Tag Archives: lifestyles

Interview & Review: Managing Common Health Problems Holistically (Volume 1) by Orchid Ch’ng

Review: The book is written in a straight-forward manner, easily understandable with terms and references the average person can relate to and apply in their own lives and shopping habits as necessary. Some points might seem common sense regarding colds and flu, exercising regularly or eating certain foods, but they are crucially important and we could all use such reminders. The addition of Chinese medicine and herbal remedies to some of the treatments westerners might already know was quite interesting and coincided with some of my own knowledge of herbs and healing. Many were also fascinating and new.

I was personally familiar with some of the topics such as acne, which I suffered with greatly as a pre-teen, yet rarely afterwards. One note I thought of also was not aggravating the skin or existing bumps, cysts or lesions by using products or material that “scrub” the skin. Often, this can cause yet more problems. Another note, herbal or natural product we also used as a blood cleanser to help with acne was cayenne pepper, taken in the powdered form in gelatin capsules. Later in the book, the author mentioned several ways cayenne or capsicum can be used to benefit health.

For allergies sufferers, as with Chinese medicine, one of the common remedies we used was taking a daily teaspoon of “local” honey, meaning honey that had been produced by bees who gathered from the blooms in the area where you live. In this way, it is believed the body builds up a greater tolerance to allergens as it makes them a “part” of itself.

I greatly appreciated the information about magnesium, and how having lower levels of it in the body can cause things such as lower back pain, restless syndrome and muscle twitches. One of the contributing factors to low levels of magnesium could be based on the fact that much of our food is now grown in mineral depleted soil and ends up lacking this vital mineral and others. So often we may be eating foods that look good, but really don’t contain all the necessary nutrients, which cause a number of nagging ills. Supplements of some sort, herbal or mineral can really aid in better health.

Special care was taken to ensure proper credit was given to quotes, and references and permissions from websites, group or medical practitioners.  Obviously a lot of time, care and the desire to help others went into the writing and compiling of “Managing Common Health Problems Holistically.” It is a health-related book I would absolutely recommend.

Description: “Are you sick and tired of having to use a lot of medications which leave you feeling worse than ever? Have you ever wondered to yourself that there has to be a better way to manage your health problems? If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, this book may be for you.

Using simple everyday language that is easily understood, this book addresses nine of the most common health problems. The book uses a natural holistic approach which includes Western Herbal Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Author Bio:

Orchid Ch’ng was born in Malaysia and lived her childhood years on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) and is now currently living in Perth, Western Australia with her family. Her career has been widely varied throughout her life. She has always had a strong interest in health, reading & writing which led her to writing her first published health book about health problems. Other interests include movies, bushwalking, travel and photography.

Website: http://orchidchng.com/

My Interview With The Author:

What genre(s) do you write?

Currently I write nonfiction in the health genre.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy reading books, watching some of my favourite tv shows, watching movies and DVDs, bushwalking, practice meditation and Taoism (exercises, not the religion) and photography.

Where are you from originally?

I was born in Malaysia, and I lived my childhood years on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Family? My father has passed away several years ago, but my mother is still alive and well and is retired. I have two brothers; one is an electrical engineer and the other works in IT.

Where do you hang out online? Website URL, author groups, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc?

My author website is http://orchidchng.com and my blog is also on my website. I also have a Twitter account, which is on my website as well.

What types of books do you like to read?

I tend to read a variety of books from fiction to nonfiction. For fiction, I prefer to read fantasy and for nonfiction, health/nutrition books of course, and occasionally some gardening/horticultural & cookbooks.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, because his books never fail to make me laugh. He has the wonderful ability to blend humour and drama seamlessly in a single page. You never know what’s around the corner. Lately, I noticed that his books were getting increasingly darker. I also loved the late Sara Douglass’s fantasy novels, for the complexity and depth of the storylines and fantastic complex characters that populate her stories. She’ll be sorely missed in the literary world.

Your Writing Process:

Why do you write?

I write to express and explore my ideas and communicate them to readers.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Quite eclectic, as no one day is the same. On some days I will devote entirely to researching topics, on others I will write, and on other days I’ll be selling/promoting/marketing/general admin work.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Never give up and continue to write. Always do your research before jumping into anything, don’t simply rely on other people’s recommendations, as their recommendations may not suit you at all. Set clear goals and create a plan with achievable targets. If you don’t know how to create a website yourself, for e.g., hire a website designer to create a professional looking website for you. You can always outsource work to others if you don’t have the expertise in that area. Get your work professionally edited, as this is a must for any writer/author. Writing is only a small part of the process as the sales/marketing/promotion is the dominant one.

Use social media wisely. Contact book bloggers in your genre that you are writing in and ask them to do book reviews for your book. You will encounter criticism about your book, so don’t take it personally. Instead learn from it. Everyone has an opinion, but remember it’s just opinion, not fact. You will find that one reader loved what you wrote in your book, and another will dislike it. What to do? Just remember to keep it in perspective. You can’t please everyone all of the time. It is important to consider what your readers’ like and don’t like, but don’t get too hung up about it. In the end, you have to love what you’re writing.

Is there any other genre you have considered writing in?

I’ve considered writing fantasy.

Do you track work count or write a certain number of hours per day?

I try to aim to write for about 3-4 hours a day.

Your Books:

How many books have you written?

I’ve actually written 2 books, but decided to publish the second book (health book), as the first book, which was a fantasy novella, had too many flaws in it.

When a new book comes out, are you nervous about how readers will react to it?

Yes, as you never know how people will react to it; you always hope that people will react favourably towards it.

What can we look forward to in the upcoming months?

I’m currently working on my second book which is the follow up to the first volume.

What kind of research do you do for your books?

I mainly do internet research and occasionally interview some individuals. Do you enjoy the research process? Yes, I love research, as I always discover something different and new. Research is an essential component of the writing process.

 Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Sometimes I create an outline for my book, and at other times I just write. It just depends on my inclination.

What was your first published work and when was it published?

My first published work is my current book and it was published during March/April 2012.

If your book is available in print, how does it feel to hold a book that has your name on the cover? 

Immensely satisfying to finally see my name in print on the cover.


Filed under Interviews, Lifestyles & Health, Non-Fiction, Reviews

Rediscovering the Power of ‘No’ by Irina Avtsin

Review: Don’t be fooled by the happy looking frog on the cover, this book means serious business, for gaining the power to say “No”, is both an empowering and necessary step to take control of your own life. Written in a warm style, as if from a personal friend, I might have used more bulleted lists and arranged some of the material differently, but “Rediscovering the Power of ‘No'” is a worthy, little read.

This ebook is rather in a workbook format, with progressive exercises to help you get your “No” back in gear. It requests you really look deep into your motivations and some of the reasons one might feel overwhelmed by even simple requests. Some of the suggestions and encouragement might be common sense, but they are also things everyone needs to hear again, especially those struggling with everything from feelings of inadequacy to depression. Not to replace professional counseling if such is needed, it’s a good stepping stone for personal empowerment.

This is part of the Personal Confidantency Series.

Description: Make your life easier by learning to say ‘No’! This workbook will help you to start.

Why you might want to buy this workbook for yourself or as a gift?
Let’s see.  Have you ever found yourself doing a task that you felt should have been done by others?  Or watching the movie for the second time (that you did not want to see even once)?

If you did not say “no” to both questions – this workbook is for you!
You can avoid a lot of these and other unpleasant experiences, by (gasp!) saying “no” – the right way and at the right time.

Published by Irina Avtsin

Publication Date: 21 Jan. 2011

Genre: Self-Improvement, Self-Help, Lifestyles

Buy Link: Smashwords and Amazon

Source: Author

Author Bio:

Multilingual and multicultural Columbia Business School graduate Irina Avtsin has over fifteen years of business experience, working in several industries on a couple of continents. Irina is both personally and professionally familiar with the difficulties that arise from having to negotiate different careers and cultures.

She lived and studied in Israel and Russia. Irina’s keen interest in psychology, combined with business acumen and ability to understand others and view the situation through their eyes allowed her to help a lot of people through various life challenges.

Website: http://www.letsdoarealitycheck.com

Blog: http://www.confidantemusings.com

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reviews

Zen Anti-Diet: Mindful Eating for Health, Vitality and Weight Loss by Aaron Hoopes

Review: Eating healthier, taking time to prepare, consume and digest foods that will provide the most nourishment for body, mind and spirit is something almost everyone understands on some level. But being aware of patterns, behaviors and activities which can sabotage our bodies in our environments is not always as easily understood.
With the stresses, strains and demands of modern life, it’s easy to fall into negative eating and thought patterns which can make us ill on a variety of levels. It is not impossible to counteract that negativity. It is possible to take simple steps to bring yourself back to the beauty and balance found in nature. In Aaron Hoopes’ book “Zen Anti-Diet”, he helps us both recognize some of the contributing factors of ill health and eating habits which make us less than we could be.

In clear, precise language and concepts, Hoopes explains the origin of the Zen philosophy, for contrary to what some people think, it is not a religion in the western sense of the word. It is a sense of being, and is the basis of all life and living. From daily habits which can be modified, to food additives which are toxic and harmful, we are introduced to doable solutions such as reading those labels and being aware of what you’re taking into your body or giving to your loved ones. But eating better and making more informed choices are not the only things which can improve vitality and longevity, exercise is important as well. Unsure of how to do it on your own? Why not take one of Aaron’s online immersion courses, or purchase one of his DVDs which help you flow through the forms of yoga which improves both body and spirit.

Without a doubt, “Zen Anti-Diet” is a book I believe every man, woman and child should read. Yes, children included, a healthy life and mind begins in childhood as one is developing the thought processes to do what one knows is good for oneself, to help stop “the disconnection between the mind and body” before it occurs.

Note: To learn more about the author, please read my interview with Aaron Hoopes here on Flying With Red Haircrow, and visit the links to his websites below.

Published: by Aaron Hoopes

Buy Link: Smashwords

Publication Date: 21 June 2010

Source: Author

Genre: Lifestyles, Health & Well-Being, Eating Disorders

Author Bio:

For over twenty-eight years Aaron Hoopes has been a student of the martial arts, Eastern philosophy, and alternative medicine. He has a degree in Asian History and Japanese Culture from Tulane University and has spent many years studying in Japan, Australia and the USA. He holds a third degree black belt in Japanese Shotokan Karate and is a certified instructor of karate, Shanti Yoga and Meditation, Tai Chi, and Qigong.

He is the founder of Zen Yoga which combines clarity of thought and awareness found in the martial arts with the peaceful stretching and breathing of yoga. He strives to make Zen Yoga available to anyone regardless of fitness level, age or mindset. He travels and teaches around the world. He also teaches an Online Correspondence Course that assists people with putting this work into daily practice.


Website: http://www.artofzenyoga.com

Blog: http://wanderingsagewisdom.blogspot.com


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Filed under Lifestyles & Health, Non-Fiction, Reviews