5 Simple Rules for Setting Up An Exercise Routine and Sticking To It

An exercise routine is probably the best way to stay fit and active. But many of us only like the idea of a workout but don’t actually like doing it. For example, you may read about different types of exercise regimes, may try it too but prefer your TV and couch more. Or every time you think about doing an actual workout, you always come up with some more urgent work. Also keeping a set routine may not work for you too. Personally I  did not like exercising at first especially at the gym. Still hate it. I used to get irritated with sweat and greasy hair. Since I have started working out at my home, in my comfort space and I haven’t looked back. I do exercise about 30 min daily now. I admit I had to push myself a lot but I am healthier and stronger now. Below are some of the pointers that helped me overcome the barrier and switch to an exercise routine.

How To Begin Exercise Routine

woman-1562560_960_720Start With Someone -You have heard this before. But the challenge is you don’t have anyone to start with. My advice. Use technology. I used to Skype my mom and we both used to exercise at that time. It brought consistency, and most important some giggles too. It’s harder to ditch workout plans if someone is waiting. If she was not available, I used to just put on shoes and go for a 45 min walk to the lake. After some time I started running a little in between. And now I can see the difference. I can bring 10 grocery bag 2 flight stairs without sweating a breath. In fact, I have made some new friends that also come around at the same time. So you see my problem kind of found its own solution.

shoe-1324431_960_720Set doable goals – If you are trying to lose 10 lb., I say you may lose it in a healthy manner in 2-3 months. Keeping your goal in mind determine the amount of time you can actually workout. Also, you don’t have to put that 30 min altogether. Divide it in your day. Don’t give up thinking I don’t have a straight schedule to keep 30 mins every day. The most important part of figuring out when to workout is to find a time that works for you. If you can’t do it in your mind. Put it on your calendar. If your meetings are important so is your health. Treat those 30 mins as an appointment to self.

basketball-784097_960_720Mix n match different workouts – You don’t have to have to do weights. Sure you can try it later but initially just focus on finding what you like first. For example, my husband can never step in the gym. The only time he will visit gym would be if they start showing football matches with chilled beer. n I don’t think that will ever happen. he tried yoga, dropped it.Tried spinning, can’t do it. But hey he likes to play. He goes to play badminton and tennis every alternate day. Takes a 20 min walk about every morning. And if he is feeling adventurous a friendly football match on weekends. One should try classes, videos or modes of working out on a weekly basis. Keeping your exercise routine different will keep you motivated.

cycling-148956_960_720Keep a visual / Journal – By a visual I mean seriously hang that favorite pair of dress you would love to fit into. If you see it every day, I am sure it will be enough to keep your exercise routine going. Also, Start keeping a journal and write down all the new things you can do and that you have accomplished since you started. Note down your vital stats and compare them every 15 days. Who know in just 2 weeks you are again fitting into your favorite shorts. Believe me even dropping a pound gives an immense feeling. By tracking your small wins, you feel like going the extra mile.

Keeping Exercise routine When Outside

sport-2188444_960_720 When on business/ vacation: Ok this one probably is the biggest culprit because not only you don’t want to exercise but a travel plan can totally make you not wanting exercise too .There are still a few thing you can do when traveling for business or vacation. Select a hotel with fitness center. If not available see on the map that is there a park or trail or lake around. Still a no. Pack a skipping rope and make use of it. Also, a lot of hotels have the swimming pool. You can get your exercise there. Going out for dinner, park your car 2 blocks away and walk. Use stairs not lift. So you see, when there is a will there is a way. Just don’t think that going away from home is a reason not to work out.

There is no denying the fact that exercise routine helps people lose weight. But most importantly it lowers the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise makes us stronger and alive. Contrary to the belief you feel more energized after exercise than tired. A small effort goes a long way. We all have Deadlines at work, presentations, family obligations, and travel plans and they can all get in the way of a scheduled workout. But just don’t give up on exercising. Don’t beat yourself up about missing a workout. A new day brings another 24hrs, invest in you.

I hope these pointers help you start an exercise routine and sticking to it. Share your experience below in comment sections.

How to Start Eating Healthy: 5 Easy & Doable Ideas

 

Eating healthy is one thing we want to start daily but cannot keep up with. Every new year many people say that losing weight and eating healthy is their target. It’s true as 21.4% voted to eat healthy as the first choice. But as days pass by we get busy with work and other thing and the year goes by. Today I am writing about a few thing we can do to kick start eating healthy routine. Besides avoiding artificial additives, artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, cookies, you need to do a lot more. Read on to see how easily you can make a healthy choice and feel better.

Simple Ideas To Start Eating Healthy

 

 animation-1297198_960_720Start with no sugar in tea n coffee – A daily visit to Starbucks is so imbibed with going to the office that we don’t even count the sugar and extra calories of that morning cup. Don’t get me wrong,  Americans get a lot of antioxidants from their morning cup of java. Though many prefer to drink it black, a lot of people add milk and sugar. Not only are we diluting the taste, we are also reducing its health benefits by adding sugar n cream. If you can’t do away with milk try adding cinnamon, nutmeg or turmeric. You can carry a small bottle with you in bag or car and sprinkle it. I do it, no shame in taking care of health. By cutting 2 spoons of sugar you are cutting 40 calories instantly. Read about 5 ingredients you should add to coffee , here. 

 

vegetables-29063_960_720Have a green smoothie or carrot juice – Green smoothie instantly increase fruit & vegetable intake. If you don’t like chewing veggies why not drink up. Greens are a great source of non-dairy calcium, magnesium and Vitamin C. It is easy to make and you can mix n match till you find your favorite flavor. Mine is spinach, kale, avocado, ginger, coconut water, and lemon. And for lazy days just spinach, banana n almond milk. Don’t like greens add some carrots, an orange a little ginger and water and enjoy a powerful dose of Vit A & C. Start your day with a fresh fruit juice and get your eating healthy routine started.

 

 pizza-155771_960_720Don’t eat unhealthy twice in a row – This one is very important. You may want to be eating healthy at every meal but sometimes circumstances do not permit that. A party at the office, or someone’s farewell or your bosses birthday, and you can’t avoid it. You don’t have to feel guilty about eating what you like, after all, thats what we are here for. right ? Sure go ahead and enjoy. But don’t eat unhealthy twice in a row. Choose next meal to be fruit or salad. I never eat two heavy meals in a day. firstly, it derails the daily progress and also make you bloated and lazy.

 

woman-1562560_960_720Don’t do all things at once – If you have never lifted weights or are not used to running and walking, do not just start doing all at once. I am also not a gym freak myself. I try to eat healthy daily and exercise 3 times a week. Don’t attempt to do all things in one go. Start eating healthy first, maybe a walk after the evening meal. Gradually set a routine that works for you and is easy to keep. Don’t think that doing everything together will bring results faster. But think about having a routine you can keep and feel good about.

 

 strawberry-34066_960_720Snack placement at home – Many people eat healthy at the meal because they consider the meal to be a big factor but don’t weigh in the snacks. What we eat between meals is very important. You need something to fuel your body between breakfast to lunch or dinner. But if you eat too much in between meals you are less likely to eat a proper meal. Make designated corner for a snack. Place unsalted nuts in a small box daily. You could place a bowl of fruits and energy bar near the front door or next to the sofa where you watch tv and don’t count what you eat.

5 Reasons to Start Drinking Green Smoothie

 

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It a no brainer that green smoothie instantly increase fruit & vegetable intake. Many people do not even take 2 serving of fruits and vegetables in a day. While people drink fruit juice daily at breakfast, they hardly drink fresh homemade juice.(The high temperatures of pasteurization reduces nutrients) . Eating salads do not solve the problem specifically for those who don’t enjoy it. But drinking a green smoothie can solve that for you. The green smoothie is a nutrient dense – moderate calorie drink which helps you get greens and fruit into your diet. It is easy to make and you can mix n match till you find your favorite flavor. Mine is spinach, kale, avocado, ginger, coconut water, and lemon.

 

People drink green smoothies to shed weight. But I say why to stop at that. The green smoothie has a lot to offer.  Greens are a great source of non-dairy calcium, magnesium and Vitamin C . Since many people are giving up dairy and switching to plant-based nutrition. Green smoothies make it easier to reach daily intake of calcium. For instance, 1 gm. of kale provides 1.35 mg of calcium vs 1 gm of whole milk at 1.13 mg. Green smoothies are easy to make and requires significantly low time to prepare. It’s mess free and doesn’t require planning. The best part is that they are rich in antioxidants. Common antioxidant vitamins include vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, and beta-carotene. To learn more about antioxidants, click here. Below are some of the amazing reasons to drink green smoothies.

Benefits Of Drinking Green Smoothie Daily

Complete Meal – When we drink fruit juice we generally strain the juice and do not consume pulp. That we end up throwing away fiber in that pulp. Whereas in smoothie we consume the whole fruit and get all the fiber n nutrients present in vegetable or fruit. Fibre keeps us fuller for longer and prevents overeating. Fiber is essential for regulating stool too. Smoothie helps save fiber and thus constitutes as a full meal.

Energy Booster – Smoothie provides a balanced release of energy. Fruits are generally high in sugar content. They provide a small burst of energy. Whereas mixing some greens and herbs provide a balance in sugar and also keeps energy level higher for a longer period. Mixing high GI fruit with greens can prevent the spike in sugar levels. You don’t have to give up your favorite fruit, you can throw in some greens with it and still enjoy a great tasting drink.

Easy on Stomach – If you have a slow digestion or you feel bloated after a meal. You should think about having the smoothie for a replacement meal. Since we blend all the content we make it easier for the body to break down the food and don’t put pressure on stomach alone. Smoothies are easy to digest and some of the ingredients might soothe tummy too. for e.g if my stomach is upset I make a smoothie with coconut water.  The presence of amino acids, enzymes, minerals, and fatty acids accounts for osmolarity. It helps calm tummy and makes me feel better instantly.

Easy to eat Fruit n Veggies – Green smoothies are a great way to eat your veggies without even realizing it. Not everyone is a fan of spinach, kale, romaine etc. But just a handful of them gives us a significant amount of iron, magnesium, potassium n vitamin A & C. Potassium balances the negative effects of sodium to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Even after trying to eat healthily we fall short of nutrients by significant numbers. The green smoothie makes it easier to have minerals and vitamins.

Promotes Clean eating – Drinking green smoothie can help you give up oily and fried food too. If you start having 1 green smoothie for a day. In a week you would be surprised to see that your body doesn’t crave oily food. I have almost given up oil in my meals. I take a salad with every meal rather than potato chips.

 

Fruits and vegetables are essential to our diet. Yet many people do not consume enough. Green smoothies ae delicious and a simple way to get essential nutrients. What is your favorite green smoothie recipe? Comment below.

 

Why Should You Have a Morning Routine

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Are you the kind of person who plans your day and then act upon it ? Or you just keeping acting on whatever day brings and still feel that a lot of work is pending for another day ? Do you wake up looking forward to the morning as a new day ? or you just struggle to complete daily tasks and postpone things till they become emergency ?

Reality check : we all have same 24 hrs. , how we set up our routine prepares us for daily success . A proper morning routine leaves you accomplished and prepared for the day .

Setting a routine should not scare you . Think of it as a step towards more happier and stress-free life . A routine is simply a series of step you do every day . It need not be 1 hr. long but a small 20 min time just for you . Self care is the best care you can give to yourself .

A routine need not start at 4 in morning but surely should give you enough time to enjoy morning in quite. Step by step I have eliminated all the bad habits that I think are just a waste of time . for e.g. – hitting snooze button , reaching for the phone to check emails and mgs etc. . Now I just get up , drink 2 glasses of water , do stretching , use bathroom , prepare smoothie and write down tasks for day . Before my husband is up I have figured out what I will do for my day rather than running around .

Benefits of a Morning Routine

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Proper Hydration – This one is so true . We should have at least 8- 10 glasses of water daily but many people short fall to even accomplish this . If you get up late you just rush to bathroom to get ready , put on clothes , grab a coffee and leave . This is bad for your health . Your organs need water after a good night sleep. Water helps to flush out toxins. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps to clean your colon. It allows proper absorption of nutrients .  You just need to get up 5 mins early . So rather than hitting snooze , go for this . This could be your first step towards a healthy routine .

Exercising n Yoga – Do you struggle to just find out those 15 mins to workout . And you never find any time during the day and then day ends and you forget about it . Again you think about it but cant find time due to work . It happened with me, it happens to everybody . We all want to exercise or go for walk but it never happens . An active lifestyle helps to stay fit and keep diseases at bay . Try getting that walk in the morning . Use this time for creative thinking and observing . A morning routine that starts with some self love and thinking surely leaves you energised.

Eating a Healthy Breakfast – How many times have you sat down and eaten a proper first meal ? Not grabbing donut or bun n coffee on the go but an actual bfast . Breakfast gives you energy for the whole day . A proper breakfast gives essential vitamins and minerals . It reduces obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Having an oatmeal or apple n milk wont take more than 10 mins . Also you can have a great family time on that breakfast table if you just get up 15 minz early . This should be fairly easy to include in routine .

More Me time – If you get up before everyone else , you have time for yourself . Time to think about doing something new , to read a book or article . May be thinking about making a new dish . Point is morning routine helps you enjoy some quite time . It gives you time to be invested on you only . If you wont take care of you , how can you take care of everyone around you ? Embrace this routine to give you some time and better decisions .

Peace of mind – When you know what is to be done you feel free and are not anxious . Setting up a morning routine helps you to be patient , calm and emotionaly stable . When you have to work on the clock you kind of become stressed that the work woulnt finish in time . A routine sets the work in order . Its like preparing yourself for the day and be worry free . By getting up early I am eating breakfast , doing exercise , my reading and I can focus on work .  I don’t have to think about falling short on nutrients n exercise .

Do you have a morning routine? What’s the single most important habit you do to kick up your morning . Comment below .

 

5 Simple Ways To Curb Down Snacking

Eating a snack is totally necessary , I agree. But eating everything in name of snack , I don’t agree with that . I have seen many people going overboard with snacking . A snack is supposed to keep you full till your next meal .  Unthoughtful snacking can derail your health progress . One should plan the snack rather than grabbing anything from the kitchen shelf . In todays post n listing out some ways I have tried to curb down unnecessary snacking , especially mid-night snacking. Its the worst . You end up watching 3 back to back episodes of your favorite season n bam ate a lot of chips, ice cream n chocolates . Hope my pointers help you too.

p8bx9w0wf4o-damien-cFirst of, the light in the refrigerator is not for finding snacks easily . If you have hard time deciding what to eat and you stand in front of fridge looking for minutes . Try organizing a designated shelf for snacks . Or may be a box on shelf where you can put all snacking items. I put yogurt cup, grapes , carrot, berries etc. Next time you need a snack don’t be tempted by leftover pizza n pasta instead take that snack box out n grab one thing from that n put it back . No more convincing yourself to finish leftovers n then feeling bad for eating too much last night .

 

7mh-czwzrsa-worthy-of-eleganceDon’t try to finish all the nachos, cookies n candies before your trip to market. no one said that you can only buy when you will finish the last bag of chips you bought . Instead think of it as you have already some stuff at home, may be you can buy some snacks on next trip . Also if you find something really exciting n new buy the smallest pack. It may look very price worthy buying the big pack. But what good is it if you don’t like the taste. If you buy big you will be under pressure to finish that pack to justify the money you spend . Don’t checkout every aisle in super market . Make a list , find items n leave . You cannot eat what’s not at your home .

 

zsb2mbzshji-stephanie-mccabePlan your meals n snacks accordingly . Take time for your meal . Don’t rush it . Sit n properly chew your food. I used to rush breakfast n lunch . Probably coz I dint like eating alone n after marriage I used to be home . N I had to eat alone as husband used to be at work . I looked forward to dinner when I can have conversation at meal etc. But I realized that I am eating right in day time . I used to just grab anything without giving thought n then move over to something else. Proper nutrition is necessary for our body . Think carefully what you eat as it affects our health .

 

p9wkd82hlui-brina-blumThis one is super tip . you don’t have to eat dessert every night . My husband cant sleep if has not eaten something sweet after dinner . To really avoid daily dessert mania Brush your teeth after dinner . Even if you are tempted to eat that fudge sundae or pudding , just go brush or use mouthwash . Food doesn’t taste as it is after a mint gargle, right ? I always brush my teeth after dinner . No temptation , No unnecessary calories . This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to eat dessert, it simply means you don’t have to eat it everyday . Helps in curbing mid night snacking too.

 

evsouv1eyxy-rachael-gorjestaniLastly , maintain a food log. Many people just eat food coz it tastes good but they don’t know the amount of calories in it . Write what you eat in a day with calories . There are a lot of apps that can help you log meals n plus give a break up of nutrients . In some weeks you will know what to eat n what not . For e.g. . If you see your Vitamin. A not meeting daily goal opt for carrot or apple as a snack . Not only you will get rid of unhealthy snacking habit you can have a proper nutritious diet .

 

 

These are some of the ways that have helped me break constant snacking habit . Do you have any interesting idea to share. Comment below.

 

Things to Remember While Using Lemon

Lemon is used actively for recipes , beauty and in cleaning hacks . We all use it almost daily in our diet . Some even consider sipping lemon water daily as a holy grail of weight loss . Earlier I used to drink it thrice a day . Also I use it to squeeze on salad , curries n rice .  Instead of feeling energized I felt sluggishness . Then I realize I went overboard with its use . I learned that too much use of lime in diet is not good . There are certain things which we should know to get full benefits . In todays post I am talking about some things to keep in mind while using Lemon .

Things to Keep in Mind while drinking Lemon Water

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1 . Don’t go overboard with drinking . Half a lemon mixed with a glass of water if fine for you . But if you are taking more than 2 glasses it may be cause of various troubles for you . As lemon is diuretic , it makes you visit bathroom frequently . Also it gears up the detoxification process . Excess of lime can cause headaches n fatigue as it is flushing fluids out of your body . Try sticking to 1-2 glass for optimal wellness .

2. Drink simple n plain lemon water . I drink lemon water . Just lime n water . No salt or sugar or honey . Adding sugar will reduce the benefits . If lemon’s tartness is too much for you too drink try adding raw honey not artificial sweetener . Also if you put honey while warming the water up , honey looses its nutrition capacity too . So try adding honey once the water has cooled down to a desired drinking temperature .

3. Drink through straw or sipper . Some people are also concerned about the citric acid in lemons having a sensitizing effect on their tooth enamel. As with increasing use of lemon daily you are exposing your teeth to acidic nature of lemon . Don’t just take that big sip from glass . Instead try using straw . This way the lemony water will not touch your teeth directly . You can enjoy that drink without worrying about enamel .

4. Use freshly cut lemon . Avoid juice concentrates . Firstly , its not close to the natural lemony  taste . Secondly , the effect of  Vitamin C decreases if its exposed to atmosphere for long . To reap full benefits use a fresh fruit.

More Things To Remember

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5 . Always juice lemon at room temperature , as they will yield more juice when warmer. If you keep them in fridge , take them out so they are not super cold . Place them in a bowl of warm water for several minutes before juicing . I roll them under my palm either on hand or on a flat surface . This makes them a little soft and helps to extract more juice.

6 . While removing the zest, make sure not to dig in too much till white part . The white pith underneath is bitter and spoils all the taste . Since most conventionally grown fruits will have pesticide residues on the skin, wash them under running hot water If you buy organic , still wash them properly as running in hot water will give you more juice .

7. Never apply lemon juice directly to your face . I have been a victim of this . Try mixing it with other natural ingredients like sandalwood , rose water , aloe Vera or milk etc. This will reduce harsh effects on skin . Also wash it properly before stepping out as it increases the chances of sunburn . You may want a clearer skin but may end up looking like a red tomato like me .

Quick Tip : Use lemon on face during eve or night . This is fairly simple. No sun . No sunburn .

So from now on try to include these simple tips and have a healthy life . I hope you enjoyed this article . You may also like to read some lesser know facts about lemon . click here

 

 

 

How To Deal With Bloating Everyday

How often have you experienced the feeling of heaviness and discomfort in stomach ? many a times we eat heavy meals and feel like an inflated balloon . Bloating is such a common problem that sometimes we ignore it especially during holiday season . We give in to tasty treats and then feel like a gas chamber . We all should enjoy food but not overdo it. I am listing some clever ways you can keep bloating in check in holidays and in general .

Ways to beat bloating at Party & Holidays

nutsSnack on unsalted nuts – When at a party or not , try snacking on unsalted nuts . Instead of having cracker or nachos with cheese try opting for unsalted nuts . Nuts are great when you feel like munching . Take them as a mid-day snack to help curb your appetite. While drinking I snack on nuts rather than potato chips and dips .

 

apple-1589874_960_720Eat An Apple before party – many people follow the golden rule of drinking 2 glass of water before heading to a party so they do not over eat . I try eating an apple . It keeps you fuller for longer and is good source of fiber . Don’t peel the skin instead wash it under running hot water to get rid of impurities and wax . The skin of apple , pear n berries is the store house of fiber . Fiber prevents constipation and in turns prevents bloating .

coke-698545_960_720Say no to Carbonated drink – The fizz in carbonated drinks can cause gas to be trapped in the belly. The diet ones are still carbonated so no to diet soda too. Try reducing the intake or a limit of just 1 carbonated drink at a party . Soda is bad for health. Read here. Have flavored water instead . I make my simple drink at very party .Just put half a lemon juice in water , add mint or cucumber and enjoy a refreshing drink . No high sugar n no bubbly for happy stomach.

vegetables-1736170_960_720 Avoid Gassy Veggies – beans and cruciferous family of vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are known to cause gas . If you are not used to eating them on regular basis , chances are that you will get gas . Avoid them in huge amount as it may lead to discomfort .

 

cookies-1372607_960_720Know Your Food Allergies and Intolerance – If you have any known food allergies or you have noticed that eating something gives you discomfort avoid it . Don’t just give in to the temptation of eating a brownie when you are allergic to gluten or egg or lactose . Gas and bloating are common symptoms of dairy intolerance .

 

fruit-1825537_960_720Eat Fruits – If you are a fan of fruit bar try eating watermelon or cantaloupe . They have high water content and helps flush out excess sodium from stomach . Include banana in daily diet as the high potassium content and fiber helps relieve water retention .

Ways to beat bloating Everyday

lunch-172411_960_720Try low sodium food /Avoid canned food – Sodium intake leads to water retention and contributes to bloating . The water retention caused by sodium also increases blood pressure, resulting in faster pumping of blood by heart . If you buy a lot of canned food , try washing the veggies or beans in running water after you open them . This will wash of excess sodium you might accidently consume by just using the content as it is.

water-1632314_960_720Digestive enzymes – Include food that aids digestion . Fermented food has loads of beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms, that aid in digestion. Drinks like sauerkraut juice , kefir and kombucha soothe the stomach and increase digestive power. Eat a cup of papaya every 2 days . It has essential digestive enzymes that soothes tummy and relieves bloating. You can eat yogurt as a snack as it promotes better digestion .

sugar-1474203_960_720Limit artificial sweeteners – Xylitol ,Maltilol , Sorbitol are artificial sweeteners found in anything “sugar- free “. The artificial sweeteners are not digested properly by digestive system and in turn results in gas and puffy feeling . I would rather have 1 drink with normal sugar rather than 2 with artificial sweetener . As name suggests its artificial , why do you want to try something synthetic . Eat normal but less .

woman-1801281_960_720Stay Active On the Go –  A small stroll in evening or a 20 min workout even at home goes a long way for digestion . When you stay active your body functions properly . Staying active prevents constipation and sluggishness by keeping food moving in digestive tract. If you do not have an active lifestyle you might feel bloated that usual . So if you are someone’s place take a walk around garden or just climb stairs 5 times .

 

paella-926303_960_720Use lemon instead of Salt – You can use lemon instead of salt and can avoid high level of sodium in your diet. American heart Assoc recommends 1500 milligrams daily sodium intake. But an average american consumes about 3400 mg. Excess levels of sodium may cause increased water retention leading to puffiness , bloating & weightgain. You can add it to dishes while cooking or season with lemon instead of sprinkling salt .

cheese-noodles-609776_960_720Chew food properly – Eating everything in hurry or the hurry to eat everything messes up digestion. Eating quickly and not chewing the food well causes air swallowing , that leads to bloating. If you chew your food well it helps the stomach in digestion . You can reduce the chances of bloating just by chewing food properly . Also if you chew food properly you enjoy taste more and might end up eating less as you enjoy your food . So proper chewing equals less overeating . Seems an easy way to avoid trouble later .

We all enjoy eating good food. Just don’t go overboard and enjoy a healthy and balanced meal . I fill half of my plate with salad to avoid extra calories in plate . What trick works for you . Lemme know in comments .

 

6 Natural and Healthy Sugar Substitutes You Should Try

Want the sweetness of sugar but do not want the empty calories ? or may be you just have to have sprinkled sugar on the top of your cake . Who does not like sugar , but it really does more damage to us than favor . Since I learned that its doing no good to my health I looked and tried a lot of alternatives . Artificial sweeteners are not the answer . They may be calorie-free but amount to health problems including weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, depression , short-term memory loss etc. In this post I have written about the natural sugar alternatives that can be used daily and would help reverse sugar related problems .

Top 3 Natural Sugar Substitutes

honey-honey-jar-honey-for-sale-beekeeper-41958Raw Honey – It is the natural sweet liquid produced from the concentrated nectar of flowers extracted by honeybees . Raw Honey is unheated, unfiltered , unpasteurized & unprocessed honey. It tends to granulate and crystallize to a thick consistency after a few months . Honey in its raw form preserves all the natural enzymes , vitamins , B complex . The GI of raw honey is 30 vs. regular honey at 50 . Raw and unfiltered honey has higher antioxidant level & anti – inflammatory properties. It is one of the best natural sweetener available that does not spike blood sugar level.

 

brown-sugar-1048255_960_720Coconut Sugar – It is made from the sap of coconut palm tree. It is the crystalized nectar of the flower . It serves as an ideal substitute for those who are watching their glucose levels. It’s a great substitute for women with PCOS owing to the low glycemic index of 35. Thought it has almost the same amount of calories as regular sugar but unlike the white sugar it is naturally made n has good amounts of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron, as well as vitamin C and many of the B vitamins. I use it all the time in baking n my coffee . It tastes a little bitter but tastes great in cakes n pies . I have been sneaking this into my husbands coffee and he hasn’t even noticed it . Indeed this is my favorite alternative .

 

culture-1613859_960_720Date Sugar – This is a rather new type of alternative in market . Dates have a glycemic index of 46 to 55 approx. depending upon the type of date . It is made of pitted dates by drying them n then grinding them into small pieces . Date sugar looks like brown sugar, but it doesn’t melt like regular sugar in tea and coffee . But you can use it into baking or for sprinkling over oats , smoothie bowl n desserts . It gives baked goods a different texture . I make my own date sugar from Medjool dates because of its sweet, honey-like taste and soft texture . You can also get date puree that can be used instead of white or brown sugar. It is natural and can be made at home . You can get date sugar at mass retailers now .

 

Other Natural Sugar Substitutes

pot-kitchen-cutlery-beesYacón Syrup – It is extracted from the roots of the Yacón plant . The juices from the roots are extracted, filtered and evaporated in a chemical-free manufacturing process . It is a sweet-tasting syrup , dark and opaque . Yacón syrup has about 20 calories per tablespoon . The dried leaves of the plant is also used to make tea for anti-diabetic properties . A large part of Yacón syrup isn’t digested so it can be used as a low-calorie alternative to sugar. It is also high in antioxidants and potassium. The GI of Yacón syrup is 1 and that makes it diabetes friendly too . Yacón syrup is also effective against constipation .

 

honey-1006972_960_720Maple Syrup The most common and known sugar substitute . With A GI of 54 , maple syrup has the ability to lower inflammation, supply nutrients that manage blood sugar . When purchasing , select darker, grade B maple syrups as it contains more beneficial antioxidants . Also, make sure to get the actual maple syrup, not just maple-flavored syrup. The dark syrups has a stronger maple flavor and is good for baking too. Maple syrup’s plant-based compounds reduce oxidative stress .

 

stevia-74187_960_720Stevia It is a naturally occurring, zero-calorie sweetener. Its dry leaves possess roughly 40 times more sweetness than sugar . The two major sweet compounds in stevia are called Stevioside and Rebaudioside A. Stevioside is a plant-derived phyto-chemical compounds that help control blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure in addition to its use as natural sweetener . Stevia has a good shelf life and is stable at high temperature so can be used for baking too . Always look for a brand that is organic & has no unnatural additives .

 

 

Coffee Why You Should Drink It Black

 

coffee-1291579_960_720We all drink coffee . If not daily then maybe once in a while .  A majority of people choose coffee over tea . In fact,  Americans get a lot of antioxidants from their morning cup of java . Though many prefer to drink it black , a lot of people add milk n sugar . Not only are we diluting the taste , we are also reducing its health benefits by adding sugar n cream . Earlier even I used to add a little milk to it but now I take it black . Since then I have experienced a lot of good things that happened to me coz of having coffee black . In this post, I am gonna list the benefits of drinking coffee black .

Health benefits of Drinking Coffee Black

coffe-1354786_960_720Protects Against liver Damage
Drinking coffee protects the liver against cirrhosis . The liver works with other organs to digest, absorb, and process food. It filters the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body . Several diseases like hepatitis and excessive alcohol intake can have an ill effect on the liver in form of cirrhosis . Scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue and partially blocks the flow of blood through the liver. People who drink about 4 cups of black coffee are at 80 % less risk of developing cirrhosis .

Lowers Risk of Type II Diabetes
If you have been drinking your coffee black , you are at 30% less risk of developing Type II diabetes . People suffer from insulin resistance or an inability to secrete insulin in Type II diabetes . Caffeine raises the blood sugar levels in the short term, but the antioxidants in coffee improve insulin sensitivity and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes over years . The decaf also works for reducing type 2 diabetes risk, but not as good as regular one .

Lower risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement . The level of neurotransmitters dopamine plays an imp role in Parkinson’s . Dopamine helps in focus and attention. Coffee has been shown to increase dopamine levels and thus plays a very imp role in preventing Parkinson’s Disease . If you drink black coffee regularly , you have a 32-60% reduced chance of developing this disease.

Possible reduction in heart disease and stroke risk
Studies suggest that drinking coffee regularly decreases the risk of heart disease or stroke. Caffeine increases your blood pressure initially but it goes away if you drink coffee regularly and in turn , helps in lowering the chances of heart stroke . But if you already have a high blood pressure it may still be bad for you . Caffeine drinkers have a 20% less risk for stroke .

More Reasons To Drink Coffee Black

 

coffee-1117933_960_720It Calms nerves & reduces Stress Level
Ever smelled a cup of hot coffee and felt nice , like all the thing you were worried about can take a back seat . That’s because the beans aroma has a calming effect on us . The smell of beans has been linked to reduced stress levels especially caused by sleep deprivation. In a study conducted on rats, it showed that “the roasted coffee bean aroma changes the mRNA and protein expression levels of the rat brain, providing for the first time clues to the potential antioxidant or stress relaxation activities of the coffee bean aroma.” So not only sip but smell the java for dual effects .

Improves Energy level & Learning
It can uplift mood and gives an energy boost . Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. When caffeine hit the system , it blocks one of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, Adenosine . This leads to an increase in excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitters ,norepinephrine, and dopamine . This contributes a boost in mood ,movement ,memory , response , energy , learning and cognitive functions .

Fights Depression

Coffee appears to lower the risk of developing depression . Remember , dopamine , it is responsible for “pleasure rewards”. People who suffer from depression often have low energy , mood changes , sleeplessness and imperative cognition . Excess and deficiency of this vital chemical is the cause of several disease conditions. Taking a daily dose of coffee helps in increasing Dopamine and thus lowers the chances of depression . People who drink four or more cups of black coffee a day have a 20% lower chance of becoming depressed .

Aids in Work-Out

Caffeine is an effective ergogenic aid. An ergogenic aid is an external influence that enhances athletic performance or facilitates physical exercise. Black coffee before exercise works as a great performance enhancer. when you drink coffee , the fat cells break down body fat thus releasing them into the blood as free fatty acids thereby making them available as fuel .

I take my morning cup with a little cinnamon sometimes . Are you taking your java black or still struggling to give up milk ? Lemme know in comments .

Are You Eating Fruits The Right Way

fruit-1586490_960_720Fruits are the best source of nutrients . Any fruit you pick is filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants . It is really important to incorporate a good fruit- mix  in the daily diet for a good health. Eating a good amount of fruits is associated with lower heart risk and strokes . You will get a healthier skin too. But to get the best results , we must know the right way of eating fruits .

The Best Time to Eat Fruits?

In the Morning on an Empty Stomach
It is advised that you should eat fruits as first thing in the morning . When we eat fruits on an empty stomach the digestive system breaks down the sugars properly and efficiently. The antioxidants in fruits can reduce inflammation in the body . They are also a rich source of fiber and keeps you full for longer .

Pre – Post Workout
Fruits make an excellent addition for a pre-workout munch . Many of us tend to skip fruits that are high in carbs . A banana is an excellent choice . A banana smoothie with yogurt makes a great combo too . Protein in yogurt doesn’t break as quickly as carbs in banana .The carbs become fuel for a workout & the protein is used later to prevent muscle damage.

How should You eat fruits ?

Fruits should be consumed alone . Meaning ? When we eat fruits we should try to eat it without mixing it with anything . The basic principle being , sugar in fruits ferment the other foods in the stomach, causing gas & indigestion. So basically you do not get all the nutritional benefit and also may get an uneasy stomach .

If you are eating fruit as a snack , try to eat it before an hour from your meal or after 2 . When you have a heavier meal like burger etc . try to eat fruit after 3-4 hours . Since your stomach would be busy working on that burger , eating fruit would make it worse . The fruit ends up sitting in the body for longer than required and starts to ferment. This can give you indigestion and gastric trouble too . So in short try to space out a workable eating pattern .

Things to keep in mind

  • Avoid eating fruits right after a meal. It may not be digested properly & the nutrients may not be absorbed properly either.
  • Avoid eating fruit close to bedtime as sugar in fruit spikes up your energy and keep you up when you need your sleep. This is bad for people with diabetes .
  • If trying to lose weight ,do not eat fruit after lunch time . In this way, the body will use fat stored in the body as energy .

All in all, to draw maximum benefit eat fruits in the morning . Try to eat a different fruit every other day so you do not get bored . I eat fruits in the morning and as a snack too . What’s your favorite way of eating fruits   ? Comment below.