Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 7, Issue 25, Tuesday, June 19, 2012




Get moving

By Karim Waheed

Responses to emails:
Farhad Abedin, ideal weight for a 6 ft male is (+ or - 10 percent) 75 kg.
Amit Biswas, no, exercise does not hamper growth (height-wise).

I have received several emails, asking about how to lose weight fast/ with minimal effort.

The magic word? MOVE. Yes, get moving.

There is one thing that a beginner can do that takes very little time, no money, and does not require much information. That is to begin walking. It is one of the easiest and most effective forms of exercise. The only required items are comfortable clothing, a good pair of shoes, water bottle, and the drive to achieve one's fitness goals.

Another reason walking is an excellent way for someone to begin a new life centred around fitness is that it will help to develop a healthy habit. One of the most difficult things to do is to develop a habit and to not allow minor obstacles to get in the way. A person can use walking as a way to train him/herself to get into a fitness routine. When someone gets into a routine and develops the appreciation for it, the harder it will be to give it up.

Walking for fitness is also beneficial for a beginner because it is relatively low impact. Many beginners tend to jump into fitness head first. For a couple of weeks, they keep it up but continue being constantly sore. If a person has not developed a love for fitness, this can breed discouragement. For some, the soreness is just not worth it as it is hard for them to see beyond the temporary discomfort.

Walking can easily allow people to baseline their performance and will provide a visual means to see their progress. Perhaps the walking will start as a basic walk around the block, or begin at 1 or 2 miles a day using this as a baseline. As you begin to build endurance, you will see with your own eyes that you're going further and further. Gradually you may add additional time or distance to your walking routine.

Walking gets you outdoors. Most of us are inside most of the day. We breathe re-circulated air and have fake lighting. Walking gives us a chance to get some fresh air and enjoy being outside.

When you have progressed to where you want to go beyond walking, it is easy to incorporate various forms of exercise along with walking. One can develop a circuit of bodyweight exercises to do at various timed intervals to develop strength, power, speed, and accelerate weight loss. For example, one can walk for 2-3 minutes then do a set of 10 bodyweight squats, back to walking for 2-3 minutes and then do 10 push-ups. When one begins to add strength training or interval training into the walking routine, it will be more enjoyable and will take his/her fitness to a new level.


The 'awesomest' tool in the world

By Ehsanur RAza Ronny

As a gearhead, or someone who wants to prove he's a man, nothing says more than the ability to wield a tool. Does that discriminate against women? No. For two reasons. Women can either do the job and don't need to prove anything or they do it right and call the expert in the first place.

So men, or boys, need tools. And no one more so than someone with a car. Especially now because if you can repair a car with tools, you're a hero. Cars today are complicated. They have electronics. 30 years ago cars could run on two wires twisted tightly together. Now, you need to read a manual and that manual is to be found online after you setup your own computer as well as successfully run two countries. That's difficult. So how do you fix a car? And what's the most important tool?

If you have a modern car, pop the hood. Or bonnet, depending on which side of the English language pond you were taught. What you will see will fill you with calm. New engines don't look like engines. They are jewels, a smooth crafted plastic cover that hides the engines. All the wires, knobs, valves and congealed dirty leaves/dead animals are hidden.

You'll see lots of screws everywhere. Mostly screws with a little plus sign on the head better known as Phillips screws. These and their related 'Phillips screwdrivers' are considered to be the world's greatest invention. Never before has it been easier to get things screwed. But you're wrong. That is not the greatest tool for a gearhead. Once you are done with unscrewing all those screws holding down the fancy shiny engine cover, you are greeted with stuff. Stuff is the best way to quickly describe a confusing assortment of mechanical bolts, tubes and other engine bits.

What about a wrench? That often does the same thing. It opens stuff to show more stuff. Pliers are only good for cutting wires, thin nails and squishing insects you are afraid to touch.

Bring in the hammer, the greatest tool of all time. It doesn't do anything but it sure makes people feel industrious. If something sounds wrong, tap lightly with a light hammer. In our country of inevitable dents, tap hard with a hammer from the other side and your dent might look less dented. But in most cases, the hammer won't let you do much. But it is a powerful tool and it will make you feel useful mostly because it won't let you screw things up further. Only a screwdriver can do that.


Summer slurps!

By Abdullah Tareq

Watermelon seems to be in abundance this summer. You get it all year around nowadays, but at this time of the year it's everywhere. Not only is watermelon very refreshing but in this crazy heat, it helps your body re-hydrate. It is 92 per cent water and has high levels of vitamins A, C and B6. It also contains potassium, which is a mineral necessary for water balance.

Here are a few recipes with watermelon.

Watermelon gazpacho
Gazpacho is traditionally a tomato-based, raw vegetable soup generally served cold. Gazpacho is very popular in Spanish and Portuguese cuisine. It is mostly consumed during the summer months, due to its refreshing qualities and cold serving temperature. This recipe is a variation of the traditional one.

10 servings
6 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
2 cucumbers, chopped
2 red capsicums, chopped
1 onion, chopped
½ jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 tbsp honey
½ cup pineapple juice
20 small mint leaves

Reserve 20 small pieces of watermelon for garnish. Working in batches, place the remaining watermelon, the cucumbers, capsicums, onion, jalapeno pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, 3 tablespoons of fresh mint, the ginger, honey, and pineapple juice into a blender, and blend for about 30 seconds per batch. The mixture should be well blended but retain some texture. Pour into a large pitcher or bowl, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve in bowls, and garnish each bowl with a couple of chunks of the retained watermelon and 2 small mint leaves.

Tomato and watermelon salad
This is a very refreshing and summery salad. Some people might find the ingredients mismatched but you'll be pleasantly surprised after trying it.

4 to 6 servings
5 cups (3/4-inch) seeded watermelon cubes
600g ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Cracked black pepper to taste

Combine watermelon and tomatoes in a large bowl; sprinkle with sugar and salt, tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes. Stir in onion, vinegar, and oil. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Serve chilled with lettuce leaves, if desired. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper to taste.

Sweet, salty, and spicy watermelon refresher
10 to 12 servings
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 fresh green chilli, seeded and minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ tsp chilli flakes
1 small red onion, diced
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 small watermelon
1 small cantaloupe
2 cucumbers
2 mangoes

Combine lime juice and next 5 ingredients.

Place red onion, coriander leaves, and mint in a large bowl. Dice watermelon and cantaloupe into 1 inch pieces; add to bowl. Peel and dice cucumbers, and mangoes; add to bowl. Stir in lime juice mixture. Cover and chill for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Watermelon popsicles
1 piece watermelon
1 piece chunks of fresh fruit (try grapes, strawberries, or mango)

Puree watermelon and pour into popsicle molds. Drop in chunks of fresh fruit, insert caps and place in freezer. Serve when frozen.

Watermelon as a dessert
Sometimes watermelons look nice and red but are a little bland. A practice of salting fruits helps concentrate the juice and makes the sweetness more pronounced. Sugar has a similar effect, so you can put out a couple tablespoons of sugar, along with the zest of a lemon and a couple handfuls of fresh mint leaves.

Cut up about half of a small watermelon in thick slices, and layer the watermelon slices on a plate. As you layer the wedges, lightly sprinkle the slices with sugar. Then rub some zest over the layer and sprinkle with chopped mint.

Then cover the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until very cold, for about an hour and a half.

The result should be a nice refreshing blend of flavours, slightly tangy from the lemon and sweet from the sugar and mint.


As part of Star Lifestyle's expansion to a 20-page publication, we have re-introduced our shopping column, Shoptalk, in a new guise. It will now focus on highlighting specific products and to this effect businesspersons, retailers and product manufacturers are requested to send products and product information (except clothes)that they would like to promote. All product suggestions should be emailed to lifestyleds@yahoo.com or raffat@thedailystar.net.

'She' fragrance
Attractive in their colourful cans, this new and fast becoming popular brand of fragrances is available all over the city. 'She' is the perfect girls' companion and comes in the shapes of body spray, perfume, lotion and roll-on deodorant. There are eight attractive fragrances to choose from, each with its unique colour code and catchy tag -- 'she is fun', 'she is happy', 'she is cool' and so on.

The tags define the fragrances perfectly with 'she is cool' being a sporty scent while 'she is sexy' is sensuous and appealing. The body sprays costs Tk.250 while the perfumes are Tk.950. A combo set is also widely available at Tk.1500 containing the lotion, body spray and perfume.

Soy milk
For those who are lactose intolerant, soy milk is the solution: it doesn't contain any lactose. For those who strictly want to adhere to a vegetarian diet, soy milk is again important: it is a drink made out of soy beans.

It is a great source of protein and is claimed by many experts to have many health benefits. Above all, it is a delicious treat. Therefore, buy yourself a carton of soy milk. It's available in many superstores. A litre of one of the brands of soy milk, which is available at Almas, costs Tk.230.

'Nair' hair removal range of products
The age-old companion has now come out with a huge line of hair removal products to make the tedious and painful job of female hair cleansing fun and painless.

Nair has introduced spray and wax strips, which are fragrant and glittered! Available at Tk.380, these new products promise to be painless and are perfect girls' stay over material. However, due to their age-old brand identity, fraudulent products are already capturing shelf space in many of the smaller shops and also at some of the biggest shopping malls of the city, returning disgruntled customers. So beware of your Nair purchase.

Stamping nail arts
Yes, it might seem like a teenage girls' product but nail arts are still fun and funky. With their reduced prices the simplest set of nail arts is now available at Tk.950 and would make a lovely birthday gift or an engaging entertainment for a stay-over. The simple act of placing the stamps is highly entertaining and the results are just perfect bliss. So make your way to the stamping nail arts stores at the back of Bashundhara City, Level 1 and get yourself a sample. You will be itching to own a set.

Iced tea
A lemon-flavoured iced tea is superbly reenergising. After a humid and hot day nothing beats the tang of a cold glass of lemon tea to refresh your mind and body. Nestea, a concern of Nestle, offers sachets for about Tk.6. All you need to do is pour cold water and the powdered content into a glass and stir it well. A few ice cubes and you've made yourself a nice and easy drink.

Visit the nearest superstores to grab a bunch of these joyous treats.

As the game heats, so must you
Add to the adrenaline rush by giving your taste buds a little something extra. By extra we mean Extra Hot in the form of delicious Tabasco Sauce, available at Tk.200. Everything tastes good with Tabasco sauce and this is an age old rule. If you don't have the sauce, go back to square one because your entire day is ruined.

Samosa in Summary

Top off your little food fiesta with some frozen samosas. Unfortunately, these usually need a little preparation, which includes 10 minutes of defrosting and then 5 minutes of cooking in oil. If left uncooked, they will ruin all that you just had, so be a little careful when indulging yourself in this local delicacy. And do indulge in local delicacy, because though it may be Euro night, it's still a show of everyone's culture and heritage. Yours may consist of vegetables and meat stuffed in tasty wrapping but so be it. Available in 3s, 6s and 12s, these samosas will set you back somewhere in the range of Tk.100-Tk.300.

All these products are available at stores around Dhaka.

-- LS Desk


The era of brand ambassadors

These days, it seems an immense number of brands are taking up celebrities as their ambassadors. It's the ultimate "in" thing.

And of course there are good reasons for it. First, when a celebrity comes to your opening ceremony, a lot of hype is created. Businesses get a good opportunity to create a buzz. But that's the tip of the ice-berg. A brand ambassador does more than that. His/her role is engraved deep into marketing concepts.

Sometimes, a brand chalks down the desirable associations and perceptions it wants to have; and then, finds out which celebrity already has those associations. The brand then simply hires that celebrity; the celebrity "goes" with the brand.

Similarly, the marketing team also finds out the people their target market admires and looks up to, and then the decision of choosing the celebrity comes in.

It's not a simple thing at all.

In fact, a brand takes a huge risk when hiring a celebrity. People fall into trouble; celebrities are no exceptions, but since they are in the limelight, their image and reputation may be gravely injured.

Now, interestingly, the brand for which that celebrity became the ambassador for, also suffers!

But surely, playing the marketing basics right can mean a huge positive turning point for companies hiring brand ambassadors.

For example, Le Reve, a fashion house for men, women and children, has taken up Shakib al Hasan as their brand ambassador. Le Reve started its journey in 2009. Backed up by their own design and production team, it currently has 5 outlets, and it will be opening up 4 more (including 1 in Sylhet) in the near future. The fashion brand sells formal wear, casual wear and children's attires as well as accessories such as wallets, ornaments, belts, etc.

By M H Haider


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