The perfect diet to follow during your Period.

 

Disclaimer: This is not a Sponsored Post. I received a sample of the herbal brews from Period Hub and tried it out. I liked it and so wished to share it with my readers. 

 

Periods are a pain, isn’t it? Ask any woman and she will add with a grimace how she dreads those five days of the month. The lower backache, stomach cramps, pimples/acne, nausea, headache, indigestion, fatigue, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression…all of these spoil our days and leave us with no enthusiasm for either work or social life.

But, I remember what my professor back in college told us during a lecture on Women and Health. She said,

“Be proud of your Period. Love it, for it’s what makes you a WOMAN!”

Frankly, I don’t know if we ought to conider our period our “Identity Card”, but it looks after our health in ways we may never know! All it really needs is some extra care, perfect diet, some exercise, and some TLC during those five days to make it a pleasant experience.

Of course, there will be days when we may not feel like doing a thing except stay in bed all day. But, it’s something I have observed, that when I just stay in bed doing nothing, the body aches and the discomfort increases. And, when I get off the bed and get busy doing things around the house, or work on my blog, I forget about all the aches and pains and feel better, instantly!

And, to these activities, I add the right diet that ensures my digestion stays in a good shape, too! Our digestive system is such, any minor issue with it can ruin our mood and our entire day. During PMS and periods, our digestion goes all awry. Some of us suffer from constipation and some others from diarrhoea, and, what better than food to take care of all these problems?

Read Menstruation and self-care.

 

Today, as we focus on FOOD, I am sharing what I have learned over the years…the perfect period diet. It’s helped me over the years since I began taking better care of myself. I hope it helps you, too.

The perfect period diet.

6 WAYS TO A PERFECT PERIOD DIET:

1 FRUITS & LEAFY GREENS:

it’s really a cliche that having 5 servings of fruits a day keeps our health in good shape. But, really, increasing your fruit intake during PMS and Periods will ensure two things:

  1. You will not suffer from any digestion problems.
  2. The vitamins and minerals present in fruits will help in strengthening the immune system and keep us healthy, especially since we are a lot vulnerable during this time.

Fruits like bananas, watermelons, oranges, lemons, plums make for the perfect fruits to eat during periods. The natural sugars present in these fruits supply the energy we lose during periods. Their vitamin C, magnesium and potassium content drives away nausea and fatigue and brightens up the mood, and their fibre content makes sure our digestive system is in good shape.

TIP:

Did you know, eating a banana helps keep the depressive feeling at bay? Begin your day with a banana instead of coffee or tea and see the difference.

LEAFY GREENS:

Spinach is one of the best veggies loaded with iron, and it’s one veggie we ought to add to our plate as much as we can. We lose iron through the blood flow and to replace it we need to include leafy greens to our diet. Add fenugreek, too, along with spinach. Buying locally grown veggies will do a world of good to your health as these will be fresh when you get them home.

Read  An easy raita recipe

2 EGGS:

Eggs are the best source of proteins and iron that makes up the perfect period diet.  The essential fatty acids present in eggs, apart from proteins, make this one of the healthiest foods to consume every day.

You could add veggies like tomatoes, onions, capsicum or mushrooms, cheese and herbs to make an omelette, or scrambled eggs, too. The possibilities are countless!

Read Pack in those proteins

TIP: 

I have experienced that eating hard-boiled eggs during periods gives me gas, so I opt for an omelette with loads of capsicum, cheese and oregano. I don’t necessarily have it with bread always. Sometimes, I have just an omelette of two eggs and it keeps me full for almost 3 hours.

3 FLUIDS:

Increasing water intake during periods helps digest your food well, prevents constipation, gas and bloating and also flushes out the toxins from your system.

If drinking plain water feels boring, you can opt for herbal brews.

Herbal brews from The Period Hub

I tried the Lavender + mint tea (SERENI-TEA) and the hibiscus + mint tea (VITALI-TEA) from The Period Hub. And although I am not a tea lover, I would vouch for these brews because of how they solved the bloating problem I face during PMS.

These also help calm a stressed and anxious mind, give relief from headache and freshen you up instantly, thanks to their vitamin C and antioxidant content.

You could also try coconut water, buttermilk, freshly made lemon or orange juice.

Personally, I prefer cold coffee. I did quit drinking coffee on an everyday basis some months ago, but I turn to it during PMS and periods, once a day, to give me that rush of energy that I crave, especially during the afternoon.

And, to my coffee, I add jaggery instead of sugar. Around two spoons of jaggery sweetens my coffee and doesn’t make me feel guilty, at all!

Tip: In your coffee mug, take the required quantity of jaggery and coffee, add a little bit of milk and mash the jaggery well. Once it dissolves thoroughly, add the rest of the milk, stir and drink.

4 YOGHURT:

Yoghurt, with its active bacteria, is your gut’s best friend. And, a healthy gut is always a happy YOU!

Its high protein, calcium and vitamin content makes it a fabulous breakfast food.

Here’s the breakfast I have with yoghurt every day:

Yoghurt – 1 cup

Oats – 5 spoons

Banana – 1, chopped

Apple – 1, finely chopped.

To a cup of yoghurt, add some water to make it slightly thin. Then, add the oats, banana and apple and allow it all to soak in for about 10 minutes. Add some honey, or dates and almonds,  and your breakfast is ready!

Try it.  It takes just 5 minutes of prep time and is the best breakfast recipe for a busy woman.

 

5 SEEDS:

Flaxseeds have a positive effect on our moods, on our stress hormones.  Consumption of flaxseed powder ( 7 gm/day)  over a period of time regularises your menstrual cycle. Its high protein and Omega 3 fatty acids content work best especially for those on a strictly vegetarian diet.

TIP:

Dry roast the seeds in a thick bottomed pan on medium heat.

Stir continuously till they start popping.

Switch off the gas and allow to cool.

Once cool, grind to a fine powder and store in an airtight jar.

Consume a spoonful every morning on an empty stomach and drink two glasses of warm water to wash it down. Flax seeds and the powder, too, stick to the gums and inside the mouth. You will need some getting-used-to to get into the habit of having this powder every day, but it will be one of the best things you would be doing for your health.

 

6 CHOCOLATES:

Chocolates are a girl’s best friend! And, dark chocolates more so, especially during periods. Chocolates increase the feel-good hormones in our body. They relax us and make us happy, and it’s for this reason that we crave chocolates during those five days!

Read For the love of chocolates

 

JUNK FOOD:

No, junk food isn’t what you need to add to your diet during periods, but it’s something we crave!

I crave potato chips and the Indian street food – chaat. But, I stay away from spicy stuff as it doesn’t agree with my digestive system. I do make sure to have an extra helping of fruit, though, as it cleans up my system! So, if you, too, crave for some junk food, some pizza or pasta or burgers, just go ahead, and have it without feeling guilty. It’s all we can do to feel better, isn’t it? But, do add some extra helping of clean food to your palette. Balance is the key!

 

We are what we eat. So, it makes sense eating healthy to stay healthy, however much uninteresting it might seem sometimes. Prepare a diet plan that suits your tastes, preferences, schedule and your energy levels, and follow it, religiously, to benefit from it. Make the perfect diet work for you.

Have a Happy Period!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

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The perfect period diet.

Corn on the cob for weight-watchers.

Corn on the cob is my favourite monsoon foods. I love the roasted one with butter, salt and chilly powder smeared on it, and I also love the steamed sweet corn kernels with butter, lemon juice, and chat masala added that makes it so flavourful!

Corn contains about 100 calories and 3 grams of fiber per serving. And if you may have noticed how full you feel after eating corn, then you ought to understand that it’s because of that ‘fullness’ that you might be skipping your dinner! So, that makes corn one of the veggies that help you lose weight.

Corn is also rich in iron, folic acid and Vitamin B 12. All of which makes it one of the go-to veggies to help you fight anemia.

It’s also good for your eyesight, or should I say, it’s the perfect ‘Eye-food’, just like a carrot?

Corn is one of the veggies you need to include in your diet if you wish to lose weight and stay healthy.

 

Last week, I came across a very simple recipe on Pinterest. The Mexican sweet corn salad with capsicum, tomatoes, and onion. I prepared it, immediately, as I luckily had corn in the freezer. It was all I ate for dinner, and it was so filling!

Today, I am sharing this salad recipe here. It’s for the fitness freaks who, too, prefer salads. It’s also for those, like me, who prefer easy recipes that require hardly any time to prepare.

I am also sharing another recipe I came across on Pinterest. The Corn-cheese toast which is a treat for the taste buds. ;P It’s for those days when you wish to take a break from your healthy diet and enjoy some junk food. We are allowed to cheat once in a while, aren’t we?

Recipe

MEXICAN SWEET CORN SALAD:

Mexican Sweet Corn Salad

INGREDIENTS: SERVES 1

Sweet corn – 1 bowl, steamed.

Capsicum – 1 small-sized, finely chopped

Tomato – 1 small-sized, finely chopped

Onion – 1 small-sized, finely chopped

Lemon juice – 1/2 teaspoon

Dried Oregano – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Ingredients for corn salad

Ingredients for corn salad

Method:

Wash the corn kernels and steam for a few minutes till they are soft.

In a bowl, take the steamed corn kernels, finely chopped capsicum, onion and tomato.

Mix all the ingredients well.

Add the lemon juice, salt and oregano.

Serve warm.

That’s all! Isn’t that easy? And, quick, too!

CHEESE CORN TOAST:

INGREDIENTS: SERVES 3

Bread slices – 5 to 6 (I used the normal loaf of bread, which you can too if you don’t have a bakery in your neighborhood).

Butter – as required

Ingredients for Corn cheese toast.

FOR THE SAUCE:

Butter – 1 tbsp

All purpose flour – 1.5 tbsp

Milk – 1 cup, warm

Garlic – 1 tbsp, minced

Onion – 1/4 cup, finely chopped

Cheese – 1/2 cup, shredded (I have used English Cheddar here).

Herbs (Oregano, thyme, rosemary – all of my favourite) – for seasoning.

Salt to taste.

METHOD:

In a pan, melt the butter and add the minced garlic. Saute well for a few minutes.

Melt butter and add minced garlic and saute for few minutes

Then, add the finely chopped onion and saute till it turns pink.

Add the flour once the onion is pink

Add the flour and mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes (don’t let it burn) and then add the lukewarm milk.

Add milk and herbs to make the sauce

Whisk gently, continuously on medium heat till it thickens. Make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, so stir continuously.

Add salt and mix well.

Add the shredded cheese, mix well and switch off the burner.

Add in the shredded cheese

Next, add the steamed corn kernels and the herbs and mix well.

Add the kernels once the sauce is ready.

Butter the bread slice on both sides and toast it in a frying pan. You could also toast it in an oven. I toasted it only on one side as that’s how I like it.

Spread the sauce on the slice and bake on the pan with the lid for a few minutes.

Serve hot.

You would like to visit these websites where I found the recipes. The food there is just heavenly!

Do try out these recipes and let me know how you liked them. And, go ahead and have some corn!

Love,

SHILPA…

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Benefits of Corn on the cob

Art post for July’19

Blogging, writing, working on Pinterest and creating posts for social media has taken up my time so much so, that finding time for art is getting tougher. Time, and mood, too. ;P

But, there are times, especially when some lively music is played on YouTube, that I get this wild enthusiasm to make an artwork. The result of which are sketches like these two that I made this month.

The pencil sketch was made quite some time back. I had left it halfway through and completed it before sharing it here, as also the little mandala.  And, I realized that beginning my Monday work schedule with art made me a lot alert and cheerful.

So, I guess this is how my Mondays will begin from now on, with a tiny piece of art to kick-start the week!

Beginning a Monday with an activity that you are passionate about, gives your day an interesting start.

Of course, we really don’t have any time to indulge in extra-curricular activities on a Monday morning, but even if it’s reading a page from a book or making a doodle or solving a puzzle while travelling, it can cheer you up in no time.

Beginning the day on such a positive note is sure to keep you feeling positive all day, don’t you think?

So, how do you begin your Mondays?

Mandala

 

I held a pencil in my hand and made this sketch over three days as I took frequent breaks. The hand looks okay-ish, but I liked the pencil most. 🙂

Pencil sketch of a hand

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

How to begin a Monday

5 simple ways to self-love.

Last week, I wrote a post that spoke about Julia Cameron’s bestseller, ‘The Artist’s Way’, and how it helped me. The Morning Pages she wrote about in the book helped me not only hone my writing skills but most importantly, they helped me deal with the chronic stress I was struggling with some years ago.

And, it was while going through the book for my post, I came across a passage that spoke about cherishing yourself, the artist in you, and how important it is to do so.

I found a fantastic idea for a blog post therein and this is what I came up with.

Julia Cameron shared 5 things to do to cherish the artist within us all. Yes, there is an artist within each one of us. It’s just that we are too stubborn in our ways to look for that artist and give him/her a voice.

However, my post is about self-love and 5 simple ways to self-love, to cherish ourselves. I am using the suggestions Julia shared in her book because I found them to be so relatable, so doable!

These are simple things, really, that each one of us ought to do for OURSELVES. For, as I always say, if we don’t look after ourselves, who will?

Self-care and self-love should be developed into an everyday habit that we follow each day, every day.

So, here’s those five things Julia Cameron asks us to do. I will be doing these for myself as well as for the artist within me. I will be noting it down in a list every Sunday when I sit down to assess my performance during the entire week.

Well, we all are a work in progress so it’s our duty to make sure we are working on ourselves, diligently.

5 SIMPLE WAYS TO SELF-LOVE: (Julia Cameron)

List five small victories

List three nurturing actions you took for your artist.

List three actions you could take to comfort your artist.

Make three nice promises to yourself. Keep them.

Do one lovely thing for yourself each day of the week.

HOW TO FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE WAYS TO SELF-LOVE:

Once you read this post, give yourself a week before you begin making the notes.

On the day you decide to do this activity, sit down in a quiet place with no distractions, whatsoever. Keep your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, or mute any notifications, switch off the TV and concentrate on YOURSELF.

In your journal (I hope you do have a journal where you note down your thoughts/goals/plans etc) write the title on top of a page.

You could use bright, colorful pens to make these lists for the simple reason that it will add some vibrancy to the activity.

Note: I have used the word ‘yourself’ instead of ‘artist’, here.

List five small victories:

Now, think about every little thing that worked out for you during the week. Be it anything: right from starting your day fresh as a lily, to sending your child to school without any chaos, to being able to submit your work before the deadline, to get a recipe perfect.

Just remember, whether you work from home or in an office setup, you ARE working, and during the span of a day, there are times when things do not work out the way you wish them to.

So, on the days when things do go your way, consider it a victory! And, note it down in your list, even if you find them insignificant.

List three nurturing actions you took for yourself:

Reading a self-help book, finding time to workout, preparing a diet plan for yourself and following it, religiously, taking up a new hobby, enjoying some me-time, taking an afternoon nap, going out with your friends for a coffee/movie/lunch date, whatever it may be, it’s something you do to nurture your SELF.

Think about three such things you did for yourself during the week and note them down under this topic.

List three actions you could take to comfort yourself:

We have days when our hormones wreak havoc on our systems. We don’t feel like working, heck, we don’t feel like lifting a finger! Our body just refuses to co-operate with our mind or listen to our heart and all we crave is to laze all day.

I experienced these feelings for two days in a row this week. I knew it could be because my chums were on, as well as after they are over. I knew my hormones were doing this crazy dance in my system because of which I was exhausted all day.

So, what did I do? There were chores which I had to complete, whatever my state of mind and body. But, after completing those chores and taking a shower, I decided to take it easy. I made sure I had my breakfast, a mid-morning snack, and lunch on time. Well, our body needs the fuel and however much fatigued we are, we ought to eat. Period.

I read the newspapers and a book, put on some music, changed my daily work plan to adjust it as per my mood, but I made sure my To-do list didn’t get a lot disturbed.

And, in the evening, I went for a walk with my earphones on, playing my favorite music. By the end of the day, I felt much better! That’s what you need to do and write about under this topic!

Make three nice promises to yourself. Keep them:

Yes, you write down three promises to YOURSELF and you keep those promises. You make sure you follow on those promises and make yourself happy and proud!

Just do it and see how good it feels. Even if it means reading a chapter from a book or having your meals on time. That’s what I am doing these days.

Do one lovely thing for yourself each day of the week:

Be it something as small and insignificant as giving yourself a head massage or something major, like chalking up a new plan for your catering business. do it.

You could break it up into segments and follow it up during the week, or you could do one tiny thing each day. What matters is you make yourself and your needs a priority.

And, then, when you sit down to assess your performance on the next Sunday, you will see for yourself how good you feel!

Self-care and self-love need to be an everyday matter. Whatever you do, make sure you look after yourself and your needs, too, apart from those of your family’s.

Make this a weekly ritual and I am sure it will turn into a lifelong habit.

We ought to try out whatever we can to make sure we are well looked after, isn’t it? And, who better than WE to do it with precision!

Do try out these 5 simple steps to self-love and share with me your experience. I would love to hear from you!

Love,

SHILPA…

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GIVE YOURSELF some LOVE

The secret to healthy, beautiful skin.

 

(Updated on 15 February 2020, by Shilpa Gupte)

We read so much about beauty treatments that claim to help us achieve the skin of our dreams, a la the glamorous women on the screen. How we wish we had that glow, that radiance that sets a thousand hearts aflutter!

But, seldom do we realize that what we see on the screen could very well be the airbrushing carried out to hide the flaws and make the women appear perfect, even when they are not!

In the desire to get the skin and the beauty of those screen goddesses, we try and look for the secret to healthy beautiful skin everywhere we can to transform ourselves into Ms.Beautiful or Ms. Young Forever.

Not only do we spend precious money on stuff that might work only on the outside, but also put our health at risk from using chemicals that aren’t supposed to be applied to our gentle skin.

Beautiful skin is NOT a result of beauty products or treatments at the salons.

Beautiful skin is a result of what we eat, how well we take care of our health from the inside and how little chemicals we use.

The skin that we see on the models in glamour magazines or the silver screen is NOT genuine. It’s all made up, with the help of makeup and lighting, and of course, technology! If you took a closer look at those ladies without their makeup on, you would be appalled to see what you do!

The real secret to healthy, beautiful skin lies in something else!

Your skin is a reflection of your gut health. So, work on improving your digestion, and stay away from harmful chemicals.

It’s as simple as that!

All it takes is some changes in your mindset and your grocery list. Oh, and also, reducing the chemicals from your skin care products!

Sharing today, some simple ways to make these changes and some recipes to incorporate foodstuffs that are betterskin care products than the cosmetics you buy from your chemist.

 

SECRET TO HEALTHY, BEAUTIFUL SKIN

6 SIMPLE WAYS TO HEALTHY, BEAUTIFUL SKIN:

1. ADD BRIGHT COLOURED VEGGIES TO YOUR FOOD PLATE:

Vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, beetroots, spinach all contain antioxidants apart from precious vitamins, fiber, minerals that take care of your health from within.

Antioxidants are the army of protectors that guard our cells against damage from harmful molecules known as free radicals. Let’s not go into those scientific details, but just focus on including these bright colored veggies in our food palette, for, these also add color to our cheeks!

Doing this is really simple. All you need to do is go for salads, soups or juices (all homemade) to benefit from these superpowers! If, like me, you prefer simple recipes that need very less time to cook, then do read these recipes I share below. Trust me, these take just 15-20 minutes of cook time!

Read Have you had your daily dose of antioxidants?

2. HAVE A CUP OR TWO OF YOGURT EVERY DAY:

Yogurt, or curd, consists of live bacteria that help keep our gut healthy and free of toxins. And, as I said, a healthy gut is the secret to beautiful skin. It also improves your immunity and safeguards you from infections.

SECRET TO HEALTHY, BEAUTIFUL SKIN

If plain yogurt is boring, then opt for raitas made of curd and colorful veggies like pumpkin or spinach. These, too, are easy and quick to prepare recipes , cooling for the system, easy to digest and beautiful for your skin.

It’s easy to set curd at home. You really need not get everything readymade. Moreover, the homemade stuff will always be a lot more hygienic, wholesome and fresh compared to its readymade counterparts.

Read Raita recipe for beautiful skin and healthy gut.

3. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR WATER INTAKE:

How boring it is reading over and over again that we must drink those 8 to 10 glasses of water every day, isn’t it? But, there is a lot of sense in those words!

Secret to healthy, beautiful skin

Water is the natural moisturizer and gut cleanser that gives us healthy, beautiful skin. Remember how, when you were young and had to suffer from those awful pimples and acne, how mom or grandmom would say, “Maybe you have a poor digestive system! Drink lots of water, dear, and clean your system!”

Water helps in breaking down the food you eat and softens it so that your body can absorb it better. It also helps soften the stools and prevents painful constipation, thus taking care of your gut health.

If keeping track of your water intake is a problem, then set alarms on your smartphone to remind you 8 to 10 times in a day to have a drink …of water! 😉 Ta-da! Your problem is sorted!

Read Drink enough water.

4. WORK OUT A SWEAT:

Exercising not only helps improve your heart health but also gives a good workout to every organ of the body which in turn reflects on our skin. Our intestines work better which results in good digestion, and the sweat helps throw out the toxins, giving us a clear skin.

Secret to healthy, beautiful skin
Photo by mr lee on Unsplash

Also, exercising improves the blood circulation and helps in producing the natural antioxidants which protect our cells from damage. Finally, exercising releases the happy hormones (dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin) that, in turn, reflects on your face.

Keep the workout simple and easy, though. Take into consideration your age, flexibility, capability and daily schedule and then select an exercise regimen, and stick to it. It’s a matter of some days before it becomes a habit, a much-needed lifestyle change.

5. KEEP IT NATURAL:

As in, opt for natural ingredients to look after your skin from outside instead of going in for costly skincare products and treatments. These are loaded with chemicals that you can’t even pronounce! You will know when you read the ingredients on the packaging.

Secret to healthy, beautiful skin

Kitchen ingredients, on the other hand, make for better skincare products: body and face scrubs, cleansers and moisturizers, lotions etc.  They don’t contain any chemicals and do not have any side-effects, either. You just need to experiment as to which of these suit your skin type.

Read Kitchen ingredients for your skincare routine.

6 SLEEP AWAY YOUR TROUBLES:

Sleep is the best of all! 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted beauty sleep every night gives our skin the rest and relaxation it needs to rejuvenate itself. The freshness we see the morning after tells us how well we have slept.

Beauty secrets for the skin of your dreams

Having trouble sleeping? No problem! I have it covered.

Here’s a post on TRIPHALA CHURNA that will help you sleep better.

 

One last tip:

Keep it simple and natural. Refrain from pampering your skin too much. It’s a piece of advice my mum always gives me. Less pampering means your skin stays healthier and stronger with the help of the actual tonic it needs – FOOD!

 

CONCLUSION:

If you provide the right manure and nutrients to a plant, it grows well and gives you beautiful blossoms. Simply planting it in a designer vase will not help it stay healthy and beautiful, will it? In the same way, taking care of your skin from the inside will ensure a bright and beautiful skin from the outside.

 

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Secret to healthy, beautiful skin

 

 

 

 

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