Monday, 5 November 2012

Diwali Party: The Healthy Way

The festive season is just around the corner and it is party time everywhere. Good food, liquor and dance are the key ingredients of a happening party. But with all the fun and frolic, most people take their health for granted and go out and out to enjoy every bit of it including binging and boozing. Festivals are surely a great way to enjoy but they can be even more memorable if you are in your best of shape and health. So here are some easy tips:·         

  • Follow a regular meal pattern on the day of the party. People who deliberately skip meals to save the calories tend to overeat all the food they see at once and add plenty to their waistline.
  • Munch on a big bowl of raw salad in the evening prior to the party as it keeps you full and helps to reduce the urge to binge.
  • When at the party, take your time to get comfortable with the surrounding and scrutinize the food choices available. Opt for non fried, steamed or roasted starters.
  • Buffet is an invitation to eat all that is available, but resist temptations and stick to a few favorite food options rather than taking little servings of all 20 different dishes. Start with a liberal helping of low fat salads with curd, lemon or vinegar dressings.
  • Choose foods high in protein such as chicken/ fish (steamed, roasted or grilled) or dal and rice combo for vegetarians. Avoid biryanis and creamy and rich gravies and sauces. Go easy on full fat paneer. Opt for stewed rice rather than fried rice, pasta in red sauce rather than the white cheesy sauce and tandoori roti over roomali roti
  • Do not overdo on alcohol as it is the easiest way to increase your fat stores. 1-2 drinks of red wine are a great source of antioxidant.
  • To help digestion, have a glass of fresh lime water(less sugar) or jaljeera after a heavy dinner.
  • Party hard, but exercise harder.  Make sure to spare one hour of the day to burn all the additional calories and keep your BMR high to avoid piling on that unwanted fat. Let 1 hour of brisk walk or resistance activity do all the magic.
  • Aim at leaving the party satisfied and not stuffed.
Neha Chandna

Friday, 12 October 2012

Diet- its true meaning

The word ‘dieting’ has gained much importance in the past few years. Everyone around is following some or the other diet which is famous or fad because dieting is in fashion. Very few of us realise that the word “DIET” has a much deeper meaning than just weight loss. Diet means attaining and maintaining health in order to carry out your day to day activities without getting fatigue or famished. It means feeling energetic, active, focused and happy. It means eating balanced nutritious meals in small quantities and often to pump up your BMR and helping you burn you fat, and not melt it. (There is nothing called as melting fat). It’s as simple as eating the right thing at the right time in the right quantity.

Most of the people pick up one of the fad diets available on the net and start believing that it is the best diet to lose weight because some of their friends/ colleagues have told them about it. But that is absolutely incorrect because there is no authenticity to it. Also these diets are very extreme like rice diet, soup diet, cabbage diet etc which are not holistic and do not help you meet your daily nutrient requirements. For example, rice is rich in carbohydrates and some B-complex vitamins but what about your protein, good fats, calcium, iron etc. Another vast sector of society thinks that starving or skipping meals will help them get trimmer. This is again wrong because when you starve your BASAL METABOLIC RATE crashes down and your body stores whatever you eat next as fat. So you initially lose water weight but when you go back to your routine diet, you are richer with greater fat stores than before. This is called the YO-YO effect (losing weight and gaining back double of it in no time).

I had a male businessman client who came to me with 109 kgs, with the most unacceptable eating habits and desperate to lose weight and get healthy. In 3 months, he was down to 93 kgs with 8 inches less on his waist. All he had to say is “Neha I am very happy, but I had to spend double my money because of you”, I asked surprisingly,” why?” He said,” I had to redo my entire wardrobe again”, and I laughed with joy. Similarly, another young female client had a Polycystic ovarian syndrome at the age of 16 and weighed 78kgs because of wrong eating habits and inactive lifestyle. In 2.5 months she lost 9 kgs and had got rid of her PCOS problem completely just with the right food and moderate exercise.

So friends it is really not a rocket science to maintain health and weight together. It is just slightly tweaking your lifestyle for the better. What better than eating enough and achieving your goals? 

By Neha Chandna

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Time to stock some snack!!

Most of the people in India follow the 3 meal pattern and think of mid meal snacking as a sin. But the truth is that small meals eaten every 2-3 hours can not only increase your BMR and help you burn fat but also keep you energetic and active for your routine chores. Benefits of mid meal snacks:
  • Helps to keep your weight under check
  • Boosts energy
  • Improves concentration and focus
  • Provides vitamins, minerals and important nutrients
  • Controls appetite
  • Reduces craving for sweets and fried foods

Reduces hunger as the day passes by and thereby food intake, keeping your digestive system at its best
 Whether at work, home or on field snacking is a very easy task and not cumbersome as people consider it to be. Healthy mid meal snacking does not mean making something authentic or exotic. It means small meals which are easy to pack, carry with you and store for a longer time. Here are a few options you can consider as snacks:
  • Fruits
  • Salads
  • Nuts (almomds/walnuts)
  • Roasted chana
  • Kurmura (puffed rice)
  • Roasted khakras/chivdas
  • Peanut butter sandwich
  • Sprout salad
  • Egg whites
  • Moong dal chila/ nacnhi pancakes
  • Wraps/ rolls

As per you convenience, budget and feasibility you can choose any of the above options which do not require too much preparation, yet give you all the benefits they are meant to.
So enjoy snacking and stay fit!!!

Neha Chandna

Monsoon workout

Rains bring a sense of relief after the scorching sunny heat. But for walk/jog lovers it can be a great disappointment when they see heavy showers pouring down especially when they are all geared up for their workout. The gloomy weather adds to the laziness forcing you to miss your gym and get into your quilt. So does this mean you have to give a toss to your workout regime? Ofcourse not. All you have to do it shift your outdoor workouts indoor. So how can you go about it? Check it:
Always do a 45 minutes – 1 hour workout:
  • Warm up: you can start your warm up with basic stretches of the neck, head, shoulder, arms and legs  followed by 5 minutes spot jogging,
  • Cardio: after warm up you can do 15 minutes of rigorous cardio to get your heart beat up and start your fat burning process. You can opt for skipping, stair climbing, hopping, jumping jacks etc. You can do any 1 or choose a combination of any of the above.
  • Strength: after a good cardio spree, you need to strengthen your muscles for toning the body and preventing joints from injury. You can do a combination of 20 squats + 20 lunges( each leg)+ 20 push ups. You repeat this set 2-4 times as per your capacity.
  • Abs: start with a plank position for 30 seconds and repeat it again. Then lie down on your back and do 20 crunches + 20 reverse crunches + 20 alternate leg raises. Repeat this set 2 times.
  • Cool down: do 5 minutes of full body stretches and relax.

This kind of regime gives an overall body workout including all the components like strength, cardio, stretches.
If you want to do a fun workout, you can just play music and dance like no one is watching you. You can also purchase workout DVD’s available in the market to assist you with aerobics, dance, zumba very much at your home.

So now the rains cannot damper your exercising spirit!!!

Neha Chandna

Health Insurance: Investment Or Expense

Hello Mumbai | Business, 02 Sept 2012: A friend of mine once called up to say he wanted to buy 10 lacs of Health Cover for his parents. I calculated the cost to be approximately 30,000. Aware of his financial condition, I asked him if he could afford that, to which he replied ‘I might not be able to afford Rs 30,000 today but I definitely cannot afford Rs 10 lacs if there is a medical need tomorrow’.

I guess the above incident is self –explanatory as to health Insurance is an investment not an expense.
Buying Health Insurance, simply put, is limiting your expenditure on health care by providing proactive-a type of safeguard against the high costs of medical care. It covers those unfortunate and unpredictable moments in life to which we all are vulnerable every passing second. It is thus an investment and as such a dire need. As an investment we may not get regular returns on it, but when it provides us with better access to medical services and reduces the amount of money we must be out of our pockets for medical needs, it makes an important asset. Its need can’t be under-emphasized either, considering the tough ordeal one undertakes on being diagnosed with an illness and having the need to be hospitalized.

Heart problems, diabetes, stroke, renal failure, cancer- the list of lifestyle diseases just seem to get longer and more common these days. The costs, we all know, are sky-rocketing. Again because of high-stressed jobs, bad eating habits, more and more cars in the city, pollution etc, the younger generation has become as prone to the diseases and accidents as the older one. Those who have health insurance get more preventive care and see a doctor when needed, with those without health insurance may delay necessary medical care out of fear of the high cost. Investing in health insurance means investing in your quality of life. If you have good health now, you may feel that you will never fall sick. This mindset needs to be changed. One visit to nearby hospital may help you feel contrary. Fortunately we have many good hospitals and specialist doctors – but these services come at a cost an average man can hardly afford. Only a right Health Insurance policy can adequately finance such expenses. Yes, preventive care helps and it may prolong the need for insurance. But there is nothing better than knowing that you are fully protected.

Overall, uninsured people get about half as much care as the privately insured, as measured in terms of money spent on their care. This discrepancy holds true even when spending is adjusted for age, income, health status and other factors. In the recent past, even the financial planners are focusing on medical policies and suggesting that when one should get his health insurance first after taking the term cover and then look at other investments.

With our government eternally facing the fiscal crisis at both the central and state level, the already inadequate public health budgets are further shrinking. This coupled with rising healthcare cost in wake of the demand for its services and lack of easy access of people, especially from the low income group, to quality healthcare, increases our dependency on healthcare coverage. Thus, every individual, or the family as a whole, should invest in a quality health plan. 

Rahul Agarwal
Founder Director

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Plan a Smart Kitchen Health

Healthy eating is all about changing your shopping habits before bringing a change in your eating habits. We are well aware of the brain storming behind it, so we thought; why not make the entire process time & money saving for you. This is how you begin.....

  • Set a fixed monthly budget to be spent on food items & commodities as per the number of members in your family.
  • From that budget, set apart a certain amount to be spent on dry stuff like sugar, oil, cereals, pulses etc.
  • Divide the remaining budget into 4 for each week, to purchase all the perishable items such as fruits, veggies, dry snacks etc.
  • Every week, before setting out for shopping, make a list of all the food stuff required for that week depending on your weekly schedule for example guests coming over or dining out etc.
  • Avoid visiting a very fancy super mart, as it may tempt you to pick up unnecessary expensive & calorie loaded stuff such as chips, cakes, cookies etc.
  • Always buy perishable food like fruits & vegetables in amounts just enough to last for the entire week or else it would be a waste of money for fancy garbage.
  • Do not stock your kitchen with chocolates, sweets, cream biscuits, butter cookies as it could urge you to munch on, instead buy roasted snacks like soya nuts, granola bars etc.
  • Eating leftovers is not a very healthy idea, so avoid cooking in excess.
  • Do not buy frozen, pre- made meals as they are loaded with salt, sugar, chemicals & fat.
  • Avoid taking your kids with you for shopping as you may land up spending a major chunk of your budget on unnecessary items like candies, sweets, chocolates etc.
Written by:
Ms. Neha Chandna

Monday, 18 June 2012

Heal Your Gut

People say, ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’. But actually, it is not only the way to the heart but, an ultimate route to a person’s health. Your gut (gastrointestinal tract) is a dynamic organ and if not taken good care of, it can lead to a volley of health problems. Imagine your body as a car, your stomach as a petrol tank of your car and the food you eat as the petrol. If you refill your tank with low quality or adulterated petrol, your car is bound to give you problems. So below given are 5 foods which can help keep your stomach and body healthy and fit:
  • Yoghurt: It is an excellent source of probiotics which are friendly bacteria that strengthen your immune system, protect against disease causing bacteria and infections and help in proper digestion and absorption of food thereby relieving gas and bloating. Yoghurt can be relished with fruits, in the form of raita or buttermilk. 
  • Oats: It is rich in soluble fiber which is fermented in the large intestine to produce beneficial bacteria and reduce the levels of harmful ones. This helps to resist infections and improve overall well being. The soluble fiber in oats also helps to reduce cholesterol levels. You can add oats to your soup, idli, dosa to add to the fiber in your diet.

  • Chicken and fish: They contain very high amount of an important amino acid GLUTAMINE. Glutamine is the preferred fuel source for cells lining the small intestine. It prevents the absorption of harmful molecules and helps in the production of antioxidants that protect all the organs of the body. Enjoy them in steamed, roasted or grilled form to gain maximum health benefits.

  • Whole grains: Such as whole wheat, jowar, ragi, brown rice etc have good amount of insoluble fiber which increases your fecal bulk and reduces constipation, gas and bloating. Add wheat bran to your whole grains for additional fiber. 
  •  Aloevera juice: It is an amazing de-toxifier. It prevents heartburn and acidity, soothes the digestive system, helps in irritable bowel syndrome, and improves digestion and absorption of nutrients. Consume 100 ml aloevera juice empty stomach early morning for its best effects.
Written by
Neha Chandna