Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Healthy Alternatives to Junk Food

There are lots of foods that silently add hundreds of calories to your diet. These foods are easily accessible and tasty. These are also often high in saturated fats or sugar or both. Thus, not only do they add to your body fat, they even increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. For many people, the battle to lose weight or keep the fat off can be a long and difficult road and eating these high calorie foods can only make it harder.

Find below a list of foods which are amongst the worst for achieving fat loss:-
1.      Fried Potatoes  Studies shows that people who consume potatoes daily, in any form, put on about a pound on average over 4 years. This is because of potato’s high GI (Glycemic Index), which causes a spike in blood sugar levels. Potatoes eaten in moderation are not bad since they even contain some essential nutrients. But when potatoes are fried, they absorb a lot of oil. So a high amount of saturated fat is added, which may increase the risk of heart disease and the body’s fat levels.
Better alternative For a low GI option, swap potatoes with sweet potatoes. Or have normal potatoes with the skin to increase fibre content. You can make your own French fries by oven roasting them with a light spray of olive oil.

2.      Processed Meats Processed meats are high in fat, most of which is saturated and also high in calories, which contributes to weight gain.
 Better alternative Choose lean meats and opt for a lower saturated fat protein source such as fish.

3.      Soda and energy drinks Sugar sweetened soda and energy drinks are high in sugar and calorie content and there are little to no nutrients in these drinks.
Better alternative Sugar free sodas or water flavoured with a lemon/lime juice.

4.      Refined Grains Food that is made from refined grains such as white breads can spike blood sugar levels which can increase hunger and make us overeat.
Better alternative Whole grain based foods.

5.      Mayonnaise Apart from pure fats and oils, mayonnaise may just be the foods with the largest percentage of fat. A100g serving of mayonnaise contains about 80g of fat.
Better alternative Use low fat yoghurt with lemon as a substitute of tangy salad dressing.

6.      Ice cream and cream Ice cream contains not only fattening cream, but also eggs yolks and sugar, which means it is incredibly high in calories.
 Better alternative Use low fat yoghurt or condensed milk to replace cream in cooking and choose low fat and sugar ice creams or sorbet, which is water based.

7.      Chocolate, cake and candy These foods are high in sugar and calories with low nutrient value.
Better alternative If you do eat chocolate keep portion sizes small and opt for higher cocoa content as cocoa provides healthy antioxidants. Choose other treats such as fresh fruits, low fat yoghurt or a low sugar flavoured dairy dessert.

8.      Fast Foods Fast foods are detrimental for any diet, weight loss or not. They are high in saturated fat content, contain simple carbohydrates and are likely to be high in sugar content.
Better alternative Make tasty and healthier alternatives at home using healthy ingredients such as whole grain, lean meat, low fat ingredients and good fats. If you do eat at a fast food joint, then minimize the portion size.

9.      Butter, lard and other animals fats With pure saturated fat and very high calories, it is best to stay away from these.
Better alternative Replace animal fat with unsaturated fat like olive oil or canola oil. Choose non fat cooking methods or use spray oil for cooking to get the smallest possible amount.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Since most detox diets are usually calorie-deprivation diets in disguise, I steer clear of them, but I still think that there are natural ways to get your body back on track. Exercise, cutting out alcohol and refined sugars, and eating a healthy diet does wonders. A little extra help doesn’t hurt either.

Here are ten healthy foods with natural cleansing properties. Include them in your next meal and get rid of that extra junk left over from the big feast.

1.    Wheatgrass Juice

The vital health – giving powers of whaet grass juice help fight a host of conditions like chronic fatigue, anemia ,high blood pressure,diabetes , high cholesterol , dull skin , liver problems,cold,asthma etc.It contains ample amount of chlorophyll which is structurally similar to hemoglobin and thus it is very effective in anemia treatment.

2. Lemon Water

Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, which is known to help the body detox and burn fat. It is  recommended to have water with lemon every morning as a way to alkalize the body and help with digestion.

3. Dark Leafy Greens

They help improve Hemoglobin levels, improve eye sight , improve bone health. It is rich in anti –oxidants and thus reduces risk of heart disease , cancer.It makes the skin shine , improves hair growth .You can add them to parathas, dal , salad, soup,sabzi.

4. Fresh Fruit

They are full of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and just about any other good thing you can name. They reduce risk of Stroke, heart disease and other heart-related illnesses ,Type 2 diabetes ,Certain cancers, provide energy , makes skin & hair shine
5. Cucumber juice
It is alkaline in nature and rich in potassium.It helps combat fatigue and muscle strain.It is highly effective in treating hyper acidity .It is also a skin cleanser which is even more effective when blended with carrot juice.
6. Carrot Juice
It helps fight tumors,increases vitality,improves skin, hair , nails and purifies the blood.It also strengthens immunity and prevents constipation.You can also mix it with beet juice or spinach juice with some seasonings.
7. Beets
It helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol , improve hemoglobin , relieves fatigue ,lowers risk of cancer. Fiber in beets help increase the production of antioxidant enzymes in the liver, which help the liver and gallbladder eliminate bile and other toxic substances from the body.
8. Ginger and Garlic
Ginger and garlic are good friends to the liver because they help it get rid of free radicals that are built up in the body. It improves immunity , fights cold and cough.It lowers risk of heart disease , diabetes and cancer.
9. Green Tea
It’s high in catechins — a flavonoid — which speeds up liver activity and increases the production of detoxification enzymes.It is rich in antioxidants. It helps in weight loss, improves bone health ,fights cancer,lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
10. Awla
It is the richest source of Vit C.It improves immunity,promotes health and longevity,fights cold and cough.It hastens healing process, gives healthier and more lustrous hair . It also cures acne and pimples. It can reduce pain and swelling and is helpful against diseases like arthritis.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Safety Tips For Celebrating Holi 2014

Come March and it is the time for welcoming Spring at its best and what better way to start it than with celebrating Holi. Legend has it that this Indian festival is celebrated in memory of Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashyap the demon king who ruled the Kingdom of Earth. This demon king wanted to kill his pious son Prahlad by placing him on a pyre of fire. So he coaxed Holika who had the boon of remaining unscathed in fire to keep Prahlad on her lap so that he could be burnt. However, Prahlad who was Lord Narayanas devotee escaped and till today Holi is celebrated to burn away evil from the Earth.
Filled with colours and a vibrancy that cannot be matched, Holi augments the period of goodwill and forgiveness and the custom of applying colours is linked to a scientific belief that these colours cool the body and ward away viral diseases like chicken pox and other skin ailments. However, over a period, celebrations have taken a turn and have proved detrimental to health. Let us have a look on some safety tips for celebrating Holi.

Oil Your Body Well
  • Firstly, since Holi is a festival of colours, remember to oil your hair and body well before you go out to play. Apply castor oil or coconut oil on your body and hair and add lemon in the oil if you have dandruff.
  • A sunscreen lotion and a moisturizer would cap it up and make sure you reach out behind your ears, as these remain neglected areas and get filled with the varied colours.
Beauty Care on Holi Day
  • It is a good idea to apply nail polish, as this would prevent the colours from entering your nails and spoiling them.
  • Applying a lip balm makes sure your lips do not get filled with colours.
  • Keeping a soothing agent like cucumber juice or aloe vera helps. Avoid gaudy colours and as far as possible use natural colours.
What To Wear on Holi
  • Wear cotton clothes, which are dark and stay away from synthetic as they stick to the body when wet.
  • Also, do not wear jeans, as denims tend to get heavy when they get wet. Save your skin by covering your body well with long sleeved and long pants.
Water Water Everywhere, Stay Hydrated
  • Stay hydrated and make sure you have lot of water during and before you play Holi. These safety tips for celebrating Holi would help you have a happy, joyous celebration without any problem.
All Eyes On Holi
  • If you are, using contact lenses then steer away from wearing lenses while playing holi.
  • Be careful with your spectacles and make sure you have a thread to hold it to your eyes lest it falls off in a pool of water.
Some More Tips
Other safety tips for celebrating Holi include simple practices like keeping the windows of your car shut and keeping a safe distance from a frenzied group. If someone has applied a permanent colour on you, rinse it of with cleansing milk first and then use soap on it.
Once Holi is over take a warm water bath and apply body lotions and moisturizer. Holi is a warm and happy festival and you could make it memorable by following these simple safety tips on Holi and by binging on Bhaang and Puran Poli.
Till then Bura na Mano Holi Hai!