Weight Loss

6 Reasons Why A Workout Class will Make You Exercise Regularly

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

Seeing Life through new eyes: the epicness of Yoga
6 Reasons Why A Workout Class will Make You Exercise Regularly Vanessa Marie Hernandez / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Few months back working out 5 days a week was a big part of my fantasy world. I tried lots of home exercise DVDs, some motivational books also few exercise machines where the manufacturers planned the marketing better than the actual product. I wasted a small fortune on gyms and never actually spent much time there. It was funny that the receptionist never remembered me when I walked in after months of gap but she called me regularly for the renewal of my membership.

Nothing absolutely nothing was helping me workout regularly. I lacked motivation, energy and enthusiasm. It all changed when I enrolled for a yoga class nothing fancy just a good teacher teaching in her own living room.

I remember the day I checked out the yoga class. I went when a class was in session and ladies of all sizes, shapes and ages where sincerely following the teacher. It was a peaceful session and the stretches they were doing looked very difficult for my untrained body. I had doubts about joining the class as I didn’t want another failed attempt but something in me said don’t think jump in and Thank God I did.

Why my Yoga Class Helped me Exercise Regularly? …. Because

1. Teacher: A great teacher can make you believe in yourself. A good teacher will not blame you for your condition but show support and will guide you to find solutions. A teacher you can depend upon. A teacher you can look forward to learn a lot from. Find a teacher who cares more about his/her students then making money and you got your first reason to work out almost every day.

2. Discipline: When you join a class you agree to maintain some kind of hourly schedule. You know you have to be in the class on time and finish your workout in a set period of time. It does not give much freedom to reschedule and hence we forget our dirty habit of procrastination. It brings some discipline to our life when we need it the most.

3. Accuracy: Any good teacher or trainer will tell you that the accuracy of doing every workout matters more than repetitions. When it comes to Yoga it is important that you stretch in a proper way to avoid any sprains or any other injuries. If you are trying to work out on your own you will find it difficult to keep a check your exact form while doing the exercise. But under a teacher you are corrected immediately. If you are having trouble to do any particular exercise you can get some tips and tricks from the teacher. A good teacher will also help you with easier alternatives of exercises till you body gets more used to the concept of exercising regularly.

4. Classmates: when you think of joining some particular class see if you can relate to the students who are already taking the class. Do they have similar goals? Are they tiring to resolve similar issues? This will give you the assurance that the answers you are looking for can be found in that class. It will also assure you that you are not the only victim of mother nature or father time. Everybody has their own battle to fight for. It is motivating to workout with your classmates then working out in front of some life less DVD Player.

5. Motivation: In a class you get to see other people just like you fighting their own battle and this encourages you to conquer your own. When you see others winning you get motivated and when you see someone giving up on their goal you can become their strength. In the process you will soon realize by helping others with their goal your inner strength multiplies.

6. Going With The Flow: My first couple of days in the class I tried to match other people’s pace and felt like I was doing everything wrong. Soon I understood to go with the flow and not think too much about it. This is one of the few places where I clear my mind and stop thinking. I follow the leader blindly. I find it very relaxing and refreshing. Just flowing with the flow makes the whole workout feel effortless.

I hope these reasons are good enough for you to get searching for a good class.

    Leave a Comment below or by clicking “Comment” link under the Title of the Post, I Would Love to Know Your Opinion on This.

5 Ayurvedic Cleanse Recipes to Re-Ignite Your Body’s Digestive Fire

~~M I N T O ~~ F R E S H
5 Ayurvedic Cleanse Recipes to Re-Ignite Your Body’s Digestive Fire J I G I S H A a.k.a Nitin Badhwar / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

The dawn of New Year brings lots of hopes and promises. First day of every New Year for all of us encourages fresh start and our body very much deserves one. Our body has been constantly working for us and our stomach takes up a lot of strain in the holiday season Durga Puja, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the night we test its limits the New Years Eve.

I am not against celebration on the contrary I love all these festivals but from this year I want to help my stomach and entire body unwind and refresh so that it can pass through the coming year stronger and healthier. I am interested to make some changes that will help reduce the body age as we leap in yet another year. How am I going to do this? Two words – Ayurvedic Cleanse.

1. Cleansing Water –

Recipe: 1 Tall Glass of Water, 1 tsp Lemon Juice, 1 tsp Honey, Mix all ingredients together

Have this cleansing water every morning to flush out toxins and removes excess fat.

2. Cleansing Tea –

Recipe: 2 Cups of water, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds

Boil the seeds together till the water is reduced to 1 cup, strain and have it instead of your morning coffee or tea. If possible have it twice a day.

3. Green Tea –

Add Tulsi Leaves also known as Holy Basil to your green tea after your meals. Tulsi leaves is considered very important in Ayurveda as it has stress hormones reducing properties. It can control stress or lifestyle related disorders.

4. Green Moong Soup

Recipe: Soak Green Moong overnight then pressure cooker it with little oil, 1 onion, 2 chopped green chillies, 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, salt as per taste. Water enough to make thick soup. You can add any vegetables to it or any garnish to keep it interesting.

For deeper cleanse of your body replace all your meals with the healthy and filling Green Moong Soup. Try doing this on the less busy days as this change may make you feel weak. If you feel too weak just have some brown rice or brown bread with your soup. You can be on this cleansing diet for maximum 7 days or just for a day. Go as your body suggests.

If you are pregnant, under heavy medication or have any serious medical condition please take advice of your doctor before trying this or any other diet.

I Ayurvedic centre they do encourage having two tsp of Pure Ghee a day in your soups. Make sure the Ghee or Clarified Butter is pure and made of Cow’s Milk.

5. Moong Dal Khicari:

Recipe: Pressure cooker – 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or sesame/ sunflower oil, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp mustard seeds, turmeric, fresh grated ginger root (optional), Rock salt as required, 2 pinches hing/ asafetida, 1 cup rice, 1 cup split mung dal (yellow or green, or whole mung beans soaked overnight), 4 cups water.
Add vegetables if you prefer.

This light Khicari if made watery enough for your stomach is like spending a day in the spa. It can give your stomach the much needed rest and can help it wind down and refresh. After your Green Moong Soup Diet days you can get your stomach back to regular foods by replacing your meals with this Khicari for a day or two.

Extra Tips:

1. To flush out toxins have as many healthy liquids like buttermilk, water, green teas, fruits and vegetables juices. Take these in large quantities and avoid coffee, tea and sugary sodas.

2. Go for light exercise like walking or any other workouts during your cleansing days.

3. Try to Meditate or Visualize Positve thoughts in the morning and through out the day.

4. You will find it very relaxing to get an Ayurvedic Sesame Oil Massage during cleansing days.

Happy New Year and Thank you for all the love and encouragement you guys have shwon to The Vibrant Writer Blog. May this New Year bring you more of Health, Wealth and Happiness.

6 Super Foods for Weight Loss and Much More

As promised in my last post this article is a list of superfoods that are helping me to get close to my healthy weight without starving.

6 Super Foods for Weight Loss and Much More

6 Super Foods for Weight Loss and Much More

My post Green Gram or Green Moong: A Superfood for Weight Loss and Much More is one of the most read posts on this blog and that inspired me to find out more super foods that can help us slim down in a healthy way.

1. Sprouts (Green Gram, Mat Beans, Green/Black Chickpeas): If you have read my post on Green Gram then you will know why I love this nutrition packed little wonder. Lately I have found a way to make my almost daily Green Gram Soup more nutritious and filling. I just add more healthy beans like soaked or sprouted Black/ Green Chickpeas and/or Moth Beans/ Mat Beans/ Matki.

Recipe: Soak Green Moong, Mat Beans, Green/Black Chickpeas overnight (Sprout them for additional nutrition).
Pressure cooker it with little oil, 1 onion, 2 chopped green chillies, 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, salt as per taste. Water enough to make thick soup.

As if that was not healthy enough I threw in a small bunch of fresh spinach in it. I did not even cut the leaves just washed and added it to my soup. You can add dry Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi) or its fresh version. Fresh Coriander leaves and some vegetables like cabbage, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, carrots or any vegetable that you would love to taste in this healthy soup. This soup will keep you full while improving you metabolic rate. The good bacteria will perk up your digestion.

2. Nuts: People trying to lose weight avoid nuts assuming they are fattening. The nuts like walnuts, almonds, pine nuts even the humble peanuts are loaded with the good fat that our body actually needs even when we are trying to lose weight. Nuts (not more than a handful) are good snacking option as they are high in protein and they make us feel full. Ayurvedic doctors suggest having overnight soaked almonds first thing in the morning to ignite our fat burning fire. Now isn’t that a delicious way to lose weight.

3. Apples: I love all fruits but apples are one of my favorites. I can never resist a big juicy red apple and that is not a bad thing unless you are Snow White. Like nuts apples are also the perfect snack. Apples are loaded with soluble fibers called pectin. Pectin reduces the amount of sugar and calories that’s absorbed into the bloodstream. It reduces cravings and prevents spikes in blood sugar that leads to fat storage. I don’t understand people who peal of apples and eat only the white part. All the goodness is in the beautiful colored skin please don’t throw away the nourishment. It’s a crime against nature. Just wash it nicely if you are worried about pesticides and sink your teeth in.

4. Vegetable Soup: This is another healthy and filling soup option which you can use to replace you meal. This soup is much lighter and watery compared to the thick and creamy sprouts soup mentioned below. Light vegetable soup meal can be a good option if you feel bloated from last night’s heavy meal. For lunch or dinner have a big bowl of soup made of vegetables like Bottle gourd, Cabbage, Bitter Gourd, Carrots, Tomatoes and any vegetables you like. Do not add thickening agents like corn flour or any other soup mix to this soup. It will help you flush out toxins and fat from your body only when it is light and watery.

Recipe: Cut vegetables in big cubes,
If you like your soup spicy add some green chilies,
Pressure cooker them with enough water to make light soup (1 or 2 whistles maximum),
Add salt, pepper powder and any other seasoning as per your liking,
Smash the vegetables and have the soup.

5. Red Lentils: The Red Lentils or Masoor Dal is rich in protein and loaded with fiber. They help us stay full for a longer time. Just one cup of this rich legume provides about three-quarters of our daily recommendation of fiber. Like the sprouts soup you can add vegetables like spinach, bottle gourd, pumpkin, drumsticks, dry fenugreek leaves, or any other vegetable in this rich thick dal and trick your loved ones to eat their vegetables. Well that’s what I have started to do with my husband.

6. Watermelon: Another fruit that I can crown as one of my favorites. Watermelon is a delicious fruit that also contains ‘glutathione’ that strengthen the immune system. It is a rich source of the vitamin B complex, vitamin C, beta carotene and folic acid. It is a natural Diuretic that helps reduce edema. A filling big bowl of freshly cubed water melon can be a good snack option and it has negligible calories.

So don’t starve yourself eat healthy, eat at regular intervals and maintain a cutoff time. Drink a lot of water and sleep well. These foods work for me but I would insist you take advice of your doctor before making any drastic changes in your diet.

    Leave a Comment below or by clicking “Comment” link under the Title of the Post, I Would Love to Know Your Opinion on This.

What keeps a Person Fat? Find out the Real Reason behind your Flab?

What keeps a person fat? Christi Nielsen / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

If you are anything like me you must have asked the question “Why am I fat?” millions of time. It gets extremely frustrated to stay fat after trying every diet know to mankind and even a ruthless approach to starve yourself. It makes you crazy when you see a friend eating twice as much as you but weighing half. I cannot mention it enough how annoying it gets when people not even close start giving unwelcomed suggestions to join a gym or go on a diet.

Yes living in an obese body is frustrating. The mental strain is equivalent if not more to the strain on our weakening knees and ankles. So what to do when everything we research about losing weight does not work.
Well we should do exactly what we are supposed to do when we have any kind of illness. Yes being fat is a disease like any other. We all know and understand that an overweight body gives birth to many diseases but we fail to look at the roots of the problems that are making and keeping us fat.

It can be a simple disorder in the bodily functions or lack of some necessary nutrition that is the reason behind our flab. Trying to lose weight by just diet and workouts without fixing the health issue that is causing the weight gain is like trying to fill a cup which has a big leak at its bottom. Fixing the leak is the only way you can keep the cup filled. Similarly fixing the health issue is the only way to get fit and maintain it.

How to detect the health issue that is causing weight gain:

1. Get Good Advice: Find a good doctor that can help you understand and cure the health issue that is causing weight gain. Natural medicine like Ayurved, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Acupuncture have amazing success rate with these kinds of health issues.

2. Get a Grip on your Emotions: Detach yourself for few minutes from all the aches and pains of your body. Calm your mind and try to understand what your body is telling you. Where do you feel uneasy or have pain or any other problem just note it down to inform your doctor.

3. Read your Symptoms: Detect all symptoms like hair loss, dry skin, sleepless nights, and constipation, anything that can help the doctor understand if there is any disorder in your body. Detail and accurate information will make it easier for the doctor to find a cure for you.

Health problems like Hypothyroidism (disorder in thyroid gland), Hormonal Imbalance, PCOS, Depression and Stress Related Disorders, Weak digestive system and many more such medical problems can cause a lot of unexplained and uncontrollable weight gain.

Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance (One of the above listed disorder):

Extreme fatigue, lethargy, lack of interest and concentration, palpitation, depression, irritation, unexplained weight gain, dry skin, itching, dry hair, irregular constipation are symptoms of this disorder.

    Leave a Comment below or by clicking “Comment” link under the Title of the Post, I Would Love to Know Your Opinion on This.

First Step towards Fitness – Walking

First Step towards Fitness (Walking)

First Step towards Fitness (Walking)

To honor the growing demand from my regular readers and of course for my own interest in health and weight loss I am introducing a new category called Finding Fitness. This category mainly focuses on tips and tricks to be fit, active, and young and to stay that way for a long time. I am very excited about this category and confident that together we can find natural and easy solutions to our lifestyle related health problems.

Learning to walk is our biggest achievement when we are a baby but as we grow into an adult we find ways sometimes even very expensive ones to avoid this activity that we are naturally built for.

I had an opportunity to have a small talk with a distant relative who lived a long and healthy life. He passed away couples of years back and was 98 years old at that time. Till his very last days he was physically independent he had a very weak eye sight and suffered short term memory loss but other than that he was able to manage everything else on his own.

I asked him the secret to his amazing health and he told me plain and simple. “In our day we walked everywhere. We walked for miles and miles for even a small thing and if we had to go really really far we used bicycles that were available on rent.”

Today we live in so much comfort that if we want to experience that king of hard labor we will have to spend hours in the gym. The good news is that we don’t have to do that much of hard work all we need is a regular workout for 45 mins to 1 hour a day atleast 5 days a week to keep us fit active and healthy for decades to come.

“Walking is man’s best medicine.”-Hippocrates

Walking is the easiest, cheapest, simplest exercise that can be done anywhere. We don’t need fancy equipments or gear for walking nor expensive membership at a fitness center. All we need is a good pair of shoes and we are set to walk off our weight. Yes the shoes in the pic are mine. These are my favorite pair and I ware them everywhere.

How to choose good shoes:

They have to be light; they should have an inner arch support, comfortable cushioning not excessive, and a thick and firm sole not the bouncy kind. While buying try both shoes, stand up feel your weight in it, walk within the shop and if you feel any discomfort try another pair. Make sure about the size. Remember comfort comes before looks when it comes to shoes. Any good quality walking shoe will have all the features you need.

Benefits of Regular Walking (30 to 60 mins a day, 4 to 5 days a week):

1. Improves physical functions and balance especially in older people

2. Reduces weight by losing calories and increasing the metabolic rate

3. Good for heart and brain

4. It increases the whole body bone density

5. It prevents diabetes and cancers like breast and colon,

Regular walk can turn the body clock backwards as it makes all the organs function right

Where to walk:

I would love to walk on a beach but as most of you I don’t live near a beach (Yet) let us consider other options.

1. Around your building or block,

2. A park nearby,

3. In a mall: find out if the mall has a walking club that mostly organizes walks within the mall before the mall starts if not then a weekend window shopping trip can also be used for a good walk excuse.

4. Inside house: Indoors walking is good enough if you have the space even in a smaller area you can keep walking for 30 mins to an hour.

5. Streets: Walking on streets can be dangerous so one should be very careful especially at darker hours like early hours in the morning and late at night. Reflectors can help. Make sure you walk in the opposite direction of the traffic so you can see a vehicle coming in your direction rather than walking on the side of the traffic.

How to walk: well the posture matters;

1. Keep your back straight not arched. Don’t lean forward or backwards,

2. Hold head high, Look forward, chin parallel to ground, keep stomach tight

3. Move shoulders naturally, swing arms freely, bend elbows slightly,

4. Warm smoothly rolling foot from heel to toes, be soft on joints,

5. Start with less time like 15 to 20 mins or less as long as your body is comfortable with but gradually increase time and distance.

    Leave a Comment below or by clicking “Comment” link under the Title of the Post, I Would Love to Know Your Opinion on This.

Green Gram or Green Moong: A Superfood for Weight Loss and Much More

Green Gram or Green Moong: A Superfood for Weight Loss and Much More

Green Gram or Green Moong: A Superfood for Weight Loss and Much More

Here is a super food I really love and enjoy not only because it keeps me full but it also helps me lose weight. It has many properties that are beneficial for us especially when we are starving ourselves in the name of being on diet.

Yes, I am taking about the good old Green Gram or Green Moong. We can have it in many forms. We can soak it and make a healthy dal to have with roties or brown rice, we can sprout it and make a healthy salad from it. There is also one interesting way that I doubt most are not aware of; we can dry roast the dal and dry grind it into flour to make some healthy and tasty roties/ parathas or wet grind it to make healthy versions of dosa, idli or uttapa.

Now here are some reasons why you should give so much thought to Green Moong:

1. It’s loaded with Goodies: It is rich in Vitamin A, B, C and E and also in many minerals including iron, calcium, and potassium. Not to forget it is a powerful source of vegetarian protein.

2. It good to Shed Some Unwanted Weight: It is considered a healthy weight loss food as it is a low fat food rich in proteins and fibre. It curbs cravings and keep us full for a long time. It detoxifies the body and benefits the metabolism as well as immune system.

3. It’s good for the Heart: It helps to lower the high cholesterol level in the blood system. Regular intake of Green Moong reduces bad cholesterol and improves the flexibility of arteries and veins. It also regulates the blood pressure.

4. Keeps a check on the Blood Sugar Level: Green Moong is full of complex carbohydrates in form of high fibre, which aids digestion. Complex carbs also stabilizes blood sugar and controls its sudden rise after meal, while keeping body’s energy at a balanced level. Green Moong can be highly beneficial for people having a high blood sugar level.

5. It’s Anti-fungal, Anti-bacterial and Anti-Cancer: Green Moong contains Vitamin B-1, Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine). Regular consumption of diets rich in Vitamin-B6 help you develop resistance against contagious agents that cause diseases. As per Ancient Chinese medicine it also contains anti-cancer properties.

It’s Amazing for Skin:

Moong bean dry grinded powder serves as an effective facial scrub or face mask. It makes skin smooth and youthful while minimising skin problems like acne, spots, tan or wrinkles. It is mild enough to be used as a daily face cleansing agent. For dry skin add milk or cream or honey to it. For oily skin add rose water or tap water to make a paste. Apply a thin layer and wash off when it dries. You can add a pinch of turmeric powder for a natural glow.

How I have Green Moong everyday:

I make a rich creamy thick soup of green moong and switch one of my meals with it. I mostly have it for dinner and I find this hot thick soup quite comforting compared to cold salads or any other meal alteration.

My recipe is simple I soak Green Moong overnight then pressure cooker it with little oil, 1 onion, 2 chopped green chillies, 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, salt as per taste. Water enough to make thick soup. You can add any vegetables to it or any garnish to keep it interesting.

My new post 6 Super Foods for Weight Loss and Much More has some more interesting receipies to keep you stuffed guilt free.

    Leave a Comment below or by clicking “Comment” link under the Title of the Post, I Would Love to Know Your Opinion on This.