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Setting the course of healthy lifestyle: Importance of complete protein and nutrition

Fitness, Fitness related, well being - Anupriya kapur - November 19, 2019

If you have been following my blogs, you definitely know by now that I am all for fitness and healthy lifestyle options and that naturally includes clean eating habits. However rude it might sound but unhealthy lifestyle choices and in-nutritious snacking is one of the reasons why the needle never moves for people who complain of stubborn weight.

I have been a fitness enthusiast and runner for several years. Irony is, I am also a major foodie. So how do I balance these apparently contrasting characteristics of mine and yet manage to stay super fit, run ultra-marathons? I am always on the lookout for food items which are healthy yet tasty and high on nutrients. Following fad diets can help for a short while but eventually giving up on almost all that is tasty usually makes you crave for more sinful food and you tend to go back to consuming tasty(?), unhealthy junk or high calorie food once again. So, the key to a healthy lifestyle is not giving up totally on the food you like consuming but controlling the portion size and gradually switching over to healthy yet tasty alternatives. This is how I imbibed healthy diet rules in my lifestyle and now it has become a habit. I also like inspiring people around me to live and eat healthy without compromising on the taste factor. As a mom of a 11 year old boy, the biggest challenge perhaps is to inspire my little champ to eat tasty and healthy snacks.

With the increasing awareness about the necessity to lead a healthy lifestyle, the Indian market fortunately has rapidly caught up on the health food segment in recent times. There are dedicated aisles of health food options in supermarkets that have on offer health foods such as oats, multi grain biscuits, cereals and energy/ carbohydrate/ protein bars, among other things. I recently had the chance to sample some really delicious and nutrient rich Yoga Bars in multiple flavours. And I’m totally sold out on them!

Yoga bars, which are popular ‘protein/health bars’, are ideal mini snacks post any physical activity and comes with the promise of aiding muscle growth plus recovery. Now there is a reason they are consciously named ‘nutrition/yoga/ protein/breakfast’ bars. Yoga Bars are rich in fiber – both prebiotic and dietary, made from natural ingredients and contain no artificial sweeteners. As the base is nuts, seeds and fruits, it packs in a lot of interesting flavours. Along with being rich in antioxidants, omega-3s and calcium, they are composed of healthy fats and are low on sodium.

As a busy hustling mother, I often have to rush to meetings and shoots without enough time to pack myself a hearty breakfast. Often, post-workout I crave a snack and at such times I swear by the hearty Yoga Bar.  You can just put it in your purse and munch on while travelling, waiting for your flight, working on the desk or otherwise. Snack-on-the-run for a mom-on-the-run!

Another important aspect of my nutrition knowledge comes with mindful selection of organic and preservative-free food options. Reading nutrition labels should come naturally to those who believe in healthy diet; that’s why it’s on the packet! I like my kitchen full of natural, high-fiber, wholegrain, gluten-free and omega-3 rich foods. There’s a strict no-no to entry of canned, preservative-rich and adulterated food on our grocery list. With informative tools and knowledge like this it’s quite easy to shortlist the food options for every meal and snack.

What’s interesting about Yoga Bars is that they pack a good amount of protein for the daily recommended intake (50-60 grams) and I am happy that it comes in a tasty and easy-to-carry bar. Why not swap those tea-time chaklis and bhujia sev with Yoga Bars?

The reason why I am discussing nutrition in this blog is not because of my compulsive fitness goals only, but because I realized over a period of time that fitness keeps me happy physically and emotionally. You will be surprised at how your emotional health heals when you learn to curb unhealthy food.

Also, if you really want to switch over to a healthier version of yourself, start with small but powerful changes in your diet. And today is a good day to start. Yes, healthy eating requires planning. But give it 21 days (thumb rule for a habit to set in) and you will be programmed for life as staying fit and healthy is not just a way of life but is addictive too!

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Havells Freshia – A Breath Of Fresh Air!

Lifestyle - Anupriya kapur - November 7, 2019


As we packed up the Diwali lights this year, Kabir was fervently telling me how he couldn’t wait to resume school and meet his friends. Dad and I were discussing how we could shed all the holiday weight with regular morning walks. I, more than ever, was honestly looking to get some productive writing done and step out to wrap up all the procrastinated chores. But as usual the blanket of haze over Delhi this time of the year morbidly washed down our plans. The capital city’s pollution had escalated to an alarming level and brought schools to a standstill till November 5th.

Every newspaper circulation in the last few days reiterated how fallible we have been in arresting the rising pollution levels. Those with delicate health problems are severely suffering and the rest are unable to cope with the ‘worst’ air quality recorded in this season.

Before the city’s unorganised chaos blew up, I thank my stars for having the chance to get my hands on the Havells Freshia Air Purifier ahead of time. The ‘air purifier’ scenario is still relatively new and not many are aware of the amazing health benefits an air purifier bring to your home. 

Air purifiers – necessity or trend?

An air purifier is an effective way to clean the indoor air. It kills contaminants, allergens, foul smell, bacteria, viruses and propels a better quality air for us to breathe and also improves general health including better sleep quality. Air purifier is an intelligent investment especially when you have children and elderly citizens at home.

So, the positives pacify the debate. Air purifier is a necessity; especially for urban homes.

When it comes to giving yourself and your loved ones the gift of longer and healthier lives, it is always wiser to make a well-informed choice. It’s not only about the product quality but in this case, after sales service is equally important as the filter does need to be changed at least once a year.

Havells is once such leading Indian brand popular for fast moving electrical goods. So, when they invited me to check out their new range of Freshia Air Purifiers, the opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. While I can do very little to control the type of air outside the comfort of my home, I can absolutely try to purify the air indoors and protect the health of my family. If given a choice, I would rather be at home than step out and into the mouth of the hazardous monsters – air pollution, traffic and scorching heat. But, that’s not possible!

All you need to know about Havells Freshia Air Purifier Range

Havells recently launched the Freshia Air Purifier range in four uniquely designed products which provide a rich consumer experience. The four products AP-20, AP-40, AP-46 andAP-58 are made from HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter technology. What’s HEPA you ask? So in simple words, it primarily works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. 

Usage

As per your space requirement, the AP-20 and AP-40 are most suitable for smaller spaces such as a kid’s room or office cabins. The AP-46 caters to master bedrooms and conveniently large spaces. While the AP-58 model is best suited for living rooms, office and fairly large spaces. You can always inquire with the store staff to help place your air purifier in a strategic location for optimal performance.

Pricing

Now you would want to know how the Freshia models are priced. With pocket-friendly pricing starts from MRP 9,000 upto 32,000 for the top-end model; trust me when I say it’s a great investment!

Features

A big shout out to the unique safety controls, real-time display features and powerful allergen & filtration technology. The entire Freshia range comprises of a noiseless AC Motor therefore the peaceful aura in your room is not disturbed. Everything is made easy with a touch and press from a remote control. Because we are all human and sometimes forget to turn off appliances, the super-smart ‘sleep mode’ helps with ‘forgetfulness’!

Except AP-20, rest others have a UV and child-lock mode along with dust sensors. AP-20 and AP-40, both have 5 stages of filtration process; whereas AP-46 and AP-58 models have 7 and 9 enhanced stages respectively.

What’s interesting is that there is an automatic filter replacement reminder, so even when you fail to remember to pay attention to your filter needs, the machine send a reminder and you are sorted. I was really impressed with the aesthetics of the touch screen panel. The controls are intuitive and the colour indicators help understand the current status of the air in the room. With 2-year warranty on every model, be rest assured that service is easily available.

I just can’t say enough great things about the Freshia Air Purifier range by Havells; except for the fact that I wound up buying two of them! One is plonked happily by my dad’s bedside and the other one is my son’s healthy companion in his room.  I sleep better knowing my family breathe clean air when they are indoors.

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My Journey To Imbue

For the soul - Anupriya kapur - November 4, 2019

It never ceases to amaze me that however things might change, basic human truths remain much the same. When I was a young girl, societal conditioning had me believing that no matter what I did, I was always less than perfect, I wasn’t only dealing with severe body image issues but also thought that there was something wrong with my vagina. Ever since I hit puberty, I thought my vagina was too dark and I started feeling miserable because of my periods, discharge and odour. As a result, I used to vigorously scrub myself until I started chafing and got wounded, not feeling clean despite that. I always thought there is something wrong with me and there was no one I could talk to. This wasn’t only until I was a young girl but it lasted until I was in my mid-twenties. It was only much after the birth of my son that I started reading and realising that there was nothing wrong with me, never was. But the years of feeling inadequate because of casually flipping through beauty magazines had done its work and even though I started feeling more confident about myself, doubt always crept in. 

 The other aspect was lack of knowledge about how my body reacts in different situations and experiences. For example, for the longest time I didn’t know why I felt sudden dryness and itchiness in my genital area whenever I was down with throat infection and on heavy does of anti-biotics. And I didn’t understand that I might get a serious yeast infection just because I decided to stay in my sweaty tights for too long post a run. And finally, when I did, I didn’t understand why I would choose to stay in denial.  

 For this and many other reasons, I started taking a keen interest in issues that affect women and girls. Finally, when I could, I started writing and sharing whatever I could to help, with only one thought on my mind, that even if it helps one woman, it’s worth it. 

 When I got the opportunity to create Imbue (with my partners) I didn’t just see it as a product but as a platform and an idea. One, if it became big enough, would become a haven for women to understand their own bodies. Even now our social media channels focus less on the product but instead talk about intimate hygiene and other issues that women face on a personal level. We want to tell women that there is nothing wrong with their bodies and there is indeed nothing they need to be ashamed of. We want to use our channels to discuss the basics of a woman’s anatomy in a matter of fact of way. We want women to understand when they need to seek help from a gynecologist and more importantly, we want them to understand that their vagina doesn’t need to smell like flowers. Which is also probably why I fell in love with our Intimate hygiene foam and wash and have such a strong conviction to take it forward. It offers a simple solution to the real problem of dryness and itchiness. 

It’s like I have been given an opportunity to create something I always thought I needed and now the onus lies upon me to fulfil this responsibility well.

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Battling anxiety

For the soul, well being - Anupriya kapur - October 14, 2019

For more than two months now, I have been battling severe anxiety for various personal and work related reasons. Despite having dealt with post partum depression, I was yet again deeply ashamed of how I was feeling and internalised the whole thing. It took me a while to understand what was happening even though I found myself crying most of the time and stopped going to Crossfit, which I love to bits and is one thing that usually sorts my head. 


If I was to describe simply how my days have been, it would be good and bad days. On bad days, I find myself holed up in my room, not leaving my bed, avoiding phone calls, crouching, crying and in pain. It would also involve me hiding from my dad and son so that they don’t see me in this state. And then there are good days. Those are the days I squeeze in all the work possibly I can (because I know it might not last), pay my bills, take my son out and meet friends. There have also been several days when I have dressed up to step out but some kind of unexplained fear takes over and I just end up crying myself to sleep.


I refused therapy because just like during my post partum depression I know if I’m deeply aware, I will figure a way out. The awareness comes from the fact that depression runs in my family and I know how it looks. And today as I watched this Ted Talk shared by a friend on FB by Johann Hari, it made complete sense. To quote him “Your depression is a signal. It’s telling you something. The very first step is we have to stop insulting these signals by saying they’re a sign of weakness, or madness or purely biological, except for a tiny number of people. We need to start listening to these signals, because they’re telling us something we really need to hear. It’s only when we truly listen to these signals, and we honor these signals and respect these signals that we’re going to begin to see the liberating, nourishing, deeper solutions.”

Of course, I realised that I need to do something to get out of it but I wasn’t able to think. I wasn’t able to think because I was distracting myself away from the problem by binge watching Netflix, being excessively on social media, eating and drinking erratically. Also, it’s easier to fool myself that way as my work involves using a lot of social media. Basically, I have been ignoring the signals.


I have been taking it one day at a time and however, anxious things, surroundings and people make me, – 
1) I push myself to go to Crossfit even though I cry at times during my workouts. Sharing my anxiety with my instructor helps and being regular has started making me feel better. 

2) I can’t sit through 20 mins yet of meditation so I play Tibetan Bowls meditation. I can’t reiterate more that it always helps.

3) During the time the meditation music plays, I get answers to some of my questions. 

4) I have identified some of the triggers and I am approaching them very gingerly. Tackling them slowly.

I started out my blog and Instagram because I wanted to help others and somewhere I got really busy. Single motherhood might look like fun but it hasn’t been easy despite the support I get from my dad. Start up life might look like something to aspire for but trust me it takes a toll on you. And somehow in being consumed to make a living, it started eating me up that I’m not adding any value to either my life or anyone else’s life. And this thought started clawing me from the inside. The Ted Talk made it very clear to me today that my anxiety is giving me a signal. I haven’t found any answers yet. May be I need deeper connections, I need to start writing again and let myself be loved.  

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Making breathing easier

Uncategorized - Anupriya kapur - March 6, 2019

Too many external factors are responsible for our health conditions these days and being healthy consistently is a task that most of us fail to master. With the levels of dust and smoke present in the air we are breathing today, one might consider getting admitted to a hospital and breathing oxygen straight out of an oxygen cylinder! And it is this polluted air that our children breathe, which most often leads to Allergic Rhinitis, Asthma, COPD and various other respiratory problems.

The factors to be blamed for respiratory problems including climate change, vehicular smoke, dust from the road and building construction, not to mention countless smokers surrounding us! We know just how torturous it feels to have a sore throat, leaking nose, bronchitis, and chest pain when we catch a common cold, suffer from sinusitis or bronchitis. And once our kids get affected, the added fuss to the mayhem is to have them take medicines they absolutely hate!

I have always been into fitness and have made sure Kabir too has some healthy habits; however, sometimes maintaining your son’s health is not that easy. I can’t stop him from doing the average stuff kids do! How much can I protect him from exposure to the heat, dust and infamous Delhi pollution! And believe me, I know as a mom what it takes to make your 11-year-old take medicines which aren’t exactly tasty! I know a couple of kids in my neighborhood who were suggested hospitalization every time they needed nebulization.

In simple words, a nebulizer is a drug delivery machine which converts your liquid medicine into aerosol droplets that the patient can easily inhale through a mouthpiece or mask that comes with the nebulizer kit. It is no longer a necessity to have a professional nurse hook you to a large and noisy nebulizing machine. With independent alternatives available for everything we do, easy-to-use nebulizers too are now all over the market.

While I see my friends discussing and debating on the best nebulizer to get for their children, I came to know from a close family friend about Omron’s Nebulizer NE-C101, a portable nebulizer for children. This nebulizer is very easy to use and takes little effort to understand how it works. It is one of the easiest and most portable breathing devices I have come across and is quite handy if you have to carry it with you.

The nebulizer you choose will ensure whether your medicine reaches the upper airways, mid airways or the lower airways depending on the one you need. Nebulizers are great if you are suffering from Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever), Rhinitis (Common Cold), Sinusitis, Laryngitis, Bronchitis, Bronchiolitis and Pneumonia and by just breathing you can be relieved. Check the particle size of the nebulizer and don’t fall prey to the myths that say the more mist produced, the more effective treatment happens, which is often the case in using steamers.

A pack of Omron’s Nebulizer NE-C101 consists of a mouthpiece, nosepiece, nebulizer kit as well as an adult mask and a child mask made of PVC. The transparent design and wide medicine chamber make it easy to check how much medicine you are pouring in. All you have to do is let your child breathe for 7 to 10 minutes and the nebulizer will deliver the medicine to the target problem area with no extra effort, which seriously is one the best features of this device. An added advantage is that the nebulizers manufactured by Omron are less noisy, making its use on babies nice and easy without getting the little ones startled by the weird noises the general devices make. You can readily administer the medicines even when your baby is fast asleep.

Cleaning a compressor nebulizer is easy too, though it might sound tricky! Just like Omron’s portable mesh nebulizer NE-U100, the compressor nebulizer NE-C101 is easy to clean by using lukewarm water to disinfect the nebulization kit (mouthpiece/nosepiece/mask /medicine kit & pipe) which is known to be one of the most convenient ways to disinfect tools and attachments of medical devices.

So to all moms out there, all you have to do is make your child sit with his favorite cartoon or Lego set and put on the nebulizer for him and all the medical job of getting the medicine into his system is done, as he simply inhales through the mask. No more running around to force down bitter pills or having to get the little ones to adjust to a noisy steamer. The portability of Omron only adds to the advantages.

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‘Nebulizers’ – the user-friendly breathing devices!

Parenting, well being - Anupriya kapur - December 22, 2018

Life is in the breath and he who breathes half, lives a half-life . Breathing keeps us alive. While we are not sure how much pure air we inhale, the bodily function of pumping air into the body continues to work incessantly as long as we are alive. However, rarely do we realize the importance of the respiratory system in our body. But a slight breathing problem can pinch you to the gut and that’s when we realize taking care of it is really important. I have faced several alarming issues in the past with my son Kabir when he was really young. Continue Reading

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When every child needs ‘Caring Hands’

For the soul - Anupriya kapur - December 17, 2018

A recent visit to my son’s optician opened my eyes about the eyesight problems that begin to appear at a nascent age and grow exponentially. He also threw in recent facts and figures that around 20% children in India in the age group of 5–12 years have poor vision. The risk of a child collapsing into the ‘poor vision’ criteria could be anything from undernourishment to excessive electronic devices. Chronic dry eyes, negative impact on co-ordination of vision and motor skills, and problems shifting their vision from near to far are early alarming signs.

Now coming from an educated and privileged part of the society, I am thankful to look at these problems closely, get professional help and make people around me aware of these pinching problems. But what about children who belong to the economically restricted class? A large population in our country is visually impaired only because they do not have access to an eye examination and a pair of glasses. This is a bigger concern in underprivileged children as they are ignorant or economically constrained from getting the right treatment even after diagnosis. Undetected vision disorders obviously result into devastating academic, economic and psychological problems in these children. Continue Reading

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A day well spent

Lifestyle, Parenting - Anupriya kapur - November 28, 2018

Approaching the last month of the year we’ve got a number of festivities and holidays that have kids and adults excited just the same. With a busy lifestyle as a mother, someone who loves shopping and fitness enthusiast, it is important to find things to do with my son that we both love and which gets us both the needed calorie burns! Umm, not really. When it’s time to have, it’s fun with no bars hold 😊 Continue Reading

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Big Surprise by the Little One

For the soul, Parenting, Uncategorized - Anupriya kapur - November 5, 2018

There’s nothing quite like spending time, even if it means laborious hours in the kitchen, cooking up something your child really loves to eat. ‘Maa ke haath ka khana’ beats any Michellin Star dish! But can you ever compare that to a priceless gesture of your child surprising you one eventful evening with a lip-smacking spread of your favourite food? Continue Reading

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My experience with Chakra Healing

For the soul - Anupriya kapur - November 5, 2018

I happened to be visiting Ananda in the Himalayas resort when master healer Jill Banwell was also visiting it as a practitioner for a month. I had never got any kind of healing done before this but on the last day of my stay, something told me that I should be more open about it. She radiated so much calm and warmth that I thought even if nothing came out of the chakra healing session, I will feel at peace for a few hours after meeting her.

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