Health , nutrition

Quick read; 3 Basic nutrition rules you break everyday.

1. Eat when hungry, not by the clock

Practically, we are wired to eat three times a day, as dictated which isn’t a bad thing at all.But if you think about it, that gives you around 6-7 between breakfast and lunch and another 9-10 hrs to break the fast. That doesn’t look so good. The body demands a lot of energy and nutrients for effective functioning in metabolism,growth and repair of tissues and keeping you strong for the daily activities. Following the three square eating schedule only deprives the body of the adequate nutrients it requires as the demand will eventually be higher than the supply.

Ever felt like your stomach is empty,its even started rumbling like its literally talking to you,you feel dizzy,slight headache or even difficulty in concentrating. You know you need to eat something but you can’t cause you’re waiting for the clock to hit 1pm cause that’s the universally accepted time to have lunch. This is the greatest injustice to do to yourself . Grab a sandwich and yoghurt or any other low calorie food and satisfy your hunger. Emphasis on low caloric cause then again,who wants to have to deal with being overweight. The ultimate catch therefore is choosing what you eat wisely.

It is also advisable that you eat regular small amounts of food rather than large portions less frequently. Large amounts of food tend to burden the digestive system resulting in bloating and lowered energy while the body tries to digest them.

‘Grazing was the way our body was designed to eat’ – Antony Haynes

2.Never skip breakfast.

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Its ironic that breakfast is the most important meal of the day yet the most ignored. I’m glad though that breakfast is the one meal I can’t bear to skip cause I wake up ready to literally eat anything. In case i do miss breakfast my day would be dull and so drained. I guess each body is unique though cause to someone else breakfast may not matter much. But here’s the thing, it should matter. Breakfast should be the ultimate source of energy and it should be loaded with lots of energy giving foods. Starting off without breakfast is like starting a car with no petrol.

Breakfast should also include food sources of calcium, iron,proteins, and vitamins. Include fruits and vegetables in your breakfast as they are a good source of minerals and fibre. Also a glass of milk or fresh juice would be really healthy. These nutrients are essential for the body and may not be compensated for during the day if they are not taken in the morning.

Eating in the morning also his several benefits such as stabilizing the blood sugar levels during the day,reducing risks of starving and cravings and also controlling your weight. You will find that you have  higher concentration in class or work and you will generally be more productive.

‘Take breakfast like a king, lunch like a Prince and supper like a servant.’

3.Always eat 3 hours before bed.

Whatever your bedtime is, whether 7 or 11pm, make sure you eat 3 hrs at least before you go to sleep at night.  Reasons?

  • Unhealthy weight gain. I’ll start by a simple clarification though. Many perceive this as a myth simply because it does not automatically lead to weight gain overnight. However, one gains weight when their caloric intake is more than their caloric expenditure during the day. So it is safe to say you will gain weight if the late night food you’re having leads to caloric excesses which has quite high chances of happening.
  • Indigestion. This is because the body digests food better in an upright position. Lying down may cause difficulty in digestion.
  • Discomfort.  You may have difficulty in sleeping,especially if you have gastrointestinal reflux disease.

Apart from these, it is easy for you to end up having very unhealthy foods as you won’t pay much attention to the quality of food you have. You tend to care less about what you eat cause you are usually in a hurry to satisfy your hunger and go to bed.

Also avoid beverages like coffee and alcoholic drinks before bed as they tend to alter sleep patterns.

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GIT disorders · Health · Nutrition

GIT Disorders and Nutrition

The Gastrointestinal tract (GIT) aka the alimentary canal or the gut, is the pathway through which food passes and gets digested, metabolised, absorbed, then wastes released. From this definition, it is with no doubt linked to nutrition. Your diet directly affects the GIT and disorders related to it. We look at some of these disorders and their nutritional implications. What most people don’t know is that most of these conditions can easily be managed by simple dietary adjustments and they don’t necessarily translate to surgery or other complicated procedures for treatment.

Some of the common ones include;

Flatulence

This is basically the accumulation of gas in the gut. Everyone has felt the need to release gas from their system, either through the mouth by belching or through the anus. I know it sounds like farting but with flatulence, the gas amount is usually small and with no smell. Farts have a bad smell due to the sulfur gases in it. Flatulence can easily be disqualified as a disorder as it mostly results from normal bodily processes, and is in fact considered healthy to pass out the gases. However, when it is increased and abnormally frequent, it may be stem from conditions affecting the digestive system such as diverticulitis and gall bladder problems. Foods like pulses- beans, lentils and cereals-rice,oats are known to cause or increase flatulence, but it is not such a serious condition and it often goes away on its own.

Heartburn

Heartburn is a condition caused by acid reflux, where some of the stomach contents are forced back up in the oesophagus, bringing about a burning sensation or rising pain in the lower chest. One may also feel a foul, acrid taste in the mouth. Seeing as it is majorly a result of stomach acid, one may have to limit triggers of this such as acidic foods- lemon, orange juice, tomatoes and overly spicy food. Full cream milk and gassy drinks-sodas,soft drinks should be avoided. Follow a healthy diet with limited fat intake is essential. Smoking and taking alcohol should be avoided like a plague. Other practices that may limit occurrence of a heartburn include sitting up straight while eating, eating small amount of food frequently, avoid lying down immediately after eating. Drug treatments include antacids and H2 blockers.

Nausea and Vomiting

Long periods of Nausea and vomiting has a severe implication on the nutritional status of a person as there is great loss of fluids and nutrients involved and nutrient intake and absorption is diminished. Nausea and vomiting can be as a result of a wide range of conditions, such as food poisoning, morning sickness, or a side effect of certain medication. It can however be reduced or prevented by these dietary modifications;

  • Avoid fatty and fried foods- the high amount of fats is likely to cause nausea
  • Try clear liquid diet such as apple juice, lemonade
  • Take more dry foods and snacks such as crackers, crisps, toast, rice-avoid foods with a lot of soup
  • Avoid taking liquids along with meals
  • Avoid highly sugary foods- take more salty to sour foods and snacks
  • Eat little amounts of varied foods more frequently rather than a heavy meal at once
  • Avoid large amounts of vitamin and mineral supplements as these may increase nausea and vomiting.

Hemorrhoids

These are swollen veins in the rectum and anus that cause bleeding and discomfort. It is brought about by enlargement of the veins around the anus, therefore occurrences such as pregnancy, aging, obesity, chronic diarrhea and constipation, anal intercourse may cause hemorrhoids. Symptoms to look for are painless bleeding, itching and irritation, pain and soreness in the anal region. Eating plenty of foods rich in fiber such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains, or OTC fiber supplements will reduce the risk of development, since stool is kept soft. Also, drinking plenty of fluids helps a big deal. Being overweight significantly increases the risk of hemorrhoids therefore maintaining a healthy body weight and proper physical activity is very essential. Other risk factors include anemia, which can result from chronic blood loss from hemorrhoids.

Pancreatitis 

Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, and it can be acute or chronic. It has a quite a number of causes- alcohol abuse, chemical exposures, trauma, gallstones, hight fat levels in blood, medication side effect or genetic predisposition. Symptoms to watch out for are abdominal pains, nausea, fever, dehydration, and rapid heartbeat for acute. Bleeding, liver problems,severe weight loss, nutritional deficiencies and inability to produce insulin, hence diabetes, for chronic pancreatitis. To manage this,

  • Stick to a low fat diet; no more than 20g a day
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Take plenty of fluids and clear liquids
  • One may take oral pancreatic enzymes in pill form- to help in digestion
  • For those it progressed to diabetes, take insulin.

*Surgical treatment may be used to remove gallstones.

 

Gastro-oesophagal reflux 

This is a condition in which the acidified liquid content of the stomach backs up into the oesophagus. The stomach acid or bile flows up into the food pipe and irritates the lining. This may be easily confused with heartburn, as the main symptom in both is the burning sensation or pain in the chest. However, heartburn is a bit milder than GER, but it may also be a symptom of it. If it occurs more than twice a week, it is diagnosed as GERD. It is most common in overweight/obesity or pregnancy due to increased pressure on the abdomen. It can be accelerated by medications for asthma, antidepressants or sedatives. Dietary modifications for prevention include;

  • Eating moderate amounts of food- avoid overeating
  • Avoid foods that trigger GERD such as spicy food, greasy food, coffee, chocolate
  • Avoid foods with tomato products
  • Practice eating 3 hours before sleeping- avoid lying down immediately after eating
  • Maintain a healthy weight- exercise regularly
  • Avoid smoking

Treatment options may include antacids, H2 blockers, prokinetics.

Dysphagia 

This refers to difficulty in swallowing, that is, it takes more effort than normal to move food from the mouth to the stomach. What would cause this condition? Mostly nerve or muscle problems. Also stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Cleft lip. Symptoms are chocking when eating, not the normal accidental one that happens to everyone but the regular recurrent one, coughing when swallowing, recurrent heartburn, regurgitation, drooling, inability to control saliva in the mouth. Dysphagia leads to creeping malnutrition and dehydration due to obstruction of food and fluid intake. Another common indicator therefore is unexplained weight loss. Dysphagia is a very dangerous condition as it is one of those silent conditions that can easily be brushed off and not considered for treatment. Most of the time the victim isn’t even aware of it till much later.  Giving the patients foods and liquids that are easier to swallow and a well balanced diet helps in recovery. If condition is worse, swallowing therapy and tube feeding come in handy. Surgical interventions may be recommended for esophageal dysphagia.

Melena

This refers to the dark black, tarry faeces that are associated with upper gastrointestinal bleeding. The black colour and characteristic strong odour are caused by haemoglobin in the blood being altered by digestive enzymes and intestinal bacteria. Black stools may be due to bleeding in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract while red or fresh blood in the stool is a sign of bleeding in the lower GI tract (rectum and anus). However foods with red colouring such as beetroots may make stools appear reddish, while those with  black such as blueberries, blackberries or iron pills/supplements can cause black stools. Other indicators include rectal pain, burning sensation, diarrhea, indigestion, poor appetite, nausea and vomiting. Avoid the foods mentioned above that cause it for prevention, and if the condition persists seek antibiotic treatment or acid reducing medication.

 

Health tip : To save yourself from all these complications, don’t forget to take water in plenty. It reduces the chances of occurrence of all these GIT conditions and enhances functioning of all the organs, plus a hundred other benefits.

 

 

Healthy living · Stress and nutrition

Stress Eating Vs Stress Starving( which is worse?)

Today we battle it out. Which is worse? Overfeeding while stressed, or starving.

Stress. Its just one of the most inescapable things in life. One of those things we earnestly wish would just vanish, or didn’t even exist at all. Some of us wake up to it every single day, or just some days for the lucky ones.Whatever the case, there is no single person who can confidently say they have never experienced it, mainly because its a state of mind, so as long as you have a mind, it is bound to be stressed at one point or another. Could be from school, work, relationships, money (or lack thereof). In fact, if its any consolation, Psychology says the most stressed people are most likely to be successful, or are geniuses in most cases because their minds are always at work, thinking.

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The mind is indeed a powerful tool because it has somehow managed to develop its own mechanisms to deal with stress, and not let it kill us. I’m not talking about the ideas we get from stress management books and counselling sessions, but our own unique messed up way of coping with stress. It fazes me how we, humans, somehow manage to get the courage to wake up every morning to continue fighting the same hurdles that left us worn out and for the dead the previous night; the financial insecurities, romantic rejections, education struggles, list is endless. That’s when you find yourself ordering three boxes of pizza when normally its a struggle to finish four slices. Or you realize its 6:00 pm and you haven’t eaten a thing since morning, and you have no desire to. If either happens to you know that you have hit unexplainable levels of stress, because the most dangerous kind of stress is where you don’t even realize you are suffering from it.

So, on to the real question. One who orders four large pizzas and the one who goes days without food, who’s better off?

Let’s weigh the cons and pros.

STRESS EATING (Overfeeding)

Cons

-Overweight/Out of shape/Fat

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If you’re stress eating, chances are you’ll go for the fast foods and junk. In other words ‘fattening foods’. The most famous example being Ice cream after a break up. It’ll be hard to find someone turning to cassavas or beans for comfort in such a situation. I think its nature’s undoing though, that the most pleasurable foods are never the healthy ones. So you’ll stuff yourself up with all the pizza,chocolate, creampuffs and fries you can get. And we all know the result of this. You’ll. Get. Too. Fat. Obese even ( its quite ironical however, more of disappointing, to learn that obesity is one of the main side-effects of anti-depressants). This will only make your situation worse because your self esteem might be affected in the process.  Still on the break up example, we all always want to look our best after a breakup, either to get a new boo or just for your own self, and bumping into your ex at a store when you’re completely out of shape, looking your worst isn’t exactly the best for your ego.

-Risk of diseases

As mentioned, stress eating is mainly geared towards the unhealthy foods. These are mostly foods high in fats, sugar, calories and cholesterol which have a fair share in causing nutrition related and cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and even cancer. Excessive and prolonged intake of this only increases the risk of occurrence of the conditions. Other problems may also arise, eg if you’re a sweettooth, the sugary foods will be the end of your teeth. Stress eating may be a temporary way of easing your stress but in reality, you’re only causing more and more complications for your body.

-Overspending 

Stress eating comes with uncontrollable spending. Of course, buying all these foods will cost you a dime. You might end up spending 3 times more than your usual during this stress period. The pinch will be felt later when you snap out of it and realize you’ve used up all your savings and you’re bankrupt and broke as hell. Then  boom! The onset of a new stress factor to pile up on the already existing ones. And if the actual reason for the stress was lack of money in the first place,consider that a tragedy. Bad to worse situation right there.

-Old habits die hard

Before you point a finger at your ever-drinking uncle or friend and wonder why they can’t just decide and stop, think of that habit you’ve always wanted to put an end to but you just can’t. From petty ones like chewing the top of your pen or your fingernails to more complex ones like having a cocaine addiction. You can’t just stop because you get a certain pleasure from these things.  Its just the same with overfeeding. In fact, research shows that the dopamine receptor levels for obesity and cocaine or alcohol are at per. Dopamine is the hormone released when experiencing pleasure. You might think its only happening during the stress period but it’ll be harder to stop than it seems. From biological reasoning, the appetite control mechanism, your body will have already adapted to the large amount of food it receives and will therefore demand for that. Training it otherwise might take a lot more effort than it seems. Also, psychologically, you’ll be in the habit of eating these kinds of foods so much it might be hard to reset. You’re therefore in danger of giving in to  the demands of your body and getting stuck to an unhealthy feeding pattern.

Pros

  • If you are underweight and normally have trouble eating, it might help boost your weight hence BMI.
  • If you were lacking enough sugar, fats and other related nutrients in your body, this may help boost them to required levels.

STRESS STARVING

cons

-Health complications/risk of diseases

Inadequate or lack of feeding comes with a lot of risks. The major and perhaps most common one (especially for girls) being anemia. Other conditions are scurvy (from lack of vitamin C) , beriberi and the worst part is the immune system will be weakened, leaving the body unable to resist these infections. And other diseases. You’ll be constantly wondering why you’re suddenly always down with the flu, malaria ,typhoid..etc. You’re lacking the essential nutrients needed for proper functioning of the body. You’ll also be weak and constantly fatigued, due to the lack of energy and stamina, which will eventually make you unproductive. If you’re on ARVs, your health will dangerously deteriorate as diet is a critical part in managing people living with HIV.

-You Won’t Look Good Either.

Slim is sexy. Thin isn’t. Uhm yeah there’s a difference. Slim is a body type, thin is when you’re malnourished. Some would like to argue that stress eating might actually be beneficial if you were struggling to lose weight. However, starvation is not the way to weight loss. Reason being, you’ll simply be wasting away. Your BMI will be lower than required and that has worse implications. Losing weight is about changing the diet and not doing away with it completely. There are also other details about how we look that are influenced by our diet but we don’t pay attention. For example the skin is greatly influenced by what you eat, the hair, nails, I mean the beauty is in the details and people do pay attention to them.  Eliminating the diet means missing out on the responsible nutrients and losing that natural glow on these areas leaving you looking dull and just off. That’s never a good look on anyone.

-A hungry man is An Angry man

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It makes sense that the difference in pronouncing hunger and anger is only the h. Ever been so mad at something/someone until you eat and your mood totally shifts from crappy to happy? Well it was the hunger bro. Now imagine the anger you’ll have when you’re both stressed and your stomach is empty. These two combined can cause a hurricane worse than the butterfly effect. It is proven. This is the worst state to be in because  one, everyone will avoid you because of your bad vibes;nobody wants to get yelled at randomly or be with someone who’s always complaining and sulky. Being avoided is the worst during your stress period because you’d really use someone to share, vent on or just talk to. Two, you’ll lack peace of mind . You will be unable to concentrate on anything fully and you may end up not doing anything important.

fun fact: hunger is directly linked to concentration, inversely.

Pros

  • You may save money you’d have used for food ( but is it really worth it?)

VERDICT 

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By now, you’ve probably already picked sides and decided which is least hazardous. As much I’d like to say one is better than the other, truth is they are both equally dangerous and at the end of the day, you’ll both suffer malnutrition and other related conditions. The best thing to do is to maintain a heathy diet and turn to other stress-relieving activities. Try yoga, long warm baths, walks in the parks,or sex. If its chronic stress or depression, seek professional help.

Beauty · Health · Skin care

How to clear stretch marks In less than a month (The natural way)

Stretch marks are mostly associated with young women and pregnancy. However, men are also affected, only that for some reason they tend to worry less. In fact, everyone who has skin can be affected at any point. So let’s first look at some of the factors that contribute to their formation.

Causes

It is important to know that stretch marks are perfectly normal as they simply occur due to a fast and sudden change in body size that wasn’t prepared for by the skin, making the dermis(the middle layer of the skin) to overstretch in an attempt to accommodate the body mass. This leads to slight dents forming on the skin and they are what we call stretchmarks. This is why it mostly occurs in teenagers as this is the time they are experiencing rapid growth. Also during and after pregnancy because of the extra weight.  This also explains why they are most common in areas such as the upper arm ,hips,thighs, stomach and abdomen.

Stretchmarks are also genetic hence you have a higher probability of having stretchmarks if your parent had them.

Truth is, I like to think of stretch marks as marks of new beginnings in life. I first got them around my thighs during puberty, and of course what’s a more major transformation in life than the teenage spurt? Giving birth maybe, which also comes with its more profound lines. Or not, depending on your body. Either way, its fine. Its okay to have stretch marks. Its part of growth. Whether on a journey of losing weight, gaining weight or growing in height, stretch marks will appear. It doesn’t mean we have to love them, but don’t stress over them either. The difference? Well, when you stress over them, chances are you’ll go for the chemical products, masks, or even surgery just to get rid or cover them up, and this only does more harm than good. On the flip side, you could give your body time and use these natural ways to clear the stretch marks more effectively and healthy.

Remedies

Forget all the complicated commercial creams, soaps and treatments. Here are the most effective and natural ways to help clear all stretchmarks. And of course, the best part of going natural is you won’t have to stress over any dangerous side effects or reactions that come with using chemical products. Also you’ll end up saving a dime because most of these are homemade products and they include items that are easily available and affordable.

 

1. Egg White Mask

Egg white is very rich in collagen, which is the main protein needed for regeneration of the skin layers; formation of new skin cells.

Whisk the egg whites to form a thick mask and apply it evenly on the areas with stretchmarks. Avoid getting the yolks in as much as possible as they have a drying effect that may make your skin crack. Leave it on for about 15 minutes then rinse it off. Moisturize with olive oil after this to enhance.

This should be done daily for the best results.

2. Sugar scrub ( Skin exfoliation)

Performing skin exfoliation regularly is very important in hastening the process of stretchmark removal. Natural white sugar gets rid of the dead skin layer and creates room for new skin formation. Making the sugar scrub is quite simple.

First you soak 2-3 teaspoons of white sugar in almond oil or castor oil, most preferably the castor oil as it penetrates your skin to nourish and moisturize. Squeeze in lemon juice and mix well to form a paste.

Apply the scrub gently on the affected areas each time you take a shower and watch your stretchmarks disappear in less than 3 weeks.

3. Drink water

 

The skin flourishes upon hydration. Water is beneficial especially because it enables elimination of toxic substances that cause clogging of the skin pores. This enhances the skin’s natural glow leaving no room for stretch marks. Water also helps in collagen production which tightens the skin and makes it soft and supple. When the skin is radiant the stretch marks are less visible.

Make a habit of taking 8 glasses of water a day to help fade the stretchmarks. Also, minimize on caffeinated drinks as they counter this effect.

4.Lemon juice.

Lemon juice is known for its bleaching effect due to its acidic nature. It is quite handy therefore, in clearing any marks on the skin including black spots, dark underarms and of course, stretchmarks.

There are two ways lemon can be used; One is cutting the lemon into thin slices and cover them over the area with stretchmarks for sometime, then rinse off with lukewarm water.

You can also squeeze out the lemon juice and mix with juice from potatoes, tomatoes or cucumber, and apply to the skin.

This method is most effective when done twice a day.

5.Aloe Vera

Since time immemorial, aloe vera has remained significant in both beauty and medical fields. The extract from the leaves has powerful healing properties, especially for skin conditions and wounds.  The natural pure aloe vera is the best for stretch mark removal. It not only tightens and increases skin elasticity, it also helps prevent wrinkles and blemishes.

The easiest way to use this is to apply the aloe vera gel on the affected areas and massage for about 10 minutes then rinse off. Although if you’re allergic to aloe vera there are plently other methods to try.

6. Eating healthy

Of course, your diet ALWAYS matters. You may try all the ways but if your diet is off, your effort is futile. There are a couple of foods that can help fade stretchmarks.  Vitamin C is especially important as it stimulates growth of new skin cells. This is found abundantly in green leafy vegetables such as spinach,kales,broccoli etc. also some fruits- guavas and berries.

Foods rich in vitamin E such as nuts are also essential for the skin. It is also advisable to eat foods rich in antioxidants as they tighten the skin  preventing early signs of ageing.  It is important to always provide the body with diverse sources of vitamins, proteins and minerals for a healthy skin.

7.Regular exercise

Since stretchmarks are primarily caused when the body grows faster than the skin’s capacity to accommodate this sudden growth, maintaining a healthy weight is a good way to control development of stretchmarks. However just to be clear, exercise may not be a solution to completely clear mature stretchmarks. At the same time extreme weight loss may also leave some stretchmarks on your body. The role of exercise is to help keep your body weight in check and keep you in shape. This minimizes the likelihood of formation of new stretchmarks. Exercise is therefore more of a prevention measure than a cure.

 

To sum up, time is the ultimate remedy for stretchmarks. Eventually stretchmarks fade away on their own so there’s really no cause for alarm. The above remedies are just to fasten the fading process.

Also the remedies won’t work overnight. It is important to be realistic. Unless its surgery, it’ll need patience and consistence for the best results. All the best.

 

 

Health , nutrition · Vegetarian

Is it reasonable to be vegetarian?

IMG_20180221_152001Being a vegetarian means no consumption of meat and/or by products of animal slaughter. Does this include eggs and dairy products? Well, this brings us to the different types of vegetarians. There’s the lactovegetarian who can have dairy products, the ovo-vegetarian who eats the eggs and then there’s lacto-ovo vegetarian who eats both.
The issue of vegetarianism has raised many questions and debates over the years, some yet to be addressed. With nutritionists constantly insisting on the nutritional value of meat and animal protein, many are left wondering how vegans manage to stay healthy,despite missing out on the essential nutrients that meat from animals provide. Abstaining from meat has its advantages. Seeing as most diet related diseases arise from consumption of meat (especially red meat), vegetarians are generally at a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. This is mainly because their diets tend to have low cholesterol and saturated fats yet lots of fibre and antioxidants. This also gives them the weight advantage over the non vegetarians as their diets have very low fats and sugars which makes it hard for them to be overweight or obese.
In spite of all these advantages, vegetarians do miss out on a lot of the essential nutrients, especially the ones that have no plant food sources such as vitamin B12 and creatine. Meat is also highly rich in iron and the vegetarians are at risk of having inadequacy in its intake. The vegetarian diet may not be enough to compensate for these nutrients and they may need to take their supplementation. This brings us to the question

Do people choose to be vegetarian?
Primarily, most people actually choose the vegetarian path mainly out of compassion for animals. A few may be forced due to allergies and reactions to animal protein, but most do it out of the belief that animals, just like humans, have a right to live and be treated well.

“The greatness of a nation and its               moral progression can be judged              by the way their animals are                       treated” Gandhi.

Vegetarians believe that by abstaining from meat, they are somehow saving the world, one animal at a time. But then this stirs up many other contradicting factors that make us think,

Is it really worth it?

Starting with the obvious, tyranny of numbers. What is the total number of vegetarians in the world? Of course it is  way less than the non vegetarians, so what is their impact in the world? Research shows that around 190 animals are saved each year by every vegan, and a total of 50 billion farm animals are killed every year, not including the fish and wild animals. There are also the animals that kill each other for food.

Let’s take a scenario where all humans decide to be vegetarians and completely rely on plant sources for food. This means that both humans and the animals would be competing for the limited plant sources available which would put a lot of pressure on the environment. The sources obviously will not suffice and eventually both species would be wiped off the face of the earth due to starvation. This would also lead to more environmental problems such as pollution. Talking of which, how many animals that depend on plant sources are currently dying due to starvation? Unless you as a vegetarian would be willing to sacrifice your vegetables too and feed them to animals Because think about it, if you actually care about the animals wellbeing, why eat their food?

 

Health , nutrition · Healthy living

Top 6 Foods rich in antioxidants

For those who have heard of the term ‘antioxidants’ but are a little fuzzy on the details, here’s a crash course. As the cells in our bodies metabolise oxygen,unstable molecules called free radicles form,causing cell damage hence the aging process. Antioxidants neutralize the radicles,preventing the damage thereby slowing the aging process.

Anyway, after a convincing pile of research, I found a strong connection between foods loaded with antioxidants with a stronger,longer and healthier life. Luckily, spotting foods with antioxidants is quite easy as most are the ones bursting with colour (Nature came in handy)

1.Dark chocolate

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Few things are as amazing in this world as finding out chocolate isn’t all that unhealthy after all. Studies show that cocoa,particularly in dark chocolate contains a high concentration of antioxidants making it really good for the heart as it prevents heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. Well,as much as its a relief to know these health benefits of yummy chocolate, we can’t ignore the harmful effects of taking it in excess (high blood sugar level, high calories etc) So as always,moderation is key.

2. Raisins

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Raisins are definitely loaded with a antioxidants and are also really handy for an energy boost. Don’t forget to throw some in on your breakfast next time. They really are a good deal.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are also a good source of antioxidants in the body. There’s the popular belief that tomatoes are best consumed raw,which is wrong. The antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes is best absorbed in the body when the tomatoes are cooked. Tomatoes also contain vitamin C and A which are the best antioxidants in the body.

4. Cranberries,blueberries and blackberries.

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These fruits contain the highest amount of antioxidants. Cranberries have vitamin C and fibre. These berries also have anthocyanin that fights cancer in the body.

5.Beans

Beans might just be the most nutritious food at this rate. Its not only known for its ability to boost blood count in the body but is also a rich source of antioxidants. It is also rich in muscle boosting protein and it has little fat and no cholesterol. Tip: Make beans your regular protein and be assured of a healthy life.

6.Broccoli

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Stop.Breathe in. I’m about to let you in on a life saving secret : Be a friend to this amazing vegetable and you will be as far from cancer as possible. Broccoli is simply the best source of antioxidant beta-carotene that fights cancerous cells. The best way to prepare it is to steam it to avoid destroying the antioxidants.

Uncategorized

Let’s make some wine!

IMG-20180210-WA0002.jpgWhat’s better than a cold fruity glass of wine on a hot sunny day while chilling at the comfort of your home after a tiresome week full of hustle. That to me, sounds more relaxing than yoga. Truth is we all love wine and as they say, nothing could go wrong with a bottle of wine on the table!(to be honest nobody says that😄 but it seems pretty accurate)

Anyways, the good news is,you don’t have to spend a dime on that Château Lafitte or Krug bottle from the most expensive wine stores in town anymore.You can actually make your own wine at home and experience the bliss and still keep it classy!

Wanna know how?

Here’s are simple recipes you can use to make the best of Sangria wine ;both white and red,depending on your preference.

Sangria is traditionally a fruit-filled Spanish wine that is refreshing and easy to drink on a hot day especially. It is easy to make and is a huge hit at parties. Its also suitable for dates,seeing as Valentine’s around the corner, why not surprise your shawty/guy or even yourself, (I mean,we all know the importance of self love😊) while keeping it pocket- friendly.

Red Sangria Wine

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8-10 servings

ingredients

4 apples

4 oranges

Orange liquor

1 cup brandy

1 bottle red wine

4 cups of water

procedure

  1. Cut the oranges and apples into thin slices with the peels on a and transfer into a jug.
  2. Measure the brandy and pour it onto the fruit (you can use whiskey but I prefer brandy cause its easier on the tongue.lol)
  3. Measure the orange liquor and pour it into the jug
  4. Uncork the wine and pour it into the jug
  5. Stir the liquor,wine and fruit together
  6. Cover the jug and refrigerate overnight to bring out the soft ,sweet and delicious taste
  7. When serving, top it off with the chilled water while stirring gently to combine.

 

The White Sangria

The idea of using white wine is to make it more suitable for every weather. Much as the ice in red wine makes it great for hot weather, it can be a bit ‘heavy’ in the heat in itself. So most people go for white wine as it’s refreshing and a bit more classy

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Ingredients

1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice

2 oranges in wedges

2 apples in chunks

1 cup of water

1/2cup of sugar

6 cinnamon sticks

Crushed ice

Mint leaves

1 bottle of white wine(any of your choice)

procedure

  1. Heat the water,sugar and Cinnamon sticks and let simmer for about 5 mins
  2. Let this cool off and then remove sticks
  3. Chill overnight along with the wine
  4. Mix all together and serve over crushed ice to liven up the tastebuds
  5. After pouring each one of the drink,decorate with mint leaves to put a touch of class. You know,just because.

 

The overnight resting period for Sangria is quite important as it let’s the fruit infuse the wine to make it sweeter. As it is with every wine, the older the finer,so don’t expect the sweet fruity taste immediately you mix it. In fact,don’t even taste it. It might be a bit too harsh and you might end up discouraged. Just let it rest in the fridge for a night or so.

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Also,mixing it with soda isn’t appropriate because the sweetness is best if it’s from the fruit. Soda destroys its originality.

‘A little wine is always good for the soul’

 

 

Cookies · Health , nutrition

7 things you didn’t know about cookies!

cropped-img_20171222_143936.jpgCookies have been around for quite sometime. To most of us it’s a guilty pleasure and personally am addicted. One of those things you know is bad for you but you just can’t resist it. It is said that the first cookie was concocted in the Middle East region around the 7th Century. It was a period when sugar production was becoming common in the area. It eventually spread across Europe and then to the Americas. I’m not going to bore you with all the history though so let me go straight to feeding your curiosity on what you didn’t know (or probably knew but ignored) about this popular dessert.

1.They are dangerously fattening 

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Yup. Cookies may just be the most fattening thing you can take. It contains high amounts of sugar,refined flour and added fats. A homemade cookie contains 110 calories and upto 7g fat while the smallest cookie has 24 calories. It is no wonder that cookies are recommended for extremely active athletes or people who need to gain weight. For others they could lead to a rebound weight gain as they only add ’empty’ calories in the body. If you do get a cookie craving, go for a small, single serving and not a giant cookie or a whole pack of cookies (I know it’s not easy but we gotta do this people),that way you can enjoy a treat while limiting the risk of throwing away all the effort you’ve put at the gym to get to where you are.

2. They are as addictive as Cocaine 

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Yes you read that right. Researchers from Connecticut College suggested an experiment to be done on lab rats and it was found that cookies, specifically Oreos, stimulated the pleasure centres of the rats’ brains just as much as cocaine or morphine. It was also observed that the rats would break the oreos open and eat the middle part first. So cookies can be dangerously addictive.

3.Eating Raw cookie dough can be deadly

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I know it may seem far-fetched and many would brush it off or take it like the old ‘If you play outside in the rain you’ll catch pneumonia or malaria’ tale. But before you ignore this you need to know there’s a disease called E.coli (Google for more info) that has caused many deaths among children and teenage girls in a the recent times. According to Dr Karen Neil (an epidemiologist) it is caused by salmonella bacteria which thrives in contaminated flour and mostly dough. Bottom line is just keep away from raw dough, I mean, better safe than sorry.

4.Cookies can last up to 5 months without spoiling

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Yea so with proper storage, the shelf-life of cookies is actually five months. Especially homemade cookies. By proper storage of course  I mean in a tightly closed container or wrapped with plastic and put in a freezer. You can microwave briefly before eating. While opened, pantry cookies can last a maximum of 3 weeks. Of course this depends on a variety of factors such as the preparation method and the ingredients used. But for most cookies the basic ingredients are sugar, flour and butter, additional ingredients like milk and eggs are also very necessary. (The recipe will be on another piece).

5.Cookie lovers are the pickiest of eaters. 

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Corny as it is,this is actually very true. Chocolate chip cookies are one of the four delicious foods enjoyed by the most choosy people when it comes to food. (The other three are Fried Chicken ,French Fries, Macaroni and Omelette). Yeah. Assess yourself you Cookie fiend!😄

6. Cookies weren’t meant for eating. 

Oops! I know , I know how it sounds. What were they for then? Scrubbing floors? Cookies were originally made to test the oven temperature and not for consumption as a dessert of it’s own. Cooks would take a small dollop of cake butter and bake it as a means of gauging whether the oven was ready or not. I couldn’t thank whoever decided they could be snacks on their own enough though I mean, where else would we have found such awesomeness, right?

7.Allowing cookie dough to rest overnight yields superior flavor

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Let your dough rest overnight for the best results. If you want wider cookies use warm dough. If you prefer compact cookies put the dough in the fridge for a few. I know  most of you already knew this but it wouldn’t hurt to emphasize.