“High Fat Diet”? Is it real?

Can “Fat” be our friend?

For all of you stressing, fussing, and crying about losing weight, there is news to brighten up your spirits. No more “one banana,” “bagel a day,” or “only protein” meals! No more “Fat-free” cereal bars. Stop starving yourself; it’s time to embrace our all-time greatest enemy — fat.

A new, shocking diet trend is sweeping over South Korea — the LCHF diet, also known as “Low Carbohydrate, High Fat Diet.” According to The Korea Times, “eating more fat-rich food such as beef, pork, butter and cheese is the latest trend in weight loss attempts.”

Ever since the recent airing of the MBC documentary “Fat: falsely charged,” highlighting the astonishing benefits of “low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet,” fatty products sales have soared at an unbelievable pace. Already in E-Mart, Korea’s largest retailer, butter sales increased by 41.1%, while cheese and pork sales rose by 10.3% and 7.6% respectively (Korea Times).

This isn’t just in South Korea. The LCHF diet is attracting worldwide attention from Sweden, USA, Australia, and even the U.K. Apparently, people can lose up to 90 kg through this special diet, proven by the numerous successful cases in Sweden, along with results from the Low Carb USA conference in San Diego this summer (Diet Doctor).

So what’s the whole science behind this mystery? Almost paradoxically, by depending on fat as our primary energy source rather than carbohydrates, it creates an optimal “fat-loss environment.” Insulin, a hormone released based on the amount of carb intake, is cut down in proportion to carb intake, and our body turns to utilize fat, rather than storing it.

And with this, the trend is widely spreading through numerous social media and blogs. For example, one blogger named Backpack Boy “lost 4.7 kilograms over the past three weeks” in which “pork, salmon, cheese, and vegetables were the main source of his diet.” Moreover, experts, such as Professor Yeom Geun-sang at St. Mary’s Hospital in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province, reported that “the LCHF diet is truly effective, though how much so may vary by individuals” (Korea Times).

So here are some recommended, incredibly easy recipes from Diet Doctor if you’re ever interested in trying out the LCHF diet. Yes, you may be surprised, but these are truly diet food. Good luck!

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Ingredients:) 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 – 3 lbs salmon, 1 teaspoon sea salt, ground black pepper, 7 oz. butter, 1 lemon

Instructions)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Place the salmon with the skin down in a greased baking dish (1 tablespoon olive oil), salt and pepper generously.
  3. Slice the lemon thinly and place on top of the salmon. Cover with half of the butter in thin slices.
  4. Bake on middle rack for about 20–30 minutes, depending on size.
  5. Heat the rest of the butter in a small sauce pan until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat and let cool a little and carefully add some lemon juice.
  6. Serve the fish with the lemon butter and a side dish of your choice. See below for suggestions.

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Ingredients) 2 lbs chicken thighs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 5 – 10 garlic cloves, sliced, 1 lemon, ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, 4 tablespoons butter

Instructions)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (225°C). Place the chicken pieces in a butter-greased baking pan.
  2. Salt and pepper generously. Sprinkle the garlic and parsley over the chicken pieces, and drizzle the the lemon juice and olive oil on top.
  3. Bake the chicken and roast the garlic slices. This may take 30–40 minutes, depending on how large the pieces are. Lower the temperature a little towards the end.

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Ingredients) ¼ lb cooked ground beef, 2 eggs, 2 oz. shredded cheese

Instructions)

  1. Set the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Put the ground-beef mix in a small baking dish. Make two holes with a spoon and crack the eggs into them.
  3. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
  4. Bake in the oven until the eggs are done, about 15 minutes.
  5. Let cool for a while, eggs and ground meat gets very hot!

unnamed-2Ingredients)  5 oz. butter, 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 pinch ground black pepper

Instructions)

  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Pour into a jug with a spout and let cool.
  2. Mix the egg yolks and mustard in a bowl. Pour in the butter in a fine stream while whisking, using a hand mixer. Leave the sediment at the bottom.
  3. Keep whisking until the mayonnaise turns thick. Season with lemon juice, salt and black pepper.  

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Ingredients) 1 egg yolk, 2 garlic cloves, ¾ cup light olive oil, or other flavorless oil of your choice, ½ teaspoon chili flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 tablespoons greek yogurt

Instructions)

  1. Press the garlic into a bowl. Add the egg yolk and mix well.
  2. Add the olive oil in a thin stream while continuously whisking by hand or a hand blender.
  3. Whisk down the yogurt and spices. Add some more salt or lemon juice and garlic  based on taste preference.

It’s time to take a new stance on our choice of meals, especially when on a diet. Radically cutting down fat does not mean more efficiency; it is scientifically proven that once fat is becomes our primary fuel, we will quickly observe weight loss. But also remember, keep your carbohydrates to the bare minimum.

-Sammie Kim 18′

(Featured image designed by Crescentia Jung)

The Science Behind Procrastination

Project due next week, and that temptation of another youtube video. Why do we procrastinate? How can we fix this?

Are you anxious about your early applications to your dream college? Maybe there is a new summative coming up. How far are you with the English reading? Please don’t tell me you’re still on chapter one. In the midst of this cataclysm, some of you might be organizing directories on your mac, trying out a new item build on online games, or just catching up with your newsfeed on facebook.

The scariest part about procrastination is not only that it might compromise the quality of your end products(School work and etc.) but also that it can happen to almost everyone. Even the most productive of us have fallen into the trap of temptation, delaying precious sleep for the next morning. Naturally, self evaluation follows.

Now, try not to be too hard on yourself. Procrastination is a spontaneous course of action – your brain’s automatic defense mechanism to your stress.  Hear out this guy:

“Psychologists see procrastination as a misplaced coping mechanism, as an emotion-focused coping strategy. [People who procrastinate are] using avoidance to cope with emotions, and many of them are non-conscious emotions. So we see it as giving in to feel good. And it’s related to a lack of self-regulation skills. … We all have a six-year-old running the ship. And the six-year-old is saying, ‘I don’t want to! I don’t feel like it!'” (Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada)

Based on his claims, we are repelling important work because we simply DO NOT want to work. On the other hand, there are different interpretations of procrastination.

According to a study published by Edward Jones (New York Times obituary) & Steven Berglas, procrastination is a type of self-handicapping to build an excuse for your poor performance.

“By finding or creating impediments that make good performance less likely, the strategist nicely protects his [or her] sense of self-competence” (pg 201).

“I had only two hours to finish this project. But, this does not prove my failure as a practical learner since I had a huge disadvantage!” This kind of attitude wins whether you succeed or fail. When you lose, your sense of competence is secured since you can externalize the blames on your procrastinating behavior. Of course, if you succeed, you can boost your self-confidence at enormous rate, because you have achieved something even when you were not in optimal condition.

A TED Talk from a famous blogger, Tim Urban makes a great explanation of the mechanism behind procrastinator’s brain.

https://embed.ted.com/talks/tim_urban_inside_the_mind_of_a_master_procrastinator

Fortunately, however, procrastination is not a disease nor a condition. It is simply a habit that affects productivity. There are good ways to fight your demon.

  1. Accept that you have a problem. procrast2.jpgEvery first step to solving a problem is to recognize the existence of it. It might be hard but if you postpone your workload on a regular basis, you should start asking yourself if you are a procrastinator.
  2. Divide up the work and give yourself small rewards for doing each segment of it. proctast1.jpgBecause it is the motivation to do work that procrastinators are not good at gathering up, it is important to make big projects into less intimidating objectives. If ‘instant gratification’ is the reason behind indulging into digression, instant rewards for completion of work would be helpful to continue your overall progression. For example, you can divide your five paragraph essay assignment into five parts and give yourself 10 minutes of internet browsing for finishing each.
  3. Thing about the long-run consequences. procrast3.jpgThe danger of procrastination is not only the diminished quality of your work but also the sense of anxiety that comes along with the deadline. So, it is effective to raise alertness towards the negative consequences, which might hopefully raise the productive part of your brain from dead. In fact, these consequences are more or less real. Late submissions could lead to a failed grade (it is especially strict in KIS), and even expulsion if we are talking about an actual job.

This is not an easy battle. Plus, the devil can always crawl back under your skin without a polite notice. Of course, nobody is at fault if the work is just too much for you. When you are told to tame a dragon, wouldn’t most people run away instead? True, the dragon is a hard beast to tame. However, imagine how majestic it will be if you push yourself just a bit more.

– Paul Jeon (‘17)

(Featured images from neednudge.com, offbeat.topix.com, wikihow.com, and fortivoti.com in order)

Coping with High School

How do you cope with High School?

To whom it may concern,

For a long time, I have debated on whether or not I should probe this issue. The reason for this is simple: not many students want to divulge themselves in confronting this problem. But it has come to my attention that if I don’t venture on this discussion now, I may lose an opportunity to be of assistance to a friend or classmate. So it is with this in mind that I write this letter, and I deeply hope that it may be of help to at least one individual in his or her time of need.

High school is often portrayed in a light of two extremes: it’s either a place where the possibilities are endless or it’s a desolate abyss that denies you success despite your every attempt. For far too long have these widely accepted views persisted in the minds of students, and it is precisely these perceptions that often cause unnecessary stress or problems. But without a confrontation of this problem, a student no matter where he or she is will continue to suffer. Thus, there is a need to remedy the harms caused by these unfair outlooks of high school, and there is a need to remedy them now.

Let’s look at the first portrayal of high school: a time of boundless potential. Most people have had this idea drilled into their heads from their toddler days, and that goes for me as well. When I was in elementary school, a movie called High School Musical came out. (Yes. I watched it. Don’t judge me. I know you watched it too.) The basic premise of this movie was that, a high school student, no matter who he or she was, could achieve anything if he or she set his or her mind to it. Essentially, the movie propagated the life of the all-rounder who could manage all of his or her coursework, go on to succeed in multiple sports teams, and place at high-level academic competitions. The movie went viral among my classmates at the time, and from that moment onward, many of them became obsessed with living the “High School Musical” life.

But this approach to high school before even attending it is insane. On average, high school ends at 3pm. For most students, that will mean 2 hours of sports practice right after school, along with an hour long trip back home. After eating dinner and finishing 3 to 4 hours of coursework, be it homework or test prep, it’s already 10pm. If a student is in an academic club, be it competitive math or debate, that means even more work to do into the night. In order to truly succeed at being the all-round type that is paraded in Hollywood teen propaganda, blood, sweat, and tears have to be shed just to keep up at this pace for an entire year, let alone a semester. On top of this, summers often have to be spent either preparing for the next academic year or engaging in competitive activities, be it internships or competitions, just to stay atop the game. Yet in High School Musical, students conveniently go onto prestigious Ivy League institutions after spending an entire summer dancing, singing, and feuding over relationships at a spa resort.

To send this type of message to unsuspecting children is preposterous. Telling an individual to live 4 years and have the best time of their life while also telling them to complete coursework, standardised tests, extra-curricular activities at the highest level is irony at its best. Thus my first message to you is this: don’t get hyped up for a gleeful 4 years. Scrap the idea of the model student, for they are a rarity. And if you happen to be one of these model students, try to help out your fellow classmates, for you are a lucky individual. But for the 99% of you, don’t go into high school trying to live up to these unreasonable demands. They will only serve to harm you.

However, many students have already gone into high school with this mindset, and it is possible that many of those students are already on their way to graduating in a few months. To them, I wish to discuss the harms caused by the second perception of high school: a purgatory of constant disappointments. In order to truly understand this pain, a student will probably have to be at least in his or her junior year. This is because from junior year onward is when issues such as course grades, standardised testing, and extra-curricular activities become truly daunting.

To put it simply, many students in their junior or senior year will be beating themselves up. Whether it be a low grade in a few courses, a 3 in an AP exam, or the fact that he or she didn’t become the leader of a club, these disappointments and barriers often times pile up and leave that student in distress about his or her future. It’s saddening to see a student question his or her self-worth over a relatively low SAT score. But it’s hard not to react this way. After all, we have been exposed to the idea of the model student and the prestigious colleges that student gets accepted to.

I also cannot yet give a concrete answer as to how to cope with the devastation of loss. Whenever I see a friend becoming dismayed after losing out at another competition or try out, I often times can’t seem to find the right words to comfort him or her. After all, I am also coping with loss every now and then in my own struggles to stand out.

But what I do know is that, although it may not be the answer, the first step to reconciling yourself with these disappointments is to embrace what is going right in your life. Whenever I find myself in one of those runs of bad luck and frustration, I try to remind myself what I am capable of and what’s going right for me. Although it may not seem much, this effort to be proud of yourself can help when you are in times of stress, be it a week full of summative exams or a weekend bombarded by extra-curricular activity demands, as it serves as self-acknowledgement of the good you can do.

As for those who have never really found this anchor of hope, students who have never tasted success, trying to find ways to bring yourself back to shore from the ocean of broken dreams may seem hard or even impossible. To this I have only one answer: keep on trying. This may sound like a useless answer, but it is one that is imperative. Although you don’t have to attain a level of excellence like that of the model student, that doesn’t mean that you should be content with an F in a subject. Although you don’t have to strive for perfection, you should at least try to reach a level where you will be content with yourself. The saying “A bad run for a good student can be overcome with effort” should be changed to “A bad run for any student can be overcome with effort”. Each student should still try and perform to the best of their abilities, even if that result is not one of a model student.

Ultimately, what you must do is find balance in your life. For those entering high school or in their first year, don’t get your hopes up too high in expectation of a fraudulent reality. But at the same time, you shouldn’t beat yourself over a few missed chances, for results of colleges or test grades don’t decide who you are as a person. However, this doesn’t mean you should stop trying, for you should continue to work hard in respect for yourself and the potential you have. The simple fact of the matter is that this balance remedies the harms caused by the polarising perceptions of high school as stated in the beginning of this letter. Instead of striving to become a model for others, become a model for yourself and be satisfied with what you have done, for there are many things that you should be proud of.

Best Regards,

Ye Chan Song

Featured Image by Ye Chan Song

Sarah Chin’s Guide to Becoming a Regular

I’ll have the usual.

Imagine this scenario:

You walk into your favorite cafe and smile at the worker, whose name you know to be, let’s say, Jimmy. 
You say, “Hey Jimmy, I want my regular today.”
Jimmy smiles and says, “Hi! It’s good to see you again. Sure, no problem. Oh hey, we got a new menu item today. I’ll just throw it in for free, only for you, what do you say?”
You laugh and say, “Thanks Jimmy! You’re the best! I’ll see you later!”
Take a deep, comforting sigh, because you know this is where you belong.

 

Becoming a regular customer at a cafe or restaurant. It’s everyone’s dream, right? But getting noticed by the workers requires a lot of commitment. Don’t worry, it’s not that much work! (Trust me, this is from years of experience.) Here are some steps you can follow so that you can start getting all that free food!

1. Pick the right place.

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(Giphy) 

This is actually the most important step. You need to find a restaurant or a cafe that is perfect for you. Now, it can’t just be anywhere. You need to think about the location, taste, and price. Ask yourself ‘Will I really eat here often?’ Pick a place near your home, school, or hagwon, basically a place where you can make it a routine to go to. But remember to make sure that you enjoy the food they sell, and avoid selecting places that have a limited menu (because you’re going to be eating there pretty often). Lastly, think of the price, and find a place that doesn’t charge 7,000 won for a cup of mediocre coffee. Basically, don’t choose that 5-star restaurant two hours away. Go for the nearest coffee shop you would love to study in! Carefully consider your options, and go with your gut feeling!

2. Smile at the workers!

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(Tumblr, Imgur)

Okay, you’ve entered your chosen destination, and now you have to make the best first impression you could possibly make in your life. This is the start! So, before you say anything, smile at the workers, laugh if something funny happens, and follow up on any jokes that they tell. This will take a lot of effort, but you have to show that you are an open, welcoming person. Have fun with this, and things will just start to flow.

3. Return often, and at regular times.

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(Tumblr)

In order to become a regular customer with the benefits, you have to put in some work of your own. Invest in the restaurant or cafe, and visit their shop frequently! Even if you swing buy to buy something on the go, the workers will remember that and start to realize what a valuable customer you are! Also, it helps to visit at specific times. That way, the same workers will most likely be there, and thus they will be more likely to remember you.

4. Be memorable.

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(Citytv) 

You have to differentiate yourself from all those other customers who don’t come regularly like you do. It might be hard for employees to recognize you otherwise. So, first, wear memorable attire. Whether it be a backpack, a big jacket, sweatpants, or a hat, make sure that you wear something consistently whenever you visit the shop. If they have trouble recognizing your face, they will definitely recognize your clothes. It could even be a cool conversation-starter! Second, you could make memorable impressions through your actions. It’s simple, just do something that other customers don’t! For example, you could trip, drop your money, or speak a different language. Even though it might be embarrassing, it will definitely catch the eyes of the employees. Lastly, you need to order consistently as well. However, there is a more complex aspect to this strategy. Order something consistently, but make it a unique item. For example, if you want a vanilla latte, you could say “vanilla latte with extra cream” or “iced vanilla latte with less ice and more milk”. Then you’ll be ingrained in their memories forever, and every time you come, your ‘regular’ will be that quirky, unique item.

5. Make them know you’re worth it!.

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(Tumblr)

You have to prove to the workers that you are worth investing in! Nothing is better than a customer who attracts other customers, right? So, bring your friends along! Plus, you can act more natural when you are with your friends, and that might make you more likable and could even break awkwardness between you and the workers. You could also order a lot of food. This makes you memorable, yes, but also shows that you are a precious customer who will contribute a lot to the survival and success of the shop itself! They will also trust that if they give you some extra service free food, you will be able to finish it all. And come on, you know that if you buy a lot of food, the workers are in a better mood automatically.

Are you ready? Prepped with all the right steps, go out there and start the journey to fulfilling your dream of becoming a regular! Soon, you’ll be getting free food and maybe even contact information from the workers! It’s the perfect win-win situation, so get started now!

(Giphy)
(Giphy)

– Sarah Chin (’16)
Header: Newswire

Sophomore Year Survival Guide

Painfully moving through Suffermore year? Blueprint’s gotchu.

Sophomore…or Suffermore year?

Sophomore year of high school. Juniors miss it, and freshmen dread it. It surely couldn’t be that tough, as it’s only the second year of the total four years of high school. So why do so many freshmen get scared about moving up? William Lee (‘18), a freshman in KIS, says he’s extremely nervous about becoming a sophomore because he thinks balancing grades will be tough–and he is definitely right about caring about grades.

As Stephen Secora, the associate Dean for Admissions and College Relations at Syracuse University, says, “Sophomore year is the time when you must start thinking about college admissions.” And no, I don’t mean having to visit college campuses or take three AP courses. However, having a general idea about college won’t hurt. Your high school transcript is no doubt the most important component of your college application. And with that in mind, your sophomore year grades do matter. There’s no such thing as “colleges only look at your junior and senior year grades,” because your grades for all eight semesters of the four years of high school year are considered.

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Just because it’s not junior year doesn’t mean you can slack off! ( Yunji Lee ’16)

Yumi Kim (‘17), a current sophomore speaks of sophomore year as being definitely tough. From balancing school with sports, she did have to persevere in many ways. However, she also states that sophomore year has been the best year she has experienced so far because of the bonds she made with teachers and her team members on the varsity girls volleyball team. Sophomore year is when you’re given so many more opportunities, compared to freshman year. There are additional varieties to the classes you can choose and clubs you can join (for example Habitat for Humanity…for most sophomores). It’s indubitably the best choice to take the chances and take the newly open paths! If you want to try out for the speech team, go for it. If you want to join the PTV crew, get started with your application. The possibilities are limitless, and the only thing stopping you from what you really want to become, is you. Take full advantage of the newly given freedom, for the experiences you are gifted with are priceless.

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(Yunji Lee ’16) 

Speaking of freedom, in KIS, you are given the choice of taking one AP class in your sophomore year. You can choose between taking AP Biology, taught by Mr. Hopkin and Ms. Gerry, or taking AP World History, taught by Mr. Yanuszeski. Both are tough classes, and more challenging than regular Biology and World History classes. But remember: this could be a chance you want to be take. A current senior soon to graduate, Min Jun Kim (‘15) believes sophomore year is when you’re more used to high school life, and also the time when you should begin preparing. The transition from being an eighth grader in middle school to a freshman doesn’t come easy. However, after a year of experiencing high school should get you somewhere. As that is the case for most incoming sophomores, they choose to take AP courses, in order to challenge themselves, and again, for preparation. Juniors can take two, and under certain circumstances, three, AP classes. It would be wise to have an idea of what taking AP classes are like in sophomore year so that by the time you become a junior year, you’re all set. Min Jun Kim also mentions that sophomore year is when you gradually grasp the idea of taking the SATs. Of course, the SATs are usually taken during students’ junior years. But for somewhat of a rehearsal sake, maybe consider getting yourself a prep book, or taking SAT classes at hagwons.

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(Yunji Lee ’16)

But in the end, always remember this: You do you. As Chanwu Oh (‘16), a current junior says, the most important thing is following what you think is right. Sophomore year is when you tend to get pressured by your surroundings and friends to do things you don’t want to do. But it’s your sophomore year; to truly find yourself, you need to ask yourself what you want to do. Of course, there are things you nevertheless have to do, like care about your GPA and grades, as they are a given. But Chanwu advises you to give yourself some leeway and let yourself truly be you without any hinderance of social pressure, outside opinion, and even parental pressure. Don’t join MUN because it would “look good on your college application.” Don’t try out for sports just because of your friends. Don’t think joining Charity House is a must because your parents told you that being a community service club is important. Instead, do what you feel like doing. As cheesy as this sounds, it’s the truth. After all, it’s your first and last sophomore year of high school–make the best of it!

 

PS: If you have any more questions about becoming a sophomore, Yumi Kim (’17) advises to ask your Link Leaders! They’ve all experienced it before, so they can provide you with the best tips and advices, and of course, be your friend!

 

– Leona Maryuama (’17)

Header: Yunji Lee (’16)