Anxiety & Worries…. Let’s Help Ourselves with Rudimentary Ways & Nutrition

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Fear of unknown and the same transcending to the mind affecting daily life and physical symptoms like cramps in stomach, unable to concentrate, an unusual heartbeat, sweating abnormally and feeling of sickness may be happening because of the ‘ANXIETY SYNDROME’ and more particularly this might be prominent during these days i.e. Corona times’.

Not getting into the nitty – gritty of the same i.e. Science behind getting Anxious…. Many psychologists have done extensive research work on the subject, and are on it every day. New vistas are opening as to why people are going through this disorder. Science behind it is surely complex.

Getting forced to adapt new norms like masks, social distancing, isolation, online Offices & Classes, compulsory worries from the News updates,  Blurred timelines for the vaccine, Worries regarding finances, Health concerns for elder and old family members staying away and many more other trivial things are bringing this Anxiety… in you, me and everyone.

Avoidance may not help, as we all are socially woven to have concerns alive both for self and others. But what might help is to understand that we have little or no control on what happens with the corona virus or the economy or with our near dear ones…..but what we can control is ‘how we RESPOND to them’.

After interacting with various segments of people i.e. friends, family members, clients and near dear ones….what I prescribe as a friend and well -wisher is to follow the following:-

* Stick fast to a routine….as a timeline sort of… from getting up early in the morning to the good night sleep. It will give a sense of predictability, when everything is changing.

* Prefer doing Yoga & Meditation (Try, it really helps….I have done it and vouch for it…).

* Try to have your meals together, listen to music…..rekindle your youth days, share great and simple life stories with your family…. Be happy for nothing.•

* Take notice of things which make you feel good…try and do things which you thought you could and enjoyed doing that but relegated them for later.

* Avoid those News Channels which used to irritate you even during pre- corona times. Try to see and read something regarding your history….you will feel rejuvenated…..

And lastly some Nutritional take … and advice what I follow and would recommend…

* You may consider to eat foods containing nutrients which help reducing anxiety like Banana, Curd, and Fatty fishes, Eggs, Pumpkins, Mushroom and Turmeric in much quantity than usual.

* If you are experiencing lack of sleep due to Anxiety Vitamin B6 supplement may help as it aids the production of Melatonin, the hormone responsible to aid you in sleeping.

* Also try and include spinach, whole grains, milk, cheese, egg & fish in your dietary habit.

Someone has rightly told, ‘Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you.’… So,Itis your strong will with your sub conscious mind which can provide the wherewithal to sail through this anxiety.

Should We Leave Our Health Audit To Fitness Trackers

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Getting up in the morning and letting the fitness band strapped on the wrist like seen in a sci-fi movie which charts your physical activity 24 x 7 through its sensors and inbuilt monitors; has become a new way of life……. How accurate are these fitness trackers?? Are they driving you to the fools’ paradise or these are just to console that you are monitoring your health. Let’s get into the nuts & bolts of it.

The technology, Artificial Intelligence, Biometrics and other paradigm tech evolutions have even forced to find digitally working pals/assistants monitoring or tracking the body systems’ progress, so that we don’t miss out on the health aspects in this fast pace moving life.  So to start we must know that almost all fitness trackers rely on a heart rate monitor and motion sensors to detect the calorie count and movement respectively.  In a layman’s term; if you work harder……your heart will be pumping more…..so some mathematics and calorie count is up the sleeve on a digital platform; i.e. on a fitness tracker.

The technology is based on pulse oximetry wherein the infra-red light penetrates the skin and looks for changes in the colour of the blood…. the changes are because of increase in heartbeat.

Further these fitness trackers use complex algorithms which analyse the movements or activities.  It’s hard to digest……..but heart rate alone is not an ideal indicator of calorie burn.  In actuals ……Heart rate is proportional to many factors like….. blood pressure, air pressure, temperature, mood, emotions…. so even a fast pace game on your mobiles may give rise to your heart rate. But it is not indicative of calorie burn. Though it is mentioned on the manuals that these fitness trackers entirely do not work on heart rates alone but the latest ones too, have still not proved it…  It charts the pattern derived from our body. It is a machine overall, may be inaccurate; and might keep you happy or perturbed about your gains or losses.

There are various other factors like your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate); the number of calories required for the various physical activities……… your Muscle built…….. your Hormonal balance; as a higher level of testosterone will burn more calories …and many more internal things.

Apropos, in a nutshell, fitness trackers are actually machines doing an audit sort of duty of your physical responses…. the body system is too complicated to bring simple digital feeds of fitness trackers and go ahead with it.

Nothing against these fitness tracker; at least these strap-on devices are giving some inputs which prompt you to find a solution and making you aware of something wrong. But a total dependence on them may land you in trouble, if not augmented with physical activity & self-consciousness of your cognitive mind. These fitness machine trackers may help, but mindful machining will work….

#Mind Your Tongue

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Better healthy eating habits evolve with a controlled tongue… sounds very abstract, but it is. Try taking out your tongue with a neutral movement, you will find that the tongue tends to go up, defying the universal gravitational force; unless you force it downwards …. For those of you trying this at this moment…..It actually works…Yes, our tongue…is controlled by mind…and brain.

Our ability to taste come from tiny molecules released when we chew, drink or digest food; these molecules stimulate special sensory cells in the mouth called gustatory cells which are clustered within the taste buds.

Do we know when does these taste buds develop in our body??…..

When the foetus is just 13-15 weeks old, it can taste different flavours from the mother’s diet. Interestingly, this exposure to the baby in womb inside the uterus via amniotic fluid has a lot of influence on the eating habits of the child when he/she grows up. Also the child’s age wise stage within 6 month to 1 year is very critical in terms of food exposure and development of taste buds. During this time the child recognises taste, texture and appearance of food. If you wisely invest your time during this period in developing good eating habits in your child, then you will carve out yourself from the category of these 8 out of the 10 mothers, who always complain about fussy eating habits of their child.

Once the child attains an age of 2 years… he/she has already developed his/her taste buds. Generally after this age every effort of the parent, to find the right track goes belated… and in vain. So if you want to inculcate healthy eating habits, start early. There is another interesting fact about these taste buds; a child is born with about 10,000 taste buds, but this numerical quantity decreases with the growing age……by the time we reach an age of 50, it decreases down to a mere 40 -50 taste buds alive in women and 50-60 in men. And it is where we become so stubborn with our food habits with the age of 50s setting in.

As it is….it’s daily affair that food preparation which is served on platter, on the dining table is decided on the basis of our taste buds…..that’s why it’s Everyday Decision Vacuum Syndrome…‘What is the food today?’… ‘What to prepare?’

….and the answer is there in our mind; forced by our taste buds…..

It’s not the nutritional value but our convenience and taste that makes us decide our eating practice … Andit percolates down as our habit of eating; i.e. as per our likings and not as per our metabolic requirement.

Somewhere the tongue…. hence, needs to be controlled by our mind…Overall controlling our tongue can make a difference i.e. a disciplined tongue or minding our tongue can do great favours to ourselves in getting absolved in binge eating habits and thus making us healthier, fitter and better….

Just a food for thought…

#WithThePinchOfSalt

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#Namak

Apart from the universal stake on the importance of SALT or NAMAK…; It has left its indispensible requisite image from times immemorial. Be it Romans, who paid their legions; ‘Salt’ as reward for their duty or even the advent of the word salt is understood to be carved out of ‘salary’….. Also…Gandhiji’s Satyagrah and Dandi March breaking ‘Salt Law’ or movies ‘Namak Halal’….. and ‘Sholay’ for ‘Maine to aapka namak khaya hai’….. ‘Namak’ has been an essence of living….

From taste buds to its nutrient requirements … ‘Salt’ if not kept at balanced level ruins the flavour of the food. So lets explore….. what it is?? and how to control this ‘ingredient of nuisance value but important too’…with a pinch of salt.

Firstly… Knowing what it is?? Edible salt is found in different forms vide, Table Salt…..Sea Salt….. Grey, Pink, Black, Red, Truffle …..kosher and many more….. but primarily to understand, it is ‘NaCl’ ….i.e. Sodium Chloride….40% of Sodium & 60% of Chloride….. It is required for adding flavour and is used as binder, preservative or stabiliser. Some claim it contains Iodine, added Anti caking Agents, minerals….. but to a normal mind what needs to be kept in mind is ….. The level of Sodium content…It is this ‘Sodium’ content which is associated with blood pressure or increase in risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Secondly ……. How to know that the amount or pinch of Salt what I am taking is good or bad??….. As per studies an adult should have maximum 6-8 gms of salt per day with a sedentary to mid level active lifestyle with certain exceptions; if you are toiling too hard in Gym or running and dehydrating yourself, quite off and on. Ready to eat food packets Nutrition labels talks of it ..…. take a look on the food / snack packets … to understand it. Now a days colour codes like Red for high, amber for medium & green for low salt levels are also given.

Thirdly…… Presence of added salt in most of food product we buy today!!…Yes…. in terms of preservatives or hidden salt… So in actuals we add up eating more of salt with these types of food; adding up to the agony to our blood pressure levels or the heart ailments.

Fourthly………The science behind taking this Salt in large intake and inviting health issues ……. Precisely Sodium is essential for fluid balance and cellular homeostasis. We, humans require a small unit….. say upto 1.5 tea spoons daily for all of us with a normal working lifestyle of homemakers to working individuals….. for the conduct of nerve impulses. But if it is in excess, the kidneys have trouble in accumulating it….. Then the body tries to hold on water in terms of water retention to dilute the Sodium part of it….This further entails more work for the heart and more pressure on blood vessels….and that’s all about it’s Science.

Fifthly…… Then How to reduce it?…… So if it is not advisable…. then we can reduce its intake by either….. not keeping the salt holder on the table or….try flavouring the food with pepper, herbs, garlic, spices or lemon to keep a balance..Try including salads in your food palate with somewhat bland taste like radish ..so that every time you take a piece of it your normal salt taste gives you better impulse even if it is less..actually it is something akin to theory of relativity…… it works …..

Try and avoid..the pre packed food elements which looks tempting…especially for kids. Be more nutrition conscious……or Don’t put too much of Soya sauces……it contains lots of hidden salt..…And also….smoke less cigarettes or stop smoking (if you can)…. So as to revigorate your taste buds to normal…..

Lastly ……. Take control of these small pinches of salt….. these small pinches one day convert to mountain from molehill…….Let’s cut down.

You are not Fat, You have Fat….Melt it….

Rightly told that ‘You are not Fat’….You have Fat. And you have fat because you collected it, grabbed it piecemeal….. unknowingly. Undoubtedly, fatty foods contribute to obesity…. Fat part of the food groups are the most calorie dense of all and if you have a broader waistline it might be primarily because of this calorie dense Fat content. Being overweight and fat has proven to be a risk factor for many diseases including Heart disease. So, let’s melt the facts of this complex biomolecule and understand it…. May be you will be wiser to be cosy with those fat or will try to shed some …..

Fat is one of the most important bio-molecules which provides energy to our body to do any work. Fat is of two types namely Saturated (generally solid at room temperature) & Unsaturated (generally liquid at room temperature). 1 gram of Fat whether Saturated or Unsaturated provides 9 Kcal of energy; Protein & Carbohydrate with 1 gm provides only 4 Kcal of energy. Also, we take nutrients or supplements like Vit D, Vit A, Vit E & Vit K….. its real benefit is translated by fats only because these vitamins are absorbed by fats. So, obviously ‘Fat’ cannot be left aside….It’s a ‘Necessary Evil’. But being wise to choose which fat to eat and which not is the decision dilemma.

Any Fat that is not used by our body’s cells in any work/ workout is converted into body fat; don’t be surprised……even unused Carbs & Proteins turn into body fat…..May be this is the reason, a person with more flabs of Fat is advised to workout more.

Coming back to the nuts & bolts of Saturated & Unsaturated Fat; Saturated Fats mainly come from animal sources as well as some plants, like Palm & Coconut. If we eat meat, sausages, ghee, butter, cheese, cream, chocolate, pastries….we are mostly taking saturated fat part. Second one is Unsaturated; it is abundantly found in oils from plants and fish. Unsaturated fat can be either be Monounsaturated or Polyunsaturated. Mono ones are found in olive oil, nuts (Almond, Peanut etc.) and Polyunsaturated in some fishes, corn, sunflower etc. Mustard oil is a mixture of both Saturated and Unsaturated fat (80% Unsaturated – both Mono & Poly and 20% Saturated).

The real game starts with the entry of another sleeping fat giant i.e. Cholesterol; it is a waxy, fat – like substance that is found in all cells of your body and performs the function of making some hormones, vit D and substances that help in digestion of food…..your body makes all the cholesterol it needs…..But when you  start eating saturated fat in more than RECOMMENDED quantity on routine basis then it starts showing its effect on the body , it raises the LDL (low density lipoprotein) or ‘Bad’ Cholesterol in the body that increases the risk of heart/cardiovascular diseases. As discussed earlier the Monounsaturated (part of unsaturated fat) Fat helps protect your heart/ maintaining level of ‘good’ or HDL Cholesterol while reducing level of LDL Cholesterol. Even Polyunsaturated Fat (Omega 3 & Omega 6) mainly found in some walnuts, oats, fish, flax seed, sunflower oil etc. helps lowering the levels of bad LDL Cholesterol.

Another participant in this flab producing fat game are Trans fats; which are found naturally at low levels in meat, dairy products and hydrogenated vegetable oils.

With these stats and knowledge base; what is the take away ?….

Yes; we surely need to reduce or cutdown the intake of foods & drinks that are high on Saturated Fats and Trans Fats and replace them with Unsaturated players. As per dietary recommendations, a healthy man should not eat more than 30 gms of total Fat and a woman not more than 20 gms. Further adults should not consume more than 5 gms of Trans Fat. See the Nutrition label on the product; Low Fat is 3 gms of Fat or less/ 100 gm or 1.5 gm of fat/ 100 ml of liquid content.

Reduction of Fat content is not a complex issue; it’s simple….the taste increases with every drop of increase of oil, cream, ghee in the food we prepare; but obviously not every part of  the taste is dependent on oil content. The greasy part has to be avoided in routine.

The information given above is not invented, it is just a sharing of facts which I wholeheartedly follow to lead a healthy but not too restrictive life. Being Fat is not your fault but savouring it or having it is …..surely. Because what fatty delicious lip smacking food you eat in private is that you wear as flabs on your body in public.

Decide to be f A t or f I t….. A-Avoid it or I- Instill it……

Ande Ka Funda EGGS; A Complete Food

Ande Ka Funda EGGS; A Complete Food

Egg is one of the few foods that is considered to be containing much more than we can expect from a staple diet. It is supposed to be a power house for protein as it contains all essential amino acids which naturally our body can’t produce on its own.
To understand an egg; the white part is complete protein & water and the yolk part contains minerals like Iron, Vit A, Vit D, Phosphorus, Calcium, Riboflavin, Lecithin, an effective emulsifier and above all proteins like in white part. In a nutshell, Eggs are packed with a wide range of Nutrients which are important for good health; and the most of it is found in its yolk (yellow part)….so be sure to eat the whole egg and not only the white part which most of us think and follow. Even the fat content (5-6 gm in 1 egg) is mostly unsaturated and are known to have omega-3.
The best thing about eggs are that they are quite filling; they will stop you from eating more even if the taste buds are craving and are best when taken as boiled or par boiled or cooked with less oil & salt. An egg, with only 70 calories provides 12% of Vit D, 14% of Phosphorus, 8% Vit A and 15% of riboflavin.
Benefits are many; To include….. Improves brain functioning, weight management, muscle building, bone strengthening, improves mood (B12), protects eyes and takes care of skin glow & hair issues.
But certain precautions too need paying heed to like….Storage of eggs (keep it fresh preferred refrigeration), Expiry date or sell by date is 3-4 weeks. Unwashed eggs have longer shelf life of 6 weeks, avoid eating raw (though certain fitness trainers promulgate this idea; but you will not be able to find out contaminate if any in raw state or getting Biotin poisoning giving dry rashes, brittle hair & fatigue.
So, enjoy the egg-cellent food called eggs; it is full of wanted ingredients and more so, even it is itself an important ingredient of healthy body & mind. So make the best out it….Sunday or Monday……Anday……anyday…

Plastic and Food: Are we Safe?

Upon interaction with various segments of people i.e. from homemaker, business professional, office goers or even to the section of college and school going students during my workshops or talk I found that because of very high usage of plastics in our daily life, actually we are consuming part of it as a slow but a distinct poison. It’s all because of the necessary evil use of plastic products such as pet water bottles, plastic food containers, lunch boxes, the so called microwave proof plastic containers. Plastic products have become a very integral unavoidable household necessity because of its easy availability, light weight, durability, affordability, non-breakage, low maintenance and above all colourful that attracts our eyes. Many of these plastic containers come with a tag of being ‘safe’…. But there is nothing called safe plastic once it is amalgamated with food discipline be it for storage, heating or temporarily keeping of any items.

In short all plastic releases or leaches some chemicals into food or water they contain by seeping it becomes more dangerous if the plastic itself or the food is warmer or even if it is used for freezing or storing in refrigerators.

To understand in brief; plastic contains synthetic chemicals like BPA(bisphenol) and BPS apart from Phthalate, Parabens, PCB, PVC etc. & etc. They mostly fall under the obesogens category of chemicals which are man-made and affects the regulatory system that control the weight of the body. It increases the fat cells and decreases the calorie burn. Also they are found to be ‘Endocrine disruptors’, thus it disrupts your body hormones; mainly female oestrogen. Such disruption may result into Thyroid, Blood sugar imbalances, Infertility, Menstrual symptoms, Breast cancer, Weight gain, Prostrate cancer in men, sometimes gender dysphoria and other issues related to men genital problems.

We unknowingly use these plastic products as a necessary evil in the form of plastic cook wares, utensils, some cosmetics, perfumes, vinyl products, canned tins etc.

So, to mend ways we can reduce use of these plastic ware in kitchen; should avoid microwave plastic food containers; reduce use of canned food; can opt for use of glass or steel containers, by not giving children plastic lunch boxes. You can look for the recycle codes on the boxes or plastic utensils…. Codes level 3 to 7 contains high BPA levels.

Above all if everyone is advocating less or no use of plastic to save the environment; there is obviously some method in madness too…..at least we can begin it from our kitchen, refrigerators…. Be safe….as there is nothing known as safe plastic if it is associated anywhere with your food and nutrition.

#TheCelebrityInYou

#NoToTheSizeZeroDiet

Copying how the celebrities eat to achieve the ‘Size Zero’ is just like trying to force your’s size 8 foot into their size 6 shoe…. Be it the Cover girl August 20 Edition of Vogue Magazine i.e. Hailey Bieber or even August Edition of Filmfare with Kareena Kapoor…. There is no point being copy cats to models for their target slim waistline …. It is surprising to explore Bieber’s or Kareena’s efforts and modus operandi….. The celebrities have to be in shape for their avenues and livelihood further …. the amount of care in Nutrition….Workouts…restrictions… some time use of appetite killing drugs like Adderall etc… is the key….which has adverse impact later post their ages of 50s or 60s….

A housewife or a working women if dares it do ….. must not forget that every single body has different requirements and different daily life style …. so it is imperative to find what works for you and your body.

Such size zero slim waistlines of models and celebrities despite carrying a baby a year or prior is really commendable…but the secrets are no more secret… if you think sensible…. There are diet plans purely customised as per their requirements…with dedicated staffs working on diet, fitness and wellness…24*7.They work on timeline basis…If they have to go for a shoot…they take time to get into the shape which is desired…sometime unethical ways are also taken hesitantly…So as a crux…It is their living…

Try and be fit…Love Yourself…invest in good eating habits… you are different…you have better & larger role to play. Despite your work schedule…you keep yourself fitter and healthier; That is an achievement…So celebrate the celebrity factor in you without copying….Evolve….