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Monday, November 12, 2018

The Right Way of Getting in Shape: A Side-By-Side Comparison of 6 Popular Low-Carb Diets

If you’re looking to lose weight quickly as well as enjoying a range of other important health benefits, such as improved digestive functions, better exercise workouts, higher energy levels and less bloating during and after meals, a low-carb diet could be exactly what you’re looking for.

However, just not eating a lot of carbs doesn’t really mean you’re on a low-carb diet. In fact, there are plenty of different plans out there to choose from, each with their own benefits and purposes.

To help you choose which one is right for you, today we’re going to explore six of the most popular low-carb diets, detailing all you need to know to make the best decision regarding your health and diet,

#1 - The Bulletproof Diet

Invented in 2014, the Bulletproof Diet is the creation of health blogger Dave Asprey. This is a heavily workout inspired diet that aims to boost energy levels and improve both your physical and mental performance without having to count calories or weigh your food.

#2 - A Ketogenic Diet

This is perhaps one of the most popular diets currently spreading the nation. While the dietary requirements of this diet are fairly strict, and you won’t be able to eat a lot of variety, the results are clear, and hundreds of thousands of people have found it to work.

If you’re interested in trying a Keto diet yourself; try signing up for the KetoLogic The Keto 30 Challenge!

#3 - The Paleo Diet

Regarding ‘cavemen’ from the Paleo era of human history, the Paleo diet refines everything back to only eating foods that were seemingly available to our caveman ancestors. This is designed to help us boost energy levels, lean up our muscle mass and improve your immune system.

There are no official macros to this diet.

#4 - The Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet was hugely popular several years back, and in fact was one once one of the most simultaneously practiced diets in the US. Curated back in 1972 by Dr. Robert Atkins, there’s a 20 and 40 version; the 40 allowing you more carbs if you want them; each referring to how many pounds you’ll be able to lose.

There are four phases to the Atkins Diet lasting several weeks and varying what you eat and the amount you eat. However, there is some controversy to this diet, so be sure to check with your doctor first.

#5 - The Zone Diet

First released to the world back in 1999, the Zone Diet has been endorsed by many celebrities, including the likes of Madonna, which helped to boost its popularity around the world. This low-carb diet aims to reduce inflammation around the body and is more of a lifestyle change than a strict diet.

#6 - The Scandinavian Low Carb Diet

Perhaps surprisingly, Sweden was one of the first countries to drop low-fat diets that are renowned around the world, and switch over to low-carb, high-fat diets, which is what this is based on. There are no official macros to this diet, but this refers more to a lifestyle change and making the right decisions, rather than restricting and analyzing you’re eating patterns and choices.


As you can see, there are plenty of low-carb diets out there for you to choose from. It’s vital that you research each diet beforehand and speak to your doctor to make sure you’re choosing a diet that’s going to be beneficial and healthy for you.
Thursday, October 25, 2018

5 Things I Learned in Creating Instagramable Photos Workshop.

Instagram is a great platform in showcasing your products and services nowadays. A lot of sellers make sure that they have pleasing if not attractive images that represent their brand to convert their following into a sale. I for one struggle in taking decent images that are at least instagram worthy and i dont know how to carefully curate my account. Good thing I attended Manila Workshops product photography workshop which I really enjoyed.

Today Im here to share 5 things I loved about the workshop!

1. The speaker is very knowledgeable and entertains a lot of questions!

Mr Keith Dador had projects with big brands like McDonalds and does magazine photography as well. He shared his wealth of knowledge to us and everyone was really attentive when he does his set up and demos.

2. Lighting is a big factor to great pictures.

Even if you have a good camera or a very nice subject, lighting will make or break the image output of your session. I learned that soft and hard lighting can be used in different ways and also making light bounce a little to accentuate the product itself. Its quite technical but its very useful for product photography

3. Flatlay VS Angular photos

When everyone started using flat lay I got really confused as im the person that couldnt bear to take images with that style. I learned that you should do it depending on the product or what mood you are trying to achieve. It seems like even flat lay took over angular images are still good especially for food photography. As my products are handmade i might mix both styles in the future.

4. Composition will depend on your personal taste.

Personally I prefer a minimalist approach when it comes to product photography. But in the workshop example there was one that was a maximalist and to be honest i couldnt focus on the product itself. There are also a triangle that was rather pleasing to the eye but that really depends on the subject.

5. Textures and background go hand in hand.

Backgrounds and textures play a key role in creating a good photo. If textures clash and the products just blend in with the background its not gonna stand out as much as you wanted it to be. selection should be made by your own judgement and how it looks like in the images.

Image from Mr Keith Dador

Final thoughts

I must say that this was such a info filled workshop that its kinda impossible to not apply what we learned. I definitely recommend attending the workshop as it helps in creating or setting the tone for your social media presence. There are a ton of examples and demos in the workshop and also he told us of alternatives that we can use in doing our own product photography . He explain technical things in layman's terms and lets us get upclose to the setup that we have that day. All in all its definitely worth the money and time to attend to!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Top 5 Things I Learned from Engaging Brand Video Workshop

Video branding and promotion is important nowadays for your business. Its critical that you know how to use it and lead the market towards your brand. With this I recently attended Engaging Brand Videos by Manila Workshop held at Villa Virtual in Makati and learned quite a bit of things to help businesses create a video that represents their brand and promoting it effectively.

Im here today to share with you 5 things I learned during the workshop.

1. Videos are great for storytelling while promoting your brand

Some brands nowadays are using video to not just sell but also to promote their advocacy and remain on top of their game. It seems like having the best video in the market doesn't matter as some companies want to have a video that seems to be taken by an amateur to relate more towards the masses. I was also said that having a video that was overly produces is not the best to use in social media, unless it was intended to be a commercial

2. There are types of videos you can create depending on your business needs.

With this said there are actually 4 levels to gauge what type of video your brand needs.
Awareness- used for getting attention towards your brand.
Consideration- Educating the leads about your brand and how can you solve their problems with the products/services that you offer
Conversion- convincing the leads to buy your product though testimonials or product videos
Retention- is a level to which brands make the users aware of their value in their lives via culture videos or feature launches.

3. Most people are driven to purchase by emotion.

Videos are typically a good way of tugging heartstrings and make people empathize with your brand that will lead them to purchase. I thought before that only good product gets bought but apparently even you have a bad product people will buy it if they are emotionally driven. I just hope people will not do it that way.

4. Having a target audience is also a key to a successful video conversion.

Not everyone will like your video. So its important that you know your target market and how you can reach them through the digital media.

5. Interviews is a great way in promoting advocacy driven brands.

For brands that are driven by advocacy having a video that explains your brand is a good way in promoting and putting your advocacy in a good light. Depending on how the questions are framed and how good the interviewer is of course.

Image credit to mr dennis abad

These are just some of the things that i learned from the workshop. Its just 4 hours and we actually had to go on overtime because we had quite a bit of fun when we did our interview segment which was so much fun.

Final thoughts

I thinks the workshop is geared towards more of the theoretical aspects as per what to shoot and how to select the right video for your business.  Since its more on a theoretical side i wasn't really expecting a lot when it comes to the hands on.  As this is not a video editing workshop I actually picked up quite a bit of technique as to how to set moods and do storytelling or how to film/video a product or creating the output you desire. All in all i was impressed with the lecture and will definitely apply it the next time i create a video for my business.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Learn, Create, Sell : Learn how to create Engaging Brand Videos and Product Photography

Promoting your brand is hard in the digital age when you dont have the skill set of a pro. I personally struggle on how I can improve my photography and film making skills so I can sell my products to the masses. Now that I just started my small handmade business learning is a must to cope up with marketing in social media.

Good thing that there are organizations that offer these kinds of services like Manila Workshops so small business can have a leg up in creating great and engaging content. Speaking of which, there are two workshops that will happen back to back this coming Saturday, October 20th. Check out the details below!

Delectable Videos (Creating Engaging Videos for Your Business)
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Instructed by Mr. Dennis Abad

What you Will Learn:
1. Introduction (15 minutes)
2. Important Videos for Every Stage of your buyer’s journey (15 minutes)
3. What makes for awesome videos for your Business


Product Photography (Creating Instagramable Photos)
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Instructed by Mr Keith Dador

What you Will Learn:
1. Determining the look of the product: Style, Texture, Form, Features and many more
2. Qualities of light and usage, Soft vs hard lighting, Light Modification,light sources.
3. What equipment, accessories, and props to use, plus other essentials


Who should attend?

– Business owners with physical product to sell
– Digital marketing agency staff
– PR practitioners
– Video producers who want to market their clients products online
– Content publishers

– Or anyone using video to sell or raise awareness of a product

You can learn more and also sign up when you click the link

Both workshops will be held at Villa Virtual in Makati City and all participants will get a certificate after the workshop they chose to attend and also meet like minded people within the industry.

As a startup business owner, I find these workshops as an essential to improve my instagram game and video capabilities. I mean who doesnt want to make a sale right? So if you are a startup like myself, in the marketing industry or a blogger, I urge you to check out the links above and improve your skills.

See you all on October 20th!


Going Your Separate Ways: 5 Strategies to Cope with Divorce and Live a Happy Life

Divorce can be difficult to deal with. This can be the case even when you were the party who filed to end your marriage. There are lots of emotions involved, property to wrangle over and sometimes children who get hurt. There may also be social fallout since friends tend to side with one spouse. The good news is that there are ways to cope with the difficulties and be happy once again.

Take care of yourself

Once you engage a divorce attorney to handle your legal affairs, try to see after your physical and mental health. Instead of sitting at home and worrying about the future, get active. Exercise, eat properly and take time to relax. Keep up your usual spa, nail or hair appointments since looking fabulous can help you to feel better.  If you’re religious or spiritual, see how your faith and beliefs can help you to heal.

Do the things you love or always wanted to try

Maybe you really like hiking but your former spouse was never interested. Maybe there’s a class you always wanted to take. Whatever it is, now is the time to explore your interests, meet new people and learn a little more about yourself. It will take some time to adjust to your new life. Why not begin by investing in yourself? Join service clubs or volunteer in the community. These things will help you to focus on the present and the future instead of revisiting the past.

Talk to a therapist

You may have many conflicting thoughts and feelings. Your friends or loved ones may mean well but they aren’t always the best people to help you during this period. They are far from unbiased and sometimes you need the advice and support of a neutral party. Consider seeing a therapist to help you work through your problems.  You may also benefit from joining a support group. Talking to others who have also been through a divorce can be very helpful.

Work through the practical things

Divorce doesn’t only bring about emotional changes. Chores around the house still need to be taken care of and bills have to be paid. You may need to change your address or your last name with utility companies and financial institutions.  These can all be stressful, especially when you think about them all at the same time. You will need to prioritize and handle the most urgent matters first. Ask for help if you need it.

Avoid dangerous or vindictive behaviors

You may be lonely, but you shouldn’t jump right into a new relationship. Give yourself time to grieve and heal. You may be angry, but you should call your ex and leave angry messages or confront their new partner. Don’t seek revenge against them. Resist the temptation to turn to unhealthy foods, drugs or alcohol. You should also avoid making any big decisions until you calm down and you’re thinking clearly.

Divorce can be very upsetting. Draw on all the help you to make the process more bearable. It may take time but you can return to living a happy life.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Mississippi River - Historic sites that are not to be missed

The Mississippi River is one of the greatest waterways in the world. It runs through a diverse range of American states, which are home to some of the most historic sites in the country. Stop anywhere along the river and you can see how US history helped to create the world we live in today, as well as admiring the beauty of nature along the banks of the great river.

One of the best ways to embrace the history of the Mississippi is to take an American Queen Steamboat Company trip. You get to spend time on a traditional steamboat where you can relax onboard, or maybe spend time at one of the historic sites that the river passes close to.

Fort Crawford Museum

Fort Crawford was built to protect the area of Prairie du Chien in Wisconsin, and it did so from 1816 until 1856. The fort was offered up as a venue at which to train Union soldiers at the time of the American Civil War. Today, the Fort Crawford Museum is open to visitors from May through October and private tours are available at other times of year. Visitors can see what life at the fort was like when it was still in use and get a better understanding of how it protected the city.

Effigy Mounds National Monument

There are more than 200 American Indian mounds at the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa. The mounds are considered to be sacred by many American citizens and their splendor is awe inspiring as is the beauty of the area which surrounds them.

Black Hawk State Historic Site 

This site, in Rock Island Illinois, has been home to American Indians and 19th century settlers. Its most close association is with the Sauk nation. The site is named after Black Hawk, the Sauk Nation leader. Today the site is known for its natural beauty, a great attraction to visitors.

Mark Twain's Boyhood Home 

Mark Twain is one of the most famous and well-respected American writers. He is closely associated with the Mississippi River which featured in many of his novels. Twain's childhood home, in Hannibal, Missouri, is now a museum which is dedicated to helping people appreciate the writer and how his stories still have relevance in today's world.

Poverty Point World Heritage Site

The Poverty Point World Heritage Site in Louisiana is a mysterious place. It was built at the same time as the Ancient Egyptians were creating monuments and temples. Poverty Point was built by hand, by American Indians, and consists of a massive mound surrounded by concentric circles. It's original use has never been definitively identified.

The Mississippi is a powerful and beautiful river which runs through a multitude of attractive surroundings. Its banks are home to some of the most historic sites in the US and you can pay them a visit if you take a trip along the river. 
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Mind matters: What you eat is affecting your brain

Does your diet affect your brain? The answer to this question that dates back to the early nineteenth century would be affirmative because nutrition does play an important role in determining how our brain functions. In fact, with the drastic change in our lifestyle and an increasing number of neurological researches over the past few decades, this connection has become quite obvious. Our dietary choices do bring about a direct and long-lasting effect on our brain.

Studies reveal that the brain is the most powerful organ in the human body that functions all the time and never goes to rest.  It works even when you are asleep, which means that it requires a constant fuel supply.  And obviously, it will function best when it gets premium, high-quality fuel.

MeikeVernooij, a professor in epidemiology and radiology at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, conducted a study to understand the relationship between food and brain. They questioned more than 4000 adults living in the Netherlands about their diet and analyzed their brain scans over ten years. People who consumed more fruits, vegetables and low volumes of red meat had a larger net brain volume as compared to the ones that consumed junk and greasy foods.

Hence proved, eating well has a direct connection to your mental well-being.

How food ties up with mood?

There is a close relationship between your brain and gastrointestinal tract, which is often termed to be the “second brain” of the human body. Billions of bacteria exist in this GI tract. These bacteria control the production of neurotransmitters (a chemical substance), which transfer messages from the gut to the brain. 

Intake of healthy food triggers the growth of good bacteria. This, in turn, boosts the production of neurotransmitters.

On the other hand, if a person eats more junk and unhealthy food items, their GI tract ends up with inflammation that obstructs the production of good bacteria. The positive state of neurotransmitter production reflects upon your mood; you feel lively and at comfort. However, as the production slows down, you face unreasonable mood swings.

Sugar, in particular, is the major cause of inflammation. It supplies food to the bad bacteria in the GI tract. Although consumption of sugar in small quantities is not harmful, most of us are eating too much of it. According to WHO, only 5 percent of daily caloric intake should come from sugar, but the typical American diet comprises 13 percent calories from sugar.

“Many Americans eat about five times the amount of sugar they should consume,” says NatasaJanicic-Kahric, an associate professor of medicine at Georgetown University Hospital.
 When you adapt to a healthy diet, you face fewer mood fluctuations. It is important to be aware that a diet including junk, greasy and sugary products is not only bad for our waistlines, but it poses an equal amount of trouble for our brain function and emotional state as well. In addition to that, several brain tests conclude that a healthy diet can slow down dementia and help recover from anxiety.

Food for a good mental state

The science of food and mood makes us wonder what we should eat. Mentioned ahead is a list of some food items that you should add in your list of meals. Use a different combination of these foods as per your taste.

Whole foods
The intake of preservatives and food colorings may cause severe depression. On the other hand, if you consume raw fruits and vegetables, you’ll notice an overall happier outlook and an improved ability to stay focused.

Foods that come via plants greatly facilitate with the absorption of blood sugars. The fiber-rich food items include not only fruits and vegetables but also the nutrient-filled items like beans and whole grains. Several dementiatests also endorse the positive impact of fibers on brain tissues.

Fatty acids
According to the research of University of Maryland Medical Center, to prevent degenerative brain conditions, individuals must increase their intake of nuts, seeds, and fish as these substances have a high amount of fatty acids.

Omega-3 is a fatty acid that plays a crucial role in brain development. Therefore, an added supply of these slows down the age-related mental decline and also help to ward off Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin D
Well-known for being the inflammation fighter, you can obtain this vitamin by exposure to the sun. Nonetheless, if a patient lacks this vitamin, they are recommended supplements by their physician.

It is an essential mineral that brings a notable impact on mental stability and mood of a person. Deficiency of magnesium can hurt the bacteria in your gut and trigger bouts of depression or anxiety. Therefore, ensure that your diet includes almonds, cashews, dark chocolate, spinach, beans, and bananas.

All set to take the wheel?
The first step is to prepare yourself. Are you fed up of your constant mood swings? Do you wish to have a content state of mind? Are you willing to get over the laze and be done with the pending chores? It starts with changing what you have on your plate.

Adding these food items may not be as simple as it sounds. It will take some extra effort at first but the results you will notice will encourage you to stay persistent. Replace small chunks at first such as trading white rice with brown ones. When you are having those sudden pangs of hunger, choose to have a salad of nuts or seeds instead of eating a bag of chips. It boosts up the fiber content in your body that aids digestion process.

For an overall nutritional balance, you must follow the basic rules. That means you’d keep your body hydrated, stay mindful of your caffeine intake and avoid skipping meals. It is quite natural that you won’t be able to make a change all of a sudden. However, you may find it easier if you start step by step. For example, you can add vegetables to your diet at first, then after a few days work on cutting down the sugar intake.

Over time, you will begin to notice the change in your mood that comes from a good diet. And, as your body starts to respond favorably, you’ll find it easier to sustain your energy and increase your focus level throughout the day.

ABOUT Alycia Gordan
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia