The Magic Bullets to Good Health

 

Our Health Biz cover story for this month!

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THE HEALTH CHATTER AND PUTTING AND END TO IT:

Too much has been written and said already about eating right and getting fit. Our intellectual banter around this subject is so exceedingly high at this point that it’s almost surprising then that we as a nation and a globe are still getting more and more unfit despite all the health chatter we love to take on. Facebook statuses are ripe with how many miles your colleague has been running and your neighbor’s picture in a poorly demonstrated yoga posture have garnered 285 likes on her Facebook profile. Your friend can’t stop talking about her latest Pilates class and your Instagram handle has umpteen pictures of people you know enjoying a raw, organically grown quinoa salad with farm-fed chicken which was grown bio-dynamically with special chants recited and breathed into it so that you absorb 800% of the nutrients from everything you eat.

Someone in the Goldman Sachs elevator was heard saying “No one would run the marathon if they had to sign a confidentiality agreement first.” I don’t think the day is far away where an App will be designed where you can take a picture of your poo and the software will tell you how much good gut bacteria you have by just analyzing it! Of course the App has an in-built segment on how many of your friends are on this too and who has the most supreme stool (literally of course). Shit.

But where does this madness stop and is it really helping us get any healthier? Where do we draw the line? Are there any sure shot ways of attaining good health and getting fit? What about working professionals? How must they or can they eat clean and incorporate exercise in their lives with sporadic work hours and team lunches and endless deadlines? How can we all smoothly and effectively make the transition from talking to doing? Lets attempt to answer some of the questions.

In 2004, the Oxford english dictionary added the word ‘orthorexia’ to their book. Orthorexia is defined as an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating; a phenomenon we started seeing a decade or so ago and which has, since then, only augmented. We as a culture have sadly become so obsessed with talking about health and fitness that we almost don’t care anymore about doing what we say. We are having so much fun just building up and portraying an image of us as vegan, gluten-free saints who have ascended to the uppermost level of healthy eating evangelists. So when we do have a disgusting craving for a fast-food takeout or an aerated beverage, we would of course never ever dare to post it on social media because that’s social media suicide after all!

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OUR FOOD:

First things first, to get concepts straightened out, it is important to understand that when I say eating right, I don’t mean boiled vegetables for lunch and soup for evening meal and measly scrapes of grilled chicken for dinner. Anyone who eats like this can very suddenly and easily turn into ‘the office bitch’ or ‘the office moron’ only after only 48 hours on the new ‘diet.’

When I say eating right, I mean good, nourishing foods, fruits, vegetables, hot meals, homemade dishes made with affection and thought and the ability to stop eating when you’ve had just about enough. In July 2014, the British Journal of Health Psychology came up with a fascinating paper called ‘On carrots and curiosity’ highlighting the extent to which food affects our day-to-day experience. Food is wonderful, food is medicine and the thing about food is that how you eat doesn’t merely impact how you look; it affects how you feel, how you think and who you become as a person (think back to the sudden office bitch or office moron if you don’t believe me or please read the study).

This is why I always say that sound food decisions and eating correctly don’t affect one aspect of your life, they affect every single aspect of your life! Good food makes you productive, it makes you happy, it makes you chirpy and it makes you seem nauseatingly optimistic to others. Those daily fruits and homemade sabzis come together to ensure you’re calling in for fewer sick days at work and the only time you skip a day is when you want to do something else with your time 😉

OUR EXERCISE:

When it comes to boosting productivity at work and increasing immunity, while food is one very crucial part of the puzzle, there is another piece called exercise which shouldn’t be ignored. And if in this day and age, you say that you don’t have time to exercise; please stop. You sound lame and honestly, you’re just embarrassing yourself. The truth is you aren’t prioritizing weekly workouts and you know that too. I find it extremely intriguing how my constantly on the go, extremely busy clients who happen to be CEOs always have the time to schedule workouts while several others hide behind a thinly concealed veil of being ‘really busy.’ If that’s what you do, then yes, it’s only the veil which is going to stay thin unfortunately.

One of my favorite Harvard studies in recent times is trying to successfully bridge this gap and help employees work around the ‘I am too busy’ excuse. What this brilliant study explicitly states is that we need to rewire and retrain our brains to think differently about exercise. Currently, employees think of it as something they ought to do when they get some time away from work and even so, there is a certain amount of guilt these studies found associated with exercise. How could I spend 60+ minutes in the gym exercising when I haven’t even made it professionally? I could use this time to work extra and then exercise a few years later once I’ve reached a place where I’d like to be!

We need to move from that to this: If I manage to exercise, it makes me so much smarter and more productive and happier that I actually end up wasting less time procrastinating and more time getting work done! Without exercise, I feel lethargic and a presentation which would normally take me 2+ hours to prepare; I can now wrap up in 75 minutes or less! An important email whose language and message I spend 35 minutes pondering over now takes me 20 minutes or less!

If this sounds like far-fetched, wishful talk, then you, my friend, have clearly never consistently exercised in your life to have experienced the profound effect it has on your mind, body and soul (sorry for the cliché). More reason to chalk out an exercise plan for yourself now immediately after you’re done reading this article.

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TRANSITIONING FROM TALKING TO DOING:

Your focus needs to be on what you can do and not what you would like to be. The doing will eventually lead to you becoming whom you would like to be.

See the illustration below to understand my statements:

DOING ✔ BEING ✖

1. I will do 3 workouts each week ✔                                                                    1. I will lose inches ✖
2. I will eat 2 fruits a day ✔                                                                                 2. I will become thin ✖
3. I will eat homemade food 4 days this week ✔  3. I will fit into my jeans from 4 years ago ✖

Resolve to be a doer, an executer and as mentioned, what you do will eventually impact who you are anyway.

HAVE ORGANIZATIONS DONE THIS SUCCESSFULLY IN THE PAST?:

Now if you’re one of those people who thinks that eating right and finding time to exercise is increasingly difficult and next to impossible if you’re a working employee, then I am about to burst your bubble (*pop*). Fortunately enough, most organizations have started seeing the benefits of employee wellness and making serious strides towards creating a conducive and practical eating and exercise environment at work itself.

This helps the employees get thin and the bottom line get fat (by lowering absentees and boosting productivity) thereby making it a total win win! I have personally helped companies redo their pantries so that the processed food is eliminated and at the very least, there is ample stock of chana, peanuts, assorted nuts and a variety of daily fruits coming in. To take it up one notch, you could also think of investing in a simple toaster and a mini fridge. The former can be used to quickly toast whole-wheat bread whereas the latter can store peanut butter, coriander chutney, hummus, pesto, crudités, yogurt etc. thereby giving us ample snack options when fruits and nuts just don’t fill us up-especially at 5:00 pm when our stomachs seem to rumble as though we were part of a famine!

If your organization isn’t evolved enough yet to accommodate a gym in the building or make yoga sessions available pre and post work hours, here is a list of 3 easy steps to get you started:

1. Carry an apple/pear/banana to work and eat it 2-3 hours post lunch
Rationale: It will get rid of your post-lunch sleepy, groggy, fatigued feeling and energy slump naturally without the requirement of caffeine. It will also ensure that you don’t overeat at dinner. So simple and yet, so profound!
2. Sip water continually
Rationale: Many a times, we tend to confuse our thirst signals with our hunger signals. What this means is that the solution to curbing a false hunger signal is as simple as hydration. Keep a bottle of water with you and sip on it at regular intervals so that your body knows exactly when its hungry
3. All the water you drink will make you want to take pee breaks ever so often which will also offer a sneaky opportunity to get up from your desk and stretch yourself out a little before plopping back on your desk for the next few hours

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THE 5 MAGIC BULLETS:

And incase you’re wondering what the magic bullets are to good health, they are simple enough and have been summarized below for your benefit with some practical aids:

I) Eat real food

The table below may help shed further light on this statement:

EAT THIS
1. Fresh, local fruits
2. Fresh, local vegetables
3. Fresh lime water
4. Coconut water
5. Sugarcane juice
6. Chana 6. Biscuits
7. Lotus seeds
8. Homemade burgers and
sandwiches
9. Plain roasted peanuts
or nuts
10. Rice, roti, potatoes,
pasta, noodles

NOT THAT

  1. Exotic fruits sourced from a different country
  2. Exotic vegetables sourced from a different country
  3. Fresh lime soda
  4. Canned coconut water
  5. Aerated beverages
  6. Biscuits
  7. Popcorn
  8. Fast-food burgers and sandwiches
  9. Salted and/or honey glazed peanuts or nuts
  10. Cakes, pastries, donuts, muffins

II) Have an exercise routine in place

Some questions you could ask yourself as you work towards planning an exercise routine:

QUESTION
1. What can I commit to?
2. What do I enjoy?
3. How many days of the week can I commit to?
4. How much time can I commit to each day?
5. Am I a morning person or an evening person?
6. What are some excuses I am likely to come up with after the first few sessions?
7. How will I push past these excuses?

III) Don’t let small things stress you out

I am not asking that you quit your job, retire into the Himalayas and forever cut stress surrounding rent, mortgages, bills, maids not showing up, savings for a future home and children’s education etc. from your life. It’s unrealistic to think that fate won’t hand us stressful times and situations. We don’t control this. However, what we can control is how to manage and cope with this stress. When in the midst of a stressful situation, whether you choose to exercise for 40 minutes or binge eat for 40 minutes as a means to make yourself feel better is completely on you.

IV) Allow yourself to sleep in once in a while

If we don’t get a good night’s sleep, it’s in fact harder for us to lose weight. I promise I didn’t make this statement up as a pathetic attempt to grab your attention. There is ample hard science and evidence to back this up!

V) Be extremely kind to herself

If you don’t know where to start, 2 simple tricks below:

A. Stop calling yourself fat, rotund, flabby, pig like and all the other creative names you’ve managed to come up with and for the love of kale, stop pinching your stomach and staring at it in disdain and wishing for it to magically go away

B. Give it time! All the abuse you have put your body through over a year or a decade, you can’t expect it to melt away in a day or a week. Give yourself 7-12 weeks of clean eating and consistent exercise to see a difference in the sculpt and shape of your body.

Load these 5 magic bullets in your gun and rest assured, instead of killing you, they will give you a brand new life!

What’s your choice going to be then? Thin veil of excuses or thin you? Pick wisely!

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How to last a fast?

Latest feature for Diabetes Health-Pages 64-67. Content below: 

As an Indian national, surely, you will not only have observed some form of fast at some point, but also known someone within your close circle who did the same. Religious fasts are ritualistic acts which have existed for centuries now. As a country, we take our fasts quite seriously. The West is in fact only recently catching up to the idea of ‘fasting’ and creating juice cleanses, 5 hour fasts called ‘Fast 5’, half a day fasts etc. as a means to ‘cleanse’ and ‘detox’ the body. Fasting is quite the trend off late. So what’s the verdict then? Is fasting good for your body? Should you fast as a diabetic patient? Read on for clarity.

Just to get some basics out of the way, fasting is when you willingly abstain from certain foods, drinks or both for a stipulated time period of the day or several days. Reasons could be religious or personal or a combination of the two. However, it is important to remember that giving up food and beverage is an act which symbolizes something greater. The ritual of fasting is a form which has a deeper essence.

For instance, in Christianity, the idea of Lent is to cultivate self-discipline by giving up an unhealthy behavior-this could range from overeating to smoking to excess television viewing. In Hinduism, fasts during Navratras are observed as a means to, amongst other things, inculcate virtues like stoicism and build willpower and inner strength. In Islam, fasts are observed during Ramadan to build empathy towards those who have little to eat and drink every day. All faiths point us to the common virtues of charity, generosity, good-will, self-discipline, abstinence and self-control and what better way to build these than through a medium as powerful as food itself?

Even if you’re a cynic and a non-believer of religious rituals, fasting does have some legitimate psychological and physiological benefits to boast for:

  1. One day or a few hours without all food or specific foods is enough to make you realize just how much our lives revolve around food

  2. Fasts focus on eating lighter meals as a means to allow your digestive tract some downtime. With our massive Sunday brunches and wedding buffets and endless rounds of appetizers and drinks, the stomach rarely gets any downtime unless we schedule it deliberately via a fast

  3. Perhaps you know this already but giving up alcohol for any amount of time will only do you good (yes darling, red wine included)

But fasting also has some possible downsides:

  1. Acidity

  2. Dehydration (especially if you observe dry fasts)

  3. Migraine or hunger induced headaches

  4. Low blood sugar (cause of concern especially if you’re a diabetic)

Should you not fast if you’re diabetic then?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a very black and white answer to this question. Consult your doctor who could help you with the precisions and guidelines on this. However, broadly, as a diabetic, what’s important for you is to avoid any grand deviations in your blood sugar levels. Bearing this in mind, we have designed sample meal plans for Lent, Navratri and Ramadan. Please note that there are broad guidelines/principles based on which we have listed specific foods. The listed food items are not set in stone and could be swapped or replaced with other items which share a similar nutrient profile.

Too often, we see clients/patients fast and then feast/binge/overeat once the fast is completed. This would cause huge disturbances and fluctuations in your blood sugar and it would make your poor pancreases work overtime to release enough insulin to cover all the glucose just sitting in your bloodstream. Work on avoiding these scenarios via these 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Focus on eating slowly

Step 2: Chew the meal contents thoroughly as opposed to gulping (yes, we know you’re starving but please make an effort)

Step 3: Eat a decent, not ginormous, amount at one go

So FAST-en your seat belts, meal plan as below 😉

Diabetes health-page 4 (April 2016)

Aren’t you looking forward to these fast-friendly foods? Haven’t they already made the upcoming rituals a lot less dreary and more fun?!

For more comprehensive meal plans and to have specific queries resolved, do touch base with us on info@scalebeyondscale.com.

Romance your way to good health using these 10 simple tricks!

Love comes in all sorts of shapes and forms. There is love for your parents, love for your partner, love for your friends, love for your colleagues and less common, but one that exists anyway, love for your boss and your mother-in-law. There is love for people we share a connection with and a close second, we have an enormous affinity and love for objects and things as well; love for your favorite novel, love for your brand new dress, and love for the experience created by a weekend getaway at a 7-star resort which cost a little less than a months salary.

But in giving all this love to other people and things, what we have realized is that somewhere along the road, we have forgotten to love ourselves. So the new kind of love we ought to learn or rather re-learn (one which earns me my whole-wheat bread and organic butter) is love for our body and our food. Loving people and things of course generates happiness, warmth, security and other fuzzy feelings but loving our body and our food does so much more. If you disagree, I urge that you read this article till its finish. It unlocks this magical, mystical world into good health where there’s fitness conscious unicorns riding bicycles and rainbows in the colors of so many exotic vegetables and not only do you look amazing, but you feel out of this world and productive and glorious. It’s this wave of energy that you’re continuously riding purely by eating the right foods and executing some other tiny tricks.

So for this anniversary edition of HealthBiz, we decided to do a cheesy, lovey roundup (tainted with imaginary, heart-shaped broccolis) just for you of 10 ways to romance your food and body to attain a health and fitness status which you at best dreamed of and at worse deemed unattainable. But hey, do not underestimate these tricks; they are the ones which will get you into the best shape of your life!

Statutory warning: As a side-effect, people may hate you for your constant optimism and happiness because all the non-fat, lifeless, nutrient deprived salads that they consume are making their minds foggy and are making them hate their lives.

Trick #1: Stop calling yourself fat, rotund, flabby, pig like and all the other creative names you’ve managed to come up with and for the love of kale, stop pinching your stomach and staring at it in disdain and wishing for it to magically go away.

Romance analogy: Stating the obvious but it’s not a fun feeling when your partner is constantly trying to make you feel lesser than him/her. Neither is it fun when you finally accept that to be fact and start making self-deprecating jokes yourself. Instead, ensure your partner understands and acknowledges your strengths or in an ideal situation, work on strengthening what you’re weak at instead of giving up.

Application to health:

The time you’re spending calling yourself names and pinching your stomach could be put to significantly more productive use. So instead of name calling and pinching, take accountability and actually do something tangible to change what you dislike about your body. No good comes from just talking; its a cop-out and you know it too. Execute instead. That takes more work but is more rewarding in the end.

Trick #2: Stop being mean to other people and commenting on their body weight; especially if it’s unsolicited.

Romance analogy:

Do you think super successful people are poking their noses in other peoples business? Do you think people in happy marriages/happy couples are looking at other couples to see how they do things or what their life is like? The answer to both of these is no because successful business owners and happy couples are too busy within their own lives doing what it takes to be successful and happy so much so that they really couldn’t be bothered with others.

Application to health:

So if you often find yourself looking at other peoples bodies to see if they have gained weight or lost weight and what they eat and how they exercise, it’s taking you away from spending all that time on yourself! If you’re busy minding your health and secure in your own relationship with your body and your weight, you won’t care what other people eat or do. Your commentary is stemming from a deeper personal insecurity which we would need to address to get you on the right track.

Trick #3: Show up at the gym and exercise

Romance analogy:

True romance isn’t calling your partner mean names and trying to pass it off as a joke or using it as a way to throw some subtle hint. True romance is showing up, being an equal, taking accountability and doing what it takes.

Application to health:

This applies not just to your partner, but to your body as well. Show up at the gym, take accountability for that overeating binge and the endless rounds of weekend cocktails and the last 8 months of snoozing and skipping exercise and get ready to make a change. If you’ve ever been on the other side of a 50 minute workout, you know exactly how amazing it feels. If you have never completed a 50 minute exercise routine, then know that you’re seriously missing out! When a new restaurant, be it quaint or fancy, opens up, aren’t you first to jump the gun and try it out? Just like that, add this onto your list of glorious things to try ASAP too.

Trick #4: Think out of the box

Romance analogy: Another element of romance is getting creative and doing new things with your partner as opposed to the same cliché stuff

Application to health:

Be creative when it comes to rewarding your body too! Indulgence/reward doesn’t always have to be with food. Instead of rewarding yourself with a dessert, take yourself to the spa or lock in some extra sleep time for yourself. For one, it will save you from eating when you’re not hungry. Respond to physiological hunger-not to boredom or other external cues.

Activities that lower your stress levels (spa, sleep, meditation) would lower the cortisol levels of your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that tends to collect fat in your abdominal area. So low stress=low cortisol=less abdominal fat. Bet that’s a fun excuse to get that much needed relaxation time for you, isn’t it?

Trick #5: Eliminate distractions (TV, laptop, phone) while both eating and exercising.

Romance analogy:

How does your partner feel when he/she is trying to communicate with you but your attention is divided and you can hardly get yourself to look up from the TV/laptop/phone/latest gadget which your head is buried under? Exactly. And how do you think your body feels when you do the exact same thing? Successful romance requires undivided attention.

Application to health:

If you can easily chat on the phone while on the treadmill, your workout intensity isn’t high enough. A good workout needs to challenge you and requires you to focus and give it your 100% instead of some half-baked attempt. To optimally digest, absorb, assimilate and subsequently excrete your food, you need to pay attention to the eating process. Distracted eating disrupts digestion and increases your likelihood of overeating and we all know what overeating does. Boy, collects those little bulging ends which we detest so much.

Side note: If you have collected bulging ends which you detest over the last few years of bad eating and a terrible lifestyle, go back and refer to Trick #1.

Trick #6: Cook the food you crave for as opposed to ordering in. Be one with the ingredients and the preparation process

Romance analogy: Okay you got us here. This is a difficult correlation but hey, wouldn’t cooking with your partner be a wonderful bonding activity? You see it in the movies; maybe its time you try it out yourself 😉

Application to health:

Where should we even start when listing health benefits of eating at home? Less salt, less bad fat, less chemicals and preservatives and a heightened sense of awareness because you know exactly what’s gone into your food!

Trick #7: Try to trace the food you purchase to it’s source. Try and source your groceries from the same place consistently and speak to the vendor to understand where your fruits and vegetables are coming from

Romance analogy: Don’t you want to find out EVERYTHING about your partner? Where they come from, what they are about, what makes them happy, what ticks them off, what stirs their soul-everything!

Application to health:

Tracing your food would ensure that if their chemicals/preservatives/pesticides sprayed onto your food, you changes the source. Eating GMO free food is better for your intestinal and hormonal health, ensures you don’t develop any sudden allergies and lowers your likelihood of attaining cancer long-term.

Trick #8: Don’t allow yourself to get force fed by others; even if it momentarily offends them

Romance analogy: Where do you land up if you listen to others, get influenced by the opinion of others and forget to listen to yourself and to each other? We don’t need to spell it out for you. You know yourself best and your partner and you know your relationship like no one else does.

Application to health:

Your relationship with your body and your food is exactly like that. No one outside of you will know how much food you need at a given meal on a given day. Your mind and your stomach are the best judge of this. Eat till you feel comfortable as opposed to overly stuffed. Connect to your satiety signals and know when to stop. This will ensure you don’t overeat. If you don’t overeat, you will not fall sick or need to pop that antacid or find any unnecessary flab sticking out from places.

Trick #9: Savor and chew every single bite-don’t just bite your food, make love to it, devour it, allow your palette to experience every single taste and aroma

Romance analogy: In the interest of keeping this PG-13, I won’t offer an explanation here. The analogy is self-explanatory and writes itself here, doesn’t it?

Application to health:

Several studies have shown an inverse relationship between prolonged chewing and chances of attaining diabetes! Eating slowly and chewing your food also ensures better digestion and translates to weight-loss long-term (promise I didn’t make this up). Our brain takes a full 20 minutes to register that we are full so if you’re a fast eater, you may have well eaten past the point of fullness till the realization in your brain kicked in. So always take your time with your food just like you would with someone you love.

Trick #10: Give it time!

Romance analogy:

Romance demands patience. You need to understand the needs of your partner and while this might take some trial and error, you would nail it eventually. The process to getting healthy and fit is exactly like that. Be patient with your body. It might take time to respond but you know why it’s taking all this time now? Because you have betrayed the trust your body laid in you several times before-with your detoxes and juice cleanses and pure starvation. In any relationship, rebuilding trust takes time but once you consistently prove that you won’t derail again, it’ll be the best relationship of your life!

Application to health:

Cliché but accurate, Rome wasn’t built in a day. So all the abuse you have put your body through over a year or a decade, you can’t expect it to melt away in a day or a week. Give yourself 7-12 weeks of clean eating and consistent exercise to see a difference in the sculpt and shape of your body.

That’s it! Happy Anniversary to us! Go out there and contaminate the world with two best possible things-love and health!

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Story time

My beautiful and, as it turns out, brilliant nephew crafted this story sometime ago for school. Happy almost Birthday Ishaan! All of 8 years and already have your story published online 😉

Disclaimer: This story is fiction and there is nothing wrong with eating bananas!

How Tim saved his brother from bananas

By Ishaan Amyn Bahadurali Hasanali Virani

………………………………………………………………

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Tim hated bananas. But his brother, Jon, said they were good. ‘’No’’ ,Thought Tim ‘’they are bad, very bad’’. But even Tim did not know how bad they are. Until……………………………… a group of bad bananas swaggered into town!

They chased old men down the street, stole children’s pocket money………………………… and worst of all………………….they killed whoever was in sight.

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One day, while Jon was reading and Tim was playing, a group of bananas attacked their house!

They took Jon away and left Tim alone. Tim realized he had to do something, and fast! So he followed a

trail of leaves and found Jon tied to a rock!’’Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah’’

screamed Jon!So Tim told Jon to wait.Then he shouted’’give me back my brother’’.The leader turned and said’’or what’’.Then the strangest thing happened.Tim said ’’I will EAT YOU!’’. All the bananas laughed and banana Thorr said ‘’you never ate a banana before so how will you eat us?’’.Tim thought for a second.It was true.So he closed his eyes and held his nose and ate banana Thorr! All the other bananas gasped!Tim had proved his salt!So Tim untied Jon and together,they ate the rest of the bananas.Then they went home and never ate bananas again.Instead, they ate carrots.

Everybody knows there’s nothing wrong with carrots.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love comes in all sorts of shapes and forms! With all this cheesy Valentine’s day spirit around us, we decided to do a round-up of 14 ways to love your food and your body!

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7 ways to love your body:

  1. No calling yourself fat, rotund, flabby, pig like and all the other creative names you’ve managed to come up with

  2. No pinching your stomach and staring at it in disdain and wishing for it to magically go away

  3. No being mean to other people and commenting on their body weight; especially if it’s unsolicited

  4. Part of loving your body is getting yourself to exercise–even though it may not always be the easiest thing for you to do

  5. Partake in some self-indulgence with a twist! Instead of rewarding yourself with a dessert or food, take yourself to the spa or lock in some extra sleep time for yourself

  6. Don’t get angry and annoyed the minute you feel bloated. Instead, wonder how you harmed your body enough for it to give you that kind of a warning signal

  7. Don’t compare your body to someone else’s

7 ways to love your food:

  1. No overstuffing and overeating

  2. Don’t allow yourself to get force fed by others; even if it momentarily offends them

  3. Make your foodgasms last longer 😉 How? By chewing your food slowly and thoroughly

  4. No distractions (TV, laptop, phone) while eating. Love your food enough to focus on it completely

  5. Cook the food you crave for as opposed to ordering in. Be one with the ingredients and the preparation process

  6. Try to trace the food you purchase to it’s source. Try and source your groceries from the same place consistently and speak to the vendor to understand where your fruits and vegetables are coming from

  7. Savor every single bite-don’t just bite your food, make love to it, devour it, allow your palette to experience every single taste and aroma

Happy Valentines Day!

Healthy eating through 2016

Last year, we pitched an article for B Positive on Healthy eating through 2015. It’s been a whole year but unsurprisingly enough, the strategies and tips are as applicable as you prep for 2016 as they were last year around this time. Read on:

Yes, it’s that month of the year again. There’s vanity all around us and if my clients didn’t know me any better, I too would be getting badgering calls like most nutritionists this time of the year pleading ways to magically fit a smaller dress size. Luckily for me, I don’t have to conceal scorn toward such ideologies.

And as you, my beloved reader, get past this month and onto the next year, you too will be faced with similar conundrums. Should you starve a few days? Should you do a ‘liver cleanse’ start of the year given how much you strained your liver New Year’s eve? Should you vow to make it to those slimming steam sessions? Before you make decisions, it is important that in your arsenal, at the very least, you have the right kind of information.

I stumbled upon an interesting metaphor which stated that New Year resolutions are like babies; easy to make but difficult to maintain. That metaphor, unlike your outfit, fits. I joke of course. However, in the interest of ensuring that you’re healthy all through 2015 and not just for the first 27 days, below is a collection of 7 handy-dandy tips to add to your toolkit:

*Spoiler alert: Liver cleanses, detoxes, starvation, restriction, limitation and other temp. fixes aren’t part of the list.*

1. Slow and steady-Alcohol and Food

If you really want to start the year with your forehead in your palms healing the queen mother of all hangovers, suit yourself. All I am saying is that if you sip your alcohol slowly through the night, you’ll have the last laugh (both at the party and the next day).

Along similar lines, eat small snacks which you space out through the night instead of overeating all at once. Trust me, your stomach will thank you the next day (well, it will thank you immediately but you’ll only really be able to appreciate it’s worth the next day).

2. Realistic goals

One of the non-negotiable rules I have with my clients is that he/she is not allowed to say, think or believe that he/she is ‘on a diet.’ The minute you say you’re on a diet, you automatically imply that this isn’t a long-term solution and that you intend to go ‘off the diet’ at some point.

Your goal is to be healthier and fitter than you were yesterday and find ways to make that happen for yourself, not to starve/limit/restrict and be miserable in the bargain.

3. Consistency

“No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February.”–Suze Orman

We don’t abandon our financial fitness in a month because we never see that as an option. If we need to, we re-strategize and we constantly aspire to do better. There’s no reason why it should be any different with your health goals.

If you realize in a month that your goals may have been too unrealistic, you re-evaluate and tweak them as opposed to abandoning them completely.

4. Focus on doing, not being

You have control over what you can do and that is what you should seek to achieve. For instance:

‘Do X amount of workouts each week’ ✔ |   ‘Lose inches’ X
‘Eat 2 fruits a day’ ✔ | ‘Be thin’ X
‘Eat homemade meals X times a week’ ✔ | ‘Fit into X pair of clothing’ X

Resolve to be a doer, an executer and what you do will eventually impact who you are anyway.

5. Be smart

Many organizations will try and sell you gimmicks and quick-fixes under the pretext of New Year deals. Please be smarter and more evolved and above all of that. They are playing on your insecurities and if you haven’t seen that already, it’s time that you do.

6. Stop with the clichés

Stop being a cliché who says—I will wake up tomorrow morning for a workout and end up snoozing each day. Start with evening workouts if that’s the more plausible option for you and transition to mornings once you’ve experienced the endorphin release and happiness that comes post-workout. Re-living that each night should help you wake up the next day.

7. Seek professional help

There’s no shame in seeking professional help. In fact, it’s quite the trend now. Think of it as an investment toward your long-term good health. A trained exercise professional to monitor your form, to identify when to push you versus when to let you be and a qualified health professional to guide you with your meals and find foods which fit the parameters of your lifestyle might be just what you need to get your life back on track.

There’s a superstition which goes that how you commence your year is what you’ll end up doing all year. So set the right tone at the start of the year itself and at the end of next year, you won’t find yourself caught in the same rut all over again.

To your health,

Tehzeeb

Client diaries

Sharing some customary client insight for this month! It breaks our hearts when new mommies lose a sense of who they are. Finding time for yourself doesn’t make you a bad mother ladies! Read what our client has to say:
SS to fix
Hi Tehzeeb!!!
Good morning !!
I had a wonderful time learning all about health and right eating habits.
You have been doing this to me in every session ..Thanks a ton for all your guidance!
Pointers that has evolved in these 5 months:
1. Like many, I too suffered from post pregnancy hassles and the priority shifted from myself to only my baby but you have helped me understand that a great mother needs to be equally pampered and needs nutrition herself just like the little one.
2. I used to get frequent cold and cough post pregnancy that has completely taken a back seat now .. Exercising has helped me breathe better, my immunity has gone up and I feel much healthier in that respect.
3. Had been suffering from bad backache, ankle and hamstring pain but with regular stretching and yoga, it has vanished.
4. I am able to pick Aveer and roam around with him much more than before
5. Energy levels have gone much more high than I can imagine
6. Now I look forward to my workout and if I miss it, I feel upset about it. One of my best times in the day is working out
7. I never knew after working out since so many years that a lack of basic stretching can lead to such deteriorating health
8. A healthy mom is a happy mom!
9. I might not have reached what I have thought for but now I know I can reach there with constant effort and discipline
10. Thanks for bringing me back to myself… I cannot thank you enough.
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you…. Lots of love and good health to you too 😘 Bigggggg hugggg😀😀
Love n regards,
Anonymous

Holiday party survival tips

Season to be social is here! So no, we don’t want you to be cooped up indoors but we also don’t want to see a huge derailment in your health and fitness routine. And thus we have, some easy tips to get you through.

Tip #1: Plan. Plan. Plan. On nights you have a holiday party to attend, ensure your day is impeccable with a hearty breakfast, a mid-morning fruit, a good lunch etc. so that the damaging effects of the night are at least somewhat negated by the glorious eating day you have had

Tip #2: Drink water! Party meals are heavy on salt which is why you often find yourself bloated and your pictures end up looking ‘puffy’ and ‘fat’. Keep sipping water as much as possible. It will help remove the excess salt and toxins and it will even make you feel alert and energized. This essentially means that when you’re attempting to have a conversation with someone, they will manage to hold your attention and you’ll have a quick, witty response to what they are saying instead of a tired smile and slight, almost forced laughter

Tip #3: Schedule a light, early dinner at home prior to stepping out for the party. Nibble on appetizers at the party. This ensures that you’re not overeating at the holiday party

Tip #4: Exercise. After a heavy night of partying, this doesn’t have to be a tough workout which leaves you drained out. Something small and easy such as 15-20 minutes of stretching and exercise at home or a 30 minute stroll will suffice and will go a long way in making you feel good (better than sitting on your couch and feeling like crap, right?)

Tip #5: Be smart. If you’re going to stay up till 3:00 am and think that a 9:00 pm dinner will hold you through the night, know that you’re being delusional. Clock strikes 2:00 am and you’ll be ready to wolf down everything in sight. Instead, like we decided, be smart and allow yourself a midnight snack (one that isn’t fried preferably)

Tip #6: Monitor your speed and easy on the alcohol. A slow speed (both while eating and drinking) will be your best friend. It will save you from being force-fed and it will ensure that you work through your meal and beverage as opposed to eating and drinking excessively at one go. Sip through your drinks slowly and have a glass of water for every glass of alcohol.

Tip #7: Be judicious with buffet spreads. Scan the holiday party buffet at least 3 times. If there are 8 items you like, short list to 5 and then finally select 3 winners who will make it to your plate and stomach tonight. Once you have selected what these 3 food items will be, only then must you grab a plate! The runner ups? They will get an opportunity to enter your stomach at the next party!

Happy Holidays!

Fat free? Is it!

Have you ever been deceived and/or betrayed? By a lover, by a friend, by your boss (promised a salary hike and a better position but refuses to make eye contact with you now), by your tailor (promised he would have your Kurta ready in 48 hours but the material is still sitting in the corner-in the bag you got-as untouched as a virgin). Point being, there may be varying degrees but come what may, isn’t it the absolute worst feeling in the world?

Sadly, we are continually deceived by the health industry as well and every time you may think you’re purchasing ‘slimming’ foods because that’s what the label says (oh, naïve you!), that may in fact be far from the case. Thus, here we are to your rescue! Knowledge really is powerful you know? Below is a roundup of 10 common foods we think are healthy but really aren’t.

1. Low-fat/skim/1 or 2 percent milk

Why isn’t this healthy?

i) Fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, D, E and K) will not get absorbed in the absence of fat
ii) Since whole milk is denser in calories, you reach the satiety point quicker. With the slimmed down milk versions, you could keep chugging and still feel unsatisfied and restless

2. Granola bars that aren’t homemade

Why isn’t this healthy?

Anything that comes from a packet will require either excess sugar, salt, fat or preservatives to conserve its shelf life. Thus, much better to opt for more natural foods as mid-meals such as fruits or nuts

3. Baked chips

Why isn’t this healthy?

Yes, the chips are baked with less oil but extra preservatives are added to give it that crunch we enjoy so much. Also, the sodium content in the baked varieties is higher which could lead to blood pressure and fluid retention a.k.a. the bloated feeling you loathe so much

4. Margarine

Why isn’t this healthy?

A popular saying goes “Trust cows more than chemists.” Margarine is a replica of butter. Butter is prepared naturally whereas margarine synthetically. Margarine contains less of Vitamin K, CLA and omega-3 compared to butter and has a dangerous type of man-made fat called trans fat

5. Low-fat cookies

Why isn’t this healthy?

If they are low in fat, they double up on the sugar and preservatives to retain shelf life. If you must indulge, then you’re better off making a batch of homemade cookies and having those once a week or less as opposed to purchasing a pack of low-fat cookies and nibbling on it daily for weeks until your next trip to the grocery store

6. Diet soda

Why isn’t this healthy?

Diet soda are sodas which replace sugars with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin etc. These sweeteners tend to increase hunger which leads to excess eating thereby causing weight gain. A lot of research also links them to increased risk of acquiring cancer

7. 100 calorie snack packs

Why isn’t this healthy?

Recent research has taught us that a calorie is not a calorie. At the end of the day, snack packs are ‘packaged’ and thus, even though low in calories, not high enough in nutrients. A banana would be a much better, natural, nutritious 100-calorie snack to opt for

8. Diet khakra/diet chevda

Why isn’t this healthy?

Labeling a food as ‘diet’ doesn’t automatically make it healthier. Don’t get fooled by these labeling gimmicks. On the contrary, each time you see the word ‘diet’ or ‘slim’ being used on a packet, you should get skeptical. Anything truly healthy (think carrots, apples) would never feel the need to label itself so. If fat is removed, sugar is added. If both are removed, preservatives are added. Best to stick to the simpler stuff wherein you are assured that chemicals and preservatives aren’t added or excess elimination of a specific ingredient hasn’t taken place

9. Fortified orange juice

Why isn’t this healthy?

A whole fruit is always better since the fiber content is retained. Also, there is always a risk of freshly squeezed juice getting oxidized owing to environmental factors such as heat. Oxidization is a process which would cause loss of nutrients thereby rendering the juice consumption pointless

10. Packaged fruit juices

Why isn’t this healthy?

High in sugar, added chemicals and preservatives and very low in nutrients, freshly squeezed juices or whole fruits are always a better bet in terms of nutrient content

Shop wise and stay fit!

Lots of love and health,

Tehzeeb
Proprietor, Scale Beyond Scale

Annual list of winter foods

Country Food item Best time to have Major macro- and micronutrients
India Jaggery Mid-meal or as an evening meal with roti Energy

Iron

Magnesium

Sesame seeds Sprinkle onto soups, salads or make homemade til laddus which could be had as a mid-meal Copper

Thiamin

Vitamin B6

MUFA (Good fat)

Mangenese

Zinc

Fibre

Tryptophan

Sitaphal Mid-meal Energy

Potassium

Magnesium

B vitamins

Iron

Vitamin A

Singhara/Paniphal/ Water caltrop Mid-meal Folate

Vitamin B1

Vitamin E

Vitamin B6

Magnesium

Guava Mid-meal Fibre

Vitamin C

Lycopene

Vitamin A and beta carotene

Potassium

Pomegranate/Anar Mid-meal Vitamin C

Soluble and insoluble fibres

Vitamin K

Antioxidants

Potassium

Hot, homemade soups Post dinner or as evening meal Key vitamins and minerals (Depending on which vegetables have been used)
Eggplant As sabzi for lunch or dinner with roti Antioxidants

Fibre

Folic acid

Copper

Vitamin C

Gajak Mid-meal Energy

Iron

Magnesium

Copper

Thiamin

Vitamin B6

MUFA (Good fat)

Mangenese

Zinc

Fibre

Tryptophan

Gajar ka halwa Evening meal Vitamin A

Vitamin C

Copper

Poassium

Manganese

Boiled sweet potatoes/sweet potato fires Evening meal Vitamin A

Vitamin D

Vitamin B6

Iron

Raab Evening meal Energy

Niacin

Insoluble fibre

Omega- 3 fatty acid

Undhiyo Lunch or dinner Protein

Vitamin C

Vitamin A

B Vitamins

Magnesium

Baida/Khopra/Dry-fruits/Dates pak Mid-meal or evening meal B Complex

MUFA

Iron

Fibre

Yam As sabzi, curry or halwa to be had for lunch, dinner or evening meal Vitamin B complex

Vitamin C

Copper

Iron

Calcium

Phosphorus

Europe and USA residents Eggnog Mid-meal or evening meal Protein

Calcium

Vitamin D

Vitamin A

Sesame seeds Sprinkle onto soups and salads and have as evening meal or post dinner Copper

Thiamin

Vitamin B6

MUFA

Mangenese

Zinc

Fibre

Tryptophan

Hot, homemade soups Post dinner or as evening meal Key vitamins and minerals (Depending on which vegetables have been used)
Baba ganoush with crudités Evening meal, appetizer or post-dinner snack Antioxidants

Fibre

Folic acid

Copper

Vitamin C

Boiled sweet potatoes/sweet potato fries Evening meal Vitamin A

Vitamin D

Vitamin B6

Iron

Yam As casserole, soup to be had for evening meal or dinner Vitamin B complex

Vitamin C

Copper

Iron

Calcium

Phosphorus

Butternut squash Soup, bisque, casserole, risotto to be had for evening meal or dinner Vitamin A

Vitamin C

Vitamin E

Folate

Niacin

Tryptophan