Monthly Archives: November, 2012

A Ray of Golden Sunshine

Eggs, are you’re kidding me? I don’t touch them. That old fashioned notion of an egg a day for breakfast is just begging for heart disease and an abnormal cholesterol profile. It was eating too many eggs that killed my dear grandfather at the age of ninety eight.

Like many trends, research in food has come full circle on this one. Studies made by several groups worldwide, have now come to the same conclusion that your grandmother did fifty years ago. Eggs always were, and continue to be one of the healthiest foods in the world.

They are packed with vitamins A, D, E, B2, B6, B9, iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and choline (an integral component in brain and nerve health). The sunny yellow yolk contains lutein and zeaxanthin (These carotenoids probably kept your grandfather’s eyes healthy until a ripe old age, and will do the same for you, if you let them.)

Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be complete proteins. A complete protein contains the nine essential amino acids your body cannot produce naturally. Regarded as the “building blocks” of the body, amino acids help form protein and are vital to your body’s health. Two of the amino acids found in eggs -Tryptophan and Tyrosine are anti-depressants. They also contain Melatonin that will help you get a peaceful night’s sleep.

A large egg contains six grams of the highest quality protein found in any food. Protein is found in both the egg white and the yolk, with just over half in the white and the remainder in the yolk. Eat the whole egg to really benefit from it. Those twelve egg white omelets are both unnatural and a complete waste of the valuable yolk. Limit your consumption of eggs, to a maximum of three to four per week, but, eat the whole egg.

I can almost see your eyebrows touching your hair line at this point. What about all that stuff we’ve been hearing about the egg yolk being high in fat and creating high LDL cholesterol and ultimately leading to heart disease? In fact, a boiled egg contains only seventy calories. That’s about the same as a chappati or large slice of bread. Moreover, recent research shows that eating eggs every day does not significantly raise LDL cholesterol levels or contribute to the risk of heart disease, for most healthy men and women. I know we keep repeating this but it’s important to remember, the real villains are the saturated and trans-fats found in foods. These fats increase blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. It is not the egg that’s the bad guy here, but your method of cooking it. A large egg contains only 1.5 grams saturated fat and zero trans-fats. It’s the deep frying of the egg or the rich gravy that constitutes the egg curry that create all the problems.

A boiled or poached egg for breakfast is an ideal way to start your day. It will keep you feeling full and satisfied until lunch, so you will not be tempted to give into mid-morning junk food cravings, and you will have all the nutrients you need to keep you bright and sunny all day. So go for that ray of golden sunshine.

About the author:

Sunitha Srinivasan has qualified with the National Association of Fitness Certification in the USA as a Lifestyle Consultant and Resistance Trainer. She focuses on helping people with their struggle to create a balanced and healthy lifestyle,  given the time constraints and stress present in today’s world.
She also conducts workshops on Wellness, Stress Management and Work-Life balance.
She can be reached at Sunitha@sans-souci.in

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2012 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

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Back to Fitness: How to Pick a Running Shoe

Congrats on achieving your goal. You have now successfully run 3.5 kms. It’s a great feeling isn’t it.

It’s now time to head to the nearest shoe store and get yourself a new running shoe. You deserve it! Here are a few tips to consider before you make the buying decision. There are many types of running shoes and several popular brands. Follow these steps to make the process of picking the right shoe simple and effective:

Step 1

If you run mostly on paved surfaces like the road or sidewalk,  choose the most common type of running shoe. If you like to run on dirt paths or hiking trails, you may want to choose a trail running shoe.

Step 2

Find your shoe size. Check it more than once. You probably already know your size for casual or dress shoes, but running shoes can be sized slightly differently. Some running shoes have particularly roomy toe boxes, sometimes with more room than necessary. You may need to go a size smaller or larger. You also want to consider whether you have a very narrow or wide foot. Try as many as you want. It is important to feel comfortable during the run.

Step 3

Feet come in three basic shapes: normal, flat and high-arched. A normal foot lands on the outside and rolls slightly inward to absorb shock. If you have normal feet, you do not require a shoe that offers motion control. A flat foot has minimal arch, and usually rolls (pronates) excessively, which can lead to overuse injuries. Flat-footed runners need shoes with motion control. A high-arched foot is just as it sounds and requires more shock absorption and plenty of flexibility.

Step 4

Some of specialized sports shoe stores have the facility of trying out the shoes in a tread mill. I recommend you do that. Pick three or four pairs based on the above. Try running at a comfortable pace and at an increased pace. Don’t try without socks. It’s a good idea to take a pair with you. If this facility is not available, wear them and walk around and chose the one that is most comfortable. Ask for advice. Most sales persons are trained to recommend the right pair.

You are now ready to start on your running schedules. Remember all that we have discussed and enjoy the marathon season ahead.

Greetings of the Season, Merry Christmas and a fit and healthy New year.

About the author:

Naresh is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys running, rowing and a multitude of outdoor sports. He also works in the healthcare industry and, at close to sixty years, is trying to create awareness of the concept of health through fitness.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2012 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

 

That Humble Bowl of Soup

As you’re reading this, if you chance to look out of your window, you will see the sun blazing outside, and the last thing that you can think of is the fact that winter will soon be upon us. After all, we are pretty much in the middle of November, right?

Winter brings with it the long chilly evenings, when you try to get home as early as you can, so that you can enjoy an evening to yourself with a warm cup of tea? Or even better some homemade soup. There’s something about soup, that’s so heart warming. That may be because of its sheer goodness. There are few things as healthy as a bowl of soup, made from scratch with lots of vegetables and perhaps a bit of chicken stock. For sure, the ‘healthy’ part is severely put to test when you load your soup with dollops of cream or sauté the veggies with a whole liter of oil.

Be smart here, and you will find that your humble bowl of soup is the perfect meal, full of nutrition and low on calories.  The great advantage of having a bowl of soup early in the evening is that it is extremely filling, which means you are not tempted into a heavy dinner. Therefore, as you treat your body, and your soul, to a bowl of soup early in the evening, you will have the double pleasure of watching the pounds roll off you.

This is extremely important during the Festive season, where overeating of calorie rich food is par for the course. This is a time when you need to keep your bowl of soup really close at hand. Make sure that you always have a nice, filling mug of soup before you go out to eat or party. This way you won’t be ravenously hungry and therefore you will be able to enjoy the treats laid before you with discretion, instead of gorging on the first plate of chips that you see.

Discretion is the key word here. It will ensure that you really enjoy the festive season, with all the accompanying goodies. Remember eat with caution, and step up your exercise, so that the extra calories are burnt easily. This will free you from the the typical post festivity depression that hits most of us around the first week of January.

Seasons greetings to all of you, as we leave you with a simple and easy soup recipe to start off. Here’s to a lovely, bright and colourful Diwali and festive season.

Mixed Vegetable Soup

Serves: 2 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables (carrot, beans, cauliflower, green peas, sweet corn)
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
  • 6 cups water (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 tsp corn flour mixed into ½ a cup of milk
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Salt as per taste

Method

  • Heat a thick bottomed pan and add the butter.
  • Once the butter melts, add onion, ginger, green chilli and garlic, and stir fry for a minute on simmer.
  •  Once done add the rest of the vegetables and fry for a few minutes before adding the water or vegetable stock.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, add salt and the corn flour mix and stir well. The soup will thicken a little.
  • Remove the pan of soup from the flame and add pepper powder.
  • Top with coriander before serving hot.

For more ideas on staying fit, while enjoying the festive season check out our ‘Eat Right When you Eat Out: The Food Court‘ article.

About the author:

Sunitha Srinivasan has qualified with the National Association of Fitness Certification in the USA as a Lifestyle Consultant and Resistance Trainer. She focuses on helping people with their struggle to create a balanced and healthy lifestyle,  given the time constraints and stress present in today’s world.
She also conducts workshops on Wellness, Stress Management and Work-Life balance.
She can be reached at Sunitha@sans-souci.in

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2012 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Back to Fitness: Week 2 Round-Up

So we are successfully into week 3 of the program, the most intensive and rewarding stretch. After the 36 minute workout on Friday and the family sports session on Saturday, did you relax with a meal at your favourite restaurant of Sunday?

This morning we seriously started running and I’m sure most of you have started experiencing the famous ‘runner’s high’. This adrenaline rush is addictive and beats any other I’ve known. Having said that, let’s jump right into today’s topic.

In the last round up we spoke about the various postures of Running. Let us today consider the finer aspects of ‘foot strike’. What is ‘strike’? ‘Strike’ refers to the landing of the foot during the motion of running. So where should the foot land and how? Is there any recommended style? Here are some answers.

Strike could happen in three different ways – fore-foot, mid-foot and heel. There is NO researched conclusive evidence yet to prove that one of these is the best and the most effective.

Our body adopts a pattern that best suits individual needs based on energy output, speed and body type. Foot strike patterns are natural and are attributes of human characteristics and the bio-mechanics/physiology of our body. At this juncture it is sufficient to note that 75 percent of runners are heel strikers. The percentage of fore-foot strikers is marginal. If you reach for the landing then you will strike with your heel. If you allow your feet to land under your body, then you will strike with your mid-foot.

So right now don’t worry about where you are striking – front, mid or heel. Leave that to your natural gait and “gravity”.  Here’s what you need to remember :

  • Relax your head and shoulders. They set the mood for the rest of your body. You will be surprised to see how the rest of the body reacts almost immediately and relaxes.
  • Take care of your knees. Do not ‘overstride’ or drive your knees up and forward. If you overstride you will be striking in front of your mass. Think of lifting your feet off the ground and striking under your body instead. This theory of Pose Running seems to work for most runners I know.
  • Eat right, hydrate yourself well with lots of water, and don’t forget your stretches before and after the routine.

Happy Running!

About the author:

Naresh is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys running, rowing and a multitude of outdoor sports. He also works in the healthcare industry and, at close to sixty years, is trying to create awareness of the concept of health through fitness.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2012 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Demystifying health, healthcare and the secrets of a healthy lifestyle

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Demystifying health, healthcare and the secrets of a healthy lifestyle