To have rhythm, to be in sync, is to be healthy. But not just any rhythm will do.
Germ theory—and its related breakthroughs of sanitation, vaccination, and antibiotics—was the groundbreaking health development of the past century. It prevents infectious disease and led to the most dramatic rise in longevity in any century in human history. Yet living longer does not always mean living healthier. In fact, we are now witnessing a rapid increase in chronic diseases of both, the mind and the body beginning in early childhood and stretching through old age. Luckily, we are beginning to understand the causes: one of them is food we eat and how we eat it.
All of us know the importance of paying attention to when we eat, what we eat and how much we eat. Yet, we often find ourselves scrolling through the phone, working on the laptop or watching television, while stuffing food into our mouth even when there is no true hunger.
You know the importance of eating right and enjoying every meal. Yet, how sacred is mealtime to you? Does your schedule permit mindful eating? Mealtime needs to be a sacred ritual, but today most of us eat mindlessly and in the middle of distractions.
Practice mindful eating – listening to your body signals of when to eat and how much to eat. Once we pay attention to our hunger and signals of fullness, it becomes easier to avoid overeating.
Stick to eating right quantity, to neither be starved nor be stuffed. When you listen to your body, you take care of how much food it needs. This is a huge step in ensuring health and well-being.
Starting this issue of the newsletter, the next four issues will be all about food. What to eat. How to eat. When to eat. Also some amazing recipes.
100Days Health Challenge kicked off yesterday. To all who have chosen to be on the journey to get fitter, best wishes and more power to you. I am sure most of you will get into a habit of fit life by the end of these 100 days.
If you enjoy reading the newsletter, and believe it helps in your journey to deep health, you have a zero-cost way to support this endeavour by sharing with your friends, family and on your social media.
And, as always, please give me feedback on Twitter. Which article did you like most? What do you want to read more or less of? Any other suggestion? Just send a tweet to @SandeepMall and add #GoodVibesWithSandeepMall at the end for me to find it.
Stay strong, stay fit and stay healthy.
The 100 Day Health Challenge kickstarter yesterday. Some of you must be part of the 100 Day tribe, determined to take fitness discipline seriously.The collective enthusiasm, of 800+ participants from 4 different countries and 27 Indian States and Union Territories, is such a high! What will be really important is to keep up the consistency. Choose any or as many different activities that’s feasible for you to do in the current scenario, but be sincere and regular. Keep sharing your stories of overcoming challenges and how you keep yourself motivated to exercise regularly. Your tweets and stories will be inspiring many others in the tribe on their challenging days.
On day one, it seemed to have rained in many parts of the country. It was amazing to see so many of you finding alternatives to ensure you didn’t miss your exercise – it inspired me to cycle even on my rest day :-).
Don’t forget to use the hashtag (#AdmireYourself) in all your tweets related to the Challenge. It will help us find your stories and retweet them to inspire others.
During the 100 Days, we will be announcing a few WildCard fitness challenges for fun, giving random opportunities to participants to boost their points.
If you have missed all our previous updates about the 100 Day Challenge, visit www.sandeepmall.com to know all about this one of its kind community fitness drive.
Many brands and businesses have come forward to support the Challenge by offering exciting prizes for the winners. As a gratitude to them, next issue onwards, we will do a sponsor spotlight, featuring one brand every week, in this newsletter.
Stay tuned for updates on the Challenge. #LetsGetFitterTogether
The cornerstone of any good fitness plan is getting your diet right, and to do that, the first thing you need is, to determine what your daily Caloric Needs are. A crude way to find out your daily Caloric Needs is to multiply your target weight (not your present weight) in pounds with 12. As an example, my target weight is 67 kgs which is 148 pounds. That makes my daily calorie intake 148 X 12 = 1776 calories.
If you wish to look like a fitness model, then you have to fine tune it. But if your goal is to get in really good shape, lose weight and look lean and fit, then managing your calories this way works well.
Now that you know your Caloric Needs, it will be good to know your macro nutrient breakup. This is a guideline. First determine what your body type is
Ectomorph: Naturally thin. Skinny limbs. Struggles to build muscle/gain weight.
Mesomorph: Naturally muscular. Wide shoulders. Fits right between ectomorph and endomorph build.
Endomorph: Naturally broad. Wide hips. Shorter limbs. Gains weight easily.
Now convert these percentages into calories. I am an Ectomorph. So, in my case, Protein = 444 calories, Carb = 977 calories, Fat = 355 calories. Total 1776 calories as determined earlier.
Converting those calories to grams: Protein and Carbohydrates contain 4 calories/gram. Fat contains 9 calories/gram. So, my protein requirement becomes Protein = 444/4 = 111 gms, Carbohydrate = 977/4 = 244 calories, Fat = 355/9 = 40 gms.
So, my baseline macro nutrient requirement is as follows:
Protein = 111 grams, Carbohydrate = 244 grams, Fat = 40 grams.
I will check my measurements on the scale after a month and review again and adjust according to my goals.
A huge problem with today’s food culture is the sheer amount of conflicting advice that’s flying about the place. Contrary to what you might think, I don’t necessarily have a problem with any of it. If being a vegan or sticking to Keto is working for you, that’s fantastic. But I simply refuse to believe there’s One True Diet that’s optimal for everyone. All through history our diets have been dictated by geography and climate. We ate whatever food was available. This means the evolved human machine is capable of thriving on a whole range of diets.
One drawback to giving generalized food advice is that the correct diet for any individual really depends on the state of health. Someone who has been abusing his/her body for twenty years will have to make more dietary changes to get to the same place as someone who’s in relatively good shape. The optimal diet for you is likely to evolve and change as you grow older. A child will usually have different health priorities from those of an octogenarian, just as a bodybuilder will, compared to an expectant mother.
BLUE-ZONE DIETS Around the world, there are some apparently almost magical enclaves where the proportion of people who live past 100 is up to ten times higher than the average rate. They are nearly always in good health, with much lower rates of chronic degenerative diseases such as dementia, heart attack and stroke. These places have been coined ‘blue zones’ by the Belgian scientist Michel Poulain. As you might imagine, blue zones have been widely studied by nutritional scientists hoping to discover the One True Diet. And what do you think they found? That the secret of blue zones was low carb? Vegetarian? Gluten free? Not a bit of it. What they actually found was an enormous variety of diets. Some were eating meat; some, like the Seventh Day Adventists in California, were vegetarians; some were eating more fish whilst others, like the Okinawans, were feasting on high-carb foods like sweet potatoes.
Having said all that, there appear to be some very broad and basic principles that are consistent among all the blue-zone diets: None has a processed-food culture. By and large, they eat fresh, unprocessed, local produce. They all sit down and eat meals together. They eat what’s in season.
Five steps you can do to clean your diet
- Cut off your relation with Sugar. Retrain your taste buds by removing all sugars from your cupboards and get into the habit of always reading the label on your food to check the sugar content. One of the worst trends that we notice these days is children don’t want to eat vegetables and fruits. Honestly it’s not very difficult to minimise sugar intake. Many years ago, I used to have sugar in my tea. When I first tried it without, the taste was disgusting. But fast forward a few weeks, I accidentally picked up someone else’s sugared tea at work and almost spat it out.
- Aim to eat half of your every meal with vegetables. Variety of vegetables. Different colours. But why different vegetables of different colours? One of the reasons is that variety is good for the bugs that live in our gut, and their associated genes, collectively known as our microbiome. Scientists have only recently begun focusing on this area, and it’s becoming clear that the importance to our mental and physical health of having a healthy microbiome can hardly be overstated. And we have a lot of these bugs to feed.
- Introduce Fast in your every day eating habit. To start with a 12 hour fast. Preferably bring it to 16 hour fast and 8 hour eating window. Eating all your food in a restricted time window – for example, within twelve hours – allows your body to enhance its own natural house-cleaning.
- Hydrate well. Though how much water one needs will vary a lot on lifestyle and weather condition of where a person lives, but 2 litres of water generally works well with most people. About 60 per cent of the body is made up of water and we can only last a few days without it. Water helps us digest food and process substances such as alcohol. Losing just 2 per cent of body weight in fluid can actually reduce our physical and mental performance by up to 25 per cent. I’ve seen a host of different ailments clear up when people start drinking more water, including headaches, low energy levels, dry skin and tummy ache. It can even be helpful for constipation. If you’re feeling tired and sluggish in the afternoon, it could simply be that you are slightly dehydrated.
- Unprocess your diet. We’ve also been led to believe that all our dietary problems can be solved by controlling one single component of them, be it fat or carbs. I believe that the major problem is not that we’re simply eating too much food; it’s actually that we’re eating the wrong type of food. Our culinary environment has changed to the point that we are now eating large quantities of low-quality food. More and more people are finding out for themselves that when you return to diet of foods that are minimally processed, weight, appetite and general health all seem to take care of themselves. Consciously change your diet and you unconsciously change your health.
From a certain perspective, nutrition science can seem like a mess. From another, it illustrates the very nature (and beauty) of the scientific process. Here we’ll explain why nutrition science is so confusing at times. We’ll also explain why, in the grand scheme of things, that’s okay.
- Nutrition research is still young. It takes time to master a science. Compared to Chemistry which started before 1200BC, researchers realised in mid 1800 that body oxidises Fat and Carbohydrate for energy.
- Most funding goes to disease treatment, not preventive nutrition.
- Most studies are funded by interested parties. Two studies on ‘Can Sugary drinks lead to weight gain?’ had two different results. The one funded by someone with financial conflict of interest found ‘No’ in case of 84% subjects. The other with no finial conflict of interest found ‘Yes’ for 84% subjects.
- Confounding variables make it hard to prove foods’ effects. Even in the best controlled trials it’s hard to isolate the effects of nutrition from all other factors that effect your health.
- Most nutrition studies are observational.
- Measurement tools always have limitations
- What you eat doesn’t effect your health right away. For e.g., if you want to know if red meat causes cancer, you may have to keep the subject in a hermetically sealed metabolic chamber for 30 years. Where would anyone get such subjects?
- You can never assume a study finding apply to you. Even if you find a subject to seal in the chamber for 30 years, there is no surety that the finding will apply to you.
Nutrition science will eventually grow up.
Perhaps not as quickly as we’d like. Yet over time, the scientific method will cut and prune and do its work.
Food and supplements to speed up healing.
Injuries happen. The question is: after they happen, how can you help the body heal?
For most athletes and fitness professionals, the idea that nutrition can play a powerful role in injury recovery makes perfect sense. Yet when injury strikes, very few know exactly how to use nutrition to improve healing.
In this infographic, we’ll show you some best practices for using nutrition to dramatically speed up the injury recovery process.
by Dt Deepta Nagpal
Nutrition content per serving : Per Serving: 207 calories; protein 9.2g; carbohydrates 17g; fat 5 g, sodium 528mg.
- 2 table spoons Olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cups chicken broth/ vegetable broth
- 8 cups broccoli florets
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk / Almond milk unsweetened
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Put olive oil in pot, and saute onion and celery until tender. Add broccoli and broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot.
In small saucepan, over medium-heat melt 3 tablespoons butter, stir in flour and add milk. Stir until thick and bubbly, and add to soup. Season with pepper and serve.
Nutrition Per Serving: 262 calories; protein 3.7g; carbohydrates 18g; fat 22.2g; sodium 595.7mg.
- 3 avocados – peeled, pitted, and mashed
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup diced onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.
BeetRoot Pumpkin Feta Quinoa Salad
Nutrition per serving 561Calories, Fat 15g; Fibre 11.7g; Protein 17.6 g,;Sodium 277 mg; Carbs 45g.
- 3 chopped beets
- 1/3 cup virgin olive oil
- 800g Pumpkin peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
- 400g quinoa, rinsed
- 2 oranges, peeled, white pith removed
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves/ coriander , chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
- 120g feta, crumbled
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200C. Spread Pumpkin and Beets over a lined baking tray. Top with thyme ( optional) Drizzle over 1 tablespoon oil. Toss to combine. Bake , turning once, for 25 mins or until tender. Set aside to cool.
Cook Quinoa. Set aside to cool
Squeeze orange into the bowl. Add honey, mustard , orange juice and remaining oil in a screw-top jar to combine.
Toss pumpkin, beets, quinoa, parsley, walnuts and feta in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and season.
If we can aim to do our best everyday, we are building a better version of ourselves. Our best will look different every day. And learning to flow with that idea gives us room without making ourselves wrong.
So Best your Best. That’s all you can ever do.