Health Bits

Digestion is one of the most important functions in our body and strangely we do not quite acknowledge it. Responsible for filtering nutrients from toxins in the body, this system is quite undermined actually. Waking up groggy eyed, mood swings, slow weight loss, feeling tired, bloated and constipated are a few symptoms of an irregular digestion. It is all about give and take as they say….a problem in your digestion can show up some place else. Take a look at the intricate linking system.

  • Poor digestion leads to low iron absorption which makes you feel tired and fatigued.
  • A lowered metabolism is also linked to a poor digestion.
  • Since the body does not get it’s stock of nutrients, it loses it’s full ability to fight diseases and virus.
  • Irregular or poor digestion leads to toxin retention in the body. Your pimples and dull dry skin could be related to that.
  • Water retention is another link to poor digestion.

 Try these tips to rev up your digestion

  1.  Drink up– To function effectively, your digestive system needs water. If you don’t drink enough water, your intestine walls will get weakened. This in turn will affect your digestive functions. You should drink at least 8-12 glasses of water everyday. Go low on caffeine like coffee and tea. Instead have low calorie, non caffeinated beverages like soups, lassi etc.
  2. Eat small– Eating frequent small meals is recommended in case of a poor digestion. Here’s why; when you are hungry, the brain sends a signal to the stomach informing the same. If you don’t eat at that time and eat a big meal later you tend to feel bloated and gassy. Eating small meals keeps you full day long and keeps to light and active.
  3. Say yes to breakfast– Acknowledge the first meal of the day to the fullest. Start your day with a healthy and wholesome breakfast. Include whole wheat, fruits and milk in your breakfast to keep those energy levels going for the day.
  4.  Munch on fruits and veggies– Include fruits and vegetables of different colours in your diet. They are rich in anti-oxidants which help fighting infection and increase immunity.
  5. Go whole-. Whole grains like wheat are a great source of fibre. Include whole cereals in your diet instead of refined ones to avoid constipation.
  6. Keep spices low– Spicy food triggers acidity. So it is best to eat mildly spiced food.
  7. Go low on fats– Eat less amount of foods laden with ghee and butter like pakodas, poories etc. Since these foods are high in fat, they take a longer time to get digested and make you feel heavy and lethargic.
  8. Check the temperature– Experts suggest eating foods a bit warmer than room temperature for good digestion. Too hot or too cold foods affect the digestive capability.
  9. Chew up– “Eat slowly and chew your food” that’s what our granny’s used to tell us. Well they were right, eating too fast leads to gas and acidity.
  10. Move a little– A little bit of walking is good after a meal. It aids in digestion.
  11. Sleep well– Getting a good night’s sleep is important for a healthy digestion.
  12. Manage stress– Stress directs the blood flow from the stomach to the organs which can hamper effective digestion.
  13. Watch out for antibiotics– Having too many antibiotics kills the good bacteria which sit in your intestines. This leads to poor digestion.

 Recipes for healthy digestion

  •  Try munching carom seeds ( ajwain) or fennel seeds( saunf) after a meal for digestion.
  • Curd is a wonderful antacid and is known to curb acidity. Include curd in your meals for a soothing effect.
  • Add lemon juice to your dals and veggies for a active digestion

Go to the very core of your body for a few answers. All your problems like fatigue, skin problems etc, are related to digestion. By simply making a few changes can see a meltdown to a fresher and healthier you.

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786014_11682793The festival season is just round the corner with the navratras leading it on.The divine smell of fried potatoes, kheer, kuttu poories and pakoras is truly irresistable.However on the contrary the amount you eat during these nine days stays on the weighing scale for quite some time.Well i have a suggestion , why not eat everything without putting on kilos. The simple art of substitution is all that is called for here. You just need to do a bit of swapping and play around with food. Here’s how

  1.  Avoid deep frying the potatoes instead boil or bake them when making vegetables.
  2. Instead of refined oil use ghee, more healthier and gives a higher satiety value.
  3. Substitute whole milk with skimmed milk.
  4. Substitute sugar with jaggery or dates
  5. Drink up ! water, coconut water, lemonade …as much as you can.It works as a great detox.
  6. Eat green veggies like pumpkin and ghia to keep your nutrition on a boost.
  7. Use rajgira atta  or kuttu ka atta to make rotis, dosas, cheela instead of  pooris.
  8. Look out for innovative navratra recipes such as kadhi, theplas, dhoklas. These can be made with very minimal oil and are delicious to eat too.
  9. Go fruity this navrata.Eat fresh fruits in the form of salads, smoothies, raitas and puddings to keep your daily dose of vitamins coming up.
  10. Keep your guilt trips to moderate.Portion control is the key to stay in the safety circle, eat but keep a limit to it.

Navratra is a time to feast…well i would say it healthy feast.Eating is a pleasure and no one should be denied of it so why not eat smartly and that too everything.

My firm belief in the benefits of food and the body’s ability to talk to oneself got me into reading Deepak Chopra’s Perfect Health.I came across this very interesting ideology practiced in Ayurveda called as BITS.Abbreviated for Body Intelligence Tips,BITS refers to how our body reacts to the surroundings, sounds and thoughts while we eat food.Ayurveda proposes that in order to attain perfect health it is also important to focus on how you eat food and not only on what you eat. let me put it this way,you are having dinner with colleagues and the tiff you had with your boss comes up in the conversation.Do you still enjoy eating as you did when you started the meal, or now does the focus comes on to the situation you were in at work? The body is really smart you see, every word you say is literally heard by your body.The brain sends out signals interpreting your thoughts and actions to your stomach and to other organs in the body.This leads to chemical upsurges and falls in the body comprehending the way the food is digested.In the literal sense the phrase” gut feeling” actually stands true when it comes to food.Deepak Chopra recommends 16 BITS which can take your body’s ability to digest food and benefit from it to  a new level.

  1. Eat in a settled atmosphere.
  2. Never eat when you are upset.
  3. Always sit down to eat.
  4. Eat only when you feel hungry.
  5. Avoid ice-cold drink or food.
  6. Don’t talk while chewing food.
  7. Eat at a moderate pace, niether too fast nor too slow.
  8. Wait until one meal is digested before eating the next.
  9. Sip warm water with your meals.
  10. Eat freshly cooked meals whenever possible.
  11. Eat well cooked meals- they are easier to digest.
  12. Do not cook with honey- heated honey is known to create toxins in the body.
  13. Drink milk separately from meals either alone or with sweet foods
  14. Experience all six tastes in a meal( sweet, sour, salt, pungent,astringent and bitter).
  15. Leave 1/3rd to 1/4th of your stomach empty to aid digestion.
  16. Sit down quietly after a meal.

By following these tips you will notice how comfortable you feel with your body.You can say goodbye to all those glow creams and lotions, as the best glow you can get is when your body is nourished and appreciated. The best way to do this by providing it with well cooked and wholesome food.
If you have been struggling with your weight, then BITS are of great help too.You will be surprised but many a times you may be eating healthy food but in an unhealthy environment which may be the root cause of your weight gain.Running around while eating your greens, tensed while eating food; result is feeling bloated, heavy and fat. You need to understand every human body has been bestowed with this amazing intelligence which tells you when to stop and when to start doing something…even eating.Most of the overweight people indulge in mindless eating where the feeling of being full is overshadowed with gluttony.The power of conscious eating is the one that can take your body to perfect health.That glorious self confidence, glow and that head turning attitude is all in your hands.Just follow your body, you’ll be well directed.

The love and hate relationship between sugar and weight is the one that most of us are familiar with.Lets talk about a different view of sugar with wrinkles.Yes, sugar intake is directly proportional to wrinkles and ageing skin. So if the weight issue hasn’t lead to dump those cookies, the beauty issue surely will. Here’s what happens when we eat sugar.

  • When you eat sugar, it attaches to proteins in the bloodstream leading to formation of Advanced Glycation Endproducts, or AGEs. These AGEs further damage the neighbouring protein molecules. So where does the skin come into the picture? Does elastin and collagen ring a bell, the protein in the skin which is responsible to keep the skin taut and firm. Collagen is the most common protein that the body makes thus making it most vulnerable during such chemical reactions.
  • The skin is made up of three types of collagen’s  types I, II, and III.Out of these the type III is the most stable one. A high sugar diet leads to conversion of type III collagen into type I collagen which is the most delicate and fragile one. This leaves the skin looking sagged and dull.
  • AGEs deactivate the body’s antioxidant enzymes, leaving the skin susceptible to sun damage.

Prevention Through Diet

Here’s what you can do in your diet.

  1. Though eliminating sugar completely from the diet is not possible as your grains, vegetables are all carbs which get converted into sugar in the body. However you can cut down the sugar in the form of table sugar, cakes, cookies, ice creams, colas etc.
  2. Include more vegetables and fruits in your diet which are rich in antioxidants.
  3. Eating protein rich high fibre foods like nuts is also a good option.
  4. Since the body is made up of 70 percent water, it is extremely important to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water everyday to flush out the toxins and to keep the skin supple and soft.
  5. Include foods rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids like fish and nuts in your diet.

Ageing is a natural process and avoiding it is inevitable.However being aware about what you are doing with your body is also important.A minor indulgence such as sugar can add that extra wrinkle on your face..so think before you grab that chocolate.

So the weekend has arrived and you want to eat out, but the condition is it should be light and healthy. The best option you feel is of course the favourite South Indian..or is it? Well lets have a look at how much are you eating in that one evening meal.

FOOD                  CALORIES

1Masala Dosa            350

2 Idlis                        97

2 Vadas                    175

1 bowl Sambhar        200

Nariyal Chutney(30 ml) 75

Total calories -897

Surprised! Well your South Indian meal is no less in calories. However you can be smart and cut down the calories. Here’s how

  • Eat plain dosa instead of masala dosa.(Calories saved: 130)
  • Avoid vadas, eat idlis instead since they are steamed they are much lighter.(Calories saved: 150)
  • It is better to avoid the coconut chutney, instead eat the green chutney.(Calories saved:53)

Total calories saved: 333
As i said earlier losing weight is all about being smart around food. Don’t let it get the better of you,take control of what you eat.

Confused about what diet is best for you, here’s a review on the famous “Blood Type” diet.Devised by Dr Peter D’Adamo and his father, this diet changed the way the world ate.According to Dr Peter, there is a connection between our blood type and the food we eat.The chemical reactions between the blood and the foods you eat affect your body constitution,energy levels and weight.So if your weight loss program is a bit slow, try revving it up with the foods compatible with your blood type. Here’s an overview of the diet.
Blood Type A: A high carb low fat vegan diet is ideally suited for this blood type.Include fruits, veggies and avoid dairy and animal fats to get the maximum benefit from this diet.Due to low stomach acid , you tend to have trouble digesting meat.Instead load up on legumes, beans and tofu to keep those protein levels high.Light exercises with mediation is recommended for this blood group.
Blood Type B: With this group you can have a variety of foods.Include fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish and grains in your diet to keep your diet balanced.Chicken, corn, buckwheat,sesame seeds and lentils should be avoided as they make you feel bloated and heavy.Tomatoes should also be avoided as they irritate your stomach lining. A moderate exercise like walking or swimming is recommended.
Blood Type AB: You are lucky as you can have most of the foods from the A and B group.Chicken and corn should be avoided due to your low stomach acid levels.It is very important to detoxify your system, so have a glass of lemon water on an empty stomach to keep your system fresh. Relaxation and calming exercises such as yoga is recommended.
Blood Type O: A high protein low cab diet with a good intake of fruits and vegetables is recommended for you.Wheat,other grains, dairy and nuts should be avoided to lose weight.High intensity vigorous exercise is recommended .
Blood group diet is a scientifically proven diet management system. However it may get a bit difficult to follow in the long run. So if you are up to it, then keep the monotony and the strictness in mind.

Alcohol is considered one bad apple when it comes to weight loss.Well let’s have a few facts marked and the association between fat and alcohol more sorted out.I’ll get a bit technical here, however will try to keep it as laymanny as possible.

It is the body’s nature to extract energy out of everything that we eat or drink.When you eat food it is converted to glucose which is the primary source of energy in the body. However when you drink alcohol it is converted into acetate and not glucose in the body.Now since it the body’s behaviour to fuel itself, it uses the acetate to get energy.Here’s the look at the energy provided by the different macro nutrients and alcohol.

1gm carbohydrate- 4 kcal

1 gm protein-4kcal

1 gm fat- 9 kcal

1gm alcohol- 7 kcal

Nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals can be stored in the body to be used later unlike alcohol. So when you consume alcohol it is given preference over other nutrients to be used as energy.For example if you have 3 large pegs of vodka with sprite(630 calories)+ a handful of french fries(200 calories)+ 3 teaspoons peanuts(147 calories)+ salad(60 calories), the body will use acetate from the alcohol for energy and not breakdown the carbs and fat from the french fries,peanuts and salad. The carbs and fat get stored in the body as fat which further slows down the metabolism. Though the body is getting it’s quota of energy, the effects are not so energising though.Alcohol provides the body with empty calories which leave you tired, irritable and fatigued at the end. Further more acetate is an appetite stimulant and is the major cause why people tend to overeat while drinking….another reason for weight gain.

Apart from alcohol, the overall calories make all the difference when it comes to weight loss.Though alcohol definitely plays a major part in slowing down the weight loss process, but it may not be the only reason contributing to your weight gain. Have a review of how much are you eating with your drinks, you’ll get a much clearer picture. Though alcohol has got a pretty bad rep, it’s not as bad they call it. Alcoholic beverages like wine and beers have proven to have health benefits.Your occasional drink may actually be good for your body, so enjoy it but in moderation, it’ll keep your weight under check and heart healthy.

Here is another post about calories, however don’t think iam a calorie freak i would rather call myself a health junkie.A lot many people have been asking me about extremely low calorie snacks.Though there are many to be frank for example,1 chocolate cookie is about 30 calories, but iam not going to put that down, as that doesn’t comply to what i believe as low calorie. I think any snack or food should give you something healthy . So here i have a list of snacks under 30 calories which add to your health. Try them out.

  • 1 glass nimboo pani( salted)-15 calories
  • 1 glass lassi(2teaspoon low fat curd)-21 calories
  • 1/4 cup strawberries with half cup low fat yogurt- 27 calories
  • 1/2 cup papaya pieces-26 calories
  • 1/2 cup of green beans(falliyan)-25 calories
  • 3 tablespoon mung sprouts- 20 calories
  • 1 cucumber-10 calories
  • 1 medium torai(zucchini)-24 calories
  • 2 cups raw spinach-14 calories
  • 1 cup lettuce-9 calories
  • 1 medium tomato-25 calories
  • 1 cup mushrooms(raw)-12 calories
  • 3 spring onions-26 calories
  • 1 cup methi(raw)-12 calories
  • 1 cup mint leaves-13 calories
  • 1 cup bhindi(ladyfinger)raw-26 calories
  • 1 cup lauki-23 calories
  • 1/4 cup skimmed fat paneer-28 calories
  • 1/2 cup popcorn(plain salted)- 22 calories

Try including these healthy under 30 calorie foods in your daily diet, whether your aim is to lose weight or to increase your energy levels they work both ways.

Picture this; you pay 2000 rupees for your gym membership and are super enthusiastic about losing weight for the first couple of days. Thereon the excuse story starts, you just can’t get yourself to stick to that routine. If you fit the frame then try reviewing what you wear during your workout session. Studies show that your clothes have a direct effect on your attitude towards events and occurrences. Wearing clothes like salwar kameez or loose flowing garments to hide your flab makes you feel out of place apart from hampering the techniques of your workout. Instead wearing proper fitness gear not only peps up your mood but also allows proper hand and leg movements. If you are serious about your weight loss then try these clothey tips for a super weight loss workout.

  • Buy proper fitted track pants and tops for your workout. This not only helps the trainer to judge your exercise techniques but also sets you in the mood for a great exercise session.
  • Treat your exercise outfit as you would do for an expensive outfit. Looking forward to wearing certain clothes makes the event more interesting.
  • Apart from garments try getting some cool workout accessories like bands, bottles or a pedometer. Indulging a little to lose weight is not a bad idea.

Looking good has a direct relation to feeling good, whether it’s at a party or a gym. So try changing the way you dress for a gym, you’ll see the difference, not only in your attitude but around you also.

If you are starting a weight loss program and are unsure about how to eat or rather how much to eat, then here is some help. As I have mentioned earlier in my posts, losing weight is a bit of science and a lot of smartness. The normal recommended calorie intake for Indians is approx 2000-2200 calories for women and about 2400-2700 for men. However if we look at it we never tend to eat that much in our regular days except for when we indulge in outside food. So a healthy eating pattern does not govern this recommended calorie intake. If you are the one who eats a healthy 2000 calorie diet and is fit and slim then kudos to you, as it is best thing that you can do to your body. Such a diet keeps the energy levels up and mind alert.

Let’s talk about losing weight,if you are on a weight loss diet then it is best to maintain a calorie intake of 1200 calories for women and 1400 for men. Keep this as a benchmark for weight loss diets. Maintain your diet up to this level to lose weight. In case you still do not see any results then reduce the calorie intake by about 100 or 200 calories. However if your existing diet is already at this level then you need to be smart with food. Increase on to your low calorie foods slowly along with an exercise routine. Then slowly decrease the amount you eat, to give the weight loss a push. It is important not to go too low with the calories, as that may be harmful for your health. Keep it light but keep it healthy, that is the perfect weight loss mantra.

I have always believed in magic be it fairytales or the magic around us. In my profession too as a dietician Iam astounded by the magic food offers us. Food has an innate ability to heal. Most of the modern day diseases like heart disorders, depression, and diabetes are a perfect combination of wrong foods and poor lifestyle. The sad part is though we appreciate the food magic when we are unwell but lose it when all’s fine. Since the modern time is also highly time pressed, iam not going go over the A-Z of food. Here are some real quick and simple food tactics to help you out.

Our body is made up of 70 percent water which is the life source of all. What if we combine water and food…that will be real magic. Here are a few simple homemade infusions from your kitchen shelf, to imbibe health and energy into your already existing food and lifestyle patterns.

Saunf ( fennel) infusion– Take a teaspoon on fennel seeds in a glass and pour 200 ml of boiling water over it. Cover it and leave it for 10 minutes and strain.

  • Works great for digestive problems, anaemia and menstrual pains.
  • Dosage- 200ml three times a day.

Orange – zest infusion– Take 40gm of orange rind and 15gm of bay leaf (tej pata).Pour 1 litre of boiling water over it and cover. Leave it for 20 minutes to infuse.

  • Works wonders for the immune system. Good for blood and circulation disorders.
  • Dosage- Drink this water instead of the normal water throughout the day.

 Carrot seed infusion– Take 5gm of carrot seeds and pour 300ml of boiling water over them. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes and strain. 

  • Works well to stimulate digestion and is a mild diuretic.
  • Dosage-150 ml 2-3 times a day.

Pear and apple infusion– Take 50gm of pear leaves and 50gm of dries apple leaves. Pour 1 litre of boiling water over them. Infuse for 20 minutes and strain.

  • Good for kidney and gall bladder stones and bone disorders.
  • Dosage-Drink all day instead of water.

Coriander seed infusion– Take 1 table spoon of coriander seeds and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Pour 150 ml of boiling water over them and cover. Infuse for 10 minutes and strain

  • Good for the digestive system, period pains and flatulence.
  • Dosage-150ml three times a day.

 I believe you live only once so why not live healthy. Try the healing power of food; you’ll see the magic it creates.

Refrence- Food is Medicine by Piere Jean Cousin

If you have been doing everything right to lose weight and still can’t, then try breathing better. Breath is life’s amazing gift to us. Our body’s functioning is interconnected by the way we breathe. The best way to breathe is in a flow, where all the organs are a part of the process. To watch a demo observe how a baby breathes, that is the correct way to breathe.

Breathing influences your ability to lose or gain weight. Yes, its true sometimes not breathing properly can make you put on weight. Here’s a theory backing it up. Professor Richard Muller has a say on the physics of gluttony.

Let me address this issue by invoking another physics principle: conservation of mass. More specifically, let me talk about the conservation of carbon atoms. When you digest food, its carbon atoms enter your blood. Unless they are expelled from your body, they add to your weight. But here is the salient observation: the only effective way your body has to get rid of digested carbon is to combine it with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, and then expel it through your lungs. Unless you breathe out the carbon, you gain weight.

Here are some numbers, taken from books on exercise physiology. Fat, protein, and sugar all contain about 0.1 gram of carbon per food calorie consumed. So if you digest 2,000 calories of food (a typical daily diet for adults) then you take in about 200 grams of carbon. At rest, each breath exhales about 0.5 litre of air containing about 1 percent carbon, for about five milligrams per breath. After a day at 12 breaths per minute, you get rid of about 120 grams of carbon. That’s less than you ate, so you’ll gain weight.

View full article here; http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/13909/page1/

Breathing not only affects your metabolism but also your mood, sleep patterns, energy levels and skin conditions. The belly breathing or the Pranayam, is the need of the hour to cut out stress and improve the quality of life. Deep breathing for even about 10 minutes a day zings your system up. So take out 10 minutes a day to breathe and watch the scale go down.

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As a child I was very fascinated by this red flower tree in my garden. I found the four petaled red flowers extremely exquisite. Though now I know it is truly a unique flower. The hibiscus flower sure shows its flower power when it comes to health. You might not be aware but this beautiful flower has the ability to lower blood pressure among many other health benefits.

Called by many names like Indian Sorrel, African Mallow, Red Sorrel, Jamaican Sorrel, Jamaican Tea flower and Hibiscus; this flower is known for its therapeutic benefits. Drinking hibiscus juice or tea is said to be great for

  • Common cold
  • Digestion
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Constipation
  • Hair loss

However the most significant effect of hibiscus is in reducing blood pressure. Studies indicate that regularly drinking hibiscus juice or tea can lower the blood pressure to 8 to 12 mm/Hg. It contains hydroxycitric acid which is known to encourage weight loss. This compound blocks the conversion of carbs into fats and works as an appetite suppressant. So you lose weight on a normal diet, without doing much. However the effects of this flower on weight are better if consumed in a natural form rather than processed forms like powders or capsules. Here I have a delicious recipe for hibiscus juice for you to try.

Ingredients

Petals only from 10 large hibiscus flowers (chopped finely)
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup of boiling water
1/2 cup of sugar

Method

Mix the petals with lemon juice and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Make sugar syrup with water and sugar. Add the flower and lemon juice mixture and stir well. Cook until reduced by 1/3 – approximately for 1 hour. Strain and store in the refrigerator. To make a drink, add about 2 tablespoons of the juice into a glass and add cold water. Serve with a sprig of mint.

This is an extremely low calorie drink and a natural diuretic. Try it to stay healthy, fit and slim.

Being a vegetarian paneer is my all time favourite food. It’s got a lovely cheesy texture and a bland milky sour taste which makes it a perfect munchy snack. Paneer goes almost well with any food especially the traditional onions and tomatoes. Here I have a very quick appetizer, which is extremely low in calories and great to taste.

Ingredients

1 cup cottage cheese (cut into equal sized cubes)

½ tomato (deseeded and finely chopped)

½ onion (finely chopped)

3-4 green chillies (finely chopped)

2 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves

½ teaspoon salt

Juice of 1 lemon

Method

Mix tomato, onions, green chillies, salt, mint leaves and lemon juice together. Arrange the paneer cubes in a plate and spoon the mixture on top of each paneer piece. Serve as soon as ready.

Serves 2

Calories per serving- 40

Weekending has become a need in the recent times rather than just pleasure. Work hard and party harder now holds up to its true meaning. However i can’t really say that’s wrong, as it is a great stress buster to be around your friends and have a good laugh. Well the laugh usually is accompanied with a mug of beer or a cocktail in hand. Hmm…so it’s only water right, or rather flavoured water, what harm could it do? Well let me clear a few facts about alcohol. Calories in alcohol are the biggies. Here’s why drinking alcohol makes you pile on kilos?

  • When you drink alcohol, it gets converted into acetate which works an energy source to fuel the body. This means the already present fat in the body is spared from being burnt out. So you don’t lose the existing fat plus you add on additional fat from the alcohol.
  • Drinking alcohol makes you hungry. It is an appetite stimulant, this is the reason you tend to eat more when you are high.

Glass Less Calories

Here are a few tips that can help you to manage calories while drinking.

  1. Choose your drinks wisely– Make smart choices when it comes to choosing drinks. Choose simple cocktails and light drinks such as wine and light beer. Avoid heavy drinks like long island tea (780 calories), instead choose cocktails like bloody Mary (120 calories).
  2. Alternate with non alcoholic beverages– Follow an alcoholic drink, with a non alcoholic low calorie beverage. This ways you consume fewer calories and also avoid the hangover.
  3. Use low calorie beverages as mixers– Substitute the regular coke in your drink with diet coke, club soda or any low calorie beverage. The difference in calories is huge. 1 glass of rum with regular coke has 250 calories. Substituting the regular coke with diet coke cuts down the calories to 150.
  4.  Drink slowly– Sip your drink slowly and keep an eye on how much are you eating. If you are the snacker type then it is wise to order salads, grilled chicken or paneer as snacks. Avoid eating fried snacks.
  5.  Plan your drinking– It is best to decide on to how many drinks are you going to have. It helps in lowering down your alcohol consumption plus keeps your calories under check.

Calories in your glass (200ml)

Tequila Sunrise: 190 Calories

Mohito: 160 Calories

Screwdriver: 200 Calories

Champagne Cocktail: 250 Calories

Daiquiri: 314 Calories

Mai Tai: 350 Calories

Long Island Iced Tea: 780 Calories

White Russian: 425 Calories

Pina Colada: 644 Calories

Chocolate Martini: 440 Calories

Margarita: 740 Calories

Seabreeze: 140 Calories

Gin/Vodka Martini: 155 Calories

Old Fashioned: 180 Calories

Sloe Gin Fizz: 120 Calories

Tom Collins: 120 Calories

Whiskey Sour: 125 Calories

Red Bull & Vodka: 178 Calories

Kamikaze: 105 Calories

Beachcomber: 115 Calories

Gin/Vodka & Tonic: 200 Calories

Vodka & Cranberry Juice: 250 Calories

Whiskey Tea Smash: 160 Calories

Rum & Coke( regular): 250 Calories

Whiskey Tea Smash: 160 Calories

Vodka Lemonade Crush: 160 Calories

Bloody Mary: 140 Calories

Single shot of alcohol: 100 Calories

Beachcomber: 115 Calories

Black Russian: 125 Calories

Hurricane: 175 Calories

Sex on the Beach: 150 Calories

Zima- 190 Calories

Zombie: 325 Calories

Between the Sheets: 135 Calories

1 beer mug (250ml):150 Calories

1 glass white wine (200ml) – 150 Calories

Bailey’s Irish Cream- 480 Calories

It is nice to enjoy a drink with friends, but it will be better if you don’t feel heavy after a weekend. So next time you say cheers, take a look at your glass. Happy weekending!

Iam a great fan of low carb recipes, they keep you light and are wholesome to the core. This is another one of Fran Mccullough’s famous low carb recipes. It is a wonderful substitute for all those who love mashed potatoes. It tastes delicious and is extremely low in calories. Try it..a potato lovers dream.

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon mixed herbs (thyme, oregano, basil, cilantro)

Salt to taste

Method

Cut out the cauliflower florets and steam them till mashed or overdone. It is a good idea to steam the cauliflower instead of boiling them as a lot of nutrients are lost in the water while boiling. Mash the cauliflower with a wooden spoon till it resembles mashed potatoes. Heat butter in a non-stick pan and add the cauliflower.Add salt, pepper, mixed herbs and mix well. Cook till slightly brown. Serve hot garnished with spring onions.

Serves 2

Calories per serving- 48

Are you looking for a Diwali mithai that satisfies your taste buds but doesn’t add inches to your waist? Well then try Sandesh. This Bengali sweet is perfect for those who want to indulge a bit on festivals but are conscious about their weight too. Apart from being low in calorie, sandesh is also rich in calcium and extremely light. Sandesh is a traditional Bengali sweet made with paneer (cottage cheese) and sugar. I have made some changes in the recipe to cut down the calories further. Try it out.

Ingredients

1 cup skimmed milk paneer (homemade)

¼ cup sugar (grounded)

¼ teaspoon eliachi powder

2 tsp skimmed milk

Method

Mix paneer with sugar and mash well, till all the lumps are gone. Put the mixture in a kadai with 2 tsp milk and cook on very slow flame. The mixture will first become liquidy, then a bit grainy and finally creamy. Keep on stirring the entire time. Once the mixture leaves the sides of the pan it is done. Add eliachi powder and mix well. Spread on a lightly greased tray and refrigerate for an hour. Once set, cut into desired shapes.

Makes 6-7 pieces

Calories per piece- 40

Tip– Another variation would be to use fruit pulp like strawberry or mango instead of sugar.

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