Friday, November 24, 2017

Be an Iron (Wo)Man

Hello Reader,

It is needless to say that to move any stone, we need energy. And this energy should come to us from rich sources. It is for us to see that what we eat fulfil these constituents well. Along with all the carbs, proteins, fats and vitamins, our body also requires minerals such as potassium, zinc and iron.

in this post, I am going to specifically talk about this necessary mineral our body cannot function without. According to WHO, about 2 billion people in the world are suffering from Iron deficiency. Anaemia is one such disease which is common and more than 25% of world’s population suffers from it.

Women, age 18-50, are more prone to Iron deficiency because of their menstrual cycles. This leads to them to being inactive, fatigued and lose interest from daily activities. In under developed countries, anaemic condition also leads one to acquire other deadlier diseases like HIV, Malaria and dengue. Iron deficiency also causes hair loss, weak nails and skin illnesses.

Statistics make it evident that this is one of the most prominent kind of nutrient deficiency our world is facing today and is causing many deaths every day. Having a large percentage of population unfit also brings down a country’s economic and social values.

Anaemia is a condition in which our body stops producing Red Blood Cells. These cells are carriers of oxygen. Deficiency of iron in body hinders the reach of oxygen to the other body parts. This leads to dizziness and fatigue. Therefore, we have to keep a check on what we eat.

On an average, an adult Male or female needs about 8 to 10 milligrams of iron every day. A women in her menstruation period or if pregnant, requires about 15-18 mg of iron intake each day.

 There are some foods which are rich in iron, which, if consumed on daily basis, can be a preventive measure to keep our Iron level balanced. Some of such food sources and their respective iron content (in mg) are:

Using these ingredients, here are some of the easy recipes which I tried in my kitchen. Trust me, I have very little experience with cooking and these recipes can be made with minimum effort.

1.                 Healthy Oats Breakfast

Things you need:

1.                 Oats
2.                 Milk
3.                 Honey
4.                 Dry Fruits* – Raisins, Cashew nuts , pistachios, dates, almonds
5.                 Fruits* – Apples, Bananas, Pomegranate

*You can add these as per availability and taste.

How to prepare:

o     Mix a cup of soaked oats and a glass of milk and boil them for a few minutes.
o     Pour this mixture in a bowl
o     Add raisins, cashews, almonds and other dry fruits.
o     Add all the chopped fruits
o     Add honey on top of it
o     Mix everything
o     Breakfast is ready to serve

2.                 Broccoli Salad

Things you need:

1.                 Broccoli
2.                 Bell Peppers
3.                 Cucumber
4.                 Vinegar
5.                 Ginger-Garlic Paste
6.                 Black Pepper
7.                 Chilli flakes
8.                 Salt
9.                 Olive Oil
10.             Mayonnaise

How to prepare:    

o     Chop the broccoli and other vegetables
o     Boil the chopped broccoli for a few minutes
o     Keep the boiled broccoli in a cool place for a while
o     Meanwhile, prepare the dressing for the salad
o     For dressing, mix Vinegar, Ginger garlic paste, chilli flakes, black pepper and salt in a bowl
o     Add the chopped veggies (broccoli, cucumber, bell peppers) in this dressing and mix well
o     Add a table spoon of Olive Oil
o     Add Mayonnaise (optional)
o     Toss everything together in the bowl
o     The Salad is ready to serve

3.                 Brown Rice Meal

Things you need:

1.                 Brown Rice
2.                 Chickpeas/ Kidney Beans
3.                 Eggs
4.                 Paneer
5.                 Spices* (Cinnamon, Coriander powder, Turmeric powder)
6.                 Salt
7.                 Black Pepper
8.                 Ginger Garlic Paste
9.                 Vegetables* (Tomatoes, Onions, Coriander leaves)
10.             Olive Oil

*You can add these as per availability and taste.

How to prepare:
o     Keep the brown rice and chickpeas soaked in water overnight.
o     Mix them together and add a glass of water
o     Pour this into a cooker
o     Now add spices, peppers, salts and any flavour that you like. In my case, I added ginger garlic paste, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper and black salt. 
o     Add paneer cubes
o     Add two-four eggs
o     Now cook this for about 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.
o     Once done, you can put this into a bowl
o     And add chopped veggies (tomatoes, onions etc)
o     Top it with Olive oil
o     Toss and mix everything well
o     Meal is ready to serve

4.                 Spinach Smoothie

Things you need:

1.                 Spinach
2.                 Bananas
3.                 Honey
4.                 Milk

How to prepare:
o     Mix spinach, chopped bananas in a bowl
o     Pour Milk
o     Add honey
o     (Optional) You may also add oats to just make it more healthier and for more calories
o     Blend this mixture till it turns green
o     Serve it, garnished with dry fruits.

I hope you will find this useful. Share this information with everyone around you so that it is not neglected. 

This post is part of an initiative taken by Livogen to FIGHT against this deficiency which is almost epidemic. 

- Ashish

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A brave new, digital India

Hello Reader,

What makes India a great place to start any business is, of course, its population. Almost 55 percent of India’s population is now connected to 3G or a higher network. With so many consumers ready to pay for data and voice, it becomes a fertile place for new innovations to happen. India has a diverse audience and each group has different demands and needs. This will give a platform to many new start-ups to provide service to their target customer base and will create a win-win situation for both investors and the budding entrepreneurs with bright ideas. 

Make in India” and “Digital India” are also two of the prominent campaigns which India’s PM Mr. Narendra Modi underlines in his talks. With the collaboration of both private and public entities, this can be a dream come true for the futuristic India everyone foresees. This will open new gateways for the young population to execute their ideas and create more jobs with their profitable start-ups. The involvement and mentorship of an established investing company can boost up the enthusiasm of youngsters to take risk in these arenas with palpable results. 

Telecom major Vodafone is all set to invest in the Indian market and collaborate with new start-ups. Vodafone, which has a user base of 1.2 crore in Delhi NCR itself, has come up with innovative ideas to ‘digitalize’ India. Here is why Vodafone is going to be a game changer in this digital revolution:
  1. Start-up Revolution
Vodafone has announced its new venture to partner with budding start-ups who have ideas based on emerging, cutting-edge technologies. It provides a platform to empower these new businesses and also, guide them during their incubation and the challenges which may follow. With the help their start-up ready kit, one can easily get access and manage their assets. It is an IOT based tool-kit to aid one to co-create new products and services.

Vodafone has earlier worked with startups such as OYO rooms and ZOMATO. It also owns a large IOT company called Cobra Automative Technologies in Italy and works with European auto companies such as BMW and Volkswagen. Executives wish to bring same expertise in the Indian market.
  1. Wifi Zones
In cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore, Vodafone has started free hotspot zones where one can easily connect using their Wifi enabled devices. 


You can find near hotspot zone near you, here:
  1. 1.2 crore customers
With such a dense customer base, Vodafone understands the consumption of data increasing every day. Affordable voice and data packs has enabled millions of users to connect to the world and get information on their fingertips. The feedback and input from users can help to determine their daily activities and purchase patterns which is useful in analysing and predicting their demands.

Another campaign, equally important, which Government of India promotes is the “Swacch Bharat Abhiyan”. It is necessary that we, as citizens and entities, look into it that our technological growth does not effect our ecology, and is sustainable. In recent times, Delhi NCR has recorded one of the highest pollution rates. It is alarming that the air we breathe is heavily toxic. This made Supreme Court to take stringent steps like banning burning of crackers on Diwali in the capital region. 
  1. Air purifying, wifi enabled, bus stops
Vodafone took the initiative to contribute to this issue by bringing into life one of its brilliant ideas of installing an air purifying bus stop. These bus stops, covered with transparent plastic materials are a relief to the commuters who can take a breath of fresh air while waiting for their ride. These spots have an indicator which displays the air quality inside and outside the area and the difference is evident. One such bus stop has been installed near the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi. 


  1. Green Diwali 
As a part of spreading awareness about air pollution, Vodafone India took initiate to distribute air purifying plant seeds to its customers which were made available at 52 Vodafone stores. The idea was to plant the seeds and let the tree bloom instead of carbon generating crackers. 


Join the network and be a part of this innovation.


To know more, visit:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

We are what we eat

In my younger years, when I used to live with my parents, I was quite ignorant about what I eat and how I spend my day. Most of my activities were backed up by my impulse energy. Most of what I ate was only to treat my taste buds which were quite biased to the processed food available easily in the nearest shop. Even after ample of failed convincing from my parents and grandparents, I never listened. The whole idea of routine bored me. Hence, I barely developed any good habits in my early ages. So, when I moved away from home for my higher studies, for many years I practiced wrong eating habits and irregular regimes. And, what was the result of all this lack of attention for me? Well, I became a pessimist, I lost interest from all activities I used to enjoy, I lacked energy, I had social anxiety, my hair and skin got effected, my BMI was nowhere near the mark, my hormone levels were uneven and I really started to feel like it’s the end of my world. The nutrition deficiency and a sedentary lifestyle took a massive hit on me and pulled me into the dark hole of sadness.

If you have seen the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises”, you’d remember that scene where Bruce Wayne (Batman) is beaten hard by Bane (the antagonist); he breaks his back and leaves him wounded in a deep, dark prison. I felt like that, completely broken and unable to move. In my case, my own ignorance was the antagonist. For many days, I was unable to figure out what was wrong with me. Why was I not enthusiastic and energetic like before?

It took time but I finally understood what my body needs. I started paying attention to what is lacking from my daily habits. I started to follow some really helpful YouTube channels and Quora posts on health and hygiene. I was no more under the aegis of my parents or my loving grandparents. I had myself up. And, I realized it is every being’s prior responsibility to keep them fit and fine. As the Hindi proverb goes, “Jaan hai toh Jahaan hai” (If you have health, you can have the world”).

That was my wake up moment. And ever since, I love the new version of myself. I have been paying close attention to what I eat, how much I eat and maintaining the calorie cycle by balanced intake and burning. In this post, I would like to share some of the good habits which are essential for anyone. I understand that every person has disparate requirements according to their body type, daily schedule and medical conditions. So, the points which I mention here will be the generic habits which I think can be followed by people of all kinds and ages.

1.        Count the Calories

It is really important to know how many calories your body requires. An average person needs around 2000 kcals each day. But, it really depends whether you want to lose or gain weight or just stay fit. It is no hard to count the calories that we eat and burn. It is a matter of simple addition and subtraction. You can always check the amount of calories in the food that you are eating and regularize that accordingly. To find out how much your body requires, it is advisable to consult an Nutritionist or your Doctor. A cheaper way to find this out is to use apps such as HealthifyMe, where one can easily track their eating report.

2. Invest in a good pair of running shoes

Well, if your willpower is not attractive enough to make you wake up to the alarm in the morning and go for a run, get yourself a nice pair of shoes, not just to add it to your shoe collection but to inspire you to get up every morning to wear them and spend at least half an hour or more to religiously work out, go for a walk or practice yoga. There are so many options. I personally like to go for a 5 mile walk; it rounds about 10000 steps, enough to burn about 350 kcals. In case, I have a busy day, I cut it down to fewer steps and compensate the rest with work out reps such as push ups, crunches and planks. In Android Playstore, I find apps such as Fitbit and 30 days workout challenge beneficial in tracking my workout habit.

3. Keep a check on the source of your nutrients

Today, there’s a plethora of options in any marketplace. It is important that we know what we are buying and not falling for the advertising and promotional offers. It is really easy to quickly buy a packet of chips, processed, sugary foods, or pick up a happy meal on the way to your workplace from fast food chains. These foods are cheap, easily available and make us feel full for the day. But, even though these food satisfy the number of calories our body requires, they are not really a good source of the nutrients our body needs. So, it is necessary to keep a check on the source from where you get your protein, carbs and vitamins. I, being an ovo-lacto-vegetarian, go for foods such as green salads, fruits, customised smoothies, fresh juices, milk, curd, eggs, whole grains, nuts and seeds. They work for me in providing all that’s necessary for a healthy living.

4.  Breath in optimism, Breath out pessimism

Along with our physical essentials, it is also our duty to keep our mind free of unnecessary distractions. Most of our days’ time goes in screen staring, scrolling irrelevant feed, facing negative environment and sitting at one place. All this mostly leads to depression. So, it is advisable to take out some time of your schedule to dive into nothingness or being aware of your consciousness. Meditation makes your mind relax and free you from all the stress and sadness. It makes one live in the present and lose intangible loads of future worries and ghosts of the past, on which we have no control. A much needed tool to become more proactive.

5.        Water is my favourite drink

It is needless to say that how important water is for our body. Yes, just keep a bottle with yourself. A one litre bottle and drink it between every meal. A minimum of 2 litres is recommended but it is always good to go for up to 3-4 litres. Some benefits include lesser headaches, better digestion, detoxifying and glowing skin. Do you not want all that?  

Being healthy is not only about having a good body shape but also about having a good mind to generate constructive thoughts and not be pulled into a chain of negative thoughts. It is about being happy and energetic person overall.

Apart from all the enormous benefits one might achieve after following these habits, it is a really enjoyable process. It does not give any instant results. This is a time taking process and requires complete discipline. So, checking yourself in the mirror everyday might not make you notice any change but in few weeks or months, may be the mirror will itself will speak out and praise you and tell you who is the most beautiful of all.

Even if it doesn’t show any instant results, practicing it every day, makes you feel good for yourself and those who find it difficult to understand their purpose in life, feel more positive and figure out ways to get busy living.

And, just like Batman succeeds to jump out of the prison walls and rise above all his miseries, you can do it to by defeating your inner demons. For that, you have to follow the five habits mentioned above and be tough like a fighter.

I am joining Saffola #ApneTareekeSeHealthy initiative and sharing my ways of being healthy in association with BlogAdda.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Amamma & Tathagaru

Hello Reader,

I have endless memories of the time spent at my grandparents’ house. Most of my childhood was spent there, eating, listening to their stories and playing around. My Tathagaru narrated me stories from the Ramayana and other mythological tales full of wisdom and my Amamma prepared a variety of lip-smacking food loaded with love. Even today, every time I travel away from home, she makes sure that I have packed the jar of mango pickles. She has been making those pickles ever since I have known her. I am sure this how all grandparents bestow their love and care. 

I remember how happy my Amamma was when she saw me surprisingly arrive for my Tathagaru’s 80th birthday celebration. I was the only one who was going to miss out from the party that day. Although, I had my tickets booked a month ago, I informed nobody about my arrival and then boom! I appeared at the venue and baffled everyone. And then my Amamma hugged me and she had a broad smile on her face. 

Then I met my Tathagaru, he had turned 80 that day. I am sure he was as happy as my Amamma was to see me; his faint smile followed by whispering my name was enough to tell me that. Due to his medical condition, he was not as expressive as Amamma was but his eyes had a lot to speak.

I lost him only after a few months from that day. I was present with him in his last moments but I wish, I could have spent more time talking with him and listening to more stories. But, for studies and then job, I have been away from my grandparents for years and unlike my childhood, much of my post teenage years passed without them being nearby. 

My grandpa is no more but his wisdom is as green in my mind as it was when he was teaching those moral lessons to me in the form of fictional and spiritual portrayals. 

I am sure my Amamma misses him much more. They have lived together for about 60 years together and I don’t know how strong one has to be to deal with such a turn of events.
I really want to make my Amamma as happy as she was that day. So, I am planning to give her a surprise visit one more time.

And when could be a better time but on this Grandparents’ day. This time I will make sure that it is not a brief meet. Instead, I am going to stay with her for a week and even though, I am not the best of chefs, I will cook for her every healthy recipe I can muster up. I will take her to shopping and buy her anything that she wants and of course, ask her to tell me a story and sing me a lullaby, just like old times.

I look forward to hear from you how would you celebrate Grandparents Day. Do share a selfie with your grandparents on Sept. 10, 2017 on Twitter or Facebook with #LoveJatao & tag @blogadda to win a goodie from Parachute Advansed.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A teaspoon of Honey

Hello Reader, 

It is terrible to see the number of people willing to spend their money buying unhealthy food from the popular franchises which despite of their ill-effects are majorly advertised and attract many buyers. To cope up with the lifestyle that is followed by majority today, because of their very busy schedules, less importance is given to what food is being eaten. Especially, when a person moves out of their homely boundaries into a world where the food that is served is nowhere close to the one cooked at their home. College students, living in hostels and PGs and young employees working day and night, do not follow a balanced diet and often, meals are skipped, pushing them into a future where ailments like obesity, diabetes, uneven blood pressure and in worse cases, heart attacks are highly probable to strike. 

Finding people with such ailments is not rare today. But, this can be stopped if a proper diet and healthy cooking methods are practiced. There are always alternatives to look upon. All it takes is to give a little more priority and thought before grabbing that high-on-calorie-and-cholesterol snack from the fast food stall round the corner of your street.

If you look at it, it is kind of funny to see how we indulge in crunching and munching improper food half of our years and spend the rest of them starving ourselves with a crash diet, trying to lose weight. So, why not go with that famous proverb “Prevention is better than cure” and start following a balanced diet?

Because, if you follow a well-balanced diet, you will certainly have these assets:

1.        A good shape

2.        More energy

3.        Disease-free body

4.        Cooler Mind

5.        A longer life

Our body requires the right amount of calories and nutritions to keep functioning and that is all a well-balanced diet is all about. An average human body requires about 2000-2500 calories per day.
You can use this Diet Planner for some help:
3 Clicks Fitness Test
Instead of relying on pre-cooked and packed junk food, we should spend a little more time in the kitchen. Fresh green vegetables and fruits are a must to be included in our everyday diet and also, having a cup of Green Tea with some Honey instead of sugar can itself bring a lot of improvements as Honey as an alternative has more benefits than you think.

Add a teaspoon of Dabur Honey  in your everyday recipes; It doesn't not only act as a better alternative ingredient but also, tastes good. Trust me, because, I have tried it on my vegetable sandwich and the taste of raw veggies, some spices and honey to top it, not only gives a great taste but also is high of nutritious values.

Embrace a new, healthy lifestyle!. 

So, let's say yes to a Honey Diet