Monthly Archives: March 2011

I Love You India But… Things Have Changed

Picture from Littlefoodjunction

The ancient Indian diet used to…

  • be rich in saturated fats (especially from dairy, ghee and coconut).
  • contain only little vegetable oils.
  • only contain grains that had be fermented/sprouted extensively.
  • include a multitude of different spices (turmeric, holy basil, coriander etc.) with amazing health benefits.
  • provide enough calories (and carbohydrates) to fuel the intense activity of our ancestors.

The present typical Indian diet…

  • is dominated by grains which are cooked too quickly and carelessly.
  • has little to no protein.
  • is high in vegetable oils.
  • is stripped out of healthy fats.
  • is loaded with anti-nutrients from grains and legumes due to lack of sprouting/fermenting.
  • is deficient multiple vitamins (especially A and B12) and minerals due to the lack of vegetables and animal foods.
  • contains more carbohydrates than is safe for the current lifestyle.
  • is extremely high in (empty) calories (and carbohydrates) for the obvious sedentarism being commonly exhibited.

Though the country isn’t plagued with junk food and fast food chains yet and though most people still eat home cooked meals, today India…

  • has the highest number of diabetics in the world.
  • accounts for 60% of heart disease cases worldwide.
  • is home to ~ 174 million overweight/obese people (in spite of widespread hunger and poverty)
  • has ~ 71 million people suffering from iodine deficiency.
  • ranks 2nd in the world with respect to children suffering from malnutrition.
  • has 4 children under the age of 5 dying every minute due to preventable diseases and lack of immunity.
  • is the country in the world with the lowest number of total Olympic medals per capita.

Maybe there is a connection? Maybe we need to be a bit more open minded? Maybe we should stop with the ‘The Indian vegetarian diet is the healthiest diet!‘? Maybe we should consider a change?

You tell me!

Peace out.

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What can a trainer do for you?

As far as I’m concerned health is paramount and health can never improve without a good diet. It is for this reason that I emphasize solid nutrition even prior to exercise if your goal is good health. As a matter of fact I have clients who workout just twice a week for 15 min a day, while they focus purely on correcting their nutrition. In my honest opinion, every fitness trainer should invest the time to learn about legit nutrition if he/she cares about his/her client’s health and long term well-being. So for the remainder of this post when I say trainer, I’m referring to one who is well acquainted with the latest research in exercise physiology AND nutrition.

That said, it’s sad… really sad… that trainers (especially in developing countries like India) are not given much respect. So much so that no one really “aspires” to be a trainer. It’s almost considered a menial profession that only folks who have “no other outs” get in to. Don’t get me wrong. You throw peanuts you get only monkeys. For the amount of money the gyms actually pay trainers, no one will really dream about being a trainer. On the other hand though, most trainers have little to no qualifications or knowledge to actually be respected and/or paid handsomely. Very very few trainers are actually informed enough to help their clients. So hey, if you’ve got only monkeys you can only throw peanuts right? A classic chicken and egg situation.

Seriously??

Getting to the point

But let’s assume you found a legit trainer. Someone who…

  • is super passionate about fitness,
  • genuinely wants to help people,
  • doesn’t look at clients as walking dollar bills,
  • is very familiar with exercise physiology,
  • is well versed in human anatomy,
  • is aware of what good nutrition is,
  • doesn’t prescribe a one size fits all exercise and nutrition approach,
  • and doesn’t buy into fads like 300 workouts or low whatever diets.

What can such a trainer do for you?

Without any exaggeration, he/she can…

  • instantly make your inflamed joints feel better
  • make you look awesome
  • teach you a thing or two about hard work
  • fix your mobility issues
  • motivate you to an extent that you change your life around
  • help you with nutrient deficiencies
  • help you fight, prevent and maybe even cure autoimmune diseases via good nutrition
  • teach you the right way to stand, sit, walk, run and move
  • make you stronger than you ever imagined
  • make you healthier than your doctor can
  • save you tens of thousands of bucks (which you will have spent on healthcare if not for him/her)
  • work with you to help you excel in your sport/event
  • ensure you’re not scammed by helping you differentiate between BS and legit info
  • help you sleep better
  • make your sex life much better
  • make that pot belly of yours disappear
  • help you find food allergies you had no idea about
  • fix that lower back pain you are suffering with
  • help you achieve physical feats you never thought possible
  • literally add 10+ years to you life
  • make you the dad who kids love to play with
  • help you win that tennis match with your 20 yr old
  • tell you what real food is
  • make you feel years younger in a matter of weeks

Or in other words… a legit trainer can improve the quality of your life like you can never imagine.

Where can you find such trainers?

Though such trainers are not easy to find, I am sure they exist in every city. Invest some time researching and finding such folks instead of signing up with any guy who looks big and jacked. Be sure you work with good trainer ‘cos, realize, you are literally trusting your life with this person. He/she is getting a chance to make a huge difference in your life and he/she better be worth it!

If you don’t find any good trainers in your city, here are some awesome folks whose work I follow regularly and strongly recommend for you to work with (IF they have openings).

(Note: If you want to work with me, I am in the process of doing some consultation for charity. So expect a wait-time.)

Bottom Line

So stop kidding yourself about your health and go get yourself an awesome trainer! It will be the best money you ever spent.

And remember… always respect the legit trainers and don’t hesitate to fire the worthless idiots!

– Peace out.

5min Breakfast Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs [cage free recommended]
  • Handful of chopped frozen or fresh peppers and/or other vegetables
  • Organic pasta sauce
  • About 1 oz of Mozzarella cheese
  • Salt, pepper, spices

Procedure:

  • Crack the eggs in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Add peppers (and/or other vegetables)
  • Add salt, pepper and spices
  • Cover and microwave on high for 2-3 min.
  • Remove lid, add cheese and top with pasta sauce.
  • Get a picture.

Nutrition:

  • Total calories ~ 250
  • Protein ~ 19 gm
  • Fat ~ 16 gm
  • Carbs negligible
  • Micronutrients: PLENTY from egg yolks and peppers (and/or other vegetables)

Say what?

  • Not enough fat? Top with some coconut oil/butter/olive oil and/or add in a couple of eggs.
  • Want more protein? Add meat to the mix or add a couple more eggs and some egg whites.
  • Crave sweet? Have a piece of fruit on the side.
  • Crappy photo? Yea so? The 5min included the photography.

Some Perspective:

  • My 5min breakfast was made of the following – eggs, peppers, cheese, tomato, onions, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and nothing more!
  • What was your breakfast made of? Do me a favor – look behind the box of your heart healthy cereal/oats/bread, jam, juice, bar etc and tell me what ingredients you see.

It’s too easy to eat right folks. One meal at a time… let’s go back to eating real food! From my side, I’ll try to post more such easy, healthy and delicious recipes moving forward… if, from your side, you will email me recipes that you come up with! What say? Do we have a deal?

Peace out!

Get fit and give back

Picture from http://www.relationalliving.org

I had my 28th birthday last week and while I enjoyed my awesome flan and exquisite huge wholesome meals, I realize that there are way too many children, women and men in this world who can’t afford a single square meal. In an effort to do my part to help them, I plan on doing some personal consultation where 100% of the proceeds go directly to a charity.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you probably remember that I did consultation for charity in December and, thanks to the donors (clients), the total donation towards various charities ended up at ~ $1,200.00. This might sound like a modest amount, but realize that this is a HUGE sum of money post currency conversion… a sum so huge it is enough to feed an entire village. (FYI – USD 1,200 = Rs. 60,000 = 98,000 Japanese yen = 8000 Chinese yuan)

Here are the details for this time.

  • I will take in 6 clients (and no more) this week (28th March to 3rd April) for personal consultation.
  • From your (the client’s) standpoint everything will be the same. You and I will communicate, you will fill out a client fitness assessment questionnaire, you will receive a completely customized workout and/or nutrition plan (per your requirement) and then we’ll work together to help you reach your goals.
  • The only difference – you will not be paying me my consultation fee. You will be paying my fee to a charity instead. Since I do this every once in a while, I can help you direct your funds to a cause or you can choose to make the donation to a charity of your choice and send me a confirmation. Either ways the money goes directly from you to the charitable organization.
  • The fee doesn’t change. The terms don’t change. The quality of programming doesn’t change (not one bit). The consultation period doesn’t change. Only, the payment will be directed to charity.

What do you get out of this?

  • A personalized nutrition and workout program which will help you reach your fitness goals.
  • A chance to help someone in need (donations are to be made by you in your name).
  • Tax benefits (donations are tax deductible).

What do I get out of this?

  • A chance to work with you.
  • A chance to help someone in need.

Does anyone else get anything out of this?

Well of course! Depending on who your charity is directed towards you could be helping autistic kids become a part of the society or you could be feeding hungry 3 yr olds or you could be helping with cancer research or you could even send underprivileged kids to school.

If you are interested, contact me at raj.hbfser@gmail.com with “Consultation request: Charity” in the subject line. If you’re not interested but think some of your contacts will be, please share this post in your blog or facebook or twitter accounts.

I think you will all agree with me when I say there is more suffering than there needs to be and every single one of us can make a difference if we wanted to.

Thank you for reading and for being a part of this.

Peace out.

Update: All slots are filled up for this. However, if you are interested in consulting with me, send me an email and I’ll put you on the wait list.

Are you feeding your kids right?

Note: This post is explosive and offensive and it was intended to be so. For that, I’m not sorry. Most people need fire under their bottoms in order to get up and do something and I’m hoping this post does that. If you are easily hurt, it’s best that you don’t read this post.

I’m a fitness trainer. You want fat loss? I’ll give you fat loss. You want strength? I’ll give you strength. In addition to this I’m a nutrition coach and so can tell you how to eat real food (?!) and help you be the healthiest you’ve been. But I’m not married yet and I don’t have any kids (none that I know off at least!) and I don’t know squat about parenting or kids.

Picture from http://www.kiboomu.com

So why am I even writing this post?

Because it is funny scary that most parents today don’t have the common sense that even I have with respect to feeding children. Let me explain.

I was at this birthday party recently. The person whose birthday it was cut the cake and it was being served to every one. There was this one little kid in the party (about 5-7 yr old) who didn’t want cake. He didn’t know why… but he just didn’t want it. Fair enough right? But guess what? I saw his parents trying to convince him to eat the cake… and not just once. 15 min later I look around and I find the kid and his parents in a corner. The kid is seated and both his mom and dad are kneeling in front of him with a piece of cake in their hands, literally forcing the kid to eat it! What The F*&^!!! Is this for real??!

Did I piss you off yet? Great! ‘Cos I’m just getting started.

Which baby formula did/do you feed your toddler?

Unless your answer is ‘I didn’t use any’ please don’t even bother answering. Why? Because it is called FORMULA! What part of this do you not get?? Wake the hell up… humans eat FOOD! So please feed human babies real FOOD!

I’ve been wanting to get this off my chest for a while now. So now that its done, let’s continue.

Most times, kids don’t know shit.

What do you expect? They’ve been on planet earth for only a short while and they have been exposed to junk food any day and every day. On TV, in school, at home, at the grocery store, on the road, at parties blah blah. Anywhere and everywhere they have ever been, there was junk food! And that’s all they know.. and that’s all they crave! Why? Because kids don’t know the difference between real food and junk food. Most kids think potatoes and french fries are the same thing and think strawberries grow in trees!

So when your kid goes ‘Wahhhh I’m hungry… I want a donut!!!’ or ‘I want pizza for dinner else I won’t eat!!!’ realize that the same kid also wants to play videogames all day, never write an exam and have a pet lion/pony.

Bottom Line – Your kids don’t know what is good for them. The sneaky little things are just trying to get their sugar fix. Why? Because sugar is addictive! Step up and show them what’s good.

Sometimes, kids know more than you do.

Ever seen kids ravenously hungry some days and literally averse to foods on some other days? All animals are all born with a very efficient and complicated feedback loop. Provided the animal is eating real food, it eats when it is hungry and fasts when it is not. It is almost unheard of that an animal eats itself to fatness (if it eats what it is meant to eat). It is only when neolithic foods (like grains) and engineered/processed foods (a.k.a junk food) are introduced that obesity strikes.  Don’t believe me? How many fat/obese wild animals have you seen? Probably none. How many fat pets have you seen? Probably too many!

Similarly, if left to their own elements, kids know when to eat and when not to. This is where kids know more than you and I do. So trust the human body and let them feed per their hunger/appetite.

Bottom line – As long as they are eating real food, let them eat as much as they like when hungry and as little as they like when not.

At all times, you better be the boss.

I see parents writing/saying all the time – ‘Feeding kids healthy stuff is hard!’. Sure it is. But it is also hard to make kids go to school and to teach them to respect elders and to not eat stuff off the floor and take them along to your place of worship. If you’re boss enough to make all this stuff happen, you should be boss enough to be able to feed your kids healthy food. And trust me, eating nutritious food during their growing ages is WAY more important than going to church/temple. (Yep… I just said that. By all means go ahead and hate me but I’ll always call a spade a spade.)

Make no mistake – I’m not suggesting you be a food nazi. Just make sure that 75% of the time, they eat good nutritious wholesome FOOD.

Bottom line – Call the shots! Don’t make dinner a living hell by forcing tasteless boring food but also don’t allow junk food to become a regular in their diets.

Clean out your pantry.

Note: I’ve dedicated a blog post to this earlier which you can read here.

Kids will eat what is available. Put a kid in a world where there is only meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables and that’s all they will crave and that’s all they will eat. You don’t think so? What do think kids feasted on before junk food and baby formula were invented? What do you think hunter-gatherers fed their little ones? Wholesome awesome real food!

Throw the junk out of the house. Period. Stop buying cookies, chips, soda and other crap for the house. Your pantry should be filled with vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, organic dairy and nuts. Anything and everything you make at home should be using these ingredients. This will take care of the nutritious 75% of their diet. When they are out at a friends place or a party, let them have what the other kids have. It’s all about balance.

Bottom line – Store only what is wholesome and nutritious. The occasional cookie/brownie/pizza indulgence can happen outside the house.

Show your love by nourishing their body… not by destroying it.

I’ve seen too many parents say ‘Oh I want to bake an awesome cake for my little pumpkin!’. OK seriously… stop the nonsense. Is sugary flour based dessert all you can think of to make your child happy? You can’t come up with one awesome tasting and nutritious real food based food item? That’s just sad!

Realize, I’m not saying kids should never eat sugar. I’m saying make the food item (even if it is dessert) more nutritious. How? Make the dessert with eggs, organic cream, butter, fruit, nuts, cocoa, honey and other nutritionally superior foods. Rich delicious unbelievably awesome tasting ice-cream which is also very healthy can be made at home in very little time.  Quit making dessert with sugar, oil and flour. And please for christ’s sake stop buying cheap dessert!

Bottom line – If you truly love your kids and want to see them live long and strong and healthy, treat them to great tasting food made from real and wholesome ingredients.

Enough ranting! Where can you learn more?

Here ya go…

Note: Please take the time to read these links, especially if you are a parent or planning on being one soon. There is so much valuable information in these links you will thank yourself for investing the time and effort.

To summarize…

When it comes to children, food quality matters much more than food quantity. Like I said earlier, if you keep the food quality high they will take care of the quantity themselves. For the love of God, please don’t put your kids on a diet and increase their risk of being obese. Feed them real food and they will grow up to be freakin awesome!

If this is not an important topic to talk about, I don’t know what is! Please share your experiences/concerns/questions with respect to children and how you keep them healthy. Also, take a moment and share this post with friends and family!

Peace out!

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