Cost of healthcare in Singapore: What to consider

9th July 2020 by Lindsay Yap 3 Min ReadSingapore is known for its top-notch healthcare system – great news for all of us, though it can also mean some hefty bills! To help navigate the issues around these costs, we asked the team at Pacific Prime to give us a better understanding of how the healthcare system works, the cost of healthcare in Singapore and what you need to factor in if you want to live here as an expat.#1 No subsidies for expatsSingapore citizens and permanent residents have access to various subsidised healthcare services through government healthcare facilities. Unfortunately, expats don’t enjoy the same luxury and will be charged regular high rates. To ensure that you don’t need to pay everything out of your pocket when living in Singapore, buying a private health insurance plan is essential. #2 Public vs private healthcare in SingaporeIn Singapore, healthcare is made up of two sectors: public and private. The option you choose will have a significant effect on the price you pay. It’s common for private clinics and hospitals to have a higher price range than public alternatives. However, the difference has become less steep over recent years since the two are in direct competition. So why is the private sector more expensive? It offers a better service level to start with as well as many add-ons. Private facilities usually come with shorter waiting times and more privacy.#3 High-quality healthcarePrivate facilities may offer more perks compared to public medical centres, but you can be certain that any hospital you go to will be of a high standard. Hospitals in Singapore are equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, well-maintained facilities and have highly-trained and caring staff. This is why the cost of healthcare in Singapore is on the high end. Both public and private facilities also ensure that the entire process is efficient from start to finish. All of these reasons and more are why many expats living in other parts of Asia visit Singapore for medical care.#4 Difference in doctors’ experienceOne option that you might have in Singapore is to choose to see either a junior or senior doctor. The local medical system values time spent practicing and experience, which means that a more senior doctor will come with a higher rate.#5 Costs and locationLocation is a key factor to consider when you’re choosing a clinic or hospital. Prices can vary depending on where the facility is located. For instance, a clinic in the Central Business District (CBD) is going to have higher prices than a family clinic in a suburban area.It’s advisable to find a doctor that’s close to your home and another that’s near your office. You might want to consider finding another one near your children’s school, just in case. To save on healthcare costs, you can secure individual health insurance in Singapore for access to a wide medical network and have inpatient and outpatient expenses covered. Handy tip: Be wary of cheap insurance plansYou get what you pay for when it comes to health insurance so don’t be enticed by health insurance plans with appealingly low premiums. These are usually too good to be true and often result in extra costs such as rejected claims. The most common risks associated with cheap health insurance plans include:A small network of healthcare providersUnpredictable premium increasesLow limitsLimited options for pre-existing condition coverage, or none at allMany exclusionsNo outpatient benefitsPoor customer serviceNeed some help?Whether you’re looking for individual health insurance or family health insurance in Singapore, consider seeking the expert advice of a reputable insurance broker such as Pacific Prime. Their team of experts are happy to answer insurance-related questions and help you customise the ideal insurance plan for your needs and budget. Contact Pacific Prime Singapore for advice or an obligation-free quotation.You can also check out Pacific Prime’s State of Health Insurance Report for a deeper understanding of key insurance trends.Written in collaboration with:Pacific Prime Singapore18 Cross Street, China Square Central, #14-056346 3781 | pacificprime.sgRead on for more about insurance and other health and fitness topics in Singapore:Top six health issues in SingaporeLocal vs international health insurance

How to maximise your food delivery app

7th July 2020 by Anthia Chng 3 Min ReadIf you thought takeaways were all about boring meals to fill you up, think again. Nowadays, there are plenty of options for your foodie fix! And you can get them through your foodpanda app, which offers more than just another convenient meal. From grocery shopping to gift buying, here are five ways you can maximise your food delivery app.#1 Satisfy your cravings, stat!Get your cravings sorted in a snap with doodpanda’s fast delivery service. One of the biggest perks of using a food delivery app to order in is the short waiting time. Craving fried chicken and bubble tea? Try Chix Hot Chicken, Singapore’s first Nashville hot chicken restaurant. Wash it down with milk tea from the oh-so-popular Chicha San Chen – because no one does bubble tea as well as the Taiwanese! #2 Get your heavy household essentials deliveredOn a non-food related note, did you know you can stock up on household items on your foodpanda app? Shop from more than 40,000 products from partners such as HaoMart, FairPrice Xpress,  Cheers and foodpanda’s own convenience store, pandamart! Now you don’t have to lug home big packs of laundry detergent, cleaning solutions or rice; just order from wherever you are and let the app do all the heavy lifting.#3 Celebrate special occasions at homeEven if you’re not a kitchen whizz, it’s not that hard to be the hostess with the mostest. Our solution? Cater for your mini at-home party with premium food offerings from some of the best restaurants in town! Have an all-out brunch with PS. Cafe’s signature burgers and a calorie-worthy slice of double chocolate blackout cake (we’re not judging), or treat your guests to an elegant Pan-Asian dinner from Coriander Leaf. Through July, enjoy free deliveries for selected top rated restaurants. #4 Skip the queue by ordering in advanceIf you happen to be near the restaurant, a tip is to order your food in advance and collect it at your preferred timing! Not only will you get to save on delivery, some food vendors have included a discount if you self-collect. What’s more, the waiting time is reduced!#5 Send your bestie a practical giftThere’s nothing worse than getting a gift for someone, only to find out later that they have no use for it. Surprise your loved one with a practical present that’s just a click away. Cooking enthusiasts will love the range of organic teas and kitchen essentials like honey, curry powder and ginger powder from Himalayan Premium Foods. Started in 2011, the farm in Kathmandu, Nepal, incorporates traditional, organic and sustainable farming methods, which omit chemicals or pesticides. Rain and spring water are used to watering the plants, and natural compost is used as fertilisers. Written in collaboration with:foodpanda.sgLiked this? Check out more stories on our Wine & Dine page!

Trivia time: 20 questions on transport

It’s time to challenge friends or family with Expat Living’s Weekly Quiz. You can get together with a small group, have a glass of wine and try these out – or stick to Zoom, of course. This week, it’s trivia on transport: 20 questions on planes, trains, automobiles, and others methods of moving around! #1 Which city is home to the gondola?#2 “You can have it any colour you want, so long as it’s black!” said Henry Ford about which car that he launched in 1908?#3 Which two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle was used by the Romans?#4 “Flying Kangaroo” is the nickname of which airline?#5 Which Hollywood film features a DeLorean car as a time machine?#6 Name the cities where you can find these famous roads: Champs-Elysées, Orchard Road, Lombard Street, Abbey Road.#7 Which country are you in if you’re riding a shinkansen train?#8 What method of transportation is “shank’s pony”?#9 Which of these countries is the only one where you drive on the left side of the road: Austria, Saudi Arabia, Fiji, Mexico?#10 A sloop, a brig and a yawl are all propelled by what?#11 The first Space Shuttle had its name changed in 1976 from Constitution to Enterprise at the request of hundreds of thousands of fans of which TV show?#12 Volvo cars are from which country?#13 In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers successfully trialled a hot-air balloon flight in France using which three animals: rooster, sheep and duck; llama, piranha and iguana; fox, mouse and goat?#14 What word starting with “h” is another name for an air-cushion vehicle, or ACV?#15 The original Orient Express train service (the one from Agatha Christie’s famous story) ran between Venice and which other city, Istanbul, Athens or Prague?#16 Which popular vehicle in Asia takes its name from the sound of its engine?#17 The spy thriller The Hunt for Red October, starring Sean Connery, is about which type of transportation?#18 If I fly from LAX to LHR, and then all the way to BKK, which three cities have I visited?#19 The 1960s music group Gerry and the Pacemakers had a hit song about a ferry that crosses which river in England? #20 In Singapore, the metro system is called MRT. What do Hongkongers call their metro system? BONUSWho am I?(If you can answer correctly after the first clue, you get 10 points, but you lose a point for each additional clue you require to identify the person.)I was born in 1897, in the US state of Kansas. (10)My childhood nickname was “Meeley”. (9)I was considered a tomboy as a kid, riding wooden sleds over ramps and collecting worms, moths and toads. I also kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about successful women in male-oriented fields. (8)In my early 20s, I decided to take flying lessons. (7)Later in life, I would become known as a style icon, and produce my own fashion line; this wasn’t my biggest claim to fame, however. (6)I suffered as a young patient of the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918, and was hospitalised for a month as a result, suffering lifelong effects from the illness. (5)In 1937, I disappeared in a plane over the Pacific Ocean and was never seen again. (4)Ten years earlier, I had become the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. (3)My first name is Amelia. (2)I am Amelia who, starting with “E”? (1)All the answers (no cheating!)#1 Venice#2 Model T#3 Chariot#4 Qantas#5 Back to the Future#6 Champs-Elysées, Paris; Orchard Road, Singapore; Lombard Street, San Francisco; Abbey Road, London#7 Japan#8 Walking#9 Fiji#10 Wind#11 Star Trek#12 Sweden#13 Rooster, sheep and duck#14 Hovercraft#15 Istanbul#16 Tuk-tuk#17 Submarine#18 Los Angeles, London and Bangkok#19 Mersey#20 MTRBONUS: Amelia EarhartThis article first appeared in the July 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!

6 Outdoor fitness activities in Singapore

There are heaps of outdoor fitness activities and sports to do in Singapore. Yes it is hot, but we promise you you will feel good afterwards! Research shows that getting outdoors more can boost our energy and mood, relieve stress, fight depression and anxiety, stimulate creativity and concentration, reduce inflammation and lower risks of heart attack. So, read on for six of the best activities and things to do outside to keep you fit here.#1 HikingHiking is a great outside activity – get some sunshine and get fit at the same time. There are loads of locales across the island for a nice hike with the fam – from MacRitchie Reservoir Park and the Southern Ridges to any one of Singapore’s many other trails. You’ll engage different muscle groups all at once, including your core, thighs, calves and ankles, while building cardiovascular strength and burning calories. And, it’s free – a win for everybody! #2 Personal training in the parkGreat news if you’re looking for a challenging workout tailored specifically to you. UFIT – a leading fitness community in Singapore for the past decade – has launched PT in the Park at several of its outdoor fitness locations, giving clients the opportunity to enjoy the popular personal training programme outdoors. Kettlebells, exercise bands, disinfectant spray and wipes are provided; all you’ll need to bring is your water bottle, exercise mat and towel! You’ll even get access to the UFIT app, which includes real-time messaging, exercise videos, healthy eating ideas and more. #3 BootcampTraining in a group with likeminded people is great for motivation and can make exercising more fun – and, UFIT’s got tons of great outdoor class options across 14 different locations islandwide, including Fort Canning Park, the Botanic Gardens, East Coast Park and Sentosa Cove.“Humans are meant to be outside, it’s that simple. As health professionals, we should be advising our clients and friends to spend as much time in nature as possible, provided the circumstances allow it, as it’s a much needed ‘system interrupt’ away from our daily working lives,” explains NATHAN WILLIAMS, personal trainer and group class coach. “Combining nature and exercise, especially with some early-day natural sunlight, can provide numerous benefits that will lead to improvements in our overall health.”From fast-paced Metcon and HIIT classes to Box (boxing, kick-boxing and Muay Thai) and strength-training Build classes, there’s an outdoor fitness activity to get everyone’s heart pumping.If you’re looking for a bootcamp-style class that mixes things up, UFIT’s Burn is a great cardio workout suitable for all fitness levels. Expect some mobility and strength training, plyometrics, AMRAP workouts (“as many reps as possible”), running hill sprints and more.Of course, classes are kept extra small for social distancing purposes. Participants can still enjoy the group energy while getting more than enough personalised attention to ensure they’re doing the exercises correctly. #4 PilatesNo need to go into a studio when you can practice Pilates outside! UFIT’s Pilates in the Park programme is another great thing to do outside in Singapore especially if it’s amongst greenery. Whether you opt for a private or small group class, Pilates can help you tone up, strengthen those deep core muscles, align your spine, and activate those muscles that have become inactive through disuse or pain. It’s also a great way to de-stress and boost your mind-body connection!And, the good news is, Pilates can be practised by anyone, regardless of age, gender or fitness abilities. Instructors can adjust the exercises to suit each client’s specific needs and health conditions.#5 RunningA great way to blitz calories and get in shape, running is a full-body, endorphin-producing workout that can help bust stress and strengthen your joints. Whether it’s along the Singapore River, the Botanic Gardens, the Sentosa beaches or East Coast Park, there are plenty of places to power-walk, jog or full-on sprint.Looking to get fit with running but don’t know where to start? UFIT’s Run programme helps individuals ignite their passion for running in a fun and social setting. Held at Fort Canning and Evans Road Track, Run takes regular runners outside their comfort zones by introducing intervals, Fartleks, stairs and hills, and combinations of each. You can even kick things up a notch with UFIT’s Trail Running programme that will have you tackling rocks, mud, tree trunks and hills at MacRitchie Reservoir. It’s led by a runner and osteopath who specialises in injury prevention.For a complete list of outdoor things to do, running trails, and helpful running tips, head to expatliving.sg/health #6 GolfPlaying golf can be great fun, but it’s also got a range of mental and physical benefits – from stress relief to improved mental alertness to cardiovascular fitness. It’s a low-impact exercise that can be played by almost anyone. In fact, it’s a wonderful outdoor activity for families, explains LEE CARRINGTON, a fully accredited Golf Professional and member of the Australian PGA, who has been teaching golf in Singapore for 20 years.“It’s a terrific game for both kids and adults, as it teaches honesty and humility,” she says. “It also offers fresh air and exercise – especially if you walk instead of ride! What a great way to get in those ‘steps’ in!”Whether you’re a complete beginner or want to hone your existing golf skills, Lee offers private and small group classes at Champions Golf Academy (60 Fairways Drive) in Bukit Timah.“Golf is challenging, no question; but, that’s one of reasons it’s so good – it’s all down to you. Whatever happens is in your hands and yours alone,” says Lee. “The best part of golf is the learning curve and that never ends – no matter how old or how good you get; and that is one of its most endearing parts! Before heading outBe sure to familiarise yourself with the most up-to-date coronavirus guidelines (gov.sg) before doing any exercise outside of your home. Check here for live updates of how busy certain parks and green spaces are across the island.Directory Lee Carrington Golf 9798 5858 | [email protected] | leecarringtongolf.comUFIT Health and Fitnessufit.com.sgThis article first appeared in the June 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!

Volunteering: How to help migrant workers

6th July 2020 by Melinda Murphy 4 Min ReadWant to know how to help Singapore’s migrant workers through the COVID-19 crisis? Here we meet DIPA SWAMINATHAN, the Singaporean woman behind one organisation that’s been supporting migrant workers for years – even more so now in this crisis – and we learn what we can do to pitch in too. There’s still a lot to be done after the Circuit Breaker period as nearly one in five people living in Singapore is a migrant worker, and more than 300,000 of them are living in dorms. Tell us about the organisation you founded.It’s Raining Raincoats started in 2015. I was doing bits here and there on my own to support the migrant workers. A Facebook post in a now-defunct group went a bit viral and the Singaporean Kindness Movement encouraged me to create an official organisation to support migrant workers.At the time, my suggestion was to carry around disposable raincoats and give them to migrant workers as they’re often caught in the rain without one. When the government asked me for a name, I came up with It’s Raining Raincoats. Now, we do a lot more than just raincoats.What’s the mission of the organisation?It’s a simple mission: support migrant workers. We try to do whatever it takes to do that, short of legal representation. No worker who comes to us in need goes away without help. We’ve been successful because we’ve come up with fairly simple, innovative and imaginative ways residents can reach out to migrant workers in need.You have a big job as the Assistant General Counsel at Singtel.How do you have time to do this too?I’m hooked. I get such satisfaction when we get these heart-warming messages from the migrant workers saying things such as, “Thank you. I was so hungry. Your gift meant a lot. God bless you.” It’s an empowering feeling knowing I can help somebody. Yes, it takes a lot out of me to do all this, but it also energises me. I wake up every morning buzzing with ideas, limited only by my time to give. It also helps that I have an amazing team supporting me.How does It’s Raining Raincoats help migrant workers?In normal times, we run several drives for migrant workers throughout the year. For example, at Deepavali, we do drive-by pizza drop-offs. At Christmas, we make sure every worker gets a gift, even if it’s something small such as Tiger Balm that the worker can use. Each gift is wrapped with a handwritten note. We have 30 to 40 collection points across the country for that. We also run a year-round activity, collecting unsold food from designated Starbucks outlets, four times a week, all year long. That obviously is suspended now, but we always need help with these types of ongoing things and we will continue to need help, long after the crisis has passed. Do you need volunteers?We have been very fortunate with lots of people reaching out to help the migrant workers during this crisis. In fact, the number of volunteers has swollen, doubling in size from our normal ranks and we now have about 500 people on our roster. Managing them all becomes a whole separate problem for an all-volunteer group. My hope is that we keep some of these amazing volunteers after the current crisis is over. There will be a lot of clean up from this such as workers not being paid; people too weak to work; breadwinners who no longer have jobs; figuring out where do they go and more. This will not abate soon and our worry is that this crisis will not disappear overnight.How can somebody help the migrant workers now?The best way to help just now is for a person to come to us with a fully-formed and executed idea. Once you tell us what you’ve done, we can then help with the last-mile assistance, meaning we can help you get your collection to the workers in need.For example, you can self-organise a drive in your condo, at your school, within an organisation or amongst friends. Once you have everything collected, we can help get it there. Normally, we accept pre-loved items, but just now, we need to be careful not to inadvertently bring germs to the migrant workers so all items must be new.If you look on the Facebook page, you can see what’s needed, but items to help pass the time such as games, puzzles and cards, old phones in working condition, data top-up cards, books and magazines in their language, and snacks are always appreciated. It’s better to give smaller amounts in bigger quantities so we can spread the joy. For example, give five $10 data top-up cards rather than one $50 card. The government is providing Wi-Fi for these workers, but there is always more needed.For more information about It’s Raining Raincoats, check out the Facebook page at fb.com/itsrainingraincoats.This article first appeared in the June 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!

Submit the form below to stay in the know!

Customer Information

Gender
*

 
Keep me up to date by emailing me Expat Living newsletters

Expat Living Publications is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
This Privacy Policy provides an explanation as to what happens to any personal data that you provide to us, or that we collect from you.

This Privacy Policy provides an explanation as to what happens to any personal data that you provide to us, or that we collect from you.

Having Faith in your home..

Having moved to Singapore fairly recently with her husband and two children, FAITH TOWN is intent on making the family feel right at home in their apartment. She tells us what she likes about living in Newton Circus and shares plenty of recommendations and tips.Tell us a little about yourself.My husband and I met in Melbourne, Australia, which is home for me. Paul is a New Zealander who grew up in Singapore so we’ve always harboured a dream to call this place home at some stage with our own kids. Paul started work as Senior Vice President, Resort Operations at Marina Bay Sands in November 2019.Expat life isn’t a new thing for our family of four; we spent eight years in Macau before returning back “home” to Melbourne with our children, Farrah (10) and Fletcher (7). During this time, I studied full-time for two years and became a qualified interior designer. Where did you first live when you came to Singapore and why?Our much-loved dog Chilli the cavoodle played a big part in our relocation to Singapore. We chose to stay at Fraser Suites initially because it’s pet-friendly and also so we could take our time looking for the style of accommodation and location that suited us best.We live in a world of online everything and the navigation tools are endless but I found that getting a traditional paper map helped me understand my surrounds, the suburbs, one-way streets and proximity to everything a bit better. I was able to get my bearings using this “old school” method as a result.What do you love about living in Newton Circus?We ended up choosing Goodwood Residence, close to Newton MRT, Newton Circus and everything we need. It strikes the balance of being a tranquil setting in the day – until the kids arrive home. After school, it turns into a great hangout on the big grassy lawn for all the kids playing tag, ball and so on.I have an understanding of how much the outdoors influences the interior. Goodwood Residence is like an urban oasis in the trees. The lush green setting really does set the tone for living in the tropics.What were the first things you bought when you got here?Aside from stocking the fridge with food and buying sunscreen and mosquito repellent to last an eternity, I went straight to the Tan Boon Liat Building, which is a one-stop multi-layered shop for decking out your home. Expat Living, Honeycombers and Google were my go-to guides for all new discoveries.After that, I went off to Hock Siong & Co, and Junkies Corner to find myself some pre-loved treasures. Faith’s favourite spots• Mott 32 is one of the newest restaurants in the MBS precinct. The super-glam setting makes for a fab date night.• At Newton Circus, we love to play “hawker roulette” with the kids and each go off to one of the many stalls bringing back food to share.• Duxton Hill is so pretty; it’s a great spot to take out-of-towners too!• Little India has a colourful and eclectic vibe that’s so vibrant and fun – not to mention the food and the musicians that come out at night.• Westlake is set underneath an apartment block in Bukit Timah and has been a Town family favourite for decades. We like to describe it as somewhere between a hawker stall and restaurant dining. My mother-in-law still makes their chicken with dried chilli back home in New Zealand.• Din Tai Fung: our go-to for dumpling cravings – and we crave dumplings often!• As for travel spots, we can’t wait to go further afield but we really haven’t had the chance to do so yet. Rawa Island holds many memories for Paul as a child. We plan on going there with his parents and our kids later this year, which will be great. A curated home is all about balance and layering. Many new pieces that are hardwearing – like the sofa and the dining table – I splashed out on and paid for quality. Other decorative pieces and trinkets that I added were depictive of where we are living. My very first purchase was a brass tiffin box from The Past Perfect Collection. It initially sat on my favourite piece, an old side table that my mother-in-law purchased during her time in Singapore in the early 80s – when Paul was only eight years old!Our bookcase is the heartbeat of our home, displaying books, photos, games and trinkets that we either love or have a practical use for each day. I feel that now our little home is set, we can concentrate on exploring all that Singapore has to offer.I’ve worked with residents in Melbourne to spruce up their homes, layering in new objects and furniture to complement who they are, what they love and how they want to live. My own home was published in Home Beautiful magazine in Australia, as well as being the featured property on the mini-series Bad Mothers. I don’t plan to work in Singapore but I’m just making sure we make the most of it!Faith’s tips for newcomers• Be open to meeting new people and making new friends.• Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eastern and Western influences all make up the cultural melting pot that is Singapore. It’s a truly integrated destination, with influences from all over the world! Join an Indian cooking class, learn to play Mahjong, sweat it out at boot camp or start a book club. There is a class, group or event for pretty much anything you’re interested in here.• I believe your home should tell a story of who you are and what you love. Even if you’re here for only a few years, make your house a home; I promise you won’t regret it. • Stock up on sunscreen and mosquito spray – it’s as essential as milk and bread in this place, the land of the never-ending summer!• Living on the equator has its benefits, such as sunshine and swimming all year round. It also requires … erm … maintenance for many women; in short, find yourself a good wax salon if you need it – try Strip at Great World City.• The heat also requires makeup that has high SPF for sun protection as well as the need for it not to melt off your face! I use Channel CC Cream with SPF 50 every day. Other recommendationsHock Siong & Co hocksiong.com.sgDanish Design danishdesignco.com.sgSecond Charm instagram.com/second.charmJunkies Corner 2 Turf Club RoadFraming Angie framingangie.comEmperor’s Attic emperorsattic.comGoodrich Global goodrichglobal.com/singaporeThe Cinnamon Room cinnamonroom.comHouse of AnLi houseofanli.comThe Past Perfect Collection pastperfect.sgBoulevard Outdoor Furniture boulevardoutdoorfurniture.comThis article first appeared in the June 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!

How a healthy gut helps immunity

Now that we’re out of the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker and into Phase 2, you’re probably wondering how you can stay strong and boost your immunity. Having a healthy gut can help, and you can improve your gut health by making simple changes to your diet.What exactly is gut health?“Gut health” refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in our digestive system. These microorgansisms change over time and play an essential role in digestion, immune functions and brain-gut signaling. An imbalance of microbiota, or gut flora, is associated with a variety of medical problems. These include diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, inflammatory bowel conditions, autoimmune disorders and asthma, plus food allergies and intolerances. Therefore, maintaining the right balance of gut microbiota is essential for physical and mental health, immunity and the prevention of many diseases, according to gastroenterologist DR ANDREA RAJNAKOVA and nutritional consultant VERONICA CAVALLINI of Andrea’s Digestive, Colon, Liver and Gallbladder Clinic.Everyone’s gut microbiota changes over time, as it’s affected by age, environmental factors and diet. In fact, every single thing we put into our bodies can significantly affect the makeup of our gut. So, in addition to good hygiene practices, our diet plays a huge role in reducing any possibilities of getting sick.Making simple changes to your diet for a healthy gutIn order to improve your immunity, it is essential to create a balance between our good and bad gut bacteria, say Dr Andrea and Veronica. To do this, they suggest:# Working probiotics into your diet“We have to nourish our bodies with probiotics, which are foods that help strengthen your gut flora and, consequently, your immune system,” say Dr Andrea and Veronica.Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, tempeh and miso contain probiotics, as do fermented dairy products such as yoghurt, kefir and buttermilk.# Boosting your Vitamin D intakeOne way to boost your body’s vitamin D levels is with food; think salmon, mackerel, tuna and egg yolk. Having said that, food isn’t a strong source of the vitamin. So, try to take advantage of our tropical weather to get as much sun as you can (in a safe way), as this exposure can also help support the immune system functions. Enjoying outdoor activities also means increasing your exercise levels! # Eating a diverse range of foods for a healthy gutA diverse microbiota is considered to be a healthy one. And, a well-balanced diet that includes all food groups – including wholegrain, protein, healthy fat, vegetables and fruit – can help with that. Dr Andrea and Veronica recommend the following:Eating at least three portions of fatty fish per week; this might include tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel and anchovies.Eating foods that contain healthy fats, which support our immune system functions. These healthy fats can be found in nuts – especially walnuts, macademia, Brazilian nuts and almonds – and seeds, including chia and flaxseeds. You can also get healthy fat in extra virgin oliver oil and avocado.Consuming plenty of fruit and vegetables. Guava, papaya, kiwifruit, strawberries, oranges, broccoli, kale, peppers, spinach and tomatoes can provide vitamin C, plus a range of other vitamins and antioxidants.Consuming at least one portion of raw vegetable a day for better Vitamin C absorption.# Upping your iron intakeThis can also help support a healthy immune system. Iron-rich foods include lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, chicory, capsicum, kale, kiwis, papaya, citrus fruits, strawberries, pineapples, guava, blueberries and blackberries.# Staying hydrated with waterIt’s important to get plenty of water everyday, preferably around two litres, say Dr Andrea and Veronica.“Avoid instant beverages including the ones containing sugar and artificial sweeteners like cola, fruit juice and tea in bottle, some yoghurt drinks and flavoured milk, and energy drinks because they may cause bacterial imbalance in the gut.”Andrea’s Digestive, Colon, Liver and Gallbladder Clinic#21-11/12 Royal Square at Novena, 101 Irrawaddy Road6264-2836 | andrea-digestive-clinic.comLike this? See our Health & Fitness section:Top tips for healthy eating at home

My living room – before and after!

3rd July 2020 by Rebecca Bisset 3 Min ReadSo you’ve found the apartment or house you like, you’ve bought some pieces you love and it should all be good. But what do you do if it’s just not hanging together well? An interior designer or a home stylist can help – even if it’s just to get one or two rooms looking ‘groomed’!We talk to Indonesian expat INTAN about living in Singapore and how she got her apartment at D’Grove Villas looking just the way she wants it – with a little help from Priya Naik at Interior Design Journey.How long have you been in Singapore? In total, we’ve been here for 10 years. This is our second stint and we’ve been back for three and a half years. We love it!How long have you lived in this apartment and why did you choose it?The apartment was the last one we viewed after a manic 18 viewings over a two-day period and we just fell in love with it. It’s an old build, which means it has space, and it’s in a great location.What made you call on an interior designer?I love muted tones; it shows in how I dress and how I decorate. I also love seeing pops of colour, but I’ve never felt brave enough to try them out. So, I figured a chat with an interior designer wouldn’t hurt. I wanted to keep to my own aesthetic choices, but I also needed a push to introduce more colour into our lives. How was it working with the designer? Was anything easier or more difficult than you’d imagined?I definitely didn’t want to be pushed into doing something I wasn’t comfortable with. Priya was great because she listened, didn’t laugh at my predominantly grey/blue home and pushed just enough. It was wonderful working with her.Which rooms did Interior Design Journey work on and what did they do?Just the living room, and we worked with the pieces that were already there. After the first meeting, Priya shared her vision, approximate cost and timeline. Everything was very clear and efficient from the get-go.If you were to recommend Priya to a friend what would you say?She is talented, creative and puts you at ease almost immediately.How do you feel now when you walk in to the house compared to before?It’s always been our home… it just looks better now!A word from the interior designerPriya tells us about the flow of the project, and what her work involved.#1 We first ensured that some of key existing pieces were worked into the makeover in order to keep within the budget.#2 Intan had a few art pieces that she hadn’t displayed as she was a little unsure how to do so in amongst the built-in cabinets and a huge mirrored wall. So, we made the best use of one wall where art could displayed and made that into a focal point of the room. We added in a new carved detail sideboard, lamp and accessories to complete that area or “nook”.#3 We also introduced a new navy sofa as the existing blue sofa didn’t proportionally work in the space or with the other furniture. #4 We had some gorgeous custom cushions made from Jim Thompson and European fabric to add a much-needed pop of colour and some lovely patterns and textures.#5 We added a teal side table next to the existing grey Chesterfield sofa with a fabulous lamp from Taylor B adding another interesting finish to the space.#6 The existing rug was dominating the room so we replaced it with one with a more subtle pattern that also had some colour in it.#7 We added a runner behind the sofa and kitchen counter to soften the area leading to the dining space.#8 Intan requested minimal accessories, so we only added a few new pieces and styled them along with some of her existing things.#9 In the lift lobby, we added a new sideboard with a runner. We also styled Intan’s existing artwork and accessories, adding a couple of new accessories too. I think the space now feels inviting and personalised. Before and AfterProject Favourites & Recommendations Artful HouseJust AnthonyTaylor BLuxe Furnishings Priya Naik, founder of Interior Design JourneyInterior Design Journey9062 7974 | [email protected] more home inspiration? See our home decor section!