Diet is a journey not a destination

Achieving good health and well being should be considered a journey of life.

Anything that influences the body both from within and from out should be addressed. These factors are key pillars of our life. They are – our rest, our diet, our physical fitness, our mental health and our attitude with which we interact with other.

Look for likeminded groups, either online or in person to connect with, seek support from health care professionals if you need help in a specific area. 

Like any other relationship, our relationship with our body and food requires compassion, trust and love. One should work every day to not only nourish our body but to be kind to it, respect it and to be grateful for all that it can do because it the only one.

Weight loss or getting fit is not about diet or program; it is about eating healthy and getting fit. Our attitude to finding health needs to be far more of a cocktail approach, rather than a single shot. There is no magic bullet, or one solution. We need to tick every box within the complex organism that is our body.

The key to making good health a journey is to enjoy the process. Rather forcing yourself to a gym or through the latest exclusion diet make changes to your lifestyle. This can be done by breaking your old habits and making new ones.

Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety and freshness. This makes it easier to make healthy choices. Also focus on finding food you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually your diet will become healthier and more delicious.

Start slow and make change to your eating habits over time. Every change you make to improve your diet matters.

Healthy eating begins with learning how to eat smart. It is not what you eat but how you eat. It supplies the body with the most important nutrients.

Healthy eating doesn’t mean eating especially chosen foods or avoiding some foods. By this a person deprives his body of important nutrients. Eat food which includes proteins, carbohydrates, fats, dairy, minerals, fiber and vitamins. Limit sugar, fats and salt but not eating it all is not a good idea. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as they are source of vitamins and minerals. Never skip breakfast as this is the meal which gives us energy for the whole day. We should include healthy fats such as nuts, avocado for keeping fit. 

Always incorporate tips to shave 100 calories from diet:

  • Remove skin from chicken,
  • Use skim milk instead whole milk,
  • Use mustard instead of mayo,
  • Include nuts, beans, seeds in that is put protein in perspective
  • Limit sugar and salt,
  • Eat healthy carbohydrates or whole grains,
  • Color your plate with fruits and vegetables,
  • Add soups and salads to your diet.

When eating out, choose an appetizer instead of an entrée. Split a dish with your friend or order off the kids menu. A home use smaller plates. Serving meat, fish, or poultry should be size of a deck of cards. Bread should be size of CD and oil should be used one teaspoon only for cooking.

Practice mindful eating to counteract stress hormone cortisol. The body achieves what mind believes. Always focus on change and you will get results. Losing weight is a process and not an event. It is not a temporary fix, it is a lifestyle change. The fact is that fitness is an imperfect long distance event that requires patience and great mental discipline. Trying to make diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on new eating plan. So it is recommended to start with small changes, so that you can continue and it becomes your habit to more healthy choices of your diet.

Along with diet also focus on exercise. Think about the moderate activities you can do when you are working like walking, vacuuming, gardening, or anything that can increase breathing or heart rate.  Also include vigorous activities like running, aerobics, zumba to have a good circulation. 

Some tips to stay fit include:

  • Have a mini walk and exercises,
  • Do your work yourself, 
  • Use stairs and avoid lift,
  • Always make room for your favorite activities.

Another important factor includes sleep cycle. Sleep well and respect your natural circadian rhythms. Artificial lights interrupts these rhythms, so avoid screens an hour before your bedtime or use glasses with orange filters and ensure you get lot of light when you wake up in the morning.

Avoid Stress to lead a healthy lifestyle. Manage your overall stress levels and stay connected with others.

Healthy lifestyle habits can also help you reverse your stress response, enabling you to avoid or even reverse the negative effects of chronic stress. There will be failures when you start a healthy journey program but keep yourself motivated and also keep strong willpower. All I can say is good health is not a destination, it is journey for life.

How does grain affect our digestive system?

Cereal grains are the world’s single biggest source of food energy. The three most commonly consumed types are wheat, rice and corn. Despite widespread consumption, the health effects of grains are quite controversial. Some think they are an essential component of a healthy diet, while others think they cause harm. Commonly Grains consist of three important parts:

  • The bran (the outermost layer), which contains fibre and B vitamins.
  • The germ which contains oils, vitamins, proteins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • The endosperm (located above the germ), which contains carbohydrates and protein.

Types of Grain:

Grain foods are typically categorized either as whole or refined.

  • Whole grains are grains that have been minimally processed to still contain the bran, germ, and endosperm, whereas refined grains only contain the endosperm. The endosperm makes up about 85 percent of a wheat grain, meaning that just 15 percent of the grain contains all of its fibre and most of its nutrients.
  • Refined grains can come from the same plant as whole grains, they’re just missing the germ, bran, and all the nutrients that go along with them. They have a longer shelf life than whole grains, since the oily germ tends to become rancid when exposed to light and heat.
  • Whole grains offer vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that have many potential health benefits. For example, replacing refined grains with potassium-rich whole grains may help lower blood pressure. The dietary fibre in whole grains slows digestion, which makes them low on the glycemic index. High-glycemic-index foods (like refined grains) can be digested very quickly, causing sharp spikes in blood sugar that can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

Popular Grains and their effects:

  • Wheat: is the most widely cultivated cereal crop in the world. Wheat has come to be a firm favourite grain because of the diversity it provides in culinary applications. Relatively high in protein (11-13%) compared with other major grains and contains a protein complex which forms gluten. High in potassium and low in sodium. Contains B-group vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate and pantothenic acid. It also Contains vitamin Contains iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium (depending on the soil content of selenium). Contains small amounts of copper, manganese and calcium. Wheat contains protein called gluten which some people are sensitive to. Celiac disease is an allergy to wheat gluten that causes an abnormal immune system reaction in the intestines. Wheat allergy is when the body produces antibodies to the proteins in the wheat. Try eliminating gluten from your diet and note if your symptoms improve.
  • Rice: is the staple grain which is used all over India in different forms. White rice is a bland, low-fibre food because it is processed, like white flour and bread. White rice is easy on your digestive system, making it a suitable item on bland menus for people recovering from various digestive ailments like an upset stomach, gastroenteritis and diverticulitis. Brown rice is a high-roughage food rich in insoluble fibre on its outer part, with soluble fibre inside. The soluble fibre controls blood sugar and lowers cholesterol, but the insoluble fibre promotes good digestion. Unlike the soluble type, which changes its form into a jelly, the insoluble type retains its shape and resists digestion. This allows it to move other digestible foods along more efficiently. The insoluble fibre also absorbs water that moisturizes stool, and it bulks up your waste product into soft but solid pieces. Combining rice with dal makes a complete protein which is good if taken in limited quality in evening also.
  • Jowar (Sorghum): Sorghum is one of the most commonly used cereal grains in the world and a lot of that is thanks to the rich nutritional value it offers to the consumer. Sorghum is found to be rich in vitamins and minerals, along with providing great protein content and making up for a large portion of your dietary fibre intake. Nutritional composition of sorghum includes calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium and sodium are found in the quantities of 53.8 mg, 8.4 mg, 551 mg, 672 mg and 11.5 mg respectively per 100 grams sorghum. Vitamins like thiamine, niacin and riboflavin are also found in rich quantities in sorghum. The high dietary fibre content of sorghum makes it one of the best foods in the world for improving digestion and taking care of the digestive system. A single serving of sorghum can contain up to 48% of a person’s recommended daily intake of dietary fibre, which helps the digestive system in keeping the movement of food along with the system completely smooth. Sorghum flour also prevents bloatingcramping, excess gas, constipation, diarrhoea and general stomach aches. The only risk one can probably look out for is the risk of being allergic to the grains, but even such cases are extremely rare. This grain is especially good to have in winters.
  • Bajra (Pearl Millet): It’s a widely used millet in India. Its especially popular in winters as it is supposed to keep body warm. It’s a gluten free grain which reduces glucose levels and stabilizes Cholesterol level. High Iron and Zinc content in Bajra helps in increasing haemoglobin. People with iron deficiency Anaemia must include Bajra in their diet to overcome the problem. The lignin and phytonutrients in the bajra act as strong antioxidants thus preventing heart-related diseases. This is why pearl millet is considered good for heart health. High amounts of magnesium present in pearl millet has been shown to control blood pressure and relieve heart stress. Bajra is a good source of energy. They provide protein, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, dietary fibre, and polyphenols. Typical millet protein contains a high quantity of essential amino acids especially the sulphur-containing amino acids (methionine and cysteine). Bajra is considered the best plant-based protein source. Bajra, when combined with legumes like rajma, moong dal, urad dal, toovar dal, and chana dal, provide complete proteins, especially for vegetarians.
  • Ragi (Finger Millet): Finger millet or Ragi is a cereal crop that belongs to the grass    family, Poaceae. It is mostly grown in the Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Tamil Nadu. Making of bread, porridge and alcoholic beverages are some ragi powder uses. It is believed to be a great laxative due to its high fibre content and prevents constipation. Even lactating mothers who cannot produce sufficient milk feed it to their babies. Ragi help in reducing weight and treating diseases like diabetes, anaemia, and osteoporosis. It digests very slowly, this makes it good for obese and diabetic patients also contains an amino acid called tryptophan, Methionine, and Lysine. Tryptophan controls your appetite and aids in weight loss. Methionine and Lysine make the skin tissue less prone to wrinkles and sagging. Due to the high content of dietary fibre and polyphenols, it has antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antioxidant properties that prevent tumours and atherosclerosis. Ragi disadvantages are also that it is a rich source of calcium. If consumed in a larger than recommended amount, it can increase the amount of oxalic acid in the body causing kidney stones. Also, Goitrogen present in ragi can interfere with the thyroid hormones and reduce iodine uptake by the thyroid gland. This reduces the levels of iodine in the body. The low iodine levels can lead to goitre. Other than these, People with lactose intolerance and those who cannot have milk can substitute it with ragi. You can have countless recipes that use ragi in delicious forms. From babies to adults, all can have ragi and reap the benefits
  •  Kuttu (Buckwheat): Kuttu belongs to the group of foods commonly called as pseudo cereals. These are seeds that are consumed as cereal grains but don’t grow on grasses.  It’s extremely warm in its potency. This is the prime reason why Kuttu ka Atta (Buckwheat Flour) is not eaten in an everyday meal. Kuttu ka Atta (Buck wheat Flour) can be eaten cooked, baked and roasted and there are many things that can be made out of it. This is the prime reason why the use of buck wheat flour is recommended in winters. In fact, in areas of severe cold, it is regularly consumed as it helps in keeping the body warm internally, thereby reducing the effects of chills and cold and also boosts the internal immunity of the body helping it to fight against external infections and viruses. This whole grain is gluten-free and packed with nutrients like dietary fibre, plant proteins, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and copper. While buckwheat doesn’t have many vitamins except vitamin B6 and K to speak of, it’s packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals like rutin, quercetin and vitexin. Studies show that if you’re already allergic to latex or rice, you may be allergic to buckwheat too. The symptoms of an allergic reaction to buckwheat include digestive issues, skin rashes and swelling.

Bottom Line is for majority whole grains are healthy and good for digestion too. One has to take care that vegetables too are eaten with the whole grains to subside the acidic nature of whole grains in general. People should introduce them to their diet slowly and observe if they have allergy to any specific grain. Wherever possible, prefer grinding the grain and make flour at home and use certain amount for cooking or making roti. Everything is eaten in a proper quantity will always be good, one should not go overboard.


Over the years, people have tried some crazy (and dangerous) things in the name of weight loss. Cotton balls are just one of the latest.

In the cotton ball diet, those in search of a smaller waistline eat cotton balls soaked in juice to curb their appetite and dramatically cut their daily calorie intake. But eating cotton balls isn’t just unappetizing. It’s potentially deadly.

Eating cotton balls — or any non-food item — in an effort to lose weight isn’t a diet. It’s disordered eating. And like eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and bingeing, the cotton ball diet comes with serious potential health risks.

Eating disorders typically stem from body dissatisfaction. Nearly half of people treated for eating disorders are also living with mood disorders such as depression, 

So how are models sustaining an energy level if they’re simply eating cotton balls dipped in orange juice? 

My best guess is that they’re sustaining on caffeine and/or other supplements, but I can’t imagine they can sustain very long. Your blood pressure is so low and out of whack when you’re not eating, so they probably eat a few cotton balls and the orange juice spikes their energy, and then they’ll crash. They can’t be eating more than 500-800 calories a day on a diet like this.

What are some of the possible side effects from a cotton ball diet?

Well, there’s got to be malnutrition going on, and it’s likely that if they keep a diet like this up, their bodies will go into starvation mode, meaning their metabolism will slow down and their body will process any fat and protein available, which leads to becoming dangerously skinny. Plus, because cotton is not meant to be digested, it could be harmful to their oesophagus and intestinal tract. There’s likely to be constipation, which they might be combating with laxatives. I would absolutely not recommend this to anyone.

Check your vitamin D3 and B12 levels before starting with your Weight Loss Programme

D3 is a type of vitamin D that our body makes naturally from sunshine. The main function of vitamin D3 is to maintain your teeth, bones and immunity system healthy by absorbing calcium and phosphorus. 

But how adequate level of D3 aids weight loss. It is because it supresses the accumulation of fat cells by effectively reducing fat accumulation. It also increase SEROTONIN (happy hormones) levels that enhances mood and sound sleep, control appetite, increase satiety, control calorie intake and aid in weight loss. 

There are very few food sources of Vitamin D3. It should be compensated both through supplements and through sufficient sunlight exposure. Persistent pain in the muscles and joints, pain in the sheen area, no or very less weight loss even after genuine efforts could be some of the classic symptom of vitamin D3 deficiency. 

This has been seen that overweight and obese people generally deficit in Vitamin D3, might be because very less skin is exposed to sunlight. An obese body also lacks the enzymes that are needed to convert vitamin D into its active form.

Excessive intake of D3 is toxic. Therefore, it is always advised to check the levels and talk to a practitioner before starting with the supplements. 

The next vitamin is B12. It is the largest and the most complicated vitamin. Though it is a fat soluble vitamin but our body can store it for up to 4 years. Excess of it is secreted through urine. 

B12 is crucial for proper functioning of the nervous system, brain and formation of RBC’s. The metabolism of every cell depends on B12 as it aids energy production. This proves B12 deficiency leads to low energy levels and impaired metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Even low energy results lack of physical activity which is the main cause of accumulation of fat. 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend that teens and adults over the age of 14 years should consume 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B-12 a day. Animal based foods and fortified cereals are the main sources of B12. It can also be supplemented through oral medications and injections.

Excessive intake of vitamin B-12 has not demonstrated toxic or harmful qualities. However, people are always advised to speak with their physician before starting to take supplements.

Dr. Dt. Sheenu Sanjeev
Founder of Healthyfy Solution
Health- Wellness Coach & Trainer
Director of Healthyfy Health and Education institute & Research Council
Director of Rapid Mile Company Co-Powered by Prakriti


Research indicates that just one day of eating foods low in fiber but high in unhealthy saturated fat and sugar can result in reduced duration of slow-wave sleep, often referred to as “deep sleep,” which is the stage of sleep that restores physical and mental energy plus much more.

Healthy eating leads to healthy sleeping.

A diet low in fiber and high in saturated fats could take a toll on your sleep by decreasing the amount of deep, slow-wave sleep that you get during the night. Meanwhile, eating too much sugar could result in more midnight wake-ups. On the other hand, a healthy balanced diet that’s high in fiber and low in added sugars could help you to drift off faster, and log as many as two extra hours of sleep a week.

Diet-induced heartburn can keep you up at night.

Anyone who has suffered from gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) knows just how miserable it can be to go to bed with heartburn. In fact, people with nighttime heartburn are more likely to have sleep problems and disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and daytime sleepiness. Luckily, the right diet can make a difference. Steer clear of large fried or high-fat meals, spicy foods, alcohol, and soda—especially close to bedtime. Your sleep—and your waistline—will thank you.

The best diet for sleep is also good for your total health.

For your best night’s sleep, strive to eat a balanced diet that emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins that are rich in B vitamins, like fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy. B vitamins may help to regulate melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycles.

Losing weight can lead to better sleep

Eating well is the first step to losing weight. And that can pay dividends when it comes to your sleep. A reduction in body fat, especially around your midsection, makes you less likely to struggle with sleep problems like sleep apnea, restlessness, or insomnia, and less likely to fight sleepiness during the day.

Before reaching for the sleeping pills, try looking around your kitchen. These nutritionist-backed approaches may help you fall — and stay — asleep

  1. Walnuts contain their own form of melatonin, a hormone that helps our bodies regulate a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Try snacking on a small handful about 20 minutes before bed to help you relax and reach a deeper state of restful sleep.
  1. When we fall asleep, levels of serotonin rise and adrenaline levels fall. Serotonin, the relaxing hormone, is partly made from the amino acid tryptophan, which is activated by vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is found in a wide variety of foods such fortified breakfast cereals, potatoes, fish, chicken, bananas, beans, peanut butter, and many vegetables
  1. Bananas help fight insomnia in three powerful ways. They are packed with magnesium, serotonin, and melatonin, which all help promote sleep in their own way. Melatonin helps to naturally regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
  1. Basil plant actually contains sedative properties, which can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. And as a bonus, it not only helps promote sleep, but is great for reducing indigestion, which is itself a major sleep-interruptor.
  1. Food high in magnesium. Up your intake of foods like seeds, nuts and leafy greens for a better night’s sleep, since research has shown that even a slight lack of this mineral can prevent your brain from ‘turning off’ at night. A supplementation of 500mg of magnesium appears to improve insomnia in the elderly — in food terms, that’s about ½ cup of pumpkin seeds and 1 cup of cooked leafy greens daily.”
  1. Enjoying a small and nutritious snack could help you fall and stay asleep. “Getting in a small snack an hour before bed helps to stabilize blood sugars. When blood sugar is low, or even too high, we become anxious and irritable, which will not promote sleep. Make sure you steer clear of anything greasy, fried, caffeinated or sugar-laden. Have an apple with a tablespoon of nut butter or half a banana with four crushed walnuts.
  1. Milk may help control melatonin production since it is a great source of calcium, a mineral that plays a role in the regulation of melatonin in the body.Milk is also rich in the amino acid tryptophan which has a calming effect on the body.
  • You can add a pinch of nutmeg into your milk
  •  You can also add some crushed almonds(blanched is better), a pinch of nutmeg, and  a pinch of cardamom.
  1. A mug of chamomile tea.
  2. A bowlful of cherries can also help send you off to good sleep. Cherries are one of the few natural foods that contain melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. 
  1. Add one teaspoon of Brahmi and Ashwagandha powder in two glasses of water. Boil them and then reduce it to one glass and drink it daily at least once for best results.

Active compounds of licorice can also help you find your way out of the sleep woes, as per Ayurveda. Have one teaspoon of licorice root powder with a glass of cold milk every morning on an empty stomach.