lats, none speak louder of your manhood than having a strong jaw. In an article published by Details magazine, “Is Your Jaw Man Enough?” (Sept. 2014), it reports that the number men seeking jaw augmentation — injecting cosmetic fillers into the jaw — has increased 32% in 2013, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). The ASAP observed in its 2013 statistical data:

Men had more than 1 million cosmetic procedures, 9.4% of the total. The number of cosmetic procedures for men increased over 273% from 1997.

Read previous blog post: Youth-obsessed, Look and Feel Young

Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb (image credit: the perfume expert/Viktor&Rolf)

A round of treatment, consisting of six vials ($1,500 per vial of filler), costs $9,000. The benefit? A manly jaw attracts women and men alike. Women see the trait as a sign of health, gene quality, strength and reproductive potential — a virile sex machine. As for men, strong jaw signals that submission, “This man is a leader.” The top six most desirable men, jaw-based of course. (Details magazine) Continue reading

Aging in a youth-obsessed society, the battle to look and feel young

Our society celebrates youth. Youth equates beauty, creativity, energy, fun and delicious cool. Even in the media, lists such as Forbes‘ and TIME‘s 30 Under 30 elevate those who succeeds when they are very young.

Women obsess over looking younger, whereas men obsess over feeling younger (image credit: Beautifulforever Aesthetic Laser Center)

In an article titled “Women would rather hear they look young than slim” (DailyMail), the following list was posted:

  • Two thirds of women use anti-aging products
  • One fifth worry about their age every day
  • 41% wish they look younger
  • 39.5 years old is when women are most worried about how old they look

Interestingly, while women obsess over their appearance (as evidenced by anti-aging specialist Uzzi Reiss’ book title, Natural Hormone Balance for Women: Look Younger, Feel Stronger, and Live Life with Exuberance), men strive to feel younger. Continue reading

Discover the Art of Tea Pairing at Tea Time

Tea drinking is an integral part of Chinese culture. A Chinese saying names tea as one of the seven basic daily necessities, elevating tea to be among other important staples like firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar. During the mid-Tang Dynasty (780 A.D.), a scholar named Lu Yu published Cha Ching or The Tea Classic. Having spent over twenty years studying the subject, Lu records his knowledge of planting, processing, tasting, and brewing tea. The monumental work, which fastidiously documents the history, place of origin, color, taste and benefits of each tea, is an unparalleled tea encyclopedia.

In comparison, tea plays a less prominent role in American society. Yet, tea-drinking offers a plethora of benefits such as fewer signs of aging and a decrease in cholesterol and blood pressure.  Thirsting for a cup of tea? Go no farther than Tea Time (downtown Palo Alto).

Tea Time _ banner

The small, quaint tea room is great for tea lovers and ideal for the subtle affair of appreciating a variety of teas and their distinctive characteristics. I come here for an introductory tea pairing course. It’s like wine pairing, different types of tea pair well with different foods. The key is to match the flavor profile of a particular tea to its complementary food flavor(s). Join me and sample your way through six courses of tea and food combinations (click HERE for the tasting menu).

Continue reading

Spice up your life! (literally, with spices)

Spice Girls are probably not singing about spices in “Spice Up Your Life,” but you can bet that spices—red chili, nutmeg, oregano, thyme—do spice up your meals!

Spices make a big difference in enhancing the flavors of life. And they do more than just add flavor to foods, they can also stimulate the senses (smell, taste) and even serve as aphrodisiacs, according to an article in Psychology Today.

Continue reading

Men say ‘I love you’ first, but women love longer

I recently came across a study that says men start thinking about professing their love about three months into the relationship whereas women start thinking about it around five months into the relationship. [Source: “The Love Code.” Psychology Today Sept. 2011: 16. Print.] 

My initial reaction was that it made sense from an evolutionary standpoint. After all, women have a lot more to lose by committing to a potential unworthy mate. But the more I thought about love and the difference between men and women when it comes to falling in love, the more intangible the word “love” means to me. Not only do we use the word “love” rather carelessly—from “I love ice cream” to “I love my new boots” to “I love my boyfriend/girlfriend”— we also lack synonyms to categorize increments of love. There is no single adjective to describe loving someone a little bit, somewhat or a lot.

(image credit:

Continue reading

“Thank you!” for this 19th Century Invention: Vibrator

Hysteria is a psychological condition that displays uncontrolled outbursts of emotion and behaviors. The term, for the majority of history, more than 4,000 years, was regarded as a sex-selective disorder, affecting only women.

What were some of the outdated theories behind “female” hysteria? There was the uterus theory, which claimed the female sex organ was to be blamed for female problems like anxiety, insomnia, depression, irritability and fainting.  There was also Sigmund Freud’s famous ‘Oedipal moment of recognition’ theory, which stated that women experienced hysteria because they were unable to reconcile the loss of their (metaphoric) penis.

With that introduction in mind, I’d like to share with you Hysteria (2011). The film, Official Selection for both Toronto and Tribeca Film Festival, looked at a time in history when female hysteria was a common medical diagnosis, and the prevalence of the condition also led to the creation of vibrators.

Women suffering from hysteria (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Women suffering from hysteria (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Continue reading