New Restaurants In Delhi NCR And Mumbai You Ought To Try This Month

#NewRestaurantAlert: 7 New Restaurants In Delhi NCR And Mumbai You Ought To Try This Month

With the New Year come new and more exciting opportunities of exploring food around the city. The bustling metropolises of Delhi NCR and Mumbai are two of the most lucrative havens for food lovers. Be it traditional flavours and cuisines or unique and innovative fusion dishes that are oh-so ‘Insta-worthy’, these two cities always have something brand new to offer. Going by the plethora of restaurants and cafes that were launched in the last few weeks, 2019 is going to be promising year for food lovers and gourmands.

Here’s Our List Of New Restaurants In Delhi NCR And Mumbai To Try Out This Month:

1. Tres, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi

Delhi has no dearth of fine dining restaurants and a new one has entered the city’s food landscape with Tres in Lodhi Colony. The concept of the European food restaurant makes an attempt at simple, handmade, seasonally-curated menus that showcase the finest and freshest ingredients of the day cooked in innovative and imaginative ways. They have an extensive menu with a number of popular favourites, including dishes with seafood, chicken and lamb, as well as red meats as well.

Where: 23, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi

Timings: 12 noon – 3pm; 6:30pm – 11:30pm

Cost for two: INR 3000 plus taxes

mshc1dhg

2. TCK by The China Kitchen, New Delhi

Chinese food lovers are in for a delight, as Hyatt Regency’s TCK by The China Kitchen makes its way to Cyber Hub, Gurgaon. The restaurant depicts traditional elements of a Chinese house in a contemporary décor. The restaurant has the concept of ‘dining around the kitchen’ with a Peking duck oven, a dumpling and noodle station, a steamer, three woks, wide selection of teas and a dessert station. They also have an interactive stage with bartenders and chefs creating different desserts and cocktails.

Where: 11, Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon

Timings: 12:00pm – 12:00am

Cost for two: INR 1900 plus taxes (without alcohol)

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3. Serai – Culinary Cocktail Bar, New Delhi

AD Singh’s Olive Group has brought something exciting for cocktail lovers in the New Year. Serai is a cosy little place inside Olive in Mehrauli that makes for a perfect setting for a casual and relaxed get-together with friends. They have an interesting range of culinary cocktails that are sure to tease your taste buds, as well as snacks like Kimchi Chicken, Tuna-Guac and Ham & Mole. They have a fair number of vegetarian options as well.

Where: Serai, One Style Mile, Mehrauli, New Delhi

Timings: 5pm – 12:30am (Wednesday – Sunday)

Cost for two: INR 2500 plus taxes (including alcohol)



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4. Comorin, Gurgaon

Gurgaon’s Horizon Two Food Plaza has a new star in Comorin by chef Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent fame. For desi fusion food lovers, the restaurant is an absolute delight with interesting flavour combinations like Samosa with Gujarati kadhi chaat, Sweet Corn Khichhdi, Hot Buttered Seekh Kebabs, Haleem with Toast and Doda Tart. The place also has a market area that is stocked with homemade sauces and syrups, as well a coffee bar, a private dining area and a sous-vide bar, which are some of its prime attractions.

Where: 101, 1st Floor, Plaza Level, Two Horizon Center, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

Timings: 12 noon – 1am

Cost for two: INR 2000 plus taxes



kpo786jo

5. The Kylin Experience, Aerocity, New Delhi

The Kylin Experience has made its way to Aerocity in New Delhi with expansive interiors, which are seriously stylish and sectioned to create warm nooks. Restaurateur Saurabh Khanijo says he conceptualised the restaurant like a space “which allows people to let their hair down. To float.” They have a menu, with Japanese, Chinese, Asian and Thai dishes, that incorporates classics as well as innovative menus for those who seek vegan and gluten free meals.

Where: Worldmark 2, Aerocity, New Delhi

Timings: 12 noon – 12 midnight

Cost for two: INR 1,000 plus taxes

nilh3ag8

6. Tygr, Mumbai

Thai food lovers in Mumbai may have a new favourite hub – Tygr Modern Thai Bar and Grill. Tygr – located in Palladium Mall, Lower Parel, Mumbai – is the latest offering of serial restaurateur Zorawar Kalra and it is creating a splash. The modern Thai restaurant promises to keep traditional flavour alive in dishes that are influenced by other global cuisines. Some of the innovative dishes on offer include Smoked Salmon Mousse, Chilean Sea Bass, Fennel Tiger Prawns, Sliced Belgian Pork Belly, Sticky Rice Mango Pudding and more. They also have a range of cocktails curated by expert mixologists – which you wouldn’t want to miss.

Where: Level 1, Palladium Mall, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Timings: 12 noon – 1am

Cost for two: INR 1200 plus taxes (without alcohol)

7. Drinx Exchange, Mumbai

Launched in December, Drinx Exchange by Rahul Dhingra and Dibyendu Binda is calling itself a ‘new age interactive bar.’ They have interactive tables, which can help the customers self-order, watch sports’ matches live, receive personalised offers, track their orders and pay their bills. They have a range of cocktails and other drinks, as well as delicious food like Chicken Wings, Hummus Platters and Mini-Coloured Tacos, etc. This one seems like a weekend hangout spot for you and your friends.

Where: Sakinaka, Mumbai and CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai

Timings: 5pm – 1:30am

Cost for two: INR 1500 plus taxes (including alcohol)

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Did we miss out on any of your favourite new restaurants in Delhi NCR or Mumbai? Let us know in the comments below!

It’s True, Men and Women Remember Pain Differently

A new study looked at ways that men and women perceive pain.

Experts have long known that men and women perceive pain differently. Getty Images

Men may tolerate pain better than women, but new research finds they’re more stressed when it comes to how they remember it.

A new report published this month in the journal Current Biology evaluated how male and female mice and humans perceived pain.

Researchers found that male humans and male mice both remember previous painful experiences clearly, but were more stressed and very sensitive to later pain when they returned to the location where the pain occurred.

Women and female mice, on the other hand, didn’t seem to be as stressed.

Why is studying pain important? Researchers can figure out if a memory of pain is a driving factor of chronic pain. By identifying this, they may be able to help treat what causes people to remember pain.

Males are more stressed about remembered pain

The researchers tested 41 men and 38 women between the ages of 18 and 40. Participants were taken to a specific room where heat was administered to their forearm.

The participants rated the pain on a 100-point scale. Soon after, they wore an inflated blood pressure cuff and exercised for 20 minutes.

The next day, the participants went back to the same room of the initial test or to a different room.

Among the participants taken into the same room as the previous test, the men rated the heat pain higher than they did the day before. Women did not rate it as high.

“There was reason to expect we would see increased sensitivity to pain on the second day, but there was no reason to expect it would be specific to males. That came as a complete surprise,” said Jeffrey Mogil, PhD, senior author and the E.P. Taylor Professor of Pain Studies in McGill’s Department of Psychology and Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain.

The researchers wanted to confirm that pain was increased due to memories of previous pain, so they injected a memory-blocking drug into the brains of male mice. When they ran the experiment, those mice didn’t show signs of remembered pain.

The researchers said this finding is important because increasing evidence suggests that chronic pain is a problem if you remember it.

This was the first time that remembered pain has been depicted using a model in both rodents and humans.

Perceptions of pain

In the past, experiments on pain were only conducted in males so it was hard to compare pain between both sexes, Mogil said.

Findings from this study show that there are differences between the sexes in how they recall pain.

This research also adds more weight to the notion that chronic pain is a memory problem, he said. Doctors can then treat the memory of the pain and not just the pain itself. This can be done with therapy or medication.

For example, memory reframing has been used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, he said. According to his results, this type of therapy could work for pain as well.

The researchers plan to follow up on the research to better understand the anatomy behind why males are more stressed by remembered pain, he said.

The big issue of chronic pain

Chronic pain is a significant health problem that affects about 50 million Americans. That’s more than 20 percent of the adult population.

The new research findings support the idea that how people remember pain can affect later pain, Mogil said. His team was “blown away” to find that the same differences between men and women existed in humans as they did in mice.

“This was a study on pain memory or pain-induced stress,” Mogil told Healthline. “Males remembered pain better than the females and were more stressed by it when they did remember it.”

He pointed out that it doesn’t mean men are more sensitive to pain, but that they’re more stressed when recalling it.

“What was even more surprising was that the men reacted more, because it is well known that women are both more sensitive to pain than men, and that they’re also generally more stressed,” said Loren Martin, PhD, an author and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Anticipating and recalling pain

Mogil believes there are a few possible explanations for the differences in stress levels among males and females when it comes to remembering pain.

Dr. Samuel McLean, a professor of anesthesiology, emergency medicine, and psychiatry, and the director of the Institute for Trauma Recovery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the findings of this study suggest that evolution may have shaped how males anticipate recurrent painful experiences differently than women. McLean was not involved in the study.

McLean pointed out that the way people anticipate an experience can affect how much pain they have during it.

“For example, it’s recommended that doctors avoid phrases like ‘this is going to hurt’ or ‘a little sting here’ when giving an injection of numbing medicine because making such a statement actually increases the person’s pain experience,” he told Healthline.

Men developing persistent pain after traumatic events such as a car crash have been found to generally have less ability to cope with pain over time, which is something that could be attributed to the biological differences found in this study.

“A better understanding of the biologic mechanisms behind these fascinating findings may help to improve pain treatments for not only men but for anyone with chronic or recurrent pain,” McLean said.

The bottom line

In a new report, researchers found that human men and male mice remember previous painful experiences clearly, but were more stressed and very sensitive to later pain when they returned to the location where the pain occurred.

Women and female mice, on the other hand, didn’t seem to be as stressed.

Experts say the findings suggest evolution may have shaped how males anticipate recurrent painful experiences differently than females do.

7 New Restaurants In Delhi NCR And Mumbai You Ought To Try This Month

#NewRestaurantAlert: 7 New Restaurants In Delhi NCR And Mumbai You Ought To Try This Month

With the New Year come new and more exciting opportunities of exploring food around the city. The bustling metropolises of Delhi NCR and Mumbai are two of the most lucrative havens for food lovers. Be it traditional flavours and cuisines or unique and innovative fusion dishes that are oh-so ‘Insta-worthy’, these two cities always have something brand new to offer. Going by the plethora of restaurants and cafes that were launched in the last few weeks, 2019 is going to be promising year for food lovers and gourmands.

Here’s Our List Of New Restaurants In Delhi NCR And Mumbai To Try Out This Month:

1. Tres, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi

Delhi has no dearth of fine dining restaurants and a new one has entered the city’s food landscape with Tres in Lodhi Colony. The concept of the European food restaurant makes an attempt at simple, handmade, seasonally-curated menus that showcase the finest and freshest ingredients of the day cooked in innovative and imaginative ways. They have an extensive menu with a number of popular favourites, including dishes with seafood, chicken and lamb, as well as red meats as well.

Where: 23, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi

Timings: 12 noon – 3pm; 6:30pm – 11:30pm

Cost for two: INR 3000 plus taxes

mshc1dhg

2. TCK by The China Kitchen, New Delhi

Chinese food lovers are in for a delight, as Hyatt Regency’s TCK by The China Kitchen makes its way to Cyber Hub, Gurgaon. The restaurant depicts traditional elements of a Chinese house in a contemporary décor. The restaurant has the concept of ‘dining around the kitchen’ with a Peking duck oven, a dumpling and noodle station, a steamer, three woks, wide selection of teas and a dessert station. They also have an interactive stage with bartenders and chefs creating different desserts and cocktails.

Where: 11, Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon

Timings: 12:00pm – 12:00am

Cost for two: INR 1900 plus taxes (without alcohol)

6dqi83cg

3. Serai – Culinary Cocktail Bar, New Delhi

AD Singh’s Olive Group has brought something exciting for cocktail lovers in the New Year. Serai is a cosy little place inside Olive in Mehrauli that makes for a perfect setting for a casual and relaxed get-together with friends. They have an interesting range of culinary cocktails that are sure to tease your taste buds, as well as snacks like Kimchi Chicken, Tuna-Guac and Ham & Mole. They have a fair number of vegetarian options as well.

Where: Serai, One Style Mile, Mehrauli, New Delhi

Timings: 5pm – 12:30am (Wednesday – Sunday)

Cost for two: INR 2500 plus taxes (including alcohol)



nmdbgppg

4. Comorin, Gurgaon

Gurgaon’s Horizon Two Food Plaza has a new star in Comorin by chef Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent fame. For desi fusion food lovers, the restaurant is an absolute delight with interesting flavour combinations like Samosa with Gujarati kadhi chaat, Sweet Corn Khichhdi, Hot Buttered Seekh Kebabs, Haleem with Toast and Doda Tart. The place also has a market area that is stocked with homemade sauces and syrups, as well a coffee bar, a private dining area and a sous-vide bar, which are some of its prime attractions.

Where: 101, 1st Floor, Plaza Level, Two Horizon Center, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

Timings: 12 noon – 1am

Cost for two: INR 2000 plus taxes



kpo786jo

5. The Kylin Experience, Aerocity, New Delhi

The Kylin Experience has made its way to Aerocity in New Delhi with expansive interiors, which are seriously stylish and sectioned to create warm nooks. Restaurateur Saurabh Khanijo says he conceptualised the restaurant like a space “which allows people to let their hair down. To float.” They have a menu, with Japanese, Chinese, Asian and Thai dishes, that incorporates classics as well as innovative menus for those who seek vegan and gluten free meals.

Where: Worldmark 2, Aerocity, New Delhi

Timings: 12 noon – 12 midnight

Cost for two: INR 1,000 plus taxes

nilh3ag8

6. Tygr, Mumbai

Thai food lovers in Mumbai may have a new favourite hub – Tygr Modern Thai Bar and Grill. Tygr – located in Palladium Mall, Lower Parel, Mumbai – is the latest offering of serial restaurateur Zorawar Kalra and it is creating a splash. The modern Thai restaurant promises to keep traditional flavour alive in dishes that are influenced by other global cuisines. Some of the innovative dishes on offer include Smoked Salmon Mousse, Chilean Sea Bass, Fennel Tiger Prawns, Sliced Belgian Pork Belly, Sticky Rice Mango Pudding and more. They also have a range of cocktails curated by expert mixologists – which you wouldn’t want to miss.

Where: Level 1, Palladium Mall, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Timings: 12 noon – 1am

Cost for two: INR 1200 plus taxes (without alcohol)

7. Drinx Exchange, Mumbai

Launched in December, Drinx Exchange by Rahul Dhingra and Dibyendu Binda is calling itself a ‘new age interactive bar.’ They have interactive tables, which can help the customers self-order, watch sports’ matches live, receive personalised offers, track their orders and pay their bills. They have a range of cocktails and other drinks, as well as delicious food like Chicken Wings, Hummus Platters and Mini-Coloured Tacos, etc. This one seems like a weekend hangout spot for you and your friends.

Where: Sakinaka, Mumbai and CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai

Timings: 5pm – 1:30am

Cost for two: INR 1500 plus taxes (including alcohol)

ej1b5so

Did we miss out on any of your favourite new restaurants in Delhi NCR or Mumbai? Let us know in the comments below!

This Common Preservative in Processed Food May Be Making You Tired

Researchers say a common food additive found in a majority of popular items at your grocery store can leave you feeling wiped out when eaten in large quantities.

Could common preservatives in food be turning you into a couch potato? Getty Images

Is it hard to motivate yourself to get off the couch and go exercise?

Well, a common food additive you’re unknowingly consuming in large quantities might be to blame.

New research sheds light on inorganic phosphate — an additive and preservative found in up to 70 percent of the foods in the common diet in the United States — and the impact it could be having on your health.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, aimed to look at the adverse impacts of consuming too much phosphate in one’s diet by examining lab mice that were given a high-phosphate diet.

The researchers measured the rodents’ oxygen uptake during exercise, showing not just less capacity for movement but also the inability to produce enough fatty acids needed to feed their muscles.

While the mice were being observed for a 12-week period, the researchers wanted to draw a comparison to humans, so they looked at the data of people who were enrolled in the Dallas Heart Study.

These individuals ranged from 18 to 65 years old, were not on any medications, and had no history of kidney or heart issues.

They wore physical activity monitors for seven days, which tied higher phosphate levels in their diets to less time spent carrying out moderate to vigorous exercise.

As with the mice, inactivity increased when phosphate levels were higher.

Lead researcher Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, professor of internal medicine and director of the Hypertension Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center, told Healthline that she was struck by how closely the human and mice response to phosphates mirrored one another.

“Study in humans provides support for the animal studies by showing that people with high phosphate in the blood tend to spend less time in working out and more time in sedentary activity,” she wrote in an email.

What exactly are phosphates?

A phosphate is the charged particle that contains the mineral phosphorous, which the body requires to help repair and build your teeth and bones, make your muscles contract, and assist in nerve function, according to the Merck Manual.

Phosphates are found naturally in a wide range of healthy foods like meat, fish, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.

However, it is the inorganic form, saturated in many of the processed foods and drinks Americans consume, that is the problem.

“The average consumer would not know to be aware of this commercial food additive,” said Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a senior dietitian at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center. “It is commonly used to prolong the shelf life of many foods, and also may enhance the flavor of some others. It is likely a very inexpensive ingredient/additive which would explain its nearly ubiquitous usage.”

It is estimated that between 40 and 70 percent of the best-selling grocery items out there like cola drinks and prepared frozen foods contain these inorganic phosphates, she told Healthline.

“That is a huge proportion of foods many Americans buy. In fact, I remember a recent Nutrition Action Newsletter article that said that even bottled orange juices — such as ‘Simply Orange’ — contain added inorganic phosphates,” Hunnes said. “In many instances, food additives are used either to provide a nutrient (like a vitamin or mineral), flavor (like MSG or salt), or some other non-nutritive property including inorganic phosphates.”

She added, “We don’t know about them because phosphates are not usually a nutrient we are told to be concerned about. Most people, unless they have kidney disease, tend to be aware of or worried about calories, fats, and types of fats, carbohydrates, and protein.”

Tamika Sims, PhD, director of food technology communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation, said that even though inorganic phosphates might be unfamiliar to many, they should be something people should have on their radar.

“In healthy adults, inorganic phosphate is metabolized as needed, but phosphate is also used in the body for nerve, bone, and muscle function. The amount of phosphate in the body is regulated by kidneys. People with kidney disease or malfunction can be at risk of phosphate level irregularity,” Sims told Healthline.

When it comes to the study, Vongpatanasin wrote that while it is necessary that our bodies process energy in the normal amounts, if that energy is used too much, it can limit the ability to burn fat into useful fuel needed during exercise.

The average consumer may be unaware that an overabundance of these particles are even in many of the foods on their dinner table. They might be annoyed to hear that not much comprehensive information has been made available by food regulators.

On current food labels, check out any mention of “phos-,” like “calcium phosphate,” for example.

Vongpatanasin added that there are no official mandates or regulations for the food industry to label exactly how much inorganic phosphates are out there circulating in the food chain.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are the ones who set requirements for food labels throughout the nation, and Vongpatanasin asserted that it is clear much more comprehensive research needs to be done.

“Although it is well known that high-phosphate diet is dangerous in patients with kidney failure, the impact of high-phosphate diet on cardiovascular heath in normal population without kidney failure has not been widely studied or recognized until now,” she wrote.

What you can do

If you’re reading this and hearing about inorganic phosphates for the first time, what should you do when you go shopping for this week’s groceries?

“In general, if you can purchase fresh or nonpackaged foods, all the better — you will not have to fear that inorganic phosphates have been added to the foods,” Hunnes said. “Otherwise, just like everything else, it seems we need to be cognizant of this ingredient in foods. Look at food labels, and search for anything containing added phosphate. You would find it in the ingredient list, anything with the word ‘phos,’ or ‘phosphate’ in it.”

She added that she would caution consumers about eating these kinds of foods, especially if they’re athletes or someone hoping to maintain an exercise regimen.

“It sounds like this would hamper your progress, work against you, and may make your workout session that much harder,” she said.

Vongpatanasin said similar thoughts are also on her mind as she moves forward with her research.

She stressed that a person should not consume more than 700 mg of inorganic phosphates per day.

She and her team are planning on carrying out a randomized study next, to see if lowering the phosphate content in the diet to 700 mg each day could be helpful in lowering blood pressure and boosting physical activity.

The bottom line

A new study published in the journal Circulation aimed to look at how the prevalence of inorganic phosphates in America’s processed food-heavy diet could be lowering a person’s willingness to stay physically active.

Over a 12-week period, lab mice were given a phosphate-heavy diet, with the mice’s activity levels declining once inorganic phosphates were increased. This was compared to data on healthy adults enrolled in the Dallas Heart Study.

As with the mice, adults with a more phosphate-rich diet saw exercise and activity drop off as phosphate levels were increased.

Experts recommend that people look for “phos” or “phosphate” on food labels, steer away from processed foods, and choose fresh, nonpackaged foods, instead.

Times Kitchen Tales: Life’s lessons from the Great Indian Thali

Times Kitchen Tales: Life’s lessons from the Great Indian Thali

Don’t forget to pick a bento box for yourself before you get on the Shinkansen,” said Tokyo-based food writer and friend, Yukari Sakamoto, when she heard that I was taking the train from Tokyo to Kyoto.

Yukari’s book, Food Sake Tokyo, had turned out to be a great guide for us when we were there, and I saw no reason to doubt her on this too. I dutifully picked up a bento box from the Tokyo station and got onto the train. I saw my fellow passengers, primarily Japanese, take out their bento box an hour after the journey started. I followed suit. Two things struck me about the meal on the train. Firstly, the fact that the bento box had in it an array of food items, meat, fish, vegetables, rice, noodles and fruits; and yet was so compact and did not leave one with a heavy feeling. Secondly, I marvelled at how Japanese passengers ensured that the compartment was clean after they were done with the meal. They folded their boxes neatly and put all the leftovers inside them. The box had a scented paper tissue which they used to clean up the folding tables and soon the compartment seemed as fresh as the garden of Eden.

I then realised that what I had just observed was an expression of the shared tradition of the east, of Asia. A lot of the Japanese principles of eating as encapsulated in the bento box, are mirrored in our thali format of eating.

I had been introduced to the ayurvedic and yogic principles on which the thali is based, while attending classes in the 100-year-old, The Yoga Institute, in Santa Cruz, Mumbai.

Ayurveda, one learnt, speaks of the balance of five tastes in terms of sweet, sour, salt, bitter, pungent and astringent. The idea of having them all in a meal, can make one’s food so much more interesting.

Looking out for Sattvic foods such as whole grains, pulses, seasonal vegetables and fruits, herbs in our diet was espoused in the classes with an aim to a sattvic state of mind – health, harmony, peace and purity. And for that little bit of restlessness that one needs to power us on at work, there are the Rajasik food items – those which are heavy on spices, onion and garlic. Meat, fish, eggs and the like are considered to be Tamasik and are said to make one lethargic, and hence need to be handled with care.

These concepts might sound overwhelming, however, following the thali format ensures that one can follow these principles rather seamlessly. Multiple courses or dishes as espoused in thali meals, ensure that no one dish or food type dominates a meal. Each item in a thali is cooked and spiced differently. This ensures variety in taste. The use of liquids such as dals, gravies, butter milk or dahi, help fill our tummy. These, along with the presence of vegetarian dishes and grains, ensure that meat or fish never dominates our meals even when we have them. The dishes on a thali, with their variety of colours and textures look appealing to the eye too. Hearty enough to ensure that we are not distracted while we eat and that we indulge in mindful and joyful eating instead.

The multi-course thali format was a regular affair of my growing up days in Kolkata. In my adult years in Mumbai, I had moved on to having single course meals for convenience, usually with television giving us company. I have once again made a conscious effort to adopt the thali format of eating and enjoyed the balance that it has brought to my life and health.

What about you? Are there any of our traditional food practices that you have adopted in your search for living a better life? If you have, please share your story on www.timeskitchentales.com Practical tips would be most helpful.

Simple tips to make thali work for you:

1. Balance: Load your plate with seasonal vegetables and fruits. Meat or fish, when consumed, should play a bit part in the meal and not dominate it
2. Portion control: Take as much as you feel you can eat on your plate. Leave ‘white spaces’. Do not take second portions
3. Digestion: Choose unprocessed rice such as red rice or whole grains such as millets for rotis as they offer fibre and fill you up faster than unrefined grains
4. Less is more: Use fresh herbs and less spices and eat in a focused way to appreciate each flavour that has gone into the dish
5. Plating: Instagram your thali pictures. If you make them look appealing to others then the simplest of meals will look appealing to you too.

By: Kalyan Karmakar

How can you be a part of this? Keep a lookout for this space – where we will introduce fresh topics of discussion every week. Find us at: www.timeskitchentales.com and share your stories. The most inspiring stories from the repository of ‘Times Kitchen Tales’ will be shared in this column.

Doctors Urge Parents to Vaccinate Younger Kids After Measles Outbreak

New measles outbreaks are putting kids at risk in many states. Here’s how to protect your children.

Having your child vaccinated at 6 months instead of 1 year is one way to protect them from the current measles outbreaks happening around the United States. Getty Images

The state of New York is currently experiencing a crisis.

Since September 2018, 170 cases of the measles have been reported — making this the largest measles outbreak in decades.

But New York isn’t the only place experiencing a resurgence of the disease that had been previously kept at bay by vaccines. In the last year alone, there have been 17 outbreaks in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The cause

American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson Dr. Andrew Bernstein, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told Healthline there is no doubt about the cause behind these recent outbreaks.

“There’s only one reason for the resurgence of measles, and that’s people not getting their immunizations,” he said.

Dr. Sara Bhargava Vora, assistant professor in the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital agrees.

“The majority of people who get measles in these outbreaks are unvaccinated,” she told Healthline. “Although overall vaccination rates remain high in the U.S., unfortunately there are pockets of unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children due to vaccine hesitant parents and exemptions for various reasons.”

In New York, where the most recent outbreak is occurring, some private school systems report vaccination rates as low as 50 percent — a reality that has made the area especially susceptible to the spread of this disease.

“That’s why we have to try to get as many people immunized as we can,” Bernstein said.Advertisement

Accelerating the schedule

New York is currently taking that plan of action very seriously, recommending an accelerated vaccination schedule where infants get their first measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine at 6 months (instead of one year), and their second within a few months of that (instead of waiting until age 4, as the standard schedule recommends).

It’s all part of their attempt to get as many children protected in the face of this outbreak as possible.

Some parents may be concerned about this accelerated schedule, but Vora says they have nothing to fear.

“There are no risks to vaccinating for measles as early as 6 months of age. We also know it is safe to give a second dose as early as 1 month after the first,” she said.

Risks and benefits

According to the CDC, common side effects of the MMR vaccine are relatively mild, ranging from a sore arm after the shot to a fever or temporary pain and rash. But the risks of getting measles can be much more severe.

“The biggest risk of measles is that you can get encephalitis, a brain infection, and you can die,” Bernstein explained. “The death rate is a small number. But if you’re the 1 in 1,000 whose kid dies, that’s intolerable.”

Vora elaborated, listing the symptoms of measles as:

  • high fever
  • cough
  • runny nose and conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • full body rash

Complications include:

  • ear infections, which can result in permanent hearing loss
  • pneumonia, a lung infection that is the most common cause of death from measles in children
  • encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), which can lead to seizures and long term cognitive problems.

“One to two in every 1,000 people who get measles will die.” Vora explained. “Long-term complications are rare but may include a fatal degenerative brain condition called SSPE and sterility in males.”

When asked about the risk of the vaccine, Bernstein said, “There really are no proven side effects for the MMR vaccine, besides fever, rash, and some temporary pain. But even if there were some rare risk, the benefits of the vaccine by far outweigh that.”

He used numbers to highlight that point, saying, “If there is, in theory, 1 in 10 million people that don’t do well with the vaccine, well, that’s awful. It’s a terrible thing and we have to try to figure out what is causing that and prevent it. But if you’re talking a 1 in 10 million risk versus a 1 in 1,000 risk of dying if you get the disease, that’s not a good exchange.”

Why parents are opting out

Nevertheless, larger numbers of parents seem to be opting out of vaccinations — and the result is increasing cases of disease.

“There’s a ton of misinformation on the internet, and echo chambers occur,” Bernstein pointed out. “People talk to others who already agree with them. I don’t think they’re bad people. They are trying to do what they think is best for their child. But they don’t have the scientific understanding or the medical background to understand what is going on.”

As his voice grew more impassioned, he continued, “I have held the hand of a mom whose son was dying of chickenpox. People promoting chickenpox parties haven’t seen what I’ve seen; they haven’t done the research I’ve done.”

Immunizations are a subject he is so passionate about that he asks families who refuse to vaccinate to leave his practice.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics officially does not recommend pediatricians kick patients out of their practice who don’t vaccinate. They want physicians to keep talking to those families. That’s what I try to do with my media outreach. But… I can’t put my other patients at risk,” he explained.

Herd immunity

For those confused about how patients who’ve been vaccinated can still be at risk, Bernstein explained that for about 5 to 7 percent of the population, vaccinations aren’t as effective.

He also pointed out that there are immune-compromised patients who can’t get the vaccines or infants who are too young.

“That’s why herd immunity is so important. Even if not everyone can be protected by the vaccine, if enough people are, the virus can’t get a foothold in that community,” he said.

Vora agrees.

The one message she wanted to communicate to Healthline readers was this, “Please fully vaccinate your children to prevent them from getting this serious infection. Vaccines are the single most important public health intervention in modern times. They are one of the main reasons for the increased life expectancies that we are lucky enough to have witnessed over the last few decades.”

If you have questions about whether or not your child is fully vaccinated, or concerns about the vaccine or recent outbreaks, get in touch with your child’s pediatrician. They can answer any questions you may have and help you to make informed decisions moving forward.

6 Delicious Recipes For A Typical Pongal Lunch Meal

Having Guests Over? 6 Delicious Recipes For A Typical Pongal Lunch Meal

Makar Sankranti falls in the ‘Posh‘ month of the Hindu calendar, when the sun starts its journey northwards. It is a great opportunity for foodies to get their hands on all types of sweets from all across India during this time, as Sankranti festivities are largely related to traditions in food and harvest, from peethe in Bengal to til gud ke laddoo in Maharashtra and Karnataka, and to pongal in Tamil Nadu. The harvest festival celebrated in the south is called Pongal. In Tamil, the word ‘pong‘ means ‘boil over’ or ‘spill over.’ In this article, we will talk about pongal (festive food with the same name of the south Indian festival – Pongal), preparations for ‘Pongal Bhojanam‘ (Pongal lunch meal) recipes, and the significance of the four-day long festivities down south.

Pongal, also known as Thai Pongal, is celebrated on the day the sun begins to move northwards, similar to the popular harvest festival of the North – Makar Sankranti. The period is called Uttarayanam and is considered auspicious.

The first day, ‘Bhogi‘, is celebrated on the last day of the month of ‘Margazhi.’ On this day, people buy new vessels and people clean and decorate their house. Moreover, there is a tradition to ‘burn down’ things that are considered to be old to make room for new things. The second day is called ‘Perum Pongal‘, wherein people worship the Sun God, Lord Surya. Devotees decorate the central courtyard of their house with beautifulkolams, done with rice flour and bordered with red clay. On this day, people makechakkra pongal (sweet pongal dish) with newly harvested rice and jaggery early in the morning during the sunrise that is exactly the time when the new month is born.

The third day is ‘Mattu Pongal‘, wherein cattle are worshiped that help farmers in farming. On this day, the cows are bathed and decorated with vermilion and garlands and fed well. The fourth and last day is called ‘Kaanum Pongal‘. It is that part of the festival when families gather on the riverbanks and enjoy a sumptuous meal together. Moreover, people also perform many traditional dances such as kummi and kolattam. There is also a tradition to cook newly-harvested grains for the first time on this day. The day is filled with rich and everlasting taste of all the festive food prepared for the auspicious occasion of Pongal.



Here we give you a few recipes that are part of ‘Pongal Sapad‘ or ‘Pongal Bhojanam‘ (Pongal lunch meal):
 


The meal consists of sweet and salty Pongal, dry vegetable (poriyal/palya), vegetable gravy (kuzhambu/koora), savoury fritters, spicy salad, papads and pickles.

These recipes are typically prepared during Pongal, but can also be made on other festive occasions. The meal is traditionally eaten on a banana leaf. Eating on banana leaf is traditionally considered to have plenty of health benefits. 

 


1. Mendu Wada

 
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:


  • White urad dal – 1 cup (soaked for 2 hours)
  • Ginger – 1 (1 inch size)
  • Green chilli – 1 (finely chopped)
  • Coriander leaves – small bunch (finely chopped)

 
Method
1. Soak urad dal for about 2 hours. Strain the water from urad dal.
2. Now, grind dal and ginger in a blender till you get a smooth batter. Make sure you add little water while grinding the dal. Transfer the batter to a bowl.
3. Add salt, green chillies and chopped coriander and mix well to make medu vada batter.
5. Cover the vada batter and allow it to rest. 
6. Preheat the oil in a pan for deep frying the medu vada.
7. Deep fry the vadas and serve them hot and crispy.
 

 
2. Puzhi Kozhambu

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:


  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, roughly torn
  • Pearl onions (sambar onions) – 1/2 cup (quartered)
  • Tomatoes – 2 (doesn’t have to be finely chopped)
  • Elephant yam (senai kizhangu) – 200 grams (peeled and chopped)
  • Tamarind water – 1 cup
  • Sambar powder – 1 tsp
  • Jaggery – 1 tbsp
  • Gingelly o- 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste

Method
1. Heat oil in a pan over medium flame; add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and allow them to crackle.
2. Add curry leaves and onions and saute until the onions are lightly tender. Once the onions are lightly cooked, add the remaining ingredients and add 1/2 cup of water.
3. Cover the vessel and cook till the ingredients get tender and turn off the heat.

 

3. Thair Pachadi
 

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Curd – 200 grams
  • Onion – 2 (cut into cubes)
  • Tomatoes – 2 (cut into cubes)
  • Green chillies – 2 (cut into small pieces)
  • Curry leaves, coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds

Method
1. Add ghee to a vessel and heat it.
2. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, onion tomatoes and green chillies and slightly saute them.
3. Switch off the stove and add some curd, coriander leaves and salt. Thair Pachadi is ready to be savoured.

 

4. Avial

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients


  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry leaves
  • Coriander leaves
  • All seasonal vegetables: fresh green peas, broad beans seeds, cluster beans, carrot, beans, yam, small yam, arbi, sweet potatoes, potatoes, brinjal, drumsticks, raw bananas, mango. (Wash and steam all the vegetables.)
  • Coconut – 1 whole
  • Small onion – 1 piece
  • Green chillies – 3 whole
  • Ginger – 1 inch
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

 
Method
1. Wash and chop vegetables into small pieces and steam them.
2. Grind coconut, small onion, green chillies, ginger and cumin seeds to make a soft paste.
3. Heat one tsp ghee in a broad vessel, add mustard seeds and ground coconut masala. Cook them for few minutes and then switch off the stove.
4. Add steamed vegetables, curd and washed curry leaves. 
5. Slightly heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil and add to the Avail, add salt, coriander leaves and serve it hot.
 


5. Brinjal And Drumstick Sambar

Preparation time: 15 minutes 
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients


  • Tuar dal – 1 cup (cooked soft)
  • Tamarind – 1 small lemon size (take out the pulp along with 1 glass of water)
  • Brinjal – 2 (cut them lengthwise and steams it)
  • Drumsticks – 2 (cut into 3 cm length and steam it)
  • Tomatoes – 2 (cut into cubes)
  • 1 Onion – cut into cubes
  • Curry leaves – 12
  • Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Samar powder – 3 tablespoons
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee – 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Hing – 1/4 tsp

 
Method
1. Soak tuar dal for six hours and cook it.
2. Heat ghee in a vessel, add mustard seeds to it. Now, add onion and curry leaves and saute them well in low flame. Add tomatoes and saute it till they become soft.
3. Add hing, turmeric powder and sambar powder and cook them for a few seconds. Add tamarind pulp water, bring it to boil and add cooked and mashed dal, steamed drumsticks and brinjal.
4. Allow sambar to boil for three more minutes and then add coriander leaves and little hing. Add salt as per your taste. Remove it from the flame and serve with hot rice.
                                       
 

6. Sweet Pongal

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


Ingredients

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Green gram dal – 1/3 cup
  • Powdered jaggery – 1-1/2 cups
  • Water – 5 cups
  • Cashewnuts – 1 tbsp
  • Ghee – 1/4 cup
  •  Raisins – 1 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp

Method

1. Roast gram dal in a pan till it turns light brown.
2. Now, wash the roasted dal along with rice and soak them for one hour.
3. Strain dal and rice.
4. Boil three cups of water and add dal and rice.
4. Cook for about 10 minutes.
5. Take a shallow pan and add half cup and jaggery to it. Melt the jaggery in it. 
6. Remove the dirt by straining it and heat it once again till you get a thick consistency.
7. Now, mix cooked rice-dal mixture into it and keep on a medium flame for few minutes. 
8. Fry cashew nuts and raisins separately in ghee. Mix it with the cooked pongal and add cardamom powder to it.
9. Your sweet pongal is ready to be savoured.

Doctors Urge Parents to Vaccinate Younger Kids After Measles Outbreak

New measles outbreaks are putting kids at risk in many states. Here’s how to protect your children.

Having your child vaccinated at 6 months instead of 1 year is one way to protect them from the current measles outbreaks happening around the United States. Getty Images

The state of New York is currently experiencing a crisis.

Since September 2018, 170 cases of the measles have been reported — making this the largest measles outbreak in decades.

But New York isn’t the only place experiencing a resurgence of the disease that had been previously kept at bay by vaccines. In the last year alone, there have been 17 outbreaks in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The cause

American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson Dr. Andrew Bernstein, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told Healthline there is no doubt about the cause behind these recent outbreaks.

“There’s only one reason for the resurgence of measles, and that’s people not getting their immunizations,” he said.

Dr. Sara Bhargava Vora, assistant professor in the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital agrees.

“The majority of people who get measles in these outbreaks are unvaccinated,” she told Healthline. “Although overall vaccination rates remain high in the U.S., unfortunately there are pockets of unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children due to vaccine hesitant parents and exemptions for various reasons.”

In New York, where the most recent outbreak is occurring, some private school systems report vaccination rates as low as 50 percent — a reality that has made the area especially susceptible to the spread of this disease.

“That’s why we have to try to get as many people immunized as we can,” Bernstein said.Advertisement

Accelerating the schedule

New York is currently taking that plan of action very seriously, recommending an accelerated vaccination schedule where infants get their first measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine at 6 months (instead of one year), and their second within a few months of that (instead of waiting until age 4, as the standard schedule recommends).

It’s all part of their attempt to get as many children protected in the face of this outbreak as possible.

Some parents may be concerned about this accelerated schedule, but Vora says they have nothing to fear.

“There are no risks to vaccinating for measles as early as 6 months of age. We also know it is safe to give a second dose as early as 1 month after the first,” she said.

Risks and benefits

According to the CDC, common side effects of the MMR vaccine are relatively mild, ranging from a sore arm after the shot to a fever or temporary pain and rash. But the risks of getting measles can be much more severe.

“The biggest risk of measles is that you can get encephalitis, a brain infection, and you can die,” Bernstein explained. “The death rate is a small number. But if you’re the 1 in 1,000 whose kid dies, that’s intolerable.”

Vora elaborated, listing the symptoms of measles as:

  • high fever
  • cough
  • runny nose and conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • full body rash

Complications include:

  • ear infections, which can result in permanent hearing loss
  • pneumonia, a lung infection that is the most common cause of death from measles in children
  • encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), which can lead to seizures and long term cognitive problems.

“One to two in every 1,000 people who get measles will die.” Vora explained. “Long-term complications are rare but may include a fatal degenerative brain condition called SSPE and sterility in males.”

When asked about the risk of the vaccine, Bernstein said, “There really are no proven side effects for the MMR vaccine, besides fever, rash, and some temporary pain. But even if there were some rare risk, the benefits of the vaccine by far outweigh that.”

He used numbers to highlight that point, saying, “If there is, in theory, 1 in 10 million people that don’t do well with the vaccine, well, that’s awful. It’s a terrible thing and we have to try to figure out what is causing that and prevent it. But if you’re talking a 1 in 10 million risk versus a 1 in 1,000 risk of dying if you get the disease, that’s not a good exchange.”

Why parents are opting out

Nevertheless, larger numbers of parents seem to be opting out of vaccinations — and the result is increasing cases of disease.

“There’s a ton of misinformation on the internet, and echo chambers occur,” Bernstein pointed out. “People talk to others who already agree with them. I don’t think they’re bad people. They are trying to do what they think is best for their child. But they don’t have the scientific understanding or the medical background to understand what is going on.”

As his voice grew more impassioned, he continued, “I have held the hand of a mom whose son was dying of chickenpox. People promoting chickenpox parties haven’t seen what I’ve seen; they haven’t done the research I’ve done.”

Immunizations are a subject he is so passionate about that he asks families who refuse to vaccinate to leave his practice.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics officially does not recommend pediatricians kick patients out of their practice who don’t vaccinate. They want physicians to keep talking to those families. That’s what I try to do with my media outreach. But… I can’t put my other patients at risk,” he explained.

Herd immunity

For those confused about how patients who’ve been vaccinated can still be at risk, Bernstein explained that for about 5 to 7 percent of the population, vaccinations aren’t as effective.

He also pointed out that there are immune-compromised patients who can’t get the vaccines or infants who are too young.

“That’s why herd immunity is so important. Even if not everyone can be protected by the vaccine, if enough people are, the virus can’t get a foothold in that community,” he said.

Vora agrees.

The one message she wanted to communicate to Healthline readers was this, “Please fully vaccinate your children to prevent them from getting this serious infection. Vaccines are the single most important public health intervention in modern times. They are one of the main reasons for the increased life expectancies that we are lucky enough to have witnessed over the last few decades.”

If you have questions about whether or not your child is fully vaccinated, or concerns about the vaccine or recent outbreaks, get in touch with your child’s pediatrician. They can answer any questions you may have and help you to make informed decisions moving forward.

9 Anti-Resolutions to Fight Diet Culture and Other Harmful Health Trends

anti-resolutions

This is your anti-resolution year

Whenever January 1 rolls around, making New Year’s resolutions just seems like the right thing to do.

But the truth is, New Year’s resolutions just don’t work. A majority of resolutions fail — and when it comes to your health, trying to make huge, dramatic changes can actually set you up for failure. And this isn’t just true in January — it applies to any time of the year.

What could work for you this year is rejecting cultural forces and changing your mindset. Find new rules to live by, altering the way you think of yourself and your health.

Or, in other words, make promises to yourself about things you’re not going to do in 2019 — and enjoy happier health as a result.

Anti-resolution #1: I won’t go on a diet

If you’ve ever spent the first two weeks of January drinking nothing but kale juice or avoiding carbs like the plague, listen up — diets don’t work. In 2019, it’s time to put an end to the ever persistent, completely ineffective diet culture.

Going on a restrictive diet — or, even worse, a detox or juice cleanse — isn’t only unsustainable (you can’t drink kale juice forever), but any weight you lose is likely to be temporary.

An older study found that three years after successfully completing a weight loss program, only 12 percent of dieters kept off at least 75 percent of the weight they’d lost — and a whopping 40 percent actually gained back more than they’d lost during the program.

Remember: Drop the word “diet”. Drastic food changes aren’t helpful or fun. If you do want to make healthy, sustainable changes to how you eat, go for it — but do it intuitively to make health an instinct, not a trend.

Anti-resolution #2: I won’t buy into any “natural health” fads

Jade eggs that you stick in your hoo-ha to “balance your hormones.” Flushing out your colon to “remove waste buildup and detox the body.” Burning your skin and applying Amazonian frog venom to cure depression (yes, you read that correctly).

There are hundreds of natural health fads out there that claim to offer a miracle cure for all sorts of ailments, from sexual dysfunction to anxiety to digestive issues.

But just because a fad is all over the internet or has a celebrity endorsement (we’re looking at you, Goop) doesn’t mean there’s any actual science to back up those claims. In fact, many of the fads out there can do your body more harm than good.

Jade eggs can trap bacteria and increase your risk of bacterial vaginosis, colonics can cause perforated bowels and increase your risk of infection, and — shocking, we know — rubbing frog venom into an open wound can be seriously dangerous.

Remember: Natural can be bad but you’re the expert of you. Do your research and make sure whatever approach you take is backed by science.Advertisement

Anti-resolution #3: I won’t compare my real life to social media

If you’re on social media, you probably think everyone is leading a perfect life, filled with epic travels, perfect families, and #allthebrunches with bottomless mimosas, of course. But we’ve got a news flash for you — all that stuff people are posting on social media? It’s not real.

When you look at someone’s social media profile, you’re seeing a small portion of their life — and a very carefully curated portion at that.

It’s like a highlight reel, and when you compare your real life to someone else’s highlight reel, it’s easy to feel like you don’t quite measure up, which can wreak havoc on your mental health. Too much time on social media — and time comparing yourself to what you see — has been shown to increase depression and loneliness.

Remember: You don’t have to keep scrolling. Do yourself and your mental health a favor and stop comparing yourself to what you see on social media. It’s not real, it’s not helpful, and when you stop doing it, you’re going to feel a whole lot better.

Anti-resolution #4: I won’t force myself to do a workout I hate

Just because your trainer/friend/mom/Instagram said it’s good for you doesn’t mean it automatically is.

If you hate a particular type of workout, it doesn’t matter how effective it is — sticking with it will be pretty hard and eventually you’ll find a reason to give up and watch any result disappear.

There are literally hundreds of things you can do to be active (running, HIIT, and weight training, oh my!) — and you’re more likely to stick with an activity that you actually, you know, enjoy.

Find a workout plan that works for your schedule and body — and that you have fun doing — and in 2019, commit to never doing a workout you hate again — even if Instagram says you should.

Remember: “Good” is relative! Just because one person says it was good for them doesn’t mean it’s one size fits all. When it comes to fitness, the only thing that matters is you.

Anti-resolution #5: I won’t have bad sex

If you’ve ever suffered through a night (or 20 minutes) of lackluster sex, we’ve got good news for you: You don’t ever, ever have to do it again.

There’s no reason to have bad sex — period. If you’re bored, spice things up. If you’re not sure what turns you on, spend some quality solo time figuring it out. If you’re struggling with pain or lack of desire, talk to your doctor.

Remember: You don’t have to have sex if you don’t want to. Sex isn’t an isolated event for intimacy or pleasure — you can have that all without having sex! So, this year, commit to making sure it’s amazing all the time, every time. You deserve it.

Anti-resolution #6: I won’t suffer through meals that I actually hate

Instead of force-feeding yourself meals that taste terrible, look for ways to incorporate healthy foods into your diet that make sense for you and your palate.

Does eating salad make you feel like a rabbit? That’s fine — just throw the greens into your fruit smoothie instead.

Can’t stomach the taste of salmon? No worries — sprinkle some chia or flax seeds on top of your morning oatmeal to get your dose of omega-3s.

The point is, there are plenty of ways to get the nutrition you need in foods that you actually enjoy — so don’t waste one more meal trying to get down foods you hate.

Remember: Health and happiness have more in common than you think. If a meal is making you miserable and you’re just eating it because someone said it’s healthy for you, it might not actually be.

Anti-resolution #7: I won’t download a boatload of apps

According to a recent study from UC Irvine, it takes over 23 minutes to refocus after a distraction. So that means every time your phone buzzes with a new message or notification, it’ll take you almost a half hour to get back to the level of focus before you were distracted.

You might be tempted to download a ton of apps that masquerade as helping you be more productive (Fitness tracking apps! Food tracking apps! Calendar apps! ALL THE APPS!), but the more apps you load onto your phone, the more interruptions you’ll experience throughout the day, causing your focus and attention to tank — and your productivity to tank right along with it.

Remember: You have more power than an app. Downloading an app might seem like it will make you more productive, but it can be just another distraction. Keeping interruptions to a minimum is key if you want to be productive — and if you want to keep interruptions to a minimum, you need to keep apps to a minimum, too.

Anti-resolution #8: I won’t strive to wake up at 5 a.m.

We get a lot of messages that the most productive or healthy people wake up at 4 or 5 a.m. to hit the gym before work. Or they skip a nap in order to squeeze in an extra workout.

But getting plenty of high-quality sleep is arguably the most important part of living a healthy lifestyle. It’ll make everything else you’re doing to stay healthy all the more effective. Getting plenty of high-quality Zzz’s gives you energy to push yourself in the gym, helps you control your appetite and make better food choices, and it can even help you live longer.

Remember: Your body has its own schedule. Don’t let anything — not even healthy habits — get in the way of a good night’s sleep. There’s no reason to revamp your sleep based on someone else’s life unless it’s truly worked for you in the past.

Anti-resolution #9: I won’t pretend #iwokeuplikethis

Thanks to Instagram and the #iwokeuplikethis hashtag, thousands of folks are walking around pretending they woke up with glowing skin and perfect hair.

But let’s be real — no one, except maybe Rihanna — wakes up like that. For the rest of us, it takes work, so let’s stop pretending it doesn’t.

This year, continue taking the steps necessary to be your most beautiful self, whether that’s rocking the right skincare routine or drinking plenty of H2O for that natural glow.

Remember: It takes work to take care of yourself, so let’s stop pretending like it doesn’t. The less we pretend, the more authentic we can be — and what’s healthier than that?

How to Read Nutrition Labels in 2019

You’ve probably heard that getting familiar with the facts and figures on the side of your packaged foods is a good idea for your health. In fact, when the current nutrition facts label was first established in 1990, it was intended as a tool to inform Americans about the ingredients and nutrients our foods contain — and to verify health claims those foods might make.

Now, with a makeover to its design (and some of its nutrition information) coming in 2021, it’s a good time to ask some crucial questions about our current nutrition facts label.

Does it actually help Americans make better choices? Do we understand it enough to make good use of it — or do we blow it off as science gobbledygook?

And could focusing on a list of numbers lead us astray from a big-picture concept of health, even fueling eating disorders?

ProsCons
honest and transparent breakdownmost people lack education in how to read them
can help people confirm or refute marketing claimsabstract in how it fits into overall diet
helpful for managing health conditionsnot always easy to interpret
helps people make better food choicescan be an issue for people with eating disorders or disordered eating

Here’s a quick dive into the main pros and cons of the nutrition label debate:

Pro: What you see is what you get

Honesty and transparency are important values in many areas of life, and our food is no exception. The nutrition label acts as something of a truth serum for food, telling us exactly what we’re getting.

With government oversight requiring accuracy — and lists of nutrient values down to the milligram — labels offer consumers easy access to information they can count on.

When we get serious about discovering what’s really in our food, we may find it brings enlightening results.

Dietitian Jeanette Kimszal, RDN, often tells her clients to begin taking note of the amount of sugars in common foods.

“I find a lot of clients will come back and tell me they found a lot of sugar in everyday products they were using,” she says.

Simply developing the habit of label reading can set us on a path of renewed awareness and mindfulness about what’s in our food.

Con: We lack education to read them properly

While knowing how to interpret nutrition facts can lead to a better diet, a lack of understanding can render the labels useless.

“When I speak to my clients about shopping and label reading, some of them say, ‘I read labels, but I’m not always sure what to look for,’” says Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD.

This isn’t surprising, since research shows that consumers find food labels confusing, misleading, or difficult to interpret.

Most of us probably haven’t sat down to an education session on how to use the nutrition facts — and can often focus on elements of the label that end up leading us astray.

One common instance, says dietitian Diane Norwood, MS, RD, CDE, is that “Many people with diabetes go straight to sugars when they need to consider the total carbohydrate.”