Busting Iron Myths

Iron has always been a hot topic of discussion and it will always be. There is something about it that keeps people thinking or rather confused on what to eat, how to eat and what to avoid! As a result of this knowledge deficit, most over 30% of the world’s population has become deficient in this very important mineral [according to WHO-World Health Organisation].

So I thought let’s see what all foods people think are super rich in Iron, but sadly aren’t:

  1. Spinach: We all at some point in our lives have believed that spinach is a great source of iron. But that is simply NOT TRUE. Mr. Popeye had got it all wrong. Spinach has a compound by the name of ‘oxalates’ which binds with the little amount of iron present in it and inhibits it’s absorption in the body. Oxalic acid cannot be absorbed by the body. top-view-1248955_960_720Also, the confusion started because a scientist by the name of von Wolff forgot to correct a decimal error, leading to people mis believing that spinach was a rich source of iron! He certainly forgot to mention the low bio availability too. Sad! But nonetheless it being a green leafy vegetable is a great source of Vitamin A helping your skin glow and vision sparkly and at the same time making your immunity strong too! Much love to Vitamin A.

    2. Iron cooking pots: Many people think that cooking in an iron pot helps in transferring the iron from the vessel to the food one is making. It’s got to be a magical pot then!

    cooking-pot-165097_960_720Well, truth being, this was a ritual of an ancient era with no scientific backing. Moreover, cooking in such pots causes ‘Iron Toxicity’. So excess of anything is really bad so to say! Stay away from this myth, far far away!

     

    3. Milk: As a nutritionist it feels really odd when you hear people talking to each other and saying “have milk, your anemia would go away” and I’m left gaping at them and thinking what is wrong with this world!!milk-518067_960_720Milk has NO IRON. It is but an amazing source of Calcium, Protein, Vitamin A and essential fatty acids. So yes it will make you taller, stronger, and you always have some almonds walnuts and Sudoku puzzles to make you sharper! Yay!

    4. Beetroot: Someone has rightly said, “Everything that glitters is not gold”. A red coloured food, won’t necessarily make blood or iron in the body. It’s said [by most people, not us] that beetroot is a good source of iron. I really cringe when I hear that!beetroot-687251_960_720

    For a second even if I agree with you that it has some iron, but it’s of no use. Now the science behind that is, it contains a substance called “oxalic acid”, which interferes with the iron absorption in the body and hence it doesn’t even get absorbed! Came as a surprise didn’t that? But having said that, it musn’t stop you from having it! It’s rich in a number of antioxidants which help you in fighting from free radicles, is rich in zinc, phosphorus and gives a wonderful amount of fiber too!

     5. Apples- “An apple a day keep the doctor away”

    apple-1589874_960_720 It stands true in more respects than one. It’s rich in antioxidants, rich in cholesterol lowering fiber, has a good amount of Vitamin E and Vitamin C too. But, what it is not rich in, is Iron. We studied the process of rusting in class 5th or 6th which stated when an iron metal came in contact with air, it turned brown. They were talking about metal dearies, and not about the fruit! And it turning brown is related to something known as “enzymatic browning”.

    6. Bananas: Bananas are a great pre and a post workout meal and supply you with the requisite amount of energy that is required by the body during workouts.

    bananas-1642706_960_720 They help you through the muscle cramps, blood pressure, provide you good amount of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C as well. Though bananas are not rich in iron, due to the presence of Vitamin C only help in the absorption of iron.

    So many myths about so many foods, one really needs to know what is the real story. You have the right to know the foods that you have!

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Leadership & Organisational Behaviour

HONESTY, ETHICS, INTEGRITY… these are very small words but have heavy meanings attached to them.

The trio have been in demand since time immemorial! If you look at it from an economists pont of view, it’s a simple demand and supply graph. The keener you look for them, the harder they are to get. But why? Why has it become so difficult for people in their career span to come out and be truthful and show that there is an iota of integrity left in them? Haven’t we been always morally policed and have been scorned at and reprimanded for behaviours that are not socially acceptable. Then why are such virtues in such a short supply especially in their work place?

The virtues we exhibit, have been handed down to us from our forefathers and just like DNA it started its own variations. People always knew the right from the wrong, no grey areas. Well, whatever they chose, their choices were driven from all the upbringing and the societal perceptions. So why is it hard to find them now?

The answers lie within us. We have been so used to identifying the “Grey Areas” that we have actually stopped considering that, black and white still exist. What is right is right, isn’t it? Why can’t we be honest about it? Do we shy away from self -monitoring? That is the first of the two pronged approach.

The second part, lies in the hands of the Guiding Forces, namely our Leaders in this context. Any positive or negative tone caught in the organization, is driven by them. We all know a top down approach works with ease and at higher levels of acceptance. So, as leaders in our respective fields, if we set our C- suite’s behavioral tone in order (either via power of repetition , behavior modification workshops etc.), we shall start to move on course (cascading effect of such behavior shall be observed).

When our leaders have set the pace, shown us the light; then what’s there to wait around for? If the organizations build their leaders with strong values and virtues, they shall be able to lead their people on the path of success.

Why do we remember leaders like Jack Welsh (GE) or Azim Premji (Wipro)? They embody the trio and lead the path of success and people believe them and so follow them.

As glorious and simple as it sounds, it is not a cakewalk. We have to work towards the goal of having the trio in our organization and simultaneously keeping a hawk’s eye on any weeds claiming to threaten it. Till the time, it becomes a habit as starts coming naturally to the employees, we the leaders should gear up for the road ahead.

Tip 3: Feeling Stressy

In our daily life’s stress has now become almost a part of our being. It really defines what we do, how we do and if we are really in a position to take up new things and challenges in the pipeline.

A lot of things are affected due to a thing as small as stress, your relationships, career, general attitude and your health too. Whatever you do physically or mentally reflects directly on your health status. So knowingly or unknowingly stress has affected each and every one in many different ways, mostly harmful.

When we talk about stress in terms of people who are weight watchers, people who are trying to lose it or maintain it, easily fall under the cycle of stressing over. Many people trying to lose weight, start with a fad diet, might lose a few kgs here and there but end up gaining double. As a result they fall into a psychological trap and start eating large amounts of food to overcome the sadness.

Weight loss requires simple fundas: Dedication, Motivation and Commitment.

One must know, “If you didn’t gain weight in a day, you won’t lose it in a day either.”

Stress is a big reason of you either gaining a lot of weight or losing a lot of it suddenly (taking into consideration that nothing is wrong with you clinically). And that my lovelies, is the most harmful thing you can do to yourself!

What you can do!

  1. Be realistic: Set realistic goals for yourself, like 3-4 kgs a month. And do it in a healthier manner, because the aim is not just to lose it, but maintain it too. DO NOT fall for “10 kgs in 10 days” crap. Always think, what are you going to do after that, stop eating at all forever??
  2. Stay Committed: Stay committed to your goal, be at it, nobody can eat good food for you, and no one can do your cardio for you. Long term is what matters, nothing else.
  3. Let Go: Let go of that STRESS. It’s not that easy, agreed! But, it isn’t that difficult either. YES YOU CAN!! Stress isn’t helping you in any way except making you age faster and giving you unnecessary wrinkles! Now you choose do you really want that??

 

Save yourself, embrace who you are, but at the same time, choose health, that’s the only wealth you really have!!!

The 10 Tips-Part 2

Hello lovelies, I’m back after such a longggg gap! Had a lot of things to catch up on! But now that I’m back in, we are gonna take off right from where we had stopped.

Last we had spoken on how important it was to restrict the amount of fats, oils one took in their diet. And how it was important that we incorporate good fat sources in our diet.

Now, let’s get our focus back on certain weight reduction tips.

‘No to Sugars’

 Sugars have sneakily found their way in our diets. Suddenly it has become important to put sugar in each and every item that we make. There isn’t any one item in our daily lives that we do not consume of sugar. There is a birthday you need a cake, there is a wedding, you need towering sweet boxes, your mood is off, you need a big chocolate to get yourself in a better mood! And if you are going out, you so need that coffee, loaded with sugar!

Everything becomes so tasty when there is sugar in it; suddenly the full event becomes all so important! But the thing with sugar is, the tremendous amount of importance that you give to sugar, it doesn’t give you that back. It is like that friend we all had, sugary on the outside, but harms the inner self. You would be better off without it.

Sugar, is a form of carbohydrate that gives instant energy, its use is to give us that peak when required, and then goes down sliding(that’s what chocolate does to your mood too). Now if that amount of energy is not expended, this happens in most of the cases, it gets stored as fat, and the cycle continues. We are a victim of our sedentary lifestyle, the amount of activity that was in the days of our ancestors is unthinkable in this era of technology. Hence, we keep piling up weight, because there is no control on what goes in our mouth.

Many people say, don’t have sugar, have honey, ever thought, what will you get once you crystallize it! Yes, you will indeed get crystallized sugar only, and if it’s even more processed than it already is, only God save you then. I’m not against the beneficial effects that honey has on us, but in the long run, it does more harm than good. Each and everything that we get these days, has been processed till such an extent, that now, it’s harmful to have.

The increase in weight that happens in the body, is the result of a number of factors, and sugar is simply the biggest reason of them all. A reason which is in your control, and can be taken care of!

The 10 Tips- Part 1

I call it my easy peesy tips, that might be easy and probably even you know, that it is a major factor in you gaining immense amount of weight.

So the first one being, “Doing away with Fat”. Yeah, you heard that right!

And I’m pretty sure, you even know how detrimental it is for your health. You love your Mc.Tikki, the fries, those smileys, pastry and surely the cakes. Ever thought if they love you too??

The foods that we eat, already contain some fat of their own. Agreed, that some amount is important for the body’s insulation and as a cover for all organs of the body.

You can easily reduce the amount of oil in the diet by changing the way you cook.

  1. Steaming– It’s a very easy method to incorporate in daily life. Also, you get to eat yummy Idli’s, dhokla’s , custards, and cakes too(now I’m not recommending that you eat custards and cake too!!) It reduces your average fuel requirement too till an extent. Plus steamed foods are a bit healthier till an extent.
  2. Non-stick cooking– Using non-stick pans while cooking, reduces the need of using too much oil, butter or ghee. You still get yummy and healthy food to eat. But you need to take care of your non-stick utensils. Never put cold water on them immediately after using them, it will drastically remove the coating present on the pan. If taken care of, they easily last 6-7 years.
  3. Grilling– It is a very interesting method and you actually don’t need oil for it. The product will come out really crispy and properly cooked. You can grill your sandwiches, chicken, paneer and what not!

 

There are a lot of other methods too, that would help in reducing the amount of oil being used at home. The best one is you yourself measuring the amount of oil you are putting in any food that is being cooked. Frankly even ½ tsp. of oil is enough for cooking.

When on a weight loss spree and trying to lose weight, and frankly it’s not even losing weight, it’s about eating healthy, and choosing foods that heal you. Do away with your mac and cheese, fries and burgers.

You become what you eat, choose wisely!

How To Lose 10 Kgs in 10 Days

Really??

What were you thinking when you clicked on this article? Another miraculous formula would be uncovered, or a magical portion ingredient would be their which would reduce your inches by a size or two?

No! Stop right their!

Never ever fall for those so called you tube videos or advertisements that give you a guaranteed weight loss! There is no short cut to a healthier you. All of these are gimmicks just to lure you into buying those so called pills or whatever. A piece of CRAP!!!

The easiest way to lose weight is through ‘HARD WORK’

‘Being overweight is hard, so is losing it.’ You need to choose your hard wisely!

One can never lose weight, if done the right way in a day or two or maybe even 10. Logically speaking, your body did not take a day to accumulate that much fat that it did in the first place, and so it won’t take a day to lose it.

What your body is currently is a result of what you have eaten probably through the years. It is always 85% of what you eat and rest 15% is exercise, rest, stress and other factors. So imagine, if your diet is burger, pizza, coke and other high calorie foods, your body would also become that. We were brought up on whole foods like wheat, rice, pulses, milk and fruits. These are by far the healthiest foods that you would find. So, basically never eat foods that your great grandmother can’t recognize as food!

It’s a matter of what choices you make each and every day that would help you in achieving the health goals you want to. It’s never easy, but it isn’t difficult either.

Starting tomorrow, each day I will tell you 10 things for the next 10 days,  that could help you in losing the fat that you want to. Maybe you already know those things, maybe not! I’m sure you have done quite a research, but it’s not worthwhile till the time you actually apply your research and get results!

Yummilicious Banana

Banana is a fruit, which is widely eaten but probably not much appreciated. Mother nature has bestowed upon us this wonderful fruit, which is a whole food in itself. The best part of the fruit is that its easy to eat, just peel it and have it! How simple!! (For the love of simple things!)

The thing with banana is, the yummy it tastes, the nutrient dense it is. Now it’s not that it is the only nutrient dense food that is present in the world, but its benefits have mostly gone unnoticed.

  1. Moderate blood sugar levels: The bananas contain Peptin and Resistant starch that regulates the amount of blood sugar that is present. They rank low to medium on the glycemic index (it’s a measure how quickly the blood sugar levels are raised). But the same thing might not really apply to a diabetic patient. They also reduce the stomach emptying rate.
  2. Weight loss: Banana’s do not increase your weight!!! It’s a myth!!! Get over it. Stop blaming the poor banana every time you weigh yourself on the scale, and for once maybe check your eating habits instead! These are filled with resistant starch and hence lead to the reduced stomach emptying rate!
  3. Happy heart: Banana is one fruit , that is the easiest source available for introducing potassium and magnesium in our diets! Also these minerals help in controlling the blood pressure and yes, it does keep the heart healthy and happy.
  4. Antioxidant rich: This fruit is high in antioxidants and consist of catechin and dopamine. These reduce the risk of various degenerative diseases.
  5. Kidney health: Ideally the bananas are good for kidneys as they provide potassium which is required for various kidney functions. But in case of a kidney malfunction, the banana must be avoided so that no excess pressure is put on our small little beans!
  6. Food for athletes: This is literally food for athletes. It’s easily digested, helps in recovering from cramps, and provide excellent nutrition before and after endurance exercise. So having worked out, and so hard at that, ditch that Starbucks coffee, have a banana instead. It would be lesser healthier calories plus the body would recover faster.

 

Bananas are the easiest fruits that can be added in your diet. That too in a jiffy! The sweetness of the fruit reduces the need to add sugar in your food.!

Keep following for some upcoming yummy banana recipes. Promise they would be easy and tasty!

Anemia & its Fast Friend

Many people suffering from chronic kidney disorders (wherein a person has 20-50% of normal kidney function) fall prey to anemia. As the CKD progresses, the anemia worsens (so they go hand in hand).

Let’s first really understand a basic of what these little beans in our body do for a living. These cute beans help in removing all the wastes from our bodies; in addition to that they also produce a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO). It then prompts the bone marrow to make red blood cells, which then carry oxygen throughout the body (couldn’t help but get really get into it)! So the cycle that goes is dysfunctional kidneys, make low EPO not prompting the bone marrow enough to make a good amount of red blood cells, and lo! The body then doesn’t get the very very important oxygen.

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So as I was saying in my previous blog, before anything shows on your face, a lot has happened already inside our body.

A person with CKD undergoes hemodialysis (it’s a process in which the blood is purified outside the body) which leads to losses of other important minerals like iron, vitamin B12 etc found in food and important in preventing anemia.

The signs and symptoms immeasurably remain the same in a person having CKD along with anemia but there could be certain complications that the person might face like an irregular heartbeat or the heart not being able to pump enough blood to nourish our blood.

Obviously like any other non communicable diseases (like diabetes, CVD’s), the first step is always looking at what you are eating. What you eat and the way you eat are the torchbearers of how comfortable your life would turn out to be!

  1. Supplements: these small pills are the easy peesy way to cure anemia in a jiffy. Ofcourse, before embarking on a pill popping journey consult your health specialist ( not your mom in this case atleast!) as he/she would be adept at giving the supplement in accordance to your renal condition.
  2. Red bell peppers- Its a low sodium potassium coloured veggie that makes you feel happy releasing feel good, do good hormones. They contain a good amount of Vit.C( essential in absorbing any amount of iron), Vit.A and folic acid as well.
  3. Cabbage- these crispy leaves are a good source of vit.b6, folic acid, Vit.K as well as fiber. They are low in cost and are hence forth easily available. Bam !!!!
  4. Apples- these red crunchy fruits do more good to you than you think. Always eat apples with peel to derive maximum benefit. These fruits provide good amount of fiber, and help in the absorption of dietary iron till an extent.
  5. Carrots- these crispy veggies are available almost the entire year and helps in increasing immunity, the blood flow of the body and when taken in safe amounts can reduce the high creatinine levels in the body.
  6. Chicken- this food is a good source of protein in the diet. The amount of protein required by a person varies in accordance with if the person has gone through dialysis or is going through one. It also doubles up as a care taker of the iron requirements of the body.
  7. Cheese- in about all the diary products that are available, cheese is the only product that could easily fit into your diet and take care of the protein needs till some extent.

There are many other fruits and vegetable that a person having CKD along with anemia can consume. The perfect plan and the perfect diet for every individual would vary according to the biochemical parameters, the age, weight, height, if the person has diabetes or not and so on. Your dieticians and doctors work with you to give you the most comfortable life that they possibly can. So, just listen to them, and follow the plan that they give you!

Navratri: Fasting or Feasting?

Navratri is a revered Hindu festival, which is celebrated twice a year with pomp and show. One in Chaitra month (March-April) and the other in Ashwin month (October-November). This is the time where most people fast, eat, sing and dance.

This is also a time when the so called fasting becomes a massive feasting. Hearing alarm bells are we!

The amount of fried foods people eat in the name of fasting! I tell you, it’s better to avoid them altogether. People gain weight, thanks to all the fried alu, the lovely fried sabudana, and the yummy kuttu atta poori. 9- days flat!! The various ‘namkeens’ that we eat in the name of the so called fast and the ladoos. And who can forget that Special Navratri Thali served at Haldirams Really? Who are we fooling ? Is it the God’s that we are fooling? Or is it just us and our bodies that we are doing a favour?

Some one truely said, ‘once on the lips, always on the hips’ or maybe stomach! So whatever fried you are eating is directly going to your hips. Bamm..!! their goes your lovely summer dress, yet again! The summers that you had been waiting for to wear that yellow dress, gone.. So yes, put that pakora down right now!! Summer goals gone down the oil like literally!

Well, you still have 7 days to go! Save some inches for the dress that you really have been eyeing. Keep reading for some really cool ideas to cut the flab this Navratri. Yes you Can!!

The Turnabout..!

The 14 years of schooling, teaches one a lot of life lessons. It might be about basic life lessons, your career choices, or maybe even who your best pals would be, who would stand by you through thick and thin. But it does not stop just stop at that.

You have important choices to make. Those choices might even lead you to a totally different time zone. But, their’s no running away from it. It’s always good to keep a few pointers in mind before coming on a decision.

  1. No to Pressure– Never bulk under the pressure of doing maybe what is right. Do not come under the pressure of losing your friends, you will lose them. But, those who really want to stay with you would make an actual effort of being in it. Other’s will just hide under the excuse of not having enough time.
  2. Listen to your Parents– Listen to them, they have experience backing them. They don’t want anything bad to happen to you, or you to go downhill on your career path. Do not bulk under pressure. Just LISTEN.
  3. Listen to your Heart– It knows. Your heart knows, what you want, and the brain knows how to take your there. That small voice that tells you to catch that train, go catch it. Do not die thinking about the what if’s.
  4. Read & Research– It’s understandable that you are confused. Read about it, talk to people who have already taken such a career option. Talk to your teacher’s, it always helps to clear your nagging doubts.
  5. Make a plan B,C,D,E…..Z– There are 26 alphabets which means 26 different plans which can further be like your excel sheet. The reason behind having another plan ready at your disposal is, you are not the only one who might be running after a Harvard or the premier IIM’s closer home. For every you, you will find atleast 50-60 people more running for that same seat. Make plans,and never lose heart.

 

Making a career choice is a turnabout of your life. It will make you something, maybe not what you wanted to be, maybe something better. Never lose hope, never lose heart. Miracles happen each day. You just need to keep looking. It might sound odd at first, but 10 years down the line, when you look back you would realise that all the pressure and the stress you took, wasn’t worth a dime.

Wish you a very best in your career choices. You are a ROCKSTAR!! Kudos to you..!!