Archive for December, 2010

Festive food and fitness

Food and fitness are two of the most important agendas that drive us through our life terms, literally speaking. The lack or abundance of either of these can drive us crazy as well (literally speaking in some cases)!

These assume added significance during the festive season and as Christmas approaches. We come face to face with a feast of foods, and a mountain of challenges – food selections, dealing with temptations, and the after-effects of feasting.

A lot of advice is usually thrown at us on how to be compassionate and humane toward ourselves by not crossing our limits when making diet decisions. There cannot be any standard set of rules for everyone, considering we all are different from one another.

But these 3 tips appeal to me the most and sound quite practicable and reasonably easy to follow:

1. Don’t ban foods – As soon as we decide to exclude a list of items from our diets, because they are supposedly full of sugars and fats (and quite decadent and sinful as a result), we start to agonise our bodies more.

Unless suffering from a compelling condition that doesn’t allow us to have certain foods, it’s advisable not to deny ourselves the pleasure of savouring some great dishes, especially during the festive season that brings along a sea of scrumptious treats.

2.  Moderation – Now that we have decided we will have a ‘no ban’ policy, we need to be a bit more responsible with our attitudes. So what do we do?

The best way to enjoy the whole range of foods we crave for is to take care with the serving sizes – this means we get to have them and not let them afflict our bodies with misery.

3.  Exercise – A simple way to burn off any extra calories we might have (and which we usually) deposited into our bodies is to match every meal with at least 10 min of physical exercise.

So it would mean at least 30 min of exercise for three meals a day – a swim, a run, zumba, dance, aerobics, a gym session or a brisk walk (even if it is up the road to get another treat). The purpose is to be on top of the tricks our delicious foods play on us once inside the body.

Simple, isn’t it? If it still sounds hard, do we deserve to indulge in any gastronomic adventures!

Have a fun festive season!


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Finding Focus

It’s a challenging time for humanity – we seem to be losing focus!

It may not occur to most of us how we keep getting distracted more often now than we used to till a few years ago.

Though it’s usually at work, distractions catch us at other places too and in the midst of other activities, be it eating, playing, exercising, talking, thinking, shopping, reading and even sleeping!

There may be different reasons people for the inability to focus on ‘task at hand’ – lack of sleep, nutritional issues, personal circumstances, health problems or general boredom – but a common cause seems to be information overload!

We’re quite lucky living in an age of rapid technological development making information easily accessible through a variety of tools. There are thousands of gadgets and apps around that make it possible for us to literally carry information wherever we go. But that’s a different story.

All the ease of having so much information every day, every hour and right to the minute available to us means our brains are facing this enormous and challenging task of absorbing and processing a baffling amount of data all the time.

This can be incredibly demanding for our brains and quite mindboggling for our minds, as they are not used to handling such a situation before. And on top of that, there can be the pressure of keeping up with all of it, to be socially and professionally competitive in this milieu.

Considering the pace of the changes and the fact they are not going away anywhere, we will have to learn to live with them. Not only that, we will have to work towards the mission of conquering these new challenges to beat the distractions and regain our focus.

Few suggested ways include meditation, yoga, counting backwards in your mind, concentrating on objects, relaxation exercises, visualisation techniques and brain teasers like crosswords. Though some people tend to regain their focus by gorging on coffee, tea, chocolate or sweets, it’s usually temporary and can even lead to more anxiety and unease.

The power of focus can’t be emphasised more – it is one of the most important ingredients for us to achieve our goals in life. So, let’s focus on rediscovering our focus!

ps: Please share your experiences with distractions and your efforts to regain focus.

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