Multigrain vs Wholegrain

Hi friends

Happy Friday? How are you all doing?

First of all, thank you so much for your appreciation and kind words for my last post which was on packaged atta with multigrains. I am glad you agree that it is all such a scam with only 9.1% multigrains in it. If you missed, do read the post here.

In today’s time, our food (packaged as well as fresh produce) has become very specific and dubious, both. Lot of new terms are used to specify the food items. Sometimes, brands are clear in their communication and mostly, they are not. It is up to us to make our choices well aware and filter the information, as per our requirements.

It is one thing to write organic, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, non-GMO, multigrain, wholegrain, raw, unprocessed, fat-free, sugar-free etc on the package and it’s another, to actually be it.

It has become a word-puzzle for us consumers. If it says organic, it might not necessarily be fully organic, pure or something else important. If it’s fat-free, it most likely not free from preservatives. If it’s sugar-free, it might not be low in calories and the list is endless.

What should have been really simple for us has been made so complicated by these gimmicky and dishonest marketing practices!

Anyways, let us talk about two new food concepts. Multigrains are today synonymous with health and healthy. Anything that says ‘multigrains’ ought to be healthy, isn’t it? And why not, a good diet should include various grains to reap maximum benefits. Mixed grains, seeds etc hold significant health benefits and a diet including all this in right amount can do wonders for us.

What exactly is Multigrain? Any product that contains two or more  different grains can be called multigrains. Its nutritional value is higher as compared to to a single grain flour such as wheat.  Multigrains mostly include wheat, millets, oats and flax etc

And Wholegrain? A grain has three parts; the fibre-rich bran, the nutritious germ and the endosperm, rich in carbs.  A few whole grains are – whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice, corn, sorghum, barley, rye, spelt, quinoa etc

Refined grains are mostly grains without their bran and germ.

Did You Know?

That popcorn is a whole grain!! It is high on nutrients and has significant amounts of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Having said that, if its prepared with large amounts of fat, salt and sugar etc, it can also be very unhealthy!

So, before you reach out for a big tub of expensive popcorn at the movie theater…ahem, just for nutrition’s sake, stop!! You want to eat it for taste, good enough…but do know it is smothered in unhealthy fats, artificial flavours and high in salt/sugar thus, also high in calories.

The Bottom Line

It would be wise to know that both the two terms, Multigrain and Wholegrain are independent and not interchangeable. One doesn’t automatically include the other.

So, if you are buying something multigrain, might as well still check if it has whole grains in it. Otherwise it could still be refined flour, just from different grains!

Hope you liked today’s post. Do share it with your family and friends so that they can make informed choices too. If you want to join me on Instagram for more such information, do join on the link below

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

The Reality Of Packaged Atta/Flour With Multigrains

Hi friends, happy Friday!

How is it going? To be honest, I don’t even remember how many days it has been since this “stay home, stay safe’ situation started. Hope it ends soon!

Last week, a respite from the monotony came with the addition of a little furry member to our family and that means that the ‘doggie dilemma’ is over! Read this post here if you don’t recall what I am referring to.

Among many inconveniences all these lock-downs and slowing down of the entire system has brought, there is one that I haven’t been able to work around. And that’s sourcing ‘my own brand’ of whole-grain, multi-grain atta/flour, for rotis/chapattis. I have made my own blend of various whole-grain flours of wheat, millets etc and I get it milled at a local chakki/mill for usage at home, on a regular basis.

Right now, getting my whole-grain, multi-grain atta is not possible and even though I stocked enough initially, it’s over now. So as plan B, I bought an apparently highly superior wheat flour from a reputed brand and to be honest, it felt more like maida than wheat flour to me.

You must be wondering why I am complaining so much about ‘my atta’ when there are many multi-grain variants available in market today.

I will tell you why. When I started on my Health & Fitness journey a few years back, I bought the multi-grain atta from a very reputed brand and though it was healthy and convenient till…I read the label. And what a rip-off  it was!!

I clicked a picture from the packaging and see for yourself what I mean.

The wheat flour is almost 90.9% and the multigrain is only about 9.1%. Also, nowhere it says it’s whole grain. The 90.9% wheat flour is not whole wheat. I am sure the multigrain in it isn’t whole grain either. Yes, it does matter. Multi-grain and whole-grain are not the same!

To increase the fibre content, psyllium husk powder is included but had it been whole-grain, no added fibre would have been needed.

Why the company did it? To keep the look and taste of our rotis intact, the way we are used to…white, good-looking chapattis! If it included whole-grains such as wheat bran…the rotis wouldn’t have been so white, for one. Who cares for health and nutrition? Not the brands, for sure.

Anyways, the choice should be ours. You want white, good-looking rotis, sure you get it. You want healthier rotis, here you are! Ideally, it should be this simple!

My whole-grain multigrain rotis/chapattis might not look white (they look more brown) or as good but they are soft, yummy and super-healthy…day after day, everyday!

I think it is wrong for a brand to proclaim, in bold letters all the multi-grains it has and how beneficial they are when the percentage of these multi-grains is so low, so as to be of any benefit!

These brands with multi-grain variants of wheat-flour in the market are not being honest and though they have mentioned the ingredients on the packaging (at the back), most of us don’t ever read these. We buy these variants in high hopes of health and nutrition, based on these claims.

However, till the time brands stop marketing their products as super-healthy and something that they aren’t really, let us all stay aware. Trust only when we have clear proof and not because the advertisement claimed it to healthy.

Hope today’s post opened up many eyes and made many of us more aware. For more such info, fitness/nutrition tips as well as regular motivation for a healthier lifestyle, do join me on Instagram on link below:

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

Being Judgemental

Hi Friends

Happy Friday. Hope you are keeping safe and peaceful.

This post might be another brick in the wall but such are the times! The entire last week was about tons of speculations from so many people and so much coverage on media on a suicide and issues of mental health. So many perspectives! A lot of aftermath happening.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but before we voice them, we need to think what does it say about ourselves, leave alone the other person. There are debates and then, there are defamations but do we even see the core issue beneath all the scandal and sensationalization?

When we post on various social media and Whatsapp status about ‘RIPs’ and ‘Reach Out’ messages, we are just following a trend and most of us never even gave it a thought probably. People in their worst times, don’t turn to others in most cases because they know they would be judged. For their failures, for their success and for everything in between.

And Judge we do! We all judge others, some of us always and some of us, some times. But we do. We judge people and feel victorious (or wiser) doing so even if we know nothing about the person and her/his context.

Judging others probably sometimes can help us in making safe decisions. It starts becoming wrong when the benchmark for judging are based on someone’s looks, clothes and how many times those clothes have been repeated. It starts becoming wrong when we judge others based on their addresses, their careers and their financial status.

It also starts becoming wrong when we don’t give credit to someone else when is due. It starts to become wrong when we talk about the person, behind her/his back. It also is wrong when we feel only our way of life or style is better than someone else’s be it parenting, career or other life-choices. It is wrong when we do not know their entire story firsthand!

Why We Judge

I guess life would be a lot easy for everyone if we knew why people judge. It would probably help us to not get too affected by it.

I feel we judge out of our beliefs and insecurities. We judge because it makes us feel superior to the other person. People judge others based on their own experiences and to feel better about themselves.

So, what does it say about us?

It says that we are not enough…for ourselves. We need to put others down to feel better ourselves. That we are not capable of being any better, on our own!

It says that we are neither well-read nor well-aged and that our parents never probably taught us how to be a good human being, needed more than anything else. For our own happiness!

Because after what we have gone through in life and despite all the failures and achievements…we have failed to understand the true meaning of self-love and acceptance!

And it’s a two-way highway. If you judge others you definitely care about being judged yourself too. And if we judge and get affected when we get judged in return, it’s a perfect recipe for unhappiness. Because it would bring constant comparison and negativity in our own lives.

We all say love yourself but “Loving Yourself” excludes being judgemental. We just can’t love ourselves if we keep judging. It’s not possible.

I have done it too, judge I mean. Now, I try not to. I put in a conscious effort not to judge anyone for anything. I try to see things in a context and that context is different for everyone! I have accepted that life is many a times, grey and different people perceive different things differently – as well as act differently in a similar situation. One thumb rule doesn’t apply to all!

For me, it’s a constant learning, still a long way to go but at least I have learnt to accept rather than deny it. What about you? Do you judge and do you feel it’s right? Is there another dimension to it all? Tell me, I won’t judge you for having a different opinion 🙂

Did you find today’s post thought-provoking? Do share with like-minded people. Do join me on Instagram if you haven’t already!

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Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

Vitamin C: Today and Forever

Hi Friends

Happy Friday! How are you all? Safe and healthy, I hope.

I almost didn’t post today. My laptop’s keyboard stopped working and as it is, I barely get my own laptop these days. The girls need it for their online classes. Right now, am working on a borrowed laptop. And it just isn’t the same, I swear!

I wrote about Vitamin D a few days back, in two separate posts. The first one was about Vitamin D and second, on its types, which type is good for you among some other interesting information. In case you missed, read the post here and here.

We have been staying indoors for more than a couple of months and many more are likely hence it was meant to be a reminder for you to assess your Vitamin D status and take supplements if needed. Hope it helped!

Today’s post is about another essential vitamin that we need to take either through our diet or as supplements if needed. It’s even more important in today’s situation as it is considered to be an immunity booster as well. Can you guess which vitamin am I talking about?

Yes, It is Vitamin C.

What is Vitamin C?

Also known as Ascorbic acid and Ascorbate, it is a water soluble essential vitamin and is found in many fruits as well as vegetables. Citrus fruits (orange, grapefruits etc), fruits yellow in colour (e.g. mango, papaya, pineapple), berries (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries) are considered a rich source of Vitamin C. Other good sources are cantaloupe, kiwi, spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, watermelon etc.

Our body can’t produce vitamin C on its own. We need to get it from our diets or through supplements. While it is always better to get our daily dosage of vitamin C from various food sources and it isn’t very hard to still, if needed, supplements are easy to take as well. The recommended daily intake for women is around 75 mg and for men, 90mg.

Did You Know?

Just one medium sized orange has about 100 mg of Vitamin C which is already higher that our recommended daily requirement! And a serving of strawberries provides around 14% more Vitamin C than a serving of oranges!!

Benefits of Vitamin C

  • Being a powerful antioxidant, strengthens our body’s natural defense system by fighting free radicals
  • Boosts immunity
  • Fights inflammation in our body
  • Reduces risk of heart diseases
  • May help in reducing blood pressure levels
  • Helps in better iron absorption preventing its deficiency in our body
  • Helps in preventing memory loss as we age
  • Keeps skin healthy by boosting collagen production
  • Promotes common wound healing
  • Also said to reduce the severity of common colds
  • Considered important for healthy aging and even preventing certain cancers

I have read/heard that these days, higher dosages of Vitamin C are being given to patients of Covid-19 patients, as a part of their treatment plan. Since there are no specific medicines available for the disease, this may be the doctor’s way to try and boost the immunity and the antioxidant levels of the body as well as to lower the severity of the cold/flu symptoms. Best leave the doctor to decide how much and which form is good for someone affected.

Also, please know that Vitamin C does not prevent the highly infectious disease Covid-19 from happening and one needs to be very careful with maintaining proper hygiene practices (including wearing masks, washing hands and other sanitization procedures) and practicing social distancing to stay safe from it.

Having said that, it won’t harm us to reassess our Vitamin C intake in this situation and to make sure we take enough of it everyday. My family and I have been taking Vitamin C supplements since this pandemic started and hopefully, it would help us in staying healthy. If you have any medical concerns, please check with your doc or nutritionist for the right dosage.

Vitamin C Toxicity

Vitamin C levels are reported to be toxic beyond the recommended upper limit of 2000mg a day. Since it is a water-soluble vitamin, any excess is generally excreted in urine by our body. It is also almost impossible to reach toxicity levels through just our diet. However mega-doses of Vitamin C might cause diarrhea and other gastric discomforts among other symptoms and can lead to toxicity. People with higher risk of kidney stones should also consult the doc before taking Vitamin C supplements.

Hope you found today’s post useful. Do share with your family and friends so that they are also aware of the importance of these essentials our body requires. Do join me on Instagram for more health and nutrition tips as well as a regular dose of motivation.

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Till next week

Namaste, Health and Peace

Weight Management With Mindful Eating

Hi friends, hope all is good at your end! happy Friday!!

This is the second and last part of ‘Mindful Eating’ series. Mindful eating can also be called meditation with food, and rightly so. It’s not very complicated and far, far easier than actual meditation. And definitely, more delicious for one! Do read the part one here, in case you missed it.

I too have binge-eaten a lot in past. If I was eating a packet of cookies, I’ll finish most of the packet in one go. If I liked something, I ate multiple servings of it. It was for the taste and probably the addiction to sugar. I had a sweet-tooth and sweets, desserts, cookies, ice-cream, thandai, flavoured milks and other baked delicacies were my weakness.

It happened automatically to me but thankfully, I noticed the changes. With house in chaos always, with two little ones running and fighting and the Other Half fond of running TV debates on high volume, I eventually resorted to eating in my kitchen, for some quiet time 😊

It helped – eating in peace, I mean. I paid attention to my food.

Mindful eating is definitely achievable and is way better than any fad-diets which are never sustainable, in longer run. What makes mindful eating even better is the fact that it coordinates mind and body, just like a good meditation session.

Mindful eating is eating with awareness so that we understand what our body is craving at a point of time and to eat accordingly. To understand when to stop eating and to realize what really satisfies us when it comes to food. And to truly enjoy each bite of our food.

How?

It Involves

  • Eating in quiet, peaceful surroundings, without external distractions
  • Eating slowly
  • Understanding body’s hunger cues – knowing when to eat and when to stop eating
  • To dissociate food with anxiety and moods
  • Thoroughly enjoying each bite and to feel various texture, smells and flovours
  • Knowing what we eat is how we feel
  • Being grateful for the food and the health it brings

Benefits

  • Once you start practicing mindful eating, you start understanding your body better and once you understand your body better, you start understanding the value of nutrition
  • You get a better control on your eating habits
  • And this in turn, not just provide assistance in weigh issues, eating disorders etc but also makes you feel better

It is not about a diet or even diet-control. This one is all about eating and the pleasure of it, in our bodies and mind! To see which foods make us happy and healthier, both! At times, we all overeat and then feel like crap, bloated and unhappy for a long while…wishing we never ate that junk or at least ate in control, don’t we?

To realize that itself, is one level achieved. To realize what we eat affects our feelings and our moods, is a lot of progress already.

What could be better than being able to manage weight issues and eating disorders, WITH eating? We just learn to listen to what our body is telling us and eat. The main thing here is to listen. Not easy but not hard either.

Did you like today’s post? Share with your family and friends. Do join me on Instagram for regular stories, nutritional tips and a healthy dose of motivation to keep you on track.

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Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

Golden Rule To Great Achievements

Hi Friends

How’s it going? It’s been…I don’t even remember how many days, 70 maybe and though I am eternally grateful for whatever comforts I still have, the food on my plate and the family…I sometimes do feel restless. For the current unforeseen situation…for what it has become…for what we as a society are going through collectively…for the lives and freedom lost and still no sight of an end to this misery.

I started on this Friday’s blog which was supposed to be the part 2 of mindful eating. Do read the Part 1 here if you missed it. Next week, I promise.

So, what to do on the days one doesn’t feel motivated? What can take place of motivation when motivation doesn’t show up? For me, for you and for everyone?

Habit. Habit comes handy on the days when motivation is missing. Motivation can only get us started however habit keep us going. It is indeed very difficult to develop a good habit (that we want) and even more difficult to quit a bad one. Not impossible though!

The Golden Rule Of 21/90

The theory was introduced by Maxwell Maltz in 1950s and there is much research done on this 21/90 rule that says that it takes 21 days to make a habit and 90 days to make it a lifestyle.

Just start something that you always wanted…just hang in there doing it for 21 days and it would become a habit! Not that 21 days won’t be hard but a small price to pay for the habit that we so much want to develop, isn’t it? 😊

And if you want to turn this habit into a lifestyle, commit to doing the same thing, to the same goal – for 90 days and it would become your lifestyle and you would never have to worry about it again. An automatic lifelong practice!

How Do We Do it?

We make resolutions and then we try to achieve. Most of us, quit somewhere mid-way before it becomes an integral part of their lives. With time, priorities start changing…sleep takes precedent over a fitness regime or a dream lesson that we started with passion. How to avoid that? How do we commit to life-changing positive habits?

It sounds easy but it isn’t, I won’t lie.  One need to stick to something new and leave her/his comfort zone behind. Of course, our body (and mind) would resist any such thing. It needs strong willpower and mental strength. Some things that help are:

  • It needs proper planning and you regularly need to tell yourself why you have decided to do it. Advance planning on schedules, things needed etc needs to be done
  • One needs to be honest to oneself. No slacking and no cheating for 90 days 😊
  • If you don’t feel like doing it, still show up, day after day. Chances are you will feel better for achieving that day’s goal later, each day
  • Think of why you want to do it…find something that reminds you of that “want” all the time. A person fluent in that goal or at least a person who is trying harder than you!
  • A partner or a buddy with the same goal would be great
  • Last and not the least, keep your faith…in yourself. Know that it is difficult but you are capable enough to do it, as long as you keep trying

Before I even knew of the rule, whenever someone asked me how I managed to stay committed to my goal of fitness/writing or how I find the motivation to exercise/eat better/write, day after day…how I stay motivated because it sounds so boring and tiring and all….I always said, just give it 3 months and you would get hooked!

My internal logic was that in 3 months, they would start loving what fitness or eating better would do to them, mind and body both. That feeling of success would start and results start showing. Confidence builds. And nothing motivates you better than success!!

Today, am sure, we all can vouch for it. Many things seemed impossible have become habit today. In the last 70-odd days of corona-induced lockdown, even the chores that I disliked, have become a habit. I was always a reluctant cook but it has become much easier now – physically and mentally. The daily cleaning and mopping is far easier and done quicker as well 😊

On days, when motivation feels missing, the habits keep us going because the show must go on…the way we want! And that’s the way it should be.  Try it, works without fail!

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

Eat Your Food And Stay Healthy

Hi friends, happy Friday!

How’s it going in lock-down mode? Feeling hopeful or fed up today? One thing that most of us are doing a lot in this period, is food – cooking, eating, experimenting, clicking…well, today’s post is about it only. Food that is delicious and wholesome! Food that keeps us alive and healthy. It’s indeed a blessing to be hungry!!

Health doesn’t come without food. I would go to the extent and say, food is the very reason of our existence. Whatever we do in life, is for food…right from when we are small babies to a self-dependent adult, our world revolves around our food. We work/earn for food, we celebrate with food, we click our food and share our most-loved recipes with people we love (and want to impress).

Food is synonymous with love and family. This quarantine has proved it to a lot of extent- food is all about survival and love…and feelings of achievement! What else do we need, as a human?

I know you would agree, foodie or not. Whether you cook with passion or enjoy someone else’s cooking, simple or gourmet – you can’t deny the power of food. Be it the healthy version or fried, cheesy or salad-y…you have to have a relationship with food!

Given this, it is very surprising to see how little value we place on mindful eating! Lot of us use food for comfort or to just fill our tummy but to fill our soul? Laughing at me now, are you?

Food is a very powerful medium. Why can’t we use it to connect with our self?

Today, I will ask you two questions and you need to think about it and visualize the last 7-8 meals you have had and answer them, in a general way:

  • How do you eat your food or drink your tea/coffee?

The answers could be many…with family or alone, maybe while watching TV or reading a book (could be a newspaper prior to lock-down)

  • How much do you remember about that meal?

Did you savour it, felt all the ingredients, liked the texture, chewed it thoroughly? Do you even remember it? Maybe everything is a blur after the first bite which you found delicious and then you got busy in that thriller you were watching?

You might laugh but I swear each bite can reach your very soul, make you contended and keep you satiated. You understand what that food is made of and what it would do to your body soon. Works better than any fad-diet of the world, I swear. Keeps you off binge-eating too.

Food & Me

I started doing it a few years back, unintentionally initially though. With two never-tiring little monsters running around in the house and never-ending chores…I started sitting down alone for a few minutes of peace and quiet, with my meals. I would eat slowly and enjoy the peace…and these few minutes would calm me down and recharge me.

I loved the quiet, even for  a few minutes. I might think, I might not but I enjoyed food…I felt every morsel till the last one…relished in the simplicity of it and felt good about what I was eating.

And it changed my life! Of course, I read a lot too and that made me more aware about all that I was eating but imagine, if you are sitting down in a quiet corner, relishing each bite and you then think where it came from, what it is doing to your body and how much better it could be! And healthier! How?

Today, given a choice, I would not cook much, experiment very less (only occasionally) but homemade food wins every single time. I can tell with just a look  and bite what ingredients went and what spices were used. I love simple  wholesome flavours now and I try not to rush through my meals at all because I love my food, respect it. I try to find better ingredients – simpler, fresher and wholesome…even if they are nothing exotic.

Stress-busters are a little different. Lot of us find the entire process of cutting, chopping and garnishing therapeutic too. However, getting physical health and right nutrition is possible only when you truly enjoy what you eat. There doesn’t have to be a compromise on taste unless you yourself want that. And want you will – to change lot of things, for better.

Want to know how to do that? How I learnt the art? How to cultivate a few habits that would make your relationship with what you eat healthier? Keep you healthy and satisfied? The benefits of mindful eating, it’s effects on your health? And more.

Stay tuned for next part, next Friday. Do join me on Instagram, for lot of tips, info and motivation, on the link below:

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

Part 2: Vitamin D2 vs D3

Hi friends, happy Friday again!

I hope you found my last week’s post on Vitamin D useful and a timely reminder. It was on why we need to take care of our Vitamin D levels all the more, at a time like this. If you missed somehow, do read it here first. It is important.

We, any which ways lack in this vitamin which is very surprising since India gets a good sun most part of the year. The Indian diet doesn’t come to our rescue either, as far as Vitamin D is concerned.

The last post talked about the below points in compact form:

  • what causes Vitamin D deficiency
  • why is Vitamin D important for us
  • what can be done to fix the deficiency
  • vitamin D toxicity
  • and some interesting trivia etc

Let us move a bit forward now. Even if you probably don’t care about the different kinds of Vitamin D, still #beaware to choose better😊

The most common members of Vitamin D family are Vit D2 and D3. We can call these the pre-cursors to the Vitamin D present in our blood stream.

So, What’s The Difference?

  • D2 (aka Ergocalciferol) – Is of plant origin meaning comes from plant sources. Also found in some fortified foods as it is cheaper to produce. However, supposed to be less effective for our bodies
  • Sources – mushrooms grown in UV light, fortified food products and dietary supplements
  • D3 (aka Cholecalciferol) – Typically referred as Vitamin D in general, D3 is produced by our bodies in response to sunlight and is only available in animal products, other than it.
  • Sources – Fish, fish oil, egg yolk, butter, liver, dietary supplements etc

Keeping the technicalities out, the two vitamins, D2 and D3 are broken down differently in the body by the liver. The end-product is Calcifediol and it determines the Vitamin D levels in our blood.

D3 makes more of Calcifediol than D2. Some studies have indicated that it is indeed twice as effective hence low dosage is needed. Hence, D3 is considered more effective than D2, as a dietary supplement.

Did You Know?

For us Indians, all our bodies need is half an hour of afternoon sun (without sunscreen, of course), twice a week for our bodies to keep adequate stock of Vitamin D.

Also, our bodies can’t reach toxic levels of Vitamin D from higher sun-exposure. It makes only as much as is required. However, don’t overdo on it for the sake of your skin. Too much sun-exposure can speed aging at the least and has been linked to skin cancer as well.

In The End

If you are wondering which to choose as a dietary supplement, choose D3 preferably. However, do consult your doctor or your dietitian before you start any supplementation. If you are a vegan, you need to read the label carefully and ensure that it contains the right source and dosage, for you.

If your doctor has prescribed you the D2 form specifically., stick to it please. It might be for rickets (softening of bones), hypoparathyroidism, and hypophosphatemia (low levels of phosphate) etc

Found today’s post useful? Do share with family and friends…join me on Instagram for many such mini-blogs, tips and motivation on

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Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

Staying Home Safe? Be Careful Of This

Hi friends, happy Friday!

It is indeed crucial right now, to stay home and stay safe in the ongoing pandemic but in this war, let’s not forget some other important things too, one of them being, the Vitamin D aka ‘Vitamin Sunshine’.

Lockdown or no, Indians are as it is mostly found deficient in Vitamin D. Actually, it is the same trend worldwide but considering the fact that we Indians enjoy good sunshine for most part of a year, isn’t it surprising? Our Indian diets also fail to meet the normal daily requirements for Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is very important for a healthy body and we get (or are supposed to get) most of it from sunlight. Staying indoors all the time and for such long duration, would definitely mean our bodies getting low on Vitamin D stocks.  

When my Elder One was 2-3 years old, she suffered from dental-enamel erosion and I felt really stupid at that point of time. I had no idea about the connection between dental-health and Vitamin D! Never got it checked for her but thank God, I was aware of the importance of regular dental check-ups for toddlers. Her dental problem (and Vitamin D levels) was well-controlled before it escalated in long-term root decays etc

Did You Know?

  • 90% of our requirement for Vitamin D can be synthesized by our bodies by exposure to sunlight
  • Grains and vegetables are not a very good source of Vitamin D. Main dietary sources are fish, fortifies foods and supplements
  • As we get older, our body’s power of producing Vitamin D reduces significantly

What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?

  • Less exposure to sunlight, the reason could be anything
  • Dietary habits with low Vitamin D intake (among other nutrients)
  • Dietary deficit in pregnant mothers resulting in deficit babies
  • Use of sun-screens
  • Pollution which hampers the sun-rays from reaching us

Why Is It Even Important?

  • It is needed to maintain adequate Calcium and Phosphate levels in our blood. These in turn, are much needed for our bone health, healthy muscle and nervous system as well as other cellular functions
  • Vitamin D is involved with the Immune functions of our body too
  • Vitamin D plays an important role in management of depression
  • Vitamin D deficiency increase in chances of catching infectious diseases such as TB, Influenza etc
  • Vitamin D deficiency has been found associated with higher risk of Type I Diabetes, Parkinson’s and rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, heart-problems and even certain cancers
  • Vitamin D deficiency  has been linked with obesity in individuals

What Can Be Done?

  • Regular blood-tests for Vitamin D level in body should be done. In fact, I strongly recommend regular annual health-checks for everyone, kids and adults
  • Once the deficiency is determined, supplementation is the best way to quickly fix the levels
  • Regular exposure to sunlight
  • If you take daily multivitamins, make sure they have the right and recommended levels (RDA) of nutrients including Vitamin D
  • Make sure you buy supplements from a reputed brand

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Vitamin D toxicity is real too, though rare! Vitamin D is stored in our fat cells and is released in blood as an when needed. Un-supervised or dubious-quality supplementation can lead to high levels of it, in our body.

It can result in bone loss/pains and kidney problems as excess of Vitamin D in body cause build-up of calcium in our body. Elevated calcium levels, nausea, poor appetite, vomiting and digestive problems  are common symptoms for Vitamin D toxicity.

And At Last

Vitamin D are of two types and supplements are available for both kinds: D2 and D3. Why are there two types of Vitamin D? What makes them different? Which one is better for us? For these and more, don’t miss out on the next part (part 2) of the post, next Friday 😊

Till then

Namaste, Health and Peace

Bruises With Yoga

Hi friends, happy Friday!

Now that we all have adapted to our new life bound to indoors, have you managed to start something new or something that was long due? I have picked up my guitar after a break of 2 years and though I have forgotten it all, am taking baby steps again 😊.

Am regular with Yoga though and I have mixed it up with some body-weight exercises to make it fun and challenging. I miss deadlifts and pull-ups at the gym, badly though.

As I said a couple of days back in my Instagram story (The Yoga Myths Series), Yoga is as gentle as you want and as challenging as you can! It is indeed a myth that Yoga is just stretching and twisting. It is much, much more even if I leave the meditation/spiritual side of it completely out. Holding a pose for 30-60 seconds takes an immense amount of strength and the slower you go, the harder it gets. And some intermediate/advance level poses challenge your limits!

Just like a good work-out in gym!

Then, why does no one talk about DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) after Yoga? This appears after 12-48 hours and goes away on its own, mostly. The level of this soreness would depend upon the kind of yoga practice you did and its duration, frequency etc. To understand DOMS better, do read this previous post here.

Maybe Yoga doesn’t build pumped-up muscles like a gym-workout but the microscopic tears are real. The muscles repair and build, just like any other challenging workout. The muscle tears onset body’s inflammatory response, expands the blood vessels and thus, allows more blood to flow to the injured area, for repair work to begin.

With this repair work on a regular basis, the body starts growing stronger. Just like any good work-out! Below is the picture of my yoga-bruise from two days back. It’s actually a tear which has turned blue. Came out of nowhere!

Initially and as a beginner, the low-impact, slow movements and mild stretching might seem gentle and the post-yoga soreness would come as a surprise. What would also surprise in the beginning is the presence of muscles that you never even were aware of!

With due time and regular practice, it starts becoming easier and one can move to the next level.

If you ask me, this soreness is good 😊. It means you are on the road to becoming stronger and soon you would see improved performance and muscle growth. However, with Yoga, ‘soon‘ could be a little longer than a gym-workout. The key as anything, is persistence! In whatever you choose to do.

How To Reduce DOMS after Yoga (and any other challenging physical activity)

  • Get good rest and sleep
  • Be slow and steady. Move on to the next level only when you are comfortable with the current one
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Yoga practices in general, do not require caffeine or other supplements per say. Neither before the practice, nor afterwards however, a balanced diet is crucial
  • Foam rollers can be used however I personally have never used these – neither in gym nor after yoga
  • Take care of your diet and make sure you get enough proteins (though not as much as a gym-workout) for muscle repair
  • Don’t skip the next work-out. The mild stretching would only help. However, don’t over-stretch till you are better
  • Unless the pain is severe, avoid taking pain-killers. In that case, better see your yoga-trainer, physiotherapist or a doctor
  • Taking a warm bath helps me with DOMS, be it post-gym or post-yoga. Try it if you want.

That’s it for today. Do start with some basic stretches or a basic fitness regime at home now so that tomorrow when this is all over and behind us, you are already ready for the next level. This pandemic has already taught us how important ‘Health and Fitness’ is.

Need to stay motivated, join me on Instagram here:

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace