Sasha Gonzales

Sasha writes about a variety of subjects, from health and beauty to design, architecture, food and travel. Her work has appeared in a number of publications in Asia, including Wine & Dine, The Peak, SilverKris and Her World Singapore. She has been writing regularly for the South China Morning Post since 2011.
Sasha Gonzales
Sasha writes about a variety of subjects, from health and beauty to design, architecture, food and travel. Her work has appeared in a number of publications in Asia, including Wine & Dine, The Peak, SilverKris and Her World Singapore. She has been writing regularly for the South China Morning Post since 2011.

Latest from Sasha Gonzales

Her weight made her depressed and anxious. Exercise, healthy diet changed that – she’s lost 30kg

Georgia Toon was overweight, and it affected her mental health. When the Hong Kong-based teacher chose mental wellness – exercise, good diet, enough sleep, social support – she lost 30kg and banished the blues.

9 Sep 2019 - 8:54PM

Georgia Toon was overweight, and it affected her mental health. When the Hong Kong-based teacher chose mental wellness – exercise, good diet, enough sleep, social support – she lost 30kg and banished the blues.

Her weight made her depressed and anxious. Exercise, healthy diet changed that – she’s lost 30kg
Age-related muscle loss: what it is, why it happens and what you can do to combat it

We lose up to 8 per cent of our muscle mass each decade, starting from the age of 40, and this doubles at 70 years old, leading to a loss of strength and function. Loss of muscle mass and strength (sarcopenia) can be diagnosed with simple tests and there are ways to slow down or prevent the decline.

31 Aug 2019 - 6:44PM

We lose up to 8 per cent of our muscle mass each decade, starting from the age of 40, and this doubles at 70 years old, leading to a loss of strength and function. Loss of muscle mass and strength (sarcopenia) can be diagnosed with simple tests and there are ways to slow down or prevent the decline.

Age-related muscle loss: what it is, why it happens and what you can do to combat it
Why trying too hard to be happy can make you miserable, and how to deal with negative emotions

Trying to be happy all the time and masking feelings of fear or sadness can have long-term consequences on mental health. Here’s how to take a more balanced and realistic approach to being happy and accepting negative emotions.

16 Sep 2019 - 12:43PM

Trying to be happy all the time and masking feelings of fear or sadness can have long-term consequences on mental health. Here’s how to take a more balanced and realistic approach to being happy and accepting negative emotions.

Why trying too hard to be happy can make you miserable, and how to deal with negative emotions
How regular exercise helps in the fight against cancer, both physically and emotionally

Diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, Fiona Tang was determined to continue her qigong practice. Recent studies and some oncologists agree, saying that regular exercise has many benefits, as long as the calorie intake is kept up.

27 Aug 2019 - 7:42PM

Diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, Fiona Tang was determined to continue her qigong practice. Recent studies and some oncologists agree, saying that regular exercise has many benefits, as long as the calorie intake is kept up.

How regular exercise helps in the fight against cancer, both physically and emotionally
Flower power: how they improve emotional well-being, and which ones to pick for happiness at work and home

Science shows that having bright and fragrant blooms around your home can do wonders for your emotional well-being, and even aid recovery from surgery. So which flowers should you pick for a happiness-inducing arrangement?

19 Aug 2019 - 6:09PM

Science shows that having bright and fragrant blooms around your home can do wonders for your emotional well-being, and even aid recovery from surgery. So which flowers should you pick for a happiness-inducing arrangement?

Flower power: how they improve emotional well-being, and which ones to pick for happiness at work and home
Why constant complaining is bad for health and how to stop doing it with mindfulness

Complaining might feel like a harmless way to relieve stress, but studies say if you do it often enough it may affect your physical health. We talk to a counselling psychologist on how to cut it out.

16 Aug 2019 - 4:49AM

Complaining might feel like a harmless way to relieve stress, but studies say if you do it often enough it may affect your physical health. We talk to a counselling psychologist on how to cut it out.

Why constant complaining is bad for health and how to stop doing it with mindfulness
Why you should trust your gut: how intuition can help you make better decisions

Intuition can be more effective in decision-making than an analytical approach, studies show. Hong Kong student Samantha Burns can relate to that. She calls intuition her ‘authenticity radar’.

12 Aug 2019 - 5:48PM

Intuition can be more effective in decision-making than an analytical approach, studies show. Hong Kong student Samantha Burns can relate to that. She calls intuition her ‘authenticity radar’.

Why you should trust your gut: how intuition can help you make better decisions
How solitude can bring happiness and peace of mind – just don’t fear being alone

Solitude can be good for us, research shows, because it helps reduce the intensity of daily life. People who spend time on their own and free of distractions have greater control over their emotions.

8 Aug 2019 - 5:43AM

Solitude can be good for us, research shows, because it helps reduce the intensity of daily life. People who spend time on their own and free of distractions have greater control over their emotions.

How solitude can bring happiness and peace of mind – just don’t fear being alone
How to live a rewarding life: the psychology of self-compassion and seven tips to help you shine

Coach and mentor Justine Campbell talks about the strength of vulnerability and not being afraid of failure. She recommends acknowledging and accepting problems, then disconnecting from them.

1 Aug 2019 - 5:30AM

Coach and mentor Justine Campbell talks about the strength of vulnerability and not being afraid of failure. She recommends acknowledging and accepting problems, then disconnecting from them.

How to live a rewarding life: the psychology of self-compassion and seven tips to help you shine
Instagram eating disorder ‘recovery accounts’ offer support – but shouldn’t replace professional help, experts say

Social media is often blamed for fuelling some eating disorders, but it has also helped people who are recovering. While this is a good thing, experts caution it should not replace professional treatment.

25 Jul 2019 - 6:08AM

Social media is often blamed for fuelling some eating disorders, but it has also helped people who are recovering. While this is a good thing, experts caution it should not replace professional treatment.

Instagram eating disorder ‘recovery accounts’ offer support – but shouldn’t replace professional help, experts say
How to avoid burnout: identify what gives you stress at work, and follow these five tips to lower the risks

Work-related stress can lead to burnout and depression if you are not careful; start by figuring out which of the eight causes of stress you are experiencing, and follow these expert tips.

15 Jul 2019 - 7:17PM

Work-related stress can lead to burnout and depression if you are not careful; start by figuring out which of the eight causes of stress you are experiencing, and follow these expert tips.

How to avoid burnout: identify what gives you stress at work, and follow these five tips to lower the risks
Why jackfruit is good for you: the health benefits of vegan meat substitute that’s so trendy

The fruit has become fashionable for its textural resemblance to pulled meat, but research has found it is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and can help fight cancer and heart disease.

14 Jul 2019 - 7:15PM

The fruit has become fashionable for its textural resemblance to pulled meat, but research has found it is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and can help fight cancer and heart disease.

Why jackfruit is good for you: the health benefits of  vegan meat substitute that’s so trendy
Be happy, be healthy: how a good diet improved this man’s mood and well-being

The health benefits of weight loss and a good diet are well known, and a recent study shows this includes mental health. Better nutrition and a lower body mass index improve mood and feelings of self worth.

2 Jul 2019 - 6:29AM

The health benefits of weight loss and a good diet are well known, and a recent study shows this includes mental health. Better nutrition and a lower body mass index improve mood and feelings of self worth.

Be happy, be healthy: how a good diet improved this man’s mood and well-being
How to help yourself by helping others: why volunteering is so good for you

Studies show that volunteering to help the community can reduce stress and help people lead a happier more productive life. We talk to three Hongkongers, who all agree that giving up time to help others has improved their own well-being.

12 Jun 2019 - 8:19PM

Studies show that volunteering to help the community can reduce stress and help people lead a happier more productive life. We talk to three Hongkongers, who all agree that giving up time to help others has improved their own well-being.

How to help yourself by helping others: why volunteering is so good for you
How social support and love of friends gave breast cancer survivor the will to go on

When Christy Cheung, 34, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2017 and underwent a mastectomy, her support network kept her positive. Cheung now supports other cancer patients thanks to a group she launched herself in February called Sharapy.

3 Jun 2019 - 7:41PM

When Christy Cheung, 34, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2017 and underwent a mastectomy, her support network kept her positive. Cheung now supports other cancer patients thanks to a group she launched herself in February called Sharapy.

How social support and love of friends gave breast cancer survivor the will to go on
Gastrointestinal cancers: lifestyle changes to lower risk factors you can make – it’s World Digestive Health Day

Colorectal cancer, liver cancer and stomach cancer kill thousands of people a year in Hong Kong, and many more worldwide; on World Digestive Health Day, start making the diet and lifestyle changes needed to minimise your risk of having them.

30 May 2019 - 7:53PM

Colorectal cancer, liver cancer and stomach cancer kill thousands of people a year in Hong Kong, and many more worldwide; on World Digestive Health Day, start making the diet and lifestyle changes needed to minimise your risk of having them.

Gastrointestinal cancers: lifestyle changes to lower risk factors you can make – it’s World Digestive Health Day
How children pick up on parents’ anxiety and anger and why we should be mindful of how we act

If parents express negative emotions too often, it may affect their children’s emotional and cognitive development. Research has shown that fathers’ mental health has a bigger effect on kids than that of their mothers.

29 May 2019 - 6:12PM

If parents express negative emotions too often, it may affect their children’s emotional and cognitive development. Research has shown that fathers’ mental health has a bigger effect on kids than that of their mothers.

How children pick up on parents’ anxiety and anger and why we should be mindful of how we act
Potentially dangerous vampire facials and vitamin IV treatments only grow in popularity despite safety concerns

Kim Kardashian and Bar Rafaeli are part of a celebrity contingent that have tried the facial, which uses a client’s own blood to rejuvenate his or her skin. However, this growing trend, which is banned in Singapore, comes at a risk.

20 May 2019 - 7:25PM

Kim Kardashian and Bar Rafaeli are part of a celebrity contingent that have tried the facial, which uses a client’s own blood to rejuvenate his or her skin. However, this growing trend, which is banned in Singapore, comes at a risk.

Potentially dangerous vampire facials and vitamin IV treatments only grow in popularity despite safety concerns
Jennifer Aniston, Mariah Carey, insomnia and how one night of bad sleep can increase Alzheimer’s risk

A poor night’s sleep increases levels of beta-amyloid plaque and tau, which are both linked to Alzheimer’s. We share eight reasons you wake up in the night, and how to avoid it.

13 May 2019 - 7:38PM

A poor night’s sleep increases levels of beta-amyloid plaque and tau, which are both linked to Alzheimer’s. We share eight reasons you wake up in the night, and how to avoid it.

Jennifer Aniston, Mariah Carey, insomnia and how one night of bad sleep can increase Alzheimer’s risk
How gardening can fight stress, improve your health and make you a happier person

Gardening puts many people in a positive frame of mind, helps them relax, and gives them the chance to reconnect with nature – but at least some of that could be to do with a mood-boosting microorganism found in soil.

29 Apr 2019 - 7:56PM

Gardening puts many people in a positive frame of mind, helps them relax, and gives them the chance to reconnect with nature – but at least some of that could be to do with a mood-boosting microorganism found in soil.

How gardening can fight stress, improve your health and make you a happier person
Grown-up play: how unleashing your inner child, or finding a new diversion, lowers stress

Whether it’s skating, bouncing on a trampoline or flying a plane, playing is vital to our well-being. Experts say play is as important as sleep for adults and is linked to increased creativity in solving problems.

13 Apr 2019 - 7:21PM

Whether it’s skating, bouncing on a trampoline or flying a plane, playing is vital to our well-being. Experts say play is as important as sleep for adults and is linked to increased creativity in solving problems.

Grown-up play: how unleashing your inner child, or finding a new diversion, lowers stress
Change your life: smile with Dr Happy’s positive psychology and lift your well-being

Dr Timothy Sharp left clinical psychology to promote happiness and well-being. Now the Chief Happiness Officer at the Happiness Institute, he helps people overcome their fears and champions mental health charity Batyr.

8 Apr 2019 - 6:27PM

Dr Timothy Sharp left clinical psychology to promote happiness and well-being. Now the Chief Happiness Officer at the Happiness Institute, he helps people overcome their fears and champions mental health charity Batyr.

Change your life: smile with Dr Happy’s positive psychology and lift your well-being
How creative activities are good for mental health and reduce stress

Creative expression through pursuits such as painting, knitting or cooking can act like a natural antidepressant, boosting happiness and confidence. And don’t worry if you’re not a ‘right brainer’ – anyone can benefit.

26 Mar 2019 - 8:05PM

Creative expression through pursuits such as painting, knitting or cooking can act like a natural antidepressant, boosting happiness and confidence. And don’t worry if you’re not a ‘right brainer’ – anyone can benefit.

How creative activities are good for mental health and reduce stress
How reading can make you happier and less stressed and depressed

Research has found that those who read regularly have higher levels of self-esteem and were better at coping with challenges. Readers says there is a sense of accomplishment, pride and self-worth when finishing a book.

11 Mar 2019 - 9:27PM

Research has found that those who read regularly have higher levels of self-esteem and were better at coping with challenges. Readers says there is a sense of accomplishment, pride and self-worth when finishing a book.

How reading can make you happier and less stressed and depressed
Better sex, better sleep: why an orgasm before bed improves your rest

Sex can be a great stress relief and releases hormones that help us relax and fall asleep. But you have to be proactive to achieve a good sex life.

25 Feb 2019 - 6:36PM

Sex can be a great stress relief and releases hormones that help us relax and fall asleep. But you have to be proactive to achieve a good sex life.

Better sex, better sleep: why an orgasm before bed improves your rest
Midlife crisis: how to make it about change and opportunity, not anxiety and loss of motivation

Middle age can come with feelings of helplessness and loss of motivation and confidence. Taking up a hobby, learning a new skill or doing something creative can help people make new friends and reduce stress.

18 Feb 2019 - 6:56PM

Middle age can come with feelings of helplessness and loss of motivation and confidence. Taking up a hobby, learning a new skill or doing something creative can help people make new friends and reduce stress.

Midlife crisis: how to make it about change and opportunity, not anxiety and loss of motivation
Eczema: its causes, how to get relief from the itching, and the promise of new treatments

Adele, the Duchess of Cambridge, Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt all suffer from eczema, an irritation for which there is no cure. Some sufferers have it in their genes, others get it from something that breaks the skin, such as ear piercings.

21 Jan 2019 - 6:10AM

Adele, the Duchess of Cambridge, Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt all suffer from eczema, an irritation for which there is no cure. Some sufferers have it in their genes, others get it from something that breaks the skin, such as ear piercings.

Eczema: its causes, how to get relief from the itching, and the promise of new treatments
Why you should go to the beach to recharge, and five of Hong Kong’s best beaches to do just that

Whether it’s the sound of the waves, the sand between your toes, the vitamin D, or the colour of the water, studies show that a visit to the beach improves your well-being. From Shek O to Turtle cove, Hong Kong has plenty of beautiful beaches.

7 Jan 2019 - 8:16PM

Whether it’s the sound of the waves, the sand between your toes, the vitamin D, or the colour of the water, studies show that a visit to the beach improves your well-being. From Shek O to Turtle cove, Hong Kong has plenty of beautiful beaches.

Why you should go to the beach to recharge, and five of Hong Kong’s best beaches to do just that
Have trouble sleeping? Follow these four tips from sleep experts and get a good night’s rest

Experts give advice on power naps, vitamins, and what you should and shouldn’t do at lunchtime. Four out of 10 Hongkongers have sleep-related problems according to a study.

20 Dec 2018 - 7:01PM

Experts give advice on power naps, vitamins, and what you should and shouldn’t do at lunchtime. Four out of 10 Hongkongers have sleep-related problems according to a study.

Have trouble sleeping? Follow these four tips from sleep experts and get a good night’s rest
How to turn your life around and get healthier. The good thing is, it’s never too late, say experts

Singapore finance professional Prempal Hundal was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. He started exercising and watching his diet and is no longer pre-diabetic.

16 Dec 2018 - 6:59PM

Singapore finance professional Prempal Hundal was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. He started exercising and watching his diet and is no longer pre-diabetic.

How to turn your life around and get healthier. The good thing is, it’s never too late, say experts