Monday, May 26, 2014

Love, Relationship And Fat!

 ‘Oh I used to be like a cane stick before this husband thing happened. Marriage ruins it for you’… ‘You
know you should really enjoy being skinny till you are single’… ‘Oh so you can fit in a size 26 jeans? Wait till you get hitched!’  I was literally sick of hearing nonsensical bullshit like this, until I realized this is not completely nonsensical and bullshit! People say you bloat up after getting married. Some say it’s your casual attitude towards your body, coz hey you have got a guy to marry you and now who do you really want to show of a body hugging little Black dress to, right? Some even suggest the theory that it’s the change in routine and food that makes you bloated.

Nevertheless, we women love to blame everything on hormones; Mood swings, anger, slapping boyfriends, Back stabbing best friend, everything. It’s our safest and the best mouth shutting excuse to anyone. In this case these hormones might actually be the real culprit. It is true that post marriage there are lot of Hormonal changes that take place in the body. Apart from gaining a husband for life, gaining weight can might just be another side effect of marriage.
While I am no doctor to prescribe meds to control your husband…I mean your hormones, these are some of my suggestions for food stuff that you can munch on to keep you balanced, and also few stuff that you should avoid:
  1. Proteins (produce hormones): Hormones are essentially protein derivatives, hence it becomes imperative to consume substantial amount of proteins in order to keep the hormonal production house ready and going; coz woman, you are gonna need a lot of them! Soaked beans, lentils, fish, sprouted pulses are sources of clean proteins (sans bad fat). They also are good sources of Omega 3 fatty acid.
  2. Avocados (good fat): They're rich in healthy fat that helps our body absorb and use nutrients They are also full of fiber, potassium, magnesium vitamin E, B-vitamins, and Folic acid - all essential for maintaining hormonal balance in the body.
  3. Antioxidant rich veggies (protect your body): Look for anything dark green in color. Broccoli, spinach, asparagus etc. also bright colored veggies like bell peppers, tomatoes, red, purple cabbage etc. are good sources of essential vitamins. Do not over soak/over cook these veggies though, else you will lose out on all the vitamins that they are known for.
  4. Avoid Foods with High glycemic index: Ok that’s a fancy word which diabetics are well versed with. But all it really means is that not all carbohydrates are made equal. Some carbohydrates produce glucose faster in the blood than others. These are the ones that are our enemies. If you are carbohydrate addict, stay away from potatoes, rice, white flour, bread, rice, corn flakes etc.(not to mention sugar and its products of course)
  5. Water:  This sneaky little neutral item always finds it's way in all my posts. And that is for a reason. Keep yourself hydrated well enough to flush out all the toxins and to keep your hormones diluted in the blood!

The list can be exhaustive, but I would keep it crisp. Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal and be in balance, when given the nutrients they need to flourish. So love generously but eat wise!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

6 Reasons You Are Better Off Without That Caffeine

If there is one thing that the corporate world runs on, its coffee! No office infrastructure is complete without the grunting coffee machine, be it a multinational fancy Google office or a small start-up in a garage. Any office desk is just incomplete without this small little cuppa. More often than not, it is a means to take a break and get away from the desk, maybe catch up on some latest gossip or check out the new hottie in office. But in all that leisure we do not realise what felony we are committing to our body and mind.
Here are 6 reasons which will make you think twice before reaching out to your coffee.

  1. Depletes Calcium: Unless you like your bones to be weak, caffeine is a strict no no especially when it comes to people suffering from osteoporosis or other bone related diseases. Caffeine flushes out excess amount of calcium in the urine than is necessary. It may therefore also be a good idea to get extra calcium in your diet to make up for the calcium that is lost due to caffeine intake.
  2. Insomnia: If you think you are losing sleep because you are in love, think again. It may simply be because of that coffee, which you had in the afternoon. No doubt caffeine makes your brain alert, but it also starts affecting your brain cells and ends up affecting your sleeping pattern.
  3.  Makes your Skin Look Lifeless:  Caffeine cause toxins in your body, the kind that can make your skin look dull and leathery. Caffeine also dehydrates your cells, making your body loose more water. So if you want a glowing skin, bid adieus to coffee. 
  4. Even One Cup a Day Can Get You Hooked and How:  Caffeine is addictive. Also some people, like smokers, process caffeine more quickly and hence will need  more of it to keep them going throughout the day. People who try to stay away from caffeine, show withdrawal symptoms similar to that of an alcoholic (headache and nausea are common).
  5. Makes You Act Like Lab Rats: Caffeine hits hard early in the day and then fades off in the afternoon. It's predictable self-administration, kind of like a lab rat pushing a lever that'll give them the next expected hit of a drug. These patterns become so ingrained that many of us don't even realise how long it's been since we've gone without them. People go on for months and years, without skipping coffee, which clearly shows how powerful it is.
  6.  You Will Be Anxious All The Time: Caffeine is notorious for causing anxiety. You will notice this the next time you are nervously working around deadlines and you reach out for your coffee, your anxiety levels will increase and you will be more panic stricken and in a hurry to finish your work or get results. While you may debate that this will work in your favour, it actually works against you as it increases your heart rate and decrease your  ability to think logically. It is definitely not a soothing beverage.
Also a small note to those who think drinking strong black coffee is way more cooler and macho than having a light frothy coffee; you are just training your mind and body to become a slave of this drink forever.
My Suggestion for staying awake and alert during office hours-
·         Munch on an apple. The munching makes your brain alert and also shoos away sleep. It is in fact more effective than tea of coffee. Also you are doing a great favour to your body by eating healthy.
·         Take a break every 15-20 minute. Stretch yourself. While sitting on your chair, rotate your toes and ankles, stretch your neck and back, then stretch out your arms. Drink a glass of water.
·         Sip on some warm green tea. Trust me it works like a wonder. You feel relaxed and energised because of all the catechins that fresh green tea has.
·         Listen to your favorite song, it won’t take more than 5-7 minutes; but don’t listen to a song that will work like a lullaby, listen to something peppy.
If none of this works, you always have that parasitic leech like boss to remind you that no good has come from sleeping at work ;)  

Monday, March 10, 2014

5 Ways To Be Beautiful -Instantly!

     Wow that sounded like a Fairness cream commercial! But now that I have your attention, let me clarify, the 5 ways I am going to mention will not bring results immediately, because hello, I am not advising a cosmetic surgery!  But nonetheless these are ways and mean, and simple things that one can include in daily life which can bring about miraculous results and can actually leave you feeling beautiful.
1.       Seasonal Fruits:
-This had to be on top of my list coz (a), I m a nutritionist and fruits play an important part in most of the recommendations and (b) they are the Pandora ’s Box of benefits.
Fruits are the warehouse of all the essential vitamins and minerals which may/ may not be present in other food group but in lesser concentration and hence become pivotal to a good health.  Also it is very important to consume fruits during their natural season because they are most dense in nutrients (sans pesticides and artificial ripening chemicals) during this time.
-Fruits are also very nutrient specific during weather change. This basically means that you will get Oranges and Guavas, which are rich in Vitamin C, only in the winter season because this Vitamin helps boost Immunity- which is most susceptible during winters; and you will get a watermelon only during summers because its High water content and minerals help you stay hydrated and fresh! (yes Nature has some Kickass Logic)
-Also the rich vitamin content (read vitamin C and E especially) make your skin glow and helps maintain its natural elasticity and suppleness.
-You can also watch your weight with fruits because the high fibre content of fruits make you feel satiated faster and helps you consume lesser calories. So thumbs up to a fit physique!
2.       Water:
- Minimum 3 litres and counting. That should be the mantra (unless you have edema or a kidney disorder, in which case you should restrict your intake). There are innumerable benefits of this wonderful liquid. Our body is 70% water (debatable to a higher percentage). It is  a natural detoxificating agent that helps flush out all the toxins from our body (which is also the reason why you are made to drink lot of water after an alcoholic binge as it dilutes the toxin and washes it out). It makes your skin hydrated and brings out a beautiful glow.
-Water is also a very important player in fat metabolism. So if you are really working hard in the gym, trying to get away with the lumps and not getting any results, time to check your water intake.
3.       Omega 3 Fatty Acid:
-This ‘sophisticated sounding oil’ is required by the heart to carry out its functions smoothly. This fatty acid basically helps to increase the Good Cholesterol in our body and take over the bad cholesterol thereby preventing cardiovascular diseases. Healthy heart is healthy you (now I sound like a cooking oil commercial!)
-This omega 3 Fatty acid also improves luster and texture of your hair while also has anti-ageing effect on the skin.
-The easiest way to consume omega 3 fatty acid is to introduce fish in your diet (if you are a non- vegetarian) or flax seeds which can be roasted and chewed-on during the day. Walnuts and soybean are other sources.
4.       Exercise:
-I cannot stress enough on how important exercise is to stay healthy and remain beautiful. Fitness reasons apart, Exercising in any form releases Endorphin- the hormone which make you feel exhilarated and happy and blocks any kind of pain. That's why people become addicted to strenuous forms of exercises and experience "runner's high."
- Working out also releases Dopamine- which is a pleasure hormone( the ‘dope’ in dopamine actually justifies the name;) ) Dopamine helps you relax and makes you feel happy and light, and everyone knows that a happy soul is a beautiful soul.
- Exercise also makes you sweat a lot which opens up the pores in your skin and helps it to breathe. It also increases your blood circulation which can fight skin problems like zits and acne.
5.       Smile:
-This is a cheesy one but so damn true. Even on your worse day, when you know you aren’t feeling your best, a simple smile can make you look gorgeous and wonderful. And this is just not a poetic extract, it is scientifically proven too.  When you smile, even a fake one, your face stretches and the muscular movement helps trigger endorphin (the happy hormone) which make you feel good and boost up your mood. So when you smile, not only are you making others happy, you are doing a huge favour to relieve yourself from stress!
 So Stay Happy, Stay healthy … Stay Beautiful!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Dating Behavior- Decoded!

Girls and their eating habits always fascinate me! More often than not I have noticed that a girl’s eating behavior will change like a stripper’s costume when surrounded by different sets of people. 

So the other day I went out with one of my girlfriends and her new found boyfriend. This was one of those ‘meet my adorable-i-can’t-keep-my-hands-off-my-boyfriend-and-make-other-people-uncomfortable’, meeting. Anyway after the 2 hour and 38 minutes long and torturous dinner, I left the restaurant amused and confused. Now I love my friend a lot (sans the boyfriend) but I couldn't help but notice the way she fed herself during the dinner. Now we have shared a hostel room together and I remember her binging habits distinctively well. But she was a complete different person at the dinner. She barely ate! My shock started setting in when she ordered soup instead of starters, salad for meal and a fruit plate for dessert. Thankfully the boyfriend left before the dinner could get over and then came out the truth and to my relief, some human food of steaks and sizzlers.
I later realized that this is not a very uncommon phenomenon amongst girls, especially when they are around people who matter or people whom they are trying to impress. But let’s give them a benefit of doubt; we all do weird stuff to impress people and create a pretty picture of ourselves. I honestly have always been a fan of weirdness, but this… this is stupidity!
Here’s my advice- Be weird, even stupid, but back it up with enough ammo. Ladies when you have to go on a date, and you know you’ll be judged on your ordering choices, (well my first advice would be to not go on that date, but let’s go with the second advice) pre eat well in advance to avoid binging later on. This is a simple trick which works beautifully.  Say you have an 8 o’clock date, eat some salads, juice and fruits at about 6.30, so that you feel satiated. Now this one is a ‘look stunning your date’ tip- On the day of your date, go for all raw diet the whole day. Salads, soups, fruits, juices and plenty of water. This will make your stomach flatter and give you a flattering skin too ;)
During the date, go for wine, preferably red, instead of Beer or any malt/ barley drinks. Pick one favorite item that you must eat from the 3 course meal of starters, main course and dessert. Say you want to eat the fruit ice cream as dessert, you then go light on the dinner and starters.  Have small portions of each meal. Go for grilled/ smoked or stir fry and don’t be shy to share:)
Lastly, a special secret tip for guys on a date. You do not have to feel guilty when the girl orders a lean meal; you go ahead and order the most wholesome meal you possibly can. Chances are the girl will get thrown by your confidence and she’ll also know that you have a fat wallet!

P.S: I too am a girl, in case you got thrown off by all the ‘these girls’ ‘these woman’ sentences!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why I love Weddings! (Read the article before Judging me)

Ok so yes i am writing after what seems like a decade to me. And ok I admit this has also been my opening
line in most of the posts. But honest to god i have been extremely busy planning my life. And you would be happy to know that after months of struggle i have managed to conclude that planning really is crappy exercise to kill quality time, and that it should only be left to corporate strategy makers for the never ending boardroom discussions ,because hey, lets face it, they get paid for it!

Any ways let me not set the tone of the article as frustrating. Moving on to what i actually did in the past few months. I happen to attend a lot of weddings..a hell lot (read half-wardrobe-now-filled-with-clothes-i-would-never-wear Lot) Now don't judge me for being judgmental but i hate the whole paraphernalia surrounding Weddings. The extravagant obnoxiously priced outfits, the meeting of distant relatives whom you wish never existed, the fake hello how are you, you have grown so big (like thats against nature), the fake muah muahs, you get the tone. But one thing i love about the wedding is the  pre- prep that goes behind the making. And i am Not talking about the shopping and card printing, I am talking about the phase where the bride and the groom get on to the  mission of ..WEIGHT LOSS!

Now i really don't understand the point of trying to get in shape just because one is getting married. I mean isn't the whole point of getting married that you take the other person in health and sickness? Anyways, it still heartens the fitness freak in me, a little that at least there are 2 more people in this world, at this particular time, who are trying to get fitter (Always find a silver lining in every negative thing- check)

What dissapoints me a wee bit more (apart from the short term fitness fad) is that, in a hurry to lose weight, people go on all sorts of crazy diets and start expecting wonders. While the crash diet might even work, you actually loose a lot of muscle mass, feel weak and end up looking much older than you actually are. All thanks to lack of nutrition which is much needed by your skin and hair as well. So all you pretty brides to be, you don't wana look 5 years older on your D-day do you?

Here is what i would rather suggest. What people don't understand is that getting into shape is not by just not -not eating, on the contrary its actually eating all the time. Remember the good old diet rule of eating small meals 5-6 times a day? Well that is a rule for a reason- because that works. And trust me if you have 4-6 months time in your hand, this kind of a diet and a good workout plan will actually work wonders for your weight and your skin.
As far as diet is concerned, cut all the whites out (bread, maida, rice,sago etc) include a whole lot of fruits (read less calories for your body but loads of antioxidant and vitamins for a luscious skin), Eat as much raw vegies as you can. Replace caffeine with green tea, go very low on sweets (only to be later forcefully fed by your delightful relatives at your wedding), drink atleast 3-4 ltrs of water (coz no detox diet works better than flushing down your toxins with plenty of water). Remember this Rule of ratio- Proteins: Carbs: Fats- 3:2:0.5 (strictly for those who are on a weight loss diet). Most important of all, bring a change in your diet every fortnight and especially at that juncture where your weight refuses to go down further after losing a little. This change could be anything, like changing your snack timings, introducing salads as dinners, high liquid diet or cutting down that one favorite sinful delight you just can't stay without (yes with great body comes great sacrifice...umm Did i just revamp Spiderman's quote?!)

Do not forget exercise. This has always been my mantra. Never ever let diet alone play a part in your weight loss, you lose muscle mass which make you look saggy older and weaker. Exercise in some way- go for a run, hit the gym if that is convenient, go for brisk walks, do yoga, pilates, take a dance class, join a sport- there are endless ways to get fit, you just have to explore them. And trust me with all the wedding stress and anxiety , you could really take the happy hormone endorphin's help which gets released as a result of workout :)

So to all my beautiful ladies and all the dashing debonaire men, hope you take a leaf out of this article and not go insane in the battle against weight. And for God's sake don't let your heart sink if you are not able to achieve what you aimed for; the expensive facials and spa treatments will any ways make you look your best on the D day! And oh yes your going to be spouse's love will help too :)

Note to self:  never write a blog about marriages again. Their population is on the higher side and you might get seriously hurt.