Tag Archive for: lifestyle

5 Food Myths Debunked: Leek-ing All The Secrets!

Written by Maria Olivia Laurent, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

You’ve seen chefs recommending what recipes to follow to lose weight. You’ve seen nutritionists writing pages upon pages on the correct diet based on your body type. You’ve even seen some celebrities going on their social media giving health advice to their followers. Everything around us influences the way we eat. And with all of the info out there, it becomes difficult to know what’s true and what’s not, leading to some food myths that you probably have heard countless times circulating in society. A food myth is a misconception about food and how they affect our bodies. It may come from the latest diet trends, other people’s experiences, and different health blogs writing different things. However, people need to realize that these food myths remain as they are, simply a myth that has no scientific proof. 

Food and diet are personal. One thing may work for others but not for you, and vice versa. Believing in only what other people say may negatively impact your diet, and you’ll miss out on some good food benefits. Maintaining a good, healthy lifestyle may be challenging despite our best efforts, but indulging in these myths will only make it worse. Here are 5 food myths and the real facts behind them—get ready, some may really surprise you. 

  1. Sugar-free + Gluten-free = Problems-free?

These two labels are everywhere now. Sugar-free ice cream. Gluten-free cookies. Are sugar and gluten truly necessary to cut for a healthier diet? Yes and no. Why? Because when something is labeled sugar-free, they often remove the sugar but replace it with harmful chemicals to mimic the sweet taste. These ‘healthy alternatives’ contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharine. Though virtually calorie-free, they lead to obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, metabolism failure, and other high-risk illnesses. The same thing goes with gluten-free food. Unless you have gluten intolerance, which is only in 1% of the population that you won’t even realize you have them, you can really benefit from the fiber and other nutrients found in these foods. So instead of completely cutting off sugar and gluten, you should go for a more balanced natural diet where you consume them in a proportional quantity. 

  1. Fat makes you fat

Well first, what kind of fat? People often think of fat as the stuff that makes you want to photoshop the hell out of your pics, but hey, healthy fat exists too! Healthy fats can be found in nuts, salmon, or olive oil, and they help lower blood pressure and keep you fuller longer. Fat-free food goes through a process that removes ALL of the healthy nutritional fat and replaces it with tons of sugar. And lack of good fatty acids results in low energy, eczema, and kidney failure. Experts suggest that rather than going fat-free, go for a low-fat diet with more fruit and vegetable intake. Don’t be fooled by that fake organic packaging, peeps! 

  1. Choleggsterol 

As an egg lover, I felt pretty sad when they said to throw out the egg yolk because it’s full of cholesterol. So I decided to do some little research myself to crack this assumption. Eggs indeed increase your cholesterol level… if you eat a whole crate of them every single day. As long as you consume them in moderation, you don’t have to worry about it, especially when the benefits of eggs far outweigh this cholesterol issue. How you cook them is also a deciding factor. The ideal ways are boiled, poached, and baked. Sunny side ups, omelettes, and scrambled are also okay, but don’t use too much oil or butter. As one of the most popular breakfast foods ever, eggs can actually help you eat 400 calories LESS per day because they’re high in protein. Eggs are good for weight loss, metabolism, stable blood glucose, and suppressing hunger. “But they still raise cholesterol!” Yes, they do, but it increases good cholesterol or HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which can lower the triglycerides, the risk factor for heart disease, through its Omega-3. 

  1. Bye-bye nuts, bye-bye acne!

This is actually quite tricky. Generally, nuts contain acne-fighting nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, and magnesium. They protect cells from getting damaged and infected through their antioxidants power that will clear up acne. However, nuts also contain high amounts of phytic acid and Omega-6 acids, the opposite of Omega-3 in terms of increasing inflammation, which can create acne. Furthermore, a lot of people are secretly allergic to nuts, so that can also trigger breaking out. So, what then? Can I still eat nuts?! Again, the emphasis is on moderating your nuts intake and choosing which nuts you eat. Just think of it as various nuts having pros and cons. The safest nuts to eat that still have high protein but don’t lead to acne are macadamia, almonds, hazelnuts, and chestnuts—all of which are low on Omega-6. The worst nuts for acne include pine nuts, walnuts, and peanuts. If you’re allergic to one type of nut, you can try eating other types in tiny amount, or you can do an oral food challenge test with your doctor to specify your food allergy. Choose your nuts wisely and enjoy the benefits!

  1. Healthy foods are yucky yuck

Does a bowl of boring salad make you go blah? Yep from me. Many people refuse to eat healthy because they don’t want to let go of all the flavors in their junk food. I kinda feel this too, to be honest, because whenever I imagine a healthy diet, the picture of a sad limp lettuce and plain white mush immediately pulls me back from crossing over to the other side. But in truth, there are many delicious ways to make healthy food as tasty as it is nutritious. Just like any other dish, it takes a lot of practice and the right recipe to do that. Go to your local market for the freshest products and maybe give your grandma a call for her top-secret recipes. What do you think? 

So that’s it, folks, for some debunked food myths. There are still a whole lot of them you can find on the Internet, like if MSG is evil, or if carrots really help with your eyesight. Just don’t listen to assumptions and don’t follow fake nutritionists on TikTok, and you’ll do great! Happy eating!

References

Baier, L. (2021, August 19). 16 Common Food Myths About Health Food You Still Think Are True. A Sweat Pea Chef. https://www.asweetpeachef.com/myths-about-health-food/#:~:text=A%20food%20myth%20is%20a,that’s%20got%20to%20be%20busted.

Petre, A. (2020, August 19). Artificial Sweeteners: Good or Bad?. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/artificial-sweeteners-good-or-bad#metabolic-syndrome

Romero, M. (2012, March 1). Top 14 Myths About Food and Nutrition. Washingtonian. https://www.washingtonian.com/2012/03/01/top-14-myths-about-food-and-nutrition/

Whiteman, H. (2020, December 17). Is a gluten-free diet good for your health?. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288406

Wood, S. (n.d.). Do Nuts Cause Acne? 11 Nuts Ranked From Best to Worst for Acne. GoodGlowCo. https://goodglow.co/the-best-and-worst-nuts-for-acne

Why You Should Not Wait to do Good

Written by: Angelien Chrestella Pardi, Social Business Trainee Intern Project Child Indonesia

The Guilty Conscience

I have always enjoyed taking trips and going on car rides. With the hustling life of college and work, especially during this pandemic, I often find myself utilizing this time to de-stress, listening to relaxing music while observing the life of lives happening around me. During these car rides, however, it is not uncommon for me to encounter the sights of people living difficult lives. For instance, children knocking on car windows asking for change, the elderly carrying white sacks, rummaging through waste piles, etcetera. 

Just like any other people, looking at how arduous life can sometimes be for the underprivileged truly tugs my heart. I frequently find myself empathizing with these people and telling myself that I will serve good and help them when I become successful, later, in the future. However, the tiny voice at the back of my mind persistently haunted me with this one question: Why? Why then? 

The Why, explained

I am positive that I am not the only person guilty of having such a conscience. Guilt-tripping others for having these thoughts was not my intention as it is only natural for humans to prioritize themselves, and their needs, over others. Nevertheless, have we ever paused for a moment and considered why we keep telling ourselves to help others only after being affluent and comfortable with life? Why do we have to wait for that moment to come to help others? Let’s take a short pause and reflect on this question.

Now let me ask you this: What if that perfect time never comes? What happens then? Does that mean that you will not do good in your life? Certainly not because the truth is, in life, there is no ideal time to do a particular thing. Surely, doing good is no exception. There will never be a perfect time for you to do good and help others. Believe me, that moment will never come. You are merely wasting your time if you are waiting for it. If you want to help others, simply start helping. Pronto.

How Can I Help?

You already have the desire to do good. That is great! This proves your benevolence and caring attitude towards others and that you are willing and ready to make altruistic contributions to your community. Yet, you are still unsure how you can help others. What comes next? Where do I begin? 

Don’t worry! Here are a few ways you can do good:

1. Be a Good Samaritan

Don’t turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to a person in need. Instead, help them however you can. Buy food for the hungry, offer blankets to the cold and assist the elderly when they are crossing the road. These small acts of kindness might seem like nothing to you, but you will never know how much it truly means to them.

2. Volunteer Your Skills and/or Time

Volunteering is one of the most incredible ways you can help your community. Aside from adding happiness and meaningful purpose into your life, it can also give you a sense of belonging within the community. All these benefits aside, you can choose how you would like to contribute and help based on your interests and passion.

3. Fundraise for a Cause

Engaging your friends and family to fundraise for a cause that is close to your heart is a great and fun way to support your community. Additionally, donating in place of a special occasion towards a cause of your interest is an extraordinary way to make it memorable and meaningful.

4. Donate

Understandably, not all people have the time to do community service despite their desires to do so. And that is completely okay! Donations come in a lot of forms and it is totally up to you on what you would like to donate, of course, taking into consideration the needs of the community. For instance, you can drop off and donate food to local communities, clothes to homeless shelters, books, and supplies to local schools and orphanages. 

Moreover, there are many NGOs out there that accept cash donations. By helping these NGOs through the provision of financial support, you will be assisting them in funding their sustainable programs, thus, helping the community.

5. Lend Your Voice

Unsurprisingly, not everyone dares to stand up for themselves. This is especially true for the victims of bullying, rape, racism, sexism, and many more. This usually constitutes the society’s minorities: the homeless, the neglected, the oppressed, and the powerless. Therefore, if you are active on social media, or any other platforms for that matter, then you can put your skills to great use! Lend them your voice and speak up for them, with them. Your actions will raise awareness to the people around you and who knows, it might give them the courage to stand up for themselves and help bring positive and beneficial changes to society.

Doing Good with Project Child Indonesia

As a volunteer-centered non-profit organization, Project Child Indonesia offers several opportunities for people, particularly young adults, to participate in making a difference within society. From volunteer roles to internship positions, public campaigns to fundraising events, Project Child Indonesia aspires to inspire more individuals to care about the community, especially in advocating and supporting Indonesian children and citizens residing in the underprivileged communities of Yogyakarta. Therefore, if your passion and interests lie in children advocacy and education, and you find yourself committed to making an impact on society, volunteering your time at Project Child Indonesia will undoubtedly be worthwhile.

The Bottom Line

Mother Theresa once said,

A day without doing something good for others is a day not worth living.

This quote holds a sincere, unfeigned depiction of life’s most fundamental essence. Life will surely lose all of its meaning and purpose without the little acts of kindness, deeds of compassion, and the universal language of love. 

Regardless of which actions you decide to take on, always remember to do good because it is these actions that make our lives profoundly meaningful. Every seed you plant today will yield big fruits in the future. With this, wait no more and begin helping others for “Everyone can do good”.

Effortless Sustainable Swaps for a Better Planet

Written by Dara Ayu Ariane, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Thousands of Jakarta residents were evacuated from southern and eastern areas of the city. They witnessed their cars and homes almost entirely submerged in the shoulder-high muddy waters. As mere onlookers, we often consider what else we can do to help lessen the current and upcoming environmental disasters. With a rising urgency to offer a helping hand in one of the biggest global challenges, sometimes the fight against climate change can feel extremely overwhelming. This doesn’t mean we can’t also make our own unique impact through our individual choices. Remember that everyone can do good, and even though our actions may seem small at first, keep on reading and let us help you by challenging yourselves with these effortless sustainable swaps! 

SUSTAINABLE HOME

Hop onto your favorite e-commerce because it is time for a sustainable home-makeover! We recommend shopping from one store that offers a wide range of eco-friendly house products and opting for regular shipping duration. We prefer to shop in the store physically to reduce the CO2 emissions from shipping, but with Miss Rona still out and about lurking around every coughing corner, we advise to keep your distance and shop online in bulk. 

Some of the online stores worth browsing over if you’re in or near the Jakarta area are Demi Bumi, Sustaination.ID, Greenhabit.id and Zero Waste Indonesia that offer various sustainable goods worth trying and complete with eco-friendly packaging! Here are some products you should consider on buying: 

  • Goodbye plastic trash bag, hello Cassava Bag! Made from natural resins derived from 98% tapioca starch, 1% vegetable oil, and 1% natural biopolymer, this super bag can be composted and consumed by micro-organisms in the soil!
  • Multi-purpose Loofah, made from natural fiber from oyong and commonly used as a substitute for bath foam or dishwashing. 
  • Lerak Soap, a 100% natural cleanser without chemicals and can be used as laundry detergent, dish & hand soap, and others. 
  • Natural Deodorant made from batu tawas is hypoallergenic, easy to wash and eliminates odor-causing bacteria. 
  • Bamboo/Wheat-straw Toothbrush 
  • Have any leftover food or ingredients and you’re unsure how to store it? It’s time to try Beeswax Wrap! An environmentally friendly and reusable replacement for cling wrap. Protects food, fruit and vegetables from air and moisture to keep them fresh for even longer.
  • Not forgetting our precious self-care time, it’s best to switch to using reusable cotton pads and DIY masks & scrubs
  • If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous and brave, for all our lovely lady friends out there, switching to a reusable menstrual cup or pad is worth trying. Not only is it capable of replacing up to 3-5 years worth of normal pads without producing waste byproduct, it can also last for up to 12 hours a day! 

Once we’re all set with these amazing sustainable products, now is the time to tackle our household waste management system. Indonesia is estimated to produce roughly 190,000 tons of waste each day with 20% percent of the plastic waste is believed to end up in rivers and coastal areas (Mann, 2019). Our landfills alone remain to be inadequate solutions to this problem due to the lack of soil to bury the waste or land to build a sanitary site. Before you start panicking, let’s not forget our nearby trash banks! Another social enterprise we can rely on is Waste4Change with its Personal Waste Management subscription service. It offers monthly inorganic waste collection services directly from our homes. Therefore, it doesn’t only help us to be more responsible with our household waste, but also to practice sorting out our trash based on its categories!  

SUSTAINABLE ME 

Our products at home may be eco-friendly, but don’t forget to break them bad habits and start behaving more environmentally conscious. A few simple tweaks to our lifestyle can have a big impact on our environmental footprint! 

  • Set a timer for your AC. We know the weather in Indonesia can get quite hot, but reducing household energy use can help reduce carbon footprint even more.
  • Save water, time your shower! A 10-minute shower uses about 80 gallons of water and can produce up to 1kg of CO2 emissions (Spector, 2019). 
  • Most people don’t realize how much food they throw away on a daily basis. By planning our meals for the week, we are reducing our food waste, saving money and conserving resources for marginalized communities. 
  • Think twice and use your voice. Get involved with environmental platforms and communities to further educate ourselves on the current issues. Similarly, pay attention to product labels when you’re shopping to help minimize our impact on wildlife and the planet.  

Living more sustainably may not solve the climate crisis overnight, but by taking these small steps we can try to practice breaking old habits and kick-start our journey in becoming a more responsible global citizen. Don’t forget to share this challenge with your friends and let’s start building a much more sustainable community!

References:

Mann, A. (2019, March 1). The waste challenge: Is Indonesia at a tipping point?. TheJakartaPost. Retrieved from https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2019/03/01/the-waste-challenge-is-indonesia-at-a-tipping-point-1551431355.html

Spector, N. (2019, October 3). Ideas to make your bathroom more environmentally friendly. NBCNews. Retrieved https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/12-practical-ways-make-your-bathroom-eco-friendlier-save-some-ncna1061246#anchor-1Reduceshowertimeandgetalowflowshowerhead