(White) Butter makes life Better

How can we think of Janmashtami and not think of butter – the food that Lord Krishna loved so much that he wouldn’t even mind stealing and eating.

But today we cannot think of eating butter – because we only associate it to being fattening. But – was Lord Krishna fat?

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We always picture Krishna as young, full of love, energy and enthusiasm; sharp, smart, intelligent and agile – being very quick in his movements – remember how he would steal butter? 😉

Butter though high in calories (for the calorie-counters), not only does it enhance the taste of the food its added too, it is even better in its nutritive goodness and makes life much better for you.

  • It is rich in anti-ageing Vitamin A and enzymes. Being the ‘fat’- it helps our body retain calcium, phosphorous and vitamin A and D.
  • Contrary to belief, white butter actually helps you LOSE WEIGHT! It helps in proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents. Thereby breaking down and utilizing fats more efficiently. The result is – Fat Loss!
  • Have you ever stopped to wonder why your dadi or nani would give you khichdi with ghee or makhan when you were down with a cold and flu? White butter boosts and strengthens your immune system and in fact sometimes helps treat minor stomach infections too.
  • The molecular structure of butter helps it pass through the layers of the brain tissue that are otherwise impermeable. It helps the transportation of nutrients to the brain and takes away wastes from it making the brain function optimally – thereby making you smarter and sharper, just like Krishna.
  • The Vitamin E and Selenium (the antioxidant) in it makes your skin smooth and glowing.
  • If you find yourself complaining of weak or painful joints – think of White butter. It helps lubricate joints and improves movement.
  • Haven’t you heard people say – Fat adds Flavor – butter while making food yummy, also makes you feel satisfied. Isn’t daal-chawal or khichdi or even hot rotis with ghee so soul-satisfying?

A very important thing here is – you must NOT use makhan or ghee that is sold outside, instead make it at home. And like with any food – moderation and eating sensibly are key to Fitness and Wellbeing.

Happy Janmashtami!

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

Bigger muscles burn more calories than little ones

Exercise to increase your lean body weight. The more lean weight you have, the more efficient your body moves and the higher your metabolism, even at rest. By increasing your lean body weight, your bones become more dense and your muscles, tendons and ligaments become stronger. The great side effect of all this is that it’s easier to avoid getting fat. Remember, bigger muscles burn more calories than little ones.
  

Enjoy your Meal, if you want to ‘Lose’ your Weight

So often, in my practice I come across people, who are willing to give up foods they love or believe that “if I give in to my taste buds, I will stay fat forever. So its better I stay away from my favorite foods”. These are those who have been on and off diets all the time, and that’s because they couldn’t sustain their diet for long. And yet – they choose to follow the same and obviously results will be the same – weight loss (on the scale) when dieting and weight gain (as soon as they go back to normal eating)

We as humans are chemically wired to choose joy over pain or torture. So obviously when we are eating, we want to enjoy the food and in turn feel satisfied and happy. Scientifically when you relish your meal your metabolism goes up and you not only digest your food better but you also absorb maximum nutrients from your meal. In fact people who consciously eat foods that are “good for you,” even though you don’t like them, or if you think you can have a ‘cheat’ meal and compensate for it by eating bad-tasting vitamin-fortified protein bar, or some ‘tall-claimed’ foods or tea – to wash off the effect of the bad diet or purely choose these because you feel you will put on weight if you eat foods you like – then you aren’t doing yourself any ‘healthy’ favor. Instead not only are slowing down your metabolism, you are also reducing the quantity and quality of nutrients that you get from your food.

Haven’t you experienced that when you abstain from eating and enjoying your food, when you go out – you end up bingeing because you know you won’t be eating this again? Now ask yourself – if you could eat everything would you ever have to go on a bingeing spree?

Also haven’t you experienced that when you eat ill-tasting, ‘low-calorie’ food in the name of diet – you end up eating more and end up feeling stuffed but rarely satisfied?

Let’s talk about the science behind both these – the hormone that makes you feel good about your eating experience is the same one that stimulates your digestive system and also signals the brain to stop eating. Also when you are not enjoying your food brain secretes a neurotransmitter that increases your appetite and makes you hunt for food – and you end up feasting after a bit of starving. Then you get on to a guilt trip – again go starving or dieting and thus the cycle of starving and feasting goes on.

The simple act of eating good food – made at home – as simple as a dal chawal with little ghee – not only fills your tummy, it also satisfies your soul. You feel nourished. Your brain secretes the ‘happy’ hormone – thereby improving digestion, assimilation, nutrient absorption and in turn leads to a greater efficiency in ‘calorie burning’ 😀

Again this does not mean you eat anything and everything – mindlessly. I am just explaining that enjoying your meal is a must for your digestion. Cherish your food, celebrate your food and eat well in Moderation 🙂

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Happy Eating!

TIME TO BID GOOD BYE TO YOUR WEIGHING SCALE

Today I had this patient who came to see me – and like always – even before saying a courteous hello or having a glass of water – she jumped up on the weighing scale to see how much she had ‘lost’? I could not hold my laughter, and told her ‘I am not sure about your weight, but you have definitely lost your mind’. To this she promptly replied – ‘Noooo – Khush – you see if I have a glass of water, I will weigh 500gms more’, and I was like – Really!?

Weighing – is becoming an obsession. I know of people who weigh themselves not just daily and but after every meal and every time they use the loo! So now the scale and those numbers define their self-image. They cannot associate themselves for who they, but are identified by the number. You may be a good parent, you may be amazing at what you do or you may be a good person or anything – but still you choose to be unhappy because of how much you weigh. Does this make sense?

I really think it is time to THROW YOUR SCALE.

Now,

  • Become more aware of how you feel instead of worrying about some number.
  • Listen and get in touch with your to hunger signals instead of worrying that I might gain a kilo or gram.
  • Stop counting calories and started seeking out food your body needs
  • And most importantly – STOP picking apart every flaw or bulge and started seeing yourself as a whole person.

Give up the obsession with the number and focus on feeling Healthy, Light and Fit.

I am sure, by now you must itching to know the ‘results’ of following this practice! Like I have said before there are other ways to measure improvement besides looking at some number. You can always pay attention to how your clothes fit. You can measure yourself with a tape measure. You feel lighter, more energetic and people around you start Complimenting you 😉

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So STOP worrying about your ‘size’ and how much you weigh.  And this definitely does not mean Eat like a maniac and don’t care about what you eat – it means – eat sensibly, live sensibly, exercise – focus on being healthy and not looking thin! And trust me or rather your own body – for unless there are some major unknown medical issues, most people come to their own version of “healthy weight”, “healthy size” –  when they are living a healthy life. So focus on nourishment, eat good clean homemade food, and stay  active – this way you are on the right track than following some crazy diet for 2 weeks and then finally giving up coz-its-difficult-to-follow and cursing yourself.

So, how do you know it is Time for you to throw your Scale?

  • You have fixed a specific number that you wanted to “be” with regards to your weight even if “being” that number means you starve or punish yourself in the name of exercise
  • You wait to weigh yourself first thing in the morning, without-any-clothes, after going to the bathroom for the “best” results?
  • You suddenly felt ugly when the scale showed that you were up a kilo or 2 from the day before?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you might also benefit from throwing your scale out.

Try it Out for a Month or 2! What is the big deal? I am sure letting go of worries about weighing a certain number – you definitely will have Lesser wrinkles 😉 . In fact, when you start living this way, you will feel empowered, more beautiful, confident and no more at the mercy of a number to define you. You will be able to connect to your inner self, your stomach, your body.

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Sounds kinda cool!

Would love you hear about experience, once you try this.

Are you eating the Guilt or is the Guilt Eating you?

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We are counting days to the New Year.In these days of festivity and merry making – we do tend to enjoy – go out, eat out, eat more – and even as we have just taken the first bite of the goodie – we are already on a guilt trip! “Damn – this cake is like 1000 calories – how am I going to burn it?” Sounds like someone you know?

Now let me ask you – dint you anyway eat the cake or cookie or pizza or whatever-oh-so-fattening food? Then why the guilt Now? You chose to eat something with complete awareness, then why the repent?

You ate because you were happy, you were celebrating, and yes you wanted to enjoy – then why slam your joy brakes and count calories! Why can it not just be a simple choice of eating something – feeling grateful for the goodies and from the next meal going back to eating sensibly? What is done is done – you holding on to the guilt – does not make you thin or ‘burn’ the calories.

Body doesn’t hold on to excess weight or calories just because you ate something you were not supposed to in one meal. The excess weight is piled over the years – over time of continuous undisciplined eating – and not eating sensibly. As always I am asking to keep your moderation and balance when eating and you can still have a healthy fit body.

FOOD – NOURISHING THE MIND, BODY & SOUL

Every time I think I need to write my blog – I realize there are so many topics I could write on, so many myths I could dispel, yet somewhere I realized I was missing a point – something a lot more deeper – something I really needed to write about and did not know what that was. At the same I have been really engrossed, enchanted and mesmerized with Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson, and I totally agree with Steve’s love for Simplicity.

How often do we end up complicating things in life, purely by just over thinking or over analyzing and then end up complaining life is so complicated! There is always a simple answer to every problem, yet we choose the most complex ways to solve it, because we simply cannot believe Life can be simple. Let us take an example of our diets – don’t we readily jump, read and believe theories which tell us – some foods are amazing and how eating them would miraculously make us skinny and how some food are bad, and why we must avoid them like the plague. (And a few days later, there will be another theory speaking the exact opposite – so what really is true.. God alone knows!)

No wonder it is said that Common sense is the least common thing! Why can we not be simple with our food and food choices? Why go to extremes – why completely eliminate certain foods, why only eat certain foods?

Now let us talk basic. Scientifically thinking – what is the purpose of eating? Why do we eat food?

Answer: the body uses food to perform one or more of four main functions:

To supply energy – Food supplies the fuel or energy needed to perform the many tasks of everyday living. We need energy to think, breathe, walk, sit, speak and even sleep. We get energy from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is important that we eat enough food to supply all our needs. If we don’t, we will feel tired and listless. Having no energy can be compared to a car that has run out of fuel. On the other hand, if we eat more food than what our body needs – we do know that it makes us FAT

For growth and repair Food provides the materials needed to build, repair and maintain body tissues. Proteins, fats and minerals are the best nutrients for growth. Growing bodies need extra amounts of these nutrients. Every person whether growing or not, is going through a continual repair process of replacing injured or dead cells. It is food that supplies the nutrients necessary for this process.

For regulation – Food supplies the substances that help regulate the body’s processes. Water, vitamins and minerals help regulate breathing, the nervous system, digestion, blood circulation and the elimination of waste products from the body. They help keep all the systems in the body working properly.

For protection – Vitamins, minerals and protein keep the body’s tissues and organs healthy. Healthy organs are less likely to be attacked by disease.

This is what science has to say! But is this why we eat food or is this how we decide what we will eat for lunch or dinner? Though some of us do include certain things in our diets that are aimed at health, yet 80% of our food choices are emotional. Very often after eating amazing food we say – ‘what a soul-satisfying meal?’ or ‘dil khush ho gaya’. So doesn’t this imply that our foods not only nourish our body but our soul too! Great food can have an uplifting impact on our mood and vice versa.

How about we get simple with food? Can we eat not to just stuff ourselves but to nourish our soul? Enjoying our now, reveling in the beauty of the world and the simple pleasures of existence are equally important to our survival as food is. Gratitude and a sense of abundance, no matter how little we may seem to have, makes us happy, content and fulfilled. Perhaps all these may even help the body metabolize our food better.

Being skinny or size 0 can never guarantee enlightenment, happiness, or inner peace – it is instead a choice we make. In every moment can choose to be happy NOW, love and accept our body the way it is TODAY.

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I would suggest a small exercise by Louise Hay for a week – “Cease all criticism of yourself and others. Accept yourself as you are. Praise yourself as much as you can. Criticism breaks down the inner spirit, praise builds it up. Look into a mirror often and simply say: I LOVE YOU, I REALLY LOVE YOU. It may be difficult at first, but keep practicing and soon you will mean and feel what you say. Love yourself as much as you can and all of life will mirror this love back to you.

And after a week assess – how you are feeling? How your body is responding to a simple change in your thoughts? See how nourished your soul feels after receiving this love? Would love to hear your experience.  🙂

 

Debunking Myths – Counting n Cursing Calories!!

Oh! How we love Counting & Cursing our Calories! We also love to track how many calories we burnt on the treadmill! But – Do you know that even if you simply start that treadmill, and don’t even stand on it, the display will show 200 or 300 calories burnt after some time, out of nowhere!

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And did you know that Calorie is not your enemy – it is just a unit of ENERGY! So instead of counting calories, try counting on your inner wisdom. Try listening to your body and your stomach.  Your body’s innate wisdom will guide you accurately to the foods you choose to eat each time and listening to your stomach and eating mindfully will help you eat the right quantity of food.

So STOP Counting n Cursing your calories and instead Bless, Love & Celebrate your Food!

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Try this for just a week & see the Magic 🙂