Learn to Brew 5 Fresh and Healthy Teas at Home

Courtesy OhLardy.com

Inspired by previous posts on green tea and proper tea consumption, I’ve decided to share a batch of simple, soothing homemade teas. As with everything here on AL.ME, these fresh and healthy tea options are meant to keep life simple and keep your body happy. We’ll select fresh, natural, inexpensive ingredients and use them to create a harmonious balance throughout the body. Let’s kick things off with a light one… Continue reading Learn to Brew 5 Fresh and Healthy Teas at Home

What you didn’t know about Chinese Food in America…

American or Chinese?

For years I’ve been attempting to explain (and cook) the differences between real Chinese food and American Chinese food. At first, it surprised American friends to discover that the Chinese have never heard of dishes like Crab Rangoon, General Tso’s Chicken, Egg Rolls, Egg Foo Young, and Chop Suey. All were created in America for American taste buds.

Crab Rangoon was actually an American creation that has been served in San Francisco since the 1950s.

Egg Foo Young was an adaptation on a real Chinese dish and made its American debut in the 1930s.

General Tso’s Chicken [pronounced ‘TSAO’] was coined after a famous Chinese general but the people of his modern-day hometown in Xiangyin, Hunan province have never tried it before! (See Jennifer’s talk below) Continue reading What you didn’t know about Chinese Food in America…

Asian Secret #19 Bowls instead of Plates

Announcing... The Dinner Bowl

Try eating dinner tonight out of bowls. You don’t have to change your forks, knives, or spoons. Just use this smaller container for your food. The Asian tradition of using bowls instead of plates can make a big impact on how much we eat at meal time. Smaller plates work fine too.

When Dr. Nancy Snyderman is speaking about obseity concerns on the news, she frequently suggests using smaller plates.

Don’t forget: Eating 2 servings in a smaller container is better than 1 big serving in a bigger container. Continue reading Asian Secret #19 Bowls instead of Plates

Asian Secret #15 The Human Touch

Two friends holding hands

A long two-hand handshake. An arm around a friend. A hand on the knee.

These may seem like ways to flirt, but they are very common among same-sex friends across many Asian countries. Men touch men and women touch women. Closeness is important for relationships and it should be shown in a healthy way.

While we’re on the topic… Remember to hold your loved ones and show them that you love them. Today, give them an extra long hug or hold a hand a little longer. Don’t worry about what it looks like.

The human touch can be more important than words. Continue reading Asian Secret #15 The Human Touch

Asian Secret #14 Give without Expectations

Friends and Family First

One type of glue which holds society together across Asia is the truly giving nature of friendships. Having lived in Asian countries since 2004, I had never experienced such generosity before coming here. One of the more friendly ways to show your sincere friendship is to treat others to a meal or buy a round at your table.

Charity starts at home. If you don’t donate to charity very often (or at all), why not spend a little extra on the people you care about most? Continue reading Asian Secret #14 Give without Expectations

Asian Secret #10 White rice instead of Brown

Sticky white rice

Most of the rice consumed in Asian countries is white although Brown and Wild rice are more nutritious. So, why eat white rice?

Because many people think it tastes better and some of the healthiest diets in the world include this traditional staple. And contrary to what you often hear, it’s not harmful to your body to eat white rice, whereas butter and jam on white bread might be…

Continue reading Asian Secret #10 White rice instead of Brown

Asian Secret #9 A good day starts with a good morning…

Sakura blossoms in Spring

An ancient Chinese saying reminds us that “A good day starts with a good morning, and a good year starts with a good Spring.”

This is why morning exercise is very important because is increases your chances of having a great day. Now challenge yourself to have a better year.

Spring is a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. Plan out this new year and get things on the right track this Spring. Make this year happen on purpose.

Asian Secret #8 Morning exercise

Fan dancing in Shanghai

It’s not just for old people… Everyone should do morning exercise. Any kind of morning activity is fine, whether it be stretching, dancing, working out, etc. Doing something is better than waking up and going straight to work or class. Its not just because “it’s good for you”, its because you are getting your motor started. Your metabolism will get revving and that’s all you need to start a perfect day.

Start with 5-10 minutes everyday and you will have noticeably more energy everyday. Remember, it should be something you enjoy doing and not just another chore.


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Blocked from Blogging in China

blogger in china
Blogger in China

Since 2008, I’ve had severe issues getting on Blogger and posting about what was going on in my life here in China. Proxies are available, but it’s always a headache to knowingly force your internet speed down in order to get some Blogger and Facebook time in.

But now, I’m putting my foot down. I’m going to MAKE time for these necessities. I noticed that I only blogged 8 times in 2008 and I know there were plenty of amazing opportunities for reflection and publication. Today is the start of creating a presence online for Chinese Learning Curves. It will support my own personal experiences in China both privately and in business. I’ll use a publishing filter, as mentioned on the Dragos Roua blog. Posts will not drag on until some visual quota seems to be filled. Many more good habits will be formed too!

As my experiences with Worldshop.us and WS Online Learning develop, I will reflect that in this blog. Please contact me and tell me if you find the content useful or not. I’m looking forward to focusing this blog on the Good Stuff and giving the world Ben Piscopo’s view of what it takes to work, live, and learn in modern China.