Want to Change your Life for Better? Adapt these 15 Food Swaps

The most important step towards healthy living is eating right. What if we tell you that you can cut down on calories while still munching a delicious snack? Yes, cutting down calories doesn’t mean cutting down on food. You just need to swap calorie-laden food with a low-fat alternative. And, low-fat doesn’t mean an insipid or an unappetizing food option. Consider this; you can swap those high-calorie French toasts with low-fat wholegrain waffles. Doesn’t seem to be boring, right?
We shall see some a flotilla of food swaps for your meals as well as drinks that will help you in cutting down those extra calories.

Breakfast


Being the first meal of the day, breakfast should be filling, albeit healthy, to keep you energised for the rest of your day. Here are a few simple and easy food swaps that are high on that nutritious value with comparatively fewer calories:

Milk and Cornflakes
Replace your ‘milk and cornflakes’ breakfast with a healthier alternative. Cut down the calories by swapping to skimmed milk with a wholegrain cereal. The skimmed milk has lower fat percentage (5%) and the wholegrain cereal helps in cutting down the sugar intake.

Bread
Anything teamed up with bread makes for a delicious breakfast option. Swap your regular bread with either wholegrain or gluten-free ones. The latter are high in protein (30%) and fibre as compared to regular bread.

Flavoured Yogurt
Swap the flavoured low-fat yogurt with a fat-free alternative. Ditch the flavour for Greek yogurt which has just 100 calories (serving of a bowl) compared to 221 calories in a flavoured one.

Lunch

The mid-day meal is the trickiest. A heavy meal makes you sluggish for the rest of the day and starving yourself would result in binging during snack hours. Here are a few food swap options that will provide the required amount of nutrition and energy to get along for the rest of your day:

Parantha
Love your parantha too much to let it go? Simply swap a lachha parantha with a methi ki roti cooked with olive oil. It is likely to reduce calories by 240.

Rice
Swap your bowl of white rice with brown rice. Brown rice has higher nutritious value than the white rice which is imbued with a high content of carbs.

Cheese
Parting with cheese is a tall order for many. The simple solution is to swap cheddar and mozzarella cheeses with goat cheese or hard cheese. This will help you cut down the calorie count by at least 57 without starving taste-buds.

Snacks

More often than not, one can give up snacking with little effort but if you still feel the urge to binge on something between lunch and dinner hours, make sure it to be something healthy for this is the hour of the day when the calorie count takes a steep rise.

  • Swap your salty roasted nuts with plain uncoated nuts. A handful of salted peanuts alone contain 170 calories, whereas a handful of mixed plain nuts have 160 calories.
  • Ditch the regular milk chocolate for dark chocolate. It not just helps in cutting down calories but the dark compound is known to have a good effect on mood.
  • Control your sugar rush by swapping sugary snacks and juices with fruits. The natural sugar and fibres in fruits is a healthier alternative.

Dinner

Dinner has to be the lightest meal of the day because post dinner you seldom have any physical activity to carry out; hence you end up piling on dinner calories rather than burning them.

Meat
Swap your large chunks of meat with leaner pieces during dinner. If you can’t do that, then opt for grilled meat at night. Grilled meat is filling yet has lesser calories.

Mashed Potatoes
Swap the calorie-laden butter and milk for skimmed milk and low-fat butter while preparing a serving of mashed potatoes. This will help you keep around 45 calories at bay.

Mixed Vegetable
Replace the mixed vegetable gravy with stir fried vegetables. This will cut down the calorie count by at least 120 along with higher nutritious value than the former.

Drinks

Ever paid heed to the calorie count in your favourite cocktail? Ditch your regular high-calorie cocktail for these low-cal ones:

Long Island Iced Tea
Who doesn’t love LIT? You will certainly stop loving it after knowing that one typical serving of LIT contains approximately 800 calories! Swap this evergreen cocktail with Raspberry Lemonade Martini. A simple cocktail prepared with one part (shot) of gin and Triple Sec in Raspberry Lemonade. This simple swap could save you at least 600 calories!

Grasshopper Martini
A single serving of Grasshopper Martini has around 550 calories. Swap it with Apple Martini which has approximately 150 calories.

Mai Tai
If you are the one who enjoys their rum, then swap Mai Tai with Rum & Diet Coke. The latter has the lowest calorie amongst the varied options of cocktail available.

Staying healthy is a road with no destination. It is an everyday task. Back-up your strenuous workout gym sessions with these healthy food swaps to keep a check on your calorie count. Imbibe these simple recipes in your daily gastronomical activities and move towards a healthier and fitter living.

 

6 Tips To Remember Your Doctor’s Instructions

Having to visit a doctor with a loved one who is suffering is one thing but when you are the patient, it quite another. A doctor’s meeting can cause anxiety but did you know? Anxiety affects your brain and your cognitive function. If you feel anxious during a doctor’s meeting, it can affect your memory making it hard for you to remember the specifics of your doctor’s instructions. Even if you remembered what was discussed, studies have shown that it may only be 50 percent of the right information. See? This is why you need to know these tips to remember your doctor’s instructions!

Prepare yourself

Speaking to another adult about your intimate and personal issue can be a little intimidating. Yes, doctors can also overwhelm you and just to be their presence creates anxiety for some people. Here’s information you need to prepare yourself with before you meet with your doctor.

  • Note down all the symptoms you’re having.
  • If you record your progress or health failing in a journal, bring that.
  • Talk about any situation or person or life change that may cause you stress.
  • Note down all the medicines you may be already taking or bring them along.
  • Are you allergic to anything or ay particular medicine? Remember and take notes.
  • If you’re already on a multivitamin or if you need supplements for any reason and note that down too to share it with your doctor too.
  • Remember to bring all your medical records, previous tests or x-rays? Yes, bring them.

Even better, in today’s age of smartphones, maintain your medical history on your phone so that you don’t have to carry many files and other such details in physical copies along with you.

Ask questions

Sometimes, we don’t like to admit that you didn’t understand something. However, it’s very important to remember your doctor’s instructions. So at the appointment, be sure to ask many questions. Along with all the things you already prepare yourself for in the first point, note down questions as well. Ask these questions one by one at the appointment. If you didn’t understand an instruction, stop the conversation and get clarify right there. If the doctor wasn’t available, check with a nurse or another physician in the vicinity and clear all your doubts before you leave the premises.

Take notes instead of audio recording

Yes, in this fast-paced world, who has the time to write on a notepad anymore? Who does that, right? Well, although you will have to ask permission for voice or video recording, not all doctors are happy about reducing the meeting in any form. For the simple reason that digital recording can be misused. So doctors don’t like to be recording for the fear of using that as evidence for malpractice etc. you don’t want to change your doctor’s mood for any reason, that may affect the meeting. So being safe, take notes instead. Writing using a pen and paper helps you remember better anyway.

Use your smartphone

You also have the notes application on your smartphones. Use that to take notes during your examination. Make sure you write every instruction your doctor gives you down.

Bring a loved one

Whether it is your friend or a family member, your loved one will remind you of things you may forget to bring up the drug in the appointment. Your intention by preparing yourself beforehand and bringing your medical records is all done with good intentions. However, when you find yourself seated at the examination table, you may be too nervous or feel the anxiety to ask your questions. Let your loved one be your rock and your guide. Besides, while you may be on the table, your loved one can take the notes for you!

Organize yourself & follow up

You can organize yourself to remember to take your prescribed medication. Here are a few ideas:

  • Set a reminder on your phone to take medication.
  • Stick the prescription paper on your fridge or anywhere within reach.
  • Follow up with your doctor/physician/nurse if you need more help or information.

So if you get home and you find that your symptoms have changed or worsened, you may have to follow up, anyway. Update your health records and share the details with your doctor when you visit for a follow-up.

Traditional Medicine Turned into A Modern-Day Party Beverage – Tea

Did you now? The history of tea is infused with a blend of myth, facts, spirituality, and science. According to the Chinese legends, the history of tea dates back to 2737 B.C Emperor Shen Nong accidentally discovered tea. The Indian history attributes the discovery of tea to Prince Bodhidharma, the saint who founded the Zen school of Buddhism. It was not until the Tang dynasty (618-907) that the consumption of tea became widespread and it was in the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) that tea was prepared by the whole leaves in the water like it is done today.

Traders, missionaries, and explorers traveling back and forth between Europe and the Orient took the drink with them in their travels and got it home in the 17th century. By the early 1700s, the British East India Company established itself as the dominant trading power and monopolized the tea trade with China. The history of tea traverses various paths across the world, tracing the history of rulers, political struggles and such alongside.

Today, tea is the world’s most popular beverage after water. It is not just a refreshing and tasty beverage that can be served hot or cold, but it is loved by people for its various health benefits too. Let’s look at some of them here:

Tea is rich in antioxidants

Green tea is rich in polyphenols such as catechin that helps fight the free radicals in your system, reverses aging, and heals your body. Non-herbal teas also have antioxidants but green tea is richer in antioxidants because it is the least processed. The antioxidant properties of tea help boost your immune system. Tea is also rumored to help battle cancer as antioxidants destroy free-radicals that are generated during chemotherapy and radiation.

Tea has less caffeine than coffee

Non-herbal regular tea has 50% less caffeine than that in coffee, whereas your herbal teas have no caffeine. This means that non-herbal tea will be less addictive than coffee and won’t harm your nervous system either. Herbal tea can be consumed with no side effects at all! Tea, contrary to the common beliefs, tea, in fact, hydrates. So you don’t have to worry about having a few cups of tea in a day!

Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke

Research says a cup of green tea a day lowers the risk of stroke and four or more cups of green tea a day reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the system, thus reducing the risk of a heart attack. The antioxidants in team reduce the risk stroke. Also, the flavonoids can prevent the artery walls from narrowing, and thus, can also reduce the chances of having a stroke. Who knew a simple beverage could help you so much? If you don’t love tea already, it is time to go make friends with this awesome drink.

Tea is for better mental health

Studies show that the amino acid L-theanine found in the tea plant can help you relax and better concentrate. In fact, some studies also show that Black team can help in reducing the stress hormones in the body! Red Tea, an herbal tea from Africa, helps in reducing headaches, irritability and tensions. The caffeine in tea also helps in giving a boost to improve your short-term memory.

Tea prevents cavities

Tea changes the pH in your mouth, thus, preventing cavities and also does not erode tooth enamel like many other beverages. The fluoride and tannins contents in team can help in reducing plaque buildup and tooth decay. The compounds in tea also suppress bacteria and slow down tooth decay and prevent gum diseases. Who would have thought! But, of course, don’t add sugar to your tea.

Tea soothes your digestive system

Herbal tea, particularly, chamomile tea can soothe your tummy. It is antispasmodic and can be good for those with an irritable bowel syndrome. Ginger tea calms nausea. Orange flavored tea also helps in case of nausea. When you have an upset tummy, tea, brewed without milk helps soothe that. Mildly brewed tea, with a dash of honey and lime, is great for your tummy in a hot and humid weather.

One simple drink packs a ton of punch! It’s no wonder that this incredible beverage has been a part of our culture for ages and is loved by many around the world.  Treat yourself to a cup of soothing, yummy tea. You will relish it even more than usual now you know how beneficial it is for your system.

Reduce That Beer Belly Without Cutting Down On Beer

No one needs to tell you that drinking beer reduces stress levels, but it’s true. Studies have shown two beers help students study better! Researchers have also proved that drinking beer moderately can help reduce the risk of heart disease. However, if you push it and have a little more than necessary gives you that beer belly though. That’s what happens when you take in too much of a good thing. If you have already, use these tips to reduce that beer belly without cutting down with beer.

Clean up Your Diet

Beer already has calories and if you have too many beers that’s too many calories your body can handle. So cleaning up your diet is the first step. Include more plants, healthy fats such as fish or protein like chicken. Include complex carbs such as whole grains to improve your metabolism. As you age, your metabolism decreases and so, you need these essential nutrients that help increase your metabolism and burn those extra calories. So remember to increase fiber and clean up your body.

Don’t Skip Meals

Ok so beer has too many calories, but that does not mean you skip meals to make up for those extra calories. Eat food but in small quantities, so your body can digest it properly. Sleep early so you can wake up for a good breakfast, each lunch and have buttermilk during lunch to help fasten the digestion process and so on and so forth. If you skip meals, your metabolism will be negatively affected and not eating will only bloat more gas into your beer belly.

Eat Breakfast

Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do to keep your belly fat. Having a good wholesome meal in the beginning of the day kick starts your metabolism and keeps it running for the rest of the day. If you skip this most important meal of the day, your body slows down the metabolism and whatever you consume will be even more difficult to burn later.

Skip the Elevator

If your lifestyle is so busy that you don’t have the time or motivation to go the gym, take the stairs. This simple activity boosts your metabolism because it burns more calories in less time. If you are consistent, you could lose nearly 3 kilos a year – just by taking the stairs! Imagine that.

Lift Weights

If you have the time and the motivation to hit the gym, then pump iron. Even lifting weights burns more calories in less time, therefore, boosting your metabolism to burn that beer belly fat. You can combine the weights with the running and aerobic exercises you already do. Don’t be scared about lifting weights if you are a woman too. You won’t become a body-builder type of person overnight and just by lifting weights. Find the right trainer to help you with your goals.

Yes, Relax.

No no, relaxing is not being lazy. You can relax, get some much-needed downtime to regroup and refocus on yourself. Doing this will help you lose that beer belly more. How, you ask? When you relax and don’t think about your belly or other issues in your life, your body produces more cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone, and an increased level in your body is good for you. Cortisol gives your body more energy by burning more calories. There are so many ways to relax, watch a great movie, read a good book or take a nap! Whatever you do, make sure you have downtime scheduled in your day to reduce that beer belly!

 

Beer is not just alcohol, it is packed with essential vitamins and good gut bacteria which are all great for your health and well being. Moderation is key though so remember you can have your beer, but do not overdo it for maximum health benefits.

Fasting in the Holy Month of Shravan? Read This!

Believers around the world observe Shravan by fasting once a week. Monday fasting is traditionally followed during Shravan. You may have heard your relatives and loved ones tell you all about the traditions; what is important though, is to do a fast that would not harm your health. It’s about time you knew the facts about your health care in the holy month of Shravan.

Fasting, from a health perspective

When you fast, from a health perspective, you abstain from solid food. Fasting in a healthy way allows you to drink water through day while abstaining from food. By abstaining from food, your body gets a break and enough energy to focus on removing toxic poisons from your body. Otherwise, your body is too busy just digesting what you eat. By eliminating toxins, your body feels lighter and healthier in every way. Monday is considered the worst day around the world, no? The beginning of work week, end of a weekend. During Shravan, Monday fasting is the norm. So, what how does this fasting once a week help your body?

5 Health Benefits to Fasting

If this your first time, it could be hard for you but give it a few more tries and you will see how easy it is to just go with your routine and fast on Mondays.

Stimulation of mind

When the negative ions from your body drop, it gives you a sense of mental clarity. When you fast that’s what your body is doing; it is busy flushing these negative ions out of your body. Hunger may humble you and you may think about the higher powers of God in your life and His creations.

Look Young and Beautiful

The negative ions are also responsible for increasing the aging process in your body; so more wrinkles, fine lines, more stress, and worry. Without these ions, your skin directly clears and you may find yourself beaming with a glow! Fasting is one of the best ways to lose the extra fat and calories from your body too.

Eat only when hungry

Absence makes the heart grow fonder they say. In the same way, when you stay away from food for a while, it can increase your appreciation for it. The same old dal and rice will taste even better and you will taste and enjoy every morsel after you’ve fasted for long hours. With regular fasting, you can even train yourself to eat only when you’re hungry, not when you’re bored.

Less is more

The adage can’t be truer now with fasting. The more food you put into your body the more time it needs to positively process it. If it doesn’t have enough time, it will only focus on digestion, rather than repairing of tissues, regeneration of cells and things of that nature. When you fast at least once a week, your body gets that much-needed break to focus on other vital processes and duties for your health.

Important Points to Remember Before Fasting

Monday is a great day, specifically if you have been bingeing over the weekend, yes? However, for healthcare for Shravan or fasting any time, consider not bingeing on the earlier day. Keep it light to prepare your body for fasting the next day.

It is also important that you choose wholesome organic food to eat the day before the fast, so no samosas or fried food, but lots of fresh veggies, fruit, nuts, and sprouts should do it. If you are not a vegetarian that’s ok too. Just that eating meat during the night time may hamper digestion, so it’s better you stick to meat only during the day time.

While you are at it, stay away from caffeine or alcohol on the day before fasting. Help yourself with a lot of fluids to keep up your energy. Your water needs to be purified. Here are the many benefits of fasting and doing it the right way can give you:

  • Improved digestion
  • Instant detox
  • Weight loss
  • Improved circulation
  • Better skin and hair

If you find yourself too tempted to eat during the day, drink fruit juices that will keep you hydrated, satiated and energised. So remember, fasting just once a week is the best gift you can give to your body.