How Stressed Are You?
As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. In urban India, the answer seems to have become a foregone conclusion. Almost akin to saying, if you are alive, you surely have stress! So if having stress is a given, let’s check your attitude towards stress. Is it driving or destroying you? Is it energising and invigorating, or is it extremely exhausting? Is it fantastic or fatiguing? A simplistic diagnosis would be to ask you what your answer was. If you said ‘yes’ to the former all the time, that does make you a stress addict. Without stress you don’t move, but with stress you are all charged up - face flushed, eyes wide, heart pumping and blood racing through your arteries. You may also have said ‘No’ to most of the questions. What then? You do seem to be at the end of your tether, don’t you? You seem to be swamped under the burden of your troubles. Or, the thought of stress puts you in panic mode. You are either overburdened with stress and close to burnout or you have stress phobia. But why not do a quick 30-day stress analysis – a ‘how much’ and ‘where from’ check. You can understand the problem quickly, which will make working on the solution much easier too. If work was “very exciting” then place a W on that day. If the work was “OK” then write 2 Ws. And if it was bad/tiring/disappointing, then give it 3 Ws. Follow this routine with all other areas too. At the end of the week, total up each area individually. This matrix will help you quantify your stress areas, which you can reflect upon on a weekly or monthly basis. The more the Hs, the more the stress caused at home. The less the Rs, the healthier is your relationship quotient! The results may be exactly as you expected - confirming what you always knew. On the other hand, the results of the month may even be quite a revelation. Your perception may have been that home was a boiling pot of stress, but the totals may indicate that in fact, it was work. Now, let us explore some solutions. A problem-solving approach, a change of attitude or a change of perception might help you address specific areas. But meanwhile, you need to burn the existing stress. Let us start with the top of the body and work down to the feet. It was about your lazy bones that Martin Lurther King Jr said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” 1) Head, Neck, Face – When stress burdens us, like Atlas we tend to take the load on our shoulders. The muscles of the neck and shoulders go tight, the jaw clenches and the forehead goes into a frown. All this muscle tension soon results in a tension headache. Here are a few simple steps to beat the Atlas: • Sit comfortably in a chair, legs and arms in an open position. • Gently point your chin to the left shoulder, then right. Repeat it five times. Then point the chin up to the sky and down, five times. • Rotate your neck very slowly – left shoulder, chest, right shoulder, back, left shoulder. • Slowly reverse. Repeat five times. • Now comes the silent scream – open your mouth wide, squeeze those eyes shut and let out a scream at a zero volume. This is a good preventive measure, though it may not help much if the headache is severe. Try it when you feel discomfort starting. • Time taken: 5 minutes. 2) Chest – With stress, the chest feels heavy, the breathing short and uncomfortable and this only adds to the state of arousal. Try these quickies to breathe right. • Sit with the back straight in, in an open body position. • Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. • Slow your breath down to a count of four in, and then 4 out. • When you breathe in, push the abdomen out and when you breathe out, pull the abdomen in. • Now reverse count your breaths. Depending on the time available, start with 54 or 16. One count for breathe in and one for breathe out. When you reach zero, open your eyes. • Now your breathing is slow: lower chest and lungs are being used, your oxygen requirement is being met and your body and mind are becoming calm. • Time taken: 5 minutes The value of a robust physical activity is many folds. Whether it is an hour of aerobics, Bollywood dance or salsa, a walk or jog around the park or a strenuous session of swimming, the benefits are felt by your heart, lungs and blood vessels. The muscles and the joints of the body are mobilised and strengthened. And most importantly, the stress impacts of hormones and neurochemicals are burned and reduced. Feel-good hormones or endorphins are released creating a sense of de-stress and wellbeing. To the above list let’s add sports – tennis, football, basketball, hockey or cricket. With this, you will learn to work within a team, subjugate your ego for the group, rise to a leadership position if required, demand the best out of each teammate and rise to the challenge of a win!
As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. In…
Sustainable Shifts UR Workplace Can Make Post COVID-19
At a time when the world is slowly awakening to the idea of healthy living, all thanks to COVID-19. There is a frightening reality that needs to be addressed by us collectively. According to a recent study, 63 per cent of Indian corporate-sector employees are overweight. Promotion of a healthy and balanced diet is vital for the prevention of overweight, obesity and several chronic diseases. The focus has shifted from considering healthy food patterns as a mainly private issue to recognising the responsibility of us as a society, including worksites, in creating healthy environments and conditions that support and promote healthy eating habits at workplaces who are progressively working towards improving their workforce's quality of life and output by promoting and assessing a change in their canteen meal's nutritional profile and sustainability. Besides improving our dietary intake at work, worksite health promotion initiatives may also lead to improvements in the lifestyles of UR employees and their families should also be carried outside of the workplace. While some offices and factories have resumed their services, this gives us the perfect opportunity to assess our canteens to make a sustainable shift. A study conducted in 2019 by HealthifyMe-a health and fitness app, covered the working-class corporates from major Indian cities like Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi, Kolkata and even the remote areas such as Vapi in Gujrat. The eating habits and activity of about 60,000 Indian workers from various sectors in finance, banking, marketing etc. were analysed. Surprisingly, this year-long study stated that a whopping 63 per cent of corporate employees across India are overweight, and their body mass index (BMI) is above 23! This study was an eye-opener to make changes in the food provided at MNCs and SME canteens. Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, the Body Mass Index (BMI) of a healthy person should range between 18.5 and 24.9; a person with a BMI above 25 is defined as overweight, and those with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered to be obese. How Can Workplaces Be Mindful Of Their Canteens, the Environment & Their Employees' Health? The overall aim of inculcating healthy eating practices has a deeper meaning. Along with health, we must also think about how canteen meals are more sustainable in terms of sourcing our ingredients, teaching healthy food choices, portions, while keeping sustainable living as our priority. Here are a few ways SMEs & MNC's can assess their canteen meals and protocols to become more sustainable collectively. Source locally-sourced foods. This is key to supporting our farmers, our planet, improving our food intakes, adds a range of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains in our diet. Review food safety management system plans such as lab testing reports, training reports, cleaning and sanitation records. Food handlers medical report, raw material log report and kitchen equipment( refrigerator, cutlery, oven, blender, etc.) calibration records to determine whether all the equipment being used is sanitised and maintained properly. Sanitisation and food safety handling training sessions can help in training food handlers in MNC's & SME's by our nutritionists. Understand, study and analyse the nutritional profile of the canteen meals. This can be done with the help of our nutritional experts who can help in determining the ideal ratios and types of ingredients which can be modified according to the health requirements. This can also help employees understand where they can make sustainable shifts in their daily food choices, eating patterns and food portions not just at work, but in their homes as well. Assess which food item is being wasted on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Discontinue the same to avoid food waste. Avoid using one-time-use plastics like plates, glasses, cutlery and plastic bags that increase garbage/waste and end up in our landfills. Use any leftover fruit and vegetable peels to make compost. This can be used to grow UR own produce, eliminating any chances of consuming any contaminated (pesticides-injected) food. Guide UR workforce by setting up nutritionist seminars/virtual conferences, which helps employees become more aware of making healthier food choices. It is more important than ever to build our immune system now to withstand these uncertain times. This type of dietary change program has the potential for considerable access into communities and thereby contribute significantly to larger public health goals in reducing incidences of dietary-related diseases. Did you know that The Pasona Urban Farm in Tokyo is a nine-storey office building which allows employees to grow and harvest their food at work? All of which, is supported and made possible with the help of a team of agriculture experts. In Bangalore, The Manyata Business Park which houses over 90,000 workers across companies such as NVIDIA, Nokia, Cognizant and IBM, have been allotted small patches of land on which they can grow their crops. Now there are also hydroponic kitchen garden setups/startup kits, which give you the free will of growing UR own produce at home, at UR workplace or in your community. This is novel evidence to support further action in worksites in enabling and promoting healthy eating patterns among employees across the contexts of workplaces. Let's all work together to reinforce sustainable practices starting from the grass-root level. If you want to assess your canteen at UR workplace, then you can consult our certified nutritionists to make a sustainable shift at UR workplace and enhance URLife.
At a time when the world is slowly awakening to the idea of healthy living, all thanks to COVID-19….
We've all heard 'Laughter is the best medicine', but have you ever wondered why? You laugh when someone tickles you, or you hear something funny or see something that amuses you. Laughter is the physiological response to humour. We can respond to either spontaneous or stimulated humour. Laughter therapy is all about stimulated humour that is scientifically proven in medical treatments also. Let us understand laughter and explore the impact it has on our overall health. What is laughter therapy? Research states that the more we laugh, the better off we are. When we laugh, our blood pressure rises, and we breathe faster, which sends more oxygen to our body. The effects of exercise and laughter are very similar, and if you combine the two, it can boost your heart rate too! Laughter yoga is an excellent example of how we can accomplish this. It's a technique that uses a combination of fun, stress and tension relieving laughter exercises. With your regular yoga, a gentle breathing and stretching exercise, rhythmic clapping and saying 'hohoho' or 'hаhаhа' in unison imitate laughter, is a part of laughter yoga. As we laugh, we release the feel-good hormones known as Endorphins. For all the sceptical people out there, conduct this small experiment. Whenever you are stressed, anxious or afraid start saying 'ha ha ho ho' for twenty seconds, doing so will definitely put you at ease and clears your head of all those worrisome thoughts. Adapting this technique into your daily routine will put a spring in your step. Ways To Indulge In Laughter Laughter is contagious, and alongside is one of the sweetest antidotes to stress. Also, it is the fastest way to bring the body and mind into balance. Adding humour to life helps in being more grounded, focused and alert. Some ways to indulge in laughter are pranks, practical jokes, sketch comedy, stand-up comedy, theatre plays, entertaining movies, sarcasm, short stories, anecdotes and many more. Regardless of whether it improves our health, or boosts our energy levels – laughter can improve our quality of life. Health Benefits Of Laughter Therapy Mental Health Benefits: 1. Add joy and zest to life: Laughing helps to rev up your mood and make you feel relaxed. Due to the endorphins, we quickly lighten up. 2. Eases anxiety, tension and stress: Laughing is an excellent stress buster as they make you feel calmer and therefore, less stressed. 3. Strengthens resilience: Tackle the harsh situation in life with humour often open doors to new perspectives. You feel more secure and can handle tough situations more confidently. 4. Improves mood: The feel-good hormones help to fight depression and reduces panic. If an anxious person even forces a laugh, their level of fear will be decreased almost instantly. Physical health benefits: 1. Boosts immunity: Laughing boosts immunity in the body by increase immune cells and grooming positivity. It fights serious mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. 2. Lowers stress hormones: Endorphins, the feel-good hormones help you to reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, hence promoting overall wellbeing. 3. Decreases pain: When you are in pain, your body automatically produces endorphins to counter it. Laughter further stimulates the production of endorphins, thus reducing any pain your body might be feeling or going through. 4. Relaxes your muscles: Our body language gives away the clue of being under pressure or moody. A hearty laugh relaxes increases circulation and aids in relaxing our muscles. 5. Prevents heart disease: With the overall improvement in blood circulation and heart rate, coupled with lower blood pressure, the health of your heart improves significantly. Social benefits 1. Strengthens relationships: Our sweet memories are often the ones we share a moment filled with laughter with our loved ones. Laughing together creates a certain kind of bond and makes it easier to converse and resolve conflict. 2. Spreads positivity: Laughter is contagious; every time we see people laughing and smiling, we remember our own memories. It gives us hope and positivity. 3. Enhances teamwork: Smiling and laughing makes it easier to blend in and not be offensive or rude. Giving a smile always build up teamwork as communication gets simpler and comfortable. Welcoming new members with a smile will put them at ease and bring out their true potential. 4. Helps defuse conflict: A small laugh opens many doors of effective communication. It acts as a tool to break the awkwardness, builds trust and patiently listens to perspectives. Did you know? • According to the research, a couple that tackles stress with laughter set relationship goals. • Just 10 to 15 minutes of laughing a day can burn up to 40 calories and help in weight loss. • Sense of humour can be a genetic trait. • Science proves that laughter is contagious. • An uncontrollable fit of laughter can cause cardiac arrest or asphyxiation also. Whatever the source may be, right from the funniest to the scariest, if something makes you laugh, and forget your woes, then it's definitely a good sign. So, keep laughing!
We’ve all heard ‘Laughter is the best medicine’, but have you ever wondered why? You laugh when someone tickles you,…
Slice the cabbage and mix 1 tbsp sea salt and set it aside for an hour. Kimchi Ease: 2 Approximate cost: INR 185 Serving size: 3 Cooking time: 60 minutes Nutritive value Energy: 42 Kcal Carbs: 7 g Protein: 1 g Fat: 1 g Fibre: 2 g Ingredients Chopped cabbage: 1 cup Salt: 2 tsp For the dressing Garlic: 3-4 cloves Ginger: 1-inch Coarsely grated carrot: 1/3 Cup Chopped spring onion: ¼ cup Rice Vinegar: 2 tbsp Sriracha or any chilli sauce: 2 tbsp Red Chilli Paste:1 tsp Honey: 1 tsp Step 1: Slice the cabbage and mix 1 tbsp sea salt and set it aside for an hour. Step 2: For the kimchi paste blend the garlic, ginger, chili sauce, red chili paste honey and rice vinegar together in a small bowl. Step 3: Rinse the cabbage under cold running water, drain and dry it thoroughly. Transfer the cabbage into a bowl and toss it through the paste, along with carrot and spring onions. Step 4: Transfer it in an airtight container and leave it to ferment at room temperature overnight, then chill it in the refrigerator. UR instant kimchi is now ready to serve! Kimchi is a delicious fermented Korean dish, which has a fab nutritional and taste profile. Starting from the lacto-fermentation kimchi undergoes, which makes it unique in taste and aroma. The probiotics found in kimchi are also believed to ease constipation, help with skin concerns and boost UR heart-health. Kimchi is a good source of folate which is important during pregnancy to reduce the risk of developing central neural tube defects, potassium helps control the body’s balance of fluids and calcium which are vital for muscle contractions and to keep ur teeth and bones strong. The Lactobacillus bacteria found in kimchi can also boost your immune health, which is ideal during quarantine.
Slice the cabbage and mix 1 tbsp sea salt and set it aside for an hour. Kimchi Ease: 2 Approximate…
Milk – The Ultimate Food! Is It?
Milk is one of ancient wholesome food since evolution and is said to nourish and promote the growth of young mammals. It also offers a range of nine essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, and niacin that are necessary for growth and development. Milk production is gaining prominence around the world. India, China, Pakistan, Brazil, and the US are the top five countries in dairy production. The nationwide per-capita availability of milk in India rose drastically from 2001-02 to 2017-18. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) of milk is 3 glasses for Adults and 2 for Children. PROS Milk promotes growth velocity and higher attained height. If the diet quality is low, especially for children in low-income environments, dairy foods can improve overall nutrition. Milk processing has many potential health advantages. Pasteurization reduces brucellosis, tuberculosis, and other pathogens. Fermentation helps in making cheese, yoghurt, kefir, and other products and also reduces lactose content, & improves good bacteria. Fractionation gives butter, reduced-fat products, and whey protein. Fortification with vitamins A and D can supplement diets. Let us dig deeper into knowing whether drinking milk is essential, as suggested by the USDA food pyramid. The health benefits of consuming milk products have not been established, and there are possible adverse health outcomes. One common argument against dairy products is that it is unnatural to consume dairy as adults. Come to think of it, humans are the only species to consume milk in adulthood and they are the only ones to drink the milk of other animals as well, which is hilarious. Biologically, cow's milk is for the calves to feed on where the growth rate is more than that of humans. Cons Growth Hormones- To increase milk production, cows have been bred to produce higher levels of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), and they are pregnant for most of the time they are milked. This dramatically increases levels of progestin, estrogen, and other growth hormones in milk, thereby bringing down the maturity age (puberty) of boys and girls. Milk and bones- Dairy and milk products do not promote healthy bones. A large meta-analysis study states that countries with the highest milk consumption did not reduce the risk of fractures but have shown an increase in fracture rates. Studies indicate that countries with the lowest milk consumption have the most moderate risk of osteoporosis and fractures. To date, bone mineralization studies in children had no evidence that high calcium intake is needed during childhood to serve as a "bank" for calcium throughout life. Milk and cancer - Milk may not grow strong bones, but it does seem to deposit cancer cells. Milk increases the hormone called IGF-1 or insulin-like growth factor that promotes rapid growth of cancer cells. Dairy products have been an underlying cause for prostate cancer and possibly endometrial cancer but reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Bodyweight and obesity- Contrary to USDA advice to choose reduced-fat dairy, low-fat milk does not appear to have advantages over whole milk for weight control. In children, available evidence suggests significant long-term weight gain with reduced-fat milk than with full-fat milk. Regular consumption of yoghurt may result in less weight gain possibly because lactose sugar is broken down to lactase and the presence of probiotics. Total dairy consumption has not been clearly related to weight control or to risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, the saturated fat is said to increase the LDL (bad cholesterol). Allergies- Allergy to cow's milk proteins affects up to 4% of infants and cause considerable nutritional problems and digestive distress because of lactose intolerance. It can also cause anal fissures, intestinal bleeding of infants leading to iron deficiency. Allergy, asthma, and eczema may be triggered by dairy consumption. Environmental factors- According to a study conducted by Oxford University, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions of cow's milk is approximately three times higher than from plant-based alternatives. Milk Substitutes If breast milk is not available, cow's milk can add vital nutritional value during early childhood. However, cow's milk can't be a substitute for breast milk for children under1 year due to digestive issues. Healthy growth and development can be obtained with other protein substitutes that include supplementation along with other vitamins. When consumption of milk is low, the two nutrients of primary concern are calcium, and vitamin D. They can also be obtained from other foods or supplements. For calcium, alternative dietary sources include Ragi, amaranth seeds, horse gram dal, soya beans, amaranth leaves, bathua leaves, spinach, drumstick leaves, fenugreek leaves, curry leaves, mint, radish leaves, ponnaganti (kura), gingelly seeds and almonds. Milk based on plant-based ingredients such as Almond milk, cashew milk, oats milk, rice milk, soy milk and peanut milk can be an excellent substitute to dairy. Although they lack nutritional balance when compared to bovine milk (cow milk), they contain functionally active components with health-promoting properties. The following table gives the distribution of the nutrients in plant based diets in comparison to cows milk. Subscribe and get a personal nutrition chart from our nutritionist to meet UR daily needs. Plant based milk Cal Carbs Protein Fat Fibre Calcium Rice milk(1 cup) 115 22.4 0.6 2.3 0.7 288 mg Almond milk(1 cup) 89.7 16 0.9 2.5 0.9 451 mg Coconut milk(1 cup) 75.6 7.1 0.5 5 0 459 mg Soymilk(1 cup) 130 18 5.9 3.4 0.9 451 mg Oats milk (1 cup) 130 29 2 1 1.5 350 mg Whole milk(1 cup) 149 12 7.9 7.9 0 300mg
Milk is one of ancient wholesome food since evolution and is said to nourish and promote the growth of young…
Top 5 Lame Excuses Not To Exercise During Quarantine
I will start from tomorrow: You need to understand that there is no tomorrow if there is no today. If there is no now - there will be no tomorrow! Fitness is everything. If you don’t keep yourself fit you are inviting chronic health issues. It’s as simple as that! Top 5 Lame Excuses Not To Exercise During Quarantine Rakesh Uddiyar Director & Founder Body Wizard Fitness Academy & Celebrity Trainer I will start from tomorrow: You need to understand that there is no tomorrow if there is no today. If there is no now - there will be no tomorrow! Fitness is everything. If you don’t keep yourself fit you are inviting chronic health issues. It’s as simple as that! I don’t have access to gym equipment: This is a very common excuse. The truth is there is no interest to exercise. You can train anywhere - at home, office or even when on the move. All you need is a few things which are easily available. Try exercising with resistance tubes, water bottles, or any kind of weights which you can lift. It can be an empty gas cylinder as well. I don’t know how to train: If you really want to train you will. There are various online resources that are easily available. You can also refer to books on exercise or get in touch with an expert in the field. If training alone during the quarantine period is not appealing enough, try registering for some online classes. You can try Zumba classes, HIT workouts, Bachata, yoga and so on. All you need is a WiFi connection and you are good to go. When I train I get body pain: The body pain you experience after exercise is due to lactic acid. This is mainly produced in muscle cells and red blood cells. The lactic acid forms when UR body breaks down carbohydrates to use for energy when oxygen levels are low in UR body. But once the lactic acid lessens, UR body will get used to the movement or exercise UR trying to do. So don’t let pain put you down and ensure you move UR body. Exercise helps you to burn calories and also makes you mentally, physically and emotionally strong. Consider UR body to be a temple and take good care of it. I’m overweight but healthy & don’t care what people think: If this is your excuse, it means you are not motivated enough to take up any exercise. You want to be in your comfort zone. You are not able to control your mind. You need to realize that regular exercise will not only make you healthy during these troubled times but will also help you be the best version of yourself! You cannot assume you are ‘fit.’ Your goal should be to strive for both physical and mental fitness for overall wellness. Also, learn to control UR food cravings and ensure you don’t become or remain an emotional eater. This is all the more important during lockdown, as many people have little else to do besides cooking, eating and relaxing.
I will start from tomorrow: You need to understand that there is no tomorrow if there is no today. If…
The Fundamentals Of Good Health
There are three fundamentals you need to take care of to create health for yourself - food, activity and rest. 1. Eating Right One of the most critical aspects you must be conscious of is how quickly a specific type of food digests and becomes a part of yourself. If you eat something and it doesn't digest within three hours, it means you have eaten food that should either be avoided or reduced in quantity. If the food moves out of your stomach within three hours, it means that even if it is not the best food, it is still something your system is able to handle. If you maintain a clear gap of five to six hours between one meal and the next, without having anything in between, cleansing will take place at the cellular level. This cleansing at the cellular level is essential for a healthy life. If you are over 30 years of age, two tasty meals a day will suffice one in the morning and one in the evening. There must be a gap of three hours before you go to bed after your evening meal. If this includes at least 20 to 30 minutes of light physical activity such as simple walking your system will be healthy. If you go to bed with food still inside your stomach, a certain level of inertia in the system will be generated. Physiologically, this inertia is like acceleration towards death and death is the ultimate inertia. Another dimension is that if you go to bed with a full stomach, it puts pressure on other organs in the abdomen. This will also lead to various kinds of health issues. For this reason, too it is crucial that before you go to bed the food eaten should move out of the stomach as you sleep in different postures so you should ensure that your stomach doesn’t put pressure on your other organs at any point. 2. Use Your Body When it comes to activity, a straightforward thing you need to consider is that your body is capable of bending forward, bending backwards and twisting towards both sides. So this activity must happen in some form or the other. Classical hatha yoga is the best way to do it. Moreover, it is scientific. So if traditional hatha yoga is not yet part of your life, you must somehow make sure that every day you bend forward, backward, twist to both sides and squat so that your spinal column is stretched. This is a must on a daily basis, if you want to keep your entire system healthy particularly your neurological system, or else it will be an issue as you age. 3. Get Enough Rest But Not Too Much! Various factors determine the amount of rest a person needs. One crucial factor is the type and amount of food you consume. Experiment with different kinds of foods and check which foods make you feel heavy and which ones leave you light and agile. If you make sure that at least 40 per cent of your diet consists of fresh vegetables and fruits, there will be lightness in your body. Also what the body needs is restfulness and not necessarily sleep. Therefore it is a misunderstanding to think that sleep is the only way to rest. Even as you sit or stand you can either be in a state of restfulness, in a state of agitation, or in a state of inertia. But if you are in a lively state of restfulness every moment of your life, the volume of sleep you require will decrease. How To Live A Healthy Life The Five Sheaths Of The Body 1. In yoga, the human system is looked upon as five sheaths or layers. Every aspect of the human system including the mind, is seen as a body and yoga is a technology to transform it. These five layers of the body are called Annamaya Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Pranamaya Kosha, Vignanamaya Kosha and Anandamaya Kosha. 2. Anna means food. And your physical body or Annamaya Kosha is the food that you have eaten small or big is your choice, but it is food, nonetheless. So as there is a physical body that you have gathered from outside, there is also a mental body. This spiritual body is known as Manomaya Kosha. If you bring the physical body, the mental body and the energy body into proper alignment and balance, you will not have any physical or psychological ailments. 3. The third layer of the body is called Pranamaya Kosha or energy body. The physical body, mental body, and energy body are all in the realm of physicality, but on different levels of subtlety. 4. The next layer of the body is a transitory body that is known as Vignanamaya Kosha. It facilitates the transition from the physical to the non-physical. It does not ascribe to any of the physical qualities, but at the same time it is not yet wholly non-physical either. 5. This layer is called Anandamaya Kosha which in English translates as ‘bliss body’. This does not mean there is a bubble of bliss in you. It is called bliss body because in our experience, whenever it is touched, we become blissful. Bliss is not its nature; bliss is what it causes.
There are three fundamentals you need to take care of to create health for yourself – food, activity and rest….
How To Achieve Peace In UR Life
We are the most comfortable generation to have ever lived on this planet. In our endeavour to make our lives more secure and tranquil, we have also tried our best to fix the environment and if we fix it any more, there will be no planet left! Furthermore, our survival process is better organised than ever before. For instance, you can go to a supermarket and buy everything you need for an entire year. Moreover, you can get all your groceries without even stepping out of your home! Never before in the history of humanity has such a thing been possible. But despite having all the comfort, amenities and luxury at our disposal, we definitely cannot say we are happier, more loving or more peaceful than our forefathers. There Is No Peace Everybody desires peace in their lives, but their agitated minds prevent them from experiencing peace. Suppose you lose your peace — naturally, you will first quarrel with your husband or wife. But as this state progresses, you will go and yell at your neighbour. And if it progresses further, you will yell at your boss! The day you yell at your boss, everyone will come to know you need medical help. This is because, yelling at your husband, wife or neighbour may be perceived as ‘normal’ as everybody else is doing it, but yelling at your boss is considered to be taking it a bit too far. Peaceful Chemistry Within You When your mind is restless, you will visit a doctor who in turn will prescribe a tablet for you to get some respite. Once this tablet goes into your system, you will become peaceful — at least for a few hours. This is due to the fact that when some chemical is put into our system, at the level of our body and mind, agitation leaves and a little peace sets in. So, peace is a sort of chemistry within our body. Similarly, every emotion has a type of chemistry and whatever the feeling, it will have a similar chemical process within the body that will adjust with it. If you are peaceful, peaceful chemistry will be within you. Or, if you can create that kind of chemistry within yourself, automatically peace will be within you. In yoga, it is approached both ways. Creating The Right Kind Of Chemistry With the right kind of practices, you can bring about a change in your internal chemistry and bring it to a particular level, so that, irrespective of the situation you find yourself in, you will always be able to maintain your peace. At present, your peace may be dependent on external situations. Hence, if the situation is conducive for you, your peace is not disturbed. However, if you find yourself in a situation that is not favourable to you, there may be a problem. Therefore, only when your peace is not a slave to external situations and your inner self remains the same, despite the external situations you encounter, it is called yoga. In other words, it can be said that yoga is the science of creating the right kind of chemistry. Inner Peace: A Guide To Developing It Being Peaceful Is The Very Beginning When your inner state is pleasant, you are naturally pleasant to everyone and everything around you. No scripture or philosophy is needed to instruct you to be good to others. It is a natural outcome when you are feeling good. Therefore, inner pleasantness is surefire insurance for the making of a peaceful society and a joyful world. If you have the right kind of chemistry, being peaceful and joyful is the only way — it cannot be any other way. To be peaceful and joyous is not the ‘end’ of life but the ‘beginning’ of life! If you are not peaceful and always caught up in your own mental nonsense, you have not started ‘living’ yet, as being peaceful or joyful is the most basic requirement. You must be peaceful, even if you just want to enjoy your breakfast or dinner. If you are restless, you will not experience any enjoyment, as being peaceful is the very beginning of things. However, nowadays people go about propagating that the highest dimension of one’s life is to have peace of mind. Unfortunately, as a large population of the world has not made this ‘beginning,’ many are speaking about it like it is the ultimate goal in life. Additionally, it is very sad that so-called spiritual gurus are going about telling everyone that to be peaceful is the ultimate thing! What people don’t realise is that being at peace is the most fundamental of all things and it is not enlightenment or God — being at peace with oneself is the ‘A’ of life and not the ‘Z’ of life!
We are the most comfortable generation to have ever lived on this planet. In our endeavour to make our lives…
Experience The Magic Of Using Natural Cleansers At Home
Experience The Magic Of Using Natural Cleansers At Home Vani Murthy Keeping your home germ-free with natural cleaners and disinfectants may seem like an enormous task, but it’s really very easy and simple to achieve. Homemade cleaners are not only good to keep your home spick-and-span but are also a safer and healthier option for not just you and your family but the environment too! What’s amazing is that natural disinfectants are as effective as store-bought cleaners, minus the harsh chemicals. They are also inexpensive to make and offer way more health benefits. Though I’m not backed by studies – I just believe that I don’t have to use chemicals. I don’t discharge chemicals from my home. That’s the only reason why I don’t use any chemicals. This has changed a bit due to the current pandemic that we are facing because we are now using sanitizers that are recommended with alcohol content, but for everything else I use natural cleansers. Though the natural cleaners contain alcohol, I’m not very sure about how effective it is with the virus. There are people who are trying to test it out, so probably we will know how effective this is in future. We cannot take any risks right now. So my family and I have adopted a kind of a balanced approach. If we go out, then we definitely use alcohol sanitizers when we come back. But if we are in the house, we use the natural cleansers, as much as possible. Due to covid-19 we are now very careful so it has not replaced sanitizer for outside use. I’ve stopped using chemicals at home since the last two years and I’m very happy about it. The homemade cleaner I prepare is basically a multipurpose cleaner for the house. You can use it to clean kitchen counters, stoves, tiles and so on. It sanitizes and leaves a sweet-smelling smell. It can also be used to clean the floor. Just put a capful of it in a bucket of water to mop the floor. Or simply put it in spray cans to clean glass things. What’s more, it can even been used as an organic pesticide for UR plants. It’s very simple to make this great concoction. There is a formula that I follow. Firstly, you need to collect the lemon and orange peels that you discard every day. If you don’t have enough, keep them in the refrigerator till you collect enough. I say enough because I mean there is a proportion you need to keep in mind. It is 1:3:10. So you need one part of jaggery, three parts peels and ten parts of water (for one litre). These are the three ingredients that you need from your kitchen to make this super cleaner. If jaggery is one part, you need to take 100 grams jaggery (soak it in the one litre of water) and take 300 grams of the peels and add the one litre of jaggery water to the collected peels. Ensure that the jar or bottle is a glass one. Also ensure there is some space left at the top of the jar as there will be a lot of gas buildup due to the fermentation. In case you want to speed up the process you can use a little bit of dry yeast. Use just a pinch of dry yeast. The whole process occurs in one month’s time. If you don’t use dry yeast – it will take three months. Remember to close the lid of the jar tight. Every morning open it to release the gas for the first one week. One month down the line the liquid becomes clear. The end result is a bio enzyme produced from the citrus peels. You can use orange, lemon or mosambi peels to get the bio enzyme. It is sweet-smelling and very lemony and citrusy. In case you are wondering about the stickiness of jaggery – you needn’t worry because when you get the final product it turns alcohol. Jaggery is the feed for the fermentation. It is the food source for the microbes when they are fermenting. I also make a soap nut liquid with kukurkhai which is the natural soap. I use a little bit of the bio enzyme along with the soap nut liquid to wash my laundry too. This is my way of replacing chemicals in my home. It’s extremely important for us to understand that what we are discharging is harming the environment through the water that is coming out of our home. We don’t know where the water system is ending up. These harmful chemicals that we use are definitely polluting. So as far as possible and as a citizen who cares for this planet I try to keep away these chemicals from my home. For the past two years I haven’t used any cleaners that contain chemicals. The pulp of the peels can be utilized to clean stuff as well. After you drain the excess water save the pulp and put it on your grimy chimney to clean it. Just leave it for 15 minutes and wipe off. Along with this you can add the soap nuts mixture to get that extra soapiness. It can be used as a liquid detergent to wash your crockery and can also be added to your dishwasher. This natural cleanser can be used for multiple things. I’ve gone back to days when grannies used to use shikakai and ash for cleaning. That’s what I’m using now. I also use only natural fibres for cleaning. I don’t use commercially available cleaning pads and sponges as they have plenty of plastic in them which leads to the micro and nanoplastic getting into the water waste. So it’s best to use ash, soap nuts and shikakai – these are all natural materials which are better because the post usage discharge is natural. The use of chemicals harms the environment. Avoiding chemicals and choosing to go the natural way may take a little effort, but considering we now have lots of time on our hands it will probably be easier to do. You can also store the bio enzyme, make it once a month or even once in two months. Many people visit juice shops to collect the leftover lemon and citrus peels to make large quantities which they may sell. The bio enzyme made from citrus fruits is a very good cleaner and doesn’t get spoilt for over a period of time if the proportion is right. But on the other hand, the kukurkhai soap nut mixture has to be made fresh and can’t be kept for long. It starts to smell. So you need to make small batches like every week or so, depending on how much you need. This cleanser is a wonderful way to keep chemicals away and I’m just loving this change! Earlier, I had all kinds of chemicals at home including shampoo, but I stopped using store-bought shampoo too. The kukurkhai (soap nut liquid) is my shampoo and the bio enzyme which has a citrus smell works as my shampoo. The soap nuts can make the hair rough so I use a little of bio enzyme to soften my hair and I’m more than happy with the result. Earlier when I used shampoos available in stores, I experienced a lot of hair fall. So much of hair would fall in the bathroom that I used to think – am I not healthy? Why is my hair falling? But after I stopped using chemical products I don’t have hair fall. It’s very important to use natural products because nowadays the use of chemicals gives rise to skin conditions like psoriasis. The chemicals can also cause dandruff and hair fall. The bio enzyme has a very nice smell but if you want to make it better, you can add some essential oils. Add citronella or lemon essential oil for a nice fragrance. I try to use all things natural, but do I use a natural soap? Yes, my friend makes homemade soaps so I buy it from her. In fact, I stopped buying anything that is packaged and from the store. I’m cutting down and minimizing packaged stuff. I use only used plastic bottles that I collect. I have stopped using Tupperware even in my kitchen. My kitchen is full of glass and stainless steel. There is no plastic in my kitchen. I use Tupperware for storing anything that is not edible. In my house, no water is stored in plastic. I store water only in glass or stainless steel. This transformation came about after I witnessed a friend’s presentation on plastic. It made me realize how much plastic we take in. This is because the chemicals in the plastic leach into the food. Plastic containers are used to store food in the refrigerator, freezer and so on. Some dangerous lifestyle disease may also be avoided if you can bring about small changes in the way you live. Small changes can add to the betterment of your health. With these small changes, we can definitely save our homes and the planet too. This natural cleanser is a good pet wash too. I don’t have pets but my friend uses it as a pet wash and says her pets’ coat is much better after using this. So like I said, it has multiple uses. Dilute it and spray on the plants in your garden and it becomes a pesticide or dilute it and put it in the soil to enhance its fertility. Overall, you can use this natural disinfectant as a shampoo (along with soap nut liquid), a detergent (along with soap nut liquid) to clean surfaces in the kitchen and glass things around the house. All you have to do is dilute it a bit. You can also use it as an organic pesticide and soil enhancer. It replaces many of your cleaners and is very effective. In fact, I’m in love with it – it’s one of the best things I have done.
Experience The Magic Of Using Natural Cleansers At Home Vani Murthy Keeping your home germ-free with natural cleaners and disinfectants…
The ABC Of Hypertension
You May Develop Hypertension Without Knowing. What Are The signs? Hypertension or High blood pressure occurs when UR blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. UR blood pressure reading takes into account how much blood is passing through UR blood vessels and the measure of resistance that blood meets while pumping the heart. Hypertension develops for quite a long while. Initially, you don’t notice any symptoms. But even without symptoms, high blood pressure causes damage to UR blood vessels and organs, especially the brain, heart, eyes, and kidneys. Early detection is essential. Signs of Hypertension ● shortness of breath ● nosebleeds ● visual changes ● dizziness ● headaches ● chest pain ● blood in the urine ● flushing What causes high blood pressure? There are two types of hypertension. Primary hypertension Primary hypertension is also called essential hypertension. ● Genes: Some individuals are genetically inclined to hypertension. This might be from gene mutations or genetic abnormalities inherited from UR parents. ● Physical changes: If something in UR body transforms, you may begin experiencing issues all through UR body. Hypertension might be one of those issues. For instance, it’s thought that changes in your kidney function due to ageing may upset the body’s balance of salts and fluid. This change may cause UR body’s blood pressure to increase. ● Environment: Over time, unfortunately, lifestyle choices like lack of physical activity and poor diet can take their toll on UR body. Lifestyle choices can lead to weight problems. Being overweight or obese can increase UR risk of hypertension. Secondary hypertension Secondary hypertension usually occurs quickly and can become more severe than primary hypertension. This includes: ● obstructive sleep apnea ● adrenal gland problems ● congenital heart defects ● kidney disease ● use of illegal drugs ● side effects of medications ● problems with UR thyroid ● alcohol abuse or chronic use Diagnosis Diagnosing hypertension is simple as it depends on taking a blood pressure reading. Most doctors’ workplaces check blood pressure as part of a routine visit. If you don’t get a blood pressure reading at UR next appointment, request one. If UR blood pressure remains high, UR doctor will likely conduct more tests to rule out underlying conditions. These tests can include: ● ultrasound of your heart or kidneys ● cholesterol screening and other blood tests ● electrocardiogram (ECG) ● urine test Home remedies for hypertension Healthy lifestyle changes will help you control the risk factors that cause hypertension. Here are some of the common home remedies. ● Increasing physical activity ● Developing a healthy diet ● Managing stress ● A healthy weight ● Adopting a clean lifestyle High blood pressure during pregnancy Women with hypertension may deliver healthy babies despite having the condition. But it can be hazardous to both mother and baby if it’s not monitored and managed during the pregnancy. Women with high blood pressure are bound to develop complications. For example, pregnant women with hypertension may encounter decreased kidney function. Babies born to mothers who have hypertension may have a low birth weight or conceived prematurely. Preeclampsia In a few cases, pregnant women with hypertension can develop preeclampsia during their pregnancy. This condition of increased blood pressure which causes kidney and other organ complications. This condition results in high protein levels in the urine, problems with liver function, fluid in the lungs, or visual problems. Monitor UR blood pressure regularly. The best way to avoid complications and problems is to analyze hypertension early. You can go to UR doctor’s office for a blood pressure reading, or you can purchase a blood pressure cuff and take periodical readings at home. Keep a log of UR blood pressure readings and take it to UR regular doctor appointments. This can help UR doctor see any possible problems before the condition advances.
You May Develop Hypertension Without Knowing. What Are The signs? Hypertension or High blood pressure occurs when UR blood pressure…
Ways You Can Empower Yourself To Make Healthy Food Choices
Empower Yourself To Make Healthy Food Choices Author: Veena Reddy Designation: MS, RD, LD Inculcating healthy eating patterns in UR life has a plethora of health perks. Did you know that eating healthy can help you lose weight, maintain the weight you desire, lower cholesterol and prevent a few health conditions? With the bittersweet COVID-19 clouds glooming over our memories of rushing out the door to get to work, our yoga class, the gym, or to a dinner. It is more important than ever for us to make healthier choices for our body to withstand these unpredictable times with finesse. Read on to witness a win-win for our health and our wallets. Make healthier food choices and live sustainably within UR budget. How To Make Powerful Food Choices 1. Plan UR meals in advance for a week. This can help you save time, money and make the most out of what you have in UR fridge or pantry. 2. Get into the habit of reading food labels and ingredient lists. A long list of ingredients may indicate more processing and additives in the product. First five ingredients on the list are of the highest content in any food product. For example, if in the veggie burger wheat flour is the first ingredient, then this means that there is more wheat flour than veggies. 3. Follow a healthy diet plan. As based on studies, an example of a healthy diet plan is the Mediterranean Diet. I recommend using this diet as a guideline to incorporate a variety of food groups in UR day to day meals. Learn how you can customize UR own diet plan. 4. Focus on selecting nutrient-dense foods within all food groups. 5. Beverages. It’s Important to make a healthy choice of these items. Watch out for additives like potassium, sodium and corn syrup. Most beverages are loaded with simple carbs and sugar. Opt for fresh-pressed juices or fruit infused-water instead. 6. Avoid fruits, vegetables and herbal medications that can cause food-drug interaction. For example, dark green leafy vegetables and grapefruit can become a sign of worry for individuals on BP medication and blood thinners. 7. Store foods with long shelf life in the pantry such as whole grains, legumes, lentils, whole wheat pasta etc. Be aware whole grains are low in B vitamins and Folic acid and most grains are fortified with them. 8. Organic food choices are simply great. “Organic” food standards vary from country to country. Increase your awareness of the standards to source the best. 9. Know the difference between enriched and fortified nutrients. ● Enriched Nutrients are added since they are lost during food processing. EX: Bleached flour or white bread. ● Fortified Nutrients are added due to the natural deficiency or absence of certain nutrients. EX: Cereals, dairy products and milk. Most packaged products that you may eat like cereals are fortified. 10. Add legumes and lentils to UR plate as both are good sources of protein and fiber and are recommended as a protein source for vegan and vegetarian diets. Not all essential amino acids are present in legumes & lentils, you can make it more wholistic by combining it with other grains, For example, rice and beans, hummus and pita bread or beans and tacos. Lectin is the protein present in this group. There are studies of Lectin and inflammation. Assimilation of Carbohydrate is gradual and beneficial for a diabetic diet. Lentils primarily grow in pods and are rich in potassium, phosphorus, iron and fiber. We suggest that it is best to consult a nutritionist before making any changes to UR daily diet. Don’t think twice, break the cycle and make the first move towards UR health and enhance URlife.
Empower Yourself To Make Healthy Food Choices Author: Veena Reddy Designation: MS, RD, LD Inculcating healthy eating patterns in UR…
How Emotions Affect UR Immunity
Our mind and body are eternally interlinked. Ailments of the body can manifest as psychological problems. Likewise, matters of mind like stress and anxiety can affect the functioning of the body and its responses, including immunity. Emotion is derived from the Latin term 'emovere', which means to stir up, to agitate and to excite. Emotions can be broadly grouped into two categories - positive and negative. Extroverts tend to be more socially active and are better at expressing their feelings. On the other hand, introverts tend to be withdrawn; hence, they conceal their emotions. People with good emotional health are aware of their feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. They have learned to cope with the stress and problems in a healthy way. It is well established that denial or suppression of emotions is not an effective strategy to deal with emotions. Infact it makes it worse. It is therefore essential that we acknowledge our feelings, reflect on its nature, and if unhelpful then put them aside as much as possible. The Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed an epidemic of emotional reactions such as fear, anxiety, sadness and stress. While many will experience transient anxiety, some will be pushed over the cusp, wherein their unremitting concern will turn into an ailment, or medical condition called anxiety disorder. Impact of emotional problems on health During emotional crisis one may ignore self-care, eat unhealthy diet, avoid activities or exercise. They may resort to maladaptive coping with alcohol, tobacco or tranquilising medicine (sleeping/calming pills). This has a negative bearing on general health. And when stress or stressors persist over a prolonged period, our 'fight or flight response' remains activated and that's not good for our health as it releases excessive stress hormones, and can wear us down physically and psychologically. Well established consequences of prolonged or recurring stress include high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach ulcer, as well as psychological problems like anxiety, depression and addiction. Unremitting stress can also over-activate the immune system - worsen arthritis and psoriasis, acne and even trigger asthma attacks. Besides, it can make you vulnerable to infections and allergies. There is evidence that an effectively managed stress and emotions can have a positive impact on the nervous and immune system. For instance, relaxation activities such as massage, humour, listening to music, reading can have a benefit on overall health and reduces stress hormones in the body. Express UR feelings in an appropriate way If feelings of sadness, stress, or anxiety are causing problems, keeping these feelings inside can make you feel worse. They say "a problem shared is a problem halved", which means when in difficulty it is useful to talk to someone about it. In doing so, you share the burden, move onto solutions and in the process, learn about yourself. It's is essential to deal with negative feelings, but also focus on the positive things in UR life. It will help if you also find ways to let go of things in UR life that are unhelpful while making time for things you enjoy. So, it's okay to let UR loved ones know when something is bothering you. Moreover, keep in mind that UR family and friends may not always be able to help you deal with your feelings appropriately. At these times, try asking someone outside the situation for help. A professional can provide independent, timely and objective advise/support that might help you bounce back as well as improve your emotional health. Other strategies for a balanced life • Even in difficulties, make an effort to resume and maintain a healthy and active routine with balanced diet and exercise (30 - 45 mins of moderate-intensity for 4-5 days per week) • To manage our reactions, we need to acknowledge, understand and accept our emotions. In doing so, we shall cope better and come out of this crisis being more resourceful, rejuvenated and rested. Meditation is an effective and time tested strategy to bring about emotional awareness and mind-body harmony. • Take care of UR body by having enough sleep - ideally 7-8 hours per night. Sleep is essential for rest and recovery from day to day assaults on our body and mind. • Avoid abuse of alcohol or drugs as they can worsen UR health, UR anxiety and relationship problems. • Remember, to be grateful for what you have, think positive, curb negative thoughts where possible, smile more often, and do things to keep yourself positive and happy. • A consistently balanced life is a healthier life. Developing resilience Resilience is the ability to face stress and challenges and to bounce back and recover. To develop resilience, one ought to take up and face challenges and reflect on the difficulties while finding solutions. In doing so, one learns to improvise and move from problems to a solution orientation. Other methods include mobilising social support, keeping a positive view of yourself, accepting change, and keeping things in perspective. An emotionally stable person is thus at a much better position to develop resilience. Emotional awareness is not just crucial for a peaceful, calm and healthy life and healthy relationships, but it also has a positive impact on UR immunity. As a lack of it can contribute to building up of stress, which compromises immunity and makes one susceptible to infection and other ailments. Dr Roshan Jain, 16 May 2020
Our mind and body are eternally interlinked. Ailments of the body can manifest as psychological problems. Likewise, matters of mind…