June 26, 2015

Choose Your Cookware Wisely

Have you ever wondered that you’re spending all the money on getting those fancy veggies and meat and making sure that your diet is on point, but even then the results aren’t as good as was promised by the books? 

Are the nutrients and vitamins lacking in your cooked meals? This might be the case, since most of us are unaware of the cooking practices that might be doing us more harm than good, and wasting the hours of preparation and effort gone in the kitchen. Vegetables contain enzymes that create and destroy minerals and vitamins at the same time. Once they’ve been picked, the creation stops but the degradation of these enzymes continues. 

To save these health boosters the vegetables should be refrigerated until use, in air tight containers. Cooking and storage should be done in airtight containers only, so that oxidation is minimised and valuable nutrients aren’t lost. Besides this, you guys need to throw away the transparent pots and pans and get opaque ones, since minimum exposure to light helps retain nutrients as well. Another mistake we all make is cooking on high temperatures or long periods of time.

The longer the food is exposed to heat, and the higher the temperature, the more essential vitamins you’re saying goodbye to! These two are the most common mistakes people make and end up losing half of what they expected in terms of nutrients when they went out and bought the broccoli and mushrooms and other stuff they didn’t cook in a proper manner. Besides these mistakes, another absolute no no is cooking veggies in water. 

Water leeches almost all the nutrients from the vegetables, and then gets evaporated taking them away with it! So try and cook with as little or no water if possible. Don’t believe us? Next time you’re using water to cook, just check the colour change of the water. The nutrients and essentials are the agents causing that change.

If you’re going to cook with water anyway, and don’t want to listen to us or have no other way, at least find a way to consume that water. It’s rich in nutrients and should not go to waste! Gulp it down if you have to but make sure it goes in, because it’s only going to do you good. 

Besides these, make sure to buy your fruits and vegetables from a trusted seller, and wash them well before consumption to eliminate the dangers of harmful pesticides or chemicals going in with the food. 

 Stay healthy, stay happy!

June 23, 2015

Air Pollution Causes Brain Damage

Don’t let our future go up in Smoke Did you know? 

Air pollution affects the brain and memory of a human if exposed to it often. A study conducted by the Harvard Medical School shows that over exposure to air pollution that contained small particles such as the kind released from car exhausts resulted in an increased risk of mini strokes and smaller brain volume as compared to others who were not exposed to air pollution. Scary isn’t it?

Imagine roaming out on the streets all day and your brain volume gets smaller bit by bit! Another astounding and provocative finding from this study showed that dirty polluted air caused around a year of ageing internally, of the brain. Who knows how old your brain is!

What actually happens is that when we breathe in these minute particles from the air is that they go straight to our lungs and attack. This causes inflammation which can then spread to our brains. Another harmful effect of the pollution is that it causes a silent stroke which is caused by the blockage of the blood vessels in the brain by these particles.

Another reason to hate traffic jams! (As if we didn’t have enough already!) Besides this, China’s pollution problems take the front news in most cases but it’s really India that is dealing with this problem in a major way.

It’s time to ‘clear the air’ about that issue. India has some of the most polluted regions in the world, so much so that the kids in our country suffer from lung damage, which we’ve learnt leads to brain damage in the long run. Not such a bright future for the kids now that you think about it. With all the IT parks and all the industries as well as new cars flooding the market every day, our condition only seems to be getting worse.

According to a study done by the World Health Organisation, 13 of the 25 cities with the highest concentration of particulate matter floating about menacingly in the air are in India. Half of the children of Delhi have irreversible lung damage according to another study conducted by a nationwide survey. Don’t you think its about time we changed for the better?

Try buying a new cycle, it’s cheap and convenient. No parking issues and takes you closer to your fitness goals. Besides these plus points, it’s also easing a bit of pressure on the air and helping reduce the pollution, something that needs to be done immediately.

June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father’s Day and we would like to dedicate this post to all the wonderful fathers, father figures, and male mentors out there who have touched the lives of people out there: be it your own kids, others’ kids, your family, people you’ve mentored, people you’ve coached, and the world at large. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for being you. 
We appreciate your existence and the often times silent but impactful role you have played in our lives. 

This quote is so incredibly true: We never know the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves. 

When you are a teenager and you get to hear from your parents say you wait until you have children. And you laugh it off as if you will never be in their shoes but looking back you wonder how did they manage to go through every stress you and your siblings have put them through and it does make your heart ache a bit. 

Being a Dad is a job in an ideal world all you need is to spend even more time with your children. It's not that often that you get to spend a long period of time with children so it is important to make the most of all opportunities. 

Every father is different, and in the beautiful time that we are living right now the men in our lives are no longer just the one’s to work the long hours, fix things around the house and carry the heavy shopping. They are doing school drop-offs, they are staying home with the children when they are sick, they are helping with or doing the cooking and cleaning, and many fathers are the full-time care-takers of their children due to the wonderful world. 

So in honour of all fathers, whether they are at home with the children, are working long hours out of the house or anything in between, We want to say thank you !

Happy Fathers Day to all you Dads who try every day to raise your children in the right way. 

Congratulations to all the proud dads out there!

June 18, 2015

Urbanization = Constipation?

Has the urbanised new-age India been cursed with constipation? Is the modern lifestyle that our country has predominantly adopted led to an increase in the number of cases of constipation among us? Let’s get a closer look at the problem and try and get around it. ‘Oh Shit’!

A shocking statistic that we forgot to mention is that 14-15% of urban India suffers from constipation, higher than the world average of 10%. Can’t help the sentiment of wanting to be above average in every sphere, can we?

The problem was most prevalent in the metros, and 20% higher in age groups of 45-65 according to the ‘Gut-health survey’ conducted by pharmaceutical company Abbott. Constipation is a really simple term, when you aren’t able to poop for more than 2-3 times a week and this goes on for about 2-3 months, you’re constipated.

Irregular bowel movements, pain while pooping, and hard dry stool are as clear as it gets when we talk about symptoms. But the problem isn’t as trivial as it looks like. Untreated chronic constipation can lead to anal fissures, haemorrhages, haemorrhoids and even heart attacks at a later stage. Scary and disgusting isn’t it?

Imagine death by constipation? In order to be able to tackle the problem, let’s look at the causes in a nutshell. High concentration of Non vegetarian food in your diet Dehydration, lack of sufficient water intake.

Lack of fibre and roughage in your diet Uncontrolled snacking on oily, fried, spicy and other processed junk These are a few of the main causes of constipation. The tacking bit is quite simple, with a few tweaks in your diet you can easily overcome the issue.

Today’s modern lifestyle where we’re so dependent on processed foods and full of mental and physical stress is predominantly why constipation is on the rise. Stress plays a key role in adding to the problem, and should be avoided as much as possible. In rare acute cases, doctors can be consulted and laxatives can be taken, but in the long run home remedies would be the most ideal and convenient cure.

Dates, whole grains, apricots and other fibre rich fruits should be your new best friends. Up the water intake and have a glass of water every hour at least. Mixing dates and figs in warm milk work like magic! Besides this, dairy products and a spoonful of ghee could also be just what you need. Make sure to eat enough fruits and vegetables in your diet and not only meat.

Follow what we’ve told you above and you’ll have the smoothest of sailing even in the roughest of times!

June 16, 2015

Give It A Crack!

What really happens when you crack your knuckles? I’m sure this is a question that existed in your mind  since you started cracking your knuckles.

Now whether you do it to look macho before a fight, or just out of habit, your parents would’ve told you a million times that its bad for your joints and that you shouldn’t do it. 

Well, you’ll be relieved to know that it’s nothing but a myth. Another floating myth around this topic is that cracking your knuckles harms the bones and can lead to arthritis in the long run.

Researchers have ruled out any such ill effects. On the contrary, when you crack one of your joints you’re simply pulling the bones that are linked at the joint away from each other. This stimulates your tendons, relaxes your muscles, and loosens your joints giving them a much needed break.

When you visit a chiropractor or your local massage wala, this is what he does to your spine to relax it. But you can do this on your own for your toes, fingers and knees for immediate relief. Now what really goes on when you crack your knuckles is quite interesting. 

The cracking goes on at the joint capsule, where the two bones are connected to each other by a tissue known as the ligament. This area of connection of all these bones and ligaments is lubricated by a fluid called the synovial fluid. This fluid has dissolved gases such as nitrogen and oxygen quietly sitting in it. 

When a knuckle is cracked, the pulling of the bone away from the joint causes the super-fast formation of a gas cavity in this synovial fluid that actually causes the cracking sound that most of us either love or loathe.

Once the bubble bursts and the ‘pop’ is heard, you won’t be able to crack them for another 25-30 minutes because the gas gets reabsorbed by the synovial fluid. So you can time your knuckle cracking accordingly! 

If you want to act macho, don’t crack them for at least half an hour before you plan to! However, although there’s no arthritis or any such risk related to the cracking, too much of anything isn’t good. 

Pulling too much and cracking too much could strain your ligaments just like too much of bowling would strain a bowlers arm. So go easy, and give it a crack!

June 14, 2015

Don't Panic, Just Attack!!

Don’t panic, Attack! Taking life too seriously are we? In today’s stressful lifestyles and hardcore environment, panic is something that comes to us with more ease than it should. 

Deadline approaching, not able to make arrangements on time, girlfriend issues, son’s mobile phone is switched off, and numerous other catalysts are all that it takes to get the adrenaline pumping and you’re having a panic attack, most of the times without even knowing it! 

So what is a panic attack really? It can be defined technically as a rush of physical and psychological symptoms that occur suddenly for no clear reason in most cases! Here are some of these symptoms (Don’t panic if you realize you’ve experienced them!) 

You feel overcome with fear and quite often unable to speak.

Irregular and fast heartbeats 

Sweating profusely 

Trembling of hands and legs 

Shortness of breath 

Choking sensation

Chest pain.

These are some of the most prominent features of a panic attack. 

Now that you know what they are, if by chance you do encounter such an attack, the first step you need to take is to calm yourself down and breathe. 

Slowing of your breath and easy long breaths have scientifically been proven to help with panic attacks. Take slow deep breaths in, hold and let them out with ease with just one thought in the mind – CALM. 

This mantra can help overcome the most intense panic attack, and also help you tackle whatever issue caused all this panic. You sure as hell won’t be able to solve anything with all hell breaking loose in your mind and body. So take a step back and calm yourself down.

Mind over matter guys! But don’t take these attacks lightly. If you’re experiencing them often, and they seem to last even after 20 minutes of calm thinking and breathing then maybe it would be best to visit a doctor.

If you feel sick or your chest continues to pain after an attack then you need to go visit the doc and get some professional insight just to be on the safe side.

Avoid caffeine and excess of sugar to reduce the risks of panic attacks or you could end up developing panic disorder. Besides this, make sure to have meals on time to stabilize your blood sugar levels. 

Last but not the least, listen to soulful soothing music to calm you down and try various relaxation and meditation techniques.

June 10, 2015

Are You Ready For Digital Detox?

"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense"

Digital Detox When was the last time you sat down without checking your phone for a good whole day, or didn’t get onto Facebook or Youtube for 24 hours? If you can’t remember when, then the answer is that you probably need to digitally detox. 

Disconnecting from the technological world may seem unthinkable to some of you guys but trust me when we say this, it’s one of the most blissful experiences you’re going to have. 

In today’s hustle bustle where everyone’s busy on their smartphones and social networking site, direct communication has been lost to us humans. 

Cousins that would have bonded with each other and played a good old game of cards and had a hearty laugh at family reunions have now been replaced with drones that sit down typing away on their phones, not acknowledging each other’s presence! 

You know what we’re talking about. It’s right there but no one wants to see it. Studies show us that today’s generation spends 168 more hours on digital media than they do in school each year. 

Astounding if you really sit and think about it. So why should you really do a digital detox? Technology has been made for our convenience hasn’t it, then why take a step back and give it up every now and then? The answer is pretty simple. To stay healthy and stay productive! 

Contrary to popular belief, human beings have been gifted the abilities of singing, dancing, drawing, painting, sitting by a river and appreciating mother nature. 

You aren’t going to be able to do that if your boss is calling you every hour and taking a report of what you’re doing or if you have deadlines to meet. If we had to be robots, we’d be born as them. But we’re human and that element needs to be maintained. 

The sickest of men with the worst conditions have shown positive results when left in Mother Nature’s arms. Detox also helps the human relationships in your life. Talk to your family, life slips by before you know it. 

A good hearty ‘uninterrupted’ conversation once a week on detox day could be just what you need to make your house a home. The easiest way to detox is lock away the electronic gadgets and go on a vacation for a week or something with the family.

 If a week’s too much, even a day of detox is brilliant. 

Try it to believe it. You know your lifestyle best and what you really need, so set your detox challenge and go out and achieve it!

"More connections to more devices means More Vulnerabilities"

June 09, 2015

Salt :Choose Your Type

Salt that we consume is mainly comprised of Sodium Chloride. That’s it. Any other colors or flavors added to salt besides saltiness, come from impurities and additives. This stuff is really important for us, since it makes food bearable and gives that salty taste to our food, as well as combines with the other ingredients to give you a completely unique taste. 

Basically it makes the food ‘sodiYUM’. There are a number of salts available in the market, and we’re going to talk about which one’s the best for you. Kosher Salt is the first, and comes in flakes and is used by chefs to suck out the water from the meat. So it’s not exactly your best option for putting on boiled eggs. 

Next up is our favorite, pocket friendly, table salt. Cheap as hell, easily available this is what most of us use. It is mined industrially and is highly refined, with barely any impurities. This is also why it is the saltiest of salts! Table salt is iodized too, so you won’t be getting Goitre if you consume normal amounts. 

 Sea salt is also Sodium Chloride, only harvested from evaporating water pools, in oceans or salt lakes. It contains impurities which give it that distinct grey color and flavor unique to its birthplace. Since it is mostly harvested by hand, it’s one of the most expensive kinds of salt, sold mostly in chunks or shavings. (Mythbuster – It is NOT healthier than normal table salt.).

The most overrated salt is Himalayan Pink Salt. It’s hilarious when you see how it is sold, as the most pure and medically beneficial salt. It’s just the hype. You’d almost think that it was harvested by Holy men who had been meditating in the hidden caves of Nepal, never seen by man! ‘It has been crystallized thousands of feet under the earth, away from dirt and pollution’, but then, that’s where all the salt was mined form, even table salt. 
Truth is it’s got from Pakistan, far from the Himalayas. Guys don’t fall prey to these gimmicks, Himalayan salt can’t be a ‘chemical’-free alternative to table salt, since salt it a ‘chemical’! Table salt is your best bet when it comes to the healthiest salt, since it’s the most impure and contains iodine that you need, and it’s easy on the pocket too. 

Too much of anything is bad and overdosing on salt is going to give you hypertension. So cut back a bit, won’t hurt you!

June 07, 2015

Secret To Healthy Eye Sight Lies On Your Plate

Carrots are a huge source of Vitamin A and are great for the eyes, but you've heard that a million times before. Did you know though, that besides rabbit food there are a lot of other nutrients and foods that contribute to healthy, problem free eyesight?

Let’s put down a few of these nutrients that are essentials for eye health – Vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids. These if included in your daily diet, can prevent cataract (one of the most common eye ailments, where the lens of the eye gets clouded and prevents vision) and also battle age related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the most common causes for loss of eyesight in your older years. 

It’s brilliant that nature has provided us with the answers to almost every question, including those that medical science has taken years to figure out. You get all the above required nutrients in fruits and veggies that you can pick up at the nearest grocery store and while you may not know it, these natural powerhouses may contain many other nutrients that help prevent a plethora of other problems that you definitely don’t want to encounter down the line. 

Foods such as spinach and kale are must haves for good eyesight. These leafy greens prevent your eyes from sunlight, pollutants, smoke etc. They’re packed with two of the most potent antioxidants – lutein and zeaxanthin. No surprise they can Kale it!

Most people lack these two nutrients which is why they end up having eye problems especially being exposed regularly to the harsh exteriors. It’s an easy solution though, including more of spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens should do the trick. Beef, eggs, lamb, milk, peanuts, pork, and whole grains are rich in Zinc. Bananas, chicken, dried beans, fish, liver, pork, and potatoes on the other hand are rich in Vitamin B6. These foods are other healthy add–ons that prove to be beneficial to the eyeballs. 

The main ingredient in this recipe for good eyesight remains Vitamin See. Yes, Vitamin C is the most important along with Vitamin E and is easy to find as well. Grapefruit, Brussels sprouts or a cup of strawberries a day are more than enough. This Vitamin is a top notch antioxidant and clears the lens of any extra harmful light. Besides this, 

Vitamin E is a bare essential and isn't found as easily in foods. Almonds, wheat germ oil and a handful of sunflower seeds are the key sources in this case.

Pick any one and don’t look back! 

Consider what we've mentioned and make provisions for a healthy eyesight for many years to come. You can’t for ‘see’ what’s going to happen in the future, it’s best to stay healthy and stay prepared!

June 04, 2015

What Kind of Vegetarian Are You?

Are you a vegetarian? And if so, then what type of vegetarian are you? Yes, there are actually different types of vegetarians, contrary to the popular belief that all those who refrain from consuming animal products are vegetarians and are at the same level. 

There are roughly 4 types of vegetarians, and we’re going to explain each one to you so that you know which group you really fit in and will find it easier to achieve your long term as well as short term objectives.

In today’s times, the benefits of a vegetarian diet have tempted many of the health conscious non vegetarians to switch over, with decreased cholesterol levels, reduced risks of heart diseases and higher life expectancy among the many benefits up for grabs! 

Another major reason is the sudden love for animals, which is more like keeping up with ongoing health trends to stay with the mob but anyway. If you’re a genuine animal lover and are against the cruelty and inhuman slaughtering of these wild ones, then it’s a great thing that you’ve turned vegetarian.

Most people pledge allegiances to animal rights organizations too. So what are these various types of vegetarians? They are – Semi Vegetarian – A non-vegetarian who’s cutting back on their meat consumption is known as a semi vegetarian. They can be divided into pollo and pesco pollo vegetarians. 

Pollo vegetarians avoid red meat and fish and eat only chicken. Pesco pollo on the other hand, love fish and chicken and only boycott red meat. Surprised as to how these people can be called ‘Vegetarians’ aren’t you?

Vegans Ovo vegetarians – While a lacto ovo diet excludes chicken, red meat and fish it includes both dairy products and eggs along with the usual fruits and vegetables. Cheese, ice cream, yoghurt, ghee, cottage cheese, scrambled egg are all allowed! 

Lacto Vegetarians – This diet excludes all forms of meat including chicken, red meat and fish as well as eggs. No boiled eggs allowed in this one buddy. However, dairy products are allowed such as cheese, cream, yoghurt etc.

Vegans – This isn’t just a diet, but a lifestyle. Only plant-based foods are consumed and red meat, fish, eggs, chicken as well as dairy products are all boycotted. Not only these food items but also goods produced from animals such as honey, wool, silk and leather are not used. So all you pseudo-vegans can stop flaunting those leather jackets please! 

Now that we’ve listed the types for you, it’s easy to place yourself in the categories above. Tell us what category you fall in and don’t hesitate to ask for any clarifications. Cheers!