HEALTH, self care, Uncategorized

Tried & tested tips to achieve health goals in 2019 #superbloggerchallenge #instacuppa @instacuppa

I am sure majority of us must have made a list of their new year resolutions. And that most of those lists have weight loss and fitness goals in them. But how many of us are actually able to keep up with these goals? How many end up going to the gym for the entire year and not just for the month of january?

In this post i will be sharing some tried and tested tips that have helped me keep up with my healthy lifestyle goals for the past 8 months.

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MOTIVATION- It is very important to stay motivated throughout the fitness journey. One can use diffrent startegies to keep themselves motivated. However, the most powerful motivators that i have found are- some person you want to be like (i remember i had this friend at our last posting who used to never miss the gym even for a day unless and until there is some emergency. I looked at her as my motivation which made sure that i hit the gym everyday); old pictures of your self (pictures from your super skinny days or fitter days. I have one as my phone wallpaper at all times. Everytime i look at it, it reminds me of where i want to be); old clothes/ smaller garment sizes (i have this pair of jeans from my super skinny days. Every couple of months i try it out to reality check where i am and how much more i need to work). You can even as your partner/ friend to keep motivating you every now and then. Even better join support groups.

PLAN- Planning is the next important step. This includes meal plans and exercise plans. Remember we do not want to end up tired and starving. So, jot down a meal plan and exercise routine and follow that. This goes a long way in keeping you on track and not letting go.

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GOALS- Remember, you need to have something to look forward to. Something you need to achieve. Also, goals have to be SMART and REALISTIC. Unattainable goals remain unfulfilled and lead to disappointment. Goals need to be small, specific, sustainable, attainable and timely. Always start with small goals. Several small goals will help you achieve one big goal later. For eg, if you aim to drink 3 litres of water a day. Start with drinking 1 litre everyday and slowly and steadily reach the 3 litre mark.

JOURNAL- Note down each and everything that you do during this journey. What you eat, when you ate, how much did you eat, how much did you workout and how many times a week. When you have your daily routine in front of you, you will know where you went wrong and what needs to be changed. This is by far the best way to give you a reality check.

ONE STEP AT A TIME- Note down all that you need to change with your eating and exercise pattern. And start with one change at a time. Too many changes at once wont last longer. Remember slow and steady wins the race.

WATER INTAKE- Adequate water intake is the key to losing weight. The right amount of water intake helps keep up the body:s metabolism. And better the metabolism, better the fat burning. Now, drinking plain water can be boring. I often felt nauseated after drinking too much of water, so opt for detox water or fruit infused water. You can also take juices, buttermilk, coconut water etc, instead on plain water.

Do read my detailed post on detox waters here- https://motherlymess.site/2019/02/16/let-everyday-be-a-detox-instacuppa-superbloggerchallenge-instacuppa/

KING SIZE BREAKFAST- Many a times we underestimate the power of a nice breakfast. And by nice i mean a big and healthy breakfast. The right breakfast is very important to keep up your energy levels through out the day and not give you the feeling of starving. Thus, automatically leadin to healthy food choices.

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SNACKING- I learnt this the hard way. Few months back there was a time i was so frustrated, because no matter what i tried, i couldnt reach my goal. Something was missing. Thats when i read this post on the effects of snacking. Snacking every couple of hours improves the body’s metabolism and fat burning capacity. It also helps maintain the blood sugar levels and prevents hunger. Eat 5 to 6 smaller meals than 3 big meals. More the gap between two meals. Mpre you feel starved and reach out to sugary snacks. Snacking on healthy options will avoid all of this and will keep you satiated. It prevents the body from going into starvation mode.

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CONSISTENCY- Remember, no matter what diet and exercise routine you follow, inconsistency will lead you nowehere. Being consistent is the key to this whle journey. Even if its a 5 km walk, but do it each and everyday without fail. Also, keep changing your workouts every few weeks. Once your body gets used to a certain workout, it wont respong to it further. so keep challenging your body and yourself.

REWARD SUCCESS- Reward yourself after achieving every small goal. Rewards might be a cheat meal (cheat meal not a chaet day), or a movie date, or some retail therapy. whatever makes you happy. Positive reinforcement is very very important tp keep up your spirits.

All these above mentioned tips have been personally tried and followed by me, so i can vouch for each one of them. These things have helped me keep up with my fitness game.

Remember….

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This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com https://healthwealthbridge.com/health/ ,  Allaboutthewoman.com https://allaboutthewoman.com/woman-health/  and powered by Instacuppa https://instacuppastore.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge is not responsible for any infringement caused.”

HEALTH, self care, Skincare, Uncategorized

Let everyday be a DETOX. #INSTACUPPA #SUPERBLOGGERCHALLENGE @instacuppa

Detox water is one of the best ways to keep your weight loss game on track. Now, we all are aware of the fact that drinking lots of water or keeping yourself hydrated enough speeds up the body’s metabolism and thus helps with the weight loss.

Drinking plain water can become boring at times. Sometimes I feel nauseous if I drink too much of water. So why not add some natural ingredients to it to make it interesting and tasty at the same time. Wouldn’t it be better to drink water from a colourful jar or bottle.

We need detox water to flush out the toxins from our body. Adding fruits and veges and herbs to this water just speeds up the process as compared to drinking plain water.

There are certain rules I follow for my detox water recipes.

  • Add in cucumbers as much as possible. Cucumbers act as natural diuretics and so prevent water retention when had on a daily basis. They also have rehydrating properties.
  • Never forget the citrus component. It has fat burning enzymes and also helps the digestive tract. Plus it adds a nice flavour to the water.
  • Herbs are very important as they contain cleansing properties and also act as stress relievers. They contain anti-oxidants which help flush out toxins.

Lemon water– as simple as it sounds, lemon water is one the best detox drinks. Just add a few slices of lemon or lemon wedges to a pitcher, some mint leaves and some cucumber slices. Add lots of ice (this is optional) and fill it with water. Let it sit for atleast 2 to 3 hours. Ta-da…detox water is ready.

Watermelon love– I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t love watermelons. The red colour, the taste and added advantage of all that water makes it a go to fruit during the summers. So, I thought why to just eat it plain, and why not try a detox drink out of it. And let me tell you it tasted yum. It has become my go to detox water during summers. How to make it? Just add some watermelon pieces, some mint leaves, and a couple lemon slices (you can even add lemon juice instead of the slices). Add some crushed ice and top the jar or bottle with water. Let it sit for 3 to 4 hours and voila! Watermelon love is ready.

Twisty Lemon water– just combine lemon slices, rosemary and ginger in a jar. Top it all with crushed ice and water. And your twisty lemon water is ready to be consumed.

Fruit mix– so as the name suggests its not just one fruit that you will need. For this recipe you will need one pear, one orange and few strawberries, cut them all up into slices/ wedges. Add these to a pitcher alongwith some mint leaves and lemon wedges. Add in ice and water and let it sit for a couple of hours. Your fruit mix is ready to hydrate you through the day.

Berrylicious– you will need around one cup of blueberries, some rosemary and water. That’s all. Add in some crushed ice as well. Enjoy your berrylicious drink in those hot summers.

Detox green tea– yes, that’s right. Green tea can also be used in detox waters. You will need green tea (brew it like you always do or use green tea bags), lemon, honey, strawberries and cucumber. The first step is to brew your green tea as usual and then put it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to chill. To this add one lemon slice, 1 strawberry cut into pieces, 2 to 3 cucumber slices and a little honey. Stir well and add ice (optional). This can even be a great drink when you have your friends over.

Making your own detox water seems so easy, especially when at home. But what when you are travelling or you want to carry it to work or take it along when you have to wait outside your kids school to pick them up. INSTACUPPA comes to rescue at such times. InstaCuppa Double Walled Borosilicate Glass Green Tea Detox Bottle 450 ML with Steel Infuser Unit. is your perfect partner. Not just for fruit infusion but this bottle can be used for tea infusion, coffee infusion or even as a simple glass bottle with a capacity of 450 ml. To top it all it comes with a thermal infusion, anti sweat neoprene sleeve, which makes carrying it around even easier. The infusion unit is made up of premium grade stainless steel and the bottle has an eco friendly leak proof silicon lining bamboo lid. The bottle is made up of double- walled borosilicate glass. This heat resistant material makes it ideal for making and carrying hot as well as cold detox teas/ brews. This is just too much of goodness in one product.

Amazon link- https://amzn.to/2HT4BTU

INSTACUPPA has another option of their InstaCuppa Vacuum Insulated Thermos Travel Mug 470 ML with Steel Infuser Unit. With a 1 click open/ close lid operation, anti slip silicon grip and powder coated matte finish, this mug looks sleek as well as stylish. Health as well as style. It can keep beverages hot for upto 6 hours and cold for upto 12 hours. Oh wait! It can also fit in your car cup holder, gym bag and even your back pack.

Amazon link- https://amzn.to/2HRzYOy

So no more excuses. Get the healthy detox water in and kick the stubborn fat out.

Drink more water- your skin, hair, mind and body will than you for a lifetime.

Do read my detailed post on the benefits of green tea and how it helped me here https://motherlymess.site/2019/02/13/in-a-committed-relationship-with-green-tea-how-it-has-helped-me/

Also, checkout my video post about super blogger challenge and how it has helped me as a blogger here 👉 https://youtu.be/eZ0OBwHzbfQ

#INSTACUPPA #SUPERBLOGGERCHALLENGE @instacuppa

Note: This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2019 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com, Allaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2019 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused.”

HEALTH, self care, Uncategorized

In a committed relationship with green tea- how it has helped me #superbloggerchallenge #instacuppa

I believe, chai is the most consumed beverage in the indian household. I need my cup of masala chai first thing in the morning. Its like that stimulant to kickstart my day. And like most of us, I enjoy my tea with lots of milk and a little sugar. Now I am a person who cannot have my chai just like that. I need something to munch on with it. And usually what goes best with masala chai is biscuits (to be specific- ParleG), cookies, toast/ rusk and sometimes even namkeens. And all of these are the problematic part. They were definitely not helping with my fitness journey. I mean, you cant stop at one biscuit/ cookie/ rusk/ one spoon of namkeen right?

Now, my body has a low metabolic rate. It takes me a lot to get it up to lose those extra calories and unwanted fat. In all these years i have tried lots of tips and tricks to get the metabolism going, but all in vain. So, finally in September 2018 after a lot of speculation, i decided to go with the green tea trend. I had once had a cup of green tea at my dad’s office and i hated the taste, and so i was avoiding it all this while. Initially, the effects of green tea were not visible/ were minimal. I thought this trick also failed. But to my surprise a couple of weeks later, the resukts were quite visible. I was surprised, as to how drinking just 2 cups of this magic drink could help so much.

Lets dig in to “HOW HAVING GREEN TEA CHANGED MY LIFE”.

I started with 2 cups of green tea in a day (morning, evening).

  • The first good thing that happened was that i quit eating all those sugary biscuits and namkeens. I automatically started looking for healthy snacking options. I realised, i enjoyed them only with my masala chai and secondly, I understood that they were completely unwanted.
  • Increased metabolism– This was what I needed for my fitness journey to be successful. It not only increased the metabolism but also the fat burning process. Earlier i used to eat meals because the clock told me that it was time to. But now, i started feeling hungry. This led me to eat at 3 to 4 hourly intervals, which also aided the body metabolism.
  • Fluid retention– Whenever i am on my period, i notice fluid retention. Or even if i sit for too long or long road travels always gave me swelled feet. The natural diuretic properties of the green tea helped me with that and now no more fluid retention. Though i wish i had vaccum insulated thermos and travel mugs so I could carry my brew with me on road journeys (as that problem still persists).
  • Improved energy levels– The caffiene content in the green tea acts as  a stimulant. So, this was the perfect stimulant i needed every morning, plus it also improved my exercise performance. I could do more as compared to earlier. I could run. I am not a runner, but wanted to include it in my exercise regime. Having green tea especially before my workout in the evening helped improve my stamina. I so want to try the green tea smoothies, but the problem carry along remains. I need to get the perfect thermoc or travel mug.
  • Reduced belly fat– Subcutaneous fat is the most problematic fat. it leads to life threatening diseases like diabetes, heart problems etc. The flavanoids and catechins in the green tea specifically target this kind of fat. and the most common problematic area is the belly fat. Its been almost 5 months since i started having this tea and i have already lost around 2 inches of belly fat. I know its not much, but as they say something is better than nothing. I know this is not the end, i have a long way to go. but these results is what keeps me motivated.
  • Glowing skin– Having an oily skin gives me loads of problems (pores, acne, blackheads, pigmentation etc.). Thanks to green tea, my problems have reduced. The anti oxidants and free radicals present in the tea help in minimizing the pores and so lesser dirt deposition and lesser acne and pimples. It also repairs the damage caused by the harmful UVA and UVB radiations. Wet green tea bags when applied over the eyes, also helps reduce the undereye puffiness and dark circles. All of its anti inflammatory and anti bacterial properties is what gives you a healthy, clear and glowing skin.

From being hesitant to try green tea to having a committed relationship with it- I have come a long way. There are times when i am on the go and miss carrying it along, but i never miss a cup when at home. I know getting hold of it is easy at any cafe or restaurant, but let me tell you, i hate the taste of those tea bags. Over these past couple of months, i have tried some organic green tea leaves and believe me you, they taste much better. I like brewing my own green tea, the whole process makes me happy, that colour and aroma itself makes me feel fresh. Only if i had a vaccum insulated thermos/ travel mug to carry it along. WELL INSTACUPPA has the solution InstaCuppa Vacuum Insulated Thermos Travel Mug 470 ML with Steel Infuser Unit. This BPA and Lead free high quality heat resistant glass is ideal for carrying both hot and cold detox brews. It also has a bamboo lid which makes it air tight so its even better.

amazon link- https://amzn.to/2HRzYOy

‘ A cup of green tea makes everything better’… 

 

This article as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2019 conducted byHealthwealthbridge.comAllaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2019 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused

HEALTH, self care, Uncategorized

Healthy eating habits to follow in 2019

Since its New year’s soon, most of us must have started making their New Years Resolution lists. And one of the most common resolution is “getting fit and starting to eat healthy”. But somehow, our resolutions last only for a couple of months, like our gym visits. This is because we usually look for or turn towards short term and short cut measures to achieve them. And not just as a new year’s resolution, but lot many of us decide to eat healthy every now and then and lose our way soon.

What we don’t realise is, that eating healthy is a ‘lifestyle change’. It should be such that you can follow easily and that lasts you the entire year.

Developing sustainable habits is very important in this journey. Most of our eating habits are established during our childhood, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change them later in life. As I always say, ‘getting fit & eating healthy’ is a conscious effort. It takes a lot of work and time as well.

Here are a few pointers that have helped me with my healthy eating journey over the past year.

Plan ahead- until last year I never planned our meals ahead. So many a times, when you cant decide what to cook, we ended up ordering outside food. This not only burns a hole in your pockets, but stocks up on unnecessary calories on you. This was the first step that I took on my healthy eating journey. To start with, I started to meal plan for the next 2 days. When I succeeded in following that, I started planning for the entire week. So, after stocking up on the groceries, I sit down and plan all the meals for the whole week or you can even do it the other way around, plan your meals and then stock up on groceries accordingly, and post it on the fridge. So every morning I know what all I have to prep for the day. This will help you staying away from junk. Having a break once in a while is ok and needed too. But for the most part of the week, follow as planned.

Maintain a food journal/ app- to be honest I am not very good at this. I always end up missing days together. But if you do this religiously, it helps a lot. Every night, before going to bed, note down what all you have eaten that entire day. Do this for a week. At the end of the week, REFLECT on those notes. It will give you an account what all bad and good food choices you made and where you need to cut down. This is especially helpful with snacking.
Read the labels on packaged foods- packaged foods contain high amounts of preservatives, fats, sugar, salts, man made food colourings and other chemicals. These foods aim at convenience and lack the necessary nutrients and fibres.

Mindful Stocking up of groceries- stock up on everything fresh (fruits and vegetables). Stock up on pulses and other wholesome foods. Do not get any fried foods or ready to eat or 2-minute foods. I know we crave for these things when we want to snack on something. But when it won’t be available to you, you will look to other healthy food choices. Snack on cucumbers and carrots, include nuts in your daily diet. This point has worked best for me. I always ended up eating French fries and smileys as snacks. But now when I don’t see them, I don’t crave for them. As I read somewhere “Put the treats out of sight and the fruit bowl on the counter”.

Cook often- cook as much as possible. Home cooked food is any time better and nutritious than packaged or take-home food. If you are not able to cook every day, do all the meal prep once or twice a week. This will save up on cooking time plus and you will eat home cooked healthy food. You can even play with spices and flavours according to your palette. Plus it’s the best way to know what’s on your plate and in your system.

Mindful eating- it is your foundation for adapting healthy eating. Be aware of what you are eating/ what you are putting in your mouth. This is very important for making healthy food choices. Never eat in front of the TV or while scrolling on the phone. Stay away from any sort of distraction and pay more attention to what you are putting on your plate. You will automatically stop eating when full and will feel more satisfied.
Eating slowly- I remember, my father telling me as a child, that I need to chew every bite 32 times. He used to tell me no. of times= no. of teeth. Now, I realise that he was making sure that eat slowly. This helps in proper break down and digestion of the food. Plus, it also makes us aware of our hunger levels. Gobbling up the entire food mindlessly is a bad habit. You will end up eating more than what your body wants or needs. Pause before taking a bite, and chew slowly & intentionally.

Eat 5 to 6 meals a day- instead of eating your whole meal at once, and gobbling it up to clear your plate, divide your food portions. Like for example you are used to eating 2 rotis for lunch, so make a change by eating 1 at lunch and the other 2 to 3 hours later. Eating small and frequent meals helps keep the body metabolism up, which is very important for getting fit and weight loss. This will also help you to control your portion sizes.

Eat all the colours/ seasonal fruits- every fruit & vegetable has a different colour because of the constituting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc. and each of these have a specific role to play. So it is very important that we fill our plates with all the available colours. This way, we get more variation nutrient wise. Plus, the colourful presentation will be interesting to eat. It will also give you an opportunity to try new food groups.

Water first- I have personally realised, that lot many times, when we feel that we are hungry or we have the urge to put something in our mouth for no reason whatsoever, we are actually thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before eating anything, will help you in such situations. And trust me, I have tried this and it has turned out to be true most of the times. Water is an essential for life. It is required for absorption, digestion and transportation of nutrients, it is also needed for removal of body wastes and regulating body temperature. So use this method to stay hydrated.

Eat early/ at least 2 hours before bed time- post dinner the usual thing we do is lie down on the bed. And since there is no or very less physical activity post dinner, our food is burned and digested properly. Plus we feel full and groggy the next morning. The best way to avoid this is to have a minimum of 2hours gap post your dinner. What I usually do is, I try and complete my 10k steps during this time. So I either take my kids out to gaze at the stars and moon, or I do some chores for the next day like soaking the nuts for the morning etc. the idea behind it is not to sleep immediately post meals.

Snacking- Snacking is the best way to curb our cravings and also doesn’t let us starve. With our daily office work, household chores, kids etc. we forget to keep a tab of what and when we have eaten, often leading to starving and then we give in to unhealthy cravings. Snacking throughout the day and especially in between meals will keep us from staving. Snack on healthy options like nuts, fruits, carrots and cucumbers with hummus, fox nuts, puffed rice etc.

HEALTH, self care, Uncategorized

lifestyle changes for a happy & healthy life

Life is a race. Every year each one of us makes a new year resolution to stay healthy and happy. But how many of us actually succeed in accomplishing those? To be happy and healthy does not require lot of money and time- just a little desire and motivation. It is difficult to change ingrained habits, but if we work gradually then the chances of achieving those goals are higher. Practicing small lifestyle changes like the following in our daily routine can transform our life and give it a new perspective.

Early to bed early to rise- we all are used to using our phones and tablets or watch tv till the last minute before we fall asleep. This in turn causes disturbed or inadequate sleep. You often wake up tired and leads to a stressful day ahead. So, instead turn off your devices one to 2 hours before bedtime and get a nice and sound 6 to 7 hours of sleep. Wake up fresh and have a great day ahead.

Have plenty of water- have a glass of warm water first thing after you wake up. It helps to wake you up and your body as well. If you can remember to have a glass of water every 1 to 2 hours then its fine. But if you are someone like me, who sucks at that, then download a water reminder app. Drinking at least 2 to 3 litres of water everyday is very necessary. We need to keep our body hydrated. If it goes into dehydration you are bound to have headaches and stay groggy through out the day. And we need to avoid that.

Eat fresh and local food- Every week go visit the local market and get fresh supplies. Get in a habit of cooking your own meals. If you are unable to do so everyday, prepare your food in a batch every Sunday, so you automatically wont eat unhealthy. Throw away all that junk and packaged food. The best way is to not get it in the house in the first place. When you don’t have it in your reach, you would not crave for it. Eat all seasonal fruits and vegetable. There is a reason why you get them in a particular season. Get in a habit of planning out your meals in advance. So this way you know what you need to get from the stores. And try not to put packaged food in your trolley. And, this is very important, never skip any meal. Especially your breakfast. It should be filling and of course healthy so as to avoid cravings through out the day. Also get in to the habit of eating every 2 to 3 hours. This helps maintain blood sugar levels and keeps up the body metabolism.

Planning- Plan out your next day today. Invest in a good to do list and scheduler or planner. Some people can do it for the entire week and someone like me does it every night only for the next day. You can even find many apps for the same in your play store. Go through this list every morning while sipping your water or morning tea. So automatically your brain prepares itself for what lies ahead. Plus you don’t need to stress about things. And this includes planning for food as well. I, usually make two lists. 1 is a to do list with all that I plan to accomplish in a week and the 2nd is a daily planner wherein I chalk out my tasks for the entire day. This includes my blog, other social media, household chores and stuff related to kids. Trust me, this helps a lot in getting hold of your daily life. And so less stress and happier you.

Get your ass off that couch- Get moving honey! Sitting on that couch is not gonna help any way. Start exercising. It might be something as simple as a brisk walk. But do it every day. As we all know we need to do at least 10k steps everyday. Start with a small goal of say 3k steps and gradually go up to 10k. But this doesn’t mean you do 3k steps in one single go. No!!! You have to be active through out the day. Choose zumba or aerobics or bollywood dancing. But make sure to sweat it out. Exercising daily leaves you with lesser lethary and more energy. It makes you feel good about yourself. People having desk jobs should make it a point to take a break and leave the desk every couple of hours. Take a small walk, or Just do some stretching exercises near your desk.

Practice gratitude- everyday before going to bed, think about the best thing that happened to you that day. And be thankful for that. Be thankful for the everyday small things that we often take for granted. Practicing gratitude makes you happy like nothing else can.

Self care- everyday make sure to take out a little time only for yourself. Even 10 mins in your happy place with a cup of tea/ coffee is enough. Stand in front of the mirror and praise yourself. Every day say good things to yourself. Go to a spa or a movie or a dinner date or just chill at home. We need to nourish ourselves to be able to do that to others. Love yourself the way you do to others, or maybe more than that.

Declutter- get rid of all the excess baggage that we usually carry around with us. Declutter your closet, kitchen, house and your mind. Make room for more light, fresh air and happy thoughts. Practice positivity in your life. Give your surroundings and your Mind that much needed makeover and see that glow on your face.

Get away from haters- say goodbye to all those you put you down, who say and do bad things for you. Don’t let anybody take you for granted. Haters are gonna hate, no matter how nice you are to them. So isn’t it better to chuck them out of your life. Surround yourself with people who know you for the good in you, people who uplift you and friends who stuck with you even during your worst times.

Small things great joys- This is one thing that I always say that we need to learn from kids ‘Appreciating small things’. With the aim of achieving higher goals, we often forget our smaller goals. Unknowingly we ignore the small everyday joys that come our way. And so we miss out on many important moments in life. We should learn to appreciate these small things to stay happy. Achieving the bigger goal is going to take time, till then soak in these small joys and stay happy.

Learn to say no- Whether its unhealthy food or toxic people. Learn to say no. Often we do things just for someone else’s happiness and in the process upset ourselves. We have to stop that. We stay in a relationship with someone only because they need us, but we ignore the fact that that very person is hurting us constantly. Break away from such people. it might be someone from your family or a friend or your boss. Say no when someone offers you unhealthy food. Practicing this is difficult, but is for our best in the long run.

“Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change..”

HEALTH, self care, Uncategorized

Exercising Gratitude

In this fast paced and stressful lives of ours, we often forget to be thankful for the things we have. We tend to take these things for granted. Gratitude is from a Latin word gratus. It is a feeling of appreciation felt by and/ or similar positive response shown by the recipient of kindness, gifts, helps, favors, or other types of generosity, towards the giver of such gifts.

The thing is, that we aren’t hardwired to be grateful. And like any other skill, gratitude needs practice. It takes only 8 weeks of gratitude practice for people to start showing changed brain patterns that lead to greater empathy and happiness. We usually show gratitude only when we are benefitted from someone’s actions.

Gratitude helps us to differentiate the good from the bad. It helps us realize what we have. In all, it strengthens our relationships, reduces stress, and makes us even more happier. Some studies even show that feeling grateful makes people less likely to turn aggressive when provoked.

Ways to practice gratitude:

Gratitude journal/ Jar: It is as simple as noting down one or two things daily, which you are grateful for. You can note it down in a fancy notebook or even a simple one, or maybe makes notes and put them in a glass jar. The idea is to think back on the past few days and remember things we are extremely grateful for. This helps us to change our perception to various situations by adjusting what we focus on. Also, if you are unable to do it everyday, start by doing it once a week or maybe every alternate day, any which way suits you. You can make it fun by taking pictures of things you are grateful for and pasting them in.

Compliment: Give at least one compliment to someone. Or maybe to yourself. Tell someone you love them and how much you appreciate them. Practice self love.

Gratitude walk in Nature: Interact with nature. Take a walk in your nearby park or go trekking or sky diving. Notice the natural beauty around you and compliment it. Be aware of the nature, the colour of the trees & leaves, the various flowers you see, the sounds of birds and such .

Act of kindness: Do one act of kindness everyday. Feeding the stray dog, or helping an old man to cross the road. Or even work for a social cause. When you give something, you automatically feel grateful.

Quality time: Spend quality time with your friends, family, spouse, kids, or even pets.

Positivity: Surround yourself with positivity. Cut out negative people, negative media from your lives. Even if you are in a negative situation, try to focus on the good that it will bring, what you will learn from it.

Complaint less: Try and be satisfied and happy with what you have. Stop running after everything. If your friend has a particular thing doesn’t mean you should also. Learn to differentiate between ‘want’ and ‘need’. Enjoy the little things.

Thankfulness: Thank others. Not for something big they Did, but for the small things people around do for us, that we often forget to notice or appreciate. Say thank you when your colleague offers you a glass of water, or when some unknown person helps you at the store.

Catching up: Spend some quality time with family and friends. With ourbusy schedules, we hardly get any time to catchup with our loved ones. Make an conscious effort to meet your parents, relatives and friends once a month or every 3 months, whatever suits. The number of times you meet is not important. Meeting once in 6 months and spending quality loved time with them is what matters. When you give love and happiness, it will automatically come back to you .

Meditation: Gratitude mediation is a little different from normal meditation. During normal meditation we focus on our breath, keep our mind clear and focus on a particular thing. Gratitude meditation is visualizing things in our life that we are grateful for. Show gratitude for things we take for granted like having a house to live in, three meals a day, physical ability and such. There can be hundreds of reasons to meditate. Take stock of such things that you are grateful for and you will feel much better afterward.

As I read somewhere “ Developing an attitude of gratitude isn’t just a pop psychology trend. It has been linked to an overall better quality of life.”In this overly negative world, we all could use a little more TLC. Feeling gratitude is one of the easiest ways to feel inner peace. What happens around us is not in our control, but reacting to it is. People who practice gratitude are more easy going, happier and secure.

There are numerous ways of practicing gratitude. Choose what works best for you. And after sometime if you feel that it has lost its freshness or you are bored of that particular way, make a change in how, when and how often you express yourself.

HEALTH, self care

Lets stretch and loosen up..

Everybody needs something to wake up in the morning. 10 alarms, a cup of coffee, a cup of tea or a splash of water on their face. We need something to set that kick in to get us started with the day. Similarly our body also needs something to wake up. We often feel lethargic and heavy and stiff after waking up in the morning.

Stretching is known to have many benefits pre and post workout. Similarly it has many benefits when done first thing in the morning. Stretching every part individually may take up a lot of time and since most of us are running late in the mornings, we might avoid it.

So here are few stretching exercises that will give you a full body stretch and will get you ready for the day. Make sure to invest in a good quality comfortable pair of leggings, a full support sports bra and a tank top which moves with your movements and doesnt restrict them.

Standing side bending-

Stand with your feet together. Now slowly take your arms overhead and interlace your fingers, with index fingers pointing towards the ceiling. Inhale deeply while doing so.

Now exhale slowly and bend our upper body to either of the sides. Remember you have to stretch just the upper body, your hips shouldnt sway or twist.

When you feel the stretch, maintain that position for 5 counts and then slowly come back to the centre. While maintaining this stretch, do not hold your breath.

Repeat 5 times on each side.

Forward bending

Stand with your feet slightly apart and knees slightly bent. Always keep in mind that knees shouldnt be in a fully extended or hyperextended position. You dont have to lock them.

Inhale deeply and extend your arms back with your fingers interlaced behind.

Now, breathe out and start bending forwards, with your arms simultaneously moving towards your head, fingers towards your ceiling. Always maintain your lumbar curve while bending.

Stop where you feel the stretch and hold for 5 counts.

Repeat 5 times.

Inchworm to downward dog-

Stand straight with feet slightly apart. Bend forwards as if trying to touch your toes. Place your hands on the floor and walk forwards with your hands and stop when you attain a plank position.

Exhale and lift your heels away from the floor and lengthen your tailbone/ sitting bone away from the back of your pelvis as if you are lifting it towards the ceiling.

Try and stretch your heels down towards the floor and straighten your knees, but be sure not to lock them.

Keep the head between the upper arms and dont let it hang.

Maintain this position for 5 counts, and then come back to the standing position in the reverse sequence.

Repeat 5 times.

Runner’s stretch-

Stand with your feet hip width apart. Now step your left foot forward and lower yourself into a lunge. Place both the hands on either side of your left foot but shoulder width apart.

Breathe in deeply. Now straighten your left leg. When you feel the stretch, count till 5 while maintaining that position. Slowly return to the lunge position.

Repeat 5 times on each side.

Seated back twist-

Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Bend your left knee and step your left foot over the right leg and place next to your right knee. Place your left hand on the floor for support.

Bend your right elbow and turn to the left. Place the back of your right arm against the left knee. Inhale and sit tall.

Exhale as you twist, pressing your right arm onto the left knee and look over the left shoulder. Stop when you feel the stretch, hold for 5 counts. Do not hold your breath. Slowly come back to the centre and repeat on the other side.

Repeat 5 times on each side.

Foetal/ baby pose- this stretch also acts as a cool down.

Kneel down on the floor and touch your big toes to each other as you sit on your heels. Place your hands on your thighs. Inhale.

Exhale and bend forwards with your palms sliding on the floor. Lay your torso between your thighs as you do so.

Stretch the tail bone away from the back of the pelvis as you lift the back of your head slightly away from the back of your neck. Stretch your arms forwards and place them in front in line with your knees.

Since this is also a resting pose, you can stay in it for a few minutes.

Benefits

1. Increases the blood flow and gives a boost of energy throughout the day. It prevents lethargy and feeling of tiredness.

2. Increases oxygen flow to the brain for improved morning alertness.

3. It helps to calm your mind.

4. Increases flexibility and range of motion and thus fewer aches and pains throughout the day.

5. Improved posture- for people who have desk jobs at work or work in front of the computers for longer periods of time. These people often develop poor posture due to overstretched back muscles and tight chest muscles. These stretches when done before starting your day will loosen up those muscles and if done regularly will improve the posture over a period of time.

6. And of course, you will burn some calories as well.

“If you stretch correctly and regularly, you will find that every movement you make becomes easier”.

HEALTH, self care

23 tried and tested ways to de- stress

These days life has become very stressful. Things like traffic jams, unhappy/ troubled relationships, heavy workload, motherhood, exams, everyday expenses are the most common sources of stress and tension. Whenever, we are stressed, our hormones go into the fight or flight response. This increases our heart rate and we start breathing heavily/ feel anxious/ feel nervous. Whenever in such a situation, it is important to activate the body’s relaxation response. Being stressed is not really a choice, but to relax is.

Today’s post is all about things that help me to relax or de- stress and which maybe useful for you all too. The list is in no particular order.

  1. WALK: go for a walk, especially where there is greenery. Might be a neighbourhood park or your own garden or even in your balcony with your potted plants. This boosts our endorphins and reduces the stress hormones. This will automatically attract your attention to the surrounding and away from the stress causing factor.
  2. DEEP BREATHING: will make your body feel relaxed. Deep breathing-> oxygen boost-> reduced stress.
  3. MEDITATION: easier said than done. We are not saints who can meditate anywhere and everywhere. So what we can do is, we can concentrate all our attention on one particular point in the room/ wherever you are. It might be the wall, a painting, or a showpiece. Automatically, your brain is diverted to that thing and away from the stress. Many a times chanting “AUM” also works.
  4. TALK/ SPEAK- UP/ SHARE: It maybe your friend, your mom, sibling, colleague or just any random person. Just vent it out. Keeping it within is going to increase your stress- level. It is necessary to get rid of your stress inducing thought.
  5. MUSIC: It is often suggested that we listen to classical or soothing music to relax. But, i would say, listen to whatever music that makes you happy. We need to release those feel good hormones to relax. For some it might be rock or maybe jazz, basically any music that you love. I have known surgeons who listen to music while operating just because it relaxes them. And if none of the above, then sing/ humm for yourself. Worse come worse you will end up laughing at your singing skills, which will also give the desired result- relaxation.
  6. YOU TUBE: watch funny videos, especially those of animals (cats and dogs) and babies. There is no way you wont feel relaxed. Laughing-> increased oxygen intake-> releasing feel good hormones -> relaxation.
  7. MATHS: I know, many of you might be saying, this woman is crazy. But trust me solving a simple maths equation or sum will relax you well. It might even be something as simple as counting forwards and backwards or reciting the tables.
  8. GET CRAFTY: Create/ make something. Activities with repeated motions like knitting, jewellery making, origami, drawing and painting, doodling, or sometimes even colour my daughters colouring books. These fine motor activities grab your attention such that you forget the reason for your stress.
  9. Take a warm bath or relax in the pool.
  10. YOGA: SHAVASANA is the most common asana for relaxing. It helps you regulate your breathing and also in muscle relaxation. All you need is a mat or even a carpet will do. And if nothing is available just lie down on the floor. Or just lay back on your chair. You can even try the other stress- relieving poses like the eagle pose.
  11. DANCE: Go to a pub, discotheque, or just dance in front of the mirror or wherever you are. People might make fun of you, but its helping you. And when they see you enjoying, i am sure they will join in. Remember how Meredith Grey (Any greys anatomy fans here?) dances it out? Its the same. Dont worry about anything or anyone, you need those feel good hormones.
  12. HUG: Now, this might sound stupid to many. But ask someone to hug you. It might be your office colleague, sibling, BFF, or a random person. You can even try hugging your favourite pillow. Whenever you hug someone or someone hugs you, you feel the support, you feel cared for, you will feel happy and so relaxed.
  13. PET: that furball of yours will give you immense joy when you play with it or take it out for a walk. Hug your pet Nd talk to it.
  14. DECLUTTER: This is one of the main things that i personally do to relax. Just pick a corner of the house, or a drawer, or your cupboard and start decluttering and cleaning and organizing it. The idea is to get rid of the junk or unwanted stuff. It acts like a vent out for the negativity that is causing the stress.
  15. ROCKING CHAIR: Ever wondered why and how a crying baby is consoled or put to sleep? Its the rocking movement that is used. This rocking movement releases the endorphins which improve your mood and thus reduce anxiety. Now, obviously you cannot be held like a baby, so go get that rocking chair.
  16. SCREAM/ SIGH: The idea is to let it all out. I have seen it in a bollywood movie. Letting out a scream or a heavy sigh makes yu take in more oxygen after, which helps to calm down your nerves and you feel light and relaxed.
  17. CHEWING GUM: According to some studies, chewing a piece of gum, improves your breathing and thus reduces anxiety.
  18. TREAT TIME: A small piece of chocolate never hurt anyone. I am not saying binge eat or eat the whole bar. Just a small chunk. Getting a little sugar in your system will definitely make you feel good. And no, this doesnt mean that i support stress eating.

The above mentioned ways were what you can do when you are feeling stressed, like immediately at that moment. But there are certain things that you should follow in general in your daily routine to help you fight stress. Lets take a look at them:

  1. Try and get GOOD QUALITY SLEEP. Switch off that mobile/ TV atleast an hour before going to bed. Light some scented candles in your room, have a warm bath, have a nice conversation with your partner and go to bed. Also, do not drink tea/ coffee after 7 PM. Caffiene will make you more alert and will compromise your sleeping time.
  2. REDUCING SCREENTIME: More screentime throughout the day leads to disturbed sleep, stress and depression (in extreme cases). If you are a office worker, then screen time= work. So, try and take breaks every hour or two. Drink water, take a small walk in and around your office, listen to some music, chat with your colleague, do stretching exercises at your desk. Just go off screen for sometime and then return refreshed and start working again. For SAHM, make sure you use your mobiles, laptops, TV when the kids are sleeping or are at the school or day care. When they are home spend all the time with them. Automatically your screentime reduces to just a few hours. And spending time with kids is one of the best stress busters.
  3. MINDFUL EATING: Always be careful of what you put in your system. There are some foods that may cause digestion issues. These might get you stressed. Snack on healthy options like dry fruits, nuts, fruits. Get out of the room, go to a peaceful corner with lots of air and light and eat. Focus on the food and how it makes you feel. It is very important to nourish your system from within.
  4. HOUSEPLANTS: Some plants are not just air purifiers but also act as calming agents. Keep one on your office desk, decorate them in your living room/ bedroom/ in your house. Even talking to plants helps. Imagine you are talking to your friend.
  5. SELF CARE: That occasional visit to the salon or spa is also needed. Get a nice massage or just a mani/ pedi. Enjoy that me time. Go for shopping alone. Retail therapy never hurt anyone, especially you girls out there.

So thats all..

I know it was a long post but i am sure you would agree with a couple pointers here and will find the others to be helpful as well. Most of these methods are tried and tested by me, so i know for sure that they work.

If you like what i write, then show me some love.

Stay tuned for more.

Till then

BBYe…..

HEALTH

The nutty affair..

We are often advised to eat soaked almonds every morning to improve our memory. We have seen our grandmothers and mothers adding dry fruits in some or the other way to our food or milk every day. I for one was never too keen and serious about consuming them in my daily diet. I used to munch on a handful of them if and when I felt like.

However, since the past couple of months, I have been including them in our daily diet, which has benefited me in many ways. So, in this post I will share with you all how I include them in my daily diet and how it has helped me.

Every night I soak around 10 to 12 almonds and 3 walnuts for us. And I also soak 8 to 10 black raisins with 3 to 4 strands of saffron for myself. My husband and my daughter, eat the almonds and walnut with their breakfast. I however eat them first thing in the morning along with my raisins and saffron. And sometimes as a snack in the evening. And for my 17 months old son, I just grind them and add it to his food. As he is still unable to chew them completely.

Let’s look into the benefits now.

  1. Almonds– are high in monounsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E, which help in maintaining cholesterol levels. It also contains magnesium and potassium which normalizes the blood pressure and heart function. It is also rich in dietary fibre, proteins and good fats (helps in weight management).
  1. Walnuts– are rich in Vitamin E, Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which improve one’s cognitive function, helps to fight stress and provides a sense of calm. The B- vitamins and antioxidants present in a walnut prevents the signs of ageing (wrinkles), strengthens the hair and prevents hair fall.
  1. Dates– rich in iron, hence beneficial for anaemic people. It has high amounts of natural sugars, which provide a boost of energy. Used by many to break their fasts. It’s high fibre content promotes digestion and relieves constipation.
  1. Raisins– made from dehydrated grapes. They are packed with fibres, vitamins and minerals and energy. They are known to reduce acidity and help in digestion. Some people even eat a few raisins before going to bed at night. They also boost your iron levels and keep your bones strong. They also help in treating bloating, anaemia, fever, and sexual dysfunction, help in a healthy weight gain, also have a good impact on eye, dental, hair and bone health.
  1. Pistachios– help lowering the bad cholesterol level, boost immunity and even fight diabetes. But of course, not the salted ones.
  1. Cashews– are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (vitamins E, K and B6/ minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron and selenium). All these help in maintaining good body functions. It helps in reducing the blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. It helps the body to form and utilize the red blood cells, thus, keeping the vessels, nerves, immune system and bones healthy. It also helps in weight loss (good cholesterol).

My personal experience:

My hair loss has reduced tremendously, my hair texture and quality has improved and so has its growth rate. My acidity and bloating has completely vanished, there is an overall improvement in my digestion. Also, my skin has become smoother, and it glows. Yes, it does (the saffron definitely has a role to play here).

So, go ahead and start eating these powerhouses from tomorrow. You may soak them and eat in the morning or maybe just as a snack. But do include them in your daily diet. And see the results for yourself.

 

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till then

bbye.