Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gucci. Louis Vuitton. Hermes Watches

Just in: the latest 2010 released luxury timepieces, from dozens of famous designer brands.............

Prices starting as low as $49 for top grade Swiss AAA+ watches, with brands from:

- Submariners, Daytonas
- Presidents, Pearlmasters
- Cartiers
- Patek Philippes
- Breitlings

and dozens more...........!

Find the perfect gift for a loved one, or reward yourself with a spectactular timepiece today.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Keep in mind these 10 simple and practical tips to prevent you from piling on the pounds



The holiday season spells indulgence. 

You starved yourself for months before the New Year's bash to fit into that slinky gown. But as the holidays draw closer you can't seem to resist the treats that are laid out at every party only to entice you. Help is at hand - Nutritionist Samreedhi Goel shares with you a few tricks of the trade that will help you keep your resolve, to some extent at least! 

Go tighter and lighter: 
Pick out your dress in advance. And this time 
break away from the norm and dare to wear white. Darker colours tend to make you look slimmer. Go a step further and pick an outfit that shows off your curves. Merely investing in a light coloured, fitted outfit for New Year's Eve will make you more likely to watch what you eat prior to the party, if only to fit into that dress! 

Dine before the do: Go semiloaded. Have a small high fibre snack like a soup and a salad or a 
plate of fruits before you go to the party. Snacking on high fibre foods will keep you fuller for longer and will prevent you from bingeing on high calorie foods at the party. 
Keep your diet under wraps: The minute you announce that you're 
on a diet, you will call attention to your eating habits. Chances are, people will tell you that you're eating way too little or that you can eat that chocolate pastry today and work it off tomorrow! So, try not to talk about your diet at all. It also helps to eat your food slowly so you don't finish way before the others. 
Can't keep a secret? Find a 
cheat buddy: 
If you are going to 
the party and are accompanied 
with a diet conscious friend/spouse make a pact to keep a watch on each other. See that each of you eats only a pre-decided number of starters and drinks. If the dessert seems too tempting, share it in a single plate. Each of you can motivate the other to stick to the 

Out of sight. Out of mind: 
Control where you are standing. If you are positioned close to the 
buffet table you will, in all probability, begin snacking on the food. Therefore try to pick a spot that's not too close to the buffet table. 

Exercise your right: Use 
your right hand to hold on 
to a glass of a fresh fruit 
juice or just sparkling water and sip it slowly. If your dominant hand is busy you are less likely to fill up on the starters. 

Toss the empties: Once you are done eating, don't hold on to the plate. The longer you stall getting rid 
of your plate, the more likely you are to go in for an extra helping even if you are no longer hungry. 
Treat yourself: When it comes to sweet treats, psychologists believe that the first three bites are all that's 
needed to be completely satisfied. So indulge your sweet tooth but stop at the third spoonful. 
Alternate the alcohol: Calories from alcohol are slower to burn off. Also alcohol slows 
down your metabolism and does not allow the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Every alcoholic beverage you drink, follow it up with a glass of water. This will help you pace yourself and keep you hydrated too. 10 
Don't starve 
post the party: 
the next day will not help 
you burn off the fat because when you deprive your body of essential nutrients you slow down your metabolic rate. Instead eat small sensible meals at regular intervals. 
(Samreedhi Goel is a nutritionist and personal trainer who runs Sizewise, an exercise studio at Santacruz)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

VEGGIE SUPREME Many vegetables resemble certain body parts.


Many vegetables resemble certain body parts. Dr Nupur Krishnan tells you how each one strengthens your system

Correspond with: Female reproductive organs, especially ovaries How they benefit: Olives are rich in mono unsaturated fatty acids which are useful to raise good cholesterol, calcium and iron. The Vitamin E, hydroxytyrosol, and Oleuropein (all phytochemicals) present in olives are healthy for the female reproductive process. They help maintain healthy hormone levels and unobstructed blood 
flow to the pelvic area which is essential for sexual performance. Combine with: Cranberries. It will help prevent urinary track infections. Moreover, cranberries contain flavonoids that prevent forma tion of cysts in ovaries.

Correspond with: Kidneys. Its resemblance is all too obvious. How they benefit: Kidney beans contain flavonoids and glucosinolates that regulate the creatinine level in the kidney. It has also a trace of mineral called molybdenum which is responsi
ble for detoxifying sulphides and help in management of creatinine. 
urad daal. The daal helps the chemical content get absorbed fully in the body.

Correspond with: Male reproductive organs How they benefit: Figs, which are high in sugar content, give energy and vitality to the scrotal sac. They help maintain proper temperature inside the scrotal sac which is essential for sperm mobility, thereby leading to proper 
erections as well. Including figs in your diet helps battle fatigue and depression, a common reason attributed to poor performance in bed. Combine with: Pumpkin seeds that are a good source for zinc. Zinc is important for sex drive and is also needed by the body to make sperms.

Correspond with: Heart. A tomato has four chambers and is red. Ditto for your dil. How they benefit: Tomatoes have fibre and lycopene, a type of phytochemical which is a powerful anti-oxidant. They also have Vitamin K which regulates blood flow. Combine with: Lotus stem, which resemble arteries. Okra is a good combo too since it's known to purify blood capillaries. Tomatoes are best consumed through soups and sauces (without preservatives). While the raw form is healthy, cooked tomatoes are more advantageous as the heating process makes lycopene easily absorbable.

Correspond with: Brain. A walnut looks like a little brain, a right and the left hemisphere, upper cerebrum and lower cerebellum. Even the wrinkles and folds on the nut are just like the neocortex. How they benefit: Walnuts have Omega 3 poly unsaturated fatty acids. Among other things, walnuts contain polyphenols. These 
are compounds which have ellagic acid, tannic acid, caffic acid, chlorogenic acid and serulic acid, all of which regulate blood circulation and conduction of nerve impulses to the brain. They are useful for enhancing memory power. Combine with: With raisins and almonds. The Vitamin E present in walnut will get absorbed in the presence of raisins' phytochemicals. Hazelnut is another combination as it is a rich source of Vitamin E, fibre, copper, potassium, ellagic acid and fibre.

Correspond with: Womb and cervix. Avocado is a fruit, basically the reproductive part of the plant. How they benefit: Contains good fat and are rich in two phytochemicas — beta-sitosterol and glutathione — that offer protection against cervix cancer. Combine with: Olives which are also healthy for the reproductive organs.

Correspond with: Mammary glands How they benefit: Besides being an excellent source for Vitamin C, oranges contain bioflavonoids such as rutin and hesperidin which regulate blood flow to the breasts and retard tumour growth. 

Combine with: 
Small plant of methi in a salad form. The combination is great for protection of the mammary glands.

Correspond with: Body's cells. How they benefit: Onions have Vitamin C, betacarotene and certain flavonoids which are known to reduce risk caused due to cancer. The sulphur compound in onions blocks carcinogens (cancer causing
genes). Combine with: Brussels sprouts (from the cauliflowercabbage family). They contain bioflavonoids that retard cancer growth. Dr Nupur Krishnan is a clinical nutritionist with Bio Logics clinic, Kandivli East. —CO-ORDINATED BY LEKHA MENON

Sunday, November 29, 2009

LIVER DAMAGE:Therefore, have a good sleep and don't sleep late.

The main causes of liver damage are:
Sleeping too late and waking up too late are the main cause. 
2. Not urinating in the morning.
3. Too much eating.
4. Skipping breakfast.
5. Consuming too much medication.
6. Consuming too much preservatives, additives, food coloring, and artificial sweetener. 
7. Consuming unhealthy cooking oil. As much as possible reduce cooking oil use when frying, which includes even the best cooking oils like olive oil. Do not consume fried foods when you are tired, except if the body is very fit. 
8. Consuming overly done foods also add to the burden of liver. Veggies should be eaten raw or cooked 3-5 parts. Fried veggies should be finished in one sitting, do not store.

We just have to adopt a good daily lifestyle and eating habits. Maintaining good eating habits and time condition are very important for our body to absorb and get rid of unnecessary chemicals according to 'schedule.' 

Because: Evening at 9 - 11pm : is the time for eliminating unnecessary/ toxic chemicals (de-toxification) from the antibody system (lymph nodes). This time duration should be spent by relaxing or listening to music. If during this time a housewife is still in an unrelaxed state such as washing the dishes or monitoring children doing their homework, this will have a negative impact on her health. 

Evening at 11pm - 1am : The de-toxification process in the liver, and ideally should be done in a deep sleep state. Early morning 1 - 3am : de-toxification process in the gall, also ideally done in a deep sleep state. 

Early morning 3 - 5am : de-toxification in the lungs. Therefore there will sometimes be a severe cough for cough sufferers during this time. Since the de-toxification process had reached the respiratory tract, there is no need to take cough medicine so as not to interfere with toxin removal process. 
Morning 5 - 7am : de-toxification in the colon, you should empty your bowel.

Morning 7 - 9am : Absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, you should be having breakfast at this time. Breakfast should be earlier, before 6:30am, for those who are sick. Breakfast before 7:30am is very beneficial to those wanting to stay fit. Those who always skip breakfast, they should change their habits, and it is still better to eat breakfast late until 9 -10am rather than no meal at all. Sleeping so late and waking up too late will disrupt the process of removing unnecessary chemicals. Aside from that, midnight to 4am is the time when the bone marrow produces blood. 

Therefore, have a good sleep and don't sleep late.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What killed Ranjan Das and Lessons for Corporate India

A month ago, many of us heard about the sad demise of Ranjan Das from Bandra, Mumbai. Ranjan, just 42 years of age, was the CEO of SAP-Indian Subcontinent, the youngest CEO of an MNC in India. He was very active in sports, was a fitness freak and a marathon runner. It was common to see him run on Bandra's Carter Road. Just after Diwali, on 21st Oct, he returned home from his gym after a workout, collapsed with a massive heart attack and died. He is survived by his wife and two very young kids.
It was certainly a wake-up call for corporate India. However, it was even more disastrous for runners amongst us. Since Ranjan was an avid marathoner (in Feb 09, he ran Chennai Marathon at the same time some of us were running Pondicherry Marathon 180 km away), the question came as to why an exceptionally active, athletic person succumb to heart attack at 42 years of age.
 Was it the stress?
A couple of you called me asking about the reasons. While Ranjan had mentioned that he faced a lot of stress, that is a common element in most of our lives. We used to think that by being fit, one can conquer the bad effects of stress. So I doubted if the cause was stress.
 The Real Reason
However, everyone missed out a small line in the reports that Ranjan used to make do with 4-5 hours of sleep. This is an earlier interview of Ranjan on NDTV in the program 'Boss' Day Out':
Here he himself admits that he would love to get more sleep (and that he was not proud of his ability to manage without sleep, contrary to what others extolled).
 The Evidence
Last week, I was working with a well-known cardiologist on the subject of 'Heart Disease caused by Lack of Sleep'. While I cannot share the video nor the slides because of confidentiality reasons, I have distilled the key points below in the hope it will save some of our lives.
 Some Excerpts:
 ·        Short sleep duration (<5 or 5-6 hours) increased risk for high BP by 350% to 500% compared to those who slept longer than 6 hours per night. Paper published in 2009.

As you know, high BP kills.

 ·        Young people (25-49 years of age) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less. Paper published in 2006.
 ·        Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks. Paper published in 1999.
 ·        Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!!
 ·        Just one night of sleep loss increases very toxic substances in body such as Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (cRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis andheart disease. Paper published in 2004.
 ·        Sleeping for <=5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease. Sleeping for <=6 hours per night leads to 18% increase in heart disease. Paper published in 2006.
 Ideal Sleep
For lack of space, I cannot explain here the ideal sleep architecture. But in brief, sleep is composed of two stages: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM. The former helps in mental consolidation while the latter helps in physical repair and rebuilding. During the night, you alternate between REM and non-REM stages 4-5 times.
 The earlier part of sleep is mostly non-REM. During that period, your pituitary gland releases growth hormones that repair your body. The latter part of sleep is more and more REM type.
 For you to be mentally alert during the day, the latter part of sleep is more important. No wonder when you wake up with an alarm clock after 5-6 hours of sleep, you are mentally irritable throughout the day (lack of REM sleep). And if you have slept for less than 5 hours, your body is in a complete physical mess (lack of non-REM sleep), you are tired throughout the day, moving like a zombie and your immunity is way down (I've been there, done that L)
 Finally, as long-distance runners, you need an hour of extra sleep to repair the running related damage.
 If you want to know if you are getting adequate sleep, take Epworth Sleepiness Test below.
Interpretation: Score of 0-9 is considered normal while 10 and above abnormal. Many a times, I have clocked 21 out the maximum possible 24, the only saving grace being the last situation, since I don't like to drive (maybe, I should ask my driver to answer that lineJ)
In conclusion:
Barring stress control, Ranjan Das did everything right: eating proper food, exercising (marathoning!), maintaining proper weight. But he missed getting proper and adequate sleep, minimum 7 hours. In my opinion, that killed him.
If you are not getting enough sleep (7 hours), you are playing with fire, even if you have low stress.
I always took pride in my ability to work 50 hours at a stretch whenever the situation warranted. But I was so spooked after seeing the scientific evidence last week that since Saturday night, I ensure I do not even set the alarm clock under 7 hours. Now, that is a nice excuse to get some more sleep. J
Unfortunately, Ranjan Das is not alone when it comes to missing sleep. Many of us are doing exactly the same, perhaps out of ignorance. Please forward this mail to as many of your colleagues as possible, especially those who might be short-changing their sleep. If we can save even one young life because of this email, I would be the happiest person on earth.

Friday, November 20, 2009


A recent study talks about added effects of dark chocolate. Read on

Dark chocolate is not just a sinful indulgence, it also has certain medical benefits which you may have read about. But now there are more. A recent study have revealed new medical benefits of this dark delight — a few added reasons to indulge your sweet tooth. 
Dark chocolate can protect the skin against the ageing effects influenced by the sun, says a new research. 
According to scientists who carried out the study at European Dermatology London, UK, a daily portion of dark chocolate may also lower the risk of skin cancer. But it only works with dark chocolate that is very high in flavanols, the antioxidants that occur naturally in cocoa beans, reports a daily. 
    In the research, scientists found that participants who ate flavanol-rich chocolate could tolerate more wrinkle-causing UV light on their skin than those who ate a lower-flavanol chocolate. The researchers said, "The main mechanism is likely to be anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. But con
ventional chocolate had no such effect." 
An Indian-origin researcher has provided people worldwide the perfect excuse to grab a bar of chocolate: eating dark chocolate every day can reduce stress. The study, published online in ACS' 
Journal of Proteome Research claims that an ounce and a half of dark chocolate (just a little over 40 gm) a day for two weeks reduces levels of stress hormones. Also, it was noted that chocolates partially corrected other stress-related biochemical imbalances. 
    The researcher and his team took into account the scientific evidence of the benefits of chocolate consumption for their study. Their special focus was on antioxidants and other beneficial substances in dark chocolate. The scientists identified reductions in stress hor
mones and other stressrelated biochemical changes in volunteers, who rated themselves as highly stressed and ate dark chocolate for two weeks. The researchers said, "The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 gm of chocolate during a period of two weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers."

EAT UP: Dark chocolate is as much medically beneficial as it is a sinful indulgence

Monday, November 16, 2009

Develop healthy habits to manage your diabetes


World Diabetes Day is observed every year on 14 November to raise awareness of diabetes. This year's theme focuses on diabetes education and prevention.

Type 2 diabetes is at least five times more common in South Asians than in the wider population. While there is currently no cure for it, people with diabetes can still live a full life by carefully managing their condition.

If you are affected by diabetes, it's important to avoid swings in your blood glucose (sugar), so it doesn't go too high or too low. What you eat and how often you eat has a direct impact on your blood glucose.

Also, people with diabetes are more prone to developing heart disease, but that doesn't mean you need to switch to eating boiled curries and Western foods. If you look after your diet and lifestyle habits, then you can significantly reduce your risks.

Eat regular meals. Eating regularly helps to keep your blood glucose levels steady throughout the day. It can also help you to maintain good energy levels as the day progresses. Get in the habit of creating a balanced plate.

Choose starchy carbohydrate foods, especially those which have a low glycaemic index (GI). Eating medium or low GI foods at mealtimes can help you manage your diabetes. Examples include dhals, beans, basmati rice, pasta, grainy or seeded breads (such as granary), bulgur wheat, sweet potato, cassava (mogo) porridge, and fruit and vegetables. Starchy foods will fill you up, often provide fibre, and tend to be lower in calories than fatty foods, but you also need to watch portion sizes.

We probably eat too much of the wrong type of carbohydrate. There's no need to have rice, chapati and potato in the same meal. And frying mogo is not a good idea! Instead, try boiling it and sprinkling with chilli and lemon.

Cut down on fried and fatty foods such as butter, ghee, full-fat cheese (like paneer), fatty meats, skin on chicken, chevdaganthiasevsamosas, crisps and pastries. Animal orsaturated fat (from fatty meat and full-fat dairy products) can raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol level, and lead to a build-up of fatty streaks in your arteries, which can in turn reduce blood flow to your heart. Instead, choose monounsaturated fats, like the fat found in olive and rapeseed oil, avocado, nuts, or polyunsaturated fats such as corn oil, sunflower oil, and spreads made from these oils.

Of course this isn't a licence to smother your salad in olive oil or deep fry your kebabs in rapeseed oil! It is still important not to eat too much of these healthier fats, as weight for weight, they contain the same calories as unhealthy fats. Find out more about healthy cooking.

Photo: Mansur Rupshi
Photo: Mansur Rupshi

Eat more fruit and vegetables. These foods are rich in valuable antioxidants which can help prevent damage to your arteries. Enjoy a variety of colours so you get a good range of nutrients. For example, beta-carotene comes from orange and yellow coloured vegetables like carrots and yellow peppers, and anthocyanins (a powerful anti-oxidant) are found in purple plums, red cabbage and beetroot.

South Asian cuisine is packed with brightly coloured vegetables, from bhindito brinjal, so enjoy at your leisure. Try the healthy okra recipe.

Enjoy fish and choose oily fish once a week. Scientific studies suggest that regularly eating oily fish can protect you from developing heart problems. The special omega-3 oils found in oily fish have been shown to lower a type of fat in your blood called triglyceride. They may also help to reduce blood stickiness, making your blood less likely to clot and cause a blockage in your arteries. Examples of oily fish include salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines and herring.

Swap high sugar foods for low sugar foods. Cut back on tinned fruit in syrup, sugar, andmithai, and consider tinned fruit in natural juice, artificial sweeteners, and dried fruit instead. Be especially careful with sugary drinks, since they tend to get into your blood stream more quickly. Choose unsweetened fruit juice and have it with a meal so you slow down the rise in your blood glucose (because the juice mixes with other foods in your gut). Or choose diet drinks and use an artificial sweetener for hot drinks.

Note that many sugary foods tend to also be high in fat (think of cakes, biscuits, kheer,kulfi) and are generally unhealthy, so it's best to save them for special occasions.

Photo: Nazma Lakhani
Photo: Nazma Lakhani

Choose foods which are low in salt. We don't usually measure salt in traditional cooking — it's often a generous pouring straight from the salt container, and we don't think twice about it. However, there is now solid research showing that eating too much salt makes you more at risk of raised blood pressure and strokes. As you try out some of the healthier recipes on this site, you'll notice that they are low in salt yet high in flavour. It is possible to eat healthily and still enjoy traditional foods.

Get down to a healthy weight and stay there. Just by losing 5 – 10 per cent of your weight can make a significant difference to your blood pressure, blood fats and blood glucose control. Adopt a healthier lifestyle by choosing balanced meals and being more active.

Effects of High Blood Pressure