In the “Herb Tea Meeting: The 3rd Party” that was held in September, Nilufer Tea met with many people who were anticipating the lovely event during the relaxing Saturday. The theme of this event is “Mindfulness”. Participants get to design their Porsellatz, which is a method of transferring beautiful images (usually of delicate flowers) on porcelain or glass cups. Furthermore, everyone gets to enjoy quality herbal tea to calm their minds and soothe their soul. After all, this is what mindfulness is all about!
Mindfulness is the act of fostering the ability to notice and be aware of your mental and emotional state. ‘What are you feeling?’ and ‘What is my body currently seeking?’ are usually questions that bring oneself into the state of mindfulness. This allows your heart and body to heal from the daily stress of life and allow yourself to concentrate on yourself. Self-love.
There are many activities to ignite mindfulness. Zazen meditation – in fact, almost all forms of meditation! – is only one of them. You get to focus on yourself and reset your life. Getting into the state of mindfulness is a new technique of self-care that helps to reduce stress. It is no wonder that big companies such as Google and Goldman Sachs are trying to incorporate them for their employees.
Close your eyes for 5 minutes and imagine herbs and flowers surrounding you. Breathe in the scents deeply and then look at their gentle colours around you. The aroma and colour guide you to a state of relaxation. Isn’t that wonderful?
Therefore, the event was created. It is meant to allow everyone to relax and destress using herbs and flowers that can be brew into a soothing tea in a beautiful glass cup. Such a feast to the eyes, nose and mouth!
Colours can affect one’s psychology greatly. They have a large influence on people, even if you don’t realise it. Based on the colours that surround you, you inevitably feel them and the moods that they represent and embody. That is why colours are often associated with various positive traits and good vibes:
|pink||Tenderness, calm love, awakening|
|orange||Kindness, association, together|
|yellow||Laugh, Courage, Positive|
|Green||Caring, care, growth, harmony|
|light blue||Self love, freedom|
|Blue||Independence, independence, seeing the truth|
|tea||Confidence, effort, peace|
The herb and flower design on the cup makes drinking herbal tea even more elegant and more enjoyable!
In the next workshop, you will learn how to move your pelvic floor muscles to manage menstrual pain and postpartum problems. Herbal teas will be introduced, especially those which can help to warm your body.
Menstrual pain and postpartum problems come about when the pelvic floor muscles become harder and more immobile. These exercises help to improve the following conditions:
Even if you don’t have the above condition, you can come join us and learn how to improve your pelvic muscles for better mobility.
Below are the details of the workshop:
Date: 9 October 2018 (Tue), 10:30 ~ 12:00
This date is subject to changes so check out our FB page for updates! We look forward to meeting you and spending a wonderful time with you.
We met Mr. Inoue from Inoue Seikoen who is also from Setouchi area where Nilufer's lemon is harvested. Inoue Seikoen mainly deal with Olive oil for both cooking and cosmetics.
Inoue Seikoen changes the game for olive-related products, because with over 70 years of being in the business of producing olive related products, you can be sure that you are getting high-quality olive products from them.
Indeed my father is a big fan of Inoue Seikoen so I have eaten his wonderful olive since I was a child!
We sat down with Inoue Kenya, one of the members of the newest generation in the Inoue Seikoen business to find out more about his family business and what motivates him.
Nilufer Tea: Hello Kenya! Please tell us more about yourself and the work you do.
Kenya: My name is Kenya Inoue and I come from a small island called “Shodoshima” in Japan’s Setouchi. Setouchi, an inland sea in Japan, is renowned for its calming waters and temperate climate. The weather is very similar to the Aegean Islands where some of world’s best olive is produced.
My family owns an olive farm for over 70 years and produce olive-related products. I promote these olive products here in Singapore as the Managing Director.
Nilufer Tea: What made you start current work?
Kenya: Before moving to England after my high school, I helped in my family’s olive farming business for about a few months. This started to drive my interest in the olive business. After coming back from UK to Japan, I was mainly in charge of the café and the production side to understand my family business better. Later, I had an opportunity to work at our affiliated farm in Spain.
There, I learnt how to harvest the best olives at that time. I wanted to stay in Spain but I was assigned to promote our olive products in Singapore. Because this is my family business, I was naturally interested in it, but now this work has become more than an interest and it has become something very valuable in my life.
Nilufer Tea: What is the most interesting thing in your work?
Kenya: I enjoy communicating directly with my customers and am especially glad when they tell us how much they love our olive products. I am also very happy to share more about my hometown, “Shodoshima”, when they ask about it.
Nilufer Tea: Are there any challenges you faced in your work?
Kenya: Many people, both in Singapore and Japan, knows that olive oil is good for health and the skin somehow. However, there are good-quality olive oil and poor-quality olive oil. So, just because there is olive oil in a product, it does not mean it is going to be good for you. I feel that it is difficult to convey the importance of good-quality olive oil and also the process of making the olive oil in Japan.
Nilufer Tea: Do you have any final words for those who want to embark on the same journey as you?
Kenya: Inoue Seikoen Has long established family business over 70 years with three consecutive generations from my grandfather’s time. Through such experience, we would like to tell the world about the wonderfulness of olives, Shodosima and agriculture in Japan with our products (http://bit.ly/2LnBSXT).
Nilufer Tea: Is there anyone who has a positive impact on you?
Kenya: There are many people I look up to, but if you ask me to choose only one, it will be Tomohiro Inoue, the third owner at INOUE SEIKOEN, and also my father. He always kept his words and promises and is very passionate and enthusiastic towards the business.
He always thinks about how to contribute to the development of our region and Japan. His full commitment to his work gives a positive impact not only to me but also everyone around him. One day I want to be like him and be better than him.
|Inoue Seikoen harvests and produces olive oil & citrus products for cosmetics and cooking with the blessings of nature.
Our most popular cosmetic product in Singapore is the “Peeling Gel”.
Peeling sounds like it will stress your skin, but our peeling gel uses natural citrus ingredients and this minimises the burden on your skin. It brightens your complexion and improves the texture of your skin. It deeply cleans your pores to give you clean soft skin.
Unlike some toners or beauty olive oils outside which may be tough on your skin, Inoue Seikoen peeling gel is made of 100% natural ingredients and is gentle on the skin.
The peeling gel:
Would you like to have dewy, flawless fair skin that seems as clear and luminous as glass? Try our Do-It-Yourself (DIY) herbal face mask for your weekly facial routine. Here are 8 herbal face masks you can make from the comfort of your home!
This flavourful herb isn't only great for adding fragrance to your grilled chicken - its anti-inflammatory properties also work wonders in clearing up your skin. Rosemary also contains plenty of iron, calcium and phytonutrients, and together, they help to protect the skin from sun damage. When coupled with moisturising avocado, this mask will instantly moisturise your skin and leave it glowing.
Half an avocado
2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
The anti-inflammatory properties of lavender can help to fight the bacteria that causes acne, soothing the skin and reducing the risk of inflammation. Oatmeal, on the other hand, removes dirt and exfoliates dead skin away, leaving our complexion clear and glowing.
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
1 tablespoon rolled oats
Your favourite cup of tea to sip can actually work miracles for your skin - chamomile is packed with antioxidants, which helps to reduce signs of aging. Vitamin C and E found in bananas promotes clear and glowing skin. Glass skin? Here we come!
1 tablespoon chamomile flowers
1 smashed banana
Not sure where to get organic chamomile flowers? Check out Nilufer Tea's lemon and chamomile tea, which are packed with chamomile flowers and lemon slices.
With all the rage surrounding peel-off masks lately, alginate face masks are the next big thing. Alginate are natural polysaccharides extracted from seaweed, and helps to tighten skin and reduce the appearance of pores. It also intensely hydrates the face, giving a tremendous improvement to the skin to make it youthful, fresh and glowing.
Sodium alginate powder (can be purchased online)
Transport yourself to a mini-spa with this detoxifying face mask. Turmeric works wonders in lightening blemishes or freckles, and the charcoal helps to draw out toxins from the skin, leaving your face feeling fresh.
1/2 teaspoon organic plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon activated charcoal
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Roses help to fight skin dullness, which comes in handy given the amount of pollution we are exposed to today. Besides helping to brighten skin, roses also help to trap moisture in your skin, making it radiant and youthful.
1 tablespoon fresh yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh cream
1 tablespoon rose paste
With these 8 herbal DIY face masks, not only will you save a ton of money, you can rest assured that all these ingredients are chemical and paraben-free. Best of all, they can be done from the comfort of your own home, while you are relaxing in bed or watching the television. Go forth and bless your skin with these 8 masks!
7. Chamomile and Heather Face mask (Brightening)
Image Credits: Stevepb on Pixabay
Image Credits: Summa on Pixabay
Image Credits: Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
Image Credits: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
As the saying goes, 'don't judge a book by its cover', the same goes for seeds - don't judge them by their tiny size! These minuscule yet mighty seeds are packed to the brim with nutrients such as protein, iron, fiber and antioxidants that all work together for better health and better skin.
Seeds are also incredibly easy to incorporate into our diets - just sprinkle them over your smoothie, or add them to your rice. Read on for 8 healthy seeds to incorporate into your diet!
These nutritional powerhouses pack a ton of phytosterols, which have proven to help lower blood cholesterol. After scraping clean the inside of your pumpkin to create your favourite jack-o-lanterns, don't throw all that gunk away! Save those pumpkin seeds, top them with a little olive oil and salt, give them a good roast in the oven, and you'll have tasty seeds to snack on. These pumpkin seeds are tasty enough to be eaten alone, or you can sprinkle them over your oatmeal or add them into your favourite muffins!
These tiny black seeds are an excellent source of protein and fiber - a 28g serving of chia seeds contains 10.6 grams of fiber and 4.4 grams of protein. These seeds are a vital part of a healthy diet, and have also shown to lead to better skin with their high antioxidant content. In addition to keeping our complexion clear and healthy, chia seeds also can aid in reducing the risk of diabetes. Research has shown that a high-fiber diet can help to curb Type 2 diabetes - so go ahead and gobble these tiny titans up to keep diabetes at bay!
The beautiful ruby seeds found in pomegranates boast a multitude of benefits. Not only are they juicy and refreshing, pomegranate seeds contain a type of antioxidants called flavonols, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Pomegranate seeds also pack a ton of Vitamin C, which can offer protection against deficiencies in our immune system and skin wrinkling - all contributing to better skin and health!
Flaxseeds are a great source of fiber and omega-3 fats, which work together to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels in the body. However, the hard, fibrous outer-shell of flaxseeds are not digested by our bodies - which can inhibit the absorption of those precious omega-3 fats. When consuming flaxseeds, grind them up in a blender first to ensure that you reap the most out of these tiny seeds!
Remember those brightly coloured, chocolate-coated snacks we used to gobble up when we were young? Yup, those sunflower seeds are actually good for us - but without all that colouring and chocolate-coating! Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which can help to maintain healthy hair and skin by fighting off free radicals. Forget all your expensive face masks - beauty starts from a right diet!
While hemp seeds come from the same plant, Canabis sativa, as marijuana, they do not contain enough tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC) to make a person high. In fact, when THC is consumed and not smoked, they provide a plethora of health benefits to the consumer. Hemp seeds are rich in Gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA), which encourage hormone health in our bodies, therefore reducing the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.
Commonly sprinkled on top of our sushi and rice bowls, these tiny seeds pack 2g of protein per tablespoon, which aids greatly in digestion. A high-fiber diet results in healthy digestion by promoting bowel movement, which eventually aids in better absorption of all the valuable nutrients that we consume through sesame seeds. The organic compound, sesamol, protects DNA against harmful radiation which can be emitted from computers or our phones, and therefore reduces the risk of cancer.
Quinoa has been touted as one of the superfoods years ago - but what exactly is so amazing about this unimpressionable seed? The answer lies in its plant antioxidants called flavanoids, namely quercetin and kaempferol, which have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects in animals. This supergrain is also rich in magnesium, which works towards healthy bones and teeth. Best of all? Quinoa is gluten-free, so if you're looking to eliminate gluten out of your diet, quinoa is a perfect addition to your diet!
These 8 seeds are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet - just top your yogurt, oatmeal or rice with them - the possibilities are endless. So, let your imagination run wild, and go forth to reap the benefits of these tiny nutritional powerhouses!
Image Credits: Chuttersnap on Unsplash
For those who don't live in the East side of Singapore, it might just seem like a slow and mundane community of terrace houses and quiet neighbourhoods. But time has proven these misconceptions wrong. Over the years, numerous quaint cafes have popped up in the vicinity of the residential neighbourhoods. Think ice cream bars and brunch spots right below your block, or just a five-minute stroll away. Mmm, sounds amazing.
Now, us Easties no longer have to travel for our fix of freshly roasted coffee and eggs benedict, especially when some of the best are located right in our hood. Don't believe us? Here are 10 hidden gems that can be found in the East - we won't be surprised if you guys come running here after reading about them.
Tucked into a quiet corner along East Coast Road, this cafe has built up a reputation over the years that is nothing but quiet. The name 'Penny University' was inspired by the first coffeehouses in London in the 1970s, where people only had to pay a penny to enter the coffeehouse. Now a modern day artisan cafe that sources their coffee beans from local roasters, head down to give their coffee a shot!
Address: 402 East Coast Road, Singapore
Tel: +65 6345 9055
What initially started out as a collective events space in the CBD has turned into a flourishing cafe. Fans of this cafe no longer have to travel all the way to Duxton Road for their fix of roasted almond latte - the new branch located at Katong V boasts a similar menu and casual, laidback decor. If you're looking for a less sinful brunch, be sure to give their Skinny Eggs Ben a shot. It comes with smashed avocado and lemon yogurt sauce, a low-calorie alternative to hollandaise sauce!
Address: 30 East Coast Road #01-11 Katong V, Singapore 428751
Closed on Mondays (except PH)
3D latte art? Sign me up! Upon ordering any cup of coffee, you will be greeted with adorable cartoon latte art that pops right out of the glass. While the latte art itself can warrant a trip all the way down to Changi Village, their food is also to die for. Chock Full of Beans tops the eggs benedict game by serving our favourite poached eggs with roast beef as well. It can get crowded on the weekends, so be sure to reserve a table before you head down!
Address: Blk 4 Changi Village Rd #01-2090, Singapore 500004
Tel: +65 6214 8839
The huge range of artisanal flavours of ice cream to choose from isn't the highlight here at the Fatcat Ice-Cream Bar. Think Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecakes, pudding-like Mojito Cocktail Spheres, and the gourmet Charcoal Waffles served with Salted Egg Yolk sauce. If you're up to give your tastebuds a challenge, this place is perfect for you.
Blk 416 Bedok North Ave 2 #01-25 Singapore 460416
Tel: +65 6241 0830
This gelato boutique takes a unique spin on ice cream - throw whatever you thought was the 'norm' for ice cream out of the window, because Birds of Paradise is here to challenge it in every way. Serving up natural botanical flavours, Birds of Paradise uses fresh herbs, spices and fruits to create their ice cream. Some interesting flavours include: Strawberry Basil, White Chrysanthemum, Pandan and Spiced Pear. Be sure to savour their ice creams with their thyme cones, which are made fresh on the spot.
63 East Coast Road #01-05
Tel: +65 9678 6092
Sun, Tue to Thu: 12pm – 10pm
Fri & Sat: 12pm – 10.30pm
Sick of the same old eggs benedict and toast? Fret not, we have Sinpopo Brand serving up local favourites with a twist. The menu comes in the form of an attendance roster, and local favourites such as Hor Fun are completely reinvented here. The sliced wagyu hor fun is crispy and tossed with perfectly seared wagyu beef slices, while the cult favourite Pulut Hitam is now served in a cake.
458 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427671
Tel: +65 6345 5034
Sun – Thurs: 12nn – 10pm
Fri – Sat: 12nn – 12am
With the recent acai craze that's been going on around the world, it's no surprise to find acai shops popping up all around Singapore. Taking the lead is Project Acai, Singapore's first dedicated Acai cafe. Prepared fresh everyday, these acai bowls are perfect in Singapore's relentless heat, and pack a great nutritious punch to your day.
217 East Coast Road, Singapore 428915
Mon - Sun: 1130am - 10pm*
*(or until sold out)
This minimalist cafe is the perfect backdrop for any grams you're planning on taking. The cafe, located in the former Singapore Badminton Hall, offers fresh bakes and savoury dishes for those looking for a heavier meal. Do try out their oven baked molten eggs on tortilla - it comes with a generous topping of melted cheese, avocado and smoked salmon!
100 Guillemard Road #01-02 Singapore 399718
Tel: +65 6348 0501
Sat, Sun & PH: 9.30am-6pm
Hygge is the secret to happiness, the magic ingredient which makes Denmark the happiest nation in the world. Pronounced as hue-guh or hoo-gah, hygge is a Danish word that lacks a literal English translation and a proper explanation. It is a coveted way of living and before you call it an over-hyped trend, there are some hard-to-ignore facts. The Danes boast the happiest workforce in the world, with 52 weeks of parental leave, and are well aware of the decoupling between wealth and well-being. After our basic needs are met, more wealth doesn’t necessarily equate to more happiness and the Danes are great at focusing on what brings them a better quality of life.
Hygge can be loosely translated as a state of cosiness and wellness, or taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing stuff. Hygge is akin to a hug, without the physical touch. You’ll know hygge when you feel it, but some of the key ingredients are comfort, presence, indulgence, relaxation and togetherness. Applicable to any time and space, the concept of hygge traverses winter and summer but the idea really comes alive in the harsh winters that Denmark is renowned for. It is in these winters and cold weathers that the Danes remain the world’s happiest people, even when it is the time of the year that almost everyone should be feeling down.
Interested to find out more? Here are 8 ways to hygge your life up, and it’s all about chocolates, comfort and candles…
To hygge, it’s crucial to pay attention to lighting and to create a sanctuary for yourself. Rumoured as one of the largest consumers of candles in the world per capita, the Danes burn more candles than anyone else.
Collapse onto plush cushions and cuddly blankets with warm, cosy lighting all around you. Get instant hygge by lighting candles as the warming glow of a flickering flame creates an intimate atmosphere. Also, candles are an antidote to harsh strip lights and spotlights, which are now common in offices and homes. Arrange candles of different sizes and shapes in clusters so that they form pools of light around your space. Light scented ones for extra oomph but of course, cheap tea lights will do the trick as well.
Think rustic, slow, wholesome food. Think cookies, pastries, loaves of warm bread and mugs of creamy hot chocolate. Go even more hygge and make these delicious treats with your loved ones. We’d recommend a cook-out where everyone gathers to cook together because that maximises the hygge factor and guarantees a relaxed, informal evening. Below is also a wonderful, old-fashioned recipe for hot chocolate:
1 litre full-fat milk
100g brown sugar (omit if desired)
100g cocoa powder
150ml crème fraiche
2 teasponns of vanilla extract
Heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder and crème fraiche. Return the mixture to a low heat and bring it to a simmer while stirring continuously. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the mixture is thickened then add in the vanilla extract and whisk till frothy. Following so, pour into mugs and enjoy together!
Get down to the knitty gritty because knitting is super hygge. The slow and steady rhythm is relaxing and could help you focus in a laid-back style. But if knitting is not your pastime, learn another craft or practice an old hobby. In general, crafts are super hygge as it gives you a chance to slow down and create something handmade.
Had a rough day? It might be nice to come home to a self-created emergency kit that contains comfort items such as chocolate, sweets, organic herbal tea, a soft cotton blanket, comfortable lounge wear and a good book. Throw in anything that will allow you to unwind mindfully in total bliss.
Hygge and gratitude go together because it’s all about savouring the simple pleasures in life that can be achieved on a shoestring budget. Be thankful for the little things, such as beautiful weather or a good cup of tea, as research has shown that those who give thanks are happier, more helpful and understanding. In the land of hygge, it’s also about celebrating pure simplicity – a way of being, not an acquired lifestyle. Don’t worry if your time or budget is limited, use what you have. Don’t overcomplicate matters, live well and live simply!
Hygge is somewhat the cure to modern life. It’s all about embracing experiences wholeheartedly and living in the moment, which is tough to do when staring at a little tech device. Turn off your phone and play a board game, bake cookies or just relax.
You can hygge on your own or with friends, it’s a really fluffy term and it involves having genuine contentment with a given situation with any worries or discomfort. The more you practise hygge, the more natural it will feel and your mind, body and soul will definitely feel a positive difference. Will you try to hygge?