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9 Foods to Have & 9 Foods to Avoid while Practicing Yoga and Pranayama

This article is inspired by Arun’s comment on my post lose weight, get ageless vibrant health and radiant beauty with anulom vilom pranayam where he asked about food to eat while practicing pranayama. A brief reply to the comment cannot do justice to this important topic hopefully this article does. I would be grateful if more readers can give inputs as we all are on a journey towards good health while overcoming many challenges along the way. We need to help and support each other to win this uphill battle against unhealthy lifestyle diseases. I have faith together we can win and I invite all the readers to contribute their ideas as every bit of knowledge can make the struggle a lot easier.

Satvik Diet

Satvik Diet

I have written a few articles (some are mentioned below) about food that support weight loss, one can have these foods while practicing Yoga and Pranayama.

. 6 Super Foods for Weight Loss and Much More

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

. Tender Coconut Water A Super Drink For Weight Loss And Much More

. Cucumber an Amazing Vegetable for Weight Loss and Much More

. Replace Rice with Broken Wheat/ Dalia for a Slimmer and Healthier You

. Ragi Energy Balls For Instant Energy (Dieters, Pregnant or Lactating Ladies)

To enjoy maximum benefit out of your daily Yoga and Pranayama Practice one must follow a Satvik Diet also known as a Yogic Diet.

Satvik Diet is diet based on ancient wisdom of sages of India for whom Ayurveda, Yoga and Pranayama where important part of a healthy lifestyle. They religiously followed ahimsa (non-harming) hence the diet was purely vegetarian. They also believed in having freshly cooked meals and stale food was considered as an invitation to diseases. As per Indian Culture, food is given Divine importance and it is treated with upmost respect.

Satvik diet encourages foods grown and ripened naturally. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables should cover up your plate more than any other food if you want to eat clean and healthy. It is also advisable to avoid overcooking vegetables to preserve their nutrients. Please try to consume as much raw vegetables as possible as they can give you tons of nutrients and fiber that helps in weight loss.

Processed and factory made food are bad for us. Our body cannot make sense of them. Avoid eating any ready to eat or semi-cooked meal, which are usually loaded with harmful chemicals and preservatives. We cannot digest most of these chemicals and they end up messing with our hormones. Processed food is mostly unnatural and harmful, if taken regularly can cause serious health issues.

I would highly recommend a Satvik diet and lifestyle for Yoga and Pranayama practitioners. Following is a list of food one should have and avoid for a healthy lifestyle. I encourage everyone to contribute to the list to grow our knowledgebase.

9 Foods to have while practicing yoga and pranayama

1. Naturally grown and ripened fresh fruits and vegetables

2. Whole grains and beans

3. Seeds and Dry Fruits

4. Fresh Milk, Ghee, Curd, Buttermilk

5. Herbal Tea, Green Tea

6. Jagerry, Sugurcane Molasses

7. Herbs and Spices such turmeric, ginger, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, mint, basil and all spices found in any Indian Household

8. Plant based oils like coconut, peanut, sesame, sunflower, olive oil and such

9. Rock Salt

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need. – Ayurvedic Proverb”

9 Foods to Avoid while practicing yoga and pranayama

1. Processed foods,

2. Canned foods and ready to eat or semi cooked meals

3. Junk food

4. Artificial sweeteners (they are useless and harmful have jagerry instead)

5. Non Vegetarian foods (Meat and fish of all types, including eggs)

6. Cold drinks(including the diet ones), Soda, Boxed juices

7. Fried and fatty foods

8. Refined white flour (maida), white sugar

9. Stale, over cooked foods or Microwaved foods

Food is definitely medicine. As per naturopathy, right type and quantity of food can heal diseases and make the body stronger.

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

Can Meditation help us to Lose Weight?

As I have mentioned in previous posts
How to Lose Weight with Help of Simple Mind Tricks,
I strongly believe in power of Mind – jabong.com/womens-day-story and
Make Losing Weight A Game Of Your Mind And Win reaching your desire weight is not just about your food and exercise but it is about altering your whole lifestyle.

Can Meditation help us to Lose Weight?

Can Meditation help us to Lose Weight?

If you are like me, you would be finding as many tips and tricks as possible to make this journey painless. I believe that the power of my mind can reset the metabolic rate and hormones to make the weight loss as effortless as possible.

Meditation has been effective to help people achieve personal and professional goals. Many successful people have experience the rewarding benefits of meditation and encourage a daily practice. You do not need any special tools or equipments to meditate and there are no side effects.

But can Meditation really help us lose weight?

To answer this question first let us understand how meditation affects us physically:

1. Meditation transforms us into an awakened being by energizing every cell in the body.

2. Meditation lowers high blood pressure

3. Meditation lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks

4. Meditation decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems

5. Meditation increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior

6. Meditation improves the immune system

7. Meditation increases the energy level, as us gain an inner source of energy

8. Meditation helps us sleep better

9. Meditation brings balance to the hormones in our body

10. Meditation also reduces stress and can resolve many psychological concerns like overeating.

There are countless benefits of a daily mediation practice. I will write another post to highlighting most of them as in this article I want to concentrate on specifically mediation for weight loss.

To answer the above question I would like to say YES! Meditation can help in weight loss. Our body is constantly replacing old cells with new ones. It follows a set blueprint that shapes our body. Your subconscious mind controls this blueprint.

The subconscious mind does not understand what we want it responds to our feelings. With meditation, we can focus on what exactly we want this attention will alter the rigid blueprints of our subconscious mind. This will help us see changes in your overall health and body. Wherever the mind goes the body follows.

One needs to accompany meditation with proper diet and exercise to see the results. Meditation is an ancient proven method to achieve your desired life and the goal of a healthy body can be achieved with help of daily mediation ritual or practice.

Important points to consider before you start your daily weight loss meditation practice:

. Schedule your time in advance. Keep aside 20 to 30 minutes in the morning for your meditation. Be a morning person wake up early to enjoy the calm and serenity of the time before the rest of the world wakes up

. Locate a quiet place for your meditation. A place in your house, your terrace or garden any location where you will not be disturbed while you meditate

. Keep your family informed about the meditation practice so they would not disturb you while you meditate

. Ware comfortable or loose fitted clothing which will help you feel relaxed

. It is advisable to sit on the floor in crossed legs position but if you have difficulty in sitting down you can sit on a chair but sit up straight keep your spine erect.

. If you require a cushion for your back, please use it. The idea is to be comfortable enough that you would not get distracted while you are meditating.

. Keep your goal vision ready. Either draw a picture of you or keep a photo of your when you were at your desired weight or write down the healthy weight goal that you need to achieve. Keep this simple or go for a big fancy vision board with affirmations and pictures. Whatever makes you comfortable just keep it in your bedroom to keep you motivated about your goal.

Post a Comment, Question or Suggestion below or by clicking “Comment” link under the Title.

7 Motivators That Will Make You Exercise Regularly


Finding fitness is mostly based on healthy eating habits and regular workouts. The pressure of our busy but sedentary life doesn’t allow us to work out regularly. For almost a decade I have struggled with my weight issues. I tried every modern and ancient remedy that I could get my hands on but always ended up disappointed, hurt, weak and vulnerable enough to fall prey to another scam with a new shiny marketing hype.

7 Motivators That Will Make You Exercise Regularly

7 Motivators That Will Make You Exercise Regularly

I discuss with many like me about weight loss remedies and from my own experience I can safely say there is no alternative to regular exercise. The body doesn’t care if you are a celebrity, a noble price winner, a housewife or some dictator ruling a country if you want to be fit you have to work out regularly. No matter how rich you are you cannot hire someone to do your pushups.

Why most of us cannot commit to regular exercising? Why most of us prefer a wild goose chase for finding fitness? I think because it is just too hard to keep the commitment; isn’t it? That’s what I felt few KGs and months ago. I don’t feel that way anymore and I want to help you get to this amazing feeling where you commit to working out regularly and never ever cheat on it.

I have mentioned below the 7 Motivators that help me keep my regular exercise commitment and I am sure they can work for you. Simply keep a positive attitude and soon this phase will be like a war story where you will proudly tell your friends how you bravely fought fat and emerged as a fit winner.

“A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement” Jess C. Scott

1. Class/ Program: Join a workout class or program that you can handle. If you have never exercised in your life before go for a beginner’s level class or at least be honest to the instructor that you are new and would need some warming up sections. Throw out the target sheets and for your own sake don’t try to predict where you will be after 6 months or a year; instead listen to your body and go slowly and naturally. If you are regular with the workouts and eat sensibly you will reach your goals. Don’t fuss a lot over it.

2. Motivating Trainer/ Teacher: Getting a good motivating teacher who is dedicated to helping people is like winning a lottery. In this day and age where everyone is after making a quick buck it’s hard to find genuine help. I met countless so called trainers that looked at me as a big fat golden eggs laying goose on which they can bank upon for years to come. My luck changed when I met my current teacher. My teacher is not some big shot celebrity fitness trainer but a lesser know yoga instructor who operates from her home. She knows what she teaches, gives personal attention, motivates, guides and create a personal bond with all her clients. For the first time in my life I am comfortable to do regular exercise, in fact I look forward to my hourly class. A good teacher helps you understand the problem, suggests cures and motivates you to do what you considered impossible.

3. Companionship: When you make the commitment to work out regularly you will face an inner enemy. The lazy voice that will sometimes give you reasons mostly illogical to bunk your exercise session. A workout buddy can be helpful in such time. This buddy can be a family member, your friend or neighbor or just someone you met in your club, class, gym or pool. Make sure the companion you choose has a similar goal like you to get fit and is serious about it. So when you feel you are losing the battle against your inner devil you can call your companion. This buddy will not let you miss your workout and you can return the favor my doing the same when he/she needs you.

4. Get a Dog: I am one of those persons who can give you millions of reasons to get a dog so here goes one more. If you cannot find a class or gym or instructor that can really help you get fit. I suggest you get a dog and take this energy filled fur ball for long walks in the mornings or if your busy schedule permits twice or thrice a day. Walk, hike, run, jog with your dog and the dog will match your pace. Play fetch or any other game and melt all the fat in your body and all the stress in your mind. Get your dog habitual to these long morning walks and you will never be able to sleep late as a cute, wet nose, energy filled fur ball with dog food breath will be your alarm clock that you will not be able to put on snooze.

5. Family: Family members know how to push our buttons especially parents and spouse. Involve these people in your workout scheduling. Tell them that you are having trouble to work out on a regular basis and would need their loving support and guidance. They truly want to help you and will go out of their way to show you their support. Make sure you remain grateful for all the love and care you get from them and don’t be shy to show it once in a while.

6. Vision Boards or Mind Movies: Collect motivational pictures that show your dream body and some pictures that show you exercising or just the exercising equipments or gym or pool and create a highly motivating vision board. Make sure all the pictures that you add to the board or movie have a positive and inspiring effect on you. If you get depressed by looking at some pictures don’t use them. The vision board or movie should be kept in a place where you can see many times in a day especially first thing in the morning.

7. An Upcoming Event: You mostly have an event to look forward to something like a vacation, The New Year Party, a friends of relatives Birthday or wedding or any party, a reunion, a date anything where you want to look your best. This can be a big motivation to work out daily.

This list does not end here you can come up with your tricks to make you work out at least 5 days a week and I would love to know them so please share your ideas and help me and all the readers in this daily struggle of losing weight.

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

How to Lose Weight with Help of Simple Mind Tricks


Our subconscious mind takes care of our habits. It is challenging to change a habit or follow a new one, as our subconscious mind is rigid and stubborn. However, can we trick our subconscious mind to make some changes for good? Can we trick it until it adapts to the new habits that help us lose weight? I believe we can and the following points will help you get started with this new weight loss idea. If you come up with some more ideas feel free to write them in the comment so that everyone can benefit.

How to Lose Weight with Help of Simple Mind Tricks

How to Lose Weight with Help of Simple Mind Tricks

“I may not be as strong as I think, but I know many tricks and I have resolution.” — Ernest Hemingway

1. Rise Early:

If you are not a morning person it will take you some time to adopt this change but once you get use to starting your day early you will completely love the serenity of the morning time. You will be more productive and would be able to accomplish more than just weigh loss.

Start exercising within 30 mins after you wake up. Why? Because our mind is smart enough to find excuses and avoid working out later in the whole day. I have started keeping my workout clothes and shoes near my bed so I stumble upon them first thing in the morning. Before my mind tells me to sleep for 5 more mins I get dressed for my workout.

“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” — Carlos Castaneda

2. Have a Hearty Healthy Breakfast:

Make this your biggest meal of the day. Eat healthy breakfast but avoid sugary cereals. A vegetable juice can be a very good addition to your breakfast and please don’t trust the package juices as they are mostly fake and filled with sugar.

If you love sweets don’t have them after dinner have a small portion with your breakfast giving yourself enough time to burn the calories but don’t make this a habit. If you get tempted say to yourself. This will stay for few minutes on my lips but forever on my hips. Trust me this line works.

3. Eat Slow:

Eat like a baby. I understand you may not have time to eat slowly in the morning but you can try this trick for your lunch and dinner. Eat in small plates, eat extremely small bits, and chew a lot. This will make you full very soon. You will be surprised how much less food is required to feel full. As you chew your food properly it will help with the digestion. A happy stomach will reward you in many ways. Losing weight will just be one of them.

“Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.” — Charles Dickens

4. Cutoff Time:

Have your dinner early. Keep a gap of 2 to 3 hours between your dinner and bed time as this helps with the digestions. This habit will also take some getting used to so here is an excellent trick that I recently found out. Brush your teeth immediately after dinner and send a signal to your mind to cutoff any thoughts about food for that day. The fresh minty taste of the toothpaste will also help to control your sweet tooth cravings.

“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.” — Marjorie Pay Hinckley

5. Keep Moving:

If you have a sitting job try walking for a couple of mins every 1 hour. Walk to the water cooler, to the washroom, printer, a colleague anything just get up every hour or 90 mins and walk for a minute or two. Everything adds up a min of walk or a piece of candy. Your weight loss success depends on what you choose.

A very effective way to shed some pounds is to go for a walk after dinner. What it is raining outside? You say or you have to watch your favorite TV show after dinner. Then I suggest walking inside the house or march in one place as long as the show runs 30 mins or an hour. Be gentle with your knees and ankles as you walk, run or job.

“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.” — Tom Peters

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

Ragi Energy Balls For Instant Energy (Dieters, Pregnant or Lactating Ladies)


Ragi Energy Balls For Instant Energy for Dieters, Pregnant or Lactating Ladies

Ragi Energy Balls For Instant Energy for Dieters, Pregnant or Lactating Ladies

Trying to lose weight can be mentally frustrating and physically exhausting. We have to give up many things we love to eat and try to make peace with fruits or vegetables that we used to always avoid.

Many dieters including me are tend to go overbroad with starving self before a special occasion or just to reach the weight loss goal sooner. We fall flat on our face for a few times and then we learn that starving is not the solution. We need an energy booster now and then. If you are eating less for a long time or are pregnant or breast feeding your new baby then you need the goodness of Ragi.

Dieting is not eating less but eating the right food in proper portion. Even occasionally indulging into something that is considered bad or sinful is allowed as long as you get back on track with eating healthy.

That’s the word I like to use instead of dieting – “Eating Healthy: The right thing in the right amount”. We need to look for food that will keep us healthy, active, in a good shape and will fill us up with energy. Yes such food does exist and no you don’t need to spend a fortune on them. I call these special types of food as Superfood.

When I spent a month in the naturopathy centre near Pune I found such a Superfood that I simple love. It is loaded with goodies like calcium, iron, much required fibres and vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3. It is a godsend for people who are trying to make their bones healthy as it helps bone development and prevents osteoporosis.

Benefits of Ragi/ Nachani:

1. For Bones: Calcium: Rich source of calcium. More than any other grain hence a daily consumption can make our bones stronger.

2. For Digestion: This little grain is loaded with fibre that helps us lose weight as it aids our digestion. A small amount of Ragi can prevent bloating.

3. For Cholestrol: Ragi helps to decrease bad cholesterol. It also controls fat in liver.

4. For Diabetes: Ragi controls sugar levels and helps prevent diabetes.

5. For Pregnancy: Ragi provides the calcium and iron requirement of would be mothers and their baby.

6. For Breastfeeding: To have a good flow of milk and provides the new mom with the much needed nourishment.

7. For Blood Pressure: As Ragi controls bad cholesterol it prevents blockages of arteries and also prevents high blood pressure and stroke.

8. For Anaemia: Ragi is a rich source of iron which helps cure Anaemia.

9. For Weight Loss: Ragi is full of fibre and energy which keeps us full for a longer time and cure constipation and bloating. Ragi is a healthier alternative to wheat. I highly recommend adding small amount of Ragi flour in your wheat flour that you use for your daily roties and bread. I personally prefer the Ragi flour Roti made of only Ragi flour and not mixing it with anything but only water to enough to knead it into soft dough.

The recipe below is a special recipe for those special days when you feel weak and need a big boost of energy. It’s far better, healthier and tastier than any commercial energy bar or drink. I advise to go light on these if you are trying to lose weight as they are enriched with Ghee, Jaggery and Peanuts.

Ragi or nachani energy balls for instant energy:

Ingredients:
1 heaped cup Ragi or Nachani flour
1/4 cup Til or Sesame Seeds (white)
1/4 cup Peanuts
1/2 cup Jaggery grated
1 teaspoon Cardamom / Elaichi Powder
2 – 3 tablespoons Ghee or Clarified Butter

Method:
1. Dry roast Til or Sesame Seeds on a low flame till you get aroma.
2. Dry roast Groundnuts or Peanuts. Cool and remove skin. Finely grind both together.
3. Then add Jaggery and Cardamom / Elaichi Powder to the blended mixer and grind again.
4. In a frying pan dry roast Ragi flour. Add 1 or 2 tsps of ghee while roasting. There will be a pleasant aroma. Remove from heat when the colour gets slightly darker.
5. In a bowl mix all the ingredients
6. Take small portions of this mixture and roll them into balls. If the mixture is dry then add little ghee for making balls

Variation:
a. If you are having trouble making balls of the above mixture you can flatten it out in a plate or a baking tray. Press it and cut it into cubes.
b. If you are allergic to peanuts you can add any other nut of your choice.
c. If you are not sure about the jaggery taste then instead of using only jiggery you can use a mixure of jaggery and powdered sugar. I would always recommend dark organic jaggery over sugar as it is the healthier option.

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


Brisk walks and A Good Chair can Reverse Effects of Long Sitting Hours

Chair Scientist and Doctors are constantly warning us about the harmful effects of sitting long hours. It is no secret that prolonged sitting is linked to high cholesterol, obesity and cardiovascular problems. Unfortunately most of us spend a major part of our day and life in an office chair. It is important that we pick the most comfortable chair that gives the right kind of support to our back.

If you are among those lucky few who work from home, then you can make sure you invest in a decent office desk and chair not only for the sake of your posture, back and neck but also to keep your work at a highly professional level. I had a habit of going all around the house and sitting anywhere to write but since I made a small arrangement like a home office my productivity has improved not to mention I do not mistreat my back anymore by sitting for long hours in an uncomfortable position.

Durian LogoI got my Home office desk and chair online from Durian. Durian is an International furniture brand since 1981. Durian has a legacy and the ability to create a better lifestyle in the interior space. From being the pioneers in veneer business to being the leading infrastructure company and a lifestyle brand, they have had a journey that led them to be among the leading furniture brands in the market. Durian now wishes to cater to its masses and so manufactures 90% of its products in India, since 2011.

When I was searching for the right chair for my home office I found out about something called as ‘Ergonomic Function’ I made the point that my chair has this function to keep my posture right and my back in a good condition even after long sitting hours. I have mentioned the benefits I found out below in brief.

Chair functions
Benefits of Ergonomic Function Chair:

1. My Durian chair comes with ergonomic function that provides proper lower back support. It supports the inner curve of lower back.

2. The 360 degree Swivel helps me rotate easily so that I can reach different areas of my desk without straining.

3. Tilt tension adjustment and Tilt lock keeps my chair setting fixed to the position of my liking

4. The height adjustment function comes with a pneumatic lever is the easiest way to adjust height. A seat height that ranges from about 16 to 21 inches off the floor should work for most people. This function allows me to have my feet flat on the floor, with thighs horizontal and arms even with the height of the desk.

Browsing through their site I found out that that besides making their new products in India they are doing lots of good deeds for the less privileged of the country like associating with NGOs that provide medical aid during calamities to victims and support education, employment, skill training. Plus they provide free delivery and assembly and a 5 year warranty that makes it a secure buy. The other reason for choosing Durian furniture was the ease of online purchase as it is #JustAClickAway at http://www.durian.in

The Most Effective Cure to Reverse Effects of Long Sitting Hours is 5 Minute Brisk Walks every other hour:

.Every one to two hours get up from your chair and take a quick 5 minute brisk walk. Try to do this at least 3 times in a day if you can do more do it.

. If you work in a office then get up to drink water or visit the washroom and try to stretch those tired muscles for minimum 5 minutes.

. Walk towards a colleague instead of calling or chatting with him/her. Get up for the printout or photocopy instead of calling the office staff for the same.

. Take a walk after lunch. Make a point to walk with your colleagues while having coffee instead of sitting or standing in a place.

. Encourage colleagues to walk as much as you do so that you can keep up the habit instead of getting over it.

. If like me you work from home then it all depends upon you how you want to handle the sitting, standing or walking in your day. You are the boss make a point to make it most beneficial for your health.

. Besides walking or if you cannot leave your desk for a while try standing and working. Trust me it is not as uncomfortable as it sounds.

. There can be more ideas that will help you reverse effects of long sitting hours and if you find some please do share.

<ul><code>This blog post was sponsored by Durian Furniture.</code></ul>