The power of fiber

Constipation the most common digestive complaint, that makes one feel bloated, irritated and make life miserable. Generally, constipation is defined as infrequent or fewer than three bowel movements per week. Less than one bowel movement per week is considered severe constipation.



Poor bowel habits, lack of fiber intake, high intake of meat and processed products, no physical activity, insufficient water intake are main reasons for constipation. Constipation could also results due to bowel obstructions, rectal cancer, hormonal disorders.

The symptoms are lower abdominal discomfort, straining and rectal bleeding, hemorrhoids, physiological distress and obsession with having bowel movements.

Foods high in fiber helps prevent constipation. Fruits, vegetables, spinach and other greens, beans, lentils, peas, whole grains, nuts, prunes and seeds are good sources of fiber.

Most whole food contains soluble and insoluble fibers. Both types of fiber help promote regular bowel movements.

Soluble fiber absorbs more water, making the waste softer, larger and easier to pass through the intestines.  Oats, nuts, beans, soft parts of fruits, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots  are good sources of soluble fiber

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, adds bulk to the waste material that hastens its passage through the gut and prevents from hard feeling.  Peels of fruits, like apple, berries, grapes, pears, whole grains are good sources of insoluble fibers

Tips for increasing fiber intake:

  1. Consume whole fruits instead of fruit juices
  2. Replace half of white rice with brown
  3. Enjoy whole meal sandwich.
  4. Snack on raw vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrot sticks, plain popcorns, vegetable soups.
  5. Substitute beans for meat three times per week
  6. Balance each meal with cereals, meat/beans, nuts, fruits & vegetables.
  7. Stay active and do regular exercise.
  8. Drink enough water. Drinking water is the most important factor in relieving constipation

Controlling holiday binges

Nibbling is common during the holidays  like cookies, chocolates, nuts, dried fruits.  Anxious that those extra bites can add up to few calories? No worries. You can always enjoy a balanced meal that keeps  full for a longer time and you will not be tempted to  nibble the holiday snacks. It is important to maintain a structured eating pattern. Starting your day with a protein rich breakfast will help prevent overeating at holiday gatherings later in the day.

While dining out hang out with the group of friends and chat with them. Prepare yourself to enjoy the occasion. Spend more time with friends laughing and chatting,  enjoying  the music and the decorations.  Play with young kids or dance with your friends.  You will be burning calories but still will be far away from the buffet table. You will be less tempted if you stay far distance from the buffet table. Your urge to grab food will pass in few minutes.

Enjoy colorful veggies  as starters. This will prevent you diving into the first edible food you lay your eyes on.

Try not to overboard on bacon wrap, fruit cake,  fried chicken and fritters. If you can keep your portions in check, you can enjoy  your favorite food without overboard.  Stick with one of each deliciously tempting food.

Don’t go to party hungry. Before leaving to party, relish on yogurt with apple or a banana that help curb your appetite. By having an appealing fruits snack you will be less prone to plow your way through the buffet table, later. The same applies when you plan to travel. A good -for-you snack stash can help you fight the urge to gobble down the tempting, calorie laden food choices when you are traveling during holidays.

If you are inviting your friends at home plan the menu with more fruits and vegetable dish.


  • Colorful salads like jicama with tomato, grape fruit with avocado and nuts, mango with quinoa,
  • Baked potato or roasted sweet potato,
  • Whole meal sandwich, noodles with broccoli, carrots, mushrooms,
  • Chicken or beef kebab with cucumber, pineapple and bell pepper,
  • Cut fruits as dessert.
  • Chilled lemon juice with mint leaves.
  • Eat large portions of salad before moving on to the other foods

Be active

During holidays we are more active in decorating, shopping, card writing, cooking, inviting friends that leaves us over exhausted.  Our body and mind push us to the stage of stress & tired.  Still, you can stick on to your regular exercise and get good sleep.  You just need to act to ward off the stress. While shopping, walk from store to store with brisk pace, take an extra lap to go around the mall and admire the decoration and do some window shopping.

Take a walk after the dinner and enjoy the stars up on the sky. A soothing music will make you enjoy further.


Soy Recall

Soybean good for you

Soy is rich in high-quality protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Replacing some meat meals with soy protein will benefit on heart health and also promote a healthy complexion and hair. It is an excellent plant-based alternative that boost the energy. Studies have shown that people who enjoys greater amount of soy, experiences less age-related mental disorders. Soy bean, like meat, egg and dairy products, it provides all essential amino acids and so it is called as a complete protein. Soy protein has been shown to be equal to proteins of animal origin.

To maximize the potential benefits from soy, consume the soy in natural, minimally processed sources.

Soy bean, like meat, egg and dairy products, it provides all essential amino acids and so it is called as a complete protein. To lower the risk of chronic heart disease, saturated fat should be replaced with polyunsaturated fatty acids. Soy protein, a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acid, decreases the triglyceride levels and LDL, which is viewed as important for reducing chronic heart disease. 85% of the lipids in soybeans are unsaturated. Omega – 6 is the predominant fatty acid in soybeans, 55% and Omega -3 in soybean is around 6%. American Heart Association advocates that consuming soy protein to replace animal foods rich in saturated fats may prove beneficial to heart health.

Soybean contain a mix of slow-digesting carbohydrates that help control the blood sugar.

Tofu, tempeh and edamame are the best sources of soy protein. Tofu, nicknamed as the meat without bone.

Soybeans and products are good sources of isoflavones, a type of compound called phytoestrogens help prevent breast and prostate cancer. Genistein, a predominant isoflavone in soybean, has an antioxidant properties that inhibits the growth of cancer cells.  It also brightens the skin, improves skin tone, boost collagen formation. Isoflavones in soybean also help reduce the bone loss and increase the bone mineral density during menopause.

Soy is gut friendly. The fibre along with the starches promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

The iron and zinc in soybean are easily absorbed by the body when compared to other vegetarian sources. Zinc is needed for the growth and development.

Edamame, the young soy bean contains protein, calcium, vitamin C, folate, choline iron, and zinc. Like meat and dairy products, it provides all essential amino acids.

Folate and iron in edamame, promote the fertility in pregnant women.  Edamame is also a good source of choline that plays a vital role in muscle functioning, learning, memory and promotes good sleep.

Nutritional Highlights

Edamame can be steamed and taken as snack or can be added to soups and salads.

A cup of edamame, 155g, contains;

190 caloreis,

18g protein,

8 g fat,

8 g fiber

14g of carbohydrate

98 mg calcium

482 g of folate

4g of iron

Soy products:

  • Tofu, the soybean curd is made by curdling the soymilk.. Firm tofu is higher in protein. Soft tofu is used in recipes called for blended tofu, and silken tofu is a good replacement for sour cream in dip recipes. Yuba, a thin layer or sheet, formed above the hot soymilk, is high in protein.
  • Tempeh, is an Indonesian food with a nutty flavor. Whole soy bean fermented with rice or millet to forma chunky soybean cake. It can be marinated and grilled and added to soups and salads.
  • Soy yogurt contains healthful bacterias and is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
  • Soy nut butter is made from roasted soybean has a nutty taste and contains less fat than peanut butter.
  • Nondairy frozen desserts are made from soymilk. Soy ice cream and soy pudding tastes good even with mild sweet.
  • Soy cheese made from soymilk, is creamy in texture makes an easy substitute for the most fatty cheeses, sour cream. It comes in various flavours too.
  • Soy bean patty made with soybean, mushroom, onion and carrot is a healthy alternative to meat burgers.
  • Soybean sprouts salad is a common Korean side dish. It tastes light with common ingredients like, salt, sesame seed, sesame oil and scallion. Soy bean sprouts are high in protein and fiber and low in saturated fat and sugar.
  • Soy protein bar is a great snack and is a convenient, on-the-go crispy bar with protein and fiber.

A serving equals 1 cup (240ml) of soymilk, edamame 1 cup (155g) or ½ (130g) cup of tofu.

Regular physical activity and a balanced meal every day keeps you fit for longer.


Pear : Good for your gut

Pears are valuable fruit that has been savored widely for its delicious flavor. Pears are one of the lowest calorie fruits. A medium size pear (170g) provides 5-6g of fibre and 100 calories.  Pears are also packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre.

Easiest way to increase the fibre intake is to increase consumption of fruits & vegetables. Fibre in the pear help prevent constipation and promote a healthier digestive tract. Most of the fibre in pear functions as laxative in the gut that supports regular bowel movement, for the excretion of toxins from the body. The pear fibre binds to cancer causing toxin and chemicals of the colon and help prevent the membrane of the intestine from contact with these harmful chemicals. Also high-fibre foods help lower the risk of developing diabetes and maintain blood sugar levels.

In addition to fibre pears are packed with hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acid that help prevent  cancer.

Pear contains vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins like folate, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and minerals like potassium, iron, and  magnesium. Boron  in pear help bolster the calcium in our bodies and help prevent osteoporosis. These vitamins and minerals are found concentrated underneath the skin. So, pears should be eaten with its skin to get the maximum nutrients benefits.

Pear also contains carotenoids, flavonols, anthocyanin ( the red skinned pears) and these compounds along with vitamin C & A help protect the body from harmful free radicals.

Keep unripe pear in a basket at room temperature for 1-2 days for the fruit to ripe.

Pears also contain fructose (6g/100g). Recommended fructose intake is 15-25g. It is wise to  consume pear,100g, once or twice a week.

Regular exercise and balanced food will help maintain weight and reduce the risk of developing cancer, diabetes and heart disease.


Good Gut: Happy Gut

Gut health is important, for the health of the body starts with the gut to help reduce the risk of conditions like bowel cancer, constipation. The food you consume is broken down to fats, proteins, and simple carbohydrates in the gut and it is obvious that gut should always be in good condition to function efficiently to process the food that is consumed.

The problems in the digestive tract could be the one that affects the rest of your body and indirectly contributing to the symptoms like, a feeling of unwell, bloating, wind, pain, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, changes in appetite.

Dieting, avoiding entire food groups in the name of weight reduction will sabotage your gut health. Human gut often referred to as the “Second Brain.” When your gut is upset, your brain struggles, naturally!

When the gut health is affected, for example when the gut is unable to produce sufficient enzyme, the food will not be digested completely. The undigested food particles will then reach the bloodstream that causes inflammation.  Environmental toxins consumed through food will damage the villi, specialized for the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine.

Craving for sweets can mean you have an imbalance of gut bacteria. Overgrowth of yeast in the system results when good bacteria are wiped of the intestine especially after a course or two of antibiotics.

When your gut is healthy, the rest of your organs will come into alignment better. So eating right will make sure that your gut is getting what it needs and function efficiently. It is true that the quality of food you eat affects your quality of life and energy production.

Tips to improve gut health

  • Healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients always begins with a simple act of chewing the food. Chewing is the preliminary process of proper digestion. If food is not chewed properly, the digestion process is going to be much harder, later in the gut.
  • A mix of raw and cooked vegetables will enhance the digestive health. Enzymes in the raw food plays major role in digestion of food and healing & detoxing of the intestine as well. Balanced food along with physical activity will help eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Drink enough water, which is essential for a normal bowel function. Think twice before grabbing fizzy drink or juice. Soda and too much coffee too, will lead to dehydration and sap out your energy, as well.
  • Fiber-rich foods keeps you full for longer and also help in digestion. Soluble fiber slows digestion and help absorb the nutrients efficiently. Cereal fibers resist digestion and retain water which act as highly effective laxative.
  • Gut microbiota contains trillion of microorganisms, both good and bad. Consuming foods with probiotic strains (lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) will help maintain a healthy gut.

Can you believe that gut imbalance of the microbiota triggers depressive symptom! You should always see that your gut eco system is in a balanced state because the harmful bacteria in the intestine will produce toxic by-products that lowers serotonin levels, causing depression. Serotonin, an important chemical neurotransmitter is produced in the brain and gut. About 80-90% of the serotonin is produced in the gut and it is the chemical that is responsible for maintaining mood balance.  The friendly bacteria will block the harmful microbes from setting up camp in the gut.

Gut- friendly bacteria regulates digestion and metabolism. They extract and produce vitamins and other nutrients through the food we eat, every day.  When you take probiotic, the amount of friendly bacteria increases in the intestine that help in boosting the body’s immune system. 

To balance the good and bad bacteria in the intestine it is crucial that you consume probiotic rich food every day. Fermented food like yogurt, kimchi, kefir, naturally contain probiotics that help maintain a healthy gut.

Pistachios, bananas, plantain, onions, garlic, oats, quinoa, millet and chia seeds are prebiotic foods that help increase the number of healthy bacteria in the gut.

Swap out refined foods for whole grains, plants, fruits, seeds and nuts for a good gut health.


Prunes are Plums

Prune is the dried version of any type of plum.   There are many types of plums. The dried version of the European plum (Prunus domestica), is the one that is commonly found in stores. There are other versions of plums like Prunus Americana and Prunus Salicina.

Prunes are concentrated source of:



Vitamin A, B, K









There is 7g of fiber per 100 of fruit.  A serving is 3-4 fruits that gives roughly 3g of fiber which is about 12% of daily value.  Dried plums retain both soluble and insoluble fiber and sorbitol. Soluble fiber helps slow down the absorption of glucose that stabilizes blood glucose level.  80% of the fiber in prunes is soluble fiber. Prunes have about 15% sorbitol when other fruits contains less than 5% of the same. The sorbitol, like fiber, absorbs more water and also increases the intestinal microorganisms that improves the guts’ health.

Prunes are rich sources of Glucose, fructose, sorbitol and sucrose. But prunes do not spike blood sugar because it is compact with natural fibers. So, consumption of prunes should be not more than 3-4 prunes.

Fresh plums are filled with water and so packed with water soluble vitamin C, too.  Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that help prevent the formation of free radicals in the body. But we should also keep in mind that plum fruits, during the process of drying will lose its water and vitamin C and ends as a source of concentrated sugar with other nutrients and fiber.  It is the high sugar content that helps dry this fruit without fermentation.  So, 3-4 prunes can be taken, twice or thrice a week but not every day.

It also sounds good that prunes have lower GI when compared to other common dry fruits like raisins, figs and dates.  This low GI number is because of the fiber it is packed with. Fiber keeps you full for longer and helps relieve constipation, too!

Prunes are rich in antioxidants (polyphenols), lutein, cryptoxanthin, chlorogenic acid, coumaric acid that prevents cell mutation and reduce cancer cell formation.

Potassium, an essential mineral found in prunes helps maintain a healthy blood pressure level.

Vitamin A promotes strong vision and prevents macular degeneration and cataracts.

Small children’s digestive system in not fully developed and their requirements are much lesser than adults. Seek doctor’s advice before adding prunes to your child’s favorite food because excess amount will show the symptoms of diarrhea.

It is easy to incorporate prunes to our daily meal. Prunes can be added to oats cereal, porridge that requires no extra added sugar. Prunes are very sweet and can be taken alone or with mixed nuts or salads. Oats porridge with prunes, a delicious and colorful breakfast!

Regular exercise and right portion of meals, every day, will help maintain your weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol.



Super food


Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world and fresh bananas are available year-round. Adding sliced banana to your morning cereal or oatmeal sounds great for breakfast. Bananas are packed with flavonoids, beta carotene a powerful antioxidant that gobbles free radical. In addition, it is a good source of potassium important for controlling the heart rate and blood pressure. Vitamin B6 in banana, help prevent anemia.

Increase happiness

Bananas help to overcome depression by releasing mood regulating substance called tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin in the brain that elevates mood and makes you happier!


Bananas, a pack of energy punch, good supplier of carbohydrate necessary to replace the muscle glycogen after your heavy work out. Before a strenuous workout, it help sustain your blood sugar. Blend a banana with a cup of soy milk and a teaspoon of honey and refrigerate. Enjoy a chill smoothie after workout!

Bowel health

Bananas are high in soluble fiber that acts as prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel that helps relieve constipation and restore regular bowel function.


Bananas are high in potassium that helps lower blood pressure and protect against heart diseases and help the body’s circulatory system, deliver oxygen to the brain. Potassium help transport more oxygen to your brain, that keeps your brain do its job better. If you are taking beta-blockers, prescribed for heart disease, consult with your doctor if potassium level become a concern, for this medication have the potential to increase in the potassium levels.


Bananas are rich in iron that help individuals with anemia. It help stimulation of production of hemoglobin that aids in oxygen transport.


Bananas are rich in pectin, aiding digestion and detoxification process in the body. It soothes the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea. Banana Smoothie, a wonderful energy punch.

A sliced banana mixed with sliced strawberries, mandarin orange and a teaspoon of honey and chopped mint leaves, makes a great dessert.  Enjoy with your family!



Women over 50: Beautiful and Fit!

Menopause is a natural biological process and in brief terms it is the time when a woman stops menstruating.  The hormones estrogens and progesterone production will be low and the ovaries no longer produces eggs. In women estrogen is mainly produced in the ovaries. It is also produced in fat cells and adrenal glands.

Most women approaching menopause will have hot flashes, a feeling of warmth spreading over the entire body resulting in profuse sweating.  The hot flashes varies from mild to severe, among women.  Mood swing, irritability, insomnia, headache are also common symptoms during this period.  No worries! Regular aerobic activities will help control all these symptoms.

Post-Menopause is tied to long-term health problems if healthy food intake and regular physical activity is not practiced. The loss of estrogens along with unhealthy food habits and sedentary lifestyle might lead to the following complications:

Drop in estrogen levels has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The hormone estrogen help protect the inner layer of the artery wall, thereby keeping the blood vessel flexible.  Which means they can relax and expand to accommodate blood flow. So, Menopause does not cause the heart disease. It is the decline in the hormone estrogen that is considered one among the causes of heart diseases. As per American heart association, women should do 150 mins of physical activity each week to prevent the heart diseases. Walking, dancing, cycling and swimming are good aerobic activities women can enjoy to keep themselves fit. Regular consumption of omega rich fish like-salmon, tuna, mackerel, nuts like almonds and walnuts are considered good for heart health along with whole grains, lean protein meats, fruits and vegetables.

The influence of estrogen on osteoporosis

In women bones are protected by the hormone estrogen. During post–menopause there is no production of estrogen through ovaries and the body depends only on fat cells as a source of this bone protecting hormone. During the first half of the life, there is a balance between the bone formation and the bone loss. But in the first few years after menopause, a woman may lose bone density rapidly.   That is, more bone being broken down than formed. The lower a person’s bone density, the higher the risk of developing osteoporosis, a progressive disease that makes the bones get weaker and increases the risk of sudden and unexpected fractures

Weight – bearing exercises, 3-4 times a week will help prevent osteoporosis. Walking, jogging, playing tennis, climbing stairs, dancing are all good weight-bearing exercises. Women should consume foods rich in calcium & vitamin D. Along with regular weight-bearing activities, foods like, milk and dairy products (low-fat), seafood like salmon, sardines, egg, dry beans, vitamin C rich fruits and green leafy vegetables will help build bones throughout your life.

During the menopausal transition, women are more prone to overweight / obesity.

When women go through menopause, their metabolism declines.  If the diet and the daily calorie requirement is not controlled, the excess amount of calories consumed will be stored as fat.

Consuming a balanced meals that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, unsaturated fats, fibre and complex carbohydrates along with regular moderate activities 30 mins every day, will help maintain the weight.

After menopause, obese women are at higher risk of breast cancer.

Estrogens created by fat cells have been linked to breast cancer formation in obese women. Estrogens are essential for women, but higher the estrogens, the greater the driving force behind breast cancer. Fat cells are very active cells that creates estrogen. Excess amount of body fat cells will produce more estrogen which in turn increases the insulin production. Insulin, a hormone, delivers glucose into the cells where it will be stored as fat.  Excess the fat you have, higher the levels of estrogen and eventually higher the insulin production.  The more the insulin in the blood, higher the storage of glucose to fat. And the cycle goes on and on.

“Excess” fat: the main culprit.

Regular exercise will help reduce the body fat which eventually decreases the risk of developing breast cancer with no side effects. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, watercress, and mustard greens will in addition help protect the cells against cancer.

Regular exercise and food rich in wholegrains, fruits & green leafy vegetables, low-fat dairy products, nuts, fish, lean meat, dry beans will help you stay healthy after menopause.


Mindful Eating

The food you eat provides the vital nutrients like carbohydrate, protein, fat, fibers, vitamins, minerals and water that keeps your body cells running.

Good nutrition combined with physical activity help maintain a healthy weight that reduces the risk of chronic diseases.  Even for people with healthy weight, a poor diet will lead to major health risks! By making smart food choices you can always protect yourself from getting chronic diseases

Eating something high in sugar, fat and salt will stimulate your desire to eat, more!  Once you pop, you can’t stop!  So, it is apparent that mindfulness, while eating, is crucial.

Mindfulness is an ability we all possess. Mindful eating is deliberately paying attention and be aware of what we are eating. It involves all the senses and engross us in colors, textures, flavors, tastes and sounds of drinking or eating.


Notice your food

You are three times as likely to eat the first you see on the table.  It is wise to place your most healthful food where you will notice it first.  Start your meal with salads or thin soups that prevents you from overdoing the high-calorie entrees.

Scout out your food during party.

Scanning the buffet before scooping up will help you to pick more nutritious food, first.  It helps you make smart decisions like going for light starters to start with. Seating yourself 40 feet farther from the buffet will help qualify your decision to go back, for a second or third servings.

Pick a small plate

Smaller plate will help you to dish up smaller amounts of food. Take smaller bites and chew the food at least 15 times. The longer you chew, the more time you take to finish the meal. Chewing your food longer will also help control your portion size that makes you eat less and prevent weight gain.  Longer you chew your food, easier the digestion in your stomach and intestine. The slower you eat, higher you savor the flavor!

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Observe the texture of food.

The texture of what you eat greatly affects your enjoyment of food. While dining enjoy the texture of food like: soft-yogurt and soups, Chewy-meat, crunchy-nuts, carrots, apples, and lettuce. You will discover the secret of how to become content, once you are able to fully appreciate the basic activities of eating. Each sip of liquid and the bite of food will be fresh and delicious! After a long hike, even if you drink the plain water, you will understand how wonderful it is.

Note the variety of food

Eat with your eyes. It is important to enjoy the colors of the foods in the plate like brown rice, red, orange or yellow fruits and green leafy vegetables. A little goes a long way, when you enjoy something, especially colorful. Mindful eating is a good way to help you enjoy your food, wholeheartedly.

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Watch out environmental and emotional triggers.

Before you start eating just take few seconds to rate your hunger.  Your goal is to eat between levels 4 and 6 in the hunger-satiety rating scale.  It is like you are eating when you are hungry and stop eating when you are satisfied. When you are hungry, you may experience few of the following symptoms like stomach pangs, emptiness of the stomach, low energy, difficult in concentrating.  Try not to hold your hunger until the level of 1 or 2, which leads to overeating. Catching the hunger early will naturally prevent you from overeating and at the same time you can concentrate on picking up nutritious food.


Hunger-Satiety Rating Scale
Full 10  =  Stuffed to the point of feeling sick
   9   =  Very uncomfortably full, need to loosen your belt
   8   =  Uncomfortably full, feel stuffed
   7   =  Very full, feel as if you have overeaten
   6   =  Comfortably full, satisfied
Neutral  5   =  Comfortable, neither hungry nor full
   4   =  Beginning signs and symptoms of hunger
   3   =  Hungry with several hunger symptoms, ready to eat
   2   =  Very hungry, unable to concentrate
Hungry  1   =  Starving, dizzy, irritable


Physical hunger builds gradually several hours after each meal. Emotional eating and craving, in contrast, will arise unexpectedly. Emotional eating will enhance grabbing more food than you need.  If you have recently eaten and still find yourself craving for food, watch out the emotional triggers like angry, lonely, worried, stress, bored, frustrated. Find out which emotion triggers you to eat and reach out for help. Call your friend or go for a walk, or do some stretching that relieves your stress.  

Track your food and your physical activity

Most people do not realize how much they are eating every day. Tracking the food will help you to understand where the extra calorie is coming from. It helps you to focus on varieties of food and control the portion size, as well. Tracking will help you to understand the composition of foods you eat and the nutrients you get from them. Once you start tracking your food you will be surprised to learn how many calories are hiding in the little treats like- candies and beverages you are enjoying every day. It also helps you to identify and incorporate the missing food groups like dairy, vegetables and nuts. Similarly tracking your physical activity will help you to understand how often you are physically active. It motivates you to add all four types of activities-endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. Recording activities will help you see your progress over time that impels you to add more activity to your daily routine.


Eating is a natural and pleasurable activity for satisfying your hunger. Through mindful eating you will learn what food best fuels your exercise and work. You will also realize that unhealthy food is not as tasty and healthy as you thought before.  You will not get fat as long as you are mindful while eating.

Mindful eating replaces self-criticism with self-nurturing.


Chicken quesadillas



Chicken quesadillas


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each 4 ounces
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup smoky or hot salsa
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 flour tortillas, each 8 inches in diameter
1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Chicken quesadillas

Dietitian’s Tip: Quesadillas can be filled with cheese, cooked meat, refried beans or veggies — or any combination of these ingredients. This version uses chicken and cheddar.

Heat oven to 425 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Cut each chicken breast into cubes. In a large, nonstick frying pan, add the chicken and onions and saute until the onions are tender and the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the salsa, tomatoes and cilantro.

To assemble, lay a tortilla flat and rub the outside edge with water. Spread about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture onto the tortilla, leaving about 1/2 inch free around the outer rim. Sprinkle with a spoonful of shredded cheese. Fold tortilla in half and seal. Place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Lightly coat the top of the tortillas with cooking spray. Bake until the quesadillas are lightly browned and crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

Calories 298

Protein 27 g

Carbohydrate 25 g

Total fat 10 g

Saturated fat 5 g

Monounsaturated fat 3 g

Cholesterol 70 mg

Sodium 524 mg

Dietary fiber 6 g

Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid Servings
Vegetables 1

Carbohydrates 1

Protein and dairy 2