Saturday, February 21, 2015 good! ~by Mahima Setia

Stress is a dreaded word these days. So much so, that we have authors write thick books about it, we have businesses running in the name of stress therapy and medications to curb stress sell loose!
So, why does this article state that Stress is good?
Let’s understand Stress first and how it affects our body.
Stress is a reaction to a certain situation and the body’s way of making you more alert and ready to take on a challenge. When a stressful situation hits (like a dog comes running in front of our car), we need an extra spurt of energy to counter these situations. The brain directs your adrenal glands located right above your kidneys through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, to release a surge of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline increases your heart rate, blood pressure and energy supply. Cortisol increases sugar and glucose in the blood. This is a natural response and is helpful in situations like when one has to apply emergency brakes, or run for life when a fire breaks.   Have you ever noticed how after such incidences we usually stop for 5 minutes and breathe till we feel normal? That is to get the body regulatory back on Track.
So Stress is a natural way for our body to adapt to certain situations and hence is good.
But, today’s lifestyle demands us to be on a high alert ALL THE TIME. Whether, it’s from our workplaces, or handling children or family issues and most of the times all of them combined! There is no time to STOP AND BREATHE till we feel normal.
The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it appropriately. Stress can be positive and negative. However, when the stress continues for continued time with no relaxation it leads to a situation called distress resulting in chronic illness.
Foods helps tame stress and a healthy diet can counter the impact of stress, by shoring up the immune system and lowering blood pressure.

Carbohydrates: For a steady supply of the feel good chemical, serotonin, consume complex carbs like whole grains, breads, oatmeal etc.
Vitamin C: It helps strengthen your immune system and curb stress levels. Ensure sufficient intake of foods such as oranges, lemon and the likes.
Magnesium: A deficiency in this mineral triggers headaches and fatigue leading to an increase in stress. Make sure to have sufficient green leafy vegetables especially spinach.
Omega 3 fatty acids: This essential fat can be obtained from fish and flax seeds. It helps protect against heart diseases, mood swings, depression and thus helps in preventing stress.
Nuts: A handful of nuts such as almonds, pista and walnuts helps protect us against heart diseases, lowers cholesterol, prevents inflammation in arteries and protects against effects of stress.
Raw veggies: Crunchy raw vegetables help ease stress by relieving a clenched jaw and keep tension at bay.

Everyone needs a little stress to perform well, but too much stress or tension disrupts the body’s regulation.

Apart from the diet, try getting a good night’s sleep, get musical, laugh your heart out even if you’re alone, breathe deeply, exercise and stay active.

About the author
I am Mahima Setia, a clinical nutritionist, fitness expert and a seasoned corporate banking professional. With a vision to create a difference to the service of nutrition and health consulting by marrying today’s consumer’s habits, lifestyles and needs to relevant and doable health advice – both scientific and emotional, I decided to follow my passion for Good health both personally and for the consumer at large.
Having earned advanced certifications in Nutrition and fitness studies, I have been consulting for 3 years and look forward to each day as another milestone towards better health for both me and my clients. I advise on better nutrition, weight management, incorporating physical activities in daily life, dealing with clinical conditions, mindful eating and fat loss.
Personally, I have been a national level swimmer, love to dance and read books.
 “Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe deeply, and move harmoniously.”

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Everyday Heros - Rahul Yadav

Issue #01

Rahul Yadav - IT professional detected with blood cancer at age 28.

1. When did you discover you had cancer?
I was 28, had been doing very well at an IT company in Bangalore, and had just tied the knot with my girlfriend. I was just getting started. We had moved into a new house and  were setting it up. I used to cycle to office. (One city in India where you can do so)
Then suddenly one day I fell sick.

2. What was the first thought that came to your mind when the news was broken to you?

The diagnosis itself was a huge shocker. I was being treated for dengue after a blood test showed I had a low platelet count. But the dengue tests were negative and I was told I have this. The first thing I did was google what Multiple Myeloma was and the very first website told me that its an Incurable form of cancer and the average survival is 2-4 years for this disease. I was devastated. (I later realised that it is true that its incurable but it IS manageable and the survival data was 15 years old. But imagine what my over active mind was going through)

3. Can you talk about the emotional toll the cancer diagnosis took on you? How did you deal with the knowledge of having cancer?

It was like being hit by a 300 km/hr train. I had never even heard of the name Myeloma before. I was told that I had Myeloma. I was lost. I did not know whom to talk to or what to expect from Life. Would I be fine or am I dying. How much time do I have.

But I was in a situation where I had a choice to either lament or to do something about this. I cannot see myself just sitting silently hoping things would get better as I started to realize through personal experience that there were various aspects of cancer care that could be improved. Not that somebody is doing a poor job but the acknowledgement that there is a lack of certain programs. I decided to fill these gaps myself.

4. Who along your journey helped you get through some of these challenges and what was their impact?
Getting the big "C" news(!) was a big shock not only for me but for the entire family. What is interesting are the reactions from friends. It is like a sea of support. Old friends, with whom I had not even spoken for years called regularly to check on me and wish me good health. Also some so called friends kind of disappeared. But later I decided that not all can cope with bad news and I never bothered with such people.

Anyway, My wife who's my companion and my friend and my caregiver was and always has been my guiding light. My support system. I also realised its not the 1000s on facebook but 10 close friends and your family and your loved ones that will always be by your side. Cherish them!!

5. Cancer treatments take time and energy. What are some if the things you do to maintain an optimistic and positive outlook?
Everybody has been telling me to be positive, to have faith, trust me the will and desire to remain so is extremely tough to maintain. How can one stay positive in a situation like this, where every day is a new battle, every night I pray to God not to give me that dreaded pain tonight, I do not want to go to that Emergency Room tonight. And any test results makes me more anxious than those board exams results.

But l have realized that Some days are good and some bad…And I try to ignore the bad ones and look forward for the good ones…So I still try to enjoy the good days. Also I love the lines. "Get busy living or get busy Dying". I keep myself so busy that I get no time to think about how much time I have. I work harder than I ever have. People ask me what do I do in my free time. My answer - I got no free time.

6. Does the knowledge of having cancer change the way you react to situations? How do you deal with the anxiety on a day to day level?
One good change that I see in me is that somehow I now can see how others are also suffering. Everybody has his or her own set of problems. And yes those problems are huge. We only focus so much on our issues that we just ignore the issues others are facing. If you just (with a very selfish motive) make an effort and genuinely try to understand what the other is facing. You will find that your problems are trivial. That your problems are small.

7. Do you now have a motto that you live by?
No matter how tough the situation may look, Never give in and keep fighting. This will pass. Hope is something that keeps us going. Always keep hope alive.

If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside. NEVER GIVE UP.