Friday, March 21, 2014

Life is like a piece of paper.

Many a great Zen masters have considered simple tasks like Origami, maintaining Bonsai plants, Calligraphy etc as meditative practices. It is for this belief that even Samurai's practiced these arts to control their minds. Origami is the Japanese art of making objects with paper. When you keep repeating a particular shape by folding the paper again and again,  you do achieve stillness of the mind. A still mind brings with it peace and tranquility. You can introspect in to life or even ponder on something that is troubling you. A solution will surely follow. However one must not try to force the solution instead let the meditation bring out a solution for you. The Japanese believe that if one makes a 1000 paper cranes ( Tsuru ) then their wish gets fulfilled. 

In life whenever we strive to get an outcome we usually get the opposite. What we should do is - Give our best shot and let the universe decide the outcome. 

                        Get up, get some papers and meditate while you make cranes!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

The hype of super foods

Being a martial artist and fitness trainer am often asked by those training what specific foods or super foods should they consume. Well my answer always had been eat a balanced diet. 

With the people all over the world getting ill often and many having a sedentary lifestyle, they tend to search for easier options than sweating out and making the body stronger and fitter by working out. This laziness is well exploited by certain people / businessmen by hyping up so called Super Foods. So lets look at if we really need them or not. 

This is my logical and realistic point of view, it is what makes common sense. The world has numerous countries and temperature zones all having varied weather patterns, soil, topography etc. The people living in different areas are also built or grow up with a body to suit the place and the kind of work they are meant to do. Similarly plants, vegetables, fruits and grains that grow in different areas are best needed for people in those areas. Even if you eat a food that is brimming with all the nutrients and minerals you may need, it is usually thrown out by the body and not absorbed completely as our body does not need huge quantities of them. The only way you benefit is by making your wallet lighter and a placebo effect of feeling healthier because you now ate some Magic Food.

I have been training for over 30 years now. Have never given much importance to any so called super food and in fact do not even consume any specific food often. I just maintain a balanced diet and try to eat all that I get locally. Now some may think that would make me unhealthy or unfit but if you do feel so you are welcome to come and train with me and you will see how fast you get winded before I even get warmed up. Nowadays there are so many so called super foods available all promising super health. I find it very amusing seeing people going out of the way to get them. I do not say these food items are not healthy or important, all I say is eat what you get locally and not what is hyped about. All greens have minerals and nutrients may be in varying percentages or traces. I have even found it funny that vegetarians and vegans feel they are weak or missing out on nutrients like creatine because they do not eat meat. Where as those who do keep loading their body with food that has creatine. I have been a non vegetarian most of my life have even tried being a pure vegetarian for 3 years, have even lived on only raw fruits and vegetables ( no rice, lentils or any cooked foods) for 6 months and now am Vegan too. Through all these different eating habits I have never felt weak or made sure I eat specific foods to compensate for lack of certain foods in a different eating preference. I feel if you are feeling that you need to compensate then there could be only two explanations - 1)- You miss what you can not eat now and are trying to get something that tastes as close to what you can not eat anymore, 2) - You are misguided and misled in to the unnecessary hype of super foods and feel you need them or will get weak or malnourished. Well both do not make sense. If you are craving something you can not eat then do not deprive yourself, eat it and stop eating it not because its is the latest thing to do but because you understand how it is not good for your body. If you are misled then well you just need to go and train and stop telling yourself you are weak. In our country the laborers who work for road construction and repair works are not even able to afford normal vegetables often. They end up eating rice and some spicy watery curry or dal with very little if any vegetables, yet they work daily for 8 - 10 hours under the hot sun and have well chiseled bodies that even regular gym goers and diet conscious people do not have. So are these laborers being over dosed with protein and other supplements by their employers or are they some sort of divine beings, who get tough and strong by virtually eating not even 1/4 of all that we eat. Well the answer is simple GO TRAIN. 




* Do consult a qualified trainer before embarking on a training program, excessive training could cause severe injuries, fatigue or even permanent damage to the body. Start slowly and build on it.   

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Realistic approach to Veganism.

There is a lot of skepticism that you may face when you mention that - I am a Vegan. Well lets take a realistic view of what is Veganism. In my opinion a Vegan is a person who wishes to eat and live healthier and hence moves on to a Vegan diet. Just changing to a healthy diet is half the battle the other half lies in changing your lifestyle and becoming active and physically fit through exercise. Irrespective of being Vegan or not most people are against animal cruelty however if you are brought up with everyone drinking milk or eating meat and even schools promoting milk consumption then it is difficult to move away from that. 

We like to help, educate and support people in moving to a healthier diet like the Vegan diet. Yes it is difficult at times to leave everything and become Vegan suddenly. We do not wish you to do that if you are finding it difficult but will guide you through our group on Facebook to go Vegan smoothly - 

There are reasons for why being Vegan is considered to be a healthier diet. Let us see some of the products that are not consumed by Vegans and scientifically understand how they are harmful to our health. In general Vegans do not eat any animal based products and by products. Lets start with the main product that most people find difficult to leave. Milk and milk products like butter, cheese, yogurts etc form a very important part of the diet for most people. 85% of the protein in milk comes from Casein. Casein has been scientifically proved to be one of the biggest promoters of Cancer. In other words Casein is a big carcinogen. In general all our bodies have some cancer cells which get neutralized by our body. However consuming substances which are carcinogens helps promote these cancerous cells and then we succumb to cancer. So avoiding milk and milk products is surely in the best interest of our health. Moving to meat - Meat from various animals and fish are a good source of protein and also other components like creatine, omega oils etc. However meat protein is difficult for our bodies to digest and moreover our bodies are not able to absorb all the nutrients from meat. Nowadays to meet the growing demand for meat most meat sources are fed or injected with growth steroids, often over dosing the animals. This makes it very hazardous for us to consume them. Where as protein from plant is easily absorbed by our body and though we do use pesticides and fertilizers on crops it is any day less hazardous than filling our body with meat fed on growth steroids.  Honey is the other animal product Vegans avoid - In today's day and age Honey is procured from bee farms and most honey manufacturers use other chemicals which they mix with the natural honey to increase its quantity etc. So we end up eating a processed and synthetic form of a natural product called honey. Honey in general is good for health but in the good old days honey hunters would only cut off 30% of a natural bee hive there by not destroying the bee colony and they would sell the pure honey as it is. So I did rather stop honey than eating chemicals and fool myself that it is honey. 

If you have any doubts about the above do look it up and if you would like to understand in detail you could read the book - The China Study. 

Recently I had joined a group to be with fellow vegans but sadly they seem to be very fanatic in their approach and arrogant. I voluntarily left the group yesterday in protest after they kept deleting any comment or views that I shared and by no means were my views anti vegan. If you do not agree with someone you should express your view or debate on it peacefully and logically and not cowardly delete their comment. The group on facebook - Hyderabad Vegans is very one sided and stuck up to their stand. I am against animal cruelty of any form however if someone mentions he / she is having difficulty going vegan you do not tell them that - If its difficult for you just imagine how much the animal suffers.... and then send them videos of animal cruelty. You need to support the person provide realistic solutions to their problems or issues they are facing to move to the Vegan diet.  We can not stop animal slaughter by crying out loud Cruelty Cruelty or by trying to stop the government by opening new modernized slaughter houses. Those who want to eat meat will get it from anywhere and shutting slaughter houses will lead to butchers killing animals on their own in possibly very unhygienic and unmonitored conditions. The right approach is to spread knowledge of the health benefits of a Vegan diet by doing so we could even win over a butcher but by just crying out Cruelty Cruelty the butcher wont even pay heed to what we say. 

I have moved from a meat eater to a Vegan and though I train about 4 -6 hours daily am feeling more energetic and stronger than before. So am sure with proper guidance anyone can.

 We welcome all to join us or seek our help in going Vegan for a healthier and fitter self.

                                                                        Lets be realistic and not fanatic!!!!!!!!!!