What is Mindful Eating? How To Practice Mindful Eating

Your aim should always be to progress, not to be perfect. 

When I provide guidelines for mindful eating, I don’t  mean you should worry about eating all your meals/snacks mindfully. 

If you try to do this, you may be overwhelmed and give up even before you start.

I average around five mindful meals a week. (I eat only two times a day.) 

For snacks, my main focus is my tea/coffee intake.

I suggest you decide beforehand which meals/snacks you want to practice eating mindfully. 

In this article, I’ll discuss the following:

  1. What is Mindful Eating?
  2. Benefits of Mindful Eating
  3. How to Practice Mindful Eating
  4. Final Thoughts

What is Mindful Eating?

I like the definition of Mindful Eating given by headspace.com :

Mindful eating places awareness on the menu, whenever and wherever we eat. As well as making us watchful about what we eat, it aims to transform our relationship with food by focusing on the how and why of eating, encouraging a more holistic point of view. Ultimately, this means we have a better chance of understanding what foods nourish us and what foods help us stay healthy while also encouraging a deeper appreciation of every meal, every mouthful, and every ingredient.

The opposite of mindful eating is mindless eating. Needless to say, we all have PhDs in mindless eating. 

Here are a few examples of what can happen when we eat mindlessly:

-Eating very fast

-Refilling our mouth even before we are finished chewing what’s in it 

-Not chewing the food properly 

-Eating and multitasking, i.e., talking on the phone, watching Netflix, or talking to friends or family while eating 

-Eating food that is tasty and emotionally comforting 

-Eating at random times or out of impulse 

-Eating when feeling lonely, sad, angry, depressed, anxious, or happy

-Overeating or putting more on our plates than we need

Mindful eating is a skill, a habit you need to build. 

Start small and build the habit over time. 

And just like with any other habit or skill that needs to be built, one needs to understand the benefits. 

Solid, tangible benefits, which I often term Return on Investment (ROI) motivates me to pursue something. 

I am aware that the ROI of meditating, being mindful, working out, getting enough sleep, and other positive habits like these pay back a thousand times the effort I put in.

So I work very hard to build essential habits, and mindful eating is one such habit, a skill I strongly feel is worth striving for. 🙂

Benefits of Mindful Eating

#1 You’ll stop eating before you are full. 

Most of the time, if you eat mindfully, you will stop eating when you are about 70–80 percent full. 

You will realize that junk or fast food is not so tasty after all. 

Being mindful brings forth this crucial fact: The first bite is the tastiest, after which the pleasure of eating a particular food reduces with every bite. 

I’ve noticed this pattern again and again. 

For example, I was super worried about my coffee intake. 

For many years, I had been drinking 7–8 regular cups of strong coffee (not just black but also lattes). 

Even though my overall eating was super healthy, drinking this much caffeine daily was not something I was comfortable with, and I knew something needed to be done. 

Once I started to get more mindful about my eating, I realized that when my coffee mug was around 30 percent, I had no more craving for the coffee in it, and usually, I sipped the rest out of habit but could do without it. 

So that was unnecessary caffeine intake. 

I immediately replaced all my big coffee mugs with small cups. 

As you can see in the picture above, I put the big coffee mug where I was not able to access it easily. (I could not give it away as it was my landlord’s.)

This act immediately reduced my coffee consumption by 50 percent overnight, even though I was drinking the same number of cups. 

Then there were times I sipped the entire cup of coffee while either chatting with my family or doing some work on my laptop. 

These were the times I asked myself, did I actually drink my coffee? 

So I made it a rule to stop my work or anything else I was doing when I craved coffee and direct my focus to the whole process of not only drinking my coffee mindfully but also truly enjoy the whole act of brewing it!

I made it a ritual. 

I even started playing Beethoven’s Symphony Number 9 with it. Oh, what an enjoyable experience drinking coffee turned out to be! 

It took only fifteen minutes for the whole process, but by the time I had built this act into a habit, I had reduced my coffee intake from 7–8 cups per day to 5–6 cups per day . 

I had another fascinating insight about my coffee drinking when I was meditating:

Akash, you don’t crave coffee all the time. It’s just that you work from home throughout the day, and since your work table is close to your kitchen, you feel the need to keep feeding yourself and get that hit to continue to work long hours. Why don’t you try a few alternative beverages?

So I started to consciously include other types of beverages, including apple cider vinegar, green tea, Tulsi ginger tea, Matcha tea, Indian tea, Twinings English tea, etc. on a daily basis. 

I realized with other beverages, even though there was some caffeine in them, which gave me the hit I was looking for,  I drank far less, so the crash I experienced with coffee after about 45 minutes was not as severe with other beverages, and I felt good otherwise. 

Having said that, the hit I get from coffee cannot be replaced entirely by any other beverage. 

And honestly, replacing that hit was never my goal. 

I never wanted to eliminate coffee 100 percent but limit it to one or two blissful small cups a day.

By experimenting with the techniques discussed above, I reduced my coffee consumption by around 70 percent, and it has been like that ever since. 

All this happened because of the insight I got through mindful eating.

Let’s apply the same concepts when it comes to eating main meals. 

I want to present you with a step-by-step system which, when applied, can help you drastically reduce your calorie intake, especially from unhealthy food. 

You will be able to lose weight effectively, improve your health, and most importantly, enjoy and cherish your meals, improving your relationship with food overall. 

How to Practice Mindful Eating: 5-Step Process

Step 1: Be Mindful of the Total Number of Calories You Need 

If you are serious about losing weight and/or building lean muscles, you NEED to count calories. 

This is the best way to get fabulous results. 

I have made the process very simple for you. 

Just go to my TDEE Calculator, and you’ll be able to calculate the total calories you should eat every day based on your height, body weight, activity levels, and goals.

Once you are mindful of the calories you should eat daily, you will be able to limit your portion sizes. 

This strategy of portion control always works!

To this day, I frequently weigh my food. See the image below.

Step 2: Include Junk and Other Emotionally Comforting Food in Your Diet Plan 

Needless to say, most of us cannot win the war against sugar. 

It’s a powerful enemy, and a study even hinted that its addictive power is more potent than cocaine. 

An old-age saying applies here:

“If you cannot beat them, join them.”

In my Diet Planning course, I discuss three approaches to eating: 

Enjoyable, Realistic, and Aggressive. 

Each approach allows a certain percentage of calories from junk and fast food. 

Be realistic about trying to eat a perfect diet; you won’t be able to eat boiled chicken and broccoli all the time!

These first two steps are the macro framework, and being mindful of these suggestions will help you tremendously towards achieving your health and fitness goals. 

Step 3: Schedule Meals for Which You Want to Practice Mindful Eating 

Decide beforehand which meals/snacks you want to eat mindfully.

Feed your subconscious mind this goal over and over again, so that when the time to eat that specific meal (e.g. breakfast) comes, you automatically stop everything and get 100 percent involved in the process of mindful eating. 

If you think you are not ready to be mindful of a meal, start small. Start with a cup of coffee like I did, or perhaps a snack. 

Step 4: Be Mindful of the Whole Process, Not Just Eating Your Meals 

If you cook your food, it will be easy to be mindful of more than just eating. If you don’t cook, then be present in the kitchen while your meal is prepared. 

Hey, if you cannot do this step, that’s fine too!

Now, start by focusing on your breathing for a few minutes and get focused in the present moment. 

Still your mind, and avoid reacting to any distracting thoughts. Also, try to divert all calls to voicemail or leave your phone in another room. 

After a few minutes, shift your attention to your body. Start to focus on your senses. What do you experience when you see or touch each raw ingredient?

Let’s say you are going to eat eggs for breakfast. 

Look at all the ingredients and stop for a moment to ask yourself this question:

How did this food arrive in my kitchen? 

For example, imagine a farm where the hens lay the eggs. 

Think of the farmer collecting these eggs and delivering them to the supermarket. 

Send love to the hens that laid these eggs for you.

Send love to the supermarket chain/grocery store you bought your eggs from. 

Mentally thank the hens and the farmer. 

This practice may seem odd at first, but just go through the process. 

Over time, you will start to feel wholesome emotions like gratefulness, unconditional love, and compassion. 

All this can be a humbling experience. 

Naturally, there will be more ingredients like dairy products or bread. 

You can start by visualizing the supply chain for just one ingredient, then once you get good at it, include other food items.

The whole idea is to be grateful that you have access to these ingredients in times when there is a starvation epidemic in parts of the world. 

Billions of people are food insecure. They don’t know where their next meal is going to come from. 🙁

The visualization process I described takes no more than five minutes. 

Next, if possible, feel the food in your hand. 

If you cook your food, this process is easy. 

While washing vegetables, look at and connect with them more deeply. 

Notice changes in bodily sensations as you do this. 

Vegetables are the most nutritious food on the planet, and you can visualize how eating them will nourish your body and make you super healthy. 

Again you can connect more deeply with the soil, water, and the farmer who grew the vegetables for you. 

Once you start to cook the food, soak in the aroma of the coconut oil or ghee that you use for cooking. 

You can even start to briefly munch on a few raw vegetables like carrots or cucumbers while making your food. 

Eating salads before a meal is good because it curbs your appetite as the fiber in them draws water into your stomach and takes up space. 

Sense the digestive juices in your stomach, which is 100 percent ready to digest the food you are about to give it. 

If you do this correctly, you will realize there is increased saliva in your mouth. You see, digestion starts in the mouth itself. 

You can also play soothing music if you like. 

If you are planning on cooking dinner, some candles or incense can set the mood and allow for an even richer experience. 

This practice is also fantastic for the entire family, and everyone can pitch in.

Now it’s time to eat the delicious meal you have cooked for yourself!

Step 5: Start by Eating Mindfully  

Portion control is very important when you are trying to lose weight. 

A medium-size plate is good for this purpose, and the first serving should always be limited. 

No one will stop you from taking a second serving, so be mindful and fill your plate with a reasonable amount of food the first time. 

Fill most of your plate with salads or cooked vegetables followed by a protein source like dal or chicken. 

The lowest priority should be given to carbohydrates, which may include roti, tortillas, rice, bread, etc. 

Ask your family members to keep their phones aside. No TV or Netflix either. 

Just focus on the aroma of the food, incense, nice music, and if it’s dinner, maybe a small glass of red wine. 

The presentation of the food can also help tremendously. 

Try to add garnish and make meals look beautiful; research has shown it increases digestive juices, leading to better digestion. 

Now, it’s time to take the first bite. 

Slowly start chewing and keep the fork down while you chew. 

Once you are mindful, you will immediately notice the urge to swallow the food in your mouth quickly and take the next bite. If you give in to that urge, the meal is over before you know it. 

So this time, once you take a bite, put the fork down and cherish the flavors, the taste. 

Chew your food nicely and only pick up your fork and take the next bite after you finish the food in your mouth. 

You may be the last one to get up from the table if you follow this approach, but don’t worry, it will become a habit. You will realize a sea-change difference in how you feel after eating a meal mindfully, not to mention the complete satisfaction. 

Research has shown that it takes 15–20 minutes for the gut to signal the brain to stop eating because you are full.

But many of us finish our meal in 10 minutes or less. 

And then we realize we hardly noticed eating anything and fill up our plate with more food. This ultimately leads to overeating, which by the way is one of the leading causes of obesity. 

Step 6: Answer these 5 Important Questions about Eating

Let me make this point super-interesting for you, and let’s start with a few questions I designed for you. 

Q 1. How do you rate the following meals on a scale of 1—5, where 

1= not tasty and  5= super tasty.

Unhealthy Meals

-Pizza

-Burger with cola and fries

-Ice cream

Healthy Meals

-Grilled chicken breast with veggies and mashed potatoes 

-Lentils (dal), cooked vegetables and brown rice

-Eggs 

-Oatmeal 

If 40 – 50 percent of the calories you consume are coming from junk food, you will probably rank junk food high (4 or 5). 

Now answer the following question once you are more mindful of your eating! Only then will it make sense to you (although you can answer them now if you like). 

Q 2. On what scale would you agree that the taste of your favorite food is fantastic for the first few bites and starts to diminish after you have eaten about 25 percent of it?

1= The last bite is as tasty as the first bite, don’t agree

5= Agree

The following questions will be applicable after one hour of eating a given meal. 

Q 3. How do you feel ~30 minutes after eating your favorite unhealthy junk/fast food, like pizza or burgers?

1= Sluggish, sleepy with little or no energy 

5= Awesome! My body can digest anything. 🙂

Q 4. How do you feel after eating a healthy meal like oatmeal, an omelet or Indian thali?

1= Sluggish, sleep with no energy 

5 = I feel good, full of energy 

Note: Overeating even a healthy meal can make you feel sleepy, as most of your blood is directed towards your stomach to take care of the extra food you have eaten. 

But let’s just assume you ate up to 100 percent of your capacity, although you will agree that when it comes to junk/fast food we tend to eat more than our capacity (plus there are a lot of hidden calories in processed foods that we are not aware of).

And the last question: 

Q 5. Which of the following is more important to you?

Junk food is more important. I am ok if I feel sluggish or moody with little or no energy after my meals. I just cannot give away my junk food. 

Feeling good is more important. I want to be full of energy throughout the day. 

Most of you will be somewhere in between, but when you think about these questions mindfully, especially after being mindful for many weeks, you may realize a few things like I did.

-Junk/fast foods are, after all, not that tasty. Just the first few bites are addictive, and that is what we crave. 

-This insight will allow you to reduce the quantity of junk/fast food you eat significantly. 

-If you start to maintain a food diary, you will realize how most times, eating junk/fast foods does not make you feel good. Instead, they require a lot of energy to digest and absorb. 

-Over time, when you reduce the quantity of junk food you eat (I am not saying eliminate it) and increase the quantity of healthy foods, your taste buds will change biologically. 

-You will also be less likely to eat unhealthy food, and your addiction to it will decrease drastically. 

-Lastly, as you start to consistently eat at least 90 percent of your calories from unprocessed, nutritious foods, you will not only look your best but also have a lot of energy throughout the day!

Looking good and feeling great most of the time is also an addictive feeling, something healthy people don’t like to give up. 🙂

I don’t crave pizzas, burgers, or ice cream anymore. 

I am not lying. Pinky swear! 

Sure, if I am hungry and if my friends and family order French fries, etc., I do take a bite or two, but I don’t have the urge to keep eating.

As your natural taste buds emerge and the addiction to junk/fast foods goes down, healthy food will start to taste really good. 

Apples tastes like sugar to me, because my overall sugar intake is much, much less.

And by being a bit creative, you can make healthy food even tastier. 

Conclusion and My Recommendation

Here are the things that can happen when you start to eat most of your meals mindfully:

-Your digestion will significantly improve, because immersing yourself in the complete process of preparing your meals increases the secretion of digestive juices. 

-With mindful eating, you tend to chew your food more. The saliva in your mouth will partially aid in digestion of the food before it enters your stomach. 

-Overall, you will be more mindful of your portion sizes. Also, you will probably stop eating when you are 70–80 percent full. This will accelerate fat loss, as eating a calorie‐deficit diet is one of the most important factors when it comes to losing weight. 

-You will be more satisfied with less food, and emotional eating will be a thing of the past.

-Lastly, with mindful eating, no negative thoughts or emotions will challenge your digestive process. No violence on TV stirring up the cortisol hormone, no anxiety or worry. 

I am not asking you to quit eating your favorite unhealthy foods entirely. You can eat them, but when you start to eat mindfully, you will be able to reduce the quantity drastically and, at the same time, begin to cherish the healthy stuff much, much more. 

With so many benefits, I strongly urge you to be more mindful of your eating. 

What do you think about this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Is Ghee Good For Health?

Ghee has been a staple of Indian households for centuries.

It’s also been an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine and even has a holy significance in its use as a ‘samagri’ to worship Hindu gods.

Ghee is a byproduct of milk. The milk can come from either buffaloes or cows. 

India is the largest producer of cow and buffalo milk in the world. The market size of ghee in India was 10,000 crores (USD 1.5 billion) as of 2016.((<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghee>))

Indians (especially Northern Indians) love ghee. 

However, in the past few decades, the popularity of ghee has suffered because ~70% of its calories come from saturated fat.

Because of this, people started to replace ghee with so-called healthier alternatives, like vegetable oils (sunflower, saffola, etc.). 

In this article, we’ll discuss the following: 

  1. How is Ghee Made?
  2. Is Ghee Good for Health?
  3. How Much Ghee Should You Consume Daily?
  4. Conclusion and My Recommendation 

How Is Ghee Made?

Ghee is clarified butter, and as I mentioned, is a byproduct of milk. It has a nutty flavor and has many health benefits that I will discuss below. 

But first, let’s understand how to make ghee at home.

Start by saving the cream (malai) that floats on top of the milk in a big container. The malai I am referring to is white makhaan, commonly known as butter in developed nations. 

Be sure to store this container of butter in the fridge at all times. Note that you can only store it in the refrigerator for a few days, so if you prefer to make a large quantity of ghee at once, it’s better to freeze the butter. This way, you can store it for about a month!

Once you have collected enough butter, take it out of the fridge for a few hours on the day you decide to make ghee. 

Empty the contents into a pot, and bring it to a boil on the stove. 

After some time, the butter will start to go to the bottom, and a golden liquid will begin to float on the top. This liquid is ghee. 

Keep the heat on until all the butter settles at the bottom and the ghee is floating on the top. 

Strain the ghee and store it in a container for use.

You can refrigerate ghee, but it isn’t necessary. Ghee is liquid at room temperature; however, it can turn solid when refrigerated. 


Shelf-Life of Ghee

There may be some milk solids left in ghee when you make it at home, so the shelf life of homemade ghee will be shorter than store-bought ghee. Homemade ghee should last for about a month. 

To ensure that your homemade ghee lasts at least a month or so, make sure you store it in a glass container with a tight light. Keep it in a dry place away from sunlight. 

The presence of milk solids in homemade ghee will start to ferment it, and it will probably start to smell bad after a few weeks. 

Store-bought ghee is made using a more sophisticated process that ensures no milk solids are present, so it usually has a shelf life of up to a year!

Any ghee (whether homemade or store-bought) can be healthy provided the source of the milk is grass-fed/pasture-raised cows!

In India, ghee from grass-fed cows is known as pure ghee or desi ghee. It may be referred to as grass-fed ghee or Ayurvedic ghee in the Western countries. 

Desi ghee or Ayurvedic ghee is sourced from grass-fed cows that are pasture-raised for the entire year. Its nutrition profile is superior to the ghee you find in the retail store. 

Is Ghee Good For You? | Ghee Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

In this section, I will discuss the nutrition profile and health benefits of desi ghee or grass-fed ghee. 

1 Tablespoon (15g) of ghee contains 135 calories.

It also has all the fat-soluble vitamins—A, D, E & K. 

Fats: total Fats: 15g; saturated fat: 10g; monounsaturated fat: 4g; polyunsaturated fat: 1g; trans fat: 0g

Carbohydrates: 0g. 

Protein: 0g.

Since ghee contains healthy fats, it helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, which require fat as a medium in order to be absorbed.

Ghee contains CLA.

Ghee that comes from pasture-raised cow’s milk contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). 

When compared with commercial ghee (which comes from grain-fed cows), ghee from grass-fed cows contains 3 – 5 times more CLA.((<https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejlt.201400469>)) ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5980250/>))

Though studies are inconclusive, some research suggests CLA has immense health benefits like anti-carcinogenic properties, and it can help you cut body fat, build stronger bones, and fight chronic inflammation. 

Ghee is viable for people who are lactose intolerant.

Since there are little or no milk solids in it, milk sugar (lactose) is virtually nonexistent in ghee, making it suitable for people with lactose intolerance. 

Ghee is ideal for cooking (including deep frying).

Besides coconut oil, I recommended ghee for cooking. Ghee has a smoke point of 485 degrees F (250 degrees C), which is far above the smoke points of most vegetable oils. 

The high smoke point ensures that ghee does not turn rancid when subjected to high temperatures. 

When oil turns rancid, it forms free radicals (highly reactive species that cause cell damage) and also produces a toxic compound called acrylamide.((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27374529>))

Acrylamide is categorized as an extremely hazardous substance.((<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylamide>))

Another way people ingest this harmful chemical is via smoking. 

Ghee has many health benefits and is considered sacred in Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is an ancient medical system of India spanning over 5000 years!

In Ayurveda, ghee is an integral part of Hindu religious ceremonies.

Ghee also provides nourishment, aids in digestion, and can be used as a moisturizer or massage oil. 

Ghee is considered a sattvic food with healing properties. 

Ghee can part of a weight loss or weight gain diet.

The most important thing when it comes to weight loss/weight gain is the total number of calories you eat in a day. 

If you want to gain weight, it’s best to eat the same or slightly more calories as your TDEE (assuming your body fat percentage is less than 15% for men and less than 25% for women). 

If your body fat percentage is more than the ranges above, it’s best to lower your body fat before trying to gain muscle. 

Now, if you have been following my work, you know that I recommend a generous intake of healthy fats. Overall, it’s best to consume at least 20% (up to 40% or even 50%) of your total calories from healthy fats!

For example, if your daily caloric intake is 1800 calories, you should consume at least 360 calories from healthy fats (20% of 1800 is 360). This equates to 40g of fats (360/9 as 1g of fat has 9 calories).

Conclusion and My Recommendation 

Ghee has been used for thousands of years and has been a staple cooking oil in Indian households. 

Ayurveda considers ghee sacred with healing properties. 

Western medical science is not even a century old, and its ideas related to various topics change every few decades!

For a while, Western medical science blamed saturated fat for many diseases; however, in the past decade, new evidence has emerged that proves otherwise. 

From my experience, I strongly recommend you find a source of ghee from happy, pasture-raised cows! Once you do, start using ghee as your cooking oil. The flavor you’ll get is fabulous. 

Just keep in mind that ghee is pure fat. And if you do not burn it off, it will be stored as body fat.

If you consume 1800 – 2500 calories, I recommend you include 15 – 20g of ghee in your daily diet.

If you are on a ketogenic diet (or a variation of a low-carb diet), you can increase your ghee serving size by 1.5 or even double it.

What do you think about ghee? Do you use it as cooking oil? 

Have any questions or comments? Let me know below!

Top 10 Superfoods: Top Ten Best Foods for You

Here are Top ten best superfoods that I include in my diet everyday are (with scientific references):

Note:I will not list any exotic superfoods that are expensive and hard to procure. 

GHEE

Ghee is formulated when you heat butter and remove milk solids and water.

It has a high heating point which makes ghee very stable at high temperatures. Ghee has been the mainstay in my household for generations.

Few hundred calories from ghee are something we eat without blinking an eye…haha…

Ghee and other sources of saturated fat have been unfairly demonized in the past few decades in favour of processed vegetable oils. 

Let me make it clear.

I consider myself as an educator and not an enforcer.

I strongly believe in what I say and present. I feel fat sources such as whole eggs, grass-fed whole milk, coconut oil and ghee are awesome and very important for one’s health, and I do provide relevant studies to support my claim.

I belong to Northern part of India where ghee and other sources of saturated fats are literally consumed in kilos and is actually considered very scared.

In fact, you go to any temple, any aarti or pooja done for God ghee is the mainstay ingredient in the whole process

I strongly urge you to go through the studies I have linked up, do your own research and make your own decisions. 

With that thought, let’s understand, the key nutrients in Ghee:

CLA–conjugated linoleic acid

A fatty acid associated with a long list of health benefits. Some studies have found that CLA may be effective in reducing body fat, preventing cancer formation, alleviating inflammation and even lowering blood pressure.[1][2]

[1]Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans.

[2]Role of the conjugated linoleic acid in the prevention of cancer.

Butyric acid short chain triglycerides are important for gut health and reduce inflammation and are also abundantly found in ghee. [3] [4]

[3]Butyrate and Mucosal Inflammation: New Scientific Evidence Supports Clinical Observation[4]The Microbiome and Butyrate Regulate Energy Metabolism and Autophagy in the Mammalian Colon

The best way to include is to start using it as a cooking oil. (and by throwing away all the highly refined vegetables oils, yes olive oil too)

WHOLE EGGS

I still remember the times, more than 10 years back when I used to eat just egg white…and throw away the yolk…what a waste!

So unfortunate that the most nutritious part is still demonized. Due to the cholesterol issue.

Egg yolk does raise cholesterol but good cholesterol, HDL not LDL.

I have linked up an article about eating eggs, how many you can eat in a day and the science behind cholesterol and eggs. 

Here we will only focus on the nutrition and benefits of this amazing food that I have been eating almost every day for breakfast for decades now.

A whole egg is loaded with vitamin A, folate, vitamin b2, b12, phosphorus, selenium.

Eggs contains Choline.[1]

[1]Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Public Health

Choline is used to build cell membranes and has a role in producing signalling molecules in the brain, along with various other functions

Just like spinach and broccoli, whole eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants that have major eye health benefits.[2]


[2]Identification of lutein and zeaxanthin oxidation products in human and monkey retinas.

Eggs are also high in vitamin a which is important for eye health.

Eggs can also help in muscle building as one single whole egg has roughly 6g of complete protein (all 8 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot manufacture on its own),

Eggs have 5 grams of healthy fats that can keep anyone full for the longest period of time.

and trust me when I say this…the biggest win for you when your clients are trying to lose weight is when their blood sugar is stabilized…that means no cravings no hunger…enough protein and healthy fats can absolutely help with that….

make sure to check out the articles I have linked up…

Eggs can be eaten whenever, ideally start your morning with eggs…boiled, sunny side up, or omelette eat them however you like:)

RAW COWS MILK

There is a special reason why I use the word Raw.

Raw milk means unpasteurized and unhomogenized.

I have been drinking raw cows milk since I was a baby. My son who is 4 years old, now is being fed raw cows milk since he was 1 year.

My parents, their parents, and generations before them have thrived on raw cows milk and sometimes buffola milk, however, the latter is not widespread in other parts of the world, just India.

Like whole eggs, and other food sources of saturated fats, raw milk has been considered dangerous. which I believe is not true.

I have linked up an article, read it and see it for yourself..[1]

[1]The Truth about Raw Milk

let’s look at the nutrient profile of raw cows milk:

raw milk contains important minerals like:

-magnesium
-potassium
-calcium

It also has high-quality protein helps in building muscle.

It’s through milk that you can make products like yoghurt, kefir which are very high in probiotics, that helps optimize your gut bacteria.

Probiotics can be very helpful for colon cancer, IBS and other intestinal infections.

Raw cows milk contains fat-soluble vitamins a, d and k2. These vitamins support brain health and nervous system development.

Raw milk is also packed with CLA, butyric acid (which are also found in ghee/coconut oil)

again don’t take my word for it, do your own research…people drinking raw milk are thriving….don’t let conventional wisdom misguide you..

COCONUT OIL

There are over 1500 studies proving that coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

Just go to Home – PubMed – NCBIand type coconut oil and you will get the list of all studies.


So let’s discuss the nutrients in coconut oil that makes it one of the healthiest food on the planet. Most of the fats that we consume take longer to digest, we all know that.

But Medium Chain Triglycerides found in coconut oil provides the perfect source of energy because they only have to go through a 3 step process to be turned into fuel where other fats have to go through a 26 step process. 

The three medium chain triglyceride that coconut oil has are:

-Caprylic Acid
-Lauric Acid
-Capric Acid

50% of coconut oil is mainly lauric acid which is antimicrobial antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal and can kill pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.

This surely gives your immune system a solid boost, especially if you suffer from frequent colds and flu.

Coconut oil also promotes healthy brain function.

Researchers found that ketones work as an alternating energy source for malfunctioning brain cells which has been found to reduce symptoms in Alzheimer’s patients.

Coconut oil can also you to lose fat and reduce weight.

Healthy fats help you to keep full for a longer period of time. It helps you stabilize your blood sugar levels which further helps you minimize cravings.

Besides, studies I want to point out some anecdotal evidence that further strengthens the fact that coconut oil is indeed a super-duper food!

Several populations around the world have thrived for multiple generations around the world eating a large number of calories from coconut oil.

The best example of such population is the Tokelauans which live in the south pacific.

They used to eat over 60% of calories from coconuts. When studied they were found to be in excellent health with a low rate of heart disease.

Another example of a population that ate a large number of calories from coconut are the Kitavans.

There are many benefits of coconut oil and it has nothing to do with eating. You can apply coconut oil on your skin and hair.

You can even rinse your mouth with it every day for 5 minutes like I do. This can kill harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Coconut oil easily constitutes 200-300 of my daily calories for many years and I am in best of my health. (this is on days when I don’t consume ghee. So its either coconut oil or ghee, I usually alternative between these cooking oils)

WALNUTS

Walnuts are King of nuts.


Just one-quarter cups of walnuts provides 100% of daily recommended allowance of plant-based omega-3 [ALA], copper, manganese, molybdenum, biotin, Vitamin E, and folate.

Studies on the health effects of eating walnuts are very promising.

Eating just 4 walnuts a day has been shown to significantly increase the blood level of heart- healthy ALA.

Another research shows that just one ounce [28g] walnuts a day may decrease cardiovascular risk.

Walnuts contain the amino acid L-arginine which offers multiple vascular benefits to people with heart disease or those who have increased the risk of heart disease due to multiple cardiac risk factors.

Another study on mice, the human equivalent of just 2 handful walnuts a day can cut breast cancer risk in half and slowed tumour growth by 50% as well.

Walnuts contain nutrients like folate, Vitamin E and ALA and can support brain health, reduce oxidative stress and overall reduce cardiovascular risk.

The best way to add walnuts to your diet is to eat them as a snack. If you also eat oats in the morning, you can sprinkle few walnuts in it.

TURMERIC

Turmeric contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidant curcumin which is often called the “Indian Solid Gold”

According to Bharat B. Aggarwal Young-Joon Surh, S. Shishodia authors of The Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Curcumin in Health and Disease,

“Curcumin has shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic illnesses.”

A study also shows that a bioactive compound in turmeric called aromatic-turmerone can increase neural stem cell growth in the brain by as much as 80 percent at certain concentrations.

How to add turmeric to your diet: -Smoothie
-Milk: Golden Milk
-Curry

SPINACH

Spinach is very similar to broccoli in terms of its nutrients and health benefits.

Like broccoli, its has vitamin a, c, k1….iron, calcium, fibre and folic acid.

Spinach is loaded with anti-oxidants which help reduce oxidative stress due to free radicals.

Free radicals are byproducts of metabolism.

They can cause oxidative stress, which triggers accelerated ageing.

This also increases the risk of cancer and diabetes.[1]

[1]Spinach and tomato consumption increases lymphocyte DNA resistance to oxidative stress but this is not related to cell carotenoid concentrations.

Spinach contains high amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein, which are the carotenoids responsible for colour in some vegetables.[2][3]


[2]Prospective study of fruit and vegetable intake and risk of prostate cancer.[3]Intake of carrots, spinach, and supplements containing vitamin A in relation to risk of breast cancer.

Several human studies link spinach consumption to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Eating this leafy green may also help prevent breast cancer

and just like broccoli, have it with your eggs and chicken and always do add few spinach leaves when eating your salad…

BROCCOLI

Broccoli is a mainstay green vegetable in my diet almost every single day.

Look at all the real-life pictures of the meals that I keep clicking….broccoli is present every time. 

I sautéed it in coconut oil, and sometimes I boil it.

90% of the time I have it with eggs…and request the restaurant where I have ordered chicken, to include broccoli as part of the vegetable.

Let’s talk about the nutrients that make this vegetable a superfood.

Broccoli is loaded with Vitamin c, k, iron and fibre.

Broccoli contains several unique anti-oxidants and compounds that can aid in clearing excessive oestrogen (which encourages higher testosterone levels and increases muscle growth) and toxins from the body not limited to fighting cancer.

Broccoli has a compound called Sulforaphane. which helps fight cancer.[1][2]

[1]Glucosinolates and isothiocyanates in health and disease.

[2]Novel concepts of broccoli sulforaphanes and disease: induction of phase II antioxidant and detoxification enzymes by enhanced-glucoraphanin broccoli. – PubMed – NCBI

Broccoli also helps in reducing blood pressure

Broccoli contains beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body which if you can recall from your diploma in nutrition course can help improve eye health.

The best way to include broccoli is to eat it with your breakfast.

get it done within the morning, your willpower is highest in the morning and if you can eat a big bowl of green salad with your breakfast, then you are under no pressure in other meals to eat these superfoods…

LENTILS 

Lentils are the best source of proteins for vegetarians and vegans.

One large bowl gives close to 17g of high-quality protein.


lentils are commonly known as daal in India has been around for thousands of years.

Some of the most common variations include black, green and red variety.

They lower the risk for cardiovascular disease. Lentils contain fibre and folate.

Studies suggest that eating high-fibre foods helps decrease the risk for heart disease, while magnesium helps regulate blood circulation.[1]

[1] 7 Health Benefits of Lentils

Lentils also slow the rate of digestion and sugar absorption. The high fibre content of lentils helps slow down the rate of digestion. This leads to the slower absorption of glucose, helping regulate blood sugar levels.

Lentils may help in the prevention of birth defects in pregnant women. Lentils contain high amounts of folate, a mineral necessary for preventing neural tube defects in unborn babies. Insufficient folate intake often causes spinal cord defects and may even lead to brain development problems.[2]

[2] https://www.babycenter.com/0_folic-acid-why-you-need-it-before-and-during-pregnancy_476.bc 

Aids in weight loss.

Lentils are low in calories, filling and nutrient-dense.

This means that one serving of lentils usually prolongs the period before hunger sets in again, limiting or decreasing the calories that you take in throughout the day.[3]

[3]Lentils: Health benefits and nutritional information

AND LASTLY,

KIDNEY BEANS 

Vegans and vegetarian, kidney beans is one of the best source of proteins for you.

In India, we call kidney beans rajma, and a combination of rice and rajma is one of the most common street dish available in India and its super tasty too!

Not only kidney beans are cheap but are also loaded with high-quality proteins, complex carbs and very less fat…you’ll be like finally, Akash is discussing something with less fat…haha…

let’s talk more detail…

Kidney beans are loaded with nutrients such as

Fibre, folate, iron, manganese, copper, phosphorus…

Due to its fibre content, kidney beans can lower insulin and fasting blood sugar levels, controls blood sugar

This also aids in weight loss

Kidney beans lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and decrease inflammation.[1]


[1]Non-Soy Legume Consumption Lowers Cholesterol Levels: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

The best way to include them in your diet is by learning new recipes…and another tip is this one is to eat them out of cans…just select a brand which has the lowest sodium levels.

Majority of you are not great cooks and have little time.

When you choose pre-cooked kidney beans in cans, you are opting for something which can be prepared in less than 10 minutes…to further reduce the sodium content…just drain the liquid it comes with. 

What are the best healthful lifestyle hacks?

Hey,

Your mind plays a HUGE role in dictating your overall health.

Not many people here and anywhere else mentions how strong the mind body connection is.

I was watching Dr Lisa Rankin’s Videoon TedX where she talks about the ‘Nocebo Effect’

Nocebo effect is when there is no ailment or disease in the body but a person thinks there is something wrong and therefore it affects the body.

According to Dr Rankin nocebo effect is infact the placebo effect’s evil twin!

There has been so many instances as narrated by Dr Rankin in her TEDX talk where she gives many examples of the nocebo affect—like medical hexing where the three girls being born on Friday the thirteen were medically hexed by a nurse (to know the whole story see the video), very sad!

Further, 3500+ case studies are documented in the medical literature in the Spontaneous Remission Project, compiled by the Institute of Noetic Sciences on nocebo affect.

So if you think just because you are working out and eating a good diet does not mean you are healthy.

A holistic approach is the key which not only requires a healthy lifestyle by a healthy mind too:)

What one dish could you eat everyday?

IMG_2370

This is a 4 whole egg omelette made by ME:) and I eat it at least 5 times a week for the past 10 years now.

Its ingredients are:

2 Tbs Spoon Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

250grams sautéed veggies

10gm cheddar

1 Medium Avacado

250ml raw Yogurt (optional)

I sometimes add a slice or two of whole wheat bread, especially on my workout days.

This results in approximately 1000 calories and its almost 50% of my calorie intake.

The ingredients are easily available plus it only takes me about 20 min to prepare and cook.

Eggs are one of the healthiest food on the planet.

Are you worried about the cholesterol? Don’t be. Dietary cholesterol plays a very minor role in increasing your total cholesterol levels.

I highly recommend reading thisarticle to know everything you need to know about cholesterol.

Which fruit is most healthy?

Coconut is mostly saturated fatty acid( mainly lauric acid) which is antimicrobial antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal and can kill pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.

In the past few years, I have managed to increase my consumption from coconut oil (cold pressed) to about few hundred calories. Honestly, I didn’t like the taste, but its wonderful properties I have come to like it, and now I absolutely love it!

Blueberries:Has the highest antioxidant capacities amongst all fruits! Its very low in sugar, high in fibre. I usually add them in my smoothies. Raspberries, strawberries are all part of this same family!

What are some little things I can change in my lifestyle to lead a healthier life?

Get a standing desk!

chronic sitting pic 3

Chronic sitting is a real threatand has the same mortality rate as smoking according to this study.

According to Tom Rath best selling author of ‘Eat Move Sleep’ which as sold more than six million copies:

Sitting for more than six hours greatly increases your risk of an early death. No matter how much you exercise, eat well, avoid smoking, excessive sitting will cause problems.

As soon as you sit down, electrical activity in your leg muscle shuts off! Enzyme production, which helps break down body fat, drops by 90 percent.

After two hours of sitting, your good cholesterol drops by 20%.

Further more, there are positive associations between cancer risk and sedentary behaviour.

More and more companies have started to adopt the sit-stand lifestyle, by including standing desk in their offices.

Its also a great idea to buy a fitness band and aim to clock in more than 5,000 steps (less than this number is considered sedentary) and ideally more than 10,000 per day.

We all know that standing burn more calories than sitting, combine this with deep breathing for about 15 min a day ( in total) and you are looking at burning at few hundred calories without even going to the gym.

It will further save you from lower back pain as well.

IS THIS THE FUTURE OF WORK PLACE?

chronic sitting pic 4
standing meetings
future of standing workplace

What is the healthiest way to bulk?

Hey,

Eating wayy… above your maintenance calories will always add more fat than muscle!

Every time!

I have suffered a lot due to that.

The word ‘bulk’ seems so bulky to me, that it automatically means to ‘eat a lot’!

Well, do you know this: “You are not what you eat, but what you assimilate and digest”?

Are you sure the 200grams of protein that you are eating is contributing to adding slabs of muscle mass to your frame?

Or maybe, your body only needs 120 grams for growth and the rest is converted into fat.

Or maybe, your digestion is impaired, and your body is not able to digest the protein properly and this is putting an extra stress on your kidneys to filter all the nitrogen waste?

The supplement industry has brainwashed into thinking that more protein equates more muscle!

Have pre workout proteins, have post workout proteins, take BCAA’s, oh and don’t forget your glutamine!

They have scared us the sh$t out us.

So many of us fear losing muscle, that we have our protein drinks right beside where we workout, so that the moment we are done with our last rep, we need to gulp down that acid processed whey isolates which are probably made from grain fed cows.

Timing may be an important factor for professional athletes, as they want to use every advantage to beat their competition.

But for people like you and me, if we just take care of our overall protein intake (where you don’t need more than 1.6g/kg of BW) and eat that amount in 1, 2 or 3 meals or when ever we feel hungry and not when others want us to!

The other thing to take care when trying to ‘bulk’ or should I say gain muscle is to eat at least 25% of calories from healthy fats.

Fats are super healthy for you when you are trying to gain weight. These fats play a very important role in our physiology and they also keep you full for a longer period of time.

Eating carbs is not a problem at all.

You can eat upto, 40–50% of calories from it if you want to, or you can cut down to about 20%.

It all depends what your body is genetically pre-disposed to.

I know I do well when I eat no more than 300 grams even when I am on a lean bulk.

Just make sure that your carb sources are complex in nature like brown rice, potatoes, quinoa, etc and not refined. Fruits are ok, as the simple sugars in them are released slowly due to the added fibre in them.

Last part of the equation are your veggies.

You need micro-nutrients.

Muscle building is a very complex process which requires vitamins and trace minerals to complete.

And if you don’t have your veggies especially the green ones like broccoli, spinach, it hinders the muscle building process. I would recommend you to eat at least 1 lbs+/day of raw salads everyday.

On the exercise front, you really need to work hard to stimulate your muscle.

Most people don’t have the drive, intensity to push heavy weights. Sure, one can do ego lifting on a leg press machine, by using up all the plates in the gym, but when it comes to doing barbells squats, deadlifts, standing military press or even weighed pull-ups most people shy away!

So this my friend is the ‘healthiest’ way to bulk.

I have gained 40 lbs or so. But it has taken me a long time, due to the mistakes I made but now, I have corrected them, and most of my gains have only come in the last few years and I ain’t stopping before I gain another 20!

I applaud you for this reading this, as educating and empowering oneself is the first step in achieving anything in life.

All the best!

What is the easiest way to eat healthy in the long run?

Hey,

Opt for 80/20 rule when planning your diet: Junk food, fast food, chocolates, ice-creams, sodas, energy drinks—there weren’t many distractions a few decades back!

Eating clean has become really difficult. I always say this—its not what you eat, it’s what comes in the way!

To combat this issue, I follow the 80/20 rule when eating. What this means is that 80 percent of the time, I will eat super-healthy—only whole foods like pasture raised eggs, whole cows milk, brown rice, beans, lentils, chicken breast, veggies fruits etc—basically food items that don’t have an ingredient list!

And 20 percent of the time I allow myself to eat to satisfy my cravings. Whey proteins, Quest Bars (Double Chocolate Chip Dough, Blueberry), red wine, pizzas, white bread—basically food items that have an ingredient list. (However, do note that I try and focus on selecting the best products—which probably has healthy ingredients and very less artificial stuff.

I tried eating clean 100 percent of the time for a short period of time, but unfortunately, I gave in and that resulted in a massive binge for few days!

After which I decided to stick to 80/20 (sometimes 90/10 when I am cutting) and I strongly feel its the easiest and the most effective strategy to eat healthy in long run.

How do I increase the production of human growth hormone in my body naturally?

You want to read this answer if you want to know the best ways to increase Human Growth Hormone in your body.

This answer is divided into 3 parts

  • What is HGH? And why should you care?
  • 3 best Ways to release Human Growth Hormone Naturally
  • 5 Additional Tips

PART-1

WHAT IS Human Growth Hormone and why should you care?

HGH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland that helps in growth, cell reproduction and cell regeneration and its essential to slow down aging.

Illegal use of growth hormone has been used in industrial agriculture on livestock to help them grow faster and for increased milk production.

They are also banned in professional sports.

However, many bodybuilders and muscle athletes do inject it to slow down aging process and build muscles.

I strongly advise against injecting hGH as it has many side effects.

hGH is essential for children to help them grow, and peaks around the age of 19–20. After which the decline starts.

Once you turn 30, you enter into a phase called somatopause where hGH starts to rapidly decline.

This results in following symptoms [1]:

-Hair Loss

-Weak Bones

-Fatigue

-Depression

-Decreased sexual function

-Increased sensitivity to cold and heat

-Loss of lean muscle

Why should you care?

HGH when enhanced Naturallycan literally make you young, strong, energetic besides giving you other health benefits:

  • Increased weight loss
  • Increase in muscle mass and tone
  • Strong bones
  • Hair regrowth
  • More energy and ability to concentrate better

PART-2

3 Best ways to boost your HGH Naturally:

  • Sleep undisturbed: The moment you are asleep HGH secretions increase and continue to do so in the first few hours of sleep. Research has shown its best to be asleep between 10pm to 2am however research is inconclusive on that.
  • Workout above anabolic threshold:According to a studypublished in Sports Medical Journal in 2003, an exercise intensity above lactate threshold and for a minimum of 10 minutes appears to elicit the greatest stimulus to the secretion of hGH.

nOTE: According to the same study, endurance training actually results in decreased resting hGH and a blunted EIGR [exercise-induced growth hormone response].

In simple, terms you want to focus on resistance training ideally using heavy weights and staying within the rep-range of 5–10 and combining this with HIIT either viz sprints or cardio machine.

  • Intermittent Fasting:This studyconcluded that women can boost their hGH by 1300 percent and men by 2000 percent when they fast for 24 hours.

I do recommend limiting your feeding window to about 7–8 hours only and then fast for the remaining 16 hours.

For example, I wake up by 5am and then fast until 11am at least. Sometimes I stretch up to 1pm. Then I have my first meal. My second meal is at 7pm and then I fast until 11am the next day.

You can read more about this pattern of eating here.

These mini-fasts can normalize your insulin levels, and have other benefits too. This is no fad, but this is way we have evolved.

Eating 5–6 smaller meals seems unnatural to me….

Because of working out with heavy weights, doing intermittent fasting, and other changes in my lifestyle, I have managed to slow down aging and get many compliments stating that I look younger now as compared to when I was in my 20s.

hGH no doubt is called the ‘Fountain of Youth’ and if you are above the age of 30, you should follow the suggestions I have listed above if you want to look young, strong.

You be the judge:

PART-3

5 Additional tips:

  • Workout out in a fasted state, especially first thing in the morning. You can burn lot of belly fat this way. And this way you get it done
  • Wait for 30–60 minutes before you eat anything. hGH production peaks after workout so it best to eat only after your body has given the chance to ultilize it effectively.
  • Include health fats in your diet. This helps boost your testosterone levels
  • Although I don’t recommend too many supplements, but some studies have shown that supplementing with l-glutamine, l-arginine can boost your hGH
  • Do a detox for 10–11 days. Normal detox can be dangerous so you need a proper structure when you embark on it. hGH stays long enough in the blood stream so that liver converts it into IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factors) and this can only happen when your liver is working in top condition.