Stay Healthy and Fit Through the Power of Positive Health Affirmation

While writing this, I fondly remember the ‘The last leaf’ by O Henry. The story had a deep impact on me. I used to wonder is it really possible to gain or lose health just by the power of will. In the story, a young artist used to think that she will die as the last leaf on the tree (visible from her window) falls. But the last leaf never fell and she started recovering. And the truth was the last leaf had actually fallen and what she was seeing was a painted leaf. The masterpiece leaf was painted by another artist, who eventually dies of pneumonia caught while painting the leaf. However, the truth is that the lady survived on the basis of the last leaf that made her recover gradually.

Positive and Negative

The present world is full of negativity and only a little positivity. While some people hold on to the positivity and survive even major illnesses like cancer, others succumb to even minor ones as they do not have the will to live, do not have dreams that light their inner fire; in fact, such people have lost all hope. Sometimes, people are aware that they are being negative, but other times they do not even know that their negative thoughts are leading them to dumps. Hence, the power of positive thoughts and awareness to do so is quite important in the present times. It is necessary to put the positive ahead and completely cut the negative from our lives.

Health and Google

Yes, I am quite grateful to internet to play a doctor and help me in several health related situations. But let me be frank over here, it has also caused unnecessary havoc at times by leading me to fatal answers. What I mean here is that most of us have a habit of checking Google out to delve deeper into our problems. And the Google is not a real doctor, it shows all possibilities and the last one is always fatal. Being a normal human being, we always consider the last option rather than the first one to be the diagnosis. And this exactly complicates our survival. While I do not ask you to stop seeking Google but always seek opinion from a real doctor before coming to conclusions.

How to Negate Temptation

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, quitting old bad habits, losing weight and other such health related things are quite difficult. We are surrounded by so many temptations through a variety of mediums that we just cave in and stop making attempts to live healthy. A single web post on ‘how to make a cupcake’ tempts us to have something sweet despite trying to lose weight. Late night movies makes us stay awake till wee hours and our exercise routine goes for a toss. The very dreadful junk food can now be ordered online without even you stepping out of the house. It is quite difficult to live healthy, isn’t it? In such situations, positive affirmations are very helpful. They keep your motto to live a healthy lifestyle going without any glitches.

What are Positive Health Affirmations?

Positive health affirmations refer to strong statements that are quite powerful in nature. People who repeat these statements frequently benefit from their power vested in them. For instance, if you repeat the statement, “I have quit smoking” regularly, you will actually get the will power to quit it for good. While some might find this funny, it actually helps. The reason behind this is that when a person repeats the statement frequently, he or she trains the subconscious mind to behave in the similar manner. When the mind gets trained, it will not allow you to cave in, in spite of the temptations. Positive health affirmations transform your thinking and make you aware that nothing is too hard in this world. And once you tap into this power of thinking, there is nothing stopping you from enjoying a great health.

How to Write a Positive Health Affirmation?

While there are many positive health affirmations available on the World Wide Web, yet you can write one on your own, tailor made to your health. The key to write positive health affirmation is that you should use the right words. Health affirmations need to be in the present rather than in the future. So instead of saying ‘I will lose weight’, you need to say ‘I am losing weight, I am choosing right nutritious food for my body and that it is healing me.’ Everything is in present continuous form rather than in the futuristic one.

How to Make the Most of Health Affirmations?

Health affirmations need to be used frequently over a period of time. You need to be fully aware of the words that you are reading out aloud. Being in the present is the key to make the most of positive health affirmations. The best time to read the health affirmations is early in the morning and before retiring to bed at night. You can even repeat affirmations all throughout the day if you want to. The deeper you delve into the words that you speak, the more positive energy you attract. You need to be at ease with your mind and body while reading out affirmations. If you are tensed, please avoid affirmations altogether. The secret to gain health through affirmation is that your body should be receptive for the positive things you say.

How to Begin Reciting Health Affirmations?

Take out time to recite the positive health affirmations. It should not be done in a hurry. Choose a place in your home or office that is free of clutter. You can either stand or sit to recite the affirmations. Your mind should not wander towards your phone or other thoughts. If possible, keep the phone in the other room, away from you. Begin with deep breathing. Relax your body and mind. Read the health affirmations aloud, one by one. You can repeat them as many as times as you want.

Examples of Positive Health Affirmations

  • I am healthy. I am strong. I am beautiful
  • I eat nutritious food and my body absorbs all the nutrients it requires
  • I feel good about myself.
  • I am energetic and full of vitality

Health Affirmation to Reduce Weight

  • I am reaching my ideal weight and maintaining it
  • I do required amount of exercise daily
  • I am not tempted to eat unhealthy food
  • I am getting healthier and fitter every day

Health Affirmation to Cure Illness

  • Every cell in my body is healthy
  • I bless my body today and everyday
  • My body is healing and recovering
  • I give peace to every organ in my body
  • I am free of xyz illness completely

A Healthy Mind

While we talk about illnesses and ailments, we do not realize that our body has a tendency to attract such problems. If our mind is weak, it acts like a magnet for the negative energies that surround us. Also, when we talk about toxic things repeatedly, such things become the poison of our lives. Hence, it is necessary that we remove all toxic thoughts from our mind. It can be done through health affirmations as well. You need to do it regularly to cleanse your mind. Examples of such health affirmations are –

I Am Healthy in My Mind

  • My mind attracts positive vibes and emanates positive vibes
  • My mind is free of all the toxic thoughts
  • My mind is strong and positive
  • I forgive all the people who have hurt me

How Long Does it Take for Health Affirmations to Work?

Health affirmations are not medicines that you feed your body and expect the results by evening. They are like a lifestyle habit that needs to be inculcated in your routine. Affirmations should become a part of your body and soul. When your mind is free of all the toxic thoughts and you think positive most of the times, the health affirmations will begin showing the results.

Explore the Little Known Grain Ragi – Health Benefits of Finger Millet

Ragi

Ragi
Shraddha is a health conscious mom. She ensured her toddler’s health by giving him a variety of food. As she and her husband belonged to different cultures, she got a chance to expose her son to foods belonging to both of them. When she began feeding solids to him son after six months, Ragi aka Finger Millet was one of the first foods that she tried. What she used to do is sprout the whole Ragi and mix it with palm sugar for her baby. She sourced organic Palm Sugar from Kerala. To her relief, her baby liked it.

Ragi is one of the lesser known cereals. People have not explored this cereal to its fullest. When I started giving solids to my little one, I was quite worried about the options. As she was not much fond of cow’s milk, I researched about foods rich in calcium. And to my surprise I came to know about a cereal that had more calcium than milk. With help from Shraddha, I tried giving her Ragi flour porridge. To my relief, she quite liked it. I carried the flour even while travelling, just to have something in spare when she refused to eat anything else.

Are you Aware of Ragi?

Ragi or finger millet is a cereal that is primarily cultivated in Asia and Africa. Unlike other cereals, the taste of Ragi is quite different. In fact, not just taste, even the colour of this cereal is unique. It is slightly pink in colour. The recipes prepared from Ragi are slightly darker. This variety of millet is loaded with nutrients like calcium, carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin and even protein. Low in fat, Ragi is completely gluten free.

Ragi is one of the good sources of Protein. The protein in this cereal is of good quality. This makes it easy for the body to absorb it. Ragi is also high in tryptophan, cysteine and even methionine, which are not present in other cereals. This makes Ragi important for health. If you are looking for a cereal that meets your daily requirement of nutrition, then try Ragi. Brimming with phosphorous, potassium, iron and even calcium, Ragi can make you healthier, if had in regulation. Even people who suffer from low levels of hemoglobin can trust Ragi. As I am not in favor of supplements, I always look for nutrition from foods. When I found that Ragi can naturally up the calcium, I even suggested it to my aunt who had the problem of osteoporosis.

Why Should You Consume Ragi?

While rice and wheat have been quite popular, Ragi is not that famous. People do not consume Ragi on a regular basis. However, including Ragi in your diet has many health benefits, which you might not be aware of.

Keeps You Full for a Longer Period

Before leaving for a wedding, I have some freshly prepared Ragi porridge. I am a foodie and could not resist filling up on delicious dishes in a wedding party. To prevent stuffing myself from unhealthy fats, I make sure that I eat something healthy before leaving. Ragi is loaded with amino acid known as Tryptophan. This amino acid is popular in the cereal circles for lowering the appetite and thereby controlling the weight. As Ragi takes time to digest, it keeps you full for longer. Hence, it prevents you from consuming extra calories. Further, Ragi is high in fiber as well, which helps in digestion. One of my friends even suggested having Ragi and buttermilk for breakfast to minimize hunger pangs between meals. All in all, Ragi can become your weight loss partner.

Enhances the Health of Your Hair

People try different shampoos, oils and other formula for the benefit of hair. However, a diet rich in nutrition goes a long way in maintaining the health of the hair. Ragi is one super food for your hair. I do not advise applying Ragi on hair but I really want you to include it in your diet. Ragi, being rich in protein, is quite good for preventing hair loss. Instead of hunting for protein in shampoos, search for foods that supply protein to your hair. Ragi is one such food. As hair is composed of protein, including Ragi in your diet will ensure strong hair. Further, the presence of magnesium in Ragi is also helpful in treating scalp related condition like psoriasis, dandruff and even eczema. Magnesium also helps in reducing the level of cortisol in the body, thereby preventing hair fall. Ragi will promote blood circulation in your scalp, ensuring healthy hair growth. Rich in antioxidants, Ragi also prevents premature greying of your hair.

Benefits Lactating and Pregnant Moms

Lactating moms are often advised to eat specific foods to boost milk production and thereby, prevent any ailments in the infant. If you are looking for more options for lactation, then you can try Ragi. Ragi is not only known to boost lactation, but also for making it more nutritious. Being rich in essential nutrients like iron, calcium and amino acids, Ragi passes on all this to the infant through milk. Rich in folic acid, Ragi helps develop the brain of the child while he’s still in the womb. In addition, the presence of calcium will help in developing the bones. Ragi being a whole grain is quite good for health of both mother and babies. Often, Ragi is one of the first cereals given to babies when they start solids. This is because Ragi is easy to digest.

Ensures Good and Healthy Skin

Instead of just depending on beauty creams and products for your skin, look for diet that ensures healthy skin. Include Ragi in your diet. This is because Ragi is packed with nutrients that are good for your skin. Amino Acids present in Ragi help in creating collagen, thereby improving the elasticity of the skin. You can prevent wrinkles and delay the ageing process by eating Ragi on a regular basis. Ragi is also packed with antioxidants, which are essential in controlling free radicals in your body. This helps in skin rejuvenation. You will be surprised to know that ubiquinone present in millet is one of the components of beauty products as well.

Heals Scars and Prevents Sun Damage

The presence of alium in Ragi helps in healing scars by forming new and healthy skin. Including Ragi in your diet can prevent skin damage as well. If you hate applying sunscreens like me, make sure you eat Ragi. Ragi helps in guarding the skin against the harsh rays of sun and thus preventing chances of skin cancer. This is because Ragi is loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin E and selenium. These nutrients help in enhancing the complexion and lubricating the skin as well. So, make Ragi your health partner and get a younger, fresher and healthier skin.

Improves the Condition of Diabetes

Including whole grains in diet is considered to be quite healthy. Whole grains like Ragi have the presence of phytochemicals, which slow down the digestion process in the body. This ultimately controls the level of blood sugar and thereby diabetes. Further, diet that contains Ragi is high in fiber and has lesser glycemic response. This is also helpful in controlling diabetes. Ragi has polyphenols and it even helps in absorbing starch from the diet. Ragi diet is quite helpful in healing wounds faster.

Great Source of Nourishment to Women

Women face lot of problems not only during menstrual cycle but also while going through menopause. Ragi is quite helpful in improving both the conditions. The presence of magnesium in Ragi is a good source of nourishment to women. With menopause comes the problem of hormonal imbalance and osteoporosis. During this phase, if a woman consumes a diet rich in Ragi, she gets the strength to face the problems. Ragi not only calms the mind but also tackles anxiety related issues. It helps in relieving menstrual cramps and alleviating pre-menstrual symptoms.

Good Food for Children and Elderly

Both childhood and old-age are such phases in human life that requires additional nutrition to carry on the daily routine. The bones of children and even elderly are quite weak. Hence, it is necessary that they consume a diet rich in calcium. Ragi, rich in calcium, is, thus, very important for both the age groups. It helps in maintaining bones and preventing the condition of fracture or even osteoporosis.

Sprouted Ragi for Health

Ragi can be consumed as a whole grain, in the form of sprouts or even flour. On sprouting Ragi grains, the levels of Vitamin C present therein receives a natural boost. In addition, Ragi is a good source of iron as well. The combination of iron and vitamin C is quite helpful in alleviating the condition of anemia. This is because vitamin C aids the absorption of iron from the diet. It even ups the level of hemoglobin when formed a part of daily diet.

Lowers the Level of Bad Cholesterol

Ragi has Vitamin B, which breaks down fat and even carbohydrates, present in the diet, quite efficiently. It prevents forming of cholesterol by lowering homo cysteine levels in the blood. Further, Ragi also prevents blockage of blood vessels, reduces the formation of plaque, thus averting the risk of heart ailments. Ragi also contains lecithin and methionine, the amino acids, which help in reducing fat from the liver and further bringing down the levels of cholesterol. It even helps reduce blood pressure.

Takes Care of Mental Health

While people take much care of their physical health, mental health is often ignored and less talked about. With the increase in conditions like stress, anxiety, insomnia, migraine, depression and other issues, it is necessary that awareness is created regarding this. While there are several things that can prevent and treat cerebral issues, a good diet is quite important. Research claims that nutrients present in Ragi can alleviate such issues. Ragi has natural amino acids that are helpful in relaxing the body and calming the mind.

Limit the Consumption

While Ragi is beneficial for you, its overdose is extremely harmful. You should eat a variety of grains to maintain the balance. When consumed beyond a limit, Ragi can result in overdose. It might lead to increase in oxalic acid in your body. Some people even complain of kidney stones due to Ragi overdose. Ragi even contains a substance that restricts the absorption of iodine in the body, leading to goiter. Even those people who suffer from thyroid should limit the consumption of Ragi.

Ragi is a super cereal. Include it in your daily diet along with rice, wheat and other cereals. Generally, Ragi is consumed in summer as it is cold in nature. It is brimming with nutrients and can help prevent and treat several health conditions if formed a part of your daily diet. I just baked some cookies using Ragi flour and you are invited to snack on them!

Learn the Art of Listening to Your Body and Benefit Your Health

Learn the Art of Listening to Your Body and Benefit Your Health

I like watching my toddler do things. Little kids are aware of their bodies more than we are, especially toddlers. They are curious, they are able to relate and they like to question each and everything. Sometimes to my surprise, my toddler makes me aware of things that I am not doing right. In the mayhem of life, we adults often lose the art of listening and questioning. We go on with our daily rut. This is because we think that questioning and listening will waste some of our precious time. Often, we do not question because we fear that we might be proved wrong. And if we are proved so, we will have to do everything again, thus resulting in waste of time.

Learn the Art of Listening to Your Body and Benefit Your Health

The Present Age and the Crunch of Time

The life of toddlers is easier than ours. They can speak and hence, they are able to express. They listen to their bodies and some toddlers even communicate to elders regarding this. Suppose, if they are hungry or tired or want to pee or even sleep, they will communicate freely. But, if you are thinking that you do the same thing, then you are wrong, especially in the present age. With severe crunch of time, we are not able to prioritize accurately. At times, people give more importance to task at hand than lunch. Some people keep delaying the requirement of essential check-ups to save some time and utilize it for some other ‘important’ tasks. When a person is not able to prioritize his health, the health suffers and it costs much more time and money than it was being saved primarily.

The Art of Listening to the Body

To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness – Robert Morley

You might not be aware of the fact that your body talks to you. And if you are trying to make a humor out of it saying that it talks through your mouth then you are wrong here. Your body speaks in ways that you will not be able to recognize if you are not in sync with it. Learning to listening to the body is an art. It is not a God’s gift, it can be, but it needs to be cultivated. People who wish to learn this art first need to learn patience. You need to love your body, every part of it, to be in one with it. You need to sync your thoughts with those of your body’s to be able to learn to listen to it.

Why Listen to your body?

Is it really necessary to listen to your body? Why is it important to listen to it? I mean that my mind is not separate from my body and I think my mind takes cautious decisions for the body.

You might be pondering over such questions. By listening to your body, I mean paying attention to little cues that your body gives to you. When you ignore these cues and go on with your present lifestyle, you might end up in a big mess. For instance, a friend of mine had begun a new set of exercises to flatten her belly. She had a slight pain here and there, but she ignored these signs and carried on, thinking that her body will ultimately adjust to them. After a week or so, she was not even able to move and ultimately got bedridden for a month. Now, if she had listened to her body, she might have understood the difference between the two pains – first one which is felt when a person begins exercising for the first time and the second one which is a signal that the exercise that the person is doing is wrong for the body.

Similarly, hunger is a sign that your body gives you when it requires nutrition. Likewise, cravings are the way your body speaks to you to get a specific nutrition. Further, aches and pains are also the way your body speaks to you. At a specific age, a woman’s body changes and gives signs for motherhood, menopause and so on. When such signs are ignored, poor health becomes inevitable.

Listening to your body will benefit your health in many ways. There are several instances when we know that we are going to fall sick. These signs from the body signal us to stop doing whatever wrong that we are doing. Suppose, when you eat an ice cream bar even though your taste buds are not tingling for it, you might end up with a cold. Your taste buds had signaled you not to eat a bar right then because your body was not ready for it. When we listen to cues from our body, we can avoid many health related issues. We can change our food habits, exercises, lifestyle and even some parts of our routine. For example, my husband stopped drinking tea on an empty stomach in the morning when he started feeling inflammation in his throat right after it. Such cues from the body need to be respected and followed through to keep the health intact.

Listening to the Bodies is a Lost Art

When I was a young, I used to spend free time majorly with my grandparents. They had a way of life which I found quite amusing at that time. However, all those acts made my grandparents live longer, without much medication. This is because that generation knew how to listen to their bodies. My grandfather used to demand certain foods on some days. While he told us that his body is demanding those foods, we used to think that he is bored of the usual fare. Once while basking in the sun during winters, my grandpa explained that concept to me. He told me that there are certain foods that our bodies demands, depending upon the weather.

If you are feeling cold, you should eat foods that are warm in nature – sesame seeds, mustard oil, edible gum, etc. These foods will keep you warm from inside. Likewise, sitting in the sun is also a requirement of the body, so is taking rest. This explained all the funny acts of my grandparents. They were not funny but they were different from ours. They listened to their bodies and demanded certain foods, slept in the sun and even took a walk during the cold evenings. I was amazed by this explanation. Now, I can understand completely what he was trying to say. Listening to the bodies is a lost art. While carrying out the daily activities in the present age, we have got into a rut. We often do not give heed to the signs by our body to stop and take a break. All this leads to stress, breakdown, anxiety and even depression.

How to Listen to Your Body?

Art of Listening to Your Body

You do not need to join some classes to listen to your body nor need you become deeply spiritual. Just a few alterations in your lifestyle will help you listen to your body. And when you master this art, do not take the cues lightly. When your body asks you to stop, you need to listen to it and act accordingly. Here are a few steps that will help you pay heed to what your body wants to say to keep you hale and hearty.

Slow Down your Daily Routine

How many times have you thought that there should be more than 24 hours in a day? The very first step to start listening to your bodies is slow it down. The present age has made us a busy bee – we do not have time to breathe and think about our own selves. While juggling several responsibilities and wearing multiple hats in a single day, we get caught up in our own web. Connecting to bodies seems to be the last thing on our mind. We desire to change our present routine and take out some time for our own selves, but it does not seem to be possible. To take things slowly, disconnect with outer world by unplugging from gadgets. Appreciate your life and the nature around you. Do not watch television while eating or check social media updates before sleeping. If you think that you have missed the bus and you are late to get into this habit, then you are wrong here. You can start any time and change your routine, one step at a time.

Do Not Look for Easy Solution

This is true, especially for your health. Often, we try to resort to easy remedies to take care of our illnesses. Take for instance, tackling hunger. Usually, when you are in a rush and your stomach starts grumbling, what will you do? You will open your pantry or the refrigerator, grab something that can be eaten instantly and move on.

Many of us have the habit of spending less time in eating. Taking care of our food and health is last in the list of our priorities. Snacking mindlessly only leads to a temporary hunger solution. This will not benefit your health in long term. You need to slow down and listen to your body. What type of hunger is it? Will an apple satiate the hunger or will you need to eat a full-fledged healthy meal? Or is it not hunger at all – it is thirst or even boredom! Thinking in this manner will let you find effective solutions for the cues that your body gives. This also means not finding solutions in medications and resort to natural remedies first. Like, headache does not always require medication; it might require a deeper analysis of this recurrent situation. I came to realize that my headaches were due to cold. By just wrapping a tight scarf around my head, I solved the problem.

Breathe Slowly and Deeply

You might not know that most of the problems that we face can be solved by breathing. If your boss just lectured you on that pending work, then instead of feeling bad instantly, take a pause. Start breathing deeply. Take one breath at a time and follow it from your nose to your belly. Think of solutions of taking care of that task. Do not feel anxious and take hold of your feelings. You will start feeling good. Listen to your body by sitting / standing in a quiet corner and breathing deeply. This will solve most of your problems.

Learn to Love Your Body

I have heard many people say that they just hate their body – while some do not like the fact that they are fat, others things that they are short or thin or have ugly legs and the list goes on. Instead of cribbing about different parts of the body, learn to embrace them. Love the way you look and love the feeling of it. Do not aim losing weight, instead aim to become fit and healthy. When you wake up in the morning, see yourself in the mirror and say “I am Beautiful and Healthy”. Your body will follow suit and you will notice the differences in the way you look.

Practice Mindfulness

This seems to be deep but it is not that tough. For beginning practicing mindfulness, you need to make use of all your five senses. This helps you enhance the experience. You need not take out special or dedicated time for this. Just inculcate it in all the activities that you do in your routine life. When you sit down to eat, touch the food and let the smell engulf your senses. Taste it and chew properly. Feel the food reaching every part of your body and giving you optimum nutrition. Another example is when you are in a park. Let the nature talk to you. Listen to the birds and the wind swooshing. . This will enhance your memory and let you remember incidents not by the photographs that you took but the experiences that you had. This will help you listen to your body actively.

Try Alternate Therapies

Instead of resorting to medicines to cure illness, try simple therapies. There are several alternate therapies available these days that help you in finding out the reason of your illness and treating it thoroughly. Learn more about Ayurveda or Naturopathy. Practice Yoga and Pranayama. Delve deeper into the healing powers of Reiki. These therapies help you listen to your body and practice mindfulness. They help you take hold of the matters of your body and take cues from it. So, next time when you have a stomach ache, do not pop the pill but look for other things that can be done to treat the ailment.

Your body is indeed like a temple. Believe in it. When you face an illness, do not give up on it. Try to inculcate the habit of listening to your body. Your body loves you and you need to love it too. Your body listens to you and you need to listen it too. Happy listening!

Any other tips you would like to share? Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

How Mothers Can Inspire Kids to Eat Healthy?

How Mothers Can Inspire Kids to Eat Healthy

How healthy are the children is so much dependent on their mothers, at least in the early years! While a mother cannot control to an extent what the kids after a certain age, but she can do a whole lot of things to make sure that the kid eats healthy stuff, inside the home and even outside it.

I remember once I asked my two year old to not eat chocolates straight out of the fridge. She was resistant to the idea but gave in. Once she caught me doing the same. I had opened a Pandora’s Box by doing this. She asked me, “Why can you eat cold chocolates and not me?” she continued, “why didn’t you let me eat cold chocolates,” et cetera.

Being a mom, I am the role model for my daughter. I had to follow the rules that I had set for her. And such rules are most applicable when it comes to food, health and nutrition. Kids have superb memory. They remember our mistakes very well. Why can I eat noodles and not my tot? Why am I allowed to eat ice creams at night but not she? And why does she have to eat fruits for breakfast whereas I can gobble up a cheese sandwich?

Kids try to emulate us in many things, in fact, almost all the things. If I do not listen to her or pay heed to her mumblings, she tries to do the same. If I am checking messages on my cell phone, she uses an imaginary phone to message her friend. And if I am entertaining myself by talking to a friend, she wants to watch the television too to stay occupied. As a mother, we need to set good habits in our kiddos, right from the beginning.

There are so many things that we can do as a mother to make sure that our kids develop healthy eating habits all their life. Many mothers have an opinion that kids will understand the difference between good and bad, only once when they are old enough to do so. However, most of the habits are formed till the kids reach three years of age. Even the body of a child gets accustomed to the food habits by that age. Hence, whatever changes that you want to do needs to be done before that.

Pregnancy

These are the best nine months to inspire your baby. There will be no resistance from your child. As a mother, you need to eat a variety of foods so that the fetus not only gets nutrition but gets to taste different things. Even research suggests that babies might develop food habits as early as the pregnancy phase.

The taste of what pregnant mothers eat gets transferred to the amniotic fluid. Hence, the baby gets to taste the food. And this, in most cases, is reflected in the eating preferences of the baby in the early years. If a pregnant mother has had more of apples, the baby prefers apple flavored foods in the beginning. This may or may not be the same for all babies. But, as a mother, it is better that you do not take chances and introduce your fetus to a variety of interesting foods. So that the baby develops good and healthy eating habits once he starts eating on his own. If you do like pungent and spicy foods, you should eat the same throughout the pregnancy if your health provider permits. This will help the fetus to adapt to such foods.

When I was pregnant, I ate everything – even those things that I was not fond of. Thankfully, my daughter is not a picky eater. One interesting thing that I noticed is that I used to skip fruits as that time I was not very fond of them. And my daughter makes faces when I serve fruit to her now. Further, I avoided sweets and confectioneries to avoid unnecessary weight gain. My daughter too is not much fond of sweets. This might be a coincidence too.

Breastfeeding

While some say that pregnancy is a difficult phase, I will contradict completely. For me, it was the breastfeeding phase. During pregnancy, I could make informed choices in spite of a plethora of advises that I used to get on a daily basis. However, I did not have that much time and energy when I had the baby. So, if Aunt A told me that do not eat carrots during pregnancy, I obliged and carried on. And when Aunt B told me to eat carrots and avoid tomatoes, I changed my diet again, without thinking much. No, I never made Aunt A and Aunt B meet to discuss this. However, now that my baby is older and after meeting many moms belonging to different cultures, I have understood the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of the diet of a breastfeeding mother. Just like pregnancy, mothers should eat a variety of healthy foods even during the breastfeeding phase.

Yes, it is true to an extent that the babies get flavored milk if you eat something different. But another truth is that some babies like the specific flavored milk that they get. So, if you had garlic in the lunch today, then your baby might like to drink more of that milk rather than avoid it altogether. Further, if you are avoiding something just because it causes gas or other such problems, then you might be wrong. There could be many reasons of a bloated stomach of your baby, rather than just the food you had. Hence, keep calm and keep eating whatever you like. This way, your baby might eat all the things that you prepare instead of choosing a particular food group that you introduced to him during breastfeeding.

Six Month Onward

Continue breastfeeding your baby and also introduce other types of foods. While you introduce a variety of foods now, you can also make sure that you set a schedule for your baby as well. Make sure that you alternate between breastfeeding and regular food. If possible, feed other foods to the baby while the rest of the family is eating. The baby will be inspired to eat then. Even you can eat together with the baby. Your baby will be glad to see you eating a variety of stuff. Include colorful foods in your diet. Do not switch on television or other similar gadgets while the baby is eating. If he is not eating, he might not be hungry. Try after a while. Eating food does not require any kind of entertainment.

Toddlers

Toddlers are picky eaters, so say most of the moms. However, it is on you whether you desire to give such a label to your kid. If you have made sure that your baby eats healthy and a variety of foods, right from the beginning, then your toddler will not be a picky eater at all. Toddlers find the food interesting if it is presented well. Do not give the same foods on a daily basis. If you serve a fruit pancake today, then give porridge tomorrow, in spite of the fact that your baby will gobble up the pancake even today. Do not make pancakes dull for your baby by serving them every day. Make a point to eat meals together as a family. Let your baby eat by herself. Introduce finger foods at this stage that she can munch on. Give a complete meal to your baby.

Pre-Schoolers

If your baby has started going to pre-school, then you might be a mom who wonders what to give for tiffin on a regular basis. While you make sure to fill in the box with foods that your baby will finish it up without a fuss, also introduce other foods that she does not eat. For instance, if today you have given some cookies in the box, tomorrow team up the cookies with some fruits. When your kid returns from school, you can tell him that you had cookies and fruits for lunch. He will be happy that both of you had the same meal. What you eat as a mother reflects on the baby as well. When you eat a healthy meal, your baby is inspired to do so. If you focus more on junk food, your baby will be automatically directed towards it.

Pre-Teens and Teens

Your little kid has all grown up. She might have made friends belonging to other cultures and backgrounds in school. The food habits of different cultures vary. Hence, your teen is introduced to such foods through her friends. Together with this, your teen also gets introduced to junk food, which you might have kept her away from.

If you ask your teen to stay away from such foods strictly, then she might revolt or hide the fact that she had the food with her friends. Instead of this, try to make her understand the differences between the nutrition present in the junk food and healthy food. Not all junk food is unhealthy. Ask her to make informed choices.

You can go out together and make her learn how to choose what in certain situations. This way, your teen will learn what food is healthy and what is not. If you like cooking, you can learn what her friends’ mothers are preparing. This way, your kid will not get bored of the same type of food and taste. Many families make the same food but add different spices. This changes the taste of the food to a great extent. You can even learn to prepare junk food but by adding nutrition to it. You can add lots of veggies in the noodles or prepare whole wheat pasta at times. Your teen will be happy to eat such stuff at home.

Final Words

If you are not able to do a whole lot of stuff for your babies, then just make sure that you eat good and healthy meals. You are a living inspiration for your baby, right from day one. What you eat and do will reflect on your baby. Make sure you set a good example. Everything else will just follow.

6 No-Brainer Exercises That You Can Do at Home

6 No Brainer Exercises That You Can Do at Home

I am a lazy person like you when it comes to exercises. I have a thousand and one excuses to postpone weight-loss and the primary one is catch up on sleep. And hence, I searched for some exercises that I can do even when I wake up late in the morning. Here are some of them. However, consistency is the key with these exercises.

1. Walking in Place

Wear your walking shoes and just start walking, wait, at the very place you are standing. You do not need to go out, choose a route, and come back tired, etc. For this, you just need to wear your shoes and walk at the same place. It is known as walking in place or marching in place. Try this, it is possible. You will love it.

It is as effective as regular walking and I like it because it gets me going. You can sneak in this exercise during commercial breaks, while keeping a watch over boiling milk and even when you are talking on phone. Easy and simple, isn’t this?

2. Stationary Jogging

This particular exercise requires you to run or jog at one place. Remember that you wear shoes while doing stationary jogging. It helps improve cardiovascular health. With this, I am not worried about monsoon.

Whatever the weather be, exercising is a must. Stationary jogging helps to lose weight by burning calories. When you are pressed for time, this is the best form of exercise. Among other benefits, it helps build strength and prevents cardiovascular diseases as well.

3. Jumping

You are right, jumping is indeed an exercise. You will love it, because it does not require any practice or investment. Just start jumping, whenever you feel like. However, you should first warm up before starting jumping. Initially, start jumping gently. Once you are comfortable, start regular jumping. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and arms locked on your sides. Start jumping now. Alternatively, you can do jumping jacks – just change the position of your hands. In jumping jacks, your hands should be at your shoulders.

4. Aerobics Stepper

You need equipment for this, but nothing more than that. You can either look for a plank or a step bench that is 4 to 12 inches high or else invest in aerobics stepper. I did not find it too costly and bought one. I began with stepping up and down the aerobics, just like we do on stairs. It was fun. Then, I hunted for some more exercises using step aerobics. Put on some good music and get on with stepping.

You will be surprised to know the benefits of step aerobics. It is a low-impact exercise that burns huge calories in minimum time. If you want to strengthen your butt and surrounding areas, this is perfect. It is hassle-free and does not require going out anywhere to workout.

5. Hula Hoops

I have talked about hula hooping earlier in my posts. Hula hooping burns calories without even you realizing it. You will be surprised to know that hula hooping is a complete body workout. You just need to invest in a hula hoops for this exercise.

It is also possible choose between weighted or simple hula hoops. Whenever you wake up late or return late from office, hoop for some minutes. It burns 50 calories in 8 minutes, interesting, isn’t it?

6. Skipping Ropes

Yes, skipping rope is an exercise, just like hula hoops is. Invest in good quality ropes for this. It is a good cardio exercise and burns more than 1000 calories per hour. Further, it is a full body workout and concentrates on strengthening your thighs and calf muscles. You can do skipping both ways – barefoot or wearing shoes. There are several types of exercises you can perform skipping – double jump, cross jump, etc. Find the one that suits you and start skipping!

Conclusion

This is interesting, right. So, next time, when you give an excuse for not exercising, think about these exercises. These do not accept any kind of excuses. In conclusion, Just get up from your place and start doing them.

You can even do this while you are in kitchen and waiting for the water to boil. If you have some free time on your hand, these could be done at workplace as well. Take your kids to play area and while they play, do these exercises. You can even involve kids and make exercise fun.

10 Mistakes to Avoid on Weekend for a Super Healthy Week

10 Mistakes to Avoid on Weekend for a Super Healthy Week

Earlier Sheena used to be a weekend girl. Saving calories all along the week to binge at her favourite pastry on Sunday. This had become her ritual. Spending her Sunday in the most unhealthy style and begin her usual routine Monday onward.

After a month or so, she realized that in spite of working out hard, she was not able to lose weight – albeit she had gained some pounds. What could be going wrong? She had read somewhere that you can give in to your cravings once in a while even while dieting.

I used to be totally confused as Sheena is now. I committed the same mistakes. However, one of my instructors at aerobic classes enlightened me. On every Friday morning, she used to say a line when the class came to an end. She used to say, “Do not eat burger on the weekend or do not eat pastry on this weekend. These foods are loaded with calories and the hard work you did for the entire week will go for a toss. Since then, I stopped my Sunday binges. In fact, I work out on Sundays and take rest on Mondays to stay away from Monday blues. Besides eating unhealthy, there are so many mistakes that we commit on weekends that turn out to be detrimental to our health in long term. Let’s have a look.

1. Messy Fridays

Sabotaging your weekend begins from Friday itself. The joy of upcoming weekend is so much that even the Friday schedule goes for a toss. Some people, including myself, miss the Friday workout, thinking of catching it up on the Weekend. This never happens. Tiredness suddenly sets in on Friday evening to even cook a healthy dinner. You might blame advertisements and offers by restaurants for this. However, their job is to make it tempting for you. They are not aware that you desire to live a healthy life. While you can enjoy a hearty meal in restaurants, you should not make it a habit. If your Friday goes good, you can make well informed choices for the weekend.

2. Liquor Ticker

Liquor is one of the ways to celebrate the weekend. However, if you do not pre-decide the quantity, it is hard to decide it after that first glass. Too much intake of alcohol harms your health. There are so many ailments that are a result of heavy drinking. Alcohol damages your liver and even plays a role in causing several types of cancer. If you are fond of alcohol, do not keep the bottle near to you. Just prepare a glass and consume it. Keeping the bottle within reach will tempt you to drink more.

3. Snooze Dose

Weekends are meant to catch up on lost sleep, right. However, experts believe that if you do not keep a tap on sleep in the morning, then you are likely to spoil your day. The more you sleep, greater are the chances of a lethargic day. Instead, you should wake up on time in the morning and opt for naps during the day. This will help you accomplish your weekend goals without missing out on sleep. What I prefer on Sundays is to wake up on time and enjoy a relaxed morning when I do not have to rush to do anything. I prepare a mug of coffee, sit near the window and enjoy reading Sunday supplements with sips of caffeine. What say?

4. Not Taking a Social Media Break

If I was writing this post some 10 years back, this point would not have existed at all. However, social media is a menace in this age and world. With internet available on the phone, many people are interested in keeping a tap on how other people are spending their Sundays rather than enjoying their own.

Further, World Wide Web is contagious. It is known as web for some reason. Once you get inside, it is difficult for you to get off it. If you desire to spend a healthy weekend, take a social media break. Do not even hover around your phone. Spend time with your loved ones rather than watching their updates on social media. Further, social media even does not allow you to take adequate rest, which is a must for weekends.

5. The Itch to Binge

This error is one of the most common ones and should be moved on to number one. Sundays are not meant to take a break from the healthy routine and go about eating anything and everything that comes to your sight. If you really want to take a break, opt for one meal in a day. Binging throughout the weekend will harm your health badly and the hard work of entire week will do down the drain.

Maintaining your body is like maintaining relationships. It is quite easy to form them but quite hard to mend a broken one. When you binge, your body is not able to handle the constant ‘unhealthy’ food you stuff it with. Your system feels as if it is in a roller coaster. You might not be aware that many ailments are a result of binging. Some of the problems that binging results in are fatigue, anxiety and even depression. You are spoiling a great week with weekend binging for sure. Instead of binging, do not stay away from your favourite food but keep a control on the portion your indulgences.

6. Extreme Exercise Schedule

There are two types of personalities – one who do not work out on weekends and other who work out only on weekends. These are on the extreme ends. Some people even go overboard with workouts on weekends. In both the cases, you could be harming your health. Your body does not get used to such forms of workout.

The strain on the muscles is quite grave, when you work out only on the weekends. Whereas it is possible to take a break once a week, make sure that you do not opt for no-workout weekends. By not working out both on Saturday and Sunday, your muscles get strained when you begin your workout on Mondays. When it comes to binging and exercise, moderation is the key. What you can do is exercise thrice a week if your schedule is too tight. What I prefer is resting on Mondays and working it out throughout the week. It feels great to begin a Monday after proper sleep and rest.

7. Working on Weekends

While some go overboard with weekend celebration, others prefer working even on weekends to lower the burden of the upcoming week. Checking on work emails is quite tempting. However, it is required to take a break from the work at least once a week. This is necessary for enhanced levels of productivity during the week. When your mind gets required amount of relaxation from the work, it gets charged up to tackle the things in the coming week. Such work schedule results in stress and even depression, at times.

8. Running Errands

This is one of the favourite habits of my dear husband. He likes doing all the wrong stuff on weekends. Grocery shopping, cleaning his accessories, servicing his vehicle and all the related ones. If you have the same habit, then even you might be feeling that your Sunday is not a Fun-day at all, just like my husband keeps on complaining. What you can do is instead of piling up the work for a pretty Sunday, you can set aside half an hour every day to complete the chores. This way, your Sunday would not have a long list of to-dos.

9. Unnecessary Worrying

Another bad habit that my husband has – is keep worrying about the work that needs to be completed at office. He keeps on narrating the list to me – I listen to it attentively at times. But sometimes I do wonder that will worrying about the work on Sunday will get it done automatically on Monday? Nopes. Then why keep on worrying along with your spouse. Instead watch movies together, cook a nice meal or play some board games. Such Sundays are the great ones, according to me.

10. Read this on Sunday

If you are reading this on Sunday, then you have wasted your precious weekend moments on this preachy post. Instead get up and get going. Keep your mobile at a distance and take a walk across the street. You might meet an old friend of yours or find something interesting that makes your Sunday a better one. What say?

Weekends are not for committing errors but refueling your body and mind that makes your upcoming week a great one. Pre-plan it – even the rest and you will make it one of the best weekends.

How to Create a Healthy, Happy and Creative Environment for Your Family

Create a Healthy, Happy and Creative Environment for Your Family

I was a little jealous of some families when I saw them spending time together, going on vacations and celebrating festive occasions. This specially happened on days when I had an argument with my husband. However, this changed when we welcomed our little bundle of joy. I had promised myself that I would gift her healthy and happy environment that would help her blossom. One of my doctors had advised me that your kid is like a bud desiring to open up. Make sure that when you are with her, your focus is not diverted to other chores of your office or home. These words of her are still etched in my mind.

Creating a healthy, happy and creative environment for your family is not hard at all. Certainly, you cannot transform 360 degrees, one fine day. Concentrate on one expect of your lifestyle at a time, and in a few months of time, your home and family would be one of the happiest. Now, while you are into making your home and family a happier one, you can do it in two ways. One, instill positive values in the family members – including yourself. And two, do up your home creatively to make it happy. Let’s begin with the house deco, because it is easier.

For the Home

Creative Environment for Your Family

Good Begets Better

Surround yourself with good things, good people and good home decor. When you see a smiling face on the wall, you are mostly likely to emote that face. Happy memories and pictures on your wall will create a positive domino effect in your life. Negative things will make you feel sad. For instance, tuck away broken things or simply discard them. Good things will result in a better life.

Lighting Works Wonder

Some lights are simply sad. They produce a dull light that make you feel burdened. Make sure that your home lights up like a happy face does. Not only sunlight but also artificial lighting should be well balanced in your home. You can experiment with lights by using chandeliers, bulbs, hangings, etc. I would prefer going green by using earthen lamps or fragrant candles, just for a cozy feeling.

A Happy Corner

Are you fond of a particular corner in your house? I certainly have a soft corner for a specific side of our living room. I have placed a bean bag in that corner and covered it up with some colorful sheets. With the help of my toddler, I have even pinned some handmade stars on the sheets. Whenever I feel glum, I light up an earthen lamp and play some good music. The best part is that it even gives me a view outside the window. This is my happy corner, do you have yours?

Play with Colours

When we shifted to our new apartment, we were sure that we will use good colours to make the house feel big and cozy at the same time. What we did is that we chose a green colour for a single wall and balanced it with lemon for other parts of the house. We have beautiful pictures and frames on that wall. The wall is known as ‘The Happy Wall’. The moment we see that wall, we feel good as a family. You too can play with colours in your home. You need not decorate the entire house; just get a bright orange vase or a yellow photo frame. This is just a suggestion – I mean that you should get quirky when choosing home decor.

A Happy Kitchen

husband wife cooking together

The family that eats together stays together. Make sure that you at least one meal in a day together. It can be anytime – even an evening tea with cookies! Do not switch on television at this time – but talk about ideas, food, taste, etc. At least once in a week, you should plan to cook meals together. Planning and cooking meals will bring you closer as you get to spend more time with each other. Do not cook in a hurry. Always have a plan ready for the meal. I plan for three meals in advance, so that I do not have to rush. I cannot cook well when I am anxious. To make things more interesting, I plan to hang a blackboard outside the kitchen that mention ‘Today’s Menu’. This way, my family can be prepared and even make changes if they feel so. A happy kitchen is the foundation of a happy home.

De-clutter Your House

Clear the scrap and the crap from your house. Once in a while, clear the drawers and donate the things that you have not been using for a while. You can even sell it to someone who requires it. Do not invest in several equipment or gadgets. Before purchasing, assess the need for the thing that you are buying. An organized home will definitely set the tone of happiness.

For the Family

Happy Family

Express Yourself

This has been taught to me by my husband. It is difficult for me to express myself when I am angry. I tend to bottle up the feelings and then suddenly burst on matters that didn’t require anger at all. Instead, what I do nowadays is say what I feel. Even we have taught our kids to say what they feel. We listen to them. This gives us a peek into their world. Opening channels of communication will bring your family closer. However, a word of caution is that you forbid using negative words. It might express you better in certain circumstances, but they are bad for your child’s mindset.

Choose the Right Language

What do you do before meeting the important clients? You might be re-thinking what to reveal and what not to for maintaining the relationship. This goes for your family. Often, bad and hurtful words might instill fear and anxiety, especially in the kids. Not only words, but language in entirety along with the right tone will inspire your kids to follow suit. Patience, love and support are required even when we communicate. Right from the beginning, use a language that boosts the self-worth of your child.

Demonstrate Your Love

While you love your family, you are weak when it comes to demonstrating it. Hug your kids often. Say, ‘I love you’ whenever needs be. Cuddles work wonders when the child is feeling low. Whenever my kiddo insists that I should make her eat lunch, I do that instantly. The more you love, the more love you get. I remember my aunt used to scold my cousins in case of bicycle accidents, when we were quite young. As opposed to this, I remember my father, who used to hold me in his arms and say, “That is okay. Accidents happen. You should learn from them.” His words were magical and healed my wounds instantly. Children require your love the most when they are going through a bad phase.

Inspire Your Family

When you as a spouse or a parent behave erratically, the other family members follow suit. You are a role model for your family. The language you choose, the confidence you exhibit, the way you eat or behave or choose a lifestyle is all been watched and copied. When you are angry on certain things, it vibrates in the environment of the house. You might notice that everybody in the family is behaving a little weird. This is because your anger has created negative vibrations. Hence, refrain from letting your anger or anxiety bog you and your family down. Even if it does, make sure that you get out of it as soon as possible.

Chuck the Expectations

The more you expect, more is the misery. Set reasonable goals for the day. Prepare yourself for the worst. Do not expect things to go as you had planned for. This will eliminate fear and burden in the environment. Take one hour at a time. Make a point to take breaks in between. It might happen that some of your days are not productive and you feel like just lying down. Such situations call for just lying down and watch your favourite shows.

Also Read: How to Instill Healthy Eating Habits in Your Family

You need not make great efforts to build a happy, healthy and a creative environment at home. Just take life lightly. Here is a caution though, ‘happiness’ cannot be measured; it’s a feeling. Do not judge an argument or a meltdown as a failure of your efforts. The best kept secret of a happy home is ‘love’. Love conquers everything. After becoming a mother, I realized that it is better to forget and forgive quickly. Hurt and anger consume much space not only in your body but also family. I wish you a happy and healthy family.

How to Instill Healthy Eating Habits in Your Family

How to Instill Healthy Eating Habits in Your Family

What you as a parent will eat, your kids will follow the suit. If you want to make your kids do something, the first rule is to do it yourself. When you eat healthy, your kids will be inspired to eat the same. With so many unhealthy foods available at superstores, it is quite difficult to keep yourself and your family away from it. For instance, there are ready-to-drink juices (which are full of sugar) and ready-to-eat meals (which are loaded with preservatives) available just a call away. On top of that, you are tempted to dine out with family on weekends. In this hullaballoo, how is it possible to instill healthy eating habits in your family?

I have been trying this for a month or so. We as a family are not dining out at all. We go out, have fun, return and cook something together on weekends. This way, we are not only eating healthy, but also have come close as a family. While my husband chops veggies, my toddler hands over the works to prepare food. It is lovely to prepare something together and relish it too. Here are some ideas that will help you to make sure that you as a family are eating healthy and nutritious food.

How to Instill Healthy Eating Habits in Your Family

Team Up Unhealthy with Healthy

You can’t ask your family to start eating healthy all of a sudden. Hence, you should first begin with teaming their favourite unhealthy foods with healthy ones. Suppose, if its burger for dinner, make sure to prepare only half the number. Now, first serve the soup and then, the burger. And make some rice dishes together with it to make a complete meal. I have been doing the same with my toddler. She likes noodles but didn’t chew them. So, I make her eat rice or chapatis first before serving noodles to the entire family. Her temptation to eat noodles was marred down eventually.

Eating Whole Wheat

I am one mommy that wants to keep my kid away from refined flour. While I do not prefer it for weighty issues, I do not give it to my family for nutrition reasons. I began with bread first. I do not bake breads at home as our family is not a fan of bread. However, whenever we buy it, we make sure that it is either whole wheat bread or a multi-grain one. I have even been preparing béchamel sauce or white sauce using whole wheat flour rather than refined one. Also, cupcakes and cookies turned out good with whole wheat flour.

My little one is a fan of pasta and noodles. I bring the whole wheat brown pasta and wheat or rice noodles from the store. It tastes quite good. Just check the ingredients at the back of the pack, to make sure that it is whole wheat and not refined flour.

Stocking the Refrigerator

I personally believe in eating fresh. Refrigerator is a bane at times. I have seen many families preparing food in bulk and then, consuming it for a couple of days from refrigerator. My rule is to prepare only small batches of food that can be consumed by the family in one sitting. However, I use refrigerator to store sauces because I am not able to prepare them instantly.

When we shifted to a new apartment, sourcing fruits and veggies became quite difficult. So, nowadays, even these can be seen peeping out of my refrigerator. I make a point that there are no soft drinks, ready-to-drink juices or chocolates in the refrigerator. This is to prevent my toddler to eat this stuff. Whenever I am hungry and open the fridge, I find only milk to drink and fruits to munch, and that ways, I am cured of eating unhealthy during hunger pangs.

Drink More Water

The first rule of healthy diet is drinking more water throughout the day, in any form you wish. While we know that water is necessary, we either don’t remember to drink it or do not want to. The first rule is keep water accessible. Fill a jug and place one on the dining table, one near your workstation and even near the shoe rack. Further, get creative with water. In summers, I add fresh fruits like lemon, orange, kiwi, apple or mint in a glass jug. My family is excited to drink this detox drink.

No Short-order Cooking

This was my weakness, earlier. I didn’t use to plan meals in advance and when the time arrived, I prepared anything that was easy to cook and clean. This made me a lazy and unhealthy cook. Hence, my meals are now planned a day or two in advance. I source the ingredients and make preparations in advance. Even when we as a family are going for an outing, I prepare the veggies, knead the dough and prepare some rice in advance. This way, on return, I just need to make chapatis.

Let your Family Decide

Often, we are brought up with the mindset of eating only particular foods for breakfast and others for dinner. For instance, poha is for breakfast and parathas are for dinner. My point is that if the food is healthy, then why should we restrict our family to pin down foods for meals? If my husband asks me to make parathas for Sunday brunch and poha for a light dinner, then I agree it. When my toddler desires to eat pasta for breakfast, I add some veggies in the sauce to make her a hearty breakfast that she will love. When I give in to their demands, they are not tempted to eat the unhealthy stuff.

Keep Innovating

Healthy eating does not mean that you need to eat regular dal-chawal daily. Adding new ingredients to the regular meal can work wonders to keep your family glued to the healthy stuff. For instance, if it is just paneer today, after a few days, I prepare paneer with colorful bell peppers. Colour is my mantra to make food interesting. The more colorful the food, the better it is. I even change the method of preparing meals. If I am sautéing potatoes today, I bake them next time. This way, my toddler does not get bored of potatoes.

Substitute

When you start eating healthy, the key is to substitute ingredients, methods and food. For instance, sauteing instead of frying, brown sugar or jaggery instead of white, oil or clarified butter instead of butter. If tea is what you are hooked on to, substitute it with a cup of warm milk or even warm water. If you love eating desserts, substitute it with fruits and honey.

Educate

Just regulating unhealthy meals does not work. Educate your family about what healthy food is and the reason you are asking them to eat it. Inform them about different types of flours and benefits of eating them. When you are preparing meals, involve your family in the process. Tell them why you are not frying and sautéing instead. This way, they will not only be informed but also try to eat healthy foods even in your absence.

Finally…

Healthy eating should not be forced. If you are forcing someone to do something, the person will not be doing it in your absence. Make healthy eating a way of your lifestyle. Inspire your kids by choosing healthy foods over the unhealthy ones. Eat fruits, fresh veggies and foods that you think that your family should eat. Do not fill your basket mindlessly at superstores. Do not stock unhealthy meals. When unhealthy ready-to-eat foods will not be present in your kitchen, your family will be able to eat it too, including yourself. Remember, charity and healthy eating begins at home! Here’s to Healthy and happy eating!

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Does Your Spouse Snore? Try These 8 Simple Home Remedies

Does Your Spouse Snore? Try These 8 Simple Home Remedies

Do not laugh away this. Snoring is one of the major causes of bickering among couples. If a partner snores, other is not able to sleep properly. Lack of sleep creates a domino effect and affects productivity. If you have already discussed this with your partner, but he or she is not ready to visit a doctor for this, then try these home remedies.

There can be several reasons for snoring. If you know the reason, then treating it at home becomes easy. If you do not, then visiting the doctor is compulsory. These are some home remedies that help treat snoring naturally.

1. Clarified Butter or Cow Ghee

Ghee is one of the easily available ingredients in the kitchens. It is quite effective for snoring as per Ayurveda. Use ghee made out of Cow’s milk for this. Warm up the ghee on the stove for a few seconds. Make sure that it does not burn. Put 2 drops of this ghee in each of the nostrils. Repeat this regularly prior to sleeping at night.

2. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint is good for treating snoring if the problem is due to nasal congestion. For this, use a store bought peppermint oil. Take a few drops on your finger and rub it on the lower side of each of the nostrils. You can try peppermint oil in other ways too. Either use it in the steam or gargle with the water with added peppermint oil drops. The anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint oil will cure the ailment soon.

3. Ginger

This anti-bacterial spice in your kitchen is popular for its anti-bacterial effects. If your partner snores due to swelling in nasal passage, then ginger is a good remedy. Team it up with honey for best results. I had fresh ginger tea for a couple of days; it helped my cold and even snoring as well. To prepare ginger tea, crush some ginger and add it to boiling (1 cup) water. I let the water reduce to three-fourth. Switch off the flame and cover the pan. The boiling water will further dissolve ginger extract. Now, add a teaspoon of honey to the cup and pour the ginger concoction over it. Relish it warm.

4. Garlic

If snoring is due to sinus, then garlic is an excellent remedy. Easily available, garlic is a hot food. The properties in garlic dry up the nasal passage while reducing the mucus that is blocking it. My father-in-law chews raw garlic before lunch. He says it is good for cardiovascular health. On research, I found out that it even treats snoring. For snoring, chew raw garlic before going to bed for a couple of days at least. The smell is quite strong and it makes it difficult to sleep. If your partner is not able to try this, then add crushed garlic in your dinner. This will definitely help.

5. Essential Oils

If your partner snores because of lack of deep sleep, then essential oils are a good treatment. Take 5 drops each of lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, rose oil, clove bud oil and cinnamon bark oil, and take 2 drops each of basil oil, myrtle oil and cary sage. Add all these oils to a tiny bottle. Top up the rest of the bottle with any carrier oil like wheat germ oil or avocado oil. Shake this mixture to blend it. Rub it on your partner’s chest before going to sleep. This will definitely give you and your partner a good night’s sleep.

6. Olive Oil

Some people snore because of excess of tissues at the back of the nose. This can be treated by consuming olive oil. Here, I am not talking about using it in cooking but consuming it raw. Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of raw olive oil and try consuming it in two to three sips. Ask your partner to do this before going to bed. It will definitely help.

7. Eucalyptus Oil

If mucus is what troubling your partner, then eucalyptus oil is the best treatment. Just like peppermint oil, this oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Take a few drops and apply it in the inner parts of the nostrils. Eucalyptus oil is quite strong. If you are not able to bear it, then use it in the steam. Pour 2-3 drops of the oil into a pot of boiling water. Wrap a towel around your head to block the release of the steam. Inhale this for clearing the nasal passage and treat snoring.

8. Mint Tea

If you are fond of mint tea, then this remedy will definitely help you. Mint tea does not only treat snoring, the nutrients present in tea also benefit your body in general. For this, boil a cup of water. Add 8-10 mint leaves in your cup and pour boiling water into the cup. Let the leaves steep into the water for good 5 minutes. I do not strain the leaves and like chewing them. You can add honey too to this concoction. There is a method to even drink this tea. Firstly, smell the tea and then have a sip. It will open the nasal passages completely.

Apart from this, there are several exercises and other remedies as well that will prevent and treat snoring. Stay tuned to the site for related posts.

If you find this article helpful, share your views in the comments.

7 Healthy Foods in Your Kitchen that You Think are Unhealthy But Are Not

healthy-food-kitchen

My friend is a self-proclaimed health activist. She keeps on asking me to avoid eating many things in my daily routine as well. While on Monday, she asked me to avoid butter on my bread, on Thursday, she was adamant on making me skip sugar altogether.

Yesterday, she annoyed me very much by snatching a bowl of baked potatoes from my hand. She was like, “Potatoes?? Do you even know how unhealthy they are?” This was the last straw. I met a dietitian and verified my regular diet. The dietitian opined that eating foods in moderation is the key. Rather than, avoiding something altogether, you should have it in moderation. Thank God for this! I am sharing here some foods that you regularly stock in your kitchen and generally think that they are unhealthy but in reality, they are healthy.

1. Potatoes

When your friend asked you to skip eating potatoes, did you avoided them altogether? Not again. Potatoes are good for health, if had in moderation. How healthy the humble potato is depends on the method of cooking it. For instance, while fried potatoes are not good, baked potatoes will do much good to your body. The presence of calcium, zinc, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, choline, folate, starch, carbohydrates and other nutrients make potato quite healthy. Potatoes are good for your bones, heart, skin and overall health. They even help in weight management, prevent cancer and due to fiber content, aids in digestion as well.

2. Sugar

Yes, sugar is good for you. However, if you think that now you can go ahead and eat cookies, pastries and indulge in sugar-loaded drinks, then you are wrong here. You can have sugar but in small quantities. I would not advise processed sugar here, though. For instance, you can have sugar in your tea or coffee. But, not by any means, avoid natural sugar that is present in fruits and vegetables. This is because fruits and vegetables are a good source of both antioxidants and fiber.

3. Chocolate

Are you avoiding chocolate because it causes pimples, increases weight and is not good for your overall health? Here’s a way out. Next time, when you crave for chocolate, grab the dark version of it. Dark chocolate, contrary to the plain one, offers many health benefits. It is full of antioxidants and even a host of nutrients. Have some dark chocolate to optimize your blood sugar. Chocolates with at least 70% cocoa are good for your heart and skin too.

Also Read: Learn How to Use Hula Hoops to Burn Fat

4. Whole Milk

Nowadays, many health conscious people are avoiding whole milk and opting for low fat milk or skim milk instead. However, contrary to the popular belief, whole milk is very good for health. Further, are you aware that reduced-fat milk might be high in sugar? In fact, kids should be given whole milk to build up their health. Make sure that dairy products like milk and yogurt should be whole rather than skim. If you are on a diet, then consuming whole yogurt satiates you faster and prevents you from reaching those fries. Once again, portion is the key.

5. Popcorn

You are in love for popcorn but the recent diets have kept you away from it for long. However, here’s some good news. Popcorn is very good for your health, just the catch here is that you should have plain popcorn and not the ones loaded with caramel or high amount of salt and butter. In fact, popcorn boosts your energy and strength. It keeps you full for a longer period.

6. Nut Butter

I am very fond of nut butters; especially I can have that slice of bread with peanut butter, even as a dessert. However, when my friend asked me not to eat peanut butter at all, I was so disheartened that I skipped eating bread as well. Another friend came to my rescue one day. She told me that nut butters are actually healthy if had in moderation. They are loaded with protein and other nutrients and will even keep you full for a longer period. The catch is to avoid eating highly processed nut butters that are loaded with sugar and salt. You can even prepare nut butter in your kitchen. It’s easy!

7. Coffee

Nothing can keep me away from my mug of coffee. I was relieved to know that those who drink coffee are protected from the risks of Parkinson’s disease, dementia, certain cancers, strokes and many other ailments. The only problem is too much of coffee. Over-consumption of coffee can result in stress too.

The Secret of Enjoying Your Favourite Foods

You can eat anything and everything that you like. However, the only key is ‘portion control’. Even if you are on a weight-loss diet, you can indulge in some pizza, now and then. However, do not go aboard eating to your mind’s content. Your mind might trick you to eat more. But, don’t give in to the temptation. So, what say? Will you have a piece of freshly baked chocolate cake.