This week I am inspired by
How to Configure Your iPhone to Work for You, Not Against You by Tony Stubblebine (@tonystubblebine). I have found this article extremely helpful. It’s a complete tactical overhaul of how you use your greatest digital blessing/curse.
The school that shortened its working week (and what happened next) Amid growing interest in shorter working weeks, a school that rejigged its timetable is now looking to further adapt its week
Toolkit for Mindful eating
We all experience moments of indulgence that lead to overeating. If it happens once in a while, it’s nothing to worry about. If it happens frequently, it should be a matter of concern. Many people unconsciously overeat and don’t realize it until after they finish a meal. That’s where mindfulness exercises can help you stick to reasonable portion sizes.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, and observing the inputs flooding your senses. At meal time, think about how the food looks, how it tastes and smells. What’s the texture? What memories does it bring up? How does it make you feel? By being mindful at meals, you’ll slow down the eating process, pay more attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and perhaps avoid overeating.
Eating should not be an automatic process of “See food, Take food, Eat food”.
Eating mindfully is not just a fad. It has proven benefits ranging from the physical (e.g. loss of weight) to the psychological (e.g. reduced anxiety about eating).
Here are a few of the ways mindful eating has shown to be effective.
- Avoid screens at the table. Phones, tablets, and television screens only serve to distract during meals.
- Eat in peaceful, uncluttered place. Eat at place designated for eating and avoid eating on your bed. Sit down and eat together. Eating together at the table is a good habit to cultivate for a lot of reasons; it’s a good way to introduce new foods, engage your children in conversation, and make eating a priority.
- Pace your meal for 20 minutes. Chew your food properly.
- Savor: Notice the texture, aroma, and flavor (is it crunchy, sweet, salty, smooth, spicy?).
- Take a deep breath or take a second to be thankful for your meal before eating.
- Make eating an exclusive event rather than multitasking. Keep away the newspaper or the book you are reading.
- Check your stress level before eating, as you might be turning to food even when you’re not really hungry.
- Be mindful of the portions, to ensure you are enjoying quality, not quantity.
- Eat before you get too hungry or you might make impulsive choices.
- Serve yourself a reasonable portion, instead of eating directly from the bag or box.
- Try eating in silence; acknowledge when your mind wanders, but bring it right back to eating whenever you notice it.
Mindful Exercises to practice
Practicing mindfulness when you’re not eating, sharpens your mindfulness ‘muscles’.
- Focused breathing. Breathe in and breathe out slowly. With each in breath, allow your belly to go out. With each out breath, allow your belly to go in. Whenever you have couple of minutes try practicing this.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. In this exercise, you tighten and release one major muscle group at a time for 20 seconds. As you release a contraction, notice how it feels for the muscles to relax.
- Take a mindful walk, even if it’s just for five minutes. Notice the colour of the leaves. Feel the breeze. Has anything changed in the surrounding?
- Keep a journal & Gratitude diary. Write down the details of your day. Try to include what your senses took in — the sights, sounds, and smells you experienced, and the textures you touched. Things or people whom you are grateful for.
The more mindful you become throughout your day, the more mindful you’ll become when you eat. And you may find that you’re getting better at making decisions about the food you consume
Toolkit to sanitize home for weight loss
If you are over weight, it’s not all your fault. We have become a sleep deprived society that makes us crave calorie dense food. Our jobs require us to sit all day and travel in car/ bus, so we are not moving enough to send our bodies the signal that we are active thriving humans. We are stressed at work and home, which makes our body think we are in hostile place and it holds on to more fat. On top of that we have easy access to packaged, ultra-processed food. The end result is soaring obesity and diabetes. Here is what you can do to sanitise your home and life:
1) Take an inventory of food in your home. Divide them into two categories – red and green zone. Red zone are the ones that are ultra-processed – sweets, chocolates, packaged snacks, biscuits etc. Stop bringing them home.
2) Don’t keep fizzy drinks and juices in your home. They are liquid calories.
3) Keep a water bottle or jug visible. Make it attractive so you feel great when you use it. Put some chopped cucumber ot fresh mint in the water
4) Keep vegetables at eye level in the fridge, not hidden in the bottom drawers.
5) Plan your weekly meal in advance. This way you will not make decisions out of hunger. When you come home after a tired work day, it is difficult to be motivated to cook something and you end up eating some unhealthy food.
6) Eat out of small plate. That’s a great hack for tweaking your hunger signals.
7) Keep fruit and unsalted nuts in your home for times when you really need a snack. I prefer to keep shelled ones. Removing the shell requires an effort and makes it harder to gorge on.
8) Keep your bedroom, keep and calm. Don’t have overhead lamps in your bedroom and prefer to have side lights and table lamps.
9) Avoid having a TV in your bedroom.
10) Keep your bedroom cold when you sleep.
11) Remove curtains early in the morning so that as much natural light can come.
12) Take home cooked meal to work.
13) Enjoy a filling, protein rich first meal of the day before you go to work. This will keep you full and reduce your desire to snack.
14) Bring a water bottle with you to work. Try and drink the whole bottle before lunch. When we drink enough water our craving for snack is less.
15) Keep an emergency snack pack of healthy food with you at work.
16) Send your child to school with healthy meals/snack.
17) Eat mindfully. Not with newspaper or phone or in front of TV. A detailed toolkit on mindfulness is shared in the beginning of this newsletter.
What is inflammation?
If you’ve ever had a boil, an insect bite, or even a deep paper cut, you know the painful, hot, red swelling that results. This response, called inflammation, occurs as white blood cells try to fight off an invading pathogen or deal with a foreign body such as a splinter. While inflammation plays a vital role in defending you from germs, over time, allergy-related inflammation that is left unchecked can be harmful.
Toolkit to improve Strength & Co-ordination>
So many physical abilities decline with normal aging, including strength, swiftness, and stamina. In addition to these muscle-related declines, there are also changes that occur in coordinating the movements of the body. Together, these changes mean that as you age, you may not be able to perform activities such as running to catch a bus, walking in the park, carrying groceries into the house, keeping your balance on a slippery surface, putting your cabin baggage in a flight, or playing catch with your grandchildren as well as you used to with your children.
Changes in strength, swiftness, and stamina with age are all associated with decreasing muscle mass.
Changes in coordination are less related to muscles and more related to the brain and nervous system. Multiple brain centers need to be coordinated to allow you to do everything from hitting a cricket ball while playing with your grand child, to keeping a coffee cup steady as you walk across a room.
One of the major reasons of this deterioration is reduced level of physical activities. There is a myth in our society that it is fine to do progressively less exercise the older you get. The truth is just the opposite! As you age, it becomes more important to exercise regularly — perhaps even increasing the amount of time you spend exercising to compensate for bodily changes in hormones and other factors that you cannot control. These tools will help you improve your co-ordination and strength at any age:
- Do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every week. Walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, aerobic or Zumba class.
- Do at least two days of strength and balancing exercise routines a week like weightlifting, yoga, pilates etc.
- Play a sport that you like. can be TT or badminton or golf..any thing.
- Hire a coach who can check your form and advise
- Get treated for diseases that interfere in your activities like cataract, orthopaedic injuries or dental.
- Eat whole foods, lots of vegetables and protein, nuts, beans, whole grains, and poultry. Eat packaged foods sparingly.
- Sleep well. Recovery is equally important for improved functioning of body and brain.
- Be a part of a community. Going out for walks with a group or part of a Zumba class not only keeps you motivated, it also helps in building social bonding, which goes a long way in stress management.
It is possible to reverse decline and stay healthy from any age. So start now.
100 day challenge
Countdown begins to the completion of 2nd 100 Day Challenge. We are stepping into the last week and exciting wildcard challenges are lined up ahead, which can be game changers and true test of how genuinely disciplined the participants have been.
The admins have tirelessly approved nearly 30, 000 activities logged in by the participants. The Wildcard challenges have not only been great fun but also have worked as benchmark for the participant to test their own progresses in many ways. It was exciting to see heightened activities in certain wildcard challenges which have been great point earning opportunities for some. Participation was naturally much higher for wildcard challenges like Flexibility, Plank, Flamingo Balance, Women’s Day and Earth Day special challenges but the recent push up challenge had many rejections due to improper form. I strongly recommend everyone to be mindful of your form while doing any exercise or strength training.
What’s been really commendable that nearly 200 participants maintained a step count average of 10,000 a day for the month of March, a higher number than combined of those who did daily average of 4, 000 and 7, 000 steps. I am sure each one of them is experiencing the difference it has made.
Stay tuned for more on the 100 Day Challenge in next two issues – the grand finale challenge, much awaited final lists of top 50 and many transformation stories.
Good Vibes Space
Last evening, we had the second Good Vibes Space on Strength Training and Body Transformation with Coach Nachiketh Shetty and his mentee Vivek Gupta. If you missed to hear it live, you can find the recording here.
The next Good Vibes Space will be all about Skin Care with Dr. Divya Sharma, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Hair Specialist, on Saturday, May 7 at 5pm. Save the date!