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How Golden Moments became the king of durian desserts in S’pore

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Growing up, Josiah Jeremy never thought of running his own business.

He had worked at a corporate company for the past five years and finally took a leap of faith outside his comfort zone to create his own durian brand.

“I’m glad I did it because I’m passionate about it,” said the 32-year-old.

Josiah founded Golden moments in 2017, which launched with its first product: Signature 100% Mao Shan Wang Snow Skin Mooncake.

“The response was overwhelming and we achieved a six figure digit with our product out of stock in a month,” said Josiah.

This remains their best-selling product to date, with over 400,000 pieces sold to date. This is not surprising, considering that Golden Moments is a pioneering player selling durian mooncakes in Singapore, and it actually does it well.

For durian lovers, by a durian lover

Josiah Jeremy (right) and Minister Chan Chun Sing (left) at an event / Image Credit: Golden Moments

From day one, Josiah had always envisioned a brand that lives and breathes Durian.

Golden Moments was based on the idea of ​​bringing families and loved ones together through the shared love of Durians.

This is also how their brand emerged: they wanted to defend the essence of the brand to “treasure the golden moments and celebrate relationships”.

“As a durian lover, we aspire to be the durian revolution by creating cutting-edge gourmet durian delicacies that are farm-to-table fresh,” said Josiah.

While Durians are generally well loved among Singaporeans, it is an acquired taste and some people may not be able to stand their pungent smell.

So diving into a durian food and drink business could mean that there’s a chance that you may not be able to capture everyone’s hearts and taste buds. Regardless, he was determined to launch Golden Moments because of his passion for Durians.

Although he loves Durians, he is aware that they are not easy to work with. For one, they have a higher product cost compared to other fruits.

On his durian farm / Image Credit: Golden Moments

Additionally, Golden Moments only uses Mao Shan Wang’s durian which are “unrivaled AAA grade”, which is more expensive than other durian grades.

“We also have to work closely with the durian plantation partners to get a steady supply of durian.”

“Lastly, we need to be very insightful and knowledgeable about this commercial market for durian as they are seasonal fruits and prices fluctuate from season to season.”

Innovation is in its DNA

Although Golden Moments started with a moon cake product, it has quickly expanded beyond this traditional delicacy.

In 2019, it launched a host of product offerings such as the Signature Mao Shan Wang Galaxy Cake, Golden QQ (durian balls that are ‘mochi’), and Dark Chocolate Mao Shan Wang Durian Macaron.

The macaron in particular is one of the few products that has since been discontinued.

“The gap was due to the purchasing behavior of customers. They prefer to eat macarons in a restaurant before tea, rather than shopping on FMCG channels, ”Josiah explained.

A range of Golden Moments offerings / Image Credit: Golden Moments

In 2020 they picked things up with newer offerings like Hokkaido Durian Cheesecake, Freshly Packaged Durian, Chocolate Vanilla Durian Cream Choux, Mao Shan Wang Durian Puffs, Premium Durian French Crepe, Plus Cake Variations of durian and a fruity series of golden chocolates.

According to Josiah, Golden Moments introduces new products every half year to keep things fresh.

He is personally involved in the research and development (R&D) stage of products to help maintain the company’s high and strict standards when it comes to product quality.

“I would work very closely with the R&D team to create these products, and I would have focus groups to get feedback and pinpoint the taste, look and feel of the product.”

In general, the entire product development process can take anywhere from six months to up to a year.

Josiah explained that there are different stages to this process. First, they needed to conduct research and surveys to gain insight into what kinds of trending products and flavors are already on the market.

“Then we will have our R&D team work on it and ensure that all products meet food safety requirements with prior laboratory testing. Then the marketing team will plan how to launch the product on our online and offline channels by clicking on our social media platforms. “

Fix Your Durian Cravings Anytime, Anywhere

Customers can enjoy Golden Moments fresh durian treats with their island-wide delivery service, which promises to deliver them to your door in under 90 minutes so you can satisfy your durian cravings anytime.

“We pride ourselves on keeping our durian treats fresh. We carefully put items in cooler bags and make sure the delivery process is fast and efficient so orders stay cold (throughout the delivery), ”said Josiah.

Golden Moments on GrabFood / Image Credit: GrabFood Screenshot

Alternatively, Golden Moments is also available on major food delivery platforms such as GrabFood, foodpanda, and Deliveroo, as well as e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Qoo10, as part of their delivery expansion efforts.

Josiah said they have received many online orders from customers since then, including during the breaker period, in which many are forced to stay home.

When their durian cravings hit they can simply order durian treats from Golden Moments with a few clicks.

Golden Moments can now be found at NTUC FairPrice Finest / Image Credit: Golden Moments

In addition to online channels, Golden Moments has recently entered distribution channels such as local supermarkets such as NTUC FairPrice and HAO mart, as well as Shell, Cheers, and many more, as part of its ambition to have a presence in most retail channels. FMCG.

“By expanding our presence to offline channels, customers can fix their durian cravings anytime, anywhere. We want our products to be convenient, accessible and affordable for our customers, ”he said.

Jeanette Aw joins Golden Moments

Jeanette Aw, Brand Ambassador and Creative Director, Golden Moments / Image Credit: Golden Moments

Most recently, local actress, filmmaker, and pastry chef Jeanette Aw has been named Golden Moments’ new creative director and brand ambassador.

Commenting on this appointment, Josiah said that his values ​​resonate with the values ​​of the brand. In addition, she has a background in baking, as the actress is a baker trained at Le Cordon Bleau.

Jeanette Aw behind the scenes / Image Credit: Golden Moments

He was also involved in the film publicity for Golden Moments, where he wrote, directed and acted in the brand’s first short film to be released in due course.

As a fervent Golden Moments fan, it is noteworthy that she has since joined the Golden Moments family.

This Mother’s Day, Jeanette makes her debut as the face of Golden Moments, promoting her new Super Mama Rosette Cake.

The luxurious six-inch Rosette Cake is smooth and creamy, with delicate layers of charcoal buttercream, count gray floral sponge, and pure Mao Shan Wang durian puree.

Sticking with such special occasions is important because “sales typically peak at 300 to 400 percent” during this period, Josiah revealed, adding that they will introduce another cake for Father’s Day.

You fight before success

Josiah Jeremy, Founder of Golden Moments and Investor Ivan Lee / Image Credit: Golden Moments

In 2018, Golden Moments received a financing of 1 million Singapore dollars from Ivan Lee, who is also the founder of Thai Express Group.

Josiah counts his lucky stars so he can find an investor and mentor who believes in him and the business. Beyond being a sounding board, Ivan leverages his knowledge and experience by providing advice and support, closely guiding him on his entrepreneurial journey.

Although the homegrown brand has been successful today, its startup journey was not a bed of roses.

“At the beginning, people around me were doubtful and skeptical about how a durian FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) consumer goods company was looking to succeed. Hopefully, I chose to believe in the vision and mission, as well as the potential of what I was starting. “

He ignored the naysayers and stood his ground. Today, Golden Moments has become a household name that is synonymous with durian delicacies.

Golden Moments Team / Image Credit: Golden Moments

When asked about the challenges in the early days, he said that being new to the industry, he had to constantly be on the ground. This meant being practical in everything from manufacturing, production forecasting, inventory, fulfillment, and even branding.

The production forecast, in particular, was a real challenge, shared with Josiah. While increased sales are often a good sign for your business, it can also present a real challenge.

When this time of year comes, the team is very busy. They would receive 300 to 400 deliveries a day, reaching a peak of 600 deliveries a day.

Compliance with logistics then became another challenge, mimicking a domino effect.

“We had to meet with 10 different logistics partners to work with and establish a framework for smooth compliance. During peak periods, we make sure to involve more logistics partners to better cope with increased orders, ”he shared.

Another big challenge is hiring the right team. It’s not easy to hire the right team with the right vision and values ​​to move your business in the right direction.

Josiah expressed that he is happy to be working alongside a team that is willing to undertake this journey with him and quoted the saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together ”.

Hitting the gold despite Covid-19

When Covid-19 hit last year, it marked one of the most difficult times the company has faced since its inception.

“Our booths at the Mid-Autumn Festival were affected and we had to get things online and (change our) focus there. There were between 300 and 400 deliveries on demand every day, and the team had to make sure all orders were fulfilled on time and accurately. “

Despite having no pop-up booths, Golden Moments managed to set a sales record of S $ 1.5 million in one month.

Mooncake Docello Hazelnut MSW and Lychee Martini / Image Credit: Golden Moments

This could also be attributed to the unique and interesting mooncake flavors it featured last year like Lychee Martini, D24 Durian, and Docello Hazelnut.

That same year, she also partnered with local goldsmith jewelry brand SK Jewelery to launch a limited-edition 24K Truffle Mao Shan Wang snow fur moon cake that costs a whopping S $ 888.

According to their market research, this limited edition set, which came with a 24-karat gold bar, is the “most expensive moon cake in Singapore and probably Asia.”

It is also interesting to note that Golden Moments has successfully “sold” all of their mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival for the past four years, which is a testament to the popularity of their mooncakes.

Durian is undoubtedly the king of fruits, and it’s no exaggeration to say that Golden Moments has successfully risen to become the king of durian desserts in Singapore.

Featured Image Credit: Golden Moments

Lifestyle

Music therapy and aging | Goop

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Most of us have experienced the power of music to connect people, be it at a concert or karaoke night. In Myself investigateI watched how it connects older adults with preschoolers, fourth graders, and college students, specifically. It was beautiful and entertaining to watch. We use music as a source of interaction between groups. From singing songs to rock band concerts, we found meaningful ways to connect age groups that enhanced their cognitive skills and provided positive intergenerational experiences.

In an experiment with preschoolers and older adults, we used songs to help preschoolers learn their sight words (words that a child learns to recognize without pronouncing the letters). Both the preschoolers and the older adults learned and recited the songs, and the older adults helped with the visual cues. We saw an improvement in word and song recognition for preschoolers, and they had positive and engaging experiences with older adults.

Each age group differed in how they connected. In the fourth grade experiment, it was sometimes awkward to get children and older adults to feel comfortable with each other. The shyest groups of fourth graders and older adults would hardly say anything without my participation. I used musical activities with structured conversation prompts to create an environment in which to interact. Fortunately, at the end of the program, things changed dramatically: I couldn’t get the fourth graders and the older adults to stop talking to each other. We included reading and writing exercises so fourth graders could practice these skills and older adults could help them. We saw fourth graders improve their academic skills and older adults felt a sense of reward. I remember there was an older adult who was not able to see his grandchildren very often and when he did, it was not a pleasant experience. She really enjoyed our fourth grade program because she was able to gain a positive intergenerational experience that she would not have had otherwise.

For college students and seniors, I used musical performance to connect the two groups by creating a rock band. Each semester, a group of college students and seniors performed a concert featuring pop music from the 1960s to the present day, such as “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Uptown Funk.” They sang songs, played instruments, and performed choreography. By reciting music and learning to play an instrument, they were able to develop cognitive skills, concentration, and attention. And the choreography allowed for more physical activity and coordination. The older adults really embodied the music, which helped them connect with the college students. And it translated into an increase in connection with their adult children: they could now sing when they heard the song on a playlist or watched TV. Playing in the band allowed his self-expression to increase while his sense of isolation diminished. The program gave them constant motivation to get out of bed every day and get out of the house, especially for those with depression. And both parties left the show with positive (and fun) intergenerational experiences.

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Riley Reed’s Sunday night routine will inspire yours

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“I didn’t always know what I wanted to do with my voice, I just knew I had to do something.”

And so he did. Three years ago, Riley reed challenged the status quo and what it means to be an artist with the launch of his creative studio, Woke up the beauty. Reading the insightful prose that accompanies the stories of the subject it captures is akin to witnessing the magic. Whether it’s helping us rethink life and purpose through poetry with Arielle Estoria or showing us how to live with joy and liberation like Keon Saghari, Reed’s pencil and paper is his microphone, and we are all ears. “What I’ve come to find the most is that the birth of Woke Beauty awakened something inside of me.” she writes. “No amount of words could express my gratitude.” The feeling is mutual.

It’s safe to say that we are emotionally and spiritually moved by the socially conscious storyteller and photographer, and we wanted to know more about Reed’s life beyond the page. So today we put the focus on our wellness editor by sharing more about her. The Sunday night routine, how her weekend rituals set her up for success, and why encouraging breathing and calm is so important to reduce stress and control those cortisol levels. Because just as a good night equals a good day, a happy Sunday brings a happy week.

Read on to learn more about Riley Reed’s Sunday Night Routine …

Prioritize rest.

I do my best to block out Sundays to rest, but if I’m honest it doesn’t always happen that way (working on the boundaries of work). Whatever happens, I leave the second half of the day open to flow freely so that I can start my Sunday night routine in the early afternoon. Much of my week is a mad rush. I have a tendency to underestimate how long things take. Time, in essence, is elusive. With a long Sunday afternoon / evening routine, I don’t have to worry about packing things. I can finally relax and let things happen however they can.

Take it outside.

My Sundays are often spent with my husband, Jack. If it’s sunny, we love spending the day outside. We will hike or take a dip in Barton Springs. It is so nice to be together in nature, even if it is just a walk in the neighborhood with our dogs. The sun sets in front of our house, beyond the oak trees and I love to see it just before it splashes through the glass of our front door.

Walking without a phone feels rhythmic and meditative. Allow my mind to think freely with each step.

Sometimes I go with my husband, Jack, so we can share our thoughts. There is something so close in walking in step with someone you love. Movement encourages dynamic conversation or comforting silence. It is a great way to sync body and mind. Starting and ending the day with a walk feels cyclical and ingrained. It also relaxes our young and energetic Pitbulls.

Photo by Whit mcguire.

But first … clean!

I start Sunday nights with a walk before scanning the house to make sure it’s clean and tidy. My days are so busy and with a good chunk of my work at home, things definitely add up. While maintenance is ideal, it is not always possible. Someone has to concede.

I like to use Sundays as a reset, clean slate. The sound of the dishwasher and clothes is soothing and relaxing. It feels like you’re literally washing away the dirt for the week.

I wash my hair once a week (maximum). It is an important process and usually involves a hair mask that takes time to work its magic. It’s true that Jack and I tend to have Eurostyle dinner (quite late). I’ll start cooking around 7pm (while my mask does its job) and I’m going to love making a batch of nut muffins for the week while things simmer. I have a tendency to skip breakfast and, personally, it doesn’t prepare me for a lot of energy or productivity. Nut muffins are easy to drink and a great source of nutrition. After dinner, I wash off my hair mask and do my skincare routine.

Jack and I are huge moviegoers. We love being nerdy in movies and shows. Right now we are actually in Mare of Easttown. Before going to bed, I do a big brain dump, jot down my wins and lessons from the previous week, and scan my schedule for the following week to make sure I have everything in order. Sometimes I meditate for a few minutes, other times I read some pages of a quiet book, always with a lit candle. We usually turn off the lights around 11pm.

Favorite cleaning product: Branch Basics

Favorite candle: Diptique Baies

Favorite hair mask: Curls Blueberry Bliss hair repair mask

Favorite mask: Cosmedix

Start your nightly routine in the morning.

As a soloist and artist, every day is Wednesday. My “fears” are not specific to Sundays, but I have anxiety at night. In fact, I recently had a panel where I learned that my cortisol rises between 7 and 9 pm. When I feel anxious, my energy rises and my brain tends to spiral. I worry that I haven’t done enough or will miss something the next day. I conjure up falsehoods and worry about anything that comes up in my cyclical thoughts.

To combat increased stress and embarrassment, I actually do my best to have an efficient morning. Steven Pressfield talks about the small earnings that lead to productive work and a calm mind. I exercise early and follow a regular supplement routine. I don’t drink coffee after 10 am and I keep it in a mug. In this way, my body can maintain its balance and establish itself steadily as the day progresses. In the evening, I like to sum up my accomplishments and lessons for the day and my intentions and priorities for the next day.

Mantra I love: Wholeness and fluidity.

Write it.

If I work Sunday night, it’s just writing. It is the day to clean, to reset. No matter what I write, I feel like I’m doing it. I think a lot … almost all the time … and many times about serious or esoteric things. Writing allows me to empty my mind so that I have more space to relax, have fun, and spend quality time with my relationships.

Turn off your phone.

I am very careful not to see anything that activates or to check some accounts (email, bank, Instagram, etc.). There are too many external forces that could affect my thinking and I can’t afford that on a day off. I also do my best to save Sunday nights for myself and Jack, which means I can’t socialize outside the home. Much of my work is dedicated to people. Setting that limit is really important.

Make space.

In the past, I had a lamp, a candle, a dream journal, moisturizing oil, and the current book that I am reading. But we recently got rid of our nightstands while redecorating our bedroom. I have loved having a clear space next to the bed. I heard that the bedroom should be dedicated to sleep, privacy, and nothing else. There is something so beautiful, simple and sacred in that intentionality.

Prepare in advance.

I keep it simple with a batch of nut muffins for mornings on the go. I prefer to cook throughout the week.

Make it cozy.

Stunned but amazed! Love your sheets. We have this tonal set selected. (Note that the brand is currently in “hibernation” for a month and will return in mid-July).

Read!

I read recently Clare and the sun and I finally made it through Atomic habits. Currently reading Gloss.

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Lifestyle

25 simple ways to cheer up your partner when he’s upset

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We’ve all been through it: you have a bad day at work, or you feel a little bad, maybe you have a disagreement with a friend, or you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Everyone has bad days. When your partner is the one feeling depressed, it can be difficult to watch them have a difficult time. While it’s not always possible to de-stress someone else, there are little ways to help! If you are trying to find ways to cheer up your partner, you have come to the right place.

My own immediate impulse is usually to try to make my partner feel better. Sometimes this can backfire. When our loved ones are having a bad day or stressed, they often just need a little space to unzip and figure it out on their own. Meanwhile, finding small, meaningful ways to cheer up your partner can make all the difference.

And don’t think that the only way to cheer up your partner is by spending money. Sure, gifts are great and always appreciated, but often what helps the most is quality time, helping them feel loved, fun distractions, and of course their favorite foods.

Read on for all the news on cheering up your partner!

Something romantic

Put a little love note in your purse. It can be a few words of affirmations, a poem to remind you of them, or a few words to let her know that you are thinking about them throughout the day.

Make them a playlist of songs that remind you of each other. Just because we’re no longer making mixed CDs with each other doesn’t mean we can’t share a playlist. Keep it private on Spotify to make it your special little secret.

Congratulate them. Tell them they’re hot, even when they’re only in their pajamas, or how smart they are when they’ve had trouble at work. A serious and unexpected compliment always makes everyone’s day!

Send an unexpected sexy photo of yourself. As long as a precedent has been set and you know this is something they are fine with, a little photo at noon will definitely brighten their day.

Something sweet

Do a task that you don’t like to do. Everyone has that task on their list that they absolutely abhor: personally, washing dishes feels like a personal attack every night. Quietly remove it from your plate by doing it yourself.

Surprise them with a new plans. Yes, receiving flowers is always a sweet romantic gift, but a new one plans lasts much longer (often cheaper) and is a lovely reminder of a tender moment of goodness.

Give them an extra long hug. Few things feel as loving as receiving a long, unexpected hug. Give them a good squeeze to remind them that you are there for them no matter what.

Write them a silly haiku. Even if you don’t consider yourself the most proficient word maker in the world, anyone can make sweetly fun haiku. It will make their day to know that you took the time to put the pen on the paper.

Text them a cute photo of the two of you from the beginning of your relationship. It’s a good reminder of how far you’ve come!

Let them choose the next series to watch them in excess. Do you need to take out the big guns? Commit to letting them take the reins when it’s time to choose your next Netflix binge.

Something tasty

Cook a whim food on a boring weekday. What a great pleasure to come home from a long day at work. Choose the good cuts of meat, your favorite vegetables and a good bottle of wine.

Bring them coffee to bed. There are few things sweeter than opening one eye and having your hot coffee ready to go on the nightstand. Even a few more comfortable minutes in bed can make you feel more loved.

Make a reservation at your favorite restaurant. Not only does it show that you pay attention to the things they love, but it’s something they look forward to and a good way to stop thinking about their problems.

Surprise them with their favorite dessert. Whether they have a beloved pastry or are obsessed with a snack that only you can make, going to work, or hanging out with their favorite candy is sure to make them happy right away.

Pick up the Cook Book have been looking and the ingredients for a recipe. That way, they not only get the gift of a new book, but an exciting new dinner ready to go.

Something relaxing

Offer an unsolicited massage. We put a lot of stress on our bodies, especially after long days hunched over in front of a computer. Even a ten minute shoulder or foot massage can help relieve tension, stress, and the physical manifestations of anxiety.

Get them a subscription to a meditation app. Sign up for Calm or Information timer so they can take time out of their day to focus on their emotional well-being.

Suggest a night walk in your favorite neighborhood. Leave the phones at home and make sure you can connect and talk about any issues they have.

Get them a relaxing face mask. Put it in the refrigerator to make it more refreshing when they use it. Add a little Enya to the mix and maybe even rub a little into your scalp while on your face for some serious relaxation.

Draw a bath by candlelight. Bonus points if a glass of wine awaits them too.

Something funny

Surprise them with an impromptu home movie night. Pick your favorite movie, have some popcorn ready to go, and order the most delicious pizza in town for a relaxing evening.

Enroll them in an exercise class they love and join! Whether virtual or IRL, it will be a fun way to do something together and stop thinking about your problems.

Dance Put on some serious dance tunes and shake them all up. I am a supporter of ABBA for its serious feel-good dance vibes.

Choose a new board game or puzzle. Take it out after dinner for some screen-free bonding time.

Plan your next trip. Even if it’s an imaginary one, for now, daydream together about your fantasy travels.

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20 ideas on how to celebrate the summer solstice and sunbathe

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I’ve always been a summer girl. It’s not cozy like fall, alive like winter, or hopeful like spring. Summer stands out as a bright and energizing time of year when happiness is a juicy bite of watermelon dripping down your chin and vertigo is achieved in a single cannonball from the diving board. The nights drag on, until golden hour, when even the lighting bugs turn on their electric charm. And everything in the world feels better when it is bathed in the sun. So you can imagine my joy when I was commissioned to write a list of how to celebrate the summer solstice.

One of my favorites summer people is my mother in law. A woman named Margaret who, at some point along the way, started calling herself “Marguerite” because she felt her personality was better described. (The name Marguerite means wild french daisymuch more his style). As the matriarch of the family, she encouraged her offspring to find balance and peace by being creative and colorful people outside the lines, despite being rooted in a suburban San Antonio neighborhood. Instead of playing tennis and young children at the club, as was the general trend at the time, he spent his days gardening and meditating. When most families gathered each December for the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, Marguerite led the charge for friends and family to don their most festive silver and gold accessories and dance in the moonlight to honor and celebrate the Winter Solstice. In the warmer months, it was Mayos, wreaths, magic spells, and summer celebrations. It was magical and memorable and it taught me a new way of approaching the world. With open-hearted exuberance and childish flamboyance.

Years later, my beautiful mother-in-law suffers from a rare and debilitating brain disease. Now more than ever, I find myself leaning on the memories of those traditions that she brought into my life. In honor of her precious and inspiring spirit, I began looking to incorporate some of her incredibly wonderful shapes into my own self family of five.

Read on to learn what the summer solstice is, why it is celebrated, and some ideas that you can incorporate into your own holidays, too.

What is the summer solstice?

During the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, the earth’s axis leans farther towards the sun, offering the longest day of the year (think: more sunlight!) And the shortest night and it always occurs at the end of June. . This year, the summer solstice is Sunday, June 20, thus beginning the astronomical beginning of summer.

And why do we celebrate it?

People have recognized the winter and summer solstices since Neolithic days, according to Museum of Saint Neot, to celebrate the start of the sowing and harvesting season. The summer solstice was adopted from the beginning by the pagans to glorify the Sun God. Decorated with garlands of herbs and flowers, the pagans believed that they protected evil spirits (since the pagans believed that during the summer was when evil spirits roamed the earth). Today, the celebrations continue and the holiday commemorates a new life, light, renewal, fertility and abundance (both inside and outside our harvest and our environment).

How is the summer solstice celebrated around the world?

In England, people gather to watch the sunrise over the Heel Stone in Stonehenge. I.n the Nordic countries of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland, celebrate with their Summer festivals, each with their own unique traditions (Swedes decorate their hair with flowers and dance around Maypoles while Finns light bonfires and soak in saunas). Meanwhile, just 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Fairbanks, Alaska, they celebrate each summer solstice with a baseball game in the midnight sun and festival.

You want to create your own festival without traveling to the ends of the earth? Read on for some of our ideas for celebrating the longest day of the year!

Something outdoors

  1. Go for a walk. Get off the beaten track, lace up your hiking boots, and prepare to break a sweat. There is no better way to celebrate the summer solstice than (a no music or podcasts) Walk through mother nature, allowing the only noise to be the sound of the earth crunching under your feet.
  2. Enjoy the glory of the sun. Get out there and let your skin absorb some Vitamin D. And if you’re out for more than a few minutes, here’s our Rounding of all our favorite mineral and chemical sunscreens.
  3. Break up the lawn games. Pickleball or petanque, someone?
  4. Stargaze. Spread a blanket in your backyard and look at the stars. Does too much light from the city make it difficult to see the Milky Way? Try to get out of the city limits a bit – the less city light, the better the stargazing.

Somewhat sneaky

  1. Channel your bohemian spirit. Design a DIY floral wreath!
  2. Make a sun chaser. Go to your local bead shop and hang up your maid creation in a window, allowing the beads to gently deflect light into your home.
  3. Build a Litha Altar. Don’t have the symbols of the sun and yellow candles at hand? This Etsy kit it is a one stop shop.
  4. Be a goddess of the sun. Grab some ribbon, twine, twigs, and sage, and try your hand at a sun wheel.

Somewhat adventurous

  1. Go pick berries. Find a local farm outside the city limits and enjoy a day strolling through trees and vines.
  2. Set up the camp. Find the perfect tent, collect some wood to build a bonfire, and head to the hills. (Splurge: opt for this glamping domeand keep it that way in your backyard all year long).
  3. Take a dip at night. Don’t have a pool? Find a neighborhood pool to swim under the moonlight. (Do you live in Austin? We are in favor that the full moon swims in Barton springs.)
  4. Try paddleboard yoga. In true midsummer fashion, SUP yoga takes you outside celebrating the great outdoors, it’s a great exercise for your body and balance, and it’s just plain fun.

Something tasty

  1. Host an outdoor party. Here are our picks to get the best plates, napkins and decorative accents for your outdoor dinner.
  2. Picnic in the park. package a blanket and gather some chopped broccoli salad and watermelon skewers.
  3. Host a blind ice cream tasting party. Rank your favorites and let the delicious fun begin.
  4. Grow your own food. No space outside? From tomatoes to thyme, consider this vertical garden inspiration for hydroponic, non-GMO, organic vegetables grown indoors.

Something inspired

  1. To meditate. It is as simple as inhale and exhale.
  2. Get to land. Yes, it is buzzing, but for good reason. Grounding is a new fashion tradition with ancient roots. It reduces stress and inflammation, neutralizes free radicals, improves sleep, and is said to help tone and brighten the skin.
  3. Set intentions. Thinking goal setting was for January only? Think again. Honor the celebration of the new beginnings of Midsummer by turning in some new leaves of your own.
  4. Start something new. The summer solstice is all about new beginnings, so now is the perfect time to try learning more about the types of enneagrams or take a nature journal.
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Lifestyle

32 cute summer date ideas for every type of couple

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A big date is always in style, but there is something about the summer that makes planning a meeting even more exciting. It’s a season where informalities are embraced, less makeup is worn, dressed for sheer comfort, and as much time is spent outdoors as possible. Your dates should be a reflection of that. So to help you reduce your planning anxieties, we dreamed up some cute summer date ideas to help you and your partner during the warm months ahead.

Whether you’re looking for a low-key date night, an adventurous experience you’ll never forget, or something a little more creative, we’ve got you covered.

Ideas for a relaxed date

Plan an outdoor movie night. Summer is drive-in and movie season in the park. Pick a movie you both like, grab your favorite theater snacks, and enjoy the big screen outdoors.

Host of yours movie marathon at home. Turn off by showing each other the classics that make up your personal DNA. Your partner can veto exactly one of your options (fair is fair).

Buy a plant together. It’s not exactly about getting a dog together, but both of you will reap the health benefits and have something green to show for you.

Go antiques or thrift. You never know what you’ll find when you go vintage shopping, but that’s the joy of doing it. Take your partner for a walk and maybe you will find a unique piece that you will always cherish.

Try to make everyone’s favorite cocktail. Then play truth or dare – you will surely learn something.

Try a pottery or candle-making class. Go the experiential route and show your partner that you are good with your hands.

Make a pizza outdoors. Win or lose, you will get two cakes.

Visit a winery or brewery. Consider this educational version of the bar meeting.

Ask The New York Times’ iconic 36 questions that lead to love. I have met (and heard of) several people who literally got married to a couple that they did this with, so please proceed with caution when it comes to this powerful quiz.

Adventurous Date Ideas

Take a salsa class together. Salsa dance communities are almost always strong, and you may end up with a hobby for life.

Take each other’s favorite exercise classes together. Even if it’s Crossfit, that’s the rule.

Become tourists in your city for a day. Now is your chance to finally see that fun restaurant or cafe that your friend said was too touristy to be cool.

Get high together. Not like this (but without judgment!). Rent a hot air balloon, try bungee jumping, or go skydiving. It’s a slightly intense date move, but you’ll never forget it.

Order from the menu for your partner. There may be no more adventurous experience than letting someone else choose your food.

Do a tarot reading together. Whether or not you believe the future is really in the cards, a great tarot reader knows how to create a fun, vulnerable, and memorable experience.

Go for a walk. Or a bike ride. Or go skating. It just activates those endorphins.

Camp under the stars. For the past year, lovely vintage trailer resorts, yurt communities (such as The Local Chapter), and luxury camping destinations have finally gotten the shine they deserve. Better yet, there’s probably one a short drive from where you live.

Catch a sunrise. As far as cute summer date ideas go, this could turn into a camping situation, but setting an intention to watch the sunrise together can be done from anywhere.

Romantic date ideas

Book a vacation at home. Even the most popular hotels have summer specials this year. Pick a spot with a stylish pool and spa so you’re never tempted to leave.

Or create your own stay at home. Just make sure you have two great robes.

Take a cocktail class together. Master the art of Aperol spritzes for pool days or learn to perfect your partner’s favorite bar order.

Plan a picnic. Get your favorite local takeout, then set the stage with blankets, your favorite drink, and a playlist in a cute park. Take these picnic recipes.

Try taking a fancy bath together. Pick up some luxurious bath salts, light your favorite candle, and get ready for an intimate bath.

Remove some oysters. The aphrodisiac (perhaps not scientifically proven, but we still like the idea) comes with its own hands-on activity. Depending on where you live, you might even be able to find an expert to guide you.

Read excerpts from romance or erotic novels, or write your own. This is a group dating trope on The Bachelor for a reason. It has the potential to be equal parts dumb and totally hot.

Impromptu ideas for summer dates

Choose vinyls for each other at the record store. There is no greater benefit than accurately identifying a song (or album) that your partner loves.

Go hunting for open doors. Indulge in your wildest real estate fantasies, and if you’re not currently living together, learn something about your partner’s future goals at home.

Get pedicures together. A couples massage is fun, but it is almost impossible to talk to each other. A pedicure may be the only luxurious spa day treatment that pairs well with great conversation.

Walk through the botanical gardens of your city. Always in bloom, the charms of a botanical garden are hard to resist.

Go antiques or thrift. You never know what you’ll find when you go vintage shopping, but that’s the joy of doing it. Take your partner for a walk and maybe you will find a unique piece that you will always cherish.

Join the pub night trivia. One of you is a pop culture fan. The other is a history buff. Together, they are unstoppable.

Start one for two Book club. Read independently, then set a date to share your thoughts. Both of you will be able to participate in the hottest reading at your next gathering of friends.

What is a nice idea for a summer date that you are planning with a partner? Share it with us below.

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Lifestyle

15 naturally sweetened desserts for when you’re cutting back on sugar

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About a year ago, I realized (or just came out of denial …) that I needed to do something about my sugar intake. I love sweets, but every time I indulged, I noticed that I didn’t feel good afterwards. My stomach felt uncomfortable and I felt lethargic. After some research, I realized that my body might be responding poorly to the constant spikes in my blood sugar. In other words: I was eating too many desserts. This heartbreaking understanding led me down the path of finding naturally sweetened desserts.

Not willing to completely eliminate desserts from my diet, I immersed myself in the world of sugar and decided to eliminate refined sugars from my diet. Life is too short not to indulge yourself once in a while! We are fortunate to live in an age where we all have access to unlimited numbers or recipes to suit each and every dietary requirement.

First, we have to break down the different types of sugars. Refined sugars are sweeteners produced from sugar cane or sugar beet (this includes white and brown sugars, molasses, cane sugar, etc.) Natural sugars they are fruits, honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Natural sugars are less processed than refined sugars, which must go through a refining process to become white sugar, brown sugar, and more. I aim to avoid processed foods, so it makes sense that I try to avoid processed sugars as well.

Natural sugars vs. refined sugars

Natural sugars have a medium-low glycemic index, while refined sugars have a high glycemic index. Carbohydrates with a higher glycemic index are absorbed by the blood system faster than lower indexes, causing blood sugar to rise rapidly. Then your pancreas has to work overtime to lower your blood sugar, making you feel sluggish and fatigued. The longer this lasts, the more damaging the long-term effects will be – think about weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

Although I wasn’t necessarily looking for the health benefits of sugar, it’s helpful to know that sugarcane has very few nutrients, while natural sugars generally have more nutrients.

Why wouldn’t you choose the most nutritious option? *A quick note: We are not saying that it breaks down to natural sugars or that they are necessarily good for you. You still need to closely monitor your sugar intake!

For me, replacing refined sugars with natural sugars meant that if I wanted something sweet, I most likely need to bake it myself. There are a lot of complexities in baking when it comes to this, so I let the pros figure it out. To my surprise, there are so many amazing recipes that use only natural sugars. Trust me, they won’t let you down!

Scroll on to see some of the best naturally sweetened desserts …

These cupcakes can be made grain-free and dairy-free, making them one of my favorite naturally sweetened desserts thanks to their delicious combination of banana, pineapple, and coconut.

Nut cake by Cookie & Kate

Pamper yourself with this delicious and delicious pecan pie recipe. Unlike most pecan cakes, which are sweetened with corn syrup and refined sugar, this pecan cake is naturally sweetened with real maple syrup.

This stunning slab cake is also vegan and grain-free, making it the perfect summer dessert. But here’s why it’s on my must-have list. The crust is made with coconut oil and the filling is naturally sweetened with orange juice and honey / maple syrup.

Keep it fresh with some pudding, it’s one of the most delicious naturally sweetened desserts out there! Maple syrup also keeps this recipe naturally sweetened.

It’s year-round ice cream season in my opinion, and this five-ingredient refined sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, paleo dessert recipe is as good as it gets. Oh, and it’s just five minutes of active preparation. This recipe calls for honey, but you can also substitute maple syrup for it.

This grain-free cheesecake couldn’t be easier to make for your next gathering with a honey lemon filling that is truly delicious.

These vegan, grain green brownies are as delicious as they are good for you. It’s one of my most loved naturally sweetened desserts thanks to the dates that also help create the doughy texture.

Sometimes you just need a few good old-fashioned cinnamon rolls, and this one is a real treat. This recipe uses coconut sugar and maple syrup as sweeteners and you can also make them vegan / dairy-free by using dairy-free butter and almond milk, or regular butter / milk is good too.

Don’t you just love classic shortbread cookies? These are made with almond flour and maple syrup and taste just like the classic, if not better.

Treat your sweet tooth with these delicious chocolate chip cookies. Thanks to the coconut sugar, they also make a nice chewy bite.

You would never guess that this chocolate leaf cake is a naturally sweetened dessert, it is a total crowd pleaser, but also baked in one pan. Yes, just bake, pour some frosting on top, add a few chocolate shavings for good measure, and voila!

Do you need another ice cream option? This strawberry rhubarb recipe is such a happy and delicious dessert. The strawberries and bananas make it sweet and flavorful and the rhubarb swirl adds a sweet and spicy touch.

You can’t beat the banana bread, and this recipe is as good as your mom’s. This recipe, however, is naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup, which offers some trace nutrients that white sugar does not.

Elevate your next meal with this Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with a gluten-free almond flour cake batter, a fluffy maple-sweetened mascarpone filling, and fresh strawberries on top.

Do you feel English? Whip up your sticky caramel pudding the next time you want to make a naturally sweetened dessert with less than 7g of total carbs per serving. To keep carbs low, dates were replaced with yacon syrup, which is only about 12g per tablespoon. For the sauce, you need Swerve Brown other Sweet Bocha or allulose sweetener to create the rich, sticky sauces that mimic caramel.

This post was originally published on June 19, 2019 and has since been updated.

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Lifestyle

What are carbohydrates? Are they really the enemy? Let’s find out

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Editor’s note: McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN is a dietitian and founder of Nutrition stripped away.

Over the years, I have found that many of my clients and readers of Nutrition stripped away they are cautious when eating carbohydrates. Their reservations are based on biased articles in the media that support one diet over another, the proliferation of no-carb diets, such as ketogenic. So what is a carbohydrate?

Many of you can equate carbohydrates with bread and pasta. You are correct in that thinking, but you can also find them in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy products, and many sweet desserts. A carbohydrate is a molecule that is made up of multiple atoms of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen, and is known as a saccharide. You may have heard of one or a few of the four types of carbohydrates: mono, di, oligo, and polysaccharides. If you took Latin, you will recognize that mono and disaccharides are the “smallest” variations of the four types of carbohydrates. These are primarily known as sugar (think sucrose, glucose, lactose, etc.). On the other hand, polysaccharides are carbohydrates that contain fibers.

If you’ve ever wondered how this important macronutrient plays an essential role in your daily health, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ll give you the full scoop on all carbs and some ways to incorporate a healthy combination of whole food carbs into your diet.

What do carbohydrates do for our bodies?

Carbohydrates, along with fats and proteins, are macronutrients that our body uses for energy. Our brains, muscle tissue, and cells use carbohydrates in different ways, in different amounts and proportions.

Your body can produce energy from healthy fats and proteins through various processes, and you don’t technically need to consume carbohydrates to survive. However, carbohydrates are the preferred energy source that our body can use.

What are good carbohydrates?

Complex carbohydrates play an important role in a healthy, balanced diet.

They give you sustained energy that won’t collapse in an evening crash, fuel your post-work training class, work to balance blood sugar, and provide fiber to support healthy digestion.

What foods have carbohydrates?

Start here to find whole food carbohydrate sources:

Simple carbohydrates versus complex carbohydrates

So what are refined carbohydrates? You can go a step further and think of these four types of carbohydrates as “simple” and “complex.” Simply put, monosaccharides and disaccharides are also known to be refined and found in processed foods like cookies, candy, and soda.

However, they can also be found in many fruits, coconut water, and honey. These types of carbohydrates are digested very quickly and can be It is used specifically to elicit an insulin response, which is an increase in your body’s response to the sugar you have eaten. It drives glucose (also known as sugar) into your cells (such as muscle cells) for energy or is stored for the future in fat cells. These hidden sugars are incredibly cheap to produce, making it easy for large companies to use them in their food products.

On the other hand, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides are slowly digested; Think of them as high-fiber carbohydrates. These types of carbohydrates are known to be “complex” and can include anything like carrots, apples, broccoli, whole wheat grains, and quinoa.

Complex carbohydrates go beyond simple sugars – they also have fiber and starch.. Since they often contain more nutrients, they are also considered to be more beneficial to health.

Moral of the carbohydrate story

Once you recognize that carbohydrates are not the enemy, you will be better equipped to achieve your health goals.

And even though I won’t say thatOne carbohydrate is “worse” than the other, most of us who strive to lead a healthy lifestyle want to prioritize complex carbohydrates and carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits.

Additional Resources

I’ve always found that being inspired by fresh new recipes and reading informed tips is the perfect push in the right direction to keep me inspired and motivated for healthy eating. The Guide to Master Meal Planning Offers a year of recipes, meal planning tips, and resources to prepare you for success in your goals. Let’s say you take the guesswork out of healthy eating.

This post was originally published on January 10, 2018 and has since been updated.

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Lifestyle2 days ago

Pea salad with mint and microgreens

** This recipe is from our Tastemakers interview with Kennesha Buycks. Read the full story here! ** The Pea Salad...

Lifestyle2 days ago

Roasted Mushrooms with Thyme and Smoked Salt

** This recipe is from our Tastemakers interview with Kennesha Buycks. Read the full story here! ** The post Roasted...

Lifestyle2 days ago

Roasted Mushrooms with Thyme and Smoked Salt

** This recipe is from our Tastemakers interview with Kennesha Buycks. Read the full story here! ** The post Roasted...

Lifestyle2 days ago

Pea salad with mint and microgreens

** This recipe is from our Tastemakers interview with Kennesha Buycks. Read the full story here! ** The Pea Salad...

Lifestyle2 days ago

15 quick and healthy dinner recipes to get you through the week

Even the most avid home cooks can occasionally go blank – sometimes, you fall into a race and just can’t...

Lifestyle2 days ago

Instagram store M’sian selling homemade tahini cookies

With many IG companies popping up these days, fresh, locally made cookies from various recipes are one of the things...

Lifestyle2 days ago

Dinner will resume on June 21, but with a limit of just two people

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced last Thursday (June 10) that Singapore is moving into Phase 3 (Heightened Alert). While...

Lifestyle2 days ago

Moving on to pizza deliveries during MCO

Crackhouse Comedy Club (Crackhouse) has been home to local comedians, including Dr. Jason Leong, Joanne Kam, Hannah Azlan, and Kavin...

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