Bring Freshness To Your Life


What carbohydrates are you eating?

Whole Foods

In today’s fast paced environment not all of us are able to focus on our eating habits. We don’t pay attention to what we are buying and eating. We just consume food because food is necessary to keep us alive and keep our batteries charged. But did you know that some foods that are rich in carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, white pasta and some of the cereals; not only provide energy, but also add extra unnecessary calories to our diet. Not only that, but these foods are also responsible for creating insulin imbalance in our body. Why does this happen? Does it happen because these foods are rich in carbohydrates (sugar) and carbohydrates are bad for the body? The answer is no.

Carbohydrates are very important to our body and our day-to-day functioning. When they are absorbed in the body, they provide energy to the vital parts of the body. In their absence a person can feel very tired and brain is unable to process the simplest of tasks. However not all carbohydrates are good for the body. To differentiate there are two types of carbohydrates:

1. Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are nothing but simple sugar. The reason they are called simple is because of their chemical composition of one to two sugar molecules. Simple carbohydrates due to their simpler chemical composition are broken down and digested quickly by the body, resulting in sudden rise of glucose (blood sugar) in the blood and quick release of energy. Due to higher level of glucose in blood, the body responds by producing excess insulin to remove extra glucose from blood and inhibit the release of further glucose. Eventually our body feels the lack of energy, therefore to refuel energy levels we tend to consume more food.

2. Complex Carbohydrates:

As compared to simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates instead of a simple chemical composition of one-two sugar molecules have a much more complex chained like composition of sugar molecules. Complex carbohydrates are broken down much slowly and absorbed by the body at a slower rate, thus resulting in slow and constant release of energy over a longer period of time. Hence our body stays fuller for a longer period of time while supplying constant energy to the body parts. As a reason we tend to consume lesser quantity of food.

Products such as white pasta, white rice, white bread and some cereals are processed foods. These processed foods contain simple carbohydrates due to added sugar and lack complex carbohydrates due to removed fiber.  As pointed out earlier that simple carbohydrates provide quick energy to our body, hence our body responds to them by releasing excess insulin to combat excess blood glucose. If consumed, can result in a state where body becomes less sensitive to insulin. In other words our body will not respond well to produce the amount of insulin needed to normalize blood glucose. As a result there is a change of hormonal activity in our body and the excess glucose starts converting in to fat.

In conclusion, over consumption of simple carbohydrates is bad for our body.  Due to change in insulin sensitivity one can develop a state of diabetes and other health problems such as high blood pressure, organ failure, etc.

Foods to consider

1. Whole foods: Foods such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, whole meal pasta, whole meal cereals/oatmeal cereals contain complex carbohydrates. Such foods will keep you fuller during the day and provide you with constant energy throughout. Many athletes are considering whole foods these days. Especially in longer format of games such as football, tennis and cricket one needs constant energy supply for healthy working of the body and brain.

2. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Fresh green vegetables and fresh citrus fruits are rich in fiber (complex carbohydrates) and other essential minerals for the goodness of body. These keep you full and satisfied during the day with constant energy. Some of the examples are: peas, carrots, broccoli, capsicum, mushrooms, etc. in vegetables; and grape fruit, oranges, apples, cherries, plums, etc. in fruits.  If cooking meat, add good quantity of steamed vegetables to the dish. You can also use vegetables in curries.

3. Legumes: Legumes such as lentils, chick peas, Lima beans, red kidney beans, etc. are a rich source of fiber. Legumes are also good sources of iron and folate. Due to their higher protein content, these take longer to digest thus keeping us full for a longer period of time. You can prepare lentil soups, prepare Mexican wraps, use them in salads, etc.

Mostly processed, packaged and canned foods contain simple carbohydrates. Consuming them on regular basis can really damage our body over time. If consumed, should be used in moderation. Adding more fresh and whole foods to the diet can offer greater health benefits, increase energy levels and can help in fat loss efforts.

Stay fresh and healthy.



Keeping In Control Of Your Diet

Many of us diet every year to loose extra kilos/pounds that we have gained, for not being in control of our diet. Some of us even diet twice a year or more and others diet every now and then. We all diet for majority of reasons – getting a six pack before the summer, getting fit before a competition, travelling abroad, beach party, etc. But do we all get the desired results? With so much information out there and various diet plans available from the best nutritionists, we still fail to get the desired results. Most of us have tried various diet plans, detox programs and yet unable to achieve the desired results. Well let me get to the point-‘dieting is not easy’.  There is a lot more to it than following the program.

The program is a great first step but not everything. These programs are designed using thorough research and years of experience. The people who may have followed various diet programs will know that all diet plans are not the same. In terms of food, one diet plan includes something that the other diet plan restricts. One diet plan will allow chicken and other will allow lean beef. The reason these diet plans are different is because, the nutritionists know your weakness. They design it so you don’t fail, and they give you best alternatives for sticking to your plan. If bread is your weakness, they will recommend you wholemeal with extra fiber. If you can’t live without beef, they will recommend you lean beef but only during the day.

So why do we fail?

1. Lack of Patience –  Most of us lack patience. We want to achieve results way to quickly. Due to lack of timely results we tend to  give up.

2. Munching every now and then – The time between lunch and dinner is the time when most of us starve the most. Picking up a cookie, m&m’s, chocolate bar when we are not supposed to, is quite common. We end up gaining those calories back, that we burnt during the day.

3. Badly defined goals – Goals are long-term and way too big. Some of us plan to diet for an entire year and follow the same program. In the end we loose motivation.

4. Letting things get out of hand – Some days we have parties and birthday dinners to attend, so we eat what we want rather than what we should. Many dieters make this mistake of falling in trap of peer pressure and let themselves use the excuse of birthday dinner.

How to take control and achieve those results?

1. Discipline – Its very important to discipline yourself. Dieting is a hard process and achieving the results take time and patience. Its very important to keep ourselves calm and to stay focused on the goal. One way to do that is divide our goal in small targets. For example if you want to loose 5 kilograms by the end of the month, your target can be losing 1.2 kilograms every week.

2. Knowing the products in your house – If you are starting a program, make sure you remove all the junk food such as potato chips, salty nuts, popcorn packs, chocolate bars, ice-cream, soft drinks, etc. Do not consume a whole lot of canned foods. Many canned foods are loaded with excessive salts(sodium, potassium). Load your shelf with bananas, quick oats, tuna, etc and your fridge with apples, oranges, pears, etc. Its much more healthier to munch on fruits than candy. Drink plenty of water, liquids between lunch and dinner. More water in the belly will trigger the brain that you are less hungry. Drinking coffee and tea in the evening can also take that hunger drive away for some time.

3. Treat yourself – Its always a good decision to treat yourself if you have achieved a goal. An occasional treat doesn’t make you hate dieting. If you have earned it, you deserve it. However don’t keep a pack of cookies or chocolates at home, else you will treat yourself more than often and way too much. Its a good idea to go buy chocolate from outside or treat yourself with a cookie at a coffee bar.

4. Start with five – Make goals that are attainable and can be foreseen. Making a goal of losing 15 kg’s in a month is very hard, start with 5 kg’s. If you lose 5 kg’s in 20 days, add extra 2 more to the goal and vice-verse if you loose 2 kg’s in 20 days, reduce your goal to 3 kg’s.

5. Planning your night outs – If you know you are going out for dinner, go to a restaurant that offers food relevant to your program. Many restaurants offer online menus, so browsing over the internet is a great option. You can also give the restaurant a call and ask the kind of menu they have. At birthday dinner you can stick with more grilled and roasted options, rather than fried. If your dish has chips as side try to switch them with salad. If you will be drinking, keep it to a glass of wine where possible. It has less calories than spirits and cocktails. You have to keep your will strong, as birthday dinners can be a great deal breaker.

6. Exercise – Doesn’t matter what it is whether dancing, jogging, swimming, aerobics, yoga or any other physical activity, they always make you feel good. They help to burn those extra calories and help you to get to your goal faster. You can also switch your exercise routine so it does not become boring. If you go for a run one day, go for dancing or swimming the other day.

Always think about your goal when you are dieting. If its getting away from you, try think about what will be it be like to achieve it. This attitude will always keep you in line. Example: Try imagine yourself with six packs on the beach. Once you achieve it go for a beach holiday to show what you have achieved. Nothing will make you feel better.

Good luck to all the fellow dieters.

Keep fresh and stay healthy.