Cheese 101

This dairy product made from milk has thousands of fans. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also nutritious.

Where does it come from?
The milk usually comes from cows but other sources are also popular such as goats, sheep, camels, reindeer and yaks. Cheese-making has been practiced for thousands of years ever since people started breeding their own animals. Cheese is also considered a staple food in some regions. It is an art and this practice has created at least 1,778 types of cheese around the world.

How is it made?
The main ingredient for cheese-making is milk. It is first weighed then heat-treated or pasteurized to make sure it’s clean. Next, good bacteria or components known as starter cultures are added. The type of bacteria used will determine its texture and flavor. Then an enzyme known as rennet is added to make the milk coagulate. The result of this mixture should look like a custard.

This mixture is separated into whey and curds. The whey is in liquid form while the curds are solid. Smaller cut curds form a group of cheese separate from the large-cut curds. These cut curds are then cooked to a desired firmness. After that, the whey is drained so that the curd takes shape.

The curd is salted and formed into different varieties. The cheese is then pressed for at least three hours. Other types are cured and aged to achieve a particular texture and flavor. Aging may take weeks and even years.

What are the benefits of eating cheese?
Most cheese contain protein and fat, the amounts vary on the type of cheese. It also has water and carbohydrates. Most of the fat is saturated but the amount will vary on the type of cheese.

Cheese also has carbohydrates such as lactose, so those who are lactose intolerant or have milk allergy are not advised to consume large amounts of cheese.

Vitamins and minerals found in cheese include vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin K2, calcium, riboflavin, selenium, sodium, and zinc. Cheese is overall a healthy food source because it comes from milk. It’s good for your bones and heart.

What are its uses?
According to experts, cheese-making has been around for more than 4,000 years. There is a legend about an Arab merchant who placed his milk supply in a pouch made from sheep’s stomach. As he traveled, the heat separated the whey and curd.

Today, cheese is not only consumed individually, but also used as an ingredient in different types of food. It can be combined with bread to make sandwiches or mixed with salads, dry fruits, nuts and tree nuts, wine and as one of the key ingredients in pizza and pasta.

What are the types of cheese?
There are so many types of cheese that they can be classified in different ways. They can be categorized by milk source, country, aging and processing, and texture. Sometimes flavorings, colors and other ingredients are added.
The most common cheese often used in cooking are parmesan, cheddar, camembert and stilton.

A Guide to Spirits

So what are spirits and how do they differ from alcoholic beverages like wines, liqueurs, ciders and beers?

Spirits are considered hard liquor or hard alcohol. Also called distilled beverage, creating spirits involves not just producing alcohol from fermentation, but distilling the mixture produced from the first process. The higher alcohol content increases because distillation removes other components. By this definition, wine, cider and beer, are not spirits because they are not distilled. On the other hand, liqueur is a type of spirit because it’s distilled but it has added flavors, sugar and sweeteners.

Types of Spirits
Here are the common types of spirits that you might see at the bars.

1. Brandy is from the Dutch word meaning “burned wine.” It is a distilled beverage made from fermented wine, fruit juice, mash or pomace. Some brandies also have hints of herb and fruit flavors, so you might see labels such as fruit brandy, grape brandy, and pomace brandy.

2. Whiskey or Whisky is from fermented and distilled grain mash. The grains used include corn, rye, barley and wheat. There are at least four types which include bourbon whiskey, Canadian, Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey and more.

3. Vodka is a type of neutral spirit from fermented and distilled potatoes, grains or fruits. It is also treated with charcoal to remove the color and taste. Vodka comes from the Slavic meaning “little water.”

4. Rum comes from the distillation of fermented sugar cane or its byproducts such as molasses. After distillation, rum is aged in an oak barrel. It’s produced in different parts of the world although sugarcane originated in South Asia and Melanesia. Rums are classified by grades that refer to where it was produced.

5. Tequila is a Mexican specialty made from the distilled fermented blue agave. The name comes from the region where it was first made. Tequila can be 100% agave or mixtos. The five styles include Joven or young, Blanco or white, Anejo or aged, Extra Anejo and Reposado or rested.

6. Gin comes from distilled fermented grains. Then it is distilled again with juniper berries. The name comes from the the words genever, jenever and genievre which all refer to the juniper. The four types of gin include gin, distilled gin, London gin and juniper-flavored spirit drink.

7. Neutral Spirit is the term for distilled beverages that have 85% or more alcohol by volume or ABV. Sometimes it’s called rectified spirit because the double distillation is a process called rectification.

8. Moonshine is the name for the different types of distilled beverages that are made at home all over the world. Examples are schnaps, arrack, lambanog, yadong, and raki.

9. Mezcal or Mescal is made in Mexico. It comes from the fermented and distilled leaves of the maguey plant and its various types. Its name means “oven-cooked agave” in Nahuatl.

10. Absinthe is an anise-flavored beverage from the flowers and leaves of the grand wormwood. It is mixed with different herbs too such as fennel and anise. It was originally made in Switzerland.

Start Your Mornings Right with These 5 Healthy Habits

Starting your morning right can be tricky especially if you wake up to fatigue and dread for work. Most of the time we’d rather miss our breakfast than to miss the morning train en route to the office, or skip our morning exercises if it means we could save our energy for work among other things.

But what we disregard here is the fact that it doesn’t have to be difficult, at all. The key to mastering the art of giving your day the right kick start is to identify healthy habits that will benefit you. You don’t have to do everything every morning, what you need to do is to try different things and find a groove that resonates well.

1. Stretch
Giving your muscles and joints a proper stretch in the morning helps enhance blood flow through your body. Not only that, it also provides extra oxygen to your tissues. It is important to tend after your internal health among the other spheres of your general wellbeing — not to mention stretching is most likely to keep you awake for the next steps of your morning routine, too!

2. Read a motivational quote
Starting your day by reading aloud a motivational quote is an effective form of self-talk that will keep you motivated in the right direction. As opposed to wallowing in the negative thinking prevalent in the morning news, being positive first thing in the morning can affect your overall mood for the rest of the day. An inspirational mantra will likely give you the boost that you need and will help you focus more on the work you have to accomplish.

3. Take vitamins
Multivitamins give your body the many nutrients it needs. In your hectic work schedule, taking vitamins to keep yourself vigorous is like doing your body a favor in the long run. Vitamins also give your immune system a boost. You are less likely to catch a cold or any contagious disease easily, saving you from sick days.

4. Greet the day with coffee
Caffeine is one of the well-known stimulants of the central nervous system. It acts just as effective as other stimulant drugs like amphetamines, fully making you awake and improving your muscular activity. Research has found out that having a cup of coffee in the morning improves one’s clear-headedness, calmness, and happiness. It also improves one’s ability in processing information as well as solving problems. Go on, help yourself to a warm cup of coffee for the next morning.

5. Have a healthy, satisfying breakfast
As the old saying goes, Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You have to properly condition your body in order to prepare yourself for the tons of work you have to do. Starting your day with a hearty and nutritious breakfast can fuel your energy well for the whole day long, especially when you have to work on finalizing that report the first thing you arrive in the office.

Surprising Effects of Not Using Shampoo on Your Hair

If you’ve grown accustomed to washing your hair with shampoo almost every other day, you might be convinced abstaining from its usage is almost impossible. At this point you might just ask yourself: how are you to clean your hair without shampoo? Is it even possible? Yes. The good news is, using shampoo is not the only way to cleanse your hair and scalp.

It has been proven how a no-shampoo hair regimen can benefit all hair types and textures. If you are aiming for a chemical-free or organic lifestyle, then this regimen might just be for you. Cleansing the hair without shampoo use also leads to a much healthier hair condition with all its fullness and luster. This article will present some of the other benefits of a no-shampoo hair regimen, making you achieve your best hair condition yet.

1. Less exposure to chemicals
Less exposure to the chemicals present in shampoos is probably the most important benefit you can get from abstaining in their usage. Nowadays, chemicals like phthalates and sulfates became standard components of shampoos. They are great detergents, even present in industrial cleaners, but having that powerful cleaning power on your hair and scalp for a few days per week can bring more harm than good.

2. Reduced frizz
A lot of shampoos sold in the market have high pH levels which is the reason behind why hair cuticles open up. While this effectively cleans your hair strands, this also can lead to having frizzy hair. Cleansing methods without the use of shampoo fights frizz and actively engages in the closing of cuticles, allowing the hair to appear shinier.

3. More moisturized hair
When cuticles in the hair are open, they often lead to dryness since moisture can escape from within your strands. Instead, cleanse your hair without the use of shampoo if you want to ensure your hair cuticles are not left open. The absence of shampoo closes the cuticles as part of the whole cleansing process. Moisture is retained within the strands, keeping your hair safe from potential dryness as a result.

4. Less likely to cause scalp irritation
Our scalp can be pretty sensitive to the chemicals present in shampoos which may lead to itchiness, irritation, or a dried-up scalp. Sulfates are usually the reason behind the triggering of such a reaction, but with the many chemicals a bottle of shampoo contains, the possibilities are difficult to pin down. The more chemicals, the more potential for allergic reactions and scalp irritations.

5. Better color maintenance
The sulfates present in your shampoo strips the color off your colored hair, and it is primarily the culprit behind the rapid hair color fading. If you use alternatives to shampoo such as conditioners, mud washing, or just using water while cleansing your hair, chances are your hair color will remain vibrant as ever for a longer period. The shine and the volume are another plus you get from these methods!

4 Often Overlooked Household Items You Should Clean Right Now!

We regularly wash our clothes, the window curtains and blankets. But how about the thicker household items such as the mattresses and comforters, which can double in weight due to dust, allergens, molds and bacteria?

Don’t worry, though. There are commercial laundry services in Singapore to do the job for you. The following household items may be too tedious to wash, but you can always have them professionally cleaned by a laundry service in Singapore.


It’s easy to forget about cleaning the comforter, but know that it gets as dirty as table cloths, too. In some cases, you can wash your comforter by tossing it in the washing machine, but make sure to check the tag for washing instructions.

It would be worth having your comforter and bed spreads professionally cleaned by in Singapore. Most household washing machines in Singapore are not large enough to wash a comforter. Besides, you wouldn’t want it to overflow or vibrate loudly when running a cycle. Moreover, drying large and thick items at home are quite tricky. It’s ideal to air dry a comforter, but no one has enough space to accommodate that.

If your comforter is made of wool or the colour is bleeding, do not attempt to wash it on your own at home. Bring it to a laundry service in Singapore and have it dry cleaned every time. Lengthen time in between washes by vacuuming it to remove dust.

Carpets and Rugs

Of course, carpets and rugs can be vacuumed, but stains happen occasionally. Instead of just covering the stains up by rearranging the furniture, minimize the look of the stain with shaving cream. Use a clean paintbrush or an old shaving brush to work the cream into the stained spot. Then, dampen a clean rag to wipe away the cream together with the stain.

When it’s time to have your carpet and rugs thoroughly cleaned, your best bet is to take it to a laundry service in Singapore. They will either have it washed or dry cleaned, depending on your preference, and they have the right cleaning agents to disinfect and get rid of the odour due to dirt and molds.


Fluffing it isn’t just to make it isn’t to make it look soft again; this removes dust and dirt and to keep the pillow clean and light. Depending on the material, some pillows can be gently cycled in the washing machine. Polyester and foam pillows are recommended to be hand washed, but never dry them with a dryer; hang them outside to dry.

If you’re unsure how to wash your pillows, you can always have them cleaned by the professionals. Ask your laundry service about how to thoroughly clean your pillows without ruining them.


Unfortunately, not all commercial laundry services accept mattresses for washing, but that does not mean you should not clean yours regularly.

Whether or not you’re planning on taking your mattress to a laundry service in Singapore, do some tiding up before deeply cleaning it. First, vacuum your mattress. This will remove lots of dirt and dust before washing it up. If there’s stain, spot clean it by working a damp cloth or sponge into the stained area. For odours, tone it down with odour sprays and scented disinfectant.

Once your mattress comes back clean, you can use a mattress pad to serve as a barrier between you and the mattress. Mattress pads protect the actual mattress, screening moisture and dirt from penetrating into the foam. It can easily be thrown into the washing machine or sent to a laundry service in Singapore when it’s time to wash it. But this doesn’t mean you will never have to clean your mattress again; it will only make your mattress easier to clean.

Fabrics You Can Laundry Wash

• Cottons. Usually, cotton items can be washed with water and detergent. However, you need to wash items in different colours separately, since colours in cotton garments tend to bleed. You won’t have problem with drying them though as cotton clothing are usually pre-shrunk, so they won’t change size after washing them.
• Synthetic Fabrics. Items made of nylon, polyester, acrylic, acetate and spandex are safe to laundry wash. However, they should be air dried as they can permanently wrinkle when dried out in a hot dryer.

Fabrics You Should Dry Clean

• Rayon. This material can be tricky to handle, because it is considered semi-synthetic. Hand washing rayon in mild detergent and cold water can be an option, but it’s generally safer to have it dry cleaned in a laundry service.
• Wool. It’s a sturdy fabric and must be dry cleaned as much as possible. If not possible, hand wash it in cold water, because it can shrink in hot or even warm water. When cared for the right way, this durable material can last a very long time.
• Silk. This is a natural and durable material. Known as a more luxurious fabric, it takes proper washing and drying to keep it soft and silky. The colour dyes in this material tend to bleed, thats why it’s advisable to have it dry cleaned. If you wish to wash it, always do so in cold water to preserve its colour.

If in any case, you’re unsure or just do not know how to wash some of your household items, you have the professionals to do the job for you. Before deciding to replace some of your dingy household items, try taking them to a laundry company in Singapore and ask if they can help you restore them.

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is more common than you think. In some people, the symptoms can range from unnoticeable signs to painful heartburn.

Causes and Symptoms
Acid reflux is the backing up of the stomach acids up into the esophagus and throat. Acid reflux has many causes. This includes changes in diet or lifestyle, sudden weight gain, pregnancy, side effect of medications, food allergy or sensitivity, hiatal hernia, smoking, magnesium deficiency, and other medical conditions. This doesn’t mean that you have too much acid. It’s just that there might be a leak between the stomach and esophagus.

You might have acid reflux if you experience the following symptoms:

1. Chest pain. You will feel uncomfortable when the acid from your stomach goes back up the esophagus. The pain usually begins after a meal. The intensity of the pain can vary. It can sometimes worsen when you lie down. If you have other pre-existing conditions, however, be careful not to mistake chest pain with acid reflux. It could also be sign of a heart attack.
2. Bitter Taste. You might be able to taste the bitter acids in your mouth. The acid could also irritate the throat and cause choking, coughing, sore throat and even asthma. Your voice will also sound hoarse.
3. Other Symptoms. Acid reflux can also cause nausea especially after meals, trouble swallowing, salivation, wheezing, bad breath and dry mouth, hiccups, bloating, and flatulence and burping.

GERD and Acid Reflux
Sometimes you will encounter these two names when you do your research. What is the difference between GERD and acid reflux? GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux diseases, refers to the condition that triggers recurring acid reflux. Acid reflux is the term that refers to the backing up of the stomach acid. In short, acid reflux is a symptom of GERD.

If you don’t have GERD but you have several episodes of untreated acid reflux, it can progress to the former. The symptoms are the same, but with GERD there is a chance that other medical conditions are also present. It can lead to a complication called Barrett’s esophagus and even cancer.

Treatment of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can cause severe complications if not treated. One way to avoid recurring episodes is to make changes in your diet. Avoid over-eating and consumption of food that can cause acid reflux. Avoid the following food: alcohol, spicy food, processed food, fried food, carbonated and energy drinks, vegetable oils, and artificial sweeteners.

The symptoms can be treated with antacids, H-2-receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors but you need to consult your doctor if it happens too often. Reliance on over-the-counter medicine for too long can cause vitamin deficiencies. The acid reflux might also be telling you that you have another medical condition like irritable bowel syndrome, anemia, depression, and others.

If you continue to have acid reflux, you have to set an appointment with your doctor to check if you have GERD.

How to Pick the Right Bra

If there is one piece of clothing that even fashion-conscious girls overlook, it’s their underwear. Worn out clasps and straps and ill-fitting cups are uncomfortable and unhealthy.

Here are tips on how to find the right bra next time you go shopping.

Inspect the Materials
Check the label for the materials used in the bra. Even if you’re on a tight budget,you should not compromise when it comes to quality. Materials that will last for years are a good fashion investment. Don’t go for styles that you cannot wear under different outfits. The laces and stitches might show through the shirt. Some fabrics can also irritate the skin, so watch out for those.

Know the Different Bra Types
There are eight breast types you should be aware of. These are thin, uneven, shallow, semi-supported, conical, splayed, settled, and self-supported. You should know which of the 6 bra types you should wear based on your breast type..

1. Plunge is ideal for thin, semi-supported, self-supported and settled breasts.
2. Wireless is for semi-supported, thin, self-supported, conical and splayed breasts.
3. Strapless is perfect for semi-supported, self-supported and conical breasts.
4. T-shirt bra can make semi-supported, uneven, and self-supported breasts look good.
5. Demi is for semi-supported and self-supported breasts.
6. Pushup bra can improve the appearance of all breast types.

Get Measured
Even if you have a fairly good idea what your cup size is, it can still change within months. Changes in weight, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and hormonal fluctuations can affect the size. Some lingerie shops in Singapore will help you keep up to date with your measurements. To get your correct size, the store assistant will measure your cup or bust size and band. The cup size is measured by loosely placing the measuring tape around the bust. The band is measured by placing the measuring tape around under your arms. The value is rounded off to the nearest even number. Then you subtract the band from the bust measurement. The difference between the band and bust will indicate the cup size.

Try it on Before Buying
Even if you’re updated with your measurements, always try the bra on before purchasing. Not all sizes are equal in different brands. Your breasts must not spill over the cup or the cups appear nearly empty. When trying on the bra, scoop each breast into the cup before fastening the clasps. That way you’ll know if they sit comfortably on the cups. The straps should not slide down your arms or dig into your skin. If you’re purchasing a bra with underwire, make sure the gore (found in the center) is not painfully digging into your ribs. It should easy for you to move and breathe without adjusting your bra all the time.

Replace Old Bras
Inspect your closet for underwear that needs to be replaced. Check the straps, clasps and cups for damage. Stop wearing bra that are too loose or too tight. They are unhealthy and can cause problems in posture later.