Archive for the ‘Tip of the Week’ Category

Pop, soft drinks and all?


As of 2013, soft drink companies have developed a reputable image across the globe. The fast food industry have swept the streets of US.  There is almost a McDonalds around every block. With obesity as an ongoing epidemic, are fast food companies to blamed. Or is it our responsibility to take active precautions when making food choices?


While most of us are ‘health cautious,’ we frequently make bad food and drink choices. On a day to day basis, we may have the habit of stepping onto the scale to monitor our weight lose and gain. With our ideal self-image anchored in our vision, many of us take extreme approaches. But the question, are we making avoiding the right food or drinks?


If dieting is difficult, start off by drinking less fizzy and sugary products. Cutting out carbonated beverages can effectively help us shed 5-7% of our weight. In addition, it’s ongoing benefits continue:


It reduces the chance of getting
high blood pressure
High blood sugar
High cholesterol
High water retention
High heart rate


As a result, we would be less/would have less
Difficulty breathing
Migraine headaches
Bloating issues
Upset stomach


Replacement drinks

Everything is difficult in the beginning, so why not try replacing sugary soft-drinks with diet sodas. With less sugar content, it will not trigger or at least reduce the rate of insulin-growth response. In other words, less fat is built with the switch.


Other Effective strategies
Try tapering – half your drink portion by half, tell yourself that drinking half a can of pop is enough! Must you drink a whole can?


Try switching – what about a fruit juice instead? Fresh orang juice may be high in fruit sugar but it is rich in vitamin C, which is essential for our immune system. A bit of sugar is fine, but the most important point to beware of is, what time and type.


Try tea/coffee – research shows that people who drinks 3 cups of coffee a day is less likely going to have heart diseases. Tea is rich in antioxidants, which are an essential component of heart health. With the benefits coming from both, I would probably choose tea than pop (personal opinion).


Try hydrating – especially in hot weather, we have the tendency to attracted to cold drinks like magnets. But my opinion, if we carry a 375ml cold water with us, we will always be hydrated. Thus, we will be less thirsty. Picture something cold, picture a glass of icy water soothing your throat. No harm done!

Richie Li


Your friendly life-coach, personal trainer


FLaming HOT

Storming the streets of Hong Kong with my vest and shorts is undoubtedly a great feeling.  As much as I love to ‘conquer’, running in high intensity is quite a challenge.  35 Degrees today, with my body burning in the sun, all I can think about is soothing my throat with a cold drink.  There is grand selection of drinks in the convenient store.  Now the question is, what do I pick to drink?

Dominate this in the heat!


Water is the ultimate choice.  With our body composing 60 to 70% of water, we should be re-hydrating every 20 minutes when we are exercising.  With your training regime intact, you should always prepare at least a 375ml bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated at all times.

Sweating helps us remove toxins from our lymphatic system, which has a primary role of reinforcing our body’s immune system.  In collaboration, water enhances the process of toxin removal.  This is a perfect integration!

Other Options??

Hypotonic, hypertonic and isotonic are three different types of drinks that fulfill varying needs of the body.  It largely depends on the type of exercise(s) in action.  In essence, the three contains varying levels of potassium, sodium, carbohydrates and minerals.

Isotonic Drinks

Drinks that essentially contain glucose and added vitamins, helping in:

1) Rapid hydration

2) Energy Boost

3) Cramp Prevention

4) Improve stamina

Example: Gatorade, Powerade

Suitable for mid and long distance runners and other team sports


Hypotonic Drinks

Drinks that contain higher concentrations of water helps us:

1) Rapid Re-hydration

2) Refuel our system

3) Replemish minerals and electrolytes

Example: Slanzanger S1

Suitable for medium-high intensity exercises

Hypertonic Drinks

Drinks that contain higher concentrations of carbohydrates/sugar and electrolytes helps us:

1)Refuel muscles (Fast absorption)

2)Reduce cramps

3)Restore minerals and salts

Example: Fruit juice, concentrated juice

If you are endurance athlete, this is a perfect choice due to the time-release nature of fuel

What to avoid

Based on my observation, a number of people go directly for drinks with good taste and sparkling effect upon finishing their work out.  However, it is very important to acknowledge the long term effect of consuming these products as a post work out drink.  Rilifit emphasizes only seeing LONG TERM results and never disregard both the short and long term effects of consumption.



3)Beverages (Latte, Yakult)


Hope this blog posts can help you articulate the difference between different sports drinks.  While most of you are dancers, runners, gym-lovers, be sure to select the right product!


Fitness bank of knowledge and tips

Richie Li

Image courtesy to Globalpackgallery, Alibaba, Cardigans and Couture, Powerade



The monster

Working 9am-5pm, 5pm – 12am, from morning shift to graveyard shift, does that sound like you?

After working a full time job, most people are exhausted.  Without an adequate sleep at night as we try to meet deadlines for proposals and projects, we are getting more stressed day by day.  While most of us live by the clock, we soon give in this lifestyle, the modern living lifestyle.

Exercise is a stress-reliever.  The human body is designed to move.  Not only does exercise give the liberty of ‘physically doing what you want’ without being tied to a chair,  it helps in the development of concentration as we learn to counteract stress.   As a sociologist, I am hugely concerned about the impact of modernity.


5 interesting stress-reduction techniques

1. Meditation

Train your mind, take 20 minutes a day to let your mind run freely.  We rely on our senses to understand the world, so we are constantly receiving information with our receptors.  Close your eyes, relax, listen and study the sensation.

2. Eat healthy

Processed food is always our biggest enemy.  Make better food choices by choosing fish, meat, veggies and fruits as opposed to bars, supplements or even crackers.

3. Exercise regularly

For inactive individuals, I recommend starting off with 20-30 minutes of brisk walking in the sun.  As mentioned, human body is designed to move, if we do not put our body parts to use, this ‘inactivity’ will eventually become a lifestyle.

4. Smile frequently

Well positive energy can be induced through positive actions.  Same goes for gestures.  When you see a person smile, you probably want to do the same because it is friendly.   Believe it or not, you can easily brighten your stressful day by clocking-in some smiles and laughter.

5. Do activities you enjoy

After a productive day at work, spend some time with friends and family doing the activities you all enjoy.  Improving your relationship with others is definitely a positive reinforcement because people are social beings.  As much as we want to be alone, our friends and family make up a grand portion of our lives.

Aside from the 5 techniques

Alignlife also has an additional 14 easy ways to reduce stress

We are so accustomed to living every day at a heightened level of stress thatwoman doing yoga(2) 14 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Stress many of us aren’t even aware of it.  Joe A. Thomas, of the Texas A & M Health Science Center, lists these symptoms as probable signs of stress: headaches, fatigue, muscle aches and pains from tension, skin problems, digestive difficulties, back pain and sleep problems. He asks the stressed how often they are able to get a good night’s sleep, and whether they feel rested when they wake up. Though the problems listed can be symptoms of many types of disease, often there is a simple answer: a stressful life.

Mental stresses are characterized by such things as worries over money, or over a loved one’s health, loss of a loved one or losing a job,” according to Dr. Rob Danduff of Discovery Health ”Physical stresses include a lack of sleep, poor diet or the effects of an illness.” He also mentions that obligations, whether real or imagined, are a heavy burden and can cause stress.
Whatever is causing the stress, the reaction in the human body is the same: the fight-or-flight response. It’s the kind of response as you would have to a high-intensity adrenaline situation, such as if you think you will be robbed or someone is trying to hurt you.  Your body tenses up, ready to either defend or run away quickly.
Constant stress is the state of being in that high-alert mode as an ongoing state, over many hours each day, and “your body simply cannot sustain this type of stress without some sort of side effect, whether it’s tension headaches, stiff upper-back muscles or trouble sleeping. And if the stresses cannot be decreased or addressed in a healthy manner, your body may experience such health problems as high blood pressure and heart disease,” said Dr. Danduff.  One of the biggest effects of prolonged stress is acceleration of aging.
Pinpointing the cause is key to combating stress, but often the cause or causes of stress are unavoidable.  So rather than quit your job, check out of your family or sell your home, follow these 14 easy ways to get rid of stress, suggested by The National Mental Health Association and Elizabeth Svoboda, a reporter on MSNBC:
  •  Be realistic: If you feel overwhelmed by all of your activities, learn to say no to adding any more commitments.
  •  Don’t be a perfectionist: No one is perfect, so give yourself a break by deciding what must be done correctly now, what can be put off, what can be delegated and with which projects you can ask for help.
  •  Focus on the present: Looking directly at the task you are working to accomplish right now instead of worrying about your whole to-do list will work wonders for your level of anxiety.
  • You are important, too: Purposefully schedule time every week to do something that you enjoy – not just another task on the list, but a yoga class, an activity with friends, playtime with your kids, soaking in the tub or taking a walk. Time for yourself is important to releasing stress.
  •  Exercise: You hear it from every source these days, but exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good. And you don’t have to go to the gym and sweat for an hour, even little ten minute brisk walks throughout the day to get the heart pumping and renew your energy and focus will lessen your stress load.
  • Eat well: What you put in your body will often define how you feel. Eating processed foods deadens energy in the body. Instead, eat a healthy salad with a dose of protein like chicken or fish, and as a general rule, choose whole foods.
  • Talk it out: Sharing how you really feel is key to keeping things from bottling up inside and stressing you out more. Even if it’s just a five minute phone call at work to vent, it will make your day go that much better. Also, keep in touch with friends and family as much as possible.
  •   Get a massage: Probably the most effective way to relax your muscles is to get a massage, whether it be a 15-minute chair massage at the mall or a full-hour stone massage.
  •  Counseling: Although some people feel a stigma from seeing a counselor, everyone who’s done it will testify to the worthiness of just spending time working through your issues with an expert. Even something as small as learning to balance and prioritize can be easier with help from a professional counselor who can offer insights into your behavior.
  •  Listen up: Doctors at Japan’s Osaka Medical Center have found that listening to music helps lower stress levels. Put together a soothing mix on your ipod and listen to it while you drive or at work.
  • Get your beauty sleep: The recommended eight hours of sleep really does help your body recover from the day and prepare for the next by keeping cortisone, a hormone that raises physiological stress, at lower levels in your bloodstream. If you only get six or seven hours of sleep several days in a row, the cortisol in your body will be 50 percent higher, according to a study involving cortisol levels in pilots.
  • Drink tea: Volunteers at the University College London were given a stressful task, and those who regularly consumed black tea felt significantly less stressed within an hour after completing the task, while those who were not regular tea-drinkers had a slower rate of de-stressing after the job was complete.
  • Laugh it up: Spend time with people who make you laugh – their mere presence will make you more relaxed.
  • Chew gum: At those moments when you feel intense stress, gum chewing can help keep the hormones causing your anxiety from shooting up.  
Whichever methods you try, make sure to plan to de-stress and you’ll be able to face each day feeling younger and with renewed energy.
Editor’s note:  That fight or flight response Holly refers to is nature’s way of making sure we can get out of tough situations, such as a life-threatening encounter with a wild animal.  It is meant to be a temporary coping mechanism.  When the danger passes, the response subsides.
The problem with modern life is that the tough situation tends to become permanent.  A tense job situation, an upsetting relationship, money problems, children who act out, and so much more are examples on ongoing high stress situations from which we cannot readily escape.  If you are in a circumstances like any of these, the fight or flight response becomes continuous, and soon cortisol (the hormone of stress) becomes permanently elevated.  When this happens, your health and your waistline are in jeopardy.  At this point Holly’s suggestions need to be paired with Stress Relief (60).
Stress Relief (60) is specially formulated to rehabilitate your energy system and lower high cortisol levels by supporting the adrenal glands.  When the Stress Relief (60) formula was studied on 500 people with high stress levels, cortisol was reduced by 37%, and DHEA, the weight loss and energy hormone, was increased by a whopping 227%.  Stress related snacking was reduced by 76% in the participants who reported eating high calorie snack foods.
Thank you for your valuable time.
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Richie Li


Image credits: Commonwikimedia, Totalfunctionalhealth, Cesaualberta,

Food in control


In food, we are concerned about the quality, nutritional value.  So when you are dieting, food choice becomes a major factor.  This applies to everybody, all ladies and men.

Fit girl

Fit man







When you are on a relentless pursuit of your dream body, you probably have to be extra careful what you are eating.  Today we are here to discuss ‘dirty bulking’ vs ‘clean bulking.’  For those that are looking to pack on mass, it is to our knowledge that we need to ‘eat to get big.’  This is why we need to eat and train on a heavy scale; simply to build larger muscles, packing on more muscle mass.  What you not only determines the way you look, it also impacts your performance before and after training; ultimately, the way you feel throughout the day.


Dirty bulking

Dirty bulking is the definition of ‘eating whatever is there.’  From Smarties to candies, beef steak to veggies, you have them all.  There is no schedule for the meals.  With less attention paid to the nutritional value of the food consumed, the macro-nutrients are broken down and stored quite differently.  This is what happens:



Clean bulking

Clean bulking refers to eating food with high nutritious value, spread out evenly into 5-6 meals a day.  In other words, you are eating higher quality food on a schedule.  Balanced meals and accurate portions allow the body to adapt and function in an efficient manner.  Some examples of those foods are:




  • Improved neurological adaptation
  • Strength gain
  • Lean muscle mass gain
  • Drop in body fat
  • ULTIMATELY a defined, healthy functional body


But of course, it is very difficult to follow a schedule when it comes to eating.  This is typically crucial if we are competitive bodybuilders, but choice of food is definitely something to be taken into great concern.  If you want to feel good, this is where it begins.






Image credit: Depositphotos, 123rf, maylistboard,

4 ways to brighten up your day


Drink a cup of green tea

What better healthy option than to drink a cup of green tea first thing in the morning.  Too bitter? A little bit of honey can sweeten the taste, which in a way brightens up your day


Light walk in the sun

The reason why God created night and day is perhaps because he wants us to stay active in the morning.  Don’t stay indoor on a good summer day.  Take a nice brisk walk or jog in the sun and you will enjoy what nature has in store for you.  Stay active!



Get a good night sleep

Quality of sleep is important the night before for anybody to feel good in the morning.  Switch off the phones and computers.  Why putting on a movie while trying to put yourself to sleep.  Relax, and soon you will step into sleep heaven.



This would not be an unusual one.  If you want to happy, smile! Do let other people, events ruin your day.  If you want to be happy, it is YOUR CHOICE 🙂






Image courtesy to Helenpainter, World-Health, Iseenicrun, Principalspage, Smiley-face


‘You have to eat after work-out’

Post work out meal is extremely important when it comes to restoring energy level.  Much to the controversy, Many people still dwell in the idea that we should not eat after exercising and head straight to bed.  So next time when this thought cross your mind, you may want to ask yourself one thing: how do expect myself to function normally in my full time job or at best, feel good and active the next day.


The important point to bear in mind is that food gives us energy.  It is stored as glycogen.  When our body detect low levels of glycogen, metabolism would slow down to compensate energy loss.  You may want to lose a few pounds by the end of the month, but imagine what you are doing to your body if you do not feed it well.

CARS need FUEL, so does the human body.  It is hard to get around with an empty tank of gas. 

Okay then, what about snacks then?

Sure.  If eating after work-out is still a big no-no, snacks it is.

6 Smart Snacks for After Your Workout

Replenish your energy after your workout with these smart protein and carb snack combos.

By Lisa Kovalovich Whitmore

Whether you work up a sweat in the morning or evening, chances are you grab a little bite before you hit the gym. A snack before you work out helps give you energy and stamina to go the distance. But did you know that eating a snack after you work out is even more important? “You want to make sure you feed your body to help repair muscle tissues and replenish glycogen stores [which are depleted after a strenuous workout],” says Kristin Reisinger, MS, RD, a sports nutritionist and competitive figure athlete based in New Jersey. Here, six top snacks to fuel your body post workout (Reisinger recommends chasing each of these snacks with 8-12 ounces of water).

Protein Shake with Banana”After a workout, you want ample protein combined with a carbohydrate,” says Reisinger. A protein shake made from whey protein, water, and half a banana is a great choice, since your body quickly turns it into energy.

Recommended Serving Size: 2 scoops of whey protein powder combined with water and 1/2 banana, 250 calories

Peanut Butter & Banana on Rice CakesIf you’re craving something more substantial after a workout, a healthy peanut butter and banana sandwich will fit the bill. Instead of bread, smooth your peanut butter onto two brown rice cakes for extra fiber (without empty carbs). And while you may usually avoid bananas because they’re too full of sugar, eating one after a workout is just fine. “This is one of the only times I recommend a high-glycemic carbohydrate source such as banana, because the uptake will be rapid,” says Reisinger. Translation: It’ll replenish your energy quickly.

Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, and 2 brown rice cakes, 215 calories

Hummus and PitaAnother great carb/protein combo: Hummus and whole wheat pita. Hummus, a dip made from pureed chickpeas, gives you both carbs and protein. Coupled with the slow-release energy from the whole wheat pita, it makes for a snack that’ll keep you fueled for hours.

Recommended Serving Size: 1/4 cup hummus with 1 whole wheat pita, 275 calories

Yogurt and Fresh BerriesProtein makes sense after a workout, since it contains amino acids that help build muscle. “Your muscles are depleted of amino acids after a workout, so you need an adequate supply of protein to help build them up,” says Reisinger. Low-fat yogurt can pack nearly 15 grams of protein; add some berries for carbohydrate-driven energy.

Recommended Serving Size: 1 8-ounce container of plain, low-fat yogurt with 1/2 cup berries, 180 calories

Tuna on Whole WheatWhat could be more filling after a workout than half a sandwich? And when you choose its filling wisely, you’ll be building muscle while you eat, too! “Research shows that carbs and protein together have a better response to post-workout recovery,” says Reisinger. Tuna drizzled with a little lemon juice and olive oil spread over a slice of whole wheat bread is an ideal protein/carb mini-meal.

Recommended Serving Size: 4 ounces water-packed tuna and 1 slice whole wheat bread, 220 calories

Turkey and Cheese with Apple SlicesIf you’re not in the mood for a sandwich, skip the bread and eat the fillings on their own! Spread a soft-cheese wedge over two or three slices of lean deli turkey, then roll up for a quick, high-protein, eat-on-the-go snack. Add a sliced apple for some energy-boosting (and glycogen-replenishing) carbs.

Recommended Serving Size: 4 ounces deli turkey, 1 soft cheese wedge, and 1 apple, 240 calories

Originally published on, February 2006.

Hope you enjoy the list.  Please follow via email for more interesting nutrition tips~

Richie Li


Image credit: Advice salford, Dreamstime, refashionista


Posted: February 15, 2013 in Tip of the Week


Clear boundary of life and death



2 am in the morning I found myself craving for food.  As I opened the fridge, I noticed it was a selection between cheese, crab, meat or broccoli.  Even though making a nice crispy french toast did cross my mind, I ended up choosing the broccoli.  For veggie-lovers, broccoli may be phenomenal even it is raw but I personally prefer ‘enhancing the flavor.’

{The preparation of Midnight-Rescue}


A pinch of salt  and pepper

Prepare a small water bath, placing the broccoli on the top

Pre-heat the oven to 250-270 degrees-Celcius

Place the water bath with broccoli in the oven and let it sit for 20 minutes

The finished product should have an interesting, chewing texture with the tint of fragrance; in other words, freshness.

{The Dip}

Add a 2 teaspoons of ketchup and half a teaspoon of horse-raddish

Swirl the mixture well

Add a tint of sauce from a fresh lemon for added zest

{Final phase}: DIG IN!

Here is more interesting information I came across that outlines and elaborates the benefits of broccoli.

Broccoli Broccoli

What’s New and Beneficial About Broccoli

  • Broccoli can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in broccoli do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw broccoli still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much.
  • Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body’s detoxification system, and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are the detox-regulating molecules made from broccoli’s glucosinolates, and they help control the detox process at a genetic level.
  • Broccoli may help us solve our vitamin D deficiency epidemic. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.
  • Broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. Recent research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. This kaempferol connection helps to explain the unique anti-inflammatory benefits of broccoli, and it should also open the door to future research on the benefits of broccoli for a hypoallergenic diet.

WHFoods Recommendations

Studies have shown that even kids like broccoli and one way to ensure that they enjoy it is to cook it properly by using our Healthy Steaming method. Overcooked broccoli becomes soft and mushy, an indication that it has lost both nutrients and flavor. Begin by cutting broccoli florets into quarters and let sit for several minutes before cooking to enhance its health-promoting benefits. Steam for 5 minutes. See Healthiest Way of Cooking Broccoli below.

You’ll want to include broccoli as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy broccoli and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.

Nutrients in
1.00 cup raw (91.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value

vitamin C135.2%

vitamin K115.5%


vitamin A11.3%





vitamin B68%

vitamin B26.4%



vitamin B55.2%





vitamin B14%


vitamin E3.5%


vitamin B32.8%

Calories (30)1%

This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Broccoli provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Broccoli can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Broccoli, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

Health Benefits

It’s no coincidence that more than 300 research studies on broccoli have converged in one unique area of health science—the development of cancer—and its relationship to three metabolic problems in the body. Those three problems are (1) chronic inflammation (2) oxidative stress, and (3) inadequate detoxification. While these types of problems have yet to become part of the public health spotlight, they are essential to understanding broccoli’s unique health benefits. Over the past 5 years, research has made it clear that our risk of cancer in several different organ systems is related to the combination of these three problems.

|Struck by hunger|

Richie Li




Broccoli Post by |WHfoods|

Image credits: Clipofart





Posted: January 4, 2013 in Tip of the Week

‘The greatest weakness of all is the great fear of appearing weak.’ – JBB