Tag Archives: health

4 Practical hacks to overcome fitness roadblocks

Do you get all excited about starting a new fitness routine? New routine, new plans, new you! You feel motivated and ready to go!
How long does it last? How long before you start finding excuses to take a break, or reschedule (and there are so many, aren’t there?)?

When we start any new fitness and health routine, we all hit roadblocks. We lose motivation, feel overwhelmed, or just keep procrastinating.
It’s natural for you to be excited about something fresh and new, and then lose your resolve over time. What’s important is getting it back!

There are always going to be roadblocks on your way, but you have to know how to knock them down and keep going!
Here are a few hacks you can try.

#1 Attach something you already love to your new routine!

This works great if are a master at procrastinating, or just aren’t feeling up for it today.
Imagine this. It’s been a week since you started exercising regularly.
Today, you want to workout, but are just not getting the motivation to do so. Rather than feel low and bleh, why not play your favorite songs while you exercise? Not only will it get you up and running, and lift your mood, it will also make the new routine itself more rewarding for you. And isn’t that the whole point of it?

#2 Limit your choices

When we start a new routine, there is SO much to do! New exercises, new food habits, new everything! It gets really overwhelming sometimes, and that feeling makes us want to fall facedown on our bed and quit!
Too many options create anxiety and leave us feeling less satisfied! So, what can we do about it?
REDUCE our choices!
Let’s look at an example. If you are building a habit of eating breakfast daily, reduce your options to 1-2 for the entire week. Sounds boring?
It really isn’t, if being overwhelmed is something you are struggling with. Instead, it makes your life much easier, and helps you stay on track with your fitness routine.


#3 Choose an activity you enjoy.

Exercise is one of the most difficult habits to develop. And it is even worse when you are not enjoying what you are doing!
But, exercise doesn’t only mean going to the gym and doing the same reps on the same machines over and over again!
Today, we have the opportunity to do SO much more than just gymming! So, choose what you enjoy doing. If you like dancing, join a dance class! Go trekking! Or maybe join power yoga!
Go swimming, go shopping, go hula hooping! Just keep moving.

#4 One at a time!

When we plan to start exercising, or start a new routine, we are trying to build new habits. Healthier, fitter habits.
Building a new habit is tough, we all know that. But building 20 new ones at the same time? OVERWHELMING, and enough to drive you crazy!
If you want to start exercising regularly, eat better, have more water every day, sleep better, what do you do? You start ALL of this together. That’s just setting yourself up for failure!
Solution? Start with just one!
Just begin with trying to exercise regularly maybe. Once you have got that down, move on to the next one!

When starting any new fitness routine, the goal is to make it fun and EASY for yourself, not mind-numbingly tough!
So, next time you are confronted with a roadblock, try one of these hacks!

Have any other hacks that you use to make life, and fitness, simpler?
Tell us in the comments below!

Eat Slowly… What’s The Rush?

How many of us finish our meals in a matter of minutes? As if the food will disappear if we don’t gobble it up? Or eat standing up because we don’t have to “time” to sit down, relax and enjoy our food? If you are having your lunch or dinner while binge-watching your favourite TV series, is the plate empty before you even realize it?

In today’s world, we are always running. Always rushing to get things done, to be as fast as we can. But this way of life shouldn’t be our way of eating! We live in a rushed, distracted society. We rarely take the time to really savour our food, sometimes not even to chew it properly!

Mindful eating is something that not only affects the way we digest our food, but also how our body reacts to the food! In simple terms, when you eat slowly, you digest better, your body uses the food more efficiently.

There are loads of reasons why eating slowly is a lot more beneficial than mindless, distracted and hurried eating.

  • Not overeating.
  • One of the most important benefits of slow, mindful eating is that it gives your body time to recognize that you are full. When eating, it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to signal that the stomach is full. But we, being the freakishly fast-paced people that we are, manage to shovel so much food in those 20 minutes, that we end up overeating and feeling “too full”.

  • Sensing satisfaction.
  • Eating slowly also helps us feel more satisfied – which is very different that just being “full”. When you slow down, you savour a meal, you pay attention to the flavours and the textures, and appreciate each mouthful.

  • Improves digestion
  • Eating slowly also helps improve digestion.
    Digestion starts from the mouth, so large bites that are hurriedly eaten and not chewed properly are more difficult for the stomach to break down, thus leading to indigestion and other GI problems. And who wants that?

  • Helps in losing weight!
  • Fast eaters generally gain more weight over time than slow eaters. Just by eating slower, you eat less food (you don’t over-eat), and end up consuming lesser calories than you would if you rush through your meals! So if weight loss is on your agenda, eating slow should be a part of you lifestyle.

  • Less stress.
  • Eating slowly while paying attention to your food is a great form of mindfulness exercise. Be in the moment, concentrate on what you are doing, rather than just doing it to get it over with. This kind of mindfulness will help you calm your mind and lead to lesser stress. Give it a try!

  • Lesser craving post meals.

  • Research has shown that people who eat slow, and are thus more satisfied with their meal, have lesser mid-meal cravings. It keeps you from binge eating on unhealthy snacks during the day!

    So how can you eat slow and eat right?

    Try some of these tips!!

    – Try to eat with minimal distractions. Avoid eating while watching TV, driving, texting, etc.
    – Choose high fibre foods that require you to chew just a little more, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
    – Put down your utensils after a few bites. Take a moment, breathe and enjoy your food.
    – Use smaller utensils and silverware (plates/bowls/spoons).
    – Set aside time to eat, and try to take at least 20-30 minutes from the start of your meal till the end. Don’t just eat when “convenient”.
    – Eat with other people around. With family or friends, the conversation flows freely, so the meals usually last longer than they would if you eat alone.

    You are fuelling your body whenever you eat something. That’s important. Give it the time and attention it deserves!

    What do you do to make sure that you are eating the right way? Any more tips that we can add in our blog?
    Do let us know in the comments below!!

    Kick Off Those Shoes! Go Barefoot!

    When was the last time you walked, or ran, without footwear?

    Remember your childhood? Kicking off your shoes, running around barefoot, not a care in the world!

    As we grew up, the heels, socks and shoes, pretty sandals and pedicures took priority over the feel of the ground under our feet. After all, who would want to walk on such uneven ground, right? What kind of benefits can that have?

    Well, being barefoot, in fact, has a lot of benefits!

  • Strengthens your feet muscles
  • Going barefoot uses those muscles in your feet that usually stay cushioned and covered by your footwear.

  • Improves your balance
  • Balance, just like strength, speed and agility, is trainable. And moving around barefoot is a great way to do that!

  • Corrects your posture
  • Heels, or even shoes with small lifts under the heel, mold our bodies. To stay straight up, we push our butts back, and our waists forward. Barefoot, our body stays straight, without putting strain on our spine, butt or waist!

  • Improves blood circulation
  • We all know how the roads are in India, right? But that may actually be in our favour! Every step on an uneven surface stimulates the muscles in our feet and increases the blood circulation. Also, better circulation means less aches and pains, less varicose veins and warmer feet and legs in the winters!

  • Improves immune system
  • The soles of the feet have lots of nerve endings and sensory receptors. These send positive vibes to our brain for making our immune system more powerful and prepared. Walking barefoot helps activate these receptors, thus strengthening our immune system!

  • Exercising barefoot is very beneficial!

  • By training barefoot, you improve your strength, mobility and the ability to sense the position, location and movement of the body and its parts, which is called the “proprioception” of your feet. It also improves overall dexterity and reactivity.

    Going barefoot is also a great stressbuster! Just imagine walking on soft grass, or sinking your feet into the sand on a beach… Feels amazing, doesn’t it?

    The Holistique Program promotes barefoot training for all the wonderful benefits mentioned above!

    So why don’t you try it out, and give your shoes a break?

    Start out slow, though.

    Years and years of wearing “comfortable” footwear makes your feet accustomed to the feeling of always having a layer between your feet and the ground. So, start slow. Walk around your house barefoot, take a stroll in the park, or just stand on uneven ground and feel the surface with the soles of your feet.

    If you aren’t comfortable going sans footwear immediately, try out minimal footwear as visible in the image above. Minimalistic footwear gives you the feel and benefits of barefoot walking without the fear of injury! Get your feet evaluated by a barefoot specialist before going in for minimal footwear.

    See how it feels, and go from there! Going barefoot really makes you feel wonderfully connected to the earth!

    Give it a shot, and tell us about your experience in the comments below!

    Holistique Truffles! The Deliciously Healthy Go-To Snack!

    We all yearn for that “something sweet” after our meals, don’t we?
    The mid afternoon snacks, the cravings in-between meals, midnight munch sessions… We are always on the lookout for that one amazing thing that not only satiates our hunger pangs, but also satisfies our need for something delicious and delectable!

    Well, we are here to tell you that… Your search is over!!! The Holistique Truffles are BACK!

    It is common knowledge that exercise and healthy eating are the two sides of the “fitness” coin. But most people think that “healthy food” is synonymous with “boring food“.

    That’s not true at all!

    The philosophy around which our truffles are woven is simple, short and sweet: healthy food shouldn’t just be high on nutrition, it can and should be delicious too!

    There are so many “healthy chocolates” in the market to choose from. So confusing, isn’t it? So, why should you choose our artisanal truffles?
    Well, first of all, the filling of the truffles is 100% natural, nourishing, and super flavourful!
    As if that wasn’t enough, this filling is encased in a thin layer of sinful dark chocolate… and who hasn’t heard of the goodness of yummy dark chocolate?

    The ingredients used to make these delicious morsels are of the highest quality. They are vegan, gluten-free, highly nutritious, and absolutely guilt-free!

    Empowered with complex carbohydrates, satisfying proteins and healthy fats, these artisanal truffles provide you with long lasting energy. And what’s even better is that they actually promote fat loss by helping you get rid of unhealthy snacking habits and unnecessary munching!

    There are 2 scrumptious, delicious flavours for you to choose from: Jamocha, and Sinful Duo.
    Check them out in our Facebook Shop!

    Every single truffle is handcrafted, and does not have any additives, enhancers or preservatives added. The sweetness emerges from the fabulous ingredients themselves!

    Whereas normal store bought sweets derail you from your fitness goals, the Holistique Truffles do the exact opposite, and fast track your journey toward a healthy and happy you!

    So what are you waiting for??

    Go ahead and devour as many of these that you possibly can!!

    Stay Hydrated!

    The human body, as we all have been taught in school, is made up of 70%-75% of water. This little fact has been drilled into our heads! But what good has it really done?

    Most of us still do not realize the importance of water in our daily lives.

    Water is not just handy to quench our thirst. It is essential for the proper working of our bodily functions. It helps the body with digestion, absorption of food, regulating our body temperature, blood circulation, carrying nutrients and oxygen to the cells in our body, and for removal of toxins. Water also helps with the movement of joints, and helps protect organs and tissues of the body.

    Well, this is what we know. But what about fitness? Do you know how water helps us in achieving our fitness goals?

    Whether you are a professional athlete, or someone who exercises for recreational purposes, it is extremely important to stay hydrated.

    So, let’s take a look at how staying hydrated as you work out makes a difference.

    Helps You Lose Weight!
    Water helps in regulating your digestive system, so that the foods you eat are processed efficiently by your body.

    Improves Muscle Tone
    Our muscles are 75% water. Drinking more water helps you maintain your muscle tissue and muscle tone.

    Prevents Muscle Cramps
    Water and the electrolytes found in water allow your muscles to contract, while preventing shrinkage and helps prevent the soreness related to exercise.

    Prevents Illnesses
    Catching a cold or falling sick is something that completely derails our perfectly planned workout program. Staying hydrated helps us avoid that! Not only will drinking water help you if you do get sick, research has shown that drinking at least eight glasses of water a day will reduce your risk of falling ill in the first place.

    Helps Kidney Function
    Our kidneys filter the waste present in blood, which ensures that your muscles stay oxygenated efficiently. Water is essential for the kidneys to perform this function.

    So now that you know how important it is to stay hydrated, keep a check on the amount of water you are consuming! Track your water intake using a fitness journal, like our Holistique Journal, or use a mobile app!

    Let your thirst be your guide. Make sure your body doesn’t get dehydrated!

    Carry a bottle of water with you at all times, and keep sipping throughout the day. And don’t forget to refill that bottle!

    How much water do you drink in a day? Do you think it is sufficient?

    Let us know in the comments below!

    Pelvic Health Awareness

    Pelvic floor problems are way more common than you can imagine. One of the reasons you may not know about this is..? You guessed it right! Because we don’t talk about them!
    Numerous people suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction.

    The need for awareness about this topic is paramount. That’s why I got in touch with Ms. Suzanne Ko, a certified postnatal fitness specialist.

    In our blog today, we have come up with the FAQ’s people have about Pelvic health, and the answers to them!

    1. What is pelvic health? What all does it include?
    Pelvic health starts with the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is the base of our core. Along with its team members (diaphragm, transverse abdominis, multifidus), the pelvic floor helps to stabilize the body. A well-functioning pelvic floor assists us in performing daily activities and exercise.

    2. Are some women more prone to pelvic health issues than others?
    Yes.
    This can be due to many factors, including genetics, pregnancy, lifestyle habits, heavy physical work, chronic constipation, obesity, long-term coughing or asthma, or hysterectomy. Pelvic health issues do not just affect women, but also men. They can arise as early as adolescence.

    3. What are the most common pelvic health problems?

    The most common pelvic health problems are:

    • Diastasis recti – A weakening of the connective tissue between the “six-pack” muscle.
    • Pelvic organ prolapse – A condition where the organs of the pelvis descend toward or through the opening of the vagina due to a loss of support from the pelvic floor muscles, fascia, and ligaments.
    • Incontinence (urinary, fecal and/or gas)
    • Pelvic pain
    • Painful sex
    • Back, hip, sacrum, or coccyx pain
    These pelvic floor conditions do not just apply to women who have had a baby. They can also present in high-level athletes and some pelvic floor conditions present in men as well.

    4. How will I know if I have a pelvic health issue?
    Some will have a pelvic floor issue, but may not present with symptoms. Symptoms to look out for are signs of leaking, heaviness or pressure in pelvis, back pain or a feeling of incomplete bowel or bladder emptying.

    5. Is regular screening necessary? How often?
    Getting assessed by a physical therapist is a great way in actively being preventative when it comes to your overall health. It is highly recommended to get assessed by a women’s health pelvic floor physical therapist after your postpartum visit. Once cleared by your physical therapist, I recommend doing a yearly screen.

    6. When should I visit the doctor if I feel I have a pelvic health issue?
    I recommend seeking out a pelvic floor physical therapist if you feel that you have a pelvic health issue. A pelvic floor physical therapist addresses the the body as a whole, versus a doctor that will only treat the symptoms.

    7. What can I do to improve my pelvic health?
    Pelvic health starts with breathing and alignment. Pay attention to how you move throughout the day, which is more important than the hour you spend at the gym. This includes how you sit, stand, walk, pick up objects, perform household chores, pick up/hold/carry your children and how you use the bathroom. Try to keep your ribcage stacked over your hips and bum untucked, while performing any of these activities. Train for function at the gym, so you can perform your activities of daily living – hinging, squatting, pulling, pushing, rotation, loaded carry. Good nutrition is also an important factor, especially for new moms healing postpartum. Sufficient fiber in the diet will help prevent constipation.

    8. In a country like India, what hygiene methods should I follow to have good pelvic health?
    Elevating your feet (using a step stool) when you eliminate prevent excessive straining on the bladder and bowel. Hovering over the toilet can also put strain on the pelvic floor.

    9. How do I maintain pelvic health as I age? (At different ages)
    Implementing the changes I have suggested will help you to be proactive in your pelvic health, especially as you age. Changes in hormones in women as we age will increase pelvic floor conditions.

    Pelvic health is an extremely part of a fit and healthy life. It’s not a topic to shy away from, or to be ignored. It is something that needs to be discussed and talked about!

    If you have any other queries, please ask us in the comments below!
    Also, I would love to know what YOU do to take care of your pelvic floor!

    Snack Guilt-Free! Recipe #1

    Most of us LOVE late-afternoon snacks. We hog on anything and everything we can find in the kitchen at that time.
    But these late afternoon cravings have a big role to play in messing up our meal plans! Sure, we all have slip ups and cheat days, but when it becomes a habit, it prevents us from reaching our fitness goals.

    So what can we do to change that? Not eat anything when we are feeling hungry or have a craving for something yummy?
    NO!
    How about we eat the yummy food, but the right kind of yummy food?

    Read below for a delicious, yet super healthy recipe for those mid afternoon cravings!

    Sweet potato fries
    Serves 1

    Ingredients-
    1 medium-size sweet potato
    1/4 tsp Chilli flakes
    1/4 tsp Oregano
    1 tbsp Olive Oil
    Salt to taste.

    Method-
    Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
    First, peel the potatoes. After peeling, cut the potatoes into french fries wedges.
    Pat dry with paper towel.
    Mix the olive oil and spices to it. Add salt to taste.
    Cook in the air fryer for 22 to 25 minutes.
    Enjoy with different kinds of dips!

    If you don’t have an air fryer handy, just bake then in the oven at 200°C for yummy, crispy fries!

    Sweet potatoes aren’t just delicious, but also have a number of health benefits.
    They are soothing to the stomach and help prevent constipation.
    The health benefits also include their ability to help lose weight, boost immunity, aid in digestion, treat asthma and bronchitis, and control diabetes.

    So what kinds of snacks do you eat mid-afternoon? Do share your recipes in the comments below!
    And do try the recipe! Don’t forget to tell us how you liked it!

    Health is nothing without food

    In today’s blog post we’ll help you look at food in a different way. Food, and eating it, is not just a mechanical process that we do day in and out (like breathing). Nourishing yourself in the right way with the right fuel for your body will help you not only nutritionally and physically, but also stabilize your moods and overall balance.

    When it comes to eating right, there is no one-size-fits-all meal plan for everyone. As part of the Holistique program, we help you figure out what works for your lifestyle, and provide some invaluable advice along the way. For example, we encourage that you eat every 2-3 hours and that too eat what you enjoy. We don’t advocate going on fad diets for a temporary goal. These diets are not sustainable for the long term, and often make you feel bad when going off the plan, leading to guilt eating.

    Instead, we suggest foods based on your existing diet pattern, as that is what your body has been used to for so many years. The most important thing is to plan your meals in advance, and once you are into a routine of doing this, you’ll see how easy it is to maintain a food plan that works for your body whilst also giving you results along with the workouts you are doing.

    A couple of other tips and tricks on nourishment:

    • Remove all junk food from your pantry! If it’s not there, you won’t be tempted to eat it
    • Eat the right foods at the right time. We can help you figure out when your body will best digest that dessert you crave, as well as pre and post workout meals
    • Eat the rainbow! This means eating all types of fruits and vegetables, preferably seasonal and locally produced

    *SPECIAL RECIPE – TURMERIC MILK*

    The irony about food in this generation is that our grandmother’s recipes are often dismissed as old wives tales, and yet these very recipes are proving their ageless value over time. One such example is the simple yet effective “haldi doodh” – turmeric milk. We all know that turmeric is a store house of healthy properties, and is used for healing, and as an every day spice in all Indian homes. Typically, turmeric has been known to boost immunity, and a nightly dose of haldi doodh can keep all ailments away, according to grandma. Here’s a simple recipe for this power drink which you can have every night before bed, or as a snack in between meals:

    Recipe Ingredients:
    • 1 inch fresh turmeric (grated) or 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder    
    • 200ml milk
    • Honey or sugar to taste    
    • Black pepper powder to taste (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon Desi Ghee

    Method:

    1. Heat ghee in a pan until slightly warm. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder (or grated turmeric) to it and mix well.
    2. Pour in 200ml milk, mix well, and bring to boil for a couple of minutes.
    3. Once it boils, turn off the heat and allow the turmeric milk mixture to rest (covered) for two more minutes. 
    4. Strain the milk and turmeric mixture into a glass, stir in sugar / honey and black pepper as desired
    5. Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios, and serve the turmeric milk while still hot.

    Enjoy!

    If you have any more old family turmeric milk recipes, tell me in the comments below!

    Rant Alert! When you got it, flaunt it

    Ladies, let me tell you something. The fact that you work out is a privilege, it’s a good thing, it’s something you ought to shout from the rooftops! Don’t be shy about it, be proud of it! You do it because you are able, and because you have the right idea of taking care of your body and living an active life!

    This rant is about why women want to hide it from the world that they workout. Many women refuse to share their videos or photos on social media, and yet they want to be clicked, and worse still – viewing similar stories by strangers online inspires them. Is it that you feel embarrassed? Is it that you believe in the evil eye, and some undeniable force might stop your progress just by viewing a picture of you on social media?

    It’s understandable to fear the unknown, the random strangers who don’t know you and yet might enjoy checking out such posts and pictures. That’s something we can’t really avoid in today’s digital age. What you ought to remember is that you could be inspiring another ordinary person with similar challenges as you to take out time for themselves and achieve their goals. Haters are always going to hate, and living in fear of that should not stop you from being accountable for your goals – so ladies, put it out there! Get online!

    Think of it this way: you are helping to make the world a happier, healthier and fitter place. People will always talk, so let them. If they talk negative, it could be that they are jealous. If they talk positively, then be glad that you impacted someone in that way. You never know who you might inspire by sharing your journey, so just know that whatever you are doing is not only good for you and your direct family, but for your peer influences as well.
    All this aside, be proud of the choices you have made to keep your body moving. Realize that your hard work and progress can motivate and inspire others. Show people your before and after shots, and even your work-in-progress shots. Because the truth is, it’s always going to be a journey. Fitness has no final destination. Once you get a taste of it, you will always and only want to better yourself.

    Workout Smarter not Harder

    How often should you train? Is 5 days better or 2 days?

    These are some of the questions I am often asked at the studio. The truth is, training frequency is a highly debated topic in the fitness industry. Currently the mindset of most women is to work out five days per week because they believe that the more you exercise, the more results will show. This is a MYTH! In fact, many women spend an hour or less a day working out and the rest of the day in a somewhat sedentary fashion – which actually negates the workout benefits!

    My philosophy on training for strength and fat loss is simple. I want to do as little as possible to continue making progress. If anything, I’d rather under train than over train. This goes hand-in-hand with another key priority: I always focus on quality of training and movement. What many fail to realize is that for fat loss, we often need a total lifestyle overhaul.

    Benefits of training 2 days a week include:

    – Prevents gross overtraining

    – See progress faster than traditional workout frequencies

    – Joints love 2 days per week as it reduces chances of doing something that hurts or injures your joints

    – Exercises in the program are more focussed, making you good at what you do and getting you the results you need and want

    – Time is freed up to focus on your nourishment (planning, shopping, cooking) and rejuvenation part of your lifestyle. Without nutrition and stress management, you won’t get the maximum benefit from your workouts

    Your body builds or gives you the best results when it has time to recover from every workout along with good nutrition and rejuvenation. In any myofascial fitness program, I recommend 48 hours for recovery. But that doesn’t mean your body isn’t working – during recovery your body is actually repairing and becoming stronger on a cellular level, and burning fat to do this!

    Now, I don’t advocate that you spend the rest of the days lazing around – in fact you’ll feel the opposite. Your workouts should give you energy on your other days to keep your body moving as it was meant to. You can go for walks, treks, cycle, dance, play with your kids, and feel great that you’re living an active lifestyle. You will see for yourself once you move more frequently – not only are you more in tune with your body, but you tend to “get it” much faster.

    At the end of the day, the real question is not how often you should train but how much can you recover from training?

    By switching from 5 days to 2 days a week, I have made the best progress in my career for my clients and myself.  Like everything in training, you need to figure out what works best for you and your body. Once you figure it out, you’ll be amazed at the progress you make.

    Tell me in the comments below what kind of workout works for you!