Mrs. Neha Ranglani

Best Dietician in Khar West, Mumbai, Mumbai, India

http://neharanglani.zest.md

About Me

Dietitian Neha Chandna (Ranglani) has 8 years of experience in the field. Food and Health is the matter of interest for most of the people today and realizing the need to create awareness and spread the right information to the society, Neha decided to extensively educate herself in the field of nutrition. As a known fact that diet and exercise go hand in hand, She went a step ahead to certify herself as a REEBOK Aerobic instructor. One of the Most Famous & Online Nutritionists Dietitians in Mumbai (Khar west).

Neha Chandna is a university topper in Dietetics from S.V.T. She has worked as a nutritionist for reputed gyms and fitness trainers and as a consultant with doctors and physiotherapists. She deals with sportsmen, individuals who are obese or victims of lifestyle issues- to name a few- diabetes, thyroid, osteoporosis, PCOS etc. and active/exercising sector of society. She educates and conducts seminar/workshops for corporates like banks (HDFC & Standard Chartered Bank), BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living. She also takes workshops on Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation. Neha Chandna also writes articles for magazines and newspapers like New Woman, Beauty and salon, Hello Mumbai, the afternoon etc. She has also done a couple of interviews for TV9 channel. She is an online consultant for a health social networking website www.ihealthu.com. Dietician Neha Chandna is one of the Best Dietician / nutritionist in Khar west , Mumbai.

<span 1.6em;\"="">Neha Chandna is a Famous Nutritionist in Khar west & Top 10 Dieticians / Nutritionists in Mumbai for weight loss and many services. Popular dietcian in Mumbai. Top 5 Nutritionists / Dietitians in Mumbai. Consult her for best online Diet & Nutrition services in Mumbai.Weight Loss Expert / Diet Consultant / Obesity Consultant in Mumbai.

My Blogs

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    Eat to perform- not to survive

    By: Neha Ranglani

    There is an old saying ‘survival of the fittest’. But today we can say it as ‘performance of the fittest’. In this fast pace life with ample of competition, stress, ambitions, opportunities we need to perform at our 200% to achieve our dreams be it big or small. It is the fittest who can perform and survive the pressure. A body, mind and soul balance is what you need to get there and a good balanced nutrition plays a very major role preparing you for the best. The word nutrition seems to be “in” these days, but how many of us do actually remove seconds to even consider what our nutritional needs are? Did you know that if you did not consume enough water, you tend to bloat due to water retention or if you did not eat every 3-4 hours, your metabolism crashes down, affecting your performance in daily life? Surely, popping a pill seems to be easier than following a diet plan, but actually there is no magic pill or potion that can enhance your performance, the way right food & nutrition can do. The food that we eat on daily basis contains nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, variety of vitamins & minerals that transform you into a healthy being & that is called ‘Nutrition’. Just like your new car requires the best quality fuel to run smoothly & efficiently, your two legged vehicle (your own body) needs the right kind of nutrition for all the organs, muscles & joints to function optimally. It’s not about one nutrient that does the magic but a host of them that you get from a variety of foods like cereals, pulses, fruits & vegetables, milk & milk products, meat & eggs. But many active people do not eat healthy diet that helps them to perform their best. A bank helps you to save money so as to lead a independent life during your old age, similarly good nutrition acts a bank for you to age gracefully without being dependent on medicines for deadly diseases like cholesterol, diabetes, heart attack etc. There is enough room for good nutrition in our lifestyle as much as for wrong nutrition but unfortunately the wrong kind of nutrition receives more advertising dollars, fame & holds more appeal. Just as we brush our teeth or bathe daily, proper eating pattern should also be inculcated as a habit. After all you are the outcome of your habits. Making the right food choices is very important, but even more important is to learn the art of eating the right food at the right time & in the right combinations to keep your brain & body fuelled throughout the day for maximising your performance. Eat right when you wake up: This is the time when your muscles are absolutely depleted & hungry after a 10 hour fast. Eating well here helps you to revitalise your muscles & prevents excess calorie intake in the latter half of the day. A light breakfast like cereals & milk with honey & nuts could do the needful. Eat right during mid meals: Mid meals are the most tempting time of the day to munch on fattening & non healthy stuff such as chips, biscuits, fried snacks etc. Instead pick up a piece of fruit, handful of soya nut or an oatmeal bar & see the difference for yourself. Eat right pre workout: To sustain throughout the workout & to get the maximum out of it, it is mandatory to fuel your system with the right kind of food like fruits, nuts, eggs etc. Eat right post workout: This is the time when your body has absolutely drained off energy & is ready to accept anything & everything to the maximum it can. Feeding your hungry muscles 30- 45 minutes post workout with fruits & proteins gives you the desired results. Eat right at night: Most of the people skip their mails meals due to their busy scheduleor overwork & tend to gorge on heavy lavish dinner which is the main culprit of added on calories & feeling of sluggishness throughout the day. The trick is to keep the dinner the light such as soups, salads, lean meat, yoghurt etc. Eat right when out: Parties & social gathering are no more occasions, but very much a part of our lifestyle today. What’s important is to resist the urge to splurge. It is wise to opt for salads, veggies, barbecued or roasted snacks rather than the fried stuff & royal creamy dishes, especially if u are on a calorie cut spree.

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    Top 10 weight loss foods

    By: Neha Ranglani

    When it comes to weight loss, everyone wants it quick and easy. People don’t realize that just like weight gain did not happen overnight; weight loss also cannot be expected with a blink of an eye. In the name of weight loss people follow all sorts of fad diets and funny methods which hardly show them any results. Weight loss basically is eating the right food at the right time. There is no one magic food which leads to weight loss. It is a combination of different foods. Let us discuss 10 foods which effectively help in weight loss. Oats: is extremely high in fiber, hence one portion of oats in the morning for breakfast can keep you full and energetic throughout the day, reducing your caloric intake. Greens: like spinach, methi, broccoli etc are very low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals thereby reducing water retention and bloating from your body. Beans: like kidney beans, soya beans etc are filled with resistant fiber and proteins which help release energy slowly and keeping you full for a longer time. they also feed your muscles and help them tone up. Lean chicken and fish: are good sources of protein which increase muscle and thereby metabolic rate which helps fat burning and also adds bulk to the meals. Cucumber: is very high in water content and acts as a natural diuretic which helps to reduce water retention and bloating leading to weight loss. Brown rice: are not only high in fiber but also in energy giving B complex vitamins which leads to faster burning of calories. Almonds and walnuts: are excellent sources of vitamin and fiber. A handful of nuts as mid meal snacks can really do wonders. Papaya: an extremely low calorie fruit which contains papain- aiding in faster digestion of proteins and helping in weight loss. Oranges and lemons: are low in calories, high in fiber and Vitamin C which is important in fat burning. Berries: like strawberries, raspberries etc are low calorie, high antioxidants foods. A few of them as mid meals can keep you satiated. You can also add them in breakfast cereals or yoghurt.  

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    Eat to your skin\'s content this festive season

    By: Neha Ranglani

      The festive season is almost upon us and we all hope to look our best without an exception. But with little time left for diets and plans to join the gym still on the drawing board, you may fear it’s too late. Well, fear not. Here are a few easy to remember guidelines that will help you to look radiantly stunning and in shape amidst the preparation and excitement of your most awaited festival. And the good news is there is no need for crash diets and gym blitzes. It’s all about making the right choices. Drink loads of water throughout the day. It is proven that dehydration not only makes the skin dry and itchy but also prevents the toxins from being eliminated from the system thereby building a house for acne and blackheads. It is mandatory to carry a bottle of water along with you whenever you are on a move. Also include fresh fruit/vegetable juices, coconut water, and buttermilk as a part of your schedule to give added suppleness to your skin. Any festival is incomplete without sweets especially Indian sweets, a glimpse of which bribes you to gorge on it. But remember that they are a heap of concentrated sugar and lots of fat, the most efficient hosts for entertaining pimples on your beautiful face. Given an option, it is preferable to opt for sweets like rasgullas, chum- chum etc. that are relatively low in fat and high in protein. But again anything in excess is bad. Moderation is the key word. How can we miss out on the tradition of serving and being served royal dry fruits on this occasion? No doubt extremely tempting, one must abstain from binging on it. From a plateful of dry fruits, opt for almonds and walnuts to get a fair deal of Vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant for your skin. Invitations and get -to-gethers are by default, a part of the festive season. So what does one do to avoid all those mouth watering savouries served in front of you? It’s very simple. Do not overeat; opt for salads, tandoori snacks, baked items, raitas/curds etc; avoid gorging on rich creamy authentic gravies. Remember, if resisting the wrong food is a task; just eat to satisfy your taste buds and not your stomach. Consume a lot of fibrous fruits and vegetables, salads, whole grains, whole pulses etc. to help cleanse your bowel and throw all the dirt and toxins out your system thereby cleansing your complexion from within. Fibre also makes you feel full for a longer time hence reducing your chances of binge eating or eating high caloric food too soon. Do not skip or have long gaps between the meals as it unintentionally increases the chances of overeating. Eat 3-4 well balanced meals during the day including good protein sources such as chicken, fish (steamed/grilled), soyabean, slim milk, low fat curd etc. as it helps in cell repair and improves skin texture. Include ample of Vitamin C and Vitamin A rich sources such as guava, amla, sprouts, oranges, sweetlime, green leafy vegetables, papaya, beetroot, carrot, tomatoes etc. as a part of your diet as they help in maintenance and healing of skin cells and also shields the skin from environmental damage. De-stress yourself by indulging in any hobby activity or walk for 30 minutes/day to release mind relaxing hormones , improve blood circulation and to assist you to be in shape by burning the extra calories consumed the previous day. Festivals are all about fun, cheer, warmth and happiness but with a conscious effort of taking care of yourself. There is nothing more attractive than someone confident in their own skin. Afterall, you are what you eat!!!

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    Think before you drink this summer!!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Do you want to meet up for a coffee? This is the most common question asked by your friends or colleagues. Be it a get-together, a business meet or a just unwinding all by yourself, cafes or coffee shops are the most preferred and convenient option these days. But do we really think about what we drink? For regular café goers, it’s a thought to ponder upon. Apart from coffee there are many more amazing drinks which are healthy, readily available or even easy to prepare at home to give you your share of coolness in the summer heat. So lets get started to know more about different kind of drinks, their health benefits and where they stand on a scale of 10.1.      Fruits smoothie: It’s rich, creamy texture makes it the chosen one for the season. Smoothies are made of yogurt and fruits which is a great combination of carbohydrates and proteins. You get a variety of smoothies in restaurants/ coffee shops from which you can choose but if you opt to make them at home, you can add different fruits like strawberries, mango, banana etc. depending on what you like. Make sure to use low fat curds or minimal sugar to add on to its health value.·        Rating: 9/102.      Coconut water: the best thing about this most refreshing drink is that it is easily available anywhere and everywhere.  It is low in calories and sodium and has a good amount of potassium which in all helps you reduce water retention, blood pressure and keeps you well hydrated. It is a light cooling drink on a hot sunny day.·         Rating: 8/103.      Buttermilk: is a sour and tangy typical Indian beverage that refreshes you instantly. Since it is made of milk, it has good amount of calcium and protein. It also has live bacteria(probiotics) which help to fight the unhealthy bacteria in your digestive tract thereby lowering your risk of cancer and other digestive issues. Buttermilk is better tolerated by lactose intolerant as the lactose in the milk is broken down by the lactic acid bacteria during the fermentation process. You can make it more healthy and tasty by adding mint leaves, jeers powder, chaat masala. So add some ice into and enjoy the chilled yummy drink.·        Rating:8/104.      Cranberry juice: you may get this in diluted form or combined with some other juices like kiwi or litchi. Cranberry juice is used as a natural treatment for urinary tract infections preventing kidney stones as well. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and magnesium which prevents tooth decay, gum problems. It is a superior source of antioxidants like polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins which prevent cancer, heart problems and boost the immune system. The only thing to be cautious is that the ready juice may contain added sugar which can affect your weight management process. Try to choose a drink without sugar and minimum preservatives.·         Rating: 8/105.      Fruit juices: these are available at every nook and corner as well as easy to make at home. You can combine a variety of fruits to make a cocktail juice or just pick one of your favorite fruits and juice it up. They are a form of simple sugar and give you instant energy on a hot sunny day. When you order a juice anywhere, avoid the extra sugar addition in it and when you juice it at home, make sure you drink it within 5 minutes to prevent nutrient loss. As you know juices are minus the fiber avoid overindulgence in them.·         Rating: 7/106.      Green tea: we are well aware of the infinite brands of green teas being sold in the market. You have different flavors like jasmine, chamomile, tulsi, ginger lemon, blackcurrant, cinnamon apple and many more. You also have slimming teas, relaxing teas etc. You can choose any flavor you please. They just need a dip in warm water and they are ready to drink. They are also served in cafes these days. Green tea has many benefits due to its antioxidants like reducing blood sugar, bad cholesterol, blood pressure, improving digestion, immunity and overall well being. ·         Rating: 7/107.      Flavored milk: again here you have many options and brands to choose from. You have all sort of flavors available in food stores like strawberry, chocolate, kesar pista, elaichi, rose etc. They are generally made of whole fat milk hence not suitable for people with weight issues. You can pick and choose your favorite one. They are high in protein, calcium and also have added vitamins and minerals. ·         Rating: 6/108.      Iced tea: you can find a vast variety of it. They are healthy and have a small caffeine content which improves concentration and alertness. They are chilled and tasty. Like green tea, iced tea also contains antioxidants which prevent health problems. Adding a few basil leaves can add even more value to it. Avoid adding sugar to make it a complete health drink.·         Rating: 6/109.      Cold Coffee: the most famous drink in the world. Coffee is loved by one and all. Cold coffee on a scorching day is all one can wish for. Coffee has caffeine which can improve concentration but in excess it can lead to dehydration, loss of bone calcium and lack of sleep. Opt for low fat milk and low sugar content. Coffee addiction can be difficult to overcome. Try to limit your coffee intake and opt for other healthier drinks.·         Rating: 5/101.  Flavored water: least we could imagine was drinking water with fruit flavor. But this is the new trend and we have a couple of brands promoting flavored water with added vitamins and minerals. It is a great option for people who do not like to drink plain water. But one must not forget that this water does contain sugar which can cause weight gain. It is also not suitable for diabetics and obese individuals. Choosing flavored water occasionally is alright but avoid over depending on it for your thirsty moments.·         Rating: 4/10 Enjoy your summer with some healthy drinks and better health.

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    Listen to your stomach!!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Only if your body could talk, like would be so much easier. But unfortunately that does not happen in real life. The most important part of losing weight and keeping it off is to listen to your body. We all wish it could just say what it wants. Although your body doesn\'t have an oral language, it does communicate. Certainly, you know when your body hurts because you feel pain. You know when it needs rest because you get the cues like yawns and sleepiness. But are you able to clearly hear your body communicate when it is time for you to eat and when it is time to stop eating? Infants exactly know when to cry for food and when to stop taking the feed. Changing your perception about being full is the critical first step toward reaching your ideal size. Notice that an infant does not keep feeding on milk until he or she is full. Full is actually an uncomfortable feeling. Wanting to get full from eating is an urge that develops later in life due to social pressure and outside messages from family and peers. Infants feed only until their hunger is satisfied and the stomach is comfortable. You were once an infant too and knew well how to listen your body signals but as you grew up, you changed your eating habits to accommodate social norms and emotions. But the good news is, that you can get closer to your original instincts once again. You just need to recognize and listen to your body signals. Hunger is a natural part of the body and it is good to feel hungry. You are supposed to feel hunger so that you can know when it\'s time to eat because eating helps sustain life. You may be thinking that your hunger is out of control. Most often, it isn\'t out of control; rather, you have either denied or ignored your true hunger feelings for so long that you don\'t recognize them. However, there\'s a sort of fake hunger. It comes from stress and anxiety or other emotions, sometimes from appetite stimulants such as alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or a lack of sleep. The fake hunger is just that. The communication doesn\'t come from a hunger pang; more likely it comes from the mouth, as in an oral chewing need, from emotional feelings, or from thirst. Hunger is a pain, and it is felt somewhere above, below, or behind your belly button. Hunger feels different for different people. For some, it is almost like a muscle contraction. For others, it\'s an empty or void feeling. To become acquainted with your hunger, wait to eat until you feel a hunger pang. For most people, it takes about two to five hours after the previous meal to feel hunger. Pay close attention to your stomach initially to feel hunger. Identify where the physical feelings are located. Listen intently to any rumbling or growling. A human stomach is a muscle of 25 centimeters ( 10 inches) which can expand and hold 2-4 litres of food and water but that is the discomforting situation. In our body we have 2 hormones which regulate appetite, Leptin and Ghrelin. Leptin is secreted by the fat cells especially after eating a meal which tells the brain that the stomach is full and one should stop eating. Ghrelin is secreted by the stomach lining when it is empty and tells the brain that the stomach needs food and one should eat something. Generally both the hormones work in sync and one goes up, the other goes down regulating your appetite. But when people eat more food than required and increase the fat in the body, the leptin also increases which may make you feel that you will lose weight by the hunger curbing signal of leptin, but here is a twist, as the fat in your body increases, the leptin becomes resistant and stops signaling the brain which means you eat more than your appetite without realizing when you are full. This makes you more fat. How to eat in control?  Don’t be distracted with all the tempting food around you and in the grocery stores which can give you fake hunger pangs.  Do not skip breakfast and meals as it can get you more hungry making you eat more than required food.  Do not watch T.V or talk much while eating as it can divert your attention and you can land up eating more than your capacity.  Chew your food well as your brain gets the signal of being full from your stomach 20 minutes after eating. Eating too fast can only make you eat more realizing later how full and uncomfortable you are.  Do not eat when stressed as it can affect your ability to understand true hunger pangs and you tend to eat more.  Avoid taking large serving sizes as in a buffet spread as one tends to eat more in such situations.  When you get cravings to eat something for 10 minutes before you put something in your mouth. Sometimes cravings are fake as well. Try drinking water and see if the cravings vanish. If not then go ahead and eat something healthy. If you don’t have time to eat later, it is alright. But do not eat more than your body needs just because you wouldn’t get to eat later. That will just add to more fat to your body. Try to set regular meal timings as they keep your hunger and fullness undercheck. Eat meals at the same time every day. If you don’t like to waste food, try taking little in your plate and another serving when you need more. This just saves you from finishing the excess food in your plate, saving you from excess fat.  

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    Expert Weight Loss Plan And Diet Chart Every Soon-To-Be Bride Must Follow

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Finally it is the time to plunge into a brand new life. So many emotions must be going through your mind and heart, as you get busy with your wedding day preparations. And not to forget, you need to look your best to stand out amongst the rest. You strive for good skin, good hair, and take care of every miniscule detail to beautify yourself for the big day.  We are sure that along with all the running around you have do for your outfits, jewellery, shoes and what not, another thing that must be topping your pre-wedding to-do list is, to get an enviable figure and toned body. Amongst all the stress, it is surely a challenge to manage everything and yet lose weight. But you need not worry. We will provide you with some easy to follow guidelines to make sure you shine like a star on the most important day of your life. Tips for Weight Loss : Here are some tips that you must follow to get on the right track for weight loss: #1. Sleep well Yes, most brides-to-be do forget what sleep is after they get engaged! But if you want to look stunning on your wedding day, remember that sleep is the only time when your body recovers from all the stress your body goes through during the day. And the good news is that a good sleep is an important ingredient in the process of weight loss as well. It stabilises your hunger hormones, which help you control appetite. #2. Join a gym or fitness class If you can motivate yourself and go for a good brisk walk for an hour, well and fine. But if you are one of those who keeps pushing back your workout, you better enrol yourself in a gym, dance class, etc. An hour of exercise is a must to help you burst your flab and to look fab. #3. Drink plenty of Water Water is an excellent solvent and it throws away all the toxins from your body leaving you with a glowing skin, lustrous hair and a healthy body. Water also helps to balance all the reactions in your cells and keeps your metabolism up to help you lose weight. Drink at least 35ml/kg body weight of water every day and even more if you are out in the sun #4. Eat small meals every 2-3 hours Agreed, with all the rushing around for the wedding preparations, eating frequent meals could be a challenge. But all you need to do is plan your day smartly and make sure you carry your meals with you wherever you go. This would also help you to skip the junk food when you are out. Frequent meals increase your metabolism and helps to burn fat faster. #5. Keep unnecessary fats and sweets out Avoid all the butter, ghee, cakes, pastries, desserts, fried foods, etc. as these can only worsen your efforts to lose weight. Sweets can also give you a lot of mood swings and sugar cravings which surely you don’t need at this point in life. Weight Loss Diet Chart Let us look at a sample diet plan for brides to be: 6 months before your wedding: Early morning: Green tea + 1 fruit Breakfast: 1 bowl of oats porridge/ poha/ upma/idli Midmorning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/walnuts Lunch: Salad + 2 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curd Evening: Whole wheat bread sandwich/ bhel(no sev)/ sprouts Dinner: Soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/fish + 1 roti Bedtime: 1 cup slim milk 3 months before your Wedding: Early morning: Green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: Oats upma/ oats dosa Midmorning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/walnuts Lunch: Salad + 1 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curd Evening: 1 fruit Dinner: Soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/fish Bedtime: 1 cup slim milk 1 month before your Wedding: Early morning: Green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: Fruits + nuts Midmorning: 1 bowl sprouts/ pulse salad Lunch: Salad + veggies + dal + curd Evening: Soup Dinner: Salad/ stir fry+ veggies/ chicken/fish Bedtime: 1 cup slim milk So, now you know what is best for you and how to get to your dream figure to look like a million dollar on your wedding. Wishing you all the best for your weight loss goals, and your new life ahead!

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    Best Tips for Brides to get Glowing Skin before the Wedding

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Dear brides-to-be, the biggest day of your life is about to arrive and you want to be the one who captures everyone’s attention, especially your special someone’s. But does your current lifestyle really permit you to have a clear and flawlessly glowing skin? High levels of stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, pollution, wrong food habits, etc. are quite a common part of your wedding preparations. And, these can actually aggravate acne development on the skin. Read, how this stress, lifestyle choices and bad beauty habits are hampering your skin: Acne are nothing but heap of dead cells accumulating on your skin, which becomes a food source for bacteria and then these bacteria cause multiple acne over your face, neck, back, etc. Acne can also leave ugly after marks on your face, which can affect your self-esteem and confidence. Also the dangerous UV rays from the sun, all thanks to global warming is again a major reason for skin darkening and pigmentation. Well, no need to sweat already. We say, enough with the problems, now time to look at the solutions. Here are some solutions that can actually turn your dreams of flaunting flawlessly radiant skin on your D-day into a reality. Lifestyle changes for a good skin A few small changes in your lifestyle can turn into a blessing for your skin. Take a look: Sleep well for at least 6-8 hours every day as it helps to rejuvenate you and balance your hormones. This is the most important thing you need to look like a princess on your D-day! Drink 12-15 glasses of water daily as it helps to remove the toxins from the body. Exercise daily for at least an hour to improve blood flow to the skin. Use correct sun protection for your skin type after consulting a skin specialist. Yoga and breathing exercises can help to reduce stress levels. Do not touch or prick pimples or acne. Wash your face twice daily to prevent oil clogging in the pores. Check your hormonal levels as imbalance in hormones can lead to skin problems. Consult a good endocrinologist in case of imbalance. Eat a healthy diet including raw fruits, veggies, whole grains, salads, nuts, etc. Avoid fried, junk and processed foods, such as pizzas, burgers, fries, samosa, etc. as they can lead to oily skin and acne development. Good diet for healthy skin A lot vitamins and antioxidant rich foods can help to fight skin problems. Know about them and add these to your daily diet. Vitamin A: It is essential for the repair system of the cells. It helps prevent acne and gives a radiantly glowing skin. Eat foods like dark green vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe, apricots and mango, fish, etc. Vitamin C: Your body not only needs vitamin C to create collagen that produces skin tissue, but also requires it for healing wounds and scars. Since it a water soluble vitamin, you need to eat vitamin C rich foods everyday which include citrus fruits, berries, papaya, watermelon, pineapples, mango, and  vegetables, such as dark, leafy greens, green peppers, tomatoes, lemons, bell peppers, etc. Vitamin E: It is an excellent antioxidant which fights against the free radicals, thus preventing damage to the skin. It helps to revive the skin cells. You can get vitamin E from almonds, walnuts, olive oil, sunflower seeds, whole grains, wheat germ, etc. Zinc: may prevent acne growth by creating an environment inhospitable for the growth of bacteria.  It also helps to calm the skin irritated by breakouts. Zinc is found in wheat germ, pork, fish, soybean, nuts etc. Omega 3 fatty acids: They also support the normal healthy skin cell turnover that helps keep acne at bay. You can get omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish, such as salmon, flaxseed oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds and almonds.  With just slight changes in your habits and food choice, you can actually look like a million dollar bride on the most awaited day of your life.

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    Healthy Eid recipe: Fruit custard

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Celebrate Eid with this fruity dessert that doesn’t just taste great, but also packs an impressive amount of energy. You can include seasonal fruits that are easily available and fresh. Here is the recipe.  Ingredients: ½ cup chopped mixed fruits (apple, banana, grapes, etc.) 3-4 almonds, chopped ½ cup low-fat milk ½ tsp cornflour Elaichi (cardamom) powder Sugar-free​ Method 1. Mix the cornflour with a little milk to make a smooth paste. 2. Boil the remaining milk and add the cornflour paste and elaichi powder to it, while stirring continuously to avoid lumps. 3. Cook it on a slow flame for 2-3 minutes till it thickens. 4. Remove from the stove, let it cool and refrigerate it for 1 hour. 5. Take the bowl of fruits and pour the custard over it. Garnish it with chopped almonds. 6. Serve chilled. Calories: 90 kcal   Photo source: Getty images (Picture for representational purposes only)

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    Healthy Eid recipe: Peppery chicken

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Meat and Eid celebrations go hand-in-hand, but refrain from eating meats loaded with extra fat and calories. Instead, try this boneless peppery chicken that tastes just as great and is still diet-friendly. Here’s the recipe.  Ingredients : 100g chicken, boneless 1 onion, chopped 1 tomato, chopped 1tsp giner-garlic paste 1/2 tsp sauf ½ tsp mustard seeds ½ tsp garam masala 1 tsp red chilli powder 1/2 tsp cumin seeds Pinch of turmeric powder 3-4 peppercorns, crushed Salt to taste 1 tsp oil Method : 1. In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, saunf, ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute. 2. Add onions and cook till golden-brown and then add chicken pieces, mix well. 3. Add all the other masalas and allow to cook for sometime. 4. When chicken is half cooked, add tomatoes, cover the pan and let it cook well. 5. Serve with chapatis. Calories: 120 kcal Photo source: Getty images (Picture for representational purposes only)

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    Healthy Eid recipe: Oats and carrot kheer

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Eid celebrations are certainly incomplete without desserts, but  healthy version of kheer could be a good alternative for anyone who is weight conscious or simply interested in eating healthy. It has the goodness and fibre of oats and a mix of dry fruits that will provide energy to your body. Here is the recipe: Ingredients 4 tbsp oats 7-8 raisins ½ carrot, grated 300 ml slim milk 3-4 almonds, crushed A pinch of cardamom powder Sweetener Method 1. Soak oats and raisins in half a cup of milk for 10 minutes. 2. Boil the remaining milk with carrots for 5 minutes. 3. Now add the soaked oats and raisins and again boil for 5 minutes. 4. Add the cardamom powder, almonds and sweetener. 5. Serve hot. Calories: 260 kcal Photo source: Getty images  (Picture for representational purposes only)

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    Healthy weight loss recipe: Dalia salad

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Dalia or bulgur is quite popular in India and is usually given to kids in the form of porridge. But adults shouldn’t miss out on this healthy ingredient as it is high in fibre, low in fat, diabetic-friendly and also suitable for people who want to lose weight. But instead of eating plain porridge, here, we make it into a salad which adds more nutrition to it and makes it healthier. Here’s the recipe.  Ingredients 30g dalia or bulgur 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped ½ onion, chopped 1 small tomato chopped 2 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp olive oil Salt Pepper powder Pinch of cinnamon powder Method 1. Pressure cook the dalia in 2 cups water. 2. In a bowl, add chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander, chopped mint, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper powder and cinnamon powder and mix. 3. Add dalia and mix. Serve immediately. Calories: 135 kcal Image for representation purpose only.

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    Healthy recipe: Chicken with veggies and quinoa

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Looking for a tasty meal to replace plain dal-rice? Try this chicken and quinoa dish. The quinoa substitutes for the rice and the chicken and veggies for the dal. This dish is diabetic-friendly, it is also high in protein and low in fat. It is also full of fibre and is good for someone who is looking for a healthy meal option. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares the recipe of this dish with us.  Ingredients 100g chicken breasts, cut into stripes 100 ml chicken broth 30g quinoa 1 garlic minced ¼ onion, chopped ½ tomato, dices ¼ zucchini, chopped 1 tsp lemon juice 2-3 basil leaves 2 tsp olive oil Salt Pinch of red chilli powder Method Boil the quinoa in chicken broth till the broth is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. In a vessel add 1 tsp oil, garlic and onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and cook till chicken is slightly cooked and set it aside. Add 1 tsp oil in a pan, sauté tomato, zucchini for 8 minutes. Add the chicken, basil, lemon juice, salt, red chilli powder and cook till chicken is fully cooked for about 10 more minutes. Serve over hot quinoa. Calories: 230kcal Image for representation purpose only. 

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    Dal or lentils – packing a healthy punch

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Dal or lentil is a staple food of India and most Indian vegans and vegetarians get their protein from it. We are blessed with a variety of dals and pulses which add a distinct taste to our diets. While they form an essential part of our meals, each one of them have their distinct health benefits. Nutritionist Neha Chandna tells us the various benefits of popular dals consumed in India. Dal basics All dals have 70% carbohydrates and 30% proteins. But these proteins are not complete proteins as found in non-vegetarian foods. When combined with roti/ rice, the dals become complete protein sources which is excellent for vegetarians to meet their protein needs and maintain muscle health. 30g of raw dal gives 7g of protein. Dals also have resistant starch which acts like fibre in the body and helps control blood sugar levels, clears bowels, aids in weight loss, etc. Health benefits of Dals Toor Dal: A very popular and preferred dal in India, toor dal is light and yummy. Apart from protein and fibre, it contains folic acid which helps prevent anaemia and is also important for pregnant women as it is essential for foetal development and can help prevent neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. It is low in calories so is good for people who are on weight loss diets. It also helps control blood sugar levels. Moong Dal: When you think of dal rice, the first thing that comes to your mind is moong dal which is commonly known as yellow dal. It is used for making the legendary dal tadka and dal fry. It is eaten on a regular basis in every indian household in combination with rice and vegetables. Moong dal is a dieter-friendly dal rich in iron and potassium. Iron helps maintain haemoglobin levels and potassium helps reduce blood pressure, a boon for hypertensive people. It is extremely light and can be easily eaten when you fall ill and even by pregnant women. Moong dal is used for making soups, stews and purees. Boiled moong dal is also used for making delicious spicy parathas.  Chana Dal: A variety of dal which is deliciously thick. Chana dal is rich in B-vitamins which help energise you. It is full of fibre which helps diabetics to control their blood sugar levels. It also has potassium and folic acid. The fibre in it helps lower cholesterol levels preventing heart problems.  Masoor Dal: Just like the other dals, masoor dal helps reduce blood sugar levels especially controlling the blood sugar spikes after a meal, controls hypertension, prevents anaemia and lowers cholesterol. It can be cooked with vegetables, spinach, pulao or added in your chicken or vegetable soup. Urad Dal: It is most commonly used by south Indians to make dosa, idlis, etc along with rice making it a complete source of protein. Urad dal is rich in iron, folate, fibre, potassium. It is also a good source of calcium which is important for vegetarians and elderly people who require high amounts of calcium for maintaining bone health. It also boosts your energy and keeps you active.  In order to gain maximum benefits of these dals, have 2 servings of dals/pulses per day. You can also add dals to your soups, rotis, tikkis, salads, etc. Alternate between the various types to get essential nutrients from all of them. Neha Chandna is a well-known dietician and nutritionist. She is also a certified Reebok Aerobics instructor and was a university topper in Dietetics from SVT. In the last three years, she has worked as a nutritionist for gyms and various fitness trainers and is also a consultant for doctors and physiotherapists. She deals helps various people with their nutrition needs – sportsmen, obese people, diabetics, etc. She also helps those suffering from diseases like thyroid, osteoporosis, PCOS, etc. She also holds workshops and seminars for corporates like HDFC, Standard Chartered Bank and other organisations including BPOs and MNCs. She also writes for magazines like New Woman, Beauty and Salon, etc.

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    My child does not drink plain milk. What do I do? (Diet query of the day)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    My kid does not like drinking plain milk. How can I make him drink it? What can I add which is good for health. I am not sure if flavoured syrups are good. Is there any other option apart from the health drinks available in the market? Answered by Nutritionist Neha Chandna. Making kids drink milk is indeed a task when they do not like the taste of it. But the good thing is milk can be consumed in various other forms like other dairy products. In order to ensure your kid gets adequate nutrition, you can give him milk in the form of kheer or seviyyan. You can also make oats porridge or add muesli to milk which will give it a different taste. (Read: Milk in the benefits of doodh) If you want to stay from health drinks, you can buy ready-made badam-pista masala or kesar and dry fruits in the powdered form which can be added to milk to change its taste. Another option is to make milkshakes which are not only tasty but healthy too. Make them using seasonal fruits or even dates which will give your kid nutrition of the fruits as well as the milk. Instead of giving him milk twice or thrice in the day, alternate between yoghurt and milk. Add cut fruits on top or honey to add a sweet flavour to the curd. Don’t force your kid to eat something they don’t like. Instead, think of innovative and healthy ways you can make the food more appealing for them to eat. 

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    Are vitamin supplements necessary?

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Ramesh started popping vitamin pills after watching a TV commercial. He was convinced that they were good for his health and helped him be more energetic throughout the day. He did not bother checking with a doctor before starting a course. Is Ramesh right about these pills? Do they really help in any way? Nutritionist Neha Chandna has the answers for us. When should one take vitamin supplements? Why are they needed? Today, we lead a very hectic life with loads of work pressure, long commutes and unhealthy foods. To be able to perform at our optimum level, we need to take vitamin supplements. These can be taken after meals. However, do consult your doctor and/or dietitian before doing so. Can’t one get that nutrition from natural sources? Natural source is the best way to get nutrition but unfortunately, the food we eat today is not pure like before, nor is our absorption power that strong. The stress and anxiety we go through in our day-to-day life affects our digestive system as well.  So, it’s best to supplement your diet with required vitamins to make up for the loss. (Read: Why amla is so great for your health) Can taking these supplements without consulting a doctor / dietician be harmful? It’s always better to consult a dietician or doctor before taking a supplement to be sure you are on the right track and you are taking only how much is required by your body. Blindly popping these pills may affect your health negatively. Usually, what are the common vitamin supplements that one should take? You can take a multivitamin mineral supplement B-Complex for energy Calcium for women above 30 years of age Vitamin E and C for immunity These are general ones but it changes depending on your food intake and other factors like health problems, lifestyle, age, etc. so let consult with a doctor before you start eating them. Points to Remember Vitamin supplements are not a replacement for your food. You still need to eat your meals on time; they only help in giving you more nutrients which may not be covered in your diet. Eating vitamin supplements does not give you the leeway to start eating unhealthy, junk food. They cannot provide adequate nutrition as they are just supplements. You still need to exercise to lose weight and stay fit. Do not overdo these pills. Anything in excess can be bad so stick to the prescribed amount. 

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    6 supplements for athletes to enhance their performance

    By: Neha Ranglani

    People who play sports need special nutrition to perform to their optimal level. Many sports enthusiasts depend on artificial supplements to enhance performance but are ignorant of what good food can actually do to their body. The main focus needs to be a good, balanced diet as per the sport they play which can be supplemented with supplements to help them perform better. What is a supplement? A supplement is something that is added to one’s diet, typically to make up for a nutritional deficiency but does not replace food. There are a host of supplements sold in the market with all possible claims but not all are useful. Nutritionist Neha Chandna lists out some useful supplements which can be taken by athletes. Protein powders: Being the most popular supplements, there are many varieties of these in the market, the most popular one being whey protein. They come in various blends like concentrate, isolate, hydrolysed, etc. They are used by people who do weight training to help their broken muscles recover. They can also be taken by vegetarians to make up for the protein deficiency in their diets. A normal person needs 1 g/kg body weight protein/day whereas a sportsman may need 1.2-1.5 g/day depending on the sport they play. Creatine: This is naturally produced by our kidneys and liver to give energy to our muscles. Creatine supplements can increase the total body mass and lean mass, improve performance in short-burst exercises like sprints, long jumps, 200 m running, basketball, football, etc. They also help weightlifters lift more weight, help in recovery and improve muscle strength. They do help in endurance activities like marathon, aerobics, etc. The normal dose of creatine/day is 2-5 g. Creatine supplements are not recommended for anyone under 18 years of age as well as pregnant or breastfeeding women. Speak to a health professional before taking creatine supplements. Always read and follow the instructions on the package when taking it. Caffeine: It is a natural stimulant found in tea, coffee and sports drinks in very high amounts. It helps you be awake, alert and improves endurance in athletes. It decreases perceived exertion during performance and may also increase fat burning during exercise. The recommended level of caffeine is not more than 400 mg/day (roughly 3 cups). Branched chain Amino acid (BCAAs): They are made up of 3 amino acids – isoleucine, leucine and valine – which help improve muscle endurance and recovery and also boost immune system. The recommended dosage is between 3-5 g before and after training.  Glutamine: This is an amino acid which prevents muscle breakdown and reduces the chances of infection in athletes by improving immunity. Research has also found that glutamine supplements can help maintain muscle mass by preventing protein breakdown and improving glycogen synthesis thereby increasing muscle glycogen stores. It also helps maintain gut health. The recommended intake of glutamine is 3-4 g/day. Sports drinks: These contain large amounts of sugar and proportionate amounts of electrolytes which are needed by athletes who are into endurance sports like marathon runners as these athletes lose huge amount of water, sodium and potassium through sweat. You may benefit from sports drinks if you do heavy exercise or sports for more than 45 minutes at a time.

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    Healthy vegetarian recipe: Tandoori tofu

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Tofu which is made from curdled soybean milk is a nutritious ingredient. It is a great source of protein for vegetarians and a good substitute for paneer as well for vegans. Not to forget, it is low in carbs, diabetic-friendly and has zero cholesterol. Tofu is also an excellent source of iron which helps in the making of hemoglobin. Here is a recipe to use this ingredient well. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares her tandoori tofu recipe with us.  Ingredients 100g firm tofu Pinch of cumin powder Pinch of turmeric Pinch of coriander powder Salt Pinch of red chilli flakes 1 garlic minced 1tsp lemon juice 1 tbsp spring onions and coriander leaves for garnish 1.5 tsp olive oil Method 1.      Pre-heat the grill. 2.      Combine salt, chilli flakes, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder. 3.      Heat oil in a pan and cook this masala mixture for a minute. 4.      Apply this mixture on both sides of the tofu with a brush. 5.      Grill it till the grill marks appear on the tofu. 6.      Serve with spring onion and coriander leaves. Image for representation purpose only.

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    Expert diet and exercise tips to manage diabetes (World Diabetes Day 2014)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Diabetes does not mean the end of a good life. It just means that it is time to change your lifestyle for the better. Though diabetes is a rising health concern for most Indians today, but if taken good care of, one can live a normal life as before. Here are some lifestyle, diet and exercise related dos and don’ts by noted Nutritionist Neha Chandna that diabetics should follow to live well with diabetes. General guidelines It is essential that diabetics keep a constant tab on their blood sugar levels for better health and to avoid complications. Follow these tips: Get your blood sugar levels and HBA1C checked in a laboratory every 3 months if you are above 30 years of age. Check your blood sugar with a blood glucose monitor in the morning, after lunch and after dinner, every 2 days if you are a diabetic. Keep a check on blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels as a diabetic generally tends to have high BP and cholesterol. If you are on insulin, check your blood sugar before all the major meals to modulate the food intake. Check your toes and legs for any hurt or wound and don’t delay the treatment. If obese, try to lose weight and maintain it. Diet guidelines Monitoring your diet is highly vital as the food you eat directly affects your blood sugar levels and weight. In order to make sure you are eating healthy, follow these tips: Eat every 2-3 hours in small quantities rather than eating 3 large meals. Include complex carbs in every meal – whole wheat, ragi, jowar, brown rice, oats, etc. Avoid refined cereal products like bread, noodles, polished rice, etc. as they can raise blood sugar levels. Choose fibre-rich foods like vegetables, whole grains, etc. You should aim for 25-25g of fibre/day through diet to maintain blood glucose levels. Low-fat milk products like curd, paneer and egg whites, lean chicken and fish are great protein sources which can prove helpful in diabetes management. If you are a vegetarian, whole pulses and dals can provide little protein and good amounts of fibre. You can enjoy all vegetables especially green, leafy ones. Limit your intake of potatoes. Depending on your blood sugar, don’t have more than 2 fruits/day and if you are fond of mango/banana, opt for these early in the morning. Reduce butter, ghee or oil intake. Also, avoid processed foods like cakes, biscuits, ready-to-eat foods as they are loaded with fats. Salt and sugar and can aggravate complications like blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Sugary foods are a complete no-no. You can use artificial sweeteners occasionally, but avoid overdependence on them. Always carry a snack with you when travelling to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and dizziness. Exercise guidelines Only monitoring your diet won’t work, you also need to get a fair share of physical exercise to maintain normal levels but there are certain guidelines diabetics need to follow: Make sure you exercise at least 4-5 times/week to help you get your blood sugar in control. You can choose moderate exercises like aerobics, brisk walking, weight training, swimming, dancing, etc. Check your blood sugar at home before and after exercise. Avoid exercise if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low. If you are on insulin, modify your carb intake before and after exercise depending on your sugar levels. Eat a complex carb snack like sandwich, wrap, oats an hour before you do any activity. Eat immediately after exercise to avoid fall in blood sugar. Carry sugar tablets or glucose water with you in case of an emergency hypoglycemia situation. Avoid exercise in case of severe complications like kidney problems, nerve problems or wounds. These guidelines will help you lead a normal life even with your existing diabetes condition and also make your lifestyle a healthier one preventing other heath complications.

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    The omega-3 controversy – can it cause cancer?

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Recently, a study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute linking omega-3 fatty acids to a high risk of prostate cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids are usually found in fish, flaxseeds, etc and are considered good for health especially the heart as they lower cholesterol levels. They are generally recommended by doctors and dieticians as part of a healthy and well-balanced meal. But according to the trial conducted by these researchers, those who had higher concentrations of omega-3 in their blood were 46% more likely to get prostate cancer than the others. We asked Nutritionist Neha Chandna about the possibilities of such a health risk and how much omega-3 do we really need in our diet.  Do you think omega-3 fatty acids can lead to serious ailments like cancer? I wouldn’t completely agree with the study as it has many shortcomings. It does not consider the source of omega-3 whether it is coming from pills or diet, does not take into account the subject’s health status before the study. Cancer is a result of various factors like smoking, nutrition, exercise, environmental toxicity, stress and none of these things were taken into account. So, it is very irrational to conclude that omega-3 increases the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, populations with the largest intake of omega-3 (from fish) such as the Japanese, Eskimo and the Inuit of Greenland have some of the lowest rates of prostate cancer. There are also a couple of studies which have proven that eating fish regularly reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Why do we need omega-3? Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid which is not manufactured by the body. But it is needed by one and all as it has great health benefits like: Reducing triglyceride Decreasing blood pressure Improving brain communication and memory Controlling hormone production Reducing inflammation Improving skin appearance Supporting proper vision Protecting against cancer What are the best sources of omega-3? The best source of omega-3 is fish and vegetarian sources are flaxseeds and walnuts. How much of omega-3 do we really need? A healthy individual without any heart or health issues can eat fish 2-3 times/week or take 500 mg of EPA + DHA through fish oil supplements/day i.e. 2 capsules of 1000 mg/day. Someone with a heart problem can have 2-4 capsules daily after consulting their doctor.  Can too much of omega-3 be harmful? Avoid taking excessive omega-3 through supplements (more than 4 capsules/day) as it can increase the risk of bleeding, can cause gas, bloating, diarrhoea. Diabetics should take fish oil capsules under a doctor’s supervision as they may experience a rise in blood sugar levels after taking them. Is it best to get one’s intake from natural sources instead of capsules? Natural sources are always the best. Get it from your diet such as eating fish 3 times/week or having 2-4 tablespoons of flaxseeds daily.  But if you cannot then opt for fish oil supplements. There are various genuine brands available these days in the market that sell fish oil capsules.

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    Look perfect on your wedding with these 7 weight loss tips

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Most women dream of having the perfect wedding where all eyes are on them and they look nothing less than a princess. In order to attain this, they fret and opt for extreme dieting or unhealthy ways to lose weight and spoil their health in the long run. But if you plan in advance and follow a healthy lifestyle, you can look stunning without having to compromise on your health. Here are seven tips by Nutritionist Neha Chandna that every bride-to-be should follow. Sleep well: Most brides forget what sleep is after they get hitched, worrying about the tiniest of things that can go wrong. But don’t forget, sleep is the only time when your body recovers from all the stress it is going through during the day. And the good news is, a good night’s sleep is an important part of your weight loss process as it stabilises your hunger hormones which help you control your appetite. Get a full body check-up: Before you begin with a meal or workout plan, it is essential to get yourself checked for any abnormalities in your body. Unbalanced blood sugar levels, hormonal levels, etc are also responsible for weight gain. Once your reports are clear, it will be easier to decide your meal and exercise plan. And in case you suffer from something, you can always get help and customise your weight loss programme. Join a gym or fitness club: If you can motivate yourself and go for a brisk walk for an hour every day, kudos to you. But if you are one of those who keep pushing back your workout making every possible excuse in the book, you better enroll yourself in a gym, dance class, etc. 1 hour of exercise is a must to help you lose flab and look fab on your wedding. In the gym, get a fitness trainer who can carve out a plan according to your goals and work on your problem areas. Drink plenty of water: Water is an excellent solvent and it dispells all the toxins from your body leaving you with a glowing skin, lustrous hair and a healthy body. It also helps balance all the reactions in your cells and keeps your metabolism up to help you lose weight. Drink at least 35 ml/kg body weight of water/day and even more if you are out in the sun to rehydrate yourself. Eat small meals every 2-3 hours: Agreed, with all the wedding preparations, eating frequent meals could be a challenge. But all you need to do is plan your day smartly and make sure you carry your meals with you wherever you go so that you avoid missing them and eat junk food. Eating often increases your metabolism and helps you burn fat faster. Stay away from unnecessary fats and sweet: Avoid butter, ghee, cakes, pastries, desserts, fried foods, etc as these can only worsen your efforts to lose weight. Sweets can also give you a lot of mood swings and sugar cravings which you surely don’t need amidst all the wedding preparations. Avoid binge drinking: Alcohol can play havoc with your weight loss plan and not to forget your skin as well. It will dehydrate you, make you lethargic, add a number of calories in a short time and will also show on your face – it will look dull and lifeless. Smoking too has a similar effect. In order to avoid all this, restrict your alcohol intake.

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    Getting married? Here’s a sample weight loss diet plan for brides-to-be

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Your wedding is one of the most special days of your life and you certainly want to look your best which needs timely preparation. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares a sample meal plan to help you shed a few kilos in a healthy way. Instead of crash dieting and starving yourself, lose weight in a healthy way to avoid fainting and other health problems after the D-Day is over.  An early start is always better as you will need to put in less effort and will have more time to reach your desired goal. Here is a meal plan you can start following six months before your wedding date. Remember, though diet is 70% responsible for a healthy weight loss, you also need some sort of physical activity every day to stay fit and burn calories. You can also try these 7 weight loss tips to look perfect on your wedding: Early morning: green tea + 1 fruit Breakfast: 1 bowl of oats porridge/ poha/ upma/ idli Mid morning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/ walnuts Lunch: salad + 2 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curds Evening: whole wheat bread sandwich/ bhel(no sev)/ sprouts Dinner: soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/ fish + 1 roti Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk If you haven’t had the chance to focus on yourself with all the shopping and wedding arrangements, there is still time to tone-up your figure and look your best. You can follow this meal plan three months prior to the D-Day and drop a dress size. Early morning: green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: oats upma/ oats dosa Mid morning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/ walnuts Lunch: salad + 1 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curd Evening: 1 fruit Dinner: soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/ fish Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk It’s just 30 days to the wedding, fret not! You can still lose weight. This is a meal plan when only it’s only 1 month to the wedding. In addition to this, get some exercise and don’t stress – with the right outfit, you will look perfect. Early morning: green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: fruits + nuts Mid morning: 1 bowl sprouts/ salad of pulses Lunch: salad + veggies + dal + curd Evening: soup Dinner: salad/ stir fry+ veggies/ chicken/ fish Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk Even if you start with the 6-month meal plan, you can move to the 3- and 1-month plans as you inch closer to the wedding day. Be happy and you are sure to glow and look wonderful on your special day.

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    Weight gain due to long working hours. What should I do? (Diet query of the day)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Q: Dear dietician, I am a 46-year-old working, unmarried lady. I have a sitting job and long working hours from 10 am to 8 pm. Lately, I have been having irregular periods. I have put on weight especially on my waistline and the hip area. Please suggest a suitable diet plan so that I can reduce my waistline. Answered by Nutritionist Neha Chandna As you age, your metabolism decreases leading to weight gain. Since you have a sitting job and being a woman, you are prone to put on weight near the stomach and hip areas as a woman is genetically designed to have a pear-shaped body. Also, you might be close to menopause due to which you have irregular periods. I advise you to join a gym and alternate between weight training and cardio to help build muscle mass and burn fat. Along with this, you need to eat a balanced diet with lots of fibre, greens, veggies, nuts, salads, curd, etc. Here is a diet plan for you: Have a healthy breakfast to keep you going for the morning. Include items like oats porridge/ oats upma/ idli/ dosa. Between breakfast and lunch, have a fruit and a handful of nuts. In lunch, eat a portion of salad, a jowar/ragi chapatti with veggies, dal and a glass of buttermilk (chhaas). Keep your dinner light. You can have soup, salad, veggies/grilled chicken or fish. Avoid eating rotis or rice at night. Along with this, drink two-three cups of green tea every day and sleep well. 

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    Cashew nuts or kaju – Healthy or not?

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Kidney-shaped cashew nuts have been used largely in Indian cuisine in dessert preparations like yummy kaju katli, as a garnish and even in gravies adding a rich, slightly sweetish tinge to the dish. Whole cashew nuts are also added to food items in some regions like Goa and consumed as an evening snack too. Since it has such a huge presence in Indian kitchens, we asked our expert and well-known Nutritionist Neha Chandna, based in Mumbai to tell us more about its health benefits. Read on… Health Benefits of cashew nuts : Keep your heart healthy: Cashew nuts are rich in good fats and have zero cholesterol which helps lower LDL, the bad cholesterol, and triglyceride making one’s heart healthy. Many think that cutting out fat intake is good for our body which is untrue. Our body needs nutrients from all food groups including fats; all you need to do is get it from good sources like kaju instead of unhealthy ones. Make your body stronger: They are rich in magnesium which is required for strong bones, proper muscle and nerve functioning. Our bodies need a daily intake of about 300-750 mg of magnesium as it helps regulate the amount of calcium absorbed by our bones. Keep BP under control: These nuts are low in sodium and high in potassium and thus keep blood pressure under check. When there is excess sodium, the body retains more water which causes the volume of blood to increase in turn increasing the blood pressure. Reduced risk of cancer: Cashew nuts also contain antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E which prevent free radical oxidation, reduce the risk of cancer and boost immunity. Since they are rich in zinc, they help fight infections. Important for body functions: Their high copper content plays an important role in enzyme activity, hormone production, brain function, etc. Copper is also needed for the production of red blood cells to prevent anaemia. How often should one eat them? Though these are absolutely delicious and difficult to stop eating after just a few, remember control is the key to good health. Eating between 5-10 pieces is enough for a day. You can eat them in two batches as a healthy snack to replace your junk food cravings. But keep in mind, excess consumption can lead to weight gain so eat within limits. Should they be avoided in any particular season? Earlier, there was a belief that nuts generate body heat and should be avoided in summer months. While anything is excess is bad for the body, a few nuts have more health benefits than health issues. Stick to a handful and you can enjoy them in every season. Should people will certain conditions avoid them all together? Everyone can eat cashew nuts except people who are allergic to nuts or get a migraine headache due to them. There are different varieties of cashew nuts like salted or roasted ones. Are they any good or should one stick to the plain ones? You get a wide variety of cashew nuts coated with different masalas, salted, herbed, honeyed, etc. It all depends on your taste buds, choices and health goals. If you suffer from hypertension, avoid salted ones. If you are on a weight loss goal, avoid honey-coated ones. Take your pick wisely or simply stick to the plain variety. Do they have any ill-effects? There are no ill-effects of cashew nuts as such but one must not forget that they are rich in calories and so not too many should be eaten at a time. In some cases, they can cause an allergic reaction which may show different symptoms for different people including vomiting and diarrhoea, swelling, skin rashes, difficulty in breathing, etc. If you experience any of these after eating them, it is best to discontinue and see a doctor.

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    Fad is bad: Say no to diets which promise speedy weight loss!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    ‘I have to lose weight in 10 days for a wedding’ or ‘I need to shape-up quickly to fit into my dress’ – how often do we think about these things and look for quick solutions? In an attempt to lose weight quickly, many people knock the doors of fad diets. They may come to your rescue at times like these but beware – they do more harm than good to your health. Renowned Nutritionist Neha Chandna explains why fad diets are bad for you including seven popular ones like cookie and liquid diet. First and foremost, there are no shortcuts to weight loss. You haven’t put on all the weight overnight, so how can you expect to lose it at a lightning speed? These days, everyone wants to lose weight in the blink of an eye and to achieve their dream body, they resort to fad diets which definitely work but for a short period of time. They help you lose weight from your muscles and bones leaving you feeling weak and ill. And once you go back to your normal routine, you gain all the weight or even more in no time. You do the math and see what’s the whole point of following some diet regime which is short-lived, deprives you of nutrients and has many hazardous effects on your body? The best way to lose weight is to eat the right food, at the right time, in the right quantity, and exercise daily for 45 minutes to one hour. The point is to lose weight gradually rather than rapidly. A lifestyle change is the answer to losing weight than falling into the trap of fad diets. So how do you know if it is a fad diet? Here are some tips. How to spot a fad diet It promises exaggerated results in few days which is too good to be true Will mostly have rigid eating rules It restricts you from eating a lot of food groups like carbohydrates, fats, etc It promotes ‘magic foods’ The diet is sold based on a few testimonials without any research or studies done on its effect It doesn’t involve much exercise along with the meal plans ill-effects of fad diets on the body Causes constipation Leads to weakness Loss of concentration Nausea Headache Depression Muscle loss Health risks like osteoporosis and many more While there are a number of fad diets that keep cropping up every now and then, especially when they are endorsed by celebrities, here a few popular ones to stay away from. Cookie Diet: Invented by Dr Siegal, this a diet in which one has to eat nine cookies a day that makes up to 500 kcal and then have a 500 kcal dinner, totalling up to 1000 kcal every day. Why is it bad: This diet gets monotonous and can cause nutrient deficiencies. Baby Food Diet: This diet is about eating 14 jars of baby foods throughout the day and a sensible dinner. The baby foods include mashed fruits and veggies. Why is it bad: It does not meet your nutrient needs and is low in protein. Eating like an adult is recommended. Cabbage Soup Diet: This is 7-day diet which focuses on having as many bowls of cabbage soup every day with some fruits and vegetables. Why is it bad: This diet is bland, boring and makes you feel weak and resulting in poor concentration. The biggest drawback is that it makes you gassy and bloated. Liquid Diet: The idea is to cleanse the body and rejuvenate it with juices, water, clear soups. Why is it bad: It is again very low on protein and can make you really weak. Not recommended to do it more than a day. Atkins Diet: Written by Dr Robert Atkins, this is the most popular fad diet which aims at reducing the main source of energy – carbohydrates to up to 20g/day and focuses more on vegetables, fats and proteins. Why is it bad: The side-effect of this diet is, it recommends more than 30% fat intake which is above the recommended allowance and can lead to extreme ketosis which can cause damage to the organs in the long run. Blood Type Diet: Created by Dr Peter D’Adamo, it focuses on eating some and avoiding some foods as per your blood type. It follows a ‘one size fits all’ concept. Why is it bad: It bans a lot of health promoting foods making eating out difficult and some people may be healthy despite eating foods forbidden for them. General Motor’s Diet: This is a 7-day diet plan which is based on the intake of specified food items which include raw vegetables, fruits, juice, and lean meat. It restricts the intake of any dairy products and promises weight loss of 10 pounds in week. Each day is restricted to 1-2 raw foods in unlimited amounts. Why is it bad: This diet can make you weak and hungry, leads to the inability to exercise, depression and body pain. To avoid any damages to your body, do not opt for any fad diets. Just eat balanced meals and engage in physical activity to see the difference both physically and mentally. The process may be longer and less dramatic unlike fad diets, but the results will be long-term and benefit your body’s health than spoiling it with extreme restrictions. So, the next time you think about opting for any such diet, remember, it’s a fad… err bad idea!

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    Cannot consume milk and wheat. What should I eat? (Diet query of the day)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    I have been diagnosed with mild chronic gastritis with H pylori 2+. I am under medical treatment. Apart from milk, the doctor has advised me to avoid consuming wheat products also. Please suggest an appropriate diet keeping my condition in mind. Answered by Nutritionist Neha Chandna. You need to eat small meals every 2-3 hours so that there is not too much load on the digestive system. Opt more for simple foods like fruits, boiled veggies, green leafy vegetables, and lean meats like fish, egg whites. Haveantioxidant-rich foods like carrots, cranberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, beet, etc to fight against the H pylori infection. Drink plenty of water, coconut water, green tea. You can also have a concoction of saunf, jeera andajwain to help relieve symptoms. Curd is also good as it has probiotics which help in digestion. Avoid refined foods made of maida, bakery foods, sweets, fried and processed foods. Also, avoid coffee, tea, carbonated beverages and alcohol as they can worsen the symptoms. Exercise daily for 30 minutes, even yoga is a great option.

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    What is an ideal diet after a kidney removal operation? (Diet query of the day)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    My mother had a kidney removal operation some time ago. Can you please suggest a suitable diet and exercise plan that she can follow post the operation? Answered by Nutritionist and Our Expert Neha Chandna There is no need to change her diet if your mother’s other kidney is functioning properly. All she needs to do is take a few necessary precautions while making food choices. These include avoiding processed and junk food to keep the salt content within limits as that can over-burden her kidney. Also, she needs to avoid eating excess amounts of proteins since they can overload the kidneys. Normal protein intake of 1g/kg of body weight is great. She needs to make sure that she drinks plenty of water and fluids to flush out toxins. As far as exercise is concerned, your mother can do all sorts of exercises as long as it doesn’t hurt or take a toll on her health. It is best to do it under the guidance of a fitness trainer who can monitor her regime and change it according to her comfort.  Also, she can consult her doctor once before she starts her workout. To be on the safer side, she can opt for brisk walks, light weight training or swimming.

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    Breathe well, live well

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Life begins when we start breathing and ends with our last breathe. Yet most of us do not know the beneficial effects of breathing well for health and vitality. It is surprising how we give importance to everything be it diet, exercise but something as important as breathing goes unnoticed by many of us as the major contributor to one’s good health. Most people hold their breath or have constricted breathing unknowingly which impacts the health in a poor way. That is the reason why most of us feel tired, fatigued and lethargic due to lack of oxygen supply to the brain and tissues. Once you focus of proper breathing and consciously do it, you can experience amazing health benefits: Proper breathinghelps to release accumulated toxinsin the organs preventing them from C02 overload and illness. Thus helping to detoxify the body. Improves digestionby supplying more oxygen to the stomach cells. Makes you alert, active and refreshed as the brain and nervous system get their dose of oxygen to perform well. Makes your skin healthier, smoother and glowing by supplying oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Improves lung strength and stamina. Reduces chances of heart diseases by making the heart stronger and healthier. Reduces stress and tension by elevating your mood and keeping anger, frustration, irritation and sadness at bay. Relaxes the mind and body from physical and mental tensions helping you think better with clarity. Reduces muscle cramps after exercises by improving oxygen supply to the muscles. Reduces pains and aches in the body especially headaches. Increases metabolism and improves immunity protecting your from infections. Helps in weight control by aiding in fat burning process.   Method of breathing: The best way to breathe is to hold your breath for few seconds in your lungs to cleanse all the impurities and strengthen the lungs. The breathing should be deep, slow, rhythmic and through the nose and not the mouth.   1. First exhale all the air out of your system to make sure your lungs are empty. 2. Inhale through your nose, filling your abdomen and then the lungs slowly. Count 5. 3. Slowly exhale from your mouth till your lungs completely empty again.   Just as you schedule your business meetings, schedule your breathing sessions for 10 minutes 2 times a day. Make sure you breather in the purest air early morning or anytime of the day. Make this a family activity asking everyone to sit and do it together so that no one missed it out. Take time out for your breathing activity in your busy schedule and you will see a new healthier, energetic and happy self.

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    Top 5 foods to prevent hair loss

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Who does not wish for long, strong, healthy, shiny and gorgeous hair? It is every woman’s dream to have thick and bouncy hair whereas men dream of luscious and healthy hair without the half moon on their head. Thick lush hair symbolizes your body’s well being. But in the whole rigmarole of having good hair and using all sorts of treatments, shampoos, fancy oils, exotic serums etc we forget the simplest ingredient for great hair, that is good food and ultimately end up losing the remaining hair we have. Just as every cell of your body needs nutrients to perform well, every cell of your tresses also needs the same. What you actually decided the health of your hair. Let us see top 5 foods to prevent hair loss and help hair growth. 1. Fish:  Apart from being rich in protein and vitamin D, fish contains the much needed omega 3 fatty acids by every cell of your hair which your body cannot produce and you need to get it from the diet. It is important for scalp health and a part of the natural oils preventing your hair from getting dull, lifeless and drying out. If you are a vegetarian or cannot get your hands on fish, try having some flaxseeds everyday to get your dose of omega 3.   2. Eggs:  We often hear people telling us to consume enough protein, mainly for cells wear and tear. Just like your muscles, your hair is also made up of protein. So it makes sense to eat enough protein through sources like chicken, fish, beans etc for improving hair growth and quality. But eggs top the list as they contain zinc, selenium which helps strengthening hair follicle and iron which helps to provide oxygen to the hair cells. Most importantly it contains biotin which is extremely important for hair growth.   3. Nuts and seeds:  like almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds etc are great sources of vitamin E and much needed omega 3 fatty acids. Vitamin E Is a great antioxidant and protects hair from harmful sun rays acting as a natural sunscreen for your hair. Being rich in zinc they also act as hair loss preventer. Walnuts also contain copper, a mineral that helps keep your natural hair color rich and lustrous.   4. Pulses and lentils: These are rich in folic acid apart from being rich in protein which helps in RBC formation and supplying oxygen and nutrients to your scalp and tresses. It also iron and biotin which add to your hair health. If you wish for great hair, do not miss out on your pulses and lentils.   5. Green leafy vegetables:  These are a great source of iron, vitamin C-helps to absorb iron and vitamin A-helps to produce sebum by your hair follicles, natural hair conditioner. They help to prevent breakage and brittleness of hair helping you towards your goal of health hair.   Tips: Drink plenty of water to retain hair moisture and keep them shiny. Water is the main ingredient to good hair. Avoid drastic weight loss measures which only make your hair weak and cause more hair fall. Exercise everyday for 45 minutes to improve blood circulation and release happy hormones which show the happiness in your hair. Avoid artificial chemicals and heat treatments on your hair to save them from trauma.

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    Honey it up!! A look at the tremendous weight loss benefits of honey

    By: Neha Ranglani

      Honey is a natural sweetener used for many centuries by mankind. This golden liquid is a miraculous product of the honey bees and therefore a better substitute to the processed white sugar as it contains more nutrients like vitamin C, iron calcium depending on the source. Besides its great taste and texture, it is the ease with which one can consume it for example you can add honey in your milk, porridge, tea, juices, or you can directly apply honey on bread instead of jam. Honey surprisingly can also help in weight loss due to the following reasons: Unlike sugar, honey is not heavily processed and contains vitamins, minerals and amino acids which help in fat metabolism, cholesterol reduction, preventing obesity. Honey has a higher glycemic index than sugar which means when you have honey, it does not give you a sugar rush and drop causing mood swings, sugar craving and further weight gain. Honey contains sucrose and fructose unlike sugar which only has sucrose. Due to the fructose, it is metabolized slowly by the liver, it is used up for energy by the cells not causing excess fat storage. Honey is naturally sweeter than sugar, delicious and yummy which can be practically replaced by anything that needs sugar like mentioned above. You would need less of it to sweeten your food preventing weight gain. Honey first thing in the morning can boost your metabolismby giving you a carb rush which your body needs to burn the calories and kick start your body processes. It is also a great post workout carb option which is natural and increases your protein uptake by the muscles.   So weight loss isn’t always bad especially when you have such a sweet remedy for it.

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    10 super foods to fight ‘Acne’!

    By: Neha Ranglani

      Is acne killing your self esteem? Don’t worry as you are not the only one. Research has shown that during adolescence close to 90-100% of the population has at least an occasional whitehead, blackhead or pimple—regardless of race or ethnicity. In most cases, acne begins between the ages of 10 and 13 and usually lasts for 5 to 10 years. Acne is mostly due to the way skin reacts to hormonal changes. The skin contains sebaceous glands that naturally release sebum, an oily substance that helps protect it. During puberty, raised levels of the hormone testosterone can cause too much sebum to be produced. This happens in both boys and girls. The sebum can block hair follicles. When dead skin cells mix with the blockage, it can lead to the formation of spots. Bacteria in the skin multiply, which can cause pain and swelling beneath the blockages. We often blame chocolates, oily foods and sweets to aggravate acne. But this is just a myth. Food itself has no effect on acne. It is the hormonal changes, genetics, stress levels and skin type that depend on the frequency of your flare-ups. Foods like sodas, burgers, pizzas, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, samosas, vada pav etc which are high in sugar and white flour cause a spike in your insulin levels, leading to excess cortisol production which is responsible for acne development. Any kind of psychological or physical stress also raises the blood cortisol levels. So keeping the cortisol levels under control is a crucial factor. You can keep your cortisol levels low by following a good healthy diet, yoga, exercise, listening to your favorite music, getting enough sleep and having a positive attitude in life. Let’s focus on top 10 foods which can actually help you prevent acne or fight the existing ones: Fatty fish or flaxseeds: These contain good amount of omega 3 fatty acids which have the ability to reduce inflammation in our body that can trigger cells to clog pores and potentially cause acne. They are wonder foods for the skin and body. Have 2-3 servings of salmon, sardine, mackerel per week or 1-2 tablespoon of flaxseeds in your soup, smoothies, shakes/day to up your omega 3 intake. Avocado: is an excellent source of Vitamin E which that protects the skin from free radical damage caused by poor diet and environmental toxins. It a boosts your immunity to fight back those nasty bacteria causing red bumps on your beautiful face. It keeps your skin supple and free of blemishes. Other rich sources of vitamin E are almonds, walnuts, peanuts, olive oil etc. Alfalfa sprouts: though may look like grass, they are power packed with vitamins like A, C, K etc and minerals like zinc, selenium, copper etc which help to detoxify the liver, flush out toxins from the body and give you a clear glowing skin. The super nutrition content, combined with the high amounts of chlorophyll, make this herb an extraordinary healer. You can steam then and add it into your soup, salads, sandwiches or juices. Kiwi: has 3 times more Vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C may not directly cure acne, but contributes to a strong and healthy immune system which helps you to eradicate any sort of infection. It also is necessary for formation of healthy cell walls, collagen and elastin keeping the cell skin cell structure intact and promoting healing of the affected cells and scars. You can also opt for other vitamin c rich foods like oranges, lemons, bell peppers, amla, guava etc. since your body does not store this water soluble vitamin, you need to get enough of it from your daily diet. Carrots: are filled with betacarotene which gets converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is the best antioixidant for the skin. It improves skin texture and maintains healthy skin cells. You can also get your Vitamin A from tomatoes, sweet potato, red and yellow bell peppers, cantaloupes etc. Sunflower seeds: are rich in selenium which in combination with Vitamin E works wonders to protect the skin from bacterial damage. It reduces inflammatory damage to the skin, preserves skin elasticity and controls acne development. Other foods rich in selenium are brazil nuts, fish, shellfish, mushrooms etc. Pumpkin seeds: are good sources of zinc. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency can weaken the immune system making one prone to any kind of infection. Hence zinc in your diet can help you prevent flare ups and protect skin from any bacterial invasion. Other foods rich in zinc are sesame seeds, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, chickpeas, wheat germ etc. Yogurt: they contain live bacteria which prevent the growth of bad bacteria in the gut and allow the good fellows to grow. These good bacteria do not allow the bad ones to enter your system thereby improving your immunity and defense against skin infections. Especially if you are on antibiotic treatment, 1 cup yogurt/day can be of great help. Green tea: contains flavonols and polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants help to control skin infections, soothe inflammation and boost the immune system detoxifying the body. Water: the benefits of water are umpteen hence makes sense to repeat it again and again to drink plenty of water. Water is a universal solvent. It dissolves the toxins and throws them out of the body and carries the nutrients and antioxidants to the skin cells, promotes faster healing reducing acne flare ups. Drink more on days your activity level is high or the outside temperature is much higher than usual. We all understand the pain and stress you go through when we see new zits and pimples popping up. Integrate these 10 foods in your diet to stay vibrant and skin healthy- heal yourself with the right food.

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    What should you eat pre and post workout?

    By: Neha Ranglani

    It’s a usual myth that you achieve your dream body in the gym. But the fact is that you spend only 1 hour during your exercise but 23 hours outside which actually determines your progress towards your goals. Exercise is just 30% whereas diet is 70% of your effort. It’s rightly said that muscles are torn in the gym, are repaired on your dining table. What you eat throughout the day will have a major impact on the way your body starts shaping up, especially what you eat pre and post workout. In the most basic sense: What you eat pre workout is crucial for fuelling the workout itself and maximizing your performance throughout. What you eat post workout is crucial for optimizing the recovery process and ensuring that your body has all of the supplies it needs in order to recover, adapt and improve the way you want it to. Hence these 2 meals are the most important ones for women who follow a regular exercise routine. The type and quantity of meals differ according to the type and intensity of exercise you follow. Pre workout meal: This is known as the â€˜Energy Phase’ of your workout. The main aim of this meal is to give you energy to work out at your optimal level. As a thumb rule you need to eat something 1-2 hours before your workout to help you sustain through your workout sessions without feeling famished. The meals would differ depending on the type of workout you are doing. Cardio/ yoga/ pilates/ zumba: If You are doing any of these activities early morning, its best to do it on empty stomach to help you speed up your fat burning process as the blood glycogen levels would be low on waking up, preferring fat as the source of fuel for energy. Yoga especially on empty stomach is very effective. If you feel weak working out on empty stomach, you can opt for a fruit like banana, dates or a juice to avoid weakness. If you are working out in the noon or evening, you can eat a high fiber carb meal 1 hour before workout like brown bread sandwich/ oats upma/ idli/ fruit salad/ brown rice/ smoothies/ Frankie etc. These fiber rich foods release energy slowly which helps you carry on with your 1 hour of workout comfortably.   Weight training: Since the aim of this workout is to strengthen, build and tone muscles, it is important to eat high carb-moderate protein meal 1 hour prior workout to feed your muscles with energy, reduce protein breakdown and stress hormone levels. You can opt for foods like egg or chicken sandwich/Frankie, milkshakes, sprouts and curds, low fat paneer with brown rice/ jowar roti, soya poha etc. Try not to do weight training on empty stomach as you may feel weak and not strong enough to pick up weights as per your capacity.   Post workout meal: This is known as the â€˜anabolic Phase’ of your workout because the meal you eat post workout helps you to recover, repair and restore the energy in your body. As a thumb rule, you need to eat something within 30 minutes which is the window period post workout to prevent muscle breakdown and begin the recovery process as soon as possible. But before anything else, you must drink ample of water to help you rehydrate and prevent muscle cramps and sluggishness. Cardio/ yoga/ pilates/ zumba: Post cardio, it is important to replenish the carbs and electrolytes used up during the workout. Coconut water is excellent to replace electrolytes. Banana sliced lengthwise and spread with peanut or almond butter. Mango smoothie with mango chunks, vanilla yogurt, ice, and honey. Sliced apple with a handful of walnuts. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies are the best sources of carbs post workout. Again, whole foods are best, but smoothies and shakes are a good quick fix. One of the best protein-carb combos is milkshake. It provides an optimal balance of carbs and protein.   Weight training: Generally women do not indulge in excessively heavy weight training, but moderate training also causes muscle breakdown which needs to be repaired.  here protein and carbohydrates are needed after a workout to help repair muscles, replenish the body’s glycogen stores, and prevent muscle soreness. You need to opt for simple carbs along with easy to digest and absorb protein within 30 minutes of your workout. Simple carbs are required to help pull in protein into your muscles which is the main component for muscle recovery. Simple carbs like bananas, juices, honey, dates, potato, sweet potato, rice etc are some options. You can get your Proteins from whey protein shake which is the absorbed fastest or else eggs, chicken, fish, low fat paneer, milk, curds etc but these take time to digest and absorb. A combination of carb and protein is the best way to recover your broken muscles. Example: Chocolate protein shake with protein powder, skim or soy milk, and a banana. Half an avocado stuffed with cottage cheese and tomato. Spinach salad with a sliced chicken breast. Whole foods are the best option because they offer complete nutrition. They provide many micronutrients and essential fiber and help keep you feeling satiated. The best whole food choices contain complete, high-quality protein and provide nearly every essential vitamin and mineral.    Planning your meals is the best way to ensure you get the best out of your diet. As you can see, there are quite a few delicious ways to fuel and get the most out of your workouts and trainings. We have to treat our bodies nicely and give them what they need.

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    Your nutrition questions answered!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Internet is full of information. Ever wondered if it’s a boon or a bane? It can be a problem many times because of untrue facts and random tips on important topics. This is true even in the case of fitness. That is why dumbelled.com is here to provide expert answers to all your queries.   Here, Neha Chandna, Nutritionist of celebrities like Kunal Khemu and Nakuul Mehta clears your doubts on diet and nutrition.    1. People confuse  Nutrition planning with Starving! What according to you is the difference? What’s the importance of a nutritionist?   Nutrition planning means planning your meals throughout the day as per your likes, dislikes, requirements etc. It does not mean starving, in fact it means eating small meals every 2-3 hours to increase your metabolism and avoid fat storage. There are many diets available online, but only a nutritionist can determine your requirements and help you to meet your needs accurately. 2. Please tell us the components of balanced diet and how many grams of each should be consumed each day?   A balanced diet includes cereals, pulses, fruits, veggies, milk and milk products etc unlike any fad diet available online which asks you to eat only fruits or juices or any other drastic unmanageable food which you dislike or which can harm your body in excess. Each person has a unique need of nutrients. You need to in general include 60% of carbs, 18% protein and 22% fat in your daily diet plan. Eg if you are consuming a 1200 kcal diet then, 60% of 1200/4= 180 gms of carbs, 18% of 1200/4= 54 gms of protein, 22% of 1200/9= 29 gms of fats. 3. Is BMI a fair measure and are BMI calculators accurate?   BMI calculators are accurate, but BMI is not an exact measure of your weight.   It doesn’t take into account muscle and bone mass, so one can easily mistake themselves as fat even when they have a higher muscle mass or bone mass.   4. Is it better to get vitamins and minerals from food or from supplements?   Nothing can replace food, but lets face the fact that these days neither the food is pure nor our digestion power is perfect to absorb all the nutrients. High levels of stress, pollution, fat and a hectic life affects our absorption greatly. Hence even after taking in appropriate food, we need supplements to meet our needs.   5. How do one get protein on a vegan diet? A vegan can get protein from soyamilk, dals, pulses, quinoa, oats etc. You can also supplement your diet with whey protein without lactose.

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    Soup-it Up!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Do you feel like slurping on something warm and tasty? If yes, then winters have set in. And nothing better than a bowl of hot soup to provide you with the heat your body craves. Soups and broths should be an integral part of your meal especially during the monsoons as they are filling and nutritious as well. Soups and broths are beneficial in a number of ways: Helps to lose weight: Thick soup with veggies and meat are very filling and can be replaced for a heavy meal. They are also low in calories and fat, hence can help in weight reduction. Improves digestion: Soups and broths are a good source of fibrous vegetables which prevents constipation and releases toxins from the system. Boosts immune system: When we use vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, ginger, onions, mushrooms, green leafy veggies we enhance the soups therapeutic value to help our bodies resist sickness and strengthen our systems, which make us alert and healthy. Always cook vegetables on low heat to avoid vitamin destruction. Controls blood pressure: Most of the soups (low salt) are rich in potassium which helps to control blood pressure and water balance in the body.   Kind of soups/broths during monsoons: Soups can clear or thick. They can be thickened by rice, cornflour, maida, cream etc. you can even use oats powder to thicken the soup in a healthy way. Dals or pulses can be added to the soups to make them protein rich. Egg whites can also be added to clear soups. Chicken/ fish/ prawns soups are also a great source of protein as well as heat up the body on a cold day. Wash your greens thoroughly during monsoons as they may be infested with worms and insects. Add a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, spring onions, carrots etc to make your soups/broths antioxidant rich. You can use vegetable or chicken broths to add to the flavor and nutrients to your soups. Recipes CLEAR CHICKEN AND HERB SOUP Ingredients 100 gms chicken (boneless) 15gm oats powder 1 tsp garlic, chopped ½ tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp white pepper powder 1 bay leaf 1 green chilli ½ tsp garam masala 1 tsp oil Salt to taste Method: Clean, wash and cut chicken into pieces In a vessel, add chicken pieces, 1 litre water, garlic, bay leaf, green chilli and boil for ½ an hour and keep it aside In a pan, heat oil, add cumin seeds, oats powder and cook for a minute on slow flame Then add chicken stock, chicken pieces, white pepper, garam masala and salt and boil. Serve hot. Benefits: protein packed soup and serves as a great filler before dinner. Calories: 120kcal GARLIC VEGETABLE DAL SOUP Ingredients   1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, French beans, cauliflower, peas, baby corn), finely chopped   2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped½ cup soaked tur dal/moong dal(optional)   ¼ cup onions, finely chopped   2 tablespoons oats powder   1 teaspoon oil   salt and pepper to taste For the garnish   2 tablespoons chopped coriander   Method     1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and garlic and sauté till the onions are translucent.     2. Add the vegetables and sauté for a few minutes.     3. Add 2 cups of water, dal and salt and pepper. Allow it to come to a boil and simmer till the vegetables are tender.     4. Add the oats and simmer for another 5 minutes.     5. Serve hot garnished with the coriander.     Variations: chicken/egg whites can be added instead of dal Benefits: a great combination of fiber rich veggies and protein rich dal, A perfect meal Calories: 140kcal BEAN SOUP Ingredients 20gm fresh chawli/rajma beans ½  onions, sliced ½ capsicum, chopped 1/4th tsp garlic, chopped 2 small tomatoes, chopped 1 tsp oil Salt and black pepper powder to taste Method: Pressure cook chawli/rajma with 2 cups water and salt for 2-3 whistles, till soft Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions till translucent Add capsicum and garlic and sauté for a minute Add tomatoes and cook till soft Add chawli along with its liquid and bring to a boil Simmer for 5-7 minutes, add salt and pepper Serve hot Benefits: high in protein and antioxidants Calories: 100kcal

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    Party this Christmas, the healthy way!!

    By: Neha Ranglani

      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. Fill up on a green salad with a good source of protein and fat (think avocado, raw nuts or fish) so that you don’t arrive to the party feeling ravenous. • When at the party, take your time to get comfortable with the surrounding and scrutinize the food choices available. Just because it’s there or free, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. When choosing what to put on your plate, stick to healthy foods youtypically enjoy. 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. The higher the varieties you are confronted with, the more you tend to eat without realizing. So stick to a few healthy ones. • 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. Your liver is your main fat-burning organ. If you are trying to lose weight or even maintain your ideal weight, drinking alcohol is one of your worst enemies, so slow down and keep your alcohol intake on the low-end, especially if you have multiple gatherings per week. Just remember, a sparkling water with lime looks like a vodka tonic. There’s no need to bring a lot of attention to yourself if you choose not to drink alcohol. • 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. So don’t only party hard, but party smart and keep health as your top priority.

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    Sin and win with Chocolates!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    The word chocolate itself is so tempting that the thought of it can take you to a heavenly world. Most of the people who go on diets ask their dieticians, ‘hope you will allow me to eat a piece of chocolate sometime?’ Yes that’s because it is a mood elevating food. Till now we have just heard the negative things about chocolates like high calorie food, causes cavities etc. But not many people know how actually can chocolate be beneficial for you. Chocolates are made from cocoa beans and there are various types of chocolates like milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, unsweetened chocolate etc. Benefits of Chocolate  Chocolate though high in fat does not increase cholesterol as it has good amount of MUFA and PUFA (good fats). • Dark chocolate has high level of cell protecting antioxidant compounds like epicatechin and catechin which enhances blood flow, healthy cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure. The antioxidants in dark chocolate and cocoa called flavanols which are present in concentrated form. Flavanols have also been shown to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a key gas inside artery walls that relaxes and widens arteries, allowing for the easy flow of blood and reduced blood pressure.  â€¢ Chocolate may prevent build up of plaque in the arteries and have anti clotting effects thereby protecting the heart. • Despite of being sweet, chocolate has a low glycemic index. Flavanols in chocolate trigger the production of nitric oxide which widens the cells and allows them to accept sugar. It may possibly increase insulin and glucose sensitivity. • Dark chocolate has high amount of magnesium which is important for people with hypertension, diabetes and heart problems. • Chocolate is rich in copper which is necessary for a healthy heart. • It is rich in potassium which reduces blood pressure. • Milk chocolate is rich in calcium which is good for bones and teeth. • They are also rich in iron which prevents anemia, weakness, irritability, headache etc. • Chocolate is a concentrated source of theobromine which is a mild nervous system stimulant making you slightly alert. • Chocolate is also rich in phenylethylamine which is responsible for some pleasurable feeling one gets after eating it as it releases endorphins in your brain. So even if chocolate is high in fat and calories, if eaten in moderation, it can easily fit in your daily balanced diet.

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    Snack on the go!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    With such a crazy, hectic life that we lead, where does one have time to even think about snacking in between? Sparing sometime for our main meals only becomes such a challenge. But do you know eating 3-4 small snacks in between your meals helps you give you energy and increase your metabolism helping you to reduce weight and burn fat. WAIT!! here is the catch. When we say snacking in between we mean healthy snacks which are high in fiber and protein. Not junk like samosas, vadas, chaat, pizzas etc. It is not that difficult if you make up your mind to eat healthy snacks and carry them with you so that you really do not have to look out for unhealthy tempting options which may affect your health adversely. Let’s look at some of the healthy options which are easy to carry as well Fruit and nuts: Fruits are sacred foods on earth with natural vitamins and minerals giving you energy on the go. They are easy to carry and eat even when you are travelling or setting out for a blink of a wink break. Nuts on the other hand have good fats and are filling which are can be easily kept in your pocket to be munched on even during an important meeting.  Apples, pear, oranges, walnuts, almonds are great convenient options. calories: less than 120 kcal Sprouts: Again easy to prepare and carry. All you need to do is just steam them, add cucumber, tomatoes, onions, lime and chaat masala and there you go with some healthy protein, fiber and vitamin C rich snack. You can use a variety of sprouts like moong, moth, rajmah, chana or even a mixture of all these. calories: 150kcal Boiled eggs: High in protein and vitamin A, they are excellent, filling snacks which help your muscles and cell to repair themselves. If you are weight conscious, you can opt for egg whites instead of the yellow. The only thing you need to do it is, peel it when you want to eat them so that they remain fresh. Calories: less than 100kcal Muesli: These are fairly new snack options available in a variety in the market. You can buy the sweet or savory version of it as per your choice. A handful of muesli with some green tea during your tea break, will give you the energy rush you need to focus on your remaining day’s work. You can also opt for muesli with nuts to add on to the nutrition value. calories: 100kcal Nutrichoice oats/ragi biscuits: These are healthy, tasty and easy to carry. 1-2 biscuits during a tiny break, will give you the fiber and energy your body needs. Ragi is also an excellent source of calcium. calories: less than 80kcal Make sure you stock your bag with these foods to keep your health in your hands always. Eat healthy, stay fit!!

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    Pre-wedding stress – NO more!!

    By: Neha Ranglani

      It’s understood that marriage and stress go hand in hand. The day that you have been waiting for all your life is just around the corner and so much to do to make that day just perfect. Stress is bound to set in. But excess stress can actually ruin your health, hormones and the fun aspect of your most awaited day.  You cannot avoid stress but you can definitely find ways to cope with it to help you unwind and face all the challenges with ease. Basically you need to spare some time for yourself from all the chaos to disconnect with the world and help your mind and body relax. Here are a few simple tips to help you collect yourself to enjoy every moment of your wedding Focus on your breath: Be it in the train, car, office or anywhere, all you need do is just focus on breathing and let the thoughts come and go. Do not focus or ponder on any thought. Do it for 15 minutes and see how relaxed you feel. Listen to music: Listen to whatever you feel like be it some melodious track, any instrumental music, or any romantic number which takes you to a dreamland and helps you to forget all your worries. Enjoy your tea/ coffee/ green tea: Rather than just gulping your drink down, stand at your balcony or terrace , look at the tress and slowly roll your drink over your tongue. Enjoy the alone act and live in the moment. Go for a long drive: Just drive alone with some of your favorite music and let yourself lose, enjoy and go where the road takes you. Take a walk: Walk along the beach or on some green grass, chant om or any or mantra to purify your mind and soul. Feel the breeze move through your body and let the negativity move out along with it. Create art: Set aside sometime from your busy schedule to create some form of art. Paint, draw, craft, stitch or anything of your choice to actually feel the happiness flow through you. Cook: The most relaxing thing you can do for yourself is cook a dish which you can very well. Put all your heart into it and let your family members feel your love for them. Go for a massage: The best way to unwind your mind and body is to go for a good deep tissue massage to remove every ache and pain from your body and rejuvenate you. Make sure you choose any 3 things atleast daily to bounce back each day with all your vigor and energy. Happy wedding!!

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    Top 5 foods for a flat belly!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Every one dreams to be rich!! But everyone also dreams about something else, that is having a flat tummy without too much effort. The biggest misconception people are smitten by is that doing a lot of ab exercises helps you lose the tummy flab and achieve a table top flat belly. But that’s not the truth. The fact is that you can never lose you tummy fat only with exercise. Diet plays a major role in shaping up your abs. What you eat decides whether you a get a flat tummy or you develop tyres. The food you eat helps to crash or increase your metabolism to burn the fat around your waist. It truly depends on the choices you make. Here are top 5 foods for losing your belly fat. Almonds Most people think of nuts to be fattening and foods to be avoided when on a weight loss diet. But the fact is that almonds are high in fiber which makes a great mid meal snack and best part is that a few of them are enough to make you feel full. They also contain good fats which help to reduce bad fats in the blood and improve overall health. Avoid salted almonds and nibble on few raw ones along with their skin. Oats It’s only been a few years since this grain has gained a great deal of popularity but it surely has a long way to go. Oats has high amount of fiber, 40gm uncooked oats has 4 gm fiber which is good enough for one meal. It contains both soluble fiber known as beta-glucan and insoluble fiber which acts as a savior for people suffering from constipation by absorbing water, making the stools softer and speeding its elimination. It slows down digestion, making you feel fuller for a longer time so that you tend to eat less, promoting weight loss. Most importantly, they are gluten-free which can be readily replaced by wheat in a celiac or gluten sensitive patient’s diet as they are more prone to bloating due to wheat. Nothing better than waking up to a hot bowl of oats made in porridge or savory form to kick start your metabolism and reduces hunger pangs in the latter half of the day. You can also add oats to your soup, dals, dips, shakes, cutlets, etc. So go and grab a pack of this super healthy food today! Mushroom Not only loved for its characteristic UMAMI (meaty or savory), but also has a host of nutrients important for good health. They are neither a fruit nor a vegetable, but a fungi which the non-vegetarians turning into vegans are more than happily substituting their meat with. They are a great source of B vitamins which provides energy by breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They are a powerhouse of antioxidants like selenium and ergothioneine which protect body cells from damage, preventing heart attacks, boost immunity and helping you age gracefully. They are quite filling and very low in calories which are a lucrative food for obese people, making complete sense to replace red meat with them helping you shed excess weight. They contain good amount of vitamin D which work wonders to burn your belly fat. Add to your soup/ stir fry or some brown rice. Broccoli Luscious green vegetable which is extremely low on calories and an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants. This means small portion of it can help you to feel fuller for a longer time reducing your cravings for the wrong foods and helping you burn your stubborn belly fat. A broccoli stir fry or pasta is a treat for your palette. Low fat yoghurt White sacred food used from time immemorial. It is rich in protein which increases metabolism and helps you burn your fat easily. It also contains good bacteria that fight against the bad ones in your stomach that leave you feeling bloated and uneasy. This helps to reduce your belly size and make you feel light and active. Have it in the form of raita, buttermilk, smoothie or fruit yogurt.

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    How to choose your juice wisely?

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Juices have been an all time favorite for everyone, be it young or old, ill or healthy, thin or fat. Lots of people live on juices especially during the hot season. Many enjoy drinking juices along with meals. Most people drink canned/ tinned juices. Some even keep the juice for hours before consuming it. All these practices are extremely wrong as juices are meant to be consumed within 2-5 minutes after extraction. Canned juices are loads of sugar and preservatives which add on the weight issues. Drinking juice later than 5-10 minutes after squeezing it results in loss of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, B- complex, and other minerals as well. Who should have juices?  Juices are good for people who do not like fruits/vegetables, who cannot chew fruits/vegetables like toddlers, elders, critically ill patients etc. Juices help them to get the nutrients in a more simple and easy to absorb manner which otherwise is difficult for them. Who shouldn’t have juices? People who are constipated, on weight loss diet, diabetics etc should avoid juices as it is devoid of fiber and increases the sugar levels in the blood. It also increases sugar cravings because since the sugar in juice causes a spike in the blood sugar levels and a sudden drop, you are left with more and more sugar cravings. Specially people with poor digestion and constipation should try and eat fruits/vegetables raw as it helps in clearing the bowel more easily making them feel light and relaxed. Juices for good health • Avoid fruit juices as they contain natural sugar and juicing the fruits remove the fiber leaving you only with sugar water. • Try and opt for more of vegetable juices like carrot-beet-spinach-tomato/ dhoodi-cucumber/ spinach-pudina-coriander etc. Do not strain these juices. Just blend them in a blender, add a dash of lemon and drink it immediately. • The best time to drink vegetable juice is early morning to help you absorb the nutrients in it better on empty stomach. • Avoid taking juices with any other food to avoid any hindrance in the nutrient absorption. • Wheat grass juice is a great liver detoxifier and helps to fight diseases like cancer, blood pressure, cholesterol etc since it is rich in antioxidants and chlorophyll which cleanses the body. Benefits of vegetable juices • Clears your bowels • Improves hair luster • Clears complexion • Helps reduce weight • Lowers cholesterol • Reduces chances of cancer So choose your juice options wisely considering your health and other minor issues so that it gives you maximum benefits.

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    A bony affair

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Bones, that part of the body because of which you can stand, sit, run, jog, dance, bend, twist, stretch and so on. Ever since childhood we do a host of activities, thanks to our bones. Every living being needs food to fuel the body to grow and regenerate, so do the bones. Calcium is the most important nutrient for bone development and maintenance. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body pulls out calcium from your bones increasing the chances of osteoporosis and risk of fractures. So from where do you get calcium in the food: Cereals like ragi, and jowar are great sources of calcium. You can easily replace wheat with them. You can start your day with oats in any form.  Pulses and beans like soya, moong, chana, rajmah and their sprouted variants are good sources of calcium. You can have them as veggies or add them in salads as well.  Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, cashews etc are rich in calcium. A few of them as snacks can help in a great way. Seeds like sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc can also be added in salads. Dairy products like milk, curd, cheese, paneer have the highest amount of calcium which is easily absorbed by the body. You can have 2-3 serving of any of these products daily but make sure to choose the low fat options to avoid cholesterol development. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, lettuce, celery, broccoli, cabbage etc are fair sources of calcium. Fish like salmon, tuna etc are excellent sources of calcium and also have other health benefits. Steamed fish 3 times/week can contribute to bone health. How can you avoid drainage of calcium from your bones? Caffeine: drinking excess of tea/ coffee can lead to calcium loss. Avoid more than 2 cups.  Animal protein: excess of chicken, meat, pork etc can increase calcium loss by increasing acid in the body which is neutralized by calcium from the bones.  Alcohol: it hinders calcium absorption and can affect body’s calcium balance. Limit the intake not more than 7 drinks/week and not more than 2 drinks at a time.  Soft drinks: to balance the phosphates in the drink, the body releases calcium from the bones which get excreted. Drink lime juice, jaljeera, fresh juices instead.  Iron: avoid iron supplements along with calcium supplements or calcium rich foods as they compete for absorption and the body doesn’t get enough calcium. You can also take calcium supplement of 500mg-1000mg day depending on your diet. But do not take more than 500mg at one time as it may not get absorbed in excess. When it comes to your bones, calcium alone is not enough. There are other vital nutrients that help your body absorb and make use of the calcium you consume. The most important of these are magnesium and vitamin D. Magnesium helps to absorb and retain calcium and prevent osteoporosis and build strong bones. Magnesium is found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, seafood, legumes, tofu, and many vegetables. Vitamin D is another important nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium and regulates calcium in the blood. Your body synthesizes vitamin D when exposed to the sun. However, a large percentage of people are vitamin D deficient—even those living in sunny climates. If you don’t spend at least 15 minutes outside in the sun each day you may need an extra vitamin D boost. Good food sources of vitamin D include: Eggs Cheese Fish Butter Cream Oysters Fortified milk and cereals You can also take a vitamin D supplement of 1000 IU- 2000 IU/day. Exercise: for lifelong bong health, exercise is a key component. Especially weight bearing exercises help in better calcium absorption i thereby strengthening your bones. Studies have shown that the risk of fractures and osteoporosis was lower in people who did weight bearing exercises atleast 3 times in a week. Exercise also improves muscle strength and co-ordination which prevents injuries. Different forms of weight bearing exercises are: Walking Jogging Stair climbing Skipping Squats Lunges Weight lifting Dancing Choose a form of exercise that you like and enjoy so that it is fun and do it regularly.

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    Lose the mummy tummy

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Being a mother is the most amazing feeling in this world. The 9 nine months of pregnancy takes us through a lot of physical changes and a roller coaster of emotions. The new joys of motherhood and the challenges it lays ahead for you brings up an important question in your mind ‘how do I get back my pre-pregnancy body?’ Losing weight is the ultimate goal for any new mother. But as this period is of crucial importance for both - mother and the baby, any drastic step towards weight loss can prove harmful. Be realistic about your weight loss goals. You haven’t put on all those kilos in a day, so do not expect to lose it very soon. Give yourself atleast 6 weeks to adjust to the new routine. Reducing you caloric intake drastically can just leave you exhausted affecting your milk supply. Keeping achievable goals like losing not more than 1 kg/week is a smarter choice to make. The best way to lose the mummy fat is slowly and gradually by the following ways:  Feed your baby: Breastfeeding is the most effective and convenient exercise to lose the extra fat as it helps you to lose good amount of calories and also strengthens your emotional bond with your little one. It is like a miracle food for your child and the best gift you can ever give him/her.  Eat, Eat, Eat: Never starve yourself when lactating as this can reduce your milk production and leave you fatigued and drained out. Besides that when you starve, you tend to eat more in the next meals gaining more weight instead of losing it. Starving also reduces muscle mass thereby your metabolic rate slowing down the weight loss process. Eating 5-6 six meals with small snacks rather than 3 large meals helps you lose weight and feel better (snacks like carrots, fruits, yoghurt, cup of milk are healthy options). Small meals help to up your metabolism Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day. Breakfast, helps you and your baby need to kick start your day and keep you energetic enough to do all the running around. Breakfast also helps to avoid overeating in the latter half of the day. Proteins are extremely important for the wear and tear and recovery from the delivery process. Choose low fat protein foods like chicken, fish, egg whites and low fat dairy products like slim milk, curds and paneer to stock on proteins without the unwanted fat. All fats are not bad, opt for MUFA and PUFA rich oils like olive oil, ricebran oil or blend oils like ricebran and sunflower/ safflower mixed oils. Avoid saturated fats like butter, ghee and margarine. Try as much as you can to avoid baked and fried foods as they contain trans fat which can increase your cholesterol levels. Omega 3 fatty acids especially DHA is extremely important for the development of your child’s brains and for your overall health as well. Consuming fish 2-3 times/week or 2-3 tbsp of powdered flaxseeds/day can help you meet your omega 3 requirement. Omit processed, sugary and salty foods, artificial sweeteners and any other food with harmful chemicals which increase water retention and can enter your baby’s body through your milk. Include good amount of fibrous foods like whole grains like oats, brown rice, quinoa, jowat, ragi, bajra etc, fruits and raw vegetables to prevent constipation and give you fullness. Eat the fruit and vegetables, not its juice. Galatogauges like methi seeds, fennel (saunf), alfalfa seeds etc help in increasing milk production thereby indirectly aids in weight loss. Early days of motherhood can be quite taxing causing lot of water loss due to perspiration. Drink 100-150 ml water every half an hour to keep yourself hydrated. You can opt for lemonade, buttermilk, jaljeera, green tea etc. Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol as they are dehydrating to the body leaving you famished and sluggish. Embrace exercise: Exercise along with a balanced diet is the ideal way to shed the pounds. Six weeks after normal delivery and 8 weeks after C-section is when you can start an activity like walking, jogging, swimming, body conditioning and strengthening for 10-20minutes/day and slowly increase your exercise time to 30-45 minutes/day. An active lifestyle also helps to reduce depression and improve blood circulation.  It is understood that motherhood takes a toll on the women. Also the new routine of bringing up the baby takes away all her time. That is when she has to take extra efforts to take care of her food and lifestyle. It is best to make a daily time table, keeping alarms in your smart phones and planning your day in the morning so that you don’t miss out on the important things for your baby and yourself. Be gentle with yourself and take pride in your healthy lifestyle, because only healthy mothers can raise healthy children.

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    Beat the plateau!!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    ‘I am doing everything possible by not even losing a gram or inch.’ Surely you must have heard this statement umpteen number of times because weight loss is the most common topic of interest these days be it among the young or old. But more common than that is reaching the plateau during your weight loss process. People try all sorts of fads and follow every possible myth to get there but least they realize is that following the right thing is the easiest way to reach their target. It does not require working out in the gym for three hours or starving yourself to death. All it takes is the correct method of workout and a proper individually designed diet plan to get your dream body. Let us see some top reasons for plateau and how to deal with them. 1. No weight training: many people do not do weight training thinking that it is only meant for people who want a muscular body. This is the biggest myth. Weight training is the only sure shot way to increase your muscle mass. Muscle is that tissue in the body which controls your metabolism. More muscle means higher resting metabolic rate and faster fat burning even when you are not exercising. Weight lifting atleast 3 days a week is a must to jump start your metabolism. With very light weights do not expect too much weight loss; medium to heavy weights is what will do the magic. 2. Consistent cardio: This stops having an effect on weight loss after a point. Instead of steady state cardio which means staying at the same setting for most part of your workout be it treadmill, elliptical, jogging etc, you can opt for high intensity interval training which means challenging your heart to pump harder and then bringing it back to normal. For example walking on the treadmill at the speed of 6 for 3 mins and running at the speed of 9 for 1 minute. Doing this for 30 minutes can give you a great deal of workout thereby increasing your metabolism. 3. Repetition in workout: doing the same thing over and over again slows down weight loss as the body gets used to it and becomes so efficient in doing it, that it uses very little calories for the exercise routine. Bring about variation in your exercise pattern every few days to confuse the muscles which require more energy while working out. Example you can switch between weight lifting, cardio, circuit training, dancing etc to keep your body guessing what is coming up next.  4. Skipping breakfast and other meals: breakfast really important as without it, research says you land up with severe hunger pangs forcing you to eat more than you require during the later half of the day adding on the calories and lack of morning nourishment can slow you down causing fewer calories burned, halting the weight loss process. Skipping other meals during the day with the thought that it may help pull down weight is again a myth as skipping meals causes muscle breakdown, slows your metabolism and puts you in a starvation mode, where your body holds on to calories and stores it as fat for lean times. Try to eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day to prevent crash in metabolism. 5. Lack of protein in the diet: people turning primarily vegetarian causes a lack of protein the diet. Protein being the building block for the muscles, it is necessary to provide atleast 1-1.2gm protein/day to help in the wear and tear of the muscles thereby helping them grow and increase metabolism. Protein post workout is extremely important as there is window period of 30 minutes where your muscles are hungry and take up the protein for their repair. Bedtime protein in the form of slim milk, protein shake etc also helps to repair the muscles overnight while your asleep. 6. Not enough calories: you might be working out rigorously but following a very low calorie diet plan, it is not sufficient to fuel your workout, causing a drop in the metabolism as compensation. Just up your calories and see how your metabolism fires back helping you lose weight. 7. Lack of sleep: not many people are aware than sleeping well plays an imperative role in helping you shape your body the way you want to. Sleeping for 7-8 hours in complete darkness releases growth hormone which is a natural fat burner. Lack of sleep slows you down and your metabolism affecting weight loss process. Now if you have figured out where you are going wrong, just rectify it and see the magic of weight loss unfolding itself.

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    Party the healthy way!!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    We all love attending parties. Don’t we? With summer vacations on we need even more reason to meet our friends and loved ones, relax, enjoy and have a good laugh. Throwing a house party is the easiest way to have a good time with the people you love. But what happens to your health when you overdo on these party outings. The fat laden food, creamy dishes, mouth watering fried starters, sugary desserts etc negate all the efforts you put during the day to maintain your slim and trim figure and you can’t do much to change that. But you can be the one to bring in the change.  You be the trend setter. How? When you are the host, be a good one. Plan a healthy theme party. Make sure you choose healthy food options. People think that healthy food is boring and cannot be delicious. You can change their mind set by actually preparing some yummy delicacies. You never know they might be so impressed that they actually follow your footsteps. So here are some options for a 5 course meal menu: Soups/drinks: watermelon sorbet , sharbat-e-sehat, tomangee, red chilli rasam, velvet chicken soup, tomato soup, mushroom soup, chicken herb soup, litchi lassi, oats soup, potato spinach salad, peas soup, grape apple juice, fresh smoothie, mango lassi, pineapple slush, avocado gazpacho soup, ginger chicken soup, minty buttermilk. Salads: barley salad, stir fry veggies, chana bhel, quinoa salad, stuffed egg salad, paneer corn pepper stir fry, summer tomato fun, gado gado salad, red radish spread, paneer pepper salad, cucumber salad, marinated carrots, broccoli mushroom stir fry, tofu salad, corn chatpata, sprouts bhel. Starters: paneer in pita pockets, healthy chicken burger, lemon chicken, fish with citrus marinade, kerela steamed fish, stuffed tomatoes, paneer hara matar, chicken veggies aflatoon, masala idli, open face sesame toast, black pepper fish, sitr fry envelope, soya tikkis, stuffed mushrooms, yoghurt dip, roasted fish. Main course: chicken stew, cinnamon brown rice, stir fried brown rice, low cal chole, murgi komla, oats thepla, egg in palak, dalia pulao, dry chicken curry, bajra paratha, paneer babaycorn masala, brown rice chicken pulao, ragi roti, whole wheat pizza, whole wheat tagliatelle, whole wheat pasta in white sauce, palak paneer. Desserts: apple crumble, peanutty cake, flaxseeds peanut laddo, oats banana muffin, chickoo halwa, shrikhand, biscuit pudding, almond walnut bites, chocolate strawberry phirni. All these above dishes are low in fat, high in nutrients, filling and deliciously yummy. You plan out your menu like any 2 soups, 2 drinks, 2 salads, 3 starters, 2 main course dishes, 2 dessertsot as many number of dishes as you wish to serve. Now your guests to binge to their heart’s content without any health or figure worries. Party not only hard but SMART!!

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    Your house is the best gym

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Some people are fitness freaks while some run away from the word fitness. Some go to the gym daily whereas some look for excuses to avoid going to the gym. But did you know your house could be the best gym area for you. If you are wondering how, then yes it is the fact. Most of your household stuff like tables, chairs, stools, bottles etc and many other can actually help give you a good workout. This actually leaves you with very little scope to escape your daily dose of workout. The exercises are very easy which can be done in short spans like TV commercial breaks or between your cooking and cleaning sessions. So below are few exercises which can be done at home with the stuff around: Foot stools can be used to do step ups. You can 50 step ups in 1 minute and repeat it 2-3 times as per your capacity. Water bottles(1-2 litres) Can be used to do bicep and triceps curls by filling them full or half with water as per your strength. Do 20 reps and 2-3 sets of this. You can do overhead press 20 reps 2-3 sets with bottles. Carry bottle over your shoulders and do squats 20 reps and 2 sets. Carry bottles in your hand and do lunges 10 rep each leg and 2 sets. Take old pair of socks and fill them with pebbles or beans and Velcro both the ends to together and use them as ankle weights while working in the house or you can also dance, skip or spot jog with them for atleast 20 minutes. You can also do 50-100 leg raises with ankle weights on. Medium weight or Heavy books can be used to do bicep/triceps curl and crunches as well. Just lie down with knees bent and the book on your chest. Try to lift your shoulder off the ground with arms behind the head. Do 50 reps and 3 sets of this. Use a towel to stretch. Lie down on the floor with one leg raises, loop the towel around the ankle and bring the towel and led towards the chest. Hold for 10 seconds. Place couple of firm pillows on the couch and do an inclined chest press with bottles in the hand. Do atleast 20 reps and 3 sets. Sit on a low seated couch and so triceps dip 20 reps, 2 sets. Place both your hands shoulder width apart on a table or wall and do push ups 20 reps, 2 sets. For a good workout, try to choose any 6-8 workouts from above daily and then increase your sets as your strength increases. Calorie expenditure during house work: Makin bed for 30 minutes= 160cal Dusting for 30 minutes=70 cal Mopping floor for 30 minutes=120cal Cleaning windows for 30 minutes= 122cal Ironing for 30 minutes= 61cal Cooking for 30 minutes= 72cal Washing dishes for 30 minutes= 65cal Washing car for 30 minutes= 122cal Cleaning washrooms= 144cal Sorting out groceries for 30 minutes=72cal The values are for a person weighing 60 kgs. The amount of calories burned will go up if the person weighs more and will be lesser if the person weighs less.

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    The myth of spot reduction

    By: Neha Ranglani

    All of us have one particular body part with excess fat be it stomach, hips or the back which when we look at in the mirror, we wish could disappear by some means. Spot reduction as people think is the idea if losing fat from one particular area by working on that muscle. This is an absolute myth. Spot reduction in real does not exist. For years people have fallen in the trap of advertisements of belts, vibrators etc that claim to help you lose your tummy or buttock fat which all are truly gimmicks.  We gain weight when we consume more calories than what we expend. The excess calories are stored as fat in the cells in a specific pattern which differs for every person. That’s why we often see people exercising one body part more than the other. For example people who have a huge tummy like a spare tire, try to lose it by doing 1000 crunches. But they don’t realize that by doing so they are just strengthening their abdominal muscles and the fat remains there only comfortably. Men generally have more fat on their tummy (apple shaped body) and women accumulate that fat on their hips (pear shapes body). This clearly shows that men and women are designed genetically differently. When you start losing fat gradually, the first place you put on fat is the last place you will lose fat from because of your genetic makeup. You would lose fat faster in some areas and very slowly in others. The best way to lose fat in any problematic area you have to follow a good cardiovascular exercise routine like running, jogging, cycling, aerobics, dancing etc coupled with weight training and a balanced low fat diet is the most crucial part. This will help you lose fat overall and also in the most desired area. So don’t be a part of passive fat loss ideas. Lets your body do its job at its best.

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    Benefits of green tea

    By: Neha Ranglani

    These days too many brands are promoting green tea and its varieties. But these are no gimmicks as green tea has been discovered 4000 years ago and have found to have a host of health benefits like: Green tea is found to have catechins and polyphenols which are excellent antioxidants and prevent the body from free radical damage and helps to detoxify. Green tea is less processed than black tea and hence have higher amount of antioxidants. It has anti viral and anti bacterial effect and prevents plaque formation in the mouth. It helps to reduce bad cholesterol, improves good cholesterol and keeps blood pressure in check.  It prevents formation of new cancer cells and destroys the harmful ones thereby protecting the body. It controls blood sugar levels and prevents heart diseases. Retards aging process and improves skin texture and complexion. Improves digestion, prevents gas formation and helps in weight reduction. It has mild bowel stimulating effect thereby preventing constipation. It helps to get rid of headache and tiredness which is a common problem in daily life. It improves immune system and prevents the body from infection like cold, cough etc. Its best to replace your coffee with a cup to green tea as coffee can dehydrate you and have a host of unhealthy effects on your body. Instead rehydrate your cells with a cup of green tea powerpacked with antioxidants.

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    Go the green way!!

    By: Neha Ranglani

      When you were a kid, dint you mother stick your plate with green leafy vegetables and a typical child you made a fuss to eat them? But you did not realize then that it was for your best because of which you were asked to eat them. As per color therapy, green color has healing properties. Greens are loaded with iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, C, K and B and phytonutrients like lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin . Any form of green leafy vegetable once a day can keep you away from a host of health issues. Some of our greens include spinach, amaranth, methi, coriander, colocasia, lettuce, broccoli, drumstick leaves and so on.  So let’s check out the health benefits of green leafy vegetables: Low in fat and calories,high in nutrients and low in cholesterol make it a perfect food for people on weight loss diets. It improves bowel movements and reduces constipation helping in losing those extra pounds. Due to its high content of antioxidants and phytochemicals, it prevents heart issues. studies show that, daily 1 serving of greens can reduce heart disease risk by 11% Since it is high in magnesium and low in glycemic index, it is a wonder food for type 2 diabetics. The high level of vitamin K in greens makes them important for the production of osteocalcin, a protein essential for bone health. They are rich in iron and calcium important for blood and bone respectively.  Greens are rich in beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A essential for the repair of skin, protection of eyes and strengthening of immune system. It prevents night blindness and keeps the skin radiant. Lutein and zeaxanthin are eye protectors. They prevent cataract and age related macular degeneration, major cause of blindness in elders. Green veggies have carotenoids, flavonoids and other powerful antioxidants which have cancer preventing properties. Different greens can prevent against skin cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and so on. They retard ageing process and prevent age related disorders like Alzheimer’s. High levels of potassium reduce blood pressure. Folate found in them is a prerequisite for pregnant ladies to prevent miscarriage and for proper growth and development of the baby. It is also needed for repair the cells and improving blood levels and reducing amino acid homocysteine in the body which is responsible for heart problems. Chlorophyll in the greens has anti-inflammatory properties, helps in wound healing and increase oxygen flow to all the body parts. How to cook them? Wash the greens under running water to remove dirt or rest them in a bowl of water for the dirt to settle at the bottom. Sauté the greens in little oil or blanch them. Do not overcook the greens as it causes loss of nutrients and change in the colour from bright to olive green, Add the greens at the end if the cooking to reduce losses.

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    Diet- its true meaning

    By: Neha Ranglani

    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?

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    Myths and facts about DIABETES

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Most of the people consider diabetes as a minor disease and frame notions about it in their mind. But the fact is very different from all the myths that go around the place. Myth 1: diabetes is not a deadly disease Fact: Diabetes causes 6 million deaths/year and is a serious disease Myth 2: eating too much sugar causes diabetes Fact: no it does no. Eating too much sugar causes obesity, which in turn increases the risk of Diabetes Myth 3: you can get diabetes from others Fact: diabetes is more based on genetic and lifestyle factors. It is not contagious Myth 4: fruits is healthy and you can eat as much as you want Fact: yes fruit is healthy but it also contains carbohydrates which can cause spike in the sugar levels. Hence the dietician has to decide the amount and type of fruit a patient can eat. Myth 5: only overweight people get diabetes Fact: this is not always true as skinny people also develop diabetes due to stress, genetics or other lifestyle factors Myth 6: people with diabetes should not exercise Fact: this is exactly opposite. People with diabetes need to exercise regularly as it helps to lower the blood sugar levels, need for insulin and helps to maintain weight. Myth 7: nothing can prevent diabetes complications: Fact: diabetes complications can be prevented with a good exercise and diet program and regular health checkups. Myth 8: diabetics should avoid carbohydrates completely. Fact: carbohydrates are very important source of fuel to the body. Diabetics have to avoid simple carbs like sugar but can eat complex carbs like whole grains, cereals, pulses etc.

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    Healthy Substitutes to unhealthy foods

    By: Neha Ranglani

    With increase in health consciousness, people are now looking out for healthy food stuff everywhere. But rarely people realize that by changing a few ingredients and substituting them with healthy ones, you can actually make your food healthy and add nutritional value to it. Here are some healthy substitutes: White sugar: this has absolutely no nutritional value. It can be substituted with honey/ jaggery which contain a few vitamins and minerals. White rice: has most of its B complex vitamins damaged during processing. It can be substituted with brown rice which is rich in fiber and B complex vitamins. Buffalo milk: is rich in nutrition but has a very high fat content. It can be substitued with cow’s milk/ slim milk which is low in fat and reduces chances of heart problems. White bread: is made of maida which leads to digestion problems later. It can be substitued with multigrain bread made of whole wheat and 7 grains which is more healhy and tasty. Ghee: these days is not 1005 pure and can lead to heart problems. it can be substitued  with olive oil/ rice bran oil which are more heart friendly.

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    Midnight binging –its side effects

    By: Neha Ranglani

    With increase in social activities, parties, get togethers, outings etc eating late at night it’s a common practice today. Many people also work till late nights, students study, youngsters overnights etc are common reasons to binge and snack at late hours. But this can be extremely damaging to one health. It ill effects are: Weight gain- as at night BMR (metabolic rate) reduces and overeating or eating at odd hours can convert food to fat. Digestion problems- our body is meant to rest at that time. By binging we tax our digestive system to do more work which ultimately leads to problems like constipation, burping, acidity, ulcers etc. Sleep issues- due to poor digestion and uneasy feeling, many people face insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns.  Skin problems- eating oily, junk and sweet foods at late nights can cause acne, pimples and poor skin texture. Lethargy- midnight snacking can cause tiredness and lethargic feeling on waking up in the morning and can reduce your concentration/focus levels at work. Hence it is best to avoid unhealthy binging. Rather opt for healthy things like fruit, milk, yoghurt, soya milk etc to feel fit and healthy.

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    How to stay healthy on a vegetarian diet

    By: Neha Ranglani

    We live in a country that largely consists of vegetarians. Eating a balanced diet when you are a vegetarian requires a little extra attention just to make up for the important nutrients that come from non-vegetarian foods like fish, egg and meat. However, with good planning and an understanding of what makes up a balanced vegetarian diet, we can get all the nutrition that our body needs minus the meat. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares a few diet tips for vegetarians.  How to get your protein intake If you are a vegetarian and eat your share of meatless meals, here is how can make up for the necessary proteins. You can combine cereals and pulses with each other. For example, you can complement rice with dal (lentil) or idli with sambhar. This will complete the amino acid profile and get your body the required nutrition. Also include sprouts, whole pulses, yoghurt, milk, paneer and quinoa to meet your protein needs. How to increase iron intake Vegetarian foods are good sources of iron but their absorption rate in the body differs. What one can do is add lemon to iron-rich foods to increase their uptake in the body. Consuming poha (flattened rice) with a dash of lemon or beet juice with a spoon of lemon juice is a good way of incorporating iron in the body. Garden cress seeds or halim seeds are also a great source of iron which can be eaten with milk, salads or juices. How to get calcium Dairy products like butter, milk, yoghurt and cheese are the best sources of calcium in diet. Vegetarians can also get calcium from plant-based sources like broccoli and beans. Plant-based calcium sources contain vitamins C and K and the minerals potassium and magnesium which are important for bone health. Diet Dos and Don’ts for vegetarians Drink plenty of liquids like water, green tea, buttermilk, coconut water and vegetable juice to meet the mineral and vitamin requirements. Include all food groups like fruits, salads, pulses, milk, nuts, vegetables and cereals to reduce the chances of nutritional deficiencies. Have 2 servings of milk or yoghurt daily. Consume a portion of lentils (dal) and pulses every day. Make sure to have 1 serving of nuts daily. Also make it a goal to eat at least one piece of raw fruit or a handful of raw vegetables every day. Avoid fried and junk foods like kachoris and samosas. Do not drink tea or coffee in excess. Limit your intake to 2 cups a day. Healthy vegetarian diet chart by Nutritionist Neha Chandna Breakfast: Poha with Moong/Vegetable idli + Sambhar/Oats upma Mid morning: Fruit + Nuts Lunch: Salad + Roti + Veggies + Dal + Yogurt/Chaas Evening: Sprouts/Chana kurmura Dinner: Soups + Veggies + Roti  Studies confirm that a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and grains is your best bet for living a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life. These findings are backed up by the China Health Project.

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    The fast and effective way to reduce bloating just in time for your summer vacationDiet

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Wow, finally it’s the time of year, when you want to actually shed all your clothes, soak up some sun and get ready for some fun. Its summer time! And yes what better than a lovely vacation with your loved ones to break the monotony. The only problem that’s arises is a bloated body which does not allow you to wear the skimpy clothes that you were dreaming of wearing on your holiday. Besides that bloating also makes you feel so heavy and unsexy just like you have swallowed a basket ball. It ruins your mood and the romance in your life as well. But there is nothing to be disheartened as you can easily reduce your bloating with some quick easy ways given below: 1, Drink plenty of water: Most of the people think that drinking water can add to your bloating issue but actually it is the opposite. Dehydration can force your body to pull and save water instead of excreting it. Hence sipping on water constantly helps you feel lighter. You can add some lemon juice to it help you cleanse your system and improve digestion. 2, Chew on greens: Try chewing on or drinking some juice of celery or parsley which aid in digestion, reduce gas and act as a diuretic which reduce fluid retention making you feel light and rids the body of toxins leaving your glowing and gleaming. 3, Get some potassium: Include foods like banana, papaya, kiwi, oranges, spinach, mango, tomato etc in your diet to help you balance the water in your body. Potassium has a diuretic effect which flushes excess fluid in your body. 4, Probiotics work: Probiotics are stomach saviours. Make sure you add yogurt to diet as it contains the good bacteria which improve stomach health, digestion, prevents gas and relieves bloating. It also helps to fight infections by improving immunity. 5, Concoctions: Sip on some peppermint tea/ chamomile tea or fennel seeds boiled in water. These have a great impact on gas and bloating. They help to release all the toxins from the system keeping you light and easy to breathe. 6, Basil seeds: Add a spoonful of basil seeds in a glass of water and keep sipping throughout the day. These seeds have a super calming effect on the stomach relieving you from bloating, acidity and body heat. 7, Ginger: Chew a piece of ginger after your meals or just add a tbsp of ginger juice to yout water or juices and drink to feel the relief from gas and bloating. A few lifestyle changes can also help you keep the bloat away. - Eat small meals when hungry instead of stuffing a lot at a time. - Chew your food well instead of gulping it down. - Do not lie down right after eating food. - Avoid chewing gum, drinking with a straw and talking while eating as these cause excess air swallowing which can cause bloating. - Avoid the intake of carbonated beverages and alcohol completely to feel light and reduce all the bloating. - Restrain from adding excess salt to your food as it causes water retention and puffiness. Also limit the intake of processed foods like biscuits, packaged food, frozen meats etc as they are loaded with sodium. - Try to get good sleep as it helps to recover from the stress and normalizes hormones helping you to feel fresh and relaxed. - Make sure you get your 30 minutes of activity daily as it improves blood circulation, releases excess water from the body and also helps to release the gas and bloat.. Embrace a beautiful and charming you.

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    The truth about low carb low fat dietsDiet

    By: Neha Ranglani

    In today’s glamour driven world, everyone’s dream is to look like their favorite celebrity. The rat race to reach your dream figure, shed weight and to look better than your peer, forces you to try to all the unwanted, undesirable sort of approaches, one and most common of them being the LOW CARB LOW FAT diet. At first it sounds interesting and a definite solution to lose those extra pounds. But in the long run, a low carb low fat diet limits your food choices drastically, leaving you forever hungry and frustrated. That’s not all, read further to know more about such a diet: The truth unfolds A low carb low fat diet is one which limits your food options and deprives you of all high carb foods like cereals, fruits, potato, honey, breads, biscuits etc and high fat foods like bakery products, whole milk, butter, cheese, oils, nuts etc. Up to 60% of your total daily calories should come from carbs and 22-25 % from fats, leaving the rest for proteins. Going too low on carbs and fats leaves you with very few exciting food options and all you have to depend on is protein rich foods like egg whites, chicken, fish, soya and low carb veggies. Since carbs are the main fuel for the cells of our body, depriving them of carbs affects their functioning in many ways. Cells also need fat for protection and metabolism. This diet surely helps you to lose weight, but it also impacts your body in many negative ways. Negative impact of a low carb low fat diet - Low on energy Carbs are broken down to glucose, which is absorbed in the blood stream and used up by the cells for energy. A low carb diet fails to provide energy and all it leaves you with is physical fatigue and tiredness. - Muscle loss The body starts using the muscles for energy when it does not get carbs from foods. This leads weakness and loss of body strength. - Mild depression Low carb diets reduce the secretion of serotonin- a neurotransmitter which makes you happy leaving you depressed, sometimes even cranky and angry. - Constipation Limiting foods like fruits, grains, vegetables and focusing on protein rich foods can leave your body deprived of the fiber it needs for a healthy digestive system. This can make passing stools an unpleasant experience. - Ketosis Long term deprivation of carbs can lead to ketosis – a condition in which the body uses stored fat as a source of energy, releasing a byproduct called ketones, which build up in the body affecting mental performance, organ functioning and leaving the body highly acidic. - Deficiencies Lack of fruits, veggies, oils and grains in your diet can make you deficient of nutrients like vitamin A (good for skin and eyes), Vitamin C (great for immunity), Vitamin E ( super anti oxidant), B-complex vitamins (to keep your energy levels high) and many micronutrients required by the body for working at its best. - Cold feet Fat is important to regulate body temperature. Going too low on carbs and fat can actually use up the protective fat layer below your skin, making you vulnerable to even slight weather changes, leaving you cold most of the times. - Poor brain health Fat is needed by the cells membranes of the brain and nerve fibers to help them pass messages quickly. Low fat diets can affect the brain functioning in several ways. - Lack of hormones Fats are required for the production of sex hormones in men and women. Low fat diet can affect your sexual life severely. - Acidity High protein food are acidic in nature, which can affect the ph levels in the stomach causing serve acidity, ulcerative colitis and other stomach issues. - Osteoporosis High protein diets can actually increase the calcium excretion from your body, making your bones weak and porous. - Kidney stones problems High protein diets can increase the calcium excretion in the urine increasing the chances of developing kidney stones. A word on good fats A low fat diet does not mean eliminating fat completely from your diet, but reducing its direct intake. The focus should be on choosing good fats wisely like omega 3 from walnuts, fish- salmon, tuna, flaxseeds and omega 6 from foods like avocado, olive oil, blend oils etc. in your diet as it helps to reduce bad cholesterol, protects the heart and improves brain functioning. The judgment Low carb low fat diets help you to lose weight for a short period of time, but once you go to back to your normal diet pattern, they add to your weight again (yo- yo effect). They are not sustainable for a long time and can have serious health effects as mentioned above if followed for longer periods. The best way to do it is to eat in moderation, select complex carbs like oats, whole grains, fruits, nuts, salads, low fat milk and milk products, fish, lean meats etc. and eat in portion control to help you burn calories, instead of adding to them.

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    What is the DASH diet? Is it useful for Indians? (Diet query of the day)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    I have heard about DASH diet but I do not know what exactly it is. Is it a healthy diet to follow or a mere fad? Also, can Indians follow this diet? Answered with inputs from nutritionist Neha Chandna. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a form of diet which is not only meant for existing patients of hypertension but also for people who have a family history or high chances of developing it. This diet is also great for people who want to lose weight as it contains fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, etc. According to the DASH diet, salt intake of 1500-2300 mg is allowed depending on the person’s age, race, activity, health problems, genetics, etc. It also recommends cutting back on processed foods, cured and smoked meats.  It increases potassium intake which helps lower blood pressure through foods like potato, sweet potato, dals, coconut water, banana, etc.  DASH diet is a great option for Indians whose diets are high in fats and processed foods as it not only helps in controlling blood pressure but also weight and other lifestyle issues like diabetes. People with diabetes can follow this sample diet plan too.  According US News and World Report magazine’s health and wellness editor, Angela Haupt, ‘DASH diet was designed to treat hypertension but it’s also effective for weight loss, adding that it’s a smart, sensible plan that’s safe and nutritious and helps control diabetes in addition to supporting heart health.’ Here is a weight loss diet by expert dietician. Basic eating plan of a DASH diet Sodium – 1500- 300 mg per day More of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy Fish, poultry, nuts, whole grains in moderation Less amounts of sweets, red meat and fats Alcohol limits – Men can have two or fewer drinks and women can have one drink per day

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    Skinny no more – A healthy weight gain diet

    By: Neha Ranglani

    While it’s true more people want to lose weight than gain it, putting on weight is not as easy as it looks; in fact it’s more difficult to put it on. Nutritionist Neha Chandna agrees, ‘Weight loss is easier at times as it requires portion control, but weight gain is a slower process – you can lose up to 1 kg/week but adding 1 kg/week may be tedious.’ You have two options â€“ either gain weight by munching on unhealthy foods like fries, chips and other junk, a sure shot way to create future health problems like hypertension, heart disease and diabetes or you can gain weight in a healthy controlled manner. According to experts, gradual weight gain is always advisable and an increase in 500 kcal per day can result in a 0.5 kg per week increase in one’s body weight. Neha recommends the following basic principles to keep in mind if you wish to gain weight in a healthy way:  Increase your appetite by eating more to gain weight. But do it step-by-step and not by stuffing yourself too much at one go. Add one extra chapatti or more rice than you normally consume, or you even start with fruits by eating an extra one every day. Carbs are needed to gain weight but include healthier options like banana, potato, mango, whole grains, rice, etc. instead of sugar-rich foods, chocolates and other junk foods. In order to increase your muscle mass, it is essential to do weight training 4-5 times a week for an hour. You can vary the intensity depending on your capacity. Consume protein-rich foods after you workout to increase muscle mass and eat good fats like nuts and seeds in your diet. Eating a handful of pumpkin or flaxseeds is a good way to give your body the fat intake it needs. Though junk foods like vada pav or burgers are loaded with calories, they only increase body fat and not muscle mass which is not the right way to go about. Here is a healthy weight gain diet plan which includes the right foods one should consume to put on kilos in a healthy manner. But along with this, you also need to engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day. It is also essential to have at least 6-8 glasses of water to flush out toxins from the body. One should follow this diet till the time their ideal weight is achieved.  So follow these tips and meal plan to put on weight and look your best. Say goodbye to your skinny self and welcome a healthy and fit you! Diet plan provided by HealthifyMe, the world’s first Indian nutrition tracker.

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    Summer diet tips and sample plan

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Mercury levels are rising and summer is at its peak, and the scorching sun gives us enough reasons to constantly hunt for soothing foods which can comfort us in the heat. You can get dehydrated easily due to excess sweat and perspiration and that’s the time when you feel like reaching out for something cold like sodas, beverages or even cold water. This is where we go wrong because anything extremely low in temperature can constrict our blood vessels affecting the heat loss process from our body. Our expert Neha Chandna, a well-known nutritionist gives a few pointers to keep in mind during summer. Increase your water intake. In high humidity, you do not sweat adequately due to which you cannot release heat efficiently from your body. That is the reason why you need to drink enough water at regular intervals even if you are not thirsty, to cool your system. Eat lot of fresh fruits, raw salads and lightly spiced foods. Fruits and veggies are easy to digest and high in water content which helps in hydration. Avoid fried and junk foods as they take time to digest and require a lot of water. Spicy foods can also increase body heat. Drink naturally cooling beverages like coconut water, lemon juice, buttermilk, sugarcane juice, etc. rather than aerated soft drinks, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages as they contain sugar and other preservatives which act as diuretics (increase the flow of urine) and can cause loss of water from the body. You can add sabja (tulsi/basil seeds) to drinks as it has a cooling effect on the body. Curd is excellent for summers as it increases friendly bacteria in the gut and improves digestion and boosts immunity. Add veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, beet, etc to add to increase the water content in your body. Avoid heavy meals at one time as it can cause acidity and affect digestion. Rather, eat small meals to feel light and keep your system active. Raw mango is a special fruit in the summer season and is extremely good to prevent sunstroke and weakness. Raw mango juice also known as aam panna can help balance electrolytes in the body. You can also have raw mango in any form like adding it inbhel, salads or making a dish out of it. Here’s a sample summer diet that you can follow: Breakfast: Eat 2-3 fresh fruits as they can help neutralise your stomach acids and make you feel light and active. They are natural sources of energy. Mid-morning: Have a glass of buttermilk/ coconut water to refresh you. Lunch: Have a bowl of salad with 1-2 rotis, veggies and thin dals(You can add or subtract the rotisas per your appetite and requirement). Evening: Have fruit yoghurt/fruit smoothie. They are filling, nourishing and very cooling. Dinner: Always have a light dinner, especially during summers. Here are a few options –  stir fried veggies/ chilled soups + grilled chicken/ steamed fish/ low fat paneer/ tofu + jaljeera/ lemon juice. The above mentioned diet is low in fat, medium in protein and high in good complex carbs which help control obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol and many other ailments. So this summer, stay healthy and cool by eating right. 

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    Rice – good or bad?

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Rice has been a staple food item of the Indian cuisine. For many, it is more than just food; it is a tradition, part of their culture to have a heap of rice every day along with some curry come what may. But with the sudden emergence of a fitness-conscious class, this white grain has been shunned by many for its starchy overtones. But is it all bad? There have been conflicting views about it in the past making it a controversial item on the menu. We discuss some common queries about rice that bothers most people and hope to resolve your rice dilemmas. What is rice made of? To make up your mind about anything, you first need to know the basics of it as blindly following a fad won’t do you and your body any good. Rice is a cereal grain and is a staple food for nearly half of the population of the world. There are different varieties of rice like – brown, red, black, white and purple rice and all differ in their nutrition content. White rice is rich in complex carbohydrates like starch and does not provide complete nutrition. Hence one needs to complement rice with something else in order to provide adequate nutrition to the body. Why do we eat rice when we are sick? A common practice in many Indian homes is to offer a meal of rice anddal, curd rice or khichdi to anyone who falls sick. The prime reason this is done is because rice is easy to digest and light. It can be broken down easily by our bodies and provides instant energy. This way, the sick person can feel full and not worry about indigestion. But one thing to note is that though it makes you feel full, it raises the blood sugar levels in the body and once it is digested, it also makes the person hungrier quickly. How many times in a week should one eat rice? Expert nutritionist Neha Chandna opines that one can eat rice every day depending on one’s weight and weight loss goals. In case you are on a weight loss diet, you can have rice two times a week making sure you have a plate of salad along with it to make up for the lack of fibre in white rice. If you are on a weight gain diet, you can have rice daily with some boiled potato/ sweet potato salad. When is the right time to eat rice – lunch or dinner? Why? ‘I suggest my clients to keep rice as an option for lunch as your metabolism is higher during lunch than dinner helping you use up the carbohydrates from rice for energy which might not be the case during dinner as it may get stored as fats,’ says Neha. Is brown rice better than white rice?  Brown rice is higher in nutrients like vitamin B and fibre than polished white rice. It also helps you feel fuller for a longer time preventing overeating, hunger pangs and weight gain. It is a boon for rice lovers who are on a weight loss programme. Brown rice is also good for diabetics due to its high fibre content. It is essential to understand that white rice does have its own set of benefits and eating it or not depends on one’s body. Highly overweight people should avoid it or keep it the portion size to a minimum. Always remember the golden rule to eating healthy is to have a balanced meal at the right time.

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    Anti aging- antioxidants!!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Neha Chanda dietitian and nutritionist tells us about anti ageing-antioxidants its sources and requirement of antioxidant nutrients Anti aging- antioxidants!! Antioxidants are substances which can counteract the damaging effects of the normal process of oxidation in the body.  They are nutrients like vitamins and minerals which play an important role in preventing chronic diseases likecancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer\'s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and cataracts. Free radicals are produced within our body due to normal processes like metabolism, respiration, pollution, sunlight, smoking, alcohol and strenuous exercise but it poses stress on the body when excessive free radicals are produced beyond the body’s capacity to fight against it. Free radicals are unstable molecules and attack various cells in our body in order to become stable thereby damaging our organs. Antioxidants stabilize these free radicals without undergoing damage and hence protecting us from health problems. Sources and requirement of antioxidant nutrients  Vitamin E also known as anti-aging vitamin found in walnuts, peanuts, almonds, whole grains, vegetable oils etc.  Vitamin C improves immunity and works in combination with vitamin E. It is found in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, amla, guava, tomatoes etc.  Beta-carotene (form on vitamin A) helps to protect vision and skin texture. It is found in red, orange vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, papaya, mangoes, bell peppers, green leafy-vegetables, pumpkin etc. There are no specific requirements for beta-carotene. Selenium is a trace mineral found in wheat, corn, rice, nuts, soybeans, chicken, egg, fish etc. In a nut shell, eat more of fruits, vegetables and nuts, abstain from smoking and alcohol, exercise regularly, do some yoga exercises and relax and be happy to prevent aging and damage to your body.

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    Fit or fat

    By: Neha Ranglani

    With all the weight loss tamasha happening around us these days, there are end number of gyms, clubs, studios, health spas etc and infinite no on fad diets all over the place. People can go to any extent to lose weight but they do not understand weight comprises of some components like tissues, muscle, fat, bones, organs and blood. If you go on extreme diets you can lose weight which may come from your bones or muscle making you look sick and 1o times older than your age. So a balanced diet and regular exercise is the best way to lose fat, look young and to top it all feel like a bird. But most of us wonder how do we know what is happening inside our body? Right? So let me help you understand how you can analyze your weight loss. Weight loss: any weighing scale can show you your weight which as I said can come from any of the above components. Check your weight but you have to go a bit deeper into your body. So don’t believe it blindly. Inches: You can measure you arms, chest, naval, hips and thighs with a measuring tape. Now this is a better way of gauging weight loss. Because fat occupies more space and muscle is compact. When you lose inches, it may indicate that you have lost a bit of fat and gained a bit of muscle which is the ultimate goal. BMI: body mass index is the way of identifying whether you are underweight, normal, overweight or obese. You can calculate this by dividing weight (kgs)/height (m²). If you are below 18.4 you are underweight, 18-22.9 means you are normal, 23-24.9 you are overweight and above 25 you are obese. Body fat%: you can measure this by skin fold calliper method in any gym or by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) machines of many brands available in the market. This shows you’re your body fat %. Anything above 31 for women and above 24 for men means you are obese. Normally women should have a fat% of 25-31 and men 18-42. This is because men have more muscle than women. BMR: basal metabolic rate is the minimal amount of calories your body needs for survival activities like breathing, sleeping and all other which you do not have control over like digestion, excretion, circulation etc. This BIA machine measures your BMR. The high BMR means your body burns calories faster. You can increase your BMR by weight training and high protein diet. The more the muscle mass, the higher the BMR. So friends, enjoy your weight loss process in the right way and lose your fat not your health.

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    Top 10 food habits to prevent cancer

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Research shows that a large percentage of cancer-related deaths, may be even the majority are directly linked to lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, a lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet. The food you eat has a powerful effect on your health, including your risk of cancer. You may land up eating many foods that fuel cancer, while neglecting the powerful foods and nutrients that can protect you. If you change your diet and behaviour, you can minimize your risk of disease and possibly even stop cancer in its tracks. As per the American institute of Cancer the likelihood of prevention of certain cancers with a healthy diet (along with regular exercise) are given below: Cancer Site   % Endometrium (lining of the uterus) 70 Oesophagus 69 Mouth, pharynx and larynx 63 Stomach 47 Colorectum 50 Pancreas 19 Breast, female 38 Lung 36 Kidney 24 Gallbladder 21 Liver 15 Prostate 11   Food Guidelines to prevent cancer: Focus more on plant based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, pulses etc. Start your day with fruits and nuts. Have some whole grain cereal for breakfast. Make sure to have a big portion of salad with vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, beetroot, cucumbers etc pre-lunch and pre-dinner. Carry snacks like fruits, trail mixes (sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, walnuts etc), opt for sandwiches with multigrain breads and lot of veggies in it. Fiber is the key component to prevent cancer. All plant based foods are rich in fiber which helps to keep your digestive system clean and healthy and push the cancer causing compounds out of the gut before they can harm you. You can add fiber to your diet by replacing white rice with brown rice, eating the fruits with skin, choosing popcorn over potato chips etc. Avoid processed foods. The more you eat food in its original form, the better protection it gives. For example instead of drinking orange juice, peel and eat the orange or prepare oatmeal porridge with raisins rather than having an oatmeal raisin cookie. Cut down on red meat and whole fat milk as research shows that vegetarians are about fifty percent less likely to develop cancer than those who eat meat. That is because meat and milk lack fiber, antioxidants and nutrients that have cancer protective properties and is high on saturated fat which is linked with increased risk of cancer. But you don’t need to eliminate meat completely.  A good visual reminder is to have 2/3rd of your plate filled with plant foods and 1/3rd of it with meat and dairy products. You can cut them down by cutting animal products to a palm-size, adding some salads or beans to it rather than using it as the main element. Choose fish or lean chicken as they are low on fat, avoid processed meats like sausages, salamis etc. Choose your fats smartly. Saturated and trans fats are demons for health, so limit them. Saturated fats (bad fats) are found in butter, ghee, eggs, whole fat milk and red meats and trans fats are found in processed and junk foods like burgers, pizzas etc. On the other hand unsaturated fats (good fats) like MUFA and PUFA are found in oils that are liquid at room temperature eg: olive oil, ricebran oil, etc. The other sources of unsaturated fats are avocados, nuts like walnuts, almonds etc. Also focus on omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Good sources include fish like salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds. You can add them by eating fish once or twice a week, adding flaxseeds to your salad, avoiding fried foods, checking the label for bad fats. Opt for cancer-fighting foods. You immune system needs to be strong to fight against cancer causing agents. You need to eat a variety of colourful foods with antioxidants (vitamin A, C, E and selenium) and phytochemicals that help strengthen immunity and fight diseases. Such foods are tomatoes, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables, grapes, cranberry, carrots, cabbage, garlic, onions, grapefruits, blueberries, chilli peppers, jalapeno, soy products like tofu etc. Green tea is also antioxidant rich, so replace your black tea with three cups of green tea per day. Drink plenty of water as it helps to eliminate toxins from the body and supply nutrients to the cancer cells which can kill and prevent them from multiplying. Avoid sugary drinks like colas, juices etc as they increase inflammation and cancer growth. Preserve nutrients when you cook. Wash the vegetables and fruits with a brush to remove all pesticide residues. Eat raw as much as possible, this helps retain the nutrients. Steam the vegetables using very little water. Prevent over-heating of oil as it can become carcinogenic. Instead of deep-frying, pan-frying, and sautéing, opt for healthier methods such as baking, boiling, steaming, or broiling. Store oils in a cool dark place to prevent it from becoming rancid. Use microwave friendly containers of good quality to prevent plastic material interaction with food. Avoid foods that look or smell mouldy, as they are likely to contain aflatoxin, a strong carcinogen. Nuts will stay fresh longer if kept in the refrigerator or freezer.

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    Seeds for health

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Neha Chandna tells us about healthy seeds. Seeds are tiny but power packed foods stuff. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Each seed has its own benefit. You can add them in food, salads, trail mixes, or just garnish desserts with it. You must have noticed, these days lot of processed foods have seeds added to them for example multigrain bread, chikki, chivdas etc to add on the nutritional and fiber value of these foods. Let’s talk about the health benefits of some seeds 1.      Sunflower seeds: It is rich in vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant. It prevents the heart and skin from damage by free radicals thereby preventing heart attacks and strokes It is a great source of magnesium which reduces asthma and blood pressure and also acts as a muscle relaxant. Due to its high fiber and physterol(cholesterol identical compound in plants) it reduces bad cholesterol. Filled with folate which is responsible for synthesis of DNA and RNA. If taken by pregnant women, it can prevent neural tube defects in the baby. They have anti inflammatory properties and reduce the pain in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Excellent source of selenium- a powerful antioxidant which prevents the risk ofcancers like breast, stomach, prostrate etc in humans.   2.      Flaxseeds: Very high in fiber which helps prevent constipation and acts as a natural laxative. Rich in omega 3 fatty acids hence a valuable source for vegetarians. It helps to reduce blood pressure and many other inflammatory problems in the body. Rich in lignans and omega 3 fatty acids which reduce cholesterol and prevent heart problems by unclogging arteries. Due to its high fiber, it helps to control blood sugar levels and keep diabetes under check. 2 tbsp of flaxseeds/ day in powdered form is great and can be added to soups, salads, veggies, buttermilk, curd etc. It had an ability to regulate estrogen in the body and hence prevents breast cancers in women and pre menstrual syndrome (PMS). It may also prevent prostate cancer and prostate enlargement in men. Additionally it helps in improving the quality of nails, skin and hair.   3.      Pumpkin seeds: It is rich in tryptophan which can reduce depression. Rich in iron hence prevents anemia and improves energy Due to its high content of magnesium, it improves concentration and brain function in children. It improves prostate health in men. Manganese in pumpkin seeds help antioxidants work better hence reduce chances of infectious diseases. They are rich in MUFA hence reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. It is rich in zinc which helps to prevent osteoporosis especially in men. &nbs

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    12 suggestions for a HEALTHY YOU in 2016

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Dietitian & Nutrition educator Neha Chandna gives you suggestions for your health… Do not start your day with tea or coffee, instead opt for fruits/ nuts or milk Do not skip meals, eat every 2-3 hours in small portions to control weight gain Do not leave your house without eating breakfast. It helps to control hunger pangs during the day Have fruits on empty stomach or during mid meals for proper nutrient absorption Do not have a very large meal at one time as excess gets converted to fat. Keep some space vacant in your tummy Have a light dinner 2-3 hours before going to bed. Do not immediately lie down after eating. Do not binge on weekends. Choose wise options like salads, soups, grilled, roasted or steamed foods. Have 35ml water/kg body weight. Keep sipping water every 20 minutes Go for exercise in the morning as it helps to burn more fat. Avoid mid night snacking as it can lead to digestion problems. Go for regular health checkups to avoid problems later Get a good sound sleep for at least 6- hours every night to re-energize yourself the next day.

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    Time to stock some snack!!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    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!!!

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    Monsoon workout

    By: Neha Ranglani

    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!!!

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    Plan a Smart Kitchen Health

    By: Neha Ranglani

    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.

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    Heal Your Gut

    By: Neha Ranglani

    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.

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    Vegan diet – good or bad for health?

    By: Neha Ranglani

     A vegan diet is one which does not include dairy and meat products. Many people around the world follow this diet for various reasons ranging from ethical, health and environmental concerns. But how healthy is it? What are its ill effects? Can one turn vegan from a meat eater? Nutritionist Neha Chandna answer some FAQs about following a vegan diet. What are the health benefits of following a vegan diet? Neha: A vegan diet is generally low in fat, and full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. This helps reduce the risk of obesity, cancer,diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart attacks. Apart from this, it also helps to prolong the degeneration process of aging. What are the substitutes for dairy and meat products? Neha: Dairy products and meat essentially provide calcium and protein to our body. So when you follow a vegan diet, you need to get your calcium and protein intake from vegan sources like soya, soya milk, lentils, chickpeas (chana), red kidney beans (rajma), sprouts, tofu, peas, almonds and walnuts. Are there any ill effects of a vegan diet? Neha: Though there are no ill effects as such, opting for a vegan diet can make you fell ‘less full’. If you were regular with meat and dairy products in your diet and suddenly decided to turn vegan you might feel the need to increase the quantity of your food as meat and dairy products have fats and proteins which give you a full feeling. When you omit them try increasing the quantity of dals, veggies, and salads to avoid hunger pangs. What can go wrong if you do not follow a proper diet plan? Neha: If you do not eat the required portions, your body will react to it in the form of excess weight loss, loss of muscle mass causing weakness, lack of strength and stamina, hair fall due to lack of protein and biotin, accelerated aging due to lack of nutrients. Do vegans suffer from any serious ailments because of their dietary habits? Neha: Vegans might suffer from some ailments if nutrition planning is not done correctly: Calcium deficiency: Due to omission of milk and milk products, there may be increased risk of  bone mass loss, bone fracture and osteoporosis if calcium rich foods mentioned above are not included in the diet or if proper calcium supplementation is not given. Vitamin D deficiency: There is small amount of vitamin D in milk and meat but in vegan diet, you need to emphasise on sunlight exposure for 15 minutes daily to avoid deficiency which can lead to poor calcium absorption and bone problems. Vitamin B12 deficiency: Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal foods, hence it is important to include vitamin B12 fortified foods or supplements to avoid deficiency which can lead to weakness, confusion, tingling sensation in the feet, anemia, nerve and brain damage as well. Is it feasible to be a vegan for your entire lifetime? Neha: Yes, you can follow a vegan diet for lifetime as long as it is nutritionally well planned by a dietician to make sure you get all the nutrients in the right amount and prevent deficiencies. Here’s a sample vegan diet plan by Neha Chandna Breakfast: 2 fruits + nuts + green tea Mid-morning: veggie juice/coconut water/ 1 cup soya milk Lunch: raw salad + 2 jowar/ragi rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies +dal Evening: 1 bowl sprouts salad/moong bhel/ chana chaat Dinner: soup + salad / tofu stir fry + veggies +1-2 rotis Bedtime: 1 cup soyamilk/groundnut milk

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    Is your cooking oil making you unhealthy?

    By: Neha Ranglani

    The first and the most inevitable ingredient of any dish is the oil that you cook it in. It is used in almost all your daily meals, even in salads. But do you pay fine attention to find out which one will make you unhealthy and which one is best for you? If not, it is time to start right away. Here’s a guide to pick the right cooking oil. Oil basics Oils contain three types of fatty acids — saturated (SFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Saturated fats remain solid at room temperature and can therefore tolerate high temperatures. Poly- and mono- saturated fats on the other hand, are liquid at room temperature and oxidise easily. Every oil has a smoke point i.e. the temperature at which it starts to burn, producing harmful chemicals. Depending on the type of cooking one has to do, they should select an oil with a low or high smoke point. Another important thing is the omega-6 and omega-3 ratio in your oil as some omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation while omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation. According to researchers, the ideal ratio should be between 2:1 to 4:1. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) an ideal oil is one which has SFA:MUFA:PUFA ratio of 27-33%:33-40%:27-33%. How to choose your oil? Says dietician and nutritionist Neha Chandna,‘While choosing a cooking oil, make sure you check the label behind to ensure that the oil has low saturated fats (less than 2g for every 10g), zero trans fats and higher amount of MUFA and PUFA — but PUFA should be lesser than MUFA. This is because MUFA and PUFA increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol whereas saturated and trans fats increase bad cholesterol thereby increasing chances of heart attacks.’ Monosaturated fats increase the HDL and decrease LDL and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oils that contain high amount of polysaturated fats are unstable and should be avoided. If you plan to stir fry, sear, deep fry or do high-heat baking, then choose a cooking oil which can withstand it, an oil with a high smoke point. An oil with a low smoke point can be used for steaming, stewing and as a salad dressing.  What’s good for cooking Indian cuisine? According to Neha, since Indian food is generally cooked at high tempreture hence the oil should have a high smoke point so that it does not breakdown easily and give bad odour. ‘Oils with higher smoke point are sunflower, safflower, soybean, rice bran, peanut, sesame, mustard and canola oil. Olive oil has a medium smoke point hence cannot be used to very high temperature cooking. It is best for sautéing and salads,’ adds Neha. She suggests using a blend of oils to get all the essential fatty acids. Rice bran + olive oil or rice bran + sunflower/safflower oil are a few combinations. You can choose any brand which has ready blends or use two oils separately or rotate the oils every two months. Myths about cooking oil Neha busts is that one should choose a vegetable oil low on cholesterol. The fact is vegetable oils are made from plants which do not contain cholesterol. Hence marketing vegetable oil as low cholesterol is a mere gimmick. Know your cooking oils Vegetable oil â€“ It is the most commonly used cooking oil and is good for frying. It is a mix of different types of oils like sunflower, soybean, etc. Sunflower oil – This oil is low in saturated fat and has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 39.4:1. It is also a good source of vitamin E. Rice bran oil â€“ It has a high smoke point. It contains a component called gamma oryzanol which has cholesterol lowering properties by decreasing cholesterol absorption and increasing cholesterol elimination.  Olive oil â€“ It has different varieties like extra virgin, virgin, refined, etc. Extra virgin is very healthy as its 70% fats are MUFA but it has a low smoke point and a strong flavour. Two very important compounds that promote heart health – Omega 3 and oryzanol – are present in Saffola Active Oil. Made with rice bran and soyabean oil, it also contains vitamin E. Both these oils are good for cooking and lower cardiovascular risk factors along with other several health benefits.

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    Struggling with hair loss? Here’s 10 best foods to improve hair quality

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Aggravation to The Hair Problem Hair Treatment Every human being without an exception would love to have luscious, healthy tresses but the unfortunate thing is that not everyone is so blessed and to make up for it people indulge into excessive hair washing, conditioning and trying all sort of spas, treatments, irons etc to give it a fabulous look without realizing the intensity of damage it does to their hair. The Outcome of all this in the longer run can be extreme hair fall. Not only the external chemicals but other factors like age, hereditary, stress levels, pollution, weather etc can also play a huge role in aggravating your hair fall problem. But the most important factor which decides the health of your hair is the nutritional support you give it. Nutritional deficiencies can weaken the shafts of your hair causing breakage and slow the re-growth of new hair. We superficially take care of our hair but tend to forget that there is a deeper and internal nutritional approach to nurture it and give a healthy sheen, feel and look to our hair. A balanced diet rich in proteins and iron can work just fine to give you shiny, bouncy and thick hair making sure you don’t lose them excessively. Here is a list of certain foods which can work wonders to improve your hair quality: Eggs: Hair is pure proteins made up of keratin. Hence to maintain good hair health and growth, proteins are one of the most essential nutrients. Besides proteins, eggs also contain iron, vitamin B12, zinc, sulphur, and vitamin A which are also crucial for good hair growth. They also contain biotin which helps fight hair loss problems. Salmon: Known for its high protein and omega 3 fatty acids can help in a great way to allow hair growth. Omega 3 fatty acids found in this fish are the true super stars as they are found in cell membranes of your scalp and in the natural oils which keep your scalp healthy and hair hydrated. Since they cannot be produced in the body, they need to be obtained by food. Walnuts: Apart from good amount of omega 3 fatty acids, walnuts also contain vitamin E which protects the cells in the scalp from damage by toxins thereby reducing hair fall and helping the cells to support healthy hair growth. Walnuts also contain copper which allow the hair to maintain its natural colour and luster. Garden cress seeds: These seeds are extremely rich in iron which is a nutrient needed for hemoglobin which carries oxygen to the cells helping them function better. This stimulates the hair follicles and promotes hair growth. Lack of iron can starve the hair follicles of oxygen hence aggravating hair loss. Kiwi: Extremely rich in vitamin C, which helps produce collagen an important connective tissue which holds the cells and structure of the hair together. This allows better hair strength and quality thereby preventing hair fall. Vitamin C also help to absorb iron well which adds to the hair growth. Carrots: They are rich in vitamin A which is necessary to maintain the integrity and health of the scalp cells and also act as an antioxidant to prevent hair damage. Deficiency of vitamin A can cause hair loss and thinning. Hence it makes good sense to add vitamin A rich foods to the diet to help your tresses grow beautifully. Black sesame seeds: These seeds are rich in copper and zinc both of which are crucial for healthy hair development. They help in maintaining thickness of the hair and in the growth of new hair cells. Copper helps in intensifying hair color and zinc helps in maintaining the oil secreting glands attached to the hair follicles. A great combination of two super power hair saver nutrients. Sunflower seeds: They are a great combination of hair promoting nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E which not only prevent hair fall but stimulate the hair cells to grow new and healthy hair by providing nourishment and protection from toxins. Legumes: Apart from being loaded with protein, zinc, B- complex vitamins etc, legumes are also a great source of sulphur which is known as nature’s beauty mineral. Sulphur is found abundantly in hair cells, it helps to circulate blood well and also metabolize some B vitamins helping the hair cells to produce string healthy hair. Water: Most people forget water which is the most important nutrient to hydrate every cell of your hair so that it works at its best. Dehydration can cause severe hair loss and affect hair re-growth as well. The way to use water is just to wash your hair externally but drink plenty of this miraculous liquid to nourish your hair from within. In a nutshell, a balanced diet including the above mentioned foods can give you a relief from the dreadful hair loss sessions and turn your baldy nightmare into a gleaming, shining and healthy hair reality.

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    True weight loss story– How a 20-year-old lost 20 kg in 4 months

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Meet Gaurav Sharma, a 20-year-old boy who has regained his confidence after losing 20 kilos in four months. ‘Gaurav loves his renewed energy for life’ says his dietician Neha Chandna who shares his amazing success story with us. Here is another true weight loss story of a veteran who lost 61 kg in nine months without dieting. Q: What was his weight when he came to you? Gaurav came to me when he was 87 kg. I told him that he could drastically cut his chances of getting all kinds of diseases if he lost some pounds. Q: What triggered Gaurav to lose weight? Gaurav wanted to feel good about himself. He was sick of feeling lousy and tired all the time. He lost his confidence because of his weight. His friend was my client who got amazing results from my diet. Looking at a live example in front of him, he thought he should give it a try and that’s how he started with the diet and exercise regime I suggested. Q: How did you go about it? In our first session, I asked him a couple of questions to understand his lifestyle, eating habits, likes, and dislikes. When I got a hang of it, I went ahead to take his weight and parameters like fat percentage, muscle weight, water weight and bone weight. After studying all these, I prescribed a balanced diet for him and also suggested him an exercise regime he needed to follow. I met him every week to review and modify his diet and measure his inch loss. In fact, every week when he would come to me with fruitful results he would innocently request me to allow him to have a McDonald’s burger or a sandwich from Subway. Get inspired by Arjun Kapoor’s weight loss story. Q: What kind of exercise and diet program was he on? He was on a balanced diet which involved eating the right food at the right time in the right quantity. He started with basic cardio exercises and graduated to weight training and functional exercises. His diet contained natural and unprocessed foods like fruits, nuts, oats, salads, sprouts, pulses and whole grains. He followed a 2-3 hourly eating pattern where he ate meals in small portions to help him digest the foods better. His mid meals were mostly fruits and nuts. His evening snacks were pulses or sprouts and dinner was extremely light like soups, salads, and veggies. Here are 17 foods that can turn every man into a superman…well almost, promising good health and bigger biceps.  Gaurav exercised for 1 hour daily.For the first month he did plain cardio like treadmill, running, elliptical and cycle. In the second  month, he proceeded with functional training like body weight exercises including squats, lunges, and planks. He further progressed with a combination of weight training and functional training combination in the following months.Try these 5 best strength training exercises for weight loss. Q: How much does he weigh now? Today he weighs 67kgs. Q: Is there any need for him to reduce more?  Now we are working on increasing his lean body mass to give him a more toned and lean look. Q: Have you given any tips to maintain his weight? Yes, he needs to take this as a lifestyle change and maintain his pattern of eating. Even if he cheats a bit, he needs to get back on track with his diet and exercise. I have recommended him to eat small meals every 2 to 3 hours and drink plenty of water. 

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    What is the right way to lose weight? (Diet query of the day)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    I am 26 years old and my height is 5 ft 3 in, but my weight is 69 kg. I wake up daily at 5.40 am, get ready and go to college and have my breakfast there at 8.30 am. I am always busy with work and I don’t follow any proper timing for food. I go for lunch only after my work is over. I have tea or coffee in the morning at 10 am and in the afternoon at 2.30 pm. I eat fruits at least 3 days in a week. I sleep after I finish all my work, usually by 11.30 pm or 12 am. I travel for 1.5 hours from home to college and college to home. I look fat and my co-workers tease for that. I feel too tired after reaching home. I need to reduce my weight. My foot also hurts if I walk too much. Please suggest the right way to reduce weight. Answered by our expert Neha Chandna, a well-known dietician and nutritionist.  You have a very busy schedule. But you cannot ignore your health due to that. You need to carry small meals with you daily. Eating smallmeals a day can actually make you slimmer. Let me plan a sample diet for you: 5.40 am: green tea + 2 dates 6.30 am: carry 1 fruit + nuts 8.30 am: poha/ upma/ idli/ dosa 11 am: 1 fruit 1.30 pm: salad+ 2 rotis + veggies + dal 4.30 pm: chana kurmura/ 3 egg whites/ roasted chivda 6.30 pm: sprouts/ moong bhel 9.00 pm: soup + salad + 1 roti + veggies/stir fry 11.30 pm: 1 cup skimmed milk The basic idea is to eat small meals every 2-3 hours to increase your metabolism and prevent tiredness. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water at regular intervals. Here are 6 diet tips to lose belly fat. You can also follow this Indian diet plan to lose weight.

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    Pre and Post workout meals

    By: Neha Ranglani

    It’s a usual myth that you achieve your dream body in the gym. But the fact is that you spend only 1 hour during your exercise but 23 hours outside which actually determines your progress towards your goals. Exercise is just 30% whereas diet is 70% of your effort. It’s rightly said that muscles are torn in the gym, are repaired on your dining table. What you eat throughout the day will have a major impact on the way your body starts shaping up, especially what you eat before and after your workout. In the most basic sense: What you eat pre workout is crucial for fueling the workout itself and maximizing your performance throughout. What you eat post workout is crucial for optimizing the recovery process and ensuring that your body has all of the supplies it needs in order to recover, adapt and improve the way you want it to. Hence these 2 meals are the most important ones for women who follow a regular exercise routine. The type and quantity of meals differ according to the type and intensity of exercise you follow.  Pre workout meal: This is known as the ‘Energy Phase’ of your workout. The main aim of this meal is to give you energy to work out at your optimal level. As a thumb rule you need to eat something 1-2 hours before your workout to help you sustain through your workout sessions without feeling famished. The meals would differ depending on the type of workout you are doing. Cardio/ yoga/ pilates/ zumba: If You are doing any of these activities early morning, its best to do it on empty stomach to help you speed up your fat burning process as the blood glycogen levels would be low on waking up, preferring fat as the source of fuel for energy. Yoga especially on empty stomach is very effective. If you feel weak working out on empty stomach, you can opt for a fruit like banana, dates or a juice to avoid weakness. If you are working out in the noon or evening, you can eat a high fiber carb meal 1 hour before workout like brown bread sandwich/ oats upma/ idli/ fruit salad/ brown rice/ smoothies/ Frankie etc. These fiber rich foods release energy slowly which helps you carry on with your 1 hour of workout comfortably.  Weight training: Since the aim of this workout is to strengthen, build and tone muscles, it is important to eat high carb-moderate protein meal 1 hour prior workout to feed your muscles with energy, reduce protein breakdown and stress hormone levels. You can opt for foods like egg or chicken sandwich/Frankie, milkshakes, sprouts and curds, low fat paneer with brown rice/ jowar roti, soya poha etc. Try not to do weight training on empty stomach as you may feel weak and not strong enough to pick up weights as per your capacity.  Post workout meal:  This is known as the ‘anabolic Phase’ of your workout because the meal you eat post workout helps you to recover, repair and restore the energy in your body. As a thumb rule, you need to eat something within 30 minutes which is the window period post workout to prevent muscle breakdown and begin the recovery process as soon as possible. But before anything else, you must drink ample of water to help you rehydrate and prevent muscle cramps and sluggishness.  Cardio/ yoga/ pilates/ zumba: Post cardio, it is important to replenish the carbs and electrolytes used up during the workout. Coconut water is excellent to replace electrolytes. Banana sliced lengthwise and spread with peanut or almond butter. Mango smoothie with mango chunks, vanilla yogurt, ice, and honey. Sliced apple with a handful of walnuts. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies are the best sources of carbs post workout. Again, whole foods are best, but smoothies and shakes are a good quick fix. One of the best protein-carb combos is milkshake. It provides an optimal balance of carbs and protein. Weight training: Generally women do not indulge in excessively heavy weight training, but moderate training also causes muscle breakdown which needs to be repaired.  here protein and carbohydrates are needed after a workout to help repair muscles, replenish the body’s glycogen stores, and prevent muscle soreness. You need to opt for simple carbs along with easy to digest and absorb protein within 30 minutes of your workout. Simple carbs are required to help pull in protein into your muscles which is the main component for muscle recovery. Simple carbs like bananas, juices, honey, dates, potato, sweet potato, rice etc are some options. You can get your Proteins from whey protein shake which is the absorbed fastest or else eggs, chicken, fish, low fat paneer, milk, curds etc but these take time to digest and absorb. A combination of carb and protein is the best way to recover your broken muscles. Example: Chocolate protein shake with protein powder, skim or soy milk, and a banana. Half an avocado stuffed with cottage cheese and tomato. Spinach salad with a sliced chicken breast. Whole foods are the best option because they offer complete nutrition. They provide many micronutrients and essential fiber and help keep you feeling satiated. The best whole food choices contain complete, high-quality protein and provide nearly every essential vitamin and mineral. Planning your meals is the best way to ensure you get the best out of your diet. As you can see, there are quite a few delicious ways to fuel and get the most out of your workouts and trainings. We have to treat our bodies nicely and give them what they need. Now, eat up!  Happy training!

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    Teenagers and Junk food fascination

    By: Neha Ranglani

    From the ancient age till now, food habits have undergone millions of changes. Our ancestors ate raw and unprocessed foods and today we eat ready to eat foods which get cooked at the hit of button. The trend to eat junk and processed food has cropped up in the past few years. And amongst all the age groups, it is the teenage group that is following this trend religiously. Junk foods are nothing but those which only have high amount of salt, sugar, fat and refined flour.  Any food that tickles your taste buds and the thought of it waters your mouth is the one which actually has no vitamins, minerals or fiber and is extremely high in calories. A few of your junk foods include pizzas, burgers, French fries, vada pav, candies,  colas, chips, chaat  and the list never ends.   Why do teenagers depend on junk food?  A host of reasons affect a teenager’s choice and attracts them towards junk food. Let’s understand a few of them: Junk foods are far tastier and lip smacking than the healthy version of our Indian foods. Easy availability of junk foods at every nook and corner. Infact every food store stocks up variety of junk foods. Inexpensive and pocket friendly foods items available all over. This helps teenagers to save their pocket money. Media source likes advertisements on TV, paper, magazines, hoardings etc. makes it easy for the child to follow up with the new arrivals in the market. Increase in the number of restaurants and fast food joints that serve greasy and spicy dishes. School and college canteen serving junk like vada pav, noodles, samosa etc. which is easily accessible and time saving for the child as they get a short snack break of 15 minutes. Parents not inculcating healthy habits from childhood and giving in to the child’s demands for chips, biscuits, burgers etc. This makes it difficult for the child to avoid junk food in teenage years. Lack of awareness creation by parents and teachers among the children about the ill effects of poor food habits in later years. Working parents who do not have time to cook healthy foods for their children due to which they depend on outside foods. Increase in socializing, parties and get-together which expose them to unhealthy foods. Effects of junk foods on teenager’s health: If you but a brand new car and run it on cheap, low quality fuel, its performance is definitely going to be compromised. Similarly adolescence/ teenage is a period of rapid mental and physical development which calls for good nutrients, a healthy balanced lifestyle and food habits which if not fulfilled a little more than a few health issues: Obesity: it is very obvious that calorie loaded junk foods increase the chances of getting obese in early years which also increase the fat % and chances of other health problems. Heart problems: junk food is extremely high in saturated fats which can increase blood cholesterol and accumulation of fat in the arteries leading to increased chances of mid-life heart attacks.  Hypertension: Since these foods are also loaded with salt, the chances of increase in blood pressure are quite high as salts cause water retention. This can then lead to heart attack/ stroke. Type 2 diabetes: obesity can lead to insulin resistance. Thus we see young overweight people with borderline diabetes and sometimes with very high sugar levels.  Osteoporosis: Calcium is very essential for the teenagers bone development and muscular actions. Junk foods are very low in calcium, so over dependence on these foods do not fulfill the teenager’s calcium needs. This can make their boned porous in the later years and increase chances of osteoporosis. Skin problems: Teenage is the phase when lot of hormonal changes takes place. If not taken good care of, your skin can breakout into acne and pimples make you look dull and pale. Especially high fatty foods clog your pores and increase the risk of breakouts. Hair problems: hair need good nutrients like protein, biotin etc for their nourishment. Junk food lack in proteins and other essential nutrients which can lead to hair fall, early balding, scanty hair, early graying etc. Constipation: refined foods lack fiber due to which 7 out of 10 people face constipation and indigestion problems. An inactive lifestyle adds to the problem. Acidity: junk foods are acidic foods which increase the stomach acids and can cause heartburn and discomfort. Poor concentration: clearly junk foods lack nutrients which are required for the brain and other intellectual development. This leads to a poor concentration span by the child as it makes them more lethargic and sleepy. They also have poor focus and attention span. Mood swings: foods loaded with sugar bring about a high-low in the blood sugar levels which increases sugar cravings again and makes the person irritable and edgy.  Dental problems: junk foods like sweets, candies, colas etc can cause tooth decay and increase chances of cavities in their teeth.  Blood issues: junk foods are low in iron which can reduce blood hemoglobin levels which can be a cause of anemia. This can make the skin, nails, hair weak as hemoglobin is an oxygen supplier to all the body parts. Pcod in women: poor food habits and lack of exercise is the major cause of polycytic ovarian disorder in teenage girls these days. Many college going girls suffer from PCOD.  Junk foods lack the essential nutrients for their healthy reproductive system. How can we bring about a change? Parents play a very important role in shaping the child’s habits and mindset regarding all aspects or their life. The child particularly follows the parents eating habits, so the parents have to make an extra effort to follow healthy habits and influence their child towards it. How can parents change the child’s habits? Take your child to a dietician so that she can explain them about the ill effects of junk foods on their health and personal and professional growth. Do not stock junk food in your fridge and cupboards. Make sure you keep fruits, nuts, salads, dry roasted snacks all around rather than chips, aerated drinks etc. Insist the child eats health breakfast from home like cereals, fruits, nuts, sandwiches etc. so that he doesn’t binge on junk foods due to hunger pangs. Even if you are a working mother, make sure you cook or make some arrangement for healthy lunch options for your child to avoid outside eating. Tell your child to opt for salads and soups before starting their meal especially when they are eating out. Insist your children to meet their friends at a food joint that serves healthy salads, sandwiches, baked foods rather than coffee shops and fast food joints. Cook low fat healthy food options at home for example brown rice biryani, whole wheat burgers, oats dosa, whole wheat frankies, fruit yogurt, low fat pastas etc so that the child does not miss junk food. Dal, sabji, roti etc is a must but try introducing variety to avoid monotony. Bring a healthy twist to a boring routine. Talk to the school committee to change their canteen food options to healthier ones. How can teenagers change their habits? Consider food as an investment for healthy years in your adulthood. Include lot of fiber in your diet like fruits, nuts, raw salads, brown rice, multigrain etc.  1-2 junk meals in a week is permissible. But try to eat all the other meals in a healthy fashion. Carry small meals with you in your bag like apples, almonds, chana kurmura/ khakra/ peanuts etc.  Make sure you have salads prior lunch and dinner to help eliminate toxins and junk from your body. Drink healthy drinks like green tea, jaljeera, fresh lime water instead of black and white aerated drinks. You can also opt for fresh juices and coconut water. Exercise daily as it is proven that exercise increases self consciousness and reduces appetite and attraction towards junk food.  In this age you cannot exempt junk food completely from a teenager’s diet but reducing the frequency and creating awareness is imperative. A little junk here and there would not hurt.  Moderation is the key to a good and healthy life ahead.

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    Teenagers and exercise

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Gone are the days when kids used to run down in the evening to play some fun games with friends like catch and cook, lock and key, cricket etc. Today’s generation kids also play but not physically. They are hooked on to the tab, ipad, computer etc. and the only part of their body which gets worked out is their fingers. So when do they get their share of physical activity and how would their fitness levels improve? This is the also the exact reason why childhood obesity is so very prevalent everywhere and these kids grow up to be obese, lethargic and sedentary teenagers who have more chances of developing diabetes, heart issues, arthritis and so on.  It is very important to inculcate the habit of exercise or being active in kids so that they continue it throughout their life. Active children grow up to be active adults who realize the importance of physical fitness even in their most busy schedule. When you tell teenagers to exercise they may feel it as such a burden and something that they are being forced to do. Tell them by exercise you do not mean something boring and monotonous. It could be anything that they like and enjoy. All they need to do is remove 1 hour from their hectic college or work schedule at least 4-5 times/week and invest that time in some activity of their choice. They can choose from: Aerobic exercises: your heart is a muscle which enjoys a good workout. Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, dance, aerobics etc strengthen your heart and improve its ability to pump more oxygen to all the parts. This also makes you less prone to heart problems in your later life. You can also choose any sport like basketball, tennis, football, volleyball, skating etc. make sure your heart rate increases for 20 minutes or more atleast 3 times/week to benefit your body. Strength training: apart from the heart, other muscles also need to be worked out so that they become strong and support your joints and prevent injuries. You can opt for a gym membership or use free weights at home, therabands, resistance tubing or your own body weight like squats, lunges, push ups etc. Working out the entire body 2 -3days a week is ideal but make sure you do this with help of a coach or professional trainer. Avoid lifting very heavy weights as it can cause injury and do not expect to get bulky muscles as such an early age. Focus more on strength. Other activities: exercise may not necessarily mean you to follow a structured agenda. It could also mean adopting an active lifestyle like walking back from school/college to home, taking the stairs rather than the lift, walk the dog, clean up the house, help parents in household chores, going for treks, planning a cycling race with friends etc. this will not only make you fit but also more alert and active. Even a hobby like skating, dancing, hula-hoop etc can be a good form of exercise.  Exercise tips: Always wear a comfortable gear and shoes while exercising. Eat a small meal like egg sandwich/ idli/ poha/ sprouts salad etc. 1-2 hours prior any activity  Carry a bottle of water with you while exercising and keep sipping in between to prevent dehydration.  Do not over exercise. Sometimes teenagers with the desire to lose weight may tend to over workout which can cause injury or harm their body. When you start any new activity or sport try doing it under the supervision of a trainer. Do not exercise immediately after any meals to avoid digestion issues or late at night as it can disrupt your sleep patterns. If you are a beginner, try keeping exercise sessions small like 20-30 minutes with low intensity and slowly increase time and intensity as your body gets accustomed to it. How will exercise benefit teenagers? Helps you lose the baby fat, tone up and gives you a better self image by maintaining a healthy weight.  Releases happy hormones called endorphins which reduce stress level, lower heart rate and makes them relaxed and calm helping you cope up with study pressures. Reduces the risk of developing diabetes, blood pressure and heart problems which is becoming extremely common in teens. Prevents risk of osteoporosis and back problems in the future as weight bearing exercises like squats, jumping, weight lifting etc increase bone mass. Helps to increase lean muscle mass which protects the bones and joints preventing injuries and fractures. This also defines the body shape and gives you that figure/physique you have only dreamt about. Helps improve self confidence and social integration skills helping them deal with competition in all spheres of life. Boosts blood circulation which helps improves nutrient delivery to the skin removing toxins and revitalizing the skin giving you a glowing, acne free complexion. Increases stamina and energy levels which help you study well, concentrate better and improve performance. Kick starts the immune system protecting you from common cold, cough and viral infections. Reduces chances of depression and increases the blood flow with oxygen and nutrients to brain thereby improving brain power. Active teens have lesser chances of developing cognitive problems like Alzheimer’s , Parkinson’s in their later years. How to get going? Warm up: start with 5-6 minutes of basic warm up exercises like marching, jogging, neck,  Main exercise: give this part of your regime atleast 30-40 minutes. You can opt for any  Cool down: 10 minutes of cool is good enough. Do not stop at once. Slowly reduce the hand and leg movements, stretching. exercises like walking, skipping, swimming, dancing or playing any sport. Don’t forget to focus on your core which includes the stomach and back muscles to prevent back issues later.intensity of your activity, stretch and breathe. Always remember exercise is just 30% whereas 70% is diet. So support your exercise efforts with a good healthy diet including fruits, nuts, salads, whole grains, coconut water etc. Give your body enough rest both mentally and physically. Try to involve family members as well like planning a hiking trip with them, playing cricket, swimming on a hot Sunday afternoon etc. We all are born young but how we perish depends on us. Make your youth a part of your personality forever by following a healthy and active lifestyle.

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    Surya Namaskar - For the mind, body and soul

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Surya Namaskar or sun salutation is one of the most highly spoken of forms of exercise today because this ancient yogic ritual can do wonders for your body, mind and soul that no other exercise, spiritual course or meditation can. No wonder it\'s so highly endorsed by all the leading celebrities. Surya Namaskar is usually done in the morning to express gratitude towards the sun. Sun is the source of life for planet earth. Everything we eat, drink or breathe has an element of the sun. Apart from being a great form of exercise, it also helps to build dimensions within us where physical cycles are in sync with the sun cycles. Benefits of Surya Namaskar   Tones up abdominal muscles. Improves digestive system and helps get rid of constipation. Ventilates the lungs and oxygenates the blood. Regularizes the function of all glands. Stimulates the nervous system and improves focus, concentration and memory. Helps you sleep better. Improves skin and hair texture. Prevents menstrual irregularities and menopausal symptoms. Helps lose weight. Improves muscle, spine and waist flexibility. Helps you feel energetic and adds to the spirit of youthfulness. Helps relax the organs and muscles through deep oxygenation. Helps protect the heart, tone the body and calm the mind. How to go about it? Surya Namaskar is a repetition of 12 postures that need good strength and stamina. So jumpstarting a schedule is definitely not a good idea especially if you haven\'t exercised or stretched your muscles in ages. You need to give your body time to open up by doing some basic exercises, stretches, yoga asana, and flexibility exercises. Once you\'ve reached a basic level of fitness you can start with 3-5 suryanamaskar and then gradually increase it to 10 and 20. The idea is to get each posture right, as the essence of doing this ritual lies in perfection. But one thing everyone needs to remember is that warm is extremely important before starting the postures.  Neck: start with moving your neck to the left while breathing in and bring it back to the centre as you breathe out. Repeat on the right and do this 3 times. Rotate the neck clockwise and anti-clockwise 5 times each. Arms and Shoulders: stretch you arms in front of your chest and move your palms up and down. Close your fist and rotate them clockwise and anti-clockwise 10 times each. Place your fingers on your shoulders and rotate your arms clockwise and anti-clockwise 10 times. Knees and Back: Bend your knees slightly with palms on your thighs, join the knees and move them forward and backward 5 times, then rotate the knees clock and anti-clockwise 5 times each. Now stay in that position and arch your back, hold for 5 seconds and then round the back for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times each. Stomach: Stand straight with fingers interlocked and hands stretched above the head. Now raise your calves and bring them down, repeat 5 times. Legs: stand with legs wide and knees straight, bend down and touch the floor, now turn your waist to your right and hold the ankle of the right leg for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.  Now once your body is suitably warmed up, you can start with the 12-posture course on bare floor or green grass. 1. Pranamasana (Prayer pose): Stand erect at the edge of your mat with feet together. Expand your chest and relax your shoulders. Now bring both your arms in front of the chest and join them in a prayer position. This posture induces a state of relaxation and calmness. 2. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose): Inhale, lift the joint hands up and back pushing the pelvis forwards so that the biceps are close to your ears and the back is arched, stretching the whole body. This posture stretches the chest, abdomen and spine and lifts the prana (energy) upwards to the upper parts of the body. 3. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose): Exhale and bend forwards from the waist, keeping the spine erect. Now place both the hands on the floor beside the feet. This helps massage the abdominal organs like liver, kidneys, pancreas, uterus, ovaries and cause a good flow of blood to the brain.  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose): Inhale, push the left leg back as far as possible and drop it to the ground. The right knee is bent in between both the hands. Lift the spine, open the chest and look up. 5. Parvatasana (Mountain pose): Exhale and bring your left leg back to the right, parallel to the ground and simultaneously push your hips up, keeping the arms and legs straight. Lower your head between the arms forming a mountain-like pose and try touching the heel to the floor. This pose helps strengthen the arms , calves, legs and nerves. Take a deep breath while in the posture. 6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With Eight Parts/Points): Exhale and gently drop both knees to the ground, slowly slide the body down. Bring the chest and chin to the ground. All toes, knees, chest, hands and chin should touch the floor. The butts should be up. Hold your breath. This posture develops the chest and strengthens arms.  7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose): On inhalation, lower the hips while pushing the chest forward and upward, elbows are bent so that the spine is arched and head is facing up. This posture helps relieve tension in the back muscles and spinal nerves. 8. Parvatasana (Mountain pose): Exhale and resume to posture 5. 9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian posture): Inhale and bring the right leg in front between the hands. Left leg remains back like posture 4. 10. Padahastasana (Hand to Foot pose): Exhale, bring the left foot forward, join both the legs and resume posture 3. 11. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arm pose): Inhale, raise the arms up and resume posture 2. 12. Pranamasana (Salutation pose): Straighten the body, join arms in front of the chest and resume posture 1. Things to remember Try doing Suryanamaskar in the morning on empty stomach or in the evening 2 hours after a meal. After the whole workout, lie down in Shravasana on the back, with arms and legs relaxed on both the sides. Breathe deeply to feel the calm in the entire body. Pregnant women should avoid doing Suryanamaskar. People with arthritis, osteoporosis, slip disc, knee or back pain should consult a doctor before doing it. Make sure you warm up well before doing the routine to avoid injuries.

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    7 healthy pizza and burger recipesDiet recipes

    By: Neha Ranglani

    The barbeque season is here and what better than getting together with family, friends and colleagues for some fun barbeque sessions to enjoy the fresh air. Apart from being an excuse to catch up with loved ones, it also has many health implications, if done it in the right way. Not necessary that barbeque always means fat dripping sausages or high calorie burgers.Barbeque can be really healthy if the right ingredients are used like veggies, lean meats, salmons, potatoes etc. They can be cooked using the minimal amount of oil, which is a boon for adults to control their lipids levels and body fat percentage helping them in weight loss as well. It also fascinates kids, adding taste and visual appeal to boring food, making it a great way to get them to eat the veggies which otherwise they would dread to even taste. Let us learn a few healthy burger and pizza recipes 1. Barbeque fish burger Ingredients: - 150gm snapper fillets - 1 lettuce leaf - 4 cucumber slices - 2 carrot slices - 1 tbsp lemon tartar sauce - 1 tbsp lemon juice - Â½ tsp pepper powder - 2 tsp olive oil - 1 multigrain burger bun Method: - Heat the barbeque grill at medium heat. - Sprinkle on the fish fillet lemon juice and pepper seasoning and spray lightly with oil. - Barbeque for 3-4 minutes on both the sides, turning carefully with a spatula. - Cut the burger bun into half and heat both the halves on the grill for 1 minute. - On the lower side of the bun, place the lettuce leaf and top it with fish, cucumber, carrot, and tartar sauce. - Serve with lemon wedges on the side. 2. Chicken avocado burger Ingredients - 100gm chicken breast fillet - 1 small clove of garlic, crushed - 1 tbsp diced avocados - 1 tbsp corn kernels, boiled and drained - 1 tbsp diced red capsicum - 1 tsp lemon juice - few salad leaves - salt to taste - 1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise - 1 wholewheat burger bun, split and toasted - 1 tsp oil Method: - In a bowl mix oil, garlic and oregano together. Add chicken fillet, toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. - In another bowl mix avocado, corn, capsicum, salt and lemon juice. Keep aside. - Heat a non stick frying pan on medium heat, Cook chicken on both sides until it is proper cooked. - Spread the base of the bun with mayonnaise, top with salad leaf, chicken breast, and avocado mixture. cover with the top bun and serve. 3. BBQ chickpea burger Ingredients - Â¼ cup chickpeas, soaked overnight - 3 tbsp cooked brown rice - 1 small garlic clove, minced - 2 tsp diced red pepper - 2 tsp carrot, grated - 1 tbsp onion, chopped - 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped - 2 tsp bbq sauce - bread crumbs as needed - 1 tsp sunflower seeds - 1 tsp ground flaxseeds - Â¼ tsp red chilli flakes - salt to taste - 1 tsp oil - Salad leaves - 4 tomato slices - 1 whole wheat burger bun Method: - Pressure cook the chickpeas till soft. - In a bowl, mix the chickpeas and hot cooked rice. Use a potato masher to mash the 2 together. - In this mixture add garlic, onion, carrot, red pepper, salt, chilli flakes, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, parsley, BBQ sauce, breadcrumbs and mix well. - Make a tight thick patty out of this mixture. - Heat a non stick pan, spray oil and cook the patty on both the sides are golden brown. - Place the bottom of the burger bun on a surface, top it with salad leaves, tomato slices and the patty. Cover it the top of the bun. - Serve with ketchup or chilli sauce. 4. Quinoa and oats burger Ingredients - Â¼ cup cooked quinoa - 2 tbsp quick oats - 1 tbsp onion, chopped - 1 small garlic minced - Â¼ cup chopped mushrooms - 2 tbsp chopped zucchini - 2 tsp oil - pinch of red chilli flakes - salt and pepper to taste - 2 tbsp beaten egg - 1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise - Salad leaves - 1 multigrain burger bun - 2 onion slices - 2 tomato slices Method: - Pre heat the oven at 350F. - In a non stick vessel, add oil, onion and garlic, mushrooms and zucchini, red chilli flakes and cook till veggies are soft. - In a bowl add the beaten egg, oats, quinoa and veggie mixture ( drain the excess liquid). - Shape it into a patty and bake it for 25 minutes. - On the base of the burger bun, spread the mayo,place the salad leaves, patty and top it with onion and tomato slices and cover it with the top of the bun. - Serve. 5. Chicken tomato pizza Ingredients - 1 medium size whole wheat pizza base - 2 tsp olive oil - 1 small garlic, minced - salt to taste - pepper to taste - 2 tomato, sliced - 50gm chicken breast pieces, diced - 1 tbsp chopped cilantro - 1 tbsp chopped jalapeno pepper - Â¼ cup low fat grated cottage cheese Method: - Pre heat the oven on 450F and coat the baking tray with little oil. - In a small bowl combine oil, garlic, salt and pepper. - In a non stick vessel, cook the chicken pieces till done. - Place the pizza base on a surface, sprinkle the oil mixture. - Now top it with tomato, chicken, cilantro, jalapeno and cottage cheese. - Place the pizza on a baking tray and bake for 15- 20 minutes. - Slice and Serve hot. 6. Mix veg pizza Ingredients - 1 whole wheat pizza base - 1 cup mix veggies, chopped(red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, capsicum, mushrooms, baby corn) - salt to taste - pepper to taste - Â¼ tsp red chilli powder - Â½ tsp oregano - 1 tbsp pizza sauce - 2 tbsp low fat mozzarella cheese, grated Method: - Pre heat oven at 450F and spread oil on the baking tray. - Heat oil in a pan, add veggies, salt, herbs and cook for 5 minutes to keep the veggies slight crunchy. - Now place the base on a surface, spread the pizza sauce and top it with cooked veggies and grated cheese. - Place the pizza on the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. - Slice and Serve. 7. Spinach pizza Ingredients - 1 6”whole wheat pizza base - 1 tbsp oil - Â½ onion, chopped - 1 clove of garlic, minced - 2 tsp garam masala - Â½ tsp turmeric powder - Â¼ tsp paprika - salt and pepper to taste - 1 bunch fresh spinach - 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped - 2 spring onions, chopped - Â½ cup cherry tomatoes, halves - 2 tbsp low fat mozzarella cheese Method: - Pre heat the oven at 425F and spread oil on the baking tray. - Heat oil in a vessel, add onion and garlic and cook till golden and soft. - Add garam masala, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Add spinach and cook till soft. - Let it cool and blend it in a food processor. - Place the pizza base on a surface and spread the spinach mixture evenly. - Sprinkle the cilantro and spring onions over it, and then add the tomato halves. Cover with the shredded cheese. - Place the pizza on the baking tray and bake for 25 minutes. - Slice and serve.

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    What should I eat during periods to avoid weakness and pain? (Diet Query)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    I am a 22-year-old girl and I feel extremely fatigued and weak during my periods. I lose my appetite and do not eat much. I also have cramps during my menstrual cycle. Can you suggest the right diet for me so that I can survive those days of the month better? Please help. Weakness during periods is not uncommon especially during the first and second days. Many women find themselves feeling fatigued very soon and this is mostly due to the hormonal change and loss of blood. It is important to go easy on these days but the right foods can certainly give you more energy and nutrition to your body. Here?%u20AC%u2122s what dietician Neha Chandna suggests. The best way to keep your energy levels up during periods is to eat foods which give you natural sugars such as bananas, dates, grapes, mangoes, etc. Apart from these foods, whole grains like oats, jowar, ragi, brown rice also help provide a great deal of energy. Sprouts and salads should also be a part of your diet. Foods to beat menstrual pain and cramps Foods which increase the alkalinity in the body are the best to keep the pain away. Include foods like fruits, lemons, dried fruits like anjeer, raisins, prunes, nuts, salads, veggies and veg juices/coconut water. Also try these yoga asanas to beat pain. Sample diet during periods Morning:              fruits dried fruits Mid morning:       brown rice poha/oats upma/idli/dosa Lunch:                 salads 1 jowar/ragi roti/ 1 cup brown rice veggies  dal Mid noon:            nuts Evening:              sprouts/chana chaat Dinner:                 soup salad veggies Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. Water also helps relieve pain.

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    Navratri special: How to fast the healthy way! - Nutritionist Neha Chandna

    By: Neha Ranglani

    The festivities of Navratri begin from April 8 onwards. Along with the fun and frolic of garba, it also brings along the nine-day fasting routine. In order to maintain good health, it is imperative that you follow a healthy diet and fast in a safe manner. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shells out some tips and a diet plan for healthy fasting this Navratri. Is fasting healthy? Many may wonder if going on a nine-day fast is indeed healthy for our bodies. According to Neha, it is an extremely healthy practice as long as you don’t starve yourself. Fasting helps you cleanse and detoxify your body and mind. All you need to do is fast is the correct manner by eating small meals frequently and then eating your main meal at night post sunset. Healthy Navratri diet plan Start your day with a cup of green tea and two dates For breakfast, eat fruits, nuts and raisins Have milkshake/ kheer/ coconut water around noon For lunch, opt for saudana khichdi/ rajgira roti with lauki/ arbi sabzi and a glass of chhaas with rock salt Mid afternoon, have fruit yoghurt In the evening, eat aloo chat or aloo palak salad For dinner, start with vegetable soup, a bowl of salad with kuttu ka atta/rajgira roti and sabzi followed by low-fat lauki halwa or carrot halwa Before sleeping, have a glass of skimmed milk Recently, there was a controversy that one should avoid eating fruits during fasts. In my belief, fruits are the most sacred food on earth! They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and natural sugar which make them ideal to consume during a fast.  ill-effects of not fasting properly Many people who fast also go to play garba or dandiya in the evenings. Since this requires stamina and energy, it is vital that you fast in a proper manner in order to enjoy the festivities and not strain your body’s health. Some of the ill-effects of not fasting properly are: Weakness and fatigue Fainting due to drop in blood sugar level Unable to sleep properly Lack of stamina Tiredness  Who should avoid fasting? I suggest diabetics and pregnant woman avoid this fast as it can cause a drop in the blood sugar levels which is not conducive in both the cases. Watch My video also on You Tube : Get fit in Navratras- Healthy Tips by Dietitian Neha Chandna

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    7 popular fad diets you should NOT follow (and why)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    There are no shortcuts to success. We all know that but still want quick results when it comes to weight loss. Remember, all that weight didn’t come to you overnight; hence getting it off would also take some time. With so many diets flooding the market, searching one that is apt for you isn’t difficult. These diets may help you lose weight for a short period of time, but from your muscles and bones, leaving you feeling weak and ill. And once you go back to your normal routine, you gain all the weight or even more in no time. You do the math and see for yourself – what’s the point of following some diet regime which is short-lived, deprives you of nutrients and has many hazardous effects on your body? Busted – Diet myths that can ruin your health! Renowned nutritionist Neha Chandna explains why fad diets are bad for you including seven popular ones like GM diet and liquid diet. The best way to lose weight is to eat the right food, at the right time, in the right quantity, and exercise daily for 45 minutes to an hour.Take this quiz to know if your eating habits are right. The motive should be to lose weight gradually rather than rapidly. So how do you know if it is a fad diet? Here are some tips. How to spot a fad diet It promises exaggerated results in few days which is too good to be true. Will mostly have rigid eating rules. It restricts you from eating a lot of food groups like carbohydrates, fats, etc. It promotes ‘magic foods.’ The diet is sold based on a few testimonials without any research or studies done on its effect. It doesn’t involve much exercise along with meal plans. Ill-effects of fad diets on the body Constipation Weakness Loss of concentration Nausea Headache Depression Muscle loss Health risks like osteoporosis and many more While there are a number of fad diets that keep cropping up every now and then, especially when they are endorsed by celebrities, here a few popular ones to stay away from. Here are 10 diet habits that guarantee weight loss. Atkins Diet: Written by Dr Robert Atkins, this is the most popular fad diet which aims at reducing the main source of energy – carbohydrates to up to 20g/day and focuses more on vegetables, fats and proteins. Why it is bad: This diet recommends more than 30% of fat intake which is above the recommended allowance and can lead to extreme ketosis, which can cause damage to the organs in the long run. 7 scary things a high-fat diet does to your body. General Motor’s Diet: This is a 7-day diet plan which is based on the intake of specified food items which include raw vegetables, fruits, juice and lean meat. It restricts the intake of any dairy products and promises weight loss of around 5 kg in week. Each day is restricted to 1-2 raw foods in unlimited amounts. Why it is bad: This diet can make you weak and hungry, leads to the inability to exercise, depression and body pain. Liquid Diet: The idea is to cleanse the body and rejuvenate it with juices, water and clear soups. Why it is bad: This diet is very low on protein and can make you really weak. Not recommended for more than a day. Detox yourself with this expert-recommended diet plan. Blood Type Diet: Created by Dr Peter D’Adamo, it focuses on eating some and avoiding some foods as per your blood type. It follows a ‘one size fits all’ concept. Why it is bad: It bans a lot of health promoting foods making eating out difficult and some people may be healthy despite eating foods forbidden for them. Cookie Diet: Invented by Dr Siegal, this a diet in which one has to eat nine cookies a day that makes up to 500 kcal and then have a 500 kcal dinner, totalling up to 1000 kcal every day. Why it is bad: This diet gets monotonous and can cause nutrient deficiencies. Baby Food Diet: This diet is about eating 14 jars of baby foods throughout the day and a sensible dinner. The baby foods include mashed fruits and veggies. Why it is bad: It does not meet your nutrient needs and is low in protein. Eating like an adult is recommended. Cabbage Soup Diet: This is a 7-day diet which focuses on having as many bowls of cabbage soup every day with some fruits and vegetables. Why it is bad: This diet is bland, boring and makes you feel weak, resulting in poor concentration. The biggest drawback is that it makes you gassy and bloated. To avoid any damage to your body, do not opt for any fad diets. Just eat balanced meals and engage in physical activity to see the difference both physically and mentally. The process may be longer and less dramatic unlike fad diets, but the results will be long-term and benefit your body’s health.

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    Expert diet and exercise tips to manage diabetes (World Diabetes Day 2013)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    November 14 is World Diabetes Day. Diabetes does not mean the end of a good life. It just means that it is time to change your lifestyle for the better. Though diabetes is a rising health concern for most Indians today, but if taken good care of, one can live a normal life as before. Here are some lifestyle, diet and exercise related dos and don’ts by noted nutritionist Neha Chandna that diabetics should follow to live well with diabetes. General guidelines It is essential that diabetics keep a constant tab on their blood sugar levels for better health and to avoid complications. Follow these tips: Get your blood sugar levels and HBA1C checked in a laboratory every 3 months if you are above 30 years of age. Check your blood sugar with a blood glucose monitor in the morning, after lunch and after dinner, every 2 days if you are a diabetic. Keep a check on blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels as a diabetic generally tends to have high BP and cholesterol. If you are on insulin, check your blood sugar before all the major meals to modulate the food intake. Check your toes and legs for any hurt or wound and don’t delay the treatment. If obese, try to lose weight and maintain it. Diet guidelines Monitoring your diet is highly vital as the food you eat directly affects your blood sugar levels and weight. In order to make sure you are eating healthy, follow these tips: Eat every 2-3 hours in small quantities rather than eating 3 large meals. Include complex carbs in every meal – whole wheat, ragi, jowar, brown rice, oats, etc. Avoid refined cereal products like bread, noodles, polished rice, etc. as they can raise blood sugar levels. Choose fibre-rich foods like vegetables, whole grains, etc. You should aim for 25-25g of fibre/day through diet to maintain blood glucose levels. Low-fat milk products like curd, paneer and egg whites, lean chicken and fish are great protein sources which can prove helpful in diabetes management. If you are a vegetarian, whole pulses and dals can provide little protein and good amounts of fibre. You can enjoy all vegetables especially green, leafy ones. Limit your intake of potatoes. Depending on your blood sugar, don’t have more than 2 fruits/day and if you are fond of mango/banana, opt for these early in the morning. Reduce butter, ghee or oil intake. Also, avoid processed foods like cakes, biscuits, ready-to-eat foods as they are loaded with fats. Salt and sugar and can aggravate complications like blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Sugary foods are a complete no-no. You can use artificial sweeteners occasionally, but avoid overdependence on them. Always carry a snack with you when travelling to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and dizziness.  Exercise guidelines Only monitoring your diet won’t work, you also need to get a fair share of physical exercise to maintain normal levels but there are certain guidelines diabetics need to follow: Make sure you exercise at least 4-5 times/week to help you get your blood sugar in control. You can choose moderate exercises like aerobics, brisk walking, weight training, swimming, dancing, etc. Check your blood sugar at home before and after exercise. Avoid exercise if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low. If you are on insulin, modify your carb intake before and after exercise depending on your sugar levels. Eat a complex carb snack like sandwich, wrap, oats an hour before you do any activity. Eat immediately after exercise to avoid fall in blood sugar. Carry sugar tablets or glucose water with you in case of an emergency hypoglycemia situation. Avoid exercise in case of severe complications like kidney problems, nerve problems or wounds. These guidelines will help you lead a normal life even with your existing diabetes condition and also make your lifestyle a healthier one preventing other heath complications. 

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    Dietician recommended weight loss diet plan for brides-to-be

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares a sample meal plan to help you shed a few kilos in a healthy way before your special day. Instead of going on a crash diet and starving yourself, lose weight in a healthy way to avoid fainting and other health problems after the D-Day is over.Just remember that you need to follow it at least six months before your wedding. Remember, though diet is 70% responsible for a healthy weight loss, you also need some sort of physical activity every day to stay fit and burn calories.  Early morning: green tea + 1 fruit Breakfast: 1 bowl of oats porridge/ poha/ upma/ idli Mid morning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/ walnuts Lunch: salad + 2 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curds Evening: whole wheat bread sandwich/ bhel(no sev)/ sprouts Dinner: soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/ fish + 1 roti Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk If you haven’t had the chance to focus on yourself with all the shopping and wedding arrangements, there is still time to tone-up your figure and look your best. You can follow this meal plan three months prior to the D-Day and drop a dress size. Early morning: green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: oats upma/ oats dosa Mid morning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/ walnuts Lunch: salad + 1 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curd Evening: 1 fruit Dinner: soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/ fish Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk It’s just 30 days to the wedding, fret not! You can still lose weight. This is a meal plan when only it’s only 1 month to the wedding. In addition to this, get some exercise and don’t stress – with the right outfit, you will look perfect. Early morning: green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: fruits + nuts Mid morning: 1 bowl sprouts/ salad of pulses Lunch: salad + veggies + dal + curd Evening: soup Dinner: salad/ stir fry+ veggies/ chicken/ fish Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk Even if you start with the 6-month meal plan, you can move to the 3- and 1-month plans as you inch closer to the wedding day. Be happy and you are sure to glow and look wonderful on your special day. 

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    5 reasons why snacking on kajus or cashew nuts is a healthy option!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    What is your favourite past-time snack? Although most of you might like to eat cashew nuts, your might restrict yourself from doing so due to its high calories count. While cashew nuts often make their way to desserts such as the yummykaju katlis,kheer and brownies, here are more reasons you should gorge on this nut. Packed with many nutrients that boost your metabolism and tastes good, our expert Neha Chandna, a nutritionist, tells you why cashew nuts should rank as a healthy snack. # 1 Keeps your heart healthy Cashew nuts are rich in good fats and have zero cholesterol which helps lower LDL, the bad cholesterol and triglyceride making one’s heart healthy. Many think that cutting out fat intake is good for our body which is untrue. Our body needs nutrients from all food groups including fats; all you need to do is get it from good sources like kajuinstead of unhealthy ones.  #2 Makes your body stronger They are rich in magnesium which is required for strong bones, proper muscle and nerve functioning. Our bodies need a daily intake of about 300 – 750 mg of magnesium as it helps regulate the amount of calcium absorbed by our bones.  #3 Controls your blood pressure levels These nuts are low in sodium and high in potassium and thus keep blood pressure under check. When there is excess sodium, the body retains more water which causes the volume of blood to increase in turn increasing the blood pressure.  #4 Reduces your risk of cancer Cashew nuts also contain antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E which prevent free radical oxidation, reduce the risk of cancer and boost immunity. Since they are rich in zinc, they help fight infections.  #5 Plays a key role in numerous body functions As cashew nuts are packed with high copper content, they play an important role in enzyme activity, hormone production and brain function. Apart from this, they also help in the production of red blood cells and thus, prevent anaemia. Given the fact that cashew nuts are high in calories, numerous questions might be going in your head at this point of time. Our expert sheds light on some common questions you might have regarding consumption of tasty cashew nuts or kajus. How often should one eat them? Though these are absolutely delicious and difficult to stop eating after just a few, remember control is the key to good health. Eating between 5-10 pieces is enough for a day. You can eat them in two batches as a healthy snack to replace your junk food cravings. But keep in mind, excess consumption can lead to weight gain so eat within limits.  Should they be avoided in any particular season? Earlier, there was a belief that nuts generate body heat and should be avoided in summer months. While anything is excess is bad for the body, a few nuts have more health benefits than health issues. Stick to a handful and you can enjoy them in every season. Should people will certain conditions avoid them all together? Everyone can eat cashew nuts except people who are allergic to nuts or get a migraine headache due to them. There are different varieties of cashew nuts like salted or roasted ones. Are they good or should one stick to the plain ones? You get a wide variety of cashew nuts coated with different masalas, salted, herbed, honeyed, etc. It all depends on your taste buds, choices and health goals. If you suffer from hypertension, avoid salted ones. If you are on a weight loss goal, avoid honey-coated ones. Take your pick wisely or simply stick to the plain variety.  Do they have any ill-effects on health? There are no ill-effects of cashew nuts as such but one must not forget that they are rich in calories and so not too many should be eaten at a time. In some cases, they can cause an allergic reaction which may show different symptoms for different people including vomiting and diarrhoea, swelling, skin rashes, difficulty in breathing, etc. If you experience any of these after eating them, it is best to discontinue and see a doctor.

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    Weight gain due to long working hours. What should I do? (Diet query of the day)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Q: Dear dietician, I am a 46-year-old working, unmarried lady. I have a sitting job and long working hours from 10 am to 8 pm. Lately, I have been having irregular periods. I have put on weight especially on my waistline and the hip area. Please suggest a suitable diet plan so that I can reduce my waistline. Answered by nutritionist Neha Chandna As you age, your metabolism decreases leading to weight gain. Since you have a sitting job and being a woman, you are prone to put on weight near the stomach and hip areas as a woman is genetically designed to have a pear-shaped body. Also, you might be close to menopause due to which you have irregular periods. I advise you to join a gym and alternate between weight training and cardio to help build muscle mass and burn fat. Along with this, you need to eat a balanced diet with lots of fibre, greens, veggies, nuts, salads, curd, etc. (Read: 10 awesome fitness workouts for the perfect you!) Here is a diet plan for you: Have a healthy breakfast to keep you going for the morning. Include items like oats porridge/ oats upma/ idli/ dosa. Between breakfast and lunch, have a fruit and a handful of nuts. In lunch, eat a portion of salad, a jowar/ragi chapatti with veggies, dal and a glass of buttermilk (chhaas). Keep your dinner light. You can have soup, salad, veggies/grilled chicken or fish. Avoid eating rotis or rice at night. Along with this, drink two-three cups of green tea every day and sleep well. 

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    Healthy recipe – Mixed vegetable juice

    By: Neha Ranglani

    This mixed veg juice is a health drink packed with Vitamin A andvitamin C which can give you glowing skin and healthy eyes. The power drink will keep you full with its rich fibre content and only add 50 calories which makes it excellent for those looking to lose weight. Ingredients: 1 carrot 2 small tomatoes 100g bottle gourd 1 medium beetroot ½ lemon juice Few mint leaves Salt and chaat masala to taste Method: Juice the carrot, tomato, bottlegourd, beetroot and mint in the juicer. Add lemon juice, salt and chaat masala. Serve chilled.

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    Healthy recipe: Palak saag

    By: Neha Ranglani

    A staple of Punjab, this palak saag is extremely healthy. It is rich in calcium, vitamin A, iron that help up your hemoglobin levels naturally. It is also low in fat. Team it with makki di roti to get a real taste of its flavour. Ingredients: 1 bunch of spinach, chopped 1 radish with tender leaves, chopped ½ large onion, chopped 1 medium size tomatoes, chopped 1/2 green chilli, chopped ¼ inch ginger, chopped 2-3 garlic, chopped ½ tsp red chili powder 2 tsp butter ½  tbsp maize flour Salt For tempering ¼ onions, sliced ½ ghee Method: Add all the greens, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chillies with salt and water in a pressure cooker. Add around ½ cup water to the veggies. Cook the whole lot in the pressure cooker for 3-4 minutes. Once cooled, blend into a smooth paste. Add the saag in another pan and simmer for 7-10 minutes till it thickens a little bit. Saute the onion in ghee till they are brown and then add the saag to it. Serve it with makki di roti.

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    Healthy recipe: Coriander chicken masala

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Make your post workout meals more yummy by trying this coriander chicken masala. It is high in protein and low in fat – a perfect combo for weight watchers and those who want to get ripped. Ingredients: 100g chicken ½ tsp ginger-garlic paste ¼ cup curd 1 green chilli 3 tbsp fresh coriander leaves 2-3 cashews 2 tsp oil Salt Turmeric powder Method: Grind coriander leaves, cashews and green chilli into a fine paste. To this paste add curd, ginger-garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder. Marinate the chicken with this for 2 hours. Add oil in a kadai, add the chicken and allow it to cook, keep stirring it often. Serve with roti.

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    Healthy recipe: Kashmiri fish

    By: Neha Ranglani

    If you love seafood, you will definitely enjoy this scrumptious dish. Made with pomfret, it is aromatic, delicious and high on the nutrition meter too. This dish is rich in protein and also has omega 3 which will keep you in good health. Team it up with soft rotis or brown rice. Ingredients: 250g pomfret 1 cup curd, whisked 1 tsp ginger, grated ½ tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp coriander powder 2 green chillies, deseeded and slit 1 clove 1 tsp garam masala 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped 2 tsp oil ½ cup water Salt Pinch of hing and haldi Method: Apply salt and turmeric to washed fish and keep aside for 5 minutes. In a bowl, whisk curd with little salt. Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan, and stir-fry the fish slices till they are light brown in colour. Place on absorbent paper. Heat the remaining oil in pan, add cumin seeds, as they crackle, put in the hing, cloves, and grated ginger, fry briefly. Reduce the heat and stir in the yoghurt. Cook while stirring on low heat till the yoghurt gets a nice reddish-brown color. Add the coriander powder and mix well. Add the fish slices, salt and water. Stir gently and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or till the fish is almost cooked and the gravy has thickened.  Add the garam masala (hot spice mix), green chillies and fresh coriander. Mix very gently and cook tightly covered on very low heat for about 10 minutes or till the fish is cooked but firm.

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    Healthy Recipe: Apple pie

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Can’t say no to desserts? This can be a problem if you are on a weight loss diet but you can still manage to satisfy your sweet craving by opting for a healthy version. If you love apple pie, try this high-fibre recipe which tastes just as good as the normal one. But eat only a small portion as it still has calories. Ingredients: For crust 2 digestive biscuits, crushed 2 tsp melted butter For filling ½ biscuit, crumbs 1 tsp melted butter 1 apple stewed 1 brown bread crumbs Pinch of cinnamon powder 5-8 raisins soaked in water Sugar substitute For topping 2 tsp oats 1/2 tsp melted butter Method: For the crust Combine the biscuits and butter in a bowl and mix well to form a crumbly mixture. Spread this mixture on a (3″) diameter cake tin and press well to form even layer. Refrigerate till set. For the apple filling Combine the biscuits and butter in a bowl and mix well. Add the stewed apples, bread crumbs, sugar substitute, cinnamon powder and raisins and mix well. Keep aside. For the topping Combine the oats with the butter and mix well. Keep aside. Spread the prepared apple filling onto the crust evenly. Add the topping on it and place in a pre-heated oven at 150º C (300º F) for 20 minutes. Remove, cut into 2 equal pieces and serve warm.

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    Healthy recipe: Fruit custard

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Have a sweet tooth? You can definitely satisfy it albeit in a healthy way. Try this low-calorie, high-fibre dessert. This fruit custard is easy-to-make and rich in protein too. The use of skimmed milk makes it right for weight watchers too. Ingredients: 250 ml skimmed milk 1 tbsp vanilla flavoured custard powder Sugar substiture as required ½ cup mix fruits (apple, banana, grapes) Method: Mix vanilla custard powder with 2 tbsp milk to make a custard paste. Add this paste to the milk and keep stirring continuously till it becomes thick. Cool it and refrigerate it. In a bowl add the fruits and pour the custard over it. Serve chilled.

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    Healthy Recipe: Chilli soya chunks

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Vegetarians often do not have too many protein sources, but soya is one rich source. This dish is also low in fat. The addition of chillies and spices add a unique flavor to it which makes it healthy and tasty. Ingredients 50g soya chunks ½ cup spring onion, sliced 2 green chillies, thickly sliced 2 tsp oil 1 garlic, paste 1 tsp soya sauce 1 tbsp vinegar Salt Method: Soak the soya for 1 hour in warm water and drain. Mix the soya, garlic and little salt. Heat oil in a pan, add onions and sauté till light brown. Add green chillies and stir for few minutes. Then add soya sauce, vinegar, nuggets and salt. Stir-fry over high heat for a minute and serve garnished with some greens.

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    Healthy recipe: Iron-rich milkshake

    By: Neha Ranglani

    In a mood to get an instant dose of energy? Try this iron-rich shake. This drink is especially good for women as it helps increase their hemoglobin levels. It is also filled with the goodness of nuts, dates and garden cress seeds (halim) seeds. Ingredients: 200 ml skimmed milk 4 almonds 4 cashews 2 dates 1 tsp garden cress seeds soaked for 1 hour Method: In a blender, blend milk, dates, almonds and cashews. Add the soaked halim seeds. Serve chilled

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    Home-made cranberry juice recipe

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Quench your thirst this summer season with a cooling, natural drink made with cranberries. This juice is very high in antioxidants, which are great for your hair, skin, nails and overall health. It is low in fat too. So store a bottle of it in your fridge and have a sip whenever you feel thirsty. Ingredients: 100g cranberry 1 cup water Stevia Method: Put the cranberries and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cover loosely. Simmer for 10 minutes until the cranberries have burst. Strain through a strainer. Do not press on the fruit to extract more juices, it will make the juice cloudy. Pour the strained juice back into the sauce pan and add stevia. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Cool at room temperature before cooling in the fridge.

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    Perfect summer drink — chilled jaljeera recipe

    By: Neha Ranglani

    With the onset of summer, it is advisable to keep yourself hydrated to save yourself from the health risks of dehydration. While water quenches thirst, this refreshing low-cal drink can be perfect for summers. Jaljeera is also helpful in digestion. Here are 9 tips to prevent dehydration during summer. Ingredients: 1 tbsp cumin seeds (roasted and powdered) ½ tbsp mint leaves paste ½ tbsp coriander leaves paste 1 tsp dry amchur powder ½ tsp black salt ½ tsp sugar Juice of ½ lemon 1 glass cold water Salt to taste Method: Mix all the above ingredients. Add cold water and stir. Add coriander and mint leaves for garnishing. Serve chilled with ice.

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    Healthy recipe — vegetable soup with oats

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Not all soups are healthy says dietician Neha Chandna. According to her, the healthiest soups are clear soups with lots of veggies. Here’s a vegetable soup recipe that is an excellent source of fibre. It can keep you satiated so you avoid overeating during meals. Ingredients: 1/2 carrot (chopped) 1/2 onion (chopped) 2 tbsp peas Few florets of cauliflower 4-5 french beans (chopped) 3-4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped) 1 tbsp oats powder 1 tsp oil 1 cup water Salt and black pepper powder to taste Method: Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and onion and sauté till onions are translucent. Add vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes. Add a cup of water, salt and pepper, and let it boil. Simmer till veggies are tender. To this mix, add oats powder. Serve hot with coriander garnish.

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    A moving message from your body

    By: Neha Ranglani

    It\'s a gadget-obsessed world, and it\'s the ultimate reason for our lazy and sluggish attitude. With the rise in new technology, there\'s been a proportionate rise in our inactivity. Thanks to touch, button and voice commands, we don\'t even need to move our butts to get our work done. We get groceries delivered home, food ordered over a call and even shopping for clothes happens at a click of a button. This leaves us with little to no motivation to move about and do things. Thank the stars for not having robots yet, otherwise we would become completely useless as living beings. Sitting on a chair, couch or bed for hours is all we do throughout the day without realizing how weak it makes our muscles and joints, giving rise to the so-called \'lifestyle diseases\'. Our body is a fantastic creation of nature. It notifies us of all that is happening inside, but we choose to ignore the signs and symptoms. If we can go to great lengths to find a solution for issues in your computer, why ignore the messages our body is trying to communicate to us. Our body tries to tell us in a number of ways that we have been inactive or idle for too long:   Stiff neck: This is lifestyle related issue that almost every corporate person suffers from. Sitting in front of the computer for hours makes your neck movement less frequent and increases the chances of strain and muscle spasms in your neck, making it difficult to move your neck freely.   Shoulder pain: Your shoulders have literally have a lot of pressure on them, as they have been assigned the duty of supporting your neck. This makes your them shrugged all the time, leading to shoulder pain.   Lower backache: Almost 90% of the urban population suffers from a lower back problem just from sitting for long hours. Especially sitting in the wrong posture adds extra weight on your lower back joints, which keep pressing and ultimately cause pain and stiffness. This also happens due to loss of strength in your core muscles over a period of time.   Yawning continuously: We all have moments of incessant yawning and we fail to understand why that happens. It\'s a simple sign from your brain saying that that it needs more oxygen, which happens through movement and proper breathing.   Leg cramps: This is a very common phenomenon that we come across after we sit for long hours. We\'ve all experienced that feeling of not being able to feel our legs with a pins-and-needles sensation when we try to move them. In such cases, you need to stand up and walk around a bit, no matter how uncomfortable, to help the blood flow well and get your legs back to their normal state.   Indigestion: When your stomach feels a bit under the weather, just remember that apart from eating wrong foods, you\'ve been inactive for a long time due to which your digestion has become sluggish, causing acidity and gas.   Fatigue: You might be wondering how sitting in one place can make someone tired, but the fact is that the more you sit, the more it gets difficult for you to get back to your active state as blood flow reduces throughout the body making you feel tired and sluggish.   Inability to focus: Do you remember as a kid when your parents told you to take short breaks between studies and move about? This was so that by allowing good blood circulation, you could freshen up your mind and restore your focus. The same goes for when you\'re working or trying to concentrate on something. Get up, move about, take a tea/bathroom break or just go for a small walk. The best way to avoid sitting yourself to stiffness is by getting some movement every hour and trying to incorporate active habits in daily life. Move about while talking on the phone, use the stairs, walk towards your colleagues to have a discussion, get to the coffee machine yourself, bend and stretch well, do small household chores, etc. So get up and stand tall to increase your long term health, short term well being and productivity!

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    Get some balance on your plate

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Eating is a simple and natural activity meant to nourish our body. But as the saying goes, \'Too many cooks spoil the broth\'. We have too many people trying to give gyaan about food and diet. And with time, we have become victim to so many fad diets that we\'ve forgotten our inborn art to eat healthy. Just to have an attractive appearance, people opt for cruel means to lose weight, which is actually harming their body. Starving, liquid diets, cabbage diet, banana diet and many such unreasonable diets crop up everyday because propagators of the diets know that people want shortcuts to reach to their goals. And shortcuts can be quite dangerous. With diets that are not balanced or adequate in nutrients, what we get is unhealthy weight loss, muscle weakness and bone problems among many other issues. If you really want to be healthy, and not just looking for weight loss, you should give your body what it needs:   Opt for natural foods like fruits, nuts, salads, veggies, sprouts, pulses, etc as these foods have enzymes, which help in digestion and absorption of nutrients that keep your metabolism going.   Eat with all your mind and soul. Eating is like meditating. When we eat food calmly, our cells feel loved and wanted and this helps them uptake nutrients better to heal themselves, which also prevents weight gain. So eat food with undivided attention. Switch off your phone, TV and any other distractions that may come between you and your food.   Chew while you have teeth. God has blessed us with a set of whites not to just show off our sweet smile but to extract the most minute goodness from our food. By chewing well, you help the enzymes work better on digesting the food, which prevents constipation, bloating, acidity and storage of excess fat.   Eat mindfully, don\'t be miserly. It\'s not a layman\'s fault that they believe all the extremely convincing information that goes around regarding food. But using a little common sense would do more good than harm. Always reconsider the food you put in your mouth. Junk and fast food once in a while is not bad, but in daily routine you need to keep these foods at a minimum.   Eat less to weigh less is biggest lie you would ever come across in your life. It\'s not about eating less food; it\'s about eating the right food in the right quantity. As we mentioned, every cell of your body depends on an array of nutrients to function well. By eating less you deprive your body of these nutrients and make yourself weak and more prone to diseases. Include a balanced diet like grains, fruits, nuts, dals, vegetables with minimum or no oil and sugar to see a great change in your energy, thoughts and body. It is extremely important to understand that carbs, fat, calories, etc. are not \'unhealthy\'. They\'re essential for our body to function. Carbs are the petrol for your cells without which your brain and heart cannot operate. Similarly, fat is a protector for your organs and insulator for your body. One single food or nutrient cannot do magic, there needs to be a combination of all the nutrients. A balanced diet gives you a balanced mind and body.

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    Train your mind to eat healthy

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! When people think that it\'s high time to do something good for their health and body, they pick a date to start a healthy diet plan and indulge in their favorite foods till that date. When the start day arrives, they bid goodbye to the junk by indulging in them for one last time and they go to bed with a heavy heart because they have to eat a plateful of salad instead of chips next day onward. But they think that it must be done and hope it all turns out to be worth the effort they\'ll be putting in. And then comes D-Day, which starts off on a perfect note. Days and weeks pass by and then suddenly you\'re back to square one! What the hell happened? There\'s a psychology behind it. To follow a healthy lifestyle one needs to train their mind. Here are a few easy ways to do that: Think of it as a long-term change. Most people think of diet as starvation and a short-term affair, but it actually means eating the right food at the right time in the right quantity and understanding your own body needs, appetite, likes and dislikes. It does not mean eating bland, boring food, but using wholesome, nutritious ingredients in all your meals. Do not self pity. People think they\'re in a losing spot when on a diet and pity themselves for not being able to eat all the delicious food others are relishing. Think of how well nourished and energetic your body is going to be in comparison to theirs. Look at the bright side and you\'ll feel that as compared to others, you are in a better position healthwise. Say \'don\'t\' instead of \'can\'t\'. When someone offers you something unhealthy like be it a burger, pizza, cake, samosa etc. instead of saying \'I can\'t eat that\', change the phrase \'I don\'t eat that\'. The former indicates that you are forcing yourself to do something, whereas the latter means you are in full control and exactly aware of the choices you are making. Bind yourself in a promise. If you find yourself wanting to cheat once in a while, do it without guilt and stress. In return, make a promise to yourself that you will eat healthy in the next meal and fulfill that promise. This will add a bit of discipline to your eating habits and you\'ll be able to enjoy eating without constantly stressing about food. To sum it up, make sure to think before what you eat, make it interesting, and love yourself! Self care is health care.

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    The art of acceptance

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! What makes us human is not the power to think, talk and walk but to feel and express different emotions. Every human being has a different threshold to different situations and reacts in different ways. We all love feeling happy, in love, excited, elated, etc., but life is not a cake walk. The society we live in exposes us to many negative emotions, which are not pleasant and disturb our inner peace. But it all depends on person to person as to how much they allow the negativity to seep into them and eat them up inside. A negative emotion is something that arises automatically, but when we analyze and reason out the situation, the intensity of it reduces. It\'s a law of nature that what you dwell upon is what you attract. So people who live in a negative frame of mind and have many negative thoughts generally attract more negative situations and emotions. Chronically, these emotions then lower your confidence, enthusiasm and power to think, which can affect your original personality. We can\'t change the situation or people around us, but we can definitely change the way we react to them. There are a lot of ways in which you can avoid the negativity from dampening your spirit:   Let go: When an unwanted situation or conversation takes place, try not to brood over it as it can take away the present moment from you. Know your limits: Do not blow things out of proportion and keep your calm to you analyze better. Accept: The best way to feel better is to accept that such things happen with everyone and are unavoidable; what is possible is to make yourself feel better. Learn: Try to learn which feeling (anger, fear, stress etc) arises in what situation and control your reactions in those situations. Relax: Use techniques like reading, singing, listening to music, walking, etc. to feel better. Talk to a friend: Talking to a loved one who understands you can instantly make you feel good. Vent it out: Write your feelings on a piece of paper and burn it. It\'s the best way to let it go. Exercise: Go for a run/jog/dance; it can help you reduce stress levels and feel better. Look in the mirror: See a person who is strong, happy and in control of the situation in the mirror. Tell yourself \'I love you and I know you can do it\'. Remember happy moments: Go back to your happy moments, think of them, feel them, sink into them; it\'ll help you cherish life and get back to stride. Think positive: Turn the negative thoughts into positive ones and see how things change for the better. Say affirmations that help you gain back your self confidence. You can also change negative emotions for the better as they give you a chance to cultivate mindfulness:   Anger: Can be used to fuel your creativity. Embarrassment: Laughing at yourself can help you feel bolder. Sadness: Helps you value emotions and people around you. Envy: Instead of feeling inferior, let it motivate you to be better. Fear: Can make you humble and help you value important things. Shame: Allows you to overcome your pride and be compassionate towards yourself and others. Guilt: Improves your conscience and brings you on the right path. Hatred: Can help you to realize that love is more powerful. Loss: Helps you value close ones even more. Depression: Can be the biggest driving force to take charge of your life and feelings. Negative emotions are only negative if you let yourself feel that for too long. Let it go like sand in your hand and you would be left with none of those emotions.

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    Aam Panna

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Calories - 20kcal Ingredients 1 raw mango 1 tsp Black salt to taste 2 tbsp mint leaves 1/2 tsp black pepper powder 1 tsp roasted jeera powder Salt to taste Sugar substitute as per sweetness Method Peel the mango, slice it and boil it in 2 cups water for 15 minutes till they are cooked After this cools, add all the other ingredients and mix well Blend this mixture into a puree and then strain the puree Then add 5 glasses of water and fresh mint leaves Serve chilled

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    Reactivating Activity

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living!  Many a times, we all dream of having a magical wand to complete our work, be it household chores or office deadlines. It\'s very easy to say, \"Let it be, I will do it tomorrow\". With the increasing craze of leading a fast paced life and affection of smart gadgets, lethargy has become second nature to us. All we need is a steady mindset and balance. Each one of us loves to get compliments from others and feel good within. Here are interesting tips that could help you to stay active and fit for longer period of time:   Use public transport: In day to day life, we use car even for travelling small distances. Instead, prefer walking or take the aid of using public transport facilities. This little practice can become a habit.​ ​ Being social: With the invention of various social applications and short messaging services, our life just seems to be limited inside four walls. In a week, spare out some time for your friends and acquaintances. Staying socially connected could increase your networking skills and open up opportunities. Sharing lunch and ideas during lunch time could work wonders. ​ Using old techniques: Nowadays, you may spot various Bollywood actors using the effective methods of cycling for staying fit. You can use them too for maintaining your physique. Start with short distances and then gradually increase. ​ Climbing stairs: Do you know why our forefathers were fit and happy, and thus less prone to diseases? The best known reason is that they didn\'t have any machines or equipment to do their work. Lifts, for example, are one of the major causes of laziness for those working outdoors. Try using stairs instead of lift whenever you can. ​ Cleanliness is the way: The best way to get active and burn some calories is to clean your wardrobe and room on your own, with minimal help from others. It also helps to increase flexibility, blood circulation and muscle nerve coordination. Pre-organising things could aid a lot in increasing your activity levels. Why rely on magical wands when moulding our lifestyle is just a habit away!

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    Healthy Recipe: Fibre-rich stuffed capsicum

    By: Neha Ranglani

    This dish a complete healthy and tasty delight. It is a fibre rich recipe that will keep you full with only 120 cal. The sprouts added to it also make it rich in protein. Ingredients 1 capsicum 20g sprouted moong (steamed) ¼ onion (chopped) ¼ tomato (chopped) 2 tsp oil 1 green chilli A pinch of salt and turmeric Method In a pan, add 1 tsp oil, onion, green chilli and toss till onions are golden brown. Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the sprouts and cook till done. Wash the capsicum, cut the top and deseed it. Fill the mixture in the capsicum, put the top back and fix it with a toothpick Take 1 tsp oil in a pan and sauté the capsicum for 2 minutes Serve hot with dal or any other dish.

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    Healthy snack: Bruschetta

    By: Neha Ranglani

    This bruschetta with tomato and basil can make for a healthy snack that can keep you full and has only 125 cal. It is easy to prepare and has an aromatic garlic flavor. The tomatoes make it rich in antioxidant lycopene that can help fight the free radicals in the body. Ingredients 2 small  tomatoes ( chopped and deseeded) 2 garlic cloves (chopped) 1 tsp garlic paste 2 slices whole wheat bread 1 tbsp basil leaves (chopped) 2 tsp olive oil Method Mix 1 tsp oil with garlic paste. Cut the bread into half and apply the garlic paste on each portion. Roast the bread in the oven for 5-8 minutes till it becomes light brown. Mix the remaining 1 tsp oil with tomatoes, chopped garlic and basil leaves and divide it into 4 equal portions. Top it with each portion of bread and serve immediately.

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    Healthy recipe: Pepper prawns

    By: Neha Ranglani

    If you are a prawn lover, here is a delight for you. In this recipe, prawns are sauteed with onions and black pepper that give them a very distinct flavour. It is a low calorie, yet filling and delicious recipe that contains only 150 calories. Do try it out. Ingredients 100 g prawns 1/2  onion (chopped) 1 green chili (sliced) 1 tbsp black pepper (coarsely grounded) ½ tsp red chili powder 2 tsp oil Salt to taste Method Heat oil in a non-stick pan and sauté onions till light brown. Add the prawns and fry for 3 minutes on low flame. Add all other ingredients and cook on a low flame for 5-7 minutes. Serve hot.

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    Healthy recipe: Mushroom omelette

    By: Neha Ranglani

    This is an extremely simple, healthy and delicious omelette prepared with button mushrooms. Mushroom is low in fat and carbohydrates and can be beneficial if you trying to lose weight. This omelette has only 130 calories. Try it out now. Ingredients 2 egg whites 1 egg yolk ¼ onion (chopped) 2-3 button mushrooms (chopped) 1 tsp oil Salt, white pepper powder and mustard powder to taste Method: In a pan add ½ tsp oil and sauté the mushrooms for 2 minutes. Keep it aside. Beat the egg whites and one yolk in a vessel and add salt, white pepper powder, mustard powder and onions. In a non-stick pan add ½ tsp oil and spread this egg mixture and top it with mushrooms. Cook on both the sides and serve hot.

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    Summer special: Cucumber salad

    By: Neha Ranglani

    This is very a cooling salad with the goodness of protein rich curd. Cucumber contains 95% water which help eliminate the accumulated toxins and wastes from your body. Having cucumbers is also a great way to boost your vitamin intake. Ingredients 1 cucumber (peeled and chopped) 1 green chili (finely chopped) 1 tomato (chopped) 1 tbsp coriander/mint leaves (chopped) 1/2 cup low-fat hung curd ½ tsp cumin powder Salt to taste Method Mix the cucumber, chopped tomatoes and green chili in a salad bowl. Beat the yogurt and stir salt and cumin powder. Add this mixture the to the salad bowl and mix well. Garnish with coriander/mint leaves.

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    Control your mind

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living!  We all love playing games on our gadgets or smartphones, don\'t we? Many of us are aware of the fact that every game has a cheat code and by applying these codes, the chances of winning are sure shot. Our mind too is the remote control of our body and it sends signals of hunger in the system. In our routine, while looking at ourselves in the mirror, we make numerous promises like resisting ourselves from eating junk food and unhealthy foods. How much are we able to keep up with these promises is a story for another day. Isn\'t it? But not anymore as we present the 10 best cheat codes to control your mind and body:   Everything is possible for me: In India, every nook and corner has a chain of restaurants serving junk food items like yummy sandwiches, chocolate shakes, caramel ice creams, pizza etc. Firm control on your mind and tongue is all you need. Be a strong believer that it could be the greatest aid in shedding off those extra kilos. Divert your mind by simply counting or do brisk walking. With a firm mind simply say \'stop\' to your cravings. Reward yourself with small gifts when you meet your goals. ​ Aroma matters: According to research, good smells can help reduce negative emotions a lot. In many situations we tend to overeat due to stress or anxiety. This activity could help in sending positive signals to our mind, thus suppressing the urge of overeating. Use swap techniques, send signals to your mind say I\'m full and can\'t overeat. ​ Eating Slowly: Avoid any kind of distractions during consuming your meals, take a smaller plate and try to eat slowly. Instead of quantity, keep your mind active in tasting flavours. Initially, it would be difficult, but gradually it will become a habit. Opt for boiled foods; a sprinkle of tasty flavours is allowed.   Maintaining diary is my necessity: If possible, try to maintain a diary of the food consumed. This procedure will be helpful in maintaining calories and following up with the necessary protein and vitamin intake.   Alert your brain to be active: Be it workplace or home, being active matters. Instead of using the tools of intercom, short messaging services for colleagues or family members, walk towards their cubicle for work. At home, after eating do not wand off to bed directly. Keep a considerable gap.   My body is dependent on hydration: Before every meal my body needs plenty of water, converting these instructions into actions could help suppress your appetite a lot and increase your metabolism levels.   Only little rest and childlike sleep can give me relaxation: In the society we may see many people around us who may be addicted to alcohol or several other addictions. More often the consumption rises during stress. Say no to this awful habit, resist! Your body can relax only if it has considerable sleep of 7 hours during the night. Leptin and Ghrelin are two hormones controlled by sleep and can easily decrease your craving for food.   Fill colours of positivity: Today I have no place for pessimism and nothing can stop me from achieving my goals and positivity. Every morning, reasonable time of relaxing and meditation can give your day a head start. Sharing your problems with closed ones is a good idea.   Triggering mind to erase everything unpleasant: Like games, even in our life we may face many obstacles like working for long hours, stress and may other occasions. The best thing to do is, recall all the good things and erase the bad ones. Good attracts good.   Zeal of fulfilling it into strategies: Focus in life is all we need; mediating is the best way to improve our focus levels. Try to think about only the positive things, dreams and desires to achieve all of them. Think of a great healthy body and it shall be yours just like the Aladdin\'s chirag. Not just on papers, we need to follow the cheat codes in real life too in order to attain a healthy physique and sound state of mind.

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    Quinoa Upma veg

    By: Neha Ranglani

      Calories - 130 kcal per serving   Ingredients 3 tbsp cooked quinoa 1 tbsp peas, steamed 1 tbsp diced carrots, steamed 1 green chillies sliced 0.25 sliced onions A pinch of turmeric powder A pinch garam masala Salt to taste Coriander for garnishing 2 tsp oil 0.25 tsp mustard 0.25 tsp cumin seeds A pinch of hing Method Heat oil in a pan, add oil, cumin, hing, mustard seeds. Then add onions and saute till translucent. Then add the chillies, carrots and peas and saute for few minutes. Then add haldi, garam masala and cooked quinoa. Cover and cook on simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

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    Tava Idlis veg

    By: Neha Ranglani

      Calories - 130 kcal Ingredients 2 leftover idlis 1/2 onion, chopped 1/2 tomato, chopped 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste Pinch of turmeric Salt to taste 1/4 tsp pav bhaji masala 1/2 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp oil Method Heat oil in a pan, saute onions for few minutes till translucent, add tomato, giner-garlic paste, turmeric powder and cook for few minutes. Add salt, pav bhaji masala, idlis and mix well. Add lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

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    Ramzan diet: For all my muslim friends

    By: Neha Ranglani

    The holy time for muslims is just around the corner. With over 12 hours of strict fasting, it only becomes imperative for people to eat what can provide them the best nutrients and hence perform well in their daily chores. So here a few simple guidelines for you to follow during the month of ramzan: Suhoor: This is the time your body is depleted and energy stores are used up during the night. So you need to focus on foods which give your energy and nutrients like vitamins like A, C, B- complex vitamins, minerals like sodium, potassium etc to help you sustain throughout the day. Opt for foods like fruits( every fruits is allowed especially bananas, mangoes, melons etc (due to their high water, potassium and antioxidant content), dried fruits( anjeer, dates, raisins, prunes) which give energy , oats/ ragi/ dalia in form of porridge, upma, chila etc, eggs to give you your protein content preventing muscle breakdown during the day and some Good fat rich nuts(almonds , walnuts, cashews, pistas). Iftar: This is the time your hunger pangs at their peak and eating too much food, too fast can create a problem in digestion. The best way is to go slow. Again start with dried fruits and fruits to give your energy. Then have a balanced meal like salads + 1 grain be it wheat, jowar, rice or ragi + veggies/ sprouts + chicken or fish( grilled, steamed or roasted). Avoid fried and extra sweet foods as they can turn into fat easily after a long fast.  Important tip: Keep a ice cold napkin on your stomach 3-4 during the day. This will keep your body cool and prevent you from excess thirst. Share with all your friends and feel free to ask me your queries below: Register at http://nehachandna.zest.md/.

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    Colour Your Heart Rainbow

    By: Neha Ranglani

      Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Just like the colours around you to make you feel happy and active, a variety of colours in your food would also keep your heart happy and at its best. Nature has given us numerous foods with lovely natural colours that are meant to be included in our diet to help increase our overall nutritional quality. Eating a rainbow of colours provides you with health benefits that cannot be replicated by supplements. Make sure your plate has a variety of at least 3 colours at a time. Let\'s look at the benefits of different colours to add to your colour quotient: 1. Red: Red foods get their colour from pigments like lycopene and anthocyanins, which are great antioxidants that protect the cells of the heart from oxidative damage, reducing cholesterol and improving overall circulation to the heart. Foods with the colour red are tomatoes, cherries, cranberries, red bell peppers, beets, strawberries, watermelon, pomegranate, red grapes etc. 2. Orange and Yellow: These foods get their colour from pigment called carotenoids. They have high a amount of antioxidants like Vitamin C and bioflavonoids which protect the heart against damage, reduce cholesterol, and improve heart function. These foods are mostly a good source of potassium, which helps to reduce blood pressure. These include papayas, oranges, carrots, pumpkin, mangoes, peaches, pineapple, yellow peppers, lemon, sweet lime, etc. 3. Green: These foods get their colour from a pigment called chlorophyll. They contain a good amount of phytochemicals like lutein and indoles along with high levels of folate, which help to reduce the risk of heart diseases and attacks. Foods with this colour include spinach, methi, coriander, celery, parsley, mint, broccoli, capsicum, peas, cabbage, kiwi, avocados, etc. 4. Blue and Purple: These get their pigment from anthocyanins, which have great anti-aging properties. They increase circulation and reduce the risk of cancers, stroke, and heart disease. They also keep cholesterol under check. The common blue/purple foods are blueberries, plums, eggplant, purple cabbage, prunes, black currants, black jamun etc. 5. White: These foods are colored by pigments called anthoxanthins. They may contain chemicals such as allicin, which helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure and also reduce the risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. White foods include garlic, onions, cauliflower, potato, corn, turnips, mushrooms, etc. As a thumb rule, you must include 2-3 servings of fruits and 3-4 servings of vegetables in your daily diet. Apart from these foods, include high fibre foods like oats, brown rice, ragi, jowar, and high-vitamin-E foods like almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios, etc. in your diet to help your heart function better.

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    Learn to say NO to junk

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! So you\'ve finally decided to stick to your healthy diet and lifestyle regime and not put a morsel of junk in your mouth? Oh but you just remembered that tomorrow is your boss\'s birthday party and Saturday is our friend\'s farewell party! How are you going to resist all that tempting, sinful food and refuse people when they offer it to you? God help you!   Don\'t you let such thoughts run through your minds especially after having mentally prepared yourself to transform your lifestyle and eating habits? Yes you do, and the only real problem is saying NO. The best way to do that is to stick to your promise of not touching unhealthy food and constantly remind yourself of that. This will take care of your cravings. But how would you convince people around you? Like this: They say: It\'s my specialty, you have to try it. You say: I definitely will, in a bit. This helps them to forget whether you have tried it or not and helps you to escape smoothly. They say: It\'s really yum, you will love it. You say: I already did! It really is delicious. A lie that doesn\'t hurt anyone is a good lie. This can save you in the best way. They say: It\'s just on holidays dear, why not indulge in it. You say: I would like to celebrate more such holidays in a healthy state of body and mind. This can come across as a big eye opener for them as well as a motivation to switch to healthier eating patterns.  They say: Come on, don\'t be so obsessed with dieting and weight loss. You say: I am not obsessed, I am just mindful of what I eat. Don\'t let their harsh words shake your motivation and willpower. Infact your will might influence them to be conscious of their own eating habits as well. Sometimes you have to deal with food pushers with a bit of straightforwardness. They say: It\'s just a small piece, please have it. You say: Sorry, I don\'t eat that. It is difficult for someone to argue with you on your food preferences and this prevents them from pushing you further. They say: One bite isn\'t going to kill you You say: I\'m sure it won\'t, but once I start I know I wouldn\'t be able to stop. This makes it clear to them that you can fight your food weakness and can refrain from your favorite junk. They say: But it\'s your favorite. You say: It used to be, I am so over it now. This gives them a hint that your preferences have changed now and no point in pushing you for it. They say: One last drink. You say: No, I want to drive back home safely. Do not drink and drive is a law and no one can argue with you if you want to be follow it to be maintain your soberness till you reach home safely. Don\'t be prey to people and their pushiness. Live in total control and wellness!

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    Running - The Best Cardio

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Without a doubt, we all agree on how important cardio is for our heart and body. The flow of blood through our system has more significance than we can imagine. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to each cell in the body, thus keeping you energetic and fit. The best form of cardio where one uses his maximum potential is running. Running is that one physical activity that has been practised since centuries and made even more famous today through marathons. It\'s a form of exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime and without any cost. There are many more reasons for which running is seen as the best choice of workout by people: Makes you stronger: Running uses the largest muscles of your body, i.e. the legs and to some extent the back and arm muscles as well. Being a resistance workout, it helps strengthen the bones, ligaments, muscles and joints of your lower body, provided you run the right way. It\'s the best way to keep yourself strong even as you age. Burns a lot of calories: Running is the best cardio activity to burn off that extra fat. It also helps to keep your appetite-increasing hormone under check. Boosts memory: For all those who have a family history of Alzheimer\'s or dementia, do not worry. All you need to do is start running. It helps your brain work better by improving your cell condition so that your memory remains sharp as ever. Gives you a glow: The sweat on your face helps unclog your pores and the blood gush helps oxygenate all the cells, improving your complexion.   Reduces pressure: Running is by far the best way to keep pressure at bay. As it increases the strength and capacity of the blood vessels, it keeps the pressure under control. Pumps up energy: As running helps blood reach all corners of your body, it provides oxygen and nutrients to every cell, which makes you more energetic and improves your stamina. Feeling sluggish? Just try going for a run instead.   Helps you sleep well: Runners tend to sleep better as running controls your hormones and also sets your sleeping routines. Makes your heart stronger: Running helps strengthen the muscles of your heart and reduces your chances of an attack. Lowers stress levels: Running is the best stress-busting activity. When you feel down, just go for a run. It helps boost serotonin levels, which make you happier, calmer and more relaxed. You\'re then equipped to deal with situations in a better way. For beginners, we suggest you start with brisk walking first, then progress to jogging and when comfortable, then start your running regime. Regardless of your fitness level, you can start from zero to running 20 minutes in 10 weeks. Make it a point to run at least 4 times a week to see noticeable changes in your stamina and endurance levels. Before every run, make sure to warm up for 5-20 minutes with a fast walk and at the end cool down with 5-10 minutes of slow walking. Other things to keep in mind:   Get the right shoes for running or else you will land up with a shin or knee ache. Get your starting position right: Shoulders rolled down and back, arms relaxed, head up and swing your arms in even front-to-back motion. Maintain a rhythm. Breathe in from your nose for 2 counts and breathe out from your mouth for 2 counts. Run at a comfortable pace where you are able to have a conversation with a friend without panting and do not take big strides as it can exhaust you faster. Aim for short and quick strides. Listen to music that gets you going and motivates you to complete your workout. Once you finish your run, while cooling down, roll your head side to side and your shoulders a few times to loosen your upper body. Make sure to stretch your hamstrings, quads and calves to prevent injuries. Listen to your body. Minor burning and aches are a good sign but if there is unbearable pain or injury in any joint, stop there and go to a physiotherapist or orthopedic to rule out any major issue. Drink plenty of water before, during and after running. Eat healthy well balanced meals 2 hours prior running. Avoid eating anything just before running. Wear loose and comfortable clothes that allow your skin to breathe.

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    How fit is fit?

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Fitness in literal terms means improving 5 essential components of the body i.e. flexibility, cardio respiratory endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength and body composition. Most of the physical activities and training programs are designed to work on one or all of these components, which is the ideal way of doing it. But do common people like us understand such a complicated process? No. All we understand is how we feel about our body, mind and spirit, right? The most important thing is the feel-good factor and feeling great within our skin in our own capabilities. Fitness, hence, becomes a very relative term and each person\'s definition of it depends on their interest, physical abilities and goals. It is the ability to physically and mentally do what you want to do, when you want, and with full ease and comfort. It is in your power to complete a task without any limitation arising from stress, injury, illness, low confidence, etc. For someone it might relate to body and for others mind. Here are some examples of what fitness might mean to different people:   Waking up fresh and active in the morning Being able to do household chores with complete comfort Being able to move things easily Working all day without fatigue or tiredness Walking up the stairs to your house without losing breath Playing with children when they want to Driving long distances without lethargy Fitting into your 5-year old dress Buying a dress one size smaller than last year Following your workout plan for a week Being able to run for 30 minutes straight Running a marathon successfully Standing in a queue comfortably for a long time Getting a peaceful, undisturbed sleep every night Having glowing skin and luscious hair Having a cycling race with friends and winning it Building great muscular physique Walking your dog for an hour Combating diseases, especially during weather changes Have you found your own fitness mantra?

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    Burn your sins away!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Let\'s agree we all have days when we slip up our \'perfect diet\' and give in to that piece of cake or samosa. Call it social pressure, a friend\'s birthday party or just a usual comfort food spree, the reasons to sin are many with an equal number of excuses to avoid exercise. All this adds to the extra pounds in the most unwanted areas. Obviously, it is not possible to live like a saint in the highly social and junk food world of ours, but what we can do best for ourselves is either avoid these foods or make up for it by burning the calories consumed. But what if you could look at junk foods by the amount of exercise required to neutralize the calories for each? It\'s a fight or flight situation. If your love for junk food is real, you\'ll overcome this hurdle, if not, you might stop eating junk food altogether!   (The duration of exercise is given for a reference man of 60 kgs which can be calculated for your weight.)

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    Fit Heart, Healthy Body

    By: Neha Ranglani

      Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! All of us at some stage in life have experienced the feeling of being famished without reason. The panting and palpitation are common things amongst all urbanites! Basic movements like walking also seem like a lot of activity just because we\'re not used to it anymore. We laze on our cosy couches, and get things done at the click of a button. The ease and comfort makes us so lazy that moving our joints becomes a tedious task. But just like your car has an engine that needs to be maintained to perform well, your body also has a natural engine called the heart! This fist-sized organ performs an unimaginable job even in the most edgy situations to just keep you alive and going. From pumping blood every second to your organs to filtering the bad blood in your body, it does it all. And we take for granted. Give it some exercise and make its muscles stronger to help it perform its work without stress! Try out any of the cardio exercises below for a stronger and healthier heart:   Brisk walk: Just 30 minutes in a day is good enough to help strengthen your heart. Jogging/Running: The higher the intensity, the better for your heart! The trick is to start slow and steadily increase your speed. This helps condition your heart. Interval training: You can do this by running for a minute, walking for 3 minutes, and repeating it for 30 minutes. You can also increase or change the time limit as per your capacity. Aerobics/Dance/Zumba: These are fun ways to work out your heart muscles. They also motivate you to work out as you are in a group and go along with the groups pace. Swimming: A simple low-impact exercise that gives your heart a good pump and also refreshes you after a hectic work day. Cycling: A fun way to exercise, especially if you are part of a cycling gang or like to roll on empty roads early morning with friends. Just hire a bike and get going. Skipping: A convenient form of exercise that can be done any time and anywhere, even in the premises of your house, compound, or office. You can carry a skipping rope with you wherever you go. Functional training: This includes boot camp kind of activities like jump squats, walking lunges, mountain climbers, burpees, etc. which not only condition your heart but also tone the muscles of your body. Suryanamaskar: You can do these as per your capacity and give your body a good cardio workout. Make sure to get your form right to do it under the guidance of a trainer. Stair climbing: If nothing else works, just take a flight of stairs up and down for 30 minutes at your pace, which can turn out to be a great heart working exercise. So what are you waiting for? Start training your heart for a healthier future!

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    Stop counting calories

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT, Mumbai . She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! We live in a world where looks (read size 0) is more appreciated than being curvy. People get obsessed with their goals of becoming thin and follow crash diets. They forget that they need to eat healthy to help their body perform at its fullest. A lot of contribution towards this attitude comes from the media, society, friends and family. There is so much wrong information that fall prey to, the most common one being that \'you need to count every calorie that goes in\'. This has turned people into a walking talking calculator, measuring every little piece of food. People have forgotten the function of calories for the human body, which is to provide energy!  The calorie-counting process was initiated to assist people to keep a track of how much food they need to eat as per their age, height, and weight, i.e. the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). In general, it just helps you understand your body requirement. It wasn\'t meant for people to become conscious about every calorie consumed. But what people have started doing now is punishing themselves for every extra calorie they intake. This does not make the weight loss process a pleasant experience. All it does it adds to your stress levels, which makes you panic to the extent that you consider it a sin if you have gone beyond the limit and starve yourself or over-workout to make up for it. This causes loss of muscle mass, crashes your metabolism and makes the weight loss process even more difficult. Ultimately, you land up losing trust in the entire concept of weight loss, conclude that it won\'t work for you and get back to your old binging routine. In short, the whole calorie counting process makes you give up on your fitness goals faster as it is something you cannot keep up with forever. The calorie counting process also causes confusion in the choices people make. For example, if a banana has 100 kcal and a small packet of chips has 80 kcal, a calorie conscious person will more likely choose chips over the banana to avoid the 20 extra calories. But bananas contain potassium, calcium, vitamins, etc. whereas chips only have fat and carbs which affects weight and health. This is extremely harmful as it puts you in a habit of opting only for unhealthy foods. You cannot carry cups, spoons, vessels to measure the calories in the food wherever you go. But you can keep yourself fit by making healthier food choices like fruits and dried fruits over chocolates, roasted nuts over fried foods, whole grains like brown rice, oats, ragi, jowar, etc. All you need to do is understand and listen to your body and give it the nourishment it needs. Eat in small portions and keep junk to the minimum. If you land up eating unhealthy foods, just go for a good run or workout and you\'ll be back on track. Stop punishing your body and start enjoying food.Stop counting calories

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    Spice up your monsoons

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Monsoons are here and it\'s that time of the year when your appetite is at its naughtiest best. The summer heat and sun reduce your urge to eat food and as the rains pour, you suddenly crave for hot and spicy foods. The monsoons have a calming effect on you and help you to relax and unwind. In this weather, it is natural to get tempted by your favourite bhajias with some hot hot chai. But for the health conscious, it would be such a big war between the heart and the mind. In such a situation, you need to know how to make some awesome low fat foods and yet satisfy your cravings. Choosing the right food and herbs is the only way to add some taste and health to your meals. Below is a list of some hot foods which can add zing to your boring food: Chillies and jalapenos: These contain substances called capsaicinoids which give a burning sensation post consumption. These foods not only add taste to your food, but also help to reduce food cravings. They also reach the gut and signal the fat cells to increase their activity, thereby increasing temperature and help burn calories faster than usual. You can always add a pinch of it to your soups, salads, veggies, dals, curds, etc. Peppercorns: They come in black and white colour and have a number of health benefits apart from just adding taste and spice to your food. It stimulates the taste buds and increases hydrochloric acid secretion which helps to digest food better, reduces fat storage in the cells, thus helping in weight loss, prevents gas formation, gives relief from sinus and nasal congestion, and also has antibacterial properties which prevent from infections. Garlic: It is a strong immunity booster and prevents you to ward off common cold and flu which is the main problem during monsoons. It helps to lower heart issues by reducing bad cholesterol in the blood, controls blood sugar levels and also reduces the risk of certain cancers. It Has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties preventing vaginal infections. Garlic can be crushed and added to your food everyday. Ginger: It fires the digestive juices which help digest food better, clears the sinus pockets which may get irritating due to the weather changes, and reduces flatulence and stomach cramps. Its anti inflammatory property reduces the debilitating joint stiffness which happen due to arthritis. The most important thing that it does is it clears nose and throat congestion. Just add a few spoons of ginger juice to your juices, soups, dals, and green tea and enjoy its benefits. Garam masala: A basic kitchen ingredient used in our daily Indian cooking. A mixture of spices like clove, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cumin, fennel and bay leaves which add spice and taste to your boring food. Apart from adding flavour, the ingredients in it also have health benefits like helping digestion, reducing gastric issues and bloating, controlling sugar levels and reducing blood pressure, and are anti- inflammatory and anti- bacterial. Add a pinch of it to your hot soups, gravies etc. Recipes Baked Onion Bhajias Ingredients: 2 small onions, sliced 2 tbsp besan 1 pinch salt 1/4 tsp cumin 1/4 tsp ground coriander Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed 1/2 tbsp tomato puree 1/4 tsp ground turmeric 1/4 tsp ground coriander A pinch of ground cumin A pinch of ground ginger A pinch of chilli powder Method Preheat the oven at 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil, add onions to it and saute for 5-8 minutes till translucent. Add the masalas and mix. In a bowl, add besan, salt, coriander, cumin and mix well. Add the onion mixture and tomato puree. Add water as per the need to get the correct consistency. Drizzle some oil onto the prepared tray, place 2 tablespoons of the onion mix onto the tray for each bhajiya, flatten slightly with the back of the spoon. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes, drizzle a little oil on top of the bhajiyas and bake until golden brown. Serve hot, enjoy! Non-Fried Batata Vadas Ingredients For the batter  1 tbsp besan 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi) 1/4 tsp chilli powder A pinch of asafoetida (hing) Salt to taste For the vadas 2 boiled and mashed potatoes 1/2 tsp ginger-green chilli paste 2 tsp chopped coriander (dhania) 1/2 tsp lemon juice Salt to taste A pinch of mustard seeds (rai / sarson) 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi) 2-3 curry leaves (kadipatta) A pinch of asafoetida (hing) 1/4 tsp grated garlic (lahsun) Method In a bowl, add all the batter ingredients with enough water to make it a flowing consistency and keep it aside. Combine the potatoes, ginger, green chilli paste, coriander, lemon juice and salt together in a bowl and mix well. Keep aside. Heat a non-stick pan on medium flame and add the mustard seeds, turmeric powder, curry leaves asafoetida and garlic and dry roast for about 2 minutes. Add to the potato mixture and mix well. Divide it into 2 equal portions and shape them into flat rounds like tikkis and keep aside. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium flame. Dip the vadas in the batter and place them on the pan. Cover and cook on a low flame for 3 to 4 minutes, turn and cook on the other side as well. Remove the lid and cook on both sides till they turn golden brown. Serve with chutney.

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    Healthy recipe: Fish curry

    By: Neha Ranglani

    This fish curry is easy to prepare and truly delicious. Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps reduce cholesterol and improve glucose tolerance. Plus, this dish contains only 160 calories. So, team it with rice and savour it for your lunch. Ingredients: 100 g rawas ½ onion (sliced) Small piece ginger (chopped) 1 garlic clove (chopped) 1 green chilli Few curry leaves 1 tsp turmeric powder 1/2 tsp mustard seeds ½ tsp coriander powder 1 small piece tamarind 2 tsp tomato paste 2tsp oil Salt to taste Method Clean and cut the fish into medium size cubes. Soak tamarind in half cup water. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli and curry leaves and sauté till onions turn brown. Add coriander powder, turmeric and sauté for 1 minute. Then add tomato paste, salt and tamarind water and stir it well. Add ½ cup water and when it boils, add the fish. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium flame. Uncover the pan and cook on low flame for 10 minutes till the gravy becomes thick. Serve hot with roti/rice.

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    Healthy recipe: Chicken hot pot

    By: Neha Ranglani

    This dish is tasty, easy to prepare and can make for a great snack item. The low-fat paneer creates a creamy coating while the pepper powder gives a distinctive flavour.  It is full of fibre and protein and contains only 140 calories. Ingredients 30g boneless chicken(boiled) 15 g whole wheat macaroni ½ capsicum (chopped) 10 g low-fat paneer Red chilli powder Pepper powder Salt to taste Method Boil water and add salt and oil. Then add the macaroni and cook till soft. Blanch the tomatoes and blend it. In a non-stick pan, add the tomato paste, capsicum, salt, red chilli and pepper powder and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add macaroni and chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Garnish with grated paneer and serve hot with garlic bread.

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    Grilled paneer sandwich veg

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Calories - 175kcal Ingredients 2 slices of multigrain bread 20 gms low fat paneer 1/2 onion , chopped 1/4th cup chopped cabbage, capsicum 1/4th cup chopped tomatoes 1 tsp roasted jeera powder 1/2 tsp black pepper A pinch of haldi for color Salt to taste Method Mix all the above ingredients. Place the mixture between two slices of bread. Grill it in a toaster/griller. Serve hot with coriander chutney/ tomato ketchup.

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    Pump up the iron

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Have you felt exhausted lately while climbing the stairs or extremely weak and fatigued even on a normal day? Then you need to check your iron levels. Many a times people blame it on improper food intake, lack of sleep, work overload, etc. But they miss out on the simplest reasons for feeling tired, that is, lack of iron in the body. This also causes palpitations, breathlessness, soreness of the mouth, headache, dizziness, etc. It affects the haemoglobin formation, which is the oxygen transporter in the body supplying oxygen to the brains, organs, and every cell of your body. A good amount of iron is very important for proper growth of hair, strong nails, and glowing skin. Iron also improves immunity and is needed especially during pregnancy to supply oxygen to the baby and during pre-menstruation to prevent loss of iron due to heavy bleeding. To top the list, iron also helps in weight loss as every cell functions optimally. The best way to up your iron levels is to eat iron rich foods: Sources of heme iron (better absorbed than non-heme sources):   Red meat: Rich in iron, Vitamin B12 and protein, all of which are excellent to prevent anemia. But very high in saturated fat, hence needs to be eaten in moderation. Chicken: A great source of protein as well especially for gym goers. Fish: like tuna, sardines etc provides omega 3 along with iron which is extremely important for proper cell functioning. Egg yolks: Super rich in vitamin A, D and protein. A great food for muscle building. Do not eat more than 1 yolk a day to keep your cholesterol intake under check. Sources of non-heme iron:   Soyabeans and Tofu: They are saviours for vegetarians in terms of protein. Spinach: Rich in iron as well as other vitamins like A and C. Lentils and Beans: great source of protein, fiber along with iron. Dates, Prunes and Raisins: Provide instant energy and improve stamina. Instant Oatmeal: Powerhouse of fibre and B-complex vitamins. Nuts and Seeds: Like almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, cashewnuts, great source of good fat and vitamin E, which improve heart condition and skin texture. Ways to increase iron absorption:   Include a combination of heme and non-heme iron sources. Add vitamin C to iron rich foods to increase iron absorption. Cook in iron vessels to increase iron content of food.

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    Roasted fish (Non Veg)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Calories - 130 kcal Ingredients 125 gram(s) thick fillet of fish Paste of ginger and garlic 1 tsp red chilli powder 1 pinch haldi for colour 1/2 tsp lemon juice 1 tablespoon Oil Salt to taste Method :- Apply salt, chilly powder, ginger-garlic paste and lemon juice to the washed fish slices. Marinate for 15-20 minutes. Heat Oil in a pan to thinly coat it. Roast fish for 5 minutes on one side. Flip and repeat till slightly browned. Serve with an extra lemon wedge.  

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    Fruit up to Rehydrate

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Your body water levels drop so quickly in summer or after a workout that you don\'t even realize when you\'re already dehydrated. Blame whatever, but you need to find a solution to rehydrate yourself nevertheless. Water is obviously the best bet hydration, but you need to make up for the electrolytes you lose in the sweat too. For that you need to eat foods high in water and electrolytes. Nothing better comes to mind than fruits! Let\'s review some fruits high in water content and nutrients along with how they benefit us:   Watermelon: They are high in water content (almost 90%), low in calories, and high in fibre, which helps lose weight and prevent constipation. They are also rich in vitamin C, which provides protection against immune system deficiencies, and vitamin A , which promotes good eyesight and skin health. The red flesh of a watermelon is also a significant source of phytochemicals, known as lycopene, a nutrient with proven cancer-prevention qualities. Potassium in it also has BP lowering and heart protecting qualities. Plums: Super source of vitamin C, they\'re essential for the formation, growth, maintenance, and repair of all bodily tissues, including skin, blood vessels, bones and teeth. Good potassium content which reduces BP. They contains antioxidant anthocyanins, which protect against cancer. They are blood purifiers. They\'re high in fibre, which helps in proper bowel movements. Lychee: An all time favorite for young and old, a great source of vitamin C, which helps to prevent gum bleeding, cold, heal wounds, build collagen for skin and bones, protects the heart and prevents infections. It also helps the body fight against cancer. Lychees also help improve digestion and bowel regularity. They\'re also a good source of potassium, an electrolyte that helps to maintain fluid balance, contract muscles and control blood pressure. They are very rich in polyphenols, which help to protect against heart problems, cancer and infections. Figs: These are known for their natural laxative action as they are very rich in fibre and help to prevent colon cancers as well. They are sweet and help curb sugar cravings. Rich in potassium, which helps reduce high blood pressure and helps overall muscle function. Figs also contain prebiotics, which help support the pre-existing good bacteria in the gut, improving digestive wellness. Good source of calcium for strong bones and iron to prevent anemia. Honeydew melon: It\'s a refreshing fruit filled with water, to cool you on a hot summer day. It\'s high vitamin C content helps to neutralize toxins and also helps in synthesis of collagen, which is used to support blood vessels, ligaments and skin. It\'s high in soluble fibre and low in calories which makes it perfect for weight loss. The potassium in it helps to lower high BP. Improves skin texture and complexion. Amla: Extremely rich in vitamin C which makes it a powerful antioxidant and helps in prevent gum problems, collagen building for a strong body and prevents common cold and cough by boosting immunity. It improves skin texture, delays skin ageing, strengthen nails and prevents hair fall. It improves vision and cataracts. Acts as a great detoxifying agent for the liver and kidneys, prevents cancers, mouth ulcers and improves brain function and enhances mood. Helps in absorption of iron thereby preventing anemia. It increases you digestive power and helps in weight loss as well. Peaches: Being naturally sweet and, high in fiber and low in calories, help in weight loss. Good source of vitamin B which provides energy. Rich in Vitamin A, a great antioxidant protecting the body from cancer, skin, eyes and organs from damage. Super source of potassium for normal bp, heart beat and muscle function. Fiber helps to lower cholesterol. They contain antioxidants called cholorogenic acid which helps to prevent cancer and reduce inflammation. Peaches provide some magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, iron and calcium as well. These minerals work to support red blood cell, bone and nervous system health. Pineapple: It is a great digestive as contains enzyme bromelain which softens the food in the stomach. It also has anti inflammatory properties and prevents growth of cancer cells. Good source of energy. Pineapple is rich in manganese that is necessary to build strong bones and connective tissues. It is rich in fiber and helps to relieve constipation. Has a diuretic effect and reduces bloating. High vitamin C content helps to strengthen immune system. Improves skin, hair and nails. Mango: The fiber pectin and antioxidants in mango reduces the risk of cancer in the digestive tract and also helps to lower cholesterol. The enzymes in mango help to improve digestion. The vitamin A in mango is a power supply for your eyes and skin, helps to prevent eyesight relates issues, improves acne, clears complexion and adds a glow to your skin giving you an anti ageing benefit. Vitamin C in mango helps to boost immunity. Keep the body cool and refreshed. The Vitamin B 6 content helps to improve brain function and memory. Palm fruit (Tadgola): A special fruit of the summer season, filled with tender water which actually hydrates you and a sweet soft flesh which is rich in potassium helping you control your blood pressure and keep your muscles functioning well. Now you can enjoy a range of fruits this summer season to keep your water levels up and refresh any time of the day.

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    Brown Rice Pulao (Veg)

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Calories - 200 kcal Ingredients 20 gm soaked brown rice. 3-4 cloves of garlic Small piece of ginger 2-3 green chilies, chopped 1 stick of cinnamon 4-5 cloves 1 Carrot, chopped 10 gms peas 5-6 strands of French beans 2 tsp oil Salt to taste Method: Heat oil in a pan. Add cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, green chilies and saute. Add carrot, and brown rice and mix well Add water, peas, French beans and salt and mix well. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook till the rice is done. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

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    Control your cholesterol

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! We\'ve always seen cholesterol as the bad fat in the body, just because most people face high cholesterol issues that lead to heart problems in the future. But does that mean it has nothing good about it? Of course not! Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is extremely important for the body in many ways like:   Producing sex hormones in both men and woman Maintaining cell structure and temperature Producing vitamin D in the presence of sunlight, which is extremely important for bone strength Producing bile in the liver which is important for fat digestion But just as everything is bad in excess, the same applies to cholesterol as well. If you eat too much of high cholesterol in fatty foods like egg yolks, red meat, organ meat, etc. and lead an extremely sedentary life, your cholesterol levels will go up, and you will blame the poor cholesterol instead of blaming your lifestyle. Below are a few tips that can help you lower your cholesterol levels:   Include plenty of soluble fibre foods in your diet like oats, fruits like apples, pears, prunes, dates, etc, and beans. The soluble fibre forms a gel in the digestive tract, binds with the excess cholesterol, and helps excrete it from your body. Have nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, and seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. They contain Vitamin E, a great antioxidant and rich in PUFA and MUFA, which have cholesterol-lowering properties. Include fish/flaxseeds in your diet as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which form a part of each and every cell of your body, increasing good cholesterol and reducing bad cholesterol. One can have fish 2-3 times/week. Olive oil is a great source of PUFA and MUFA, which are important to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. You can add it to your salads and soups or use the cooking olive oil to cook your daily food. Onions contain quercetin and garlic contains sulphurous compounds that help to lower bad cholesterol. You can add them to your salad or daily food. Fenugreek seeds are a rich source of steroidal saponins that help to reduce the body\'s absorption of cholesterol through the fat-rich foods we eat. Besides, researchers also speculate that these saponins may have a role to play in reducing the body\'s production of cholesterol. The fibre in the methi seeds adds to its value to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Replace whole dairy foods with low-fat options like low-fat milk, curds, cheese, paneer or even better soy milk / tofu Replace butter, margarine, ghee with vegetable oils like sunflower oils, safflower oils, etc. Avoid red meat and make sure you de-skin the chicken before consuming it. Strive to consume no more than 200mg cholesterol a day. Consume no more than 1 egg yolk a day. Avoid processed foods like cookies, chips, bakery items, fried foods to prevent high your blood cholesterol from rising as they contain the harmful trans fats. You can consume a fibre supplement daily, which can help cut down your cholesterol levels just to make sure you meet your day\'s fibre requirement. Control your alcohol consumption and make sure you not do not exceed the permissible levels of more than 1 drink a day for women and 1-2 drinks a day for men. Read the food label carefully and avoid foods with ingredients like meat fat, coconut or palm oil, cream, butter, egg or yolk solids, whole milk solids, lard, cocoa butter, chocolate or imitation chocolate, or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat or oil. Watch out for fast foods and other unlabelled products where you don\'t know what you are actually eating. Lastly, exercise everyday for at least 45 minutes as it helps increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels in your blood, which in turn helps to lower bad cholesterol. You can opt for any exercise you like be it walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, weight training, zumba, etc. Cholesterol isn\'t that bad as long as you are conscious of what you eat 

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    Masala Fruit bowl

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Calories - 175 kcal Ingredients 1 apple 1 medium pear 1/2 medium guava 100ml orange juice 2 anjirs - chopped up Chaat masala as per taste Method Wash and chop all the fruits into medium square cubes Juice one orange. Mix all the above ingredients in bowl. Sprincle chat masala as per taste and enjoy.

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    Cook healthy for your partner!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! You have always wished to eat healthy and tried to stick to our diet regime. But most of the time you land up eating junk food when you\'re with your spouse/partner, and they force you to take a bite of that mouth-watering fat-loaded food. How about getting your partner addicted to healthy food? For most people, the idea of healthy food is boring and monotonous. That is the notion you have to change. There are a number of ways you can do it:   Everyone is now internet savvy. There are a number of healthy recipes available online, which you can find and prepare for your loved one. Prepare the dish your partner likes with a healthier twist, so that they do not reject it at the first look and at least give it a shot. Make some yummy salads / veggies / grilled chicken / steamed fish / low-fat paneer paratha, etc., which are healthy yet irresistible. Take your partner grocery shopping with you and ensure that he/she picks up only healthy items under your check. Pack a low-fat and low-cal meal in their tiffin with a note saying \"I love you, that\'s why I care\". It will bring a smile to their face and they will eat the meal without a thought. Tell your partner to make a healthy meal for you on the weekend. It will get them involved in the entire process of eating healthy. There are a couple of healthy food joints coming up in India. They can be the new date/hangout location for you to surprise your better half with. The best way is to involve your partner in the entire healthy cooking process and explain the importance of adding fibre-rich, vitamin-rich, and healthy oil options to your meals. A healthy couple can ensure a healthy family. Showing your partner you care and preparing healthy meals is one of the ways of expressing it.

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    Muesli Nuts chikki veg

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Calories - 300 kcal Ingredients 10gms almonds 10gms peanuts 20gms muesli 25gms jaggery 1 tsp ghee Method In a pan, roast almonds, peanuts and chop unevenly, keep aside. In another pan, add ghee and jaggery, let it melt and add the almonds, peanuts and muesli and stir continuously. In a greased flat plate, pour the mixture and roll it evenly with a rolling pin, cut it when hot and serve when cool.

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    Let\'s turn the clock around!!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living!  Gone are the days when our parents worked 9 to 5 and came back home to us early, following a routine that is desired by the body and mind. Advancement in many fields, international opportunities, competition, inflation, and an ambitious attitude has pushed us to work through day and night to achieve our goals. Be it a call centre, hospital, aviation, or an MNC, night shifts are very common nowadays. Research says that night shifts can disrupt your body\'s sleep-wake cycle, known as circadian rhythm. Our body is naturally programmed to sleep and rise with the sun. Forcing yourself to stay up all night and be alert at work the next day can be quite challenging. Also, the metabolic rate of your body naturally slows down at night. Providing the right nutrition to be alert and active hence becomes the most crucial aspect.  People working at night tend to weigh more or have a higher body fat percentage. Some also suffer from constipation, acidity, and ulcers, etc. due to various reasons like:   No time to exercise Too tired to exercise Meetings and deadlines Altered food timings Eating wrong foods in wrong quantities Vending machines, junk, sodas, chips, and fast foods, which are the only options easily available in the canteen area Unwanted mid-meal snacking out of boredom If you want to excel at your work, be productive, and be healthy as well, you need put in that extra effort. Here are a few health guidelines for the night-shift workers:   Since your day starts at night, try to eat your dinner between 8pm and 10pm before you leave for work or carry a tiffin along with you. Make sure you include a good amount of salad and whole grains like wheat, brown rice, ragi, etc. in your meal to keep yourself full for a good 2-3 hours. Fill in your mid meals every 2-3 hours with healthy high-fibre snacks like fruits, nuts, roasted chivdas, khakras, roasted puffed rice (kurmura), etc. to keep your metabolism active, and prevent hunger pangs and weight gain. The most common issue people face while working at night is drowsiness, for which you need to include protein-rich foods in your meals, like eggs, chicken, low-fat cheese, peanut butter, low-fat fruit, yoghurt, etc. These keep you alert and focused unlike carb loaded foods like potato, rice, cereals, etc., which have a sedating and relaxing effect making you feel sleepy. Avoid sugary foods like sweets, chocolates, cakes, etc., because the body\'s ability to process sugar declines at night thus easily converting it into fat. You also have to avoid fried foods like chips, burgers, vada pav, french fries, etc., which will surely increase the fat in your body. Stop visiting the cafeteria too often so that you don\'t get tempted to pick up the wrong foods. Though carrying food from home may sometimes be a tedious affair, it is definitely a safer bet. Drink water liberally. Even in the air-conditioned atmosphere, you lose moisture from your skin, and that will leave you tired and fatigued affecting your work capacity. So keep a bottle of water on your desk and drink regularly. Remember that beverages like coffee and tea dehydrate you, so limit their intake. Have buttermilk, green tea, or lemon juice instead. Snacking for entertainment must be avoided. Instead, to keep your muscles active and feel alert, take a short break, stretch, climb some stairs, do breathing exercises, etc. After you get back home, have a light snack before you sleep. A glass of milk with poppy seeds or a bowl of oats porridge can give you a sound sleep. Make sure you sleep for 4-5 hours at a stretch to wake up feeling refreshed. Any kind of disturbance in sleep can affect the later part of your day, making you feel drowsy and sluggish. Try incorporating at least 30-35 minutes of exercise everyday, be it brisk walking, swimming, jogging, weight training, dancing, etc. to help reduce your fat percentage, improve blood circulation and immunity, and prevent sedentary lifestyle issues such as obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. The best time to do it is after waking up and before leaving for work. Try to regularize your sleep and meal timings to that of your body clock for maximum health benefits. In the entire bargain to make a living, don\'t forget to live life. Listen to music, go for a long drive, meet friends, watch a movie, and do all that makes you happy.

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    Corn chatpata

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Calories - 100 kcal Ingredients 20gms corn kernels, boiled 1/2 onion, chopped 1 small tomato, chopped 1/2 green capsicum, chopped 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped Salt to taste Chaat masala Red chilly powder Oregano powder 2 tsp Lemon juice Method In a vessel, boil the corn till tender. In a salad bowl mix corn and all the above vegetables. Add salt, red chilies, chaat masala and oregano powder. Sprinkle lemon juice and serve.

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    10 Superfoods to Fight Acne

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Is acne bringing down your self-esteem? Don\'t worry! You are not the only one. Research has shown that during adolescence, close to 90-100% of the population has at least an occasional whitehead, blackhead, or pimple, regardless of race or ethnicity. In most cases, acne begins between the ages of 10 and 13 and usually lasts for 5 to 10 years. Acne is mostly due to the way our skin reacts to hormonal changes. The skin contains sebaceous glands that naturally release sebum, an oily substance that helps protect it. During puberty, raised levels of the hormone testosterone can cause too much sebum to be produced. This happens in both boys and girls. The sebum can block hair follicles. When dead skin cells mix with the blockage, it can lead to the formation of spots. Bacteria in the skin multiply, causing pain and swelling beneath the blockages. We often blame chocolates, oily foods, and sweets for aggravated acne. But this is just a myth. Food itself has no effect on acne. The frequency of your flare-ups depends on the hormonal changes, genetics, stress levels, and skin type. Foods like sodas, burgers, pizzas, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, samosas, vada pav, etc., which are high in sugar and white flour, cause a spike in your insulin levels leading to excess cortisol production, which is responsible for acne development. Any kind of psychological or physical stress also raises the blood cortisol levels. So keeping the cortisol levels under control is a crucial factor. You can keep your cortisol levels low by following a good healthy diet, yoga, exercise, listening to your favorite music, getting enough sleep, and having a positive attitude in life. Let\'s focus on top 10 foods that can actually help you prevent acne or fight the existing ones:   Fish or Flaxseeds: These contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which have the ability to reduce inflammation in our body that can trigger cells to clog pores and potentially cause acne. They are wonder foods for the skin and body. Have 2-3 servings of salmon, sardine, or mackerel per week, or 1-2 tablespoon of flaxseeds in your soup, smoothies, shakes per day to up your omega-3 intake. Avocado: This is an excellent source of Vitamin E, which protects the skin from radical damage caused by poor diet and environmental toxins. It boosts your immunity to fight against those nasty bacteria causing red bumps on your beautiful face. It keeps your skin supple and free of blemishes. Other rich sources of vitamin E are almonds, walnuts, peanuts, olive oil, etc. Alfalfa Sprouts: Though they may look like grass, they are power packed with vitamins like A, C, K, etc. and minerals like zinc, selenium, copper, which help to detoxify the liver, flush out toxins from the body, and give you a clear glowing skin. The super nutrition content, combined with the high amounts of chlorophyll, make these an extraordinary healer. You can steam them and add them to your soup, salads, sandwiches, or juices. Kiwi: It has 3 times more Vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C may not directly cure acne, but contributes to a strong and healthy immune system which helps you to eradicate any sort of infection. It also is necessary for formation of healthy cell walls, collagen and elastin keeping the cell skin cell structure intact and promoting healing of the affected cells and scars. You can also opt for other vitamin c rich foods like oranges, lemons, bell peppers, amla, guava, etc. since your body does not store this water soluble vitamin, you need to get enough of it from your daily diet. Carrots: These are filled with betacarotene, which gets converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is the best antioxidant for the skin. It improves skin texture and maintains healthy skin cells. You can also get  Vitamin A from tomatoes, sweet potato, red and yellow bell peppers, cantaloupes, etc. Sunflower Seeds: These are rich in selenium, which in combination with Vitamin E works wonders to protect the skin from bacterial damage. They reduce inflammatory damage to the skin, preserve skin elasticity, and control acne development. Other foods rich in selenium are Brazil nuts, fish, shellfish, mushrooms, etc. Pumpkin Seeds: These are good sources of zinc. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency can weaken the immune system making one prone to any kind of infection. Hence zinc in your diet can help you prevent flare ups and protect skin from any bacterial invasion. Other foods rich in zinc are sesame seeds, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, chickpeas, wheat germ etc. Yoghurt: It contains live bacteria that prevent the growth of bad bacteria in the gut and allow the good fellows to grow. These good bacteria do not allow the bad ones to enter your system, thereby improving your immunity and defense against skin infections. Especially if you are on antibiotic treatment, 1 cup yogurt a day can be of great help. Green Tea: It contains flavonols and polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that help to control skin infections, soothe inflammation, and boost the immune system, thus detoxifying the body. Water: The benefits of water are umpteen, hence it makes sense to drink plenty of water. Water is a universal solvent. It dissolves the toxins, throws them out of the body, carries the nutrients and antioxidants to the skin cells, and promotes faster healing, reducing acne flare ups. Drink more on days your activity level is high or the temperature outside is much higher than usual. We all understand the pain and stress one goes through when one sees new zits and pimples popping up. Integrate these 10 foods in your diet to stay vibrant and skin healthy. Heal yourself with the right foods.

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    Chicken Masala Roll- Healthy Non veg Recipe

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Calories - 200 kcal Ingredients 1 whole wheat roti 100gms chicken (boiled) 1/2 onion chopped 1/2 tomato chopped 1 small green chilli A pinch of turmeric 2 tsp coriander powder 1 tsp red chilli powder 1 tsp ginger garlic paste Salt to taste 1 tsp oil Method Take a non stick pan and add oil in it. Add ginger garlic paste and green chilli. Add onions and saute till light brown. Add tomatoes, masalas and salt and saute for 2 mins. Add the boiled chicken, 1/2 cup water and simmer the gas and cover for 2 mins to enhance the flavour. Take the roti and place the thick chicken masala on the roti and roll it into a Frankie.

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    Snack on the go!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living!  With the crazy, hectic life we lead, we don\'t really have time to think about snacking. Sparing some time for our main meals becomes such a challenge. But did you know that eating 3-4 small snacks between meals gives you energy and increases your metabolism, which in turn helps you reduce weight and burn fat? But wait, there is a catch! When we say snacking in between, we mean healthy snacks that are high in fibre and protein, and not junk food like samosas, vadas, chaat, pizzas, etc. It is not that difficult if you make up your mind to eat healthy snacks. Carry them with you so that you don\'t really have to give in to unhealthy temptations. Let\'s look at some of the healthy options that are easy to carry as well: Fruit and nuts Fruits are scared foods of the earth with natural vitamins and minerals that give you energy on the go. They are easy to carry and eat even when you are travelling or setting out for a break. Nuts, on the other hand, have good fats and are filling, They can be easily kept in your pocket to be munched on even during an important meeting. Apples, pear, oranges, walnuts, almonds, etc. are great convenient options. Calories: Less than 120 kcal Sprouts Again, easy to prepare and carry. All you need to do is just steam them, add cucumber, tomatoes, onions, lime, and chaat masala and there you have it! Some healthy protein, fibre and vitamin C rich snack. You can use a variety of sprouts like moong, moth, rajmah, chana, or even a mixture of all these. Calories: 150 kcal Boiled eggs High in protein and vitamin A, they are excellent, filling snacks that help your muscles and cells repair themselves. If you are weight conscious, you can opt for egg whites instead of the yellow. The only thing you need to do is peel them when you want to eat them, so that they remain fresh.  Calories: Less than 100 kcal Muesli This is a fairly new snack option available in variety in the market. You can buy sweet or savoury versions of it as per your choice. A handful of muesli with some green tea during your tea break will give you the energy rush you need to focus on your remaining day\'s work. You can also opt for muesli with nuts to add to the nutrition value. Calories: 100 kcal Nutrichoice Oats/Ragi Biscuits These are healthy, tasty, and easy to carry. 1-2 biscuits during a tiny break will give you the fibre and energy your body needs. Ragi is also an excellent source of calcium.  Calories: less than 80 kcal Make sure you stock your bag with these foods to keep your health in your hands always. Eat healthy, stay fit!

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    Oats Omelet - Veg Healthy Recipe

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Calories - 135 kcal Ingredients 30gms oats powder 1/2 onion, chopped 1/2 tomato chopped 1 small green chilly Turmeric (pinch) Red chilly powder Garam masala (pinch) Few coriander leave, chopped Salt to taste 2 tsp oil Method Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and add water to make a smooth batter. In a nonstick pan, add oil and half portion of the batter and cook on both sides till brown. Repeat with the other half portion and serve with mint chutney.

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    Go grain!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! These days, there are so many products in the market under the term \'multigrain\', and we health enthusiasts pick up most of them with the intention of polishing our health. And why not? We are recommended to eat 5 servings of grains a day to give us the required fibre, B-complex vitamins and other nutrients. But not all multigrain products are the same. We have multigrain atta, bread, biscuits, etc., which contain different ingredients. The most common grains used in a multigrain product are wheat, oats, ragi, corn, rice, jowar, etc. A product might contain 3-5 types of grains. The only thing one needs to keep in mind while opting for a multigrain product is to choose one that mentions \'whole\' on the label. There are lots of products that are sold as multigrain products but contain refined flours instead of whole. The idea of a multigrain product is to give you cumulative benefits of whole grains in one. Multigrain products made from whole grains have the following benefits:   It\'s rich in soluble and insoluble fibre, which aids digestion, adds bulk, and prevents constipation. It also helps eliminate cancer-causing toxins from the body. It binds with cholesterol and excretes it, preventing an increase in blood cholesterol levels, thereby protecting your heart. It controls blood sugar levels, which is a great boon for diabetics. It provides you with the much needed B-complex vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid. These vitamins help you convert nutrients from food to energy and thus help you go on throughout the day. They also help in nerve functioning, red blood cells formation, regulating appetite, proper brain functioning, etc. It\'s a good source of iron, which helps increase haemoglobin levels to supple more oxygen to your brain, muscles, and other organs. It\'s a good source of protein. Cereals are not a complete source of proteins as they lack amino acid. But multigrain makes up for the deficiencies of amino acid, making it a complete source of protein, which helps repair cells and strengthen muscles. It helps in weight loss. Since it has high fibre content, it makes you feel full faster and for a longer period. For example, 2 wheat rotis is equal to 1 multigrain roti in terms of satiety. This helps you reduce caloric intake, makes you feel good, and assists in weight loss. The best way to include them in your diet is to replace your atta with multigrain atta, white bread with multigrain bread, biscuits with multigrain biscuits, etc. The next time you grab a packet of bread, take a look at the multigrain options and choose your pick. Multigrain is the way to good health!

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    Amazing Tiffin Ideas For Your Kids

    By: Neha Ranglani

    I\'m sure every woman would agree with the fact that it\'s easier to please your husband or in-laws through healthy food than your kids. When it comes to food, it\'s tough to understand what kids may agree to eat! With the variety and food options available in the market today, it gets more and more challenging for the mother to meet the child\'s demands not only in terms of taste but also in terms of their health and well being. Junk food like pizzas, burgers, french fries, hot dogs are some of the classic favorites amongst the kids, but these are responsible for problems like obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. later on in life. But the problem is that if you don\'t give them what appeals to their eyes and taste buds, you will get an untouched tiffin back home at the end of the day. So let\'s see how we can balance the taste needs and health of our children:   Roti pizza: Make a thick roti, top it with tomato sauce, veggies, paneer and bake it in the oven for 10 mins. Soya burger: Make grilled soya and veg tikkis, place them between whole wheat buns along with veggies like tomatoes, lettuce, onions, capsicum. Idli sandwich: Put chutney and butter on each idli, place onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, in between the idlis and serve as a sandwich. Dal pancakes: Make a moong dal pancake and top it with paneer and tomatoes. Egg roti roll: Put chapati in a pan, break the egg so that it coats the chapatti, add all veggies in between and roll it into a roti roll. Chicken Frankie: Take some leftover chicken gravy, place it on a roti with onions and tomatoes and roll it into a Frankie. Ragi uttapa: Mix ragi flour and rice flour with water, add onions, tomatoes, capsicum and make a pancake out of the mixture. Spinach paratha: Make a dough with spinach paste and fill it with low fat paneer to make a paratha. Healthy pasta: Mix whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and loads of veggies. Pudina rice: Mix veg brown rice pulao with mint leaves and curd. I\'m sure that if these tasty and healthy dishes are part of your kid\'s tiffin, every last bit of it will be completely consumed by your kid. In fact you might have to give him/her two tiffins for their friends too!! Happy parenting!

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    Antioxidants you need...

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Antioxidants are substances which can counteract the damaging effects of the normal process of oxidation in the body. They are nutrients like vitamins and minerals which play an important role in preventing chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer\'s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and cataracts.  Free radicals are produced within our body due to normal processes like metabolism, respiration, pollution, sunlight, smoking, alcohol and strenuous exercise but it poses stress on the body when excessive free radicals are produced beyond the body\'s capacity to fight against it. Free radicals are unstable molecules and attack various cells in our body in order to become stable thereby damaging our organs. Antioxidants stabilize these free radicals without undergoing damage and hence protecting us from health problems.  Sources and requirement of antioxidant nutrients: Vitamin E also known as anti-aging vitamin found in walnuts, peanuts, almonds, whole grains, vegetable oils etc. An adult needs minimum 15mg and maximum 1070mg of natural vitamin E. Vitamin C improves immunity and works in combination with vitamin E. It is found in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, amla, guava, tomatoes etc. An adult needs minimum 90mg and maximum 2000mg. Beta-carotene (form on vitamin A) helps to protect vision and skin texture. It is found in red, orange vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, papaya, mangoes, bell peppers, green leafy-vegetables, pumpkin etc. There are no specific requirements for beta-carotene. Selenium is a trace mineral found in wheat, corn, rice, nuts, soybeans, chicken, egg, fish etc. An adult needs minimum 55mg and maximum 400mg of selenium. In a nut shell, eat more of fruits, vegetables and nuts, abstain from smoking and alcohol, exercise regularly, do some yoga exercises and relax and be happy to prevent aging and damage to your body.

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    Flaunt Healthy Hair This Summer

    By: Neha Ranglani

    We superficially take care of our hair but tend to forget that there is a more deeper and internal nutritional approach to nurture it and give a healthy sheen, feel and look our hair. A balanced diet rich in proteins and iron can work just fine to give you shiny, bouncy and thick hair.  Here are a list of certain foods which can work wonders to improve your hair quality: Chicken: they have high quality protein and iron making your brittle hair strong and long. Fish: especially salmon and tuna besides having high amount of protein also contain high amount of omega-3 fatty acids required for good scalp health which makes every cell of your hair luscious. Vegetarians can substitute fish with 1-2 tbsp flaxseeds for plant based omega-3. Eggs: are excellent source of protein and biotin which prevents hair breakage and improves hair strength. Green leafy vegetables: are a great source of iron, vitamin C-helps to absorb iron and vitamin A-helps to produce sebum by your hair follicles, natural hair conditioner.18 Beans: provide little protein alone but have good amount of iron, folic acid, zinc and biotin making hair stronger. Nuts: like walnuts, almonds, cashews etc are a fair source of zinc which prevents hair loss. Whole grains: low carb diet can lead to a receding hairline as whole grains like wheat, jowar, nachni, brown rice etc contain b- complex vitamins and zinc which help to improve hair quality. In a nut shell, a balanced diet including all the above mentioned foods can give you your dream hair quality and look.

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    Reasons For Making a Grocery List

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Have you ever gone grocery shopping, bought everything that you wanted and almost never stuck to what you actually needed? That scenario seems very common to most of us. So what you can do is make a list - on your phone, on some tiny scrap of paper or even scribble it on your hand. Grocery lists can do more good than you ever thought: Observe for 5 minutes - Think about what you like and what the healthy options around it are. For example, if you are thinking of stocking up on snacks - list different seasonal fruits and fill your jars with nuts. When you write it down, you tend you remember while you\'re in that shopping aisle. Helps avoid bad temptations - It\'s there to remind you exactly what you need at the moment and helps you to stick to it without getting drifted away with unhealthy food items tempting you. Helps you plan ahead - A well thought out grocery list can be made keeping in mind the coming week. It will save you the trouble of thinking about what to cook and eat everyday. Planning a healthy week goes a long way in staying fit. Helps you keep track of your diet - When you make lists, you can refer to them all the time and keep a check of where your diet is going. Whether you\'re planning on toning yourself or attempting to lose some weight, having something to remind you of your eating habits can help tons!

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    Water is Life - Go aqua!

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Most people indulge in all sorts of drinks, like tea, coffee, cold drinks, cocktails, etc. when they go out, but tend to forget the most important liquid for life - WATER. Some don\'t realize that their body needs water and others are just too lazy to get up and have a glass. This just leads to dehydration which causes fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle cramps, etc., and in turn affects performance and reduces work efficiency. It also affects digestion and metabolism making your body sluggish and causing weight gain.   50-70% of our body is made up of water. Hence our body requires 30-35ml/kg body weight water/day. In conditions of extreme heat and humidity, the requirement of water increases even further. Water has a host of benefits:   Helps to flush out toxins from your body and provides oxygen and nutrients to all the organs Relieves headache and body pain caused due to dehydration Makes skin soft, elastic and smooth giving it a younger look Helps you focus and concentrate better as your brains need water for functioning Prevents constipation and makes you feel lighter, prevents kidney stone formation Prevents water retention as excess fluid is flushed out Keeps joints and muscles lubricated and prevent cramps and sprains Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Rehydrate yourself every 10-15 minutes and replace your beverages with plain, simple water which is available for FREE but benefits your body better than any health tonic. So the next time you get that urge to down a soft drink, just have water instead!

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    Healthy recipe for diabetics: Jowar uttappam

    By: Neha Ranglani

    In this recipe, the South Indian delicacy uttapam is made healthier with the addition of iron-rich jowar and urad dal. Urad dal is also a good source of protein. Being low in glycemic index, both these ingredients are ideal for diabetics. Plus, this dish contains only 175 calories and can be an amazing snack option. Ingredients: 30g jowar 15g  urad dal ¼  onion (chopped) ¼ tomato (chopped) ¼ capsicum (chopped) ½ tsp oil ¼ tsp pav bhaji masala ¼ tsp chaat masala Tiny piece ginger 1 small green chilli Salt and chilli powder to taste Method: Soak jowar and urad dal separately overnight. Grind them with ginger and green chilli to a smooth paste to make the batter. Now mix all the vegetables and spices together. In a pan, add oil and pour the batter and spread it into a uttapam. Spread all the vegetables on the uttapam. Cook till done and serve with chutney.

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    Vital Vitamins

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Like other nutrients, vitamins are also very important for normal functioning of the body but the only difference is that they are needed in smaller quantities than other major nutrients. They play many crucial roles in our body and help to optimally perform all our daily chores.  There are a host of important vitamins that are highlighted below:     Vitamin A: is required for normal vision, good skin texture, prevent acne and pimples, normal growth and repair of the body. Sources: Orange, ripe yellow/red fruits papaya, watermelon, tomato, mango etc, leafy vegetables, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, liver and other organ meats. Vitamin B-complex: This includes a group of vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and folic acid which are required for utilizing carbohydrates and providing energy to the body, regulate fat metabolism, helps in Red blood cells production, prevent mouth ulcers etc. Sources: Grains, vegetables, milk and milk products, eggs and meat. Vitamin C: is required for the protection of teeth, gums and bones. It is strengthens the immune system and prevents the body from infections like common cold and flu. It also helps to form collagen which is important part of joints and bones. Sources: Amla, guava, citrus fruits, capsicum and green leafy vegetables. Vitamin D: This is needed for the normal calcium absorption in the bones to prevent osteoporosis and other bone deformities. Sources: Fortified milk, fish oil, egg yolk, liver etc Vitamin E: is an antioxidant vitamin which fights against free radicals and slows the process of aging. It also helps to heal wounds and plays an important role in reproduction. Sources: Almonds, walnuts, vegetable oils, wheat germ, whole grains, peanuts etc.

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    The Road To Healthy, Glowing Skin

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Healthy glowing skin is a depiction of what kind of food you eat because what you eat is what shows on the outside. The work stress, alongwith the hot and humid weather, among the young is the simplest way to burst into acne and pimples. To add to it, wrong eating habits like over-indulgence in fried, sweet, oily and greasy foods like pizzas, burgers etc., lack of drinking water, lack of adequate sleep, being under the sun for long hours etc. are all factors that aggravate skin problems.  Foods with certain nutrients can help to overcome this problem and keep your skin radiantly glowing: Vitamin A-rich foods: Like carrots, mangoes, pumpkins, papaya, tomatoes, watermelons, spinach, lettuce etc. are together, a great source of beta-carotene which gets converted to active Vitamin A in the body; it is a skin-saving nutrient. It maintains healthy skin and repairs skin cells. It also protects the skin from sunlight damage. Vitamin C-rich foods: Like amla, guava, oranges, sweet lime, bell peppers, kiwi etc., act as antioxidants by neutralizing skin damaging molecules called free radicals. It helps in collagen production which slows down the skin ageing process as well as the sagging and wrinkling of the skin. Vitamin E-rich foods: Like almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts etc., act as skin shields by protecting the skin from damage of UV rays. It also prevents premature ageing of skin and gives it a nice supple feel. Omega-3 foods: Fish (for non-vegetarians), flaxseeds, walnuts, soyabean oil etc., take part in skin repair and help build flexible skin membranes which retain skin moisture. Protein-rich foods: Like chicken, eggs, fish, milk, curds, sprouts etc., are responsible for the wear and tear of skin cells, keeping the skin texture tight and preventing loose skin. Zinc-rich foods: Like grains, legumes, mushrooms, spinach, sesame seeds, chicken, pumpkin seeds, nuts etc., help in healing skin wounds and reduce inflammation. So remember to always keep your skin in mint condition and eat wisely.  

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    Oats - The Champion Of Breakfasts

    By: Neha Ranglani

    What better way to start your morning than a bowl of steaming hot oats!  These gluten-free, fibrous foods prepare you for a long day of of work ahead. It forms a great breakfast choice for vegetarians; it contains more protein than other foodgrains, in terms of quality and quantity. Oats have a host of vitamins and minerals to make it a perfect meal for you. It has various health benefits: 1. Oats are energy boosters since they are high in carbohydrates. It also contains B-complex vitamins which help in production of energy. 2. Oats are low on calories and keep you full for a longer time, keeping cravings away. This helps you eat less but lose weight in a healthy manner. Your blood pressure, too, is kept under control. 3. It has complex carbohydrates which slowly break down to simple sugars. This prevents the blood sugar levels from rising high. Starting your day with oats helps to keep blood sugars under control for the rest of the day. 4. Oats contain fibers known as beta glucans which can lower the bad cholesterol (LDL), thus, preventing the risk of heart diseases. They also contain unique antioxidants called avenanthramides which also prevent cardiovascular diseases. 5. The soft fiber in oats makes it a perfect food for people with gastritis, colitis and any other digestive issues. Its high fiber content regularizes the bowel movement and cure constipation. 6. Lignans, a type of phytochemical in oats, reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer and also causes the stools to become bulky which can dilute and eliminate cancer causing agents. 7.Selenium and beta glucans in oats help to enhance the immune system and eliminate the bacteria from the body faster protecting us from bacterial infections. Sprinkling a handful of chopped dates adds more value to your oatmeal: it helps you avoid that spoonful of sugar and also contributes to a healthy heart. So, with every new sunrise, you ought to be looking forward to a lip-smacking, nutritious breakfast!

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    Dahi - A Wonder Food

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Something chilled to cool you off this summer! According to Hindu traditions, eating a spoonful of curd was always considered a good omen before beginning your first activity of the day or a bright new venture.There are many other ways it helps us, for example it helps in keeping your head cool in summer. Dahi is easily available, nutritious and easy to prepare snack available all round the year. It forms an integral part of a normal Indian diet. As a child, we were told that dahi is a great food for health and were made to eat it daily with our meals. Yes, indeed, our elders were right. Just as milk is an important source of proteins and calcium, so is dahi. But it has an added benefit of having hundreds of thousands of probiotics (live bacteria) which are excellent for overall health. Dahi has a host of benefits:   Immune system: The live bacteria in dahi helps prevent the growth of illness-causing bacteria in the intestine and protect us from infections like vaginal infections, stomach infections etc. thereby adding more years to your life. It also prevents ulcers and protects from stomach cancers. Digestion: These bacteria also promote the growth of good bacteria which improve digestion and metabolism. They also help in the absorption of other nutrients from food. Lactose intolerance: Milk cannot be consumed by lactose intolerant people, but dahi is easily digested due to the live bacteria. Proteins: Just like milk, dahi is a great source of protein, especially for vegetarians. Osteoporosis: Dahi has very high levels of calcium which helps to prevent bone degeneration, thereby, preventing osteoporosis. Bone and teeth health: The calcium in dahi also helps to strengthen the bones and teeth. The lactobacillus bacteria reduce the risk of cavities and improve gum health.  Weight loss: Calcium helps in fat breakdown. Dahi also gives a fuller filling for a longer time, thereby, helping reduce weight. Vitamin B12: Dahi has Vitamin B12, which is generally found in non-veg foods, and hence it\'s a great food for vegetarians to improve blood formation and nerve functioning. Cholesterol: Dahi helps lower bad cholesterol as well prevent heart problems. Making dahi at home is an easy procedure. Heat the milk slightly and add 2 teaspoonfuls of dahi into it. Mix it well and keep it overnight to ferment. During this process, milk sugar lactose is converted to lactic acid by the bacteria in the starter which gives it a refreshing tart flavour and a pudding like texture.

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    Minerals For Health

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Just like vitamins, minerals are also needed in small amounts by the body for normal processes. There are 16 essential minerals required for good health. Mineral sources are best found in natural foods rather than supplements. They are categorized as macro minerals which are needed in fairly larger quantities and micro minerals which are needed in small amounts.  Macro minerals Calcium: is needed for strong teeth and bones, normal blood clotting, and nerve function. Sources: Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese, broccoli, almonds, fish, green leafy vegetables, ragi, sprouts and sesame seeds. Magnesium: is required for healthy bones, converting blood sugar to energy, insulin secretion and function and for normal heart rhythms. Sources: whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, banana etc Phosphorus: is necessary along with calcium for bones and teeth development and to supply energy to the body. Sources: whole grains, milk, cheese, nuts, fish, eggs, meat, chicken etc Sodium: helps to maintain blood pressure and fluid balance in the body. Sources: salt, fish, butter, processed foods etc Potassium: along with sodium, works to regulate fluid in the body. Potassium also helps to maintain a regular heartbeat and low blood pressure and enables glucose in the body to be converted to glycogen, a form of energy that can be stored. Sources: fresh fruits and vegetables, coconut water, bananas, soups, tomatoes, dals and pulses etc Chloride: helps in regulating fluid balance in the cells long with sodium and potassium. Sources: table salt Sulphur: is essential to form proteins in the body and helps in eliminating toxins from the body. Sources: meat, fish, chicken, beans and pulses. Micro minerals Iron: is required for the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, the component of blood cells that transports oxygen around the body. Iron can prevent fatigue, protect against illness and disease and helps in absorption of vitamin C. Sources: meat, liver, kidney, chicken, beans, peas, green leafy vegetables, garden cress seeds etc. Manganese: is required for a healthy immune system. Also helps in normal metabolism and digestion. Sources: whole grains, pulses, nuts etc. Copper: Copper helps to form collagen, which is essential for healthy bones and connective tissue, production of red blood cells and is needed to absorb iron more easily, to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure and that it protects against damage from free radicals and the development of cancer. Sources: fish, shellfish, whole grains, nuts, potatoes, garlic, bananas, mushrooms, tomatoes, prunes and soya products. Iodine: is essential for the manufacture of certain hormones by the thyroid gland, that are responsible for regulating metabolism, converting fats into energy and stabilizing blood cholesterol levels. Sources: table salt, salt water fish. Zinc: is needed by every cell in the body, healthy hair, nails and skin, also for maintaining healthy immune system and reproduction system and promote growth. Sources: red meat, poultry, eggs, shellfish, cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, beans and wheat germ. Chromium: it improves insulin sensitivity and helps in controlling blood sugar levels. It also helps to breakdown fat and lower bad cholesterol. Sources: Shellfish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, cheese, mushrooms and whole wheat bread. Fluoride: is important for healthy bones and teeth and protects teeth against tooth decay. Sources: drinking water, toothpaste Molybdenum: is required for DNA production and acts as an antioxidant. Sources: Liver, whole grains, yeast, pulses, leafy green vegetables.

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    Ragi - Many names, many benefits

    By: Neha Ranglani

    Ragi has always been known as a highly nutritious foodgrain, rich in calcium. You might notice the power of ragi when you visit the Maharashtrian countryside. Known colloquially as \'nachni\', a staple diet of these \'naachni bhaakris\' and \'pitla\' has been the main reason behind generations of lean yet robust kids. Finger millet is the English equivalent of ragi. Also, predominantly, used in South India, it is also a rich source of protein, fiber, iron and other minerals.  It is more nutritious than other cereals and has a host of health benefits.   Weight loss Ragi is very high on fiber. Hence, it digests slowly, keeping you full for a longer time and helps you avoid excessive food consumption. This helps you shed kilos and keeps you fit. Laxative  The high fiber in ragi helps to clear bowels smoothly everyday and prevents constipation.   Diabetes  Due to its slow digestion rate, ragi helps lower blood sugar levels. Hence, diabetics can enjoy ragi rotis/pancakes without the fear of affecting their sugar levels.   Bone strength  Ragi is very rich in calcium. It can be easily substituted for milk (in case of lactose intolerance) to get your daily calcium dose. You can also have ragi flour kanji as a great source of calcium. Ragi porridge can be given to growing children for bone development and to elders to avoid osteoporosis. Gluten free  Ragi is free of gluten which is found in wheat and its products. Hence ragi can be easily taken by gluten sensitive people.   Cholesterol control  Highly fibrous, ragi helps control and lower bad cholesterol levels.   Anemia  Ragi is also rich in iron and hence can be beneficial for people with anemia. Ragi mixed with milk works wonders for infants. For the elder kids, naachni khakrashighlight the health-conscious man\'s snack section during tea breaks. There is a huge list of South Indian dishes which feature several ragi permutations and combinations (eg. ragi idlis, ragi dosas, ragi rasam,etc.)  All in all, in the company of ragi, you have no choice but to stay healthy!

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