Posts for well being Category

Home – My Happiness Quotient

Lifestyle, well being - Anupriya kapur - March 20, 2020

Home is my happy place. It’s my ultimate headquarters for blogging, some meetings, quality time with my 12 year old and of course, creative thinking. It has been my perfect abode of peace, laughter, musings, some cooking and often…well, just nothing! You know you are home when you can lie on the couch, feet up and hair down, and drown yourself smugly in a world created by you!

Therefore to me, my home is so much more than square feet, furniture, walls and shades! My home defines that island of happiness, of tranquility, where I can literally escape from the madness outside! So, needless to say, I do go out of my way to bring in fresh air, sounds of music, healthy vibes and of course the very necessary chaos without which any home is so incomplete. No, my home isn’t the perfect ‘home décor awards’ house, neither would it win me an award in “tidiest piece of habitat”. But yes, challenge me to one of those “happy homes” contest and there’ll you’ll find me in all probability with a medal of honor.

My Ingredients for a Happy and Healthy Home!

So, here’s what makes my house a home that’s healthy and full of joy.

Music –

I am a music person. And who isn’t!? Music helps me tide over stress and pain, helps me ride through storms. Music is my first appreciation of myself on those occasions when I make myself proud. If you ever feel you are in need of exchanging notes on jazz or pop, county or blues, gazals or Bollywood, drop me a note.

Music kills my negatives, helps me emerge and evolve, because being healthy comes from the inside, and it begins in the mind. Music is said to have healing powers. It helps restore cognitive, sensory, and motor functions in the brain. Just 15 minutes in a day dedicated to a playlist of my choice calms my nerves. In addition, I find it therapeutic to arrange and clean my music devices and discs regularly.

Pets –

Did anyone say pets? I have recently turned into a cat and dog-loving lady and can’t put in words how much I love the feeling. Pets complete us. By adding to the fun, the noise, the cuddling, and the mischief. We raise some, we adopt some. At the end of the day, they are my second and my third children! I have always believed that growing up with pets is a great way to teach a child compassion and responsibility. Above all, they have loads of good times playing and bonding!

When it comes to pets, maintaining hygiene may seem a little tricky. Pets, like kids, will never understand that they are not supposed to step into a puddle or touch their food with dirty paws. So, I make sure that I am as strict with my pets as I am with my son. And it’s more than just keeping their litter box clean. Pets need to get dewormed, made tick-free, and be groomed regularly.   

Colorful Walls

I love to get my walls repainted every now and then. I believe that every house reflects the character of the person who lives inside. And, the colors of a room set my mood. While warm colors like yellow and orange are welcoming, blue and green are a burst of energy. Neutral colors like white and grey create a beautiful balance. Black, on the other hand, adds a touch of luxury. Grainy, woody textures make things rustic and familiar. And textures reflect my whimsical sense of art.    

However, it came to my notice only recently that the wall paint can affect the health of my family. It was one of my friends who had pointed out that interior walls can also be a source of infectious bacteria. The harmful bacteria get transferred to us over the course of time. Ever since I have known about this, I have made it a point to shift to Asian Paints Royale Health Shield which reduces indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde and kill 99%# infection causing bacteria. Another thing I love about them is the extensive color palette that they offer. It truly gives a great luxurious finish to the walls. It has Silver Ion Technology in it that is recommended* by Indian Medical Association.

Plants

 Its 2020, and every inch of every city is covered in concrete and pollution. It is important for me to build a little piece of greenery amidst that. And, I keep hoarding plants. From flowering plants in my balcony to succulents in a special corner in my drawing-room, plants adorn my home. I even have my own herb garden in the kitchen! And, I love it when I can spend some time with Kabir, teaching him about these plants and how to take care of them.

There’s very little I need to say about plants in the house. They purify the air and help me create a world where my family and I can breathe freely. They bring the temperature down. And, in general, I find the presence of plants really soothing. The greenery soothes my eyes and my heart; I think I have spent countless hours watching rain drip down from the leaves during monsoons. 

Space

What’s your vision of a joyful home? Mine has always been of a simple room with nothing but a bed and a bookshelf, and golden sunlight pouring in from a large window. And, as an adult, when I finally had the opportunity to build a “home”, I made sure that the decor is minimalistic, to ensure there’s enough space for light and air. Fresh air and lots of natural light is the key ingredient for happiness – and great selfies!

Once a month, I go all “Marie Kondo” on my home and enjoy a decluttering spree. I have my own rule: if I have not used a particular item in the last one month, it goes. If it’s a book that I have read and not reread or lent to someone, it goes to a local library. If it’s the pair of clothes that I can’t fit into, it gets donated. That’s how I ensure that I don’t need extra furniture to store unnecessary things. I’ve noticed that the more space there is, the less I have to worry about dust gathering in odd corners, or my home looking dark and dingy. And who doesn’t feel happy and healthy, living in a spacious, well-lit, airy place?

Conclusion –

Needless to say, maintaining a healthy home is so crucial to me. It brings me peace of mind to know we are entering an abode of hygiene and health. Using the right disinfectants (especially because of pets), instilling in Kabir the use of hand wash, making sure that every piece of garment worn is fresh and ironed, are but basic needs. With an active 12 year old and two pets, there’s almost always a chance of something tripping over, getting spilled and coffee on the sofa ☺ So, ensuring a clean home soon after “mess time” is over, is an absolute must! My mantra always has been ‘give them space, but keep things clean”. Above all, it’s about taking care of each other – not only physically but also mentally and spiritually. It is about finding a reason to smile, from the inside.

Home is where the heart is. My home is always my favourite place on earth. Isn’t yours too?

#Royale Health Shield with Silver Ion technology, within 2 hours of exposure kills 99% bacteria on walls.

Refer to ‘Antibacterial Silver’, 1994, School of Chemistry & App Chemistry, the University of Wales by Julia Clement & Penelope Jarrett.

*Fomite Infections (bacteria) can spread through infected walls among other indoor surfaces in homes and offices

For complete disclaimer and more information, please visit www.asianpaints.com/healthshield

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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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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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‘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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What I talk about when I talk about sleeping

Lifestyle, well being - Anupriya kapur - September 2, 2018

As we grow older and life becomes hectic, the one thing that gets compromised is sleep. I have seen that happen to almost everyone. Everyone says you need less sleep as you get older but that is just another forward and a fallacy. I like to believe that I am in the best shape of my life right now. And as counter-intuitive as it might seem, I work out the least now. It’s only 3-4 days a week 45 minutes to an hour.

Compare this to when I used to run. I used to run at least 45 minutes every day. Add to that, the build up to a marathon and you are talking about at least 8-9 hours of running every week. Yet my weight barely budged. I used to still feel fatigued and survived on coffee most days. Doesn’t seem right, right? I have done a lot of retrospective analysis on what the possible reasons for this could be. And believe me, it has nothing to do with functional training being better than running. The key difference I found between the two scenarios, in fact, was how much I used to sleep. Sleep is the key time that your body breaks down fat and repairs muscle. Now that I am sleeping more, I am more enthusiastic about my workouts and see better effects thereof. Here are a few things that I have discovered on my journey to find better sleep. Continue Reading

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Keeping BP in check with new tubeless Omron Smart Elite HEM-7600T

well being - Anupriya kapur - May 7, 2018

Ask anyone to list out the 3 most prized possessions in life and am sure most of us will list family, health, money…agree? Sadly, chances are that we’re already negotiating on the health aspect for some more zeros in our bank accounts. Aren’t we all?

Rewind two generations; the simple and sound lifestyles our grandparents lived flash by. Active lives, zero screen menace. No Doremon robot to dish out gadgets to ease their work. No quick Ola for that lazy ride, No stress to maintain that impossible phone-life balance and no commuting that crazy traffic to be home on time to be by your child. Yes, that life was good, there was a meaning to the word harmony. Their 8 hour sleep never had annoying whatsapp pings to wake them. Continue Reading

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Why Havells Water Purifier?

Reviews, well being - Anupriya kapur - January 13, 2018

Sometimes we take the most important things for granted. I recently went to the Havells water purifier lab and was amazed how I hadn’t paid attention to the one I have at home even though I’m well aware of increasing levels of pollution and impurities. There are multiple water purifiers available in the market. All water purifiers have their own USPs and all claim to give the best water quality. However, what you need to keep in mind is that all water purifiers come with different technical specifications and have certain basic requirements.

Some basics first – Continue Reading

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Skin Care Routine

Lifestyle, well being - Anupriya kapur - January 9, 2018

I get quite a few mails/messages on what I do to take care of my skin. So, even though I think it’s a bit audacious of me (I say this because I don’t consider myself a skin care expert), I still decided to write about it. I have always had extremely dry skin but I didn’t care much till a couple of years back. I’m also outdoors a lot and have been told to reduce my activities as it will take a toll on my skin and hair but since that’s not an option, I thought that I will make a bit of an effort and create a routine to manage my skin instead. Again, I would urge you to see what works for your skin by trying different things, it took me many years to finally arrive at a routine that didn’t react and worked well with my skin. Continue Reading

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