Tuesday, 31 March 2015

‘Eat More Vegetables’ Week

As the U.K. observes the ‘Meat Free Week’, we thought it is the best time to bring you some suggestions on how you can include more protein and iron through vegetables. What is MFW? Started in Australia and now spread to the U.K., MFW is a week long campaign which brings awareness to consumption of meat and the impact it has on one’s health, the animals and the environment.

So for all our large-hearted, environment-conscious readers these recipes guarantee to replace protein that you would consume from the meat through vegetables (in case you do decide to abstain for a week or longer). If you listen carefully, you may hear vegetarians kicking their heels and breaking into peels of excitement!
Non vegetarians need not worry as we will help bust a few myths about vegetarian food:

· Nuts, legumes and lentils are just as rich in protein as meat.

· Red meat can be replaced with dried beans, green leafy vegetables and nuts to supplement iron.

· You don’t need to include heavy amount of meat to complete your diet. Excess meat can lead to digestive and heart problems. Plants being the primary source of energy are quicker than meat i.e., secondary source when it comes to providing energy in your system.

Meat-eaters will argue as to how one can replace a succulent piece of meat with dreary vegetables. These recipe suggestions are packed with the comfort that you will want to come to at the end of the day – no compromise on taste. With that thought here are our suggestions:

1. Bhel - Yes, the one that brings water in your mouth and makes even the ‘most sophisticated’ man and woman wait in line. (click HERE for recipe)

2. Pav Bhaji – Can it get better than that? What can possibly top off Pav Bhaji? (click HERE for recipe)

3. Mushroom-Garlic pizza – Forget the overcooked and unhealthy toppings and the floury dough. Make your own base using shredded zucchini and top it off with mushroom and garlic. This is what we call, healthy to the core! (Click HERE for recipes)

For zucchini crust base click HERE

4. Spanish Potato Omlette (Click HERE for recipe)

5. Rajma Masala – Enough said. (click HERE for recipe)

6. Hummus and whole wheat pita bread – No one can eat just one! (click HERE for recipe

7. Black bean beet burgers – Add walnuts and quinoa to the mix and even a devout non-vegetarian will mistake this for a juicy sloppy jo. (click HERE for recipe)

8. Potato and zucchini frittata (Click HERE for recipe) 

9. Tofu (or Paneer) and veggie stir fry (click HERE for recipe)

10. Dal Palak or in fancier terms ‘Red Lentil Curry with Spinach’ (click HERE for recipe)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Eat well for a Flat Tummy!

We promise this is no joke. We take fitness and health very seriously even if it means eating like there’s no tomorrow. Now we shall take this opportunity and quote the ubiquitous line ‘Fitness begins in the kitchen, not the gym’. Isn’t that great? We eat food to stay fit, why not eat it to stay slim and get that notorious flat tummy?

First things first – detox your tummy with some lemon and mint water. Add ginger and cucumber for some zing and consume this all day to clear toxins from your body. You can do this daily or once every few days to accelerate the weight loss process.

Another popular drink that helps in overall weight loss is green tea. Green tea is well known for its metabolism boosting properties which basically means that it helps to cut down the calories in your body. Plus it is loaded with antioxidants to keep you healthy from the inside. (Remember Kareena’s ‘andar-wala snaan’ ad? She ain’t playing you, mate) 

Now for some delicious food list that you can gorge on to help you get a flat belly:

1. An apple a day keeps the belly pooch at bay : Apples are full of water and fiber that keep you full and prevent the urge to snack on yummy food which is full of calories.

2. Peanut butter : Go PBand J! Before you sprint to your fridge to dive into a jar, let us tell you why it is as healthy as it is yummy. PB burns fat and builds muscle in its place. Now you may sprint.

3. Yoghurt : More reason to stock your fridge with dairy! [unless of course you are lactose intolerant] The probiotic and even the usual tub of yoghurt is packed with good bacteria that will help in digestion and keep you from getting bloated after a meal.

4. Olive oil : Replace your cooking oil with olive oil and see the difference it makes to your weight and overall health. Olive oil helps in reduction of cholesterol and obesity.

5. Avocado : The monosaturated fats in this fruit helps to get a slim waist.

6. Dried fruits and nuts: Many diets recommend snacking on nuts because they build muscle and reduce cravings for unhealthy food.

7. Seafood : Fat in food is good after all but only the Omega-3 oils and fatty acids. They are known to burn the bad fat in the body and reduce cholesterol. Also a recent study in Australian proved that eating seafood makes a person feel less hungry.

8. Greens : Foods like spinach, broccoli and kale help to flush out belly fat and are very low in calories. Green leafy vegetables are rich in fiber and thus reduce bloating.

9. Whole grains : Always go for the whole grain option whenever you can as they add fat burning fiber and prevent your waistline from widening.

10. Chhhhocolate: [Think of Homer Simpson drooling] The cocoa in dark chocolate has monosaturated fats that help in cutting down fat. It is recommended that it should be consumed in small quantity - say one fourth of a cup in a day.

content source:
1. www.urbanewomen.com
2. www.stayhealthy-stayhappy.com
3. http://www.mythirtyspot.com/the-best-25-flat-belly-foods/

Goodbye Batwings

Imagine this – you are hugging a certain someone (or a friend/relative) while crooning like Kylie Minogue –

You - How does it feel in my arms?
Them – Like I’m being squished.
You - Do you want it?
Them – Errr…
You -Can you feel it?
Them – I can’t breathe!
You - Tell me
Them – I’d rather not.

So bottom line is don’t squish someone with your flabby batwings i.e., your arms.

With summer inching in day by day, now is the time to take an arm workout more seriously than ever. Don’t behind those long sweatshirts and pullovers – it’s time for tank tops, razor backs and tube tops! Are you going to sit there and let that flabbiness bring you down?

You could be slender waist down, but with flapping triceps, all that slenderness is hidden. Arms need just as much attention as any other part of the body and maybe even more since the length of sleeves of your clothing varies from season to season. Wings look good only on bats not humans.

These images below display at-home workouts as well as workouts with weights and at the gym. Target your arms and shoulders and by eating the right food you will have envious arms. Whichever workout you choose to pick, you have to put in a few weeks or even a couple of months’ effort into it. The flabbiness in the arms is not easy to shed even if you can carry ample weight in each arm. So working out with grocery bags obviously doesn’t count.

Like everything else, it takes time. So take your pick and stick to it.

At home workout without weights : This include easy to difficult routine.

The benefits of doing these moves include toning up of shoulders, biceps, triceps and neck muscles. Another benefit is that you can do these anytime and anywhere. All you need is some time on (and) hand.

Gym or workout with weights: Let’s get one thing clear – that by doing weights your arms will not become like Popeye’s. Come on, now.


Women’s bodies are not made to bulk up like the Hulk, so stop fussing. For healthy women, picking up heavy weights will not accelerate the process. You just might injure yourself. As we always say, go slow and steady. For women who are skinny or underweight, go for ample pushups. This will help to add some muscle and build strength.

In addition to the exercises shown, one needs to adopt a daily cardio routine to shed overall body weight. These exercises are then going to tone those muscles once the fat has begun to melt, therefore they will more effective. Working on your arms will in turn help you do other exercises better – planks, for instance. You will be able to do a perfect plank for as long as you can because you will have more strength in your arms. The result – your abs and other muscles get toned.

So go show off your juggling not jiggling skills.

content source:
1. http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/4-best-home-exercises-for-those-flabby-arms/
2. http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/tank-top-arms/p89202/page1
3. http://www.livestrong.com/article/360950-the-fastest-way-to-tone-flabby-arms/

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Beach ‘Bum’ diet

The summer of 2015 is around the corner but is it keeping you up? How did we know? Well ladies, summer is synonymous with beach and we all want to cool off in the water this summer. So why not do it with some attitude and make heads turn while you are at it? We bring you today the bikini body diet as a follow up of the bikini body workout routine. As we like to believe - fitness and nutrition go hand in hand.

Your bikini body diet should be full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats , proteins, carbohydrates and most importantly, water. Following this diet regimen with leave you feeling lighter and healthier and help you slip into that two piece easily.

1. Begin with a seven day or three day cleanse with green juice. So here you basically drink fresh fruit or vegetable juice twice in a day and one meal consisting of salad only. This is a salad in a cup. It is easy, quick and hassle free. Add your favourite fruits and vegetables and tweak the recipe as you like.

The green juice will help detoxify the body and prepare you for the diet you are about to begin. You have to cut down on tea and coffee while you are on a cleanse. Also you will begin to lose some weight while you are on the cleanse.

2. Pick a meal that suits your lifestyle and body type. Always remember to take these diet plans with a pinch of salt. Something that suits another may not suit you. Breakfast is very important regardless of what diet you decide to go on. Eat minimum six small meals a day. To make it better, sip on green juice for that extra dose of nutrition. Hydration is very important this season.

3. Eyeing that piece of dark chocolate sitting in the fridge? By all means, go ahead and take a bite. Indulge. This is not the Dark Ages of fitness. Let this be your motivation [apart from the swimsuit, of course]

4. You want to be able to continue with the diet change even after summer has receded. So consider this as a lifestyle change – not something you did as ‘summer project’. Stick to the diet and fitness plan for as long as you can.

5. The main idea is to eat clean and simple food. Track your progress by keeping a food journal. Monitor your weight loss and healthy options of food.

It is only March now, which means you have a good two months to get to your goal. So what are you waiting for?

content source:

Monday, 23 March 2015

Beach Bum

And I can't wait to see what my buddies all think of me

Just imagine how much cooler I'll be

In summer…

Hello ladies! We know what’s on your mind. Unlike Olaf from Frozen, you must be wishing to look hotter. Isn’t it? We know you are making a mental note of working out each day to get that beach body to show off on your vacation on a beach somewhere. Worry not. With our suggestions for blasting workouts you should be ready for vacations soon. All you got to do is KEEP AT IT. That fat is not going to melt itself.

Summer is around the corner and just like everyone you too must be looking up places to take a holiday to. You can begin your shopping for a new beach wardrobe as you can rock those outfits only with a toned body. Whether you are wearing a one-piece or a cover up over those hot pants, flabbiness is never attractive. Shed the fat you have gained over the holidays and detox from the workout hibernation mode.

You can do these workouts anywhere and anytime. If you live by the beach, perfect! Nothing better than the soothing sound of the waves to motivate you and set the mood (for workout, we mean). If you life far far away from a water body, don’t worry. Hang a two-piece swim suit and glance at it during your workout. Enough said.

For these workouts, you don’t need any equipment except a yoga mat. Also remember that fitness and nutrition go hand in hand. Control your diet and eat proportionately to complement your workout. Don’t forget to hydrate! These workouts have been arranged from easy to difficult.

1. Easy

2. Moderate

3. Difficult
Be sure to get rest on the weekend but only one day and burn those calories for the rest of the week. Start at a pace you are comfortable at and gradually try moderate to difficult moves to maximize the results. Do these workouts for 20 to 30 minutes five days a week and within four weeks you will be sitting by the pool or beach averting envious eyes.

content source:

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Healthy Eating for Stay-At-Home Moms

For anyone who spends a lot of time at home knows how difficult it is to resist temptation of grabbing a snack in the kitchen. So for moms who are homemakers, imagine the seriousness of the situation. Seriously, go ahead and imagine!

While you are spending all the time planning and creating meals that your whole family will enjoy and benefit from, what are you eating when they are not around? Are you snacking unnecessarily? Are you having a hard time fighting off a craving? Do you feel guilty once you have eaten something? Don’t get too worked up if your answer to these questions is a ‘yes’. There’s nothing wrong in wanting to satisfy a craving but how do you burn off the calories you are consuming? Ever thought of that? 

If you are snacking through the day, you must find yourself too full to eat a whole meal with the family. What are you left with – stomach full of calories and a side dish of guilt. Let’s see how to prevent this from happening:

1. Ideally your snack food items should have fruits and nuts. Keep away from packaged foods. Cut down on fizzy drinks completely- even the ones that say ‘Diet soda’.

2. Always, always, always eat a portion of salad with each meal for better digestion and absorption of food.

3. Always carry a water bottle so whether you are doing laundry or watching the television, the water bottle sitting next to your hand will remind you to hydrate every now and then.

4. If you want to snack on those cheese-bites or nachos, just grab a handful into a bowl. NOT the whole pack otherwise you will have no hold on yourself.

5. Don’t get on a strict diet. Since you are surrounded by food all the time, you are often are tasting it to check for salt or spice. Why put yourself through that torture? Control your portions instead of cutting down on everything.

6. When you are feeling low and want to grab a cup of tea or coffee, drink green tea instead. Before you whine, add lemon juice and honey to make it interesting. Grab a small snack along with it – toast with hummus or peanut butter for instance.

7. Only if you are in control will your children learn to do the same. Having said that, there is a difference between being obsessed and having control over things. Don’t get worked up if you have eaten an extra portion of something in a meal. Just plan your next meal accordingly to balance it out. If you know you are having people over for dinner or it is a special occasion the next day, plan your meal intake so that you don’t eat beyond the limit.

8. Go easy on yourself especially on weekends. Plan a date night with the hubby to a special restaurant of your choice. Enjoy the food but be sure not to go overboard. You don’t want to undo what you trying to achieve through the entire week! 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Fitness for Stay-At-Home Moms

Do you remember what you ate for lunch yesterday? Bet you remember what you packed in your child’s lunchbox a week ago! Amidst dentist’s appointments, planning birthday parties and driving the kid to and fro to a football practice, do you feel drained of energy? You get the point.

For all you stay-at-home moms out there, you deserve a grand salute for having the most difficult yet rewarding job there is. These moms are working round the clock but they suffer the most when it comes to their fitness. Unable to make any time for themselves a lot of mothers find themselves in a rut and cannot fit a workout in their routine. But there is always a way, we say.

Here are a few simple tips for you to work yourself back into shape:

1. Squeeze in 30 minutes of a workout everyday – whether it is after you have dropped your kids to school or just before your kids come back from school in the evening.

2. Make necessary diet changes to suit your requirement and body type.

3. Assign each day of the week to working out a particular part of your body – for example: Monday – arms, Tuesday – legs etc.

4. Get either workout DVDs or subscribe to a fitness channel. If neither is available, there are plenty of videos online to help you get started.

5. Go for long walks with your child in the stroller. Walking is a must especially if you are walking uphill.

6. Include your kids in your workout routine – for example: if you kid is able to ride a bike comfortable, race him/her by running alongside. Do this every day.

7. Play tennis or badminton with your kids if they are old enough.

8. If you child loves dancing, enroll him/her and yourself in a dance class and blast that fat.

9. For new moms, try to get some yoga or light exercise done as your baby naps during the day.

10. Plan a monthly date night with your husband and pick a dress you want to wear on the date. That will be a great motivation in your fitness journey.

11. Bear in mind that this does require some sort of a rearranging in your ‘time-table’. So make one if you don’t have one already. Print out a template (or go crazy decorating one by hand) and fit in your workout session every day of the week. Put it up on the refrigerator door so it is the first thing you see every morning.

You might be going to bed exhausted but feeling a sense of accomplishment each night. But if that feeling fizzles out as soon you see yourself in the mirror, then you know you have to give priority to your own health and fitness. Your fitness is the key to managing the family’s health and well-being.

Below are some exercises that you easily work into your workout session:


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Eating an Early Dinner

Early at table, early to rise; makes you feel healthy and light!

One of the grave mistakes you may be making while trying to lose weight is not eating on time. There’s nothing wrong in wanting to eat at the table once every member of the family is back from work or school but did you think if that could be hampering your weight loss process?

Eating an early dinner also goes hand in hand with eating right and in a controlled quantity. It is a misconception that dinner should be a filling meal whereas it is in fact breakfast that should be heavy and nutritious. You might say I’m hitting the bed as soon as dinner is over, so why bother eating early? Or that you might wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry.

After a hard day’s work all you can think of is a nice, hot meal at the table. Nothing wrong in that – just don’t eat it past everyone’s bed time. Eating close to bed time makes you want to eat a heavy meal to unnaturally satisfy yourself. This leads to increase in triglycerides – the fat in your blood. You hit the bed and the calories you have just consumed do not get used anywhere (since you are snoozing in dreamland) and join the triglycerides club. The result – high cholesterol, risk of heart attack and increase in body weight. Then you wake up in the morning feeling heavy – as though you have just eaten. Also when you sleep late, you tend to consume more calories the next day as you feel sluggish and inactive due to lack of sleep. Either way you skip breakfast and doing so consequently affects the time at which you eat the rest of the meals. So to break this vicious cycle, follow these simple steps:

1. Eat your dinner by 7.30 – 8.00 pm. This way you give your body the time to digest it since you are still moving around before bed time.

2. If you feel hungry by bed time, by all means grab a fruit.

3. A well balanced diet and optimum hours of sleep together work towards controlling your appetite.

4. In order to dine early, be sure not to kill your appetite with an evening snack. If you feel hungry, at say 6 pm, chomp on celery or carrot sticks or drink a small portion of soup.

5. Spread your meals in terms of calorie intake so you don’t feel the need to make up for them in one meal. This will also help to curb cravings and unnecessary (read unhealthy) snacking.

6. Regardless of what time you eat your dinner, be sure to catch a 15 to 20 minute post dinner walk to aid the digestion process. This will also burn any extra calories you may have eaten.

7. Include fiber through salads in your dinner as they help in lowering the cholesterol and aid in weight loss.

Remember to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Whoever said that must have been in a really good shape!

Content source:

Monday, 16 March 2015

Exercise for Stress Relief

Believe it or not – the root cause of all problems is stress. Is that IT, you ask? Yes, indeed. Most doctors try to advise us not to stress out on smaller things in life but we take it for granted that the cause is more serious than it seems. This five letter word is capable of causing havoc in our bodies and consequently send our recovery process out of the window. This is why it is so important to relieve yourself of the day to day stress through exercise.

For people who take stress, anything can send them spiraling down. Even where to exercise or how to find time for any exercise (this is a classic). Don’t worry if there is no gym nearby or you don’t have a yoga mat. These things are trivial and are not absolutely essential. You can always get around these excuses if you have the will. 
Make up your mind - If you leave your house at 8 am for work and return only at 8 pm, get up early in the morning at 6 am and fit in a short workout before you head to work. If you are not a morning person, then exercise as soon as you come home. In that case make sure you eat something light 40 minutes prior to leaving work. You will be tired but doing something is better than nothing.

Meditation – it is not as complicated as some of us believe. Just inhale and count to 5, hold your breath and count to 3. Now exhale and count to 8 and then hold your breath for 1 count. Repeat this until you feel better.

Occupational Therapy – Half day into work and already feeling exhausted? Try some basic stretches sitting in your chair. Stretch your neck, shoulders and arms, rotate your back and most importantly, blink!

Cardio – Running outside or on the treadmill is ideal. If you feel you are not able to push yourself hard enough, listen to motivating music or dance beats while running. The numbers on treadmill are slowing you down? Watch videos and movies as you run and before you know it you will go from being a couch potato to running 5 kilometres!

Food – An important element in stress relief but only when taken in a balanced proportion. We can very easily overeat when we are stressed and give hundred reasons why we have the right to indulge. However, you crave for carbohydrates and fatty foods when we are stressed and that food is only going to slow you down.

Read for pleasure – And the morning newspaper or the political/business magazine does not count it. Grab something light and entertaining – look at only pictures if you don’t wish to process the content. It will help take your mind off stressful deadlines or arguments you have had with someone earlier that day. Best time to unwind with a book is before bedtime.

So to keep calm, you have to exercise. As simple as that!

Content source:
1. www.bemorewithless.com
2. www.blog.walkingspree.com

Before & After – What to eat when working out

A good and effective workout is achieved only when you eat sensibly before and after the workout. Working out on an empty stomach is a very bad idea. For any kind of workout you need energy and nutrients continuously through the combination of protein and carbohydrates. One needs to keep in mind how different everyone’s eating pattern is. But the one fact that applies to one and all is that we all need a right balance of the building blocks of food to a. curb hunger, b. aid in the workout and c. help the muscle to recover. 

We bring you six easy and simple foods to snack on before and after a workout. This shouldn’t have to be as challenging as doing a 100 count plank! 

What to eat pre-workout?

Instead of a hearty breakfast, snack on something healthy about 40 to 50 minutes before the workout. This will curb your growling stomach and give you the energy you need to kick-start your workout session. 

1. Fruit bowl – it is a very simple but equally delicious mix of berries, melon, banana and orange. Now who can resist that?

2. Dry fruit – Grab a quarter cup of dried berries, apricots and pineapple. 

3. Eggs on toast – A little heartier meal for those who can’t leave their eggs for a rainy day. Boil 2 eggs (or even 1) and chomp on a whole-wheat toast.

4. Energy Bar – This is by far the easiest. The most difficult thing with this is to open the pack. Gobbling it down takes only a few seconds.

5. Black coffee or a couple of shots of espresso are enough to pump you up for a good run. It increases the fat burning process and slows down fatigue.

6. Whole wheat/grain toast with jam, flavoured yoghurt, honey will supply a continuous stream of energy required by the body.

What to eat post-workout?

You are almost at the end of your workout session and there it is – your stomach crying out to you. All you think of is a feast for breakfast. But WAIT! Your conscience gets the better of you and you smile to yourself. There are equally (nutritious) meals you can eat once you are done breaking a sweat and not worry about putting on the inches you are trying to lose. Your body needs to rebuild all the muscle and gain the lost energy. 

1. Banana shake with low fat milk. Easy peasy.

2. Green Smoothie – Blend together spinach, vanilla yoghurt, milk, banana to a smooth consistency. Add ice to make things edgy.

3. The classic milk and cereal in a bowl.

4. Chocolate milk – now who can resist that? Chocolate milk can provide the body with much needed carbohydrates and protein.

5. Got some leftover hummus and pita bread? Dive right into a seven inch whole wheat pita bread with two spoonfuls of hummus. 

6. Water – can’t get any easier than this. You will be dehydrated through the perspiration. Drinking two to three glasses of water will help you get your energy back. 

People believe that by refusing to eat something before or after a workout they are helping the body keep the “fat” off. Instead the body refuses to do anything at all. You might lose the determination to go on 15 minutes into your workout. Or running on an empty stomach can make you feel dizzy. Remember - Eat food 45 minutes prior to a workout and within 15 to 20 minutes after the workout.

Content source:

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Board Alert – Eat Healthy, Study Well

In the previous two articles we covered fitness and exercise for students during a crucial time in their lives, the board examination. Here we will discuss how nutrition can play a very important role in assisting a good fitness plan. After all health and fitness go hand in hand.

Exam time can be indeed nerve-wrecking – it can make you crave for the unhealthiest of foods. But it is after all, just a craving of you mind. Fast foods and junk snacks only seem like comfort food but they bring no comfort to our alertness and strength – two things that are essential during exam preparation. That’s why this article is important for every student who is eating everything nonsense and for every mother who is fussing over her child eating everything nonsense...read on.

Let’s break it down to what kind of nutrients you need in your system:

· Vitamin B for good memory and steady concentration

· Omega-3, Fatty acids and folate for proper brain function

· Iron for steady concentration and sufficient energy

· Magnesium for proper brain function and preventing anxiety

· Potassium to carry oxygen to the brain

· Water for hydration and elimination of toxins

Since your brain is already used to memorizing and learning in points, we’ll follow the same pattern for you to assimilate the information in this article. Now we have that clarified, let’s move on to what foods can make a ‘super brain’:

· Whole grains will enhance memory and improve focus. Whole grains help to stabilize sugar levels and reduce stress

· Eggs will boost memory and concentration.

· Berries will boost brain function.

· Tomato is an antioxidant and improves brain function.

· Spinach increases memory and concentration.

· Bananas (a super food) will reduce anxiety and boost your mood by driving nervousness away.

· Dark Chocolate (we can hear students all over the world going ‘Yes!’) stimulates blood flow and boosts brain function.

· Yoghurt or curd will help in digestion especially since you are sitting in the same position almost all day.

· Eat foods with high content of carbohydrates such as potato, fruits, corn, milk and dry fruits and nuts.

· Yellow and orange vegetables are full of Vitamin A and will give your eyes the nutrition they need.

Remember the following:

· Reduce sugar intake during exam preparation. Sugar will reduce your ability to stay alert and study for a long duration. If at all you are craving for sugar, eat it after a meal.

· Never skip breakfast. This rule applies to both school days and study leaves.

· Avoid fast/fried foods as the fatty content in such food will slow down the body and take away energy from the brain. They can make you feel as though you have over-eaten and as a result, make you sluggish.

· Eat in small quantity and regularly. Make a time-table and stick to it. There’s no fun in pouring over your books when your stomach is screaming. You can’t possibly eat paper for lunch.

Remember to keep calm and give your best!

Content source:
1. http://www.yowoto.com/posts/ensuring-the-right-nutrition-for-kids-during-exams
2. www.topuniversities.com
3. http://www.health24.com/Diet-and-nutrition/Multimedia/What-to-eat-during-exams-20130221

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Board Alert – Stretches during Breaks

Previously we talked about how to de-stress during the exam period. As a follow up, we decided to bring you a detailed article on some stretches students can do during their study breaks.

Preparing for boards is an arduous task and one can easily lose track of time sitting at the study table drowned in books and notes. Time is of the essence and so is your health. If you let exam stress take over, your body will soon give in. If you are already a fit person who likes to run before starting the day, good for you! However taking regular study breaks and moving about is equally important.

Studying at the table can be tiring when one has to sit in the same position of the straight back (ideally) and the wrist racing time as you practice your sums or diagrams. Don’t you find yourself arching your back every time you get up to take a break? Or jerking your arms every few minutes? That is a sign of tiredness and it can be easily treated with simple stretches that you can do at your desk.

Our target areas are arms, neck, back and legs – parts of the body that are most likely to ache. Here are some suggestions to deal with spasms and aches:

Arms – ‘Pen is mightier than the sword’. To use a pen you need your wrist to actually be able to hold the pen. So stretches for the arms and wrist are very important. Use your chair to do the exercises as shown in the image. In addition to this, rotate your wrist clockwise and anti-clockwise as there may be a lot of tension in the area from using a pen or pencil. 

Neck –Sleepless nights are aplenty and the last thing you need is a nasty neck spasm on the day of the exam! Pouring over your books can strain your neck and lead to headaches.

Back – Many youngsters are prone to back aches and believe it or not, back pain can begin from an early age if ignored. Keep back pain at bay by doing simple yoga moves while you sit on your chair. (As shown in the image) You needn’t run to get a yoga mat each time. Just pick the asana you are comfortable with and repeat as needed. Remember to go slow and steady. 
Legs – Studying for an exam or a test means that you are sentenced to the chair and your legs are bound in shackles (it’s not an exaggeration! We have all been there). Exercises 1 to 9 in the image can be done for relieving strain in the legs.
These stretches will not only relieve you of physical strain but also help you to sleep better at night. Doing these stretches regularly will maintain proper blood flow in the body and keep you alert. With these quick and easy stretches you are well equipped to fight off any body aches and discomfort during your exams.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Food Therapy

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”, said Hippocrates, father of medicine.

Do you eat food just to get through the day? Did you ever stop to think about the wonders regular food in your kitchen is capable of doing to your body? Although food has been considered a ‘medicine’ in most cultures, it still seems to be underestimated. The question is – Why do we give food less importance as a ‘medicine’ than it deserves? 

The contribution to food in our diet is much more than building proteins, carbohydrates and fats in our system. According to experts and studies, diseases caused by inflammation such as arthritis, allergies, heart diseases etc are due to our diet. That way Indian food has a lot of credit to take home as the spices are naturally full of anti-inflammatory properties. Thus giving food its due importance is priority and only when it is eaten properly, it works its magic.

In this article, we bring you some common fruits and vegetables that can transform your body and heal you of some common diseases:

· Apple – Helps build immunity, relieves headache and constipation

· Kiwi – lowers LDL cholesterol and blood pressure

· Banana – Provides energy, cures constipation and allergies

· Dates – Relieves constipation and alcoholic intoxication

· Grapes –Relieves constipation and migraine

· Broccoli – Provides immunity, reduced risk of cancer (when consumed over a long period of time)

· Carrots – Helps in preventing tooth decay, digestion, constipation and thread worms

· Cucumber – Relieves constipation, skin eruptions

· Onion – Beneficial in treatment of anaemia and blood cholesterol

· Spinach – Prevents anaemia

So you better start giving food the importance it deserves or else tiny blueberries (stacked one upon another, of course) with a cape over the shoulder will haunt your dreams. Blueberry is a Superfood, you see. Happy Eating!

Content source:
1. www.prevention.com
2. www.health.com
3. https://www.caring.com/articles/12-foods-super-healing
4. Foods that Heal, H.K. Bakhru

Monday, 9 March 2015

De-stress During Exams in 8 Steps

Are you waking up at night worrying about forgetting an answer?

a. Duh

b. Please!

c. Sometimes

d. Help me!

Or do you lay awake at night stressing over whether you will make it to the exam centre on time? Have you lost your appetite? These days with the board examination ‘looming’ over high school students exercise is your best option, besides studying of course.

We are not talking about the hard core stuff – that stuff looks good on posters for motivation during the exam! (We totally get you) ‘What is the point of exercising NOW when I didn’t bother all year’, you ask?

To put it simply, ‘exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make people happy’ (in Elle’s words from Legally Blonde). Besides exercise can help improve your focus and sleep pattern. Some amount of physical activity is better than doing nothing. 

In addition to the preparation time of a couple of months, exams that spread out over two weeks can be extremely exhausting. Therefore we suggest you squeeze in at least 15 to 20 minutes of workout each day. That’s not much, is it? Instead of plunking yourself in front of the telly as a break from books, you can work those muscles and stay active. Studying for long stretches can affect your concentration hence students are advised to club their study breaks with a physical activity. This will help in concentrating better and keeping burnout at bay.

Here are eight things you can do this ‘exam season’:

1. Begin whenever you like – early morning or evening. The main reason you are doing this is to reduce stress, not be stressed at the thought of pulling a muscle.

2. Keep your workout manageable and enjoyable. You should want to exercise everyday up until your exams are on.

3. Be slow and steady. Increase the amount and frequency gradually.

4. Opt for light aerobics or cardio (running, jogging), basic flexibility and stretching exercises. It is advisable to use one’s own body weight instead of hitting the gym for circuit or weight training. At this age, your own body can be an effective training tool for push-ups and sit-ups. Grab that I-pod and hit play on your favourite playlist.

5. Doing yoga early morning is a very good idea. Pick a spot in the park and head out as the sun rises. The morning air will help you de-stress and calm your mind. Yoga will help in improving muscle movement and in turn it will ensure that you don’t get too tired from writing. Back exercises will prevent back aches from sitting too long at your desk or during the exam.

6. If exercising or yoga is not your thing, play a sport. It will give you the physical activity your body needs but be sure not to go overboard or it can tire you out. Sports like cricket, football or tennis are some options to consider.

7. Eat well – stress of the exam can make you crave for carbohydrates and fatty food items. Eat healthy and in balanced proportions. You can pig out once exams are over and then some!

8. Eat small meals and eat them frequently. Studying for exams does not mean you give up on food and feel guilty about chomping on your favourite meal. Let food be your motivation!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Spring Cleanse Your Body

All winter and no spring, makes Jack a dull boy.

Spring is finally in the air! Do you smell the flowers? Do you feel the warmth of the morning sun? Do you hear the bees and bugs coming after you? It is that time of the year when you pull out your spring cleaning checklist, rip your house apart and bid ‘Good Riddance’ to the clutter. Clutter is no joke – especially when you are up against months and months of stuff to get rid of (and make space for more!).

But how about a spring cleanse for your body while you are at it? We must pave way for the season synonymous with freshness , bloom and detoxification. Poor diet, lack of exercise, toxins, pollutants – all reign our bodies and need to be thrown out from time to time. 

With so many seasonal fruits on the way there is no excuse for you to not include them in your diet. Fruits such as apricots, bananas, mangoes, melons, strawberries, kiwis, pineapple and blueberries are to look out for. Reach for seasonal vegetables such as spinach, zucchini, carrots, radish, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus and artichokes at the supermarket. Why buy anything processed or frozen when you can buy it fresh? All the more reason to hit the farmer’s market in your locality.

Needless to say that spring is a good time to reduce or, if you can, totally eliminate non vegetarian food from your diet. Give your body a break. Meat provides no fiber or water content to your body so reduce its intake as fruits and vegetables meet both of these criteria. Ensure that almost 70 to 80 percent of your meal is vegetarian. Include more salads, side dish of vegetables – steamed or grilled, vegetable juice, green smoothies etc.

Drinking more water to stay hydrated is a no-brainer. Help your kidneys do their job well and flush out those stubborn toxins with water and juices. In addition to water, have green tea, vegetable broth, fresh fruit juice and supplement your diet with pro-biotic yoghurt. It is important to remember to balance the alkaline-acidic level in your body. Foods such as cucumber, sprouts, and green leafy vegetables help to balance the acidic levels. The best way to jumpstart your day and cleanse your body is to have lemon water first thing in the morning.

Get out and moves those joints in the sun. This way you get some exercise and a whole lot of vitamin D. The ‘sunshine vitamin’ as it is also fondly called is essential for your bones and to fight certain types of cancer. The changing weather can make you prone to catching a flu which is why Vitamin D from the sun is beneficial. It helps the body in developing resistance to viral infections. Just ten minutes in the sun with bare arms and legs is all you need to do to get your dose of healthy vitamin D. 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Seven Fitness Habits You Need to Inculcate TODAY!

Stop waiting and start doing - Waiting for an occasion to start your fitness regime is a lame excuse. As you get closer to the occasion, you stress and obsess over the dress you want to fit into which basically sucks the fun out of exercising. Treat everyday as an occasion to look your best. So by the time the actual occasion comes, you really do look your best minus the time crunch! This way your exercise routine seems comfortable and goals more attainable.

Sleep Well – Make sure you get minimum six to eight hours of sleep every night. The body needs to recuperate from muscle aches and soreness from all the exercising as well as keep that metabolism in check. Besides, crashing in late and then having to get up early for a run never works. With little sleep in your system, you will never be able to get out of bed to move a muscle. The result – you will feel sluggish all day and by the time you are back in bed you will go to sleep feeling guilty and demotivated.

Shopping for food – Do not shop for food when you are feeling hungry. If you are out and about on an empty stomach you will reach for foods that are not good for you. Grocery shopping takes time so it is best to do it once you have eaten something. While picking your groceries, make sure you get real fruits and vegetables and not processed items. Don’t leave out cheat items such as chocolates or ice creams. Nobody said exercising has to be that cruel!

Cook yourself – A good way to keep a check on your fitness is to cook your food on your own. Don’t go for packed food that claims to be ‘healthy’ or ‘diet food’. Whatever you consume should be home cooked. This way you watch what you eat and how much you eat. It might seem hard in the beginning but you just might find it therapeutic!

Cheat days – Pick a day in the middle of the week and treat yourself with exotic or sinful food you are busy running away from the rest of the week. This way you will stay motivated. Don’t push the cheat day to the weekend as it can seem too far and the craving itself will stress you out.

Follow the clock – There’s a reason why the clock was invented. Stick to a time for each meal of the day and don’t skip it. Also, stay hydrated and be sure to snack on nuts, fruits or even a cup of green tea between meals. In addition to regularity, have an early dinner and hit the road for a walk before you tuck yourself in. This will allow your body to digest food properly and you will wake up feeling light and hungry for breakfast.

Variety is the spice of life – Be sure to mix up your exercise routine. If you follow the same moves day in and day out, you will lose interest very soon. Keep it challenging and interesting. Learn new workout moves and try pushing yourself a little everyday.

Quick Detox

Sometimes our healthy diets are thrown right out the window during vacations or weekend parties. You want avacado for breakfast but you end up with deep-fried bacon on your plate (in case of Indians it could be Aloo Puri, Aloo paratha, Chole Batura etc.) How do you say no to that when people expect you to lick the plate clean? Exactly! 

Detox is the best way to get all that unhealthy fat and junk out of your body. It won't happen in a day so you need patience. It could be in your regular diet or in detox water. Cleaning your system is necessary for weight loss and metabolism. So go ahead and follow the following detox which can be made out of homemade ingredients and is not time consuming.

Happy Detoxing!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Thigh gap or knowledge gap?

Surely, most fitness freaks and health conscious people have heard or engaged in heated discussions about the “inner thigh gap”. As if losing weight was not difficult enough, the women of the world needed something new to feel more conscious about themselves. What’s next, chubby knees? Just because the model in the lingerie advertisement has sticks for legs does not make her healthy. And isn’t that our real goal here - to be healthy?

Given that a few advertisements have plagued our brains with the thigh gap conundrum, but we feel it is more to with the gap in our knowledge. No two people are alike nor are their bodies. Naturally their weight losing techniques are also different. No need to complicate your life by worrying about the miniscule gap between your thighs. Moreover our bodies are biologically designed to hold some amount of fat. As long as you fit into your favourite pair of jeans, you are sorted!

Be aware of the problems fat thighs can cause due excess body weight. People suffer from problems due to the thighs constantly rubbing each other – rashes, infection, trouble while walking. But don’t you worry. There are plenty of exercises to tone your inner thighs. Let us warn you that they are hard and strenuous but they are fruitful only when they are combined with some amount of cardio. But remember not to obsess over losing weight – no good will come out of you stressing while you exercise. Exercise is supposed to release happy hormones in your body not pressurize you. Therefore keep your goals real and attainable.

Also, losing weight anywhere in your body is directly affected by the amount of food you eat. While it is recommended to follow a regimen that will result in overall weight loss, you have to pick your moves for spot-reduction in a particular body part. And most importantly, be consistent with it. Nobody cares about the gap between your thighs or your toes.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Healthy Juice for a Jaded Body

Get a shot of energy from juicing everyday right in your kitchen, right this instant. Chugging a glass of juice not only helps you to consume a larger portion of fruits and vegetable in one go but also adds a higher nutritional value to your daily diet. There are plenty of juices for weight loss, to increase metabolism, for better skin, to increase immunity, to reduce body aches, to reduce belly fat, to improve your sinus, for natural detox etc. Imagine all that in just one glass! 

In addition, these flavorful green juices help to curb those nasty hunger pangs. The natural sugar in fruits sweetens the juice therefore refrain from adding sugar. You can use green vegetables such as spinach, kale, cucumbers, celery as well as fruits such as apples, grapes, orange, cherries, pears, blueberries to juice. Juicing also ensures that you are getting more water in your body which also contributes to your body’s need to hydrate.

Given the nutritional value in these fruits and vegetables, you can treat this as a wholesome meal. Sip on a glass at breakfast with a bowl of oatmeal or eggs or have it as a post workout snack. Come on, isn’t it much easier to drink kale than eat it? And the best part is that the children will blissfully gulp this minus the interrogation! 

An instant pick-me-up anytime, anywhere.