The Best Morning Routines To Kick Start Your Day Right

How many times your New Year’s resolution has been about improving your health and overall lifestyle? Almost every time, isn’t it? How many times did you fail to keep up with your resolutions just into the second week of January? Nearly every year, isn’t it? Half of the January gone by, chances are you might have given up n your resolution already and if not, then you are on the brink of giving it up. If this sentence has found you nodding in a yes then this article is meant for you.

This year, instead of not being able to keep up with your resolutions, why not try and build some healthy habits to live by? Forming a pattern is more natural than vowing to stick to something. The latter is called forcing yourself to do something that you are not willing to, and the former is refining your system to adhere to something.

How you start your day defines the rest of the day to follow and hence, it is essential to start your day on a good note. Developing a healthy morning routine can increase your efficiency and productivity throughout the day. Cut through the chaos of morning rush by incorporating these morning routine habits and kick-start your day on a happy note:

Drink Water

As soon as you open your eyes, catch hold of a water bottle instead of your mobile phone. Drinking water first thing in the morning is known to improve metabolism and to flush out toxins from the body. Apart from this, it helps in keeping your body hydrated through the day – especially on busy days where you don’t even remember to drink a glass of water. How much water should you drink? Well, there can never be a right answer to this. Drink as much as you can. Start this routine with a glass of water and gradually increase it to a litre of water every morning.

Stay Away from Mobile Phone

Since mobile phones have replaced alarm clocks, the first thing a person does is scrolls through their mobile notifications in the morning after opening their eyes. An American Mental Health study research suggests that reading work-related emails and texts first thing in the morning is known to escalate stress and anxiety levels in humans. Stay away from your phone in the morning hours. Devote the first couple of your waking hours to recreational activities like stretching, workout, listening to music or reading.

Exercise in the morning

The benefits of exercising are aplenty. Physical exercise is known to get rid of stress, tension and anxiety thereby improving blood circulation in the body, strengthening immune system, improving metabolism and better sleep habits. Starting your day with exercise keeps your body energised throughout the day. It helps in combating fatigue and exhaustion.

Meditate

Meditation has various physical and mental health benefits. It helps in increasing concentration and focus along with reducing stress levels. It also keeps anxiety and panic at bay. Starting your day with a few minutes of meditation in the morning can result in high productivity and calmness throughout the day.

Devote time to learn something new

Morning hour is the best time to concentrate on learning or developing a new skill. Devote the morning hours to learning something new. It can be related to honing your professional skills or getting better at a hobby that you never found time for before. People who love reading can devote the morning hours to reading books.

Concentrate on what you are doing / Tame your thoughts

Learn to live in the moment. Every morning we wake up with a rush and keep mentally preparing for the day ahead without focussing on what we are doing. Brushing your teeth, drinking water, eating breakfast; everything is finished off in a jiffy. Stop doing that. Enjoy brushing your teeth, enjoy your meal – be mindful of what you are doing instead of always being in a rush of thoughts about what lies ahead.

Plan for your morning

The morning rush is often caused due to waking up late or being unprepared for the morning. Every day you are running late, but every night you tend to stretch yourself to the farthest limit of sleeping time. Stop doing this. Instead, invest your time in preparing for your morning. Set the alarm an hour early than your usual time. Prepare for your morning the night before going to bed. Iron your clothes and arrange everything in one place to avoid the chaos in the morning.

Your morning routine can make or break your day. Hence, it is imperative to form a healthy morning routine. A chaotic start to the day will end up in bigger chaos by the end of the day, and nobody wants to live a life like that. Follow these simple, healthy morning rituals and see the difference for yourself.

Simple Ways to Make Your Child Drink That Glass of Milk

One of the major issues faced by parents is making their kid finish the glass of milk. The staggering numbers of parents facing the same problem across the globe are confounding. Most parents wonder why their kid doesn’t like milk even though, as an infant, she would love to feed on breast milk. The reason is the massive difference of taste between mother’s milk and cow’s / buffalo’s / formula milk. It is a primary task to get your kid to fall in love with milk options other than the mother’s milk.

Milk is vital in the kid’s diet during their growing years and hence, it becomes imperative to add milk to the child’s diet. Milk provides calcium which is an essential nutrient for bone health during the growing years.

Here are some tips that will help you make your kid – if not fall in love then at least finish up the glass of milk:

Introduce Dairy Products in Diet

The easiest way to make your child love milk is introducing them to dairy products like cheese, ghee, yoghurt and paneer. You can add flavours to these products which will help the kid in developing a taste for them and then gradually you can get them to trying milk.

Milkshakes

Milkshakes are a boon for mothers. Blend in some fruits with a glass of milk and voila you have the perfect recipe for your kid. Milkshakes have the goodness of milk and fruits making it an ideal choice of drink for your child.

Flavoured Milk

Adding flavours to a glass of plain milk is the simplest way of making the milk delicious for your little one’s taste buds. You can experiment with a range of flavours like rose, almond, Kesar, chocolate et al.

Tackling the smell of milk

More often than not, when asked, children say that it is the smell of milk that they don’t like. You can address this issue by adding a little vanilla essence or dry fruit powder.

Introduce Milk Supplements

If you are a mother, you cannot be more thankful for the range of milk supplements available in the market today. These supplements are available in a variety of flavours which makes milk irresistible not only for kids but also for elders!

Buy cute cups and tumblers

This might sound a bit weird, but it is a tried and tested formula when it comes to making toddlers drink something new and different. The cute cups and tumblers attract the kids and distract their attention from what they are consuming. You might end up having a kid who would drink milk only in her favourite mug!

Hot or Cold Milk

The temperature of the liquid plays an important role. Some kids don’t like it cold, and some can’t resist a hot cup of milk no matter what day of the year it is. Try and find out whether your kid likes it hot or cold.

 Reward your kid

Rewarding is the best practice to inculcate good habits in your kids. Every day reward your kid with something for finishing that glass of milk. These rewards can be small little things like an extra hour of play time or TV watching.

 Make it a fun activity

Forcing kids to drink milk will only make them rebel more. Instead of compelling them to drink milk; make it a fun event for them. Sit down with them and have a little competition like who gets a bigger moustache or who finishes the milk first.

 Milk Popsicles

During summers you can prepare milk popsicles for the kids. It is the most fun way of making the kids have a glass of milk every day.

Drink Milk Yourself

Kids follow their parents’ example. If they see you drinking milk every day the chances are high that they will inculcate this habit in their dietary routine without a fuss.

You can try and include milk in your child’s diet through these tips and tricks but the most critical factor to remember is never to force them. Forcing kids to do something and not just drink milk can have adverse effects on their psyche. Make everything fun and games for your kids!

What You Must Know About The Growing Vegan Movement

The introduction to veganism has been accidental for many people. Surprisingly for a majority of people, using the term ‘vegan’ loosely for ‘vegetarian’ had made this introduction happen.

What is Veganism?

Veganism is the practice of following a vegan diet that excludes animal meat and certain dairy and plant-based foods. A person who practices veganism is called a vegan.

Veganism is not just about following a vegan a diet, but it is a lifestyle change. Ever since its introduction in the year 1944 by Donald Watson, the movement has evolved from a mere dietary change to a lifestyle change in the year 2010. The Vegan Society was founded in England in 1944, and back then the term vegan meant ‘non-dairy vegetarian’. Post-1951, the society defined the term vegan as ‘the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals.’

Although the vegan movement has been in existence since over a half century, it gained momentum in the year 2010 when environmentalists vowed to bring in a lifestyle change to save the planet from environmental disasters caused due to human negligence.

The path-breaking event occurred in the vegan movement when in 2010 The European Parliament defined the term vegan and asked the food industry to mark the food labels as vegan just like vegetarian and non-vegetarian labelling on the food packaging.

The movement isn’t restricted to any political boundary. Today, vegan movement is practiced in more than 100 countries across the world by people who are dedicated to the environmental cause and propagate sustainable living.

There are different vegan philosophies practiced by the vegans across the globe:

  • Ethical veganism:The vegans who follow a vegan diet are usually the followers of ethical veganism philosophy. This philosophy propagates changes in dietary habits. Ethical vegans do not consume any dairy products like milk, cheese, eggs including honey.
  • Environmental veganism:This philosophy emphasises the environmental impact created by the vegan movement. This philosophy focuses on adopting a completely vegan lifestyle than just dietary changes. Vegans who follow this philosophy avoid using products made by killing animals.
  • Plant-based veganism:Vegans who follow this philosophy live off on only plant-based foods produced from the ground.
  • Raw veganism:The followers of this philosophy do not consume food cooked above 48 degree Celsius. They believe that foods cooked above this temperature lose its essential nutrients and enzymes.

Difference between Vegetarian and Vegan

Vegetarian and vegan have been loosely used for each other by the ignorant section of the society. This inter-changeability of these terms dates back to the mid-2000s when the vegan movement was gaining momentum across the globe but with little to no awareness amongst the masses. Vegetarians have often argued about the difference between these two dietary choices and to their surprise, it is enormous!

Vegetarian is a person who excludes animal meat from their dietary choices. They go on to consume dairy products and eggs too at times whereas; a vegan completely abstains from these foods. A vegan is a person who consumes only plant-based foods and completely avoids dairy products as well.

What does a vegan diet comprise of?

The non-vegan people are often left baffled about what do the vegans consume. To their astonishment, the vegan diet offers a lavish spread of food choices which include:

  1. Soy:Soy is the staple food in the vegan diet. There is a massive variety of products made out of soy that the vegans can consume.
  2. Plant-based milk:The dairy milk is substituted with soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk and milk obtained from various grains like rice and oats.
  3. Grains, nuts, and seeds:Vegans can consume all kinds of grains, nuts and seeds. This provides them with a scope to experiment with their food.
  4. Fruits:Vegans can consume the entire production from the fruit families. 

Veganism and Nutrition Argument

For years the vegan movement has been affected by people who believed that vegan dietary foods could not replace the nutritious value of animal meat. There have been numerous researches across the globe to prove it otherwise. The vegan foods are enriched with essential nutrients like calcium, protein, iron, sodium along with the entire vitamins group including B complex and vitamin D.

Following a vegan diet during pregnancy has proven in better infant health compared to the kids born to the mothers who follow vegetarian or non-vegetarian diets during their pregnancy.

The environmental impact of our food choices and the dangerous climatic changes due to human negligence has paved the way for alternative lifestyles that promote and support sustainable living.

Diagnosed With High Cholesterol Levels? Here Is What You Need To Know

Good heart health begins in your younger days. The lifestyle and eating habits during your prime years will have a lasting impact on your overall health during the later years of your life. An average person’s heart beats about 2.5 billion times during their lifespan during which, millions of gallons of blood is pumped through the body. The blood is a carrier of oxygen, hormones, fuel and essential cells required for the proper functioning of the internal organs and the human body. Blood also clarifies the waste generated by the metabolic function.

It is no rocket science that heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. The sedentary lifestyle and stressful work and living conditions are adding to the ever-increasing health woes. The long and stressful desk jobs today are cited as one of the major reasons on unhealthy mind and body.

What is Cholesterol?

The most common heart health risk today is the high cholesterol levels in the body. Where does this cholesterol come from? It is a fatty substance found in certain types of food as well as made by the body itself. The human body requires cholesterol to work properly – it helps in protecting nerves and makes cell tissues. However, when the cholesterol levels cross the optimum level required by the body, it puts the person at risk of having strokes or heart attacks.

The high level of cholesterol in the body results in unused cholesterol. This unused cholesterol then builds up into blood vessel walls which results in blockages. These blockages, in turn, affect the blood and oxygen flow in the body which results in a stroke or a heart attack.

What are the Optimum Levels of Cholesterol?

The level of cholesterol varies in different age groups. Cholesterol consists of Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High-density Lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is commonly known as ‘bad cholesterol’ and HDL as ‘good cholesterol’. The blockages caused in the human body are due to high or increased levels of LDL in the blood.

As we grow, the cholesterol levels tend to rise in the body. Doctors recommend getting your cholesterol levels checked every 5 years after the age of 20. Men are at a higher risk of having high cholesterol levels compared to women. The cholesterol level in women tends to increase post menopause.

The cholesterol levels are measured in milligram per decilitre (mg/dl).

Cholesterol Level in Adults:  A total cholesterol level less than 200 is considered as a good level to maintain. The LDL should be 40 or higher and HDL should be less than 100.

Cholesterol Level in Kids: A total cholesterol level less than 170 is considered as a good level to maintain. The LDL should be 45 or higher and HDL should be less than 110.

What to do when you have a high level of cholesterol?

It is not the end of the road if you are detected with high levels of cholesterol in your blood. It is time to make some lifestyle changes that include healthy eating and living. The most common cause of an increased cholesterol level is bad eating habits and lack of exercise in the daily routine.

Here are a few things that you should do when detected with high cholesterol level:

  1. Healthy Eating Habits

Obese people, be it an adult or a kid, are at high risk of having high levels of cholesterol. Keeping a check on your weight is the best way to control your increasing cholesterol levels. Get rid of the fatty and unhealthy foods which are full of bad cholesterol. Reduce saturated fats and trans fats from the diet eat foods with Omega-3 fatty acids.

  1. Exercise Regime

Long sitting hours and no exercise can affect your heart health. You don’t need to get into extraneous workout regimen but maintaining a healthy exercise regime can go a long way. Exercising for at least 40 minutes every day has been scientifically proven to keep the cholesterol levels in check.

  1. Stretching between work hours

Stop being glued to your desk all the time. Take stretching breaks every 30-40 minutes. Get up from the chair, walk around a bit and stretch your body to get rid of the stiffness. This helps in maintaining a healthy flow of blood in the body while relieving stress and tension.

  1. Meditation

There are many scientific studies that back the claim that meditation helps in reducing stress and tension over time. By adopting a meditation regime, one can help in keeping a check on the stress and tension levels which, in return, helps in controlling and maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.

In today’s time, increased cholesterol levels have become a common occurrence. Getting the cholesterol levels checked at regular intervals can help in curbing the risk of heart diseases. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during your prime years is as important as taking your multivitamins every day. Sometimes, just changing the dietary habits or changing the lifestyle may not be enough and you might need to take medication. Speak to your doctor to take the appropriate medication.

8 Myths You Always Believed About Milk (But You Should Not)

Milk has been an integral part of the dietary intake in the Indian culture and being the first thing that a baby consumes after birth – why shouldn’t it be? However, there are many myths surrounding the intake of milk. Some people believe it to be a complete meal to meet the daily nutrition requirement while some believe that milk alone isn’t sufficient or is bad for your health. Whom to believe?

Here, we have debunked some of the common myths surrounding milk intake:

Myth: Milk is the best source of calcium.

Fact: Milk is a rich source of calcium but it certainly isn’t the only sufficient. In order to meet the daily calcium requirement in kids and adults, you cannot simply rely on milk. You would need to add other calcium-rich sources of food to meet the optimum calcium requirement for each meal.

Myth: There’s no limit to the quantity of milk consumption

Fact: Infants and toddlers meet their basic nutrient requirement from milk as it is the only thing that they consume until they start weaning. But after the age of 4, 2-2.5 cups of milk a day is more than sufficient. Excess consumption of milk can be dysenteric in some cases.

Myth: Milk is difficult to digest and causes bloating

Fact: This is not entirely wrong. People who are intolerant to lactose can find it difficult to digest milk. Indigestion further leads to bloating and other digestive issues. Lactose intolerance can set in at any age. Some people can be intolerant to lactose since their beginning years and in some cases, it is developed at a later age.

Myth: Raw milk is nutritious than boiled milk

Fact: No, it is not. Boiling doesn’t take away the nutrients from the milk. In fact, it is better to boil the milk obtained from a local milkman as it can be contaminated. Boiling, in this case, helps in killing the harmful bacteria present in the raw milk.

Myth: Milk is a meal in itself

Fact: Milk is rich in nutrients, but it cannot replace a meal. Milk can be consumed along with a meal. A glass of milk won’t be as filling as a complete meal. It will leave you hungry causing hunger pangs in a short period of time. The body needs other nutrients and minerals to meet its requirements and all of them are not found in milk. Don’t substitute a meal with milk or it can cause nutrition deficiency in the body in the long run.

Myth: Starting the day with a glass of milk is the best thing

Fact: Consuming milk the first thing in the morning can be troublesome for people who suffer from gastric and other digestive issues. Drinking milk on an empty stomach can have an acidic reaction in some people. Accompany your breakfast with a glass of milk.

Myth: Drinking milk gives strong bones

Fact: This myth is based upon the myth that milk is the best source of calcium which is not the case. Milk has rich calcium content but only consuming milk without any other calcium-rich foods won’t give you stronger bones.

Myth: Homogenization and pasteurization destroy the nutrients in milk

Fact: Contrary to the belief that homogenization is a chemical process, it is, in fact, a mechanical process. It has absolutely no effect on the nutrient content of the milk. The process of pasteurization is just for killing germs and not nutrients in the milk.

Myth: Dairy cows are not treated well

Fact: Not always. There are organic milk brands where cows are treated well, are fed good fodder, and they live in open, clean farms.

So is milk healthy or unhealthy?

Milk is the healthiest way to meet the daily nutrient requirements in a human body. Milk is the only thing consumed by a child until it starts weaning. The health benefits of consuming milk are aplenty. The purpose of debunking these milk myths is to educate our readers and to prevent them from falling for these common myths about milk consumption.