10 Questions for Seline


My sister, Seline, is graduating from high school in a few weeks, and will be attending university at the University of Waterloo in September. Here are some of the things she is looking forward to, dreading, and more.

CW: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Semester 2 High School Grade 12 Seline? What classes are you taking, what time are you getting to school, and who are your teachers? nah What are you learning?

  • SW: I get to school at 8:25 after waking up at 8:00. I’m currently taking Psychology, Economics, and English. I have two off blocks so I go home to finish homework and often nap. I’d classify this semester as one of the chillest ones since grade 9.

What do you think you will miss the most about Centennial? What will you be sad to leave behind? On the other hand, is there anything that you will certainly NOT miss?

  • I will probably miss the easy courses because most of the teachers at school are pretty lenient and as long as you try hard, you’ll do good. I’ll be sad to leave behind all the good memories I made in my four years of high school. But I will not miss some of my classmates, oops.

Are you excited about prom and commencement? Which parts are you excited about? Why?

  • I’m actually not excited for either. It’s a lot of work. Prom (grad) was so tiring with all the planning and caused numerous miscommunications and unnecessary hassle. Commencement will be four hours of sitting in a hot auditorium listening to speeches and watching people I don’t even know walk across a stage and get their diploma. I guess I’m excited at the fact that after that, high school will officially be over.

Which classes are you taking in the fall term? Can you tell me something that you are looking forward to in each class, or why you chose the class?

  • I’m taking Anthropology, Classical Studies, Psychology and Sociology. I chose these classes because I’ve never had the opportunity to explore this area and they all sound pretty interesting. I like psychology so despite taking it right now, I’m also going to take it again in the fall.

Which classes are you taking in the winter term? Can you tell me something that you are looking forward to in each class, or why you chose the class?

  • I’m going to take Japanese, Greek Mythology, Pathopsychology and History. Again, I never took these courses before (except Japanese but it sounds fun) so I wanted to try them out. Also, since it’s first year, nothing is decided or official so I’m just taking the courses that sound fun. I might even want to change out of my psychology major by the end of the year, who knows.

Are there any classes that you are scared or worried about? Why?

  • I’m scared about Japanese because I heard it’s hard but I think I have an okay understanding in the basics of the vocabulary and grammar. I’m also scared about the courses I’ve never tried before like Anthropology and Classical Studies because I have no idea what to expect from them besides a huge workload and tons of reading.

Do you think you will have a favourite course? Which one?

  • I think my favourite course will be the Greek Mythology one. That one sounds super fun and interesting to look into. I’ve always been interested in ancient mythology and it’ll be exciting to learn more about it in the Winter.

What are your prospective majors, and why did you choose them?

  • I chose Psychology and Classical Studies. I chose Psychology as my first because I wanted to be a form of therapist ever since middle school so I want to explore down that field and learn more about it along with its possible career choices. I chose Classical Studies because I think I have a genuine interest in those classes. Also, getting a major in this sounds like it could lead to some potentially really cool jobs.

Aside from classes, what are you excited about when it comes to university in Waterloo? Are there any clubs, organizations, or extracurricular activities that you want to be a part of? Here is a link of all of Waterloo’s clubs (remember to select a category, otherwise there will be too many pages!).

  • I don’t think I’d want to join any clubs or extra-curricular activities just yet; I know I’m going to have a lot of trouble keeping up the pace with all the new courses and workload, so I don’t want to bombard myself with more commitments just yet. Once I’m comfortable with the new schedule and way of living, I’ll consider it.

What is the biggest difference that you think you will face, comparing high school to university? Are you ready for that change?

  • Probably moving out of the house and living alone with Cindy. Ever since kindergarten my mom always drove me to school, picked me up, cooked my food, and did tidying around the house. When I move out, it’ll all be up to me. Unless Cindy wants to be a roommate and a maid. I’m ready for this change because if I don’t learn to become more independent now, what other time would I be able to have this opportunity?

Bonus question: I want you to vividly imagine a typical day in the life of First-Year University Seline. What time do you wake up, and which classes do you attend? Do you engage in any fun extracurriculars? Where and when do you study? Do you like to cook, and do you spend time with friends?

  • Depending on my schedule, I hope the earliest time I wake up at is 8:30. I have a super hard time waking up, but then again, I don’t recall ever being late for a class so I should be okay. I can see the day consist of transportation, school, study, eat and sleep. I’ll probably study at home because I’ve never been able to focus in libraries or cafes. At home, at a desk with some music in the background would be just fine. I’ve learned a few new recipes recently that I’ll take with me to Waterloo that I can see myself making. Pasta, egg, bread, pizza, salad, fruits, green beans, mashed potatoes, chicken, noodles are all pretty doable. And I hope to make lots of new friends in my first year so we can hang out and study together! Nothing too much or else I’ll get stressed with all the major changes and duties I have to do. I want to take on the first year with little to no stress so hopefully that happens.

Bonus question #2: Be 100% honest. How do you feel about your upcoming English provincial? Do you have any predictions?

  • I hate talking about this topic because it stresses me out but I’ll just hope for the best and pray I write the provincial well with the knowledge I know. I try to study a few literary devices everyday or so to prepare myself for the test. I don’t want to make any predictions because I’ll definitely jinx myself.

10 Questions

Name the number one thing on your bucket list.

  • Scuba diving or snorkeling!

Go-to exercise routine?

  • Long walk in the park, or yoga.

Would you rather repeat the same day for a month, or repeat every single day twice for the rest of your life?

  • This is trippy – is “neither” an option? I think it would be neat to repeat every single day twice, so you can make things right. But for the rest of my life? Does that mean I can live until 160? Whoa.

What are your three most important components for optimal health?

  • Self-love, good spices (so you can make veggies taste good!), and clothes that motivate you to move.

Do you prefer spending leisure time with friends or by yourself?

  • By myself. Interesting Wikipedia articles, here I come.

Have any secret talents?

  • I can fold my tongue into a flower with three petals! I gotta show you guys some pics one day.

Weirdest food combination that you think surprisingly works?

  • Some people think tea with milk and honey is weird, but I always found it normal and absolutely delicious. I also love seafood with cheese, like in Hong Kong style baked seafood rice with béchamel sauce and broiled with cheese. Another one – toast topped with nut butter, sliced banana, cinnamon, and get this – chopped prunes!

Describe your perfect vacation getaway!

  • Thinking about vacation makes me so happy, but it is really impossible to choose. At this moment, I’m envisioning a couple of weeks in Casablanca, Morocco, or Tunis, Tunisia. I’d give away half my belongings to visit Carthage, in Tunisia! You must google Essaioura, and Sidi Bou Saïd, right now, because they are so stunning. Oh, and French Polynesia. I’d love to see the Baie d’Along.

If you had your own garden, what would you grow?

  • I would grow strawberries and green onions. Strawberries because I love them, and I think they look cute when growing, and green onions because they are super easy. It would be neat to always have green onions at your fingertips for a good ‘ol stir-fry.

Where would you go during a full day of restaurant hopping?

  • Chocolate almond croissant and a rich hot chocolate from a French patisserie for breakfast à all kinds of sushi for lunch à a London Fog (Earl Grey tea latte) from a café in the midafternoon à variety plate of Indian food for dinner (palak paneer must be involved!) à freshly-made ice cream sandwiches from a food truck for dessert.

In your honest opinion, do you believe in good luck, or is hard work the only component to success?

  • I definitely believe in good luck. Success depends on who you meet, when you do things, where you do things. You need to be at the right place at the right time for success in certain cases. Though, I know that the harder you work, the luckier you get. J Maybe hard work comes with luck, but luck can’t stand alone?

Thanks, Cassie, for these questions! It only took, eh, three months for me to get around to it…


7 Common Fitness Questions


What are the health benefits of fitness?

  • More energy
  • Better mood and better sleep
  • Increased vascular health and decreased likelihood of stroke
  • Increased cardiorespiratory capacity (bigger lung size)
  • Brain repair
  • Overall and abdominal obesity associated with increased risk of negative health results
  • More lean mass = lower mortality risk
We already know that it’s a good idea to perform 2-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions (heavier weight to increase muscle strength) or 10-25 repetitions (lighter weight to increase endurance). Here are some of the common questions people have about resistance training, and evidence for best practice. 🙂

What is better – free weights or machines?
Resistance training can be done in many ways. You can use free weights, machines, or even body weight. All of these will help you increase strength and muscle mass, and there is no true difference between them. Resistance machines, however, pose a lower risk of injury. People are suggested to choose a favourite resistance type based on their preferences, because there is no difference in strength gains between free weights and machines. The only difference is that injury is more likely when using free weights, so older adults (or injured people who are more frail or at a higher risk of injury) should turn to resistance machines. Otherwise, it’s all a personal preference.
CONCLUSION: From a safety perspective, resistance machines are preferable. However, in terms of gaining strength and muscle, it is a personal preference. Free weights and machines are equally efficient when it comes to increasing strength and endurance.

Should I lift weights in stable positions or unstable positions?
Some people believe that using unstable surfaces while weight training will simultaneously train core muscles. This is NOT essential, and experts say that the best way to train core while doing resistance training is to practice unilateral presses (see the next section for more). There is a lack of evidence that balancing on an unstable surface will improve abilities or carry over to other sports. In other words, balancing on an unstable surface while doing bicep curls will improve your ability to balance on the same surface while doing bicep curls. However, training this way will NOT enhance performance in other skills, such as balancing on a snowboard. In fact, the instability will actually decrease the amount of force you can produce at one time.
CONCLUSION: Training on a stable or unstable surface will lead to the same results. There is no evidence that training on unstable surfaces will improve performance in other skills.

Bilateral or unilateral?
Unilateral exercises (exercises that involve one side of the body) do not have the counterbalance effect, which means core muscles must be activated to stabilize the torso. For instance, if you are doing a bicep curl with your right arm, your body will have the tendency to lean to the right because of the added weight. This means the oblique muscles (and other core muscles) on your left side must contract to maintain the torso’s upright position and keep your centre of mass overtop of the base of support.
CONCLUSION: Unilateral exercises will simultaneously train the core muscles, since your core muscles must be “on” to maintain an upright torso.

Group of ice skaters on ice rink.

More resistance is better – true or false?
This is not always true. People should choose a weight that is greater than 80% of their one-repetition maximum, and then perform repetitions until momentary muscle failure (see the last section). Now, what exactly is a one-repetition maximum? The 1RM is the maximum amount of force that you can produce in one contraction. It’s the absolute upper limit – the heaviest thing you can lift in one shot. Imagine picking up the heaviest dumbbell and contracting all your muscles to lift it just once, putting it back down, and never having to do that again. That’s your 1RM, which is FAR too heavy to lift consistently when exercising. Instead, we want to go for 80% of that. For instance, if your 1RM is 200 pounds, your best resistance will be 160 pounds or more. Why 80% of that? Evidence shows that this is the ideal percentage for you to maximize strength and muscular endurance gains, while preventing injury and improving bone mineral density. We wouldn’t want you to lift something too heavy, help your muscles grow, but simultaneously harm your bones!
CONCLUSION: More resistance is not always better. People should use 80% of the maximum weight they can lift.

How quickly should I do my exercises?
No matter what, exercises should be done at a speed that allows you to maintain tension throughout the entire motion. In other words, not too quickly and not overly slow. Fast movements that are ballistic or explosive will put too much force into joints and connective tissue, which means injuries are likely. Explosive movements are NOT recommended, because they pose a high risk of injury. Explosive movements are no better than slow and controlled weight training.
CONCLUSION: Controlled movements that allow your muscles to stay tense all the way through are ideal. Explosive and rapid movements are likely to cause injury.

Should we do a certain number of repetitions or go until momentary muscle failure?
It is best to train until momentary muscle failure. This allows you to recruit all of the available motor units (motoneuron and all of the muscle cells that it innervates, or synapses onto) and muscle fibres. Training until your muscles can no longer contract is preferable. At this point, you will not be able to do any more repetitions. This method is more beneficial than performing a pre-determined number of repetitions.
CONCLUSION: Momentary muscle failure is the best method because it allows you to use all available motoneurons, muscle cells, and muscle fibres. This is better than doing a specified number of reps.


What are your favourite exercises?

Liebster Award!

A HUGE thank you to HoggHannah at ChewTrue for nominating me for the Liebster Award for bloggers! Her post made my day and I loved putting this write together 🙂


The Liebster Award is an award created by bloggers, for bloggers. It’s passed from person to person in order to encourage and help readers discover new blogs.

The rules of the award are:

  1. Answer 11 questions provided by your nominator.
  2. Choose some of your favorite bloggers and link them to your blog post.
  3. Ask 11 questions to the bloggers you nominate
  4. Inform the bloggers you nominate directly on their blog

  1. What made you start blogging?
    • I read food blogs for a loooooooong time before starting my own, and my favourite reads were Our Best Bites, Iowa Girl Eats, Simply Scratch, Kath Eats Real Food, The Oatmeal Artist, and the Pioneer Woman Cooks. The list goes on, actually! Later on, I discovered Minimalist Baker, Cookie and Kate, Ambitious Kitchen, and Half Baked Harvest. Slowly, I developed a love for recipes and baking – I wanted to start working on my own and sharing them with others. It’s also a good way to record memorable meals and things you’ve done – like a special photo journal. It’s so rewarding!
  2. What is your personal end goal from your blog?
    • Personal growth and a lovely food journal that I can look back on when I’m older. Plus, it’s so relaxing and therapeutic to organize recipes and share photos. I love the connections I’ve made with other bloggers with similar interests and I think the foodie community on the blogosphere is so supportive.
  3. What/who is your motivation to work hard?
    • Deadlines, success, relief, accomplishment, and okay, chocolate. I think working hard is rewarding in itself – the chase is often better than the catch!
  4. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
    • Paris! I still can’t believe I will actually BE in City of Lights in less than a week. So I’m going to have to say Greece, Italy, and Hawaii, in that order!
  5. What is your philosophy on life on Earth?
    • I’m only seventeen! This question is too deep for me! 😉 HELP!
  6. What is your philosophy on food?
    • Eat what makes you and your body happy. Explore and enjoy food. Eating is a pleasure rather than a punishment. Learn to cook and bake, then impress your friends while having fun and doing the world’s most rewarding hobby. 🙂
  7. What is one the most memorable moments of your life?
    • I have many! Visiting temples in China with my sister in grade five, receiving my big scholarship to the University of Waterloo, and spending time with my family. I definitely don’t have ONE most memorable moment – I try hard to remember and cherish them all, which is challenging at times!
  8. What are your favorite musical artists?
    • I don’t listen to much music, to be honest! I find that music distracts me, and I don’t find it necessary. If a song is on the radio and I’m neutral to it (which I am for most songs!), I don’t mind. Overplayed songs, however, tend to drive me crazy! Except for Uptown Funk. Never tire of that one. Some artists I enjoy listening to are Sia, One Republic, Maroon 5, Avril Lavigne, Leona Lewis, and Kelly Clarkson. My sister plays songs by these artists all the time and I’ve grown used to them. 🙂 My true musical love, however, is DISNEY! Disney music is the best without a doubt.
  9. What is your greatest aspiration in life?
    • I want to be happy and make others happy! I’d love to be a paediatrician or dietitian, or maybe a teacher. I also want to travel the world and see as much as I can before starting a family. Oh – and go on a hot air balloon!
  10. If you were a food what would you be, and why?
    • This is a hard question. If I got this question at an interview I’d probably be screwed and I can’t even think of an answer now, in the peaceful place I call my computer room… I’d have to say I’d probably be a pecan. They can be sweet, salty, spicy and sour. Some people hate pecans and others can’t eat them at all. Most people love pecans, luckily, and they’re good on anything! I’m a pretty flexible, yet stubborn person and I like being spontaneous. Kinda like a pecan.
  11. What/who makes you truly happy?
    • Chocolate cheesecakes, almond croissants, and my family and close friends. I also find that helping others, whether that’s flashing a supportive smile or free babysitting, is a rewarding way to get positive and confident vibes. Accomplishing something important (especially if it’s far before a deadline!) and having a good laugh are also up there. Oh – and learning and experiencing new cultures while travelling.

I nominate…

  1. Happy Healthy Positivity
  2. The Breakfast Drama Queen
  3. Jack’s Balancing Act
  4. One Happy Table
  5. Something Clean Something Green
  6. Superfitbabe
  7. Salmamia
  8. Celinatalk
  9. TCM Foodie
  10. Smells Like Brownies
  11. Nancy C
  12. Losing Wheat
  13. Marcey’s Table
  14. Sabbie Heesh: I Don’t Know Where I’m Going But I’m On My Way

My 11 Questions
  1. What is the #1 thing you’ve learned by blogging? Do you have any blog inspirations?
  2. Do you believe in aliens? Ghosts?
  3. If today were your last day alive, would you do what you are about to do today?
  4. Are you a modern guy/gal or more old-fashioned?
  5. If a friend treated you the way you treat yourself, would he/she still be your friend?
  6. What are your thoughts on reincarnation?
  7. Is there something you LOVE doing, but never do? What is it and why don’t you do it?
  8. You’re on a weird desert island where you can choose 3 meals and 1 dessert to eat FOREVER. What are they?
  9. Are you a procrastinator?
  10. What do you do to stay in shape?
  11. “Follow directions with baking. Go by your own taste with cooking.” What do you think?