LOOK YOUR BEST THIS WEDDING SEASON

The Winter Wedding Season is here and you want to look your best; losing weight is definitely a part of that and not lose that enthralling glow.

Here are the top 5 MUST HAVES (ideally if you start this 2 months before the wedding it works the best, but now is a good time too)

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The Perfect Protein solution. Proteins are important for repairing and building the cells. The amino acids are the basis of all the cell in our body. In fact structural proteins like collagen, elastin, and keratin create the connective tissues to keep our skin, hair and nails healthy. So this way you get your daily dose of protein whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian. This will ensure that your cells stay healthy ad collagen firm for a supple skin.

Also being a good source of minerals like calcium, it helps strengthen bone density and gives you a good, toned look.

Tip:

  • A cup of milk at bed time, gives you that beauty sleep and helps your mind and body recover from the stresses of the day
  • Have a small bowl of curd/ glass of buttermilk before you step out for that party, it will not only keep you calmer and happy, it will also make your tummy look flatter

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The Metabolizer. (Though this is another milk product, but this one definitely needs a special mention.)

Ghee contains conjugated linolenic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid, which leads to weight loss. It helps mobilize fats from those stubborn fat areas of the body.

It is the perfect solution for bloating, which is a common side effect with late night eating and sleepless nights

Also the essential fatty acids in ghee lead to good assimilation of fat soluble vitamins, more specifically Vitamin A & E and add that touch of glow to your face.

Tip: 3-4 tsps a day, preferably with your meals – and will give your tummy the flat look!

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The complete detox solution. Sugarcane juice clears skin imperfections. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) which are part of the natural constituents of sugarcane juice, fight acne, reduce blemishes, prevent ageing and help in keeping the skin hydrated.

Tip: Just 1 glass at day mid-afternoon will make your skin will look radiant and clean.

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The anti-aging solution. Coconut water contains anti-microbial powerhouse called lauric acid that helps protect against skin infections. It also contains protein called cytokines that is responsible for encouraging cell growth and cell activation.

They regulate signals in response to inflammation caused by acne and also have an anti-ageing effect on the skin. Both external and internal use can improve wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots.

Tip: Have it as a mid day meal, by itself, definitely add the malai to it – to give you the added glow

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The Powerhouse. It is rich in powerful vitamins, anti-oxidants, phytochemicals, nutrients and moisture making it the perfect snack for instant energy.

This fruit will nourish and revitalize dry skin as well as smoothen rough and aging skin. If you have acne-prone oily skin, you can use it topically for oil control and to reduce further breakouts.

Rich in fibre and pre-biotic by nature, this fruit is your solution to building good gut friendly bacteria and can give you a flatter looking tummy!

Tip: Eat it first thing in the morning, and see your energy levels soar throughout the day.

The “Appearance Attraction”

Recently I met a few people – and as always they are obsessed about dropping ‘x’ kilos by such and such date to fit into ‘that’ dress or just appear a certain way. And to achieve their targets – they don’t really care about the approach – they could starve, skip meals, count calories, workout like crazies, anything but eating sensibly – they just want results! So I asked – would you put your child or someone you love on the same diet – I got a unanimous reply – NO WAY! Then why put yourself through it!?

What I don’t understand is that why is there so much attention on a certain number or appearance and at the same time so much disregard towards physiological and psychological parameters? Why do we forget that our body works as a whole unit – and anything we do or don’t impacts US – our body, mind and energy too at the same time.

An absolute focus only on Weight loss, with an indifferent or unaware approach to Fat loss – is simply Careless and even dangerous. How can we overlook the benefits that exercise and eating right have upon US – our body, mind and energy. The overall insulin sensitivity improves, fat burning is maximized. Strength-stamina-endurance gets better. We are better attuned to our Hunger cues and satiety signals. Heart, liver, kidney function better. We are more happier. We feel lighter. We look better (isn’t this the whole reason why most people want to ‘lose weight’?!) 😉

So I repeat myself – throw your scale – focus on living a disciplined life – be FIT. A good lifestyle ensures that you are not at risk of any lifestyle related disease – which are on high rise today. Get over the “Appearance Attraction” and get Sensible 🙂

Fitness

There is no need to DIE when DIE-Ting

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Most people DIE – when DIE-Ting. And obviously when it doesn’t work –  that kills you further, because you gave up so much and yet you are back to square one.

Also when you consistently Over – diet and eat less in the process – thinking you could knock some kilos off quickly, you actually end up landing in a bigger mess. Suddenly eating lesser than before, slows down metabolism and the body responds to this ‘starvation mode’ by holding the fat back and now the body burns calories more slowly.

Also haven’t you noticed how you feel when you starve? You feel hungry and as a result are irritable, cranky, angry and feel weak. You may weigh less on the scale but the minute you go back to eating like usual, all the weight piles back on and sometimes even more.

This yo-yo weight gain and loss is even more dangerous.

Instead, it is just so much easier to EAT small meals frequently, sensibly and the right amount of food you need in that moment instead of ‘dieting’. This way you actually nurture and nourish your body. In doing so you will notice that your energy levels are better, you feel fresh, fitter, look younger and your clothes fit better too.

Food is Nutrients, Not Calories 

Look at Food as #Nutrients, something which nourishes you and not as mere number or #calories. Get Real, Get Practical – counting calories cannot fill your tummy, eating good Food does  

Sugar!! – Another Feared Word in our Diet Dictionary

The rumor mills running around sugar are so high, that it is disheartening to see how a simple ingredient is now labelled a killer!

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(Pic Courtesy – http://mamaglow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/543ab6f44216d)

Do you know the History of Sugar? There are records of knowledge of sugar among the ancient Greeks and Romans, but only as an imported medicine, and not as a food. For example Dioscorides in Greece in the 1st century (AD) wrote: “There is a kind of coalesced honey called sakcharon [i.e. sugar] found in reeds in India and Arabia Felix [i.e. Yemen] similar in consistency to salt and brittle enough to be broken between the teeth like salt. It is good dissolved in water for the intestines and stomach, and [can be] taken as a drink to help [relieve] a painful bladder and kidneys.” (Ref – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sugar)

To help heal seriously infected wounds, some surgeons have revived a 4,000-year-old treatment, born on the battlefields of ancient Egypt: they pack the depths of treacherous wounds with sweet substances like sugar. Sugar tends to draw water into a wound’s gritty midst, through osmosis. This action both dries the bed of the wound to promote new tissue growth and dehydrates the bacteria that cause infection, leaving them weak and fragile and thus reducing the pain. The granulation tissue is much pinker and healthier

Coming to our Indian Tradition – sugar is a component of our panch-amrit along with milk, honey, ghee and curd. Today we fear most of these ingredients, labelling these dangerous and carefully keeping away from them. But has it really helped? Or are the obesity rates still going up?

Sugar is not the killer. The way it is being consumed in, is what is really killing us! We eat enormous amounts of biscuits, pastries, cakes, chocolates etc where, other than the fact that massive amounts of sugar is used, there is an excess of preservatives, trans fats, sodium, emulsifiers and lack of essential fiber and minerals. But – why should we see that – all we hold onto is the sugar and blame it!

So stop blaming sugar, and look at the food you are eating. Examine it! Question yourself, Am I eating right? Will this nourish and nurture me?

Don’t Run Away From Laddoos This Diwali

Diwali also known as Deepavali means the festival of lights. We celebrate Diwali each year with a lot love, fun and yes Mithai (sweets). But all those on a so-called “Diet” want to run away or hide during this period. Why?? Because – if I eat mithai – I will become fat!!

So – as usual I have a few thoughts and few questions and I leave it to you to decide if you want to Run and Hide or instead this Diwali – have a big smile and enjoy the Ladoos with your loved ones!

Historically, there are many reasons on the origins of this vibrant festival. Diwali was the celebration of Lord Ram’s homecoming to Ayodhya after victory over Ravan. Also on this day, the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated during the churning of the ocean, hence the association of Diwali with Goddess Lakshmi. Diwali is generally associated with abundance and thus we invoke Goddess Lakshmi ~ so that we are blessed with  prosperity and abundance – in love, friendships and relationships, wisdom, creativity, good health, care, enthusiasm, confidence, peace of mind, wealth etc.

Diwali is also to celebrate the victorious return of Lord Krishna, after victory over the demon Narakasur and then rescuing 16,000 women from his captivity. The celebration of this freedom went on for two days including the Diwali day as a victory festival. According to the great epic ‘Mahabharata’, it was this day when the mighty and righteous Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice.

So basically – Diwali signifies celebration – the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, right over wrong, good over evil. And yes – when we celebrate these blessed moments – it is natural to rejoice and bond over food too. Exactly why – mithais are made in every household.

In every house during Diwali sweets are made. As a matter of fact, after we make these sweets with lot of love and care with carefully selected ingredients like ghee, dry fruit, jaggery or sugar, etc. We then keep aside a small portion of this and place it in our temples as an offering to God. We invoke the blessings of God and then eat this mithai as a Prasad.

So, now my turn to ask questions – If the mithai was so-bad or dangerous – would we offer it to God? Would we ever think of making mithais with oil instead of ghee or with sugar free substitutes and then serve it to God? Or do we believe in serving our Gods the real thing?? Then why are we running away from it? Why is the God inside of us made to suffer – by giving it substitutes? Why can we not choose to nourish our own selves too? Is food only numbers for us ? Have we forgotten that we eat to get energy, to nurture our soul?

Now –  I am definitely not advocating madly eating insane amounts of sweets, but yes why not a piece or 2 of the laddoo. Why not share this mithai with our family, our loved ones? Why not celebrate the Goodness of our meals?

Shine your inner light this Diwali.. Also eating ghee-wala mithai – helps bring a glow on our face too because – ghee is made of essential fat.  We need fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A and E. Both work as antioxidants and are rich in anti-ageing properties and thus the glowing skin 😉Diwali

The High Protein Myth

Every other person, who starts hitting the gym, suddenly wants to go on an-all protein or a high protein diet! Now scientifically speaking – proteins are a fab part of our meals as they help us achieve that lean bod and burn fat. The scientific reason why most trainers insist on high protein is because during any form of intense exercise – where the body undergoes wear and tear, it leads to loss of muscle tissue. The amino acids (building blocks of protein) help repair our tissues and recover from the stress the exercise places on our body.

But most people instead of adopting a balanced, sensible approach towards protein intake, jump to consume excessive proteins. What they forget or rather not realize is that for proteins to really work to our advantage we need adequate supply of carbohydrates and fats in our diets too. If our diets do not include these – you just wasted those extra proteins and your money you spent on buying the expensive proteins.

So just because you are consuming a high protein does not mean that your body is reaping its benefits. Most people forget that our body is way too smart – when we feel we have done a smart thing by consuming higher protein and low carb, low fat meal – our body becomes extra shaana (smart 😉 ) – it does not store the protein for future use, it instead converts it to FAT by a process a deamination. This process takes place in the liver, where your protein just got broken down to glucose. There goes your plan of consuming High protein!

So when you consume your proteins, even if it is meat, it is always sensible to eat it as a part of the meal along with rice or roti and veggies and NEVER by itself. This way we ensure ideal absorption and assimilation of amino acids.

So, when it comes to eating – like I always insist, it is so much better to adopt a sensible plan instead of trying anything extreme 🙂

(Picture Courtesy – http://www.thebiosciences.com/cartoons/HighProteinDiet.png)

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A POTATO DOES NOT MAKE YOU A POTATO, BUT BEING A COUCH POTATO DEFINITELY DOES!

Though we love the batata or bateta or aloo or potato in our food, we also love to blame the poor tuber for our weight gain! Let’s face it – whether mashed, baked or roasted, people often consider potatoes as comfort food. Did You Know that potatoes are NOT inherently fattening? But if you choose to add butter or sour cream to potatoes or choose to fry it and eat it or eat chips you increase the numbers of calories and fat grams significantly and yes – that does make you fat!

For my technical – questioning – calculating minds –

Boiled potatoes are low in calories and fat, but high in fiber (responsible in making you feel full) and nutrients. They are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium, phosphorus, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. A large, unpeeled boiled potato is rich in B-complex vitamins, which help your body form blood cells and make energy from the protein, carbohydrates and fat from the food you eat.

A boiled potato provides more than half of the vitamin B-6 you need each day, as well as about 30 percent of your recommended daily intake for thiamin and niacin. It is also high in vitamin C, giving you one-half of your daily requirement for that nutrient.

Because the potato is a root vegetable, it is rich in essential minerals that help you build strong bones and benefit your nerve and muscle function. A large potato, boiled in its skin, provides 1.1 grams of potassium, one-fourth of the potassium you need daily. It also gives you about one-fifth of the magnesium and phosphorus you need each day. A potato has 5.4 grams of fiber, about the same amount as a bowl of bran flakes cereal – so bring back the poha with batata and other vegetables for breakfast instead!

And AGAIN – the most important thing here like any other food item or group is the concept of MODERATION. Anything less or anything in excess is not good. So yes eat the potato in your veggie, but eat other veggies too – in the right quantity.

Now coming to the couch potato bit! Exercise is an essential component of life, just like eating. I am not talking about fancy exercise or equipment. Take small steps. Just motivate yourself to exercise. Our body, our joints need exercise – not excess not less – Just RIGHT!! So if nothing just start with a walk for about 30-40 mins a day, 5 times a week! Regular exercise helps you gain muscle weight and shed fat weight (Remember Fat loss is important!). And most importantly focus wellness, reducing body fat and a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

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Reduce the Heat this Summer – the Yummy Way!!!

Right in the Middle of SUMMER, aren’t we?? Temperatures just seem to be on the rise – both outside & inside of us! We are literally on FIRE 😉 We can’t wait to get our hands on anything COLD – to just Chill and reduce the temperature. Summer brings with it hyperacidity, bloating, heaviness, constipation and  loads of ‘loss of salt/electrolytes and dehydration’ issues. And if this was not all, many find their faces bloated too! (Dang!! There goes the selfie 😦  ) Let’s look at the health perspective of the Truly Yummy and yet, believed to be oh-so-unhealthy Drink!! Sugarcane

Sugarcane Juice – is the perfect remedy for all that heat fatigue, acidity and bloating and now add a dash of lime and this drink – can add the zing back to your dull day.  This drink can help you flaunt the patli kamar contrary to popular belief that it is fattening!!

So how often can I have it – would be your next logical question & to that I say – daily 😀 .. Yups!! You heard me – peak noon, when the sweltering heat of the sun is unbearable and we crave a cold drink – is the ideal time to sip on a glass of baraf wala – nimboo wala – sugarcane juice.. Tastes Divine!!

To the skeptical, lost in calories people – yes it does have calories (like every other food item- and again I would rather have you to refer to my article on calories, before we set forth cursing them AGAIN!!) Sugar cane is flooded with nutrients, sugar, electrolytes and minerals!

Health Benefits for the Scientific Minds –

  • Technically, sugarcane juice is rich in calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc.  It also contains iron and vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6, along with high concentration of phytonutrients, antioxidants, proteins and soluble fiber. All these nutrients work together to keep your body in a good and healthy shape.
  • The sugar in the sugar cane juice is the natural sugar and not the refined one we tend to consume. This natural sugar – gives an instant kick of energy and quenches the thirst, which we badly need in this heat! It is good source of glucose which as we know, helps to re-hydrates the human body and gives it a boost of energy. So the next time you feel fatigued or dehydrated, consider drinking a glass of cane juice – Guilt free!!!
  • The antioxidants in sugarcane juice help to fighting against infections and boost the immune system of the body. It also protects the liver against infections and helps in keeping the bilirubin levels in control. This is the reason that doctors advice drinking sugar cane juice to jaundice patients, as it is one of the few things that get digested without too much pressure on the liver and also helps in reducing the bilirubin levels. Did U Know – Sugarcane juice is probably our earliest known detox tonic???
  • Another reason why it is an ideal summer drink is due to its high potassium content. Summers are the times when the digestive system may be slow as it is also dehydrated & fatigued. The high potassium makes it a good digestive aid. It helps in keeping the digestive system in good shape, prevents stomach infections and is considered to be particularly useful in treating the problem of constipation.
  • And Ladies – to flaunt the soft supple skin even in this heat – this juice comes to your rescue!! Being high in antioxidants, as it has flavonoids and phenolic compounds it has the perfect ingredients to make the skin healthy, shiny, soft, supple, fair as well as prevents from early ageing and wrinkles. It rehydrates and moisturizes the body thus makes the skin soft and bright.

And again – Moderation is essential.. A glass is what you need, and it is very important to have it the minute it’s squeezed out, as the goodness gets evaporated quickly. And very importantly – check that your gannawala stores the sugarcane in a safe, hygienic manner, away from buzzing makkhis. Ideally, it would be great if you could, chew on the cane and allow the fibres to massage your gums.