Skincare Tips for Men: How to Get Rid of Oily Skin, Acne and Pimples

I don’t know many men who are consciously worried about their skin, but I do know that earlier their mothers worried for them (more for their hair than skin) and now their girlfriends or wives. Most men don’t realise (and I do wish they did) that they need to look after themselves and groom well too. It’s not just women’s ‘thing to do’. I am appalled when I see men not worried about acne on their face or having oily skin. It’s worse if they suffer from bad body odour or dandruff and yet do very less to address the issue at hand.

Oily skin is a common problem which is faced by millions of men all across the globe. I see them wanting answers but not finding enough. So for those of you who suffer from this problem, here are some great oil free recipes to get clean skin, reduce oiliness and pimples if you have them, and even look after pimple scars! Be assured that there’s always a solution for most problems.
Skincare Tips for Men: How to Get Rid of Oily Skin, Acne and Pimples

Here are some wonderful natural solutions, all you have to do is follow them diligently –

1. To Reduce Excess Oil

Ingredients:

200ml of rose water
2tsp of powdered camphor

Method: Mix well and store in an air tight bottle and keep in the fridge. This can be used to wipe the skin 3-4 times a day. Not only does it reduce oiliness and bacterial build up on the skin, it also helps reduce chances of skin infections, itchiness and tones the skin making the skin less prone to pimples.

rose water

2. Acne Pack for Men

For those young men who have an irritating habit of pinching and squeezing pimples keep your fingers away and make the following mask instead –

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp fuller’s earth
1/2 tsp camphor
2 tsp mint paste
2 cloves (laung), ground
Rose water to mix
1 tsp sandalwood powder

Method:Mix all the ingredients to a smooth consistency and apply the required amount onto the skin. Let it dry completely and wash off with water and pat dry. This pack should be used daily and can be kept in an air tight jar in the fridge up to 10 days.

men beauty

3. Exfoliator for Oily Skin to Dislodge Blackheads and Whiteheads

Many of us don’t clean our skin properly and as a result, we give way to blackheads and whiteheads. This leads to acne and pimples and can be an absolute disaster for all you good looking men who dream of clean and clear skin. The key point is to keep your skin clean and I know not all of you want to smell of roses and sandalwood, so here’s fabulous scrub for clarifying the skin –

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp orange peel powder
4 Tbsp lemon peel powder
50gm china clay
A handful of dried neem leaf powder
5 Tbsp rice powder

Method: Mix all the dry ingredients and store in a jar. Take a teaspoon at a time and mix with mint water and apply all over the skin .When it is semi dry, dab with water and scrub. This will help dislodge blackheads and whiteheads and make your skin super clean and oil free.

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4. Basic Skincare Rules to Follow

Above all, basic rules to a clean and good looking skin are as follows-

  • Water: Have 10-12 glasses of water daily, it’s a must! Reduce alcohol intake. If you thought beer is cooling, it’s only so for the mouth.
  • Watch Your Diet: Eating fresh salads and fruits should be on the top of your list. Cool drinks like baelchaach, lime water and coconut water should be part of your daily intake. Avoid heavy gravy and fried foods, as well as aerated drinks and soda.
  • Clothing: Wear loose naturalfibres like cotton, mul, jute, etc. These are the best summer clothing as they are airy and light.
  • Exercise: If you are prone to oily skin, increase your blood circulation and detox by exercising. Do remember to shower at least twice a day.
  • Metabolism: Many of you may not know this but skin and acne are directly related to the stomach. If you suffer from a sluggish metabolism and have constipation then you will most probably suffer from acne and pimples. Eat green vegetables and lots of fruits to clear out your system.
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Also if you have dandruff, many times you will also suffer from acne. Therefore it is important to treat the dandruff first and then look at clearing the skin.

So now that you have the basics all worked out and natural recipes that are sure to work like magic, I think the next time you are going out with that special lady in your life she’s bound to be impressed. More importantly, looking good will also make you feel good and confident.

6 Tips To Make the Most Perfect Sandwich

Let us take a moment and thank a British aristocrat and a passionate gambler who has been credited for inventing one of the best comfort food of all times – the sandwich. Food historians claim that in 1762, during a 24-hour gambling bout, John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich wanted his food to be prepared in such a way that it wouldn’t interfere with his game. In his excursions round the Europe, he had seen grilled pita breads and small canapes and sandwiches served by the Greeks and Turkish people and instructed his cooks to invent a similar no-fuss dish where he did not have to use forks or spoons. And then, what his cooks presented him is often helmed as one of Britain’s biggest contribution to gastronomy – the first ever sandwich.

Quick, easy to make, wholesome and filling – a sandwich is a dream come true for all those who are pressed for time and ingredients or those who don’t really boast of the great cooking skills yet want to treat themselves with something delicious. Keep it as simple as you want to or get creative and spruce it up with the most exotic ingredients, there are a number of ways to make a great sandwich. Just bung in your ingredients, sauces, herbs and seasoning between two bread or bun slices and you are good to go. You can rarely go wrong with a sandwich, but at times minute errors in arranging a sandwich can spoil your overall experience like soggy sandwiches or ingredients slipping out of the sandwich. Follow these easy tips and hacks to enjoy your sandwich in all its glory!

6 Tips To Make the Most Perfect Sandwich

The Six Rules of Getting Your Sandwich Right

 

1. Choose your bread right

This one is no rocket science. Anybody who has ever had a sandwich in their life can tell that the bread forms the basis of the sandwich. For moist fillings, use dry and dense breads. A nice and thick crust helps in keeping the stuffing from going haywire and prevents the fillings from falling apart. You can toast it, serve it grilled, warm it up or have it cold. Toasting the bread brings out the sweetness of the bread. There is an umpteen variety of breads available in the market from the traditional white loaf to its healthier brown counterpart. You can also choose to go exotic with baguettes, buns and pita bread.

brown bread

2. The importance of the spread

Sandwich spreads play a much more crucial role than just adding flavor. They perform the vital task of lending moisture and giving your sandwich a creamy texture. You can choose from BBQ, mayonnaise and other spreads or experiment with healthier alternatives like pesto, whole grain mustard, hung curd or homemade salsa.

butter bread

3. Avoid sogginess 

Spread the sauce, mayo, butter or cheese till the edges to the seal the sandwich. Also, use wet ingredients like cucumber or tomatoes separately. Add them in the end, right before you are ready to eat the sandwich. Use cheese or meat as a layer between the bread and ingredients with high water content (cucumber, tomato). Using toasted bread can also come handy.

4. Substitute traditional ingredients for fresh change

Traditional favourites like lettuce and tomato lend moisture, crunch and freshness and provide a foil for heavy, rich ingredients, but the high moisture content, and storing them for a long time may make the bread soggy.There’s perhaps no other food with which you can get as imaginative. You can skip the traditional tomatoes and try roasted peppers, sauteed onions or carrots for the crunch. You can also add a zest of fresh change by using spinach or cabbage instead of lettuce.

egg and cheddar sandwich

5. Avoid your sandwich from falling apart

Don’t you just hate it when you bite into the sandwich you just built for yourself by meticulously arranging the choicest of ingredients, and it immediately falls apart. A certain know-how of science can save you from the slippage. Your sandwich may have the best ingredients but it lacks friction. Relax, it is not as complicated as it sounds, it is all about the order of your ingredients. Identify the slippery ingredients like cucumber or tomatoes and keep them aside. Take the spread that you are using, say mashed avocados or marinara sauce and layer it on your bread slice, the next layer to come should be the rough greens like Arugula or Lettuce. Now, layer your slippery ingredients. Make multiple layers alternating between rough greens and slippery ingredients. Now, if you bite into your sandwich the friction between the rough greens and the slippery ingredients would save your sandwich from falling apart.

sandwich

6. Keep it simple

As imaginative as you may want to get with your sandwich, there is a point where you have to tame those horses running wild with creativity. It is always advisable to not over stuff your sandwich with too many ingredients or sauces. Sprinkle some herbs or seasonings to add the finishing touch. Balance out your flavours. If the ingredients are heavy, then you can use light sauces or maybe vinegar to bring certain evenness to the taste.

 sandwich

Keep these four tips in mind to manage eczema better in summer

Summer can be a tricky time for people who suffer from eczema or “atopic dermatitis,” as sunny weather can lead to major flare-ups due to sweating or photoallergic reactions. Specialists from the French Eczema Association (Association française de l’eczéma) have a few tips to help eczema sufferers through the summer months.

Stay out of the sea when experiencing flare-ups

“Salty seawater has multiple benefits for atopic skin, but each dip in the sea should be followed by a shower in clean water, careful drying and sunscreen application to hydrate skin,” say experts. However, swimming in the sea isn’t recommended for patients experiencing severe flare-ups, as patches that are very inflamed and/or weeping can “burn” the skin.

Dips in the pool aren’t out of bounds, but take care with hygiene to avoid fungal infections and verrucas.

Keep on treating patches of eczema by applying cortisone creams in the evening after showering. (iStock.com)

Slather on factor 50

It’s important to use a maximum protection sunscreen, such as factor 50 or higher, especially for young children. Avoid getting too much sun exposure during the hottest part of the day: between 12pm and 4pm.

Don’t give up on treatments

Keep on treating patches of eczema by applying cortisone creams in the evening after showering. Even if stress levels tend to drop on vacation and symptoms may seem to improve, you should continue applying your emollients every day, as well as moisturising lotions.

Moisturise skin every day

To minimise sweating, dermatologists recommend wearing clothing made from cotton or linen. In summer, you should continue to moisturise skin very regularly every day. Showers should be short and cool.

11 hygiene tips for women before going on a date

If you get drenched in rain, take a shower afterwards before getting ready for a date. This will help to prevent any possible infection, say experts.

Aashmeen Munjal, beauty and make-up expert, and Ridhi Arya, Dermatologist, Me clinic, have shared tips on how to maintain hygiene during monsoon season:

* Shower after shower: In case you get caught up and drenched in rain, always take a shower afterwards before getting all dolled up to prevent any possible infection and monsoon related diseases.

* Hair: The season and the drizzle apart from making your hair frizzy, affects the hair health badly owing to the pollutants present in rainwater. Always wash your hair if they get wet and conditioning is a must. Also, oil your hair weekly to maintain a healthy scalp.

* Scrubbing: Scrubbing your body is as important in monsoon as in other weathers.

* Blot: The T-zone area, that is the forehead, nose, mouth and chin tends to get oily and sticky when you sweat and look tired. Always keep a tissue paper or a blotting paper with you and dab the excess oil away.

* Nails: Nails often get less attention in terms of hygiene in monsoon but long and unattended nails could become storehouse of dirt and bacteria and improper trimming may lead to ingrown toenails. Always trim your nails shapely and avoid cutting them too deep to save harm to your skin.

* Sanitise: Catching cold is very likely in this season, you must keep a sanitiser handy always and use regularly since micro-organisms are susceptible to grow in the rainy season.

* Watch while you walk: Try to avoid stepping into puddles and walking in rain altogether to save your feet from fungal diseases. Wash your feet afterwards and dry them as soon as you can.

* Pedicure: Always visit a salon which maintains cleanliness in all aspects including the tools and the products used for the treatment as these could cause fungal and bacterial infections. If you want a more pocket-friendly and a safer care routine, you could opt for home treatments. Dip your feet in lukewarm water with a drop or two of an anti-septic liquid in it for about 10-15 minutes and moisturise them after patting dry.

* Footwear: Sprinkle some talcum powder in your footwear to avoid infections.

* Clothes: Always wear a clean set of clothes since dirty clothes are a source of contamination and may lead to skin disorders when worn unclean. Similarly, wear a pair of clean socks daily.

* Body odour: Monsoon causes humidity after rain which leads to sweating. Thus, use anti-perspirant lotions and deodorant. Do not reserve your good perfumes for peak summer.

6 Tips That Will Help You Take The Best Food Photographs

Do you wonder how some people always manage to ace their food pictures and the ones you click, in contrast, look all dull and boring? Social media platforms are now overloaded with pictures of food that are beautiful, tasteful, enticing and sometime just plain gorgeous. Food photography is a skill that can be developed over a course time with the right knowledge and know-how. Because, if you are not tempted while looking at your own food pictures, then something must be wrong, right?

It is essential to note that some of the most appetizing photographs of food across social media haven’t been captured using a high-tech, expensive camera equipment. Thus, while DSLR cameras may give you a slight edge over others, getting an aesthetic food photograph needs more than just hi-end gadgetry. You humble smartphone can deliver good pictures too if you follow a few important points. To begin with, a well-captured food photograph possesses the capability to reflect the inherent taste of the food item that is clicked. That is how powerful the photograph must be.

6 simple, and important, things to keep in mind to get the best food photographs.

 6 Tips That Will Help You Take The Best Food Photographs

1. Light will guide you: 

For any photograph, whether it’s a portrait of a person, a landscape view or a food picture, adequate light is the most important aspect that must be taken into consideration. Natural light beats any other source of artificial lighting. It helps capture the nitty-gritties of the dish thus making it more appealing. Light must always come from the front or the side and make sure never to shoot in excess light as it defeats the purpose of the photograph. Avoid using the flash mode while clicking pictures of food, as the flash tends to create reflections giving the food a different orientation.

2. Angle: Depending on the food item, the most suitable angle helps enhance the photograph. While certain items will look best when shot directly from top, others will stand out when shot from the side, for instance, a multi-layered cake.  Some items like a burger will look best when shot at eye level. The angle is a subjective yet an essential characteristic in food photography. Try framing the shot using a few different angles before you zero-in on your preferred choice.

3. Pick a point of focus:

Here, we mean the ‘hero’ of the shot and the part you want people to pay attention to most. This is especially helpful when shooting in crowded or cluttered spaces. You should be able to pick the dish/platter and make that the hero of your photo. If one is shooting on a dining table, for example, make sure you include only the essential items on the table in the photograph. Otherwise, the attention is diverted away from the dish. Decide what is significant for the composition of the picture and what is not. Focus on what will make the photo look complete and avoid over crowding the shot.

4. Close up or not?


How ‘close’ do you want to see the food in your picture? A lot of people like taking only close-up shots of food and ingredients, and in most cases this works. Plated dishes, with a play of colours could look good in a wider view too. Try a few and see what does justice to the dish you are taking pictures of.

5. Interaction is the key: 

Food photographs look a hundred times more appealing by adding a human element. It increases the level of engagement for the viewer, making it appear more real. Thus, while shooting, make it a point to hold the item in your hand, for instance. Compose the picture in a manner that incorporates some human element.

6. Props make all the difference: 

Even the most palatable dish can look unappealing if not presented well. Thus, props make all the difference. It is of paramount importance that the correct cutlery, utensils, mats etc be used in food photography. Use clean plates and try and make use of white cutlery, which enables the food colors to stand out.

Ansel Adams once said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”, and with the essential steps mentioned above, you are sure to make the best photograph possible. Happy clicking!

 

4 Tips to Keep In Mind If You're Ordering Sushi for the First Time

If you have never eaten or experienced this 2000-year old Japanese delicacy before, it’s perfectly normal to be overwhelmed by the exquisite ingredients used for its preparation and presentation.The holistic experience of eating sushi is influenced not only by how it’s prepared, but also by how one eats it. Here are some basic things that you can keep in mind to thoroughly enjoy your first sushi escapade.

4 Tips to Keep In Mind If You're Ordering Sushi for the First Time

1. Learning the basics of Sushi

Since fish is the core ingredient of this dish, a first-time sushi eater should ensure that it is not poorly prepared as this can lead to ruining the entire experience and discourage you from eating it again, especially if you are not fond of seafood to begin with. The very basic types of sushi rolls include Sashimi, Nigiri, Maki, and Temaki. Maki is also referred to as a ‘sushi roll’ which typically includes fish and vegetables rolled with rice in a sheet of roasted seaweed (nori) and cut into bite-sized portions. You can consider this as the best starting point if you are queasy about eating raw fish. Traditionally, the Japanese sushi roll has 6 pieces wrapped in seaweed.

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Image Credit: IStock

2. Know your condiments

A plate of sushi includes wasabi also known as Japanese horseradish, a green ball of paste which has an extremely strong pungency. They serve powdered wasabi mixed with water. Wasabi powder is dried horseradish, mustard seed, corn filler, and cabbage. This spicy condiment is sometimes included in maki and nigiri, but is available if you desire more. Pickled ginger comes in thin, pink or white tan slices on the side of the plate and is used for cleansing the palate between bites. You’ll also have a shallow dish to dip your sushi in soy sauce.

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Image Credit: IStock

3. Ordering Sushi

You should go for recommendations from the chef directly if possible and opt for fresh items since sushi includes raw fish which tastes the best when your sushi is freshly prepared. Aim for a variety of sushi rolls both in vegetarian and non-vegetarian categories. The menus are no more limited to raw fish rolls but also include a plethora of options ranging from prawn rolls, chicken rolls, and vegetable sushi rolls. Ordering a mix of nigari, maki and the recommended rolls at the sushi bar will not only help you get familiarized with the available variety, but will also boost your entire experience.

temaki

Image Credit: IStock

4. Eating Sushi

  • Clean your hands before eating sushi. Many sushi bars will provide a hot and moist towel for this reason before serving your food. While you can choose to eat with chopsticks, it is acceptable to eat sushi with your hands, therefore wash your hands thoroughly before you begin.
  • Pour a tiny amount of soy sauce into the dipping bowl which can be mixed with a small amount of wasabi. You need to be careful when dipping the sushi roll into the soy sauce as the fish needs to be dipped first and not the rice, so that the piece can stay together and won’t become soaked with the salty soy sauce. If the sushi already has sauce on it, do not dip it in the soy sauce. Try enjoying it as the chef has seasoned it. You can layer it with a thin slice of ginger if you like.
  • Alternatively, you can use chopsticks to dip the ginger in the soy sauce, and then use it to brush the sauce onto the fish rather than dip the fish directly. This also gives the flavor of ginger without eating it.
  • Ideally, sushi is supposed to be eaten in one bite. If the piece is too big, eat it in two bites. If you pay attention to both the flavors and the textures, then you will be surprised with how mild and tender the fish is.
  • Keep refreshing your mouth with a slice of ginger in between bites. Refrain from eating it in the same bite as sushi, and don’t eat big blobs of ginger all at once as it may overpower the taste of the sushi.
sushi

Image Credit: IStock

Keeping these tips handy, you can now easily order for yourself a plateful of sushi and start warming up to this mouth-watering Japanese delicacy.

How to Avoid Falling Sick During Monsoons? Follow These Ayurvedic Tips

A downpour during the rainy season is often welcomed with great enthusiasm as well as a sigh of relief. After months of scorching heat, the rains help everyone bounce back with fresh doses of energy and vigour. But along with long spells of showers, the monsoonmonths also bring with them extended bouts of illnesses and several seasonal colds and allergies. Whether its diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, dengue, malaria or chikungunia, the number of people vulnerable to these diseases increases manifold during the rainy season.  Ayurveda has a few handy tips that might help you guard your family and yourself against some of these.

According to the science of Ayurveda, the dosha that is accumulated during the rainy season or varsha, is the pitta. This is due to the acidic conditions in the atmosphere which increases the susceptibility of diseases and reduces the digestive processes in the body. This in turn leads to a loss of appetite due to the sluggish digestive system.

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Image credit: IStock

What you must do

There are a range of dietary habits and tips that one must keep in mind to ensure consistency of the immune system and strengthening of the immune system to combat the growth of bacteria in the body. Hair loss, skin infections and indigestion occurs due to the accumulation of Pitta. According to Dr. Dhanvantri, Ayurvedic expert, the monsoon requires everyone to ensure certain precautions are taken in order to remain in the best of health. He suggests the following tips to follow during this season.

1. Eat well-cooked food

: Avoid food that is uncooked and raw. Only food that is well cooked and hygienic must be consumed. Food from street vendors must be avoided. During the rainy season, the bacteria sticks to the food making it unfit for consumption.

2. Avoid spicy food

: Greasy and spicy food with too many chillies might not be suitable for everyone. It might hinder effective digestion. Oil free food is a must. Wheat and barley along with moong dal soup and freshly boiled water help boost immunity. They also enable the toxins of the body to get flushed out, maintaining ones health and reducing vulnerability. All of these are loaded with minerals and vitamins and replenish the body with the nutrients it desires for proper functioning.

3. Try panchakarma

(under expert supervision): In Ayurveda, Panchkarma as the name suggests, is a fivefold healing procedure that involves removing the toxins of the body that have been leftover by diseases. It is a complete mind-body healing process that restores the balance of the body. It involves the use of herbal methods, massages, oil based remedies that allow the body’s own organs to rejuvenate themselves. It is a season based therapy and is advocated especially during the monsoon.

green vegetables

Image Credit: IStock

What Ayurveda suggests you should not do during the monsoon season

1. Do not consume green leafy vegetables or cooked vegetables that are now stale.

2. Do not have milk during the day and curd during the night. What you eat is as crucial as when you eat it. Ayurveda suggests that you don’t have fruits along with milk. Milkshakes and such fruit based drinks may slow down the digestion even further, according to the science of Ayurveda.

3. When thirsty, quench your thirst with normal temperature water and not extremely cold water.

herbal water

Image Credit: IStock

4. Do not sleep during the day, it makes one lethargic.

5. Do not spend too many hours in the sun and avoid the air conditioner immediately after a work-out as you tend to sweat and it can lead to temperature difference between the body and the external environment.

6. As alternatives, oils that are light in nature such as olive oil can be used for cooking.

7. Avoid sour items such as chutneys and pickles and increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Incorporate lots of Tulsi or green tea in your diet regimen. These herbal teas have healing properties.

pickles

Image Credit: IStock

Above everything, know your stomach. It varies from person to person and it is important to be aware of what might suit you. Be informed about what works for your body to keep yourself strong and healthy in this uncertain rainy season. Lastly, make sure you stay away from disease-spreading mosquito. For a natural way out – try fumes of fried neem leaves as a mosquito repellent to keep illnesses at bay.

6 Healthy Eating Tips To Help Improve Your Diet

1. Understand the nutrition basics

“Rather than stick to a diet that just tells you exactly what to eat and when, you should understand why you’re eating what you’re eating,” says nutritionist Shona Wilkinson. “That means learning at least a few basics about which foods are high in protein or healthy fats, and which are bad for you.” Spend a few days tracking your current food intake with the MyFitnessPal app, and you’ll be able to see where you’re going wrong – and where it’s easiest to make big changes.

2. Tailor your diet to your life, not vice versa

“Any diet you decide to follow needs to fit your lifestyle,” says nutritionist Vicki Edgson. “Trying to make too many changes at once makes it less likely that you’ll stick to any of them.” If you’re planning to train first thing in the morning, for instance, a 16/8 fasting plan (fasting for 16 hours and eating only in an eight-hour window) where you don’t eat until lunch might not be best for you – but if you normally eat on the go anyway, it could be just what you need. Do your research, and choose your eating plan accordingly.

3. Upgrade your cooking ability

No need to leap straight in with a sous vide machine or even a spiraliser: a few basics that let you whip up easy meals in minutes are key. “Focus on the staples that will feed you and your loved ones every day,” says J Kenji López-Alt, culinary director of the Serious Eats site. “That could be learning how to properly boil or scramble eggs, or how to make a vinaigrette, so salads become a meal.” For entry-level vinaigrette, mix together a tablespoon each of white wine vinegar and olive oil, with a dash of dijon mustard. Apply straight away.

4. Rethink your eating space

Don’t rely on willpower. In a 2015 study, Americans who had cereal boxes sitting out on their kitchen counters weighed an average of 9kg more than those who didn’t, while those who kept a fruit bowl on the sideboard averaged 9kg less. There’s also evidence – from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab – that cluttered kitchens tend to cause overeating. Take an hour to restructure your eating environment, and avoid mindless snacking.

5. Invest in some good-quality kit

You don’t need much to improve your kitchen. If you’ve never done more than heat up a takeaway, start with the basics. “I would spend £50 on a Tojiro-Pro knife, £15 on a large cutting board, and £20 on a decent stainless steel pot big enough to cook soups, boil beans and blanch vegetables,” says López-Alt. “Don’t worry about making restaurant-grade meals.” You can add more as you improve your repertoire.

6. Make a solid back-up plan

There will always be a time when things go wrong: your carefully packed lunch falls apart in your bag, your usual salad spot’s shut, your boss insists on a brainstorming session at the local wings ’n’ brews shed – and how you react at these moments is key to success. Make your plans ahead of time: “If I go to the pub, I will order soda and lime”, or “If I’m caught without a snack, I’ll grab a packet of almonds”. Don’t make decisions when you’re hungry.