We all age. That fact is inevitable. But a lot of the negative changes that take place in our bodies are not. As we age, we become more susceptible to such things as heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and arthritis. However, medical research has shown that proper nutrition can slow down and even prevent many of these ailments.

It is estimated that nearly one half of all health problems in the elderly are directly related to poor nutrition. The elderly are by and large some of the most poorly nourished people. Some reasons for this are as you age your sense of taste and smell decreases, it is harder to chew, and you just don’t feel hungry.

In some cases, financial reasons may affect the food choices made and it may be harder to get out and shop for food due to various physical factors. On top of this, as you get older your body may not be able to absorb some of the nutrition from food as well as it could when you were younger. In some cases a good multivitamin (preferably in liquid form) could help offset this. Your doctor can help you find one that’s right for you.

Here are a few things that you can do to plan for better nutrition in your diet and a healthier life as you get older:

  • Plan out regular meals for each day and try to include vegetables in at least 2 of them every day. If you must snack, use fruits and vegetables rather than junk food like potato chips and candy.
  • If you have problems chewing meat, try going with things like fish and ground meats. Also try to eat more soups as they can have plenty of nutrition in them and they are great choices if you are on a budget.
  • Make meals more interesting by inviting a friend to lunch or dinner once in a while. Sometimes it can get boring to always eat alone and having someone over can entice you to get more creative with meals than you might when eating alone.
  • One thing you can do to ensure that you’ll be getting better nutrition is to make each plate colorful. Different color vegetables for example generally contain different nutrients so the idea here is, mix it up.

Growing old may be inevitable but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow old gracefully and healthier and with a steady diet of proper nutrition, you can maintain better health well into your golden years.

Habits are deeply-rooted patterns of behaviours in our daily life, some of which  we hardly ever think about.  Good habits run the gamut of health and fitness habits, personal growth habits, and habits that help us sustain satisfactory relationships.  They add value and purpose to our goals : to be the person we want to be and  to do the things that make us happy.  Conversely, bad habits hinder us from achieving our goals and the battle continues to wage war in our minds :

“I know that that’s not good for me.  I want to change. But I can’t”. 

Perhaps understanding a little more about bad habits can help us work on how to overcome them. 

How Habits Evolve

Experts refer to a 3-step pattern on how habits evolve

(1) cue

(2) action/behaviour and

(3) reward.

For example : we see a piece of chocolate cake, we eat it, it tastes good and we feel good : cue/trigger, behaviour, reward. This context dependent memory causes us to repeat the process the next time we want the reward.  If the rewards  are beneficial – such as  the habit of going for that run once the alarm rings at six am –  that is all well and good.  With bad habits – such as eating too many chocolate cakes – however, the rewards may not be  good for us in the long run.  Continuing these bad habits as routine causes our brain to go into auto mode and each time we want to feel good – regardless the cue – we would dive straight into the same reward ie the chocolate cake.  If we continue such routines, our brain becomes so entrenched so much so that it stops intelligently processing or makes a cognitive choice. 


One strategy to let go of bad habits is mindfulness – right from the start when the cues or triggers come.  For example : biting nails.  Be mindful about the times you bite your nails.  When, where, and why do you bite your nails?   Feeling bored, nervous?  Next,  find a healthier substitute the next time you are bored or nervous.   Perhaps consider putting your hands in your pocket,  clasping your hands together, chewing gum, or play with a ball or elastic band.  Be mindful of the rewards too.  When your cues are emotional ones such as frustration or stress,  what’s your responding behaviours for gratification? 


Bad habits such shouting, bingeing (such as chocolate cakes) or  drinking. Do these help or hurt your goals? Would a healthier responding behaviour (good habit) be more effective? 

Mindfulness helps us to be aware and curious of why we do what we do,  and to be able to see what is generally going on inside ourselves:  a journey that takes time and courage. However understanding  that  bad habits are indeed instant gratifications that stifle our long term goals, would be a strong  motivator to help us change and let go of  bad habits. 

Self motivation through talk therapy is a good approach to breaking bad habits. However where bad habits have escalated to affect the quality of life and have grossly  tipped the scales to an unhealthy imbalance, seeking professional help through counselling may be considered.  Contact www.evolvetonewbeginnings.wordpress.com for more information.


Contributing Author: Eunice Gan


I post a lot of exercise videos on my IG @bangkokhealthcoach, and I love sharing all about physical fitness and proper form and all that good stuff. But I think I need to be more clear about what I else do just in case I can help more people.

I’m leadership coach and certified personal trainer who has moved into the Holistic Health Coaching arena since last year. Why? Because while I believe that exercise is vital to physical and even emotional health, I know that not everyone likes to exercise AND exercise is not the only thing you should be doing to be healthy. Some may even go so far to say that they cringe at that word “gym” or “weights” or “cardio”. I hear you! Being healthy indeed involves more than exercise.

And that’s where I can help you. If you are stuck on the idea that gym = health, then I’m here to open your eyes and share other ways you can be healthy and lose excess fat without making the gym the end all be all of health. –

Here’s a fact that may be shocking to some: not everyone who goes to the gym lives a healthy lifestyle or is even losing fat. If your goal is to live daily in a healthy way, lose fat, gain back health and energy to live out your life purpose, then let’s talk and discover what that means. I’m offering complementary 15-minute discovery calls with me to:

✨1. explore holistic options to improve your health outside the gym, and

✨ 2. see if we’d be a good fit to work together. 

No commitments. No pressure. Anyone who knows me can affirm that I don’t do hard-sell or pressure anyone.

Choose a time slot that works for you below:

Early risers may have an advantage of getting up before sunrise to get their workout in first thing in their day and that is great for getting it out of the way and not having to worry about fitting a workout in later. But not everyone is an early riser and just the thought of getting up early for a run seems impossible. So don’t worry, if you can’t work out in the morning, here are some physical benefits of working out at different times during the day.

Working out in the Afternoon

It’s actually a matter of habit than an ideal time to hit the gym.(


)  For example, if you can make it to the gym only from 2:30 to 3:30 pm and keep doing that on a consistent basis, you will reap the benefits as your body adjusts to that time and actually perform better than other times during the day. Another interesting research finds that if you stick to a program long enough at the same time of day, it will result in better performance, efficient oxygen consumption and less perceived effort and exhaustion. (


). Specific and consistent training like this helps your body adapts towards better performance.

Other Factors that Affect Performance

There are factors that you may want to consider when thinking about the optimal workout time:
  1. Muscle temperature: your body and muscles are still cold and stiff in the morning which gives you more injury risk. So if you’re a morning exerciser, make sure to warm up well. Muscle strength actually increases during the late afternoon when your muscles are at their warmest temperature. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21029194).
  2. Testosterone Level: Testosterone plays a vital role in muscle growth and strength in both men and women. The body actually produces more testosterone during late afternoon resistance training than it does during morning workouts. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20560706)

  3. Effect on Sleep: Exercise will increase your heart rate and body temperature helping you wake up. So even if your muscles are cold and stiff in the morning and you are feeling groggy. Getting an exercise in first thing could help solve that! Given its effect on heart rate and body temperature, exercise in the late evening or at night may keep you up and disrupt your sleep. If you want to get a good night’s sleep, avoid exercising before bed. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270305/)

  4. Effect on appetite: Losing weight is about calorie balance and also eating the nutrient dense calories. A study found that 45 minutes of moderate exercise in the morning helped reduced appetite after the workout.
    (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22617393) This can prevent us overeating our calories during the day and keep insulin levels low in the morning, which helps burn more body fat. It’s also been found that we burn 20 percent more fat exercising on an empty stomach, which works best first thing in the morning.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23340006


The Verdict

So there you go, you have the facts to decide which time of day would be best for you. But in reality, the best time to work out is when you can be consistent and commit whatever that time is.

Understanding sleep, the power of it and how to get as much high-quality sleep as possible is one of the healthiest things we can do. Sleep is that extra variable you need to incorporate into your health routine to burn that extra fat and lose weight. Watch the video and check if you have sleep deprivation and see what you can do to sleep better.







It’s been said that the secret to happiness is to be content with what you have. I’d like to suggest that we should take it a step further. Contentment alone is lacking, but being content and grateful together is really a powerful combination.

Contentment is a like neutral state of being where you don’t desire more or less – almost a zen-like existence. When a negative incident arises, contentment tells us, “It is what it is.” That does not really describe true happiness or joy, does it? 

Now when we talk about gratefulness, this emotion comes from a overflowing joy, which goes beyond a neutral state. When gratefulness wells up, we feel a sense of fulfillment and comfort beyond any state of neutral contentment. We can hardly keep a smile in when we recognise gifts and blessings that we have in our lives. The delight that springs up can be hard to hide.

Try it right now: Think of something you are truly grateful for. 

Trace back to how it came to be a part of your life, your journey, your life experience. All the things that happened that you witnessed and all the things that had to happen that you did not see had to fall into place for whatever that blessing is to come into your life. Do you feel it? Do you feel that sense of gratitude in your heart that goes beyond contentment. 

The more you know that it couldn’t have just been you alone to orchestrate those blessings or achievements, the more gratitude you will feel. If you indeed have a hard time feeling gratitude for past accomplishments, then I would say that it’s because you believe you did it all by yourself and that the feeling in your chest is not necessarily gratefulness but a sense of pride. Unfortunately, pride can stand in the way of a joyful life.

Moreover, the reality is that our lives and our successes cannot exist in isolation of others. It is more realistic and certainly humbling to embrace the fact that there are people in your life who helped you get to where you are… Click To Tweet


So what are some steps you can take to foster a grateful heart?

  1. Take some time to take stock of your entire life. If you are older, this may take a while longer but it is well worth the exercise! Think of all the people who played a part in your successes. See, there was no way you could achieved all you have just by yourself and your resources.
  2. Identify bitterness. Search your heart for any trace of bitterness against people or painful circumstances in the past. Make a decision to forgive even if you don’t feel like it or even if they don’t “deserve” forgiveness. After all, no one really “deserves” forgiveness because none of us can make up entirely for the wrongs we have caused others. Waiting on someone to make it up to you until you feel completely healed is just asking for misery and disappointment. It will do your heart and soul such good to forgive and let go of all malice and bitterness.
  3. Choose a few people to tell them you are grateful for them. It’s great to be grateful for people in your life, but take it a step further. Communicate and share that gratefulness with them. Tell them why you appreciate them. That little message of thankfulness and encouragement could change their lives. We all need to know that we mattered and made a difference to someone in some way or another.
  4. Start your day off being grateful. Giving thanks for your first cup of coffee or breakfast, for example, is a wonderful start. Take some quiet time in the morning and give thanks for your job, your family, the ability to go to work knowing many can’t, the clothes you have. Whatever it is, this is a real life-changing exercise anyone can do.

A life-long process of being grateful can begin right now.

If you are lacking joy in your life, you could be needing a fresh injection of some gratefulness. So, what are you waiting for? Give yourself that injection and a joyful life above and beyond contentment can be yours.

With the recent tragic news about the deaths of Kate Spade, designer whose name was synonymous with style and fun, and Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and TV host, it’s time that we really talk about mental health. Combined with data from the WHO (https://www.befrienders.org/suicide-statistics) showing that in the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 (male and female). 

Emotional troubles don't pay attention to income, and people who seem to “have it all” can also have the mental health difficulties that cause people to kill themselves.  Click To Tweet

Emotional troubles don’t pay attention to income, and people who seem to “have it all” can also have the mental health difficulties that cause people to kill themselves. 

“Whether you’re at church or at school or in an office, some portion of the room is having thoughts of suicide, now or recently,” said Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). “The fact is that if you think your life has not been touched by suicide ever, it probably means that it’s just not being talked about.” How can we be more open about mental health in the same way that we are open about physical health issues? 

Those of us who work and live in busy and competitive urban areas, know too well the treadmill of daily routine, out of balance work-life harmony and the constant draw to our screens. 

Adding to the stress of being trying to over up our anxiety and depression, there is the social stigma especially in Asia that surrounds talking about topics like depression, anxiety, therapy and suicide. We dare not talk about these things or even hint that we suffer from them for fear of being looked down upon or being weak and unprofessional. This fear creates a vacuum of isolation for us and sucks us into a deep vortex of dark thoughts. I’ve been there and done that and you can contact me to get a copy of my testimony of how I found my way out of depression and suicidal temptations.

How can we better handle and take care of our emotional health by infusing joy, meaning and connectedness to others?

Here are 4 suggestions you can take now to care for yourself emotionally:

1. Have Meaningful Conversations to Really Connect 

Does anyone really have it all together? That friend who you see on social media and looks like she has a great job and fulfilling social life may seem all put together, but in reality could she be fighting her inner demons, struggling emotionally and crying herself to sleep when she’s alone?

You will never know if you only talk about small talk or gossip when you meet her for coffee or brunch. Those of us who know what it’s like to have been brushed aside or judged when we mention depression are wary of sharing our struggles with just anyone. So, it’s important to find safe people who we can truly connect with.

Truly connecting with friends and family now can offer the deep connections that give life meaning and give you a safe person to go to when you are at your wit’s end in your emotional struggle and you feel like you need to escape.

Identify safe people whom you can trust. Someone you can talk to and pray with when you are in a state of emotional crisis. You will know who these people are. Reach out to them and have a meaningful talk about how you are doing with emotional balance and let them know why you appreciate having them in your life.

If you have trouble opening up to friends and family, a mental health professional can be an independent, confidential person in whom to confide.

“There is effective treatment available and there is hope,” said Dr. Selena Snow, founder of the Snow Psychology Group.

2. Know Yourself and What Brings You Joy

Knowing yourself and listing down activities that bring you joy can be a lifesaving list. When you write down the things that give you a simple joy such as, painting, journaling, dancing, working out, praying, reading, watching a movie, you have an immediate go-to list you can use when you are feeling down. Keep it as a note on your phone so you can easily refer to it. Share this list with a safe person so that can help you refer to it when you need help.

3. Change the venue

When you are feeling down and locking yourself out of the world, ask for strength to get up and out and do an errand even if it’s just to go out for a coffee. Commit to getting up, wash your face, and freshening up before you leave the house.

4. Working Out Works

It’s evident that when you work out, your cortisol or stress hormones are greatly reduced and endorphins the feel-good hormones are released. I get that it can be hard to make yourself workout when you’re feeling down and don’t really want to pull a pair of leggings or sports bra on but rather lay down on your bed, so text a friend and invite them to workout with you and you’d be more likely to commit.

Another good idea is to invest in a few workout tools you can keep near your bed like resistance bands and dumbbells where you can just pick them up and start working out even in your bedroom.

Emotional brokenness is just as real and important as any chronic physical illness. I hope that more conversations will be started about how we can bring these issues to the light and help those who are struggling secretly in shame and… Click To Tweet


Anyone who feels depressed, lonely or suicidal can call the following service numbers: 

The Samaritans of Thailand 02-713-6793 (Thai), 02-713-6791 (English) or 02-713-6790 (for those interested in volunteering). 

The Department of Mental Health can be reached on 1323 (Thai).

Samaritans of Thailand



(02) 713 6793 (Thai)

12:00 noon to 22:00 hours/day., 7 days a week

(02) 713-6791(English call back service within 24 hours)

24 hours/day, 7 days/week

Chiang Mai

(053) 225-977/8 (Thai)

19:00 – 22:00 hrs

(Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat)