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Vol. 7 | No. 4

The Metabolism Miracle for 40+

What Doctors Really Eat

We spoke to top docs and got some delicious answers. by Team Prevention


Lose up to 5 times more weight with this revolutionary, research-backed planstart today! by Jenna Bergen

Never Fall Ill Again


I Feel 17 After a Workout 112

A rapid fire round with Indrani Dasgupta, one of Indias most successful and stunning models. by Priyamvada Kowshik

How diet, exercise, sleep and mental well-being help keep your immune system in top order. by Kathakoli Dasgupta

Meet your Future


Unlocking the anti-ageing secrets of telomerestiny segments of DNA that may help live us longer and healthier. by Richard Laliberte
Big on taste, this grilled chicken is low on sodium.

Are you Caught Up in a Cycle of Emotional Eating?

How to break free, lose weight and enjoy the life you were meant to live. by Pam Peeke




Feminine RX 41 All you need to know about endometrial polyps. From the Drug Expert 42 Combining modern and traditional medicines can be risky. Ask Radhika 43 How to handle a casual relationship without getting hurt in the process.

Increase your protein intake to fight muscle loss.


Your Monsoon Hair Revival 46 How to bring back the colour, shine and volume in your hair this season. Foot Spa 52 Rain or sunshine, you must put your best foot forward.


Every Issue
From your Editor From our Experts Pets Happiness Is


Ask Ishi 56 How fermented foods can even make otherwise inedible foods safe, nutritious and palatable.

Head Coach 66 For many women, being single is a well thought out choice. Stop worrying about being lonely, enjoy the solitude. What 75 Looks Like 68 Story of how three women in distinguished elds look younger, feel healthier and happier.

8 12 132 136
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JULY 2013

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The New Science





Never fall ill again

86 104 64 112

after 40
Smart weight loss 5 times faster

The all-natural way to live longer, healthier!

46 98 116

Stunning Hair!
7 secrets to staying younger longer
News from the medical frontier

32 Power foods smart doctors eat

Parenting tricks your kids will love

Full, shiny, vibrantyours


Answers: Nisha Varma 63 More ideas on how to work out indoors.


Gorgeous, fit and loving it!


Choice Empowers 64 Help your kids make an informed choice so they develop decision-making skills later in life.

In Season: Corn 124 Your favourite food in the rains is gluten-free, very high in dietary bre, avonoids and Vitamin B. Chicken with Flavour 126 Four fuss-free dinners youll love that are big on taste and low on calories.

Are you a stress eater?

Get control with the hunger fix

9 770974 381207

On Our Cover:

Indrani Dasguptas photograph by Tarun Vishwa; clothes coordination & styling by: Akshita Sekri with Manavi Siddhanti; make-up & hair by: Anu Kaushik; art direction: Sadhana Moolchandani; clothes courtesy: dress: ZARA; accesories: Zariin



Be Pain-Free
Sequentially Programmed Magnetic Field (SPMF) Therapy administered by AKTISTM at the SBF Healthcare promises to regenerate cartilage and restore mobility of arthritic knee joints.
steoarthritis (OA) is a condition in which the cartilage that acts as a cushion between bones in joints begins to wear out. This causes inflammation pain and restriction of movement. Most therapy is aimed at arresting the process and temporary pain relief through medication and lifestyle changes. In severe cases, surgery is suggested. Years of exploration of targeted stimulation of endogenous repair of cartilage has led to pioneering SPMFTherapy by Wg Cdr (Dr) VG Vasishta (Retd), the founder and CEO of SBF Healthcare. This is a non-invasive, safe, painless treatment which not only stops the progress of disease but also reverses the process of disease by cartilage regeneration.

on to the target tissues with the help of laser guides. SPMFTherapy restores the missing physiological stimulus thus leading to cartilage regeneration. The Treatment Before treatment the patient is evaluated by

What is SPMF Therapy? SPMFTherapy is technology that produces highly complex sequentially programmed magnetic fields, which are computer controlled and can be precisely focussed For more info log on to

an X- ray and a physical examination of the affected joint along with some basic blood tests. The affected joints are exposed to SPMFTherapy, one hour every day for 21 consecutive days. This is an outpatient treatment which requires the patient to spend approximately one and a half hours daily at our center. Most of the patients show subjective improvements and are out of painkillers by the end of the treatment. Positive results are seen 3 months posttreatment. Majority of patients are able to lead a normal life. For patients SBF Healthcare and Research Centre has established helplines at Bengaluru (+9180-42116555) and Mumbai (+91-2228374855/39205757). Or send a query to

Volume 7 Number 4 2007 RODALE INC. All rights reserved. Published under license from Rodale Inc. Reproduction in any manner in any language in whole or in part without prior written permission is prohibited. n PUBLISHED AND DISTRIBUTED monthly by Living Media India Ltd.(Regd. Office: K-9, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110001) under license granted by Rodale Inc, publisher of Prevention in the United States. n All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent courts and forums in Delhi/New Delhi only. n Prevention does not take the responsibility for returning unsolicited publication material. n PUBLISHED AND PRINTED by Mala Sekhri on behalf of Living Media India Limited. Printed at Thomson Press India Limited 18 - 35, Milestone, DelhiMathura Road, Faridabad -121 007, (Haryana). Published at K-9, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110 001. n EDITORIAL OFFICE: Living Media India Ltd., 3rd Floor, Film City-8, Sector 16A, Noida, UP-201301; Phone: 01204807100. n IMPACT OFFICES: n The India Today Group, 1201, 12th Floor, Tower 2 A, One Indiabulls Centre, (Jupiter Mills) S. B. Marg, Lower Parel West, Mumbai400013. Phone: 02266063355; Fax: 022 - 6606 3226.n 3rd Floor, Film City-8, Sector 16A, Noida, UP-201301. Phone: 0120-4807100 n The India Today Group, Fifth Floor, Guna Complex Main Building, 443, Anna Salai, Teynampet Chennai-600 018; Phone: 044 -28478525; Fax: 044 -24361942. n 201-204 Richmond Towers, 2nd Floor, 12 Richmond Road, Bengaluru-560025. Phones: 080-22212448, 080-22213037; Telex: 0845-2217 INTO IN; Fax: 080-22218335; n 52 J L Nehru Road, 4th Floor, Kolkata-700071. Phones: 03322825398, 033-22827726, 033-22821922; Fax: 0332282-7254. n 6-3-885/7/B, Somajiguda, Hyderabad-500082. Phones: 040-23401657, 04023400479; Telex: 0425-2085 THOM IN; Fax: 040-23403484 n 39/1045, 1st Floor, Karakkat Road, Kochi-682016; Phones: 0484-2377057/58; Fax: 04842377059.

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EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Sanghamitra Chakraborty

SR DESIGNERS Devender Singh Rawat, Manish Verma


Robert Novick Senior Vice President, Rodale International John Ville Editorial Director, Rodale International EDITORIAL Laura Ongaro Deputy Editorial Director, Womens Health and Prevention Veronika Taylor Deputy Editorial Director, Runners World and Bicycling PRODUCTION Karl Rozemeyer Content Manager Samantha Quisgard Editorial Assistant Shalene Chavez Production Assistant BUSINESS Kevin LaBonge Executive Director, Business Development and Marketing Angela Kim Director, Business Development and Marketing Manager Maria Urso Business Development and Marketing Jennifer Lally Business Manager Dana Rich Coordinator, Business Development and Marketing







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THE PREVENTION PLEDGE You can count on the recommendations you find in Prevention to be checked thoroughly for accuracy and supported by the opinions of leading experts and up-to-date research.

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Strong at 75
A friend who thinks Ive done this for too long randomly asked. Counting, up to the 6th anniv this year, its 72 and then...OMG, July is a very special one! I cheered. Yes, you are holding in your hands the 75th edition of Prevention! Prevention has perhaps been one of the most rewarding experiences Ive had as an editor. I think I can speak for my team too: no, this magazine is not just another job for any of us. Prevention lets us learn something new every day, something that changes our lives in a good way. It helps us understand complicated medical science and take it to your doorsteps so you can use it in your life. And when we hear you say it makes a difference to you, our hearts break into a smile. To celebrate this together with you, we bring you the Going Strong At 75 issue that reveals the secrets to real longevity. Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit who turned 75 this year was our first stop. Shes riding high at 75 because shes remained engaged, hardworking, always open to a new challenge. Last year, trying to exercise on her cross-trainer she got thrown off by a sudden power outage. But theres no stopping her from staying active: shes taken to walking and yoga. My work keeps me on top, she told me when I met her on a busy weekday in her bustling office. What 75 Looks Like is a story that brings wisdom from Ms Dikshit and two other lovely ladies: writer Shashi Deshpande, actor Sushma Sethall septuagenarianswho live decades younger. Hear them reveal their mantras of living (p 68). Read longevity news from the frontiers of science (on p 40, 98) that will give you new impetus to get more active and eat healthier. Never Fall Ill Again (p 86) is a solid package that helps you take your immunity to the next level. Oh, before I go I must tell you that we had our first ever readers meet at our editorial offices in NOIDA recently and though Ive somehow always believed I know you well, it turns out that its true! It was the most fun, chatty evening we had in a long, long time. Ishi Khosla our columnist and advisor on nutrition joined in to share her wisdom on healthy eating. Cant wait to see you all again! As I write to you, rain has hit Delhi and washed away months of scorching heat. I can smell the red earth and pouring rain right from my desk. Enjoy the showers and lots of love! Sanghamitra Chakraborty
Editorial Director

How many issues has it been again?



readers reactions, revelations & raves

New Associations

I came across your magazine at a salon and after reading it, I absolutely loved it! I have subscribed to many leading magazines, but I think the content and quality of your magazine is superior. The design is great and the content is well researched and interestingly presented. Keep up the good work. Sona Gujral via email

Top Tips
Answer these questions and 3 early-bird entries will win hampers from Faces. Q: How is mineral make-up good for your skin? It contains fewer irritants than other varieties. It offers natural protecprotec tion from the sun. Its crushed particles make the make-up easy to remove. All of the above. Q: An eye primer is used to: Intensify your eyeshadow and help the colour last longer. Soothe your eyes. Reduce under-eye blemishes and dark circles. Remove eyemake-up.

I believe that enjoying food is very important. Preventions June issue was a real opportunity to cook and eat well, indulge in my cravings in a healthy way and pump up energy. I also appreciate your special segment on Mens This letter Health, featuring Dr Sanjay Gupta. wins a special After all, my male relatives and prize from friends make my life all the more Best Foods special. Thanks, Isha Mukesh via email

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53 Foods that heal

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Talk to uswere listening!

We look forward to getting to know you better! Send us your comments, questions, or ideas: Write to us at askprevention@, or Editor, Prevention, 3rd Floor, Film City-8, Sector 16A, NOIDA, UP-201301.

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I tend to walk faster when Im in a very polluted area. This in turn, leads to faster and heavier breathing. Does this mean I am inhaling more pollutants?

A: Exposure to high levels


of pollution every day on the street may eventually harm your lungs. However its impossible to avoid pollution. But you can be prepared. The best way to limit exposure to pollutants is by covering your face and mouth with a mask or clean handkerchief, says Dr Deepak Rosha, respiratory expert and senior consultant, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. Walking slower or faster does not make any difference because the dust and harmful elements will any way travel to the lungs.

I have weird cravings where I like to add salt to my sweets or vice-versa. Why does this happen?



A: Its not a cause for worry. Cravings are dependent on mood swings as well as habits and not a hormonal imbalance, says Charu Dua, chief nutritionist at the Pushpanjali Crosslay Hospital, Ghaziabad. However, extreme salt cravings can lead to water retention and excessive sodium in your body. Try to divert your mind when you have a craving, go out for a walk, read or listen to music or pick up a healthier version, like raisins instead of sweets, advises Dua.



I am getting brown spots on my teeth. Could it be fluorosis?

A: Too much fluoride can cause a condition in

the teeth which is referred to as fluorosis. It can show up as small whitish flecks and as the grade increases, dark brownish bands appear on the teeth, says New Delhi-based dentist, Dr Nandita Grover. In some regions, drinking water that contains high amounts of fluoride may cause it. Start by drinking filtered or RO water, says Grover. The browning can be treated with bleaching or cosmetic surgery depending on the degree of harm done.

Q: The skin on my palms and

A: Long hours in an air-

ngers shrivels up, especially in the AC. Why is it so and how can I avoid it? conditioned environment zaps your skin of moisture. At lower temperatures we tend not to sweat much, feel less thirsty and in continuation, this leads to dehydration, wrinkles and signs of ageing, says Mumbaibased dermatologist, Dr Swati Srivastava. To avoid it, reapply moisturiser several times a day. Use cream containing hyaluronic acid at night and as far as possible, avoid central air-conditioning so that you can switch it off when not needed, advises Srivastava.




1. If you love eye make-up and are used to applying false eyelashes, be careful, says a study cited by American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). They may cause infections of the cornea and eyelid, as well as contact dermatitis caused by an allergic reaction to the type of glue used. 2. If you have recently quit smoking, another way to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease is to up your intake of Vitamin E. Research conducted at Ohio State University suggests Vitamin E works as an antioxidant and fights damage by free radicals. 3. Before you plop down on your couch to watch TV, remember it can take years off your life, finds a study published in the Annals of Epidemiology. Exposure to violent images can increase stress, also contributing to a loss of interpersonal trust. So cut down on TV time, especially before you plan to sleep.
Registered no. L/HR/FBD./261/11-1 3


Tackle Monsoons
1. Since we sweat so much in humid weather, our bodies tend to lose fluids. Drink plenty of water, lemonade and fresh fruit juices to keep hydrated. Atul Govitrikar 2. Soaking feet in warm water can be very relaxing during hot and humid weather. Add rose water which cools, cleanses and helps calm nerves too. Harsimran Kaur 3. They might look delicious but curb your temptation for street foods. Unhygienically handled foods may foster bacteria that can cause indigestion, stomach infections and water-borne diseases. Sadhana Sharma 4. Use mosquito repellents, creams or netsespecially if you live in mosquito-prone areas. This will help prevent rashes, allergies and malaria. Vaibhavee Prasad

JULY 2013

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Smart weight 5 times faster loss

after 40



The New Scienc


Never fall ill again The

all-natural way to live longer, healthie r!

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Full, shiny, vibrant

Stunning Hair!

32 Powe r foods smar t docto rs eat

Parenting tricks your kids will love
Gorgeous , fit and loving it!

News from the medical frontier

7 secrets to stay ing you nger longer

Get control with

Are you a stress eater?

the hunger fix

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE Dr Issac Mathai, medical director, SOUKYA International Holistic Health Centre, Bengaluru. CARDIOLOGY Dr K Srinath Reddy, president, Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi. A consultant with the WHO, he is considered a global authority in his field. Dr Ashok Seth, chairman, Cardiac Sciences, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi. He is one of the most renowned interventional cardiologists of the country who has performed a large number of angiographies and angioplasties. CHEST/GENERAL MEDICINE Dr Randeep Guleria, professor of Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi. A DM in pulmonary medicine, he is an advisor on various committees of the GOI and WHO. DERMATOLOGY Dr Rekha Sheth, is a leading cosmetic dermatologist in Mumbai. She is founder-president, Cosmetology Society of India and runs Yuva, a successful chain of skin clinics. ENDOCRINOLOGY Dr Nikhil Tandon, professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, AIIMS, New Delhi. Dr Ambrish Mithal, chairman, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Medanta-The Medicity, Gurgaon. He is also chairperson, Bone and Joint Decade-India. ENT/MEDICAL PRACTICES Dr Arun Aggarwal, is director, ENT Department, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. He is also deputy director general, health services and President Delhi Medical Council. FITNESS Nisha Varma, New Delhibased Reebok University Master Trainer, yoga instructor and an aqua instructor certified by the Federation of International Sports, Aerobics and Fitness, Singapore. Vinata Shetty, Mumbaibased Reebok University Master Trainer. She is also a certified trainer from the American College of Sports Medicine. FEMININE HEALTH/ OBSTETRICS Dr Indira Hinduja, consultant gynaecologist, Jaslok Hospital and Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai. Dr Hinduja gave India its first GIFT baby in 1988. Dr Duru Shah, chairman of Gynaecworld and Gynaecworld Fertility Clinic, Mumbai. Dr Firuza R Parikh, director of assisted reproduction and genetics, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai. GASTROENTEROLOGY Dr Rajiv Khosla, senior consultant, gastroenterology, Max Super Speciality and Holy Family Hospital, New Delhi. He also runs a special clinic for IBD at Medanta- The Medicity, Gurgaon. HOLISTIC HEALTH Dr Vijaya Venkat, founder, The Health Awareness Centre (THAC), Mumbai. She is also a member of The American Society of Nutritional and Dietary Consultants. HOSPITAL SERVICES Dr Pervez Ahmed, New Delhi-based senior cardiologist. He is the founder and managing director of Aapka Urgicare Pvt Ltd. LABORATORY MEDICINE Dr Navin Dang, Specialist in laboratory medicine and director, Dr Dangs Lab Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi. MENTAL HEALTH Dr Prabha Chandra, professor of psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru. She specialises in post-natal depression. NEUROLOGY Dr Rajshekhar Reddi, principal consultant and head of unit, Neurology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi. NUTRITION Dr Kamala Krishnaswamy, former president, Nutrition Society of India and a council member of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences. She is a former director, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad.

Meet the

Spotlight On:

Ishi Khosla, clinical nutritionist, Centre for Dietary Counselling, New Delhi. She is also founder of The Celiac Society for Delhi. OBESITY AND DIABETES Dr Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolic Diseases, and National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation, New Delhi. ONCOLOGY Dr SH Advani, director, Medical Oncology, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, and chief medical oncologist at the Asian Institute of Oncology, Mumbai. Dr Rajendra A Badwe, director, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. He is also a renowned cancer surgeon. OPHTHALMOLOGY Dr Sanjay Dhawan, director, Ophthalmology, Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon His professional area of expertise include cataract, refractive and glaucoma surgery, and medical ophthalmology. ORTHOPAEDICS Dr PK Dave, HOD, orthopaedics and chairman, advisory board, Rockland Hospital, was former director, AIIMS and is an eminent orthopaedic surgeon. He is professor emeritus and former president, National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. PAEDIATRICS Dr Arvind Taneja, advisor and senior consultant, Paediatrics, Max Healthcare, Delhi. Recipient of the Distinguished Physician award of the Delhi Medical Association. Dr Prof Anupam Sibal, group medical director, Apollo Hospitals. He is also an adjunct professor of Paediatrics at the University of Queensland. His specialisation is paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology. YOGA Yogacharya BKS Iyengar pioneered the worldfamous Iyengar Yoga. He has been teaching yoga for more than 60 years and has authored many books on yoga, including the bestseller Light on Yoga.

Dr Kamala Krishnaswamy

She is former president, Nutrition Society of India and a council member of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences.

Healthy Mornings
I start my day with a healthy breakfast: A sandwich layered with an assortment of veggies, lowfat cheese and mint chutney; sprouts and a glass of milk on the side. My midmorning snacks include high fibre biscuits along with green tea or lime juice.

Rev Up Your Immunity

Eat lots of papaya, guava or watermelonthey help you stay hydrated, retain water and supply plenty of Vitamin C, calcium and anti-oxidants. Make sure you eat yoghurt to avoid stomach infections and promote gut health. Add garlic and cloves to your meals or even your tea. These are anti-inflammatory in nature and also help fight infections.


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guide to good health


Why Almonds? Almonds are a powerhouse of nutrients and a leading source of Vitamin E. These heart-healthy nuts are nutrient dense, bre rich, help in managing weight, healthy blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol levels and also nourish skin and hair. According to Khosla, a daily intake of 23 almonds ensures youre giving your body the vital nutrients it needs, all in just 160 calories.




(1) Prevention columnist Ishi Khosla speaks on the importance of making the right food choices (2, 4, 5, 6) Readers of Prevention at the event (3) Sudarshan Mazumdar, India Regional Program manager, Almond Board of California

ur readers make us who we are. So we at Prevention decided to host an evening of interaction to get to know you better. The Prevention Readers Meet was supported by California Almonds and also featured a chat session with Prevention columnist and nutritionist Ishi Khosla. Editorial director Sanghamitra Chakraborty moderated the session which soon gathered a momentum of its own. Khosla spoke about the importance of good nutrition and exercise and the benets of eating nuts, like almonds.



Food for Thought

t was an evening of lively discussions on healthy living and watchful eating, when Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit launched Prevention columnist and celebrity nutritionist Ishi Khoslas latest bookThe Diet Doctor. Jointly organised by Penguin Books India and Prevention magazine, the event was well attended by experts and nutrition enthusiasts alike. The unveiling of the book was followed by an engaging session on the importance of making the right nutritional choices, diet plans and how to choose wisely when eating out. The occasion also saw those on the dais like pathologist Dr Navin Dang, 2 sharing their personal sto stories of weight loss, and how maintaining this requires making informed, healthy choices.
1) A panel discussion with Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, nutritionist, Ishi Khosla, journalist Jasleen Vohra and pathologist Dr Navin Dang (2) Readers and health enthusiasts enjoy the session.

1) Milkha Singh reaches out to Delhi CM, Sheila Dikshit. (2) Kiran Bedi joins in for a good cause Delhi braved the scorching heat to run for a cause that has stirred the nations consciencewomens safety. More than 1,000 citizens, egged on by the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh, joined the Right To Be Heard Delhi Quarterathon on May 19. Organised by Headlines Today in collaboration with 7 Miles Events, the run was agged o by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. I am 2 happy to be among you. We are here to run for the safety of women, said Dikshit, as she gestured the enthusiastic runners to begin. Members of the political fraternity, corpo corporate organisations and NGOs like CRY, CREA, CanSupport and Child India also joined in.





with the HPV Vaccine

Dr Gayathri Karthik Karthik, MBBS, MD, Diploma in Endoscopy, Training in Robotic Surgery, Head and Consultant Dept of OBG, Manipal Hospital, Bangalore


vaccine does not treat pre-existing HPV infection or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN or cervical pre-cancer), but prevents development of malignant or cancerous changes. The different types of HPV vaccines are: 1.Quadrivalent Vaccine: It protects against infections of HPV Genotypes HPV-16 & HPV-18 (that account for the 70% of HPV-related cervical cancer). It also protects against HPV-6 & HPV-11 (that are responsible for 90% of genital warts). It is given to women between 9 and 45 years in 3 doses (0, 2 & 6 months) intramuscularly. 2. Bivalent Vaccine: It protects against infections of HPV Genotypes HPV-16 & HPV-18. It is given to women between

ervical cancer is the most common cancer among women in India. It is a malignant neoplasm arising from cells originating from cervix (the narrow portion of uterus where it joins with the vagina). An HPV infection appears to be a causative factor in the development of almost all cases of cervical cancer. Vaccines against HPV have hence been made widely available for prevention of cervical cancer. The

SPECIAL SITUATIONS: 1. Woman with previous CIN: n Vaccine Can be given to patients with previous CIN; but cervical screening & corresponding management must continue. 2. Pregnant & Lactating Women: n Use not recommended in pregnancy. n Those planning a baby should defer the vaccination until after delivery. n Women who conceive before completion of vaccine schedule are advised to postpone the remaining dose until after delivery. n Lactating woman can receive HPV vaccine and continue to breastfeed because it is not a live vaccine. ages 10 and 45 years in 3 doses (0, 1 & 6 months) intramuscularly. The optimal age for using this vaccine is 12-16 years, i.e. before their first sexual exposure, though it can be administered to all women up to 45 years, regardless of sexual activity. Side effects include mild fever, local pain and some muscle pain.

Call Manipal Woman & Child Care +91 959 134 0000, Visit us at


Follow the Sun

Dalai Lama. It feels better. New science from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests hes right. Researchers say that cheerful people have fewer heart attacks and strokes, higher levels of good HDL cholesterol, and lower levels of triglycerides than gloomier people. Bonus: the more upbeat you are, the more cancer-fighting carotenoids you have in your bloodstream. Theres no magic involved, the researchers note: optimistic people tend to eat right, exercise and take good care of themselves. The sunnier life seems, the more youre motivated to stick around to enjoy it.

Choose to be optimistic, said the






ON THE GO health news

Dangerous Decibels
says that everyday sounds, such as cell phone rings and conversation can affect the rhythm and the rate of your heart. After monitoring 110 adults daily heart rate activity and noise exposure, German researchers found that as a person's exposure to noise increased, so did their heart rate. On the other hand, their heart rate variability (variation in the time interval between heart beats) decreased. But the lesser the variability, the greater the heart attack risk, says the study. Interestingly enough, when the noises stayed below 65 decibels (safe levels), participants heart rate still went up. The study also says that there are other factors to consider. For example, the way a person perceives a soundannoying or pleasantcould influence their psychological reaction. Prevention advisor, Dr Arun Agarwal, director, ENT Department, Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi, advises the following to keep safe. Know your limit. The WHO cut-off for safe levels is 85 dB. Normal conversation is between 60-65 dB; the refrigerator hum about 40 dB; heavy traffic, hairdryer, blender is approximately 85 dB; hand drill is around 100 dB. Habitual exposure to noise above 85 dB will lead to gradual hearing loss in many people. In fact, the safe-limit decreases by half for every 5 point increase in the noise levelyour exposure should be limited to 8 hours per day at 90 dB, 4 at 95 dB and so on. Dont expose unprotected ears to noise over 140 dB. Create a barrier between the noise and your ears wherever possible. Roll up car windows, sound-proof your home with heavy drapes, wear earplugs/earmuffs when you are in a noisy situation. Stephanie Castillo and Kathakoli Dasgupta

Turns out that it's not just loud noises that affect your health. A new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives




ON THE GO Mens Health

men commit suicide compared to women every year. Experts suspect it's related to undiagnosed depression. Talk to your doctor if you uncharacteristically experience:

1 A Quick Temper

Men may be more likely to report a short fuse than feelings of sadness or despair, possibly because they tend to bury unmanly feelings in overwork, alcohol or risky behaviours such as reckless driving.

and 2 Aches Pains

The Unexpected Face of Depression

e was tortured as a prisoner of war, shunned by society, and sent to prison after stirring up a wild ruckus in his town. But was Rambo depressed? Maybe. Unlike women's depression, men's often manifests Rambo-style, with anger and risk taking. The experience may be so different from the classic picture of depression that men don't recognise it or get help, says Aaron Rochlen, PhD, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. And that's dangerous. According to available national data, almost twice as many Indian

When fatigue, headaches, back pain, constipation or diarrhoea, or changes in eating patterns persist for more than 2 weeks, the cause may be in your head, especially if accompanied by sadness or loneliness. Tell your doctor about everything.

Tempted to slug your boss? Unexpressed grief or anger can morph into violence or substance abuse. There's strong evidence that support groups help, says Rochlen. www.suicide. org/hotlines/international/ india-suicide-hotlines.html has searchable listings. Amanda First

3 Risky Behaviour


ON THE GO Health News

Stop Yo-Yo Dieting for Good

Regaining even a few kilos of lost weight is more than frustratingit could
be unhealthy. A new study of 80 postmenopausal women found that those who regained as few as 1.8 kg had, on average, higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood sugar than before theyd lost weight, says Daniel Beavers, PhD, lead researcher and assistant professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. When older women lose weight, they lose muscle and fat, he says. But when they regain weight, they gain back a larger proportion of fat than what they lost, which shifts body composition to a less healthy profile. The takeaway: maintaining weight loss is just as important as losing those kilos in the first place. Graham Thomas, PhD, co-investigator at the National Weight Control Registrywhich tracks the habits of more than 10,000 people whove lost and kept off at least 13 kilosshares these strategies. Take a walk. You dont need to invest in a gym or pricey equipment: Eighty-one percent of our members walk for exercise, Thomas says. Dont have the time? Watch less TV. NWCR members view fewer than 10 hours per week. Eat early. Fuelling up on a breakfast of wholegrains, low-fat dairy and lean protein is also typical of successful maintainers. It may help by keeping hunger pangs under control. Weigh in. Hopping on the scale regularly can help you spot minor weight gain, help you take charge immediately and reverse it quickly, Thomas says. More than half of NWCR members step on a scale weekly. Know it gets easier. As healthy changes become habits, keeping weight off feels easier, according to Thomas. Another bonus: as you replace fat with muscle, you burn more calories on a daily basis, even when you're not moving. Stephanie Eckelkamp




ON THE GO Health News

Eat Like a Caveman
One reason ancient humans had better teeth: processed foods didn't exist. The researchers found that bacterial diversity plummeted with the shift from hunting and gathering to farming, and then again with the advent of processed sugar and flour. Make more primal picks by opting for fresh produce, nuts, whole grains and quality meats.

Have Yoghurt

Does he hold the secret to perfect teeth?


Get Teeth Like a Caveman

Recent research from Japan found that consuming yoghurt slashes risk of cavities in kids by 22%. And its not the calcium at work here, but also good bacteria that fights the bad ones in your mouth. Yoghurt may provide some extra oral protection, as long as you regularly brush and floss too. However, docs warn against yoghurt with sugar and suggest that you have it at mealtimes.

Sip Smarter

he average caveman probably didn't have a pearly white smile, but his teeth and gums may have been healthier than yours. That's because our ancestors had far more good bacteria to fight the bad ones that cause tooth decay, gum disease and funky breath, says a study in Nature Genetics that analysed the plaque of 34 ancient skeletons. Here's how you can shift the balance of bacteria in your favour. Stephanie Eckelkamp

Green tea is rich in antimicrobial anti-oxidants and may help kill the bacteria associated with tooth decay. A Japanese study found that people who drank one or more cups of green tea daily were less likely to lose their teeth. Coffee, however, is very acidic, which helps bad bacteria thrive.


ON THE GO Health News

The Perils of High Blood Sugar

Heres why its so important to take control of your pre-diabetes: when you eat, the carbohydrates in your food are turned into glucose (sugar), which circulates in your bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone thats produced in your pancreas, lets your cells absorb the glucose from your blood and use it for the energy they need to function. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesnt respond as well to insulin, so the unused sugar builds up in your bloodstream. When you have pre-diabetes, youre not fully reacting to your insulin, but your blood sugar levels arent as high (100 to 125 mg/dl or an HbA1C, a measurement of blood sugar over time, of 5.7 to 6.4) as they would be if you had fullfledged diabetes (126 mg/dl or above or an HbA1C of 6.5 or above). High blood sugar is dangerous because it harms your blood vessels by lowering your level of nitric oxide, which keeps blood vessels open and supple. The



result is narrowing, stiffening blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure and blood vessel damageand may eventually cause heart disease, as well as affect your vision, your kidneys, and your ability to heal. The damage to your blood vessels starts well before your blood sugar reaches the level at which type 2 diabetes is diagnosed. Thats why docs are so keen on recognising and treating prediabetes earlyso you can stop or slow possible problems down the road. Tweaking your lifestyle: getting at least 30 minutes of exercise, eating lowcal, high-fibre nutritious foods, cutting down stress, sleeping well and losing weight is key to managing the condition. Your doctor will prescribe medication (metformin) if your values are closer to diabetes values or if a musculo-skeletal problem stops you from exercising, says Dr Binayak Sinha, consultant endocrinologist at AMRI Hospitals, Kolkata. He also recommends that people with pre-diabetes check their sugar levels once in 3 months and HbA1C every 6 months. If the blood glucose levels are in the normal range, they can be checked twice a year thereafter. With inputs from Kathakoli Dasgupta


ON THE GO Skin News

Better-Looking Skin

The Surprising Secret to

Minimise Them
Make pores less noticeable by using a pore-minimiser, like the Clarins Truly Matte Pore Minimising Serum, `1,725, with hibiscus extracts and salicylic acid. For better results, ask your dermatologist for a salicylic acid peel, which will clear away excess oil and strengthen follicle walls.

Protect Them
Sun exposure breaks down collagen, prompting pores to sag. Consider using a serum with Vitamin C and retinol boosters at night. Start using an anti-ageing cream at 30 to prevent pores from appearing bigger, says cosmetic dermatologist, Dr Aparna Santhanam, Mumbai. Try Clinique Pore Rening Solutions Correcting Serum, `3,200, to keep sebum levels balanced.

Camouflage Them
A primer containing silicone can be applied prior to make-up to camouage open pores, says Goel. Make-up with mica can make pores less obvious. Try Dermalogica Age Smart Skinperfect Primer, `3,685 or Este Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup, `2,790 for lightweight coverage. Manavi Siddhanti




s teens, we obsessed over keeping pores squeaky clean. Now we have another reason to keep tabs on them. "Pores look stretched around the edges when collagen breaks down and skin starts to sag," says Dr Apratim Goel, cosmetic dermatologist, Cutis Clinic, Mumbai. We can avoid breakouts, preserve collagen and reduce oiliness by adopting these tips.

ON THE GO Beauty News

5 2 6

4 1

It's Raining Goodies

New entries on the beauty shelves that you should know about.
by Manavi Siddhanti

1. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream

SPF 30: Yellow, pale skin or even spots are common skin-related problems. This colour correcting cream comes with aloe barbadensis leaf water, hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E to help get back your original skin tone. `2,000

4. Victorinox Swiss Army Victoria: Dedicated to femininity and self-condence, this whi is for those who enjoy being sweet and tough. Top notes include plum and blackcurrent, with Bulgarian rose for middle notes, while base notes have sandalwood and white musk. `3,750

2. Ponds White Beauty BB+ Fairness

Cream: Good to conceal and repair, this BB cream is lightweight and suited for the rainy season. With Vitamin B3 and E and allantoin (anti-inammatory in nature), it helps control melanin production. `125

5. Kiehls Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream SPF 50/PA+++: For instant coverage and a nude nish, this BB cream also comes with a colour-correcting formula. Vitamin C, in combination with amino acids, glycerin and UV protectors help achieve clear, healthy skin. `3,200

3. Dove Intense Repair Range: Exposure to

pollution along with hair styling can lead to hair damage. With keratin protein actives as well as moisturising milk, it may help repair your tresses at the cellular level. `68 upwards

6. Lakm Clean-Up Fresh Fairness Range:

Try a 3-step regimen with a face wash, face scrub and face mask for fresh looking skin. With Vitamin C, E and glycerin, the range helps deep clean your skin. `425


ON THE GO Beauty News

Are Your Eyes Changing Colour?

If it seems like your eyes look dierent lately, you're not just seeing things. "Eye colour can fade with age, as the iris produces less melanin," says Josh Dunaief, MD, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania. But a simple eyeshadow trick can preserve your signature sparkle. A dash of gold can help enhance multiple shades," says Prevention columnist and make-up artist, Clint Fernandes, Mumbai. If you have a very light skin tone, you can even try bronze and copperthe gold undertones add dimension while
the bronze creates a smokey look," says celebrity make-up artist Melanie Mills, based in LA. Contrasting hues also helps the causeolive green and powder blues can help create a good contrast for dark brown and black eyes, says Fernandes. You can try MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot, Chilled On Ice, `1,450, Este Lauder Pure Color Gele Powder Eye Shadow in Cyber Gold, `1,950, Bourjois Smoky Eyes Trio Nude Ingenue, `625 and Lakm Absolute Day Queen Duo, `595. Kiera Aaron & Manavi Siddhanti
Step 1: Using a at brush, apply cream eye shadow at the eye's inner corner and work your way out. You can also use a wet applicator until the crease line and then blend it out with a dry brush.

Step 3: Line your eyes with kohl, even on the inside of the lids. Finish with two coats of mascara to perk up your eyes a bit more.




2 3

Step 2: Lightly dust a gold eyeshadow over the rst layer to really make eyes pop. Bonus: this will lock in the cream shadow underneath.

ON THE GO Nutrition News

Fun With Rice

Traditional with a Twist

Brown rice is gluten-free, full of B vitamins and helps fight diabetes. Use it to make a traditional favourite more wholesome.

Lemon Brown Rice


20 minutes TOTAL TIME 30 minutes Serves 2

1 cup cooked brown rice 1 tsp virgin coconut oil 1 tsp channa dal 2 dry red chillies tsp mustard seeds 2 sprigs curry leaves tsp turmeric Juice of one lemon 1 handful salted peanuts A pinch asafoetida Salt to taste


1. Heat a wok on medium flame. 2. Pour the oil into it; add chilli and dal and fry for a few seconds. 3. Crackle mustard seeds and curry leaves. 4. Add the turmeric; fry for a couple of seconds till the raw smell goes away. Make sure it doesnt burn.

5. Put the rice in the pan and toss so the oil mixture coats it; turn the heat off; add salt. 6. Pour in the lemon juice and mix well. 7. Add in the asafoetida and cover the dish, so the aroma is contained. 8. Top with peanuts when serving.

ON THE GO Fitness Newser

Travel Yoga
All of us abhor airplane seats, no matter how short or long the flight is. A long flight is like a long day at work. Sitting in one position makes your neck and shoulder muscles tense, your feet swell up. Your lower back crunches and your hips pitch forward. All this coupled with shallow breathing (we stop taking deep breaths on a plane because the air gets stale) plays havoc with the bodys natural balance. Try these simple adaptions of yoga postures, which you can do even in a confining airplane seat without disturbing your fellow passengers. They will make sure you dont step out of the plane feeling beat and low on energy.

SEATED SPINAL TWIST (Modified Ardha Matsyendrasana) Move to the edge of your seat. Hold the left handle bar of seat with your right hand. Take your left hand behind your right hip. Exhale and twist towards left and look back. Hold it on for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other side. This posture stretches the shoulders, hips and neck and also relaxes the spine.

SEATED EAGLE ARMS (Garudasana) This is a wonderful stretch for your middle and upper back and for your neck, which may hold a lot of tension. Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, palms facing each other. Cross your right arm above your left, bending your elbows, so the elbows rest on each other. Now bring your hands up towards the ceiling and try and face your palm towards each other. (If the palms do not touch, keep one palm resting against the other wrist or forearm.) Keep your shoulders away from the ears and breathe deeply.



ON THE GO Fitness Newser

CAT-COW MOVEMENT (Combination of cat and cow pose) Place your hands lightly on top of your thighs, inhale, and roll your shoulders to arch your chest upwards and outwards. Look up to the tip of your nose, and on exhale, roll your spine forward. Repeat it 5-6 times. It opens up the spine by releasing blockages in the spinal column.

MODIFIED HERON POSE Pick a front row seat to try this asana. Fold one leg in so the heel is near the pubic bone. Extend the second leg straight up and try touching your chin to your ankle. This pose is great to stretch out hamstrings.

NECK STRETCH Place your right hand over your left ear and push your head towards right side. Hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other side.

FORWARD BEND Sit at the edge of the chair and take your legs forward, heels resting on the floor and toes pointing upwards. Then lift your chest and bend forward, sliding your hands down and grab your ankles. If you are stiff, you will stop somewhere above your knees. Hold it for 10 seconds and repeat, if required. By Vishal Verma, corporate wellness trainer based in New Delhi




ON THE GO Fitness News

Fastest Way to Get Fit

he antidote to long, boring workouts: high-intensity interval training. The HIIT method involves alternating between bursts of short, all-out eort and longer periods of recovery at a lower intensity. Youll burn more calories (during and after your sweat session) and blast belly fat in less time. And research shows that the workout method is as eective as it is ecient: a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that women who completed a 12-week HIIT running programme lost more weight than a group who performed longer sessions of moderate-intensity cardio. Not only did the HIIT group get to hit the showers sooner, but they also lost more belly fat! Ready to get started? Jessica Smith, a certied personal trainer and the creator of Motion Traxxs HIIT MIX audio workout, shares four beginnerfriendly HIIT tips. Bari Lieberman

4 Steps to Slim with HIIT

Pick your workout. You can use the HIIT method with any type of activity: walking, swimming, stairclimbing and the elliptical, all count.

Break out the stopwatch. Interval length is up to you! Try starting with 30 seconds of high-intensity effort followed by 1 to 3 minutes of recovery; repeat 9 times (for 10 intervals total).

Give it your all. During high-intensity bursts, you should be working at about an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being maximum effort and 1 sitting on the couch.

Dont overtrain. Longer, steadypaced workouts build stamina and prevent burnout, so dont skip them entirely. Do 2 or 3 HIIT sessions each week.


ON THE GO Family News

A Bad Day Can Ruin a Good Relationship

Weve all been there: your boss was in a terrible mood, you broke every piece of
technology you touched and to top it off, your commute home was twice as long as normal. Bad days like these could take a toll on your relationship. On a gruelling day, you may feel less committed to your partner compared to a relaxed day, according to University of Arizona researchers. After surveying 164 couples about their daily hassles, relationship satisfaction, closeness and commitment, along with the daily sacrifices they made for their partner (read: picking up your husband's socks), they found that people felt more committed to their partners when they made small sacrifices. But under one condition: they werent stressed that day. After a hard day, these same couples felt less satisfied in their relationship and less close to their partner. Here are two tips from the study author Casey Totenhagen, PhD. If youve had a hard day, try to leave the laundry for tomorrow, or order in instead of cooking. Make sacrifices when youre not already feeling stressed. Take note of your partners contributions. Acknowledge all the good things your partner does, rather than focussing on the negativity of your day to keep your relationship strong. Kiera Aaron




ON THE GO Happiness News

Special 75 issue!


Do You Have a Longevity Personality?

aving certain traits or even tweaking your behaviour to fake these traits could add years to your life, says Patrick Hill, PhD, psychology researcher at the University of Illinois. Here are three characteristics that may boost life expectancy. Stephanie Eckelkamp

A study that analysed 243 elderly people (average age: 97.6) found that most were more optimistic and easygoing than the general population. If your outlook could be sunnier, write down a few things you're grateful for daily.

Your glass is half full.

You're everyone's pal.

Having strong social relationships can raise survival odds by 50%, found researchers from Brigham Young University. Not a social buttery? Start small: invite some pals to lunch or consider starting a book club.

Conscientiousness (being detail oriented and responsible and always wanting to do a good job) is consistently associated with longevity, says Hill. Raise your conscientiousness by making (and using) to-do lists.

You're never late.



What are endometrial polyps? Should they be removed? Can they be malignant?
VM, 41

Go for an annual gynae check-up to detect any abnormality early.

responsible for the endometrium to thicken each month (in the first half of the menstrual cycle) seem to be a contributing factor. Typically, polyps are more likely to develop in women between ages 40 and 50. The chances of developing polyps may increase if a woman is overweight, has high BP or diabetes. SYMPTOMS: Polyps are often silent, diagnosed only during a transvaginal ultrasound or an examination of the uterine cavity through a hysteroscope. The most common symptom, however, is irregular or unpredictable vaginal bleeding. Other symptoms include prolonged or excessive menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), bleeding between periods and bleeding after menopause or sexual intercourse. In about 25% of women with abnormal uterine bleeding, the cause of the problem is found to be endometrial polyps. TREATMENT: It is usually not necessary to remove polyps if they are asymptomatic. However, polyps should be removed if they cause heavy bleeding during periods, or if they are suspected to be pre-cancerous or cancerous. They also need to be removed if they are considered to be contributing to infertility or miscarriages. The best way to take out polyps is through a hysteroscopy preferably with a resectscope. An annual check-up with a gynaecologist is recommended to detect a problem early enough so minimal treatment can prevent a major problem.
DR RANJANA SHARMA, senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi

lmost a quarter of all women develop uterine polypsa localised overgrowth of the uterine lining (endometrium). They are attached to the inner wall of the uterus either flatly or with a pedicle and hang in the uterine cavity like a fruit on a stalk.
The polyps may be round or oval, single or multiple, and range in size from a few millimetres to a few centimetres, or larger. They are usually harmless, though sometimes they may be associated with menstrual problems or contribute to difficulty in conceiving by interfering with implantation. But the chance of malignancy is less than 1%. CAUSE: The exact cause of polyps remains unknown. Hormones like oestrogen that is





Combining modern and traditional medicines can be risky.

According to WHO estimates, about 80% patients in India consume traditional remedies, sometimes concurrently, with allopathic drugs thinking itll do no harm. This is erroneous. Traditional Indian meds are sourced from Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani systems. Ayurvedic and Siddha formulations use plant-based ingredients, animal products and inorganic substances or minerals. Unani medicines mainly use herbs. Many allopathic drugs are purified extracts from plants such as anti-malarial quinine from cinchona, anti-malarial artemether from Artemisia annua, and so on. Hence, there may be an overlap between the sources of active ingredients of allopathic and alternative medications. Ingredients of traditional meds can interact with modern ones if taken concurrently. Some well-known examples are: n Bitter gourd increases the effect of anti-diabetics such as sulphonylureas (glibenclamide, gliclizide), biguanides (metformin) and insulin. If a herbal product containing bitter gourd is consumed, the dose of anti-diabetic drugs may need to be reduced failing which life-threatening hypoglycaemia can occur. n Psyllium husk (isabgol) can decrease the absorption of lithium (anti-depressant), warfarin (anti-coagulant), carbamazepine (anti-epileptic) and digoxin (cardiac stimulant). n Senna (cassia) can deplete potassium from the body and thus increase the toxicity of quinidine used to treat arrhythmia and malaria. n Tamarind can increase the absorption of aspirin and ibuprofen, upping their levels in blood. n Turmeric can potentiate the action of anti-coagulants. Unfortunately, interactions between most traditional and modern medicines have not been studied and hence are unknown. Therefore, as a matter of abundant precaution it is best to avoid concurrent use of traditional and modern medicines. Also, keep in mind that many of these can interfere with your meds even when had (in large quantities) in food.
Send your questions to

Avoid concurrent use of traditional and modern medicines. Also, keep your doctor informed about food cures you may be trying.




Nix the Mix

Dr Chandra M Gulhati is editor, Monthly Index of Medical Specialities.


My friends seem to be able to handle no-strings attached relationships comfortably, while it scares me. Is there a way in which I can handle a casual relationship without getting hurt in the process?
Sam J, 32

Be proactive, socialise, meet people out of genuine interestnot to snare a partner. People sniff out desperation and will run if you come across as being on the prowl.
pectations? Sex with some basic fondness or affection for the other person but no obligations? One-night stands? What are you really looking for? Sex? Wanting to feel desired? Wanting to be seen as being with it? A relationship where you enjoy good times without an expectation that it will turn into a committed relationship? A sort of lets see where it takes us approach? Or an opportunity for deep connection and intimacy? Sometimes people like to keep things casual for any among a number of reasonsthey dont feel ready to make a long-term commitment, are not in a position in their lives to prioritise a relationship over other demands, are not sure of their own or the other persons feelings, dont want to be vulnerable to being hurt or rejected. There is nothing right or wrong or good or bad about it as long as they are honest with each other and practise safe sex. You say that the idea of casual relationships scares you and you are afraid of getting hurt. Maybe you are looking for something different. Theres no shame in that. Be proactive, socialise, meet people out of genuine interest and not in order to snare a partner. People sniff out desperation and will run if you come across as being on the prowl. Relax into being yourself and do what feels right to you.
RADHIKA CHANDIRAMANI is founder of TARSHI, an organisation that works on issues of sexuality. She is a trained clinical psychologist. Send your questions to askprevention@ visit the FAQs page at or call 011-26472229, Mon to Fri 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

t may seem to you that some of your friends are having fun while you sit on the sidelines and watch. Only you can decide whether or not you want to get into a casual relationship.

To your mind, how would you define it? One where two or more people have sex with no emotional involvement or ex-





Dr Vikas Saini is a clinical cardiologist and researcher at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. He is president of the Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation in Boston.

Stay Fit and Use Statins Cautiously

Statins can be lifesaving but new research says that they may block some of the benefits from exercise. Heres what you need to know.

octors commonly prescribe statins to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in susceptible patients. Statins are very beneficial for those with proven heart diseasethey reduce cholesterol levels and reduce risk of heart attack and death. However, viewing statins as a quick fix for heart disease by treating high cholesterol levels is wrong. We have drugs, like statins, that lower cholesterol effectively, so we often forget that there are other tools to reduce risk. Its one of many examples of doctors and patients focussing on a blood test to the point where the bigger picture is lost. The correlation between cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease has led to a one-size fits all approach treating a number without regard to other aspects of health. But we are not numbers. We are complex human organisms. Lets have a peek underneath this one size fits all approach adopted by many healthcare professionals.

The Limitation of Statins

Research on statins ability to prevent heart disease before it becomes manifest tells us that: Statins are not clearly beneficial for primary prevention in women. Elite athletes, those with the highest fitness levels, do not tolerate statins well. There is a growing body of evidence that statins may increase susceptibility to muscle damage during exercise. One recent study divided 14,000 patients into 2 equal groups: those who had used statins for at least 90 days and non-users (those who had
Send your questions to



never taken a statin). The rates of complaints in the two groups were then compared. The statin users had a 20% higher risk of joint aches, dislocations, sprains, strains and muscular pains. In my own practice, I have found that vague aches and pains associated with the use of statins are indeed quite common. More troubling is a study in which researchers investigated whether statin use changes the bodys ability to improve fitness through exercise training. Sedentary overweight adults were randomly assigned to receive either 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training or exercise in combination with a statin called simvastatin. The aerobic exercise-only group increased their cardiorespiratory fitness by 10% . The group that took the statin as well as engaged in the same exercise regimen increased their cardiorespiratory fitness by considerably less1.5%. In other words, the addition of a statin prevented improvement in fitness.

The Case for Fitness

Important studies have shown that increases in fitness are associated with reductions in mortality independent of lowering of cholesterol levels. Moreover, as fitness increases, lowering cholesterol becomes less important as a preventive measure, at least in men. To summarise, statin-induced reductions in cholesterol, especially the bad LDL cholesterol are, indeed associated with reductions in risk of cardiovascular events and mortality. Exercise also prevents heart disease. What we dont know yet because we dont yet have any large randomised trialsis how much risk is reduced with exercise and statins together or separately.

Lesson for You

Stay fit no matter what. Take a statin if you have proven heart disease, if you can do so without side effects. Dont despair if you cannot tolerate the drug without side effects, though just stay active and exercise. l

Hear This! In a large study of male US military veterans, both fitness and statins were separately associated with low mortality. The lowest risk was in highly fit patients taking statins. Patients with the highest fitness had a 70% reduction in mortality compared to those with lowest fitness, whether or not they took statins. Finally, unfit patients taking statins had higher mortality risk than fit patients not taking statins. 45



Hair Revival
Changing weather, pollution, hard water and hours spent in air-conditioned offices can make your hair dull, dry and lacklustre. Fix it in minutes and then learn how to bring back the colour, shine and volume so you can keep it beautiful through months of varying climate.
by Priyanka Bhattacharya



the right products to keep your hair nourished is a must. Additionally, apply a light smoothening serum before stepping out into the sun, advises Melroy Dickson, national education manager, Matrix India. Products like Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Smooth and Shine Leave-in Treatment, ` 540, Matrix Biolage Smoothing Serum, `260, may help protect your coloured strands. Heres the trick to get your shampoo and conditioning right; While shampooing your mane, stick to room temperature water. Then squeeze excess water and apply colour conditioner or leaveon mask. Keep it on for three to five minutes and rinse it with cold water. This helps seal the outer layer of your hair, stimulates blood circulation for a healthy scalp and also keeps your hair shiny, explains Chen. Whether your colour is natural or from a bottle, the shampoo and conditioner you use matter. Its a good decision to use both from the same brand. Look for products that have UV protectors, because sunlight can fade your shade. Try Wella Brilliance Color Protection Shampoo and Conditioner, `475 each, LOral Professionnel Serie Expert Vitamino Color Incell Hydro Resist Color Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner, `500 and `475, or Fiama Di Wills Color Damage Repair Shampoo, `109.

Long-Term Solution:

BOOST Faded Colour

Quick Fix: Changing your hair colour with the season is a good way to ensure that it always looks fresh. Even a subtle change, like taking the shade a tad deeper or slightly warmer, can do wonders. You can either refresh your colour at home or head to a salon for a professional job, especially if you are looking for some highlights. According to Sylvia Chen, national brand ambassador for Wella Care & Style, to keep your colour from fading, make sure that your hairs porosity is highwhich means a higher capability to retain moisture. Try this: grab a couple of your hair strands and drop them in a bowl of water. If they oat, they have low porosity and if they sink, they have medium to high porosity. The better the hair porosity, the longer the colour will last and vice versa, explains Chen. If you do regular touch ups or highlights, opt for instant colour treatments immediately post your colour session as this will regulate the pH balance of the hair. For professional/salon care, try the Schwarzkopf Professional Igora Permanent Colour Range or Matrix New Socolor Base, price on request. For ammonia-free coverage, try LOral Paris Casting Crme Gloss, `495 or Revlon ColorSilk, `400. Like the colour you sport but struggle to keep it bright and shining? At-home after-care with 48


ADD SHINE to Dull Hair

Quick Fix:
Use of equipment as well as build-up from products and sometimes the water quality may make your hair less reective over time. Avoid frequent washing and brushing these are two causes for damaged hair. Skip hairstyling tools like the dryer, curler or the at iron. They cause dryness, and strip your strands of their natural oil leading to split ends and breakage, says Charoo Chawla, director, Blliis by Ravissant, New Delhi. Use Sunsilk Keratinology Heat Protecting Spray, `200, before using any equipment.

Stop Hairfall
A hectic lifestyle, stress, hormonal imbalance and improper care can lead to hair fall. While its unpleasant to nd a hair trail, a carefully planned diet as well as supplements can help reduce hair fall. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, protein, biotin, iron and Vitamin B12 can help get healthy hair, says Dr Varun Katyal, consultant dermatologist & anti-ageing specialist, The Skin Centre, New Delhi. A multi-vitamin or a supplement containing zinc, Vitamin B, folate, iron and calcium may also help. You should also look out for biotin, silica and L-cysteine. It has been found that biotin supplements of 5,000 mcg a day help to promote healthier hair, says Katyal. However, an increased intake of Vitamin A can also cause hairfall. So consult a dermatologist before popping a supplement.

Long-Term Solution: The key to maintaining shine is to protect your strands from damage and strengthen them from within. A great way to do this is to oil your hair and massage your scalp at least 30 minutes before you shampoo. Olive oil and coconut oil are favourites with the hair experts. Try olive oil-based Dove Elixir Nourished Shine Hair Oil, ` 185 or coconut oil-based The Body Shop Rainforest Coconut Hair Oil, ` 645. Both can be used as pre-wash treatment and post-wash smoothening and protecting serum. Chawla also suggests regular treatment with a concoction of oils which help repair damage and add shine. Try Morroccan Oil, `2,200, its formula transports lost proteins for strength and shine, she says.

DIY For Shiny Hair

Take 1 part apple cider vinegar, add this to 3 parts of warm water and apply. Rinse it off with water and then shampoo.

`210 each or Tresemm Keratin Smooth Shampoo and Conditoner, `160 each, and Dove Splits End Rescue System, `68 upwards. Before blow-drying, prep your hair with a protective serum like LOral Paris Total Repair 5 Serum , ` 220 or Tresemm Salon Smooth Serum, `200. The blow-dry technique is also important. Use a large round brush and lift from the roots as you dry. When styling, use an ionic or tourmaline dryer and a ceramceram ic coated iron to prevent style damage, adds Poswal. Blowdry on a warmnot hotsetting and avoid exposing hair to heat once its fully dry. The combination of coconut oil and avocado gives dull, dry hair new lustre and life. The rich oils and nutrients in this homemade mask also help protect your hair from overexposure to the sun. Mash one avocado in a tablespoon of coconut oil and then rub into hair. (A little extra avocado on the ends will help repair damage.) Let sit for 15 minutes, rinse with cool water. Then shampoo and condition your mane.


Quick Fix: Avoid excessive shampooing as
this strips the strands of natural hydrating oils. Extreme temperature can also make your hair look dry and brittle so use lukewarm water. The chlorine in water is harmful for hair so be careful when swimming. Also the local water supply may contain a high mineral content which is known to dry out the hair, explains Dr Arvind Poswal, hair transplantation surgeon, Dr As Clinic.

The Long-Term Solution:

Start by using a shampoo rich in Vitamin E and other natural moisturisers. Avoid haircare products that contain lanolin or silicone, as these ingredients tend to dry hair quickly. Natural plant extracts and essential oils like rosemary, lavender and jojoba also help. Try Garnier GoodBye Damage Shampoo and Conditioner,



Tackle Hair Thinning

If it runs in your family, there is little that can be done. Besides this, as we age, the hair shaft shrinks, so its able to hold less moisture than it previously could. Besides anaemia and hypothyroidism, changing hormone levels, can also affect the structure of hair and make it harder for your strands to retain moisture, Poswal explains. The root of the problem could also be the condition of your scalp. A recent study published in the journal Skin Research and Technology found that seborrheic dermatitis, a scalp condition that causes dandru, can actually make hair strands 10 to 35% thinner. Treating hair and scalp with Himalaya AntiDandru Hair Oil, `160, and Shampoo, `200 may help treat the seborrheic dermatitis and give you a more luscious crown. l

BEAUTY Editors Picks

Foot Spa
Rain or sunshine, you must put your best foot forward. Here are some essentials to help your cause.
by Manavi Siddhanti

1. Vaseline Moisture Therapy

Heel Cream: Many of us share the problem of having rough heels along with corns. With paran, milk and honey extracts and glycerine, this cream can help repair skin on nightly application. `45

2. Sally Hansen Hard As Wraps

Hard As Nails: Brittle, cracking and peeling nails are a turn o. Apply a coat of this nail hardener, especially before applying nail polish, to avoid chipped tips. `375

3. Tatha Foot Soak Fresh Feet: A

1 3

concoction of citrus scents, this is a perfect treat at the end of an exhausting day. Add a few drops to your bath water or a quick foot soak. `360

4. Forest Essentials Sandalwood


and Turmeric Body Polisher: For even-toned, smooth legs, try using this polish once in 10 days. The organic sunower oil, organic beeswax, sandalwood and turmeric in it helps get rid of dead cells, triggers collagen production and gives you smooth-looking legs. `1,975

5. Chambor nail paint: Applying nail

colour on your toes can instantly make your feet look brighter. You can either go for a neutral look with nude hues or pop out with corals or even with shimmer. `270



BEAUTY Editors Picks

6. Comfort

Zone Lushly Floral Foot Balm: A walk in the rain can leave you with muddy feet, that may lead to infections. This hydrating foot balm comes with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. With avocado and jojoba oils, massage on feet and legs to help revitalise skin. `1,225

7. Faces Pedicure Kit: If

youd rather not wait for your appointment at the salon, heres another way to prep your feet. An easy-to-use pedicure kit, it has a pair of clippers, ler, toe separators and nail brushes. `219

8. Bourjois Nail Dotter: If nail


art is for you, then heres the perfect tool to add to your kitty. With thick and thin ends, you can use this pen-like tool to embellish your tips with dots and other designs. `605

9. Aaranyaa Foot Massage

Scrub: With apricot granules, eucalyptus oil, menthol and camphor, this foot scrub thoroughly cleanses your feet, leaving you relaxed. Apply on feet and legs for up to 10 minutes for a DIY pedicure. `110


The base feels cakey on my face while the lip gloss tends to run out in this season. Any suggestions to avoid this?
Mia, 28

Instead of using a foundation, switch to a concealer or a tinted moisturiser for an even skin tone, in the rainy season.

USE A WATERPROOF LINER: Keep your eye make-up neutral and not too dramatic in the day. Swipe a line of water-proof eyeliner or kohl. This will stay longer and not wear out. You can use coloured kohl or even try the graphic eyeliner for an evening out. STICK TO MATTE HUES: Avoid lip glosses during the rainy season. Stick to your favourite shades in matte and long-stay finishes. Use a lip pencil to first outline your lips and then fill in colour. This trick helps your lipstick last longer. OPT FOR A CHEEK TINT: Leave the blush-on for the autumn and stick to a lip tint. Easy to use, they are very durable. As compared to a powder blush, they tend not to spread out, even in the rainy season. TIE UP YOUR MANE: Due to excessive humidity, your hair tends to be frizzy. Continue to condition your hair regularly and style it as neatly as possible. Low ponytails, fishtail braids and chignons are a good idea. You can also wrap a scarf or tie a bandana around your hair. Remember, the trick is to keep your look natural, with just a bit of colour. The best and easiest way to do that is to add a little colour by going in for corals, pinks and reds for your lips and apply bright nail paints to perk up your look.
CLINT FERNANDES is a leading make-up artist in Mumbai. Send your questions to

he onset of the monsoon also means a rise in humidity. Taking care of our skin and hair can be a bit tricky during this time. Here are a few tips to enjoy the season and look good.
SWITCH TO A CONCEALER: Start by ditching foundation and use a lightweight concealer to hide away spots. Applying a tinted moisturiser is also recommended in this weather. Finish by dabbing your face and neck with a mineral compact. While using the compact, use a wet sponge for application this helps give a matte finish.




Of late, I have been noticing that my face tends to look puffy. What could be causing this and how can I look normal?
Mamata, 40

Check the colour of your urineif its a deep yellow, you need to consistently increase your fluid intake.
drate. Meanwhile, you can apply moisturisers with Vitamin C and E, green tea and grape seed extracts. HIGH SALT INTAKE: We need about 1,200 mg of sodium in our diet every day. Excessive sodium intake can lead to water retention and puffiness. Keep a check on your diet, chuck the salt shaker at the table and avoid excess salty treats. Lymphatic Drainage Facials which use mild suction help reduce water retention. INADEQUATE SNOOZE TIME: Although it varies from person to person, research says its vital to sleep for 6 to 8 hours. Lack of sleep makes you look puffier than when you get enough of it. ALLERGIC TENDENCIES: Many of us can get atopic allergies such as recurring colds and sneezing attacks. The trigger could be dust, dirt, fumes and even perfumes, leading to puffiness. Keep a watch to see if there is an allergy connection, try OTC anti-allergic tablets or consult a doc. HORMONAL IMBALANCES: Minor hormonal imbalances may manifest as puffiness just before your menstrual cycle begins. PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and thyroid disorders are common causes. Apart from your medication, its advised you take plenty of fluids and exercise regularly.
Dr REKHA SHETH is a leading cosmetic dermatologist in Mumbai. She is founder-president, Cosmetology Society of India and runs Yuva, a successful chain of skin clinics. Send your questions to

uffiness of the face is a common complaint amongst women. The reasons could be many. Fortunately there are easy solutions.
LOW FLUID INTAKE: Most of us work in air-conditioned environments and tend not to feel thirsty often. This can, in turn, lead to a pale complexion and puffiness of the face. Start by tracking your water intake. Its important to check the colour of your urineif its a deep yellow, you need to consistently increase your fluid intake. Coconut water, lime water and green tea along with 8 to 10 glasses of water every day should help you hy-




Theres so much one hears about fermented foods but Im not sure what to believe. How do these foods really help me?
Aakriti Shah, 34

Fermenting cereals and fruits can even make otherwise inedible foods safe, nutritious and palatable.
The most common fermented foods include yoghurt, cheeses, idli, dosa, pickles, chutneys, vinegar and beverages like kaanji, wine and beer. Some fermentation techniques use starter cultures, like in yoghurt, while others use germinated grains as a source of amylase (enzyme). Fermenting cereals, fruits and vegetables can even make otherwise inedible foods safe, nutritious and palatable, because it improves the digestibility of protein and carbohydrates, removing natural toxins and lowering cooking time. Nutritionally speaking, fermentation leads to degradation of anti-nutritional factors (which prevent nutrients from getting absorbed), increased bioavailability of minerals and improved digestibility of proteins in cereals. Simply soaking and germinating foods, especially grains, can improve their protein quality by inactivating naturally-occurring toxins. Fermenting with a lactic acid starter culture increases the nutrient density of the food. It lowers the level of complex carbs in legumes, which means less abdominal distension and flatulence. Besides, it can lead to the synthesis of certain amino acids and increase availability of B vitamins. Fermentation lowers the pH (acid-alkaline balance), creating the optimal conditions for enzymatic degradation, particularly in cereals. This may also increase the amount of soluble iron, zinc and calcium several fold and lower the content of antinutritional components (tannin) in some cereals, helping your body absorb iron better. Lactic acidfermented vegetables also preserve Vitamin C better,


ermentation is one of the oldest ways to preserve food as well as to enhance taste, aroma, texture and nutritional value. Its a biochemical breakdown of foods brought about by the action of microorganisms and their enzymes.



which, too, facilitates the absorption of iron. Some lactic acid-fermented foods, like idli, are much higher in B vitamins such as thiamine and riboflavin than their source grains. Fermentation also inhibits the growth of certain pathogenic bacteria and the formation of bacterial toxins. In addition, it can also improve the flavour and appearance of food, like in pickles and chutneys. These strong flavours will help you make an otherwise dull, bland and repetitive diet more appealing. Certain fermented foods and beverages have medicinal value, too. These foods are high in beneficial bacteriaprobiotics and prebioticsthat support and help the digestive system assimilate food, providing for better nutritient absorption and boosting immunity. Some of these lactic acid bacteria and moulds also produce antibiotics and bacteriocins and have been proven to be anti-carcinogenic. I hear of some people who feel they are sensitive to fermented foods. While it is possible that certain microorganisms like yeast and moulds in some raw foods dont work well with their system, there are cooked fermented foods too. Cooked foods like idlis have no live microorganism. So these are alright to have. Yoghurt has a probiotic culture that is active, as does wine. Avoid these if you are candida (yeast)sensitive. You will know if you are susceptible to infections. Also, one of the byproducts of lactic acid fermentation cant be metabolised by humans. And so, an excessive intake of fermented foods can cause acidosis, a d i stu rbance in the acid-alkaline balance. If you keep these in mind, fermented foods are as good for you as can be. l
ISHI KHOSLA is a clinical nutritionist and director, Whole Foods, Delhi. Send your questions to

Yoghurt has a probiotic culture that is active. As does wine. If you are candida (yeast)sensitive, avoid these and stick to cooked fermented foods like idli.



One Woman Three Workouts

Custom Solutions From Top Trainers

Im Slim But I Want To Be Tight And Toned!

Brenda McColgen, 38
GOAL To banish jiggle and add muscle tone to her naturally lean frame. CURRENT REGIMEN None OBSTACLE Although shes always been active, Brenda has never had to formally exercise and doesnt know where to start.
by Jessica Cassity photograph by Peter Yang


Dumb-Bell Circuit
Erin OBrien Creator of the tness DVD, Kristi Yamaguchi: Power Workout THE PLAN Few tness tools are as easy to use as dumb-bells. The weight workout I created for Brenda will tone her entire body and because the moves are done in a circuitone right after the other at a quick paceitll get her heart rate up too, all in less than 15 minutes. She should start with 2 kg weights, bumping up to 3.5 kg after 3 to 4 weeks. Brenda should do this circuit 3 times in a row, twice a week. Id also like her to plan tness dates with friends so exercise feels like fun, not punishment.

Top Toners
1. MARCHING HAMMER CURL March in place with a weight in each hand, palms facing one another. As left knee lifts, bend right elbow, bringing dumb-bell toward shoulder. Switch sides. Repeat 1 minute.

2. DUMB-BELL SWING Stand in wide squat, holding dumb-bell low. Swing dumb-bell up, thrusting hips forward and straightening legs. Do 25 reps with both hands, then 25 with left hand and 25 with right hand for 1 set.

3. PEC FLY WITH CRUNCH Lie on back, knees bent. Hold dumb-bells with palms up and arms open to form a T. Lift arms over chest, raising head and shoulders into a crunch. Lower to start. Do 15 reps.

Brenda should add group activities, such as walks with friends or bike rides with her partner, to her schedule. These fun outings will burn calories and help her rethink her attitude to exercise.

Exercise Calendar



Do-Anywhere Moves
Nicole Cea McDermott Owner of Healthy Balance NYC, a boot-camp training programme THE PLAN Since Brenda doesnt work out often, I chose exercises that use only her body weighttheyre eective without being intimidating. Best of all, they can be done anywhere, which means no excuses! These three exerciseswhich are variations of staple strength-training moveswork the full body. Brenda should do this trio 3 or 4 times a week, starting with 1 set of each and building up to 3 sets. To increase cardiovascular health and all over tone, she should go for a brisk 30-minute walk after each strength session.

Top Toners
1. CLOCK LUNGE Step left foot forward into a lunge. Step left foot back to start position. Then lunge with left leg to side and then behind. Continue with right foot, lunging behind, then to side, then forward to complete circle. Repeat for 2 minutes.

Brenda should use a stopwatch to time lunges and planks and to add speed intervals to her 30-minute walks.


3. SIDE AND CENTRE FOREARM PLANK Support weight on forearms and toes, spine straight; hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Lower and roll to right side, lifting left arm and hips; hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat to left for 1 rep. Do 3 reps.


2. SQUAT WITH PULSES Bend hips and knees to squat, keeping weight in heels and knees behind toes. Hold squat for 3 counts, then do 3 pulses up and down an inch. Return to standing. Thats 1 rep. Do 15 reps.


Lower-Body Boost
THE PLAN To get rid of jiggle, I crafted three moves that work the glutes, quads and hamstrings. I chose resistance bands because theyre as eective as weights, but they take up less space and are less expensive. Brenda should work up to 3 sets of 15 reps with the red band, then move up to a green band, which oers greater resistance. She should also do 150 minutes a week of cardio, such as walking or using a stair-climber, to sculpt her lower body.

Phil Page, PhD, PT, ATC, FACSM Instructor of kinesiology at Louisiana State University

Top Toners
1. BRIDGE WITH LOOP Lie on back and place Thera-Band loop just above knees. Lift hips, pushing knees out against loop. Hold for 2 seconds, then lower hips to starting position.

2. STANDING KICKBACK Place loop around ankles. Extend left leg back, keeping knee straight. (Hold on to a chair for balance if needed.) Hold for 2 seconds. Do 15 reps left and 15 reps right for 1 set.

This rubbery exercise band comes in four dif different resistance levels: yellow, red, green and blue.

Thera-Band Loop

3. LATERAL WALK Stand in a half squat with loop around thighs, just above knees. With right foot, step to right 4 to 6 inches and hold for 2 seconds. Step to right with left foot to return to width of starting stance. Take 3 steps right, then 3 steps left, for 1 rep. l


Brendas Pick:

Workout #3

Why She Chose It I loved that I could do the moves anywhere watching TV, checking emailand that the bands travelled easily!




The heat and rain is making outdoor workouts difficult. Please suggest some indoor exercises.
Divya, 33

Follow a DVD routine or an online workout. Watch it a few times before practising it. Don't rush and remember to go at your own pace.
a power yoga regime and practise by yourself. Choose a doable regime and watch it a couple of times before practising. Follow the instructions carefully and remember to maintain your form and posture. However, dont aim for perfection right at the beginning; you will need to work up gradually. You could also use strength training videos for indoor workouts. Invest in dumb-bells, resistance bands and a stability ballall of which are reasonably priced and easily available. TRY HIIT: High intensity interval training workouts are easy to follow and show great results. Shorter in duration, they are ideal for busy days between work and chores. However it is recommended you do HIIT every alternate day. Heres an example of a customised HIIT regime for a day. Start by a basic warm-up for 5 to 10 minutes. Skip on the rope for a minute, go into a push-up position and then execute 10 push-ups. Follow up with 15 to 20 squats and then go back to skipping. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes. DO A CARDIO CIRCUIT: Choose 2 to 3 cardio activities and do them sequentially while monitoring time. For example, if you choose stair climbing, jogging around a room, high knee-ups and step touchesdo each of these exercises for six minutes, excluding a 10minute warm-up session. Cool down with stretches after the workout. Investing in a treadmill or a crosstrainer can be a bit heavy on the pocket, but worth it.
NISHA VARMA is a Reebok Master Trainer based in Pune. Send your questions to


eather is a major concern when it comes to outdoor workouts. Extreme weather conditions are not just demotivatingsometimes, they can even harm your health. (Think extreme dehydration when you jog in the park in summer heat.) But, you neednt skip workouts altogether. Here are some effective indoor programmes. Just make sure that the temperature indoors is comfortable23C is recommended.




Dr Shelja Sen is a clinical psychologist, family therapist and trainer with Children First, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Institute, New Delhi.

Choice Empowers
Help your kids make an informed choice so they can develop crucial decision-making skills later in life.

Building Response-ability in your Children

1. Step back and stay calm. I know as parents it seems so much easier, safer and
Send your questions to




magine that your 12-year old wants to buy a new pair of headphones. You might take the child to the nearest mall, go to a couple of shops and then buy one that the salesperson convinces you is the best of em all. Now sample this: instead of going straight to the mall, you ask your child to do online research narrow down on a couple depending on the budget and sound quality and then let him make a choice. And never mind if he ends up making the wrong choice. Because even if he hasnt got the best money could buy, he would have used the necessary life skill of making a choice and taking responsibility for it. We dont encourage our kids to make as many choices as we ideally should. Either we take it away from them completely: You have to study in the evening or we let them have their way: Mom, I cannot study in the evening! Suppose we gave them choices: You have the option of studying after returning from school, in the evening or before dinner. What would you choose? Im sure its quite obvious which approach will be most effective. Why? Because just the knowledge that we have choices fosters independence and a sense of empowerment. Research shows that children who are given choices from a very early age start taking ownership of their life earlier. On the other hand, children who are not given many choices end up blaming and holding others responsible for problems they face.

convenient to tell the kids what to do. It really is a struggle to see your child choose a pair of shoes that look very fancy but you know will bite. If even after your advice she chooses to buy them, let her do so. Its very important that you do not resort to criticism, sarcasm or lectures when it turns out to be the wrong choice. Let them learn from their mistakes. 2. Know what is negotiable and non-negotiable. We do not need to give children choices in areas which are a given. For example, you might give your child healthy choices for the meal planning for the week but you cant give her a choice about whether she goes to school or not. 3. Elicit rather than impose. Suppose your child resists homework time. If you impose that homework would be at 4 pm every day it might turn out to be a battleground. On the other hand, if you have a chat with him and then work out a time that is convenient for both, you might get him to cooperate. So questions like, Out of these three time slots, which one works best for you?; Where would you like to sit and do it?; Which part would you like to start with? might get him to make responsible choices and stick by them. 4. Help them visualise. Children can be shortsighted. So there may be times when you may like to help them visualise the possible implications of their choice. For example, if your child is trying to cut corners in a school project, say, So if you do skip this bit of the project, what do you think it would look like? What would your teacher say/think? Would you be alright with that? 5. Support. Be there to guide him. If your child has done abysmally in an examination, for example, instead of getting angry, ask questions that may turn wrong choices into learning opportunities. What do you think went wrong? Do you think you might want to prepare differently? How would you like me to help you? As wise old Dumbledore put it, It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. l

There may be times when you might like to help your children visualise the possible implications of their choice.





Dr Prabha Chandra is professor of psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru. She specialises in mental health problems related to pregnancy and postpartum.

One and Only

For many women, being single is a well thought out choice. Stop worrying about being lonely, enjoy the solitude.
t was a pleasant morning and my friend who had chosen to stay single was teaching me the tenets of Buddhist meditation. Later over breakfast on her beautiful balcony, when I asked her if she ever felt lonely or insecure about her single status, she had only one answerI lead a fulfilling life and have no time to think of loneliness. Being single has now become commonplacefor some it is a choice, while others may be single due to divorce or bereavement. The stereotype of the lonely disgruntled woman is fast disappearing and many feisty women in their late 30s and 40s are now handling their single status with aplomb and embracing their singlehood. However, some might worry about old age, find time hanging heavy on their hands or become concerned about lack of companionship once the children move on. Studies have shown that these fears and insecurities are not restricted to only single women. Even married couples know that at some point, only one of them will be left behind to handle life. What strategies should women who choose to stay single adopt to stay positive and handle moments of insecurities? The first is to accept and embrace your single status. Dont be apologetic or make excuses for it. The more comfortable and content you appear to be about your status, the easier it is for people around you to accept it and not try to set you up for a match each time they meet you. Ending the stereotype of a Bridget Jones-like woman who is single only because she is waiting for the right man, is very important. Being single is not always about being in between companions. For many women, it is a well thought out choice.

Send your questions to




Develop a network and minimise the Home Alone feeling. It is very important for you to develop a network of friends of different ages and from different walks of life who can be around you for companionship and help. Try to live in a neighbourhood where people know you, ensure a safe and secure home and establish friendships with at least three or four people around you who will help out in a crisis. Community living with like-minded people is a good option. Be in touch and interact with relatives who will be available. Pet owners find great companionship with their four-legged friends. Be a mentor and guide to young people. Connect with young people, nephews, nieces, grandkids or children in your neighbourhood. A friend who is single by choice would open her doors every summer to a child and reward them with an enriching experience. My daughter still feels that the two months she spent with her were the most inspiring moments of her life! Develop rituals. Organise coffee and cake meetings every month or a trip to an interesting place with friends. These rituals tend to keep you active and also give you something to look forward to. Work and financial security are essential aspects of feeling safe. Invest wisely and build a nest for yourself. There is enough research now to show the positive value of work in ones well-being. Work gives you a sense of validation and enhances your individual worth. Leave a legacy. Kay Trimberger, an expert on the psychology of single women extols the virtue of community work as one of the pillars of living a satisfying single life. It is important for people to feel that they will be remembered after they have gone. When you have children, this transgenerational passage of memories and ideas is often taken for granted. If you are single, you may need to create legacies in the form of works of art, music, books, articles, blogs or even charity or a cause. Living a single life is about authenticity and choice and it is important that you show that to the world around you. l

Develop a network of friends of different ages and from different walks of life who can be around you for companionship and help.




Better than Ever

What like

75 looks

and 10 Years Younger..


Stronger, Healthier Happier, more Energetic

th issue! 5 7 l ia c e Sp


eeting Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, you dont notice her age at all. What strikes you right away is a keen, focussed mind thats taking it all in. As the conversation progresses, you feel the touch of a woman whos warm, witty and full of empathy. She reaches out and connects sp ontane ou sly her exceptional emotional intelligence has perhaps been her greatest strength through her long, illustrious political career. A rare politician that makes you want to trust her immediately. Dikshit turned 75 in March this year and slowing down isnt even on the horizonshes constantly zipping around the Capital, attending meetings, functions, balancing her party with her executive responsibilities, juggling public opinion with the medias infrared vision. In effect, living the life of a mature, 50-something power womanincredibly en-


5 THINGS THAT BRING A SMILE TO HER FACE n Caramel custard n Anything aesthetic: a picture or painting n Music/theatre n Elegance n Reading

gaged and energetic, fully consumed by the passion of her job. Which is why I am meeting her at her large office at the Delhi secretariat overlooking a small perennial lake surrounded by greenery. This place was barren, you know it took me about 7 or 8 years to turn it green, she says with a smile. She has to be in touch with naturethats a very basic need she confesses to. My work keeps me on top, she gets straight to the point as we start.I live and think the way I do because I have a wide field of action, she explains. Dikshit is convinced that this wide canvas and the multiplicity of ideas and tasks keep her ticking. Sure, there are days of not feeling very bright with a viral or a migraine (but then who doesnt have bad days?), but the thought of age does not even pass her mind, barring those odd moments. When I work, I work with joyI do not look back or regret whats passed. I move on easily and attend to the next task at hand, she says simply. Thats possibly how she handles the challenges of being in public life without sounding tired or bitter. I


HEALTHY LIFE n Starts her morning with a 25-minute walk. I too love 10 extra minutes in bed, but when I am at it, I love it. n Does yoga every day. n Loves good food, but keeps it healthy. Avoids unhealthy, sugary food, refined and fried stuff. n Shops for healthy grocery at stores.

am essentially a happy person, I cant go on without a smile for too long, she says, looking straight into my eye with a big smile. Her sense of history, intellectual spirit, love for art and music shines through easily in any conversation. Reading history (Ramchandra Guhas India After Gandhi), or fiction (like Khaled Hossenis new book And the Mountains Echoed) energises me instantly, she says. At the end of her workday, she craves for time alone, letting her mind rest. However, shes nothing if not a people person: she draws her energy from those around her. I love people, I wouldnt have been in this job otherwise, she admits. I have seen her at election rallies and public functions. Its true. Whats more, her adaptability has kept her ahead of the curve. Its your ability to recognise, accept change and adapt to the new situation that makes all the difference, she says. If theres a setback you should know that it will not last forevernothing ever does, she adds. You need to change yourself and your focus, its how you react to a situation, not the situation itself that is key. Her years of experience in the political field brings the perspective younger party colleagues often lack. Sandeep, my son, gets upset about election results. I tell him, relax you cant win each time, learn to lose, take the good with the bad. This, combined with her optimism and hard work makes her a natural leader. Her team adores the combination of the razor-sharp mind and the human touch that she brings to her job. You know, sometimes when you try too hard, ideas dont flowideas come to me in a flash. You may disagree with them, but you cant ignore the powerful mind, the woman who has stayed ahead in a world of men. We talk about what brings her joy and suddenly her face lights up. Last February shes strolling in her residence compound with her daughter and spots a huge, fawn-coloured bird that turns out to be a Siberian owl. I cant explain to you the spike of joy I felt, just looking at it. It was the most exciting thing that had happened to me in a long, long time. I wanted to shout out and call my friends; Im waiting to see it again this year, she tells me. Shes planning to get away to the hills next weekIts been one-and-a-half years since Ive taken a break, Im looking forward to it! As I leave, she gives me a warm hug. You should write your story, I tell her. Yes, when I have the time, she says. Clearly, thats not anytime soon. Dikshit stands out in a sea of less-than-ordinary, sometimes senile, senior politicians who put us in despair. Shes charming and evergreen. Thats what 75 should look like. Sanghamitra Chakraborty






DAILY DIARY Keeps herself engaged, reads and writes every day. n Works hard at managing time well. Cooks for herself and her husband. n Walks daily to stay healthy and agile.

an age be reduced to just a number? Not for writer Shashi Deshpande. Greater age means much more than more yearsit is an accumulation of experiences, memories, emotions and relationships, says the 75-year old author. Ageing does cause problems, the greatest being the changes in the body. Often, youre surprised to see yourself in the mirror, because inside, youre a different, much younger person, she observes. Deshpande began writing with short stories in the 1970s when her two sons were young. Since then she has published over 10 novels (including three crime novels) translations, childrens books and short story and essay collections. She won the Sahitya Akademi award for That Long Silence in 1990 and in 2009, a Padma Shri was conferred on her. This varied repertoire has been possible because Deshpande writes

every single day. Not because I think I have to work, but because it is what I really want to do. So Im disciplined in my time management, she says. Remarkably even now, she does the cooking in her Bengaluru home where she lives with her pathologist husband. I have to be organised so I dont spend too much time in the kitchen, she stresses. There is no magic mantra to contentment or fulfillment, says Deshpande who takes pleasure in every small moment of happiness. Reading is a passion. I enjoy music, good conversation, a glass of wine, playing bridge, being among trees and away from the city. Food and travelling are not in my scheme of things, she explains. Being healthy is very important especially since Ive not enjoyed good health for most of my life. Exercise was something I ignored, but now I have to walk and find it does me good, she admits. So how do the 70s look to her? I have a lot of writing to do, and hope to be in good health to complete what I want to. I dont look beyond that, she adds. Divya Sreedharan



eteran television and theatre personality Sushma Seth, who turned 77 this year, has fathomed the right chemistry for an ideal integration of health and happiness. For her the 70s have been a thoroughly engrossing period what with travelling to near and distant places to enjoy theatre, her prime preoccupation since viewers on Indias national channel were first acquainted with her, in the role of Dadi of the teleserial Hum Log. Theatre apart, during the march of these years, the actor has also wrapped in a slice of architecture, music and art, and of course indulged her grandchildren. Banishing the popular concept of a degenerative and ageing 70s, Seth introspects on how her maturing years have enriched her sensibilities, awakening an appreciation of the aesthetics that abound in nature. This consciousness was the source of her desire to


HEALTH MANTRAS n Follows Patanjalis Ashtang programme pranayam and meditation energises her. n Keeps herself engaged in service. n Travels and indulges her grandchildren.

give back to society rather than receive anything in return. Building on this transformation, Seth was drawn to the NGO Arpana. We have supported a resettlement colony of 40,000 erstwhile slum dwellers. For the last 14 years at Arpana, weve conducted over 1,500 student educational programmesheld drama workshops, directed plays and performed for young and adult audiences in Delhi, she says. Shes also been following the Patanjali Yogapeeth Ashtang programme for the last three decades. Its like a blueprint for life. Pranayam and meditation energises the body, mind and intellect, it raises the level of consciousness, eliminates fears and anxieties and makes me serene and optimistic, says the actor. She begins her day at 5 am with a regimen of vocal music, a morning walk and a 50-minute yogic breathing routine. And what does she envisage for the future? A beautiful and clean planet where happiness, equality and harmony prevails, she says serenely. l Subhra Mazumdar





Lose up to 5 times more weight with this revolutionary, research-backed planstart today!
by Jenna Bergen





f youre like many women over muscle mass and turn up the heat on your 40, youve probably noticed that bodys natural calorie-frying furnace. its become a lot easier to gain a few kilos than to lose them. The foods that you ate without care METABOLISM BOOSTER #1 in your 20s and 30s now stick to Keep Tabs on Protein your body like glue, adding bulk You already know to keep calories and fat to your mid-section. The good in check, but youll fan the ames of your news: the solution to a slim, rm metabolism by putting another nutrient body at 40-plus is no farther on your radar: protein, the building block than your fridge. Research shows that, when of lean muscle mass. Each time you eat a combined with a little regular exercise, what protein-rich foodsay, a piece of fish or you eat and when you eat it are your metabolic cheeseyour body goes to work, breaking secret weapons for building muscle mass, the it down into smaller particles called amino bodys prime calorie-burning tissue and a key acids. The amino acids enter your blooddriver of your metabolism. stream and are then absorbed by your muscle The main culprit that slows metabolism tissues and other cells, says Dr Douglas and often leads to yo-yo dieting is what I call Paddon-Jones, PhD, director of exercise shrinking muscle syndrome, says Dr Caroline studies at the University of Texas Medical Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Branch. Once the amino acids end up in Weight Management Center at Boston Medi- your muscles, your body starts putting them cal Center and the author of The Overnight back togethersort of like Legosinto your Diet: The Proven Plan for Fast and Permanent muscle tissue. This is called muscle-protein Weight Loss. Starting at age 30, most people synthesis and its the process your body uses begin to lose about half a kilo of the metab- to build and maintain muscle mass. olism-revving tissue each year. Poof! Gone, However, just like those rehab-loving just like that. And at age 50, the rate doubles. design gurus on TV, your body breaks down The average sedentary woman may have lost muscle as regularly as it builds it. All of the nearly 6.5 kilos of muscle by the time she cells in your body need protein to function. reaches her late 50s, a change that could cause When there arent enough amino acids her to gain nearly the same from food available in the amount in body fat, says bloodstream, the body will Dr Wayne Westcott, PhD, a start to break down and Prevention US advisory board harvest amino acids from member and the director of your muscle in order to Eat healthy, protein-rich fitness research at Quincy foods to support caloriekeep more vital cellslike College in Massachusetts. the ones in your brain and burning muscle mass But too-tight jeans, a and follow a moderateother organs functionflabby mid-section and an ing, says Paddon-Jones. calorie diet. increased risk of diabetes This is a natural, continuStrength-train twice a dont have to be your future. ing cycle. Muscle-protein (Your chances of winding up week to ght muscle loss. synthesis goes up after you Squeeze in quickie cardio eat a meal with protein and with all of the above increase with each gram of muscle you workouts 3 times a week your body switches back to lose.) Heres how to safeguard to hike all-day calorie burn. muscle-breakdown mode a

Get started



few hours after youve eaten. Normally, the your clothing t poorly, but you also begin to ups and downs equal out and your muscle burn fewer calories, so even if youre eating mass stays the same. However, eat too little the same amount, you can easily regain the protein for too long and your muscles start to weight you shed. Having less muscle mass shrink, eventually causing your metabolism also makes you weaker, making it harder to to take a nosedive. do simple activities, so you become more And new research suggests that many of us inclined to crash on the couch. Eventually, may need more protein than we realise. The the scale climbs back up and you start all over current RDA is 0.8 g of protein per kilogram again, chipping away at muscle mass and of body weight in the US, but several studies putting the chill on your metabolism with have found that 1 g may be more protective each diet you try. against age-related muscle loss. Apovian However, keep in mind those calories still uses a slightly higher amount1.2 g/kg of count, especially if youre looking to shed a ideal body weightto successfully help herself, as well as her patients, shed body fat and maintain lean muscle mass. According to her, if youre 5-foot-5 and Caroline Apovian, MD, recommends 60 kilos, you should aim for using this formula to determine the about 72 g of protein daily. minimum amount of protein you While that may sound like should eat daily to oset muscle a lot of protein, its doable lossand protect your metabowhen you break it down. lismwhile you lose weight. 100 g of chicken provides nearly 20 to 25 g and a serving of yoghurt packs Estimate your ideal weight. If youre a woman, start with nearly 10 g. 100 pounds (45.3 kg) for the rst 5 feet in height, and add 5 pounds (2.2 kg) for every extra inch, says Apovian. For While most of us conmen, its 106 pounds (48 kg) for 5 feet in height, plus 6 sume plenty of protein, pounds (2.7 kg) for every additional inch. However, if your research shows that some ideal weight is less than 120 pounds (54.4 kg), dont eat women begin skimping on less than 82 g of protein daily. the muscle-sustaining nutrient as they age, consuming less than the RDA. Calorie-conscious dieters also Ideal Ideal tend to cut back on protein, Weight Weight when they should be doing (in lb) (in kg) the opposite. Cutting back causes your body to rob your muscles for energy, leaving you thinner but Daily Ideal also abbier and weaker, Protein Weight says Apovian. Not only Goal (in kg) (in g) does losing muscle make

How Much Protein Do You Need?




2.2 = 1.5 =





Aim for 20 to 25 g of Protein at Each Meal

Instead of consuming all of the days requirement of protein at one go, spread out your total daily protein intake evenly, aiming for 20 to 25 g at each meal and snack to have the greatest chance of offsetting muscle loss. Remember, over the course of a day, theres a natural balance between muscle breakdown and muscle building, says Paddon-Jones. By eating protein at regular intervals throughout the day, youll avoid dipping into breakdown mode for too long at one time. Eating protein at breakfast is especially important. The longest period of muscle breakdown occurs at night, when youre sleeping and not eating for hours at a time, explains Paddon-Jones. If you skip breakfast or start your day with a protein-light meallike a bagel, toast or cerealyoure

Sip This to Spike Calorie Burn

hile maintaining and building lean muscle mass is the best way to keep your metabolism humming, research shows that staying hydrated may also increase calorie burn, especially if your beverage is cold and frosty. How? Your body has to heat up icy drinks to reach body temperature, which requires energy. Making your drink of choice green or oolong tea can also give your metabolism an added boost, according to Japanese researchers. Want to painlessly burn o a few extra calories? Try our refreshing metabolism-boosting Iced Lemon-and-Ginger Green Tea.




few kilos, says Dr Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, the author of Doctors Detox Diet: The Ultimate Weight Loss Prescription. If youre increasing protein intake, you need to cut back elsewhere. Case in point: In a 10-week preliminary study led by Apovian and Westcott, baby boomers who exercised regularly and followed a moderatecalorie diet (1,200 to 1,500 calories for women; 1,500 to 1,800 for men), while simultaneously increasing their protein intake to 1.5 g/kg of ideal body weight, lost nearly 5 times more weight than participants who exercised without changing their diets. They also lost about 2 more kilos than exercisers who increased protein intake but didnt keep calories in check. Even better: the calorie- and protein-conscious group gained more muscle, reduced their blood pressure and dropped 2 inches from their waists.

Metabolism-Boosting Foods


Serves 6
Combine 6 to 7 green or oolong tea bags, 2" piece peeled fresh ginger cut into thin slices, 3 large mint sprigs, and 1 sliced small lemon in heatproof 2 qt pitcher. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in saucepan and pour into pitcher. Stir once and let tea bags steep 6 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags and mint sprigs. Add a touch of honey to tea, if desired. Let cool 20 minutes. Add enough ice and cold water to make 6 cups. Serve over ice in glasses with fresh mint sprigs and lemon slices.


Metabolism-Boosting Foods
Eat to Avoid Muscle Loss
Mix and match these protein-rich sources to score 20 to 30 g at each meal.*

COCONUT 1.7 g from 50 g Be it raw or otherwise, coconut is a good source of bre, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.


PROTEIN LENTILS 7 g per cup Pair dried beans (think black beans, chickpeas and lentils) with rice or quinoa for a complete-protein meal.

VEGETABLES 2 g per cup Make sure you include four to ve servings of veggies to your daily diet for regular intake of vitamins, minerals and proteins. ASPARAGUS 4 g per 1 cup (chopped) This tasty veggie is a nutrient powerhouse. Enjoy it steamed or grilled, or toss chopped spears into salads. PSEUDOGRAINS 5 to 9 g per 1 cup (cooked) These hearty, grainlike seeds (quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat) have more protein than traditional grains.

TREE NUTS 7 g from cup A small handful of walnuts or almonds are a great snack, mixed into yoghurt or oatmeal, or on a salad. EGGS 7 g from 1 egg However you prepare them, eggs and egg whites are smart fuel for your muscles.

DAIRY PRODUCTS 8 g from 1 cup of milk, 8 g per cup cottage cheese, 8 g from 1 cup yoghurt Include 2 tall glasses of milk, low-fat cheese and a cup of Greek-style yoghurt to your diet every day.
*Protein amounts are approximate.





PROTEIN WHEY PROTEIN 24 g per 30 g approx. Add a scoop to smoothies or water for a quick protein hit. Avoiding animal products? Try soya protein powder. SPINACH 15 g per 1 cup (cooked) Of all the leafy greens, spinach boasts the highest protein content. Try it sauted with a bit of garlic. FISH 28 g per 115 g Be it bekti, sardines or basa, aim at 3 to 4 servings per week.

missing out on ipping that muscle-building switch back on. Spreading out your protein becomes even more important as you rack up birthdays. How your body reacts to protein, especially with smaller amounts, changes as you get older, says Paddon-Jones, noting that whereas a teenagers body will jump into full muscle-building mode even with smaller amounts of protein, your body needs more about 30 gto maximise muscle-protein synthesis. Another bonus: protein staves o hunger, so youll be less likely to snack too.

Vary Your Protein Sources


While meat packs a lot of protein in one shot, getting your protein only from animal sources could actually speed muscle loss, according to a 2012 review by the International Osteoporosis Foundation Nutrition Working Group. Why? Meats, as well as grains like wheat and corn, are acid-producing foods that stunt muscle-protein synthesis. The good news: fruits and vegetables are alkalising and can help oset some of the muscle-robbing eects of meaty, starchy meals. Plus, there are a lot of delicious vegetarian sources of protein, says Gerbstadt. Try experimenting with tofu, lentils or beans. They taste great and tend to be lower in calories. When you opt for animal protein, avoid high-fat sources such as regular ground beef, bacon, whole milk or full-fat cheese.

LEAN MEAT & POULTRY 100 g from 20 to 25 g Family favourite skinless chicken makes it easy to score plenty of protein at each meal.

Challenge Your Muscles

If you eat enough protein and stay active, you can maintain muscle mass, says Apovian. But to really build new musclethe key to increasing your metabolismyoull need to strength-train too. When you do resistance training, it causes a degree of microtrauma, or tiny tears, to the


muscle tissue, says Westcott. Over the next 48 to 72 hours, your body remodels and heals that tissue with amino acids, making it stronger or if youre just starting out and need to gain muscle mass, the muscle slowly grows. This throws coals onto your metabolisms calorieburning re in two ways: rst, the more muscle you build, the more calories youll burn each day. Second, the rebuilding process itself requires extra energy, boosting your daily calorie burn by 5 to 9%. The great news: you dont have to spend hours in the weight room. Research shows that youll have the same muscle gains with 2 days of strength training as youd have with 3, says Westcott. In a recent study, participants who performed a strength-training programme twice a week for 10 weeks had the same increase in muscle massan average of 1.4 kgas those who added an extra weekly session.

Refuel with Protein to Build More Muscle and Lose up to 50% More Body Fat
en and women who consumed a post exercise protein drink gained more metabolism-revving muscle mass and lost 50% more body fat than those who didnt refuel after working out, found a study published in Fitness Management. For about 30 minutes after exercise, muscles are especially receptive to amino acids, says Wayne Westcott, PhD, the lead study author. The combo we used about 24 g of protein and 36 g of carbshelps speed muscle repair and growth. As long as you eat close to 20 g of protein and 30 g of carbs, youll get similar results. Enjoy this snackor something similarsoon after exercise.

Ingredients 6 to 8 strawberries 125 ml fresh apple juice 100 g yoghurt, low fat fresh mint leaves


NUTRITION (per serving): 153 Kcal, 11 g pro, 0.9 g fat, 37 mg sodium




Method 1. Cook the strawberries in little water until soft, then drain. 2. Blend well with apple juice and yoghurt. 3. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Maximise Metabolism in Minutes

nterval training alternating between high-intensity bursts of movement and a moderate pacehas been shown to amp up metabolism for up to 24 hours post-workout. You dont have to do a lot to see the benets, says Wayne Westcott, PhD. Aim for 15 to 25 minutes of interval training 3 or 4 days per week. If youre just getting started or have a lot of weight to lose, do walking or stationary cycling intervals, which are easier on the joints. If you want to challenge yourself, lace up your sneaks and jump rope or go for a run.


Metabolism-Boosting Workout

Cut Your Workout Time in Half

These multi-tasking moves tone multiple muscle groups simultaneously so you can turn up the burn on your metabolism in minutes. Do 2 or 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps of each move 2 times a week. Use a weight thats heavy enough so that when you get to your last rep, you wouldnt be able to complete additional reps with proper form.
T A R G E T S : Lower back, butt, thighs, shoulders Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hold dumb-bells in front of thighs, palms facing body (A). Slowly hinge forward at hips, lowering torso until its almost parallel to oor (B). Pause, then squeeze glutes and return to standing, lifting dumb-bells to chest height and keeping elbows pointed out to sides (C). Slowly return to starting position. Thats 1 rep.

1 Deadlift to Upright Row

2 Dumb-bell Wood Chop

T A R G E T S : Core, shoulders Stand with feet hip-width apart, both hands gripping 1 dumb-bell in front of thighs. Lower into a squat, bending knees. Twist torso to right, drawing dumb-bell across body and next to right knee (A). This is your starting position. Keeping abs tight, twist torso to left to bring dumb-bell up and across body, extending arms at shoulder height (B). Slowly return to starting position. Complete reps. Repeat on opposite side.



3 Single-Arm Row to Kick-Back


T A R G E T S : Triceps, upper back, legs Come into a lunge on left leg, left knee bent and left hand on left thigh. Extend right arm toward oor, holding 1 dumbbell in right hand (A). Bend right elbow and raise dumb-bell toward shoulder (B). Straighten elbow and extend arm behind you (C). Bring dumb-bell back to side, then lower it to starting position. Complete reps. Repeat on opposite side.

4 Plie Squat with Biceps Curl

T A R G E T S : Butt, thighs, biceps Stand with feet slightly more than hip-width apart, toes pointing out. Hold dumb-bells in front of thighs, palms facing away from body (A). Slowly lower into a squat, bending knees and keeping back straight and chest upright, while curling dumb-bells toward chest (B). Press through heels and squeeze glutes while straightening legs and lowering weights back to starting position.

Lunge with 5 Side Overhead Press


T A R G E T S : Legs, butt, shoulders Stand holding 1 dumb-bell with both hands at chest level. Take a big step to right and slowly lower into a side squat, keeping chest lifted, weight in heels and knees behind toes (A). Press into right heel and come back to standing, stepping right foot next to left foot while extending arms and pressing weight overhead (B). Immediately step to left and lower into a side squat on that side (C). Alternate sides for each rep. l With nutritional inputs from Ishi Khosla


fall ill
by Kathakoli Dasgupta



Our immune system is made up of a powerful platoon of soldiers that fend o invading microbesand even cancer cells. How eciently we do it is determined both genetically and developed over time with your exposure to germs, says Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi. But that doesnt mean your lifestyle does not count. Diet, exercise, sleep and your mental wellbeing have key roles in keeping your immune system in top order. Read this protection plan and ght back.

Special 75 issue!



researchers found that certain patients taking antibiotics had reduced levels of cytokines, the hormone messengers of the immune system. When your immune system is weak, youre more likely to develop resistant bacteria or be prone to falling sick. Besides, they wipe out the healthy gut bacteria, downing your defence further, adds Dr Debasis Datta, consultant gastroenterologastroenterolo gist, Fortis Hospitals, Kolkata. Remember, your body does a pretty good job of defending itself. It needs medicines only when things go out of control. So take antibiotics only for bacbac terial infections (on prescription) and nish the entire course, adds Chatterjee.


when researchers compared sedentary people with those who walked briskly almost every day, they found that the inactive group took twice as many days of sick leave in 4 months as compared to the active one. Your body ushes out toxins through sweat, says Prevention advisor and Pune-based Reebok master trainer Nisha Varma. Plus, exercise temporarily raises our body temperature and some pathogens that cannot survive even a slight change in temperature are destroyed. Exercise also induces a temporary boost in the circulation of killer cells and antibodies helping destroy the invading bugs, says Varma. After your workout session, the immune system generally returns to normal within a few hours, but consistent, regular exercise seems to make these changes a bit more long-lasting. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day and include both cardio and strength traintrain ing. Do yoga for deep breathing to help relax your immune system.


new studies show that mushrooms increase the production and activity of WBCs, making them more aggressivea good thing when you have an infection. And its not just the exotic fungi (shiitake and maitake) that pack the punch, even good old button mushrooms are enough. To get the best benets, avoid overcooking or deep frying. Use as a lling for sandwiches or mix in salads, says Neelanjana Singh, nutrition consultant at PSRI Hospital and the Heinz Nutri Life Clinic, New Delhi.





unwanted germs force your immune system to struggle and ght constantlysending it into a hyperactive mode. And hygiene habits like washing hands, taking a bath, brushing teeth, keeping cuts covered, stops bad bugs from assaulting you, says Sushum Sharma, HOD, Internal Medicine & director, Preventive Health Program, Max Healthcare, New Delhi. Similarly, make sure your skin is moisturised and hydratednot dry and cracked. Why? Because your skin is your rst line of defence, penetrable only by cuts and abrasions.


research shows that nicotine in cigarettes impairs the immune system. Smoking also damages the hair-like cilia that inhibit mucous production in the upper respiratory tract, says Chatterjee. So dirt, environmental pollutants and toxins from cigarette smoke remain in the lungs. In response to the presence of excess irritants, mucous cells in the lungs become stimulated to produce more mucous than they normally would. But with damaged cilia, the lungs have no means of expelling it, resulting in an unproductive cough. And this ups the risk of frequent respiratory infections or chronic bronchitis or even COPD. Smoking cessation can undo the damage to cilia in just a few days. Remember, second-hand and third-hand smoke weakens the immune system too. So kick the butt and encourage people around you to do so too.


broccoli, cauliower, arugula, bok choy, Brussels sprouts all contain a special nutrient sulforaphane which is actually responsible for their pungent avour. Sulforaphane boosts the livers activity to ush out carcinogens. These also contain antiviral and antibacterial agents that keep you disease-free. Lightly steam to release maximum amounts of sulforaphane, says Singh. Add these to soups or salads or enjoy stir fried.




researchers say that positive emotions associated with laughter reduce stress hormones and help increase certain immune cells. In fact, a study conducted at Loma Linda University School of Medicine found that healthy adults who watched a funny video for an hour had signicant increases in immune system activity. Also studies show that optimists tend to live longer than pessimists. Negativity, on the other hand tends to lower your defences. A University of Michigan study found that when you are upset, your Immunoglobulin A (an antibody crucial to immunity) drops and T-cells slow to a crawl. One reason for this could be that optimists take better care of themselves. Plus, of course stress weakens immunity, explains Chatterjee. So watch your favorite comedies and laughter shows, catch up with pals who make you laugh. Also, look for reasonshowever small to feel lucky every day. Lightening up can really light up your immune system.


its no coincidence that you tend to catch a cold after a big work deadline. There is compelling scientic evidence that chronic stress can lead to a lower natural killer cell count, sluggish killer T-cells and diminished macrophage activity, weakening immune system response. A stressful situation may be unavoidable, but you can change your response to it so its not overwhelming, says Dr Sameer Malhotra, HOD, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare, New Delhi. So let o steam. Engage in activities that relax you: listen to music, meditate, go for a walk, chill out with pals, Malhotra adds.


your skin acts as a physical barrier against bacteria, viruses and other undesirables. To stay strong and healthy, your skin needs Vit A. This nutrient plays a crucial role in the production of connective tissue, a key component of skin, explains Prevention columnist and Mumbai-based dermatologist Rekha Sheth. One of the best ways to get this vitamin is from foods containing betacarotene that your body converts to Vit A. Sweet potatoes, carrots, yams (as well as orange veggies like pumpkin and carrots) are super sources, says Singh.




call it healing touch. Massage doesnt just leave you feeling pampered. It boosts immunity too. Studies done at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle found that a 45-minute massage spiked lymphocyte counts. It also reduced substances that cause inammation and trigger allergies and asthma, and it lowered stress hormones. Try to get a massage by a professional once a month, says Varma. And on other days, pour out some cold-pressed coconut oil and massage your body before a bath, adds Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, medical director, ISAAC, New Delhi.


eating too much sugar makes you prone to sniles too. Sugar inhibits phagocytosis, the process by which viruses and bacteria are engulfed and chewed up by WBCs. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating 100 g of sugar (think three cans of cola) signicantly hampered the ability of WBCs to kill bacteria for up to 5 hours afterward.


a study by Britains Institute of Human Nutrition and School of Medicine found that Omega-3s increase the activity of phagocytes cells that eat up bacteria and ght u. Besides Omega-3s are responsible for making up the cell membrane where they modulate cell signalling for an immune response, Sharma. Preferably, go for small sh such as sole, mackerel, black pomfret, wild salmon, sardines and small tuna (in cans). The larger ones build greater concentration of contaminants in their bodies. Consume about 2 to 3 servings per week. says Singh.



good sex just got better. Science proves that it boosts immunity. According to researchers in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania, your body produces higher levels of immunoglobulin, an antibody that can thwart colds and u, when you have sex two to three times a week. Besides sex is a stress buster. It releases a cocktail of happy chemicals that have a positive eect on your cerebral (and physical) ambience and seem to dispel the diseaseand-stress-inducing negative chemicals, says Dr Jitendra Nagpal, senior consultant psychiatrist, Moolchand Medcity, New Delhi.


sat fat doesnt just clog up your arteries. It stops T-cells from recognising damaged or mutated cells. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reducing fat content to 20% in healthy volunteers for 3 months improved their natural killer cell activity that destroy malignant cells. Cut your total fat intake to no more than 25% of daily caloriesand go for the good fats (avocados, olive oil, almonds, walnuts).


when a nasty microbe hitch-hikes a ride into your body through your food, the gut releases enzymes and acids to destroy it. Plus, troops of healthy bacteria also take on bad bugs to keep you infection free. And probiotic foods help to up the friendly bacteria count. Have a cup of live yoghurt (not frozen or with preservatives) daily. Good bacteria is also destroyed after a course of antibiotics or due to infections, so make sure to x the loss with probiotic foods or probiotic supplements. Gut-friendly bugs use prebiotics or bre as their main food source, so load up on fruits, veggies and wholegrains, says Dr Kamala Krishnaswamy, former director of National Institute of Nutrition. Aim to get about 30-40 g bre a day.




dogs and cats create contact with many harmless germs your immune system needs to get to know (especially in the growing years), accordaccord ing to Mark Liponis author of UltraLongevity: The Seven Step Program for a Younger, Healthier You. Unexposed to the right mix of germs, your immune system starts reacting to all kinds of innocent things like pollen, dander, mould, and so on. Need another reason to get a pooch?


when you are in deep slumber, your body is releasing hormone messengers cytokines. One reason why you wake up feeling refreshed after a good nights sleep is because youve replenished your bodys immune warriors and are raring to go. Poor sleep is associated with lower immune system function and reduced numbers of killer cells that ght germs. Killer cells also combat cells that divide rapidly, as they do in cancer. Lower their numbers and you may be at greater risk for the illness. Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted snooze time every night, says Dr Tanvir Reza, consultant pulmonologist at Columbia Asia, Kolkata. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, adopt sleep-time relaxing rituals like dimming the lights, taking a bath, reading a book to cue your body to sleep.


fruits are excellent sources of anti-oxidants and minerals that are crucial for the immune system. So you should heap your plate with plenty of colourful servings of fruits. Superfruit kiwi is rich in Vitamin C which is an important immune-boosting nutrient, as well as in Vitamin E, which, helps increase your bodys T-cell count. One kiwi gives you almost a days worth of Vit C, says Mumbai-based nutritionist Naini Setalvad.




in one study, researchers who monitored 276 people between the ages of 18 and 55 found that those who had 6 or more connections were four times better at ghting o the viruses that cause colds than those with fewer friends. Dont let a jampacked workday or hectic schedule get in the way of your friendships. Catch up over weekends, or email/text your friends at the end of the day to stay in touch when youre too busy to call up.


according to an article in the Journal of American Medical Association overweight women were 8 to almost 10 times more likely to have a hyperactive immune systemas demonstrated by high levels of CRP than women of healthy weight, even if they were physically active. Also, reduce those extra inches around the belly. A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology showed that even with normal weight, having a waist measurement as large as ones hip measurement was linked with higher levels of immune hyperactivity.


they are a good source of iron and zinc both of which are important for T-cell development and function. Besides, meats are sources of bio-available heme iron (a form of iron that is more readily absorbed by the body than iron found in plant foods), says nutritionist Ishi Khosla, Prevention advisor. The American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Dietetic Association recommend limiting red meat to 250 g a week. Prepare meat in healthy waysbake, roast or broil. With inputs from Shweta Mittal




Ramp it Up With


Pills & Potions

While a healthy, balanced diet and regular aerobic exercises are the ideal immunity-builders, health supplements help when you are low on immunity. But do consult your doc and read the label carefully before using them, says Dr Ashutosh Shukla, head, internal medicine, Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon. Heres a quick look at some of the most eective supplements available. Cynthia John

This powerful herb is often used to prevent and ght colds, but can do much more for your system. It can stimulate your immune system to produce more T-cells and strengthen them to ght invading germs.


This root is known to boost the number of immune cells in the body. A study of 323 people over four months showed that those who took ginseng every day had a lower frequency of colds. It is available in capsule form.


This traditional herb is eective when taken with cows milk. A study comparing blood samples of volunteers before and after consuming Ashwagandha in milk showed a marked increase in the number of certain immune cells.


This ayurvedic supplement contains amla, haritaki and vibhitaki, all of which are known to have immune-modulating eects, according to Dr Issac Mathai, medical director, SOUKYA International Holistic Centre, Bengaluru. Do check the ingredients and warning in detail. Get your healthcare provider to take a look at the label. Also keep in mind that a balanced diet that aids good digestion is important for supplements to be eective, adds Khosla. Caution: Excess zinc can be immune-suppressive. Herbs and other supplements can be contraindicated for pregnant women, nursing mothers and those with other medical conditions or already on some medicamedica tion. So check with your doc before you pop one.


A powerful anti-oxidant that improves blood ow and maintains Omega-3 fatty acid levels in the body. Its anti-oxidant eect helps to boost the immune system.

Ginkgo Biloba

Zinc is a great cancer ghter and immunity booster, especially in the elderly. It increases production of WBCs and helps them ght harder. Some studies show that 30 mg of zinc taken at the very start of a cold will shorten it by about half a day.




Calling the


any vaccine-preventable diseases are highly contagious and cause severe illnesses and even death. Vaccines result in antigenic stimulus, when injected. This means that your immune system (all the T- and B-cells) is activated against this disease. Because kids dont have a highly-developed immune system, they need to be vaccinated as per the WHO recommendation. Even though adults are less at risk from bad bugs, they need to be vaccinated against some potentially fatal conditions such as tetanus and diphtheria. Adults typically need vaccines because many of the vaccines taken by infants now may not have been available or common when they were babies. So they must get the shots when there is no knowledge about previous vaccination or no evidence of previous infection, says Dr Santosh Atmanand Revankar, Consultant Physician and Diabetologist, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Bengaluru. Cynthia John VACCINE Influenza vaccine Tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Td/Tdap) vaccination Varicella (chicken pox) Human papillomavirus (HPV) Herpes zoster WHO NEEDS IT Anyone older than 6 months Adults with an unknown or incomplete history of completing the series All adults without previous immunisation, who have not had an infection of varicella Girls and women over 11 Adults over 60 DOSAGE 1 dose a year 3 doses and a booster every 10 years 2 doses 3 doses 1 dose

Source: Dr Santosh Atmanand Revankar

VACCINE Depending on risk factors that are medical, occupational or lifestylerelated, a few other vaccines may be recommended, says Revankar. Here are some:

DOSAGE One dose, recommended for those above 65 years, and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure One or more doses Two doses Three doses for adults who have not taken it at birth and those who tested negative in Hep B blood test

Pneumococcal Meningococcal Hepatitis A Hepatitis B



Foods that Calm the


Immune System

You dont want your immune system to go on an overdrive damaging healthy tissue leading to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune diseases and cancer. Try these foods to ght inammation.














by Richard Laliberte illustrations by Sinelab

Cutting-edge science is unlocking the anti-ageing secrets of telomerestiny segments of DNA that may reveal breakthrough insights into staying healthy and living longer.

alvin Harley, PhD, recently glimpsed the possible future of medicineand maybe a forecast of his own mortality. It was 2010, a tumultuous year for Harley as he helped launch a start-up biotech company. I was under a lot of stress, wasnt doing much exercise and had gained a bit of weight, he says. In the midst of the craziness, he subjected his blood to a series of tests that measured the length of his telomeressegments of DNA at the ends of chromosomes. As a pioneering researcher who began studying telomeres at McMaster University in Canada during the 1980s, hed been among the rst to undergo

such testing decades ago. But advances that have recently made tests faster, cheaper and more consistent allowed him to spot a trend: his telomeres were rapidly getting shorter. If you dont know the signicance of having short telomeres (or even what they are), youre likely to be hearing a lot more about it soon, partly due to scientists like Harley. In 1990, he and colleagues had published a groundbreaking paper in the US journal Nature connecting telomere shortening to ageing in human cells. More recently, studies have linked telomere length to an array of chronic age-related conditions, including cardiovascular disease,



Special 75 issue!


Located at the tip of each chromosome, telomeres protect your genetic information from damage.

diabetes, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, infections, and Parkinsons and Alzheimers diseases, along with some forms of cancer. Discoveries related to telomeres, ageing and health have been so signicant that one of Harleys Nature co-authors went on to share the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work in the eld. Knowing all this while pondering his test results, Harley decided to make some changes. He started running more and eating a healthier diet. He lost 10 pounds (4.5 kg) and eased up at work. Measuring his telomeres every 3 to 6 months since, hes noted another trend: More recently, my telomeres have increased in length. Such stories could become commonplace in the next 3 to 5 yearsand Harley has an interest in seeing that happen. The company he co-founded, Telome Health, is one of at least three around the worldothers are in Spain and Canadathat oer telomere tests. (Right now the test is available to individuals through their doctors.) But what telomere length means for any given person isnt entirely clear and a lot of questions remain unanswered. What does the length of our telomeres really say about our health? Can lengthening them lead to longer life? How much can we control them? And most important, what can we do to build on breakthrough discoveries about telomeres, ageing and disease to improve our well-being and live healthier longer?

unwinding the ageing clock

Telomeres are like the little caps at the ends of shoelaces that prevent the laces from unraveling. In this case, they prevent rod-like chromosomes from fraying and tangling with other chromosomes. Without telomeres, genetic information would degrade, causing cells to malfunction, increasing the risk of disease or even hastening death.

Every time a cell divides, its telomeres get a little shorter. Years of replication can eventually wear telomeres down so far that cells cant divide anymore, and they become dormant or die. As more tissues have trouble rejuvenating, the body follows the cells, ageing and eventually breaking down. In short, your cells have an ageing clock built into them. But your chronological age in years doesnt set the clockyour biological age in telomere length does. In the largest study on telomere length and health to date (it matched telomere measurements with electronic medical records and other data on more than 1,00,000 adults of dierent ages), the 10% of people with the shortest telomeres were almost 25% more likely to die in 3 years than people with longer telomeres. What we dont know is whether telomere length is a passive marker of health and ageing or if it actively determines things like whether youre going to be susceptible to heart disease or how long youll live, says study leader Catherine Schaefer, PhD, director of the research programme on genes, environment and health at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, CA. Either way, the association is signicant. Finding out you have short telomeres isnt the same as getting a death sentence, Schaefer says. But the increase in risk is about the same as if you smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years. In theory, if telomeres dont shorten, cells might become immortal. And research suggests a way that might happen. For most of our adult lives, telomeres seem to stay fairly stable, shortening mostly after middle age. But at any given age, there is a lot of variation in telomere length between individuals. Some peoples telomeres are from two to three times longer than other peoples. Studies nd that 15 to 25% of peoples telomeres actually lengthen, on average, over 2 to 6 yearsthough not much beyond that. Studies suggest that when telomeres are



lengthier to start with, they tend to change less with time. Telomerase plays a role. This enzyme lengthens telomeres and prevents them from eroding. In fact, cells produce more telomerase to prevent the shortest telomeres from going critical. Could enough telomerase prevent cells from dying?

the cancer connection

It stands to reason that activating telomerase might lengthen telomeres and promote better health. In a European study, mice that were genetically engineered to lack telomerase aged fast and died young. But when some of these mice had their telomerase turned back on, the eects of ageing were dramatically reversed and they bounced back to health. A nutraceutical supplement called TA-65, already on the market, is purported to activate telomerase in hopes of producing similar eects. Its active ingredient is a root extract of Astragalus membranaceus,

a plant often used in traditional Chinese medicine. In a 2010 study, adults averaging age 63 who took the supplement had proportionally fewer short telomeres after a year. Despite lacking a control group, it was a good paper, says Dr Richard Cawthon, MD, PhD, a research associate professor of human genetics at the University of Utah whose innovations in telomere testing have helped spur a urry of recent research. But whether taking a telomerase activator will help humans stay healthy or live longer is not yet known. In fact, it may be dangerous. Though the study found no adverse side eects, I would be certain to be very safe about cancer risks, Cawthon says. If telomerase activators raise the risk of cancer (a theoretical but unproven possibility), then, in principle, a therapeutic regimen that combines telomerase activators and interventions to lower cancer risk may prove optimal for health and longevity. The reason for his concern: unlimited cell growth is a hallmark of cancer, and

How Stress May Affect Your Telomeres

STRESSED BUT EXERCISING This representation reects the results of one study that determined that vigorous exercise prevents stressrelated telomere shortening. STRESSED OUT Pioneering research found that extreme stress can shorten telomeres by the equivalent of 10 years of ageing, possibly like this artistic rendering.

studies have associated cancer with high telomerase activity. In fact, some researchers propose that looking for pumped-up telomerase levels might be a way to diagnose cancer; animal studies have even tried suppressing telomerase to ght tumours. Yet, at the same time, recent European research nds that when mice are genetically treated to ramp up telomerase, they lengthen their short telomeres, age more slowly, stay healthy longer, and extend their lives by as much as 24%without getting more cancer. Processes that make tissues get old may be part of the same processes that protect us from tumours, says Christine Parks, PhD, an epidemiologist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. There may be trade-os and we need to learn more.

have been shown to help. In a recent study of people who were highly stressed from caring for a loved one with dementia, calming yoga and meditation boosted telomerase activity by 43%.

put on running shoes

Physical activity works to extend telomeres by both helping us blow o stress and boosting telomerase activity, say preliminary studies, though not all research conrms a telomere-stretching eect. But in one recent study, moving a single increment higher on a stress scale, like a last straw, made postmenopausal women 15 times more likely to have short telomeresunless the women exercised, in which case those risks vanished. Researchers also tracked how much activity it took to make a dierence. Their nding: exercise benets kicked in after 42 minutes of vigorous exercise over 3 days14 minutes a day.

seven steps to a longer life

have plenty of wholegrains

Research links fibre, especially from cereal, to longer telomeres in women. That may be partly because folic acid, which fortifies enriched grain products such as breads and cereals, is thought to help protect DNA, including telomeres. Other

Fortunately, theres good evidence that you can protect or lengthen telomeres without interventions from genetic engineering or telomerase-activating compounds. Though research on interventions is in its infancy, at least four human studies suggest that actively making lifestyle changes can naturally boost telomerase activity.

Exercising just tame tension 14 minutes a day Pioneering research published in 2004 found
that telomeres of women under the greatest strain were shorter by the equivalent of 10 additional years of ageing, compared with those of low-stressed women. More recent studies have suggested that telomeres progressively shorten as job-related stress and burnout crank higher. But women who worked part-time or were retired had somewhat longer telomeres in one study, says Parks, who co-authored the research. That suggests telomeres may be able to recover from chronic stress. Relaxation techniques

reduced stress-related telomere shortening in post-menopausal women.

research nds that levels of folate appear related to telomere length in men. But researchers think that anti-inammatory and anti-oxidant properties of wholegrains and plant-based foods in general help explain the eect as well.



watch your weight

The relationship between weight and telomere length appears to be complex. Weve found that people with a higher body mass index tend to have longer telomeres, says Schaefer. But other studies have found the opposite. Age and other factors may play a role. In one study of women ages 35 to 74, yo-yo dieting and gaining pounds after age 30 were associated with truncated telomeres. Obesity causes chronic inammation, which produces oxidative damage, and telomeres are sensitive to that, says Parks. (Oxidation is a process in which oxygen triggers chemical reactions in the body that can damage cells and tissues.) The longer youre overweight, the more damage may occur, Parks says. Evidence suggests obesity may accelerate ageing.

The India Picture

eat anti-oxidant-rich foods

Anti-oxidants such as Vitamins C and E are also thought to protect telomeres from oxidative damage. In one study, women who got high amounts of these nutrients in food tended to have longer telomeres. Getting enough Vitamin D appears related to longer telomeres as well, probably due to its anti-inammatory properties. You could get these from food or supplements.

eat fish twice a week

Studies have found that taking Omega-3 fatty acid supplements for 4 months was associated with longer telomeres in blood cells. More recent research by the same team suggests that Omega-3s, found in fatty sh such as salmon, may protect telomeres by reducing inammation and oxidative damage.

Currently, telomere testing is available at select hospitals in India to only diagnose genetic conditions. Known as deletion test, it is prescribed as part of diagnostic tests to assess the genetic cause of intellectual retardation in kids, says Dr SJ Patil, consultant, Clinical Genetics, Centre for Molecular and Metabolic Diagnostics & Research, Narayana Hrudayalaya Health City, Bengaluru. India will have to wait much longer before tests to measure telomere length to assess health and longevity become available here. Prof Samir K Brahmachari, founder-director, CSIRInstitute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, a stalwart in the eld of telomere research in India feels that more scientic evidence to show the link is required to sanction the need for the testing. Besides, the tests currently available seem to give approximate measurements, not accurate ones, he adds. However, experts do emphasise the importance of healthy habits for a long, healthy life. Theres enough evidence to show that exercise, stress reduction and nutritious foods are key ingredients of a long life, even if not telomere length, so go ahead and follow that Rx, says Dr Sunita Bijarnia, clinical and metabolic geneticist, Center of Medical Genetics, Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi. and E boosted their telomerase activity by 29 to 84%. Unlike expensive therapies such as telomerase activators, exercise and meditation are free, Cawthon says. And theyre available for everybody. l With inputs from Nitya Ramachandran and Kathakoli Dasgupta

add up benefits
Combining healthy habits may magnify their telomere-lengthening benets. In one study, men with prostate cancer who meditated, ate a low-fat diet including whole grains, walked 30 minutes 6 days a week and took supplements of sh oil and Vitamins C


Really Eat
Whats on the menu for top doctors? We spoke to those whore in the business of keeping you healthy and got some delicious answers.
s a physician, Im used to my patients asking, What would you do if you were me? when were discussing treatment options. Over the past few years, though, theyve begun making additional inquiries. What do you do to stay healthy? Do you eat fat? Sugar? Do you cook? They see me as someone who has a lifestyle similar to theirs, with a family and a demanding job, but who also has insider knowledge of what really works (and what doesnt). I realised people want to learn more from their doctorsnot only what science has found to be effective but what they do in their own lives. I was set on my own path to nutritional awareness after becoming frustrated with my own health. As a medical student, I had limited understanding of nutrition. I was





swayed by the fat-free craze of the 80s, so I loaded up on carbs and avoided fatty foods. I exercised aggressively and didnt concern myself with calories, protein or healthy fats. Honestly, I didnt even know that I needed to worry about those things. I patted myself on the back when I had popcorn for dinner or a green salad with fat-free dressing for lunch. I knew to stay away from junk and fried food, so I thought I was a healthy eater. Between work and family, I was on a stress roller coaster, but I continued trying to sustain myself on low-calorie, low-fat foods.

Fast-forward a few years to when the payback began. At the age of 28, I battled weight gain, acne and hormonal irregularities. My hair, which was once my crowning glory, started coming out in chunks. I actually had bald patches! Around that time I became interested in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, and this led to one of those personal aha! moments. Both place great importance on nutrition and it quickly occurred to me that my highsugar, low-protein and very-low-fat diet was making me sick. One thing led to another, and I immersed myself in nutrition research. I learnt about the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, the importance of olive oil, the roles insulin production and inflammation play in disease and how the right foods could control both. I pumped up my protein intake, cut back on refined carbs and welcomed nuts, avocados, olive oil and, yes, even cheese and butter back into my life. I learnt to cook, rediscovered the pleasures of food and found that healthy eating doesnt mean deprivation. Within a few weeks of changing my diet, I had more energy. I lost weight, and my skin cleared up. Within 2 years, my hair was just as lush as it used to be. Once Id healed myself, I wanted to share what I had learnt. I trained to become an integrative physician, studying

I lost weight and my skin cleared up.




Within weeks of changing my diet, I had

under Andrew Weil, MD, who was among the first to embrace holistic health. Today Im the medical director of my own holistic health practice in Atlanta, making food a part of both prevention and cure. I make sure I follow some basic eating principles, like these.

Eaten alone, carbohydrates cause a spike in followed by a blood sugar crash

and hair healthy, and makes the brain work more efficiently. And fat makes food taste good. The key is in choosing good fats, such as olive oil. Even the most ardent vegetable lover will agree: a little olive oil, Parmesan, toasted nuts or even wait for itbutter on top of steamed asparagus makes the veggie more flavourful.


1. A pound of produce a day

Its not difficult at all. A large apple can easily be a third of a pound. Tomato sauce counts. So do beans and lentils. Studies show that people who have a high intake of fruits and vegetables weigh less and are protected against developing cancer and heart disease.

2. Consume lean protein

My diet emphasises plant foods but include some dairy, meat, poultry or fish. I try to have fish twice a week; plenty of plant-based protein, such as lentils; and small amounts of lean meat. One Harvard study found that limiting red meat intake to no more than 300 grams per week could prevent 1 in 13 early deaths in women.


4. Pair carbs with protein or fat Carbohydrates are the bodys preferred source of energy, but when theyre eaten by themselves, they get turned into glucose faster than they would if paired with something that slows digestion, such as a slice of cheese or some oil and vinegar on a salad. Eaten alone, carbohydrates cause a spike in insulin levels, which is followed by a blood sugar crash that only leaves you hungry for more.
Adapted from What Doctors Eat, by Tasneem Bhatia, MD, and the editors of Prevention. Copyright 2013 by Rodale Inc. Published by Rodale Inc. To purchase, go to whatdoctorseat. com or

3. Dont be afraid of fat

Fat is an integral component of every cell in our bodies. It helps absorb fat-soluble nutrients from low-fat foods, keeps skin


life or work or how I eat and look after myself. You need to let yourself go with the flow but you also need to strike a balance with discipline. These are some of the things Ive learnt as far as food goes.

1. No one cuisine is better than the others I have patients all over the worldpeople whove grown up eating a certain kind of food that may sound sinful to others. If youve been brought up on a certain kind of diet, to dramatically alter it is shocking to the system, instead of being good for it. We need to educate ourselves to understand ours better and thereby be able to modify it to make it healthier for us. Where I come from, fried fish is a staple and I love it. I give in ever so often, but since I dont eat fried foods otherwise and because fish is good for us, I know Im doing alright.

ve always been a healthy eater. Somehow, my system just knew what to eat and what not to. And then I gained knowledge and experience. When youre telling people what they can do to make their lives better, you do better things. For one, I eat more consciously Ive been doing so for almost two decades now. Through my learnings as a homeopath and my experiences with running a holistic healing centre, Ive realised how to fine tune these and strike a balance. There is, I believe, a synchronicity to my life, whether in how I handle my personal

2. Tank up on veggies Traditionally, most diets, especially cuisines from various parts of our country, are not high on salads, but nothing beats

to the system instead of being good for it.




Dramatically altering your diet is

raw vegetables to help your system work better. So, upping the salad intake is an absolute must. The nutrition, whether in terms of fibre or vitamins and minerals that you get from fresh vegetables is absolutely unrivalled.

the system and heals the liver and intestines.
5. Cleanse and detox
Cleansing the system rejuvenates it and heals the intestines and liver. Once a year, I do a 2- to 3-week detox, based on Ayurveda and naturopathy. Besides, I also observe Lent, so my system feels lighter.

A good detox or cleanse, done regularly,

3. Be a smart traveller

I travel a lot. So much of it, especially across time zones, can throw your system out of gear. I believe Ive managed to conquer its ill effects by maintaining a regimented diet. I always start my day at 6, with a cup of sugarless black tea. I exercise a minimum of five days a week, in the morning hours, and I have a hearty breakfast, always. I follow this up with small portions at regular intervals, through the day. Im done with dinner by 9, about 2 hours before I hit the sack.

6. Choose wisely

Before you have something, see if theres a healthier option. Ill drink a glass of cola about thrice a year. Normally, I prefer mango lassi, fruit juice or nimbu paani. your system like I have my indulgences, but turns out, those may be healthier food options too I love seafood and fruits. I dont like chocolates. Ive never liked them and I dont understand how people can scarf down entire bars at a go! I think the key is, when youre giving in to temptation, go slow and try and figure out if your taste buds and your system feel good about what youve just put into your mouth.

7. Indulge. But in things you and 4. Go seasonal


I eat fruits every day. Its the one thing I cant do without. But I always have mine seasonalits healthier and fresher. Theres a reason you find a particular fruit in a particular season! Thats when theyre best for you and when the nutrition they give boosts your system to deal with what the weather at that time of year could afflict you with.


It hasnt been easy, but there are some things Ive learnt and certain practices I stick with, to make it work for me.

1. Turn to the sea Macrobiotics stresses on a lot of sea vegetables, like spirulina. And despite its vegan nature, it allows me to have fish. The belief is we came from the sea and we go back to the sea, so partaking of nourishment from it, even in the form of fish, is a good thing. Besides, an all vegan diet doesnt have the kind of strength you sometimes need. Like when I work out. Not to mention the proven health benefits of fish, like the Omega-3s. When chicken soup is what doc ordered because youre unwell, we replace it with fish soup.

M a c ro b io ti c s A uth o r, T h e E x p e rt a n d B

ea uty D ie t

discovered macrobiotics when I was in my 20s. My dad had cancer and we were looking for an alternative treatment to help ease his troubles. Thats when I stumbled upon this way of life and started practising it, much before I actually started training in the subject. Its a larger than life view of your life and habits. A plant-based diet, it focusses on wholegrain, beans, veggies, fruits and also fish (but not other meat), in stipulated amounts. We take out the junksugar, maida, dairy, caffeine, refined oils, table salt, preservatives. I had to give all this up!

2. Food has energy I grew up a hardcore non-vegetarian. But when you eat meat you take in the energy of the animal youre consumingthe aggression that may have been characteristic of it or the fear when it was being killed. You dont want to take that in! Its unfathomable to those who knew me growing

An all-vegan diet doesnt have the kind of you need. Thats where fish comes in.



up, but it wasnt so hard to give up the meat once I became aware of this.

3. Monitor your caffeine

I was addicted to my masala chai and also to coffee. Giving up these was the toughest. I did, eventually, manage to make the switch to green tea and decaffeinated herbal tea, which I sip through the day. After 5 pm, I shut down my green tea, definitely, and have the decaf herbal but only if the urge is overpowering. I sleep early, so I need to start putting my system in relax mode by then.

I eat just about everything there is, but all myself, so I know whats going in.
6. Snack, but sensibly
I snack on nuts, seeds and fermented foodsquick-pressed pickles, fermented for an hour in saltwhenever I want to. Theyre always somewhere handy. These are good for the probiotics in the gut.


7. Start your day well 4. Go natural

I have lots of fruits, vegetables, sea vegetables, all of which give me a lot of anti-oxidants. I have rock or sea salt in place of table salt and Stevia or agave instead of sugar. These are not processed and so, healthier. I prefer keeping my grains whole rather than milling them, and so have rotis only once in a while. My food is cooked in cold-pressed sesame, coconut, olive or flaxseed oil or in ghee. No packaged, refined oil for me! And I like to buy at least my grains and beans organic.

I start my day early, at 5.30-6 am, with a green or pomegranate smoothieI add my superfoods (spirulina, chia seeds, wheat grass) into it. Its just the right wake-up call. My breakfast, post my workout, is a wholegrain affair with brown poha or wholegrain roti with sabji.

8. Dont deprive yourself

5. Plan, plan, plan


Im a creature of habit and such a planner, too! I live by timings and patterns. Anything throws it off gear, and I turn into a crabby ol thing! My body has to be in balance and my profession demands that I walk the talk. So, I make sure I stick to my food timings. If I know I have meetings that will interfere with my eating, I carry little tiffins with me.

People think I live a life of deprivation. Not true! I eat almost everything, only I make it myself, so I know whats going in. Dinner is my treat after a hard day. I have it by 7 pm, but its a well-laid out spread, with soup (in winter), fish and veggies. And, I love my red wine, dark chocolate and dessert: two glasses of wine when Im out, very dark chocolate when I crave it and desserts I make with Stevia or agave. l As told to Prerna Singh


I feel 17
by Priyamvada Kowshik photographs by Tarun Vishwa

Indrani Dasgupta

A rapid-fire round with one of Indias most successful and stunning models.

er face has launched a thousand potions. Indrani Dasgupta, the gorgeous Lakm girl who convinced millions of young Indian women that we wanted what she hadthat peachy moisturiser and fragrant face washis one of Indias most successful models. Her decade-long association with the cosmetic giant survived the glamour industrys evolution into a behemoth with an insatiable appetite for

the newest and latest. When she arrives for the cover shoot, her face glows with health, and she instantly transmits her energy to the team. How, despite all these years of erratic work schedules, does she manage that, we wonder aloud. Being curious creatures, we begin doing some human computing but Indrani serves the age question right back with a chirpy , Um right now I feel 17 because Im just back from the gym.


after a workout

1. Beauty is 2.

what beauty does. I know it is such a clich, but it is the truth. How you look is a reflection of who you are.

6. 5 foods you have every day...

Being the face of a major beauty brand has meant

Great exposure. Its been a flattering experience. The brand has a national footprint and great recall value. It was also the beginning of my modeling career, and it couldnt have gotten better. I worked with a lovely team and learnt a great deal about all aspects of the industry.

Milk, two teaspoons of honey every morning, nuts through the day, potatoesmy weakness, and a little bit of dark chocolate. Im not too fussy about my diet, but I make healthy choices. What I dont enjoy is aerated drinks, deep-fried food and candy.

7. Good genes can be undone by


Your best DIY beauty trick

Bad habits and bad lifestyle. Im lucky to have inherited good genes, but along the way, Ive realised what works for me, and what does not. Its part of the learning curve.

Drinking a litre of water when I wake up, and half a litre before hitting the bed. Another would be using an eyelash curler and loads of mascara. I never go without the curler. Theres no better way of opening up your eyes.

8. Wed never catch you

Singing in public, though I did it once, but I would never again (laughs). Yes, and bungee jumping. I would jump off a plane, but not from a cliff, that is crazy.

A healthy habit you are most proud of

Drinking plenty of water. And exercise. Earlier I was not so regular with my workouts, but now Im committed to my hour of fitness. Im beginning to understand my body better and I love challenging it. It has helped me discover smarter ways of working out. Of course, there are experts to guide you along the way, but the personal journey


A habit you nd most dicult to ditch...

Removing my make-up before hitting the bed. Im just too lazy and convince myself it can wait till the next morning.


10. Lessons from the glamour

Discipline, patience, what it means to be independent and self-reliant. l




Her love for sports as a child has now metamorphosed into a more focussed passion for fitness. As Indrani admits, shes now on a journey of discoveryfiguring out her body, what it demands, how it reacts. There are new lessons to be learnt each day. Here are some for you.

of self-discovery is amazing.

5. Your favourite tness regime...

Running on the treadmill. The high point of which is a three-minute segment when Im running at a speed of 14-15 kmph, my veins are pumping blood and my body is screaming, but the runners high is exhilarating!

What I love about exercise It helps me challenge my body. I dont like sticking to one workout, and dont enjoy the gym. Id rather go out running, swim, do Kung Fu or Pilates. I work out four days a week, which is broken down into a 25-minute cardio session and the rest of the time, I try dierent forms of workout.




cycle of emotional eating?


Are you caught up in a

Pam Peeke, MD, MPH, author of The Hunger Fix, tells you how to break free, lose weight once and for all, and enjoy the life you were meant to live.
BY PA M P E E K E , M D, M P H


We all have one. At least one. A little darling. A best friend. A helper, a life raft. An entrenched habit thats so comfortable, it feels like a hug or an island of calm. A fix.
A x starts simply enough. You think about doing something that you like to dodrink a mojito or check your iPhoneand that thought lights up an entire dopamine-driven reward pathway in your brain. You try, but you just cant get that urge out of your head. You give in. And then, as soon as you satisfy the raging hunger, bingo: You feel another rush. Your brain says, Yeah! This is amazing. I want more. You need your x.

confused with, the dopamine hit from a snort of cocaine or a pu of a cigarette. Im seeing a growing manifestation of this double-edged sword in my own medical practice. More and more men and women are desperate to nd an answer to the same questions: Why cant I stop thinking about food? How can a cookie or plate of pasta or bag of chocolates have this kind of hold on me? I feel like a junkie! As Ive listened to peoples tortured stories of unbearable cravings, yo-yo dieting, weight obsession, and emotion-driven stress eating, Ive seen a pattern emerge. The pleas for help are no longer your standard Gosh, Id love to drop 5 kilos before the reunion fare. Instead, these entreaties are eerily similar to the cries for help from my patients with hard-core drug or alcohol addictions: I need that sugar x every afternoon or I go crazy with withdrawal. Chips and dip are like crack to meonce I start, I just cant stop. These cravings are the result of a reward system gone awry. New science shows that the mere anticipation of a food-related dopamine high will cause the brains reward centres to light up. It doesnt take much to trigger this cascade of brain chemicals: A casually mentioned word, a picture in a magazine or on TV, or a smell from a bakery can awaken the desperate cravings.

This Is Your Brain On Food

Most of the time, this neurological process is a good thing. This same reward system drives us to learn, to create, to innovate, to pursue our goals. But as a medical doctor specialising in metabolism and weight management, Ive seen rsthand how the rush of dopaminea brain chemical that makes us feel a brief burst of pleasure and satisfaction, cuts both ways. That healthy high you get from, say, a run in the park occupies the same pathways as, and can easily become

Why You Cant Eat Just One

See if this sounds familiar: stay up too late; get rotten sleep. Feel like hell in the morning. Reach for sugary, caeinated foods to stay awake. Seek the numbing of just one more candy, chip, or cookie. Have a glass of wine, or three, at dinner. Without fully realising it, many people create a life of continuous opportunities to dope up in front of the computer and fridge and on the couch. They are driven to repeatedly score hits of what I call False



Many people are driven to repeatedly score hits of False Fixes.



Fixesanything (like food) that leads to short-term reward in association with selfdestructive behaviour, followed by feelings of guilt, shame and defeat. In contrast, Healthy Fixes are productive, positive habits associated with feelings of pride, happiness, and achievement: enjoying delicious whole foods; gardening on a sunny day; walking with your best friend. When False Fixes prevail, Healthy Fixes are tossed aside, you set up bingeing rituals, and voila, youre ensnared in an endless, vicious, False Fix-seeking cycle. The more you feed the craving with False Fixes, the less satisfaction you feelbecause each time you ood the brain with dopamine, the brain attempts to compensate by battening down the hatches, decreasing the total number of dopamine receptors to lessen the amount of dopamine absorbed. In 2008, Nora Volkow, MD, director of the

National Institute on Drug Abuse, published a study in which her team found that obese people who have fewer dopamine receptors also have less activity in their prefrontal cortex (PFC)the grownup, responsible part of your brain that gets you to work on time and brushes your teeth and pulls your hand back from the dessert tray. The PFC gets cut o from the action in the mesolimbic pathway, which reaches into brain areas associated with reward, pleasure and addiction, as well as emotions and memory. Its a double whammy: You have to eat more to experience pleasure, plus you have a tougher time stopping once you do eat.

Seeking The Solution

Get your fix with safe highs

To kick a craving, pick one food from each column.

Now before you throw your hands up in despair, Im not saying that we cant outsmart our False Fixes. I did. I was once 23 kilos overweightand I know that you can too. The solution relies on exactly the same brain mechanisms that got us into this mess. We will be looking for our xes for the rest of our lives, but we have the ability to choose which xes. In my book The Hunger Fix, I oer the details of a three-stage plan, including tness activities, meal plans, and recipes, for rewiring your brain and overcoming food addiction. But here are a few suggestions to help you replace Food Fixes with healthy rewardsright now. 1. ASK THE BIG QUESTION. Your PFC is always with you, but that doesnt mean its always paying attention. You can call it to action by asking yourself a simple question: Is this healthy? In a California Institute of Technology study, volunteers were ashed images of dierent types of food and asked which theyd choose to eat. When told to consider healthfulness before making their choices, they were less likely to choose

Berries Apple Celery Wheat bran Broccoli Carrots Peppers + + + + + + +

Cottage cheese Peanut butter Almond butter Greek yoghurt Low-fat cheese Hummus Black bean dip





False Fix foods and more likely to choose Healthy Fix foods. MRI scans also showed that the ventromedial area of the PFC (vmPFC)the site of risk, fear, and decision makingwas more active. In addition, scans showed that raising the issue of healthfulness activated the dorso-lateral PFC (dlPFC), a dopamine-driven site of planning physical action, organisation, and self-regulation, which in turn nudged the vmPFC. In previous studies, that particular pattern of PFC activity was found among people who had a high degree of dietary self-control. So merely asking yourself Is it healthy?even before you make your choiceis a willpower-building push-up for your PFC. 2. SET IMPLEMENTATION INTENTIONS. At the heart of addiction is the inability to adapt and adjust without falling back on False Fixes to survive a stress. A better strategy: relying on Healthy Fixes. These


A Case Western Reserve University study found that overweight apes who were given access to a diet rich in greens could eat twice as many calories yet dropped an average of 29 kilos. Why? One reason may be all the time spent foraging instead of eating a hand-delivered diet. We might derive similar benets through gardening. Spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, beansall are easy to plant and tend and much cheaper from your own garden. Plus there are cognitive and emotional benets: numerous studies have found that spending time in nature calms the mind, allows us to focus better, and even improves mood and self-esteem.



Your adjust & adapt plan



Stress eat, stay up late, drink too much caeine, get too little sleep.


Get up from your desk every 30 minutes and stretch, sip green tea, chew gum, do mini-meditations, eat Healthy Fix foods every 3 to 4 hours Do yoga/Pilates stretches or dance to Zumba DVD while kids sleep, nap when possible, delegate work to a co-worker (youll repay), eat Healthy Fix foods every 3 to 4 hours Pack travel food (dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter on whole wheat); stock hotel fridge with yoghurt and cottage cheese; set 11 PM curfew; use hotel gym before breakfast; drink sparkling water; sleep 7 to 8 hours. Call a friend to unload, take a walk, meditate, regroup and repair with spouse ASAP. Walk around hospital grounds, use stairs, bring Healthy Fix food in cooler, stretch every 30 minutes, meditate or pray, call friends and family for support.

Skip exercise, stress out over missed work responsibilities, lose temper, eat mindlessly, dont sleep enough.



Eat airport and airplane food and buet breakfasts, skip meals, spend late nights drinking, order room service at midnight, raid hotel minibar, skip exercise.

Bag exercise, watch endless Law & Order reruns, load up on ice cream, drink extra wine. Eat from vending machine, skip exercise, skimp on sleep, feel physically sick with worry.




If psychologists and dieticians are to be believed, the young women of new India are trading their innate ampleness in for the global fetish for skinniness. Around the time we were beating size-zero into a more realistic gure, this much-debated number seems to have crept into our collective psyche, lodging itself rmly as a beauty ideal that is publicly ridiculed but secretly desired. The Indian womans relationship with food is changing, fast. Psychologists and dieticians are seeing more and more young women taking up a now familiar battle, with weight, shape and size. Hunger and food are the new enemies, weighing scales and protein shakes an ally in waiting. Fad diets are tried, tested and trending. Were seeing more and more young adults with body image issues and they show disturbed eating patterns, says Kamna Chibber, head, Psychological Services, Fortis Healthcare, New Delhi. A paper on the emergence of eating disorders in India, published in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry reports of the milder Eating Distress Syndrome way back in the late 90s. While eating disorders wrestle out in the young peoples arena, older Indian women are rewriting another chapter of this handbook of the great Indian feast. Chapatti and chips have coexisted in the working womans lunch boxes for a while, but the sat fat in the latter seems to be nudging into the wholegrains domain. Eating patterns are changing and often, driven by stress, deadlines, relationship issues and other modern day stressors, women turn to comfort foods that may be high up on the food pyramid, says Seema Hingoranny, psychologist and author of Beating the Blues. Binge-eating, weight and related issues today cover a large canvas of psychological issues aecting the modern Indian woman. Priyamvada Kowshik


include eating nutritious foods, getting enough rest, exercising regularly, chewing gum (the repetitive movement is calming), meditating and gardening. However, youve got to drill that into your brain with the repeated practice of these habits. So how do you accomplish this? Studies have shown that forming what is referred to as an implementation intention (If I encounter situation X, then I will perform behaviour Y) increases your probability of carrying out your goals. (See Your Adjust & Adapt Plan) These problem-solving skills require some creativity, and by exing these cognitive and creative muscles, youll increase the release of dopamine in the

anterior cingulate, a brain area involved in emotion, anticipation and decision making. You will also exercise and thus strengthen your PFC, which will give you a Healthy Fix that will, in turn, make you more creative! And thats the denition of a virtuous cycle. 3. FILL UP ON SAFE HIGHS. You can still get a food highon safe, tasty, rewarding Healthy Fix options that decrease the sense of deprivation. Rich in bre and protein, they keep you feeling full longer. Your False Fix foods are poisonous to your mind and body. Break free. You are powerful enough to say no. l

Adapted from The Hunger Fix, by Pam Peeke, MD, MPH, with Mariska van Aalst (Rodale, 2012). On sale wherever books and e-books are sold.


GOOD FOOD TO KNOW in season NEWS spirit

by Prerna Singh

Your favourite food in the rains is gluten-free, extremely high in dietary fibre, betacarotene, flavonoids, ferulic acid and Vitamin B.

HOW TO BUY Corn needs to be fresh. The husk should be bright green and the silk strands (more strands means more kernels) pale golden and a tad sticky. The stump tells how old the ear is: it takes two days to start turning brown. Pick a kernelit should feel full; pop it the juice should be milky.

HOW TO STORE The sugars in corn start converting to starch as soon as the corn is picked, so ideally, it needs to be consumed within 3 days. If you dont intend to consume it right away, refrigerate it with the husk still on. This will slow down the sugars turning to starch.


Corn Relish

5 minutes TOTAL TIME 15 minutes Serves 2

1. Roast 2 pods of garlic in 1 Tbsp olive oil. 2. Add 1 diced onion and cook till light brown. Stir in 2 chopped green chillies. 3. Add tsp red chilli pow-

der, 1 Tbsp vinegar, salt, pepper. Stir in 1 cup corn kernels and cup diced red peppers. Turn off heat. 4. Sprinkle some parsley over it and serve.

NUTRITION (per serving) 160 Kcal, 3.1 g pro, 22.8 g carb, 3.8 g fibre, 7.8 g fat, 2 mg sodium

Cold Corn Salad

Serves 2

15 minutes TOTAL TIME 20 minutes


1. Boil one cob of corn, cool it, separate the kernels. 2. Mix one chopped apple, the corn kernels, cup rocket leaves and 20 g feta cheese in a bowl. 3. Combine 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, Tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, tsp mustard powder and tsp red chilli powder to make your dressing. Pour this dressing over the salad and toss well. Serve cold.
NUTRITION (per serving) 181 Kcal, 2.7 g pro, 19.1 g carb, 4 g fibre, 6.5 g fat, 118 mg sodium

Nutrition Counts by Meghna PN




Four fuss-free dinners youll love that are big on taste and low on calories.

Move over, boring!

Marinated Grilled Chicken & Tomatoes

Low Sodium

10 minutes TOTAL TIME 25 minutes+marinating time Serves 4

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp minced garlic 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 500 g cherry tomatoes, halved c sliced onion 600 g chicken breast cutlets ( thick) 4 c baby arugula

1. Whisk together vinegar, mustard and garlic. Add oil in slow stream, whisking to combine. Season to taste. Divide between 2 bowls. Add tomatoes and onion to one bowl and chicken to the other. Marinate 15 minutes. 2. Heat grill pan coated with olive oil spray over medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade). Grill chicken in 2 batches, turning, until golden brown and cooked through, 6 minutes. Transfer to plate and cover to keep warm. 3. Toss arugula in bowl with marinated tomatoes and onion to coat. Halve chicken and divide among 4 plates. Top with salad.
NUTRITION (per serving) 286 Kcal, 36.7 g pro, 8.1 g carb, 2.1 g fibre, 13 g fat, 2.2 g sat fat, 322 mg sodium

by Lori Powell | photographs by Quentin Bacon

Low Sodium



Gluten Free

Glazed Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Gluten Free

10 minutes TOTAL TIME 30 minutes Serves 6

c apricot jam 2 Tbsp grainy mustard 1 tsp fresh lime juice 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (150 g each) 1 Tbsp olive oil c dry white wine c half-and-half (equal parts light cream + milk) 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried

1. Heat oven to 375F. Stir together jam, mustard and lime juice. Season chicken with salt and pepper. 2. Heat oil in large ovenproof non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown, turning, 4 minutes. Spread tops evenly with jam mixture. Bake chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp olive oil, until chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board. 3. Add wine to skillet and simmer until reduced, about 2 minutes. Whisk in half-and-half and rosemary. Simmer 2 minutes. Slice chicken and serve with sauce*.
*Up the fibre with healthy sides (see box: Supereasy Sides).
NUTRITION (per serving) 272 Kcal, 29.4 g pro, 10.1 g carb, traces of fibre, 11.2 g fat, 3.1 g sat fat, 119 mg sodium



Italian-Style Chicken and Mushrooms

Anti- Oxidant Rich

10 minutes TOTAL TIME 30 minutes Serves 4

1 Tbsp unsalted butter 4 tsp olive oil 250 g sliced mushrooms (try shiitake) 1 small onion, chopped c flour 500 g chicken breast cutlets ( thick), halved crosswise 1 c dry red wine (optional) 1 c home-made chicken broth 2 Tbsp chopped parsley 1. Heat butter and 2 tsp of the oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until golden, 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Cook onion in skillet until tender, 4 minutes. Add to bowl. Reserve skillet. 2. Put flour on plate and season. Coat chicken, shaking off excess. Reserve 1 Tbsp of the flour mixture. 3. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown, turning, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate and keep warm. If using wine, add wine to skillet. Simmer, scraping up browned bits, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. 4. Add broth and bring to a

Antioxidant Rich


simmer. Remove c liquid and whisk in reserved flour. Whisk back into skillet. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and mushroom mixture and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce

is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

NUTRITION (per serving) 332 Kcal, 44.7 g pro, 10 g carb, 1.2 g fibre, 12.7 g fat, 2.6 g sat fat, 759 mg sodium



Chicken Enchiladas
High Fibre

15 minutes TOTAL TIME 50 minutes Serves 6

2 c salsa 1 can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained 1 c frozen corn kernels, thawed 1 tsp cumin 2 c shredded cooked chicken breast (about 300 g) 100 g reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded ( c) 12 wholewheat tortillas (of 6 diameter)

1. Heat oven to 375F. Coat a 1392 baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon cup salsa in it. 2. Toss together beans, corn, cumin and cup of the salsa in bowl. Reserve cup of the bean mixture and set aside. 3. Divide chicken, remaining bean mixture and cup cheese among tortillas. Roll up to enclose filling and arrange seam side down in dish. Spoon remaining salsa and reserved bean mixture over top. 4. Cover with foil. Bake 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes.
NUTRITION (per serving) 449 Kcal, 32 g pro, 61.8 g carb, 9.8 g fibre, 10 g fat, 3.6 g sat fat, 1150 mg sodium

For Marinated Grilled Chicken Cut a garlic clove in half. Grill 4 slices French bread. Rub warm bread with cut sides of garlic. For Italian-Style Chicken Cook 1 cup nely chopped onion and 1 tsp minced garlic in olive oil until tender. Stir into 2 cups warm mashed potatoes. For Chicken Enchiladas Whisk together 3 Tbsp each reduced-fat mayonnaise and sour cream, 2 to 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, tsp minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with 2 torn hearts of romaine. For Glazed Chicken Toss cooked green beans with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and toasted pecans.



High Fibre





Is Neutering the Answer?

Neutering is often considered as an option to quell aggression among pets. Heres the full dope.
by Uma Karve Chakranarayan


ou may consider neutering for various reasons. From stemming propagation to quelling aggression among angry dogs. Dr Aniruddha Belsare, Graduate Research Fellow, University of Missouri, tells us the right from wrong.

Traditionally, neutering is offered as a solution to aggression. Is it ok?

Neutering will seldom treat aggression. Aggressive behaviour in dogs can be due to several, and often complex, reasons. Although many vets may advocate neu-

tering to control aggression, studies show no link between the two.

How do we understand the cause of aggression?

Observe what triggers the aggression. What does your pet gain from such behaviour? Is it territorial aggression, defensive aggression, protective aggression, possessive aggression or driven by fear? It is a complex subject and behaviourists and your veterinarian will guide you.

tering is recommended. In females, before the first heat, at around 8 weeks (the pup should weigh at least a kilo or more). Among males, ideally before 6 months of age. If youve considered it to prevent possible aggression in adulthood, remember there is no foolproof method of gauging that.

Is there any other way to control aggression?

First of all, the vet should rule out medical conditions causing aggression. If this is suspected, appropriate medical treatment must be administered. Aggression among older dogs can be due to a medical condition which can be treated to a certain extent. A trained and certified animal behaviourist can suggest behaviour modification techniques. Ask your vet or trainer.

Does neutering have an effect on any form of aggression?

Of the several categories of aggressive behaviour seen in dogs, one category is sex or mating-related aggression. Male dogs might fight with other males, even when no females are present. I believe this happens when some female in the area is in estrus (commonly referred to as being in heat) and the pheromones stimulate the male dogs. In some dogs, this urge to fight with other males might disappear after neuteringbut there is no guarantee! If a dog is neutered as an adult, he may continue to be aggressive. Female dogs also compete and fight with each other over a male, and aggression may not go away if such females are neutered as adults. But this applies only to sex-related aggression. Neutering will have no effect on other types of aggression.

Can punishments or keeping the dog tied up worsen the aggression?

Punishments do not workso avoid shouting at, hitting or other forms of action or castigation. Positive reinforcement works better. Keeping the dog tied up definitely increases his aggression.

Should choke chains be used?

Cruel as it may sound, choke chains help in controlling aggressive dogs. However, remember that a pet is a lifelong commitment, and wants your love and attention. Treat your pet with respect, give her enough love, spend time with her and ensure you carry out your responsibilities as a pet parent to the best of your ability. l

Is there a right age to perform it?

Neutering should be done as early as possible, ideally, paediatric neu-


BUY Healthy Choices

DRINK UP Clean drinking water is key to warding of many water-borne infections especially common at this time of the year. Since your tap water may not be safe for consumption, you need to purify it. Try the new Electrolux Vogue Water Purier. It claims to oer double purication by reverse osmosis (RO) and then by ultraltation (UF) while retaining essential natural minerals. It has a 7 litre capacity, is easy to mount or place on a counter and looks smart. Its available in 3 colours (red, blue and grey) to match your kitchen ttings. Approx. `18,000

FIGHT BUGS A healthy lifestyle with exercise and a diet rich in nutritious foods is key to a strong immune system that can ght bugs and keep you safe. Sometimes you may need a supplement to bolster yourself. Try Immunity from Organic India. These pills contain Katuki and Tulsi leaves that are known to support immune functions. It claims to be eective in tackling upper respiratory tract infections, bronchial asthma and pneumonia, as well as arm you against hepatitis, TB and chronic UTI. `160 for a bottle of 60 capsules

SNACK SMART Most store bought cookies are made of rened our and are loaded with trans fats which can harm your health. The next time you want to snack reach out for the high-bre, low-cal, no trans-fat variety. Try the cookies and rusk range from Sweetwell. These are made with wholegrains and cereals like wheat, barley and ragi which makes them nutritious. Plus, because they have no added sugar, they are a good choice for diabetics and the calorie-conscious. ` 65 upwards


things that make me happy...

If you think sunshine brings you happiness, then you havent danced in the rain.

When I feel truly free and fearless, thats what makes me happy.
Mini Mittal, Delhi

The cool, clean breeze, the fragrant earth and raindrops falling on my face, on the rooftop and on the leaves. Everything about the rains makes me happy.
Preeti Revankar, Panaji

I watched the children in my neighbourhood run out to the playground when the first monsoon showers hit the earth. We all splashed and played in the puddles, and it was amazing how happy that made us!
Shweta Sharma, Gurgaon