Posts Tagged ‘Diet’

Cereal Grains:A NUTRITIONAL COMPROMISE

Since the time that mankind is present on this earth, the natural diet of humans has been food that could be hunted, fished, gathered or plucked. As my main topic today is “GRAINS” I would only be focussing on talking about them as foods that were plucked – “seasonal fruits and veggies” is another topic altogether to discuss which is beyond the limit of this discussion. I will save my next post for that.

So, coming to GRAINS (The so called “Good Carbs”)

Man rarely ever consumed cereal grains up until about 10,000 years ago. With the increase in population the supply of the natural resources became more limited, thus it became necessary to provide supplementary means of nourishment and thus agriculture was born 10,000 years ago.

The eight cereal grains (wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, oats, rye and millet) provide 56% of the calories and 50% of the protein consumed on this planet.

On one hand we would not have cities, civilisations and industrialisation without cereal grains, on the other hand cereal grains are a nutritional compromise. Today if we take away rice, wheat and corn almost 1/2 the people on this planet will not eat. The decreasing supplies of our ancestral natural diet of wild animals and wild plants, along with huge increase in the planet’s population has made agriculture a necessity for survival.

Cereal grains are not nearly as healthy , nor as nutritionally complete, nor as perfectly suited to our ancient digestive wiring as the foods that these grains have replaced. Ex. milk and cereals in place of bacon and eggs for breakfast.

The health complications and implications of eating a diet high in cereal grains, way different from the diet that we were designed to eat are recently beginning to be understood.

As Dr.Loren Cordain points out, humans have had little time since inception of agricultural revolution 10,000 yrs ago to adapt to the new food type.

Whole grains are not really any better.
Grains have a host of nutritional shortcomings. It’s finally coming to light that the refined grains which constitute most of our cereals, pastas, and breads – are absolutely useless nutritionally.

The researchers are not 100% sure that the so-called “whole” grains are any better. No grain can be eaten in a completely unrefined state. No one plucks wheat from ground and starts eating.All grains need to be milled and ground to some degree, one reason being that in their natural state they contain many “anti nutrients” called “Phytates” that interfere with the absorption and assimilation of nutrients in the grains, especially the absorption of essential minerals. As compared to the refined grains whole grains have been less processed and milled therefore they contain more of bran the outer coating of the grains providing fibre for the diet.

Most of the “whole grains”  on the cereal packages are fibre lightweights. Its rare to find a cereal with 5g of fibre per serving–most have 1or 2 g fibre per serving ,making it a pretty bad nutritional bargain.

Now comes something crucial “Gluten Issue”. Gluten is a primary component of grains such as barley, rye, oats, and especially wheat. One of the seven top allergens in the diet is wheat. Amongst doctors, nutritionists and naturopaths who practice integrative and functional medicines, their one of the first dietary orders for patients who have multiple complaints is to take them off wheat, dairy and sugar. Dr. Jonny calls Grains the Starch “juggernauts”as almost all of them raise the blood sugar and insulin quickly.

In my personal experience with my clients suffering from high, uncontrolled sugar, allergy issue, fat loss issues etc, putting them off wheat,dairy and sugar allowing only limited gluten free varieties of carb sources , high protein, high fat diet show excellent results within 3 months.

Make a choice out of millets ragi, bajra and jowar. Oats can also be a better choice as they are least processed.😀It is advisable to choose the less processed variety, such as Steel-cut oats or old fashioned rolled oats, to get full health benefits .

Stay tuned, stay updated, stay fit😀

 

** The above information is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. **

 

Reference:-

Bowden,J, Ph.D.,C.N.S(2007). The 150 Healthiest foods on earth. Pp:74-75 Beverly,M. A: Fair Winds Press.

The urge from within… health while on vacation

 

 

 

 

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I am back from my wonderful vacation which I got to take after 2 and 1/2 long years of busy schedule. This was my vacation from “literally” everything my work, workouts, playing with shera 😦 [for those who don’t know- Shera is my 1 yr 6 months Great Dane) and my dancing.  It was really nice to see my family and friends in the USA after a long time. Spent quality time with all of them.  Upon returning back my friends (the few with a gorgeous heart 😉 ) surprised me with a trip to kerela – Located in southern India. There I was – another beautiful vacation this time with my friends.

Now that all this is done, I am back to my routine of work, regular workouts (starting back with light weight to slowly get back to normal) and of course playing with my boy :D.

The main point of this post is “GETTING BACK ON TRACK POST VACATION”.

How many of you have said this to yourself  after returning from vacation ” Dude I need another vacation to get over this vacation.”?

Most of us lazy out to get back to “exercising” and “sensible eating” post a little longer than a 2 day break from these.

The question here is how badly you want it??? How bad do you want to get fit? How crazy are you about being healthy with a perfect body?

Getting back into routine has to come from within. Vacation or no vacation, the drive to be healthy and beautiful should come from within and stay brightly burning throughout.

Even though you cannot go for regular workouts, when you watch what you are eating even while on vacation BOOM!!!! 1st step covered. Did I do that you may ask? Yup I did. I call it “SENSIBLE” eating. I tried all the delicacies (INCLUDING CHEESE CAKE YUM YUM!! 😛 ) of the places i visited but I followed 2 main rules

1) I ate only when I was hungry (following my 2 1/2 hr pattern)

2)  I ate as much as I could no overeating in greed of not getting the same food later.

Follow these 2 simple rule of thumb and you will maintain what you achieved  in the GYM back home.

Yes, you can but only when you have the urge/drive to do so. When you follow these basic rules while on vacation you will no longer have to “worry” about doing those “extra” calorie burning on the treadmill or living on “soups and salads” after reaching back home or “man I so don’t want to go to work” because you will be fully relaxed, no bloating due to over eating and no weight gain and best is you will feel fresh and content.

So now that vacation times are coming near especially in India with the festive season starting from next week YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO 😉

KEEP YOUR “HEALTHY LIFESTYLE” SWITCH ALWAYS ON AND YOU ARE GOOD TO GO…

ALL THE BEST

 

The “STUBBORN” fat or The ” STUBBORN” you….

“I have tried everything to lose weight but nothing is helping.”  “I tried dieting and lost weight but once I stopped i gained double and now i am not loosing it.” “I work out 6-7 days every week and still weight is stuck at the same.”  “I do not touch sweets, eat only salads at night, go for a walk daily but not loosing weight.”  or the worst one i have heard is “No matter what i do i know i will never lose weight because I have tried everything.”

Does any one of the above statements relate to you???? If yes than please understand that you are becoming the victim of myth and wrong information floating all around and more than that , you are becoming “SLAVE” to your mind.  In the desperation to lose weight we go through all the extremes by listening to others experiences, results and advises. “My sister-in-law joined that gym and lost 10 kg’s”. “My friend followed the GM diet and lost 12 kilo. I think i should start it.” “My cousin went through Ayurvedic massage treatment and lost so many inches.” And…. we all start following the same path and keep shelling our money without thinking.

It irritates me that people don’t use their own mind to think what will suite their body. In this non-stop marathon of loosing weight we end up ruining our health, our charm, our vitality, our fitness and end up being more stressed and gain more “FAT”.

We do everything possible (what we feel is the right thing to do) and we do it all with limitations in our mind like:

1) I do not want to go to a Nutritionist. She will ask me to follow a strict diet and now i can’t do it. I cannot stop eating my favorite food.

2) I do not need a personal trainer. I will learn a few exercises myself and do it. They are too expensive.

Firstly,

We need to change our thought pattern and start thinking in positive affirmations.  Our thoughts play a big role in halting our fat loss- muscle gain.

Stop saying: 

I can’t lose weight I know.

I am trying really hard but this fat is not moving only. I will never look like …….

Now that I have 2 kids, that’s it. I cannot get back to my desirable figure.

Instead of making all these assumptions and trying to talk to everyone out there about what they are doing, look within yourself. Assess your lifestyle and eating pattern and try to understand where you are going wrong. Start changing your thoughts and say ” I know I can do it.” ” I know I can lose weight and look gorgeous, not for anyone but for myself.” Accept yourself fully and the main thing is START LOVING YOURSELF  the way you are now to achieve what you want. Give your body the love and care it desires and it will give you everything that you want. It’s just like, you want your partner to love you and pamper you and in return you take care of all his needs. Accept your body  as it is and try  positively to reach to your desired goal.

EXERCISE:-  Set 15 mins aside daily for yourself. Go in front of the mirror and look into your own eyes and say 10-15 times: 

“I LOVE AND APPROVE OF MYSELF EXACTLY AS I AM.”

Keep repeating this in your head every time you pass by a mirror.

I see women in my daily practice who go day in day out hating their bodies, and feel emotionally drained out and unsatisfied, sad and worthless. Stop blaming your self, people around you, situations and circumstances and take a charge of your thoughts – your life.

Stop being stubborn on yourself. Stop negating yourself.  If you will believe you “can’t”, than you never will. Think positive and work towards it.

Secondly,

You do not need to stop eating your favorites to lose weight. In today’s time, with the way our lifestyles are, it is very important to see and follow the guidance of a well qualified nutritionist and a personal trainer who understand your nutrient and fitness needs as an individual for an improvement in your overall body composition.

Dr. Taher Kudrati, Senior faculty at K11 Fitness Academy (Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) puts it simply. He says that it is as important to seek the advice of a sports nutritionist and a certified personal trainer, as it is to see a cardiologist in case of cardiac issues and an ortho in case of skeletal pathologies.  He also states that “Asking your friend, doctor or colleague about everything with regards to diet and nutrition and exercise and fitness is like asking your tailor about your hairstyle, make up, house color, car engine problems, child’s project work and your cooking.” ( K11 blog article)

Doctors go through immense studies but that does not include in-depth studies of nutrition. They are not specialized in Nutrition and Physical exercise so it is advised to always seek the help of the professional specialized in nutrition and fitness training.

Economic point of view:-

I have come across people saying “I can follow the diet Monday through Friday but spare me for the weekends as my husband is a big foodie so we go out every weekend.” Assess this statement from the economic stand point. Today, dinner for 2 at any good restaurant (read good not fine dining) bills to at least 2000/- INR so eating out 4 times a month is 8000/- INR . We do not hesitate here at all but when it comes to paying for the nutritionist or a personal trainer all excuses come out. Here we all need to UNDERSTAND that by eating outside we are damaging our health and paying money to damage it.

Investing a couple thousand in your health today by seeking professional help  will help you  save a lot of money later on  expensive medicine and “modern” medical treatments.

Always remember:-

1) Target for complete fitness and not just weight (fat loss). You want to lose fat and gain muscles. In this way you achieve optimal health and fitness and stay young, toned and beautiful.

2) You DO NOT have to stop eating the foods you love. You just need to learn the “art of eating”.  Home made sweets eaten at the right time and in right proportion (not gobbling it down) also contribute good nutrients. Ex. Home made besan laddo when eaten by itself as a snack in between meals provides the essential nutrients like protein from besan and nourishment of home-made ghee ( See my Note on Ghee).  If nuts are added than you get the fiber, required carbs and protein also. Overall you get “Happiness” and no “FAT STORAGE”.

To wrap it up:

Take charge of your life, your present, your future and seek professional help today.

TRAIN YOUR MIND & BODY – CHANGE YOUR LIFE…

Reference:

1.  Dr. Taher Kudrati, Senior faculty at K11 Fitness academy, blog article- Fat Loss, Muscle Gain- You Gotta Want It Real Bad. 

Diabetes- know it better

“Hey dude don’t be sooo sweet, you will give me DIABETES.” , “I just found out I have DIABETES. I am not surprised. I knew i would get it sooner or later since my dad and his side of the family has it.” , “I don’t understand how I got DIABETES? No one in my maternal or paternal family has it.” – These are common questions and statements I hear daily either through my clients or through friends and family.

If you notice, the 1st statement relates diabetes to “Sweet”= food/taste and the 2nd and 3rd to “genetics” and lack of correct “knowledge”.

Since November is the National Diabetes month, I decided to write about Diabetes but with a “DIFFERENCE”.  I am going to stick to the preventive care measures “Nutrition” and “Exercise” to avoid or delay the onset of Diabetes (if heredity turns out stronger here ;)) but these changes will also help those who are already suffering from Diabetes.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder. Here, our cells are basically starving for the nutrients they need to perform at optimum level. The lack of insulin (secreted by our pancreas) create abnormalities in the metabolism process of the macro nutrients, carbs, protein and fat.

2 types of Diabetes:

Type 1: Autoimmune. Genetic. Present from Childhood.

Type 2: This is the type that comes as a result of  ageing, lifestyle and of course our eating habits.

I am going to talk about type 2 (adult on-set) diabetes.

The main causes of type 2 diabetes, as described by some “biological doctors”  are overeating  and consequent obesity. Excess intake of not just sugar and carbohydrates, but also protein and fat, which convert into sugar if taken in excess, is harmful to the pancreas as it puts too much load on our pancreas and eventually paralyses its activity (the recommended protein intake for a person with sedentary lifestyle is 1 gram per kilogram of body weight). The other cause is too much worry, anxiety, stress and grief. These have deep influence on the metabolism process thus causing sugar to appear in urine. Heredity also plays a role in the development of diabetes.It has been said that “Heredity is like a cannon and obesity pulls the trigger” (Bakhru, H.K. 2007,pp 346).

Just because your father, mother, aunt or uncle had diabetes does not mean you will get it or you have to get it. In fact, if you know that you have a family history of diabetes, this is a heads up for you to start taking preventive measures by making few positive changes in your lifestyle and eating habits (by the way-same goes for those with hypothyroid and PCOD) .  Stress, another rising cause of young people becoming victims of over eating/abnormal eating which leads to weight gain and obesity, which ultimately leads to diabetes and other such health dis-eases.  In today’s time of competition, everyone wants to be at the top, want to make more money, want to touch different heights (of course after all, Sky is the limit 😉 ) but, all this they do at the cost of health. In achieving these things, people are putting their health in the last bogey (not even in the back seat). I regularly see clients who wake up with a “get your act straight” alarm after being diagnosed with diabetes or any other heredity and lifestyle oriented disease and run to the gym and dietitian/nutritionist for help.

It is very important for all to understand that, to avoid getting diabetes or to say “good-bye” to this “invited” guest (yup, not bin bulaye at all) from our house (our body), we should look at the actual cause of the disease and focus at building the whole health.  1st importance should be given to changing the diet as it plays a vital role in diabetes.

1st things 1st- STOP getting scared of carbs. Just chose  the wholesome ones like whole wheat, whole grain, rice, jowar,bajri, nachni (raagi) , wheat, instead of the processed and the fiber enriched variety.  Yes, include some wholesome carbs for dinner as well.  Include foods rich in micro minerals like Selenium, chromium and zinc in your diet as  it’s shown that they  help your insulin respond better. (Go to the link mentioned at the end of this article). Adequate protein and fat is also required for the insulin to function properly. It is best to have well-balanced meals with all the three macro nutrients carbs, protein and fats. Avoid foods that have “added fiber”, “fiber fortified” as too much fiber comes in the way of absorbing the important mineral Zinc. Also, “added” fiber is shown to reduce the “good” bacteria present in our intestines. lack of good bacteria results in poor digestion of food which then results in high fat percentage. Ideal is to eat 3 wholesome meals and 2-3 small (healthy) snacks.

Get up and going ( Exercise): If you are not doing any type of exercising yet then start today. You don’t have to be diagnosed with any health problem to get up and get going. Exercise helps stabilize blood sugar (in this case and has lots of other health benefits).  Even though walking is a good form of exercise, just walking daily is not sufficient to bring about change in insulin response. Aerobic exercises as well as Weight-training is proven to be really effective for all including those who already suffer from diabetes.When we do weight training, the main fuel that is used is the glucose which is stored in the muscles in the form of glycogen. If less insulin is present or insulin is not functioning properly then extra glucose enters the blood stream thus increasing blood glucose levels. Weight training helps us increase muscle size, this provides larger storage area for glucose and these two factors, 1) regular flushing of glycogen and 2) increased muscle size, helps improve body’s glucose processing which is very important in preventing and managing diabetes (type 2). It is advised though that you keep a personal trainer for weight-training exercises as correct posture and medical condition are the main concerns here or you can end up injuring/harming yourself.

Sleep: Proper rest- a good night’s sleep plays an important role in preventing and managing diabetes. It is very important to give your body that proper, undisturbed rest it needs after the workout and after daily chores, for the body to recover properly. If you don’t rest well than all your diet and exercise efforts are futile.

It is still not too late, especially for those who are not diagnosed with such “self-induced” health conditions. Spend money on pharmaceutical drugs, Doctors and hospitals later or spend money on preventive care today. The choice is your’s to make.

Stay healthy, Stay happy

Check this link to know about the micro minerals- http://www.freefitnesstips.co.uk/the-17-microminerals-explained.html

** The above information is for educational purposes only. There is absolutely no intension to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any health problems or diseases. Consult your doctor  for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment and a diet and exercise expert for advice on diet, herbs and exercise.**

References: 

1.Bakhru, H.K. (2007). Healing through natural foods. Mumbai, India: Jaico publishing house.

2. Diwekar, R (2010). Women and the weight loss tamasha. Delhi, IndiaWestland Ltd.


“You are what you eat & absorb”.

We have all heard the saying “You are what you eat”. But, “you are what you eat and absorb” is the one that caught my attention yesterday at the Neulife- roadshow, Bangalore. This was spoken by Jay Jacobson when he was providing his valuable inputs about various supplements especially the latest one The Optimum Nutrition Hydro Builder.

Well this article is not about the supplements and i will not go that route. I will focus on this statement “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT AND ABSORB”.

When i start talking about “healthy” eating and “healthy” food choices with my clients, many a times they jump off their chairs telling me ” but Radhika I always eat roti, sabzi, daal, chawal and i think that is pretty healthy. I do not eat fried foods and no sweets at all. It’s just that I need to lose these love handles and i will be good to go”.

Remember friends, just because you are eating roti, sabzi,daal, chawal doesn’t mean that your body is absorbing all the nutrients present in that food. There are a lot of factors that come into play when we look at proper absorption.

How is the food prepared?

1) Were the vegetables cut up and left in the refrigerator overnight? yup loss of some essential vitamins there.
2) Was the cooked food left for over 2 hrs and then reheated? Again, loss of important nutrients.
3) Are the roti, sabzi, daal and chawal prepared fresh for every meal??? I have seen people preparing entire week’s meal and freezing it (in separate containers with labels for each day and meal- heights). I would tell such a person to not eat at all rather then eating such “lifeless” food.
3)The vegetable that was prepared was seasonal or hybrid product? For sure this matters.
4) How much pesticide laden were the food products? Are you sure about this? None of us are unless we decide to go ORGANIC (will talk about ORGANIC pretty soon :>) and so i recommend supplements.
5) Are we at a peaceful state of mind while eating? Very, Very important for proper absorption, assimilation and elimination.

So, you see these are just a few of the many factors that play a major role in our digestion process (Ingestion, digestion, absorption and elimination). We might be eating the healthiest of foods available to us but if our digestion and absorption is faulty than the body is not gaining any health giving nutrients from the food we eat.
So the main thing to look at when you are trying to gain,loose or maintain weight, or looking to have a beautiful, glowing, pimple free skin, is to make your digestion strong and effective.

Remember, this is proven by several researches that diet plays 70% role and exercise plays 30% role in achieving a “complete state of health” . A proper balanced diet (for optimum digestion), a good exercise regimen and enough rest are the prescription of “naturally” being healthy inside out.

I am happy to see the dietitians getting some importance today in our country but it is still not as respected and this is what makes me a little sad.
The bottom line is: “HEALTH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WEALTH”.

There is plenty of help out there. There are professionals willing to help you gain back your health and vitality but they cannot do it until you let them.

Take charge of your health. Put some time in looking for a nutrition expert in your city or wherever convenient and pick the one who “really” understands your needs and makes you feel “comfortable”.

Just a few simple diet and lifestyle changes will take you a long way. You will be able to add “life” to your years.