Monday, January 01, 2018

What the health! Part 3

This is part 3 of ‘What the health’ series. You can find earlier parts here – part 1, part 2

There are a few key elements when it comes to health... it is no rocket science... everyone knows what they are -

1. Exercise -
Take out some time everyday to exercise! Not having time to exercise is like saying I don't have time to do the basic things like brush my teeth. A lot of people do not want to join gym because they do not want to spend any money on it, while they do have the money to gather material possessions. Health is the best investment one can make!

Running a marathon once in a blue moon and then forgetting all about exercising until there is a marathon again is not the way to go about it. Exercise everyday, rain or shine, even if it is just 30 minutes of yoga each day.

Think of making exercise a fun time so that you don't have to struggle each day to find motivation - join some fun classes like Zumba or dance of any sort, kickboxing, pilates, do yoga - there are so many good videos available on youtube, go hiking/biking or play sports with friends, try weight lifting, the list is endless. Whatever you do, do not do lazy man's workout. You will see these kind of people when you hit the gym, they are there may be to watch TV, listen to songs, look around at some good looking people, I don't know but if you are spending time on something then might as well make the best out of it.

Not only does exercise tone your body so you can wear your favorite jeans, it strengthens your muscles, keeps your bones strong, improves your skin, increases relaxation (stress release), betters sleep and mood, your immune function gets stronger, and a lot more …

If you haven't then exercise today!

2. Diet 
When I was little eating out at restaurants was an event, the event probably happened once a year...
Times have changed and we eat at restaurants casually. Most of the social gatherings happen around food and drinks, it has become a social norm... Looking at the kind of schedule today's parents have I am sure the next generation of kids will be saying 'when we were little, eating home cooked food was an event'.

Our treatment towards our gut has definitely become very casual, to add to that we engage in things like frozen, processed foods, alcohol, coke/pepsi and whatnot. The wealthier that our wallets get the unhealthier the food choices that we make.

Would it be too much if I said 90% of the health troubles we go through are because of bad diet and unhealthy gut? It is true. Quarter of what we eat keeps us alive and the rest keeps our doctors alive.
We are what we eat and most importantly we are what we digest. Gut health is responsible for so many things - the chemical, hormonal, bacteria balance, for strong immunity, a good emotional/mental balance, healthy skin and feeling of wellbeing. Having a strong digestive system is a key element in losing weight too. People who are depressed or committing suicide have a bad digestive tract and I am not talking out of my ass, it is proven scientifically. Read the book 'Gut: an inside story' to find the details about the research on this topic and more on gut health.

We need to think before we put anything inside our own gut... are we adding value and nutrition to our own body or poison? Our gut is strong but not as strong to take the insults that we perform each day. Do not take your gut for granted and treat it as a garbage can just to sweep the dishes clean.

And PLEASE provide your kids with home cooked fresh healthy food - healthy does not mean organic and raw food. In their growing years the kids need nutrition, what they consume right now is also defining the kind of food habits they will have in the future and what you give them right now is building or destroying their gut health. A lot of people are under the risk of catching ailments and getting obese at a very young age because since they were kids they were fed restaurant food/ unhealthy/ frozen/ processed foods by ignorant, lazy and irresponsible parents.

Good gut health and exercising habit is the best heritage you can leave for your kids.

For gut health -

  1. You can make your gut stronger by eating simple, non-spicy, healthy, easy to digest food.  Spicy food, pepper, chillies destroys stomach lining and causes acid imbalance. Remember food stays in your mouth only for a few seconds while your stomach and intestine has to deal with it for a longer time.
  2. If I may say so consume a poor man's diet and by that I mean Indian poor man's diet and not an American poor man's diet.
  3. Don’t go after fancy diet plans, fancier the names the crappier that they are. Our body needs wholesome food, it needs carbs, fats, proteins and everything - remember moderation is the key.
  4. Recognize the difference between food and food like products.
  5. Take out some time during the day to plan and cook home cooked meals, eat clean, fresh, home cooked, simple food - as easy as that.
  6. Don't forget to drink a glass of fresh homemade buttermilk everyday (not yogurt, but homemade buttermilk), it encourages good digestion.
  7. When travelling - I ate the unhealthiest food when I traveled and always put on at least 5 pounds as an aftereffect. Now when I travel I book houses with kitchens through airbnb and such and cook simple meals even on vacations.
  8. Use of medication - I popped in loads of pills for all my health troubles. As evolved beings it is our way of dealing with health. Who has the time and patience to decipher the cause of an ailment and make minor changes to bring the body back to equilibrium when it is so much simpler to just pop a pill and banish your symptoms while the disease surreptitiously festers away. I did not want to spend time being sick, who does? So antihistamines, antibiotics, painkillers, sleep medication, cold medications and such were my constant companions. But remember... medicines cause bad side effects, it is as bad as junk food and alcohol. I should have fixed the troubles by taking a step back, by giving my body some rest, and with natural remedies, by fixing my diet, stress levels, routine, sleep pattern, etc., instead I relied on medicines. But the thing that I used to fix my health issues turned out to be the cause of my biggest problems later on. I had say avoid medicines as much as you can. Try herbal medicines (Ayurveda) if you have to.
  9. And last but not the least Alcohol - Call me uncool if you had like, I really don't care - but DO NOT drink alcohol (I know it is for some reason considered a status symbol these days), some people drink wine everyday saying it is good for the heart, it sounds ridiculous- there are so many better options for the heart like running for example - opt them and not wine. Alcohol affects the acid levels in the body, it affects the quality of sleep, it can cause many health conditions like heart ailments, it affects the liver and pancreas, it also increases the risk of cancer (throat, mouth, esophagus, breast and liver). Cocktails and hard liquor is loaded with unwanted calories that you just wanna avoid piling on. I am high on life and I don’t understand those who are dependent on alcohol to do that job and ones who drink do not understand how can one be high on life… some people come under social pressures and drink to give company, I don’t do that (not anymore). I have been asked many times at parties that if I don't drink alcohol or carbonated beverages then what do I drink. Stupid question. I drink many things - tea, coconut water, lime juice, freshly squeezed orange juice, turmeric milk, buttermilk and mostly water! I am not a fun bob (someone who needs to be inebriated to have fun, loose inhibitions or enjoy life). I enjoy life even when things are painful or not going so smooth. Accept that hardship is part of life. Pain, sickness and sadness is as much a feeling as health and happiness - embrace it, sooner the better - it is useless to be afraid of the existence of unhappy feelings and to forget it getting numb (and dumb) under the influence of alcohol/drugs.


Food and water is an important part of a balanced diet, yes, we are what we eat…. and drink.

to be continued...

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