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How to maintain weight and health during the festive season

During the festive season, the time begins for merriment, fun and rich food. This is the time when most people begin the period of indulgences which lasts almost till the New Year.The result of the indulgences is a rise in weight and a fall in health, though one can not avoid the festive binge, but if one can keep few aspects in mind then a lot of festive indulgences can be made enjoyable without compromising on health

Tips for the festive season

  1. Increase the intake of water —–Water is one of the best detoxifiers and surprisingly in our normal course we do not drink enough water. If we keep a bottle of water by our table side and make it a point to finish at least 2-3 bottles of water a day, it will be a great help to the system. Water flushes our intestines, liver and kidney, in almost all the Naturopathy or Ayurvedic treatments water is given in large quantities to cleanse and balance the system. Many people are not aware that water has many minerals which make it an important part of the diet. In fact many diseases including heart disease is due to mineral deficiency in the system.
  2. Increase the intake of fiber — fiber both soluble and insoluble is one of the most important aspects of cleansing, detoxifying and weight management strategies. If we have enough fiber in our diet we can control our weight, control serious diseases like cancers and chronic diseases like arthritis, colonic diseases. In almost all diseases, the nutrition therapy includes fibers as part of treatment. The kind of fibers one can take are wheat bran( 1 Tsp a day), oat bran( 1 teaspoon a day), plant fiber( 4 cups of vegetables a day) fruit fiber( 3 fruits a day)
  3. Take 2 glasses of vegetable juices to fulfill the antioxidant, enzyme and vitamin requirement for the day. vegetable juices are actually medicinal in nature and they are capable of several cures besides detoxifying in nature. Vegetables like, bottle guard, pumpkin, tomato, cucumber, amla, aloe vera etc are wonderful as cleansers
  4. For acidity take cabbage juice, 2 tablespoons daily. Its is rich in several elements which protect the intestinal lining and promote healing of gastric ulcers
  5. Stretch the muscles, through Yoga, pilates, or any form of isotonic exercises
  6. For women post 35 and men who consume alcohol regularly, Take vitamin B1 and B12 along with Vitamin C, regularly during the festive season to protect the nerves and the liver
  7. Make 35% of the diet full of raw and fresh foods, for example in this season one can have fresh water chestnuts(singhara), barley grass, wheat grass juice, spirulina juice mxed with, curry patta, rose petals, tulsi leaves
  8. Keep one day of the week for naturals oils rather refined oils. Natural oils are found in nuts, peanuts, olives. so one can have salads like boiled potato and corn salad with nuts, boiled white channa salad with olives, steamed sprout chat with anar and almonds. Potato and walnuts salads.

This is one of the best seasons to enjoy good food and Good health, provided one is aware and conscious, an aware living and being in present consciousness can be truly liberating .

Women Entrepreneurship Conclave-2018

TIDES Business Incubator, IIT Roorkee in association with TiE Delhi and #BIRAC organized an event “Women Entrepreneurship Conclave-2018” aiming to foster Woman Entrepreneurial culture in the community of IIT Roorkee.

Dr Shikha Sharma attended the event, held on 5th February 2018, in Biotech Auditorium of Department of Biotechnology, IIT Roorkee.


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Many people I know who have high cholesterol get very careful about the amount of fat they are eating and in many cases they almost go on a fat free diet to get their LDLs ( bad cholesterol ) unCholesterol_shutterstock_286384541der control , but yet after doing several such things they are not able to get their unbalanced cholesterol readings under control . A course of action which we all take is that if the cholesterol is high In the blood we stop eating foods containing fats or oils , if the sugar is high we replace sugar with an artificial sugar substitute . All these actions only help in managing the problem 50% and not more !


The reason is that we need to understand the body function and work along with it because all said and done body is not a box where you put in calories and remove substances and calories .

Liver has been given a lot of importance in all alternative system of medicines due to its vast range of functions which include maintaining the glow and complexion of your face , the hormones in the body , ensuring that the body throws out excess cholesterol , sugar etc from its system.

Since in this column we shall look at the how liver helps the cholesterol come down , we need to know how the cholesterol goes up and the role of liver in it.

Liver is the seat of digestion and all food after partial digestion from the intestine comes to the liver for further metabolism and assimilation .If the liver is good one has the digestive power to digest any food , but if the liver becomes weak then even the slightest of extra eating gives rise to many problems .There has been researches where the they have studied populations in Africa who have red meat everyday , with no problems with their cholesterol and the African-Americans living in cities getting high cholesterol just eating red meat few days a week . The difference is due to the fact , that the liver of the second group faces a onslaught of food containing chemicals and pesticides , large quantities of alcohol , lack of healthy exercise and stress of living in a metro .

Now that we have figured that just by eating a low cholesterol diet it may not be the cure for reducing cholesterol in the blood , the next step is to detoxify and strengthen the liver .
There are two aspects to liver health – the first is not eating or eating less of substances which have the potential to harm the liver , which may include alcohol , too many pain killers , or medications without the doctors knowledge or supervision , foods containing too many chemicals and junk foods .the second is giving those foods and tonics to the liver which will lead to liver health , such substances are ———–

  • Aloe vera juice 2 tablespoons daily
  • Amla juice , one amla a day
  • Vegetable juice containing seasonal vegetables
  • Fresh leafy vegetables soup like spinach soup etc
  • Citrus fruits like oranges , sweet lime , lemons
  • Barley water
  • Brown rice
  • Coconut water


These are only few of the things which impact the liver , there are several more things which one can do to improve the liver functioning and also manage several liver problems .

Nutrition for Balance

Health is a state of balance , when we eat the food our bodies are basically extracting the nutrition to run the bodies , grow ,repair , and protect by building immunity . A balanced diet is what gets the body to receive all the essential nutrients to aid the body in its nutritionfunctions . What is a balanced diet ? a balanced diet should consist of all those components which are required by the body . Is a balanced diet the same for all ? definitely not , because the needs of each kind of individual vary . A child will have different requirements from an adult , a women will need different components in her diet which will again be different from a pregnant lady . At senior ages the nutritional needs again change . So the concept of a fixed balanced diet for all simply doesn’t exist . The dietary needs vary across ages , gender , body structure work profile and of course the activity levels . People trying to maintain work life balance need to look out for the following aspects of their routine for planning their nutrition menus .

Some parameters of planning food plans

  1. How is the level of activity – if the level of activity or exercise is high then the requirement of carbohydrates is higher , though one must ensure that the nature of carbs should be of the high fiber variety ( also called complex carbs ) . If one exercises and eats simple carbohydrates like sugar , maida , corn starch , sweet bakery items , the person will get an unbalanced diet .

    If the level of activity is low , more like a sedentary life , then one must have less of the quick energy giving foods like ( rice, pasta , corn ) and shift to glycemic index foods , which release less sugar into the system like mung dal , channa , sprouts and lobhia i.e more of lentils

  1. Breakfast – eating a breakfast which has more of vitamins is important , it could consist of fruits , mixed veggie juice and a high fiber cereal which could be dalia , muesli or oats , skipping breakfast has some issues particularly because many times it is common to miss lunch during work hours and this creates deficiencies in the body .

  2. During the day it is important to hydrate oneself as hydration keeps the metabolic wastes moving out of the organs to the kidney for removal . Hydration can happen with water , coconut water herbal teas . when one doesn’t drink enough water it leads to sluggishness , increase in acid levels

  3. The composition of a daily plan must contain a fruit , some salad ( carrot/ cucumber / radish / broccoli etc ) some whole grains , lentils ,dairy and some natural oil . This covers most of the major food groups . we should just be careful that we are not eating too much of the oil and heavy part of the diet

  4. Snack options must be available in the office , the options could be fruit ( banana , apple , pear ) , yogurt , baked or roasted snacks. Other options are idli , dhokla , khnadvi , boiled alu chat , bhelpuri , roasted channa , peanuts

  5. Some nuts and oil seeds should be part of the diet like flaxseed , walnuts , almonds , pista , according to season

Common mistakes we usually make to unbalance our diet

  • No breakfast hence starving through the day , which lowers the metabolic capacity

  • Too much tea and coffee which build acidity

  • Snacks which are loaded with hidden fats

  • Heavy and late dinners

  • Too much sugar through the day

  • Little or no fibers in the food plan

10 Commandments of Good Health

Good health is wealth and this is one of the oldest sayings.

So as we begin the new year , it’s a good time to refresh the good eating and good health rules , so that we may begin this year on a positive note.

Rule 1– as we begin the morning , say one positive thing about oneself to self . This sets the tone for the day , and a day begun well is most likely to go well . Giving positive messages to self , help in improving enthusiasm and self esteem.

For example a positive reaffirmation can be like –

“I am a loving and kind person , so today I am going to be kind and use kind words irrespective of the situations”

One can identify several strengths in oneself and exercise those strengths to become even better . Someone once told me that we spend all our lives hiding our flaws and lamenting about them rather than building on our strengths , and the example given to me was of -imagine if Marilyn Monroe lamented about her administrative skills and Beethoven tried to build a carrier in acting .

Rule 2

Begin the day with 2 glasses of plain water and try to switch 50% of caffeine beverages to green tea.

In winters we end up consuming a lot of tea and coffee with loads of sugar , switching to green tea , not only gives us mega doses of antioxidants , which is good for the heart and skin , but also is easy on the stomach and the absence of caffeine keeps us sane and calm in prevents restlessness and jitters.

Rule 3

Consume sprouts three out of five days

Sprouts are a powerhouse of good health and eating sprouts in any one meal for three out of five days can be positive for losing weight , protecting liver and for the glow on the face .sprouts can be made of alfa-alfa seeds , mung , lobhia , black channa , in fact most seeds can be sprouted , it just needs the right technique.

Rule 4

Moderate the consumption of unhealthy/ harmful foods to a maximum of 3 meals in a week , which includes all the fast foods ( Indian or western ) , ready to eat foods , and packet foods.

Elimination may not be possible in the hectic world of the cities , so it may help to moderate the portions and frequency of consumption.

Rule 5

Hydrate and drink enough fluids .one should drink enough water through the day which is in the range of 6 glasses in winter and 10 glasses in summers . Besides water one can also fulfill the hydration requirement by consuming soups , green tea , vegetable juices . winters is one of the best times to juice fresh vegetables , like carrots , beetroot , lettuce , parsley , tomatoes .water not only detoxifies the system but also keeps the skin young and firm.

Rule 6

Sleep well and for at least 6-8 hours . Sleep is like medicine for the tired mind and body. Sleep deprivation not only results in premature ageing but also irritability and short. temper .

Rule 7

Drink in moderation , and gradually shift from potent liquor to fine wines . the maximum permissible levels for health are 2 wine glasses a day.

Rule 8

Exercise for de-stressing and creating a toned body . exercise is not only for weight loss but also is a great de-stressor and gives strong knees and a toned body.

Rule 9

Laugh at least once a day . Laughter remains the best medicine.

Rule 10

Practice Prayers and gratitude . They have the most powerful force to heal and correct every hurdle in life.

Power of thoughts -1

Few years back, I came across a very interesting write up about the work of a Scientist of Japanese origin , and very recently a dear friend reminded me of his amazing work . The scientist -Masaru Emoto had conducted a unique experiment where he froze the water from different sources like city tap water , pristine water from the mountain lakes and polluted water from the industrial areas , after freezing these samples in his laboratory , what he saw under the microscope excited him as he could clearly see that clean pristine water made beautiful crystals while polluted water made deformed crystals ! Post this experiment several innovative experiments were conducted , where one sample was subjected to beautiful music or words while the other sample ( from the same source ) was subjected to cruel words or dark music , and when the frozen crystals were observed under the microscope , The crystals subjected to cruel words dark music came out deformed while their counterparts receiving beautiful music and words came out looking exquisitely beautiful !
I have always wondered about the power of our thoughts in shaping our bodies , when we are on a weight loss diet and we pick up a piece of cake , what are the subconscious thoughts around it ? do we curse it inwardly blaming it for our weight gain and breaking our discipline ? what are the other thoughts that cross our minds during the day ? are they affirmative , positive and empowering ? or do they create fear , anger and restlessness in our minds ?
how are we treating ourselves ? is something we can pause and ponder …


Achievement seems to be connected with action.

Successful men and women keep moving.

They make mistakes, but they don’t quit

– Conrad Hilton

Connected to this is my favorite shlok from Bhagwad Gita

 Karmanye vaadhikaaraste maa phaleshu kadachanah

Maa karmaphal hetur bhurma

Ma te sangotswa karmani

My take 

Sometimes I feel we talk so much and do so little…

We expect so much and put so little efforts…