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How Chinese Food Can Help You With Success

How Chinese Food Can Help You With Success

chinese food diversity

    You must be wondering what I’m talking about with such a title like that but as you will read on here, I’ll be able to hopefully make this claim quite convincing. First of all, when I talk about Chinese food, I’m not referring to the chop suey or chicken balls with fried rice that you get in little cardboard takeout containers along with the little packets of soy sauce. I’m sorry to inform you but that takeout fare is NOT Chinese food. It’s a westernized, watered-down, convenient imitation of the real thing.

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    For real Chinese food, you have to go to an authentic Chinese restaurant and such an establishment might not even exist in your city. Major cities with Chinatown communities will have authentic Chinese restaurants though. A sure way to tell is to look inside and see who the restaurant patrons are. If there are quite a few Chinese diners, then it’s a good bet that the cuisine is authentic. If all the patrons are non-Chinese, the food there will likely be of the westernized fare.

    Now that we got the differentiation out of the way, you might be wondering if the real authentic stuff will be too foreign or not. You might have thoughts of gushy animals on the plates with their eyes still looking at you. Don’t worry, it’s not that bad and besides, being a bit foreign is actually going to be a requirement here.

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    Enlist Chinese Dining Partners

    Now, let’s assume that you know that there is a Chinese restaurant serving real authentic cuisine. The next step is to enlist the aid of any Chinese friends or associates that you may have. If you don’t know any, then start to get to know a few as you will see, this is the whole point in this activity.

    The best way to experience ethnic cuisine is to have somebody from that culture show you the ropes. They can help select what’s good and what’s a bit too strange for first time diners.

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    Now what you want to do during a dining excursion with your Chinese friends is to not only enjoy the cuisine, but also use the opportunity to get to know them better. Ask questions about the food as well as the culture and customs. These will be natural topics of conversation during such an outing.

    The Hidden Benefit

    If you are wondering why I’m even advising you to go through this exercise, well here’s the hidden benefit for you. By dining authentic with Chinese folks, you have just used Chinese food as a fun way to expose yourself to more diversity. By learning more about the culture and experiencing the real cuisine, you are improving your own interaction skills with people of another culture or race.

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    If you repeat this same type of exercise with authentic Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Middle Eastern, or any other ethnic cuisine with a representative from that culture, your exposure to diversity will skyrocket. The main advantage from these types of diversity activities is that you will be able to interact really well with people from all sorts of different backgrounds. This is a definite plus in terms of doing business in diverse environments these days whether locally or globally.

    On another level, these diversity activities will also help your own personal growth as well and perhaps even on a social level. Many communities these days are quite diverse and being effective in such environments can be important to success.

    This strategy works very well for ethnics as well.  I’ve taken many non-Chinese to a particular type of Chinese dining called ‘dim sum’ which is served mainly during lunch hours (see featured photo as a sample of dim sum).  I’ve been able to build many successful business and social relationships over Chinese dim sum luncheons.

    So this is how Chinese food (or any other ethnic cuisine) will help you with success. What better way to develop your own diversity skills than through food? Just make sure that you are not simply ordering chop suey takeout.

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    Last Updated on October 23, 2018

    Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

    Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

    My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

    Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

    The Neural Knitwork Project

    In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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    While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

    The knitting and neural connection

    The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

    More mental health benefits from knitting

    Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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    “You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

    Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

    Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

    She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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    “People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

    The dopamine effect on our happiness

    Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

    There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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    “Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

    If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

    Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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